Larcenous Behaviours

Teddington Lock nestled neatly in-between Kingston-upon Thames and Twickenham. Straddling the banks of the River Thames,
it could be called part of the Greater London suburbs but I believe the residents may think otherwise. Academic at this point
however, as the only inhabitants were long since gone, the living ones anyway.

The runabout was tied up to the river side barge moorings as Max and I made our way in to Teddington. The morning sun shone
clear in a pale blue sky, just past ten and we were back in dangerous territory. The hardware shop Max mentioned was one her
Grandfather used to go to. She related to me before we had left that morning, he liked the service and people there. It was on
the Teddington High Street about half a click from the river.

Almost a hundred yards from the dock, at the Broom and Ferry Road Junction we encountered our first obstacle. Cover was sparse
but it did mean we could see them long before they would notice us. Sneaking around the Boat House Studio and Cafe and checking
the car park was clear, we hunkered down just behind the open iron gates. A group of half a dozen were loitering around the junction
for reasons best known to themselves. About thirty yards from where we were hiding and showing no signs of moving anytime soon.

I looked at Max and whispered "How's your throwing arm?"

She cocked her head and the normally perfect brow furrowed slightly. I pulled one of the coin tubes and thumbed out four of the
copper coins. I took a step back and then aimed my throw toward Broom Road which was at ninety degrees to where we needed to go.
Putting my grenade lobbing skills to good use, I gave the coins a well decent heft and watched them fly. They hit the tarmac with
multiple resounding sharp pings. As hoped, it was enough to attract the attention of the ragged mob standing there and with the
expected moans starting to sound off, they went on their merry way in search of what I supposed they hoped was breakfast.

We both held our position and gave them a few minutes. Max simply smiled and nodded her head at me with thumbs up gesture.

We moved on with some speed but mindful of noise as there were a few walkers about. As we moved though the near silent streets,
I caught sight of a few that were wandering around the St Mary and St Alban church graveyard and thought it was oddly appropriate.
After a short while we made it close to where the hardware shop was.

Near Udney Park Road, another problem came upon us.

A mob of about eight or so walkers, were hanging around the outside of the Kings Head pub. Granted I could have really used a
pint and chaser right about now but seems they did as well. All well and good normally but they were now in the way.
The coin trick would be of little use here. We were both crouched behind a parked car, they were about 50 or so yards ahead and there
was no cover to get closer. We still had to get to the hardware store which was some forty yards beyond so taking them out with the
pistol or MP5 was a bust due to how many others it would attract.

On the way out maybe but we still needed time to get in and do the grand theft crowbar bit so letting the lead loose by choice was out
of the question. I pulled the club out of the pack and handed the MP5 to Max, gave her a very quick run-through on what to do and
left her with it. I stepped out and hefted the club on my shoulder, once I was out of her vicinity I allowed myself some deep breaths.
I would have to get close.

I moved in a crouch along the shaded side of the high street and checked around for any other bastards lurking, none detected so here
we go. I closed the gap to 10 yards then stood and walked closer. "Morning gents," I noticed one that was possibly female once upon
a time, now in serious need of a makeover "and lady." That was all it took.

They started to move toward me. I put my plan in to action, which was to lead them a short distance, start lining them up then go
in to a self-propelled game of Whack-A-Mole and see what happened. They came on and were dispatched swiftly and thankfully, quietly
before the moaning really got going.

The first one went down, a few steps back, the next and so on. I left a gruesome trail of six over about 40 yards of the High Street
before a distraction caused me to almost stumble.

From out of nowhere, a smallish light beige and patchy black coloured missile on four legs went straight for the last walker in the line
and locked its teeth on to the dead fellow's ragged trouser leg and was not letting go. I took down the one in front of me and then took
a look at what we had here.

The Alsatian pup couldn't have been any more than a year old was really going for it on the walkers' trouser leg. Said shabby looking
individual was swinging its arm ineffectually at the dog, not even getting close. I stepped forward and took care of it while it was
distracted by the furious furry one giving its trouser leg what for.

