Interviews of the Apocalypse – Chapter 9 (Alexandra and Liam)

The following interview was transcribed from a recorded session.

AA – “Good morning, good morning. I’ve been meaning to talk to you two for a while but I understand you’re very busy at the moment. I’ll try to keep this to the point, forgive a tangent or two! Now then, for the record please state your personal details.”

LD – “Liam Dury, sixty five year old male, origin South England I guess.”

AB – “Alexandra Booth, sixty three year old female, origin South England too.”

AA – “Excellent, thank you. Now I understand you two are responsible for the medical health of those in this town.”

AB – “We’re the closest thing this town has to doctors anymore.”

LD – “Yeah, we just try our best to make people better. We also try to enforce and encourage a strict hygiene programme to minimise the risks of infections and viruses and the like.”

AA – “So, just to clarify, what do you mean when you say you’re the closest thing this town has to doctors?”

AB – “Well…”

LD – “We’re dentists, or, well, we were dentists. Before…the thing, you know?”

AA – “Difficult to forget. I understand the study of dentistry came with a fundamental education in general medicine also.”

AB – “Oh yes, it did.”

LD – “That’s why we stepped up when we found this place. Before we arrived, there were quite a few sick and injured people living here. Basic things, but they could have died if we hadn’t arrived.”

AB – “The two trucks of medical supplies didn’t hurt either.”

AA – “Two trucks?”

AB – “Yes, we managed to find them. Wasn’t that long after we…came back to this new world. We headed to our local hospital, evidently they were just receiving a delivery.”

LD -“Yeah, turns out scavengers and raiders don’t have much need of medical supplies. I think they checked the truck, didn’t find weapons and food and just moved on.”

AB – “Lucky for us really.”

AA – “Lucky for this town. Lucky that you found them too. Which leads me nicely on to my first question, how did you arrive here?”

AB – “Well, like I say we found the trucks and we started driving one each. We found a few groups of survivors on the road, they all seemed to be heading this way.

LD – “I think a few weeks went by and we had ourselves a nice convoy. Our two trucks, a couple of buses, a food truck which was handy. Must have been over one hundred of us by the time we reached this place.”

AA – “That’s quite the journey. How did the townsfolk greet you when you arrived?”

AB – “Well, we went to see Boss like you’re supposed to.”

LD – “We told him what we did and what we brought along with us, including the other survivors.”

AB – “I thought he’d be resistant to the idea of letting so many new people in, we’d have to twist his arm a little with the medical supplies.”

LD – “But no, he let us all in. After we’d all been checked, though what for I’m not sure. We’d already given the convoy a medical all-clear.”

AA – “Well, it’s a strange time. There’s enough for people to be afraid of that they can seem a little paranoid when welcoming strangers in to their community.”

LD – “It was still surprising though, I was expecting the end of the world to have more…hostility.”

AA – “As were we all, but I think we’ve suffered quite enough so far.”

AB – “We haven’t seen a lot of the problems, but we’ve heard plenty of stories in the village. Can’t say I’m sorry we missed it.”

AA – “There’s been a great many problems in this world. To suffer through them all and live…now that would be a miracle.”

LD – “If there was a higher power, I doubt they would let this happen to the world.”

AA – “Actually, in most of the holy books of the past, the holy entity often killed more people and did more damage than the evil entity. But enough of the old world ridiculousness, we’ll move on to our next question. How are you operating in the town currently?”

AB – “We tend to split most of our time between treating the current patients and training the next generation of doctors as best we can.”

LD – “There’s not much call for the very serious stuff, most major diseases seem to have died with the rest of the world. Surgeries are highly unnecessary, unless someone seriously injures themselves. We can teach the basics of medicine, sanitation and hygiene and that’s all we seem to need really.”

AA – “Please go on.”

AB – “We have a large structure near the centre of the town that we use as a hospital base, this village is actually rather well laid out.”

LD – “Surprisingly so, considering how many refugees we seem to get on a weekly basis. Someone really thought ahead.”

AA – “It’s interesting, isn’t it? I’ve done an aerial sketch of the town and it’s quite fascinating.”

LD – “I’d like to see that sometime.”

AB – “Me too.”

AA – “Excellent, if there’s time after the interview I’ll be more than happy. Now then, speaking of the interview, I believe we were talking about your operations in the town.”

LD – “Ah, yes, indeed. So we’ve got a hospital facility, or at least the best we could build. We’ve also got a storage facility attached to that, and our own home besides.”

AA – “It seems as though the one in charge of this town seems to know something about necessities.”

AB – “He’s a lovely guy, and his wife. Have you had the chance to interview them yet?”

AA – “I was talking to them just the other day in fact, I’ll be interviewing them very soon.”

AB – “You’ll probably get to know more than any of us!”

AA – “Let’s hope so! Now then, moving on, we’ve established you were dentists before the Fall, but can you remember other details?”

