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



Was over at GAB this morning and looking around and found encouragement all over the place.  Maybe its the fact that GAB users tend to the more pragmatic vs narcissistic of most twits, but one theme kept popping up, and I have seen signs of it around here as well.   

People are investing again.  Just in the past 30 days, i have seen 6 new construction projects start up, and two are nearly completed.   1 apartment building, 2 retail spaces, 2 garages, and another is an expansion of an existing business.

 Another point of growth; where a year ago, we may have seen 1-3 trains of coal rolling out every week, (often less) now we are seeing 2-5 A DAY. Last year, one or two would be returned for ‘cleaning’ but not anymore.  I haven’t seen any come back, except when empty.  

And the man hasn’t even been sworn in yet.  (Not that he is the full reason, but peple are feeling hopeful again.)


I dont want to seem the pessimist,  but there are a lot of globalists that are just a touch pissed off.  I have to wonder how long this can continue before something derails. (Like the economy getting hit with the reality of uncontrolled debt)

 I’ll  be back on the story tomorrow. 

Title to be decided pt12

“So you’re headed to Montana?   Lots of good places to lay low there.” Captain Maerteens asks through the drivers window of the dually. 

“Yes.  I have a few friends there still.  Some throwbacks to the Clinton days.  Figure we will hide there for the winter, retool and regroup .  SAC Spencer rattled me, won’t  lie.”  Says T.

“Hell T, she rattled me.  And she wasn’t aiming at me.” Agrees the captain. “Anyway, you guys did good here even if we got off to a rough start and had such a strange ending.  I pulled together 3 grand for you guys though.  That should get you to Montana and settled in for the winter.” He says, as he hands an envelope to T.

“Thanks Cap, its a lot more than we asked for but very appreciated, you know how to get ‘hold of us should need arise.  I only ask to wait some.  Don’t put word on the network just yet.  We need to fade,not just up and vanish. ” 

“Gotcha.  Take care T, you as well G. Maybe we’ll meet again.  Time will tell.” The Captain then gives us a salute and turns  back to his tent.

 T puts the truck in gear and starts pulling down the trail headed to the main road.  G just stares straight ahead, silently chewing his lip.  The energy from him is like that of a child caught red-handed, just awaiting the punishment: nervous and anxious at the same time.

Once on the pavement, T looks over at G and chuckles, “just waiting for me to drop the hammer on ya, ain’t ya?”

“Like you aren’t gonna?  I’ve been waiting ever since my wheels touched down.  Been afraid I’d  have to scoot around on a creeper board cuz my ass would be too sore to sit in my chair.  I fucked up T, I know it and I don’t know how to make amends for it.  To you at least, I could care less about IceCube agent Carlyle or Spencer.  Brrr! Just thinking about her gives me chills”

“I hear that.  Hell, at one point on the way back from there, I thought about getting you in the air and going back to wipe that trailer off the map.  She’s dangerous, very dangerous.”

“Why didnt you have me do that?  I’d’ave happily smeared her and her icey buds.”

“Why not? Ok,,I’ll bet ya lunch that the trailer we were negotiating in, wasn’t  there 5 munutes after we pulled out.  Ya wanna bet on that? ”

G pauses only a second and replies”No, you’re right of course, and I would lay good money that if we went looking for her flightline we would never find any tarmac  like she stated.”

“Exactly.  People like her will stay fluid and thats not necessarily a bad thing to be.  Look at us for example, always moving around, staying fluid.”

“Yeah.  It gets old though. ”

“I completely agree. But people like Andrea back there are hardwired for it; I don’t think she could imagine settling down let alone doing so.”

G sits back and sighs.  “Well, I’d like to get this ass ripping I know you’re all geared up for, so go ahead, lets get it over with.”

Again, T chuckles.  Under his breath,  ‘ass-ripping, tha’s funny, “aint gonna chew on ya G.  Fact is, if you hadn’t kicked that off, we wouldnt know what we know, and thats why I have forgiven you.  Plus, we do know a few more things about our little bird back there that we didn’t know before,  as well as some weak points that need addressed before we kick this back off. ”

G just looks at T , kind of wide eyed. 

T chuckles again “I also learned that there is a time and place to smack you upside the head, BEFORE you shoot from the hip.  No worries, I will have  my eyes wide open from here on out.”

G gives a small grin, “yah, that whole fat lip of mine, along with my attitude of ‘git-r-dun’ .   So,now that we can talk:  Montana?  You’ve never mentioned that that before.”

“Because we aint goin’there.  But since you asked, its time to crunch ideas with you.  I hate to say it, but for a time, I think ‘WE’ arent going anywhere.  I am thinking  of having you hole up with some friends of mine, do some training and research on things, while I head off in another direction doing a little hunting and intel gathering. What do you think?”

“Practical, prudent, and I don’t  like it.  And that means, to me, that’s probably the best way to go.  You can lay a false trail or something, they will be looking for the pair of us and we won’t be a pair to be found.  Ok.   But what training and research on my end do you want done?   ”

“Your little sky dance with a blackhawk started something in my brain, that and some of what you  told the Captain about speeds of certain airframes over others.  I want you to figure out what fighter jet you would prefer, and then get on the simulator and learn it inside and out.”

“Ooh,,,. Only problem I see there is, sims are only so accurate,  and reality is always just different enough to goose you when the chips are down. And, we would need a place to build. And have to work together. And-”

“Ok, stop ripping it down before its built.  I have an idea here and it has merit, don’t you think? ” 

” Oh yeah, plenty of merit, but I am not seeing what you are seeing so I will remain the cynic for now.  Like you say, ‘your idea is thought out, now sell me on it.'”

“From the mouths of babes,,,,”  T mutters.

“I heard that. ” G says, laughing.

