The trees in Hyde Park rustled gently in the breeze.
It was a warm mid afternoon, and unusually there was not a hint of bird song in the air. No cars whizzing by. No horns, or general hum-drum from people passing by.
If you were stood in that park at that very moment, and believe me, you wouldn't want to have been, all you would of heard was the buzzing of flies.
Thousands of them.
Well, that and the shuffling of a hundred limp, lifeless feet being dragged along a gravel pathway, cutting through the park towards you.
Ed was shaken awake by George at around 9:30pm.
He came around with a jolt, sitting upright and sweating profusely.
"Time to get ready," said George standing over him.
"OK, what's the plan?" asked Ed, rubbing his eyes, trying to adjust to the light, and working out if he was still here, or if he'd just had an awful dream.
"We will step out at about eleven tonight," said George, "find our way carefully back to Parliament. I'll have to make a little pit-stop at a newsagents I know, but barring any mis-haps or unexpected run-ins, we should make it there by midnight."
He passed Ed a bottle of fresh water and a Toffee Crisp.
"Eat that, you'll need your sugars," he said "we'll try and pick up some proper food on the way too."
"Burger King?" said Ed, hopefully.
"I think they're shut," replied George, "and anyway, I wouldn't have thought a man of your standing would eat that muck!" he added, with more than a hint of Scottish sarcasm.
"I'd eat a dead horse right now," said Ed.
"Careful what you wish for," George replied as he turned and walked back to the kitchen "I'll give you five to get your shit together, then we need to tool up for this evening."
"Who'd have thought? I'm in the presence of George 'Rambo' Galloway," Ed said under his breath.
The young girl didn't realise it until it was too late.
She was only twenty. Her first year at university after a year out.
She'd spent the time touring around Africa with some friends and had returned to England to the great news that she'd been accepted in to the University Of London, on a Humanities degree.
There was no humanity in the way in which she died.
She had managed to escape a mad man who had grabbed at her as she left her halls. Shaken and scared she had hit the streets running. What had London come to?
She'd always been told to find a crowded place for safety.
This was the last crowd she'd ever join.
Ripping and tearing her flesh from the bone, she died in agony, alone and terrified.
Her last thought was of a cow on a deserted dirt road in Africa.
She'd never know why.
George stood in the doorway, his bulky frame made even greater by the assortment of artillery strapped across his chest. Grenades hung from straps, spare magazines, a knife and other weaponry that Ed scarcely recognised adorned this walking armoury.
In his hands was a Heckler and Koch MP7 with a forty round mag and red-dot laser sight. He had a supressor fitted to the barrel. A chrome Desert Eagle pistol hung from either hip, and his body was encased in a SWAT issue bullet-proof kevlar vest.
Ed stood facing him.
It wasn't exactly a mirror image.
"So how come all I get is a black bomber jacket and an air rifle?" asked Ed, as it had been troubling him for a while.
"Have you ever fired a gun?" George said, pulling down his balaclava, and adjusting his night vision goggles, before attaching them to an available carabiner.
"Well, I was invited duck shooting a few years ago," he replied, hesitantly.
"And how'd you get on, laddie?" queried George, grinning under his mask.
"It was raining when I got up, and I'd had a sniffle the week before, so I thought it best not to go out," said Ed.
"So not exactly Dirty Harry then, eh?" said George, chuckling.
"Well, no, but I don't exactly feel safe with this!" replied Ed, thrusting the rifle towards George.
"Point that thing at me again, laddie, and I'll insert it sideways up your..."
George was cut short by a loud crash from outside.
The two men hunched down, and with George leading, made their way on all fours over to the living room window.
George peered out of an available crack in the make shift barricade, and said "shit!"
"What is it?" said Ed, sitting with his back against the wall.
"The bastards are outside! About twenty of them, looks to me like a search party," replied George.
"They're going from house to house, probably looking for any people they've missed," he continued, "or looking for you!"
The words hung in the air with a deathly weight.
"Who are?" said Ed, trying to gloss over the fact he was terrified.
"The Care Bears! Who do you think, you numbskull? The bloody Tombies!" replied George, incredulously.
"What shall we do?" said Ed, inching his way to the second window to take a look himself.
"We can't fight them, we'll attract too much attention. We can't stay here, they'll find us. I guess we should slip out the back and try and make it around the rear gardens, 'til we hit the road," George said, as much to himself as for the benefit of Ed's question.
Ed, who had reached the other window, was peering out of a slit. He could see three or four Tombies stumbling around in the street, he assumed the rest were obscured by the hedged fence surrounding the small front garden.
Before he knew it, he was looking directly in to pale white eyes on the other side of the window. He would have jumped, but it happened so fast his mind couldn't process it that quickly.
As the penny dropped he gasped and shot back from the window. A roaring, almost deafening moan filled the street as the Tombie called it's brethren to order.
"Oh, very well done," said George standing up, and taking the briefest of seconds to throw Ed what was possibly the dirtiest look ever thrown in anyone's direction, bar none.
The movement was seamless. A singular action, which looked practiced and flawless. As George stood up, he reached around his back and pulled out a pump action shotgun. At the same time he was raising his right leg and smashing it through the wooden planks barricading the window.
With scarcely enough time to get his own leg clear, he had fired a shot, and was pumping the cylinder to reload his next. The first Tombie didn't stand a chance. Bits of face, sinew and brain were by now hanging from the garden hedge.
As George stepped through the window and out in to the garden he fired right, dispatching the Tombie that had signalled their whereabouts in a hail of buckshot and brains.
He combat rolled across the garden path and with one blast from the shotgun, killed two more Tombies making their way through the gate. He disappeared out in to the road and Ed could hear blast after blast, always followed by the distinctive 'chu-chunk' of the cylinder being pumped.
After what seemed like a lifetime, Ed noticed the pitch of the shots had changed. George must have changed weapons.
Ed got to his feet. Grabbing the air-rifle from the floor, he made his way to the smashed window. He peered very cautiously out in to the night air.
"Thanks for your help there, laddie!" said George, making Ed jump about three feet in to the air.
"We'd better get going," he said, turning on his heels and heading back to the road, "they'll know where to start looking now."
"Oh," said George, stopping to turn back to Ed, "and try not to get noticed, you numbskull!"
He turned and disappeared through the garden gate.