Saturday, March 24, 2012

Sheepdog-25

Later in the day, the man—subdued—now sat in a chair in The Sheriff’s office. Away from the press, away from prying eyes and foolish whims, that middle-aged man sat restrained and confined- and before the very men he photographed just hours earlier. This prisoner now sat without a shirt, revealing well-done tattoos common to the Hell’s Angels and other outlaw motorcycle gangs: “1%”, “Enforcer” and so on. Unlike the many brothers slain, his tattoos are confined to areas on his back and chest that so commonly get covered with shirts that—if concealed—no one would notice him at all.

Just then, Ken comes into the room.

“You have quite the history. Born John Garland Martin in 1955, served in Vietnam from 1973 to 1975 as a combat photographer in the U.S. Army, joined the Hell’s Angels in 1976 after an ambiguous incident that—just the same—left you with an honorable discharge. You then go on to somehow repeat this pattern of ambiguous involvement in shady dealings throughout the world, making contact with all sorts of interesting characters. Some you kill, some you do business with, and the former often were the latter at some point.”

Reginald and The Sheriff looked at each other, nodding.

“Don’t bother denying it. We already have independent confirmation of your activities.” Ken said, “Which agency do you work for?”

Martin looked up at them as if they were children. “Are you fucking retards?” he said, “Do you honestly think that you can win?”

“Well,” The Sheriff said, “that answers a few questions right there."

“Indeed.” Reginald said, concurring. “In short,” Ken said, “we do think we can win."

Martin laughed. “You helped the Mother Club clean out a lot of shit from the system, that’s for sure. So many useless fucks sitting around the clubhouse fucking shit pussy, drinking shit booze, barely getting by despite feeling so superior due to being fully patched. They’re suckers, totally and utterly expendable suckers. You’ve been allowed to go on because it’s been, in the long run, very good for business. Now that I’ve missed a check-in, however, you’re fucking done.”

“You think they’re coming for you?” Reginald said, curious. Martin smiled. “Hell no!” he said, “They’re going to notice that their information flow got severed, will assume the worst and send in the regulators to clean up the mess.”

“Oh, really?” The Sheriff said, “So you’re just the scout.”

Ken stepped in. “You’re still doing the job you learned in Vietnam, aren’t you? You’re the scout, the advanced man, scoping out the scene before the team makes it move.”

Reginald now broke in. “You not only gathered intelligence, you spotted for and called in air and artillery strikes- you gave the military what it needed to conduct special operations with accuracy and precision.”

“You’re still doing it.” The Sheriff said, realizing what’s going on, “You’ve been doing it.”

“Shit.” Ken said.

“You’ve wondered what the trigger for the next phase was, Ken? You got it.” Reginald said.

Martin blanched, and Ken noticed. “Oh? Somehow, in some manner, you failed to connect me with the Ken that’s become fucking infamous in your circles? For a photographer, you’re not that perceptive about anything outside that is not in your lens’ viewfinder.”

“Names and faces…” Martin said, weakly.

“Typical.” Ken said, “You’re getting burned as we speak. You not only aren’t getting rescued; you’re now on their hitlist. They know what happens to men like you when men like me get a hold of you, so they’ve already written you off as lost. Don’t disappoint me and demonstrate atypical loyalty now.”

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