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Halloween Fantasy (part 45)

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All eyes turned to the new arrival. Gregor took a step forward, which had the effect of stopping the man dead in his tracks. Sufficiently warned, the man’s eyes quickly scanned the four arrivals and then flicked back to settle on Ellie.

When the man spoke his voice held a little keening note of suppressed anxiety.

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Haloween Fantasy (part 44)

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The following morning saw only Dr. Awolowo blinking painfully, and perhaps regretfully, in the morning sunlight as he and Ranger Hancock headed out of the compound and then east towards the main settlement of the Gu-Nar. Cybil and Amy met for an early breakfast and to plan how they were going to go about visiting the various offices and conservation facilities of the expeditions that were based here.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 43)

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When everyone was seated Bodil found that she had Victor sitting opposite her. Whether this was by accident or by design she couldn’t be sure, but the smile he gave her raised hopes it was the latter.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 42)

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Sergeant Glasser again paused for effect. Aside from Amy and Cybil glancing nervously at each other, the Sergeant’s words were met with polite indifference from the others. Professor Hill and Doctor Awolowo were very well aware that exploration in recently radiation cleaned areas was dangerous, both had lost friends and colleagues in the past.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 41)

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Vertibird flight wasn’t unfamiliar to Professor Bodil Ramsbottom-Fergusen, Hill-Davis. Nor was the noise, or the discomfort of the webbing ‘seats’, or the freezing temperatures at altitude that condensed into rain inside the fuselage as they descended. Nor was she unfamiliar with the heart pounding excitement of the prospect of a dig so far off in the semi-explored wilds of La Grande Bretagne.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 40)

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A second is not a long time. But the sound of tearing air seemed to linger longer than its actual duration. Nobody moved, nobody said anything. Then the bleachers behind Bodil and Ellie exploded into laughter. The laughter then turned into a steadily growing round of applause until Poppy soon had her very own standing ovation.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 39)

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“What other option?”

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Halloween Fantasy (part 38)

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Bodil spun the dial on her binoculars.

“Really?!”

The reticule zoomed in, too much. Nose hairs don’t tell you anything. She dialled it back a bit.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 37)

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There was a visible relaxing around the table. As if by magic a waiter appeared and both Bodil’s and Ellie’s drinks were replaced and a fresh jug of iced water provided.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 36)

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Ellie and Poppy chatted happily with each other in a mix of English and the expressive sing-song language the furry little animal had used before with Gregor. Both of them used mime, too, to convey what their limited knowledge of each other’s words could not. They looked to Bodil like two infants who had met each other for the first time after the long summer school break and were animatedly sharing their holiday stories.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 35)

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Although Bodil was intrigued by the procession of colourfully clad men and women descending from the belly of the ship sized aircraft, the optically magnified and electronically enhanced image settled on a creature that was easily as tall as Ellie’s bodyguard Gregor and every bit as impressively muscled. But, though it stood upright like a man the, whatever it was, was covered in a thick grey-blue fur that shimmered and flowed as the creature moved.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 34)

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 A glance at the crowd showed Bodil that all attention seemed to be directed to the left and down the avenue of aircraft, whoever they belonged to, towards the way she and Victor had just come from. Bodil followed their gaze, looking vaguely upwards. She expected to see, something. Vertibirds? She had seen huge ones that could carry many tons of cargo.

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Halloween fantasy (part 33)

 

And that pretty much killed the conversation. The potential for an embarrassing silence was dispelled when Ellie’s notebook began to beep for attention. While the head of Troy security attended to business Bodil took the opportunity to look around.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 32)

 

Ellie watched the car approaching. Though her sunglasses hid her eyes, her tightly pursed lips went a long way in expressing the feeling that she was not full of the joy and happiness being demonstrated in the crowded bleachers behind her.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 31)

 

By the time she reached the comfortable warmth and light of the outside she had pretty much regained her composure and by the time she slid into the passenger seat the panic was barely discernable in her voice.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 30)

 

Two men wearing dark blue overalls stepped out of a small, temporary looking single story structure and came to a halt about five metres away. They stood in that military looking way with their feet apart and hands behind their backs that stressed the ‘don’t mess with us’ image the pose was designed to project.

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Halloween Fantasy (part 26) 700ish years ago

((Well, not really a problem, an omission. Well, not even that. I just forgot to post it. At least i think i did because I've just looked through my journal posts and I can't find it. Anyway, do you remember when I did that short series of posts about Joe in space and the weird aliens and pervy senator? Well I missed a post that went between:

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Monday Morning (Let's call it 10 AM)

Tukiko took a deep breath and with two hands, placed the manila folder she had been carrying flat on Joe's desk.

