Wherever fate places Major Bull Thomas Loney, strong women are defined in blatantly sexual terms. But he’s not complaining. If you missed opening of Major Loney’s latest adventure, here’s Part One.
Loney turned his attention to the rig parked next to him, a pink Toyota Land Cruiser with a pair of black panties waving in the breeze off its mid-roof satellite antenna. Whistling like an emergency helicopter siren, Loney shot up to survey the surroundings through his sunroof, recalling too late that unlike his old Subaru, his souped-up Mini didn’t have a sunroof. He winced at the pain rippling from his neck halfway down his spine, then opened the driver’s door and staggered out in the conventional way to look again for the Toyota’s owner.
He hadn’t glimpsed a woman since earlier that morning at the Apple Hill Diner, the nearest civilized outpost within 30 miles. For a moment his groin burned at the image of the twenty-something waitress, blonde, trim, tight jeans, tight shirt. Overwhelmed by Loney’s chiseled face, broad shoulders, and gleaming hazel eyes, she’d missed his upturned cup and poured coffee onto the table, where it had cascaded onto his lap while she gazed at him. It had taken every ounce of restraint, the product of six years of brutal special forces training, for him to betray not a jot of physical reaction. Instead, he kept his eyes locked onto hers.
“Your coffee might be piping hot,” he said in his huskiest voice, “but it’s not as hot as the pipe I’ve got.”
At that moment, perceiving her error, she yanked the coffee pot upright.
“I’m soooo sorrrryyy!” she wailed.
If he hadn’t lost time applying Calamine lotion to his crotch, he would have taken her behind the kitchen to show her what he meant. But right now this obviously feminine beast of a rig next to him suggested another possibility. Hot damn. Seated in the cockpit of one of those vee-winged needle-nosed jets had to be one hot babe, not shy about flaunting her assets, just the kind of mission that Loney had been built to fulfill–as long as she didn’t mind a little eau de Calamine.
Fortune had smiled once again at Loney with a story whose author defined strong women in blatantly sexual terms. Wherever fate placed him, a powerful female figure happened to be horny for him and him alone. It was incredible, but he wasn’t going to complain about stereotyping.
Loney rotated his neck clockwise and counterclockwise, then scanned the site with his Swarovski. One long concrete gash, camouflage-painted in evergreen hues, extended to the edge of the mountain and the wild blue yonder. Low-lying quonset huts, also camouflaged, hid beneath the deeply shaded woods. Faintly visible in the shadowy forest where the F-22’s taxied, support personnel scurried among the tree trunks, along with a couple of figures wearing flight suits and helmets. On both the north and south sides an unbroken forest of Douglas firs and white firs crowded the runway. Behind him to the west, the same smooth lane extended back to where the primitive mountain road ceded its butchered pathway to this splendid strip.
Deliberately and calmly someone to his left spoke.
“Do…not…move,” ordered the male voice.
“This is Bull,” Loney identified himself.
“I don’t give a damn what you think,” said the voice.
“No, Bull Loney. I’m Bull Loney.”
“I can see that. You drove up here like a complete idiot.”
“Well, hell. It took you long enough to say it. What’s with all that bull shit?”
Satisfied that the password served as it should, Loney permitted himself to move, lowered his binoculars, and turned to face the guard. From his neck to his black kevlar boots, the man wore some sort of synthetic green not radically different than a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, though his face, beneath a helmet and behind clear bullet-proof plastic, looked vaguely human, despite the swollen nose and the bluish pallor. The weapon pointed at Bull most definitely emanated from the most lethal part of the human world, a standard-issue M16A2 automatic assault rifle with the attached M203 grenade launcher. Let some weasel Allah-addled terrorist (with due respect to the majority Muslims opposed to their crazy offshoots) try to infiltrate this slurry air ops base–oh, the greeting he’d get from a faceful of M855 ammo. Uncle Sam was taking no chances that some loony-toon militia cell might see its chance for glory lay in disrupting this hushed mission to quash wildfire before it could ever cackle a Climate Change note. Bull let a smile shape his lips.
“You think this is funny?” challenged the guard.
“No, no. Just admiring the outfit,” Bull cooed. “That Land Cruiser your rig?”
“You wish. That belongs to the Major.”
“Major Lou D’Bawtsh.”
D’Bawtsh…D’Bawtsh…he’d heard that name before. But where?
“It’s time you identify yourself,” said the guard.
“I already have.”
“Let’s see some ID.”
Loney unsnapped a shirt pocket, freeing an array of cards in clear plastic sleeves to cascade down to his Versace belt with the Medusa Head buckle. He pulled a card from the top sleeve, noting with minor elation the missing Starbucks gift card tucked in the same slot. Resisting the temptation to relieve the zealous guard of his weapon, Bull handed him the ID. The man read aloud its details.
“Bull Loney, Foreman, United States Forest Service Brush Disposal Crew, Smelt River District. Any idiot could have this card printed! First a hot-air balloon, now this hot-air business card. Whatever’s goin’ down isn’t going to get off the ground, Loney. You just take three steps ahead of me toward the compound up ahead and walk with your arms away from your sides, no funny moves. I’ll be right behind you with a little itch on the finger I’ve got on a trigger.”
Next week: March to the Quonset Huts