Bang On Time
As I am focusing on my phone, ‘We are lucky. If you look at my phone, you can see that the only airport around here is Aerobratsk. We are here in Aybolit, Ulitsa Severnyy Artek, nine, Bratsk, Irkutskaya oblast. The map says we are about thirty minutes away. We follow the R419 motorway.’
Charles smiles, ‘Great. Once we get there, we will have to somehow find out the flight plan of where they are going.’
I remember my phone and using my app to translate languages, ‘Does this help?’ I show Charles my mobile screen of the app.
I play my recording of Vladimir and the man he talked to before leaving us with the four men. I used the app that translates foreign verbal languages into English. I can tell on Charles’ face that he is impressed with me and the phone I was given by the service. The recording says that the meeting is in Switzerland. A place called Kurravaara.
Charles looks like his brain is working the information out, ‘That won’t be hard to see from the air. Can you use the map on your phone to see how long the flight is from here to Switzerland.’
I look on my phone and see that there are no flights direct to Kurravaara. So I do a general search from Russia to Sweden. The flight is about nine hours with prevailing winds.
I am disappointed, ‘There is no direct flight. So I used a general search. The flight time is around two hours.’
Charles thinks out loud, ‘They have had an hour head start. The time now is gone five. It is a half hour drive to the airport. That means they got there gone four. An hour to load the plane and leave. That makes it now. They will arrive in Switzerland at seven. We should be there by seven thirty. On the assumption we will find a pilot.’
I shrug my shoulders, ‘We pay someone to fly us there?’
We arrive at Aerobratsk in good time. We ignore the main departure building and head straight over to where the hangars are, that hold small aircraft. We park up and walk around the hangars to look for someone who can fly us to Switzerland.
I cannot stop clock-watching while trying to find a pilot or someone to point us in the right direction. We look for a workshop, hoping someone is starting an early shift.
We walk around looking for a plane that can take us to Kurravaara. We stay together rather than separate to find an available plane.
After about forty minutes of wandering around the hangars, we finally see a plane that looks like it can fly.
We assume it belongs to the company that the plane is located at. So we go inside the hangar to find a person who can loan us the plane and fly us to Kurravaara.
We walk into the hangar and go our separate way to reduce the time to find someone. I crouch down to see if I can see any legs under the aeroplanes to help find someone quicker. All I see are Charles’ legs. I stand up to carry on looking when I jump and give out a short burst scream.
It is a man who is wearing the company overall. I smile embarrassingly then ask about the plane.
I point in the direction of the plane outside the hangar, ‘I am interested in the plane outside. I am with another person and we need a ride to Switzerland.’
The man has a thick moustache, wearing a light grey and pinstripe blue dirty overall. He has a red dirty cap with an embroidered rectangle-shaped patch, resembling the company logo.
He rubs his chin and says, ‘We don’t sell or hire out planes. The plane outside is waiting for its owner to pick up.’
Charles comes over, ‘Who is the owner?’
The man is startled, ‘He is coming to collect it in two days’ time.’
Charles asks, ‘Can we borrow it till then?’
He looks at us as if we are joking, ‘We don’t lend out customers’ planes.’
I think of courtesy planes, ‘Don’t you have courtesy planes while the customer’s is in for service?’
He snaps at us, ‘This is not a garage.’
Charles jumps in, ‘We will give you money.’
His face looks like he is thinking about it, ‘How much?’
Charles looks at him with a blank face, ‘How much do you think?’
He asks, ‘How much are you willing to pay?’
Charles guesses, ‘Five thousand?’
He looks up thinking about it and shrugs his shoulders,
Charles smiles, ‘Good. Do you take cards?’
The man walks us to a different plane to the one we saw. The side of the plane’s tail reads Cessna 182 Skylane. It looks like it can seat four people.
The man checks the plane engine and puts aviation fuel in from a Jerry can. We go inside the plane to wait for the pilot to take us to Kurravaara. I sit in the back, so Charles can sit in front with the pilot. When the plane takes off and is two minutes in the air, I lie down with my legs folded on the two seats in the back and it does not take me long to fall asleep.
While travelling to Switzerland, Charles uses the plane’s radio to contact the special secret service.
Charles is struggling with the noise to hear his own voice and shouts, ‘This is Quebec, Whiskey, Charlie, Tango nine five seven. Over.’
There is no reply. So he repeats his code name, ‘Quebec, Whiskey, Charlie, Tango. Over.’
