Bill Hayward is a sole parent father who has always enjoyed writing poems, as well as short and long stories. It started when he became partly disabled, then a sole parent some years ago. Bill has always worked long hours and in top gear, until that time in his life. He couldn't slow down so began writing as an outlet for his bottled-up emotions and to stop himself from going mad because no one would give him work.
Bill’s colourful well-travelled life working in a wide range of disciplines in management throughout Asia, Papua New Guinea and around Australia has given him a great store of knowledge.
With an over active imagination, he made up short stories
as a child to tell his younger sister, as there was no TV in those days.
The outline for this story was scribbled down 58 years ago with a black lead pencil; of what was happening at the time to some young girls and guys that I knew. My intention was to try to warn them to be careful who they hung out with. The first Drone I drew looked more like a twin-bladed helicopter. I changed my mind while watching Dragonflies skimming across the water in Yankee Jim creek near where I lived. Dragonfly wings are transparent and it is the network frame that gives them the strength to fly. This suited the story line of what I wanted, a Dragonfly super spy.
Around the same time I started working as a Cable Inspector for a company that was manufacturing electrical cables, phone wires and aircraft cabling. I saw many of these cables being tested in different ways in a laboratory where Oscilloscopes and other equipment were used. Large cables were wound onto wooden drums. In the process of winding it causes a build-up of static electricity in the cable. If you touched the wire with bare skin you would get a massive electrical jolt. I know, I have been shocked quite a few times. To get rid of static electricity you have to earth it before you touch it. I was shown how a Fluorescent tube would light up without being plugged in while it was near an electrical transformer or standing under overhead high power electrical wiring. This was where the ideas for recharging and cloaking came from. I filled in a few gaps of the above a few years later from reading comics.
Like today I hear the word LIKE. Like you know what I mean, like you hear it all the time, like. In my younger days the use of the word, and, was used a lot by those I hung out with. Today it annoys me to use too many ands. At the time when I decided to get Dragonfly published I tried to stay true to the outline of the story I penned all those years ago with too many, ands.
By the Same
The Computer Game
Billy Webster had just turned sixteen. Up until this point in his young life he’d always been a quite rather secretive boy who went out of his way to avoid contact with a big percentage of other children his own age, preferring instead to keep to himself. Consequently his friends were few and far between, but this was something that was about to change rather dramatically. Unlike many boys of his age, Billy was always neat and tidy for a young adolescent male and contrary to the biggest percentage of teenage boys his social skills were near to excellent. The only blemish on this otherwise near perfect youngster was that his teachers and peers considered him to be a slightly retarded slow learner.
When asked to read, he would stumble over simple words or would simply refuse to even try to pronounce bigger words. Therefore no one had ever really heard him read properly, or knew he could read. A big percentage of his teachers also thought he couldn’t add two and two together. Most of the time when others observed him, his mind seemed to be miles away in another realm, rather than concentrating on the task his teachers or father had set for him. Because of this secretive self-willed behaviour, it had side tracked many others into making them believe, and rightfully so, that he was slow and needed help. This misconception of his abilities led to many people speaking to him in a slow retarded child like manner. This was something he really hated, but felt he had to tolerate, to keep the pretence of being slow in front of everyone.
Some of the older people in his life, who knew his family’s history, had blamed his condition on the loss of his mother in a tragic motor vehicle accident when he was only eight years old. His mother had basically raised him by herself until her life came to an abrupt end when a large cement truck had run a red light and killed her on impact. Her premature death had taken Billy’s secret with her to the grave, for she alone was the only person who really understood his true abilities and the way his mind worked.
Being a conscientious mother who had studied infant behaviour with Attention Deficit Disorder, and other similar childhood complaints; she had devoted her life to him without smothering him. But at the same time had been very protective in that she’d done everything she could to allow him to grow up like a normal little boy should. Playing games on his computer, watching Star War’s movies, cartoons, going to MacDonald’s and in general doing all the in things little boys wanted to do at that age. The only things she drew the line on, were the more violent games and movies. When he protested, she took time to explain that the real world wasn’t like that. And she would show him things on the TV and explain in such a way how they misled people. She hoped he wouldn’t be confused from borderline misleading advertisements and did her best to let him see as much as she could. Her main concern was that if other people found out about the significance of his capabilities, he would never be able to experience his youth or grow up normally as she wanted him to.
Billy’s father, Nevil Webster, through no fault of his own, had not been around very much. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to; it was his work on oilrigs in foreign countries that kept him away from his family for the biggest percentage of Billy’s younger life. So it was that Nevil didn’t really know or understand very much about Billy’s abilities. At the time of his wife’s death the company he was working for had assigned him to a shore based job in Brisbane so he could be with his son to raise him. While he was working in this position it led him into opening his own electronic repairs business on the Gold Coast. Because of Nevil’s ability to work hard under adverse conditions, along with the fact he already had numerous contacts in Australia and overseas with very large companies, his own business thrived. At first it had grown faster than he could believe or ever wished for. Unfortunately for him it had grown too fast in the first three years, almost bringing him unstuck because of it.
