Late that afternoon, having observed the new Dunk Force squad’s three-hour training session (the last hour and a half of which consisted of watching an educational film entitled Racial Inclusivity and Healing in a Multicultural Society—Part 6: The Sub-Humanness of White People), Ray and Carl were driven to a nearby airfield. As Ray stepped out of the car and onto the tarmac, his jaw dropped at the sight of the private jet awaiting them. The plane was painted brown, with a huge black fist on the tail fin, raising its middle finger. It was the same logo Ray had seen on the court at Dunk Force headquarters. “This is CIA?” he asked.
“Not exactly,” said Carl. “I mean, the CIA is using it, but it belongs to Kylie—well, MEPOC anyway. That’s the charity she heads up—More Equality for People Of Colour. Did you get to talk to Kylie? She’s our team captain.”
“No, I didn’t get to meet her. But Larry told me she had started a charity.”
“It’s quite impressive,” said Carl, as he and Ray crossed the runway. “She saw the injustices happening to the black community and she decided to do something about it. It’s just the kind of initiative Dunk Force needs.”
“What particular injustices inspired her?” called Ray, over the whirring rush of the idling engines.
Carl shrugged. “Just general injustices, I think. But she sure tapped into something—in just over three months, she has raised eighty million dollars.”
“Eighty million!” said Ray. He looked up at the cockpit as he and Carl walked around the front of the plane. “So she bought a jet?”
“Yes—well, the charity did. It’s to help people of colour.”
“So, why is the CIA using it?”
“Because MEPOC is fighting against systemic racism, and if the CIA can’t get behind a cause like that, then what are we here for?”
Ray stared at him but said nothing. Carl nodded and hurried up the stairs of the aircraft. Ray looked up at the side of the plane, across which, in tall red cursive, were the words Minorities of the world, unite!
Fifteen minutes later, and forty thousand feet in the air, Ray sipped a glass of bourbon as he looked out the window. Below the private jet, a sea of pinkish-grey clouds drifted across a darkening sky.
“So, he’s not even American?”
“Hmm?” said Ray. He turned to the seat across the aisle, where Carl was leaning back in his seat. His briefcase was open, and he was reading a thin file marked Top Secret.
“Peter Aleksander Zdunowski,” Carl read aloud from the file. “Born June thirteenth, 1964, in Bialystok, Poland.” He looked at Carl. “He’s Polish.”
“He was born in Poland,” said Ray, defensively, “but he immigrated here with his parents when he was twelve. You won’t find a more patriotic American than Peter Zdunowski.”
Carl rolled his eyes slightly. He continued perusing the file. “Seven-foot-two, two hundred and seventy pounds.” He whistled and nodded. “Genetic abnormality…” Carl sat upright. He read slowly, “…exhibited no side-effects…” He turned to Ray with a look of curiosity. “He was immune.”
© 2021 MILES VENISON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED