Malika returned home from the sleepover at the flats to find her home stripped of herparents things and replaced by plain walls and plainer furniture. Not only had herhome been completely redecorated without her consent, but there were threecomplete strangers sat in in HER living room.
Two scuttled away while thethird, their leader, sat her down toexplain. His name was CaptainGrant Bellamy, and he and hisassociates were sent by thegovernment to look after thisdistrict and needed a base ofoperations. They had heard thishouse’s occupants had died in thefire, so had moved in.Had they known she had survivedand was only down the street theywould never have stripped itwithout her consent.They would reimburse her for theinconvenience and mental traumaof loss of her dead parentspossessions of course… but theywould need to stay.
Malika went to her bedroom tosee of anything of hers wasleft, to find it had been turnedinto a dormitory. A womanthere tried to calm her down.She introduced herself as RubyMires, and apologised again formaking Malika’s awfulsituation even harder. Shehoped that Malika wouldstay, and they could be friends.Besides, Malika could be a helpto them. She was in the policecadets wasn’t she? Perhapstheir purpose, helping thecommunity, might help distracther from the death of herparents.
Malika agreed she might help them, but was in no mood to become friends just now.She spent the day watching them plan how to rebuild the town and gain the residentstrust. That night she slept in her room, now shared with Ruby and the third member oftheir group, Lucas Hobb.
It had been a couple of dayssince the fire, and there hadbeen no reprisals. Edwarddecided it was safe to emergefrom his bunker. Warrensurprised him by giving him abear hug rather than ahandshake to express hisgratitude. His family were allalive, not everyone had beenso lucky.
Megan was the first out, and was amazedto walk into rain. She had never seen rainbefore, having lived her whole life in theartificially sunny Appaloosa Plains. Shesupposed the government must havefinally turned off the machine thatcancelled all weather except forsunshine.
The Baileys house was a burnt outwreck, so Teresa headed for the lightsof the flats. Her best friend Bernicerushed out to embrace her, ignoringthe rain. She had thought her friendsfamily to all be dead, and her reliefwas overwhelming.
Everyone in the Street was nowaccounted for. The group ofneighbours went to see theofficial looking man who hadstuck a sign on the front of theWilliam’s house.While they waited for someone toanswer the door the Baileys werefilled in on what they hadmissed, conversation rangingfrom the fire, to those they hadlost and how they were going toafford to rebuild.Eventually Malika stuck her headout and told them CaptainBellamy was out, but had leftemergency rations and clothes forthem all. He would address themformally tomorrow, they shouldpresent themselves here at 9am.
They did as the were asked, feeling a little strange in their almost identical outfits. Onlya few kept their own clothes on, not caring about making a good first impression.Bellamy was conducting a census, and deciding who needed the most help, and inwhat order he should rebuild the Street.
Bellamy interviewed them all indivually, spending more time withorphans Annette and Julian. Bellamy trusted Annette to look afterherself for now, but Julian was just a child…
He asked Julian a lot of questions including hisliving arrangements before the fire and whetherhe had any contact details for his father…In the end though, he ruled that Julian couldstay with the Kasitovas. They were anestablished family unit. Bernice was thrilled, sheand Gracie had worried he’d be taken away.
Bellamy sent them to a temporaryholding facility in town while theywaited for a new house to be built. Hedidn’t want them staying in Simon’s flatfor some reason.In their room, Bernice and her familychanged back into their ownclothes, the emergency ones wet fromthe amount they’d been nervouslysweating.Bernice, normally so calm and sureburst into tears from the suddenrelease from tension. Julian could staywith them, she could look after herdead friends son.Sonja looked on in concern, not likingher mum being upset. She would do allshe could to help.
Deasil Street No. 3No. 1 Malika WilliamsEdward and Allain Poeson Captain Grant Bellamy Ruby Mires and Lucas Hobb No. 2 No. 4 The Bailey family The Kasitova Family, Warren, Teresa, James and Megan Bernice, Gracie and Sonja Emma Marshall. and Julian Merrihall. No. 5 No. 6 Empty Simon Lewes Patrick and Betty Nasir No. 7 Annette Vickers RIP… Ariette Vickers, Ambrose Merrihall, Alfred Hennrick & Aimee and Marley Williams.