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The Trip.

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Moderator: wa5

The Trip.

Postby wa5 » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:42 pm

This story kind of ties in with White Knight, but from the Author of that books' point of view.
NB. I have used some classic sci fi character names and writers names for some of my characters, I do so as a homage to those writers and characters, it is a sign of admiration, absolutely no offence intended. Trev.
The trip.

Dear diary....
Nah, screw that, it makes me sound like Marcia Brady.
24 July, 2017. Monday.
Been meaning to start a journal for some time, but since I lost my job, there's been not a lot to write about, no crazy customers or arsehole managers to whinge about. just day after day of knock backs for jobs I didn't really want anyway.
But today, something happened, I got a PM through Quiet Earth about "The Story".
Quiet Earth is a website dedicated to science fiction, specifically to Post Apocalyptic fiction, they have a forum where frustrated authors can post up stories, I wrote one very loosely based on me and my surrounding area and how I might cope with a PA event.
So, back to the message, guy says he's a producer based in LA and is very impressed by the story. He wants to talk to me about purchasing the rights to make it into a movie. Says it could run into a "significant amount of money". Probably just another scammer, have to keep my feet on the ground and be very careful, but it would be nice if its legit.

Anyway, as this is the first interesting thing that's happened in my life in over a year, I thought it was time to start a journal. Just like the un named hero in my story. Who knows, if I become the next John Wyndham or J L Bourne, it might be nice to write it down.... slow down, check that the guy actually exists first.

Well, he exists, that's a start.

Kanly Powers, Hollywood producer. not really in the big league, had a few B movies behind him, Mostly for TV, no Sci Fi, mostly love stories. He's been tied up with a few Hollywood beauties. According to Google reviews, He's young, hungry and the next big thing.

Just returned his message, asking for a phone number, if it doesn't match the office number I found on the net, I'll be very suspicious.

25th July, 2017. Tuesday.
The number matches, I have to call him in less than one hour.

Well, that was quick, I'm off to America next Sunday. He loves the book, and wants to have a meeting about it. He wants to get my ideas on a movie and be in on writing the script. He did ask how the hero avoided contracting the plague as I was purposely vague on that detail, its for book two. and was a little non plussed when I let him in on the secret. He said "that will make casting difficult". As I'd always pictured the movie being shot in first person (yes I've thought about how my story would look as a movie, I'm allowed to dream), I have never really seen it as a problem.

Just checked my emails, the ticket has arrived, its an open date return, and what a bonus, he has sprung for business class on Qantas, nice. I'm a big bloke, so the extra room will be appreciated.

Just to be sure, I called the airline, the ticket is legit, its been paid for, and its in my name. the only person who can cancel it, is me, good to know I wont get stuck half way across the world if we don't make a deal (yes, I'm the untrusting type, better to be safe than sorry).

Late evening.
finished printing out a copy of the book, taking it to the solicitors in the morning along with as much proof as I can that the book is my intellectual property. Even by the script I think I could prove it beyond doubt, but its better to be careful.

26th July, 2017. Wednesday.
Wow, big things happening in America.
A failed assassination attempt on Trump and ten or twelve of his top people. Three of them dead, The law got all the nut jobs. Five of the antifa crazies dead, three wounded, the rest screeching like banshees about stopping the hate. That doesn't hold much water when you've just shot at elected officials.

Dropped off the manuscript and got some advice from my solicitor, which basically came down to "send me a copy of any contract before you sign it". bought a power adaptor for my beloved if battered and old Acer laptop, it will also work for my phone, Telstra said the phone would work ok in the US, but OMG the charges. Even texts would break me, lucky that I was looking at a "significant amount of money" coming my way. Kanly had mentioned $250k for the movie rights, cant believe it.

27th July 2017, Thursday.
Just finished sending emails to a few people. I have some distant relatives in Canada, it would be nice to put a voice to the avatars on facebook, also my Nephew is undergoing F35 training at Edwards Air Force Base. I know he is very busy, but the training is coming to an end, I'd like to catch up with him if I can.

