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White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

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Moderator: wa5

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 2:54 pm

Darius was still in my office, agitated, but a little calmer.

I told him what Michael had said, it was time to go.

He needed a little time... he wasn't sure he could be in the sunlight at that point...

So, we waited. After almost an hour, he said he thought he could get home... I offered to drop him off, if he didn't feel he could drive, He declined, they might need the car, it was the only one the family had.

I went to the bathroom before we left.. I heard the door open while I was in the stall, Darius came in and splashed some water over his face. in the bathroom lit by the two big fluorescent lights.. why had I not thought of that room when I went on my bright bulb hunt?

I finished in the toilet, and was about to open the door. when the whole stall shuddered, as Darius impacted the door. obviously his rage had returned in the bright room, and he had reacted to the sound of the toilet flushing.

This wasn't good, Darius, who I had always known as a gentle giant, was now a very angry giant, and likely to get angrier. the longer he was exposed to that light..

I stood atop the toilet and chanced a peek over the top of the door, Darius was looking away from me, but caught sight of me, in the mirror, he lunged at it.. I ducked.. and tried to think of a way out of my trap..

The staff bathroom consisted of three stalls, the walls were on metal legs, sitting a few inches above the floor and ending about 18 inches below the ceiling.. I was locked in the one closest to the exit. out of the stall, three short steps and I was at the door, I wasn't prepared to risk it, just yet... I had to try and calm Darius a little.

Removing the harsh light from the situation was my first task.. I snuck another look over the door, Darius was still looking at the mirror, his back to me, closer to the rear of the room.

I took some coins from my wallet, and threw one into the stall farthest from me, Darius sprung towards the noise... finding nothing, he soon returned to his position near the mirror... visibly upset, obviously confused... I dropped out of sight, kneeled on the floor and threw about ten coins under the stall walls toward the rearmost stall. as soon as the noise started, I tore open the door, took two steps, flicked the light switch, it went dark just as I saw Darius exiting the farthest stall.. he also saw me... I jack rabbited back to the stall, and slammed the door shut, as my friend hit the wall near the light switch..

I checked my watch, 4.00 Pm, I really needed to get out of there. Unfortunately, I had to wait for the dark to do its work, and hopefully help calm my friend.... How did he go from normal, to enraged, so quickly?

I heard him wandering around, slowly, he calmed. very slowly.. Time flies in the dark... the next time I looked at my watch, it was almost eight PM, it would be almost dark outside..

Darius was silent... I chanced a whisper, mistaking his lack of movement for the calm I was hoping for.. Wishful thinking on my part, I really wanted my friend to be able to spend his last days, hours more likely, with the family he loved... alas, that was not to be. as I quietly called his name, he exploded into a rage, banging into walls, and doors, shaking my tiny fort... I couldn't save him, it was time to go..

I'd been thinking on a plan, I had avoided it, for the reasons above. I hadn't wanted to abandon my friend... but sadly, my friend was gone..

As quietly as I could, I slid my cordless phone, to the rear of the room, then took out my mobile and activated it.. BAM ... oops, I wasn't thinking... the light from my phone attracted Darius. wait five minutes, retry.. with my phone now under my shirt... The cordless lit up and started ringing shortly after I dialled the number.. I waited a moment, then sprinted for the door.

As I exited the bathroom, the door slammed shut behind me, as Darius hit the back of it with bone breaking force... He hammered on it as I fled the building...

I parked the Territory outside the gate as I set it to close... The motor whined as the gated trundled slowly closed.

Darius sprinted from the building toward me.. He'd found his way out of the bathroom apparently.. I dived for the open door of the big Ford, pulled it into drive and floored it.. Darius squeezed through the gate, moments before it slammed shut. but I was already gone, He sprinted after me, screaming and roaring but had little hope of catching me.. I said a small prayer that this once loving, family man, didn't find his way home.

Instead of following the bus route out of the city, I went the same way that many of my taxi rides had taken over the years, when riding home from work. A rat run through back streets.. I thought that avoiding main thoroughfares would be a good way of avoiding trouble... Not so.

Suburban streets that were normally sleepy narrow roads were cauldrons of trouble, fires, people wrestling on the ground, bloody and broken. many times I had to take a different route.. taking me onto roads that I wasn't familiar with... the trip to the outskirts of the city, usually took less than 15 minutes by taxi, this evening, I had been in the car for almost an hour.. There was no other traffic, but the rioting and such had really slowed me down.. Sitting in an unfamiliar back road, I stopped and activated the cars GPS system. it instantly calculated a new route, telling me I would get to the main road that headed North towards my home in less than 5 minutes.. It took 20.

Back on the main road, I was looking to make up a little time.. Not that I was planning to speed, the car may have been very capable of High speeds, I wasn't.. No Licence and little experience driving on public roads.. remember? .. I crested the rise that led to the bridge onto Kooragang Island.. and was confronted with a sea of flashing lights....

I pulled up at the barricade, and was dragged from the car by a very large very young, very scared Police officer pointing a very large Pistol at me...

"What the **** do you think you're doing? get on the ground" he screamed...
"CONTSABLE JONES, STAND DOWN' boomed a familiar and very welcome voice... "But Sarge, you heard the orders" said the big officer..

Michael hauled me up and said, "right driver, whats your story, you'd better have a very good reason to be here, surely you've heard that there is a curfew and a shoot to kill order? " under his breath, he said, "Make it good"

I gave him my name and told him I had a part for Sargent Wilson at the Nelson Bay Station, it was on the passengers seat of the car, along with an invoice... The young office sprang to the left side of the car. Again under his breath, Michael said, "it better be there", "it is" I nodded. opened the door, inspected the part and bought the invoice for his superior to inspect.

This seems to be in order, However, all movements have been forbidden, where have you been driver? the announcement went out over four hours ago, do you have an Essential Service Certificate?" he asked. I nodded towards my shirt pocket, he reached in and inspected it... not sharing with the younger officer.. after all, it had his signature on it...
"I'm very sorry officer, I had no idea about the ban, I had some "trouble" and was trapped at work for the last five hours, I've spent most of this week keeping Police cars roadworthy"

Another officer broke in at that point, "That's right Sarge, this guy and another bloke replaced the glass in my car" he pointed towards his car "He's all right"..

Michael took another look at my pass, " says you live up towards Nelson Bay, I would strongly suggest you go straight home"...

He walked me back to my car. and told me the Army was encamped around the Williamtown RAAF base and Airport. the only road to my home went past the Base (unless I wanted to take a major detour, which would most likely involve other roadblocks) ... I told him there was a bush track I could take to get around the road block...

He suggested I go home, lock the doors and lay low... I let him know I'd secured a shotgun, he raised his eyebrows, questioning... "in the back" I whispered... "Lucky Jones didn't find that" he grinned.

I asked what he was planning to do. "Marcy's up at the Radio Station, they have a big gen set, she wants to broadcast as long as she can, I just want to be with her, I'm winding this up at Midnight.. " "if you need somewhere to run to, you're both welcome at my place", Thanks" he said, as he closed my door and patted the roof. I drove slowly through the maze of Police cars, toward my home.
Last edited by wa5 on Sun Jul 31, 2016 3:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:32 pm

Across Kooragang Island, A stark industrial landscape, man made from several smaller islands in the sixties, now the largest coal export terminal in the world, Greenies hate it, it would never get past the planning stage if it were suggested now. The road was mine alone, thankfully, even though I'd driven old paddock bashers in the bush since I was a child, this was the first time I'd really been on a main road, though I'd often ridden bikes and trikes on very quiet back roads.. .. I drove slowly and carefully, trying not to go faster than my below average eyes could handle.

Apart from my headlamps, the road was lit from the huge coal loaders and ships docked beside them, less than 100 yard to my right, They sent a golden glow across the road and beyond. on the left side of the road, were huge mounds of coal, awaiting their one way ticket to Japan, China, India or else where, to be re incarnated as power and light. There were other industries on "the island" Fuel depots, concrete plants, metal recyclers, There had even been a few farms in years gone by in the North West Corner, but I think they ended years ago... the area was slowly being taken over by more and more coal infrastructure. Kooragang Island is surrounded on all sides, by the Hunter river. Since white man came to this land over two hundred years ago, she has provided seafood, a transportation corridor and her waters quenched the red hot steel at the now closed steel works, opposite the coal loader on the islands southern banks. Before the white man, she had been the border between two Aboriginal Nations.

I saw him running straight at me, his Hi Vis vest made him very easy to see, even for me.. I hit the brakes. Being the performance flagship, The F6X was fitted with the best brakes available, with ABS of course. The big Ford washed off speed and came to a halt before its bonnet could meet Mr Hi Vis.

Yet, he didn't slow. he hit the front of the car as full speed. screaming, his body folded in half. There was a dull "thud" as his head hit the bonnet and he promptly disappeared out of sight ahead of Jims car. I backed up a little, so I could see him. He lay in front of the car, unconscious or perhaps dead.

Looking back, it was foolish to leave the safety of the car. but old habits die hard, I couldn't just leave a man lying on middle of the road, prone... as soon as I got close, It was plain to see, he was no longer a man. His face was cover the K marks... they stood out vividly against his otherwise pale skin. I could hear him breathing, wheezing would be more accurate. it was obvious he was a heavy smoker..... before.............. some people who smoke, simply reek of it, I smelt stale cigarette smoke as soon as I opened the door... My hands would stink like an ash tray until I had a chance to wash them, after dragging this non smoker to the side of the road... I thought as I dragged.. "get the "K", guaranteed to quit smoking in seven days * may have some side effects" forgive my gallows humour.

