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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:25 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:22 pm 
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Trey drove north, however he turned east before reaching the prison. On the off chance that there was an ambush waiting on the regular routes, he chose a less popular alternate way. It occurred to him that perhaps someone was only checking them out before making friendly contact. That's what the ex-soldier would do, but it was unlikely. Another possibility, was that the cattle farm had already been taken.

Trey didn't stop at the prison for help. By the time he made explanations and answered questions it would be dark before anything happened. The Swede would call for help anyway without being told to, once the shooting started. The bank robber slowed to a crawl the last miles, and a half hour had passed before he left the truck on foot.

Several bandoleers holding stripper clips, from the ammo can in the truck, had been added to the normal load. The first half of the march was used to cover ground , although quietly as possible. The open fields were avoided, his path stuck the wood lines and hollows. The fly in the ointment was when he came to the bramble filled valley, that lay between the two farms, but north of the road.

Trey took a knee scanning the slopes in both directions. First with the naked eye, then slower with the binoculars. Very few people can sit motionless for long periods. As boredom takes its toll, a head will turn, a hand will scratch an itch, a body will shift for a little more comfort. Satisfied that the valley held no danger, the bank robber began looking for the easiest way to cross.

A thirty inch oak had fallen, taking down a few smaller trees. That would be the easiest part of the crossing. He mapped out a zigzag path, where the briars were sparsest, to and from the tree. Once the ex-soldier began moving, the key was to move the thorny canes out of the way. Letting the thorns lock onto those of another cane. The worse patches were snipped through, using a pair of wire cutters.

The tree trunks were thorn free, but the footing was slippery. Sections of bark were loose and damp, rotting wood lay underneath. The path through the brambles was quicker on the far slope, where he paused to check his surroundings several times. A final check of the field ahead was made from the shade of some small oaks. Trey continued on, stopping behind cover or in the shadows.

At last, from an overgrown fence line, he could see the knoll. Trey wormed his way through the band of brush until he had a clear view. Nothing moved on the high point, with its own collection of brush and small trees at the top. Worried strictly about the dead, and with enough tasks to fill the day, it never occurred to the group to clear off that area.

Joker jogged around to the back of the large home, keeping an eye on the windows for movement. He was still surprised that they hadn't greeted in some manner after landing. A garage door, accessed by the sloping driveway, was set in the basement wall. A quick look through the window showed and empty space. He turned toward the barn, trotting off, followed by a panting Rose.

The wood barn was in excellent shape, although it clearly predated the house. Built into a hillside, the bottom level was exposed on the side facing the residence. Three garage doors had been inserted into the old stone wall. Rose watched the thief, in his element, go to work on the pedestrian door lock. The pair were grateful to be out of the sun.

It was actually cool inside the bottom of the structure, where they stood with rifles at the ready. Joker called out after a few minutes, there was no response and they waited a while longer. Overhead, the bottom of the main wood floor, had been covered with plywood. Along with the whitewashed walls and light from the windows, a fair amount of light was available.

A long, work bench, covered with car parts and boxes lay along the far wall. A peg board, as long as the bench, stored tools in an orderly manner. The shelf under the bench also stored boxes and bags. A drill press and sander took their place at the end of the bench. The parking spot in front of the visitors was empty. The other two places were occupied vehicles covered with tarps.

The thief pulled the dusty covers to the floor, trying not to fill the air with dust particles. The two works in progress were both on jack stands. The Cadillac El Dorado from the 70's, was missing its motor, hood and doors. The old Mustang Fastback had been stripped down to the frame. The older man said a few choice words, thinking about the long walk ahead of them.

Joker's sense of urgency grew as the minutes continued to tick away. Rose would be unable to keep up with him at any speed more than a walk. It was questionable if she could walk the distance they had to cover without breaks. The small man decided he could go most of the way at a jog, although that meant leaving the young woman to follow as best as she could.

He realized that Rose had asked him a question. "What" he asked, turning in her direction.

"I asked if you can drive a motorcycle?" Rose held up the side of a tarp near the workbench, revealing the old 1975, Honda, CB550. The thief crossed the room in three jumps, to slide the covering off the machine. The Honda sat on its center stand, with blocks under the frame, keeping the nearly new tires off the floor. With the pilot's help, the convict pushed the bike off the stand, after kicking the blocks free..

Turning the key in the ignition brought no joy. Unlocking the gas cap, the small man rocked the motorcycle, not hearing the hoped for splash of liquid. "Find some gas" he ordered. Grumbling, Joker pulled the small cover off the battery compartment, only there was no battery. If that was wasn't enough of a challenge, he noticed the tires needed air badly.

Rose shook each gas can she came across under the workbench, at last finding a half full, five gallon can. The young woman shouted her success, carrying her prize to the Honda. The thief was on his knees, searching the various bags and boxes for the missing battery. Three air compressors turned up during the search, however things began looking up when a hand pump made its appearance.

The quest had made a complete shambles of the already disorderly storage area. Knees popping, the older partner regained his feet looking, around wildly. The shelf over the door they entered through caught his eye. Pulling a grease stained stool over to the door, Joker climbed up for a look. The sought after battery was on the shelf, connected to a outside, solar battery charger, from the wires passing through the wall.

The thief disconnected the alligator clips, then carefully climbed down from the stool, cradling the missing part in his arms. "You can start pumping the tires" the middle aged man suggested to the young lady, relaxing a little at being back on schedule. The battery was a tight fit, but slipped into the compartment on the first try. Connecting the cables took a little longer, having to make the connections by feel.

The fuel trickling into the gas tank smelled fine, and didn't appear to have thickened. Joker left over an inch in the container, sure that there was water in the bottom. A frustrated Rose, a child of the electronic age, hadn't been able to attach the air pump hose. She looked up when she heard the convict say "Fire in the hole", before setting the choke and hitting the start button.

The felon's vision of pulling the spark plugs vanished with the motor's immediate start. Both team members began to cough from the exhaust fumes by the time the choke was pushed back to a run position. Rose opened the one of the overhead doors, letting fresh air in. She remained in the opening, on watch for whatever the noise might attract.

The thief pushed their transport out onto the drive in front of the barn. The young woman felt like a pack mule with both packs slung from her shoulders. The rifle still dangled loosely off a shoulder, requiring one hand to keep it there, leaving the other free to hold onto the driver. Joker tugged on her load, then made adjustments so nothing would get between the riders, however she would still be able to sit.

"Why can't I put the sling over my head? I'd have both hands to hold on with."

The thief held up two pieces of wire, before wiring his rifle to the handlebars. "That's why. "

The pilot was allowed to get comfortable before watching the operator struggle to get a foot over the leather seat. She kept her face neutral during the rant about the one size fits all design of the motorcycle. Joker tilted the machine so all the weight was resting on one foot in order to get the kickstand up. Moving the bike back upright, his heels were off the ground as he balanced both the motorcycle and the rider.

They moved slowly down the drive and past the house. Rose looked longingly at the Cessna sitting on the lawn until it was behind them. The older man slowed approaching the closed gate. He figured the gate would be easy to deal with. With the electricity out, it would depend on the battery backup. Stopping, he couldn't spot a solar panel for the battery. The backup would have lost its charge over the winter. The industry standard decreed the latch should open once no current was present. "Give the gate a pull, see if it opens, please" the criminal softened his order.

The gate swung open when gently pulled. Rose bowed with an elaborate sweep of her arm, inviting her companion to proceed. Joker drove ahead, pausing to hand her a length of wire to hold the gate closed. Like Joker, Rose found it was easier to mount the machine when nobody else was aboard. The pair turned left upon reaching the road, the farm was south and east of where they had landed.

Rose had been busy flying, so it was left to Joker to plot a course from what had been seen while airborne. When in doubt he chose a southern route, although the roads swayed back and forth as though laid out by a drunk man. The pair stopped at a split in the road. "I think we should go east now, I think we're far enough south" the thief said, sounding far from as confident as his partner would have been.

"I don't remember all these turns" Rose replied. "We're still farther north than you think".

Rose saw the driver's shoulders shrug before he steered south. The forest quickly closed in on the road, which narrowed rapidly. The bike slowed as the riders swiveled their heads looking for movement in the trees. Hidden by a slight bend was the sign declaring the road was a dead end. "No shit, Sherlock" Joker growled, looking at the rough turnaround where numerous couches, mattresses, refrigerators and bags of garbage had been dropped off.

The bike bounced over ruts, bottoming out the shocks with the double load. Joker barely dodged multiple potholes of various sizes to go back the way he had come. The thief had kept his speed down since leaving the mansion, trying to keep the noise down. Starting to feel that time was slipping away again, the small man twisted the throttle. Not ready for the acceleration, Rose felt her body move backward, only a death grip on Joker's shirt allowed her to remain on her perch.

The motorcycle slowed at the intersection and moved to the left side of the road in order to make the sharp turn right. Brush blocking the view would have dictated making a stop in normal times, however the felon didn't have that worry. The sweeping turn kept the Honda on the left side of the road. The bike was still leaning to the right when Joker noticed the goon in their path.

The tall man with a cleaver sunk in its shoulder, wearing scraps of greenery from its travels through the forest, had been just inside the trees when the duo had turned off minutes earlier. In the split second available the criminal pulled the bike upright, intending to buzz past the goon on left edge of the road. Unfortunately, Rose clamped both hands onto the man in front of her, the rifle's sling sliding down to the crook of her elbow, letting the sock bounce on the road.

The operator felt his hands leave the handlebars from the strong pull from behind. The cycle veered left, off the road and into the lush succulents between the road and the trees. "This is gonna hurt" Joker thought just before the rear wheel bumped over a tree stump that the front wheel had missed. Both travelers tumbled off the back to land in a heap and the cycle fell over a short distance away.

The furious thief climbed to his feet and bulled his way over the uneven ground covered by the lush greenery to the road. Batting the goon's arms aside, he grabbed the handle of the cleaver. The heavy blade, lodged in the joint, refused to budge. The small man sidestepped to stay out of the creature's grasp, while trying to dislodge the tool. The cleaver came free with a wet pop, resulting in the two figures staggering apart.

The felon regained his balance with two steps back, unlike the goon who fell where their transport had left the road. Moving quickly, Joker buried the butcher's tool into the dead man's head. The head split almost like a watermelon, the blade stopping at the top of the nose. The dead man, who had taken some vacation time from work the week the dead came back to life, shuddered and briefly moved its feet.

Joker stared at the unusual activity, before going to check on Rose. "Are you hurt" he asked the young woman rubbing her backside.

"Just my pride" she replied.

Joker swore seeing the gas leaking from the tank when he inspected their ride. The small man lifted the bike with a method he'd once seen a big dresser lifted with. Turn the wheel facing up, the transmission was already in gear, then squatting with his back to the machine, he lifted with his legs, holding onto the bottom handlebar and frame by the back wheel.

With the smell of gasoline heavy in the air, they started pushing the Honda toward the road. The task grew harder, although when he glanced back the mystery was solved. Rose had quit helping and stood holding the small of her back. "I'm sorry, ok" the young woman responded to the look? With the motorcycle on its kickstand, the thief smiled while rubbing his knee "A lot of help we'll be".

A fuel check showed the loss wasn't critical. The only damage besides the loss of a turn signal, was the twist in the handlebars. The felon slapped on a couple handfuls of dirt on anything showing the wet shine of gasoline. Even with his knee twinge when shifting gears, and reaching further with his left hand, he was happy to be moving again.

The first landmark to be recognized was a small orchard his partner had mentioned hitting in the fall. The pace slowed to a crawl, until Rose begged the small man to stop. Balancing the Honda he asked over his shoulder "What's wrong"?

"My back's killing me".

After a moment's thought, the thief told her "You'll have to hang tough until I find a place to stash you". He heard her moan when he let of the clutch lever, giving the machine some gas. If he remembered correctly, there were a couple homes up the road. Rounding a bend he saw the cluster of three houses, two on one side and one on the other. Fields backed the homes, with woods beyond the fallow fields, all on level ground.

The cape cod house seemed like the best bet. The windows and door were higher from the ground than the others. Coasting down the paved drive, Rose leaning heavily against his back, the felon saw no movement. The motorcycle made a tight half circle, facing back out the blacktop. Dismounting made Joker grimace from the pain in his knee. Rose laid forward, her head on the once shiny paint of the gas tank with a moan.

Limping, Joker circled the building, noticing all the doors and windows were closed. He waited a decent interval after knocking on the front door, before going to work with his lock pick. The air inside was clear of bad smells, although hot and musty. Windows in the well maintained home slid up easily and quietly in the front living room. Taking extra care, the criminal began clearing the rooms on his own.

