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Chapter 15 - Aftermath
ivor | Published 1169 days ago

Chapter 15:  Aftermath


             Yelid and Cory had started their West Coast walk in darkness.  It was easier to rely upon the green arrow display on their headsets. The boys took care to follow the directions which maneuvered them through some of the more densely populated areas while avoiding roads or structures. Land was at a premium on the east coast, open stretches were rare. Once the boys got past the tightly packed East coast towns and villages, they could relax and stretch their stride.  Daylight was helpful in spotting the details, but not so helpful in following the tracking information on the display.  Up till now things had been going smooth.  Both boys stopped at the same time.
    “Yelid, I lost my signal” Cory said, removing his headset, and examining the settings.
    “Same Here” Yelid responded, he checked his time piece. They had been walking for four hours.  Yelid looked around; the landscape consisted of  flat and rolling countryside, lots of green spaces. The houses and roads were fewer than back east.  The sun was higher in the sky, but it was still early, mist was rising from the ground.
Buddy was aware that Yelid had stopped, and called out to him, from his transport compartment.
    “Whats up Yelid, why have we stopped?”  
    “Lost our signals” The boys replied simultaneously, 
    “I’ll try to reach the headquarters with my cell phone” Buddy ventured. After five minutes of no communication, Yelid and Cory decided to move on, time was of the essence, the boys needed to continue so they proceeded by walking in the direction they received before they lost their signal. They had to be much more vigilant. 
    Buddy could not figure out why the Generals line was not responding.  After about fifteen minutes of walking, the green light flickered on, and the headsets were working again, At first the display showed a field of red lines, they eventually adjusted to the GPS, and turned green, there was still no contact from the Headquarters.  They moved on cautiously.   
   With a hand signal to Cory, both boys stopped.  Something was wrong again. Cory shook his head and threw his arms up in resignation. Yelid knew what he meant. The Arrows showed a clean path ahead, and the green arrows indicated that they proceed.

     Before them stood a village. It was a sizable town, with it’s main streets, broadway´s and it’s share of tree lined Elm Streets.  The center of town was the business district; the pride of the town was the new ten story office building, amid the five story shops and buildings. Cory surveyed the town in their path, the arrows would have them walk right through it, leaving them little recourse but to trod through the bustling  heart of the town. Hundreds would be crushed.  
    “Hello General, do you hear me?” Yelid said in frustration.  The General was still not answering. 
    “This is Stupid” Yelid said, feeling really angry,  After having traveled light years, they were having communication problems reaching someone just miles away, This wouldn’t happen on Bedem. Buddy in his compartment, could relate. He redialed Evalyn, still no answer. It was half past ten, and he was unaware of the destruction going on in the west.
    “What are we going to do?” Cory asked, remembering what the general had said about causing damage. Yelid remembered too, but shook his head as if in response to Cory’s questioning. 
   “This is wrong” Yelid  repeated,  he could not pin it down. Just as it struck him that the General would most likely have the city alerted and ready if we were suppose to walk through it, Yet it looked like there were people panicking in the streets.
  “This town seems surprised to see us” He noted.  A siren from the cities civil alert system shattered the late morning quiet. Yelid shook his head again.
   The city of Eureka Missouri took notice of the Giant boys standing on the outskirts of their city.  The West Coast disaster was being played out on all their media. The population seeing the boys approaching, panicked,  The Sheriff and Mayor took over the media putting their message on the emergency broadcast frequencies, directing the people to seek shelter. 
   General Holland called over the Tech maintenance people. 
   “It’s being jammed from an outside source” They responded.  They could track the boys, but could not communicate, and now the boys were thirty miles off course. 
  “Damit all” He roared, 
  “Get me the chief of police of Eureka Missouri, Now”  The voice in his head urged the boys to go around it.  He wished they could read his mind.

