0600 hrs. August 9th, 1968. Honolulu
The early morning breeze was cool, carrying with it the sweet smell of
the bougainvillea blooming outside his window. The distant pounding
surf as familiar as his own heart beat thumped a rhythm against the
"Goooood Morning Honolulu!
It's a balmy 82 here in paradise. Could go as high as 95 today.
The breezes are blowing and the waves are high.
So get out there and hang ten. . .
Short order cook, Milo Halikii opened one eye and snarled at the radio.
Another great day to be out surfing and he was going to be spending it
working at the stinking diner. He dove under his pillow as the caffeine
wired voice of Rick Waters squawked at him.
. . .This is Rick 'Ride-the-Wave' Waters
with you on your drive in this morning.
That was Clay Dalton, WYII's very own eye-in-the-sky.
Remember to avoid that section of the ocean freeway if you can An
overturned truck of pineapples is not a pretty sight.
Now back to four in a row starting with a little CCR to keep you
~The music starts~
~It begins to fade away to be replaced
with the high whine of incoming mortar~
"INCOMING!!" roared Anderson shoving Goldman headlong into the tall
grass and throwing himself down beside him.
Bursts of random gunfire cut through the drizzly morning air.
"Yeah, Sarg?" came back the call.
"Where's it coming from?"
"Saw muzzle flashes at 3 o'clock, Sarg." added Percell's disembodied
"They're going to surround us." said Goldman, chancing a glance through
the tall grass.
"We gotta pull back before we're cut off, Lt. And call in some arty,
"Trotter, give m . . ." the jittery corporal handed the hand set to him
before he finished his sentence.
"Lady Bird. This is Bravo 2-6. Over."
Go ahead, 2-6.
"Taking heavy ground fire at this time. Request artillery."
Negative 2-6. None in the area.
"We are taking heavy fire, Lady Bird! I repeat. We are taking heavy
fire. Send in the Arty. A.S.A.P.!!"
Can't promise anything, 2-6.
"We need help here, Damn it!" he screamed into the phone cringing at a
closer burst of gunfire.
Checking birds in the area. 2-6. Sit tight.
"Sit tight? Sit tight??!. We are getting our asses shot off here. Get
us that artillery!!"
Can have a bird in your LZ in 20 mikes.
"Damn it." he cursed, looking at Anderson who just gave him an
Do you copy, 2-6?
"Yeah, Thanks. For nothing. Out." he threw down the hand set and belly
crawled to Zeke's side.
"We gotta deedee, Lt. They're comin' and they're coming fast. There
are too many of them."
"All right, Sargent, spread the word. Get the . . ."
"INCOMING!" hollered Zeke as a second shell whined overhead.
He and Goldman flattened themselves closer to the ground.
The shell kicked up clumps of sun baked dirt that rained down on them. A
scream stopped as quickly as it started.
Zeke and Myron exchanged nervous looks.
"Get 'em moving, Zeke. Taylor! Ruiz! Lay down a line of fire. Go,
Sargent! GoGoGo!!" he said shoving the man into motion.
Zeke rolled and sprang to his feet in one fluid motion. He rounded up
the men and they sank into the jungle.
"Sir, . . . Lieutenant, sir," Trotter tapped the handset against the
Lt.'s helmet,"Ch . ch. chopper." he stuttered and pointed over head
when Goldman turned and glared at him, then up at the sky.
"Bravo 2-6 to Huey, go ahead."
Hey, Myron. Blow me some smoke, man. Don't wanna blow your sorry ass
back to the world by mistake.
"Funny, McKay. Where the hell are you? We have no visual. Can't hear
you either. Over."
I'm hiding. Sneak attack, bro.
"10-4. Red smoke just to my November. Out." He tossed the handset over
to Trotter, yanked a smoke canister off his webbing, popped it and
"Taylor! Ruiz! Pull back. NOW!! . . . come on, Trotter, let's go."
The chopper came majestically over the ridge to Bravo Company's Sierra
and roared over the retreating soldiers, laying down artillery.
:1400 hrs. August 9th, 1968. Honolulu
Milo scraped at the built up gunk on the grill as the WYII signal faded
in and out on the little grease covered transistor radio that sat on the
order counter that separated his sweltering kitchen from the over-air
"That was the Supremes with"Baby Love".
And this is Rick Waters bringing you all the hits.
All the time.
Well it looks like there are some great surfing conditions out there
today thanks to a tropical depression happening over the Pacific.
I've got my board waxed and ready to go, do you . . .?"
Milo groaned and whacked a huge knife through a head of lettuce, cutting
it clean through, the two halves wobbling about on the counter.
". . . So why not jump the gun here and go
head and name the storm front. . .
Okay, listeners. Go to your phones.
Got a contest here for you.
Let's see who picks the right name for the next hurricane.
What should they win Dave?
A week-end rental of a Catamaran from
Carl's Catamaran's of Honolulu.
Okay, folks. Start calling in those names.
You might win the week-end Catamaran.
Call 555 - 4839
So, let's get to a great Beach Boys tune right after we
pay these bills."
Milo smiled to himself as he crossed to the phone thinking of his
girlfriend Connie. Oh, yeah, Connie. The perfect name for a hurricane,
he thought, cause that chick could blow.
"That's another mess I've gotten your ass out of Myron. Lucky I was
around. They're adding up." teased McKay in his unique way that usually
got Goldman's skivies in a snag.
"Oh, you mean flying that bird isn't your JOB? Don't make it sound like
you did us this huge favour, McKay." snapped Goldman up into the taller
"Well then, I guess I'll just do my JOB over some other lieutenant's
sorry butt, one who'll be grateful I'm there." answered McKay and walked
The men of Bravo Company gave Goldman a variety of judging looks as they
passed him. He stood his ground but shuffled self consciously.
'shit!' he said under his breath.
"You better kiss and make up with that boy, Lt." said Anderson before
sauntering off after the platoon.
"Saw off foot, insert in mouth." mumbled Myron to himself hating the
idea of apologizing to Johnny. McKay was going to make this very
painful. Myron hung his head and reluctantly headed after McKay.
"Lieutenant Goldman!" called Colonel Brewster, relaxing out of a
complicated Tai Chi position and waving the young Lieutenant over.
"Yes sir, Colonel?"
"Before you head into your debriefing, I wanted to give you
"You're a good soldier, Myron. You've got a great Company under
"Colonel, what . . ?"
"HQ tends to ride you harder than the others cause of you old man. .
Goldman stood there with a stupid look on his face not following what
Brewster was pontificating on about. Brewster chuckled and patted the
lieutenant on the shoulder.
"Myron, you, Lt. McKay and your men have one hour to pack your bags and
get on the bus."
Goldman glanced around looking for an interpreter or witness.
