By Jack Amos
After a few weeks of travelling along the hot and dusty road of route 917, Sam Vaults had
gleamed little to no information on the whereabouts of his wife, and what tidbIt's he had managed
to scrape out of the rural and hardened desert folk, he clung onto with the ferocity and despair of a malnourished child.
Here is what he had learned:
His wife had entered route 917 on July fourteenth 1971, as witnessed by gas station attendant
Nathan Chrob, who was still alive and well, and had not been consumed by a psychotic alien
She had continued down the road until she was spotted again around July twentieth, at “The fun
Times Inn” where, from what Sam had heard, she stayed true to both her adventurous nature aw
well as the name of the hotel. She had stolen roughly a kilogram of acid laced marijuana from a
short, angry looking man called “Alfonzo JoJo” in the Inn’s bar, and made her way to a gas stop
where her car broke down. She traded the majority of the reacquired drugs in return for safe travel and hospice from a certain “Father Crispy”. After that, she had travelled with The Father to a
town called Tennisville, where she had not been seen since.
And that was it. After three weeks of driving, asking, living off of cheap grease food and bottled water, sleeping in his car, and threatening at gunpoint the odd reluctant informer, this was all the information Sam had gathered on the whereabouts of his missing wife, Sally Vaults.
He was currently sitting in his car, underneath the midnight sky, parked in an abandoned rest stop,
In his lap was a beige paper folder, full of notes, written accounts, character sketches, and
polaroid pictures of everyone he had interviewed, been told about, and rudely threatened.
He was a desperate man, and all he wanted was for his wife to be ok.
He was on his way to Tennisville, to try and find Father Crispy, a man whose picture indicated a
young, good looking character with a strong jawline and sharp cheek bones, both of which were
scattered with a patter of dark stubble.
Sam looked down at the polaroid photo he had acquired of the man, and stopped crying. He
turned the key and started the car, bleeding out sharp beams of light as he did so. He tossed the
beige folder, along with the polaroid photo on the passenger seat, and he swan dived out of the
rest stop and down onto the highway, where he tore off into the night.
At the time that Sam Vaults was driving like a coked up maniac through the blue night air, a
certain Mr.America was approaching a darkened road side restaurant that had closed for the
evening. It’s interior was void of light, save for a soft glow that was ebbing from a small,
curtained back room window.
Mr. America stopped, his torn American flag flapped gently in an unspoken breeze. He sniffed.
There was something evil in that restaurant, he could feel it.
It stunk like fry grease.
He took a tentative step forward. And then another.
Nothing happened. All was quiet. A bird cried out gently against the accompaniment of a
thousand nocturnal crickets. He was safe.
He resumed walking normally, when a harsh, white light erupted out of the desert earth.
Suddenly Mr. America was surrounded by an almost comically large amount of firearm muzzles,
looking as if they had appeared from an extraterrestrial origin.
Which of course, they had.
A computerized voice buzzed up, out from behind the wall of bristling gun barrels and laser
beams. It demanded his surrender.
It didn't do no good.
Mr. America could only hear one voice, and it was that of the glorious nation he protected.
He closed his eyes and calmly raised his arms. Messiah style.
The destruction that decorated the desert floor as Mr.America and his ill fitting toga wandered
away from it, was a scene direct from some futuristic war zone or a site of great catastrophe.
Metal detritus was heaped in clunky dunes, silhouettes casting rough shadows. Holes and craters
bored themselves into the earth. A flying saucer was lying, inverted in the centre of the mess.
The roadside restaurant was no longer there. It had been obliterated.
Not that it mattered though, for before the morning sun even crested It's perverse fingers up over
the horizon, the scene of carnage and destruction would be gone. Removed from existence by a
quiet moving squadron of “The Times Colonist” reporter vans that would be on the scene within
Filthy bare feet pattered over the gravel and sand, back to the reassuring surface of the asphalt,
cooled down from It's normal daytime inferno. Mr.America was whistling a song, a tune of hope
and freedom, as he slowly made his way down the highway.
The night was quiet, protruded from comfort by the organic tin whistle of “Star Spangled Banner”
It was dawn, by the time that Sam Vaults pulled into Tennisville, or at least what the map said was
Tennisville. The road sign said so too, although that was partially scorched to oblivion, letters
faded into charcoal.
There was a weak and watered down tangerine light that painted the red sands purple, as Sam’s
beat up old Bug pulled rolled to a stop at the centre of the town. Or what clearly used to be a
The entire place had been burnt to the ground.
Sam click swung the car door open and ejected himself like a lightening bolt, he shot out of the
vehicle and stood straight up. Frantically, he drank in the damaged scene that surrounded him.
Wood ash filthied his cork sandals, he was surrounded by the charred and crumbled skeletons of
former infrastructure, mere ghosts of houses and bars and shops.
He spun around in the devastation, searching for something, anything that would solidify his hope
that his dear Sally had not perished in whatever it was that had claimed this town.
Then the cotton lined thought that perhaps this was not Tennisville, but some other malfortuned
gathering of buildings occurred to him, and his spirIt's raised a little out of the nauseating seacrest
that was his hyperventilating chest.
He relaxed a little, but only for a very, very brief moment.
This was because he quickly became aware that, in this vanquished down, with It's modern
rendition of hell, amongst the burnt houses and incinerated streets, he was not alone.
Something was watching him.
Back in the basement of the New York Office of “The Times Colonist”, 857 and 328 had
completed the rather ambiguous instructions to the assembly of the newly shipped Thaumetric
Splicing Machine, a device that they hoped, paired with the accompaniment of a radically
dangerous alien named Julius Maneater, would solve their problem.
What was their problem?
Six months earlier a pharmaceutical experiment on a earthling male named Thomas Jones went
terribly awry, resulting in them losing track of his current location and, unbeknownst to them at
the time, the bestowing upon him of god like powers.
Who said that anti depressants don't work?
END OF PART TWO