By Daniel K. Buntovnik
The last thing Biorgina Guerri could remember from the time of her life preceding her coma was the gnarled lips and pockmarked mug of the Contra comandante as he hammered off bullets, one by one, into her fellow Juventud Sandinista activists.
The year was 1986.
The ultra-reactionary guerrillas, armed and trained by the Reagan administration, had pulled the Sandinista youths from their beds one night, lined them up against a wall. The death squad’s leader, a man with greasy black hair and a sadistic twinkle in his eye, appeared before the bewildered and inexperienced Sandinistas and admonished them harshly for their Leftist beliefs.
“I’ll make an example out of all of you,” he finally spat, before drawing the pistol off his hip. It seemed his lengthy tirade had been intended less for the Sandinista youths before him than it was for the terrorized slum-dwellers listening through the thin tin walls of their makeshift hovels nearby.
Biorgina had known this would be a dangerous mission, but never did she anticipate that calamity should strike quite so soon. She and her compañeros, a handful of young idealists like herself, had embarked upon an aeroplane in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua, a mere three days earlier. Their destination was the once prosperous, now poverty-stricken Caribbean port town of Bluefields. Naturally, given the war, they had come armed, but the Contras caught them off guard, sound asleep after a long night of mingling with the locals and singing cantos revolucionarios.
The move to Bluefields was part of a strategic Sandinista Youth counterinsurgency initiative to reach out and conquer the hearts and minds of the isolated peoples of Nicaragua’s East Coast. Separated from the Sandinista strongholds along the Pacific by the nearly impassable Central Highlands, Nicaragua’s Caribbean Lowlands were populated by the descendants of a convergence of Non-Hispanic European pirates, fugitive Africans (sometimes known as Maroons), and Indigenous peoples. This lowland area is known as the Miskito Coast and, with its distinct regional identity and history of autonomy, it presented a unique challenge to the revolutionary Sandinista government due to stark cultural differences which the imperialist forces were all too keen to exploit. Indeed, Bluefields had been a British protectorate until it was finally annexed into the Nicaraguan national territory in the late 19th century, and some of its people still held on to the misguided hope that another Anglo-American intervention would restore greater independence and economic prosperity to the region.
* * *
A sprightly nurse inserted a fresh intravenous needle into Biorgina’s forearm.
“Dios mío,” Biorgina croaked as the fog around her seemed to fade at last.
The nurse jumped back in surprise, before shouting, “¡Ay, se despertó! ¡Se despertó la comatosa!”
Biorgina swallowed, feeling dizzy. It was difficult to open her eyes, as the muscles had atrophied, rendering them hypersensitive to the light. Squinting, they followed the cracks of peeling paint on the wall before letting themselves rest on a portrait held within a crooked frame. A charismatic-looking man, vaguely paternalistic and wearing red star-emblazoned combat fatigues, stared back at her.
“Where am I?” she managed to vocalize, her heart beginning to beat faster as she became aware of the liquid feeding tubes occupying her nostrils.
“Mi corazón . . . ” the nurse replied, still in shock at the miracle of it, “you’re in Managua. Lenin Fonseco Hospital.”
Biorgina’s eyes widened in shock, momentarily indifferent to their fluorescent ecology. Her pupils were like black pimientos, bloodshot nexuses wrapped in pallid pickled olive irises. The strands of her charcoal-shaded mane undulated around her head, cradling it like the weaved together pliable reeds of a wicker basket. Overwhelmed by the blinding light, she then passed out. But a basket case she would soon be no more.
Biorgina felt a warm hand touch her on the shoulder as she came to again. This time, not only did she open her eyes, but she turned her head slightly. A handsome young man decked out in scrubs stood beside her bed.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you,” he began. “My name is Doctor Rafael Delgado. Biorgina, you’ve been in a coma for a very long time. I’ve never seen a patient regain consciousness after such a long-term comatose period. This is truly . . . miraculous!”
“What . . . what year is it?” she asked.
“2016,” the doctor replied. He placed his hand upon her palm. “Biorgina, can you squeeze my hand?”
She gave it a remarkably firm squeeze.