"Sir, I . . ." started Goldman.
"Here," Brewster handed him a bundle of papers,"plane tickets. You've
got 3 days of R'n'R in Honolulu. . ."
"What?!" snorted Goldman, stunned.
"Enjoy. You all deserve it."
"But. How? I mean . . ." he started babbling again as Brewster turned
him around and gave him a shove.
"One hour, Lieutenant. The bus leaves with or without you."
x x x
"Anderson!" he called tripping on the first step and clumsily stumbling
through the door into Anderson's quarters.
"Come in." Zeke said flatly trying not to grin as the slamming door hit
Goldman in the arse.
"Here. Look. Brewster."
Anderson looked at the Lieutenant, puzzled by the monosybalic delivery
and alarmed by the beaming smile. He looked at the papers Myron stuffed
into his hand.
"Tickets." said Goldman, nearly giggling. Anderson stared at him a
"For who? to where, why . . .Honolulu? How?"
"The bus leaves in an hour for the airport."
"Is this legit, Lt?"
"Brewster just handed them to me." answered Goldman, loosing a bit of
his grin at Zeke's reaction.
"Colonel Brewster? He's up front ain't he . . ." every suspicious bone
in his body was singing.
"I trust him." answered Myron, getting excited again.
"Don't know. But go tell the men. They've got an hour to throw things
in a bag and be on the bus."
Anderson shrugged and twitched with excitement as the Lt. tramped to the
"There's a ticket here for Lt. McKay."
"Oh, yeah. My kiss and make up gift." grinned Goldman as he stomped
out, a noticeable bounce in his step.
x x x
Goldman pulled open his and McKay's shared hootch to find a sullen
McKay, in leatherette recliner, thumbing through his Playboy. McKay
reached out and cranked the music when he saw Goldman.
"McKay." said Goldman wriggling out of his webbing and letting it
clatter to the floor.
McKay lifted the magazine blotting out his view of Myron.
"Johnny, I come baring gifts."
McKay swiveled the chair away ignoring Goldman.
"Okay, then I guess it's your sorry ass that'll be stuck here while I'm
in Honolulu for three days of R'n'R with the guys."
The magazine came down and the chair slowly turned around.
Myron did a little wiggly-butt dance holding the tickets up in his
"Honolulu?" McKay was skeptical.
"Yep." answered Goldman fanning himself with their tickets.
"Get outta here!" laughed McKay thinking Goldman was pulling his leg.
"Okay." answered Myron, shrugging and heading for the door.
Johnny leapt from the chair and tackled Myron. The two landed loudly on
Goldman's protesting bed. He pinned Myron down and grabbed the tickets
then rolled onto his back.
"Yep. . ," smiled Goldman, getting up and pulling out a kit bag.
". . damn it," hissed Myron, glancing at his watch,"I better see
Darling before I forget."
"Honolulu. . . 3 days . . ." ignoring Goldman, he didn't bother asking
why or how. He could already see himself there.
:1500 hrs. August 9th, 1968. Honolulu
A strong and steady afternoon breeze blew through Moe's hack. Good
thing, he thought, air out the rest of the faint odor of vomit he could
still smell the kid had puked up in the back seat of his cab last
night. That was the last time he picked any fares up outside a bar at
"Hey there Honolulu. This is Erica taking you home.
I hear our morning man Rick Waters has been out surfing all day.
Well he better come back in soon.
That tropical depression he mentioned this morning has been upgraded to
a tropical storm. There's been small craft warnings issued.
We may get ourselves that hurricane after all.
Keep calling us with names folk. 555 - 4839. . ."
Moe glanced around as he slouched lower in his seat, deftly rolling a
healthy joint. He fired up the dube, to cover the smell, yeah, a
natural air freshener he thought, snickering to himself. It was gonna
be a mighty fine day. He could feel it man. Oh, yeah, especially when
the pot started to work its magic.
" . . . Let's work on a theme here and starting with
an oldie by the Association,"Windy".
This is Honolulu's favorite AM station WYII.
I'm Erica and I'm here till midnight."
~The music starts~
~It begins to fade away to be replaced
with by the sound of tired worn out gears grinding
to a painful stop~
The bus wobbled to a stop and less than enthusiastic returning soldiers
Spc4 Ruiz and Spc4 Taylor were packed and read to climb on the bus as
soon as the last of the returning G.I.'s slugged reluctantly off the
"Cool your heels somewhere, boys. This boat ain't going no place until
I get me some chow and see a man about a horse." grumbled the heavy set
driver as he eased his ample girth from behind the steering wheel.
"He could do with missing a few meals, man. Y'hear what I'm saying,
bro?" mumbled Taylor to Ruiz who snorted.
The driver threw them a suspicious glare as he strode away.
They broke out laughing, hanging all over each other.
Lieutenant Goldman stood before Major Darling's desk, fighting the urge
to glance at his watch again. It seemed to him that Darling was veering
off on tangents on purpose in stead of skimming through the debriefing
as usual and ending it with an 'I expect a detailed report on my desk in
the morning', like he usually did.
The bus was leaving in less than twenty minutes and he'd made the
mistake of coming here before packing.
'Haven't even showered yet. Damn it!' he thought, not even listening to
the Major anymore.
" . . , alright, Lieutenant. I expect a detailed report in . . ."
"Yes sir!" blurted Goldman cutting him off and saluting sharply.
The Major glared at him a moment before touching a finger to his
"Yes sir." he practically ran from the office.
He tore across the compound like a madman.
Charging into the hootch, he nearly careened into McKay as he headed out
"Whoa, man! What took you so long?"
"Darling. . . !!" growled Goldman, glancing at his watch.
"Cutting it a little close, Goldman."
"Damn it." he whined trying to pull off his shirt while pulling things
out of his locker.
"Look, let me throw this stuff in your kit for you. And you grab a
shower. Please have a shower!" he wrinkled his nose for effect.
Myron gave him a look, glanced at his watch and started unstrapping
"Okay . . ," he pulled half his locker out tossing Johnny the items he
wanted to take.
"Myron . . ."
"I'm going, I'm going." he nodded, grabbing a towel and raced from their
hootch, leaving McKay to cram his stuff into his duffel bag.
"Hey, L-tee?! We're almost ready to leave." called Percell as he and Doc
made their way to the bus.
"I know that, Percell." he shouted back diving into a shower stall.
"You're coming with us ain'tcha, L-tee?"
"Yes! Now go figure out a way to stall the driver until I get there." he
yelled at them as he lathered up an armpit.
:1600 hrs. August 9th, 1968. Honolulu
Out over the Pacific ocean, Hurricane Connie was on the move and
building in strength. Fierce roaring winds ate up miles as it headed
straight for the Hawaiian Islands.