    Los Angeles was smoldering, A palor of eerie silence blanketed the ruined city. Flames leapt into the sky unchecked, where skyscrapers once stood. Ash and cinder choked the air. Calls for help from the buildings remains punctuated the still air. Dazed civilians lucky enough to have survived the Boys onslaught, roamed the rubble strewn streets. The Boys footprints were like excavated pits; Packed and compressed into the ground were the gory remains of the trampled, and flattened vehicles. 
     Bands of National guardsmen walked amid the rubble and ruin in Hazmat suits, searching for survivors. Broken glass, twisted metal shards, and rough blocks of crushed concrete made their progress slow. The air was thick with choking dust and smoke from the myriads of small fires, blazing from punctured underground gas lines. They found themselves under-manned and ill equipped to handle all those needing emergency medical assistance. Conventional transportation was useless. They traveled on foot, unable to use any of the ruined roads, they worked their way slowly to the ground zero. 
     A few all terrain vehicles were able to navigate the destruction. There were dead and wounded everywhere. Hospitals in the surrounding areas were already packed with victims,  Doctors had to be flown in to the local medical centers. Small helicopters performed endless pick ups and drop off rescues,  it was the only means of getting anywhere fast. 
     The General authorized any members of the Armed forces to help in the rescue efforts,  In truth, it would take the nearest units At Pendleton and Los Alamitos  hours to coordinate a rescue effort. 

    “Honey, Is that you?” Buddy asked, Relieved to finally get through. It was past noon and he had been worried sick.  In a city that had been devastated, with countless loss of life, Evalyn was alive.
   “How are the kids?” 
   “The kids are alright, I have Rebecca here, shes a brave girl, and Gabe is over there, he wants to talk to you,  I’ll put him on,” 
   “Hi Dad” It was Gabes sweet voice, 
   “You should have seen it Dad the giants were awesome, they smashed everything, we almost got stepped on,  I saw it all, It was so neat. I want to be a giant too.  Are you coming to help Mom and Becky?” 
   “Yes son, I’m riding an awesome friendly giant boy right now, His name is Yelid, and his friend is Cory.  We are on our way to help you, now put your Mom back on”  Evalyn paused, and choked back a tear, 
   “I can’t move my legs Buddy," She confided in a whisper so the kids couldn´t hear, "I´m pinned down, and can´t move" The unstable building shifted, a shower of acoustic tiles fell from the broken ceiling.
   "We are trapped, the building is unstable. It could collapse any minute.  You have to help me.  We are stuck five floors up, with no way down. In the middle of the damn diamond district. Everything is ruined” She cried. His heart sank. He had to rescue them.
   Yelid was uncomfortable, hearing his friend in such distress. He knew he had to do everything he could, to help save Buddy’s family,  even if it meant going into the ruined city.  He clenched his fist, thinking about how Burger and Slade could do such damage. They had to be stopped. 

     “Well my good friend,” Burger said, 
     “I’d say we did a great job crushing that city,  and from what the charts tell us, there are many cities in this “Great Sat-tan” just waiting for our Judgment. I can hardly wait.” Slade was grinning broadly.  It was the most fun he ever had, He loved crushing and destroying the intricate tiny buildings. He wanted to take a bath in the blood of the tiny people. Both boys were caked with the dust of pulverized buildings, mixed with the blood of the unfortunates. They stood out as Gray monoliths silhouetted by the bright blue sky.

      Burger summoned his Monopod, Slade’s and Punim’s were locked in, so they followed like obedient puppies. 
    “I will have them meet us, about there, about two hundred Earth miles away from us, in the outskirts of a city they call  Las Vegas”  Said Burger, pointing to a location on the projection.  A green circle on the edge of the screen contracted, making a smaller circle. It pinpointed the target city, then it showed their current location, and a route was plotted and set. Data about the cities density of population, traffic information and weather, was flashed in the margins. Scattered images filled the screen; Population six million.
    “Hey” Slade noted,
    “It kinda looks like Versalon”
    “So it does” Burger agreed, 
    "So it does. You’ll be able to take your bath in the blood of six million, that’s how many  live there.”
  In the larger picture, after the fall of the second city, The Great Sat-tan would have no choice but to surrender to the superior forces of ISIS. Then the Real slaughter would begin, with Burger and Slade the new G-ds of the planet. Burger took a deep breath, and puffed out his chest. His parents would be so proud. 
   “We can’t go and trample a city looking like this, Lets take a shower and have some lunch when we get there. All this crushing has made me hungry.”  The Boys took their time, there was no rush, and besides, these small cities of Barstow and Baker provided extra fun.  The Monopods on auto swiftly approached their destination. 

