THE CRAB DIARIES: LATE PUNISHMENT

COLLEGE PARK, MARYLAND (UMPD)

You know? We are all human beings in this world, and we all make mistakes here and there throughout life.  However, learning from you mistakes is the key to not repeating it over and over again.  At the same time, if you are not aware of what your mistake is, and you keep repeating it over and over again, then that would probably make you ignorant to your situation.  As you grow up from a child into adulthood, you are taught right and wrong, and it is up to you as you get to a certain age to follow what you were taught without assistance from your parents or role models.  Throughout those years you are living, you also become, or should become, aware of how society is and what rules are followed by the society you are a part of.  We have laws and rules for a reason, and those laws and rules are to avoid situations that would allow anarchy to reign, and to maintain a civilization.

Well, one person that I dealt with years ago, I suppose, decided not to follow the rules and laws that have been set forth. During the early morning hours, the day of the Maryland Terrapins football teams last home game of the year, I was on campus this time watching for vehicle traffic at a certain spot.  This spot that I was stationary at had two stop signs, approximately 100 feet or more from each other, and we were having issues with people not stopping at them.  So, I decided to pick a time of the morning, when vehicle traffic is very low, and watch these two stop signs to see if anyone would blatantly run them.  I didn’t have to wait too much longer for this to come true, but it was someone who absolutely knew better.  As I was sitting on the side, in a graded driveway, I witnessed this dark green Cadillac, with dark as shit tinted windows, come blowing through one of the stop signs at a very high rate of speed.  Of course, the running of a stop sign wasn’t exactly the surprise, but at the speed this driver was going was the shocker sort of speak.

After witnessing this blatant disregard of basic traffic rules, I pulled out of the driveway and pursued up the hill after the car. In doing so, the car blew through at least one or two more stop signs before pulling over after seeing my emergency lights.  The first thing that happened was that the driver, who I now see is a female and an employee of the university transportation department, jumps out of the car screaming, “I’m late!  I work for DOTS!  I’m late for my assignment!”  Maybe she thought screaming that at me would spell good things for her, and for me to cut her a HUGE brake.  NOT!!  I didn’t budge at her request to let her go and join her fellow employees, who were waiting for her to take up her traffic post.  So, I went through my entire traffic stop like I normally did, and even made the pre-conceive notion that her punishment would be at least two traffic citations for her behavior.  However, things would quickly generate downhill when my dispatcher came back with information that the vehicle registration was stolen.  Well, this news, obviously, didn’t bow well for her and at this time more officers arrived when the stolen tag information came out.

Her reaction was denial, and that she had no idea that the tags were stolen. Further investigation, discovered that the vehicle was not registered and, of course, no insurance.  Although I made the arrest, she did resist a little bit and ran off at the mouth, but quickly realized her reality was not changing.  While interviewing her after the arrest, she basically told me that she ran the stop sign because she was late for her assignments, and also finally admitted that her boyfriend was the one that stole the tags from another vehicle.  Apparently, from her verbal statements, her and her boyfriend, who live in D.C., stole a D.C. tag from another car, a close by neighbor no less, and used it for their car.  In addition, her boyfriend also got the car from someone else, legally, but decided not to be bothered with being a responsible citizen and register the damn car.  Of course, at this point she is pointing everything at her boyfriend, but she also wouldn’t give up his name, which I knew would be a tall order.  So, in the end, she was charged criminally and also given numerous tickets.  Through the following months, after the our initial contact with each other, she only appeared in court once for her traffic violations, but decided to not show up for her criminal court case.

HAHAHA! This ended up not working well for her either.  Once I knew the judge placed a warrant on her head, I knew where she worked and was going to wait for a long while before I arrested her again.  I knew where she worked at so rushing to that disposition wasn’t my main goal.  However, once again fate allowed things to happen, and this time, once again, I ended up in the same place where she was.  The day that I ran into her again, was created by one of our officers being involved in a vehicle pursued, and one of the witnesses of the crime worked at the transportation department.  Our suspect was finally caught after he crashed the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.  Without any hesitation I went to the transportation department, at the request of the arresting officer, to see if I could gather witness statements for the case.  In doing so, I arrived at the transportation headquarters and, low and behold, I saw my warrant suspect sitting on a bench, outside with other employees, during a bar-b-que they were having.  She and I made eye contact, and I thought she would remember me from months ago and would know she has an open warrant for her arrest.

