White, pleased to find the heavy steel gates of Laverstone Manor drawn back, drove up the avenue of Dutch elms. He never tired of the Waterman's drive and wished he was a visitor to the manor for more social reasons. What had protected the manor from Dutch Elm disease in the seventies? This was the only avenue of the majestic trees left in England, as far as he knew. The manor driveway was a reminder of brighter days, a yesteryear of England when the summers were full of sunshine and the winters full of snow, and not the modern buckets of grey slush.
As opposed to now, when the incumbent lord was a money-grubbing little tosser whom White was certain had not only a finger on the pulse of criminal activity but a whole fistful of its genitals, too. He pulled up in front of the manor, its Georgian façade concealing the sixteenth century building at the heart, and turned off the engine. The silence settled over them, a comfortable old blanket smelling of exhaust fumes and the heady attar of hyacinths. Somewhere to their right, a wood pigeon cooed.
“Looks quiet, at least.” Sergeant Peters checked his phone for the battery charge one last time before unplugging it. “No sign of rampaging robots knocking the house down.”
“Indeed not.” He leaned forward to survey the building through the windscreen. Twenty windows reflected the sky, now turning the burned orange of sunset. “Let's hope we were wrong about the robot's destination.”