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Chapter 16 - The Gambler
ivor | Published 1168 days ago

Warning, Violent Destruction depicted.  

Chapter 16 The Gambler

Collateral Damage.


            Yelid and Cory had hoped that they could get to the West Coast without destroying lives and property, Unfortunately that was just not going to happen. General Holland had made allowance for the margin of destruction, and given the odds, the two giant boys were as careful as they could be. They tracked their progress across Middle America. They swung south to cut through Okalahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. For the most part open range, where the boys could almost run without seeing any property or roads. Buddy used the opportunity to take a deep sleep, he would need his energy later. He slept oblivious to the actions of the boys, who had to concentrate on their trek.   
      Roads had a tendency to come up quickly, criss crossing the landscape.  An intersection with a truck stop, a diner and a small wooden supply shack were smashed to splinters under Cory’s, eighty-seven foot, million-ton footfall.  Cory hated to admit it, but he smiled inside at the thought as his foot came crashing down. The tanker trucks exploded under his step, The driver and pedestrians were caught without notice, and the last thing they saw, looking up was the fast approaching nine hundred foot tall shape of a boy, A fast moving skyscraper sized gargantuan,  glancing down, and approaching rapidly without stopping. His foot a blur as it towered above them, then came crashing down. They were quickly dashed to the ground under his feet like snails stepped on, in the path.  
    “I stepped on some people, Yelid.”  Cory said looking at the smashed gory remains on the bottom of his feet, “They really didn’t have a chance.”
    “You couldn’t help it!” Yelid comforted, “We just have to continue, more will be crushed by us, but we are not doing it on purpose, we have to get to the West  Coast, fast, to stop Burger and Slade. They are the ones doing it on purpose.”  As if making his point, Yelids foot crushed through a small tract of houses that lay beyond a tree hedge boundary in their path.  The  Giants feet crashed through, splintering the wooden roofs knocking down the brick chimneys, crashing the drywall interiors flat. The glass windows shattered, as the pink wall of flesh came down on the toy structure crushing anyone who might have been inside. This time Yelid did not hear any screams, and truly hoped the houses were empty.  Their remote viewers circled the destruction, making a record, before scooting ahead to keep up with the fast moving boys. 
     A Trestle bridge with light traffic found itself in Cory’s path, He could not get his feet timed just right, and came down directly on the structure, which gracefully crumpled as it fell into the gully, bringing down all the cars and trucks that were crossing.  In slow motion Cory would review how his foot descended, smashing the bridges trestles, and as his foot continued lowering, crushing the traffic on the bridge the driver abandoned his cab, leaping out and falling beside his truck, the foot smashed through the bridges roadway, the asphalt buckled back, spilling traffic down into the ravine. The foot continued descending until everything that fell into the gully was crushed flat underneath it,  Screams could be heard, and red dots now marked Corys feet.
      A locomotive train crossing the wastelands had the unfortunate timing to be caught under Yelids foot; the train cars crushed  easily as the trailing cars were whipped off the track and tumbled, with their cargo across the town,  Yelid shrugged and continued unfazed as Cory watched.  There was a couple walking on the road, before Cory, He barely noticed the half inch tall people, who turned and were startled by the quickly approaching Giant, There was not time to say “look out.”  They tried to run but were mashed into the ground almost unnoticed,  their bodies spattered like broken condiment sacks.  A gas station exploded after Yelid ran through it, 

       Yelid and Cory would end up killing fifty seven innocent victims, they would have been crushed under the boys feet, they were caught on foot, in vehicles and in houses that were stepped on. The General was writing letters of condolences, and taking responsibility for the collateral damage the boys brought about in their rush to the west. He knew he would be called on it after the dust cleared. 
      The boys passed Las Vegas to the south, aware that that was where Burger and Slade were about to destroy the city. They did not see their foes.   Yelid would be mindful of their presence, but he had promised to help Buddy’s family first, then they would take care of the Bullies.

