Ronnie waited for a few hours, and arrived at dusk at St Catherines Pier near Tower Bridge, with wetsuits for everyone and scuba gear for himself. The group looked towards Elizabeth for direction, and she indicated where they needed to be, and then shocked everyone by stepping into the river. Ronnie quickly followed her as did T-Bone and Aiden. She seemed a little flung around by the currents, but Ronnie closed up and steadied her; he noticed she didn’t need to breathe. Suddenly he noticed some struggling behind him, and saw Aiden beginning to take in water, T-Bone tried to help, but she was beginning to drown. Ronnie quickly checked that Elizabeth was OK, and when she nodded, he kicked back and offered the scuba mouthpiece into Aiden’s mouth.
As Aiden gasped down the oxygen there seemed to be a burst of light in the water beneath them and the group found themselves in a hemispherical bubble, about ten metres in diameter. The face of Old Man Thames was visible and he spoke to the group. He was unhappy that his flow was restrained by the effects of humanity. Ronnie spoke for the group and Old Man Thames indicated that he spoke for his brothers and sisters. They finally agreed that Old Man Thames would give the group a chance to prove good faith by allowing contact with the sea, promising that he would protect the city if the group managed to open the Thames barrier. There was some watery laughter, and then the bubble collapsed, and the group were ejected from the river onto the bank.
Ronnie arranged for some fake documentation that would allow him a certain level of authority over the staff at the Thames barrier, and the group headed over to the barrier and gained access to the administration building. After a brief conversation with a startled receptionist the Duty Operations Manager, Mr Bennett, came to meet them in reception and took them to his office. After some ridiculous tall tale telling Ronnie, acting as Arturos McFiggerty, Head Special Projects of the Environment Agency, managed to convince Mr Bennett that the barrier needed to stay open.
High tide, came and went, and even though the waters should have been a metre over the banks the river did not flood London; Old Man Thames had kept his word. The group left leaving the barrier staff completely bemused by the situation, and returned to visit Old Man Thames; they were greeted by Elizabeth who leapt on Ronnie, really pleased that the team had succeeded, and that Old Man Thames was happy. He was willing to give them several decades, possibly even a century to put things right, and Elizabeth said that she thought that he would be willing to compromise, and perhaps even help control the tidal flow himself.
Elizabeth then asked a question about rent and staying somewhere, as although Old Man Thames was a good employer who helped her stay focussed as herself, he could not really conceive of human needs so hadn’t put much consideration into that, sp an embarrassed Ronnie offered his flat, which she accepted.
As the group travelled away from the Thames, and piercing shriek, followed by sudden silence, was heard over the dragon net; it was clear that Ember was in trouble.