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Reverend Green attracts attention; Buzz scouts a new enterprise; Fiona and Xavier find the Anza Borrego celebration---and each other.

Chapter 14 (v.1) - PURSUIT PROCEEDS

Submitted: July 25, 2017

Reads: 124

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Submitted: July 25, 2017




A Serial

Nicholas Cochran

Chapter Fourteen


Brother Adrian and his three assistants watched Muhammad Ricoh slink into Herod’s Vitalis Spa.

“Let’s wait and see what he turns up before we ask any questions,” Brother Adrian whispered to the three while they sought shadows beneath the overarching palms beside the Olympic-size swimming pool, “maybe we can get Reverend Green alone before Ricoh spooks him. I figure the Reverend and his wife will be down for a drink or a snack before dinner. We could catch him in the restaurant or the terrace bar.”

“Hey, are you guys following Green, too?”

All four Brothers slapped a hand on their Berrettas and spun to see the fresh open face of a very white young man of twenty-seven.

“I’m Josh MacDougal for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. Who are you guys?”

Brother Bligh spoke the best English. “Well, we’re from theVatican,” The other three Brothers yelped a warning masked as confusion, “uh, we’re visiting here and thought we’d like to talk with a man of another faith; well, a branch church of our faith. Reverend Green.” He was sweating like a pig, the labors of thinking and speaking a second language had sapped him to the point where his bollocks were shriveled.

“Well, there’s a coincidence. That’s just why I’m here, too. This Green character has made millions in the Surprise Company stock which is partly owned or run by some guy our church is interested in; you too?”

The Brothers looked at each other with naked confusion and alarm.

“We, “stumble-spoke Brother Adrian, “we may want to find out what he knows about a man of interest to the Pope.”

“Oh. Well; guess that’s the same thing,” smiled MacDougal, "let’s all get together with him and see what he knows, what do you think?”

Challenged with a solid yes or no answer, the Brothers Four opted for the wonderful word of: “Yes”.

“Yes.” they chorused, before eyeing one another with looks of embarrassed reproach.

Suddenly, two more figures rose from behind the lower fronds of the smaller palms. One, a red-haired and skinny young man, flourished a buck-toothed smile on the assembled bunch. The other, a young woman of twenty or so, smiled with perfect teeth between succulent lips set above a strong jaw.

All the guys assumed that the hot weather accounted for her lack of clothing beyond a braless tank top and a pair of shorts that seemed to follow her extremely long legs to the end of time.

Her blond hair cascaded around her bare shoulders, and as she slowly ambled toward the men, she resembled a cross between Farrah Fawcett and Bo Derek. All the men gasped. A few stiffened.

“Hi, y’all, I ‘m, Tammy. Tammy Burnett. I’m here from the Jehovah Witnesses. Y’all seen some guy called Rev Green about; or a little Arab dude, Muhammad Ricoh?”

None of the men were able to close their mouths, their emotions—or their hormones, to give the poor young woman a sensible answer.

Josh eventually replied, “Well, yeah, Tammy, we’re all here to catch up on the Green man and see what he knows about Mazel.”

At the sound of the name, all the men bristled. “Whaatttt?” askedJosh.

“Mazel,” whispered Brother Carter, “he’s the Antichrist. What do you want with him?”

“Well,” began Josh, “I was hoping to find him and see about a humungous donation to the LDS; how about you?”

The buck-toothed redhead, who had been shaded by Tammy, croaked out a greeting.

“I’m Scotty Lampon, with the Church of Christian Science.”

“Isn’t that an oxymoron, Scotty?” asked Josh.

“How do you mean,” bucked Scotty, with a fixed grin.

“Never mind. Forget it. Sorry.” Josh was feeling his Christian milk of human kindness uncurdle.

“Well, men,” husky-voiced Tammy, “let’s get our shit together and propose a roundtable confab with the Green dude and the Arab. What do you think?”All nodded, and gawked, with a few having to look away from some seriously-hardening nipples underTammy’s vibrating tank top. Nevertheless, all managed a voice vote in the affirmative.

“All right, then, let’s wander into the Spa and approach Green with our proposal. We’ll get the Ricoh Man later.”

* **

Blasting thought the desert air, Fiona’s i8 peeled back the invisible layers of heat and whisked them over the aerodynamic skin of her steed.

Xavier wore a broader smile as he experienced the balmy touch of nature’s warmth on his face and hand.

“Good question, Fiona: why am I here? I have been avoiding that answer ever since they dumped me off.”

Fiona shot him a perplexed look. “Dumped you off?  From where?”

‘From my planet, of course, “sighed Mazel, “in the Negev; a few months ago.”
Fiona instantly recalled the evening. She had returned to the office following her run, to find Harry and Jake draped over a screen announcing some strange light or other in the Negev.

“I remember that night, Xavier.” She told him about her first knowledge that something; someone; he; was present.

“Yes, Fiona, that was me. Dumped naked like a forsaken pig.” He gritted his teeth to prevent himself from drowning in bile. “Since then I’ve hooked up with a great man to make money to distribute to the needy. At least that’s a start.”

