SCARIEN NATION NOW BE ONE


CHAPTER TEN

THE NASHVILLE STORM


The big black sedan pulled up in front of a modern looking concrete building somewhere in Virginia, near D.C. The building looked like an insurance company or a bank, but there was no sign on the building. Nothing to identify it. Possibly a swank psychiatric hospital for congressmen or top pentagon brass.

A clean cut looking creep wearing a synthetic blue suit jumped out of the sedan before it had even stopped. He opened the back door and an emaciated looking Rusty slid out wearing handcuffs. He stared at the ground as the creep led him into the concrete building.

Rusty had spent the last few weeks in a mental institution in New York. He had been analyzed and re-analyzed. Shock treatments. Brain doctors. Skull x-rays. Injections. Interviews and more shock treatments. He stopped asking for a mouthpiece the first day. The shrinks kept asking him about Mr. Scary and the Scariens. Rusty was no stool pidgeon. He clammed up and remained in a state of denial. He denied knowing anything about anything.

He wasn't hip to where the G-man was taking him until he saw a CIA insignia on a door inside the concrete building. Rusty and his tour guide got on an elevator that seemed like a phone booth. The thing went down and down. About ten floors below ground. They got off the thing and walked down a long brightly lit hall. The aroma of disinfectant and bug poison was overwhelming.

A guard whose face was curiously red put one hand on the rod he was packing. Then he opened a heavy steel door. Rusty knew where he was now. The Slammer. This was some kind of secret jail under the CIA building. There were many cells and Rusty could see prisoners in their little cells sleeping, reading, dreaming, and sitting on tiny steel toilets.

"Rusty!"

"Chick?"

"Shut up and keep moving, scumbag!" shouted the sweaty red face.

The G-man pushed Rusty forward. Rusty looked over his shoulder and caught a glimpse of Chick. Chick's head was shaven just like Rusty's. They turned the a corner and the guard slammed Rusty into his own private cell. Rusty never saw Chick again while he was in weirdsville jail.

The guards brought Rusty his meals three times a day and he saw no one else for a few days. He talked to a lunatic in the next cell, not knowing what he looked like. The guy's name was Lee Harvey and he spoke only of disturbing things.

Lee Harvey entertained Rusty with his long diatribes about the state of the world, the CIA, and the President, among other topics. Lee Harvey was a raging paranoid and seemed to be delusional.

"Brain perversion techniques," Lee Harvey stated emphatically, breaking the silence.

"What?" Rusty asked.

"Brain perversion techniques. That's what's going on here. That's the future. They just want to control our minds. Make us do things for them that we can't remember.."

"Right-o, Lee Harvey."

"I work for George White, he's the boss. Him and Gottlieb and Olsen, too. They're great to work for. Except for that nerve gas thing. I'd do anything for those guys. I'd kill the president if they asked me too."

"Where do you work?"

"Anywhere they send me."

"They?"

"Don't ask me too much, Rusty."

"You brought it up, fruitcake."

"Well I trust you, Rusty. I like you. I thought you needed to know where things are heading. Olsen has got some new diseases that no one has ever had."

"He must be pretty sick."

"Oh no, he keeps his diseases in little test tubes."

"What are you talking about," Rusty demanded, exasperated with Lee Harvey's jive.

"I'm talking about security. I'm talking about God, country, mom, and apple pie too. You dumb bastard, you don't even know what's going on here, do you?"

"Not really, man. But you're gonna hip me to it, right?"

"Midnight climax artichoke bluebird pie. Do you know what that's all about?"

"Just leave me alone so I can get some sleep, Lee. We'll talk tomorrow."

"Ha Ha Hoo!"

Several days after Rusty checked in, a scientific cat with a brittle white lab coat fell into Rusty's cell.

"Hello, Rusty. My name is Doctor Stone."

"What's up Doc? You here to wire up my head?"

"Of course not, Rusty. I've come to find out if you would be interested in volunteering for a special program. It involves testing a new kind of medicine that might help you."

"I don't need no help from you, quack."

"This program could make your stay here much easier for you, Rusty."

"OK, pops. What do I have to do?"

"Just sign these papers giving your consent to be tested and participate in the MK-Ultra Program."

"The MK-Ultra Program?"

"That's right, Rusty. This program will help your country. You would like to help your country, wouldn't you Rusty?"