As soon as it fell, the mutt backed off and became calm as you like, just sat there looking at me.

Max came out and walked up to stand beside me, the dog just looked at her then back to me. I looked at Max, shrugged and went down on
one knee, looking at the animal.

"Hello mate, where'd you spring from?" and patted my leg as I spoke. The dog trotted over, tail wagging like a maniac.
I made a fuss of it as it turned circles and seemed to be very much enjoying the attention. Typical of young Alsatians, the paws and ears
always seemed way larger than they needed to be but to be honest, I always liked that. The fur was a little matted but I managed to
calm it down enough to get a look at the collar, the name tag simply read 'MOLLY'. She appeared to be uninjured and in fairly
decent health if a little thin around the ribs.

"Well now me sweetheart, thanks for the assist." She may not have understood but the mega face licking I then received was about
as close 'You're welcome' as I thought I was going to get. Max was finding this somewhat amusing; I just looked at her and tried to
speak with a face full of tongue and fur.

"Ah yes, canine saliva, the miracle moisturiser and anti-wrinkle treatment."

I gave Molly some water from my canteen and this was lapped with gusto up as I poured it in to my cupped hand. Max knelt and started
stroking Molly, this was returned by the same face licking treatment as I stood and turned my attention to the surroundings.
Apparently we had gained a new house guest at the Island. "Come on you two, job to get done."

Almost as soon as I started walking, Molly was at my heel and Max followed with us. I looked down at the furry one, gave her a wink and
a "Good girl."

This only seemed to cause more tail wagging. We reached the hardware shop without further incident, well, almost.
Standing at the front and looking it over, the framed glass door was just closed with no shutters or the like over it so that was a bonus.
I was just about to take a look down a small side street about 10 yards over to the left, to make sure we wouldn't have any un-dead party
crashers when a figure turned the corner.

I noticed the Glock pistol in his hands first and the police uniform second so considered we had a live one, which made a change.

The pistol wasn't pointed in our direction, just held down in the manner I'd seen many an amateur or movie actor do. I let my hand rest
by mine and saw in my peripheral vision that Max still had the MP5 but not raised toward the visitor. So far all calm with no knee jerk
reactions. The fella in the police gear just stood and looked at us for a second or two then spoke in a calm manner that led me to think he
may just be a genuine law bod.

"Everything all right here sir?"

He eyed me and then Max, especially the MP5, I gestured to Max to hand it to me, which she did and I just made safe and slung it.
He seemed to relax a bit and I spoke up.

"Yes thanks fella, you?" He looked at me but didn't answer for a second or two. He was about 5 foot 10, somewhere in his mid to late
forties and immaculately tuned out. The black hair was slicked back with a neat side parting, shoes so shiny they would make a drill
sergeants day and uniform clean and sharp. I could see he had his anti-stab vest on and pistol belt with holster and related police

"Yes thank you sir...may I ask what you're doing here?"

I considered my response but what the hell, be honest and see how this goes. I responded in the manner of like this was just another day
for me.

"Well my friend and I were about to commit a break in on this hardware shop and rob it blind for anything we needed, assuming
that wouldn't be a problem to you."

This seemed to throw him slightly. Max stood there and Molly sat and just shifted her look from him to me and back as we spoke.
I took the lead.

"I'm Ben, this lovely young lady is Max and the fuzzy one here is Molly, and you are?"

He introduced himself as Officer Reg H. of the Teddington police but still seemed to be mulling over the stated reason as to why we
were here.

"Well..." he finally said "That is certainly breaking the law but taking in to account the current circumstances, I think we
can overlook what you're about to do sir."

For those familiar with that tradition of the British Seaside, you will be aware of the world renowned and justly famous 'stick of rock'.
A hard candy stick that usually has the name of the place written all the way through it from end to end so if you snap it in half, the
name is still there. I had the feeling that if someone snapped Reg in half, they would see the words '100% Copper' written right through him.
I kind of liked him from the get go to be honest.