“Alright,  heres what I see.  We need better vision capabilities, right?”

“Definitely. ”

“In case of contacts,  we need more speed?”

“And protection.  Speed and protection or armor or something.”

“Noted,  but speed is a protection in itself as well.”


“And right now we need to be on separate tracks to confuse our hounds.”

“No doubt about that.”

“So, we will go to Tucson,  and I will make some calls, and we will figure out rhe next move then. But I am thinking about us renting another warehouse space and ditching this rig.  Its too big and obvious.   We can replace it with something else when we get ready to head out again.”

“And its not like either of us will need it for the next couple of months. I agree with you there.  Plus I wouldnt mind settling down for a spell.  A real bed even, not some rack.”

“With the warehouse, you could have the Sim wired to your flight rig.  That should make the transition easier.  ”

“And what to do with Damocles? We aren’t going to drop her, are we?”

“No.  She is perfect for  ground support, which is what we intended for her.  Granted, there are some things we need to tweak, but, overall, good to go.”

“Good.” G says, sounding very relieved. 

“So, Tucson, and you will stay put for awhile.  Hopefully our hounds will head to Montana,  and I intend on heading that way as well, but not quite make it.  Part of that false trail.  I think I’ll keep the rig until I make that ‘hard right’, just to keep the image alive in their heads, and to pull them off of you as well.” 

“Sounds good to me.” G replies as he stifles a yawn.  “Just curious though,  why’d ya make that promise to Ice Lizard Queen? I mean, I realize she had us in a vise, but isn’t what she wants technically contract murder?”

“Bingo!  What we did in Brownsville was a tactical move in an ongoing campaign.   You saw as well as I that the Cartel there was gearing up to wipe out that militia group.   I can justify our deed there. What the lizard queen wants is or will likely be murder and potentially mass murder, and she will want us to do it for her, then set us up to take the fall so she comes out clean as a whistle. ”

T pauses for a second as if gathering his thoughts, “as for why I  promised, consider it insurance.  I did not tell her we would do her bidding, I only said ‘you call, we will come.’ and I also  didn’t say that we would be coming for her.  Which IS what I promised myself.  I want the insurance that when she calls, I know where to find her.  Does that answer your question?”

“Oh yeah. My only other question then, is, which one of us pulls the trigger?  ”

Laughing.  “I think that will depend on circumstances at that time, more so than personal desire right now.”

“Good enough.  So, I pick a fighter, we already have enough spares to work one up without having to dig too deep in the accounts, and you run false trails to buy us more time.  Like I said,  I don’t like it but I do understand.  Do you have any suggestions for jets, or is it all on me?”

“Well, for starters don’t limit your reviews to American designs; look at what other countries are doing to.  But I would suggest staying with fixed wing.  The f14 has cool variable swept wings, but we would have to do some real structural hi-jinks to make it work at scale.   Another thought would be to compare several and take design clues from each and come up with something unique.  I’ve  seen you eyeball wings and be close enough to what calculations said it should be, that the difference could be measured, but not seen. But this is your project, mine is going to be a lot more off the cuff.”

“Yeah, thats part of why I dont like it.  Out there, they could catch up to you and then what.”

“I’m not too worried about that.   I won’t have any evidence they can use against me, and I sure as hell aint gonna tell ’em anything either.  All the gear will be with you and I want to make sure that they have no clue where you are.”

“I guess I have to accept that.  Keeping me hid is priority, more specifically,  Damocles and all the rest of the toys, need to stay hidden. And I need to stay out of the public eye, ’cause a double amputee is memorable to all but a blind person.”

“Yeah, there is that, but I don’t think you will find that as challenging as you make it sound once you meet my friends.   They are gonna love you, ex-jarhead and all.  Norma is going to try and ‘educate’ you and if you think my old conversations bugged you, you ain’t  seen nothing yet.”

“Your friends are anarchists aren’t they?”

“Don’t  say that like its a dirty word.  It only means ‘without rulers’,and you will find them to be some of the most stringent people when it comes to how they live.  They don’t play games like our lizard queen back there, and despise people like her because of her thinking she has power over others. ”

“I don’t  have much choice here do I? ”

“Not really.  I have to trust some people and these people I trust with my life, and I guess you could say I trust them with yours as well.  Don’t worry, they won’t shove anything down your throat, but they will make you rethink pretty much everything you think you know. And the beauty of that is, they also have answers, though you may not realize it at the time.”

“Gonna trust ya here T.  But I’m falling out on you for a few, tired as hell.  I don’t know how you are still up n moving.”

“I’ll be stopping for breakfast and coffee soon, and Tucson isn’t all that far away.  I’ll  be fine till then. Grab some shut eye, I’ll wake you up for breakfast. ”

“Deal, g’night.”

Title to be decided pt11

Continued from 10

Admittedly,  I took my time getting back to base camp.  Once in sight though, all I could do was throttle back, lower flaps and bring it in.  If I took a bullet anywhere,  it didn’t hit any vitals; retracts, flaps and spoilers all worked just fine.  As I was rolling to a stop, I heard T come out of HQ and start barking commands.  Time to pay for my little dance I guess. I killed fuel to the engines and powered down, and as I was taking my VR helmet off, heard T coming into the trailer.

“T, I’m sorr-”

“Stow it!  Get out of that rig and get cleaned up.  Meet me at the dually in 10.  Move!”

What the fuck?  Ass chewing I expected, but this????


10 minutes later, freshly washed face and clean t-shirt, I roll out to the dually.  T and the Captain are waiting.  Without a word, they help me get in and stow my wheels in the bed.

“Alright T, whats going on?  I just shot up a DEA chopper and instead of making tracks, we are going somewhere close.”