The Turbo Tezza had come through the ordeal with barely a scratch, the clear plastic bonnet protector was broken, mostly in little pieces on the road. Jim would be pissed. but of course, by now, Jim would most likely be past caring, I found myself hoping that the "little something" Jim had left me in the back of the car, wasn't the only firearm he possessed.

No more "surprises" on the Island, soon I was cresting Stockton Bridge, the arching northern exit to the industrial area, and the primary roadway into Port Stephens.

On the bridge, I counted several Coal Carriers anchored off the coast (the beach was less than a quarter of a mile from me at that point), waiting their turn to enter the harbour and fill their hungry bellies at the "all you can eat coal loader"... They would of course not come any closer now. were they infected, could some of them be safe from the K, alone on their metal islands? if so,, how long could they survive before they needed to re supply.

From this point, Nelson bay road skirted the coast until it ended, funnily enough, at Nelson Bay. The Bridge was the last point at which you could actually see the coastline, on a clear day, from the top of the bridge, it was possible to see the whole of Stockton beach, from its start on the peninsula of Stockton stretching 20 miles North to rocky Birubi Point. About a quarter of the way up the beach sat the rusting remains of the bulk coal carrier "Sygna" The front half of the ship had been re floated soon after her grounding in 1974, but the stern had refused to leave the beach, and was still there, rusting away. she was still recognisable as a ship, but for how much longer, who knew?

As I drove, alone on the road, my confidence increased, but I chose to travel no faster than my steady 30 miles per hour. even though the car wanted to go faster, Gravity urging me to speed up travelling down Stockton Bridge and entering the small village of Fern Bay.

I was forced to slow, people running around everywhere. some banging into the side of the car. knocking both mirrors out of alignment.. I didn't stop this time. the screams and roars of the monsters made that seem ..... unwise.... I was troubled by the thought that perhaps not all of those screams were of rage, what if some of them had been of terror.. guiltily, I drove on.

From the tip of Stockton North towards Williamtown is an ever widening peninsula, The Hunter River on one side, The Pacific Ocean on the other. They run parallel for three or four miles, then the river turns inland. North of Stockton, the road splits, the direct route, through bushland to Williamtown, or "the old road" through Fullerton Cove. I chose the direct route, too many houses if I went the other way... I was beginning to get a little shy. Just after the roads re unite, The lights of Williamtown RAAF base and Newcastle Airport come into view... quite a few flashing emergency lights were also apparent. I pulled over and shut the car and the headlights off.

I reached for my monocular, a very handy device for anybody, who, like me, had substantially less than twenty twenty vision. it could be focussed down to less than a metre or out to infinity... I used it a thousand times a day at work to read product descriptions on parts boxes, but it was also useful for seeing things like bus numbers... I don't have much trouble seeing the actual bus, but the numbers are hard for me... . I suppose it was the army, I didn't really want to check.. They had a check point near the airport turn off. That was a little close for comfort, unlike the Police roadblock, I had little doubt these guys would have any issue at all with the "shoot to kill" order.

Fortunately, the bush track I needed was located off a side road, about two hundred yards south of the road block.

I had a choice.

Option "A", I could abandon the car, slip quietly through the paddocks to my right, and bypass the army. depending how long I had to be in "stealth mode" I'd probably be home in around three hours. The bus ride from this point to my home (excluding the side trip to the airport) took around ten minutes, it had been a very very long day, and I really didn't want to be caught by a K Monster outside of my getaway car.. Option "A" Sucked.

Option "B" roll quietly and blacked out, up to the unfortunately very well lit, McDonalds Roundabout. take a sharp right past Maccas onto Lavis Lane, head East towards the beach, if theres time, retrieve the sand mine gate key from its hiding place and use the bush tracks to travel the rest of the way home. If the army noticed me, race down the lane as fast as my (very fast :) ) car would go, turn right and use the access to Stockton beach. Travel North along the beach, meeting up later with the same bush track and going home....

Unsurprisingly, Option "B" won out..

I had just finished removing the bright reflective "Kloster Ford" magnetic signs from the sides of the car, when another vehicle came past me, also north bound. it was low flying. with only the moons light to go by, I would not swear to it, but it looked like a 1995 Falcon Station wagon, a very well kept Falcon Station Wagon...

Who ever was in the car, I decided that the distraction they were going to create, was too good an opportunity to miss.. (surely if it had been Darius, he would have recognised Jims car.. and stopped).. I came close to catching the Falcon before we hit the roundabout. the acceleration of the big black beast was breathtaking, I can understand how Jim fell in love with this great car. it looked like a sporty soccer mums wagon, but could keep an SR/T8 Jeep honest. as the old saying goes, An Iron Fist, in a Velvet glove... and I was about to pound this thoroughbred over tracks that I'd hesitate to take a proper 4x4 down, let alone an SUV with super car aspirations like this one.

The Falcon entered the roundabout at high speed, going straight through, straight towards the Army Blockade.. The crude suspension of the 15 year old car was not made for such shenanigans, and protested, by stepping sideways, who ever was steering that old car, did a great job, they kept her going in a reasonably straight line, as they ironed out the tank slappers the car was trying to throw them into... As I wrong sided the round about and made a sharp right, the Falcon Straightened, and the driver put the hammer down.. it disappeared from my sight, behind the Service Station, located on the opposite side of the lane, to McDonalds (both in darkness), but I heard it.. it was a V8. and that little Windsor was screaming. Being a "Ford Man" I knew that almost every Falcon Wagon made in the 90s came with the straight six, they were popular as Taxis, Sales Reps mobiles, family wagons and amongst some trades. because the were big comfy cars that could swallow a huge amount of luggage, people or equipment... very few were optioned with the 5.0 Windsor V8. I had only ever seen two. one that came through the service area about ten years earlier before it went to the used car lot, and Darius's.
Had Darius calmed enough to find and drive his car?

As I was creeping east .. I heard the gunfire start. followed by a huge crash. the sound a V8 EF Falcon Wagon might make, when it ran into the side of an Army truck at better than 90 miles an hour.

I retrieved the key, and unlocked the gate, locking it again behind me.

I arrived home some time after midnight... on the morning of 31st December 2011.. the last day of the year..

The Territory had traversed the bush tracks easily, save for a few scratches from friendly tree branches, she was none the worse for the experience.

I flicked on the TV, test pattern.. tried a few other channels, found one, but it was a live feed from the BBC.. I really wanted something more local.. Marcy in the mornings, was true to her word. she sounded exhausted. but was giving the best advice she could, inviting people to call in, with any information. on anything they thought was important.. I sent a text message to Michael, to let him know I was home safely. to thank him and also told him about the Army guys..

Sure enough, two minutes later Marcy put out a warning to avoid Williamtown RAAF base, there were soldiers there that had apparently opened fire on an unarmed motor vehicle...

She was trying to help, not just toeing the government line of "stay home, lock your doors".. she said, obviously people are going to try and get out of the cities if they are able, I will try to let you know which roads are safe.... then she said something odd.. "I feel a little bit like Ray Flowers"... huh?

I'd never listened to her show, I kind of regretted that now, I had met her once, when I'd visited Michael to have a look at his car.. she seemed nice enough, it was her partner on morning radio I couldn't stand.. A loud mouthed Pommy who might have been funny in the 50s but just seemed so old hat now. every time he spoke, it grated on my nerves... He wasn't there now, and she was shining bright. I was glad that Michael had been able to get back to her. ..

I meant to get the shotgun from the car, and make a few other preparations. instead I went to sleep, at the kitchen table.. my head resting on my folded arms.. Marcia's calm soothing voice in the background.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Sat Jul 30, 2016 4:43 pm

I woke, stiff and uncomfortable at around seven am. The radio was ominously silent.

The TV was dark... as were my homes lights. Oh, blackout.
I was ravenous, and decided to cook breakfast prior to setting up my generator..
Bacon and Eggs, cooked on my gas cooktop. as it sizzled, I retrieved my bathroom radio. a portable battery powered Sony, that sat beside me in the Bath or Shower. I lived alone, I could sing in the shower if I wanted..

"He tried singing in the car, He didn't get too far...
He tried singing in bed, it went straight to his head...
Had nowhere to use his voice, found out that his only choice..
Was singin in the shower, he was singin in the shower...
he's singing in the shower, singin in the shower.....
Having such a good time. uh huh"
Singing in the Shower. the Takeaways.

Michael was announcing, Marcia, was it seemed, Asleep. He read out a bit of national news.. Basically, Australia was kaput. Fires, riots, murder, rape, everywhere... power outages were common, Michael said they wouldn't be repaired.

He said that most international news feeds were down, but from trawling the web, talking to friends in the US, Europe, and Asia, he believed they were in worse shape than us. He also informed listeners that from what he could tell, America was now dark. every US website, every US phone number that he had tried during the night, was dead.

He listed known safe routes out of the city, Nelson bay Road, past the Raaf base was still listed as dangerous., made some suggestions about personal safety. "if its safe to do so, stay where you are", "if you have to move, try and avoid contact with others, so as to avoid infection", " get a weapon" He suggested a baseball or cricket bat, The last one struck me as odd, coming from a Police officer, good advice none the less. Michael made the point that threats didn't work for the infected, you could be armed with a machine gun and be surround by a pack of bloodthirsty pit bulls, and the infected would just keep right on charging. the only way to stop them, was to immobilise them. or kill them.

I finished my breakfast and washed up, the water was still hot, power hadn't been off for that long..