“Very good! I must say, it is an honor to speak with a hero of the Revolución,” he said, almost making Biorgina blush as he continued, “You must know that your recovery will take some time. You need to take it easy for now. We will start you with physical therapy soon, focus on that, and then we can eventually enroll you in an outpatient program, get you readjusted to life on the outside. The world has changed a lot since the last time you were conscious.”
“Oh . . . thank you, doctor.”
On the street outside the hospital, the engine of a passing motor vehicle backfired.
“Ay, Contras! Get down!” Biorgina shouted.
Delgado grabbed hold of her. “Biorgina, it’s okay. The Civil War is over! The Contras are defeated!“
* * *
A typical day of treatment in physical therapy for Biorgina Guerri consisted in five hours of light and heavy exercises to rebuild her atrophied muscles and get her acquainted with her now forty-seven year old body. The physical therapists at Lenin Fonseco Hospital were astonished by the rapidity with which Biorgina regained her faculties. After two and a half months, she was lifting four and a half kilogram weights. By four months, she was walking, and by five months, she could run. It was, by all accounts, a miraculous recovery, unprecedented in the history of medicine.
Five months, two weeks, and three days after awakening from her thirty year coma, Biorgina was deemed fit for the next phase of treatment: a rigorous outpatient program. In this phase, Doctor Delgado informed Biorgina that she would no longer be required to stay overnight at the hospital. Moreover, her hours of physical therapy would be greatly reduced, supplemented instead by increased psychotherapy and counselling designed to help her come to terms with the loss of thirty prime years of her life and fully transition her mind to life in the 21st century.
Before signing the papers to officially discharge Biorgina and begin the outpatient treatment phase, Doctor Delgado connected her to a state housing program which would provide her with a fully furbished apartment. Unfortunately, Biorgina had no family left to go to. Her parents had long since passed away, while her siblings, also active in the Sandinista movement, had been made martyrs of the Revolution by the same damn Oliver North-funded, cocaine-peddling death squads that put her in a coma.
Later that afternoon, Doctor Delgado called for a taxi cab to come pick Biorgina up from the hospital and take her to her new apartment, located near Managua’s Xolotlán lake front.
“Alright. What do I owe you?” she asked the taxi driver after they had arrived.
“No jodas,” the driver retorted.
” . . . You don’t need any money?” She took out a handful of Nicaraguan córdobas, minted in the 1980s. The hospital staff had managed to safeguard the belongings she’d had on her when that Contra commando shot her in the head all those years ago.
“You a time-traveller?” the driver questioned with a raised eyebrow. “Nobody pays for anything in the Union of Central American Socialist Republics. Been that way since 1992. You know, when the A Cada Cual Según sus Necesidades Act criminalized monetary transactions?”
Biorgina looked at the taxi driver incredulously for a moment, thinking that perhaps he was joking, but it seemed he was dead serious. “Thanks,” she muttered, and walked up to her new home.
* * *
The next morning, Biorgina left her coins at home and made use once again of Managua’s free public transportation system to get to the mental health clinic to meet her new psychotherapist. His name was Ivan Moreno.
“Tell me, Biorgina, what is the last thing that you remember of the days before your coma?” Moreno said towards the beginning of their first session together.
“I was with my compañeros from the Sandinista Youth,” she said, recalling her teenage years in the thick of the Nicaraguan Civil War. “We had been distributing pamphlets and tortillas in the pueblo of Bluefields. Then, in the night, those malditos Contras captured us. I . . . I can’t remember what happened after that.”
“Try,” Moreno said.
“There was . . . this face. This ugly face. Knobbly, covered in bumps, like a gourd.”
Moreno sucked in a wisp of air through his teeth, gasping silently. He knew the man she spoke of: Jorge Peterson-Gonzalez. A US-backed right-wing militarist who had been trained at the School of the Americas, in the state of Georgia. The man with the wart-covered face was infamous in the Union of Central American Socialist Republics (UCASR). After fleeing to the United States in the immediate aftermath of the Sandinista triumph over the Contras in 1990, the Nicaraguans tried in vain to win his extradition. Following the unification of the Socialist People’s Republics of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Belize, and Panama, the UCASR continued to push for him to be brought to justice, but to no avail.