Reg enquired "Do I take it from the uniform; you are with the Army sir?"

I spoke honestly and there seemed to be no point doing otherwise.

"Used to be, now just a survivor like you. Former Para and SAS, I wear the gear because it's practical under current circumstances
but I'm not officially serving anyone's interests except ours right now, which to be honest involves staying alive."

He considered this for a few seconds and appeared to accept it.

"Very good, ready when you are sir."

I looked at the door. "Right then, let's do this before any more of the less than alive mob turn up shall we?"

I took a step back from the door and placed a hard kick with the sole of my boot against the lock area, which gave out in one and the door
swung open. No alarm sounded. I was about to enter but stopped as Molly stared growling and looking at the entrance.

I was about to take a careful look when she shot through the open door in to the gloom of the shop.
I followed, ordering Max and Reg to stay outside in quite a firm manner.

Lifting the club, I could hear her growls and the rasping moan of that was getting to be all too familiar. I allowed a few seconds for my eyes
to adjust, the main window blinds were down so I just ripped them away, better! I found her in the center isle of the well stocked shop with
her teeth around the trouser leg of a walker, he (I think) was dressed in one of them machinist like long blue coats. I wasted no time and put
him down in one swing. True to apparent form as soon as the body hit the deck, Molly went back to the little pup like lass and just sat,
looking at me. I gave her a scratch between the ears and a well-deserved "You're a good girl!"

This, in response to me, got a bout of furious tail wagging. I returned to the front of the shop.

"All clear; Reg, would you mind keeping watch for a bit fella?" He indicated that was fine, me and Max got to it.
As we worked, Max and I talked about Reg when we were sure he couldn't hear us.

"He's a copper through and through that one." was my assessment.

Max seemed to agree and asked, "Do you think we should ask him to come along?"

Good question but I only had one response of note.

"It's your house Max, not mine, taking the furry one here is pretty much a no brainer but as for Reg, that's up to you me sweetheart."

She considered this as we finished up. Less than 10 mins later, we had a selection of short crowbars; bolt cutters large and small, chains,
snap locks, padlocks, Maglite's with batteries, loads of bungee cords, hacksaws and blades and a couple of them fluorescent paint aerosol
cans all stuffed in to the Karrimor and on my back. Exiting the shop, Reg was still there looking like one of the coppers that once stood
outside number 10 Downing Street.

"Reg mate, Listen, We were going to be heading back but where are you based?"

He indicated he was at a local cop shop in Teddington about half a click from here. I asked if he did all his patrols on foot, he told me that
he has a Ford Focus patrol car but only goes out once a week to save fuel. Max seemed to have made up her mind and told him he could
come with us to Eel Pie Island if he wanted. This took him by surprise and he seemed torn between staying and going. His voice and
manner seemed sad.

"I don't want to abandon my post; I've been here since it happened."

I could have a measure of understanding, a good copper among many but he didn't run when the order must have come along and I could
respect that.

"Reg, I won't lie to ya. Criminals aren't exactly thick on the ground these days mate and granted it's grim out here and I respect the
hell out of your decision to stay but I for one would rest better knowing there's someone to look after Max and her friend while I'm
off gallivanting about and looking after folks; well that's your department."

He spent a few seconds in thought but the resolve in his voice was hard as rock.

"If there's something I can do to help then I'll do it sir! I'll just go get the car"

I smiled and responded. "Fair enough then, let's get your stuff and get gone. And please, it's just Ben, not sir."

He walked off back the way he came. Max bumped me with her hip and smiled. It was less than a minute and Reg pulled up in his
patrol car. A four door with decent boot space thankfully. We loaded up pronto as Molly was starting to growl and look back down the
High street. I patted the open rear door and called to Molly, she jumped in without hesitation, curled up with Max who was quite happy
for Molly to do so and we were away. As we were driving, I turned to Reg.

