He Loves Only Gold

by Gary Phillips

What I know about the value of gold has been absorbed from caper movies and television cop shows, and overheated novels like Khmer Gold. When I was a kid I saw the James Bond adventure Goldfinger, wherein Auric Goldfinger is this fiendish mastermind out to steal the gold in Fort Knox and only the redoubtable 007 can stop him. Never mind that he’s a British secret agent, if the American gold was snatched, it would mean economic chaos for the Western world or something like that. The film is memorable for several reasons, though not the intricacies of the robbery itself—involving sleep gas hissed onto the military personnel of the base by plane as I recall.

There was the tantalizingly named Pussy Galore played by Honor Blackman, Cathy Gale in the Avengers TV show before Diana Rigg’s super groovy Mrs. Peel; Goldfinger’s secretary, played by Shirley Eaton, a British sex bomb, painted in gold to suffocate to death (turns out as long as you can breath through your mouth or nose, you can’t actually die this way); Bond strapped to a metal slab as a laser worked its way toward the womanizing spy’s most deadly weapon to slice him in two; Goldfinger’s enforcer, Oddjob, a dude with a bad ass attitude and a bowler with a head removing slicing disc for a brim; and Dame Shirley Bassey blasting out the title song.

Given the pulp sensibilities of Goldfinger, no wonder the shiny metal has long held a fascination for storytellers. King Midas, the man with the touch of gold, the goose that laid the golden egg, to Doc Savage, the adventurer of the Great Depression who starred for years in his own self-titled pulp magazine. He was, like a lot of those characters (The Shadow, The Spider, The Avenger, etc.), fabulously wealthy at a time when others were in soup lines. I suppose part of this was to provide further wish fulfillment for the mostly young boys and adolescents reading Doc’a blood-curdling tales, and partly having money freed Clark Savage, Jr. from being a wage slave, able to travel around the globe righting wrongs with his pals and his gadgets. In his case, he got his money from a secret gold mine protected by the Mayas in the made-up Central American country of Hidalgo.

Goldfinger cover

I don’t know if Glenn Beck believes in Hidalgo, but from what I can tell, he must have gotten what he knows about gold from the same sources I did, maybe even watching the Disney cartoon The Road to El Dorado, about the fabled city of gold, a couple of times to boot. Not to go into a screed about this, but Beck lately has been hyperventilating about the possible apocalypse the upheaval in Egypt could ignite—spreading their contagion to other parts of the Middle East, he’s warned. That the domino theory of democracy could even infiltrate France and Germany. Seriously, he’s intimated that. As documented in the August 2010 Mother Jones cover story, The Golden Fleece: How Glenn Beck and other right-wing talkers use paranoia to talk fans into entrusting their savings to shady gold dealers by Stephanie Mencimer, Beck advises that, to protect yourself against the looming economic collapse the Obama Administration is either ignoring or orchestrating, buy gold.

“Think like a German Jew in 1934, maybe 1931,” Beck was quoted in the article. Get out while the getting’s good and convert your cash to gold. Not for nothing has Goldline International, a Santa Monica-based precious metals concern, been one of Beck’s steadfast advertisers, and he an enthusiastic spokesman for them.

Okay, so let me get this straight: the United States goes into a tailspin because of that Muslim socialist in the White House and his secret army of zombie robots that will break into our homes at night and drain our skulls of brain juice to be replaced by the Kool-Aid of obedience. Fine. But what the hell good is your horde of gold going to do you? Will it take one gold coin to buy a loaf of bread, assuming there’s bakeries still functioning to make the loaves? Or is the idea you and your survivalist buddies, armed to the teeth, natch, hold out on your compound, a fort ringed with the useless hulks of piled high Priuses and Leafs you panty-waisters loved so damn much. But where’s your electrical charging station now that the jihad has been let loose?

The compound, in Free Arizona or the Nation of Texas no doubt, is where you grow your own food and raise livestock. In the secret vault of the compound is the gold y’all have melted down and reformed in bars for easier stacking and transportation. Currently it’s against the law to own gold in bar form but we’re talking no laws here save for that of the gun while you tune in the shortwave to hear the broadcast of the freedom fighters waging their war against the machines. Waiting for the time when government and order are restored, where free people like you can be free—plus you can be a millionaire as the new gold standard is established since you and your buddies have got your fat stack.

