Thursday, August 27, 2009

Scene 68

An insane convergence of motor vehicles and cultures comes together in space and time at the maltreated but nonetheless magical Octagon Earthworks.

On the verdant, over-fertilized plain above Raccoon Creek in Licking County, Ohio, the air is crackling with awareness. Below ground, elsewhere, the Sucke Security Chief is screaming into the phone. “Offensive mode! Offensive mode!” He’s stabbing at buttons on the console. Suddenly the golf carts trundling around Moundbuilders Country Club start to shimmy and whine. Then Whap! Halftrack treads and cannons pop out of every one. A little monitor on each dashboard instructs the SBE, Ltd. finance guys out for a round of golf to prepare for action. (Just like every cook and corpsman in the Army knows how to fire an M-16, each SBE accountant has been through Basic.)

Out of nowhere, WHHHOMMMMM! A cement truck blasts through a row of pine trees along the fourth fairway and grinds its way onto the number three green, completely trashing it. Mad Anthony Wayne rips open the driver’s side door, shouting commands like a man possessed. An unending stream of surprisingly upbeat dead guys with muskets comes pouring out the back of the mixer. They slide down the chute, one after another onto the ruined green and take up positions along the embankments. Connolly the bugler is blowing that thing.

A cigar-shaped spacecraft shimmers into view above the clubhouse. A squad of Octos with ropes, rayguns and survival gear rappels down to the ground and barrels onto the course. As Myron and the others watch, transfixed, Blinky leaves the bus like a hovercraft and slides over the fairway along the ninth hole, through the neck of the earthwork. The Octos race to assume and maintain defensive positions around him, facing outward in a bristling flower formation, as Blinky floats toward the back nine.

Back in the control room, the Chief is hollering into the phone, “These people cannot trash our stuff!” He’s watching his monitor and popping veins. “Take them out!” As he watches the battle unfold, the Chief himself is watched, and carefully, by miniature corn starch busts perched along the rail. “Take them out!” he bellows.

Each golf cart is equipped with a skilled litigator in addition to cannons. Informed of the monstrous property damage now underway, these people pop out and begin to draft extremely aggressive legal briefs. “Where is my air support?” bellows the Chief. “Where is my artillery?”

The finance guys in the golf carts crank up the cannon fire on Blinky. The Octos absorb much of the assault. Invertebrate flesh-woo is flying, as Blinky, untouched, hovers along toward the center of the circular enclosure.

“Fire!” screams Wayne. The Fort Recovery contingent opens up with a punishing barrage of musket fire on the carts, just as black SBE helicopters whobb whobb whobb into view along the horizon.

But one of the finance guys has anticipated Wayne’s flanking maneuver. He’s led a few carts back behind the maintenance building, and is tearing around the back. If he gets where he’s going, he’ll be in a position to blast the cement mixer back to the gravel pit from whence it came.

Myron is watching this unfold. “This is your chance,” he says to Old Man Q. “Do you want a shot at these guys?”

The defrauded proprietor of O P & Q grins broadly, his white hair waving. In seconds they’re back on the bus, tearing past the mixer, racing into position to head off the sneak attack on Wayne. Sure enough, they clobber the lead cart just as it makes the turn, crunching and flipping it repeatedly beneath the bus. The others scatter. As Q slows to bring the bus around, Myron jumps out and ducks into the maintenance building. Seconds later, he flies out the door in a cart of his own.

As Blinky ascends hundreds of feet in the air, the atmosphere gradually fills with glowing, cigar-shaped vehicles. Squid-looking guys peer out the windows as Blinky gestures like a prophet to the figures below. The wind is whipping like crazy. Copters are strafing and shooting at the cigars. Suddenly the clouds part, and there’s the moon, big as day, right over the octagon. Then Little Turtle appears in the air on the right hand of Blinky. Some choir starts up. Next, just as the lead copter tears a new one across one of the cigars, there’s a flash of light like in the Bible, and the portal opens up with thunder and swirling clouds.

The bus has taken fire. Q stumbles out and finds himself among the dead but energetic veterans of the Fort Recovery campaign, chortling and leering through their stretched faces. One of them hands Q an eighteenth-century musket.

He takes it.

Wayne fires up the cement mixer and heads for the ninth hole, following Blinky’s path through the neck.

The portal is swirling and pulsing.

Between musket volleys, Myron races across the sixth fairway, whapping the other Sucke carts like it’s a dodgem ride. This disorients the golfers and litigators briefly but long enough to let the dead guys reload. Slowly, Q is figuring out the drill with the black powder.

Overhead, the cigars open up with lasers on the copters. Sucke ships start to go down.

The choir is going like there’s no tomorrow.

Wayne is racing up number 18 in the cement truck, shouting and cursing and blasting golf carts with abandon. “Mishiekonga! Goddamn it! Wait for me!” There’s a second, totally blinding flash, and the air is awash in positively-charged ions.


Blinky and Little Turtle are gone.

Wayne pulls up in the spot below the portal and jumps out as the clouds spiral tighter and tighter together. “Goddamnit!” he calls.

As copters swirl haplessly to earth, the cigar shapes do a quick formation thing that looks like a synchronized swimming move. Then they too, slide through the portal.

The sky goes Zot!


The portal has closed.

“Son of a bitch!”

Wayne’s stamping on his hat and screaming.

“Indians! Goddamn Indians!”

Q looks up from the smoking wreckage of his bus and peers across the devastated landscape. He leans over to Connolly. “Some scramble!” says Q.

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