Welcome Back, Mr. Nightcrawler


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Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 12:37 AM
I hate flying commercial. I'm a tall guy, and twelve hours in coach class does nothing for my temperment.

Neither did spending forty five minutes in line at US Customs upon landing. So I was pretty grouchy when I finally made it to the counter. I had to stifle it, though. Look natural. I handed the lady my passport.

"Welcome home, Mr. Hale," she said, looking through it. "You've been away a long time. What on earth did you do over there?"

"Pipleine technician, natural gas mainly. Paid well, but I'm ready to come home and eat bacon again." I put on my best impish grin. She smiled sweetly at me.

"Well, again, welcome home." She stamped my passport.

"It's good to be back, Ma'am," I said, and walked away. Making my way through the crowded terminal, I pulled out my Nokia cell phone and turned it on.

NO SERVICE, it told me. What? I cursed aloud as I realized my phone wouldn't work in the United States. Get a tri-band, they told me. Works anywhere in the world, they said. My butt.

Muttering to myself, I found a payphone, used my credit card, and punched the digits. The phone rang six or seven times before I got an answer.

"Hello?"

"Jeff. I'm at LAX. Can you come pick me up? I need a place to crash."

"What? Who is this? It's two in the morning!"

"Nightcrawler."

"Nightc...Mike? MIKE! What the hell! It's been like a year man!"

"Long story. Can you come get me? I'm tired, and I don't really have anywhere to go."

"Uh...yeah....yeah, sure. Gonna be a couple hours. Can you wait?"

"I'll be here. Thanks."

Two and a half hours later, my friend arrived. He bombarded me with questions, and I frustrated him by not answering. I wasn't trying to be distant, I really wasn't; fatigue was setting in. I fell asleep in his car and didn't wake up until we were back at his place.

As the first rays of dawn began to peek in the window, I found myself sitting across Jeff's kitchen table. He still looked astonished to see me. I'm sure I looked like hell, too.

"What's going on, man?" He asked me again. "You disappear for a whole year, and I hardly get an email from you. Now you fall out of the sky and want to stay at my place? What the hell?"

"I need a weapon," I said.

"What? Why? Look, we're cool and everything, but..."

"It's important," I said, interrupting.

"Uh...yeah. Wait a minute." He left the table, and returned with a pistol in his hand. He laid the Beretta 92FS down on the table, along with three loaded magazines.

"Not really your style, but it's all I can spare." I inserted a magazine and chambered a round. Satisfied, I set the weapon back down.

"This will do. Thank you. I need new ID, too. This passport's gotten too broken in." I laid my Parker Hale passport down on the table. Jeff picked it up and looked at it. He chuckled.

"Parker Hale. That's funny. Come on, man. I need to know what's going on here. You're asking a lot."

I sighed deeply, and collected my thoughts.

"So there I was..."




TO BE CONTINUED*...


*Only, of course, if I have the blessing of the mods. It's been two years since I've engaged in such antics and it was a bit of a misappropriation of the forum. If there's any problem, please, simply remove the thread and I'll understand. I must say, though, I miss the spontaneity of this kind of writing...

**Assuming I have time. Most days I'm kind of gone for fifteen hours a day.


NOTE: Okay, I've got the go-ahead from Oleg. So, here's how this works. I'm writing the story spontaneously. I only have a rough idea in my head of how the story is going to go. It is 100% fictional, and I make no bones about that. I can only wish I was half the badass I am in the story. It's written in rough draft format with little proof-reading or editing, so it's going to lack some polish. Please bear with me on that, and thanks again for all of your support.

If you enjoyed reading about "Welcome Back, Mr. Nightcrawler" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
pdowg881
June 26, 2006, 12:45 AM
sweet story. sounds like the beginning of a book i would like to read. and thats saying a lot. I'm not much of a literature fanatic other than the sports page and thr.

the 22 junkie
June 26, 2006, 12:49 AM
man, it wasnt until halfway down i realized it was a story. great stuff.

fiVe
June 26, 2006, 12:54 AM
Nightcrawler,

It has been so long--too long--since we've had one of your stories. I hope the mods let you stay.

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 12:55 AM
Well. If they choose to remove it, I'll utter not one word of complaint. This is Oleg's party after all. Though they occasionally let me use it as my own whiny blog... :cool:

pdowg881
June 26, 2006, 12:56 AM
dude you should write a book. I'd buy it.

fiVe
June 26, 2006, 02:08 AM
Well. If they choose to remove it, I'll utter not one word of complaint. This is Oleg's party after all.

Well, yes, I agree, too. If you do "get the boot", please move your story over to APS.

Dionysusigma
June 26, 2006, 02:21 AM
I got about two-thirds of the way through, and couldn't help but start smiling... :) :D

Whatever happened to Tales from the Road? :confused:

If'n anyone's wondering what I'm talking about, look here...

So There I Was Again (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=67844)

and

So There I Was Again...Tales from the Road (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=82479)

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 02:31 AM
Whatever happened to Tales from the Road?

That whole thing where I went and lived in the middle east for a year kind of nixed that story tangent. Apologies. :o

Well, that's my excuse. In reality...writer's block. Just hit a wall, basically. THEN I got wrapped up in my excitement about going overseas, and...holy hell, as it been two years already?

14YEAROLDGUNADDICT
June 26, 2006, 02:50 AM
Wow great story man :cool: i read it then i read the replies and relsied it was a story :rolleyes:

good story :)

Oleg Volk
June 26, 2006, 03:02 AM
Go for it...reading with interest, Mr. Parker Hale.

Radagast
June 26, 2006, 03:59 AM
I've bookmarked this thread. :)

BluesBear
June 26, 2006, 04:22 AM
Everytime he's out they pull him back in!

Don't miss the next thrilling episode!

Coming soon to a computer near you!

Brian Williams
June 26, 2006, 09:20 AM
Oh Boy here we go again, time to get out my Fried apple Pies and start fitting a one piece trigger to some 1911a1 while I am waiting...




UPDATE AS OF 14 AUG 06
added 2 zip files of the .doc files the first is 'Crawler & Corriea and the second has some commentary by C&C and the Bluesbear/sm commentary/soundtrack.

one-shot-one
June 26, 2006, 10:27 AM
glad that it looks like you got their blessing.:)

Skunkabilly
June 26, 2006, 10:32 AM
[giggling maniacally]
:D

steveracer
June 26, 2006, 10:36 AM
Good online "fiction" is hard to find.

OEF_VET
June 26, 2006, 10:40 AM
Good online "fiction" is hard to find.

True, but are we certain NC's stuff is really fiction? Maybe the whole "boring Middle East security guard" story was just a ruse for some kind of CIA sanctioned wet work? Maybe NC is really a SuperSpy? He very well could be the inspiration for the films "The Recruit" and/or "SpyGame"

Black Dragon
June 26, 2006, 10:51 AM
Here we go again ! ! ! ! :evil: :D :evil: :D :evil: :D :evil: :D

MissileCop
June 26, 2006, 11:32 AM
Welcome Back, Sir.

You've kept us waiting too long. :cuss: ;)

*slowly wrings hands, eagerly awaiting the next 'installment'*

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 02:23 PM
One year earlier...

It started off as a fairly typical Friday morning for me. Like most students, I didn't have class that day, so at around eleven in the morning I wandered across the street to the caffeteria and got something to eat.

I sat at one of the tables, munching on the sandwhich I had made for myself, surfing the internet on my laptop. My computer booped, signifying an email.

Mr. Nightcrawler:

First off, you really need to get a cell phone. Secondly, it's time for you to uphold your end of the agreement. Your country needs you. You'll be shipping out on June 30th. You'll be contacted with further details.

I was speechless. I didn't think they'd call me so soon. I was hoping they wouldn't call me at all. Granted, my agreement with the government certainly seemed better than going to prison, but I never imagined that they'd send me overseas. For what? Where they going to send me to Iraq? Wasn't this all a little elaborate just for them to draft me back into the Army? Hell, I was still technically in the IRR. They could recall me if they wanted to.

If not that, then what? Spy stuff? I didn't have any experience in that. Well, okay, I did, but not in countries with unfamiliar cultures where I couldn't blend in and didn't speak the language. Blowing up the yacht of a Russian mob boss is a lot different than going after terrorists on their own soil, isn't it?

I needed more information. I replied to the email, asking for such, but my reply message was returned as undeliverable.

I started to worry again. I hate having things like this looming over my head. And on top of that, I had exams and everything! I sighed. At least it's nice out, I thought to myself as I walked back to the dorm. Upper Michigan can be pretty in the spring, though even in April there's still plenty of snow on the ground. The sun was shining at least.

All the same, it seemed very sudden. I had only finally gotten off of crutches a few weeks before. Contrary to what you see on TV, being shot through the leg with a rifle can lay you up for awhile. It does not mean you merely have to walk with a slight limp until the end of the scene.

There was nothing to do but wait, though. Which irritated me. I'm an inherently impatient person and I hate waiting. Especially when it's for something big that is going to significantly change my life.

Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long. A few days later, the phone in my dorm room rang.

"Hello?"

"Good Morning, Mr. Nightcrawler."

"Who is this?"

"Let's discuss the terms of your deployment, shall we?"

"Okay..."

"Plane tickets will be arriving in the mail. You'll leave from your local airport, flying commerical. You'll arrive in Doha a couple days later. At the airport there, our man will be waiting for you, and will brief you on your assignment."

"Wait...where the hell is Doha?"

"What kind of college student are you? I swear, they keep lowering the standards. Qatar. That little country shaped like a Chicken McNugget, next to Saudi Arabia."

"Okay. Why am I going there?"

"Were you watching TV on September 11th, Mr. Nightcrawler?"

"Okay, fine, terrorists. What does this have to do with Qatar? Shouldn't it be Saudi Arabia? Afghanistan? Indonesia?"

"If you'd rather we dump you in a festering Indonesian jungle, I'd be more than happy to..."

"No no no...that's not necessary. What I'm asking is why Qatar? And why me? This secret agent stuff really isn't my speed. I've got no formal training, I don't speak Arabic, and..."

"Mr. Nightcrawler, it's all been planned out. We've found a use for you and your unique talents."

"What unique talents? I'm a pretty good shot, but..."

"Mr. Nightcrawler, you're lucky. You have an incredible knack for staying alive when by rights you should be dead. That whole incident with the Chinese proved that, don't you think?"

"Wait wait wait. You're telling me, that despite hundreds, if not thousands, of available, well trained, and battle-hardened special operations guys, CIA guys, Navy SEALs, and all the rest being at your disposal, you're choosing me because I've survived a few sticky situations? Look, I've seen this movie, it sucked, and I've got no desire to play Vin Diesel anyway."

"I've never thought of it that way before, Mr. Nightcrawler. But now that you mention it, this is kind of silly. Tell you what, why don't we forget the whole thing?"

"Really?"

"No, not really," the voice said, sounded agitated. "I'm not asking you. I'm telling you. Get on that plane on June 30th or a Federal task force will be along to haul you off to prison." He hung up.

Well, I thought to myself. I guess that settles that...



TO BE CONTINUED

kjeff50cal
June 26, 2006, 02:39 PM
:scrutiny: :scrutiny: More, More MORE!!!! Did I mention we want more?:evil:

fiVe
June 26, 2006, 04:15 PM
Go for it...reading with interest, Mr. Parker Hale.

YES!! Thank you, Oleg!


And thanks for part 2, NC.

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 04:23 PM
"So they drafted you and sent you overseas, basically?" Jeff asked me.

"Prettymuch," I replied, sipping the can of Dr. Pepper he'd thoughtfully provided for me. "Sure enough, the plane tickets came in the mail. I was told in a later email that if I wanted to bring any of my own equipment, I needed to pack it in a large container and ship it to the address they gave me."

"What'd your bring?"

"My FAL carbine, of course. A few handguns. My Colt and its suppressor. My suppressed Ruger twenty-two. I thought about my MAC-10, but the UMP-45 I'd recently gotten my hands on was a better subgun. Plus, I had a can for it as well, so I brought that. Couple revolvers, too."

"Revolvers?"

"Yeah, I know. I was the only dude in the theater who wanted to bring a revolver, I'm sure. I left my 625 at home. I brought my brand new forty-four magnum and probably about six hundred rounds of ammo. More than I'd need."

"A forty-four. You're crazy, dude."

"Yeah, I know. But let me tell you, bro, when you go Dirty Harry on an Al-Qaeda type with a five-inch forty-four, there's a certain wetting-of-the-thobe response that can't be beat."

"You'd think the rifle would do that. Your FAL's pretty bad."

"Well...it's weird. Over there, it's like, they're used to rifles. Qatar's pretty quiet, but the cops often carry rifles. AUGs, from what I saw, plus some G3s. But when you pull out your pistol, they think you mean business. Like it's your killin' gun. You know?"

"I guess. So, okay, they stick you on this plane. What happened when you got there?"

"Well, I had to buy a three-week tourist visa to get in the country. Cost me the equivalent of forty bucks. Did I mention my passport?"

"What about it?"

"Yeah, they mailed me a passport before I left. Name on it was Gordon Freeman."

"Gordon Freeman? Like the guy from Half-Life?? That's funny, man. You used that before, right?"

"Yeah, that was the name on my Minnesota driver's license. I guess they'd done their homework. Anyway, so there I was, in Doha International Airport, kind of wandering around. It's a weird airport. When the plane stops, you walk down the stairs onto the tarmac, and a bus-type deal picks you up and brings you to the terminal. It was hotter than hell, let me tell you. Had to be a hundred and five degrees, and the sun had gone down hours before."

"Geez."

"Yeah. Oh yeah. I learned what it really means to be hot over there. Anyway, so I'm wandering around the airport, not sure what to do. People are everywhere. Western attire, and Arab attire, all mixed together. Guys in white thobes standing in line next to guys in business suits."

"What's a thobe?"

"Oh. It's like a white dress shirt, long sleeved, but it goes down to your ankles. Traditional Arab attire, worn with the head dress and the sandals."

"In the airport?"

"Yeah...they kind of hang on to their old customs over there. That type of getup is great, I'm sure, if you're riding your camel to the next oasis. But in an air-conditioned Toyota Land Cruiser? It'd be like Americans still wearing three-cornered hats and split-tailed coats."

"But I digress," I went on. "Finally, a man approaches me."

"Mr. Freeman?"

"That's me."

"I'm your ride. Come with me."

"Where are we going?"

"Follow me, please."

He lead me out of the terminal, back into the hot night air. As we stepped to the curb, a black Toyota Landcruiser pulls up, and he got into the passenger seat. I opened the back door, tossed in my one suitcase, and climbed in."

"Mr. Nightcrawler," the man who'd met me said, "My name is Gordon Willis. This man," he said, indicating the driver, "Is Sergeant First Class Dave, US Special Operations Command."

"I see," I said. "Just 'Dave', then?" Dave grinned as we pulled out of the airport onto the busy main road.

"Plausible deniability, Mr. Nightcrawler," Gordon said. "Military involvement with this project has to be kept to an absolute minimum. Officially, SFC Dave is on medical leave and is in Thailand."

"What, exactly, is the project?" I asked. "Nobody's told me anything. They dragged me over here under threat of going to prison. I'd at least like to know why I'm here and what I'm going to be doing."

"Mr. Nightcrawler," Gordon said, "I don't need to remind you the consequences of a security violation on this. OPSEC is important to us as officially, this project doesn't exist."

"Yes, yes, I know, they'll send me to prison."

"If you're lucky."

"Uhhhh....I see. Okay, fine, double-oh-seven stuff. Whatever. I can roll with it. Now will you please tell me what the hell is going on, please??"

"Welcome to Dead 6, Mr. Nightcrawler," Dave said, speaking at last.



TO BE CONTINUED...

Dionysusigma
June 26, 2006, 04:59 PM
:D :D :D

/me bounces giddily in my computer chair as it threatens to collapse under me

More! :) :D :p

kudu
June 26, 2006, 05:15 PM
:D Good to have you back Nightcrawler, let's get on with the story now. :D :D

BluesBear
June 26, 2006, 05:29 PM
Thrilling! Exciting!


Gene Siskal gave it a thumbs up from the grave!!! :eek:

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode.






And rember the real danger starts when "the woman" appears!

kjeff50cal
June 26, 2006, 05:36 PM
Im going to have to put my PC on my summer reading list:uhoh: :scrutiny: :D .

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 05:53 PM
AAAHHH! Zombie Gene Siskel!! :eek:

Hoppy590
June 26, 2006, 06:33 PM
AHH! the great zombie war has arrived! load up the guns and head for the mountains!


awesome work nightcrawler, im reading all your older stuff now. im captivated to say the least

sm
June 26, 2006, 06:57 PM
:D

Well, get on with it...we are waiting....

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 07:38 PM
"Dead Six?" Jeff asked me. "Isn't that a little corny?"

"As corny as a Magic Corn booth. But the whole damned thing was so surreal that it seemed to fit."

"I guess you're right. So, after they picked you up...wait, did you say 'magic corn'?"

"I'll get to that later. Anyway..."

They took me on a tour through the city, or at least, it seemed that way. Doha, for a Middle Eastern city, is vibrant and crowded, and I heard Dave cursing aloud as we repeatedly got stuck in traffic at roundabouts. I was tired, but was too nervous to let myself fall asleep.

The Landcruiser wound through the city, and I lost track of all of the turns we'd made. Finally, we travelled down a narror street in what looked like the old part of the city. We pulled up to the gate of a walled compound, and Dave pressed a button on a garage door opener. The gate opened, and we drove in.

Now, almost all residential areas of Doha are divided up into walled compounds. You buy a patch of land, put a wall around it, and build a bunch of identical town-houses in it. Pretty standard for the Middle East, I'm given to understand.

What was weird about this place was the height of the walls, more than fifteen feet, and how nice the villas inside were. It seemed like an odd part of town to build such a compound in. But Doha was an interesting city like that, as I'd come to learn.

They compound was pretty straightforward. One wide road with a row of villas on each side. They stopped in front of the farthest one down on the right, number nineteen, and Gordon handed me a key.

"This is your place, kid. It's all furnished. You've got one bedroom, a small living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. Go on in and get some sleep. We'll come get you tomorrow evening. Do not try to leave the compound. Your things from the States have been delivered already."

"Uh...okay. Sure. Um, bye." I got out of the vehicle, and let myself in to my new home. The place was pretty nice. High ceilings, brick, concrete, and stucco construction. There was a couch and a decently-sized television in the living room, and a bed, dresser, and wardrobe in the bedroom. The refridgerator was stocked with relatively familiar foods (though I was suprised to see the milk was produced in Saudi Arabia. Where in the hell do they have dairy farms in Saudi Arabia?), and my big container full of stuff was waiting for me in the middle of the living room. I dragged it into the bedroom, broke the seal, and opened it.

All of my items were in there. FAL carbine, with fifty magazines, emergency replacement parts, check. Colt Government Model, twenty magazines, replacement parts, check. Smith and Wesson Six-Two-Nine revolver, check. S&W 640 and 642 snubbies, check. H&K UMP-45 submachine gun, check. Suppressors for the Colt and the UMP. Six hundred rounds of .44 Magnum ammo, various types. One thousand rounds of .45ACP, two hundred and thirty grain, plus-P hollow points. Four hundred rounds of .308, one hundred and fifty-five grain Hornady TAP, check. Several hundred rounds of .38 +P and .357 Magnum ammo. Various load bearing gear, holsters, optics, etc.

Good to go, I thought. Though they'd told me that for a lot of operations, I'd be carrying "local" or third party weapons. AKs, mostly, I thought to myself.

After organizing my things, I loaded the .357 snubby, and stepped into the bathroom. I took a long, hot shower, stuck the snubby under my pillow, and crawled into bed. Local time was about three in the morning, and I'd had a long and surreal day. (It'd been almost ten hours since I'd left Amsterdam.)

It was about two in the afternoon when I woke up. I dressed myself in some khaki cargo pants, a white t-shirt, and a short-sleeved, khaki button down shirt, which I left un-tucked and un-buttoned. This allowed me to conceal the .357 snubby with my small-of-the-back holster.

I went to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Finding a two-point-two-five liter bottle of Pepsi, I poured myself a cup, put on my sunglasses, and stepped outside.

You know how when you cook fish sticks, and you open the oven to turn them over, you get that hot blast of air in the face because it's like four hundred and fifty degrees in there? Yeah. Opening my front door was prettymuch like that.

Each villa had a sort of porch, with an overhang to shade you from the sun. I looked out and observed my surroundings, sipping ice cold Pepsi as I did so. The smell was...unique. Dusty, mainly, with odd, dirty city smells mixed in. I could hear the usual city sounds as well. Cars going by, planes flying over, the usual. The sky was the bluest I'd ever seen, the sun more intense and merciless than I'd ever felt. The buildings in the compound where all white and tan stucco and brick. I guessed they didn't have much else to build with over there.

I looked up and down the compound. There didn't seem to be anyone else around, and no vehicles were parked inside. I wasn't suprised. I can see how people wouldn't want to hang out outside on a day like this. It had to be almost a hundred and twenty degrees outside.

That's when I saw her. She was sitting in a lawn chair on the porch of the villa directly to my left. She was wearing short cutt-offs and a halter top, and was reading some European women's magazine. She looked up over her magazine at me, through sunglasses, and smiled.

"Hey there. You must be knew. My name's Sarah." I walked towards the waist-high wall that separated her porch from mine.

"M...my name is Michael...Mike! Whichever," I stammered awkwardly. "Yeah, I just got in last night. How long have you been here?"

"About a week."

"They said they'd come get me tonight."

"Who, Gordon? They tell everybody that. They told me that a week ago when I got here. I don't think they've got it together."

"Do you know what this is all about? Dead 6, I mean."

"SHHHH!!" she hissed at me. "Don't ever say that name outside or in public, or over the phone. Okay? Didn't they tell you that?"

"They didn't tell me anything," I replied sheepishly.

"Figures. Gordon didn't pick me up, but I met him when he dropped some other guys off. The old man picked me up, and he told me more than most get told, I guess."

"The old man?"

"Don't know his name. He's the boss, though. Seems nice enough."

"So what are we supposed to be doing here?"

"I guess they're going to train us up on your jobs. What's your specialty?"

"Uh...shooting, I guess."

"Oh, I see," she said. "I can forge documents. IDs, passports, letterheads, you name it. They stocked my villa with equipment to practice with!"

"How'd you end up here?"

"It was either this or prison," she said, shrugging. "How about you?"

"That's kind of a long story," I said.


TO BE CONTINUED...

Nematocyst
June 26, 2006, 07:40 PM
Like others, I had to get near the end of part 1 before i realized it was "fiction". Of course, reality has a strong element of fiction in it, so...

Nice one. Was just what I was looking for this afternoon as I surfed THR's new posts during a lunch break at work with wine (yes, I'm sole owner of a business that doesn't open for another few hours, so I get wine with my lunch at work ... :neener: )

Look forward to reading more soon...

Nem

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 07:48 PM
Of course, reality has a strong element of fiction in it, so...

Actually, you'll find that my fiction has a strong element of reality in it. :D

pdowg881
June 26, 2006, 08:06 PM
WHERES THE REST:cuss: moreeeee:fire: Good stuff keep it coming.

Q-Lock
June 26, 2006, 08:29 PM
My wife and I are itching to read the next installment...very entertaining read Nightcrawler!

Keep up the good work!

PATH
June 26, 2006, 08:30 PM
The thing I love about this place is there are so many damnably interesting things to read here. Manna from heaven! Please continue!:)

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 08:46 PM
This one might actually end up being a bit longer than the first one. I've got two stories to tell this time. Where my character was and where he's going. It just came to me in a flash of inspiration. I'm glad; I was beginning to fear I'd lost my creativity!

Hmm, seems few of you remember the original "So There I Was..." story (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=55861). Written as a parody of sorts. :D

sm
June 26, 2006, 09:00 PM
That's when I saw her. She was sitting in a lawn chair on the porch of the villa directly to my left. She was wearing short cutt-offs and a halter top,

For the new folks...
You know how when are "almost" at the top of the Roller Coaster, and can see only part of what is on the other side heading back down with all the twists and turns?

Make sure the safey strap is tight and HOLD ON ! :D

pdowg881
June 26, 2006, 09:37 PM
you should compile all this stuff into one book or a word file so i can print it out and read it like a book. Old and new stuff. Me gusta mucho.

nitesite
June 26, 2006, 10:08 PM
I never thought there could be a better story from you than "So there I was... (not very serious at all)". I laughed my ass of over that one! :) That one was genious!

But this is taking so many twists and turns, like a Casablanca movie sub-plot.

I LOVE IT!!!!! :) :) :)

nitesite
June 26, 2006, 10:15 PM
Damn, I didn't see your link to that thread earlier tonite. I had to search for it, but I just typed "press check Glock" and it came up #1.

Yes, I remember that story well. In fact, didn't it inspire some LEOs to lend some similar stories in separate threads? Wasn't there some guy writing about using a tazer in his jail, only on himself? And a few others in a similar vein? Some LEO near retirement and fu**ing up all over the place or another guy in a Roccoe Scooter?

It was good stuff, but you were the originator~

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 10:40 PM
"So she was hot?" Jeff asked me.

"Smoldering. Almost painful to look at," I replied, grinning. "The kind of girl that usually doesn't talk to me."

"So what happened?"

"Well..."

A few days later, Gordon and SFC Dave finally did show up. They gathered most of us new guys together, and drove us out to a secluded compound way out in the desert. We were to bring none of our own gear, only a few changes of working clothes and various sundries. Fortunately for me, they didn't search us. I smuggled my S&W 642 snubby along with me, and ten rounds of ammo. I didn't trust these people.

They dropped us off in a small barracks. There were twelve of us in that group, from varied backgrounds. It was apparent that this training was just for the trigger-pullers, as Sarah and the other support types weren't there.

We were assigned partners. My partner was an interesting fellow named Tailor. He was...well, he's hard to describe. Chain-smoking, irritable, foul-mouthed, cocky, looked and talked like Zorg from the movie The Fifth Element (but with less hair). Despite being nearly polar opposites, we became good friends. But hardship brings people together like that.

"What hardship?" Jeff asked me.

"Oh, there was plenty. It started there, though. Ever see the Kill Bill movies? There's a chapter in the second one called The Cruel Tutelage of Pai Mei, or something like that."

"So you learned kung foo?"

"I think it was more of a blended fighting style, based on the stuff the Special Forces use. But instead of Pai Mei, we got a man they referred to simply as The Instructor..."

"FASTER!" The Instructor screamed at me. I was doing the pushups as fast as I could. I was exhausted, and my arms were about to give out on me. I could tell. I hadn't done pushups since I'd gotten out of the Guards. I was out of shape something awful.

The Instructor kicked me in the stomach, knocking me out of the leaning rest position onto my back.

"You disgust me, Forty-Seven." Forty-seven was the number they had given me. We each got one, and we were never referred to by our names. Tailor was number forty-six.

"Look at you," he said, as I clutched stomach, gasping for breath. "You're fat. Weak. Out of shape. Pathetic." He walked towards me, and went to kick me again. As he approached, I felt myself grow suddenly calm, like I wasn't really there. Like playing a first-person shooter. I had missed this feeling. Before his foot connected, I rolled out of the way and was up on my feet.

The Instructor laughed.

"Movin' fast now, ain'tcha, boy?" He approached me, and I felt my muscles tense up. He stepped in front of me, and leaned in really close, the way drill sergeants like to do. I didn't say anything.

"Look at you, boy", he said, a cruel grin splitting his face. "I think you got some fire in yer belly. You think you can take me?" I didn't reply. I just matched his intense gaze, staring into his right eye. The left side of his face was broken by a long scar that went from above his eyebrow down his cheek, and he was apparently blind in his left eye. There was no color in his left eye, either, making his gaze very unsettling.

"Nothing to say, boy?" I looked behind him to his left. Tailor was there, looking at me, the expression on his face asking me if I wanted help. To his right, I saw Gordon approaching.

"How's it going?" Gordon asked casually, lighting a cigarette. He wore dark sunglasses and seemed disinterested.

"Pathetic bunch," The Instructor replied, still looking at me. "Bunch of frightened children." The Instructor extended his arm, and a massive hand clamped around my throat. He grinned, and I'd had enough.

My left hand reached down as my left leg came up. I retrieved the snubby from the small holster on my left ankle, and in a flash the revolver was pointed at his chest. I didn't bring it up to eye level; at contact distance I didn't need to. His grip tightened, and I fired twice.

The Instructor staggered back, releasing me. I collapsed to my knees, and began to bring the gun back up to eye level. The next thing I knew The Instructor had wheeled around in a sort of roundhouse kick. His right boot connected with the right side of my head, sending me, my gun, and my glasses flying. Everything went black.

When I came around, I was on my back in the sand. Four men, sporting the whole "contractor" look (5.11 khaki pants and vests, M4 carbines, Wiley-X sunglasses, severe expressions) loomed over me, weapons trained on me. My snubby was nowhere to be found, and without my glasses, things were a touch blurry. Behind them, the other students had gathered in a semicircle, shocked expressions on their faces.

I thought I was dead, to be quite honest.

"Try not to kill them," I heard Gordon say as he walked away. "We've only go so many."

