I gave myself three hours before the meet up at the dock and hoped my watch was keeping time ok. I gathered some water bottles and
snack bars. I topped the water bottles off to the brim so they wouldn't make any sloshing sounds, then un-wrapped the bars and placed
them in to the pack to avoid rustling wrappers. Checked through all the gear, first aid stuff and anything else I could cram in the pack
which was filled to the brim. I slung the pack on and did a quick jump up and down test, no rattling or the like so satisfactory.
I un slung it and situated the ladder under the roof hatch. I slowly climbed it and opened the hatch, carefully pushed the pack through
on to the roof, then the club followed it. I had all I needed so didn't look back and moved out in to the daylight. I lay flat on the roof
for a few minutes allowing my eyes to adjust to the direct sunlight.
From my prone position, I looked toward the wall.
It was a wall but it also formed part of the corner of a building as Max had described to me. One sash window almost level with the wall
top was open slightly. The building was a four storey affair, looked like a small office place. I slowly crawled on my belly toward the
window and lifted my head to see in. Open plan office but deserted as near as I could tell. Any port in a storm I thought so gently lifted
the window open and slid in as quietly as I could.
Once in, I slid the widow back down and then just sat there. The only sound was my heart. It was knocking out the kind of beat that any
drummer would have been proud of. Slightly embarrassing to admit, it wasn't going that quick through exertion alone. I waited until it
slowed a tad.
Rising to my feet, I looked around. Certainly an office space but looked like it had never been occupied. It was way to clean to be in use,
no furniture; the carpeting tiles looked new and the walls were spotless. Well almost.
Across the room I saw the door, one of those with a full length narrow glass panel.
On the cream coloured door in what turned out to be black marker pen were the words 'THIS WAY AND TURN RIGHT' I slowly
opened the door and looked out in to the corridor.
Thankfully it was deserted. A small sigh of relief and followed the instructions. Along the corridor to a stairwell, all still clear so down that.
No matter how carefully I trod, the sound seemed just way too loud. The squeak from my trainer sole as I pivoted on one foot almost
sounded like a shriek echoing around the stairwell. Arriving at the bottom I found two doors, one that obviously led back in to the building,
no thanks, and a fire escape door which had the words 'THIS WAY OUT' in that same marker pen. It had been left off the latch and a
small stick was placed in the jamb so it could be opened from the outside.
My little angel was one switched on cookie!
I slowly pushed on the door to open it and after a quick look about, stepped out in to the street. It was then I just stopped and listened.
This wasn't a city, it was a mausoleum. I defy anyone to say they feel no trepidation stepping on a grave. I was feeling just that but
magnified. No birds, not even the sound of the wind. I had that 'eyes watching my every move' feeling and looked around. No one there.
Deep breath, focus!
I mentally placed my location just around the corner from the Tate Britain, which made it roughly in between Lambeth Bridge to the north
and Vauxhall Bridge to the south. North to Westminster Bridge with about a mile to cover. Best would be to get as close to the Thames as
possible, at least then that cut the amount of places anything could be lurking to my left hand side. Perfect plan? Nope but the best I
could do in a hurry, and time was not on my side.
I would have loved nothing more than a detour to my home to collect some things but that would have to wait.
I moved quickly but with some care up Milbank Street along the Thames, I stayed focused on my task and ignored the views over this now
incredibly subdued testament to centuries of human civilisation and habitation. Nothing moved in the daylight, the shadows were currently
occupied by me as much as possible. I stuck to the tree lined area along the Thames on the run up to the Milbank roundabout and Lambeth
Bridge. Still no signs of life...or not life as the case may be so I decided not to go looking for any.
As it happened I came across some used to be life at the junction of Lambeth Bridge.
A hastily set up police cordon of some sort. Four cars in all arranged in a blocking fashion pointing across the deserted bridge. The silence
as I surveyed the area was getting oppressive. Shaking that off, I surmised a quick but careful look see for gear wouldn't go amiss. Though I
had my suspicions as to what they had been trying to block, hold or slow down here, they had failed and at no small cost. The long dried
bloodstains were an indication, the body parts were another.
One poor soul looked like he had been taken down and most of the torso had been ripped apart.
One arm and the head were not present. Not one single untouched body remained.
