TC18


They called it Domestic Enemies Containment, Observation, and Neutraliza-
tion, or DECON. DECON was created in 1942 to administer the internment of
Japanese-American citizens in the western United States. Later, with the
invasion of Sicily, Italian-Americans came under DECON’s surveillance, but
they were not officially detained, thus revealing the essentially racist
nature of the program.

German Wehrmacht prisoners of war, however, were shipped to the United
States and detained in DECON camps. And when Nazi agents attempted to com-
mit sabotage inside the borders of the United States they were also placed
in the custody of DECON for “questioning” after which they were summarily
shot. As a result of these interrogations, DECON thought it prudent to de-
velop dossiers on every US citizen of German descent.

Three times in 1944 DECON agents interrogate Dory and Jerry about Kim and
Hunky. Two of these interviews are in an individual setting and one inter-
rogation occurs when they are playing in Jerry’s backyard tree house.
During the second one-on-one interrogation Jerry and Dory almost break when
the DECON agents lie about the prognosis of Kim and Hunky and claim they
are very nearly dead. But soon after that they both get new and recently
written letters and the DECON agents are revealed to be liars.

In the letters Kim reveals (in Relbimian of course) that both she and Hunky
are being unfairly treated by Doctor Trochmann and his team at the clinic,
so she orders Jerry and Dory to say nothing about the white dome with nee-
dles hidden under the Temple sanctuary. Since Relbimian is a language the
Boda created from scratch from their earlier days together it was almost as
secure as a one time pad and there is little chance DECON would decipher it
unless one or more of them break.

During the final interrogation of Dory and Jerry a DECON agent invades
their tree house and brings along another agent who is an expert at reading
body language. The idea is to look for any signs of collusion between Jerry
and Dory.

The interview turns sour very quickly. After a few minutes of their intran-
sigence one of the DECON fellows says he thinks recent high school gradu-
ates were a little too old to be playing in a tree fort. And to drive home
his point he unveils an army draft notice with the name of Jerry Shybear on
it.

“I can make this go away, son, if you tell me how Kimberly and Sofia might
have gotten sick. Otherwise you’ll have to show up at the draft board to-
morrow morning.”

“Honestly, sir, I’ve told you everything I know.”

“Dory, will you help the gentleman out?” the other agent says. “War is
hell. You might not ever see him ever again after tomorrow.”

Dory has nothing to say. Orders are orders. So the first DECON guy shrugs
and places the draft notice in Jerry’s hand. “Suit yourself, son. Go kill
some Japs.” Then both agents leave the tree house in a huff. They would
have tried a bit harder if they hadn’t thought pushing the kids was really
like drilling a dry hole.But orders are orders for them as well.

Jerry’s father had been happy to go kill Germans in France in the Great
War, but Jerry himself didn’t want to kill Japs or anyone else for that
matter. He was willing to take his chances with the draft lottery the same
as the next fellow, but apparently DECON can pull strings behind the scenes
and rig the game. Jerry just wants to stay home and wait for something to
break so he can see Kim and Hunky again. There is only one thing he can do
but he is embarrassed to ask Dory for help so Jerry suggests a game of Car-
tel instead.

“And by Cartel I mean strip Cartel of course.” That raises the stakes a
notch from losing little colored pieces of paper.

The dice fly high, and round and round the board they go. Soon Jerry buys
up 42nd Street, Broadway, and Park Avenue, and all he needs is Wall Street
for a Cartel. Dory scoops up the Appian Way, the Burma Road, and Easy
Street, and all she needs is the Yellow Brick Road for her Cartel. But all
along Dory is puzzled that Jerry wants to play a stupid game when he has
just been drafted into the military. She doesn’t seem to have her heart in
it. After a while Dory also gets a half-Cartel going with Mulholland Drive
and Sunset Boulevard, but she also buys Bourbon Street and Main Street on a
whim, and soon she is short on cash.