There were some things I'd been meaning to do, but simply hadn't found the time... one of the articles my brother in law has sent, mentioned a bug out bag... a last resort item, meant mainly for an emergency .. grab it and run scenario.. it seemed like a good idea. I grabbed my "work" back pack. and emptied it. Bus timetables, cab charge vouchers, old pay slips etc were dumped on the lounge room floor.. The first aid kit and folding knife were retained, I added a couple of bottles of water, two tins of baked beans, I didn't really enjoy baked beans, but they were compact and could be consumed hot or cold, some oatmeal bars and a bag of toffees. the article said a sugar hit might be good to keep up short term energy.. .. a writing pad and pens, a torch, a bigger knife and some matches... and some duct tape... there was still some room and the bag didn't feel too heavy, so I threw in two more bottles of water, and a couple more tins of food, soup and stew this time ... I liked them more.. I put the bag, in my bedroom / panic room, near my gun safe...

As I walked out, something occurred to me. Water, the article about the bug out bag had mentioned that people needed around three litres of water per day.... I'd forgotten about water. not in my bag, but, with the supplies I had secreted a few weeks earlier... I'd have to see to that, and soon.... I wondered what else I would overlook.. I found myself wishing that my brother in law had shared his interest with me sooner, I had enjoyed reading the articles, and the one book I had , so far looked at, also it might have bought us closer together... too late now I guess. I'd try calling him later.. to see how they were coping.. not just to pick his brain...

My shed, was an old dairy, solidly built from brick, If I'd been smarter, I would have moved into it instead of trying to fortify my wooden home.. To be fair, there wasn't a lot of expertise to draw upon, The world had never been over run by psychopathic monsters before, I was making it up as I went along.. .. I'd replaced the dilapidated wooden doors with very sturdy metal ones a few years before, after my chainsaw and ride on lawn mower were stolen, both shed and house were alarmed, but I'd rather the light fingered brigade didn't get in, in the first place.. The majority of my supplies sat in a corner of the shed, along with my quads, motor bike and most importantly my generator.

A fairly old, second hand Honda, I'd bought it a few years before, just after the Pasha Bulker storm in 2007. most of the area had been without power for a few days... I'd only used it a few times, it was old heavy and noisy, it puffed out a bit of blue smoke, but it always started and it ran my fridge.. that's all that mattered..

It was soon chugging away, padlocked to the piers at the back of my home...( I used to be fairly lax on security, until I was burgled, now things stayed locked up tight).. My refrigerator working overtime to return to its set temperature.. I tried the TV, the national broadcaster was still showing the BBC feed, but it looked very much the same as it had the night before.

The commercial stations had either test patterns or a rolling banner which contained nothing useful. my best source of news turned out to be, Marcia. she had abandoned the giggling air head image, and was all business after her rest..

She vas letting people talk uncensored on the air.. I guess she didn't have a producer to cut the bad words, besides, what did it really matter at that point?

As I listened, I turned on the home stereo, and packed the little battery unit into my bug out bag.. another thing I almost forgot.

Marcia was letting a very upset Woman, describe what she was seeing from her High rise, on Sydney harbour.. "There are fires everywhere. People have gone mad, she sobbed, The Opera house has been burning all night, most of it has collapsed.. The Narrabeen ("A Large Sydney Ferry that runs to Manly, for those that don't know"Marcia broke in) .. has run aground near the opera house, She's listing badly... why isn't anybody doing anything?? she asked. Marcia made some soothing noises, but obviously, there was little she could actually do, she wished the Lady good luck and moved on to the next call...

I had been filling my water drums, while I listened, I turned off the radio, and lashed the containers to my trusty Honda.

As I wheeled my quad out of the shed, I looked through the trees, towards the main road.. about 75 metres from the shed. a single car moved north along the road, heading for Nelson Bay.... The Holiday wonderland... Nelson Bay was somewhat isolated, being at the end of the road. it was located about 40 miles north of Newcastle.. Perhaps it was ok, perhaps it had missed all the trouble? probably not.

The Honda started and stalled, but refired easily, settling down to a quick idle, with just a hint of choke applied. I let her warm, while I secured 6 twenty litre water containers to her racks... by the time I locked the shed, the Honda had reached operating temperature, and was idling happily, without the choke...

With all the weight she was carrying, I had to go slowly. That didn't bother me, as I navigated first the paddocks, then the bush tracks leading to the sand... It was a lovely day, warm and sunny, about twenty five degrees (Celsius) perfect summer weather.. I was quite looking forward to a steady ride..
There's something about driving slowly in a quiet area that just invites your mind to wander where it will, as those steady speeds, the road ahead requires little attention. you mind is able to roam. An old farmer once said to me, "A man can do a lot of thinking on a Tractor".. well I wasn't on a tractor, but close enough I guess... I was focussing on nothing really, certainly not the K. Rather I thought of Family, Old friends, Holidays and road trips we had taken together. lots of fires, beer and bad singing of songs, Girls I had loved, Books I had read, concerts I had attended.. given the last few days, I think my mind was taking the time to do a few quick repairs... it was very Cathartic.

That came to an end as I reached the sand. I've never enjoyed riding in the middle of the day, the sand is very bright. Glary, it makes it almost impossible to see where the ground rises and falls. It was more difficult for me, with my low vision, but it was a problem for everybody, over the years, several people had been injured, some had even died, when they went blindly off a drop off. IE they believed the ground was flat, then it suddenly fell away.. at a very steep angle. the sand hills can reach a height of about 100 feet. 4wds have flipped end for end as have bikes and quads.

From the high dunes at the back of the beach, I could see down to the shoreline about a quarter of a mile away. Without my monocular, I saw flashes and glints of glass and chrome, with it, I saw an endless convoy of 4x4s heading north.. They'd stolen my idea..

I decided to stay to the rear of the beach, and avoid them, some may have been ok, some might have been infected and cranky. unladen I could probably out ride them, even on my old farm bike, with the extra load of the water, maybe not.. further down the beach, I wold have to cross their entry point, to get to my hidey hole

The sun shone pleasantly down upon me, as I headed steadily south. the entry point to the beach was bedlam when I arrived. Traffic was jammed tight, bogged and stalled 4x4s as far as I could see down the bush track that led to the ramp onto the sand.. 4 landcruisers with caravans (obviously in convoy) headed the whole mess. others had tried to go around them, some had succeeded I guess, most hadn't, and just plugged up the entrance, some had tried powering up the steep hills that paralleled the track, they'd hit the hills at a 45 degree angle and promptly bogged or rolled.. it would take days with tractors and patient operators to clear the mess.. A line of gleaming 4x4s that had probably never seen anything more challenging than a gravel road trapped those ahead of them. undoubtedly the line stretched for a mile or more.. (this was the main southern entry point, it branched off the same lane I had snuck down last night..

Tempers must have been running hot, I surveyed the situation from my vantage point on top of the hill using my monocular for a closer look. some people just sat in their cars, I guess they had no idea what to do, almost every vehicle was packed with belongings, I saw a few big screen TVs in the cargo areas of quite a few vehicles.. again, what were they thinking?.... Other people were not, however, sitting patiently, they were out of their vehicles, fighting.. It seemed the fools with the caravans that had caused the blockage, had born the brunt of others frustrations.... The flashy fourby's attatched to the beached caravans, were wrecked, glass broken, dented, a couple of teenagers were jumping on the roof of the lead car.. it was almost touching the dashboard.. several bloody lumps of rags lay on the sand.. man shapes, woman shapes and child shapes... This was a bad scene. time to go.

I stowed my monocular in it home in my top pocket and selected a gear.. "Hey mate, hold up a second" .. I hadn't heard him approaching, above my idling bike, and had been to engrossed in what was happening below to notice him getting close, dangerously close.. I hit the throttle hard, and changed up through the gears, but he managed to grab the rear rack. as I accelerated... nothing to do but keep hard on it, and hope he lost interest..

He lost grip with one hand, but determinedly kept hold with the other.. I reached back to try and pry his fingers off. he was yelling, "Give me the bike, I need the bike.. ".. I kept going, he was wearing shorts.. the sand grabbed them, and they were gone, he was naked from the waist down.. it took another 500 yards or so, for the friction to do its work.. The fronts of his legs.. and "ahem" other bits, would have been on fire by the time he let go.. as the load on the bike eased and I know he was gone, I looked over my shoulder, to see him making a beeline for the cooling ocean.. Looking back, I don't think he had the sickness at least not badly, just correctly concluded his only way out of there was by taking my bike.

I passed my hidey hole as I was towing mr sand man, it didn't matter, the first entrance for too steep for this bike, my Raptor would have easily walked up the highest hill on the beach. the farm bike had to take the tradesmans entrance another kilometre or so south.

I ducked into the narrow track, and wound my way through its many twists and turns, Emerging into the sand bowl, behind the main dunes, known as the New Lagoons, it was separated from the beach proper by a small strip of forest, Ahead of me, now heading north again, was Pages Hill, one of the highest points on the beach.. part of a sand ridge that ran kind of east west...

The Honda struggled to get to the top of the hill with just me on its back. additionally, I didn't feel comfortable accessing my hiding spot with so many people so close, so I quickly buried my water near some trees at the base of the hill..

I could have re entered the beach the way I came, but it took a while to negotiate all the twists and turns. far easier to simply ride up and over Pages and re enter the back of the beach there..

Come at the base of the hill at an angle (hit it straight on, and the bike would dig in, spray sand everywhere and lose all its speed), as fast as the old girl would go. and simply hold it flat, and change down gears as required.. I crested it on my first try.. of course, the sand wasn't cut up, because all of my friends weren't out riding,,, because.... no, don't think about because...

I skirted the traffic jam by riding a little closer to the water.. didn't see Mr sand man.. probably still in the water... I rode north on the first set of hills, they rose ten or fifteen feet above the beach proper, and most 4x4s have trouble cresting them .. they need to travel to specific entry points to enter the rear of the beach. so even if the driver were angry, I would still be able to escape, hopefully.

The beach was dotted with bogged cars. from flash new 4x4s (probably purchased under the K credit scheme) to silly little SUVs like Rav 4s and CRVs that had no business in soft sand, especially with a novice behind the wheel. Somebody who knows what they are doing can get almost any car to almost any location, I'm convinced some other drivers could get a Hummer bogged on a highway... My ride home was uneventful.

