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

Stories from our readers.

Moderator: wa5

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

Postby wa5 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:39 am

Not long after I turned out the light, the familiar pad and tap tap tap of Lisa and her dog approached. Again, she silently slid under the blankets and cuddled up to my back, followed by Max, who curled up at her feet, leaning into my legs.

Like ground hog day, I woke to a bright day and my personal hairy alarm clock whining to go outside. The oven blast hit me as I opened the door, another hot one. The Air conditioner in the van was very effective, though I felt bad for having left the land cruiser idling all night, I'd have to look at attaching a generator to the van, also the water tanks would be getting low, that would have to be dealt with as well, I'd forgotten the bread maker, but some toast be nice, maybe with some scrambled eggs?

As we breakfasted, I asked Lisa if she would like to go shopping "really, can we" she enthused.

By eight, the day had got even warmer. I piled a can of fuel and siphon, the go bag, guns, kid and dog into the patrol, it sat grumbling away to itself as I grabbed the final few items. The plastic case with the finger pricker in it, the big orange case that had carried everything, the radio and its charger. A green charging light glowed when I got it all wired up. The charger was a bi of a mismatch, somebody had spliced a car phone charger with the special charging lead for the military unit. I suppose the ship had special chargers, not too many car cigarette lighters on a boat I guess.

I called the captain and informed him we were going shopping, and asked about the blood tests, he informed me that clear instructions were inside the case and he would send the chopper to pick the case up. I asked if we could make other arrangements, as the loud machine seemed to draw the monsters to the beach. I suggested that we bring the blood out to them, not too close, maybe leave it tied to one of the other ships at anchor. He would get back to me....

Lisa described my faithful plumbers van as "Yucky", "you shouldn't litter" she admonished as I swept years of fast food containers out the door so she could have a little leg room. I was never a litterbug, but couldn't afford the time it would take to find garbage can and deposit the junk in it. I quickly filled the idling van with fuel, it took surprisingly little.

Deciding to take the beach side, or eastern road out of town we trundled slowly along millionaires row. Stockton, once a working class suburb, was now very popular with the cashed up set. Especially the two and three story glass fronted monstrosities that faced the beach. Maybe the little van was quiet and just didn't garner a lot of attention, maybe the monsters were staying out of the heat, maybe the fresh water had run out and theyhad gone in search of greener pastures, but I didn't encounter even one as we cruised along that street.

The Eastern street eventually met up with the riverside or western road right on the outskirts of the little suburb, one or two blocks past Lisas home, the reason I had chosen that path.

Before long we had merged onto Nelson Bay Road. The Pink Charger standing guard at the intersection. It saddened me to see that lovely car sitting there, out in the elements, unloved. Eventually I would have to do something about that.

We travelled slowly North in the cool confines of the battered white van.
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:38 am

Fern Bay is a continuation of the peninsula that is Stockton. The "bay" is really just the river bank of the Hunter River. some of the water views are blocked by thick mangroves that cling tot he bank and extend about ten metres into the water. As Lisa and I passed the Magenta Muscle car, the mangroves were on our left. The road stretched North ahead of us, the small community of Fern Bay, was on our right. As said earlier, once past Stockton, the beach and dunes spread out, between the homes in the tiny suburb and the ocean lay some rather arid bush land, then some sand dunes. From this point North, the river turned west, north west and the land mass grew much wider.

I was cruising along, thinking about the possibility of securing Port Stephens, or part of it, erecting road blocks as strategic bridges, thinking that I should find a map so see if it could work, I had an idea that the whole of the area was surrounded by ocean and river, but would have to check to se if that were right. I then came up with the great idea of getting a note pad to record my moments of genius.

Whilst congratulating myself for this great Idea, a huge group of the infected began to stream from the mangroves. wet, muddy and in the nuddy ha ha. The pantsless horde rose from the water and sprinted toward us. I presumed they were keeping out of the heat. The water there was still tidal and therefore salty, surely they weren't drinking it?

The road was fairly crowded in this area, it was impassable by car, all four lanes blocked stalled by bumper to bumper North bound traffic until I had cleared a lane with my loader a few weeks previously. The open lane was furthest from the mangroves, the horde had to make it past, through and over the stalled wrecks before they reached the road.

I wasn't sure that the little van was going to get there first, if we didn't, it would mean several hundred metres of reversing down a single lane, fast. I knocked the van back from its leisurely loping fourth gear, into second and revved that dog eared old work truck, harder than it had been revved in its entire life.

As we shot forward, those at the front of the group hit the roadblock. The first to try and climb over the tight packed cars appeared to recoil. They shot backwards, away from the cars, colliding with the rest of the group still advancing behind them. Pushed forward, they were flattened against the cars and crushed into them as those behind clambered over their comrades, and then the cars.

The process repeated, those at the front touched the cars, recoiled and were driven back onto the cars, and those next in line did the same thing.

We got past with a few seconds to spare, save for one rather athletic monster that was a little ahead of the pack and launched into the side of the van as we passed. The van rocked a little, once it settled down, I slowed down. The danger now disappearing in the vans smudged rear view mirror.

"We didn't get to smoosh any of them" Lisa said, obviously a little disappointed. That reminded me of something else I would have written in my notebook, if I had one "Lisa, we have to smoosh them, because they are dangerous and they are sick. Its not their fault that they got sick and turned into monsters. I certainly wouldn't want to be like that, and I don't think any of those people would either". Lisa was quietly watching me, I carried on, rather awkwardly, have I mentioned that adulting really sucks sometimes? " with what happened, the sickness, we have to put these poor people out of their misery, because they are dangerous and they are sick, and they cant get well. Nut its not a good thing. its never a good thing, its not something you should ever be happy about", (Unless they pee on your quad), I thought, but didn't add. The little girl nodded and said "Ok, do you think Mummy is one of those monsters now"? I suddenly needed to look at something outside my window as I managed to croak out "No", "No, I don't think so either" she said "it would be too hard for her to keep up with the rest of them in her wheelchair". Ahhh ****, some people have all the luck. Mothers in a chair, has a daughter with a disability, Husband walks out with bitch girlfriend.... and then turns into a fuckin zombie. Why did bad things always happen to good people? I guess, that if I'm being fair, bad things, had also, in this case, happened to the worst of people as well. Another item for the notebook, try to get into Lisas house, it would be nice for her to have some pictures of her Mum, and maybe some clothes.

The road past the airport blockade was littered with bodies, thankfully the stench that would be flooding the air outside couldn't affect us. The vans delightful odour of stale cigarettes and vintage fast food overpowered the smell from outside. The bodies were pretty beaten up by the great smooshening that occurred yesterday, but I guessed that some of the marks and damage that I noticed weren't from the loader. The well fed monsters didn't stir from wherever they were hiding from the hot mid morning sun, or they had got rather shy. The van wasn't that loud, maybe they just didn't hear us.

We turned left and headed past the RAAF base main entrance towards Medowie, and the supermarket. A few monsters rushed at the inside of the locked RAAF gate, they were never getting past that. I slowed and carefully drove around the abandoned blockade near the gate. The Army trucks there should have stocks of MREs , guns and Ammo, something else to remember. The armoured Bushmaster personnel carrier parked to the side of the road was also on my wish list.

We rolled on to the roundabout between Medowie road running east to west and Richardson road running north south and still jam packed with stalled cars. The third blockade was set up here, another possible source of supplies, really need that notepad.

