An electrician climbs a small hill, about two stories high. It’s incline is at 45 degrees at its four corners, and closer to 30 degrees on its sides. She is pulling an 8AWG cable off a reel up with her, alligator clip on the end, destined to clip it to the lightning arrester copper pole located at the nearest corner to her climb. The lighting arrester is green with corrosion, damp environments tend to turn copper that color. She clips the alligator clip onto the 1” diameter copper pole that points two feet off the building roof, and rubs the clips jaws back and forth to ensure a decent connection for her test. On the slidey hike back down, she notices there is shit everywhere, from the deer. She stops midway down the hill to take a breath and look around. She is surrounded by hills just like this in every direction as far as she can see. Hundred of buildings buried up to the roof, whatever inside is unknown to her, not her job to know.
She notices there is also deer everywhere around her, eating, chewing, lying around the freshly mowed grass. They’re probably inbred, she assumes, they’re all mangey and ugly, and stuck inside this giant compound trapped inside the 10 ft tall chain link fence, with barbed wire lining the top. She takes a moment to stare closer wondering if she will see any with two heads or with extra tails. She continues to descend the hill, walking nearly sideways back down to the base of the hillside of the building, through a small ditch. Her feet sliding around slightly in her steel toed boots. Modern day Canada and its manufacturers still aren’t making decent fitting work boots for small feet. They’re not good for hiking anyways, she thinks, wishing she brought her Merrell hiking shoes instead.
The rain is threatening to dampen her agenda, so she rushes to the other reel to hike the 100 or so feet in the other direction. She puts a small stake in the ground and clips the second alligator clip to that. The third clip goes in the middle of both reels, and the megger clips to all three points, so she can meter the resistance of the lightning arrester. 2.71 ohms. Under 10 ohms is the goal apparently, so she records the number and calls it a pass. Then she takes it all apart and moves onto the next corner.
Each building gets two opposing corners tested. She has her work cut out for her. To keep herself company she plays loud hip hop on the work van stereo with the motor running and the doors wide open so the sound will travel up to her on top of the hills. No one is around to complain, except the odd other work van that drives by, and the deers, so she figures she can turn it into a bit of a fun workout.
The radio makes an announcement. Its the news.
‘…misunderstood looters cause fire that burns down boutique pharmacy. They were trying to keep warm, and didn’t know the firecrackers would bounce, let alone enter the decaying roof attic space and light the spider webs alight. The neighbourhood smelt like a viagra spa until firepeople put the fire out.’ The music then resumes.
The electrician writes down her test results and is disgusted by the amount of deer shit she has to reel the cable back through to coil it back onto the reel. Mental note to herself, wash her hands before touching her face or eating. Even though she touches her pen, recording binder, the material, the van steering wheel… eww. Revolting trade life, she wishes her life smelt like a toxic viagra spa on fire. Who knows what else is in this grass considering the secrecy of this jobsite.
She got in the van and drove around to the other side of the building mound. Then, she carried the two reels and the meter to the base of the buildings opposing corner. On her way back up the 45 degree slope to tie on the next tester cable, she heard the radio turn itself to a crackles.
Dang, must have lost reception, she thought in a pause, then continued up to the top. She was expecting it to reset itself to music again, but once she reached the top, and clipped the alligator clip onto the lightning arrester, she turned around to look back to the van, and it was still in crackle mode.
From up there she noticed for the first time the creeping fog that was rapidly blowing in, making the air thick and hard to see through. She could almost barely see the work van and the whole place was spooky and creepy. While she was staring at the work van, the crackling stopped, and chattering high pitched voices started up. She looked around the dismal jobsite again from the top of the hill, and noticed she couldn’t see as far as a few moments ago on the opposing corner, this fog was thickening up creepy like. She could barely see the two deers staring at her from under the nearest tree. She started her descent down the corner, toe first this time, letting her toes slip forward in her boots so they pretty much touched the front end. The radio chatter got louder as she approached. It sounded like they were discussing grass?
Yep. the two chatering radio personalities were discussing the nutritional value of grass. Weird! Lol she thought, so now people are going to eat their lawns? They’ll have to compete with the deers, she laughed to herself. Since the fog was so thick and and creepy she decided to go sit in the van to see if the fog would blow past, time for a coffee break anyways.
The nasal voice on the radio said:
“Gorse, however is full of vitamins, and will give a nice coat. Gives the trots mind you if you overdo it, but you can always tell who is getting their gorse by the mange on their coats.”
What the? This station is weird. She considered changing it to try to find some hip hop again, but was intrigued and kept listening.
“Is that human still running up and down the hills?”
“No, its hiding out in the metal mover.”
The electricians mouth gapped open. She was suddenly alarmed. It almost sounded like they were talking about…. her…?
The wind picked up and whistled through the crack in the van, and the nasal voices continued their radio chatter.
“When the human is gone and we can safely resume our ways, it’s your turn to be coordinator.”
“Thank you, I would be honoured.”
The electrician looked around her from inside the van, and she spotted again the two deet under the nearest tree, both staring at her.
Huh, this is freaky, she thought. She stared back at the deer.
“Mullivan, the human stares at us.”
“Do you think the radio waves and human brain activity have connected again? The fog sometimes helps the frequencies link up.”
“Maybe. Lets’ leave range just in case it can hear us.”
“Yes. Its’ too bad, they can be so capable, but are still too violent and primitive. One day they will evolve beyond self destruction and the rest of us will be able to collaborate with them. They’re still a few hundred years away from that, poor things. One day their senses will develop and their petty capitalism and civilization will phase out.”
The fog rolled on by and the deers frolicked off together. The electrician stared with an open mouth in their direction, and reached her hand out to press the button that locked the doors. Click!
As the deer figures disappeared into the fog, the radio fuzz crackled again, and then the hip hop came back on. She stared at the grasses waving frantically in the wind, and listened a few long moments at the whistling wind as it picked up and let off randomly. She decided to take a really long coffee break today. The electrician drove off site, and made up a fake sickness to leave work early, visibly shaken and unable to explain why.
9 km away, inside one of the bunkers, sat two scientists. They were sitting behind a series of computers screens, with head phones and microphones, buttons galore in front of them. Pieces of robotic deers, and buckets of realistic looking fake deer shit lay behind the pair. On the screens were images of where the woman had been working, and a shot of where her van had been parked. One was taking notes and the other clicks some buttons. The two deers slowly ate their way back to the tree.