The sky lay weakly yellow like an ill-begotten handkerchief.
The captain stood at the window and watched as a Moustachioed Gentleman got out of his van and entered the house. He could tell that he was a Moustachioed Gent because the tips of his long, droopy moustache fell out of the bottom of his helmet, though it was impressive that the captain could see anything at all through the tears which fell endlessly down his face. They ran like waterfalls, beginning in his eyes and running down over his nose and cheeks until they reached his lips and were sucked back into his body to rejoin the water cycle of sorrow.
The ingestion of tears made it difficult for him to speak but the Moustachioed Gent seemed uninterested in what he had to say anyway, he was already busy at work. Lying flat across the living room floor, he began to tap at the skirting board with a pencil, then proceeded to thump the carpet with the flat of his hand and to test the sound of the radiator with a tuning fork.
Below the black and anonymous insectoid bubble of his motorcycle helmet, the Moustachioed Gent was fitted entirely in tweed from the pads of his shoulders to the softly-furnished soles of his feet. The captain watched him as he worked in a creepy silence.
The Moustachioed Gent’s partner was stood outside the front door, smoking in the rain. He was a Moustacheless Man, his face like a dusty desert scrub, and he wore a coat with a huge black collar like a dead bat stretched around his neck. The Moustachioed Gent enjoyed his investigations and the Moustacheless Man enjoyed smoking in the rain, and although it was not his job the cases afforded him some good time in which to pursue his hobby.
He looked up and down the soggy terrace which soaked in the rain and then warped and then squeezed it out through the gutters and gullies. The whole system set up and run by an internet in every home. Scurrying through the houses invisibly and tirelessly. The Moustacheless Man was not sure how it worked exactly, but that was ok, it wasn’t his job to know. His job was to link the helmeted confusion of the Moustachioed Gent with the requirements of the real world with regards to the investigation into errant internets.
He did this by smoking in the rain until it was time to explain what the Moustachioed Gent had found.
Inside the house, tears were still gushing down the cheeks of the captain who had lost his internet and if the rain were not a problem then all the water coming out of his face could soon cause a catastrophic flood. He was a young, blond captain and he was used to having the internet buzzing and rushing through his home. What would he do now?
That was not a question that the Moustachioed Gent could answer. Looking for the internet was all that he needed in his life.
Eventually he took a hot drink having concluded his investigations. His helmet remained on his head and no safety could persuade it off. He had been trained hard, tracing loose internets in walls and floors, in the air. Out in the wilderness tracking was easy but in the jumble of connections in a street like this it took real skill. He could find a fleeing internet… but he also knew when one had gone. He explained this to the Moustacheless Man and now it was time for him to do his work, explaining to the captain just exactly what the Moustachioed Gent had found.
It would not be an easy time for the captain, his home life would not be easily run without his well-trusted internet. The Moustacheless Man wondered if the captain had loved his internet. Maybe he would never love again. With some helping, consoling and cajoling the Moustacheless Man did what he could whilst the Moustachioed Gent waited in the van.
These conversations always made him nervous and so he had retreated quickly. But he was not alone in the van. The air cracked and fizzled with information and then sat still for a moment, calm and peaceful like an infinite gravity. And the Moustachioed Gent knew that even though he had found it, there was no point in trying to persuade it back. From under his seat he took a jiffy bag and held it open until the nervous, shaking internet finally slipped in, away from the damp terrace. And, in the first post tomorrow, to a new life in South America.