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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 » Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:56 pm

The small blonde, lying in a heap at my feet looked terrible, overly skinny and dried out.
I closed the door, checked she was breathing and laid her flat. She was skin and bone, A Woman in her mid thirties, her skin felt like she was a century old. She had no marks on her face, no sign of the disease.
The flat reeked like a bad pub toilet, I found a tea towel in a kitchen drawer and wet it from my army canteen.
I slowly rung it out over her parched lips, still unconscious, she swallowed by reflex. I wetted the cloth and repeated, delivering perhaps two tablespoons of water over ten minutes. After wiping her face, I had a look around.
A small apartment, kitchen (bare, not a thing to eat), living room, one bedroom and what was probably a bathroom, The stink emanating from behind that door made me leave its actual existence to my imagination.
Above the dead TV, a framed poster. "The Morning Crew" with three heads plastered over a local radio station logo. Steve, a balding 40 ish funny man, Stuart a mid 30s bloke, the serious one, the straight man. and finally the mid 30s Jose, the very likable ditzy dumb blonde. The Woman laying comatose on the floor.
My preferred morning radio companions. Josella Playton. She came across as a very good natured, though super dumb blonde, It had to be an act, nobody could be as stupid as she was on air and live alone unsupervised. But she was entertaining, she was also a little famous for some book that she had written several years ago. It was in the process of being made into a movie I think.
The flat reeked, I gave the sleeping girl more water, then went to retrieve the rest of my gear from the stairwell. I'd assumed this would be a scoop and run mission, "Hello are you ready to go" was not how this would play out. If I had to stay here for more than a few hours, I had to get away from that stink.
My pry bar made short work of the other units doors. The first three had corpses inhabiting them, The air quality was no better than Jose's.
The second last door, the unit next door to Jose's, met my needs. Clean and deserted.
The girl was very easy to carry. worryingly so, she was so very underweight.
As I deposited her in the clean double bed, she stirred. "water, please"
I'd been in hospital only once in my life, after the small operation, the nurses would not give me water, only a small amount of ice chips. I decided to stay with the wet tea towel, She weakly suckled on the damp cloth, after three more, she came around a little.
"More, please give me a proper drink". stupidly I did.
She rolled and weakly vomited the water over the floor. My good works, wasted.
I went back to the original method, she greedily suckled, like a newborn. The effort tired her out and she fell back into sleep.
I continued to drip feed her, understanding her desperate need of hydration.
Half a bottle, perhaps half of that made it inside her, the rest spilled on her face, her skin seeming to soak it up.
While she slept, I transferred my gear, made the apartment door secure and cleaned up the mess on the pristine white carpet in the bedroom. It was only water, she had nothing left inside her.
She lapped up another half bottle while she slept. I thought it best not to push my luck, It would be a shame for her to vomit this water as well. so I let her sleep. I settled on the lounge and took the time to inspect one of the army MRE (meal ready to eat) bags I had snagged earlier.
I'd crammed ten in a back pack, so I was ok with sacrificing one to curiosity.
Night was coming, I had only my headlight, Jose's apartment yielded the torch, an Eveready Dolphin, its battery almost flat. The sixth and final flat on that level contained was also empty, it did have some large ornamental candles and a 24 pack of bottled water. Both came with me, back to our new digs.
Not being a smoker, I was at a loss as to how I might light the candles, until I looked at the MRE. A little container with about ten matches. it took two to get the unused candles alight. One I left in the living area, the other I took to Jose's room, she was awake when I entered "who are you, where am I"? she croaked.
Though tempted to answer with "I'm your biggest fan" whilst grinning like a lunatic, she probably already had enough "Misery" in her life, and didn't need any more. I gave her my name, and explained as gently as I could why we had moved next door, while she sucked on a wet cloth. I still wasn't sure she was ready for real water.
Before I left the room, I found out that the likable dumb blond was partly an act. She wasn't likable and she wasn't a blond.
Even in her weakened state, laying pale and helpless, she berated me for burglarising her neighbours home, and worse still, involving her in the crime. As I fed her more water, she asked if it was me who had shown up this morning in the "big yellow dump truck". I answered in the affirmative. She opened up on me again, I was, it seemed a murderer, running down those poor innocents. As soon as she was able, she would be reporting me to the authorities. Muttering something about crimes against humanity, she slipped back to sleep.
I wiped her face down with the cloth while she slept, some from the other apartment undoubtedly came with her to this one. she needed a bath. As I was inspecting my handy work, I noticed that she was a bottle blond, Her roots were showing.
I retired to the living room to check the MRE.
Basically the CR1M (Combat Ration 1 Man) held two meals, one light meal of soup and a lot of snacks, The handy little information sheet suggested the meals be consumed for breakfast and as an evening meal. leaving the soup and snacks, things such as muesli bars, biscuits, cheese and preserved fruit could be consumed at lunch and during the rest of the day, They seemed to pack a fairly generous amount of food. Also tea, coffee, cocoa, condensed milk, sugar, salt, pepper chocolate bars and M&Ms, some kind of hard candy, a spoon and some toilet paper, plastic bags and most importantly for me at the moment. some kind of energy drink powder, probably Gatorade.
I made a weak solution for Jose, figuring the orange flavoured drink may be a little acidic, I didn't to make her sick. The rest of the mix went into another bottle for me. Perhaps the effect was psycho sematic but as the sun sunk beneath the horizon to the west, I started feeling the effects of the drink.
I returned to the ungrateful sleeping woman and fed her in much the same manner I had once fed a motherless kitten. slowly and messily.
Perhaps the effect of the sports drink was real, after about ten minutes, she stirred, appearing to have a little more energy. Only a little more, one couldn't expect miracles.
I kept drip feeding her, despite her ever more strident protests that she needed a lot of water and needed it NOW.
I needn't think that just because I was helping her at the moment, that she had forgotten about the break in, or the murders. Her radio voice had been replaced by a strident whiny voice. She finished by telling me what a terrible person I was. the word "scumbag" was also mentioned.
I assured her that I would take full responsibility for my actions at the appropriate time (which promised to be "never"). and tried to change the subject.
Hoping to divert Jose from her infatuation with "war crimes, crimes against humanity" and "the UN world court", I asked for her end of the world story, how she came to be caught up on the fifth floor of Pinnacle Apartments.
She had thrown a "gathering" on new years eve, just a little shin dig for her friends and neighbours. To cheer them up, simply "everybody" was just so down in the dumps about the nasty business in America. I enquired about that same "nasty business" being in Australia. Just a minor hiccup apparently, the US would arrive any time now to make everything right.
In the meantime, she, and her friends had their party. Only those from inside the building bothered to show, the rest had been so rude, they hadn't even bothered to call. I didn't bother pointing out that they were probably already dead, dying or fighting to avoid that fate, there seemed little point arguing against her "logic".
The power went out at 2am. Some of her friends had already left by that stage, claiming they were feeling ill, though she was sure they only trying to ruin her party. The remainder left after the lights went out (the animals I'd dealt with in the hallway, and the remainder of their meals no doubt).
She'd tried to leave the flat on the first day of the new year, but Ivor Wadsworth "he's the arts critic for the Herald" and Leah Rianon "The Environmental party senator" came running up the hall screaming (the emergency lights had been working at the time), and Lee, a life long Vegan was eating some kind of raw meat. She got scared closed and locked the door, over the past two weeks she had called to them, tried to reason with them, but every time she did, they tried to break through her door.
Probably just my sick sense of humour, but imagining Ms. Rianon chewing on somebodies arm bought me great joy. she was a nasty venomous snake in the grass, intent on destroying anything that didn't fit into her slanted belief system. the number of decent people who had lost their livelihoods when she had ruined their business or their character with her publicly funded war chest was disgusting. What do you know, some good had came from this disaster after all.
Jose finished off the drink, I mixed another bottle, Mixed berry this time, still very weak, I only used about one quarter of the powder, Transferred a tiny amount into an empty bottle and let her drink. telling her to take it easy, reminding her that after so long, her stomach had to get used to having something in it again. Ignoring me, She greedily gulped it down, less than a mouth full. She was rewarded with violent stomach cramps.
The cramps lasted for about half an hour, she was sobbing with the pain. I thought they would subside as she absorbed the water, but they seemed to be getting worse. I took her to the balcony, and tried sticking my finger down her throat. Nothing. The stench from the amassed creatures below should have been enough to make her throw up.
I was sure my actions would result in another Police report, oh well, it couldn't be helped.
Around twenty years ago, I was travelling to town with a few mates, Elfy (so named because his head was a bit pointy and looked like an elf hat) was seriously hung over. "Pull over, I'm gonna be sick", we stopped, he got out and proceeded to not be ill. he tried, but it just wouldn't come. Tired of waiting, one of the other blokes Gordo, walked over to him, gently put his hand on his mates shoulder and buried his fist into the poor blokes mid section. Worked better then ippycack or what ever that stuff is called that models use, I've never seen so much vomit come from one man. "That feels better" he said, thanked Gordo and we continued into town.
Although "the Gordo manoeuvre" worked a treat, after vomiting on the growing crowd below, she informed me that there was nothing worse than a Woman basher and I could expect charges to be laid. Then she spat in my face, and told me I was worse than Hitler.
I threw her on the bed and walked out.
Just like **** and piss, spit wipes off. I was tired and cranky. I wasn't expecting a fair maiden to fall into my arms as I rode in on my white charger. But I sure as hell wasn't expecting to be compared to one of history's monsters, have legal threats (no matter how laughable given the situation ) levelled, nor to be spat at for trying to help alleviate pain. even if the method was a little on the rough side.
Time for an attitude adjustment.
She was awake when I entered, "I'm thirsty". "Be quiet and listen up. I've seen only one other person in the last 13 days, She died as the result of a plane crash "(not exactly the truth, but not exactly a lie either, I wasn't prepared to go into it at that point)", I have seen nobody else in that time, I'm guessing you haven't either. So heres a very simple question. Do you want me to leave, if I do, nobody will come, you will die, so, again, do you want me to go"?
She answered with a very tiny "No". Lucky, if she'd said yes, I was staying anyway, I wouldn't see the only other survivor die if I could help it. No matter how much of a pain she was. It seems you can pick your friends, but you cant pick your family, or fellow survivors of a Ku Klux Klan inspired apocalypse.
So I laid down the law, basically keep her opinions of me to herself, if she wanted to report me to the Americans when they arrived, that was fine, but no comparisons to Hitler and no spitting. Additionally when I asked her to do something, I expected her to comply, I reminded her that the cramps were brought on by gulping down the water she was told to sip. "Do you agree"?, she came back with a very timid "yes".
I returned with another small amount of Gatorade. Reminding her yet again of the cramps, I told her to sip it. This time she complied. She nursed that meagre mouthful for twenty minutes, drinking daintily, mouselike.
While she again slept, I tossed the other units. Searching mainly for water, My current supply would last three or four days at best, it was always good to have a buffer, also I wanted a few spare litres so Jose could have a sponge bath, she stunk to high heaven. I found three more slabs of water and a half full kerosene lantern, as well as a gas BBQ on one of the porches. I was rather grateful for that, I really thought the MREs came with their own little stove, but I was wrong.
I was a little noisy bringing the BBQ back to the unit. Jose cried out, thirsty again. I gave her another small amount of liquid, reminded her again to take it easy.
I thought she looked a little better, and decided to try her on some food. MRE chocolate to be exact.
When I returned she still had half the purple liquid, perhaps she was starting to 'get it" after all.
I broke off a tiny piece of chocolate and told her to let it melt in her mouth.
We continued like that til midnight, her taking small drinks and smaller pieces of chocolate. She said she would like something a little more substantial than crumbs of chocolate. The MRE yielded a portion of beef soup. I heated it in a pan full of tomorrows bath water on the BBQ.
I helped her sit up in bed, and bought in a small amount in a cup, the solids strained off, I gave her a tea spoon and again warned her to go very steady, the remains of the soup simmered in another pan.
As she took baby bites, I asked her about the rest of her time in the flat, after the power had gone out.
The animals in the hall had kept her trapped, and she had very few supplies in the flat, she alway ate out she explained. The small amount of tv dinners (lean Cuisine she called it, same thing) in the freezer started defrosting on the 1st, so she threw them out. I asked why she didn't eat them, they are cooked after all, just cold. Looking at me like I was a fool, and asked how she could eat something that wasn't cooked. Sadly I nodded, how indeed. She had lived on chips and dips, party foods were all she had left. Drinking wine, champagne and mixers, coke, soda water and ginger ale.
By the 6th, it was all gone, she started down the twin roads to starvation and dehydration.
I fetched a little more soup and a few drops of the grape flavoured drink, as she partook, she continued. She came up with the idea to make a beacon, a bed sheet for the day and the torch her father had given her for night, She'd had to change the battery, but she figured it out.
I asked about the bathroom and unholy stink, "after the water failed, the toilet didn't flush" she said simply. I asked why she hadn't got rid of her waste over the balcony rail? "Oh, I didn't think of that" she said. I queried why she hadn't raid the other apartments, the three on her side of the hall shared a common balcony. She hadn't thought of that either. instead she lay dying.
From the sixth til the evening of the ninth, she had no water. The storm had saved her.
When it came, she lapped water from the floor tiles, at it blew in. she lapped it from her own arms she even had the presence of mind to fill a few pots, but in the sheltered area, they only got an inch or two of water. With all that water teaming down, she got a drink, but not nearly enough, still thirsty, the meagre amount of water in the pots was gone by the next morning, and she was still thirsty. I asked about the beacon sheet, surely it would have been drenched, she could have wrung it out into every container she had. again, she hadn't thought of that.
By one, she'd had enough to eat, but was still thirsty. I was afraid to go to quickly, I fancied that I could recall reading about major complications from hydrating too quickly. but I also knew that lack of water bought its own issues.
While she slept, I ate the rest of the Beef soup. not bad. I put the Lamb and Rosemary on to boil, I was still hungry.
Raiding another MRE, I mixed up a stronger batch for Jose.
By two AM my lamb was ready, I woke her up and gave her half a bottle of tropical flavoured energy drink, again reminding her to sip it. Yes I sounded like a broken record. She said the smell of the lamb was making her hungry again, I gave her a few slithers, tiny, still after eating them, she felt a little ill. back to soup I think.
The half bottle took her an hour to finish. I gave her the other half, doing my broken record thing and dozing for about twenty minutes.
I woke to groans, The cramps were back and the bottle was empty.
I asked if she needed to vomit, she said she'd try to work through it. ten minutes later, it had obviously got worse. Back to the balcony, after trying to bring up her stomachs contents unsuccessfully, we again reverted to the Gordo method and a rainbow of purple, yellow and beef brown went over the side (actually it was just brown, but I tried to make it sound nicer). Back to bed. and time for another talk.
"Do you want me to leave, be honest, we cant carry on like this, you just start to get some water inside you, and then you make yourself sick, if you want to kill yourself, tell me, I'll get the gun, it will be quicker and kinder". "Noooo, please, please stay, I'll be good, I'll do what ever you tell me too". she pleaded like a scared child.
I mixed the other satchel, Orange this time, using half the satchel in two bottles, made a litre of weak solution .. I gave her quarter of one bottle. It took til sunrise to get half a litre into her. I cooked some chicken soup out of the second MRE, again feeding it to her in dribs and drabs. She had most of the liquid, I had what was left. By nine the day was shaping up to be a corker. a little under 30 and a pleasant breeze coming off the ocean. even with the balcony door all the way open, we couldn't smell the crowd below.

