Originally where “Broken Light began three years ago.
Here is a draft to part of the third installment to “The Adventures of Megan & Jack”. The story, “Broken Light” also introduces the team of the “MFR Project”. I am really having a lot of fun with these characters at the moment, people I would trust no mater what with my life. Hope the extract is entertaining, well just a little.
An extract from “Broken Light”
“HK control 4, this is MFR1, looking for the fresh strip.”
“MFR1, fresh strip not complete, only have 650 metres. Suggest alternate strip a 100 clicks South-West of here, bearing 230.”
“Jordi, what do you want to do? We can help more by getting some team and gear on the ground here.”
Jordi stares out starboard side window past Nate, the stark nature and razor ridge lines of the Hindu Kush peaks vanish above her framed vision.
“I know, Nate, I’m just remembering how the last touch and go we did went, it was a fine line between having enough or not enough strip to get everyone on the ground. Go back and see who’s up for it.”
“Cheers, Cate is just going to love this.”
Nate unbuckles and steps out into the laboratory, dropping through floor access into the cargo bay he can see the Med10, Scout, and 4 WR450Fs are prepped and ready to go. Medical supplies and emergency equipment all checked.
“So who’s up for a touch and go, Cate?”
“Not again, I’d rather be on the ground than with you at the end of the runway this time. How much road we got this time?”
“Cate, it’s a fresh strip this time, 650. So is everyone up to go? Piya, might have you stay onboard, see if we can source a helicopter in Islamabad, we’ll need it in some more of the remote areas.”
“No problem, Nate. Good luck, Cate.”
“Nikki, CG, Tomi, Leon, you all good to go?”
“All good!” responds Nikki with a big smile across her face, as the others all nod in agreement.”
“Megan and Jack, are you both up to go? We need to get as much on the grounds as we can, time counts when lives are involved.”
“We’re good,” says Megan, with Jack echoing the same response close behind.
“Piya, you want to go jump in second seat with Jordi up top, and let her know we are a go.”
“CG, you right with the Med10, Nikki you can lead us out with the Scout. Megan and Jack, you can climb onboard with Nikki. Cate, Tomi, and Leon, Jordi will be down in a few moments, make sure all the second tanks are full on the 450s.”
“Hi Jordi, Nate said we are good for a touch and go.”
“Okay, Piya. HK control 4, this is MFR1, we will pass on heading for the second strip, request permission for a touch and go, and then clearance to Islamabad? We need to be helping on the ground.”
The controller checks with his CO, and is given a green light to allow a touch and go. At the same time Control 4’s, CO issues instructions to clear the bush runway.
“MFR1, you have a green light for a touch and go. Approach bearing is 255.”
“Thank you HK control 4.” Nate, we are all clear on the TAG comes the call over the cargo bay PA.
“OK, will be up in a moment.”
“Piya, can you take the controls, Nate will be up to change headings for the touch and go.”
“Sure, good luck on the ground.”
“You too, hopefully see you and Nate back here with a helicopter in a couple of days.”
Jordi unbuckles and is out through the lab and down into the bay.
“Jordi, best of luck down there, and see you soon,” says Nate, as he gives her a kiss and a hug, before climbing back up through the lab.
Soon Nate has MFR1 on approach to the strip, the landing gear is down, and the cargo bay ramp is down and locked. Nikki fires up the scout, with Megan and Jack onboard. CG removes the restraints from both the scout and Med10. Jordi, Cate, Tomi, and Leon have all suited up and have fired up the 450s. Finally CG is in the Med10 and turns it over.
“Nate, we are all on stand by for the call,” says CG over the radio as he adjusts the interior controls of the MED10.
“30 seconds people, it going to be a little rough.”
“All the best everyone,: says Jordi.
Nate flicks the controls for ramp extension for the TAG.
“Piya, don’t forget to give me a hand at the end of the strip to pull up?”
Piya turns and smiles, “Is that before or after I have my gin?”
Nate just laughs and turn on the cargo bay’s green light, “Okay, we’re down, go, go!”
Nikki floors the Scout and launches off the end of the ramp, kicking up a cloud of dust and rocks, followed closely by the 450s as they peal off in opposite directions to the sides of the bush strip. CG switches on the Med10’s hydraulic boost on and drops the 10 off the ramp. It’s always a bit of a rough ride for the Med10.
“All clear! All clear! comes the calls from the whole team on the ground.
“That’s good. Piya, pull up, let’s get off this bush track.”
Nate and Piya, pull hard back on the C130’s controls, narrowly missing an over sized yellow bulldozer parked at the end of the strip.
“Will see you all in a couple of days, and thank you HK Control 4,” comes the call from Nate.
As the C130 clears off towards the horizon, three Land Drovers pull up where the team have gathered at the side of the bush strip. A number of men and women clamber out and approach the MFR team, some in military uniform, and others in civilian clothes. But all looked as though they had not slept for the last two days, for between the earthquakes, aftershocks, and the sense that heavy rains are approaching, life for them has been around the clock rescue and recovery.
“Welcome to HK4. Your team seems to of arrived just in time to help out, we are running no sleep at the moment, and with the scale of the disaster across the whole country, aid and emergency services are thin on the ground all over.” As the Major finishes welcoming, Jordi and the team, a single motorbike is charging at top speed from across the other side of the valley floor, a long trail of dust in its rider’s wake. Two of the soldiers with the major, raise their assault weapons. The Major signals then to lower their guns, for no one has made it across to the far side of the valley yet, and so they have no idea of the peoples needs, for this will the first contact and opportunity to garner any information or details.
As the rider gets closer, they see the gathering and veers in their direction at a much slower pace, the dust begins to settle behind them as they arrive dismounting from an old hefty Russian motorcycle, some ten metres from the group. Having no helmet on, while walking towards the group, the rider unwraps a long dark coloured, decorative scarf from around their head and face, to reveal a young woman of around 22, 23 years of age. The major welcomes her, as they step to the side in a discussion using one of the mountain dialects, further introductions go on between the MFR and the Major’s teams.
Soon the discussion breaks between the rider and the Major, and they rejoin the group. The Major announces that we have an urgent emergency on the other side of the valley, in the lower foothills of the mountains. He gestures the young woman to step forward, and speak up, for she is the only one that knows what lies ahead to get there, and what dire straits the three villages in her district are currently facing.
Megan Corey (Rockclimber & Scientist)
Jack Ravine (Rockclimber & Surveyor)
Jordanna Kellis (15 years experience, is a pilot/emergency/disaster medical and disease/viral specialist. She works 3 months on 3 months off, unless there is a disaster or emergency. In her off months you can find her anywhere on the Mediterranean between Greece and Spain. And is also fluent in 16 languages).
Nate Williams (partner, lover, and co-pilot with Kellis. His expertise lies in logistics, construction, and on the fly problem solving and liaising. Wherever Kellis is, Nate is bound to be with in a 100 mile of her resolving some issue. He is also fluent in 35 languages and some of their varying dialects).
Cate Wells (F) (Field Triage and emergency first response nurse).
CG Carter (M) (Theatre/OR male nurse and specialist transport driver)
Nikki Razor (F) (all rounder, ER & Theatre/OR nurse, transport driver, and flight engineer/second co-pilot when required).
Piya Sukhova (F) (field-first response doctor, and helicopter pilot when required).
Tomi Kline (F) (Logistics & liaison specialist, and field/laboratory scientist (doubles as and anaesthetist) , Lost count how many degrees she has).
Leon Ramirez (M) (utility team member, can fill any position on the team, has over 20 years experience in all aspects of field operations in disaster and war zones. He was the one to convince Jordanna to put the small but effectively agile organisation and team together).