Trump is on the warpath, if his face gets any redder, his head will explode. He has just declared Antifa and Black Lives Matter to be terrorist organisations along with a few others I'd never heard of, he warned them not to gather or protest. He addressed Americas Police forces and said "boys, the leash is off, go get em". Big trouble in the US I think. Reckon my visits while I'm there might go on the back burner, I can see big troubles ahead.

I know that Trump doesn't help things when he puts stories out there about pardoning himself for the Russian thing, but my God, how dumb do you have to be to not be able to realize he is just stirring the pot.

I think he might have stirred it a little to hard, The crazies don't have a sense of humour. and their hornets nest is certainly buzzing.

28th July, 2017. Friday.

The lunatics are loose in the States, its spilling over into Europe, England and there's even a few nut jobs rioting here.
Its getting really bad. Milo Yiannopoulos, He's a gay bloke who loves Trump and is hated by everybody who doesn't, almost died today, He was staying in one of Trumps Hotels in New York, still doing a lot of publicity for his new book. Ten thousand of the Antifa crazies stormed the hotel. The front desk hit the alarms as they broke through the glass doors and put out a warning over the PA system. Yiannopoulos and his group left the floor moments before the lynch mob arrived, yep they had a rope. Milo and co made it to the roof with the crazies in hot pursuit. Apparently the lynch mob underestimated the Dangerous Faggot. He had been rather well armed and put down ten of them according the security footage. Its still not clear if he will be charged for shooting them, as there may be no proof or witnesses. Milos group barricaded themselves on the roof and called an air taxi. Enraged at missing their target the peaceful lynch mob set fire to the Hotel leaving their wounded friends and 17 hotel guests to burn in the resultant blaze. The top two thirds of the Hotel were lost. Predicably Milo was broadcasting on Youtube even as he fled in the Chopper.

Police were hampered by New Yorks Mayor, He wouldn't let them tackle the protesters, they were simply there to protect the public, and they complained bitterly to any media about this as they tracked the huge rioting mob targeting Trump assets along with any other company they held a grudge against.

Trump raged as the Mayor of the city refused to let him send in the troops. Mayor de Blasio seemed to gloat as he shut down any offers of assistance that were offered by the federal government. The petty bastard was playing politics while peoples lively hoods burned to the ground and innocents were beaten, kicked, stomped, murdered and raped.

The centre of New York was a war zone.

Smaller riots broke out all over the world, in all major cities the crazies were out. Demanding Trumps impeachment, the more extreme ones just wanted him dead. of course, all the usual fun stuff on the communist manifesto got an airing as well. how the groups embrace of communism would work with their demands of cash reparations for all minorities, I wasn't sure.

29th July, 2017. Saturday

A leisurely trip to Sydney, from my home near Newcastle, by Train, A trip of about three hours. All seemed normal until I got to central station. the inside of the station was filled with protestors and rioters. The trouble seemed to explode just as my train arrived. Screams and shouts, breaking glass, smoke. The few transit Police didn't stand a chance, there must have been a thousand rioters inside. The passengers that had just departed the train, returned. The driver, obviously at the end of his shift, said this trains going nowhere, one of the larger passengers, took him forcibly by the arm and led him a little closer to the melee inside the station, the only way to the exits was past those lunatics. The driver was convinced, whether it was by the trouble inside the station or by the large scary man holding him, I couldn't say, but he got on the radio and soon had us trundling out of the station.
The next station, only a few hundred metres away, was clear, we alighted there.

A short cab ride, shared with a few other passengers saw me at my Motel. A fairly small affair. with a non descript shop front. It was probably a wise choice in the current conditions.

I'd planned to try and take in a stage show during the evening, but Sydney was closed, the riots were nowhere near as bad as New York, but trouble was starting up all over the place. I ordered room service for lunch as I checked in and then made my way up to the room, carefully noting the location of emergency exits (I always do that at any motel I stay at, but I took more notice at this one), Inspected my room, clean and neat, standard 3 and a half stars, on the second floor with a small balcony, I found myself wondering if I could climb down if I really had to. being scared silly of heights, probably not.

