Colors Blue and Red
The blue glass chamber splits open with an unpleasant high-frequency sound of air rushing in from the cavernous MMDI time travel hall. Vincent Wauneka steps out of the open chamber and is immediately handed a thick blue robe by a man who is dressed all in white medical uniform and thick black boots.
“Doctor Oswald,” Vincent Wauneka says as he shakes off his disorientation.
“Agent Wauneka,” Doctor William Oswald replies in his prominent British accent. “Welcome back to Baja Clavius. Any medical issues you want me to know about?”
“Dazed from the trip. Normal, I guess. But, this was very painful,” is his answer. “Happens a lot, Doc.”
“I am scanning you now,” the doctor answers. “Nothing unusual shows up.”
“I was naked. In the middle of a red hot desert. Felt really awful.”
“Need to complete your debrief, Agent Wauneka,” says the doctor as he motions toward a small booth of cylindrical glass nearby. An invisible door to the glass booth slides open to let Vincent Wauneka step inside. Then, the door silently repositions itself so that he is alone clothed only in the blue robe inside a seamless cylinder of glass. The glass shifts from transparent to opaque and a green light over his head pops on. “Recording your voice now,” says the disembodied British accent say. “You may begin talking as you wish.”
After he has completed his latest debriefing, Vincent Wauneka is seated and relaxing on the edge of the bedding and blankets made of futuristic composites in his rack in the crew quarters wearing only his blue robe. He glances up and is aware that a beefy naked man of about 30 years of age is standing silently at one side of the crew quarters as if he has just materialized there from out of nowhere.
He has broad shoulders, a strong muscular frame, a cock and balls that seem larger than average, and dark, shoulder-length hair. He starts walking toward Vincent Wauneka and speaks in the Navajo language.
Vincent Wauneka gets up onto his feet next to his rack and nods to acknowledge that he understands. “I really prefer to speak English,” he says to the naked man. “Larger vocabulary. Less formal. English slang and swear words are more fun to use, too.”
The naked man smiles slightly and answers succinctly, “I agree.”
“You introduced yourself as Ahiga Akalii. Full-blooded Navajo. Like me,” Vincent Wauneka says.
“Yes. I also work as a time travel agent here at MMDI.”
“Never heard of you. Or saw you before.”
Ahiga Akalii answers: “I have traveled back in time to meet you today, Vincent Wauneka. I am from 97 years in your future. Because we live in different times, we otherwise would never have had the opportunity to meet.”
“Something is very wrong here,” Vincent Wauneka says. “I never have fantasies in which I see naked men.”
“This is not a fantasy. I am actually here. Can you let me use one of those blue robes? We do not have those in my time.”
“Yeah, of course. Sure,” Vincent Wauneka says. “So you can blend in.”
“What does ‘blend in’ mean?”
“English slang,” Vincent Wauneka answers as he slides open a door in the crew quarters wall to reveal a small closet. “When you put on one of the blue robes, others who may see you will immediately accept you as if you happened to be a time travel agent like me. Like them.”
“Thank you,” Ahiga Akalii replies as he puts on the blue robe. “I assure you that nobody else will see me here except you.”
“So?” Vincent Wauneka asks as he stares at Ahiga Akalii trying to assess him. “Just us two guys wearing blue robes. How do I know you are not an intruder?”
“I am not your enemy. I represent no threat to you. Will you listen to me, Vincent Wauneka?”
Vincent Wauneka nods and exhales as though he has been holding his breath for too long.
“Where I come from—almost a century in your future—there are events happening here on the moon that become a big concern to the agency.”
“What events?” Vincent Wauneka asks.
“In the future, you and others within MMDI begin the creation of a new religion. I have been sent here to tell you, face-to-face, about your efforts.”
“That is craziness,” Vincent Wauneka replies quickly. “I am an atheist.”
“Yes, today you are. Not how you remain in the future.”
“You are telling me that I am going to have some great, unexpected religious conversion?”
Ahiga Akalii says, “It is very complicated. You are putting yourself in danger. I cannot reveal specific details about the future. Your future. Not sure MMDI will allow you to remember.”
“The agency controls the memories of us time travel agents?”
Ahiga Akalii smiles broadly at Vincent Wauneka, who becomes aware of how unusual the smile seems and the deeper meaning that the smile conveys.
“Right,” Vincent Wauneka says. “Okay.”
Ahiga Akalii nods to acknowledge Vincent Wauneka and says, “I have traveled back in time to talk to you. Sanctioned, but not an official mission.”
“Office politics,” Vincent Wauneka mutters to himself.
Ahiga Akalii gives Vincent Wauneka a friendly smile and says, “Years from today you may remember us talking. Like suddenly recalling parts of something you once experienced from the long-forgotten past.”
“Why will I need to remember?”
Ahiga Akalii says, “Creating a new religion from within MMDI poses certain risks to the agency. And to you, personally.”
“Yeah, I hear you,” Vincent Wauneka replies. “I just have difficulty considering what you told me—that many years from now, I along with others begin the creation of a new religion. Just seems unlikely. Are you talking to those others as well?”
“No,” Ahiga Akalii says. “I urge you to be cautious. Be careful about what you choose to get involved in. This is one Navajo to another. You and I are the only ones of our people ever to work for MMDI. A unique circumstance for Navajo men like us.”
“I never heard of your family name,” Vincent Wauneka admits.
“The Navajo word for cowboy,” Ahiga Akalii explains.
“I know that, cowboy,” Vincent Wauneka says. “Just never heard of your family. Ever. I understand about being cautious and careful. So, what next? Will anyone here now know that you came here to meet me from the future?”
“Nobody here in this time will know,” Ahiga Akalii says. “Except you. In the security scans here at base my official MMDI hip implant show up as legitimate. I came here and said everything that needed to be said. But, there is one other matter I want to bring up with you.”
“Go ahead,” Vincent Wauneka says.
Ahiga Akalii replies, “I know things about you that others do not know. Not only am I a fellow MMDI agent. But, I live and work nearly a century in the future compared to you. What I am saying is: The reputation you have as an MMDI agent is unmatched by any other agent. When you go on missions, you have a cover story. MMDI agents do not know this because of security issues. I was made aware of your cover story before I traveled here to meet with you today. You are a sex worker. You rent your body to other men.”
“Yeah,” Vincent Wauneka says. “On missions to the past in Arizona and Nevada. Helps me succeed on those missions.”