Genny was still doing its thing, I turned on the radio as I prepared my lunch.. The freezer was almost empty, I had plenty of canned and dry goods, just not a lot of fresh or frozen.. I hadn't set foot in a supermarket for about a month..

Marcia was still talking, passing on news from callers.. I sent a text message to Michael about Stockton Beach being a no go zone. Marcy dutifully repeated it a minute later, thanking me by name.. I'd always get embarrassed over stuff like that.. before carrying on with other clear routes.. they mentioned that people could access Nelson Bay via Raymond Terrace, bypassing the part of Nelson Bay road that ran past the RAAF base... I had heard the cars going past, but hadn't actually registered it as strange until that point..

During long weekends, The road to Nelson Bay gets very busy. its a popular holiday spot, but, it is the end of the road, its a dead end, all it takes time for all those people to squeeze into the holiday town.. Over the years I've seen traffic slow to a crawl, even come to a halt. I live as the half way point between Newcastle and the bay.. With 20 miles to go, to complete their journey, the cars were starting to slow down...

As I ate my T bone Steak along with mixed steam fresh microwave vegetables, I worried what all that traffic might mean.. I wasn't keen on having hundreds of angry people with fuses getting shorter by the minute stuck within walking distance of my home.. Another text to Michael, traffic at a crawl past my place, will be very long delays to get to bay, if at all"... a minute later Marcy read out my massage ..
She took a call from a hysterical man.. "where can we go" ..

I didn't hear the answer, as a plane roared over head... a big one, and a little off course, should have been about 5 miles south if it was planning to land..

I went out and had a look, gnawing on the last bits of tasty meat from my T bone as I walked... You are probably thinking what an uncouth grot.. well, I was home alone, and I didn't think the President of the United States was going to be calling in, so, if I wanted to gnaw on a bone like a cave man, why not? ... I was only half right, as it turned out, the President may not have been coming for dinner, but he was landing at the local airport. Air Force One has a pretty unique paint job, 747s hardly ever land at Williamtown.

Sent the news to my new favourite morning radio person.. "Michael in the Mornings" pity I've only thought of this now, months later, he would have got a laugh out of it...

They reported it... a few minutes late Marcy said they had an anonymous tip that the plane was simply being refuelled and was heading "south"... no mention as to who was on board.... where were they going I wondered.. South.. Antarctica perhaps?

Washed the dishes, then it was time to look at Jims gun.

had to shift and unpack a lot of camping gear to get to it.. but finally retrieved it. His camping gear was all good quality gear, far better than the budget brands I had chosen.. that would bare some more investigation... I repacked the car, and took the gun case and ammo inside..

Pump action Shotguns have been outlawed in this country for some time... apparently Jim didn't get the memo, boy am I glad he hung onto it... I opened the case to see a thing of beauty, a mechanical master piece, like all Jims possessions it was well oiled, well cared for... The wooden stock was a carved work of art. The leather gun case, obviously far from new, has a small silver plaque, "Property of John Winning Anderson" Jims Dad, that's why he kept it..

I spent the next hour familiarising myself with the weapon, loading, unloading. doing everything but pulling the trigger, before putting the now loaded weapon, something I would never normally do in my gun safe, beside my far less lethal .22 which I also took the time to load...

I can hear my late Grandfather raging at me, for being such a damned fool as to leave a loaded gun unattended. it made it no easier that I agreed with everything his decade departed voice said to me....

"The devils right hand, the devils right hand.....
Mama said the pistol is the Devils right hand"
The Devils Right Hand, Steve Earle.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:46 pm

Having Jims car, even with its fairly limited off road capability (yes it was All Wheel Drive, and a patient and practiced driver could put it in a few surprising spots, Even the base model was meant for nothing more than a few bush tracks. the FPV version was a little lower, with lover profile tyres .. and honestly should not have been taken off the blacktop).. I could use it as a secure base if need be.

I had been planning to take my second set of camping gear to an out of the way location in the bushland between my home and the beach and secure the third set I had acquired from Anaconda to the quad (making it into its own bug out bag ) . Some friends and I had built a small shack in a quiet clearing. and tried to visit the area two or three times a year, for the very important purpose of poking a campfire and consuming beer.

The path that led to it off the main track (itself built during WW2 and lined with Concrete Pyramid shaped tank traps designed to slow a Japanese invasion that thankfully never occurred), was overgrown and hard to spot, unless you knew where to look, whenever I visited, there was never any evidence of others being there. Either those that had been there, didn't care enough about our simple shack to bother ransacking its meagre supplies, (nothing more than a fire grate, an old axe and a couple of wire bed bases and some odds and ends), or they didn't know it was there... Having seen other bush shacks destroyed for no good reason over the years, I suspected the later.

My trip south had really eaten into my day, it was already nearly four PM, the campsite was a lot closer than my Lagoons hidey hole, but the ground was dirt, not sand, burying / secreting my supplies would take longer, I didn't fancy being out there, alone (or worse still, not alone) after dark).

I could, however have everything ready for an early start.. as I opened my shed, I noticed that traffic was flowing again... though when I looked closer, I knew it would mean trouble eventually, cars in the left lane, were still stalled. Other motorists, impatient with waiting were driving up the right side, the wrong way. fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic.. What would happen when these cars became stalled? they would be no way out, at the road wold be totally blocked, impassable. and I wold have a lot of stranded people at my front gate.. Before setting to work, I casually strolled to the front of my property and chained and padlocked the gate.. A four strand barbed wire fence and a simple farm gate would stop nobody, but it might slow them down.. In what I thought was a stroke of genius, I walked to the gate at the rear of my property, Unchained the gate and tied it closed with some string, If I needed to get out in a hurry, at least I wouldn't be caught trapped in my yard.

I decided to take the Territory to my camping spot, and leave it parked there as a semi secure base. I didn't really have time to check Jims camping gear at that point, but figured it would come in handy, I loaded what empty space there was, with some of my food cache, and a couple of drums of water.

As I was leaving the car in the middle of nowhere, and needed to get back, I loaded my Quad into my rather rusty, unloved box trailer, it usually trailed behind the quad, or my ride on mower, getting filled with dirt, grass clippings or firewood... I spent the rest of the afternoon securing one set of camping gear to the bike and another in the trailer, the little space that remained was crammed with more food.. as the light faded, I transferred any packaged food to rodent proof containers.. then locked the shed, with the trailer standing inside, ready to hook on to the car the next morning. I manoeuvred the Ford closer to the house, just in case..

Michael was back on the radio.. he was reporting on trouble at Nelson Bay, "I have somebody from Nelson Bay on the line" he introduced a member of the chamber of commerce from that town, a "Gus Dinsmore" , its funny how some things stay with you months later, why I'd remember some random name.. Perhaps it was because of his actions... "We are full, don't come here, the road has been blocked with semi trailers, anybody trying to run the barricade will be shot, we are well armed, just go away..". Michael thanked the caller, and repeated what he had said. he then talked about other possible safe havens, He talked about going west.. but couldn't really give any locations..

As I cooked some sausages (almost the last of my frozen fare) and eggs, I looked out at the road from my kitchen window.. the second row of cars was now also stalled, but cars were driving up the shoulder... obviously, they weren't tuned to Marcia in the mornings.. even as I watched, they failed, Both sides of the two lane road, had drains running parallel to them.. A car slipped into the drain on the far side, there wans enough room for the following to get past. traffic on that side ground to a halt..

The same happened on my side (the east side) just north of my property.. A big car, a limousine, it looked like a stretched Caddy, very rare in this part of the world, its driver misjudged and the front of his vehicle dropped about five feet into the waterless ditch.. the four wheel drive following didn't even ease, as it bashed the rear of the car into the drain.. and kept right on going, as did the next ten in the convoy.. Number eleven however, crashed.

Not really his fault, he had to swerve away from a group of people that were trying to flag him down, he landed beside and on top of the car that was stuck in the drain.. He panicked selected reverse on his mid sized Japanese car... it was almost dark, I couldn't be sure what model, even watching through my monocular. and held the thing flat, trying to get away from the mob that was getting angrier and angrier.. forward, reverse, forward, reverse, The engine sat, stuttering on the rev limiter, the poor gearbox took shock loading after shock loading as it shifted direction at better than 7000 rpm.. All this time the people in the big Cadillac under him, were trapped. the shape of the drain meant they couldn't open their doors, and there was not enough room to fit past an open window between the car and the wall of the ditch..

As an engine works at is maximum revs, it gets hot, some of this heat is transferred from the engine through the radiator, the cooling system.. the rest escapes out the exhaust, though its path is blocked to some extent, by the catalytic converter. a device that chemically changes, and reduces the toxicity of exhaust gasses. They generally run fairly hot, on a paved road, that isn't a problem, cooling air rushes past and carries away excess heat.. When your vehicle is beached amongst unmown tinder dry grass, at the height of Australian summer, it becomes a problem..

Another vehicle behind him panicked or went mad, who knows? and tried to barge past in his Range Rover, towing a small caravan.. the Rangie shoved the Japanese sedan aside, just as the grass fire took hold, but the caravan stuck fast. the fragile aluminium sheeting on each side tore away, against the cars that were the jaws of its trap... Once the flames found the fibreglass matt insulation, a small easily extinguished grass fire turned into a much more serious matter.

I decided that waiting until tomorrow may not be healthy, I'd load my bug out bag, guns and laptop into the car, eat my dinner, and make a quiet departure.. before the angry stranded mob that was gathering out front noticed my little house and its woefully inadequate security..

