Blodwen sits on her motorcycle outside the hospital and drinks black coffee out of a thermos. She hated her coffee black but needs to conserve her soya milk ration. Her eyes idly moves round her surroundings a crane lifts a large still beam into it's place as part of the new Neptunian library which is being built opposite the hospital with a large sculptor of a Venus figure sunk into the ground in between them
Grunt staggers around before sitting down with a bump. He tilts his head back and looked up. charles grey stands over him a top the monument high above him “How do you do” slurred Grunt the statue doesn't reply. he falls back into the snow and in seconds starts to snore.
“Grunt wake up” he opens his eyes “Grot is that you” Grot a skinny man with a crooked nose from being punched in the face on more than one occasion pulls Grunt up“yes it's me lets get you back to my office, hay that tattoos new” Grot takes Grunt down some steps and on to a train to Sunderland.
In the hospital canteen Blodwen Cues behind three heavily pregnant women waiting to be served by the not so pregnant woman behind the counter. She knows them all by name and there due dates she was even at the scans of the three heavily pregnant women. One of these women will be the first to give birth on Neptune and it's Blodwes job to make shore everyone is kept up to date. Blodwen is the owner, editor and sole reporter of the only newspaper on Neptune. The three women walk off with plastic trays full of food. “just a minute Blodwen I need to take the weight off my feet Before they brake for lunch over the way.” “take your time Judy I'm in no rush” Judy leans against a tall wooden stall not having the energy to lift her self on to it “so it's zero hour tomorrow” “so the doctors think. I'm going to start camping out here so I don't miss any thing” Judy returns to the counter “what you having” “the lasagna look good” Judy cuts a slice of vegetable lasagna and slides it on to a plate “ there's a bit extra for you there, your all skin and bones love” “thanks” Blodwen hands Judy a crumpled note and her ration book.
Grot carries a coffee over to Grunt who is slumped on Grot's warn fake leather sofa “here drink this lots of cream lots of sugar just how you like it, except no vodka” Grunt takes the mug and gulps down the hot brown liquid. “so how long had you been in Newcastle for” “since Boxing day I woke up on the underground” “so you were drunk before you got up here” Grunt shook his head painfully “no someone hit me from behind. I knew I shouldn't of taken that job but I needed the money. They don't deserve to be hunted down like dogs there just trying to live there lives” he fills his old friend in on what happened Christmas day and his financial problems. “will if you need money do a mum run or two so you can at least pay your rent” “you know I don't do mum runs”
when a woman has a baby without a license someone needs to do time this is usually the baby's father but if the mother is unwilling to name the father she must report to a police station on the child's 18th birthday to be sent to a penal colony. Most don't turn up and a bounty is put on there head.
Blodwen wonders round the sculptor in front of the hospital and looks down at the figure's round belly. The lights on the glass sky (high) above her head grow to there day time brightness. She Continues wondering round kicking her feet. Judy walks round the corner says hi and disappears into the hospital. Blodwen heads for the hospital door. she smiles at the pregnant receptionist and walks in to the canteen. Judy was perch against her stall resting after her journey to work. “so no action last night then” Judy switches on the coffee machine her stall having been positioned to allow her to make tea and coffee without needing to hold her self up. “Nope” Judy hand Blodwen a coffee
Grunt sits at Grot's desk munching on some toast and clicking on Grot's computer through a list of wanted individuals. He moves the mouse over a name Carys jones and clicks. Grot comes out of his store room that doubles as his bed room and switches on the TV.on the bottom third of the screen banner appearers with the headline Mars terraformed. On the top tow third shakey fotige of a liever oozing out of the top of a red volcano. “what this” grunt looks up from the computer at the TV. it cuts to the news reporters behind a desk “for those who a just joining us we a waking up to the news that the UN have started the terraforming of Mars we haven't got a lot of detail there is expected to be press conference later today but they have released this footage ”the footage of the volcano starts again. “this eruption was triggered by a asteroid demolition warhead detonated under Alba mon”grunt and grot watch the news report in amazement and after the news readers runs through the other head lines they watch the report again. after watching the report tow more times and a some interview with experts who didn't know anything grunt downloads Carys details to his click board.