The downstairs was tastefully decorated and well lit with the sun coming in the windows. What had once been a cheerful kitchen, despite the border of grapevines and leaves, looked in perfect order except for the dust and dead houseplants. The solid back door was secured with a deadbolt as well as the handle lock.

The knee felt worse by the time the first floor was clear. It felt good to get back to the front where the open windows and door had cooled things off a little. The thief stuck his head out the door to check on Rose, who was still draped over the idling Honda. Reluctantly, he looked up the stairs, keeping the weight off his leg with the handrail when he began to climb.

All but one of the bedrooms, off the short hall at the top of the stairs, were completely empty. The last was evidently a guest room from the furnishings. Moving about without keeping the rifle in the ready position made descending the stairs much easier. Rose slid off the bike, however took several minutes to stand upright. Half her weight was transferred to the small man during the walk up the sidewalk. Joker imagined any observer watching him get the girl inside would think them a pair of drunks coming home from a wild party.

Tears ran down Rose's face during the climb up five steps to the porch. Inside, the thief steered her toward the couch. "The floor" the young pilot moaned in pain. He eased her down on the dusty area rug after sliding the equally dusty, oak, coffee table out of the way. At her request, he put a couch cushion under her lower legs, so her back was flat on the floor. The small man darted outside to retrieve her gear and placed it within reach if needed.

With a pitcher of water and some canned food next to her full canteen, he had provided as much as he could. Joker's final kindness was to have his patient swallow some prescription pain killers of questionable potency. She weakly waved a hand when he said "We'll be back for you as soon as we can". Making sure the door was locked, the felon hobbled down the stairs and out to the bike.

Before riding away, Joker took the time to wrap his knee with an elastic bandage to stabilize it, which helped a little. Getting the kickstand up and shifting into first gear was a struggle and despite a wobbly start, he was on his way again. Riding slowly was easier without the extra weight on the back to balance. Originally figuring to walk across the country the last couple miles, the thief knew he'd have to stick with the Honda until he was much closer to the farm.

At the last intersection before reaching the farm, he knew he'd have to go the rest of the way on foot. Failing to find a good spot to stash the bike, Joker drove it off the road where it didn't have to cross a ditch. The Honda made it ten yards before the tires began slipping, so the operator shut it down rather than rev the engine. Without time to go find a rock for it to rest on, the thief knew the kick stand would sink in the black soil, dumping his ride on its side.

Limping his way back to the road, he bent the tops of three tall, weeds to mark the spot, before starting up the road. The small man anxiously looked at the setting sun, expecting to hear gunfire at any time. Not that he was afraid of the dark, even with zombies, but it made getting into position more difficult. Not being sure where Trey would be, Joker had decided to find a spot where he could cover the house with a view of the back of the barn at the same time .

A short distance up the road he entered a field across the road from where he hid the Honda. Walking through the overgrown field was hard. The vegetation pulled on his bad leg and he was happy to reach the trees. His progress was slowed by the need for stealth and the fact the going was now all uphill.

The light faded quicker under the trees than it did out in the fields, leaving the felon to feel his path forward. Twice Joker was forced to stop, leaning against a tree trunk to take his weight off the knee and have a sip of water. The more he thought, the more certain he was that the attackers would cross the fence out of sight and charge the house from the cover of the corn.

After what seemed like an eternity, the ground flattened when he reached the top. A dozen more steps gave the thief a view of the fence. He silently cursed since all he saw was corn. Turning to his right, the criminal eased his way down the fence line. The dark blob ahead solidified into the barn when it was closer. At last he had eyes on the house, which was completely dark. A small sigh left his lips when he sat on a log and began to wait.

Trey's head nodded from dozing off. From long practice, the bank robber resisted the urge to jerk his head up as he awoke. The heat and the almost hypnotic sound of the insects had put him under. The ex-soldier grinned, remembering watching his father nod off during deer season. The head would go down, down, down, then jerk up as the eyes snapped open. How his men kept their eyes open on an ambush or guard duty after a rough day varied, although the majority involved some degree of discomfort. His own duties helped keep himself awake. Checking his watch, he saw the indiscretion had only been a few minutes.

Movement to his front wiped the grin from his face. Somebody was moving down from the knoll. The figure wiggled backward in the prone position, rising to hands and knees and then further below the peak of the knoll, rose to their feet. Trey was concerned that he hadn't detected the watcher considering the length of time he had been here. The spotter slung a rifle, pack and another bundle, then took a long look around the area.

Sniper 1, as the bank robber designated the intruder, was over confident to have slung his rifle. It almost seemed he carried all his worldly goods with him. Did that mean he didn't trust the other group members, or was he on his own? Sniper 1 walked away at an easy pace, keeping the high ground between himself and the farmhouse area. The direction he traveled was vaguely north, toward the rear of the farm, but angled toward the east.

The ex-soldier watched to his right as the figure disappeared from sight among the bushes and small trees. Aware Sniper1 might be watching his back trail from cover, Trey wiggled backward much as his prey had done. The bank robber moved from one piece of concealment to the next, traveling parallel to the watcher's line of march.

Visibility was only a few yards in places, between the tall grasses and the beginnings of a first growth forest. It would be easy for someone to lose their sense of direction on a cloudy day and especially at night with nothing to use as landmarks. Trey wove around smallish White Pines, Red Pines and what his father called pitch pines. Lone oaks, maples and black cherry trees stood out from the small thickets of crabapples. Belts of edible berry bushes were joined by the gathering of inedible choke cherry shrubs.

Trey had only one further glimpse of Sniper 1, ahead and to his left, the pack and bundle disappearing around a pine tree slightly bigger than a man. Arriving at an old fence line, ahead lay the open ground of an old hay field. If the watcher was checking his back trail, this would be the place. After getting seated, well back from the open ground, the tracker spent fifteen minutes observing the far side with his binoculars.

Erring on the side of caution, Trey boxed the field, making left turns out of sight of the opening. He saw few signs of any life in the area transitioning from field to woodland. A bird fluttered away at his approach, grasshoppers sprung into the air when the grass was disturbed and once, a rabbit bounced away.

With no more sighting of Sniper 1, the felon had to make an assumption. So far travel had been in a straight line, so a camp of some sort lay ahead. He proceeded slowly, pausing to listen hard while breathing deeply through his nose to detect wood smoke. Like his cellmate, he began to notice the sun sinking toward the horizon.

The ground started to slope down and the number, as well as size of trees increased. The bank robber guessed this was the valley to the north of the farm. He'd traveled at least two miles and would have to give up the search shortly in order to return to the knoll by dark. Rather than smelling smoke from a cooking fire or hearing voices, it was the closing of a car door that told him the search was over.

Trey ghosted from tree to tree until he could see the source of the sound across the valley. A double handful of people stood around the back of a big, flatbed truck using it as a table for their meal. Some sort of metal shield protected the radiator and engine. The makeshift armor was almost as dented and rusty as the rest of the truck. Three pickups and a car were also gathered around the end of a dirt trail through the trees.

Even though he could hear voices, none of the words were clear. The speakers looked reasonably well dressed and didn't seem in any hurry to clean their plates. The details Trey found interesting were that the vehicles hadn't been turned around and only one rifle was in evidence among the diners. That weapon belonged to Sniper 1. He lowered the binoculars and drifted back in the direction of the farm.

The criminal thought while making the trek back. He didn't have time to hail the house, besides, he didn't know if there was another watcher, although he doubted it. The high ground would have to be denied to the attackers. Anyone posted there would have to go, then he could move up to the fence.
Hopefully the Swede would be alert and Joker would turn up.

The ex-soldier's path was close to his previous passing. The light was fading fast, and the reason he didn't see the deer until one snorted just yards away. Trey automatically shouldered the rifle, pointing it at the white tails fleeing into the dusk. He let out a shaky breath, feeling like his heart was ready to leap out of his chest. The situation would have been funny during hunting season. The felon pushed on, picking up his pace to burn up the adrenaline.

Breaking into the open, the bank robber adjusted his course toward the dark smudge that was the knoll. Reaching his target, he chose a spot on the high ground, with his back to the road and the farm off to his left. Rifle slung, halfway up the side his boots kicked a toehold into the turf. Once the suppressed handgun was out of its holster and nothing to do but wait, he relaxed, listening for his adversaries.

After his break, the thief found a spot with a better view and two trees a few yards apart large enough to provide cover. He hadn't foreseen the bad guys having men outside the wire, although he heard them coming along the fence. He could imagine what Trey would say about their noise discipline. Joker remained motionless after pulling the S&W from its holster. The whispers heard weren't intelligible, however he thought there were three separate voices.

Two men hove into sight paying attention to the area inside the fence. The view the thief admired was exactly what the attackers were also looking for. The interlopers turned and walked directly toward the small man, each taking a stand behind a tree. The third man seemed to have moved to another unknown position. Neither individual was at ease being in the woods at night and fidgeted nervously.

Deciding to get it over with and deal with the third man if he came running, Joker raised his handgun. With the extra length of the suppressor, the weapon almost touched the target to the left. The lighter background to the front of the figure highlighted the body. The "snap' when the semi-auto went off wouldn't sound like gunfire to the uninitiated. The clothing scraping against the rough bark of the tree as its owner sank to the ground was almost as loud as the shot.

"Quit screwing around, Pauli is already pissed at us" the raider to the right whispered angrily. The thief paused, then took two quick steps toward the second raider, firing twice as soon as he could be certain of the target. Joker almost fired a third time, but the raider collapsed limply to the forest floor. Grinning evilly the small man backed to his original spot to wait for Pauli.

Trey recognized the barely audible, suppressed, gunshots for what they were. He felt better now that the odds were beginning to even out between the two sides. A voice from the bottom of the knoll startled him, asking "What was that?".

"A reason for Pauli to put his boot up your friends' asses Greg. Now shut up and keep your eyes open. Don't come up top until the shooting starts" a second voice paused between each word of the final order. The bank robber was amazed at how the attackers were going all out against what, he himself, would consider a soft target. It's just a farmhouse.

Sniper 1 was heard setting into position up top, while his backup wandered aimlessly at the bottom. Greg strayed further toward the side of the rise with each trip. Trey shifted onto his side, resting the handgun on his thigh and waited for Greg's return. The foul up returned smoking a cigarette, keeping it cupped in one hand to contain the glow. When he stopped for another drag, the felon squeezed the trigger.

Sometimes a shooter can just tell if a shot is good. Ignoring his first target, Trey scrambled up the slope at an angle, hoping the sniper would be looking where the shot can from. His view of the top was the raider aiming the rifle's crude open sights on the side of the telescopic sight. He dropped flat with a hand over his eyes a second before the magnum rifle fired.

The flash of the burning powder lit up the night for a spit second. The sniper realized that in his panic, he'd destroyed his night vision. All he could see was an after image of the fireball. Terrified of dying from a bullet he wouldn't see coming, a death he was willing to inflict on unsuspecting people. he turned and ran. His third step was into thin air, rolling down the hillock barely hanging onto his firearm.

Trey rose to his knees, shooting and missing when the ground disappeared from under his target. He charged after his blinded target, sliding feet first down the grassy incline. Reaching the bottom, the ex-soldier fired twice at the fleeing figure, seeing him fall, then rise to become lost in the darkness, chased by more 9mm rounds.

Joker jumped when the rifled boomed from the other side of the farm. The first was joined by another gun firing at the front of the house from across the road. Moving up to the fence where he had a view of a fireball from the barrel of the sporting rifle, the thief shot back. Switching the M-16 to full auto, he dumped a magazine at the shooter. Cursing because he didn't have another mag ready to go, he fumbled in a pouch.

Rifle fire from the front of the farmhouse lit up the yard and the raiders advancing at the run from the cornfield returning the fire. When the magazine locked into the receiver, the thief opened fire on the group from the flank. His second change was much smoother, using brief bursts the ammo last a bit longer too. What had seemed like a ridiculous amount of cartridges to carry, now seemed a pitiful load out.

Trey holstered the short gun and readied his rifle until Joker's bullets began cracking through the air around him. He dived to the ground, low crawling away from the area. The gunfire tapered off seconds after he reached the cover of a small oak tree on a fold of ground a foot higher than the surround area.
Movement in the yard drew single rifle shots from the back of the house.

Radio silence, having outlived its purpose, the bank robber began stating his location and asking for a Sitrep. "I got three" his partner crowed on the radio. The farmhouse reported injuries consisting of splinters from bullets passing through the walls. Everyone agreed to stay in their positions until dawn, except Trey, who announced his plan to return to the raider camp.

"I'm coming too, I'm not babysitting a bunch of stiffs. Meet me at the gate" Joker declared .

The bank robber eased his way through the darkness to the rear of the farm. Expecting to find the body of the sniper, he was disappointed. Without a body count, he had no way of knowing if any of the attackers survived the night's activities. At the gate Trey greeted his partner with the news about the one that got away. "I know I hit him at least once".