"Stand down," I heard The Instructor say. The four men backed off, and he was standing over me. His khaki shirt was unbuttoned, revealing a thin body armor vest, with two dents in it. He dropped two small objects in the sand next to my head. I looked over at them, and recognized them to be mushroomed Golden Saber hollow points.

"That was ballsy, kid," he said, smiling. He extended his hand downward. I hesitated for a moment, then took it. he helped me up. My head and jaw were aching. He stood me up, and clapped me on the shoulder. Holding his left hand high, he turned to the other students. I saw that in his left hand, he held my snubby.

"Did you all see what happened here today? This man brought a weapon to my training class, after we told you NOT TO BRING ANYTHING! I can't believe this. You know what I can't believe? That out of all of you, out of so many supposed badasses, self-proclaimed criminals, and wannabe gunslingers, that this college boy is the only one that thought to bring a damned gun! What the hell is wrong with you people? Yer all here against yer will, are getting led around without knowin' what's goin' on, and are here gettin' screamed at and abused. And none of you think to pack? Just because somebody told you you shouldn't? You are all PATHETIC. I'm here to change that, though. When I get through with you all, you'll be able to smuggle a gun anywhere, and know how to make do without one. You'll be able to get in and out of situations that you can't dream of right now. You need to take this training to heart, boys. If you fail, you don't wash out. We don't send you home. We still send you into the field, and you get killed. And you know what? Yer momma don't even get a flag. So I suggest you all pay attention from here on out."

"Instructor..." I heard Tailor say. I was still bewildered.

"What do you want, Forty-Six?" he asked, examining my revolver and not looking at him. Tailor didn't respond. A couple seconds later, The Instructor looked over at him, and smiled.

In his outstretched right arm, he held a small Bersa .380 (not in a firing grip).

"Both of you head back to the barracks, get cleaned up, and hit the chow hall. Get a good night's sleep tonight. Here's yer glasses and yer gun, kid." He handed me back my things.

"The rest of you, head over to the track and start runnin'. I'll tell you when to stop." Tailor and I looked at each other, both grinning. Blood trickled from my right nostril.

"Niiiice," Tailor said, chuckling. He pronounced it 'noice'. He kind of talked funny like that. We both reholstered our weapons and headed back to the barracks.

"Holy crap," Jeff said.

"Like I said, bro, it was surreal," I said, sipping Dr. Pepper. "Nearly three months they kept us there. PT. Shooting. Running. Tradecraft. How to get in and out of sticky situations. We learned some basic Arabic. It was like a mix of boot camp, spy training, and SERE school, condensed into three months."

"Sounds pretty cool."

"I hated every minute of it. Lucky if you got six hours of sleep a night, usually four or five. Few guys got hurt, and were taken away. Don't know what happened to them. Towards the end, we finally got briefed on our mission, what we were going to be doing there, the whole nine yards."

"What was the mission?"

"Well, Qatar was sort of a Switzerland for the terrorists. They didn't do any attacks there, and the Qatari government left them alone. The US government couldn't convince the Qatari Amir to take a proactive stance against them, so the US came up with a deniable plan to deal with these guys. Qatar was in many ways their home base. Safer for them than Saudi or Kuwait. They banked there, held fundraisers there, lived there, had their families there, recruited there. It was their backyard. Our mission was to take the war to their doorstep. It was their turn to be afraid."


TO BE CONTINUED...

Skunkabilly
June 26, 2006, 11:11 PM
That Jeff guy sounds really good looking.

Nightcrawler
June 26, 2006, 11:13 PM
In case anyone's counting, we're already at almost five thousand words.

Anybody know a good artist? I'd like to have some "promotional artwork" made up. :D

yy
June 26, 2006, 11:55 PM
Damn, NC, you're good.

You'd be creating galaxies if every time you used your imagination created a world.

Diamondback6
June 27, 2006, 01:36 AM
Hey, 'Crawler, you by any chance need an editor? I used to be a journalist once upon a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away ;) and a former life...

BTW, if you need an aircraft expert, or research on armor (tanks) or shipping (big floating hunks of metal, not UPS/FedEx), our resident Crotalus atrox maritimus would be happy to lend a coil or two, especially since my membership card at the local air museum was actually issued before my birth certificate...

Very entertaining. I think you could make a novel outta all this. Someday, though, you gotta go back and finish Part Two... *coiling, with fangs out on casual display*

If your alter-ego ever ends up in Seattle, give the ol' Northwestern Diamondback a shout. (Psych profile and personnel file on request.)

Edit to add: Like your writing style. Two coils up!
Re-edited for clarification

Dionysusigma
June 27, 2006, 01:44 AM
:D

If for some reason Mr. Crawler heads out to Oklahoma, we've got quite a few unusual types out here too... ;) :D :p

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 02:45 AM
Damn it to hell. Pardon me. I was two-thirds of the way through the next awesome chapter, when a transformer exploded and the power went out. *sigh*

Lemme see here...

the naked prophet
June 27, 2006, 02:58 AM
Anybody know a good artist? I'd like to have some "promotional artwork" made up.

I've got one brother who makes surrealist sculpture, and another brother who does cartoons. I don't think either one would illustrate or promote your mini-novels very well...

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 03:37 AM
"So when did you get your first real assignment?" Jeff asked me. We'd already been talking for three hours, and the sun was up.

"I'm kind of hungry," I said.

"I'll get something from the fridge. Keep talking," he said, and got up.

Our first assignment came in late September. Gordon called Tailor and I into the classroom that was set up in the villa used exclusively for such purposes. He had an overhead projector set up. Tailor and I sat down.

"Good morning," he said. "Ready for the big time, guys? This is it. Your first assignment should be an easy one, but it's still an important one. Up until nowl, Dead 6 has been doing reconnaissance only. That's about to change."

A picture appeared on the screen. It was of a middle-aged Arab man, with a bushy moustache and traditional head dress.

"This is Ali bin Ahmed Al-Falah. He's a Saudi national by birth, but has lived in Qatar since 1994. He's a wealthy, influential landowner, and has connections to the Qatari Royal Family. He's also a player."

The picture changed. It was now a younger Al-Falah, dressed in camouflage and holding an RPD machine gun.

"This is Al-Falah in 1982. At the age of twenty-six, he dropped out of a Saudi religious university to join the Jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan. He fought with the Mujahadeen for three years before being wounding and returning to Saudi Arabia. He now walks with a cane."

The picture changed again. This time Al-Falah was shaking hands with an all-too-familiar man, and smiling.

"We believe this picture was taken in 1997 or so. Yes, that is Osama Bin Laden. As I said, Al-Falah is a player. He's very wealthy, both from his father and from his dealings in the natrual gas industry. He's respected, considered pious, and has an enormous family. Though polygamy is rare in Qatar, he's got three wives and probably nine children. He lives in a large walled compound outside of Doha. Nice place; fountain, palm trees, you name it. He's got many servants and quite a few Indonesian slave girls as well."

Tailor and I were taking notes. Gordon told us that wasn't necessary, and handed each of us a fat manila envelope.

"Everything you need is in here," he said, and continued his briefing. "Al-Falah never does anything himself. He's always the behind the scenes man, the one pulling the strings and providing the funding. We believe his experience with being wounded in the 'Stan probably led to this attitude.

"At any rate, Al-Falah raises enormous amounts of cash for all of the terrorist groups. He has several influential charities in Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE that are all fronts for donating money to organizations like Hamas and Al-Qaeda.

"Fortunately for us, this is one of the rare occasions where removing the man will remove the means. Al-Falah does what he does through force of personality. He's well liked and respected, as I've said. His family name is respected. He goes to Friday services at Mosque...well, religiously. He always fasts during Ramadan. People are happy to do business with him.

"Which is why we're required for this. The Qatari government flatly denies that this guy has any dealings with the bad guys. US intelligence knows better, but the political situation is tricky. Can't touch him through regular channels. This works to our advantage, though. We believe he's gotten complacent. Complacency kills.

"Your mission, gentlemen, is to eliminate Ali bin Ahmed Al-Falah. You can use any means you see fit, though use of third-party weapons is mandated. We don't want the bad guys to know what's going on quite yet. You are to keep collateral damage to an absolute minimum, lest the Qataris start getting too antsy. You can request any equipment you wish, but no extra personnel will be allotted to you. You have ten days to complete this assignment, starting right now. If you fail or are captured, you're on your own. Any questions?"

We didn't have any questions. Gordon dismissed us, and we headed back to my villa. Sitting on my couch, we laid out our packets on the small coffee table and discussed options over cold Dr. Peppers.

"How you wanna do this?" Tailor asked. "Hard to hit him at home. He's got plenty of security, and the cat hardly ever leaves his house. He even has his office at home."

"Yeah...two of us, probably more than a dozen guards, most ex-Saudi Special Forces. That won't work," I agreed.

"Wait..." Tailor said, thumbing through documents. "Look. Intel says that every Friday night, at nine, he goes to this...coffee house, tea house, whatever the hell it is."

"Hey...yeah...smokes his hooka, has his coffee and tea, and jawjacks with the good ol' boys. This might be the best time to do it."

"Intel says he takes two bodyguards with him."

"Yeah, but look...they sit at one of the outside tables. Not enough status or street cred or whatever to get in, I guess. The old velvet rope. That's rough."

"Yeah," Tailor laughed. "But it makes things easier. They'll be outside, he'll be inside. They can't be too heavily armed, either. Probably pistols, maybe a rifle in their car. They drive him in a...damn. You believe this? A school-bus-yellow Hummer H2."

"Heh...that's funny. So our boy rides the short bus, eh? That'll make his ride easy to spot."

"I dunno, man, I've seen a few of those things around here. Overpriced piece of crap."

"Well, it'll probably be the only one there. We can try to hit him on the way there or on the way back, but...his drivers probably vary their routes, and there's nothing near his compound for us to hide behind. We try to stake the place out, it'll be obvious. It's best to hit him while he's there."

"Agreed," Tailor said. "Gotta keep it clean, though."

"Yeah...hey, hand me that map," I said. "Look at this. Directly across the street is a halfway-built building. Construction stopped about three months ago for one reason or another. Six floors, walls in place, windows and such aren't. We could hop the fence, make our way up to the second floor, and use a rifle. Range is less than two hundred meters."

"You any good with a rifle?"

"I'm plenty good with a rifle. Need something third party, though. Wonder if the armory has an SVD in its inventory? I've got a little bit of trigger time with an Dragunov."

The next day, I went to the small armory in one of the villas. Apparently, Dead 6 had such armories and safehouses all over the city, but I didn't know much about them yet. The armorer was a moustachioed man named Frank.

"Hey Frank," I said. "I need an SVD. You got one?"

"Oh yeah. Check this out." He went to the back, and returned with not just an SVD, but a tricked out one.

"Little project I've been working on. Put on a longer synthetic buttstock, cleaned up the trigger a bit, and machined my own scope base. The optic is a Valdada two-point-five to ten power, and with my scope base it sits perfectly centered over the barrel. The stock is good for lefties and righties. Has the receiver-mounted bipod and everything."

"Sweet...can I borrow it? Need a spotting scope, too."

"Sure, kid. Let me get you some mags and some ammo. You just make sure you bring that one back, okay? You want a disposable one you let me get you a beat-up PSL, alright?"

"Don't worry, Frank, I'll bring it back to you."

And so, we got our gear together. Tailor, being my spotter and back-up shooter, drew a brand new Russian made 7.62x39 AK with a PSO 4x scope. We borrowed a white Toyota Landcruiser, a very versatile vehicle, and one so common in Qatar as to be ubiquitous.

It would've been hard to inconspicuously walk down the street with the rifles we'd be carrying, but the building from which I was going to take the shot had a narrow alley behind it. We'd park the Landcruiser there and hop the fence. Best of all, we could get out of there in a hurry, too. We'd need to; Frank didn't have a suppressor for the Dragunov. Within short order every cop in Doha would be all over that part of town, and we'd have to get out of there before they set up roadblocks and check points.

Friday night finally arrived. At 8:35PM, we parket the Landcruiser in the alley and climbed out. We had a duffel bag with all of our equipment in it; aside from that we were dressed in regular civvies. The usual 'I'm a westerner in the middle east' attire. Bluejeans, khakis, t-shirts.

We found a hole in the fence, and made our way into the building. Using a Mini-Maglite flashlight with an LED bulb, we navigated our way through the empty, unfinished building, and climbed two flights of stairs to the second floor. We were both nervous, and neither one of us said anything.

We found the perfect spot to take the shot from on the second floor. It looked like it was going to be an office or cubicle park or something. At any rate, it had those large windows that went all the way to the floor, but the glass wasn't installed yet. We set down the duffel bag and got set up.

I laid on the floor in the prone position, setting up the custom SVD on its bipod and shouldering it. Tailor, to my left and slightly further back from the window than I, laid in the prone also. He used the spotting scope to observe the front of the coffee house that our target frequented.

The place was small, but lushly decorated. The entire front wall was glass, and you could see the entire front half of the place, but...hell, I thought. He could disappear inside. I'd have to get him going in or coming out, and waiting until he came back out was too risky. Fortunately, the entry doors were faced my position exactly. It'd be an easy shot. The distance was only one hundred and five meters. The street was a narrow side street, not a main thoroughfare, so it wouldn't be a long shot.

We waited in silence. I watched through my rifle's optic, Tailor through the spotting scope. After a seemingly endless twenty two minute wait, a yellow Hummer H2 pulled up to the curb and parked. Two rough looking men with suit jackets and bushy moustaches got out. Each had what looked like an MP5K or somesuch subgun concealed beneath their suit jackets. One of them opened the door on the back right side. As I watched, I was so nervous that I was almost shaking.

Onto the street stepped a heavy-set Arab man in traditional white thobe and head dress. He slowly made his way towards the doors of the coffee house, walking with a cane.

"That's our boy," I said. "You confirm?"

"I confirm," Tailor said. I felt that familiar calm wash over me, and the shakes diappeared. With the scope set to six power, I watched Al-Falah turn right and walk towards the coffee house doors. I placed the illuminated crosshairs on the upper half of the back of his head, and held my breath.


TO BE CONTINUED

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 04:11 AM
Finished that last one just in time. Five minutes after I clicked "post", the power blinked again. :uhoh:

You know, sometimes I worry that people will think this is all some kind of sick fantasy of mine. Honestly, it's not. I can't say I really wish that I'd be forced to go back to the middle east, or be sent to prison.

The first "So There I Was" story starring my alter-ego wasn't meant to be a long story. It was just a short blurb, meant as a gag, utterly perposterous. The idea of Chinese triads in Marquette Michigan, and a guy doing merc stuff while going to school full time is ridiculous.

Now, though...well, Nightcrawler, on THR, at least, is an established character unto himself. He bears more than a passing resemblance to yours truly, of course, but all because he's based on me doesn't mean he's me.

Besides. I'm hardly (http://www.megatokyo.com/) the only (http://www.reallifecomics.com/) guy (http://www.penny-arcade.com/) on the internet to use a character based on himself in his storytelling... :D

BluesBear
June 27, 2006, 04:41 AM
Edge of the Seat Excitment?
Pins & Needles Thrills?

Oooops I just sat on the dog brush!


Anyway, stay tuned for the next thrilling chapter in the saga of the man known as The Nightcrawler...

Will the target escape or will it be Lights Out, Nancy?

Don't miss the next episode;

"Another Friday Night and I Ain't Shot Nobody..."

or

"Feats Don't Fail Me Now!"

svtruth
June 27, 2006, 01:20 PM
and I hope you get product placement considerations.

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 01:22 PM
and I hope you get product placement considerations.

If that's the case, S&W owes me a FAT check. DSA too.... :D

pdowg881
June 27, 2006, 01:31 PM
its gets better and better every time i read it

just one question
June 27, 2006, 08:24 PM
I eagerly wait for the next installment:) I usually don't like online fiction either;) but this is good stuff.

Also its good to see the disclaimer, I thought these were your james bond fantasies at first:neener:


You should look into getting published. You can be serious and write comedy (I'm still laughing from that 308 in the back part in your one story, good mall ninja spin off)

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 08:38 PM
"So what happened?" Jeff asked. I was chewing on a piece of cheese when he asked.

"Well," I said, swallowing, "I made the shot. Al-Falah went down. What a mess...you know, I'd never shot an unarmed man before. It kind of bothered me. Anyway, Tailor took down one of his bodyguards with two shots, but the other one took cover behind the Hummer."

"But it was only one guy, right? You guys were able to get away okay?"

"Heh...that was the funny part. Intel said he took two body guards with him. What they should have said was that they only ever saw two body guards."

"Oh crap. What happened?"

"Another Landcruiser came speeding around the corner, and screeched to a halt in front of the Hummer. Five freaking guys, armed with submachine guns, got out. The one guy started pointing at the window, and shouting, and the next thing I knew, our quiet cubbyhole was being hosed by automatic weapons fire."

"Damn," Jeff said.

Tailor and I were on our feet and heading towards the back of the building as the first rounds began to strike inside of the window. I slung the SVD across my back and pulled out the Browning 9mm I'd had stashed on me.

Tailor removed the scope from his rifle and stuck it in his pocket. He led the way down the stairs, Kalshnikov at the ready, and I followed. We went back down the two flights of stairs, out the back door of the place, and arrived at the fence.

Tailor went through the hole first, his rifle pointing to our left, up the alley. I followed, my pistol pointing to our right, down the alley. I was startled when two shots rang out; one of the bodyguards had come around the corner and Tailor had double-tapped him. The man crumpled to the ground, his MP5K clattering on the pavement.

Moving quickly, I opened the left back door of our Landcruiser, and tossed the SVD onto the back seat. I holstered my pistol and climbed into the driver's seat. Tailor climbed into the passenger's seat, and kept his AK at the ready. I put the big SUV into gear, and stepped on the gas.

"LOOK OUT!" Tailor yelled. The bodyguards' own Landcruiser had pulled into the alley, blocking our exit. Worse, the alley wasn't wide enough to turn around in. Swearing aloud, I threw it into reverse and stomped on the gas.

We backed down the alley entirely too fast. Tailor leaned out the window, and began firing at the late Al-Falah's bodyguards. They'd taken cover behind their truck and were peppering the front of the big SUV with 9mm submachine gun fire.

Crouching down, hoping the engine block would provide me with protection, I tried to navigate the Landcruiser down the alley in reverse by looking into my left-side mirror. Needless to say, it's easier said than done. Rounds came whizzing through the windshield.

I must've hit the walls about six times, smashing through garbage cans and terrifying stray cats. Seconds later, Al-Falah's bodyguards piled back into their truck, and started down the alley after us.

Moments later, we exploded onto the main road, still in reverse, and were nearly broadsided by a Nissan mini-bus. I cut the wheel to the right and stomped on the brakes. Cars swerved around us, horns screaming as they did so. I put the Landcruiser back into drive, and hit the gas. We got moving just as Al-Falah's guards made it onto the main road.

I sped along, not sure where to go. Al-Falah's men were in close pursuit. Worse, at that time of the night, the roundabouts in Doha were clogged with traffic. I didn't want to get in a gunfight in the middle of a traffic jam. Too many innocent bystanders.

So I hung a quick right, and sped down a narrow side road. Such streets in Doha had one lane going each way, with a small roundabout at each intersection. In the middle was a raised concrete divider, almost like a sidewalk. Left turns were hard to make in Doha.

The street was mercifully free of traffic, but within seconds, Al-Falah's men began firing again. Rounds entered through the back window and hit the tops of our seat backs. Tailor and I were scrunched down about as far as we could go.

"Will you PLEASE SHOOT BACK??", I screamed. He turned around, twisting to his left, and returned fire through what was left of the back window. My hearing went out at that instant, and hot brass peppered me in the side of the head. I flinched and almost went off the road.

"AHHH! BE CAREFUL!"

"JUST DRIVE DAMMIT!"

I snarled in pain as a round clipped my right shoulder. At the same time, Tailor had to reload his rifle. To hell with this, I thought.

"YOU BUCKLED?"

"WHAT?? WHY??" I floored the brake pedal.

The Landcruiser full of Al-Falah's bodyguards rear-ended us at a relative speed of about fifty miles per hour. We fishtailed to the left, and their vehicle went on and smashed into a parked car. Our ride was trashed, but we were stopped, and we were alive.

At least, I thought so.

Dazed, I unbuckled, opened the door, and literally fell out of the truck. I somehow managed to get to my feet, and looked over at our pursuers. The driver and the front passenger appeared to be dead. Both were gushing blood from their heads, and it was apparent that neither had been wearing their seatbelts.

However, there was one guard in the back seat, on the driver's side. He was dazed, but conscious, and he was looking at me. I guessed that the others hadn't been able to get to the truck before they sped off after us.

The remaining guard stared at me, eyes growing wide at the apparent realization that I was a westerner. My stomach turned when I realized what was happening. We couldn't afford to be seen.

I limped over to his vehicle, drawing the Hi-Power from its holster, and swiping off the safety. Shakily holding the pistol in my left hand, I raised it, pointing it directly at the guard's head. He just turned his head and looked away from me.

My hand began to shake, and I heard sirens approaching. Without blinking, I took my finger off of the trigger, saftied it, and reholstered it. I turned around and limped back to the Landcruiser. I hadn't fired.

Tailor was just coming around.

"C'mon, bro, we gotta split," I said. "Cops are coming."

"Yeah...yeah....okay...you get 'em?"

"Yeah, I think so," I said, lying. "C'mon, let's go!" I grabbed the SVD and our duffel bag from the back seat, and Tailor and I staggered down an alley that led off to the right. I had the rifle in my hands, and Tailor slung the bag across his back.

Rounding the corner, we were immediately illuminated by headlights. Oh, hell, I thought.

The vehicle, a small French Renault, came to a stop, just under a streetlight. I could see the driver; he appeared to be a westerner, and his eyes were wide.

Not sure what to do, I leveled the SVD at him.

"GET OUT OF THE CAR!" I yelled. A moment later, Tailor had his AK pointed at him as well. The man hesitated, and raised his hands, seemlingly in shock. I squeezed the trigger.

The Russian rifle cracked, and the Renault's left-side mirror exploded as the one hundred and eighty grain match bullet tore through it.

"NOW!" I screamed. The driver complied, and stepped out of the vehicle. I lowered the SVD to low ready and moved towards the vehicle.

"I'm sorry," I said, without looking at him. "We need your car."

"BLOODY HELL!" he said. "JUST TAKE IT! DON'T SHOOT!" So he was British. Tailor stepped up to him, his AK still leveled.

"Drop your cell phone," he said, suprisingly calmly.

"Are you mad? You're taking my car, do you have to take my bloody phone..."

I'm not going to repeat the swath of obscenities that Tailor let out at that point, but an instant later the unlucky British man dropped his phone onto the ground. Tailor stomped on it, smashing it.

"GET OUT OF HERE!" He yelled. The man took off down the alley.

"You drive," I said.

"Why?" Tailor asked. "Look, I got hit pretty hard back there,"

"Just drive! It's a stick, okay! I can't drive a stick!"

"Man, you're pathetic," he said, climbing into the driver's seat. I got into the passenger's side, once again tossing the SVD onto the back seat. Tailor put the car in gear, did a three-point-turn in a narrow driveway, and took off down the alley, away from the crash scene, just as the Qatari police arrived.

Now I'm not proud of taking that man's car. Please believe me when I say that I would not have hurt him had he not complied. I just didn't want to think about what would happen had we been caught by the Qatari police.

In any case, the car was a rental. It was common in Qatar for westerners, working on one- or multi-year contracts, to rent cars on a month-by-month basis.

So aside from his smashed phone, the British dude wouldn't be out any money. That made me feel a little better, but I was still in a sort of shock at this point.

We ditched the car a few miles from our compound. We put all of our gear into the duffel bag and Tailor, being less inured than I (he wasn't bleeding), shouldered it. Using back alleys, we made it back to our compound about an hour later. We hadn't been seen (well, aside from Al-Falah's bodyguard, and that poor British dude, anyway).

We spent the next several hours being debriefed by Gordon. He was literally questioning me while the doc was patching up my shoulder. It had been a gusher, but it was really just a scratch. I'd be okay. Gordon was very unhappy with us, I've got to tell you. Being seen, stealing the car, and way more "collateral damage" than he'd wanted.

That said, we'd accomplished our mission. That counted for something, I suppose, but I wasn't feeling nearly as satisfied as I'd hoped. I think it was then that I realized that this wasn't a game. Well, it was, after a fashion, but real people died real deaths.

Confused, tired, debriefed, and patched up, I limped back to my villa. I just wanted to take a shower, crawl in bed, and die for about twelve hours.

As I approached my door, I noticed Sarah there, sitting in the dark on the low wall that separated our porches. She was smoking a cigarette, and smiled when she saw me. Her expression changed when she saw the condition I was in.

"What the hell happened to you?" She asked, looking me over, but not getting up.

"It's been kind of a bad night," I said, master of understatement that I am.

"You wanna come in and tell me about it?" My heart almost leaped into my throat.

"Uh...I don't...I mean, yeah, you'd love to, I mean, I'd love to...yeah. Yeah, sure." Smooth, Mike. She just laughed, doused the cigarette, and opened her door for me.

"So you got some good lovin'?" Jeff asked me, grinning.

"What?" I replied, startled out of my train of thought.

"You heard me."

"A gentleman doesn't kiss and tell, Jeff," I said.

"No, huh?"

"...no."

"Dude, you suck."

"I know."


TO BE CONTINUED....

BluesBear
June 27, 2006, 08:53 PM
Nightcrawler 1
Badguys 0

But will there be a flag on the play?

Don't miss the next unending episode...

So there I was...

or

Where Am I...

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 09:01 PM
You know...

If I ever actually have to use a gun in self-defense, some prosecutor's going to dig this up and hang me out to dry. :uhoh: (My penchant for first person shooter PC games might get me in more trouble, though. LOL)

It's not fair. My stuff isn't half as violent as the Rogue Warrior novels...

In reality? I honestly and truly abhor violence, and I've never picked a fight in my life...

So why do I keep writing this?

I enjoy writing, for one. Secondly, my best style is as told in the first person. Third...well, like I've said, the protaganist in this story is already an established character of sorts.

But, like Correia told me...if you're not on some Government Watch List, you're not even trying. LOL

yy
June 27, 2006, 09:14 PM
well, it's important to point out to that prosecutor that you did spare one dazed bodyguard in your story. So any psycho analysis can be refuted.

I'm thinking Fatal Attraction (which movie was it with sharon stone and michael douglas?), your story actually becomes your alibi. ;)

pdowg881
June 27, 2006, 09:32 PM
Very accurate info. Im lookin at sat images of doha and the streets are just how you describe with the roundabouts and all. Good job keep it coming.

BluesBear
June 27, 2006, 09:49 PM
Fatal Attraction starred Glenn Close and Michael Douglas
Rabbit stew anyone?

Basic Instinct starred Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas
"What are you going to do? Arrest me for smoking?"

Disclosure starred Demi Moore and Michael Douglas
"Sex is power"


Michael Douglas seems to get all of the weird hot babes.




"Nightcrawler, The Movie" should star Michael Douglas!

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 10:00 PM
"Nightcrawler, The Movie" should star Michael Douglas!

Except Michael Douglas is like thirty years older and six inches shorter than me! :scrutiny:

LMAO

CSA 357
June 27, 2006, 10:01 PM
this is great! you should write a book man, ill buy one now!*csa*:) if you make a movie can i have a spot?

BluesBear
June 27, 2006, 10:05 PM
Except Michael Douglas is like thirty years older and six inches shorter than me! Sure, but he still gets to play snugglebunny with Catherine Zeta Jones.

Actually the point was that with MD portraying you (in later life of course, recounting his past), there would be lots of wild, weird, wuvely wimmen involved in the stories.

Nightcrawler
June 27, 2006, 10:06 PM
there would be lots of wild, weird, wuvely wimmen involved in the stories.

Thusly shattering the viewers' suspension of disbelief and ruining the movie for them. ;)

BluesBear
June 27, 2006, 10:07 PM
Of course. ;)

sm
June 27, 2006, 10:39 PM
Nightcrawler-
Great Writing!

Movie Tip -

Sam Elliot for male lead
Katherine Ross for Female.

More women will swoon for Sam Elliot than they will for even Tom Selleck...no matter the age.
Guys of all ages Respect and Admire Katherine Ross.

Both actors have earned the respect and admiration of both genders and all ages.

The fact these two are Pro Gun helps. :)

Hoppy590
June 27, 2006, 10:40 PM
NO MAN! john cusack. hes got that perfect "why does this crap happen to me!" quality to him. ever see him in grosse point blank or the ice harvest. smooth, cool, and generaly awesome at the whole criminal/ hitman thing

pdowg881
June 27, 2006, 11:21 PM
it should star me. lol

freedom and guns
June 28, 2006, 01:04 PM
This is a great story. Eagerly awaiting updates.

Brian Williams
June 28, 2006, 01:29 PM
sm, I hear you look like Sam Elliot and you keep pushing him as a lead because you want to be his stunt double.

Keep going NC

Nematocyst
June 28, 2006, 02:16 PM
I served Michael Douglas hor'deurves once at a theatre fund raiser event in Connecticut.

He said thank you.

