"Let these be a guidestone to an age of reason.
Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
Unite humanity with a living new language.
in 4" Capital Letters, in Eight different Languages, on Several
Massive Stonehenge-Like Monoliths in Northern Appalachian Georgia,
Erected by a Wealthy, Anonymous Group of Donors, with the Intent
of Guiding Mankind after the Coming Holocaust.
"In the new world we have entered, the only path to peace and security is the path of action...the United States will use this moment of opportunity to extend the benefits of freedom across the globe."
-National Security Strategy of the United States; the so-called "Bush Doctrine"; 2002.
"...The danger is immediate. The paralysis of the Western European democracies before their deadliest threat is frightening...In resisting the grave threat with [our] weapons, [we and our] allies are fulfilling in the truest sense of the word a European mission. Our courageous and just battle against this world-wide plague will not be hindered...It can and must end only with victory."
-Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister and Second in Command; "Total War" Speech; Berlin; February 18th, 1943.
And tonight I have a message for the brave and oppressed people of Iraq: Your enemy is not surrounding your country -- your enemy is ruling your country. (Applause.) And the day he and his regime are removed from power will be the day of your liberation. (Applause.)
-President Bush II; State of the Union Address; January 28th, 2003.
"First he incites war then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war, not without calling God to witness the honesty of his attack -- in the approved manner of an old Freemason."
-Hitler, referring to Roosevelt; Declaration of War against the United States; December 11th, 1941.
(N.B. -- The inclusion of this last quote is not meant to imply that FDR triggered WWII, nor that the Author otherwise agrees with any word ever spoken by Hitler. The true causes of WWII lay within the insanity of the Nazi party, which was obvious to everyone outside of said organization. The quote does, however, hilight two interesting facts: Firstly that it's quite easy to seduce a population into supporting an unjust preemptive war when they are led to feel threatened; Secondly that this is indeed the pattern and object of the Freemasons, an offshoot of the Illuminati -- as Hitler well knew. Without going too deeply into the subject (See: Sklar, D., The Nazis and the Occult), Hitler was a secret adherent of Kandinsky's Theosophy and a member of the Thule Society, even as he sought to destroy closely related Freemasonry and replace it with an antisemitic version of the same Occult order in the form of National Socialism, believing Freemasonry to be right-thinking in its methods and secret aims but overly infiltrated by Jews. In any event, even the Nazis never said outright that their goal was world domination; the US State Department c. 2002, controlled by Freemasons since 1776 (See: the back of any dollar bill), had no such inhibitions. Final food for thought: Goebbels, perhaps looking ahead to 21st Century applications of F¸hrerprinzip [Google it], was quoted as saying in private as early as 1939: "You'll think I'm crazy, but listen to me: Hitler will bring us to a catastrophe. But his ideas, once they have been transformed, will acquire a new strength.")
Chevy figures rightly that it won't take too long for them to realize there were two prisoners, not just one, who got away in the truck. So removing his orange jumper and burying it deep in the manure, he begins bellycrawling between the closely packed legs of cows, trying to keep his mouth shut and breathe as little as possible. When he figures he's gotten a safe distance from the road he stands up, nude as the news, and starts slogging his way determinedly through the sea of shit. The cattle, gridlocked and stubborn, present a thousand mooing barriers to his progress.
The long, humiliating hike allows him a chance to organize his thoughts. With Chevy, this happens best when he mumbles out loud to himself like a crazy person. Which is what he feels like right now anyhow.
"Alright," he mutters, snapping shit off his fingertips as he squeezes between the animals, "I'm almost certainly going to die. Either they're going to catch me and kill me or I'm going to get E Coli or I'm going to drown in this shit. Fine. I have to try.
The hills are that way -- " he turns his head to the East, "yeah, that way. So this way's south. So what are you really thinking about. I'm thinking about Saul. Poor fucking Saul. Who the fuck are the Georgia Stones? I'm thinking about Katie. You're never going to see Katie again.
I'm never going to see Katie again.
That was just a fantasy you created to keep your mind occupied. Yeah, that's what it was alright. She's probably dead anyway.
Or not dead but definitely, definitely out of reach. Georgia stones, georgia stones. Stone Roses, Rolling Stones, Georgia Stones. I'd like to get stoned. Just sit on my couch and turn on the tube and get real fucking stoned. I'd like that. Okay, here's a fence. Where am I going. South. Easy, easy."
He's long ago lost the plastic flip-flops they gave him at the camp. Flip-flops never agreed with him, anyhow. Chafed between the toes. He places one foot gingerly on the wobbling barbed wire, almost loses his balance, holds on; now the other foot; miraculously he gets over it without slicing himself open. Maybe he should travel naked more often, he thinks.
He wades through the slimy muck of an irrigation ditch, feeling the algae coalesce round his balls. He looks like a complete swamp beast now, hosed with dookie from head to toe. Then he's in an apple orchard, running down a long row of trees, trying to anticipate the dirt clods before his feet smash into them. In the black haze he can't see the end of the row. Now that he's on flat ground he's just sprinting as fast as he can.