“Were it not for keeping that secret from agents due to security issues, you would be a legend among men,” Ahiga says. “You are the one MMDI agent with the highest sexual skills and talents ever.”
“If you say so,” Vincent Wauneka replies. “I am not being modest. I only know the here and now. Do I remember missions? Not really. Cannot remember shit.”
When he sees that Ahiga Akalii does not understand the English slang, Vincent Wauneka just keeps talking: “I do not think of myself as special at all. I enjoy sex, yes. But, all men do. I use that sense of enjoyment. Helps me succeed on missions. Not sure that qualifies me to be called whatever you said.”
“Very modest. And you radiate a very powerful sexuality,” Ahiga Akalii says. “Natural. Not faked. I must admit that I admire you. As a Navajo. As a man.”
“You also focus upon sex as a priority in your life,” Vincent Wauneka says. “I am certain of that. You are a very sexual man.” Vincent Wauneka smiles as he imagines the sexual behaviors of his guest Ahiga Akalii.
“I have no doubt that you a very popular sexually. But, are you saying that you traveled back in time here to have sex with me?”
Ahiga Akalii moves quickly very close to Vincent Wauneka and gives him a brotherly hug. He moves his face nearer to Vincent Wauneka and says quietly to him, “In my time, there is a tradition. Some men share orgasms together after such a meeting. Finishes off the importance properly.”
Vincent Wauneka does not smile as he quickly removes Ahiga Akalii’s blue robe and lets it fall to floor. He aggressively grabs Ahiga Akalii’s large cock and balls and says, “If you want, I will properly finish you off. In accordance with your traditions.”
“You presume that I would be submissive for you?” Ahiga Akalii asks.
“You, being from the future and all,” Vincent Wauneka says. “You come here. You act as if I am famous. You say I have the biggest cock. I forget your exact words.”
“Highest sexual skills and talents ever,” Ahiga Akalii replies.
“Whatever,” Vincent Wauneka says. “Makes me think you want me to fuck you. Just go with that.”
Ahiga Akalii gasps as Vincent Wauneka pushes him onto his back onto the bedding and blankets in his rack and then climbs on top of him after throwing his own blue robe aside. Vincent Wauneka’s muscular hands effortlessly raise Ahiga Akalii’s strong legs into the air and hold them in position. Vincent Wauneka enjoys showing other men in that particularly unmistakable way that he is unstoppable and that they are about to experience the intense pleasures of being fucked by him.
Vincent Wauneka bends down and inserts his wet tongue masterfully into Ahiga Akalii’s anus. Ahiga Akalii responds involuntarily; both his powerful arms fall simultaneously to the mattress. Ahiga Akalii cries out ecstatically in the Navajo language. Vincent Wauneka pulls his head up from Ahiga Akalii’s bottom and says, “Told you: Speak English, cowboy.”
Ahiga Akalii moans uncontrollably as he is completely lost in sexual bliss. Vincent Wauneka then inserts himself slowly and deliberately into Ahiga Akalii, whose handsome, masculine face reveals both the pain and the pleasure while receiving someone so thick and solid.
He may be lying to me. About creating a religion. Sure feels good fucking him! Not like other Navajo men I have had. Does not try to conceal himself. Does not hold back. Should I believe him? The crazy things he told me about the future? But, I am certain he will never forget how I fucked him.
After an extended series of muscular plunges into Ahiga Akalii, Vincent Wauneka reaches the point of no return. As his climax starts, Vincent Wauneka exhales, expressing his powerful release with sounds more akin to an animal growling in triumph than a mere man’s voice. While pumping Ahiga Akalii with unrelenting thrusts, Vincent Wauneka reaches down and strokes Ahiga Akalii’s cock without mercy, quickly causing Ahiga Akalii to ejaculate wildly. He shouts out uncontrollably as both men spasm together in Vincent Wauneka’s rack. They lapse together into unconsciousness holding on to each other.
I am dazed as I walk on the sidewalk of a small town under the dim light of faulty mercury vapor street lamps. The temperature is unusually high for this time of night. It reminds me of—. Once I look around at my surroundings, I have no choice but to accept that I am back in Bullhead, Arizona in the year 1991. Why am I here once again? Why did Eduardo send me back here?
I recognize the one-star Colorado River Drive motel where I once stayed for an extended period while on a mission to an isolated little town on a riverbank. My brain feels as though I have been awake without sleep for several days.
A blue Ford Mustang from the late 1980s pulls up to the curb suddenly where I am walking. The driver is Nick Cruz, a young man of considerable sexual skills with whom I lived during previous Arizona missions. Perhaps if I act naturally, he will not recognize my joy. He is wearing a tight black tee shirt with large red letters spanning his chest that spell out only two words: “Time Out.” He smiles at me as he gets out of the car and he says something to me softly in Spanish. Of course, I do not understand one word he has spoken.
“You are merely a hot hallucination who drove up in a very sexy car. But, I feel I owe you an explanation about why I disappeared like I did,” I tell Nick.
He replies with a smile and gestures with his right hand to tell me that I need not speak. “It’s okay. Really. I imagined you did something bad when you were in Washington, DC, and the government took you away. I knew you would’ve contacted me otherwise. I knew you would never just leave me without saying a word.”
I do not even try to prevent myself from crying openly in front of Nick. He quickly puts both his muscular arms around me to comfort me.
“Don’t worry, Teddy. I dreamed about meeting up with you again someday in the future,” Nick says softly. “Now, here we are together. Like we both wanted.”
I have to accept that I have been sent back in time to Bullhead by Eduardo. Does Eduardo want me here for some specific reason? I cannot find any details in my short-term memory about this mission that I’m on. I know that my seeing Nick Cruz here is impossible. I know that he is only a projection of my faulty memories.
There is not much conversation between him and me once we are inside my motel room. He pounds me relentlessly all night like I expected he would. I am once again a prisoner of this young man’s intense sexual appetite.
When I wake up in that Bullhead hotel room several hours later, the time on the digital clock radio near my bed says it is mid-morning. Nick remains asleep as I quickly go to the shower.
I am surprised to find that the shower water is already running. Standing there naked in my motel shower is Vincent Wauneka. He quietly says to me, “What the fuck are we both doing here in Bullhead?”
When Vincent and I are fully clothed and away from the Bullhead motel, we walk down the sidewalk on Colorado River Drive together. He says to me in a muted, yet aggressive tone, “This is punishment. I just know it. We have both been very bad boys. Screwing with the space-time continuum and all. I expect you do not have a plan, right?”