I informed Jose that I wanted her to have a sponge bath. she was not keen on the idea. I pointed out that cleanliness kept germs at bay. she really didn't want to.
I told her it was happening whether she like it or not, she smelled like a rotten warthog and needed a bath.
Putting the water on to boil, I found a large plastic tub in the laundry, I raided every towel in the place and asked Jose if she had any preference on clothing. She seemed very quiet and shook her head.
I found some modest underwear in her unmentionables drawer and a long thing that might have been an over sized t shirt or an undersized nightie.
I returned to the flat as the water boiled.
Carried a small table in beside the bed, for the plastic wash tub. boiling water than a few bottles of cool water. There was enough for a wash, but the amount wasn't generous.
I returned with the towels, Jose watched quietly.
"I'll just get your frilly things and we're ready to go" I said over my shoulder as I walked out.
Less than a minute later, when I returned, Jose lay on the bed, naked.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:14 am

"Um Josella, I kind of thought you'd be washing "those" areas" I said awkwardly, noting that I was right, "blonde" was not her natural colour.
"its ok she said, I understand, you wanted to get me naked, so you could rape me, I know men have needs, I'm on the pill, you don't have Aids do you, I'll do what you want, just don't leave me, I wont tell anybody I promise, just don't leave me".
Fleeing the room, I made the balcony with no time to spare.
Over the last few days, I'd seen and taken part in horrors that will never leave my dreams. Although I saw it as a kindness, I knew Shooting that poor girl, Frannie, and her unborn child, would haunt me, both awake and asleep for the rest of my life. Even the far less personal act of bulldozing the monsters with the loader would, I'm sure, leave scars that would never properly heal. I don't think either of those things would haunt me, like the site of that poor pathetic scared Woman, lying weak and naked in her bed, begging me not to desert her.
Also Brown, my stomachs contents briefly flew, before landing on the upturned faces of those below.
I knew that I was using emotional blackmail to make Josella behave. But my reasons were just, I was trying to save her life. not make some kind of slave out of her.
I really hoped I could fix this mess.
I knocked on the door, "come in, I'm ready", damn, "Um Josella, can you cover up for a minute please", "Ok" came the reply.
I entered the room and she was under the sheet. "Jose, we've had a bit of a misunderstanding" I began. I told her how I needed her to do as I asked when it came to her health, I only wanted her to get better. But I would never want her to do anything else that made her uncomfortable. I'd made a mistake in railroading her into the sponge bath. Though my intentions were honourable, I should have explained to her why it was necessary and how I felt we could best achieve it, Making it very clear that I would not abandon her.
"oh" she said, and burst out crying. Under the circumstances, hugging her didn't seem to be the right move, I held her hand until she calmed down.
"What about the bath"? she asked. "Up to you, but you do smell like an old billy goat. Dirt breeds germs, I'd rather avoid that if we can, I was hoping you could take care of that yourself, I left it until I thought you were strong enough". She agreed.
I delivered a full bottle of water for her to sip while she was bathing, as I left, I said "Josie, I made a mistake, by talking at you, and not listening to your concerns, we need to be able to work with and trust each other. We are a team and we need to start behaving like one. I wont abandon you, and I hope you wont leave me". "I wont" she said, as I closed the door.
After about half an hour of splashes and water being wringed from a washer noises she was done. It was quite an improvement, The exertion had taken its toll, she lay back on the bed, resting. The water bottle half empty.
Raiding a third MRE for its soup, beef again, and energy drink mix, I made up another light meal for my partner.
Over the next hour, she drank half a cup of soup, and drank a full 500ml bottle of water, it seemed her stomach was re adjusting to food and water.
Jose mentioned that I too was a little on the nose. It was only fair that I took a bath as well. While I boiled the water, I bought in another bottle for her. I didn't tell her to take it easy, she knew by now.
Taking to the second bedroom (this unit was bigger than Josies) I stripped and washed, leaving a wet spot on the carpet, we would be gone in a day or two, it didn't matter. I had to dress in the same clothes, the owner of this apartment was much smaller than me. He did have a range of quality colognes. So I splashed it around liberally and returned to show off the result to Josella.
I'd taken my time, probably half an hour in all. I returned to an industrial grinding noise coming from the bathroom.
Josella was bent over the toilet, vomiting up buckets of clear liquid.
Dashing out to the water bottles, I found ten of them on the kitchen floor empty. She'd guzzled five litres, an imperial Gallon in half an hour.
The only thing I could do, was pat her head until her stomachs' convulsions ceased. They didn't, she continued to vomit. When nothing more came even the sickly yellow bile exhuasted . she was racked by the tearing pain in her gut.
The ripping convulsions continued, she was sobbing with the pain. all that good work, down the drain. for over an hour she was shaken by contractions of the stomach, I was powerless to stop them. Vaguely aware that emergency rooms offered an injection to stop vomiting, I had no idea of its name, and would have needed hours to organise a trip to the hospital. to search through the ward and hopefully find it.
I didn't have that kind of time. She was clutching her head, shrieking with pain each time she was taken by the pain ripping through her stomach. "It hurts" she wailed, clutching her head.
It was like watching a fast motion documentary about how a stroke happened. The right side of her face fell away, She fell to the hard tile floor, unconscious.
I carried her back to the bed, knowing what was coming, and dreading it.
I knew she was dying, I wasnt sure how long it would take, I thought she would simply waste away. Thats not how it happened.
Violent convulsions shook her. They went for minutes, not seconds. And then it was over, The convulsion ended and so did she. So close, we were so damn close to beating the dehydration, why did she do it?
Covering her with a sheet, I gathered my things and closed the apartment door behind me.
It would take three or four trips to get my gear back to the bush master. Shining my light into the hole in the fire door, showed no sign of the creatures. I made my first trip to the ground floor. carrying my chainsaw and pry bar. I saw an arm reaching through the fire door to the lobby. That wasn't good. They'd obviously got past the glass.
Dropping onto my knees, I peered around the grasping hand, The foyer was packed tight with monsters. Bad, really bad. Even if I could kill them all, I'd still be stuck with their bodies blocking the other side of the door.
It dawned on me that I may have to leave the Bushmaster and make other arrangements.
Keys, back up to five and check all the apartments for car keys. The three rear facing units the ones with dead occupants all had car keys, two on hooks, one on the kitchen bench.
Second load of gear down to the ground floor, two spare guns and ammo bag. one more trip would see me done. Into the car park to check the keys.
First one, a Mitsubishi iMiEV. a small electric hatchback, I really wanted something a little more substantial. I found it with the next key, Hit the unlock button and a white VE Statesman V8 obediently bleep bleeps at me, The third key was for an Audi, it turned out to be a little TT, From my position in the Automotive industry, in my opinion, you'd be better off relying on a three wheeled skateboard than a car made in Europe, the TT was relegated to last place. I tried them all, nice to have a spare if needed. The electric Mitsubishi switched on, its range metre showing 110km. The big V8 in the Statesman fired up, settling down to a charismatic idle. 6.0 litres of Chevrolets finest pushing two tonnes of luxury car. Unsurprisingly the Audi didn't start.
Back up stairs for the MREs canteens and my go bag. Check through the units for a few last minute handy items, two tins of cooking oil and a turkey baster. bid farewell to the fifth floor, and to Josella. What a waste.
Not ready to admit defeat in regards to the Bushmaster, I had a plan, of sorts to retrieve it. Having another way, just in case was only common sense, more so, given the recklessness of my "plan".
Check out the roller door in the car park, I hadn't figured it out the day before, but it turned out to be just another panel lift door. the panels raising and running along a track suspended above the roof. The door was raised and lowered by an electric chain drive. attached to the door by a simple clip, pull a string and it releases, allowing the door to move without electric assistance. Of course being close enough to actually raise the door would leave me as monster bait once it went up a few feet.
With a little rope, I could hook the top of the door to a car and pull it up quickly, and get out of the car park, but I had no rope.
I had a knife and I had access to a heap of cars. My rope was made from cut and joined seat belts. I had to Harvest 20 cars to get the length of rope I needed. The insurance claim to fix them would have been over one hundred thousand dollars.
The iMiEV silently rolled to the desired location, I hooked up my makeshift rope to the car and the door, but left the door locked to its drive chain. Time to try for the Bushmaster, now I had my back door sorted.
Use the turkey baster to squirt one and a half tins of cooking oil through the hole in the fire door. Over the monsters legs and flooding the floor in the foyer. The remaining two litres of oil, I drizzled over the still questing arm soaking it and the sleave of its shirt. Quickly making my way to the Statesman, I drew some two stroke fuel from the chainsaw, squirting most through the hole in the door, the remainder onto the ever searching arm.
With my three guns and ammo at the ready, I struck another match from the MRE container. With a gentle "woof" the sleeve caught fire, it took a little while for the heat and flames to travel to the monsters skin. The exact moment was marked by a scream on the other side of the door, followed by a ruffling sound as the arm was retracted at half the speed of light. The hole was in the lower half of the door, the questing monster had to be kneeling or sitting to get his arm through. the smell of burning hair meant it was a "him". As the flaming arm entered the foyer, it encountered the floating petrol vapour from the two stroke fuel I had just deposited on the floor. No gentle "woof' rather a guttural "Woomph" shaking the fire door in its frame, flames shooting through the hole in the door, igniting the oil that had dripped from the monsters arm. A high pitched beeping drifted through the hole, The foyers' fire alarm was screeching away on battery back up.
The fire extinguisher at the base of the stairs killed the flames inside the stairwell. The flickering light coming through the hole brightened as the fire took hold.
The squealing coming through the door reached fever pitch. Why weren't they fleeing the fire?
All I could see through the hole was flames. A quick trip upstairs was in order. Up to five and into Josellas unit. Straight to the balcony and peer over the edge. Smoke starting to rise from the foyer almost directly below. The monsters were crowding in towards the noise and commotion, those inside the foyer were never getting out. The Bushmaster was a bust, time to go.
Into the parking garage, Start the Statesman, power up the iMiEV and pull the pin on the door retainer. flick the electric car into drive and run for the big Holden as the Mitsi creeps forward. Stupid electric car isnt creeping like a normal Automatic car will. time for a new plan. roll past the little iMiEV and reverse the Statesman into it. Reverse sensors going off their heads as the Limousine pushed the smaller car away from the front of the building, and the door rises. Faster, before they get to interested. its high enough, into drive and get moving. There's too many, floor it, the big car surges forward. headlights and grille shattering as I plough through the crowd.
Hard left, out of the driveway and onto Scott street, need to turn right then left to get to my railway line escape route. too big a crowd, the car wont make it though, its already been almost hung up by a body caught underneath the low slung chassis, what I would have given for a big tough four wheel drive at that point.
Left, in the opposite direction to my way out of town. They're following, need to get some space between me and them. Push the pedal hard into the carpet, She kicks down a gear and the big V8 goes from lazy slogger to frenetic sprinter. The car accelerating faster than most would think possible. Soon enough, I was hard on the brakes as I had to crawl around a snarl. leaving some of the big cars paint behind.
I turned west, out of sight of my pursuers. zig zagging my way towards Mayfield and the open road. hopefully.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:35 pm

