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© Antony Kershaw 2002

Antony Kershaw is copyright by Antony Kershaw © 1966-2002
Or how about Antony Kershaw™ ?
Or we could do Antony™ Kershaw™ © 1966-2002?
I wonder if anyone ever reads these bits?

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So what could happen in just one day?

Well, a star could be born. A universe could implode. An entire galaxy could spin to a new home. A God could make a species or even some other gods. A planet could give up. An entire world could die. That's enough to keep everything busy. But the most probable event would be quite mundane . . .

. . . it is Monday morning in London. It is a beautiful, fine British day; the rain hasn't stopped for weeks, the skies are jumbled hues of dark greys and black, and the cold refuses to let any thermometer rise above zero. It is tomorrow.

Modern cities such as London are hectic, grimy, places to live, fraught with danger from the madmen, council workers, government spies, bureaucrats, officials, and even politicians, which await them on every corner. The misery of public transport, the seas of glass-towered work camps, and the grasping hands of profiteering landowners, simply completes the great adventure.

Although, despite these minor drawbacks, it is invariably better than watching sheep and cows all day, which may explain why they are so popular. There's also cold beer, air that doesn't stink of pig shit, and more than stew to eat.

Just getting up in the morning and getting through the first part of the day can be riddled with disasters for the citizens of the deadlocked metropolis, their spirits repeatedly broken by the demoralising repetition of their days.

Jack Dalton is a likeable but obsessive man, and if anything can go wrong for him it will. He is the sort of man who got mugged as he went to collect his lottery winnings. He broke his leg watching skiing on television. A bus ran him over on the way to the train station, and once he got hit by a train when he was on a bus. This is his life. he accepts it.

Being a meteorologist doesn't help his mood when it does nothing but rain every single day. Although he lives and struggles along with the rest of Humanity he can't quite understand how the rest of the population seem to put up with the evils of society: breakfast television, public transport, work, traffic jams, the weather, and of course, the fact that there is no ozone layer left and the planet is teetering on the edge of disaster.

Sir Desmond Trithon, the chairman of Trithon Industries, doesn't share Jack's pessimistic view of the planet. He sees it as one huge toyshop with a profit to be made at every corner. He was only nine years old when he sold his grandmother. His international conglomerate built the LTCC (London Traffic Control System), but something has gone seriously wrong this morning and the city is grinding to a standstill.

The Drainage Control Project is in disarray and the Tube system is being flooded. More projects built and managed by Trithon Industries. The government is starting to suspect it may be deliberate. There is a major panic and it's not even 9 o'clock yet.

They say the Fulcrum Consortium is to blame, that the Fulcrum Consortium is deliberately engaged in clandestine social engineering projects. No one knows who ‘they’ are, but it’s keeping the conspiracy theorists in more work than they can handle. Even the government is starting to wonder. They've even put their names on a couple of mailing lists run by wide-eyed maniacs operating from the back bedroom of their mum's house. Just in case.

The government have built The Gateway, their very British version of Cheyenne Mountain command centre and they're planning to use it very soon. Just as soon as the decorators have finished and the tea cups are delivered.

One of these is going to help kill the planet. Many of them will probably die along with the rest of the population. Something is engineering the end of the experiment, and with it the end of the human race.

It may seem a little unfair, but perhaps it is for the best.

In each small life on the planet there is an inextricable interaction with the next that most of the time passes unnoticed. These tiny and fleeting meetings can be the difference between life and death; disaster or joy; survival or extinction.

Meander around the city and follow the brief contact between Jack, Sir Desmond, and the thousands of builders, office workers, commuters, madmen and lunatics, as they try to get through the day alive.

In the meantime, until the end arrives there is work for the experiment originators to do. A quick stopover in Jazreel, another in Camulodunum, and one more in Sarajevo should be just enough to make sure the world goes according to plan and doesn't last too long. They desperately need to produce a few acts of spectacular genocide to show they are on the case. As an extra guarantee they could always give them a few more gods. That always seems to work.

The question is simple. Is life preordained or can we change our destiny?

And does anyone, apart from Jack, care anyway?

In The Beginning . . .


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