I apologize for the longer than normal hiatus in this convoluted tale... toward that end, one may need to refresh their recall.. the last episode is here...
Lucifer’s Semi-Final Conclave Part 15
Walmart Parking Lot…
Phil, Buffy and Bree had driven close to Ken, who was cleaning his shoes. Phil asked Danielle if she could dig out his carry on from the mountain of shopping bags and pass it up… she complied, Phil rooted around in it, and passed it back with a smile and “Thanks Hon” . Shortly Ken finished, and tearing off a new towel, placed his shoes and the roll in the bag, and knotted the bag per his wife’s instructions. He used the fresh towel to thoroughly wipe his hands, then stuff it into his back pocket.
Buffy opened her door, and as she advanced toward a glum faced Ken, Phil and Danielle followed. When Ken and Buffy were still about 3 feet apart, Buffy held up her hand. Ken stopped. Ken was nearly a foot taller than Buffy. He bent down slightly, and Buffy tiptoed and planted a kiss on his cheek. Ken beamed, and Buffy snapped back with PHEW, Ken, you stink… His demeanor crashed. Phil said, Ken, I’m Phil Warren… maybe this will help… as he held out his spray bottle of aftershave, and half used tin of Altoids … with a look of appreciation toward Phil, Ken popped 4 Altoids in his mouth, and as he munched away, he gave himself several sprays of cologne. He then turned to his wife who got in his face, sniffed a bit, and gave him a kiss on the lips… Much better, Ken… she said.
Buffy continued with the formal .. Kenneth Burns, these are the Warrens -- Phil and his wife, Danielle… They rescued us while you were.. Uhhh .. sleeping … and that’s why we are not in a ditch somewhere in an overturned car. Ken turned to them, uttering ’Thank you so much… as he offered Phil his cologne and Altoids back… Keep the mints, said Phil, you know how ladies are… Ken grinned and grabbed Alex’s hand and headed for the car..
Buffy suddenly stopped.. Phil, I know you are dead tired. I can drive fine now that the sun is nearly set. Besides I won’t have to scream directions. Ken of course knows the way, but his alcohol blood level is sky high yet, and the smokies are wall to wall on Friday nights around here. So, Bree and I will take the front, and you two hop in back… We all will find lots to talk about. Phil took Brees old seat and as Ken entered Buffy;s former, he spied the Louigi’s box in the middle of the back seat… Alex!,, he exclaimed as he lifted the lid and spied 2 and a half pieces.. Thanks, Sweetie… I’m starved… And, away they went…
US 95 between Henderson and Searhlight NV is a lonely boring drive since the interstate system replaced it to offer more direct routes between major destinations. One story is that the unincorporated town of Searchlight got it’s name from an early prospector looking for gold on it’s hills, which are easily seen from the surrounding desert landscape. He supposedly said… “You couldn’t find gold on that hill with a searchlight“. Whether the story of it’s naming is true or not, a good amount of ore was eventually found there .. Enough to warrant the building of a 25 mile long rail line to Barnwell, CA to haul it out. Although the official population is now only about 550, it boasts 2 medium sized casinos, but other businesses are very sparse, indeed.
Time wise, their trip took a little more than a half hour, but in this short span, Ken had been brought nearly up to speed… at least on all the major facts of the last few hours after his purse snatching attempt on his wife…
It was nearly dark when the four turned south on 95 on the last leg for home, which was about 5 miles from Searchlight.
One of the few cars they passed over in the northbound lanes that night was headed back to Las Vegas. In it was a single occupant, ‘Sniffy‘ Belmont, whom, you may recall is the newly retired CofD of LVPD. Sniffy was making the rounds of all past and present ‘erasers’ he knew of to deliver copies of the current BOLO’s per the request of LVPD. ‘Sniffy’ was a real old school tracker, a bulldog known to never give up. He was returning from visiting “the tweeker” aka Homer Atkins, who was at one time widely known in the Vegas area as the best in the business. Sniffy had busted him twice in the past 18 years. The first time was at the Henderson Truck stop where he ran a land office business from his camper dealing modified CDL licenses. NV DOT was amazed at the quality of his work. Virtually un detectable, they said. Sniffy was only able to get him 2 years on that one.
Two years after he got out, Sniffy busted him a second time. This one netted him 10-20 because it was a FED rap. He was building dependent gate passes and Base Exchange cards for people who liked the cheap grocery prices at Nellis AFB. Homer had got an early release 5 years ago. Sniffy had actually helped him get out early. It seems that a little after he got sent away, that second time, Homer changed. He had ’found God’, they said. For 7 years Homer had spent virtually every spare moment he had studying every Bible version, Concordance, and Theology book the prison library had available, or so the patrol board claimed when they asked Sniffy for his input. At that time, the main lockup at Carson City was being closed, and the PTB had transferred him to Indian Springs CC, just north of Las Vegas. They would like to parole him they said, because he had changed enough, and they needed the beds.
