The Twentieth Day, 30 Days Has September

The Twentieth Day, 30 Days Has September

I came awake to the creaking rumble of the tracks working unlubricated against one another as they carried the Ontos atop the mud alongside the Bong Song River. I blinked my eyes rapidly and tried to straighten out against the cramping pain of what seemed to be my...
What is the Largest Airline Market in the World?

What is the Largest Airline Market in the World?

What is the largest airline market in the world? Europe? Asia? Africa? United States? Well, if you guessed the U.S. then you were correct. It is not only the largest airline market it is by far the largest. Asia is supposed to surpass the U.S. sometime in 2024 but...
THE NINETEENTH NIGHT SECOND PART, 30 Days Has September

THE NINETEENTH NIGHT SECOND PART, 30 Days Has September

I awoke in darkness, bringing up my Gus Grissom watch more for the tiny bit of illumination emanating out through the crystal than to see what time it was. I quickly oriented myself to where I was and how I’d come to be there. I heard the wind and river sounds wafting...
Reproducing Dumb Bunnies…..

Reproducing Dumb Bunnies…..

Are we growing a nation of Dumb Bunnies?   Did you know that only seven states require civics or any kind of study of how the U.S. government works of their elementary school students? Did you know that only seven liberal arts universities in the U.S. require any...
THE NINETEENTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

THE NINETEENTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

I stood with my right-hand flat, the dirty index finger of that hand slightly glued to my head by a light bond of drying mud. I stared into Clews’ eyes, waiting for an answer. Was I going to live, or die with him? Was I going to do something terrible to everyone...
THE NINETEENTH DAY SECOND PART, 30 Days Has September

THE NINETEENTH DAY SECOND PART, 30 Days Has September

Two 106 rounds went down range, both visible from the distinctive contrails they left behind as they barreled through the thick rain soaked air. The guns were fired from outside the Ontos by the crew. I didn’t know why they’d fired two instead of all six or only one....
Where is God?

Where is God?

It’s not easy. It’s not a road fraught with simply easy decisions. The search for meaning in my or your very tiny universe of things you or I control is very complex and constantly threaded through like a bad plaid blanket with beautiful and awful strains...
THE NINETEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE NINETEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

I tried to relax for a few seconds, so I could get the Heart of Darkness Plan organized in my mind. The night and rain were everything, along with our speed of movement. It had taken me almost three weeks to figure out that the Vietnamese were slow, compared to...
THE EIGHTEENTH NIGHT SECOND PART, 30 Day Has September

THE EIGHTEENTH NIGHT SECOND PART, 30 Day Has September

The firing stopped suddenly, as if the return of our company was something for the enemy to take stock of, while the remnants of Kilo Company had figured out they were only making themselves targets for the RPGs. “They’ve quit firing those things,” Fusner whispered in...
THE EIGHTEENTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

THE EIGHTEENTH NIGHT, 30 Days Has September

I moved back down the river bank, my mind spinning in contemplation of executing the Gunny’s plan, and feeling a bit sick to my stomach at the idea of it. Zippo and Fusner took their E-Tools and dutifully began to dig holes near where the other radio operators worked,...
THE EIGHTEENTH DAY THIRD PART, 30 Days Has September

THE EIGHTEENTH DAY THIRD PART, 30 Days Has September

With Fusner boosting me from behind I got out of the hole I’d taken refuge in. The Gunny’s words had bitten hard, and I wished he hadn’t said them in front of Fusner but there was nothing to be done for it. It was hard to leave the protection of the wet muddy redoubt,...
Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Eight

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Eight

Arch Patton Adventures THUNDER MARINE Chapter Eight Arch sat in front of the coffee table on the couch, with David at his side and Ilke in an easy chair across from him. He glanced uneasily out the window to where Thunder was moored, barely visible and unmoving, at...
Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Seven

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Seven

Arch Patton Adventure THUNDER MARINE Chapter Seven Arch got up from the table, where the team was gathered, and headed for the front door of the restaurant. The DEA crowd was still present and obnoxious because they felt their turf was being violated, and they weren’t...
THE EIGHTEENTH DAY SECOND PART, 30 Days Has September

THE EIGHTEENTH DAY SECOND PART, 30 Days Has September

Dawn was breaking, as I tried to stuff a can of Ham and Mothers down my throat. The rain was gone, taking what cover it had provided, but permitting an open opportunity for supporting air to operate with full application using the clear visibility to accurately guide...
THE EIGHTEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

THE EIGHTEENTH DAY, 30 Days Has September

The wait through the rest of the night was wet, dark and conducted mostly under my poncho. It had taken several tries for me to convince the Gunny to get Jurgens’ flashlight from him so I’d be able to lay out what we might do to ensure our return across the...
We are With Child…..

We are With Child…..