AB – “Not many, though we’ve tried a lot.”

LD – “Yeah, it’s all a bit fuzzy and we get a massive headache whenever we tried too hard or too long.”

AA – “Any details, no matter how small, would be fine.”

AB – “Well, we established we were students, I was nearing my final exams and Liam here had already begun working in a private practice.”

LD – “The rest of what I can remember seemed fairly normal, we lived together, we spent time with family and friends when we could. Anything other than that and I can’t quite recall it.”

AB – “Yet I remember everything I learned in my studies.”

AA – “Yes, many people seem to share that experience. Personal memories are near-impossible to recall but your subconscious seems to store our education. Odd indeed how the human mind works. But anyway, thank you for that, we shall press on! Now, let’s see, ah yes, try to remember how you found shelter before the Fall.”

AB – “Oh, well, I, that is we…uhm…we…”

LD – “We can’t remember, we’ve tried to think about that too. It seemed like a primal instinct to flee danger and find somewhere safe to be. I can’t even remember where we hid.”

AB – “Me either.”

AA – “That’s fine, that’s fine. Thank you for trying anyway. We’ll move on again, shall we? Here’s an interesting question, how do you get paid for your work?”

AB – “How do you mean?”

AA – “Well, people are paid for their work, doctors and dentists are no exception to this rule. How do you get paid for your work?”

LD – “Well…we don’t really…I guess we don’t need to be.”

AB – “This town gave us a home when ours was destroyed, gave us the responsibility of the health of the people here. It doesn’t work like it used to, there’s no tax, no insurance, it works so much easier than that. We scavenge what we need and use that to treat people so they can continue working on the town.”

LD – “That’s true, we make sure the farmers can farm, the builders can build and patch up scavenging and Hunter teams if they return injured.  It’s a functional society, circular in how it works. We help other so they can help others and so on until it comes back around. In the end, we can all eat well, sleep safely and live in relative comfort because we rely on each other without the overbearing need for material goods.”

AA – “A very healthy way of looking at it too. Help others to help themselves, I like that philosophy.”

AB – “We’ve had the chance to start again, we shouldn’t make the same mistakes as last time.”

AA – “You’re not the first one I’ve heard say that, everyone here seems to share that sentiment.”

LD – “It’s quite a beautiful place, this town.”

AA – “A shining beacon of humanity, no less. But let’s move on to something less nostalgic. Can I ask the two of you a personal question?”

LD – “Sure.”

AB – “Of course.”

AA – “Are the two of you…together? In a romantic sense?”

LD – “We are, have been since before the Fall.”

AA – “I’ve met several other couples, they all seem to have married…themselves. No official ceremony, though I suppose the need for that has passed now. Can I ask, why have the two of you not done such a thing?”

AB – “Well…never thought about it really…”

LD – “It’s…well, it’s just not bene on our minds. We’re together, marriage seems a little bit pointless now really.”

AB – “We’re too busy really.”

AA – “Fair enough, just thought I’d ask. Now then, we’ll circle back a tad, what did the two of you first do when you came…back into this world?”

AB – “I think…yes, we went back to our old flat.”

LD – “Our cars were still there, after a little tinkering we managed to get them working again.”

AB – “We would have stayed longer but something just felt…wrong about the whole place. An itch between the shoulder blades, y’know?”

LD – “We packed up most of our stuff and moved on. Looking for others, never managed to find anyone.”

AB – “Until we went to our medical school. It’s a big facility, there was a chance someone had taken refuge there.”

LD – “But nothing, nobody. That’s when we decided to go to the hospital, of all the places it’s where we felt most comfortable.”

AB – “That’s when we saw the trucks. We checked the hospital, no sign of life for a good long while.”

LD – “So, we took the trucks and went on our way.”

AA – “You mentioned you found other survivors, what made you take the road that they were on?”

AB – “One road seemed as good as any other. Lucky we took that one really, who knows where we’d end up.”

LD – “Yeah, we found the first group of people. They mentioned a town they were headed toward, we just sped up the process.”

AB – “And made sure they were healthy when we all arrived.”

AA – “Very interesting stuff, thank you both very much for your time. I won’t take up any more of it, I’m sure you’re very busy people.”

LD – “Think nothing of it.”

AB – “Actually, we haven’t had you in for your checkup yet.”

AA – “Oh, I assure you I’m fit and well. No need to worry over me.”

END

A few notes here, though less than usual.

This interview marks the first where there was no obvious reason for the couple to head in this particular direction. It seems random chance did have a small part to play, lucky they found the other survivors heading here.

Very lucky indeed when you consider they seem to be the only ones here with correct medical training, though not strictly speaking overall human medicine.Still, they seem like good people and it’s good to know that someone is making sure the town keeps a certain standard of health, and training others to contribute besides. An interesting couple indeed.

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