Hi Folks. First I'd like to thank you guys and you ladies too for all of the comments and letters on last week's story. Some of you seemed to get really upset about it. It left me wondering if your anger was really about the story, or simply your feelings about the theories on birth order. I got a lot of E-mails from people who explained how badly they were treated or how they were ignored whether they were a first child, a middle child or the baby. My favorite was of course the guy who described himself as a practice kid.
Anyway, it was only a story it was only entertainment and the cool thing about stories and fiction in general is that it's all made up. We can change anything we want just by turning the page. It's almost like the old joke about what happens when you play a country song backwards. You get your wife back, your dog back and your house back. My new series is called, "Turn the page," and like my "Cheaters in..." series it will pop up from time to time. In Turn the page stories, I'll explore what happened after the end of a certain story and how things changed or didn't after the story ended.
The first of these stories is a story I wrote a couple of years ago called, "In the Interest of National Security." A lot of readers were shocked by the ending of that story. I got so many letters from people who wanted to see the story end differently. Most of them wanted to see the beautiful Asian agent survive somehow. I think my view is a little bit more twisted, but she's in there, somewhere. Some of you have already re-read the original story. (I did suggest that on Twitter this week) If you haven't now might be a good time to do that to refresh your memory. If you do decide to read the original I have to apologize for its roughness. I didn't have the incredible Mikothebaby looking over my shoulder when I wrote it. I'm also not promising you that you'll all be happy with this ending. Maybe I'll do another alternate ending someday, who knows anything can happen when you "Turn the page."
In the interest of National Security: conclusion
The pre-dawn silence was shattered with the sound of the gigantic warehouse doors opening. Almost before the doors were fully open, the driver piloted his large truck through them.
The driver, Corporal Timothy Dennings was just about to shift into a higher gear and floor it, when suddenly a figure appeared before his truck.
Dennings rolled down his window as the figure stepped over to the driver's side.
"Get your ass out of that truck so I can talk to you boy!" shouted the figure, craning his head to see Dennings.
Dennings jumped down to the ground and still towered over the figure. His heartbeat was so loud that he was sure the man could hear it. His worst nightmare had just come true. The small man in front of him was the bane of all of the military truckers' lives. Master Sergeant Donald Dockerty was the man in charge of everything that came out of or went into the warehouse.
"What are you attempting to transport out of my base," asked Dockerty with a sneer.
Dockerty, at only 5'2", was an imposing figure despite his lack of height. He also had a funny voice that had earned him the nickname "Donald Duck," among the enlisted men. Dockerty wore mirrored sunglasses 24/7 that just seemed incongruous here in the dark. But the way they masked his eyes, effectively rendering his expression unreadable, was very potent. Sometimes you couldn't tell if Donald Duck was seriously out to get you, or if he was just yanking your chain.
"Let's see your load manifest," he spat.
"That's a hell of a lot of ordinance," he continued, "Where's it going?"
He cranked his sunglasses down onto the tip of his nose and just glared at Dennings.
"I think it's going to Iraq sir," croaked Dennings.
"The troops over there need all the firepower they can get," Dennings said in a small voice.
"But they won't get it if you don't get that God Damned truck off of this base," said a voice from behind them.
"Duckerty," said the voice, mispronouncing the name so it sounded almost like the Sergeant's hated nick name.
"Yes Sir, Lieutenant Sir," shouted Dockerty, snapping to attention.
"Did you notice who signed the shipping orders on the manifest you're holding in your shit stained hands?" asked the Lieutenant.
"Yes sir, I did Sir," shouted Dockerty "It was General Hammond, sir."
"Then why are you giving the corporal a hard time?"
"Just doing my job Sir," said the sergeant.
"Get that fucking truck out of my fucking sight before I have you scrubbing fucking latrines for the rest of your fucking life Sergeant," said the Lieutenant, turning to walk away.
"You heard the Lieutenant, Corporal, get the hell out of here," snapped Dockerty, turning and walking in the direction directly opposite of the one the Lieutenant had taken.
