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An American Dream: Vagabond's lame ATS story

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posted on Apr, 1 2005 @ 05:28 AM
With any luck at all this will be the last crappy chapter. Next chapter all of the characters find out exactly whats up with the guns, the marine, the spook, and the gang members, and Memoryshock and Reikuro will be joining the group.
Also a little something extra is going to start developing. I've got two things planned to keep this from being a 1-dimensional "war story".

Memoryshock's holding cell in a Los Angeles police station felt strangely safe to him. The street would have been better, but when you are accused of shooting up a McDonald's, just being taken alive is good luck enough. He hadn't even made it across the street before the police had arrived. There must have been a donut shop near by.
The irony of his situation was not lost on him. At this point the only thing that could protect him from "big brother" was the weakness of the rigid, unthinking system which was so closely tied to everything he hated about the big brother. He'd never been finger printed and his wallet hopefully wouldn't be discovered in the car too quickly. All he had to do was go unidentified until morning so that he could contact an attorney. In the meantime, hopefully somebody would find his note and call Mr. Glover- and hopefully IdiotSavant would realize that he wasn't safe- that he had to escape and figure out what was going on. He tried to shake the growing tension from his neck as he paced about his cell. We're being silenced... disappeared. If we can't prove whatever happened in that police raid soon, they'll make sure we never do. Morning seemed a long way off, and any minute the phone might ring to dash his hopes of getting help.

Sure enough, at six AM, the phone did ring. Tom didn't answer it- he couldn't let the cat out of the bag that the house was occupied. He listened to the message to ensure that it didn't contain some hint that the home owners might be coming home soon.
Mr and Mrs. Glover, this is Detective Figueroa with the Los Angeles Police Department. Employees at a McDonald's here in LA found a note for you claiming that somebody by the initials MS had been kidnapped. If in fact any family members of yours have gone missing it's extremely important that you contact your local police department and file a report, and in either case I would really appreciate it if you returned this call as soon as you can.
Tom turned it over in his head for a moment. He couldn't interfere with the safety of somebody's family to cover his tracks... but surely the home owners would be returning if there had been a kidnapping in their family. MS though... the initials were wrong. Either way, he'd have to clear out as soon as night fell. But how to get those crates back into the van? He'd barely been able to put them down with any control at all, much less lift them into the van.
If we was going to find an answer he had to do it today, while he still had the guns. They were his only leverage with whatever power it was that the his hit on J had called down upon him; the same people who he assumed must be responsible for his brother's disappearance. He didn't even know who he was dealing with. He'd have to start with the low man on the totem pole- Morales. He'd call Morales and arrange to have his brother dropped somewhere in exchange for the location of the weapons... of course he'd probably get killed trying to get himself and Ryan away from the drop site- but it was the best he could manage all on his own. Surely with a couple of those weapons he could pull off the get-away.

Gunnery Sergeant Hunt tried not to think as he shut the trunk and climbed back into the car. That was the last body- the question of the inept mercenary help was settled. That's the service for you- instant willing obedience to orders. But he wasn't in the service right now. He was babysitting Russian amateurs on jobs that American's couldn't be trusted with. Killing his men for a screwup- oh well, they were Russians- it wasn't anything new to them. They weren't his men. No Marine had ever served under him that he wouldn't have fought through hell to bring home safe- he had the medals, and the scars, to prove it. And he'd never been anything less than the full confidence and respect of any officer he'd ever been under. He didn't know where some skinny-arse spook got off got off threatening him. And if these weren't his men- the logical conclusion was that he wasn't the spook's man either. He'd had bad orders before- he'd always found a way to make them work. He tried to suppress the growing uncertainty in his head, but the would not be silent. This isn't what he'd had in mind 15 years ago. Fifteen years ago he'd been that young grunt they had in custody. Booted or not, that kid was a dyed in the wool marine- and the gunny's sense refused to believe the he was really a washout. Who could that kid be working with? I'm working with some prick who won't tell me his name or what organization he's from, with a bunch of Russian mercs. Oh well. We have to do what we have to do. He put his mind at ease and looked let his eyes wander about the empty desert around him in the canyons off highway 62. He wondered how many more bodies must be rotting out there, and what all they may have done to end up that way.
As Hunt arrived back on the outskirts of Palm Springs his phone rang. He didn't want to answer it. He wanted to somehow run away and go back to his old job. At last he picked it up.
"Hunt, one of our assets has found the cop. He's picking up the kid at Desert Hospital in trade for the weapons. The drop is in room 203. You will be intercepting. FSB contacts have filed them as Russian Mafia, and their domestic records have been cleaned, so discretion is no longer an issue. Drop is in one hour. After this you'll return for debriefing. You services are being terminated and you're going back to your unit."
"Understood sir."
So my service is being terminated huh? Freud was right.