"Where were you at" Joker asked?

"At the knoll, downrange from you Tex" the Trey answered with a grin. "I was hugging the ground for dear life".

"Man, I'm really sorry" the thief sounded mortified.

"No worries Pal, you broke the back of that attack. It was the right thing to do. Stuff happens in those kind of situations".

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Last edited by Groucho on Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:10 pm 
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Woohoo! Thank you so much for this update! I was thinking about this story just the other day. But I haven't been on the boards much recently.

Thanks again always love the new installments!

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:45 pm 
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Groucho wrote:
Trey drove north..............


JOY to the world!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:17 pm 
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Any chance of more? I just got caught up and it's great!

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
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I hope he is not doing time.


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Trey briefed his friend on the raider's camp and how they would get there. He stared when Joker cursed after a hobbling a couple steps. The thief said "It's not bad".

"Of course not, it looks like a perfectly normal walk" the bank robber responded sarcastically. "And how did you do that"?

Joker sighed "We wrecked the motorcycle, OK"!

"We? As in you and Rose" Trey asked, receiving a shrug in reply? "And Rose is" he left the question hanging?

"Oh, I stashed her in a house" the thief waved vaguely in a westward direction. "She was hurting too bad to ride, let alone walk".

"It's like two miles to the camp, so why don't you get a truck and meet me there". For once his cell mate didn't argue. The ex-soldier gave the general location of where the farm road should come out on the paved road, based on the estimated distance and direction of the camp. The smaller man limped away, leaning heavily on a branch he'd picked up. Trey watched his friend limp away for a moment, before entering the new growth area for the third time.

The thief grumbled constantly making his way up the field. The house would be buttoned up with its inhabitants on high alert. He'd have to call out before the house actually came into sight, or risk dodging bullets. The small man feared dying in a stupid accident above any other reason. He moved through the corn, weapon ready, in case danger still existed.

Before arriving at a point he thought it necessary to call, he heard voices ahead of him. Peach's voice giving orders was easy to identify. The laughter of the children was a no brainer. Joker bellowed out "A friendly coming out".

Peach made an "Eeek" noise, and was trying to unsling her rifle when the diminutive felon emerged into the open. "If you just had to come outside, you should have left the kids inside and been a little quiet" Joker beat her to the draw, putting the young woman on the defensive. "I have to go get Trey" he added passing Peach, who sputtered with a reply.

"Where have you been" she finally spit out?

"In the woods all night" the thief said, pointing behind her with a smile. He rounded the corner heading for the vehicles before the distracted Peach saw the Moreau brothers poking a dead body with sticks. The Swede, checking around the barn returned the wave directed at him. Joker winced getting into the Mercedes, then placed his rifle and stick where he could reach them.

The German car made three right turns, then slowed to a crawl, while the driver estimated distance. Not wanting to go too far, Joker stopped, turned off the engine and listened for shots or a motor. Growing bored, Joker began loading his empty magazine from the green and yellow, pasteboard box.
Working by feel, he'd seat each round with a click, then look and listen some more.

Trey set off in a jog. Knowing where his destination lay, he stayed several hundred yards to the west of the most direct path to the camp. If he didn't catch those escaping before they had a car running, he'd probably lose them for good. It would be best, them knowing the farm's location, that there were no survivors. Twice he flopped on the ground when movement caught his eye, however he was up and moving once the source was determined to be wildlife.

The downward slope of the ground caught Trey by surprise. He hadn't realized that he had covered that much ground already. The tracker turned east along the edge of the valley traveling at a much slower pace. His walk was soon abandoned in favor of an even slower tree to tree movement.

Three things happened quickly. Trey recognized his surroundings, a truck engine came to life with a roar, almost drowning out a gunshot. The bullet struck the side of his cover two feet above his head, changing direction with a whine from the deformed projectile. The shooter turned and ran toward the truck , not wanting to be left behind. The ex-soldier rested his rifle against the rough bark following his target in his sights.

The shooter appeared in an opening of the trees that was a little larger than the others. The figure staggered from the first shot. Adjusting his aim, Trey fired again, leaving the target sprawled awkwardly on the forest floor. The bank robber was up and running immediately after the shot. He left the selector in the fire position, being careful to keep his finger outside the trigger guard.

Trey crashed through the undergrowth, slipping on unseen rocks and fallen limbs, scanning the far hillside for movement. He had reached the bottom and was splashing through the wide, but shallow summer creek, when he heard the truck again. The operator had waited for his partner much longer than expected, however the decision was made to leave.

The ex-soldier began the trudge up the slope, his breath soon coming in gasps, however he continued to push himself. In a small clearing, the woman he'd shot was laying dead. The bullet had punctured the lung, evidenced by the bright colored, oxygen rich blood that had been exhaled in her last moments. "Better you than me" he whispered to the corpse with no regrets. He only paused long enough to pick up the battered Ruger rifle she'd been armed with.

Gunfire, followed by car engines racing away to the east, urged him up the last slope to the barely smoking fire at the campsite. The flatbed truck was gone and the best of the remaining transport was a primer gray, two wheel drive Chevy truck. Trey twisted the orange handled screw driver somebody had replaced the key with. He shook his head amazed that anyone would drive this piece of junk with all the new vehicles around for the taking.

Gunfire crackled from the northeast, only to be overridden by the loud exhaust of the truck. The bank robber bounced through mud holes on the dirt road before he emerged from the forest. An orchard occupied both sides of the road, the trees flashing past once the old truck picked up speed on the smoother section of road.

The dirt road connected to the driveway of the farmhouse, where Trey began braking to make his turn. The loose suspension made the truck sway in the turn , the tires dangerously near the drainage ditch on the left side of the road. Forced to counter steer, the ex-soldier needed the entire roadway to straighten out the fishtailing Chevy. The motor took its time building up speed, even with the accelerator all the way to the floor.

Dust hanging in the air, guided Trey through two turns, after that, he homed in on the occasional gunshot. He stopped the truck on the side of the road and walked toward the confrontation. The German sedan, pulled off the road, was the first sign that Joker was indeed present. Across the road to the left, lay a wooded hillside. The slope continued down looking to the right, although the trees thinned out. The radio crackled to life with a garbled message as he passed the dusty luxury car.

"Why don't you answer your radio" the bank robber quizzed the small man squatting to look down the bank without exposing himself?

"You took your sweet time getting here" the thief grumbled. However, his mood instantly changed when he began describing the situation. "The driver must have had a blow out. He hit the ditch making the truck spin and go down the bank backward. He'd have been alright if he kept on the gas, now the truck's bogged down out in the field."

"So you're playing whack a mole now" Trey asked?

The diminutive felon answered with a grin "Yeah, but he's not shooting back anymore. I think he's hoping we'll just go away."

"I'll go around this way" Trey pointed downhill and to the right. The ex-soldier walked back the way he came until trees blocked the raider's truck from sight. The slope was steep enough that he was forced to use the larger trees for hand holds going down. At the bottom, he was forced to detour around an extensive, patch of stinging nettle. Paint, belonging to the truck, were noticeable through the greenery struggling for some of the sunlight at the wood's edge.

The bank robber selected a tree for cover that looked the most capable of stopping a bullet of those available. Squatting down, the view of the clearing through the limbs was much like looking through a roughly treated venetian blind. Before calling out, he practiced sighting his rifle on the truck through a decent size opening. "Hello" Trey called out in his most earnest and friendly voice.

"Fuck you!" a deep voice replied.

"I thought we'd have a little chat. You know, about attacking our farm, where you're from, how you found us."

"Fuck you!"

The felon couldn't see the speaker and Joker wasn't shooting, so the bad guy must be under the truck now. Backing away from his tree, he proceeded further away from his friend up on the road. The goal was to see under the stalled vehicle, but at the same time, to keep out of Joker's line of fire. He judged his angle by periodically peering through gaps in the foliage. First he could make out a foot, then part of the leg, and then the upper leg.

Once he could make out the part of the torso just above the belt line, he also knew he couldn't go any farther. Settling into a solid shooting position, Trey aligned the sights on what looked like a shirt. The patch of cloth was several shades lighter in color than the trousers were, although in the shade of the truck's body it was difficult to tell.

The shots would be made from one knee, with a tree for support. The height was needed so the bullet traveled above the grass, however still pass under the bumper. The ex-soldier wasn't in any hurry, but there wasn't any reason to wait either. Five bullets were sent downrange, separated by the amount of time it took to bring the sights back on target.

A cry of pain proceeded the third shot. Trey could see movement , then the raider erupted into the open, fighting to gain his feet. The bloody figure cursed once before the thief's bullets thudded into its back. As though suddenly very tired, the prey dropped into a sitting position before stretching out on the grass. The felon emerged from the trees, rifle up to approach the dead man.

He was puzzled that weapon, a beat up civilian version of the criminals' rifles, was still underneath the truck. A search turned up a pocket knife, but nothing else of use in the corpse's pockets. The truck held several loaded magazines and cardboard boxes of ammunition. Trey walked back to the road, using the piece of rope that substituted for a sling, to carry the spare rifle on his shoulder. It was a slow climb up the embankment to the road.

"I got him. Did you see that?" the thief crowed.

"But you shot him in the back" Trey acted shocked.

One partner laughed as the other sputtered. Before the small man could make a reply, he was using both hands to catch the drivers license flipped at him. "Toledo Ohio, so what? This doesn't mean he was running with that bunch from the island."

"I bet Illion will think so."

There was no gear in the old truck so it was left sitting by the road. The German car seemed much sweeter after using the raider's truck. The day was getting warmer and combined with a very long night, it was an effort for the partners to stay awake. Joker, after an argument about driving his baby on the farm lane, drove back to the attackers camp at an agonizingly slow pace. The pair went on foot the last small distance, just in case any stragglers had showed up.

The camp was in much the same condition that it was left in. Deciding to get the unpleasantness out of the way, Trey checked the body by the fire pit. She was barely out of her twenties, wearing jeans, a t-shirt covered by a flannel shirt with the sleeves cut off and brand new sneakers. Her black hair was long on the top and back, however it was cut very short on the sides.

The criminals went through her pockets finding little of use to them. There was no ID, although she did have a lighter and a large folding knife in a belt pouch. A front pocket held ear rings and several bracelets, too valuable to the owner to lose during the assault. A twenty round magazine was in the rifle and three more were in a shoulder bag. The men turned to the vehicles, none of which were as good as what were available at the farm. They took a couple of spare gas cans and a gallon jug of motor oil.

"Aren't we going to bury her" Joker asked?

"We didn't bury her partner."

"Yeah but" the thief left thought unfinished.

Trey looked around the valley. This was one of those valleys gouged out by a glacier during the ice age, then filled with rocks it carried before it retreated north. "We can't get the backhoe down here. Digging by hand almost impossible. What say we cover her with rocks instead?"

Joker's nod signaled his agreement. He couldn't explain why this seemed important. It was just that they didn't usually shoot women. The next couple hours were spent carrying stones and rocks. The nearby supply was quickly exhausted. Some could be carried by one man and some by two men, but in the end, the material was rolled or flipped to the location. A low rock wall surrounded the body and capped by others. The remains were unlikely to be molested by animals.

The criminals detoured to pass on word of the attack to the Erie group. A relief force from the prison was waiting when the criminals arrived. back at the farm. Peach waited with her arms crossed, her face wearing an angry expression. "We got the last two" Trey announced.

"You were here all night? You could have let us know on the radio" the young woman was adamant .

"They could have had radios too" Trey informed her in a matter of fact tone.

"Well, we could have used some help when they charged us".

"Help" Joker growled! I got three over there" he pointed to the fence line. "And another one across the road, not to mention I was shooting too when they made that charge. Trey got a couple over there" the small man added, pointing toward the knoll.

"And where is Rose? Did she stay with the plane"?

"I have to go get her" the thief eluded the question with a half truth.

Illion took the opportunity to start asking questions. The partners provided the who, what, when and where from each of their perspectives. The why was the big question, because food wasn't all that scarce yet. A work party began gathering the bodies in the yard and stacking them in a truck's bed. The tired cell mates bowed out of the heavy lifting. Joker left to check out the backhoe and start making some holes, leaving Trey as a guide to the bodies outside the wire.

At the knoll, the bank robber laid claim to the scoped rifle and searched the dead sniper for any items of use. He used the quad, to look for the attackers his partner had killed. There was no way to get a truck back there. The solution was to tie the feet of the corpse to the back of the quad and haul them to the barn one at a time. In response to the squeamish looks he received from a few of rescuers, he stated "Hey, they can't feel a thing".

