Somewhere in the Deep South, nine old men in the back room of a seedy bar are discussing "subverting consensus reality" while outside the rain falls down from the heavens like it wants to blot the red earth out entirely. They are smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes and drinking straight bourbon and cracking inside jokes about people who died years ago.

The rain is clanging on the corrugated aluminum roof of the honky-tonk like a jazz percussionist who's had a few too many, and the jukebox is off and the men's slightly drunken laughter is tinged with an edge of palpable dispair. The men are holding an Irish wake for a dream, the dream they once all shared. All of them have an image in the back of their heads the FBI pointing a shotgun mike at the joint and getting all the proceedings down on tape, but in fact they are wrong, the only surveillance on the place is being done by Mossad and the internal security department of the Walt Disney Company, which would be some small consolation to them if they knew.

Couteau raises his glass as if to make a toast and says in his soft Quebecois accent "Remember Norfolk? We had the motherfuckers' backs to the wall in Norfolk! If they hadn't found our man with fliers, it would have been a very different story!" And everybody in the room laughs sadly, considering the man with the fliers in Norfolk. The Mossad man makes a note on his laptop, taps a few keys and brings up a file; the team from Disney adjusts the gain on the mike and resyncronizes with the overhead sattelite they are transmitting to.

Behind the bar up front a red LED turns on and begins to wink once every half-second, and the bartender curses under his breath and flips on a switch that will start to power up the white noise generators. In the backroom Jamison is telling his theory of how the codes on the secure line were broken only a few hours before the Barcelona demonstrations, and Couteau is choking back a sob of pure misery.

The rain increases its mad tempo and somewhere in the distance a roll of thunder can be heard, slow and intense like maybe the sky has worked itself to orgasm, and a generator grumbles to life in the basement. This is a stroke of luck because the surveillance men are unsure whether electronic countermeasures or just the storm has blocked out their equipment, and their reports will note that uncertainty.

Later, when the rain slacks and the party breaks up and the men in the back room go home, none of them are sure when they will see the others again; it's not like the old days when they all lived out of a few hotel rooms and two beat-up vans. They stumble off into the night and their respective flights to their respective places of residence, and nobody, except for them and even they begin to have doubts now, realize how close they came to changing the world forever.