Pete ‘Sniffy’Belmont was tough but fair. He drove up to talk with Homer. He could sense that indeed, Homer was much changed and easier to talk to, and indeed appeared ‘rectified’ so he explained to ‘tweeker’ that he was going to sign off on his parole. In the 4 years since, Homer had moved out into the desert with a small trailer he parked on a rented lot. He had got a job at the Henderson truck stop, and had bought and paid for the small plot for his trailer. He had since established and led a small Bible Study group as of 3 years ago. A year ago, his parole officer had presented him with the final release documents.
Sniffy mused as he drove home… Yep, ‘tweeker’ was no more he thought. He had done well. He recalled that when he first drove up to his ‘spread’ this afternoon that Homer had a hoe in his hand, and was chopping away in his garden, preparing to plant some new vegetables. And his place was clean and pleasant. Wasted trip, He concluded… Homer was definitely out of the tweeking business… or so Sniffy sincerely believed… And Sniffy was right.. Kind of..… Well, close enough, anyway.
In the clear night time desert air, the lights of the city on the hill, ie Searchlight, NV loomed in the windshield for 15 minutes. When the collective glow appeared to become individual pinpoints , Buffy slowed, and at three mailboxes, turned onto a sand road. They continued slowly for a mile, and then turned into the Burn’s yard, continuing slowly to the house. As Bree cut the engine, she grabbed bree’s hand then looked around and said to Phil… ‘Welcome home, guys’… she then glanced at Ken, and quipped… You, I am still working on… They all had a chuckle and then as Phil turned to exit… There was this ’thang’ staring at him through his window at his eye level.. The thang had a head nearly twice the size of Phil’s, and was sitting on his haunches, just looking. Buffy smiled at Bree…winked and whispered, it’s just yough… watch. Yo? Said Bree? Well, he’s Russian, so its pronounced more like yough, chuckling. Touche’ said Bree, remembering their first meeting…Ken meanwhile was trying his very best not to laugh out loud. Phil sat motionless, just staring at thang.
The thang… now identified as ’just Yough’ was a male Caucasian Shepherd of the mountain type, meaning his coat was longer, which made him appear even larger than his 180 pounds. They were originally bred and trained to attack and kill wolves who come near their charges, the sheep. As a result, one never saw a coyote near here. At least for long. He was mostly black and tan, with some white spots.
Buffy exited spread out her arms and exclaimed ’Yough’… Yough came to her immediately, licked both her hands and whined, lying down at her feet.… she gave him a couple of pats. Then he rose, went straight back to Phil’s window, sat and looked at Buffy. She said ’friend’ , yough. He backed up a couple of paces, whereupon she said, come out, Phil, let him smell your hands. Phil complied, Yough sniffed, then sat, raising his left paw. Phil shook his paw, and with a smile, patted his huge head. Meanwhile, Bree had walked up beside Buffy and had been watching, a big smile on her face. Bree held out her hands, and Yough took a long look at Bree. And slowly walked to her, and immediately rolled onto his back, feet up. Bree knelt and rubbed his belly, while saying, yough, I’m Bree. Apparently yough had already recognized her, as Brighid, natures healer.
Buffy looked at Ken, whose jaw had dropped in amazement, saying I have NEVER seen him do that to anyone at first meeting. He seldom even does that for us… Yough stood up, and looked at Buffy who said… go get yout pack.. He wheeled and disappeared behind the house, while Buffy turned on the front house lights, the three went to the rear hatch to unload.
Soon, yough was back carrying his ‘pack’ which Ken had assembled from two bushel baskets and three old belts. He strapped it on yough .. a basket on each side and cinched it tight with the belts. Ken and Buffy then loaded the food and heavy cans and when the baskets were full Buffy turned to go back inside, and said OK Yough. Yough took off back behind the house, as Phil and Bree watched in amazement. Ken explained.. Well, when Buffy began to complain about her back 3 months ago, we trained him… He will be at the back door waiting, and when she opens the back door, he will follow her around the fridge and her kitchen cabinets, and wait for her to unload. She always gives him a hug and a treat, so he loves the task. Phil and Bree, just shook their heads, picked up four hands full of Bree’s stuff and entered the front door just as Buffy was coming out. She smiled and went back in with them, pointed down the short hallway and said… the door on the left… it’s yours as long as you want it. She patted Brees shoulder and went back outside to help Ken finish. Ken had removed Yough’s pack. He put the belts in one of the baskets, then pulled them together with one hand . Yough grasped them with his large mouth, and disappeared back behind the house.
