Sabre Dancing with the Dead Ch 44

Tokonosu, North Eastern quadrant. May 08 20xx

Day 23.

08:10

Breakfast finished, Kat, Shizuka and the kids headed back to the center of the library, to continue the collecting. Wolf on the other hand, got together with the Engineering squad, and Major Sagawa. It was time to get moving on the door barricades. So far, nothing untoward had happened but it was better to be prepared, than to scramble round if things suddenly went to hell. As long as they maintained silent mode, nothing was likely to happen, but preparation is a fair part of the survival game. The other parts, knowledge and the mental ability to deal with the situation as it developed, these people all had in spades.

Wolf and the senior engineering officer had made up a drawing of the building, marking the various doors. All opened outward with exception to a couple leading to back room work area and loading dock. They selected a crew for each door, two men to do the work. Each of them would have to hump the pipes, nuts, bolts and tools to their assigned door, and do the installation. The two inside opening doors had been prepped yesterday with the wall being cleared to bare concrete.

While the crews were moving the gear, there would be a dozen sentries covering them, and they would split off into groups to cover the individual crews at their doors. As they gathered inside the main door, ready to head out and get the pipes, Major Sagawa told Wolf to stand down.

Irritated, Wolf asked why he should not be putting his butt on the line just like the others? It was his idea after all.

"Wolf, If it were up to me, I'd let you go with them. You've proved yourself to me and I'd have no fear in letting you go... but, I'm under orders to keep you from doing so. The General considers you to be too vital to this mission and the future of the colony. I agree with him, so you will sit this one out." The Major replied, looking Wolf in the eye.

Then he grinned. "Besides. Kat would have my balls stir fried with bean sprouts if I did. She was VERY clear about that... That's a hell of a good woman you have there, Wolf. Make sure you take good care of her."

Wolf studied him, something was a bit off in the mans face.

"You have a lady, somewhere in this mess?" he asked.

The Major was quiet for a moment. Then he looked up and replied "I have a wife and daughter at home. I haven't heard from them since this all started."

Wolf looked at him. "Any chance of going to get them? We could arrange another mission if you think It's possible. Where are they?"

"No Wolf... they are in my home town, on Kyushu. I don't expect I'll ever see them again." With that the Major turned and walked away, back upstairs to check on the sentries.

"Well, that sure blows. Wish there was some way we could help him" Wolf thought as he too headed back up the stairs to watch the crews sort out the pipes and stuff, then head over to the various doors. They were being pretty quiet about it, but there was still the occasional clang of pipes banging together. He looked up and scanned the area to see if the critters were catching any sound. So far, all seemed OK.

He watched as the senior engineer took his companion under the main door overhang. Shortly there after he went back to the tables to continue the collecting.

Back in the club compound, Saburo, Wally and Elaine were finishing off breakfast. The 17 new people who'd been choppered in seemed to be settling in, and getting with the program. About half of them seemed to have made some new acquaintances already, and were sitting here and there with the "old hands". He notice one group, sitting off a bit from the majority.

A youngish man, tall, skinny, black hair, and with big framed glasses and what used to be decent clothing, surrounded by half a dozen high school kids, talking animatedly to them. The kids sat there, leaning forward, listening with rapt attention to every word... Oh well, They'd managed to stay alive as a group, so let them be. They'd start to trust their new neighbours sooner or later.

Saburo sat back, and sipped his tea. Getting them into the club had been quite a treat. Once he'd gotten off the radio with Kat, he'd headed over to Eriko and Tamichi, the two who basically acted as foreman for anything concerning the compound's upkeep. They were in the process of trying to cobble together a solar still.

They'd been intrigued by Wolf's comment about the stone filters, and his Doomer knowledge, so they'd gotten together with him and kicked around some ideas. So far, they'd managed to cobble together two large sand filters on one of the low docks. They'd placed a plastic drum above each on the seawall, and the sea water was pumped in to them manually, using a couple of bilge pumps. The water trickled into the filter, and came out the bottom to be collected.

This gave them clean clear sea water. Now the trick was to distill it. Ergo, the solar still, which was apparently in wide spread use all through Africa. Who knew? They figured it might make as much as 20 litres a day, a mere nothing compared to the daily usage but, still, 20 litres was 20 litres. Daily drinking water for four or five people.

They looked up as Saburo approached, and the Captain told them about the new people and how they were expected to arrive. The brother and sister just looked at each other, wondered "WTF?", said OK and left to collect some help to tear down the sails and move the barrels. Thankfully the sails were dry, so getting them down was a relatively clean job, and the barrels could be carted off on a two wheel dolly. The dozen or so cars and light trucks spread across the lot were another story. For those they needed some muscle.