Inside the Statesman was hushed luxury, outside this almost new luxury car looked like it had been in a war zone. Looking at my reflection in a passing shop window, I saw a white car, with smashed headlamps and a missing front bumper, just the plastic cover. but it made the car look really bad. dents and scrapes down the left side and blood stains, vibrant red in the afternoon sun.
Still near the coast, heading west, I could stay on the back streets, on the south side of the main thoroughfare, moving through Newcastle's outer suburds, Cooks Hill, Hamilton, Georgetown, Waratah and then North to Mayfield and the industrial highway, the road I had travelled on yesterday, or I could try heading almost due North and join up with my route closer to the centre of the city.
A big group coming towards me, Sharp right, that was too close, and even more of them ahead. Trapped. Push the accelerator pedal hard into the firewall, The big car starts to pick up some serious speed. Several of them bounce off the side. One of them hits centre left, the bonnet creases up about halfway back from the force of the impact, but the lock mechanism holds, lucky, it would be impossible to navigate with it bent over the roof. A white cloud shooting out the front of the car, the Air Conditioning core split. Its refrigerant forcing out in a white fog, evaporating in the heat. The group disappearing in my rear view mirror, The loss of cold air through the cars vents a small price to pay.
Taking my eyes from the mirror, I was just in time to see the monster sprinting at the car. Another huge hit to the front and into the windscreen, cracks spreading across it. More white clouds out the front, Steam this time. The car wouldn't last long with its cooling system compromised. I was still on the wrong side of Hunter street, the jam packed main street into Newcastle running East West, and was not going to be able to cross it to reach Hannel Street, my cleared North Western escape route.
Further West past the showrooms of Kloster Ford, located half a mile from the spares department. Hopefully home to my salvation. A few streets further on turn right, North on Beaumont Street, Hamilton, The multicultural "Eat Street" of the city. Blocked solid. continue west. The over heated engine starting to ping each time I feed in fuel.
The Rail line, my target, ran under the road, changing from North of Hunter street, to South.
Another mile or so to the next crossing. West, again, then North through an industrial area. almost to the line and the road is blocked, bounce the big car up, and over the gutter. Squeeze past the jam, and torture the suspension on the way down.
The line was about three blocks South of the man road at this point, I didn't even bother going to check, the road would be blocked.
The car shuddered as it ran over the sleepers, its underside scraped cruelly as it crossed the rails switching points.
Australian cars made in the 50s, 60s and 70s were tough machines, made to cover vast distances on poorly made roads, They could be had with raised heavy duty suspension, heavy duty tow packs, cooling packs, sump guards, fuel tank protectors, everything you needed to tour the pot holed gravel roads of the outback. In the late 70s people wanting to go to those places started buying four wheel drives, The cars got softer.
As roads got better and we all got a little more "civilised", priorities changed from tough as nails cars that could traverse sand, gravel, streams and great distances, to handling, fuel economy and aerodynamics. What I'd give for a 71 Falcon with outback suspension pack right about now (properly warmed of course).
Coming up on the Hannel street rail crossing, my way onto the line yesterday, I bounced the poor battered car over another rail switching point. CLUNK, it came down hard, I could smell the hot oil as it ran free from the fractured alloy oil pan.
The angry red oil light lit up, accompanying the orange Check engine light that had been shining since the car started to head up. With the temperature gauge needle way to the right, the engine rattling from the extreme heat and now starting to tap loudly as the hydraulic valve lifters lost their oil, it would soon start to knock as the main engine bearings between the connecting rods and the crankshaft started to melt and fail through lack of lubrication and head.
Exiting the train line, back onto the road, the car trailing a blue haze, as the oil burned on the hot exhaust system.
Along Hannel Street, about half a kilometre and turn left, engine pinging under load and the first rumbles of big end rattle starting to sound over the rattling of the dead lifters.
Another left and I can see my workplace two hundred metres ahead. Located in a quiet semi industrial area, I don't see any bad guys. The car gave a tortured CLUNK, The engine locked up. I rolled to a stop just near the gate.
Still carrying my keys (house, shed and work) old habits die hard I guess.
The gate puts up a fight without power assist. I slide it open only far enough to slip through, grab all my gear from the Statesman, give the steaming, smoking wreck that was an immaculate car an hour ago my thanks for getting me here safely, Then abandon it to its fate.
Shut and lock the gate and have a look around, make sure there are no surprises. I wasn't expecting anything, the solid fence had kept out thieves and vandals since it was erected. The yard was clear, Check the two sheds, both sitting unsecured and open for the last two weeks. if management ever found out, heads would roll.
Both departments clear, save for a few doves that shot out the door as I entered, I almost shot them.
I checked the key board, three sets of keys. The bus, and two others. A Bee Em Trouble You, a seven year old three series that just wouldn't run right, the service department had tried everything, but they just couldn't make it behave, it would be wholesaled "as is" if it couldn't be sorted, neither would happen now.
The other car was a near new Ford Focus, fitted with the PowerShift transmission, it was in for warranty repairs, The service department were already referring to cars fitted with this type of gearbox as "Power ****", On the market for less than a year, they were shaping up as a problem child. Salesmen weren't exactly banned from selling them, but they were "strongly advised" by management to actively push other options, to the point of sending the sale to another franchise (another Kloster franchise, of course).
The rest of the yard was empty. Not even any trade in bombs. Jeff had taken the last one.
Time to embrace my new career as a bus driver.
The bus fired up easily. I walked to the front of the property and ferried my things into the bus. I took a last look, I didn't think I'd be back and locked up the buildings, on impulse, I grabbed my pushbike, just a ratty old mountain bike I kept to get me to the showroom if I needed to go there (I could generally beat a car), or to pick up lunch, it sat in the corner of my office most of the time.
Plenty of room for it in the bus and always nice to have a plan B. also I was fond of the old thing, I'd found it on a footpath, the owner leaving it out for the garbage collectors. There was nothing wrong with it, I made it super awesome by spraying it matte black and hand painting flames on it. Of course the general manager didn't like it much. I'd probably never ride it again, not with all these biters around, that's for sure, but it would look cool sitting in my shed beside Pops Valiant.
All guns fully loaded, roll the bus around to the gate, after spending five minutes figuring out how to release the brake and shift it into drive. I made sure I could also make it go backwards.
Strain and groan opening the gate. roll through, about to exit the bus, another few minutes to figure how to open the door, the park brake came on at the same time. Step down from the bus and hear their battle cry as they approach from the south, forget the gate, its not important, jab the door close button, pull it into drive and get rolling. Turn right then left and I'm facing nothing but clear road all the way to the RAAF base.
Even being careful in the corners, I scraped the bus, it was just so long and wide. on the cleared road, I could speed up a little, There were a few creatures about, but not many, I wondered where they were getting their water from, Throsby creek, which was under the bridge I was just crossing was tidal, they couldn't be drinking salt water. A swimming pool somewhere perhaps?
Within ten minutes I was near the bridge onto Kooragang island, passing the area where I had last seen Michael. The creatures were thick on the bridge. It had me stumped for a moment, they couldn't be drinking the river water, it was still tidal at this point and still very salty. Just past the bridge, the road curved to the right, A water hole was located on the left side of the curve, narrow, but a couple of hundred metres long. It was home to a family of Swans, they came back every year to raise their young. The local newspaper did a story on them every year when they showed up.
I slowed a little and bashed through the crowd, the bus's door did not inspire confidence, I wasn't sure just how secure it was. I drove through the creatures a little faster than I other wise might have.
Banging into them, impacting pretty hard. Some bounced to the side, some impacting heavily and being thrown down onto the road ahead of the bus. The windscreen cracked from the multiple impacts, the front panel of the bus shattered. Just because the bus was big and looked tough, it wasn't. the panel under the screen was made of fibreglass, it was made to flip up, and covered some of the bus's systems, wiper motor, master cylinders, electrical systems and fuse blocks, that kind of thing.
One last big impact and the bus was through the crowd.
There would be no more stories on the Swans, two reasons. No paper and no more Swans, the road was covered in feathers, the swans were pretty quiet, people stopped and fed them every day.
just round the bend a block of angry red lights ignited on the dashboard and the engine lost power and stopped. Bad, very bad. it rolled to a stop about six hundred metres past the bridge. Key off, back on and try to start it, it turned but didnt fire, five seconds was enough to tell me it wasn't going to play ball.
No cars nearby, there was a few cars near the bridge, near the remainder of the group I had just riled up. Pistol into the ammo ruck sack, over my shoulder, bug out pack on my back, Steyr on a strap over my other shoulder and shot gun in my left hand.
Glad I grabbed the pushbike. Tyres were a little spongy after sitting for a fortnight, but it gave me more speed and range than the group coming up behind me.
After a few minutes of pedalling, I came to a few cars, some of which had been pushed aside the day before. Most had dead inside, keeping an eye on the group gaining on me, I check the remainder, only four cars, no keys. back on the bike and pedal faster, the mob now a little closer. They couldn't hope to keep up with me while I was riding, but I was getting tired. The under inflated tyres and not exercising since the start of the year were beginning to defeat me.
The crowd behind was big enough that I didn't want to get into a shootout with them if I could help it. A monster bounded out from behind a bush, I pumped harder on the pedals and made some ground, before coming to a quick halt and levelling the shot gun at the still running critter. The loud report would only urge them on. I looked longingly at the mini pump secured to the frame of the bike, a few more PSI in the tyres would make all the difference, alas, no time.
Passing another jam of cars, I didn't even bother checking. some damn fool had thought it would be hilarious to stack these ones on top of each other... yesterday.
The next group of cars were some distance away and I was losing speed. getting desperate, I looked to the open gate of the coal loader wharf. and the four ships tied up, that would never be loaded. I made a snap decision to go for one of the ships.
Turn into the coal loader entrance. past the empty guard box and squeeze around the dead boom gate.
The first ship had what I wanted. I made a beeline for the gangway. I'd read that some ships crew rode pushbikes from one end of the ship to the other. so carried the bike up the stairs with me. puffing and panting as I stepped onto the ship. Scanning the hot metal deck and seeing nothing.
The entryway was at midships, about one hundred and fifty metres from the stern, my destination.
Back on the bike and ride towards the rear of the boat, I noticed a few other bikes on the deck. Any other time I would have thought that was so cool, had a few other things on my mind.
Reach the cabin area and have to climb a set of steep stairs. still dragging my bike. look over my shoulder, a few of the group are just reaching the top of the steps. to close for comfort, only another forty metres at best. Running past an open door one flies out, impacts heavily and nearly pushes me over the rail. My momentum pushed me forward, I keep my balance and speed up, bringing up the shot gun, knowing it will bring any more that might be close. The top half of the creature turns to mince meat and it drops, I round the back of the cabin block and see my goal, A bright orange life boat, hanging over the stern of the ship.
I'd seen one of these being launched on Mighty Ships and thought it might make a good sanctuary.
Climb that last few steps onto the boat launching platform and open the rear access door using the two handles. Drop the bike into the bowels of the little orange boat and climb in. The only access door into the boat slams shut just as they round the back of the cabin. There is a small window in the door, but it is covered with salt spray and very difficult to see through. The group aren't really sure where I went.
It's very awkward to move about inside the boat. its pointed nose down at around 45 degrees ready to launch.
The launching instructions are printed in big letters in a few different languages on one of the walls. Turn a valve wheel clockwise. and operate a hydraulic lever from the drivers seat. The instructions seemed very insistent on wearing the safety harness while releasing the boat.
Secure the guns and make them safe. My Grandfather chose this moment to remind me of what a muddle headed idjit I was for riding with a loaded shot gun in my hand and running with the same, "and what about that fancy plastic army gun"? he asked.
Turn the valve, sit in the drivers seat, belt on, and start pumping the lever. Seemed to take ages, twenty or thirty pumps.
All of a sudden it let go. Like a very short roller coaster ride, the boat dropped, my stomach following half a second later. As the water came up to meet me, I wondered just how much water these little boats needed to launch safely, bashing into the bottom of the harbour while accelerating down would be uncomfortable as best, lethal at worst. Probably should have thought about that before launching.
It wasn't an issue, the landing was a lot smoother than I thought it would be. I heard a few more splashes behind me as the boats momentum pushed it away from the coal carrier. The splashes continued as the group followed the orange boat into the water. Their dog paddling appeared to be a losing battle against the hungry water. No ladders were evident on the edge of the wharf, These guys were destined to spend some quality time with Davy Jones.
"Sock it to me
Floatin' down the river with a saturated liver
And I wish I could forgive her
But I do believe she meant it
When she told me to forget it
And I bet she will regret it
When they find me in the morning wet and drowned
And the word gets 'round
Goin' down
Goin' down"
Goin' down, The Monkees.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Fri Aug 26, 2016 7:01 am