     “We are moving” Jafar announced.  It was a smooth gliding motion as the Monopods floated across the landscapes. Akram and Marco were in the corner of the console, kneeling and doing prayers for the fallen of Los Angeles. Such a slaughter had never been seen in the civilized world. They prayed for Allah’s forgiveness. These war demons could not be the work of their protector, even though the ISIS imams were saying it was so.  The “Dawning of a new age on earth” they proclaimed. Ali and Jafar manned the communication center, sending out information of the movements of Haman and Og.  They hoped their messages were reaching the American authorities.  Ali charted the projected course of the Monopod, he gasped and jumped back,  
    “We must warn them, Las Vegas must be evacuated”  Akram completing  his prayers, joined with Marco and Ali. He took his post by the transmitter and called out his warning. 
    “May they hear this in time”  He whispered, anticipating another slaughter.  Diadra was worried as well, it had been hours since Haman had contacted Punim. It was long over due. Marco was also worried, Should the giants check their communications, they would clearly see the outgoing warnings. The  giants would search their small group out, and kill them all. 
    “We must alert Punim” Jafar ventured. 
    “He can provide a hiding place for us”  Diadra agreed, but realized that Punim himself would be placed in jeopardy, Haman and Og were capable of killing even their own kind, she reasoned.  There was the hope that the other two Giants might be able to stop Haman and Og,  but from the news feed they were able to intercept, those two appeared to be just children.  In truth, Diadra could see no hope for the western world, unless the Christian G-d took notice and intervened. 

     General Holland, lit up his third cigar of the day, and without inhaling, blew out a blue grey puff of smoke. The boys signals were being jammed, but there was an outside source of contact, coming seemingly from the younger giants Monopod. Middle eastern dialect, and some idea of what was going on. A reliable source. The pods had come to rest in the remote area of Nevada’s Red Rock national park range. The General dialed the Mayor.      
     The three Craft that hovered outside of the city limits in the Red Rock area, was the first of Mayer Marshel Hendricks concerns even though there was no sign of the giants. He knew they traveled remarkably fast, The boys could arrive here from Los Angeles in less then four hours, The footage of the morning massacre was the subject on all media. Only in the sheltered casino’s was there no news of the world outside, hell they couldn’t even tell you the time, no clocks!  The second of Hendricks concerns was the message that just came direct from DC, four simple words, “Evacuate Las Vegas now!” Hendricks straightened his tie, and threw down the handbook of protocols. This was unprecedented. He would have to build this from ground up. 
     “Give me Police Chief Wilson, we got a situation”  
The Mayor adjusted his tie again; a nervous tick. He cleared his throat, and looked directly at the teleprompter.  He would not need to memorize details, his message was blood simple.  The spots were hot and bright, the makeshift podium with the flag of Nevada and the US was behind him. He got the thumbs up from the news director, and began his speech. 
     “Attention citizens of Las Vegas, In the early morning hours the city of Los Angeles was destroyed, you can see that on all the news channels. A good many people escaped, because they were warned early enough. 
   I regret to report that we are now facing a similar situation. We need to evacuate the city in an orderly and quiet manner. Our city is doomed, but there need not be the massive loss of life as well.  There are three points out of town, our National guard has volunteered to help with the evacuation process,  The north, south and central strips will clear the hotels, as the evacuation plans call for. The number one Casino in each sector will evacuate, followed by the number two and so on, We can avoid traffic jams if we just follow the directions. Again, let me make this clear to you, The Giants are heading this way, if you stay, you will most likely be killed.  This is a time we need to pull together and cooperate,  We do not wish to arouse the anger of the approaching giants who are expecting a bloodbath, they will be angry enough to find no one home.  We will not sound sirens, alerting them of our plan.  Head out on the Fifteen, you should be safe,  Henderson should not be considered safe, it’s too close, All we need is for the last person to be eight miles out of city limits In four hours.  We will return and rebuild, the Lord willing”  

