Goons – Chapter 16

19 days until takeover

It’s late, and Bristol is lit up in the darkness. I look out of the window and see people milling around, far below me. I see colourful dresses and colourful hair, muted in the darkness. I see a bloke dressed as a baby – nappy, bib, bonnet, the works – who is possibly part of a stag do or possibly just living his best life. The windows are sealed in the lab, but I imagine the smell of Caribbean cooking wafting up into the night. 

I wonder what the city will look like, after Bossman addresses the nation. Knowing Bristol as I do, it’s hard to imagine it being any different. But knowing Bossman as I do, it’s hard to imagine it being the same.

“Fucking piece of junk.” Bossman pounds his fist on the control panel of the autoclave. He’s been tense all day, and has drunk four cans of Relentless.

“Is the door stuck again?” I ask, keeping my voice calm and even.

His response to this question is to pick up a large spanner from the bench, and attack the autoclave with it. The clang of metal on metal reverberates throughout the lab. The autoclave cost a quarter of a million pounds, and it is only a matter of time before Bossman fucks up the control panel beyond repair. I turn to look at Em, who is gloved up to the armpits, feeding Patty in the isolator. She shrugs, and I sigh.

Carefully dodging the spanner, I grab Bossman’s arm and intercept his attack on the autoclave. He’s not happy with this and I have to restrain him. I manage to get an arm around him, but he thrashes about like a landed fish, if a fish were made entirely of knees and elbows and was holding a spanner.

At this point – with Bossman properly restrained, but turning the air blue and still refusing to drop the spanner – I have a moment of what can only be described as profound job satisfaction. Nobody can do this job like I can. Other people would let him go to town on a very expensive autoclave, or get whacked with the spanner while trying to grab it, or hurt him, or hurt themselves. Whatever the hell this is, I’m good at it.

I feel very calm. Secure in the knowledge that I am earning my front row seat. I am earning my place in the history books.  

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