“The face . . . it went down the line, hammering off rounds into each compañero‘s head,” Biorgina sobbed.
“Jorge Peterson-Gonzalez . . . ” Moreno murmured.
Her brief bout of grief turned suddenly into utter outrage. “Who is this Peterson-Gonzalez fuck?” she shouted.
“Central America’s most wanted criminal,” Moreno explained.
“Where is he? Why hasn’t he been brought to justice?”
“In El Norte,” Moreno said. “Those damn Yankee imperialists have been harboring him for decades. After we finally pushed them out of Latin America, their society turned its depravation inwards. A scumbag like him is perfectly at home there.”
“Ivan, there’s so much I don’t understand about this world. What has happened? I see the people joyous in the streets. Housing and public transportation are free. Commodities are distributed according to human need. But still a murdering prick like this can escape justice?”
“Indeed, it is a travesty,” Moreno replied. “Though there was a bit of poetic justice when Ronald Reagan was executed for crimes against humanity after he was intercepted on his way to a meeting in Switzerland, back in 1994. The bastard thought his status as former head of state would give him diplomatic immunity, shield him from justice. Thankfully the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China used their influence in the United Nations Security Council to push for a stronger application of international human rights law. Reagan was arrested and swiftly brought to trial, judged by the same standards as Nuremberg. But those damn yanqui imperialists grew crafty after that. They did not risk sending their war criminal politicians abroad, where they knew that their pathetic Constitution would be overridden by international human rights law.”
“Híjoles, thank goodness at least one of them got a taste of justice,” said Biorgina. “That was such an uncertain time, 1986. Some people were saying that the USSR would not even last another five years. Dark times, they were. I honestly wouldn’t have been surprised if I’d have woken up in a world dominated by neo-liberalism and free market fundamentalist ideology, God forbid.”
“Yes, I remember the 1980s like they were yesterday,” Moreno replied. “Fortunately, the USSR was bolstered by the spread of Communism to Latin America. After the FSLN and FMLN seized power in Nicaragua and El Salvador, national liberation movements spread like wild fire across the region, thanks to help from our Cuban and Soviet allies, of course.”
“I only wish I could have been conscious to participate in these astonishing political developments myself,” Biorgina remarked. “Please, tell me more.”
“In Europe, the Warsaw Pact quickly took on more and more member states as the façade of liberalism crumbled when the Yankee imperialists were forced to withdraw their occupation forces to enforce martial law on the homefront. You see, the social eruption in Latin America turned Communism into a behemoth, one that they would have to reckon with on their own turf. In 1995, America plunged into its Second Civil War. The leftist forces were defeated in 2001, but at great social and economic cost. Millions of lives were lost, campaigns of ethnic cleansing swept the nation, and the country emerged a virtual fortress: a settler-state enclave of crazed gun-hording white sociopaths surrounded by towering anti-immigrant walls.”
“Ay,” Biorgina croaked. This was becoming upsetting. Her vision became blurred; her head was spinning.
“I’m sorry, Biorgina,” said Moreno. “Surely that was too much information to present you with all at once. We’ll continue bringing you up to speed with the 21st century in our next session. Until then, go out and enjoy life in Socialist Central America.”
Biorgina went back to her apartment. She ruminated on the injustice of it all. Thirty years, almost two-thirds of her life, had been robbed of her, and this Contra scumbag was still living as a free man. Biorgina’s rage-filled rumination quickly led her to the realization that her desire was nothing other than revenge.
The next day she went to her scheduled three hour psychotherapy session with Ivan Moreno.
“Good to see you again, Biorgina,” Moreno said, greeting her as she walked into his quaint office.
“Spare me the flatteries, doc,” Biorgina retorted agitatedly as she took a seat in his chaise longue. She reclined. “We both know what my successful recovery necessitates.”
“Errm, I’m afraid you’ll have to be a bit more explicit,” the psychotherapist said.
“Vengence,” Biorgina throated.
“Ah, sweet catharsis. We’re making progress here,” Moreno replied.
“Can the therapeutic bullshit, doc! All I want is to blast a damned bullet through that rat bastard’s forehead!”
Moreno began to chuckle in a light-hearted fashion.