I suppose the recently departed strongman of Egypt, Mohammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak, is hoping the Beckolypse isn’t going to happen soon. There’s been a lot of rumors about Mubarak owning this or that real estate from London to Beverly Hills, hiding monies through dummy fronts or via his investor son, and if he’s lucky, probably doesn’t have the majority of it locked up in secret Swiss bank accounts. The Swiss, long the haven for your dictator-on-the-run, have been trying to clean up their image. For instance, they froze the bank accounts of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, late the leader of Tunisia.

But Mubarak and family fled to his palace on the Red Sea, Sharm el-Sheikh. What if, heeding previous dictators before him and maybe catching a translated broadcast or two of Beck on Al Jazeera (during the comedy hour of course), he’s got a vault of gold bars in the basement of that castle? Say he’s got a couple of submarines tendered at the castle in a grotto and loaded down those vessels with said gold. Said subs take off one moonless night, their destination who knows where. Suddenly there’s a problem on one of the subs, maybe even some of the crew turns on the others—after all, a mere ten or fifteen million in gold is pretty tempting. A fight breaks out, a shot goes wild, and the sub is taking on water, sinking into a heretofore uncharted trench that’s really a gateway to an undersea world of aquatic apes led by their gorgeous blue-skinned amphibious queen.

Now if I can just get Glenn Beck to do the intro to this potboiler after I write it, I’ll be set. I can start filling up my own vault with gold.

Gary Phillips' latest is Treacherous: Grifters, Ruffians and Killers, a collection of his short stories.

Comments

Sweet. I’m into James Bond and also Intrepid. Glenn Beck, though, is a straight up whack job- scarier than fiction. I saw him on Today show I think last week. Hes a got a self help book out- if you can believe that, you’re definitely ready for a tricked out sci-fi tale. I just foreshadowed.

The super cute, although not as sexy as Meredith Viera, sort of Asian looking hostess with the sweet disposition is interviewing him and his ghost writer, and she says something about ‘so you called liberals akin to nazis?’ and Glenn Beck replies

No, I didn’t say that about liberals I said progressives

and gives her a look that said ‘Yeah, I’m the happiest sociopath in the world.’

She says “Thank you so much for being here…” and ends the interview abruptly. Swear to Buddah, seen it with my own eyes.

Here’s a blurb for the new internet serial, ‘Time Machine’:

When the time machine ensconced in a deep underwater cave in the world’s deepest lake- Lake Titicaca senses temperature and water content changes so drastic, it detects global climate change, it activates. The world’s most daring rescue commandos deploy. ‘Time Machine’ appears on the web in spring of 2011.

Are you ready to go?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YwKZOIh8CY&feature=related

2011-02-16 by robert hagen

Deep reconaisance courtesy of Force Recon:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2n6LsBn5rRM

2011-02-17 by robert hagen

Say oohrAh, rECON:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYW3mVUyUtI

2011-02-17 by robert hagen

Reconnoiter the jukebox and say oohrah
Well I’m a gangster 1934
Junkies, Winos, Pimps & Whores
And all you men, women and kids
best get out the way

I just left your town, took all your loot,
bought a pink carnation and a pinstripe suit,
a hopped-up V8 Ford and some two-tone shoes

And I’m already gone, I like the pool of the blood and sorrow,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’ll be outta of here for the break of dawn,
I’ll hit the highway, smoke a big cigar,
got to stop and bury the cash, then get some more

There’s only one thing on my mind,
that’s making it across that ol’ state line,
but I’ve a hell of avenging bullets,
waiting there for me

And I’m already gone, I’ve left a path of pure destruction,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’m already gone, my life will soon be through,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’m public enemy #1
I’m sorry for all the things that I’ve done
If indeed we do cross path, it’s nothing personal

And I’m already gone, I’ve left a trail of devastation,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’m already gone, my life will soon be through,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

Well I’m a gangster 1934
Junkies, Winos, Pimps & Whores
And all you men, women and kids
best get out the way

I just left your town, took all your loot,
bought a pink carnation and a pinstripe suit,
a hopped-up V8 Ford and some two-tone shoes

And I’m already gone, I like the pool of the blood and sorrow,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’ll be outta of here for the break of dawn,
I’ll hit the highway, smoke a big cigar,
got to stop and bury the cash, then get some more

There’s only one thing on my mind,
that’s making it across that ol’ state line,
but I’ve a hell of avenging bullets,
waiting there for me

And I’m already gone, I’ve left a path of pure destruction,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’m already gone, my life will soon be through,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’m public enemy #1
I’m sorry for all the things that I’ve done
If indeed we do cross path, it’s nothing personal

And I’m already gone, I’ve left a trail of devastation,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

I’m already gone, my life will soon be through,
I’ve got the Machine Gun Blues

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVSiriDXcdc

2011-02-17 by robert hagen

Evan and Bingo leaped out of the aircraft, into Lake Titicaca, swam downward for the source of light, in spaceage dive suits, that could take them farther and deeper than anyone ever thought they could go, but at the same time, where we are all going, which is into the future.
Human consciousness thinks in terms of past, present and future.

