Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Secret of the Lost Tribe, Chapter One, Part One

Begin with the beginning.

Chapter One

The Enemies of Our Fathers

Somewhere on US Highway 491, the twenty-first century.

Jennifer Jordan grinned.

"This time you won't escape me, Kev," she addressed Kevin Traynor, who sat beside her in her new Auburn.

The paint of the sports car shimmered as golden as Jennifer's hair. First American Motors manufactured these replicars. Its body was an exact copy of that of a 1936 Auburn Speedster. However, under its long, slender hood roared a supercharged Northstar V-8 engine, its pontoon fenders concealed a Chevy chassis, and its old-fashioned split windshield, tapered tail, and suicide doors belied its state-of-the-art safety features.

"You sure?" Traynor's angular face mirrored her grin, and his blue eyes below his dark-blond hair sparkled.

Back in New York, Traynor Tower was rising faster than the Empire State Building had gone up — as fast as First American Building had. As everything went swimmingly, Traynor had left his engineer, Steven "Steel" Gunnarson, in charge and taken some weeks off — as had Jennifer from her job as security boss of First American Corporation. They had been driving her new automobile across the country from New York to Arizona via Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, and Denver, to photograph new skyscrapers.

Somewhat against their nature, they had been cooped up in motels along the way. If experience was a judge, they would once more end up in a cramped motel room tonight. That was quite a change from their life in New York, where they both made sure they had enough breathing space and elbowroom.

That had provoked Jennifer's dig at the horrors he went through every time she facetiously suggested she might move in with him. She conveniently ignored the fact that she preferred to have her own place as well. Not having one would not have been a good idea. Girlfriend or no girlfriend, she knew she would be in for serious bodily harm if she ever damaged a vintage volume in his library. Of course, to be fair, she could not blame him — because, boyfriend or no boyfriend, she would do the same to him if he ever damaged a model in her toy, um, model ship collection.

Yes, Traynor was too cheap for two rooms. Almost every cent he made, he plowed back into his business. Most of the time one room was more than enough for them, and he figured that, if push came to shove, they could always get a second room when they were on the verge of killing each other.

Traynor grimaced. "I once knew a girl… I shared a hotel room with her for a week… When we checked out, our relationship was through."

"You probably didn't really love her when you checked in."

"And vice versa."

On their way west, they had not had time to visit the Four Corners or the Grand Canyon Dam, as they had been on their way to attend the opening party of the First American Mining Building in Jenkinsville, Arizona. It had gone up in a matter of months after Traynor had rescued the town from a phantom train. He had introduced Jennifer to Connie Chandler, whom she had been curious to meet. Jennifer had been wondering what her boyfriend's lover was like.

It had turned out that Connie was a lot like Jennifer. She had taken that as a compliment. Finally, they had toured First American's new Jenkinsville Railroad Museum. Afterwards, on their way back to New York, they had made a detour to finally visit the completed Grand Canyon Dam with its steadily filling reservoir, which Jennifer had not seen before, either.

And they had visited the Four Corners — the point where Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona collide. Standing in four states at the same time proved fun. Traynor wondered if anybody had ever made love in four states simultaneously. At any rate, the presence of other tourists — and of some Navajo and Ute Indians, who claimed ownership of the land — had prevented Jennifer and him from establishing a historical first.

Read on…

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