It was two o'clock. The drop had been made right on time and Officer Nichols was now emerging from the hospital with a Joe. In the parking structure across the street Tom scanned the area from the back of the van, panning the M-249 machine gun back and forth over his field of view. A black sedan stopped, blocking their way across the street, making Tom's heart skip a beat.
Who the hell is that. Move you idiot. He's getting out... crap I should fry him... just give him a sec.
The black suit clad man extended a hand to Officer Nichols. From his perch Tom could not see the fear in Joe's eyes or the subtle shaking of his head as Nichols waved for Tom to follow and helped Joe into the car.
Dammit Nichols!
Tom wheeled around furiously, rushing to the front seat and starting the van, racing out of the parking lot, close on the Hunt's heels. Tom scarcely breathed as he pursued his brother's captor through the city. The driver made no attempt to lose him. Tom as at a loss. All he could do was stay close, and compulsively reach down to check the safety on his sidearm. Tom's confusion peaked as the driver calmly pulled into a gas station and parked next to a gas pump, leaving Tom and Nichols unattended and strolling into the store.
Tom rushed to the car. Joe was pale and sweating profusely. In his hands he clutched a small bottle of pills which he was faintly struggling to open.
"Jesus, what the hell happened to you Joe. Let's get the hell out of here."
A pathetic smile crossed Joe's peaked face as he spotted Frank standing behind his brother.
"I don't know- they did something. Have you seen Ryan yet?"
Tom ignored the question. His brother was obviously out of it.
"Nichols, you better disappear now brother. Thanks for trusting me."

posted on Apr, 2 2005 @ 08:05 AM
OK, this chapter didn't go quite as far as I expected but it laid the groundwork for everything I wanted to do. First priority next chapter will be getting Rika into contact with the group, and then I'll spring Memoryshock from jail and start working on the new twist with Joe/Frank/Ryan.

Reikuro sighed heavily as she closed the window and pushed back from her computer desk in frustration. Still nobody had answered her email to explain why she was banned from ATS. She'd never even had a warning, and now banned? She thought back to the server change the previous year. What do I do with my time when I haven't got ATS?
If it were warmer she could go to the beach. Huntington was still nice this time of year, but compared to the summer months things would be dead- and the scenery wouldn't be nearly as good. Nobody in their right mind would be surfing without a bodysuit for a couple more months.
It was friday; going to the mall sounded like it would be alright. She still had a little money to spend and next friday was payday for her part-time job. It didn't take long to convince herself that she had nothing better to do with the money. She picked up the phone and hit the speed dial, hoping that somebody she knew wouldn't already have plans. An hour later she had finished fifteen minutes worth of getting ready and sufficiently reassured herself that her hair and clothes were perfect. With her long red hair perfectly and meticulously groomed and fitted tee labeled "flirt", the seventeen year old may have looked like a number of things, a revolutionary certainly not being among them. Sometimes fate can be a funny thing- in her case it was absurd, or so Tom would say later.

