Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Home-field advantage: Afterward

Brad, Darryl and the squad met at a truck-stop in Upper Sandusky, Ohio before splitting up to go their separate ways.

They had a quick post-action debriefing.

Darryl brought up the subject of Lawton. “The kid has a lot of potential. He handled himself well.”

Brad said “He fell out of protocol when he took that head-shot. He didn’t tell his guy on the ground,”

“We were all out of protocol” Darryl contradicted him. “It went rodeo pretty fast. Lawton had a good shot and he took it.”

“A head-shot, though. Wasn’t that a show-off move?” Brad asked. Secretly he was pulling for Lawton but somebody had to play devils-advocate.

“He shoots prairie dogs in Oklahoma at that range. Did you know he was named for the town where his dad grew up. He goes out there every fall and shoots prairie-dogs at three, four-hundred yards. A prairie-dog is a lot smaller than a human head” Darryl continued to advocate.

“Well, you got a point” Brad conceded. “He is too far away to train with us, but I can call the crew in Romney and see if they can hook him up with a group in Michigan.” 



Michelle Schroom, Senior Partner in the legal firm Bloud, Zucker, Schroom and Tattomb died in Lansing, Michigan while leading a candle-light vigil for the victims of Right Wing aggression.

No ceremony is planned.

Donations may be sent to Friends-of-George charity.

Bloud, Zucker, Schroom and Tattomb is Michigan's largest full-service legal firm specializing in providing legal services to State agencies and Municipalities.



I woke up in a hospital bed. I had tubes taped to the back of my hand and my back hurt.

Vince was watching me as I shook the haze out of my eyes. He watched me finger the stitches on my belly.

Vince answered my question before I could voice it. "Good thing you only need one kidney."

“Where is Lizzy?” I asked through my dry-mouth.

“You are welcome for me being here” Vince responded. “Lizzy stepped out for a cup of coffee and some fresh air.

I took a sniff. “What the hell? Is my room next to the morgue?”

“Nope. What you are smelling are the riotors. They have been trickling into the hospital for hours” Vince said.

“Why the hell did they put them next to my room?” I asked querulously. Hey, I was still shaking off the anesthesia.

“They aren’t. They are four floors down” Vince snickered.

“Well, they should turn on the fans.” I complained.

“You don’t think they thought of that?” Vince said. “They started to stink once they started warming up. People were puking, they smelled so bad. The only good thing is that the puke couldn’t make it smell any worse.”

“The Emergency Room finally decided to stuff fifteen of them into each Covid isolation room to warm up. The only problem is that the Covid rooms vent to outside and the intakes are picking up some of that stink.”


Alex was having the same issue with the men who had been operating the water cannons. He made an emergency call to Kolkata, India. That is a privilege paying $10k for 500 grams of powder gets you.

The lead chemist informed Alex that a bath filled with Epsom salts was moderately effective at disabling the enzymes, but the bather had to soak for at least two hours.

The chemist wanted to know how effective the product was.

Alex told him it ramped up slowly but seemed to be “pretty effective, once it got going”.

“I meant culturally. Here in India even the children of the highest brahmin class become untouchable when they smell like someone who skins dead animals. They are ruined socially and professionally” the chemist said.

Alex could only imagine how quickly corpses went blinky in India when there was no refrigeration.

“Culturally...” Alex thought for a second. “In America people who don’t have fresh, minty breath are untouchable. I imagine it will be the same here.”


Cunningham searched his pockets for his phone. Not finding it, he started to hyperventilate.

He calmed himself. All he had to do, he told himself, was to pick a direction and start walking. Surely he would run into an urban area where he could adapt.

Looking around at all of the buildings, he saw they were all dark.

Randomly picking a direction, he started walking south. He was from Connecticut and he could not imagine that he would have to walk more than a quarter-mile before encountering “civilization”.


The Prosecutor filed multiple, first-degree murder charges against each of the seven old veterans.

Internationally renowned attorney, Aaron Ducat defended them.

The Prosecutor relied solely on video evidence in the first trial. Video of the defendant raising his gun and shooting. Video from the scope mounted on the rifle and the resulting hit.

It was a very compelling presentation.

Ducat destroyed the Prosecution in his first cross-examination.