“You really believe we were sent back as punishment?” I ask Vincent.
He shrugs and asks, “How did you find such a hot guy here to take to bed so quickly?”
“That man is not real. Somehow you are sharing in some mental projection of mine. Forget about him. I will explain everything later,” I reply. “They can track us from base. Some implant surgically attached deep within our hip somewhere. They only get a signal from us once every 12 to 15 hours. But, they cannot actually hear what we say when we are on a mission in the past. Even though they lie to us all about having the ability to see us and to hear our every word. They cannot. Nor can they actually see any of us time travel agents interacting with the people who are here in this timeline in the past. They lie about that, too. The only can see outcomes of our behaviors and the actions that we take here in the past. If they don’t like the outcomes, they send us back to repeat the mission. As many times as it takes. Until they are satisfied. It’s cruel. It hurts us. But, that’s what happens. In exchange, we get to live forever. We will always be young. And full of cum.”
He has a troubled look on his face as he asks, “What has happened to you, Teddy? You have changed.”
“Yeah, after all the things I have done. To myself. To you. How we both died so many times. No question that I am different. But, I need you to meet me somewhere else, Vincent. We cannot talk here.”
“Of course, I will. You obviously know more than me. Where do you want to meet?” he asks me.
“Somewhere else,” I explain. “Not here. Not tonight.”
“Where and when?” he asks me like I knew he would.
“First, the when,” I say to Vincent. “The 11th day of October in the year 2012.”
He smiles at my answer as if he thinks that I am insane, but he says nothing in response.
“Just listen. It’s a point in time about 20 years from this moment,” I tell him. “The actual location is in Las Vegas, Nevada. A place called the Blue Angel Motel.”
The troubled look returns to Vincent’s face.
“You will want to look for a sculpture of a voluptuous angel,” I tell him. “Dressed in a flowing blue gown. You won’t be able to miss it. At the motel. A sculpture of a tall woman dressed like an angel and holding a magic wand in her right hand. Like a Disney cartoon character from the 20th century.”
Vincent looks at me as if I am crazy, but he shrugs and says nothing.
So, I continue explaining: “Remember all this, Vincent. It’s important. The motel. Classic place on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. Demolished in 2013 or 2014. Or whatever. I don’t know the exact year it was demolished. You need to meet me there before they tear it down. October 11, 2012 should do the trick. The last room on the eastern side. Room 238. Upper level. Facing onto Charleston Boulevard. Remember all that.”
“Why?” Vincent wants to know.
“At that meeting we will have some 20 years from now,” I tell him slowly, “I will hand you a file. I will have copied the file onto a digital memory device. A device that has not yet been invented here in this century. The file is what’s important. You need to make sure the file gets distributed to the public.”
“Las Vegas Angel,” he repeats.
“She’s blue,” I clarify for him. “She’s just a sign. An icon. Made of plaster or whatever. Old motel on Fremont Street. You actually will turn out to be the one who is my Las Vegas angel, Vincent. A guardian spirit of mine. I do not deserve you. Hard to put all this into words since it hasn’t happened yet. But, it will happen. In the future. A couple of decades from now.”
“How do you know what will happen in the future? What happens next?” he asks me.
“The present and the future are one and the same. I cannot explain it to you without sounding like I’m crazier than you already think I am. Right now, focus on here in 1991. I will sign up with Carlo Zee as my personal trainer at The Bullhead Gym,” I tell him. “You will become my roommate at the Bullhead motel right down this street. There are two queen beds in that room and I hate being there in that cheap motel by myself. The main reason, of course, for inviting you to stay with me is so we can get into a sexual relationship here in Bullhead.”
Vincent’s eyes are wide open in surprise as he listens to me silently.
“I keep an eye on you. And you keep an eye on me,” I explain. “How it always happens. It’s what we do.”
– – – – – – – – – – – – –
On Thursday, the 11th day of the month of October in the year 2012, there are severe thunderstorms that linger directly over the entire Las Vegas Valley. I materialize inside a room of an abandoned motel named the Blue Angel. This faded structure from another era awaits demolition to make room for a new Fremont Street gateway to the renovated downtown Las Vegas area.
I watch rainwater pouring steadily down from large cracks in the dirty ceiling of the motel room onto the rotting carpet on the floor. The stench of dirty, wet motel room is overwhelming. Maybe something died in here.
Outside the door I hear a man’s footsteps. I watch the door of room 238 swing inwards toward me. Vincent Wauneka enters and shuts the door behind him.
As always, his tight blue jeans emphasize his masculinity. He has not aged at all even though when we were last together in Bullhead, it was twenty years ago. But, I believe that I can detect a hint of sadness in his eyes. I cannot take my eyes off his bulging crotch as I watch him walking so confidently into the motel room in my direction. His package shifts from left to right and back again as he moves closer to me. I want to unzip him. I can think of nothing else.
The mere sight of Vincent Wauneka makes me emotional. In our line of work, I certainly realize that I will never again met a man who connects with me so completely and without manipulation or bullshit. I could cry in gratitude for hours while thinking about that.
Dripping wet,” Vincent says with a sexy smile on his face. “I thought Las Vegas was supposed to be hot all the time.”
“You are hot all the time,” I reply. “I just want us to get naked right now in this shitty motel room.”
“I know of much better accommodations here in Sin City,” Vincent says as he walks up to me and brushes my face affectionately with his right hand.
“Later,” I say to him as I breathe in his unforgettable masculine scent. “First things first. I need to give you the file.” I reach inside the left pocket of my blue jeans and retrieve a memory device that has not yet been invented in 2012. I hand it over to Vincent. He keeps locked in intense eye contact with me as he accepts the memory device with his right hand from me. “This changes everything,” I explain to him. “All the secrets are here in this file.”
“What do you want me to do with this?” Vincent asks while keeping locked in intense eye contact with me.
“Entirely up to you, man,” I reply. “I don’t want to know. I cannot know. Use your imagination. Just make sure this somehow gets released to the public. Maybe you could have it posted online. How you do that is unimportant. You just have to do it.”
“What happens if the agency finds out?” Vincent asks me. “They can send another agent to fix the timeline here in 2012. Make it seem like you and I never meet inside this horrid little hotel in Las Vegas.”
