Dale followed the group's march, but after a few blocks stopped asking Cokey questions. He had nowhere else to go, didn't know what else to do, and all of the paranoia inside him had at last boiled completely over. He was certain that this was how it all ended, for him and for the rest of us, and he was resigned to his fate whatever it turned out to be.
A phalanx of police awaited Cokey's group in Daley Plaza, and there, amidst the overturned and forgotten tables of a farmer's market, a new war for domination began. The so-called Sinneskommandos of proto-Nazi Karl Haushofer clashed bloodily with the shell-shocked ranks of the Chicago Police Department. In New York throngs of them gunned down New York's finest and in Los Angeles even the hardened gang members kept their heads down when the column of zombie-like soldiers stormed police headquarters.
Washington, still swarming with well-organized National Guardsmen, became a fresh battleground as the Sinneskommandos there senselessly threw themselves at the soldiers. Thousands died in the carnage, but the kommandos had no morale to break, they would not route or retreat. They climbed over piles of their dead, firing Kalishnikovs, pistols, and even using their bare hands to throttle the life from the soldiers.
Dale followed Cokey all the way. Dazed, shot through the meat of his left arm, he stumbled after her through cross fires and smoky hallways. By luck or by divine intervention Cokey never killed anyone. She always arrived behind the others, after the carnage, and Dale was spared the unbearable horror of seeing her attack an innocent person. Before the sun broke across the horizon Dale caught sight through a window of the red and white banner and Swastika flying from the top of the Sears Tower. Dale had to admit to himself that even in his wildest and most rambling theories he had never predicted something like this.
"Police chatter is indicating that most of Manhattan is in Haushofer's hands now. His people are even shooting at firemen and security guards."
"Where is the fucking president?!" Raylene fumed.
"ETA is one hour plus, he was almost to Strategic Air Command when you ordered him here."
Raylene calmed herself briefly by imagining inserting hot irons into Haushofer's leprous eye sockets. The irons would hiss as they made contact with the fool's gelatinous eyes and steaming milky fluid would boil out across his wrinkled cheeks.
Haushofer had done many stupid things in his decades with the New World Order, but never before had he done anything nearly as moronic as this. He had declared war on Raylene - on all of the NWO - and the withered Nazi was completely oblivious to the fact that a new and much larger invasion fleet was poised to strike from orbit.
"Blow the bridges and tunnels." Raylene ordered. "Seal off the island. Set up artillery and sink any goddamn ferries that try to leave."
Are you concerned that you may be a character trapped in a Tom Waits song? Be smart and learn the warning signs before it's too late. Also, it's too late. It has always been too late.
I'm haunted by a recurring vision of a skeleton flipping me off. To avoid seeing this terrifying image in bumper sticker form, I pay someone with a blank bumper to drive in front of me at all times.
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