I haul the bodies back to dad’s and let him know the new experiments have arrived. I know he likes to have spare parts laying around. Maybe he can give toes back to Phil after he lost them last week. All goes according to plan as I drop them off and head straight to the Palace. Rumors are afoot.
The run clears my head as I notice it’s awfully quiet. The lights are off in the Palace. Maybe the rumors are true. I walk in and see no one. It’s too quiet, so I take out Butch’s gun, my most prized possession besides my right arm, and fire a round off into the ceiling. Can’t miss me coming. No one comes running so I’ll go check out the rest of the Palace. I bet I’ll find the Great Bambino in the master bedroom. The door is closed. I’m feeling an adrenaline rush, so boom! The bedroom door goes crashing to the floor as I make my entrance. The Great Bambino is sitting on the edge of the bed with Datsun, of all people, pointing a gun at his head. Next thing I know, there’s the flash of gunpowder and the smell of gun powder, and the Great Bambino is slumped over.
Well that was unexpected. How do I get in the Great Bambino’s good graces now? I was going to be second in command now that I’d proven I was stronger than Butch.
Plan B! Wait, I had a plan A? Oh yeah, work the inside job. Sigh, I’m on to plan B and flying by the seats of my pants. Or rather, by the roaring sound of my Harley. So I try to find out what Datsun’s plan is. “Secure Ray’s water trucks.” Secure them from what? He has water he says. Doesn’t he know the whole town is in a shortage?? This guy might be crazy. And that’s almost harsh coming from me after the day I’ve had.
In comes Julius. He asks a lot of the same questions I did. Then Ray and Grizz come in. Ray has a whole new question and asks about where the slaves are going. “Protect the water trucks.” That’s always the answer. And then it hits me. I’m the threat. I consider pulling my gun on him then and there. But no one knows. Best not show my hand quite yet. I don’t know that I can trust anyone in the current group.
Time to ride out to the Muddy Marauders and figure out how the crew is doing.
General Tzo greets me and reports our biggest haul yet. Raiders are afoot. Caravan coming in. And possibly a war on our hands. My numbers are too few. Too few indeed. But water! I have it. And most don’t. Me thinks there’s recruiting to be done. But first, what visions does my right arm bring me? Visions of happiness? Visions of sadness? Visions of death? Those last ones are my favorite.
No, this time I get visions of yellow and shadow and innocent people being slaughtered by things. Of a guy in Yellow cracking a whip at an invisible team of horses. Of a sign saying “Welcome to Oklahoma.” Of Carcosa.
The word resonates with my soul as i prepare to give my speech. It pours out of my mouth and I’m not sure what I’m saying. So many moving pieces. How did I get to be in charge? But they seem to like it. Glutin, to celebrate, even dumps out a water skin. I admonish him. We don’t get rich by being wasteful. Feast is scheduled. Everything is in place. For what, I’m not sure. But it’s in place. Time to sleep and put an end to this weirdness.