. . . WYII's weather watch:
the tropical depression over the Pacific has been upgraded to
The storm is reaching speeds of 65 to 80 nautical miles an hour and is
expected to produce gale force winds clocking in at 200 mph.
Looks like Hurricane Connie is on her way folks, and she's in a hurry.
And one lucky listener called in this morning with the winning name!
Congratulations, Milo Halikii, he works at the
Tacky Tiki Diner on Okilanee Lane.
Enjoy the catamaran, bro.
The Coast Guard has issued a small craft warning.
Head for the marinas 'Howlies'.
Now, here's an old one for the occasion;
"Rhythm of the Rain" by the Cascades.
~The music starts~
~It begins to fade away to be replaced
with by the sound of an airplane~
"This is your Captain speaking. Due to the severe
turbulence we are experiencing, we will be altering our course slightly
to fly around this weather front. This rerouting makes our e.t.a. about
45 minutes. Now, for your safety, please return your seats to their
upright positions, fasten your seat belts and extinguish all
cigarettes. Anyone needing assistance can ring our lovely
stewardesses. It won't be much longer folks. And thank you for flying
Trans Pacific Airlines.."
"You okay, Roo?" asked Taylor grimacing as Ruiz heaved into his air sick
Doc squatted in the aisle beside Taylor holding a paper cup and two
"Oh, mi Dios, I'm going to die!" moaned Ruiz, turning three shades of
A wall of turbulence slammed into the plane again, rattling it from tip
"Hang in there, bro, You'll make it." encouraged Taylor nervously as he
cinched his seat belt tighter.
"Ruiz, try and swallow these motion sickness pills, man." offered the
x x x
Anderson grinned as he watched Goldman debating whether to ignore the
'extinguish all cigarettes' announcement or not.
"Ain't it always the way, Lt. Just when you want something real bad,
you can't have it. . ." Zeke philosophized.
Goldman just looked at him blankly slowly blowing smoke from his
x x x
"What can I do for you soldier?" asked the leggy brunette stewardess
coming to McKay's ring.
"The Pilot seems to be having trouble holding this bird steady." he said
loud enough for Percell and Johnson, who were admiring her back view, to
He fought to keep from grinning, noticing Danny's and Marvin's eyes eyes
widen appreciatively s the brunette bent closer to whisper
conspiratorially to him.
"He's actually trying to out fl . . ." she started to say.
The pounding gust of wind slapped into the side of the plane and McKay
found himself nose deep in delicately perfumed cleavage as the
stewardess was thrown off balance.
"This calls for introductions." smiled Johnny, finally coming up for
"I'm sorry! Are you alright?" she blushed as she pushed herself off
"Yes, fine. Name's McKay, Johnny McKay . . ." he held out a hand.
"Marissa, Samuels." she answered slipping her long fingered hand into
"Why don't you sit here." he motioned to the empty window seat beside
"Uh, can't. Have to stay in the crew alcove." she apologized.
"Then I'm taking you to dinner when we get to Honolulu."
" . . . Alright."
Goldman mad a disgusted noise in his throat listening to the exchange
"How the hell does he manage to do that?" he whined jealously to
Anderson who was off in his own little world.
"Forget it." Goldman waved him off, frustrated.
Percell and Johnson stared in awe at a smug McKay, like he was a god.
:1800 hrs. August 9th, 1968. Honolulu
Officer Kenny Hona stood patiently by the emergency bed as the intern
worked on the man in his charge - Stan Buckle, being held in the county
jail for attempted murder during a robbery. While in the cooling tank,
he managed to slice open his hand and now was in Honolulu Memorial
Hospital getting the gash stitched up.
Kenny was in the middle of his 4 to 12 shift so didn't mind bringing
Buckle in and waiting around in the dry hospital. He was going to be
plenty busy tonight with the storm that was heading inland. Hurricane
Connie. He chuckled when he thought how much teasing his sister Connie
would get from this one. Milo was probably driving her crazy.
His stomache growled. Thinking of Milo got him thinking about the
diner. Maybe he'd treat this looser, Buckle, to his last meal as a free
man and stop at the Tacky Tiki o the way back to the jail.
"Are you going to be much longer?" he asked the intern
"The freezing's just about done. Maybe take 15 - 20 minutes."
"Okay." he shrugged good naturedly. 'wonder what the supper special is
x x x
Sheets of pouring rain slapped against the windows of the airport
terminal. Wind wobbled the glass in its frame.
"Feeling better, Ruiz?" asked Goldman, enjoying a fresh cigarette.
"Yes sir." his answer was unconvincing.
"We'll be at the hotel soon, you can rest."
"Aw, L-tee! We ain't got time to rest. We got ourselves some serious
R'n'R-ing to get down to!" protested Taylor wrapping an encouraging arm
around Ruiz's neck.
"I know what'll fix you up, Roo." chimed in Percell.
"What's that, man?" asked Ruiz suspiciously.
"Eggs, man! Any way you like 'em, as much as you want!"
"Thought he was queer for mashed potatoes, man." piped up Doc getting in
on the teasing.
"Come on, now,"
called Anderson hurrying in from the outside, drenched,
"got a couple of cabs out here waiting!" he waved the men on.
". . . I'll catch up with you guys later . . . maybe." bragged McKay
seeing his stewardess coming.
x x x
:16900 hrs. August 9th, 1966. Honolulu
The thwump thwump of the cab's wipers kept time with the song on the
radio but did little to keep the windshield clear.
Zeke, riding shotgun, peered nervously through the glass wondering how
the driver had any idea where he was, how he was managing to see the
road to stay on it.
"How long you fellas in Honolulu for?" asked the driver looking away
from the road, making Zeke very nervous.
"Three days." answered Taylor, sitting behind him.
"Well, don't you worry about this little drizzle. It should be gone
before morning. You'll be down on the beach watching bikinis in no
time." he giggled.
"Hey buddy, you know a good place around here we can get decent meal?
We're starting to forget what real food tastes like." asked Percell.
"Sure . . ," he turned in his seat to look at Percell.
"Uh, the road?!" squawked Anderson, white knuckling the dashboard.
"Oh, yeah." the driver squinted through the windscreen," . . . there's
this great little diner on Okilanee Lane. The Tacky Tiki. The best
scrambled eggs in Honolulu."
He looked in the rearview mirror as the three in the back seat exploded
with laughter. Zeke just shook his head when the driver gave him a
x x x
Moe sat with an arm resting on the back of the seat watching as the
three soldiers tumbled into the cab and settled in. He took in their
outfits a moment in silence then a smile spread across his face.
"Little wet out there, ain't it?"
"Just a little." answered Doc taking of his rain speckled glasses.
"Interesting air freshener you've got happening here . . , Moe."
commented Goldman squinting at the driver's I.D. plate.