Thanks to a long time friend of Nevil’s who ran his own accounting firm on the Gold Coast, he was able to save Nevil’s business from going under. After restructuring his debits and earnings, it had taken them another year to pay what he owed and to get the business flourishing once again, this time at the right pace. Although Nevil had been working hard to keep his business afloat he made sure he devoted quality time into trying to fill the void Billy’s mother had left in his young life, while at the same time doing the best he knew to be a good father to him. This same period had taken its toll on Nevil as well and it hadn’t been easy for him either.
Not only was he grieving the loss of his wife, who was also his best friend and who he loved so dearly, he was also trying to be a mum and a dad at the same time. At times it seemed he was burning the candle at both ends as it left him more than a bit fatigued, along with this and the accumulation of all the other factors it didn’t leave very much time for him to socialize. Consequently he’d never remarried; as far as that went he hadn’t even dated another woman therefore there was no one else in his life at this point in time.
Nevil had kept a close fatherly eye on Billy and so it was, like many others in the family and close associates he’d also assumed Billy was a little backward. At first he’d been overwhelmed with a feeling of dread and had spent a lot of money and tried many simple things to encourage Billy to have a go, but no matter how hard he’d tried he couldn’t seem to influence Billy towards learning anything which was considered an easy way to the three Rs. Even though this seemed to be the rule with Billy, there had been a few occasions when Nevil had seen a spark of pure brilliance in Billy’s behaviour. When it had happened it had left him speechless. On those rare occasions when he’d seen the pure ingenious side of Billy shining through, it had always been when he had caught Billy unaware.
The overwhelming intelligence that had shone through at these times had left Nevil almost speechless. After closely observing a few other incidents Nevil would put extra effort into trying to encourage Billy along those lines but Billy would drop his mental shutters, retreating into his protective shell that he’d built around himself. If Nevil tried harder to get him to do something Billy would seemingly become distraught until Nevil finally backed off trying so hard to get him to learn.
After each of these episodes
he had noticed when he left him to his own devices Billy seemed to get along a
bit better as if he were trying harder and began doing more and seemingly trying
to prove to his father that he didn’t need his help. Finally Nevil had backed
off altogether to let him go along at his own pace feeling he would come around
when he got older.
Time passed by and Billy seemed to be coping well enough while getting by under his own steam. In this same period Nevil had developed a secretive technique of watching him so he could try to learn and understand more about Billy. In doing so he had established that he was happiest when he was left along or playing with old computers from oil rigs and other geophysical equipment along with other old electronic parts in his large workshop. In these times when Billy went to the workshop, the three men who worked for Nevil had shown Billy how to make simple radios along with other small electronic switching devices from the old equipment that was currently being replaced with new technology or simply being scrapped. Billy also took more than a very keen interest in watching them building or repairing other more complex equipment, something, which made Nevil and his staff, think this was helping to get through his defence barrier he’d built to keep others out.
Trish Nankato, the company’s receptionist-cum-bookkeeper had children of her own and helped in many other ways. Because Nevil had admitted to her that he was hopeless when it came to dress sense for young teenage boys, he’d thankfully allowed Trish to take over the task of looking after Billy’s clothing requirements along with his schoolbooks, school outings and any other information coming from his school. In doing so, there had been many times in the past when Trish had acted as a de-facto mother for Billy, giving him hugs while praising his drawings he’d brought back with him from school, also organizing birthday parties, weekend outings for him and Nevil and at times sleep-overs for Billy with her children to give Nevil a rest.
Because of this motherly
relationship between them, Billy had grown quite close to Trish, more so than
the other workers, which was more on a mate-ship level. This being so, there
were many times when he would confide in Trish when he wouldn’t talk it over
with anyone else and that also included his father. As each year went by and the
school holidays came around, the workers had kept him busy by giving him small
jobs of removing the solder which held the parts in place on the circuit boards
and other electrical items. Only a small fraction of these parts were ever used
again for spares, while the rest were thrown away when he wasn’t around. Getting
him to do this kind of work was not some kind cruel weird joke; instead it was
because the men knew there was a bigger picture in their method of madness. By
doing this kind of work it meant Billy would learn the secret to having a steady
hand for the delicate art of repairing these circuit boards and other
instruments they received for repair or adding new components.
All the workbenches in the main workshop area were always full to overflowing with important jobs that brought in the money, so Billy decided to clear a small space for himself on the mezzanine floor above the work area at the back of workshop. There was an old workbench, which had become too small and had been stored away some time ago. Like the rest of the area it had been filled to over flowing with bits and pieces from old equipment. Starting in a small cleared area he’d worked hard to re-stack some of the equipment until he had enough room to work.
This particular workbench was in the right place as far as he was concerned, because it was out of everybody’s way, and this suited him as he could work there at his own pace without having to move every time someone wanted to do something else more important. The best part of all about working up there on the mezzanine floor meant that he was out of everyone’s sight so nobody bothered him, and were none the wiser of what he was up to; so he could do the work he was given, plus experiment on designing and building other mechanical and electronic devices. This suited the lifestyle he’d chosen to follow quite well and all in all this situation kept him more than happy.
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