As the game continues they both get serious Cartels going but Jerry has
some lucky rolls and avoids landing on any of Dory’s properties, while Dory
keeps landing on Jerry’s stuff and starts to have a serious cash flow prob-
lem. She auctions off her belt and nylons for a little breathing space.
After that Dory starts landing on Jerry’s Cartels over and over again and
she is methodically stripped of most of her cash. She starts showing more
and more skin to stay in the game. Soon Jerry owns Dory’s dark yellow dress
with white polka dots, and when she lands on Jerry’s properties again he
gets her knit rayon undies and bra.

But Dory rallies a little bit near the end. The properties associated with
her knee socks and little black Mary Jane shoes, which Jerry doesn’t want,
are enough to complete a second Cartel, creating a kind of death row on her
side of the board. Soon Jerry is shirtless, and after another round Dory
demands his pants. But Jerry simply puts on Dory’s bra and dress, and when
he is sufficiently covered, he drops trou and hands them over.

“A man shalt not wear that which pertaineth to a woman,” Dory preaches to
him. “For all who do so are an abomination to the Lord!”

But Jerry isn’t having any of that. When he lands on the second part of
Dory’s Death Row with no more cash, Dory demands his underwear, which he
duly hands over. The game is over, but he totally is fine with that, be-
cause under the cover of Dory’s yellow dress he slips into her panties and
nylons and together with her bra he has everything he was looking for. He
bids the girl adieu and leaves the tree fort with only his own sneakers
covering his feet.Using mostly back alleys, he goes directly to the nearby
house of the only homosexual he knows, Aaron Anton, and knocks.

Aaron is quite a specimen of male beauty and he is a little famous in his
own way. He has posed in various styles of Jockey underwear for an illus-
trated catalog. When Aaron answers the door and sees Jerry standing there
he is shocked for a minute, then to Jerry’s disappointment he says, “No,
no, Jerry, you’re doing it all wrong.Come in, I’ll show you what I mean.”

In the bedroom Aaron methodically removes all of Dory’s clothes that Jerry
had won in Cartel and drops them on the floor.He says, “You know what we’re
both here for, right? So what’s all of this girl shit, Jerry? That’s right,
lose the nylons, then get your ass into bed.”

Aaron notices that Jerry is shivering from fear. So he changes his plan a
little bit because fucking a scared little squirrel isn’t his idea of a
good time.

So the first part of the ordeal is getting Jerry flushed out with an enema,
and then lubed up. Aaron is really generous with that bottle. And when he
is penetrated by Aaron there is severe pain, despite the young man’s at-
tempt to break him in gently. But growing from deep under the pain is a
profoundly transcendental ecstasy. Jerry doesn’t even realize he is getting
direct stimulation of his prostate. He can almost understand why Aaron
does what he does. Sweating from the pain, Jerry writhes on the bed until
Aaron boils over inside him.

“First time, huh? You’re a natural bottom, Jerry.”

To Aaron’s disappointment, however, Jerry is unable to reciprocate in the
same way. The body hair, the muscles, it just doesn’t click. When Aaron
was inside him Jerry remembered it felt like he wanted to drop a deuce and
that just wasn’t sexy at all. So Aaron shrugs and has Jerry lay on his
back to pleasure him orally. Jerry lets his back arch, legs stiffen, eyes
roll, and mouth lie wide open as he feels a release better and strangely
different than anything he has ever done for himself.

This is Jerry’s first sex with anyone. He had no idea it would be like
that. As he lies there in his sore bliss he is willing to let Kim go her
own way so he could spend his entire life with Aaron Anton and he says as
much. But Aaron just pats Jerry’s ass with affection, lights a cigarette,
and says with a decadent purr, “Not much chance of that, boyo. I don’t care
about who I fuck, I only care about who else I fuck.”

So Jerry scoops up Dory’s clothes, thanks Aaron for the little visit, gets
dressed, and leaves. The next day he shows up at the draft board and when
he strips for his medical examination they see him standing there wearing
Dory’s pink panties and bra.

