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Thread: And Brother Shall Surrender Brother...

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    Registered User DRayVan's Avatar
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    And Brother Shall Surrender Brother...

    A police officer confronts a murder suspect, a fellow ex-Army Ranger, and must decide between his oath to uphold the law and loyalty to his brothers in arms.



    Chief William Duggan, thirty-five, tall, muscular, and wearing a spit-and-polish uniform, entered the living room of a story-and-a-half bungalow. Its furnishings were modest: a sofa, a matching chair, side and coffee tables, a bookcase, and a fireplace with a mantel. The wall-to-wall carpeting was neglected, old, and worn. Three discount-store reproductions were randomly hung around the room, and two gaping fist-sized holes punctured the wall near the powder room.

    A woman was sprawled on the floor, eyes fixed on the ceiling. Blood seeped from a forehead wound, soaking the carpeting beneath her. The bleeding from her chest wound pooled between her cleavage and her lace lingerie.

    Sergeant Chip Reed, forty-five, medium-height, graying, bifocals, pot-belly, surveyed the crime scene. Officer Billy Nelson, twenty-eight, short, buzz-cut, weight-lifter physique, wore gloves and knelt beside the body, examining her wounds.

    “What we got, Sergeant?” asked Duggan.

    “Marsha Winston. Mid-thirties. Shot twice. Once in her chest, and once between her eyes.”

    Nelson cocked his head toward the sergeant. “Make that three, Sarge. Two in the chest.”

    “Looked like...”

    Nelson interrupted. “Two dead-center. One right on top of the other.”

    “I’ll be damned,” said Reed.

    “Just lucky or a skilled shooter. He got off three rounds before she ever moved... Two seconds or less, I figure.”

    “Why he?” asked Reed.

    “Usually the husband, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah, but...”

    “When?” asked Duggan impatiently.

    “Last night,” said Nelson, “or this morning... Considering her nighty.”

    “M.E.’s on her way,” said Reed. “She’ll nail down the time.”

    “Weapon?”

    “Didn’t find one, but teams are looking in the usual dump sites... Ain’t no bullet holes in the wall. M.E. will havta dig ‘em outta her.”

    “Geez, Chip...”

    “What, Chief...?”

    “Any shell casings?”

    “Not a one.”

    “Professional hit?” asked Duggan.

    “I’m with Nelson, but I’ll keep an open mind on that thought, Chief.”

    Duggan walked over to the mantel and looked at the photos. “Neighbors hear anything?”

    “Two officers going door-to-door,” said Reed.

    “When the lab boys coming?” asked Duggan.

    “Should be here any minute.”

    Duggan leaned closer to a photo. “Take a look at this one, Chip.”

    Reed came over and lifted his glasses for a close look. He squinted. “Army?”

    “Some kind of Special Forces, I’d guess,” said Duggan.

    Nelson’s head jerked around. “Lemme see.” He removed his gloves and hurried to examine the photo.

    “Weren’t you Army, Billy?” asked Reed.

    “Yeah, Rangers...” Nelson leaned in for a closer look. “But these guys aren’t regular Rangers... Some special unit.”

    “How’d you tell?” asked Reed.

    “That insignia... The one on that guy’s left shoulder.”

    Reed squinted and moved in and out, trying to focus. “I can’t make it out. What unit is it?”

    Nelson stood upright. “Dunno, but it’s special, all right. There were some... Never knew who they were or what they did. Spooky bunch of weirdos.”

    Duggan and Reed swapped glances.

    Duggan cleared his throat. “W-Well... Thanks for that war story, Billy. What we got so far? Husband, probably, shoots wife... Close range... Three well-placed shots. That about it?”

    “Except, we gotta find him,” said Reed.

    “I can help,” said Nelson.

    “How?” asked Duggan.

    “We’re a close-knit group. We keep tabs, keep in touch, help each other with PTSD and such, you know... Got contacts that might know where Winston is.”

