Redwood Nine: Season 03 Ch. 01byRoyceConnors©
Ch.1 Hometown Heroes
The tractor made continuous loops in the field, as Moon ploughed the soil and turned the forage crops under, making it ready for planting this year's crops. Walter brought over a three year old cow from his stock and the girls immediately named her Tinkerbell, because of the bell she had around her neck. She was fawned over by them and treated with loving kindness, becoming a pampered pet, more than a farm animal.
Poppy was in her room, writing her first letter to Clay, letting him know how much she missed him already and wished he was back home. She brought him up to speed on how things were going, but everything ended with wishing he was there, doing it with her.
Downstairs, the new stereo was playing country music to Piney's great delight, but after the night out in Lodi, no one opposed the music and found enjoyment in it. The house was finished, as far as building went, but the girls had the guys hard at work painting and making everything pleasing to the eye. Most of the girls were in the kitchen, doing the endless job of preparing food for the night's dinner, when a horn started blowing, as it came through the gate.
Bodies went out to see Walter pull up to the barn and stop. Smiles were broad on all the faces, as he pulled the tarp of the cage in the back of his pick up. The constant clucking of the chickens, let them know that fresh eggs would be on the menu soon. JT and Piney carried the cage into the coop and opened the cage gate. With food already on the ground waiting, they didn't take long in leaving the cage and getting used to their new home.
Golden stood beside Walter and held him, enjoying his presence again. He had become a constant fixture around the farm, helping out and just coming to visit as often as he could. Marlene was also becoming a useful member, doing her part by becoming the resident nurse. Any cuts, or sore muscles, were relieved by her ministrations. It came out eventually, that at one point in her young life, she had wanted to become a nurse and take care of people. JT saw a side of Marlene she had carefully concealed from everyone, one that showed a true, caring nature that contradicted her former nature of a money only kind of woman.
She seemed at peace with everything now and the past was vanishing daily into the forgotten mists of her mind. She was definitely becoming an item with Phoenix, which surprised JT greatly. He had expected the moment she was accepted into the commune, she would be moving in high gear to bed every member as much as she could. She did enjoy evenings sharing herself with everyone, but invariably, she would be with Phoenix. They looked like an odd couple, but love wasn't picky about that side of things.
Moon drove off the field and up to the barn, then stopped and jumped off.
"I love that tractor. I think I'm getting the hang of ploughing now. How are the rows, Walter?"
"From what I can see, you're doing alright. The field will grow what you want, that's for sure."
Moon looked proud in his achievements, going against his teachings of being that way. It was hard to fault him, considering this was his third attempt at ploughing it right. Walter went and stood beside him.
"Glad to see you're getting up at a decent time now. Five in the morning is a nice time of day, isn't it?"
Moon looked at Walter with scepticism, his normal wake up time of nine not even arrived yet.
"I understand the need, Walter, but it doesn't make it nicer. I felt like I was the only thing awake at that time."
"Just seems that way, son. You'll get used to it and it'll seem as normal a thing, as any."
Moon laughed and clapped his arm over Walter's shoulders and walked away from the field and back to the house. The smells of breakfast cooking, had tired, hungry bodies rising and coming downstairs, as the others came in, leaving JT, Suzy and Walter on the porch.
"So, what do you youngsters have on tap today?"
"A bunch of us are heading into Berkeley to hear some people talk. After that, we're going to start celebrating JT's birthday."
"Today your birthday, JT?"
"Yeah. Twenty nine today, Walter. Starting to feel old, now that thirty is around the corner."
"Should be looking at settling in to a family soon. Don't want to be too old trying to look after young uns. I think you and Suzy would make good folks to raise a brood of little ones."
"I was kind of thinking the same thing myself, Walter. I dig my chick a lot, I really do. Suzy just blows my mind and loves me more than I could imagine being loved."
Suzy gushed with emotion, hearing JT speak so positively about his thoughts and feelings. She hugged him tightly, almost squeezing the air out of him.
