Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 12:01:13 -0700
Subject: re: Crosshair!
Chapter uno ...
The stripes on the interstate seemed to melt into a series of really boring dots as Mark stared out the window of the tour bus. They had been on the road for about four hours now and the ringing was still in his ears from the show in Columbus. They were still three hours away from the next show in Peoria having just passes Indianapolis. Mark normally would have flown but he decided at the last minute to ride the bus and try to get some sleep. It didn't work.
Mark began to reflect on the current tour. Just last week they had been in Las Vegas. That had been a particularly hot show, both in temperature and the fan reaction. As an added bonus, the roadkill fan club had their largest party yet and he had been given a couple of awards! He smiled as he thought of it. Although he was naturally shy and uneasy around strangers he had begun to recognize a few of the roadkillers and knew a couple by name. He privately envied Don and he relationship with the fans. Don's outgoing personality was a definite plus when dealing with roadkill. Besides, where's MY cake? He chuckled to himself as he shifted in his seat. Only two hours and forty-five minutes to go ...
Don and Mel checked into the hotel near the Peoria Civic Center. They had taken the first plane out of Columbus and were way ahead of Mark. Mel adjusted the small satchel he always carried. The satchel always held the same things, Two pairs of sunglasses, a pair of socks, a rabbits foot, and his prized possession, a videotape of Spartacus. Not that Mel was superstitious, he just didn't like to take chances. The bell hop had already loaded their bags on a cart and at Sunny's direction they headed for their respective rooms.
Mel and the Brewers had ajoining rooms. They made plans for dinner in about ninety minutes and went to their respective rooms. After closing the door, Sunny made a beeline to the bathroom. She knew she desperately needed a shower and immediately turn the water on and let it heat up. In short order, she was frolicking in the warm stream of H2O that sprung from the shower head. She didn't hear the click of the door knob as Don left the room and Mel came in. Mel flipped on the TV and began channel surfing.
A few minutes later, Sunny turned off the water to the shower and grabbed a towel. She dried her hair and combed it out. Wrapping the towel around herself, but not very tightly, she pranced into the main bedroom with a rather boisterous "TAA DAA." She came face to face with a grinning Mel who said "Gee, they never told me about this in school."
"DON YOU ASSHOLE, GET IN HERE NOWWWW!"
Don walked into the room carrying the ice bucket, and a look that said, 'Gee, what seems to be the problem?' Sunny began shooing Mel from the room, who didn't seem to want to leave. Finally Mel was on the other side of the door and Don was chuckling. Sunny was not.
"You think your sooo funny, don't you?"
"What are you talking about? Do you and Mel want to be alone?"
"That's it, Brillo brain, you're really going to get it now!"
With that Sunny began chasing Don around the room, flipping him with her towel. Don yelped as Sunny connected with a perfect rat-tail. Don surrendered and tripped over the leg of a chair and hit the floor. Sunny put her foot on his chest and raised her arms in victory. It was short lived, however, as Don proceeded to tickle her foot.
Mel went back to his room and opened the drapes. From his room he could see down the Illinois River. A paddle wheeler was steaming up the river with a group of partyers on board. He could also see the permanent river boat gambling hall tied up to a pier. He moved away from the window and plopped onto the bed. He picked up the remote and flipped on the sports channel and started watching a White Sox game. They were playing the Cleveland Indians. The tribe was pounding them. Mel slowly dosed off and participated in a rather interesting dream involving rubarb.
What Mel, nor Don, nor Sunny knew was that Mel was being quietly observed from the roof of a building across the street. The figure dressed in dark clothing and ski mask watched Mels' room through a set of night vision goggles. A cord ran from the goggles to a small video recorder. The figure made a few verbal references to what was being viewed and then turned the recorder off. He removed the goggles and placed them in a small duffle bag along with the recorder. He then made his was to a fire escape ladder and stole away into the night ...
chapter two to follow ...
Date: Thu, 3 Sep 1998 13:37:59 -0700
Subject: Re: Crosshair! chapter dos
Chapter dos ...
Howard Eddy Jr. had also taken the plane to Peoria. However, instead of going directly to the hotel he had taken a detour to the River Boat casino. Howard was a nice guy, not too many vices ... except for one. He really couldn't resist a good crap game. One of the nice things about being Howard Eddy was that no one ever really recognized him. That was really a plus in situations like this. He walked up to the crap table and checked out the action.
Not too much was happening. There were only six or seven people playing and the dice seemed to be rather cold. He watched as a series of point numbers were established and then erased by the same number of sevens. The people at the table were getting discouraged, now was the time for rescue.
Howard stepped up to a place at the far right of the table and dropped two hundred dollars onto the table and uttered a single word command, "color." The dealer glanced up at Howard and then the two hundred dollars. He picked up the two Ben Franklins and passed them to the box man. He then picked two stacks of red $5 chips from his "bank" and passed them to Howard. Howard placed one $5 chip into the pass line box.
A lady at the other end of the table held the dice. The stickman called out "coming out!" and the lady tossed the dice. "Easy Six" came the call. The dealer placed his "buck" on the number six. Howard put $10 behind his pass line bet as an odds bet and placed a $5 chip in the "come" box. Others at the table began putting money on various numbers and hardways, Howard laid off those bets.
