Voyage of the Colonel Darvish

Heading to the Cemetery-Deigo

Diego awakens and fixes some tea and a breakfast of rice. He had put together his usual provisions for a day trip and checks the weather by opening a window. Looks like rain so he gets an oiled trench coat and his fedora. Pistol into its holster, short sword at his belt. He checks his pack some dried fish, change of socks.

Satisfied that he has the ability to be away for a day and a half or so, he pens a couple quick notes as to where he has gone and what is to be done in case he doesn’t come back. Not really well thought out. He makes a mental note to make out a will.

As Diego leaves the schoolyard he feels it is ominously quiet. The skies are overcast with low grey clouds. He remembers before the war that even in “winter time” the sun shone a lot in San Fransisco. The first few winters after the bombs were bad, cold, snow….famine. Since then the winter time had turned to predominantly grey with more rain, even now 15 years after the bombs the west coast was not the sunny place it was before the wear.

Diego turned up his collar and began the several mile trek toward the cemetery

Maze Awakes Saturday

Maze awakens the next day and begins with a thought session on how to address the recent problems. Maze had instructed Charlie to get a word to Yasuda about the Rock twins being killed and that he would like to speak to him as soon as possible, the night before, Yasuda would see Maze at 3 this afternoon.

Maze feeds Charlie, of course, before he leaves. Maze puts together in his mind what he knows, but feels it is all just speculation. He will give Yasuda the info that he knows and let him decide how to handle it.

Wasn’t Maze’s job to work out speculation, he just wanted to make sure that he had an alibi and whoever was trying to frame him would stumble as the facts didn’t line up.

Charlie had told Maze that Yasuda had not heard about the Rock Twins demise yet. A possible indication that the plot had not been able to explode like the killers wanted. Yasuda would like to see Maze as soon as possible.

Maze instructed Charlie to get a crew together. The organization still prided itself in appearance and men of importance travelled with subordinates. Maze still had a few who were loyal to him who would act as his entourage. “Oh and Charlie, get Kazumi Kei tell her to dress up.”

Much like the entourage of “bodyguards” a meeting was usually accompanied by a female. Kazumi had accompanied Maze to many a formal occasion even jokingly calling herself his girlfriend. Maze had jokingly replied “I am neither in a position to confirm or deny that statement”

Maze trusted Kazumi but had not been in a position to have a girlfriend. Not since Yasuda had taken over. The formality of things had ensured that Maze was kept a worker, girlfriends and wives complicate things…..

Jose awakens to a rooster

Jose awakes to Paco crowing. After a quick breakfast and the usual ritual of goodbye to the kids and the wife he heads down to the docks to meet Tie. He is geared up for the day and a night, hoping to get through the basement lock and find out what is in the bunker at his new house. His wife informs him that she has a day of packing up to start on and will see about transport, Jose heads toward the docks.

He meets Tie and they board the boat headed accross the bay. Tie is similarly geared up, although in a mix of Woodland green cammo and straight olive drab. He has a short carbine version of the M16 slung barrel down, has a ALICE frame pack that appears to not be full and has a leather shoulder bag.

Jose and Tie board the boat and are at Levi’s by about 10 am. Jose introduces Tie to Levi and the three men head off toward the house.

Maze sends word to Yasuda

As Suzuki’s Yacht pulls slowly away, Maze watches it go, mulling over the punishment of leaving a worker in cold water. He makes his way to the Sea Horse to make sure that ship is secure, and confident the days tasks are done heads back toward his home. He needed to speak to Yasuda about the Rock Twins demise as soon as possible.

Arriving at his home, he finds Charlie sprawled out and relaxed in a leather recliner, half eaten bowl of rice on a table beside him, reading Akira Kurosawa’s Gama No Abura (Something Like an Oily Toad) A bound series of memoirs of Kurosawa’s life. The title of the book is reference to a story about placing a deformed toad in a box full of mirrors. Legend says it will become so afraid of its own reflection that it will begin to sweat, and this sweat allegedly had medicinal properties. Kurosawa compared himself to the toad, nervous about having to contemplate, through the process of writing his life story, his own multiple “reflections.”