"I don't think you'll get much of a complaint there, JT, not from the looks of that."
"I'll make as many babies as you want, Baby."
"Babe, let's just take it easy on that idea for now. We have tons of stuff to do first, before we go down that road."
"I know, JT. I'm just saying that when we do, I'll have as many as we want to have."
JT looked at Suzy, radiating her love clearly about her. It wasn't hard to see the glow, whether you knew about the spiritual side of life, or not. If there was ever a display so flagrant to understand what love was, JT was looking at it. So was someone else and wanted to know what the happiness was all about. Spirit came out side to get them to come in for breakfast and saw Suzy beaming.
"Someone is absolutely filled with love today. You could light up a room, you're glowing so much."
"Does it really show that much, Spirit?"
"Oh yeah, but to me, I can see all your light shining. Golden, Golden, come here and look at Suzy, quick."
Golden came out scurrying, her bare breasts covered only by her hair.
"Look at Suzy and tell me what you see."
Golden looked at Suzy and in moments, focused on her aura and saw what Spirit saw.
"Wow, I have never seen so much love glowing like that before. Okay, give it up. What did JT say to you?"
Suzy was a bit surprised to know Golden knew the reason for her love, making Walter chuckle at her.
"She's good at that, ain't she?"
Suzy showed her knowledge of Golden talent, with a rueful look.
"Yeah. Anyway, JT and I were just talking about having baby, or two, or three. Not like right now, but later."
"You will be a good mother, Suzy. I can see where your love is radiating from. Spirit, can you see it?"
Spirit looked at Suzy and then to Golden, not seeing what she was seeing. Golden raised Suzy's T shirt and put her hand over Suzy's womb.
"Here. This is the centre of her love. Her child will be born in a cocoon of love and be nourished by it."
They all looked down at Suzy's belly, then up to her face, her smile radiating the nuances of her feelings, knowing that new found information about herself. JT looked at her, sharing in that love, knowing it was because of his love for her, that made her feel the way she was.
"Guess it's my job to add all of my love in there. I'm liking my part in it, so far."
"I like that part, too."
Piney's shouts from inside broke up the moment.
"Hey, your breakfast is getting cold and no one's making you a new one, so get it, while the gettin's good."
Walter held the door and ushered everyone inside. They went in and plates of food awaited them at their places. Marlene waited until Walter sat, then gave him a long kiss on his cheek and warm hello.
"You folks sure make a body feel welcome. Have to say, no doubt in my mind, your grandparents would be right proud of you, little girl, all you folks. I know I am."
Walter took Golden's hand and kissed it, expressing his feelings openly. Moon saw everyone getting into the mood and felt a joy in his heart, one that had been held back from feeling unfettered. The purpose and merit of the commune was strong in all of them, despite the prior savagery committed. He truly hoped his dear friend JT, was strong enough to stay the course and not slide too far to the darker side of life.
As they drove in Marlene's and Wally's cars to Berkeley later, they noticed several store owners gathered together and they looked extremely upset about something. It was enough that JT felt he needed to come and find out what the problem was and if it might affect him somehow. He let it fall back into his mind, as the discussion in the car centred around the topic of the speech they were going to hear.
After Marietta was enrolled in the accounting courses, they headed across campus to the hall, where the speech was held. It was close to being standing room only, by the time they found seats all of them could sit together in. They didn't have long to wait, until the Sociology professor took the podium and welcomed the guest speaker, Abbie Hoffman. Within a minute, he had the audience's attention and held it, as he incited them to see what was really happening to their country. Slides appeared on the screen behind him, punctuating his words and bringing a stark reality to everything.
JT felt his own feelings being talked about, being explained and quantified by Hoffman and those around him. He felt his choice in anarchy was founded in the same beliefs as those the speaker mentioned, that what was now the powers that be, were corrupt and a deterrent to the happiness and well being of the American people. Those powers needed to be toppled and replaced with a new regime, one that allowed the people the freedoms they were originally granted under the Constitution.