The bodies were stripped of possessions before being rolled into one of the graves the small man was digging. All the items were thrown into the back of a truck to be pawed through by prospective new owners. In Trey's opinion, nothing the attackers owned, except the scoped rifle, was better than what had been accumulated at the farm. Whatever remained went into a bag in Illion's Hummer.

Tooker had remained in the background most of the time, until he snagged the dead men's wallets. The agent and Illion sat in the Hummer going through the wallets. Bored with watching the bodies being planted, Trey strolled over to see what they found. "And what have you highly trained government agents discovered" he asked?

"I thought they'd be from Ohio" Illion replied sounding disappointed.

"They're from all over the midwest" Tooker answered the question. "It's funny that they still carry their wallets."

"Habit" Trey stated. "It took me a couple months wearing prison issue to quit checking for my wallet." He shrugged when the two men stared at unrepentant convict.
"Have you spoken with Rose yet" Illion asked eagerly?

The bank robber was surprised that it took him this long to bring it up. "Yeah, we worked the problem, but she didn't exactly say yes. She got a little banged up and isn't in any shape to fly right now anyway."

Quiet returned to the farm once the backhoe's engine was shut down. Trey caught up to Joker, who was limping toward the house. The pair managed to reach their truck without the Peach catching sight of them. The bank robber took over as a wheelman, so the thief could rest his injured limb. Below the farm, the smaller felon pointed out the spot he had begun walking. "There's a motorcycle in there if we can get it out."

"How far are we going" Trey asked?

"I don't know. Fifteen or twenty miles I guess. Just stay on this road."

Feeling the lack of sleep the previous night, Joker was soon dozing with his chin on his chest. Trey fought the feeling as long as he could by keeping his eyes in motion. Reaching his companion's vague description of their destination, the driver pulled over and stepped from the vehicle to stretch. Half a dozen squats helped get the blood moving. For good measure, he splashed his face with water from a five gallon jug in the bed. "Good morning Mr. Kracken" he politely spoke to his friend, "This is your ten o'clock wakeup call".

Joker's eyes snapped open, slit against the sunshine and highlighted by black circles from lack of sleep. "Water " the small man said in a raspy voice, then began digging through his gear on the floor for his canteen. "Where are we"?

"Looking for Rose".

"Oh, yeah". Gulping tepid water, he motioned forward with one hand.

Minutes later the thief pointed out the house they were looking for. Gravel from the drive crunched under the wheels of the truck, as it slowed to a stop by the porch. The smaller criminal led the way through the door. "Didn't you ever learn to knock" Rose asked, lowering her rifle to its resting place on the carpet with a wince of pain?

"Um, no" Joker answered in a tired voice.

"Well, what happened"?

"There was a big shoot out, our people are ok. The bad guys not so much" Trey supplied. "How are you feeling"?

"A little better" came the reply as the young woman struggled to sit up. The two men helped her to her feet, directing her to the bathroom.

"I'm gonna open a couple cans and then take a little, Spanish pause" Trey declared. His partner agreed, calling dibs on the recliner in the living room. The trio breakfasted on canned peaches and fruit cocktail from the pantry. The bank robber reluctantly decided he should move the truck around back while Rose and Joker shared a bottle of pain killers. Once that was accomplished, he made a quick walk-through of the small collection of homes. By the time he was back at the house, Joker was snoring softly in the recliner with his hat pulled over his eyes and Rose was back on the hard floor. Electing to snooze on the top floor, he opened a window allowing a gentle breeze to enter the room. Weapons within reach, he drifted off to sleep.

The sun arced across the clear sky, heating up the room despite the open window. By the time Trey woke in a sweat, the sun was streaming full force through the window. He roused his friends despite their groans of protest. Rose claimed shotgun and Joker decided to ride the tailgate, dangling his feet on the way home. "Illion is pressing for an answer" the bank robber informed the pilot.

"What do you think" she asked?

"I think that enterprise is seriously ill advised".

"Why"?

"He's poking a hornet's nest, that's why".

The remainder of the trip was made in silence. The group from the prison had departed, permitting the truck to park in its normal spot. The four children and the dog formed a welcome committee, walking the trio to the house, asking a barrage of questions about where they'd been and what they'd been doing. The bodies had been removed from the yard , however dark stains still marked where they had fallen. The Swede was hauling water from the pump to pour on the blood stains, however the sun dried substance was resisting.

Dinner that evening was beans, rice, and canned beef with some carrots from the garden. The three wanderers dug in, that having been their first real meal for some time. While the table was being cleared, Rose announced she would be making the flight Illion was requesting. Trey shrugged, however Peach spoke plainly that she thought it was a mistake. "He'll get you killed" was how it was phrased. "He'll get all three of you killed".

"I ain't going in that plane" Joker objected.

"You'll be hauling fuel all the way to western Ohio though. And of course Illion won't think of taking his trip up north without you two" Peach looked at the criminals. The partners looked at each other, then both gave her their "We'll worry about it when the time comes" shrug. Peach stomped off in response.

Looking at Rose for a solid minute, Trey at last asked Rose "Why"?

"Nobody else can do it. Besides, it might help when I have to fly east. I'm not sure how, but a little good will from helping the Army and the FBI might come in handy later".

"So we fuel the bird from what we have now. Fill the barrels and drag them up to Erie. Then find more barrels and a bigger truck to haul them across to Toledo". Joker counted the steps off on his fingers. "Of course, we have to take gas with us since we won't have time to look for any. You'll have to give us a two day head start to get out there. You should have people with you in case there are problems at the farm. And security for when you re-fuel at Erie. Which means Illion's soldiers. Then if things go bad and we're not at Toledo, you'll be on your own" the thief finished with his insane grin."
"Sounds about right to me" Trey agreed.

The next morning, a meeting occurred including Lt Illion, Sgt Mathers and the Federal Agents this time. The Lt. was embarrassingly grateful to Rose. The manpower requirements were kicked around, with Illion insisting that four men accompany the convicts west. The fly in the ointment. was that Illion also insisted on making the recon flight. "Rose I'm a professional soldier that knows what to look for, besides you'll be busy flying". Rose argued the increase in fuel consumption to no avail.

Sgt Mather headed a detail to search for barrels and transport to carry them. Illion and the agents headed to the farm to observe the fueling process. The cell mates stopped back at the farm long enough to load what aviation gas they had onto the pickup. At the walled farm Rose checked the machine over, then started it to run for awhile. The fuel left in the barrels was short several gallons of filling the tanks.

Trey understood Joker's plan to put people on the farm once he saw the place. The house was explored on this visit. The pantry turned out to be very well stocked, the solar power system would provide most of the energy requirements and who knew what the attic and basement held. The party hiked to the top of the hill behind the buildings, where a good view of the surrounding area could be had. Trey's binoculars revealed a collection of Goons around the houses to the west. He wondered out loud if they had been attracted by the aircraft's landing. The good news was that running the engine hadn't got them moving.

The group split up, half going back to the prison and the other half looking to fill the empty barrels. They drove south, hoping to have some luck at the airfield next to the farm show grounds. At her first look, rose laughed at the orange balls markimg the power lines. "Like flying isn't hard enough, these clowns had added obstacles. Or maybe the field was here before they had electric out here" she cut the pilots some slack.

Rose judged that the fuel was still good, detecting no water. They filled their barrels with plenty left if Sgt Mathers came up empty. The Sgt hadn't returned yet when they stopped by the prison. Rose had enough for the day, her back not being quite back to normal yet. The partners spent the remainder of the day selecting gear and equipment to take with them. After dinner they carefully checked out the truck. "I still wanna take the Mercedes" Joker refused to give in on the subject. "We need three vehicles just in case".

"I guess we can stick a barrel in the trunk" Trey said straight faced.

The thief was sputtering when his friend burst out laughing. "That ain't funny, man" was all he could say.

"Don't worry pal. We won't put more than a couple cans back there".

"Well, that isn't going to happen either".

Dinner over, they contacted Illion about the meet the next day, before spending the rest of the evening with the kids. Rose went to bed early, regretting her decision to do the Lt's bidding, she wanted to be on her way. Since announcing that she would be leaving shortly after the Lake Erie adventure, the brothers had distanced themselves from the young woman. Even Peach, who had been a close friend, now seemed cooler toward her as the date of her departure approached. Most survivors had lost their friends and family and didn't want to face it again. Often, the departed, although leaving for good reasons, wasn't aware of the hole they left in the lives of their friends.

Next morning, the timetables were worked out for each of the parties at the prison meeting. The group leaving for Ohio wanted three days travel time, however they settled for two and would leave the next morning. Trey insisted that Seaman Murphy be in his group, along with whoever he trusted to take along.

The criminals, accompanied by Rose, traipsed behind the Army detachment to find a refueling point. The young pilot would have a final say on where she would be landing and taking off from. A situation she would be denied in western Ohio. A strip of two lane road off the interstate was flat enough and was properly oriented with the wind to be given the nod. Broad stripes of white paint now crossed the road where the pilot designated.

Mathers made the decision where his troops would stay the next couple days. A five minute drive from the impromptu landing strip, was a farm, whose barn had a grand view of the area they would be needed in. The aircraft would circle before landing , making sure the area was clear, giving the soldiers enough time to arrive with the fuel barrels.

Trey sat in the shade of his truck leaning back against the front wheel. Mathers, returning from the barn, studied the bank robber knowing the man wasn't just killing time. He turned the pages of the map book "There are lots of places to land if the primary isn't available. It's flat here this close to the lake, Rose will have to circle until the trucks arrive". The three soldiers that would be staying, watched the other vehicles drive away.

That evening, their preparations made as well as they could be, the cell mates sat at the table going over their route on the map. In order to satisfy the four children asking questions, the adults moved the activity to the floor. Trey's finger traced a road north, then changed to another moving westward, but to the north of Youngstown. The route angled further north, passing between Cleveland and Akron. After that it was only smallish towns, although there were three interstates to cross.

"Why don't we just go south and then straight west" Joker asked.

"We'd still have to go north at some point if we go south now" Trey told the thief. "Besides, I don't know that area".

"And you know this way"?

"Sort of, I have a good idea how things lay because it's close to the lake. Being a good Pennsylvanian, I'd never even go to Ohio if it wasn't for Lake Erie" the soldier said with a smile.

Seaman Murphy and his entourage arrived just in time for breakfast the next morning. The sailor instantly drew the children's attention with his head gear, wearing his blue naval camouflage cap.

"Why's your hat such a funny color" Alex asked, used to seeing the subdued colors Trey, Joker and the rest of the soldiers wore?

"Because I belong to the best of the best" Murphy answered.

"I know neither Mathers or Illion saw you wearing that" Trey butted in.

"Do you want me to take it off" the born killer asked seriously?

"Nah, suit yourself" the bank robber replied with a slow smile.

The three men from the prison scarfed down the fresh eggs, which were a real treat to them. In reward for their compliments, Peach made the young men seconds. Trey gathered the party together to go over their route on the map. He was pleased to see that notes were being taken by Illion's troops. Cameron rode with Murphy, however, Scarletti begged Joker for the privilege of riding shotgun. The thief gave in, seeing the appreciation of the German car on the soldier's face.

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:23 pm 
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SHIT YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Groucho!!!!!!!!!! Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Ninja edit! Have to go back and reread part of the story it's been so long I forgot parts.

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 7:48 am 
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Same here, had to reread to figure out who was what when and where. LoL

Good to see more!

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"You mean Spazz...? Hes not even a fan of the team."


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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 8:47 pm 
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Thank you Groucho!
I've been checking this thread often, because I didn't want to miss out on any updates.

I have missed your writing style; a lot of details combined with a plot that moves quickly, considering the depth of the characters.

Thank you for sharing your talent with us!


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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 5:05 pm 
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Murphy looked doubtfully at the Mercedes "I think we'd be better off with a truck".

"It's the scout car" Joker jumped into the conversation. "This thing can accelerate like a scalded cat", he pantomimed leaning back from a steering wheel. "It can stop on a dime and give nine cents change", now the small man appeared to be pressed against the wheel while braking. "With the turning radius it has, it can turn on around on a two lane road" now the imaginary steering wheel was being turned sharply, throwing the driver to one side.

Cameron and Scarletti weren't sure what to make of the little man with the insane grin. Scarletti was regretting his pleading to ride with the thief. Trey was smiling at his partner's antics. Murphy laughed at the salesmanship being displayed, "We got us a scout car".

Trey led the convoy north to I-80, slowing to a stop short of the Sandy Lake exit. The stretch of four lane they could see was clear. "I thought we were going on the back roads" Cameron said, looking confused.

"We'll jump on this for a little way" the ex-soldier replied.