    Reed spied a photo on the bookcase. “George E. Wilson. Corporal, U.S. Army. Georgie. Bet he hates that.” Reed moved closer, then farther from the photo, trying to focus. “He’s big as an ox, too.”

    “You know him, Chip?” asked Duggan.

    “No. His name’s on this picture.”

    “I’ve heard of him... Delta Force,” said Nelson, glancing at the body. “That explains three rounds in two seconds... And he’s one tough dude... And you were right, Sarge.”

    “I was?”

    “Yeah... Don’t ever call him Georgie.”

    “Okay, Nelson,” said Duggan. “Call your contact but take backup.”

    Nelson put his hands on his hip and shook his head. “Won’t work, Chief... My contact’ll skedaddle if any strangers show.”

    Duggan gripped Nelson’s shoulder. “All right, Billy. Do it your way. Just be careful.”

    ###

    The sun had set when Nelson parked by Abe’s Imports. The warehouse was a single-story brick building with a roller shutter door separating the loading dock and staging area. A high-intensity security lamp over the loading dock lighted the front of the building.

    He got out, looked around, and listened for any activity, but it was quiet. Nelson hesitated for a few moments, closed the car door, and walked to the side door. He turned the door handle and stepped inside.

    Minimal security lighting created deep shadows between the high rows of neatly stacked pallets of goods and supplies. A forklift was parked off to one side while ropes, cans, barrels, boxes, and debris cluttered the space.

    “Kyle! Kyle, it’s me, Billy. Billy Nelson,” yelled Nelson as he walked toward the back of the staging area.

    George Winston, thirty-two, bald with a short black beard, hulk of a man, stepped from the shadows. His right arm hung by his side, loosely gripping a gun. “Kyle said ya’d be comin’. Better come’d alone.”

    Nelson’s heart jumped. He put his hand on his service revolver and stepped backward. “You Winston? George Winston?”

    Winston nodded. “Yeah.”

    Nelson cleared his throat. “I-I’m alone... Where’s Kyle?”

    Winston gestured with his left thumb. “Restin’ in the back.”

    Nelson took a step toward Winston. “You didn’t?”

    Winston shook his head. “Naw. Kyle’s drunk as a skunk... Whatcha want with me?”

    “Sorry to tell you, but your wife is dead... Murdered.”

    “Yeah... I know.”

    “You don’t seem all that put out.”

    Winston shrugged his shoulders. “I ain’t...”

    “She was your...”

    Winston cut him off. “Kyle said ya wanted ta see me. What fer?”

    “Some questions, that’s all... Come down to the station.”

    Winston put up his hand in protest and took two steps back. “No way, man.”

    Nelson followed him, step for step. “We need help finding her killer.”

    “Why me, man?”

    Nelson used his left fingers curled in the shape of a gun and pointed to his chest and forehead. “Three well-placed shots... Too skillful for the average dude. Maybe you know who...”

    Winston interrupted. “I’m Army... Suppose ya already know’d that.”

    “Rangers then Delta Force... That true?”

    Winston nodded and circled right. “Hear’d yer Army, too... Rangers. That right?”

    Nelson circled with him, hand on his weapon. “A lifetime ago.”

    “It don’t never leave go of ya, man.” Winston hit the side of his head with his left fist. “Always in here. Don’t leave ya no peace.”

    “You got friends, brothers in arms, comrades, who’ll stand with you, help you.”

    “No more they’s won’t, man.”

    “What you mean?”

    “Rico, Tony, Joey, Sal, Carlos... They’s all gone... Dead. But they’s faces, they’s voices... Still up here...” Winston pounded his head with his fist. “All the time, man... Can’t sleep. Can’t hold a job... I’m at fault, always ta blame, her naggin’ never ends.” He pressed his left palm against his eye socket, massaging his face. “She just don’t understand...”

    “I can get you help, George.”

    Winston extended his left hand, palm up, and shook it. “Tried that... Didn’t work none... So I kilt her.”