The operations centre picks up the signal, ‘Identify yourself.’
Charles shouts, ‘This is Whiskey, Charlie, Tango nine five seven. Over.’
The operator says, ‘Confirm your name please.’
Charles shouts, ‘This is Charles May.’
The operator says, ‘Please hold while we put you a secure line. Secure line.’
Charles shouts, ‘I need help. There is no time for the Calvary, so I need a half dozen drones. There is an arms deal taking place at the… six seven dot nine three seven five four three comma two zero dot three three two eight two three. Over.’
The operator says, ‘Confirm six seven dot nine three seven five four three comma two zero dot three three two eight two three. Over.’
Charles says, ‘Confirm.’
Charles asks, ‘Eta?’
The operator says, ‘Eta is…’ Charles looks at his watch to gauge when the deal will take place, ‘Eta one hour.’
The operator says, ‘We can have four drones flown in within half an hour from Norwegian Sea with our counterparts.’
Charles is relieved, ‘Great.’
I wake up to turbulence that startles me awake. I sit up to see outside the window to see a thick blanket of snow. I wonder what the temperature is like outside. It is warm inside with the heater on even though we have our coats on.
The pilot gets our attention, ‘We are not far from the rendezvous site. It will be just over this hill.’
I look at the hill he is referring to, ‘Hill. That is a mountain!’
As we fly over the mountain. We see a black tarmac road snaking its way to an entity a few miles ahead. The road has a faint dust of snowflakes. There are snow-covered conifer trees that are scattered along the snakey road. We fly over the road.
The pilot turns the plane around to go back to the road. When we do, the three of us notice a convoy of black four by four jeeps, with a white Audi trailing behind them. We can see about nine of the jeeps driving towards the rendezvous point.
The pilot points down at the convoy, ‘There are the buyers. They won’t be able to fit weapons in those cars. They must be making orders.’
Charles sees a pair of binoculars down the side of his seat by the door. He grabs them and looks out of the front of the plane. He can see a glass building and three cranes. It looks like there is construction which is still continuing. After a while he pulls them away from his face.
Charles shout above the noise of the plane, ‘I see helicopters and a surface-to-air missile. I don’t see an arms deal. I see a garage sale.’
I don’t understand what he means by that, ‘What makes you say that?’
Charles shouts above the noise of the plane again, ‘An arms deal involves several people. This is one buyer. I think that this is a means to an end.’
I think back to the meeting, ‘I remember that meeting in the Cayman. He said something about extra funding for that three-year plan.’
Charles looks back at me, ‘Either way, it is preventing that three-year plan from materialising.’
Vladimir has his weapons laid out that include two Z-193 Chinese helicopters, Taiwan Skyguard Air Defence System Sparrow Surface-to-Air Missile, two crates of grenades and automatic assault rifles. Some of the buyers have already arrived. He is busy walking them around the various different weapons.
The set-up is in front of the new glass building with a first floor. Vladimir is with his girlfriend. He is wearing white ski trousers with a white jumper and white ski jacket. His girlfriend is wearing black leather trousers and a black hugging leather jacket with a black jumper underneath. She is wearing her black hair down. She is standing around the door entrance of the glass building, overlooking the activity.
Vladimir is giving a spiel, ‘These are the latest technology in weaponry assault. I can have more of these based on demand. There are more buyers arriving. But don’t panic, there is plenty to go around.’
Vladimir has people to test the sample of weapons on behalf of the clientele. There is a pilot for the helicopter and a couple for the surface-to-air missile and rifles.
There are twenty mercenaries standing around with Vladimir and his girlfriend. One of the mercenary’s eyes catches a moving object in the air. He shouts out to the rest of the people pointing at the moving object. Another mercenary with binoculars looks at the object to see what it is. He can see it is a small plane and is worried that the pilot will radio in what can be seen. The plane is too far to see the pilot and Jane’s and Charles’ faces.
Vladimir talks to one of the buyers, ‘You will now get a demonstration of the surface-to-air missile.’
The mercenaries shout out at one another organising themselves and preparing the surface-to-air missile. The weapon has a cover that three mercenaries are needed to remove. Once the cover is taken off, the machine is switched on. The cold weather causes the machine to take longer to warm up. There is chaotic shouting to get rid of the plane. They are worried that the pilot is reporting them to the authorities.
Charles is looking to see where the pilot will be able to land, ‘Can we land in this thick snow?’
