Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2152146
This is a sequel to my novel "We the People Are Good to Eat", which is also posted here on writing.com.
BewildernessA murder at Natalino’s Landing? Sergeant Hamelin of the Pennsylvania State Police wondered. Natalino’s Landing is closed this time of year.
Sergeant Gregory Hamelin slowly guided his black and white police hover car, skimming above the narrow gravel road through the thick woodland, on the west side of Lake Wallenpaupak. On this chilly morning in late October, a heavy fog had settled on and around the Lake, dimming the red, yellow and orange leaves that hung on the overhanging tree branches, or lay thick upon the road beneath his vehicle.
Sergeant Hamelin had taken the right turn off the road between Scranton and Hawley. He’d now gone about a mile south.
Few people, he thought, come down this road at this time of year, especially at night. Good place to avoid witnesses.
Now he reached an open area to his left, beside a small cove on the western shore of Lake Wallenpaupack. The water along the shoreline was covered with a thin layer of ice. The fog hid whatever was beyond.
Here beside the cove, a small refreshment stand, stood beside a gravel parking lot. An unlit neon sign on the roof identified the place as “Natalino’s Landing”. A narrow pathway ran from the parking lot down to the shoreline, where a wooden dock stretched out into the water. Across the parking lot from the refreshment stand, was a picnic area with tables, benches, and waist high stone barbecue grills, with metal grates lying across the top.
Today the refreshment stand was closed. Its windows were shuttered, and the shutters locked tight. The entire place was deserted, except for one dark blue civilian hover car in the parking lot. Its windshield faced the picnic area. A man sat alone behind the wheel.
Sergeant Hamelin turned his police car left, into the parking lot, gliding six inches above the pavement.
The civilian car’s left front door opened. The driver stepped out from behind the wheel, and shut the door behind him. He was in his mid forties, and had a stubbly beard. He wore a dark red windbreaker jacket, rugged pants and shoes, and a dark blue cap with a long visor sticking out in front. The man was also unarmed.
38 year old Sergeant Hamelin set the State Police Car down to the left of the other vehicle, leaving one empty parking space between him and the man. He then stepped out through the driver’s side.
The damp chilly air was filled with the aroma of wet fallen leaves. Sergeant Hamelin wore a dark blue jacket over his uniform, with a badge pinned to the front of the outer garment. He had another badge on his hat.
The man in the dark red jacket stepped up to him, looking very distressed. He raised his right arm, pointing to the opposite side of the barbecue grills.
“That’s where it is, Officer!”
Sergeant Hamelin nodded. He walked beside the man, both of them kicking up fallen leaves with each step. The man led him past the grills that were cold, and cleared of ashes.
“My name’s Daniel Cobb. I came here about an hour ago to do some fishing off the dock, but you can see the water. It’s covered with ice. So I started walking around, and that’s what I found.”
They came to one grill, beside the edge of the woods. The grill had been recently used. Unlike the others, gray charcoal ashes filled the pit beneath an uncleaned grate. The remains of a barbecued and eaten carcass lay on the ground beside the stove.
“Look at those bones!” Daniel Cobb’s voice shook. “They didn’t come from any sheep or goat!”
The Sergeant nodded. “They’re human.”
“Cannibals.” Mr. Cobb said, “People from the City Building. That’s what I’ve heard they do behind its walls. There it’s legal.”
“Well it isn’t out here,” Sergeant Hamelin told him, “and they all know it. They all know that when they leave the City Building they’re required to obey our laws for as long as they’re out here.”
Now he asked Daniel Cobb, “Do you have any idea who this victim was?”
Mr. Cobb pointed again, “Over there.”
About 30 yards away, just inside the edge of the woods, a three foot high wooden stake had been driven into the ground, with a woman’s head stuck on top. The Sergeant and Daniel Cobb headed away from the stove, kicking up more leaves, while making their way around a few trees and came over to the stake.
The Sergeant said, “A girl in her late teens. Do you have any idea who she is?”
The teenage girl had straight black hair, stylishly set with a hairclip. Her skin was tan. She had high cheekbones. Her eyes were shut and her lips slightly parted, in what might have been an ecstatic smile. She also wore a pair of earrings.
“No Officer. She’s not anyone I recognize.”
Sergeant Hamelin pointed at the girl’s hairclip. The image of entwined snakes was engraved upon it.
