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Bright
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Thread: Bright

  1. #41
    thanks for the chapter, good stuff Friend is the man

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    435
    ok, that was a good break in the work day. enjoyed it very much. Friend definitely has a unique personality.
    How many miles to Galt's Gulch?

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,122
    Just here looking around for more.....
    Visit me on Etsy: ModernMaille

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    624
    gee whiz..thought there was more..now I'm going to go sit in a corner and pout.

  5. #45
    we do need more, don't we

  6. #46

    6

    Last week was extraordinarily Hectic.

    Back to writing Soon.

    .....RVM45

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    South Texas Boonies
    Posts
    6,593
    Quote Originally Posted by RVM45 View Post

    Back to writing Soon.

    .....RVM45
    Great waiting this is an interesting story am enjoying it.

    DM

  8. #48

    6

    Chapter Nine





    One of the State Laws was fiddling with my Airbrush equipment.


    “Do you use this?” He asked.

    “Not for a couple of years,” I replied.

    “Want to sell it?” He drooled.

    “Damned nation people! You are guests in my house, and look at you. Listen to this cretin! He lets his greed turn him into a fool, and a rude and greedy fool at that!”

    I paused to glare at everyone within eyeshot.

    “Listen Lopslicker, if I hadn’t wanted the airbrush, then why would I have bought it? Obviously I found my previous state of existence—that did not include an airbrush—unsatisfactory in some way.

    “Why would I wish to retreat to that previous state of dissatisfaction?

    “ Suppose that I did sell it to you—get maybe sixty cents on the dollar for it. Then when I wanted to airbrush again, I’d have to pay that forty percent again, with the aggravation of having to shop and wait again.”

    “And if you never use it again?” Laura asked.

    “It is neither eating nor raising my taxes. It pays for itself by giving me the assurance that should I ever need an airbrush, I have one.”

    I think Laura already knew the answer. She was only helping me explain to these non compos mentis.

    I was thoroughly aggravated. I had moved out in the country, largely to be left alone. Sometimes a month would go by without any necessity to leave my property or to speak to anyone, except on the Internet.

    I liked it that way.

    My swimming pool was built indoors so that I could swim in privacy. And if I chose to skip going to bed, and simply lay down beside my pool…

    That was my choice too.

    I hadn’t been swimming in seven weeks—ever since the six-man guard detail had moved in. Then there was Joe-Bob and his two paranoid and homicidal cousins Hank and Eric.

    Actually the two boys weren’t that bad. I kinda liked them. But tarnation! Anything gets old after awhile. I was even getting tired of Laura.

    Thing was though, Jim-Bob had an exceptional grasp of covert surveillance techniques—far better than anyone the State had on tap, and he was tireless. He seriously grooved on eavesdropping.

    And his cousins were exceptional second story men. They were both lean and rawboned to the point of looking emaciated. No one would mistake them for Laws—though technically they were now, with badges and everything.

    They weren’t stupid. I got some Locksmith gear, including one of those practice locks that you can start with just one tumbler installed and work your way up to seven. I also got a clear one, where you could see the tumblers at work.

    I signed them both up for Locksmith Correspondence courses and made sure that they did the course work. I also made sure that they could escape from handcuffs and other restraints.

    Meanwhile, Jim-Bob was showing them the basics of electronics.

    I think that either Hank or Eric would have cheerfully given his life for me—they were that seriously grateful to be out of Gaol.

    I salved my conscious over the massive violations of privacy we were committing, because we were all solemnly pledged to totally ignore anything that didn’t directly relate to the Gourmet—that’s what we were calling him now.

    At first, going around interviewing weird people, carrying lots of Guns and tweaking the nose of the local Laws had been kinda fun, but getting shot and then settling in for the long haul—with the added liability to protect both ourselves and others—the whole trip had been getting rather tedious.

    Then I got an Idea…

    And a couple of weeks later a big package arrived.

    There were two-dozen of the new Ruger 1911A1 .45 Automatics in the small crate—all carefully packaged against damage. Each one had been modified to my exact specifications.

    “Gather around everyone,” I shouted. “Everyone select one .45 Auto. They’re all alike, but there will be subtle differences in the triggers.”

    I set aside two for myself, and two for Laura.

    “These Guns have Extended Ambidextrous Safeties—but modestly extended. They have high-profile sights. The grip safety is both pinned, and the little stud that activates it has been ground off—so even if somehow the pinning fails, the grip safety still won’t come into play…”

    “No! I didn’t tell anyone to load them! These Guns will stay unloaded until you’re thoroughly trained in their use. Some of you may be carrying 1911A1s already. That’s cool.

    “But these 1911A1s will stay unloaded until you complete the course I’m going to teach.

    “Jim-Bob, bring your cousins and come get you a Gun. You’re included in this too. You may not be able to walk, but you’re going to start contributing something to your own protection,” I said.

    “We’re all convicted felons,” Hank said.

    “Not anymore. I’ve managed to get you full pardons,” I said.

    “Why are they all Bright Nickeled?” A Trooper asked.

    “Well, Gold and Silver are a lot more expensive, and not nearly as durable. If anyone feels that they simply must have a Bright Chrome finish, I’ll order you one.

    “There should be a name for objects that are almost Handguns, except that they have subdued finishes. They’re simply not weapons for Warriors,” I told him.

    I taught a ten-day course. I’d ordered Jeff Cooper’s video course from Paladin. I let the good Colonel do most of the instructing, but I stretched his five-day course into ten, to allow much more repetition.

    By the time everyone had completed the course, they were all much more deadly, including myself. We trained in two groups, to allow someone to guard at all times.

    When everyone was thoroughly trained with their .45, I ordered a bunch of Smith and Wesson Model 36s—2” .38s with Bright Nickeled finishes and no Keyhole. We repeated the course with the J Frame .38 Specials.

    I told all of them to carry whatever they chose to—But to carry it in addition to the 1911A1s and the .38 backups, not instead of.

    Later we had courses with Double Barreled 12 Gauge Shotguns—with eighteen-inch barrels, a twelve-inch pull and a Bright Nickel Finish.

    I issued each man a Double—but they weren’t required to always have it with them—unless instructed to. We used a course of fire much like the Cowboy Contest Shooters.

    Then we qualified everyone with Pump Shotguns and Lever-Action .30-30s, though we didn’t issue them.