“I’m gonna do it, doc. I’m gonna waste that rat bastard,” Biorgina said with resolve.
“Biorgina, stop speaking like a blasted teenager. You’re a forty-seven year old woman!”
“Fuck you, Ivan! I am a damned teenager. I was una joven Sandinista when this shit began, and I’ll be una joven Sandinista when this shit is over!” She jumped out of the chaise longue and began pacing the room.
“Biorgina, please, a bit of calm,” Moreno breathed. “Let’s be rational here. If the whole state apparatus of the Union of Central American Socialist Republics has not been able to render Peterson-Gonzalez justice, what makes you think you can? You want to go into the belly of the beast? It’s a suicide mission. The border wall is fifty feet high, topped with barbed wire, and guarded by heavily armed Minutemen and other white nationalist vigilante groups. And even if you did make it in, the populace is racist as fuck, and armed to the teeth as well. Perhaps you could seek refuge in the Negro Reservations, but even that is a gamble.”
“That may well be, Ivan. But I’ll be damned if I don’t give it a try.”
Moreno leaned back in his armchair, a strange chill coming over him. He shivered and recalled how passionately he had detested the Contras back in the day. Was this really what he had become? Some old conservative hack discouraging a militant leftist from exacting revenge on one of the biggest scumbags on the planet?
“Alright, Biorgina. I can help you get into El Norte. It won’t be easy. But you will get in.”
“Ay, gracias, Ivan,” said Biorgina.
“My son, Ignacio, lives in the Autonomous Federation of Indigenous Soviets of Mexico. He is a coyote, smuggling Latinos across the border into the USA. He can help you enter that horrible country.”
“You mean to tell me our people still go there for work?” Biorgina questioned incredulously.
“What, you thought those gringos would do hard labor themselves?” Moreno laughed.
Biorgina continued therapy for another fortnight. After that discussion, her sessions with Moreno focused more on mental preparation for taking the life of another human being than on recovering her sanity or healing from her trauma.
“There is,” Moreno informed her during their last session, “a clandestine network of leftist radicals in El Norte which is still operational. They’ve been underground since 2001. My son, Ignacio, is familiar with many of them, as a major slice of their revenue comes from human smuggling. With their help, you may be able to track down Peterson-Gonzalez.”
* * *
Biorgina entered Mexico and met with Ignacio Moreno in Nuevo Laredo, close to the Texan border. Ignacio brought her with a fairly large group of Latino migrant workers through a subterranean tunnel which bypassed the border fence. After that she was clandestinely transported in a freight train to Des Moines, Iowa: one of several hubs of the Underground Resistance smuggling network. The journey was harrowing. She was locked in one of the freight train’s boxcars, alone with no food or water for almost a week. She made it, but she was practically emaciated when she arrived at the train depot in Des Moines. Too weak to even stand up. The train stopped and she sat there for hours. This is it, she began to think. This is the end. I’m going to die here, anonymously. Fucking Ignacio, he told me he made all the arrangements.
“This is the one,” she finally heard a muffled voice say through the metal.
“You sure?” another hushed voice inquired.
“Check the graffiti. You see it? The mark of the Underground Resistance sprayed over here.”
“C’mon, let’s do this before the bulls show up,” a third voice chimed in.
Biorgina saw the tip of a crowbar enter through a crack in the boxcar door.
“Goddamn. Let’s get you out of here,” a member of the Underground Resistance croaked as she laid eyes upon Biorgina.
Biorgina was quickly shuttled to a safe house and given food, drink, and a futon in the basement on which to rest. It took four days for her to fully recuperate her strength. At the safe house she got to know several members of the Resistance: the ones who had rescued her. Their noms de guerre were Gizella, Facundo, Zbigniew, and Bladimir.
“So this Peterson-Gonzalez dude,” Biorgina said to them one evening, “y’all heard of him?”
The single light bulb illuminating the basement of the safe house flickered. Cockroaches scuttled across the cement floor.
“We are certainly familiar with him. One of the most infamous figures of the Contra War,” said Zbigniew, taking a sip from a can of beer. “After the Second Civil War broke out in 1995, he was implicated in several anti-Black pogroms. The movement calling for his extradition to Central America became something of an international cause célèbre.”
