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The End Is The Beginning [WRAP]

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posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 01:45 AM
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The End Is The Beginning


Part One


Monday Morning, 04.01.1990
Triple J Ranch, Atascosa County
South of San Antonio, Texas


Jeff raced into Aunt Maria's kitchen shouting, "Dee! Joe! Your house is on fire!" Joe jumped up and raced to the phone. Dee headed for the back door in a hot trot. Jeff laughed, then said, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Suckers!"

"Idiot!", Joe roared. "You almost gave me a heart attack!"

Dee warned Jeff, "If you ever pull a stunt like that on me again, I swear, I'll......."

Jeff interrupted her with, "You're wastin' your breath, Precious."

Jack walked in, noted Joe's paleness and Dee's angry eyes, then said to Jeff, "I told you they wouldn't appreciate your sick sense of humor. By the way, Dee, your dog caught herself a rabbit but she hasn't killed it yet. I think she wants to take it inside."

"Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure", Dee replied, waving him off.

"No, really", Jack said. "Look out the window. See for yourself." When she leaned over the sink to take a look, he laughed, then said, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"

Dee looked at Maria and asked, "Were those two dropped on their heads a lot when they were babies?"

"You'd think so, huh?", Maria answered, laughing.

Joe said to Dee, "Sorry, darlin', I should've warned ya about this yearly event but, we've been so busy with work and buildin' our dream home, I totally forgot. They're gonna be irritatin' all day. Nothin' we can do about it that's legal."

"Okay. Give ten minutes and I'll be ready to roll", Dee said, then darted out the backdoor to go to their quarters. When she pulled the screen-door to their porch open, poppers went off, making her jump and yell, "Gosh! Dang-it!"

Inside, Jack and Jeff sang out, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"

She expected more poppers on the door to the study but there were none. Instead, there was a giant pile of cow plop just inside the door - a real, very potent one. She engaged the intercom and fussed, "Jack, Jeff, get your butts in here right now!"

Jack and Jeff replied with, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"

Joe said, "I could just kill 'em and save the day."

Dee said, "Make 'em clean up the cow pie in your study first."

Joe said, "We'll be right there."

Dee went into the bathroom and found the toilet seat splattered with what appeared to be urine. Joe was anal about cleanliness, so she knew it wasn't his splatter. She got a disinfectant wipe, cleaned up the splatter, then sat down to poop. A whoopee cushion farted. She gave in and laughed, then decided to stop being crabby and enjoy the April Fools humor. That decision was trashed when she found that the toilet paper was fake. She couldn't reach the cupboard where the extra toilet paper was kept, so she had to get up and walk over there with a poopy crack. When she opened the cupboard, a popper went off and there was no toilet paper inside.

In the bedroom, Jack and Jeff laughed, then yelled, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!" She opened every cupboard in the bathroom, looking for toilet paper, and every cupboard door was rigged with poppers. Every time one exploded, Jack and Jeff responded with, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"

Through the closed bathroom door, Joe asked her, "You okay in there, darlin'?"

Through clenched teeth, she replied, "Ask them where they hid the toilet paper."

They said the closet. When she opened the closet door, a dozen poppers went off and a plastic rattlesnake dropped down and dangled in front of her face. Jack and Jeff yelled, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"

She opened a brand new four-pack of toilet paper, intending to get just one roll out, and found that the bottom of one was glued to the top of another. Exasperated, she swore, "Gawd dang-it!"

Jack and Jeff yelled, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"

She cleaned herself up, then went to the sink to brush her teeth. Suspecting that something disgusting had been done to her toothbrush, she retrieved a brand new one and checked the package carefully to make sure it had not been tampered with. She did the same with the toothpaste but, still, was hesitant when she stuck the loaded brush into her mouth. She began brushing, then turned on the water and got soaked by the rigged faucet.

When her gasp was heard, Jack and Jeff laughed and said, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"

By the time she changed and walked out of the bathroom, Jack and Jeff were laughing hysterically. Joe was trying to keep a straight face but the effort made him look like he had been sucking the guts out of a lemon.

Dee's dog, a seven year old black Labrador named Ol'Babe, had a rabbit-eared cap tied to her head and looked very unhappy. Dee gave the dog instructions via American Sign Language, then untied the cap and shook it at Jack and Jeff while saying, "If you touch her or anything of mine again, she'll rip your balls off." The jokers shrugged and kept on laughing.

When Dee unzipped her gear bag to drop in her toothbrush, a spring-loaded fuzzy alien creature popped up. Jack and Jeff roared with laughter, then repeated the tiresome, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!" Dee threw the fuzzy creature on the floor, checked her bag for more pranks but, finding none, zipped up her bag, gave a quick signal to Ol'Babe and they walked outside to the Hell Bitch, a 1989 Peterbilt custom wrecker. When she opened the driver's door, poppers went off. A fake tarantula was on the seat. Fake cockroaches and piles of plastic poop and vomit were scattered here and there. Heckle and Jeckle yelled, "April Fools! Ha! Ha! Ha! Sucker!"



That's the way it went all morning. No one had immunity from the pranks. Every crew member's doors had been rigged with poppers, then re-rigged periodically whenever an opportunity presented itself. Unsupervised cigarettes were popper magnets. Disposed of aliens, bugs, poop, snakes, spiders and vomit marked their trail to Carrizo Springs, where their job assignment awaited.

For a while the others enjoyed the annual pranks-fest but, as usual, it became tiresome when no one could successfully pull a prank on Jack and Jeff. Joe and Dee were the only ones that did not try to trick the tricksters. Joe knew there was no use and had explained to Dee that his cousins were professional agitators when they were teenagers. The three decades since had honed their methods to super-human perfection.

Since Joe went to work for Three Crow Investigations, in January, and Dee gave up her trucking job to be Joe's private driver, work was far more pleasure than effort for both. From the moment they met, last September, effortless long talks about everything under the sun was the norm. By October 1st, Joe's 44th birthday, they were miserable if they were not together. So, she moved in with him, sharing his quarters in a two hundred year old villa on his parents' ranch but there was still a huge problem. She hated his job and he hated hers because the jobs took them away from each other.

Dee's paternal grandfather's best friend and executor of his estate, Enrique Villa, fixed Dee and Joe's only problem when he suggested they come to work for him at Three Crow Investigations. For over a decade, Joe and his crew had been private investigators under contract with the Department of Justice. So, they were more than qualified. Joe was intrigued by Enrique's offer but Dee was hesitant because she had no professional credentials except her commercial driver's license. Enrique dismissed her worries by telling Joe, "She's got a memory like a steel trap. Make sure you don't get your Johnson on the wrong side of that."

In January, when they started being together 24-7, the texture of their talks deepened significantly and Joe discovered attributes that had previously gone undetected. He had been in love before and so had Dee but no woman had ever looked at him the way she did, nor had they been able to uncover his most protected secrets. Dee sniffed out his guarded areas like a blue-tick hound. At first, it was unnerving but when she told him that there should be no boundaries between them, he agreed.



...Carrizo Springs...

On the outskirts of town, the crew arrived at the home of Eliza and Thomas Early, whose son, daughter-in-law and three of four children had been brutally murdered a little over two months earlier. The fourth child was missing. The local authorities had been unable to determine who murdered the family. An extensive search failed to find the missing child, ten year old Darwin Early. Then came the dark day that Eliza and Thomas were told that all that could be done had been done.

When the murders were first discovered, Thomas called an old friend, Rand Mathers, a highly respected journalist. They met on a flight out of Vietnam, back in the late 60s. Rand was at the beginning of his soon to be illustrious career. Thomas was badly injured and would soon have his left arm amputated. Rand interviewed him and a bond was formed that was still strong.

