MEN IN SUITS
A greasy brown fog had rolled in on them, darkening the otherwise crystalline autumn day to a sick hush. Feeling close to suffocation, her chest heaved in and out as she struggled to collect enough breath to answer their idiotic questions. The oil spill was spreading up and down the coast and had already washed onto this once pristine shore.
She looked up at the highway. … Uniformed men and women wearing various labels on their jackets … streamed from the vehicles and streamed down the cliffs like robots, marching toward the devastated beach where she stood facing the press. The authorities would have to get through the twenty-person-deep wall of protesters to reach her.
She glared defiantly into the television cameras and clutched the dead oil-covered egret to her breast. She could feel the filthy feathers of the bird rubbing against her skin where her shirt had torn open. She held the bird up to cover any parts of her chest that would not be considered acceptable on prime time television, and to hide the secret OMEGA KEY symbol tattooed above her left breast. The broken neck of the egret dangled over her elbow. Its lifeless eyes stared like darkened crystal balls prophesizing more of the same.
All the while, she was being watched on a wall-sized television screen by a group of finely dressed businessmen … seated around a mahogany table in a … penthouse board room on the top floor of a massive skyscraper. The lights had been dimmed for better viewing. The silver hair of the man in charge glistened in the iridescence radiating from the big screen. “Gentlemen, look, there she is. Note that she’s wearing that green arm band worn by the Earthcult people. She’s about to speak. When she does, check out her unusually good looks, her television face. And listen closely. ….”
The men in suits leaned forward with keen interest, awaiting the words of the oil-streaked woman whose torn shirt was revealing the curve of her left breast. A couple of the men noticed what looked like a tattoo on her breast, but the picture was too dark to see it clearly. ….
Now it was raining black rain. The air was saturated with oil. Each drop of mist was so coated with the stuff that the television crews had to turn on their portable lights, the kind they usually reserved for night time on-the-scene broadcasting.
The police began dragging the protesters, all of whom were … refusing to budge, across the oily sand. The police became increasingly clumsy and looked increasingly ridiculous as they slipped and soiled themselves in the oil, struggling to move the Human wall. She held the egret tightly and watched, proud of her protesters and their green arm bands, and grateful that the oil spill, the mazoo, had ironically become, at least for the moment, an ally of her Earthcult.
Now she was ready to speak. She straightened her posture and raised her hand to quiet the anxious media. She nodded her head toward the profile of the exceedingly large oil tanker, literally broken in two, which sat on the horizon as if it had been pasted there, looking far too big for the landscape it dominated. And then she looked into the cameras and explained:
“You are at the scene of the worst oil spill in history. Speaking for the hundreds of thousands of species who die and or suffer here today and all along these coasts in the coming weeks, we demand that … the NeoHyberSol-X Corporation … make immediately available 2 billion dollars for emergency ocean and shore cleaning measures and endangered animal rescue and rehabilitation services.”
Somebody from the press wanted more. “And what if your demands are not met? ….”
… She complied. After all, it was time to inform the public of the extent of their power-base: “Earthcult now has well over 500 million members on this planet, and countless more sympathizers. If each of our members donates just two or three dollars … we’ll have a sizable war chest with which to hire the legal force to sue NeoHyberSol-X for punitive damages. … I guaranteethat NeoHyberSol-X will be destroyed if it does not meet these and our other demands. But more than that, more than the reprisals Earthcult will take, the EARTH HERSELF will make NeoHyberSol-X pay. In fact, we will all pay. And this is certain. Massive catastrophe is coming. Only a small proportion of Earth’s Human inhabitants will survive. Earthcult members intend to be among the survivors. Those who join us will be protected and admitted to what the press calls ‘the survivor territories,’ THE LOCATIONS OF WHICH HAVE BEEN REVEALED TO US BY DIVINE MEANS."
THE OMEGA CABAL
The leader of the conference, watching from his elegant board room, was visibly excited, absolutely elated. He pointed at the woman on the screen. “There, you see? See what I’ve been talking about? She said survivor territories. SURVIVOR TERRITORIES!!! She’s doing the marketing for us! We will be selling the territories she’s talking about. She creates the demand. We fuel this pent-up demand she creates with our own media campaign, until the price of the supply goes sky high. And, of course, we control the supply by buying up all the land -- all the survivor territories – and all access to them, in advance of their public identification.
"She’s out to convince them that massive, global, catastrophe is coming. That the Earth will make us all pay. Something like the sinking of Atlantis if you know that myth – or the Biblical apocalypse if you know the Bible – or the psychic triggering of all out nuclear war if you’ve been following any of the most recent so-called psychic stuff. She’s been talking like this all over the world, causing riots, stopping major fuel shipments, blocking airports, and so on. Public officials and corporate execs everywhere are trying to shut her up. But if they lock her up, put her away, her cause – this Earthcult thing – will get more coverage than it already does. The media is intrigued. We can buy some air time and we certainly will, but they’re already giving us air time free. We’re already on a roll and we’ve barely begun. Gentlemen … we formally initiate your involvement in this enterprise tonight….”