It took less than five minutes to throw some clothed in a duffle bag, grab the bug out, computer, .22 and all my ammo.. The Shot gun I would keep with me .. as I re entered the house, I decided to shut off the generator, as I walked to my rear door, The "clever" solar security light I had installed weeks earlier.... activated.. I hoped, with the growing fire, it would go un noticed... activated my cheap LED head lamp and scooped up my keys, phone and shotgun.. ready to depart after my "last supper"..

I sat down to my barely warm Snags and eggs.. I could just make out the screams from the fire, "FOR CHRISTS SAKE, GET US OUT" and another "THE GLASS WONT BREAK' somebody was trying to get them out..

Foolishly, I decided to take my shotgun and break the cars windscreen, before the occupants burned alive. even though they probably already had the disease, there are some things a man just cannot stand by and let happen. as I opened the back door, one of the security lights activated.. A pregnant girl and her partner appeared. She had the beginnings of marks on her face, His were more pronounced..

"Whats your business " I asked, "We need food, water and shelter, and you wont be stopping us" the young man said, as he raised a big hunting knife and pointed it in my direction.. "Stu, don't be so awful" said the girl, "Hush Frannie, that's how it is now, if we want something, we'll fucken take it". if I'd been closer, and if my eyes were sharper, that wold be the moment I saw the madness flash, briefly into his eyes. Without another word, I racked a round into the chamber and pointed the shotgun at him.. they began to back away.. "Leave the knife".. he snarled a few swearwords at me, but dropped it as they trudged back to the gate.. .

Inhuman screams drew me back to the Cadillac. acrid black smoke rose into the night sky, lit by the pale moon, growing fire and surrounding headlamps.. other cars in the line had caught alight, the fire could well travel along that line of cars in both directions, for miles. The screaming ceased. Poor Bastards...

"And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite
I saw Satan laughing with delight
The day the music died".
American Pie, Don McLean.

Time to hitch my wagon, make like a tree and go...(its "Leave" you idiot)..
I scooped my dinner onto a couple of pieces of bread and heard a roaring car and a crash.. drop my dinner, Obviously not meant to have it.. decide its well past time to split. pull the door shut behind me, leaving my home to the crazies on the other side of the gate..

The gate.... The car that was stalled beside my gate had turned into my driveway.. and was just having their second shot at breaking my gate.. I jumped in the Territory. Would I have time to hook up my trailer?

On their third try, the car broke through, it was an old boxy thing, with very bright park lights beside the headlamps.. an old 80s Volvo.. 244 probably.. I had the Territory running and in gear as they headed for the side of the car.. Hanging out of the drivers window was my new friend "Stu" .. "How do you like that you bastard?" he screamed as his old snaked towards me, fighting for traction as Stu fed in way to much power.. The All wheel drive Territory shot forward and clear of him.. as my headlamps lit up the now mangled gate, others were walking in, and a few cars were angling my way as well. damn, time to go.. Nosing up to the gate, I fed in a little power, the gate sprung free. and swung open.. in my mirror, the Volvo was in a lurid power slide, and coming my way fast..

Half a second more, he would have got me.. Instead, he hit the very solid gate post. the old Swedish box on wheels would never run again. as I moved away, I looked back towards my home. The security lights were all running now. and I could see thirty or more people approaching my home.. There was at least a months worth of supplies in the kitchen, why hadn't I planned better? why hadn't I seen this coming.. The army guy in the story I read, had planned so much better than I, but I guess his creator had a chance to edit and re edit, real life didn't give that option.

I slowly headed towards my camping spot. Parked in the middle of the clearing.. turned on the radio, to hear Marcia announcing it was ten minutes to new year..

My last meal of 2011, cold baked beans.. after 12 hours without a meal, they tasted great..

Happy New year.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 12:18 pm

With 2012 newly born, I lay there, alone, hidden away in my safe space. A location that, even cloaked in darkness, held happy memories, of good times with great friends. A happy thought, suddenly shattered by the sure knowledge that those same friends were now dead, dying or worse.

The evening and now the morning had been getting steadily warmer, The Territory's temperature display showed 33 degrees (Celsius). A stiff breeze came from the West, but it bought no relief. Westerly's were always hot dry winds.

Exhausted, physically and emotionally from the days exertions, I elected to sleep in the car. Taking my sleeping bag to the shack would have taken little time or effort. The truth? I felt more comfortable sleeping in my car.... Jims car?.... No, My car. My big, black 360 horsepower turbocharged security blanket.
The warm glow from her radio, Michael and Marcy's reassuring whispers from her speakers allowed me to doze.

"Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars

Here in my car
I can only receive
I can listen to you
It keeps me stable for days
In cars

Here in my car
Where the image breaks down
Will you visit me please
If I open my door
In cars

Here in my car
I know I've started to think
About leaving tonight
Although nothing seems right
In cars"

Cars, Gary Numan.

Feeling fairly secure, locked inside my black metal fortress, I slept. windows rolled down only an inch, against the heat, the sunroof cracked open a similar amount. As I slept, I dreamed of those evenings.
Of my friends with whom I shared the place, drunken sing alongs murdering songs from our favourite bands, Boys being boys... Of burnt sausages, steak, bacon and eggs, some "interesting and some amazing meals created in the cast iron camp oven. That same giant pot of mystery hanging over our friendly little camp fire......

it was so realistic, in my dream, I was crying, as my friends arose as one, turned and walked away. Held immobile, mute, I tried to call them, "stop, come back".. My silent sobs racked me, as the nightmare power held me, rooted to the spot and voiceless. Tears rolled from my eyes, my soundless sobs grew until they turned to a coughing fit... the friendly little campfire erupted into an inferno, chasing down and engulfing my friends as they walked away... Of course my frantic screams of "RUN" were muffled.

It was so terrifyingly real. I could even smell the smoke.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:58 pm

I awoke, groggy and a little dopey after being ripped from my slumber by the nightmare.

I'd slept through the night, the dawn glow flickering through the trees.
WAIT. what? wrong direction. and flickering? Coughing, eyes watering.

My senses snapped back. FIRE.

Bush fire. coming from the West, fanned along by that hot, dry Westerly wind. The Territory fired on the first turn of the starter.

It was a close thing, The trip back to the main track took less than three minutes. The wall of flame was less than 100 metres to the West I could feel the heat radiating through the window. This was no mere bush fire, it was rapidly turning into an inferno. When I reached the main track (the tank trap track), I wasted no time, turning east, I high tailed it towards the sand. Time to see if I could back up my claims of being able to pilot a less than ideal vehicle on the sand. Time to put up or shut up...

I'd made some distance on the fire as I reached the sand dunes. Deciding I had a little time. I stopped and reduced the tyre pressures. Hard tyres work fine on the road, but not on sand. Even the low profile tyres on my car would gain some advantage when they were softened, allowing them to leave a bigger footprint on the dunes.

The firefront was gaining on me, as I finished with the tyres. I pointed the car at the ramp onto the sand, and decided that speed and power were my best bet, the big Ford sprung forward, clambering to the top of the churned up ramp, onto clean sand, that had seen no heavy traffic. The hills were clear of any evidence of man. Even my quad bike tracks from the day before had been swept clean by the wind.

I drove to the top of a nearby high dune, shut down the car and surveyed the situation.

The fire, behind me, was growing into a huge yellow monster, consuming everything in its path. From my high vantage point, I could see back over the narrow strip of forest through the wall of flames, (no more than two miles at this point) across the paddocks (some still in flames) to the main road, and where my home lay.

It was still dark, with only the moon and the fire to illuminate the night.

It was impossible to tell what had become of my home, the area was in darkness, checking my watch, it was a little after 5am. Flames circled that point. a couple of miles out, burning in all directions. The road seemed to be the focal point of the fire. When a car burned, it burned fiercely. Even with my monocular, at that distance, I could see no details, but the fire was obviously well fed and didn't look like fading anytime soon.

The fire may have driven the crowds away from my home, if any of it survived, I may be able to return and get my bike and supplies.. I couldn't safely reach my only other safe haven without it.

With all my planning, 8 hours after the end of the world, I was homeless.

I turned and surveyed the beach, its sand bleached white by the moonlight. I could see nothing moving, no vehicles, no man. I was alone on my 20 x 1 mile strip of desert.

To the South, Newcastle lay in almost complete darkness, a few fires still flickered. Nobbys lighthouse, relied upon by sailors for generations, Its' powerful beams only ever quelled by blackout regulations during World Wars, was dark.

The only evidence of Man and life, lay anchored, three or four miles East. of the twelve Coal bulk carriers I could see silhouetted against the lightening eastern sky, four showed lights, the other eight were in darkness, dead in the water. only one of them wasn't anchored, as I watched, it was obvious she was moving, slowly gaining speed, heading North.. I wondered where she might be going, was there a safe haven?.. I concluded she was going home.

Safe Journey, un named coal carrier.

Back to the car, to try and catch a few more hours sleep, Hopefully my unconscious brain could come up with a good idea for a safe haven, so far my waking ideas hadn't been real winners.

Marcia was still talking on the radio, I turned it up, she announced that the phone calls were drying up, we cant let people know whats going on, if you dont call....

So, I called.

I told them about the fire, and how the only public road linking Nelson Bay to the rest of the world was now totally impassable, I reminded them about the beach also suffering a road block at the southern entry, making it clear that the Northern part of Port Stephens was not accessible by road.. (Yes the bush tracks were still clear, but I wasn't letting anybody know about those, there was nothing good waiting for anybody in any town. the only thing that would be achieved by mentioning them, would be to bring more potential monsters closer to me. complicating my already hectic existence).

I reported on Newcastle being in darkness, and mentioned the ship departing for points unknown.. Marcia asked a few questions, then handed me over to Michael, while she repeated what I had just told her over the air.