"Not wishing to impinge on your good nature Reg, but do you have any objection to a bit more larceny happening on your watch?"

He thought for a second and said it depended on what I had in mind. I answered in questioning fashion while nodding toward the rear seat.

"Know any good pet shops?"

In rapid fashion we arrived at the police station with no sighting of any walkers, we switched vehicles to one of the traffic cars,
a big Volvo V70. Reg loaded up his gear as did we. Molly seemed to like sticking with me for some reason and I found the odd second or
two to give her a pat and stroke which seemed to please her. We also raided the small armoury, took another MP5, two G36's and plenty
of ammunition for both. I couldn't go mental as we had limited space on the boat with stuff still to get.

Leaving there, a short and noisy stop at York Pet Stores in Stanley Road where a basket and associated canine equipment was grabbed in a
hurry, The Londis shop across the road was relived of one glass door and a fair wedge of tinned and dry dog food along with some human
appropriate tinned nosh. Arriving back on the dockside, we were not exactly alone. Coming down Ferry Road to get back to the boat
needed some fairly swerve assisted driving.

About ten or so walkers spaced over some hundred yards were about the place, I was sure some of them looked familiar. I spoke in calm
voice as we arrived at the dockside.

"Right then, Max, if you and Reg would be so kind to load the boat and I'll have a word with the locals."

They both agreed, they went about their task and I went about mine.

Max called back "We'll try to leave some space for you!"

I turned to catch her smile and the bemused look from Reg; but made a mental note to give Max a stern look at some point in the future.
I had to tell Molly to stay which surprisingly, she did. The time for keeping it quiet was over since we were leaving. I checked the MP5
and had two spare magazines at the ready. The first walker was about 40 yards away and closing. I figured that about 5 mins tops to load
the boat, I just hoped that no one else turned up.

A hope in vain it appeared as the mob I'd got rid of earlier, hadn't gone as far away as I'd hoped. I had a 'some people just can't take a hint'
moment as they started stumbling round the corner.Some 10 yards from the boat, I took up a kneeling firing position, unfolded the stock,
switched the selector to single shot, and got busy with the first one who was about 30 yards off. The sights are always factory set to 25
meters so called that as the line point to start firing.

And down they went, the first few head shots were not absolutely bang on and I think I gave a couple of them new hair partings. Training
came back to me rapidly and the walkers would walk no more. Sixteen walkers down for twenty rounds expended, not bad but could do
better. Almost the same time as the last one hit the tarmac, I heard a call from behind.

"Ben! We are ready to go!"

Requiring no more urging and switching the selector on the MP5 to safe, I made my way to the runabout. Max and Reg had done a
sterling job of packing the gear with just enough space for yours truly in the back seat. Molly was standing on the rear deck and wagged
her tail as I came over. I climbed in the now snug rear seating area among the food and my pack. I turned to call her fuzziness to sit on
my lap but she was there before I could say anything.

"Fair enough." was my only comment.

Reg let go of the dock side and gave a slight push to move us away, the motor was already running and Max slowly brought up the revs to
nudge the somewhat overloaded boat to 10 knots. It took less than ten minutes to cover the distance to Eel Pie Island. Arriving at the place
I was calling home for now at just gone 2pm, I said I'd unload as soon as we were tied up and let Max take Reg to the house and introduce
him to Martha.

It took a couple of trips to get it all in the house and my new furry sidekick was with me the whole time. I know Alsatians are social dogs,
seeing as she was still a bit of a pup and I have never known a puppy that didn't like attention, I just let her accompany me as she wished.

"Don't you worry me sweetheart, we'll have you with a belly full of grub and bedded down some place comfy soonest."

True, it was a one sided conversation but kept me smiling never the less.