    Getting everyone involved in training got them out of my hair—well actually, I lead the training more often than not—but the Laws didn’t seem nearly as annoying.

    Afterwards, we branched out. I ordered all sorts of video tapes—weapon retention, unarmed against the knife, knife-fighting, kendo, wrestling, judo—both good solid stuff and some of the crack-brained…

    We tried it all out. I think that very rarely has a comparable sized group been brought to such lethality.

    Two of the Bloodhounds decided that they were mine. Laura, Jim-Bob and the cousins all had one favorite each. That only left two for the State Laws.

    I ordered a half-dozen Rat Terriers. Small Dogs are more active and vocal and they’ll keep big dogs more vigilant.

    Then I found an enterprising soul who’d been breeding Bull Mastiffs to Boxers to get a heavy-duty attack Dog. I ordered six—one for each Trooper—a Guard Dog…

    Then I had Murray find a trainer to come and train both men and Dogs together.

    Even the little Dogs were obedience Trained and Soft-Core Attack Trained. All the big Dogs got the Hard-Core Attack Training.

    We were managing to spend a lot of the State’s money, and use a fair-sized piece of its manpower, but we hadn’t accomplished much since Dean and Elvira’s Murder.

    Then I got a call. There’d been another Gourmet Murder.

    ************************** ************************** *************

    I sent a Law car to pick up Elder Vincent and my own Pastor Elder Duncan to bring them to the meeting, because I wanted both of their opinions


    There was the woman in the interrogation room. She had two black eyes, busted lips and she was missing a few teeth.

    Her husband had come home early and caught her and the Gourmet sitting down to eat. He’d walked right in on them and surprised them. The Gourmet had barely started his meal.

    The husband had attacked the Gourmet—or tried to. His wife had fought fiercely to allow the murderer room to flee, hence her injuries.

    She sat fiercely puffing on a cigarette as we watched the FBI people interrogate her.

    “Does she smoke?” I asked her husband, who was also in the observation room.

    “Not for ten or twelve years, “ he said. “I’d know if she started again. I’m very sensitive to the slightest hint of Tobacco odor.”

    So something about her experience made her crave nicotine—made her suck on a cigarette as if she were trying to drink a very thick milkshake through a straw.

    “When she’s done talking to the FBI, take away her cigarettes,” I told one of the Fort Wayne Detectives.

    When the FBI Profilers were done, they were willing to let Friend’s Travelling Sideshow take a crack at it. If she stayed true to form, she wouldn’t stay attentive and responsive much longer anyway.

    I had Vincent with his scarred eyeless face—looking kinda like a poor man’s Hurr. I had Jim-Bob in his Wheelchair—I’d come to value his keen mind. I had my Pastor of course, Laura looking like one of those Deca-Damsels you used to see in Women’s Bodybuilding.

    {Deca-Durabolin is—or at least used to be—a very common Anabolic Steroid—I guess the term is kinda obsolete nowadays…}

    I had Eric and a couple Troopers. Since the Troopers were now plain clothes and since they’d been associating with me, their dress had become increasingly eccentric…

    And Laura and I walked in.

    “Why did you do it?” I asked.

    “I need a Smoke,” She replied.

    “Answer the question,” I insisted.

    “Give me a Cigarette first!” She insisted.

    “I don’t smoke. I don’t have any cigarettes. I do have this though,” I showed her a huge cigar.

    “If you answer me, I’ll let you have it. If not, I’ll give it to Laura.”

    She sat silent a moment.

    I handed the cigar to Laura. I’d briefed her beforehand what I wanted. She trimmed the tip off the cigar with a big Buck lock-back, then got out a lighter as if to light the cigar.

    “Just tell me one thing,” I said. “What color was the strange man?”

    Her eyes went zonkie.

    “Colors—O the colors—all the colors of the rainbow, and O so bright!”
    She rambled.

    “And what did the baby taste like?”

    “Colors—Bright Colors! Red and Violet, Blue and Yellow. The brightest Black, The deepest Orange—She tasted like a Rainbow!”

    I gave her the cigar and Laura held a light for her. I’d wondered ever since I’d seen some of the other women smoking. That was a fifty-dollar cigar—but I’d selected it for a reason. It had the highest nicotine level by far of any cigar listed.

    Once the Client had the cigar burning good, she started the milkshake suck again, inhaling the thick harsh smoke as if it were asthma medicine. She kept at it too, until halfway through the cigar, she went catatonic.

    Her eyes became vacant and she stared at nothing. The half-finished cigar fell out of nerveless fingers. Laura scooped it up and ground it out before it could burn her.

    “Eric, would you bring Vincent and Elder Duncan in here, “ I asked.

    “Does this look anything like Demon Possession to you,” I asked them.

    “Not like any possession that I’ve ever seen, “ Vincent said.

    Elder Duncan merely shook his head.

    {Since I knew Vincent before he became an Elder, in my mind I wasn’t required to use his title except in church.}

    “But there’s one way to be sure,” Vincent continued.

    He laid his right hand on her forehead and commanded, “I order all foul spirits to leave this woman—In The Name of Jesus!”

    He shrugged.

    “If there were any unclean spirits, that would have driven them out. Obviously she is oppressed, but not by the Demonic.”

    **************************** ******************* *************

    I gestured to one of the Detectives.

    “Have you started the autopsy on the baby yet? I need to see something first,” I said.

    “That’s a job for a qualified Coroner. Are you a Doctor?” He responded.

    “Actually yes, I am a Doctor—but not a Medical Doctor. I won’t touch the body, but I need to see something,” I insisted.

    *************************** *********************** **************

    My entourage stayed way back while I examined the corpse. I stuck a Dentist’s mirror deep in the carcass to get a good look. Then I brought my nose to within two or three inches and smelled.

    “Yah-Yah, Yah-YAHHH!” As the Rastafarian chef used to say

    ************************ *********************** **************

    “You told me that you never graduated from College,” Laura said accusingly, once we were all comfortably back in the van.

    “No, I told you that I failed out of Purdue three times. I have two associate’s degrees from IVY Tech—one in Industrial Maintenance, the other in Welding. I also have a Bachelor’s; Master’s and PhDs from one of the top rated accredited Correspondence Colleges around, “ I said.

    “In what?” She demanded.

    “You’d never guess,” I said.

    “What was up with that weird question, the cigar and poking and smelling around that poor little dead baby, “ She demanded.