Straight through the roundabout, no monsters about. Were they hiding from the scalding sun, or gon to greener pastures in search of water? I coasted to a halt near the abandoned Everpure bottled water truck. It has hundreds of those blue pastic water cooler bottles in special racks. Leaving Lisa in the van, I bought Max with me, getting more confident in his ability to spot trouble before I could. I took a look at the bottles. The precious cargo was untouched, It took a minute or two to figure out how to unlock each bottle from the racks. I took only two bottles, we still had enough water for some time, I planned to come back and get a full load. Maybe I could get the whole truck, alas, no keys.

A few metres past the water truck, was a fuel truck. Pulling up beside it, I knocked on the tank, it gave a dead thud as far up as I could reach, it was full of something. I ran to the drivers door and climbed in, it had a Key. Checking around and hearing nothing above the quietly idling van, I turned the key. The low air buzzer sounded, good she still had some charge in the battery. This road had also been gridlocked until I cleared it a few weeks prior on my way to the supermarket the first time. The truck driver had shut his truck down properly, not leaving the key on, or letting the truck idle its fuel tanks dry. I twisted the key, nothing, oh yeah, I should have remembered, One of my mates had one like this, turning the key stops it, The rubber button beside the key starts it.. The truck turned over slowly, I crossed my fingers and coaxed her on... the batteries were giving up, she was slowing down, I was dreading having to jump start this big monster, it would be a 24 volt system, that meant multiple batteries and multiple jumper leads. The batteries still had some life in them, this was an old truck, Thirty years old at least, a late seventies or early eighties cab over Kenworth. It was obvious from just how clean she was inside, that somebody took good care of her, The batteries were probably pretty new, even though they had been sitting idle for a month, they kept delivering power. the big Diesel continued to turn, it sounded slow.. lazy, but she turned. Please, please come on sweet heart, please. One pot woke up. "birr birr birr birr woof, birr birr birr birr woof". Even though the battery was reaching the end of the road, that one big piston was helping to carry the load. She still needed the starter to keep running and it was slowing down even more. I gambled and touched the big steel accelerator pedal. Shiny from years of use with "KW" cast into it. Another cylinder caught. She was just barely running on her own now. Cruelly, I kept the starter button hard down. and fed a bit more fuel. The engine sped up, still sounding terribly sick but definitely running under her own power "Good girl" I patted the engine cover affectionately. Feeding in more and more fuel the revs slowly built up. Number three woke up. white smoke, unburnt diesel floated outside the cab, that hollow dead exhaust note, continued, punctuated by the deep "Woof" when each of the three living cylinders fired. 500 rpm seemed to be about as fast as that sleepy diesel would turn. all I could do was hold the throttle down and hope the engine would catch up.... When the fourth pot woke up, I throttled back a little, she continued to run roughly, I carefully went back to an idle and she continued to stagger along. I made a snap decision to leave the van and take the truck back to Fords, we would return for the van later. By the time I got Lisa and the dog into the high passengers seat, another two cylinders had clocked on, only two more to go.

throwing my guns and bag into the truck, I climbed in and closed the door. Not a minute too soon, The noise and smoke from the truck had attracted visitors.

The low air buzzer had quieted and the little warning arm that was hanging down with "low air" on it, had retracted into its slot. The engine still sounded like at least one piston was not pulling its weight, but it was time to go. I found a gear that was going my way and let out the clutch, and almost stalled the big machine. Smack my forehead... parking break. Push in the big red button on the dash, and try again. she starts rolling forward, in the wrong direction, but we were rolling.

It was a big truck, about thirty tons loaded. I had to travel all the way to the shopping centre to turn around. Thank God it was a rigid truck, not an articulated semi trailer. I motioned Lisa over to me, she sat on the padded engine cover as we headed east. I reached up and pulled the chai, the two chrome trumpets sounded, alerting every monster within five miles of our location, The little girl giggled.

I hoped that the big air horns would draw any nearby monsters away from the supermarkets. Amidst much crunching and grinding, I found another gear, we got up to ten kph. I I tried again, and we managed twenty. I needn't have bothered with the horns, the big Detroit Diesel was bellowing out of the chrome stacks that snaked up behind the cab.

The noise of the Big Diesel was calling the monsters, they charged at the truck, its polished alloy bull bar mad short work of them all. Not really understanding the complicated gearbox of the Truck, I decided that 20kph was plenty fast enough, we dawdled back to Fords place in a leisurely fashion.

I didn't even know if the fuel truck was carrying Diesel or petrol, it didn't matter, both would be useful. At Fords I came to a halt just outside his machinery shed. I'd take the Interceptor to pick up the old van if I had to, but was hoping Fords old Holden ute would start. it did, no issues, no misbehaving, no coaxing necessary, it just fired up and idled., Parking the fuel truck in the utes spot, we were soon heading back to get the van and resume our shopping trip.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 1:47 pm

It took less than ten minutes to return to the van. I felt a little bad, leaving Fords old ute sitting there, quite possibly forever. I parked the faithful old car with its nose pointing down the slight incline that the road in that area was on, I might need it one day, if the battery was flat, a gravity assisted clutch start might just same me walking, or more probably running for my life.

Lisa complained about re entering the stinky van. Max didn't seem to care. The old ute did smell marginally better, but the van was far safer for our shopping trip.

Even travelling at my leisurely forty, it took only five minutes til we were at the store. The Coles supermarket remained untouched from my last visit. The monsters streamed out of the nearby Woolworths Supermarket into the scorching sun when they noticed us passing on the way to the other store. As we pulled up beside my security door, I shut down the van, herded Lisa and Max into the back and hung a curtain between the cabin and cargo area, so the rapidly approaching monsters wouldn't see us.

We sat quietly in silence, speaking in only the lowest of whispers while we waited for the monsters to lose interest and go back to the cool interior of the other supermarket. We sipped our bottles of water while we waited inside the hot van, sun beaming down and not able to open a window, the heat was cruel. We didn't have to wait long for the monsters to leave. it was a scorcher.

I had visited the supermarket several times already, not wanting to share its contents with the local chapter of monsters are us, I'd come up with a makeshift security door. Finding a second van similar to my stinky plumbers van, I had positioned it in front of the big armourglass windows at the front of the store, using the loader. The right side of the van was snug up against the glass, the left side open to the car parking area. After cutting through the glass and Perspex window, it was now easy to get into the store by parking my smelly van a few inches away from the other one and simply sliding both side doors open (both vans had them on either side) and simply stepping through. It was still a bit of a struggle to clamber through the broken window into the store itself, but my security solution meant that while the Monsters had the other store, with all its contents. I alone had access to this one.

Even though it was 40c outside (100 f in the old money) the blessed relief as I slid open the vans side door was wonderful. I closed the doors behind us, it wasn't likely that one of the group would climb onto the high roof of one of the vehicles and squeeze through the gap at the top, but it was better to be safe than sorry. I didn't want to come back to any nasty surprises. The scares and attacks that I had endured had made me more careful I think.

The store was silent as I turned and lifted Max and finally Lisa in through the hole in the glass. The store smelt of rotted food, but not as badly as it might have Stocks of frozen and fresh food had obviously been harder to come by towards the end, most of those shelves and cabinets were poorly stocked, if they had anything at all. The shop had obviously been closed and locked up tight a few days before the end came. as it still had a fairly good amount of stock. "non paying shoppers" had obviously concentrated on the bigger and newer Woolworths supermarket that was far easier to see from the main road, perhaps it was that stores attached bottle shop that was the attraction. I would never know, however I thanked whatever was watching over me for choosy looters.