"Ah, like that, huh? It's a special blend."
"I bet it is." he answered flatly.
"Can get you fellas some if you're interested."
"No. Not, that's alright . . Moe, we won't be needing any."
"Suit yourself. Where to?"
x x x
Blinding lightening lit up the cab's interior with the roar of thunder
right on its heels.
"Whoa! That one was close." commented Taylor, nervously.
"Nothing to worry about. Just a little summer storm." assured their
driver, gripping his wheel a little tighter.
"Summer storm, huh?" said Anderson, not believing him, feeling powerful
gusts of wind buffeting the car.
x x x
"Good evening, gentlemen. Welcome to Honolulu. Do you have
"Hi . . ," began Anderson stepping up to the desk.
Lights flickered a moment through the lobby then settled.
"Nothing to worry about." said the fresh freckled face before him,
"Okay. There are rooms under the name Goldman, I think."
"Okay, let's have a look."
Anderson turned, shrugging and grinning at the guys.
"We've got four connecting rooms on the 12th floor. 1202 to 1208.
Enjoy your stay."
"Thank you m'ame." he said taking the keys.
x x x
"Take it easy fellas. Be seeing you around." called Moe as his three
passengers jumped out and raced into the hotel lobby.
"Hey, L-tee, got the room keys." said Anderson leading the troop to the
"What floor?" asked Goldman as they crowded in.
"Rooms?" he asked as he pressed 12.
"12-02 to . . ." he started when the lights flickered overhead.
x x x
"Taylor, you and Ruiz are in here." ordered Anderson handing them key
"Percell, Doc." he tossed Percell 1204.
"Johnson, we're in here. L-tee, you and L-tee McKay." he handed 1208 to
"Hey Sarg, why don't we go to that Tacky Tiki place for some chow?"
asked Percell, rattling the key into the lock.
"The 'Tacky' Tiki?" asked Myron.
"Yes,sir, L-tee. the cabbie recommended it."
"Sounds alright. . . I could use some real food for a change."
"Lobby. 15 minutes." said Anderson pushing open the door to his and
x x x
Officer Kenny Hona drove through the deserted intersection glancing at
his subdued prisoner in the rearview.
"Hungry, Stan?" he asked the mirror.
Stan glanced over his shoulder out the back window.
"Yeah, I'm talking to you. Hungry?"
Stan stared out the back window a second longer.
"Uh, yeah, sure, man."
"Good. We're making a pit stop."
Stan glanced out the back window again as Officer Hona radioed into the
station, coding in his dinner break, reassuring the dispatcher that
Stan Buckle would be no problem. They pulled up outside the Tacky Tiki,
he jumped out and ran around to let Stan out of the back, not noticing
the dark blue van slow as it passed them.
x x x
"Sargent. Call up to their room, see what's keeping them. Percell, Doc,
we're out of here, let's move." said the L-tee, impatiently.
"Yes, sir." the three answered together.
As the three left, Johnson stepped off the elevator and sauntered to
"Ruiz? Why isn' t your sorry butt down here in the lobby?"
"Sorry Sarg. Go ahead. We'll meet you guys there. Taylor's makin'
"He ain't never comin' outta that room then. Meet you there then. C'mon,
Johnson, there are a couple of steaks out there with our names on
x x x
"Hey, Moe." smiled Johnson, recognizing the driver.
"Hey there soldier boy." grinned Mow, mellower than he was the last time
they met. Zeke eyed this Moe character.
"You two, know each other?"
"Nah, Sarg. he was our driver from the airport."
"Where to fellas?"
"That diner you told us about."
"The Tacky Tiki! Excellent choice." yelled Moe excitedly, getting a rush
of the munchies. He gunned the motor and shot into the creeping traffic
and getting angry honks.
x x x
Ruiz watched the rain battering the window of their hotel room while
Taylor splashed around and sang in the bathroom.
The lights went out for a few seconds and came back on.
"Marcus. Let's go man!" he yelled as the lights flickered a few more
Taylor came out patting aftershave on his face.
"Ready." he announced strutting.
" 'bout time, man."
They joined a couple already waiting at the elevator.
"Good evening." said Taylor politely glancing down at the woman's very
noticeable state of pregnancy.
"Hello." she smiled shyly.
"Baby." grinned Ruiz pointing at her stomach.
"Yes, we're due any day now. We're actually overdue." informed the very
"That's nice." said Taylor moving unconsciously away from them to
position Ruiz next to her.
"What do you think you're goin to have?" asked Roo, thinking about his
cousins and aunts who always seemed to know what sex their babies were
going to be.
"Oh, a boy of course." smiled the woman, looking a little tired.
The elevator chime sounded and the four stepped into the car.
Taylor hit the L button and settled in the corner and watched each floor
number light up and go off above his head.
The woman gave a little squeak of surprise when the lights blinked in
"Don't worry, Mrs." comforted Ruiz.
The car plunged into total darkness as it hitched and shuddered and
bounced to a silent stop. An emergency light clicked on and they all
stood there looking at one another in its red glow.
x x x
Percell and Doc sat across from the L-tee in a booth by the window.
They self consciously nursed their beers not sure how to behave. They
exchanged glances as Goldman sat staring blankly out the window,
watching a traffic light dance madly in the relentless wind.
"It looks like it's getting worse . . ." tried Hockenberry.
"Hmmm? Yeah. Yeah, it does. I don't think this is going to clear up by
tomorrow." answered Goldman, tapping ashes into the ashtray.
"So much for bikini watching, huh, L-tee."
"I guess so. Anything out there tonight or tomorrow is gonna be blown
right off the beach." answered Goldman, smiling at the two attentive
faces watching his every move.
"Get you guys another drink?" he offered, hoping that that would put
them a little more at ease.
"Sure." and"Thanks, L-tee." they answered at the same time.
Goldman slid from his side of the booth and went to the bar.
The diner's door banged open and closed as three rain-soaked men hustled
in. Doc watched them then glanced around wondering what they three were
staring at so intently and noticed the cop sitting at the table at his 8
o'clock with a handcuffed prisoner.
He elbowed Percell. Danny looked at the cop and his dinner partner then
back at the trio and he just about spit out his beer.
"Doc! One of 'em's got a gun!" he whispered hoarsely seeing the handle
of a revolver sticking from one man's waistband as he adjusted his
"Maybe they're cops?" rationalized Doc.
"Here y'go." Goldman slid across the vinyl, setting the bottles
down. His smile slid off his face when he saw the looks on their
"What's wrong!?" he asked, tensing.
"Maybe nothing, L-tee." shrugged Hockenberry, trying to downplay the
The three of them jumped when a boom of thunder rattled the window
beside them and the lights in the diner went crazy over head for a
"What's going on?" he asked leaning closer.
