07-09-2012, 07:50 PM
The metal and glass door of the Luxor security office flew open with a bang. Two blue-jacketed security guards frog-marched a struggling young man with shaggy brown hair into the office, almost throwing him down on top of Macaffey's desk. The chief of security hid his surprise at this sudden intrusion under a steely demeanor and brusquely asked the guards, "All right, what's this guy in for?"
The guard on the right, Richler by name, slapped down a sheaf of crudely Xeroxed flyers. "We caught him handing these out in the lobby," he explained. "Plus, he was harrassing the guests about the moon landing or something."
"I wasn't harrassing anyone!" the brown-haired man protested. "I was trying to create awareness of the Apollo 11 hoax!"
Richler twisted his arm a bit tighter. "You keep quiet for now, okay?"
Apollo 11 hoax? That rang a bell in Macaffey's mind. He picked up one of the flyers and skimmed over it:
Macaffey didn't bother to read the rest. He tossed the flyer aside and dug out his notepad from the bottom of the pile of papers covering his desk. He read the note from the telephone call he had received earlier. The guy seemed to match the description all right: five-eleven, brown hair and eyes to match. "You Boone Morris?" he asked.
ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION!
America's been deceived for over four decades of lies and forgeries
committed by its own government and "space program"!! The entire
Apollo moon landing has been FAKED!! The film footage and photos
are FORGERIES!! The ENTIRE so-called "moon landing" is a HOAX!!
The man was startled. "How do you know who I am?" he demanded.
Macaffey took that as a yes. "We got an anonymous tip this morning about you," he told him, waving the notepad. "Didn't expect to see you until this weekend, but, since you decided to show up early, you've just spared us a whole lotta trouble and yourself a good deal of embarrassment taking you into custody while Buzz Aldrin was here." He flashed a sarcastic grin. "Thanks for making my job a whole lot easier."
"Yeah?" Morris sneered. "Well, screw you, buddy! There ain't nothing that's gonna stop me from coming back here when he gets here! Swear to God, I'm gonna expose Aldrin for the lying son of a (bleep) he is! I'm gonna show everyone that that so-called moon landing--"
"Blah, blah, blah, big guy," Macaffey droned.
"--was nothing but a government sponsored hoax at the cost of several billion dollars coming out of the pockets of the American taxpayers!"
Macaffey leaned closer until he was nose to nose with Morris. "Listen, Boonie," he said, "I don't know where the hell you got this cockamaimie idea about the moon shot, but you're full of (bleep) as far as I'm concerned." He grabbed a handful of dirty grey t-shirt. "Now, you listen, and you listen good. The moon landing was not a hoax, there ain't no UFOs in New Mexico, flouridated water ain't a Communist plot, no one's planting microchips into anyone's arms, and Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. So, I suggest that you abandon all these nutty conspiracy theories of yours and start living in the real world. Okay?" He pulled him closer. "And," he added, gritting his teeth, "if I do see you here this weekend--or any other weekend for that matter--I'm gonna run your ass into jail so fast it'll make your head swim! Got it?"
He flung Morris away from his desk. "Get him outta here," he ordered his men. "He's cluttering up the place."
The guards turned Morris to the door. "And make damn sure he never sets foot in this hotel ever again!" Macaffey barked as they left.
Morris, however, did not go quietly. "You're making a big mistake!" he shouted. "We got to stop the fakery! You can't suppress the truth foreverrrrrrr!"
The metal and glass door swung shut, bringing a welcome silence. Macaffey picked up the stack of flyers and tossed them into the paper recycling bin, then returned to his computer terminal. He tapped on the keyboard at a slow but steady pace. He was growing more comfortable with a PC these days; pointing and clicking was a breeze. He wasn't much of a typist; he had to use the two-finger hunt-and-peck method, but after years of practice he became pretty good at it. He still let the more tech-savvy younger members of the staff do all the computer work, though--it was easier that way.
"Hmph!" a man's voice spoke. "What the hell was all that about?"
Macaffey stopped tapping and saw Rob Houghton, his second in command. "What are you doing here?" he asked. "You're not supposed to report for duty until six."
"Oh, nothing, really," Houghton replied drily, "just had to make some adjustments to my W-2, that's all. Stopped by to see how things were going." He jerked his thumb toward the door. "So, who was that guy?" he asked.
"Ah, just some conspiracy nut case going around, passing out flyers and bothering people," Macaffey replied. "Thinks the Apollo moon mission was a fake."
Houghton nodded. "Yeah," he said, "I've heard of these crackpots. Paranoid types who believe only what they want to believe in spite of everything. You sending him to the lockup?"
Macaffey shook his head. "Nah, I just threw him out on his ass. Ain't done nothing illegal, really," he said, "just breaking hotel policy about outside soliciting."
"Think he'll be back?"
"Not on my watch," Macaffey growled. "Or yours, got it?"
A single nod "Got it."
"And if he is crazy enough to come back here," Macaffey said, pointing a sausagelike finger at Houghton, "I'll bust his ass all the way to the county jail! I ain't gonna let no nut case like that bother anyone this weekend--especially Buzz Aldrin! It's not every day that a real American hero comes here to the Luxor, and I'm gonna make double-damn sure nothing goes wrong while he's here!"
Houghton's lips creased in a grim smile. "Don't you worry, Luke," he said, "Dr. Aldrin's going to have a completely trouble-free visit. I guarantee it."
Macaffey nodded in satisfaction and returned to his typing. Houghton left the office with a quick, "See ya." The silence returned, save for the clicking of the computer keyboard. The Boone Morris incident was forgotten for the time being. Other things concerned Macaffey now, and one of them was setting up the security detail for Buzz Aldrin's visit. He couldn't help but feel a bit of a thrill at the thought of one of the Apollo astronauts coming to the Luxor. Imagine! A real American hero, the first man to set foot on the moon (well, the second, really; Neil Armstrong had been the first, officially speaking), beating the Russkies into space and proving that America was technologially superior than they were! Like thousands of American boys back in the Sixties, he had wanted to become an astronaut just like Armstrong and Aldrin. He had even enlisted in the Air Force after high school. Unfortunately, joining the space program hadn't panned out for him. Instead, he had found himself grounded on earth, facing the gravity of being a prison guard among the toughest criminals in the state of Nevada, then here in the cushy surroundings of the Luxor Hotel and Resort.
Macaffey shrugged it off. He was too much of a professional to give in to daydreaming. The desire to be an astronaut was just a boyhood dream that had faded into the mists of time. At least he could make sure that Buzz Aldrin had a safe and pleasant stay here at the hotel, free from conspiracy freaks and other dangers which might present themselves.
Still, deep down inside, past the gruff exterior of the chief of security and former prison guard, was the skinny kid from Hoffman, Texas, with the freckled face and gap-toothed smile, wriggling with excitement over meeting Buzz Aldrin, live and in person.
Last edited by Veritas; 07-09-2012 at 07:56 PM.