     Yelid and Cory decided to circumvent the town of Eureka,  they walked around to the least populated area and continued on their walk, without the flawed guidance system. Time was running out, it was past midday, and the boys were still three hours from the coast. They would have to put on some speed.  No stopping for traffic. 
    “We have no choice” Yelid continued, 
    “The General will arrange a fleet of fighter jets to keep us on course, until they can figure out how the signal is being jammed”  Cory nodded, It seemed like a plan, They were too late to save the great city, but they would be able to confront their rampaging comrades on the less populated badlands. The only good news the General had, was that Yelids brother did not take part in the massacre.  Buddy who had connected at last with Evalyn called out to his host.
  “Yelid, my wife and children are trapped, Only you can help them. They are trapped in a ruined building, Take me to Los Angeles and I will lead you to them, then you can leave us off and confront your classmates.” Yelid had reservations about entering the shattered remains of the city, but he felt an obligation to help his friend, He agreed, they would make a detour to the city, before confronting Burger and Slade.

  “What the heck is this?” Said Burger checking his communication system. They were being tracked!  How could this be.  It did not take him long to realize the source of the communications. 
  The port to Punim’s Monopod slid open. Punim who had been faking watching the monitors, was expecting Burger.  Burger keeping his anger in check, said,
   “Out of here squirt, I’m going to have a look around.  Did you bring any Earth people along with you?” He knew the answer, and Punim was a poor liar, the young boy shook his head no.  
 Punim felt bad for his friends Noora and Marko  who had drawn lots, and would end up as victims. They would die decoys and Martyrs. They completed the mid day prayers and now hid, awaiting their discovery and horrible death.  Akram was also prepared to sacrifice himself; He hid in a compartment of Punims utility strap, unaware where Ali, Diadra and Jafar were hiding. Punim was brusquely pushed out of the way, as Burger jumped in. Punim looked around, and noted that it was pretty out here, kind of like on one of the moons of Angora. The red cliffs glowed In the warm afternoon sun. He winced as he heard Burger say from within,
    “Ahah, I got you”  He heard a girl scream. 
    “Where are your friends?” Burger demanded. Noora fell silent. If you don’t come out, I will kill your friend, in a most horrible way” Burger challenged, scanning the pod for any sign of minute movement.  
   “I know you are not alone, I heard a mans voice, being broadcast from this very Monopod, I want your friends to come out now,” He addressed Noora, 
    “Or have them watch you suffer. Oh Yes, Haman the destroyer can do “suffer” very well, believe me.”  Marko squeezed his eyes shut, and remained in his hiding place. He knew he would eventually be discovered. He could not bear to hear Noora’s screams, Burger was ready to pull her apart in his monstrous fingers, He stepped out from behind the panel, onto the control board.  He shook as the giant boy looked directly at him, Noora was clenched in the fingers of his left hand. She was bleeding profusely from the severed right arm. A toothpick in the boys right hand fingers.  Marko sill the doctor, knew that she would pass out from blood loss in minutes. 
     “Ah,” Said Burger, satisfied with his find.
    “That’s better,  now, if you will indulge me,” He continued, 
    “I would like you to say, “Haman and Og are heading toward Las Vegas”  Won’t  you say that for me, please”  Marco repeated the phrase, and Burger scowled. 
    “I’m so sorry, you failed,  I will kill your friend, and then you will tell me where the others are hiding.  Noora let out a blood curdling scream as Burger slowly rolled her between his thumb and forefinger.  She was compressed to a lumpy red smear in the Giants hand, she could no longer be identified as human. Marco held his hands over his ears. 
    “Now then, you will tell me where the others are, or a worse fate awaits you. Marco trembled, but managed to say 
    “I know nothing, it was just me and the girl”  
