How Green This Land, How Blue This Sea
Publication Date—Jul 15, 2013
My flight left London at six o’clock on Friday morning. We made a stop in Hong Kong twelve hours later to change planes, at which point everyone had to go through the entire security and boarding process again, complete with medical screening. It’s something of a miracle that I was permitted to return to business class—same seat number, virtually identical seat, for all that it was on a different airplane—given that I was half asleep the whole time. After you’ve been pursued across the United States by a global conspiracy, it’s rather difficult for airports to disturb you. All the same, my lack of response and glazed demeanor should have singled me out for additional security measures. There’s little that can spoil a trip more than being trapped inside a flying metal tube with someone who has just undergone amplification. Being in coach might well have done it. I reclined in my spacious seat, sipping my complimentary cup of hot tea—if you can call something “complimentary” when it requires buying a ticket that costs several thousand quid before they’ll give it to you—and watched the other passengers being herded back to their seats. Each group of five was escorted by two flight attendants who made no effort to conceal their firearms. Before the Rising, guns were verboten on airplanes, carried only by government agents and representatives of local law enforcement. Now most passengers flew armed, and the flight attendants carried more weapons than your average Irwin. It’s funny how the world can change when no one’s looking.