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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 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:15 pm

Boxing Day Monday (26th December), was also a Parts and Service only day, The rest of the dealership was closed.. I arrived to work a little dreary, The previous weeks activities had caught up with me a little, I suppose, And staying up half the night talking to my Parents and Siblings on the phone didn't help..

At least I had a few more people to talk to. we weren't up to full strength, but had about half of our Parts and Service personnel on board... We needed it, there were quite a few people waiting at the door when we opened needing spares or service. And some of them were in an ugly mood. wanting to argue and fight over very small issues.. I didn't think a lot of it at the time, some people are just jerks.

The last week of the year seemed to go on like that, petty arguments became quite common through the week, I spent all day trying to put out fires between customers and counter staff... and more disturbingly between staff members, at first I thought that was really odd, we were a pretty happy group, not too many issues between staff.. Speaking to the head of Service, She reported the same thing..

It wasn't until Tuesday morning riding the bus to work, I had time to think on it... I wondered if the K plague had found Kloster Ford...
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:40 pm

I arrived at work intending to observe everyone and try to ascertain whether they had the K.. only to be called to a meeting just after I walked in..

My Friend from the Tax office was there..

The Government Easy Credit plan was over..

It seemed that since the reported outbreaks in major cities had been cause for alarm, The government no longer felt that encouraging large gatherings of citizens was a good Idea... Wow, really... ya think?

At the time, I thought the Government was crazy for instituting this idea, both on economical and health grounds, it was only after the meeting that I wondered just how accidental those large gatherings and large infections truly were...

Perhaps I need to wrap tin foil around my head, but it occurs to me, that it may be "easier" to infect the whole population at once, and save having weeks or months of rioting and murder, Rather, get the whole mess over and done with asap.... When I got back to my office, I checked on the internet, most other major nations had also had a similar "easy credit" system operating just before Christmas.... Bastards.... or was it a kindness, over the last few months I've wonder if world leaders were evil or merciful.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Mon Jul 25, 2016 2:50 pm

The petty arguments were graduating to bigger things, I had to intervene in a few screaming matches before lunch...
I called in one of the juniors, Marcus, a pretty sharp young kid, one that I had hired, he was very clever, I thought he'd be doing my job in a lot less than 20 years.. I needed somebody with sharper eyes than me. and instructed him to shadow me for the afternoon and observe anybody who was arguing, I especially wanted to know if they had an marks on their faces... Straight away, he knew what I was looking for.. "you think "it" is here"? he asked..

We didn't have to wait long.. Fleet manager from the local council came in screaming blue murder, his Ford Ranger's right rear window wouldn't wind up. I calmed him down, invited him to have a coffee at our in house coffee shop while I took care of the problem.. on the house, of course..

There was a known problem with the window motor, a small soldered joint cracked, due to a quality issue with the solder, the parts to repair it properly were on back order (indefinite backorder now that our borders were closed) but there was a bush fix that generally got it working for a few weeks. simply slam the door hard and its as good as new... I hoped it would not fail before we got the parts to fix it properly but wondered if that was really going to be a problem..

After a few more arguments with customers and other staff, I asked Marcus, for his thoughts, he said he could just make out the beginnings of marks on most of their faces

Oh damn.

Wednesday the 28th was supposed to be a normal trade day, IE car dealerships all open for business and parts and service at full steam... Half the staff didn't turn up, which was ok, as half the customers didn't either...

It did however, give me time to remove most of the fluorescent lights in my section.. Marcus and I took care of the public areas before we opened for business. The spare parts building became very dim and dark... Arguments didn't stop, but there were a lot less of them. Thankyou Oprah.. I put a call tot he manager just after lunch, and let her know what I found and what had been done to deal with it... She insisted I replace the lights, as it was a Health and Safety issue... apparently being beaten up by an irate customer wasn't... I ignored the request and spoke to each area manager instead... all but three thought it was a good Idea.. the others sounded angry.. since one of them was the service manager, in the adjoining building, I went to see her personally, she was angry... but not so much that she wouldn't listen, "how can turning out some stupid lights stop my boys tearing each other apart?" she spat.. I closed her window shades and turned out the light... and simply talked to her for a few minutes... she ordered almost every light in the place disabled ..

