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  • David Lasky
* Excerpted from a full action story to be published in the next issue of Lava Mountain: Comics and True Stories for Older Women Who Remember Other Eras and Sometimes Feel Strange About That

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Part 1

It's 1992, during Game 4 of the NBA Finals in Portland, Oregon. The evening is warm spring, 75 degrees. The crowd is suitably caught up in the game. The oceanic sound of humans marveling.

The third quarter begins. Pippen scores. Clyde "The Glide" Drexler breaks from the wing. In a moment, he has slam-dunked the basketball over a tangle of players. A momentarily bewildered Jordan is set for retaliation, ready to drop dozens of points on the Blazers. He rolls down the court, building momentum, signaling to Pippen. The crowd's anticipation crests. For some unknown reason, Buddha Edwards randomly guffaws on the court, losing concentration. He has always been a clown. The Trail Blazers' Duckworth turns toward Edward's laugh and stumbles on Bill Cartwright. "That's flagrant!" yells a referee, who, in a massive error, calls a technical foul on Duckworth. An assistant coach goes mad with rage and charges against a folded-up bleacher, kicking, kicking.

The game is paused. Coaches and referees argue. Everyone is shouting. The noise in the Memorial Coliseum rings against the walls and slings upward, into the center of the giant dome.

High in the arena's upper circle amid the crowd sits a man alone. A blue cap pulled over his face conceals his true identity. Mirrored sunglasses and a tan. Stiff-looking beige hair protrudes from the cap's perimeter. This man is John F. Kennedy.

History has a way of convulsing away from itself.

JFK stretches his neck to view the game, licking a red Charms lollipop.

Meanwhile, unknown to anyone at the Coliseum, a near-invisible shape moves high along the steel beams. It shifts, going upside down, hand over hand behind the giant replay screens above center court. This is Predator. The creature is exploring the arena's expansive architecture, scrutinizing the seating sections, and wheezing in a moist, monstrous manner.

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