“Making yourself comfortable I see,” Maze was pulling off his belt rig as Charlie replied “More rice on stove” Maze moved to the stove, nice to have a hot meal ready for him. The remainder of the evening was spent mostly quiet. Maze meditating and pushing the image of the girl left in the water out of his mind, Charlie reading the book and eating…always eating.

“Charlie get a message to Yasuda. We need to have a talk about the Rock Twins.” Maze was stern with his statement, making Charlie rise and gather his things. “Will do boss,” Charlie is out the door in minutes. Maze settles into the chair Charlie had been in, finishes off the bowl of rice Charlie had been eating and opens the book Charlie had been reading, to no particular page, his eyes scanning the words but his brain not comprehending anything

Charlie is back within an hour. “All set boss,” he states as he moves to where there was still rice on the now cold stove. “3 o’clock at the castle” Maze figured as much, The Castle was Yasuda’s headquarters. Once a high end hotel, it was now formidable as it’s name implied, a castle.

Faithful Indian sidekick
Diego discovers Esperanto

After a light diner of fish and bread, Diego again looked over some information he had on George Soros. Diego then walked down the hallway to where Professor Don Perkins lived. Perkins had given Diego several periodicals on George Soros, probably related to Jonathan
Soros who signed the invite paper given by Delores to Diego.

He pronounced the unknown lines words aloud, rolling the syllables over his tongue as he walked…..“Newer, Nooor, Ner, VanCam, VaughKam, vankham……Mahl-grass-igy Mahl-grass-igy” He vaguely remembered a language of Esperanto from some of the papers, maybe?

Perkins answered quickly when Diego knocked. “Hey Don,” Diego started, “Geroge Soros, the language of Esperanto…know anything about it?” Perkins replies, " Well I do know a bit, just brewed up some tea, come on in." Diego entered and Perkins poured him a cup of tea before starting.

“Soros is, was, a billionaire. He started trading currency and really made a killing moving money around before the war. He was rich before that, but those few years before the war he became REALLY rich.

He was trying to get his native Hungary out from communism when the war started. And one of the things he was working on was rumored to be arming insurgents. Seems a lot of his money went into trying to topple communism.

From what I remember he was being investigated for arms dealing as well as securities fraud and money laundering….all dealing with some kind of perceived insulating a group from the coming war. Good old New World Order bullshit, and Doomsday Preppers stuff….only looked like his group was right."

Diego talks to Don in a round about way about Soros and Esperanto, Perkins continues. “Well I think Soros had a son named John, be about 40-45 now. He was a bigshot in New York and moved around here a few years before the war.”

Now that Diego knew it was Esperanto language, his brain recollected a bit of hearing about it long ago, he never had an interest because it was a constructed language and Diego’s love of words sprung from history.

Perkins helped flush out the fact that Esperanto was constructed to be neutral, easy to learn and separate from the region based languages that drove divides between peoples. Created in the late 1800s in Russia, Diego actually finds a text from its creator:

“The place where I was born and spent my childhood gave direction to all my future struggles. In BiaƂystok the inhabitants were divided into four distinct elements: Russians, Poles, Germans and Jews; each of these spoke their own language and looked on all the others as enemies. In such a town a sensitive nature feels more acutely than elsewhere the misery caused by language division and sees at every step that the diversity of languages is the first, or at least the most influential, basis for the separation of the human family into groups of enemies. I was brought up as an idealist; I was taught that all people were brothers, while outside in the street at every step I felt that there were no people, only Russians, Poles, Germans, Jews and so on. This was always a great torment to my infant mind, although many people may smile at such an ‘anguish for the world’ in a child. Since at that time I thought that ‘grown-ups’ were omnipotent, so I often said to myself that when I grew up I would certainly destroy this evil.”

Diego now has at least an idea of the group he is dealing with. A smart, well prepared organization that had political aspirations and maybe still does. Tomorrow Diego would arise with the sun, prepare himself for the journey and set off for the cemetery.

