Leo looked like a tourist. The straw hat, Hawaiian shirt, and khaki shorts were a far cry from his usual dapper self. It was a wardrobe that jarred comically with the doctor’s urbane mannerisms. Despite the Jimmy Buffet vibe, the impression of the tall Brazilian behind the podium remained one of elegance and poise.
“Does anyone known the man in this picture?” He asked as the Göbekli Tepe slide gave way to the grinning bearded visage of a monk in a habit.
Sam stood abruptly and gave a Roman salute. “Mein Fuhrer!”
Dr. Bohm smiled as he shook his head.
“So you’ve heard that bizarre theory?”
We had. We were all quite familiar with the Italian art collector smiling down at us.
“Ja. Warheit!” Sam said as he sat back down crossed his arms and lifted his chin in a very satisfied matter of fact way. Panning his head from side to side like it was Nuremberg 1933.
Leo sighed. “As a Brazilian anthropologist… with a German surname, you can imagine the emails.”
I laughed and took a swig of Sailor Jerry’s. Apparently, the Captain had a frat boys taste in liquor…either that or he was holding out.
“Yes, it is funny some of the time. But, it is also so sad….even if it were true the reality that was made evident in those Ecuadorian caves dwarfs that little proposition a hundredfold….”
I was still grinning like a Cheshire at the thought that the tantrum-prone little Austrian with the girlish hips and shoulders had seamlessly transformed into a Salesian friar. My smile belied my agreement.
The story goes that Father Carlos Crespi Croci was very loved by the Ecuadorian community he served. So much so that he was the very first person that got word of the strange artifacts the locals found in their caves. The motifs on the artifacts were bizarre and claimed by some to represent Mesopotamian scenes and symbols. The reason for the tales obscurity is due in large part to the fact that most of the collection wound up destroyed in a fire or in the hands of private collectors. What little remained is not accessible to the public. These inconveniences along with the implications that the purportedly near eastern artifacts held led to little save fringe discussions ultimately devolving into the ‘muh Hitler, muh Nazis’ meme.
My own familiarity with this obscurity had, of course, come from Ant.
“I’m serious…” Leo said looking at me. “You do not believe me?”
My grin must have been truly obnoxious.
“Nein.” I said jumping on Sam’s bandwagon. “Das ist nicht wahr….just look at ze skull…while ze broadness does suggest Nordic influence, it is too spheroid…und….ze eyebrows…do you not see a Semitic influence, that Turkic angularity…Ashkenazim…no zis is not the noble wolf…nicht…Das ist nich NICH NICHT NICHT!” I began yelling as I pounded the tumbler against the table.
Leo looked surprised. “You’re pretty well versed in the Reich.”
“Well of course, do you really think that Uncle Sam ignored the poison dwarf? Goebbels was the executor par excellence of Bernays little theories. Though the Bolshevik stuff is more interesting there is no vein of humor richer than the Propagandaministerium des NSDAP.”
“I see,” Leo replied. “Well, the bizarre is often funny as well as being a most effective over-ride for critical thinking. But..the bizarre is also often true…and as I said this real bizarreness…”
“Hate to cut you short Doc but I think I know what this is about.” The cigarette I’d stolen from Hoyt had made me hungry for nicotine. We’d already been listening to what was the pedantic buildup to a dramatic reveal for over an hour. And I already knew the end so I chimed in. “This thing we’ve just left behind, these Crespi trinkets, it’s all one grand civilization. We were all one until sunspots or meteors or whatever and you’re gonna take us from here to Brazil to show us the final grand proof that’s so central to our little project.”
The Captain laughed darkly somewhere behind me.
Leo held up his hand. “It’s alright…I’ll explain it…”
“I mean what else could it be? You showed us a sunken evacuation scene and then this Crespi business…”
“It was not an evacuation.”
“So it wasn’t sunspots that grounded those ancient shuttles?”
Leo shook his head.
I raised my arms palms up and shrugged. “Then what?”
“EMP’s and bullets.” Graham chimed in without a trace of humor in his voice.
At first, I was too stunned to laugh but after the initial shock had dissipated I laughed uproariously.
Before I could finish the Captains deep baritone overwhelmed me.
“How is it that you account for Iraq in Ecuador?”
“Come again?” I said choking back my mirth as best I could.
“You say that you understand the single origin of civilization. Where is it?”
“I dunno Africa…Asia minor…”
“No.” Came the rumble from behind. “You think that the Sumerians landed here right…that’s how you account for Crespi am I correct.”
“Well, I suppose it’s only logical given…”
“Logic is merely an instrument. And one that only works if the initial premises are correct. You are not correct.”
“Well ok…then where…where did it all start?”
Leo held up his hand cutting off the Captain. “Everywhere…as you have shared before in our conversations…but everywhere must have a center…and that center is in what is now Brazil.”
I no longer needed a cigarette.
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer
Help a Hipster