`I came from Los Angeles,' the old man said.
His dreadlocks were like a matted tree with branches the color of steelwool.
`Long time ago, up the gravity well and out of Babylon. To lead the Tribes home. Now my brother likens you to Steppin ~ Razor.'
Molly extended her right hand and the blades flashed in the smoky air. The other Founder laughed, his head thrown back.
`Soon come, the Final Days... Voices. Voices cryin'~ inna wilderness, prophesyin' ruin unto Babylon...'
The Founder from Los Angeles was staring at Case.
`We monitor many frequencies. We listen always. Came a voice, out of the babel of tongues, speaking to us. It played us a mighty dub.'
`Call 'em Winter Mute,' said the other, making it two words.
Yvonne is looking just a little bored with all this computer talk, which is probably why she started fondling my leg in the first place. She’s not into computers; she’s into bankruptcy management. Straight from university she joined a small firm specialising in easing the death throes of failing businesses. She’s been all over Britain doing this stuff and last year they made her a director. It’s not a small firm any more. Growth industry.
She delicately stifles a yawn and sits back in her seat, and I take a sudden breath which I have to disguise with a cough as her foot suddenly slides up between my legs. I foolishly lift my napkin to dab my lips after the pretend cough, and Christ, there’s her foot resting on the front of my seat, her stockinged toes flexing forward to stroke my cock through the material of my trousers. I put my napkin down again quickly and return to the subject of full-motion video from CD-ROM, hoping nobody saw her foot. I don’t think so. Could have been embarrassing if there’d been a waiter nearby. I surreptitiously pull the tablecloth over my lap and her foot as well. She’s sitting back in her seat grinning slightly at me, toes curling and uncurling as they stroke me.
I lift my champagne flute, nodding wisely at something William has just said.
‘Anyway, must dash for a slash,’ he says, rising. Yvonne’s foot tenses against my crotch, but she doesn’t take it away.