"Sure, Doc. Where's the dotted line?"

"Good, Rusty. You can start today. I will send a nurse to bring you to the lab."

Rusty mechanically chewed and swallowed his lunch. The bland, almost artificial, sandwich made from white bread and velveeta cheese stuck to the roof of his mouth. He washed the meal down with water that tasted like it came out of the pool at the Y.

A 350 pound Samoan wrestler entered Rusty's cell. Big Nurse. The nurse led Rusty down the hall and into a small white room with black curtains. Doctor Stone was standing there holding a small metal tray.

A tiny vial of clear liquid, an eye dropper, and some sugar cubes were neatly arranged on the tray. The tiny vial had a typed label taped to it. LSD-25/SANDOZ. Rusty figured this medicine must taste pretty bad when he saw the sugar cubes.

"Now, Rusty, I am going to put a couple of drops of this medication on several of these sugar cubes for you to eat, OK? I will then observe your reactions to this new formula and record my observations in this journal."

"OK, Doc."

"Here, let's start you off with four of these sugar cubes."

Rusty ate the sugar cubes, and sat down on a chair covered in simulated leather. Doctor Stone watched him as if he expected something dramatic to happen. Twenty minutes later, Rusty was feeling like he had swallowed a bottle of bennies and smoked a pound of gold leaf. Zoom, he wanted to jump out of his skin and discorporate, drifting. He was flying higher than he had ever flown.

Rusty wondered why a doctor would give someone a weird drug like this stuff. Doctor Stone just looked at Rusty and smiled. Rusty thought that the Doc's face may have been made of rubber, but quickly put the thought out of his mind. Big Nurse stood silently and remarkably small in the corner of the room. The typewriter on the Doctor's desk had turned into an adding machine. Rusty was wondering what the game was.

"How do you feel, Rusty?"

"I feel....I'm feeling ok, now."

"Good, Rusty."

The ride began to smooth out a little bit. Rusty felt pretty good. Good and high. He was starting to be amused at the fact that he actually wanted to go back to his cell. Doctor Stone pulled out a small disk with a swastika-like symbol on it. The Doc attached the disk to the end of something that looked like a flashlight. He flicked a little switch on the side of the gadget, and the disk began to spin, creating a sort of spiral effect.

"I want you to look at this rotating disk now, Rusty."

"OK, Doc."

What do you see?"

"A whirling disk, pops."

Doctor Stone made some notations on his pad. Big Nurse stood in the corner holding a can of saniflush behind his back. Doctor Stone looked back over his shoulder at Big Nurse, then Motioned with his head for Rusty to be escorted back to his cell.

Rusty felt like he was so high that he might not ever come back down, a perpetual high. He saw colors dance around his cell. Every thought he had would set him off laughing. He laughed so hard that his sides hurt. He was digging the new medicine.

The testing went on and on. Five days a week for what seemed like years. Rusty lost track of time. Sugar cubes and rotating disks. Sometimes Big Nurse would take Rusty outside behind the modern CIA building and walk him through the woods.

A tall barbed wire fence was on the other side of the woods and a herd of grazing cows was on the other side of the fence. Rusty always stopped to talk with the cows. He would whistle through the fence and a few cows would come over for a visit. Sometimes Rusty would moo and sometimes he would speak. The cows would moo and Rusty would listen. Big Nurse would laugh.

Rusty didn't like Big Nurse too much, but Big Nurse seemed to like Rusty. Like Rusty, he played the guitar. Sometimes he would bring it for Rusty to play. Rusty would always show him a new lick.

"You oughta be down there in Nashville," the big guy would tell Rusty.

The routine continued. The medicine was beginning to lose its kick. It was all getting to be a real drag. Rusty and Big Nurse were walking in the woods one warm spring day and Rusty got about a hundred yards ahead of Big Nurse. Rusty saw a chance to split dragsville. He slowly walked down a small hill. Once out of sight, he bolted. Like lightening. Through brush. He ran alongside the tall barbed wire fence for what seemed like miles and he came to a tree that stopped his pace. Without looking back and with no hesitation, he scaled the tree and jumped over the fence and rolled.

Running faster, stumbling. Heart pounding. Head pounding. Silence, except for the sound of his breath. Endorphins bridging forgotten synapses. He came to a chain link fence and easily climbed it. Through the trees he could see a highway. Moments later he stood on the shoulder of the road, his thumb stuck way out.