The pilot is looking himself, ‘We have a problem. The snow is too thick to land on. The plane will catch and flip us over.’
I think out loud, ‘Use the road. There is no snow on there.’
‘The wings are too long. They will hit the trees either side, if I try to land there.’
Charles looks frustrated, ‘That is why they chose this place.’
We keep circulating while working out where we can land nearby. I look at the people down below and out of the corner of my eye, I see something moving. It looks like a black bug from so far up in the air. Before I have time to adjust my line of eyesight, an object comes towards us. I realise what it is.
I shout at top of my lunges, ‘Incoming!!!’
The pilot pulls a evasion manoeuvre where we fly sideways on our right. The missile misses us as it flies along the span of the wings. The pilot turns the plane upside down and nosedives before plateauing out flying at fifty feet.
I can see the same missile coming in behind us.
I shout again, ‘It is still following us. It’s coming in fast!’
The pilot shouts out, ‘Hold on, I am going to yank her up in the air!’
He pulls the steering control and I fall back into the seat from the force of the gravitational force. I cannot lift myself up from the force.
The nose of the missile has a shell that rips off. Inside of the nose are clusters of small pellets. They explode and send shrapnel into the plane’s tail and part of the right wing.
I feel the force of the impact in my back as I feel the seat dig in. I am starting to have motion sickness. Charles and the pilot feel the same impact.
The pilot nosedives the plane again as he fights the controls from the missile damage.
The pilot shouts out, ‘I can’t control her. She has been hit too badly. I am going to try and crash-land in the snow.’
Charles suggests another way, ‘No! Aim for the road. The wings are shot to bits now. Aim for the road. If we are going down, we might as well take out a few bad guys with us.’
I remember the convoy of vehicles coming up to the meeting, ‘Yes, Charles is right. Like you said, we will flip over in the snow!’
The pilot focuses on the windy road, ‘Okay. Just be prepared for gunfire!’
As the pilot heads for the road, there is no choice but to fly low over the arms deal with mercenaries firing at the plane.
We lower ourselves in the plane, away from the window. The rain of bullets damages the engine and leaves bullet holes in controls, windscreen and windows.
The pilot tries his best to glide the plane on the road giving a bumpy landing, bouncing along the road until the wings hit conifer trees either side of the road which grounds the plane on the road. The landing wheels are bent from the crash landing, causing the belly of the plane scraping along the road. The oncoming convoy of jeeps and Audi drive towards us.
The first jeep in front swerves to our right hitting a conifer tree, exploding on impact. The second jeep swerves to our left hitting a conifer tree as well, the people killed on impact. There are seven more jeeps left. The third jeep hits us on impact and the plane jack-knifes the jeep into the air. The jeep lands on the road, upside down behind us, and explodes on impact. The fourth jeep brakes and skids in front of us. The other five jeeps brake, skid and crash into the fourth jeep and each other. The Audi avoids joining in the six-car pile up, braking, skidding and stopping in the road a few feet away.
The pilot looks at the six-jeep pile up, ‘Brace yourself!’
We get in the crash position as we head towards the pile-up. We are not slowing down anytime soon.
Bang! The nose of the plane crumples pushing the engine through the cockpit by a foot. We stop very abruptly, banging my head against the pilot’s seatback with my chin hitting my chest.
The fourth jeep we hit, gets jack-knifed rolling over the other cars falling apart. The plane’s engine catches fire from the impact. All three of us are still conscious. I don’t know how we managed that. My head feels a bit hazy but I am still coherent. Black smoke starts pouring out of the engine, seeping into the plane. We start to cough and force one of the crumpled doors open, on the pilot’s side. Charles helps me out and the three of us get to the back of the plane.
Several men are already out of the jeeps with Ceska Zbrojovka CZ2000 assault rifles. They open fire at us while we use the tail of the plane and the tail wings for cover. Charles crouches by the side of the plane and uses his hand gun to start firing back. One of the men creeps up from the burning engine, on our left and Charles shoots him dead. He then drags the body to us and takes his rifle and spare magazines. Charles gives me his hand gun and he starts to shoot with the rifle. Charles is still crouching by the side of the plane.
I have not shot a gun at another human being before, so I find it hard to aim at another person and kill them. I aim at anything in sight but struggle to pull the trigger. Charles looks totally comfortable firing at the enemy, killing them. I look at the pilot crouching beneath the tail wings of the plane. I feel like doing the same as him. Instead I have to try killing the bad guys.