"See the cop, my 8 o'clock?" motioned Doc with his head.
Goldman leaned over slowly.
"He's got a guy - in handcuffs!" he straightened, eyes big with
"Now take a look at Hewey, Lewey and Dewey, your 4 o'clock, L-tee. At
least one of 'em's got a gun." nodded Percell.
"Don't look now!" sputtered Doc and Goldman froze.
"Sit anywhere you like fellas, be right with you. Didn't think we'd see
a soul tonight." said the waitress making her way to the soldiers'
"Okay, who's the chicken?"
Percell and Goldman both pointed at Hockenberry and she set the 1/2
"Medium/well with baked?" Percell nodded and took the incoming plate and
the waitress set the last before Myron.
"Medium/rare with fries. Enjoy your meals, boys." she said cracking her
gum not missing a chew.
"Okay, look now. No. Wait. . . here. Oops." Doc grabbed his spoon and
flipped spoon off the table and the three watched it bounce to a stop
under a table beside them.
"I guess I'll get that." said Goldman giving him a 'you-idiot' look and
retrieved the utensil taking in the trio just as they split up.
He returned to his seat just as the greasy haired on moved past their
booth and eased himself into the booth behind theirs.
They sat in silence watching the one in a loud Hawaiian shirt settle on
a stool at the bar and the last, a rotund man, pull a chair out and sit
at a table by the door where he had a vantage point of all the tables
Goldman turned to look at Doc and Danny to see them both concentrating
intently on their plates looking very guilty about - something.
The ice blue eyes met his intense brown ones.
"Sir?" his eyes flicked briefly to the man seated at the table.
"Take a swig of beer or something. Try and look a little relaxed, will
you." he whispered hoarsely.
"Are you sure about the gun?" continued Goldman barely above a whisper,
leaning over his plate.
Percell nodded raising his glass to his lips.
"What are we gonna do, L-tee?" Doc's eyes were big behind his
x x x
"Uh, Moe. Wanna watch the road? Please." cautioned Anderson, worried
about their driver being nearly turned completely around in his seat to
jabber at them.
"Yeah, sure. So I'm picking up this fare at the airport and I'm like,
blown away, man . . . "
He paused a moment checking the streets.
" . . . so this guy, he climbs in the back. Hat. Sunglasses. Big coat.
Y'know, so he won't be recognized, y'know what I mean." he turned and
looked at them.
"The road!" they both yelled as he veered into the other lane.
"Oh, yeah, sure. S, I'm like thinking, is this really him? Like, what's
he doing here taking a cab - my cab. Y'know what I mean?" he asked again
turning to look back at his passengers.
"MOE!!" yelled the two in the back as Anderson lunged over the seat,
yanking the steering wheel hard to the right pulling the car into their
"Oh, yeah, sure." smiled Moe sheepishly taking back the wheel.
"Just get us to the diner, son." sighed Anderson weakly.
"Sure, sure." Moe glared through the windshield trying very hard to stay
A blinding flash of lightening blinded them all a second as it shattered
limbs from a tree at the roadside. Thunder rumbled overhead as a falling
branch headed straight down on Moe's cab.
With a panicked scream, Moe turned the wheel hard to the right just as
the tree branch impaled itself in the hood. The right tires went off
the ashfalt and chewed into the gravely shoulder pulling the car still
farther off the road. It skidded and careened over the shoulder and
teetered over the ditch.
"Hang on!" yelled Anderson, knowing the vehicle was going to roll. The
car tipped into the drainage ditch and the three were thrown first
against the passenger doors then against the roof of the car as it
tumbled upside down, finally coming to a stop in the watery ditch.
x x x
McKay couldn't remember enjoying a meal quite as much as this one.
Except maybe that time he shared noodles with Sister Bernadette, but he
shouldn't be thinking about a nun at a time like this. He sat across
from Marissa at her tiny kitchen table finishing the last of his dinner,
looking at her in the glow of all the candles she'd set out when the
power had gone off. they were an their second bottle of wine and hadn't
even left the table yet and they still had all their clothes on.
"Looks like the power may be out all night." he said after taking a sip
of his wine.
"Then I guess you're stuck here all night . . ." she said, running a
hand through her hair.
"I wouldn't call it stuck."
"That's good . . . say, is it warm in here or is it me?"
They both smiled, knowing the line was cheesy but it got the evening
into the next stage.
"A little." he answered, playing his part and giving her a lazy
"Why don't we go relax on the sofa."
"Lead the way . . ." he said reaching for the bottle and their
x x x
"HELLOOO!!!!! HHEEEELLLLPPPPPP!! HHHHEEEEELLLLLPPPPPP!!!!!!" yelled
Taylor at the top of his lungs in the elevator car that had started
feeling really small when the Mrs. started clutching at her belly and
"Try the phone, man. Stop yelling like that - you'll upset the
Taylor stared stupidly at Ruiz who was pointing at the wall beside
"Open the door and use the phone, man!"
Taylor eyed the bank of numbers beside him before finding the little
"A phone! YES!! I'll call them and let them know we're in here."
The woman doubled over and wailed in pain.
"Honey? Honey?" whined the husband like a dope.
"Mrs., maybe you should sit down." suggested Ruiz between her moans.
She nodded at the suggestion.
"Mr. husband. Help me sit her on the floor."
The two helped her to the elevator floor as a second wave of
"Hello! Hello!. Come on suckers! Answer!!" barked Taylor banging the
receiver against the wall in frustration.
"Hello! Yes, yes!! Get us out of here! A lady's having a baby!!
HURRY!!! Emergency! HEELLLLLPPP!!! Hello?! Hello?!!! They hung up.
Roo, they hung up."
"Keep trying, man." said Ruiz fascinated by the woman's labour.
"Roo? What do I do?" he whined in frustration.
"Hang up, man and try again. And stop yelling, man. Chill out, bro."
The husband knelt in a daze beside his wife, terrified.
"Mrs., is it your first baby?"
"Yes . . ," she gasped," . . . and my waters just broke."
x x x
"Hockenberry, just settle down and eat your chicken." whispered Goldman
picking up his steak knife as Percell busied himself seasoning his
Stan could barely swallow the food in his mouth when Corky, Ed and Hump
came walking right into the diner and now they were positioning
themselves around the place. Please tell me that they're not stupid
enough to try anything in here, he thought. He didn't dare look at any
of them, afraid to give himself and them away. Loud thunder outside made
"Your food alright?" asked Officer Hona noticing Buckle was just staring
at his plate.
"Yeah, it's great. Uh, my hand's just starting to hurt a little, that's
all." he said, forcing a forkful into his mouth.
"I'll be right back." said Myron crumpling and tossing down his napkin
as he slid from the booth.
