Aftermath - Cover


Copyright© 2010 by Pedant

Chapter 9

I just tossed a coat over my short-sleeved shirt and took a changed and re-dressed Patrick in my nearly-healed left arm and went to the car. I hoped Angus wouldn't think me rude, but I was sure that he'd stay with Weena and Martha to see me on the big screen. Patrick had graduated to a kiddie seat and I buckled him in. We got to the station only a bit past six.

"Dr. Hollister?" the guard at the door asked.


"Sue's just gone on. They're in Studio 1. Right there." He pointed at a door that had an illuminated "No Entry" above it. "Go in, but try to be quiet."

"Patrick, we've got to be quiet now."


There were some chairs near the door, so I sat down with Patrick on my lap. But our presence hadn't gone unnoticed and at the first break Sue said "Gordy?"

"Yes ... and Patrick."

"Hi, Patrick."

"Hi, Sue."

"Have you heard, Gordy?"

"No. Nothing. As I told you, we were having guests for dinner..." Patrick interrupted.

"Ag'tha and 'Gus."

"Right. Now try to be quiet. And then we washed up and came here."

"Well, come up, we'll put a mike on you, and I'll do my thing." So we moved up.

"Welcome back. As you can see, Dr. Gordy Hollister has joined us, together with Patrick. But he and Patrick's mother were entertaining guests, so he doesn't know why we've invited him.

"Early in the afternoon there appears to have been a major to-do in Canberra. We have heard that the Minister of Defence and the Minister of National Resources have both tendered their resignations with very strong letters accusing Trade and Foreign Affairs of acting behind the backs of other cabinet members. The parliamentary secretaries of both Trade and Foreign Affairs have resigned to 'devote more time' to their respective families and, it's rumoured that both undersecretaries have taken 'personal leave.' Do you have any comments, Gordy?"

"Wow! Well, Sue. As you know from Weena's visit, I have tried to keep out of trouble. Outside of my appearance here I've tried to keep out of politics. May I take off my jacket?"

"Of course, these lights are quite hot."

I did so. I was wearing a short-sleeve shirt. Patrick was on my right knee. The red-maroon line on my upper arm was right in front of the camera.

"Do you have much resentment about that?" Sue asked.

"Not really. I'm happy that the bloke wasn't a better shot. Think of that Navy woman shot by the smugglers a while back. She had to retire. And Canberra wasn't at fault there. What our government did wrong was let the villains get away."

"Could you explain?"

"Sure. Say hello, Patrick."


"Patrick's here in my care. We've got Australia in our care. It's a rich place. From the beaches on the Gold Coast to the vineyards south of here. We've got coal and iron, gold and nickel, opals and forests. There are the Alps in the southeast and Uluru in the centre and whales and whale-sharks and the dolphins up at Monkey Mia. But we can't squander it all. The rabbits and the cane toads are bad enough. But unregulated mining could exterminate whole species. And who knows what insects might have hitchhiked on those illegals? The government needs to protect us, not merely generate revenue!"

"Do you feel betrayed?"

"Me? Personally? No. But Australia? Definitely. And Patrick and his whole generation? Absolutely. We don't own everything. We're trustees. I'll be dead in 40 years. But Patrick will be worrying about the future of his – uh – teenagers."

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