32 miles east of Pahrump, NV
Prince Doubt, per his masters instructions had just entered the cliff side portal below RockSense West to talk with Anu….
To his surprise, there had been changes made. This portal had always opened to more or less an anteroom with several tunnels, one of which accessed the office of #13 directly.
Amok greeted him. The reader may recall from earlier chapters that Amok was the commander of Anu’s Second Division, the division that required physical sustenance for survival, and specialized in spilling human blood and devouring human flesh, as opposed to Anu’s First and third Divisions, who subsisted only on human minds and thoughts, never partaking of, nor requiring physical food and water.
Amok, Doubt exclaimed, why the change? Anu is preparing by increasing security to this base, he replied. My entire division now occupies this area as protection to this entire base. Particularly, because Bridgid now has the sign in her possession, and we are now entertaining her consort.. There ---he pointed to a barred cage.
At the center of the 15 foot diameter steel cage a single naked human figure crouched. He had oozing slashes on his limbs and a look of terror on his face. It was Bill Meacham. He strove mightily to maintain his position in the exact center, just out of the long arms reach of the several large troops who persistently tried to reach him for a snack..
Anu has said, that she will eventually come here for him. But.., Doubt… countered.. Lucifer has ordered that he be killed, he exclaimed… Does Amu indeed disobey?
Just then Anu appeared.. Doubt… I was expecting you of course, but not in this manner.
Anu, you know the purpose of my visit… to conclude the interview for your appointment as head of the room of Deception…. It appears that the appointment may be in abeyance.
Lucifer had instructed you to ‘kill him now’-- you have clearly disobeyed!
Au Contraire, Doubt… If you recall the words, Lucifer plainly said “ELIMINATE him, now”… he pointed to the cage… At the time, the consort was deep in study of my instruction.. Trying hard to join the ranks of #13 and the other numbers we control. Does not ‘eliminate’ mean also to expel him from the class? He again gestured to the cage,
Besides, deception will be needed even more, soon, when Brigdid comes to reclaim him. I need him yet in the flesh, as bait when she tries. The sign she now possesses has great power., you know.
Doubt looked at Anu and exclaimed… Anu you have surely now earned your formal appointment to the room of Deception. You have even succeeded where no entity ever has. You have deceived Lucifer…. Using his very choice of words!
Danielle carried the first of their new purchases into the bedroom Buffy had indicated on the left side of the hallway. Shortly, Phil followed with an other armload.
At the end of the short hallway was a bathroom, wish served also for a third bedroom directly across the hall from theirs
Their room was spacious, with a Queen bed, well made. There was a wall to wall closet on the front side to their left, empty except for a few heavy coats. There was a large curtained window open to the front of the house, which had a large triple dresser beneath the window. Further to the right, at the rear of the house, was a small wrought iron make up dresser, with mirror, light and matching single chair. Continuing clockwise was a small upholstered chair with a small window above, open to the rear of the house. Finally, there was a door with full length mirror, which opened into the adjoining bathroom. Within the bathroom, there was no access the smaller bedroom across the hall from theirs.
This is really, nice…babe, quipped Danielle to Phil… He agreed.
They placed their bags on the bed temporarily, and went back to the large main room, and spotted Buffy rushing around the kitchen through the serving bar ’table’ opening where Ken was perched on one of the four barstools watching her and conversing.
Guy’s --- Danielle loudly exclaimed… this is GREAT. Thank you so much… Ken smiled as Buffy said again… Bree… “It’s yours as long as you want it” … Now, go jump in the shower, and hit the sack… We know you guys are exhausted. We will talk plenty tomorrow, It’s Saturday, and Ken does not have to work… she smiled as she pointed toward their room… and simply said… GO. Yough will watch your six.
Phil headed back, as Bree said Buffy … first thing tomorrow.. I HAVE to hear the full story of yough, OK? Buffy gave her a hug and simply said… you got it..
When Danielle got to their room and just had closed the door, she heard the shower running in the bathroom… she stuck her head in the steamy room and said… babe.. Be sure not to shave, OK? Phil said…. Uuhh.. OK.
10 minutes later Danielle exited the bathroom and snuggled up closely against a sleeping Phil, worked both her arms around him, and closed her tired eyes.
To be continued:
The previous part 14 is here: