The page opens and I watch as the hospital title appears. I know that this doesn’t necessarily mean that the internet is working. Typing in the address of a well-known search engine I keep everything crossed. It loads.
Making no sound I punch the air. Now I just have to find someone on. First though I type in BBC news.
Page not found.
Shit. Next I try my social media. Nothing. Finally I just type in yesterday’s date. There are only ten options and one of them is a forum. I click that one.
Do you want to join or use anonymously?
I click on the second and I’m in.
There is only one new heading – what is happening?
I enter and type:
Guest 234: Is anyone there?
J.H.: I am, comes the answer.
Guest 234: Who are you?
J.H.: John, you?
Guest 234: Bitsy. Do you know what’s happened?
J.H.: Some sort of virus. Where are you?
Guest 234: London. I type, looking around to make sure I am still alone.
J.H.: Shit! That’s bad. I’m in Wales. We are hiding.
Guest 234: Same here, but those things are everywhere.
J.H.: It’s a shit-storm.
Guest 234: Strange question but do you know if the WHO centre in Cardiff is still there?
J.H.: No idea. Tried to search?
Guest 234: Hold up…
I open another tab and type in the search. It comes up with the details. There is a pad next to the computer and I write down the address and the telephone number. You never know, I might find a phone that works. They also have a contact form. Opening it out I fill it in, saying that we are on our way and who we have traveling with us. I then give them the forum’s address and say I will be here for the next half hour.
I then go back to the forum.
Guest 234: You still here, John?
J.H.: Yeah. Any luck?
Guest 234: Hope so. You alone?
J.H.: No, my wife and two kids are here.
I am about to answer when there is a beep and a text box flashes across the screen.
Guest 235 has just logged in.
Guest 234: Hi.
Guest 235: Are you Bitsy?
Guest 234: Yes.
Guest 235: You need to get here as fast as you can. Keep him and the vial safe. We can’t come get you.
Guest 234: I understand.
Guest 235 has logged off.
J.H.: What was that?
Guest 234: WHO.
J.H.: And what have you got? Lol
Guest 234: The cure…
I know I shouldn’t have said it but I want to give him hope. Hell, I want to give myself hope.
J.H.: Are you alone?
Guest 234: No, there is me, Max and a nurse.
J.H.: Any of you military?
Guest 234: No.
I think of the soldiers back at the airport.
Guest 234: They have gone a little crazy.
J.H.: Okay… I know some people who could help. Go to the Tate Modern.
Guest 234: I’m near Heathrow… That would take me away from where I need to go.
J.H.: I’m not sure you’ll make it without them.
Guest 234: I’ll think about it. I gotta go.
J.H.: Get there.
I power off the computer and look outside. The shadows are lengthening and I have a nasty feeling that the walk back is going to be worse than the walk in.