“You want to tell me about it, son?” the doctor drawls. He is a local
physician drafted to staff the entrance station.

Jerry looks down at himself, then catches the doctor’s eye. “I guess I’m a,
waddya callitt, homosexual.”

The Army NCO in charge of the processing station has heard this sort of
thing before. The slackers always think it’s an easy way out of getting
drafted. He says, “Okay, son, then who’s your boyfriend?”

“Aaron Anton.”

“That checks out,” the sergeant says. “We had that Aaron Anton guy in here
last month. Queer as a football bat.”

“Everyone in town knows that Aaron Anton is queer as a football bat,” the
doctor says. He turns to Jerry. “Tell us something only his fuck buddy
would know.”

“He’s got a funny birthmark,” Jerry replies. “His whole dick is red, like
it’s got a rash.”

“You could have seen that in the gym class locker room.”

Jerry shakes his head, and the sergeant helps him out here. “There’s an
age difference. Anton was out of high school before Shybear here ever be-
came a freshman.”

So the doctor stamps Jerry’s paperwork 4F, which means he can stay home.
“Get yourself some help son,” he says, with a trace of disgust. Before 1973
homosexuality was considered a pathology by the medical community, perhaps
a bit like schizophrenia.

The Army is still scouring Hanford for Robyn and Hunky. It does not occur
to DECON to watch the bus stations out of the nearest three towns until
later that afternoon. The river has carried the girls much farther down-
stream than anyone could have walked in the same span of time, all at the
relatively small expense of some wrinkled prune fingertips for both of them
and a ruined dress for Kim.

By noon the girls are on a bus and well on their way back home to Green-
dome. Robyn’s greatest desire is to rush into the arms of her mother, but
her new precognitive abilities tell her the authorities would go there
first, and in fact they already have her house staked out. The same is true
for Hunky’s house. They would be caught and it would be right back to Han-
ford. So while they sit on the bus making their way east at the wartime top
speed limit of just 35 MPH, Robyn spends the seemingly endless time turning
the dwindling options over in her mind.

Peter Twofeathers sits in his office in the Green Dome Temple pouring
through the Buron, trying to find spiritual guidance on what he should do
in the present circumstances, with the Church itself on the very cusp of
schism.Then he remembers how Yeshua commanded his followers constantly to
pray, so he pushes the Buron across the desk, clasps his hands, and leans
forward in silent conversation with God.

A yin knocks when he’s in the middle of his prayer and stares at him, as if
sha’s afraid sha’s interrupting something. Sha has white hair, as though
she were elderly, yet her face is much smoother, as though sha were only in
her forties.Sha says, “God prefers it when you pray out loud, Peter Two-
feathers.It takes more faith to do that, and truth be told, God can’t real-
ly read your mind.”

He seems a little annoyed at this. “And you are?”

She comes further into the office and stands directly in front of his
desk.”God.”

“God?”

“Or Haziel, if you prefer.”

“Sure lady.”

“It is a wicked generation that demands a sign,” sha says, and reaches into
the second drawer down in his file cabinet, where he has stashed the Golden
Gift, and retrieves it, despite the fact that it was locked. “The one and
only Golden Gift. Please come in, children,” Haziel says, and soon she is
flanked by Dory and Jerry, who come into the office carrying their own
chairs. Haziel pulls up the chair in front of Peter’s desk and all three
of them have a seat.

“Give the relic back to me or I will call the police!”

Haziel shakes her head. “I gave this gadget to Chief Wanica personally and
now I’m giving it to his descendant. Do the magic trick I showed you, Jer-
ry.”

She hands the Golden Gift to the boy, who is wearing short sleeves. He
wiggles his fingers and the weapon is gone. Jerry opens his hands to show
Peter they are empty.

Peter is now convinced Haziel really is God and starts a comedic struggle
out of his seat to find some floor space to drop to his knees before har.

