Kalifornia Burning

KaliforniaSo Manolo managed to lose the Chevy at the next junction. I couldn’t risk going to the airport now. My meeting with Karl would have to wait. Kalifornia was krumbling around me, and if Paul’s suspicions were on the mark, someone – or something – else was out to get me. I had to lay low for a while and reassess the situation.

Everything I’ve learned in life comes from bodybuilding. You don’t stop. You never give up. You push on through the pain barrier until you’re hurting and bleeding and almost destroyed, and then when you think you’re about to die you look around and you see that you’re the last one standing. You’re the winner. It takes guts to be winner.

But the scale of what’s going on at the moment is just too much. Kalifornia, the Golden State, is turning into hell itself. The budget deficit was $20 billion this summer, and my advisors are telling me that it will reach $40 billion by the next. And I know what I’m going to be forced to do, and I know that it’ll just make the situation worse.

State services will have to take cuts. Teachers and firefighters will lose their jobs, prisoners will be released early from jail, and some of the poorest and most vulnerable in Kalifornia will have their benefits slashed. CROM help us.

All I wanted to do was build hydrogen fuel stations and give you universal health care, goddammit! And now some bastards want to drill for oil off the coast near Santa Barbara… what the fuck am I supposed to do? The state needs money and those evil pricks are dangling it in front of my face! EEEYYYAAARRRGGGHHHTM!!!

Maybe Paul was right. Maybe someone is gunning for me. But who could it be? And why? They’re destroying my super smash-hit box office movies. They’re destroying my state. And with every passing day they’re destroying my chances of becoming President of the Universe in 2012. What the fuck do they want from me?

There is only one thing to do. Manolo is still driving, taking the side streets back to the house in case we meet our friends in the black Chevy again. I turn to him.

“Manolo,” I say.


“Pray with me.”


“In silence.”

CROM, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you will remember if we were good men or bad, why we fought, or why we died. No, all that matters is that two stood against many, that’s what’s important. Valor pleases you, CROM, so grant me one request, grant me REVENGE! And if you do not listen, THEN TO HELL WITH YOU! EEEYYYAAARRRGGGHHHTM!!!


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