“This is carved from bone.” He said, “Probably human bone.” He pointed again. “So are the earrings.”
The same entwined snake image was engraved on both earrings.
“Then she’s a City Building girl.” Mr. Cobb sounded relieved. “Not one of ours. At least they’re keeping it among themselves.”
“They should be keeping it among themselves inside the City Building, and City Building People all know it.”
“Excuse me Officer.” Daniel Cobb again sounded anxious. “Do you know if any other City Building people are staying around here anyplace?”
Gregory Hamelin told him, “There might be some in Zabelton.”
“Zabelton? It’s not that far from here!”
The Sergeant nodded, “I’ll head over there, and see who’s staying at the Motel.”
Sergeant Hamelin was back in his hover car, skimming above the gravel road that went between Hawley and Scranton. He headed west through the woodland of tall trees with thick trunks, driving under the overhanging tree branches; passing the impenetrable undergrowth on both sides of the road.
It’s finally happened. He thought. It’s been four months since the City Building of Manhattan was unsealed. Since then, a comparatively small number of its citizens have been coming out here to visit the Pocono Mountains, and then they’ve gone back inside its walls. Now some of those citizens have brought a part of their culture with them. A part they know they’re supposed to keep behind those walls.
He’d driven through the woods for about a half hour, passing a few houses. About half a dozen cars had gone by him, coming from the opposite direction. Away from the foggy lake, a strong sun shone in a partly cloudy sky, brightening the yellow, orange and red leaves of autumn.
He’d now driven up to a one story, yellow, rectangular building on the right. The building had a sign out front identifying it as “Luzak’s Motel.”
The office was on the building’s far left, with a line of eight rooms to its right. Each room had a dark green door, with a large window facing the road. The parking lot was empty. No car was parked in front of any door.
Across the road was a small stagnant pond, overgrown with old tree stumps sticking out of the water. A handmade wooden sign beside the pond declared, “No Swimming Allowed.”
He turned off the road here, glided across the parking lot, and set the vehicle down in front of the Motel’s office. Sergeant Hamelin got out of the car. He stood in the chilly breeze for a moment beneath the dazzling sun. Then he stepped inside the comfortably warm office.
The proprietor sat behind the front desk, going over paper work. He looked up. His expression became troubled when he saw the uniformed officer.
His voice was friendly. “Good morning Sergeant Hamelin. So how’s your campaign for Sheriff going?”
“Good morning Mr. Luzak.”
The Sergeant stepped up to the desk. “I don’t see any cars in your parking lot. Tell me. Do you have any guests staying here at this time?”
“No Greg.” The man who was in his mid forties shook his head. “At this time there’s nothing but vacancies. Right now it’s off season,” he smiled, “but once the snow starts falling, every room’ll be full.”
“That’s good to know. Tell me. Have you had any visitors from the City Building staying here recently?”
Mr. Luzak looked uneasy.
“Oh yes.” He told the officer, “We had a few staying here over the weekend. They left yesterday morning.”
Now his voice became uneasy. “Is there trouble Greg?”
Gregory Hamelin nodded. “The trouble we’ve been expecting Henry. It’s finally happened. One or more people had a cannibal barbecue down by Lake Wallenpaupak, either last night or the night before.”
“I’ve been afraid of that.” Henry said, “Ever since my brother the Reverend Luzak and my daughter Charlene came back from the City Building. We’ve all known it was only a matter of time.”
The Sergeant said, “I’d like to check the names that your guests registered under.”
“Right. Please go right ahead.”
Henry Luzak picked up a handful of check-in cards.
“I’ve been thinking,” he said, “of having new check-in cards printed for City Building people to use. There’s not enough room for their addresses to fit on these old ones.”
He handed all the cards to the officer, pointing to the one on top. “Look at this name and address.
“’Mrs. Margarita Ramierez, Apartment 8, Cubicle 27, 10-37 West 61st Street, Level 1375, City of Manhattan Building.’
“We motel owners are gonna be needing much bigger cards Greg, and a lot of them.”
The officer asked, “What do you know about this Ramierez woman?”
“Oh don’t worry about her. She’s been here before. She’s a high school teacher; a responsible woman. She understands that when City Building people come out here among us, they’re expected to obey all our laws. I’m sure she wouldn’t be breaking any of them.”
“You say she left yesterday morning?”
“That’s right, along with everyone who came with her.”