The arguments were still happening, by the end of the day there had been a few fist fights, in all cases, the marks on their faces were plain for even me to see..

I decided to go out for dinner, and take the late bus home...
The local club had a pretty decent grille, I felt like a steak.
A ten minute taxi ride saw me rat Wests Mayfield. like most clubs, it was nothing more than a nice place to play (lots of) poker machines with the added bonus of a couple of decent restaurants all bathed in dim mood lights.. all the better to encourage you to spend up on the one armed bandits I guess .. a nice multi story motel had recently opened beside it. ..

I almost walked straight into trouble as two big security men dragged out a little old lady who was struggling and screaming insults at them... I could see the marks on her face...

The place was sparsely populated, The Chinese Restaurant was closed, something I had never seen in thirty years as a member, but happily the Grille was operating, I ordered my steak, and went to the bar for a drink..

Where I struck up a conversation with a very attractive Woman.. Jenna was also waiting for a meal, the place was almost deserted, I suggested we share a table, I thought it would seem odd to sit alone in an almost empty room.. She obviously felt the same way.

Jenna was a stock control executive for Holden (Australia's version of GM) kind of Ironic given I worked for Ford... we both thought it was quite funny, and was staying at the motel, she was trying to get back home to Melbourne, but all flights were cancelled.. it was nice to talk to somebody with similar interests (even if they did work for the enemy ) we didn't mention the plague once... My steak was excellent, Jenna reported her Barramundi was as well.

Jenna was very confident, looking back, aggressive may have been closer to the truth, she invited me up to her room for a night cap.. call me naïve, but I really was expecting to have a drink or two, appreciate the view from the large picture window on the top floor, continue our very enjoyable conversation and leave...

That didn't happen...

I've always believed that what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom, so I'll not write about it here, except to say that it was one of the most memorable evenings of my life. The scars on my back, still have not totally faded, She almost killed me that night.. in a very good way..

She almost killed me the next morning in a not so good way..
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 6:31 am

I woke to several glorious views.. The back of a beautiful Woman, Her bare ring finger (really should have checked that last night I guess) .. and a great view out of the window, looking at the start of a new day high over the port of Newcastle... I felt pretty good. and hoped this was something more than a one night stand... I'd never really been a wham bam thankyou ma'am kind of bloke...

I quietly went into the bathroom and showered, trying not to wake Jenna, I really liked this girl, as I showered I found myself thinking that I really didn't want this to end.

If she couldn't get to her home, I'd inviter her to mine.. I liked her, more and more all the time it seemed. and It appeared she liked me..

Never been that lucky in love, with most of my girlfriends, It always ended up feeling like I'd "settled" for somebody who wasn't totally "right" for me.. Last one had been four years before, she loved her new Iphone (what is it with Women and Apple, is it some kind of cult, its a phone for God Sake) and her facebook friends more than me, but not more than her six cats. I was just starting to realise how self centred she was, when she dumped me, cant say I was upset...

But, this felt different... I was trying to think of the best way to get into a long term relationship with this confident, funny, clever Lady, whose last name I didn't yet know... or even to just get her phone number ... she didn't own an I phone, I'd already checked..

I quickly dressed, Checked my watch, I'd need to shift if wanted to get to work on time .. (Given that Jim was on three weeks holiday and I was in charge, it wouldn't look good to be late).. I walked out of the bathroom a very happy man..

She was awake, standing, Naked, Surveying Newcastle. With her back to me like some Modern day Cleopatra, Silhouetted against the bright morning sun. Jenna seemed deep in thought.. I noticed her pillow had quite a bit of make up on it. We had got up to lots of bedroom gymnastics last night, so hardly surprising... Lots of make up.

Not that make up bothered me. she could have had a head like a tractor and I'd have still felt the same about her, its an interesting double standard that Professional Women really seem to have to take care of their looks while Men in the same positions simply throw on a suit and they're done..

I walked up behind her and kissed her neck.

WHAM. I was expecting a kiss, a hug, perhaps an invitation back to bed... I wasn't expecting a right hook, followed by a screeching banshee launching at me..

