Zest. Preparation for the Feast. Break-in / The Nerd, Session Eight

C. J. recognized the symbol. He had seen it on the web. It was a reference to a conspiracy theory, started by a self-appointed high-level government official who claimed to be revealing the corrupt and evil deeds of the worldwide elite. C. J.’s breathing had swiftly turned shallow due to sheer excitement.

“Fuckin’ A, Kitty! This could actually lead to something,” he muttered.

He couldn’t let the place out of his sight anymore and broke into a car that was parked on the street a few hundred feet away. He sat patiently in the driver’s seat for the rest of the shift but couldn’t catch a single person approaching or leaving the chocolate brown house.

***

“‘sup, dawg?” Native greeted as she got in the car and slammed the door shut behind her. Some sort of foolish, pink stone was hanging on a string around her neck. “You called.”

“See that brown, three-storey house over there?” C. J. asked hesitantly. “Look carefully.”

“Sure, what about it?” Native replied, yawning.

“Nothing much just yet. But opposite the house, there’s a car with a peculiar symbol on its rear bumper. A certain letter Q,” C. J. told theatrically.

“Oh right… it’s that conspiracy schmaloney. I already bumped into probably five of those things around the town. Funny though, you wouldn’t really expect that kind of stuff to flourish in a fortress of bourgeoisie like this.”

“What the hell?” C. J. interrupted. “So you’ve been collecting vital clues all this time and not telling me a word! You trying to ruin me or what? Explain, woman!”

“Easy there, boy. No need to go all ballistic,” Native frowned at him. “It’s all in the notes that I gave you earlier. Just hold on for a sec… Hmm… Yep. Whispymound Drive, there’s one. And then… Catalina Street, that’s another. And here’s one more. On Mystic View.”

“You better send me a complete list of the addresses ASAP,” C. J. ordered. “And then you’ll go and find out if there’s anything odd at all to be found there. I’m talking about old-school home search.”

“In the bright daylight, really? You want the whole damn LBPD coming after us?” Native protested. “Besides, the owner of that car could basically live in any one of the casas on the street. We would need to turn the whole freaking area upside down!”

“Good. You can start with this house,” C. J. said calmly.

Native grinded her teeth in frustration. “Dick,” she sniffed.

“What was that?” C. J. asked.

“Yes, sir,” Native replied bitterly.

***

A sacred valley in another dimension. C. J. had started to make preparations for the Feast of the Sun because he had a hunch that the harvest was drawing near. He had already made a huge amount of crimson grape juice that filled the sixteen pools outside the Temple of the Sun all the way up. He had also prepared a bunch of red and blue scarves for the residents to wear at the feast. The whole town ought to be in mint condition and the streets were to shine bright like a new penny for the big day.

C. J. strolled around the town, picking the occasional twig off the ground and trimming the overgrown foliage on the way. In the eastern quarters, a green beast had blown itself to bits and left behind a large crater in the road. C. J. got to work on the repairs in an accustomed manner and fixed the road and the surrounding lawn back to their original state in no time. Then he rebuilt the wall of an adjacent, damaged house, using limestone. This time there had been no casualties. Good, C. J. thought to himself as he wanted every resident from each class of the community to attend the upcoming Feast of the Sun.

The Mausoleum stood next to the temple area. C. J. entered the small room and knelt by the entrance. Opposite him, the mummy of the Village Elder was sitting casually on a chair. The Village Elder had been one of the first residents of the Valley and the room was furnished in accordance with his former hut. A round wooden dinner table, a couple of chairs, an oven, and a smaller side table. The floor was covered with colorful rugs and several stone animal figures lay on the table and by the wall.

“Hail to the Elder One!” C. J. greeted as was customary. “Just a bit more patience… Soon gold will be pouring down from the sky and then we’ll salute the Sun! I can feel it in my bones.”

He smiled confidently at the Village Elder whose black eye sockets stared fixedly into the distance.

***

After his shift, C. J. met Native briefly at the center of town. Native told that she hadn’t ran into anything suspicious in her searches.

“East Grove Street is clean,” she claimed. “Inspected a few houses. Luckily no need for bust-up. And the rest of street, I took care of with my spanking new spy drone. Only thing out of place there was certain folks’ prominent liking for some hardcore BDSM.”

“I specifically told to handle it the old-school way, didn’t I? You don’t seriously expect them to leave their battle plans lying around on the kitchen table,” C. J. grunted.

“Mister will give it an extra check by all means,” Native replied. “Anyway, I’m outta here. I’ve got a hot date coming in one hour. Good night!”

She hopped on her motorbike and rushed down the street towards the City, leaving C. J. behind to mutter angrily by himself.

According to Native’s list, the next destination was Whispymound Drive. C. J. headed for the street and soon found a car that was marked with the letter Q. He had dressed in a tight, black leather costume which he wished to help him blend as effectively as possible into the shadows of the night. He scuttled across the lawn and hid behind the pale blue California bungalow. Without hesitation, C. J. wrenched the house’s back door open with a crowbar.

It was dark and silent inside. C. J. tiptoed around the place with a flashlight in his hand and found a snoring, middle-aged couple in the master bedroom. Not much more to be spotted in there. The sudden bout of excitement from last night had gradually faded during the long day and now there was barely anything left. C. J. proceeded to the next house but didn’t really believe that he would make any major discoveries there either.

At the third residence, his snooping was interfered by a screeching burglar alarm. He cursed his bad luck and slipped out the door to a safer location a few yards away. Having suffered the drawback, C. J. didn’t dare to break into any other homes but submitted to lurking in the street and just hoped that he would track down the dirty bunch of conspirators in the end.

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