Two months after the murders, when Thomas called his old friend to inform him that the local authorities were stonewalled, Rand told him about Three Crow Investigations, gave him the phone number, told him to talk to Victor Santitas and request the Triple J Crew, a group of mostly Texan ex-FBI and ex-Marines that met in Vietnam. Rand was considered part of their family and assured Thomas that he could trust them explicitly.

After Joe introduced Dee and himself, Thomas pointed at the big rigs, cars, pick-up tucks and vans that lined the dirt road in front of the Early homestead and said, "Rand told me you guys were top notch but I sure wasn't expecting all of that."

In a whispered voice, Eliza said, "We can't afford this."

Joe said, "Your case is pro-Bono. That means free to you."

Eliza and Thomas were moved to tears but still bewildered. He pointed at the group of men and a black dog now swarming the front yard and asked, "What are they doing?"

"We're here to find the truth", Joe said. "The only right way to do that is to not presume anything, including your innocence. They'll be inside your house in a bit. I know that sounds harsh but that's the way it has to be."

"I understand", Thomas replied. "Please, come inside."

Joe said, "It's best if we stay on the porch until the interior of your house is cleared."

"Yes, of course", Thomas said, then motioned to the rocking chairs and porch swing.

As Dee and Joe sat down on the porch swing, Joe said, "I have quite a few questions for both of you. Some will be repetitive. Some might seem odd. Many will surely be painful to answer."

Eliza asked, "Would you two like some coffee or ice tea?"

"No, thank-you, mam", Joe replied. "We're fine."

Over the next few hours, Joe dug deep and frequently returned to the same hole. The process was very difficult for Eliza, who often burst into tears. No negative evidence was found inside or outside of the Early home and the forensics crew moved their search to the scene of the crime, the home of the Early's only child, Dalton Early.

Before leaving Eliza and Thomas, Joe introduced them to Bill and Dottie Armstrong, who would be their constant companions until the case was either solved or it was determined that it could not be solved. In addition to Bill and Dottie, four crew members would keep the Early's property under surveillance. Eliza and Thomas were free to go where ever they wanted except to the home of their son, which would likewise be kept under surveillance 24-7.



...leaving Carrizo Springs...

Joe said, "I'm starvin'. Where you wanna eat?"

"Rosa's works for me", Dee answered.

He said, "I can't wait that long."

She said, "But at Rosa's we can drink and get home without gettin' busted."

Joe said, "I don't drink anymore."

Dee said, "Everyone else does, Mista Narcissistic."

Joe chuckled, then said, "Okay, fine, Rosa's it is."

"Tell the crew", she said. "And if anyone asks, this is your idea. I had absolutely nothin' to do with it."

"Anything else I need to know, Miz Boss?", he asked.

She said, "I need to stop at the Diamond Shamrock. If Jack and Jeff stop too, tell 'em your sick of their crap and to go on to Rosa's."

"What you cookin' up?", he asked.

Dee asked, "Did you ever wrap someone's house?"

"Yeah, sure. Who hasn't?", he answered. "Are we wrappin' a house tonight?"

"No houses are involved", she replied.

Joe said, "Surely you realize how dangerous this could be if we get caught. They're a hundred times more anal about their rigs than I am about the Hell Bitch."

"We aint gonna get caught", Dee said.

He said, "They say if you pull a April Fools prank after dark, back luck will surely follow."

"This has nothin' to do with April Fools", she said.

"Just plain ol' revenge, huh?", he asked.

"Revenge is such an ugly word", she said with a giggle. "I prefer retribution."



...later...

Everyone went on to Rosa's while Joe and Dee stopped at the convenience store under the premise of needing cigarettes. They bought twenty four rolls of toilet paper for the outside job and ten bags of potato chips for the inside job, then left the store feeling as if they were sixteen again. A fine mist was falling, which would make the toilet paper stick so much better.

At Rosa's, they donned rain ponchos and went to work on Jack's purple custom Peterbilt communications van and Jeff's cherry red Peterbilt non-motorized equipment and weapons rig. Afterward, they stood before their masterpieces and congratulated each other on a job well done, then walked into the cafe to join the others.

As soon as they entered Rosa's, Dee noticed a stranger among the crew, laughing loudly, very animated. He was wearing old-fashioned heavy-looking black-rimmed glasses, reminding her of Buddy Holly. Some of the crew were laughing with him but Able had a scowl on his face.

The stranger pointed at Dee and Joe, then said, "Look at her cheeks! I told ya he was out there shakin' the sugar tree!" He laughed again but, this time, no one else laughed and those who had been laughing with him before looked uncomfortable. The stranger walked over to Joe and Dee, his hand reaching out, saying, "God dang, son! When did you get old and fat?"

His face a blank canvas, Joe shook the man's hand and simply said, "Tank."

"Dad's dying", Tank said, then asked, "Who's the baby doll?"

Joe said, "Dee, this is John Tank."

"Sloppy seconds wouldn't hurt my feelin's a bit", Tank said to Dee, reaching out to shake her hand. She turned to stone. He gave her a wink, then said, "Oh, I'm harmless. Me and your boyfriend go back a long ways."

"Husband", Joe corrected Tank.

"What is it about you and damaged women?", Tank asked.

"Excuse us", Joe said, then guided Dee to the two empty chairs next to Able. As soon as Dee sat down, Able put his arm around her, giving her a comforting hug.

Tank leaned over the table and said to Able, "Hey, beaner boy, you got ol' fat Rattler's permission to be huggin' on his woman?"

Able said, "She's my sister."

Tank said, "I didn't realize Alfred had a love child." If looks could kill, Able's and Dee's would have.

Jeff said, "Hey, Tank, you still do your pickin' and grinnin' routine?"

"Oh, yeah!", Tank said. "The gals love that junk, don't ya know!"

"Yep", Jeff agreed. "Let's go find a guitar for ya."

"Might as well", Tank said with an exaggerated sigh. "Aint gonna get no sugar off Joe's hoochee."

As Jeff and Tank walked away, Joe whispered to Dee, "Crazy, idiot, ass. First letter of each."

Dee grumbled, "His daddy better really be dyin'."

Joe said, "His daddy's been dead for years."

"Then why'd he say that?", she asked.

"Code for it's fixin' to flood", he answered.

Able said, "It's more like a psychopath wanting praise for saving everyone after he's rigged bombs to blow up the dam and flood the whole valley."

Jack came over and asked, "How you wanna play this?"

Joe said, "Go away. I've had enough of your games."

Jack said, "Don't dismiss me like a rookie that don't know Tank only shows up when the creek is out of it's banks."

Joe growled, "What part of go away don't you get?"

Jack asked Able, "What's his problem?"

Able said, "Go help Tank with his pickin' and grinnin' crap. That's right up your ally. Maybe you'll get lucky and he'll get in the storytelling mood and tell ya all about how he helped commit genocide in third world countries or how he helped to overthrow a country's leader because that leader didn't want to be a puppet of the USA's military industrial complex."

Jack said, "Oh, so, I'm scum because of a few pranks."

Able said, "No one cares about your stupid pranks now that the psycho is here to charm us to death."

Jack laughed, then said, "Joe, if the logistics would work, I'd swear Able is your twin."

Joe growled, "Go away."

"Fine and, by the way, The Dozen's here", Jack replied.

"There's nothin' wrong with my eyes", Joe replied. "But, obviously, you need a hearin' aid."

After Jack walked off, Joe called the waitress over. She took their order, then, in a few minutes returned with a carafe of coffee for Joe and a pitcher of beer and four shot glasses of Patron for Able and Dee.

