Monday September 22nd
Returned to Sway in time for lunch. Kyp had stayed the weekend and had been processing the data from Thursdays experiment.
For some strange reason he seemed a little guarded about his work.
However, after a little cajoling he shared his thoughts.
Kyp has come to the conclusion that the burning was caused by a bottom heavy distribution of ionised particles, and that if we could work out a way of adjusting this
not only would this stop the burn up but also make the force field stronger.
This could be the case, and so I spent the day analysing the data.
This is a long job, as is the way with many things in life, the moments of excitement and progress are heavily out numbered by donkey work.
The one thing that I think I can say for certain is that it looks like our rig is safe enough to run the rest of the experiments in the lab, although I think we had better order a couple of extra fire extinguishers.
Tuesday September 23rd
Another day spent analysing data. I think Kyp might be right about the ionisation.
I think the answer to this problem lies in the humidity levels. The sheath vortex is still too unstable, and I think we can get round this with some readjustments to the polarity
of the magnatron. Kyp is very anxious to carry on with the live experiments, and today almost accused me of deliberately stalling our progress. He believes that we will not find the answer without further live experiments, an opinion I can understand. What I find difficult is his almost cavalier approach to learning from our mistakes, and understanding the data we have collected. Kyp comes from the’Throw it at the wall and see what sticks’ school of empiricism, which in some cases is fine, but in our case the problem is not that it does not stick, but it gets incinerated, and I for one do not wish the unveiling of the force field marred by dozens of charred corpses, even if some of them are critics.
Saying that, maybe we could build in a little ‘singe’ function to be used on a couple of shits I could mention.
Wednesday September 24th
Today was only notable because of a strange conversation I had with the director. ‘We have had a complaint’. The director told me.
‘What sort of complaint?’ I asked.
‘ Are you still experimenting with that low frequency oscillator?’
‘Might be’, I answered somewhat guardedly.
‘Well apparently your making the horses behave strangely’.
‘Come again’, I replied
‘ The horses, you know big things, four legs, they shit everywhere’.
‘Yes I know what a horse is, but what have they got to do with us?’.
‘Well we’ve had a complaint that from a local equestrian that every time they come near here her horse just stops and refuses to budge’.
‘And your point being?’
‘Well, I thought it might have been your LFO. You must have noticed that the wild horses have stopped coming anywhere near us. They just stand at the end of the road staring at your lab.’
‘I presumed they always did that’.
‘Well they didn’t use to until you arrived, so I thought it might be something to do with the oscillator’.
‘I don’t know, what’s the hearing range for horses?’ I inquired.
‘How the fuck should I know, all I know is that the local Pony Club thinks your up to something, and round here you don’t mess with the pony club. They are connected.
‘So what do you suggest?’ I asked.
‘I don’t know, I’m just warning you that’s all. You don’t want to be making enemies with the pony club that’s all. Next thing you know the Scouts will be dragged in and it will all get very messy’.
‘I can imagine’.
‘ Good. Excellent. I’m glad we have cleared that up’.
The director returned to staring at the screen of his computer and I knew that my presence was no longer required, so I went back to the lab.
Thursday September 25th
We are almost ready to resume the tests in the lab. By my calculations the sheath vortex should be stable enough not to blow every fuse in Hampshire. Hopefully, we have also sorted out the slight combustion problem.
Kyp is very happy about this. However, in recent days he has become quite withdrawn and rather touchy. I would like to put it down to the stress of our looming deadline and dwindling budget, but I fear there is something else afoot.
Today I casually mentioned that I still did not have a key to the padlock on the door to the lab. Now, this does not usually cause a problem as Kyp cycles into work everyday, and I walk, and so he gets there before me. Still, I feel I should have a key just in case of emergencies or unforeseen circumstances. When I told Kyp this, he became very defensive, and accused me of (amongst other things) not trusting him, which I thought was a bit rich. I tried to placate him, but he just got more agitated.
It all ended up with him having a screaming fit and storming out of the lab.
However, he returned half an hour later with an ice cream in each hand and a begrudging apology. We ate the ice creams and decided to go down the pub.