By the time the speech was over, there was an invigoration to the spirits of those attending. They came away with a greater sense and purpose of themselves, ones who would be blazing the trail to the new frontiers of liberty. Protests were needed and greater numbers involved in them. A show of force was always reckoned with, with more attention. Peaceful demonstrations were continuously being called riots by the police and by the media they controlled, but more and more, the average citizen was seeing past the charade and not only seeing the conflict in reports, but experiencing them themselves first hand.
The talk of anarchy and love went hand in hand on the way home, as they came into Charming. JT remembered the commotion earlier and asked Phoenix to pull over in front of Sherman's Clothiers. They all got out and went in, getting a warm reception from Harry, when he saw them enter. After catching up on condolences and pleasantries, JT asked about the owners looking upset earlier.
"Awww, JT, word just came out that Sears and Roebuck want to put in a big department store, at the corner of Euclid and Liberty. They put that thing in and half of Charming is out of business. I can't compete with them, neither can George and anyone else here. They start and we end, plain and simple. Not only that, we end up losing our homes and anything else we don't own outright."
"Shit, Harry, is that for real? Everybody in town will go under?"
"Sure as we're standing here right now talking about it. Won't be a store in town to buy anything at, other than that place. Most of us will see fifteen, twenty years of our lives go up in smoke and gone in a puff."
"No way. So, we can't stop them some how?"
"Don't see how, JT? They got the money and the backing from government to come in. All every one cares about is the dollar and who's pocket it stops at. They don't care if the dollar stops in my pocket for a bit, as long as it gets in theirs."
"Fuck that, Harry. That's bullshit. They can't just toss you out like that. We'll start a protest and make people stay away from Sears, so they'll have to close up and go, because no one will shop there."
"Honourable thought, JT, but the reality is, you try stopping people and they'll just call in the cops, or the sheriffs, or the army if they have to. Money talks, son, always been that way."
Futility came across all of them, realizing the reality of what was and how it was going to be, despite objections.
"You want to know more, come to the meeting tonight at the high school. Don't think you won't be affected by them either, JT. They do auto repairs as well and you'll be hard pressed to compete, just like the rest of us. Keep that in mind."
A couple came in and broke the conversation up, so JT and the others said they'd see him at the meeting later. That left the couple wondering what they were talking about and Harry was glad to fill them in on his side of it. The rest of the ride to the farm was now a mixture of talk, ranging from staying the same, to the need for change. Some things should stay the same in their minds, there was nothing wrong with that way of life. Other things did need changing and it was up to them to stop the rape and pillage of Charming and the world around them.
Despite the carefully prepared meal and preparations for afterwards, no one was completely disappointed in the decision to go to Charming and voice their thoughts and concerns. Suzy assured JT he would be well taken care of once they got back, that he wouldn't miss out on anything. The school parking lot was filled with cars, the word spreading through town quickly. The auditorium was a confusion of words being spoken, as opinions became debates. Before anything turned too heated, the Chief took the podium and called for a quieting of the room. Once everyone had settled back into chairs and looked to the front, he announced the mayor, getting some boos as a result.
Despite the mayor's pleading that even though some jobs and businesses would be lost, overall, there would be more jobs for everyone and the town would benefit from having them. The people were split, mostly opposing the coming of the department store chain. With objections noted and a weak promise of the town's help in assisting those affected, the meeting was over and the auditorium was exited with people having a bad taste in their mouths. Nothing sat well and everyone began feeling betrayed by the elected officials they had put in place to run their town.
Outside, talk of harsher, extremer methods of dealing with it were discussed. The most affected store owners and their loyal supporters talked of ways to discourage the corporation from even breaking soil. It was going to have to be something of an ominous and threatening nature to deter them building and change their decision to come there. JT listened to them all and saw that none of them had the character to carry out what they mentioned.
"I think I can help out in this regard. My club and I aren't exactly all that welcome here and we know that. The same reasons that you people don't like us, are the same reasons Sears won't like us. We'll make it very clear to them who this town belongs to and who decides to put in roots to do business. I don't think they'll take too long to pack up and find another place to set up shop, that's a lot more friendlier to them."
