Friday, March 9, 2012

These are the days of EL RANCHO TEXACO ..... In the City

Neil DeGrasse Tyson Avenue (called Tyson Avenue, for short) was filled with military vehicles. The Empire of China managed to consolidate their forces on the other side of the planet and were steadily tightening the noose. Most of the kit-kats (war brings out the worst) side with them. They want the Anglo (or actually Spanglish would be more like it) occupiers to leave. Are they enamored of the Chinese? No. But powerful shamans within the group sense something. They recognize subtleties within the Chinese strategy. The government in Peking doesn't really want Mars. Confiscated territories on the red planet are merely proxies for what they wannt on Earth. 

Although Siberia is nominally part of The Empire and Prayer Centers for The Emperor have been established in every major city east of The Urals, the Princes of Muscovy still agitate for it's return. And lately, they've forged links with the Pan Semitic Empire. Together they hope to confront the Imperial Forces along the entire length of The Great Silk Road. Turandot (please forgive this one's inferior spelling) has come to life, though played on a stage more vast than Grand Opera could ever devise. 

And most of the Earth-bound humans would let them have it. The United States and Provinces of North America doesn't care. They have The Second Brazilian Empire to worry about. I mean the thought of Bossa Nova music playing in Tex-Mex bars makes 'em sick. China knows this. That's why they need Mars. North America still sees the place as an 'off world' possession. It adds imperial prestige to a supposedly staunch republic.

And Mars just wants to be left alone. 

Zeb was at the usual table. Oh, they did go to other places, but The King's Club was home. Couldn't beat the steaks (genuine, not cultured). Couldn't beat the atmosphere. Couldn't beat the gossip. So he just sat there, masticating a big, ole twenty four ounce New York Cut. The salty, juicy taste was better than anything. And the crunchy, batter-dipped, fried onion rings (do you know how big onions grow in the low Martian gravity?)were pure cocaine. Two or three a the other oligarchs gorged with him. The ladies were all off at some fashion show. It's supposed to raise money for the war effort. I mean you gotta put on a good face. 

Funny how hardly anyone mentioned his wife. They never even brought up anybody back on the ranch. A lot were afraid to talk 'bout Little Davey, 'cause they weren't sure how Zeb really felt about him. I mean that was his kid, after all...... Well, sort a his kid...... Miss Sissie does have her secrets. And the new sort-a-kind-a-wife wants him all to herself...... plus that l'il sucker she got growin' in her dutch oven. Pregnancy a bitch... but so is she.....

So when the guy came in and told him about 'what happened.' he just put down his fork and sat there. Jean-Pierre, his favorite waiter stood by with a big tumbler fill a bourbon and tundra water (they refine it from vast stores of ancient Martian perma-frost)...... 'Got blowed up in a pulse bomb test. Nothin' but a mess a bloody, crunchy bone meal and gobs a fat.'....... That's what they said. That's what they thought happened to his son, his wife and all the rest a his folks.......

If it was true... all the assets were his....the cash.... the holdings.... and the 'molasses' mine..... Provided they can get the Chinese outta there.

But far a little piece a his brain.... a wrinkled up, orange skinned Tuva-Tuva woman sat waggin' her finger at him... 'cause that bald headed, old thing knew better.

Ain't Mars an intoxicatin' place?........


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