About three o'clock, I was done with the carrying about deal and late lunch was ready to be served. Reg and Martha seemed to be getting
along ok though it took a while for him to stop referring to Max and Martha as 'Miss' despite many a reminder. Molly also seemed to fit in
OK, Max already liked her and Martha didn't seem in any way phobic so all good thus far. Before I sat down to eat, I sorted Molly with
some dry food and water in a large steel double bowl I'd ripped off from the place in Teddington, but placed it just outside the front door.
I didn't want her possibly throwing up in doors, or worse, making a sudden evacuation from the reverse end.

I gave her only a small amount which disappeared very fast and she looked at me with what I swear was a 'Is that it!?' look. I let her settle
for a little while with just a minor amount of fuss and stroking then dished out some more. This also went in a hurry but she seemed
satisfied with that.

I went in to finally sit down and eat, as was fast becoming the fashion, my four pawed sidekick was right there. Martha had set her basket
and blankets in the living room close to the fire which seemed to meet with her approval. Max was filling in Martha on the details of the
trip after lunch so left them to chat.

Through the afternoon Molly dozed in her basket after her feeding while Reg and I sorted out the loot. The haul from the pet store and the
convenience place across the road certainly helped the food situation for those with two legs or more and the ripping off of that hardware
shop was more than good enough to make a start on clearing the island. Or at least securing the places I'd have to clear out and I was
hoping it wouldn't be that many. As to weapons, well thank god someone had seen fit to leave Reg all the keys.

We had two MP5s now, one collapsing stock and one fixed, with enough ammo for 6 magazines a piece. His and my Glock and ten mags
between us, last but by no means least were the two Heckler & Koch G36 Assault rifles with six magazines a piece. I asked him what his
firearms training had been and was more than a little surprised to hear him answer none. We discussed this and he said he could use the
Glock but as to his level of competency, that was another matter and one I was determined to resolve.

Best of all were the four Motorola T80 Walkie-Talkie sets. Weather-proof, 8 channel wee beasties with a built in LED torch so more than
slightly decent little radios with a couple of mile range in built up areas so not bad. He asked Max if it was alright to plug those in to charge
and she agreed. The manuals for their use got passed around and studied. I caught up with Max and asked about the generator fuel
situation, she told me there was more than enough to last and after showing me the nearly full 250 gallon tank and smaller 100 gallon that
was half way gone, that put my mind at rest.

The extra food supplies would certainly keep us going for quite a while, Martha estimated at worst we would have two weeks without
having to tap the stuff in the freezer too much. She and Max were doing a wonderful job varying the meals as much as the stuff we had
would allow but I think the quest for the egg sarnie of my dreams would still go on while I considered the next move.

The Island footbridge would be the first thing on that list, it's the only way on and off the island except by boat if you don't want to get wet.
Max told me that since it was a private Island as such, the public or tourist set were only really allowed there for a few days out of the year
for the artist's festivals. Granted they could still have a stroll round the island but visitors tended to be limited to having business with the
boatyard or visiting other folks who lived on the Island. The bridge itself was had no gates or the like so first would be sealing that off and
then turn my attention to the rest of the Island.

There was still one essential shopping trip to make but that would just be me, Max and Molly for that excellent walker sniffing nose she
possessed. I asked Max if she was up for it and to no-one's surprise, she was so we put that on tomorrows 'to do' list. As it got in to the
evening, the sleeping arrangement thing came up. I said that Reg could take my pit and I would be happy with the sofa plus blanket and
pillow, I've slept in worse places so it was fine with me. Reg said that wasn't necessary but I insisted it was if Max was ok with it, she
made no objections so that was that settled.

The evening was a fairly quiet affair otherwise apart from Max doing the book reading thing, which she seemed to enjoy but stated from
the beginning again for the benefit of Reg.

We got an early start next morning and were pulling away from the Island by eight o'clock.

About an hour and a half later, we found ourselves tying up at Cadogan Pier under the Albert Bridge in London; my eventual destination
about a mile away, was the Duke of York Barracks in Chelsea, home of HQ Squadron, 21 SAS Reserves. Two small but very well
stocked rooms that no-one talks about, had what I needed. This would mean a bit of a stroll but such is life, I think Molly was looking
forward to it and seemed to enjoy going in the runabout.

