Monday, December 15, 2008

Desert Vengeance 6

One hundred and forty one Harleys riding full bore down Interstate 17 was enough to make even the most stout hearted trucker pull his rig over onto the highways shoulder and stop.

The close formation and intense speed made it clear these riders had a purpose and they were pissed.

A rolling, rumbling mass of thunderous sound reverberated clear into the valley below.

Buildings shook, the occupants peered out windows and seeing the oncoming horde quickly closed the blinds and locked the doors.

Not understanding the purpose, no one wanted to be the reason for this groups arrival.

Pop, leading the pack, headed straight onto the off-ramp for Grand Avenue.

At speeds almost seeming to defy physics. The parade of angry snarling bikes rolled through town. Streets full of activity just moments before were devoid of any signs of life. Air raid sirens have never been known to be this effective.
Turning onto Camelback road from Grand Avenue The pack gained speed. Seeing the sign for the Panama Red bar. Pop raised his arm and made a circular motion. The military precision in which the bikers encircled the building would have made a West point drill team seem disorganized.

As one, the riders placed the bikes on their side stands, killed the ignitions and dismounted. The abrupt silence amplified the still reverberating echoes shuddering across the valley.

Local clergy hiding behind the doors of their churches hastily checked the big book's passages on the Apocalypse. Checking to see if perhaps they had misread it, just in case it was one hundred and forty, not four. Judgement day must have certainly arrived.

And for some. It had.

Animal heard a shot. Before his ears could tell him the direction of the sound, his eyes watched the gunman's upper body explode onto the walls of the tavern.

A second blast tossed the gunman's accomplice clear over the upturned table. The look of surprise frozen forever in his eyes.

Animal looked to the direction of the sound having regained his sense of direction. Oracle was standing at the bar with a shit eating grin, holding a duffel bag in one hand and a sawed-off shotgun in the other.

Oracle laughed and said, "They made a helluva motorcycle back in nineteen fifteen and they make some damn fine guns too." referring to the Iver Johnson shotgun.

Tossing the duffel bag over to Animal he continued, "Those two idiots were sent to take you out? They could have sent Abbot and Costello and they wouldn't have been as sloppy."

"Sloppy or not, had you not been here they might have succeeded," replied Animal.

"I doubt that dumb shit could've aimed well enough to hit you. Shit, he got Henderson in the leg. Not exactly a marksman."

"Still I owe you one."

"Yeah and for the times in ninety five and ninety eight. But then lest we forget the times in ninety one, two and four where you saved my ass. But who's counting?"

Looking over at Henderson, Animal wasn't really surprised to see him sitting upright in the doorway casually smoking a cigar. One hand holding a tablecloth over the bullet wound in his thigh.

"I don't know if I should even ask. You OK?" asked Animal

"Sure why wouldn't I be" replied Henderson.

"Oh, I don't know. Perhaps the sudden ventilation of your leg?"

"This?" pointing to the hole in his pants leg. "I've gotten worse being bitten by a horsefly."

"Remind me never to go to your ranch." Chuckled Animal.

The tavern walls started to vibrate with a slow but steady capacony. The wooden floorboards creaked aganst each other spraying up dust plumes. Animal could hear the sound encircle the tavern and suddenly fall silent.

Oracle spoke up "The Cavalry's here, just in time, too" he laughed.

Animal, seeing Pop enter the doorway chimed in, "Hey Custer, too many Indians on the way here?"

Pop holding up a one fingered salute smiled and said. "Jack in the Box was having a lunch special today. We didn't feel the need to be in any real hurry. After all, it's just you three."

Henderson grinning replied, "Hey, don't bunch me in with this scooter trash. I'm a talented kinda guy, I'm worth saving. Can't say the same for this cretin," pointing a finger at Animal.

"Cretin? For a guy two barely evolutionary steps above primordial soup you should talk."

Marduk hearing the banter back and forth said, "Look if you idiots don't knock it off. I'll take your bikes and lock'em away for a week."

Oracle,Pop, Henderson and Animal replied almost as one "That's harsh Bro!"

"Hey I'll do what I gotta do and Henderson, stop bleeding all over the damn floor. This is a respectable joint."

Henderson lifted his leg saying "I've heard this place called many things...but respectable? I gotta look up the Websters meaning of that word because I must have got it wrong."

Oracle looked around the bar that was rapidly filling up with thirsty bikers and asked, "Before you get to tilting back the brew, anybody want to tell me if anyone figured out what that hell is going on yet?"

"Pop's got a theory." said Marduk, flipping his thumb back at him.

"Me? I wasn't the one who came up with it," waving is arm in a sweep, "it was those two. Digger and Springer."
"Well then out with it." said Oracle.

Springer proceeded to bring Animal, Henderson and Oracle up to date. Animal looked over at Digger, "All the possible outcomes and you still got that damn knack for getting close to the truth."
"You mean I was right?"

"Damn close. Since it's out among this brotherhood and I know it''ll never leave this group I'll tell you what I know."

"It all started with an ancient culture called the Toltec's. They wrote a codex that has yet to be completely deciphered. The scientists were able to gather this bit of information from them. Dec 24 2011 is believed to be universally accepted as the doomsday date in Mayan calenders. This is fairly common knowledge. But what the scientists figured out was, it's not an ending but a beginning. And if it comes to pass, shit's gonna hit the fan."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Desert Vengeance 5

"Marduk! You old goat I see you brought some friends with you. You need 'em to hold your date steady? Those hiefer's sure can run." chuckled Pop.

"Goat?" Marduk laughed ."This from a man who grabs his dick to take a leak with three fingers...and pisses on two? Shit, I didn't bring' em. As soon as the news went out that Animal was a suspect in a federal treason case they all showed up here on their own. There's not a man here who would consider it even a possibility."

