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Texan
Timejacker #6
© 2023 James LaFond
OCT/15/23
The Alamo, March Earlieth, 1836
Lady Luck had shone a dark and drear light upon his life these past years, reflected he in absent moral slippage, ailing with the long affliction that merely tired a soul before death, but scourged his in this sick bed. James Bowie had sat in his sick bed, lacking the energy to cough up the goo that would strangle him here if the Goddamned Mexican Army did not get it over with sooner. He did not really care about having fallen ill. However, he had nothing left of his reputation to spare.
James had no real quarrel with the Mexican government, had been content to settle under their rules, marry their beautiful daughter and father children on her—all taken by a dark-handed God from him in the guise of the cholera. His wonderful wife’s wonderful sister attended him. He would pass he knew, felt the cold hand of death on his chest, was presently and ominously past all pain, not enough cough left in him to crack a rib.
Today the men would vote on staying and standing and dying, receiving no quarter from Santa Anna, who would prevail here. The noncombatants would be leaving today and his, his sister-in-law, ‘Or are you my wife you are so beautiful like an angel’ and the goddamned trifling ոigger he had neglected to rename again, for its name simply could not stay put in his feverish brain.
The angel wished to stay and beg mercy for him—a traitor to his adopted home, as much hero as any of these greedy filibusters. The ոigger wanted his freedom, as if his constant back sliding, whining, flapjack thieving, rum sneaking and senorita poking had earned him anything but contempt.
His closest men, how their names did not even stay within his swimming brain, milled about, their own men out upon the walls.
“Go, Angel, go. I stay to join your sweet sister soon.”
He then looked up to the slouch-hatted slouch that towered next to her, a big buck he had valued for sharing his own stature and being able to haul him home wounded or drunk, and commanded, “Get her to safety and then get you back here after the killin’ to bury me.”
“But Massa Jim, I wanz ta be free—have served good en true…”
James Bowie’s biggest man, ‘who is that cud-chewing sombitch,’ simply glared at the slave and it trailed off in its complaints, so that Jim, lungs burning and voice slipping, might declare, “Nigger, so long as I’m above ground you under me, not before. When I’m dead, may the best Whiteman that can stomach yer belly achin’ put a leash about yer stiff neck.”
His men laughed, indicating that his shiftless chattel was such a comedy of effort that they might just let him rabbit off rather than fuss forever and anon over his poorly done work.
“Jim,” said his best man, with such endearment, that he was struck with an indictment that he did not deserve to live through this foolishness, and that he had of a certain not deserved to survive his wonderful wife and children. For he was so selfish, so prideful, the only name in his life he could at this point recall, was his own and Crockett, having lost track even of the name of the fool that commanded this farse of a resistance.
“Think of the devil en he do appear,” mumbled Jim, as Crockett walked in with an oddly dressed man, a man shorter than Jim by a head, but who he judged in his health might give him a good go with the knife. The fellow was oddly dressed in a leafy autumn uniform, with a low slouch fitted hat that had no proper rim, but merely a forward bill like a duck. The fellow had a squarish pistol in a leg case, like a Mexican might rig a knife or a card shark a pocket pistol for under table gut shooting. A dead Mexican soldier was draped over his shoulders like a dawn shot doe, and, and a wonderful knife was strapped to the other leg opposite the pistol.
The man dropped the dead soldier at the foot of the small wood frame bed and saluted, “James Bowie, I took this soldier from the pickets as an article of good faith and present myself at your service, Major Randy Bracken, soldier of fortune, attached to the King of Prussia’s airship, Hindenburg.”
Crockett said, “Would you look at the duds on this border state rake’s person? I dare say the King of Prussia has a smart looking army.”
James Bowie thought himself hallucinating and drawled, “Sir, your hat is a scandal and wants of a duck to wear.”
The man removed the hat with grin, “A half Kentuckian ruffian I have been called sir, the Shawnee having made a similar point of note.”
The head was shaved flat, the somewhat weak chin sporting a short Mexican style beard.
“The hat is now in hand as it should be, Sir.”
The big man to the right, near as big as Jim, made him cry inside for want of a name to recall from within the hides of his fever brain, pointed at the visitor’s feet, “Some kind o’ queer boot done took up with a squaw of moccasins and bred that foot strap.”
The man raised one leg and rotated the lower part around the knee slowly so that James could admire the boot, and explained, “It is a tactical boot, for climbing, crawl shooting, jumping. We deal much with rope work and boarding.”
“Prussia?” asked Crockett, “A German state, I take?”
“Yessir, the damned British have the tiny Prussian navy bottled up, so the King’s smartest science men invented the airship, a balloon, with air paddles and cabins hung underneath. Can pack a hundred and thirty souls all told.
