“Welcome to Indian Museum, where villains, Viral Deviants (VD’S) and Terrorists of the past are preserved for your enlightenment,” said The Guide.
The Guide, tall, serious, had silver hair; his gray eyes gleamed like sun-lit steel. He wore the deep blue uniform of Indian Museum, fashioned after the uniforms worn by soldiers of The Nation more than a century ago, when The West was won.
“The Indians were fierce, alright. Real tough customers. But what force can withstand the righteous anger of The Nation?” said The Guide. “The Indians were extinguished so that The Nation might thrive.”
The Guide explained how Indians could not adapt to the Destiny of The Nation and thus were eliminated for the benefit of
“But The City, and indeed The Nation, must preserve its history. The Indians are preserved for posterity in these exquisite glass cases, courtesy of Tree of Knowledge Incorporated (TKI) Technologies.”
Miniature glass coffins. Indians in suits and dresses like ordinary Citizens. Babes enfolded in their mothers’ arms. Indians like dolls, averaging a foot in length, preserved for posterity and beyond.
“Why are they so tiny?” asked a young girl on the tour.
“That is the magic of TKI Technologies,” The Guide explained. “TKI has developed a method that enables us to shrink the Indians while retaining life-like features for the ages. They are all, you will notice, perfectly proportioned, fit to scale.”
“Why do they do this?” asked the child.
“Look around you,” The Guide gestured dramatically. “See how many Indians are on display. Indian Museum is limited in size. So, thanks to the process developed by TKI Technologies, with not a little help from TKI Chemistries, rather than build a bigger museum, or several bigger museums — so many Indians, it’s difficult to keep track — we made smaller Indians!” said The Guide proudly. “The Indians of Indian Museum are the living lifeless. Though they were vanquished long ago, they appear to have ‘gone to sleep’ just yesterday.
“There is the infamous Geronimo!” The Guide pointed to a glass case within which “slept” a shrunken fifty-ish man in a finely tailored little suit. “There, the notorious Crazy Horse! And Sitting Bull! And Chief Joseph! And what would Indian Museum be without it’s beautiful Pocahontas?”
Tourists gawked at Indians, watched filmed re-enactments of the Great Indian Wars. Plantman approached The Guide, who glanced furtively at Plantman’s green Topiary Techniques t-shirt and flashed a peroxide smile.
“Welcome to Indian Museum, Plantman. It is my pleasure to host an illustrious horticultural technician of The City,” said The Guide.
Plantman acknowledged this false flattery with a curt nod, then asked the question burning his mind.
“What is this place? These aren’t real Indians. They aren’t Indians at all.”
“Of course not,” whispered The Guide. “Indian Museum is for children. This is a place of education. The icons and symbols we present to the children are far more…potent than some old head-dresses and buckskins on wax statues.”
“Who were they?” Plantman pointed to a cluster of glass coffins.
“Viral Deviants, Terrorists, executed prisoners, bodies unclaimed at the morgue,” shrugged The Guide. “Though they were parasites in life, Indian Museum, courtesy TKI Technologies, has given them a chance to contribute to The City and The Nation in death, to become part of the illustrious culture that, in life, for whatever mad ‘reasons,’ they mistakenly eschewed.”
“Couldn’t you have at least dressed them in ‘traditional’ garments?”
“The Indian of the tomahawk and tom-tom drum is irrelevant. Extinct. The modern Indians, the Indians these children will know in their life-times, are the Terrorists, the VDs, the parasites. Indian Museum has gone to great lengths to impress this reality upon The City’s young. I’m surprised that you of all people, a Plantman dedicated to tending The City’s indoor flora, don’t show more sensitivity to these issues. Really you should display more political awareness.”
“Since when do Terrorists and VDs wear dresses, suits and ties?” Plantman asked.
“You surprise me, Plantman. You may know more than most about The City’s potted plants, but I fear you have much to learn about its people. My advice to you is to visit The City Museum Complex often. And keep an open mind. After all, your good friend, ‘Fire Bush,’ is seldom seen without a suit and tie. And if you don’t mind my saying so, he’s no more an ‘Indian’ than the specimens at Indian Museum. He’s Puerto Rican if he’s a day.”