MIND BLOCK 101.
It was almost two months after Mr. Nez announced that it would take only a week or so for Filomino and I to train each Mano Poderosa zombie how to block the intrusion of a Zombie mind reader. We were finally finishing up our task.
It had not been easy.
The first task was convincing each zombie that I was not going to invade his or her mind and discover all of their dark precious secrets.
Yeah, zombies have dark precious secrets too. Once a few zombies had successfully completed the program that Filomino and I had devised, word soon spread that there was nothing to be afraid of.
The procedure was relatively simple. Once I got permission to invade a zombie’s mind, I asked the zombie to think of his or her favorite color, food and the name of a best friend. This was important–so they’d know that I really could read their minds. Then I’d tell them what they were thinking. That usually surprised them–in some cases shocked them.
The next step was a little more tricky. I asked them to think of the most happy time in their long lives, and, of a particular beautiful sunset. I choose a sunset, rather than a personal experience itself, because I wanted the mind block to be something neutral, something that would not give away any information about the individual zombie or the Mano Poderosa family of zombies. The “happy” association helped cement the image of the sunset with an emotion, making the sunset image vivid and intense in the zombie’s mind.
Each zombie was hundreds of years old so this made for quite a spread of sunsets over villages, towns and cities from throughout Latin America to the United States, from the early1500s to the present.
It was in 1472 that Mr. Nez, or Nezalhualcoatl as he was then known, was resurrected from the dead. That’s when he began propagating the Mano Poderosa family of zombies.
In our training process I asked each zombie to recall the memory of the details of the sunset. I told them to fill in each nuance of the moment, the trees, the flowers, the buildings, the people–all that was encompassed by the sunset.
Once I felt they were properly focused on their sunset image, I tried to read their mind. In some cases, the image was so vivid, the pleasant association so strong, that I could detect nothing beyond the sunset.
Just what I wanted.
In other cases, I could detect the zombie’s current thoughts mixed with occasional flashes of a sunset. Here’s where I’d stop and drill the zombie into focusing more strongly on the sunset image, on the happy association, until I was certain I couldn’t penetrate his mind.
Teaching each zombie how to create a mental “wall” with the sunset that would block my reading of their mind was a tedious process. It took much longer than either I or Filomino had imagined.
We were also running behind because of all the new recruits that soon joined our ranks. Unknown to me, following the Big Bear Lake fiasco –when we attacked an empty Oñate compound–Mr. Nez and Filomino had put out a call for all Mano Poderosa family members with military experience to come to Los Angeles. We’d need every able-bodied zombie for the war with the Oñate clan.
And they did come, from throughout the United States and Mexico. The result was an infusion of several hundred more soldiers to our assault team with experiences in ranging from the Civil War to both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Since zombies aged so slowly, our new army looked like a bunch of twenty-something jarheads.
I devoted most of my time with those “soldiers” of our new army. These were the zombies that would be going into Oñate territory and would be the most likely to encounter not just brain-piercing metal darts but mind-reading zombies as well. I wanted them to be totally prepared so they could do battle with Oñate zombies without giving away the attack plans and strategy.
One day, when I thought I was almost finished with the group, Mr. Nez approached me.
“Lazaro,” he said. “I need to talk to you.”
“Sure thing, Mr. Nez,” I replied.
“This sunset mind block you have devised. It’s effective right?”
“Seems to be working so far. Once they start thinking of those sunsets, I can’t penetrate their minds.”
“But the sunsets give the zombies away, right? I mean, once you start seeing these sunsets a mind reader would know something was up.”
“Of course. Any Oñate mind reader faced with a recurring sunset image will know that it’s a zombie, not a human, and that he’s purposefully blocking a mind probe.”
“Can you develop a mind block that would not reveal to a mind reader that the zombie
is mind blocking?’
“That was the first thing I thought of, early on. And I did come up with a way to do this. But it would take too much time to train each zombie. It would take me years to prepare the hundreds of us.”
“But you could train TWO zombies to mind block and go undetected.”
“Oh yeah,” I said, “I could train two zombies in a week.”
“Good,” Mr. Nez said with a smile. “I’m going to have you do just that, beginning tomorrow.”
I wondered What Mr. Nez had up his sleeve.
“Why two?” I asked.
“I have a special assignment that requires two zombies to go undercover into dangerous Oñate territory.”
“Can I ask who these lucky zombies are?”
“You can and I will tell you. I want you to train La Señora Falcón and Pearl Gonzalez.”
Copyright 2014 by Lazaro De La Tierra and Barrio Dog Productions Inc.