(Written by Cobalt Greywalker; posted September 27 2008)
Note: <...> - Radio Communications
M25, London, United Kingdom, Earth
Tuesday 23rd July 2013
11:35 BST (GMT+1)
"It's times like this that I wonder why I don't just get a pilots license and fly direct." A.C. told Kasumi. Once again, and fairly typically, the London orbital ring road was grinding to a crawl. It didn't help that they'd been on the move since landing at the Isle of Wight Aerospace port almost 5 hours ago. After an hour getting the Thunder and Mackie MOT'd and insured, another on the ferry to Southampton, and three getting here she was getting a little tired.
"Oh my, but then we'd all have to get them." Kasumi pointed out.
<And getting flight permission over London would be a nightmare.> Mackie put in from where he was following the Thunder.
"Feh." A.C. snorted.
"At the next exit, turn left." The GPS cut in. "At the roundabout, take the first exit."
"About time." The raven-hared cyborg grumbled, turning off. "I always hated driving in London."
It still took another hour to make their way to the gates of the Banzai Institute's London HQ, listening to whatever good music they could find on whatever radio stations they could find.
The courtyard looked well kept as the drove in, but it was no Chelsea. (And didn't THAT give A.C. the shivers, considering the speculative look Greenpeace had on her face when she'd mentioned it.) But actually having Fred waiting for them was a surprise.
"I though you were busy in Oz Fred." A.C. asked as she got out.
"And miss this?" Fred grinned like a schoolboy.
"So, who's the new PR wiz?" A.C. asked as Kasumi joined them. "No-one in Champ Ops would admit a thing to my quiet enquiries. Well, except slap themselves for not thinking of it first."
"Oh no." Fred drawled. "We're keeping this one quiet. You Supers tend to hire them out from under us."
A.C. gave him a 'Who, Me?' look as Kasumi giggled quietly.
"So, where do we set up?" The cyberneticist asked. "And when's he due?"
"In the clinic, and about 2." Fred told them.
"Righty-Oh." She turned back to the Thunder. "Come on Mackie, we need to unload."
"Well, tomorrow should be interesting." Buckaroo commented dryly.
"Understatement, Bucky me boy, severe understatement." A.C. sighed, and stifled a snigger at the look of distaste on Buckaroo's face. "Sorry Buckaroo, it's been a long day. At least there's no problem about legality, although that did produce some interesting design challenges."
"Oh my yes." Kasumi smiled pleasantly at A.C. "Those meant some time in the dojo, working off frustrations." A.C. shot her a look, to which she smiled a bit more.
"I won't ask about the paperwork." A.C. continued, turning back to Buckaroo. "Given my bit is done. Anything else you need?"
"No, I believe that's it. Have a good night."
Imperial College, London, United Kingdom, Earth
Wednesday 24th July, 2013
"...And now for our featured guest." The announcer turned to the side of the stage.
The guests' steps were slow but steady, and the noise in the auditorium died completely.
Then someone started clapping, which rapidly rose to a roaring, standing ovation as the guest made it to the lectern.
"Thank you, thank you." He said, causing a second round of applause.
For the first time in decades, thanks to the neural induction controlled Exo-frame A.C. built on order to the Blue Blazers, Professor Stephen Hawking could walk and talk by himself again.