It was Martin who'd responded to the anonymous caller, he said he'd found the Mayor. Martin didn't quite know what to make of it all.
Duncan's family home and most of its farmland lay smouldering. Some of the crops had been saved by the rain. Now was not the time to tell him all this.
Martin had taken Duncan home back to Chrissy. It had been quite a day for both of them. Probably one that neither of them would forget.
Martin called a medic when he'd found Duncan and had him checked over. He was alright but only just. He'd just avoided a stomach pump but he was very cold and weaving in and out of consciousness. He definitely had alcoholic poisoning. The medic, just for safety had accompanied Duncan home.
Martin had asked the medic to keep quiet.
Duncan had sponsored his rise to the top. Martin felt he owed it to Duncan to not let this evening's little misdemeanors become public. It was not great for public confidence or image if it was known that the Mayor was found drunk in a parking lot and potentially set his parents land ablaze. He did not believe Duncan had done this, although the whole thing was rather odd.
And so it was that Chrissy sat on the bed next to her husband. She had heard the news about the Mayor's parents’ house and the fire via the news she had been watching after her bath.
Strangely it had made her wake up, shake up and come to her senses, in more ways than just the immediate one of making her stop thinking about that man's head. Although, of course, it made her shudder when she did think about it.
She was looking at her husband’s cadaverous face and she felt a closeness she had not felt for him in years. She had remembered why she loved him. She had remembered that she understood him, respected him and believed in what he did. She had, in short, remembered why they got married.
The scary thought was that she hadn’t even noticed that she’d been falling out of love with him. Not for any reason in particular, but like a match in a test tube, eventually the flame runs out of oxygen and dies.
The test tube had been removed now. She felt her own spirit rekindled, as if they had something to fight for. Not just because to be Mayor meant something, but it was more, fighting for what she considered to be her home.
Chrissy laid a gentle kiss on her husband's forehead. He smelt odious and was snoring like a deaf pig on steroids. She left their bedroom and went into the adjoining study room.
She was going to use the viewcom to talk Kandie, to tell her in person how angry she was for inducing her to spy on her own husband. But now, she just felt a kind of nagging resentment. It wasn't necessarily that the Ellephanie's were to blame personally for all this; it was a system much bigger than them.
She found her dataglasses, which gave her instant access to their computer, mail and all sorts of other stuff. She entered the computer's visual landscape; swans were swimming across a blue lake.
She pressed " background off' and a series of filing cabinets appeared before her. She pressed the one marked text message, which then listed the numbers of friends and acquaintances.
“The Ellephanie’s,” she said aloud.
“Kandie, he won't capitulate, or rather we won't capitulate. I have kept my part of the deal, now, what are your husband’s intentions? "
She watched the words hang in the air in front of her in the 3-D virtual landscape. She walked around them once and then pressed send. She watched as the end of a wire appeared and watched the words being sucked down and disappeared.
She waited, not expecting a response, but there it was.
“He will run for Mayor."
Chrissy sighed. She spoke aloud.
“Then we are at war and not peace."
She watched the words appear before her face in white resonating slightly against the green background. The words disappeared down the wire and she removed the headset, clasped her hand into the shape of a tube and blew down it.It was a while since life had felt risky.