Jenna was still between me and the window, I couldn't see her face, just her silhouette.. I had at least one hundred pounds on her, and pushed her off.. at the expense of some scratches on the back of my hands, that would at least match the ones on my face.

She was up in a flash. grabbed the TV off its stand and hurled it at me, around Seventy pounds of Sony's finest hit me square on, I fell back to the bed, the TV fell to the floor, its screen a spider web of cracks radiating out from its impact with my aching right arm..

I should have been looking at Jenna, instead of the dead TV. she was back on me in a shot, swinging punches, and trying to knee me in the balls... this was getting very serious...

I rolled her over, so I was on top, and wrapped her in the bed clothes, from head to toe. then just laid on top of her, till she stopped struggling.. she kept screaming at me for quite some time, but finally quieted.. I caught one last glimpse of that achingly gorgeous face as I engulfed her in blankets, The marks were pronounced, more than a few hours old, I'd have seen them last night, but for the expertly applied makeup...

The Window, that damned hateful beautiful view. She had been standing there, charging up from the sun, like some kind of solar powered killing machine.. I ... Every time I tried to talk to her through the blanket, she screamed at me to get the hell out... She never made a move to get out of the blankets, just laid there, as I climbed off her, closed the curtains, put the dead TV back on its shelf and left the room in almost total darkness.

Did she know last night that she was infected, surely she had to. was I some kind of "last meal"? Did she feel for me as I did for her? or was I just one last "big bang"?......

Did she hear me as I said "Goodbye, I love you" before closing the door? Who knows, I didn't even know her last name.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 2:40 pm

I called for a Taxi, as I rode the elevator to the ground floor.

The young lady at the front desk just nodded resignedly when I informed her there was somebody with the K in room 710. That surprised me a little, I didn't think it could be so common that she wouldn't express a little shock. So I asked, "how many of these have you had"? She told me one yesterday and four already this morning, five including the case I just mentioned. Her manager was considering closing the Motel until the emergency was over.

Emergency? what emergency? She looked at me a little dumbfounded and asked if I'd seen the news this morning. Sydney and Melbourne were in lockdown, with riots and looting out of control. "Haven't you heard the sirens"? she asked a little incredulously... Up until that point, I hadn't... though I picked up on them as soon as she mentioned it.. My taxi pulled up at the front door.

The ten minute ride to work, seemed to take forever, there was little traffic, to be expected at this time of year, plenty of people on Holidays, but it was too quiet just the same.. except for the emergency vehicles racing in all directions, I counted 5 Police cars, 4 Ambulances and 2 fire engines in my short trip...

I arrived only 15 minutes late, to Marcus standing at the locked door, looking a little confused. "Where is everybody?" I asked. "looks like we're it" he answered..

I quickly opened up, turned on the computers and the radio.. it was pretty bad.. Almost every major city in Australia was in lockdown. The newsreader, who was unfamiliar to me and sounded young, inexperienced and very scared, said sections of Newcastle were out of control, he went on to mention the no go suburbs, They were all on the "wrong side of the tracks"...The newsreader went on to say that the disease seemed to be accelerated in lighter skinned people and there were increasing reports of infection all over the country.. ... So the majority of Australians were waking up to the news that not only was the disease spreading, but they would be dead (or worse) sooner than they imagined. No wonder they were rioting.

It would get worse.

No customers came in, no customers called.

I called around the other departments. Save for service, none answered.

there was only three people at service, a workshop manager (Matt) and two mechanics, Darius was one of them. They were also twiddling their thumbs, not a car in the place.. all except Darius, were showing early symptoms of the K, I told Matt and the other sick mechanic to go home.. Than made an executive decision that would probably get me fired if the Director found out.. I shut the gates. our facility was surrounded by a high security fence, with a large car parking and storage area with two buildings, one for service, the other for parts. and had Marcus put up a sign, "CLOSED. Emergency Vehicle Repairs Only Sound Siren for Entry ".

Marcus returned after affixing the sign and closing the gate. he looked flushed.

No good beating around the bush, so I simply asked, "do you think you have it"? ... "Yeah" he said. So Marcus also went home, There wasn't anything good or right that I could say, My last words, to this clever insightful young man... "goodbye". He nodded sadly and left.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:30 pm

I wandered over to see Darius, asked him how he felt. Just like me, he was fine. Maybe we were both immune.. maybe not.

