The drone flew low and slow down the center of the valley; from the sound of the engine and propeller it was a good bet it was a Reaper carrying at least two Hell Fire missiles more likely four. Pulling the thermal blanket tight around his body and pushing down into the snow Jack knew he would find out shortly if they’d picked him up on thermal imagining. High over head its jet engine drowned out by the Reaper propeller noise an Avenger drone scanned a five mile wide swath of the mountain running east to west at twenty thousand feet. Nothing to do now but relax and see if he lived or died; the next five minutes would tell.
Jack Griffin was proud as he stood at attention receiving his corporal bars from his Sheriff. He’d worked damn hard to get them; no politics involved in this promotion, he’d studied and worked his ass off for those stripes. He was a natural at police work; higher than average arrest rates and a couple big busts he’d chased down himself pushing the information he’d picked up to the Detective Division, them allowing him to be in on the final arrests. He confirmed he was a rising star as all the Court hearings came and went without a single stumble on his testimony regardless of the games the Defensive Attorneys played; he was just a star.
Engine and propeller noise fading heading straight west from where Jack lay in the snow; he let out a long and slow sigh of relief. Jumping to his feet thermal blanket still wrapped around him tightly he pulled the head phones over his ears. Using a mental grid pattern Jack searched the sky trying to pick up the jet engine of the Sentinel or maybe an Avenger high over head; both carried munitions that’d ruin his day if they picked him up. Pointing the directional microphone a couple degrees farther west and a little south of his position he picked up the jet engine noise; yep little jet engine. Listening for a minute he determined the high drone was heading due west just like the little drone killing machine hunting him low in the sky of the valley. Jack figured he had twenty minutes before the next pass if he was lucky, he’d have to make some good time through the snow to keep a lead on the ground teams.
Jack reached down activating his over head lights on his patrol car; the car he had his eyes on had crossed the center line and the fog line twice in the last few hundred yards; DUII ran through his head.
Slamming on the breaks the suspected DUII car nose dived towards the pavement surprising Jack with the quick aggressive move; tires smoking drifting slightly to the left the two front doors flew open. Jack stomped his breaks to the floor jerked the wheel to the left putting the passenger side of the car towards the smoking DUII suspects car. Nine millimeter bullets rained into the patrol car; windows blowing out from the impacts sending shards of glass in every direction. Jack jammed the patrol car into reverse spinning the tires into smoking spinning gravel throwing turbines. Placing yards between him and the withering fire Jack felt three stings as he slumped low trying to escape the gun fire. Stomping the breaks and grabbing his secondary gun from its rack Jack smoothly sled out the patrol car door coming up over the hood searching the red dot sight for the shooters. They’d made a huge mistake by pursuing the smoking tired patrol car firing as it slid away from their ambush; they stood in no man’s land fifteen yards from their car. Finding his right eye blind from heavy flowing blood Jack switched shoulders and brought his AR15 7.62 rifle to his left side, sighting down the barrel the red dot lowered to chest level on the killer and Jack pulled the trigger twice in rapid succession, shifting slightly right the red dot hung steady on the seconds chest; Jack watched muzzle flash after muzzle flash coming from the killers heavy auto. Two quick squeezes, second suspect flat down on the pavement; through the one power red dot scope Jack could clearly see the blood pool spreading reaching out combining into one huge red lake glistening in the sun. He slumped by the side of the car; his stings turning into blinding white pain closing his vision down to slits; he could hear sirens in the distance.
Shaking the snow from his thermal blanket Jack sprinted through the snow closing the distance to the sheer cliffs of the mountain; climbing a couple hundred feet nearly straight up he could see shapes in the distance the ground killer teams were closing on him. Finding a small sunken area in the rock face Jack wrapped himself tight in the blanket listening closely for the low drum of the drone engine. Untying his rifle from his pack it was time to slow the pursuers down, he wouldn’t be able to just out run them in the long run, he’d need them to slow down and make them watch for ambushes.
The drone came in low moving slowly no more than a hundred feet over the top of the trees making the shot nearly level and three hundred yards out. Resting the rifle on the bipod legs he followed the drone at high magnification through the scope as it closed the distance flying flat and level. Definitely a Reaper holding four rockets under its wings; not a hard shot but he’d only get maybe two chances if he was quick. Squeezing slowly smoothly he sent the first round hitting the drone far back on the fuselage since the engine was in the back of the vehicle. A second quick follow up shot produced instant smoke and the little drone dropped like a rock exploding into a thousand pieces as it fell through the heavy timber.
Jumping to his feet Jack ran a hundred yards along a long two foot wide expansion ridge in the cliff face diving into another shallow cave face. His firing position exploded into fragments seconds after he began his run; his two rifle shots glowing like beacons in the sky to the high flying second drone. The war heads explosion flash and heat blinded the Avenger drones sensors for a few seconds giving him time to make the life saving run to his next firing position. He’d have to sit still for the time being hiding from the drone before he could risk escape; the killer ground teams were at full run closing the distance to the drone’s war head strike point.