    “I’m forming a tentative hypothesis,” I said. “It sounds too far out to share it yet. As far as the baby—I’m sorry she’s dead, but her body no more contains her essence that the tray that she lays on…

    “And if I thought that casting that little body into a pen-full of pigs would bring me a half-inch closer to that evil perverted knob-gobbler that’s doing this…

    “Then O well…”

    “I’d hate to have you hunting me, “ Eric shuddered. “But you’re a good fellow to have on my side.”




    .....RVM45
    Last edited by RVM45; 08-06-2012 at 01:36 PM.

  9. #49
    thanks for the new chapter, good stuff

  10. #50

    6 Chapter Ten

    Chapter Ten





    I had gathered Murray, Laura, Jim-Bob and his two cousins for a Council of War. Jim-Bob was a genius, Laura was my full-time aide and Hank and Eric were like a Praetorian Guard. The two Tennesseans seemed to want to stay within at least earshot at all times—at least when they weren’t on a bugging mission. It wasn’t worth hearing their grievances for leaving them out.

    “We’re dealing with some sort of mind control. Nothing else could explain those women’s actions adequately. The sniper that I shot and his two spotters…

    “We couldn’t find any connection between them. The closest two lived about seventy miles apart. They weren’t even casual shooters—for which I’m grateful…

    “The Gourmet killed Elvira and Dean because he was afraid that Elvira knew something.

    “We don’t seem to be dealing with the supernatural and the Gourmet only seems able to turn one person at a time. But we can’t be sure at any point in time, that he hasn’t turned one of us,” I said.

    “What about the cigar?” Laura asked.

    “Do you know how Nicotine works? I haven’t looked it up in awhile—don’t know the latest. But I do know that it attaches itself to Neurotransmitter Receivers on the Neurons in the Brain that it is habit-forming and that it has a number of rather contradictory effects on the Brain.

    “I’m guessing that the Gourmet programs his clients to shut down upon mission completion—at least if they’re caught. That would be a foregone conclusion in the mother’s cases.

    “This dude is crafty enough to know that an overabundance of Nicotine helps bring about the catatonic state that he wants these women in. It doesn’t cause it. It just greases the skids.

    “They’re programmed to demand Nicotine and due to the bizarre tendency our suspects have of going uncommunicative, rules were bent to let them smoke—anything for a bit more data,” I said.

    “Shouldn’t they have given them cigarettes?” Murray asked.

    “Naw, giving it to them made the best of a bad deal. Otherwise they’d have refused to cooperate at all even while still conscious,” I replied.

    “Why did you stick your nose into the baby’s pleural cavity?” Laura asked.

    “I stuck a Dental mirror into the chest cavity. My nose was a good four inches away.”

    “But why?” Jim-Bob demanded.

    “Both kidneys had been harvested—nice neat incisions. The impromptu picnic afterwards, though it certainly seems to trip the Gourmet’s switches, is at least partly to obscure the fact.

    “As to the smell—I have no idea what may have been revealed. I believe that we can smell much better than we consciously realize but that most of it is processed as subliminal information.

    “At any rate—we need to have our people on the clock 24/7. We need to set up a buddy system, so that no one is ever alone. I mean that literally. We don’t go to the crapper unless someone is standing outside the stall keeping guard,” I said.

    “Well I selected unmarried Gun-happy men for you. Fact is, most of them probably wouldn’t have been accepted under ordinary circumstances—just not quite the politically correct mix—but I’ve been contemplating something like this for some time. I’ve been seeding them—getting them accepted ahead of the need— as future resource.

    “They won’t complain about the long hours. I’ll arrange a generous bonus. Maybe you can think up a few more toys to keep them occupied,” Murray said.

    “Can you get me a few more?” I asked.

    “Damned Nation! You’re burning up a bunch of the Governor’s discretionary budget. I’ll see what I can do,” Murray said.

    “Another thing—Several folks have wanted to know why the Governor’s Special Task Force is headquartered in Kentucky,” Murray said.

    “This isn’t the ‘Headquarters’ for anything. This is my home. We haven’t the time to move into a ‘Headquarters’ at the moment. We’re trying to catch this Fiendish Gourmet before he kills any more babies—or anyone else for that matter. I also expect him to move on us soon. He seems to be good at covering his tracks,” I said.

    “You didn’t let me finish. I talked to the Governor of Kentucky. You are all now part of the Joint Governor’s task force of Indiana and Kentucky. Word has went out to the Laws to leave y’all strictly alone,” Murray said.

    ***************************** ************************ *******************

    After Murray had left, the others had some questions.

    “That part about organ harvesting sounds alright if you say it fast but…

    “They sell organs in several Third World countries. It doesn’t make sense to ship organs there. If the operation was done in the US…” Laura paused to marshal
    Her arguments.

    “Well you can’t just go bouncing into an O.R. and cheerfully announce that you have a kidney,” She concluded.

    “You might be able to do that very occasionally and get away with it. But he doesn’t have to. He can get to each member of the surgical team. He gets to every nurse and administrator that would represent a possible problem.

    “He even turns the clerks and gets the right stuff done on the computer. If the clerk needs help, he can get a top-notch hacker to help work on the computer trail. And he spreads it over several hospitals all over four or five states.

    “Sure, if someone digs deeply enough—but who would? Why? And he can always turn anyone who starts to pry.

    “Anyway, I think that organ harvesting is very much secondary. This dude’s on an ego trip. He took both kidneys—sure, given the option, might as well have two kidneys. I think his main concern was lest he bollix one though. He’s a screw-up—at least as a Doctor,” I explained.

    ******************** *********************** ***************

    It turned out that five of the seven new Troopers that Murray sent were Kentucky Laws.

    They were a bit behind on the weapon practice that we’d all been doing, but the others were advanced enough to both train them and continue their own training.

    They were starting to get into Small-Unit Tactics—Something that I knew little about. But their incessant practice kept them out of my way.

    Hank and Eric also got me the names of a half-dozen convicts that were both doing long-term sentences and whom they thought would be a good fit. I noticed that four out of the six were cousins of the brothers. I’m not stupid.

    The Pardons took a bit longer to process, but the Men were a very good fit.