As he rose he had a look at the greasy haired man, Ed, in the booth
behind theirs then he cut across the centre of the room, glancing at
Hump, who sat at the table watching him make his way across the diner
towards the corridor that held, washrooms, the kitchen entrance and,
Goldman hoped, a pay phone. He did not see Hump motion to Corky, in the
Hawaiian shirt at the bar to go after him.
Lightening and thunder filled the diner.
Danny laid his fork down as the lights threatened to go out.
"L-tee's in trouble." he started to scoot Doc across their booth bench
but they both froze as Ed rose from his booth and quickly slipped into
Goldman's vacated seat.
"I thought it was you. I haven't seen you in ages . . ." Ed flashed
them a plastic smile, pulling his jacket open, revealing the gun in his
" . . . move and you're dead." he warned them coolly.
x x x
"Oh, Lord!" groaned Zeke not sure which way was up for a moment.
He blinked a couple of times to clear his head. For a second he thought
he'd been knocked off his feet by a concussion grenade. He cringed as a
jagged finger of lightening lit up the night sky, remembering where he
was as thunder pounded at his ear drums. He also realized that he was
flat on his back in soupy mud. Moving cautiously, he rolled on his side
to find Johnson out cold in a heap beside him. He looked to where the
driver should have been but found the spot empty and rain pouring
through where the windshield should have been. He got gingerly to his
hands and knees in the confined space.
"Johnson . . ," he lay a hand on the young man's shoulder,". . . c'mon
now, son, rise and shine, y'hear me?"
Johnson scrunched up his face in protest, reaching for his head.
"What . . ?" he started before blinking open his eyes and seeing a soggy
Sargent Anderson kneeling over him.
"Sarg?" still a little rattled.
"Now listen up, son. We gotta get outta this here car."
"Okay Sarg." he agreed dumbly.
"Can you move?"
"I, think so . . , Sarg, where's Moe?" he asked coming up on an elbow,
"We gotta find him, Sarg. He might be hurt."
"We will. Now settle down. Just crawl out through the window up there.
I'll be right behind you. C'mon now. Go, go, go."
They crawled through the deepening mud, into the direct force of the
storm. Standing ankle deep in the ditch, they clutched one another's
arms to keep from being toppled over.
"We gotta find him, Sarg." yelled Johnson over the howling wind.
"Alright, Johnson, relax, now. We'll find him. We also need to get
under cover. I think this storm is turning into a hurricane."
x x x
Marissa pulled him down onto the sofa with her. His mouth found hers as
he eased his weight down on her.
"I don't usually do this sort of thing." she sighed as his mouth
traveled to her throat.
"Neither do I." his answer was muffled in her hair.
She wrapped arms around his neck as thunder cracked through the sky.
"I'm here." he comforted her sliding a hand under her blouse, finding
the lacy cup of her bra.
"Oh, Johnny." she sighed, arching into his touch.
x x x
"Oh, mamasita! Dios." mumbled Ruiz licking his lips nervously.
"What? . . .What!!?? Roo! What does that mean???!" asked Taylor, just
knowing he wasn't gonna like the answer.
"It means the baby's coming, man"
"Oh, Gawd!!" she gasped, grabbing Ruiz's hand as a contraction hit. He
winced at the power of her grip.
"Okay, Mrs. . ." he grunted in pain.
"OOOOhhhhhh!!!!" she wailed again.
Taylor scrambled with the phone again.
"Hello! Hello??!!! Somebody! ANYBODY!!!! Answer, please answer this
thing!!! WE'RE HAVING A BABY!!!!"
"Marcus. Shut. Up! Gimme your shirt, man!"
"Ruiz, man, are you crazy?? Lady, you can't have a baby . . . here!!"
screamed Taylor freaking out in the corner.
"Tell my baby that." grunted the Mrs.
"Mr., you gonna have to birth your baby, man!. . ." Ruiz watched in
amazement as the man's eyes rolled up in his head and he sagged over
sideways beside his wife. Taylor's big eyes looked from Ruiz to the
x x x
Myron shouldered through the beaded curtain fishing in his pocket for
change. He glanced over his shoulder just as Corky came through the
beads behind him.
"Hey, how y' . . ." began Goldman, trying to act casual and look for an
escape route at the same time.
Milo, leaning against the counterin the kitchen, listening to the radio
report on approaching hurricane Connie, heard a commotion in the
corridor. He glanced up to see Corky's grip around Goldman's throat as
he shoved him backwards into the men's room.
He stood frozen in his spot watching the door slowly swing shut.
"Milo!" barked the waitress over the order counter.
"Huh?" he jumped, looking at her with big eyes.
"Kenny and that fella want some pie, a la mode." she stuck the order in
the little carousel and gave it a spin.
Milo looked out over the diner, getting a bad feeling.
"Uh, yeah, okay. I'll bring it out, Ruth, okay? Wanna say hello."
"Suit yourself." she shrugged embedding her pencil into her hair spray
Corky pushed Myron up against the wall.
"'Fraid I can't let you make that call, G.I." he said with a sarcastic
"I . . , I was going to buy some cigarettes. The machine . . ." Goldman
pointed lamely at the door.
"Right . . ." smiled Corky, seeing right through Myron's poor attempt at
lying abd he hauled off and socked Goldman in the face and watched him
slide down the wall, stunned.
Milo nervously plopped the pie wedges and scoops of ice cream onto two
plates. He scribbled a note on a napkin and hurried out of the
"Hey, Kenny!" he called excitedly looking quickly over his shoulder at
the men's room door.
"Hey, Milo, how ya doing, man? Great lasagna, as usual. Surprised I've
got room for pie."
"Ha, ha. Yeah. Well, we always have room for pie." answered Milo
nervously, laying the plates in front of them. He gave Stan a couple of
"Here, man. Don't wanna get ice cream on the uniform do you." he
flapped the napkins in Kenny's face.
Kenny smiles and took them from him.
"Thank's man. How's Connie?"
"Okay, I guess."
Milo shuffled nervously from foot to foot as Kenny lifted the napkin to
the corner of his mouth. He spotted the scribbles, looked up at Milo
took another look at the napkin, wiped at his mouth, smiled up at his
soon to be brother-in-law, swallowed his food casually and sipped at his
"Milo, I forgot - mom was wondering if you two were going to be coming
by on the week-end. Said you should *call* her and let her know *what's
happening* . . ." he held Milo's gaze, hoping the young man
"Okay, okay. Yeah, yeah, um, Okay, I'm going on my break. I'll call
her right now."
"Good, she'll be happy to hear from you and tell her *I* told you to
call. I need her to *know* I deliver messages."
"Yeah, sure, you got it, Kenny." smiled Milo.
A deafening clap of thunder froze everyone in their place and in the
echoing silence, they could hear a cracking coming from the windows.