It looked like a giant sized, selective meat mincer had come through here. At a dispassionate guess from my vantage point, 10 to 15 coppers
had stood their ground. Spent cases of 9mil and 5.56mil ammo littered the place. By the look of it, they got hit from both sides and didn't
stand a chance. I checked the area over and re-assessed, it looked like they had found the Achilles heel of the walkers but too late to do
The start of Horseferry Road had a fair few un-dead, now thankfully completely dead, bodies piled up where they fell. Every one of them
showed single or double tap head wounds. I scouted up the weapons and equipment. Thought I was about to get my first close up encounter
with one of the grey skinned mob but no.
In one patrol car, a copper was still sitting in the seat, upright and staring. On closer inspection the doors were locked, the young fella inside
had ended it himself. The blue flashes on his shoulder indicated a probationer, freshly minted copper, wet behind the ears out of Hendon
Police College and straight in to this hell.
I readily admit to a swell of great pity for what he must have seen and therefore could find a measure of understanding as to why he'd had
stuck the Glock pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
I can only assume things but from the marks on the car and the way the windscreen was cracked, he must have seen it all happen before
the un-dead turned their full attention to this poor kid.
I got back to business and to the haul I eventually collected. A Police Asp telescopic baton, a couple of Leatherman multi-tools. A Glock
pistol, a Heckler and Koch MP5 which I estimated a couple of clips each once I had swiftly emptied all the near expended magazines I
could find. I'd have to have a proper count up later when time allowed. The Heckler and Koch G36's were all empty of ammunition and
no spares to be had. Nor did I have the time for an in-depth search.
Moving on, I hugged the forestry in Victoria Tower Gardens to cover me as much as possible. I had to creep especially quietly as I made
my way over the last 100 or so yards toward the Houses of Parliament. A few walkers were loitering around the Rodin Sculpture in the
middle of the gardens. Even in this situation, the thought that maybe the un-dead had some kind of cultural appreciation raised a slight,
if grim, smile on my face.
After a short climb that made me sweat more than a bit, I used the top of the wall to get to the walkway along the side of Parliament facing
the river, made more sense that to try and go around the other side as there was very little cover and I thought that Richard the 1st and
Oliver Cromwell may not mind me going against passing their statues and saying hello under the circumstances.
I would be passing the statue of Boudicca though and I always give that lass a wave.
She's a good example of what happens when you push anyone too far.
Just before I made the last bit tip toeing around the wall sides of Parliament and arriving at Westminster Bridge, I stopped to let my
weakened muscles finish screaming when the familiar sound of a Landrover came from across the bridge, approaching.
I stood from my vantage point and assessed how fast I could get myself out in to the open and stick my thumb out for a lift.
I sighted the Landy as it stopped almost on my side of the deserted bridge, about 50 odd yards from my position. I saw three figures
dismount the vehicle, all in British Army MTP camo gear.
I was about to start making my way with haste around the south east tower without falling in the Thames but something stopped me.
I couldn't quite put my digit on it but something wasn't right about these characters. Only one 'moved' like a squaddie. I can't explain it
but it's just something that stands out in the body language, even at this distance. The squaddie looking fella raised his L85A2 British
Army rifle and aimed along the Embankment that runs to the Jubilee Bridge. He started firing, I had no idea what or who he was firing at.
I looked at my watch.
I was hoping that My Little Angel wasn't early as this just didn't add up. One of the blokes, who seemed to be in charge came in to view.
He was no soldier.
To describe his dress, well as a few drill pigs (drill instructors) I knew of in the past may have put it, "You look like a sack of spanners
tied up with string around the middle you fat bastard shower of shit!"
And I would have been hard pressed to argue with that assessment.
His voice or the volume of it did nothing to elevate my opinion of him, particularly as almost every other word was 'fuck' or a variant of
the same. Apparently he, speaking to the fellow with the weapon, had reason to doubt the shooters marksmanship and his blind mother
could achieve better results. Or something to that effect if I had tried to mentally erase the Anglo-Saxon oaths. I decided to hold my
ground at this point.
Due to the lack of other noise around, the fat fellow's voice came over loud and clear, which would have been only slightly muted had
there been rush hour traffic about. He stopped the firing and gestured back toward the Landy.
"Look, I'm in fucking charge so you do as I fucking say now get back in the fucking jeep and fucking drive and fucking don't
fucking forget the fucking orders about fucking survivors!"
I considered the options. Nah, I'll catch the next bus thanks.
They got back in and departed.
