I've been to France, sort-of. I was sort of there, and it was sort of France. Heh. I'm not exactly sure of my current location, but from the way the wind's howling outside I'm pretty sure I'm in the North Sea. I'm on an oil-rig, or rather what's left of one. There's some stumps sticking out of the water nearby, so it was probably one of those multi-rig complexes. It's pretty bashed up. What wasn't smashed away by the tidal wave is all bent sideways like God blew on it. I'm lucky to be here though.
When the building next to my "Den" lit up, I bolted down to get as many supplys out as I could. Tinned food, batteries, fuel. I got a few cases into my boat before something smacked into the side of it and riquocette'd off against my side. It cut a nasty little gash in me too.
My "boat", by the way, was a old tanker back. Best guess the tsunami smashed it against a building and tore a chunk out of the top of it. I pried the trailer off it, and got the water out. It floats nice, and the spine it was mounted to the trailer with makes an okay keel. No power, but running a cable out I could pull it across. Good displacement so it could take a fair bit of weight. I put a tarp over the broken end to stop the rain getting in and flooding it. Someone must have spotted that, because the group of Townies torched that building to get me out in the open I'm sure.
Those little feral gangs of teenagers with mouths bigger than their brains.. it's like Lord of the Flies (I think, never read the book or watched the film). These ones obviously got themselves tooled up well from a sporting store. I hate arrows possibly more than guns. They're silent and disturbingly pointy.
I should try and make one.
I jumped into my boat for cover and managed to drag a few more things inside that were sitting on tarp on that little dock, but they were firing at me a lot now. 12 kids can get off quite a rate of fire together.
I let off a flare gun at them. It's the only ranged thing I had, but it made them scatter just long enough for me to grab my blade and slice the cable. Once I was down and they figured I was alone, they'd have come across it and looted my stuff. I damn near cried when it looked like the boat was gonna drift toward them and not away. It just seemed so fucking unfair.
They started screaming in anger and firing again about the time I realised that wasn't going to happen, and I drifted away from them on the tide. The flood waters have been starting to receede, so I was heading toward the Thames estury.
I let myself drift until I thought I'd be out of their range, using a pole to try and ease the tank around any obvious obsticles. I had some steel cable and rope in there, so tried to lasso something and tie up the barge again, but the rope kept missing, or slipping free, and eventualy it snapped. 4 yards of rope isn't enough to lasso with, and the steel cable was way too heavy.
I was shaking from the adrenalin and the cold, so dug out my arctic rain jacket from the pack (no, I didn't panic enough to leave it on the roof, but my tent's still there). I used my pole to hook things out of the water. Mostly broken furniture and wood. Though I caught a body at one point, but it turned out to be an old window-dummy. She's lashed to the bow now as my ships figurehead. Wish I had a camera, but then then I don't know if I'll get enough bandwidth to upload this entry, let alone images.
I didn't see anyone else while I was drifting, and I'll freely say I got hella scared when I saw land disappear into the distance. I pretty much collapsed after that.
It was dark and cold when I woke up. A thick steel tanker doesn't insulate well. No lining and no residue, so must have been tankering grain perhaps. I dunno.
I used some of the battery power-tools I'd gotten (12v only, so I can run them off car-batts if need be) to put in some eyelets from the top of the tank, and rig myself a hammock off the cold metal. Also used some of my leftover rope to put a safety-line around the open end and tie the tarp down tight. The cargo was the ballast to stop her rolling. It's not bad, but seawater's ruined a lot of it. No bilge pump for me.
I couldn't bring myself to be awake for long. The sky's so dark I can't even tell if it's day or night. The sea was pretty choppy. I just switched off, staring at the ceiling in pitch blackness. Not for the first time since impact, my mind just shattered.
It must have been a couple of days, but I could be wrong, but I woke up to the smell of smoke. The air was choking and I couldn't seem to wake myself up properly. I now think it must have been the amount of CO2 in the air, poisoning me, but I could see light behind the tarpaulin for the first time in what seemed like forever. I grappled my way to the end of the boat and damn near tore the cover open.
