Back to reality…

Playtime and time with the kids and grandkids is over, way too soon.

But I hear my bed calling, and it will be nice to not get woken up by a cold nose or slobbery lick at way to early in the morning.

Speaking of way too early, 0430 boarding time is WAY too early!!!

But at least I’ll get home before midnight!

Burp…

Oh my aching tummy…

Ate WAY too much yesterday, but I think Christmas was a success with the kids…

The ripping and shredding of wrapping paper…

One surprised grandson! He got a laptop for school…

And the kids are playing in the boxes… And scattering peanuts everywhere, in addition to trying to eat them… Sigh…

In case anyone thinks we staged that, the kids did it on their own… 🙂

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope this day finds you spending it with your loved ones, if not enjoy as well as you can wherever you may be…

Vito is waiting patiently for ‘his’ presents… He and I are the only ones up!

And yes, we’re having turkey…

turkey-chill

Merry Christmas to all!!!

Kicking the tires, lighting the fires…

Jeff MacNelly was a friend of the military, and especially of the Navy.  He did a number of ‘special’ cartoons over the years for those of us who served…

This is one of my favorites…  Sadly he passed way too young in 2000 due to lymphoma.shoexmas

Author unknown, but a damn good one…

This one goes out to Brigid, Frito, Flake, Juvat, JP, Joe, JimJim, Dot and all the other aviators out there…

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and out on the ramp,
Not an airplane was stirring, not even a Champ.
The aircraft were fastened to tiedowns with care,
In hopes that come morning, they all would be there.

The fuel trucks were nestled, all snug in their spots,
With gusts from two-forty at 39 knots.
I slumped at the fuel desk, now finally caught up,
And settled down comfortably, resting my butt.

When the radio lit up with noise and with chatter,
I turned up the scanner to see what was the matter.
A voice clearly heard over static and snow,
Called for clearance to land at the airport below.

He barked his transmission so lively and quick,
I’d have sworn that the call sign he used was “St. Nick”;
I ran to the panel to turn up the lights,
The better to welcome this magical flight.

He called his position, no room for denial,
“St. Nicholas One, turnin’ left onto final.”
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a Rutan-built sleigh, with eight Rotax Reindeer!

With vectors to final, down the glideslope he came,
As he passed all fixes, he called them by name:
“Now Ringo! Now Tolga! Now Trini and Bacun!
On Comet! On Cupid!” What pills was he takin’?

While controllers were sittin’, and scratchin’ their head,
They phoned to my office, and I heard it with dread,
The message they left was both urgent and dour:
“When Santa pulls in, have him please call the tower.”

He landed like silk, with the sled runners sparking,
Then I heard “Left at Charlie,” and “Taxi to parking.”
He slowed to a taxi, turned off of three-oh
And stopped on the ramp with a “Ho, ho-ho- ho…”

He stepped out of the sleigh, but before he could talk,
I ran out to meet him with my best set of chocks.
His red helmet and goggles were covered with frost
And his beard was all blackened from Reindeer exhaust.

His breath smelled like peppermint, gone slightly stale,
And he puffed on a pipe, but he didn’t inhale.
His cheeks were all rosy and jiggled like jelly,
His boots were as black as a cropduster’s belly.

He was chubby and plump, in his suit of bright red,
And he asked me to “fill it, with hundred low-lead.”
He came dashing in from the snow-covered pump,
I knew he was anxious for drainin’ the sump.

I spoke not a word, but went straight to my work,
And I filled up the sleigh, but I spilled like a jerk.
He came out of the restroom, and sighed in relief,
Then he picked up a phone for a Flight Service brief.

And I thought as he silently scribed in his log,
These reindeer could land in an eighth-mile fog.
He completed his pre-flight, from the front to the rear,
Then he put on his headset, and I heard him yell, “Clear!”

And laying a finger on his push-to-talk,
He called up the tower for clearance and squawk.
“Take taxiway Charlie, the southbound direction,
Turn right three-two-zero at pilot’s discretion.”

He sped down the runway, the best of the best,
“Your traffic’s a Grumman, inbound from the west.”
Then I heard him proclaim, as he climbed through the night,
“Merry Christmas to all! I have traffic in sight.”

Tis the season…

Nuff said…

Say a prayer for those who stand the duty, wherever they may be.

One to think about…

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away.
It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger.
“I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”
“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.
He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.

“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ’em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new ones .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do.. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered that the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on.

“Those tires ain’t gonna get ’em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln . They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”

The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”

George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.

“None for me,” said the officer..

“Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”

The cop reached for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to him, “we got 1 too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.”

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”

George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man stopped crying, and looked at the cop “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.” he said.

Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”

“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other. “That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.

“Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”

Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything..”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”

“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”

“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”

George turned around & found the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you’d left?”

“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn’t see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”

The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.

“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”

The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”

This story is better than any greeting card, a reminder as to why we celebrate Christmas. But I’ll give you one anyway…

I’m late… sigh…

There are mornings, and then there are mornings…

0700, trying to get dressed and Vito decides he’s waited long enough for me, so he knocks the door open, and I get a cold nose in the butt… Sigh…

Yesterday was ‘interesting’, when the cookies were getting made-

And then there was the ‘serenade’ after dinner last night… Sigh…

It’s going to be an ‘interesting’ few days… 🙂

The Grey Man, update…

Right at 90,000 words, wrapping it up now…

BUT, I need some feedback on this one, I’m not sure if it maintains interest, is too over the top, has too much/not enough detail. So reader feedback is appreciated…

Unedited, as usual…

Shootout

Aaron sighed as he turned onto I-10, Three more days of patrol, three more days of second shift, and then I get a desk. Am I making the right

A black late model Charger blew by him at well over the speed limit, and he hit the lights and siren, even as he grabbed the mic and keyed up, “Dispatch, two-oh-one, eastbound ten from Hovey Road, pursuit of a late model dark colored Dodge Charger, speeding, no plate yet.”

“Roger, two-oh-one.”

He saw brake lights come on as he closed on the car, and it suddenly braked hard and pulled off onto the shoulder. “Out with a stop, just east of Mendel Road, plate is Texas, bravo, kilo,” Aaron got out of the Tahoe and started walking up, “Uh, tango, three,” he saw movement on the passenger’s side of the car and shouted, “Stay in the car, do not…” He unconsciously moved to get out of the light, as flame blossomed three times from the passenger’s side door.

He felt an impact low on his left side, and a second in the center of his chest, as he dove for the ground, fighting to get his pistol out. Gravel spurted from the rear of the car as it accelerated off the shoulder, and Aaron managed to get off two shots as the car sped away. “Shots fired shots fired, dispatch. Charger is running east.”

Dispatch came back, “Two-oh-one are you injured?”

Panting, Aaron scrambled back into the Tahoe and resumed the pursuit, “Negative. I got two rounds off at the car. Guessing more than one occupant. Tinted windows, I was shot at from the passenger’s side.” Flooring the accelerator, he pounded on the wheel, “Come on you sumbitch, get up to speed.” The Tahoe topped out at 130, but he was closing the distance, and wondering what to do next.

He vaguely heard dispatch go out with an all call on the pursuit, stating the occupants were considered armed and dangerous. Aaron keyed up, “Passing Firestone, still in pursuit,” as he closed slowly on the Charger. “Off at Dickinson, still eastbound.” In the distance he saw another set of red and blue lights come on, and the Charger dived down a side street, “Now south on… Sycamore.” He wrestled the Tahoe around the corner, floored the accelerator again, cussing as the Charger sped away from him.

He saw a stab of brake lights, and a cloud of dust, “Attempted left on fifth, may have dumped it.” Jumping on the brakes, he manhandled the Tahoe around the corner, only to see the Charger disappearing in the distance again, “Charger is eastbound on fifth, passing the middle school.” He heard other units closing on the area, and said, “Armed and dangerous. Still east on fifth. Late model Charger, Texas tag bravo, kilo, tango, three, don’t have last two numbers.”

As more city cars and other deputies got involved, Aaron realized he was leading a parade, so to speak, as first one, then two more cars fell in behind him.  “Crossing Railroad, still east on fifth. Car is weaving,” he called, as he bounced over the tracks.

Deputy Ortiz called in, “Two-fourteen, I’ll deploy stop sticks at fifth and Rooney. In position now.”

Aaron also saw two patrol units turn onto 5th heading west, as brake lights came on and tire smoke erupted from the Charger. The driver tried to turn left, but spun and hit the corner of the bank building, as Aaron keyed up, “Ten-fiftied at Fifth and Main, car hit the bank building.” As he tried to get the Tahoe stopped, he saw a shadowy figure run toward the back of the building, “Runner headed east on Fifth!” Easing up on the brakes, he rolled through the intersection and half way to Water Street before coming to a stop. He jumped out of the Tahoe, wincing as his feet hit the ground, as he grabbed his Maglite and drew his pistol. A quick scan didn’t show a running figure, so he limped slowly toward the drive up area, scanning back and forth.