“Then they’re all back inside the City Building by now. That puts them beyond the jurisdiction of the Pennsylvania State Police.”
“Right, but like I said, she’s a responsible woman.”
“How responsible are the people who came with her?”
“Who knows? They were all students from her high school. My daughter Charlene met some of them, when she and the Pastor were staying in the City Building. They became friends. Do you think it was some of them?”
Sergeant Hamelin reached inside the pocket of his jacket, and took out an envelope. He reached inside the envelope and pulled out a full color glossy photo.
Then he said, “I’m sorry to do this to you Henry. What I’m about to show you is revolting, but I have to know. Tell me. Do you have any idea who she was?”
He handed the photo to the man, who glanced at it quickly and looked away from the snapshot of the teenage girl’s head on the stake.
“Yes!” Henry Luzak spoke nervously. “She was one of the kids who stayed here over the weekend. She’s been here before. Her name was Nora…somethng.” He leafed through the papers in front of him. “Her name was Nora Delgado. Mrs. Ramierez was chief chaperone.”
The Sergeant asked, “They killed and ate one of their own classmates?”
“And their teacher, Mrs. Ramierez was chaperone.
“The day before yesterday, Charlene spent the day at Lake Wallenpaupak with the City Building kids and Mrs. Ramierez. I was in the back room when they returned, so I didn’t see them then. I didn’t see any of them again before they left.”
“Your daughter went to Lake Wallenpaupak with them?”
“She’s was on the bus with them, when they drove there and back. She didn’t say anything about any cannibalism.”
Sergeant Hamelin then asked, “Where is your daughter Charlene? I’d like to talk to her about this.”
“Right. Unfortunately,” Henry Luzak told him, “she’s not here in Zabelton right now. Yesterday morning, before I arrived, Mrs. Ramierez and all the City Building kids got up very early, and Charlene got on the bus with them again, and rode with them back to the City Building’s entrance at Weehawken. She hasn’t returned yet.”
“She hasn’t? Do you know if she’s gone inside with them?”
“Yes, and she has a legitimate reason. Charlene was registered to take a college entrance exam today, at a City Building School of Higher Education.”
“A City Building College?”
“That’s right. It’s a Jephthahn Religious Academy of Higher Education. While she’s there this week, she’ll also be applying for a full scholarship, from the Jephthahn Scholarship Board.”
“I suppose that means she’ll be living in a City Building Dormitory, won’t she?”
“She will if she’s accepted.” Mr. Luzak said. “If she is, she’ll be moving there, once she enrolls.”
“Then she’ll be coming back here, after she enrolls?”
“I hope so, but I’m not sure. I know she’s got some feelings for one of those City Building guys. He’s named Jimmy Haskins. I’m really not sure what else I can tell you that’d be helpful Greg; but my brother the Pastor’s been inside the City Building. I’m sure he’ll be able to tell you a lot more.”
Sergeant Hamelin left the office and got back in his patrol hover car. He skimmed out of the parking lot and turned right, following the road that turned left, went up a hill, turned right, and emerged from the woods into the open at a crossroads, beneath a glowing blue sky and bright yellow sun.
He was facing west. A one story tall white Church building stood on the opposite side of the crossroads to the left. The Church had a line of six arched stained glass windows along its side. It had a tall steeple rising high, beside an autumn orange leafed tree, with a thick trunk growing on the building’s front lawn. A front walk of blue slate went across the lawn from the road to the Church’s entrance.
There was also a driveway behind the Church, where a dark green hovercar was parked. It was the only vehicle in sight.
Beside the front walk, a white wooden sign with black lettering stood. The sign identified the place as,
“First Presbyterian Church
Rev. Domnick Luzak: Pastor
Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30
All Are Welcomed!”
On the opposite side of the gravel road, was a single, two story tall, bluish gray building with a front porch. A sign above the porch identified the building as,
Zabelton General Store”.
The road between the church and the store went further on to the west, going between recently harvested fields, and continued on, passing a barn with a silo, then disappearing over a low hill, where it continued on to Scranton. The fields were surrounded by tall rounded mountains, bright with the colors of autumn.
Gregory Hamelin skimmed through the crossroads, and stopped at the foot of the Church’s front walk.
He got out of his vehicle, went up the walk and entered the Church.