We grabbed a trolley and began. I searched out bread mixes and picked quite a few. Lisa liked instant noodles so we stocked up on those, some treats for her as well and that was the first trolley filled to the top. As we picked up another, I found the small stationary section and finally grabbed my notepad, and couldn't recall one thing that I wanted to write down. So I placed it in my ever present backpack in one of the smaller and more handy pockets, right next to the one that was already in there, Insert Homer Simpsonesqe "Doh" here.

The next trolley was filled with dog food, hopefully with new improved non farting formula. I found some of that Kraft Cheddar cheese that can sit on the shelf until opened, tastes like plastic, but better than nothing for a cheese lover like me.

We carried on like that until I thought we had enough to fill the back of the van. heading back to the front of the store, I wiped away a bit of the soap I had smeared on the window, all clear outside.

Having Lisa was a real bonus, she worked inside the hot van, taking and stacking the items as I passed them through to her. She stood in the cooler store as I transferred the groceries from the security door to our smelly van. Such a good kid, that little girl did not move from where I told her to stay.

The cold stinky air that came blowing through the vents of the van as we left the store, was wonderful.

As we neared the water truck, I had a thought and wanted to check it. Leaving Lisa in the cool van Max and I got out for a look. It was, I think, even hotter. Checking the water truck, I found what I wanted. It was a slightly older model. the ignition switch did not have a steering lock and it looked like the back of the switch was easily accessible. I might be able to add "Truck thief" to my resume.

Back in the cool confines of "Stinky" I fished out my notepad and made the first note "Water bottle truck, hot wire, screwdrivers, pliers, tape, jump pack 12 volt?" . I was just about to check what voltage the truck was when I was interrupted by a THUMP on my side window, Max started barking at the same time. A big Man, judging by his skin colour, a native Australian, an Aborigine. He hammered on my window again, the van shook. His third blow dented the metal panel behind the door as the van jumped forward. One final hollow "Bong" as he caught the rear of the van as we sped away. I couldn't see if he was following as he had knocked the door mirror out of adjustment with his blows. It was too hot to wind down the window and set it right.

A plan had been forming in the back of my head to have a couple of different bases, bolt holes where we could run to and be safe if anything happened to our beach house. We drove into Fords place ten minutes later. I sent Lisa into the cool house while I picked out some supplies to leave at the house. Between trips ferrying in the supplies I heated some water so Lisa could enjoy some of her beloved noodles. As I deposited the final load onto the kitchen table, the water came to a boil. Lisa loved the noodles, for me, they were just ok.

Still so very hot as we left Fords, I had packed the supplies in Fords pantry cupboard, a fairly new stand alone shelf unit, he had installed a few years earlier to combat a serious mouse problem he had been having. Ford kept his home fairly clean, it was just a problem that plagued farmers at times.

Next port of call was Owens. I wanted to plant a bit of stuff at the sand pit. The workshop and attached lunch room had served as a secure bolt hole for me already. it would be good to have some supplies there just in case.

The McDonalds patrons streamed out to meet us, but we were too quick for them. The store faced towards the main road, I felt sure I could be almost on top of it on the way back up Lavis Lane, before they noticed us and began to move.

There were five monsters sitting in the pond. The van was not built for smooshing, I shot them with the army issue Steyr. It took two magazines to put them all down and keep them down.

Parking the van inside the shed made the job of transferring the groceries so much easier. The day was very hot, having that heat and glare reflect off the white sand that cover the whole area made it worse. Inside the shed was still how, but at least we were both out of the sun, it had to bother Lisa as much as it bothered me.

I told Lisa how I had stayed here for about a week when the collapse had first happened. I explained why I wanted to leave some supplies here... just in case.

We packed up a good supply of people and Max food and a few other odds and ends, both enjoyed a not so cool bottle of water and locked the place up. I took the time to show her where the key was hidden.... just in case.

We retraced our route to Stockton, transferring the remainder of our supplies to the Patrol. Max' barking alerted me to several monsters looking for some supplies of their own, all they found... was lead.

I'd been planning on taking our blood samples out to the carrier, I thought Lisa might enjoy the boat trip, but it was so dammed hot, the interior of my little floating Jaffa would not be a pleasant place to be.

The big Nissan fired up and we bounced along the beach. I informed the captain that we wouldn't be heading out to meet them just yet due to the heat. He came back with a suggestion for when we did.

Captain Bourke, obviously a cautious man, did not want us approaching the ship until our blood had been analysed. I felt that was a wise precaution, and something I've sure the captain of the Drake would have insisted upon if they hadn't been so hungry and desperate.

He suggested that we meet a small medical team on the carrier that was anchored closest to them. He had already sent a security team to clear it. They had no one. the ships lifeboat was gone.

The team would be in full bio hazard gear, and would have to undergo lengthy decontamination before they could re board the navy boat. but it seemed the ships doctor was very keen to meet us.

"Commander Bourne wants to have a good look over you and really wants to talk to you about your time with the Zombies, The commander has written several books on the subject" I couldn't believe what the captain was saying, could this Doctor be my new favourite Author. the big rough tough Marine who's writings had travelled with me through the apocalypse. I excitedly asked "Is that JL Bourne, I've read two of his books, didn't say anything about him being a Doctor on his bio" The Captain replied "Yes, that's the one", "I thought his bio mentioned he was a big tough Marine"? I half asked "Don't believe everything you read Son, contact us when you are ready to meet" with that ,the captain signed off.

I soon had the supplies stowed in one of the spare vans. Lisa did a little colouring as I took the time to update the journal.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:05 pm

I woke early on Sunday morning and did a few more sit ups, just as I had the night before. I was a little ashamed of my rather flabby part interpreters body, wishing that I was in better shape to meet the big brave Doctor. As I grunted and strained on my ninth sit up, Max was looking back at me quizzically. I opened the door and the judgemental mutt wandered outside.

Breakfasted and dressed, we headed off towards the little boat waiting at the wharf. Another note in the pad "Lisas clothes and other stuff, visit her home?" The little girl was again dressed in her pink outfit. Did I take her back to her home to get other clothes, or find a shop and just get new clothes?
As we trundled along the beach, I called up the ship, letting them know we were on our way. An unknown voice instructed us to proceed to the ship anchored south of the Navy boat. Telling me it had the bright red hull, its name was "Pacific Sunrise" One of their IRBs would be tied to stairs. He also reminded me NOT to approach the Reagan or we would be fired upon... Yeo, gotcha, not doing that twice. Just before we left the wharf, I called the ship, telling them we were departing, but there was something else, rattling around the back of my head, I called them back "Forgot to tell you, we have our dog with us, is that going to be a problem"? "Not unless it bites, dogs don't carry the disease" a woman with a Californian accent replied.

I cut a piece of rope and threaded it through Max' collar as we made our way to the boat. The rubber boat was tied to the stairs leading down from the ship. A big Man in a bright orange all over suit with a clear plastic face mask tied up the Jaffa as I backed it in. The suit perfectly matched the boat.

This had to be Bourne. I took hold of the dog and opened the door. Max didn't like the orange clad man at all. To be fair he did look a bit scary. Max was barking and baring his teeth. I pulled the door closed as the man outside retreated.

Yelling through the small window near the wheel, I told the orange man that the dog would be staying in the boat. In a voice that reminded me a little of Vinnie Barbarino he said "yeah, that sounds like a great idea".

I held Max back as Lisa exited the lifeboat. The dog trying to get at the orange monster the whole time. I tried to get through the door a couple of times, but every time I did, the dog tried to get past me at the scary oompa loompa.