T has that look and says nothing.  Instead the Captain responds.  “The head of the DEA team wants to meet up.   She says its time we share some info so we can avoid any more blue on blue accidents.  She specifically wants to meet YOU as well.”

Oh shit.  I think I just dropped a testicle.   I also think when I meet this woman, shes going to want to cut off the other one.  Hell, I just crippled a million plus dollar piece of gear, with a “toy” no less.  Someone is going to have to pay something for that; and I have no doubt who that someone might be.

T jumps in, “G, keep your mouth shut as much as possible. Right now, they think you were IN Damocles and just no VHF radio.  I don’t  want to enlighten them as to what they were up against. Keep your trap shut and the Cap and I may be able to salvage this fuck up.  ”

“Yes, keep the mouth shut.  I’ve seen what happens when you shoot from the hip once tonight.”, agrees the Captain.

“And keep in mind, they think you were in the bird and had no radio contact.  If you are asked direct questions, lie around that little detail; I’ll  back you, even though I want to kick your ass all the way back to Kansas.” T says, forcefully. 

I just give an affirmative grunt in response.  I’m  trying to figure my angle if approached, using what they just told me.


20 minutes later, we pull up outside one of those nasty looking FEMA trailers.  Lights are on and as we are getting out, someone opens the door, light spilling over us.

“Good morning Gentlemen. Lets get inside and I have coffee on.  I think we could use it in light of the time and circumstances.” Says a womans voice. All I can make out is her silhouette. .  She’s right though, its nearly 4 am and we have been running nonstop since yesterday morning, coffee sounds great to me.

Sadly, no chair ramp, so I had to monkey cling to the Captain’s back while T managed my chair inside.  Somedays, being a double amputee is really embarrassing. Once inside, I got a good look at our host.  Not bad, if you like a woman in MarPat cammies.  Her two associates had cut and dried fed agent written all over them, cammies and all.

“Gentlemen,  I am Special Agent in Charge Andrea Spencer.  The two men behind me are Agent Carlyle and Agent Brant.  We are tasked with this section of the border and have 100 more agents on site or near hand.  I can’t delve into details about our mission here, other than to tell you that it will not interfere with yours, and may even provide some overlap were we can work together at times. ”  She states all of this so matter of factly, you can tell she’s been in this role for years.

“Thanks Agent Spencer,” says the Captain, “I’m Captain Maerteens with the Arizona Militia.  The man on my Right is T and the one in the wheel chair is G-”

“Just initials?  What are your full names?” Asks Andrea. Both T and I look to the Captain but say nothing.  “Ma’am, they aren’t  a part of the militia, but contractors.  For brevity, and for reasons of their own, I leave that disclosure to them.”  Both T and shake our heads negative.

“Ok, I’ll play that game for a bit.  Lets discuss what happened an hour ago.  I have people in charge of me wanting to know how and why I have a crippled blackhawk on my tarmac when all we have around here are a bunch “weekend warriors”: their words not mine.  I put it in their laps that we need more cooperation with you, and while they didn’t like it, that wounded bird swayed them.” she says, to all of us, but looking directly at me for the last. Damn, there goes that other nut, I just know it.

“Agent Spencer, you know we have been down here off and on for 3 years now, mostly on.  My group rotates through about every 6 months in alternating tours.  4 months ago we started hearing equipment moving at night, and thought maybe the cartels were up to something, yet we never were able to peg anything down.  I contacted T through our network, asking him for some air based recon.  Tonights actions are due in part to that recon.” 

Andrea glances at Agent Carlyle and says “I knew we needed to get these guys in the loop, even if just a little.” Carlyle just nods. This guy is like solid ice, I get chills just looking at him.  I think Andrea caught it out of the corner of her eye and says, “G, you’re the pilot of that warthog, aren’t you?”

“Yes ma’am”

“I would like to introduce you to the pilot of the blackhawk you shot up tonight.   Agent Carlyle,  meet G, the pilot  of the warthog. G, Meet Agent  Carlyle. ”

Gulp! There went that other testicle for certain. No wonder this guy is ice cold, knowing an amputee grounded him.   If only he knew I was almost 30 miles away when I did it.  I see now why T was so forceful about playing our cards close to the chest. 

Politics steps up and I nod and say, “pleased to meet you in person, sir.”

“Likewise. “He responds, still ice cold and I think the temperature dropped another 10 degrees in the process.

“Gentlemen,  we have a problem. One that needs addressed tonight before we leave here. I have a wounded bird and a story to come up with, you have a secret to hide and hounds on your trail.  We can help each other or not, but we need to do something tonight,  right now.”

T looks shocked for a second, but only I spot it.  That ‘hounds on your trail’ tipped it.  

Or so I thought.  Andrea is good at poker, I can tell.  “Yes T, I know just a little something about your little enterprise, and I can tell you that another agency is getting closer.  And there are three that want a part of you guys, though only two are actually looking. ”

Flat voiced, T asks, “what do you want from us? And do you have any idea how close they are?”

A smile. Yeah, she knows when shes got us cornered. “What I want is a promise for the future, and how close? Likely a week out if you don’t shift gears soon.”

“What promise would you like? I make no promises I can’t keep, but I figure you already know that too?”

“Indeed I do.  What I want is a promise that at some point in the future, you guys come back here and take care of something my hands would be tied on.  I may need another Brownsville. Can we deal on those terms?” 

I think both T and I went pale at the mention of that.  This women knows far more about us than we do about her.  I suspect that T is planning on making that a short term problem though;  he hàs his ways.  The Captain is just sitting back watching this little tennis match, poker facing it all the way.

“Well, you definitely have information, but how can you help us in return, before I make this promise.”

“Like the information I have, I can feed a false trail for you, but I can only do so for a small window of time.  And that window started around 1 am this morning and is closing soon.  What say you, deal or no deal?”