As he picked up the phone, He simply said. "We've got it".. I offered my commiserations, "Yep, what about you?" he asked. Told him I felt fine, fit as a fiddle. "Reckon you might be immune?" he asked.. I shared what my Father had talked about, he thought it over for a while.. "yeah that kind of makes sense, Hope your Dads right" he said..

Michael told me that he and Marcia had been arguing (off air) all morning, it was getting worse. "when it gets too bad, we've agreed to end it"... My response was a very quiet "oh"... what else could I say? Months later, I still cant think of anything... Then came the first (and last) awkward silence that ever occurred between us. Michael was the one to break it. Theres a few things I'd like you to have, if they're any use to you. The key to my shed is under the concrete frog. My gun safe is at the back of the shed" (I'd noticed it when I visited to look at his Mad Max Mobile) " the code is "star 351 Hash".. there's some other less than legal guns behind the blue tool cabinet. poke a screw driver into the empty spot, where it looks like one is missing, that opens the cabinet, theres plenty of ammo. If the Falcon is any use to you, take it too, seems only right that it should be prowling the streets in a Post Apocalyptic world"
I didn't ask him why he had illegal guns, people collected funny thing, I'd be willing to bet that at least some of them would have been used in the Mad Max Movies. Their home was located in Mayfield on the outskirts of the city, close to Wests, and Jenna.

I simply said "Thankyou Mate, Tell Marcia this has been the best show she's ever done". He wondered if it was doing anybody any good. I assured him it had been keeping me sane. He thanked me, said he'd let her know, and said goobbye.

The sun was showing over the horizon. I tried to get some more rest, the radio talking away in the background...

at around 7.30, it became to hot to sleep, the day was shaping up to be a scorcher.. 36 degrees on the display. I checked there was nobody around, and went to the rear of the vehicle, to get some water.

The superb sound system reproduced the rising shouts, the high pitched hers, the lower pitched ones his.. The argument went on for about a minute, the open mike forgotten, a sane Marcia would never let that happen. Michael calmed. he could be heard saying "No baby, no not yet, please God, stay with me, just a little bit longer"

A guttural roar rose over Michaels pleading voice rising"no, no, no, Marcy"
The Subwoofer and 10 other speakers in the Territory faithfully reproduced the sounds of two pistol shots in rapid succession, Michael must have been a little closer to the microphone, as it only picked up the sound of his body hitting the floor, but missed Marcias..

The water I had just swallowed, came back up, followed by what was left of the beans..

I commenced Mourning, for Marcia in the Morning.

As I did so, it occurred to me, that I should keep the location of Marcia's radio studio in the back of my mind. there was a loaded Glock pistol waiting there for me, if I ever needed it, most likely with 13 of its 15 bullets intact. I hated myself for thinking like that.

I was five and he was six
We rode on horses made of sticks
He wore black and I wore white
He would always win the fight

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down

Seasons came and changed the time
When I grew up I called him mine
He would always laugh and say
Remember when we used to play

Bang bang, I shot you down
Bang bang, you hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, I used to shoot you down

Music played and people sang
Just for me the church bells rang

Now he's gone I don't know why
And 'til this day, sometimes I cry
He didn't even say goodbye
He didn't take the time to lie

Bang bang, he shot me down
Bang bang, I hit the ground
Bang bang, that awful sound
Bang bang, my baby shot me down

Bang Bang (My baby shot me down) Cher (Written by Sonny Bono).
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:23 pm

I sat for a while, stunned beside the car, in the shade, digging my hands into the still cool sand. The day got hotter.

The fire still burned behind me, it had abated somewhat as most of its fuel was burnt up. I may have been able to make it through to my home, but it would be a foolish risk.

I scanned the beach, it was starting to appear distorted through the heat haze. Normally at times like this, I would retreat to any Air Conditioned refuge I could find. The Territory had a very effective climate control, but only a finite amount of fuel. My mobility and therefore survival, was now measured in Gallons.

Stockton beach had been my playground for over thirty years, in that time I'd got to know most of the people and most of the places that mattered. I took another drink of water, fired up the Ford (quickly selecting "Low" on the temperature setting, the interior of the black car was already like a furnace. and headed North to Tin City.

Tin City is a collection of huts, that have been on the sand since the Depression, Originally built by squatters, they are now prized as weekenders. but are now highly regulated by the State Government.

Why didn't I think of them before? I was pretty friendly with a couple of the inhabitants, As I crested the sand hill and looked down on them in their sandy valley, the answer became obvious... Because everybody else had already thought of them.

Through my monocular, the devastation was obvious. Two of the shacks were gone, burnt to the ground, the rest had been torn apart. dented and broken four wheel drives disappearing into gaping holes in the walls of the buildings, some of which had collapsed onto their mechanical attackers.

I saw no movement at first, though plenty of bodies, Some fallen on the sand, their facial marks obvious in the bright light of day, some sticking out from under the 4x4s, some bloody and beaten.. The stink here would soon be unbearable, until the rodents and crows could do their work... I guessed they would be on overtime for a while.

the area around the Shacks was like a supermarket parking lot designed by Dante. Cars packed together, Some bearing battle scars from encounters with other vehicles, Some bogged, bellied on the sand. A few still had occupants in their drivers seats, obviously dying through the night, Now slowly roasting behind glass. others on their sides not a straight panel or intact pane of glass to be seen.
and dead bodies.. everywhere, dead bodies.

I spotted movement behind one of the broken cars and moved forward a few feet for a better view and I saw one. Feeding.

It is impossible to describe the feeling of revulsion, of sheer horror of that first time. Perhaps a practiced wordsmith could do that terrible sight justice, I cannot.

My old mate, Johnson, after 25 years, I still didnt know his first name, a leathery skinned chain smoking 70 year old stick figure. He looked like he would blow away in a good wind. but was a tough old bastard. A Vietnam Veteran, who had carried those scars for over 40 years, He had lost his Wife and Kids to a car crash over 30 years before and simply retreated from life. He had turned to Alcohol to dull his pain, by noon most days, he was a raving mess.
Other Hut owners would run him into town when he needed supplies. as a great fisherman, he kept most of the camp in fish.
All over now. The flawed, broken man was gone, only the monster remained. His face, grey hair and beard covered in gore, as he bent down to the stomach of a blonde haired girl, her long, dead hair blowing in the hot wind, and ate his fill.

I almost lost my water again, and put down my miniature telescope.

My ears were ringing as I drove away. I'd forgotten just how loud a shotgun can be. Johnson didn't hear me until I was very close, the window already down and the rifle cradles on my lap.. he looked up, but seemed more concerned with his prize. growling like a jealous dog as I came nearer.

If there is an after life I hope Johnson's last act, of lunching on that blonde girl, doesn't affect his chances. it wasn't his fault. I wonder if my name is now marked down in the big ledger in the sky, with *Murderer beside it?

" Well, I keep on thinkin' 'bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can't live without you; can't you see it in my eyes?
I been one poor correspondent, and I been too, too hard to find
But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind"

Sister Golden Hair. America.

The readout showed 43 as I headed south once again.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:30 pm

The sun burned down through the windscreen, burning the backs of my hands on the wheel. Since I couldnt get to my hill top hiding spot, I needed somewhere safe to hide, out of the heat, away from the monsters. I needed four solid walls.

I stopped at the entrance to the Tank Trap track. surveying the fire, it raced North and South, sending flames and smoke into the air, Sending feelers disguised as Embers, searching for its next meal.

With the smoke and spot fires still burning, I still couldnt reach my home. I needed a sturdy fortress.

Dotted along the back of the dunes were six sand mines. Sand from these mines was used as everything from fill for home sites, to casting engine blocks, some of it even went to Hawaii, to replenish their beaches. I wonder how many tourists knew that the beach they sunbaked on in Honolulu, was made in Australia.

I was a fairly frequent visitor to three of those pits, I knew the owners, got invited to the Christmas parties and had actually worked at two of them years before... just roustabout stuff, painting, cleaning, whatever had needed doing.

All six of the sand pits had pretty good security. even though they kind of flew under the radar, and the general public wasnt really aware of their operation, their out of the way location along with being unattended at weekends, made them very attractive to thieves.

They generally had pretty good security, their site sheds, lunch rooms and workshops were very solidly constructed, forced entry was almost impossible. once you got inside, anything of any value was further locked up in cupboards made of half inch think steel plate. They were also protected by monitored alarms, camera systems and a few other little devices..
I'd heard at one of the drunken Christmas parties that one pit owner, tired of constant thievery, had hooked a few items to mains power, the fried thieves and their vehicles were now buried "somewhere". Probably just a silly rumour, but I had a pretty shrewd idea which operator the story was about, and was very careful to never set foot on the property outside of business hours.

Robs Pit, was about two miles south of me, Owens Pit was another two miles further on.

Both owners were friends, I tried phoning them, breaking into a mates business without at least giving him a call would be, I thought, a little rude.

No answer at home or on their mobiles..

I decided to try my Family while the phone was still running. neither of my siblings answered. My Brother was no surprise, if he had made it to the outback, there would be no coverage. My Sister was a little more concerning, though I assumed that the system would be beginning to break down. I tried my parents. Hang the expense.

The phone beeped and blooped as the mobile network connected to the satellite network. finally it started ringing.

I could almost swear that I heard the connection open. The "H' at the start of "Hello" snatched away. "Network Error" flashing across the screen. Replaced by "No Service" as I frantically hit redial. Why didn't I try them first?

As soon as I descended into Robs, I knew it was a not go, around 25 monsters were sitting in the shade of the scrawny trees surrounding the settling pond.

The pond held bore water, pumped from the ground stinking of sulphur, and then run through the sand washing plants. it was brackish and smelt bad, after a day on the beach with the mercury nudging 44, it would taste like champagne.