Well...that made no sense but the next thought that occurred was how many of the grey and groan brigade were going to be drawn by that
racket. Time to move and with a will! Along the wall, across the road and on to the pier in double time. Thankfully the gate to the Pier
had a latch and was shut when I got to it so that lessened the possibility of unwanted un-dead passengers on the boat. I decided against
trying to discover what was being shot at. The pier was clear of any interlopers or undesirables so I settled in to wait and looked toward
the south with a hope that all was well with the impending transport and it's fetching helmswoman.
12:04 and the little boat glided to a stop at the Pier. A small vessel with lines as pleasing as the young lady at the wheel possessed. Little
more than 20 feet long, about 5 to 6 feet in the beam. As I was to find out later, it was an American Chris Craft barrel backed runabout
from somewhere around the late 1930's. Beautiful varnished mahogany with two bench seats in tandem upholstered in what appeared to
be red leather. Understated chrome trim in all the right places and the deep red brown of the mahogany picked out with white pin striping
on the top decking. I appreciated the Union flag flying from the rear staff.
It had an excellent silencer system on it and barely made much more than a relaxing putt-putt-putt sound as it ran. Much as I admired the
excellent workmanship, I gave Max a serious look and indicated we should leave as fast as this pretty little boat would carry us. She
nodded and opened the throttle lever in the center of the wheel and turned the boat back the way she came. The engine under its deck
cover got only slightly louder as the revs increased and I watched the speedometer slowly climb and hold at 15 knots.
Max mentioned that she had heard the gunfire and wondered if I was ok. I said it was nothing to do with me and I have no idea as to the
true identity of the persons responsible for the racket. I relayed what had happened on the bridge and she just drew a blank.
She did relate that she had heard what may have been gunfire a week or so back on one of her last visits before I woke up but couldn't
be certain. The odd stuff just kept on piling up. Max eased off the throttle after about a mile.
I related my journey and what I had found on the way in terms of equipment and left out the details of what had apparently happened
at the police cordon. I thought a grim reminder of the reality of our situation was a tad redundant. Very likely she has already seen it and
wisely got past it sharpish in her travels back and forth to where I lay flat on my back and snoring like a chainsaw.
On the journey, I got my found kit sorted out. Ended up with three full magazines for the MP5, two full for the Glock pistol. I considered
what I may have to do if it meant combating any of the walkers. To avoid it all together would be top of the list but I had the sneaking
suspicion it would come down to it one day.
I had my club but that was makeshift at best, something better would have to be sourced. Options, well dealing with them from a distance
would be nice but noise attracts them. A need for suppressed weapons then and I had a good idea where to get them assuming none of my
former brethren had got there before me. One of those good thing/bad thing deals, which one it was depended on your viewpoint.
Good that it meant some of my old mob could alive and kicking. And handing out the good news to the undead with relish.
Bad that I could risk my neck, and the rest of me, to get there and find out that an attack of shiny kit syndrome had occurred and they had
done a runner with all of it!
Something better than my trainers would have to be got and just one set of clothing was not really an option. For clothing to fit someone
my size, off the peg just wouldn't cut it. The thought of parading about in my skivvies waiting for washing to dry was as good an idea as
any when in my own home.
In someone else's house? Not so much methinks.
So, I knew where to get everything I thought I required. The getting of same and getting back without incident of the un-dead kind, or
indeed any other kind was another matter.
We travelled for two hours and talked about nothing in particular. Truth is I was never one for small talk but right now, it seemed a good
idea. She told me of herself and family, born and raised in California but came here after schooling to learn Law at Oxford. I reciprocated
with my potted life story which didn't take long. Orphaned at 2 years old, but never adopted. My sister, some two years older than I and
after being split up during my teens, she had been taken in by a family that had moved to Australia and had a nice life there with a husband
who was a well decent bloke and raised two boys, now 8 and 10 years old respectively and good lads the both of them.
The conversation between us petered out after about an hour.
For some reason after a while in silent thought, I remembered Thomas D'Urfey's Wit and Mirth, or Pills to Purge Melancholy. It was a
collection of songs published about 1698 and one 'Over the Hills and Far Away' came to mind. But not the original version as laid out in
the copy I had, but the version popularised in the 'Sharpe' TV series and it was sung by John Tam. I always liked that version best. I have
a habit of having the occasional sing-song to myself as a bit of a sprit booster...at least I hoped it would turn out to be, I started to sing it.
