Jules Stewart Memory transcript 1. Monorail from Breeze Hill to Aigburth
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Two in the morning, the night outside the windows recedes into darkness but the corridors and walkways are flooded with light and streaming with people. The doors at the end of the moving path slide open and closed like a mouth, as if it's chewing the crowd of people winding in and out on the conveyor. I’m about to step through when a short man in a red jumper barges past me from the monorail platform, heading in the wrong direction. I turn to call after him, as do all the others. He’s going to hurt someone going against the flow like that. Someone else can deal with him, tonight I’m off duty and out celebrating. The Lime St Stalker is in custody and I’m topping the strata 19 board. One more case is all I need. Of course I couldn’t have done it without you. All of your memories led me step by step to see the true pattern of events. Remember the more we share the safer we are. So keep adding your memories into the store. The more memories we have the more we can see exactly what’s going on in this city.
I've left Dorace dozing and, to be honest, I’d rather head straight to my cube, no sleep for the last forty-eight. But I'd better go and celebrate, or at least be tagged in a bar. The news is out and the heroine should finish with a victory drink not alone in her sleep sack. I need to keep my ratings up if I’m ever going to make it to strata 20.
The monorail carriage silently glides in. The doors hiss open. On board I brace my feet and grip the strap. The network voice cuts through my soundtrack and recites the stations all the way to Dingle Rise. The carriage around me a sea of faces, shoulders and backs, elbows and arms. A man, unshaven, eyes glazed, stares straight ahead, struggles to undo the clip on the high neck of a dark grey top with his one free hand. In front a couple slump into each other, their heads touching, giggling at something shared on the network. Two young men in GoGo Grasshopper uniforms just make it on board at Vauxhall Vaults as the doors close. Wired, all set for the day that lies ahead of them. I turn away and gaze out at the river as we pass along the waterfront. Yellow lights from piers and watercraft project shimmering paths on the dark choppy surface.
At Pierhead Towers I'm swept into the elevator. Packed in, we stand with knees curved into the backs of knees. I keep my place at the door edge, facing the metal, feeling the surge of bodies behind me. On strata ten I stride out, most people heading on to twelve. Last year ten was popular but the crowd’s fickle.
I cross the skybridge from Pierhead Towers to Lime Street Interchange. From here the strata is a pattern of white lights in grey blocks against the dark night sky, illuminated walkways and the monorail's electric blue lines connect all the hubs like a diagram. Light spills down into street level far below, bright pools in the darkness, making the surrounding shadows too dark to see into. Who knows what’s going on down there at ground level. It’s out of my jurisdiction – so who cares.
Anyway, come on, tonight we're celebrating. Case 166 closed. Let's get to Berry-Berry, at least you're guaranteed to get a seat there and Fat Peter's concoctions always hit the spot.