The controls for the boat were simple, a master power switch, a starter button, gearbox lever and a throttle. The diesel engine fired up, the battery fully charged. The boat clunked into the forward gear and moved forward slowly, sketching a wide arc in the river. The operators position was at the rear of the boat, above the rest of the seats, kind of like the pilots cabin on a B17 Bomber. I looked at the swimmers, there were fewer of them. I pushed the throttle a little further forward and headed for the beach, wanting nothing more than to get back to my own home and own bed. I needed to curl up in a ball and lick my wounds. Every person I'd ever known was probably dead. Every Woman I'd had any kind of relationship with in the last three weeks was gone. One from the disease, one at her own hand and the other might as well have committed suicide as well.
The last two were the ones that really weighed on me. Deep down I understood that Jenna couldn't survive, not after contracting the disease. but the other two didn't have it, still they slipped away from me. I wasn't romantically attracted to either Josella or Mary / Nicole. But it was nice to have somebody to talk to.
I drove steadily, the boat didn't appear to be built for speed.
The little orange boat was fitted with a marine radio. Again it was pretty simple, I had it figured out in no time. I could afford to take my eyes off the road, the boat was travelling very slowly and there was no other traffic.
Trying every channel, with the very simple and far from professional "Hello, is anybody there"? I'd broadcast, wait a minute or so and move to the next channel. After eleven or twelve tries, I got an answer.
Just the sound of the voice on the other end of the radio bought me some way out of my deep blue funk.
A heavily accented voice crackled over the speaker, "Captain Jose Ocampo, about MV Drake, please identify, Over".
Giving my name, I asked if he was aboard the bulk carrier off the coast of Newcastle (It seemed likely, but it was nice to be sure, I would have felt bad If he were aboard the ship, whose lifeboat I'd just liberated. Also, I forgot to say "over", the Captain reminded me.
It turned out they were my friends on the lighted ship laying four miles off the coast.
And they needed my help. They were hungry, very hungry.
The Drake was due to re provision when it entered port. They had been anchored for over a month, they had enough fuel to steam slowly to the crews home county, The Philippines, but had eaten their last food, emergency rations from their lifeboat five days ago, since then they had caught only two small fish, things were getting desperate.
They were petrified of setting foot on shore, having seen news reports and through telescopes what was happening on the land.
All they wanted to do was go home. But they needed revictualling to make the trip. Could I help, they were very, very hungry.
Informing them I was currently piloting a lifeboat, I asked if it would have supplies aboard. The Captain informed me it would have a nutritious biscuit ration, enough for 50 men for one meal each.
We decided it would be best if I steamed straight out to them, They were very hungry. He asked me to leave the rations on the gangway, The crew was rather nervous about interacting with anybody who might b e infected. The Captain appreciated that I might be immune to the disease, but reminded me that he and his crew would pay with their lives if I were wrong. I'd not be meeting them in person.
it took about an hour to reach the black and red hull of the Drake. a steep stairway hung from the deck above, snaking down to the water. Around twenty heads were hanging over the deck. desperate for my home delivery.
Docking and tying up the boat took a bit longer than it might have with an experienced operator. I had several problems that most life boat crews wouldn't, first, I wasn't a very good driver, second, I didn't have a spare person to secure the boat while I kept it up against the platform.
In the end, I reversed the boat up against the platform and left the engine running forcing the little boat to hold the position while I attached a rope from the stairway to my floating Jaffa.
The supplies were in a waterproof case, with a handle, I untied the boat and hooked the rope to the case, than motored away.
I stood about 100 metres from the ship, as two men descended the stairs and quickly climbed back up with their prize.
About ten minutes later, the Captain made contact. Thanking me, he said they would need more.
I asked how many men and how long the trip home would take, 25 men, about a month to get home. Lots of food needed.
All my supplies might get them where they were going, but I wasn't inclined to do that, it would leave me with nothing, whether they knew it or not, theirs was a suicide mission. as soon as the set foot on their home soil, they would perish at the hands of relatives and friends they yearned to see one last time, or they'd get infected and turn or die.
If I didn't want to share my camping supplies, I'd need to go grocery shopping. A source for supplies wouldn't go astray anyway. Besides, I didn't have a lot of dates circled on my social diary.
I informed Captain Ocampo that conditions on shore made securing supplies "difficult", it might take me a few days to get what he needed. The day was getting old, I would return tomorrow with more food for him and his crew. As I steamed back to the harbour, we talked a little, getting to know each other. He, like me, was a bachelor, "married to the sea" he said. Did he want to go back to the Philippines I asked. The crew does, its home. he said.
inside the harbour, heading for the ferry wharf. The same area I parked two nights ago to locate Josie's light. Speaking of which, I glanced at her tower. black smoke was rising from that area. the base of building was hidden behind another from this angle. There was little doubt where the fire was based.
As I neared the Ferry Wharf, a modern covered floating dock that protruded about twenty metres into the river, it occurred to me that I had a problem. No wheels. I'd been planning to abandon the boat on the beach near my beach house. I could no longer do that, I needed it to get food to my friends on the Drake.
The Wharf was surrounded by a car parking areas and open parkland, The main street packed with small businesses, which stretched away from the car park, and some houses which ran along the edge of the park land, were at least one hundred metres from the wharf. I'd seen nobody in the area when I was last there 48 hours before.
The car park was empty. Deciding to try another option before I risked the ferry wharf, I steamed further up the river, taking the Northern channel of Hunter, I continued along Stockton's shoreline. changing direction from West to North, Heading towards the arching bulk of Stockton Bridge. 40 years after its opening, it still dominated the skyline. About halfway along the point that Stockton was located upon, was a boat ramp. I was hoping to find a four wheel drive in the small car park.
Tying up the boat at the small wharf at the ramp, a lot faster this time, but still took some time, the boat had lousy rear vision. and the only access was at the rear and an impractical roof hatch, so I had to back it in again.
The parking area was packed with cars and four wheel drives, all with empty boat trailers, people fleeing the apocalypse.
All late models and locked, except one old Land Rover, A 70s model. The Rover was the only one I had a chance to hotwire. Any car with an immobiliser was impossible. The Rover was locked, but its' sliding windows were easy to get past. Break away the brittle black plastic around the steering column, reef the wires from the ignition, and use my pocket knife to strip the wires, almost cutting my finger off when there was thump on the window.
A child, no older than twelve or thirteen thin and poor looking. dry, dehydrated. Where the poor creature was getting its water I had no idea. I could think of no standing water in the area, a thin point surrounded by salt water, there were few if any freshwater pools, it was a beach suburb. I'd guess the child hadn't been getting much water at all. It had no hope of breaking the glass with its weak hits on the windows, there was no threat. I put two bullets in its brain, from pity, not fear. and got back to my thieving.
The brittle wires in the 40 year old British Jeep were difficult to strip and twist together. after about five minutes, I got red lights on the dash. touch the last wire with the rest, and it turns. good. Find the choke lever and have another try. Turning over slowly (battery was fine, just a case of old British electrics)
Pray to Lucas, the prince of darkness and pump the throttle. She coughs, splutters and runs rough for a few seconds, then stops. Try again, pumping the throttle, she fires, almost dies, quick half stabs on the pedal, she runs, cold and cranky, but she runs.
after a few minutes at a fast idle, I release the choke and she idles at a saner level. Blocked in by other cars, abandoned by their panicked owners, I select reverse and bounce the empty boat trailer over the curb and onto the grass. of course it crosses up. roll forward and try again. get back far enough that I can turn away from the cars. Get the old Rover into a good position and shut her down. All up about ten minutes from the time I slid the window open. I've seen movies where the hero breaks into a car, casually rips the wires from under the dash, merely touches two of them together, and the car fires. sheer fantasy. A practiced car thief would be far quicker than I at getting a car going, but none of them would be as fast as the Hollywood heroes.
I bike track followed the foreshore starting further North at the Bridge and snaking along beside the water, it passed the boat ramp and continued via the ferry wharf, before terminating at the start of the Northern Breakwater, itself a pleasant ride or walk, a quarter mile or so out into the Pacific Ocean.
Deciding to return to the ferry wharf, I disconnected the Landy's wires, to avoid flattening the battery and returned to the boat. The boat ramp was crowded with cars, I couldn't get close to the little wharf. next time I was at the boat I would have quite a few supplies it would be easier the closer I could park. it was closer to houses, allowing any lurking monsters to get closer before they broke cover. better to move the boat and bike back for the Rover. The area seemed quiet, I figures it was worth the risk, even remembering my recent pursuit.
Ten minutes later, pulling up at the big wharf, shutting down the boat, remembering to shut the master battery switch. Pump up the back tyre with the mini pump clamped tot he bike and get moving. Taking only the Steyr, I'd pick up the rest on my way back through.
Uneventful ride to the waiting Rover, Throw the bike onto the roof rack, The old British 4by defies generations of criticism and fires up at exactly the time I need it to. Back to the Boat. Pick up the rest of my kit. Feel a lot better with all my shooting irons within arms reach.
Making the choice to head towards Stockton Bridge and North along Nelson Bay Road, back to Williamtown. I could have went along the beach, but just didn't trust the 4o year old Land Rover to get me there. Walking along the beach wasn't appealing, I'd already had a very long day.
I made one detour before leaving town, driving down the main street and turning into the short pedestrian mall that led to the small supermarket located behind the shops in the street. It was an open mall.
The large roller shutter was securely locked. The place looked secure. a faint stench was obvious, it would be far worse inside. The freezers had been off for about two weeks and there had been a heat wave. still there would be lots of good things in there. How to get in and keep the place secure was the issue. Simply ramming the door was out of the question, Too much noise and leaves the area open to any local baddies who wanted to eat me when I was simply doing some shopping. I had some thinking to do.
Turn through the back entrance into the bare car park. Turn left and right, looking straight at the little orange boat. Looking through my scope I saw a creature wandering, still some in the area I guess.
Turn right onto the main road out of town, it was surrounded by houses for about one third its distance, then the river side was clear, except for the boat ramp I'd visited earlier. The town ended and the road ran for another kilometre to meet up with Stockton bridge.
I was tired, I'd taken a huge emotional hit from Josie's death and I was in a scruffy forty year old car made when trade unions ruled and almost ruined Britain. I just wanted to go home, sleep and eat. perhaps drink beer. But if I didn't get my chainsaw from the bus now, I'd have to make a special trip tomorrow. The Land Rovers fuel gauge said half, if you could trust 40 year old Lucas electrics to give you a fair indication of the amount of fuel in your vintage British car, who could you trust. Turn left at the roundabout and over the arch.. Brakes on the old girl werent that flash, two pumps to get them to work at the bottom of the bridge. I ground to a halt just before hitting the traffic snarl. three point turn. Grunting and groaning, no power steering. Or as the old joke went, "yep sure its got power steering, Armstrong brand". Ha, Ha.
Ten minutes to the bus, No wanderers, though a few legging it this way from the coal loader. grab the saw and the rest of the stuff. Turn around on the grass beside the road, anything to not have to pull on that big black steering wheel. and head for home.
Manage to avoid hitting the biters near the coal loader, a few of them did hit me. running into the sides of the car. No such thing as sound deadening in the old four wheel drive, they made a hollow "BONG' as they bounced from the aluminium panels.
The sun was on its way down by the time I reached the Loader. Three near the truck another five behind the fence, I dispatched them all with the Steyr.
After double tapping the ones on my side of the fence, I again looked in the back of the truck. More boxes of MREs than I'd noticed probably 200 in all as well as pre loaded magazines, I'd grabbed a few of those when I was last here (It seemed like years ago), The rest came with me. all into the bucket of the loader along with my other non essentials, as always the bug out bag and guns came in the cab, with me. Two more Steyrs were laying on the ground, one abandoned the other under a half eaten corpse, they went in the bucket as well, always nice to have spares.
Less than twenty minutes saw me back in my luxury beach house, cool beer in hand. All I needed was a sponging brother and a stupid kid and I had the makings of a top sit com. "two and a half survivors"
What a great find these vans were, I thought as I started my second beer (Corona, no lime, truly was the end of the world). I ran the hot water tap on the kitchen sink. just wondering if I could get enough for a wash. The pump started, you probably wouldn't hear it in most circumstances, but with no other man mad sounds it stood out a little. A second later the woosh of the gas hat water system started, steaming hot water came out the tap.
Stripping off, I headed to the shower at the back of the van. Knowing I had limited resources, I hurried through the shower, still, it was the best one I ever had.
Clean, third beer, T bone in the freezer calling my name, whispering to me, "eat me, eat me".
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:31 am