The little boat had a door at the back, closest to the platform the craft was tied to, it also had another at the front. I had Lisa talk to and distract the dog while I exited through that one. Working my way round the narrow foot hold on the side of the boat, I eventually made it to the platform. The orange clad Man was there, talking to Lisa.

"You'd be Doctor Bourne" I said, extending my hand. It was a bit hard to tell through the reflective plastic mask, but I guessed the big Man was a few years younger than me "No, I'm Chief Petty Officer Arthur Fonzarelli" He must have got the look I gave him on a regular basis "My parents were fans of the show, and Fonzarelli is our family name" he said rather tiredly, "call me Fonzy.... everybody does" he said a little resignedly. Some things follow you all your life, even after the apocalypse, I mused, as we shook hands. I gave him my name and he pointed towards the deck above us "Doc Bourne is up there, waiting for you". I took Lisas hand and prepared to climb the stairs. The big Man laid a hand on my arm. "Just a second buddy".

"I was the one who shot up your boat" he said a little awkwardly, "if you want to take a swing at me, I'd understand". "if we'd come face to face on Monday, I might have taken you up on that offer, but I wouldn't have met Lisa here" I mussed her hair " or that lovely dog in there " "That would have been a real shame " he broke in, " I think its just the suit, I'm pretty sure he's a happy days fan" I joked, " besides, there's not enough of us left to hold a grudge, nobody got hurt, forget it" He slapped me on the back told me I was "allright" and we climbed the stairs.

A short slightly built Woman in the same kind of suit stood at the top of the stairs "Hurry it up Fonzy we haven't got all day" "management" he sighed with a touch of exasperation under his breath.

It was hard to see through the faceplate, but the Nurse looked to be Asian. As I got a closer look, I guessed Chinese or Japanese, when she spoke again, I realised this was the person I spoke to about the dog, the one with the Californian accent.

"Hello I'm Doctor Bourne"
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:55 am

"What"? "oh, um Hello" I stammered. She threw her head back and laughed, a good natured natural sound, not forced, coming back to herself she again introduced herself "I'm Jia Li Bourne, my Mother was Chinese, My Father American. Yes I wrote those books, would you have read them if you'd known they were written by a short skinny Chinese girl, it means "Good and Beautiful" by the way", "what does" I asked. "Are you sure you aren't infected " she joked "the old brain doesn't seem to be running real well this morning" finishing with another hearty laugh as she rapped on my skull in a few different places. Already I liked her, even though she was nothing like what I expected.

I gave her my name and told her that I would have read her books no matter where she came from, Smiling she said "but you were expecting a 6'6 250 pound jar head that screamed "Sir yes sir" at every opportunity", I nodded "Yep, something like that"

There were just the two of them. We didn't enter the ships cabin area, They had set up a table and some chairs on the shaded side of the boat, we sat down. JL said Hi to Lisa and asked if I had bought the samples. I pulled the sealed box from my back pack, un opened, and handed it to her "Since you were going to be here anyway, I thought you would be better at doing it than I would", "scared of the site of blood, huh" she lightly chided "No, I just lack the necessary skills" "Liar" she chuckled

"Give me your hand" she instructed after unwrapping the kit. I gave her my hand and looked away as she touched the finger pricker to my pointer finger "Oh don't be such a baby" she laughed, Lisa parroted her and giggled. "Hey, you're supposed to be on my side" I protested, "she probably would be "If you weren't being such a baby"" she emphasised the last bit while looking directly at Lisa "Am I right"? Lisa giggled and nodded enthusiastically. I called to Fonzy "Little help mate" "Stop being a baby" He shot back. The ice was well and truly broken as was my epidermis, with the tiniest of stings.

Lisa thrust her hand into Jia Li's almost before she asked, announcing loudly that it didn't hurt at all as she looked directly at me.

The Doctor then looked us both over, pronouncing Lisa healthy if a little under nourished. She then pronounced me over nourished, saying "you might want to share your dinner with your daughter" I thought I detected a slight sneer in her voice.

"Lisa isn't my daughter, we only met on Thursday" Whatever harshness was in her voice, instantly disappeared "Oh, I just assumed, because... ". "Yes, because we look alike, I get it" I told her how I came to meet Lisa, handing her a USB drive containing my journal "Its nowhere near as riveting as your writing, but I thought you might be interested". She continued checking me over.

"What happened here" she enquired indicating the dressing stuck on my right shoulder, I told her of my struggle with the monster that had bitten me there on Monday morning, pointing out it was indirectly her fault for parking that big arse boat just off my front porch.

"OH MY GOD, LOOK, ITS A PLANE" She yelled, I swung to where she was indicating and that terrible horrible rotten Woman who's pirated books I swear I will never read again, ripped the very sticky dressing off my shoulder wound. I've a fairly hairy back, or at least I did, that cruel torturer tore every bit of it from me. "Aaaargh" I yelled, Lisa was on the deck laughing uncontrollably, Fonzy had his back to me, the big mans body racked by laughter that he was battling to keep under control. Jia Li was already probing the bight, I sat still as she did. "What in Gods name did you do that for"? I asked. "It saved me an hour in this rotten suit listening to you complain as I carefully removed the dressing". I don't think she understood the gravity of the situation when I informed her that I would be writing to the UN alleging cruel and unusual torture by a supposed physician "would you like the address"? she asked sweetly.

The bight was a little red, she was going to give me a shot of anti biotics, however there was another small matter before she did so. She needed more blood due to the bight. I resignedly offered my hand again "Guess again" she said pulling a canula.

I'm sure she knew that the performance earlier had been mostly for the little girl, but I really am not fond of needles, I don't go running, screaming into the night at the sight of them, but I really don't dig them. So, I tuned out to a degree as she swabbed my arm and found a vein. While Jia Li was doing this, she was talking to Lisa, asking how old she was (seven as it turned out), where she went to school, what her favourite food was, that kind of thing. I sensed this was more than small talk when she asked about Lisas father, was his heir the same colour as hers, the doctor innocently asked. It wasn't, what about Mummy, was her hair the same colour? it turned out that it was.

As the Doctor attached the first of four magic glass ampules to the needle in my arm, I took the scope from my neck and handed it to Lisa "Fonzy, can you please show Lisa your boat"? " with the barest of glances from the Doctor, he said "sure thing" taking the little girls hand and telling her about his floating home in his big friendly gruff voice.

I felt numb, if Lisa's Mother was like me, she probably wasn't infected "You didn't know"? she asked "I tried not to dig to deep, she's a little girl, usually our parents aren't like us, its really rare" I protested "I know, she said, I've been studying everything I can on you guys" she agreed. "She went out on new years ever" I whispered "She couldn't still be.....? From what Lisa told me, she was upset and angry all day, crying that night, then left the house... what if it wasn't the K?, she's in a wheelchair, what if she's trapped somewhere"? "You know that even if she wasn't infected, she's gone by now" Bourne said. Fonzy was pointing out parts of the ship to the little girl.