<OK, yes, I know: irrelevant chatter. I'm just waking up, haven't had coffee yet, catching up on this thread cause THR was inaccessible last night when I had an hour or two to get caught up on this great story, so I'm THR-jonsing this morning...coffee? where's my coffee?! ...>

Nightcrawler
June 28, 2006, 02:29 PM
Well I was going to write an update last night, but I couldn't log on after ten until I went to bed, so...

I'll get on it.

Question. Why is everyone picking these actors in their fifties to play me? I just turned twenty five not two weeks ago! :scrutiny:

LOL

Correia
June 28, 2006, 02:55 PM
NC, excellent work. Especially since it is just cranked out in a rough draft format.
And I'm a snob when it comes to internet fiction. :)

yy
June 28, 2006, 03:03 PM
Why is everyone picking these actors in their fifties to play me?

Take it as a compliment to your maturity beyond your age :) OR as a sad statement that we (your readers) are showing our age such that our movie heros are getting old too.:evil:

if it's any consolation, I didn't bring up charles heston... mbu-wa ha ha ha

besides, _you_ brought up dirty harry ;)

Nematocyst
June 28, 2006, 03:07 PM
Question. Why is everyone picking these actors in their fifties to play me? I just turned twenty five not two weeks ago! :scrutiny: Because older, experienced, intelligent 50-something guys like me - who take care of themselves physically and stay in great shape - are sexy.

(Just ask my much younger girlfriend. ;) )

Punkermonkey
June 28, 2006, 03:10 PM
Nightcrawler - Please sir, could we have some more?

yy
June 28, 2006, 03:31 PM
prescioussss

oops, wrong genre;)



nc's story is more Mr. Smith (sorry: Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the movie)
but you're right. a movie reference isn't as good.
OTOH: would you say your character is close to Lazarus Long?

Nightcrawler
June 28, 2006, 07:42 PM
Who's Mr. Smith?

Heinlein is more of a writing role model for me, actually...though I do like Mark Weber (it's Mark, right? Honor Harrington series?) and Harry Turtledove also.

Skunkabilly
June 28, 2006, 07:46 PM
If I ever actually have to use a gun in self-defense, some prosecutor's going to dig this up and hang me out to dry.

Obviously fiction.

I wouldn't have cheese in my house.

rms/pa
June 28, 2006, 08:44 PM
"Heinlein is more of a writing role model for me, actually...though I do like Mark Weber (it's Mark, right? Honor Harrington series?) and Harry Turtledove also."

it is david weber tbomk.

rms/pa

Nightcrawler
June 28, 2006, 09:11 PM
By this time, I had nearly fallen asleep in my chair. I crashed on Jeff's couch, and he went back to bed himself.

It was about one o' clock in the afternoon when he appeared from his bed room, finding me rooting through his refridgerator.

"What the hell is this?" I asked.

"Flavored water," he said. "Why?"

"Since when do they have flavored water?"

"They've got cherry vanilla Dr. Pepper, too."

"WHAT? They defiled Dr. Pepper??"

"Yeah, I guess."

"Man. You leave the country for a year and everything changes."

"Who knew?" He laughed. Later, we sat down for breakfast (lunch?) and chit-chatted about nothing of importance. As he was clearing the table, Jeff asked me to continue my story.

"Seems like things were going pretty well for you over there."

"They were, at first. Man, did we wreak some havoc, too. We had 'em runnin' scared, lemme tell you."

"Were you being paid?"

"Sixteen thousand dollars a month, actually. Most of that was to keep us from bolting and keep us quiet, though, I think. They never really trusted us. But I'd already had quite a chunk of change saved up from before. Taking out that Russian mobster back in oh-two really padded my bank account."

"How much did you get paid for that?"

"One point four million Euros, in an offshore account with the Bank of Grand Cayman."

"Dayum, dude!"

"Yeah. Needless to say I wasn't bothering to fill out my FAFSA when I was in college." I laughed.

"So anyway..."

Over the next few months, Tailor and I, as well as the other members of Dead 6, ran a wide variety of operations. We really had the badguys running scared, too. The rumor mill in those circles was going crazy, saying that the Americans were finally coming to get them. The Qatari government was outraged, and the Amir himself promised to take action to stop the brigands and terrorists, as he described us. The irony in that was particularly sweet.

But terrorize them we did. We weren't hitting civilan targets or anything like that, mind you. Just these terrorist movers, shakers, and players. Sometimes their families got caught in the crossfire. In such wars, they always do. I wasn't personally involved in anything like that, but I did hear some stories.

A lot of the stuff we did was almost gangland style. For the most part, we were deliberately sloppy and amateurish. One time, Tailor and I dressed up like locals, wrapping our heads and faces in shemagh scarves. We took a beat up Toyota pickup, pulled along side of a Range Rover driven by an Al-Qaeda big-wig, and I hosed him with a Kalashnikov. Broad daylight and everything. Stuff like that.

One mission in particular stands out in my mind, though. We got into some real high-speed, low-drag, Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 stuff. Intel had located the residence of another one of these players; Tailor and I were sent in to clean house.

"Good morning, gentlemen," Gordon said as Tailor and I entered the briefing room and sat down. "We've got a good one for you, this time." I was looking forward to it; we'd had a lot of downtime of late.

Before Gordon said anything else, another man walked into the room. He had an eyepatch over his left eye, and I kid you not looked just like Charleton Heston in True Lies. We finally got to meet the old man himself.

"You two have been doing a great job," he said. "Do you know who I am?" Tailor and I replied that he was probably the boss man.

"That's right. You don't get to know my name, I'm afraid. I'm just the Big Boss, or Boss, or 'the old man'. They think I don't know they call me that." He chuckled.

"This one is important, boys," he said as Gordon excused himself. Big Boss turned on the overhead projector. Another man of obvious Arab descent; this one wearing a sharp Armani suit and sporting a two hundred dollar hair cut.

"This man is known simply as The Jackal. We believe he's styled himself after that famous terrorist Carlos from the 1970s. I trust you boys remember Carlos the Jackal?"

"I was young, but yeah," Tailor said.

"I...I was, uh, born in 1981, Boss," I said sheepishly. Big Boss just looked at me for a moment, and smiled to himself.

"Anyway, we don't know his real name. He'd used dozens of aliases over the years, but seems to go by the name 'Adar'. We believe he's either Syrian or Iraqi in origin, but we're not sure. Everything about this man is surrounded in mystery. We'd been tracking him since the early 1990s, but he'd dropped off the map in 2002. Until now, that is.

"Adar seems to have established himself a plush residence in a nice neighborhood here in Doha. We don't know if he's just here temporarily, or if he's intending to retire. We kind of doubt he's out of the picture, though.

"Adar is a known sadist. He enjoys the arts of torture and interrogation. He's an ice cold sociopath with the heart of a snake. The best psychological profile we can make on him tells us that he doesn't engage in terrorism because he's religious or because he even hates the west; he simply does it for sport.

"He's been busy up in Iraq recently, organizing the insurgency there. He's kept a lower profile than Al-Zarqawi and others; he's smarter than them, too. We never know if or when Adar is behind something, and he's always on the move.

"Imagine our surprise then, boys, when he showed up right here in our own backyard. We're not going to pass this opportunity up."

"So what's the job, sir?" Tailor asked.

"Simple, Forty-Six. We're going to break into his house and kill him in his own bed," the boss said, a hard gleam in his remaining eye.

"Just the two of us?" I asked.

"You two are some of the best I've got. Besides, Adar always keeps a low profile. He has a nice house, but not an extravagant one. He'll probably have a few guards, but not many. We've had great difficulty tracking his comings and goings, but we know he's there."

"Any chance we could get a large strike team, sir?" Tailor asked. "Too many unknowns here."

"We'll have a backup team of four men on standby, Forty-Six. But we need to keep this low profile. You're not going to be rapelling down from a helicopter or anything like that. If he gets out of the house alive, it could be years before we find him again, if ever. We need the element of surprise."

"Our chief weapon is the element of surprise," I said.

"And terror," Tailor said, grinning.

"Right. Our chief weapons are surprise and terror." I was grinning now.

"And guns," Tailor said.

"Okay, okay, okay. Among our chief weapons, there are surprise, terror, and..."

"THAT will be quite enough, boys," Big Boss said, trying hard not to smile. Who knew the old man was a Monty Python fan?

"Now listen up," he continued, more composed. "I want you boys to take some R&R. We don't have everything we need in place to take down Adar yet, and I've still got to get the go-ahead from Higher. I'm giving you both permission to leave the compound. Check out a couple cars from the motorpool and go see the city. Just keep a low profile and don't do anything stupid, okay? Now get out of here."

It was like being a sixth grader on Friday afternoon. Aside from missions, we hadn't been out of the compound in weeks. They brought in groceries and such every day, and we weren't allowed to go anywhere.

"What are you going to do?" I asked Tailor as we sat on the porch of his villa, in the shade. The sky was reddening as the sun began to sink towards the horizon.

"I think I'm going to go to that nightclub in the Merwab Hotel. Cloud Nine, I think it's called."

"Little drinky drinky?" I asked, smiling. Tailor replied that while alcohol consumption was on the menu, what he was really looking for was something along the lines of a hot Australian chick. I laughed. He couldn't bring a girl back the compound, obviously, but there was nothing stopping him from getting a room someplace.

"You wanna come with?" He asked. "You need some action, bro."

"Um...I was kind of going to ask Sarah if..."

"That's my BOY!" Tailor said, laughing. "My dawg! My main man! My ace-in-the-hole! I knew you had the hots for that chick. Just go over there, knock on her door, and say 'Sarah? I'm gonna make sweet love to you!'" He laughed even harder, accusing me of blushing. I totally didn't blush. Seriously.

"Get out of here!" I said, sounding stern but trying not to laugh.

"This is my house, bro."

"Fine. I need to go take a shower anyway. Catch ya later!"

"Good luck tonight, partner! You go getcha some!" I flipped him off as I walked away, grinning ear to ear, and he laughed again.

Sarah was on her porch as I approach my villa. She was smoking a cigarette, and smiled when she saw me. I felt my guts tense up, and my heart rate increase.

Steady now, I thought to myself. You can do this. Who dares wins. Just friggin' ask her.

"Hi, Mike. Whatcha doin' tonight?" She asked.

"I'm off," I said, less steadily than I'd hoped. "Got a pass, actually. Big Boss is even letting me take one of the cars. I'm, uh, thinking about going into town."

"Really? You're so lucky. I haven't been into town in over a month." Okay, Mike, that's it, that's the sign, she wants to go with you.

"Well, you can, um, come with me, if you want. Into town, I mean. We can go into town. Together." Smooth. Like James Bond or something.

"Really? You don't mind?"

"NO! No, I mean, no, of course I don't. I love to have you. Have you come with me, I mean."

"That sounds great," she said, smiling. "When are you leaving?"

"I was going to go take a shower and get ready," I said.

"Okay. Come bang on my door when you're ready to go, okay? I'll be dressed."

Boy was she ever. Tight jeans, tight shirt, high heels, and the first perfume I'd smelled in months that wasn't on a Qatari man. The drive was awkwardly quiet at first, but she was a lot more outgoing than I and initiated conversation.

As I drove the little white Toyota through evening Doha traffic (and often getting stuck in same), we talked about our past lives and how we'd come to be there. She'd make quite a living making forged documents in Seattle, until the Feds busted her. Now she was in the Middle East making ungodly amounts of money.

Thanks to the traffic, it took us an hour to reach the City Centre shopping mall in downtown Doha. It was a huge building; four floors, hundreds of stores, and it even had Qatar's one and only ice rink in it.

I could tell Sarah was having a good time. She dragged me from store to store, buying expensive European clothes and designer shoes from a plethora of overpriced boutiques. Normally, such a thing would be a drag for a guy, but I must admit I was enjoying every minute of it. She was so lively, so fun to be around...and so graceful in the way she moved. I don't think she really understood how beautiful she actually was.

There was a restaurant, billed as a sports grill but actually not much resembling one, on the fourth floor of the place, across from the movie theater. We ate there and talked some more. They had suprisingly good lasagna, I've got to tell you.

After that, we went to the theater and saw Oliver Stone's Alexander. Sarah liked it. I thought it was awful and way too long. The movie theather was plush, and nice. The screen must've been twenty feet tall! But we had to sit away from other people. The locals had the rude habit of talking on their cell phones while watching a movie. Why you'd pay thirty Riyals to see a movie and then not watch the thing is beyond me.

We'd been gone for six hours when we finally rolled back into the compound. Carrying her bags for her, I walked with her back to our villas. Doha was so well lit that you could never see the stars, but it was a nice night. Cool, but not cold, and not at all humid like nights in the summer got.

"I had a great time tonight," she said, smiling. "Thank you for this." Not knowing what to say, and fearing that my inept babblings would ruin the moment, I just smiled.

"You want to come in for a drink?" She asked me. Alarm bells.

"I...uh...don't drink..." I said. ***? WHY DID YOU SAY THAT?

"We don't have to have a drink," she said, smiling coyly. Whoa...

I smiled.

"Way to GO, BRO!" Jeff said, grinning, and once again disrupting my stream of consciousness. "Sounds like interesting times. I wish I could've been there."

"No you don't," I said flatly. "Things...got worse. Much, much worse."

"What happened?" he asked. I closed my eyes.


TO BE CONTINUED...

Nightcrawler
June 28, 2006, 09:13 PM
I wouldn't have cheese in my house.

What? Aren't you some kind of sandal wearing, granola eating, cheese-and-french-bread-in-the-house kind of tactical hippy? :neener:

What kind of Californian are you? :D

Suprising...I mean, surprising number of typos in this. *sigh* Will clean it up for the director's cut.

Story's already at eleven thousand words, if anyone's counting.

Chupacabra
June 28, 2006, 09:52 PM
HAHAHAHA!! Great stuff Nightcrawler! Keep 'em coming.

:cool:

CK
June 28, 2006, 10:39 PM
Man, this is incredible. I spent a whole good part of my work time just reading this and your other work. Loving it. Btw, I think Jerry O'Connell would be perfect to play you. though he is 7 years older than you.

DRZinn
June 28, 2006, 10:51 PM
Sam Neill to play the old you, telling his friend about it. As for a young action star who'd fit the part and is pro gun..... I just don't know.

Nightcrawler
June 28, 2006, 10:55 PM
If anyone's intersted in the "official timeline";

-The original "So There I Was" story took place in Febuary of 2004.
-The aborted "Tales from the Road" would've taken place in May of 2004, but it's non-canon.
-"Welcome Back Nightcrawler", during the flashback sequence, takes place between July of 2004 and July of 2005. The 'present' sequence takes place in July of 2005 onward.

Some have wondered just how I nailed the feel of a Middle Eastern city so well. Well...there I was (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=147096).

Diamondback6
June 28, 2006, 11:12 PM
Y'know, you don't really have to abort "Tales from the Road" unless you want to. If you came back and finished it later, you have a defined endpoint and a defined timespan for the story. It could still work someday, and it's still a darn good hook for a story's attention-getter section.

Besides, if you leave "windows in the timeline" between your stories, they leave some defined start- and endpoints for further adventures when you publish The Complete Mr. Nightcrawler Anthology.

BluesBear
June 28, 2006, 11:48 PM
As the plot thickens the question everyone asks is, "Will our hero get the girl or will he get the short end of the stick again."

Find out in our next exciting episode!


By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

or

Who Turned Out The Lights!

Correia
June 29, 2006, 12:34 AM
Nightcrawler inspired me. I asked for his permission to write a little something related to his story, but from a different individual's perspective. This occur's during the moment's of Nightcrawler's hit.

Cranked this out kind of quick, so here goes...


#######

Three months, six days, ten hours... of my life... wasted.

That was the first coherent thought that ran through my mind as Ali bin Ahmed Al-Falah’s head exploded right in front of me. Scarlet and white bits rose like a cloud as the fat Saudi went to his knees. I had been on the receiving end of gunfire too many times and moved back into the club’s doorway with out thinking.

Flinching involuntarily as I wiped fine mist of Al-Queda off my face, I honed in on the sniper’s position.

I was not the only one.

“Achmed, up there!” the first bodyguard shouted as he lifted his MP5, and ripped a short burst into the nearby building’s second story window. Two louder shots rang out, probably an AK, and the guard went down hard, disappearing from view on the other side of the Land Cruiser. The second guard took cover, and fired off an entire magazine in the general direction of danger.

My ear piece crackled. “What’s going on! Report! Cease fire!”

“Hang on, Carl. I’m not the one shooting.” I muttered beneath my breath, knowing the mike would pick it up.

“Who is then?”

“Beat’s me. Somebody wasted Al-Falafal.” Carl hated when I called the target that.

Another bullet cracked into the door frame beside me. A second Toyota came screaming up, summoned by the sound of gunfire. This was supposed to have been a simple job. Buy Al-Falah’s club. Replace the owner. Wait for the day he was supposed to meet the Russian arms dealer, then steal the several million dollars in bearers bonds that Al-Falah was going to use to pay for the surface to air missiles. I had been planning on using the old poisoned hooka trick, always nice and quiet.

Carl paused, and then there was a stream of profanity so vile that it made me cringe more than the incoming sniper fire. “Get that brief case. Get it now. We’re inbound for pickup.”

I had to move. Some ******* had just screwed up my neatly planned mission. Plan B time. There it was. A plain leather brief case, still clutched in Al-Falah’s twitching hand. Starting toward it, I stuck one hand under my Quatari man-dress, or whatever the hell they called these things, and grabbed my 1911. I had spent three months wearing a dress in 120 degree heat, and I was not leaving with out that case.

The new guards were screaming and pointing at the sniper’s building. One young man jumped from the vehicle and sprinted towards me. He knelt next to his former boss, barely even registering that I was there, recognizing me from previous visits. The Toyota tore away in a cloud of dust. Good.

“Khalid! Call for doctors,” he shouted. It took a split second for me to realize that was supposed to be my name. Look one way, look the other. People moving. Pointing. Talking on cell phones. Other guards in pursuit of the sniper. This could still work.

“Certainly, I shall,” I answered, as I reached down and grabbed the case. Al-Falah’s hand wouldn’t let go when I tugged on it. I tugged harder, hoping that the guard would keep trying to hold the content’s of Al-Falah’s head in rather than pay any attention to me.

The guard looked at me in confusion. “What are you doing? Wait—“ I punt kicked him into the gutter, jerked the case into my arms, and ran back into the club, pushing past startled onlookers, their attention on the carnage in the street, some of them realizing that I had just booted a man with a submachine gun and robbed the dead. Through the kitchen. Out the back door. Down the alley. I heard the door slam closed behind me.

My breath coming in ragged gasps, my legs pumping, not daring to look back. “Where are you?” I hissed. “I’ve got it. I’m at the back of the alley.”

His voice was slightly distorted in my ear. “Coming. We almost got hit by some crazy guys having a car chase or something.”

A vehicle pulled into the alley, and it wasn’t Carl’s van, rather another black Toyota full of angry Muslims, and I immediately recognized the driver screaming into his cell phone, Yousef, one of Al-Falah’s men.

No cover, no place to hide. No time to run. His eyes widened when he saw me with his boss’ brief case O’money. The brief case fell as if in slow motion. Twenty yards to that vehicle, Yousef behind the wheel, one passenger, no other options, the 1911 was in my hand before I even thought about it. Car doors flew open as my STI cleared leather.

Time slowed to a crawl. The passenger was quicker, coming up out of the vehicle, stupidly leaving cover, stubby black MP5 rising. My hands came together, arms punching outward, the .45 an extension of my will. The Ashley Express sight was a giant globe entering my vision, focused on so clearly that the bad guy was only a blur behind it. I stroked the perfect trigger to the rear.

The sound should have been deafening, but it seemed more of a muted thump in the narrow alley. Again. Again. He disappeared, the H&K tossed from his hands like a Frisbee. The muzzle moved, seemingly on its own, over the driver’s windshield. Yousef, face betraying his shock, slower to react, cell phone falling from his open hand as he wrestled with his seat belt. The glass spider-webbed as I opened fire, obscuring the terrorist. Uncertain as his fate I continued firing. The slide locked back empty. The alley stank of garbage and gun powder. The spent magazine struck the ground, as I speed reloaded.

I had done this kind of thing a few times.

Carl’s yellow van careened wildly into the alley, locked up its brakes and narrowly stopped inches from the Toyota’s bumper. “Down! Down!” He screamed out the window, creating a weird off-time effect as my radio ear-piece repeated it a second later. I did not hesitate, and flung myself into the garbage. The muzzle of an AUG extended from the van’s window as Carl fired over my head. The cracks of the .223 were ear splitting compared to my .45.

Rolling over, I could see dust and debris spraying from the club’s rear exit. The guard I had kicked was sliding slowly down the door frame, already on the way to his 72 virgin welcome committee.

“Clear. Let’s get out of here!” My partner in crime shouted. I scrambled to my feet, grabbed the money, and ran past the shot up Toyota, keeping my gun up, scanning for threats, and pulled myself into the already moving van. We sped off into the streets, Carl’s beady eyes scanning rapidly back and forth, looking for cops. I reholstered my gun and watched my hands begin to shake.

Days of planning and preparation, phase one almost done, phase two ready to go, and all screwed because some mystery person whacks MY target. I closed my hand into a fist. I was going to figure out who screwed us.

“Did you get the money?”

“Yeah, I’m fine. Didn’t get hit. Thanks for asking.” I replied.

He rolled his eyes. I held up the case.

“Good. One down. Two to go.”


######

yy
June 29, 2006, 02:30 AM
nice one Correia, you picked up nc's voice very well.



and NC, well done. You can always put us on the edge of our seats.

BluesBear
June 29, 2006, 02:55 AM
The plot thickens as a new danger appears.

What impact will this new group have?

Will they become friends or foes?


Don't miss the next thrilling episode,

Take The Money And Run

or

Sheik, Rattle and Rob!

Nightcrawler
June 29, 2006, 03:07 AM
When I awoke the next morning, it was one of those moments you remember for the rest of your life. Sarah leaned over and kissed me, her auburn hair tickling my neck.

"I have to go," I said. "I've got a job tonight, and I need to get ready."

"Me too," she said with a smile.

Hopping across the wall that divided our porches from one another, I entered my villa and took a shower. Once cleaned up and in some fresh clothes, I grabbed the mission packet that had been dropped off in my mailbox and walked up the way to Tailor's villa. I banged on the door instead of using the buzzer. He hated that.

He opened it, can of Dr. Pepper in one hand, cigarette in his mouth.

"What the hell? Where've you been?" I just grinned. A knowing grin appeared on his face.

"That's my BOY! C'mon, get in here, we got work to do." He tossed me a can of Dr. Pepper, and we sat down on his couch. Spreading our mission papers out on the table, we looked over a map of Adar's house, and began formulating our plan.

"This guy's a real sicko," I said, reading my papers. "Likes feeding people into wood chippers and stuff, like Saddam's sons used to."

"That's messed up," Tailor said, puffing on a Camel. "Well, let's put the sick puppy down then. Check it out. His house is a small private compound right in the middle of the city. Twelve foot walls, only one gate in or out. We can have our backup guys park across the street and friggin' light up anybody that comes out of that gate."

"Good idea. They'll need a van, and something belt-fed. See if Frank has a SAW in his inventory, or better yet, a Two-Forty. Stop a vehicle no problem."

"I think we should hop the wall here," Tailor said, pointing at the map. "There's a small shed or something here, and we'll land right behind it. We'll need a SWAT ladder. Do we have one of those?"

"We can get one. Yeah, that is the best place. How do you want to assault the house? We have no idea how many guards are going to be in there. Intel doesn't think it'll be very many, but I'm not ready to trust that."

"No ****," he agreed. "We don't have any plans for the inside of the house. It won't have a basement, probably. Or if it does, it won't have a cellar door, so we can't go in that way. Look, there's a front door here, and a side door back here. Side door is a little less obvious, I suppose. I still don't like this."

"Ever get the feeling we're expendable?"

"Maybe," Tailor replied, in a cyincal laugh.

"Should we see if we can cut the power?" I asked.

"No. It'll alert the guards. They'll call for backup, and we'll never get out of there.

"True, true. Now..." Tailor and I continued planning. Without having an interior map of the house, we were going to have to play it by ear. We'd hop the wall behind the shed and make our way to the side door. Essentially, our orders were to search the entire house and kill everyone we found inside. Seemed pretty simple.

Gear selection was more involved this time. Third party weapons were not mandated, so I dug up my UMP-45 and mounted its suppressor. My Colt, also with a suppressor, went into a drop holster on my left thigh, and my 642 snubby went onto the right ankle. I had three spare mags for the UMP in a drop-leg pouch on my right thigh, and a black kevlar vest with front and rear ceramic rifle plates. Had a camel back for water, short-sleeved black t-shirt, black fatigue pants, combat boots. Tailor was similarly dressed. Using black camo paint, I darkened my arms and face. I was ready to go. It was kind of fun dressing up like a ninja.

It was almost one in the morning when we made out move. There was a row of compounds along the street, part of a pretty nice neighborhood. Behind them ran a narrow paved alley that was primarily used for maintenance. Tailor and I made our way down this alley on foot, carrying the collapsible assault ladder that we'd need to get over the wall.

We came to the house in question, and readied ourselves. We hooked the ladder onto the wall, and he went up first. He also had a suppressed UMP-45, with an equally suppressed HK USP-45 tactical .45 on his right thigh. He had his weapon at the ready, mounted with an EoTech Holosight set on the "night vision" setting. My weapon had an Aimpoint similarly set up, for use with my (perscription) night vision goggles, and we both had weapon lights.

Tailor gave me the clear sign and disappeared over the wall. Bringing the submachine gun up with my left hand, I climbed the latter, scanning carefully.

"Clear, c'mon down," I heard him whisper over my earpiece. I hopped down, taking the assault ladder with me, in case we needed it to get back out.

I stashed it behind the shed and, with Tailor in lead, we made our way across the darkened courtyard, weapons at the ready. No guards were in sight. Strange...

We moved along the wall, and followed it until we were between the house and the wall. We came up to the side door, and Tailor checked it.

"Locked."

"Can you pick it?"

"Yeah...gimme a minute." Tailor pulled out some lockpicks and began to work on the door. It wasn't the best lock ever designed, and thankfully, the door wasn't deadbolted. He got it open, and we were blinded by light. Removing our night vision goggles, we found that the kitchen was well lit. Still, no one was to be seen.

Loud noises could be heard from the living room, like a television. We crept through the kitchen, and I peeked around the corner into the living room. There was a big screen TV set up there, and on it was a soccer game. No less than five guards were watching it intently, not really paying attention to their duties. I supposed they'd been running regular foot patrols, and goofing off in between them. Well, security routines like that are what get people killed.

I leaned back around the corner, looking at Tailor, who was crouched behind a large refrigerator. I held up five fingers, and he nodded. Through hand signals, I told him that we had the drop on them, and that they were all clustered around the TV. He responded with what he thought we should do.

Tailor crawled up to the doorway to the living room, waiting for the guards to cheer at the game to cover his sound. He switched his subgun to the left shoulder, and gave me the high sign.

My subgun was already in my left shoulder. I switched the safety lever from semi to auto, and simultaneously Tailor and I leaned around the corner.

Tailor started on the left, and swept to the right. I started on the right, and swept to the left. We fired in short bursts. He was crouched low, and I was standing up. Our .45 caliber hollow-points cut into the guards, each one receiving multiple hits to the torso. They crumpled to the ground in a bloody pile, our muzzles following them as they went. Stray rounds blew out the television. Suddenly, the living room was quiet. We both changed magazines.

This was too easy, I thought to myself. We moved from our position and, doing our best to cover all the angles, cleared the living room. The house was big, though, and we had to find Adar. Figuring his bedroom wouldn't be on the first floor, we moved up the stairs to the second, Tailor in the lead.

He peeked around the corner at the top of the stairs. The upstairs was filled with classical Arab music, but it was muffled, probably coming from the master bedroom at the end of the hall. That's where we guessed Adar was. There was one guard at the end of the hall, standing outside of the door, looking half asleep.

Once again, complacency kills. Tailor, his UMP set on semiauto, put a single round into the man's head, and he fell to the floor with a thump. The loud music, sounds of men singing and chanting in Arabic, muffled the noise.

We snuck down the hall, trying to keep all of the angles covered. There were several doors on each side, most of them open. A bathroom, and office, some kind of study. All empty. Finally, we made it to the end of the hallway, to the large wooden door that led to the master bedroom. Sounds of movement, barely audible over the music, could be heard from inside.

Moving quickly but cautiously, Tailor opened the door, and I entered, weapon at the ready. Tailor followed me in, and moved to the left, his muzzle never sweeping me. There was a large, four post bed directly in front of me, but it was unoccpied. Glancing to the right, I saw Adar. I was shocked.

Adar was looking at me, a startled expression on his face. He seemed frozen into place. He was naked, and was holding a bloody scalpel. Hanging from the ceiling by bound hands was a woman, Filippina, by the looks of her...dead, covered in blood, slashes and cuts all over her body.

I felt cold on the inside. Tailor had turned at that moment, and he too froze at what he saw.

"GET DOWN!" I screamed at Adar. He hesitated. I put a round into this left shin. SOB got down on his knees then, let me tell you.

