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Götterdämmerung (part 3)

 
Joe Spivey's picture
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By four AM the Spivey household was clustered in a little group behind the front door.

“Everybody ready?” Joe asked, hiding his anxiety so that his voice appeared calm and confident. There was a flurry of nodding heads. Joe smiled. “Good. Now remember…” He held his finger to his lips.

Silja held a sleeping Anneka in her arms, leaving the heavy suitcases to Joe and Kirsten. With luck little Annie would stay asleep for most of the journey. Joe still hadn’t told them where they were going but she remembered when Joe had driven halfway around the province to eventually hide Tuki with her and her late, unlamented father.

Joe tapped on the front door softly. After a few seconds there was an answering tap. Joe put his hand on the door latch.

“Okay everyone, this is it. Keep quiet and stay close.”

The front door opened and the little crocodile filed past one of Joe’s men and down the steps. A the foot of the steps Joe turned to the right, ignoring the parked cars.

Of course, Silja thought. They wouldn’t use their own cars, too recognisable.

Joe led them down the street in silence. However, they hadn’t gone thirty steps before Joe turned right and up the steps to a house only four doors down from their own home. Kirsten and Silja looked at each other in quizzical silence. As they approached it, the door to the unlit house opened and Joe led them inside.

They were met in the darkness, not by some heavily armed heavy on Joe’s payroll but by an elderly man dressed in embroidered slippers and a brocade smoking jacket complete with matching cap. Harvey and Archie had moved in about three years ago. Both were known for their flamboyant campness, both in style and manner and had soon become neighbourhood characters. Their parties were famous and often the whole street was invited. Kirsten and Joe were regular visitors to their soirées, although Kirsten probably enjoyed them much more than Joe.

“Soooo glad you could make it.” Harvey whispered, beaming. He stretched out a welcoming arm. “Shall we adjourn to the kitchen? I believe Archie has prepared snacks.”

Kirsten grabbed Joe’s arm and gave him a hard ‘What is going on here?’ stare. Joe just grinned and held a finger up to his lips. They followed Harvey through to the lit kitchen. Archie, considering the short notice Joe had given them, had done well in the snack department. There was tea and coffee and two plates heaped with delicate sandwiches. When they entered, Archie was just taking a piping hot tray of miniature sausage rolls from the oven. As the smell wafted up the nostrils of the midnight travellers they realised as one that they were actually quite hungry, even Annie woke up and rubbed her eyes.

Of course, Harvey and Archie were politeness itself and went out their way to make everyone feel at home. Harvey even took Annie so that Silja could fill her plate with sausage rolls. After a few minutes of this conviviality, Kirsten took Joe to one side.

“Joe? What is going on here? I thought we were going to your safe place.”

Joe patted her hand reassuringly.

“You’re right. I think we should get on.” Joe coughed, getting everyone’s attention. “Harvey? Archie? If you wouldn’t mind?”

Archie put down the silver teapot and crossed to the sink. Harvey, meanwhile, passed Anneka back to Silja.

“If you all wouldn’t mind standing clear of the table.” Everyone backed to the edges of the room. “Thank you so much, much appreciated.” He then pushed the large kitchen table to one side and nodded towards his partner. Archie opened the cupboard underneath the sink and felt inside under the rim. There was a click.

The centre of the red tiled kitchen floor opened with an electric purr to reveal concrete steps. Lights came on, illuminating the descent. Joe led the way.

“I bought this gaff when we couldn’t make up our minds which house to live in. Once Kirsten made up her mind I had it all done up nice with the intention of selling it. Which is when I discovered something the realtors hadn’t mentioned.” Joe reached the bottom of the stairs and input a code into the keypad on the big steel door. It swung open and more lights came on, revealing the opulent interior.

“Seems like the bloke who owned it pre-fall had built himself a nuclear shelter.” Everyone filed into the first room. “He must have been out of town when the bombs fell.” Harvey and Archie stood by the entrance, grinning like Cheshire cats while Kirsten, Silja and even Anneka stared wide eyed at the comfortable décor. “I was going to use it as a secret stash for er… stuff. But then Annie came along so I, well, did this instead and then moved the gayest geriatrics in the village in up top.”

The two elderly men bowed as Joe continued.

“Don’t let the fact that they are two old farts give you the wrong idea. Believe me, when push comes kick in the balls, you’d want them on your side. Isn’t that right fellers?”

“You’re too kind Joe. We do what we can with what we have.”

Joe turned to the still speechless women.