    The budget got stretched enough for four more Bull Mastiff—Boxer Hybrids and we picked up a couple big Dogs at the shelter. One looked like he was mostly German Shepherd and the other was a Half-Grown Rottweiler and then there was the Beagle-looking little puppy that we got because he only had a day left till termination…

    I had a fair idea what sort of dude that I was looking for. I had Jim-Bob hacking into computer records from several states looking for obscure discrepancies in the organ donor records.

    Laura, Hank, Eric and I were going around planting a trap amongst the hookers in seven cities. I didn’t want anyone but my closest inner circle to know what my exact theory was evolving into, so I was limited to just us four to set my traps.

    We had to check back with our client hookers regularly to see if the Gourmet had took the bait.

    Long hours sitting in the van or driving and plenty on-the-road fast food started taking its toll, so we started a daily exercise routine regardless of where we were.

    We finally hit pay dirt in Louisville Kentucky. A hooker named Rita had been accosted by the Gourmet and not only did she resist his mind control, she got him on videotape with the tiny video camera we’d given her to war.

    She’d been on salary for being one of our agents in the field and I also paid her a hefty bonus—both in money and drugs. Dealing with snitches is a dirty business. But I didn’t fault anyone for snitching on the Gourmet.

    I called Murray on a scrambled phone and gave him the gist of my information. There should have been an APB out with several nice black and white shots of the Gourmets face on it.

    **************************** ********************** **********************


    I never thought that it was a good idea to follow patterns—especially now that we were so close.

    We crossed the Ohio and checked into a small motel in Madison Indiana rather than stay in Louisville or try to make it back home. I intended to follow 64 back to 41 and return by the slightly roundabout route—just to throw off any possible ambush…

    But I hadn’t reckoned on the incredible number of compromised people were under the Gourmets control.

    The next morning we were doing our daily exercises. Since the motel had a pool, Eric and Hank swam while Laura and I kept a discrete guard. Swimming in a pool almost necessitates being pretty much disarmed. The brothers had their 1911A1s in leather satchels, one at each end of the pool.

    A couple of county deputies stepped around the corner of the building with pump shotguns and opened fire on the brothers without warning. Then two more came running up from the opposite direction.

    Hank had a little stainless .32 Seecamp that he was carrying in his swim trunks. He immediately drew and started returning fire. The water was only slightly above waist level at his end of the pool and he was promptly shot down. He took three or four shotgun shells worth of 00 Buckshot to the chest.

    Eric was I deeper water. He dove deep and waited until the shotgun fire ceased, then he started swimming underwater toward the deepest end of the pool, where his bag and .45 were.

    When the deputies ran out of 12 Gauge shells, they shifted to high capacity 9mms and emptied them into the pool.

    While all this was going on, Laura had drawn a bead on the head of the closer running Deputy and sent a round of .30-30 from her neat little takedown Lever-Action through his brainpan.

    I was farther away and without a long Gun. I shot the second Poolside deputy three times with my 1911A1. Then I turned my attention on the second running deputy, since he was almost on top of me.

    I couldn’t seem to get unstuck off torso shots, despite the fact that his vest was visible and despite his continued charge. Lucky for me, he seemed totally caught-up in his Bayonet-type charge—not that he had a bayonet on his shotgun.

    I ducked his buttstroke intended to hit my head, drew my Ruger Redhawk Left-Handed and sent a fast 250 grain .45 Colt wadcutter through his head from behind.

    Meanwhile Eric had gotten to his .45 and between him and Laura, they took down the two poolside shooters. The one that I’d hit three times to the torso turned out to be wearing a vest.

    They didn’t take them down before Eric sustained four 9mm hits to the torso—Though I think that the water had slowed down at least three of them somewhat.

    Hank was dead. We put pressure bandages on Eric. We could hear sirens in the distance.

    “We have to split. We can’t do anything for Eric. He’ll die if we move him. We’ll hope that the Paramedics will try to save him and not execute him outright,” I told Laura as I drug her away from the poolside.

    “We just killed four Laws,” She said.

    “Laws ain’t supposed to shoot first and ask questions later—especially with people unarmed and in a swimming pool. Either they were fakes or the Gourmet has turned them. In either case, we need to get out of here,” I told her.

    I grabbed my Bug-Out Bag and headed to an old beat-up looking car—one I hoped would be less likely to be alarmed. I could have really used one of the brother’s deft hands. They’d become really expert at all sorts of Lock Picking and other bypassing methods.

    There were a few tense moments, but I managed to get the car started and out on the highway and far enough from the motel that the Laws in their Law Cars with the flashing lights and blaring sirens didn’t stop us as they went whizzing by.

    I drove into town and took a few random right turns. Then I parked the car in a small parking lot.

    “Come on, it’s about a quarter mile from here, if I remember correctly,” I said.

    “What?”

    “There is a mental hospital in Madison. It’s honeycombed with steam tunnels. I removed Asbestos there twenty some-odd years ago. Most of the tunnels were knee-deep in water and unused.

    “I spent some time exploring when I was supposed to be working. One of the tunnels comes up close to here,”

    “Why would the tunnel come way over here?”

    “The hospital is just a little over that away. As to why it comes out outside the hospital grounds at all—I couldn’t tell you. Probably someone had an agenda when they built it way back when,” I said.

    The entrance to the tunnel was there sure enough. We had to squat and duck-walk a bit to get in.

    After dark I stepped out of the tunnel to send Jim-Bob a scrambled satellite call.

    “What gives Jim-Bob? Four deputies tried to kill us today,” I said into the phone.

    “We’re compromised. The compound is under siege. They’re claiming that we’re some sort of terrorist group. We’re holding them off for the moment. I think they’re holding back to get plenty of airtime and make sure that everyone is tuned in for the big push.

    “They’ve gone public with the Gourmet Murders. They claim that you and Laura are responsible. They’re offering a $10 000 reward for either of you—dead or alive,” Jim-Bob said.

    “What is this, the Old West?” I expostulated in exasperation.

    “ They say that Hank and Eric are escaped prisoners.

    “There are dead bodies and dead Dogs, lots of dead Dogs,” Jim-Bob said.

    He was weeping and breaking down as he spoke.

    “Gotta go Jim-Bob. Find this shabnasticator for me, if you can. Call you later. Godspeed,” I told him.

    “What are we gonna do?” Laura asked me when I related the contents of Jim-Bob’s message.

    “We’ll lay low for two or three days. They’ll think that we’re long gone. I can disguise myself fairly well. I’ll score us a vehicle and we’ll head somewhere better…

    “And hope that Jim-Bob can locate the Gourmet.”

