Sunday, 7 February 2016

A Chinese With Weak Coffee

SM Stirling, Conquistador (New York, 2004).

Indian is my favorite food for eating out and takeaway but, of course, Chinese is another staple. Tom and Roy have a "Chinese," which is not described in detail but includes:

hot-and-sour soup;
shrimp wantons;
fried rice.

Tom sips weak lukewarm coffee, made to be drunk endlessly through the night. This meal accompanies sustained research in his apartment. Every flat surface is piled with hard-copy and every wall covered in printouts. By the time they involve their FBI colleague, pizza boxes have joined the Chinese food cartons.

The research pays off. They have evidence of cross-time travel and have deduced where the Gate must be. From surveillance information, the FBI agent confirms that several hundred people spend years inside an Oakland warehouse, i.e., the warehouse conceals the Gate.

Thus, the takeaways are not food to be savored for its own sake but a necessary accompaniment of some serious detective work.

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