I was halfway through my turn when they saw me, they sprang up as one, and sprinted for me. I left them in my dust. but stopped at the top of the ramp, to see just how far they would pursue.

All but two lost interest before they hit the sand, The final pair, a big Man and a stringy Woman turned and headed back to their shady oasis before making it a quarter of the way up the ramp. Given the searing temperatures, they had shown extraordinary stamina to go that far.

She was moving a little faster than him, He hung back just a little. Odd, he didnt seem to be limping or overly tired.

She was only a few metres ahead, as they neared the trees, he sprinted forward. knocking her to the ground. His momentum made her slide forward as she hit the gravel. she tried to rise, her face a bloody mess.

He bought his fists down on her head, it snapped down to the gravel again, she screamed (or yelped). he repeated his actions four more times before she quieted.

It seemed that customers at the monster diner preferred to be served from the torso. Mr Big, was a breast man. He started ripping at her dress with his teeth, finally tearing the material and a black lacy bra away with his hands.

Other members of the group approached, careful not to anger the big man... The alpha dog.

They timidly at first approached her arms legs and face.

She had only been unconscious, not dead. she came back to a living hell of snapping teeth and clawing nails. far from frightening the pack of monsters off, it seemed to encourage them. as they ripped at her flesh. she screamed for a very long time.

I held my water down, but the growing hunger pangs disappeared.

Before I drove away, Mr Big, hefted the now quiet body and took it to his spot under the tree. The others tried to approach to continue feeding, I couldn't hear the growl, but I could see him bare his blood stained teeth. the rest of the group kept their distance, hungrily watching, waiting for the big dog to finish, so they could have his cast offs. I wondered how many of that group would fall to him.

If Owens Pit was also over run, I was in trouble, the centre display showed a solid 44.

Owens' waterhole was not as visible as Robs. I was no movement as I rolled down the ramp. One quick circuit of the pit and pulled up at the workshop, retrieve key, enter, disable alarm and back car in through the big doors, before locking myself inside the shed. Safe, At last.

"Yesterday my life was in ruin
Now today I know what I'm doing
Got a feeling I should be doing all right
Doing all right
Where will I be this time tomorrow
Jumped in joy or sinking in sorrow
Anyway I should be doing all right
Doing all right
Should be waiting for the sun
Looking round to find the words to say
Should be waiting for the skies to clear
There ain't time in all the world
Should be waiting for the sun
And anyway I've got to hide away
Yesterday my life was in ruin
Now today God knows what I'm doing
Anyway I should be doing all right
Doing all right
Doing all right"
Doing all right, Queen (May & Staffel).
Last edited by wa5 on Mon Aug 08, 2016 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Sat Aug 06, 2016 9:00 am

Inside the workshop was a little cooler than out in the blazing sun, but still high 30s.
It was too hot to cook, I found some biscuits amongst my meagre food stores, forced them down, they dried my mouth. As I retrieved my water container from the rear of the car, I searched through Jims camping gear, for his sleeping bag, intending to sleep through the hot day.
It was a little cooler laying on the concrete, however smoke from the bush fire to my North meant I dozed only fitfully. The area around the sand quarries was mostly devoid of vegetation, I was in not danger from the fire, Robs pit, also to my North, would most probably act as a fire break, it should come nowhere near me.
I suppose all animals react the same way to a raging fire, they try to get away from it. At around twelve noon, I heard them. Snarling and growling, Mr Bigs wolf pack passed the workshop.
I didnt know it was him and his group, until I entered the lunch room, at the southern end of the shed. it had a couple of small windows, fortunately they were protected by some very well made bars.
"Keep going, keep going" I urged the group in a whisper, knowing how my luck had played out recently, I knew they would make camp at the settling pond. Of course, they didn't disappoint me. Damn it.
The pond was located about 100 yards south of the workshop & lunchroom. The group, now numbering better than 50 took up position around the water. most stooping down to drink first.
I hooked a chair with my leg, sat down at the window and observed them for a while, hoping to learn a little, find an advantage perhaps.
Mr Big sauntered around, finding the most shaded spot. Grabbing the unlucky occupants arm, he threw him out of the prime spot, and sat down.
A few more walked from the bush behind me, not noticing me as I sat statue still, behind bars, glass and flyscreens. They joined their friends.
I sipped on a coke out of the dead fridge, still fairly cool, as I observed. After about two hours, one of the monsters who was stuck in the sun, tried to take over a shaded spot, unfortunately, she chose Mr Bigs' spot.
Mr Big, didnt eat much of her. the rest of the pack picked her clean in no time.
I hoped the he would eventually wipe out all the rest, but throughout the afternoon, they kept on coming, driven south by the fire.
I dozed in the chair, when I woke, I checked on them... there was no change. As the temperature started to fall to more bearable levels around five PM, I decided to finally check the contents of Jims camping kit.
There was nothing remarkable, it was all quality gear, most well used and well cared for. A small tent, the sleeping bag that I was already using to cushion the hard shop floor. A thin foam mattress (that I should have also been using to soften the hard concrete), a small gas stove with cooking and eating utensils. Jim also had some really nice fishing gear. if I wanted any kind of fresh meat, it would get a workout. at the bottom of the pile was a big knife in a leather scabbard and hefty Maglite. a favourite of security men everywhere, not just for its piercing beam, but also for its heavy club like construction.
The knife and its scabbard were threaded onto my belt, the torch went into the door pocket of the car.
With Jims stove set up on a cupboard in the lunch room, I could prepare and eat my dehydrated chicken curry and rice, while watching "them".
There was a bonus in the lunch room, a half full water cooler, with 4 spare bottles stacked neatly beside it. 45 litres of water.
East of the sand pit, was farmland, fat cattle grazed contentedly in a large paddock, the herd of 25 cows had a similar number of acres to feed upon, fortunately for them, they were watered by a windmill, pumping underground water into a large trough.
It occurred to me at that moment, just how many animals would die horrible deaths, locked away from food and water sources. I was glad the cows I was observing would not come to that fate.
The "group" were milling around the waterhole, I guessed they, like me, were hungry. My chicken curry smelled divine, I was waiting the required two minutes, after adding the boiling water, just as the instructions said.
I noticed something off putting as I impatiently waited, Most of the Men and some of the Women had stains on their pants. The pants were bloated, like a loaded nappy, an apt comparison, they were after all, filled with the same thing.
They must not have been able to get the pants off. I suppose they would wear or tare away eventually, would the current situation cause any health issues that may thin them out before that could happen?
As I sat enjoying my meal, Mr Big moved slowly toward the barbed wire fence that separated him from the cattle. He went to climb the fence, but pulled his hand back like he had been bitten... barbed wire fence. He moved along the fence a way and tried again, with the same result. Three more times he tried and failed, then he reached the gate...
Timidly he tried the gate, when it didnt bite him like the fence, he climbed, unsteadily, over.
The cattle were fairly used to people, he was lucky enough to grab hold of one around the neck before they ambled away.
The cow was obviously surprised, its bellow alerted the other animals, they trotted away.
Mr Big had the cow, but he obviously wasnt sure what to do with it, after a moment, he bit it high on the back of the neck. The poor beast let out a huge bellow of pain and broke into a run (do cows gallop, like horses? can one single cow stampede?). The bitten bovine ran mad, lurching after its departing group, bellowing and mooing at the top of its cow voice.
Big, fell, after being thrown around by the mad beast. He arose quickly and chased after his rapidly departing dinner, blood running down its back. Now they were spooked, he would never catch them. He let out a roar of frustration and wandered back to the gate, He climbed back over the fence, and stood there, looking at the cattle. I could almost hear the gears turning in his head. Presently he approached some of the others, it was obvious to me that he wanted them to come and help in the hunt. Big's wishes simply weren't obvious to the rest of the group, he went back to the gate growling and roaring in frustration.
I had to hand it to Mr Big, He showed initiative. he would eventually get that cow. He was dangerous and had to go.
My .22 Winchester was not a pretty weapon, it looked unbalanced. The oversized scope made necessary by my less than stellar vision ruined its appearance to some extent. Even with the big scope, I was a fairly average shot.
He stood, staring at his prey, with his back to me. Every squeak that window made as it opened sounded as loud as a crack of thunder to my nervous ears, none of "them" noticed.
I had to cut the fly screen so the barrel could stick out past the bars, also, it would have interfered with my vision, through the scope. My target stood about 120 metres away, still, watching, planning.
Even though a .22 can be lethal at a quarter of a mile (with the right load), this particular operator can not. Even with my super scope, about 150 metres is my limit for shots within an 8 inch group.
As I sat there, thinking about where to shoot him and dialling in my scope for the distance, an Idea hit me, I didnt have to get a kill shot to achieve my goal.
Its not funny, but I shot him in the arse.
Yes, I'll be honest, I did laugh as he ran in circles, howling in pain and clutching his wounded buttocks.
Blood from that open wound spread out over the seat of his jeans, jeans that were already stained brown from the faeces that crowded his pants.
Death by blood poisoning was probably not a pleasant way to go, if I could take him out before it took him, I would. He didnt ask to be a monster.
I noticed the lights coming on in the distance at Williamtown RAAF base, to my south west. Nice to know some others people were still fighting the good fight.
"Fat and docile, big and dumb
They look so stupid, they aren't much fun
Cows aren't fun
They eat to grow, grow to die
Die to be et at the hamburger fry
Cows well done
Nobody thunk it, nobody knew
No one imagined the great cow guru
Cows are one
He hid in the forest, read books with great zeal
He loved Che Guevera, a revolutionary veal
Cow Tse Tongue
He spoke about justice, but nobody stirred
He felt like an outcast, alone in the herd
Cow doldrums
He mooed we must fight, escape or we'll die
Cows gathered around, cause the steaks were so high
Bad cow pun
But then he was captured, stuffed into a crate
Loaded onto a truck, where he rode to his fate
Cows are bummed
He was a scrawny calf, who looked rather woozy
No one suspected he was packing an Uzi
Cows with guns
They came with a needle to stick in his thigh
He kicked for the groin, he pissed in their eye
Cow well hung
Knocked over a tractor and ran for the door
Six gallons of gas flowed out on the floor
Run cows run!
He picked up a bullhorn and jumped up on the hay
We are free roving bovines, we run free today
We will fight for bovine freedom
And hold our large heads high
We will run free with the Buffalo, or die
Cows with guns
They crashed the gate in a great stampede
Tipped over a milk truck, torched all the feed
Cows have fun
Sixty police cars were piled in a heap
Covered in cow pies, covered up deep
Much cow dung
Black smoke rising, darkening the day
Twelve burning McDonalds, have it your way
We will fight for bovine freedom
And hold our large heads high
We will run free with the Buffalo, or die
Cows with guns
The President said "enough is enough
These uppity cattle, its time to get tough"
Cow dung flung
The newspapers gloated, folks sighed with relief
Tomorrow at noon, they would all be ground beef
Cows on buns
The cows were surrounded, they waited and prayed
They mooed their last moos,
they chewed their last hay
Cows outgunned
The order was given to turn cows to whoppers
Enforced by the might of ten thousand coppers
But on the horizon surrounding the shoppers
Came the deafening roar of chickens in choppers
We will fight for bovine freedom
And [E]hold our large heads high
We will run free with the Buffalo, or die
Cows with guns"
Cows with Guns, Dana Lyons.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Mon Aug 08, 2016 6:08 am