T looks my way, I just give him a raised eyebrow. This woman is ruthless, and she seems to get off on it.  She will be a great ally, or a terrible enemy; but either way, one you want to keep an eye on.  I can see why her guys are walking icecubes.

T nods, I can see he read my thoughts, even if we arent psychic.   “You have a deal ma’am. Reaching us will be best through the channels in the militias, but we will come when you call.”

“Wonderful!” She then shifts her gaze to the Captain.   I can now see the lizard profile in her: I used to have an iguana that turned its head with that same steely move.  Jeez this woman is getting creepier by the minute.

“Captain.  I need you to file a report about armed coyotes with ICE as soon as you are back at camp.  Let them know that they ran your guys back west and that they had also heard rotors during  the retreat. I will fill in the rest of the story on my end.” 

“Yes ma’am”

“T, as soon as you are back, load up and reverse direction.  I dont know where you were headed, but scratch it out.  I would suggest some time off for a month or two, and just lay low. I’ll get some misdirection going in the rumor mill just like we used to do back in the 90’s.  ”

I grab T’s coffee cup and my own, and crunch them up into a pocket on my chair.  No need to give her anymore ways of figuring us out.  At this stage, I don’t even care if she notices.  This women is giving me vibes the same as I get around snakes. Brrrrrr!

“Well, I think we’re done here.   T, Captain, G.  We’ll be seeing you again, and I do look forward to it.”

I just bet you do, and I’d bet you like torturing fluffy bunnies too’  I think to myself, but reply ” anytime,” and start wheeling to the door.  I’d climb on my stubs to get away from this nest of vipers.  I think the Cap agrees because his chair almost tips over as he gets up.  T on the other hand is sitting there, I can see the gears turning, but not the direction.   Guess I’ll find out soon enough.  “Ready T?”

“Yeah, be right out.”  Oh yeah, he’s  thinking.   That response is one of his automatics. I climb on the Captains back and we exit.  Amazingly, one of the icecubes helps with my chair.  

Its gonna be a chilly ride out of Nogales.

Title to be decided pt10

Continued from pt9

One of these days, my mouth is gonna get me in some really hot water.

Let it not be this day dear Lord.

“I need 4 guys ASAP to help me get this bird airborne!” I yell as I am bouncing and rolling across this gravel.  Luckily, we had already pulled her out and set the wings in place.  Batteries are full up and fuel loaded, but no missiles set yet.  I want speed tonight so I think 6 should be enough.  More just in case than actual need.  My daddy taught me enough to know never leave it behind, you will need it then.  As I roll up, two young guys run up “whatcha need sir?” one of them asks.

“There are tubes in the trailer.  Grab 6 of the blue ones and fit three to each wing.  As soon as you got that come get me or T to show you how to arm them.  I’ll  be in the nose of the trailer getting things fired up.  Got that?”

“Loud n clear sir.  You’re gonna give bravo a woody when they hear you are on the way.” He grins broadly as he he heads into the trailer.  I run my wheels up the ramp behind him and make sure they understand the mounts, then roll forward  to get my rig fired up.

“One of these days,”

“I know T, I already said the same thing rolling out here.  Can you give those guys a hand, I am firing up the radios and pre-checking.  Then I need you to work your magic on this IR unit ”

“Dont worry about the IR, already done, channel 11 is your sensitivity.  Keep it low until you really need it or you may shut it down.”

“When did you do that?”

“You know how I am, somnambulist n all. Did it during my nap, just in case.  My hunches about your fat lip tend to pay off.”

Laughing, “glad to know I am so predictable.  Hopefully I can stay unpredictable in the air, otherwise I am gonna have a wreckage strewn career. ”

“Yah, unpredictable.  That may keep us aloft tonight.  Still no word on whats out there but I am going to have my laptop and headset with me in the tent.  I’ll  let you know as soon as I know, k?”

“Sounds better than what I think Napoleon had in mind.”

“Cool off on him G, he knows you somehow from one of your tours, just didnt realize it until you jumped the shark in there.   He has in mind an apology; I told him to hold it until you got Damocles back on the ground.”

“T,  I wasnt kidding about taking it out of his hide if she gets shot up, you know that right?”

“Yeh, I know it, and I think he knows it as well.  Just bring her home and we’ll  worry about the rest later. ”

“Mhmm, excuse me guys, we have the rockets on, whats next?” This from the younger guy that ran up.

T replies “be right there.  You guys got ear plugs? These engines are about to go hot and they are really loud.” As he walks out to help them.

I have a moment of out of body experience everytime I get in this rig. I know I am in the trailer, but my vision is elsewhere and with the radio set on my ears, so is my hearing. And i can ‘feel’ the plane around me, even if that’s mostly imagination.  Its a strange feeling for certain.

T is standing in front of Damocles now and signalling.  Here we go, final checks: rudder, check, elevators,check, ailerons, check, flaps check, spoilers, check , barrel spin, check. All go signal and he runs to my left. I dial up the IR a touch and can actually ‘see’ the runway: five by five baby!  Throttle up, and I am rolling.  40, 50 55 touch of up elevator and suddenly all my images go calm as I am airborn.  75, 85, 90 knots, climb speed, see y’all at 3000′

“Team Bravo is 15 miles east of base camp.  They are on a ridge overlooking POS2. No signs of assets at this time but keep your eyes open boy, copy?”

“Loud and clear Papa, let  Bravo know I am 5 minutes to over head and will loiter at angels 3 .  I should be near invisible from the ground unless these guys have thermal or radar.”