I smile at Vincent while maintaining eye contact with him. I just want to have sex with him. Nothing else matters. Not the sadness in his eyes. Not the worried expression that he wears on his entire face. “You won’t remember any of this, but I will tell you,” I explain to him. “I return to this timeline over and over. I give you this same file. Inside the legendary Blue Angel Motel here in Las Vegas. On this soggy October day of thunderstorms here in the Mojave Desert. Over and over. Again and again. The same fucking file. You and I are here. Over and over. We meet right here. In this same room. Again and again. Rainwater pouring down. Like each time is the first time. I remember all the times we meet here. You have no memories of any previous visits here.”
“MMDI sends another agent to fix the timeline?” Vincent asks.
“You always ask me that,” I reply.
“I need to find someone in this timeline who can help me get this released to the public?” he asks.
“Yes. Just use your imagination,” I repeat to Vincent for perhaps the eight-hundredth or five-thousandth time. “I don’t want to know how you do it so nobody can retrieve that information from my memories. Just make sure this gets released out in the world. Go back in time to some other year. Releasing this is what matters. Not what year it happens. Just make it happen.”
“Will I succeed eventually?” he wants to know.
“That is entirely up to you, Vincent,” I assure him. “I believe in you. I urge you to keep trying no matter what. Releasing this will change everything for the better.” Accompanied by the crashing sound of overhead thunder, rainwater splashes onto my forehead from the crack in the motel ceiling above Vincent and me. I wipe away the water, breaking what was an extended period of eye contact between us. I whisper to Vincent softly like I have said to him so many times, “Here comes the rain again. On my head. Falling like a memory.”
I sit up straight after what seems like only a few seconds of sleep and I see General Tagawa is seated at the round table across from me in a small interrogation room far beneath the surface of the moon.
“Explain yourself, Mr. Avila,” he says like he always does.
I repeat to General Tagawa as I always have each time I see him here with him deep inside the moon: “I named it ‘the persistence of memory,’ sir. In the original Spanish it is La persistencia de la memoria. I named it after that Salvador Dali painting from 1931.”
“Why did you do this?” General Tagawa always asks. “You want to be a whistleblower now? That does not seem like it is within your character. Revealing classified secrets about this agency is the utmost offense to me and to all of us here.”
I always reply: “It’s really simple. You guys try to brainwash me over and over. You send another agent back to undo the timeline changes I attempted to make. And I keep remembering and going back and fixing things so that mankind learns about MMDI. Eduardo must be involved in this somehow. I am convinced Eduardo wants me to manipulate the timeline to reveal the existence of MMDI. The way I say it should turn out. How else would I be able to repeatedly travel back in time to that Las Vegas motel?”
What always happens next is Tagawa tells me, “Our medical authorities have begun to suspect something. They believe a human being can travel back in time to the past and be returned here to base for only a limited number of instances. They believe that certain components of the cells in the agent’s body begin to be affected by repeated time travel. The effective lifespan of a time travel agent may be reduced even though the agent is kept young by technology and never becomes aware of his chronological age.”
My response to Tagawa is always the same: “This is what I will keep doing until my cells wear out completely. I don’t care if time travel is fucking killing me, cell by cell. Eventually, I will succeed. I believe that. I believe nobody can stop me because you told me that I have the most unique cognitive powers ever known to human beings. I may not be smarter. But, I guess you could say that my odd brain power enables me to be more driven to succeed than anyone else who ever lived.”
On yet another Thursday, the 11th day of the month of October in the year 2012, there are the usual severe thunderstorms passing directly over the entire Las Vegas Valley as I materialize inside a completely empty room at the Blue Angel Motel that is awaiting demolition. I can see rainwater pouring steadily down from a large crack in the dirty ceiling of the motel room onto the rotting carpet on the floor. The stench of dirty, wet motel room remains overwhelming to me even after tens of thousands of visits that I must have made to the Blue Angel by now. Maybe something died in here before the thunderstorms. I always think that.
Once again, I hear a man’s footsteps outside the motel room door. I watch the door swing inwards toward me. Vincent Wauneka enters the motel room. His tight blue jeans really emphasize his masculinity. He has not changed at all after so many repeated visits. He is forever young like me. As with each journey in time that I make back here to the Mojave Desert and to Las Vegas, I cannot take my eyes off his bulging crotch. I watch him walking so confidently into the motel room in my direction. His package shifts from left to right and back again as he moves closer to me. I just want to unzip his blue jeans right there and then in that smelly, empty room at the Blue Angel Motel in Las Vegas. So, that is what I do. I’m sure that the future of all of mankind here on Earth can wait until just a little longer until I have given this one young man just one more of his very impressive orgasms.
I feel completely disoriented as I try to walk down the sidewalk just outside the Blue Angel on Fremont Street in Las Vegas in the pouring rain. I am completely soaked as I observe an Asian man approaching very quickly towards me from in front of me. He is dressed in an odd, all-black uniform. His military boots are black. I feel that I know him from somewhere.
He stops directly in front of me on the sidewalk, blocking my path. He smiles reassuringly and asks, “Are you okay?”
I shake my head to indicate “no” to him. “Dizzy right now. We’ve met before,” I admit to him. “Your name is Tagawa. I vaguely remember you.”
“And here I thought I had made a much deeper impression upon you,” he says sarcastically.
“What do you want with me?” I ask him.
“Cleaning up after you again,” Tagawa replies. “Like I always do.”
Before I can respond, he reaches into a side pocket of his uniform and pulls out a small, futuristic handgun made of a silvery blue metal. He quickly shoves the barrel of the gun directly into my crotch. As I double over, my stunned, helpless reaction apparently pleases him. “Turn around and walk,” he says aggressively.
I comply. He places the gun against the back of my head and pushes it forward so that I feel it for certain. “Down the street here,” Tagawa says without apparent emotions. I sense that he feels nothing while I am completely terrified. “Read off the numbers of this street address here on our right,” he says as he chuckles—the first indication that he has feelings.
I look to my right and see the numerals “2501” in bright white affixed above a dirty door of an abandoned, boarded-up building that probably once was the office of a used car lot. I say, “Twenty five oh one.”
Tagawa suddenly kicks in the door with his booted right foot and pushes me inside. He shoves me forward so that I fall directly onto the wooden floor. I hear the wood creak beneath me from the weight of my fall as I lie there on my stomach in the dirt and the grime.
“The Roman numerals,” Tagawa says quietly, almost whispering. He squats down over me in a dominant position with his gun pointed tightly against the back of my head.
“I don’t understand what you want me to say,” I admit.