15th January
Stupid steak talking to me put me to sleep. I woke before dawn. T bone for breakfast. No garnishes, no sides, just a little butter and a little salt. Heaven.
Orange juice washed it down. Time to get moving. First go North to my home, I needed a few things. Threw the little red Honda generator into the back of my old bedroom and got moving. Back to my shed. same old, same old, run over some bad monsters on the way through the burnt bush (a few little patches of green here and there, life was coming back). Twelve of them living in the ruins of my home. The Steyr wasn't as easy as the Shot gun, The Army gun you had to aim, the shottie, just point in the general direction and shoot.
I had more ammo for the Steyr, so it was my new best friend. Using it for the double tap was overkill, and threatened to get brainguts all over me. So the .22 was still the go to for that job.
Into the shed, Lock the still open doors, Of course the stinking rotten mongrel things weren't living in the wreck of the house, they were living and toileting in the shed. Why did they have to defile everything I owned. when I left, I planned on shooting them again.
Nine inch angle grinder, with a few spare cutting discs, didn't think I'd need them, but easier than coming back. Don't forget the tool to change them. Extension cord. couple of old feed bags, time to service and fuel the chainsaw and check over the little honda generator. it would be a lot quieter than my old monster.
Last of my two stroke in the saw, re sharpen the chain, take a look at the genny.
Fuel and oil all good. Zip start, purrs like a kitten, try the grinder, it starts up and runs fine, I was afraid the small genny might not be up to it.
As I was locking up the shed, it occurred to me, my pushbike was still on the roof of the land rover.
As I was leaving my property, a few more critters lurched into the front gate. I stopped, turned around and shot them all. These ones wouldn't get a chance to mess on my land.
Stop at the lookout, grab a can of coke from the still running fridge and start the Nissan to charge the battery.
Hook the trailer with Quad on the back of my bedroom truck and search through my supplies for canned food I had retrieved from other cars.
South, pause at my Malibu beach house and grab twenty five MREs.
No dramas driving along the beach to the boat, dispatch one creature that was hanging around, another dried out under nourished poor shell of a thing, I did it a kindness.
No boxes, so multiple trips to the boat to get all the food in.
Call up the Captain as I leave the wharf, He must have been sitting on the radio. I requested he have a bin of some sort set up. it would be done.
In a bit under an hour, I was tied up to the ship, unloading the supplies, A cheer went up as I moved away. again I stood off and watched from the drivers seat as men rushed down the stairs and carried up the supplies. Like ants they carried their prizes back to the nest.
Calling the ship I suggested the MREs, as they could simply be warmed and eaten. The Captain thanked me, it sounded like he was already eating, I said I'd make contact as soon as I had what they needed.
I had thought about how to get into the roller shutter yet keep it secure. I needed some more cars. Vans actually, one would suffice, two would make life easier.
Dropping the Trailer and Quad, I went searching for my security door.
Stockton is a small suburbs only about nine blocks wide (Probably around quarter of a mile) at its widest point, and about twenty deep. It took about 5 minutes from turning onto the side road, near the bridge, to reaching the furthest southern point, the ferry wharf. Its not a huge place. At least that's what I thought until I motored up each and every one of those streets looking to a particular type of vehicle. After all that time, I didn't find a damn thing.
Though some "things" found me.
There were more of them in the area than I had thought, Where they were getting their water from, I had no Idea. The suburb was surrounded by salt water, it had the most popular beach in the area. surely nobody would bother with a back yard pool? somebody must have. More dollars then sense.
I slowly led my fans to the sports oval at the northern end of the town. The bullbar on the Cruiser made short work of the chain meant to keep hoons from spinning their wheels on the grass.
Most of them found their way through the gate. I spun around and knocked as many asunder as I could, wheels spinning (hope the local neighbourhood watch didn't see). Not going fast enough to send them over the bonnet, just quick enough to hopefully break a bone or two and slow them down, so I could double tap them as they lay on the ground. Like shooting Piranha in a barrel.
Of the fifty biters that followed me in, better than half laid on the ground or were limping slowly after me. The rest were too quick and bolted away as the bit Toyota approached, some were definitely smarter than others.
The noise of the gun drew them closer, they didn't equate it with danger as they did the car, I wondered if the smart ones would only see this car as dangerous or all cars, no time to experiment.
Three magazines of Steyr ammo to get the job done. In the last two weeks, I was probably responsible for more murders than any body else on the planet. That particular realization didn't feel very good, even though I knew the ones I had dispatched were no longer human, and never would be again.
Or could they be rehabilitated? while I was leaving Stockton in search of my new car, I thought about how I might catch and house one, to study. God help me if they could be bought back. I truly would be the monster Josie thought I was. I doubted it was possible, but it might make an interesting project, and I had nothing better to do with my time. Except feed suicidal sailers. Might make an interesting project, or a dangerous one. Would at least be something to add to my resume, Parts interpreter and Behavioural scientist.
I'd not noticed the type of vehicle I needed on the road North, so I turned south, over the bridge again.
On the opposite side of the four lane structure, about half way up, I saw it, just the van I was looking for. Sliding doors on each side (well on the drivers side at least. thats the side that was facing me). Did it have keys, would it go and could I get it out of the traffic jam without having to move about eighty other cars, or going home to get the loader and wasting half a day?
Squeeze between the stalled car on the inside lane (I'd only cleared the outside one with the loader) jump the pedestrian barriers in the middle of the bridge, and check the van, Shot gun at the ready. I didn't think there would be many on the bridges, again too far from water, but I wasn't really willing to bet my life on it, So Mr Winchester stood guard.
The closer I got, the worse it looked, Probably ten years old, but hard to tell. Mitsubishi had been selling this model of L300 van for around 25 years, with very few changes, This one was owned by a plumber.
Paint was dull, it had plenty of scratches down the sides where the driver had carelessly scraped it up against anything that got in his way, the roof gutters were brown with rust. Opening the door, the stink of stale cigarette smoke and body odour nearly knocked me over. Looking past the torn seat and steering wheel with chunks of foam missing, I saw it had the key dangling in the ignition.
Feeling sure this bomb, which was surely only a smoke bellowing wheeze ahead of the local wrecker, would not start, I pulled it out of gear, at which point it rolled into the car ahead.... of course the park brake didn't work, what a surprise. And tried my luck.
You could have knocked me down with a feather when that ratty old bomb started in half a turn and settled down to a smooth idle almost instantly. Even the Air Conditioner worked, though it stunk like an ash tray.
The rear section of the van was separated from the front by a cargo cage, to stop heavy items shooting forward and hitting the occupants in the event of a crash. they were pretty common on these types of vehicles. I switched off and checked the back. It was full of crap. About what I'd expect. tools, pipes, junk. It would suit my purpose, now to get it out of its trap.
Moving all those cars, even with the loader would take ages, and I'd have to go back, get the loader and bring it back here, than take it home again later.. all too hard if it could be avoided.
The centre pedestrian path was protected from traffic by a waist high railing on each side, just square tubing top and bottom with vertical bars, It was bolted to the concrete footpath every few metres. My grinder would cut through it like butter.
Just the cars next to the open lane to content with and I had my security door. I'd need to move two cars in order to let the van through. They both blocked the pedestrian fence at the point where it was easiest to cut, IE Between where it mounted to the footpath.
The car on the high side had keys. An old Holden Commodore, a VN about a 90 model. It fired up and sat there rattling away, it was a very scruffy old thing and hadn't seen any love for a long time. sadly that wasn't about to change. The car ahead of the old Holden was a small Citroen, no keys, locked. Even after breaking the window, I couldn't get it to move, The transmission was locked in park with no way that I could work out to unlock it. Usually there's a button to press or the panel around the shifter can be removed and a lever pushed and it can be shifted out of park so it can be moved in an emergency. Even after destroying the centre console, I could not figure out how it was done. Wouldn't have helped anyway, it also had an electric park brake and a flat battery.
I released the nice simple manual park brakes on the four cars ahead of it and re entered the idling Commodore. Reverse, Bang, Drive, Bang, repeating until the Citroen was out of the way and sonewhat shorter than it had been. Not really keen to mess around getting in and out of cars, I just rammed the old Commodore backwards til the cars behind had moved or bent enough to make the space I required.
Setting up the little Honda Generator and my grinder took no time, I was soon slicing through the rails, eight cuts, two kicks and I could drag them out of the way. The Mitsi bounced over the foot path, I transferred my guns and drove it back to my quad, near the little orange boat.
Five of the rotten things around my Quad, why did they hate it so? I could see the wet seat glistening in the sun. What was it about my poor little Honda that made them spray on it?
I took great pleasure in emptying the entire Steyr magazine, thirty bullets into the five of them. Auto fire mode was terribly wasteful, but somehow very satisfying.
I'd seen the bucket in the boat, five trips to the water and back had the poor defenceless little bike smelling respectable again, I hated covering it with salt water, it would promote rust, but I couldn't ride it like that.
Same old deal, hook on the trailer, get the cruiser, return with bike in tow. Time to go shopping.
Dump all the tools and junk out of the plumbers van, just leave them sitting in the middle of the car park to rust away. The van had a little trouble scrabbling up the gutter into the mall. and park with the drivers side snug, up against the roller shutter.
So far no visitors, risk the 200 yard dash back to the cruiser. disconnect the trailer with quad inside, I swear if any more of them piss on it today, I know where the first bullet is going.
Bounce into the mall, set up the generator on the roof rack of the cruiser, it was very quiet, thread the cord down through the Toyota, parked snugly beside the van, squeeze through the drivers window, into the left sliding door of the plumbers truck then open the right sliding door to have secure access to the roller shutter. I thought it was pretty clever.
If I could have found two vans it would have worked better still, squeezing through the Land Cruisers window was "inelegant" to say the least. passing supplies back into it would be painful. The L300 had to stay here as my security door once I cut the shutter to stop the local population from getting and hogging all the specials.
Mindful of the noise The chainsaw had made the day before, I'd picked up my safety gear with the grinder.
Donning ear and eye protection and a set of heavy gloves I began. The noise that the big flat roller door made when the grinder started cutting was incredible. Any creature within 5 miles would be making a bee line toward me.
Top horizontal cut done, a little narrower than the sliding door of the van. Then start on one of the vertical cuts, going from the top down. I was concentrating on the cut, big angle grinders can be a little unwieldy, I was taking care to avoid cutting bits of me off. Two hands had pushed back the torn roller door and reached through, I didn't see them until one had grabbed hold of my left arm.
Pulling my hand back into the darkness before I really knew what was going on. Searing pain as teeth closed around two of my fingers, I gave a mighty yank and withdrew my hand, fingers on fire, along with my shoulder, that was only just starting to feel better.
The thick glove saved my hand from being torn on the jagged edges of the half cut door. More hands chased mine out, A man could almost have climbed out of the torn flap of door as it was forced outward buy the forces on the other side.
Quickly slamming the sliding door as the grinder wound down, quickly thrown away from me toward the back of the van. I inspected my throbbing fingers. Bruised, showing angry teeth marks, but thankfully the skin was not broken. The glove, still snagged on the jagged edge of the roller door had saved me, and given the hungry creature inside the shop something to concentrate on as my hand withdrew.
My pinky and ring finger pained, possibly broken. I just climbed into the cruiser and drove away. leaving the grinder sitting in the open van and the generator humming away on the roof. only caring enough to disconnect the extension cord. leaving the quad and trailer, I returned to my beach retreat. beaten, for today at least.
Fingers swollen, it was impossible to tell if they were broken or just bruised, all I knew for sure was they hurt like the blazes, my shoulder running a close second. I searched my first aid kit for some aspirin before recalling the Valium I'd found days earlier.
Washing it down with water, I raided the ice tray in the freezer and loaded its contents into an oven mitt, along with my aching left hand.
I woke at midnight with a cold wet hand several severe aches and pains, a headache and a sick feeling in my gut. Remaining conscious didn't seem very appealing, another Valium, and I wouldn't wake till morning.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:29 pm

