‘Back in the eighties people used to know me as Lord Greyface’, I told my newfound friends in Sweeney’s bar. ‘There were esoteric connotations, of course…’
Friends are easy – all you have to do is buy a few drinks! Keep on buying the pints and you can have as many friends as you like – that’s pretty much an infallible recipe in most bars I know, particularly late at night in the more unsavoury type of pub when only the real hard-core drinkers are left.
I had all the patter as well of course, and that always helps. I had the patter in spades – I could talk most men under the table. Most of my newfound friends were already well on the way to being under the table at this stage anyway. There were doing fine by themselves – no help needed. I kept the drinks coming, all the same – I was in the zone and I didn’t want to stop.
I was in fine confident form – flecks of my confidence spattered my audience as I talked. No one seemed to mind, in all fairness to them. I doubt if they even noticed. ‘An ancestor of mine was responsible for sinking Atlantis’, I informed whoever might have been listening at the time. ‘We Greyfaces have had quite an impact on history, all things considered…’
I was becoming more and more confident by the minute – my only problem was that I couldn’t talk fast enough to get all the words out. I couldn’t do justice to all the ideas that were flooding my brain. I was practically choking on my own confidence; it was as if I didn’t even need to stop to draw breath any more. It’s easy to make friends when you’re as confident as I am. Confidence has always come naturally to me. The handful of Durophet M that I swallowed earlier helped too of course.
‘Humans on the planet Earth know me as Old Greyface’, I began conversationally, winking at the man nearest me, whose name I had forgotten. ‘I travelled widely in my youth but never seemed to settle anywhere. In these modern times men have quite forgotten my name – they have other things on their mind. What those things are exactly, I’ve never quite managed to figure out. Ours is a superficial age…’
I was pleading humanity’s case before the Galactic Star Council. It wasn’t going very well but I hadn’t given up hope quite yet. I was determined to give it one more shot. ‘Ours is a degenerate age,’ I began to explain, ‘and the old values no longer count for as much as they used to. Men in this degenerate era are motivated primarily by the need to find oblivion…’ A number of heads nodded as I said this and a murmur of assent went around the table. I noted with satisfaction that I was beginning to connect to my audience at last.
Outside the cracked and grimy windows of the Survival Dome I could see dark figures making their way down the hillside towards us. They were waving flags and banners as they came. None of them were even remotely human but that no longer seem to matter at this stage. ‘The human race is run’, I pronounced solemnly, ‘and there’s no point in anyone getting sentimental about it. We must make way for those who are to follow.’ A few members of my audience clapped. Most didn’t. Most were too far gone for that.