They stopped again at the top of the on ramp, where the view was only empty concrete. Joker put the hammer down, leaving the other drivers to try and catch up. The scout car reduced speed at the first bend, the road also began to slope downhill. The car nosed forward just far enough to see the wreck on the side of the road. The trucks caught up as Joker hit the gas. He aimed the sedan at the goons gathered around the trunk of a car closer to the road of the tangled vehicles. At the last second, he changed course, steering left, followed by the other two drivers.

It didn't take long to arrive at the junction of 422 and I-80. Only a couple of goons from New Castle to the south and Sharon to the north greeted the party. The convoy broke formation, passing on both sides of the dead, leaving their lizard brains confused.

A short distance on, the crowd was much thicker right outside of Youngstown. Luckily, the green space between the lanes was dry. The Mercedes fishtailed in the grass, traveling faster than the heavily loaded trucks. The pickups braked almost to a stop before entering the grass, then sped up, zipping between the two groups of dead, mostly gathered on the road. The group took the next exit south, having started the local goons on their way to Chicago.

The convoy was well into the flat land now. The highest vantage points, even on the back roads, were the overpasses. " At least the range of their radios would be extended when compared to the terrain back home" Trey thought. "The top of a barn or a water tower should provide a really great view. They should also be able to spot the plane at a greater distance". On the other hand "The goons could see us from further away, making it tougher to lose them too"

Joker pulled into a mini market that had obviously been looted. "Why are we stopping, I got plenty of gas" Cameron asked?

"We keep the tanks topped off" Joker informed the three soldiers. "We don't know the area, so if we have to run, fuel won't be our most pressing concern". The surrounding area was open and clear, so the group checked the building before tending to the vehicles. Murphy found a baseball glove, bat and ball next to some serious blood stains on the side of the brick store. Whomever did the bleeding was probably limping, having left behind one bloody, cleated shoe.

"If we're going to sit around for a couple days we can bang the ball around" the sailor announced.

Brunswick was just ahead, the last town of any size until they were much closer to Toledo. Once the gas tanks were full, the Mercedes led the way south, then boxed the town with a series of right and left turns. Each road became narrower than the one before it, the last road being gravel and barely over the width of the trucks. The drivers' doubts were dispelled, once the thief made a turn back onto their road from the far side of town.

A scattering of dead from the town was on the road, which Joker easily avoided. Trey braked when the truck in front of him did. "Zombie baseball" Murphy yelled at Cameron, leaning out the window with his bat. The driver swerved closer to a large male in coveralls, however the hitter's swing was off. The bat hit high on the skull, pealing the scalp off to hang down in a grizzly comb over.

"Foul ball" the driver declared. The truck swerved again, almost dumping the hitter onto the pavement. The ineffectual swing was called a strike by the delighted soldier. With only one goon left to pass, Murphy connected with a hit that left him with stinging hands, and the goon with a dent that went halfway through its head. "Homerun" the sailor crowed to his friend. Puzzled by the look of revulsion on the driver's face, he looked in the mirror. He was dotted with brain matter from zed.

Several miles on, the criminals were alerted to a stop by the tap of a horn and blinking turn signal. Murphy hopped from the truck and jogged to a small creek under the bridge. With a clean handkerchief he carefully cleaned his face, not getting any gunk in his mouth, eyes or nose. The sailor returned to his ride bare chested, but carrying his dripping shirt and hat.

The convoy took its time for the remainder of the trip. The few goons that were sighted, were far out in the fields. The group saw more cows and horses than any of the dead. Houses were few and far between, easily spotted by the group of trees shading the farm buildings. The fields were a boring mix of soybeans and corn.

The convoy passed through the villages of Norwalk, Green Springs and Burgoon. Although separated by many miles, they all seemed similar. A two block main street, containing a gas station, an eatery and a drug store. One place had a hardware store, another had an actual grocery store, but they all had empty buildings from before the dead began walking the earth. The mystery was the number of homes that exceeded apparent employment opportunities. There were no signs of the dead in these wide spots in the road.

Just beyond the village of Jerry City lay I-75, running north to south. The detail stopped in the shade of a lone Oak tree, growing conveniently by the side of the road. Trey waited for the others to gather, before discussing business. "We're going to check out the four lane" Trey informed the crew. indicating Joker was going with him.

"Why don't we all go" Scarletti asked?

"I want a driver sticking with each vehicle, just in case".

"We should go instead" Cameron suggested. "You old guys will take all day" he added with an innocent look on his face.

"Please do. We'll just rest here in our wheelchairs in the shade" Joker said with a smirk on his face.

Murphy checked his own gear before looking over his detail. Each man carried extra water and ammunition, along with some odds and ends in a pack, just in case. The sailor led his patrol north, off the road through the border of the cornfield. "Young punks" the thief said.

"Yeah" Trey agreed. "But they have their uses. Besides, I like them" the bank robber replied.

"Me too" Joker said wistfully, recalling his youth, when doing anything was better than doing nothing.

"You know we're short a driver now, if we have to run the Mercedes will have to stay here" Trey said looking at his friend..

"I didn't think of that until I opened my mouth". The criminals took a seat on the roof of a truck, which was the best view to be had, and waited.

Murphy walked at an easy pace, passing along a wire fence that had seen better days. The metal strands sagged away from the half rotten wood posts. The group turned west after reaching a ten foot wide strip of grass, running west through the field. The area hadn't been plowed, the farmer being a champion of soil conservation. This path would hide them from prying eyes, as opposed to just walking up the road.

Murphy led the way, looking to the front. Cameron and Scarletti kept an eye on the tall crops they were passing, since the dead can and did show up anywhere. All three soldiers were sweating by the time they reached the far side of the field. The shade from the belt of trees hiding the interstate felt great, Murphy called a five minute break, that was over all too quickly. "What are you, a couple of old guys" the sailor asked with a chuckle.

The patrol crept through the trees and crossed the interstate fence. The divided highway was empty to the north. They turned south, walking to the elevated overpass that blocked the view. After Murphy motioned for his friends to wait, he slipped up the side of the bridge until he had a good view to the south. Only his head could be seen by anyone looking from down the road. A distant speck that could be a goon was all there was to see. Murphy mentally kicked himself for not borrowing Trey's ever present binoculars.

The trio looked back up the road that ran under the four lane. The car and trucks were barely visible in the distance, their location marked by the lone Oak tree. Sliding down the embankment, the soldiers returned by the road. The three soldiers arrived back at the vehicles, dropped their gear and flopped down on the road in the shade. Murphy made his report lying on his back. Joker waited a whole ten minutes before mentioning that the group should be moving out. "After all, this ain't no rest home for old folks".

An hour later Trey began looking for a base to stay at. The convoy had passed the turn off to Holgate, so they weren't far from Defiance. That town was almost on state route 24 and he'd rather not get that close. The group slowed at several possible sites, however the corn was growing too close to the road to suit him. His persistence in the search paid off. The farm had a barn closer to the road than the house. The field on that side of the road was a pasture, although across the road was a Hayfield long past needing to be mowed. Landing on the narrow road would be enough of a challenge for the pilot, without goons staggering out of tall corn to make an obstacle course.

Joker 's mission was to scout the place out, but he didn't expect to find any surprises with all the open ground. The gravel drive had some low spots, however they weren't down to the mud yet. He drove past the barn, pausing to look around. Then across the long grass in the yard, which was dry enough to provide traction. The house looked to be shut up tight, with no signs of movement. In the back yard, the thief stopped by a tire swing hanging from the limb of an ancient Elm tree. His current view of the pasture differed from the rest by a woodlot almost a half mile distant.

He frowned upon seeing a car and a truck parked at the back of the home. The odds were that the owners were inside. There wasn't much else to see except several rows of stacked cordwood, next to a dog house with a broken chain, surrounded by packed earth. Joker stopped in front of the house, exiting the car to wave his rifle, summoning the group in.

"Their cars are here" the thief informed the others. "Ordinarily we wouldn't bother, but since we'll be here for a couple days we should clear the house".

"We got this" Cameron volunteered.

"So you've cleared a lot houses, have you" Trey asked?

"Yes, back when we first got here and were hunting for the two of you".

"I think we should let the experts handle this" Joker said to his friend , trying to keep a straight face.

The three soldiers used a chunk of firewood to batter the back door open, while the criminals watched. Once the trio disappeared inside, Joker couldn't help but comment "So much for a surreptitious entry".

"And their ears will be ringing once they fire those rifles inside. All those houses they cleared must have been empty" Trey added with a shrug.

"I'll make some food" the small man changed the subject.

"I do feel a mite peckish" the bank robber agreed.

The wood stacked inside the three sided lean-to was bone dry. The base of each stack was a pair of railroad ties, keeping the wood off the ground.


A sharp axe, next to a splitting maul, hung on the wall out of the weather. Trey shaved some thin strips off a triangular piece of wood on the stump used for such work. Once that was accomplished, he made larger kindling out of the remainder. He made his way back to the barn, his arms full of various sizes of fuel. Joker was busy opening cans on the tailgate of the truck, while his friend looked for something to rest the pot on. A pile of previously used bricks sat in a corner of the their temporary home.

The felon carted the material outside until the pile was gone. On the edge of the drive he began making a furnace. The fire chamber, four bricks high, was only wide enough to support the cook pot. An airway two bricks long, facing the direction of a possible wind, would draw air into the flame. This setup was much more efficient than just cooking over a fire. No heat would be lost, in turn requiring less fuel.

Joker was pouring beans into the pot, from their container they had been soaking in since the night before, when gunfire erupted inside the home. Trey paused with a match in hand to listen as well. After a several moments he commented "Nobody is screaming, so they must be doing alright". The thief added two pounds of rice along with water from the five gallon jug to the pot.

"So, you're not totally useless" Joker admired his friend's creation, setting his cookware into its spot.

Being the first man through the door, Murphy moved far enough into the kitchen for the other two to enter behind him. He stood for several minutes listening and smelling the stale air. Rot was present, although very faint. The basement door off the kitchen was locked. so it was saved until later. The living room had no hiding place, which left the stairs to the second floor. The sailor led the way to the top, staying as far from the corner as he could, leaning sideways for a quick look at the corridor.

No dead were in sight and the air while still stale, smelt cleaner. Cameron stood where he had a view of both the stairs and the hallway, leaving the rooms to his companions. Murphy waited, with his weapon shouldered, for Scarletti to open the door and spring back out of the way. Pushed too hard, the door would bounce off the stop and slam shut. All three bedrooms were empty, so the trio went back downstairs to the basement door.

The air wafting up out of the darkness was tainted with the scent of the dead. Murphy always seemed to taste as well as smell the foulness. Green, was the only way he could describe the odor. The sailor spit on the floor in an effort to rid his mouth of the taste. Scarletti's flashlight beam, held high and against the right wall, bathed the entire empty stairway in light. Nothing was attracted to the light, so Murphy moved down two steps. The response from the darkness was a rattle of chains.

Sure that he was out of reach of any grasping hands, he sank to one knee, shining his own light between the steps. Two reanimates strained to reach the first stimulus they had in months. Cameron followed Murphy down to the bottom, eyes glued to the source of the stink. The two zombies had been secured to the wall with a chain wrapped around their waists. The links had sunk into the rotten flesh, kept from cutting them completely in half by the bones of the vertebrae.

Two rifle shots ended their existence and produced swearing from the top of the stairs. Scarletti was holding both of his hands over his ears. "That was loud as fuck" he greeted his companions return.

The sailor removed an ear plug "What did you say? I couldn't hear you, I had my ear plugs in Did you hear what he said"?

"No" Cameron continued the sarcasm. "I had my ear plugs in".

Scarletti, who had cleared his share of buildings, had never found any goons to shoot. He knew the pain was his own fault and would garner him no sympathy. The soldiers were more than happy to be back in the fresh air again. Trey watched the group pass a bottle of Vodka around, each man taking a swig, then swishing it around their mouth before spitting it out. The ritual confirmed his opinion of Murphy's reliability.

Joker drained the water from the rice and beans. He added two cans of beef gravy, two cans of beef stew and a cubed pork like substance to the pot. The fire had died down, however he remained next to the heat, slowly stirring the concoction so it did not burn. At last he turned to the hungry men "Come and get it, or I'll feed it to the hogs". The metal plates transmitted heat from the food to human fingers, but were sturdy. Everyone had a heaping plate of food, washed down with warm soda from cans. The younger men had seconds and they scraped the pot for whatever was left.

Joker scrubbed the cookware, then used the vessel to heat water for everyone to clean their own plates and eating utensils. Trey watched to be sure the job was done properly. He didn't need anyone getting sick while they were on the road. Murphy complemented the thief on his cooking skills, echoed by everyone present. "Were did you learn to cook over a fire" Cameron asked?

"On a job site when I was just starting out. Cooking lunch got me out of some the hardest work that new guys had to do for a little while each day" the felon informed them with his crazy grin.