Jack woke in a hospital room tubes running from both arms and covered in bandages. Three bullets had found their mark but none were life threatening. Two weeks and he’d be released to finish healing at home. His first visitor was the Sheriff himself; he spoke in very guarded sentences with Jack asking strange questions about what had happened. Did he know the two men he’d shot; why’d he decide to pull over that particular vehicle; did he take anything from the scene. Jack answered all his questions; he’d never quite been talked to that way, what was the problem; he got no answers to his questions; why was he feeling like he was being investigated?
Pulling the head phones again over his ears Jack searched the skies for the Avenger drones signature engine sound; nothing. Looking at his watch he figured the drone had been in the air a minimum of eleven hours figuring in launch, travel time and time on target; it had to be running out of fuel and would have to return to its launch pad to refuel soon. Pulling his rifle it was time to slow down the hunter killer teams or he’d never escape.
Watching the two team’s six members each through the high powered scope he noted his targets carefully hoping dropping the right member would slow the others to a crawl. Jack picked the lead member and settled the cross hairs six dots high over his head and two dots left correcting for the slight wind and distance. With a slight increasing squeeze the gun jumped in his arms; switching to the second team running through the snow about two hundred yards to the right of the first team he waited for his second target to run into a small clearing in the woods. Second shot off; pushing the scope back on target after the jarring explosion he saw that his shot had taken the leader in the high chest and the remaining five members had disappeared into the heavy timber for cover. Finding the first team again took two minutes since they’d had more time to get into good hiding positions. Jack found his first victim if you could call him that lying face up between trees covered in blood obviously dead.
The director slammed the report down hard on his desk. “What the hell! Who is this guy; what branch is this guy from? Rangers, Seal team, Delta; who is this guy, he knocks down a Reaper with a rifle and kills two of our people and makes a compete escape!”
“His name is Jack Griffin, a civilian; he was a Deputy Sheriff; he’s the cop that killed the two Diplomats from Russia.” “The ones that had the car full of documents that took the President and her husband out of the White House.” The CIA spook slowly and carefully said emotionless in a flat dry dead voice.
“I want this guy, put our best people on him; he can’t be a God damn Gunslinger; an underpaid County employee working for a third rate Department!” “A fucking Gunslinger; no way he’s got to be someone!”
“We had our best people on him; Grant and Jones were the best we had; apparently he knew who on the teams were in charge. They both fucked up and got killed” Again in the flat dead voice. “Autopsies showed both were killed with a 7.62 standard slug bought off the shelf; minimum 1300 yards, they didn’t even hear the first shot before both were down.” Three second pause “We’re into the second stringers now.”
The two ties stepped into his hospital room three days before he was to be release to home therapy, maybe two months working out at home and he’d be back to at least light duty work.
“We’d like to ask you a few questions if you’re feeling up to it” Black tie number one said.
“Sure who are you?” Jack said as he turned the volume down on the TV attached high on the wall.
Black tie number two stepped up to the bed towering over Jack. “We’d like to keep that to ourselves; now WE ask the questions and you answer them” Lowering his had to Jack’s left shoulder tie number two stuck his finger into the hollow where the 9mm round had taken a large chunk out of Jacks shoulder. Pain flared; he rolled away from the man standing up on the opposite side of the bed facing the two men.
“Let us just say we’re friends of the two people you disposed from their jobs; and now that I think of it the Russia’s aren’t very happy you either, you killed two of their diplomats, I think they might want to talk to you also.” Tie number one growled.
The floor nurse walked into the room on her normal duty rounds to check on her patient. “What’s going on here!” as she realized there was some kind of problem between the men and saw blood oozing from the dressing on Jack’s shoulder. She pressed the alarm button on her hip just as tie number one was stepping towards her. He stopped as they heard running feet coming down the main corridor towards the room.
“We were just leaving” Tie number two barked. “Jack, we’ll be talking again, again real soon.”
Jack’s mouth hung open in total surprise; he’d been sitting like that for twenty minutes as the Union President explained the situation that he would not be returning to his job and more than likely would be indicted on Felony charges from the killing of the two diplomats. Powerful people were pushing the Departments buttons and it appeared they controlled the Courts as well; an indictment was expected within days; he was on house arrest and was not to leave, no matter what.
Fifteen minutes after hearing the rest of the story Jack was packing; his bug out bag already had been packed and had been made for just this kind of event. He never expected to need it, but hard training convinced him long ago to be ever prepared.
One small backpack and his bug out bag was all he needed. His personal rifle the AR 7.62 and his duty weapon had been locked in his gun vault by his best friend while he laid in the hospital recovering. It was strapped to the bug out bag and his duty weapon a Glock 21 in .45 was on his hip.
Pulling slowly out of his garage Jack saw two white vans parked along the street; one pointed north the other south; both had two men in the front seats watching as he slowly pulled out into the street. His driver’s window exploded from the gun shot as other rounds blew out the next window and the rear window blew in as he finished his turn onto the quiet residential street he lived on.
Stomping the gas pedal to the floor the chase was on; apparently he was wanted dead or alive; mostly they wanted him dead.
From the Ramblings