Dennings jumped into his truck and was soon off the base. It was a good thing the lieutenant had been there to intercede for him. They wouldn't have wanted that fucking Donald Duck to snoop too much into this shipment.
Dennings expertly piloted the big truck down the road. A few miles down the road, he was passed by a charcoal gray Mustang GT that went by him like he was standing still. The driver of the car gave him the thumbs up sign as he shot past the lumbering truck.
'After a few more of these extra-curricular loads, I'm going to get a car just like that one, ' thought Dennings.
20 minutes further down the road, Dennings pulled into a freeway rest stop. Before the truck had stopped moving, a big Hispanic man, whose name was Tito got into the cab next to Dennings.
He didn't say a word just tipped his baseball cap down further over his eyes and leaned his head back into the seat.
"Hey, I'm right on-time," said Dennings cheerfully.
"So fucking what," said the man in heavily accented English.
Dennings drove another 50 miles in absolute silence. He pulled into a parking lot on the outskirts of a National Forestry park just outside of West Virginia and waited.
Within 5 minutes, another truck approximately the same size as the one Dennings was driving pulled up next to him. Dennings left his truck's motor running and stayed in his seat. His passenger got out of the truck and went to the rear.
Another man and a woman got out of the second truck and joined Dennings' passenger.
Suddenly, a car came down the road and pulled up behind the truck. Dennings could see through the trucks rear view mirror that it was the same Mustang that had passed him on the road over an hour ago.
The driver of the Mustang got out. He was about 30 or 40 feet away from Dennings' passenger and he yelled over to him.
"Hey Dude, are you sure I can't use your phone?"
Recognition was instant as Tito's eyes lit up and he reached for his hidden gun. The Mustang's driver was quicker though and shot Tito before he could raise the gun.
Both the man and the woman watched Tito drop to his knees. The shot went completely through his shoulder and wasn't fatal but was obviously a serious wound. The man raised his hand and they noticed that they had those red lights from a laser targeting system all over their bodies. They raised their hands slowly and got down on their knees as well.
"You should have let me use that phone, Dude" said the man who drove the Mustang.
Black clothed figures surrounded both trucks. Dennings put his foot on the gas and considered making a run for it. At the sound of him giving his motor a little gas, a rocket launched from somewhere over the trees and lit up the sky as it exploded and tore up the ground only 20 feet in front of the truck. The debris from the explosion pelted the windshield of the truck, scaring the shit out of Dennings.
Game over, Dennings raised his hands and climbed down out of the truck.
He was escorted into a van, where he found himself handcuffed to Tito, the 2 people he'd met with, and his lieutenant.
Dan Almond sat on the hood of his Charcoal Gray Mustang GT. He took off his Kevlar vest as he was joined by Arnie Sizemore, his section chief and friend.
"Well, this one's wrapped up and we got all of them," said Arnie.
"Good job, all around," he said. "But you confronting them like that was still pretty fucking cowboy, Dan. I thought you had all of that drama out of your system."
"Take tomorrow off," he said. "But stop by my office to debrief when you get back in."
"Uhm Arnie..." said Dan. "It's an hour's drive back to DC even the way I drive."
"Yeah?" said Arnie.
"Well, the hospital's visiting hours are over in 2 hours," said Dan.
Arnie sighed and looked down.
"Dan," he said quietly "it's been over 6 months." He paused before continuing.
"The doctors did the best job they could," he continued. "They saved her life when no one thought it was possible." He paused again to let his words sink in. He knew he was on very shaky ground. And whether he was Dan's superior or not, it was only their friendship that had allowed him to say what he'd already said and live through it. Dan was one of the deadliest men alive.
"At first, we all thought that it might be one of those remarkable things we all read about in first year psychology," he said. "You know, those cases where an object goes completely through a person's brain and leaves them relatively unharmed." Dan's eyes narrowed slightly.
.... There is more of this story ...