The air is still stale. Not as stale as it used to be. All the electricity is out - no electric lights, no television, no factories working. Over these last few years, the less smoke being belched out into the atmosphere, the easier you found it to breathe. Now you go outside regularly.
You make your way down to where you know Flannigan will be. He works in a bunker situated in a dip in the soil. He stays low most of he time, but he's not the recluse that Mox is. You follow a path that someone burned into the ground a long time ago. You duck behind a rusted old car or pile of rubble whenever you can, for fear that a stray machine might see you.
You trip over a tin can lying on the path. You curse, then pick it up and pocket it.
Somebody calls out to you.
'Thoreau! Over here, guy!'
The sudden noise makes you start, but it's only Flannigan. He rises into view a couple of meters away. He's left the bunker early this evening. He looks nothing like a doctor. He's wearing red trousers and a loose white shirt. He also has a strange looking hat on his head, which lets air in. He claims that air flow is paramount to continue the circulation of blood around his head. He is quirky and always full of ideas.
You approach. He's looking pleased and holding something.
'Hello, Flannigan,' you say. 'You're in a good mood today.'
Flannigan nods enthusiastically. He's not from London. He fled from Liverpool just a few months ago after a rampant machine nearly took his leg.
'Not too bad thanks Thor,' he nods. 'Slept quite well, not too many nightmares, you know.' He holds his item aloft. 'I've found a wind up radio! Granted there's nothing playing, but I have a feeling it could be very useful in the near future!'
You peer at the contraption. It is a small speakered box with a handle on the side for cranking.
'Right,' you say. 'Well done for finding it.' You think. 'Maybe a device for recording would be useful.'
'Well, music. That might be good.''
Flannigan thinks. When he thinks he purses his lips and furrows his brow, and looks remarkably like an ape. 'Can you make that?'
'I don't know. I'll try.'
'Any plans for today then, Thor?'
You shrug. 'Just the usual.'
You plan to search the area for casualties. If you find any, you bring them to Flannigan who will try to treat any injuries or wounds. You also plan to tinker about for a bit, maybe create something useful, You like to do this. The last thing you created was a periscope that poked out of the roof of your house. You used it to check if there were machines nearby. The periscope was made from lots of tin cans, and some shards of mirror.
You might also do some reading. You have two books. The library in your area was destroyed long ago, quite possibly during the Nightmare's first rampage on the city. You found two books that had not been destroyed. You sometimes return to the library (or what is left of it) to see if any new books have miraculously appeared. They never have. They never do.
You wave at Flannigan, indicating that you have things to do. He lets you go. You are about to return to your house when you hear a scream.