This is my world now.  I can see to the horizon, which is blacker than the ground thanks to what starlight there is. Its an incredible view honestly, but much bleaker than a day run.  My GPS is saying I am over Bravo now, and I can see some lights down there, switch back  to IR and the view gets a little more interesting.  I can barely make out Bravo on the ridge, but then, I am at 3000′ and they are just two guys.  Time to throttle back a hair and hang out.  Touch of flap and I am cruising at 50 knots airspeed.  Gotta bit of wind out of the west, have to play with that in my turns.  Looks like this may just be a milk run.  Right now, without changing anything, I can stay here for 5 hours and then need to go fuel up: that leaves me a reserve of 20 minutes, or 5 minutes hard knocks.  Yup, she can sip or guzzle, but not much in the middle.

“Raphog, do you see anything in the vicinty of POS2, Bravo says they can hear rotors just north of their location, but cant get a visual.”

“Checking Papa, wait one.”

“Copy that”

Looking down, orient on Bravo, track north. Nothing nothing.  Shit. Hotspot!  “Verify with LP Bravo.  Looks like a turbo jet spooling up.  I may have company soon.  Advise over.”

“Standby Raphog, advise angels 5 and loiter.  Keep me informed of bogey, over.”

“Roger, angels 5 loiter, and eyeball on bogey. Copy that.”

Flaps in and throttle up for climb, still keeping my loiter pattern just in an upward spiral now.  That heat signiture is hot even from here: whatever it is, its no Bell Ranger.  My question is this, what does it have under its wings?  Cannon or pods?  I highly doubt its a sneak n peek type.

“Papa, advise Bravo to seek cover.  If I can see them, so can others. Over.”

“Raphog, message received and relayed. Advise if bravo is still in view in 5, over”

“Copy that, report in 5.  Angels 5 ceiling and loiter.  Bogey is still ground bound at this time. Over.”

“Negative, belay last.  Bogey is airborn and climbing.  Advise bravo to freeze and hold.  Bogey is bound straight over them. Over.”

“Advised raphog. Will advise as info arrives soonest. Over.”

Well, I wanted an interesting life, I thinking that Chinese proverb is more true than comfort allows.  The way that bird moved, I do believe we have a blackhawk in the ‘hood.

“Raphog, Bravo states Blackhawk on move.  Bravo has left surveillance behind and is in exfil. Bring it home Raphog. Over.”

Yeah, bring it home, and have a stray follow me, Dont think so.  I’ve 4 hours of fuel left at current burn and I think it may just need to be used to visit Mexico for a few.  Lets see if I can get that stray confused.

“Raphog to Papa, advise playing wounded dove, flying southwest airlines to Chihuahua for a Dos equis. Be home soonest.”

“Negative, negative negative!  Return base!”

“Say again Papa, some static broke you up.”

“Dammit G, bring that bird home! You are 30′ from this tent, no way did I break up.”

The whole time of this conversation, I have been dropping speed and altitude. I am now at 2500′ and I have a pretty good view of a blackhawk, nacelles showing white hot in my camera. And he sees me too.  I can tell he is confused by appearances, but knows I am not where I am supposed to be. Time to turn tail and get a move on.  See if he follows or not.  30+miles to Mexico from here, and he has at least twice the speed of me running flat out. 500’ aughta give me some play room.  I know I can pull some moves he can’t even think about, but can I stay far enough out of reach. Guess I am gonna find out. Hard left bank, throttles to 105% and here we go!
Oops.  I can’t see backwards.  If he’s there, he is invisible to me. That rear mounted camera is daylight only.  Shit!

25 miles.  Keep the burn.  Roll, jog left, jog right, roll back.  Dunno if hes there or not.

Yup, those are tracers. Throttle back ,hard left rudder, full up elevator, snap roll.  Better than a roller-coaster!  And there he is! Throttle up, barrel spin, fire!  BRRT! BRRRRT! “AINT THE ONLY ONE WITH A GUN, BITCH!”

I know I hit him, but now its time to get a little crazy.  He may be fast, but he ain’t got airbrakes like my old hog does.  Yup, hes bringing it back around, time to go wide open again.  20 miles to the border, come on baby, we can do this.

Tracers again.  I am thinking thats all he has.  Hope I’m right.  Hard up elevator, vertical climb, cut throttle and hard left rudder.  Hammerhead!  And there he is again, Fox  1 fire, miss.  BRRRRT!  ouch, that left a mark,  skeedaddle again. 15 miles to go.

“Raphog break off contact repeat  breakoff contact! Do you copy!”

“Headed mexico way papa, brother bear keeps wanting to play though”

“Roger that, so called brother bear is limping home on one engine.  Get your bird home soonest. Copy?”

“Who is brother bear Papa?  Advise over.”

“DEA, radio contact is clear.”

Oh shit.  A fat lip gets me fired up and now I really goosed the girls in DC.  Not good.  Time to go home with my tail ‘tween my legs.  T is really gonnna thump my nose over this.

“Return to base copy over”  time to pay the piper.

Title to be decided pt9

​The following is fictional, all characters are products of imagination and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is completely coincidental.

All technical aspects are reality or near so, waiting only for the right engineer or technician to connect the dots. Not all aspects of said technology is covered in this fiction for story progression and flow.  Some aspects are also intentionally left vague for protection reasons. (My protection specifically)  If one is compelled to (re)create anything within this story, I, the writer implore you to 1:come to your senses, 2: failing 1, do your own homework on the items in question, 3: in light of 2, you do anything at your own risk.  I claim zero responsibility for your actions/failures, you are adult enough (I HOPE) to take responsibility for yourself.

Nogales AZ, 30 miles east at Militia basecamp, Day 1 t.o.d. 1700hrs

We’ve been here pouring over these maps cross referencing with information the militia has, trying to sort out a pattern.  Trained military tends to work in patterns and if what we think we are looking for is trained military, then a pattern should be there.  So far, nada. Then again, military can work quite randomly when need calls, so I am not ruling anything out at this stage.

