Chapter 55 - The Alex James
We motored slowly down to the rig he had pointed out. It had the look of a nicer rig that someone had tried to dirty up by adding cosmetic junk to keep it from standing out from the rest of the aging motorhomes around it. A muffled generator muttered somewhere nearby.
They say timing is everything. A large man with thinning hair and a slightly sweaty look to him lounged on a resin chair, he was engrossed in his laptop and sucking down a delicious looking iced tea. It always surprised me the things that would strike a chord with me, reminding me of my other life, my human life. For a moment I was back in high school, sitting with my friends at a birthday pool party and we were all clinking our glasses of sweet iced tea. That grassy smell of wet hay, and the tart of the lemon, and the sweetness as I opened my mouth. I could feel it in my throat as I gulped it down, icy and cool. It felt like it went right into my blood stream and cooled me right off. That was the other me I remembered.
Red shut off the bike and dismounted.
“Alex? Alex James?”
“Hello friend, do I know you?” Alex snapped the laptop shut and stood.
“No you don’t know me, but I know you. And I have a story for you... ” Red began.
“Oh no no, no. That’s not how we do this. Everyone needs to speak first to my second in command, Christopher. He’s the producer. He’ll vet the stories and make sure that I’m not saying anything too crazy.” Alex began to collect his things to make his retreat.
“Alex, what if I was to tell you that you don’t need anybody to verify this story, because I can show you the proof right here with me. In that side car is a secret government genetic experiment that you won’t believe. It has to be all kinds of illegal. Well, two of them actually, and they are different kinds of experiments. They are experimenting on people, again illegally, without their permission.”
Alex looked at Red for a long moment measuring.
“Look I’m just about to record today’s show. In fact, I was just reviewing my talking points for today when you drove up.” Alex was continuing to dismiss.
“Just have a look and decide for yourself. Many people have died already trying to get this out into the public knowledge. I’d say we have a few hours at the most, before they catch up to us. Don’t you ever do live broadcasts?”
“Yeah when it is an emergent situation not covered by the traditional media - wide enough that I can buy into their feeds. You know we’re just a little pirate online media outlet, we don’t have the big government dollars funding a globalist agenda to prop us up. We are 100% viewer and listener supported.” Alex’s voice was rough and tired.
“And that is why I came here first - because I knew no one else has the balls to tackle this.”
Alex half-smiled, and checked his watch. “Alright show me.”
Red came around and opened up the travel trailer. Alex peeked in. Then squatted down, and really looked. Apoc and I stared back at him unblinking.
“What am I looking at? It looks like an ugly mutt and a wolf.”
“Well that mutt is a, well was, a young woman.”
Alex looked at his watch again.
“I can prove it. Please just hear me out.”
“One more minute, and I’m not impressed so far, you say people have died?”
“Yes, but that’s not the point. C’mon girl. Come out here and meet Alex.” I stepped unsteadily out and sat in the sand and stared up at Alex. “Well, ask her a question.”
Alex snorted, then looked at me. “So you’re a woman?”
“A human woman?”
“Do you nod yes to everything.”
I shook my head no.
“Interesting. How’d you get her to do that?”
“Ask her some other question.” Red prompted.
“What? Like what is your favorite color?”
I began to write in the dirt. ‘Used to be green’.
“Used to be green, huh? Hmmm...”
“On account of dog’s being color blind?” Red chimed in helpfully.
I turned to Red and nodded.
“Whoa, that’s kind of amazing that she can understand what we’re saying. So you were mutated by the government for what purpose?”
‘Don’t know’ I wrote.
“Who did this to you?”
“What branch of the government does he work for?”
I pointed at ‘Don’t know’.
“Well can you pull off this trick for the camera?” He asked Red.
“Why are you asking me? You should ask her. I’m not going in there, you don’t want me to be on camera. They probably already know who I am and what I look like, but I sure as shit am not helping the bastards find me. The only thing comforting about all this, is that I’m probably not going to die of prostate cancer.” Red finished with his arms crossed on his barrel chest.
Alex looked surprised, and then looked down at me for a long measured moment. “Well little lady, are you ready to become a star?”
I nodded, then shook my head and pointed at ‘don’t know’.
“So can I talk to the other one?” He asked Red.
Red pointed - I was writing. ’He’s wild. Won’t talk to you.”
“Shit. You know I’m actually... Fuck... this is gonna be huge... Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. You really can understand what I’m saying?”
I nodded, but he was already turned and banging open the door to the RV.
“Christopher! We are doing a LIVE TO AIR special edition!” Alex bellowed like a drill sergeant.
“What?!? What about the regular show?” Came the muffled voice from inside the RV.
“Fire it up. Setup the up-link. We go live in three minutes. Chuck, get off your ass, we have a guest in studio.”
I looked up at Red. “It’s now or never hun. I think he’s your best chance at getting this out. He has millions of subscribers all over the world... and all they need is a few minutes of this to get out, and it will be repeated, and sent all over the world. They’d have to crash the whole internet to stop it, which they talk about doing, but I don’t think they’d be able to do it fast enough. I think that’s more for keeping people in the dark, in case of martial law to keep the public from having unified resistance to the tyranny.”
I lost my way somewhere in what he was talking about. But I got the first part, if we can tell the story, get it out there... it might get far enough, fast enough, that they wouldn’t be able to close this Pandora’s box. I licked my lips nervously.
I glanced in the trailer to find Apoc sitting there watching me, he’d watched the whole thing. His blue eyes froze me again.
“Don’t worry, we’ll be out here when you are done.” Red said, misreading my distraction.
“Well come on, We’re not air conditioning the desert.” Alex bellowed from the doorway.
I walked the gallows walk into the RV. This RV had been converted to a small studio. In the front of the RV, the pop-outs gave space for the three cameras on fixed tripods, a black desk with a laptop. Small lights decorated the walls and ceiling and the entire wall behind Alex was painted a vibrant green. Alex was sitting down at his chair, a big fancy radio mic was on a extending arm, His laptop was open. He patted a guest chair at the far end of the table. The middle of the RV was a mini control room with monitors for each camera and a large board with flashing lights. A large portly man in a sweaty black T-shirt, red baseball cap, shorts, and some warped flip-flops, was adjusting a light on Alex with his back to me. Alex glanced at Chuck.
“Open on me Chuck, and then we are going to cut to my guest speaker. I want a high angle camera shot so move camera 4 over the guests head. I need a marker, and a large white board.” Chuck nodded.
“Striking.” Said Chuck. And then the RV flooded with light. Outside I heard the generator ramp up. Chuck turned, saw me and said, “What the hell?!?”
“That would be our special guest.” Alex said patting the seat and swinging the big mic over to where I would be. Chuck shook his head, motioned me past him, and went back to the mini-control room. His chair groaned as he landed in it, and slipped on headphones.
I climbed up on the seat. It turned slightly, and I used my paw to turn it back straight.
“Mic check, check.” Chuck gave Alex a thumbs up.
Just then a mid-thirties clean cut man with glasses came from the back with a handful of papers. “Okay I got the sat time. Just what is so GD important that we are going to blow our show off? I haven’t vetted anything... have you...” Just then he noticed me sitting in the guest chair.
And, he knew me.