The next roll was snake eyes. "Crap two" called the stickman, the dealer filched the $5 chip from the come box. Howard replaced it with a another chip. The next roll came tumbling across the table ... "Five, no field five!" sang the stick man. The dealer retrieved the $5 chip from the come box and put it in the number 5 box. Howard passed the dealer $10 to work the odds on the five, he also placed another $5 in the come box.
Down came the dice once more ... "Hard Six! pay the pass line!" ... alright! The dealer paid Howard $5 for his pass line bet plus $12 for his odds bet on the pass line. The dealer also took his $5 come bet and put it in the number 6 box. It was time for a new "come out" roll. Howard upped his pass line bet to $10. Down came the roll ... "Nine, center field nine!" The buck was moved to the number nine spot. Howard put $20 behind is pass line bet and put $10 odds on the already established come bet of 6 from the previous roll.
He now had number 5,6 and 9 working for him. He had $60 out on the table, a 7 now would wipe that out. The dice came skidding across the felt ... "Five, no field five!" ... hot damn, another winner. This time the dealer paid him $5 for his come bet on five plus $15 from his odds bet paying at 3 to 2. Howard immediately bumped his come bet by placing $10 in the come box.
The table was heating up now as people began to detect the hot roll in progress. Four more people bought into the table and put bets on the field, the numbers and "craps, eleven." One of the four people was a man, about 40 years old, 5'9" tall at about 160 lbs. His sandy blond/brown hair highlighting the stylish glasses perched on his nose. He wore a dark sweater and black pants. He dropped a satchel on the floor next to himself. He seemed more interested in watching Howard than watching his money on the table. Howard, however, didn't notice him. He was caught up in the action on the table.
The next roll came across ... "Hard ten, mark the ten, pay the hardway." The ten was not a good number, in fact it would be tough to make, since there are only three ways to make it. But, Howard put $20 odds on the come bet of Ten. It was the correct move and minimized the house advantage. Now he had 6,9 and 10 working for him.
The next roll was ... "Yo-leven" ... safe for him, but a number of people had bet on 11 for that roll and the house had to pay them off at 15 to1. Down came the dice once more ... "Craps 3. Ace duce." Again, no effect on his numbers. He considered placing a $6 bet on the uncovered 8 but suppressed it ... next roll ... "Eight, easy eight" ... Shit!, he should have bet the 8, oh well, nothing lost ... the following roll ... 'Ten, easy!" yessiree BOB! That bet just paid him a $50 profit!
Now Howard was clearly ahead of the house and it was time to play with THEIR money. He placed a $20 come bet and a $24 place bet on eight. The lady at the other end of the table rolling the dice was sweating like a pig as everyone around her was cheering for her to make the point number of nine ... everyone except the guy in the black sweater who was still starring at Howard.
The lady nervously rattled the dice in her hand and let them fly ... one die showed up as a four the other was stuck behind a stack of chips. The dealer moved the chips to reveal that the remaining die showed a five for a total of nine ... WINNER ON THE PASS LINE! That just netted Howard another $40. Howard increased his pass line bet to $20.
The table was in a state of kaos. Two extra pit bosses were now standing by the table as the dealers were carefully paying out all the money that the players were winning. The dice were double checked and double checked again. The stickman and dealers were rotated, one always on break.
The old lady still held the roll. The new comeout roll flashed across the table ... "Eight easy, mark it!" ... oh baby, another $28 profit. Howard put $40 odds behind his pass line bet on Eight and removed his $24 place bet on eight. He also put $40 odds on the come bet of nine that went up there from the previous series.
Howard was getting a little rattled now. He had almost forgotten about the nine. He now had 6,8 and nine covered. He decided to cover the five as well, he put a $25 place bet on five. Now he had all of the inside numbers covered. One with a place bet (5) two with come bets (6,9) and one with the pass line bet (8).
The next roll flew down quickly ... "Four, hard" ... no effect to Howard but alot of others had bet "Hard Four" and were getting paid off 8 for 1.
The stickman glanced around the table then returned the dice to the old lady. The lady rubbed the dice furiously and then let them fly ... "Two, craps" ... no change ... another roll ... "Yo-leven" ... again, no change. Come on baby, give me a numbe ... "Eight easy, winner on the pass line!" ... YYYEESSS! the dealer paid Howard $20 for his line bet plus $48 for his odds bet for a total of $68 for that one roll.
Howard bumped his line bet to $30. The next "come out" roll flew ... "Five, no field, mark it!" ... YYYooozzzzer That just paid Howard $35. He removed his place bet on 5 since it was now covered by his pass line bet and backed it up with $60 wagered at 3 to 2. He also placed a $48 place bet on the eight.
There was alot of money out on the table now, $90 on the line, $48 on eight, $60 on nine, and a long standing come bet of $15 on six for a total of $213. Man a seven now would hurt, but he would still be ahead. He decided to let this series of numbers play out. The next roll skittered across the table ... "Six hard!" That paid Howard $17. Now he still had 5,8 and 9 covered. Almost too quickly the next roll came ... "Five, Play the line!" OoooooooOOOOOOWWWEEEEEEEEE! That just gained him $120!
The rail in front of Howard was now crammed with chips of many colors. He still had 8 and 9 working ... the new comeout roll ... "Four, easy!" ... Howard was glad he forgot to play the line on that one, four is hard to make. He thought was profetec as the next roll came down ... "Seven, Clear the line!" Howards bets on 8 and 9 were confiscated by the house.