Tie the Locks
Tie is the locksmith's name

Jose kept busy for an hour then wandered back to where the ambluance was parked. The doors of the ambluance were closed and no one was about. Jose looked at his watch and realized he was a bit early.

Several minutes went by and Tie appeared with the other two medics. “We don’t need you to go along Tie,” said the medic whom Tie had called Doug earlier. Tie moves toward Jose and the other two move to the ambluance and it coughs to life as Tie and Jose walk away.

“So what do you have for me to do?” Tie asks Jose who explains the situation to him. Safe area? Guys to watch my back as I work? Key lock? Tie asked a bunch of questions then asked what Jose was offering.

Jose produced some of his “coffee” beans and told Tie even if he didn’t like coffee that these could be traded for a good value. Tie and Jose haggled a bit eventually settling on a pound of coffee, a dozen eggs, and some of Levi’s fish sauce that Jose had traded Levi coffee for.

Luck would have it Tie was free tomorrow. Since Levi and Jose had planned on getting back to the house on Saturday anyway Jose was happy that things were falling into place. Tie and Jose parted ways as the sun was low on the horizon, Jose headed home.

The Envelope Please
Diego confronts Delores

It is just after the school day and Diego has held Delores after class. He confronts her straight up, asking her what she is doing in his class, how has she gotten there, and what is behind her motive. She smiles and says “You got me, we had planned on giving you this tomorrow morning but you are forcing our hand”

Diego says “who is WE? what do you mean by OUR?” Delores is pulling out a manilla envelope from her shoulder bag and tosses onto Diego’s desk. “Look this over, then come to where I live, you know the cemetery.” Her statement makes Diego feel as though she KNOWS he has followed her. “These will get you inside and we will answer everything.” She turns and leaves as Diego’s interest goes to the manilla envelope. “And come ALONE!” Delores states defiantly as she leaves

Diego retreats to his room with the envelope. He brews up some tea and stares at the envelope for quite a while sipping tea and letting his anticipation build, mulling over the idea of what is inside. He eventually fishes out a small silver knife, dulled to be used as a letter opener as slices the envelope open.

There are several items inside most notably a red passport looking document. Waterproofed paper with some kind of masonic looking seal imprinted on the outside. Diego thumbs it open, it does appear as a passport, complete with his PICTURE inside. Some sort of official looking ID papers

There is a typed letter addressed to him:

Dear Diego,

You have been selected and invited to join our organization. Your drive to excellence within the limits of this shattered society have impressed us greatly. Please come to our compound as soon as possible during daylight hours.

Nur kvankam la malgrasigi

-Johnathan Soros

Diego is unsure of the last line, it is not Latin and is an unfamiliar writing to him. This is worrisome to him as a linguist and he wants to know what it is. There is also a map to the cemetery Diego decides he will go at dawn tomorrow as it is now 5pm and the journey there now would put his arrival near dusk

As we rode out of sight.....
The Yacht returns minus one passenger

After yelling to Maze the “THERE IS NOTHING THAT CONCERNS YOU HERE” the Fecund orders the swimsuited girl into the water. “GET OFF THE BOAT” she says loudly gesturing with the pistol. The swimsuited girl’s eyes are wide with fear and she begins to mouth a protest….

Maze has decided to not interfere. This organization is well respected whatever actions that they partake in to maintain their order are not his to interrupt. As a Marine he saw the greatest of atrocities that some had deemed needed to maintain order. This continued on a lesser scale with the Japanese fishing fleet. This was a hard cruel world.

The fearful girl trembled as she slowly backed down the ladder on the rear deck and into the water. Maze remained in the pilot house watching the proceedings. When the girl was fully in the water, the female who had previously been piloting the boat puts her pistol into its holster, spins and enters the pilot house. “You are dismissed” she says to the Sea Horses captain, shouldering him out of the way and taking the helm.

The boat goes to full power and begins to pull away from the girl in the water. The Fecund and the other dungareed female unfurl the sail as the boat hauls about heading back toward the Japanese fleet base. Maze relaxes a bit as the guns are put away, but keeps his palm on is Beretta.

