"Well we can't have that can we, haha, you'll be after my job next Callum."
"Ha..." I laughed joylessly, "Yes sir."
"Don't even think about it."
And the projection disappeared. I felt sick.
* * *
The excitement in the group as we rode to Marcus's flat was remarkable. These people certainly weren't scared of being happy. There was something liberating about being with them. Actually travelling with other people, speaking properly rather than at the end of a little earpiece constantly attached while you drive. My own nerves must have betrayed me.
"Come on Callum, there's no need to look so scared of meeting Sheldon!"
"Is he... Should I... What's the...."
"He's just a nice bloke who knows loads, more than anyone here, more than the lot of us combined, about cycling. He's got a brain like a cycling computer," I'm sure I saw BROOKS smirk.
"Maybe I should just...." I saw BROOKS' smirk disappear, "I'll, erm, tag along and, yeah, it'll be good..."
Marcus lead us down an alley and up ahead a light started to appear. Proximity detector, I surmised, meant that he could turn off to evade escape and effectively vanish into thin air. The light was appearing from an opening door to a garage. Pristine inside. White. A three-legged 'thing' holding a bike up by its saddle. There were four or five more bikes positioned around the wall. I started fearing for my safety, even with BROOKS there, "How many more of y... ah... us are there here just now?"
"Only us," Marcus still seemed to be viewing me with suspicion, I guess questions like that didn help.
"But these bicycles? Whose..."
"ALL of them?!?!" It seemed ridiculous, you could only ride one at a time, what was the point in having more than one?
"Oh please. Please don't tell me you only have one bike!" And with that he pushed, laughing, through a door concealed behind a corkboard hung with tools. We filed through after him into a kitchen with ready-poured hot mugs of tea laid out on a counter. Each picked up a mug, I followed suit, and then followed them, as we filed through to another room, another pristine space with only a television in one corner, a steroe with the biggest speakers I'd ever seen in another, a laptop on the floor in the middle of the room, and one single seater sofa. With a man in it. With the craziest beard I'd ever seen.
.to be continued....