Trey set up a guard shift for the remainder of the stay. With all the fences, the only real danger would be an approach by the road. However, he reminded the group that danger included feral humans as well as the dead. During the day, a man would be in the top floor of the barn with binoculars. After dark, security would be provided by a roving sentry. "If you see a goon, wake everybody up. I don't want any shooting if we can avoid it".

Before dark, Trey led a group stroll around the farm, learning what the terrain was just out of sight from the barn. The rally point would be where two creeks joined, south and west of their position. The secondary point would be back at the prison, he said with a grin. The younger guys kept the fire burning and nobody objected. There was plenty of dry wood that produced very little smoke and wouldn't be seen from any distance.

All items not in immediate use were packed back in the vehicles, in case they had to leave quickly. Water was obtained from the creek not far away. After being strained through a cloth, the liquid was treated with bleach and left to sit so any sediment would settle. Filtering would have to wait until the next day. Full water cans meant one less thing they would have to worry about if they were on the run.

Illion's men drew straws for which guard shift they would pull. "Why not five" Trey asked?

"I asked that very question" Murphy stated, staring at the straws as though willing his companions to leave him the day shift.

"Well" the ever impatient Joker demanded after a moment of silence?

"The LT said don't ask, it's above my pay grade". The conversation was interrupted by the groans of those who had drawn the shorter straws.

"How do you always draw the long straw" Cameron asked, knowing that the only answer he would get was a smile.

"What a couple of babies" the killer said in a pained voice. "OK, next time we'll pitch pennies or something". Until dark, guard duty consisted of a three handed game of spades. The players sat so they could look outside over each other's shoulder. In between hands, someone would stroll to one of the open, second story, barn doors.

Cameron took over from Scarletti at midnight. Walking around in the dark looking for the dead was not at the top of his to do list. Once he walked ten slow steps, he'd pause, then repeat. It really wasn't hard to see when his eyes had adjusted to the dark. The soldier widened his distance from each corner he encountered, compared to daylight hours. Guessing that it should be light in another hour, Cameron couldn't resist looking at his watch.

Completely covered with his poncho, the LED screen of the watch dazzled him. The driver was rolled up his rain gear by feel, having destroyed his night vision temporarily, when he heard the noise. Mentally cursing himself for being a dumbass, he judged the direction and distance of the noise. The source was definitely getting closer, his response was slow, deep breaths to keep from panicking. Cameron couldn't yell for help, since that would just bring others if they were within hearing distance. He extended his rifle, hoping to feel the creature before it got to him.

The guard was puzzled when the steps in the tall field grass slowed, then paused. This was very unusual behavior for a goon. Maybe it lost him when he quit moving. The steps resumed, accompanied by a loud whine. "A fucking dog" he almost shouted out loud with relief. Now that the danger was over his night vision was slowly returning. He could pick out the blob with what had to be a wagging tail. "Come here dog" he whispered.

The animal was overjoyed to see a human after so long. He had approached several forms before, however the smell had always been all wrong. The human talked to him softly, petted him, and gave him pieces of the delicious food it had in its pocket. The beast kept the human safe for the remainder of the dark hours, raising its sensitive nose frequently to test the breeze.

Joker was beginning his breakfast preparations, while Trey started the fire. Cameron made his grand entrance with his new friend wanting to surprise them. The driver did everything but say" Ta da".

Trey took one look and instantly told the sentry "Don't touch it". Moving slowly the bank robber took a can of stew from the truck, exciting the dog who was familiar with can opener noises and the manna they released. He slipped the single action revolver into his belt, and lured the Collie to the back yard. Telling the dog how smart he was to have lasted this long, and what a good dog he was, the felon dropped gravy covered chunks of beef or potato. Trey up ended the can into the food bowl and watched the dog gulp it down. After finishing what it considered its best meal ever and sampled the clean water in a second bowl, man's best friend never felt the forty grain bullet from the magnum revolver enter its head.

The paws scrabble on the brown grass for a second, then the dog's muscles relaxed in death. Cameron, puzzled at the felon's attitude, had followed at a distance, arriving in time to see the gunshot. He rushed Trey, grasping his arm and swinging him around. "Why did you do that" the younger man raged?
The bank robber used his free hand to get a grip on his assailant's small finger, bending it backward until the hand released him. "The dog had Mange, worms and had lost most of its body weight. If a vet clinic was just across the road they couldn't have saved him. He.... was....too....far....gone!

Trey released Cameron, taking a step back prepared to defend himself against a renewed attack. "Mange comes from a mite that burrows into the skin. In humans it's called Scabies. You need to get cleaned up. You, your clothing and gear. Lots of soap and water, Use the alcohol from the first aid stuff, wipe everything down".

At the sound of the gunshot, Scarletti sprinted for the house and Murphy moved to the loft door of the barn looking for targets. Joker knew what his friend had intended when he took the little magnum with him, so he followed at a trot toward the home. Both men stopped at the corner of the house to watch the confrontation. A dejected Cameron passed them with his head down, walking back to the barn. Trey scrounged up a shovel and began digging a hole.

The delayed breakfast was a somber affair after the morning's events. Cameron didn't have much of an appetite. The soldier had seen plenty of people die, however the animal's death seriously affected him.
Scarletti was sent along on the sanitation trip to the creek. He returned with the truck by himself. "He wanted to walk back" was the answer given to Murphy when he inquired. Cameron walked back to the farm dressed only in his wet underwear, his soaked boots squishing with each step. The wet uniform and gear, carried over his shoulder, left a trail of dripped water down the middle of the road.

Watching the last few embers of the fire die, Joker broke the silence. "I'm bored already".

"You sound like my brother's kids" the bank robber answered back, receiving a crazy grin in reply. "I saw some smoke in the distance during breakfast. We could take a ride".

Murphy was on guard and Cameron was sleeping in the barn, leaving Scarletti at loose ends. "I'm coming too". The three men piled into the Mercedes for the trip. Trey directed his friend, making turns that took them east and south of their temporary home. The car was stopped, the occupants looking and listening for signs of life when Joker asked "How much smoke"?

"Just a single line. Somebody making food, just like us".

The longer they drove, the slower Joker went and their stops became more frequent. The vegetation along the roads, left to itself, encroached on the pavement. If anyone had been that way on four wheels, they had to have driven in the middle of the road. The gravel driveways were not only being edged out from the sides, weeds were sprouting from the middle as well, showing no signs of passage. The paved drives were less obvious. The men relied on dust and pollen settling on the blacktop, undisturbed these last months, to tell their tale. The few locked gates the seekers found were well decorated with spider webs.

"If anyone is living out this way, they must never leave their place" Joker said pointing out the obvious.

Trey agreed adding "They must already have everything they need".

Scarletti listened to the felons while answering a call of nature. His target was a grayed, pressure treated, wood post, supporting a package sized mail box. Little of the galvanized finish still showed through all the rust, although the occupant's name stood out in barely faded red paint. Speckles of blue and white paint were still visible from earlier labeling .

The soldier felt the tug on his left boot, yelped while attempting to jump back. The skeletal hand remained clutched to the leather clad foot. All his weight was on his right foot as he leaned back away from his attacker. That was when he realized that his rifle was still in the car. The only thing the young man could think to do was kick at the claw with his other foot. The White Snakeroot not only disguised his attacker, but also cushioned the kicks.

Hearing the ruckus, the criminals exited the car and saw Scarletti's predicament. "Relax" Joker advised. "Its stuck or it would be climbing up your leg by now". The thief parted the weeds with his spear looking for the rest of the creature. Tall woody stalks had grown up pinning the goon in place and its head was crowned with sickly looking toad stools. The final hindrance to moving was the fact that both legs and one arm were broken badly.

After forcing the point of the spear into its skull, Joker tried stomping the forearm, trying to break the bone without success. The rebar shaft of his spear served better, although he flailed at the arm half a dozen times. Freed, the young soldier danced around trying to kick the claw off of his boot. Trey grabbed his shoulder "Relax, this happened to me too. You have to cut it off" the bank robber held up his belt knife with an evil smile.

The three men decided to give up the search for the mysterious source of the smoke. According to the sun it was past noon, and they had to find their way back yet. The first turns looked familiar, however the rest was the cause of disagreement between the cellmates. Scarletti was wise enough to not take sides in these disputes.

Back at the farm, Joker started supper and Trey filled the gas tank of the German car. Dinner was a quiet affair, with little conversation. After cleaning up, Trey called a brief meeting of the group. "Get everything done tonight. Vehicle checks, weapons cleaned and pack what you can. I'll filter water to top off the supply. Chow will be early tomorrow, so we should be ready to go by the time the sun is up. I don't expect the plane for two hours after sunrise, but we'll have to be ready for it". There wasn't much to do really, he just didn't want anyone holding them up the next day.

Only the Mercedes had been driven since they arrived, however the trucks were rechecked anyway. The felons made their regular nightly weapon checks. "Do you think they'll be here that early" Joker asked his friend?

"Only if everything goes as expected" the bank robber shrugged.

"So we should figure about noon, then" the thief said sarcastically.

"The real question is if the plane doesn't show up today, then what? How long should we stay"?

"Are you nuts? If it doesn't show by late afternoon, we can be halfway home before dark"?

"What's your hurry" Trey asked. We can give them another day, then do a little exploring on the way back".

The ex-soldier was awake earlier than the others the next morning. He had the fire going and was prepared to go wake his partner, when Joker stumbled out of the barn. The thief yawned, stretched, then announced "Screw cooking, the menu this morning is coffee and canned fruit". Coffee was ready when Cameron wandered up to the fire. With a steaming cup in his hand, he went to wake the others.
The five men stood around the mini furnace, each silently, spooning fruit from a can, followed by coffee.

Trey picked a spot just to the east of the farm for a touchdown point. The pilot would be landing east to west into the wind, taxing back east, then taking off east to west into the wind again. The fact was that there had barely been a refreshing breeze since they had arrived, however he had his orders.

The soldiers popped the top off the five gallon can of orange paint that had been thoroughly stirred the day before. The paint was spread across the width of the road with rollers, before extending the orange block fifty feet in length. Joker insisted on adding a huge orange arrow, which the criminals found to be amusing. Not to be outdone, Trey began painting alternate sides of the road with orange stripes. Once they thought there was more than enough room to land in, Joker painted the word stop in big letters, with an exclamation point.

"When the plane stops we have to get it turned around" the bank robber explained to the three soldiers. " We follow it back and turn it again, then refuel it" he finished. With over an hour before the guests arrived, the group retired to the shade provided by the barn. Trey sat in the upstairs door of the barn, intermittently scanning to the north with his binoculars.

By eleven o'clock, the thief could no longer contain his irritation. "Well, they're late" the small man said. "Let's get out of here".

"OK" the bank robber deliberately gave his friend hope. "But you get to explain to Peach about how we only waited a couple hours. While you're at it, you can explain to Mathers and Illion's men too". Joker was willing to risk Peach's wrath, however all those soldiers were a different kettle of fish.

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:00 am 
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HUZZAH!!

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Most of my adventures are on my blog http://suntothenorth.blogspot.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:36 pm 
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Welcome back!

And thanks!

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"So he's not a team player then?"
"You mean Spazz...? Hes not even a fan of the team."


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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:22 pm 
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Just found this story and read it in a week. It's an excellent story that I really enjoy. Please keep up with the good tale!


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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 11:22 am 
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Forgot to post MOAR, when I finished the latest installment! Thanks again for a great update!

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:38 pm 
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Resigned that his friend couldn't be budged from doing what he considered his duty and that they would be stuck here for a couple more days, the thief turned toward the dusty stairs leading down. The small man was surprised when his friend called him back. "I think that's them" Trey said, pointing to the northeast. A dark speck stood out against the light blue summer sky. With the magnification of the binoculars, the speck turned into an unidentifiable blob. "They're late and coming from the wrong direction, but I'm pretty sure that's Rose". He'd expected the plane to come in from the west over the town or from the north following the highway.

Joker took his turn with the glasses, however the smudge still hadn't taken shape yet. "Shouldn't she be up higher"?

"Yep, so maybe it's another airplane just passing by" the bank robber suggested. The two men left dust hanging in the air behind them from descending the rough staircase. "Saddle up" Trey called to the soldiers sitting in the scant shade of a pickup truck. He pointed in the direction of the approaching aircraft and the trio stood to look. All eyes were turned to the northeast for several minutes before the very faint buzz of an engine could be heard.

The novelty of an aircraft, made it the center of attention once it began to circle the farm. The pilot had spotted their marker and was circling to take a good look at the area, as well as losing altitude with each pass. The buzz of the engine had changed to a distant drone at closer range. Trey was reminded of the day his father had taken him and his brother to watch some skydivers. That airplane had taken a long time to reach a jump height, making long circles as it climbed.