My lunch arrived, a hamburger and chips, washed down with a coke. As I ate, I watched the news, all the channels had news broadcasts going. it seemed that I had missed a major development while I was on the train. Trump had lost patience with the mayor of New York and had sent in the troops, he declared martial law and gave a shoot to kill order effective one hour after martial law had been introduced. that time had passed. The rioters continued rioting, they took no notice of the massing troops, until the bullets flew.

They must have been expecting that, bullhorns screamed "NOW" as one the protesters stopped, they raised their left hands and bought their right hands down on top of them. it was spooky and quiet. as they pulled their right hands away, blood could be seen coming from the back of their left hand.

I was glued to the news on the screen, watching as they spread out in all directions, seeming to swat at everybody they met up with, police, army man, woman, child. A chant went up "If we cant have it, you cant have it" that continued through the afternoon, they seems very well organised for an unruly mob. As the army shot them down, more appeared.

The front desk called up around five and said that the kitchen would be closing early, If i wanted anything to eat for dinner, I had better order it now. The steak was over cooked, but not terribly so, Obviously the cooks had other things on their mind.

8.30, time for bed.

30th July, 2017. Sunday.

QF11 would leave Sydney airport at 9.50, I always like to be early, Even though the airport is less than an hour from my Motel, I arose, showered and was waiting at the front door for the cab by 5am.

I was toying with taking the cab directly to the airport, but $50 is a lot to pay if I can take the train for a lot less.

Central station was too risky, the cabbie said there had been trouble there all through the night. he took a few back streets to steer clear of rioters and Police, The driver dropped me one station away from Central, on the airport line.

I was the only person on the platform waiting for the train. I shared the carriage with what looked like a very unkempt bum. at the next stop a Woman got on, she had a small case and wore an over coat, though it wasn't that cold. I was at one end of the carriage, she was in the middle, the bum, now awake was at the other.

I kept an eye on him with my monocular, did I mention that I have poor vision, a trait I share with the hero of my book, the monocular is a four inch by one inch telescope that can focus from arms length to infinity and has 8x magnification, its indispensable to me, it gives me something resembling regular vision but with a much reduced field.

The bum rose, and picked his target, the Woman, of course. He was probably just after few dollars, but she was looking somewhat alarmed as he approached, I grabbed my bag and raced towards her "Tracy, I thought that was you, gee, how long has it been", she was very quick on the uptake " Peter, I think you were still in the Police force, though I heard you retired", "yep private security now" The bum turned and skulked away, leaving the carriage.

"Thanks "peter"' she said.
"You're very welcome "Tracy"' I replied.

The airport was the next stop, we both exited the train. As we left the station, another bum approached, he looked very much the worse for wear. cuts and bruises, I noticed blood on his left hand, as he was almost upon us, He had his right hand up as if to slap or swat at us. At the top of his voice he screamed "Iv vee gandavid yougandavid" his nose was obviously badly broken and I'd bet he'd lost a few teeth recently. I don't think either of us expected to be attacked at the international airport, that just didn't happen. at the last minute I figured he planned to slap us with his open hand. and threw up my duffle bag to block him, his hand seemed to snag on my bag for some reason, and he was caught. So like the gentleman I am and with a view to the Marquis of Queensbury rules, I kicked him in the balls. His scream turned into a whimper as he fell. I don't think any man ever feels good about doing that to another bloke, even though he was about to assault us, I felt bad for him, as he lost interest in everything but his throbbing testicles. laying there curled up in a foetal position.

Noticing something shiny on his outstretched right hand, I used my monocular for a closer look (it would mean taking my attention from him as I focussed only on his right hand, but from bitter bitter personal experience, I knew he wasn't a threat ). It was a ring, with an inch long spike, or needle on the underside. He had been trying to stick us with that. the bastard. I didn't feel bad about planting a steel cap in his groin any more as I wondered what he was trying to infect us with.

Security arrived, we both warned them about the spike, before they got too close. they asked how he had been put down, when I told them, one of them grimaced. I suggested the get the ring tested. neither seemed interested. we both headed for check in.
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: The Trip.

