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    quokka
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Survival - 9. Surv Chapter 9

I have him in my sights, main quad, far east corner – Chris”, I was relieved when I read the message, as I made my way to catch up with them. When I arrived in the lawn area just behind the main quad, I saw a group of students surrounding Langley and Chris, and I sent a text message to the Admin office, “Help needed urgent – behind NE end of Quad”, once this was sent, I rushed to assist Chris.

As soon as I arrived, Chris and I formed a protective barrier around Langley, “King and Hunt, join us here” I demanded to two junior cadets, “That is an order Cadet, so I suggest you do as the Staff Sergeant says” Chris added angrily. “We are not in the Army, and this is not a Cadet event, so we refuse” one of the cadets said and they walked away, as we started to get shoved around by the school bullies.

Thankfully, three teachers and Miss Hampton soon arrived, and ordered everyone to leave the area. “Are you three ok?” Miss Hampton asked, once most of the crowd had dispersed. “Yes Miss, thank you for your assistance, we need to come up with a more detailed plan, to keep Langley safe” Chris replied. “We will be taking action right away, starting with the instigators being suspended immediately.

“Miss, we asked for assistance from two junior cadets, and they refused, we also need to deal with that” I added, very well come back to the conference room, and we will have those two called to the office as well” Miss Hampton said, as she lead a shaken Langley back to the admin building.

“What do you think Staff, can we come up with a plan that will guarantee his safety?” Chris asked me, as we watched the Deputy Headmaster and Langley walk into the Quad area, “I hope so, I need to sit down and do some serious thinking, and I also need a map of the school, the school timetable for our year, and we may have to recruit more of the cadets, but just the useful ones only” I commented.

As we headed back towards the quad, we heard over the PA, the names of the 5 school bullies, who were involved in this incident, being called to the office, and by the time we arrived there, we saw three of the junior bullies nervously waiting. “Where are the other two, your so-called leaders” Chris asked the three boys, who were all a year or two younger than Chris and me.

“They left, walked out of the school?” one of the lads replied nervously, which was heard by Miss Hampton as she approached. “Right, you three into my office now… I will see you in the conference room in a few minutes” she added to us, quietly once the other three boys were heading down the hall.

When the Deputy Headmaster arrived, she sat down heavily in the chair, and sighed, “We are sorry miss, it all happened so fast, we were caught a little unprepared” Chris said to her. “That is ok Mr Harding, these three are suspended from school for two weeks, while the other two are facing an expulsion hearing, now tell me what happened” Miss Hampton responded.

A few minutes later, after hearing in detail what had happened, Miss Hampton picked up the telephone in the room, “Have Cadets Hunt and King report to the office immediately, and can you see if you can find Mr Anderson as well please” Miss Hampton said before ending the call.

When Mr Anderson walked into the conference room, he sat down opposite us, “Problems already, I hear” the teacher and Cadet Captain commented, “Yes sir, but the main issue is when we asked Cadets King and Hunt to assist us, they stated that they were not in the Army and that it was not a cadet event, so they refused and walked away” Chris stated, “I see, well lets deal with this together shall we” Mr Anderson stated, just as there was a knock on the door.

“Come in King and Hunt and stay standing” the teacher said to the two boys. “Cadets, what is the motto of the Australian Army Cadets?” I asked, “Courage, Initiative and Teamwork, Cadet Staff Sergeant” one of the cadets responded, “now did you or did you not sign some forms when you joined the cadets two years ago, including the Australian Army Cadet – AAC, Code of Conduct?” Chris asked, “Yes Cadet Officer Harding” they both responded.

“Act to ensure your safety and the safety of other people. Do what you are told to do, by any person who can tell you what to do. Comply with any policies, procedures, directives and instructions… are they familiar statements to you both?” I asked, “Yes Staff Sergeant” both boys replied.

“Since you decided to ignore those three sections of the code of conduct, you are suspended from all Cadet activities for two weeks, maybe you can spend that time, thinking seriously about your future in the cadet unit, that is all” Mr Anderson stated, and we watched as the two visibly shaken boys left the conference room.

We had already heard the first bell ring, while in the conference room, and the second bell rang, as we eventually stood up and made our ways to the front reception area, where Miss Hampton handed us notes, to explain our delay in getting to our next classes.