    Nelson stepped backward, startled. “What?”

    “Didn’t ya hear me? I shot her dead, man. Get yer frigin’ ears checked out!”

    Nelson’s pulse raced. He pulled his weapon and leveled it on Winston. “Gotta take you in.”

    Winston yanked his arm up and pointed his weapon at Nelson as well. A standoff. They jockeyed for position, aiming their weapons at each other.

    “Don’t make it worse, George. Just lower your gun.”

    Winston shook his weapon at Nelson and waved his upturned hand. “No frigin’ way, man.”

    Nelson motioned palm-down with his left hand and with his right, white-knuckled his gun. “Take it easy, George. I know you couldn’t help yourself... I can get you help, but you have...”

    Winston interrupted. “I ain’t goin’ ta no jail.”

    Nelson stared down the barrel of Winston’s weapon. “Put the gun down, George... It’s easy-peasy... Just reach down and drop it on the floor.” He kept motioning with his left hand.

    “I’ll shoot ya before I...”

    Nelson tried derailing his train of thought. “No need for this.”

    Winston ignored him. “Ain’t no way yer takin’ me in.”

    They slowly circled, guns pointing at each other.

    Nelson hadn’t noticed before, but the air hung heavy, still, thick, and hard to breathe. His heart pounded, and his mouth was dry. “We can waltz all night, George, if that’s what it takes.” Then he chuckled nervously and bit his upper lip.

    Winston stopped and lowered his weapon halfway.

    Nelson stopped as well and lowered his weapon quarter-way yet kept his left palm pointing downward. Sweat beaded on his temples.

    Winston cocked his head. “You married?”

    Nelson scrunched his face, puzzled. He shook his head. “No.” He relaxed his grip on his weapon a bit.

    “Ever been?”

    Nelson nodded. “Yeah... Once.”

    “She leave ya?”

    Nelson’s grip tightened on his gun as the memories came flooding back. “No... Before I put a bullet through her head, I left her.”

    Winston dropped his arm by his side. His weapon nearly fell from his hand. “Then you understand, man.”

    Nelson felt the tension leaving his arm. “Understand what?” He lowered his arm halfway.

    “Marsha kept hounding me. Night and day. Wouldn’t never stop. I guess she had enough of me punchin’ them holes in the walls, screamin’, ‘n wakin’ up at night... “Get help,” she kept yellin’. But there ain’t no help for what’s in my head... It don’t never stop messin’ with me, man. Never stops.” Winston wiped tears from his eyes. “Couldn’t take her no more.”

    Nelson took a step toward Winston. “There’s help, new meds. You can get help, George. But you have to lower your weapon.”

    “Nope... Ain’t... How’s about ya radioin’ and sendin’ yer buddies in the other direction while I go east.”

    Nelson’s grip on his gun turned his knuckles white. “Can’t do that, George. Gotta take you in.”

    “Thought us rangers stuck together... Watched out fer each other... Yer no brother in arms.”

    The muscles in his forearm screamed for relief as he squeezed the grip of his weapon. “I’d shot you when you pulled your weapon if I wasn’t.”

    Winston shook his head and backed toward the shadows. “Still, ain’t goin’ with ya.” He started to raise his weapon.

    Before Winston brought his weapon to bear, Nelson had already trained his gun on Winston’s chest. He held it firm on target with both hands. “Drop it, George. Don’t make me do it.”

    Winston leveled his weapon on Nelson.

    Without hesitation, Nelson fired twice.

    Two bullets punctured Winston’s chest and exploded his heart. The impact forced him backward, and he fell, sprawled on the floor. His massive hand still clutched the gun.

    Nelson stood over the body. His weapon was loosely hanging in his hand.

    The bloodstain on Winston’s shirt grew with each passing second. Blood oozed from under the body, spreading on the concrete floor.