Or what passed for singing considering that the best tune I can carry probably belonged in the waste bucket back in the portacabin.
Here's forty shillings on the drum,
for those who'll volunteer to come,
to list and fight the foe today,
over the hills and far away.
O'er the hills and o'er the main,
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
King George commands and we obey,
over the hills and far away.
On the second chorus, Max just went with it and joined in, singing the rest of the chorus parts with me, it did indeed serve to lift both our
spirits a fair bit before we arrived at her home. It had taken three hours and change to make the journey but all things considered, I felt a
fair bit better about my circumstances as the handsome little vessel bore us safely to Eel Pie Island.
A small spit of land in the Thames, measuring some 600 yards long by about 100 yards at its widest point and home to many small or just
above 'cottage' industries, advertising agencies, artists' studios, small boatyards and the like squashed in to the center and eastern end.
Some houses of differing architectural style lined part of the southern bank and dotted about on other parts of the island. She told me her
grandparents place was at the western end of the island, fenced and secure with its own dock.
The rest of the island she had not investigated on her own and I didn't blame her. The thought of going round that rabbit warren of
buildings under current circumstances did not exactly grab me as a good idea for a merry stroll. One thing this place did have going for it
was a single foot bridge connecting it to the 'mainland' and that was the only way on or off the island apart from by boat or going for a
swim. That showed some excellent defensive potential which I fully intended to capitalise on.
Max steered the small vessel neatly around the western tip of the island and up to the small jetty. She moored the boat and we got off with
all the gear I'd collected. Moving up a small path that wound slightly in between the trees, Max led me to a rather nice house. The exterior
seemed to be made from brick build on the ground floor to wood planking painted in beige with black trim for the smaller upper floor.
I estimated that it was some 50' in length and about 30' wide.
As we approached, I noticed the solar panels on the roof and made mention to Max. She said her grandfather had installed those along
with a generator for lighting and water heating systems. They had water storage and filtration systems as it appeared that her grandfather
was in to being as self-sufficient as possible. Considering the current mess hereabouts it was a bloody good thing he did.
Max glanced back at me as we approached the glass fronted porch.
"I expect the water will be hot and there will be enough for you to take a shower."
Considering how funky I was still feeling, if the chairman of the National Lottery suddenly popped up and informed me of my jackpot win,
he would get told to piss off with all speed in favour of an honest to goodness hot shower. Of course if he had mentioned a bevy of
beautiful and hopefully naked women would be presenting the cheque then I may have had to think about it.
Well just a little bit anyway.
A woman must have been watching us approach as she appeared at the front door before we arrived. Dark skinned so possibly of African
or Afro-Caribbean parentage. I supposed this to be Martha the doctor. Dressed in ordinary if fairly well fitting jeans, trainers and a blue
front button up shirt. Slim build and maybe in the 5'10" or so bracket, large dark eyes, a wide smiling mouth with very white teeth and
high cheekbones made a very good first impression I can tell you. All that was topped off with a short but well-kept mane of satin black,
slightly curly hair.
She had one of those faces that I can only describe as 'honest', which must have given confidence to any patient under her care.
Stepping forward, she embraced Max in the manner of a loving big sister to younger sibling and the look of relief was abundantly obvious.
Then her gaze fell upon yours truly, who was possibly holding up a good impression of a tidily dressed wild man of Borneo. After
regarding me for a few seconds, she spoke. Accent and manner of speech, definitely and most typically English.
"You look like you could do with a shower and shave." The smile that accompanied those words was unmistakably warm.
I responded in kind.
"Now there's an idea I can live with, you must be Martha"
She nodded, stepped away from Max and we shook hands, her slender hand almost disappearing inside mine which seemed to amuse her
to a small degree. She invited me inside and gave me the quick tour consisting of where the bathroom was and an invitation to get properly
cleaned up. No urging required there and she provided me with the appropriate scrubbing equipment and what she could quickly grab in
the way of shaving gear. Hot pink plastic disposable razors were not my usual style but I wasn't going to argue.
All this was done with no hesitation or questions, she left me to it and closed the door on her way out of the bathroom. I assumed there
would be some talk regarding the new and none too tidy looking arrival between the ladies so did not dwell on the subject and resolved
to deal with the matter at hand. The bathroom was a fully tiled affair and spotlessly clean, simple but functional fittings gave a 50/50
impression of style and practicality. The glass enclosed shower cubicle was the first to beckon but I thought a shave would be the best
place to start. Then I got the first look at myself in the mirror.