I saw Langley sitting in a chair near the front door, and he stood up and followed me outside and down the corridor towards our next class. “Langley and Blackwood, why are you late, stay after school for detention” the teacher snapped at us as we entered, and I stepped forward to present the notices from the Deputy Headmaster, which he took and tore in half before dumping them into the bin.

“Excuse me sir, but those notes were from Miss Hampton” I said to the teacher, “I don’t care who they are from, you are late, and you are still both on detention” the Teacher snapped back at me, just as the classroom door opened, and Miss Hampton appeared. “You will ignore that directive boys… Mr Barrett, if I may have a moment of your time outside please” Miss Hampton said to our teacher, who is the most hated at school, by the students and some teachers.

“I have no time for school politics, get out so I can get on with teaching” Mr Barrett responded, “Barrett, get out of this room right now” Miss Hampton shouted at the top of her lungs, making everyone in the class jump in fright, and reluctantly after a short staring session, he left the room, “Cadet Staff Sergeant Blackwood, can you please supervise until my return, thank you” Miss Hampton asked quietly and calmly.

I looked around the room, there was three junior cadets also in the class, which I was pleased about, as I stood up and walked to the front of the class. “Right, how about I tell you about my latest adventures, which is why I was late getting back to school” I said, which made all my class mates quieten down to listen.

“At the time, when my Uncle Nathan announced that we would be going to Mt Kilimanjaro, in northern Tanzania, I had no idea, that I had been to Tanzania before…” I began, and I used the whiteboard to draw a rough mud map of the mountain and surrounding areas of the mountain. “So, when I replied to what Nanny Afya had said, and I realised that not only did I understand her, but I replied to her statement, that I slammed my hand over my mouth in shock, and shortly after I was being hugged by Nanny Afya, after 12 years of not seeing her” I said.

“What happened next Jacob, and what was the language she spoke?” one of my classmates asked, and this is when I noticed that everyone was keen to hear more, “well the language is Swahili, which I can speak fluently, although I had totally forgotten it over the years, and I learnt that the house we were staying in, is the same house that I grew up in as a child…” I continued.

When the bell sounded for the end of class, I was shocked that I had been talking for that whole time, and the door opened moments later, with Miss Hampton stepping inside, “Thankyou Mr Blackwood, that was a very entertaining class, ok students, off to your next class” the Deputy headmaster announced with a huge smile. “I didn’t want to interrupt, since you had the whole class fully interested in your story, well done” Miss Hampton said to me, as Langley and I walked towards the door, and I gave a small smile and nod of the head.

I felt my mobile vibrate as we headed to our next class, and I took a quick peek at it, then stopped, when I saw it was from Nanny Afya. “Simba, Mtoto tembo aliveunja ndani ya bustani, neon langu ni fujo gani, lilikuwa limeita wigo wa kuja na Kukusanya monster kidogo” and I bust out laughing. “What is it, why are you laughing?” Langley asked as we approached the classroom and entered.

The teacher hadn’t arrived yet, so I stood near the front desk, “For those who were in the same 5th class as me, I just received a text message from Afya, it’s in Swahili, so I need to translate” I announced, which caught everyone’s attention. “Simba, baby elephant broke into the garden, my word what a mess, had to call the rangers, to come and collect the little monster” I said as I read the message out loud in English.

Everyone in the know, which was most of the class, burst out laughing, and it stopped as soon as the teacher arrived, and everyone settled into their seats. “So, we have a comedian in the class, do we?” the teacher, Mrs Yardley asked, and I stood up. “No Mrs Yardley, I am sorry for the interruption” I stated before sitting down again, thankfully that was all that was needed, as the lesson began.

At the end of class, the teacher asked me to remain behind, and with Chris being in the class, he escorted Langley to the last class of the day. “I am sorry Ma’am, I was given the opportunity to inform my classmates in the previous lesson, of my adventures in Tanzania recently, which is where I spend my first four years of my life. Between classes, I received a message from my former nanny, which I passed onto my classmates, which is what caused the laughter” I explained.

“I see and what was the message, that brought so much amusement?” the teacher asked, and I informed her of the baby elephant incident back home in Tanzania, which soon had the teach chuckling. “What amazing experiences you have had, I would love to hear more about it, off you go now” she said to me, and I hurried to my next class. By the end of the day, I was tired, thankfully me being famous, seemed to have disappeared with all the other drama happening in the school, as I watched a black limousine drive away with Langley inside.

