SEALs of Honor:Jackson(6)

By: Dale Mayer


Feeling buoyed by the possible DNA collection which could yield fast results if the MPs were to run the tests against all navy personnel, Jackson continued to walk along the roadside. “There isn’t a whole lot here,” he said. He stood and glanced around at the rural road. “There won’t be any street cams, nothing for us to get information from.” He thought back to the gas station. “We already know they have no working cameras outside either. Hazards of small out of the way stations.”

The two men hopped into Tanner’s Jeep and headed back to the gas station.

*

Deli sat quietly in the tow truck. She’d spent many a happy hour in tow trucks. Her brothers had the tow truck company, and her dad had the mechanic shop. She’d loved going out with her brothers on service calls. Her brothers had found her presence easier for the customers too. It had worked well until she had joined the military. That had been the one thing her family hadn’t agreed with. But she’d wanted to do her part, wanted to do something for her country. She was still doing the same type of work, just for a different employer.

She wondered where Jackson went. She knew he wouldn’t leave this alone. She didn’t like the idea of being attacked at home either. Gunfire had been sprayed at her too; only Jackson’s fast reaction had saved them both, and she wouldn’t think about how close she’d come to dying today.

The truck driver looked at her. “What the hell happened to the vehicle?”

She just shrugged and smiled. “Radiator leak.”

He snorted. “Sure it is.”

She understood his reaction because it was a simple thing to resolve if one had water. But, in this case, it would involve a little bit more than water.

The tow truck driver drove her back to the meeting place, where a military tow truck waited for them. Her driver pulled up to the side and said, “I guess you guys need your own ride for this stuff, huh?”

She didn’t say anything, just hopped out, watching carefully as he unhooked Jackson’s shot-up transport. The driver was a talker, but, at least, he was a good driver, and he took good care of his cargo. As soon as it was unhooked and lined up over the hoist, she could feel the relief in her gut. She’d been worried about getting the truck back without another ambush. It would just be her luck today.

But she needed to check out this rig. Why had it—or Jackson—been targeted? The answer lay in the truck.

Unfortunately she wouldn’t be assigned to give it an in-depth examination. That wouldn’t stop her from taking a quick look at it when she got the chance. She thanked the driver, offered him a tip, which he refused, then he hopped back into the civilian tow vehicle and took off.

She recognized the military tow truck driver waiting for her. “Hey, James. How are you doing? I didn’t expect to see you here. Looking for an excuse to get out of the garage?” James Carville was another mechanic she worked with. Like her, he loved any chance to get out and about.

“Same, and always,” he said with a grin. He motioned at the vehicle to tow. “I’m doing better than you obviously. Were you driving this thing?”

She shook her head. “I was sent to see if the guy driving it needed a hand. That’s when we realized it had a bullet through the radiator.”

He motioned at the windshield. “And what about that part of it?”

“While we were standing there, a pickup truck came whipping past and shot at us. So I’m not exactly sure if that was the original shooter who damaged the radiator or somebody else.”

James just stared at her.

She shrugged. “It’s been an eventful couple hours. If you get this hooked up, we can get going.”

At that, James jumped into action and had the rig’s front end lifted into the sling. He motioned at the cab. “Let’s go. I believe we’re taking this back to our garage to take a look at it.”

“We are. Although I’m not sure who’ll be assigned to the case. I want to take a closer look, see if a second bullet was fired and if it’s still in the engine.”

“Well, if it’s not yours to work on …”

He left his thoughts hanging, but she didn’t need to fill in the blanks. They both knew that everything done in the garages had names assigned and then checks and balances done for all the work they did.

They were on the road in minutes. He kept up a light conversation. She answered as best she could, but she didn’t want to be too social. She was more concerned about what the hell Jackson was doing. Because she knew in her heart of hearts that he’d gone after the black pickup truck. She’d wanted to go with him, but, at the same time, she was no hero. She was all about working in the background, keeping things running, so other people could be heroes. Still, she wouldn’t mind keeping track of him. And, if he knew Mason, well, maybe Jackson was a good guy. She didn’t have any reason to not think so because Mason’s group was fairly elite. But she hadn’t met any of them who she didn’t like.

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