Wendy, the only female in The Dozen, a covert FBI crew, plopped down on the other side of the table, saying, "Hey, fancy meetin' you here! That Tank is some kind of guy, huh? Is he single?"

Joe asked, "Remember the Ricky Nelson song, Traveling Man?"

"Yeah", Wendy snickered. "Cool. I like poke and go guys."

Able said to Wendy, "I thought you and Stephen were together."

"You shouldn't think. You're no good at it", Wendy said with a cackle, then noticed Dee's lack of appreciation for her humor. "What's up with that sour face?", she asked Dee. "You sick?"

"Just tired", Dee lied.

"What do you think of Tank?", Wendy asked.

Dee said, "He's nauseating."

"I think his bumpkin act is sexy", Wendy said.

"I guess that makes sense in fantasy land", Dee replied.

Wendy eyed Dee closely, then said, "You're up to something. I'd hang around and try to dig it out but, I'm sure, teasing Tank will be more rewarding. Don't wait up for me!"

After Wendy left, Able said, "Just because you have issues with Stephen is no excuse for not warning Wendy."

"How she wastes her time is none of my biz", Joe replied.

"What are you talkin' about?", Dee asked Able.

"Tank's gay", Able said.

"Oh, well, she'll find out soon enough", Dee said with a shrug.

Joe said, "He's not gay. He's an opportunist that'd screw a Grizzly if it would help him get the info he wanted."

Dee said, "Well, honey, few are as perfect as us."

"True", Joe agreed with a chuckle.

"What's the skinny on Tank", she asked.

Joe said, "He claims he was abducted by reptilian aliens who aren't really aliens but the ancestors of humanity who have come back from the future to keep us from blowin' ourselves up because they enjoy all that anal probin' and cattle mutilation stuff."

"Good grief", Dee mumbled.

"Grief is right on target", Able said. "He's often referred to as the Grim Reaper because he has a habit of showing up when people are grieving the loss of a loved one or waiting for death, which he's an expert at delivering. Do you remember Caleb Younger?"

"How could I not?", she asked.

"He was Tank's first victim, that we're aware of", Able said.

"That explains why you hate him", she said.

"Yep", Able replied, sounding weary.



Their supper was delivered. Able and Joe dug in. Dee looked at hers as if it was crawling with maggots, her mind recalling the day that Caleb was murdered in the attack that nearly killed Able's father, as well as her grandfather.

On the stage, Tank was putting on a one-man show and everyone was enjoying his act, except Able, Joe and Dee. Joe said, "Look at it this way, darlin'. They'll blame him for what we did. He's tough but he can't whoop both of 'em at the same time."

"Whoopin' as in fightin'?", she asked.

"What part of they're more anal than me about their rigs didn't you get?", Joe asked.

"Don't be usin' that tone with me", she warned. "I aint one of your dang grunts."

"Sorry", Joe chuckled.

Able pushed his plate away, then said, "That's a show I'm not interested in seeing. Don't know what you two did that he's gonna get blamed for. Don't care. I'm headin' home. Dee, want me to drop you and Ol'Babe off?"

"No", Joe said. "She's stayin'."

Dee said to Joe, "I'm quite capable of answering for myself."

"Sorry, again", Joe said, grinning at Able, which made Dee huff and roll her eyes.

Able got to his feet, saying, "I'm out of this."

"The hell you are. Sit your ass back down", Dee said. "I'm stuck here and that means so are you."

"The way you talk to me", Able complained, sitting down.

RB, Stephen and Will, of The Dozen, came over and sat in front of Able, Joe and Dee. RB asked Dee, "Who you pissed at?"

Dee said, "Joe's buddy. That loud mouth piece of CIA crap up there on the stage."

"Excuse me?", Stephen asked Joe. "You have friends in the CIA but you give me grief for being FBI?"

"Well, thanks so much, Dee, darlin', greatest love of my life", Joe said with a chuckle.

"That's what happens when you keep important info from me, dear", she snipped.

Joe said, "Was hoping you two would never meet."

"Well, that was stupid", Able grumbled.

Stephen asked Joe, "Is he here because of what you were doing today?"

Joe said, "That's why I give you grief. You don't know how to keep your nose out of my biz."

Stephen said, "I wasn't spying on you, this time. It just so happens that we're investigating the same deal, again, and you got there before us, as usual."

Joe said, "Don't know what Tank's current deal is but it can't be good."

Stephen said, "So, let's grab him, go to the ranch and get down to the nitty gritty."

"We haven't finished our supper yet", Joe said.

"I'm done", Dee said, pushing her plate away.

"You didn't eat anything", Joe said.

Her face in full pout, she fussed, "He called me a hoochee and you said nothin'. You should've knocked him out for talkin' to me that way."

Joe said, "You would've yelled at me for makin' a scene and would've reminded me that you're more than capable of defendin' yourself."

"I'm gonna explode if he doesn't shut up that gawd awful hillbilly crap", Dee said, then started counting backwards. "Ten, nine, eight."

RB said, "Houston, we're goin' for lift off."

Will said, "Copy that. We're at T minus five. Good to go."

"Shut up", Dee giggled at the Betts brothers.

RB said, "I'll go punch him in the mouth just for the hell of it."

"Oh, Mista Betts, you are my hero", Dee said, sounding like a Southern belle, batting her eyelashes excessively.

Joe said to Dee, "Eat at least half of that baked potato and I'll invite the Grim Reaper to go home with us for a few drinks and chit-chat. That way, if he pisses you off again, we can bury him on the back forty. Okay?"

"Deal", Dee agreed and started shoveling down potato.



...ing out...

Wendy was under Tank's arm, bragging on his singing. Tank showed his appreciation by getting a handful of her butt cheeks. Dee and Joe hung back, paying the bill. As soon as Jack and Jeff saw their rigs, the cussing started. Joe winked at Dee and flashed her a dazzler of a smile. Her eyes lit up and they walked outside just in time to see Jack punch Tank and knock him down.

"I had nothing to do with that!", Tank protested, rubbing his jaw.

"You're a dead man!", Jack snarled, flicking open his switchblade.

Able stepped in front of Jack and calmly said, "Can't kill him here. You and Jeff hog-tie him and if he resists, which he surely will, do what you have to do but be fast about it. RB and Will, transport Tank to the Triple J. That way, if anything goes wrong, it's the FBI's fault."

"Head 'em up. Move 'em out", Joe said as he grabbed Dee's hand and started walking towards the Hell Bitch. Once inside, he said, "I must be gettin' old. I just wanna go home and go to bed, not deal with this mess all night."

Lightening lit up the sky, showing heavy turbulent clouds. Dee said, "Oooh, looks like it's gonna get nasty."

"That's par for the course", he said, pulling out of the parking lot. They rode in silence for about six miles and Joe drove slowly. Due to the dense fog, the road was barely distinguishable from the shoulder. "Can't see worth spit", he complained.

Dee said, "We've only got ten miles to go."

"Which will take forever at this speed", he grumbled.

She unbuckled her harness, saying, "At least the Hell Bitch has a potty and I better use it right now because it's only a matter of time before your lousy drivin' makes me wet my panties."

Joe laughed. Ol'Babe hopped up in the passenger seat. Joe told her, "You know you're not allowed up there." Ol'Babe bared her teeth and snarled. Joe laughed again. It was a game they often played. Sitting on the potty, Dee heard Ol'Babe let out a low warning growl. The truck slowed rapidly and Joe said, "Whoa there, sweet Bitch! Whoa-oh-oh-oh!"

"What's wrong?", Dee asked.

Jack's voice came over the com-link, "I almost ate your ass, Boss! What the hell you doin' up there?"