Pimlico Gardens, Cheyne Walk and Royal Hospital Road were clear of any interlopers so we pressed on. Max had told me before now
that the walkers seemed more active and widespread at night so daytime gave us a slight respite.

Ormonde Gate and Durham Place took us past Burton Court, two large open grass playing fields in front of the Royal Hospital. Thankfully
the surrounding fences would keep the walkers that seemed to be out for a morning stroll corralled just nicely and her fuzziness seemed
quite happy to ignore them. She stuck with us barring the occasional and I assumed necessary sniff about. At the junction of St Leonards
Terrace and Smith Street, a small group of three shufflers stood in our way but cover in the form of parked cars were welcome.

The lobbed two pence piece trick sent them wandering on their merry way elsewhere.

Molly behaved herself impeccably on the trip despite a low growl when getting close to that group, a hand rested on her head and the gentle
whispered words of "No Molly, quiet me babe." appeared to switch her out of trouser bottom shredding mode quite nicely. I have no idea
who had first trained her to obey commands, but they did a first class job!

The rest of the way was fairly clear up to Duke of York Square and along Turks Row to get us to the building that housed HQ Squadron.
There's still a need for security so I won't go in to great detail about the exact where and what, but we did have to do just a little work to
take the prize.

Entering the place was not a big deal, knocking in a ground floor window and opening it was the least noisy method. Molly didn't make a
peep so we proceeded. After moving to the part of the building where the aforementioned rooms were and coming through the door to a
long corridor, my hairy walker detector didn't let us down. I heard the growl start up as soon as I opened it. The disturbed air certainly
carried the smell of putrefying flesh. Max gagged slightly, I inhaled a good nostril full or three to get it over with as the sense of smell soon
grows accustomed to it. Still glad I hadn't just eaten though.

There were some 12 doors, six each side along this corridor and it was all enclosed so used the torch function on the T80 radio. The source
of Molly's upset soon became apparent. One figure was slumped against a wall about half way down. I swept the light and the doors were
all closed, as it fell across the figure, its head turned toward me.

It was wearing the same Multicam as me, Lowa boots and a MOLLE rig. It was a bit creepy to see one of the dead togged up almost
exactly the same as yours truly. The grey leathery skin stretched taut across its face. Sunken, dark and unblinking eyes stared at me.
The low groaning started to well up in its throat. It tried to move and seemed stuck to the floor, then there was a sound like Velcro
parting and it struggled to a standing position.

As it turned toward us, I saw the field dressing tied around the neck, the stain of long dried blood soaked through the dressing pad, down
the front and right side of the smock and trousers. One of my own had almost made it, poor bastard.

It was about 20 yards from me; I told Molly to stay and Max to cover her ears. I decided against the club in these confined surroundings
and pulled up the MP5. Without pause, switched to single shot, aimed "Rest in peace fella." Then squeezed the trigger.

The report was incredibly loud in the confines of the building but I felt confident it would not carry far. Also I felt the need to end this
quickly. The sound of the shot dying away had a final accompaniment of the brass of the spent case ringing as it eventually came to rest
on the hard floor.

The walker collapsed to the floor and there was no more movement but Molly continued to growl.

Oh shit.

The corridor was about 100 feet long and the torch, while quite bright, did not illuminate the whole thing with enough clarity to see all the
way to the end. I could almost hear a rasping, breathing like sound from somewhere in the far gloom. I told Max to follow me and watch
the rear; I wished I had trained her in firearms now but too late for that at this stage. As we moved along, I kept watch on the doors and
they were all closed as far as I could tell. Molly stayed at my side. We stepped around the one I had slotted and noticed the Remington
870 single barrel pump action shotgun laying close by.

There was an obvious dried blood trail on the floor, the mark of a boot sole here and there still apparent. Eventually, we were getting to
the end of the corridor and I could see what she was growling about. Two bodies lay there, one against the far end door, the other a few
feet forward. Only one of them seemed to be giving out that rasping breath sound, the slumped one against the door moved but only one
arm, the bony hand clawing the air without result.