They swam into the cave, and Evan saw a fishing hook dipped below the surface. He nodded to Bingo, then grabbed it and tugged on it gently, while Bingo swam around surfaced pointing a deadly weapon.

The man in the cave felt the tug, didn’t see Bingo, but pulled up on the fishing string. Evan felt the tug, pulled back gently, felt another tug as he surfaced into the underwater cave, pumped very hard on his swim fins, surfaced, saw the fisherman, and slugged him in the mouth, knocking him unconscious.

...........................................................

“Estas bien, no mas te pegaste la cabeza. said Evan to the fisherman.
Que dia es?”

Martes.

“Que mes es?” asked Evan.

Abril.

“Muy bien. Ahora, que ano es?” asked Evan in spanish.

1974. the man responded.

2011-02-17 by robert hagen

The man was groggy, but alert. Evan had been leaning over him, but when he said ‘1974’ Evan involuntarily drew back, and the man saw Bingo, pointing his weapon, then remembered where he was at, in the cave he had been brought to. A look of sheer terror appeared in his eyes, and that’s when Evan stuck him with a syringe, a sedative.

...................................................................

“Dimo lo que paso.” said Evan.

“Me trajo el buzo.” said the man.

“Como?” asked Evan.

“Ataco el carcel, y me llevo. Nadamos, no se como. Y me dejo aqui.”

“Usted quien eres?” asked Evan Will.

“Soy… soy….” the mans eyes teared up in spite of his sedated state, and he passed out.

Evan breathed hard and looked at Bingo.

“Wrap him up. This is a complex of caves. Lets look around.” said Bingo.

They dived again, and surfaced in another vein of the underwater cave.

“There it is.” said Evan.

A pulsing machine, that looked just like a big flat screen tv was emplaced. Bingo gestured. ‘Stay where we are.’ In the pool they waited for almost two hours, treading water. Then the screen flashed, and Tino Escudero leapt through it. Bingo and Evan were already waiting and watching. They did nothing, but watch.

Tino went for a hidden duffel bag, grabbed into it, pulled out ammunition clips, reloaded a pistol and submachine gun on his person, and collapsed, crying. He looked at a watch, got himself together and prepared to leap through the screen again.

POW.

Bingo shot him in his shin. Not so fast.

It was true. This was a probable time machine, and Tino Escudero, the Argentine Buzo, had passed through it. Both Bingo and Evan knew Tino on sight. Tino spun and began shooting back, but Evan and Bingo had ducked. They swam to the edges of the pool, out of the line of fire.

Bingo surfeced and laid down tracking fire, hitting Tinos firearm.

They surfaced, and Evan Will approached the now prostrate Tino, pointing a 9mm pistol.

“What chou been up to Tino?” he said.

Tino looked up at Evan, gasping for breath, and said

“Evan Will.”

“None other. Talk to me.”

“It’s real. That.” gasped Tino.

“1974?”

Evan approached and that’s when Tino swept him with scissors kick. Then Bingo clocked Tino with the butt of his weapon and it was lights out.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVSiriDXcdc

2011-02-17 by robert hagen

“Nice going, stud.” said Bingo as Evan picked himself up and dusted himself off.

“This suits a little bulky.” said Evan, going to lean down over Tino.

“Bad approach.”

“I’m trying to develop a little trust around here. I know this guy. Oh my God!”

“What?”

“You fucking shot him! First aid!”

Tino was bleeding from an arm wound. Hard.

Bingo extracted an Air Force mini hospital kit and they knelt down to administer medical care.

“I hit him in the shin with a non penetrating round! Then I tracked to his weapon!” said Bingo, in a scared voice. If he shot the man who went through the time machine, it would not be good.

“Calm down. Think it through. He was going to reload, so maybe he got shot on the other side of that thing.” said Evan.

They applied first aid, and Tino came to. When he saw Evan and Bingo and the Time Machine, he realized it was all not just a dream, and began sobbing.

Evan hugged him tight.

