El of a Thing
Chapter 12

Copyright© 2010 by Ol'Mac

TUESDAY 8:30 A. M. News Stand, Chicago, IL

As Mike went over the list of Greenly's contacts a picture began to emerge of a virus like network that seemed to have Chicago and Illinois locked in a never ending cycle of favors like some kind of underground currency. As he considered this snapshot and the futility of trying to chase down each of the members. An idea burst full blown into his head. The grin then made it's reappearance with a vengeance and there wasn't one nice, or lighthearted thing about it. 'Oh, that's just perfect and it will work too, ' he thought, 'After all, no one goes after an anthill by trying to kill them one by one. You just put out poison bait and let them do the work.'

Then turning his mind to the gangs that were no doubt headed this way he pondered what to do. Again, the answer along with a chuckle came back almost immediately. 'Maybe there is a God. I can't be just pulling this stuff out of thin air, ' Mike's thought train ran, 'The only question is, what should I key the filters to. Can't make it the Golden Rule. That would keep out ninety-eight percent of the population.'

By noon every access point into the state of Illinois had a filter in place. Regardless of your mode of transportation if your intent was in the least criminal; you might get five miles beyond the border before the Demons trying to eat your soul made you turn and run screaming for your life. The poison cheese was also set out for the rat corps.

TUESDAY 2:30 P. M. Fifth District Alderman's Office, Chicago, IL

Dale Manning knew he had sold his soul to get this post. When he had first run for office, the machine had paid a visit. They only needed one answer to one question, Can you play ball or not? God help him, his answer had been yes. After the election the phone calls and visits never ended. A favor here, a bit of grease there, just like the call he had gotten off of ten minutes ago.

Feeling slightly queasy Dan made his way to his private restroom. As he reached to open the medicine cabinet behind the mirror he noticed the Mother of all Zits in the center of his forehead. 'That's just perfect, ' he thought, 'here I have three constituent dinner stops scheduled for tonight and now this! Must be the stress.'

TUESDAY 2:45 P. M. I-74 Eastbound, Bettendorf to Moline Bridge, Mississippi River

Carlos Rivera had been the go-to guy for Los Lobos for almost two years now. His Jeffe had told him to go take a look at Chicago. Word was that it had become an Open city and Miguel wanted to scope it out before the others beat him to it.

There was a reason for Carlos meteoric rise in the gang. He was a stone cold killer. Carlos had literally never felt anything; not love or joy, hate or fear. They were all hearsay to him ... until the day he drove across the I-74 bridge. He actually got almost five miles into Illinois before the terror ripping at his guts made him use an emergency vehicle median turnaround and head screaming back to Colorado. Los Lobos would be looking for a new go-to guy.

The experience of Carlos would be repeated many times in the coming days, as gangs across the nation sent their own point men in to take a first peek. Even the more established Families that dropped crews in ended up running for the hills. Not even those crazy Jamaican Posse creeps could handle the vibes. Chicago and Illinois were closed until further notice and the Interstates were getting down right crowded ... outbound.

TUESDAY 3:45 P. M. Office of the Assistant Mayor, Chicago, IL

Richard Schnell knew he had it made. The younger Daley would be in office until he died - just like his Dad before him - and he was still a young man. 'The best part is that he loves me because I keep his machine running, ' Richard thought. Then scratching at an itch on his forehead Richard's fingernails encountered bumps. "What the hell," He muttered, "I'd better not be coming down with a case of zits."

TUESDAY 4:15 P. M. News Stand, Chicago, IL

Mike figured it was about time to get the Homeland Security crew out of town and headed toward the corner phone booth. But knowing that Max Aldmen would have his cell linked to a tracing system, this time he linked his phone to all the pay phones in Illinois. The random burst generator he modulated his call with insured that any equipment trying to trace this call, would be slag in about five seconds.

The call was answered on the third ring, "Max here."

"Good afternoon, Agent. Are you ready for the garbage pickup?" Mike asked.

"You bet we are. What have you got?" Aldmen replied.

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