It had been a great roll, everyone was high fiving the old lady. Howard began organizing his chips. He issued a short command to the dealer, "color change." The dealer sorted the chips and gave them to the boxman who double checked them and converted the chips to higher denominations. Howard had reaped a small fortune. He was a happy guy.
The stranger in the black sweater had moved around the table and was standing behind Howard. Howard was putting the chips in his pocket when the stranger touched his arm. An electric charge passed between the two as Howard started at the electric shock ... "Owww, hey brother, watch that!"
"I'm sorry, I must have been running my feet across the carpet, please accept my apology."
Howard lightened up, "That's okay man, great run at the table, wouldn't you say?"
Howard walked away. The stranger watched him for a moment and then quietly followed Howard to his hotel.
Chapter Tres to follow ...
Keeping the dream alive into the next millennium ...
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 1998 12:09:30 -0700
Subject: Re: Crosshair! chapter tres
Chapter three ...
Howard crossed over the gang plank and began walking back to the hotel. He walked with his hands in his pockets fumbling the room key. He hummed the theme from "Perry Mason" in his head as he waited at a stoplight ... The darkly clad stranger hung back in the shadows as "Jr." waited at the stoplight. The light changed and Howard crossed with the light and proceeded into the parking lot of the hotel.
The stranger pulled a cellular phone from his pocket and dialed a number ... the call was picked up, "yeah?" "This is the postman, you have a special delivery." Nothing else was said and both parties disconnected the line. The Postman quickly stripped off the dark sweater and stuffed it into his satchel. He retrieved from the satchel a New York Mets baseball hat and put it on. He ran to close the distance between himself and Junior.
Howard was waiting for the elevator in the lounge of the hotel. The light above the elevator blinked on with the arrow pointing "up." The doors opened and a young couple staggered out of the elevator, obviously drunk. Howard managed to dodge them and stepped into the elevator, he pushed the button for the seventh floor. As the doors were closing an arm was thrust through the doors ... the doors opened and in walked the Postman. Howard didn't pay any attention and didn't recognize the Postman. The Postman looked at the control panel and noticed the "7" button was lit up. He pushed the button for the sixth floor. The doors closed and the elevator rose in silence.
Howard suddenly had the sense that something was wrong. The hair on his neck was standing straight up! He tried to casually look at the stranger in the car with him. The guy didn't look familiar, probably nothing. The tone sounded as the car reached the sixth floor. The doors opened and the Postman stepped out and turned right. As soon as he left Howard pushed the "close doors" button. The doors immediately closed and the elevator started up again.
The Postman raced two doors down the hall to the stairwell and slammed open the door. He took the steps up to the seventh floor three at a time. He reached the stairwell door and cracked it just as the doors were closing behing Junior. Luckily Howard was walking away from the stairwell. The Postman quietly watched Junior walk to his room and insert the key card. The lock clicked open and Howard opened the door and walked inside. The door closed loudly behind him.
The Postman exited the stairwell and strolled down the hall. He glanced up at the room number as he walked by Howard's room. He ducked into the open area with the ice machine and vending machines. He once more pulled the cellular from his pocket and dialed a number. The call was answered and all the Postman said was "seven-seventeen". The Postman was putting the phone back in his pocket when he heard a door open and close ... he heard the approach of footsteps. He ducked in behind a candy machine and waited ... In walked Mel with an ice bucket!
Mel scanned the selections in the pop machine and grumbled as he slid a dollar bill and two quarters into the money slots. Soon a Dr. Pepper fell from inside the machine into the bin. Mel picked up the soda and turned to the ice machine. He dropped the ice bucket infront of the slot and pushed the button for some ice. The cubes noisely fell into the bucket. After a few seconds Mel glanced into the bucket, picked it up and walked out of the room and down the hall ... The Postman watched from around the corner as Mel turned the knob on room number 713. The Postman dialed his phone once more and said "Bass, seven-thirteen"
Sunny Quin snored loudly as she turned over under the covers. Don looked at her in annoyance as he raised the volume on the TV set. He was trying to watch a movie, for crying out loud! Man, was he getting hungry and began to wonder what was in the vending machine down the hall. He decided to head down there on the next commercial. A few minutes later, a break came in the movie. He sprang from his bed and grabbed his wallet. He headed for the door. Just as he was about to turn the knob, he remembered to grab the key card. He walked back to the dresser and picked it up and then headed for the door.
The Postman put the cellular phone in his satchel and withdrew from the same bag a strange looking contraption. It looked very much like a stethascope, but, it was much more complicated than that. It had certain electronic enhancements. He placed the earpieces in place and then hit the "ON" button. He picked up the reciever and pointed it at a door. He immediately heard a conversation coming from that room about someones mother-in-law.
He began walking down the hall pointing it at each door. As he slowly moved down the hall he kept encountering a variety of scenes, most of which he dismissed from his mind. He was still looking for someone. As he came upon room 711 he listened closely. He could hear the tv playing and not much else ... suddenly the door opened and there stood Don Brewer!
Don's eyes grew as big a saucers as he came face to face with a man wearing a strange contraption. "Who the fuck are you?" The Postman was equally surprised and bolted away from the door. Don chased him and tackled him in the hall way. The Postman kicked Don in the shoulder and knocked Don back against another door. The Postman sprang up and reached the stairwell and raced down the stairs, four steps at a time, but he had left his satchel. Don struggled to his feet and rubbed his shoulder.