“Its alright, bro. We´re here, dont trip. Washington D.C.s on this, dont worry.”

Tino began babbling.

“I lost my father! I lost my father!”

wham.

Evan hit him with a sedative syringe.

The Delta Force sargeant had been explicit:

“If they’re even in danger of freaking out, hit’em with this. The human mind can take almost anything, as long as it has time to process it, and place the matter in its appropriate compartment. You do not, repeat, do not want anyone going over the edge, because if they do, its all she wrote.

How you drew this assignment is anyone’s guess, sailor. This soldier would say its because you’re stupid enough to do anything. You’re a man of extremes, Evan Will. Hold that thought.”

Evan was so proud to be called sailor again. He said

“Whats this all about?”

“Its about technology, experience and understanding. ETs got it. We want it. Go get it.”

“Sensational.” whispered Evan Will, thinking to himself, I may be able to get back in the Navy.

“You wont think its so sensational when all hands are lost because you took it lightly. The Earth must be protected. Thats what we do- protect terrain. To do that we have to protect the environment, the atmosphere and so forth. Doing otherwise is about as smart as shitting your pants because you’re too lazy to go take a dump in the latrine. You copy?”

“Yeah.” whispered Evan Will, thinking to himself ‘Joy Mercy was right all along. No wonder she thinks I’m stupid. Damn.’

“I said do you copy?!”

“COPY COPY.” shouted Evan Will, snapping out of it, then, and then snapping out of his reverie in the time machine cave.

‘Time Machine’ appears on the web, in the spring of 2011.

2011-02-17 by robert hagen

“Well, lets await the submersible commo line. We need to retrieve the other subject, conduct a thorough search of the premises and await instructions.” said Bingo to Evan Will.

“I’ll go get that guy in free dive. The pressurization of these caves is good enough. Where is the light source coming from?”

“Some sort of ionization of the atmosphere, phosphorus lining of the cave, I don’t know.” replied Bingo.

“I’ll be right back.”

Evan had removed his space age diving suit. He was only going to take a quick dip, and bring back an apparent hostage from 1974. Worth evaluating. It was a 30 second submersion, if that. As long as the subject didn’t thrash about, Evan would simply carry him through the water. Evan Will had social skills, all the way, and he had to convince the Spanish speaking fool to relax, and let it happen. He could do it.

Evan swam down, pumped with everything he had. took a burst of speed, and emerged in the other deep water cave in Lake Titicaca in about fifteen seconds. He probably saved two or three seconds just based on the clean dive into the water he made, exactly placing him in a trajectory to barely clear the low hanging rocks, while still propelling him forward. Evan Will might not be the most sophisticated guy in the world, but when it came to remembering the underwater course he had traversed, he was a Nobel prize winner.

“Vamos. Te llevo con el buzo, tu y yo. No tengo respirador, no se occupa. Treinta segundos maximo. Listo?” said Evan Will in Spanish to him.

The Argentine political prison jail guard from 1974 understood, nodded and began deep breathing.

They submerged, Evan holding him by his waist, and emerged in the vein of the cave that held the time machine. Evan tied up the prison guard again. Other people might have been more difficult, but for some reason, the prison guard understood the nature of physical imprisonment perhaps a little too well. In this case it served him.
...................................................................

The submersible arrived as Bingo was fiddling with his tracker over under rifle. It fired non penetrating rounds, with a feature to track to the firearm (or other hand held weapon) of the target. It worked on Tino, but he wanted to personally inspect the action of the instrument. His orders were explicit

DO NOT KILL ANYONE IN THE PAST.

Evan Will picked up the submersible, opened it, connected his super cell phone to it, and got a CIA switchboard operator answering machine.

“Greetings. We are not here, at this time. Please leave your name, a date and time group, and your security code. We will return your call, ASAP.”

Evan hit zero on his number pad.

“Langley high security switchboard.”

“Patch me through to my corresponding security code.” said Evan Will.

“Sir, you’re asked to await a call back.”

“What?!!”

“Sir, I can confirm that you are on an extremely high priority communications line, however, I must advise that a great deal of dynamic activity is occurring worldwide. You’re asked to hold.”

“Stay on the line.” said Evan Will, who then went over to Bingo, to describe the situation. They discussed it, and Evan went back on his handheld- telephone, you pervert.

“Patch me through to Stephanie Clifton. Pronto.” said Evan Will.

Stephanie Clifton knew Tino Escudero very well, perhaps too well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaXIOanHlGc&feature=related

2011-02-24 by robert hagen

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