I invited over to the spares building, we had Air Conditioning, it was shaping up to be a hot day, just after Nine AM the mercury was already nudging Thirty.. Darius said he was planning to use the quiet time to service his car. an old but very well kept 95 Falcon Wagon. I wondered why he'd bother, given what was likely to be a bleak future, but if that kept his mind off what was going on, who was I to criticise?.. He said He'd probably come over later..

I texted my copper mate, Michael. I had his mobile number, it was handy to send pictures for those Falcon Coupe parts he was chasing.. and asked him to call me.

He came back less than a minute later.. "yeah what?" it seemed he was pretty busy. I told him about closing the gates to the public, and that we would be here for him and other emergency vehicles.. He said he was surprised that anybody was here at all. but he would be around later, his door mirror had been torn off during some "trouble" and another car had a broken window.. I asked how it was going out there... "bad" he said, I told him we'd be ready for both cars.. then went and picked the parts of the shelf and delivered them to Darius..

The broken window came in fist, Darius had the new glass in and the broken glass cleaned up in less than 15 minutes. The harried looking officer thanked him, signed off on the paperwork and got back to work.. Michael came in half an hour later. the mirror took ten minutes to change.
While Darius worked, we talked, He informed me that a nationwide state of emergency was imminent, it would bring a lockdown, with citizens not able to leave their homes he confided that a shoot to kill order was very likely and that the army was being mobilised. with only essential services excluded..

I asked if we were considered "essential" or should Darius and I get the hell out of Dodge?

He took two papers from the glovebox of his car and gave one each to Darius and I after filling in our names and workplace, "Essential Service Personnel Exemption Notice" was the heading. "Keep these with you at all times, don't make any sudden moves to reach for them, just tell who ever is asking that you have them" Michael told us.. apparently trigger fingers were getting itchy.

As Michael was leaving, he quietly asked me if I'd had any luck getting a Shotgun, I'd not had a chance to even look for one since we had last spoken... I told him so.

A state of emergency was issued at 12 noon on Thursday 29th December 2011, covering the whole of Australia.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Tue Jul 26, 2016 3:49 pm

Army Personnel had already been deployed to all major centres, Darius and I sat around the TV watching news reports..

Most of Europe was afire, as well at the United States..

One report that did catch my eye, Another flotilla was fleeing the infection a rag tag bunch of ships in various states of dis assembly were steaming out of India. The worlds junker boats, sent to India to be scrapped, were being used for one last desperate bid to escape the plague. Some were complete but ragged, others had large chunks of their hulls missing, several were half boats, container and oil tankers, that had at least one third of their hulls cut away... they steamed, limped in truth, some at crazy angles.. towards Saudi Arabia, I suppose the refugees felt the sparsely populated desert was their best hope.. perhaps they didn't care where they were going, but were more concerned with what they were fleeing.. The Saudi Air force tried to sink them, perhaps they were more used to desert warfare than naval... they scored quite a few direct hits, but very few of the ships looked like sinking.. and they jest kept heading west.. towards salvation or damnation.. who knows.

The streets were deserted when Darius and I left work, he kindly dropped me at the bus interchange, I hadn't expected to see a bus there, yet I was wrong, apparently they were essential service as well. A soldier inspected my Exemption Notice, before waving me aboard with the barrel of his weapon. Jeff was waiting at the wheel .. The soldier took the seat closest to the driver, No pleasant conversation on the trip home for me....
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:29 pm

My lonely ride home (there were only 6 others riding the bus, all regulars), gave me some time to think about recent events, Jenna, of course, came to the forefront. For a large part of the Western world, the impact of this hateful crime against Humanity had been brought home to them when a media personality that none of them had ever met, died from the disease..

For me, it really hit me, this morning, seeing first hand how the K had changed the behaviour of somebody I cared about, somebody I was falling in love with...
Yep, anybody reading this is probably judging me as "Needy" and thinking, "get over it, it was a one night stand".... Before we went to bed, we talked, and talked, there were no awkward silences, no "what did she just say? she cant be serious" moments. There was a connection, to this day I believe that to be true.

