Dear Reader,

I think you sometimes forget that Darren is only human.

It turned out that he may have made a tiny error when he was unplugging the transnational communicator two nights ago.

Instead of pressing the little red telephone at the bottom of the screen, dear Reader, his finger slipped, hitting the button showing a skull and crossbones. Darren then got a little flustered, pressing ‘Yes’ to the pop-up screen reading ‘UK-EU Airspace: Interrupt All Transmissions’, and ‘Yes’ again to ‘Are You Quite Sure?’ I was too busy boosting staff morale to notice what had happened, although I am told that I looked most impressive projected onto all European flight control screens at the very moment that I finished with the words, ‘and nothing, nothing, I tell you, will stop me being World Leader in Runeology’.

My last two words were cut off by the appearance on screen of someone in a dirty vest shouting something about being John McClane and needing to see a melon farmer.*

Darren then pressed a number of buttons at random. The NASA logo appeared on the screen, closely followed by the insignia of the Higher Education Funding Council for England. A little box popped up, reading ‘REF Results – Top Secret. Do you wish to proceed?’

Darren looked at me, his face even paler than usual against his Iron Maiden T-Shirt.

His finger trembled over the button.

Jade scribbled a note in her notebook.

Fu and Karl looked at each other.

Mise’s mouth formed a perfect O as she continued to pat down her unruly hair with no visible success.

Lu-Seal mopped furiously.

I closed my eyes, and gave an almost imperceptible nod.

I heard the printer in the corner spring to life, dear Reader.


* My many younger readers may wish to click here.



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