Now!’ Marvin interjected. ‘You must all be wondering why I invited you here. Well, you know why you’re here, Arthur; and I assume you’ve explained a little about the club to our members—’
‘We’re looking at alternative truths, right?’ Bedivere asked. ‘The darker side to Britain, and all that.’
‘Yes, yes, Bedivere, we shall cover that. We shall look at Europe, why we left and why ultimately the EU was disbanded; we shall look at the tragic situation in the United States, and we shall look at the abandonment of the Commonwealth states and the blight of Indonesia. But as well as that we shall also be looking closer to home, at our own histories, and I use the plural intentionally; at the rising rebels in the old Celtic countries, at the redefinition of New National Britain’s borders, and at our absolute ruler himself, George Milton, who thus far has used all his electoral power to claw hold of democratic immunity, whose Party has long since been a change-hand, change-face game of musical chairs with the same policies and people from one party to the next. This brings me to my former point of why I invited you here: because I believe that you three are the smartest, the most open, the most questioning, and that you will benefit most from hearing things from an alternative viewpoint—not always my own, and not always comfortable—that the three of you may one day take what you have learned here and remember it when the world darkens, and this country truly forgets that which it once was.’
There was a deep silence. Even Arthur, who was used to Marvin’s tangential speeches, was momentarily confounded, and in the quiet that followed he observed Bedivere to see what he thought of this side to their teacher. His eyes then slipped to Morgan, and he was surprised to find that she was transfixed.
‘But I must stress to all of you, it is my job at risk in doing this, my life at stake. So when you speak of this, speak only amongst yourselves, and tell no one what it is we discuss here. Understood?’
There was a series of dumbstruck nods of consent. Bedivere cleared his throat with a small cough.
‘And here I thought this was just going to be an extra-curricular history club,’ he joked.