The Church office was behind the Sanctuary. The door was opened. The Reverend Domnick Luzak sat behind the desk, beside a window overlooking the harvested fields to the west. He sat looking over certain documents that he’d received in the mail from the Presbytery of the Poconos. One document was titled, “City Building People Are Human; Not ‘People From Hell’.”
At last! He thought, That’s what I’ve been telling everybody all along. They’ve finally decided to agree with the obvious.
There was a knock on the door. Reverend Luzak looked up, and saw the State Police Sergeant standing in the doorway.
“Hello Gregory.” The Pastor smiled. “It’s good to see you.”
“You might change your mind about that Pastor. I’m here on official Police business.”
The man stopped smiling.
“A teenage girl was discovered murdered at Lake Wallenpaupak a few hours ago.”
“Murdered? You use the word ‘murder’?”
“She was cooked and eaten at Natalino’s Landing, the day or night before yesterday. Cannibalism. Her head was then impaled on a stake, in the woods just beyond the border of the picnic grounds.”
“I see.” The Pastor told him, “What we’ve all known was coming eventually. That’s how things are done inside the City Building. When people get killed they cook and eat them, whether the killing is deliberate or accidental.”
Sergeant Hamelin told him, “There was nothing accidental about her killing Pastor. All that was left of her, that was identifiable, was her head.”
“That is another City Building Custom, whether the death is deliberate or accidental.”
“It wasn’t accidental, Dom! Her name was Nora Delgado. According to your brother Henry, she’d come out here for a few days with some of her classmates. They were accompanied by one of their teachers; a Mrs. Margarita Ramierez. If it was accidental, Mrs. Ramierez and her students would have told your brother Henry about it, but they didn’t.”
“Then you want to arrest them for murder?”
“I want to question them. I understand that they’ve gone back to the City Building, and your niece
Charlene went with them. I’d like to ask her what she knows.”
“I see. Well she should have returned by now, so we’ll have her contact you as soon as possible.”
“Thank you Pastor; but that’s a problem. According to your brother Henry, she hasn’t returned yet.”
“No. It seems that she’s signed up to take a college entrance exam, at a Jephthahn Religious Academy of Higher Education. She’ll be taking it some time this week. She’s also applying for a full scholarship.”
The Pastor was startled. “Jephthahn? I knew she was taking an entrance exam. I wasn’t told it was a Jephthahn School. I knew she’s also applying for a full scholarship.”
“That’s not the only reason she’s going. According to your brother Henry, she’s got some kind of crush on one of the City Building boys.”
Domnick nodded. “Jimmy Haskins. I don’t know if I’d trust that boy, or any City Building boy. When it comes to romance, or ‘whatever they want to call it’, City Building kids don’t have time to waste.”
The Sergeant chuckled for a moment. Then he spoke seriously again.
“Pastor.” He told him, “I am required to find and question your niece Charlene, Mrs. Margarita Ramierez, and every one of those City Building kid about the death of Nora Delgado. In order to do that, I’ll have to enter the City Building of Manhattan.”
“Wouldn’t that be entirely out of your jurisdiction Sergeant Hamelin?”
“All I need is a warrant Pastor Luzak. Then the Legal Authorities inside the City Building of Manhattan will be required to give me all the aid that is necessary.”
“If all you want to do is question them, that shouldn’t be a problem. If you want to arrest any of them, you’re gonna be facing a lot more difficulties than you’d expect.”
“I figured that, that’s why I’ve come to you. I’ve heard a lot of stories about the way things are inside the City Building. I have no idea what’s true and what isn’t, but you do. You’ve been there. You’re the first person from out here, who’s ever gone inside its walls, and come back to tell us about it.”
“That’s right. The City of Manhattan Building has been unsealed, and City Building people, have come into contact with us, who they call ‘Wilderness People’, for the first time in 1,322 years. My niece Charlene and I met a small number of them. I was the one who negotiated the preliminary agreements with their Government Leaders.
“Both our world and theirs are going to be changing each other Greg. The Preliminary Agreement, and the permanent ones, that are now being worked on by our Diplomats and theirs; are intended to make the changes occur as smoothly as possible. Neither they or us want our worlds turned upside down.”
“Neither do I Pastor. But as of now, among us ‘Wilderness People’ murder is still against the law. I am still required to go inside the City Building of Manhattan and question those involved, and arrest whoever I suspect of being the perpetrator or perpetrators, so they can be brought to justice.”