By this time, Howard was in the hall and so was Mel and about five other people. Howard picked up the satchel and looked it over. It looked familiar. He opened it up and removed the sweater ... oh shit ... He had seen this sweater before. He looked at Mel and Don and simply said ... "Houston, we have a problem."
Chapter quatro later ...
Keeping the dream alive into the next millenium ...
Date: Mon, 7 Sep 1998 12:31:20 -0700
Subject: Re: Crosshair! chapter quatro
Sgt. Dick Shockley of the Peoria Metropolitan Police Department stood in the hall way of the hotel holding the satchel. Shockley was wearing gloves to keep from contaminating the evidence. He carefully removed the cellular phone, the listening device, the sweater, and a Glock 9mm automatic. The item that drew his closest attention was the cell phone.
Upon examination he noticed that it had a redial feature. He could call the last number that the mystery man had dialed. But first, the boys in the lab would want to look at it, and he knew that his superiors would howl if he screwed up any fingerprints or anything. He already was going a little outside the lines by handling the stuff now. Detectives Rector and Valdez were quzzing Howard and Mel while Lt. Al Wightnman was questioning Don Brewer.
"So Mr. ... uh ... Brewer, is it? What did the man look like?"
"I didn't really look at his face much, he had some kind of device around his neck like a small listening probe or something, it was really wierd."
"Wierd, huh? Well, Mr. Brewer, 'wierd' doesn't quite describe this. Do you have any idea why someone would want to be spying on you? Any enemies, people who would gain by yours or your bands demise?"
"Nobody that I can think of ... Sunny, can you think of anyone?"
Sunny perked up at the question.
"There is only one person that I can think of that would want the band dis-banded ... any that's Day."
Don shook visibly at the mention of the name. He had not thought of him in many years, not since the P.O.D. days of their early reunion. The Monk sure would come in handy now.
Sgt. Shockley walked over ... "Who's Day?"
Lt. Wightman wiped out his notepad and pen and began scribbling as Sunny talked ...
"... Day was once the manager of Grand Funk in the old days. It was thought that he died sometime ago. But, he apparantly was able to maintain his existance through some kind of voodoo or something. The boys had some trouble with him a few years ago, just ask Howard and Mark."
"Mark?, Mark who?"
"Comeon Shockley! Mark Farner, the guitarist and lead singer!" Wightman punched Shockley in the arm.
"Where is Mark?"
"Oh, he's riding on the tour bus with the roadies. Said he needed some sleep. He does this sometimes, usually when something is bothering him."
"Shockley, notify the 'Highway Patrol,' we better get an escort out with them."
"Right Lt." Shockley walks into Mels room and dials the phone, he notices a video cassette case on the bed and shouts to Mel, "Hey Mel, my favorite movie is Spartacus too!"
Mark Farner was awakened by flashing lights coming through the window of the tour bus. The bus had already pulled over and the roadies were being questioned by the highway patrol. Mark left the bus to find out what was going on. He was shaken by the revelations of the incident in Peoria. They group of roadies continued to mill about the bus as the patrolmen coordinated their escort.
A half mile behind the bus, a semi-trailer truck pulled to a stop along the shoulder of interstate 74. The back of the trailer opened up and two darkly clad people on quadcycles motored out and into the brush to the right of the interstate. They moved about 300 yards off the road and then moved forward to an area abrest of the tour bus. Special mufflers on the engines of the quads kept them from being detected. They dismounted from their quads being a small hill. In the dark they were as good as invisible as they asembled their sniper rifles.
The rifles went together with soft clicks as each component was snapped into place. The final piece was the silencer on the end of the barrells. The two individuals then peered through the nightvision scopes of their rifles. The leader of the two was to target Mark Farner while the other was to lay down covering fire.
There were alot of people milling about the bus but it was easy to pick out Farner. With deliberate patience the assasin centered Mark in the scope crosshair. His partner had picked out two overlapping targets, a patrolman and one of the roadies. The leader issued his standard warning, ... "set?" This was answered in kind. Then he started his count down ... three ... two ... one ... shoot ... both men squeezed the triggers.
Mark was talking to one of the patrolmen. Trying to make sense out of the situation. Something shiney on the ground caught Mark's eye. It was a quarter. Almost on automatic, he bent over to pick it up. Immediately behind him the rear tire of the bus exploded, throwiing him to the ground. One officer grunted and grabbed his chest as he slumped to the ground. Shouts of "Shots, Shots!" rang out as everyone scrambled for cover. The wounded patrolman was slammed into a patrol car and it sped off. Officers were shouting into their radios as they attempted to take cover, but they weren't sure what they were taking cover from.
"Shit, I missed!" the assasin put down his rifle and donned a headset and spoke into the slim microphone ... "Notify base that subject has not, repeat, has not been eliminated". He put away the headset and began to dismantle his rifle. He didn't notice the other man not dismantling his. Two quick pulls of the trigger and the assasin was left laying in a pool of his own blood. The second man having fulfilled his duty, picked up the remaining equipment and atttaching a tow line to the other quad, drove quietly back to the semi truck.
