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As the Tumble Weed rolls, chapter two"

 
Keith Rawkings's picture
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((Alright, so I didnt know I was going to write a friggen novel today. Read it if you have the time. Tell me if its boring. I think Ive been writing it for two hours and I'm still going to write a journal entry later. Will spellcheck when I have the time. Cya later in game))

 

"You know talk like this won't help you git that machine fixed, Keith," responded the man sitting in the stool next to Rawkings. The man wore light colored khakis, a dark colored Polo shirt with a company log on the left breast, brown loafers, and he sported a trim crew cut. He was sitting in his stool, almost finished with the prevenative maintenance on the dialysis machine. By almost a stark contrast, Keith was wearing slightly worn jeans with a spattering of orange bleach stains, a grey tee shirt/long sleeve combo (although it did sport a company logo on the left arm), worn out hiking sneakers, and he was a bit due for a shave and a haircut with his scraggly hair. Keith was now crouched down on the floor manipulating one of the machine's calibrations with a test gauge.
"But Gabe, I'm jist sayin' what if man? I mean what if people didn't need this kind of treatment anymore? I mean what if there was a way to reproduce their kidneys through genetic manipulation, or any other organ for that matter?"
"You mean cloning don't ya?" Gabriel responded with a scowl. "What are ya, stupid? It's an immoral idea. Next they'll be clonin' people. They wont have any souls, Keith."
Gabriel was Keith's best friend and favorite coworker at the dialysis clinic. Although they didn't agree much on politics and religion, they had a lot in common outside of the workplace.
"Ha, you and yer ridiculous ideas about souls, Gabe. And you always overreact on this subject, man," Keith replied." Rawkings looked up from the machine and pointed his screwdriver at his friend for emphasis before continuing. Gabriel began to roll his eyes as if he heard this speech more than once already.
"I'm not saying we should be able to clone people. Just the parts we need. Imagine if patients here could continue on livin' without sticking a pair a' 15 gauge needles in their damn arm three times a week, and endure this shit fer four hours a treatment. We could wipe out all forms a' disease and genetic abnormalities. We could live on indefinitely!"
"If god would a' wanted that, we'd already live forever" said Gabriel. And he shoved Keith with his foot in a gesture that meant "hurry the fuck up with that"
"Besides, you should worry more about keepin' up appearances around here. Startin' with yer wardrobe. Ya look a bit like shit. Ya know the boss wouldn't like this. You're takin' "Casual Fridays too casually, ya damn redneck."
Keith just frowned at him and went back to his pressure calibration on the unit. The "boss" had too much to do in the entire state than visit this one little clinic to just to catch Keith in non-cpmpliance with the company dress code.
"Listen man, I'm tellin' ya, I've been asking 'round, talkin' to other guys in the field, and some who know people in the other companies, and I am tellin' ya the possibility is on the horizon!" Keith started in again.
Gabe didn't like where this was going. "Jist stop right there man, I don't want to hear anymore a this, talkin' to the competitors in this industry? Ya nuts? They'll can yer ass for that. And me too if I knew about it!"

Keith quieted down a bit at the sound of that. He felt a little guilty. He remembered back to when he started with this company as an inventory clerk. Back then, Keith had just been kicked out of his home when his mother died, and he was living in some shitty little apartment without much to live on. Gabriel saw Keith could pick up some of what the Biomedical department was doing, so he decided to give Keith a shot and take him under his wing.
Seven years later, Keith was a full fledged Biomedical Technician with the company. He had just moved into his dream home, and was happily married. His wife Genie was six months pregnant with their son. Life couldn't be better right now. So why fuck with it? Yes, Keith owed this man a lot for his current situation.

"Besides Rawkins', if science does come up with somethin' like that, you won't have to worry about gitin' fired, we'll all be out of a job 'ere." Gabriel just shook his head.
"Well, I git yer point Gabe, but I'm jist sayin' progress is progress. Eventually, we'll all have to git on board over we'll miss tha boat. Besides man, you don't plan on doing this forever do ya? I mean I sure don't. What if we get canned one day? We wont have shit to fall back on. I mean I would like to plan to be a little more self sufficient in the long run. Never know when the walls might come tumblin' down."

Gabriel saw where this conversation was going and began to try repressing a chuckle that was growing up inside of him.
"Oh you mean yer gonna be a farmer right? Yeah cause of that old farmhouse and property ya jist bought? Hahaha," Gabe joked at him. Keith started to blush.
"Hey there Farmer Keith! Where's yer chickens at? Ya better get up real early today Farmer Keith, them cows need milkin'! A hahahaha!" Gabriel laughed so hard, he almost fell out off of his stool.

"That's not funny man!" Keith responded. I really do wanna git into that. Ma darn Granddaddy was a farmer. It's in ma blood man, I jist want to be able to--" Gabe finished his sentence "have something to call yer own, right. You already do man, don't you see that? Why fuck with that? Just keep on doin' what yer doin, and you'll be jist fine. Stop talkin' all this crazy shit about cloning and genetics and livin forever and stuff."

Gabe changed the subject "You still goin'  huntin' with me this weekend?"
"Course, is there anything I like better?" Keith said.
"Great, now I know I'll catch a lota rabbits fer stew this Saturday," Gabe snickered
"Fuck you man, you know I don't hunt them," Keith scolded as he was finished bolting up the back panel of the machine.
Gabe responded with another laugh, obviously kidding with his friend. He always like to screw with Keith's softer side on life and nature.