Before he could catch his breath, a Marine in a red MG pulled over. The soldier might have thought Rusty was a uniform boy too, with his shaven head.

"Where you headed, buddy?"

"Out of here, man."

"I'm going straight through Baltimore to Fort Detrick, up near Frederick."

"Groovy, I'll make this road trip with you, man, like if its cool."

"Sure buddy. Say, where you going, anyway?"

"The Big Apple."

"New York, huh?"

"Right, Holmes."

Time flowed by talking to the half hip soldier boy. Next stop, Baltimore. Rusty hunched down in the seat most of the trip so the CIA wouldn't spot him. Panic attacked each time a mystery car would pass. There were many psychotic reactions along the way. The Marine was not hip to this jive and he clammed up. He looked straight ahead, speedometer on 85. The little red car vibrated into Baltimore. Rusty spotted the Greyhound Station. Safer Waters, maybe.

"Hey, man, could you let me out by the bus station?"

"Sure thing, buddy."

"Thanks, Captain."

Rusty paced the sidewalk in front of the bus station. People were getting off of work. Crowds of people walked back and forth. Rusty hoped he could cop enough spare change to get a one-way ticket out of Baltimore.

"Excuse me, mister. Could you help me out?"

"Drop dead, creep."

"Pardon me, sir. My wallet was stolen and I'm trying to get a bus ticket back to my base, could you lend me a dollar or two? If you give me your address I'll pay you back when I get back to the base."

Rusty did the stolen wallet bit for hours. One square even fronted Rusty a sawbuck. When he had enough bread, he headed into the station, tripping over the pink flamingo that decorated the Greyhound postage stamp garden. He fell into the station. It was a packed house. The lines seemed to be moving backwards. Loud bull horn sounds pressed into Rusty. A sweaty little joint, impatience and paranoia soaked him wet.

"Nashville leaving in five minutes," the bull horn snapped, crackled and popped.

"Excuse me, could I cut in front of you? My bus leaves in five minutes," Rusty jived.

"What destination, sir?" the pale ticket scalper groaned.

"One way to the Big Apple, pops."

"What?"

Rusty could feel the presence of big brother in the joint. A heat wave of paranoia almost blew him over.

"New York is the first place the fuzz will look," Rusty whispered to himself.

"Excuse me, sir. I didn't hear you."

"Uh...make that a one-way ticket to Nashville, please."

Thoughts raced through Rusty's beat brain. Nashville. Probably not too many G-Men there. Go underground. Pick up on some of that hillbilly jive. Act real square. Learn to play country on the old git-box. Talking that hick trash like howdy and y'all and goldurn. Maybe get a flashy jacket with sequins, rhinestones, and silver tassles.

Rusty stayed down in Nashville for about 15 years. He changed his name from Rusty Bedsprings to Dusty Deedbooks to avoid detection by the G-Men. He learned all the hick riffs and did one-nighters at every dive in town. He played the hillbilly routine to the hilt. He even played in the house band at the Grand Old Opry, until he got caught smoking reefer backstage.

He got a day gig at a dairy farm so that he would have some cows to talk to. The MK-Ultra Program had left Dusty feeling fine and mellow. To Dusty, life looked sort of like a painting by Vincent Van Go, like as in Gone. Every so often he would remember the Scarien mission, but it seemed like a distant memory. Like a childhood dream long forgotten.

Dusty met a country singer named Stormy and she bunked at Dusty's trailer for a while. The chick was cool unless she was going through a schizo jag. She said she had some kind of problem with bladder acid and she took lots of strange pills. When Jack Daniels came to visit, this chick could change personalities faster than you could say happy trails.

According to her brother, casholic priests had worked her over at a tender age and she remained freaked out for life. Sometimes she was out there, like she didn't know where she was or who she was with. The theme from Twilight Zone would play when this chick was in one of her moods. She made weekly visits to her shrink, Dr. Janiger, but there was no progress.

"Do you love me?" Stormy would ask when they had sex.

"Sure, baby," Rusty would answer.

"Are you sure?"

"Sure."

After a while, it all got so abstract, couldn't tell Stormy whether he was sure. Their thing was falling apart when she finally split for an alcoholic government worker. She left the trailer and headed far out to the suburbs and became a housewife.


CHAPTER ELEVEN

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