Sha says, “Belay that, Peter. Sit back down.”

He does so, and says, “Command me, Lady Haziel.”

“Do you know these children?” she asks him.

“Jerry Shybear I do know. The girl, no.I mean, I’ve seen her face, but I
can’t put a name to it.”

“This is Dory Fuchs. Dory and Jerry are friends of Kimberly Zinter and
Sofie Krause. Kim and Sofie have been held against their will by the Amer-
ican government, but they have escaped, and they are coming home, but they
are going to need your help. I’ll let Dory explain the particulars of that
to you. Also, I have an idea about what you should say in your next
sermon.I happen to think your doctrine of only letting cousins get married
is stupid, but I’ll let Jerry explain the particulars of that to you.”

And with that, Haziel was just gone, taking her chair with her. Dory and
Jerry scoot their own chairs closer together in the sudden gap, fold their
hands, set them on the desk, and smile at Peter.

In Pocatello when she and Hunky transfer to a bus that will take them into
Wyoming, Robyn realizes the homes of everyone who had written to her and
Hunky must also be staked out. Both girls remember that their mail was al-
ways opened and read before it was given to them, so they have no doubt
DECON has logged the address of each sender. That rules out going to see
Dory and Jerry, at least directly. And Robyn guesses DECON has the bus
station in Greendome staked out as well, waiting for them.

If you get off the bus any closer than Caspar you’re going to get caught.
Robyn hears that in her mind.Hunky must have heard it too. They suddenly
catch each other’s eye.

Dory? Robyn thinks.

Yeah, me and Jerry are like you two now.

Hunky suddenly smiles at something Dory is telling her that Robyn can’t
hear.

Then to Robyn Dory says, Jerry says he’s missed you terribly and he wants
to know if you will marry him.

After a long pause Robyn replies, Tell Jerry he’s very sweet but he already
knows that’s against the rules.

Dory answers, What if the rules were changed, would you agree to marry him?
A longer pause here. Robyn thinks on how so much has changed for her and
her friends over the last few weeks.Why would it be so hard to believe the
Church would change its rules and let anyone get married, not just cousins?
Then Robyn sees it.It’s much easier to just coast along and assume the
Church will never change than to face the scary possibility that Jerry
loved her, or the even more scary possibility that she loved him too.She
takes a leap into the dark and thinks to Dory, If Jerry can get me and
Hunky out of this jam and convinces Twofeathers to let us get married, then
he will have proven to be my champion and yes I will marry him!

In the United States of America in World War II there is wartime rationing
of gasoline. Most people are entitled to only four gallons of gas a week.
But Peter Twofeathers is an important clergyman who has to tend to his
flock. He is allowed a Supplemental Mileage Ration C sticker which gives
him up to an additional twelve gallons a week, the same bonus as doctors
and mail carriers. That’s a lucky thing, because his Chrysler Town and
Country wagon only gets about fifteen miles per gallon, even with its rela-
tively lightweight wooden doors. But it’s enough to get over to Casper and
back. As soon as Peter makes his decision to do it, Robyn sees the way out
of the trap as a vivid daydream in her mind.

But Robyn can’t see any following events stacking up leading to her getting
married to Jerry. At one point she sees Jerry lying on his stomach in the
hospital. Soon after that there is a big blank nothing and no daydreams
present themselves to her at all.

That Sunday morning in Temple, Prophet Peter Twofeathers relates testimony
on how he was immersed in prayer over the struggles of the Green Dome
Church and God appeared to him personally. A quiet murmuring comes over
the congregation as the flock tries to determine if he is joking or quite
serious. They realize Peter is very serious when he describes how God went
straight to where he had hidden the Golden Gift, retrieved it, and gave it
to the Church’s new Extraordinary Lay Minister of Final Rites, Jerry Shy-
bear. And Jerry takes that as his cue to come walking out onto the raised
area before the altar carrying the gold relic on a plush green pillow.