“We have an idea of his general whereabouts,” said Bladimir. “Somewhere in the vicinity of Langley, Virginia. Rumor has it the militarist sod is working as an Evangelical minister now. Can you believe it? A murderous prick like that?”
“Yes . . . ” Gizella added, “there is a doxxing database, maintained by the Underground Resistance to keep tabs on an array of the petty bourgeoisie’s shock troops: right-wing activists and paramilitaries wanted by the international community for crimes against humanity committed during the Second Civil War. You’d be surprised how many of ’em ended up joining the clerical caste after the war. Must bring ’em some kinda relief, I s’pose, assuage the guilt somehow.”
“Why don’t you simply waste these right-wing fucks now, when they least expect it?” Biorgina asked.
“The preparations are under way,” Gizella replied. “We’ve been underground for fifteen years now. But if we make our move too soon, our whole network could be jeopardized. All that prep for nothing. You don’t even want to know what they do to captured members of the Underground Resistance in the internment camps.”
“Our network is growing more powerful by the day,” Facundo chimed in. “But Gizella is right. For now, we must lie in wait, make preparations silently. Build our organization, our infrastructure. Then, one day, the whole world will see what a miniscule cabal of deranged militants can accomplish!”
“But I know nothing of your Underground Resistance network. I’ve been in a coma for most of the last thirty years. Let me go after Jorge Peterson-Gonzalez. Even if I am captured alive, I will have little information to divulge, even under the severest of torture.”
“This Biorgina chick has a point,” said Bladimir to his comrades. “We could use someone like her. And such a brazen act of propaganda of the deed would surely help boost our numbers.”
“What you say is true, Bladimir,” Gizella conceded.
“Yes,” Facundo added. “If Biorgina were to succeed in carrying out an attack on Peterson-Gonzalez, it would be an incredible boon to the Resistance movement. I’m constantly hearing complaints from our recruitment officers that the recent lull in armed propaganda actions is putting a serious damper on our grassroots growth.”
“Say no more,” Zbigniew croaked, looking up from a somber laptop screen covered in oscillating columns of cascading and glimmering green characters. “The mission is already being prepped as we speak.”
* * *
It was Sunday morning. Biorgina rode in the back of a nondescript, sparsely windowed van headed for Langley, Virginia: the town where Peterson-Gonzalez carried out his ministry. Accompanying her were two members of the Underground Resistance. Their noms de guerre were Philomena and Kleon. The latter drove down Allen Dulles Memorial Parkway, about to exit onto Robert E. Lee Boulevard, while the former sat in the back with Biorgina, giving her all the last minute intel she would need to carry out the brazen assassination of Jorge Peterson-Gonzalez.
“If you want this shit to go down smooth, you’ll need to be quick,” Philomena said in a soothing tone that was, given the circumstances, remarkably calm and reassuring. “We’ll drop you off in front of the church, you run in there, gun the mofo down, we’ll circle the block, and if the coast is clear, pick you back up.”
“And if the coast isn’t clear?” Biorgina questioned.
“Well, you’re on your own.”
Biorgina anxiously swallowed nothing.
“You truly are a brave woman, Biorgina,” Philomena said as she put a warm hand on her shoulder.
Biorgina pulled back the bolt handle on the Cambodian-made Kalashnikov rifle she had been given by Zbigniew.
“Shit,” Kleon could be heard muttering in the front seat. A siren began to blare. He pulled over quickly, hoping to play it smooth and arouse as little suspicion as possible.
Biorgina and Philomena tried to hide themselves as best they could in the backseat during the tense few seconds between Kleon pulling over and the policeman approaching the van.
“Lahcense and registration,” the cop growled.
Kleon reached for his wallet.
“No sudden movements!” the cop shouted, taking a step back and placing his hand on his firearm, though leaving it still in its holster.
Kleon moved his hand more slowly.
“Mind if Ah have a look in back?” the law enforcer questioned.
Kleon knew he had to lie; the odds of the Fourth Amendment being upheld in this day and age were near nil. Flat out denying consent to a search would surely sound alarm bells in the copper’s mind.