There are about twelve men left after Charles has killed about seven already. I have not fired one shot. One of them sneaks round to the tail end, aims at the rifle at me and the pilot. I close my eyes while I aim the gun at him and fire. A few seconds later I open my eyes and the man is on the floor with no blood. I try to work out what happened. My mind is blank until the pilot told me that I shot his rifle and the impact caused the rifle to smack in his face and killed him. This gives me confidence to stand up and shoot at the jeep’s petrol tanks to scare the enemies. After five attempts, the sixth shot catches the jeep’s tank and instantly explodes. The explosion causes a chain reaction and three of the five cars not hit by the plane. The explosion takes out five of the twelve men. Charles has killed three leaving three left.
I can hear the three rifles firing towards us. They sound closer. I move to Charles to be close to him.
The pilot is still under the tail wing. He looks like he is in shock now. Charles is in the zone getting his last magazine for the rifle. We are at stalemate. The sound of the rifles do not sound like they are not getting closer. The black smoke from the plane engine is blocking our view. I am out of bullets now, so it is just Charles with a few bullets left. We look at each other seeing each other’s breath coming out of our mouths. I can see in his eyes that we are pinned in. Charles looks at me, then slowly moves his face towards me. I am confused by it and without warning kisses me. I respond awkwardly but accept it welcomingly.
As we kiss, I can hear the sound of gunshots getting nearer. It looks like these are our last seconds.
There is a distant sound that I think is my imagination until Charles stops kissing me.
Charles look up and sees them, ‘Drones. Bang on time. Take cover.’
Charles takes us to the pilot and covers us. One of the drones fires a rocket and takes out the last three. The explosion creates a wind rush and pushes us away. We survive the blast.
Charles is in a daze, ‘We need to finish this. Can you fly a helicopter?’
I look at the pilot, ’This is not your fight. Hitch a ride.
Charles, I am going to take the Audi. Want a ride?’
Charles smiles, ‘Let’s finish this.’
The pilot looks at us, ‘I’ll fly one of those choppers.’
I shout out, ‘Wait till this is over.’
After the drones fly by and fire off their rockets, I look for any transport to get closer the arms deal. As I see through the black smoke and carnage, I notice a car intact a few feet away. I am cautious of anyone being in the car. As I cautiously run over to the car, trying to see if anyone is inside, I open the car door pointing my gun inside. There is no one in the car. I can see that the key is still in in ignition. They must have run for cover at the last minute and forgot about the keys. I hear Charles breathing behind me. We both get in the car, with me in the driving seat. I floor the pedal, spinning the wheels. Charles looks nervous as I zoom us in the car. He is holding on to the car door. I try not to laugh as I see him looking nervous.
I look up in the distance to make out what weapons they have up there, ‘I am going to go as fast as I can to take as many of the weapons as possible including the helicopters.’
Charles is hanging on to dear life with a scared look,
In my calm voice, ‘Get ready to jump out of the car.’
I get the Audi up to over a hundred miles an hour, looking at the cluster of people and the two helicopters. I am only about a hundred feet away. We both open our doors to ready ourselves. All of a sudden, there is a cluster of bullets hitting the car and taking out the steering wheel. I cannot leave the car now as the car will not keep straight.
I shout at Charles, ’I cannot leave. The steering wheel is damaged. I need to stay here and keep the car straight.
You jump out now!’
Charles is reluctant, ‘We both go or we both stay!’
I shout at Charles, ‘It will be okay. I am not going to die today!’
Charles reluctantly opens the car door and rolls out. I continue to keep the car straight as a hail of bullets crack the windscreen, front lights, bonnet and grill. I can no longer handle the rain of bullets and at the last minute, one of the bullets sets off the air bag. I am knocked out.
The airbag knocks Jane out and she naturally falls out of the car unconscious and rolls safely away.
The car without a driver speeds through the crowd at full speed smashing through the crates of ammo and buyers. The car eventually lifts in the air by a couple of feet. Just as one of the helicopters takes off, the car hits it causing an instant explosion. The explosion causes a chain reaction and a humongous explosion causes a mini earthquake. All the ammo are destroyed and the blast shatters some of the glass off the building.
There is a huge ball of black smoke bellowing in the air. The surface-to-air missiles have exploded with the boxes of grenades.
Jane is starting to gain consciousness and looks at what has happened. She cannot see where Charles is and she does not know how long she has been out.