    “****!” Nelson shook his head. “Just lower your weapon... That’s all, man. Put it on the floor... Easy-peasy. Come on, man. Just do it...”
    A police officer confronts a murder suspect, a fellow ex-Army Ranger, and must decide between his oath to uphold the law and loyalty to his brothers in arms.



    Chief William Duggan, thirty-five, tall, muscular, and wearing a spit-and-polish uniform, entered the living room of a story-and-a-half bungalow. Its furnishings were modest: a sofa, a matching chair, side and coffee tables, a bookcase, and a fireplace with a mantel. The wall-to-wall carpeting was neglected, old, and worn. Three discount-store reproductions were randomly hung around the room, and two gaping fist-sized holes punctured the wall near the powder room.

    A woman was sprawled on the floor, eyes fixed on the ceiling. Blood seeped from a forehead wound, soaking the carpeting beneath her. The bleeding from her chest wound pooled between her cleavage and her lace lingerie.

    Sergeant Chip Reed, forty-five, medium-height, graying, bifocals, pot-belly, surveyed the crime scene. Officer Billy Nelson, twenty-eight, short, buzz-cut, weight-lifter physique, wore gloves and knelt beside the body, examining her wounds.

    “What we got, Sergeant?” asked Duggan.

    “Marsha Winston. Mid-thirties. Shot twice. Once in her chest, and once between her eyes.”

    Nelson cocked his head toward the sergeant. “Make that three, Sarge. Two in the chest.”

    “Looked like...”

    Nelson interrupted. “Two dead-center. One right on top of the other.”

    “I’ll be damned,” said Reed.

    “Just lucky or a skilled shooter. He got off three rounds before she ever moved... Two seconds or less, I figure.”

    “Why he?” asked Reed.

    “Usually the husband, isn’t it?”

    “Yeah, but...”

    “When?” asked Duggan impatiently.

    “Last night,” said Nelson, “or this morning... Considering her nighty.”

    “M.E.’s on her way,” said Reed. “She’ll nail down the time.”

    “Weapon?”

    “Didn’t find one, but teams are looking in the usual dump sites... Ain’t no bullet holes in the wall. M.E. will havta dig ‘em outta her.”

    “Geez, Chip...”

    “What, Chief...?”

    “Any shell casings?”

    “Not a one.”

    “Professional hit?” asked Duggan.

    “I’m with Nelson, but I’ll keep an open mind on that thought, Chief.”

    Duggan walked over to the mantel and looked at the photos. “Neighbors hear anything?”

    “Two officers going door-to-door,” said Reed.

    “When the lab boys coming?” asked Duggan.

    “Should be here any minute.”

    Duggan leaned closer to a photo. “Take a look at this one, Chip.”

    Reed came over and lifted his glasses for a close look. He squinted. “Army?”

    “Some kind of Special Forces, I’d guess,” said Duggan.

    Nelson’s head jerked around. “Lemme see.” He removed his gloves and hurried to examine the photo.

    “Weren’t you Army, Billy?” asked Reed.

    “Yeah, Rangers...” Nelson leaned in for a closer look. “But these guys aren’t regular Rangers... Some special unit.”

    “How’d you tell?” asked Reed.

    “That insignia... The one on that guy’s left shoulder.”

    Reed squinted and moved in and out, trying to focus. “I can’t make it out. What unit is it?”

    Nelson stood upright. “Dunno, but it’s special, all right. There were some... Never knew who they were or what they did. Spooky bunch of weirdos.”

    Duggan and Reed swapped glances.

    Duggan cleared his throat. “W-Well... Thanks for that war story, Billy. What we got so far? Husband, probably, shoots wife... Close range... Three well-placed shots. That about it?”

    “Except, we gotta find him,” said Reed.

    “I can help,” said Nelson.

    “How?” asked Duggan.

    “We’re a close-knit group. We keep tabs, keep in touch, help each other with PTSD and such, you know... Got contacts that might know where Winston is.”

    Reed spied a photo on the bookcase. “George E. Wilson. Corporal, U.S. Army. Georgie. Bet he hates that.” Reed moved closer, then farther from the photo, trying to focus. “He’s big as an ox, too.”

