Authors: Walter Knight
General Lopez. I’ve been watching you for quite some time. I followed you here.”
“I thought so!
You stalk me like a beast, for no reason but perverted amusement.”
“You accuse me of perversion?” scoffed General Lopez.
“You make threats. Why me? What have I ever done to you? Curses to you!”
’s what you will do to others in the future, you and your Commie swine.”
“You are an agent of the Czar?”
“I am an agent of America. Prepare to die.”
“My death will be avenged!”
As General Lopez raised his pistol to shoot, he slipped on a cow patty.
Stalin lunged, grabbing Lopez in a bear hug, smashing him against the wall. Lopez dropped the gun. His breath went out. They fell and rolled on the dirt floor. Lopez broke Stalin’s hold by poking him in the eye, then fled into the morning darkness.
Stalin groped in the loose hay until he found the modernistic
nine-millimeter pistol, pocketing it. He had always suspected others conspired to keep him down, and now was proven right. Even the paranoid have enemies. In the future, Stalin would trust no one. As if on cue, Lopez called out from down the road.
’ll be back!”
* * * * *
Astonished, we viewed the recording of the botched Stalin assassination attempt. Not good. “You really messed up this time,” I needled.
’t me,” argued Major Lopez. “So what if someone tried to kill that Russian Euro-trash? He had it coming.”
’re trying to change history,” I added. “And you lost your pistol. What will Stalin think of that?”
“We should kill him ourselves.
Then he won’t think anything.”
We’ll send a drone to watch Stalin. If an opportunity presents itself, we’ll steal the gun back.”
“Half measures don
’t work against Communists.”
“One problem at a time.
We still have to deal with Jesus. The sheriff refused to accept his detention in the county jail, something about a writ of habeas corpus. Everyone is a jailhouse lawyer these days.”
* * * * *
Jesus recovered quickly, so Ceausescu took him out shopping for new clothes at the New Gobi City Walmart. Shoppers recognizing Jesus from the video created quite a sensation. The event went viral.
“I do all my shopping at Walmart, home of one-stop shopping,” read Jesus from a card Ceausescu provided.
“I’m even a Sam’s Club member.”
“You heard it first,” announced the Walmart manager, all smiles for the camera.
“Jesus shops at Walmart, God’s store on the frontier.”
“These Nike shoes are to die for,” added Jesus, holding up a pair.
“So much superior to the sandals I used to wear.”
’re doing great,” advised Ceausescu, pulling at Jesus’ elbow. “But the crowd is getting too big. We need to leave.”
“Tell me again.
Why am I pimping myself out to Walmart?”
“Endorsement royalties,” explained Ceausescu.
“They’re worth a fortune. You need money for immigration lawyers.”
“Did I hear you say you need money?” interrupted an ATM in Sporting Goods.
“You’ve come to the right place. I am the last ATM you will ever need.”
Jesus read the ancient Hebrew script translation flashing on the ATM monitor screen:
‘United States Galactic Federation Foreign Legion Recruitment Center. Do I have an enlistment bonus for you!’
“Get away from that ATM,” warned Ceausescu, pulling on Jesus.
“It’s a trick!”
“No tricks,” argued the ATM.
“Read the fine print on the back of your loan contract. It explains everything.”
’re a money changer,” accused Jesus, kicking the ATM. “How dare you try to cheat innocents in this great temple of shopping.”
“Sir, I must warn you
, it is a federal offense to damage or in any way molest or hinder the operation of a Legion ATM.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes,” answered Ceausescu, still pulling on Jesus. “It’s the law. Come along. You don’t need a loan, or to join the Foreign Legion.”
“Fine,” grumbled Jesus.
“I render to America all that is America’s. You can keep your ATMs.”
“Maybe later!” called out the ATM as they left.
“Remember, if you need money, I’m the last ATM you will ever need. I got lots of money, it’s as good as cash!”
On March 3, 1991, Rodney King was drunk as usual. After smoking some marijuana, he was ready to face the day, when someone knocked on the front door. Peeking, through the peep hole, he decided it didn’t look like a cop. It was a skinny Mexican, so King opened the door.
“You lost?” asked King, slurring.
“I don’t know you.”
“Call me General Lopez.”
General Lopez drew his pistol and shot King in both kneecaps.
King crumpled to the floor like a sack of rotten potatoes. Lopez loomed over him, contemplating a shot to the head.
“Why?” asked King, holding up his hand.
“Some of my best friends in prison were you Mexicans. What did I ever do to you?”
’m preventing the LA riots.”
“Man, I don
’t have nothing to do with any riots. Can’t we all just get along?”
“See how you are?” cried King, grabbing his knees in pain. “To Hell with you, anyway.”
’ll meet again in Hell soon enough,” advised Lopez, tossing King bandages. “Call 9-1-1. Be nice to the police when they arrive.”
“To Hell with the cops, too!”
* * * * *
EMTs loaded Rodney King into an ambulance.
He swore at the police for seeming to not care about his injuries, and doing nothing. He spat at the EMTs for not giving enough pain killer. The police searched King’s residence, finding marijuana and cocaine. King got ten years for a robbery parole violation and for the new drug possession charges. He died in prison of a stabbing.
