Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

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Update

I started this as a comment to Snake and due to not being able to post pics in comments, decided to share with all.  

Yes, I was the dummy for not wearing my PPE, especially during winter months when our building is sealed up.  This is what my filters look like before and after.

Thats not even from a full day, but only half of our production run.  The filter is plugged tight and trying to breath with it is like running a marathon while breathing through a small straw.

I can only imagine what my lungs look like after a few months of that.

As is, I am using the filters now, I am coughing up gobs of grab and my O2 saturation and pulse are showing improvement weekly. (I have a bracelet that measures both and BP hourly.  Docs orders.) I am getting better, I only worry about the longterm and what is buried so deep in my lungs, I’ll never get it out.   

 Talking about stories, T and G are stalled in my head right now.  Not happy with where the muse is trying to take the story.  

But I will get back at it and more soon enough.  As soon as I can sit for five minutes without hacking up some alien lifeform, that is.

Wee vaca 

Thanks to being sick.  

Its all recovery from bad air and a weakened immune system so being sick is actually helping.

BUT

I havent written word one on the story since this shit started.  Having a hella time sitting and thinking as when I do, the coughing begins and all thoughts go buh-bye.

I’ll get better, then maybe I can finish the current chapter and maybe even find some plot line that ties everything together. (Yah, I’m winging it)

Hope y’all are in better shape than I right now, I will return to the keyboard soon enough.

OKTitle to be decided pt15

(Continued from 14)

As G finidshed programming LB, a Sheriff’s SUV came into sight of the RV.  T mutters, “just let me do the talking, k?”

“You got it T.  I’ll play dumb and stupid.”

The SUV pulls in across the tarmac from the RV and the occupant puts it into park and shuts down.  Getting out, he appears to unfold himself and on standing, the reason is obvious.  Standing just shy of 7 feet, Sheriff Macey is a big man. “Morning Gentlemen.  How y’all doin?.” He says, his Texarkana drawl prominent

“Not to bad sir, just getting our bearings.”replies T.  G just gives him a nod.  

“Thats good.  Hope you didnt have business in Memphis, cuz if’n ya did, I’d say that your appointment has been canceled.”

“No, no business, but with all that smoke, we decided to find a way around if we could.” T says, watching the big sheriff take off his cover and wipe his bald head with a rag. Its only 80 degrees and cloudy, but the black sheriff is already sweating bullets.”You wouldn’t know whats going on there would you? asks T

“Yeah, I know alright and t’aint good. Two weeks ago the muzzies raided two black mosques and started a damned holy war on American soil. They have more than half the city under their control now.”

“Muslims?” asks T.

“Yup, all those ‘refugees’ Bammy let in.  Hadn’t been able to clear ’em out.  They change location and ID as fast as roaches scurry from the lights.” Macey says, adding in a spit for emphasis.

“Damn.  What happened at the mosques?” Asks T, G has a stern look on his face but stays silent.

“Happened fast.  The men not killed outright were beheaded or crucified later, labeled apostate or some such”G nods silently” and the women and girl folk just disappeared. They didn’t leave any men or boys alive.  The black folks not muslim reacted pretty badly and tried to fight back, but these muzzies are loaded for bear.  Full auto AKs, rockets and grenades, the works. They handed those people their asses and ran the rest off.  Then they rocketed the fuel farm in West Memphis.  That took out almost half that town overnight.”

Neither G nor T say anything in response, they just look eastward, each deep in thought.  The sheriff is looking that way as well.  

“Gotta ask ya boys something, and I dont mean to scare ya:  you wouldn’t happen to be Tick tock and Gamer would you?  You fit the description but the rig is different.”

Both G and T swivel their heads to the sheriff and say nothing. “Now dont get ruffled boys, only asking cuz you fit the description but I ain’t the one after y’all. The APB says you’re terrorists, but I know terrorists pretty well now, ‘n you ain’t it.  Fact of the matter, from what I can tell; y’all are better patriots than those chasin’ ya.  After seeing what our Government let loose on us, I question a lot of things now-days.” He pauses for a second in reflection.  “The thing I dont get, is why the FAA would want a piece of y’all?  Ain’t never seen that one before.”

“Well,” T starts to respond. G snaps his head negative and T stops.  “Some things are best left quiet like.” G says, breaking his silence.

“Fair’nuff” says Sheriff Macey.  “I ain’t lookin’ at being no hero and I don’t believe half of what comes down the pipe no-ways.  I just find it funny that a few agencies want an old hippy and a guy in a wheelchair more than they want to deal with those guys,”he says as he hooks a thumb eastward towards Memphis.”‘guess it boils down to cowardice or somthin’.” He grins, “can’t says I blame’em though, them freaks over there are blood thirsty.”

“Well Sheriff, you seem to be in the know, if we were to head north of here, are there any problem areas we might need to avoid?”  asks T.

