Looking at me you would say that the yellow glasses (translucent yellow frames and lenses) were an affectation. A little unnecessary in Lincolnshire. After all this county is not a metropolitan hub. You can’t take a direct Exogen shuttle to New Mars. It is not populated with stylish urbanites who might actually enquire where I got my shades from and spin their fingers to indicate a certain appreciation of my style, in the way that today’s young hipsters do. Lincolnshire is a place big on wide open skies and endless fields in a variety of greens. Looking at my yellow shades you might think: lunknode!
Maybe you are right. But if you knew what I knew, you would sock me in the gut and steal these sunglasses and leave me to my fate without a second thought.
My name is Agent 7730 and I’m waiting for my partner Agent 8817. We arranged to meet here, a layby just off of the A16 about eighteen miles from the coast. It’s elevated so you get a reasonable view out to the sea. That’s where they will come from when it begins; from the East coast, where the early twenty first century’s offshore wind farms used to be.
I look at my watch for about the third time in as many minutes. A car crammed with young kids goes by. The driver, a beefy looking, ginger haired goon, slows down enough so that I catch what his friends in the back say to me. I get to see their laughing, sneering faces too. “Fucking twat.” An empty can of some fluorescent energy drink designed to stimulate the synthglands is lobbed in my direction but only lands a few meters from my feet and rolls to a stop on the semi-gritted dirt of the pull off. All this posturing and aggression, I think, and in about two hours most people in this godforsaken place will be dead. Who ever dreamed that Lincolnshire would be the alpha of the omega?
I take off my lenses and rub them on my tie. Where was 8817? Already hacking up his own putrescent innards from inhalation of the spore? Technically a utricle. Technically unclassifiable. Scientifically, Gladsome-Thymi G17. He would come. I was certain. 8817 was too good to get caught out. The spore, once inhaled caused painful death within minutes. There was no solution to the problem. Gladsome- Thymi was thought to have originated in the synth houses of the Eastern Continent, a melting pot of hatred for our enemies, though as yet it could not be confirmed if its intended creation was for attack. The current thinking was that it was a diabolic side effect to other nefarious synthaliate activities. 8817 and I were pulling back. Lincolnshire was doomed and, along with Norfolk, deemed to be the point of first contact with Gladsome-Thymi.
All we had were yellow fucking glasses. The lenses would allow us to see the coming of the spores as a pink cloud getting bigger and bigger. For us the entire horizon would turn the colour of bubble gum and ballet shoes. I looked again in the direction of the coast. It was there. A faint blush on the edge of the sky. I had minutes. 8817 should have been here with the Exogen Hopper, should have completed his data retrieval mission from the bunkers deep below the old Air Base and rendezvoused here.
The subcutaneous crystals embedded in my wrist glowed and buzzed. A message was coming through on my watch. I held my palm out facing up and waited for the holoscript projection. I loosed my tie with my other hand. Against protocol but what the fuck.
It was from 8817: ‘Too late. Got caught out. Spore already in lower atmosphere here. Heading your direction. It’s all lies. All lies. It’s beautiful. Everything is opened. Everything is possible. The spore is demiurgic! This is not death.’
Confused, frightened, I looked from the holoscript to the sky. The light all around was pink, like sliced ham. It was here. Lincolnshire had never looked so pretty.