Just Another Judgement Day

Free Just Another Judgement Day by Simon R. Green

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Authors: Simon R. Green
gather together in Clubland. Where distinguished and discreet establishments cater to every need, enthusiasm, and obsession known to man. Some are nearly as old as the Nightside itself, while others deal in fads and fancies that come and go like mayflies. But they all have one thing in common. Membership is by invitation only. Plebs need not apply.
     
    Walker led Suzie and me through the packed streets, and everyone gave way before us. Some because they recognised Walker, some because they recognised me, and quite a few because Suzie always looks dangerous even when she’s just wondering what’s for dinner. Walker nodded easily to famous and powerful faces, and they nodded respectfully back. He was one of them. Suzie and I quite definitely weren’t. They did give us plenty of room. Which on the whole I think I preferred.
     
    I gave my attention to the various clubs we passed along the way—the famous and the infamous, the outrageously exotic and the determinedly obscene. Names you could drop to impress your friends, or infuriate your enemies. Members-only clubs are the ultimate extension of the Old Boys Network, and it is in these very private back rooms that all the real decisions get made. In between the very best drinks and drugs and debauchery, of course. You go to clubs like them to do things behind closed doors that you’d never even think of discussing in polite society, to do the things of which your friends and family would never approve.
     
    Like the Caligula Club, dedicated to exploring the furthest reaches of pleasure and pain, the most extreme forms of sensation. Or Club Dead, exclusively for the mortally challenged. A club for zombies, vampires, mummies, and quite a few of the Frankenstein clan’s creations. (Club motto: We belong dead. ) The Blue Parrott exists to cater to the Nightside’s bird-watchers. Oh yes, we have them, too. You’d be surprised at some of the strange species that turn up here, and bird-watchers from all over the world come to the Nightside to observe ancient, rare, and impossible species that can’t be found anywhere else. Everything from the dodo to the pteranodon, the giant roc to the fabled Oozalum bird. But no pigeons . . . There are no pigeons in the Nightside; or at least, not for long. Something eats them.
     
    Then there’s Pagan’s Place, for barbarian warriors who want to better themselves, and right next to that, the Adventurers Club. Older than all the others put together, the original Club was supposedly founded back in the sixth century, and has been a watering hole for heroes between quests ever since. You wouldn’t have thought any real hero would be seen dead in a place like the Nightside, but something about its reputation draws them here, possibly like moths to a flame, and the Adventurers Club is where they gather. Getting in is not easy. In fact, simply getting past the Doorman can be an adventure in itself. I think you have to slay an ogre and rescue a princess just to be allowed to use the rest rooms.
     
    Still, every adventurer with a name or a reputation worth the knowing is supposed to have passed through its doors at one time or another. Why? Perhaps because the Nightside is the single greatest challenge any hero can face, the Mount Everest of challenges, and you can’t call yourself a real hero until you’ve tested yourself against it. I only know about the Club because my sometime friend Julien Advent has been a Member in good standing on two separate occasions. First, when he was the greatest hero and adventurer of the Victorian Age, then again after a Timeslip brought him here in the nineteen sixties. Julien’s a good man and a revered personage; I planned to drop his name at every opportunity and hope some of his respectability rubbed off on me.
     
    I said as much to Suzie, but she just shrugged. She’s never cared about being respectable.
     
    “Julien’s not the oldest Member in the Club, though, is he?” she said.
     
    “Not by a

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