“None I’m aware of.  Most of the area north of here is agricultural and plenty of people self sufficient.  Where y’all headed?” The Sheriff asks.

“G has family in Louisville and we’re trying to hook up with them.” T lies.  G doesnt even give a twitch, even though they hadnt discussed ‘alternative futures’.

“A bit of haul, but no real trouble I am aware of. Louisville may be kinda ugly, but I hadn’t heard anything.  Lots of welfare types in the bigger cities.  Bastards give people like me a bad name.”

About this time, G’s phone starts beeping.  Pulling it out and reading the message, he looks up, then at T. “Little bird wants to come home.  She can’t hold a thermal and battery power is getting critical.  Guess the smoke is blocking some sun as well.”

The sheriff looks up, confused, and looks back at T. “Whats he talking about?”

T responds “Well, you wanted to know why the FAA wants us, you will get to see one reason in a few minutes.”   

G reaches into the RV and pulls out LB’s landing guide, wheels out into the road and stretches it out along the middle line.  He then pulls his phone and keys in the command to return for LB, then rolls back to where the other two are standing.

A couple of minutes passes then LB comes into view. “Well, I’ll be damned!” Exclaims the sheriff.  “A drone.  And a danged big one from what I can see.”

“Shes a lot more wing than body. Had to make the wings bigger to support her payload.  If the skys were clearer, she could stay up all day.” G says.  

“So thats what you guys meant by getting your bearings.  You were scouting ahead.” Laughing, the sheriff just shakes his head. “Ive seen it all now.”

“Sheriff, I have to ask how sincere you were by saying you weren’t wanting to make us trouble? ” Asks T. “That little plane landing here is only part of why the FAA and FCC want to talk to us.”  

“You call that little?”he remarks, watching as Little Bird touches down and rolls to the end of her guide rope.  “That thing is over 8’wide on the wings.  Whats it weigh? 10- 15 pounds?”

G answers “17 pounds actually.  Theres a lot of radio gear in her, as well as the batteries for them.  If I took out the radios, she’d only weigh 5 pounds.”

“And I take it you never registered her with the FAA? I remember reading something about them passing some rule about UAVs over 2 pounds needing registered. And they sent it out to law enforcement so we could do their job for them.  ”

“No, she ain’t registered, and we don’t have any intention of doing so.  Right now all they have is no registration, but if we were to register her, they could get us for fraudulanr claims as well.  I have no intention of filling them in about her role in our setup.” Says T.  G rolls over to little bird and flips a small switch under her wing.  He then pulls up and coils the rope,laying in his lap, then scoots behind the plane , pushing it to the RV. 

“She aint real heavy, but she’s awkward for me to carry in this chair.” G comments matter of factly.  T helps remove the wing from the fuselage and takes it into the RV while G messes with wires inside the fuselage. The sheriff asks,”you said this is one part of why they want to talk to you.  Mind if I ask about the other part?”

G thinks for a second, then says “I would say ask T about it.  But we have more planes in the rig and they really don’t appreciate those girls at all.  T may let ya look, but he’s the boss man and its his call.”

T comes out then asking “she ready for the charger G?”

“Yup.  Just plug her in. ” says G and hands the fuselage to T. 

The sheriff clears his throat and asks T “Just a little curious about what other stuff you might be flying.  Not as a professional, but as a civilian.  Can I take a look at what ya have?”

T pauses in the side door, looks back and replies,”give me a minute to get this hooked in and I’ll drop the gate and give you the tour.”

(More tomorrow)

Apologia 

Been busy getting myself back on track since the last post, for that an apology is in order, and this is it.  

For the record, a physical and a doctor frowned as well as yours truly.  Ain’t all the way back yet, but I am on that path.  Sadly, I ain’t twenty sumpin anymore and don’t bounce back like I did then.  

Most of the remaining chapter is written, just tying it together so give me another day or two.  Thanks for all of your patience.

Title to be decided pt14

“T! Lets send Little Bird out for a look.  She has the range so that we can get an idea of whats ahead.  We don’t like what we see, we change direction.”says G, sitting in his chair from the passsenger position in the RV, looking at T standing on the side of the road. West Memphis is 40 miles away, but the clouds from something burning are clear.  Whatever is burning is BIG.

“I can pretty much say that I already don’t like what I see. Memphis has had racial trouble for a long time, and this looks like it may have boiled over. ” he swears under his breath then adds,”yeah, lets get LB up cuz I may be wrong.”

G mutters “finally”, reaches down and undogs the latches holding his chair in place, then scoots back into the RV.