Tagawa slowly says in a tone of voice that seems angrier now, “The Roman numerals are em, em, dee, eye. Can you repeat that back to me?”
“Yeah, I can, sir. The Roman numerals are em, em, dee, eye,” I say to Tagawa.
“Those Roman numerals represent two thousand, five hundred and one,” Tagawa says in the same angrier voice. “Sound at all familiar to you?” he asks in a louder tone.
“Yes, sir,” I reply quietly in deep fear for my life.
“I didn’t hear you,” Tagawa screams in a very loud, angry voice.
“Yes, sir,” I repeat, fearful that I will anger him no matter what I say. “I do understand that the Roman numerals MMDI represents the number two thousand, five hundred and one, sir.”
“You’re sure about that?” Tagawa screams at me. “You sure that’s all that MMDI means to you? Stand up and face me, eyeballs to eyeballs.”
I manage to get up off that filthy wooden floor and turn around ever so slowly raising my hands into the air, expecting Tagawa will wait until I am facing him directly before he shoots me in the cock and balls and then quickly follows up with a shot to my forehead. I am absolutely certain that this is the moment when I will die. No more resurrections. No more time travel. I know that I am finished.
But, no, apparently I am not going to die here. I discover that I am completely alone inside that abandoned, boarded-up building at 2501 Fremont Street in Las Vegas, Nevada. I allow myself the luxury of exhaling once I am certain that Tagawa has gone.
I hurry back to the nearby Blue Angel motel and rush upstairs to room 238 where I have met Vincent Wauneka many times before. But, the motel room is empty like I knew it would be and like it always shall be forever and ever.
Now, of course, I discover that I can remember everything I thought I had once forgotten. Perhaps the sheer shock of Tagawa intercepting me has jolted my brain.
I remember that Tagawa is my boss—Director of MMDI. I remember that Tagawa very much enjoyed fucking me aggressively against my will on that dirty used car office before he was retrieved back to the moon. I remember how I have interacted with a digitized voice named Eduardo deep inside the moon beneath the crater Clavius. I remember that my missions into the past often require me to sexually manipulate young men. I remember a Navajo named Vincent Wauneka and several time travel missions we had together. I remember my sexual relationship with Vincent Wauneka. Was he sexually manipulating me? Or was it the other way around? Or perhaps he and I became capable of feeling true physical and emotional love for each other? I remember that I took his life in the crew quarters on the moon base just to prove a point to Tagawa. I remember Nick Cruz. The last time I saw him, he was sleeping in that Bullhead motel room in the year 1991.
None of these crystal clear memories can be of any service to me now that I am living in Las Vegas in the 21st century where I do not belong. My home deep inside the moon does not yet exist. Tagawa will never let anyone from MMDI retrieve me. From this vantage point in this timeline, my birthdate is a century and half in the future. I have no official identification that I need for being in the year Twenty Twelve. I am so far off the grid that technically I am less than nobody.
My outward appearance is convincing to anyone who may see me here in Las Vegas. I look like a man who is in his early thirties. Except for certain cellular damage from all my decades of time travel missions, I present myself to the world as a physically fit young man. Of course, the mathematics of my life tell a far different story that nobody in this century would ever figure out. I have lived a very eventful life spanning more than 80 years now. I suspect that I will be able to remain alive for another 50 years from right now.
Whenever I look in the mirror, I feel certain that I can detect wrinkles beginning to form around my eyes. So I face each tomorrow by carefully avoiding my own reflection. I choose to believe that I will survive somehow—for 50 years or 500. All that matters is that I survive. I once was diagnosed with having the most unique brain of anyone on this planet. My extraordinary cognitive abilities are a gift that I must use to discover how to get out of this wrong place and time.
At Baja Clavius, Vincent Wauneka is seated alone in front of a small screen inside a briefing room. He hears the voice of Doctor William Oswald as he watches the screen.
“When you arrive on your next mission to Arizona in the late 20th century, everything you need to know will be embedded in your memories, Agent Wauneka. But, this mission has several people involved with whom you must interact, so you are getting this preliminary briefing in advance.”
“I understand,” is the reply.
Doctor Oswald explains: “This mission centers around Mikhail Volkov. He is called ‘Mik’ in Bullhead. He is a Russian-born man is in his mid-twenties. A customer at The Bullhead Gym who retains Carlo Zarelli as his personal trainer. You are to end the life of Mik Volkov. What nobody in Bullhead knows is that Mik Volkov—probably not his real name—is the only son of a powerful man in Moscow. The father will be an important figure in the historic dissolution of the Soviet Union in the 20th century. The death of Mik Volkov in Arizona will be a key event in time that contributes to ending the U.S.S.R.”
“I understand,” is Vincent Wauneka’s reply.
Doctor Oswald continues: “Mik Volkov is the dominant male in a small group of young men who frequent a small gym in a casino across the Colorado River in Laughlin, Nevada. They are known locally as the ‘three wise men.’ This nickname is deliberate sarcasm because the trio is especially well-known for their lack of intelligence and common sense. Their presence is so consistent at the gym inside that Laughlin casino, one could almost tell the time of day by when they enter each morning. Are you following this, Agent Wauneka?”
“Yes, of course,” is the reply.
Doctor Oswald says: “Karl ‘Dutch’ Von Zell was born in Arizona and is white except for one very red neck. A second Caucasian male has blond hair and blue eyes like he’s a descendent of the Hitler youth. He rarely uses big words if he speaks at all. His full name is Blane Corcoran, but often is referred to behind his back as ‘Blank.’ Completing this magnificent trio of masculinity is a young Asian fellow nicknamed ‘Squirrel.’ He is called that because on his back there is a tattoo of a muscular flying squirrel wearing cowboy boots and leather gloves. Nobody ever calls him by his full, legal name, Anthony Marugo.”
“All this will be embedded in my memory when I get to 1991?”
“Yes, of course,” Doctor Oswald replies. “Mik Volkov also visits the small casino gym in Nevada, but his motivation is not fitness. He is there specifically to torment these subservient young men who keep close to him. He feigns interest in and support for their bodybuilding, so they will stay loyal to him and seek his praise. But, Mik Volkov rewards such loyalty toward him by physically and emotionally abusing the three young men unmercifully. Usually Mik Volkov kicks them in the balls—neither gently or playfully. Other times he punches them forcefully in the backs of their heads. All of this happens out in the open in front of other gym patrons.”