"What are you doing?" Tailor asked me. Adar was on his knees, with his hands over his head.

"Look at what this sick **** did!" I said.

"Who are you?" Adar asked, suprisingly calm, in accented English. "You are Americans?"

"SHUT THE **** UP YOU PIECE OF ****!" I screamed, kicking him between the shoulder blades. He slapped to the cool concrete floor.

"Let's do this right," I said, putting my UMP on safe and letting it hang on its sling. I drew my Colt from its holster and pointed it at the back of Adar's head. Tailor did the same with his USP.

We stood side by side, me on the right, him on the left, Adar on all fours on the floor in front of us. Both of our pistols were cocked & locked, and we swiped off the safeties at the same time.

Two muffled pops resonated through the lush bedroom as two .45 bullets crossed paths inside of Adar's skull, and exited out of his face. He collasped to the floor in a pool of blood.

Tailor safetied and reholstered his pistol, but I hesitated. My hand was shaking. I looked over at that poor girl. Feeling dizzy, I turned and threw up.

"We can't leave her like that," I said, wiping my mouth and recomposing myself.

"Look, she's dead, man. We gotta go."

"WE CAN'T LEAVE HER LIKE THAT!" I yelled. Tailor, still complaining that we needed to go, and worrying aloud that there might be more guards around, nonetheless helped me cut her down. We laid her on the bed and wrapped her in the sheets. I honestly don't understand how people can do things like that. The image of that girl hanging there will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Scanning Adar's bedroom for anything useful, we noticed a small safe in the corner. It was open. We moved over to it, and Tailor's eyes grew wide as we saw probably a hundred thousand dollars worth of American money, in crisp new one hundred dollar bills. Looking at each other briefly, we stuffed as much money as we could into every pocket we could spare. There were also documents listing things like account numbers and other vital intel.

Jackpot. After cleaning out the safe, we left the room. As I went through the door, I glanced back, one last time, at the figure wrapped in bloody sheets.

Doing a final sweep of the house, we found no more guards. We did find a creepy, hellish den of sorts. It contained stacks of photographs of people that Adar had tortured and killed, taken before, during and after his sick process. The world was better off without this monster.

In another room, we found a huge walk-in safe. Unfortunately, we couldn't get that open.

Our mission accomplished, we simply walked out of the front door, weapons slung, and to the gate. We opened the gate and waved to the van across the street. It pulled a u-turn and came around to the curb. We hopped in and drove off into the night.

It had gone well, and much more smoothly than I could've hopped. Still, I started to shake, and couldn't stop for a long time...


TO BE CONTINUED

BluesBear
June 29, 2006, 03:40 AM
Once again our HERO prevails!

But at what cost?

Don't miss our next thrilling installment;


Strangers In The Night

OR

Can't Take My Mind Off Of You

Dionysusigma
June 29, 2006, 02:11 PM
Ugh. :( :barf: Hate to say it, but it's sometimes sad how reality (and stories based on reality) is stranger than fiction.

Although, during the execution, all I could think of was...
And shepherds we shall be, for Thee, my Lord, for Thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, that our feet
may swiftly carry out Thy command. So we shall flow a
river forth unto Thee, and teeming with souls shall it ever be.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b321/kinjokaz/BoondockSaints.jpg

In Nomine Patris, Et Filii, Et Spiritus Sancti.


:) Keep it up! :D

Nightcrawler
June 29, 2006, 02:13 PM
Indeed, I did pay homage to the MacManus Brothers in that scene. I love that movie. :cool:

Phantom Warrior
June 29, 2006, 03:29 PM
In Nomine Patris, Et Filii, Et Spiritus Sancti...*BOOM*

(I was thinking the same thing.)

CNYCacher
June 29, 2006, 03:42 PM
"OH! Name one thing we're gonna need that stupid ROPE for!"
"That was much easier than I thought it was gonna be!"
"Yeah, on TV you always got the one guy who jumps over the couch, and you gotta shoot him 10 times. . ."

:)

Jalexander
June 29, 2006, 03:51 PM
In Nomine Patris, Et Filii, Et Spiritus Sancti...*BOOM*

(I was thinking the same thing.)

Yeah, me too. Keep it up, NC.

James

Correia
June 29, 2006, 04:10 PM
The following events take place after NC's ransacking of Adar's compound...

#########


The house was too quiet. I should have known something was wrong as soon as I saw the front gate left open.

“Somebody beat us to it,” I said into the radio as I surveyed the destruction in the living room. .45 brass rolled under foot, and the room stank of unburned powder, and the recently dead.

“What do you mean?” Carl’s voice said in my ear.

“I mean that the guards are dead, and the place is shot to hell. Somebody’s been here already.”

“Did they get the vault? If those no good thieves got the vault, I swear I’m gonna—“

“Dude, we are no good thieves. Chill.” I moved quickly through the room, careful not to step in any of the spreading puddles. The spent magazines on the ground told me the shooters had used UMPs. Interesting, as I had not seen any of those in Qatar before. Could this be the work of the same hitters what had screwed up phase one?

Doha had gone insane since then. Over the last few weeks there had been shootings, bombings, and all manner of craziness. Normally Qatar was a quiet place, but now there were blue uniformed SF troops on every corner, and random checkpoints set up by the Qatari secret police. There was a war going on, and it was making life difficult for us honest criminals.

I suppose I could call myself an honest criminal. I had tried being a regular criminal, but I found that I didn’t have the stomach to lie to and steal from normal folks. Terrorists on the other hand had lots of money, were fun to lie to, and nobody seemed to mind when I occasionally killed them. And it was easier to sleep at night since I was able to tell myself that I used my sociopathic tendencies for good.

“I bet it was those guys that almost botched phase one.” There was a single .45 case at the top of the stairs, and a dead guard with a third nostril hole. I approached the bedroom door quietly, my suppressed M4 at the ready, EoTech reticle floating just under my vision, though I had a sneaky feeling that Adar wasn’t going to be a problem. The bedroom door slowly swung open. I must have made some sort of strange noise into the radio.

“Lorenzo? What is it? Are you okay?”

“Uh, yeah. But… wow. It’s a bloodbath in here.” I hadn’t seen anything like this since Chechnya. Somebody had gone all Boondock Saint on Adar, and it was obvious that he had deserved it. The safe had been cleaned out, and I felt a sinking feeling in my gut that what we had come for was already gone. The shooters had missed something though…

“No time for that. Find that vault. Hurry before somebody else shows up.”

“One second.” Having years of experience looking for bugs and planting them, I knew that most people would have missed Adar’s hidden camera. Apparently he liked to record his torture sessions. I followed the wire back behind the bed and found the DVD recorder. It was still running. Maybe this would tell me who our mystery shooters were. I took the DVD and hurried back down the stairs.

By some miracle the vault was closed, and still locked. I could hear Carl doing the happy dance when I informed him. Why had someone gone through all of this work, only to leave the important stuff behind? This was not making sense. I could think about it later, but phase two was in jeopardy right now.

I made quick work of the lock, and the massive door opened with a creak. There it was, a stainless steel box about the size of a pack of cards. It felt abnormally heavy as I shoved it into a pouch on my armor. “Got the box, Carl. I don’t see the code book.”

“We can’t sell it without the code book. We’ve already spent millions to come this far, we need that book. If we don’t find it, Big Eddie is gonna kill us.”

“Yeah, I know,” I answered, already heading for the exit, knowing with dread certainty that the code book had probably been taken from the upstairs safe by the shooters. Carl wasn’t exaggerating. If we could not complete phase three of this job, then we were dead men walking. I made sure the DVD and the box were still in place. Those shooters had my book, and I was going to get it back no matter what.

"Lorenzo, you better hurry."

"What?"

"Two cars full of bad guys pulling in to the compound. Run."

##

To be continued...

BluesBear
June 29, 2006, 05:14 PM
Oh, WHAT a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

What lays ahead for our heros?

Will their paths cross peacefully or just in pieces?

Don't miss the next episode of Qatar's Funniest Home Videos
er, um, I mean... both chilling sagas...



Doctor Doctor Gimme The News!

or

Who's Got A Code In Their Knows!

Thefabulousfink
June 29, 2006, 05:24 PM
BluesBear, you posts are almost as good as the story.:D

I grew up watching Rocky and Bulwinkle.

NC and Correia,

Great Stuff! Are you two colaborating, or are you writing two seperate but intertwining stories?

I am e-mailing this thread to a few writer-friends of mine from college because it is such an interesting way of telling a story.

keep up the good work.:D

Correia
June 29, 2006, 05:37 PM
Seperate but intertwining. This is NC's baby, so I just asked for his permission to play in his world, and then to keep me a little bit more up to date than you guys so I don't do anything with my posts to screw up his overall story arc.

Nightcrawler
June 29, 2006, 06:19 PM
Yeah, Correia and I are collaborating. For me, someone wanting to write in a world that I've created is utter, ego-inflating flattery, so he's welcome to it.

My story will be able to stand alone, but there will be an "appendix" of sorts, with chapters written by Correia and myself, detailing the crossover.

The current story arc goes until the protaganist comes back to the US, landing at LAX like he did at the beginning of the story.

After that...there might well be a whole 'nother adventure involved. The character has not completed his development yet and I've got to tell his story until he does.

The second part will take longer to tell, probably, as my updates become a bit more sporadic. Once every few days or so you'll see the thread pop back up to the top with an update. I've been off this week, so plenty of time for writing.

Tomorrow I work, having to get up at four (and thusly go to bed early), and I'm stone tired, so probably no update tonight. Tomorrow evening maybe. I might smuggle a floppy disk to work and bang away at the keyboard on the computer there. :D

In the meantime, I'll let Correia do his thing. :cool:

Correia
June 29, 2006, 06:28 PM
And I'm enjoying doing a little low pressure writing online, because I've spent so darn much time trying to get my book published, and reworking it to make finicky publishers happy, that it has taken all of the joy out of writing. :)

pdowg881
June 29, 2006, 06:41 PM
What would be really cool is putting both of these characters into one book. (Correa and nightcrawlers) kind of like tarantinos movies of two characters that are following the same strory line but never really meet up till the end...

Joe7cri
June 29, 2006, 06:55 PM
Spent the last 40 minutes glued to my laptop, this stuff is great! Please keep it coming and let us know when it's coming out in softcover.

DRZinn
June 29, 2006, 09:09 PM
Although, during the execution, all I could think of was... Me three. Or four, or whatever.

4v50 Gary
June 29, 2006, 09:11 PM
Now I remember why we missed you Nightcrawler. Your fiction rocks. Welcome home!

just one question
June 29, 2006, 10:49 PM
I like it! Please keep it coming. Although I never understood why people write online fiction....if you wanted to get this published...some one one could have already plagarised (sp?) it!:(

pdowg881
June 29, 2006, 10:51 PM
Im sure we can be trusted here as we respect the writer and his writing but Im not so sure what would happen if somebody else stumbled upon this board.

yy
June 29, 2006, 11:32 PM
I'm sure somebody more erudite will jump in later.

Here's my understanding: by publishing on line here, our daring authors have already published, with full copyright protection under the law. The servers can provide the date stamp. The story stealer can get served with a strong cease and desist letter or even some kind of injunction.

The next question is money. That's a horse of a whole another color.

Diamondback6
June 29, 2006, 11:38 PM
Below was thinking the "prosecutor web-trawling if 'Crawler ever has to defend himself" problem. Copyright, I believe yy has nailed it. CAUTION: IANAL/TVL/SL/BRL/any other kind o' lawyerin' scum--next to them, we rattlesnakes are the top rung of the evolutionary ladder... This is not legal advice and is worth exactly what you paid for it.

But for 'Crawler in the event he ever has to defend himself-- Simple solution: We ask Oleg and the Mod Team to add a "Member Fiction" section and move 'Crawler's threads like this over there. Sticky a disclaimer about "This section is for our would-be fiction authors. EVERY THREAD IN THIS SECTION IS FICTION AND NEVER REALLY HAPPENED; ANY SIMILARITY TO ANY REAL PERSON OR EVENT IS ENTIRELY COINCIDENTAL." Maybe even set up an automatic header on each thread like the "Editor's Notes" you see in online editorials every so often.

Hoppy590
June 30, 2006, 12:21 AM
Diamondback6

the problem isnt that they think he actualy did this stuff. but that it shows a "negative" side of his personality should he be in court. they will show the court these storys and try to play him off as some nut job, ChairBorne ranger. makes him look too gung ho

Correia
June 30, 2006, 01:53 AM
########


I crouched near the rear exit, my pulse pounding in my ears. The door was open, and the arriving cars headlights illuminated the back wall of the compound. Sweat poured down my back in the brutal night heat. Gravel crunched as the cars pulled to a stop, and doors opened. Someone began to sing, drunken and off key. Adar must have been planning a party, and the guests had just arrived.

Not wanting to find out what kind of people a terrorist invited to a torture party, I tried to think of a way out. Something. Anything. If I made it to the back wall, I would surely be spotted before I could scale it. I could try to Rambo my way out, but from the noises coming from the yard there were several bad guys.

“Carl, how many we got?”

“Couldn’t tell. It was too dark when they pulled in. Want me to try a diversion?”

“Hold on that. I’ve got an idea.” I moved quickly back into the home. The door bell rang, long and raspy, and someone on the other side laughed. I had seen the fuse box near the vault. The bell continued, the user obviously becoming frustrated. I pulled my pack off, removed my night vision monocular and strapped it onto my head. In another pocket was a small explosive charge. I squished it into the box, and placed a detonator into the clay.

The ringing quit, and loud knocking started. The laughter was gone, and now voices called out with some concern. The radio initiator blinked green in my hand, we had contact. The charge would only kill the lights in this house, but hopefully this would be enough of an edge. I moved back towards the side entrance.

Now they were pounding on the front door. I pulled a frag from one of the MOLLE pouches on my armor, and staying low so as to not blot out the light coming through the key hole, slid up to the door. I pulled the pin, but carefully kept the spoon down until it was wedged tightly against the door’s base plate. The grenade had a five second fuse, and it would be one heck of a surprise for our party guests. It’s those little touches that show you care.

Back towards the side door now. The pounding turned to kicking. I kept moving, wanting to get some space between me and that frag. The side door was in view, the rear wall of the compound visible through the portal, still illuminated in the headlights. A shadow moved on the back porch, a man with a gun. They were coming. I flipped down the monocular, and the view for one eye turned a pixilated green.

“Adar!” one of the men on the back porch shouted. The front door cracked and splintered on its hinges.

“Hide and seek time.” I took a deep breath and mashed the detonator.

There was a muted thump as the house plunged into darkness. My world was now a super illuminated green. I raised the M4 to my shoulder, realized that I had not switched the EoTech to night vision mode as the optic appeared blindingly fuzzy, cursed under my breath, pushed the button to turn it down, and moved my hand back to the grip. Behind me the front door crashed open.

Five.

A man in a suit and headdress moved through the rear entrance into my sight, blinking stupidly, Makarov held before him like a talisman to ward off evil.

Four.

I flipped the selector to semi, and pulled the trigger twice, the dot of the EoTech barely moving as it bounced across his torso. The OpsInc can was deadly silent, but the bullet still made a very audible CHUFF CHUFF noise.

Three.

I moved forward, side stepping, gun still at the ready, slicing the pie, more of the back porch swinging into view. The first man was still falling. A second man was behind him, looking surprised in my pixilated world, lifting his Tokerov sideways, gangster style. The holographic reticle covered his face. CHUFF.

Two.

There was movement behind me, the rest of Adar’s guests piling into the entry way, surprised by the darkness, a few random gun shots rang out as they attacked the shadows.

One.

The concussion of the grenade was sharp inside the structure. Even with a few walls between us I could feel the impact in my eyeballs. Gliding over the bodies of the men that I had just shot, I took the corner slowly, watching for movement.

Two figures, highlighted against the lights, standing in front of the fancy fountain. Easy targets. The M4 met my shoulder, but I stopped. Only one of the targets was a man, the other was female. The man had a subgun in one hand, and a rope leading to the bound wrists of the women. He was staring, slack jawed, at the smoking front door of Adar’s home and his moaning and screaming companions.

Having seen that poor girl up stairs, I just reacted. I flipped the selector to full auto. The man never knew what hit him as I stitched him from groin to neck in one burst. He stumbled back, falling into the fountain with a crimson splash, jerking the rope, and sending the girl sprawling. I dropped the mag and reloaded as I scanned for threats, trying to break the tunnel vision. Clear.

Instead of heading for the back wall, I sprinted towards the captive. She appeared to be in a state of shock, probably a young Phillipina. I’m a killer, and a thief, and a con-man, and a hired gun, but I was not a monster, and in Qatar, girls like this were treated like slaves or worse.

“Come with me,” I said in Arabic, helping the girl to her feet, then quickly switching to Tagalog, “Come with me now, these men will kill you.” She looked at me, stunned or bewildered.

“Lorenzo, what’s happening?” Carl’s voice was tense.

“Pick me up at the front gate.” I replied tersely. “We need to go, lady.” I gestured with my gun in the direction to move. “Now!”

“You’re an American!” she shouted in English. “Oh, thank heavens!”

“Uh...” that was unexpected. “Yeah, I’m here to rescue you, or something...”

The van barely slowed as I shoved the still bound girl into the back and climbed in after her. I slammed the door as Adar’s compound shrank in the distance.


######

To be continued.

DRZinn
June 30, 2006, 02:33 AM
Sticky a disclaimer about "This section is for our would-be fiction authors. EVERY THREAD IN THIS SECTION IS FICTION AND NEVER REALLY HAPPENED; ANY SIMILARITY TO ANY REAL PERSON OR EVENT IS ENTIRELY COINCIDENTAL."That could also be incredibly useful....

BluesBear
June 30, 2006, 03:34 AM
Holy Sex Slave Batman We've saved a hostage...
No Robin... you can't keep her.




ooops wrong show :o

uurmph, cough cough

]Once again our hero has saved th...[/COLOR]



cough




Once again, one of our heros, has saved the day!


But who is this mystery woman?
What is her place in the grand scheme?
Will she solve the secret of the Abandoned Mine?
Will she make him a sandwich?
Will the Nightcrawler be mesmerized simply by her gaze?
Of course he will. :banghead: He's Nightcrawler for Pete's sake.


Don't touch that dial!
Stay tuned and don't miss our next bone chilling episode...


Dime A Dance Romance

or

It's My Party And I'll Die If I Want To

10 Ring Tao
June 30, 2006, 03:56 AM
Must read more. Tagging with baited breath.

Dionysusigma
June 30, 2006, 04:29 AM
BluesBear, that last one literally had my coffee coming out the nose! :D

*snnnrkkk* :scrutiny:

Heh! :D

BluesBear
June 30, 2006, 06:27 AM
Thankyew

Thankyew verimuch

usp_fan
June 30, 2006, 05:12 PM
Um, please hurry up with the next one.... I really need my NC fix. This is good stuff! Keep it up.

--usp_fan

Joe7cri
June 30, 2006, 08:34 PM
We want more, lots more, PLEASE. It's like watching the last episode of 24 and having to wait till next season for more!

meef
June 30, 2006, 08:43 PM
Must read more. Tagging with baited breath.:eek:

Ehh...??

You've got a mouthful of worms?

:scrutiny:

Ewwww.....

jwmoore
June 30, 2006, 10:01 PM
You've got a mouthful of worms?
AH! :what: He ate Nightcrawler!

;)

Good stuff, NC! Good stuff, Correia! I'm eagerly awaiting the rest.

~W

Hoppy590
June 30, 2006, 10:47 PM
i cant stand the wait!!! come back NC! i need my fix!! im a story junky! * Scratches neck rapidly and mutters*

Nightcrawler
June 30, 2006, 11:50 PM
We had quite a bit of downtime after the operation at Adar's house. Our own success was working against us; the Qataris viewed us as a terrorist organization and they were trying to put the country on lockdown. Police checkpoints on the highways, Qatari Special Forces, clad in their blue camouflage, running ops in town, secret police randomly searching vehicles, and so on.

It became increasingly difficult for us to run ops. Couple of teams almost got caught. Word came down for us to lay low for awhile. One thing most of us did was get tattoos. One of our members, guy named Hicks from one of the other teams, was an experienced tattoo guy. Though I'd never even considered a tattoo before, I went along with it. The Dead 6 tattoo was an image of a scythe-weilding grim reaper, imposed over a blood-red number six. We each got one on the backs of our left shoulders. Such identifying marks were forbidden, of course, but we did it anyway.

In any case, it was well into February of '05 when Tailor and I got our next assignment. Big Boss called us into the briefing room. As we arrived, though, we overheard him having an argument with Gordon. Apparently, Gordon wanted to shut Dead 6 down, and kept saying something about a Project Heartbreaker being cancelled. Gordon kept saying 'all of us' were 'going to fry' if the project wasn't ended soon.

Big Boss seemed to disagree. He said that we had a few more vital ops to run, and was told Gordon to tell Higher that we needed more time. Gordon replied that he wasn't going to hang with the rest of us, and that if Big Boss wasn't careful, things could go south in a hurry.

Big Boss balked at the thinly veiled threat, called Gordon a variety of names, and dismissed him rudely. Gordon stomped out, retorting that Big Boss didn't know what he was in for.

Curiouser and curiouser... Despite our curiosity, neither Tailor nor I mentioned the argument we'd witnessed to Big Boss during our briefing.

"Boys...you oughta know," Big Boss said, "they're tryin' to shut us down. Higher, that is. Seems we're too good at what we do; relations with Qatar are very strained right now. While the US flatly denies everything, the Qataris are certain there are Americans running around terrorizing their citizens. Ironic.

"In any case, we've made some powerful enemies out there. You need to understand. There are people out there pulling the strings behind this that have larger goals than the bull**** reasoning behind Islamic terrorism. International power brokers with billions of dollars at their disposal have a hand in all of this."

"Sounds like conspiracy theory stuff to me, Boss," I said skeptically. "What's their aim?"

"Easy, son," Big Boss replied. "They profit from it. Profit in power. Profit in oil revenues. Profit from instability in the Middle East."

"Okay," I replied, still skeptical. "So what are we going to do, then? Kill the Illuminati?" Tailor laughed.

"Actually..." Big Boss said, with a gleam in his only eye.

Our mission was startling, to say the least. Big Boss wasn't kidding. Apparently, there was this man named Rafael Montalban. He was a Spanish billionaire and quite the power broker in Europe and Latin America.

This man and his associates, according to our briefing, had been funding various terrorist groups worldwide, sometimes with seemingly conflicting goals. The overall goal seemed to be nothing more than chaos, from which Montalban and his friends profited enormously in various ways.

Now, I didn't know if this has anything to do with the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group, or the guys that planned the European Union. That Art Bell Show stuff never really interested me, as I assumed most of it was nonsense anyway.

But...under all the bullcrap there's usually an interesting layer of truth.

Rafael himself was the tall, aristocratic sort. Jet black hair, Mediterranean feautres, suave demeanor. He could always be found in an expensive Italian suit, and he lived a life of luxury.

Which is not to say he didn't have an edge to him. Apparently he'd done five years in the French Foreign Legion, and had been decorated for valor. This man had experienced war, in bloody campaigns in Africa. How he made his money was unclear, but personal connections to the conflict diamond trade were suspected.

Montalban's personal yacht, the Santa Maria, was presently sailing up the Persian Gulf, headed towards Qatar. It was believed that Montalban was going to have a suaree of sorts on his boat, and meet with various constituents of his (several of whom we'd already whacked). Montalban was not alone on this ship; in addition to his exceedingly well paid, well trained personal security force, he'd have the usual menagerie of servants, call girls, crewman, and so on.

Disconcerting to me was the order to disregard these noncombatants if necessary. In other words, if we just had to sink the damned boat to get Montalban, that's just too bad.

However, the mission wasn't just to sink the boat. A submarine could do that a lot easier than we could anyway. Our mission was to board it, find Montalban, and capture him if possible.

Capture? This definately seemed strange for a Dead 6 mission. We were ordered to kill him if necessary, but to make every attempt to bring him in alive.

We'd transport to his yacht via a small assault boat. Apparently a helicopter would be provided for extraction. Tailor and I would not be going alone on this mission. We were to pick six more guys from the rest of the Dead 6 teams and plan the assault.

The other objective was Montalban's laptop. He had a custom-made, high security, ultra-encrypted machine that it was believed he kept his records and account numbers on. It was imperative that this laptop be recovered intact. The laptop was, in fact, more important than Montalban, given the vital intelligence it likely held.

We had 48 hours to prepare for this one, and like before, we had a night off. Jumping at the chance to leave the compound, Sarah and I went out on the town.

We went back to the City Centre mall. Browsing around, I found a jewlery store while she was indisposed in a clothing boutique. Casually looking, I noticed something in particular: an emarald pendant that perfectly matched her eyes. Eight thousand Riyals and it was mine. I suprised her with it when she came out of the store. Despite the taboo of public displays of affection in Qatar, she kissed me right there in the shopping mall, for much longer than local propriety would've allowed.

Later on, we found a photo hut and had pictures of us taken together. This was absolutely forbidden by Dead 6, of course, but again, we did anyway. Hell, I thought, we were all there on cover stories anyway. I was supposedly a pipeline technician for a gas company, and Sarah was supposed to be teaching English.

Though it was sort of a slip, that night was the first time I told Sarah that I loved her. My heart lept into my throat over the slip, but when she reciprocated as naturally as could be, well...you know.

It was the last time I can remember being happy.


TO BE CONTINUED...

BluesBear
July 1, 2006, 12:48 AM
Is someone pulling the plug?
Or is someone pulling our leg?


Will this be the end of Dead Six?
Or the end of a beautiful romance?
Or the beginning of a beautiful friendship?
Yeah they always say it's not you it's them.
But we all know it's us.


And what has happened to that "other" group?
Have we seen the last of them?
Of course not.

Will there be even more hijinks on the high seas?
Hell Yes.


Will the Santa Maria join the Nina and the Pinta?
Or will there be a Ninja in a Pinto?
And what will happen to Montalban's fine Corinthian leather?



Don't miss the next edge of your seat episode...

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend
(But Emeralds will do nicely)

or

Ship Shape Showdown!

mordechaianiliewicz
July 1, 2006, 03:00 AM
Thankyou for this Nightcrawler, and Correia. I'm lovin' this stuff. To paraphrase Denzel Washington in Training Day "The Jason Bourne series, ain't got sh*t o you."

Or, if you're talking about Adar, "I'm surgical with this b**ch, Jake."

Dionysusigma
July 1, 2006, 07:39 PM
Oh my gosh... this thread almost dropped off the front page! :eek:

Update it quick, guys! :(

raytracer
July 1, 2006, 11:22 PM
Front page? You mean you haven't bookmarked "go to first new post" for this page and check it compulsively dozens of times per day?

Is there something wrong with me?

Joe

Diamondback6
July 2, 2006, 12:31 AM
Yes, raytracer. Email subscription does the same thing, but far less work.

warwagon
July 2, 2006, 01:27 AM
Umm.....Gentelmen, you forget that those operations were compartamalized, and eyes only.

For your transgressions, all back stop is off, safe houses are on lockdown, and contractual assets will not reply.

GOOD LUCK!

Control

Correia
July 2, 2006, 01:35 AM
-Eight Months Earlier

My group had the private backroom of the Thai restaurant to ourselves. The food had arrived, the mood was happy, and the piped in music was loud and had lots of cymbals in it. My crew was in high spirits, the job was a success, some Laotian drug lords were a lot poorer, and we were a whole lot richer.

Reaper, our techie, was proceeding to get drunk. Carl, our wheelman, was slightly less sullen than usual, beady rat eyes darting back and forth while he chain smoked. Train, the muscle, was his usual good natured self, laughing at every stupid comment. I was enjoying some nuclear-hot curry death mushroom dish and basking in the glow of another perfect score.

The beads leading into the private room parted, allowing a giant whale of a man in a three piece suit to enter the room. He was bigger than Train and probably weighed more then my entire team put together. My crew was instantly quiet. There was a slight motion to my right as Carl drew his CZ-75 and held it under the table, Han Solo style.

“Lorenzo, I presume.” The fat man pulled up a chair and sat. The chair creaked ominously under his mass. “Is that supposed to be your first name or your last?”

I finished chewing, savoring the eye watering pain. “Neither. Who the hell are you?”

“My name isn’t important, but I work for Big Eddie…” He trailed off as he said that, smiling with that strange quality of the slightly schizophrenic. “I have an assignment for you.”

I slowly put my chopsticks down. “I’m retired. Me and your boss are square.” Standing to leave, I pulled some Thai Bahts from my wallet and threw them on the table. I had no interest in anything related to Big Eddie, possibly the most brutal crime-lord in history, and all around bad person. Prior jobs I had performed for the man had left me independently wealthy, but with a lot of scars, and a trail of bodies from here to Moscow. “Come on guys, let’s go.”

“My employer insists that you are the only person who can complete this assignment. Your gift of languages and disguises, your ability to blend in with any culture, to infiltrate any group, and your gift for violence are legendary in some circles. You, Sir, are the best of the best.”

“Tell him to find somebody else.”

The fat man chuckled. “He said you would say that.” He placed a manilla folder on the table and shoved it towards me. He passed other folders to Carl, Train, and Reaper. “He said you should look at this before you make any rash decisions… Mr.—“ and then he called me by my real name. There was no way he could know that. I froze as he opened the folder.