“And what they have is an arsenal upstairs and more automated skulduggery than you can shake a hairy stick at.”

Harvey took over. Stepping towards a control panel by the door.

“You have eight rooms. Four bedrooms, a bathroom, kitchen…”


Meanwhile, in Haven. Taioko was being ‘welcomed’ by several armoured and masked men who said nothing and stood like statues at the entrances to his more austere accommodation.

After a few minutes, during which Tai made Ichiro comfortable and was about to feed him, the door opened and another, more ornately armoured, lightbearer stood in the doorway. He bowed deeply.

“Taioko San. Welcome to Haven. My name is irrelevant, but you may call me Bob.” 

 


As the sun rose over Hope, Tuki was finishing a long list of things that just had to be done before she could join Taioko and their son at Haven. What it boiled down to was that Hyle would assist nurse Maisie in the clinic while Tukiko, accompanied by the two lightbearers who, along with a doctor from Haven, would run the clinic while she was away, would get through the essential home visits. They would then see her safely to Haven before returning to Hope with Seeker Anthony.


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Hyle Troy's picture

Nice touch with the two old queens *applauds*  I did not expect that !

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

Hyle Troy's picture

 

Nurse Maisie is a formidable woman who runs her wards they way they should be. Ergo she is as straight and solid as the well starched uniform she wears. Her ‘hospital corners’ are textbook and she firmly believes that everything under her domain should and will run like a Swiss watch. Which, is quite an achievement when you consider the butterfly nature of her boss, one Doctor Tukiko Troy. All in all though, it all worked and she was content, usually.

Similarly, despite her public persona as a party loving ‘It Girl’. Away from parties, public gaze. In her work environment, Mayor Hyle Troy is also a stickler for routine, efficiency and possesses a not so much ‘can do’ attitude, more a ‘get it done, now!’ attitude. Ask any one of the staff at Hope Springs Town Hall.

Consequently, when these two great forces are placed in close proximity to each other, it is more than an odds on certainty that tensions will arise.

By Ten in the morning Nurse Maisie’s inner bottom lip was starting to suffer from the rising pressure from the teeth which were set upon the more and more frequently clenched jaw.

Miss Troy was taking charge.

Unfortunately in the pecking order of Hope Springs Maisie knew she was several tiers below Mayor and although diplomacy was never her strong suit. Bit by bit, Nurse Maisie was slowly learning that skill.

By about half eleven things were a good deal calmer about the clinic. By the time had got and closer to twelve, Hyle had withdrawn to the office and seemed to be spending her time either pacing up and down or had her face pressed against the window that looked out onto the street.

By quarter past the hour Maisie felt her first pang of sympathy towards Hyle Troy. Tuki was overdue.

Time went on, still nothing.

It was heading towards 1 pm when Hyle finally snapped. Leaving Maisie strict instructions to call her the moment Tuki showed up, Hyle leaped into her car and the dust cloud headed away in the direction of Haven.

 

The two heavily armoured Lightbearer guards watched as the pink car screeched to a halt outside the gate and an ominous Scandinavian storm cloud clad in tight blue jeans started marching towards their gate. Silently the two guards closed shoulders, denying Hyle access to the compound within.

The ice blue Scandinavian eyes glared. “Let me in, I need to see my daughter!”

Nothing. The two guards stood their ground. Silent, immovable.

I am Hyle Troy. I need to see if my daughter is there!” Hyle demanded.

The left most guard looked at his colleague. His colleague spoke in a deadpan voice.

Your name is not on the list.”

That was the first time Hyle had ever heared that phrase, her eyes widened with anger.

Gahhh !” Hyle angrily spun on her heels and took three strides toward her car before stopping dead, turning, and marching back to the guards.

I am the fucking Cursed Tech Mother of Seeker Troy for fuck sake! Let me past!”

Guard right was visibly stunned by the Nordic fury, and rocked on his heels.

The other guard was the first to recover.

Wait here.” He said and went to find someone of a higher pay grade, leaving the other to watch Hyle, arms folded, march up and down in frustration.

It was the one known as ‘Bob’ who returned with the guard to the gate.

Esteemed Mother of Seeker Troy.” Bob said by way of welcome. “It seems Seeker Troy had not arrived as we expected. Although Taioko San and the blessed child of Seeker Troy are safe inside.”

The news hit Hyle harder than an overloaded freight train and the world started to gyrate around her. She felt her knees buckle.

 

The next faces she saw were Taioko and ‘Bob’ looking down at her inside a spartan room within Haven.

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



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