    “What good will that do? They’ll still be out to arrest us or be angling to shoot us on sight,” She said.

    “You’re right, we may be permanently wanked, but I want the satisfaction of ripping that baby-eating perverts guts out and strangling him with his own intestines before I die, or get put into a maximum security cell for life,” I said.



    .....RVM45

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,939
    Wowie! Thank you for the new chapter.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    15,410
    RVM ... just wanted to let you know I will read this one, just that I read the first chapter and know that I'll need to devote and brain and stomach to it and right now I barely have the brain and stomach to get through the day. I nearly melted in the heat today. I just didn't want you to think I was being rude. Need to go post a note to pacnorwest about the same thing on her story.
    Find my free fiction stories here.

    "Isn’t it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?” - Kelvin R. Throop III

  13. #53

    6

    That's Cool Kathy.

    I know that you've been having a hard time recently.

    .....RVM45

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    624
    Quite the action going on in this story. This Gourmet sure has some sick taste for his food. Hope they find him soon. Thanks for more.

  15. #55
    seems like it is time for some serious payback, thanks for the great chapter

  16. #56

    Chapter Eleven

    Chapter Eleven





    There was both food and water in our bags—though more food than water. We were pretty thirsty when the third day rolled around.

    Fortunately there was an ample sized dry area right inside the tunnel’s mouth, and we had a wool blanket each.

    I’m not an expert on disguise, but I’d read a couple books and watched a couple shows on The Learning Channel about CIA Methods.

    Number one, changing hair color does very little to disguise you. Number two, changing the shape of the hair, and thereby changing the apparent shape of the head does far more. Best of all, change both the shape and the color.

    Number three, you can’t shrink any of your key facial features—short of surgery—but you can add to them.

    As a consequence, most disguises tend to make one look rather Troll-Like—big nose, big chin and prominent supra-orbital ridges. If I were looking for someone that I expected might be in disguise, I would concentrate on folks with rather coarse features…

    But then the World is full of folks with coarse features.

    Fortunately I have a Celtic nose—broad but rather short. My nose-line was very straight until it was broken several times. Afterward it bowed in the middle, like a sway-backed old nag.

    I had a silicone-rubber prosthesis in my bag. It gave me a very large nose with a hump in the middle. It had one medium-sized mole with several black hairs sprouting from it.

    I wear my hair long and free, and about half was still reddish-brown—and it was very fine. My disguise has a wig of long stringy white hair, tied back into a ponytail.

    My own eyebrows are all but invisible—being both rather sparse and very light colored. I had rubber prostheses that gave me supra-orbital ridges like a Neanderthal’s and very thick bushy black brows.

    I completed my outfit with a pair of horn-rimmed glasses—actually safety glasses with zero correction and the side-shields removed, and duct tape repair on the bridge. There was also a very loud Hawaiian shirt in my bag—since I seldom wear anything but black.

    I had the wherewithal to give me a chin that would make Dudley Do-Right proud, but opted not to mess with it. My Jeans and my “T” Shirt were still black, but if folks were studying me that hard, I was already in trouble.

    “I want to come with you, “ Laura objected.

    “Laura, they’re looking for an older white man with a young black woman of unusual stature. It isn’t that uncommon to see a white man walking with a black woman, but it is an exception—something that will prompt further analysis. And there is nothing that I can do to make you look white or to make you much shorter.

    “Please stay here until I get a vehicle for us and come back to get you. If I don’t get back tonight, tomorrow night do what you want to,” I said.

    ************************* ************************* *********************

    I’d found a good stout stick just outside the tunnel, and I used it as another prop, leaning rather heavily on it as I went.

    I found a nice older Ford van, a Blue Econoline 250. I’d owned a couple E-150s and an E-350, but never an E-250 and never a Blue van. I had reduced it to possession in a matter of moments.

    Laura piled in the back out of sight after I picked her up. I filled the tank with gasoline at the first convenience store we encountered. I also picked up a Styrofoam cooler, three bags of ice and some drinks—including some water—as well as some regular grub.

    Indianapolis isn’t far from Madison. It was only a little over ninety miles by the most direct route. I cranked the big van up to five or six miles per hour over the speed limit—going too slow would have aroused as much interest as going too fast—and I prayed that the van wouldn’t be reported stolen in the next couple hours, or failing that, that no Law would feel the need to call our plates in.

    The van had excellent steering and shocks and it was a pleasure to drive on the highway. Once we were out of Madison, Laura climbed up into the passenger seat beside me. She kept her Marlin .30-30 beside her, sling wrapped around one forearm, so that a hypothetical crash wouldn’t separate them—at least one might hope.

    We pulled into Indianapolis and I went to Murray’s neighborhood. A quick visual survey convinced me that his house wasn’t being watched.

    Laura and I easily picked his lock and countered his rather prosaic security system. He was lying in bed asleep. I straddled his body as I woke him.

    He panicked—especially seeing my “Caveman Face” that I hadn’t yet bothered to remove. He’d been a very good wrestler in his day. He’d stayed fit. Even though I had one hundred pounds on him and he was partially tangled in his blanket, I was very glad that Laura was there to hold his legs for me.

    There were any number of things that I could have done, but I didn’t want to hurt him, nor give him the chance to hurt me.

    “Hold still Murray, damn it! I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to see if you’ve been turned,” I said.

    I had a gadget that I’d made. It had a ring of very bright diodes all around the rim, they strobed very rapidly, at several selectable speeds, all the while allowing me to observe the iris and pupil through the center.

    If I were correct, having been turned would have altered the eye movements in response to such stimulation in certain meaningful ways.

    If I wasn’t, then I was about to hand a loaded Gun to a very dangerous foe.

    Murray looked at me sourly when I handed him his .45. He dropped the magazine and checked the chamber and looked thoroughly disgusted when they turned out to be empty.

    I handed him his magazine and his spare round. Not checking would have been yet another sign that he was no longer completely in control of himself.

    “He has the Governor and most of the major Law Enforcement Officers in Indiana,” Murray said as he loaded his Gun.

    “Why haven’t they tried to turn or killed you?” I asked.

    Murray shrugged.

    “I’m one of the Governor’s closest and most powerful aides, but not on paper. I function better out of the limelight. These folks have rather linear ideas about how Bureaucracies function.