All the men nodded earnestly. None of them seemed to notice that there were no women present. … The men could see the great potential for astronomical profit in this sort of investment …. And wait until news of actual survivor territory secrets hit! Let the media create the demand; let this group of investors meet it!
What consumer wouldn’t want to buy his or her way out of a coming world-wide cataclysm? Who wouldn’t put his or her last dime on the line for survival?
There was big money to be made here. And, just in case global catastrophe was already on its way, the investors would have the most prime parcels of the survivor territories and accesses to these reserved for themselves.
One member of the group of investors was concerned. What if they bought up what they thought were survivor territories, but later found that these were not the ones Earthcult had received word of (in what it claimed was a secret and most occult communication with Earth herself)? This gentleman’s concerns were relieved by the silver-haired leader of the proceedings who explained that he already had a team of spies, led by his own key man, infiltrating Earthcult and working into high positions in that organization. These spies had already identified for him the precise locations and boundaries of many of Earthcult’s designated survivor territories. And this key man had, in fact, already managed to become very close to this woman leading Earthcult, making him privy to many of her dearest secrets.
Meanwhile, on the beach, the struggle between the protesters and the uniformed men degenerated into a filthy squall of bodies. The media people turned away from the oil-stained woman holding the dead egret and raced toward the squall to capture the scene on camera. They were pulled right into the mess.
Seeing this as perhaps her only opportunity to evade arrest, to remain free to direct the strategy of Earthcult, she turned and raced down the beach. Her feet stomped through the small black waves that were lapping at the oil-smothered shore. The black waves were much too heavy to create the splash and sea-foam so typical of a clean sea. Instead, they formed a dark and eerie presence. With each wave, a message, a vague but ominous foreboding, was cast.
She was still clutching the limp egret when she slipped and fell onto a pile of dead birds. They all had those same disturbing dark crystal eyes. She placed her egret atop the pile. Tears were streaming down her face, glistening like liquid diamonds against her oil-streaked skin. She reached into one of the pockets of her jeans and pulled out some crumpled papers, and set the papers and birds on fire. She glanced back at what had become a macabre riot, a sort of mud-wrestling event in which the mud was actually a major oil spill. … She ran off, adeptly scrambling up through the boulders to a spot further down the highway.
Someone in a black van called to her. “Get in. Quick.”
She squinted distrustingly into the blackened mist, not readily identifying the owner of the voice. She moved a bit closer. And then she looked relieved. “There you are, Dave. Thank God.” She hopped in. “Don’t go that way. Turn around. It’s become a riot. But that’s good. It let me get away. Otherwise I would have been surrounded and arrested. I’m wanted on at least forty charges now.”
“OK. You hide in back.” He waved his head toward the back of the van. She did as he suggested. Then he looked back at her. “Are you hurt?”
“No, just filthy, thank you. And real stressed out. Nothing a little good sex can’t cure.”
He did not respond to her attempt at humor, not even with a faint smile. “Here, wipe yourself clean,” he mumbled, throwing her a towel. “Get rid of the arm band. It’s a sure giveaway. And, if you want to take off those filthy clothes you can use my running shorts and that t-shirt in the athletic bag back there. … He started the engine and turned the van around in order to drive away from the riot.
They drove in silence for what seemed like hours. Finally, when they came to an unlabeled dirt road, they slowed. The road was difficult to recognize in the dark. As he turned on to the road, Dave explained, “The house is up this road, in case you don’t remember… It seems you’re always brought in at night.”
“Oh, come on, of course I remember it, Dave. How could I ever forget?” She sounded sentimental for a moment.
He did not pick up on the mood. He stopped in front of the house. “Run in and clean up. Use that special soap by the sink. There’s some bleach in there. It’s not very ecological, but you’d better use it on your hair. It’s been stained real dark by the oil. What did you do, roll in it?”
“No, I slipped and fell in it just like everyone else out there.”
“Well, change the color of your hair, OK? You’ll have to put the same old clothes on, I mean mine. I don’t have any other clothes here anymore and yours, he paused for a moment as their eyes met, “yours are so full of oil, they’re a dead giveaway.”
“Dave,” she wanted to talk about something else, he could tell. She reached out to touch his cheek.
He pushed her hand away. “Not now. There isn’t time. Really. I’ll put your bicycle in the station wagon and hide the van in the garage while you get ready.”
“Dave.” Resisting his rejection, she again reached out to touch him.
But he pulled several feet away from her. “No, not now. Hurry! Go!”
It was not more than half an hour when she emerged from the building, her bleach-streaked hair dripping wet. He saw her coming and opened the door of the station wagon.
She hesitated. “Oh yes, we’re not using the van… You’re right to switch cars … But what’d you do to the seat, Dave?”
“Cut it off.”
“Why?” She was amused.
But Dave was quite serious. “You’ll have to lie on the floor under it. The back seat of the wagon here folds down. The bike and some boxes will be on top of you. If they stop me, they’ll never think to look for you under the stuff.”
“Smart. Very smart. But will they really stop us?”
“Just a precaution, that’s all.”
“You were always good at taking precautions, Doctor Dave.” Another attempt at humor. But it was lost on him.