I called Fonzy back JL and I asked Lisa about her Mother, I didn't like upsetting the little girl, but .... what if.
"Did Mummy have any sores on her face" "No"
"Does Mummy have a car" "No silly, she cant drive, she has Henry"
"Who's Henry" "Henry is Mummy's buggy that she uses to go shopping, he is blue and sporty", I described an electric invalids four wheeled scooter, Lisa confirmed that described Henry to a T. JL carefully packed the glass ampules with my blood and removed the cannula. I gave a loud "Ow" as she jabbed a needle into me, filling me with anti biotics.
"Why was Mummy upset that day" "Because she was sick"
"What was wrong with Mummy, do you know" "Yes, but I cant tell you, Mummy told me to never talk about "That".
Jia Li assured her that Mummy wouldn't mind as she was a doctor.
Lisa pulled Jia Li to her and whispered into the side of her helmet "She couldn't go to the toilet"
JL looked at me, My mind was racing, where would she go on New Years Eve for treatment I wondered.
"So she was going to the doctors" "No, not a doctor"
"The Hospital" "No"
"A Fri" JL started, I broke in over the top of her, Stockton was two suburbs away from me, Not really my local stomping ground, but I was fairly well aware of what facilities the suburb did and did not have "The Ambulance Station" I almost yelled "Did she take Henry and go to the ambulance station" "Yes, that's where she went" Lisa said rather sadly.

I looked up at the Doctor "we done here"? "there are some standard questions, but I can ask over the radio if you don't get your self killed" "Ok, we gotta go" I said, rising, heading for the stairs. Walking beside me "You know what you are going to find" Jia Li asked. Nodding I said, "yes, but I still have to go"/

It was approaching mid day as we tied up at the wharf Low 30s, hot, but not unbearable. The ambulance station was four blocks away. just about dead centre of the suburb.

I didn't really have enough ammo for a full scale war. The Patrol rolled through the empty streets.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 8:47 am

I'd been using either the riverside or beachside roads to enter and leave the suburb. Staying away from the streets that ran through the centre of the town.

The number of Monsters around the beachside suburb had seemed, to me, to be dropping. I had put this down to attrition from other monsters and lack of water and other resources. Not so, I found the missing mob. Ten deep around the Ambulance station, there must have been five hundred of them. The humble Patrol and my meagre ammunition supplies would be no match for this crowd.

I risked one drive by, Yelling "Hold on we will be back soon" out the window, before speeding away from the approaching horde.

Driving along the beach towards my beach house, I called up JL, telling her about the crowd surrounding the building "That's a good sign there's something they want inside" she offered "Maybe, but there are a lot of bad guys to, er, neutralise" I replied. She asked how I was going to approach the problem, I told her about my "Kill dozer "Oh, like you used to get to that Woman in the apartment building"? "Yes, exactly, and while I think of it, any tips on dealing with dehydrated patients"? "I'll talk you through it, take water", I signed off as we reached the caravan.

Fifteen minutes later, we were South bound and loaded for bear. The cab of the mighty Volvo was packed with Kid, dog, me, guns ammo, lots of ammo and some food and water for whoever might be in the oversized garage.

Sounding the Loaders surprisingly insipid horn as we approached, The mob, already stirred up by whatever was in the building, rushed at us as one. The smooth road surface allowed the loader to easily reach its top speed. The big machine barely slowed as the hardened steel buckets' cutting edge impacted the group. Again and again, we rolled over the attackers. Five hundred plus infected dwindled to less than one hundred.

Those that remained became rather wary of the bucket, they tried to stay clear of the front of the machine, instead choosing to close in and follow from behind. I dispatched half their number by simply selecting reverse.

The final few dozen took some patience. I drove around the block and waited, letting them gain confidence and begin to feed. Travelling as quietly as one can in a twenty ton three hundred and fifty horsepower metal monster, I circled the block and got a few more.

Down to about twenty, and those that remained would not approach the loader. time to dangle some bait. Taking a Steyr in each hand, I opened the cabin door and stepped onto the small area at the top of the ladder. They couldn't resist. The group advanced towards me at a run. Flicking one of the guns to "Auto" I let rip, spraying lead from left to right, and back again. Most fell, wounded. Five remained.

The remaining monsters had been at the back of the group, those that lay writhing and dying on the road had acted as a shield for the quintet that were racing toward their afternoon snack. I emptied the first guns remaining rounds into them. "BZZZZT" less than a second later I heard the dry click telling me it was empty. Two more dropped, three still coming. Other gun was set to Semi Auto, one squeeze of the trigger meant one bullet. Fire in their direction as they sped to the base of the ladder. Its far easier to shoot something that is some distance away, less personal, putting a bullet into the face of an ex human being as it looks up at you does nothing good for your soul. It matters not that the face looking up at you is roaring and screaming, gnashing its teeth, thinking of nothing more than ripping you to pieced with those teeth. I hoped that the girls Mother would be there, the cost I had to pay was way too high if there was no prize waiting.

It struck me that Josie had been fairly close to the truth when she berated me for wiping out the crowd in front of her apartment. I was a mass murderer. I doubt there is anybody alive on the planet that have killed as many humans as I. As I used the loaders bucket to dispatch the wounded and clear the road in front of the station of broken bodies, I wondered if Doctor Bourne had a couch and an interest in psychiatry.

I reloaded my guns as I waited for any stragglers that may have been late to the party. After five minutes, no others showed up. I manoeuvred the Volvo as close to the Station as I could get.

Lisa had been fairly quiet up to this point, I'd not told her exactly what we were doing, but she was a sharp kid, "is my Mum in there"? she asked, the excitement obvious in her voice. I answered honestly "I really don't know, I hope so".

I'd been planning to leave Lisa, safe in the loader, fat bloody chance. The single story building had two roller doors at the front, for the Ambulance garage, The building continued to the left, with an entry door and a couple of barred windows. all were closed tight. Loaded down with my backpack and guns, it was difficult to lift down the dog. Lisa was halfway down the ladder before I had Max on the ground, I helped her down the last few steps.

I didn't want to be there, we needed to be in a vehicle, or indoors, fast.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:21 am

I'm sure that when the Ambulance Station was built, it didn't have bars on the windows, and the doors probably weren't so substantial. In the fifty years since that time, the kinds of drugs kept inside had became a lot more desirable. The place was locked up like fort Knox.

Passing the two panel lift doors, I noticed an ambulance siting in one bay, The other appeared empty. It was a bit hard to see in, The Panel lift doors that secured both garage spaces were solid metal on all but the top panel. I had to stand on tip toes to see in. The lexan panels were old and scratched, additionally, the whole of the doors outer surface was covered in dirty hand prints. The pristine white doors stained a much darker colour, blood, ****, dirt, I didn't know and didn't care to find out.

Moving past the garage area, we tried looking in the office windows. No luck, the sturdy glass had held up to the onslaught of the monsters, as they were protected by even sturdier bars. But, like the garage doors, they were filthy. the now departed monsters had been pawing at those windows for weeks.

I knocked on the door, Lisa by my side. "Hello, is there anybody there"?. A weak and ragged voice hoarsely screamed back "DAMN YOU, I'M NOT GIVING UP, YOU SONS OF BITCHES AIN'T GETTING ME", "mummy"? silence. Quieter now, sobbing "No, you're NOT here, you cant be here, I'm losing my mind". She had probably been locked in this building the whole time, surrounded by roaring screeching flesh eating monsters, quite possibly dehydrated and hungry, not surprising that she was a little stir crazy.

Getting very uneasy about being out in the open, Checking my watch, I tried again "Hello miss, its very dangerous to be outside, as I'm sure you know, it's 3.25 pm Sunday the 29th of January. I am guessing you have been stuck in there since New Years Eve, if what your daughter Lisa says is anything to go by", slightly saner sounding this time "No, I'm going crazy, you are just figments of my imagination". Scanning the street, hating being out in the open, gaining a new respect for those with agoraphobia, I knew we couldn't stay here, exposed, for long.