Two figures in camo fatigues, wearing black ski masks, jump out of the trees directly in front of him. He's so scared he lets out an involuntary yelp. A black-gloved hand clamps down over his mouth. He struggles for a moment with the invisible arm. Then something thumps his head real hard, and that's all he remembers.
When he comes to he's lying under an apple tree, looking at the big dipper. For the first time since he got here the odor of shit has dissipated and he smells the sugary wood of the orchard and the fields all around him. His face feels fresher -- someone is dabbing his body clean with a wet rag. They're wiping the slime off his nuts -- it feels gentle, nice. He looks down, hoping to see a beautiful woman who speaks little or no English; instead he sees a six-foot-four man, filthy, missing all of his front teeth, apparently absorbed in this job.
Chevy has a momentary, silent freak-out; thinks about Deliverance; considers playing dead. He decides it's better to just feint as tough as possible under the circumstances. So he throws as much power behind his voice as he can muster and croaks, "Who are you?"
"Call me Ruthless," says the toothless guy. "What they call you?"
"Chevy," says Chevy.
"Hey, that's a good one. You escaped the camp, huh?"
"Couldn't stand the Jew food no more? Horkhorkhork."
"Ain't that what the Jews in charga that place was feedin' ya? Kishkas and shit?"
Chevy shakes his head, gulps slightly as his johnson tries to shrink back into its missing foreskin. "No," he says, "I saw some Jews in there, though."
"Kikes? In there? You sure they wasn't just Italians or somethin?"
Chevy says nothing, lays his head back down on the soil. He can hear soft padding footsteps all around him; shadows in black ski masks are moving like a light breeze through the grove.
Two jackbooted feet plant themselves on either side of Chevy's head and a jolly, red, muscular face beams down at him. The guy's wearing a balaclava like a beanie on top of his head. He lets drop a neatly folded set of camo fatigues on Chevy's naked chest.
"Hello there," says the redneck, "General Reynolds, Kern County Militia. We're allied with Oregon and Montana but wholly autonomous," he hastily adds. "We need you to tell us everything you can about that camp over there."
"But I'm a Jew," Chevy announces. Ruthless flinches and moves away a little.
"I don't care if you're from fuckin' Venus," General Reynolds assures him, "just get yourself dressed. We need to know the layout of the damn place. We're going in an hour before dawn."
"Give me paper," says Chevy, "and a pen. And hey -- you got a phone?"
"Who you gonna call that ain't imprisoned?"
"Can I at least try?" Chevy is getting to his feet.
"Sure you can. Private Ruthless -- go get our Jewish friend here a phone."
"Yessir," Ruthless answers reluctantly, then moves off into the trees to comply.
"I'm sorry," the General says, "there have always been these elements in our organization that have tended towards...xenophobia."
"That's an ugly word," Reynolds wraps an arm around Chevy's shoulders, "But this isn't just our fight anymore. Now it's everyone's fight. We do believe in democracy. Some of us. That's why I joined the militia in the first place -- to preserve freedom and the republic. Everyone always said I was paranoid, said I was a nut...my own mother...you know her maiden name was Wolfowitz."
"No shit," says Chevy. "You know Hitler was a quarter Jewish?"
Ruthless comes running back up with a Motorola flip-phone, fully charged. General Reynolds takes it from him. Ruthless stands around to watch but the General dispatches him with a flick of the arm.
"Look son," he says to Chevy, "you're a commie Jewish little MTV kid and I'm an American Patriot, fine."
"I'm a fucking patriot too!" Chevy argues.
"Let's just be friends for now, alright? Here's the phone. Make it quick." They've wound their way through the trees now to a neat row of small nylon tents. All the oversized boy scouts around here are cleaning their guns, checking their mortars and grenades, locking and loading. Most of them have doubted at one time or another whether this would ever really happen. But now, after years of being disregarded as a bunch of trigger-happy lunatics, their day has finally come.
Chevy starts desperately thumbing numbers into the phone. He tries his parents first but can't reach either of them. So he calls his brother Ford, the Fed. Because he knows Ford's a stickler about the rules but he is his brother, he couldn't possibly be supporting all of this. After three rings of his cell, Ford picks up.
"It's bugged," Ford whispers, "call back and talk fast." Then he hangs up.
Chevy calls him back immediately. "Arrested Hurt Bustedout of campnaked joinedup with rebels needtoknow about bohemiangrove," he blurts. In the thoughtful, Ford-like pause that follows, he hears the light click of a tap coming onto his brother's line.
"Heya bro," Ford says casually, "enjoying yourself with all the rich folks out there in California?"
"Uh huh. How are you?"
"I'm alright. Been having a lot of big parties. I'm having a really big one tomorrow night."
"Tomorrow night?" What the fuck is Ford talking about?
"Yeah. Everyone's gonna be there. Grampa, too."
Chevy lets this sink in; their Grampa's been dead for ten years now. Grampa.
"Oh? How's he doing?" Chevy inquires.
"He's on top of the world. Says he'll live to be a thousand."
Ah. Where have I heard that before?
"Yeah? I want to send him a present for his longevity."