January 16. Monday.
I awoke with the sun, feeling like I had a hangover, My hand and shoulder still hurt, but I thought that continuing to take the Valium would hurt more.
Both my shoulder and my fingers would move, slowly and painfully. Last eggs from the fridge, scrambled, along with the last of the orange juice. I was very hungry. Going back for seconds, I fried up a couple of Sausages.
Back into the loader, I was heading for Medowie, about eight kilometres West of the RAAF base. Home to Woolworths and Coles supermarkets, I hoped one of them would be intact. The loader was showing three quarters of a tank of fuel, I'd have to find some fuel for it eventually, but not today.
By seven thirty, I was rolling, running a little late, the washing up took a little longer than I thought. Through Owens' The group was up to about 125 members, they rushed to meet me, I did the same. At least thirty of them didn't survive the event. I disappeared around the corner of the road, waited a few minutes and went back for another shot. They were feeding on their recently departed members, engrossed by their meal, they didn't notice the loader.
It noticed them. It noticed around forty five of them. Heading back towards the beach I waited for another few minutes at the top of the ramp and went for one last run, I had a lot to do today, this was wasting time. Final run, ten more, they now numbered less than fifty, several with wounds that might take them out, if I was lucky. My Killdozer and I headed towards Medowie.
Past the road block and turn left at the next roundabout. West bound now, Fighter world a quarter mile down the road. The big hanger and the gate leading to it closed and locked, would anybody ever enter the aircraft museum again? Technically in the grounds of the RAAF base, but fenced off from the rest of the complex, Monsters lined the fence watching me hungrily as I rolled past.
Another Quarter of a mile saw me at the main gates of the base, Closed and locked, something I'd never seen before. The road in front of the entry was blocked by another group of army trucks, They would bear investigation later.
Yet another quarter mile to the west entrance of the base, the smaller secondary entrance. Gates also locked, and like the main entry point, creatures crowding behind the wire.
More army trucks. The loader easily shifted one of them. Two miles to the roundabout. Left to Raymond Terrace, Straight though to Medowie or right to Salt Ash, The back way, it would be full of cars, and perhaps other things.
Arriving at the roundabout I found another intact road block, six army trucks stretched from fence to fence, the road was well blocked. No wonder the road east of me was clear of private traffic.
The Volvo shifted one of the olive drab UniMogs, making a hole for my loader to pass by.
The road ahead was blocked solid as far as the eye (or monocular) could see, from left to right. and straight ahead. this would take some time.
Cars locked together bumper to bumper. The forks pierced their windows and I lifted and stacked them.
Fingers and shoulder aching from the simple but repetitive task of shifting from forward to reverse and back again a thousand time and then some, I worked my way ever forward. Keeping an eye out for anything that might be useful, and attracting a growing audience.
An Ever clean bottled water truck locked in the traffic, The precious water in the blue plastic bottles untouched by the monsters. enough to keep them going for weeks and they had no idea what it was. It would sustain me for a year or more.
A little further along, a fuel truck. No idea if it had fuel or not, but worth investigating.
Finally a van, another Mitsubishi with two sliding doors, I carefully placed it to one side and kept working.
The road was jam packed all along the 4 kilometre stretch to the nest intersection. and in all three directions from that point.
Turn left and continue. Only another 200 metres to the turn that would lead me to the two super markets.
Woolworths, the newest kid on the block, was the larger and newer of the two, it was a wreck. The large plate glass windows reduced to worthless jewels being ground into the concrete by milling crowds of biters. The crowd had obviously been feeding on some of the goods inside. Had they continued to harvest groceries after the visible items, meat in the open freezers, bread on the shelves, fruit (did they eat anything but meat?). I didn't know if they had figured out how to peel away plastic wrappers, and I wasn't planning to step into the Not so "Fresh Food People" to find out. One supermarket down, one to go.
Coles was a little further back from the main road, behind a group of older shops, a news agent, hair dresser, that kind of thing. It wasn't really visible from the road. I worked my way into the entry road. flicking more cars out of the way. The older supermarket was a little smaller, It had been in operation for about eight years, and had been the subject of a few "Smash and Grab" robberies before the other retailer arrived, adding more light and more people / witnesses. Coles had added their own security to stop such goings on. Behind their own place glass windows was a set of flexible Perspex "bars". As far as I knew, they stopped the ram raiders in their tracks.
As I rounded the corner into their car park, I saw the windows still standing strong. Apart from some cracks in two of the window panes, the place was untouched.
I cleared all the room I would need at the front of the store, turned, and left. taking out quite a few of my followers.
Travelling back along the automotive alley I had created, the monsters had virtually nowhere to go. Though most of them weren't smart enough to try, The cutting edge and the forks themselves took most of them out.
I went past the van, wiping out the creatures ahead of me for the next half kilometre.
Returning to the van, I found it unlocked, but with no keys. it had a small amount of camping gear and food in the back. I draped the sleeping bags over the front and rear windows, restricting any view inside the vehicle, it was windowless at the sides.
No keys? no problem. balancing it on the fork tines, I slowly returned to the supermarket and dropped it beside the glass windows. Time to get the other van, crawling through the small door window of a 4wd was too hard yesterday, it would be harder with my fingers and shoulder.
Back to the main road block, Transfer from the Loader (this was becoming its' second home, it had sat here for a couple of days after I picked up the APC), into the Land Rover. Twist the wires together and head for Stockton. Needing to retrieve The van and the gear I'd left inside it.
The Rover coughed and hiccupped along as it warmed to the task ahead. I needed the grinder and chain saw, both in the back of the van, but I also wanted the van itself. Climbing through car windows was difficult at the best of times, with my shoulder and fingers aching it would be harder still.
Through the McDonalds roundabout I encountered a group of them, around twenty. Pumping the Landy's brakes, I slowed and pushed my way through. knocking most out of the way, some fell, I was thrown around the ancient cab as the crude suspension failed to deal with the bumps of the bodies we were now merrily bouncing over. The group was camped near the large drain that was about 40 feet from the roads' shoulder. Williamtown is mainly marshy, low ground, plenty of moisture for them around the area.
Toying with the idea of returning to mow them down, I chose instead to continue, I really didn't trust the old girl enough to needlessly put myself into a dangerous situation.
Rolling along the "old road", one could be forgiven for thinking it was just another nice quiet Sunday drive. That sweet spell would not last long, knots of abandoned cars pushed off the road (No doubt by some lunatic in a Volvo Loader), and the occasional dead body, or worse still, live one, served to jerk me violently back to reality, time and again.
The van was still where I parked it, snug, up against the supermarkets' roller door. The door rattled in its frame, as those on the other side heard the British four wheel drive approach.
I couldn't simply take the van away from the door, the cut I had made could be large enough to let those inside flood out. I pushed it forward with the Rover, leaving the English car blocking the torn door. Sliding open my window, I picked my tough boilermakers glove from its position, still snagged on the jagged cut.
The flap of cut door bulged out, hitting against the Rover. They were excited, they knew something was on the other side of their barrier, and they wanted out. The ruckus inside the market, the banging on the doors made me think there could be a lot of them in there.
I moved the van out of the way. After two weeks of inhabitation by who knows how many monsters, there was nothing in the building I wanted anything to do with. Time to cleanse with fire.
Cutting the rubber fuel line of the poor innocent Land Rover, a pool of petrol began to form under the front of the vehicle. I bashed on the door "attention K Mart shoppers, we have a special on roasted monsters in aisle one", Quickly lighting one of the MRE matches, I flicked it and ran.
It didn't catch.
The van was idling in the car park, only about 20 metres from the supermarket door. I retrieved several empty Macca's bags from the floor, there were plenty to choose from. Balling them up, I lit them and rolled the flaming balls toward the Land Rover. First one went wide, I was never much good at soccer. The second one hit its target. Fuel had been puddling on the floor for over five minutes, petrol vapour had been forming for a similar time. I thought the initial ignition might be a little fierce, so I had hidden round the corner after making my kick. "A little fierce" was something of an understatement. I felt the blast around a right angle corner, protected by bricks and concrete. Peeking around the edge of the building after the initial blast, I thought the poor old Rover may have shifter position somewhat, it was hard to tell for sure, the area was ablaze. The roller door had buckled inward but was still holding strong, The fire would get through eventually, or the smoke would get them.
Before leaving the area, I made contact with the ship, figuring the smoke might give them cause for alarm. Catching them up on events since we last spoke, The Captain asked after my welfare. He informed me that the ships doctor would give me a tetanus injection if I needed it. I thanked him and signed off. They were softening to the idea of a face to face meeting. Perhaps I could convince them to stay? there was nothing waiting for them at home after all.
Nothing that I did for the crew of the Drake came with any kind of strings attached, however, I really didn't want to see them sailing to certain death, perhaps, if we tried, we could make a safe haven here. I was already thinking about the possibilities as I left my little orange boat, probably just a dream, they wanted to go home. I doubted anything I had to say would sway them.
Into the smelly van and time to go shopping. Halfway to Medowie, I had to retrace my steps, swap to the loader, go and pick up the little Honda generator. I returned in the cruiser, much faster than the loader.
Transferring the genny to the van, I stopped and thought about my actions for a moment. I'd been hurt the day before through not thinking things through, and I'd wasted time this morning for the same reason.
I sat trying to map out the rest of the day, in the safety of the Cruiser, even though it was only my bedroom for a short time, it felt warmer and more comfortable than the van.
Whilst doing my imaginary grocery shopping I came upon a problem. The cargo cage, fitted to the van, behind the driver prevented me from reaching the drivers seat from the back of the van. I'd need to get out, and mingle with who ever else was out there. My grinder made mince meat of the cage. In another flash of brilliance, I cut some of the tough tarpaulin from the back of the nearest army truck. jamming some of it around the tailgate, it covered both inside and outside the rear glass. They'd still be able to break it and get it, I was hoping that not seeing me and not realising it was glass would solve that problem, I cut similar pieces for the front screen, and door glasses. I'd have to drive looking through the top of the screen. dropping the sun visor when I parked so they couldn't see in.
I chose the chainsaw for cutting the Perspex, ensuring it was warmed before leaving my army approved staging ground.
Parking beside the other van, trading some paint because I couldn't really see out, I waited. the creatures that followed me returned to the main group at the other supermarket after half an hour or so. Transferring what I needed to the second van, I began my second attempt at supermarket B&E. Using my pry bar, I made a hole in the very tough glass, how did smash and grabbers get through this stuff? Quickly firing up my chainsaw, I made my first vertical cut. then stopped and waited to see what would happen. Nothing approached from inside the store, however my friends were soon back.
I'd wait for over an hour for them to lose interest and wander back to their base. in the meantime, I brushed powdered glass from my clothes. The chainsaw had effortlessly chewed through the glass, and the Perspex security grille behind it, but it had made a mess. The glass would get through to my skin and irritate the hell out of me for sure. While I was waiting for the group to dissipate, I made a smock out of the vans seat cover, just stick my head through the hole the head rest went through and cut some arm holes. High fashion at its finest.
The seal between the van and the window wasn't that close, if a critter climbed onto the roof of the van, they would be able to reach their arm into the gap, they might be able to reach their head through as well. That was the bad news, the good news was that I would never die from exhaust gas poisoning from running the chainsaw.
Two more cuts and kick the glass into the building. Throw a sack over the jagged base and then wait for another three hours. There were too many around the area to try and shoot them all, no doubt more were within earshot. plenty of pools around the area for them to camp around.
I reclined in the back, doors now closed. The vehicle shook and rocked about as they searched for the source of the now silent noise.
I must have slept for a while, waking, sore from my injuries and laying on the hard floor, I fished out a couple of aspirin and went to work. Heading for late afternoon, I probably had a bit over three hours til dark.
Dead freezers lined the left side and the rear of the store, the delicatessen was on the right side. the stink was breathtaking.
Quick reconnoitre around the store, including out of bounds areas, it was indeed locked up tight.
I heard a couple of mice scrabbling across the floors, but that was it, I was alone.
Not wishing to be disturbed I took several bottles of laundry liquid and poured them over the windows at the front of the store. turning them from clear, to milky opaque.
Grabbing a trolley which pulled to the left and had a wobbly wheel, I felt normal for a moment. the dead fluorescents and woeful stench meant that didn't last long.
The shelves were about half empty. but still enough for my needs. plenty of rice and flour, I filled two trolleys with each. Another with a combination of sugar, salt & pepper, yeast and cooking oil.
Canned meat and vegetables filled another four trolleys.
The hungry van ate up the groceries with room to spare.
I figured that they might like noodles, so I raided the Asian food aisle, feeling I had just about enough to fill the van ( I still had to climb through and into the front seat). I called it a day.
Before leaving I spread rat poison over the floor, hoping to keep the scurrying rodents numbers in check, also, I checked the battery stand on the way out, empty. Using tape and plastic bags from the store, I sealed the hole in the glass the best I could. closed up my "security door", climbed into the smelly plumbers van, and headed towards home. Pulling away the tarp blocking the front windows.
Transferring to the Land Cruiser, I went home, I'd deliver the food in the morning, knowing that I'd need to make several more trips.
Arriving just on dark. Sausages, mashed potato, frozen peas, beans and carrots. Washed down with a nice red wine, A local drop from the Hunter Valley not too dry, not too sweet. I've never been "into" wine, but I know what I like, and I liked this. I polished off the whole bottle. No need for aspirins tonight.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:56 am