It took every bit of self control I could muster, not to leave the bus as it neared the Wests Complex, and race to the Motel... Common sense told me that 12 hours on, all of the Lady I knew, was certainly gone, Perhaps her body had failed by now, or had she stayed in the last part of the sickness and turned into a Monster?... It was best not to find out either way....

So, I tried to think on other things... The phone calls with my family on Christmas Night.
came to mind... First, I called my Brother, 6 years my senior, he taught me a lot about cars, He is (or probably was) a Mechanic for a dealership in Queensland,, on the Gold Coast, about one thousand Miles north of me. I couldn't get him on the home phone, so tried his Mobile.
He was Heading North with his two youngest kids in tow (the other two were married and lived in other states) told me he was heading for the back country, to wait it out.. He was an accomplished fisherman, and a decent enough hunter, If anybody survive in the bush He could.. He told me I should be doing the same... I probably wouldn't have went back to work, had it not been for my next call.... I wished my Brother and his family well, and ended the call.. sitting on the base, mulling over my thoughts, I felt very sure I would never hear his voice again.

My next call that evening had been to my Parents, Grey Nomads, both in their early 70s, they had hitched up their caravan to their 4x4 and went to see Australia... They were currently out of range of normal phone service in North Western, Western Australia, but like a lot of outback tourers had acquired a Satellite Phone. Hideously expensive to purchase and almost as bad to use... but it gave them an emergency lifeline if they needed it, and meant I could wish them both a Merry Christmas.. They'd asked me how bad it was back home (their house was only about 5 miles from mine). I suggested they find somewhere quiet and wait it out.. My Father, a fairly quiet man, agreed, they were currently camped at a place called Cape Keraudren. which was miles from anywhere but close to a beach. Dad said they could survive there indefinitely, fresh water was his only concern, but he was pretty sure he could find some.. He had taught my Brother all about camping and hunting, so I was fairly confident in his abilities. I advised he monitor the radio until he heard an all clear, That was his plan, he told me..

The conversation then turned to me, He asked if I thought I would get the disease, I honestly answered that I didn't know.. It seemed he had been following it fairly closely, he talked about how scientist thought it worked, he said the He and Mum would get it if they came into contact with anybody who was infected, and he would not let that happen, He said my Brother would also be susceptible to it.. But he thought both my sister and my self might be among the very few that could be immune... he cautioned me not to take any silly chances just the same... I reminded him that I had been dealing with hundreds of people every day... I probably already had it.. He pointed out that I didn't have any symptoms.. Hmmm maybe the old boy was on to something... We talked for well over an hour, mostly Me and Dad, for the most part, Mum just cried... We said our goodbyes, I told them I'd come find them if everything went bad, My Father always the optimist (or maybe just trying to show a brave face) said, "We'll be here"...

After I hung up, I thought on what he said, about the possibility of people like me being immune.... I called my Sister...

Conversations between us had been "difficult" for years, we were opposites, She suffered from "Teacheritis" a not so rare condition that manifests itself mainly in teachers... its main symptom seemed to be the total inability to see anything from an opposing point of view. another symptom was just a teensy bit of hypocrisy. She could see nothing wrong with embracing a political view that was so far to the left that in the 50s she would have been burned at the stake as a communist, yet living in a palatial mansion on Sydney Harbour, on some of the most expensive real estate in the country... with a 50 foot Carribean Cruiser tied up at their private dock.. When she raged about taxing the rich, yet complained how much tax she as an honest hard working teacher was slugged, she couldn't see why I disagreed with her, Her Banker Husband (Bill) at least had the decency to remain quiet and be a little embarrassed during such tirades.. He was nice enough bloke, a good Husband I think, we didn't have a lot in common.. I liked old cars, he liked international high finance, but he always made me welcome during my rare visits... according to Wikipedia, he was worth just over seven hundred and fifty million dollars.. They had no kids.

And it was him who answered the phone.. After initial pleasantries, I asked if he'd been following the situation. He assured me that he had. Had he made any plans. it seemed he had. not surprising that somebody as successful as he would see this coming and plan for it I suppose..