Dateline: Lake Geneva September 27, 2017 Opinion/Editorial  WE ARE WITH CHILD   One of the most interesting and informative pursuits of being human is to sit down, contemplate, and then attempt to take in the enormity of man’s inhumanity to man, from the...
Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Five

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Five

“Doesn’t matter what you got,” the imitation Errol Flynn DEA agent said, standing behind the front desk. “Twenty thousand bucks down to take it for a spin. Otherwise, bring in a marine surveyor and check it out all you want for nuthin.”……

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Four

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Four

The six of them loaded onto the Marine Corps Osprey tilt-wing aircraft. This Marine form of military air, with the aircraft flying at about three hundred miles per hour and with one in-air refuel, would take longer than any commercial jet…..

Chapter Fifty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-SEVEN Cochon II   Our van made it four blocks before getting pulled over. Over the top of the stacked luggage I saw that we were not being stopped by a marked vehicle. It was a sedan with one of those portable ‘Kojak’ red lights stuck to its roof. “You...
Chapter Fifty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-SIX See You Real Soon   I felt Don’s huge presence nearby, before he hunkered down, forearms atop the rail next to me. “Sitka,” he said, his gaze following mine across the extended docks, and beyond, sweeping up into the green mountains. “It’s a cold but...
Chapter Fifty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-FIVE Angel of the Morning I opted to refresh myself before checking on Don and the Basque. My cabin door was unlocked and partially open. I did not even gripe out of disgust for the violation. Somehow, my space, and in fact, my very person, had become...
Chapter Fifty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-FOUR Beat to Quarters The cylindrically machined suppressor was cold in my hand, where it had remained since Cherno returned it to my possession. It felt bitterly cold. I slipped it, with some difficulty, into my front left pants’ pocket, before opening...
Chapter Fifty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-THREE The Missed Rung Captain Cherno and I both rose to our feet simultaneously, our business together obviously concluded. We repaired to the interior of the Lido deck where Agent Maxwell sat across the booth from Captain Kessler. My eyes flared...
Chapter Fifty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-TWO “Dust-off”   “Perhaps you’d like to see a bit of the ship?” I presumed on the Captain, to change the subject. I needed time in spades. Time with Maxwell. Time with the radio on board the Coast Guard helicopter. Time to get myself together. The...
Chapter Fifty-One, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty-One, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY-ONE Stalemate The doctor was examining Kessler, who lay on his back, as I stepped through the hatch to the infirmary. He had cut away any clothing surrounding the laceration. When he noticed my presence next to him, he moved slightly to the right in...
Chapter Fifty: Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Fifty: Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FIFTY      Crossing the Rubicon The ship’s fantail had been abandoned, in the Lindy’s pell-mell run for the open sea. After a while, heads reappeared over the high lip of its solid steel railing. “Indy, how are you doin’ down there?” I heard Don yell into his...
Chapter Forty-Nine, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Nine, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-NINE Providence Bay   We ran alongside, loping at half speed, while the ‘Lindy’ sprinted at top revolutions. The larger vessel refused to slow down. The way things stood, there was simply no hope of getting aboard. I bent down to Hathoot, who...
Chapter Forty-Eight, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Eight, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT Running At Full Plane I didn’t expect any problems with the two drivers. Not for another thousand dollars each. Loading Dutch and Don into the Jeep posed no big hurdle, as both men had overcome their initial shock at being struck by a bullet. Dutch...
Chapter Forty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN Harassment and Interdiction Fire   The Tundra Cat whined over the top of the soft summer mud at top speed. I knelt next to Don, who lay on his back. The vehicle’s constant movement caused him to groan, with each small bounce or course correction. I...
Chapter Forty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-SIX Beyond Effective, But Not Maximum, Range   Our situation’s complexity had just gone from that of a labyrinthine scheme, to that of a Gordian Knot. I saw but one course of action, and it seemed a darkly tunneled one without light at its end. I...
Chapter Forty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE Hell Comes to Breakfast I waited in the dark. The cell door did not open. My mind wandered briefly. Were the six rounds remaining in the Kel-tec meant for more than Kasinski and Alexi? At any time in my career I could have played out my string. The...
Chapter Forty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR Straight to the Heart Kaminski’s assistant poured snifters of Black label all around. He dispensed generously. The level of the full liter bottle was only half full when he capped. I rolled the straight booze around in my glass, and then sniffed, as...
Chapter Forty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE Morituri te Salutamus   The Tundra Cat slowed. I had taken the back bench-seat. Don and Dutch were up front, with the drivers near the windscreen. The box of Johnny Walker Black label had been carefully jammed under the front seats. The Purser, at...
Chapter Forty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO       The Rotting Deck   My Breguet told me that we were twenty minutes late for our meeting with the Russian Jeep, which was supposed to be all the way down at the dock, near the ship. Moreover, we did not have Hathoot’s passport. I was not sure...
Chapter Forty-One, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty-One, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE To Live and Die for Dixie   A small tendril of smoke curled up from the end of the suppressor, which I had once more pointed down at the floor. The machined steel part had done its first job well. There had been almost no sound. Possibly, a short...
Chapter Forty, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Forty, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER FORTY Wet Work   On the way to the Lido deck, I stopped at Don’s room, and assured myself that the Basque was going to be on the radio while the rest of us were ashore. I opened Don’s door, unannounced, then greeted his bedmate. She held up her radio. I pulled...
Chapter Thirty-Nine, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Nine, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE      Into the Valley   Marlys left abruptly. Whether to terminate our relationship (one that might not exist), or simply to forget about me. I couldn’t tell. I locked the door. Then, I turned out the light, in order to enjoy a small measure of...
Chapter Thirty-Eight, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Eight, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT A Fool’s Game We rode the Tundra Cat right to the edge of town. I had made no further effort to engage Kessler in conversation during the trip. The Russian Jeep was waiting on the concrete road when we arrived. Once more, the three of us crawled...
Chapter Thirty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN Endurance   Kasinski and his assistant preceded me through the pipe. Our direction seemed up, although from deep underground it was hard to tell. The cool air bit into my torso, now uncovered by the cashmere coat. I’d spent five thousand dollars...
Chapter Thirty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX Instrument of God   I approached the chessboard. I examined the table, the woods used in its construction, and the players themselves. I hefted a white rook, after glancing at Kasinski for permission, and getting his nod. Double tournament-weighted...
Chapter Thirty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE The Gulag   Following the Mouseketeers gathering, I made my way through connecting corridors with Marlys’ trailing not far behind me. My mind abandoned vital business, which I had discussed in detail at the meeting. Instead, my attention was...
Chapter Thirty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR Night Moves The tarmac, laid across the concrete surface area of the dock, was empty. The walk from Sarda’s was short. It still took me awhile, though, as I was carrying an automatic pistol, and I wanted to be certain that I would not be...
Chapter Thirty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE Third and Long   The afternoon wore on. Dora, whom I had reckoned to be Khromov’s assistant, after many swallows of Johnny Walker Red, proved to be his sister, as well. So, the slight mystery of their resemblance was resolved. Maryls had tired of...
Chapter Thirty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-Two, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO High Noon   “Sarda” was the name painted on the side of a large white building not far from the dock. We walked to the site, always on broken or badly cracked concrete. When we had arisen that morning, I had checked the dockside from my porthole....
Chapter Thirty-One, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty-One, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE First Contact   I headed to the fantail. The passengers gathered along the rail, watching the action down on the dock and waiting to go ashore. Borman strode alongside me all the way from the bar, his First Mate’s uniform causing passengers to give...
Chapter Thirty, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Thirty, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