I see the desired effect I wanted. I smile from ear to ear while lying in the snow. As the black smoke starts to thin out, I see Charles and he looks happy as well. He puts his thumb up. Charles stands up and wipes the snow off his clothes. I do the same.
I see Vladimir and his girlfriend unharmed. Charles runs towards me to see that I am okay.
Charles looks at both Vladimir and Natalia, ‘Vladimir is mine.’
I look at Natalia, holding my gun, ‘I will leave you to him. I will try to get Natalia.’
Charles kisses me again, ‘Stay safe. Wait for me afterwards.’
I suddenly think of the drones, ‘Where are the drones?’ Charles wonders the same thing then spots them.
Charles grabs me and pushes me into the snow, ‘There!’
The drones fire their missiles at the remaining crowd.
We huddle together in the deep thick snow for cover. After the drones fly past, there is black snow everywhere around ground zero.
We can no longer see where Vladimir is. Or Natalia. We decide to run inside the building to look for them. When we get inside, they are nowhere in sight.
We walk together aimlessly trying see if they are hiding behind the loose rubble and damaged furniture. Charles catches a glimpse of Vladimir outside running towards a crane. He darts off after him. I watch him go, then continue trying to look for Natalia. I have my gun ready in case I have to shoot her.
I suddenly notice her behind me and before I can take a shot, she hits me in the stomach. I causes me to drop the gun and fall to the ground in agony. Natalia is laughing at me.
Through the pain I say, ‘Its over. Your boyfriend is thwarted. You have a chance to leave him and lead a new life.’
She stops laughing, ‘You are a bit thick aren’t you.’
I am puzzled, ‘Look around. It is over. Your boyfriend won’t be funding terrorism.’
She gives me a condescending look, ‘You are really stupid. It was my deal. I was the one organising the deal.’ I am opened-mouthed.
She smiles at me, ‘Are you spies so thick.’ She kicks me in the stomach as she talks.
I scream in pain, ‘But you—’
She grabs my hair to pull me up, ‘What? A girl.’
I see a pane of glass in front of me. She shoves me towards the pane of glass and trips me over into it. I go head first into the pane of glass and I cover my face to protect my eyes.
Charles is chasing Vladimir up the three cranes next to the glass building. The tower height, also known as a mast, is eighty metres tall. Charles watches Vladimir climbing up inside the tower of the crane. Charles is stood on the base of the crane. Charles starts to climb inside the tower himself to catch up with him and capture him. Vladimir has already gained a few feet apart from Charles. Vladimir looks below to see where Charles is while still climbing up. His plan is to get to the crane operating cabin. He has no other plan after that.
Charles is able to gradually close the gap between them by skipping the ladder bars. He suddenly hears gunshots and sees sparks flying near him. He assumes it is Vladimir. He hugs the ladder and tries to hide himself inside the tower. He is still hearing gunshots and so stays still. Vladimir climbs a few steps in between shooting until he has fired all bullets. Once Charles is confident he has run out of ammunition, he starts to continue climbing.
Vladimir has finally reached the operating cabin door. Charles is only half way up picking up momentum to catch up with him.
Vladimir tries to work out how the controls work so he spins the tower to cause Charles to lose balance and fall. While flicking switches and pushing buttons, the crane comes alive. He learns quickly that the joystick turns the crane.
Charles feels the motion, as the tower starts to spin round. He focuses by looking up at the operator’s cabin door while still climbing. It feels colder as the speed of the tower is spinning. His face is getting colder. However he is still determined.
I feel defenceless and alone now. Outside is the noise of crackling burning and the remaining survivors of the drone attacks are running around in chaos. Flames still dancing. Charles is preoccupied with her boyfriend. I start having a premonition of what she is going to do to me. The idea of my premonition scares me, not the here and now. I wish that I had paid more attention to defence lessons on my training course. I naively thought it would be wasted on me as I would never get into a fight with anyone. I would be stupid standing at four foot ten nothing. Seriously, I couldn’t even attract potential hostility.
I am on the ground with shattered glass around me and on my clothes. She helps me up and straightens me. I try to punch her in the stomach but she grabs my arm. With a free hand, she goes to hit me in the face.
Natalia gives me an evil look, ‘By the time I am finished with you, your boyfriend is going to be too embarrassed to be seen with you.’
