Nathan was just the right man to head the first few hours of the day’s plans. He had joined the security teams on the ground as soon as he’d finished another night shift at the main house. He was tired but knew Sherdan had entrusted him with an important mission. People would need to be kept calm and the guards would need to be as polite as possible.
Nathan had an advantage none of the others had. He could tell what people were thinking. He could also project his own thoughts into someone else’s head as if he had said something to them. The first of these two abilities was perfect for pre-empting peoples reactions to being asked to leave.
As soon as his usual guard shift was over he reported to the guard house nearest the strike area. There a team waited for him.
“Right men, we need to be polite but efficient. We’re representing this country on one of its first diplomatic missions and we want to give a good impression.” Nathan smiled at his men. Everyone filed out to do their duty.
Eight men had backpacks on. The army wouldn’t realise they carried emitters for the shields and barriers in them. The soldiers would be pushed back as the guards advanced.
The eight fanned out along the perimeter side that was being expanded and began walking towards the edge. Nathan kept everyone else close behind.
They were careful to miss the housing, walking between them so the emitters didn’t reach any further than the brick walls of each house, so they would just push back the army. They wanted the people within their houses to continue sleeping.
A few rows of houses near the compound had already been evacuated by the army when they had first arrived. This only made Nathan’s job easier. They would be readily available for any new residents.
In the cover of night, the guards advanced on the resting soldiers. They soon shrunk back, feeling the affects of the moving barriers. The retreat was a shambles as the men rushed to get away from the unseen advancing walls.
Nathan smiled as his team took over the British barricade and abandoned defences. Everything was running smoothly and only the odd barking of a dog in the distance showed their progress had been noticed by anything other than the army.
Sherdan urged Nathan on from the command bunker, evidently excited. He in turn encouraged his own men forward.
After an hour had passed the entire targeted area was under their control. Each guard with a backpack was stationed to form a new perimeter, keeping all the soon-to-be refugees within the area and the army out.
As soon as everything was secure and just how he wished it Nathan led his security team to the first few houses. He split the groups into four and had them knock on the nearest doors. He waited and watched from a central location.
He concentrated hard on listening to each conversation as the doors were opened. The first was a little girl who had beaten her parents out of bed. She ran to fetch them, evidently a little scared.
The second door revealed an older mother. She had two teenage sons. The pair of men at her door launched into their rehearsed speech about who they were and why they were here. She started crying which finally attracted the attention of her children.
Nathan projected instructions to the guards on how to handle the situation, reminding them to stay calm and as non-threatening as possible. They asked the worried mother if she had anyone the family could go and stay with, until her insurance paid out. She nodded, brightening at the thought of insurance covering the financial side of things.
There was a possibility the evacuee’s insurance wouldn’t cover the house against being taken like this but that wasn’t a problem Nathan could address. He just had to get them all to leave as quickly as they could.
The third people to answer were equally amicable. They had been expecting to be moved from their houses anyway and were already partly packed. The three University girls went to sort their remaining possessions and phone their already worried parents to let them know they’d be coming home very soon.
Nathan had the groups that were done move on to the next houses. So far so good.
“Two houses packing. Only two hundred or so to go,” he said into his radio, reporting to Sherdan.
“Thank you Nathan. We’ll need to pick up the pace to get them all out by nightfall,” came the reply.
“Yes sir. I suggest sending in the extra men. We’ll need some help. There’s quite a few young children.” Nathan waited, listening to the parents at the first door. The father was trying to argue with the guards.
“They’re on their way. Give me a report in half an hour.” Sherdan’s voice commanded.
“Yes sir,” Nathan replied, only half listening.
“Tell them they have until midnight tonight to be packed and ready to go or they’ll be removed without their possessions, with force if necessary,” he sent into the head of the guard. He soon heard the guard repeat it to the irate father. The soldiers walked away to the next door before any more could be said.
The father contemplated following but his wife tugged on his arm and instead they retreated inside. Nathan sighed with relief. He wanted this to go well.
As the sky grew lighter, and each successive door was knocked on, Nathan grew more and more tired. Each new house presented a fresh reaction and with the extra security there were eight to concentrate on at a time. The remaining guards did useful things, like taking the people crates to pack into.
The single mother even made use of one of the male guards to help her load her car with the packed boxes as they were done with.
An argument soon broke out when an old lady, living alone, tried to go around to a friends house and tell her what was happening instead of packing her own things. Nathan sent a more mature female guard over to explain to the resident why she had to go back to her own house.
He lingered nearby as he listened to their conversation. The poor old woman had been very intimidated by the men and their uniform. Sending another woman to deal with the situation did the trick and she soon allowed herself to be walked back to her house.
“Make sure Annie hears it from you and not one of these big oafs. She’s a nervous one. They’ll scare her,” the old woman added. Nathan smiled when his guard assured her that her request would be granted.
“Well done,” he whispered into the guards head before switching his focus elsewhere.
Three hours later, just over a third of the residents had been informed and other than one house everyone was packing and sorting through their possessions. The army had tried to get into the area a couple of times but hadn’t succeeded. Nathan had a headache and knew he couldn’t keep using his ability much longer.
“Stay another hour if you can manage it. Use your power sparingly,” Sherdan requested. Nathan did as he was told, hoping the hour would pass without mishap. He only had to make it to half ten and he would be relieved from duty.
The occupants of the house currently troubling them did not seem to be there. Nathan’s men knocked on the hour three times before he gave the order to knock the door down. No one was inside but the house look lived in.
“Sherdan, we’ve got a house with no occupant. If the fridge and laundry is anything to go by there should be,” Nathan radioed.
“What number is it?”
“Okay, we’ll check the address. Leave it alone for now.”
Nathan sighed. This job wasn’t easy and his headache only got worse as the hour progressed.
The first person to lash out at a guard did so with only ten minutes of the hour to go. Nathan rushed over to the scene as did a few other guards.
The man had punched the soldier when he’d been informed of the ultimatum. Thankfully the guards soon had him restrained and sat down. Other than the blood flowing from the guard’s nose there was no harm done.
Nathan had the two men separated, just in case tempers flared, removing the guard from duty to get himself checked out. He thought it better to be careful where this kind of thing was concerned.
“I’m sorry that today’s news has upset you.”
“Too right it has. You’ve got no right ter take our houses,” the middle aged man replied.
“Sherdan warned the British government that he would do this if they attacked.”
“That don’t make it right!”
“No, but it’s our only way of retaliating without risking civilian deaths. We don’t want anyone to get hurt.”
“We’re gettin’ hurt though. You’re takin’ our houses.”
“We wouldn’t be doing it if we could think of a better option.” The man hung his head. The fight had gone out of him. Nathan felt sorry for the man but he had a job to do. “You should find somewhere to go for the meantime and then enquire about your insurance if you own the house.”
He received a nod in response but that was it. He had the guards let the guy go and everyone backed off to give him time to think.
Nathan, very thankfully, finished his shift. Sherdan sent another guard to take over from him and he didn’t waste time, leaving to turn towards his own home. He lived in a small house not too far from Sherdan’s, in case he was needed.
The walk back didn’t take long and he was soon climbing the stairs to his room. He removed his uniform and climbed into bed. It was gone one in the afternoon so he would have less than five hours before he would need to be up for guard duty in Sherdan’s house. Before he settled down to sleep he reached into the top drawer of his bedside cabinet and pulled out his Bible.