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Further Adventures of the Borderland Biker -Chapter 20

“I won’t leave without you”

By Derrel Whitemyer
7/29/2015


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“We’re too late;” shouted Shaun aka velociraptor aka
chameleon, “save yourself…I’ll hold them off!”

“I won’t leave without you,” I shouted back at the same time I was trying unsuccessfully to break the lock on the sliding steel door leading into the warehouse.

All five Alphas had body armor. None of the large growing larger crowd of Betas looked to be wearing any.

How had they found us? Maybe with their insect-like senses they’d found us the way bees find flowers? Although to them we probably represented the thorns rather than the blossom of the rose. In the book “The 100th Monkey” the author theorized monkeys share a collective ‘monkey’ consciousness and what one monkey discovers is shared with other monkeys at the same time and in the same way pieces of a holographic lens share images. Could the Alphas and Betas have found us using a similar method? The answer wouldn’t help me open the door.

“This door’s locked.”
“Not anymore,” said Shaun a second before he walked over and stomped down on the lock with his foot.

Whether it was the sharpness of his talons or the force of the blow; the lock broke in half. A second after he’d broken the lock Shaun charged headlong into our pursuers.

“But Shane, I mean Shaun, there’s too many of them,” I shouted at the same time I climbed back aboard the Raider and rode into a large dark and windowless warehouse. Thirty feet into the warehouse I skidded to a stop and then ran back to the entrance. Shaun was across the street battling a growing mob of Alpha led Betas.

He was surrounded. I’d already shot a few of the Betas but stopped when I thought I might hit him. What stopped them from overwhelming him was that in their rush to attack they were getting in the way of each other…so much so he was now able to stand on a growing pile of their bodies. And where my Glock 45 GAP had little effect on the Alphas’ body armor, Shaun’s razor sharp talons were inflecting lethal damage.

Shaun as a velociraptor.
Shaun as a velociraptor.



“Shaun,” I yelled, “Get inside the warehouse…hurry!”
Needing no further encouragement, Shaun, with one giant leap for mankind, leapt over his attackers. Undeterred by his deadly talons and teeth his pursuers were actually fighting amongst themselves over who would be first to chase after him. I was already closing the steel door when Shaun, with a classic Willy Mays slide into home base, slid under it.

“Help me hold it shut!”
 
“Holding it won’t work;” countered Shaun, “there are too many of them and more are coming. We need to wedge the door closed from this side. Go find about a three foot piece of steel rod or angle iron while I hold it shut…hurry! Now that I’m not exposed to their sunlight I’ll begin to grow smaller and weaker as I change from a velociraptor into a chameleon.”

The warehouse was windowless and except for what was illuminated by the Raider’s headlight I could see little of what was inside. Speaking of little, I had little time to search before Shaun became too small and was overpowered. I was about to give up when I spotted a 10 foot by 3 foot heavy metal table with two loose legs at one end. With a few tugs one pulled loose. A little over three feet in length, it would work.

“This should work,” I said after riding back to where a small, getting smaller Shaun was losing his battle to hold the door closed.

Speaking of losing, some Alphas, judging from the size of the fingers, had slipped their hands underneath the door. In seconds they’d be able to lift it open. Lifting the door, however, also allowed some sunlight to enter the warehouse. By standing in the sunlight Shaun was able to slow being downsized from a velociraptor into a chameleon. His talons, though less than a fourth their former size, were still formidable enough to slice the fingers off those foolish enough to slip them under the door.

One second later I was able to wedge the door completely closed. Two seconds later, without sunlight, Shaun completed his downsizing. He was now just a foot long chameleon.

Shaun as a chameleon.
Shaun as a chameleon.

 
“They’ll soon realize,” said Shaun, “they can drive a truck through this door. We’ve only a couple of minutes at the most to find another exit out of this warehouse before they’re able to find one.”

With Shaun perched on my shoulder like some ‘Disney Pirates of the Caribbean’ pet parrot I rode in circles around the warehouse looking for an exit. I’d circled three times, twisting the handlebars first one way then another, trying to light up as much of the interior as possible but with no luck.

“Hilts said that the door into the other Borderland would be in plain sight.”
“By plain sight do you mean,” answered Shaun, while pointing upwards at a painting of a glass door on the wall in front of us, “that door painted on the wall in front of us?”

The glass door Shaun was pointing at was part of an advertisement that had been painted about seven feet up from the floor. On the other side of the door the artist had painted an open country road lined with split rail fences bordered with some old oak and sycamore trees. The painting was full size and looked so realistic it could’ve passed for an actual door but for the fact it was so high off the floor.

“Use that steel workbench,” said Shaun, as he pointed at the same ten foot workbench I’d torn one of the legs off to use as a wedge, “as a ramp. Pry the loose leg off on the same side where one is already missing. The hard part will be getting up enough nerve to commit to getting up enough speed for the Raider to get enough height coming off the ramp to make the jump through the door.”