Joe hit the whirly lights and spot lights, then told the others via his CB radio, "We got a wreck. Two cars. Don't look too bad but I don't see anyone movin' around. Stephen, call the Sheriff's department. RB, check out the occupants. Jack, pull up beside me. Will, stay put. Jeff, Lake, Wendy, before assisting RB, drop flares. Don't want anyone runnin' into us."

Stephen said, "I'll try not to take offense that you're bossing me and my crew around."

Joe growled, "Do exactly as I said and do it now." The lights hitting the heavy fog distorted what was visible, so it took Joe a few more seconds to realize that he was seeing eight people emerging from the ditch on the right. They were covered from head to toe in silver metallic-looking jumpsuits, pointing AK47s. Dee slid open the bathroom door. Joe fell to the floor between the seats, pulling Ol'Babe with him, yelling at Dee, "Get down!" At the very second that she complied, the windshield shattered.

Able, Jack, Jeff, Lake, RB and Wendy exchanged gunfire with the assassins. Before scrambling into the gunfight, Stephen told Will, "If they come for Tank, kill him first."

Ol'Babe was howling until a ricocheted bullet tore away half of her face, leaving her writhing in agony. Joe shot her again, ending her terror. An assassin climbed up onto the hood of the Hell Bitch. Joe fired, striking him between his eyes. The gun fire stopped. "Are you hurt?", Joe asked Dee. She shook her head no, her eyes as big as silver dollars. "Don't move", he said.

Jack yelled, "Clear!"

Wendy yelled, "Clear!"

Jeff yelled, "Two goners here!"

RB yelled, "Two more!"

Lake yelled, "On the side and in front, terminated!"

Able yelled, "You two okay in there?"

"Ol'Babe's dead", Dee answered as Joe wrapped the loyal black Lab in a blanket.

Jeff yelled, "Grenade!"

Jack yelled, "Joe! Left front!"

RB said, "I can get it!"

Stephen yelled, "No! Run!"

Joe shoved Dee into the stainless steel shower stall and crouched over her. On the run, Stephen shot the possum-playing assassin in the head, then dove into the ditch behind Able, Jack, Jeff and Lake. The explosion lifted the Hell Bitch up on her left side and tipped her over onto her right side. RB and Wendy didn't make it to the ditch in time and shrapnel tore into their bodies. Diesel was spilling from the Hell Bitch's ruptured fuel tanks. Able, Jack, Jeff and Stephen began climbing into the wreckage, calling Joe and Dee but there was no answer.

Will raced to RB and Wendy. "Look!", Lake shouted, pointing to the diesel spill that was heading straight for them. "Grab RB!", Lake yelled as he snatched up Wendy, who was unconscious, and raced to the back of Stephen's van.

Will arrived with RB and sat him down next to Wendy. RB said, "Go on. I got this." As Lake and Will ran towards the Hell Bitch, RB took off his shirt and wrapped it around Wendy's blood soaked head, saying, "Hang on, babe. You're gonna be okay. Hang on."

RB heard, "Psssst! Hey! Over here!" He looked across the road, in the direction of the raspy voice, searching the foggy shadows. The voice said, "You're a dumb ass just like your ol' man."




posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 01:45 AM
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The End Is The Beginning


Part Two


Tuesday, 04.02.1990
Brooks Army Medical Center
San Antonio, Texas


It was nearly dawn when Lake and Stephen entered the restricted access waiting area at BAMC with Enrique Villa and Three Crow's top crew, The Sultans - Paul RedCloud, Mark Rodriguez, Victor Santitas and Johnny WalksFar.

Due to the excessive blood on their clothing, Able, Jack, Jeff and Will were wearing hospital scrubs. All but Will glared at Enrique when he asked, "How's our wounded?"

Able asked Stephen, "Did you find Tank?"

"No", Stephen replied.

Will said, "But he was hog-tied and I hit him in the head, knocked him out cold before I left the van."

Stephen said, "The interior surveillance camera validates that and showed two things in silver outfits, like the assassins, cutting his bindings free and helping him out of the van. He was conscious."

"Things?", Will asked.

Stephen said, "Robots is my guess."

"No way", Jack said. "They bled red blood."

Jeff asked, "If whoever sent them is so advanced that they have robot soldiers, why use such rudimentary weapons?"

Stephen said, "I don't have any answers."

"How's Joe and Dee?", Enrique asked.

"Like you care", Jeff snarled.

Enrique said, "I understand you're upset. That's normal enough but none of this is my fault and I have a right to be here."

Jeff shrugged and focused on his bandaged left forearm. Able said, "The shower head put a gash above Joe's left ear, took 10 stitches. He has a concussion and two shrapnel wounds on his back that bled a lot but they're not serious."

"And Dee?", Enrique prompted.

"Cooperation over", Able replied.

Victor said, "If you think that Dee getting hurt isn't upsetting for us, you're wrong. We've loved her longer than you."

"No, you haven't", Able said.

Victor said, "Enrique was merely showing you a courtesy by asking you the extent of Dee's injuries. Since he is one of her documented next of kin, and you are not, he can get the information from the doctor who treated her."

Able said, "Concussion. Her memory and vision are fuzzy. The doctor said that's common and often clears within a few days."

"And if they don't?", Johnny asked.

"Then they don't", Able replied. "As for her memory, Ol'Babe took a bullet in the head but it didn't kill her right off. Joe had to put her out of her misery. It'll be a good thing if that particular memory doesn't clear up."

Paul said, "There's something you're not telling us. I can feel it."

Able said, "Your problem."

Mark said, "Aww, he's not hiding anything. He's just didn't state the obvious. Little Sister has been hard to handle, flipped her lid, blown a gasket. Am I right, Able?"

Able said, "No. Dee was quiet and easy to handle but if teardrops were diamonds."

Enrique sat down and covered his face with heavily-weathered trembling hands. The anger harbored by Able, Jack and Jeff faded as remorse took over for being cruel to the once valiant warrior who had grown old. A couple minutes later, Joe and Dee walked into the waiting area. Enrique stood up and said, "I'm so sorry."

"It wasn't your fault, was it?", Joe replied, then turned his attention to Stephen and said, "RB and Wendy are in post-op. They're gonna be fine. Might even be released later today. Keep me posted."

"Will do", Stephen replied.

Enrique said to Joe, "We're gonna hang out here for a while. Still got some issues to try to clear up with Stephen."

"Okay. See ya later at the ranch?", Joe asked.

"Of course", Enrique answered, then looked at Dee and asked, "Are you sure you're okay?"

In a whisper that was barely audible, she said, "Feels like nothin' will ever be okay again."



...going home...

Pops had classical music on the radio. No one spoke for a while, then Able said, "I feel like I'm trapped in an elevator. Can we find a livelier station?"

Pops said, "My truck. If you don't like it, get out and walk."

Sitting between Pops and Joe, Dee turned the radio off, then said to Pops, "That was gettin' on my nerves too and don't fuss at me for messin' with your radio. Concussions can cause irrational bouts of anger. Don't push me into the first one."

"Did the doctor tell ya that?", Pops asked.

"Yeah but he wasn't the first", she said.

Joe asked, "You've had a concussion before?"

"Twice", she said. "Fell out of a tree when I was 13 and, then, Clark hit me in the head with a baseball bat a year later. Had a big ugly goose egg on my forehead for a while."

"Why did he do that?", Joe asked.

She said, "He was pretendin' to hit home runs, tryin' to look cool for some girls that were walkin' down the street and I walked up behind him, my nose in a book, not payin' attention and, BAM, down I went."

Jack laughed, then said, "That's quite a visual!"