"You know," Ford changes the subject, "me and the wife just got back from Mexico. You'd love it down there."
"Yeah? That's great, brother. Gotta run now, though."
"Nice talkin' to ya," Ford says in the homely, Minnesotan accent he picked up from no one they're related to.
"You too," Chevy says.
"Love ya, bro. I mean it."
"You too, brother."
Ford hangs up the phone, blinks thoughtfully behind his reading glasses, and squares his jaw. He stands up off the couch in the living room where he's been reading the stories out of last month's New Yorker -- the most recent edition has been a bit late in coming. With a last glance at the mess of beanie babies and lego sets scattered around on the hardwood floor he shuts off the lights, mounts the stairs heavily one by one. His strong arms, built up into beefy trunks by many years of daily weightlifting, hang limp and inert at his sides; a sick, weak feeling washes over him.
He goes into the kids' room, leans over Shoshanna's bed and kisses her perfectly round little cheek. She mumbles something insanely cute and indecipherable in her sleep. He crosses to the rocking wooden crib, bends double and kisses little Seth on the forehead.
As he opens the door back into the lighted hallway, Shoshanna wakes up and says, "Daddy, how come..."
And then the nursery windows implode in a deafening shower of glass Half a dozen black-clad agents catapult into the room, and all of her future words are lost to him.
"One more call," says Chevy.
"Draw the plans first," the General tells him, "we've got a big operation here and we don't have all night."
Chevy dutifully takes up the pen and paper and sketches out a rough map of the concentration camp against the side of one of the canvas tents. He puts it into the General's gloved hand.
"Thanks," says Reynolds.
"I'm staying here if that's alright," Chevy says.
"Don't worry," the General grins, his big red cheeks puffing out. "We'll be back in no time. Just get ready to do some runnin'."
"Look that's great," says Chevy, "but have you ever heard of the Bohemian Grove?"
The muffled warble of a nylon-string guitar reverberates from Sergeant Bilko's Tank as Doonan comes walking back up the road. He knocks on the hull three times and clambers in with a bag full of day-old hot dogs and buns. The heavy, barfy smell of nitrates overwhelms the small cabin.
"Found a craft services truck over by little paris," he explains, "I'm not too sure about these dogs."
"I'll have one," says Will. He takes a bite and sends chunks of beef frank flying all over Joey.
"Nast," he spits, "don't bother."
"Got these, too," Doonan shrugs, busting out a couple warm cans of Pepsi from his pockets. Hands grope and grab; the cans open with satisfying twin smacks in the darkness.
"Like I was saying," says Billie, and starts softly strumming again. She's halfway through one of the Wetnesses' most Exile on Mainstreet-like numbers, "Trouble," which she and Doonan wrote. She begins to sing.
You started on your way but you had no map
you had a lot of plans but they all got scrapped
you had a lot of love but it's all been tapped
you had a lot of brains but they've all been zapped
So if you're feeling worried
about what you left behind
don'tcha give it a second thought
it ain't worth the space in your mind!
'Cause you can't keep runnin' from your trouble
you can't keep runnin' from your trouble
you can't keep runnin' from your trouble...
"Hooray," Joey gripes, "it fucking came true."
But these words are barely out of his mouth when they're replaced by the bouncing '80s Axl F Beverly Hills Cop theme, ringing out of Nick's cell phone.
"Oh my God," Nick is astounded, "I didn't know it still worked." He pulls the phone out of his pocket in a turqoise blaze that lights up seven eager, closely packed faces. "Chevy!" Nick cries.
"Chevy?" Doonan shouts, "Lemme talk to him!"
"You're alive?" Nick sticks a finger in his ear. "Uh huh...uh huh...Jesus...uh huh...I'm with the Wetnesses, in LA...I know exactly where that is...we're not completely mobile right now..."
"Gimme," Doonan grabs the phone out of Nick's hand. "Dude! Where are you?...okay. Here," he gives the phone back to Nick. "Sorry."
snorts with amusement.
"Try what, exactly?" Kenny asks.
"He wants us to pick him up in Bakersfield and then take him to kill the President."
Almost everyone in the tank groans at the exact same time.
"What?" Doonan asks, amused but not completely shocked.
"That's the dumbest thing I've ever fucking heard," says Joey.
"How exactly are we supposed to do that?" Kenny asks. "I mean, I'm down for it."
"Yeah," Will adds, "I'm fuckin' down."
"I'm down for it," Doonan considers, "just sounds like one of his crazy schemes."
"Wait, wait, wait," Nick explains. "he's not alone. He just escaped from a concentration camp near Bakersfield and he's got a hundred militia nuts behind him."
Everyone in the tank is silent. Then Billie erupts with laughter. "That's so fucking typical," she giggles, "let's go you pussies!"
"And," Nick adds, "he says all you guys gotta do is put on a concert."
"Awesome," Will ejects.
"If we're gonna do this," Joey remarks, "we'll need disguises. How 'bout trucker hats?"
If anyone could see in this tank, they'd be staring at Joey in indignant horror at the mere suggestion. But they're all blind here in the dark. "Cool," he resolves, "trucker hats."