The pub, as ever was full of part time soaks and full time drunkards. The smell of death seemed to permeate the air. The regulars studiously ignored us, as did the landlord, who I had previously thought I had struck up some sort of client-based relationship with.
As we stood at the bar, a middle-aged lady wearing sunglasses and wielding a half double gin and tonic turned to me and said.
‘We’ve heard about you’.
‘I’m sorry’ I replied.
‘We have heard about you’, she said in a Home Counties accent, with a louche slurred Gordens touch.
‘Are you an artist?’ she asked.
‘Modern shit I expect’. She said,
‘We are investigating force fields’, Kyp interjected.
There was a palpable ripple amongst the soaks around the bar.
The lady took a good hit of her gin, and as some of it dribbled down her chin
‘You should do paintings. People like paintings. Paintings sell’.
This was obviously a bit of a party trick, as without even turning round to witness the event, the slumped backs of the regulars started to shake with mirth.
It was as I was trying to push the dog away with my foot that the landlord deigned to offer us a drink.
‘ What can I get you then?’
‘Errr… a Stella and a Guinness please’.
The landlord started to pull the pints as the dog finished up and jumped back onto the lady’s lap.
‘You’re working round here then ‘, said the landlord.
‘Yes, at the arts centre’, replied Kyp.
‘ You should have told me, I thought you were tourists. I won’t charge you double then’. The landlord said with a certain cheery vindictiveness, ‘Only extra’.
After I had paid for the rather expensive drinks, having taken the hint, Kyp and I headed for the beer garden.
It was at this point that the lady with the pissing poodle piped up again.
‘One word of advice’, she announced. ‘ Stop fucking about with the horses’.
She drained what was left of her gin, and in an eerie moment of synchronicity the soaks at the bar all turned round and looked at us.
‘You know what I mean’, the lady threatened and turned her back on us, slammed her
empty glass on the bar and shouted ‘Next’.
We drank our drinks and headed for what we had learnt to call home
Friday September 26th
There is nothing like an outside threat to unify people. And after yesterdays strange experiences in the pub, Kyp and I stopped arguing and spent the day working feverously for further experiments next week. We sat down and went through the maths, ran safety checks on all the equipment and reconfigured the magnatron. The lab was buzzing with electricity and determination. At two o’clock the Director called us into his office for a progress report, he too was getting twitchy about us meeting the deadline.
The ‘chat’ was brief but successful. Kyp lied about the results, and I lied about the budget, and no one mentioned horses.
The director seemed satisfied with our half-truths and rehearsed baloney and sent us on our way. Back at the lab we agreed that Monday would be our next major experiment.
It was five o’clock when both Kyp and I left to get the train back to London.
Kyp was going to another ‘conference’. He showed me the flyer: ‘ NASA Lizards Exposed; Greys not responsible for moon landings’.
I’m not sure what he gets from such fringe events, but we all need something I guess.
It was on the way out that Ali, the director’s chief oppo shouted out to us. Kyp was busy unlocking his bike and so I went over to see what she wanted.
‘Someone dropped this off today; it’s addressed to I.F.F.E. so I guess it’s for you. Have a nice weekend See you on Monday’.
I new what she was handing me before I opened it. A small manila envelope addressed with extravagant handwriting. Mr. Parkes had broken his silence.
As I have previously implied, I have a little a prior knowledge of your current inquiries, and when the time comes will impart upon you the full extent of my wisdom.
‘Dear Fellow Travellers’
Congratulations on your successful experiment at Boulderwood.
I was agog with expectation, and the fruits of your labours did not let me down.
I am sure that you have noticed that I have, quite impetuously intervened with the servicing of your equipment. I do hope you forgive me, and I hope that you will find the minor alterations I carried out to your advantage.
Until that time I await further developments with keen expectation.
P.S. I feel you may want to try altering the current settings of your ramp generator. A small, piece of advice, but one I feel you might find helpful.
‘What’s that?’ Kyp asked as he skidded to halt next to me.
‘Oh nothing important, just an invoice we have to fill out, that’s all’, I replied as I stuffed the letter into my coat pocket.
Suffice to say, the journey back to London with Kyp was awkward.
I had many things on my mind.