Able said, "Clark would beat you to a pulp for laughing about that. It really upset him. Still does."

Dee said, "He thought he'd killed me."

Reaching for the mobile phone, Joe said, "Let's give 'em a call. I don't want 'em findin' out that you got hurt from someone else."

Dee said, "I don't wanna. Deke's an obnoxious ass before noon. Besides, they're gonna be really loud and hysterical and I'm just not up to it. Can't we do it later?"

"No", Joe said, handing her the phone. She poised her forefinger, then froze. "What's the problem?", he asked.

"I can't remember the number", she said as tears puddled.

"Don't cry. It's just the concussion", he said, leaning up to pull out his billfold. He retrieved a piece of paper, then said, "Here's the number. Give 'em a call."

"Call 'em yourself", she said, pushing the paper away and dropping the phone in his lap.

Joe hung up the phone and said, "Maybe you're right. I'll call the Gruesome TwoSome as soon as I think of a good cover story. Sure as hell aint tellin' 'em the truth on this deal. Can't blame me for not wantin' to validate months of accusations."

"They're hard on ya, huh?", Able asked.

"Hard? Naw. Brutal", Joe said.

Able asked Dee, "Why don't they like Joe?"

"I broke one of Pappaw's biggest rules", Dee answered. "No cops, ex-cops, military or ex-military for mates, not even short term just for sex relationships."

"I had no idea", Able said. "He never treated me weird."

"That's because you're just a sorta kinda brother", she said.

"Just?", Able asked.

"Leave me alone", she grumbled.

The mobile phone buzzed. Joe turned it on speaker. Harry, the Triple J's gatekeeper, said, "Dee's brothers are here and severely pissed about the hit. Guess who told 'em? Tank and he's with 'em."

Joe said, "Give us the skinny."

Harry said, "The boys were in a motel in Corpus, had a gig last night. They got woke up by someone bangin' on their door. Said they worked for you. Clark opened the door and a very excited man said that Dee was hurt real bad, may not live, because you, Joe, tried to kill her. Deke came to the door, pulled Tank inside and started punchin' him in the face. They beat him up until he was unconscious, then threw him into their van and let out for the ranch. Every time he came to, Deke punched him in the face until he passed out again. He looks purty bad. Nose is broken for sure."

Joe said, "I take it they're standin' right there?"

Harry said, "No. The Gruesome TwoSome are in the front yard, drinkin' my beer, smokin' a joint as big as my winkie and usin' the hose to wash down Tank 'cause he messed his drawers."

Everyone in Pops' pick-up laughed, then Joe said, "Thank goodness they're on our side."

"No kiddin'!", Harry agreed, laughing as well.

Joe said, "We're almost there. Just passed where the hit happened. We were dreadin' that part of comin' home but, thanks to your call, we didn't even notice."

"Nothin' to see anymore, bud", Harry said. "All cleaned up."

"Thanks", Joe said. "Did you take care of Ol'Babe?"

"I did", Harry said. "Buried her out behind your new house. Used the left-over stones to cover her grave."

"Perfect, thanks, Harry", Dee said.

"You're welcome, sweetness. I'll see yawl in a few", Harry replied.

Joe turned off the phone and Pops asked, "What ya gonna do with Tank. Can't have him in Mama's house."

"I'll lock him in my hole", Joe said.

Dee said, "I don't want him dyin' in our brand new basement."

"Relax, darlin', we might torture him a little but we're not gonna kill him in the basement", Joe said. "I'm thinkin' we'll have him make a documentary, exposing everyone he has dirt on, which is certainly a big list. If he doesn't cooperate, then we'll take him off somewhere and kill him and make it look like Donnie did it."

Dee said, "I didn't hear that."

Joe said, "That's right, you didn't."



...the Triple J...

Approaching Harry's log cabin, they could see Tank was naked, laying face down, wrapped up in the hose. As Pops stopped his truck, Deke was threatening to wash out Tank's colon if he didn't admit who had sent him to their motel in Corpus Christi.

Tank yelled, "The reptilioids!"

Deke asked Clark, "What's a reptilioid?"

"An alien that looks like a giant lizard or preying mantis or some stupid crap like that", Clark said, then headed for Pops' pick-up.

Deke raced ahead of Clark, glaring at Joe through the windshield. When Joe stepped out, Deke growled, "I reckon you're beat up enough to suit me."

Joe said, "I'd feel better if you had said that with a smile."

"What ya talkin' about, Willis?", Deke snarled. "I am smilin'!"

"At least try to behave", Dee grumbled from inside of the truck.

Deke leaned in and said, "You look like crap."

Clark said to Dee, "You got some splainin' to do, Lucy."

"So, you're gonna stay for a month or two or three or four, huh? Great", Dee sassed.

Clark pointed at Tank, then said to Joe, "He's a nut case. Said reptilioids sent him to our motel."

Joe said, "Yep, I know. Would you mind puttin' him back in your band van and followin' us down to me and Dee's new house? We're gonna lock him up in my hole."

"Oooh, sounds kinky, ya big stud", Deke said with a wink.



...down in the hole...

Tied to a chair, with a blanket around him to cover his nakedness, Tank went into a diatribe about the Seele Nessler Organization and its more widely known subordinates (the Bilderbergers, the Illuminati, the Masons, NASA, the Rosicrucians, the Tri-Lateral Coalition, the United Nations, the Vatican), followed by an explanation of Nessler's male offspring, known as The Protectors (immortal reptilian looking humanoids), the creators of humans and, per their sire's instructions, the controllers of every aspect of life on Earth. In short, the sons of the one and only God.

Dee yawned and Tank asked, "Am I boring you, little girl?"

Deke punched Tank in the face, then said, "Don't talk to my sister. Don't even look at her or I'll find a broom and work on your colon."

Joe said to Tank, "I asked you two simple questions. Why did you shoot RB and why did you say he was a dumb ass just like his ol' man? You chose to wander off into LaLa Land. So, I'll give you some time alone to contemplate the futility of being evasive."

"You can't leave me here like this!", Tank protested.

"Let's go", Joe said to the others.

"C'mon, man!", Tank yelled. "Cut me some slack here!"

Joe said, "You didn't cut us any slack." He followed the others, flipping off the lights just before he pushed the button to close the pressurized-gas door.

Tank yelled, "Hey! Leave the lights on! It's black as pitch in here!"

Just before the door shut completely, Joe let out a demonic laugh, "Muuu-ah-ha-ha-ha!"

Deke chuckled, then said, "You're okay for a slitherin'........"

Joe grabbed Deke by the throat, shoved him against the wall, then said, "Don't get out of line in my Mama's house."

From the top of the stairs, Dee asked, "Joe, go with me to Ol'Babe's grave?"

"Of course, darlin'. Be right there", Joe said, giving Deke his best mean old snake look before turning him loose.

As the group walked towards Ol'Babe's grave, Clark and Deke hung back. Deke whispered, "That's one mean son of a bitch."

Clark said, "He was just remindin' you of your place on his turf."

Deke said, "You didn't see what I saw in his eyes."

Clark said, "He's an ex-Marine, Vietnam vet, ex-FBI and boss of a bunch of mean-assed professional killers. What did you expect? C'mon, bro, use your brain. If Joe didn't have cast iron balls, Dee wouldn't be here."



...noon, in the hole...

As soon as Tank's eyes fell on Joe, he said, "Son, you have no idea how much trouble you're in."

Joe sat down and said, "So, tell me."

Tank said, "Dee's brothers, they're not human at all. Dee is only half-human. They're setting you up for a departure your family will never get over, just like Jana set up the former boss of The Dozen, Ricky Mason."