The townspeople looked at JT and knew their hearts held those feelings for them, just as he said they did. They looked at him again as one who presented himself and the others as saviours of their town. Their was no other recourse to follow, it was either beat, or be beaten, eat, or be eaten. JT could see the light in their eyes, that said they understood him and were prepared to listen to him.
"My club will put such a hurt on them to even get started, they'll be gone before the ground has any concrete in it. We'll keep it friendly and not hurt anyone, the Army showed us ways of doing that, but they'll get the message to leave and do it."
It was what they had said was needed to be done and there before them, were the swords to cut down their enemies and build a shield behind them, to keep others out as well. Charming could survive, as long as the outlaws were as bad as they thought they were. On one hand, they hoped they were, on the other, they dreaded the thought that they were that bad. Either way, there was no other choice, but an uneasy acceptance of what was. JT let them know he'd be in touch, then got on the bikes and started them up. The combination of man and machine, both exuding a power of threatening control, left the lot and dominated the city streets, until they were gone.
Their presence hung heavy in the air around those that stood in a circle, looking at each other and committing silently to supporting themselves and others, by allying with the Sons of Anarchy and their support.
Despite the threat to the townsfolk and the club's new business, it was put aside and JT was treated to an evening of pleasure like no other. The sexual attention lavished on him by every girl, made him feel loved and adored by them, but Suzy was all he was truly happy in being with. He gave as much as he received and blended their spirits in loving union. The idea of children came to him again, as he slowly stroked himself inside her, wondering what his offspring would be like, whether a girl, or a boy. He imagined a day without using protection when making love with her and the seed he planted would take root and become their child.
Suzy looked in his eyes and he could see she was feeling the same way about him. Her love was endless and boundless for him, as his was for her. That alone, brought him racing to the finish, as he stroked long and hard inside her, their eyes locked to each others through the bliss.
"I love you, Suzy."
"I love you, JT."
Those were all the words that needed saying, as they rode the wave of ecstasy together, taking them to the euphoria that awaited them.
JT and the club rode out to the site the next morning, where the new store would be built. The billboard that showed its presence amongst the surrounding neighbourhood, dwarfed anything around it and stood as a blight to the landscape of the town. Its presence did only one thing and that was to mark an end to the town as they knew it. There was no doubt that it could never be built, the question was how to do it and not be thrown in jail for it.
Answers were easily come by, as the crew arrived to begin readying the site for the foundation. The looks on the faces of the men, said they were immediately on the defensive, because of their presence. JT knew to play that to their advantage and showed he had no intention of moving away, so they could enter. The others followed his lead and took positions that were equally defiant in their posture and the stand off began. The foreman drove away and phoned the police, getting a hold of Deputy Chief Unser.
Wayne listened to the frantic worker, but countered it with his questions, that threw the man off his train of thought.
"Did they threaten you in any way?"
"No, but they..."
"Did they say you couldn't enter the site?"
"No, but they're sitting..."
"If they ain't saying you can't go in and they ain't threatening you, there's nothing I can do about it. They ain't breaking no laws that I know of. Sorry, if they do, let me know."
Unser's tone of voice to him said all and he knew he had no backing to go about his work. The click on the other end meant there was nothing else to say and he hung up and went back to the site. The club were still sitting at the entrance, barely leaving room to enter the site, as they stood around enjoying a cigarette while they talked. The foreman drove up to them, but didn't get out of the truck, keeping a margin of safety between them.
"I called the cops and they're coming to move you guys, if you don't move now."
JT looked at the nervousness on the man's face and knew he was lying to save himself.
"Is that right? I guess we'll wait and see if they come then. I'm sure you told them we were threatening you and your guys, didn't you? That we were scaring all the big, tough workers. What are we doing? Nothing. That's what we're doing. The cops aren't coming here and you know it. You want to come to work here, you're coming into my town and you work when we say you can work."