"I know you don't think you can trust me, but I need to know, no BS, what you guys' angle is. I saved your butts- I was there at the hospital to off you and I didn't, and now I deserve to know who's side it is that I've taken."
"Oh, he just took our side out of the blue and doesn't know who we are. He's full of crap Tom! We ought to shoot this mother freaker and get the heck out of here." Numbed out on pain killers and wired on coffee and cigarettes, Frank had been livid at the presence of his former captor ever sense they'd arrived at the motel room and begun to wake up.
Gunny Hunt shook his head in frustration, realizing that he didn't have much right to ask for their trust.
"We've been over this guys. I was following orders; I work for the government. I didn't know what it was all about until today. There's something more than I was told, and my employers are just killing everyone now to protect whatever that secret is."
"You're a plant, and you already know who the hell I am, so get it over with! Throw down!" Frank stood unsteadily and nearly fell.
Tom jumped to his feet to steady his brother and help him back to the bed to sit.
"EASY! Dammit Joe, stay off that leg."
Frank complied with a grimace.
"Now we've got his gun, we've got him with us, he's not dangerous. If he needs to get killed I'll take care of that- but right now he's on our side."
The gunnery sergeant looked squarely at Tom, trying to read his eyes.
"I've been leveling with you boys, but the story you tell me doesn't jive at all. You're just a cop and some kid who washed out of bootcamp?"
"Hey screw you, mole. My DI was just being a punk because I clocked him in front of the platoon."
"That's not the friggin point Joe, just shutup. Jesus.", Tom was growing more on edge by the moment as he refereed the squabble between his two companions.
"Stop calling me that."
"I wasn't calling you Jesus, I was asking Jesus what the hell is wrong with you."
"No I'm not kidding. I don't like being called Joe."
"Oy. Fine bro, you're nameless. Are there any other rules we should cover before I try to have a productive conversation here?" Tom shook his head and looked back to the gunnery sergeant apologetically.
"Anyway yes. This whole thing started because J was after my brother. We had to hit him before he hit our family. Next thing I know I'm up to my neck in crooked cops and military weapons, and my brother has disappeared. So I arranged a deal with the crooked cops- now here we all are. Now the million dollar question is how do we get away from all this clean?"
Hunt was clearly impressed, but seemed a little displeased with the last question.
"Well there is no staying here now, and with DNA profiling Europe is out of the question. I assume you don't want to go to China, so really Israel is your only bet, and if they expand their conscription again your life expectancy would be about as good as it is here. I don't think you should run."
"Then what do you propose? No wait, let me guess..." Frank tried to keep his voice calm enough to keep Tom from bothering him over it.
"Help me find out what my former employers are protecting. They're watching two people from that website you posted on- one is already in custody. We can get to them and they can help us."
"So far, what we know for sure is that the agency I was on loan to was diverting military weapons to street gangs and militia groups. The explanation was that there were to be staged busts, and only a fraction of the weapons would ever be admitted as recovered. The remainder were to be written off and could then be provided to arm nations or groups that the United States can not 'officially' support."
The Gunny took a pause, seeming to mentally check that he hadn't missed anything, "Instead when you interfered the bust was expedited and made completely hush-hush, and all of the weapons that were recovered simply vanished. The weapons seem to have been for something else entirely, but there's no telling if that was officially planned or if that was a coup somewhere in the chain of command. We've got to find out what the weapons were for and who was behind it."
Tom butted with his voice full of doubt, looking to his brother for a reaction as he did.
"Then what? We've found ourselves in the midst of a new Iran Contra and we plan to do what? Write a book about it and pretend we're Ollie North? We can't change anything."
Hunt looked to Frank, his challenging the young man with hard and wise old eyes
"I don't know about you devildog, but I'm a patriot, and I'm not giving that up to some dang spook. I say we fight."
Joe leaned close to Frank and whispered to him, "We're in- Ryan would be."
Frank nodded cautiously.
"Fine. So who are they and how do we find them."
Tom didn't respond. His brother was in, despite his objection to Hunt, and you've got to back your brother's play.

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