Bunners start standing up in their pews and making their way to the aisles
so they can leave the service.

Twofeathers goes on to say that God thinks the Church doctrines on consan-
guineous marriage are, in Haziel’s own words, “stupid”.The trickle of de-
parting Bunners turns into a flood.When Peter Twofeathers declares that he
is setting aside that doctrine in a single case, so that Jerry Shybear may
marry Kimberly Zinter, the Apostle Klaus Hansen stands up at last and joins
the rest of the Bunners in leaving the sanctuary, never to return again.

That afternoon Jerry wakes up outside the town somewhere with a sore bump
on his head.He’s naked, lying flat on his stomach, and each hand and foot
is roped off to stakes buried in the ground.Three men surround him, all
wearing hoods to hide their faces.”Where’s the Golden Gift, Jerry?” one of
them demands.

“In the temple.”

There’s a whistle and a crack. Jerry grunts, more from surprise than pain,
although there’s enormous pain. He’s not too terribly frightened, though,
he already volunteered to be flogged by his mates on his vision quest just
to see how much he can take. Jerry thinks he can take about five lashes.

“That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard of! Of course it’s in the
temple.Where in the temple is it?”

“I don’t know, Johnny.Twofeathers gives it to me.”

“Bullshit!” The whip falls again and the skin on Jerry’s back splits with
a cloud of red mist. “And you don’t know my name!”

On the backstroke Johnny Sunkel’s whip hits one of the other boys and the
kids screams, even though it just hits the back of his leg and he was wear-
ing blue jeans.When the boy curses, Jerry recognizes the voice as belonging
to Larry Porter.

“You don’t get to marry our white girls, Jerry,” says another voice that
Jerry pins down as belonging to Scotty Hilling. “That was the arrangement
going way back.”

“Your white girls, Scotty?”

That earns Jerry another stroke.His grunt lasts a while longer this time,
but then he almost laughs when the whip comes back and bites Johnny across
the chest and it’s his own turn to scream.

“You ain’t marrying that Zinter gal. Tell us the wedding’s called off Jer-
ry.”

Jerry says, “After I pass out make sure you keep going, Johnny. Make sure
I’m dead, and hide my body, because I’m in this club, see. We look out
for each other.If they know you did this to me they’ll pick over your feet
for two or three days with a sledgehammer, blowtorch and knives like they
were leftover turkey.”

“This is gonna pinch some.”And Johnny hurled the business end of his whip
down on Jerry’s back again, two more times, whistle and snap.They kept
waiting for Jerry to scream, but instead they saw the white layer of fat
underneath the split skin on Jerry’s back and two of the boys started puk-
ing.

Time to make his move. With his right hand Jerry reaches into the new
“space-time pocket” that always goes with him now and comes back out of it
holding the Golden Gift.He extends the blade long enough to cut the rope
binding his left hand.Then with his left hand he takes the Golden Gift and
frees his right hand.

Johnny hurls the end of the whip at him one more time but Jerry cuts it
during the downstroke, leaving little more than a riding crop for Johnny to
swing.Then he cuts his legs free.All three of the boys star running, but
Jerry, with his back feeling like it is on fire, is too damn sore to run
after them.

Later, in the hospital, Jerry tells sheriff Roddy Walker the boys wore
hoods and he couldn’t see who did it to him.He does tell the sheriff the
boys said they wanted him to call off his wedding with Kim.

Peter Twofeathers is ready to go pick up Robyn and Hunky. He brings his
wife and Dory along, but first they stop at the hospital to see how Jerry
is doing after his whipping. “How do you feel?” Dory asks, the obvious,
stupid question.

“Not any better than the last time it happened.”

“The last time? You’ve been flogged before?”
Jerry nods, and stares at Prophet Twofeathers.”It’s a boy thing, Dory.The
Prophet knows.”

Peter rolls his eyes. “Vision quest?”

