[Four Corners Alliance- The Beginning]

Mongoose

Has absolutely no life
Jun 6, 2011
335
September 1, 1997
It was a hot day in the Monument Valley. Hosteen Frank Arnold Yazzie whistled to himself, the windows down in his beaten Chevy. The radio had been stolen by thieves years ago, and a new one was out of his budget so Hosteen Yazzie provided his own music as it appeared in his head.

It was the first of the month, the day he got to visit the Trading Post, the one run by that Japanese man Genda. Genda was once a jeweler who had come to the Navajo Nation years ago to examine some silver, and decided to stay once he had a taste of unprepared tourist money. Hosteen Yazzie was among his core of Navajo regulars, and in turn, Genda was among his only regular sources of conversation, entertainment, and information.

Things seemed otherwise normal for a hermit like himself, yet as he drove entirely alone on a normally busy Highway 163, he ruminated on the dull orange glow in the skies to the west, which he had observed every morning and evening for the past three days. Wildfires, maybe? Perhaps he could ask Genda over a Coke. Hosteen Yazzie shrugged it off, and returned to whistling some Hank Jr.


***
After a half-hour, the truck was racked by a dull THUD! and he felt the bottom of the truck vibrating. "What in the fuck?" Hosteen Yazzie hissed as he pulled the truck over to take a look.

Sure enough, his rear tire sagged into the hot asphalt, punctured by a stray nail, glass, or some other modern detritus. He clucked, and shaking his head, moved to the flatbed for his tire iron, jack, and spare. As Genda would put it, Shikata ga nai, which in Japanese translated to "It can't be helped." As the Navajo would put it, Shit happens.

Hosteen Yazzie was not getting any younger. He cracked and creaked as he knelt down with his tire jack. He expected such things, as he winched the body of the truck upwards with each pull. But what he wasn't expecting was to feel the ground rumbling beneath him. Were his legs cramping, trembling? Maybe, he thought as he pulled himself up to shake his legs. But the rumbling continued, and as he paused to listen, it was getting louder.

Hosteen Yazzie looked up to see a tan centipede slinking down the highway. Vehicles. Heavy ones, definitely from the military. He moved away from his truck and forward to get a look. He knew the types: 2.5 ton trucks, those new Jeeps they called Humvees, armored personnel carriers like the ones he'd seen in Vietnam, even a few tanks. They stretched as far as the eye could see. He'd never seen so many. An entire battalion, at least, all coming from the west. He wondered where they were coming from- and where they could possibly be headed?

The tan centipede slinked along, and by now it was clear that the lead vehicle had spotted him. A Humvee, with a .50 Cal on top and helmet-clad soldiers- no, Marines, sitting inside. As it decelerated, so too did the vehicles behind it, and within seconds, the entire convoy had ground to a halt. The passengers talked among themselves for a moment, and the rear passenger door clunked open, while the driver shut off the engine. Out came a freckle-faced private, one arm cradling an M16, the other extended upward in a wave.


"Yá'át'ééh, Marine. You lost?" asked Hosteen Yazzie.

"Yeah...Little bit. Can you help us, sir?"


 

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