“Then you’ll be trying to do the right thing Greg, but if you can’t, it might actually do harm to your campaign.”
“That’s not the reason I want them brought to Justice Dom.”
“Isn’t it Greg?”
The Sergeant smiled, “Well it would be a big help. These City Building kids may have handed me the office.”
The Pastor told him, “Once you’re inside the City Building, it might not be that easy. Like I said, you’re gonna be facing a lot more difficulties than you’d expect.”
“I know. That’s why I’ve come to you Domnick. I can use your advice.”
The following morning Sergeant Gregory Hamelin skimmed along in his official State Police hover-car, above Route 6, going east through the woodlands between Hawley and Milford. He’d gotten up before sunrise. The sky ahead was just beginning to brighten, when he’d skimmed across the shallow stream of the upper Delaware River, then up the hill and on into New Jersey.
Yesterday afternoon, his Campaign Manager Jake Mitchell had objected to this journey.
“You can’t leave for the City Building now Greg. It’s less than two week’s ‘til Election Day.”
“I’m a police officer Jake. Not a politician. That’s your job. You take care of it.”
“Take care of it? I can’t ‘take care of it’ without a candidate.”
“It’s okay. I should be back in a day or two; with all the ‘murderous cannibal perpetrators’ in custody. That’ll be all you’ll need to get me elected.”
“But what if you come back without them?”
“Then I won’t deserve to be elected.”
Right, Greg thought as he skimmed along through the mountains of northwest New Jersey. I won’t.
“...back in a day or two...”?
I wish I could be as confident as I’d sounded.
“...all in custody”?
We’ll see when I get there.
When I get there, I’ll have to find them, somewhere inside the City Building of Manhattan. Find them in a day or two? Was that possible? Would that be possible in the less than two weeks before Election Day?
Then, if I ever do find them...?
Yesterday I asked Pastor Luzak for advice. He told me a lot of very useful things. I wrote it all down.
Those notes should be helpful; but...
We’ll see what happens when I get there.
He continued on as the sun rose, going along the sparsely traveled road through the forests of the Kittatinny Mountains, continuing his journey to the City Building of Manhattan, passing small communities, farmland, lakes and streams.
He’d heard many stories about the goings on inside the City Building. Many of them were obviously exaggerations. Some that weren’t exaggerated sounded bad enough. Deadly combat’s an actual high school team sport?
What about City Building People when they’re not participating in sports? What would they be like as individuals?
In the last few months, he’d met a few who’d come to the Poconos as tourists. They’d all been courteous. He’d seen news reports featuring Diplomats from the City Building, who’d been working with our own “Wilderness Diplomats”. They’d all been diplomatic.
That’s how City Building people behave when they’re out here, and wilderness people are watching.
How do they behave when they’re back home, just being themselves inside the City Building?
He’d seen other news reports. In the months since the unsealing, a few “Tourists from the Wilderness” had been killed while visiting the City Building. Then they’d been eaten. According to the reports, most City Building people couldn’t understand why the dead tourist’s relatives made a fuss, or why it was even a news story.
Now as Sergeant Hamelin continued traveling eastward, the place where he was headed came into sight. Beyond the trees and the hills, he saw the massive, rectangular, artificial mountain, rising high into the clouds, and above the clouds, where its 12 mile long roof was actually capped with snow, and its upper sides caked with ice.
The City Building of Manhattan. He wondered. What am I taking on?
With each mile that he approached the structure, its bulk appeared to increase in height and width, blocking more and more of the sky from his sight.
He came to the community of Little Falls, “The last outpost of civilization”. Here he left his own world of farms, small towns, and churches behind. He turned onto a road that was little more than a series of barely maintained ruts. The ruts went southeast, through a marshy plain, going in the general direction of the massive wall that now filled almost his entire field of vision, from top to bottom and side to side.
There were no communities beyond Little Falls. This was an actual wilderness, with no occupied structures. There were only the ancient ruins of structures that had been standing here, when the City Building was completed. He understood that. Who’d want to live this close to anything as monstrous, as the City Building’s wall that rose to the center of the sky, blocking out the sun for half the day?
He finally came to the end of the ruts, where a recently constructed, one story tall structure stood, with a sign above the entrance saying, “Rest Stop”. A brand new parking lot was laid out in front of the structure. Spaces for just over 100 cars were clearly marked out. Today, no more than twenty hover cars were set down, directly outside the structure’s front door. So was a yellow bus.