They had included a large Panic Room when the house had been built he told me, They had enough supplies to last for years. And I thought I had covered every inch of that property during my visits.. Wow, you just never know .... as we talked, he said the whole house was a virtual fort, ( I thought back to the very solid construction and narrow windows of their home, something I had put down to ugly modern architecture....

It turned out my Quiet unassuming brother in law was a gun totin' survivalist... I had no idea.. He said that my sister hated it, so he didn't really talk about it. but confided that there was enough supplies and weapons to last three people for five years, Three people? I asked? he told me I was welcome to join them, and that they were in the process of locking down the home at that very moment.
I questioned the sense of staying in the middle of what could possibly be a dying city... Bill said there was no question of "Possibly" a storm was coming". and then reminded me of their cruiser, just in case they needed a way out..
I thanked him for thinking of me, but told him I had made similar though far less spectacular arrangements.... Bill was genuinely interested in my preparations. he asked quite a few questions and made quite a few suggestions, I wasn't sure I'd have the time or the money to implement them, but they were food for thought.. He then wished me luck and handed me off to my Sister..

No arguments on either side, I think we both knew this wasn't the time.. We talked a little about her and Bills precautions, she asked about mine... I asked if she had been in contact with our Parents (She was about to call) and I let her know what our older Brother was doing..

The last thing I talked to her about, was the possibility, that She and I may be immune to the disease. I gave her our Fathers point of view on the situation, She was doubtful, but could see his logic. .. We wished each other luck, exchanged "I love you's" and said our goodbyes... just before I hung up, she told me Bill was sending me some "important literature" a little exasperated, she told me it was probably just stupid Zombie books, I heard Bill in the background saying, those silly Zombie books may just save your life.. He yelled to the phone, telling me to save them to a laptop, incase the power failed.. and then they were gone...

Jeff jolted me from my reverie .. "You're home, get out" he shouted back to me, in his usual friendly way...
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:49 pm

Something from the freezer for dinner, A lasagne, really felt like a steak, but thinking about a sassy cartoon cat was far easier than thinking about Jenna.

had the TV going in the background while I heated Garfields favourite food (I don't like Thursdays)... and fired up my PC, to retrieve Bills Emails..
I transferred them to my laptop, which I then set on charge, while I hunted for its car charger.... if worst come to worst, the Quad had a power socket.

Bills Email said "Read this one first".... so I started in on the first book, there were plenty more... story seemed pretty good, gave me a few ideas.. cover notes said the author was actually a soldier, or a marine or some such... name was something Bourne... probably a pen name... a fake identity... like that old movie with Richard Chamberlain.. The Bourne Identity. it was about an Army officer and Zombies.. I finished it around midnight.

I read as I ate, and listened to the news. of course the lockdown was the headline, with pictures of rioting mobs , fires and general destruction.. A banner ran at the bottom of the screen all through the night, Call Emergency 000 to report any infected. the news ran all night.. reports came in from other countries, just about every city was burning... From England came news that Prince Charles had died and Camilla was in hospital with Serious injuries to her face and arms... They didn't exactly say that Charlie had gone Krazy and had probably bitten Camillas face and arms, but it wasn't hard to guess,

It hit me, that I had been very lucky that Jenna hadn't been so far gone that she had used her teeth...

The Queen was apparently going to address the nation later that evening. if that ever happened, I didn't see it.

Speaking of Queen... Brian May and his wife (Anita I think?) were traveling from London to their country property. witnesses said that their car crossed to the wrong side of the road at high speed and slammed into a power pole before bursting into flames... the news mentioned a lot more dead celebrities / VIPs, for every one of them, thousands of regular people also perished ... they just didn't make the news...

The US vice President .. something Beeden I think addressed the Nation, I don't think anybody in the US would have noticed, they were all either rioting or Monstering .. or fighting or hiding from those who were...

Isreal hadn't closed its' borders soon enough, it was burning along with the rest of the middle east. Nowhere, it seemed, was safe...
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:55 pm

Friday Morning came too soon.. I could have easily slept in, Sausages for breakfast.. trying to use up my frozen food...

Bus arrived on time, Jeff at the wheel, and only three other passengers...
"Where's GI Joe?" I asked.
It seemed the Soldier hadn't turned up this morning..
Jeff quietly told me that the bus service would finish this evening, Essential service or not, the boss has said he wont be running any services tomorrow.