Postby wa5 » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:52 am

As my watch beeped, signalling the 6th hour of the day, I heard one of the guards "You fucking bastard" after a hiss of indrawn breath, then scuffling footsteps, approaching from behind. Again the bum was running at the girl. Too late I pushed her aside, he hit her a glancing blow, rather than full on. She spun, almost held her balance, and fell, The bum was around and on her, sinking his teeth into the top of her arm.

I wear steel capped work boots everywhere, I just find them comfortable, Her scream distracted me somewhat, and my first kick to his midriff was something of a glancing blow. I was a little shocked, even though it didn't fully connect, it should have been enough, I felt it partially connect. Her scream faded, and some very unladylike language came from between her clenched lips. The guards were almost upon us as I lined up for the second kick, It probably broke his jaw.

The guards, one of them nursing his own bloody hand admonished me for assaulting the bum, "Is your arm ok" I asked the girl, ignoring the bleeding guard "it hurts, but I don't think it broke the skin, my coat saved me". I still didn't know her real name, but offered to take a look if we could find a bench. One of the guards said we would have to go with them to fill out reports, and I may face charges for assault. The girl... the woman, spun at the hapless rent a cops and informed them that the first sentence on any report either of us wrote would be questioning how the guards had lost custody of the bum in the first place.

They turned and dragged the unconscious man away.

Within a minute, we were in the terminal proper, just near the check in counter. She removed her coat and presented her arm. I inspected it, badly bruised, but the skin wasn't broken. I backed that up by checking with my scope, explaining the reason to the girl I still knew only as "Tracy". Taking my small first aid kit from my back pack, I dabbed a little antiseptic lotion onto the bruised area and offered a bandage or some band aids, she refused both.

It was always going to be awkward after the intense way we had met "Hi, I'm Trevor Matheson" I said, a little lamely. She gave a small snort and said "You aren't going to believe this, but I'm Tracy.... Tracy Peters". I joined her in a small laugh, adding a bemused shake of the head.

She checked her watch, "goodness, I'm late"

We both made our way to the check in counter, both did the standard "after you's", she won, I went through first "QF11 wont be boarding for a little over three hours, the Qantas lounge is through the customs checkpoint and to the left, about 50 metres", the lady gestured behind her as she returned my ticket, and tagged my duffel bag. As it slid away on the conveyer, the desk attendant said "Hi Tracy, you're bird is already at the gate", she thanked the girl and we walked towards the security check in. I managed to take a good look at her as we walked, Older than I thought, mid 40s at a guess, straight brown hair, pretty. about 5'9. not fat, not skinny, just regular. As we approached security, she said goodbye, Thanked me for my help, smiled and said she hoped we'd meet again. She breezed through the checkpoint and disappeared into the departure area.

Every time I hit security, I get picked for the chemical sniffer, its supposed to be random, who knows? then to the metal detector, belt, shoes, hat, glasses, phone, wallet, watch, keys... beeeeep, oh yeah, scope. give the security guy a dumb smile as I pass through for the second time, get rewarded with a sneer. grumpy jerk.

Spend five minutes reloading and head for the Qantas club, this was a new experience for me, as I'd never been able to afford business class before.

The business lounge is very nice, I have a good breakfast and settle down in front of the big screen to catch up on the news, CNN is running as my watch beeps 7.

The riots are all that is being covered, they are world wide. What appeared to be a loose group of student agitators, had morphed into a well organised militant group that stretched across the globe. It seemed no major city was safe.
From some nameless CNN announcer I learned about the rings. it was breaking news, The rings were thought to contain something akin to ICE or a similar hallucinogenic substance, reports were coming in that the needle sent a person mad, triggering violent behaviour and gaining a higher tolerance to pain, behaviour that was similar to an ICE addict. The report continued with the news that at this stage, nobody who had been affected by the drug, had yet recovered. Their behaviour simply became more and more violent.

A cold shudder ran through me as I recalled how close I had come to getting stuck, along with the innocent girl.