Maze remains fixated on the girl in the water, she is treading water and keeping her eyes locked on the boat. “Swim for shore” he thinks, knowing in the 50 degree water she has about 30 minutes of activity before she starts to be distressed by hypothermia, maybe an hour if she is lucky.

Nothing is said as the boat pulls rapidly away, soon Maze looses sight of the tiny head bobbing in the cold water. The Yacht returns to the docks where Suzuki is waiting. The Fecund orders Maze and the captain off, Suzuki comes aboard as the Fecund says “All is done”

It is closing in on 5pm

American Gothic Threatens....
Levi talks with the neighbors

The woman eyes Levi suspiciously but not threatingly from the porch. Levi rests his hands in plain view on the battered 4 foot high wooden fence that seperates the sidewalk from the rear yards. "Hi folks, " he says trying to sould neighborly, " Just moving into the area, and taking a look about, don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, just trying to get a family into a house."

Levi thinks he may have volenteered too much information, but figures these people to not be too threatening. “Name’s Micheal,” the farmer states, " Ain’t got no trouble with you trying to move into anywheres but my three houses here."

“Levi’s my name, got a family that is being uprooted and needs a house, got one picked a few blocks over, just making sure of the area.”
“Ain’t to much trouble round here,” the farmer tells Levi. “Folks mainly keep to themselves and to their block. The settled ones will have a few houses together, if you are in a house and no ones bothered you for a few days, it’s yours.”

Levi noticed some movement at an upper window, no doubt another set of eyes on him. “Thank you Micheal,” Levi says as he departs.

He circles the neighborhood a few more times and has several more light encounters like this one. His most notable one comes when he is able to offer one of the matchbox cars to a boy clinging to his father’s leg, the child’s eyes widen at the sight of a toy.

Levi returns to his home as the sun lowers to make up some dinner and be ready in case Jose returns tomorrow with a Levi cooks a light meal, drinks some water, and thinks about life with a family. And about leaving family behind. He remembers his family back on the island – carefree, camaraderie, community. He had that in the islands; he had that on the ship, he had that in his unit. Now? None of that exists. Well, he gets along with many, but the closeness is not there. Running into the elder rekindled the feeling of being displaced – not belonging. Belonging to family, to community, to a common purpose.

The day’s rituals complete, he thinks about Jose and his family. Leaving family is always terrible. They should be set-up as good as possible. Jose will have some ideas..income, comfort, security. Security…live upstairs…secure downstairs and adjacents…steel drop door to cover stairway……..rope ladder to escape from upper story……..neighborhood watch……….

Jose Finds Mr. Fingers
Locksmith located

“Hey, name’s Jose,” Jose speaks as a freind to put the guard at ease. “I’m having some difficulty with a lock, guy that I was working with told me that someone on this meat wagon maybe able to help me out.”

The guard stands, he is wearing battered US Army fatigues and the collared insigna of a corpsman, doesn’t seem to be too concern with you as a threat to what is on the ambluance, he has an M92 Beretta on a belt rig. He turns past the vehicle and yells into the warehouse “TIE! TIE! SOMEONE LOOKING FOR YOU!” He sits back on the tail of the open ambluance, “Tie will be with you in a sec” In a moment 2 other Green camo troopers appear. Both are dressed as the first, all appear to be US Army corpsmen. All three have newer unit patches on and a white and red cross patch clearly indicating medical “Doug what’s up?” The taller of the two approaching medics says, " Guy here looking for a….lock help?" says the original medic. Jose starts up, “Someone told me that someone on this ambluance was good with locks, I got a lock that needs opeing without tearing it up.” The medic approaches, “Name’s Tie” he says extending a hand to shake. Something is slightly odd about Tie’s appearance, his skin is dark almost olive showing a possible Mediteranian or Indian ancestry, but he is tall, over 6 foot and has an unusualy colored shock of red/orange hair. “Gov or for you?” Tie asks, Jose thinks for a second then realizes it means for the goverment or a private job, “For me,” he replies. Tie continues, " hazards will cost you, travel expense up front not refundable, but I WILL get a lock open" he spoke confidantly, got some loading to finish here, meet me back here in an hour and we discuss job and payment

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