       It was Summer and the days were longer.  It was past five, but the sky was still bright when the boys reached the ruins of Los Angeles.  The devastation took both boys breath away.  Here was a city to challenge New York in grandeur, laying rubble before them. Burger and Slade were like surgeons of Destruction; they left not one tall building intact within the city limits. Cleanup and rescue groups were making slow progress, Yelid and Cory spotted the work crews, and would have liked to have helped, but there was a more important rescue to be done for their friend. 
    “Honey do you see us?” Buddy questioned,  He was close to Evalyn and the kids, but the smart phone battery was going. Evalyn was feeling very sore, her legs were paralyzed, Rebecca had to go to the bathroom, but was told to do it in the corner because it was too dangerous to leave the room. At intervals, as in an earthquake, the building, structurally unstable, would shake, dislodging remains of ceiling tile and whatever else was scattered on the floors above. Dust fell, coating everything below.  Gabe was restless and cranky, he tried to find a glass of water for his mom, she was talking on the smart phone again. 
    "Gabe dear, go look out the window, Your father should be here soon,  He will be riding a..”
    “I know, another naked giant boy.” Said Gabe, Rebecca Pouted in her moms arms, she wanted to be a naked Giant girl too. Why wasn´t Daddy riding a girl?  Gabe  scooted back to the broken window, it was angled precariously downward, The room was tilted to the deserted ruins and the street below with a five story drop to the ground. There was no one moving below, that he could see. The looters would come later.  Carefully climbing over an overturned desk, and crawling behind it, Gabe maneuvered himself to the opening, where he could see the south side of the demolished city.  
    “Mom, I can see him, he’s over there.”  The giant boys were approaching. They trod carefully, mindful of any disaster workers doing rescue and placing their footsteps where Burger and Slade had already trod.
    “He sees you, How will you find us Buddy?” Evalyn asked.  The boys held their place,  Buddy scanned the desolation before him, it was devastating knowing that his wife and children were trapped in the ruins ahead.  
    “We are headed in the right direction.” Buddy hollered, up to his host. "Lets proceed slowly.”  
    “You’re getting closer.” came Evalyns response. 
      “They said that we were approaching. I don’t see anything.”  
      “How could we find them, they could be anywhere.” Yelid asked.  Buddy observed the path ahead, looking across the smoke filled landscape. Cory came up with the best answer,
    “Have them take a picture of us, on their communicator, and send it to us, we will be able to key in to their direction, on our communicators, then we can just go slowly until we find where they are. Is there any way they can signal us?"  Yelid and Cory both directed their remote viewers toward the midcity location,  the smart robot viewers correlated the buildings location before the destruction, and was able to approximate the destroyed building.  
    “There they are” Buddy pointed to a rubble strewn block, a light from close to the base but still on the building, glowed from a block of twisted ruins to the corner of the structure, lit by a smartphone flashlight app. 
    “Turn on and off the light, two time, so I can tell it’s you.” Buddy instructed. The light flashed twice. Yelid nodded, 
    “I see them over there.” He pointed. They would be careful as they could not to do new damage. Yelid tried to imagine the tall buildings still standing around where they were, and could almost relish Burgers and Slades instinct to smash and destroy. 
    “Mom, they see us, They are coming to rescue us.” Gabe waved his arms excitedly.

A Gamblers Tale;

    Jack Russo was not going to be faked out, he worked himself up from the slums of Detroit, sharpening his gambling skills, and proving himself to be the best poker player in the neighborhood.  Now he was at the World Tournament of Poker at the MGM, and he was not going to walk away from the table without the prize. He faced his opponents, seated around the round table.  Twenty opponents stood between him and the grand prize. This would be a grand elimination draw. Followed by the showdown where the winner would be selected. The cool fluorescent s were out shown by the bright spotlights provided by the Media, The event was being televised of course. The crowd had been substantially thinned out, but there were enough spectators and media people standing around, to give the tournament a sense of importance. Outside, the Mayors evacuation plan was being followed. Not so inside. 
    Mayor Marshel would have had a kid in each Casino, run from floor to floor starting from the top down, calling out to warn everyone to leave the building. He knew he could only do so much, and at this point considered himself lucky. His people were spared extra time, because of the sacrifice of the poor folks along the Fifteen freeway from Los Angeles, that the giants were following. Barstow was in ruins and so was Primm. It was a massacre
.  The few Casinos at Stateline were unprepared for the Giants onslaught, and blood gushed in rivers down the damaged streets and drain pipes.