  CHAPTER THIRTY Reconnaissance in Force   My mission statement had been short. I concluded the situation report and then waited for my team to begin the questions and cross-examination. I expected the silence to be brief, and I wasn’t disappointed. “This whole thing...
Chapter Twenty-Nine, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Nine, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE The Mission   When the last lyrics in You Light Up My Life faded away, I got up to click the CD player off. Erect, I decided on impulse to replay the songs I had received from my secret admirer. I pushed the counter button to ‘one,’ then laid back...
Chapter Twenty-Eight, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Eight, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Eight Line of Departure I rapped on Kessler’s door, before barging in without an invitation. We were alone. He sat at his desk, as before. I filled the seat Commander Hathoot had occupied the day before. His salutation of “Professor” lacked goodwill. As...
Chapter Twenty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Seven, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN The Mouseketeers   After Don departed, I re-inventoried the contents of my drawer. The last of the papers in the sheaf of documents we had poured over, but Don had nothing to do with recon satellite photos or maps. They had to do with the target....
Chapter Twenty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Six, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX PROVIDENIYA Our cruise director’s office door was slightly ajar. Her cabin was as before, stark, although not as severe as Captain Kessler’s. Benito was at her desk. Her cabin was huge, compared to what I was assigned, but then, after the Captain...
Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Three

Arch Patton, Thunder Marine, Chapter Three

“So, what’s the point of this exercise, since it would appear we are not under attack by the hordes from hell?” David asked, as the Mercedes G-Wagon headed pell-mell along the surface of the winding asphalt road. He was cradling the lethal machine pistol…….

Chapter Twenty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Five, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE Providence   My body craved sleep, but my mind wouldn’t slow down. I pulled the Aguiak gold nuggets from my small table drawer. I rolled them around in my hand, like rough-cut dice without numbers. Then I took the Leica out of my pocket and shot...
Chapter Twenty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Four, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR Into the Breach Dr. Murphy was in his cabin. In spite of the shipboard informality I was becoming accustomed to, I knocked. His door opened. The aging man let me in. He waved me to recline on one of his unmade bunks. I looked around briefly,...
Chapter Twenty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

Chapter Twenty-Three, Arch Patton: The Bering Sea

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE Chukchi   I dressed in my Lindy-provided blue sweater. There was no name on the front of the beautifully knit Canadian wool, just an embroidered representation of the ship over the left breast, and the white stitched letters, “STAFF” on the back....