Pluribus 17

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September 18, 2031, 5:00 PM.

Realtor Stacy Chin stepped out of the brush. “Mr. Redman! You are trespassing again. Please leave immediately or I will call the police.” She pulled out her phone.

Tap pulled out his phone. ” I will do you one better, Miss Chin. I am calling the Free Trade Zone Task Force.”

Stacy Chin was flabbergasted. “Mr. Redman is a squatter, this is hardly a matter for the Task Force.”

Tap raised both eyebrows. “I think it is. Genocide, mass burials, cult suicides, hostile work environments. There is so much wrong with this site you could probably see it from orbit. It is my job to recognize bad karma and I am red tagging this place. It will be sealed within the hour.”

Don just stared down at the nickel in his hand. Luisa was making calls.

At that moment an old woman wearing a gray pageboy haircut, a thin cotton dress and cheap sandals appeared from the same area as Stacy Chin. She ran up to Jeff and started shouting at him. “Get back to work! Snap out of it! Focus on your work! You are nothing but trouble! It is because of you I have to go to the doctor!”

Stacy flared. “Mother! I told you to stay in the car. Have you not caused enough trouble for one day? Come with me.” She turned to the others. “I am terribly embarrassed. My mother gets disoriented. Our family tries to take of our elderly and it was my turn to today.”

Jeff roared heartily. “Ladies and gentleman, this is the infamous Lacy Chin.” The old woman started to pound his chest with her fists. “She does not look like it, but she is the most dangerous person under five feet tall. She has got two degrees in psychology and knows how to use them. She sent many a good employee to Building 3.”

Don Chin finally looked up. “We are going to have to question your mother. She is obviously disturbed. Who is her doctor?”

Stacy was on the defensive. “You cannot do this. You cannot go pushing people around, calling them crazy and telling them what to do.”

Jeff continued to take the harmless blows. “Why not? Your mother made a career of it.”

They all fell silent as the sound of helicopters filled the evening sky.

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.