Percell turned to see beads of water being forced through a growing
spider web of cracks in the window beside him, could see the window
bending in beneath the pressure of the wind, eyes wide he turned . . .
just as the power went out.
x x x
"Moe!" yelled Johnson shielding his eyes from the driving rain that bit
into his skin like buckshot.
"Moooooooooe!" joined Anderson, trying to see in the gloom.
"There. There!!" panted Johnson madly splashing across the ditch to
where their talkative driver lay in the mud.
" . . . medic . . . medic . . . medic." Moe mumbled over and over as
they rolled him over.
Anderson and Johnson exchanged surprised looks when they saw dog tags
around the man's neck.
"Moe! Listen up now, son. We gotta get outta this storm. Can you
"Storm?" his rattled brain not registering.
"Soldier. This is sargent Anderson. I am ordering you to get on your
feet. Move, move, move!" Anderson hollered into the man's dazed face.
"Yes, sir. I'm alright, I'm alright, sir." responded the rumpled cabbie
thinking he was back 'in country'.
"Come on, Johnson, we gotta find some kind of cover!" screamed Anderson
as the two of them helped Moe to his feet.
"There's probably a storm drain." yelled Johnson.
x x x
He let the empty bottle fall to the floor and clicked the rim of his
glass against hers. He tucked a brunette curl behind her ear and traced
her shoulder with a finger. Their bodies glistened in the candle light
with the sweat of their 'efforts'. Their clothes lay scattered around
They'd never gotten into the bedroom. He lay propped against sofa
cushions with Marissa's smooth body atop him, breasts crushed against
his chest, long legs entwined around his.
He reached for her mouth with his and tasted the wine. Her subtle
little shifting and rubbing was letting him know she wanted another go
at it. He could feel himself 'rising' to the invitation.
She sat up straddling his narrow hips and as he brushed his finger tips
across her hardening nipples, took the weight of her breasts in his
hands. With a throaty groan she eased herself onto him and he felt her
shudder deep inside.
x x x
Taylor didn't understand what Ruiz just rattled off in Spanish but he
was pretty sure it wasn't nice.
"Oh, Lordy! God - Marcus Taylor here. I'm begging you God! You gotta
get us outta here." he ranted up at the car's tiled ceiling.
"Marcus. You're gonna have to help me deliver the baby, man!"
"Me?! Baby? I don't know nothing 'bout birthin' babies, Roo! You
crazy!? No way Jose!!"
Ruiz watched his long, lanky friend twitch and flap in a panic.
"Taylor, man. Sometimes you just ain't got no choice." reasoned the
little Puerto Rican, calmly.
"Oh, noooo. Ohhh, Ohhh God . . . another one! Another one!" screamed the
"Oh, no!" squawked Taylor.
"Oh, God!!" groaned the Mrs.
"Oh, God!" Taylor almost feeling her pain.
"Oh, God!" she panted weakly.
"Oh, God" Taylor echoed her.
"Another one!" she wailed.
"Oh, God, Roo! Do something!!" cried Taylor.
"Taylor, I need you, man!" yelled Ruiz joining the other two other
people in the car screaming.
"How? I don't kno . . .!"
"Yeah, you told me that already. Help me lie her down. Move her
husband. Gimme your shirt."
Taylor tried doing all of it at once then stopped and looked down at
"Baby's gonna need something clean. C'mon, man."
Lorraine screamed in agony.
Taylor ripped his shirt off, buttons flying, shoved hubby into the
corner and dropped to his knees at the Mrs.'s head.
"That's good, man. Rest her head on your knees. Don't worry little
mommy, we're going to do this right."
"Oh, oh, oooohhh." she found Taylor's sweaty hand and squeezed. His eyes
nearly bugged out of his head in pain.
"Keep breathing mamma. And push when the next contraction starts."
encouraged Ruiz, readying himself.
"Roo, man. You better know what you're doing, man."
"I'm just here to catch it, man. Mamma here's gotta do all the work.
Come on now, Mrs., breathe. Okay, now. You gotta push! Push!!"
"Ooooh God!!" wailed Taylor in harmony with the Mrs.
x x x
"Incoming!" was what came out of his mouth as he
gave Doc a good shove
sending him spilling to the floor and dove out of
the booth after him.
Stunned, Ed watched them hit the floor and roll. He
turned, too late,
to see the window pane give way and blast in, jagged
chunks of glass
like shrapnel blew into the diner. He rose an arm
to shield his eyes
from the flying glass and dagger sharp wedges sank
into his arm and
face. He fell out of the booth onto his back
Percell crawled to Ed and pulled the gun from his
belt. The waitress
screamed as Hump sprang to his feet and grabbed her,
using her as a
"Hump! Don't" yelled Stan, coming to his feet.
The men's room door flew open and Corky came out
holding a bloody-nosed
Goldman against him, the barrel of his gun jabbing
x x x
They all flinched as gnarled fingers of lightening
cut across the sky,
the following thunder shook the ground they stood
"Sarg! Over there!" yelled Johnson pointing ahead of
The grey shape of the drainage tunnel stood about
twenty yards away.
"Let's go." Anderson took Moe's arm and pulled him
clumsily along behind
Crouching, they entered the concrete drain, happy to
be out of the gale
force wind and its icicle sharp rain.
The roar of the wind past the opening was a little
Soaked to the skin and covered in mud, Zeke squatted
against the curved
wall to wait out the storm.
"Johnson and Moe positioned themselves across from
"How y'feeling, Moe?" asked Johnson.
"Like my car just landed upside down in a ditch,
man." he grinned a
"I hear that." grinned Johnson.
The storm howled as cold ankle deep water rushed
through the drain.
"When'd y'serve?" called Zeke across the tunnel to
Moe met his eye a moment, debating whether to
" '66. Was there 8 and a half months."
"Came home early."
Moe pulled up his mud soaked tie-dyed t-shirt. Zeke
and Marvin looked
at the angry scar across his belly.
"A going-home-early present from Charlie. My buddy
went home in 2 bags."
he said matter-of-factly.
"I hear that." nodded Anderson.
"Hey, I'm sorry about this guys." offered Moe,
changing the subject
after a growing silence.
"Forget about it, man." Johnson waved him off.
"Yeah, we were getting bored in the Nam, came
looking for a little
adventure." hollered Zeke over the roar of the wind,
smiling at his own
"Y'know, the diner's like, maybe a couple of blocks
away . . ," informed
Moe, winking mischievously at Johnson.
" . . . shame you're gonna miss a great meal."
"A couple of blocks, you say?" asked Zeke taking the
"Give or take." smiled Moe, looking from Anderson
and Johnson and
"Those steaks with our names on 'em, Sarg . . ."