I took advantage of the complimentary computer, to do a little more research, first taking the time to select the handy magnifier that Microsoft were good enough to include on Windows. Trying to use a PC without the magnifier was possible with my nose on the screen, but difficult and time consuming. As it happened, I needn't have bothered, CNN had the jump on this, nobody else was talking about it yet.

I settled in to watch the news and update my diary, until my flight was called, wondering if the promise of a big pay day was worth the risk to travel into an area reportedly over run with crazies. My boarding call has come all too soon, more later.
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: The Trip.

Postby wa5 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:44 am

30th July, about an hour after takeoff.

And indeed we did meet again. First in line, not a very big line at that. I was met at the plane door by a familiar voice "Nice to see you again "Peter"", I was somewhat surprised to see Tracy smiling at me, I'd not noticed she was wearing a flight attendants uniform when I was checking her arm.

Tracy walked me up the stairs backwards facing stairs, to the top deck and to my seat, K16, The last / rear window seat at the starboard side of the plane. Tracy mentioned that the flight was supposed to be on an A380, but this 747 was bought in when the Airbus had some kind of breakdown. The Jumbo "Gosford" is on its retirement flight, after dropping us passengers at LAX, it will make a short flight to a place called Victorville, where old planes are stored. I wish I could ride it all the way, I'd love to visit that place.

Over the next ten minutes passenger shuffled in, the section was about half full when the last passenger was shown in, I could hear her complaining as she climbed the stairs "why isn't this a 380, its supposed to be a 380' as the Flight attendant tried to explain, the passenger cut her off, informing her that there would definitely be a complaint lodged.

I couldn't see her as she entered the cabin, The sun was reflecting off a polished airliner at the next gate, shining through the port side window. all I saw was two black shapes beside my seat, surrounded by blinding light. the overhead console opened, obviously the complaining woman was going to be sitting next to me. great.

Once the locker closed I offered a friendly "Hello" as the blackened human shape made to sit down. For my troubles I got a blast "Just because I sleep with an ugly nerd on TV, what makes you think you can come onto me? I'd never go for a fat slob like you, so don't even try. you jerks are all the same, just leave me alone". The Stewardess attempted to placate the woman, informing her that I had offered nothing more than a friendly greeting, she got a verbal spray for her trouble "I get this all the time, they see me sleeping with unattractive men on TV and think they are going to get me in to bed". The FA was about to try again, I shook my head, she left.

After an orange juice and a warm towel we moved to the runway, without the sun in my eyes, I could see who was sitting next to me, as we sped along the runway, I figured out who the crazy lady was. Penny from the big bang theory. She probably noticed me staring, one of the joys of vision loss, to recognise faces, I have to stare at people a little too long, to the point where it gets a little awkward. Just as the realization hit me, she raised the privacy screen between the seats, far better that than having to talk or argue with her. Tuning into CNN again to try and keep up with events while I update the diary again, I'm sure there will be more later.
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: The Trip.

Postby wa5 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:11 pm

A lot can happen in just a few hours.
I'd just finished updating my diary when Penny's phone rang. She answered it on speaker "Hey babe, you got out of Sydney OK?" That voice, it sounded familiar. "I managed to get a ticket on short notice, there was some trouble in front of the Hotel, but the driver got through it, I don't know why he didn't go another way, I'll send a complaint and tweet how bad the hotel was, speaking of bad, this stupid Australian airline cant even supply a decent plane, it was supposed to be a 380, they have us in some old Jumbo, I'll tweet about it and ruin them", he made soothing noises, where had I heard that voice before? "and I'm sitting beside another pervert, they're everywhere" "can he hear you?", that voice again... I heard rustling "No, he's got earphones on and looks like he's asleep, I wish you were sitting here beside me can", Huh? that didn't make sense "Have you read the script yet?" a light bulb was trying to light above by head. "yes, I really think I would be great at playing Josella" DING DING DING not "here beside me can.... here beside me Kan" for the second time in a week, I was listening to Kanly Powers, somewhere in LA.

