For All Nails #210: Travelin' Band
by Mike Keating
Brian Donaldson walked into what passed as a den in the Black Rock compound. Or at least what passes for it now, he thought. The compound they were in had originally been the alternate site. But after that CBI agent had been taken care of, it became the primary one. They still had not quite made the place home like the old one had been. Donaldson was pondering whether to look into getting another one nearer the city limits, so that the assorted Brotherhood members could get to it better. But not too close, he reminded himself. The isolation also had its advantages.
Harold Pickett was reading in a chair. "Ah, Harold, just the man I was looking for," Brian said. He looked at Harold's book. "Vlad Tepes? Nice allegory. A strong Jeffersonian message. But I found the tone a little gloomy. All those nocturnal bloodsucking monsters. And if you aren't familiar with events in Britain the last few years, you don't really get the full impact of it."
Pickett slipped a piece of blank paper in the book and closed it. "What do we need, Brian?"
"I came to let you know you're gonna need to pack," Brian told him. "We're going on a road trip down south to Virginia to talk with some friends. Just the two of us. Some planning for the revolution whenever the time is right, although we could both be dead of old age. This has always been a long-term mission in my view, but others in the movement aren't as patient. I think I'm losing that fight sometimes."
"Virginia? I thought the movement didn't do well in the S.C.," Harold replied in a surprised tone.
"You'd think, wouldn't you? Back during the Trans-Oceanic War--", Brian cut himself off and walked over to the bookshelf. He wasn't sure if the book he wanted was even there. Some personal items, nothing incriminating anyone of course, had had to be left behind at the other compound earlier in the year. The books on the shelf were only about two-thirds of what there had been.
There it was, sandwiched between Michael Ralls: His Films, His Life FN2 and John Hatfield's published journals covering his service in the Great Northern War and Hundred Day War. Brian pulled out a book entitled The People We Left Behind: The Remnant in the CNA by Ralph Ocon. "Ever read this?" At Harold's head-shake, Brian handed it to him. "Thought maybe you had; it's a Mexican book. Look at it on the trip down. Ocon can explain it better than I can. It's 17 years old by now, but he gets the history spot-on."
- The next day
- On the road in western Pennsylvania
- 10:00 AM
Harold looked up from the Ocon book to listen to the sounddisk Brian had put in. It was something new by a New Orleans group called the Revivers.
- Just got home from Indiana
- Saw my girl Gloriana
- Got to sit down
- Take a rest in my chair
- Imagination gets me
- Pretty soon I can see
- Doo doo doo checking out my back yard
Harold tapped his foot lightly in time to the rest of the song while Brian drove. He went back to the book, which was talking about the Virginians who'd moved to the western parts of the state after the failed Franco-Spanish invasion in the Trans-Oceanic War. The French and Spanish had hoped to gain aid from disgruntled locals in capturing the area, but the landing never came through. He finished that section, and was reading the chapter on New England in the 1800s when Brian pulled in to a station for vulcazine. It was time to switch drivers.
They got on the Simmonsway again. Brian said to him, "So what do you think?"
"Well, he does seem to have a good grip on history. I'm only up to the 19th century, so I don't know about beyond that yet." Harold paused, lost in thought. "How long are we expecting to be in Virginia, anyway?" he asked.
"I think we should be back in a week. In time to catch the Swords opener," Donaldson told him. As if it reminded him, Brian reached back to grab the sports section of the Black Rock Courier they'd brought along. The lead story was about Pierre Gilbert's excellent recovery from the broken left hand he had suffered in the finals last year. This season looked to be good.
Forward to FAN #211: Fantascience Friction.
Forward to 17 October 1975 (Harold Pickett): Southern Men.
Return to For All Nails.