I have been medically retired since 1999. One of my Academy classmates called me about two weeks ago from out of the blue, and invited me to a Fish Fry out at the lake. Now Mike is a younger man who I thought highly of, and I could depend on him on every call that we made while working on our local Police Department. I was one of sixteen African-Americans to work as a cop for this small Southern city, and I was the only one who stayed for 15 years, instead of being lured away to some other large metropolitan city for better pay and benefits. Our city had about 300 police officers on the force, and less than one percent were minorities. So whenever our academy would graduate any minorities, as soon as their two-year contract was up, they were off to larger cities or armed security force with their police certificate in hand.
As I said, I stayed with the department because this was home. In late 1998, I was involved in an accident, that caused me to have to retire. Although our academy graduates stayed in touch, we didn’t hang together like we did when we were a bunch of young adults trying to make it through one of the most stressful times in our lives. We all just slowly drifted away from each other, much like many families do. Needless to say that I was shocked to hear Mike Eastwell on the phone asking me to come to a gathering. The Eastwells were a fine White family in our community, but Mike had told me the his Grandpa was a Klan member, and that he had tried to pass it on to his children. Mike said that his Dad and the rest of his siblings would not openly defy his Grandpa, but they didn’t share the same sentiments with him, except for his Uncle Roy. Mike said that Uncle Roy had once said to him that “Niggers are just obsolete farm equipment”. He said “Uncle Roy got killed on a deer hunt accident that following fall, on of his son’s friends accidentally shot him on when he tripped, trying to climb over a fence.” I was fairly certain that he wasn’t inviting me to a Klan rally or anything like that. But it did raise my suspicions as to why he’d call me to a meeting out in the sticks and I seen he maybe eight or ten times since I left the department. I agreed to come, and he gave me all the when, what and where. As I hung up I thought aloud “I hope this isn’t one of those damned Amway things!”
Me and my current wife, May went to the gathering. It was well laid out and I was shocked to see that there was no alcohol being served or consumed at a meeting of cops and firemen. There were many military types among the throngs of people, of all different races. The American flags re-ignited my fears the this was the preamble to an Amway or Amway like rally. The crowd was called to order, we said the pledge of allegiance, and the nation anthem was played. The thoughts of the oncoming Amway sales pitch dominated my mind. An older gentleman approached the podium. He announced himself as Retired U.S Air Force Lieutenant General Ray Lewis. He continued with ” If you were invited here today, be sure and thank the one who had invited them, they may have saved your lives. And no, despite all the flags and the patriotic setting, this is not an Amway meeting! ” There was a roar of laughter from the crowd. “There are some information packages circulating among the guest, it is a membership application that needs to be filled out before you leave today. You must fill them out or you won’t be allowed to hear about our organization. But let’s take a short break and eat and socialize, then we will take up the applications and adjourn those not willing to go any farther.”
The food was delicious, some of the best prepared fish, coleslaw, potato salad that I’ve ever tasted. While I ate, I glanced at the membership package. It was a simple pledge to follow the rules of something called the “Dawn of New Mankind”. It smelled of a cult, a brain-dead, poison Kool-Aid drinking, dying to meet God kind of cult . Flashes of Jim Jones and David Koresh went through my thoughts. Maybe that’s why there is no beer! I looked at May, and we both seemed to have the same thoughts. “What the fuck has Mike Eastwell invited to?” Right on cue, Mike sat down besides us with his food. How he responded to us, it was as if he knew what we are thinking, “Jonesy, you need to trust me on this. Go ahead and fill it out so you all can hear the rest. This is a small leap of faith. If would still want to opt out, we will burn that piece of paper in front of your very eyes, and you will have nothing else ever to do with us again! But you all need to hear about what’s about to happen, I beg of you to listen.”
I had known Micheal Devin Eastwell for 29 years, after we serve our rookie year out on patrol, we were partners on a squad. He was the one who suggested that I get a DNA tests performed on my third child with my first wife, it saved me tens of thousands of dollars in child support. He had backed me on hundreds of calls, as I had backed him. He camped out with me at the hospital, after the MVA (motor vehicle accident) that ended my police career. He had said that I should trust him on this. I felt as if his hands were tied, and that he wanted to say more but he was being prohibited by some unseen force. I looked again at May, and I asked her with my eyes, “What do you think?” She glanced at the pledge, and back to Mike, who sat waiting on a verdict. “Let’s sign it, it is obviously very important to Mike. He has been with you in the worst of times in your life, and if it is important that we hear what going on, then let’s hear him.” A sigh of relief came from Eastwell, as if he was waiting on a prognosis from an emergency room doctor about whether a loved one will survive the lifesaving surgery. He said ” I promise you that you won’t regret it.” About forty-five minutes after everyone had finished eating, many of the host were bidding the guest goodbye. Many of the departing guest seemed sorrowful at not being able to sign the pledges. Most of them just didn’t have enough faith, in their host to become involved with this group because they needed to know more about what they were pledging to. As to the host, many were visibly shaken by their invitee’s actions, and seemed to be looking at them……. as if they were seeing them for the last time in their lives.
The General took to the podium again, and after a quick prayer for those who did not sign the pledge, he called us to order. He scanned the group of maybe 150 people left at the gathering and said to us “You and your immediate families and a few other families in groups like this, scattered all around the world, will probably be all that is left, of the human species on Earth.” A gasp of fear, crawled through the crowd. Murmuring began and the speaker held up his hand, calling for silence. ” In about ten days, a comet will collide with Earth’s only natural satellite, the Moon. The expected the fallout, will turn the Earth into a shooting gallery. It will be an Extinction Level Event. 96 percent of all life will die on Earth, within 9 days of this event. Because we can save only a few hundred thousand people, it was decided to choose them in this fashion. You will be sequestered today, our security teams will gather you family members and bring them to your assigned bunkers. I am sorry that I have to tell you of this horrific news, but this was our only chance to save humanity.” My assistants are circulating pamphlets containing all the information on what we know about the upcoming collision, and our hasty contingency plan. The transports will be here soon to carry you to a bunker that was created for the nuclear exchange scenarios of the 196o’s, they have been updated for probable other world disasters, most recently this one. I have decided that I won’t be joining you, because at my age I’d be more of a liability, than a help. Besides, a new world will need strong young folks, if we are to have a shot at living through this.