The Mini-burger

FanFic in the Birmoverse

The Right to Bear Arms – by Drej

The Right to Bear Arms

 

The line waiting to enter the Bungalow Bar in central Whangarei was not as long as usual, partly due to the cold and plenty due to the economic recession gripping the world. But to 19 year old Robbie Kahui, the din of voices raised to counter the ever present doof-doof music within was testament to the fact that no matter the state of the world, people still sought to drown their uncertainties in increasingly expensive liquor to preserve the illusion, at least, of a “good time”.

He smiled. And indeed, he thought to himself, who was he to argue when there might be a profit to be made.

Robbie was a small time drug dealer, an entrepeneur of the times, he liked to think, making a modest income selling home grown pot and the odd cap of hash to the pub and club denizens of Northland, New Zealand.

And business was doing ok. Like all small business operators, he’d had his doubts five months ago when the whole Wave phenomenon had first appeared, wiping out the United States and most of the economies of the rest of the world.

But New Zealand had weathered the change in the global order better than most.

Part of this was to do with the countries relative isolation. Much was to do with the fact that their population was small and hardy enough to be able to at least feed and shelter themselves while the government set about radically restructuring the economy to take advantage of a strong agricultural sector.

Certainly other nations of the world had fared less well.

And agriculture, specifically hydro grown in his mothers attic, was Robbies forte too.

He queued briefly, before stepping through the narrow entrance to the club, nodding at Mike, the large Pacific Islander manning the door.

Climbing a brief set of narrow stairs, he emerged into the gloomy haze that swathed the main dance floor. His eyes took a few seconds to adjust as he took in the scene, scoping for potential clients and cops at the same time. N-trance, or was it Fragma, the shit all sounded the same to him, pounded through the ceiling-mounted speakers.

The crowd was the usual mix found at any  kiwi club. A few PI’s and mixed caste Maori boys shared the dance floor with the women, while most of the white guys stood at the bar or sat at the too-few drinking tables and watched. One pair who did stand out were the two thirty-something American men standing together in one corner, sharing a dubious state of sobriety and a jug. Their voices were loud and carried across the space to where Rob was waiting three deep at the bar to order his usual glass of Speights.

“Hey love, got any American in ya?” the particularly wasted looking short one with a paunch and thinning grey hair called out to a pretty brunette standing  at the edge of the dance floor.

She ignored him.

“Well, would you like some?” he followed up, cracking himself up at his own wit, before being joined by his mate.

Fucken seppos, Rob thought. Only a matter of time before they get their heads punched in, or worse, despite the usual latitudes given to the folk who’d lost their entire homeland.

Still, there was a good chance he could make a buck or two off of them first.

He paid his twenty bucks for the beer and made his way over.

“Hey bro, wanna score some ganja?” he asked one, a gangly looking fellow with red hair, the one who seemed a tad straighter than the other.

One thing Rob had discovered with the recent influx of yanks into the country, they were usually looking to score, in one way or another, and they usually had the cash to do so. Not that their greenbacks were worth the paper they were printed on, but even those not possessing one of a number of skills now in demand found themselves benefactors of the worlds first and probably last surviving, for now, state welfare system.

While many in the public were against it (fuelled in no small part by both the opposition National party and the media), there was a case of grumbling relent when PM Helen Clarke announced the measures. The numbers involved, she argued, were not that large in comparison to New Zealands previous refugee intakes, and besides, there had to be some recompense for the considerable additions provided to the nations defence in these troubled times.

Even Rob had stared, slack-jawed in Auckland two months ago at the sight of the entire USS John C.Stennis Carrier Battlegroup powering down the Waitemata Harbour in all their glory to take up residence at  Devonport naval base.

The countries greenie no-nuke-proliferation stance had come crashing down about the same time as the Aswan Dam and the rest of the middle east.

“Sure man, whattaya got ?”

Rob was impressed. With luck these two schmucks would be loaded and drunk enough to clean him out for the evening, first strike !

“Primo Tainui Thunder, man” he exaggerated.

Clearly the American had no idea what Tainui Thunder was, although “primo” was pretty much a universal. “How much, man ?”

 “Eighty dollar sticks or Nine an ounce, mate!”.

He almost had to shout, but wasn’t worried, the noise of the crowd and Kylie Minogue on the sound system leant them their own form of privacy.

