Richard Pierce

Life, Music

Day 306

It’s been a very busy day, and I must admit I’m sort of thriving on it. I have started getting up earlier, getting in here and getting on. Maybe I’m just making the most of having the office for me for the last few days before it becomes a temporary home to O. A temporary home gladly given. Having most of my energy back after C19 feels like a fresh awakening, and I was really positive about all this when I had therapy this afternoon. Living with intent isn’t as exhausting as it seems when you’re confronted with the idea of having to make conscious efforts to shape the parts of life within your control. I suppose some would argue that there aren’t any parts of our lives we are in control of, but I would disagree with that (and I’m not getting into a philosophical argument I would probably lose, about pre-destination and all that; my bottom line is and always will be that we have free will).

Political shenanigans rumble on – the right are using increasingly personal attacks on  those left of centre, which plainly shows the right have run out of ideas and arguments to justify their bigotry. It’s always been like this. It’s just a shame that much of the population is too tired,  too worn down, too busy to keep their heads above water, to understand they’re being taken for a ride. And for those that aren’t but still support the party of racism and deceit in power, well, sorry, but you’re bigots, too, and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

The last couple of days, I’ve had Rush by Nola Wren on repeat whilst writing this. If you’re not aware, Nola wrote a song specially for my New York launch of Dead Men in 2012, and performed it live at that launch. She’s a fabulous singer/songwriter, and I’m very fortunate to know her. And I love Rush – great lyrics, simple instrumentation, moving. And I added it to my Aggie playlist as well.

Right, need to put a #NewMusicFriday show together for tomorrow on Radio Stradbroke (probably half way there), and write the next chapter (and think about drawing all the threads together with less than 60 days remaining now. I do like being busy.



‘You know I could just kill you and everyone on this plane, don’t you?’ Valentine says through his messenger.

‘Oh, but now you’ve given the game away to your robot, and he knows now you don’t really care about him. I’m sure he’s heartbroke.’ Aggie surprises herself with her mocking tone.

‘If I kill him he won’t remember. He won’t remember anyway.’

‘So I’ll keep reminding him.’

‘Just do what you said you’d do, and I’ll consider the ten million.’

‘You’ll just have to be patient, won’t you?’ Aggie says, releases the robot from the clinch, and sits back in her seat.

‘So will you.’

‘Oh, I’ve got all the time in the world.’ Aggie feels her stomach clench with tension, but she can think of no other way she can deal with Valentine and his robots than through provocation, through mockery, through appearing not to give a damn about what he does. It’s a risky path, she knows, but it’s still the best path.

Silence. The robot stares ahead of himself, at nothing in particular, arms on the arm rests, seemingly at last a man at peace.

The rest of the flight passes in similar silence. Aggie pretends to sleep again, ignores the light coming through her eye lids. She’s on edge, waiting to see what Valentine does, if he does anything. But the robot just sits there, his eyes flickering open and closed, like a man dozing in front of the television after a hard day’s work. Nothing obnoxious, nothing aggressive. Just another man in First Class, in a world of his own, his mind perhaps focusing on what he needs to do when he has the firm ground under his feet again. He’s even polite to the attendants when they serve a light snack ninety minutes before scheduled touchdown. And then, when the final descent is announced, when the seatbelt sign goes on a gain, he turns to Aggie.

‘Well?’ Just one word, sharp as a knife, a whisper that could re-open old wounds with its serrated edge.

‘You’ll see,’ she says. ‘When we get off.’

‘And then?’

‘And then you decide what to do with my offer. And then we part company, and I do what I’m going to do.’

‘You don’t get away that lightly.’

‘I’m not trying to get away with anything,’ she says. ‘But I do this my way or not at all.’

‘And then people will die unnecessarily.’

Aggie shrugs. ‘You’ll kill people unnecessarily anyway. Why would now be any different?’

‘Because I want you on my side.’

‘Then do what I say. Now shut up, and let’s focus on what’s to come.’

The plane descends through bumpy skies, scurrilous with uncooperative clouds and wind. Finally, the tyres touch the ground, lift off again for a fraction of a second before the plane settles into a straight trajectory along the runway. The plane’s slow taxi seems to last for an age. And then it rolls to a halt, and seatbelts unclick in unison, almost.

‘No rush,’ Aggie says, and puts her hand on his arm. ‘Let’s just wait till all the EConomy folk have gone.’

‘Whatever you’re doing will be more obvious that way,’ he says.

‘You wanted the game, and you’re going to get it. IF you can’t make a quick getaway that’ll be your problem.’

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