I didn't see it approaching. A Woman, below forty I would guess. but hard to tell, She was stark naked. her skin was almost black from the sunburns she had suffered and her bodies reaction to the sun. Scrawny not in good shape at all, her skin hung off her. as she sprinted round the back of the loader making a beeline straight for us. Lisa screamed. Three squeezes on the trigger and she fell, less then ten feet from us. She continued to crawl towards us. even as the lifeblood leaked from her broken body. A little panicked but trying not to upset the damaged Woman sheltering behind the door, I made another plea for our safety. "Lady, we are real, you are going to have to take a leap of faith on that, as we cant stand here forever, I'm sure you heard the gunfire, I just shot a monster that was making straight for Lisa and I" "Please mummy,, open the door" Lisa chimed in.

Rapidly approaching footsteps alerted me to more company, an off beat fast paced "Bump thump" repeated and got louder as it neared. A big Man, charging along the same path the now departed Woman had taken less than a minute before. Three more bullets and he didn't even slow. I kept pulling that trigger until he fell at my feet. Gave him the old double tap, something I learned from some nerdy kid in a pretty good Zombie movie a few years ago.

"What's your Mums name"? I asked Lisa "same as mine" she answered. "Lisa, please open the door, if you don't we will have to leave, I can't keep your daughter out here any longer, its too dangerous", A slightly less bewildered voice came from inside "It cant have been a month", Pleading with her now "It has been a month, I'm sorry, I know that you have had a terrible time here by yourself, but we are here now, your daughter is here, and trust me Lisa, that makes you the luckiest Woman in the world right now. Please, Please, Please let us in" "Please mummy" Lisa added.

Some rattling noises came from behind the door, it opened to reveal a dishevelled looking Woman, probably in her mid thirties sitting in a wheel chair and looking scared haggard and just a bit crazy. A pink blur flew past me into her arms.
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Mon Feb 18, 2019 11:09 am

Max and I squeezed past the sobbing pair, I locked the door behind us. I doubt either of them heard as I announced that I'd be taking a look around. In the garage was one Ambulance, the other bay was empty, save for a dark metallic blue electric scooter "Well Hello Henry" I muttered. There was also some other equipment, trolleys, crutches and another wheelchair at the front of the garage. Backtracking past the still sobbing couple, into the office area, I continued into the staff lunch room. The floor was littered with several blue tinted plastic water bottles, The kind that fit on top of a water cooler. The cooler still had a small amount in its bottle, Lisa had been rationing her water it seemed. Checking the cupboards and fridge, there appeared to be nothing left to eat in the kitchen. I had a few bottles of water in my go bag, along with an MRE taken from the airport roadblock, spying a cheap Chinese gas hot plate on the bench, I lit it and emptied the water into a saucepan, along with the contents of one of the MRE packets. Beef stew would be ready in just a few minutes. Taking the opportunity to swap out the magazine in my rifle, I then inspected the remainder of the building. At the front of the building a staff bunk room with four beds, at the rear, a bathroom, Opening the door just an inch was enough to tell me that Lisa had not had any water to spare for sanitary purposes. the toilets in that room had not been flushed in quite some time. I quickly pulled the door closed, as an unforseen problem occurred to me. Lisa the elder would have the devils own trouble getting her wheel chair around the tight confines of the caravan.

And she wouldn't be climbing into the cabin of the loader.

While waiting for the two of them to come into the kitchen, I didn't need to rush them, we were safe here. I called up the Ship and gave them the good news.

Lisa the elder rolled in when she smelled the stew. Struggling with the little girl curled up in her lap. By the squelching sound coming from the chair, I guessed the tyres needed air. I pushed her towards the table "I can manage" she snapped, then softened "um, sorry, thanks".

Finding a spoon, I handed Lisa a small serve of the stew. It had been over a week since she had eaten, The water was all but gone, I took the last bottle from my go bag and handed it to her "Please take it slow" I asked "I'd rather you didn't get sick or cramps" She nodded as she enjoyed the stew.

The small portion I had given her was soon gone, "any more"? she asked. I advised that she waited for about ten minutes to see if her body was going to accept wheat she had already eaten, before she had any more. A little sadly, she agreed.

As we waited to see how her stomach would react to food after so long, we exchanged stories.

First she asked about the little girl. I hadn't asked, I'd wanted to, but felt it would be too upsetting. It turned out the little girl had hidden in her home for about a week after her mother had gone to seek treatment. she had survived by eating her beloved noodles, when they had run out, along with breakfast cereal and biscuits (cookies for my navy friends), she had went hungry for a few days. The monsters had scared her enough that she had laid low in the house. Finally she plucked up the courage to visit their next door neighbour, Mrs Madden. She had crept over the fence that separated their back yards in darkness, taking what she needed from her elderly neighbours unlocked home. Three more times she had made the trip to Mrs Madden, but a monster had found its way into her neighbours back yard, She could not get there again. and had run out of food a few days before I found her.

Lisa the elder had been suffering terrible stomach aches as a result of constipation. The pain had been unbearable, it happened sometimes to paraplegics apparently. She tried to ignore it, but it got worse and worse. In the end, she had to get medical attention. She told me that she had called her ex husband, who lived only two blocks away and asked him to take care of the little girl. He had promised to come straight over (She should have known better, he hadn't visited his daughter in two months... what a dead beat) and she had left for the Ambulance station. She had arrived as the garage door was raising, the paramedics were responding to a call, but told her to "wait inside, they would be back soon". That was the last she saw of them.

Lisa endured several hours of painful cramps, by dawn on January first, she had got past the worst of it. By that time, she daren't leave the station. Roving crowds were in the street. She tried on several occasions, but every time she tried, more surrounded the station, it got to the point where they were banging on the doors all the time. It seemed they were attracted by her sobs, and the more that surrounded the station, the more she sobbed and railed against them.

I'd been watching her as she told her story. her face seemed familiar to me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Enough time had passed, as I ladled out some more stew, I remarked on her familiarity. Lisa checked that her daughter was indeed dozing on her lap. "Maybe you know my bitch sister, she's on the radio".

Even though Lisa kept her food down, the bile was easy to see. There was obviously no love lost between her and her sister. Placing her hand gently over the sleeping girls ears she said in a low voice laced with venom "That lousy cow is the reason I'm in this chair. I was ten, she was thirteen, she purposely pushed me off the cliff near Nobbys beach. That saccharine sweet airhead never tells that story in her fucking radio show". "Josie" I exclaimed. "Yes, I bet that damned cockroach is busy using everybody around her to stay alive, nothing could kill that foul jealous airhead" she quietly raged.

After I told her that her sister was indeed dead, and had not died well, she nodded, and went very quiet, her breath hitching in her chest, she began to sob "She was so jealous of me, I never could figure out why, she had the looks, everybody loved her, but she hated me for as long as I can remember, even after she did this" she gestured at the chair "I always wanted to make it good between us, I still cant understand why she did it, we haven't spoken since Mum and Dad passed, she never even met Lisa, doesn't know about her or care". It was a dry sobbing, no tears though she was obviously upset. Unlike her sister, I was happy to hold this member of the Playton family in my arms. She clung to me as the sobs rocked her, Little Lisa slept through it.

As she finished the last of the stew and water, I talked to her about the problems that had occurred to me earlier. Where we could safely live and how we could get there.
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Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:55 am

On the matter of lodgings, Lisa The Elder (TE from now on) wanted to return to her own home, and live there. I could understand her desire to do so, the home would be set up for her chair. Ramps, bathroom and kitchen would be made just for her, sadly her home was way too close to large numbers of the monsters. Even if I could block access to the small peninsula, it might take months to hunt down all the creatures and make it safe. Given the beach with had strong waves rolling in day and night, I felt the task would be beyond me. The surf crashing onto the beach made any structure built on the waterline temporary at best.

