Rick woke to find himself naked and alone in the middle of what appeared to him to be an A-Team encampment. He recognized the encompassing mountainous terrain as being very similar to that of the central highlands, a geographical region around Pleiku in the former Republic of Viet-Nam.
The encampment was surrounded by wire and as Rick anxiously looked closer, he could see armed sappers crawling through the wire from all directions. Rick thought, "Oh fuck, I'm really in for it now." He looked desperately around him for his weapons but he could find nothing but his bare hands to protect himself with. A weird buzzing noise began to ring in his ears. "That's not incoming mortars or rockets. What the hell is it?" Rick wondered.
He was awakened from his nightmare by his bedside telephone. He had to gently shift Michelle's beautiful blond head off his chest to reach over and stop the damned ringing. While he was picking up the phone he reflected that this nightmare had been of a rare type for him. It had been one he hadn't actually experienced in real life!
He glanced at the clock on the bedside table and thought, one o'clock, this call had better be good. "Hello." Rick grumbled into the phone. He heard a click on the line and he realized immediately that Snowman had picked up the extension in his and Cat's room.
"You want Theo Jackson?" Rick recognized the excited voice as Willy Ferguson; he was one of their most reliable and productive informants.
"Hell, yes, we want him, Willy. Where is he?" Rick came wide-awake and he sat up on the side of the bed. Theo was their current biggest target. He had skipped on a murder bond of a cool fifty grand from the biggest bonding company in Houston.
The bond had been secured by the title to his grandparent's uninsured home. While celebrating his release by smoking crack Theo had burned the house down and killed both of his invalid grandparents! Their client stood to loose a bundle, conversely, Rick and Snowman stood to claim a large percentage of that bundle if they could just catch Theo.
"I just saw Jackson go into Jazz Wilson's bar out here on Martin Luther King. I heard he's trying to raise enough dough to get out of town, so I was watching Jazz's place. He's the biggest fence in this part of town."
"Alright, Willy. We'll be over there in just a few minutes. You know if we catch him this time we'll take good care of you." Rick thumbed the button that hung up the phone and pushed another one that speed dialed Larry's number.
"Hello, County Coroners. You stab 'em; we slab 'em." Dirty Dana answered the phone in her usual irreverent manner.
"Is Buckshot still up?" Rick asked urgently. He knew they had to get to Jazz's place before Theo finished his business and hit the road.
"No, he went to bed when the rest of you party poopers left. He's just no damned fun either. I couldn't even get him into my fucking coffin with me tonight." Dana returned.
"Have him ready to roll in ten minutes. Tell him we'll be bringing the truck." Rick hung up the phone and grabbed for his clothes. He took the specially made Bianchi Miami holster rig with the twin .45 Colt autos off of the hook beside the bed and deftly slipped it on as he'd done hundreds of times before.
Someone rapped quietly on the door and Rick headed that way only to be stopped by a soft, plaintive call from the bed. Michelle reached a hand toward his side of the bed; she opened her awesome blue eyes to look for him when she couldn't touch him. "Business, Baby." Rick told her. He moved to the side of the bed; he leaned over, and kissed her full, soft lips.
"Come back to me, Lover." Michelle pouted.
"You know it, Doll." Rick vowed. Rick opened the door and a tiny, sexy, nude Cat Woman slipped sinuously past him and ran for the bed. This wasn't at all unexpected by Rick; Cat and Michelle often slept together for company if Rick and Snowman were going to be out late.
Snowman was waiting in the living room; he had three small two-way radios in his hands. "I thought we might need these and I checked the batteries while you called to wake up Buckshot. They're all working."
"Great, let's go." Rick said, as he accepted the radio Snowman handed him. The two never had to talk much when they were working. They had worked together so long each could almost read the other's mind.
Rick drove the truck they shared between them. It was a new dually four-wheel drive diesel, a truck that was powerful enough for any use they had for it. Buckshot was waiting in the shadows out in front of Larry's house. He had a short bed roll over one shoulder that was tied on each end with strong leather thongs. Snowman opened the truck door and let him in.