She looked at him. Something new was in his mood. … A wall of some sort. He was cold, really cold now. But he looked the same as always. He even had on his favorite suit. And he wore his same old white doctor’s coat over it.
“I’m saying that I’m rushing to the hospital to attend to a patient emergency if they stop me,” he informed her quite inexpressively.
“Great cover, Dave. So original. The real you. Just pose as yourself. It’s deceiving enough. ….” She searched his face for some explanation of his new and surprisingly distant behavior.
He just was not going to get personal. “Get in. I’ll leave the seat back up a bit so you can breathe and I’ll jam it down if it looks like I’m going to be stopped.”
She did not get in. Her voice grew soft and a bit sad. “Wish we could be doing something else tonight, Dave.”
“Can’t be. Oh, by the way, I can’t take you all the way there, either.”
She was unpleasantly surprised at this news. “What?”
“I can’t. Bad plan. And I can’t see you again.”
“What?!?” She did not believe what she was hearing.
He gave her a rushed but matter-of-fact explanation. “You’ll take me, my career, my whole family, down with you if I do. We’ve got to call it quits. Now.”
She fought to hold back sudden tears.
As if he felt he’d been too rough, he took out his handkerchief and wiped some remaining oil off of her face. Then he stroked her hair truly tenderly. “Strange color. But you’re still gorgeous. And good looks are too easy to identify. Use my hat. And my sunglasses.” He looked at her almost longingly for just one moment. “I’ll always love you. I’ll always wish you could be next to me in bed. I’ll always miss feeling you. You know that, don’t you?”
“So now we’re through? Just like that, Dave? It was only the other night we were still passionate lovers, grabbing at each other’s bodies like there was no tomorrow. We spent all that wonderful time alone together. Our special ‘trip’ you called it. I thought you said you loved me, but I guess that’s sort of a hollow thing for you to say. You didn’t mean it at all. … I wish I’d seen this side of you before I got so involved, before I shared my secrets with you.”
Unmoved and cold again, Dave looked at his watch and patted her on the arm most impersonally. “OK. Let’s go. Get in.”
She shrugged, trying to hide her surprise and dismay, her pain, and climbed in. The top of the seat slammed down onto her. A bit like a coffin lid, she mused. They drove off.
"Can you hear me, Dave?”
“Where are you dropping me?” she asked.
“Pelican harbor. Find some unsuspecting guy down there, one that has a nice yacht and’ll let you hide out on it for a while, or get him to take you to some island for a bit. … Do whatever it takes.”
“Do whatever? What’s whatever, Dave? Sex? Sex with any old person?”
“Yes, you’re good at that. You did it with me, remember?”
“You were special, Dave. Meeting you changed everything for me. I finally fell in love. I even wanted to have your child! I still want it to be you, Dave.”
“Can’t be,” was all he said.
They were silent for a long time. She lay under the seat, clutching her belly in despair. Now what, she wondered.
It was just past dawn when he stopped in the parking lot of a yacht harbor. “Here we are,” he announced. He got out of the car and took out the bicycle. He looked around carefully and saw no one watching. Then he pulled up the seat back to let her out.
She got out and went to the bike. “Looks OK.”
“I fixed it for you. I thought something like this might happen.”
“You planned ahead to dump me?”
“I’m not dumping you, dear. Please don’t see it that way. I just can’t be part of this Earth stuff you’re into. Not anymore. It’s getting out of hand. Dangerous. I’ve got a family and all. … A profession. A life. … Here, take this. There is $100,000 in here, mostly cash, some gold coin. Protect it, hide it. You know how to do this. Consider it a donation to the cause. Get away. … Save yourself. ... Please let me go now. Don’t call me. Don’t contact me in any way. I’ll claim we’ve never met.”
He turned, got back into the car, and drove off.
Fighting back waves of tears, she pretended to fix her bicycle. The first hints of crimson sunlight preceding the early morning began to spill over her freshly bleached hair. She knew she should hurry and realized that she might have to bicycle from pier to pier until she found a likely candidate. But she just could not get going. She decided to sit there and grapple with her pain for a few hours. ….
Somewhere else, in that soundproof board room, where the screen had been turned off and the lights turned up, the men had signed final contracts, and large money transfers and routing numbers had been provided. They had deliberated most all of the night. The man that had been collecting the money was international real estate developer, Triad Framingham, their silver-haired chairman.
Although he was masterminding the shrewdest international development scheme in world history, he had absolutely no idea of its profoundly cosmic implications.
BUT I CERTAINLY DID. AND I HAD A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT AGENDA: I WAS MORE CONCERNED WITH SPIRITUAL REAL ESTATE THAN WITH THE PHYSICAL STUFF YOU IN THE MATERIAL PLANE CALL “LAND.” I WAS MORE INTERESTED IN OPENING ACCESS TO HIGHER DIMENSIONS OF REALITY THAN CONTROLLING ACCESS TO KEY PARCELS OF “SURVIVOR TERRITORIES” ON EARTH. AND EVEN I WAS IN FOR SOME BIG SURPRISES. LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT THESE….