Here is another excerpt from what is looking like the third chapter of Part 2. This is mostly a funny little dialogue piece, but I think it shows that even in the world of After it can be hard to get people to do what you need…
…Mason stopped and walked back to Elia. He took her wireless from where it was clipped to her armored vest. She stared incredulous malice at him which he ignored and thumbed the talk button.
“Tank?” he called into the device.
“He’s here, hold on.”
There was a commotion on the other end and then Tank, speaking very loudly, said “Mason! I almost got it!”
“Got what?” Mason winced at the volume and held the device away from his ear.
“Rolling over! Well almost. Not all the way yet. Stupid central system keeps butting in.” Then in response to some comment in the background that Mason could not make out, “That’s right, stupid! I said STEW-PID!” Then turning back to the wireless on his end Tank continued, “They get stuck on their backs with their legs in the air, but it shouldn’t be long now!”
Mason sighed and held the wireless to his head in exasperation.
“Tank. Listen to me. Rolling over is going to have to wait. Okay?”
“Why?” came the disappointed response.
“I need those hounds on the southern end of the valley. They have to guard everyone. Can you have them do that?”
“Okay Mason they can do that.”
“Great. And then I need you to get to work on those doors. We need to be able to open and close them all, okay?”
“Yes, I can do that. I think. Maybe.”
“Tank, this very important, I need you to get past that lock down so we can control the doors and open and shut and lock them when we need to.”
This time Mason could make out the voice of the central system in the background informing everyone that director level security clearance will be required.
“I understand Mason.” Tank said with a level of maturity uncommon for the large man.
“I know you do. I have to take care of some things out here so I won’t see you for a few days. When I get back, I can show you a trick with the hounds, okay?”
“Ewwwww!” Tank squealed. “Whatisit!? Whatisit!?”
“A surprise. I’ll see you in a few days.”
“What are you going to work on?”
“The lock down.”
“Okay…The hounds…They will be on guard duty in the south and not practicing rolling over.”
“Thank you Tank.”
“It better be a good trick!”
“It is, it is” Mason said with a laugh and handed the wireless back to Elia. She snatched it from his hand. He ignored that and started back towards the trucks and then paused and turned back to her again. “You need to have your people unload the pod car we came in on. And for their sake tell them to be careful. I think most of the Boomers are unarmed but you never know.”
“You brought in explosives!?”
“Yup. And a lot of other fun stuff.” Mason answered over his shoulder as he made his way out of the trees towards the trucks.
“He is fucking crazy.” she said.
“I guess he is, but it’s an effective sort of crazy.” C’er added as he headed off behind Mason.
I have to say that Tank is very easy to write and a lot of fun. He jumps into my head and kind of takes over and I think that comes out well on the page.
Also – just want to mention that I have decided on the name for Part 2 and subsequently Part 3. And Yes this first story Arc should comprise 3 parts.
As for the names themselves, that is a reveal for another day!