Lake 33 Killing Relic
Chapter 19
West Lake Investigation Day Two




WARNING! This is the first draft, put up with all the un-edited spelling errors and dumb ideas, to be fixed later or chapter deleted. 


Chapter 19

“Call to order of Meeting Two of the West Lake landfill investigation,” said the Chief. 

“We welcome, Mr. Gladwell of the St. Louis VA office VA and Ms. Liu of the Weldon Springs Interpretive Center. Our focus today is working on the profile of the West Lake bombers and a finalized identification. 

Ms. Liu has been invited because, per normal terrorist behaviors, the perps may have visited the Weldon Springs Radiation Dome and museum. As we finalize the bombers’ profiles, we hope Ms. Liu will recognize someone who has visited her interpretive center.

The VA has been invited because our profile so far indicates the bombers may be military veterans who sustained wounds overseas." 

Mr. Gladwell, a heavy-set man with a Coast Guard tattoo, said, “I hope you understand that many veterans are suffering from Post-traumatic stress.”

The Chief smiled, “Of course, Mr. Gladwell. We only need you to provide a list of wounded vets based on our DEI profile.

The Chief turned and addressed the investigation team.

“Law-enforcement efforts have been a dismal failure, and so due to the seriousness of this event, the CIA has loaned us North America’s top remote viewer. 

Everyone welcome Raul Hernandez to the team; he has helped locate lost children, unknown archeology sites, and space shuttle parts, and I am not supposed to mention that using his remote viewing skills, he has located North Korean missile silos and found lost pilots in the Hindu Kush before the Taliban could find them.”

“Hello,” said Raul, speaking with a faint New York Puerto Rican accent.

A drafting table with large white paper and a tall stool was pushed into the center of the room. Raul sat on the stool and picked up a pencil, looking uncomfortable in front of the group.

“Raul will perform remote viewing and remote drawing since law enforcement has struck out. Bring out items randomly, and let’s see what Raul can tell us about the perpetrators,” said the Chief.

A plastic bag was placed on the drafting table, and Raul picked it up, reading the frayed paper that once had the letters “Stop Nuclear Energy.”

He felt the texture, the crispy edges; without any particular skill, it was apparent the paper had been through an explosion. 

Raul’s mind seeped into the ink, and he let his body slip outside the room and the building and lift into the clouds above St. Louis. 

Below him, he saw the two rivers come together, and he kept lifting until he could see the Illinois River meeting the Mississippi and, to the west, the Gasconade flowing into the Missouri.

“I’m a snowflake,” said Raul, “A maple leaf fluttering in an autumn wind, calm of mind, calm of mind, a cardinal feather, floating in no direction, like dust setting after an explosion. I’m a cattail fluff.”

He felt himself sinking toward the Missouri River, passing a small airport to blow into the archway of a hotel.

Raul’s hand wrote “Highway 64.”

The cattail fluff drifted past room numbers.

He said, “261.” and then “162, room 162, I’ve been shot, it hurts, my arm hurts in Room 162.”

His pencil wrote the words, “Gumbo Garden Hotel.”

“The bomb is revenge for a hospital stay for a loved one, COVID-19. Maybe, no. The bomb is revenge for radiation exposure and inoperable glioblastoma, his mother. I see a sick mother.

Raul opened his eyes, rubbing the inside of his arm, “I’m at room 162 now, or will be or was.”


The Chief glared at the remote viewer for uttering such a ridiculous statement. Was it the future or the past?

The Bridgton Chief of Police jumped up, “There were gunshots reported just before the explosion! One of the Perps was shot!”

“Why wasn’t this reported in the initial investigation?” asked the Chief.

“Because there are always gunshots,” said the Bridgton police officer.

“Search the cut fence area for blood,” ordered the Chief. 

“Seal off Chesterfield Bottoms, search the hotels for the four terrorists. Good, we are making progress. Bring Raul the next item.”


Raul picked up the plastic bag and studied the shard of glass inside—the bottom of a broken jar. He studied the sharp edges and felt the coolness of the glass. He could feel the radioactive poison and evil once contained in the jar.

He closed his eyes and saw himself rising above the room and the building to lift again above the two rivers. Then he dove fast from the blue sky into inky darkness. 

“I’m in a bunker, a cave, a ledge, or tunnel. There is no light, yet I see the rows of 55-gallon drums. I feel the poison leaking from the barrels, and my bare feet and toes play in the poison.”

The walls are marked with old. Stained with old. The bunker or cave is haunted by old dreams-same as visiting Newgrange or Spiro mounds. Old dreams from the before times.

Raul traced the drawings with his fingers, and back at the drafting board, his pencil sketched a bison. Then, the figure of a man holding a ceremonial ax and a human head, nearby a man with wings, and finally, the universal symbols for radiation.