The pilot at last waggled the bird's wings, which the watchers assumed meant it would land on the next pass. The men serving as the ground crew, fired up their vehicles and moved them into position on both sides of the road. The pilot reduced the power to the engine, letting the Cessna almost drift in like a leave falling in a slight breeze, although in reality it was still traveling at sixty miles an hour.

The tires chirped when they kissed the pavement, the single engine plane starting to slow due to the pilot using the wing flaps before braking. As soon as the visitor passed, the trucks and car chased it down the country road. When they caught up to the now stationary machine, the pilot twirled her finger in the air, ordering a one hundred and eighty degree change in position. Neither the pilot , nor the passenger made any sign of greeting.

The group from the farm lifted the tail of the plane, balancing it on the landing. gear. The tail was walked to the left, the left gear wheel moving forward and the right wheel moving backward until it had swapped directions. The plane was again chased by the three vehicles, although at a slower pace this time. The craft had barely stopped, when both doors opened and the passengers exited quickly. The pilot moved to the barn, showing a flash of bright red underwear as she rounded the corner, dropping her jeans. Less modest, Illion stood at the edge of the road urinating.

"Too much coffee" Joker yelled the question at the lieutenant?

"We were fighting a damn headwind the entire way, then ran into a situation" the officer replied loudly. "After the transfer pump couldn't be found, after the detail wasn't waiting for us". Illion zipped up his fly with a sigh of relief. "The island isn't a threat anymore" he said walking closer. "Things didn't look right, so we took a closer look".

"That wasn't the deal" an angry female voice added. "You said we would just do a fly by".

"For the hundredth time, the situation had changed".

"The deal hadn't changed. A deal is a deal and you shook on it, so that makes you a liar" Rose said furiously. "You can find your own way home from here, you and I are done".

The officer, who was becoming almost as angry as the young pilot, turned and walked away. The detail got into position to turn the plane into the wind. Joker had been wearing a pleased expression ever since the argument had started. Rose flipped out on the thief "Not one word from you , you little twit".

"Fuck this shit, I'm on strike" the small felon announced to all before also walking away.

Trey looked at Rose, then turned to follow his friend. "Are you on strike too" the pilot asked sarcastically?

"I understand that you're having a bad day, but that doesn't give the right to take it out on everybody else. I advised you that it was a mistake to make this trip, but you wouldn't listen. You aren't one of us anyway, you're leaving, remember. I agree with Joker, fuck this shit" the bank robber stated, then sauntered away smiling, with his hands in his pockets.

The cellmates sat on the hood of the Mercedes watching the struggle to turn the plane around. For the sake of his men, Illion stepped up to get the job done. The enlisted men went about refueling the empty gas tank making an effort not to laugh at the situation. None of them wanted to draw Rose's wrath or Illion's ire. The men switched positions frequently, so the fuel pumped from the fifty gallon drums never slowed down.

"You tried to talk her out of flying this mission" the officer confronted the criminals?

"Absolutely" Trey answered. "You were obsessed with that island and I had a bad feeling about the whole deal. Hell, even Mathers tried to talk you out of this".

"Yeah, I guess I do that" the leader admitted. "Although for what it's worth, the island was overrun. Lots of the dead walking around with most of the boats were already gone. A couple small boats with no motor or sail were rowing toward the mainland. I think that's worth knowing. There isn't any way of knowing how many got away on the boats. Or where they'll go" he said pointedly.

"Well if boats are still leaving it can't have happened very long ago" Joker stated the obvious also, since Illion was playing that game.

"And we don't know anything about the number or type of boats" Trey finished.

"Think she'll change her mind and give me a ride" Illion changed the subject?

Joker laughed in reply. "Unlikely" the bank robber guessed. "You can ride with Scarletti in the pickup if you want. I'll ride with Joker".

The trucks pulled away from the airplane and the engine immediately fired up. Without a "thank you" or even a "kiss my ass" the pilot began to taxi down the road. A careful flyer, Rose didn't try a short takeoff, despite her fit of pique. Everyone watched her depart, swinging wide to the north as the craft climbed. The sound of the engine took on a new note, that didn't sound right to the watchers. "That's not the plane" Joker was the first to catch on.

"Its behind us" Trey called out as the new sound grew in volume. The felons took cover, imitated a moment later by the others. The vehicle approaching was doing so at a high rate of speed. The new model truck fishtailed when the operator stomped on the brakes. The truck stopped almost broadside in the road. The driver leapt out, pointing in the air and shouting "Its a plane. A real airplane. Why didn't it stay? Where's it going? Is it coming back" the woman spit out the questions in machine gun fashion?

The men stared at the woman who was oblivious to the rifles pointing in her direction. In her late twenties or early thirties and well over six feet tall, she was also shaped by a life of hard work on the farm. Joker's dislike was instantly triggered by anyone close to six feet tall. The rest of the group were wondering how they would make out in a serious fight with the farm girl.

"I'm Trey" the felon said with a large smile and introduced everyone else.

The sight of the uniforms set her off again. "Oh my god, you're the Army. I didn't think there were any of you guys left. How long have you been here? Are you staying? I'm Norma, you have to come for supper. I'm smoking a ham, with potatoes and fresh snap beans. I have bread baking too". Trey accepted the invitation on behalf of everyone, it was too good an offer to pass up.

The criminals in the German sedan recognized most of the route Norma was taking. They assumed she was the source of the smoke they had seen. Their search had been very close to the heavily gated property she turned onto. The house was originally a log cabin that had been added onto with a clapboard second story and a brick wing on the first. The dogs were torn between greeting their mistress, who seldom left the farm and barking at the intruders. Norma let the display continue for a minute, then hushed the dogs.

The woman settled everyone in the shade of a Grapevine covered pergola with a large round table and chairs. She disappeared inside, returning shortly with snacks and refreshments. Settled in a chair, she encouraged her visitors to tell her about everything. Trey and Illion did most of the talking, leaving the others to make up for the light breakfast that morning. Norma held her silence until the flow of information slowed, then traded questions and answers with her guests,

Norma's parents had died at the beginning of the outbreak and were buried out back. Her older brother was a career Navy man and her sister was in the hotel business in Las Vegas. She hadn't heard from either sibling since the early days of the disaster, but assumed the Navy was safer than a transient town like Vegas. The last she heard from Sissy, she was supposed to be catching a flight the next morning, with a connection in Chicago. Norma was close to tears by the time she related her experience.

The farm was pretty well supplied, although she visited the neighboring farms to see what was available. Most of the owners were just plain dead. A few were gone and the remainder had turned into those things. Only a handful of monsters had turned up at her farm in all these months. Most of the dogs and stock had come from other places. The pig they were about to eat had escaped or been set free by its owner.

Norma busied herself with the big meal and the soldiers were not inclined to leave the table. The pair of felons poked around the barn and outbuildings, before ending up walking the property line. The stock ignored the two men as long as they kept their distance. The lack of negative comments from his partner, made Trey wonder if Joker was becoming used to country life.

The boundary fence was six strands of barbed wire on sturdy Locust posts, which were solidly set in the ground. On the majority of the perimeter, the fence wasn't even necessary. The belt of undergrowth had matured to the point that nothing could penetrate it without the help of a cutting tool. The few thin spots they saw, had "bob war" tightly woven through the branches and trunks from the ground to head height.

The pork and fresh bread were the hit of the evening meal. The men were encouraged to have seconds, while the hostess had a third plate herself. Even if there had been desert, nobody had room for it. The bottle of bourbon that showed up after the meal was a different story. Norma poured herself a second glass with two fingers of the amber liquid before bringing up a new subject. "It is lonely here, I wouldn't mind some company. Help with the work would be nice, plus maybe I wouldn't talk to the animals so much" she said with a laugh.

"I don't blame you" the bank robber said with a soft smile. "I know the Army won't be turning anyone loose for a long time. Joker and I have a farm, not to mention we seem to be the trouble shooters for our group. When we get home, if anyone is interested, we could send them your way".

"I'd appreciate that" the big woman said.

Joker surprised his friend saying "Why don't you come back with us. You'd have your pick of places to set up with".

Norma sat in thought for several minutes before replying. "This is my family's land, I don't think I could leave. No offense intended, but I've been through your hill country and it's not for me".

After another night in a barn, they had a big country breakfast, then hostess and guests bid each other a friendly farewell, certain that they wouldn't meet again. The Mercedes led the group back east. It was probably safe to just retrace their previous route, but Trey took them further south. They passed through Ottawa, Findlay and Tiffin. The next, long stretch had no towns at all until they were close to Akron. The bank robber figured it would be safer to pass to the south, however that meant a big swing back north to get home. He elected to go north, very close to the way they had traveled west.

The dead that were encountered had a stiff, dried out look to them which was unusual. Not that they saw many of the goons west of Akron, but Illion also noticed that the heat seemed to affect their joints, making them even more awkward. The western suburbs had attracted a horde that stalled, forcing the travelers north earlier than anticipated. Only a few of the goons even seemed aware of the vehicles, with their tasty morsels inside. The criminals were puzzled by their behavior.

Trey was thinking about the changes in the dead, when Joker brought him back to the present. "What is that"?

A curious smudge had appeared on the horizon. "A fire maybe"?

They expected the smudge to get larger as they grew closer, however the smudge itself was also increasing in size. The convoy stopped to refuel, the occupants grateful to have a chance to stretch their legs. Illion waved his map at the felons "There's a big fire in Youngstown".

"Wrong" Joker disagreed. " The whole town is on fire".

"How does a an entire town catch fire"?

"It could be some kind of accident, like a lightning strike. Or maybe there's firebug doing his thing. I read a book about that once. They made it into a movie".

As he often did, Illion just stared at Joker, at a loss for words. "We should check it out" Trey broke the silence. The group drove until they reached the outskirts of the suburbs, where they slowed down. The neighborhoods had the usual debris in front of the homes, evidence of a hasty departure. Only a few buildings had broken windows or open doors. What was unusual was the total lack of the dead. Joker wove back and forth through the tracts of homes, however the result was the same. Trey called a stop and the travelers gathered in the street. "Where'd they go" Illion said what everyone was wondering?

"Don't you hear it" the thief asked? The sound of the flames devouring the city a short drive away, was a low roar. "The deadheads don't know what the sound is, so they're checking it out just like us. Hey, maybe they'll all burn up" Joker said with a grin. Trey looked toward the growing smoke cloud that was rising upward, but drifting to the east. "The wind is out of the west, but it's pretty light. If the fire spreads, there isn't much to stop it until it reaches the Allegheny river. That river is too far east to do the farms or the prison any good".

The lieutenant found that news disturbing. The bank robber scanned the area to the north with his binoculars. The closer, multi story buildings would only provide a better view of the smoke. The one that caught his attention was at least ten stories high and close to the burning town. "I found some high ground. I want to take a look from there" Trey declared, not asking permission. "You guys can head on back if you want".

Murphy listened to the discussion while facing away from the gathering, so he was the first to see the goons. "Dead" he alerted the rest in a conversational tone. Everyone turned slowly to watch a handful of once humans, shamble through an intersection, intend on the continuous noise. Back in the Mercedes, the smaller man zigzagged through the streets, although he held a general north east course. Car wrecks and serious debris dictated most of the change of directions. One intersection was filled with hundreds of corpses stacked in the street, forcing the convoy to drive through a yard. The humming of the insects was loud enough to drown out the fire. The stench had to be experienced to be believed.

With the condition of the bodies, there was no way to know if they were victims of illness or exterminated zombies. The German car bounced off the curb back onto the street, only to climb the far curb to bypass another pyramid of bodies stacked in the next intersection. The driver pulled his shirt up over his nose like that would help escape the extreme stink. "Does that work" the passenger laughed at his friend?

"No, but it'll keep the bugs out of my mouth" he referred to flies bouncing off the windshield. Joker stopped next to the pile of rotten flesh to wait for the heavily laden trucks to catch up. He jumped out of the car and raced around the intersection looking down each street. Back at the car, his hands waved furiously to disburse the bugs before jumping back in the driver's seat. With the door closed, both men swatted at the half a dozen flies who had made it inside. Trey dug out the alcohol wipes that hadn't been needed before now, to clean their hands. "The bad news is we have to go back west. The other intersections look just like this one" Joker informed his friend.

The convoy bumped over more curbs to get headed west. The mountains of corpses were much smaller, with room to drive around until they were clear. "That must have been from the early days. The bodies were supposed to be picked up I guess" Trey thought out loud. A dozen blocks to the north the vehicles turned east again. Looking down the cross streets, they could see that they were just outside the collection area. Even from a block away, it was clear that a failed attempt had been made to burn some of the corpses. That was the only blackened stack they saw, evidently the experiment hadn't been repeated. The necessity to keep moving north, now had the convoy moving away from the target building.