Another story by Mr Bourne Identity to pass the evening. The first one was pretty good, I wish I'd known about this author before the K virus, I'd have happily shelled out my own money for his books, The copy I was reading was most probably a pirated one. My Brother in law was always getting new movies to watch in his home theatre months before they were released. He could have afforded the movie studio, but loved the idea of getting something for nothing.. I felt a little bad for taking money from what was probably a struggling author, I reminded my self, that even given his knowledge about survival, he was most probably dead from the K, and even if he wasn't, my money wouldn't help him now... If you ever read this Mr Bourne, sorry mate.
I could identify with the hero a little more in the second book, He was in a helicopter crash and things just didn't seem to go right for him from then on, everything just went to the dogs for him, he was on the run for the majority of the story... he became my kindred spirit.
I read late into the evening, the temperature slowly came down to a more comfortable level. More K monsters joined the pack as the sun set. I guess I hadn't stopped to think just how hard water would be to find, if you couldn't turn on a tap or open a bottle. or had no memory of local geography.
Just after sunset, another Jumbo landed at the airport, the tail plane lit up. British Airways. Less than an hour later, I was pulled from my book as it roared over head, going who knows where? south?
Smoke from the fire was getting thicker. it was visible inside the shed, Jims battery lantern showing fog in the air.
My second meal of the day was near midnight, I was careful to hang the table cloths over the windows, to block the light. Beef & Pasta hot pot. The dehydrated meals took a fair bit of water to prepare, but, the two I had eaten so far, were very good. Thinking back to what they had cost, they should be. At that point I laughed, That months credit card bill, a lot more than usual, sat unpaid on my kitchen bench. Looked like the good people at Master Card were going to be stuck with this one. I raised my now tepid can of Coke in a silent toast to the credit card company for my delicious meal.
I finished the book a few hours later, my laptop beeping insistently that it be charged.
I laid the thin, high density foam sleeping mat under the sleeping bag and slept.
I dreamed of underground bunkers like the one in the book, and big bronzed American heroes coming to save me.
"Yo Joe

He'll fight for freedom where ever there's trouble, G.I. Joe is there
G.I. Joe, A real American Hero
G.I. Joe is there

It's G.I. Joe against Cobra the enemy, fighting to save the day
He never gives up, He's always there
Fighting for freedom over land and air
G.I. Joe, a real American Hero
G.I. Joe is there"

G.I. Joe children's cartoon opening.

I woke early, just after sunset, to a howling sound. Into the lunch room and peek past the makeshift curtains.

Mr Big, limping around, favouring his right leg, and howling when ever his foot touched the ground. obviously the infection was taking hold.

Another three of "them" lurched down from the sand, red raw from their days in the sun on the hot sand, headed straight for Mr. Big's cries. He really had to go.

Crouching at the window sill, in my undies, carefully aiming at Mr Big, I'm sure that had anyone seen me, they would be sure I was a crazed lunatic. Sadly, I was still alone. I tried for a head shot. A dark red stain blossomed on his upper shoulder.

Allow for gravity over distance, rookie mistake. wait for Big to stop trying to find what bit him, and stop howling. His friends were starting to take an interest in him, they seemed to be focusing on the blood on his shoulder. They were probably getting hungry.

Again I aimed for the head, probably a little ambitious, bullet went a little low, caught him in the neck. Must have nicked a vein, the blood wasn't squirting out like a cheap horror film, but it was running out freely, without medical attention in less than half an hour, he would be in serious trouble.

He didnt last anywhere near that long. The group was really getting interested in Big, moreso in the blood running from beneath his hand. First a pasty looking youth approached and tried to attack, Big still had plenty of fight left in him, and swatted the kid away, he promptly returned, this time with several others. Big put up a hell of a fight, but more and more of them piled on him. His howls of anger, then pain rose to a crescendo, before ending in a barely audible croak.

During Big's noisy death throws, four more came down from the sand and five slouched past the shed, coming from the bush to my North.

There must have been better than seventy of them around the water hole. One Man didn't offer a lot of sustenance in just one body (even one as big as .. Mr Big). so I shot five more, it was easy, they were all crowded around the Big Mac meal, hoping for a taste.

It was like a feeding frenzy in a school of sharks when they saw the blood and heard the yelps, and far more successful than I could have hoped for. When the dust settled, I had eleven fewer neighbours.

Time for breakfast. Porridge, as I waited for the water to boil, I decided to have a good look around the lunchroom. Why didn't I toss the area yesterday? why was I still falling behind on such things. THINK you idiot.

The water I already knew about, and there were ten cans of coke remaining in the fridge, I did have a few honesty pangs when I saw the honesty box on the bench marked "Soft Drink, One Dollar". All my change was lying on the toilet floor at work, having aided my escape from Darius. Also in the fridge was half a carton of long life milk and some margarine, after removing the Coke, I closed the fridge for the last time. Ratting through the cupboards I found a 30 can box of Coke, two large packages of assorted biscuits (one opened but barely touched) in a tupperware container, some salt and pepper (something else I'd forgotten) and an almost full box of single serve sugar packs. It would all be coming with me. The grubby bottle of sauce at the back of the cupboard wouldn't.

I also tried the tap at the sink. water flowed. clean and clear. Must have been a rainwater tank somewhere, My home used them, they kind of became invisible after a while. No way of knowing how full it was, with no power, once the level reached that of the tap, it was game over. I resolved to use that water first.

The water boiled and I mixed my rolled oats. adding one of the packets of sugar from my booty.

Four F/A 18 Hornets blasted overhead, afterburners shaking my tin fortress with their basso roar.

It soon became obvious they were trying to dissuade a giant airliner from landing. It came lumbering into view on my left, heading toward the RAAF Base and civilian Airport, about a mile and half to my right. An Airbus A380. Engines screaming, gear down, I missed the logo, Emirates perhaps?, Two Hornets beside it, two behind. With less than a mile to go, the front two escorts peeled off. the two trailing fired simultaneously. At point blank range, one of the missiles missed. Seriously these things cost cubic dollars and have more technology crammed into them than a university computer lab.. From a distance and to a target that I could hit by throwing a rock, it missed.

The other missile didn't.

It zeroed in on the hottest part of the plane it could find, the inner engine on the right wing. It all happened so fast, I cant be sure exactly what it hit, the engine, the wing, I missed it. My attention was focussed on the landing gear, it was retracting as they fired. The pilots were complying.

The big French bird looked like it might make it. the gear was coming back down, I was rooting for the pilots, they were obviously well enough to think quickly, I hoped they'd make it to the ground. Of course they'd make it to the ground, I just hoped they would land softly.

The Hornets had all peeled off, I was betting the plane would be on the ground before they could come round for another shot. It wasn't to be. Three quarters of the right wing, weakened by the missiles impact, folded up and separated, fluttering to the ground.

The giant plane lurched to the right and fell from the sky its port engines screaming, they seemed to be getting louder, I guess the desperate pilots would have tried anything, even knowing it was impossible. It impacted with a giant fireball, on top of my Parents home, Dad was gonna be pissed. I believe the A380 could carry more than 500 souls, those poor people.

I suppose it could be argued that a short violent crash was preferable to perishing from the K. Bet I could find 500 plus charred souls that might disagree.

Why did they shoot them down, and not the others? Surely they weren't worried about infection, that horse has well and truly bolted, got sick and come back as a monster.

"Blown round by the wind
Thrown down in a spin

I gave you love
I thought that we had made it to the top
I gave you all I had to give
Why did it have to stop

You've blown it all sky high
By telling me a lie
Without a reason why
You've blown it all sky high

You, You've blown it all sky high
Our love had wings to fly
We could have touched the sky
You've blown it all sky high

Up round I've flown
Then down, down like a stone

I gave you love,
I thought that we had made it to the top
I gave you all I had to give
Why did it have to stop

You've blown it all sky high
By telling me a lie
Without a reason why
You've blown it all sky high

You, You've blown it all sky high
Our love had wings to fly
We could have touched the sky
You've blown it all sky high

Sky High, Jigsaw.
Posts: 380
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am


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