Episode Sixteen – ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats’, Part Six

At a signal from their leader Van Damm’s guards lined the five of us up and we got ready to move off in something of a daze. I can’t speak for the others but I was finding the developments of the last few hours, which had taken me from engaging in an innocent poke around behind the scenes of a futuristic airport to joining a secret conspiracy against an evil corporation to facing imminent evisceration in return for my part in said conspiracy, had been so swift and drastic that it was hard to keep up. And perhaps, truth be told, I was still smarting just a touch from the failure of my ‘undercover reporter’ ruse, a ploy which seemed to have been shot down with unwarranted ease for what had seemed at the time such a brilliant idea. Continue reading

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Episode Sixteen – ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats’, Part Five

Our three musketeers swiftly let us in on their plan for exposing the dark secrets of The Hub. The black holdall, it transpired, carried digital recording equipment which Porthos and Athos were to use to film the plight of the stricken passengers. Meanwhile, Aramis intended to hack into the communications network situated in an office just down the hall so that the images, once uploaded, could be simultaneously broadcast across every screen and noticeboard within the complex. By working through the night when the offices were empty they figured they would be in a position by morning to ensure every passenger in the airport woke up to irrefutable evidence of the risks they were running in the name of corporate greed. Continue reading

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Episode Sixteen – ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats’, Part Four

By the time we had followed Athos through the door into the other ward, pausing just long enough to allow Porthos to collect the black holdall, she had already found what – or rather who – she was looking for. We found her standing by the bed of a man in his early thirties, clutching his hand and fighting back tears. Aramis and Porthos looked almost more uncomfortable than Michael and I at being confronted with this unexpected display of strong emotion and for a moment we all hovered awkwardly by the door, unsure whether we ought to go over and offer comfort or hold back and respect her grief. Continue reading

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Episode Sixteen – ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats, Part Three

I dashed down the staircase that lay behind the grey door with my mind so full of concern for whether our hasty exit might have been noticed by the guards up above that I completely failed to consider whether or not there might be any security guards lurking below. It was extremely fortunate then that when Michael and I had barrelled our way down to the foot of the staircase we found that the corridor that lay beyond was entirely devoid of life. Continue reading

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Episode Sixteen – ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats’, Part Two

We were almost five hours into our exploration of The Hub when we came across a seating area in a quiet corner of the South Quadrant and decided to take a break. We sat ourselves down in the middle of a row of shiny plastic chairs and gazed through a large clear window at the fading sunlight outside. For a minute or so neither of us spoke. Continue reading

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Episode Sixteen – ‘Welcome to the Cheap Seats’, Part One

When we reached the top of the hill we paused and gazed down upon our destination – a massive glass dome that sprouted from the landscape below like a giant mushroom. “I don’t like it,” I finally pronounced after a moment of silent contemplation. “It looks futuristic.” Continue reading

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Episode Fifteen Poster

The Shunning

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Episode Fifteen – ‘Dancing at the Midnight Hotel’, Part Six

For an indication of just how preoccupied I was on the short walk back from the clifftop I think I need only say that by the time I got back to the hotel I scarcely even noticed that dinner had started without me. The cocktail lounge was all but deserted and from the edge of the terrace I had a fine view into the dining room where I could see Michael and Henry James already tucking into their starters. Continue reading

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Episode Fifteen – ‘Dancing at the Midnight Hotel’, Part Five

We got the second floor wrapped up just in time for lunch but our plans to complete a full survey of the ocean side of the hotel were interrupted by another outbreak of beach cricket in the afternoon. In fact, the sport developed into something of a passion over the next few days amongst both staff and guests – pretty soon teams had been fixed and a full blown tournament was being organised – and I must confess I got kind of swept away with the spirit of the thing. Continue reading

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Episode Fifteen – ‘Dancing at the Midnight Hotel’, Part Four

Having made his confession Henry James declined the offer of a third bourbon and, pleading tiredness, retired to his room. I sensed that, on reflection, he rather regretted his candour for in the days that followed he returned to his elusive ways. Michael was undoubtedly disappointed to find no immediate opportunity for extending his acquaintance with the great novelist but I can’t say I was altogether bothered myself, having other things on my mind, not least the stalled search for Sturridge’s lost room. Continue reading

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