When all was loaded the second man made his report to headquarters and the truck drove past the confused scene. Everyone was still hiding from the hail of bullets that was no longer a threat. From the cab of the truck, the driver spat out the window and said to himself, "This isn't over Farner, not by a long stretch." There would be a lot of oportuinites yet to c me.
Chapter cinco soon ... I can hardly stand the suspense!
Keeping the dream alive into the next millenium ...
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 23:19:26 -0700
Subject: Re: Crosshair! chapter cinco
Lt. Wightman and Sgt Shockley examined the body of the dead assassin. It was rather hot out in the open and it looked like there might be a thunderstorm later. The highway patrol had notified the Peoria Police of the discovery the next morning. The Metro police requested that the body not be moved until they could examine all the evidence around the area.
Sgt. Shockley was examining a set of tire marks in the ground along with some footprints. There was a dried pool of blood under the dead body.
"Hey Looootenant, did you see the tracks? Looks like there must have been two of them."
"Yeah, looks like this one must have had B.O. or something. Plugged him in the back of the head, Kennedy style ... close range too, probably didn't even know what hit him."
"Do you think we should follow the tracks?"
"Shockley, this is exactly why I'm a Leutenant and your a Sargent."
"Couldn't have said it better myself, lead on, McDuff!"
With that, Wightman and Shockley followed the quad tracks all the way back to the spot next to the interstate about a half mile back from the site of the murder. The boys from the lab were taking samples of the tracks and other physical evidence. There wasn't much else to do so they wrapped up their gear and headed back to the city. The coroner had promised to let them know the results of the autopsy.
The Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse on the campus of Bradley University held about six to seven thousand people. The Bradley Braves used to play their basketball games there but in recent years they played at the Peoria Civic Center. Still, the Fieldhouse was used for other athletic programs and also held concerts there. This was where Grand Funk Railroad was going to play.
Randy Valdez had paid $25 for this pay-for-view event. When his buddy, J.L. Pickering, had called him telling him he had an extra ticket to the funk show he decided to tape the event. The event was a W.C.W. SlamFest '98! The feature match was to be a Tag-Team championship match between the current title holders N.W.O. Hollywood against the challengers "The Mafia Hitmen." These two masked wrestlers "from parts unknown" had gone undefeated in a number of matches.
Of course, Randy knew who they were. They were Phil and Mick Catalano. They made a great team. Their signature move was the "Double D.D.T." ... But that would have to wait, there was a Funk show to see!
The Fieldhouse was packed. It was the usually sellout crowd of funk-fanatics. Randy and J.L. had seats on the floor about five rows from the stage. It was still a few minutes until the show and Randy had sneaked a camera into the show. He had J.L. stand on a chair and Randy crouched down in front of it and snapped a picture of J.L. It was the first picture on the roll. J.L. had given him the secret funk signal in the picture which made Randy laugh. The show was about to start and the 2001 music began to play. The crowd went into a frenzy as Grand Funk took the stage. The boys were really energized as they jammed through their set.
A man dressed in dark gray from head to toe lay prone on the catwalk high above the fieldhouse floor. Most of the crowd stretched out in front of him. He had an excellent view of the stage, from his perch in the rafters. He steadied the crosshairs of the high powered scope onto the forehead of Mark Farner ... whoops ... Farner moved. This was going to be tough. Mark never stayed in one place too long. He tried another target ... Don Brewer. Rats, too many cymbals in the way, and his head bobbed up and down too. He centered the scope onto Mel Schacher ... he didn't move very much ... just a slow sqquuueeeeezzzzzeee ...
Mel Schacher was like a machine. His precision bass playing was legendary in the world of rock and roll. Tonight was no different. He moved through the set like fine surgical instrument. He was now playing one of his favorite tunes, Heartbreaker. He raised the head of the bass until it was in front of his face to play a particularly difficult riff. At that exact moment the head stock of the Zon Bass exploded into splinters!
A shout went up from the crowd as security personnel sprang into action. In a flash, the boys were off the stage and hustled into a van just off stage. They squealed their tires as they accelerated away from the field house. A stunned silence fell over the crowd. Police were everywhere as stations were set up to search every man, woman and child in the field house.
However, one man would not be searched. The man clad in gray carefully crawled along the catwalk and opened a service hatch in the roof of the field house. He slowly climbed out of the building and lay on the roof until about 3 A.M. By that time all the commotion was over and he stole away into the night.
The next day, Randy had his film developed. On the first print, there was J.L grinning like an idiot ... but who was that guy in the background, way up high near the ceiling ... JJJEeeeezuzzz, he has a gun! ... Randy picked up the telephone and dialed "0." When the operator answered he simply said, "get me the police."
Lt. Wightman finally had a lead ...
Chapter Seis to follow ...
Keeping the dream alive into the next millennium ...
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 16:58:28 -0700
Subject: Re: Crosshair! chapter seis
Chapter seis ...
Lt. Wightman showed the photograph to the lab boys ... "So, do you think you can blow this section up?" he pointed to the man in the rafters. "Sure, why don't you ask us to do something tough?" It took a couple of trys to get an image that might yield an identification. Wightman and Shockley looked at the picture carefully. They didn't recognize him, but they really didn't expect to. Wightman ordered Shockley to distribute the photo to all relavent law enforcement agencies, maybe they would get lucky. In the meantime, they had the lab boys working over the rafters at the Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse.