“Sir, I’ve got to get to church. I’m taking Bibles to the Sunday school and they start in five minutes. Please don’t hold me up!”
The cop, being a devout Evangelical Christian, was genuinely affected by this appeal, but still wanted to make a quick search. “Step outer the vee-hickle, son. Now git back here an’ opener up.”
Kleon popped the lock, and the officer unhinged the back door of the van.
Biorgina had managed to hide her assault rifle before the officer saw the two women there.
“Step outer the vee-hickle, pleayse! Say, where y’all ladies from?” the cop questioned.
“West Virginia, sir,” Philomena answered quickly, knowing Biorgina’s Nicaraguan accent would be a dead giveaway.
“Say, you look purdy dark, miss. What race’re you?” the cop jeered at Biorgina, unhooking his walkie-talkie and garbling, “Got a racially suspicious individual, possibly a stray off the rez, pro-ceeding to brown paper bag test,” before she could even reply.
“Now listen here, sir,” Philomena began. “This is my cousin! She’s a Melungeon, got Portuguese roots. That’s why she looks funny.”
“Ah’ve heard it a million times,” the hick policeman shot back. “Less let the brown paper bag decide if she’s whiter not!”
The policeman turned and went to his squad car to search for his government-issued brown paper bag, the official means by which the acceptable level of melanin a free individual could possess was measured.
Bam! . . . Bam! . . . Bam! A deafening succession of gunshots rang out like firecrackers on the Fourth of July. In total, Kleon had slammed off seven rounds of pistol fire into the copper’s back.
“Get back in the van!” Kleon shouted.
“Wait a sec,” Philomena replied before going into the police cruiser and kicking the dashboard cam off with her foot. She tossed it on the ground before grabbing the gun off the cop’s cadaver and slamming off a flurry of slugs into it. “Okay,” she breathed.
The trio of radical communists got back in the van and continued to make their way to Nuestro Señor de la Sagrada Contrarrevolución Pentecostal Church, the establishment where Jorge Peterson-Gonzalez carried out his ministry. It wasn’t much further. The church, located a stone’s throw from the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency, served many of the families of the white Hispanic, School of the Americas-trained militarists who, after being driven out of Latin America, called El Norte their home.
“Damn, I don’t like this,” said Kleon. “You heard him radio in. Dispatch is gonna know something’s up when he doesn’t report on the results of the brown paper bag test. Better make this quick.”
Arriving at the church, Biorgina burst out of the van’s rear end. Churchgoers were trickling towards the front door. She raised her assault rifle menacingly and began to indiscriminately pepper the devout with gunfire. Knowing that she was in a Southern state, she just couldn’t run the risk of some armed bystander putting a stop to her. Biorgina then ran up to the front doors of the church, large and looming. She kicked them open and entered the ecclesiastical narthex. There she gunned down several more parishioners before swiftly making her way to the sanctuary doors. She paused a moment and loaded a fresh magazine into her Kalashnikov, ensuring that she would have enough ammo to take out any wannabe heroes.
The wart-faced militarist stood before the congregation, his jaw dropped in shock as Biorgina once again shouldered her rifle and began to pop off rounds into members of the congregation who had stood up and began running towards her, seemingly in an effort to bum rush and disarm her.
“Nadie se mueve!” Biorgina bellowed as another Pentecostal bit the dust. The congregation cowered in fear before the might of this feminine warrior. “Esto es para los mártires de la Revolución!”
Jorge Peterson-Gonzalez turned towards the cross above the altar and raised his arms sanctimoniously.
Ratatatatat! Biorgina went trigger happy, pumping the militarist rat bastard full of lead. She then raised her fist in the air in a gesture once known as a Black Power salute, and hammered off several more rounds into the ceiling in an intense display of bravado.
Another churchgoer got up and attempted to bum rush Biorgina, but she heard his footsteps approaching and was able to turn and slam off a slug into the would-be hero just in the nick of time. Biorgina then kneeled down briefly, made the sign of the cross, and fled the scene.
Outside, Kleon and Philomena were just pulling up to the curbside, having circled the block.
“Quick, get in!” Philomena shouted.
