FROM: Wm. Allendorf, Proprietor
DATE: 5 September 1990
RE: Excerpt from a personal diary left at the Black Hole Ashram:
The entrance to the tunnel was in the parking lot of a Friendly
Ice Cream Store on Springfield Pike. Two rough looking
characters in saffron robes sat in a parked convertible, guarding
the lot. One had a Stinger missle across his lap; the other was
busily field stripping his burp gun. Our caravan of cars pulled
up. Here, in the lead car, sat our guide-- a gigantic Amerind
with a fierce but largely vacant countenance.
"We go in here!" stated the tall Indian flatly. He made a
gesture to the convertible. Suddenly a gaping hole opened in the
lot, revealing a ramp descending into a arc-lit passage. The air
inside was cool. For a moment it felt good to be out of the hot,
steamy summer air. Our decent lasted several minutes. Along the
way, one of our party shrieked and pointed to a cache of
artillery shells piled haphazardly in one of the many anterooms.
"Don't worry!" ordered the Indian. "Only practice rounds. We
get big ones from army next month. They sell cheap." He
gestured wildly to show a huge explosion.
We debarked at the terminus and filed into the waiting freight
elevators to take us to the main floor of the Ashram. We were
greeted by many young initiates, escorting prospectives on the
open house tours. They had done some re-decorating since last
time I'd been there.
Besides the whole-horse barbecue pit, the boar-gigging in the
back yard, and the astronomical observatory in the front yard, I
was impressed by the new temple space. Loyal initiates had
faithfully reproduced the ambiance of the original Black Hole
Coffee House, still with many of the sacred relics. This included
a bag of stale potato chips which seemed to never empty.
I found the proprietor of Black Hole, Wyoming in the situation
room being debriefed on the latest tactical simulations.
"I don't care if the Alpha can outrun our fish! I want that
Boomer turned into tunafish!" He stated coldly. "We'll never get
superiority in the area if we can't keep Ivan bottled up in the
Sea of Oskhosh! Now keep running it until we get it right." He
turned away from the group, one of the Mensans in the group
caught my eye--a Navy man I'd known years ago. He'd gone back to
work on attack boats after a promising career in Montesorri.
I wandered through the party, rubbing elbows with local Mensa
glitterati, wide-eyed initiates, and the occasional mercenary.
It was somewhere out on the sprawling deck overlooking the skeet
range that we met.
"Is that clam dip on your moustache," she said, "Or are you just
another one of those guys who leases his car?" After giving the
countersign, we traded microfilm. From there on, it was kismet.