Jim’s brain lit aflame, “That ain’t enough men to make a never mind here—we lookin’ at four thousand Mexicans.”
“Yessir. Further, my employer has not authorized us to engage as combatants in this conflict. We may however, effect humanitarian efforts.”
James felt himself frown and Crockett squinted, “Do tell, Major Fortune.”
The fit man, dressed in a uniform like eastern leaves in autumn and wearing a suspender like rig that had a grenade, a small knife and other gadgets, seemed as sharp as a man comes, “Mister James Bowie here, we hear, is suffering from an incurable lung infection ultimately stemming from the sword thrust at the Sandbar Fight. These sorts of dueling wounds are well understood by our German doctors. This is a bacterial infection—a rot if you will—and our medical station has antibacterial medicine that can, and probably will, cure you.”
“You expect me to abandon my men?”
‘No Sir, I expect your men here to insist that you go on behalf of the White Race into a terrible dark future to battle back the hordes out of Africa that will, in time, make of this land you fight for, a Haiti, presided over by black cannibal kings. Sir, at 5 in the morning on March 6th Santa Anna’s army will storm these walls. Two score Mexicans will be torn to pieces by that one gun loaded with chopped up horseshoes. Hundreds of those greasy brown sons of bitches will die slaughtering you all, bayoneting you in your bed and executing Crockett and the rest after a heroic defense.”
They all paused, dumbfounded at seemingly hearing news of their own deaths in some distant tone.
“Sam Houston will avenge you and Texas will join the Union. In 1861, the Yankee armies of the North will invade the South and set the slaves free. By the time of my birth in 1963, it will be against the law for a white man to defend himself in the streets of American cities against the mobs of free blacks bent on rapine and plunder.”
“Now,” said Crockett, “I have told some tall tails, but that beats them all to hell and gone!”
The Texans were grinning and James spied his slave smiling and something rose in him, “This might be a fever dream, but I like not the sly look on your coon face!”
“What is this, really,” asked Crockett.
The Major of Fortune drew the pistol from the leg strap. And handled the ugly thing, narrating, taking the thing apart on the blanket by Jim’s right foot, including more cartridge bullets than any gun should have, putting it back together, then declaring, “Colt .45 APC 1911, developed to knock down little brown buggers that the Navy .36 could not stop.”
The man then stepped back, cocked the entire thing, like it was one big trigger, pointed it at the dead Mexican, and emptied it. splattering Crockett, the blanket, and the no longer smiling slave with blood, shooting a good ten shots in the time it took a duelist to fire one.
The smoking pistol was held high, a metal box slid from the butt, caught in the other hand, and another was placed there, the empty sliding into a pouch on the suspenders.
“Well, I’ll be damned,” mumbled Crockett, rarely at a loss for words.
The man continued, “Gentlemen, Texans, I am from the future built on your backs. The Mexicans that kill you on the sixth will all by slain at San Juanita River crossing in a couple weeks. In the future, we have a problem, millions of black cannibals raping this nation from sea to shining sea, only a few shivering white women hiding in their mountain cabins awaiting the end.
He then held up the pistol and cocked it again, “But we have these, and their big, fire-belching brothers to set things right and send the African back into the night! Are you with me?”
Crockett said, “I’ll be with you in song and be certain I’ll tell this tale after we send Santa Anna packing.”
“Jim?” the Tennessean turned to him.
Jim looked to his three closest friends, whose names he could not recall, him wanting to call after his companions from the Sand Bar Fight, and after Lafitte, too, who would be all aboard for this affray.
“You boys mind slinging me across the back of my ոigger? This sounds like a devil’s fool bargain, little different than this badger trap. But to wipe the grin from that shiftless black face, such a gun in hand, beats dying in bed like this.”
The Major of Fortune spoke up, “It is moon high and the ship is aloft, 1000 feet above. Mister Crockett, do we have permission to drop a stretcher on your watch?”
“Of course,” said Crockett—I have to see this floating gadget if the moonlight permits.”
The Major pressed a black button on a small black box attached to his suspenders, counted the men who stood to, and spoke, “Colonel, ready to extract, four able men and one for medical.”
The box then spoke in a stranger accent, then the man who wore it, “Twenty minutes, Major. Winds impeding. It will have to be the center of the compound. Inform the defenders that we will launch a flare over the besieging command post as a distraction. This will signal the extraction drop with no follow on flares, as that might draw fire.”
Crockett touched Jim’s chest as he was helped up onto the slave’s back, “Quite the going concern you’re getting into, Jim. Good health to you.”
Jim Bowie snarled, “Shoot the officers, Crockett, between the eyes.”
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