LAZARO – DEBRIEFING.
“They’re kidnapping immigrants along the border and warehousing them in the depths of the Amboy Crater. Who knows how many they have? Those people are facing certain death–dinner for Oñate and his followers.”
Pearl’s face was livid, passionate. She was horrified and pissed. I could tell she had really been struck to the core. There was silence in the debrief room of the Mano Poderosa headquarters under the General Hospital in East Los Angeles as we listened to her report on the clandestine spy mission she had completed with la Señora Falcón.
I look around the table. It was the same group of La Familia zombies who had, without my knowledge, sheltered and protected me throughout my adolescence, watching over me as I lived among human thinking I was the only zombie in existence. Mr. Nez, head of the La Familia clan of zombies, La Señora Falcon, his right hand aide, Filomino Brancos, chief of security and military strategy, Mr. Brown, erstwhile boy scout leader, now head of logistics and scheduling. And then there were my comrades from the Joshua Tree training camp–Jimmy Yazzi, Marcos Garcia, Gus Dominguez, Jenny Mendez, Betty Hernandez, Sal Duran and of course the love of my life, Pearl Gonzales.
Vida, my faithful zombie dog, had been delighted to see me and Pearl when we returned to the compound. Now she was leaning against my leg. Every now and then she would jump up and lick my face. She’d clearly missed me.
“And you saw the fake Border Patrol vans?” Filomino asked.
“Yes,” Pearl replied. “The poor immigrants had no way of knowing. Only when they were being ushered into the entrance to the Amboy Crater did they realize that things were worse than they could ever imagine.”
“Four entrances?” Filomino asked.
“Yes. They look just like the terrain of the Amboy Crater, lava rocks and desert shrubs. But they’re really steel doors with a lava rock covering that open up and allow entrance into the depths of the crater.”
Pearl pointed to four different points on a schemata map of the Amboy Crater.
“Here, here, here, and here.” She said pointing to North, South, East and West points on the the map.
“We’ll need to divide our forces into four groups, “ Filomino said thoughtfully, “one for each entrance.”
“But they already know we’re coming,” said Gus Dominguez turning to look at me. “You said, Oñate told you he know what we were up to?”
“Yes,” I admitted. “He read my mind. I couldn’t detect him. Don’t know how much of what I know he knows now.”
“We must only presume that he know we’re onto the Crater and his operations and that we intend to invade.,” Mr. Nez said.
“That’s right,” Filomino agreed. “We’ve lost the element of surprise. But from what Pearl tells us of the terrain, that might now have been such a big advantage after all.”
“Right,” said Pearl.”The stretch from the Amboy Crater parking lot to the crater itself is about mile. They’d see us coming even in a surprise attack and could stall us in the middle ground. It’s desert sand dune, lava rock formations and other natural protections–an ideal fortification.”
Mr. Nez looked to the other members of our Amboy recon team–Filomino, Gus, Jimmy and me.
“Anything else to add?”
“Hey, the Route 66 root beer at Amboy isn’t bad.”
That brought on laughter and lightened the mood, But everyone knew we were up to something really serious. The Battle for Amboy would not be easily fought.
“One thing,” I offered. All heads turned toward me. ”When we attack. It’ll be important that I go into the compound as early as possible. I’ll be able to read Oñate zombie minds. I can help direct our forces once we’re into the crater. I should infiltrate the compound before our attack.”
“By yourself?” Pearl asked in alarm.
“If may save us many lives if we know where their strengths and weaknesses lie. It just make sense.
“You’re right, Lazaro,” Mr. Nez said. “I was thinking the same thing. You’ll be our advance guard.”
Mr. Nez looked to all of us. “You did good. This is the information we needed. Tomorrow we’ll start planning the attack.”
As the meeting broke up, Pear came over to me.
I want to go with you into the crater.
I turned to reply to her and realized that she hadn’t spoken. She looked me square in the eye.
That’s right Lazaro.
Her voice was loud and clear in my head.
It happened while I was at Amboy. I discovered that I too can read zombie minds.
Copyright 2014 Lazaro De La Tierra and Barrio Dog Productions Inc.