Joe got up, saying, "Okay, well, I'll come back later and see if you're in the mood to be rational."

Tank said, "I am rational. I am telling the truth. I understand how it sounds. I felt the same as you the first time I read their files."

Joe asked, "Files on Dee and her brothers?"

"Try to keep up", Tank said sternly. "Drake Redd's kids. Yes, their files."

"And you've read 'em?", Joe asked.

"Yep", Tank said.

"Who is their mother?", Joe asked.

"A princess of the Illuminati, Aurora May Morgan Rothschild", Tank said.

"Where is she?", Joe asked.

"Paris, with Drake", Tank answered.

"What's Drake's real name?", Joe asked.

Tank countered with, "What's that? A trick question? His only name is Drake Redd. His father, Hank, was a Nazi general that was secretly brought into the United States after World War Two in conjunction with Operation Paperclip. Nazis run our country now. George Bush Senior is a Nazi Illuminati. His father, Prescott, financially supported Hitler. President Bush's son, George Junior, will become governor of Texas after Anne Richards and he will crap all over Texans' rights but, since the fundamentalist Christian Republicans are in the majority here, all complaints will be ignored as liberal whining. After screwin' up Texas, he'll become President of the United States. It will appear that he won due to the support of fundamentalist Christian Republicans but it'll be just another con. The election will be rigged for him to win and they'll do it twice. In the interim, they'll turn our country into a corporate socialist state and, then Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will become one country. That's what NAFTA is really all about. After Bush Junior's reign of terror, our next president will be a black man of questionable birth origin and, by the time he's done doing what the SNO wants him to do, our constitution will no longer exist except as a relic."

Joe said, "I've met George Junior. He's an idiot. Fried his brain a long time ago on alcohol and coc aine."

"Yep", Tank agreed. "He's just a puppet. All the presidents have been. Some willing. Some not. Eisenhower tried to warn us about the military industrial complex but that went over the heads of 99% of the population because they'd been taught nothing but fantasy. Christianity and the white supremacist version of history taught in our public schools. Certainly this isn't news to you, considerin' that your father is half Paiute and your mother is half Lakota and both are extremely anti-government, which explains why you couldn't handle being FBI."

Joe said, "I suspect you got kicked out of the CIA because you're insane."

Tank said, "I'm still CIA and I know how crazy I sound but I'm telling you the truth. I've seen the future. It's a horrible one and the building blocks have been laid for centuries. This current Gulf War is just foreplay. Saddam Hussein is no angel but neither are those who put him in power. Donald Rumsfeld was instrumental and he'll be on George Junior's staff. They're going to bomb New York City and use it as an excuse to invade Afghanistan and Iraq because Haliburton laid claim to Iranian oil back in the 70s and Iraq is the perfect staging ground. As for bombing NYC, it's the same plan Hitler used when he ordered the destruction of Germany's parliament building. Just remember that when it happens, if you're around to remember."

"What's that supposed to mean?", Joe asked.

"Stay away from Oklahoma City", Tank replied. "They're gonna test the brainwashing of the American public by blowing up downtown OKC and blaming it on Islamic terrorists. The news media will call it terror in the heartland and it will be 100% created by those who control our government in preface to bombing NYC."

Joe said, "You made a personal reference to me."

Tank said, "When they show me the future, it comes really fast. Like an old-time newsreel on hyper-drive. On the OKC deal, I saw you and Jack coming out of the Murrah Federal building and walking away a few seconds before everything exploded. I know you too good to suspect you'd be involved in anything like that, so you must have been a victim. Trust me on this one, Joe. Stay away from OKC."

"Who are they?", Joe asked.

"The reptilioids", Tank said. "We've never been free. No one on Earth has. Everything is controlled by them. They're our Gods."

Joe said, "I thought you believed they're our ancestors."

"Yes", Tank agreed. "Well, partially. Humans today are a mix of reptilian DNA and the DNA of another species, water beings, the Annunaki, the creators of Atlantis. The reptilians conquered the Annunaki, used their females as breeders. The reptilians have no emotion, no love, no bond to their offspring and most certainly no bond to humans, even though they created us. At best, we're just entertainment. At worst, livestock. They especially like the pre-pubescent. Infants are considered a delicacy."

"Well, that's all very interesting but I've had enough", Joe said, getting to his feet.

"Could I have something to eat?", Tank asked. "I'm really hungry."

"I'll think about it when you start tellin' the truth", Joe replied.

Tank said, "I didn't shoot anyone and I certainly would never harm RB since he's my oldest son. Dee's brothers must've shot him. They're shape shifters. They can look like anyone or anything they want. Everything they've ever told you is 100% fabrication, just like that story they told about me going to their motel in Corpus. I've been at my parents' place for the last week, contemplating suicide. Haven't left once. Had the gun in my mouth when they barged through the front door and started beating me up."

Joe said, "So, that wasn't you at Rosa's last night."

Tank yelled, "It was one of Wyn's brothers! Damn! Haven't you heard anything? The reptilioids have made my life miserable! I used to be one of the best of the best but, now, I'm just a nut case! That's one of their favorite ways of taking down men like us! Ruin our careers by ruining our reputations! Drive us crazy or, at the least, make it look that way! I've lost my wife, kids, parents, friends!"

Joe said, "You never had a wife, kids or friends. Your parents have been dead for years. All you ever had, all you were ever loyal to, as far as I know, is the CIA."

Tank said, "My parents aren't dead. They're prisoners with my wife and kids. That's the leverage the reptilioids have over me."

Joe said, "Your parents were killed in a car wreck in front of the Triple J. I saw their bodies."

Tank said, "You saw bodies but not theirs. They're with Shelley Anne, Trey, Connor and Melissa."

Joe asked, "Where?"

Tank said, "Scotland, in the bowels of the Mackenzie castle and that's where they took Ricky Mason after making it look like he was swallowed by a Great White."

"Where's the Mackenzie castle?", Joe asked.

"Scotland! Damn! Pay attention!", Tank snarled. "The Mackenzie clan have been ruling the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and most of Africa for eons upon eons. The Rothschilds and that ilk are their puppets. Jana's mother is a Mackenzie. She's no mother by our standards. She's a typical reptilioid mother slash father. They inseminate themselves and I wish that was the only weird thing about them."

"Why isn't Asia under their control?", Joe asked.

Tank said, "Because slant eyes are hybrid reptilioids."

Joe asked, "Why do you care about Ricky Mason?"

Tank said, "My sons love him. I'm not allowed to be their father but, if I can get Ricky back, he'll prove I'm not insane and my sons will have their hero back in their lives."

"And you'll be the hero of the CIA again, huh?", Joe asked.

Tank said, "Ricky's testimony will blow this whole deal wide open. They can't silence all of us at the same time. We'll be killed for telling the public what we know but the seeds will get planted and will eventually bear fruit. You've got to come into this with me. They're making a fool of you. Enrique Villa and his idiot Sultans are some of the biggest laughers. Three Crow is a creation of the CIA. Do you really believe that a staunch pro-white Christian-controlled government would allow an American Indian anti-Christian paramilitary group to exist? Not in a million years, unless it served their agenda."

Joe said, "You've given me lots to think about. Make yourself at home. I'll have someone bring some food."

"Thanks, I appreciate it", Tank said as Joe opened his pocket knife and cut the bindings from Tank's wrists.

As Joe headed for the stairs, Tank asked, "What about my legs?"

Joe said, "You're not helpless."

Tank laughed, then said, "Okay, Mista Big Slither!"

Joe paused, then asked, "Where'd you hear that term?"

Tank said, "From your little hoochee the last time she reported in."

"Reported in to who?", Joe asked.