The canteen was full of men eating there breakfast before starting work on the library Blodwen decides to leave before any of the workers come on to her. she gets on her motorcycle rides off in the direction of janus square. She didn't wont to be away long but there no point missing a story because your sitting around waiting for a sprog to drop. She stop and dismounts her bike and walks down the steps and across to the entrants to the Neptunian forum to pick up the oxygen levels
Grunt knocks loudly on a door in a grim looking corridor. This is the last known address for Carys daughter. The door opens and two police officers point taser guns at him “hands against the wall” grunt follows the instructions and one of the officers pats him down and takes out his wallet from his pocket. The officers looks through it “he's a bounty hunter” he press a button on his radio “ can I have a BHL check name Nicolas Raynton license number DD.43.Q.879.” “i prefer grunt” “get in here” they pull him in to the bed sit. the radio crackled “the license is valid” the officer let go of grunt “what are you doing here” “I'm tracking down Carys Jones this is the last known address of her daughter Blodwen Jones” the officers sit down by the window next to a camera pointing out and grunt sits on the bare mattress on the bed. “so do you know what's happened to Blodwen” “she's moved”
“can you tell me where to” “Neptune” Grunt gets up “fine don't tell me” were not lying” “she lived here and could afford a place on the helexs” “we estimate she borrow money from 400 or so lone sharks” Grunt sits back down. “your not joking are you” “lone shark started turning up a week after the helexs left” “so any clues where Carys may be” there was a long pause before “maybe” Grunt know the long pause meant he had to pay for the info. He pulls fore notes out of his wallet and hands them over the officer on the left picks up a click board “there was a empty envelope with a post mark from....” he click though inventory from the bed sit “Anguilla”
Blodwen back at the hospital canteen finishes spell checking her latest article “Oxygen Output On Track” this was about exciting as all her recent articles like “ Library On Track” and “Baby Kicks” she clicks through her photo archive to find one to reuse she had to chose between a photo of the staff of the algae farm standing in front of the algae vat or a photo of one of the big still fans that pulls the oxygen from the underground algae farm up to the surface. She opts for the big fan because the staff photo was clearly out of date the all female workforce being noticeably rounder now.
The days past slowly as she waits for the big event as women's due dates arrive they start spending all day in the canteen and Blodwen was force to listen to more talk about booties and breast pumps than is advisable.
Grunt gets off the train feeling tired. He walks along the platform and up the escalator. at the top of the escalator he puts his id on a touch pad and a small plastic gate opens. Grunt heads through the station and out in to the warm Caribbean air. Over the road from the valley station was a hotel grunt had stayed at before he books a room and checks what time sun rise is. he has 3 hours to rest before it gets light as soon as he gets in his room he collapses on the bed and falls asleep. a series rapid beeps from grunt's watch wakes him up. Grunt slips in to the bathroom for a quick shower. After dressing grunt heads out. He looks straight up at the clear blue sky framed by the tall dirty skyscrapers. Grunt needs a lead and has no idea how he's going to find it. He walks around the island heading towards the coast and stops at Crocus Bay Beach and looks out over the sea. hundreds of dirty and disused wind turbines stick out of the sea the British government had built millions of wind turbines jeering an world energy crisis round the crumbs of there once grate empire in an attempt to make money exporting energy and encourage some citizens of the overpopulated British isles to emigrate to the british overseas territories. which worked until uv42 was developed. The wind farms became surplus to requirement so work dried up on the now overdeveloped islands. Grunt walks along the sea-front until he comes to a parade of shops the first shop he come to was a greengrocers in the window was I sign saying “good rates payed for stock” there are similar signs in all the windows. This is not uncommon most small shops buy there stock from people who grow it in there own homes if Carys is here this is probably how she's making a living. Grunt goes in to the greengrocers and shows the greengrocer Carys's mug-shot he shakes his head and grunt moves on to the next shop.
The ambulance speeds down the road Boldwen overtakes on it on her motorcycle and disappears in the the distance she screeches to a stop out side the entrance to the algae farm. she thunders down the stairs. When Boldwen herd the ambulance leaving she when to the call center to find out where the call had come from knowing she be faster than the ambulance now she is running along a metal gangway that crosses the giant vats looking for section 7G
grunt was getting closer he had found a fishmonger who said she had been in before selling crabs and lobsters so he narrowed his search to fishmongers he went in to the 20th fish shop of the day the woman behind the smiled at grunt 'how can I help you” he showed her Cars's mug-shot on his click board “yeah i know her ,I buy stock from her. she lives off Shoal bay ”
boldwen turns at a metal 7 G bolted to the wall down a long dark and damp corridor Boldwen can a see figure is lay on the floor she continues towards the figure. The paramedics pulls up out side the algae farm and get out of the ambulance carrying a bright yellow holdall they run though entrance and down the stairs.
grunt in a rented boat stops by a wind turbine and ties the boat up.to get to the ladder he has to climes over a slightly bigger boat. He climes up the ladder and on to small a metal deck stack with wire cages and plastic boys. Grunt opens the door and there she is sitting on a makeshift bed shape to fit against the curved wall. Carys stands up suddenly dropping the cage she was fixing “your going to need to come with me” “I'm not going any ware.” “don't make this difficult I'm only trying to pay my rent” “ thats your reason for sending me to a penal colony, to pay your rent ! Why not find somewhere without rent that's what I did next door is empty one of you scum bags draged bob off last week”
Blodwen reaches the figure on the floor “Amy are you OK is..” Blodwen there was a long pauses and looks at the baby being cradled in Amy's arms “She OK” a exhausted smile spreads across Amy's face “I think she's fine. Is she the first” “yes, yes she's the first what's her name” “I don't know any suggestions” “yeah how about Carys” “I like it” the paramedics come marching down the corridor
grunt sits on the metal deck a fishing rod dangling over the side he looks over at a noise and waves a Carys who is unloading her boat .