Marina keeps firing at the rabble below her. Because she is clairvoyant, she knows her comrades are all alive except for Chato. Bullets fly and tears roll as Marina remembers how she and Chato were teenagers together on the shores of Riverside County in California, after the Catastrophe of 2020 wiped out the old California coast. Chato was named for his grandfather, a Latino leader who looked like an English bulldog and Marina was named after Marina Del Rey, the city where she was conceived and one of the many lost in the earthquake and tsunami.
Suddenly, Marina’s Bot begins to teeter and fall sideways to the ground. “S#$%t,” she whispers to herself. She knows the CSA gabachos have blown off her Bot’s legs. Sometimes, it’s a bitch “knowing” everything all the time. She shuts her eyes, presses the eject button and, with a loud whoosh, she is shot up into the night sky.
“Target at midnight, fire! yells, one of the minutemen pointing up at the figure ejecting from the Bot. “Fire! She’s getting away! Take the dogs and go after her!”
The black and windless night does not get Marina very far. She sees searchlights and hears hound dogs in the distance. She cuts the parachute cords and moves quickly out of the area. She’s trained special forces and knows how to move quickly and stealthily. Within minutes, she’s gotten away. After running at full speed for miles, Marina stops for a second, closes her eyes and visualizes her comrades as they too travel the forests in stealth towards the Sabine River. She clutches the amulet around her neck and doubles her pace into the darkness. Soon, all she can hear is the sound of her own hard breathing as she continues to make her way deeper into the Big Thicket.
From out of nowhere, a blinding light and double-barrelled shot gun appear. “Stop right there, roach, or I’ll kill ya!” screams a voice in the dark. “Roach” is the favored CSA term for a Latino.
Marina holds her hands up and smiles as the gabacho walks around sizing her up. She’s a beautiful woman and she knows that any man is susceptible to her feminine wiles.
“Ha, sugar!,” Marina feigns a Southern accent.
“Shut up,” shouts the man. He comes in very close, peering into Marina’s face. Marina is a tall, beautiful Amazon of a woman who is sometimes mistaken for a man. “You look like one of them New freaks bein’ born over there, roach. What are ya, huh? You fucking freak. Whaddaya got down there?” he chides pointing at Marina’s private parts. Marina is a hermaphrodite as are many of “The New Ones,” the children born after 2020. After a pause: “I need workers at my farm, else I woulda kilt ya already. You look strong. though,” he says slapping Marina’s buttocks.
Uh, oh. The man hears a “click” and turns to look at Marina quizzically. Marina lifts an open hand over her smiling face, sporting iron claws ala Wolverine. Before the man can shoot his gun, Marina sinks an iron claw into each of his eyes. His mouth falls agape as blood flows from his eye sockets. He drops his gun and his body slumps to the ground. The light on his hat breaks on a rock and Marina is left in darkness
Marina is once again running through the Big Thicket like she’d done all those years ago. Her mind is racing and she is immediately back in the old house in Vider, Texas, before her father fled with her to California. She is less than five years old. She is awakened by shots. She runs in the hallway to see Minutemen storming into her home and killing her mother at the door. Marina quickly shuts the door, grabs her shoes and climbs out the window running into the dark woods behind the house.
Her father was working the night shift guarding a gas depot for the local chieftain or the “Duke of Beaumont,” as he liked to call himself. With power solely in the hands of rich chieftains with guns, they started giving themselves “royal” titles such as the Earl of Alabama or the Baron of Chattanooga. As soon as he saw little Marina, Cuahutémoc Ramirez knew his wife was dead. He swept his baby girl in his arms and put her in his 450F trailer-truck. He stocked it with extra fuel, food and weapons and took off on I-10 towards what was left of California. He and his bride had honeymooned and conceived Marina in Marina Del Rey and millions of Latinos were moving west, escaping some of the laws and violence against Hispanics and blacks in the southern and midwestern states. Cuahutémoc Ramirez raised his daughter Marina Del Rey Ramirez in California, where Latinos were establishing their own self-governing “nation”.
During the election of 2032, the Raza Unida Party ran a California-born-and-bred candidate named Montezuma Heinlein. Although Monty, as he was called, was a tall, blonde, blue-eyed half Mexican, half German, he identified himself as a Chicano. He was good-looking, charismatic and because Hispanics outnumbered other groups, Heinlein won the election handily and became America’s first duly elected president of Latino descent.
The Confederate Party revolted and legislatures across southern and midwestern states immediately seceded from the Union to officially form the new Confederate States of America. Monty Heinlein, the last President of the United States fled Washington, D.C. under fire from CSA forces, which surrounded the capital on Inauguration Day 2033. After Heinlein’s departure, the CSA chose to set up a their capital in Richmond, Virginia and dismantled Washington, D.C., which they despised as a symbol of all that went wrong with America.
Monty Heinlein surfaced a few days later in El Fenix, Arizona to proclaim the new Latino Republic, made up of states in the West and Southwest. Even “Rebellious Arizona” succumbed to an onslaught of Hispanic refugees from the California earthquakes of 2020. Heinlein quickly moved to consolidate his political power, taking over all military bases and industrial resources. He also launched a big war effort, issuing bonds and marketing campaigns, rousing the entire population to defend their Latino homeland against the CSA.
They’re calling it “The Latino Republic” for now because, as usual, Latinos can’t decide what to call their new nation. Most of the Mexicans favor Aztlán, the fabled ancestral homeland of the Aztecs. But the Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and others won’t have it. They want to call it Martilandia or Borinquen or Republica Bolívar.
They can’t figure it out but they’re working on it. Marina is both frustrated and amused by her countrymen. She is of a new age and countries and borders are meaningless to her. She knows that countries, borders and patriotism are the cause of much suffering and misery in the world. She knows humanity is not yet at the point of fully accepting that it is all one, so she must practice patience and compassion.
Almost immediately after Heinlein declared the Latino Republic, CSA deployed its military forces into Texas and tried to annex it by declaring it CSA territory and therefore, forbidden to Latinos. However, Texas’ Latino population revolted against the CSA and President Heinlein committed his forces to come to their aid.
The state immediately split up along racial lines with Houston, San Antonio, South and West Texas loyal to Heinlein and the Latino Republic, while Dallas-Fort Worth and East Texas remained loyal to CSA. For years, the Latino Military HQs in El Paso and San Antonio have been consistently defending the “border” against CSA incursions.
Marina and her comrades are now charged with disabling CSA supply lines and their ability to wage any more war into Latino Tejas. Marina’s mind is reeling. She must sleep or she will pass out in the open and risk being captured. The morning sky is coming up slate grey in the East as she finally reaches the welcoming branches of a strong pine tree high above the surrounding treeline. She expertly weaves a “bed” of pine branches together and settles down into a deep sleep.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Gabriel Reyes is a Hollywood public relations and Hispanic marketing expert who is founder and president of Reyes Entertainment. Read more of his writings and ruminations in his personal blog: http://lacasadegabriel.blogspot.com.
© 2013 Gabriel Reyes. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.