The Americans conferred for a second or two.

“Yeah man, we’ll go an oz”.

Robbie tried not to grin. These guys didn’t seem to mind at all coughing up what six months ago would have been an exorbitant rate for weed. “No worries mate, if you fellas want to join me down in the carpark, I’ll sort you out, eh”.

Robbie was wiry but strong for his age, and judging by the state of the two strangers, his own personal safety wasn’t really an issue here.

Five minutes later, after finishing their beers, Rob left with the two of them, who’d introduced themselves as Ron, the ginger haired taller of the two, and Chuck. They left the now crowded Bungalow Bar and walked the half block around to the nearest carpark where Robs beaten up but still reliable Falcon panel van was nosed into the first row of diagonally parked vehicles on the left. A few late night revelers were making their way home, but the men ignored them, and were ignored in turn.

Rob unlocked the drivers door, looked around quickly before sitting down, slid his key in the ignition for keeping, and felt with his hand up above the sunvisor. Reaching through into a well hidden cavity in the lining above, he drew out a small brown paper bag, folded once in half, and passed it up to Ron.

“Check it out man, its good shit”. The American took it, looked around furtively before having a quick peek inside and an inhaling a quick whiff of the contents.

“Nice, just what we need, right Chuck ?”

Chuck nodded . “That’ll sure make the weekend go a lot more smoothly” he agreed.

“How much did you say, buddy ?”

“Nine hundred, eh man” Rob reminded them. Ron nodded, and reached into his faded denim jacket with his right hand. When it came out, instead of a nice wad of notes, he held a small automatic handgun.

Robs stomach dropped.

 “This’ll do nicely”, Ron said. “In fact, we’ll take all that you’ve got”

 “Man, that is all I’ve got” Rob shrilled, truthfully, although he didn’t really expect them to believe him.

“Yeah, right !” The second one, Chuck, looked indignant. “Expect us to believe that  ? We know you cuzzie-bros grow hooch by the shitload up this way. And we reckon you’re gonna take us to your stash, right now! Or else!”  Rob couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

“You’ve got to be fucken kidding me, man, that was all I had, alright ?” He swallowed as Chuck reached into his jacket with his left hand drawing out another gun, a revolver. This evening was turning to crap ! The red head, Ron began to sidle around to the other side of the van, his gun pointed loosely in Robs direction. Chuck swayed slightly, his stupor giving Rob his one chance.

In one quick motion, Rob keyed the ignition, stabbed  the accelerator and threw the shifter into reverse. Chuck screamed in rage and fumbled with the safety on the gun. “Get him!”

Rob was almost boxed in. The layout of the carpark meant he should have had to reverse out of his diagonal park, and then follow the routing of the carpark forward to its end before driving around a second row of cars and back down towards the exit. This would take time, and bring him back in range of his assailants, and with firearms involved, he didn’t fancy his chances.

So he kept reversing, virtually blind save for one half misted up door mirror on his right hand side.

With the engine and drivetrain screaming, he floored the throttle hard, blue smoke pouring from the spinning rear tyres. The panelvan careened backwards between two rows of parked cars. Rob gripped the wheel feverishly as he tried to steer a straight line using just the one mirror, in the dark. A loud shriek of tortured metal on the left hand side announced he’d side-swiped a small Japanese hatch, which he ignored.

 Two loud cracks in succession from the carpark confirmed his worst fears. They were firing at him ! He couldn’t tell if they’d hit the car with the cacophony going on around him, but didn’t want to give them time to better their aim.

 The Falcon flew out into the street backwards, the suspension bottoming hard as sparks flew from the underbody. Rob hoped and prayed there would be no other traffic or worse, people in his path.

White knuckles wrenched the wheel to the left, and the van spun around hard, threatening to roll but somehow just staying on four wheels as Rob slammed the T Bar into Drive and accelerated up the street and away from danger. He risked a glance in the mirror, but in the dark at least, could see no sign of a pursuit.

Damn it, fucken guns! In N-Zed!!  He cursed to himself. Time to get out of the trade. This worlds fucked!

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14 March, 2009 - Posted by | Without Warning

1 Comment »

  1. Drej, thats a cracking good read. I liked it a lot. well done

    Comment by havock21 | 16 March, 2009 | Reply


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