Lisa TE was rather insistent, she informed me that her living arrangements were none of my concern. I'd lost three Women already to the apocalypse, Jenna, Nicole and Josie, I had no intention of losing this one. Lisa was watching this to and fro with interest, she informed her Mother that the beach house was great, and there were no monsters there. When I said "I don't think your Mums chair would fit inside the caravan" the little girl looked somewhat disappointed.

Lisa TE said that she would be safe from the zombies inside her home "Do you think the monsters would have stayed out of this place without the bars"? I countered "you have no food, no running water, no security, no power, no gas, and there are still a heap of those monsters out there, its just not safe" I said, I'd been alone for too long, and was careful not to let my temper get the better of me as I battled to make this Woman see reason.

"We don't need your help and don't want your opinion" TE came back, not caring about her rising temper one little bit. "Obviously you don't need anybody" I said whilst pointedly looking round the room "You've been trapped in here from the beginning, I've lived through this over the last month, Cities and towns are not the places to be. I've seen it and lived it first hand, and I have the scars and bites to prove it" I took a breath and tried to reason with her one more time "You seem to think this is none of my business, it is, I've grown very find of your daughter, and we both risked our lives to get to you, I didn't take those risks to let you kill yourself because you are too prideful to listen, and I surely will not sit by and let you put her (I motioned at the little girl, now poking around the mostly empty kitchen " in danger". She took a breath and was about to speak "Wait, let me finish" I said mildly " Come with me, to a safer location on a farm, we can look around, and you can see and judge for yourself, if, after a few days, you feel that your home has all the resources you need, I'll bring you back". TE went to say something, opened her mouth, closed it, opened it again, doing a good impression of a fish, finally she said, simply "ok".

I told Lisa TE that we would have to visit her home if it was safe to do so, as her daughter needed clothes, and I was pretty sure she might like some as well.

How were we going to get there, she asked. Obviously, the loader was out of the question, trying to get Lisa TE up six feet of ladder and into the cab would be near impossible and I doubted she would enjoy riding inside the bucket. The ambulance was sitting in the garage, well maintained and mostly likely with a full tank of fuel, it was the logical choice. We went to inspect it. Keys in the ignition of the big Mercedes van, too easy, I smiled as I went to turn it over. The key was already in the "On" position, one turn moved it to start, and the engines surprised me by remaining absolutely silent. the battery was deader than Elvis. "Battery's flat" I lamented. "Oh, I must have left it on when I was listening to the radio" Lisa TE said quietly. "Not a problem" I said grandly "I've got a plan"

"I've got a plan"
The infantryman (David Essex, Jeff Wayne) War of the Worlds Album.

My grand announcement caught Lisa's attention and imagination, sadly her hopes and dreams were dashed when I informed her mother that I would be popping out to get a luxury limousine to transport her "Really" she asked, amazed "No, its just a smelly old van", "No not stinky" whined Lisa.

The sun was getting lower in the sky, it must have been six PM, Not wanting to take my attention away from any approaching monsters, I made a bolt for the loader, Max was with me, the Lisas had remained behind, I heard the doors lock "Clack" over behind me. the only other sound was the dogs toenails clicking on the concrete. The dog rushed around the loader, latching onto a waiting monster, was he hiding, or just siting in the shade? He was distracted by the dog, and didn't even notice me walk around the side of the big yellow machine, with my Steyr raised. Three cracks, three bullets. The dog came away as he dropped.

We soon arrived at the ferry wharf. the old van sitting, waiting for us. in all its uncared for glory. It fired up easily and we were back at the station in no time. I parked it with the sliding door hard up against the inward swinging office door, we wouldn't be disturbed.

Lisa wanted Henry to come along, even though his battery was dead flat. He just slid through the office door and I goot the job of man handling the not particularly light scooter into the van. I also grabbed the spare wheel chair, Lisa TE asked why I was bothering "what if we cant stop at your house"? I asked "Oh" she replied. She was going to have to sit in the rear of the van, I bought a mattress from the bunk room, it was just a cheap foam thing, but would make a decent enough seat. Then I half helped, half carried Lisa into the back of my van. Loaded the wheelchair she had just been using along with my bag and guns. We pulled the door closed behind us. I gave a laugh as I climbed awkwardly into the drivers seat, "Whats so funny"? Lisa TE asked "Well" I dragged that out as I tried to clean up what I was going to say " back in the 1970s, getting a pretty girl like you to go for a ride in my van would have been the stuff of dreams, and as soon as your father found out there was a mattress in the back, he would have been after me with a shot gun", just the absurd thought made me laugh again. it was then that I heard the lovely sound of Lisa TE joining in, and laughing as well "I think you might have needed a much nicer van than this, way more murals and crushed velvet" Surprised that she even knew what a 70s panel van (AKA Sin Bin AKA Shaggin Wagon) looked like, I turned and quizzed her "And how would you know what the back of a 70s sin bin looked like"? I asked laughing "Some things, I shall never tell.. " she paused for a moment "My Brother had one back then" she laughed again and then I saw that smile.

The finest description I have ever heard of a beautiful smile, was "a pinball smile" as in the smile lit up her face like a pinball machine. This was definitely a "Pinball smile". I stalled the van. "Wont get too many pretty girls in the back driving like that "she lightly goaded "yeah yeah yeah" I laughed as we moved towards her home. Whatever tensions there had been between us in the lunch room, had , it seemed evaporated.

"Puberty Blues
its you and me
against the world
Puberty blues
They're giving me
no room to move"
Jenny Morris
(Puberty Blues Soundtrack 1981).

Opposite Lisa's home, was some open parkland, just reasonably short grass on a strip of land between the road and the river. Even though the river water there was still tidal and therefore salty, there were a group of monsters down near the water. "Whats happening" Lisa TE asked, as we turned and headed south again, back towards the ferry wharf. "About thirty of them near your house" I said. as we rolled away, just ahead of the group. Blowing the horn and flashing the brake lamps to keep their attention. I wanted to lure them away from the house.

We trundled most of the way back to the wharf, going slower and slower as they mob lost steam. Lisa TE constantly asking what was happening as she didn't have a good view from the cargo area of the van. Lights flashing and horn blaring we turned east towards the coast. The group dutifully hollowed.

I raced back along the beach side road , cutting back across when I again neared the girls home.

"Are there any tricks to getting into your driveway, is the gate locked"? "No its just a latch, its easy" came the answer from the back of the van.

Leaving the girls in the van, Max and I secured the gate and checked the yard. The steel fence separating the next property from this one rattled, a ragged looking creature trying and failing to climb the fence. As I neared, he stopped and just looked at me, staring. but still growling. at point blank range I sent that poor creature to God.

Once I gave the all clear, The little girl went to get her mothers wheel chair from inside the house. Henry was only for shopping trips and such. I held her back and entered the house first, the door had been ajar. The house was clear.
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Re: White Night (or where do I get my 30 + from now?)

Postby wa5 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:21 pm

Lisa TE rolled into her home on her exotic alloy and carbon fibre wonder chair. It was so much easier to lift and roll than the more industrial chairs I had bought with us from the station, I wouldn't be getting rid of them just yet, it was nice to have a couple of spares.