Pictures. Lots of pictures.

My crew began to flip through the pages of their files, eyes widening in shock, mouths falling open, Carl swearing in Portuguese. Reaper stood and pulled his Glock from his waistband, letting it dangle, folder still open in his other hand.

The fat man wiped his brow as he began to read from a list. “Six siblings, oh my, I do love large families. Robert, Jill, Tom, George, Pat.” He shoved a list of addresses towards me, paper clipped to a series of photos. “Big Eddie knows where each of them lives, where they work, what they do, and how to reach them at anytime. Should you attempt to contact them, Big Eddie will find out, and he will be most displeased.”

“They know about my daughter?” Train asked in disbelief, his big hands crunching the edges of the folder.

“You bastard.” I knew he was not bluffing. Eddie was capable of anything. They must have been gathering this information on me for years.

“Three of your siblings are married. You have seven nieces and nephews.” He told me as he passed me another stack of photos. School photos. I was across the table before he knew what was happening, my knife open and pressed hard between his second and third chin. Reaper lifted his gun and pointed it at the fat man, mouth curling in a snarl as he let the file fall to the sticky floor.

He didn’t even flinch. “Your mother lives with your sister Jill now, still in your hometown. On Tuesday evenings she goes to her book club. During the week she baby sits while Jill goes to work, managing a Waffle House.”

I twisted the knife, and a small trickle of blood splattered on his white collar. His little pig eyes were hard and cold as he stared me down. “Your oldest brother, Robert, is, surprisingly enough, an FBI agent. He has a lovely home in the suburbs, and a beautiful wife, and two lovely daughters. You will take on this assignment, or Big Eddie will take care of them first. You know how he feels about cops.”

“And if I just cut your throat and disappear?” I hissed, leashed anger bubbling to the surface.

“You won’t. We’ve studied you. You will do what it takes to protect your family. Plans are in place, that if I do not return, or if you are not observed attempting to complete this assignment, then your family will pay the price. You may try to warn them, you may try to protect them, you may even attempt to locate our organization, heaven knows if any one is insane enough to try it is you, but you can’t save all of them. You know how great our employer’s reach is, and there is no place in this world where you can hide them all.”

He was not bluffing. Eddie was more powerful than most governments, a shadowy figure involved in every criminal enterprise on the planet. I withdrew the Benchmade, wiped the blood on the fat man’s shirt, folded the blade and put it back in my pocket. I hadn’t even spoken to my family in years. They thought I was some sort of international businessman. I knew that if I tried to warn them, even if they believed me, there was no way I could protect them all. Sitting back down, I nodded at Reaper, and he stuck his Glock back into his waistband.

“That’s better. Here is the mission. There are three phases. You have one year.”

I opened the proffered folder, read a few lines, and then laughed out loud. “You’ve got to be kidding. This is impossible.”

“One year, Mr. Lorenzo. Or we will kill everyone you have ever loved.” He gestured at the mushroom dish. “Are you going to finish that?”


####################

Train had disappeared during the night, having crawled out his hotel room window. No doubt deciding it was safer to disobey Big Eddie and attempt to hide his family, rather than take on this obvious suicide mission in Qatar.

One week later, someone shoved an envelope under my door. Inside was a newspaper clipping that told the story of a family of three that had been killed in Lincoln, Nebraska, apparently of a gas leak explosion. Train’s picture was underneath the headline.

#####################

Back to the present.

The van slalomed around the corner. I bounced painfully against the wall. The girl I had rescued was sitting next to me, head back on the seat, totally out. Apparently she had been drugged by the bad guys.

“Easy, Carl, don’t get us killed.”

“Don’t you tell me easy. Plan, Lorenzo, we had a plan. Who the hell is the chick?” He swung us around a truck full of sheep, and when I say full of sheep, I mean that literally, like it was piled full with legs sticking out the top. “The chick was not part of the plan. I would have remembered that.”

“They were going to torture her. I couldn’t just leave her. She sounded like an American before she passed out. We can just drop her at the embassy gates and take off.”

“Easier said that done,” he gestured out the window at Qatari army vehicles streaking in the direction we had come from. “Cops crawling everywhere. They probably have checkpoints around the embassy. We’ll never make it.”

To accentuate his point, I saw a man on the sidewalk getting the hell kicked out of him by some of the Qatari secret police. “Okay, our place is closer. Get us off the streets.” Doha had gone insane.

“I’m not taking her to our place. We can’t let anybody see what we’re working on.”

“Do it, Carl.” I ordered. My crew was loyal, and I seldom had to pull rank, but this was my crew, and it wasn’t a democracy. The driver swore, his beady eyes glaring at me in the rear view mirror. We reached the compound in minutes. Our apartment was in the rear, and luckily had an attached garage so no one would see us carry the girl in.

Reaper met us at the door. He was a tall, skinny kid, with black stringy hair, and a penchant for Marylin Manson t-shirts. He had a Glock shoved in the front of his pants. “What happened out there? Police bands are screaming about some massacre. Did you get the box and the book? Who’s the babe?”

“Lorenzo’s decided he’s Robin Hood or some ****,” Carl spat. I ignored him, and carried the girl up the stairs and into the apartment. I laid her gently on the couch. She was still out.

I handed Reaper the box. His face lit up. “Dude, this is awesome.”

“Don’t throw a party just yet. Somebody beat us to the code book and whacked Adar.” I put the DVD in his hand. “The shooters are hopefully on this, and we need to figure out who they are. We need that book or the box is worthless.”

“On it, chief.” He ran for his computer.

I flopped onto the couch next to the girl. My hands were starting to do the post-action shake. No matter how many times I did something like this, that part never changed. Carl sighed, leaned his AUG on the coffee table, and sat on the loveseat.

“So I guess it was pretty bad in there?” he asked slowly. We had been working together for ten years now, and sometimes it still took a moment to get through the Portuguese accent. He was a small man, balding, with a dark complexion, and arm hair that looked like a rug. We had met in Angola, where he had been working as a mercenary. Working with me had apparently been more interesting.

“I shot three of them. Took out some more with a grenade.” I shrugged. “The guys before me made a real mess. Got at least seven that I saw.”

“Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch.” He gestured at the girl. “And what do we do with her now?”

I studied her for the first time. She was young. Probably in her twenties. I had thought that she was from the Philippines when I had first seen her, as most of the servant girls in Qatar were from there or Indonesia. Now I wasn’t so sure. She was tall, and didn’t look quite like most of the servant girls I had seen here. She was snoring peacefully in a drug addled haze. One eye was badly bruised, and it made me glad that I had shot those men.

“I couldn’t leave her. You should have seen the girl upstairs,” I said. Carl didn’t respond. Acts of mercy were few and far between in his life. I patted her down, no documents, no passport. Something caught my eye. “Check this out.” I held up her wrist. She had a gold ring on one finger.

“What’s that say?” he asked, squinting his beady eyes.

“California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. Class of 2002.”

“Think she stole it off a tourist I hope?”

“I’m thinking that we’re going to need to come up with a pretty good cover story for when she wakes up.” I gestured around the room. Hundreds of pictures were tacked on the walls. Posters of Al-Falal, Adar, building schematics, road maps, and miscellaneous paper littered every corner of the room. A scale model of the Phase III target was on the coffee table, and there were at least ten visible guns, and that wasn’t counting the RPGs in the corner.

“You’re the one with the imagination. I just drive good and shoot people.”

“Guys, come check this out,” Reaper called from the other room. “I’ve got your shooters.”

We entered the makeshift computer room, and hovered over Reaper’s shoulder. He was playing some Finnish Goth metal on his Ipod. “I’m skipping past the torture stuff, this Adar was one ****** up *******. And here is where your shooters come in.”

“Slow it down.” Two men, dressed all in black, faces smeared with black greasepaint, armed with UMPs. One a few inches over six feet, kind of stocky, and left handed, wearing stupid fingerless gloves. The other thin, and probably 5’9 or 5’10 with a real short military hair cut. The bigger one booted Adar down, bellowed at him, obviously shocked and angry, the execution, and then the quick ransacking of the bedroom. So these were the men who had plunged Doha into chaos.

“Who are these *******?” Carl said. “What is this, ninja dress up hour? What’s with the makeup? How were they going to explain that if they got picked up by the cops?”

“Play back when the tall one yells at Adar.” Reaper complied. I listened. The shooter was young, wearing what looked to be prescription type goggles. His face didn’t look like the face of a killer, but there was no hesitation when he put a bullet in Adar’s brain pan. “He’s an American. Judging by his accent, he’s from the north end of the country. Great lakes. Michigan, Wisconsin maybe.”

“How in the hell can you tell that, from one little shouted thing?” Reaper asked incredulously.

“Kid, I speak eight languages fluently, and can get by in fifteen others.” That much was true, it was a gift that came naturally to me. “I’ve pretended to be a hundred different people over the last twenty years. I can do accents better than anybody in Hollywood. He’s from some place with a lot of Scandinavians and Lutherans.”

“Well, when you were pretending to be Khalid, I couldn’t tell you weren’t Qatari, down to the man dress and the perfume. You say he’s from Minnesota or whatever, I believe you.”

“Go back a bit.” Carl frowned. “I’ve seen this guy. He was at the mall in Doha. Remember ‘cause he’s tall, and he bumped into me. He was with this really beautiful girl.”

“You sure?”

“She was really hot, Lorenzo. I’m not kidding with you. I remember thinking what was she doing with somebody like him.”

“It’s a lead. We’ve got to find this guy, so we can try there. Reaper, do me a favor, and grab my notepad from the living room. When I was playing Khalid, I made friends with some of the shop keepers at the mall. I’m going to give them a call.”

Reaper nodded, adjusted his Glock, and moved for the living room.

“Kid’s gonna shoot himself in the crotch, carrying his gun like that.” Carl said. Reaper flipped him the bird on his way out.

“We don’t have very good health insurance in this business either,” I muttered, studying the face of my new adversary. These men were standing in the way of me completing phase three. Until I had that code book, the box was worthless. Without that box, our families belonged to Big Eddie. I did not know who these mystery shooters were, but my new mission in life was to find them, and kill them if I had to. I blew up the picture until it became grainy. The shooter had a killer’s eyes. This was going to be a challenge.

There was a sudden crash from the living room. Carl and I both drew our guns, and moved apart. I disengaged the safety on my 1911 and pointed it at the doorway. Carl took up position behind the desk, CZ extended in front of him.

“Reaper?” I shouted. “You okay.”

Our guest had awoken. Reaper stumbled into the doorway, his arms raised in a surrender position. The girl stood behind him with his Glock 17 pressed into the base of his neck. I didn’t have a shot.

“Sorry, chief,” he said slowly.

The girl glared over Reaper’s shoulder. The drugs must have worn off, and she was obviously angry and confused. Her eyes darted about between us. “Nobody move! I’ll shoot this guy right in the head,” she ordered. I had been right, she was an American, and she apparently knew how to use that Glock. “Who are you people? And what am I doing here?”

“Well... that’s kind of complicated.”

She tightened her grip on the Glock. I could imagine a 9mm exploding through Reaper’s head. “Give me the short version, *******!”

“Okay, well, there I was...”

########

To be continued...

Nightcrawler
July 2, 2006, 02:48 AM
Okay, this is how it is. Correia and I are going to go off into an appendix, detailing our "crossover". Think Spider Man meets the X-Men type stuff. The next chapter of the main storyline will be Dark Water. Everything that comes in between is this appendix. The chronology of it takes place between The Jackal and Conspiracy Theories. Thank you all for your support. This is a hoot! :D

Nematocyst
July 2, 2006, 03:43 AM
<rim shot>

Badda boom.

</rim shot, w/ lots of cymbals>

:D :rolleyes: :evil: ;) :cool:

{But the strange thing is,
it reads almost as good from the bottom up...
:uhoh: :scrutiny:

What are you people chewing on?

And where can the rest of us get some?

:p }

BluesBear
July 2, 2006, 04:10 AM
What befalls next our heros?
What light through younder window breaks?
What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Will one set of heros turn our other set of heros into zeros?
Will One turn the other into None?
Will the girl just kick their collective butts into oblivion?
Will Boris and Natasha finally find romance and financial independence starring in the Frostbite Falls Community Theatre production of The Sonny & Cher Story?


Hey, it could happen.


Don't miss our next exciting episode, from wherever it comes,



GoldiGlocks and the Three Bearers

or

Little Read Hiding Hoodlums

Nematocyst
July 2, 2006, 04:21 AM
<subtle but uncontrollable chuckling>

<hovering droid voice>

"Move along.
Move along.
Nothing to see here.
Move along."

</hovering droid voice>

mordechaianiliewicz
July 2, 2006, 07:23 AM
Bluesbear, you're killin' me. What are you a stand up comedian or something?

Rexrider
July 2, 2006, 03:19 PM
Anyway this thread can be made a "sticky". Not that it is too hard to find since it is always floating to the top anyway. :D

Do we have a Thread of the Year Award? If so, I nominate this thread.

Thanks Nightcrawler and Correia. This is way cool.

meef
July 2, 2006, 05:29 PM
For the record, when this thread started I decided I wasn't going to like it.

Oh brother, some internet wannabe writer(s). Geez. :rolleyes:

Oh brother indeed! I could not have been more wrong.

I like it! I like it!

Nightcrawler, Correia, BluesBear..... you have got to stop frittering away time on things like sleeping, eating, bathroom breaks, etc.

Just keep writing...!!!

:D

Hoppy590
July 3, 2006, 01:37 AM
0137 and im atill waiting the next chapter of NC side of the drama! your falling behind! :what:

qlajlu
July 3, 2006, 02:04 AM
I don't care which one of them writes, just write. I'm as hooked as everyone else and this waiting for the next installment is very, very hard.

Nightcrawler
July 3, 2006, 05:08 AM
The week had started out so nice, I thought to myself. A few days earlier, we'd gotten up early and gone to Johnny Rockets. Johnny Rockets was an oddball restaurant in downtown Doha, with a 1950s American theme. Like that other so-called American restaurant, Ric's Kountry Kitchen, it was of course staffed entirely by Philippinos. But it was about the only place to get a decent burger, and one of very few places actually open for breakfast.

But that had been days before. There I was, in a tiny assault boat, clipping through frigid winter Persian Gulf water in the middle of the night. The rest of the crew had their laughs at me, too. I was the only one wearing a life jacket.

Well screw 'em. I can't swim and I hate the water. The fact that I was laden with fifty pounds of assault gear wouldn't have helped my buoyancy either.

There were nine of us packed onto that boat. All were dressed in full battle rattle ninja gear. Fatigues, body armor, heavy weapons. For the first time since I'd been in Qatar, I'd been able to use my FAL. I had eight spare magazines on my vest. Just for laughs, on my left thigh rode my S&W 629 .44 Magnum in a Blade Tec tac holster. That'll get their attention, anyway.

Somebody yelled that we were five minutes out. It was pitch black; I had no idea how they could tell. I guess the guy driving the boat (who was not part of our team) knew what he was doing.

I looked up, not loosening my death grip on the boat's safety handles, and saw Montalban's yacht ahead of us. It was very well lit, and was clipping along slowly on that moonless night.

We used no suppressors on our weapons this time. They weren't called for. Once we launched our boarding ladder over the side, they'd know we were there, and it would get ugly.

Our mission was simple. Find Montalban and his laptop, capture him if possible, kill him otherwise. Retrieve the laptop. Sounded simple, right?

Except for the part where we had to do a hostile boarding of his yacht, without having a layout of the ship, with only eight guys, and without having any idea what kind of security he had on board. Honestly, we were just going on faith that Montalban was even on the damned boat! Such were the missions that Dead 6 was created for. The impossible, borderline-lunacy ones that weren't worth wasting less expendable assets on.

Showtime. The ladder went up, and latched on. Tailor was the first one up, with me right behind him. He had his primary weapon, a tricked-out M4 carbine, slung, with his USP-45 drawn. He was up and over the railing, and I was right behind him, having removed my life jacket. Right behind me was one of the guys from the other teams, number 36, with a Remington 870 shotgun.

Before Tailor even hit the deck, one of the yacht's guards appeared. They were wearing blue polo shirts and black pants, and this one was carrying a Steyr TMP submachine gun. Tailor put two rounds into him, and his body hit the deck with a thump. Then all hell broke loose.

As the fifth man got on the deck, all of the vessel's deck lights turned on, and spotlights began to search the water. A klaxon sounded, and men could be seen running and heard shouting.

We were on the aft end of the boat, on the port side. Tailor and I leveled our weapons to cover as many angles as we could, trying to get the entire team on the deck before we moved.

Two more guards, weapons ready, appeared from the front end of the boat, running in our direction. From a kneeling position, I put the red dot of my FAL's Aimpoint on the first man's chest and opened fire. The .308 carbine barked loudly, and the man fell. Two more shots and the second man was down.

Seven of us were aboard now. The eighth man fell to fire as he was coming over the railing. He plunged into the black water below and was gone.

The yacht was big. We'd have to do a cabin by cabin search looking for Montalban, hoping to survive the experience. Tailor, myself, and number 36 moved together up the port side of the boat; the other four men would move up the starboard side. We'd start by going belowdecks, and they'd go above, to capture the bridge and the radio room.

It was insane. A protracted, running gun battle in the confines of a luxury yacht. Resistance was heavy, and there were plenty of noncombatants running around the muddle things up. We had been ordered to disregard them, but...well, you know.

36's shotgun roared, dropping a shotgun-weilding opponent, and we were into the engine room. We paused there to regroup while Tailor disabled the ship's engines. I got on my headseat.

"Bravo, this is Alpha, engine room secured. What's your status?" The reply was peppered with intermittent gunfire.

"Alpha, this is Bravo! We've taken the bridge and have..." A long burst of automatic weapons fire could be heard. "The ship's radio is disabled, but they're trying to retake the bridge. Twenty-Two is down, and Forty-Nine is slightly wounded. We'll hold it!"

Two men lost already. It had been less than ten minutes. Things were not going well. Nonetheless, we had a mission to complete. We regrouped and went back out into the corridor. Stepping over the bleeding bodies that lay in the passageway, we began our search for Montalban's cabin. Gunfire could be heard resonating through the ship, as could the screams of those aboard. What a mess.

Several minutes and a magazine change later, we'd located Montalban's plush cabin. He'd barricaded himself inside, undoubtedly with the last of his guard force. The three of us stacked in front of his cabin door and made ready.

36 pointed his shotgun at the doorknob, and chambered a breaching round. Tailor and I, the left and right side of the corridor, respectively, leveled our weapons at the door. It seemed like it happened in slow motion.

First came the loud roar of the shotgun. As the door swung open, Tailor and I moved forward, weapons at the ready. 36 brought his shotgun up to level as he chambered another round.

The red dot of my Aimpoint hovered over the torso of one of Montalban's blue-shirted guards. I fired, and the bullet entered his chest through the sternum. His G36C carbine fell from his hands as the round exploded out of his back, and he collapsed to the floor.

On the left side of the room, taking cover behind a dresser, another guard opened up on us with another G36. One of his rounds passed through 36's head, and my face was spattered with blood. Tailor returned fire with a long burst from his M4, tearing through the dresser and shredding the guard.

As 36's body was hitting the floor, Montalban was crouched at the back of the room. His right hand came up, holding some kind of revolver, and he fired.

I felt as sharp impact as the .357 Magnum slug embedded itself in my ceramic chest plate, and I was knocked off balance. Tailor brought his M4 to bear again, and Montalban was torn apart by fire. Tailor's rounds ripped through him and into the large glass display case behind him. His body fell into the shattering glass, his revolver dropping to the deck with a thud.

By the time I'd recovered from the impact and had my weapon shouldered again, it was over. 36 was dead. I looked down at him. I was still in adrenaline-induced shock I think. The worst, for me, was yet to come.

"Clear," Tailor said.

"Clear," I replied, breathing hard.

Montalban was dead. We'd failed part of our mission. But there, on an oversized wooden desk, was his laptop. I hoped that whatever was on it had been worth so many lives.

"Bravo, this is Alpha," I said, surprising myself by how calm I was. "Target is down, we have the package. What's your status?"

"Alpha...this is Bravo. There's two of us left. Ringo's down. But I think we got 'em all."

"Roger. Dust 3, this is Alpha. You copy? Come get us." The helicopter pilot responded.

"Copy that, Alpha, Dust 3 enroute. ETA five minutes. Stand by for extraction."

"Roger. Alpha out." Taking a deep sigh, I looked down at 36 again. Jesus.

Rather than stare at that gruesome sight, I moved over toward's Montalban's desk to retrieve his laptop. It was then that I noticed Montalban's revolver laying on the deck.

Being something of a revolver afficianado, I was surprised to see that it was an engraved Korth. Well, makes sense, I thought. Guy like Montalban's probably got more money than God; if anyone can afford a five thousand dollar gun, he can.

The extraction was chaotic. The Blackhawk couldn't land on the yacht, and the survivor's of Montalban's crew were still in an utter panic. We were hoisted onto the hovering helicopter one at a time. Our three remaining dead were unceremoniously dumped into the ocean. I wondered if their families back home would ever know how they met their end.

With such thoughts in mind, and the gentle motion of the helicopter resonating through my body, I drifted off into troubled sleep.


TO BE CONTINUED...

DRZinn
July 3, 2006, 10:44 AM
But did he keep Montalban's revolver?

BluesBear
July 3, 2006, 12:21 PM
WOWSERS!!! That was almost as dangerous as that time the Duke Boys snuck up behind Boss Hogg's still and Sheriff Roscoe...


...aw never mind.




Well that sure enough was a close call for our hero.
Thankfully a burial at sea was not in the cards for our anti-aquatic hero.

But just what makes that laptop so important?
Will the data be retrievanbe?
Will it bring an end to the hostilities?
Will there be any nekkid jay-pegs?
And did Nighty keep the prized revolver?
And just what is the value of a slightly used luxury yacht with a few bullet holes.

For these ands other answers, you 'll just have to wait until our next suspense filled episode,


Whirleybird Whirlwind Romance On The High Seas

or

Korth By Northwest

yy
July 3, 2006, 03:37 PM
shouldn't the dead be stripped of their weapons and armor? Unless the crew had forethought to use the weapons and armor to weigh down the bodies in the sea.

Still, if the bodies were recovered with the weapons and armor, tha'ts proof of American involvement, right?

txgho1911
July 3, 2006, 05:55 PM
Is this another skull and bones operation or is there another Yale house or Order pulling strings?

sm
July 3, 2006, 07:41 PM
:D

I'm waiting for the Steve McQueen Motorcyle Scene as per Great Escape

I dunno if 'Crawler and Correia are doing requests but hey, never hurts to ask- right?

We have had Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll, Did the Urban Cowboy Bit , I know for sure Correia will Avoid the Fountain Scene from TWOG...Lorenzo's Theme song must be "Comfortably Numb" [hey it worked for James Caan in "Thief"].

Soundtrack for Movie:

Comfortably Numb- Pink Floyd
American Woman - Grand Funk Railroad
Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf
Live Like You Were Dying -Tim McGraw
Independence Day - Martina McBride
All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix
Night Moves - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Mustang Sally - Buddy Guy
Tied To The Whipping Post - Allman Bros
Pirate Looks at Forty Jimmy Buffett
Steamroller Baby! The uncut, long play dirty version - James Taylor.

The more Chapters - the longer the movie, and the more soundtrack I can add.
:)

I need a really good scene for The Eagles Take It To The Limit

Dionysusigma
July 3, 2006, 08:55 PM
Strange... when I've been reading through, the music I put on is the soundtrack for Hero, the soundtrack for Aliens, and the fight scene stuff is usually some fast-paced goth-industrial stuff.

If I had to come up with my own track listing, it'd be something somewhat along the lines of this...

Downtime/ "Romantic" scenes:
Angel - Massive Attack
DuClare Chateau - Deus Ex / Alex Brandon
Devotion - Sonic Infidel

Fight/ Chase music:
Send Me An Angel - Zeromancer (cover of Real Life song)
Into the Fog - Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Futile Escape and Bishop's Countdown - Aliens

Narration and scenery:
Threat - Ka by Renee Dupiere
Host of Seraphim - Dead Can Dance

A good deal of it is pretty obscure, but if you know what they all are, it makes sense. :o

Although... sm's list looks pretty good too. A modern espionage movie with a classic rock soundtrack--what's not to love? :)

Correia
July 4, 2006, 01:39 AM
Leaving as many fuzzy details as possible, I recounted how I had been reconnoitering Adar’s villa, and had seen her being held captive. The girl looked kind of out of it, disoriented, angry and scared. She was still under the influence of whatever drug they had given her. And her finger was resting on the trigger that decided whether one of my crew lived or died.

“You expect me to believe that?” she shouted, blinking rapidly. Reaper cringed as she banged the Glock into the base of his skull.

“Look, we’re not your enemies. See?” I slowly placed my .45 on the table and stepped away. “Carl, put your gun down.”

“But—“

“Do it!” I ordered. Even worse than her killing Reaper, would be the noise. Our compound was crowded with rental villas, and I had no doubt that Qatari fuzz would be crawling all over a call of gunshots within minutes. Carl grudgingly responded, and placed his CZ on the floor. “My name is Lorenzo. I saw that you were in danger, and I helped. I brought you back here, because the streets are covered in cops, and all hell has broken loose out there. Let me help you.” Why had I brought her to our hideout? Damn needless complications.

“Okay, I don’t think you’re with those guys that grabbed me, but who are you, really?” She was scared, but she was hard, and her grip on the gun didn’t loosen. “You’re an American at least.”

“You first,” I suggested soothingly. Plus it gave me a moment to try to think of some sort of plausible cover story.

“I’m with the US government,” she snapped.

Oh, not cool. “Good.” I said as calmly as possible. If I had brought a fed or a spy back to our hideout, it was either screw the mission, or kill her. Neither one sounded like a good option. “We’re on the same side. We’re on a top-secret mission. And if you blow Special Agent Reaper’s brains all over the walls, you’re going to have some explaining to do to your superiors, and I probably won’t be able to get the security deposit back on this apartment.”

When you have to lie, you might as well reach for the stars.

“Are you Dead Six?” she asked calmly, but her eyes had narrowed to dangerous slits and her teeth were a hard white line on her darkly tanned face. I paused, not sure how to answer. “Are you with Dead Six?” she repeated.

Fifty-fifty chance on this one. “Yes.”

“Die ***** you ******!” she shouted as she stepped back from Reaper. The muzzle of the Glock was swinging towards me. The 9mm hole looked unnaturally large as the contents of my stomach turned to ice. I threw myself to the side, but I already knew it wouldn’t be fast enough.

Click.

Reaper disdained holsters, and since he tended to just shove the gun in his pants, he usually carried chamber empty. Carl and I called him a sissy for doing that, but as I hit the floor, I was mighty glad Reaper was a sissy.

The girl knew guns, and she instinctively reached up with her left hand and began to rack the slide. The world seemed to dial down into slow motion as Reaper spun and charged her, his stringy black hair rising like a halo. He hit her hard, and they both disappeared into the living room.

I was up in a flash, moving towards the scuffle. In the corner of my vision, I saw Carl scooping up his gun. Reaper and the girl were wrestling for the Glock, the muzzle pointed upwards between their faces. He was much taller, but she was stronger than she looked.

Beginning to lose the struggle, she let go of the gun, and threw her elbow into Reaper’s temple. His head snapped back like his neck was a spring and our techie went to the ground in a heap, but at least he took the Glock with him.

Carl had drawn down on her. “Don’t shoot!” I shouted, as I leapt over Reaper. “Too loud!” The girl had gone into a crouch, hands open in front of her face. Carl turned and disappeared from the room. Thanks for the help there, buddy. Apparently this chick knew how to fight, and I didn’t like hitting girls.

“Just calm d—“ she cut me off with a kick towards my groin. I swept one hand down to block, but it had just been a faint. She hit me with a back fist on my cheek hard enough to rattle my teeth. That hurt. I stepped back, eyes watering, and cracked my knuckles one handed. “Oh, it’s gonna be like that, huh?”

“You Dead Six ******* aren’t going to take me alive,” she spat. She charged, throwing jabs. She was good, but I was better. I dodged, and swept them aside, waiting for a clean shot. She was launching knees and elbows like a Thai kickboxer on speed. Suddenly, Reaper’s heavy metal music began to blare, painfully loud. The speakers on the computer probably near overload. What the hell?

Carl came storming back into the room. He had my 1911, and was screwing my sound suppressor onto the end of the threaded muzzle. It was difficult to hear him over the noise. “I’m too old for this hand to hand nonsense.” He raised the .45 and fired. The Doha phonebook sitting on the couch exploded into confetti. The THUMP of the silenced .45 was barely discernable over the wailing guitars. He turned the gun on the girl. “Cool down, missy, or the next one’s in your head.”

She raised her hands over her head in a position of surrender. I punched her in the stomach, knocking the wind out her. Violence against women doesn’t count when they start it, and I wasn’t going to trust her as far as I could throw her. Somebody banged on the other side of the living room wall. Our neighbors were probably cursing those damn next door Americans.

