LSD5: A Hard Day's Night

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  • While Andrew occupies himself with the file, John is making his way back into London under cover of darkness; he confronts Rev. Poulson about their falling out over Mr. Clay, hoping to win his place back in the Poulson household. Instead of persuading the vicar to see reason, though, John ends up convinced that he could oust Mr. Clay bloodlessly and take over the black market in the area!
  • Andrew wakes up late the following morning, but it is still dark outside... John also awakens to a strange new day, with the stars still out over London... they meet up and head to BERB to find out more about this phenomena and discover that the Earth appears to be turning backwards from its normal revolution! A random comment about biblical events makes them think of going and seeking the advice of Rev. Poulson as London panics around them.
  • Arriving back in the parish, they see Mr. Clay stepping up beside Rev. Poulson to appeak for calm in 'his' community, a move that angers the reverend greatly. Andrew steps in to talk to Mr. Clay while John distracts Hugo by testing his friendship with the thug further; without his backup, Mr. Clay is publically humiliated as a result of Andrew cutting his braces, causing his trousers to fall down! Even the reverend gets in a few jokes at his expense as Mr. Clay drags himself and Hugo out of the scene.
  • In the calm after the storm, John snatches a word with the reverend about Biblical disasters, but the reverend seems to think this is a less elevated matter and wonders if perhaps time itself has started to run backwards... he ponders over something that was said to him by Tom, but is reluctant to discuss it further for fear of incriminating himself in aiding deserters to escape justice. John and Andrew resolve to find Tom and question him in person...
  • Tom ought to be propping up a bar somewhere, but at one of his usual haunts, owned by Alice Hinds, he has been put on ice... Alice makes Andrew buy her a drink while John pretends not to be with him. Andrew reminds Alice about the ways he has helped her in the past, so she decides to overlook his recent indiscretion involving Fiona and shows him to where Tom resides in a drunken stupor. He is so far gone that the only way Andrew can rouse him is to drive a knife under his fingernail! He awakes abruptly, calling out the name of Andrew's dead wife, Norma! Another info-dump occurs in this scene:
  • The Hirsute EDEs wanted what happened in Croydon and may have been eating everyone in sight (Tom is still clearly deranged and some of his metaphors and allusions are hard to decipher).
  • Tom followed his orders and turned on the Soviets troops after they had fought off the Hirsute and escaped Croydon; his guilt over this is one further reason for his alcoholism.
  • Norma was disgusted with Tom and played on his guilt to get his help... in faking her own death!
  • One of Tom's fellow soldiers, Neil Thomas, came out of Croydon a changed man; he won small bets involving tossing coins or drawing cards, because he was able to step back in time after knowing the outcome!
  • Meanwhile, in the bar, John overhears some off-duty police officers receiving orders to investigate the barricades around London, which now seems to be entirely cut off from the outside world... as Andrew returns to the bar to share what he has learned, the sun unsets as the day continues to run backwards...
  • John and Andrew go to see Rev. Poulson again to ask him about Neil Thomas and where the reverend's 'deserter railroad' has sent him to, but when they go to see the reverend in his bedroom, Hugo is there trying to smother the reverend with a pillow! Andrew struggles with Hugo, who seems very unhappy about these orders, causing him to inadvertently confess that Mr. Clay wants the reverend dead. While Joh takes Hugo away, Andrew gets the reverend to tell him all about his part in aiding the deserters, but for the protection of all involved, the reverend doesn't know where they go to, only the man whom he sends them to for the next stage.
  • John, Hugo and Fiona are in the kitchen when Andrew joins them; the two protagonists take this opportunity to try to erode Hugo's loyalty to Mr. Clay but he still remains stubbornly loyal to him no matter what. Eventually, they get Hugo to tell them where Mr. Clay is going to be later, but unbeknownst to them, he also later informs Angus MacDonald about what he has said and done...
  • As they prepare to follow the trail of Neil Thomas further, Andrew shares with John what the reverend told him and John realises that the contact is Alexi from his own unit! The also talk about the significance of the Croydon Incident in these matters, during which Andrew shares what he remembers reading from the file to assuage John's doubts about it's accuracy; John starts visibly at the mention of Captain Josef and only just manages to persuade Andrew that Alexi is a fellow black marketeer who may be dealing with Soviet forces outside London. The bluff is helped by the distracting realisation that the sun is moving backwards across the sky faster than it should...

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