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Götterdämmerung (part 2)

 
Joe Spivey's picture
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Joe was enjoying a nice dream for once, then his collar started demanding his attention. Beeps, buzzes, it was even vibrating annoyingly, which was a function he didn’t know it had. Anyway, it was enough to wake him up.

Joe slid out of bed and groped his way to the bathroom.

“What?!” He hissed, stabbing at the collar. “Who is it?” All sorts of scenarios were presenting themselves as his eyes squinted against the sudden brightness of the brilliant white tiles. Everything from a warehouse fire to open warfare with an army of, well, take your pick.

The various collar alarms stopped and the clever nanite-built wiring bypassed his cochlea to tweak his auditory nerve directly. It was a voice Joe had to think about to put a name to because his brain didn’t function best when kicked into action in the wee small hours of the morning… at least not anymore it didn’t.

The man’s name, however, became unimportant as the anxious voice delivered its message.

“Mister Spivey? She’s escaped. I’m not sure how yet, I’ve only just been told.”

A deep pit opened up where Joe’s stomach used to be and for a moment the room spun. Joe sat down heavily on the toilet. In his ear the voice, now barely keeping the panic at bay at Joe’s lack of response, grew louder.

“Mister Spivey? Mister Spivey?! Did you hear me? She’s out Mister Spivey. Miss Brown has escaped. Mister Spivey…?!”

Joe forced his act together. He started asking questions, partly to get information but mainly to give his shocked consciousness time to take in the enormity of what was happening. When he had all the details Joe ended the call and sat in silence for a while and built a list of things that needed to happen.

There was no definite proof that Miss Brown would come for him or the ones he loved and cared for, but it was high on the list of probabilities. Consequently, Joe had a long standing plan, created not long after finding out that he was, against all expectations, to become a father. The plan involved getting Kirsten and Anneka to a safe location should the need arise. Well, the need had just arisen in spades and now all he had to do was to get Kirsten to go along with it.

Then there was Tuki. Joe sighed. Why were all the women he knew as stubborn as bloody mules? There was no point contacting Tuki directly, she’d just ignore the danger. Probably wouldn’t even mention it. In Tukiko’s world everything was ponies and rainbows and she was indestructible as long as she just smiled at everyone. Even when ‘everyone’ was armed to the teeth and their favourite colour was red… Mind you, she did have a baby now.

Joe reached for his cigars, then remembered that he was in his underpants and vest. He sighed again and caught up with his train of thought. But she always took the bloody kid with her, even to the bandit camps that surrounded Hope. So no guarantee she’d even think too hard about… what was the kid’s name again? Itchy? Stupid bloody name. And Taioko would be about as much use as a chocolate teapot. Under the thumb for sure that one.

That left Joe with the unattractive option of contacting ‘that bloody woman’ and letting her sort her daughter out. Which Joe had every confidence she would do, and pack her off to Haven or somewhere safe in short order. He smirked. Now that was a conversation he would love to listen in on. Joe checked his watch. Three thirty-five. He reached up to coms tab and just hoped Hyle would be sober. A few minutes later, and with his ear still warm, Joe took a deep breath and went to gently wake Kirsten.

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Hyle Troy's picture


The previous day had been a busy one. A larger than usual contingent of refugees had kept Hyle and Tuki busy for most of the day and well into the evening. In short, by the time Hyle got to her bed she was knackered.

Which was probably why the first two attempts by Joe to contact her failed.

Beep, beep, beep. The sound invaded whatever dream it was Hyle was enjoying and slowly dragged her back into the waking world. Emerging from slumber, Hyle groaned.

For helvede.” Finally she opened the channel and mumbled into it. “Her er Hyle….”

The voice was agitated, this being Joe’s third attempt. “Hyle? It’s Joe. Joe Spivey!”

Still muffling into the pillow more than the mic, Hyle was still trying to get her mind around the event. It was dark outside after all.

Joe?Hvad fanden kalder du efter? Det er midt på natten….”

What!?! Oh fer chrissakes…..” The sigh and the pause which followed betrayed Joe’s frustration. “Hyle! Speak English!”