    “Quite simply, they don’t believe that I’m worth bothering with,” Murray said. “I’ve been at wit’s end the last few days, trying not to draw attention to myself.”

    ************************************* **************** ************

    I got ahold of Jim-Bob on Murray’s scrambled and untraceable landline.

    “He’s in the Governor’s mansion,” Jim-Bob said. “He’s like a spider in the center of a great web. Anyone he needs to turn, he has the Governor summon him to his home office. The Governor isn’t leaving his mansion, due to terrorist’s threats—so he says. The place is under heavy guard.”

    “Jim-Bob, I need you to put together an approximately one hour presentation. Use recordings from the women, our interviews with the hookers, newspaper accounts of Laura and my exploits—something to convince the unconvinced that we’ve been acting under color of authority…

    “Then I need you, and as many of the others as possible, to break contact and join me.

    “Leave the chair. Have someone carry you on his back. We’ll have you a chair waiting when you get here.

    “Oh and Jim-Bob, I need you—but give every member of the breakout team a copy. If one man gets here, I want the stuff to be with him—and do encrypt.

    “One more thing Jim-Bob—the one’s who stay behind to create a diversion, they’re volunteering for what is probably a suicide mission.”

    **************************************** ******************* ************

    I started with a dozen of the County Laws from Hurr’s County before I ever got my multi-media package from Jim-Bob.

    “Dudes, it is like—I imagine that y’all don’t like me. That’s cool. But ask yourself what happened when y’all tried to arrest me.

    “Beaucoup heavy dudes from the The Governor’s Office and the State Police came down. They told you that we were like Bad Dudes. We had heavy pull—they told you to leave us strictly alone.

    “Now they’re not only totally disavowing us, they’ve put out a ‘Shoot on Sight’ order, and they’re offering a $10 000 reward, dead or alive.

    “Does that seem right to y’all?” I asked them.

    I described the Gourmet murders, the Governor’s low-profile Special Task Force. I explained that the Gourmet had some sort of mind-control device. That it only took a few moments to work and that it took away one’s will.

    I also explained that they were surely a loose end that would get cut off and tied eventually—so it wasn’t really a risk of life or career to follow me.

    I ended up with a dozen County Laws on my assault force. Thirteen of my men escaped with Jim-Bob. We rounded up another two-dozen Laws rather quickly; including a couple FBI men who knew something truly weird was afoot.

    Then just as we were getting ready to disembark, two thirteen-man squads showed up. They wore camo BDUs and they all carried H&K model 93’s and the old style VP 70 Pistols.

    “Hurr asked us to aid you,” was all they had to say for themselves.

    We laid our plans for assaulting the Governor’s Mansion—helped by the detailed floor plans and disposition of the Governor’s Security forces.

    “If the Gourmet succeeds, he may very well come to rule the Earth…

    “His mind-control device is that powerful. We may live…

    “We may die.

    “Ain’t nothin’ for to do it, but to do it!” I shouted before we got into our several separate vehicles to take us by different routes to our assembly points.

    Never believed in putting all my baskets around One Egg.



    .....RVM45

  17. #57
    very good chapter

  18. #58
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    Seems as though he has quite a force with him. Hope they can do the job. Thanks, need more please.

  19. #59
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    Thank you for the new chapter. Anxiously awaiting......

  20. #60

    6 Chapter Eleven: Conclusion

    Chapter Eleven




    There wasn’t much subtlety in how we attacked the Governor’s mansion. We had to get in. Our continued freedom depended on it. It was a side issue that the continued freedom of America, even the World also hung in the balance.

    Arithmetical Logic does not apply to Ethics. You can’t sacrifice ten for the sake of a hundred, for the sake of a thousand or a million or a billion. It just doesn’t work that way.

    What worked for me: The Gourmet had control of the Governor. The Governor was sending assassins out to kill me and mine. The Gourmet and the Governor had to be shut down. Anyone not for me was against me.

    Anyway, why think of it as a cause for sorrow, to die fighting. A Plains Indian, a Viking or a Samurai certainly wouldn’t have thought so.

    I had a sixteen-inch Barreled Saiga .308, with a wood stock of course. It was accurate enough for close quarters and it would cut right through any soft body armor.

    I had several of the ten round magazines, though if I needed more than twenty rounds, I was doing something seriously wrong.

    A couple of the County Laws were also members of the National Guard and they knew where some Grenades, Tear Gas and LAW Rockets were kept.

    As I opened fire on the Sentries placed outside, several folks aimed Law Rockets at various windows—windows where we expected that they had Snipers positioned behind.

    LAW Rockets were intended to take out Armor. They were never intended to replace the Platoon Anti-Tank Weapon—something akin to a WWII Bazooka.

    LAW Rockets were rather feeble, even when first introduced—but the standard combat load was supposed to be two LAWs per man. They even taught to try to get two or three men to all try to shoot at the same spot at the same time…

    Their purpose was to give David a Slingshot, whereas before he was unarmed. They gave the average Infantry Soldier the Possibility of taking out a Tank.

    But the search for a good all-purpose Infantry Anti-Tank Weapon lagged and the faltered. Ignorant politicians said, “Why do we need a Squad Anti Tank Weapon? We have the LAW after all…”

    Finally after two or three decades, the LAW was discontinued—largely because Tank Armor had continued to evolve and improve.

    The thing that concerned me about the LAW was that it had never been intended as an Anti Personnel Weapon—though it could be pressed into service as one. It tended to focus its blast very narrowly.

    There was some talk that the Marines wanted to commission some LAW Rockets designed for Anti Personnel use, particularly clearing tunnels—but the whole weapon system was scrapped first.

    Be that as it may. We only had the Anti Armor LAWS—though we had them in abundance.

    One or two went through each ground floor window—hopefully exploding on the wall inside and showering the room’s occupants with hot gas and Rocket fragments.

    We also had almost twice as many aimed to strike below each window—in hopes that it would penetrate the brick wall and shower those within with stone fragments.

    Once each window had been struck several times, we lay down covering fire to let one of our men get close enough to toss a fragmentation grenade through the window, then a second grenade, then a third…

    Then it was time for a tear gas grenade or two, and then a Gas Masked Assault Trooper went through the window.

    We hit the front door the same way—except that we hit it with four times as many LAWS and hosed it thoroughly with several M-60s and small arms fire. When the front entrance was thoroughly softened up, we drove one of those Armored SWAT battering ram vehicles through it.