Grabbing about 20 people who were between jobs, they managed to push them all to the edges of the parking lot. They didn't have much control over where they were pushed, as half of them had locked steering and no keys. They ended up wherever they were pointing. While Tamichi and the others did that, Eriko looked round the parking lot, and paced off the distance end to end and across. Lengthwise it was more than adequate. Width was a tad narrow, because of the light poles, but still they had at least 40 meters.

She went into one of the sheds, and came back with a bucket of paint, a large brush, a hammer and nail, plus some light line. Looking over the lot, she guesstimated where the center was, and pounded in the nail. While she set this up, she had Tamichi go find some light cloth, needle and thread. As he took off to do that, she tied the line to the nail, paced out about 12 meters, and tied the brush onto the line. Opening the bucket, she started to paint a large circle.

Some of the others wondered what she was doing but figured it out when the circle was completed and she moved to the center and painted a huge H on the asphalt. With the H painted and widened, she went back to make the circle outline thicker.

Tamichi came back with someones summer dress. Looking at the circle he knew immediately what she was doing and what he'd be doing with the dress. Working steadily, he cut the dress apart, and formed the cloth into a cone. Stitching the seam together, he went and got some more light line, and fashioned a hoop from it. The hoop was then stitched to the open end of the cloth cone, and four lines tied to it, 90 degrees apart. The closed end was cut open to about 150 millimetres, and double hemmed. The job went quickly, since Tamichi had done a fair amount of sail repairs for people at the club and had a good feel for cloth work.

Eriko finished the painting, and stepped back to admire the work. Voila! One helicopter landing pad. She took the supplies back to the shed, and walked over to where Tamichi was sewing the wind sock.

"Nice job on the wind sock. Now the question is, how do we get it up to the top of the lamp pole?" She asked.

Tamichi mulled over the question. "No idea. Our longest ladder only goes about half way up... I think the next best place would be to top of the mast crane. I can lower the boom, secure the pole and windsock and then hoist the boom back up to about 45 degrees. That'll put it a good 70 feet up."

"Yeah, that will work. The crane is pretty close to the wall of the fishing compound, so the wind won't be fluky because of the rock wall on the other end... We're gonna need those bodies again, cranking that crane by hand is a real pain." she replied.

Plan agreed on, they split up, Eriko to get the people again, and Tamichi went into the shed, returning with a good solid pole, and some medium line.

He studied the jib boom as he walked to the crane, and figured out the best way to lash the pole to the boom. Getting to the crane turntable, he put the windsock and pole down and started the arduous task of manually operating the crane. This was one time he'd really miss electricity.

He had the boom down to about 30 degrees by the time Eriko returned with a few bodies. With two of them working, it went much easier and Eriko kept a sharp eye on the ratchet pawl to make sure the boom didn't get away from them. It took about 15 minutes to get the end of the boom down to where they could tie the pole to it, setting it at a 45 degree angle. That done, now came the fun part, getting the boom back up all the way.

They had just raised the boom past horizontal when Saburo came out to see how things were going. He expected to find the lot cleared, and that was it. To see the huge white circle with the H in it, impressed him. But when he turned to where the small crowd of workers hovered round the crane, his opinion of the two club workers went through the roof. He watched them grinding away at the crane, the boom rising slowly but steadily. Finally he walked over to take a turn at the crank. As he worked with another man, he asked the two where they'd got the idea for the landing zone and wind sock.

The two laughed. Eriko smiled at him, and told him "How many movies have YOU watched with helicopters in them. I was surprised you didn't mention this stuff."

Saburo, shook his head, embarrassed. "I shouldn't have missed that. You guys did good. The chopper will really appreciate the work you put in." In half an hour, the boom was back up at a 45 degree angle and the wind sock was full and streaming out at an angle.

Now all they had to do was wait on the chopper. Trying to sort out the accommodations would have to wait til then.

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Author's notes: I don't own HOTD, or any of its characters. I just get to play in their universe. All characters in this story other than those listed below are (So far) my own.

Komuro Tadashi

Miyamoto Rei

Miyamoto Tadashi

Miyamoto Kiriko

Busujima Saeko

Takagi Saya

Hirano Kouta

Marikawa Shizuka

Marasato Alice

Minami Rika

Reviews gratefully accepted, as long as they are constructive and non-abusive.

Tokonosu map, URL as follows.

sabrekai/art/New-Tokonosu-20km-x-40km-956877662

Re the Type 96 model. It's still on hold, as I am clearing about a half dozen models salvaged from the Shelf of Doom. Besides, If I'm doing the APC some of the Fujimi kids are driving, I'm going to have to come up with some appropriate figures. I'm thinking "Tail End Charlie" with Kohta, Saya and maybe one other. I have a 3d printing machine, and am learning blender, (maybe modify someone else's figure) or try to find some on the net. Early days yet.