The home was, as I thought, set up for Lisa's needs, I could understand why she was reluctant to go elsewhere. I guessed the home was rented, it had the generic appearance of a Housing Commission property (the government agency that delivered accommodation to people in the community who could not afford to rent a home in the private market), The homes interior had been neat as a pin, excepting the fact that it had been home to an unsupervised child for a month. Lisa had obviously taken some care with decorating, The décor was nice, if a bit girly for my tastes. Noticing a cross on the wall, I guessed Lisa TE was a Christian, I wondered if her views on that may have changed in the last month.

Both Lisa's had disappeared into different rooms, Max and I curled up on the lounge and waited. Eventually the older of the two emerged "there's no water, I cant flush the toilet How will I wash"? she asked "Don't worry about it, I will set up a bath for you at the farm house", "I have to get out of these filthy clothes" she said as she disappeared through a door, closing it behind her.

Lisa came out wearing faded blue jeans, a chambray shirt, a pair of tan coloured riding boots and a white cowgirl hat "do you ride" I asked "Not for ages, always seemed to be more important things to spend my money on" .... "speaking of which" she turned and disappeared through a door with unicorn stickers on it.

"Wow" I exclaimed, the pleasure at seeing them both dressed alike was genuine, more into motorbikes than Horses, I still wanted to see mother and daughter riding side by side in those outfits, that would be a fine thing to see. Anything from the times when these two could have went for a ride together would be a fine thing to see, I reflected. Again I "wowed" telling them both just how lovely they looked.

"I'm thirsty mummy" came the all to familiar cry of children everywhere to parents everywhere. My go bag, sitting beside Max and I had not more water, it had all been used earlier. There was more in the van, I'd transferred it, along with the rest of my gear when I swapped from the loader "I've got some in the van" I said "can you bring some in please, we will need some anyway" damn, she was still angling to stay here. Right on cue, a series of roars and yelps sounded from close outside. "No, Lisa can drink in the van, get your gear, its time to go". The next set of roars and screams seemed to stifle any arguments that might have been forming in Lisas mind.

Fifteen minutes later several bags of clothes and other bits and pieces were piled at the back door. Before leaving the safety of the house, I tried looking through the front window of the master bedroom. right into the massive orange fireball that was the setting sun. I could make out some silhouettes on the far side of the roadway, but could not what way they were facing. I'd have to risk it.

I quietly loaded the bags into the van, noticing Henry in there on my final load. When I returned to the house, thankfully still un noticed, I asked Lisa about Henry's charger. I'd carried it out in one of the bags, his Girl planned ahead it seemed.

Trying to move slowly, so as not to catch the groups attention, I got them all into the van. I knew the game was up as I swung the yard gate open. They were about 40 or 50 metres from me as I finished, when the first of them gave a particularly loud roar, I knew the jig was up.

Clutch in, select reverse with the left hand as I turn the key with the right. That familiar "Bong Bong" as the first of them hit the back of the old faded Mitsubishi. I mistimed my "HOLD ON" as the van was already shooting backwards, tyres squealing on the concrete driveway.

More "bongs" as the faster ones slower friends arrived at the back of the rapidly accelerating very aptly named "Express" van. It was impossible to see much behind us. the sun was getting lower in the sky, the fiery orb like a giant spot light being shone maliciously into my rear view mirrors by some jerk who wouldn't dip his high beams. The little van bounced over several "bumps" before we cleared the group.

Still rolling backwards, as the group, now in front of us, turned to pursue us. It was their turn to be blinded by the sun. I slammed the tortured vans gearbox into first and sidestepped the clutch, the back tyres spun, leaving deep grooves in the grass of the waterside park. The residents committee would be writing some stern letters to the local paper about "hoons" tearing up their beautiful park. The van began to slip sideways as I continued to feed in too much power through second gear.

Knowing that we were now out of the groups reach, I began to slow, the vans errant tail stepped back into line as we left the slippery glass and transitioned back onto the asphalt. "Why are you slowing down" came a slightly panicked voice from the back "We are out of their reach now" I replied "Just go" came Lisa's reply, her voice slightly on edge. I took no joy from the realisation that any arguments about returning to Lisa's home were probably over.

Lisa had dragged herself up enough that she could look out of the windscreen, she asked "are you sure we can get through there, it looks blocked" as we turned from Stockton onto the main road. I told Lisa TE how I had cleared the previously impassable road several weeks before. "are there any more groups of monsters" She asked "A couple" I replied, thinking of the large group we might encounter in less than a minutes time as we passed through Fern Bay. I noticed the Charger, still patiently waiting for me to save it as we passed. Apparently the monsters could not see any better when looking into the setting sun than I could, They rose as a group to chase us, but we were already past them. I'd like to say I learned the trick of attacking with the sun to your back from WW1 fighter aces, but it was really just dumb luck.

There always has to be that one guy..... As we left the village of Fern Bay, a skinny Man decided that he couldn't let us get out of Fern Bay without at least one successful attack.

From behind a stalled semi trailer he came, timing the attack perfectly. I had no time to brake, one second the road ahead was clear, the next he was there, standing dead centre in front of the van. My foot found the brake pedal half a second after his head found the windscreen. Bouncing off the front of the van as I tried to wash off speed, he landed on the road. Before I could stop, his body disappeared under the van.

No point in looking, The hit was hard enough to severely injure the monster, besides which, he probably had friends. The van had stalled with the sudden screeching halt. The windscreen was a mess. a spiders web of cracks radiated from the round impact point that might have been a medicine ball, or a melon.... but wasn't. "Its ok, he's gone" I said to the little girl as she cried from the passenger seat. Funny even as I write this hours later, the cracking sound made by the laminated glass as the cracks continued to grow still resonates in my ears. It wasn't a loud noise, but its something you only ever hear after a "Big" crash.

With sobs and cracks echoing, I turned the key, the van started and we rolled away from the area. The van felt a little sluggish, but picked up speed ok. The broken windscreen was a real pain (or "pane" if you enjoy puns), as it made it so much harder to see, and I needed all the help I could get in that department.

Almost to the end of the twisting Fullerton Cove Road, the van bounced over something that I had not seen. The sun was down behind the trees and I saw the bloody piece of meat roll out the back of the van. Fern Bay guy had been under the van, dragging, for the last few miles. "what was that" asked Lisa TE "Tell you later" I deferred. I didn't really want to talk about it in front of the little girl, I didn't really want to think about it myself. I really hoped that poor monster was dead or at least unconscious before he went under there and was dragged for several miles.

An angry red light was glowing up at me. I guessed that the body trapped under the van had caused the fanbelt to fail or fall off. The van would make it another five minutes to Fords, but I wouldn't want to go too much further. As we passed the McDonalds, The Air conditioner was no longer giving cold air. much more concerning, the temperature gauge needle was almost at the top of its arc.

I took no notice of the American fast food giants building, No one had rushed to meet us, that was all that concerned me. There wara quite a few near the airport road block as we rolled past. I had to do a bit of slaloming to get round the road block and the monsters, once past them, I floored the van, wanting to put as much space between us as possible. I could smell how hot the poor old van was. The engine still gave enough power, but it was beginning to rattle and detonate due to overheating. less than a minute later, I opened Fords gate and rolled the poor rattling van through.

Locking the gate behind me, I rushed the poor dying Mitsubishi up to the house, I expected silence from the poor wounded machine as I turned the key off. but heard that sad and pathetic sound of an overheated engine forcing steam out through a radiator cap. The sound was similar to the fog horn of the big American ship, but far smaller and somewhat choked, it sounded like the horn had a terrible cold.

The group from the roadblock would be pursuing us, we got inside the house as the sun disappeared from the sky.
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