"I hear that. Moe m'man, lead the way! I'm gonna
get me a steak,
x x x
Wrapped in a blanket together, they sat watching the
storm rage by
outside her apartment window.
Johnny nuzzled his nose in her hair breathing in her
smell. The images
of their bodies moving, sliding, entwined together
still fresh in his
mind, her taste still on his tongue.
"I . . ." he started but Marissa lay her fingers
across his lips.
"Don't, Johnny. There's no where to go with
"But, I, we . . ."
"Johnny, . . . I'm married. My husband's . . ." she
let it drop.
She climbed out of his embrace, grabbed her robe and
stared down into
his face watching as conflicting emotions vied for
"Oh, come on, Johnny. Did you think I'd fall for a
G.I. serving in
Vietnam, even if I *was* single?"
He felt like he'd been kicked, hard.
"You could be dead tomorrow and where would that
leave me?" she asked
cinching her belt tightly.
Johnny couldn't believe what he was hearing, but the
look on her face
was backing up what she was saying.
"Of course, I understand." he said, self-consciously
reaching for his
"Good." she said choosing to ignore his obvious lie
and turned her back
on him as he dressed in glum silence.
As he sat to lace his shoes, she turned with a
"You're welcome to stay till this blows over, you
He couldn't look at her. Didn't want to look at the
cold eyes that had
"Uh, no. I better go." he sort of floated to the
door in a daze.
"Well, thanks, soldier, or should I say 'flyboy'.
You were great."
He didn't hear the door close as he drifted down the
dark corridor, lit
only by emergency exit lights.
x x x
Taylor knelt in the red tinged car in a daze, a
stupid lope-sided grin
on his sweaty face.
Ruiz gently wrapped the slimy, wrinkly, bellowing
baby boy in Taylor's
shirt and laid him tenderly on his momma's
"Here you go picito, here's your mama." Ruiz beamed
away the sudden wetness from his eyes.
"Roo . . ." sighed Taylor, staring at the little
Ruiz smiled widely as he watched the baby, barely
noticing the elevator
began hum into life.<
They all blinked as the lights came on, Ruiz
steadied himself against
the wall as the car began a jerky descent.
"Roo . . ." was all Taylor could keep saying.
The car shuddered to a stop and the doors rattled
open. Two paramedics
crowded in pushing the two soldiers out of their
The ambulance attendants stopped on their way out to
the ambulance at
the Mrs.'s request beside the two weary soldiers.
"You're welcome, Mrs." smiled Ruiz, laying a finger
on the baby's
"What are your names?" she asked beaming with
"Ruiz, Alberto Ruiz."
"Marcus Taylor, m'ame."
"Alberto, Marcus, I'd like you to meet Alberto
Marcus John Shippley."
"You're naming your baby after *us*?!"
"He wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you."
"Okay. Gotta go folks." interrupted the
"Bye bye, Alberto Marcus." called Ruiz as they
rushed through the front
x x x
Diner & Cab:
Hump had the waitress. Corky had Goldman. Percell
had Ed and Officer
Stan had Officer Kenny Hano. Milo was under a table
"Tell your buddies to drop their guns, Buckle."
suggested Kenny calmly
to Stan, holding his hands up.
"Corky, let the guy go. Don't do nothing stupid,
"No, Corky! Don't!" yelled Hump.
"Hump, don't hurt her." pleaded Stan.
"You! Drop the gun!!" Hump yelled at Percell, waving
his gun around.
"Stan, get the cop's gun, man!" he hollered at Stan
as he slowly backed
his way towards the door.
"This is just making it worse, Stan." said officer
Hona as Stan fought
with the gun in its holster.
"Just give me the gun and the keys to these things
and shut up!"
"Stan, you're smarter than this." the officer spoke
levelly to the
nervous man standing over him.
"Shut up." whined Buckle.
"Come on! Let's go!!" yelled Hump nearly at the door
with the petrified
waitress in tow.
"Corky!" he motioned to the man to follow suit, and
Corky yanked Goldman
along with him.
"Last time, soldier boy. Drop the gun or my friend
here does your
Percell tossed the gun away.
"Stan, get Ed. We're outta here." said Hump as Stan
threw the cuffs
As Stan rushed to Ed's side, the door banged open
and the three soaked
and muddy men from the cab tumbled in. Everyone
Anderson, Johnson and Moe took in the scene before
them in surprise. The
people scattered around the diner stared at them in
Anderson took in the situation and reacted. He leapt
at Hump wrestling
him to the floor, the waitress screamed as they
unceremoniously to the floor with them. Percell
took this opportunity
to tackle Stan to the floor. Goldman sank a bony
elbow into Corky's ribs
and turned and nailed him in the jaw and succeeded
in knocking him out
The waitress made it out from under the two
wrestling Kodiaks and joined
Milo and Doc under the table.
Percell easily subdued Stan with pure luck when his
knee landed firmly
on the man's stitched up hand and left him writhing
on the floor in pain
Officer Hona retrieved his revolver and fired one
shot into the air
bringing the brawl to an abrupt halt.
x x x
Apartment & Elevator:
McKay squished his way into the lobby, feeling
miserable. He's stumbled
along the wind and rain battered streets as the
storm lost some of its
kick as it veered away from the islands to die out
over the Pacific.
"Hey, Lieutenant. You look like a drowned rat."
joked an exhilarated
Taylor, accepting yet another handshake from the
"What's the matter with you?"
"Your little fly chick turn out not to be the best
pick in the hen
"Something like that," grumbled McKay,"What
happened to you?" he asked,
finally noticing Marcus was not wearing a shirt.
"We delivered a baby, L-tee!" beamed Taylor.
"You mean *I* delivered a baby, Taylor, you spent
your time crying like
a pansy, man." corrected Ruiz sticking a stogie in
"Gonna name the kid after us too. Alberto Marcus
John Shippley." said
the little man, puffing out his chest.
"Well, that calls for a celebration. Let me buy you
two heroes a
drink." smiled McKay forcing himself to shake of his
x x x
:1600 hrs. August 12th, 1968. Tan Son Nhut
The bus wobbled to a stop and the door squeaked
open. Ruiz and Taylor
bounced happily off the bus, puffing on their smelly
on little Alberto Marcus John's future.
Johnson, Percell and Doc strolled away all talking
at once about the
diner events to a sullen McKay
Anderson and Goldman stepped off the bus feeling the
heat of the country
press down on them, felt the sweat beginning to
stain armpits. Smelled
the familiar and unpleasant smells of the camp.
"L-tee, don't get me wrong now. Going to Honolulu
was an interesting
experience, but, well, sir, I don't know about you,
but I'm glad to be
home." he grinned looking around the dusty, sun
"I hear you sargent. But it's pretty bad isn't it
when we start calling
this place home." he said smiling at his sargent
squinting against the