A flicker of movement caught his eye, and he turned toward it, extending the light away from his body as he did so. A black male, in a dark track suit, as visible partially hidden behind the dumpster at the back of the bank building, “Hands, let me see your hands,” Aaron yelled.

The figure crouched and Aaron sidestepped to get a better view of the man, as he yelled, “Stand up, let me see your hands!” He saw the man come up with his hands, then saw the blossom of gunfire again, and fired two rounds at the man as he felt an impact on his leg and started falling. Shit, not again! Did I hit the sumbitch? As he fell on his left side, he lost he Maglite, and rolled onto his chest, Damn, why does my chest hurt so bad? Am I having a fucking heart attack, on top of…”

He heard somebody key up, “Officer down, shots fired, Pecos County Bank.” Aaron kept his gun trained on the dumpster, but no further gunfire came from there, and he rolled over as he heard Sergeant Alvarez yell, “Perp is down. Somebody check on the officer!”

Aaron holstered his pistol and slumped back as Deputy Ortiz ran up, “Aaron? Are you…”

“I got hit in the left leg, Danny,” Aaron said as he groaned and tried to sit up, “and I might have taken one in the vest too.”

Ortiz shined his light down Aaron’s leg and saw blood on the outside of his thigh, “Looks like you were hit in the thigh.” Keying his radio, he said, “Dispatch, two-fourteen. Need an ambulance, Fifth and Water, officer needs transport with gunshot wound.”

Dispatch replied, ‘Ambulance in route. Land line please.”

Ortiz fumbled out his phone as he propped Aaron up and dialed dispatch, “Lisa, Aaron Miller was shot in the leg. He’s conscious and alert, waiting on an ambulance to transport him.” A minute later, the dying growl of an ambulance could be heard as the other officers gathered round Aaron.

Sergeant Alvarez said, “Good shoot Aaron, you nailed the perp in the head and throat. He won’t be shooting at any of us again, but I’ll need to get your weapon for the investigation.”

Aaron nodded, “They’re taking me to the hospital, I guess. Meet me there?”

“Okay.”

Aaron suddenly realized he needed to call Jesse, and pulled his phone out, thankfully it hadn’t been hit or broken, and he hit Jesse’s number. After a couple of rings, he heard her answer and said,
“Honey, I got in a shootout tonight. I’ve been hit in the leg, but I’m okay. They are getting ready to take me to the hospital. Can you meet me there?” He listened for a minute, and said, “No, I’m okay. Really. I think it’s just a flesh wound. They’re here, and I gotta go. Love you.” He slid the phone back in his pocket, and slumped back as the medic and EMT puffed up with the gurney.

***

Jesse knocked on the old man’s door, “Papa, Aaron’s been shot and they are taking him to the hospital, he called and said he’s not bad. I’ve got to go!”

The old man grunted, “Get Felicia down here. As soon as she gets here, I’ll be there.”

Jesse nodded, then realized he couldn’t see her, “Okay.” Pulling her phone out of her pocket, she dialed Felicia, hitting the speaker button as she grabbed her purse and looked for a jacket, “Felicia, Aaron’s been shot and is on the way to the hospital. Can you or Matt come watch the kids until I get back?”

Felicia replied, “Of course, any idea how bad?”

“Aaron called and said he was hit in the leg. That’s all I know right now.”

“Give me five minutes and unlock the back door.”

“Okay, Papa will be here.” With that, Jesse hung up the phone, dropped it in her purse, and checked to make sure she had her credentials and her pistol. Boo Boo whined, sensing something was wrong, and Jesse said, “Quiet girl, don’t wake the babies, please.”

The old man came out of his room, buttoning his shirt, “Felicia on the way?” Jesse nodded and he continued, “Go, I’ll catch up with you there. Drive careful.”

Jesse grimaced, “I will, I just hope…”

“Go.” Jesse headed for the door, and the old man called the dogs, “Yogi, Boo Boo, come.” He walked through the kitchen to the back door, opened it, and let the dogs out. He headed for the office, pulling his gunbelt off the rack, and buckling it on. He slipped the radio out of its charger, turned it on, and headed back to the kitchen as he heard the dogs nails scrabbling on the floor. He met Felicia in the kitchen and said, “Thank you for helping out.”

Da nada, Señor. I pray Aaron is okay. Please go and don’t worry about the babies.”

He nodded and headed for the door. As soon as he got the car started, he keyed the mic, “Dispatch, Car four, enroute hospital.”

“Car four, dispatch, copied all. Sheriff has been notified and is also enroute.”

“Rangers been called?”