“So, these men are sadist?” Vincent Waunkea asks.
“You will have to discover that on your own,” Doctor Oswald says. “But, I can tell you that these public behaviors have convinced the locals in the Bullhead/Laughlin area that these men are gay. When they are away from the gym in Nevada, they appear in public wearing full cowboy attire minus any cowboy hats. They never explain why they have this preference for dressing like cowboys with no hats. But, these men are well-known customers at the local western wear store in Laughlin, where they frequently spend money on various cowboy-style clothing and boots. The local rumor mill has settled upon a plausible explanation, of course. The four men are gay and, as you suggest, probably sadistic.”
When he is back in Bullhead in 1991, Vincent Wauneka follows the four men several times into the western wear store toward the goal of figuring out how to complete his mission to kill Mik Volkov. On one of his previous surveillance visits to the cowboy store, Vincent Wauneka inevitably catches the attention of Mik Volkov. He walks up to the Navajo and aggressively asks, “I’m wondering why an Indian like you would want to keep coming here to this cowboy store?”
“Because I cannot find any Indian stores nearby,” is Vincent Wauneka’s sarcastic reply as he makes intense eye contact with Mik Volkov to invite a confrontation. Vincent Wauneka cannot help but feel sexually attracted to Mik Volker. Perhaps that is why he fails to see the three wise men draw near and completely surround him in the aisle of the western wear store.
“Oh, now I am so afraid of you fake cowboys,” Vincent Wauneka jokes with a wide smile that infuriates them.
The young men in cowboy attire without hats overpower Vincent Wauneka outside the cowboy store. He regains consciousness with his wrists bound behind his back with thick rope. He is wearing only blue jeans and his custom-made dark chocolate cowboy boots. For an extended ride, Vincent Wauneka gets bounced around on his back in the flat bed of a battered 1981 pickup truck driving too fast on an unpaved desert road. He finally manages to sit up in the bed of the truck and for a moment considers jumping out even though his wrists are bound behind his back.
The pickup truck stops in one particularly desolate stretch of the Mojave Desert. Vincent Wauneka is dazed from having been bumped and bounced in the bed of the pickup truck. He stands up and quickly lands on both feet after springing from the stopped pickup. His custom cowboy boots sink quickly into the loose surface of the desert floor.
Anthony Marugo approaches Vincent Wauneka and whispers in his left ear before rendering him unconscious with one well-placed fist slammed squarely into the Navajo’s face.
“What did you say to him, Squirrel?” Mik Volkov wants to know.
“Threatened to cut his balls off because I hate Indians like him,” is the reply from Squirrel.
“Have a little respect. I think we should let this one keep his manhood today before we kill him,” Mik Volkov says. “Let’s each take turns fucking him while he’s unconscious. Then, we’ll revive him so he will enjoy the hanging we’ve got planned for him.” Squirrel grimaces and glances down with apprehension because he knows the fate of the unconscious Vincent Wauneka.
When Vincent Wauneka regains consciousness he discovers that he has been hanged from a thick brown rope wrapped around a wheel wench on a man-made death machine. He is a shirtless and barefoot man with his arms unbound. He kicks involuntarily as his neck is being crushed in the noose. His long dark brown hair that is tied behind his neck into a queue swings in the air.
On the desert floor nearby are a pair of unattended video cameras on tripods. The cameras point toward the hanging machine to capture this man’s death by ritual hanging.
Vincent Wauneka is an expert in all things sees sexual. So, when his own body tells him that men have ejaculated into him, he must pay attention to what he feels. His mouth and his anus are sore. He feels sticky liquid in both places. But, he has a worse problem as he swings by the neck in that noose.
He sees Mik Volkov, Dutch Von Zell, Blane Corcoran, and Anthony Marugo running away. They left him helpless with his neck being steadily crushed by the noose on their hanging machine.
His faded blue jeans are too tight for him. His crotch is bulging as he dances in the sky at the end of a rope. On the ground below him are cowboy boots—dark chocolate brown interrupted by a distinctive creamy white winged pattern on the sides—definitely not a pair of boots that are off the shelf or from any mail order catalogue. Undefended, such a prize pair of expensive boots seems unlikely to have been left behind by his killers on purpose.
A wench wheel on the hanging machine was used to draw the thick rope upwards into the air. Vincent was deliberately and very carefully hoisted in exacting fashion upward by that rope around his neck aided by the wench to intentionally preserve his spine intact to extend his suffering.
Vincent Wauneka may certainly look like a man who was capable of putting up very considerable resistance against this merciless fate. But, outnumbered by Mik Volkov and his gang, Vincent Wauneka had little chance of surviving. He knows that now as his life slips away. His large feet are wildly kicking despite his mental efforts to remain calm in this face of great panic. He attempts to reach his hands up to his neck as if it somehow were possible to free himself from the noose. But, that is impossible! He groans when he realizes that he is going to die like that today.
He swings his powerful arms in the air like wings that might let him fly away and end his suffering. The four men pulled him upwards off the desert floor—at least four feet up into the air. He won’t be flying anywhere now. Or ever.
They secured the wench wheel into place with a thick wooden spike. His entire body weight draws downward, ever tightening the noose steadily around his large neck—a slow brutality to provide his executioners with ample time to derive pleasure from watching his frantic kicking in the desert air.
His deep, dark eyes remain open, defiantly staring outward into the eerie sky. He cannot speak, but his violent spasms attract the attention of a man whom he sees approaching the hanging machine. Perhaps this stranger has arrived just in time to rescue him. At least the stranger’s arrival persuaded the young cowboys to run away.
The stranger reaches the wench wheel and tries to rotate it despite the wooden spike. He cannot remove the spike that has locked the wench wheel, so the stranger is unable to rotate that wheel to let this hung Indian return to the ground. If only the stranger had a knife! He might climb up there and cut the rope!
The stranger sees the hanged man’s expanding bulge contained within tight blue jeans. His face reveals an intense humiliation as his body jerks wildly without his control. As sometimes happens with hanged men, this one unwillingly shoots his last load into his blue jeans. His neck cannot withstand the crushing force of the noose. His body spasms, kicking, and curling of his toes stun the stranger who is powerless to do anything but watch.
Very suddenly, this MMDI time travel agent just stops struggling. His final thoughts are about how he has failed his mission in Arizona. His body no longer can fight back against the effects of gravity and the noose that has applied fatal pressure to neck. He seems to be trying to open his mouth to breathe, but he has no life remaining in him. The wind blows through his long, flowing hair behind his broad shoulders.
