Monday, February 25, 2013


Cave Woman Style

The sexy beast called fame had a ravenous appetite; it was a Kraken that Pet had unleashed on the State of California and not even she could call it back.  That beast had a life of its own now, a will of its own and a powerful hunger for justice.  No media outlet stone had been left unturned by the CaveWomen; they had been everywhere, told their story to all who would listen.

Support had come pouring in from all sides; many established academics had come over to Pet’s cause as well as her regular readers and every crackpot that had a grudge against ‘the man’.  Pet liked the crackpots the best, just because one was crazy did not mean that one did not have a valid point of view; those points of view were often overlooked by mainstream people.

Pet and Tass were grateful for them all, especially the academics who were arguing that the women had not once in all this time actually despoiled a site.  It was a growing trend among archaeologists to acknowledge that they didn’t know everything and that physically excavating a site was worse than not knowing.  With the advent of modern technologies, many new excavations were conducted without even digging up a shovel full of dirt.

Whatever monies that CaveWomen, Inc. had amassed had been spent on attorneys and legal fees, the expedition fund had been changed to the defense fund for the duration and Pet even considered selling the apartment building.  It hadn’t come to that, but it had come close and there would be just enough to cover the billable hours for this hearing.

Pet could barely breathe, her entire life hinged on the judgment of this court and she hardly even heard the testimony from a long string of witnesses.  Plenty of people had volunteered to stand up for the CaveWomen, people with pedigrees and regular degrees, people with credibility that did not like seeing the American Dream squashed by governmental greed.

Chuy Romero had needed to be restrained from taking the cave by force, taking a stand Bear Flag style and declaring actual war on the State.  While Pet and Tass did both love the idea, Araceli had practically smacked them all for even discussing that approach.  They would do this right or not at all, that was the judgment from the Court of Mom and there was no chance for appeal.

However, Chuy’s idea had given them the perfect symbol for their struggle, the Bear Flag.  California had been claimed by thirty three men in a bloodless coup one summer day in 1846 and the flag they created and raised had become the enduring symbol of California.  The CaveWomen had wrapped themselves up in the Bear Flag of the California Republic, they were trying to live the California Dream and Bear Flag T shirts were selling like hotcakes.

Both Pet and Tass wore those T shirts for the hearing, in fact there was a sea of grizzly bears inside the courtroom that was unusually jammed for a common hearing.  But Tass had been true to her word, she fought the State with every tool in her arsenal and then some.  Tass had made sure to bring her gang to this fight, it was a rumble in the judiciary jungle, bare knuckles and winner take all.  The gang members that could fit inside the stuffy hearing room were just a fraction of the gangstas outside, carrying signs and shouting at the news cameras for justice.

Pet knew that her time to speak was coming; the attorney was giving her a questioning look to make sure she was ready.  All those lectures and personal appearances had given Petra the tools she needed to stand in front of all these people and say her part.  She was still not comfortable in the spotlight, but she was the best spokesperson for CaveWomen in this matter.  Pet had practiced this speech for weeks, refining it and trying out variations on Araceli until she was sure it was perfect.

The courtroom quieted around Pet as the judge asked the attorney if there were any more witnesses.  The lawyer looked at Pet again; she gave him a slight nod and began to rise from her chair.  She couldn’t stop thinking about her parents, her father’s face rose up behind her eyes and that strengthened her resolve to win this fight.  She wanted this for her father as much as herself, this was Ray Brazil’s legacy that Pet was fighting for.

The bailiff swore Pet in and she took her seat, the attorney asked Petra if she had any statement to make about the case.  Pet closed her eyes for one last look at her father and took a deep breath.

“Ten years ago I fell down a hole,” Pet started, “and I found something.  I found a message written thousands of years ago and I have spent the last decade looking for more.  We do not want to own Amos Brandecker’s cave, we just want to look at it.  It is what we have done for the entirety of our search, we have looked but not disturbed.  Amos and his heirs want us to see the inside of that cave, the local tribes want us to see inside that cave.  Right now,” Pet paused to search out eyes in the room, “it seems that all of the world wants us to see inside that cave.  And all we want to know is why can’t we look?  What is the harm of eyes seeing the truth?”

A murmur of agreement broke out among the people, but not all of them were supporters of the CaveWomen cause.  A harsh male voice burst out of the audience, “What about the gold you greedy bitch?”

Greedy bitch?  Pet reeled on the inside as the judge banged her gavel and gave the order for quiet.  Petra did not have to be quiet, in fact she had the floor at that moment and she rose to her feet involuntarily.  She found the owner of that harsh voice and leveled her furious brown eyes on him.

“I don’t care about the gold,” she spat out, “when are you fools going to understand that the real gold of California is not in the metal or the movie stars?  The real gold of California is California itself, we live inside a treasure box and yet you demand more.”

The banging of the gavel tried to drown out the roar of voices inside the courtroom without much success.  This hearing was over, now came the truly hard part; the waiting.  The attorney said it could possibly take days or even weeks for the judge to decide, but it was only two days until they were all back in the courtroom.

The honorable Angela Dyson had made her judgment, “It is the opinion of this court that the State of California has no legal right to block access to the disputed cave.  The injunction is lifted with the caution that no one removes or disturbs the contents of the cave until such time as the legal owners of those contents are resolved.”

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