Greg Hamelin guided his vehicle into the parking lot, brought it up to the white stucco structure with large picture windows, and set it down beside the other cars.
He got out and walked along behind the line of cars, looking at their license plates. Most of them were New Jersey plates. A few were from New York State. One had Pennsylvania plates. So did the bus. Was this the one, he wondered, that the murderous cannibals had taken back to the City Building, along with Charlene Luzak?
Now Sergeant Hamelin stepped inside the Rest Stop, hoping that Miss Luzak, Mrs. Margarita Ramierez, and the kids who’d stayed at Luzak’s Motel would be there.
Inside the Rest Stop he found a cafeteria with a few dozen tables. Few people were seated at them.
The daughter of Henry Luzak was not among them. Neither were any high school kids.
A giant screen TV hung on the wall above the serving counter, tuned to an ancient movie that had been produced long before the construction of the City Building, titled “Death Race 2000”. Sergeant Hamelin had seen it before.
A man and a woman in their mid forties, sat near the door, at a table to his right, watching the movie.
They ate from plates on trays; a lunch of cold cut sandwiches with crinkle cut fried potatoes.
The man said, “I think this is what they call ‘beef’. It’s gonna be a while before they begin adding human meat to this wilderness cuisine.”
The woman nodded. Then she said, “At least this time it’s not ‘raining’ like it was last time we came out here. Now it’s colder. If it was raining and this cold, I don’t think I’d want to be out here at all.”
He told her, “I hear that ‘snow’ is even worse.”
At another table to the right, just beyond this couple, a man in a different blue uniform was seated, with three stripes on his sleeve and a badge on his shirt.
He called out. “Hello Sergeant!”
Gregory Hamelin called back, “Good noontime Sergeant!”
He walked over to the seated officer, and stretched out his hand.
“I’m Gregory Hamelin of the Pennsylvania State Police.”
“Lew Jacowski. Weehawken Constabulary. Please be seated.”
The two officers shook hands, and Sergeant Hamelin sat across the table from Sergeant Jacowski.
“So tell me Sergeant Hamelin, what brings you here all the way from Pennsylvania to the outpost of Weehawken?”
Gregory leaned forward and lowered his voice.
“I’ve come to seek the extradition of certain individuals who are believed to have committed an act of murder and cannibalism, within the borders of the State of Pennsylvania, and who have fled behind the walls of the City of Manhattan Building.”
The other man looked at the couple at the next table. Then he also spoke with a lowered voice.
“So someone’s finally filed a complaint?”
“Finally? You mean it’s happened before?”
“We don’t know for sure, but there are suspicions. You see Sergeant Hamelin, since the City Building’s been unsealed; groups of its citizens have been coming out here, to spend vacation time in the Wilderness. When they’ve gone back inside, one or two members of some of those groups have not come back with them.”
“You suspect they’ve been murdered and cannibalized?”
“Just a suspicion, but there is no evidence, and so far no one’s filed any complaints. As long as they keep it among themselves, I suspect there won’t be any.”
“Sergeant Jacowski. One group of high school kids and their teacher have left some evidence.
They’ve killed and eaten one of their own classmates. I’ve come to see that they’re brought to justice.”
“It won’t be as easy as that, Sergeant Hamelin. The Government of the City of Manhattan Building won’t allow any of its citizens to be extradited for any acts, that aren’t regarded as crimes within its walls.”
“I’ve heard that.” Sergeant Hamelin told the man, “But there is one person involved, who might not be one of their citizens.”
“A Pennsylvanian might have been involved?”
“Now that’s something they might take into consideration. On the other hand, this person who you suspect might be granted asylum.”
“Maybe not. The person I’m seeking is a minor. A 16 year old girl named Charlene Luzak.”
“Luzak?” Sergeant Jacowski asked, “Any relation to Pastor Domnick Luzak?”
“Yes Sergeant. She’s his niece.”
“Yes. I remember her. I was standing right beside the two of them, along with those two City Building kids, when the airlock was unsealed from the inside. They were the first ‘people from the wilderness’, to be given the official authorization to enter the City of Manhattan Building, after 1,322 years.” He chuckled, “I think that since I was standing there, it might make me some kind of historical personage.
“I still have that authorization form, signed by Congressman Salinski, and other high government officials. That might become an historical document. It might actually be worth a lot of money someday.