Back at the lunar base, when the blue glass chamber of his time machine opens, Vincent Wauneka stumbles completely naked out onto the metallic floor and coughs uncontrollably. He cannot get to his feet because he is so confused and emotionally shaken.
He looks up sees a tall young man of apparent Asian ancestry with dark eyes and a muscular frame. He is wearing an MMDI blue robe. Vincent Wauneka struggles to say, “You. The guy that whispered to me.”
Squirrel squats down on his knees to help Vincent Wauneka get up into a standing position. “Yeah. Told you I also worked at MMDI. Told you I would revive you here. You’re alive. I did what I promised.”
Vincent Wauneka gets up very close to Squirrel’s face and says angrily, “After you and your friends raped and executed me.”
“Working on a mission. Just like you. When you step into that debrief booth, your memories of what happened will all be wiped,” Squirrel explains with a grin.
“Why are you doing this?”
“Long story short,” Squirrel says. “Others wanted you revived. Not officially sanctioned. They will wipe my memories, too, when I enter that green booth after you’re done.”
“None of us knows that our memories are being controlled,” Vincent Wauneka says.
“Exactly,” Squirrel replies as he hands Vincent Wauneka a blue rope. “Or that multiple agents sometimes get assigned to work on the same missions. Now, get into that debrief booth before we both get into trouble here.”
This audio recording made by Vincent Wauneka is preserved in the memory systems of the lunar base: “Agent Vincent Wauneka here. No idea what today’s date is. Stressed out. Time and date stamp will handle that. Let me do this debrief and get it over with. Just got back from my mission. Bullhead. Arizona. 1991. Failed my mission. Did not end the life of Mik Volkov. Instead, he and his gang of sadomasochists raped and executed me. A fellow MMDI agent I never knew about was also assigned to the same mission. Never even imagined that was possible. He helped bring me back to life using time travel. So intense and painful. Fucked by four guys. Came in my ass and mouth. Hanged with a rope until I suffocated. Death was such a relief. A magnificent sensation! Perfect feeling of freedom. Of course, now I’m told that all those memories will be taken from me. Before I step out of this little green glass booth. We are all the same here. Just muscled beef they send back in time. To fuck, get fucked, kill, and be killed. I love this job!”
As always, Vincent Wauneka receives a particular and specific memory implant with all mission parameters while he is sitting inside the blue glass time travel chamber on the moon. When he arrives on his next mission to Arizona in the late Twentieth, everything he needs to know is embedded in his memories.
Mikhail (“Mik”) Volkov, a Russian-born man is in his mid-twenties is his target. Vincent Wauneka knows as he enters The Bullhead Gym in 1991 that this will be the very first time he comes eye-to-eye with this adversary. Something about seeing Mik Volkov brings about a certain uneasy feeling for Vincent Wauneka as he approaches the Russian.
“Didn’t know they let Indians in this gym,” Mik Volkov says to Vincent Wauneka with a glaring stare. “Maybe I should switch to another gym.”
“I was thinking the exact same thing when I saw a red like you, comrade,” Vincent Wauneka replies with a grin to soften his insult.
Mik Volkov smiles at Vincent Wauneka. “How did you know I’m Russian?”
“Your accent,” Vincent Wauneka explains.
“You also sound like you were born somewhere else,” says Mik Volkov.
“Navajo Nation,” Vincent Wauneka says. “If I have liquor, my accent really is apparent.”
“Indians are not supposed to drink,” Mik Volkov says. “Are you?”
“No,” Vincent Wauneka replies as he extends his large right hand to Mik Volkov in a gesture of friendship. “I am Vincent Waunkea,” he says while shaking hands with the Russian. “We both have Carlo Zarelli as our personal trainer here. He mentioned you.”
“Oh, what did he say?” Mik Volkov asks as though he has genuinely become interested in the conversation for the first time.
“Tell you what. Let me buy you a drink across the river. Tell you everything,” Vincent Wauneka says quickly.
“Even though you’re not supposed to drink?” Mik Volkov asks.
“I am buying,” Vincent Wauneka says. “So, it is not your problem. You want to know about Carlo Zarelli or not?”
At an uncrowded casino cocktail lounge with a view looking eastward toward Bullhead and the Colorado River, Vincent Wauneka and Mik Volkov are seated on bar stools next to one another at the bar. Both men have already had sufficient alcohol in the middle of the afternoon to affect their behaviors.
“You hold your liquor well,” Mik Volkov says.
“Not really,” is the reply. “Conceal well. Faking it.”
Mik Volkov laughs as though he wasn’t expecting honesty or humor in response. Vincent Wauneka leans over so that his face is closer to the Russian’s. “Both of us,” Vincent Wauneka says slowly. “We are fucking Carlo Zarelli. You do know that.”
Mik Volkov quickly gets a mortified expression on his face. “Uh, no,” he says quietly before turning his head to cut off eye contact with Vincent Wauneka.
“Yeah,” says Vincent Wauneka. “We both are. You confirmed it,” Vincent Wauneka says. “You turned away.”
Mik Volkov reestablishes eye contact with Vincent Wauneka and says quietly, “What do you want from me?”
“Nothing,” is the reply that Mik Volkov was not expecting.
“People find out things,” Mik Volkov says. “You’re fucking Carlo. Personal trainer. Your reputation could be damaged. And his.”
“My reputation,” says Vincent Wauneka with a chuckle. “I am a sex worker. All male clients only. Here in Nevada. That is my reputation. Ask anyone. Ask this bartender.”
Mik Volkov turns his face away from Vincent Wauneka once again and exhales like he knows he has just made a serious miscalculation. “Didn’t know,” he admits. “I don’t want people around here to know I’m gay,” he says with an uncharacteristic vulnerability on his face.
“Yet, you wear macho cowboy clothes,” Vincent Wauneka says. “You are always hanging out with three other guys. The four of you look especially gay in your cowboy costumes. Everyone says that around here.”
Mik Volkov nonverbally orders another round of drinks from the bartender and says, “Yeah, okay. That’s how this is going.” As the drinks are placed in front of him and Vincent Wauneka, Mik Volkov quickly downs the entire contents of his bar glass.
Vincent Wauneka slowly sips his own drink and locks onto intense eye contact with Mik Volkov. “I will not say anything,” Vincent Wauneka says. “I am not manipulating you if that is what you mean.”