My eyes hurt. 9 hours at this, I need a break. “G, I’m going to the trailer and stew on this some more.  Something ain’t right but I dont know what. ”

“Ok T, I will keep looking. ”

There is something out there, I can feel it, but can’t quite put it to form.  Maybe a short nap will help.  Certainly helps that we have shore power here, no need for a genny to run the AC unit. Yeah, I’m spoiled.


T isnt taking this well.  Its only been a few hours yet we have nothing but some varied reports from a handful of listening posts. Seems to me, we are looking in the wrong direction though. T and the Captain here think things are being brought in: I’m thinking shits rolling south.  I dunno.  Right now we have an ass ton of nothing, and a few gazzilion acres of scrub, jacks, and tarantulas pocked with washes and arroyos and anything could be hiding out here and not even trying to hide.

Maybe I need to take the initiative here and get LB up and about.  Lets see what she can see and maybe something will stand up and be counted.



“Now this is interesting!”

“Whatcha got G?”

“GPS shows theres a wash in this corner of the valley,  but I am seeing what looks like old dunes or maybe what could have been a slide. Can you get more zoom or get LB closer?”

“Zoom is maxed, but I can drop 1000′ or so. Th’help?”

“Dunno, should though. ”

A couple minutes later,,,

“Ya ever seen the ground move like that T?”

“Cant say I have. Looks like grass waving, but at the same time, looks like scrub, and scrub doesn’t blow like that.  ”

“Cuz its neither.   Thats camo net, hiding something in plain sight.  And just far enough north that the militia will never bump into it.”

“I’ll get the captain.  Time for us to figure some stuff out. I’m thinking a couple of watch posts here” pointing at a map,”and here, and lets just see what happens.”

“Sounds good to me, but we’re just hired help out here, he may want me in the air as well.”

“Maybe, but I would prefer to keep Damocles out of this one.  Gots a bad feeling this time.”

“Yeah, I feel the same.  And I am thinking I really don’t like the idea of flying at night in a potential hotspot with nothing but instruments.  Is there some way we can dial up the IR, maybe even layer it over the single cam view?”

“Possibly, lets see what the Captain says then I will know if that goes to the top of the list or not.”

G snorts, “ya make me sound like a wifey with a honeydoo list. ”

Dead serious look back from T, “Its not the list that bugs me, but the fact we should have seen some of the issues first.  But that’s history, and here we are, so I’ll move on about it.  Be right back, but you keep looking;  you may find more than just that one spot.”



“I have two teams headed out right now to those positions you suggested.  They should be near enough now to start the final approach on foot.  Don’t want any giveaways at this point.  You’re saying you think there are two more places set up the same?”

“Yup, “replies G,”about a click apart, each in an arroyo or shallow wash and all of those leading to dry river beds headed cross border. Not sure whats going on, but I think your traffic is headed south, not north.”

“That bothers me son, if its headed into Mexico, that means its from the Feds, and that could mean some serious firepower if we kick this hornets nest over.”  The Captain pauses, rubbing his chin in thought. T looks on and gives a slight eyeroll to G, G just nods slightly in acknowledgment. “How do you boys feel about getting that hog overhead, just in case? I’ve 4 men down there and they may need a little help in exfil.”

T responds “not real keen on getting into any fray with real-life pilots or heavy ground support weapons.  She may look like a warthog, but she sure isn’t armored like one.  Hell, a little .22 would go clean through her front to back, and there is a lot of little stuff it could hit on its path.  Stuff that may be critical. ” 

G adds,  “about the only spots protected are the main receiver and the fuel bladders.  Both are in the wings.  Even so, its just 12 guage aluminum plate.  A pistol round could bust right through if shot from 20 yards or less.  If we were to go up against something in the air, Damocles would be shot to shit with one burst of pretty much anything they would carry.  My only defense would be to get low and fast and out maneuver them.  And my top speed is only 100 maybe 110 knots. Hell, a Bell Ranger could outrun me in a straight alley.  My only hope then  would be twist and strike like a snake. Thats pretty risky in itself.  I think we should wait and see what your guys find before we start ‘kicking hornets’.”

“I agree,” says T,”we don’t know whats out there and until your guys report in, we can’t know.  LB is on her way back and she doesn’t have any means of seeing in the dark, so using her platform now is out.  ”

“Alright, this is your set of planes. You would know best how and how not to deploy.  Sure would like some air support if things get squirrelly.” The look of disappointment is obvious on the Captains face.

“I didnt say we couldnt provide support, I did say we would need more info.” T replies. “We have done one night op, and it was pretty successful, but we also knew that we didn’t have any other air assets to contend with. We dont know anything at this point, so I err on the side of caution.”

“Understood, well, I should know something in the next couple hours.  These guys are ex recon and rangers, so they should be able to get close enough for details.  I’ll send you word when I have it.”says the captain.  Both T and G look at each other then nod and leave the tent.

“That sure sounded like ‘Dismissed’ to me.”says G as they get some distance.

“Ya’think?” Says T, chuckling.  “I get the impression he is a little torqued off that we didnt bring an honest to god warthog with us.  Thats ok though, cuz I think I found a way to give you night vision.  I almost wish we could run with radar, but that would be pushing our weight limits, a lot.”

“I have to agree with you on his being torqued off.  I also get the impression of a wanna be General in the makings.  I wouldnt be surprised if this guy orders his people to ‘kick that nest’.  So, what do you have for little  lil old blind in the dark me?”

“You clued it, but I spotted it.  How about ultrasound overlayed on infra red?  The range isnt the greatest, but you should be able to avoid any hills if you should need to get ‘low and fast’.   If Damocles were any faster, I wouldnt even try it, but she runs scale, even in speed so I think this will work.  I should be able to work it up by tomorrow evening.  If we aren’t ordered up, I’ll clear us for some testing at least.  If we are ordered up, you may get to be the guinea pig in a combat zone.  Are ya up for that?”

