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.Instead, as they clattered through the streets, the man in the burgundy scarf demanded, ‘How many chemicals do you have left in your pocket?’Lyle patted them, in a daze.‘Some,’ he muttered.‘How many of them are acids or explosives?’‘A few.Why?’‘You’ll need them before this night is out.’‘I thought you’d say that, Feng Darin.’The man in black hesitated, then smiled behind the scarf.‘How long have you known, Horatio Lyle?’‘Ever since you fed Tate one of those damn ginger biscuits.You’re the only spy I know with such a weakness for them.What piqued your interest this time? The mad priest with an intellectual deficiency? Or the madder man who turns to stone in bright light?’‘A bit of both.’‘And are you here out of personal attachment to the noble cause of self-preservation, or were you sent again by your employers?’Another smile, slightly wider.Amusement in his voice, though his eyes never left the road.‘A little bit of both.’With one hand Feng Darin swept the scarf away from his face, and in the dull light that burned on the cab, Lyle saw the familiar worn features, dark walnut brown from both his origin and his occupation.Lyle said quietly, ‘You disappeared without a word after St Paul’s.’‘No.I visited you in hospital, while you were still asleep, after your fall.’Lyle nodded, then frowned once more.‘We’re in the poop this time.’‘Tell me everything when we ’re safe.’‘There seems to be no safety.’‘I know a place.’‘And you’d know what’s happening, too?’‘Some of it.But if I knew everything, Horatio Lyle, I wouldn’t need you.What explosives are you carrying?’‘Ammonia compounds, and reactants, one or two things that can oxidize very rapidly when exposed to heat, but nothing that does severe damage.’‘I always wondered why you carried them.’‘You never know when you’ll need to blow something up.Why do you ask?’‘Because we need to survive long enough to have a private conversation.’ They spun round a corner, rattling down towards the lights of the city, following the railway lines towards Euston and Marylebone.Lyle watched the cobbles racing by beneath them, saw the lights getting brighter and the squalid little houses that clung to the side of the railway lines growing thicker as the real city began to intrude on the false city of the suburban mansions.In the shadows, he saw something moving among the roadside slums, keeping level, and felt a shudder down his spine, and imagined a cold touch at his throat.Feng lashed at the reins again, eyes flickering this way and that, and Lyle knew he wasn’t the only one watching the shadows.And with that realization came the sudden awareness of a tune, hummed almost inaudibly under Feng’s breath.‘London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down.London Bridge is falling down, my fair lady.’Lyle clung tighter to the side of the cab.‘What are you doing?’‘You don’t just try an’ hit nothin’, bigwig!’ Tess was leaning over the side of Icarus, almost on her feet, holding a loose tube in one hand.Icarus raced over the roofs of Gray’s Inn Road, over yellow-brick houses selling weights and measures and old clothes and broken furniture, sending the ladies who haunted the area, and the men who pretended they didn’t, scattering below.Seven of the tubes were now blazing at the back of Icarus, and still the stone dragon was keeping behind, twisting its way through the air with a snake-like movement.Gravity clearly had decided to look the other way, rather than deal with those claws.‘Can you get higher?’ Tess yelled.‘Why do we want to go higher?’‘Who’s givin’ the orders round here, bigwig?’Thomas tugged at a lever.Icarus jerked, flaps moving in the wings, the area facing the wind of their passage growing larger, pushing Icarus bodily upwards.Tess had the outer casing of the tube stripped away, revealing the packed, staged chemicals compressed around the central fan, like a second casing to the tube.She grabbed at the fuse, which ran from the end of the tube into the heart of the fan, passing through one chemical and one only, which was to burn at a constant rate, heating the air that passed through the small inner fans to provide thrust, and started wrapping the fuse tightly not only round that chemical, but round every other weird, compressed chemical pack that surrounded the tube, so that only a small part of the wire was left free as she slid the tube back into its casing.She turned and screamed, ‘Bigwig?’‘Yes, Miss Teresa?’ Thomas’s teeth chattered and his voice wheezed with effort.Icarus was still climbing, the air growing thinner and colder as they rushed for the moon, trailing sparks and fire.‘You need to let the dragon get close!’‘I need to what?’‘Who’s in charge here?’ snapped Tess.‘I want you to let him get real close, so close he can touch us, and then, when he’s close, an’ I give the word, I want you to dive, go right back down the way we was, and don’t stop for nothin’ ’cos we need to be a real long way away very quick!’‘Why?’Tess looked down at the tube in her hands, the tiny nose of the twisted fuse peering out from the end.‘’Cos there ’s goin’ to be a real big bang.’‘Miss Teresa?’ Thomas’s voice was a faint wheeze in the air.‘I don’t think this is a good idea.’Tess looked down.Below, the city lay black and still, half-washed in the fog, a misty outline of dull fires, eclipsed by the rising shape of the dragon.‘Well.there ain’t nothin’ better, is there?’For a second, she had the feeling of eyes on her, and looked up, and saw the moon filling the sky, rocking from side to side in front of her.She realized that, just for a moment, she was a shadow across its face, a blackness blotting 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