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Halloween Fantasy (part 75)

Joe Spivey's picture
Submission type:

Even before the cataclysmic event known as ‘The Fall’, military trucks had long been built along the lines of robustness, reliability and cost effectiveness. Comfort was never much of a factor back then and the intervening hundreds of years has done absolutely nothing to change this. Consequently, Bodil, Victor, Gregor, Doctor Awolowo and the two assistants, Amy and Cybil, all of whom were sharing the back of the truck with a couple of tons of supplies, were having an uncomfortable time of it. In the cab of the bouncing truck, Weis, who was driving, and Ellie who was working the ball turret, weren’t much better off but at least there was a few centimetres of padding between their tailbones and the truck.

What made the bone jarring truck journey they were on even possible were the well-worn but deeply rutted trade routes that existed linking the tribes up and down the country. Most supplies came into the Wembley base camp via the port of Basil’s Town fifty km to the east. Getting supplies to the base, therefore, involved encroaching on the territory of several, thankfully friendly, local tribes who fished the rich waters of the Thames estuary. Consequently, any convoy using these often meandering routes were subject to a form of toll… Today’s law enforcement would call it a protection racket but the Rangers didn’t even have the manpower to guard the convoys, never mind the individual trucks that rattled along the muddy tracks. So, it was easier to just pay up and add the extra cost to general expenses.

But that was a fifty km trip through ‘friendly’ territory. Ellie, her party and the four rangers who were accompanying them just for this trip before returning to Wembley, weren’t going east. They were heading north to the westernmost port of the Nor Folk’s lands at Cam’s Bridge. Twice the distance and uncomfortably close to the eastern edges of Bru-Mei territory… And the Bru-Mei were far from friendly.

The first twenty-five or so kilometres of the journey had been through Gu-Nar hunting lands and the many small independent villages that owed the Gu-Nar fealty. After that, though, a good half of the remaining travel would be through the scorched and poisoned countryside that formed an uneasy no-man’s-land between the Bru-Mei and the Nor Folk. The expedition’s first night camp had overlooked the burnt and blackened valley where, a year ago, the Nor Folk had finally halted the eastward march of the Bru-Mei.

Today, the truck and the slightly more armoured reconnaissance vehicle which held the Ranger escort, were skirting the eastern edge of the no-man’s-land and making good progress north. It was mid-afternoon and, with luck, the party would reach Cam’s Bridge before noon the following day… Which is when the two vehicles came to a sliding, lurching, shuddering halt and the occupants of the back of the truck suddenly found themselves either on someone else’s lap or, in Victor’s case alternatively being glad to find Bodil Hill on his own lap and then wishing she hadn’t had her rather pointy trowel fastened ‘just there’ on her utility belt. Immediately after the violent and unscheduled stop there was a thumping on the back wall of the truck’s cab and the first words everyone heard were from Specialist Weis, their driver.

“Everyone stay calm now. We’ve got company.”


Hyle Troy's picture

((  whooo  ,  the truck gets going and so does the story :D

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

Joe Spivey's picture

((It's like pulling teeth at the moment.

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

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