“You got her, chief?” Carl asked with a grin. “I’m gonna turn this garbage down. Kids today, Reaper, how can you listen to this noise?” Our techie moaned on the floor in response.

“Reaper, you okay?” I asked. The girl had gotten to her hands and knees. Flicking open my Benchmade, I placed it against her neck. She felt the steel there, and froze, knowing that this fight was over. Reaper grunted that he would live. “Good. Grab some rope.”

##############

Correia
July 4, 2006, 01:40 AM
“Okay, let’s try this again, with out all the hitting and shooting and stuff. Who are you, and why were you being held by Adar’s men?”

The girl was sitting on the loveseat, hands tied behind her back, and ankles tied together. The music was turned down, I had my suppressed 1911 in my hand, Carl had a beer, and Reaper was holding an ice pack against his head. “No wonder they drugged her,” he muttered.

She answered sullenly, realizing that she might as well cooperate. “My name’s Jill... Jill DelToro. I used to work at the American embassy here in Doha.”

“Used to? Who were you with? FBI? CIA? NSA?”

“Well... Department of Agriculture. Before they fired me.”

I raised one eyebrow. “Okay then. Please tell me that was some sort of cover, and you’re some sort of super spy or something?” I didn’t want to think that somebody from the Department of Cows and Plows had almost been the death of my team of professional killers.

“No, that’s Rob Clancy stuff. I was... well... I was an intern.”

“Tom Clancy,” Reaper corrected. “Intern? What the ****?”

“You got beat up by an intern,” Carl laughed.

“I’m working on my Masters, and was doing a tour of US aid programs around the middle-east. Did you know they actually have dairy farms in Saudi Arabia?”

“Fascinating. Stick to the subject.” I ordered, gesturing with my .45 for emphasis.

“I found out about something that I wasn’t supposed to. I kind of blundered into your group. Next thing I knew, some of you bastards were ransacking my apartment, looking for me. My passport was lost, the embassy guards tried to arrest me, had to beat one of them up to get away. I had heard of somebody that could help me get out of the country, and that’s when those crazy guys grabbed me and stuck a needle in my arm. I woke up here.” She sighed. “I swear, I don’t know hardly anything about Dead Six, but I know you plan to kill me, so let’s get this over with. I’m not going to beg.”

“Tell me what you know about Dead Six first.”

“I overheard some people arguing about it at the embassy. They had left the door to the quiet room open. All I know is that it’s some secret death squad that isn’t supposed to exist. Look, it isn’t my fault your boss is sloppy. He freaked out. Told me to keep my mouth shut, and I did. I promise I wouldn’t have told anyone. I guess he changed his mind just to be safe. So let’s do this you ***** **** *******.”

“Did she just call us what I think she called us?” Reaper asked.

“Spanish is close to Portuguese, so I think so.” Carl chuckled approvingly. “Nice.”

“Calm down. We’re not Black Flag, or Dead Six, or Ninja Force Alpha, or whatever, and we’re not going to kill you.”

“Really? Who are you?” sudden hope in her voice. She studied the pictures and maps on the walls, and the model building on the table. “Wait a second, you guys are criminals.” Jill was certainly sharp.

And I could see how she could come in handy. I was short handed for phase three.

“Yes.” I pulled out my knife and flicked it open. “And if you promise to quit hitting us and taking my people hostage, I’ll let you loose. But if you try to run off, I’m going to have to shoot you, okay?”

“I promise.”

“Jill, is it?” She nodded. I proceeded to cut the rope around her wrists. “The way I see it, you have a problem. You’ve been marked for death by some sort of black op. Official channels will only hurt you, not help you. Doha has gone crazy. There’s a war going on, and you’re in the middle of it. If the government finds you, then you’re dead. If the Qatari secret police find you, then you’re dead. And if you get picked up by the kind of people I saved you from tonight, you are worse than dead. You will need the assistance of, shall we say, a criminal element, to get out of this country alive. Preferably honest, and dare I say, charming criminals, versus the standard underachievers who gravitate towards that career field.”

She rubbed her wrists. “And you know where I can find some people like this, I assume?”

“Perhaps. We have a very difficult job to do, and I think that you might be helpful. You don’t have any moral qualms about helping us out, in exchange for us getting you out of the country, do you? Considering that the kind of people I rob are the kind of people who want you dead.”

“I’m morally flexible,” Jill answered after a long pause. “Promise to get me someplace safe, and I’m in.”

“You can’t be serious, chief.” Reaper stated. The side of his head was turning a nasty shade of blue and yellow.

Carl began to laugh, a deep, rumbling belly laugh. The mercenary did not laugh much.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“We got us an intern.”

#########

I came to a few conclusions about our mission. The shooters that had whacked Adar had not stolen the codebook on purpose. It was only through stupid chance that they had looted Adar’s open safe. They were killers, not thieves. A picture was beginning to emerge of what was going on behind the curtain in supposedly peaceful Qatar. It was either a black op, or a rogue op, but somebody had declared war on the terrorist supporters here.

It had started with the assassination of Al-Falal. Only through a whole lot of creative scrambling on our part had we saved phase one. Then murders and bombings all over the city, causing the police to tighten up security, and really messing up my job, the hit on Adar had been the culmination, and that massacre had driven the police into a frenzy. It was only by some damnable coincidence that this operation was taking place right here, right now, and really complicating my life.

Dead Six. So secret that somebody at the US embassy was willing to kill a twenty-five year old intern over it. And I had to find them. The clock was ticking. Big Eddie was a ruthless crime lord, and I knew that he was not bluffing when he promised to kill our families. And Dead Six was standing in my way.

This was really starting to make me mad.

The other conclusion was that Jill DelToro had a real future as a criminal. Reaper had hacked her file from the Qatari police database, and sure enough, she was on the To Do list. Under my tutelage, she had changed her appearance and public demeanor to look more like the local laborer population. You have to understand that in Qatar, most of the work is done by Indonesians and Philippinos. Using Reaper’s forged documents, Jill was no longer an easy mark, and after a few days of laying low, I had put her to work.

“Lorenzo, you aren’t going to believe what I found,” she whispered as she slid into the booth across from me. We were in some cheesy American style hamburger place called Johnny Rockets. I was dressed like a laborer too, and we had spent the day asking around, looking for clues about our mystery shooters. “The girl at the movie theater, she recognized the tall shooter when I showed her the picture.”

“Good work.” I had to admit. Jill had surprised me, and rather than reacting to the ruination of her life at the hands of an uncaring government, she was adapting rather well. At first I had been worried that she would try to run, but so far she had given no indication of that. I still made her wear a blind fold when we drove to and from our compound. Every time I let my paranoia down in this business, it inevitably came back to bite me. “Anything new?”

“He came in with a really pretty woman. The ticket girl said that she had very nice shoes and looked like an American movie star. They watched Alexander. She hasn’t seen them since.”

I shrugged. We were getting close. “He also bought her an expensive necklace. Some of the shopkeepers said that they remembered because they dared to have a public display of affection. You just don’t do that around here.”

“This still doesn’t tell us where he lives,” Jill said. She had a predatory grin as she spoke. The waitress left our food and quickly left. The Qatari’s didn’t encourage talkative help.

I took another bite of my burger. “You’re starting to enjoy this stuff, aren’t you?”

“Well, I have to admit. It is certainly different. So when are you going to tell me what your job is? I’ve proven myself, haven’t I? What is it that you need me for? I know it’s not just talking to people at the mall.”

“Not yet. If we don’t find the codebook, then the mission gets scrapped. Then we get you out of the country, and my crew tries to hide their families before Big Eddie finds out and kills them all. If that happens, you don’t need, or want to know what we were supposed to do.” I took a drink from the really bad milkshake, must be because of those Saudi cows. “So, question for you. Where did you learn to fight like that? Reaper’s face is still purple.”

She shrugged. “My dad was a Marine in the PI. He met my mom there. When he retired, he opened a martial arts studio in California. I pretty much grew up beating on people.”

“Cool. What’s he doing now?”

“They died. Car accident.”

“Sorry. You have anybody else?”

“Brother was killed by an IED in Iraq last year. That was everybody.”

There was a long, uncomfortable pause. “I’m sorry.”

“Well, it could be worse. Look at you guys. Maybe family is just a liability, something people can use against you.” She went back to her lunch. It was a sucky way to look at life, but in my current situation, I couldn’t think of a way to correct her. I changed the subject.

“We’re getting close to these shooters. Dead Six is getting sloppy. They’re being seen in public. Local tattoo parlors have been doing a bunch of grim reapers with sixes on muscle bound Caucasians. They’re spending money, and starting to talk. It’s only a matter of time before we find them. Stupid cowboys.”

“What are you going to do then? Kill them?” she asked hopefully.

“Look, just because they want to murder you, doesn’t make them bad people, its all just business. In the grand scheme of things, my life, your life, doesn’t mean anything to the big players. It’s nothing personal...” I trailed off. Like some bizarre scene from a Tarantino movie, there was the man, the tall shooter, sliding into a booth at the far end of the restaurant, next to a beautiful woman. He wore glasses, and looked way too young to be such a hardened killer. “It’s just business... Jill, act casual. Don’t be obvious, but our shooter decided he wants a burger.”

“No way.” She turned around slowly, as if she was stretching, then turned back. “He doesn’t look like much, does he? Oh, this is so neat.” She actually giggled.

So this was the face of Dead Six. I studied him, trying to learn what I could. The young couple was obviously in love, and I could see why they had been memorable to the Doha shopkeepers. Horrible field craft. Occasionally, he would look around, scanning the rest of the patrons, the automatic check of the hunter, condition yellow. I made sure he didn’t catch me looking.

After half an hour, they left, holding hands. Waiting until they were out the door, I stood, tossed down a pile of Riyals, and followed, already running scenarios through my head about how I could take this kid down and get my book back.

Nothing personal. It’s just business.

##########

We sat in the van, across from the unremarkable compound, that we had tailed the shooter to earlier in the week. The heat was like a stifling blanket, super heating the air in my lungs. I was dressed in non-descript khaki clothing. Sweat dripped down my back and pooled in my armpits. Tonight was the night.

We had taken turns staking the place out over the last few days, getting a feel for the routine. Security on the exterior was lax, but was to be expected, so as to keep a low profile. Traffic in and out was heavy, with an almost constant stream of vehicles coming and going. The vast majority of the occupants were Caucasian.

Reaper had procured satellite pictures of the compound. There were twenty-four separate apartments. His hacking into the Doha city databases told us which ones were using power and water, and a map began to form. The fifteen foot walls prevented us from using our parabolic microphone, and apparently there were no land phone lines in use inside the complex that we could hack into and listen through their receivers. We picked up multiple cell phones in use, but they were encrypted beyond our ability to crack in the amount of time we had available.

After a few days of watching, a plan began to formulate. Reaper had prepared the Little Bird for its flight, then set it free. The LB was a five foot wide, remote controlled, flying wing. Colored light blue, and actually illuminated from below by what looked like twinkling white Christmas lights, it was virtually invisible on a clear day and totally silent at altitude. Unless Dead Six was running active radar, which our snooping had not revealed, they would never even know we were there.

LB had cost me two hundred and thirty thousand dollars. It was a top of the line piece of surveillance equipment, and it was worth every penny. The cameras could read news paper headlines, and it could stay on station for hours at a time. It had taken four flights before we had gotten lucky and caught our shooter standing on a specific balcony. Building number Three, room Two. Got you sucker.

Now it was time, going in quiet and low profile. I chamber checked my STI Duty CT .45, with a 4.15 inch slide with an extended, threaded barrel. It rode on my strong side hip in a pancake holster. I had three spare 10-round magazines stoked with TTI 230 grain hollowpoints on my left hip. Under my armpit was a pouch containing my Advanced Armament Evolution SOF suppressor. I concealed it all under the same type coyote brown contractor vest that I had seen most of the residents of the compound wearing. I had my Benchmade Griptillian in my pocket, and an ASP collapsible baton in my vest. The concealable Pointblank IIIA vest I had on was killing me in the heat, but it would stop most pistol rounds. I live on a diet of paranoia, malice, and Thai food.

“You ready?” Carl asked from behind the wheel.

“Yep,” I cracked the vertebrae of my neck. This was it. “Radio check.”

“I’ve got you, chief,” Reaper’s voice echoed in my ear. “Little Bird can see the van just perfect. Nice and bright on thermal, and clean on NV.” Our tiny surveillance plane worked just as well at night, once you turned off the Christmas lights.

“I can hear you fine. I’ve got a clear view of the gate, and the guards don’t seem to be checking anything,” Jill said. “I think it’s too hot for them to care.”

“You gonna stick with the plan this time, Lorezno?” Carl asked.

“Walk into den of professional killers, find code book, start in shooter’s room and work out from there, try not to get killed, walk back out. Right?” I was nervous, but I tried not to let it show. The shakes would come later, now I needed to be cold and professional.

“Walk in the park. Large number of guys left the compound this morning, probably for a big hit, so it’s quiet. This is as good as it gets.”

“The truck is coming up the street. Go. Go. Go,” Reaper said. Carl started the engine and pulled out of the alley. I pulled a tan Molon Labe hat low onto my head and then placed my hand on the door handle. The metal was scorching hot to the touch.

“Have visual. Truck’s coming towards the roundabout. Distraction time,” Jill reported matter of factly.

“Good luck, everybody,” I said. The van pulled behind the Mitsubishi truck. We had observed this same truck driving into the compound almost every night for the last week. It was pickup style, with a tarp that covered the contents. Thermal told us that nobody rode in the back. One driver, one rider in the cab.

I opened the passenger side door. We had disabled the interior lights. The truck was slowing on the roundabout. We had one shot. Jill was dressed as a servant girl, weighed down with bags of groceries. She walked right into the path of the truck, playing oblivious to the hilt. The driver of the Mitsubishi hit the brakes. Red lights illuminated my world. I was out of the van in a heartbeat, Carl pulling it closed behind me. I could see the passenger’s profile in his mirror, his attention was on Jill.

The tarp was dusty with talcum powder sand. Trying not to make a sudden impact against the shocks, I slid under, and onto the burning heat of the truck’s diamond plate bed. The horn sounded, making me flinch involuntarily. I heard Jill shout back at the driver, and could imagine her shaking her fist.

“I’m in,” I whispered.

Jill heard, and continued on her way down the sidewalk. Carl pulled through the roundabout and headed in a different direction. I lay on the metal that was hot enough to fry bacon and tried not to cry.

“You’re coming through the gate,” Reaper informed me. “Interior guard is waving them past. You’re inside.”

The brakes whined as we rolled to a stop. The smell of diesel was strong in the air. The engine died with a gurgle, and the doors slammed. I heard voices speaking in English, and then it was quiet.

“They’re walking away from the truck. You’re parked under the overhang at Building One.”

Dead Six. I’m coming for you.

###########

To be continued...

Correia
July 4, 2006, 01:44 AM
This is Correia talking, not narrating. :p This might be the last update for a little bit, as NC and I need to have a little coordination as our POV character's meet.

sm, Dion, Lorenzo's favorite song is War Pigs, by Black Sabbath. Not that that has anything to do with anything, but for some reason, I have that in my head. :D

Just so you guys know, we're cranking these things out, with out a whole lot of thought, preplanning, or proofreading. This is an interesting method of writing something, very free flowing, and once it is public, no real way to go back and edit your continuity screw ups. It is also a whole lot of fun.

Where are we going? You will see.

Now if you like my stuff, please buy my novel, Monster Hunter International, when it becomes available towards the end of this year. It has been proof read, :) and it has zombies in it. What more could you want?

Dionysusigma
July 4, 2006, 02:03 AM
GAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! :what:

You can't quit now! :eek:

It's as bad as cutting to a 15-minute-long commercial break right before a big battle scene! :( :banghead:

Raph84
July 4, 2006, 02:32 AM
He’s from some place with a lot of Scandinavians and Lutherans.”
“……You say he’s from Minnesota or whatever, I believe you.”

Did I really just read A Prairie Home Companion reference in a black ops spy/fi novel?

I really love THR

Nematocyst
July 4, 2006, 02:43 AM
You can't quit now!:eek: Oh, yes, they can. And for good reason. Coordination is ...
________________

Black Sabbath, eh?

Yeah, I remember them. Ozzie was part of that troupe.

"Black Sabbath (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Osbourne#Black_Sabbath) met with swift and enduring success. Built around Tony Iommi's driving guitar riffs and Geezer Butler's horror-laden lyrics, topped by Ozzy's eerie, loud vocals, their early records such as their self-titled debut, Paranoid and Master of Reality in particular are considered definitive of heavy metal.[1] This was despite rather modest investment from their US record label Warner Bros.

Several of their early singles, especially "Paranoid" and "Iron Man", continue to draw significant radio airplay to this day. Osbourne himself continues to play these hits when performing as a solo artist."

<memories of driving a VW down a street in a southern city (circa 1971) with black sabbath pumping on the 8-track, when suddenly we noticed that there were hundreds of angry folks of a different race than us lining the streets, racial rioters protesting the death of a child via a police shooting, as i recall...unexpectedly, we were driving behind a dozen cop cars, and there were that many behind us, tracking in car tire tracks cut out of several inches of broken glass strewn on the street like so much confetti after a july 4th parade...>

But that was then, this is now.
____________

Adar's men. Dead six. Tarantino movie. Reaper had procured satellite pictures.

What will happen next?
___

Now, I'm just enjoying Mojitos, listening to Depeche Mode on a couple of 450W studio monitors, backed up by four 18" subs driven by 3000W (just a sound check; nothing special...)

i'm content to be chillin' while NC & C work out the details of the next installment,content to reflect, glad to have the time to catch up on reading, (cause i'm super busy with other stuff right now, anyway).

hey, i think that Depeche Mode (http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/store/artist/album/0,,3430579,00.html) could do a credible job with the sound track to this thriller...

Of course, there are a thousand other bands that could do a sound track, even if Cobain is dead.
__________

DEPECHE MODE - "Precious"

Precious and fragile things
Need special handling
My God what have we done to you
We always tried to share
The tenderest of care
Now look what we have put you through

Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give

Angels with silver wings
Shouldn't know suffering
I wish I could take the pain for you
If God has a master plan
That only He understands
I hope it's your eyes He's seeing through

Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give

I pray you learn to trust
Have faith in both of us
And keep room in your hearts for two

Things get damaged
Things get broken
I thought we'd manage
But words left unspoken
Left us so brittle
There was so little left to give

BluesBear
July 4, 2006, 03:06 AM
Will Nightcrawler get his heart broken or his butt kicked?


Is time running our for Dead 6?
Or will it simply become Dead 5½?


Will women be the downfall of our heros?
Or are the women the ones plotting the fallout?
And will there be a bathing suit competition?



Can anyone be trusted?

Can the tension get more intense?
Can the jokes get any worse?
Will Bullwinkle ever get a new statue at Wassamatta U?
Will Rocky's voice ever change?
Will TVLand ever show reruns of Cannon?
How could my Lincoln Contenental Mark IV squeal tires on a dirt road?




Don't miss the next none too soon episode...





A Jack & A Jill Went Up A Hill,

To Fetch A Pail Of Nightcrawlers




or




Silent Night,

Holy ****!!!

Nematocyst
July 4, 2006, 03:13 AM
We now return you to
the originally scheduled program,
already in progress...

"So, like, which is
the best caliber
for home defense:
9mm or 45 ACP?"

<hovering robotic droid>
Move along.
Move along.
Nothing to see here.
Move along.
</hovering robotic droid>

Nightcrawler
July 4, 2006, 10:56 AM
I'll try to get the next chapter up tomorrow morning. I'll see if I can't type it up and email it to myself from work; gonna be slow tonight anyway.

Can't log onto THR from work computer, though.

Intersting choices for the sound track. Must admit, I can't stand that Depesh Mode song that was picked for NC's theme song, though. :o

It does fit, I guess. It's fascinating to me to hear what kind of music you guys think fits the various scenes. Good stuff!

Going to get interesting in the next couple of chapters, guys. First story was just me playing around. Now I'm showing what I can do. All in rough draft, on-the-fly, meatball novelist style of writing!

Nematocyst
July 4, 2006, 01:57 PM
Intersting choices for the sound track. Must admit, I can't stand that Depesh Mode song that was picked for NC's theme song, though. :o Hey, NightCrawler, sorry...I didn't mean to imply that particular song should be NC's theme song. It was just the one that I was listening to at that moment, so I put it up there as an example.

The tone and feeling of DM's music really did fit the story nicely, though, IMO, at least at the time last night. I'll have to give it another try.

But of course, it's your (plural) story, so you should get to choose the sound track artists (along with your movie producer ;) ).

Nem

Nightcrawler
July 5, 2006, 07:30 AM
It was very late, probably almost three in the morning, by the time we got back to the compound. Our helicopter had landed out in the desert, and we'd been transferred to a truck. I slept through most of the ride home. Nonetheless, when we arrived, I wanted nothing more than to take a shower and crawl into bed.

But first, we had to be debriefed. Since Tailor and I were the planners of the mission, a sort of shared command, we had to go to the office to talk to the old man and Gordon. Once again, we seemed to have walked in on an argument. Big Boss could be heard literally yelling at Gordon; something about how he'd lied about our latest mission and how it hadn't come through channels.

"What's going on?" I asked, barging in. I still had 36's blood on my fatigues and I was in no mood for office politics.

"Wait outside," Gordon said dismissively, and turned back to Big Boss. Tailor and I simply sat down, not leaving the room.

"I told you to wait outside," Gordon said, getting irritated.

"**** off," Tailor told him.

"Yeah," I said. "Either debrief me now or let me go to bed. I've had enough of this ****. I'm tired." Big Boss remained silent.

"Fine, fine," Gordon said, sounding exasperated. "Report." We told him what had happened, and laid the recovered laptop down on the table. Gordon looked at it like it was some kind of lost treasure.

"And Montalban?" He asked.

"Ventilated," Tailor replied.

"What?" Gordon said. "Need I remind you that your mission was to recover him alive? Did you two ****ing cowboys even make the attempt?"

"Mother****er do you see that ****ing bullet hole in his vest??" Tailor yelled, pointing at the spot where Montalban's bullet had hit me. "We did what we had to do."

"You impudent ****," Gordon sneered. "I've had it with the both of you. I've tolerated your ****-ups for long enough. I won't tolerate insuboridination! One word from me and both of you ****ers disappear!" Tailor and I stood up.

"You've had it?" I asked, much too calmly. "YOU'VE had it? How long have we been here now, Gordon? HOW LONG?"

"Now you listen to me..." he began, trying to reassert himself. With my FAL carbine still slung across my chest, I gave him a firm two handed shove and knocked him to the ground.

"HOW MANY MISSIONS, GORDON? How many times do we have to do this before you let us go? Before we're done? I want OUT, Gordon! HOW MANY PEOPLE DO I HAVE TO KILL BEFORE YOU LET ME GO?" Gordon looked up at me, eyes wide, and said nothing. I suddenly felt very calm.

"Maybe just one more," I said, smoothly drawing the five-inch-barreled .44 Magnum revolver from the drop holster on my left thigh. I leveled it at Gordon, the tritium sights lined up on the bridge of his nose. His mouth fell open, and he froze. Tailor, good partner that he is, drew his USP-45 and held it at the low ready.

"You don't want to do that, son," I heard Big Boss say. I didn't look at him, but from the corner of my eye I could see that he had produced a 2.5" Model 66 revolver, held in his right hand. It was pointed at the left side of my head. Tailor, reacting to this, sidestepped to the left and acquired Big Boss in his sights, holding his pistol in a two-handed combat grip. It was tense.

"Quite the standoff, wouldn't you say, boys?" Big Boss said, his raspy voice revealing not a hint of fear.

"I can't do it anymore, Boss," I said, not moving. Gordon remained silent.

"You don't have to, son," the old man said. "It's over. They've pulled the plug. We're all going home."

"Just like that?"

"Just like that. This last mission is what did it. It wasn't sanctioned. Gordon here took it upon himself to assault that boat. Montalban was a bad guy pulling some strings on some bad ****. But he wasn't a sanctioned target."

"Why?" I asked.

"Gordon wanted that laptop," Boss said. "It's got Montalban's account numbers on it. Plus, capturing him alive would've made Gordon's department look very good. It was personal for him."

"You rat-**** son of a bitch," I said to Gordon. I couldn't say anything else.

"I say we just ****in' kill him," Tailor said, pistol still leveled at Big Boss.

"It won't help, son," Boss said. "Let's all calm down here. Gordon's leaving, right now, and we'll all be leaving shortly. My report to higher will cover all of this. Gordon's going to have a lot to answer for. Now put that gun down. There's been enough killing tonight."

I took a deep breath and holstered my sidearm. Tailor waited until Big Boss did the same, then holstered his own pistol. Gordon got up and pushed past us, heading out the door.

"We'll see who's gonna burn," he sneered. "You're all disavowed." With that, he was gone. He took the laptop with him as he left.

"That's not good," Boss said. "You boys go get some rest. I've got a lot of work to do. That son of a bitch is going to leave us out to dry. We're going to have to use alternate means to get you all home. But you're all going home, I promise you. I'll take care of this. Don't you worry, Gordon will get his."

"If I ever see him again, I'll kill him," I said, walking out the door. I went back to my villa, dumped my gear on my bed, and took a shower. Putting on fresh clothes, I went next door to Sarah's place. I didn't want to be alone just then.

It'd finally come to this, I thought. They'd been pushing us to the breaking point. We'd been getting sloppy, undisciplined. Mounting casualties, missions becoming riskier and more difficult, endless promises that we'd all be going home soon....it was all just too much. Our guys were starting to crack. Starting to talk. Some guys had even had their Dead 6 tatoos done in town!

But it would all be over soon. Thank God...

"Holy ****," Jeff said. "Were you really gonna kill him?"

"He was lucky to have made it out of there alive. I swear to God," I said, closing my eyes, "I wish I'd pulled the trigger."

"What do you mean? What happened?" I just looked at him, feeling a tightness in my chest.


TO BE CONTINUED...

BluesBear
July 5, 2006, 08:06 AM
Will our Heros get disavowed?
Will they finally make it home in peace or pieces?

And what will happen to Gordon?
Will Nightcrawler cross his path or will he be in the crosshairs of the other "team"?

And what about that deadly cargo that just arrived special delivery?




Find out in our next gripping episode...




He Came In Through The Bathroom Window



or



I'll Get By With A Little Help From My Fiends

Joe7cri
July 5, 2006, 03:25 PM
Great Work Guys, Thank you!

Nightcrawler
July 5, 2006, 06:29 PM
Okay, Correia's going to do his part next, then we're going to get into our crossover. After that, our storylines diverge again, and we'll be into my story's dramatic climax.

It's gonna be good! :cool:

Correia
July 5, 2006, 11:48 PM
########

I hung from the underside of the stairs of the apartments we had christened Building Three, sweat rolling down my face and stinging my eyes. My grip was tight on the hot metal bars, and I prayed that the Dead Six personnel standing ten feet away would hurry up and find a better place to be.

“Aqua Teens is way better than Venture Brothers,” the first argued. There were some clicking sounds, and then a lighter flame appeared, briefly highlighting the two men. I could hear him take a long drag. The hall light was burned out, and it was dark enough that I could only see the glowing red embers.

Using the thermal camera on Little Bird, Reaper had warned me right before the Dead Six men had turned the corner. My awkward perch was the best that I could come up with on such short notice.

“Dude, you’re stupid,” the second replied. “Venture Brothers has Brock Sampson. Brock Sampson, man. All you got is a milk shake. Quit hogging that.”

Who argues about cartoons in the middle of the night? Ignoring the growing pain in my arms, I contemplated shooting them and getting it over with, but it was too damn hot to have to drag their bodies to a hiding place. Luckily after a few minutes the two super geniuses decided they needed some munchies and went back into their respective apartments.

I slowly lowered myself to the floor, careful to settle my weight with out making a sound. The coast was clear, and within moments I found myself in front of the mystery shooter’s door. We couldn’t know for sure that this was where Adar’s codebook was, but it was the most logical place to start looking. The door was locked, but I picked it under five seconds. I drew my .45, screwed the suppressor on, and entered the room. Thankfully the hinges did not squeak.

The exterior lights of the compound provided enough illumination to see by. The bed was unoccupied. Clear. I checked the bathroom. The shower was damp, and there was still condensation on the mirror. He had not been gone long. I had to hurry. I locked the door. If anyone returned, it would at least give me a brief warning.

Some weapons were thrown on the bed. There was a DSA FAL carbine sitting on top of some armor. My opponent had excellent taste in rifles. The armor itself was blood stained, and had a bullet impact on the trauma plate. Kid must have had a tough day. I could not help but notice the oddball sidearm still holstered on the green web gear, a S&W 629 .44 magnum. Fricking cowboys.

I began to ransack the room, pulling out drawers and checking the contents, trying to not disturb the scene. If the book wasn’t here, I was going to hit the main office next, and the last thing I wanted to do was raise an alarm in this ant’s nest. There was a plastic Godzilla on the dresser. Nice touch.

Clock was ticking. The shooter was bound to be back any minute. There was nothing of interest in the drawers. Closet next. On the floor was a duffle bag, inside was a giant pile of money, and even better, there was the codebook! Leaving the money, I stuffed the book into my vest.

