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.
“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-
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!
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)
My phone was stolen, so any contact with me is likely NOT me. Am in the process of shutting it down now.
Be advised, I will be back online Thursday, and I will try to contact all with new number as needed.
(sad note, that also means the stories are offline for a wee bit. I will get them up as I can.)
UPDATE, Phone is now shut down and with an Android Factory Reboot in order for whoever stole it. Fuckin Thieves
Since my first endeavor cracked up (literally), I decided that this time, I would spend a little more to potentially save me later. I purchased an ARF (almost ready to fly ) unit. The guy at the hobbyshop cut me a pretty good deal, (more to clear shelf space I think) so making the purchase didnt hurt near as much as I expected.
Get it home (and I had an inkling of what I was getting into by the box this plane came in) and oh jeez! What did I get myself into. This thing has a 5′ wing span, weighs 5.5 lbs assembled and should be able to be seen from 1/2 a mile. LOL but by God, this thing is SOLID!
Spent a few hours putting rhe final assembly together, setting servos and linkage, working on getting the CoG just right, and making a motor mount. (Plane is set up for a nitro engine, not electric. The way I put things together, I can still go that route, later, if I so desire.)
Set her in the drive this morning to test engine thrust and controls, and have to say, very very pleased. Maiden flight will have to wait on weather though. Soon, I hope.
Man, this thing is BIG.
An intermission :
Aug 2016: T and G hook up with a group of anarchists outside of Tucson AZ. One has a hangar in the desert, and that is where T and g part ways for a spell.
Nov2016 :Trump wins the presidential election and the lefties start to blow up.
T sells off the dually and trailer in Oklahoma. ATF is tracking his movements.
Dec 2016:Trump wins the electoral college vote with room to spare and the lefties start making plans to disrupt every aspect of his presidency.
G starts laying framework for a carbon composite F18 Eagle in 1/4 scale.
Jan 2017: Trump takes office with almost nothing getting out of hand in DC.
T is apprehended by the ATF in Montana, but no charges filed, and he is released 2 days later. 9 hours after release, the local ATF office is destroyed to its foundations in the middle of the night. Evidence indicates an LPG tank wrapped in tannerite was the method. T is not a suspect due to the nature of the bomb, Agents on the case say the bomb was too crude to indicate his involvement.
Feb 2017. New Supreme court justices are sworn in, tipping the conservative progressive stance 5 to 4. Justice Ginsberg retires claiming health reasons and Trump adds another Conservative justice to the bench making the ratio 6-3. The progressive scream can be heard on Mars.
G gets delivery of a large crate from Sweden. Inside are two quarterscale turbo jet engines with afterburners and variable diameter exit nozzles and hardware/software package. G’s new friends get to see how a guy in a wheelchair can dance.
April 2017: Work begins on “The Wall”. Contrary to media reporting, Mexico provides 90%of the labor force, while the remaining 10% comes from Army Corp of Engineers. All material is sourced from local providers. The dollar hits a new high in the markets.
Jihadists begin attacks on public venues along the eastern seaboard. National Guard is called in to support local police forces.
California Governor fails a recall and a new election ensues. State Congress immediately starts Secession proceedings with approval of the Governor Pro-tem. Trump shuts off all water transfers via the Colorado River saying “when you can pay for it, you can have it.”
T returns to AZ, but maintains a discreet distance from his friends by getting an apartment in Phoenix. ATF is still watching him.
G makes a maiden flight of the new F18. Top speed of 387knots. His friends get to see that dance again.
Late July 2017: T makes a trip to the Slabs in California. There he purchases a full size Sportsman RV and a small 4×4 pickup with a towbar already mounted on its front bumper.
September 2017: President Trump, President Putin, and three leaders of Independent European countries meet to work on trade relations. The IMF collapses, followed by the remainder of the EU and the Federal Reserve implodes. China closes all ports and all shipping is recalled, while the Chinese navy takes an agressive stance in all of its shipping lanes.
T returns to Tucson and retreats to the hangar. There both G and T begin modifying the RV to accomadate 2 planes, flight rig and a workshop/chemlab. ATF had dropped his trail when he went into California.
Oregon and Washington State join California in Secession; all three enter into negotiations with China. China plans to establish a base on the old Camp Pendleton and uses Coronado Bay as a naval base. War drums begin to be heard from DC.
October 2017: President Trump in a move to alleviate Government spending cuts all welfare benefits with the exception of disabled Veterans. Social Security is suspended for any not already in the system, and Medicare/Medicaid is eliminated entirely. Riots break out in every major city by months end.
November 2017: Martial Law is declared and all overseas military are recalled home.
Our heroes begin trekking with the new rig, eastward.