I don’t get a chance to respond. She gives me three punches to the face while holding me. My nose starts to bleed again. She then lifts me up in a fireman hold and slams me against the plasterboard. We both go through it, with her using me as a shield.
Vladimir can see through the Perspex glass floor of the crane cabin at Charles. He decides to make the tower spin clockwise and anti-clockwise intimately. To try to shake him off. He sees Charles lose his footing and hang from one arm. Grins as he sees his foe struggling. But it is not enough and sees that he is almost here. He decides to climb through the roof door out of the cabin.
Charles pulls the bolt to unlock the door and push it open. Once inside, he tries to see where Vladimir is outside but cannot see him on the jib. He suddenly hears a noise on the roof of scuffling. He opens the roof door by pulling the bolt across. He then pushes the door up and hoists his bodyweight up by his arms. He then lifts his legs to hook them through the gap over the lip of the rectangular hole. Then uses his legs and elbows to lift his torso up.
Vladimir crawls on all fours to get to the triangular jib. The jib is like a Toblerone chocolate bar. While he reaches the edge of the jib, he looks behind to see Charles on the roof of the cabin now. He can see that Charles is going to make his way to the jib as well. Vladimir thought that he would operate the crane to shake him off.
The jib extends away from the tower height, also known as a mast, about seventy metres out.
Vladimir is already inside the triangular jib and can see that the base of the jib has a triangular crisscross of steel bars. The metal is freezing from the winter climate. There is ice on the metal and snow settled on the bars. Vladimir can see that there is nowhere to go.
She picks me up and pushes me against a wall. Then hits me at will in my face and stomach.
Charles is now climbing on the jib, onto the outside, shuffling his feet along the bar and holding on tight to the top bar. He is determined to get hold of him. Once he catches up with him, Vladimir gets a knife out from his trouser pocket.
Charles has quick reflex and shifts his body away. Each time Vladimir swipes at him, he counter-punches him in the face. He gets an opportunity to smash his wrist against the bar, so the knife flicks out of his falling to the ground. Vladimir tries to swing his legs to kick Charles, but moves out of the way. Charles returns the favour but Vladimir avoids the swinging kick. Vladimir tries to punch him but he deflects it by sweeping it away.
The wind is picking up, giving a chill factor, even though it is blue skies and the sun is beaming down.
Charles is finding it hard to keep his feet stable as he finds the metal bar slippery from the ice. He has to concentrate not to slip as well as deflecting his kicks and punches.
Two drones fly in low, close to the ground, only a couple of feet from the ground. They are travelling at over a hundred miles an hour leaving a wave of snow dust behind the drones. They are flying side by side with a marginal gap between them. The drones fly under the crane and ascend flying over the glass building. They turn round and start their descent run, positioning themselves to target the crane and glass building.
The drone heading towards the crane takes aim for the cabin and mast to disable the crane. Charles can see what is about to happen and clutches tight to the jib. Vladimir is unaware what is about to happen and thinks this is an opportunity to strike. The drone fires a missile and heads towards the cabin. As Vladimir goes to hit Charles, the missile impacts and the blast vibrates the jib. Vladimir falls off the jib to the ground below.
I try to punch her with my weak arms and I can’t. She moves me away from the wall and hits me in the face again. I crash to the floor crying and in awful pain. I can hear her feet crunching along the floor towards me. I just want her to end my life. I am facing up on the floor. She appears in my peripheral sight. I hear a sound of bending metal to my right.
The jib begins to twist and bend from the instant heat from the blast. The end of the jib begins to swing in a pendulum motion with Charles on the end of the jib still. The momentum picks up speed as the jib begins to swing to the ground. As it reaches the ground, it continues to swing into the glass building.
I see the jib beginning to crash into the building in Natalia’s direction. I try to keep calm and not let her know that the jib is heading towards her. The jib and Charles crashes through the building and hits her full on. The jib stops abruptly and there Charles is hanging on the jib, a foot off the ground. He jumps off.
Charles helps me up, ‘Now that is what you call a knock out.’
I look at him with a stern face, ‘I had her.’
Charles jokes, ‘Had her at don’t hurt me.’
The pain is too much to laugh. He holds me in his arms and wipes the blood on my face away while looking into my eyes. I try to smile through the pain all over my face and body.
I smile at him, ‘Do I look awful?’
He smiles at me, ‘You look like hell.’
I am almost crying, ‘I think she broke my right arm.’
The aeroplane pilot who flew us here appears with a four by four vehicle. We look at each other and find our ride home.