Snowman wasted no time on preliminaries. "Here's a radio." He passed one of the small two-way radios to Buckshot. "It's just one frequency; I've already turned it on so all you'll have to do is to push the red button to talk. We're going to a bar downtown; you'll go around the back way. We'll give you a minute to find your way to the back door and get set up and then we'll go in the front. The guy we're looking for is twenty-five years old, he's six foot two, one eighty, he's black and he walks with a limp. He jumped bond for killing his girl friend's husband with a knife. If our man's still there, we'll probably flush him out the back. He's probably heard we're hunting for him and if he sees both of us in the front, he won't be expecting you."
"That's just the way I like it." For the second time that night, Snowman saw Buckshot's dangerous look. Snowman took several of the heavy-duty plastic wire ties they used to secure prisoners out of one of his jacket pockets and handed them to Buckshot. By the time Snowman had finished briefing Buckshot, Rick had driven to the bar. He pulled to the curb slightly up the street from it.
Buckshot got out and hustled up the street, Rick waited a minute and then he pulled up to the front of the bar and parked. They went in the front door quickly and Rick moved to the right as Snowman moved to the left. Several tables in the bar were full of men and a few women and there were four men at the bar behind which a large black man with white hair presided.
A big burly, young black man got up from a nearby table and swaggered toward them. "What do you two white boys want in here?" The obviously drunken man asked them in a slurred voice.
A young black woman in an abbreviated dress that exposed most of her big breasts and practically all of her long legs got up from her table to egg the man on. "You tell 'em, Leon. Those white boys ain't got no business being in here."
Snowman and Rick both caught a glimpse of their quarry exiting the rest room in the rear of the bar. He cast one glance in their direction, then he headed for the back door as fast as his limp would allow. "We're leaving, Leon!" Rick told the big man in front of them. "We don't want any trouble."
"What do you mean by that, boy?'" Leon shouted angrily. Rick thought it was too bad Leon just was not the type you could reason with and he hoped Buckshot could handle Theo until they could go to his aid.
"Get them, Leon." The woman at the table yelled. Leon headed their way and Rick leaped up and met him head on with a fist full of brass load that he had palmed from his pocket. The shock of the blow ran all the way up Rick's arm to his shoulder. He planted two more jackhammer blows to Leon's smashed face before the big man's knees received the command from his brain to fold! Leon crashed backwards and brought the table behind him to the floor with a tinkle of breaking glasses.
"I got him." Rick heard Buckshot say excitedly over the radio in his pocket.
The woman that had goaded Leon on got even more vocal now. "Why did you hit Leon? He wasn't bothering you!" The agitating woman turned to the other men in the bar. "You gonna let these bastards come in here and beat up Leon?"
The other men were obviously pretty damned impressed that Rick had knocked Leon out but the woman kept goading them on. Only an instant had passed, but a couple of them had started to look at each other and fidget. Rick was still trying to decide whether to head for the door or draw a gun when an ominous sound from the back of the bar got the whole crowd's instantaneous attention.
Buckshot was standing just inside the open back door. He had ratcheted the slide action of his riot gun. He caught the ejected shell with a practiced flourish and stuffed it back up the bottom tube. "Our man's out back sleeping, are you ready to leave now, Boss, or did you want to have a drink first?"
Buckshot asked the question in an assertive tone that was heard throughout the silent bar. He stood in a relaxed posture with the polished walnut stock of his chrome plated meat grinder resting on one hip. Even the loud-mouthed woman was smart enough she had shut up and sat down fast when she'd heard the unmistakable sound of the shotgun action clacking.
Snowman shouted cheerfully, "Hell, yes; I'm ready for a drink; matter of fact, I'm buying the house a round." He pulled out his wallet as he walked around Leon; he laid a hundred-dollar bill on the bar. Rick followed him over, he was feeling very relieved at the timely interruption.
The bar owner served them their drinks first and Rick raised his glass to Buckshot. Rick toasted, "Here's to working with a righteous Bro." The first drink went down so well they asked politely for another shot and sent it speeding after the first. Rick asked Jazz for a bucket of ice and when it was placed on the bar he stuck his bruised right hand deeply into it and breathed a loud sigh of relief.
.... There is more of this story ...