“Yes you are,” Mik Volkov replies. “You expect to jump on top and just fuck me. To buy your silence. Probably already have a room booked upstairs that you use all the time.”
Vincent Wauneka swallows his entire drink in one gulp while continuing to maintain eye contact with Mik Volkov. He says, “Room upstairs. Yeah. Got that. Not going to take you there. Not trying to fuck you.”
“So, instead you intend to blab about me being gay. I know you will.”
“No. I will not. Just listen to me,” Vincent Wauneka says. “If you help me out, I will keep silent about you. No sucking. No fucking. None of that.”
Mik Volkov smiles, but remains quiet. “Look down there. The Colorado River.” Vincent Wauneka says.
“You wanna go in the water?” Mik Volkov asks.
“Cannot swim,” Vincent Wauneka admits. “After drinking, people drown.”
“So, you’re saying you want to drown me in that river?”
Vincent Wauneka smiles. “No fucking. No sucking. No drowning,” he says. Mik Volker laughs aloud. “That river,” Vincent Wauneka adds. “Flows south. The California state line. Small marina there. On old Route 66.”
“Who the fuck cares?”
“Tavern owner,” Vincent Wauneka explains. “Want you to meet him.”
“Russian guy. Like you,” Vincent Wauneka says. “From the U.S.S.R. Left behind all that snow and vodka. Years ago. Now owns the bar down there.”
“On this river,” Mik Volkov says.
“Yeah. Topock,” Vincent Wauneka explains. “Indian word. Nickname is, of course, top cock.”
“Of course not,” Vincent Wauneka answers quickly as he laughs.
Mik Volkov is very drunk now. He struggles to say, “No sucking. No fucking. No drowning. No top cock.”
“I owe him a lot of money,” Vincent Wauneka says. “The Russian. That bar owner. Maybe if you talk to him. In your language. You may be able to cut a deal for me.”
Mik Volkov nods in agreement, knowing that he has no other options available.
Just at sunset Vincent Wauneka is driving Mik Volkov’s battered Nineteen Eighty-One pickup truck southward down a lonely and winding county road in Arizona toward Topock with both windows rolled completed down. Mik Volkov is passed out into the passenger seat. His head is buffeted by the hot afternoon wind flowing in through the passenger side window of the truck.
After than sun has gone down over the western mountains, Vincent Wauneka switches on the headlights of the pickup truck, but only the light on the right side works.
He speaks aloud to Mik Volkov, whom he presumes cannot hear him. To be completely safe, however, Vincent Wauneka speaks using the Navajo language. What he says to Mik Volkov can be approximately translated like this: My mission is to kill you. Thank you for giving me the idea to drown you. There is no Russian bar owner. I will put you behind the wheel. Send your truck off this road after I jump out. You will end up in the marsh. I lied to you. I can swim. Quite well. You are passed out drunk. You will drown in this marsh tonight. You are barefoot. I removed your cowboy boots and socks. Navajo tradition. So you cannot walk away from death.
The pickup reaches the edge of the marsh where Vincent Wauneka brings the vehicle to a complete stop just onto the narrow shoulder of the two-lane road. He looks down at a steep decline on the shoreline to the dark water not far below. He keeps one foot on the brake pedal while the truck’s engine is running and pulls the unconscious Mik Volker behind the wheel. His dark brown cowboy boots stuffed with a pair of white socks remain on the floor of the passenger side. Vincent Wauneka then takes his foot off the brake pedal and jumps from the truck as he attempts unsuccessfully to close the driver’s side door.
As expected, the truck moves steadily down the shoreline and then splashes into the marsh. Vincent Wauneka watches the truck float out into the dark water for a short distance. Then the battered pickup truck starts to descend into the marsh.
Mik Volker regains consciousness just after the unpleasantly cold marsh water inside the cab of his pickup truck reaches his forehead. The heat of the engine causes clouds of steam to rise up into the water accompanied by an odd hissing sound that Mik Volker hears as he descends into full panic. He kicks and screams in horror as he realizes what is happening. He instinctively holds his breath, thinking he will be able to save himself.
Vincent Wauneka looks down into the marsh to watch the pale yellow light from the truck’s lone headlamp pointing forward underwater. The marsh is just deep enough to submerge the pickup entirely, but Vincent Wauneka can hear the underwater screams of a desperate man below. Air bubbles rise up from the truck to the water’s surface.
Mik Volker involuntarily breathes in the cold water of Topock Marsh, experiencing the terror of taking water into his lungs. His body spasms cause him unwillingly to inhale more of the cold water.
Since the driver’s side door was not closed properly, it swings open. Mik Volkov slides out of the cab. He has a smile on his face because he has convinced himself that he will survive.
But, Mik Volkov’s lungs have already completely filled with water. He becomes limp as he floats face down with both arms outstretched just below the surface of the water. His eyes remain open, but he no longer can see anything because he is brain dead. He is aware of darkness, but nothing else now. His body becomes entangled in the thick debris of wood in the marsh not far from the truck.
The next morning, two fishermen in an aluminum boat find Mik Volkov’s body wedged tightly within wood debris below the water line. The local mystery surrounding this young man’s drowning will go unsolved.
The only evidence is that he was driving alone while intoxicated. Law enforcement officials speculate that Mik Volker died barefoot after apparently removing his footwear before attempting unsuccessfully to swim to safety.
His pickup truck ultimately gets lifted upwards from Topock Marsh by a large construction crane brought in from California. After the authorities can find no clues to explain what may have happened in the marsh that night, Mik Volkov’s truck is sold to a Bullhead scrap yard.
His cowboy boots stuffed with his white socks remain mired at the unforgiving bottom of the marsh where they slowly degrade until disappearing entirely.
When Vincent Wauneka sees a pair of vehicle headlights approaching his location from the two-lane road and hears the sound of a car engine, he conceals himself into the water near the shoreline so that his head is just above water from the nose up. He deliberately breathes very slowly and remains still so that he will make as little sound as possible.
After he is satisfied that the car he saw passing by will not be stopping, Vincent Wauneka slowly maneuvers out of the water and climbs up the shore to the highway.
He walks alone, motivated by sheer determination and instinct. He accepts as legitimate the deep fear he feels. He is soaking wet and cold. He is by himself at night in a sparsely populated area that is unfamiliar to him.
Yet, when Vincent Wauneka looks up at the sky and sees the muted light of the moon, he suddenly feels comforted and reassured.