At last, the streets to the east looked clear. The Mercedes led the way east, along the northern edge of the collection area, which turned out to be several blocks wide. The dead hadn't been seen around the collection area. however they showed up soon after. They didn't ignore the travelers, however they seemed more intend on the burning area of town. The multi story building loomed above the surrounding area. The property, advertised as Jamison Business Park, was fenced in, but it was a disappointment to find the entrance had been guarded only by a bar that raised and lowered as vehicles passed. A frantic driver had declined to wait and had smashed through the flimsy barrier.

It was impossible to pull up to the front of the sleek, black monolith. A large gazing pool occupied the space where a lawn should have been. This crowded the sidewalk to a narrow ribbon of concrete. The convoy settled for parking across the covered, reserved slots at the side of the building. A handful of goons inside the fence was dealt with. Those that had followed them into the parking area were next.
Illion joined his soldiers in slaying the walking horrors. Joker couldn't resist showing off with his spear. While the street was clear, a car with mostly flat tires, was pushed in front of the entrance .

The glass fronted lobby took up the entire front side. Trey peered through the dusty glass, seeing nothing that shouldn't be there. Everyone took a turn looking inside, those that tried rubbing the glass clean only made it worse. The shallow pool held the remains of a body too rotten to float. The surface coating of algae blocked out whatever else might be in there. The smoke had reached a height that blocked out the midday sun, covering everything in a dark shadow.

Joker knelt by the door to inspect the lock, using his flashlight, "This fricking thing is electric" was his verdict. "Either it locked down when the power went out or it's running on solar power. Let's try the back".

"Are you sure" Illion asked?

"I'm a thief, not an electrician" the small man said indignantly. He walked back the way they came.

Illion followed walking next to Trey. "Does that mean he knows or not" the officer asked? The only reply he got was a shrug and a smile. There were no doors on the side where they had parked, so the procession circled to the rear of the building. The first door was marked as electrical, the other was unmarked. Joker began working on the lock of the windowless steel door. After several minutes the thief stepped back, looked the door over before selecting a different tool, then started on the lock again. Several more minutes passed before everyone present heard the muted click of the tumblers moving.

"You'd think this was Fort Knox or something" Joker commented. He rapped on the door with the heel of his hand and the group didn't have to wait long for a responding bump from the inside. The small man glanced over his shoulder and saw the soldiers were ready, so he whisked the door open. The dead maintenance man leaning on the door fell flat on his face. As zombies go, he was in surprisingly good shape, having been protected from the elements. Rifles covered the dark room inside the door and other hands dragged the goon to the curb by the back of his shirt. Murphy stomped hard one time, breaking the thing's neck.

The criminals lit up the maintenance and supply room with their flashlights. Unlike most places the dead were trapped in, this was fairly clean. Only the door area bore the trademark black gunk. Walking past the storage racks of now dusty and useless items, they found an interior door. Inside that they found the stairwell and a door to the lobby. One man stayed to watch the stairs and the others swept the lobby.

There weren't any tracks in the coating of dust on the granite floor, so the only other concern was the closed conference room door. Getting no response from a tap on the dark wood door, they opened it with caution. All they found was evidence that the room had been lived in for an extended period at one time. Cameron was ordered to stay on the ground floor to keep an eye on things. The rest of the group started up the stairs, moving slowly to stir up the least amount of dust as possible.

The fire door on the second floor opened unexpectedly when Murphy gave the handle a tug to make sure it was latched. There was some scrambling to cover the doorway. The sailor cracked the door again noticing that the air was stale, but free of the smell of decomposition. The bar release on the interior side hadn't popped back into position after the last time it was used. With a nod from Ilion, the Seaman went far enough down the hall to see that all the office doors were closed.

There was a discussion when the landing on the third floor was reached. "Don't do that" Illion told his lead man as he reached for the door handle. Murphy pulled his hand back, giving the LT an "Are you crazy" look.

Trey took Illion aside, whispering "We have to clear the halls before we go up. If we don't the goons could trap us on the upper floor, if there's enough of them".

"I know, I know" the red faced officer stuttered. Getting the nod to proceed, Murphy had a foot in front of the metal fire door to keep it from swinging wide open. Taking a breath, the sailor put some tension on the handle, but the door was latched. He pushed down on the thumb release, making a very loud click in the quiet stairwell. The door opened an inch for a repeat of the smell test, which was negative. This time Joker strolled down the hall with his suppressed handgun ready for use.

The process was repeated on each floor, varying only where the interior layout required a different approach. On the fifth floor the party found a cubicle farm. This floor was cleared without incident, however it took much longer than the other floors. The tenth, and top floor, had a different air about it. The landing seemed larger with no stairs taking up space, the door and handle were several grades above the utilitarian fixtures seen below. Joker had a crazy grin plastered on his face "I smell money".

This door refused to budge. The thief took one look, then remarked "Nobody locks a fire door".

"His building, his rules" Trey replied.

Murphy wrinkled his nose in disgust when the door was cracked. The smell of rot drifted out onto the landing, spoiling his view of the plush interior. Three of the four offices were empty. The largest was occupied by the remains of a man who had everything, and after a few glasses of top shelf bourbon, blew his brains out when everything went to hell. Even their minimal noise riled up the goon in the ladies room. The bank robber opened the door just far enough to shoot it in the head.

Trey's ever present binoculars had a less than perfect view down the street. The darkly tinted windows weren't the worse problem. The smoke from the fires was getting thicker by the minute. They retreated two floors with better results. The dead approached the fully involved areas like it was something they could grab a hold of. Clothing began smoldering first, followed by hair, although they burst into flame about the same time.

The walking torches moved about fine until they burned for several minutes. Then they began walking into anything in their path. Goons that stayed near the source of the heat after that point, dried out enough for the skin to catch fire. The contents of the skull reached a certain temperature, then the zombie collapsed. The goons that staggered down the street between the roaring conflagration were affected much sooner.

The tar and chip roof of the next building in line, already soft from the summer sun, had reached a semi liquid state as the flames grew nearer. The sixty year old print shop was fully engulfed when the roof collapsed, sending burning embers aloft on the rising heat waves. The bright orange ember touched down in the soft black material, setting the new roof ablaze in moments. "I guess we've seen enough" Trey said.

"Kind of mesmerizing, isn't it" Illion said half to himself.

"That's because it's so fast and easy" Joker waxed philosophical. "Nobody stands around watching a new building going up, making oooh's and awww's. The others in the room turned to look at the smaller man. "What" he demanded?

Cameron had peeked outside looking for threats when he heard the others on the stairs. The fire sounded louder when they exited the building. The car blocking the parking lot entrance did its job, keeping a couple of goons at bay. The suppressed weapons couldn't be heard for any distance over the background noise. With the car pushed aside and the dead drug out of the way, the convoy set off north again.

Trey relaxed once the city and the western flatland was behind them. The group stopped to refuel at a spot surrounded by open ground. "I wonder if this smoke caused Rose any trouble" the bank robber asked the lieutenant? "She should have been far enough north I think".

"I agree, the plane was supposed to set down at the walled estate. The crew was just going to hang around and wait for her. We could swing by there and drop off the rest of the aviation gas. Do you think she's still mad"?

"I'd say that's a safe bet" the felon laughed.

Arriving at the makeshift airfield, they saw the chocked plane by the house, however all the people had gone. The aircraft was fully fueled, but all the barrels were left anyway, the beginning of an offsite fuel dump. The Army contingent departed for home, however the cellmates decided to stay and poke around the house.

The pair walked around the house inspecting the various entry points. Joker pointed out the finger prints here and there, where somebody had checked to see if there was a way in. The front of the home, facing the gated entrance, had a lot of glass. The back door showed the wear of being used the most often. The area around the lock had scratches in the wood, mostly new since the material hadn't gone over to a weathered gray yet. Joker commented about the amateur attempts on the lock.

The garage door was windowless, with no handle or hardware visible. The thief declared it to be electric, which must have been an upgrade, based on the age of the building. Having completed the circle of the outside, Joker had a go at the back door lock. He had the door open within minutes.
The felons stood next to the open door, listening and smelling the stale air.

The kitchen was all granite counter tops , once shiny, stainless steel appliances and dark wood cabinets. The two men disagreed whether the wood was a walnut or alder. The stocked pantry shelves were full to the point that items were also stacked on the floor along the wall. The long table in the dining room would sit ten for dinner.

The sunken living room was very nice, but outdone by the den. Lots of real wood and leather, with an incredibly thick carpet. The glass fronted gun case held an assortment of expensive firearms. Over and under shotguns , along with African class rifles appeared spotless, apparently having never been fired. Joker opened the humidor on the desk , "real Cuban".

The bedrooms were also impressive. The thief flopped onto the bed in the master bedroom, then groaned loudly. "Man, you have got to try this mattress". The two criminals laid on the bed "This is a great bed" Joker said. Trey didn't pop his bubble by reminding his friend that they had spent the last couple nights sleeping in barns, so any bed would have been welcome, especially at Joker's age.

Trey woke up, opening his eyes in pitch black, swallowing his panic he felt for his rifle and flashlight. The bright beam was blinding, however as his eyes adjusted he realized where he was. "Well, that was stupid" he said to himself. He pulled the curtains open, then raised the windows. Even the warm night air felt better than the stuffiness in the long closed room. The bank robber removed his boots and went back to sleep.

Waking a second time, he was greeted by his friend sitting on the window sill, smoking a big Cuban cigar. "This is the life. I should have been rich, instead of handsome" Joker said. Trey struggled to maintain a straight face. "We fell asleep" the thief continued.

"I know, who do you think opened the windows"?

"Oh, yeah. Anyway, they should have been here by now".

"Let's go see what Peach has for breakfast".

On the drive back to the farm, Joker pointed out a goon laying in the road. "That's the reason I dumped the motorcycle" he said still holding a grudge.

"You should have gone around it".

"I guess you had to be there, smart guy".

"Is that notebook still in the glove compartment"?

"Sure" the passenger said, digging through the cubby hole.

"This is an idea I've been thinking about. Write this down". Joker began writing what his partner was saying, pausing to laugh or add his own ideas. He tore the page out of the wire binder as they pulled into the driveway. The dog came running, followed by all four children. Responding to the "What did you get us" demands, the thief distributed pieces of rock hard bubble gum. The dog settled for running off with the dropped wrappers, followed by the kids.

Peach was waiting on the porch. "They've been driving me nuts. What took you so long"? Trey explained about the survivor and the city burning, which almost seemed to pacify the woman of the house. "What do you look so happy about"?

"I'm just in a good mood" Joker said with his most winning smile.

Their request for breakfast resulted in a thick slice of bread covered in peanut butter. The two men sat on the porch with coffee, sharing the snack with the attentive animal. Joker never tired of watching the dog eating peanut butter. Later they found the Swede and Thompson at the back end of the field. The part of the field that hadn't been planted was getting a final hoeing. The two adventurers took their turn with a hoe. During breaks, the news from outside was traded for activities at the farm.

The Swede knew something was up, his fellow inmates were in way too good a mood. Peach picked up on the vibe during dinner, earning the pair some stern looks. The meal over, Joker produced his list, handing it to Rose with a flourish. She unfolded the paper while Peach chased the children outside, expecting the worse.

"A bill! You're giving me a bill!" Rose yelled in disbelief. "Disarming patient, sedating patient, stabilizing broken limb, extracting patient from the wreck, transporting the patient for treatment, care of the patient during recovery, replacing patient's aircraft" the volume of her voice rising with each item. "I flew two trips for you".

"That was for Illion" Trey calmly replied.

"I helped you steal that plane".

"We gave you a discount for that" Joker nodded sagely.

"And how do I pay this bill" Rose asked suspiciously.

"Teach us to fly" the smiling criminals said in unison.

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Last edited by Groucho on Tue Dec 06, 2016 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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buhahahahaha! great update! the end was pretty funny gave me a good chuckle at work. As usual fantastic installment!

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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 10:38 am 
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Just bumping this up as a reminder to Groucho. We want MOAR!

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JeeperCreeper wrote:
I like huge dicks, Halfapint, so you are OK in my book.... hahaha
Spazzy wrote:
Tell ya what... If Zombies attack and the world ends I'll hook tandem toddlers to a plow if it means I'll be able to eat...


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 Post subject: Re: Doing Time
PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2017 1:20 pm 
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Halfapint wrote:
Just bumping this up as a reminder to Groucho. We want MOAR!


You rabble rouser!

Time to assemble the U.S.M.C. (U.S. MOAR Corpses) :mrgreen:

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