    Laura and I were in the SWAT Tank. The hallway was broad and the driver drove as far down it as he could before bogging down. Then we hit the ground running.

    I was full of adrenaline and I ran ahead of my support. I ran up the stars two at a time and made it to the second floor. The office the Governor used when working at home was up ahead.

    I hastily planted a knock-knock bomb on the door, retreated to a safe distance and blew the door to smithereens.

    The Governor had four men with him as bodyguards and the Gourmet was there. They seemed momentarily distracted. The Gourmet’s mind control device did that to people—made them just a hair slow responding to the unexpected.

    Bam-Bam! Bam-BAM! Four rounds of .308 and there was just the Governor, the Gourmet and me.

    One of the hasty M-4 rounds from the bodyguards had wrecked my Saiga. Could just have easily have wrecked me. I lucked out. It happens. I dropped the worthless firearm

    The Governor was screaming at the top of his lungs for someone to come and shoot me. I could see that there wasn’t going to be any reasoning with him.

    I drew my .45 Colt Ruger Redhawk Right-Handed and sent a round through the Governor’s forehead. Then I turned toward the Gourmet, but he already had his weapon out.

    Perhaps if I had worn my gas mask, the lenses would have subtly changed the light enough…

    But the Tear Gas was very wispy in the downstairs hall and nonexistent upstairs.

    Nor did I have the color distorting contact lenses that I’d given to the hookers to wear. I needed to be able to shoot. Can’t really focus on the front sight through a blurry Fresnel lens.

    The device was about ten or eleven inches in diameter—a piece of Masonite covered very densely with different colored LEDs. He held it like a shield in front of him. In the rear was a very generous battery package and a small microprocessor to run the device.

    It showed all sorts of colored psychedelic patterns—optical illusions—that kinda stuff. Once you looked, you didn’t want to look away. You couldn’t look away.

    The patterns were constantly shifting and changing. It was a form of hypnosis, but far faster and more irresistible.

    “I call this the ‘Crooked Wheel’,” The Gourmet said.

    “That figures! You couldn’t even come up with our own name for it. You stole the name from the trilogy by Brian M Stableford,” I sneered.

    Already I wasn’t myself—or I’d simply have shot him rather than arguing.

    Many of the patterns did have off-centered axes like a crooked wheel.

    “You still speak? You must have extraordinary will. No matter.

    “I didn’t create the Crooked Wheel. I didn’t name it. It didn’t work on me, because I’m color blind—but I was smart enough to play along. When I saw my chance, I stole it from the One True Light. How’s that for a nom de guer?

    “Watch the colors…so soothing…”

    I was trapped. My hand wouldn’t obey my command to shoot. I couldn’t shoot the Gourmet. I couldn’t even fire a round at random, hoping the boom would break the spell.

    I could give in—or I could choose to lose my sanity altogether.

    Total insanity, with no hope of recovery, is a form of death—a messy lingering form of death. But if I couldn’t live free, then it was time to die.

    I started marshalling my resources for a leap into mental oblivion. I thought once more about the song:

    “I’m free
    “Done Spent All My Money
    “But I Rock That Like It Don’t Cost a Thing
    “No, It Don’t Cost a Thing…”

    Then it come to me.

    I failed out of Purdue three times, because I just couldn’t grasp Calculus. I collected Calculus books for years, hoping I’d find one that made sense. I’d gotten a fair grasp of Calculus over the years, with my hit-or-miss reading of Math Texts.

    But I really started studying it in my fiftieth year.

    I told Laura that I had a PhD. I do. It’s in Mathematics.

    I failed out of College as a young man—wrecked any chance I had of being successful, because Mathematics didn’t come easy—didn’t come at all really…

    But I avenged the Great Scientist that I might have been, by pursuing an Economically useless—to me—correspondence PhD in Mathematics. Once I caught the knack I enjoyed Math. I was good at Math.

    And Math came to my rescue.

    Believe it or not, the brain can handle all sorts of Complicated Equations intuitively and instantly.

    Ever play “Pitch-and-Catch”? Have you played it with Baseball Glove, Hardball and pitching fairly hard?

    You can’t program the best computer/robot combination to play Fast-Pitch or even Easy-Does-It underhand lobbing Pitch-and-Catch.

    Music.

    Musical tunes are Mathematical Formulae. You can program a computer to compose Music. It won’t be terribly inspired Music, but definitely Music.

    You can even program a computer to do Improvisational Blues—though not in real time.

    More importantly, any true melody—no matter how new and innovative—satisfies certain Mathematical Parameters…

    That’s what the Goumet’s Crooked Wheel was doing. It was playing a sort of Visual “Music”.

    There is an old adage. I think that it originated with Magicians. It has also been applied to Science and the Arts.

    “Explanation makes all things Common.”

    “Common” in the sense of “Prosaic” and “Uninteresting”—“Unimpressive”.

    When I broke the Gourmet’s Color Patterns down into equations…

    They were still fascinating equations, but they weren’t quite Hypnotic. I owned them.

    An instant later, I owned the Gourmet. It wasn’t prettyful.

    *********************************** ****************** *************

    I spent six months in solitary, in some Top Secret Government Facility.

    While I’d been busy with the Gourmet, they’d slipped up on me. They hit me with Tasers and Tranquilizer Guns, Stun Guns and Pepper Spray. I wouldn’t have voluntarily let myself be taken alive.

    Then after months of intense interrogation, they simply let me go.

    Murray and Laura picked me up in my own van, in the middle of a cornfield in Southern Indiana, where the Feds had dropped me off.

    “They’re attributing the Assassination of the Governor and his Guards to Terrorists,” Murray said. “There is no record of any of us being involved.”

    “How exactly did the Gourmet work?”

    I explained about the Crooked Wheel and the light show.

    “What happened to it?” Laura asked. “The Feds sure would like to get ahold of it to study.”

    “That’s what I know. That’s why I was carrying a five-pound pouch of Thermite.

    “The Govies can analyze the ashes and deduce that the device had transistors, LEDs and Masonite—Not that the actual device would be much use without the programs that drove the light show,” I replied.

    “But why?” Laura asked.


    “The Government is the very last entity that I want to have a mind Control device,” I said.

    “What happened to the Gourmet?” Murray Asked.