Concentrating on the conversation, I went back to my eavesdropping. "I'll make sure to push it hard to Zac Recht over at Sony, He's gagging for this script, as soon as I get that morons signature on the dotted line, I have it sold to Sony for 5.5 million. He sounds like a real hick, I blew smoke up his ass and asked for his ideas on the movie, they were terrible, as soon as I get that signature, I'm on my way to the big time. I have to move fast though babe, Sony thinks I already have the rights, If they got to him, they would cut me out in a New York minute" I was a little shocked as I heard her agree with him that Sony were mercenary bastards "That's why I need you to go down to coach and schmooze him a little" "He's on the plane?" she asked, a little shocked "relax, I told Rhiannon to make sure not to forget to not put him in the good seats, I wouldn't waste that kind of money on a dumb Australian" I thanked providence that good ol Kan had a love of confusing double negatives and that his secretary had erred on the side of business class.

The conversation continued he told her to pour it on strong when we met, to make a great impression and to make me think I had a shot with her... I know she is a bitch, but what kind of jerk sets up his girlfriend like that. Tracy ambled past at that point, I caught her attention.

Grabbing my computer, I pointed to Penny on the phone and moved to the galley, at the back of the top deck, just behind the stairs so as not to disturb her call. well that was the excuse. I told Tracy that Penny would soon ask for me by name "who" she asked, I pointed to the bitchy blonde, still on the phone, not caring who she disturbed "Oh, Kaley Couco" I hadn't been able to think of her real name, "I presume you don't want her to know who you are" she said, before I could do more than nod in agreement, she informed me that Kaley was "a valued regular customer and Qantas does everything it can for it's special customers" my heart sank, until she grinned evilly and said "every FA hates that bitches guts, she wont get anything from us. I'll let the others know, I'll tell them all to call you Peter".

I asked for two other things from Tracy, I needed somewhere private to send an email and as I had never before ridden on a 747, whether I could take a look around. She pointed me towards the downstairs area at the front of the plane, it too is business class, she also gave me a card explaining how to access the wifi, and offered a private tour of the plane in about half an hour.

It took me about five minutes to set up and find Zac Recht's email address and facebook account.

"Kanly Powers Zombie Novel he does not own the intellectual rights, I do. I have not signed with him. please reply. "

Short and to the point, hopefully he kept an eye on messages, even on a Saturday night (I checked the time difference before sending the message).

And spent the rest of the time waiting for Tracy, updating the diary, here she comes now.
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

Re: The Trip.

Postby wa5 » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:57 pm

As we walked towards the rear of the main deck, I noted just how few passengers were on the plane, Nobody in the down stairs business class, nor in the premium economy, before we crossed into the next section, Tracy asked me to be as quiet as I could, the passengers in economy were elderly and had been involved in a scuffle at the front of the airport with some of those crazy protesters.

There were less than 50 passengers on the main deck, all part of the same tour, all elderly, all on the wrong side of 60. I asked if the Sunday flight was always this quiet, Tracy said it was the least busy of the whole week but today was especially quiet. She thought the world wide riots had contributed to a lot of cancellations and no shows.

Most of the window shades were pulled and the lunch service was underway, Tracy took my hand and steered me through the service carts, the flight attendants and a few wandering passengers towards the rear of the plane.

I got the full tour. At the rear of the cabin, we entered a small closet and she pointed me up a weird ladder, we were in a small room with four bunk beds, the crew rest area, no windows, I wouldn't like to be in there for long, it was very claustrophobic, Tracy told me it was located under the tail, from inside it was impossible to tell.

As we moved forward, she again took my hand as she pointed out most every part of the plane, going into some detail on emergency kits and procedures, as we passed the staircase, heading back to my temporary seat, I commented on her very thorough description. She said "A very important author just about to break out on the international scene, such as you needs as much information as he can get", she burst out laughing at my blank look and gestured to the upper cabin "little miss sunshine is screaming up a storm and the girls are refusing to tell her anything, they all love you for driving the ice queen crazy, what will you do when her boyfriend finds your ticket number?" Her hand was so soft and warm in mine "I think his secretary organised it, its Saturday night in LA, hopefully her phone is off and the details are locked in the office", "Hope so" she said, "whats this blockbuster book all about"? I gave her a rundown she asked if it was like "The Walking Dead", "that kind of thing" I said.

