Saturday, March 17, 2012

Sheepdog-24

The Sheriff organized a press conference on the steps of the Sheriff’s Office, where he displayed the weapons, motorcycles and colors of the Hell’s Angels slain so far in their interdiction operation as if he were a conquering warrior of old. Journalists near and far flocked about the scene, with television and still cameras taking pictures of the spectacle. Flanked by Reginald and a handful of deputies, the old lawman engaged the assembled press.

 “What you see here today is the spoils of our operations against the Hell’s Angels outlaw motorcycle gang, and their continued failure to intimidate we—the people of this county—into silence and submission to their criminal will.”

The Sheriff then motioned to the guns, leathers and weapons assembled. Reginald then pulled out a long list.

“This, members of the press, is a list of the entirety of the enemy either captured or killed to date. The leather vests piled here, their ‘colors’, are taken from these enemies as trophies of war- for they have made war upon us, and we are wise enough to deal with that in kind.”

The press weighed in with questions, leading and presumptive questions, regarding the violence and the community response of organized militia violence.

“We are not the would-be tyrants that have neither faith nor trust in our neighbors.” The Sheriff said, “We know, as matters of fact as well as matters of law, that we are the sole guarantors of our own safety. That is why we are armed, and that is why we willingly cooperate to protect ourselves, those that depend upon us and our property- and otherwise leave well enough alone.”

Reginald stepped in at this point: “We also know that, as history demonstrates, barbarians—and make no mistake, the Hell’s Angels outlaw motorcycle club is a barbarian horde—are nothing more than the precursor to today’s criminal syndicates. They are parasites that suck the blood and treasure from the people, using fear and force to scare it out of us. We know better, so we have no problem with seeing them as just monsters to exterminate without prejudice- and that is what we do.”

The assembled press, shocked at the frank assertion, stammered to put forth a follow-up question. The men with cameras, on the other hand, kept silent and filmed or shot photos about all they see. One of them, a clean-cut middle-aged man dressed for a newsroom, worked a still camera with the speed of a master marksman; shot after shot, like a mad minute of volley fire, focused upon the colors and the bikes- and when in view, the list.

One of the press then tried, out of desperation, to reassert the commonly-held claim that one expects out of a media culture focused on networks rooted in places like New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles. The others joined the dogpile, but Reginald handled them all as if he were an Aikido master being swarmed by a mob.

Meanwhile, The Sheriff noted that one of the men—that very same middle-aged photographer—slipping out of the back of the crowd and leaving the scene. He motioned to a deputy, and the deputy made a phone call.

Moments later, in the men’s room of the bar across the street, Ken walked in and moved up to that same man as he stood at a urinal.

“Get some good footage?” Ken said.

“My SD cards got full, but by then I got what I needed out of that spectacle.”

Ken cocked an eyebrow. “Really? I think you missed the best part of the story.”

The man looked at Ken, curious, as he hurriedly zipped up.

“They announced that they found a spy, here, and they’re about to make an arrest.”

The man now faced Ken. “Well, that’s a shame,” he said, “but I can’t get all the best shots.”

Ken glanced at the man’s hands, and saw one going behind his back. Ken immediately rushed him, knocking the knife out of the man’s hand. The man, without thinking, counterattacked with his off hand. The two men brawled without restraint, without thought, wrecking the restroom- yet Ken won.

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