Jerry nods again, and Peter rolls his eyes again. “Come on, ladies, we’ve
got a rescue to do.”

After Dory, Peter, and Deborah leave, nine Kaleetan braves about Jerry’s age pay a visit. Jerry’s a popular fellow. River Rawdon ges-
tures at Jerry, lying all bandaged up on his stomach, and asks, “What’s
this?”

“The gift that keeps on giving,” Jerry tells him, wincing a bit. “Keystone
Cops, with a whip.”

“Who did this to you, Jer? You know the rules. We gotta keep this from
happening again.”

“It was three Bunners. Johnny Sunkel, Larry Porter, and Scotty Hilling. I
told ’em Thanksgiving is coming early this year.”

River unsheathes his blade and holds it up, smiling. He says, “Gobble gob-
ble.”

In Casper, Wyoming Robyn and Hunky get off the bus and make their way over
a little footbridge to a wooded bend of the North Platte river with dirt
roads and trees where they can hide and minimize the number of homeless
girl sightings until they see the Prophet, his wife, and Dory. It would be
just their luck to be busted by a cop for vagrancy on the very cusp of
their freedom.

DECON does indeed have the bus station and Clara Zinter’s house watched,
but they do not have enough resources in place that early in the game to
tail any of Robyn’s friends. Later when reported sightings of Robyn and
Hunky come in from the public (their bedraggled appearance after the river
swim at Hanford made them stand out), DECON has people crawling all over
Greendome, Lusk, and Crawford, but Casper, Cheyenne, and Rapid City are too
far afield, they figure.

When Twofeathers, Deborah, and Dory arrive they split up and search the
woods, calling Kim and Sophie by name. Robyn hustles out of a bush she’s
hiding in and faces Dory.

“I’m not Kim Zinter anymore, Dory. Call me Robyn.”

“I don’t care what you want me to call you, Robyn, or Kim, or pick a name
out of a hat. It’s good to see you again girlie girl!”

They embrace tightly. Then Dory sees Hunky and rushes into her arms as
well. Dory hasn’t seen either of them for more than a year. Robyn asks
about Jerry, and Dory mentions the hospital, which causes Robyn to make a
strange face. Then Two Feathers starts his car and drives a half-circle
around the little green space to the point closest to the Boda, where he
throws open the doors and tells them all to get in.

“We escaped from the Army,” Robyn tells them as Two Feathers steers his
vehicle towards the outskirts of the city. “Hunky and I. So now we’re fugi-
tives, I guess.”

“What do you mean a fugitive?” Dory asks. “So you left without checking out
with them, big deal. This is a free country, mostly.”

“They took rifle shots at us,” Hunky says, to underscore Robyn’s assessment
of being fugitives. “I lost count how many.” After she says that there is
silence in the car until they pass the city limits.

“You’ll have to go underground,” Peter Two Feathers finally tells them.
“Literally underground. Jerry is prepared to help you do that, Kim, and you
too Sofie and Dory, but this is the end of your life as you have known it.”

“I’ve already taken a big step on my new life, sir,” Robyn says. “I’ve dis-
carded the name ‘Kim’ and now I answer only to Robyn.”

“Robyn what?”

“Just Robyn, sir. A single name, like Hunky. Sofie is just Hunky.”

“I feel a little left out,” Dory says. “Okay, so I’ll make it official,
I’ll drop Fuchs and just go by Dory now.”

“Klaus Hansen made his move,” Peter says, referring to the second ranking
clergyman in the End Dome Church, the Apostle he appointed from among the
Bunners and now deeply regrets doing so. “He’s helping the Army or the FBI
or whoever it is that is trying to find you two girls. You won’t be able to
show your face anywhere near Greendome for a very long time.”

“Why don’t you just fire him, sir?” Hunky asks. “You are the Prophet, after
all. He’s just the Apostle.”