I was a little surprised, when I spotted Uncle Nat’s vehicle in the carpark, and he stepped out and smiled to me, as I walked towards the vehicle. “Hi nephew, I hear you have had quite an eventful day” Uncle Nat said as I climbed in and secured my seatbelt, “Yes, you could say that, oh and I had a message from Nanny Afya” I replied, “About a baby elephant? Yes, I received the same message” Uncle Nat said as he began to chuckle.

When we arrived back at the base, we went straight to the administration building, as Uncle Nat informed me that I had a briefing to attend. When we walked into the conference room, a tall man in a smart suit was seated, along with Brigadier Purnell, and I snapped to attention and saluted. “At ease Corporal, now come and meet his Excellency Mr Carter Sanders, Consular General of Canada” the Brigadier said to me, which caught me by surprise.

“Sir, it is a pleasure to meet you” I said as I stepped forward and shook his hand, “thank you for taking care of my son for me, I have been very worried about him in the past few years, if you are not aware, my son is gay, and he is prone to getting bullied a lot because of this” the visitor stated.

“Yes I had my suspicions sir, and that is not a problem with me, we had an incident with bullies earlier today, but it was dealt with swiftly, and the culprits are facing suspension from school or facing expulsion” I replied, “I see, well thank you for your fast action on this matter, if you ever come to Canada, make sure to let me know” the visitor said to me with a smile.

“Actually sir, that could be happening this year, as my parents are on two-year work contracts in Yellowknife, North West Territory, and I could be travelling to see them during our mid-year holidays in mid-July” I replied, “I see, well you have picked the best state to visit, as that is my home territory, I come from the town of Hay River, which is just north of the state border of Alberta, and has a small population of about 3,500” the visitor stated, “I look forward to hearing more about it from your son, sir” I said with a small smile.

Back at Uncle Nat’s apartment, I changed out of my school uniform, and I sat at the dining room table to start on my homework, and at 6pm, Uncle Nat arrived home looking tired. “Long day?” I asked as I closed the book that I was reading, “You could say that. So, is that where you want to go on our next trip? To the North West Territories of Canada” Uncle Nat asked me.

“Yes, if that is possible please, and it will be summer up there, so hopefully it won’t be too cold” I replied, well it is a long way up, I think your parents said it gets down to about 10 degrees at night and 20 degrees in the day during the summer period” Uncle Nat said, “Brrr, that is Winter temperatures for here” I said and I shuddered at the thought.

“So, you want to skip having an Autumn trip, and concentrate on the trip to Canada?” Uncle Nat asked me, “Yes please” I replied, Good, lets call your parents tonight, to let her know the decision” Uncle Nat said as he headed to his bedroom.

Things settled down at school, and the two main bullies were expelled from school, and the other three were now on their best behaviour, which I was pleased with. Although Langley wanted to be good friends with me, I had to explain to him that with my school studies and Army commitments, I could not spare any time to be friends with anyone, which upset him a little.

When the Autumn holidays arrived, Uncle Nat announced that we were going to do on a week-long camping trip, to Kangaroo Island, which I thought was a great idea, and so for three days we prepared and packed for the trip, before making our way to the Ferry, to get to the island.

Copyright January 2019 Preston Wigglesworth All Rights are Reserved
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Another excellent chapter. He is certainly growing up in the way he conducts himself when in an authority position.

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Great story

although I never I Understood why simba didn’t want to be friends?? I didn’t think he was a prude or anything, but to refuse a friendship request so quickly and easily is disappointing and tbh very rude

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'...I can't spare any time to be friends with anyone...'

WTF is that?

He seems to relate okay with the people he has met in the story so far, he doesn't seem reclusive at all, etc?

WTF is up with that?

That is really annoying. Maybe his being away from actual Parents needs re-visiting.

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Thankfully, Langley turns up very quickly, though it's amazing how fast the bullies can spot a target.

Langley, gay? I guess I'll have to stop reading. (HAHAHAHA. 😂)

Jacob doesn't have time for friends? Really? If he has time to work out, he has time for friends. (Perhaps Langley could join the workouts.) If there is no time to be together excepting during school hours, how hard could it be to befriend the boy when they see each other at school? For the first time, I am a bit disappointed in Jacob, as he is not even trying in this situation. 

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