Hyle groaned and swung her feet out of the bed, sitting upright her brain tried repeatedly to force itself into ‘English” mode. Joe was speaking in hushed tones which didn’t help, but as he went on Hyle realised that this stuff about Miss Brown was in fact very important, nay dangerous. The point was reinforced when Joe mentioned mentioned the key word. Tuki. That woke Hyle up.

 

As she scrambled about finding her clothes. Hyle considered her options. Firstly, why was Reavy never around when she needed her. Hyle tried several times to call her despite the fact Reavy had said she would be gone for some time and would be uncontactable for ‘operational reasons’.

By the time Hyle descended the stairs she had a half formed plan which involved persuading Tuki to take shelter at Haven, with Ichiro, naturally. Hyle opened the understair cupboard. She took her jacket, then paused. She looked at her rifle for a long while. Hyle hesitated, finally she sighed and picked it up, checking the magazine. She had not held the gun for a long while, but at least Reavy always kept it in full working order for her. Just in case.

Five minutes later, Hyle was banging on the door of the little house next to The Clinic.

 

Meanwhile back at Chez-Spivey.

 

No Joe, this is our home!” Kirsten was wide awake and furious. “How many time do I have to tell you? We belong together, me at your side. Always!”

Joe paused from stuffing some of Kirsten’s clothes into a case. He faced down the almond anger emitting from Kirsten’s eyes. Usually he would let Kirsten have her head and search for compromise but this was different. Joe put his foot down and it shocked Kirsten.

But it’s not just you and me anymore is it!” Joe was adamant. “There is Anneka now, and believe me, Brown will use her to get at me and there’s no way on Gods green earth I’m gonna let that happen so….”

Joe saw Kirsten’s eyes drop and it hurt him. But all the same the point had gotten through. Kirsten got up from the bed.

At the same time, Silja appeared at the bedroom door in her PJ’s, alerted by the raised voices so early in the morning.

What’s going on?

Silja’s interruption had the effect of stopping the discourse. Joe looked at Kirsten, Kirsten looked at Joe then she looked at Silja. Kirsten took a deep breath.

Would you wake Anneka please. And pack a bag for you both.” Kirsten looked at Joe, Joe nodded. “We’ll be going away for a few days. Tell Anni it’s a holiday.”

Silja drew breath to speak, Kirsten raised her hand. “I’ll explain on the way, just do as I asked. Quickly. Ok?”

Silja glanced at Joe and read the thundering seriousness on his face. She nodded and made her way to Anneka’s room, closing the door behind her.

 

Back in Hope Springs, Hyle was not having so easy a time.

Hyle felt herself swimming against the tide of reasons not to go to Haven flowing from Tuki. The backlog at the clinic, yesterdays influx of refugees, so and so about to have a baby. And so on and so forth. It went on and on despite Hyle trying to interject repeatedly with ‘But Joe told.’ or ‘What about the baby?’

On the other side of the room Taioko vacillated between packing a bag and unpacking it, depending on who said the last thing. Hyle telling him to pack, Tuki telling him there was no need. Tuki held a crying Ichiro to her chest, the argument had woken him and he added to the clamour in the room as two pig heads battled incessantly.

Enough!”

 

The two women, stunned into silence, turned to the meek Japanese man who had had enough of the noise.

I will taker Ichiro to The Haven now. Is ah safest. If ah Spivey San say there is a danger, then there is a danger.” Taioko said to the open mouths. He turned to Tuki.

And ah you. You will also coming to ah The Haven. Like ah your Momma tell. You must respect ah your Momma. And I also agree.”

Hyle and Tuki looked at each other.

But..” Tuki managed to overcome the surprise first, but Taioko put his hand up.

I expect by the mid ah day you are also at Haven.”

It’s for the best.” Hyle reinforced Taioko at last. “Look, I’ll help out at the clinic with Tai and Maisie. You can do what you need to before midday then go to Haven. It’ll be only a few days. Hmm?”

Tuki looked at her man and her mother. Even Ichiro had stopped crying. She handed the baby to Tai.

 

I.. better get things sorted then.”



I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers

Joe Spivey's picture

"The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last..."


 

Stick with me kid and you'll be farting through silk.



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