I may be the only person alive to have seen Europe burn.
The whole horizon was a deep red, with the bright yellow of flames licking the underside of the clouds and lightning bursting back down into it. I thought there was snow first as well, the waves were capped with it and it was already settling in my hair. But it was warm and grey. A rain of ash. Can you imagine that? I've seen footage of volcanos and the mess they leave, but there's no rock and pummice in this. Just fine ash and a full half the horizon glowing like a hole in the skin of the earth.
I've had a lot of time to think about it since, but after I saw that the foul air got to me again and I damn-near passed out. I have vague memories of the glow bobbing up and down over the edge of the of the boat as it rolled. The wind caught up, hot dry and salty, and kept me from drifting into that.. hell. I woke up again when it started raining again. Rain mixed with hail. Horrible black hail. But it knocked the bad out of the air.
I kept bailing for hours. The rain and waves were starting to flood the boat. My hands were bleeding from the sharp edges of the hull, and blistered from hauling buckets of water. The first I knew about the rig was when lightning hit it. It's fucking frightning that something that big can sneak up on you in the dark, and then light up like that. I was seeing echoes after it hit, so got to analyse the image in my head. Damn near blinded me though for a good half hour.
I grabbed the cable and the paddle I'd made up from the wood and paddled as hard as I could for it. 20 yards is a fucking long way in that weather, and I thought I'd drift right past it. There were cables in the water though, which I managed to snag and pulled myself in with. I've been here since.
It's all desserted except for "Charlie", who was in the crane's cab. He stank pretty bad, but had some real nice boots. But there's a diesel generator too! I had to peel off the intakes and clear them out, and now it runs. There's only one fuel tank left though, so I only run it up for short periods and try and eek it out. There's some tinned food and the communications hut. Crew quarters are pretty much wasted, and the helipad's bent all the way back across the deck. The crane works though! I used it to haul out my cargo, then pull the boat out of the water. I've been doing some proper work on her since to make it seaworthy. Tidied up that hole, added a hatch and a couple of portholes (pulled off the rig's lower decks). Still hooking up a bilge-pump of sorts. I want to get it right if I can, because I don't know how long it'll be until I have acess to mains-power level tools again. Going to chop some of the big steel pipe here to make some pontoons too.
I'm sleeping in the communications hut. There's a satelite internet unit here, which I can just about understand and will hopefully be uploading this with. There's a short-wave radio here too, but I have no idea how to work it. It's a big marine set. Once I confirm they work, I'm going to try and rip them out and take them with me in the boat. The generator's way too big and heavy to even fit in the boat though, so not sure what to do there. If I can find a smaller generator or an alternator or something, I might be able to make a wind-turbine to put on a mast.
I figure I can have the boat done in another week or so, then I'll be out of here. There's food and power, but it's still very limited. I need to make new stores. I aught to name the boat. I'm thinking perhaps "The Wanderer", which is good since I haven't a clue where I am. I'm going to head south-west if possible to try and find the coast, then follow it. Will hopefully be able to get some stuff from any ruins along the coast.
Got the little inflatable dingy from the emergency stores here, so if I can make an anchor I can use it to go ashore.
The test run of the internet link managed to get through. The lightning and cloud cover's really harming signel. It's started snowing for real now, so it's getting real cold. Bandwidth's limited to about old modem speed. Got Macavity's message.
Dude, if you're reading this, don't come for me. I've nearly drowned on a stretch of water less than 100miles wide. Don't try and cross the atlantic. Things will be bad at your end, and they'll get worse. Secure your position. Don't waste your resources on this. Even if you made it over, we'd never be able to find each-other and you'd be up against survivors who'd want everything you've got with you. You stay where you are and maybe you can go a lot longer without seeing streets full of rotting dead, or adding people against you to them. You've only lost a car so far, don't rush to lose your hummanity too.
If I can figure out the radio and get power for it, I'll try and tune in. I'll try for 18:00GMT for hour periods if power will allow. It'll probably be weeks at least until then though.