"Cmon' Buddy how bout ya put that thing in a bleach mode so we can git the hell outta here. It's Friday, man. Let's go git some beers," Gabe said.
That was a long time ago...




"Buddy," Keith thought. "If only you knew Gabe. If only you knew," he said to the wall.
Rawkings was lounged on the floor of an old farm house. So old, it was the kind that looked like if a strong wind hit it, it might just topple over. But it was four walls and a roof. Which was better than a tent outside in the cold. Even if the roof did leak a bit.
He looked at all of the stolen food and booze lining the walls of the kitchen floor. He guessed Foxx Dog was his buddy now, whether that was for better or worse, and whether he liked it or not. He did give him the keys to the place before he took off earlier. That was more generous than anyone had been with him in a long, long time.

Keith wondered how the hell he kept getting himself into these fucked up situations. It's like some part of him just couldn't resolve whatever it was that he couldn't even remember anymore. Time after time, he just wanted to make ammends or do the right thing by people. But shit, some kind of magnetic attraction  just keep drawing his ass to people like the CHOTA, and they brought out the dangerous side of him. He sure as hell wasn't "balanced" anymore.
"I should write this down" he thought. "If it aint documented, it aint done," he could still hear Gabe reciting to him in the back of his mind. If he didn't write it down, would he forget?

"First things first though," he thought to himself. Rawkings got up off the floor and walked over to the kitchen drawers. He began fumbling around with the rusty utensils. No not that one, too blunt. Not that one, too big. "Yeah, that's the one, right there," he thought.

He picked up the rusty pairing knife and proceeded to the bathroom. The sink was a grimy as shit, and it looked like someone may have actually defected in it at one point. The mirror was cracked and filthy. He walked up to the sink pedestal and retrieved a hankerchief from his pocket. After wiping enough grime off of the mirror so that he could see into it, he could now make out the clone collar on his neck clearly enough to proceed. He had to peer hard into the mirror again to find what he was looking for on the collar. Ah, there it was.
Two small slots about an inch apart from each other from each other rested almost out of view from the mirror's image on the side of his collar. But he saw them. Maybe most people wouldn't. Maybe a really sharp tech would... He took the pairing knife now and began prying open the screws from the collar.
Underneath were two small metal potentiometers that were only a little larger than the size of match head. He carefully started manipulating one of them with the pairing knife. Nothing yet...
Just a little more... "Fuck!" he exclaimed when a quick jolt of electricity coursed through his body.  Yeah, that was probably enough to boost the signal to where he wanted it. He started to hear chatter on the other end of the clone collar's comm radio... 

At first, there was an onslaught of garbled voices. He heard some garble from an auctioneer who was selling a load of water that was probably tainted. Sounded like the New Flagstaff market. A couple of other voices crossed that, one conversation sounded like some black ops shit coming out of Post 23.
Keith started to slowly turn the other potentiometer with the pairing knife, until he heard some woman's voice on the other end that sounded a little distressed. Sounded like Aerinn. Bingo..
They were going about something with Khalil being fucked up and wandering out in the desert somewhere. Yeah, why did he bother with that fucking situation earlier today? Rawkings managed to successfully pinpoint and boost the signal from Serentiy Falls out to his present location on the other side of the Union Plains.

"Good he thought.."  Them fuckers would have no idea he was so far out of the town's range if they heard him on the other end of the comm.  "Let 'em think I'm incapable of using a screwdriver" he said to himself, grinning at the other guy in the mirror. This was the only way to tell if someone was coming after him all the way out here. It may even have the benefit of throwing someone off the trail if they thought he was close by,within normal radio range of Serenity Falls, which he obviously wasn't.
Now to try transmitting and see what happened...
Rawkings pulled out his Harmonica and clicked on the radio. He began playing a melody from an old country favorite of his over the comm radio.

"Oi!" someone said on the other end. That sounded like a familiar voice.
 Then he began to sing:
"Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys...
They'll never stay home and they're always alone...
Even with someone they love.."
He began to have a conversation on the other end with the person. It was Sybil. He knew he recognized that voice. Good, that meant he could transmit this far away.
She didn't know what "country music" was, nor the singer of this hit for that matter. He started to talk to her about Willie Nelson..
She'd like him he told her. Knowing their mutual interest in the "gifts" of nature he explained to her that the man was like the King of Country, at least in his opinion. He was like "everything that represented the best of weed and country all wrapped up into one big ol blunt," he told her.  She seemed to get what whatever that meant. She was looking for more drugs from him, but that wasn't going to happen today.
He clicked off the comm.

Sybil.. Another CHOTA influence in his life. Maybe someday he'd write about his violent exploits with her in his journal. But that would be for another day.
Now to get down to business. He returned back into the kitchen and got comfortable, hunkering down on one of the paint chipped walls of the kitchen. He got out his journal which was beginning to get well used and probably running out of paper to write on pretty soon. Time to write about how he got to this place. He produced an old pencil worn down to the eraser.
"Well Gabe, I'm documenting it. I hope you're happy."

Comments

Fox's picture

((*brofists* cant wait for more awesome adventures!

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