Time to go. “I’ve got the book,” I whispered. “Prepare to extract. Reaper, how’s it look out there?”

“Compound’s clear, can’t see under the overhangs of course.”

“Lorenzo,” Carl’s voice sounded urgent. “Me and Jill are parked half a kilometer from the gate, there’s some weird activity going on down here...”

“What you got?” Something moved in the corner of my vision. “Wait—“

Lights flashed inside my skull and the world exploded in pain.

###########

BluesBear
July 6, 2006, 12:43 AM
Well this is an unexpected twist.
Everyone knows that neither the Aqua Teen Hungar Force nor Venture Brothers can hold a candle to Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties or even Mr Peabody and his boy Sherman.


But what has happened in our Hero's abode?

Was it a setup or just a lucky upset?



Find out in our next unforgettable episode;



The Beat Goes On!


or


By The Light Of The Silvery Boom!

Nightcrawler
July 6, 2006, 06:28 AM
My hand hurt. I hadn't laid a dude out like that since high school. Normally, I'm not the punch first and ask questions later kind of guy, but I'd had a horrible night. Coming home and finding this ******* in my apartment just wasn't giving me the warm fuzzies.

He didn't look like much. Not too tall, about five-ten maybe. Medium build, dark hair, dark eyes. Could've passed for a Mexican or an Arab just as easily, I suspect. One of those guys that just doesn't have a memorable face.

And yet...I did remember it. Johnny Rockets. This guy had been in Johnny Rockets when I'd been there with Sarah.

Well.

I didn't guess him for a Qatari, though. He was dressed in one of those dorky 5.11 vests, and nothing screams "I'm an American!!" like a khaki vest. He had a hat that said "ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΈ" on it. How odd...

I'd punched him in the back of the head, and he fell on his face. Presently, I was kneeling down, my left knee going down his spine, holding him down. I could tell he was stronger than he looked, but I probably outweighed him by fifty pounds. Isaac Newton was on my side.

"So tell me," I said, holding his head down into the carpet with one hand while patting him down with the other. "What exactly did you think was going to happen here? I don't think you know what you've wandered into, dude." I found a gun on his belt, and with my right hand drew it out of the holster.

Some kind of funny-looking M1911 clone, Commander-length barrel, with a suppressor. One of those double stack ones, an STI, no less. So I was getting robbed by an STI-toting 1911 snob. Nice.

I swiped the pistol off of safe, and pressed the end of the can against the back of my guest's skull. I dug my knee in between his shoulder blades.

Those who lay eyes on an operative shall not live to tell of it. The first rule of Dead 6. I'd violated it several times, but...hell, this guy was in my room! Hard to let that slide.

"I've had a lousy night, man. I've already killed a few people. I nearly killed my boss. So don't **** with me, and you might get out of this alive. Let's talk..."


TO BE CONTINUED...

Brian Williams
July 6, 2006, 11:59 AM
Wow, what fun..









Fixed; he had a had and Looeked

Nightcrawler
July 6, 2006, 12:31 PM
Did I make a typo. Brian?

That's part of the fun of meatball novelism. You just crank out your rough draft and slap it up there. I typed that up at work. :D

Going to bed now. Lousy night. Can never seem to escape the office intrigue, I swear. Correia will update soon.

Correia
July 6, 2006, 03:19 PM
My head was swimming, my ears were ringing, and I had a mouth full of carpet fibers. I had been hit hard, real hard. My ear piece had fallen out and was laying on the floor next to my head. Carl was screaming about something.

"I've had a lousy night, man. I've already killed a few people. I nearly killed my boss. So don't **** with me, and you might get out of this alive. Let's talk..."

Where had he come from? The door hadn’t opened. The balcony, he had come in from the balcony. I’m such an idiot. A knee was on my back, and he was heavy. I felt the metallic pressure of a gun against the base of my throbbing skull. No time to think, had to act.

“Oh, man, please don’t hurt me. Don’t shoot, please don’t shoot.” I put as much snivel and whimper into it as I could. I could barely hear Carl’s tinny voice over the dislocated ear bud, but he could still hear my throat mike just fine. Carl knew what to do, and I distinctively heard the words plan B. “I heard you had a bunch of cash in your room, I just wanted the cash, please don’t shoot, I’ve got a wife and five kids, and and…”

“Bull. Who are you—“ he instinctively jerked his head towards the balcony as the explosion rocked the room. I had left a little surprise on the truck I had snuck in on for Carl to detonate in case I needed a distraction. The room was briefly illuminated as an oily fire cloud rose in the compound. I rolled hard to the right, jerking my head to the side, as the shooter fired a round into the carpet. His knee slipped off my back, putting him off balance. I grabbed my gun in his hand, and used the leverage of the suppressor to twist it against his trigger finger. He bellowed in anger, and I slammed my palm into his chin and shoved him off. The STI spun away under the bed.

He hit the ground hard, and immediately began to rise. I put my palms flat on the floor above my head, arched my back, and kicked, using the momentum to launch myself up and land on my feet.

“Whoa,” he said right before I kicked him in the chest. Desert dust flew from my boot as he crashed back into the wall next to the bed. The flickering flames cast weird shadows in the room. I moved in while he was off balance, and threw a knee to his side. He grimaced but stayed up. I followed with an elbow to his face, but he blocked it with his forearm, and then used his size advantage to shove me back with one big meat hook against my sternum.

The kid was bigger, and stronger, but I was faster. I locked up on his arm, spun inside of it, and slugged him in the kidney, then put my foot on the inside of his knee and forced him down. I jerked up on his arm, trying to snap it at the elbow. He crashed into the dresser, snapping boards, and sending things flying.

“ARRGGHH **** you ****!” he shouted as his other arm came around, something shiny reflecting in the flickering light, and caught me on the side of the head with it. There was a metallic clang, my brain bounced around inside my skull, and I was down hard, blood spewing out of my mouth. I floundered across the bed, sending gear everywhere. The room spun as I refocused, again on the floor, and at the blood stained Korth revolver that he had hit me with. I rolled out of the way as his foot kicked through empty air. I was back up in a split second, trying to make distance until I could see straight.

My Benchmade clicked open in my hand, like I had willed it there with anger alone. He passed by the bed, obviously scanning for a weapon, something coming up in his hand, a combat knife, time slowing down, as we focused on each other.

“Oh, it’s on now,” he said as he pointed the knife at me, chest heaving, gasping for breath.

I spit out a broken tooth and a whole bunch of blood as I spun my blade into a reverse grip, “On like Donkey Kong, ******-******.”

We charged.

##############


To be continued…

Red State
July 6, 2006, 05:11 PM
Wow, good stuff, guys.

Correia, you will have to tell us more about your book.

BluesBear, you are absolutely killing me.

Correia
July 6, 2006, 06:26 PM
Red State, Monster Hunter International is a novel, based on the idea that if all the monsters of B movies were real, what kind of nutjobs would kill them for fun and profit? :)

10 Ring Tao
July 6, 2006, 06:48 PM
This started as a cool adventure of one guy, and has spawned into two story lines I DAMN WELL BETTER SEE A CONCLUSION TO!

Ya hear me? Being left hanging makes me mad. You wouldn't like me when I'm mad. :evil:

what kind of nutjobs would kill them for fun and profit?

So, you've been stalking me?

vynx
July 6, 2006, 06:56 PM
Been reading since yesterday - GREAT STORY(ies) both of you.

Not a music expert but "mama don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys" sounds like it could fit in some of these scenes.


No CW fans on here?

A book would be a good idea - a screenplay might even be better!

Again GREAT!

steveracer
July 6, 2006, 06:58 PM
John Steakley wrote ARMOR and VAMPIRE$, the latter of which sound a little like your book. It's really about vampires being real, and some people making a living at killing them. Really better than it sounds. It was also a B movie later, that strayed so far from the book that it should have been renamed.
You gentlemen have given us a wonderful read to help soak up some of our daily grind. I appreciate that, and really enjoy this stuff!

Thefabulousfink
July 6, 2006, 07:14 PM
I just did a word count of both NC and Correias' stories,

29,000 WORDS

We have officially left "short-story" and are rapidly making our way through "novella" status. Pretty soon we'll have a full fledged novel on our hands.:eek:

Keep up the good work.:D

Correia
July 6, 2006, 07:26 PM
Not bad considered NC and I are cranking this little things out a few minutes at a time with no proof reading, or going back and fact checking, or any continuity checking. :p Since we're both writing in the first person POV, I can blame it on the character's faulty memories. For instance, I forgot the Yellow Humvee, and NC ASSUMED that my STI was a double stack. See, faulty memories, but our guys do get hit in the head a lot. :)

I've read Steakly. Vampire$ is about as close as anything I've seen to mine, except mine is better. :)

It will be published towards the end of the year. Buy a copy, so that I can buy my kids some gruel for their moldy bread.

Hoppy590
July 6, 2006, 08:45 PM
Red State, Monster Hunter International is a novel, based on the idea that if all the monsters of B movies were real, what kind of nutjobs would kill them for fun and profit?

the idea that "IF" all the monsters are real? oh they are, just look to my sig and get ready for the first wave... ZOMBIES! slow and easy to kill they will take out the weak and stupid so that the vampires only have to hunt the smart ones...

the book sounds awesome im definatly interested. is it out already? where can it be found?

BluesBear
July 6, 2006, 09:44 PM
They're Up!
They're Down!
They're In!
They're Out!
They're Shaking All About ?



Just when you thought all was lost they start doing the Hokey Pokey!
Careful with those knives or we'll have some hokey poking?
Now all we need is Weird Al playing a hokey polka.


Hmmmm. Perhaps that IS what it's all about ???



To find out just what it is all about don't miss our next side splitting, bone crushing episode...


A Midsummer Night's Scream


or


Homey, I Shrunk Your Kidneys!

dave5339
July 6, 2006, 09:49 PM
Just dang folks! MORE MORE MORE!

Semper Fi

sm
July 6, 2006, 10:03 PM
Urban Cowboy

The Big Chill

Vanishing Point


Okay while waiting trivia .

1) "Mississippi Queen" is on which of the 3 above soundtracks and who does it?

2) In the Big Chill who was the "main character" that was edited out at the last moment?

3) Another edited person [just a regular person, not an actor]was standing next to short bed GMC Pickup on a parking lot while Urban Cowboy was being filmed. This person tipped his hat to and later met Debra Winger.
This person is a member of THR btw.

Just some stuff to do while we wait...;)

Correia
July 6, 2006, 11:23 PM
Hoppy, it isn't out yet. Don't worry, when it is, I will spam it all over the internet. :)

ilcylic
July 6, 2006, 11:34 PM
Excellent work, gents. Tom Clancy wishes he was half this original.

Now, admittedly, the only two movies my film company has made were small budget, cheap production, independant slacker comedy stuff, but reading this has given me a hankering to make an action movie. I'm just not sure if I could honestly do it justice.

But it's sure a screaming plot, boys. Keep it up.

Nightcrawler
July 7, 2006, 04:31 AM
I had to finish this, I thought to myself. Some kind of explosion had gone off outside, and I had to get my weapons and see what it was. The warning klaxon was screaming, and I could hear people shouting.

But this guy just wouldn't get out of my way. Had he simply run away at that point, I'd have let him go. But he had a hard gleam in his eye and I knew he meant to kill me. I had no idea who he was or what I'd done to piss him off (well, other than clock him in the back of the head), but he wasn't going to let this go.

He lunged at me, knife held in a blade-down position. I dodged to the right, and tried to slash at him with the Gerber knife in my left hand. His hand arced around and put a gash up my left cheek, but it wasn't deep. I slashed at his abdomen as he pulled away and clipped him a bit.

He only took a moment to recompose and came at me again. I could tell this man was a better fighter than me. He fought like a wounded animal, and was remarkably fast. He fought like Tailor did, and was even about the same build.

Fortunately, Tailor had been my close combat training partner, and I could counter a few of those moves.

He slashed at my face again, this time at a downward angle. I leaned back and dodged it, and tried again to stab him in the abdomen. He twisted to the right, avoiding the thrust, and his right hand came back down, blade cutting into my left forearm. It wasn't deep, but it made me drop my knife.

So, he was hands-down a better hand-to-hand fighter than me. Be a good guy to have in a bar fight, I thought. So I had to improvise. When he was following through on the slash to my left arm, I punched him in the left ear as hard as I could with my right hand. He went reeling and crashed onto my desk. One of the legs gave, and it collapsed to the floor, smashing my laptop. My four thousand dollar Alienware mobile gaming laptop!

He recovered quickly, though, and was back on his feet in an instant. But I was ready this time.

The chair I hit him with hadn't been much of a chair. A flimsy wooden one made in India or somewhere, terribly uncomfortable to sit in. I'd had it by the wall with some papers piled onto it.

It did however give a satisfying crunch as I smashed it over my opponent's head, sending him back to the floor. Unfortunately, my weapon disintegrated with the first blow.

Taking advantage of the opportunity, I turned and lunged towards my bed, grabbing at the .44 Magnum revolver that was still holstered in my web gear.

He was on top of me before I could draw the weapon, though. He lunged at me, meaning to plunge the blade into my back. I twisted around and kicked him in the stomach as hard as I could. Turnabout's fair play, *****.

TO BE CONTINUED...

Nightcrawler
July 7, 2006, 05:06 AM
I'm liking these soundtrack ideas.

Any thoughts on a theme for NC himself? Curious to see how different persons will come up with different songs for the character I created, that's all.

And Michael Mann will have to direct the movie version of this. :D

Maybe Tarantino can do the Correia scenes. :evil:

Dionysusigma
July 7, 2006, 06:05 AM
I think the answer to that lies within your signature line... ;) :D

I was thinking Ridley Scott as the director(s). With stuff like Aliens and Black Hawk Down, you can't go wrong. :)

Or, how about Robert Rodriguez (Desperado and Sin City trilogies)? :evil:

BluesBear
July 7, 2006, 06:55 AM
Go ahead, knock it off.
I dare you.


"Artemis watch out for Doctor Strangelove."


oooops


um... ummmph


Crash, Bam, Boom!


Will our Hero survive? Or will our Hero prevail?
And just which one is the hero anyway?

This was a whole lot easier with that Moose & Squirrel duo.


And who will get the bloodstains out of the carpet?
Who cares, the damage deposit is history anyway.




Stay awake for our next suspension of belief filled episode.



For A Fistfull Of Furniture!


- or -


It's Been Knife To Know You!

Nightcrawler
July 7, 2006, 01:16 PM
I personally like the part where NC uses a $6,000 revolver to pistol-whip Lorenzo with. :evil:

Correia
July 7, 2006, 01:40 PM
I figured you would. :)

Correia
July 7, 2006, 03:02 PM
It should have been over by now, I should have been able to take him, but that initial hit had left me dizzy and disoriented. And now he was piling it on, his enormous boot slammed into me like a freight train, my abs tightening up and absorbing the hit, I staggered back, grimacing in pain. The kid was drawing that big .44 now, the muzzle swinging towards me.

I stepped into him, knife humming through the air. He raised his right hand to hold me off and I opened his forearm up like filleting a fish, splashing the walls with red droplets. The kid screamed as the knife stuck bone. But I was too late, he swiveled the big revolver into me from a low retention position.

BOOM

The concussion was deafening in the little room. A sledgehammer hit my chest, ribs cracking, tissues tearing, fire roaring through me. My Pointblank vest stopped the bullet, but it took everything I had to stay on my feet. We locked up, me trying to keep that gun away from me, and his blood slick hand wrapped around my wrist to keep my knife at bay.

I got my fingers around the cylinder of the Smith, and wouldn’t let it turn as he squeezed the trigger. I could feel his other hand slipping off my knife, as soon as he let go I was going to plunge it into his neck. We spun around, shoving and grunting, destroying the remaining furniture. He was shouting in my still ringing ear.

All coherent thought had ceased. It was now kill or be killed. No time for fear, no time for pain. I kept throwing knees, trying to tear him down. He head butted me in the face, and I felt my nose break. My eyes filled with involuntary tears and my hand began to slip from the cylinder.

Desperate, I dropped my knife, reached across his torso, and got my thumb under the hammer of the Smith just as it fell, blocking the shot. His wounded hand now free, the kid swung for my face. I ducked, pushed the gun away from me, and hit him repeatedly, elbows, knees, every time that gun came back around, I hit him again. He went to his knees, still trying to shoot me. I stepped back, and snap kicked him in the face.

He landed flat on his back with a huge crash.

That had to do it.

BOOM

Apparently not.

The bullet skimmed past my head and blew a chunk out of the ceiling. This guy was like the terminator or something. I dove behind the bed. He was rising, blinking away blood, looking for a shot. I had to keep moving. Then I saw tiny green lights under the bed. The night sights from my .45. I snatched it into my hand, rolled over, and stood, gun punching out, finger already on the trigger.

I was staring down the barrel of his .44. The suppressor of my .45 was inches from my opponent’s face, centered on the bridge of his nose. Both of our fingers were on the triggers, and we were each about half a pound of pressure away from oblivion. We glared at each other. Both of us battered, cut, bleeding, and pulped. I was blowing frothy blood bubbles every time I exhaled.

There was much commotion coming form the compound now. An alarm klaxon was blaring, and some other gunshots rang out. Something was going down. His eyes flickered towards the window, concern obvious on his face.

“Your people?” he asked.

“No. I’m by myself,” I answered truthfully. I kept the .45 leveled at him, reached into my vest with my other hand and pulled out Adar’s codebook. “I just came for this.”

“Look, whoever you are. I don’t even know what that is. Take it and go,” he was struggling to breathe, but his eyes were hard behind that Smith & Wesson.

“Truce?”

“Truce.”

I don’t know why, but I believed him. Shoving the codebook back in my vest, I kept my gun pointed at him, and limped backwards towards the door. He stopped me.

“One last question…” the .44 did not waver. “Seriously, who the hell are you?”

“They call me Lorenzo.”

He nodded slowly. “They call me Nightcrawler. Now get the **** out of my room.”

I slipped out the door. He did not try to shoot me in the back.

#########

To be continued…

Dr.Rob
July 7, 2006, 03:07 PM
Foul! I say. Foul!

No way in hell Nightcrawler would keep a $6000 engraved Korth UNLOADED. Unless he broke it on Lorenzo's hard head somehow.

Great stuff guys.

the 22 junkie
July 7, 2006, 03:07 PM
my hands are shaking

Dionysusigma
July 7, 2006, 03:17 PM
:eek: :what: :scrutiny: :what: :eek:

yy
July 7, 2006, 05:11 PM
what a satisfying rush!

BluesBear
July 7, 2006, 05:52 PM
Shoot, I tell you what.
I don't care who you are.
That there is funny.

{Shouting and Yelling}

ooops gotta Go!


[voice=William Conrad]
And stay out!





Well, it looks like our hero is bruzednbleeden but still alive.

But what is all of that commotion outside?

What happened to the plastic Godzilla?


Will Lorenzo easacpe with the codebook and save his family?

Will Nightcrawler get medical attantion and save his arm?

Will anyone call Geico and save hundreds on their auto insurance?







Discover the answers to these questions and dozens you haven't asked in our next fact filled episode...




Bad To The Bone !



or




Sew, There I Was !

Rexrider
July 7, 2006, 05:53 PM
All I can say is WOW!

Besides, there is no way I could compete with BluesBear's commentary. :D

just one question
July 7, 2006, 06:04 PM
Wow it gets better and better....you were killing me with how long it took the whole fight scene to come out though:D ....keep it up!(I thought one of them was going to die)

sm
July 7, 2006, 06:06 PM
Fight Scene :
"Wanted Dead or Alive" - Bon Jovi.

I play for keeps, 'cause I might not make it back...

I'm a cowboy, on a steel horse I ride
I'm wanted dead or alive
I'm a cowboy, I got the night on my side
I'm wanted dead or alive
Wanted dead or alive

'Crawler's song :
"Bad Company" -Bad Company.

Company Always on the run
Destiny is the rising sun
Oh I was born 6-gun in my hand
Behind a gun I'll make my final stand
That's why they call me
Bad company
And I can't deny
Bad company
Till the day I die
Till the day I die
Till the day I die

Lorenzo's song:
"Sympathy For The Devil" - Rolling Stones.


But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners Saints
As I end this tale
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
Use all your well learned qualities
Or I'll lay your soul to waste,




Answers to trivia above : 1) Mountain, 2) Kevin Costner 3) Yours truly


;)

Steve

Myself
July 7, 2006, 07:39 PM
Please clean the blood off of the Korth before the finish is ruined. :D

Whole Hog
July 7, 2006, 08:36 PM
Okay, Steve just nailed the soundtrack.

Nightcrawler
July 7, 2006, 08:54 PM
It was raining when it began.

The warning klaxon was screaming as I ran outside. I'd thrown my battle rattle on over my street clothes, grabbed my bug-out bag, and had my .44 drawn. I hadn't yet put a magazine in my FAL.

Not a moment after I stepped outside did it begin. A French-made M3 VTT armored car smashed through the gate of our compound, 7.62mm machine gun firing wildly. Desert camouflage-clad soldiers, carrying a mix of FAL and FNC rifles, began to pour in after it.

It was the Qatari Army. They'd finally come for us.

But Dead 6 wasn't going down without a fight.

A group of Qatari soldiers was cut down by a long burst of machine gun fire. I looked to my right and saw Frank, our armorer, behind cover, using an M240 machine gun to provide fire.

An instant later, the APC exploded, it's small turret popping off like a bottlecap. Someone had nailed it with an RPG.

But the soldiers kept coming. Illumination flares had been fired above the compound, and it was very well lit. A truck parked near the gate was burning, and it was chaos.

Sarah. I had to get her out. I hopped the wall to the porch of her villa and opened her door. She was just behind it, a Browning 9mm pistol in hand.

"What's going on?" she asked me, scared but calm.

"The Qataris," I said. "We gotta go."

"What about everybody else?"

"Only one way out. We've all got to go out the same way. Let's go!"

"Wait!" I turned to her. Before I could say anything she kissed me.

"I love you, Michael."

"I love you too. Let's go! Keep low and stay behind me!" From the porch of her villa, I could see a Qatari soldier running towards the Big Boss' office. Taking aim, I led the running soldier a little bit.

The big .44 barked, and the soldier, a good thirty yards away, crumpled to the pavement in a puff of blood. The Qataris didn't wear body armor.

Another soldier, a skinny one with a thin moustache, carrying an FNC, appeared to my left. A .44 slug went into his chest before he could raise his rifle, and he collapsed onto the wall that separated Sarah's porch from the next one down.

Ducking down, I holstered the revolver and inserted a magazine into my FAL. I turned on the Aimpoint, put the stock in the pocket of my left shoulder, and scanned for targets.

BOOM! The door of the office exploded into splinters and smoke. Someone had launched a rifle grenade. All around, Dead 6 operatives were forming up and making their counterattack. A few who went out with their hands up were cut down by machine gun fire. The Qataris weren't taking any prisoners.

Through the middle of this carnage, Sarah and I sprinted across the street of our compound, and made our way to Big Boss' office. The door and part of the front wall were blown off, and we dove in just in time to avoid being stitched by automatic fire.

Big Boss was laying on the floor, wounded in the stomach and bleeding badly. Sarah and I crouched down beside him. He looked up at us from his one eye.

"Take this," he said, handing me a blood-stained flash drive.

"What is it?" I asked, looking back out the hole in the wall, scanning for threats.

"Everything there is to know about Project Heartbreaker...about Dead 6. Gordon...Gordon destroyed the others. I think he...he set us up. He told them. Go..."

"I'm not leaving you here, Boss!" I said.

"Go God damn it," he said. "Don't worry, son, they won't take me alive." His Model 66 revolver was in his right hand. I nodded, pocketed the flash drive, and without looking back, Sarah and I left him. I never learned his name.

The compound was still erupting into a gun battle. On my left, pushed against the back wall, were my fellow Dead 6. They'd taken up positions behind walls, vehicles, whatever cover they could find. They were well armed and well entrenched. On my right were the Qatari soldiers. They had to pour in on foot now, as the burning APC still blocked most of the gate, and they couldn't get anymore vehicles in. The assault was costing them dearly.

The problem was, of course, that we had to get out of that gate also. It was the only way out.

We crouched behind the thick stone wall the ringed the porch of the office, and I aimed my FAL over it. As I could acquire Qatari soldiers in the reticule of my Aimpoint, I'd fire off a shot or two.

I ducked behind the wall, changing magazines and making sure Sarah was alright when Tailor appeared beside me. He had his M4A1/M203 in his hands and a LAW rocket slung over his back.

"What the **** happened to you? Nevermind. We gotta get the **** outta here!" He said. "We're going to make a push for the gate in a minute. You ready?"

"Yeah," I said, hitting the bolt release and chambering a round. I held out my right hand, balled into a fist, and he bumped it with his left.

"Let's ****in' do this," he said, grinning. Crazy bastard was actually enjoying himself.

The firing all stopped suddenly. No more Qatari soldiers could be seen coming into the gate. What the hell? Taking advantage of it, we began to leapfrog our way towards the gate. He'd hop a porch wall and provide cover while I did so, then we'd both provide cover for Sarah, who was armed only with a pistol. The rest of Dead 6 began to move towards the gate, most using the cover provided by the porches and walls of the villas as they did so.

A moment later, we found out why there'd been a lull in the fighting. A twelve foot wide section of wall, just to the left of the gate, exploded in a deafening roar, sending pieces of the stone wall high into the air. The ground rumbled, and the three of us hit the deck.

They'd blown the wall. More soldiers appeared in the newly formed breach, and they began flowing into the compound. Many of them were killed as they came in, but I could see my fellow Dead 6 being killed around me.

At that moment, I realized that we weren't going to make it out of there alive.

We weren't going to go out without a fight, though. The three of us continued to leapfrog forward. We'd gotten about four porches ahead when the Qatari soldiers began laying on the fire. Dead 6 was getting close to the gate, though.

Avoiding the fire, Sarah and I crashed to the deck behind the stone wall. I could see rounds striking the wall above me and I could hear them hitting the wall I was hiding behind. Tailor was one porch ahead of us.

I popped up, and there was a Qatari soldier, pointing his own FAL at me, not five feet from me. My rifle was shouldered, whereas he was holding his at the hip. My stubby carbine barked, and a .308 TAP round exploded out of his back. He hit the pavement as I scanned for threats.

I saw something flying through the air.

"GRENADE!" I screamed, pushing Sarah back down. BOOM! I popped back up, rifle shouldered, pointing outwards.

"GO!" I yelled at her. "I've got you covered!" She looked up at me, nodded, and moved to hop over the wall. Tailor was now two porches ahead, firing off bursts from his M4 while a cigarette hung from his mouth.

Just as Sarah was standing up, a group of Qatari soldiers appeared in my view, from behind the burning APC. They were firing at us in full auto.

It happened so fast. Sarah stood up, placed a hand on the wall to jump over it, and moved.

The rounds caught her in mid air, tearing through her and splattering her blood on the wall behind her. She fell back to deck of the porch, unmoving.

I couldn't move. I couldn't breathe. All I could do was sit there and stare at her. I crawled to her, my FAL dragging on the deck as it hung from my sling, and held her against me.

I waited for what seemed like an eternity. I waited for the calm to wash over me, for the adrenaline to kick in, for my survival instinct to take over.

But it didn't come. The sounds of the raging battle faded, until I could hear my breathing and my heartbeat above everything else. I just sat there, holding her lifeless body against me, eyes wide.

Somewhere in the distance, I thought I could hear Tailor screaming at me. I looked up at him. He was standing above the porch wall directly in front of me, trying to keep low, yelling at me that we needed to go.

I just couldn't move. I looked down at Sarah. The necklace I'd bought for her was around her neck still. A chip had been taken out of it where it had been nicked by one of the bullets that had killed her.

I thought I heard Tailor yell 'grenade'. Suddenly, the air was filled with smoke and debris, and all I could hear was a high pitched tone. I was on my back, away from Sarah, but her necklace was still in my hand.

I looked over at her. I couldn't see well. I realized that blood was pouring into my right eye. I had a wound above my eyebrow and blood was streaming down my face.

I reached out to her, but she was moving away from me, and I was losing her.

My last conscious thought was the realization that someone was dragging me away.



TO BE CONTINUED...

CNYCacher
July 7, 2006, 09:29 PM
Oh MAN! http://img70.exs.cx/img70/2972/crying5lc.gif

Speechless. . .

the 22 junkie
July 7, 2006, 09:38 PM
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11111111111111111oneoneoneeleventyone

Nightcrawler
July 7, 2006, 09:46 PM
Rain

I don't feel a thing
and I stopped remembering
The days are just like moments turned to hours

Mother Used to say
if you want, you'll find a way
But mother never danced through fire showers

Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain
I walk in the rain, in the rain
Is it right or is it wrong
and is it here that I belong

I don't hear a sound
Silent faces in the ground
The quiet screams, but I refuse to listen

If there is a hell
I'm sure this is how it smells
Wish this were a dream, but no, it isn't

Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain
I walk in the rain, in the rain
Am I right or am I wrong
and is it here that I belong

Walk in the rain, in the rain, in the rain
I walk in the rain, in the rain
Why do I feel so alone
For some reason I think of home

Taurus 66
July 7, 2006, 09:51 PM
I hope your friend isn't sticking you with a nine! :D

sm
July 7, 2006, 10:18 PM
Last Scene:

"Dreams" - Fleetwood Mac

BluesBear
July 7, 2006, 10:33 PM
Ehhhh we lose more leading ladies that way.