There was no infamous video.
No riots. No lawsuit for 3.8 million dollars. No house with a pool. No drowning. No one missed Rodney. No loss.
* * * * *
“Who is Rodney King?” I asked, after viewing the most recent Lopez video and commentary.
“Never heard of him,” answered Major Lopez defensively.
“There is nothing on the database. Just another pimple on the ass of society, I suppose ... his memory lost in antiquity to the sands of time.”
“Sand gets everywhere,” groused Sergeant Green.
“This won’t end well.”
* * * * *
Major Lopez and I went to the dungeon under Legion Headquarters to visit Jesus.
He had been watching satellite TV, channel-surfing a thousand stations. Jesus also put his translator to good use, reading the Bible. He was a quick learner, bringing himself up to speed with the Twenty-fourth Century.
“I want a phone call.
The condemned have a right to at least one phone call.”
’re not condemned,” I replied. “We don’t crucify people anymore. We haven’t crucified anyone for weeks.”
“I demand a phone call.
It’s the law.”
“Who would you call?” asked Major Lopez, more sympathetic.
“You don’t know anyone.”
“The Pope in Rome.”
“Sorry, we only allow local or collect calls,” I explained. “Rome is off-planet, on Old Earth.”
“I think the Pope would take my collect call,” insisted Jesus.
“We have a lot to discuss.”
“Then I want to call a bail bondsman. These immigration charges are bogus.”
“You will be held incognito for national security reasons relating to time travel until we figure out what
to do with you.”
“This is cruel and unusual punishment,” complained Jesus.
“I suppose you’re going to waterboard me next.”
’t temp me,” I threatened. “We saved you from being nailed to a cross, you ingrate. You should be more appreciative. How about I send you back?”
“Be patient,” cautioned Major Lopez reasonably.
“You are being detained for your own safety.”
“I will sue you and the Foreign Legion for 3.2 million dollars.
I want my lawyer. Call me a lawyer!”
’re a lawyer,” I quipped. “Son of God, my ass.”
“We are all God
’s children, created in His image,” replied Jesus, retrieving the Bible. “I am but a mortal man in this body. A lot in this book was lost in translation.”
“Maybe you could fill in the blanks,” suggested Major Lopez.
“Many want to hear what you have to say.”
“They might even pay you,” I mentioned innocently.
“I do have a lot to say,” agreed Jesus. “I’ll write my own book.”
“Rumors of your detention here in New Gobi City are circulating in the news media,” I advised, changing the subject.
“Maybe it was your ill-advised shopping trip to Walmart that gave you up. Crowds are beginning to gather. We may move you for security reasons. In the meantime, we’ll try to make you as comfortable as possible. Is there anything besides a phone call I can get you?”
“Galactic Database access would be nice.”
“How about some food.
No one brings me food.”
I tossed Jesus an MRE.
After a taste, he swore I would burn in Hell for all eternity.
* * * * *
After we left, the spider commander visited Jesus to investigate for himself the rumor humans had abducted the Son of God.
“What the Hell are you?” asked Jesus.
“You’re worse than any monster on TV.”
“I would ask you the same question,” answered the spider commander.
“Do you really speak to God?”
“If that were true, do you think I would still be locked up here?”
“I see your point. I didn’t think of that.”
’re not the Devil,” commented Jesus thoughtfully. “No horns or tail. You’re a creature from the stars?”
“Humanity is not alone in the galaxy.
There are many sentient exoskeleton species.” The spider commander handed Jesus a communications pad with database access. “The Arthropodan Book of Beginnings is recorded in that pad. The similarities to your Bible are striking.”
’ve never been to the stars,” mentioned Jesus, accessing the database. “Maybe we share the same God. Maybe not.”
If you desire, I will assist in your escape, granting you political asylum on Arthropoda.”
“I will not flee,” answered Jesus defiantly.
“Rome was not burned in a day. I will not flee.”
“Why do you offer help? What’s in it for you?”
“Because it would piss off Czerinski.”
“For now I have no desire to live among monster insects from the stars. Perhaps later. You may be one of God’s creatures, but you’re so ugly, I doubt you were created in His image.”
When you tire of MREs, give me a call. I’ll be back.”
* * * * *
AP News Release:
Pro football Hall of Fame and USC Heisman Trophy winner O.J. Simpson was murdered in front of his ex-wife’s condominium tonight in an apparent drive-by shooting. Simpson was seated in his SUV when struck by multiple rifle rounds fired from a pimped-out baby blue Chevy. A witness told Los Angeles police he heard a male Hispanic voice yell ‘
’ just prior to the shooting. It is not known if Simpson was targeted, or if there was gang involvement.
Simpson, affectionately known as
‘The Juice,’ is survived by two young children. His ex-wife, Nichole Brown Simpson, described Simpson as a loving and caring father, despite their differences, and grieved that the murder was a senseless tragedy.
“Crime in LA is out of control,” commented Ronald Goldman, a friend comforting Nichole and her family.
“Someone should do something.”
Neighbors expressed shock at what is already being called the crime of the century.
Police spokesman Mark Fuhrman advised several leads are being investigated, including a glove tossed from the suspect vehicle. “We’ll find who fits this glove.”