Shockley was at the computer downloading the photo to the various agencies as Wightman came up behind him ... "Howzit comin'?" Shockley glanced toward the Leutenant and said "Turn-key called me a dirty punk." ... "Huh?" ... "Never mind."
At the Federal Anti-Terrorism Systems Office (FATSO) Mike Butler was going through his incoming mail box when he came across the photo from Peoria. He almost tossed it aside, but looked at it more closely. Something looked really familiar about the face in that photo ... He called his partner Rick Cappetto over to look at the picture. "Hmmmm, let's put this through the mill and see if we come up with a match," said Rick as he snatched the picture from Mike's hand and put it on the scanner connected with their own computer library of known terrorists and world wide assassins.
This process would take some time so they decided to go to lunch. It was hot and humid in Washington as they hailed a cab from in front of the Justice Department building. It was Friday afternoon and much of the Washington political establishment was trying to start the weekend early. A block away some reporters were chasing Attorney General Janet Reno. They wanted to question why she was wearing this tie-died t-shirt that had a pointing finger on the front ...
"Mrs. Reno, why are you wearing that shirt?"
"Up each morning at 5 o'clock, seems like the noonday sun, ain't never gonna stop!"
"Mrs. Reno, are you a fan of Grand Funk?"
"Blood and sweat runnin' down my back, I work all day up and down the railroad track!"
With that a cab pulled up and Janet Reno piled into the back with Mel Gibson and drove off to a vacation hideaway.
Mike Butler just looked at Rick and made a face like he had just bitten into the most sour lemon on the face of the planet ... A taxi stopped in front of them and they also piled in. "Where to?" inquired the driver. "Take us to Landry's Bar and Grill," replied Rick. The driver punched his meter and pulled away from the curb.
"So Mike, you guys saving the world today?" asked Tom Carpenter, the driver. "You bet Tom, but we still haven't nailed MR. BIG yet. You know him?", joked Mike. "Naw, I don't know nobody, ... Well, here we are that'll be $3.75." Mike patted himself down and looked at Rick. Rick gave Mike a sideways glance and muttered "cheapskate" and paid the driver a $5 bill. "Keep it," he said and slammed the door of the cab. It immediately pulled away and picked up another fare a half block away.
Butler and Cappetto burst into Landry's. Ralph Landry and his wife Wanda ran one of the best grills in Washington. Rick and Mike sat in their customary booth in the corner. Ralph came over ... "Hey, my favorite FUZZ. What'll ya have?" Mike and Rick ordered their ususal sandwiches and diet sodas and looked around. The grill was usually busy this time of day, and today was no exception. Most of the tables were full and only a few stools at the bar were empty. They didn't really notice the man who came in and sat down at the bar a few minutes after they came in.
Bernie Yee sat at the bar and casually glanced in the mirror at the two Federal agents sitting in the corner. Yee had been assigned the two agents in the upcoming operation. Ever since the Peoria operation failed it was figured that the Feds would be getting in on the action soon. And Butler and Cappetto were the two likeliest agents to be assigned the case. He didn't know that the FATSO pair had already seen the photo and were having it matched. Yee ordered a rueben sandwich and a cup of coffee. He quietly ate the sandwich as the FATSO agents laughed in the corner. Hopefully he would not have to eliminate them. It was always messy.
Rick looked at his watch and signaled Wanda for the check. Wanda brought the check over and Mike snagged it from Rick. "It's my turn," he said and pulled his wallet from his pocket and paid for the meal. They decided to walk back to the office, it was only about a half mile. They didn't notice that Bernie Yee was tailing them.
Back at the office, Mike checked the computer. It seemed to have found a match while they were eating. "Hey, we may have hit the jackpot on this one." He waved Rick over to the computer. He hit the print button and a computer simulated photo slowly emerged from the printer. Mike looked at it without recognition and handed it over to Rick. Rick looked at the picture for a few seconds, then his eyes went wide and his mouth dropped open. "You know this guy?"
"I don't really believe what I'm seeing."
"Huh?, I don't recognize him"
"Well, I think I do ... "
Rick dropped the picture on the desk and picked up a phone. He dialed a number and listened to it ring a few times. A voice answered the phone and said "Your code, please."
Rick responded, "I've got dark brown stains in my underwear."
"I've found someone you've been looking for, Donna"
Rick gave her the news and then hung up the phone. He folded the picture of Terry Day and put it in his brest pocket.
Chapter Siete to follow ...
Keeping the dream alive into the next millenium ...
Date: Sun, 20 Sep 1998 23:09:59 -0700
Subject: Re: Crosshair! chapter siete
Butler and Capetto walked down the jet way at the Greater Peoria Airport. As they stepped into the terminal they were met by Wightman and Shockley. They exchanged pleasantries as they picked up their luggage in the baggage department. Soon they were walking through the parking lot and tossed the bags into the trunk of Shockleys' unmarked car.
Shockley jumped behind the wheel as the other three piled into the car. During the ride to police headquarters they exchanged the files they were accumulating on the case. Butler started the discussion, "We've got a complete rundown on Day. You'll find it in your briefing papers." Capetto continued, "He's a tough cookie and he's aligned himself with some pretty nasty people. We may have to call in a specialist."
"Yes, but I must tell you, this is top secret. No one outside this car is to know about it. When we get to police headquarters I'll need to use a phone. Do you have a secure line? ... (Nodding heads) ... Good."
