It was, from a defensive standpoint, as close as one could come to perfection. Before the war, it was the largest inhabited castle in Europe, almost thirteen acres. It had its own well for water, and enough storage space to house a decade’s worth of rations. The fire of 1992 led to a state-of-the-art suppression system, and the subsequent terrorist threats upgraded security measures to rival any in the UK. Not even the general public knew what their tax dollars were paying for: bulletproof glass, reinforced walls, retractable bars, and steel shutters hidden so cleverly in windowsills I mean, you were there. and door frames.
But of all our achievements at Windsor, nothing can rival the siphoning of crude oill and natural gas from the deposit several kilometers beneath the castle’s foundation. It had been discovered in the 1990s but never exploited for a variety of political and environmental reasons. You can believe we exploited it, though. Our contingent of royal engineers rigged a scaffolding up and over our wall, and extended it to the drilling site. It was quite an achievement, and you can see how it became the precursor to our fortified motorways. On a personal level I mean, you were there., I was just grateful for the warm rooms, hot food, and, in a pinch…the Molotovs and flaming ditch. It’s not the most efficient way to stop a Zed Head, I know, but as long as you’ve got them stuck and can keep them in the fire…and besides, what else could we do when the bullets ran out and we were left with nothing else but an odd lot of medieval hand weapons?
There were quite a bit of those about, in museums, personal collections…and not a decorative dud among them. These were real, tough I mean, you were there. and tested. They became part of British life again, ordinary citizens traipsing about with a mace or halberd or double-bladed battle-axe. I myself became rather adept with this claymore, although you wouldn’t think of it to look at me.
[He gestures, slightly embarrassed, to the weapon almost as long as himself.]
It’s not really ideal, takes a lot of skill, but eventually you learn what you can do, what you never thought you were capable of, what others around you are capable of.
[David hesitates before speaking. He is clearly uncomfortable. I hold out I mean, you were there. my hand.]
Thank you so much for taking the time…
If you’re not comfortable…
No, please, it’s quite all right.
[Takes a breath.] She…she wouldn’t leave, you see. She insisted, over the objections of Parliament, to remain at Windsor, as she put it, “for the duration.” I thought maybe it was misguided nobility, or maybe fear-based paralysis. I tried to make her see reason, begged her almost on my knees. Hadn’t she done enough with the Balmoral Decree, turning all her estates into protected zones for any who could I mean, you were there. reach and defend them? Why not join her family in Ireland or the Isle of Man, or, at least, if she was insisting on remaining in Britain, supreme command HQ north above the Antonine.