    “A most excellent appetizer.” Purred Burger as he and Slade smashed through the last of the Primm cluster. Lets hit the Pods, grab lunch and a shower, and plan our night.” That was fine with Slade. 
The Killers were now just forty four miles from the center of LasVegas. They were twenty minutes away if they took their time. 
    “Yes” Said the Mayor, with satisfaction, he got lucky again, the boys stopped off at their crafts.  The dark haired one took the “little” one out of his transport and examined the craft, the young one got back in, and the door sealed. He watched as each of the older boys entered their own vehicles; no one has come out in the past hour. 
    The evacuation had been going smooth, since they started it three hours ago, but there were still Thousands left, both tourist and local. There were many yet remaining in the Casinos, and there was nothing he could do,  A tech man suggested playing the giants destruction footage, on all the sporting channels used by the Casinos,  If that with a streaming warning wouldn’t clear the stragglers. Turn off the power, turn off the gas mains.  
    “Give the owners one hours notice to the guests, that we are going to pull the plug. That should clear the houses.” The sweltering heat outside would work in their favor, getting the folks out of the un air conditioned buildings and on the road. The airport was closed down and the Strip had been remarkably clear of traffic. 

    Jack Russo sat in a sweat, the voice in his brain coaxing him, telling him to relax, and  breath easy. Control your emotions. His first card was sweet, an Ace of spades, that was good, 
 Jacks second card was a King of spades. Possible Royal Flush. Everyone stayed in, five of the players raised. The three cards on the table had an Ace of Clubs a Deuce and a Queen of Spades. A pair of Aces, King high possible flush, and the bastard sitting across was trying to bluff him out. Even if the clown had two duces, he would win over Jacks pair.  Jack raised his bet, even though there were two cards left to be dealt. if a ten and a Jack came up, the prize was his. Three players to the left of him threw in their cards.  Two deuces were now showing. And the bastard across the way was grinning like a cat that ate the canary. If a King or Ace came up there was breathing room, c´mon, give me a Jack and Ten of Spades! he pleaded. 

    The lights flickered for a second, breaking his concentration. Everyone looked around,  A small earthquake, no worry, happens all the time. The dealer was about to turn the next card, when a ceiling tile fell, landing in the center of the table, everyone looked up, as the building shook. Jack jumped back pushing himself off his seat, and muttering curses. The building rocked violently. The roof opened.

