By Tim Rhys -贺丹注
Chapter 2-Cop Shop<注1>
- Josef Serge.
- I don't know.
The Robot Receptionist stopped for a few seconds.
- I told you—I don't know.
It stopped again. They shouldn't have robots in police stations. This one was getting on my nerves.<注2> I needed a human police officer to talk to.
- I can't remember!!
- There's no need to shout. You need a Calmness Pill.
It offered me a small, orange tablet.
- No! No more pills! I want to report a robbery.
- A robbery. What was stolen?
- My memories.
Silence. Little coloured lights blinked on and off inside the robot, as it tried to understand. Then it spoke again.
-swhereswere these memories when they were stolen?
- Inside my head.
- Someone stole them from inside your head?
The Robot became confused. Random words and numbers began to flash across its eyes.
- How did they get inside your head? It does not make sense. I'm going to fetch a human officer.
- Good idea.
And it went away, buzzing and bleeping<注3> angrily. Stupid machine. I hate them. I would like to scrap all of them. They
never work properly. They are always trouble. I wish I had lived in an earlier age, before robots had even been invented.
A door opened. I was pleased to see a human being come into the room. Her police badge<注4> said Detective Constable Push-button. She was an attractive, intelligent-looking woman.
- I'm afraid you confused our Receptionist.
- Good. I'm glad.
D.C. Push-button had a warm smile.
She got me a cup of tea. Old style tea, the way I like it. Neon-free.<注5> I started to relax.
- So how could someone steal your memories?
- They did experiments on me. They used electro-magnetic shocks. Chemicals. Hypnosis.<注6> Sleep deprivation.
I told her everything that had happened to me in Dr Webber's secret brain-research Lab, out on the other side of Crystal Town. I showed her the photos I had secretly taken with a hidden
I told her about my best friend—Plummet—who had escaped with me. I told her how he was afraid to come to the police. She smiled again.
- Don't you worry, Mr Serge. You've got nothing to fear from us. If you can take us to this Research Lab, we will come with you right now and close the place down. This Dr Webber sounds very dangerous.
Her words were like music to my ears. I sighed with relief. Twenty minutes later, we were on a police boat, racing back across Piccadilly Lake, on our way back to the Research Lab, with six officers, all armed with nerve guns.
The thought of Dr Webber being shot with a nerve gun and arrested made me very happy<注7> —but I was also terrified. Going back to that place was the last thing I wanted to do.<注8>
I suddenly felt very tired. I lay down in the back of the boat and watched the para-gliders<注9> and balloons floating by overhead... They must have banned motor vehicles from the London sky while I was away.<注10>
It was much more peaceful up there. Better than the noisy jet-cars and helicopters that used to block out the sky.11 My eyes closed and I fell asleep. I slept until I heard a voice whispering in my ear.
- Serge! Wake up!
It was Plummet, talking into my tiny micro-radio. He had been watching me from the roof of a nearby tower-block.
- Wake up! You're in big trouble!