At that same time, right at midnight, there was darkness brewing to the south. The governor was meeting a group of people in secret in the basement of the hubcap burger place near the state park. That place had been a secret meeting spot for a hundred years, since the bootlegger days. The bootleggers were the beginning of the dixie mafia. Al Capone and the other gangsters from up north used to come to Hot Springs. They sold it as vacation, a place to lay low, or a southern fun spot. But it was a key strategic position for their criminal enterprise.
The mob set up many front businesses in Hot Springs during prohibition. Through the supply chains of those companies and through local connections they set up a distribution network all across the south. They built clubs with escape tunnels out to boat docks so that they would never get trapped inside by the cops when they were raided. But that was all a show, a way for the papers to pretend the cops were trying to shut them down. They were never in any real danger of being arrested because they purchased much of the heart of dixie for booze and cash.
The governor had grown up in that same town and he was connected with the still thriving organized crime enterprise in the area. But he was smart and moved on to big things in his life. He married a woman connected to the mob up north and they, as much of organized crime, were heavily into witchcraft. That was the real root of organized crime networks across the nation. Witches were the connecting piece between the underworld and polite society. From bad guy politicians, to crooked cops, to you name it, they knew each other from the covens and secret societies.
This morning the governor had gone to church and sang in the choir at a large Baptist Church known to the locals as six flags over Jesus. After that he headed over to the Albert Pike lodge for lunch and privacy. There he made plans for tonight’s meeting. The prosecutor, the coroner, the head of the state police, the man who ran the state park, two elders from the church and others met together to plan tonight’s meeting. It was just their religion and the secrecy was baked into the cake.
They would invite the leaders of the bloods, crips, folks and kings to this evening’s gathering. They would bring leaders from many walks of life in the community, white hats and black mixing together. The CIA, the FBI, the State Troopers, state government, business men in many walks of life, there would be many people gathering tonight from all over and it had to be done in silence. No one could know that these men and women congregated or what they did while together.
The plan was to meet at the mounds and take fishing boats up to the back door of the hubcap hamburger place. They had to reach out to the game warden in the area and make sure he took the night off. They would leave the upstairs lights off and only meet in the lower levels of the burger place. There they would feed their flesh with a party, the kind of party that could get you arrested if the cops weren’t in on it. One girl would try to file a report from that party about the governor and the owner of a large chicken company but it would all be dismissed. She was 15 years old and part of a gang, it didn’t take much to crush her publicly.
After the party, around 3 A.M. they would go light a fire at the mounds. The man who ran the park would tell the kids it was disrespectful teenagers just out being stupid. Teenagers were always easily dismissed. They would call on the spirits of the dead giants buried inside the mounds as they danced around the fire, they would attempt to call up a god on behalf of the governor. This was the ritual to make him president and he would announce his campaign in the coming weeks. An army of ghosts would work on his behalf, as would an army of thugs and don’t forget the churches and law enforcement. You could hear the chains rattling in the wind for miles, and Nolan could hear it in his dreams just 5 miles away.