“Ten-four. ETA is one hour.”

***

Ranger Michaels leaned back in the chair note pad in his lap and reached up, shutting off the recorder sitting on the hospital table, “Thanks Aaron, I appreciate your willingness to give me a statement, especially right now, and without a lawyer present.”

Aaron started to shrug his shoulders, but said, “Ow, dammit. No problem Levi. I’d rather get it over with, and hopefully it’s all on the dashcam and body camera.” Glancing over at his prosthetic lying on the floor, he said, “Not sure what I’m going to do about that. You need it for evidence?”

Michaels looked at it and asked, “Why?”

“Jesse?” Jesse picked up the prosthetic and handed it to Aaron, as the foot dangled loosely. “He shot me in the foot, in addition to the thigh and the vest.” Wiggling the foot, he said, “It’s not supposed to do that, Levi.”

Michaels replied, “Maybe. Can I take it with me? Do you have a spare?”

Aaron nodded, “This is the spare, my good leg is getting maintenance at Fort Sam. But I’ve got a running leg I can use in the interim.”

Sheriff Rodriquez said, “You’re on admin anyway, until the investigation is completed, so it’s not like you’re going to be doing any patrolling. Levi, you need anything else from us?”

Michaels said, “Not right now. I’ve got to go do the scenes. Downtown first, then back out to the original scene. Apparently, Sergeant Alvarez pulled a goodly amount of cocaine out of the car, and they found another gun in the driver’s floorboard.”

Aaron asked curiously, “Did they get the driver?”

The sheriff and Ranger looked at each other, and the sheriff finally said, “He died at the scene. Apparently you got a round into him, and he broke his neck when they crashed. No seatbelt.”

Aaron grimaced, “Damn, I didn’t know that.”

The sheriff shrugged, “You were a bit occupied at the time. Doc Truesdale says he’s going to keep you overnight, just in case. He’s a little worried about the chest trauma from the two rounds in the vest, and he’s got to stitch up the thigh wound.”

Aaron grunted, “Yeah, they do hurt like a bit…”

Jesse said, “You can say bitch. It’s not like I haven’t heard that before.”

Aaron sighed, “I know, but I’m trying to clean up my language, especially around the kids. Speaking of that, who?”

The old man answered, “Felicia is watching them. I’m going to leave Jesse here with you, and I’m going to go examine the scenes with Levi.”

Doc Truesdale strolled in, “Are you done with my patient to the point I can hit him with some good drugs and let him get some rest? I swear, I spend more damn time patching up you Cronins than I do anybody else in town!”

The old man picked his hat up, “He’s all yours Doc. I have to go to work, no thanks to Aaron. You and Jesse can fight over him.”

Doc rolled his eyes, “Okay John, I’ll get him patched up and leave him to Jesse’s tender ministrations.”

***

The old man pulled in behind the Ranger’s Tahoe, and climbed slowly out, noting the police tape surrounding the car, stretching down the street to Aaron’s Tahoe, and into the drive through behind the bank. He saw that the city had a couple of portable light stands set up, and after he signed in, he made his way over to Sergeant Alvarez, who nodded, “Captain.”

“How goes it Sarge?”

“Lucky. Aaron was lucky, not once, but twice. And he took the brunt of it, rather than our officers. Hate that he had to put the perps down, but I don’t see it as anything but a good shoot.”

“Got time to show me the scene?”

“Sure. The Ranger is out back. He’s already done the car and driver.”

They walked over to the crumpled dark gray Charger, the driver’s side door bent around the corner of the bank building. Alvarez bent down and pointed to the back door behind the driver, “Both of Aaron’s shots went in there,” walking around the other side of the car, he shined his light and pointed, “See the blood on the wall? Best guess is the driver broke his neck when he hit the wall with his head. When they pulled him out, he had one round in mid-back, probably got the lung. Car spun a one-eighty trying to make the corner, but it was already weaving the last couple blocks after they crossed Railroad. We’ll have to wait for the autopsy, but I’m betting he was bleeding out the whole time.”

The old man shined his light in the back, whistling, “Damn, good amount of drugs. Y’all already tested any?”

“City did, came up pure coke.” Ranger wanted it left until he can get enough pictures then we’ll have to weigh it, test all of it, and put it in evidence.”

“Any ID on them?”

“Yeah, two brothers out of Houston. Crips, from the look of them, between the tats and the colors.”

“Brothers? As in?”

“Actual brothers. Twenty-one and twenty-three, both out on parole for drug dealing. From the packaging, looks like they’d made a deal with Sinaloa and were doing a pickup and run back home.”

