Crompton's response was formed by this insight. He said, "Thanks, Sue, I'd really love to do that some other time. But no I've got to get myself sorted out first."
"That's what all the Heavy Cases say," Sue said sadly. "Oh well. Here comes your Two-Hour Friend."
A tall thin black man was approaching. He had a cheerful face and a great head of wiry hair.
"My what?" Crompton asked.
"It is well known," Sue said, "that a Friend is just exactly what a person with heavy psychological difficulties arriving all shook up in a strange place most needs."
"I don't understand."
"So the Aion Foundation provides a Friend for each incoming guest. The job is on a volunteer basis, but only for two hours at a time since being friends with a person you have nothing in common with and care nothing about is difficult and taxing work."
"Hi," the black man said. "I'm Javi, I come from Fiji."