I asked Jeff his plans, .. "Stay with my family" was all he said.. I didn't push any more, we both knew the outlook was bleak..

we chatted all the way to town, the other two passengers alighted before me, we had the last ten minutes of my ride alone..

The roads were just about abandoned, there was evidence of a few outbreaks of violence, burned cars and buildings, some smashed windows in roadside shops, some signs of looting.. but it was pretty quiet at that time..

A small yellow car passed us, its young driver hanging out the window screaming abuse at Jeff, for some imagined wrong doing... the fool in the small car, An old Hyundai I think than slammed into the side of the bus, delivering little more than a scratch to the sturdy vehicle.. but leaving what appeared to be half the little Excel on the road..

Jeff, the quiet gentle God Fearing man, snapped, the bus burst forth with a turn of speed I'd not thought possible.. he had a crazed look in his eyes ... as he manoeuvred the big Volvo into position at the left rear of the little Korean car, he spewed out curses the likes of which I had never heard him utter...

"Um, Jeff, mate, I don't think this is a good idea mate, just let him go, hes not worth the trouble", I yelled ..

It was, it appeared, little trouble at all. as Jeff executed a perfect PIT manoeuvre on the poor little Korean Econobox...

As the Hyundai pirouetted across the road and rammed its nose into a parked car, coming to rest in a pile of broken plastic, glass and a cloud of escaping steam .. Jeff screamed out the window, "NSW demolition derby champion 5 years running , you messed with the wrong guy you stupid fucker"... He looked at me and said, "I should go back there and punch his fuckin lights out".. I looked back at the crashed car in time to seed the still angry driver spring out of his broken car and start sprinting after the bus.. .. as calmly as I could, I told Jeff that wouldn't be a good idea.. He seemed to come back to himself at that point and said "Dear God, what have I done"?

Figuring that involving the Authorities in this "little fender bender" would probably result in Jeff spending his last days in gaol, I told him to keep driving..

As we came to my stop, he began to slow down, to drop me off, and kept repeating, I should go back, I should go back"...

I put my hand on his shoulder, and asked him if he knew where my work was, "next left and a quarter mile down the street " he answered, rather distractedly.. ''

"Could you please do me a favour Jeff, theres some bad things happening today, I really don't want to walk down that road alone, could you possibly run me to work please" I had to think quickly while Jeff was still in shock.. He seemed unsure, and said it was against company policy to deviate from the route.... Yep, so is punting some moron off the road, no matter how much they deserve it, I thought... but chose not to say it... I ended up guilting him into it by saying I was afraid I wouldn't be able to see any bad people coming "because of my bad eyes".. A bald faced lie, but I was trying to get the bus off the road before Mr Angry Hyundai driver had a chance to report it to the Police...

When we got to work, Darius was waiting at the gate (he didn't have a key).. He walked up to the bus as we arrived, "you know theres a fair bit of damage to your front bumper" he asked.. Jeff was still in shock, I told him to drive the bus around behind the building and Darius would see what he could do. Darius walked in with me as the gate trundled closed behind us.. "Trouble" he asked .. "yeah.... In about ten minutes, come in and tell us that the bus is unroadworthy"... "Ok Boss". said Darius as he disappeared behind the workshop..

I unlocked both buildings and fired up the computers.. and just enough lights so I wouldn't fall over.. then brought Jeff into my office "for a nice cup of tea"...

With each sip, and each moment in the dark, he calmed a little, Darius came in on cue, and delivered the bad news.. I asked him what we had in the yard .. Turned out there was a 2000 Fairlane, A high mileage hire car, nothing wrong with it, but cars with seven hundred and fifty thousand kilometres on the clock got wholesaled. and that is what the old Fairlane was destined for... I asked Darius to fill it up and bring it round..

Jeff still wanted to see if the other driver was ok, he was very upset that he might have hurt another person... It took me half an hour to talk him round, in the end, I simply told him the truth, if the Police became involved, He would go to gaol... and not see his family again.. he relented, I gave him a permission to drive note on a company letterhead and pointed him towards his family... Darius and I settled in around the radio..