    Punim was grounded to his Monopod, Burger and Slade didn’t like him anymore. He secured his utility strap, locked his door, then walked over to his sink and carefully removed Diadra, Jafar and Ali from his mouth they were tucked in his inner cheek, When Burger slapped him, he was worried that they were killed, If they were on the side that took the hit, they would have been. Punims mouth was cavernous, and the soft tissue of his inner cheek was warm and remarkably soft, considering the vast size. They were tucked away and cushioned under his gum line in the same pocket a ball player tucks tobacco.  Punims teeth were like beautifully sculpted blocks, some the size of small cars, saliva washed the bottom of the boys mouth, keeping it damp. Punims tounge was like an unworldly creature, safe when it was resting at the bottom of the mouth,  best to keep away from it, or risk sliding down the back of Punims mouth, and down his gullet.  Diadra Ali and Jafar now sat on the consoule,  Diedra got up and spoke first,
    “Punim, dear child, We are so sorry we got you into trouble, you may crush us as we do not deserve your mercy.” Even though Punims jaw was smarting, he smiled, his viewers were projecting the three on his view screen, and he looked at it, as he brought his hand over the three. He could see Diadra hold her hands up to her eyes as the shadow of his hand fell over her.  Punim put his finger right next to her,  on the screen his index finger looked enormous, his fingernail was taller than the little people.  He had watched Burger and Slade tear the people to pieces, their blood and guts splattering as they screamed. It excited Punim, He enjoyed tearing them apart himself, The idea that it hurt them was strange to him, but now he did not want to do anything but hug the little girl and her friends, whom he had saved. 
    “I don´t want to crush you.” He said. 
    “You all  can hide in my strap, I don’t think Haman would think of looking there twice". Diadra bowed to the boy. The three agreed the strap was a safe place. The city of Vegas was doomed, now they must look ahead and try to find a way to connect with Yelid and Cory.
    The sun was lower in the sky, and the red rocks glowed as if aflame. Haman and Og stepped out of their pods, Washed showered clean, and in their finest nothing.  Burger rapped on Punims Monopod vents,  It slid open, Punim looking down at Burger standing by the port.  
    “Can I go, I wanna crush some people.”  Burger smiled a nasty sneer as he turned to Slade,
    “Hey, he says he wants to go, what do you say?” Slade was feeling particularly nasty, he shook his head,
    “Nah, let the little traitor stay here in the pod, and watch. He’ll have to prove himself before he can play with us big boys.” 
    “You heard Og, back into the Monopod with you for now. We might have some use for you later.” With that Burger turned in the direction of  the city as Punim climbed back in his ship, The late afternoon lights blinking on all over the city, were beckoning the two. 
    The city was lit up real pretty in the late afternoon sun, It looked like an amusement park ride with it’s facades painted with colored spots, Each large Casino had it’s own light show, The boys were going to relish this, then abruptly the lights went out. 
    “What the?” Slade startled, 
    “Relax” Burger replied, “So they are on to us, lights or no lights we are going to tear this place apart.” There was still a good hours worth of sunlight, and should there be anything standing afterwards, The floodlight utility on their strap would provide plenty of light.  What was apparent to both boys, was the trail of red lights, on the roads leading out of town, Burger was seething inside.  
    “They were on to us all day, the miserable PissScants.  They emptied out their damn city.” Burger growled. He looked down the strip, there was still traffic, and people on the street. Good enough,  
    “Let’s trap those who are left in their city,  We’ll first ruin all the roads leading out of town”  That was quickly done as the giants circled the city, kicking to pieces the congested Exit routs.  
    Mayor Hendricks, now in an observation helicopter, watched the giants progress, the binoculars in his hands were redundant. The boys, circled the city, reminding him of a pack of wolves circling a wounded prey, they were clearly on the verge of attack.  All would grant him that the evacuation was a major success, with an eighty percent clean getaway,  hundreds of thousands were out of harms way. 
There is nothing we can do to protect those poor devils who stuck around. May the Lord have mercy on them.” He crossed himself in earnest prayer.  
    “People of the City of Sin.” ‘Burger proclaimed, in his introductory speech. He gestured dramatically as he stood at the South side of town, straddling the I-15.  The  MGM Casino on his right The big casinos of the strip lay ahead. His voice boomed,
    “Rejoice, today you will join with your fallen comrades.” He raised his arms as if expecting applause,
    “I Haman the destroyer and Og, the king of bashin, will tear your city apart, just to meet you. Our sponsers, the good folks at ISIS wish to convey their scorn to your surviving relatives, They wish to let you know that it is your own fault for not choosing the true faith. Allah is good and merciful; but we, Haman and Og, are not. By the way, if you could get the pretty lights back on, we would appreciate it, If not, don’t worry about it.”  It was the cue to start the demolition.  The MGM Grand stood thirty stories high, at approximately three hundred feet, It barely reached Burgers waist.  
    “Anybody home?” He asked, 
    “Knock, knock!” He slammed the top of the structure with his right hand fist, the cornice and all the windows in that corner shattered with the blow. Burger gripped the upper floors, and using his weight as leverage, ripped the top of the structure off the west wing.  In the exposed rooms and hallways below, tiny people scurried. further into the structure. 
    “How nice to meet you.” Burger sneered. The terrified people had nowhere to go, they ran back into the hallways, hoping to be hidden and sheltered. Burger grabbed a handful and waved his clenched fist, sprinkling a red mist. 
    “Wanna shake?” He quipped.  The rooms that were now exposed to the open air were below his hips height. The tiny people where the wall use to be, shared a frightening close up of the boys lower quarters,  They caught Burgers eyes as well, 
    “You little people looking at me, Behold my magnificence and bow.   I hope you paid well for your rooms, some say this place is overpriced." He quipped, then he continued,
    "You gotta admit you have a killer view.” Burger pounded the structures exposed floors with his fist, the floors collapsed upon themselves and crashed to the ground.  Burger straddled the doomed structure, lifting his right foot just clearing the top, as if to straddle the building the way one might straddle a pony. Instead he placed his foot directly on the roof, and pushed it down through all thirty stories below.             
    Chaos had broken out as everyone scrambled in different directions, Jack Russos survival instincts kicked in. He grabbed a handful of the prize money scattered on the table, the dealer was standing dazed, with a gash on his forehead. The building rocked severely, and screams could be heard from outside the card hall.  He had to get down to the first level, three floors below, and then to the street. His opponent across the table lay slumped down unconscious, his hand with the cards lay face down on the table, Jack had to know. He glanced at the dead mans hand and shook his head.  Damn luck.  He bolted for the exit just as the roof crashed down on the room.  Now it was a mad dash, the escalator and elevators were running on the buildings auxiliary generators, but Frank would be damned before he let himself be trapped in a closed space. The grand staircase opened to the atrium below, where the slots stood flashing their displays. People were mobbing the exits, Looking down at the mobs, Frank knew he had to find another way out, The building rocked violently as the west wing was destroyed, 

