Easy As Falling Off a Bike pt 3167

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The Daily Dormouse.
(aka Bike, est. 2007)
Part 3167
by Angharad

Copyright© 2017 Angharad

  
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This is a work of fiction any mention of real people, places or institutions is purely coincidental and does not imply that they are as suggested in the story.
*****

I related the incident in all its glory for Diane. Thankfully it wasn’t one of my students but that doesn’t mean some of them weren’t doing the same or similar. There’s a website which sells these things specifically for cheating in exams, though they don’t say that, they have other applications at the same time they don’t decline to sell them to students or presumably advise them against such purchases.

Sadly, it won’t stop it happening but it might prevent those who were thinking of it from doing so and instead using old fashioned but tried and tested methods like revision. As this is the second or third one I’ve caught, they’ll be less likely to try it while I’m invigilating. I wonder if they’ll ever work out how his equipment shorted out and singed his hair—the smell was disgusting.

I had a meeting in the afternoon. I cancelled it and went home, changed into my walking clothes and went off bird watching at Langstone Harbour or more precisely, Farlington Marshes, the place we went looking for harvest mouse nests. I managed two hours of peace and quiet before I had to go and collect the girls from school. I’d also pay for my indulgence, I’d instructed Diane to send on several documents I needed to check before the morning, when there was a meeting of the University council. I’d raised the matter of cheating and plagiarism before the incident this morning and was speaking to it. I’d left some notes for Diane to type up and send on to me. I’d check them after dinner and print them off ready for the morning.

University council meetings are worse than the board meetings of the bank, though we do usually get a good lunch. As one of the senior academic staff these days, I have to attend but I suppose I don’t have to enjoy it.

I collected the girls and we arrived home. They wanted to know why I was wearing jeans and a camouflage jacket. I told them I was training as a sniper to keep out immigrants after Brexit. Only Danielle really knew what a sniper was, the others made guesses which were all over the shop. Trish, who I thought would be familiar with the term, wasn’t. Her main understanding of sniping was to fire sharp comments at people not projectiles. Why I should have expected them to know is perhaps my failing. Of course I then had to explain what it was all about and how specialist soldiers, who were highly trained, could shoot someone from over a mile away using high powered rifles and telescopic sights.

“But why?” asked Livvie.

“To kill ’em,” said Hannah.

“I know that, but why d’you want to kill someone you’ve probably never met?” She had a fair point. Why would you?

I explained that I was joking earlier, and they all laughed saying that they knew that, as Danielle succinctly put it, “Mum, we know you were joking, you couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a shovel.”

“She could with a bow an’ arrow,” defended Trish.

“You ever fired a gun?” asked Livvie.

“I fired a shotgun and nearly broke my shoulder, and I also fired a Kalashnikov or AK47, an assault rifle.”

“Assault rifle?” queried Trish.

“Yes, it’s used by troops in battle, so can operate at all sorts of distances from close up to about 500 yards.”

“That’s a long way, Mummy,” suggested Livvie.

“It is. But battles often range over miles, especially when they have tanks and things which can fire shells several miles, mainly at other tanks.”

“How can they see that far?”

“They might have satellites observing things or spotter planes or drones, they might be using radar or some other electronic device, so they’re seeing things on screens and targeting their enemies by computer. It gets more like computer games only with very expensive toys. Some of these cruise missile things that can be fired from submarines, or ships or elsewhere cost a million dollars each.”

“That’s ridiculous,” said Livvie, “That’s so expensive, can’t they buy them in Poundland or somewhere cheaper? I mean that’s more than Daddy’s car cost, the new one.”

“How much was that then?” asked Trish.

“About eighty grand he said.”

“Wossat?” asked Mima.

“Daddy’s car cost eighty thousand pounds,” Trish informed her. I knew it would be quite a lot as my own car was worth about forty five or fifty new. But to hear children talking about thousands of pounds like it was nothing was disturbing, especially when you consider that most people in the UK only earn about twenty six thousand and there are plenty who don’t get anywhere near that. Considering how much I earn it can be quite salutary. How much Simon gets with bonuses, I don’t wish to know, it would horrify me. It frightens me that he drives a car that accelerate to 62mph in under four seconds, it’s like a jet fighter compared to the average family saloon. Mind you mine can be pretty nippy when the need arises and I have driven it at over a hundred miles an hour, which considering the speed limit is seventy, is pushing my luck somewhat.

My mind went back to the day we drove to London in James’ Porsche Boxster. He gave me a go at driving it and we were attacked by those gangsters. I wonder if he knows he actually died that day, only my intercession with the universe kept his body and soul together, quite literally as it happened. The blue light fixed him up or at least stopped him shuffling off this mortal coil and I’m rather glad it did. Mind you he had about the same number of perforations as a tea bag, because they attacked us with that machine gun thingy and he fired back with his pocket cannon. The bang from that was deafening and he said it could fire through the engine block of the car they were driving. That’s like armour piercing bullets or whatever.

I remember reading about some of these firearms and they are truly awful with bullets that tumble as they hit you and travel up through your body ripping it to shreds as they go. There was a report I remember reading in one of our tabloid papers about a British special forces sniper in Iraq who was asked to do something about an ISIS machine gun post in a tower. He fired several armour piercing bullets through the walls of the building. Apparently there wasn’t enough left of the insurgents to bury as they were turned to mince meat by the bullets. He was only doing his job, but somehow he has to live with the fact that he took another person’s life.

Having done so myself, in self defence, it gives me bad dreams occasionally as I relive the incident of the car attacking us up in Scotland and I fired back with one of the mafia’s own guns which I’d obtained at the house where they were going to kill us. I regret having to do it rather than regret the act, such things should never be necessary in a civilised world.

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