    “You know him, Chip?” asked Duggan.

    “No. His name’s on this picture.”

    “I’ve heard of him... Delta Force,” said Nelson, glancing at the body. “That explains three rounds in two seconds... And he’s one tough dude... And you were right, Sarge.”

    “I was?”

    “Yeah... Don’t ever call him Georgie.”

    “Okay, Nelson,” said Duggan. “Call your contact but take backup.”

    Nelson put his hands on his hip and shook his head. “Won’t work, Chief... My contact’ll skedaddle if any strangers show.”

    Duggan gripped Nelson’s shoulder. “All right, Billy. Do it your way. Just be careful.”

    ###

    The sun had set when Nelson parked by Abe’s Imports. The warehouse was a single-story brick building with a roller shutter door separating the loading dock and staging area. A high-intensity security lamp over the loading dock lighted the front of the building.

    He got out, looked around, and listened for any activity, but it was quiet. Nelson hesitated for a few moments, closed the car door, and walked to the side door. He turned the door handle and stepped inside.

    Minimal security lighting created deep shadows between the high rows of neatly stacked pallets of goods and supplies. A forklift was parked off to one side while ropes, cans, barrels, boxes, and debris cluttered the space.

    “Kyle! Kyle, it’s me, Billy. Billy Nelson,” yelled Nelson as he walked toward the back of the staging area.

    George Winston, thirty-two, bald with a short black beard, hulk of a man, stepped from the shadows. His right arm hung by his side, loosely gripping a gun. “Kyle said ya’d be comin’. Better come’d alone.”

    Nelson’s heart jumped. He put his hand on his service revolver and stepped backward. “You Winston? George Winston?”

    Winston nodded. “Yeah.”

    Nelson cleared his throat. “I-I’m alone... Where’s Kyle?”

    Winston gestured with his left thumb. “Restin’ in the back.”

    Nelson took a step toward Winston. “You didn’t?”

    Winston shook his head. “Naw. Kyle’s drunk as a skunk... Whatcha want with me?”

    “Sorry to tell you, but your wife is dead... Murdered.”

    “Yeah... I know.”

    “You don’t seem all that put out.”

    Winston shrugged his shoulders. “I ain’t...”

    “She was your...”

    Winston cut him off. “Kyle said ya wanted ta see me. What fer?”

    “Some questions, that’s all... Come down to the station.”

    Winston put up his hand in protest and took two steps back. “No way, man.”

    Nelson followed him, step for step. “We need help finding her killer.”

    “Why me, man?”

    Nelson used his left fingers curled in the shape of a gun and pointed to his chest and forehead. “Three well-placed shots... Too skillful for the average dude. Maybe you know who...”

    Winston interrupted. “I’m Army... Suppose ya already know’d that.”

    “Rangers then Delta Force... That true?”

    Winston nodded and circled right. “Hear’d yer Army, too... Rangers. That right?”

    Nelson circled with him, hand on his weapon. “A lifetime ago.”

    “It don’t never leave go of ya, man.” Winston hit the side of his head with his left fist. “Always in here. Don’t leave ya no peace.”

    “You got friends, brothers in arms, comrades, who’ll stand with you, help you.”

    “No more they’s won’t, man.”

    “What you mean?”

    “Rico, Tony, Joey, Sal, Carlos... They’s all gone... Dead. But they’s faces, they’s voices... Still up here...” Winston pounded his head with his fist. “All the time, man... Can’t sleep. Can’t hold a job... I’m at fault, always ta blame, her naggin’ never ends.” He pressed his left palm against his eye socket, massaging his face. “She just don’t understand...”

    “I can get you help, George.”

    Winston extended his left hand, palm up, and shook it. “Tried that... Didn’t work none... So I kilt her.”

    Nelson stepped backward, startled. “What?”

    “Didn’t ya hear me? I shot her dead, man. Get yer frigin’ ears checked out!”

