THE alarm bell rang. It was time to get up.
Fortunately the communal heat pump activated at six. For the first time this week the inside of the window was not covered in a layer of ice. Instead streams of condensation had rolled down to form puddles on the window sill.
The housing block was thrown up in the early 2020s when the Build Back Better mantra was the code used by the supporters of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and its ostensibly philanthropic billionaire cheerleaders. The feeding frenzy for builders and developers resulted in the usual cornucopia for government-supporting crony capitalists who easily disregarded the concerns of the few local action groups who bothered to object. Most people saw the futility of resistance.
It is sometimes hard to believe that I once owned a pleasant detached house with a garden, a greenhouse and a shed where I could tinker with my lawnmower, and even harder to believe that it was demolished to make way for the high-density Sustainable Environment Hubs that all but the elite are forced to occupy ‘to save the planet’. Everyone privately uses the derogatory term ‘Boris-built’ for the new developments which are riddled with damp and mould because of the excessive use of insulation.
I was on duty again with Jordan. I am worried about his health. He continues to put on weight and barks like a walrus when we need to move faster than a slow amble. His mask has given him a severe case of acne and he needs a week to recover after each vaccination. He has also become increasingly frustrated by the absence of opportunities to use his truncheon.
We Covid Marshals (officially Covid and Environmental Marshals) have recently been given the additional role of looking out for those who may own more than one dog. The Committee for Environmental Safety has now decreed that dog emissions are hindering the goal of carbon neutrality and now only one small dog per household is permitted. Once again the brainwashed public have acted like sheep, which have also been virtually eliminated.
Our first duty today is queue control at the Gates Vaccination Centre. This month’s Covid variant is from Monaco, which gives it an exclusive cachet and sounds less intimidating than last month’s Mogadishu variant. For many, today’s injection will be their fiftieth and they will be looking forward to their embossed vaccination certificates signed by a celebrity.
Compliance is the norm. I could earn almost the same collecting my Universal Basic Income, but what could I do with my time? Television is woke State-sponsored propaganda. I have used my meagre annual travel allocation. My flat is too small for hobbies. Social media is almost exclusively corporate manipulation. Free thought and humour have been cancelled. I have no interest in the Hub’s Art Collective which seem to create nothing other than montages of Our Glorious Health Workers. The Hub Entertainment Centre closes at eight, and The Hub Exercise Centre is often used as a makeshift vaccination recovery area.
The work is mundane. Last week was quite exciting as we had to help seal off a neighbouring Hub when a baby was heard coughing, but there have been few incidents this week. Yesterday we confiscated some wood we suspected might be used for heating, and Jordan managed to get himself bitten on his behind when attempting to apprehend an illegal and aggressive Jack Russell.
Dinner tonight will once again be microwaved Insect Surprise washed down with a considerable quantity of gin.
I hope the heat pump is still working.