By Tim Rhys -贺丹 注
I opened one eye—We were still in central London—coming into Trafalgar Bay. Red, double-decker tourist buses were sailing around Nelson's Column.<注2> Beyond that, the mile-wide River Thames<注3> flowed out to the sea.
A second police boat had come up alongside us. More officers had boarded our boat. They were arguing with D.C. Push-button. I listened, pretending to be asleep.
—We have to take the prisoner off you. He's dangerous.
—But I think he's telling the truth. He showed me photographs of this Research Centre.
—We will have to take those photos off you, too. We're in charge now.
I saw one of the new officers preparing an injection for me.—Plummet was right. I'm in trouble.
There were seven canals leading off Trafalgar Bay. This was my best chance of escape.<注4>
But if I jumped into the Bay, I will be an easy target for their nerve guns. If they shot me, they will paralyse me, and I would drown. If I didn't jump I could end up back in the Lab... What a choice.<注5>
I gazed across at Lord Nelson, rising up out of the water on his stone column. A bat was sitting on his head—no respect. With his one good eye and his one arm, his stone image gazed<注6> out across the bay, at the little boats all around him. If Nelson were in my place, he would take the risk. He would jump.<注7>—Sit down Mr. Serge. I've got to give you this little injection. Okay?
He caught hold of my arm. I saw the needle in his other hand. I knocked him unconscious.<注8> He fell backwards into the water. Another officer reached out to pull him back. Everyone started shouting and aiming their guns at me. I jumped off the boat, but a nerve gun hit me in the leg.
My entire nervous system froze like ice. I was completely paralysed. I felt as if I was made of stone, like Nelson on his Column.
My paralysed body hit the water with a splash.
I sank like a stone. The water was so cold. Freezing! As I sank, I could see the bottom of Nelson's Column.
The shock of the cold water woke up my nerves a little,<注9> but I was only able to move one arm. It was not enough to stop me sinking.
I tried to kick but it was no good...
So here I am, drowning...
As I sink, I see the strange, drowned buildings of old London. From the good old days when this was Trafalgar Square.
I can see the air going out of my mouth in a stream of silver bubbles. I can feel my life drifting out of me...<注10>High above, I can see the bottom of a red, double-decker London tourist bus, blocking out the light. There's a chain coming out of it, attached to a heavy, iron anchor on the sea-bed.
As I watch, the chain tightens, and the anchor begins to move. It must be getting ready to sail off around London, showing tourists all the sights.
As I sink deeper, I can see the four giant lions at the foot of Nelson's Column.
They've been here for more than a thousand years. I've always felt I belonged to a different age. So now I'm going to end my days among these lions from that lost Golden Age.<注11>