Upon arrival at the downtown Peoria Police Complex, the four men quietly walked into Wightmans' office and closed the door. Cappetto picked up the phone and dialed a number ... a disembodied voice on the other end of the phone answered ... "Your code please" ...
"The work is hard, in a railroad yard, hey hey, got ta make it today, to punch your time card."
"You know Rick, you have the lamest code phrases in the entire FATSO staff"
"Thanks Donna, I knew I could count on you! ... But I need a favor."
"Really, and I thought you wanted to ask me out on a date ... What can I do for you?"
"I need you to contact an operative and have him meet me here. Can you contact the Monk for me?"
"GEEEZ, the Monk? This must be really serious ... Okay, I'll try to find him. Stand by for a minute ..."
Rick noticed that he had been placed on hold. He found that "Hold" was a strange place to be, he wasn't "ON" the phone and he wasn't "OFF" the phone. He was "ON HOLD". What the hell was that supposed to be? He was "on hold" for about two minutes. Then the line clicked on again ...
"You should be hearing from him soon."
The phone line went dead. He replaced the receiver in the cradle and was about to begin the discussion with the other officers when there was a soft knock on the door. Wightman went to the door and opened it.
At the door was a man of about six feet in height. Strangely he was wearing dark red robes and his head was cloaked from view by a hood. On his shoulder stood a parrot. The bird was wide awake. The hooded figure spoke ...
"I am the Monk. This is Bill, the parrot. You have summoned me?"
"Who is THIS guy?" demanded Shockley.
Rick shot a glance at Shockley and Wightman. Butler remained where he was standing and simply stood with his mouth wide open. Rick explained ...
"A few years ago, when Grand Funk reformed, The Monk, here, protected the band from Terry Day. He's the guy in the photo from the fieldhouse. The Monk knows Day better than anyone and we are going to need his help is we are to succeed in capturing Day."
"It's been a long time since we've heard of Terry Day, the Prince of Darkness, (Bill shouted a"grok" at this), but I knew in my heart that we had not seen the last of him. I saw in the report that Donna showed me that he has decided to attack the band with more conventional means. This makes him very dangerous. I will need the help of a special friend, Daryll Davis."
Wightman spoke up, "I have heard about Davis. I've heard he's a master of disguise."
"No, not disguise. Something softer, something older than that. His "skill" goes back many thousands of years. He has continued to practice it all this time. He could be in this very room and you wouldn't know it. I will ask Bill to bring him here." With that Bill flew from the shoulder of the Monk and out the door.
The Monk didn't say anything for ten minutes. Then standing in the door was a man. He appeared to be about 35 to 40 years old. He wore denim pants and a plain white shirt. As he walked through the door he was brushing the sleeves of the shirt as if they had dust on them. He introduced himself.
"Hello, my name is Davis. Daryll Davis. Bill told me you're looking for my help."
Rick spoke up, "It's nice to see you Mr. Davis. Where is Bill?"
"Oh, he's around, closer than you think, I would say."
The Monk remained silent as the four law men explained the situation to Daryll. At no time did the Monk enter into the conversation. He just stood there and observed. Interestingly, Mr. Davis seemed amused by the discussion. He asked a few questions about the bands where abouts and then didn't say too much more. After the briefing was over, Daryll let them know that he would be "In Touch" and then promptly left the room.
A few minutes later, Bill flew back into the room and landed on the Monk's shoulder. The Monk spoke up ... "Mr. Davis is a very fine fellow. One with special talents. But it is best to let him work alone ... Bill and I will be leaving now."
The Monk left the police building and headed into the country. The band was taking a few days off after the assassination attempt and were going to do some camping in a nearby wilderness area. Just the kind of "Out of the way" place that would make them a tempting target. Monk knew he would have to hurry to be in time. Bill knew it too ...
Chapter Ocho to come ...
Keeping the dream alive into the next millennium ...
Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 21:01:36 -0700
Subject: Re: Crosshair! chapter ocho
Chapter eight ...
Mark loved being out of doors. He especially loved being in a forest, and THIS was a forest. One could hardly see 20 feet in front of him the trees were so thick. The hiking trail wore on before him like the yellow brick road from the Wizard of Oz. It seemed to call him deeper into the woods. The backpack he wore didn't seem so heavy when he was in the wilderness. Mark lived for these moments.
Don hated being out of doors. The mosquitos were biting him and he thought they would drive him mad. Being tall, he kept bumping and scraping his head on tree branches that Farner just walked under. His backpack weighed heavy on him and it seemed to get heavier as the trail wore on. His idea of "roughing it" was Caesars Palace.
Mel really wasn't paying any attention to Mark or Don. He was day dreaming about driving the winning car in the Daytona 500. As he walked along the trail he imagined he was drafting Brewer and was about to pass him. He thought of his backpack as a 20 gallon gasoline container; soon he would have to head for the pits!
Howard liked having a little time off. But, he would rather spend it at a gambling resort. His good fortune at the crap table in Peoria had given his confidence a real boost. A backpack doesn't feel so heavy when you have $650 in cash in your pocket. He brought himself back to his senses and called to Mark to find a place to camp for the night.
Terry Day was also stalking through the woods. But his was a different quest. He kept the band in sight while not being seen himself. Day wasn't very adept at tracking through the wilderness but he was surviving. He wasn't paying very close attention and almost ran into the boys as they had stopped to set up camp and he didn't notice. He scrambled behind a tree and slowly backed away. This might work out after all.