Pop glanced around the circle of men. Some faces he hadn't seen in years.
Others had lived under his roof at various points in their lives. Some had stood with Animal in dense jungles and foreboding forests fighting for their country with extreme honor. Animal had saved the lives of a few of these hardened men. And several had saved his.

Seeing the respect earned of the son he raised left Pop at a rare loss for words.

Kathy aware this was a extraordinary event stood quietly watching.

"I still have contacts in the various agencies involved in this case. This is what I know so far. The stolen file has to do with the last mission Animal and and a few of us here today had worked together. It was called Mayan dawn. We were ordered to recover two professors and some crates from the ruins of a dilapidated warehouse near Peurto Penasco Mexico. We weren't allowed to inquire as to what was in the crates or even talk to the men. It was a straight forward in and out extraction," said Marduk.

"An entire team to recover two geeks and a copula Mexico? There's something wrong with that picture," replied Pop.

"All I know is that the crates were covered and the professors didn't say a word. The only thing out of the ordinary was the fact that Animal and Tank received orders to load the crates separately from the team."

"Tank? Didn't he muster out just after that mission?"

"Yes, when we reached the base stateside he kept to himself. He didn't re-enlist and never kept contact. A few of the guys tried reaching him but it was as if he dropped off the face of the earth. Nobody's seen or heard from Tank in years."

"I remember that mission. Animal wouldn't talk about it and seemed to get pissed off if it was even brought up. I could tell from the way he was acting when he got back, something shook the living shit out of him."

"We are never allowed to discuss missions even amongst ourselves. But even at that, this one was different. They didn't debrief us afterwards. No one ever even referred to that day after it was completed."

"Well, today that changes. We need to discuss that mission here and now. We've gotta piece together what the hell is going on."

Marduk gathered the four men who served with Animal on Mayan dawn. Walking to the rear of the clearing they stood in a circle. Each man fully aware of the consequences of breaking their solemn oath of silence.

Five men thought as one.

Not a word was spoken between them. None were needed. After years of serving together in all corners of the globe, each man knew the measure of the other. With a simple nod of assent they all walked back to the table and sat with Pop.

'Digger' having earned his moniker by always having the ability to quickly figure the bare bones of a mission, spoke first. His instincts were legend.
"Whatever it was that Animal and Tank saw that day had to be an abrupt change in a spiritual way or a relevant change in accepted history. I can't think of any other instance that would affect two battle hardened men like that. Both have seen greed and atrocities too numerous for them to be affected like they were. For the kind of life changing reaction they showed I'd put money that it was a combination of the two."

" I agree," said Springer, "but considering that Animal is less religious than Tank and the fact that Tank changed virtually overnight I'd also say it has to be something along the lines of rewriting accepted beliefs about our origins."

"What the hell could do that, in the middle of the Mexican desert?" asked Pop.

Weed stood up to his full six foot six height, looked around the men gathered around the table. Stroking his long pepper salt beard. He looked as if he considering how to say what it was that he knew. Taking a long deep pause he said, "Tank called me about a week after the mission. He sounded drunk and incoherent, all he kept saying was 'They knew...They always knew.' At the time I didn't give it much thought, I figured it was just the ramblings of a drunk...until today. Now I'm remembering a conversation we once had years ago about man's origin. Just idle campfire philosophy. Tank once made the statement that governments knew more than they were telling. He claimed he had collected many books researching it. Tank just needed to find the one missing book to prove it. The books content was supossedly written in ancient mayan pictographs. Which until just a few years ago no one could decipher. At the time I thought it was just conspiracy bullshit. But, now I'm not so sure. The one concept he kept harping on was that the true story had been fractured and that's why organized religions never seemed to get it just right. Think about it, if all the differrent 'bibles' telling the stories were right in general context..but not complete. If various religions each had just a part of the story and they found the one journal that tied them all together. Every religion would have to be rewritten. The implications would be staggering. churches and mosques would fall from power. Governments would collapse. Even being an agnostic, Animal would have to agree anarchy would reign. It was always Tank's belief that if it were true the information should be released immediately."

"Wait a minute, are you trying to tell us our beliefs are wrong?" yelled out Pope. Pope being ordained a christian minister looked visibly pissed.

"No, not at all...we are just speculating here. We have no proof of any of this. Just following a line of logic as to what could affect two men so deeply. What would it take to turn Tank against his brothers and distance himself and why our goverment is going to such great lengths to discredit Animal. Whatever it may be, it's huge. And simple espionage dosen't cut it. Homeland security my Ass!" replied Marduk

Silence fell among the canyon walls. Each man lost in thought. They all had heard rumors through the years of the existance of such a journal.
Secret societies throughout history had claimed to posess the knowledge.
But to date it had never surfaced. Belief that goverments and religious organizations weren't always truthful or forthcoming was part of what made them bikers. They stood outside societys conventions. Often paying the price of losing freedom and for some even their very lives.

They also understood that even if it was true, information like that would have to be released gradually to allow the worlds population time to grasp the changes. Releasing proof like that all at once would be devastating.

Many had held the private belief society was already being given clues to this very subject. But slowly to give it time to assimilate into mainstream thought.

Pop surveyed the men surrounding the granite table, stood up and said, "Well, we ain't gonna find out sitting here. Mount up!"

Canyon walls shook as every bike in the clearing fired up at once. Some bikes cold from sitting had popped and backfired echoeing sharp staccato shots. Sand filtered off of the mesa walls in mini avalanches. Pungent fumes of oil and fuel permeated the dry desert air.

Almost as one the riders kicked into gear and rode out single file. Heading into the Valley of the Sun.