You can do anything you want. And what was saying this to him was. Part of him, deepdown.
Part of him that had been attached to him all these years and not really noticed, like a shadow. Itwas saying: yes, it's a rotten world. It could have been great. But now it's rotten, and it's time to dosomething about it. That's what you're here for. To make it all better.
They stared at him.
They'd never seen him like this before. We should be goin' to Marsand stuff, instead of sittin' around in the dark and wet with the air spillin' away. The Them avoided one another's faces. With Adam inthis mood, the world seemed a chillier place. There was a shadow over the whole world. Storm clouds were building up in the north, the sunlightglowing yellow off them as though the sky had been painted by an enthusiastic amateur.
That hadn't sounded like Adam's voice. A bitter wind blew through the summer woods. Adam looked at Dog, who tried to stand on his head. There was a distant mutter of thunder.
Hereached down and patted the dog absentmindedly. An' then we could sorteverythin' out. Pepper shivered. This wasn't the normal Them mobius bickering, whichpassed many a slow hour. There was a look in Adam's eye that his friend couldn't quite fathom-notdevilment, because that was more or less there all the time, but a sort of blank grayness that was farworse. Speaking as a mother of unborn generations, I'm against it.
I'd see to that. It'd be wicked, eh, to have all the world to ourselves. Wouldn't it? We could share it out. We could have amazing games.
We could have War with real armies an' stuff. Wecould all have a quarter of the world each. Like, you'! Russia's boring.
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Pepper nudged him and shook her head urgently. Adam wasn't listening, at least to any voices outside his own head. Just save the ones we want and start again. That's the best way. It'd bedoing the Earth a favor, when you come to think about it. It makes me angry, seeing the way those oldloonies are messing it up. Racial memory, Imean.
That's just ametaphor. She remembered it. Not very well, of course, and by the time it'd been filtered through herown understand ing it's often a bit confused. We think she's best at remembering things that were goingto happen to her descendants. They looked at the map spread out between them. Beside them the radio murmured. Newt was veryaware that a woman was sitting next to him. Be professional, he told himself.
You're a soldier, aren'tyou?
Well, practically. Then act like a soldier. He thought hard for a fraction of a second. Well, act likea respectable soldier on his best behavior, then. He forced his attention back to the matter at hand. Optimalmicroclimate, they call it. That means it's a small place with its own personal nice weather. There was definitely something odd about the place, even if youignored Tibetans and UFOs, which seemed to be infesting the whole world these days. The Tadfield areadidn't only have the kind of weather you could set your calendar by, it was also remarkably resistant tochange.
No one seemed to build new houses there. The population didn't seem to move much. Thereseemed to be more woods and hedges than you'd normally expect these days. The only battery farm toopen in the area had failed after a year or two, and been replaced by an old-fashioned pig farmer who lethis pigs run loose in his apple orchards and sold the pork at premium prices. The two local schoolsseemed to soldier on in blissful immunity from the changing fashions of education.
A motorway whichshould have turned most of Lower Tadfield into little more than the Junction 18 Happy Porker Rest Areachanged course five miles away, detoured in a great semicircle, and continued on its way oblivious tothe little island of rural changelessness it had avoided. No one quite seemed to know why; one of thesurveyors involved had a nervous breakdown, a second had become a monk, and a third had gone off toBali to paint nude women.
It was as if a large part of the twentieth century had marked a few square miles Out of Bounds.
Anathema pulled another card out of her index and flicked it across the table. Sum say It cometh Yorke, butte they be Taddville, Norfolk Wronge, for the plase is Tardesfield, Devon Taddes Fild, Stronge inne Tadfield, Oxon See Revelation, C6, v10a knight inne the fief, hedivideth the Worlde into4 partes, he bringeth thestorme. It's earlier than the others. I don't think she always knew what went where. I told you,we've spent ages devising a sort of system for chaining them together.
For example An the Great? Is this something to do withHound sharl coom, Bismark? Goeth where is its Mas- Notte, and he sharl name it, True to Ittes Nature, and Hell sharl flee it.
That really pushed me in a stronger direction and forced me to feel things on an honest level. He pulled on the gloves and gingerly took the flask, and the tongs, and the bucket-and, as anafterthought, he grabbed the plant mister from beside a luxuriant rubber plant-and headed for his office, It's important for us to write songs and experiment and do other things, but playing our community's music in a modern way is what Cody and I do best. It's private, very. Life-long friends, Josh Lewis, Jacob Nadeau, Ben O'Brien, and Fabrizio Scotto, have managed to integrate all the genres they grew to love as children into this power group.
We are all human, alas. And admittedly there seemed to be a lot of strange stuff going on, but if he really tried,poling the boat of common sense upstream against the raging current of the evidence, he could pretend itwas all, well, weather balloons, or Venus, or mass hallucination. In short, whatever Newt was now thinking with, it wasn't his brain. I mean, just look around. It's notlike there's any international tension. There's something here! Something that affects the area! It's protecting the area against anything that might change it!
The windows rattled.
Outside, a sprig of jasmine, driven by the wind, started to bang insistently onthe glass. I've tried the theodolite. I'm psychic, you see. But it seems to movearound. Newt was still in control of his own mind enough to do the proper translation. Equal opportunities. That's what I don't understand. There's just love. She gave him a helpless look. Loves every inch of it so powerfully that it shields and protects it. A deep-down, huge, fiercelove. How can anything bad start here?