Tuesday January 17.
Woke up fresh as a daisy. No hangover, which surprised me a little after last nights efforts at the wine cellar. The shoulder and fingers felt better, working them while I was grocery shopping must have been good for me.
A simple breakfast of corn flakes with long life milk. washed down with a bottle of water. Spying a bread maker on the counter, I made a note to get some bread mix on one of my trips today. some toast would be very nice, I'd already spied a nice slab of butter in the fridge. I'd been so busy since setting up my beach house, I'd not really had a chance to explore it yet. To check the equipment, most of my discoveries had been by chance.
Deciding to take the time to charge the batteries again (they were showing better than three quarters full) .. I took a few minutes to snoop through the cupboards. all three caravans were packed with groceries. some I knew about, so I saw for the first time that morning. No dehydrated stuff, just normal tins and packages. Batteries showing full, I abandoned my exploring and set out on the days journey.
The van would need fuel today, The needle was showing less than half when I parked it. North along the beach, A Rav4 gave twenty litres, the next candidate a big 70s V8 Ford F100 gave 40 litres, 2 jerry cans, of petrol, before I removed the siphon hose, I had no more cans.
The van took 40 litres to fill, I left the spare jerry can in the back of one of the army trucks. Noticing two cans secured on the same truck, I checked them, full of Diesel. I loaded the four of them, from the two intact trucks into the van, that amount of fuel would run the boat for a month.
A quiet run to the ferry wharf and my floating jaffa. The walkway to the boat wasn't accessible by car, a big steel pipe rising from the ground blocked the way. The supermarket was gone when I arrived, just a black smouldering ruin, half the block had gone with it. The trolley bay in the carpark had survived. I hooked a trolley over the towbar on the van and returned to the wharf.
The little boat took less than twenty litres to top off the tank, it took me a while to find the fuel cap, it was hiding in plain sight at the back, near the access door.
Loading the groceries took about half an hour, even with the trolley.
Pulling away from the wharf, I noticed one of the ships that had been lying at anchor seemed a lot closer to the shore. As I steamed out of the harbour I could get a better look, It wasn't the Drake, but a black and cream coloured boat. obviously abandoned and adrift, it looked likely it would end up on Stockton beach.
I called the Captain.
He told me the ship had started drifting during the night, during the big wind. it had narrowly missed the Drake. What big wind? that wine must have had a kick to it.
I informed the Captain that his first grocery delivery was on its way and asked that he set up the bins again.
It seemed that since we had last spoken, there had been some "trouble" on board, emotions were running high, the crew was worried for their families, there had been a fight, a man had been stabbed. Did I have any strong pain killers?
The ships doctor did not expect him to see the week out, but they were using a lot of medication, and were almost out. Informing him that I had a small amount of Valium, I said there were some other pills that I could lay my hands on that may be similar. In a flash of inspiration I thought of the brown powder in the garbage pile at the lookout.
Deciding that discretion might be called for if tempers were running high on the boat, I asked the Captain if ti would be possible speak to him and the doctor privately. It took him a few minutes to set up on his end. He introduced Doctor Mendoza and assured me that only they were listening.
I offered the Heroin to the Doctor, asking if it could be used to attend to the victims pain, He said it was unusual, but we were living in unusual times, thanked me and said it would be of use. I promised to bring it on my next run, telling them I would wrap and mark it for the Doctor. Having another flash of inspiration, and further cementing my position as Australia's premiere drug dealer, I offered the captain the large bag of weed I had found along with the Heroin. Not being an expert on the matter, I asked if that might help to calm his crew. After a few moments silence, the microphone opened, and he simply said "send it". Things on board the ship must have been pretty bad.
While I had the two best educated and level headed men on board the ship alone, I asked them "What do you expect to find when you get home"? The Doctor answered honestly "the same thing you have here", "why go" I asked, "Its home, there's always hope" he answered with finality. I didn't push the point. I did however ask the doctor if he felt the infection period of the disease might end, or would the infected continue to be carriers? He couldn't answer that, he said, but he felt the infected would continue to be infectious as long as they lived. He then asked how I had avoided infection. I told him of my Fathers theory. "I think" he said "your Father is a very clever man".
Feeling sure the Captain knew my position better than I did, I informed him I would be docking shortly and asked if there was anything that the crew might specifically want while I was at the supermarket. Un loading would take some time, if he could get some answers, I'd do my best.
I had to fill the bin, untie the boat steam away, wait for the crew to retrieve the items. Then I would start again. four times I did this before the little boat was empty, the last thing I did, was to leave to bottle of Valium on the top of the bin. I
Informing the Captain, I headed back to shore. Approaching the dock, he called with a small list
Books, magazines and puzzles were some of the main desires. snack foods, chocolate, lollies chips and nuts were also required the captain informed me. His tone then changed a little, he said "I have the crew here with me and they have a special request, if it is possible, they would like gifts, for their Children and wives". I felt the tension in the Captains voice across the airwaves, This was important to him. Those trinkets would help give his crew, who I assumed were mostly poor, uneducated peasants, hope, something to cling to for the journey home, the small gifts may be all that stood between sanity and mutiny. "There may only be a small selection, but I promise, I'll do what I can". As the Captain thanked me, I heard the Men cheering in the background. I signed off.
I'd probably need to make a separate run just for the gifts. A busy day loomed ahead. Back to the blockade, swap into the mobile bedroom and head North along the beach. At the lookout I ratted through the junk pile, retrieving the bag of brown powder. In any movie, the hero would pull out a knife, stab the bag and announce to all that it was "Brown Sugar", one hundred percent pure. I had no idea what heroin tasted like, so there was no point.
I also retrieved the Marijuana and the remainder of the pills, if one of them was like Valium, I'd need to keep one bottle, just to be on the safe side. Finally I selected a few bottles from my supply of spirits. Vodka, Bourbon and Brandy, for the Doctor and the Captain, I had a feeling they would appreciate it.
Back to the van and on to Medowie, leaving the tools in the Cruiser. I needed as much room as I could muster.
The smelly van rolled to its destination without incident, kissing the security door. I had to wait while the crowd, stirred by my passage calmed and wandered back to their nest.
Tare away the plastic and carefully enter past the jagged edges. I really should be concentrating on food, but I had a feeling that the gifts were of more importance right now. I knew they were destined to be discarded, their new smell replaced by an odour of desperation and sorrow. Hopefully they would deliver and reinforce their only real gifts, hope and peace, until the ship entered its' home waters. After that, did it really matter?
Trolleys full of cheap powder, perfume and bath oils, still in their presentation boxes, last minute Christmas gifts that hadn't sold, destined for the discount racks. Picked for the Ladies, I made sure to get plenty of extras, who knew how many had girlfriends along with wives.
Same for the kids, as much variety as I could manage. Toys from toddler to teenager, colouring books, pencils, textas, crayons. Christmas lolly packs, the chocolates probably all melted in the recent heatwave, it wouldn't matter, they would never be opened.
Again, inspiration struck, I collected unsold Christmas wrapping paper, bows, ribbon, tape and cards, so the Men could take the time to wrap the final gifts to their family.
I swear this was not a calculated move to calm the sheep, but a gift from me to the Men I would never meet. The gift of giving, that they might have the joy and memory of taking the time to carefully wrap the gifts they chose for the people they loved. One final good memory, before they were murdered by harsh reality.
I tried to include some extra variety, DVDs for old and young, small items from the hardware aisle, small shovels, forks, flower seeds, stationary, pet toys, anything a Father or Husband might pick for his loved ones. Finally I picked up a large esky, for the "medicine" and the bottles of booze for the Captain and Doctor.
Another non descript trip to the wharf, a few creatures tried to attack on the way. I swerved around them and continued. Thinking on the crew of the Drake, the horrors they had been spared, being trapped on the ship and the harsh reality they would soon face.
My emotional roller coaster was on another down slope. Every time something good happened, something worse happened, The companions I had just found would be leaving shortly, they would find nothing but tragedy and death. was I sad for my impending loss, or theirs?
I called up the ship as I left the wharf, Asking the Doctor about the different bottles of pills that I had. it seemed they were all very similar, all tranquilisers, He suggested I keep the Xanax. I informed him that all the rest of the medicine would be in the first batch of items I off loaded and asked the he collect it. He said he understood and would be waiting at the top of the stairs. I added a note to the esky, explaining that the bottles were for him and the Captain.
Again four loads, a cynical person would see them as wasted. Hope is never a waste. even when it's in vain.
The Captain called me up as I was steaming home, telling me the crew were very happy with the items I'd delivered. I asked if there was anything he might desire, He wondered if I might be able to secure another item like the one in the doctors possession, perhaps one made in the Northern regions of the UK? obviously crew members were present.
Amongst the booze I found in the back of the four wheel drive, were two bottles of Scotch, I was very partial to a wee dram of dirty water, I'd purposely held back those bottles when choosing the others this morning. A good Man doing the best by his crew deserved a last request.
I assured him that such a thing was indeed possible, and asked how much more food they required and if there were any preferences. "Meat, noodles and rice" came the reply. They would require about the same amount again as I had already delivered.
As I entered the harbour, I glanced at the loose ship, from my angle, it seemed very close to the beach, a little North of me. I called the Drake again and asked if the Captain could get a better view of the boat. It was on the beach, bow first, rubbing up against the older shipwreck, the Sygna. The seas were calm, it might survive in such conditions for some time, but the Captain felt the rusty old boat would soon hole the newer one. A month ago, the ships image would be broadcast all over the world by professional news organisations and amateurs alike. The communications systems, like their makers, were all dead.
Deciding to get the Scotch straight away, I secured the boat and carried my bucket full of salt water to wash my quad. yep, it needed it. I didn't think I'd ever figure out what bugged them so much about the bike.
After seven or eight bucketfulls of river water, the bike was clean, if a little damp. Taking a little longer than usual to fire up, it soon settled down to a healthy idle. I hooked on the trailer and rode the bike up the sand to the lookout.
There were actually three bottles of Scotch, somehow I'd missed one, unlike me to miss Scotch. I picked the worst and the best, keeping the middle one for myself. Loading the bike and trailer onto the back of the Patrol, my fridge car, I headed back down the beach. Stopping at the beach house, I unloaded most of the supplies from the bit Nissan, along with the Quad and the trailer, before continuing on to the wharf and my waiting van.
All the time I was unloading, I cold hear the shriek of tortured metal, as the carrier that towered above me, less than one hundred metres from my front door, tortured itself, trying to commit suicide by tearing a hole in its side by rubbing against the jagged remains of the badly rusted Sygna. I fancied I could see a list to the left (to port, I had to use the correct lingo now I owned my own boat). Only time would show the fate of the Principessa Jolanda.
A few loiterers milled around the van, I had to be careful when shooting them, not wanting to hurt the van. Yep they'd sprayed it. Aaaaargh.
Not sure what effect their marking would have, I rinsed it the best I could. Sadly my half arsed wash was probably the best cleaning the unloved van had seen in years.
Admiring my top class detailing job, I didn't notice him approaching until he was almost on top of me. I heard his footfalls and turned, bringing up the Steyr, the shot went wild as he slammed into me at full speed.
Thankfully he contacted on my left side and I landed hard onto my right shoulder. A small blessing that it wasn't my already tortured left shoulder. Sliding along the car park, skin tearing from my elbow, and a mad snapping thing coming down towards me, towards my face.
Using the momentum from my fall and his attack, I twisted sideways, throwing him half off me. madly pushing the big creature away.
I rolled to the left as i pushed him to the right. Three rolls and I sprung to my feet. blood flowing freely from my elbow. Two steps behind me the big man was also rising. I had a chance to get a look at him for just a moment as I turned and ran. Red raw, suffering from terrible burns, was he a survivor of the IGA fire?
I ran as fast as I could, looking over my shoulder, he was coming, but I was making a bit of room between us. The gun hung limp on my shoulder, I lifted it, turned and shot at almost point blank range. Like a waking nightmare, I missed. panicked, I fired again and again, The bullets eventually found their mark. He faltered and finally fell.
He tried to rise, tried to reach out and grab me. I gave him the old double tap for his trouble. Blood leaked from his blistered head, he twitched once or twice and moved no more.
No more than ten seconds had passed, I scanned the area, more were coming, into the van and make tracks. Finding a quiet spot, and grabbing my bug out bag, I moved to the back of the van.
The antiseptic lotion stung my wounded elbow, I had difficulty seeing the injury on the back of my arm, Placing a pad over the cut, I bandaged up my "broken wing".
It hurt like the devil.
What were all those things doing in the supermarket anyway, and how had they beaten the fire?
It was only an assumption, Perhaps one of the workers bought in friends or family to keep them safe and fed throughout the emergency, Not realising what would happen when they turned. As to how any of them got out, I was stumped.
I headed for Medowie, considerably sorer than I had been yesterday.
Two trips gave the ships crew all the supplies they would need. I slipped the Scotch into another esky, the Captain was waiting a dozen steps up the ladder as I tied up for the last time.
"Hello my friend, glad to make your acquaintance" he said. We talked for a while, never getting any closer. "I'd love to shake your hand, we couldn't return home without your help", nodding at the heads hanging over the rail, high above us, I asked if he would be allowed back onto the boat if he did in fact shake my hand. "Probably not" he laughed.
I asked if he had anybody back home, it seemed he did not. "why go?, you're welcome to stay here". He thanked me, but answered, "its home". I told him if he changed his mind, he was always welcome. Pointing to my beach house and informing him there was plenty of room for housemates. I tried not to carry on, he'd made his mind up. He promised to think on it. I hoped he would.
We said our goodbyes, I laid the esky on the platform and told him it was for him. I untied and moved away from the dock. He yelled a thankyou as he inspected the contents of the cooler. Standing at the back of the jaffa, 40 metres from the ship, I sketched a salute and turned to go.
Hold on a moment he yelled. The men were filing down the stairs.
"THANK YOU" They yelled and cheered, waving and whooping as I turned, closed the door and opened the throttle.
Before I shut down the boat, I contacted the ship, enquiring as to when they would be leaving. "Within the hour" came the reply, "the engineer is preparing to start the engine right now". "Safe Journey my friends" I said my goodbyes, "and to you" came the reply.
It had been a long day. I arrived home on my third beer from the Nissans fridge just as the sun disappeared. The ship began to move, turned in a giant half circle, picked up speed and headed North East. Sounding its fog horn as it went. to my ears it was a sad lonely tone, a forlorn sound, the moans of the lost. Within half an hour, it disappeared over the horizon. The Drake was gone, I knew it would never be back.
The annoying sound of the Jolanda scraping against the older wreck was gone. The ship had apparently been holed and had settled onto the sand, there was a definite list to Port. I studied the stricken ship in the pale light of the half moon, I thought she was buckling midships, Daylight would show if that were so.
I sat on the bonnet of the Patrol enjoying the heat rising from the engine, as a stiff breeze sprang up. Savouring the last bottle of beer from the small fridge in the back, I simply sat. Surrounded by darkness and silence. Not realising how much I had relied on those lights, twinkling on the water. It hit me like a sledgehammer, I was alone.
The only sounds were of the ocean, the waves breaking on the sand. The only man made sounds were the ticking of the Patrol as its engine cooled, and a cracking sound, like a gunshot, that came from the bowels of the ship, dying, fifty footsteps from my position.
Sore, but not hungry, I retired into the van and slightly drunk I slept.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:07 pm