"God A'mighty!", Tank exclaimed. "You must've really whacked your head good because you can't remember worth spit! Your hoochee is CIA, man! She's here to take you down and you've bought into her lies hook, line and sinker!"

"If you were me, how would you take care of that?", Joe asked.

"Break her neck", Tank replied. "Then burn her body until there's nothing but ash because they don't like to stay dead. One little tiny bit of living tissue and they can fully regenerate within just a few minutes."

"Thanks for the info", Joe said, then pushed the button to shut the steel door.

After the door shut, Jeff said, "He's insane."

Jack said, "Or a good actor."

Joe said, "Send a crew over to the Tank Ranch. Check out his claim that he was there for the past week. Post an extra crew around this house. Are we on lock down yet?"

"No", Able replied. "We can only partially lock down. Remember? We got kids at school. Mothers at work."

Joe said, "As Dee would say, I'm havin' ish-shews."

"It's okay, bro. We got your back", Able said.



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 01:46 AM
link   
The End Is The Beginning


Part Three


Able, Jack, Jeff and Joe walked into Joe's study and found Clark and Deke sitting on the loveseat, flipping through magazines, looking bored. Joe said, "Since you're not where I left ya, I presume Dee woke up and kicked ya out of our bedroom."

"Yep", Clark said. "She seemed fine when she first woke up. Complained that her head hurt. Then she got up to pee, saw her reflection in the mirror and that's when the crazy stuff started. She said she killed someone. What's that about, Joe? Who did she kill?"

"No one", Joe said, rubbing his forehead. As he started for the hallway, he turned around and said, "Jeff, fetch me a bottle of Jack Black out of Pops' liquor cabinet."

Jeff said, "I ain't gettin' blamed for that. Fetch your own poison."

"That was an order", Joe said, then continued on to the bedroom. Dee was curled up on their bed, her back to him, a mountain of used tissues in front of her. He laid down behind her and sighed heavily as the relief of touching her washed over him, then kissed the back of her head and said, "You didn't kill anyone."

Dee whispered, "I want this to just be a nightmare."

"I know", Joe replied. "Things'll look better in a day or two."

She cried, "I wanna stop seein' the way Ol'Babe died! It's makin' me crazy!"

Joe said, "One shot of Patron an hour, no more, and I'm gonna indulge too. All the feelin's you're havin' are normal and I'm so sorry about Ol'Babe. If I could change that, you know I would."

Able walked into their bedroom and said, "Randy's on the com-link. Sounds shaky. Said he didn't want to repeat what he has to say."

Joe got up and held out his hand to Dee. They went into the study. Joe clicked on the com-link and asked Randy, "What'd you find over there, bud?"

Randy said, "Ed Gein's house, except it's not filthy. Taxidermied corpses. I don't know how many. We only viewed the living room. Got eight adults on the sofa or in chairs. Little kids layin' on their stomachs in front of the TV. Toddlers in a playpen in the corner. An infant in a bassinet."

Joe said, "I'm sendin' reinforcements now. Stand by."

"10-4", Randy replied.

Joe said to Able, "Scramble everyone. Half stay here. Half go with you. Secure a perimeter before entering to look for living captives."

Able calmly said, "I know how to do my job. Focus on yours. Get the Texas Rangers, the State Troopers and the Sheriff's Department to send crews out ASAP."

Joe said, "There's stolen kids involved. That means the FBI. If we have to deal with them, I rather it be The Dozen."

Able said, "That's the Rangers' call."

Jack said to Able, "I'll stay and help Joe coordinate."

"That's not necessary", Joe said.

"Yeah, it is", Jack said. "Your concussion is affectin' you. We're not gonna argue that point. I'm stayin'. End of."

Jack typed in something on Joe's keyboard and an air-raid alarm sounded outside. Clark grumbled, "Like I wasn't freaked out enough."

Jack said, "We need coffee."

Deke said, "We got it covered."

Dee laid on the loveseat and listened while Jack and Joe made the necessary calls, noticing that Joe's hands were shaking. In a bit, Clark and Deke returned with a carafe of coffee, two mugs, a cold can of Ginger Ale, two cold cans of Pepsi and a glass full of ice. Deke asked Dee, "Where's the Patron?"

"Living room", she said. "In the end table on the left side of the sofa."

"Be right back", Deke said.

Joe poured a little Jack Daniels in his coffee, then offered the bottle to Clark, who quietly said, "No, thanks, I don't do the hard stuff." Joe raised his left eyebrow at him, then went back to his phone call.

When Deke returned with the Patron, he handed it off to Dee, then grabbed the bottle of Jack Daniels off of Joe's desk and filled the glass of ice more than half full. He topped it off with Pepsi, slugged it down in several gulps, then made a refill and sat down at the end of the loveseat, putting Dee's feet in his lap. When Joe got off of the phone, he asked Deke, "You okay?"

Deke said, "I thought he was just a crazy asshole, not a monster."

Dee said, "I want to see the inside of that house."

"Are you crazy?", Deke asked.

Dee said, "Nothin' will tell the truth better than his trophies."

Joe said, "Maybe. We'll get a live feed in a few minutes."

Clark told Dee, "You don't need to see that crap."

"Don't nag", Dee said, then took a sip of Patron.

"I don't wanna be here", Deke said.

Joe said, "Sorry. No one can leave the ranch. If you don't want to see what's fixin' to come up on the screens in here, go in the living room and watch TV or help yourself to my movies. There's tons to choose from."

Clark said to Deke, "C'mon, little brother. I don't need to see this stuff either."

As Clark and Deke left, Joe retrieved a shot glass from his collection on the bookshelf, then gave it to Dee and said, "Don't care how fast you drink it but you're only gettin' one shot an hour and don't give me that face. You know it's the right way to go."



...sunset...

Upon arriving, Enrique and The Sultans went immediately to Joe's study, where Joe told them of the two sessions with Tank and, then, turned on the tape that was recorded off of the live feed which showed the inside of Tank's parents' home.

The house was well maintained. The taxidermied corpses posed throughout the house were so life-like that an unknowing person probably would not have noticed they didn't move, didn't blink, didn't breathe. It was like looking at a photograph, rather than viewing a video, except there were too many flies flitting about due to the unprocessed corpses in the basement.

That grotesque video was followed by Able questioning the only survivor - ten year old, Darwin Early - who was found tied up in the attic. Darwin described Tank perfectly, then said, "He wasn't mean, just crazy actin'. Thinks I'm his son, Connor. Said that Mommy and Trey would be home soon and would be happy that he found me at last. One time he called Mommy Shelley Anne. That's not my mother's name and he is not my father. My parents are dead. He shot them in the head. My brothers and sister too. I saw him do it."

Able said, "Your grandparents hired us to find you. Let's go call them."

"Okay", Darwin agreed, looking very brave even though his bottom lip was trembling.

No one said anything for a while, then Joe asked, "Dee, darlin', what ya thinkin' about over there?"

She said, "Wonderin' what kind of childhood Tank had."

Joe said, "The bad childhood thing fits the psychological profile of such people but, uh, in this case, I don't think it applies."

Enrique said, "Tell me about Tank."

Joe said, "He grew up on the ranch next to Able's but Able wasn't his neighbor until the mid-70s and Tank was already deep into the CIA by then. He was the valedictorian of his graduating class, ace quarterback, legendary hometown boy recruited by the Dallas Cowboys but got cut the first year. I think that's when the CIA recruited him. He claims he has multiple degees from the University of Texas, at Austin, but there's no proof of that. We met him in Vietnam. He was a liaison officer. After Nam, he'd show up here now and then, just being friendly or so we thought for a while. Eventually the pattern became too obvious to ignore. He only showed up after something bad had happened or right before something bad happened. Never shared intel with us. Never acted crazy until he showed up after Shelley Anne and our kids were murdered."