Fiona had read about the Surprise Company but was unaware that Xavier was a force behind the corporation. She frowned. “What have I to do with all that; or this; this party we’re going to in Anza Borrego?”

“Everything, Fiona. You are the exact person I was looking for to guide me through all this commotion, this celebration tonight—maybe telling the world my story. I haven’t decided, but you are definitely the one whose aid I need to adjust my path; set my course.”

He turned to view her profile and decided that perhaps all work was indeed making him a dull boy.

* **

Buzz, his wife, and his four children—all of whom put in long hours to help their father give away his ever-increasing accumulation of riches—met on a regular basis to discuss the enterprises—and Mr. Mazel.

Stephanie, the youngest, at twenty-nine, slipped into the daydream of being Xavier’s companion and lover. She told her mother of her ambitious daydreaming addiction. Melody Macklin was in no way surprised at this news; she, herself, was having more thoughts of Xavier, thoughts that commenced upon his first visit with her husband.

“Well, dear, let’s just enjoy all this while we can. There are always slides in the stock market. Your father will do all he can to continue this magical ride but be prepared.”

Stephanie deemed this barely advice—if advice at all.

They were skimming over the Great Pacific Garbage Patch between Hawaii and California. This was Buzz’s idea of a family vacation.

“Well, we are all together.” The others merely smiled and hoped they wouldn’t become airsick. 
“There, pointed Buzz, that’s going to make Surprise another fortune. Some fellas from the University of Toronto and a woman from Caltech have made some startling discoveries that we’re following up,” waving down at the seemingly endless collection of waste, “and now all we have to do is figure out how to haul away some of this mess so we can convert it to fuel.”

Melody withdrew from her peering point and sighed. “Buzz, does this ever end?”
“I hope not,” laughed her irrepressible husband, “I hope not dalling. This is what I really love. New ideas, new approaches, new ways of helping out. And we can give away all the money we make if we want to,” pausing, beaming, “now what could be better than that?”

Melody caught Stephanie’s eye and they exchanged rolls. Buzz observed them and laughed with twice as much merriment before turning to look at the continuing carpet of waste bobbing nine feet deep on the otherwise glamorous Pacific.

* **

Once Fiona’s ride breasted the last ridge, the glow from the Anza Borrego RV Park gave the illusion of a sports stadium during a night game. The surrounding darkness amplified the effect.

The entire area appeared to be ready for lift-off. Both Fiona and Mazel stared while Fiona eased off the gas and drew in her breath. There was definitely something extraordinarily beautiful about the scene. The entire glow appeared as wrapping for the presents that Xavier had delivered over the past two days.

Although the i8 was a least five miles form the celebration, the sounds of pure joy reached Fiona and Xavier, both quickly and free of any form of pollution.

The stars appeared to have donned their extra-special glow for the occasion. Every one of them gave the impression of being twice their normal size. The entire sky looked as though it was lowering, moving in to both lighten and heighten the celebration.

Fiona felt Xavier’s arm curl about her shoulder and she leaned in toward him. She slowly pulled to the side of the road and flung herself  toward him. He was waiting.

He wrapped his massive arms around her and thought he might be injuring her. He loosened his hold, only to feel Fiona increasing her grip on him as they kissed wildly, recklessly, and with a passion that neither had ever thought possible.

“Xavier,” Fiona managed to groan while the hot rivers of desire and longing roared through her entire body, “let’s save this until after the party. There’s a hotel a few miles away.”
Xavier loosened his hold, breathing hard, hoping to continue, but respecting Fiona’s decision.

“Okay. If you insist.” He laughed, rolling his head back on his shoulders and glowing with the stars. “Of course, Fiona. Of course. Let’s go.”

Fiona drew away and shakily managed to reignite her i8 and proceed.

“Thank you Xavier. For everything. I’ve waited a long time for that. I can’t believer I’m so lucky that I’ll be enjoying more within a couple of hours.” She laughed when she realized how stilted and contrived her speech had become. She felt as though she were an ambassador of Earth who was assigned to welcome an alien and had decided, instead, to seduce him as quickly as she could.

“Hey, StarMan, don’t get too many funny ideas just yet. This is sill a first date, you know.” Xavier joined her laughter. 

“Well, one can hope, Fiona. I have a bottomless well of optimism.” He reached and touched one of her hands on the wheel.

She turned to him and hoped she was giving him her most sincere smile. She wanted to tell him that she wished they could just drive off somewhere into the sand and have at each other until dawn.

maybe I will before we get there

However, the five miles evaporated in a few minutes. The BMW slid to a stop on the periphery of the dance floors and the revelers.

When Fiona and Xavier approached the outer limits of the assembly, someone recognized Xavier and shouted.

“There he is! There he is! It’s himIt’s him!”

The news tore thought the celebrants, and within a minute, only the sky-high energy of John Fogerty rent the desert air.

Just as Della Randle was about to remove the CCR tape, a complete stillness dropped over the entire desert.

Three shots shattered the silence.

Mazel crashed to the ground.


End of Chapter Fourteen

© Copyright 2018 Nicholas Cochran. All rights reserved.


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