Oh Ratspit.
He lost the girl again.


Will our Hero ever find lasting true love?

Will he find his way back home?

Will he ever find another plastic Godzilla?



Well YOU can find out more in our next episode...


He Left Her Parts In Some Dark Duckout


or


Kind Of A Drag

ilcylic
July 7, 2006, 11:46 PM
Johnny Cash (or Glenn Danzig, take your pick) - "Thirteen":


Got a long line of heartache
I carry it well
The list of lives
I've broken reach from here to hell
Back luck been blowing at my back
I pray you don't look at me, I pray I don't look back


Front 242 - "Headhunter"


FREEZE! SHOOT TO KILL OR DIE
Today he has no means, he's alone and anonymous
But written in his cells he's got the marks of a genius
I'm looking for this man to sell him to another man
To sell him to another man at ten times his price at least
I'm looking for this man who knows the rules of the game
Who's able to forget them to realize my aim
I'm looking for this man to make us rich and famous

One - You lock the target
Two - You bait the line
Three- You slowly spread the net
And four - You catch the man

Nightcrawler
July 8, 2006, 09:29 AM
"Oh my God..." was all that Jeff could say. I looked down at the can of Dr. Pepper in my hand, fighting back tears. I hadn't told that story to very many people since it'd happened, and it hadn't gotten any easier.

"It was my fault, you know," I said. "She trusted me. I told her to go. I told her I had her covered. She trusted me and it got her killed."

"Dude...look, man, its..." I cut him off.

"So much blood on my hands, Jeff. So much death. Never bothered me much. Oh, I got the shakes and some nightmares, but for the most part? Like playing a damned video game. I'd buried friends before, but nothing so close to home. It gave me a lot to think about. I wondered if God was punishing me, if that had been my comeuppance for leading the life that I'd led. I'm sure it sounds silly now, but when you're in shock and grief, weird thoughts go through your head."

"What did you do?"

"I woke up in a safehouse somewhere in Doha. I was in a dark room, stripped of my combat gear, and laying on a bed. Sarah's necklace was on the table next to the bed, along with my glasses. Somebody'd patched me up, too. I'd gotten blown up pretty good. Nothing serious, though."

"What about Dead Six? What did you guys do?"

"It was pretty bad, Jeff. From our compound, only a handful had made it to the safehouse. Myself, Tailor, Frank the Armorer, and a couple of guys I didn't know. We had to get out of the country, but obviously, we weren't gonna go to the airport and hop on a Qatar Airways flight."

"What about the rest of the Dead Six compounds?"

"I don't know what happened to them or how many got out. Hell, I don't even know who dragged me to safety. Tailor thought I'd been killed, and no one saw who it was. Poor bastard probably got himself killed for his trouble."

"Sorry, man."

"It's...alright. I had to tell the story. It just...it still hurts. It was worse then, Jeff. I was...broken. I'd completely lost my will to live." Jeff just looked at me. I suppose that had I been in his position I'd be at a loss for words too.

"So...why did the Qataris attack? How did they find you guys?"

"It was Gordon. Gordon Willis. He was so pissed off that in addition to disavowing all of us, he told the Qataris where we were in exchange for ending the diplomatic crisis with the US. He'd brought us over here, set us up, and left us to die, just to cover his own ass. I wonder if I hadn't pulled my gun on him if he'd have done that. I wonder if that was all my fault, too."

"No man. It was his fault. He..."

"I know, I know. He was likely planning it from the start. His department looked good, Project Heartbreaker accomplished most of its objectives, and he had Montalban's laptop with all of his account numbers on it. With Montalban dead under such mysterious circumstances, his friends and associates wouldn't be able to track Gordon down. A couple of blind transactions and boom! Tens of millions of dollars stolen without a trace."

"But how did you guys get out of the country?"

"I'm not going to bore you with the details. It was pretty boring, actually. We mostly laid low in the safehouse. I didn't leave that house for more than a month, and hardly left the room they had me in while I was there. I..." I sighed. "I seriously considered killing myself. But...eventually, things cooled off. The Qataris declared victory over the 'insurgents', and with a few good bribes Frank, Tailor, and myself were able to get on a freighter to Dubai."

"Dubai?"

"United Arab Emirates. The Las Vegas of the Middle East. Anyway, once there, we used our alternative IDs, forged documents, you know, the usual tricks, to get out. We all went our separate ways, knowing full well that our lives were probably still in danger."

"Why do you say that?"

"Because we knew. We knew their big dirty secret. We were there. We saw. We knew names. Gordon's name, specifically. But mainly because I have this." I took a flash drive out of my pocket and laid it on the table.

"Is that..."

"Yes. It's the flash drive that Big Boss gave me."

"What's on it?"

"I don't know for sure. Tailor was a pretty good hacker in his own right, but he could only scratch the surface of this thing. I think it's all of the information on Project Heartbreaker."

"Did you just come from Dubai now?"

"No...I stayed there for only about two weeks, then went to Thailand to hide. Like I said, Jeff, I was going through a bad time, and needed the change of scenery as badly as any man ever needed one. Before you ask, no, I didn't indulge in the nightlife there. Not in the state I was in. I mostly kept to myself, stayed in my flat, and...well, you know. Misery."

"I don't know what to say, bro."

"It's okay. The...the void never goes away. But you learn to deal with it, and I found new purposes to keep me focused."

"Purposes?" Jeff asked.

"Well," I said, looking back down at the table. "I'm going to track down Sarah's mother. Her mother is her only living relative. I've got to tell her what happened to her daughter. Sarah...she deserves better than to have died anonymously. She deserves better.

"Then, I'm going to find a way to decrypt this flash drive, and I'm going expose Project Heartbreaker. I...we...we went over there because they told us to. We made a difference, too. We really hurt the bastards, Jeff. And they reward us with...that. No. It's just not right. Someone's got to be held responsible."

"What are you going to do then?"

"I'm going to find Gordon," I said, my eyes growing narrow.

"Jesus...dude, you..." I just looked at him. There was an awkard pause for a moment, then he continued.

"Just what the hell is a 'Magic Corn Booth' anyway?" He asked.

"What? Oh. Well..."


TO BE CONTINUED...

sm
July 8, 2006, 10:16 AM
Soundtrack:

"What's Left Of Me" - Waylon Jennings

I've been cheated, mistreated, broken man, defeated
No one wanted or needed any part of me
I've been bothered and shattered till my heart's torn and tattered
Baby, are you sure you want what's left of me?
I've been busted, disgusted, hurt by those I trusted
There's a big old hurt inside where my heart should be
I've been lied on and cried on, cheated on and spited on
Even dogs think that I'm a tree
Baby, are you sure you want what's left of me?
I've been rocked on and socked on, this heart of mine's been tread on
I been cryin' so long my eyes can hardly see
I've been bad lucked, half crocked till my mind is shell shocked
Baby, are you sure you want what's left of me?
I've been busted, disgusted, hurt by those I trusted
There's a big old hurt inside where my heart should be
I've been lied on and cried on, cheated on and spited on
Even dogs think that I'm a tree
Baby, are you sure you want what's left of me?...

10 Ring Tao
July 8, 2006, 01:08 PM
Not cool...

the 22 junkie
July 8, 2006, 03:49 PM
Might I suggest Wolfmother's "Dimension" as part of the soundtrack?

BluesBear
July 8, 2006, 05:26 PM
Our story is building to a climax the likes of Mooselvania has never witnessed.

What will happen to the slimey Gordon?
Who cares, the only worse line in the Vegas books is the odds of Pamela Anderson winning an Academy Award with her clothes on.
Although she might be nominated for the Moby Piece Prize.



You won't want to miss our next explosion filled episode;


The Hills Have Eyes
----------------with nightvison


or



Gordon, Gordon, Gone!

yy
July 9, 2006, 12:14 AM
wow, that was a good break after the last action sequence. keep the rollercoaster going. wow. I'm in the presence of great writers.

mongo
July 9, 2006, 12:29 AM
Wow! Great stuff... will continue to look for more.

Nightcrawler
July 9, 2006, 12:49 AM
Well, that one part is going to be kind of hard to top, I think. At least, writing on the fly like this.

What, you guys weren't expecting a happy ending were you? :evil:

Dionysusigma
July 9, 2006, 01:02 AM
Well... but... but... *pfft*

:mad: *pouts*

Still woulda been nice if she hadn't... well, died.

Ah well. The fact that you're getting a reaction is always a good sign. :)

Nightcrawler
July 9, 2006, 01:05 AM
Still woulda been nice if she hadn't... well, died.

Tell me about it.

But...when I came up for the idea for this story, one of the important points is that something horrible happened to NC while he was over there, thusly being the catalyst for the change that a character must go through in order to complete the story.

Besides, I've always wanted to try to write something that was emotionally gripping, or at least, moreso than my usual works.

Honestly, I expected more of a reaction from the tragic dramatic climax. Hardly but a couple replies, only. Maybe I'm slipping... :uhoh:

It's important to remember that though this story is told in the first person, "Nightcrawler" is not me. He bears more than a passing resemblance to me, I expect, except:

-He's in better shape
-He's a better shooter
-He has deep-rooted emotional problems (now, anyway)
-He's even more inept with women than I am, because I think an action hero that can't talk to girls hilarious.

Thusly, having established my alter-ego as a character unto himself, I'm free to kick him around as much as need be. Whatever it takes, so long as the story gets told.

You do get attached to your characters. I actually felt bad writing that, and seriously considered going a different route with it.

just one question
July 9, 2006, 01:25 AM
You are not slipping; it's still a great story.



I am interested to see how the stories will link up though....one of them has to die. I don’t see em' (the "actors") getting together and saying "lets be friends".


And with slashing and such....I wonder is NC going to have any scars, or will he look like nothing happened the next day like in the movies? (Odd question, I know but I am curious) I wanted to know because it said he got slashed in the face....won't it be easier to identify him now if it scars?

Is corriea's part over? His guy did get the book.

2TransAms
July 9, 2006, 02:11 AM
One song comes to mind after reading the last part: Johnny Cash's cover of "Hurt".

Other songs that I thought fit (but you all might not know all of these):

Pennywise - The World (Smoking Gun)
Black Label Society - Fire It Up
Rise Against - Blood To Bleed
P.O.D. - Boom


I just read the whole thing. This is a great story. Honestly I think it would make a great comic book/graphic novel. It reminds me of the series "Losers". Quirky black-ops who got screwed by the gummint and screwed 'em right back.

just one question
July 9, 2006, 02:18 AM
I think it'd make a great book, no comics and such just a book.:)

Chupacabra
July 9, 2006, 02:46 AM
Great stuff NC and Correia! Keep 'em coming.

:cool:

Nightcrawler
July 9, 2006, 02:58 AM
NC isn't so durable as other heroes. If you recall at the beginning of the story, he mentioned that he'd just gotten off of crutches? That's becuase at the end of the previous story, he'd gotten shot through the leg.

Lupinus
July 9, 2006, 02:59 AM
I just read 9 pages of thread in ONE SINGLE SITTING

I want more, more dang it more! :evil:

Correia
July 9, 2006, 03:29 AM
It began to rain, giant, stinging drops, falling like some sort of biblical vengeance.

I was pulling myself around the back corner of the villa as a Qatari armored car smashed through the front gate. Debris flew as the APC’s machine guns raked across the compound. Soldiers in DCUs scurried through the now open gate, firing wildly at anything that moved.

Really. Not. Cool.

Taking cover behind the wall, I watched the battle between Dead Six and the army unfold. The American’s were putting up a fight, but there seemed to be an unending stream of Qatari fighters. Bullets were flying in every direction, some leaving visible trails, the rain was so thick. I ducked deeper into the shadows as the kid, Nightcrawler was his name, ran past me, still strapping into his armor. He left a long trail of blood droplets behind him, but didn’t seem to notice. I waited until he was gone.

I shoved my ear piece back in. “—are you? Lorenzo? Can you read?” Carl’s voice was desperate.

“Got you. I’m alive,” I answered. I was in terrible pain, so I was sure of that fact. That .44 had broken at least one of my ribs, and one lung felt like it was full of burning hydrogen instead of air.

“There’s hundreds of troops converging on the compound. You’ve got to get out. Can you move?”

“Exits blocked.” Just as I said that the armored car exploded, throwing fragments fifty feet into the air. “Damn! Really blocked. I’ll think of something.”

“Lorenzo, be careful.” It was Jill. She sounded terrified.

“Get off the line. Ain’t got time for sentiment.” Off to my right, more grenades exploded around the office building, shredding some of the Dead Six personnel. Some of the injured men raised their hands to surrender and the Qataris shot them dead. “Reaper, can you keep LB in the air in this weather?”

“Yeah, chief. It’s all weather capable.”

“I need you to be my eyes. I’m at the north west corner of Building Three.”

“Lots of heat blooms from the explosions... Wait... Got you.”

“I’m going to take cover back inside the villa. Let me know when I’ve got company.” Both sides of this battle would kill me, so it was time to do what I do best in situations like this. Hide. Off to one side, Nightcrawler nailed a running soldier, at least thirty yards out, with his .44. Good shot.

I ducked back into the villa, dodged into a doorway as some Dead Six men ran past, guns held high, faces grim. Once they were gone, I sprinted down the hall and ducked back into the kid’s room. At least it was familiar, and I didn’t really want to participate in the war unfolding outside.

“Reaper, status?”

“Chaos. Dead Six is holed up on the north, Qataris are doing something by the gate. Breach. They’re gonna breach.” A horrendous explosion rocked the compound. “You better think of something fast, boss, because they’re coming in force now.”

Plan. I needed a plan. The rain drumming the roof was louder than the gunfire. My eye landed on the bug out bag filled with money. I had an idea.

“Squad of soldiers is heading for your building. Six of them.”

Carl’s voice now, he had a laptop in the van. He could watch the video too. “Building Three is a good position for them to take. Gives them good cover against Dead Six. They will use the windows on the north facing rooms.”

I grabbed the bag of money. Spotted my knife, folded it and shoved in my pocket, and then I was back in the hallway. The soldiers would hit the rooms in the obvious order, and then they would take up positions... there. No time to screw around with lock picks, I kicked the door in, raised my .45 and swept through.

The room was empty. Same layout as Nightcrawler’s room, bed in the middle, basic furniture, bathroom off to the side. I dumped the bag of money on the bed and spread it around. Nice and obvious. Thunder like Thor’s hammer rocked across the compound.

“Soldiers are in the building.”

“Roger that.” The money looked as tempting as possible. “I’m going to try a Leon.”

“Chief, you're nuts,” Reaper said admiringly.

There was a crash as another villa door was kicked in, followed by automatic weapons fire and a scream. I entered the small bathroom, holstered my STI, and stood on the toilet. I placed my hands on the opposite wall, and slowly levered myself into position, ‘walking’ with my hands until I was above the door frame. Hands pushing out and boots pushing back against the opposite wall, holding myself there by muscle tension alone, I was now out of view, and hopefully wouldn’t be noticed.

I knew how third world armies cleared rooms, and you did not want to be at ground level.

Drops of blood fell from my lacerated face and hit the floor. My arms began to vibrate from the strain of holding myself there. More gunfire ripped through the villa. They were spraying down each room as they kicked in the doors.

There were shouts in the hall, someone shouting orders, and then they were here. The soldiers fired, bullets shredding through furniture and walls. Dust flew below me as projectiles shot through the bathroom walls. I held my breath as a rifle barrel appeared through the doorway, and blasted the bathtub into porcelain bits. The muzzle blast pounded me, and I slipped, biting my lip, and praying for gravity to fail. I held on. The rifle disappeared.

Arabic. “Look at all this money!”

“Praise be! It is a fortune, Mohammed.”

“What’s all this? You two, keep moving.”

“But, Sir!”

“Move, dog. That is an order. And close the door.”

The stomping of boots. Wait for it. Gunfire in the next room. Give him a second. Suppressed STI in my blood soaked hand, one handed on the wall now, slipping.

Go.

I dropped, landed feet first in a crouch, stupid vest billowing out from me like I was Batman. One soldier, an officer in desert camo. He looked up, both hands filled with rubber-banded stacks of currency, surprise registering on his face before my front sight covered it. The cracks of rifles in the next room. THUD.

He was down, an eyeball bulging from the caved in side of his skull. I holstered the gun as I moved. The gunfire continued, and more explosions ripped through the compound. The soldier had a captain’s insignia on his DCUs. I pulled the codebook out of my vest, stuffed it inside my body armor, and tossed the vest aside. I took his jacket, and put it on. He was much shorter than me, and my wrists dangled naked from the sleeves. More stomping, outside the door now. This building was clear, and I didn’t have much time. I tossed my Molon Labe hat, and replaced it with his blue beret.

One problem. He didn’t look anything like me at all. ****. It was dark, but I couldn’t bank on that. I needed a distraction.

“Sir?” Someone shouted through the door. “The colonel says we need to fire from these windows at the Americans. Sir?”

I saw the dangling eyeball and had an idea.

########

Falling into the hallway, I pressed the blood soaked pillowcase against my face.

“Aaaiiiii!” I screamed, my voice unnaturally high pitched, as I had no idea what this officer talked like. “Booby trap!”

“Sir!” One of the soldiers shouted. “Are you all right?”

“My eye! My eye!” I held out my hand with the eyeball in it. “Aaaaiiii!”

“Merciful Allah!” the soldier screamed. “Get him out of here! Medic!”

Strong hands grabbed me by the arm and pulled me along, I kept my head down, and weaved, crying and sobbing. Then we were outside, the rain pelting us mercilessly. The black night was lit by hellish oil fires, and smoke obscured everything. Good for me, as I was only partially in the enemy’s uniform. We were heading for the breach in the wall.

I looked back over my shoulder as I was pushed past the burning APC and into the rift. Some Dead Six were leapfrogging their way towards the gate, firing at this position, their only hope for escape. Desperate and stupid, they were cut down one by one.

There was the girl from the Johnny Rockets, with her movie star good looks. I cringed as the bullets ripped her. She fell, obviously dead.

The soldiers passed me off to other waiting hands outside the wall. There was the kid. Kneeling by his girlfriend, shell shocked, looking for something that wasn’t there, oblivious to the inevitability of his death and the carnage around him. The look on his face sliced a gouge through my hardened heart. A grenade exploded between us, temporarily hiding him from my view.

The dust cloud drifted aside. He was on his back.

“Captain, where is your injury?” a medic shouted, he was steering me towards a waiting truck.

Nightcrawler raised one blood soaked hand plaintively into the rain. It was the arm that I had slashed.

Mercy.

Criminals aren’t supposed to have any.

**** it. I had always struggled with the concept.

I pushed the medic away and started toward the fallen man. I sprinted through the rain, bullets screaming past in both directions, water geysering up as the newly formed puddles were struck. I slid beside him, grabbed the drag handle on the back of his webgear and jerked. Agony tore through my injured torso as ribs grated together. I pulled him through the mud, back towards the gate.

“Captain!” the medic shouted. “What are you doing?”

“We need this one alive. Get him in the truck.” I ordered.

######

The American kid was unconscious on the seat beside me. The medic had done a competent job stopping the bleeding from his head and arm before we had departed for the hospital. I had waited until we were out of sight of the compound before I had clubbed the driver and tossed him onto the road. I was kind of making this up as I went along.

Reaper’s voice was intense in my ear. “Some Dead Six blew the north wall of the compound and carjacked a Toyota.”

They had to be going to a safe house. “Reaper, track that Toyota,” I said.

“They’re heading south on Al-Balad,” he continued to give me directions as I drove like a madman, keeping the hammer down and blowing through roundabouts like they weren’t there. Headlights flashed behind me. Carl and Jill had caught up.

Nightcrawler groaned. He didn’t look good, pale and shaking from blood loss, and I wondered if my act of kindness/stupidity would have been for nothing. Reaper informed me as the Dead Six stolen car pulled into the back of a slaughterhouse.

I arrived a moment later, the garage door was still closing, light leaking out from beneath. I laid on the horn, and after a moment the door stopped, and then reversed its motion. “Sorry about the arm, buddy. Good luck.” Leaving the kid behind, I bailed out of the cab, and hobbled towards the headlights of Carl’s van. Armed Americans came out of the slaughterhouse and approached the still-running army truck.

I slid into the passenger seat of the van and it was moving before the door closed.

The rain wouldn’t wash Doha clean tonight.

###############

To be continued...

BluesBear
July 9, 2006, 03:58 AM
And that's how our intrepid hero escaped.

Will Lorenzo and Nightcrawler ever meet again?

If so will Jill have a younger sister?



Find out in the next heart wrenching episode;



(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction




or




Rainy Days and Gunfights
(Always Get Me Down)

fiVe
July 9, 2006, 04:05 AM
Most excellent. I knew Lorenzo had a good streak.

Keep it comin'!

CajunBass
July 9, 2006, 09:49 AM
Outstanding.

qlajlu
July 9, 2006, 02:15 PM
When I read NC saying he didn't know who had pulled him to safety, I just knew in my bones that it had to have been Lorenzo. Hallelujah!

yy
July 9, 2006, 04:42 PM
absolutely riveting

10 Ring Tao
July 9, 2006, 06:32 PM
Aww, they're playing nice now.

sm
July 9, 2006, 08:13 PM
Umm, gonna have to to a little blending on that last scene. Need to come up with up with songs to rise, peak to intensity and fall back to a plateau...not knowing where we go next.



"For What It's Worth" - Buffalo Springfield

There's somethin' happenin' here.
What it is ain't exactly clear.
There's a man with a gun over there
A-tellin' me I've got to beware.
...
What a field day for the heat.
A thousand people in the street
...
Paranoia strikes deep.
Into your life it will creep.
It starts when you're always afraid.
Step out of line, the men come and take you away.

Then - These words are spoken as we see a Dead 6 member shot all to hell, lifeless eyes peering into the heavens...his soul looking down on his old bloody body, this after the inital shots are fired, a small silence...

"World Of Swirl" - ZZTop

I hit the street running, had an angle in mind
Looking for a shelter, doing double overtime
I get a little crazy, but I won't be denied
Gotta find the time that takes the inside outside
Tumbling, in a world of swirl
Rumbling, in a world of swirl
In a world of swirl
Everything's hazy, everything's a blur
Isn't it amazing? checking outta where we were
It's so unpredictable, at the end of my rope
Gotta skate the ledge outta this kaleidoscope

After the small silence, All hell breaks loose...Here I want a loud, hard riveting to your seat Instrumental Only of...

"La Grange" -ZZTop

:evil: Have Mercy !




As Lorenzo pulls away from dropping off NC, and off into..toward... wherever...

"Sneaky Snake" - Tom T. Hall

Boys and girls take warning, if you go near the lake
Keep your eyes wide open, and look for sneaky snake
Now maybe you won’t see him, maybe you won’t hear
But he’ll sneak up behind you, and drink all your root beer.

And then sneaky snake goes dancin’, wigglin’ and a-hissin’
Sneaky snake goes dancin’, gigglin’ and a-kissin’
I don’t like ole sneaky snake, he laughs too much you see
When he goes wigglin’ through the grass, it tickles his underneath.

Well, sneaky snake drinks root beer, and he just makes me sick
When he is not dancin’, he looks just like a stick
Now, he doesn’t have any arms or legs, you cannot see his ears
And while we are not lookin’, he’s stealin’ all of our beer.

And then sneaky snake goes dancin’, wigglin’ and a-hissin’
Sneaky snake goes dancin’, gigglin’ and a-kissin’
I don’t like old sneaky snake; he laughs too much you see
When he goes wigglin’ through the grass, it tickles his underneath...

AKAMac
July 9, 2006, 08:36 PM
"Honestly, I expected more of a reaction from the tragic dramatic climax. Hardly but a couple replies, only. Maybe I'm slipping... "


"If a man looks for help where none is required then there is no help for such a man" TAO

The story line is YOURS, we are just the riot that is incited.....as such we are the riot viewed..... no reaction from us necessary.

Is she really dead? Does NC have a new mission? Slipped you have not... I rest my case..... Mac

the naked prophet
July 9, 2006, 10:12 PM
I think the majority silence speaks well for the emotional impact of your story. Like when a well-loved character in a serious TV series just dies. Or like in the theater watching Serenity when Wash got speared near the end. Everybody was silent after the initial gasp. You knew someone would die, but it was so unexpected and heavy.

Lupinus
July 9, 2006, 10:14 PM
killing the alienware was bad enough, ya didnt have to ff her too to get the emotional impact :neener:

Hoppy590
July 10, 2006, 12:13 AM
:eek: well im still waiting to know it the Korth made it out or not!

BluesBear
July 10, 2006, 12:24 AM
The depth of the story sometimes makes it dfifficult for me to invent my smartass Rocky & Bullwinkle style teasers.

With some of the chapters I just had to sit a while and let it all soak in.
And sometimes all I can do is sit back and say, Wow!
There is a lot of emotion to this story from both writers.

Both authors have a writing style that imerses the reader into the story.
Everything that needs to be explained and described is.
But there's not an abundance of unneeded frills.
It reads like a 21st century western novel.


Hell's Bells™ it's almost worth paying for. :D

Technosavant
July 10, 2006, 11:10 AM
I think we need to find a place for Modest Mouse's song "Bury Me With It."

we were shootin at a mound of dirt
well nothing was broken nothing was hurt
but i probably really should have been at work
but when my free time's gone would you promise me this that you'll

please bury me with it
please bury me with it

well as sure as planets come i know that they end
and if im here when that happens just promise me this my friend

please bury me with it
please bury me with it

i just dont need none of that mad max bull****

well the suit got tight and it split at the seams
but i kept it out of habit and kept it real clean
but if its getting faded, if it's runnin' outta thread
could you do this for me my friend?

please bury me with it
please bury me with it

well we moved to the left and we moved to the right
and sure as hell stayed out almost every single night
but if the partys over if the fun has to end
could you do this for me my friend and please just

please bury me with it
please bury me with it

good news for people who.. love bad news

we've lost the plot and we just can't choose
we are hummingbirds who are just not willing to move
and thats good news for people who love bad news
we are hummingbirds who lost the plot
and we will not move
we have good news for anyone
who loves bad news

we were aiming for the moon we were shooting at the stars
but the kids were just shooting at the buses and the cars
dont drink the water dont you breathe the air
and if its gotten to that point then I have to declare

please bury me with it
please bury me with it

well fads they come and fads they go
and god i love that rock and roll
well the point was fast but it was too blunt to miss
life handed us a paycheck, we said "We worked harder than this!"


please bury me with it
please bury me with it

oh s*** now!

we are hummingbirds who are just not willing to move
and theres good news for people who love bad news

we are hummingbirds who lost the plot
and we will not move
we have great news for anyone who loves bad news

Yeah, none of it is capitalized, but I didn't type it.

Great story. Shame about the girl.

And it's amazing just how many stories (fiction and non-fiction) about which we can say "Great story, shame about the girl."

ryan.m
July 10, 2006, 12:48 PM
Wow, thanks. Keep it up.
I had to register here just to comment.

Brian Williams
July 10, 2006, 01:44 PM
Keep going Guys it is great and Welcome to our new member - ryan.m

Kodiak AK
July 10, 2006, 02:55 PM
So I read all ten pages in one sitting and I gotta say ....

Both authors are doing well , and the storys are entertaining , BUT to be honest what is pushing this thread over to drop dead sexy is BluesBear posting after every chapter .

Stickjockey
July 10, 2006, 02:56 PM
BTW, Bluesbear, how's the back?

BluesBear
July 10, 2006, 03:06 PM
Welcome ABoard™ Ryan M !

Correia
July 10, 2006, 03:14 PM
Glad you guys like this stuff. :) For something just thrown together and cranked out, I think it is coming along pretty well.

I'll get more up tonight or tomorrow. NC and I now diverge. He's got some revenge to do, and I've got a big heist to plan.

meef
July 10, 2006, 03:25 PM
“Chief, your nuts,” Reaper said admiringly. Soooo.......:scrutiny:

He really, really had a pair.....?

Nice of Reaper to notice, eh?

:D :D

Correia
July 10, 2006, 03:31 PM
Yeah, dude clanks when he walks. :)

See what I mean about not being able to go back and reread before you post?

CNYCacher
July 10, 2006, 03:44 PM
Or like in the theater watching Serenity when Wash got speared near the end.

Aww, CRAP!
With all the talk about it recently, I was going to go try to rent that this weekend.

The Nightcrawler movie, however, will be one of the few I see in the theaters on opening day!

meef
July 10, 2006, 04:00 PM
Yeah, dude clanks when he walks.

See what I mean about not being able to go back and reread before you post?I understand perfectly. I'm just an uncontrollable proof reader, nit-picker, smart-a**. Can't help it.

Love the story, though.

:)

Correia
July 10, 2006, 04:22 PM
Understandable. Pax was my main proofer for my book, and most of the grammatical rules I know, I got from her. :) I learned more from having pax pick me apart than I ever did in any English class.

I'm all in favor of people proofing, and I can't help but do it myself when I read other people's stuff now.

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