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The War Alone: Beta-Hari Part 1

Part One

“They never really wanted us here. Man you should have seen their faces when we turned up. But you have to understand how desperate it got, and how fast. I mean, like immediately we were fucked. I’m not sure if we’re any closer to getting unfucked now. No one ever wants the old folks around, I mean, war’s for the young isn’t it? Not that I’m old. Well, maybe to you. In a proper war they send the youngest and strongest out to die first. Then it’s us, in a draft. The real old folks just get bombed in their sleep. They never got that chance this time.

“You remember Day One right? Total fuckstorm. I don’t think I’ll ever get that ringtone out of my ears. I hear it in my sleep. If I hadn’t been up all night drinking whiskey and playing video games I might actually have answered it. I suppose that’s one of the advantages of being hungover. Is it an emergency? No? Then don’t call me at ten in the morning. Indecent time. I know we’re supposed to be up and at ’em, in the gym or achieving something. I think that was my grandparents’ generation. My Dad would have taken the dogs for a walk and hit the beers by ten. Me – I’ve never been a morning person. Godawful time of day. Nothing worse than seeing dawn. Give me a sunset any day of the week.

“Anyway, when that damn phone just kept getting louder I threw it in the wardrobe and went back to sleep. For maybe five minutes. Then it all went fucking crazy. But you already know that. Fuck. I don’t know how they did it. There’s theories. There’s always theories. Me? I think it was – oh I don’t know. Does it matter anymore? All the mobile phones rang at exactly the same time and everyone who answered it turned into a killing machine. People talk about claws sprouting from kids hands and teeth stretching out. All kinds of mental stuff. I didn’t see that. I saw the massive pile up outside the flats – cars smashing into each other and up the pavement. People climbing out and attacking anyone they saw.

“They never did enforce that ban on mobiles while driving. Fucking Bluetooth. Imagine if we didn’t have Bluetooth or headsets, think of all the calls that wouldn’t have been taken. Kids with phones. But you’ll have seen that yourself. First class of the day, or first break? Still in class eh. Probably got lucky. Anyway I nailed the front door shut and stayed there till the screaming stopped.

“No way we could have prepared for that – I mean, what plan could you have? It’s not like blowing towers up with planes. That wasn’t unimaginable. Surprising sure. But totally done in books and games, and simple. No master plan there – fly a plane into a building; hardly the work of fucking geniuses. There wasn’t even time to shut down the phone networks. No point either. It was too late. Half the fucking army answered their phones too. Police, doctors, nursery teachers. You name it – everyone’s got a mobile phone. I never got how it worked everywhere else – I mean, it was only 10.04 here. It was night time in Oz. Voicemail? Jesus that sucks for a message.”

To be continued next week.

The War Alone

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