BTW: The photo art and prose included in any given post are separate creations having nothing to do with each other. Duality and such …
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The hike in through the wilderness took most of two days.
Had they gotten him any closer they risked other Sovereigns alerting the Subject to his presence. They identified a convenience store in a blip of a town right at the edge of the wilderness area he needed to traverse as the closest they were likely to get. They rolled up at 6a in a Chevy Suburban with six guys, one with his head down and not visible, all identically dressed and fully geared up. They all got out and began milling around the convenience store, looking like they were just sightseeing and gabbing. It was a short thirty meters behind the store to the thick trees, no clear sight lines to homes or businesses, and the sun was still low. Once he got into the trees, the other five jovially got back into the Suburban and drove off.
He was alone, and so being, harder to spot. He had grown up not far away and was an avid outdoorsman, had spent an obscene amount of time hiking these same woods, and had served two tours overseas before joining law enforcement. He was dressed head to toe in wool and fleece and wore tactical boots – everything designed for quiet movement. He carried one liter of water and water purification tabs, and MRE’s that did not require cooking. He would start no fires, maintain radio silence, and not say a word, even a whisper as he moved. Complete, total stealth.
His first problem would be the small, shallow rivers. They would be easy to cross, but they also tended to attract fishermen and floaters. He got to the first at mid-day; in the bright light he would be clearly visible to anyone who saw him. He moved through the trees as close to the bank as he dare, knelt, and waited. And listened. He had chosen a particular narrow bend in the river. The advantage was that sight lines were limited. The disadvantage was that something might come around that bend while he was exposed. But floaters tended to be loud, often drunk, and would only come from one direction. Fishermen made noises as they cast their lines, but, by now, middle of the day, fish would have stopped biting and the fishermen would have gone home. Probably would have gone home. After several minutes with no hint of human presence he moved quickly across, water only as high as his knees, splashing as little as possible, into the trees on the opposite bank.
Now he shifted direction. He was aiming for a similar bend of the second river. He arrived just before sunset. This location had a couple other problems. The opposite bank sandwiched a wide rocky bank between the river and a high bluff. Climbing that bluff would be problematic, but to get around it he would have to move a quarter mile along the river, completely visible. It was unpopulated national forest land, but there might be someone there they didn’t know about. Again, the strategy was to listen, and wait. It wasn’t dark enough yet anyway, so he had an MRE, replenished and purified his water, and took a short nap. He woke easily under a crescent moon far off on the horizon. No human sounds. He crossed the cool, shallow water uneventfully and turned left, moving quiet as an animal along the bank, watching the opposite side carefully. Then he was back in the trees. He found a congenial spot against an enormous oak tree, leaned back against it and closed his eyes.
He awoke at sunrise. From his position he could move towards a rise just behind the Subject’s compound. He’d needed to sleep, but he’d also wanted to make this approach in daylight so he could stealthily see where he was stepping. He knew if he startled any animals in the night the commotion, even from miles away, could alert the Subject to his approach. He had another MRE for breakfast, then began carefully picked his way through the trees. Two more hours, he came to the rise he was looking for, and a half hour later he was on his belly, looking down at the compound 50 meters off.
He carried an M-15 11.5” tactical rifle and an M9 Beretta. He didn’t intend to use either. He also carried a Spyderco Yojimbo 2 tactical knife if the situation became especially gruesome, but he didn’t intend for that to happen either. His greatest weapon, he felt, was something the Subject had himself.
From his perch he reconned the compound for the next three hours. He confirmed that the Subject was alone, except for the girl – a fifteen-year-old he claimed was his wife. He confirmed the Subject had a bird’s eye view of the ground approaching the compound, but this little rise fell into a slice behind a corner of the cabin the Subject had to go out of his way to see. And confirmed his point of assault was still there, less than 20 meters away. He watched the Subject’s movements, timed them, and at the appropriate moment, slid quietly off the rise, crawled over the ground, made sure he kept his objective between himself and the cabin.
Then he slipped inside the outhouse.
Sure enough, almost to the expected second, the Subject and his defective bladder schlepped through the back yard and entered the outhouse, at which point the officer placed the nozzle of his M9 Beretta on his forehead. “Don’t”, he said. The Subject froze, his hands at his crouch in the process of unzipping, and the officer kicked his legs out from under him. It took less than two seconds to holster the Beretta, whip out a zipcuff, restrain his hands behind his back, then three more seconds and another zipcuff to get the feet as he lay on the floor of the outhouse.
“Hi, there, Dwaine, how’s the wife?”
“Fuck me!” Dwaine, the Subject, said.
“Oh, by the way, United States Marshall, you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent.”
“You can’t do this! She’s my wife!”
“I have her mother’s permission!”
“Not according to her mother. You suppose we should ask her father?”
“You won’t find him!”
“Yeah, well, we thought we’d have a look around while we’re here and see if he, or a piece of him, might maybe turn up, whadya say?”
“Eat shit and die!”
“You go ahead.”
“Get me up – I gotta go!”
“You’re in the outhouse; just go right there.”
“On the floor? With my pants on? I don’t want to lay in my own pee!”
“Times are tough,” the officer said and stepped out, withdrawing the radio from his vest and switching it on. He could see the girl standing in the window, mouth agape, looking like she’d already been through a war. He could only imagine. “He’s in restraint,” he told them when they answered. “C’mon in.”
“That’s affirmative, on our way,” they answered back.
“God damn, I’m gonna pee!” Dwaine moaned.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.