“And if,” I asked, knowing as I asked I was going to attempt the jump anyway, “the glass door’s really a painting?”

“Well then this warehouse,” laughed Shaun, “will soon have a new undiscovered Jackson Pollock painting.”

Prying the loose leg off was easy, as was aligning the work bench up as ramp. But circling the warehouse to build up speed gave me too much time to think so at the end of my final circle I’d lost my nerve…too late…I was heading up the ramp.

If the door wasn’t real…then the Raider, Shaun and I would be splattered across the wall like an abstract painting.
If the door wasn’t real…then the Raider, Shaun and I would be splattered across the wall like an abstract painting.



Artist Jackson Pollock was known for his abstract splatters of paint on canvas. Together those impressionistic splatters exceeded the sum of their parts, each one complementing one another so well their theme transcended his vision. Our Pollock painting would’ve conveyed nothing more than a mashed up mixture of the Raider, Shaun and me splattered across the wall. However the welcoming sound of the shattering of glass followed by a bouncy landing onto a country road brought home the fact we’d escaped becoming a Pollock painting. I rode on for a mile before stopping.

“They won’t follow us,” said Shaun from inside my backpack. He’d ducked inside the backpack to protect himself from flying glass and from the outside sunlight.

“Don’t you mean they can’t follow us?”

“I mean they won’t follow us because they don’t have to…we haven’t left their Borderland.”

“So if we’re still in the same Borderland,” I had turned my head around and was talking to a large lump inside my backpack, “how do we get away from them?”

“We get away from them by getting to the next portal before they do. They’ll know where we have to go but will have to backtrack to get on the highway. That’ll give us a head start. However once they’re on the highway they’ll have a more direct route to where we need to go. This is the only road leading to our destination so I shouldn’t need to jab you in your ribs telling you where to go. Speaking of need, we need to get going ‘now’ if we’re going to beat them,”

Larry had electronically fooled the Raider’s engine into to revving beyond its programmed limit. The other limits, my skill as a rider and the Raider’s inherent design, could not be so easily overcome. A cruiser is a cruiser (even those with an R-1 front end like the Yamaha Road Warrior) is a cruiser…“a rose is a rose is a rose”…you get the point. Simply put, I wasn’t Valentino Rossi; and the Raider with its six foot wheel base and limited lean angles (even though some called it a chopper-ish cruiser on steroids) wasn’t a sportbike.
The road was paved but had potholes or was it the potholes had paved road between them?
The road was paved but had potholes or was it the potholes had paved road between them?


The good news was Shaun wouldn’t be jabbing me in the ribs telling me when and where to turn. The bad news was I hadn’t yet escaped this Borderland.

The road was paved but had potholes or was it the potholes had paved road between them? Either way my speed was being limited by the surface I was riding on as well as the Raider’s design and my skill as a rider. The few farmhouses that could be seen were far away and looked abandoned. Borderlands Larry and I had visited in the past were different in many ways but in one way they were always the same. Their roads were always smooth and without flaws. It was as if they’d been poured into a mold then fused to the ground. This Borderland, if it were in fact really a Borderland, was an aberration filled with insect-like people and potholed roads.
The few farmhouses that could be seen were far away and looked abandoned.
The few farmhouses that could be seen were far away and looked abandoned.

 
 
After about a half hour of riding the farmland gave way to outlying buildings; soon a grid work of streets began to appear sprinkled with even more buildings. I was slowing when Shaun unexpectedly gave a violent kick to the left side of my back. It was his signal to make the next left turn. I did and found myself approaching a large warehouse similar to the one we’d escaped from…it also had a sliding steel door. The good news was the sliding door was unlocked the bad news was it was at the end of a cul-de-sac. Simply put we were now trapped at the end of a dead-end street.

“I thought,” I said after bringing the Raider to a stop, “you said you wouldn’t kick me?”

“I said,” said Shaun, “…shouldn’t have to kick you.”

“Hey,” yelled Larry from across the street, “you two can argue semantics later.”

Larry was across the street sitting in the driver’s seat of an old WWII Army truck that had been converted into a water tanker but now smelled like it was full of gasoline. It would’ve been a toss-up whether there was more rust than yellow paint on its dented surface. We were parked less than twenty feet up the street from a warehouse that could’ve passed for the twin of the warehouse we’d just left.

Larry’s rusted yellow water truck was filled with gasoline.
Larry’s rusted yellow water truck was filled with gasoline.



“No smoking please,” said Larry as he started the water truck, now gasoline truck, and slowly drove to within a foot of the door. “And yes…this door really does lead to Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland. And yes…we’re going to permanently close it. In fact we’re going to fuse it closed with the mother of all fiery explosions. Oh, and yes…Hilts and Kate are safely on the other side. She’s waiting for us now; he had errands.”