    “I skinned his head.”

    “You killed him?”

    “No. I quite literally skinned his head. Crappy way to live—not to mention the pain…

    “He won’t have any lips, no eyelids, no external ears or nostrils. Eating will be very messy. No chance to chew and savor there. Eye drops every few minutes. Being ugliful,” I said.

    “Maybe they could put his skin back on,” Laura said. “They reattach Arms and legs sometimes.”

    “Well if they can reconstitute the skin of his head from the Thermite Slag…” I replied.

    ********************************* ********************** ****************

    While I was filling my friends in on my end of the story, we came to a big eight Story building in the middle of nowhere. Laura pulled into the drive.

    A bunch of armed men were in formation waiting for us.

    I later learned that there were four Platoons formed of four squads of thirteen men each—and like in the Infantry model, each Platoon had a First Sergeant and a Second Lieutenant.

    There were also a couple partial squads and an irregular Support Platoon.

    I’d never seen the uniforms before—or the Badges that all the Para-Military Troopers wore.

    “I grabbed the ear of the Lieutenant Governor,” Murray said. “I convinced him how valuable the Governor’s Special Task Force had been…

    “These are the new Indiana Rangers. The Uniforms are for show, but the Badges—reminiscent of the old circle and star Texas Ranger Badges are what they actually carry in the field.

    “Each man is armed and expected to be expert with a 1911A1; a Short Barreled .38 Smith and Wesson; a Short Barreled 12 Gauge Double and the Marlin Lever Action Rifle—as well as several occasional issue weapons.

    “When they’re not in the field, they train incessantly. They answer to no one but their own Chain of Command.

    “Unlike most Law Enforcement Agencies, they actively seek the reputation as Bad Dudes.

    “Their charter stipulates that they never make an arrest, or cooperate with other agencies in any sort of Weapon or drug cases—since these have the highest potential to foster Civil Rights violations.”

    Murray paused to look significantly at me He was quoting my own words back to me about Guns and drugs.

    “You know what you said to me, about how you hated short hair and thought that it was unconscionable that so many Government Agencies Stipulated it?” Murray continued. “Well it is in the by-laws: Every Indiana Ranger is expected to wear his hair long and to keep it well kept.”

    “You will have to excuse them, one’s hair doesn’t grow much in six months.”

    “We are also giving selected Convicts serving Long Terms a chance to earn a Full-Pardon working with the Rangers.

    “Just from Indiana though. Kentucky is organizing it’s own Ranger Program, and needs all the Potential recruits that they can get.”

    “Murray, who is running this Freak Show? And why are you showing it to me?”

    “I thought that you’d figure that out. We’re offering you the post of the first Commander of The Indiana Rangers.

    “Jim-Bob is working for us. So is Hank—but neither of them is up to standing Inspection…

    “And all of your Dogs survived—though many didn’t.”

    ********************************** ******************** ************


    I suppose that would be my entire story…

    Except that a few weeks later, a couple of Hurr’s followers came by to see me.

    They told me that Hurr had never asked anything from them—until he asked several of them to stand with me. He was pretty much incommunicado—just giving off that strange sense of peace and detachment that I’d felt in his presence. Although to hear them tell it, such a mental state was very conducive to analytical thinking.

    The Group was very wealthy due to their timely investments and several members were well respected Mathematicians and/or Economists.

    Well Hurr had another request and he was calling in a Favor.

    He claimed that the One True Light had designs on him and he did not want to be abducted by him.

    He asked his followers to ask for my protection.

    Damned Nation he was heavy. Like I say, he appears to be carved from White Stone. But he’s about five times as heavy as any Earthly material…

    His followers claim that he can choose to be heavier yet, when he doesn’t consent to being moved.

    So now Hurr resides in a guarded sub-basement at Ranger Headquarters.

    I’m ambivalent. The Bible warns against Idolitry…

    But he’s really not an Idol. He’s the actual being—some sort of Alien Being, though I don’t know if he’s extra-terrestrial or not.

    And he asks no one to worship him.

    Maybe it was wrong of me to give him Sanctuary, but if the One True Light wants him, that is an excellent reason to try to protect him.

    The Gourmet was a Doofus, get right down to it. But we’d have never became aware of the One True Light but for a small miscalculation on his part, that set the Gourmet loose. He knows subtlety.

    And even today we have but the vaguest idea what his goals and methods are—but we can test people to see if they’ve been exposed to the Crooked Wheel.

    That’s more than we had before.

    As for the Gourmet—maybe he’s dead or maybe he’s held in some Government holding facility.

    I don’t particularly care.


    .....RVM45

  21. #61
    Yee-haa! Thank you!

  22. #62
    excellent!

  23. #63
    thanks for the hard work, need part II of the story

  24. #64
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    Nice one! Excellent story. It sure would be a nice start to another story.

  25. #65
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    that was quite the trip!
    How many miles to Galt's Gulch?

  26. #66
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    Unusually entertaining as always. Thanks!
    Visit me on Etsy: ModernMaille

  27. #67
    Wow!!! I started reading and could not stop, I just got to the end of the first page. Vary different but vary entertaining. Thanks for the story and for posting it.
    Wayne

  28. #68
    RVM45 thanks for a great story you certainly have a unique style of writing that I find very entertaining. I hope to see more form you in the near future.
    Wayne

  29. #69
    t great GREAT STORY !!!!!!!!!!!!

  30. #70
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    Very weird story.
    JUST A FEW OF MY SIMPLE THOUGHTS
    LAY LOW WAIT LIKE A WOLF IN THE WILD UNTIL THE TIME IS RIGHT
    Never Pick A Fight With An Old Man He Will Just Shoot You He Can't Afford To Get Hurt

  31. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by RVM45 View Post
    Chapter Eleven



    And even today we have but the vaguest idea what his goals and methods are—but we can test people to see if they’ve been exposed to the Crooked Wheel.

    That’s more than we had before.

    As for the Gourmet—maybe he’s dead or maybe he’s held in some Government holding facility.

    I don’t particularly care.[/B]

    .....RVM45
    Great Story,

    Keep up the Good Work!

    r
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    Robert Heinlein

  32. #72
    Very nice! I thank you muches.

  33. #73
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    Oooooohhhhh RVM.....

    It is now 2:12 am and I just finished another outstanding spewing of your talented mind....

    Thank you....

    Texican....

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