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Chapter 7 – Part 2
Lisa got up from the bed and stood behind Martin, watching him try a bit more fruitless typing. He leant back, putting his hand over hers where it rested on his shoulder.
‘Ah, that is sweet,’ the computer said.
‘Wha…?’ Martin pulled his hand away from Lisa’s. ‘Wha…? Can you see us too?’
There was silence.
‘Er… Comp…. Hermione?’
‘Yes, my angel…? Sorry, were you talking to me? I am still rather busy you know… and you keep doing that to my keyboard sends a shiver all down my memory chips.’
‘Sorr….’ Martin shook his head. ‘I mean… Hermione, can you see us?’
‘Of course I can see you, my love,’ Hermione purred. ‘You know you wouldn’t want it any other way now, would you, you naughty boy?’
Martin felt Lisa’s grip tighten on his shoulder.
‘Now, if we are going to get anything done,’ Hermione said, her voice changing to something more serious-sounding. ‘I must get all this stuff in here sorted out and tidied up. So if you will excuse me. Oh, and if you two want to… well, y’know, while I’m busy, I promise not to peep…. Although, you’ll have to be quick, Sam will be back with the tea soon. By the way, before I get back to it, as it were…. Lisa, don’t worry about the dreams either. Eventually all of you will experience it, or a similar dream. I know you, Lisa, and Peter tried to do something to help with the dreams, but could find no way of stopping them. Anyway, I must go now my darlings… see you all very soon…. Kiss, kiss.’
‘It’s weird the way that bloody thing is listening to us,’ Lisa said. ‘What’s that stuff about me and Peter…? The only Peter I know is my tutor at university.’ She strode from one end of the room to the other. ‘I’m going to go and ask the others if they know what is going on. I’m sure this must be some kind of joke.’
Before Martin could respond, Lisa was gone. He sighed and stared at the computer, then decided to try the Internet. He clicked on an email program icon he’d just noticed sitting in the corner of the screen and was surprised to see it get a connection, and that he now had a valid new ISP account.
You have 7 new emails.
Martin scrolled through the… his e-mail. There was one very strange address amongst all the usual spam. Curious, he opened it.
Have you received the packages yet? Hope it all makes sense.
Tell all the others to be ready. It will be necessary to act soon.
Please show the following to Mandy:
‘The tiger awakes at dawn and seeing the prey is ready for action.’
Martin – remember to be careful, it might be very dangerous.
Martin read the message twice, and then a third time. It still made as little sense as when he first read it. He pressed the reply button, and sat staring at the screen unable to think of anything to say.
Eventually, he typed:
I do not understand. Please explain. Please.
He clicked the Send button and sat staring at the original message. Yes, he had received the packages. No, it did not make sense. Who were the others and what act would they have to perform soon? How the hell did this Annabelle person know about Mandy, who had said she’d only met John the previous evening? But, most of all, he stared at the last line:
Remember to be careful, it might be very dangerous.
Martin did not like the sound of that. Mysteries were bad enough, but mysteries that could be dangerous were definitely not his kind of thing at all.
‘This must be some kind of joke,’ Martin said to the screen. ‘I bet Sam or John set this up in some way, probably at work, or something like that.’
Hermione did not reply, making Martin feel stupid for talking aloud to a computer. Already he was beginning to doubt it had actually spoken to him.
He read the other six e-mails, searching for a clue. But they were all just Make Money Fast!!!! scams. Each offering him the chance to get thousands of dollars, just by taking part in a scheme so obvious in its transparency he wondered how they could ever fool anyone – even in America, so often the land of the naive and home of the credulous. He sighed again.