As we got closer, I realised why. The one lying face down had its head still attached but only by a ragged thread of skin and sinew.
It looked like it had taken a close range shotgun blast to the throat, the jaws were still moving. I waved Max to keep clear. I slung the
MP5 and drew the Gerber combat knife. A straight downward stab motion to the almost disconnected head stopped the snapping jaws.
The other one was in only slightly better shape.

It had taken a shot in the upper chest but not far enough up to blow the throat and neck out as the previous one had happen to it. I used
the Gerber knife to stop our waving one doing its thing. Molly went silent and I felt relieved.

Looking closer while making a slightly grisly inspection of the formerly waving one, there was a fairly large hole in the chest and it went
almost all the way through. Certainly spinal damage and that must have immobilised it quite quickly. Two bright green spent shotgun
cartridges lay close by. I had a suspicion and went back to where the Remington lay, picked it up and ejected a round. A door breaching
cartridge, it holds a packet of metal powder that can knock a hole in door locks and hinges but disintegrates so causing no damage to
anything behind the door.

Seems it does a half reasonable job on walkers too but not enough to save the first one I had to take down. The two were dressed in what
appeared to be suits but I didn't bother checking for ID's. The first one in the camo certainly had no ID. It would have been tough to
properly identify him but nothing struck me as familiar about him, must have been from either another reserve unit or still serving. He did
have a largish set of keys on him which I took.

I directed Max to the first door I was interested in, Double locks and shut tight.

My walker detector wasn't sounding off so I tried the keys and struck lucky after a few tries, it opened and waving the torch about showed
that we were indeed alone with a lot of shiny new toys that go bang to play with. Granted they were behind a wire cage front and secured
with padlocks and chain but the bolt cutter from my pack saw to that and saved fiddling about with keys. After going through that room,
the one next door helped also.

We ended up with a nice little haul all told. Three MP5SD3's, that's the integral suppressed barrel version of the MP5 and four SIG p229
L106a1 pistols with suppressors. Magazines a plenty for each, night vision goggles and field survival gear. All that along with about a
thousand rounds of 9mm and a couple of hundred in 5.56mm ammo was very welcome and we left with bulging backpacks. I decided
against taking any of the Colt Canada C8 assault rifles, what we had appeared more than effective against walkers so that would do.

I had taken the time before we left the barracks to swap my Glock for a SIG and latched on the suppressor. With the extra weight we
were now hauling, the walk back would take a little longer. As soon as we were back out in the sunlight and breathing much fresher air
than we had just been in, I looked at the keys and noticed one had a car door lock button fob. I mentioned this to Max, she shrugged
and grinned.

"I won't tell Reg if you don't." which sounded like a completely fair deal to me.

There were a few cars in the parking area so I just pointed the fob, hit the button and hoped for the best. A blip-blip sound greeted our
ears. The flashing indicators on an old Vauxhall Vectra estate showed where the sound came from so we wasted no time in loading and
boarding for a short drive back to the boat. I surmised we had enough kit to keep us going so left it at that with a mental proviso to come
back if needs be.

The car had near on a full tank and took a couple of tries to turn over but fired up in to life and we were gone sharpish.
We only ran in to and over a couple of walkers that couldn't be avoided on the way back, I was fairly sure the previous owner wouldn't
have minded too much.

I parked the car properly and once we had all our gear out and loaded on the runabout, I gave the fob button a push and locked the car.
I had the feeling it would be nice to have that as a backup if needed. As soon as we were on underway on the runabout and within radio
range, I called up Reg with the agreed call sign of 'Happy Wanderer' to let him know all was well. Safely back on Eel Pie Island, just in
time for lunch and feeling like a job well done.

Using the stuff swiped from the pet shop, Molly finally got a good scrub and brush down.
She had earned that this day and actually seemed to enjoy it.