“Fucking outstanding! Not!  If need be, lets just run IR.  This  sounds more complicated and I almost wish I hadnt said anything.  Please tell me we can gst more sensitive readings in the IR.” The pleading is obvious in G’s voice.

“Oh, you get that.  5 degree increments is the finest I can get, but that also uses a lot more power.  The unit may thermally shut down on you and you know how that works; Blind when you most need it.  Just think about the ultrasound side and I will work on both issues, heat and all.” 

“Ok, but I sure as hell don’t want to be testing gear while flying a hot mission.  That just seems like Murphy would be riding shotgun with me.”

“G, Murphy ALWAYS ride shotgun with you. Or didn’t they teach you that in Bootcamp?”

“Oh-ho, the keyboard jockey gets snarky!” Laughing, G has to pause in wheeling across the gravelly surface. “T, on a serious note, what do we do if shit did get heavy and Damocles was in bad enough shape I had to ditch her?”

“Been thinking about that G.  Have been ever since Brownsville.  I’m thinking about a demolition charge remotely operated, as well as some thermite to slag some of the more interesting parts we made. Wouldn’t do to leave a ton of evidence behind.  Remember what you told me when you were showing me how to fly RC?”

“Yeah.  Don’t fall in love with it, they all have expiration dates.  Damn, it would take a lot out of me keying that switch.  Yeah, we could build another, but that bird has helped me grow wings, and feels almost a part of me, even if we are separated by miles while flying.” 

“No need to go there yet.  Hell, if this Captain has his say, you may end up using it Kamikaze style and this whole discussion is moot.”  T pauses and looks at G. There is still enough light to see the ‘someone kicked my dog’ look on G’s face. ” Hey, Lets grab a beer while we wait.  I really dont think we are doing anything tonight and one ain’t gonna hurt.”

Sounding slightly dejected, G responds “Sure.  And you can show me what you are thinking about to make Damocles a bat.”


A corporal knocks on Ts trailer “Captain requests your presence gentlemen.”

Groggily T answers, “sure, be there in 5.”

G “Here we go, lets see what the general desires for the next bloodbath.”

“I’m thinking you might want to keep that attitude under wraps around here, G.  His men seem to respect him so your impression might be more than a little biased by your past.  ”

“You’re right.  I’ll cool it, but wont like it much.”

At the HQ tent,  things are definitely hopping,  as evidenced by excess lights and more than a few people moving quickly, some coming some going, but all moving in a determined state.

” Gentlemen, we got a report from one of our teams. I sent the other one out to one of those other sites you saw, after the first report. We’re waiting on them to report back.”

“So whats going on?” T asks.

“That first location has 4 uparmored HMMVs with weapons mounts, but no weapons displayed.   It is also unmanned.  Our guys walked right up and looked under the net.  The vehicles are staged there, fully fueled and with the batteries disconnected.  My guys didnt want to risk discovery so didnt use lights, they know something is in the rear of each unit, but not what. I am suspecting its the weapons and ammo for the ring mounts.”

“How long before the other team reports?” asks G.

/Should be in the next 10 minutes or so.  Its a new moon out so these hills get mighty dark.  If it were a brighter night, they would already be there.”

G  glances over at T with a look. T blushes a bit, knowing that if guys on the ground find it difficult, G would have an even harder time at a few thousand feet, even with instruments.

The Captain continues, “I don’t know who placed these vehicles here, but they are not salvaged.  I am suspecting someone or some group is arming the Cartels.  This is no,,,”

“Captain! Click code coming in from bravo.  Says troops are visible at pos 2. Requests further orders.” 

“Try to find out what vehicles or craft they have. ” turning back to T, the Captain asks,” would it be possible for you to get up there and loiter around, just in case?”

T can see G off to the side and can see the anger building ‘gotta nip this down fast before G blows’ “lets see if they have air assets first.  If they do, you would be sending us on a suicide mission of sorts.  If not, we can do that, but we aren’t  going to be able to much more than provide another set of eyes.  Some support, but our targeting system isn’t fully tested for this scenario.”

“Gentlemen, its been one thing after another since you got here, I need an answer, will you support my men with your gear or not?”demands the Captain.

G snaps,”Sir, I will be in the air in 10 minutes, come hell or high water, but if my bird gets so much as a bullet hole in her by another aircraft, I will personally take care to remove an equal amount of your hide after I get her home. Is that a sufficient answer for you. SIR?”  G doesnt wait for response but wheels his way out of the tent towards the trailer.

“Shit, this is not good.”  Says T.

The Captain just stares at the entrance were G rolled out, than asks, without turning;”How many tours was he on and where?”

“Two tours of Iraq and one in Afghanistan, why?” 

“I’ve heard his voice before calling for fire on some position or another.  I didn’t recognize it until just now. I thought he was just some punky gamer kid. I owe him an apology.”

“Tell him after he lands the bird.  You already pissed him off enough, let him do what he does best now.”

Title to be decided pt8

​The following is fictional, all characters are products of imagination and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is completely coincidental.

All technical aspects are reality or near so, waiting only for the right engineer or technician to connect the dots. Not all aspects of said technology is covered in this fiction for story progression and flow.  Some aspects are also intentionally left vague for protection reasons. (My protection specifically)  If one is compelled to (re)create anything within this story, I, the writer implore you to 1:come to your senses, 2: failing 1, do your own homework on the items in question, 3: in light of 2, you do anything at your own risk.  I claim zero responsibility for your actions/failures, you are adult enough (I HOPE) to take responsibility for yourself.

