“This is Pancho, he’s a comrade from Barcelona, he wants to join up,” said Gonchi to the leader of a group of street fighters who were wearing red armbands.
“I have been driven away from my land,” said Geronimo.
“It’s terrible what’s going on there,” said the leader. “Well, you can join our Red Brigades and fight on the streets tonight—the riots are still going on, and we’re going to take the Revolution to the cabrons.”
“I believe my skills will be more useful at the executive level,” said Geronimo.
“You want to speak to the First Secretary?”
“I wish to offer my services to Senor Brooks personally.”
“Hrm…I know he’s very interested in the war in Spain. Well, come on. Forgive me, comrade, but we’re going to have to blindfold you.”
“Of course. Very sensible.”
He was led to a truck and had a bag slipped over his head. The frisking was thorough, but failed to turn up the gun taped between his shoulder blades or the knife strapped to his thigh. Never thought having been searched by Germans would actually end up being useful, he thought.
He was driven in circles for a long time before the truck stopped and he was led out into a building of some kind. He was taken down several flights of stairs. The air grew slightly colder, and he sensed he was underground.
When the bag was removed, he found himself in a recording studio that looked like it had been built in an old wine cellar. Jonathon Brooks was there and came up to shake his hand.
“Always a pleasure to meet a comrade from Spain,” Brooks said.
“Yes. I am unable to return to my home while the Fascists are there.”
“I understand what it is to be an exile, even it is one who exiled himself. You come on an auspicious night, but also a difficult one. It seems counter-revolutionaries are attempting to destroy our work here.”
“I am sorry to have come at such a difficult time.”
“Not at all, comrade, for tonight we shall light the true lamp of revolution. All who hear this call will be inflamed with the same desire that you and I have to overthrow the evil capitalists. Our names will go down in history!”
“You speak with such passion. It intrigues me. I wish to help in any way. I have many special skills.”
“You understand the concept of the false consciousness that so many of the proletariat—who should be our natural allies—fall prey to? They believe the lies of the capitalists and the oppression they receive every day. But suppose I were to tell you that it is possible to override these emotions.”
“How do you mean?”
“I have managed to discover a…substance, that in its weaker form makes people susceptible to hearing the call of true revolution. However, when the substance is purified over and over again, even a whiff of its scent is enough to make people open to any suggestion. Tonight, we hope to finish our radio mast, and my wife’s music will be broadcast throughout the city. Those who are susceptible to it will awaken to its call and fight the capitalists, and we shall create a new Soviet, here, in Mexico!”
[RP: Susceptible…does that mean anyone who’s taken Nectar?
Me: Yes. They’ve been selling Nectar all around town.
RP: I was more worried about if I heard it…
Brooks walked over to the mixing board and slapped a hand down on it. “I have no doubt, comrade,” he said, warming to the subject, “that you will be there beside us when we raise the Red banner over the ruins of Tenochtitlan!”
“This weapon you say you have devised…it proves to me that you are not just dedicated to the cause, but one who has harnessed science to our needs!” said Geronimo. “It is quite brilliant.”
“I know little of science,” said Brooks smugly. “I am more of a romantic. Although some of my correspondents are quite educated in that line. Then again, one is an absolute idiot, consumed with the belief in some ‘god’. While I know for a fact, comrade, that there are intelligences greater than our own—a fact predicted by science—I do think that if you’re going to talk to one of them, you should know which one you are talking to! My colleague in Los Angeles is completely mistaken. He thinks he is talking to some, I don’t know, witch-coven devil figure! No. I have scientific evidence that here, in Mexico itself, that a god—let us call it that, its capabilities are so far beyond our own as to make the comparison apt, although like you I believe in no supreme being—walks here in this country, and his cult still lives! These are all true things. And when we have completed our work in the Federal District, and raised the flag of revolution over all of Central America, I myself will visit this place. For the moment I have only been able to send a small expedition to prove the veracity of my theory.”
[Brooks does love the sound of his own voice. And he’s full of projection.]
Brooks poured himself a glass of wine and drained it. “Of course, we must also prepare ourselves, for I know the counter-revolutionaries are going to attack us tonight.”
“I am amazed at the depth of your preparation,” said Geronimo.
“Our organization has many contacts and arrangements with local groups.”
[MP: …and magical birds!]
“Yes, an organization we are affiliated with has been watching them for some time. Why, I am sure that they are gathering outside as we speak.”
The radio crackled and a familiar Georgian drawl came over the speaker. “Mr. Brooks, they’re entering the hacienda now,” said Bethany Mae Hampton.
“Very good,” said Brooks. “Come in and help me manage the situation.”
At that moment Jimmy was showing Ruby and Millicent his rabbit foot as they waited outside the hacienda for a likely moment to infiltrate the grounds. “This burn mark is from when I fired off a flare gun at someone,” he said, pointing to a scorched spot.
“How did the flare get the rabbit’s foot?” asked Millicent.
“It happens when you’re within ten feet of the target. These salt stains are from the Indian Ocean. And these burns are from when I was struck by a lightning gu….when I was struck by lightning.” He looked up. “Come on, nobody’s looking.”
[JP took a Stability refresh scene.]
They crept across the open lot behind the hacienda. Jimmy made quick work of the padlock and they took a flight of stairs down deep under the surface. They came out in a darkened room. Beyond it lay a glassed in room, a recording studio of some kind.
Jimmy saw the glint of light on several pistols as they were leveled at him. He jumped back into the stairwell. Bullets ricocheted around the walls. From above he heard the sound of someone trying to force open the storm cellar doors.
Good thing I jammed the doors, Jimmy thought.
[Preparedness roll by JP.]