"Acted crazy? Is it an act?", Dee asked.

"I don't know", Joe answered.

She said, "Since his parents died in front of the Triple J, could his motivation be a crazy person's misplaced revenge?"

Joe said, "They were in a wreck. Swerved in front of an 18-wheeler and not one of ours or anyone we know. They were killed instantly. Was very messy. His father was a real bad alcoholic. No one was surprised at how he died, least of all Tank."

"What was his mother like?", Dee asked.

"Soft-spoken old-fashioned lady", Joe said. "Went to church twice on Sunday and every Wednesday night but I don't think she had any friends. No one from her church came to her funeral. In fact, if we hadn't showed up, Tank would've been there alone."

Dee said, "So, he gets set free by robots that move like humans, then goes out of his way to involve Clark and Deke. Wouldn't take a genius to figure out that they'd bring him here but I bet he didn't count on them beatin' the crap out of him. Point is, why go through all that when you've been playin' Ed Gein?"

Jack said, "Makes no sense unless it was a false flag and, if it is, what are we bein' distracted from?"

Joe said, "Maybe it's about Jana."

"Why do you say that?", Enrique asked.

Joe said, "Tank said Ricky Mason isn't really dead but a prisoner in the Mackenzie castle in Scotland and that Jana was part of that plan all along. However, he said Shelley and our kids were being held prisoner there too, which isn't even remotely possible. They're dead and there's no doubt about that."

Dee said, "Forgive me for sayin' it but maybe you should make sure their corpses are still in their graves."

Joe said, "They were never left alone from the moment they died until they were cremated, darlin'. There's nothin' to find."

Enrique asked, "So, what's the plan on Tank now?"

Joe said, "Able is givin' a copy of what you've seen to the Austin and San Antonio TV stations and Fed-Ex'n one to Rand Mathers in Amsterdam and one to Able's uncle in Belize City to, hopefully, insure that this won't be hushed up. As soon as the Texas Rangers show up here, Tank is their problem."

Enrique asked, "Can I talk you into turnin' Tank over to me?"

"No", Joe said.

"Do we have a trust issue?", Enrique asked.

Joe said, "You're actin' like I have some control over who he's turned over to."

Enrique asked, "Let me interview him?"

Joe said, "Allowing you to interrogate him could be perceived as a violation of his civil rights."

Enrique countered with, "Holding him in your basement could be perceived as false imprisonment."

Joe said, "The Rangers know where he is and approve. His isolation protects him, his rights and the integrity of the case."

Enrique said, "Can't argue with that. Okay, well, we'll just head on back to El Paso. When things settle down, we'll get you and your crew back to work. Dee, do you feel like walkin' us out?"

"No, she doesn't", Joe said, getting to his feet and extending his hand. "Have a pleasant flight."

After exchanging hugs and kisses with Enrique and The Sultans, Dee focused on Joe. After a minute or so, she asked, "Was it necessary to speak for me there at the end?"

"Yeah, it was", Joe answered. "You got a problem with that?"

"A little", she said. "But that's a pathetic whine in light of what we survived and what we're dealin' with. How much longer before that monster is out of my new house?"

Jack picked up the phone and said, "I'll find out." A few minutes later, he said, "They're waitin' on an armored truck to transport Tank. Should be here in thirty minutes or so."

"Good", Joe replied. "After they take Tank away, I'm off for the night. Take over for me, please."

"No problem", Jack said.



...later...

Texas Rangers, Andrew Schultz and Parker Wilson showed up to take Tank into custody but, first, they talked with Joe for about ten minutes. He gave them a copy of the tape he made of his sessions with Tank, as well as a copy of what his crew had recorded at Tank's parents' home, then they headed for the door.

Joe said to Dee, "Be back in a few."

"I'm goin' with", she said.

"I'll be right back", Joe said a bit sternly.

"Don't start with me", she warned. "I'm goin'. Get over it."

"There's really no need, mam", Ranger Schultz said.

"If I want your opinion, mister, I'll ask for it. Until then, I suggest you keep your unsolicited advice to yourself", she said, then out the door she went, letting the screen door slam, which was a first for her as far as Joe knew.

As the men followed her outside, Joe said, "She's upset about me puttin' a psychopathic monster in our new basement. I'm probably gonna be eatin' crap about that for a very long time."

"No doubt", Ranger Wilson replied with a chuckle.

The Rangers, two State Troopers, two Atascosa county Deputy Sheriffs and the driver and guards of the armored car followed Jack, Joe and Dee down to the still-under-construction diamond-shaped home beside the creek. Joe bragged on Dee's architectual skills as they walked into the house. The other men agreed and also complimented Dee. She said nothing.

Tank was pleasant, even held out his wrists to be cuffed by the deputies. Dee frowned at the mess he had made - chips spilled on the floor, a Pepsi can knocked over, several dozen books strewn around. As she bent over to pick up the Pepsi can, Tank broke free of the Deputies and, in the blink of an eye, had Dee by the throat.

Joe calmly said, "Let her go."

Tank said, "I'm walking out of here and she's coming with me."

Joe shrugged, then said, "Okay, fine. Suit yourself."

As Tank backed up to the stairs, dragging Dee with him, she told the others, "Do not shoot him in my new house. Wait 'til we get outside, please. Thank you in advance for your cooperation."

Joe said, "Tank, there's two dozen men outside that'll open fire as soon as you show your face. Let Dee go. Take your medicine like a man."

As Tank continued to back up the stairs, he said, "You're not thinkin' clear, boy. They'll have to shoot her to get to me."

Joe said, "They're all ex-Marine snipers. They won't hit Dee and they won't miss you but they won't kill ya because you're not gettin' off that easy. Your face will soon be on the front page of every newspaper and on every TV station around the world. Great way to end your career and, this time, you can't blame it on reptilians or aliens or gods or anything else in your warped imagination."

As Tank reached the top landing, he said, "Nothing is ending. Least of all my illustrious career and delightful hobbies. I'm gonna fly out of here and I'm takin' your bitch with me."

Joe said, "We don't have anything that flys here."

Tank laughed as if he had heard the funniest joke ever told, then began to drag Dee through the house towards the front door. She wasn't concerned. She knew Tank's futile attempt to escape would be over as soon as they were outside.

Tank opened the front door and stepped out onto the porch. As he stepped down to the sidewalk, he morphed into the legendary Phoenix and lifted up into the air.

"Kill it!", Joe yelled to his men.

A second later, the Thunderbird that was once John Tank was thirty feet in the air. Dee was screaming, being held by it's talons. A shower of bullets brought it crashing down, mortally wounded. Dee laid crumpled and silent.

Ranger Schulz said, "I can't believe I'm seein' this."

State Trooper Ben Yanez said, "That's because your mind has been polluted with fantasies. Welcome to the real world."



The End Is The Beginning
Created by Wyn D. Hawks



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 02:47 PM
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S & F



I enjoyed every word of it.
Good luck....



posted on Jan, 13 2011 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


...thx [[[[slayer]]]]...



posted on Jan, 25 2011 @ 03:31 PM
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Wyn Hawks,
I can’t believe this got lost in the shuffle! This was a great read, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen until the end! I like your style of writing. I hope you have more stories!



posted on Jan, 26 2011 @ 09:29 PM
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Originally posted by illusioned2
I can’t believe this got lost in the shuffle! This was a great read, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen until the end! I like your style of writing. I hope you have more stories!


...thx, illusioned2 - glad you enjoyed it and, yeah, i got a few more tall tales...



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