The Monk quietly walked through the forest as well. He had come from a different direction. He wasn't hunting for the band ... he was hunting the hunter. As he crested the top of a small hill, Bill let out a quiet "grok." The Monk came to a stop and sat down on a rock. Bill flew down from his shoulder and walked about for a moment. The Monk sat perfectly still as Bill began to change. First he began to grow in size and his feathers receded into his body as if being reabsorbed. His feet, legs and wings began to change into humanoid limbs. The head changed form into that of a middle aged man.
While this was going on the Monk said nothing but did hear the creaking and crunching of bones as they realigned themselves. A moment later, their stood Daryll Davis. The Monk reached under his robes and handed over some clothing. Davis quickly donned the garments and nodded to the Monk. The Monk said nothing. Daryll sniffed the air and looked about. Confident that no one was nearby, Davis patted the Monk on the shoulder and disappeared down the hillside.
While the others sat by the campfire, Mark was hunting for dinner. With his Indian style longbow and arrows he was going to bring dinner back for all. Mark was a good hunter. He could usually travel silently and was able to move around deer and other prey to get downwind of them. This time was no different. He had found a deer trail and was waiting patiently for a doe or buck to come down into range. He lay perfectly still.
Day was also sitting perfectly still. He had Farner in sight. He assembled his sniper rifle with a special night vision sight. As he assembled it, he crunched on some branches. He cursed himself as he hurriedly put the rifle together.
Daryll was in the shape of a wolf now. He had picked up Day's scent and was trailing him. He could tell that Day was close, the scent was strong. Suddenly he stopped. There he was ... he had a rifle in his hands ... he was looking at someone or something.
The deer carefully walked down the trail, stopping every once in a while to rub it's antlers on a tree. It came to a clearing and proceeded a few steps into the open and came to a sudden stop. Something was wrong, very wrong. He stood there frozen.
Mark raised up his bow and fitted an arrow, it shouldn't be too long now, he thought. Just then a six point buck walked into the open, Mark, from behind a tree, raised his bow and aimed ...
Day couldn't believe his luck, Farner had just stood up and was aiming his bow at something. Terry settled the crosshair of the telescopic sight onto the right temple of Mark Farner ...
The wolf stepped out from behind a rock about fifteen feet behind Day. He could see that Day was aiming his rifle, he could also see Mark aiming his bow. Daryll let out a wild HOOOOWWWWLLLL, and sprang at Day!
Three things happened simultaneously, the deer started at the sound of the howl, Mark twitched also and let his arrow go, missing the deer. Day, also started and pulled the trigger, completely missing Farner. The wolf was on top of Day almost immediately. Day tried to turn and fire at the wolf but the rifle was knocked from his hand. Day fought furiously with the wolf as the wolf tore through his clothing.
They tumbled down a hill locked in combat as Day tried to separate himself from the wolf. Mark now saw the struggle and ran towards the two combatants. He affixed another arrow as he ran. The wolf tried to get to Day's throat to crush the life from him but Day was able to keep the wolf at bay. Day finally was able to throw the wolf to the side and reached down to his ankle and removed a large hunting knife. The wolf snarled and snapped as the two circled one another.
Mark initially targeted the wolf. As he peered down the smooth texture of the graphite arrow he recognized something familiar in the wolf's eye. He looked at the man holding the knife and was shocked when he realized it was Terry Day! Mark knew what he had to do now. He shot his arrow and it struck the hand of Terry Day, forcing him to drop the knife. That was all the wolf needed. He leapt at Day and pinned him to the ground.
Out of nowhere, two additional people appeared from the trees. It was agent Donna and agent Franne. Donna ran to Marks side ...
"Oh Mark, are you hurt?", she asked with her eyelashes fluttering.
"Huh?, oh no, I'm okay," replied Mark with a curious look.
Agent Franne ran to the wolf and Terry Day. She produced a set of handcuffs and 'put the collar' on Terry Day. She drug him to his feet and started to read him his rights ...
"You have the right to remain stupid. If you give up this right, all intelligent things you say can and will be used against you in a game of Clue. Do you understand these rights that I have just read?"
The wolf did a double take and ran into the woods. A few minutes later, up walked the Monk with Bill the parrot on his shoulder. The Monk was solemn ...
"Well my friends, it appears that Terry Day has been stopped once more, thanks to you, my good fellows."
"What happened to the wolf? We better be careful, in may still be around," cautioned Franne.
"Don't worry about that wolf", said Mark, "I think I've seen him before. Isn't that right Monk."
"Grok!" said Bill the parrot.
A couple of days later, Lt. Wightman was on the phone with Butler and Capetto. "Well I guess that wraps up the case."
"I wouldn't say that yet. Day was only a small cog in a much greater mechanism. We are getting reports of a Far Eastern connection."
"Well, that's in your are of expertise, not mine."
Wightman hung up the phone ... what he didn't see was that Shockley was recording the conversation from his own phone. He quietly hung up the phone. "Okay, that's all. Are you guys satisfied yet?" Yee lowered the revolver he had placed on Shockleys temple.
"Just remember Shockley, we'll be watching you."
That's the end of CROSSHAIR!
I guess I kinda left it open for a sequel ...
Keeping the dream alive into the next millennium ...