Previously: I know your past helped shaped the person of today but we do not need to talk about it. Heaven knows there are things in my past that we need not talk about. I am doing things now to put some of those things to right. I may act for the next little while in a way you will not understand. Can I ask you to trust me?”
Meanwhile—At the Mall of America—They’d barely entered the Mall when, “Excuse me lady,” A heavy-set man addressed Collie, “May I see what you have in that bag?”
Adventure Six—CASINO—Episode Eight… Collie and Sarah had separated from their husbands to do their shopping, were quite surprised, “I beg your pardon, sir—do you have a reason for wanting to look in my bag?”
Sarah looked at the man and thought, “Uh-oh, I smell a mall-rat—better play it cool so I can get to Jay and Mac.”
“Yes, ma’am, you match the description of a shoplifter seen in Acme Jewelry just moments ago. I’m with Acme’s Security. Please open your bag—don’t make have to call Mall Security.”
Collie glanced at Sarah—conveying the message, “Get to the boys.”
Sarah walked away.
Meanwhile—Two-hundred and fifty miles away—In Forest County… Black Cloud and Shouse returned to the McOkser cabin with news of the hit, with Chris driving Brannock’s car, “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, Brannock is dead.”
“Dead? Who did this?” Boss McOsker was livid.
“The hit was done by the Minicucci bunch—why else would we find the car in front of the Casino?”
There could be any number of reasons—the most likely to make it seem like Minicucci gang—in any case he bought into it.
“Find them, and kill them—KILL THEM ALL!”
“I beg your pardon, Boss,” Chris spoke-up, not something many had the guts to do, “We need help—our time could be better-spent recruiting help. We lost Brannock, let’s not lose any more gang-members unnecessarily.”
“You got guts, lady. There ain’t many who’d question my orders—why shouldn’t we take them on?”
“In war, you take casualties, you simply NEED more people. Minicucci is recruiting.”
Boss McOsker paused before speaking, “You’re smart—for a dame. Okay, you and Black Cloud find us some help.”
Meanwhile—Just off the road in the forests of Forest County… Merle McIntyre and his long-time friend Roland Smith were in the deep woods of Forest County. They were to meet a couple of guys—friends, apparently, of Merle’s twin brother, Carl.
Both men were former SEALS, and recently found they were bored in retirement—Bingo on Thursdays—even senior-league baseball just didn’t do it for them.
“What time were they supposed to get here?”
“Right about now,” Merle rumbled, “Listen.”
The unmistakable rumble of a powerful V8 engine grew louder—and then stopped.
A few minutes later, a ‘48 Ford pick-up truck silently pulled-up and disgorged two short men—each carrying a western-style gun belt with a holstered “Mare’s Leg” Winchester ’74, and accompanied by a large Beagle.
“I am,” McIntyre rumbled—sounding exactly like Big Mac, “And you must be Colonel Boomer, Lt. Col Yatters, and canine, Daisy.”
“Col. Boomer,” Smith asked, “When are these survivalists supposed to arrive?”
Boomer glanced at his watch, “I told them two hours from now. I expect them to arrive early to prepare for us. Here strap-on these Mare’s Legs.”
“Why? We got M16s in the truck.”
“So do we, we want them to underestimate us.”
“Besides,” Yatters added, “They only LOOK like mare’s legs, they each carry 8 rounds of .45 ACP caliber hollow points and have automatic capability.”
“Give them a test—see if you can fire a three-round burst at that tree—the big one,” Boomer grinned.
They did just that—and each managed a 12” shot-group.
“Not bad for a first attempt—and good enough for now,” Yatters was impressed—these guys were pros.
“They’re coming now!” Daisy’s bay sounded the warning, “Get ready!”
Meanwhile—at Silverthorn’s Café… Gypsy looked long and hard at Liam. She could see in his eyes almost a pleading. He really wanted an answer to that question. But TRUST? She examined her feelings, reaching deep inside. Surprised at the answer she found she looked into Liam’s eyes and said with a certainty she did not know existed, “Yes Liam I will trust you know matter what happens and I will not question what you have to do.”
Liam did not realize he had been holding his breath until he heard those words and the relief washed over him.
To be continued…
This is a work of FICTION—the events portrayed here occur in a FICTIONAL STORE and in no way a reflection on any business in the Mall of America, or mall management.