Chapter Ten – Quite a Story
“Can I put my hands down first?” he asked.
“Brock why don’t you frisk him real quick.” Said Mike and the big guy warned them that there was a boot knife in his left boot but no other weapons.
Brock got the job done and relieved the big guy of the knife and found that he had been telling the truth, no other weapons were on him. He also picked up the gun off the counter as he walked by.
The big guy began his story after lowering his arms.
“You may not believe this but I promise that this is a true story. I’m a Federal agent and have been under cover for 2 years trying to bust this gang that was trafficking drugs up from Mexico. I was still in deep cover when ‘THIS’ happened,” he made a sweeping arm movement that encompassed the whole world going down the toilet and then continued “I have no family and couldn’t make contact with anyone in the FBI, so I decided to coast in my role and stay under cover. I haven’t been able to make any major difference in the violence that this gang has been spreading but I’ve managed to take out one here and there in gun fights so that the gang thought they were killed by the others. There were fifty when it all went down but I never have killed any innocent and mostly acted as slightly ‘not quite smart’ grunt. The Strikers can vouch for that.”
Brock and Kevin looked at the Strikers, but Roni kept her eyes on the man. Both of the Strikers were nodding their heads and Michelle said “We both thought he was a slow one, he just would carry the heavy things around. He never did anything violent, it was the others.”
Tracey piped up again “and he protected me when that man tried to touch me.” She said as she pointed at the dead man named Bubba on the floor.
The man continued “My real name is George Passen and I would really like to NOT die today.”
Brock, Kevin and the Strikers all talked for a few moments and none felt like killing him in cold blood; but were leary since they had no way to confirm his story except for him killing Bubba to protect Tracey. It seems that Bubba was getting fresh with Tracey at the same time the battle went down on the front porch. George had come in from the back, saw what was going on, and simply pulled him away from Tracey and shot him dead.
“I’m wondering how you managed to get in with this gang by playing a mentally challenged fella….” Inquired Roni, who had by now taken Erin from Brock and was gently rocking her. Erin was finally calming down and was almost asleep on Roni’s shoulder.
“That was much easier than I thought it would be. I pretended to be ‘in love’ with Candy and once Candy realized how I ‘doted’ on her; I wasn’t let out of her sight. Mandy made me Candy’s protector and let me tell you, if the world hadn’t been turned upside down, I would have demanded hazard pay at least five times higher than what is normal for that job.” They all had a giggle at that because after what they had seen of Candy, it couldn’t have been an easy job.
“Well, we still don’t know if we can trust you or not, but it’s obvious we can’t just kill you in cold blood either; so we are going to tie you up for now and then decide what to do with you.” Mike said. Both Brock and Kevin tied George up.
They then looked around and thought about the porch outside and promptly untied him and told him he was going to help with the clean up first.
It was a long evening for all of them. They never did bother to tie George back up since he not only had many opportunities to run away but there was a couple times he could have grabbed any one of them and made them a hostage. They really began to believe his story when Mike saw his tattoo on his left shoulder blade when he took his shirt off to wash up after all the bodies had been taken care of.
The tattoo told the story of a soldier who had seen combat and survived. Mike had a similar one on his shoulder blade. “I only know of two companies that got these tattoos and I had a good buddy in the one that wasn’t mine. He didn’t come home after the War. His name was Tom Holder.”
“Tickin’ Time Bomb Tom?” exclaimed George. “He saved my butt over there more than once. I was there when he was hit, did what I could do to make him comfortable but he was gone when the medic got there. There was just nothing else I could do to save him, he had been hit bad.”
That cinched it; the nick name was only used in the company and between Tom and Mike.
Mike and George set off by themselves for while talking about Tom and the war.
Tracey had fallen asleep sitting up in a chair, so Brock went over and picked her up and Roni followed with Erin as he went outside. They got the girls settled in the truck for the night with the windows down some for fresh air. They made up their own beds right beside the truck but Roni scooted hers right next to Brocks and fell asleep with her head on his shoulder.
Kevin and George took first watch.