New Mexico, the land of enchantment.  Even I have to admit there is almost something magical about this place.  The unofficial motto of Albuquerque is ‘Carpe Mañana ‘ and it can be translated in two ways, sieze the morning or seize tomorrow, and among the people I know here, the latter translation is not what they mean. These people are wicked smart; I always feel just a little dense around them, especially when they start with the pentasyllabic words with no verbs or adjectives in the communication. Well, today is my ‘dense’ day as my buddies are off working up some delay fuzing for our toys, so, knowing G is feeling shades denser than I, I figured a little trip up the  Sandia tram would do him some good. And I was right.  He’s sitting there in his chair, looking out over the 11000sq mile view and his jaw is laying in his lap.  Watching the thunderstorms roll in over the city is probably the most awe inspiring view I have ever seen, and he is currently getting a double dose, as well as a slight asphyxiation since we are sitting at 10,000′ above sea level.  He’s never been this high except when he was in Afghanistan.   He isn’t in that good of shape anymore.

From Sandia over looking Albuquerque, The pic does NOT do it justice

This is one area that makes me want to fight every single cryptocommunist and any other backasswards thinking fucktard that wants to make all of this ‘protected ‘ wilderness.  Seeing it makes me want to protect it but that doesnt explain their desire to give it to some nameless peoples to do with as they please. I swear, the insanity of the left completely defies any explanation.  Yet I ramble.  

Part of the reason I wanted G to see this is to give him some insight as to our next mission.  You can hide battalions in desert like this, right out in the open even, and unless you are aware of the span of distance, you will completely misjudge range and scope of your recon. The Arizona Militia seems to think that there has been a massing of troops out in an area just like this. They have been hearing large movements of heavy gear at night, and even seen evidence of such in the day, but they just can’t locate anything.  For the most part, we are going to be keeping Little Bird in the air to look for patterns, possibly groupings. I doubt we will see those though, if there is anyone moving troops into place, they are going to try and keep a low footprint to avoid satellite detection.  If we do see large groupings though, it will show, to me anyway, that there is some collusion within our own government, but that remains to be seen.   Once we have something, then we will send up Damocles at night, and see what G can get on IR.  He isn’t going to like that too much because it means IFR flying for the most part. He hates flying by instuments.

I guess at some point, I am going to fill him in on all of this.  Then I am going to have to tell him about the shape charged warheads on 10 of his missiles.  We may have need of them soon, if things are proceeding the way I think they are.    Helping the Arizona guys out is only a part of our mission, but both halves hinge on the information we get this run.   I am really worried about this whole country going the route of the Balkans, and there is more than enough division to make such possible.   

“Hey T!  I’m about ready for some of that Prime Rib at the restaurant.” says G, puffing a little. “This view is like watching a pretty girl, it makes you hungry for more, but the more you get, the less full you are.  Lets put back some real cow and fill that void.”

“yeah, sounds good.”

“Oh boy, I know that tone.  You’ve got some bad news for me.”

“Yes and No.   Some of it you aren’t going to  like, but some of it may tickle your fancy and get you looking forward to the not so good side.”

“Cool, I think.   Lets eat. ”

Next stop: Nogales AZ

(Updated for spelling.  Thnx Snake!:))

Title to be decided pt7

​The following is fictional, all characters are products of imagination and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is completely coincidental.

All technical aspects are reality or near so, waiting only for the right engineer or technician to connect the dots. Not all aspects of said technology is covered in this fiction for story progression and flow.  Some aspects are also intentionally left vague for protection reasons. (My protection specifically)  If one is compelled to (re)create anything within this story, I, the writer implore you to 1:come to your senses, 2: failing 1, do your own homework on the items in question, 3: in light of 2, you do anything at your own risk.  I claim zero responsibility for your actions/failures, you are adult enough (I HOPE) to take responsibility for yourself.

Chapter 7: Tic-Tocks Log.

Well, 12 days at the ranch and we are re-armed , and refitted for whatever comes next.  G really nailed it for those new nozzles.  And final cost is nearly the same, close enough that I won’t begrudge it.  Safer for the plane and thats a much bigger investment.  

Made G his airspeed indicator as well, but not along the lines he was thinking.  Used a MAP sensor from an older Chevy and tied it into a pitot tube assembly I concocted.  That signal coupled with the baro sensor  we use as an altimeter and a differential algorithm in one of the arduinos, he now has altitude and airspeed all beamed straight to his HUD.  Since all of those old sensors use a 5v reference, tying them into our little conputers is really straight forward. I was even able to rig a couple of rpm sensors to each engine.  I used a knock sensor as a FOD sensor, gonna need it with some of our launch areas.  And I would still like a thermocouple capable of more range so we can ‘ see ‘ what is going on inside.  May call Ivan in Sweden and see if he has anything.   These things still amaze me.  Only 2 feet in length and have a higher thrust output to weight ratio than their bigger brothers.  They do like to drink the kero though. Greedy little things.
We’re going to take the scenic route to Nogales,  I have a friend that lives near Sandia mountain that I want to kick some ideas around  with. And I get to introduce G to a TRUE Carne Asada Burrito.  Lucky for him, he can gain weight and not lose his flying status.  Gonna have to watch him with the latina señoritas with his chair and those dang  Sad Puppy eyes he can pull at will.  The boy can be a real lady killer given half a chance  and a long leash. 

Long couple of days ahead, leaving patriot country of Texas and headed into socialist country of New Mexico.  Not as bad as it sounds, but we are really going to keep a tight watch on our trailer.  I thought about adding a false door on it with a fake horse rear end, tail and all, just to give an illusion of normalcy.  I decided against it since we really just look like a car hauler for racing.  Maybe I should slap some Jegs stickers and whatnot on it, just to ‘fit the image’.  Will look into that, sleep, now.