Moving the truck revealed a motorcycle that had been parked behind it. It was a plain black, black being the only color it came in, Victory Vegas 8-Ball. Victory motorcycles were manufactured by the American company Polaris. Harley-Davidson and Indian have been the poster children for American made motorcycles for over one hundred years. Polaris was a comparative newcomer.
Moving the truck revealed a motorcycle that had been parked behind it. It was a plain black, black being the only color it came in, Victory Vegas 8-Ball.
Moving the truck revealed a motorcycle that had been parked behind it. It was a plain black, black being the only color it came in, Victory Vegas 8-Ball.

 
When Polaris first introduced the Victory line there were never any apologies or ever any doubt it was designed to fill a need for a high performance V-twin that could compete with foreign metrics. With its 106ci V-twin overhead cam engine, they chose to meet the need for speed and handling demanded by the many buyers wanting to buy American but weaned on the more powerful foreign sport touring bikes. Conversely when Polaris bought out Indian they reintroduced them newly engineered and with 111ci engines but more in the old school tradition and style demanded by the Harley market. Hey, it was a win-win-win for everyone concerned. It was a win for the ex-Harley customer and a win for the ex-metric sport touring customer and a big win for the Polaris stockholders.

“I’m borrowing your Raider to pick up Kate,” said Larry, “but I’ll want the Vegas back. She’s waiting on the other side; I know where so I’ll lead. Follow me as soon as you can. The truck will detonate in five minutes and the meter’s running.”

With that being said Larry got on the Raider and rode through the doorway and into Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland. I was about to follow on the Vegas when suddenly buses filled with Betas and Alphas pulled up at the end of the street. They’d be able to follow me into Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland before the gasoline in the truck detonated.

“We’ve no other choice. I’ll guard the door,” said Shaun, who’d already jumped from my backpack, exposing himself to the sunlight and becoming a velociraptor. “Take the Vegas and join up with Larry. Once you’re through the portal I’ll escape over the rooftops before the explosion!”

Shaun then turned and roared at the Alphas and Betas.

“I’ll guard the door;” said Shaun, “once you’ve ridden the Vegas through the portal I’ll escape over the rooftops.”
“I’ll guard the door;” said Shaun, “once you’ve ridden the Vegas through the portal I’ll escape over the rooftops.”



The warehouse door opened into a tunnel that after a few hundred feet came out of an opening at the bottom of a hill. Not until I ridden another hundred feet past the opening in the hill did I stop. Looking back I could see where the tunnel exited, hills covered with brown grass and scrub oaks but nothing resembling the warehouse. Shaun, the pursuing Alphas and Betas and the warehouse I’d just left might as well have all been in an alternate universe…

The thought of waiting for Shaun was never an option. His plan was to hold the Alphas and Betas at bay until the last moment then escape across the rooftops before the gasoline truck exploded. The resulting explosion would seal the portal into Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland. There were still two minutes before the gas truck was timed to explode and Shaun would know when to get away…what could go wrong?

Two seconds after I said to myself…’what could go wrong’…a muffled explosion followed by black smoke came from the tunnel’s opening. Three seconds later the tunnel’s opening collapsed; then the hillside above collapsed covering all traces of the tunnel…so much for an extra two minutes.

I harbored two hopes when I rode away. The first was that Shaun had somehow avoided the explosion by escaping over the rooftops. The second was that if he hadn’t escaped he’d not suffered. My first hope was based upon Kate’s explanation that time (the space between nows) in Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland was different from the Borderland I’d just left. My hope was that two seconds here would’ve been two minutes there…

Leaving the foothills let me shift into the higher gears and enjoy the day. Somewhere ahead Larry and Kate were also enjoying the same day on the same road. It wasn’t until dusk I spotted the lights of the diner and their Raider parked outside. S-T-Y-X flickered across the blue neon sign out front. “Saved” by Elvis Presley was playing when I walked inside.

“TCB…TCB…Thank you...thankyouverymuch for saving Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland,” said a familiar figure sitting by a jukebox holding a guitar.

“TCB…TCB…Thank you…thankyouverymuch for saving Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland,” said a familiar figure sitting by a jukebox holding a guitar.
“TCB…TCB…Thank you…thankyouverymuch for saving Ma n’ Pa’s Borderland,” said a familiar figure sitting by a jukebox holding a guitar.




Coming soon
CHAPTER TWENTY ONE
 
 
There was the Door to which I found no Key:
There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of ME and THEE
There was…and then no more of ME and THEE
By: Omar Khayyam…RUBAIYAT

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Back to Borderland Biker by Derrel Whitemyer, Two Wheeled Tales


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