    “Liar” Burger spat,  he was a liar, and he knew liars. He slammed his fist down hard, just inches from where the tiny man was standing and repeated the question,
    “Where are your friends, you know I will find them, if you tell me now, I will make your death quick.”  
    “I do not know” Marco spoke truthfully. Burger shook his head in resignation, he reached down to the helpless human,  lifted him up to his eyes, Marco trembled as the boy opened his huge lips revealing his teeth. Beyond the teeth was the great cavernous mouth and tongue, and further down was the boys gullet.  
    “Let me explain what is going to happen to you” Burger continued, 
    “If you do not tell me right now where your friends are hidden; I will put you in my mouth, making sure you are in just the right position,  I will break your legs with my teeth, and then I will crush your torso, I will split you apart with my tongue, and chew you to a pulp, then I will swallow you. My digestive enzymes and stomach acids will dissolve your remains.  Will you talk?”  Marco hollered, 
       "Allahu Akbar"
       “Hey” Burger snapped, “I’m suppose to say that” He reached down and put the tiny figure in his mouth.  The hot damp breath greeted Marco, he noticed from his position that the boys lips were drawn up in a smile. The row of teeth before him opened as a toll bridge, and he was placed on the boys back molars., He awaited the crushing death before him. Before the teeth came down, He managed to kick his body off the molars and found himself sliding on the boys tongue to the back of the giants mouth and down his gullet. Burger was somewhat taken aback. He wanted to chew up and torture the tiny man, He wanted to feel the satisfying crunch, and taste the blood, but the little bastard robbed him of his pleasure and slid painlessly to his death. Oh well, he would end up in the same place, and there will be others to chew on later.  
    Burger made a complete search of the Monopod and finding no one else, he stepped outside, and looked down at Punim. 
    “Ok, where are the rest of your friends.” Burger probed. He knew that the voice he heard on communications was not that of his last victim. There was one more. Punim sat pouting. 
    “There are no more, just the girl and the man” Burger pretended he did not hear it, and slapped Punim across the face with an open hand. It stung, and tears welled up in Punims eyes. 
    “I’m going to ask one more time, where are they hiding.” Punim said nothing, but held onto the utility strap. Burger saw the young boys action, smiled, and said, 
    “Give me your utility strap”  Punim shook his head,  
    “Oh yes you will” Said Burger,  Slade watching off to the side, came up to his friend. 
    “Hold him from behind” Burger commanded. Slade harshly grabbed Punim from behind as Burger reached over and undid the clasp to Punims strap.  He began examining all the compartments. 
    “Ahah” he said triumphantly as Akram tumbled out.  
    “Now little man, before I destroy you, I must ask a favor, won’t you 
please say, "Haman and Og are headed toward Las Vegas” Burger listened as Akram repeated the phrase he had used in calling out their position. Smiling contentedly, Burger glanced at Punim, held tight in Slades hold.  
    “Are there any more Punim?” He asked cordially,  Tears were streaming down Punims face, as he shook his head and said no.  This time Burger believed him. He threw Punims strap down to the young boys feet, and told Slade to let him go. As for this little snitch that he held in his palm, what can we do to him that would be truly awful. 
       “Shove him up your ass” Slade ventured.  Leave it to Slade to roll in the dirt. 
       “That’s a great idea, Put him up yours, I’ll let you have the honor.” Burger said, gently tumbling the tiny man into Slades rough fingers. Slade grinned broadly. 
       The City of Las Vegas lay a short distance ahead.  Burger would knock out the communications between Yelid and his General, He would set a false course for their tracking system, jamming their signal, and maybe have them trample a city or two on their way out to greet them. That would be a laugh.   By the time Cory and Yelid got here, they would have finished a smashing job on Las Vegas.




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