“You think the Luzak girl had something to do with the killing?”
Greg told him, “I have to question her, and everyone else involved, to be sure.”
Now the woman at the next table spoke to her husband. “Oh. Here’s the scene.”
He, Greg and Sergeant Jacowski turned their attention to the TV screen.
The movie “Death Race 2000” was about a cross country auto race, where the drivers scored points by striking pedestrians. The drivers were Major Super Star Celebrities. They had very enthusiastic fans, all eager for their chosen heroes or heroines to score the highest number of casualties.
This scene focused on a local chapter of the hero driver’s fan club. They were sexy teenage girls, all dressed in very short shorts and tight tee shirts. As the hero’s car approached at maximum speed, the girls were all gathered in a group, in the middle of a rural community’s main road, apparently ready to help him score a very high number of hopefully fatal casualties, by being the casualties themselves.
Then his vehicle came into sight. The husband and wife from the City Building sat watching; expecting the girls to remain standing in place, along the center line, where their hero could slam into them, scoring as many screaming deaths and/or dismemberments as possible, off this chapter of his fan club. He’d then leave a large, blood soaked mass of sexy dead girls, spread out all over the road behind him.
However, as he sped up, aiming his vehicle straight at their long bare legs, sexy shorts and tight tee shirts, they separated into two groups who hurried to safety among the crowd of people, who stood along both sides of the road. Only one girl, who’d been chosen from among them, remained standing on the center line. She stood facing the oncoming vehicle, prepared to be killed by her hero. Her hero obliged. He slammed into her, causing her immediate screaming death, but he’d only scored one kill by doing so.
After he’d sped off down the road and out of sight, the other girls in his fan club came back out onto the pavement, where all they did was look at their dead fellow member.
In the Rest Stop, the couple from the City Building both expressed annoyance.
“What a bunch of wussies.” The man said, “I see what you mean. I can’t believe they’d actually have the nerve to call themselves his ‘Fan Club’, when only one of them’s dead!”
The woman laughed. “I can’t imagine our daughter or any of her friends, being such a bunch of wussies. If she was, I’d be ashamed to look at her; and what would I possibly say to the neighbors?”
On the screen, the girls in their sexy fan club outfits remained gathered around the girl’s corpse.
The man at the table said, “She’s the only member who deserves to wear that outfit.”
On the screen at that moment, the girls’ hero’s car had turned around and came roaring back down the road, aiming at their shorts, legs and tight tee shirts.
Before they could move, he slammed his car into them. This time he finally caused most of the screaming deaths and/or dismemberments that a non-wussy fan club would have given him, the first time he’d roared through.
Then he immediately spun the car around and roared back. The few surviving fan club members finally did what they should have done all along. They stood together in the center of the road, waited for the fatal impact, and then died screaming as he plowed through them.
After their hero had finally scored all the fan club kills, he sped away, leaving the large mass of blood soaked sexy dead girls, spread out all over the road behind him. However, his having to come back for this second roar through, had cost their hero a good amount of time, and he was no longer in the lead.
The City Building Man said, “Now that’s just the way that you and the girls on your team would have handled it, when you were in high school. I’m sure our daughter and her friends would handle it the same way.”
His wife said, “Except for the Tee shirts. We’d have been a pile of sexy dead girls, with blood on our naked boobs. So would our girl and her friends.”
He added, “They’d provide very satisfying holiday dinners for everybody standing in the watching crowd; just like you and the girls on your team would have done.”
“Right.” The woman agreed. “It’s too bad that they don’t have this kind of holiday recreation out here.”
Now Gregory Hamelin said to Sergeant Jacowski. “That movie’s a fantasy. It wasn’t intended to be taken seriously.”
Sergeant Jacowski told him, “That was when the movie was first produced, long before the City Building was constructed. Now its citizens do take it seriously.”
Greg asked, “Do City Building people really want to bring that kind of “holiday recreation” out here among us?”
Sergeant Jacowski nodded.
Now the woman at the next table looked directly at Sergeant Hamelin.
“Excuse me Officer. That may not be the way things are out here in the wilderness, for now, but it will be, sooner than you think. You Wilderness People will all just have to get used to it!”
Now Sergeant Jacowski spoke.
“See what I mean?” He told Greg, “Getting anyone from the City Building extradited for murder’s gonna be a real problem.”
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