Pt. 4 of 5: “‘Three’ if by fire”


4 – Sign(age) from Above

Ninety minutes later Yoshi was riding with his colleagues away from the office. “Thanks for getting the van,” he said, “You don’t know how I hated–”

The woman writer-slash-video producer cut him off, “Yeah, well, I just thought you’d probably end up duplicating my work which would waste company resources if we didn’t coordinate better, so don’t thank me…”

Yeah, he thought, and if I hadn’t, I’d be the typical ungrateful male…guess I’ll just shut up now. He turned away, stared out the window, and took a big swig of his quad-shot cappuccino. I just hope I can stay awake.

They approached the new canal-security checkpoint on the Virginia side, just up from the office. Traffic was “moving” slower than the usual snail’s pace. The Inauguration of course.

This section, near the Mason-Williams Bridge, was along the so-called “natural” canal. It lacked the steep walls of the seven mile ditch that the new Progressive Works Administration had specially commissioned. That portion of the deterrent-waterway, with its precision cut imported stone face, went from the east side of town along Benning Road, up and around Florida Avenue, and then diverged to the Potomac, along New Hampshire and M Street NW.

He let his mind rove; didn’t’ particularly care to review his notes on FDR’s third term or Dear Leader’s first two. Couldn’t take anymore pontificating writers. Didn’t want to become one today, either, but supposed some of their stylings rubbed off…even the terrorist aliens had blathered on about such things.

To warn me. Ri-i-i-ight…

They’d passed the ID check and were about to roll onto the bridge when Yoshi’s thoughts were interrupted by sounds of squealing breaks, horns, skidding cars, and a chain-reaction crash.

Fortunately it was on the southbound or outbound side. But in the blink of an eye traffic was more than tied up – it was twisted…into a glass and metal knot. A knot affecting all lanes, for now the City-bound side was slowing, too. Their go/no-go lane lights flashed then held a steady red. They halted, two cars shy of continuing on to their assignment, forced to watch those already on the structure pulling away.

“Missed it by that much,” the cameraman-slash-driver joked; the first sirens wailed in the distance. Now it’d take them who-knew-how-long to get turned around and back to the Metro.

“Shut the bleep up and drive,” the woman said.

“Um-m-m, where to, my queen?”

Yoshi could see what had happened: enormous overhead road signs had let loose. They’d fallen like so many cleavers. A “chopped” vehicle in two lanes and head-to-tail impacts in the others had the route at a standstill.

One vehicle though, a small moving van, was driving away from the mess like some lucky horse way out in front of a disabled pack.

Yoshi grabbed his digital camera, the real world’s next best thing to dream-vision.

“It can’t be!” He blinked his eyes and reacquired it. Thankfully it traveled slowly. Though what covered its side was unmistakable: a blood red, vertically-slit eye, with bold wrap around text, “Here Today – Here Tomorrow…Document Archivists.”


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