    Nelson’s pulse raced. He pulled his weapon and leveled it on Winston. “Gotta take you in.”

    Winston yanked his arm up and pointed his weapon at Nelson as well. A standoff. They jockeyed for position, aiming their weapons at each other.

    “Don’t make it worse, George. Just lower your gun.”

    Winston shook his weapon at Nelson and waved his upturned hand. “No frigin’ way, man.”

    Nelson motioned palm-down with his left hand and with his right, white-knuckled his gun. “Take it easy, George. I know you couldn’t help yourself... I can get you help, but you have...”

    Winston interrupted. “I ain’t goin’ ta no jail.”

    Nelson stared down the barrel of Winston’s weapon. “Put the gun down, George... It’s easy-peasy... Just reach down and drop it on the floor.” He kept motioning with his left hand.

    “I’ll shoot ya before I...”

    Nelson tried derailing his train of thought. “No need for this.”

    Winston ignored him. “Ain’t no way yer takin’ me in.”

    They slowly circled, guns pointing at each other.

    Nelson hadn’t noticed before, but the air hung heavy, still, thick, and hard to breathe. His heart pounded, and his mouth was dry. “We can waltz all night, George, if that’s what it takes.” Then he chuckled nervously and bit his upper lip.

    Winston stopped and lowered his weapon halfway.

    Nelson stopped as well and lowered his weapon quarter-way yet kept his left palm pointing downward. Sweat beaded on his temples.

    Winston cocked his head. “You married?”

    Nelson scrunched his face, puzzled. He shook his head. “No.” He relaxed his grip on his weapon a bit.

    “Ever been?”

    Nelson nodded. “Yeah... Once.”

    “She leave ya?”

    Nelson’s grip tightened on his gun as the memories came flooding back. “No... Before I put a bullet through her head, I left her.”

    Winston dropped his arm by his side. His weapon nearly fell from his hand. “Then you understand, man.”

    Nelson felt the tension leaving his arm. “Understand what?” He lowered his arm halfway.

    “Marsha kept hounding me. Night and day. Wouldn’t never stop. I guess she had enough of me punchin’ them holes in the walls, screamin’, ‘n wakin’ up at night... “Get help,” she kept yellin’. But there ain’t no help for what’s in my head... It don’t never stop messin’ with me, man. Never stops.” Winston wiped tears from his eyes. “Couldn’t take her no more.”

    Nelson took a step toward Winston. “There’s help, new meds. You can get help, George. But you have to lower your weapon.”

    “Nope... Ain’t... How’s about ya radioin’ and sendin’ yer buddies in the other direction while I go east.”

    Nelson’s grip on his gun turned his knuckles white. “Can’t do that, George. Gotta take you in.”

    “Thought us rangers stuck together... Watched out fer each other... Yer no brother in arms.”

    The muscles in his forearm screamed for relief as he squeezed the grip of his weapon. “I’d shot you when you pulled your weapon if I wasn’t.”

    Winston shook his head and backed toward the shadows. “Still, ain’t goin’ with ya.” He started to raise his weapon.

    Before Winston brought his weapon to bear, Nelson had already trained his gun on Winston’s chest. He held it firm on target with both hands. “Drop it, George. Don’t make me do it.”

    Winston leveled his weapon on Nelson.

    Without hesitation, Nelson fired twice.

    Two bullets punctured Winston’s chest and exploded his heart. The impact forced him backward, and he fell, sprawled on the floor. His massive hand still clutched the gun.

    Nelson stood over the body. His weapon was loosely hanging in his hand.

    The bloodstain on Winston’s shirt grew with each passing second. Blood oozed from under the body, spreading on the concrete floor.

    “S**t!” Nelson shook his head. “Just lower your weapon... That’s all, man. Put it on the floor... Easy-peasy. Come on, man. Just do it...”
    Last edited by DRayVan; 04-05-2021 at 11:22 AM.

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