06/03/2020 Snippet, MARIE AND THE CONTINENT.

I had to buckle back down to work, because the work does not stop.


I wonder how I would find Americans if I was still mortal. When I was alive, I never met one; all I knew of them was from the papers and novels, and I imagine that both might have exaggerated life across the Atlantic just the slightest amount. I find it difficult to believe that they would have had bears in their Congress. Or at least, not sitting at desks. More than once.

But that was before the Withering War. They are not quite as carefree and brash as they were before. Almost losing a war for survival will do that for a people.

You can tell an American embassy from the architecture. To begin with, there is the wall. It is not particularly large, nor is it hard to climb, unless you are a zombie. As we passed through the gate I saw that the embassy kept up the pits on the other side of the wall, complete with the sharpened aluminum stakes at the bottom. Don’t matter if they bend, so long as they get stuck in the shamblers first, one American army officer told me. And if they break, the poles messes ‘em up, makes it harder for ‘em to get through the windows.

And then there is the second wall. That would be the one with the Gatling guns and boiling oil. Although these days they have patented mechanisms to get the oil boiling quickly, and sprayers to get it evenly distributed before they ignite it. Seeing the nozzles in the walls and ceiling in the waiting space certainly does make a sensible monster thoughtful, which is no doubt why the nozzles are there. Oh, and to horribly burn attackers alive, obviously.

Do bear in mind that Americans like Englishmen these days, by and large. The defenses they put up in places where they feel unwelcome are horrifyingly fascinating.