“I did, but the schism is already in full bloom. He’s leading the Whites to
go their own way and he’s already made himself the Prophet of something he
calls the Reformed Green Dome Church. There’s a large faction of the Church
that has never been able to stomach equality with the Red Wing. I thought
making him Apostle would hush them.”

“I figure the mandatory cousin marriage thing has always just been a bone
tossed to the Whites,” Kim says.

“That’s correct,” Peter agrees. “No Red will ever be able to marry a White
as long as that rule exists. But rules can be changed.”

So here is the change Robyn was hoping for, coming from the mouth of the
prophet of the Church himself, but looking inward and ahead with her new
powers, Robyn still can’t see her wedding to Jerry.It is just a big blank,
and she has no idea what that meant.

Klaus Hansen, the former Apostle of the Green Dome Church and prophet of
the Reformed Green Dome Church, comes to the hospital to visit Johnny Sun-
kel, Larry Porter, and Scotty Hilling.The doctor is still muttering about
the “animals” who had slowly turned their six feet into just so much ruined
hamburger, requiring a clean amputation of each one. Every time the boys
are awakened, first by the sheriff, and now by Klaus, they take to sobbing
miserably, not so much from the pain they were now suffering but from the
memory of the pain they had already suffered, for two days and a night, as
the tormentors worked in shifts. Unlike themselves, who had been hooded and
disguised when they tortured Jerry, yet were still identified, the ones who
retaliated on behalf of Jerry wore no hoods at all, yet the victims refuse
to identify them at all, other than to say they were “Indians”.

“Where’s the Golden Gift?” Klaus Hansen demands.

“Jerry had it all the time,” Johnny moans.

“You knocked him out, stripped him naked, hogtied him, whipped him, but
Jerry had it, all the time.” This last was in a mocking voice. “Where did
he have it all the time? In his asshole?”

“I don’t know!”

“Did you mention he ought to call off his wedding to the Zinter girl?”

“I did, but I don’t think he listened to me!” Johnny whines in a sing-song
voice. “What’s the world coming to when you can’t even get a little re-
spect?”

“Jesus H. Christ on a crutch!” exclaims the Prophet of the Reformed Green
Dome Church and spiritual leader of the Bunners. “I guess it is true what
they say, if you want something done right, you got to do it yourself.”

The man’s name is Tashunka and he remembers helping to field-dress bison
that had been killed by Chief Wanica when the Golden Gift made its first
appearance in North America. After he tells the Sheriff what he found, the
Sheriff tells one of his deputies to get a flash camera and come along to
the scene.

Outside of town, about a mile north and west of the hill of Green Dome,
Tashunka walks them right to the body inside a little fenced-off area nigh
to the road.The body is naked, clearly female, with rolls of flesh that say
she has been amply fed.The body is elevated, in a position that reminds the
Sheriff of being crucified.Her feet are about six inches off the
ground.Palms facing up, her arms droop back as far as they can go. Her
head is also drooping back. There is a wooden post about six inches
square, embedded in the ground, but cut with a sloping top, and her back
rests on this.

The Sheriff tells the deputy to start taking pictures, while he goes back
to his car to get pictures he already has.When he returns, he compares his
photographs to the face of the dead girl and says, “Sure enough, it’s her.”
Kimberly Zinter. DECON had been looking for her, but now she is dead, the
victim of murder, so whatever business DECON had with Kim died with her,
and it is his business now to find out who did this to her and bring whoev-
er it is to justice.

After the deputy finishes taking his pictures and writing down notes about
the crime scene, he and Sheriff Roddy and Tashunka all pitch in, grab Kim’s
body, and lift her off the post to be laid gently on the ground.That’s when
the Sheriff sees what she had been pinned to and says, “Fuckitty fuck fuck
fuck!”

It is the Tri-State marker, a little plaque where surveyors had decided the
corners of two different states ran smack into the border of a third.That
simple fact takes the investigation right out of Roddy Walker’s hands. It
is back to being Federal.