For All Nails #83A: Live from Nairobi

by Dan McDonald

June 20th, 1974, 10:13pm, EST. The vitavision tuner is receiving the NUBS (National Union Broadcast System) network. It's the 10-o-clock News, with Philip Barstow. FN1

"In Victoria, rioting is continuing for the fifth straight day. Government troops have been clashing with both peaceful protestors and armed rioters in and around the capitol city of Nairobi.

"We are fortunate to have with us, reporting live from the outskirts of Nairobi, NUBS correspondent Kenny McCormick." FN2 Barstow turns slightly to the right and starts speaking to McCormick.

"Kenny, you are out there to do a story for Insight, but you're reporting to us tonight with new information about the Victorian situation."

The view is now of Kenny McCormick. He looks like he hasn't had much sleep. It's dawn in Nairobi, so it's likely he's been up all night.

"Yes Phil, I do. I'm here at a refugee camp about 3 miles outside Nairobi. I have been asked not to disclose anything else about the camp itself, out of reasons of fear.

"These people fear for their safety, and in some cases -- their very lives. Most here are not citizens. Not being citizens is why many of them are protesting against increasingly strict sedition and travel restrictions. Not being citizens, they also have little protection from the increasingly severe cycle of VNC raids and military crackdowns in the western provinces."

He pauses briefly before continuing.

"I've been informed that the government has been organizing mass arrests at refugee camps like this. There are reports of troops opening fire at the slightest hint of resistance ..."

There is shouting in the background, followed by gunfire. The gunfire is coming from the camp!

McCormick is looking around frantically. He shouts to someone off camera.

"You told me there were no guns here! We're going get bloody killed."

The gunfire intensifies, and there are shouts originating from a direction obviously outside the camp. An armed refugee runs from right to left behind McCormick, as he does so, he runs toward the camera, as if to take cover behind the NUBS satellite truck.

"Oh God! Not behind the truck."

And the gunfire is loud ... overwhelming. McCormick is looking crazed. All of this has happened in the course of 45 seconds. NUBS studios in Burgoyne has not been able to switch quickly enough for what happens next.

McCormick turns to the side, facing the off-camera person he shouted at before. The camera is showing only his upper torso and head. This whole time bullets are still flying. Suddenly, McCormick looks sick, then collapses.

The camera drops, and we see a cameraman run up to McCormick, who is bleeding profusely from his stomach. We don't know where the bullets came from, but we do know the final words spoken live from Nairobi by a stunned cameraman.

"Oh my God ... they ... they killed Kenny! You bastards!"

Forward to FAN #83B: The Briar Patch.

Forward to 22 June 1974: Politics as Usual.

Forward to Victoria: State of Emergency.

Forward to Vitavision: Puputan.

Return to For All Nails.