Pluribus 7

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September 15, 2031, 8:00 PM.

Another missile passed by their helicopter, this time on the left side.
Luisa took Don to Burbank by the scenic route because street gangs were firing antiquated Stinger missiles at them from somewhere east of the 405. Starting from LAX, they swung down to the heavily defended Long Beach Port Facility and then up the Pacific coast to Ventura, then back inland.

Don turned from the window and leaned toward Luisa. “They certainly hold a grudge. Ten years after the quake. Ten years we have tried to help keep order and rebuild. It is still a war zone. Even setting up Free Trade Zone has not helped. You are from Costa Rica, why did you move here?”

“I wanted to move to a place with fewer Americans.” She tossed her head back and laughed. They both did. “Seriously, I got tired of all those rich Americans in their compounds who fled and left the rest to fend for themselves. I spoke a couple of languages, so I figured I could help bring in foreign investment.”

She looked back out the window. “They are the new Indians. They fight each other as much as us. They try to cut deals with us against each other. In the end we get more real estate. They burn down a block and save us the trouble of clearing it. Wakima lets me keep ten percent of the property we buy. You just cannot beat California real estate.”

“I guess you are right. They seem so tribal. I do not understand their motives.”

Don pulled out his phone and checked for messages again. There were none.

So tell me about these weird text messages you have forwarded to me.”

“The content does not matter, the fact that somebody went to the trouble is significant.”

Luisa mocked him. “Gee Don, you have been in Los Angeles less than a day and you have your own stalker. I am impressed! I had to wait six months for mine. Male or female? Or does it matter?” She raised an eyebrow.

He stretched his legs out in front of him. “I am still too tired to answer that question.”

“Is it from Pluribus?”

“I do not know if Pluribus is a person, place or thing. I think the message is from someone who does not want us to find out. Maybe it is one of those people down there.” Don looked down into the darkness for another attack.

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.