"I feel slightly sick." Sam wiped at the resultant mark with an empty Rizla wrapper. "What am I supposed to be looking for?"
"Why my eyeballs have swelled, why we've just crapped out half our intestines and why the only thing I want to eat is rancid raw bacon." Dilbo leaned over and pulled up an internet cloaking site, followed by NHS Direct. "Fill in the symptoms."
"Shouldn't I log in first?"
"Blummin' heck, no. Are you an idiot? The government use this site to track people with. You log in with your real name and if you've got anything remotely contagious you'll have a squad of military police in Hazmat suits smashing in your door."
"I've got to put something in."
"Put Peter Dubber in. He was in my Wireless 101 class and if anyone needs a kicking it's him."
"Right." Sam typed in the symptoms and navigated the pages until he got to the 'diagnose' button. The website stalled, the cursor a spilling arrow for several minutes until a chat box opened.
Dr J Allen: Mr. Dubber? Were those exact symptoms?
peterdubber: pretty much. coughing up blood, too.
Dr J Allen: Have you experienced plasticisation of the skin?
Dr J Allen: Does your skin stay where it's put, or does it go back to being smooth? After a smile or a frown, for example?
peterdubber: no, it dont
Dr J Allen: It sounds to me as if you might have a rare strain of swine flu. Don't worry, though. It's easily treated but we'll need to get to you fairly quickly. If you give me your address I'll send a local doctor round with a vaccine.
"Switch it off."
Dilbo leaned over and logged out. "What did I tell you? Swine flu my arse. Whatever we've got, they want to keep it quiet."