I’ve sprawled out on the seat of the train, but I don’t know this yet.
There’s the sound of white noise. An intense, thunderous burst of hisses and booms - my eyes open and immediately I’m groping at the control panel in my wrist.
“F***ing thing,” I say.
Digging my nails further into the skin I manage to switch off the main circuit. A hush as my eyes adjust to the empty carriage.
Silver walls dully reflect the artificial light. The air is murky and damp. Strange, as these trains are usually air conditioned. It must be on the blink. That or a deliberate act of vandalism.
My hand moves to the holster under my coat, and my gun is still there. I take it out, checking the settings, then lay back, gazing up at the ceiling’s videoscreen to see an image of doves flying above. A moment later they morph into bats, then stars, then footballs, and then as the map of our progress is displayed in a brilliance of colour I see that we’ve just past Kowloon.
I sit up, look left and right to double check that I am alone. A humming from the train replaces the silence, and as I stand the humming becomes louder. My stress levels have increased and there’s the beginnings of a headache.
“What the hell?”
Instinctively I look to the control panel in my wrist to see how long I was out, but it’s off, because I switched it off, and when I painfully turn it back on using the manual lever the display reads four zeros, which blink at me stupidly.
I press the call button and a distorted image of Frank appears on screen for all but a few seconds before fading into nothingness.
“F***ing thing,” I say again. So what now?