There is no traffic on this section of road, a few miles from interstate 40, and T uses the tarmac of it as runway for Little Bird.  As the GPS takes over and LB starts flying by program, T settles a set of VR goggles on his head and starts head swiveling. At his left hand is a control module, reminscent of a playstation controller.  A line from it runs into a box mounted in a rack of radio equipment and amplifiers.  These take up a small amount of space, but are mounted ceiling to floor.  Throughout the RV, ceiling height is 9 feet, this being a sportsman styled RV intended for living space as well as a rolling garage for off-road toys.  The back half of the RV is loaded with plane assemblies, fuel tanks, and stacks of ammo cases, some for rifle ammo, some longer ones from artillery shells. These are strapped securely to the walls in such a way as to balance side to side in the vehicle.  Towards the drivers area, is a kitchenette, a set of bunks and G’s virtual flying rig and a set of wall lockers separate the cab from the living space with a curtained aisle wide enough for G’s chair between them. A bathroom is contained in what looks like a broom closet opposite the bunks.

With Damocles wingless, her fuselage is 18′ in length, and she is strapped to the floor for travel. Hanging from the ceiling is a wingless F18 also 18’in length.  Hanging from racks on the wall are the wings for both planes.

“G, pull of some maps, we need to reroute around this, and from what I can tell, due south or due north. There’s no way I am gonna try to go throught this mess.”

G starts up the PC and asks, “What are you seeing?.”

“West Memphis is burning all the way to the river and I see at least two more large columns of smoke east and south  of the Mississippi.  Whatever is going on, we need to stay well clear of it.  From what I can see, north looks like the better option.  Any routes on the map?”

“A couple but the next bridge is just across the border of Missouri. Too bad nobody does the ferry thing anymore.  ”

“There are a few, but I doubt any big enough to handle our rig.”

“Hey, check this out, there are two towns up here by the name of Jericho and New Bern: here in Arkansas.  I thought that show was based in Kansas or the Dakotas or something.” G says with a little laugh.

A small chuckle from T,”Jericho.  I remember that show.  Started off pretty good and just kept getting crazier and crazier as it went on.  Wonder if thats whats going on here in Memphis, societal limits getting breached now that the dollar went all peso.” 

“Dunno.  Can you see any details?  People or whatnot?”

“Not really.  Altimeter says I am at 2500′ .  Not a whole lot of detail from a 120º lense at that height.  You know that though.”

“Yeah, I’d love a set of cameras like they have in the predator drones.  Wicked smooth images and able to read the newspaper from 10000′.”

“And the gov paid five times the actual cost I bet.  ”

Wouldnt doubt it a bit.  Maybe thats something we could work towards though, using regular lenses from a SLR camera or something. I know my dad had a telescopic on his old Nikon that really reached out there.”

Silence from T.

G catches that silence and adds, “well, maybe when things start to stabilize some. We gotta pretty good setup with what we have.” You can almost hear the blush as it crosses his face.

“Thanks. “T replies. ” We have our hands full just keeping fuel in the rig right now.  And until we get to Ashland, we have little hope of getting any decent kerosene for the planes.  What do we have in the tanks for the planes again?”

“About 80 gallons.  Thats 12 hours for one and 8 for the other, but not both combined; Either, or. They both drink like whales at speed.  And the 18 doesn’t like slow.”

“Guess its a good thing the 18 is mission limited then, eh.  I’m curious to see how you do when your turning radius triples in size?”

“Sez the engineer.  You’ve seen how a good tight bank can cut a turn in half or more, and what a plane can do in a snap turn defies imagination.  I built the airframe specifically to handle higher forces than Damocles can handle. Dont need her flying apart at the seams while dogfighting any helos. I should be able snap roll her in less space than Damocles uses thanks to a shorter wing span, but the downside is I have to fly faster to stay aloft and keep the surfaces biting air.”

“Thats your balliwick, I have enough fun just keeping Little Bird in thermals.  Ya gotta new route yet?”

“Yeah, but it aint nowhere near a straight line.”

Welcome to the south brother, only crows know straight lines and the distance between point A and point B will be twice or more than that straightline.  My pappy told me the people laying the trails way back when did it to confuse the hell out of the Government types.  I think they did it to not have to blast cuts into hills and such, but both answers work.” T pauses a second then adds,”we gotta car or truck headed our way. You wanna talk to em if they stop or do you want to take over flying?”

“Well, if they stop, you’re  more the diplomat.  But I can program LB to loiter over us for retrieval when they are gone, and we can cover each other. I’ll even record it if you want.”

“Do that, it may be nothing, but,,,”

-to be continued-

Quote of the year (so far)

​The rednecks got mistaken for bigots, because it was true that they didn’t like black people, but only because they didn’t like anybody
Hell yeah!  Ain’t nuthin’ personal, we just don’t like ya!
Go read the whole thing and get a belly laugh goin’. 

More story forthcoming, patience grasshopper!

Back up, and will,,,

Post more of T & G soon.  To those that have it, the number remains the same.  I may or may not have yours as the list I have comes from an older phone, so’ss,  if ya don’t hear from me soon, it’s not intended as a slight towards you: just lack of proper info on my part.

Cheers though, I’m back and teaching a phone a new vernacular.  (This one really hates my euphemisms)