Chapter 2 3

The Invasion of Tycho Crater (Three)

We were in the pub when we first heard something was going on. One of the drivers had just been telling us about how he couldn’t get in touch with his head office and that despite numerous calls, he just kept getting the same weird dial tone. Like the place wasn’t there. We laughed cuz it meant he didn’t have to rush off! We had another drink.

A while later an army truck came barrelling past the pub. Must have been really travelling cuz the bar actually rattled. “Last orders?” someone asked. We laughed and had another drink.

Then the news report came on the TV. I remember cuz it interrupted the game. Didn’t really think too much of it at the time, but thinking back we should have noticed the signal interruptions, bad reception and panicked look about the anchor woman’s face. She was saying something about an Indie attack on the North Gate. She was urging people to remain calm and indoors. We laughed cuz we were calm and indoors. We had another drink.

We got talking about the whole thing. Everyone knew the Indies were a bunch of scavenging nomads. Their homes were made out of our junk! A lot of us had at one time or another worked the pipes and we all had our own anecdotes and stories about running into a group of Indies in the blackness of those tunnels. It wasn’t often cuz the damn things were afraid of their own shadows and would usually haul ass away long before you got eyes on them.

We didn’t need anyone telling us to stay calm. We’d seen it all and knew the Indies were only a couple of steps up from throwing rocks. The barman assured us, the twelve gauge shotgun below the bar had enough ammo to see off a hundred Indies. We laughed, and ordered another drink.

Then the first air burst went off, right over our heads…