My Laptop, still sitting in the deserted lower business class "dinged" to signal a message. Tracy excused herself, saying that she had to get back to work. I probably held on to lovely soft warm hand just a moment too long as she moved away, I just suck at that sort of thing.
Zac came back to me on Facebook, he asked for some proof and wanted to know if I had the script on a public forum. I sent a link to the story on Quiet Earth and asked if he would like me to send him a hello from the page to prove it was mine, he asked me to ad a single Z to the first paragraph, I did. three minutes later my trusty 3 year old Samsung S5 signalled an incoming Skype call.

Zac Recht was not a fan of Mr Powers and seemed rather happy to be gazumping him. He sent through his phone number and told me to call him as soon as I landed, Oh, he did mention money, he said he would give me the same 2.5 million he had negotiated with Kanly. I informed him that I knew that Kanly claimed to own the rights, and that they were due to sign a contract the next day, and it was reasonable to assume I knew the agreed amount was not 2.5. Then I invited him to volunteer the correct amount. "I had to try dude, its Sony's money not mine" sighing he said "5.5... ok?" I thanked him, promised to contact him as soon as I landed. "goodbye Trevor". The call ended. Five and a Half MILLION DOLLARS.

I finished updating the diary and returned to the top deck.

Climbing up the backward facing stairs, Tracy was just emerging from the galley at the rear of the top deck, with a drink as I reached the top, I waited while she delivered it to one of the passengers, something had been bugging me from my visit below, it was only as I crested the top step that I knew what it was.

"how did it go?" she asked "oh fine, better than fine... fantastic, um can we talk about that later, there's something really important I need to talk to you about, kinda private", she took my hand and led me into a small closet to the port side at the top of the stairs. it had thin mattresses and doonas stacked at one end.

As the door closed she moved in close still holding my hand, as totally clueless as I am about women most of the time, even I knew what was happening here. I silently cursed the timing, if I was right, this was no time for a kiss and cuddle, damn my luck.

Tracy's hand left mine and found its way around me, she moved in closer still and in a slightly husky voice, she said, "I never did get a chance to thank you properly for that thing at the airport". Mere inches separated our lips.

Dammit. if I'd let it happen, chances are I never would have let her go, well, not without a fight. damn my stupid obsession with world wide pandemics, social collapse, Zombies and Apocalypses. Holding that gorgeous Woman, I nearly let it go, almost. "Stop, You can not possibly know just how much I want to kiss you right now and if there is a God in the sky he might just be able to convince you to give me a raincheck on what I am sure will be the highlight of this century for me, but, I really need to talk to you about something". A shocked look came over her face, and I knew that I had probably blown it... ****.

"I should go" she said, turning to do so. I laid my hand gently on her arm "I'm very sorry, but it is important, I never, never would have stopped you if there were any other choice". "that ring the crazy guy attacked us with this morning, it turns people crazy, like ice heads, it took me a few minutes to put it together, but you said those people in economy were attacked coming into the airport, if they were hit by those rings.. well, you can probably imagine, you saw how that guy behaved. You should warn your workmates"
The look she gave me was unreadable "But you deal in fiction, this is the real world, that kind of stuff just doesn't happen in real life" I told her about the news reports on CNN, told her to tune in and take a look for herself, said that even if she didn't believe me, just tell the others working the bottom deck to be careful.

Again, that inscrutable look "you're pretty sure" she said, half statement, half question. "This is what I do, I read, walk, watch and most importantly talk and write about Zombies, diseases, disasters, superflu's, social collapse and apocalypse, hell I dream about this stuff" She nodded "How can I go to the captain with this?" I answered honestly, "you probably can't, just warn your friends, if something happens you knw as much as I do now, you can break it down to the flight crew if need be". She nodded a little resignedly, "I'll warn the cabin crew", "tell them to be careful of biters" she turned to go, again I lay my hand on her arm "I meant it about the raincheck" She smiled a little wanly and was gone.
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