Wednesday, January 18. Early Morning.
Suddenly I came awake. They were in the van. All the curtains were closed, the van was in almost total darkness. I could "feel" them, more than hear them. Straining, I could hear their breath, sighing.
Petrified like a child with a monster under the bed. Too scared to move a muscle, trying to remain silent.
Terrified, I tried to quiet my breathing, it sounded like a hurricane. Where was my gun?
I'd left it on the kitchen table when I came in, half drunk. I had no weapons to defend myself.
The only things I had, were the blankets I was hiding under and the nearby light switch. The lights would probably dazzle me more than the creatures.
A could hear the rail road sound of my heart beating, "bump, bumping" like the carriages rolling over the tracks, my chest felt a little tight, adrenaline probably.
Not knowing the time, I didn't know when the sun would come and illuminate my hiding spot. I had to move, but I was rooted to the spot.
Reluctant to tangle with another one after my surprise attack earlier, I knew I had to.. but..
Three, two, one. go.
Flick the switch, light flooded the room. Fly out of bed holding the blankets ahead of me and sprint towards the kitchen. Tripping over the blankets as they tangled in between my pumping legs.
Hit the half wall separating the bedroom from the kitchen with my left shoulder, twisting and landing on my right elbow. Pain flared in both. Blind terror pushed me forward and back onto my feet.
The drab Steyr was laying on the table, I lunged for it, knocking it onto the seat beside the table, before it clattered onto the floor. by the time I got it, they'd be on me. Bolting to the kitchen sink at the front of the van, I grabbed a wicked looking carving knife and in one fluid motion, turned and stabbed. Screaming with a guttural roar "COME ON YOU BASTARDS", as I rushed forward. Desperate to stop them, before they stopped me.
There was nothing there.
My mind, my poor tortured mind was playing tricks on me. Shaking violently, I didn't believe my eyes. I must have checked every possible hiding spot in that van ten times. Even the ludicrously stupid ones, The storage areas under the bed, the fridge, kitchen cupboards and under the kitchen table.
I left the gun where it lay, they might get me while I was on my hands and knees retrieving it. I almost broke the locks on the door and windows checking that they were secure.
Anybody peeking into that van that night would have thought they were watching a mad man, running, naked, knife held in front of him from one end of the van to the other, continually checking for monsters that weren't there.
The fictitious peeping Tom would have been right.
Shaking uncontrollably from shock and perhaps cold, I draped myself in the blankets, returning to my bed, sitting with my back to the wall, Afraid to leave the light on, sure it would draw the monsters that were waiting just outside the door.
I jabbed at the switch, returning the van to darkness. and sat there, brandishing my knife, waiting for them to spring from their hiding place and attack.
I blew a fuse, went insane, bought a ticket on the lunatic express. whatever you care to call it. I did it.
I think the best description I could give, is that I simply "went away" for a while. I don't recall a lot of that "event". Should anybody ever read this, they may be thinking "he is embarrassed to talk about it", that's not it, the next few days were simply a blur. Flashes show up occasionally, perhaps as time goes by, more will come back to me, Honestly I hope not, what I recall wasn't pleasant.
I cried, sobbed, screamed, cursed God with every curse word I knew, but I think for the most part, I sat and watched the door, waiting for them. An empty shell with a knife. A terrified empty shell.
What pushed me over the edge? Take your pick. The death of seven billion souls, or the twisting of those that survived, the ones I saw murdered, the ones I murdered, not knowing the fate of my friends and family. The attacks on me, mild as they were compared to some I had seen or the departure of the Ship, and the realisation that I was now, truly alone? I'm just a simple spare parts peddler, I cant offer a definitive answer.
I think I sat in unmoving in that position for two days, maybe three. Slowly I came back to myself.
Everything that had happened was running around in my head. I didn't want to go outside. "they were out there".
So I grabbed my lap top, Noticing the big friend "Dont Panic" sticker on the outside. "Where were you two days ago" I asked, then started typing.
" I guess I have time to write it all down, Hiding away like a timid white rabbit, I have nothing but time...


The End of book one.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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

Postby wa5 » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:22 pm

Thankyou all for coming along for the ride. this isn't the end of the journey, I have a few more ideas and places for our flawed "hero" to visit

John Boy Walton once said "write what you know", The parts of Newcastle and Port Stephens mentioned in this tale, are what I know, the area is my back yard. I hope you enjoyed the tour. Some locations were finessed a little, but most of the places described are pretty accurate.

I'll be going through doing a little editing over the next couple of days, some of the early stuff really needs a tidy up, when I started, I wrote straight to the site, not even proof reading what I'd created, Looking back, that's pretty obvious.

After the edit, I'll begin book two, Our nameless hero has more trials and tribulations before he's done.

Hope you've enjoyed reading this as much as I've enjoyed writing it.
Trev.
4.21 am 2nd September, 2016. Williamtown, Australia.
wa5
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:53 am

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