Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Endless Wars

C. Coe Phant directed the Pakistani cab driver to pull over as soon as he spotted Charles Wu at the predetermined exchange point two blocks south of Eastern Market. He handed the driver a fifty and stepped silently out of the taxi. Wu smiled politely at him without speaking, then entered the taxi and greeted the cab driver. "National Arboretum," he said, plucking some errant crumpet crumbs from his bermuda shorts and flinging them out the window. He picked up the envelope left behind for him, read what was in it, stared out the window for a couple of minutes, drummed his fingers on his knees, then began questioning the driver about the Taliban's declaration of war on Musharraf. He pulled a Cross pen out of his polo shirt pocket, jotted down a few notes on the back of the envelope, then slipped the envelope into his cargo pocket. Never get bogged down in a land war in Asia. He smiled to himself, remembering where he had heard that line, but he wasn't really happy. Britian was losing its relevancy in Asia, America was in over its head, and China's economic engine was getting jammed by American recalls. The ascendancy of heroin-financed tribal warlords was not a direction that he wanted to see Asia go any more than his clients did. He knew from Pippin that the Bloodsucker was placing her bets on India's nuclear program, but he wasn't. Wu directed the driver to take him to the Asian collection, where he was going to settle in for a few hours of deciphering encrypted messages amidst the camellias.

Dr. Devi Rajatala walked past the taxi, shepherding a few tweens on their way back from volunteering in the Friendship Garden. She was worried about Angela de la Paz, whom she hadn't seen or heard from in weeks. She suspected that the grandmother had died, and Angela was laying low, afraid of being placed in foster care. Maybe the older sister could take care of her, or maybe her father had been able to sneak back into the country, or maybe she had run away to try to find her mentally ill mother. Dr. Raj didn't know what to do. She was getting tired of not being able to solve things, and of caring about troubled kids that came and went from the Friendship Garden. The whole point of the Friendship Garden was to teach these kids the joy of growth and creation, instead of death and destruction, but what lesson was she learning?

Several miles west, Lynnette Wong was sitting under a broad-rimmed hat, relaxing after her tai chi at the side of the Potomac River. She watched the pink dolphins and pondered her next step. Her tote bag was full of new plant samples she had taken, but she was worried that she could not go much further in this quest--she still wasn't sure exactly what she was up against here, and it was getting frustrating. She still didn't know why the pink dolphins were there, though she was fairly certain that she was the only one who could see them.

A canoe floated quietly by her. The occupant was not rowing, but, rather, staring intently at a strange electronic device in his hands. It was a physics professor from Georgetown University, and this was his fifth round of ion analysis in two weeks. The negative ions that moments before were numbering less than 100 per cubic centimeter had just shot up to over 100,000-the equivalent of leaving a smog-covered freeway and approaching a waterfall in a pine forest. Another minute passed, and the reading dropped back down to almost nothing. He was on his third machine, and they were all showing the same wild fluctuations--not on a weekly, daily, or even hourly basis, but seemingly by the minute. He had stumbled across the most unstable energy system he had ever seen in his career, and he had no idea why.

Golden Fawn looked curiously at the man's hand-held device as Marcos Vasquez paddled their canoe to Roosevelt Island. He had a plan for hiding the smoke, and he was going to help her do her mojo, even though she herself was pessimistic about her chances against Ardua. Deep in the water, Ardua braced herself for another assault and gathered her allies. A few hundred feet away, a rental truck began crossing the Teddy Roosevelt bridge into Washington. Ardua looked up in surprise and delight at the bundle of wickedness arriving unannounced, and breathed it in: it was a newly appointed judge for the Superior Court, and his name was Sowell Ame. Golden Fawn shivered, the professor watched another swing in the ions, Lynnette Fong got a headache, and a dozen ducklings followed their confused parents out of the river in a dazed march toward the canal. Even the Shackled circled the air in bewilderment, wondering why this war seemed endless.

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