The assault was so brazen, so swift, so unexpected, so close to the belly of the beast, that by the time law enforcement arrived on the scene, the perpetrator and her co-conspirators were already deep in the hills of West Virginia. Kleon pulled over near the peak of a bluff. The trio of left-wing extremists sat on some big rocks. Kleon pulled out a blunt and lit up.
Biorgina basked in the jubilance of successfully exacted revenge. Now that her mission was complete, she could go back to the Union of Central American Socialist Republics and do what she’d always wanted, before being side-tracked by this insane quest for violent vengeance: participate in the construction of a socialist society.
* * *
The Underground Resistance assisted Biorgina in making her way back to Mexico. First shuttled back to Des Moines by van, she was then once again stowed away in a freight train to Nuevo Laredo. Along the way, Biorgina could hear what sounded like acts of mass civil disobedience taking place. Effectively, the assassination of Peterson-Gonzalez had unclenched a wave of unrest and mayhem. Word of Biorgina’s brazen act of premeditated murder spread like a prairie fire among the members of the Underground Resistance. Impressed by her fearless direct action, members of the Underground Resistance began to emulate Biorgina nationwide. Assassinations, roadside improvised explosive devices, incitation to riot, you name it; countless new forms of propaganda of the deed began to shake the country to its very core. Negro and Hispanic Reservations, already overflowing with discontented working class folks, could no longer contain the underclass. The white bourgeois supremacist government responded swiftly with a rigorous implementation of martial law, but this only spurred the masses to fight with more tenacity and lack of sense of individual self-preservation. Instead, a spirit of collective preservation seemed to take over the masses’ consciousness. This proved Gizella’s and Facundo’s concerns about premature launch to be unwarranted: revolution had been long overdue, and now was the time to unleash its terror.
When Biorgina arrived in Nuevo Laredo, Ignacio Moreno was there at the opening of the people smuggling tunnel to greet her.
“Ay, tuviste suerte,” Ignacio began. “Everything’s gone to hell in El Norte! I didn’t think you would make it out alive!”
“Well, I did,” Biorgina croaked, dehydrated from the long boxcar ride.
“Ay, bet you could use some pinche agua,” Ignacio said.
Biorgina stayed with Ignacio for a couple of days, recuperating from the harrowing journey, before continuing on her way back home to Nicaragua.
When she got back to Managua, she took a free cab to her state-provided housing. She climbed up the steps of the apartment building. Neighbors were smiling at her, and she smiled back. She opened up the door to her apartment.
“Surprise!” a crowd of people shouted, Ivan Moreno and Doctor Delgado among them. Others included old members of the Sandinista Youth, some of whom Biorgina had worked with during the Contra War.
“Ay, Dios mío!” Biorgina said. “You shouldn’t have!”
“Of course we should have,” Delgado shot back. “You’re a hero, Biorgina!”
“Yes, and it’s bigger than Peterson-Gonzalez. Soon El Norte will succumb to the scourge of Marxian socialism!” Moreno added in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
An old comrade from the Sandinista Youth approached with a bowl of tortilla chips and salsa, and shouted, “Let’s get this fiesta started!”
The party was pleasant, though not overly raucous. As it began to wind down, Biorgina sat on the couch with Delgado, Moreno, and several activists and watched television. A UCASR journalist was reporting on the ongoing revolution in El Norte, live from Washington DC, having arrived there through the Underground Resistance’s people smuggling network.
“Masses of youths have just stormed the United States Capitol Building. We’re receiving reports that other centers of governance are already under occupation as well,” the reporter spoke.
In the background crowds of rowdy and rough-looking individuals could be heard chanting, “No justice, no peace — fuck the po-lice!”
A strange man then jumped in front of the camera and proclaimed, “Sometimes you gotta get down and dirty, get them low vibrations, before you rise up, like the seed!“
Just then, blood began to splatter all over the screen. The National Guard was massacring the protesters.
Biorgina closed her eyes, a feeling of warmness enveloping her from below.
Meanwhile, back in Fairfax County, Virginia, Jorge Peterson-Gonzalez lay in a hospital bed, deep in a coma.
If you enjoyed this short story, be sure to check out my 21st century proletarian novel Raving Radicals Bathed in Blax.