Many people never even heard of the events that took place in Mission City. Those that heard didn’t believe. Those that were there… well we spent many months being told in no uncertain terms what would happen to us if we talked about what we saw.
My name is Father Ferruccio Ferrari (no relation to the car designer). I am writing this journal in Latin. So few know this language anymore, it may as well be dead. While, I am not fulfilling the letter of the law, by writing in Latin I feel I am maintaining the spirit of the law.
These events must be recorded before they are lost to history. I know those affected by them. I am confessor to one greatly affected. Perhaps it is a gift from God. I must believe that is the case for the only other choice is it is a gift from Lucifer and that I cannot countenance.
I was there that day and I saw them. In my minds eye, I saw the Angels of the Lord led by the Archangel Michael himself. Arrayed against them, were the warriors of Satan.
I am ashamed to say that I stayed within the safety of the church and prayed for deliverance. After the quarantine was lifted, I traveled to Reno to confess my sins to the Bishop.
Still, I saw… them. Many would tell you of the great metal warriors. I will tell you of the Angels of the Lord.
More importantly, I will tell you of what happened after. How even the remains of an Angel can drive a man mad. And most importantly of one man, who was not driven mad and became like an Angel himself.
I have had many discussions with fellow priests and even learned scholars in Rome about the ability of man to become like an Angel. Not a Saint, but an Angel. Everyone agrees that it could not be, but I have seen it. In fact, I will meet with him soon.
Dorian was in trouble. The entire city was coming apart around him. He had no escape; there was no way he could run. With each explosion, he wondered if that would be the one.
He hid in an alley and watched the war. He had been in war before and knew that this was a big one. The soldiers, Rangers by the unit patches, looked competent. They were much better than his old unit in Vietnam. They stood fast in the face of hell and won the day.
Dorian sat in his ancient wheelchair and prayed for death. Father Ferrari (how he loved the priest’s name) would tell him it was a selfish prayer. But he had been without his legs for thirty years… no wait, this was 2007. It was over 35 years now. He had been homeless since 1978.
Dorian hoped that the priest was OK. He watched a large helicopter fly down Houston Ave and transform into some kind of giant robot. The Rangers came down the opposite alley and took up positions. He remembered a line from War of the Worlds so many years ago.
“Bows and arrows against the lightening.” But these soldiers had lightening of their own. He watched them fire the semi-auto 40mm grenade launchers. How he would have loved to have that in ‘Nam, instead of that piece of crap M-16.
He watched the helicopter robot go down. That was one stupid Ranger, sliding under him like that. Dorian’s papa always said that heroism is surviving doing something stupid. By that definition Dorian was a hero. He was alive, but his stupidity cost him.
Finally, when all was said and done, he slowly wheeled out of the alley. There were piles of debris everywhere. The store where the nice old lady worked had a pair of metal legs sticking out from it. The nice old lady would always have a cold coke for him and sometimes a sandwich. He hoped she was OK.
There were dozens of bodies all over. Many looked like they had been crushed. In fact, it looked like that one village after the B-52s got done with it. Bodies, parts of bodies, things that couldn’t be identified as bodies. He remembered it all… unfortunately.
The survivors were in shock. Dorian sympathized with them. He’d been in shock since August of ’69.
He rolled on past a picket line of soldiers dressed in all black. He listened to a giant robot tell of the great deeds done this day. Sounds like that damned Butter Bar we had in charge of our unit, he thought.
The remains of the fallen robots were being picked up by the surviving machines. He wheeled on past them. No reason why. It wasn’t like he had anything else to do. Later he would go check on the priest. Thinking about it for a few minutes, he sighed when he realized the soup kitchen probably wouldn’t be open for awhile.
On the other hand, maybe the government would come in and he could pick up a few meals that way. He hoped they would hurry; it had been two days since his last real food. The seventy cent tacos at Taco Bell didn’t count as real food.
He stopped when he saw a shiny bit of metal on the ground. Again, he had no real reason, just curiosity; maybe the government would pay him for it. Probably not, it was really small. He couldn’t even figure out how he saw it, it was so small.
He wanted it. He hadn’t wanted anything besides a shower and a meal in years. What was so important about this piece of trash? He finally made up his mind. It was a struggle of several minutes to get down from the chair, pick the piece up, and get back in the chair. One of the Rangers came by and helped him back into his chair.
The soldier gave him a handful of power bars from his vest. Dorian thanked the man and complimented them on the battle. The Ranger, a large black sergeant just nodded.
About an hour later, he found a dozen bottles of 7-Up lying on the ground. Another struggle, but well worth it. That would have cost him twelve dollars any other time. He couldn’t even remember the last time he saw a ten dollar bill.
Dorian’s backpack hung from his chair and was bulging with the spoils of war. He wheeled his way toward the church. If the Red Cross or something was coming, the church would be the place to start.