I shake my head gently, return to this island and check the time. My spirits lift, as it is time for something that I shall miss, once it’s ended, as it’ll have to end soon: the recording of raw material for Jason, as fixed with Alaia on the phone. So I high-tail it back to meet Alaia, Evelyn and Rik in the studio, where I listen with renewed respect and some befuddlement to a quick account of the wizardry that was employed today when he edited together the final presentation of Big Bang from our three recordings, processed it in various ways and sent it barrelling up the pipe to the General Network’s playout division for airing tonight. For him, after such post-production intricacies, setting up the camera now for a quick fourth spokes-sheep recording is evidently a bagatelle and he sets to it with a weary jauntiness. As for me, my hurry to get here, combined with my knowing there will only be one or two more of these sessions, contributes to the intensity with which I now psych myself up and spew out the five tune-ins I’ve done since last time…
First, playing it with all the sex and joy and sadness and emotion in the subject itself, I squeeze out Angel dancing at Lucan’s party last night in the smoky basement den, with Lucan’s pride in watching him, as a too-brief respite for Angel.
Then from today comes Pippa’s hopeless yearning for the young man in the tower, how she should leave here but won’t, and her favourable stars in the newspaper.
Here comes Kim and Shigem’s beach idyll in its golden glow of early romance, and Kim’s intimation of being in a story that somehow isn’t real. (I’ve felt this too now and again in recent days, as it happens, and thus permit myself to embellish his feeling with two or three grace-notes all my own.)
Here’s Pippa hiding in bed earlier this evening, the passing ship to New York and (to complicate our spokes-sheep a bit) the singing cats that she never knew were hers.
And here’s Kim’s moment of enchantment on the night-time street just now.
The screening we have straight afterwards on the TV monitor is moving for all of us. “Seeing those four people laid so bare on that screen—it focuses such a spotlight on them,” muses Rik. “With each one, there’s a small corner of human consciousness, and it’s very detailed and urgent and deeply felt. And you wonder about all the influences that buffeted them around till they became just like that and not otherwise.”
“I’m just glad I’m not trapped inside Pippa,” says Evelyn. “Poor honey…”
“I’ve got it,” says Evelyn. “We know Shigem was in Paradise when the first wax head appeared. Well, guess what—we have proof he was there. I mean we have the footage from Jaymi’s first tune-in to Shigem in the club that night… Maybe we should just lend Lucan that footage too? He accepted that the stuff on the Angel DVD was genuine, so why wouldn’t he accept the Shigem footage was real too?”
I don’t need to look at Alaia to know she’ll be squirming inside and working out permutations.
“It shows Shigem on a full dance-floor,” says Evelyn. There wasn’t a full dance-floor all evening. People could corroborate what time it was, they could verify he was there. Maybe the DJ—”
“We can’t start bringing other people into this,” says Alaia. “The aim here is to stop this getting out, not spread the news. So, no witnesses—no proof. Plus, frankly, I’m a little uncomfortable giving out footage of Shigem without his permission.”
Evelyn raises her eyes to the ceiling. Feeling obliged to give Alaia some help, I add, “Giving out footage of other people aside from Angel—it’s a bit risky for the cloning deal. Just giving Lucan the Angel footage was risky enough.”
“And anyway,” closes Alaia in triumph, “even if Lucan did see the stuff with Shigem in Paradise during the first head, and the timing was proved—still, as you pointed out before, Lucan could always say Shigem simply delegated the actual placing of the head.”
I’ll be impressed if Evelyn overcomes that triple-whammy of objections; and indeed she doesn’t. “I’m just worried for him,” she replies. “If we’re not careful, someone’s going to die here.”
Alaia frowns and turns to me. “Jaymi, can you see that happening?”
I raise my hands in surrender. “You mean in future? Now the future’s one thing I can’t see, thank goodness! That would feel entirely different…”
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