The only evidence the Prosecutor showed the jury that linked the person firing a weapon to the subsequent fatality was recorded from a high-tech scope. Other video evidence...presented by that same Prosecutor...showed the defendant firing a weapon that did not have a scope mounted on it.

In fact, that weapon was entered as evidence and Ducat asked the Prosecutor’s expert witness if it was even possible to mount a scope on a virgin, un-drilled Model 1903. Of course the witness was compelled to testify that it was not possible to do so.

The subsequent civil-suit for defamation of character and false arrest was settled out-of-court but was widely believed to be for $2 million, each. 

Ducat proved once again proved that his reputation was earned and not just fancy advertising.


Bert woke up on the floor beside the couch in Alyssa’s living room. The couch had been way too short for him to stretch out on.

Neither had felt like sleeping.

Alyssa cooked up a pound of spaghetti and Bert ate it all. Then she cooked up another pound and he at that too. Suddenly, his appetite was back.

They talked till three in the morning.

Bert dreamed about Therese that night, the first time since she had become ill. She was holding a cup of tea the way she always did to warm her hands on cool mornings.

“I am in a good place here, Bert” she told him.

“Why didn’t you get a hold of me earlier?” Bert asked.

“These things have rules. I couldn’t contact you until you had accepted your new mission...and your mission had accepted you” Therese said.

“You mean Alyssa?” Bert asked.

“Yes. She seems like a nice girl. You will be happy together” Therese said.


  1. "Bloud, Zucker, Schroom and Tattomb". That is one of your best ones.
    Right now I am watching the protests in Philthydelphia. So far only one small incident that I saw. A woman threw a bottle or something at the police, they all walked towards her , cuffed her an led her away. It was getting loud but a lot of the protestors walked away from the police and it has returned to a few shouting at the police. Now some "leaders" are trying to rev up the protestors. So far they are ineffective.

  2. Now the "leaders" are walking up to the cops and taunting them. So far the cops have not responded. Uh oh. something happened. It's a fight now. Now it has stopped. A woman is yelling "you pussies ! you took away my sister !" Leaders again trying to jack up the crowd. Now it has calmed down again.

  3. Now the cops are being bombarded with glass bottles. They are behind their shields and are not responding. Here comes another one. Hit the shield but the cop did nothing. Another one. Now they are throwing garbage at them. I hear sirens coming. And going. Must be trouble somewhere else too. This is your correspondent in Ice Station Delta signing off.

  4. "Cunningham searched his pockets for his phone."

    I would think this a great source of intell.

    I also think that despite whoever is protecting Cunningham that taking potshots from a helicopter in front of witnesses is going to activate an investigation that will locate Mr. Cunningham shortly. Although since I'm not familiar with the terrain around Michigan State perhaps he won't last long enough to be found alive.

    1. I think he is worth more alive than dead.

      He might collect a few bruises along the way.

      I would expect tracking dog's on the ground about thirty minutes after he deplaned. With Covid depopulating the campus there wouldn't be many people muddying up the scent track.

      South of Munn are athletic facilities, a few dorms (closed), railroad tracks, golf course, research farms.

    2. I would expect that the hijacking report would activate FBI and US Marshals to the coordinates where the pilot dropped the terrorist. Perhaps an afterword will reveal what will happen then.

      This has been a terrific story and full of valuable lessons. I can't think of more than two people in a 3-mile radius of my AO who would have a clue about how to handle such a situation. Fortunately living in the boondocks we are highly unlikely to encounter one.

      Now what am I going to read with my first cup of coffee every morning?

  5. Nicely done, and hoping for another when you have the time.

  6. "Bloud, Zucker, Schroom and Tattomb is Michigan's largest full-service legal firm specializing in providing legal services to State agencies and Municipalities."

    I'm rather astounded at how many business entities think they can leverage some public displays of support for groups that are fundamentally hated and feared for the anarchy and violence they generate. (Seriously, most Americans aren't fooled by media coverage and spin, if they can see the video for themselves.) If I were their Risk Management partner, I'd be telling them to be a lot more cautious, because I think they will eventually receive a lot of blowback for this. Particularly legal firms, because if they get exposed for anything beyond speech to their state bars, are likely to find most of their licenses revoked. Ethics committees don't tend to be terribly liberal, IMHO.

    And if things stay spicy, they've openly declared themselves as fixed targets.

  7. Congratulations! I've enjoyed your story very much.


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