I decided to put a call in to Jim, around lunchtime, give him a bit of an update on how the place was running, and to see how he was going.. I should have guessed, He sounded terrible on the phone. "Ive got it" he said.. "Ah ****" ... That seemed to be all he wanted to say on the subject..." Hows things going" He asked, so I filled him in.... He wanted to know if the busses were still running, I told him about the mornings adventure... "Manager will have your arse for handing out cars if she finds out", he joked.. "Not very likely , besides, I do have a quarter of a million dollars worth of Volvo Bus, as security" I countered... He laughed and asked how I was planning to get home today, I answered honestly, that I had no idea.

"Take the Territory', he said,' its ready for a camping trip, theres good fishing gear in the back.. and theres a little something hidden with the spare tyre... A ten shot pump action Shot gun, with a couple of boxes of ammo, I never go camping without it"..
Forgetting for a moment that Jim had the K, I asked "Wow, are you sure"," You're the only one I'd trust her with, throw on the signs and pack a part, it might get you past any roadblocks"... I was still in shock that he was giving me "his" car, his pride and joy.. oh and the shot gun too, I knew that was going to be a blessing... "Wow, Jim, thankyou.." and then it struck me I wasn't just thanking him for the car and the gun.. there was so much more, Here was the Man that had gone against the tide to give me a chance when nobody else was willing to do that.... The Man that had taken me under his wing and showed me the ropes, taken the time to teach me how to replace him when the time came, to do the job.. the right way.. "Thankyou Jim...... for everything" ....... "its been my pleasure Son" The call ended.

Darius quietly found something else to do, as I sat in my office, coming apart at the seems.

it seemed my trip in that morning travelled through the eye of the storm... and all hell broke loose soon after 10 am.. By lunchtime there were no safe areas in the city. According to the radio, Most of the retail areas were burning or full of looters, or both..

Michael came in at 2 PM.. with two broken windows and another broken mirror.. I picked the parts, and talked with Michael as Darius did his thing..

"How bad"? I asked.. "its out of control and heading this way" he said.. as soon as I leave, you should too. Get home, don't come back, its over."... I asked him about the army, .. he told me they had been withdrawn this morning to protect essential assets, like the RAAF base, water supplies and Electrical Generation Equipment.. He went on to say that Police were withdrawing from the war zones and were being re deployed to stop people fleeing the cities, it turned out he would be guarding the bridge I had to cross on my way home... "Why I asked, whats the point of that?".." No Idea" he admitted

CRASH... Darius let out a band of expletives as he picked up the replacement mirror and threw it at the concrete floor for the second time.. "DONT WANT TO GO IN YOU BASTARD? I'LL TEACH YOU A FUCKIN LESSON".. The mirror lay on the ground in many pieces.. Michaels hand went to his gun...

'Hold on mate, let me take care of it, no need for that"... Michael nodded in my direction, but kept his eyes on Darius, and his hand on the butt of his pistol...

I walked over to Darius and calmly asked him to come with me, He raged on for a moment, but as I stood in front of him with my palms towards him, he slowly came down... I took him by the arm and led him to my office, turned off all the lights and told him to stay there til I returned.. I picked another mirror, and headed back to finish the work on Michaels patrol car...

within twenty minutes I had it finished, (I wasn't as fast as Darius) Michael thanked me. asked about the usual paperwork, I said, I cant see the point, can you" he nodded sadly, wished me luck and was gone, reminding me to get out asap as he drove out the gate..

I went in to find Darius where I had left him. I asked how he was feeling, "very angry" came the curt reply... I gently suggested he stay in my office a bit longer, as I went to get Jims car from its undercover parking. As he suggested, I also retrieved the magnetic signs that fitted on the doors, with metre high 'KLOSTER FORD" written on them.... part of Jims claim that this was a legitimate delivery vehicle... the signs fitter perfectly, once I removed their protective wrapping... Jim had suggested taking a part with me to try and convince any blockades I might come across that I was on company business, it was a good Idea..

I bought up the name of a Police Officer whom I had dealt with at a police station located at Nelson Bay, about 20 miles further up the road past my home... and invoiced the last right front door glass we had in stock to him. I loaded that into the Territory and returned to tell Darius it was time to go and to lock up..
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