Dr. Orange shook Brooks’ hand. “I’m sorry for interrupting. I met Comrade Trotsky at Diego’s.”
“Ah, Rivera. He’s not a real Socialist.”
“I don’t know what that means.”
“He’s too caught up in his artistic endeavors. The real revolution isn’t going to come from people running around willy-nilly with their heads cut off. If anything has been proven to us, it is that we must all come together in a spirit of solidarity and single purpose.”
“I agree. In fact, in my home country, it was the disagreements between Communists and Socialists that created the rift for us both to be subjugated.”
“It is unfortunate. There are no comrades like Rosa Luxemburg or Carl Liebknecht anymore. Even you have fled your country…I was in Germany in 1919, when we were raising the red flag over the cities…it was a beautiful moment. But now an ugly red flag waves in its place. I’m Jonathon Brooks, First Secretary of the International Worker’s Party of Mexico. And you are?”
“A German comrade, Klaus.”
“Not Julius? I thought Comrade Trotsky—”
“No, it’s Klaus. We only spoke that one time.”
“Well, Comrade Klaus, perhaps you would like to speak on the situation in Germany? There have been connections between Mexico and Germany for many years, a great tradition of cooperation between our countries.”
“Why don’t you come with me and we’ll help you prepare.”
“Well, I just want to keep you with the rest of the speakers. Please, come with me.”
Brooks led Trotsky and Dr. Orange behind the stage. The other speakers looked like locals; most seemed uncomfortable, either at the idea of speaking in public or at speaking to this crowd. Trotsky sat down on a stool one of his bodyguards offered.
“You know, Klaus,” he said to Dr. Orange, “I…fear for the Revolution.”
“Why is that?”
“Everywhere we look the forces of evil and oppression become stronger and stronger. America, which should be on the side of the workers, is lost in some capitalist nightmare!”
“It’s really sad…the capitalists and the money interests are just so strong. I don’t know what we can do without solidarity.”
“It’s not like the old days when Vladimir Ilyich and I thought we could change the world in a single night. Now…a monster oppresses my country, a monster oppresses your country.”
“One night is great, but it takes so much to continue, so much that we don’t have.”
“Ah, well. Our children, they will succeed where we have failed.”
“Is that Herr Doktor?” said Ruby as a familiar German-accented voice came over the PA.
“What is he doing up there?” said Geronimo, pointing at the stage.
In the harsh tropical sunlight, Dr. Orange gulped. “My friends…we must flee the horrible dictators…but there is resistance! The Workers will rise again…”
The last line got some nice applause. Dr. Orange finished with some anodyne commentary and then was quickly hustled away as Trotsky and Brooks himself walked out.
From the crowd, Jimmy could see now why Brooks was not as ridiculous in person as his posters and writing made him out to be. He seemed to blossom in the gaze of the spectators, using his personal attractiveness and excellent speaking voice to create a spell of personal magnetism.
“Comrades!” he said. “We are gathered together as workers and revolutionaries in the spirit of Emilio Zapata and the other martyrs of Mexican freedom, as well as our comrades who have gone before us, in Russia, in France, in Germany, and even in the United States. It is no small accomplishment to still be standing in the face of the determination of the capitalists and their executioners. But simple solidarity will not be enough. Simple determination will not be enough. Today I will demonstrate something to you, in the presence of our beloved Comrade Trotsky. I will show you how true unanimity of purpose can be achieved. Gentlemen, play!”
From the speakers came an eerie, droning music, with a woman’s voice singing nonsense words about mouths and love. Jimmy clutched his ears. The song seemed to bore into his skull, trying to blank his mind, to leave him mindlessly waiting for orders…he dug deep into his last reserves of stubbornness. Not going to listen, he thought desperately. It’s a drug, the punch was drugged with Nectar!
[TN 5 Stability Test for Jimmy to resist Brooks’ domination.]
Around the square most people were straightening up and standing with a patient, expectant look on their faces. “Comrades!” boomed Brooks. “First, round up the interlopers! All those who hear my voice, look around you! You will see those who do not hear me! They are the tools of the secret police and the capitalists.”
Ruby and Geronimo exchanged a furtive glance and then stood as straight as possible, trying to keep their faces slack and blank.
On the stage, Brooks’ men were surrounding Trotsky and his bodyguards. Konovalev bounced up onto the stage with a couple of his thugs. Thinking quickly, Dr. Orange drew up next to Trotsky, pulled his pistol, and held it to the elderly Russian’s head.
“What are you doing?” he hissed.
“Just go with it!” said Julius.
“Stop! Put that weapon down!” shouted Brooks at Julius.
“Let me go or I’ll kill him!”
Konovalev shrugged. “It matters not to me. I was sent here to kill him anyway. Go ahead, shoot. He’s a traitor.”
Brooks turned on his bodyguard with a snarl. “You will not harm a hair on his head,” he said. Konovalev responded with a stream of Russian invective. In the confusion, Trotsky and his bodyguards were able to duck down behind some crates.
“Monsieur le docteur,” said Trotsky to Dr. Orange, “next time you hold a gun to my a head a little warning would be appreciated.”
Konovalev pushed Brooks down. “Shut up you silly poseur,” he said. He barked out, “Get Trotsky and the German!” to his men and drew his pistol.
“We need to run!” said Dr. Orange, grabbing Trotsky’s hand and pulling him away.
“Have pity,” huffed the Russian. “It’s not 1910 anymore!”