“So felons with guns. What a fucking surprise,” the old man said in disgust.

Alvarez shrugged, “Yep. Anyway, perp number two ran around the back of the building.” He and the old man walked down the side of the building and stopped at the back corner, looking at a dumpster pulled out at a 45 degree angle, pointing, “Perp two hid there. Aaron’s truck is where he stopped and got out, he was moving laterally toward the drive up.” Alvarez shined his light in the general direction of the drive up lanes, “About twenty yards from perp two. He said he caught movement and turned. Perp shot at him, he shot back, and won the battle.”

“Any idea where the perp’s rounds went?”

“Found a couple of chipped bricks in the front of the library. That’s probably where they went. Didn’t see any spent bullets, but who knows where they might have ended up.”

The flash of a camera momentarily startled the old man, and he looked sharply at the dumpster again, seeing Ranger Michaels standing up, camera in hand. “What are you finding, Levi?”

Michaels looked over, “Did you sign in, Captain?”

“Sure did. Sergeant Alvarez has been giving me the ten cent tour.”

Okay, come around in front of the dumpster at least ten yards out. I haven’t gotten all his tracks marked yet, but I don’t think he went that far. Maybe two-three yards.”

The old man stepped carefully to where Levi pointed and saw a body slumped against the wall, a Glock lying on the ground, and a splatter of blood just about where the top of the dumpster would be.

Michaels walked over, “Two rounds, one in the throat, one centered in the forehead. That is some impressive shooting on a two way range, in the dark. Aaron must not have any nerves, or he’s just flat crazy.”

The old man shook his head, “No, he’s been in combat multiple times. He’s a former Marine Sniper, four, no five Silver Stars. His last go round, he took out a dozen or so Taliban, at bad breath range, in an alley, that was his fifth. I’d guess a one v one was a relief to him, and he was probably pissed they’d already hit him in the vest.”

Michaels whistled, “Didn’t know his background. I knew he was in the Corps, but he never said anything.”

“Just like you don’t talk about flying Harriers with folks that haven’t been there.”

Michaels ducked his head, “Point taken. Still impressive shooting.”

“Yep. And Aaron practices religiously. As do Jesse and Matt.”

“Good to know.” Looking over, he said, “Sarge, can you tell the medics to bag this one, I’m done with him, but he needs to go to the hospital for an autopsy.”

Alvarez turned and yelled, “Medic up! Bag ‘em and tag ‘em.”

Michaels chuckled, “Gotta love ‘em. Now I’ve got to go find the first scene.”

The old man smiled, “Obrien is sitting on it for you. Just park behind him. You need any help?”

“Nah, I’ve got it. Just got to finish the documentation, and if I’m lucky, get home before the kids wake up. It’s supposed to be my turn to fix breakfast.”

“Good luck with that. Thanks for coming as quickly as you did.”

“No problem, tell Aaron I hope he gets better quick.”

“Will do, good night Levi.”

The medics came up, rolling the gurney and the Ranger pointed to the body, “All yours. The Doc is waiting on him.”

The medic nodded, “Got it. We’ll have him there in twenty minutes.”

The old man turned to Alvarez, “Well, I’m going to go to the house. Thanks for your support, as always.”

“No problem, Captain. It’s a team effort. I’ll sign you out. Tell Aaron we wish him the best.”

“I will. Thanks.”

Willie’s playing my song…

Off to see the kids for Christmas, so light blogging and commenting for the next week. I’ll see if I can get some videos of Vito and the grands to put up.

Meanwhile, go read the folks on the sidebar, they’re better writers than I am.

Unbelieveable…

I really am amazed, horrified, and just flat pissed that this was thought of, much less done…

They followed cocaine shipments, tracked a river of dirty cash, and traced what they believed to be the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

The allegations are linked to Project Cassandra, a campaign launched in 2008 by the Drug Enforcement Administration against Hezbollah.

It was said to have detailed how the Iranian-backed terror group morphed from a political and military organisation into an “international crime syndicate”. 

In particular agents were said to be investigating an alleged $1 billion-a-year funding stream from drugs, weapons trafficking, money laundering and other crimes.

BUT, according to THIS article on Politico, and an article HERE, from the Telegraph.  The Obama administration short stopped the DEA and others from actually prosecuting any of the players, all to get Iran to sign the Nuke ‘deal’…

This is Fast and Furious, writ large, and lies directly at Obama and Holder’s feet. How many died, how many were killed because those drugs came freely into the country, just so the administration could get their ‘deal’…

Grrrr…