“There is a second room,” said Raul. “Do not enter the second room. No! Do not enter the second room.

I enter to see rows of human heads and mason jars of white powder with glowing letters, Radiation U-238.

The heads are not heads, they are prisons; they talk at me, speak at me, “Set us free!” 

The human heads are not real heads. They are pottery with human faces—old face pots—yet they speak to me. They asked to be free. The words are not English or Spanish, but I know the meaning: “Free us!” beg the pots in old Chickasaw, Arkansas, Illini, Sauk—old words my ears do not understand, but the voices are clear in my head.

No!

From the darkest corner, steps man, no a spider, no woodpecker, no a crayfish. It’s only a man with tattoos around his eyes, the symbol of the Ivory-billed woodpecker. How do I know this? The symbol is as old as time. I didn’t know I knew this. 

He sees me. 

No one can see me while I remote view, yet he does.

I want to leave; the walls close in as the man approaches me, a Native American or Taino of my childhood. The hook-clawed feet of woodpecker feet hang from his pierced earlobes.

He chants, and from his shoulder sprout the wings of the ivory-billed woodpecker—only the wings are too long and too big. The black and white feathers touch me softly, gently exploring. 

Impossible! 

I try to flee, but my feet are sticky with the poison leaking from the barrels; my feet are ankle-deep in the white powder. It’s like I am walking along the Missouri River’s muddy shore.

Other pots scream at me to flee. Old Castilian words come from a pot with a conquistador’s face, and another, a Jesuit, speaks to me in archaic French. The man in the cave changes to a giant golden spider whose legs stretch, elongating impossibly long until they seal off the exit. 

I am weeping as the walls of the cave constrict, and my umbilical cord is wrapped around my neck; the man-spider makes me remember that it is my mother who weeps as I am trapped and choked by my own umbilical cord secured by the life-giving placenta.

The spider changes to a furred crayfish as large as a Morgan, with softer hair than any alpaca since the Ice Age. Suddenly I no longer wish to flee, but weep for the longing to wrap myself in the soft crayfish fibers. 

I willingly give myself over to the fur until I am wrapped like a cocoon, and the crayfish snips the fibers with an enormous claw to hang me on a cedar tree that had no right to grow underground.

Another pot with a bearded man’s face and a raccoon fur hat says only, “The fur is so soft, and it is a blizzard outside the cave.”

The crayfish-shaman molts, shedding its skin, and out steps the man, the magician, the Shaman, or the demon—all names feel correct.

The Shaman has a tattoo of a nuclear symbol on his chest, and a Hawthorne thorn pierces the tip of his uncircumcised penis.

In his hands is a pot, a death pot with my face, Raul Martinez.

It feels right and terrifying; I make water on the white powder.

An intense white light suddenly blinds my eyes.

A heavy-set man with curly red hair has entered the cave or bunker, wielding a spotlight. The stranger’s demeanor screams greed as he searches for gold or arrowheads, then inspects the rows of death head pots. 

The Shaman, a woodpecker-spider-crayfish, shrinks deep into a corner of the cave to hang from the ceiling like a bat or spider.


The red-haired man picks up my face pot, saying, “Dude! This is worth a fortune,” and walks out of the cave. 

My body was pulled after my face pot, forcefully ripped from the thigh-deep white powder of the cave until we stood outside in the sunlight.

In the golden sun, my face burns away from the pot in the red-haired man’s hands, leaving the face of a Native American warrior with facial tattoos.

“Dude!” said Buck, blinking. His hands were coated in the white poison powder, and I fled, lifting into the blue sky, trailing tears, weeping for the lost crayfish fur.

Inside the cave, the golden spider wails, the sound trailing after Raul until he finds himself sitting on a stool holding a broken jar inside a plastic bag. 

“Well?” said the Chief. “You have not said a word since picking up the bag. What do you have for us?”


Raul retched, pulling a long strand of white fur hair from his clothing. 

“I quit!"

"I quit the CIA, I quit remote viewing, I quit drinking, and I quit Ayahuasca. Do not ever speak to me again.”

The CIA remote viewer fled the room.

The Chief muttered, “What the F?” Only out of sheer desperation did he accept the CIA’s offer for the crazy concept of remote viewing.

The Chief inspected the drawing on the drafting board.

A delicate self-portrait of Raul sitting in the chair in front of the drawing table, his face locked in terror. Surrounding Raul like a cape was an elegant drawing of a spider, the spider's abdomen marked with a black and yellow radiation symbol. The spinnerets twisted web around Raul's chair and drawing table. In the sketch of the drawing table were the words in the child-like script, "Lake 33." 

"Well this is useless," said the Chief.



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