It was not pretty.
Looking like I had been pulled backwards through a hedge coupled with something the cat dragged in and then dragged out again in disgust
pretty much summed it up. The hair looked like someone had leapt out of a dark alley to frighten me and done a bloody good job, a
months' worth of straggly beard growth didn't improve matters either so I set to work.
The better part of 45 mins later had me looking and feeling somewhat more human that I had for over a week. Dressing and making sure
I hadn't left trails of dirt about the place, I left the bathroom and walked along the short corridor in to the living room. The inside of the
house matched the bathroom in layout and decor, some style with practicality. Polished wooden floor boards, smooth cream painted walls
gave the interior a light and airy feel, a home to live and be comfortable in without excessive adornment.
Late afternoon sunlight seemed to spread through the place in to every corner making it not hot but most certainly a comfortable
temperature for English spring time. Some personal touches about the place, pictures and small ornaments on the fireplace mantle, black
slate fireplace and a real wood burning one to boot. A largish wall mounted TV over a low wooden cabinet. A sofa and two chairs formed
a shallow 'U' shape around a low wooden table, facing the fire where I would have expected them to be facing the TV but I supposed at
that time, there may not be anything to watch.
The living room and kitchen were adjacent to each other in an open plan fashion I rather liked. The far end of the short corridor led to at
least two rooms I surmised, from the living room in one corner, a steep staircase went up to what I imagined to be a small room that
covered only about a quarter of the ground area for the house itself.
Clean and comfortable were two words that could adequately describe the house. The girls were sitting at the kitchen table in quiet
conversation when I came through the living room.
The smell of food cooking hit my nostrils; I tried not to dribble and damn near blew it.
My 'Feed me dammit!' expression must have shoulder charged its way to the front my face and this had not gone unnoticed as they both
looked in my direction. Martha barely suppressed a laugh, Max failed completely and I was invited to join them for dinner. Like I was
going to bloody refuse, the way my stomach began to make rumbling noises was a bit of a giveaway as well.
"Thank you ladies, for the use of the bathroom and the hospitality. The offer of dinner is most gracious,"
I just about managed a fake pained expression and added "but please tell me it's not deep fried snack bars unless you have plenty
of tomato ketchup to go with them."
They both saw the funny side and assured me it was not. To be honest though, if it had been, they would have gotten scoffed anyway.
I'm certainly not picky about food.
Early evening and I enjoyed a real home cooked meal of subtly spicy vegetable stew with potatoes followed by baked apples. It was the
most delicious thing I felt I had ever eaten and made absolutely sure there was no leftovers. While it might not seem much, it was a
veritable banquet to me and I consumed it like I was starving.
Incidentally, I do know what that's like through survival training and I can say with complete confidence that anyone who rolls out that
old phrase "I couldn't eat that if I was starving." never has.
I think they both got the drift and I was only happy that the intake of snack bars had primed my stomach for this; otherwise I suspect it
would have done something very unpleasant to my digestive tract and likely not endeared me to my charming hosts. Once dinner was
complete, Max and Martha refused any offer I made to assist with the washing up and we conversed as they did the wash and dry routine.
I thanked Martha for doing what she did in saving my life and Max for her bravery in keeping me going.
Both seemed happy to hear that but they made no big deal of it and simply said "You're welcome." with a smile each in return. They
simply seemed happy with the company and conversation and I tried my best to be a genial guest in their home.
As the sun set, Max drew the curtains which I noted were of fairly thick material and switched on the lights. It took me a few seconds to
register surprise as my brain reminded itself of the situation outside the walls of this house then remembered the mention of a generator
and seeing the solar panels on the roof. The conversation continued late in to the evening, we spoke of each other, our lives and so forth
in a sort of 'getting to know you' deal. It eventually turned to what had happened and how everything had gone from normal to total
shit storm almost overnight.
Martha related her experiences of what had happened and I could see this was pretty much old news to Max who just sat crossed legged
on one of the large easy chairs in the living room. The doctor told me of how things had gone bad in a very short space of time, within 48
hours the city of London had gone from living city to being owned only by the dead. She and the rest of the emergency services had been
the last ones out but had to simply make a run for it in any direction that seemed appropriate. What government control there was had
broken down swiftly once the first of the dead had started to get mobile.
