Chapter 10: Doomsday

He doesn’t look like one of the Homeless, but he is certainly not “mainstream” as he ambles up the main street of Fractal city, screaming out to anyone unfortunate enough to be present or passing, about how the local government has been criminally destroyed the fragile fabric of Fractal’s society by closing the public toilets. He ambles into the Favorite Bar/Cafe and orders a take-away coffee, all the while continuing his unhingingly loud tirade against the dunny closures. The staff give a concerned frown and nod in agreement, as the barista machine steams and spurts out another superb coffee. “I will have to crap in the park now,” he disturbingly loudly tells Pretty Assistant Manageress. “You will have to put up with all the public coming in to use your toilet now,” he roars at Smiling Irish Assistant Manager. “This is the end for this country,” he bellows to the World as he walks out the door with his takeaway coffee.

***
Fractal City is the focus of World attention. The piece of space debris, believed to have originated from Mars and estimated to weigh a ton, is about to hit Earth, with impact anticipated to be a Club in the outskirts of Fractal City. This could be an Extinction Level Event (ELE). This could take us back to the time of the dinosaurs. At the very least, it could set Fractal Club Culture back more than half a century, to how things were in the 1950s. It may be only 15 minutes of fame, but the local “entrepreneurs” (read: con artists) are milking it for all it’s worth. The recession-smacked, genuine local traders reckon it’s a Godsend (or a boon from Buddha, or even if it’s Allah’s anger, it still technically brings an economic benefit). The people of Fractal are torn by indecision: should they be outside to witness this historic event? The End of Days? Or should they be in their hastily erected, local government built bunkers and adhering to the survival guide published – at a special price for Local Council – by the Big City Deputy Mayor’s partner but of course completely independent of her official role? Or should they just get blotto at the historic Esbend Hotel, and pay the outrageous special event surcharge entry fee? The Favorite Cafe/Bar has set up a mini marquee on the footpath, which may be pushing the boundaries of council bylaws but what the hell on a day like today, and is doing a trade greater then even on Gay Pride March Day. The Fractal Homeless are lounging about out the front of the Heathrow Private Hotel, helping themselves to the coffee dispenser in the 7/Eleven across the road, and aggressively “offering” to mind the elderly residents’ little dogs while they do their shopping …. for a surprise subsequent “repatriation” fee, of course. Those that are lucid are wondering what all the fuss is about, as every day is like their last day anyway. Snow is marching about, decked out in the brightest fluoro vest he could scrounge to get attention, selling mini bags of “Astral Experience”. The Hun’s columnist, Nutt, is on the ABC’s new PayTV channel hosted by Fox News and is blogging live from expected Ground Zero. Well, that’s not quite true … but it’s only a technicality that the camera is fixed on a life-size cardboard cutout of Nutt. Close inspection would reveal that the image next to him was once John Howard but has hastily been tarted up to now resemble Julie Bishop. “My fans, my faithful followers,” Nutt’s keyboard screams out across the Internet superhighway, from where he really is: the Liberal Party HQ bunker deep under The Australian’s offices in Holt St, Surrey Hills, Sydney. “This catastrophe confronting all of us today is a direct result of the previous Labor Government’s failed and flawed excuse for a Border Protection Policy,” Nutt bangs out. “Our stoic and brave Liberal Coalition team has Turned Back the Boats! But if only the PM would listen to ME, and the magnificent leadership team I have put in place around him, we might have even averted this tragic predicament that’s been forced upon us by the Labor  Party, who are more interested in lining the pockets of their corrupt union mates, than good economic, social and security policy. If only the PM would listen to ME and MY Nutt Report …” Meanwhile, the Club Cleaner has taken up his strategic position on the Back Green, and is muttering to himself: “Hmmmm I bet this Mars Ton is all hype. This can’t be any worse than cleaning up after that football club’s bucks night.” Overhead, the clear cobalt sky is brightening with an orange tinge as the ELE Object enters the upper exosphere layer around the Earth.  Nutt: “This is what happens when we drop our guard on Border Protection! This is the direct legacy of Labor’s Dudd and Gizzard Governments!” Cleaner sets his his legs slightly apart and firmly plants his feet on the ground, crouching slightly, and looks up at the brightening sky … The sky is starting to blaze yellow as the ELE Object now enters the thermosphere … Nutt: “Where are the basket weaving Greens now, eh? They promised to save the planet! Where are they now, I ask you, my loyal fans?” Cleaner hoists his leaf (ciggie butt) blower to his shoulder and, slowly raising it skywards in the direction of the ELE Object, mutters: “I should’ve done that free barista course under the previous Labor Government. I’m gonna ask for the Board for cash payments after this …” The air is noticeably warmer, no birds or insects can be heard and more than half the horizon is now a bright yellow as the ELE Object penetrates the mesosphere … Nutt: “See, this is the true cause of global warming! I told them so! I’ve been telling them so for years now! It’s not caused by our well managed and socially conscionable industries and benevolent mining magnates, it’s the end result of years of Labor Government neglect – no border security, taxpayers’ money thrown at wasteful environment schemes, carbon trading nonsense …” Cleaner pushes back his London workman’s cap, squints with one eye and takes aim with his blower, muttering: “Bugger, I knew I should have had that fourth ‘lemonade’ just to steady my hand …” The entire sky is now red, with a bluish fireball that seems to be growing smaller but more intense by the second, as the ELE Object plunges through the stratosphere … Nutt: “Let’s see if the PM will listen to ME now! We must Turn Back the Meteorites! We can not allow the Jihadist Terrorists to take advantage of this situation! We must come together as One Nation, united by our common struggle to break free of the shackles of social policy. We must see this event as a Team Builder and we must forge an Industrial and Mining led recovery Program!” Nutt allows a reader’s comment, written by his junior assistant, to be posted: “If we aren’t all oxidised, then we must be galvanised!” Sent by Loyal Nutter, Brighton. Cleaner flicks the blower switch to Maximum, muttering: “This is the first time anyone’s mentioned job KPIs …” A tremendous sonic “BOOM” shatters all the glass in Fractal, as the ELE Object seemingly explodes through the troposphere with a blinding flash … Nutt ducks under his desk, over a thousand kilometres away. Cleaner mutters, “bastards”, closes his eyes, grits his teeth and pulls the trigger on his blower …
Atmospheric friction has reduced the ELE Object to about the size of a golf ball as it collides with the stream of air from Cleaner’s blower. It’s just enough force to make the ELE object veer slightly off towards the Fractal Lake Golf Course and straight into the Ninth Hole cup, where it lands with loud “PLONK” and rattle. A wisp of smoke and steam wafts up out of the hole, which is at the feet of a startled perpetual Greens Candidate, who had been busy officiating and cutting the yellow ribbon tied around a clump of tea trees to launch the latest local government sponsored, Prostitutes Collective initiative – an all-girl troupe of scantily clad Glum Street “artisans” performing an instrumental piece, by harmoniously banging together tea tree branches, called the “Melaleuca Malady”.Greens Candidate falls to his knees, raises his arms to the heavens in supplication, and cries: “My political epiphany! I shall form the Golfing Enthusiasts Party, run for the Senate and hold the Balance of Power!!!”

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