Protection and Preservation, Book 10
Later that afternoon, David got on the radio and arranged for Ben and Noah to meet by radio and talk. David listened in and told me later that those talks were productive. Both men wanted to stay in contact and work together in whatever way possible.
We made plans to leave a radio and antennas set up and operating. Ben worked with people in his community in Adelaide to have the radio maintained and appointed a regular listening watch.
During all this time, Sophie and George were together constantly. George was well aware of the rules in our community regarding any physical relations with Sophie until both were legally adults. I found that Noah had adopted our rule regarding age. Both of them talked to me about what their ages and relationship meant. I explained the rules and told them I would be reasonable but they had to be reasonable, too and smart.
In the morning, we would fly to Melbourne, our next stop. It was a short flight of just over an hour. Instead of landing at Melbourne Airport, we landed at Avalon Airport near Geelong. David decided that we should land where it seemed there were people. Signs of people were closest to Avalon. It had a nice runway and we touched down easily in the cool air.
David taxied us to a good spot and the Humvee was released. SJ and Jacob were riding with Myra and Tom today. They quickly found fuel and checked it out. It was usable but would require some work to clear the contaminants. That slows down refueling considerably. David taxied us close and a crew began. The Humvee kept close watch further out and identified a group coming toward us. They moved to intercept while our refueling crew tried to complete their work before we had company. David wanted to be able to move Duck if he deemed it necessary.
I tracked the Humvee while David watched over the refueling. From the loudspeakers, I heard SJ's voice say, "G'day. We would like to talk. We are explorers."
There were four or five horsemen and two buckboard wagons in the group coming toward them. They came to a halt and one of the horsemen said, "You are trespassing." SJ whispered that some of the others in that group didn't totally agree with his statement.
SJ's voice came out saying, "Very well. We will leave as soon as we can get this vehicle into our plane. I'm sorry you don't want peaceful contact. We will leave now." The Humvee started and began to back toward the Duck slowly toward a wide spot to turn around.
The group was now arguing among themselves. A voice shouted out, "Wait! Arnie doesn't speak for us. We would like to talk."
The Humvee stopped and SJ got out placing a small radio on the ground. Over the loudspeakers, Jacob's voice said, "My wife has put a radio on the ground. We will head back to our plane. If you want to talk, pick it up and talk. We don't want a fight and there is plenty of Australia to explore without Melbourne."
The Humvee turned around and sped back toward Duck. The group picked up the radio. A man's voice said, "I am Geof Nichols. Who are you?"
I said, "I am Missus Bobbi Lewis, one of the leaders of this exploring expedition from North America. We don't want your land. Once our plane is refueled, we will leave and never return."
"Missus Lewis, Arnie spoke out of turn. His view doesn't represent our community. We would like to talk and understand what you are doing. You are a Yank?"
I said, "That is correct. We represent the communities of Protection and Preservation in what was the United States. My husband, David, and I lead the expedition. Do not approach our plane. We are heavily armed and will take punitive steps to protect ourselves. We don't know you but we know us and plan to return home alive."
"Please, Missus Lewis, I understand your attitude. Arnie spoke out of turn and he does not represent our community."
"Stand by." I looked over at David. "What do you think, Love. I hate to write them off due to one rotten apple without giving it a try."
David thought an instant. "Okay, Bobbi. Tell him we will meet two people. Also, tell him that the Duck will wipe their place off the face of the earth if they try anything."
I nodded. David went to prepare for our outing. I said, "Mister Nichols, two of us will meet with two of you. Our plane is heavily armed and guns will be on all of you the entire time. Any false moves including a retreat by the rest of you will get you killed very dead. This is your last chance. Don't screw it up. Bobbi out."
David came back in and said, "Okay, we'll go out in a buggy. Wear your sword and a vest. I'm not sure about them after having 'Arnie' say what he did."
We left with swords, radios, and vests. We came out the back of the Duck following the Humvee which took up a position to the rear of Duck. We came out in a dune buggy with David driving. We went over a hundred yards from Duck and the Humvee and stopped. Two men approached on foot. We got out of the buggy wearing shorts, vests, swords, and pistols.
We walked about twenty feet toward them. They walked to us stopping about ten feet away. I said, "I am Bobbi Lewis. We're here."
The two men were very different from each other. One was a big, strong looking man with an ugly face mostly from the attitude he seemed to send to the world. The other was a normal sized man with a friendly, though concerned look on his face. He said, "I'm Geof Nickols."
The other man said, "I am Arnie Sullivan." I recognized his voice.
I said, "Gentlemen, I am Bobbi Lewis from the communities of Protection and Preservation located in what was the United States. We are an exploring team trying to contact people and become friends if possible while determining what is happening in the world. We are not on a mission to conquer but are well able to protect ourselves if attacked. We came in friendship but were initially met with animosity. There are other places in the world. It's a big place. So, after this meeting, we will get on our plane and leave."
Arnie said, "I don't think so. If you were so able, you wouldn't have been willing to meet with us."
I said, "Duck, this is Bobbi. Light up the terminal." Fire came from one side of the Duck and the terminal building simply exploded when it was hit with the stream of shells. "Arnie, maybe you need to think again. If you would like, I will be glad to kick your ass to hell barehanded."
Arnie was typical. He started at me brushing Geof to one side. I said, "Duck, this one is mine." He pulled a large knife holding it like he knew what he was doing. "That was a mistake." He came on and I sheathed his knife in his stomach when I threw him. Geof pulled a pistol and David shot him dead.