Sadly the understanding of the nature of the infection and how it spread had arrived far too late and without some centralised co-ordination
of effort, the information was pretty much academic at that point.
When the dead were finally on the move and en masse, the order came to evacuate London. Max decided to turn in though I suspect more
from discomfort with the conversation
than actual fatigue. She gave Martha a peck on the cheek, I was happy to receive one also and with a slight smile and a cheery
"See you in the morning" to us both; she climbed the stairs to her bedroom without looking back. Martha watched her go with a look of
sadness, rose from the sofa and indicated me to follow.
She led me down the short corridor to the two doors at the end and opened one to reveal a small room with a single bed that looked
freshly made up.
"I hope our accommodations are up to liking sir?"
She smiled warmly and indicated the room with a flourish of one hand. I couldn't help but smile and said they were most certainly up to
scratch. I asked if Max would be OK and the doctor took a deep breath.
"I'm not certain but I think that she had to deal with her grandparents. Somehow they become un-dead and she alone had to take
care of it. There are two fresh graves out in the wooded area by the river bank that she visits...I know when she goes there but I
don't speak to her about it."
A knot in my stomach came on and tightened as she related this. Poor little lass. I had to admit the ready acceptance of this large stranger
in their midst and kind spirit they both showed in abundance was unexpected but incredibly appreciated. I tend to go with my gut feeling
when dealing with strangers and I took to Max very swiftly on first meeting her and felt the same way about Martha.
Good and decent souls both, whom I then and there resolved to do the best I could by for what they had done for me and they did this for
no other reason than it was the right thing to do. It was one of those times that can restore your faith in humanity. Martha related that she
and Max had seen no river traffic or air traffic for that matter and the only other things moving about were the dead. It would appear that
we were on our own big time. I reckoned that if the cavalry hadn't come over the hill by now, we could be in for a bloody long wait...
and that may well be in vain but one thing at a time.
"So you have no firm idea of how bad it is out there or how far this has spread?" I asked.
She said that she had no idea at all, they had been secure here so far and had sighted no walkers on the island but had not purposefully
gone and looked, and I didn't blame them in the slightest. There seemed to be no radio or TV to speak of apart from some very weak stuff
but she mentioned that it was from outside the UK, possibly French in origin but it was patchy reception at best. She and Max had no
foreign language skills to speak of so that was a bit of a blank spot.
"I wish I'd paid attention to French lessons in school now!" She quipped.
"Not to worry," I assured her "My old French teacher thought I could barely speak English so I'm in no position to judge."
She laughed softly and returned my smile. She left me there with a genuine "Sleep well Ben." and closed the door as she left.
I turned my attention to getting a decent bit of shut eye but by choice this time. That however, proved to be easy in planning but not in
practice. The switch in my head went to 'tactical planning mode' as soon as my head hit the pillow. It has several positions from
'ordinary bloke' to 'stone cold professional killing bastard' as the situation required.
I have no qualms about admitting that side of my nature as trained by the British Army and Special Forces work. As the bard once put it,
'Above all, to thy known self be true' and I was not in the habit of denying what I was capable of. I ran through what I could do with
myself if for no other reason than to start on the road to my ultimate goal of getting my home back. I am a man of simple pleasures.
A place to call home, a good book and a comfortable chair to sit in and I was sorted. Right now I had none of these and the fuckers
responsible for taking that away were going to answer in full.
So where to begin?
First off was to get the gear I needed then secure the island. I knew where to start to find the stuff required but that would just get the first
bit done, more would have to come. A vehicle would help, preferably something that would entail good carrying capacity with low
maintenance or at least be tough enough to do what was required. My mind's eye switched view to my location. Twickenham...then a flash
of memory. To the north is Hounslow and there's a barracks there. Cavalry Regiment if I recalled correctly. Vehicles with kit and radios
hopefully all in abundance.
Okedoke then, that's a place to go have a look at and if needs be, commandeer whatever shiny kit I could get my grubby mitts on. But
first things first, A hardware shop, preferably close by, to pick up some equipment that may be needed for, shall we say, gaining rapid
entry to secured premises. So crowbars and bolt cutters for certain along with some chains and with luck, snap locks on the ends of 'em.
So then, get geared up, get tooled up, clear the island...yep, that'll keep me occupied and out of trouble for a bit.
I had no idea exactly when I finally conked out (fell asleep) but at least that allowed me the peace of my poetry reading little angel
in my dreams.