"I'm not sending anyone back to the... I mean home. They're all fine." She opened the folder and read from it. "Two cases of acute viral rhinopharyngitis. Several none work related abrasions..."

Joe sat up.

"Acute viral whatnow?"

"A cold Joe. Two of the children have a cold."

"Well why didn't you say that in the first place instead of getting all 'Lah-di-dah' doctor on me?"

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Monday Morning (Getting on for 10 o'clock)

It had taken a while, but Joe's ears were now picking up the familiar sounds of ammunition, and therefore chips, being made once again. One by one even the four urchins of the apocalypse had seepishly slunk back into the office and, under Joe's hard stare, got back on with their work. Lethal head lice having beeen proved non-existant thanks to the orphanage's liberal use of a particularly pungent but effective shampoo. Peace, then, had returned to the ammunition factory.

Well, for a few minutes anyway.

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Monday Morning (About the same time)

Joe tapped the broken pencil on the desk a few times before getting to his feet and walking around the desk to the door. On the other side of the half glazed door was a plank balcony, with stairs at one end and the only unbarred window at the other. The balcony allowed Joe to look down onto the shop floor and his regular appearances through the day helped to keep up production. He stretched his arms along the bannister rail and took in the scene below.

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Monday Morning 9:15 AM (ish)

From inside his office Joe stopped hearing the normal low noise of a smoothly running ammunition production line. He looked up from his desk. The glance he directed at the four little orphans in the corner ensured that they didn't add to the sudden drop in productivity as four unkempt heads immediately assumed an air of increased concentration on their tasks.

Joe's attention was turned to the half glazed door as footseps outside signaled the hurried approach of some urchin or other, hopefully with news of why he was no longer making money.

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Monday morning 7.30 AM

Joe tried to count heads while the crush of orphans forced and fought their way through the door into the ammunition factory. The older ones won of course. Bigger, stronger, and in most cases, meaner. But that was ok because it made it easier for Joe to spot the four faces he was looking for.

"Oi! Finny, One Tooth, Casper and Worms."

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Halloween Fantasy (part 29) 700ish years ago. Last bit.

The senator stared, blank faced, for a few seconds at the gaudy flyer then, with pointed deliberacy, pressed a point on his desktop and the image of Joe Spivey’s flyer, along with the grinning buffoon face of Kort Chorfaleo joined those of the two doctors in electronic limbo. The three images might still be on their faster than light journey through sub-space but they no longer took up the senator’s time, and that was the important thing. 

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Halloween Fantasy (part 28) 700ish years ago

Kort Chorfaleo mopped his brow with a large purple handkerchief. He was a big man, in a tight suit, under hot lights facing a man who, quite frankly, scared the hrakha out of him. The prevailing thought in his mind just now was ‘stick to the report, don’t get drawn’. 

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Halloween Fantasy (part 27) 700ish years ago

((Part 26 was missed but posted later.

It was thirty days later and many light years away. In one of the more profitable sectors of Imperial space, and Senator Geesh was hoping to get the day’s business out of the way before lunch. 

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Halloween Fantasy (part 25) 700ish years ago

In the darkness, silent spurts of shimmering blue-white flame erupted like tiny random geysers. Each fiery triangle lasting for less than a second of bright, purposeful life. Their brief existence coincidentally serving to illuminate enough patches of the dark blue hull to determine the half disc shape and size of the thirty metre wide space ship as it manoeuvred incrementally closer to the still invisible derelict somewhere in front of and below them.

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Safety Inspection Day

The noise slowly fades up into a quiet hubub and we find ourselves in the smokey interior of The Tap. It is evening, but not so late that alcohol fueled arguments have yet led to spilled blood or that errent spouses are starting work on their excuses for being late home. But it is late enough that the smell of food has pretty much given way to the smell of hops and cheap tobacco.

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Halloween Fantasy (Part 24)

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The Alps began to rise around them. Before long you had to actually crane your neck and look up to see the skyline on either side of the road. Even looking ahead the snow speckled mountains seemed to be growing up out of the ground as they got nearer. But long before Bodil had to raise her gaze to see the endless azure still ahead they came to the town of Niederurnen, filling the now very narrow gap between the limestone walls of the pass. 

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Halloween Fantasy (Part 23)

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The professional in her, the intellectual, wanted to call Victor out on his bold assertion. But forcing an argument on a man she was hoping to get closer to was not exactly going to be a winning strategy.


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Halloween Fantasy (Part 22)

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Bodil relaxed… a little. Well, perhaps more than a little. It was a nice day. The countryside was beautiful, despite the lurking Auto-Cults. The car was air conditioned. Victor was charming, and he smelled nice. So, Bodil didn’t let little things bother her. Like that she was being driven to a place she didn’t know, to be among people she didn’t know to be a witness to something she knew nothing about.

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by Dr. Radut