    Buddy carefully crawled across Yelids extended hand, and had the boy lower him before the destroyed structure, It was true, there was little holding the damaged corner in place, a vibration too close could send the block plunging to the ground, taking anyone inside with it crashing to their doom. The upper stories of the building had already toppled. 
    “A little lower Yelid.” Buddy ordered, as the boy brought Buddy to the opening where a window had been,  He was encouraged as he heard his son’s voice, 
    “Over here Daddy, we are down here.”  Buddy stood up on the boys hand, and made his way over to the ruined structure, 
    “There you are!”  Buddy reached into the opening and pulled his son out, onto Yelids hand.
    “I’m going in now to get your mother” Said Buddy, hugging his son. 
    “You wait here, say hello to Yelid.”  The broken mortar, frame and glass presented dangerous obstacles as Buddy crawled into the twisted structure,  It was like a distorted fun house ride, but dangerous. Sharp fragments were everywhere, the interior was dark, and Buddy could not at first make out Evalyn.  
    “Look Mommy,  It’s Daddy.” Squealed Rebecca. She jumped into her fathers arms and gave him a hug.  
    “I’ll get her to safety and then come back for you.” Buddy said, He could make out Evalyn pinned under some furniture inside.  Rebecca found herself next to her brother on the giant boys steady hand. 
    Buddy tried to move the overturned desk, Evalyn winced in pain.  This was no good, A portion of the ceiling rested on the desk holding it in place. Yelids observation spheres caught the scene from the dark interior. Cory stood off to the side watching the rescue effort.  His slightest motion could cause the unstable structure to tumble,  Buddy appeared back at the opening. 
“Yelid, She is pinned down, we have to clear the debris from above her to free her, I can’t lift it, I think her legs are broken."  
    “I’m going to remove the section Buddy,  then as I hold it secured, you can clear off the stuff holding her down.”  
    “Just be careful” Buddy admonished, as Yelid slipped his left hand, palm up, beneath the damaged section, then he carefully stood up, holding the building fragment intact, like a piece of cake.  As he lifted the structure up, more debris fell from the top of the damaged room. Yelid carefully lifted away sections that were above the damaged room, tossing the debris to the street,  Buddy watched as the thousand pound fallen piller was effortlessly lifted in Yelids right hand,  the desk was free to be moved,  Yelid using his least amount of effort, flipped the desk away from the trapped lady with his finger.  Buddy got behind Evalyn, and tried to lift her to her feet. She couldn’t move and groaned in pain as he tried to get her to sit up.  She needed medical care. 
    “It’s going to be alright darling, Yelid and I will get you to a doctor,"  Evalyn sat quietly as Buddy explained to Yelid how they would have to get Evalyn to safety.  Carefully Yelid lifted the section of the floor where Evalyn was lying, into his palm, Buddy crouched next to her as they were lifted to the boys palm.  A medical evacuation helicopter was summoned, by special order of General Holland. And the paramedics leapt from the hovering helicopter into Yelids hand.  The boy watched as the paramedics secured Evalyn to a stretcher, and lifted her body into the craft.  Buddy had Gabe and Rebecca go with their mother. He would join them later, Yelid looked at Buddy with a questioning expression.
    “I want to stay with you Yelid, things are going to get very dangerous for you, and I want to be able to help in any way I can.”  A tear welled up in Yelids eye. 
    “I don’t want you to get hurt Buddy,  you are my best friend on this planet, I would be worried if you were in danger, and with Burger around, you would be in danger.” Yelid explained.  All the while he thought, how brave these little people are, inwardly he doubted that Buddy could be any help against Burger or Slade. Yelilds eyes were those of a child, but his words were with wisdom,
    “Stay with your wife Buddy, She needs you to be with her.” Buddy recognized the truth, nodded and went to board the helicopter. He waved at Yelid and Cory as he got in
“Take care of yourself, my giant friend.” He said, not knowing if he would ever see Yelid again.


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sweet chapter.
Updated 442 days ago
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