Simon was woken by his bedside telephone, “What … who … it’s five o’clock in the …”

454779“Listen up Simon.” It was Gerard Hutchins, CEO of A.L. & R. constructions. “I need you to get all your staff down to the Batchcrete depot in thirty minutes. Offer them anything, threaten them with anything. This is an emergency.”

Simon was instantly awake.

“I’ll pick you up in ten.” The phone went dead.

In eight minutes Simon was in the back of Mr Hutchins Limousine, its tyres squealing as it accelerated. “Your people on their way?” Mr Hutchins was a bear of a man. He combined the focus of a surgeon with the grim practicalities of an assassin.

“I have twelve rigs arriving at Batchcrete in 40 minutes. We want all your stock. All of it. You’ll be paid. But we want it all and we want it now.”

This wasn’t a question. It wasn’t a discussion. It wasn’t a negotiation.  

“Sometime around 4am this morning the Eagle Point nuclear powerplant developed a crack in one of the fusion walls. The usual fail-safes went into action, but the Perth City Council is worried.” Mr Hutchins looked worried. And that worried Simon. “No one knows why it happened.”

“So …” Simon began, but trailed off. A. L. & R. were contractors for the building and maintenance of Eagle Point.

Mr Hutchins cut him off. “Batchcrete has the equipment to make huge amounts of concrete. We’re not taking any risks; we’re going to cocoon the plant and use geophys’ to look inside and see what went wrong. That’s why you’re here.”3822hbc_19

Batchcrete are a concrete mixing and batching solutions company. They sell or hire equipment to builders anywhere in Perth or the south-west peninsular. Batchcrete can deliver their equipment when it’s necessary. Today it wasn’t.

“I don’t need to tell you to keep this quiet?” Mr Hutchins’ gaze drilled into Simon.

“N – no, of course not.”

“The City Council doesn’t want any panic. Your people don’t need to know. Just get the equipment aboard my fleet and they can go home.”

“What will you tell your drivers?” Simon couldn’t help but ask.

“Dunno. Might shoot them after the job is done.”

If anyone else had said this Simon would have laughed.

“My boys sign confidentiality agreements. I’ll remind them of it. And of what happens to those who break them.”

There was little traffic that time of day, so they made good time. The Limo swerved through the gates and screeched to a halt by the office (Simon wondered if the chauffeur was secretly enjoying this).

Kibble“Your team is here? Good. Get them to work.” Mr Hutchins pushed Simon from the car with one hand as he speed-dialled his mobile with the other, “WHERE THE HELL IS MY FLEET!” he snarled into the phone as the car sped off again.

And that is how Batchcrete, a midsized concrete and batching solutions company helped save the city of Perth.

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