Needless to say, after I received all the written statements, I inquired to other employees about my “warrant suspect”, and I was told that she went back to the main office. Other employees, at least from me, never knew about her having a warrant, and never understood the reasons of me asking for her whereabouts.  I gave all the written statements to the arresting officer of the vehicle pursuit, and went back to my dispatcher to have her check my “warrant suspect’s” name in the national database.  I would have to say I was pretty pleased to know that her warrant was still alive and valid, which made me recruit another officer to meet me at the main office, in case she decided to act a damn fool.  Several minutes later, I arrived at the main office and asked for her whereabouts, which she was in her office working on whatever.  When I advised her that I was there to arrest her again for an open warrant, she broke down and started crying uncontrollably where another employee had to console her.  This arrest went a little better than the first one, but once again I called for a female officer to search her persons.  During the search of my “warrant suspect” by a female officer, it got a little rough and some words were exchanged pretty aggressively between them.  After that, I took her to the regional correctional facility, where she was processed.

I never saw her again, but I did hear that about two or three weeks after my second arrest with her, she ran into our officers a third time. Apparently, when her mother was pulled over, she came out of the main office causing a disturbing scene and was arrested a third time.  I suppose this drove her superior’s nuts and caused them to terminate her from the job, which was sadly overdue.  People do deserve chances to prove themselves, and to show that they are the right people for the job, but to continuously getting in trouble with the law will not keep those chances coming.  I felt kind of bad for her, but at the same learning more and more of how she was outside of our contact, it was bound to happen.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last transportation employee we would run into over and over again throughout my remaining years there.  You would be amazed of how many employees were dirty, which made you believe that no background and/or reference checks were done; at least properly.  Sometimes people fall through the cracks, and those individuals sometimes allow themselves to seep through to only be wiped back up and tossed away.

Henry Scott

LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH

MYSTERIOUS DIAGNOSIS & LUPUS LIFE

For those that are not familiar with this disease called lupus, it is an inflammatory of the immune system that attacks itself.  Many people live with this disease, and might be someone you know or have known, but the frustrating part is that it affects everyone differently.  My wife was diagnosed with lupus in July 2011, and everyday, six years later, we still are learning about this unpredictable ailment.  Just so you can better understand what it is like for a lupus warrior, think of your worse flu or cold days and think about living with that everyday with no relief in sight.  Although I don’t have the disease, I live with someone who has to get up and fight every single day, find the strength and courage, to live on a normal life as possible.  Then again, what is exactly a normal life for you?

When someone says, ‘I just want to live a normal life’ what does that mean exactly? Is having a normal life subjective?  Who determines if your life is normal or not? Most, people would ultimately say you, yourself, has the final determination.  Well, with lupus it practically tells you how you will live your life and what you will do to make sure you don’t make it angry.  Of course, if you choose to be hardheaded and not listen to your doctor, your body and not listen to those that live with it daily, you will surely regret it and see your life quality decline too soon.  Lupus warriors and cancer survivors or people living with cancer can have a similar lifestyle with chemotherapy, daily medicine to take, loss of hair, skin rashes, skin paleness, weakness, swelling and potentially getting worse with treatment.  However, as I stated before the disease effects every person differently and not all lupus warriors have to deal with those symptoms.  Not all at once.

For my wife, dealing with the worse pain and flare ups come during the summer time, especially when the humidity is harsh.  One of many reasons we moved up north because the humidity is not has harsh to her body, I don’t get migraines as much and the lifestyle up here fits our personality better.  Even though we are introverts, we still like to get out amongst the people and have fun and just live life to the best of our ability.  Some might be thinking that since we are introverts, how do we deal with our career choice being amongst the people, working closely with people and dealing with different personalities that could rub us the wrong way?  The answer is that our hearts are the biggest part of our personality and that we love to help people, if we can be a blessing, and see others around us happy with their life.  Sure, we have family and friends that are much different than us, have different beliefs, different views on life and politics, but that doesn’t matter too much.  Regardless, of what your life is about or how you live it, you deserve to be happy and content.

Other lupus warriors hurt during the winter with the crisp cold striking and attacking their joints.  Sometimes with all lupus warriors you can see their swollen joints and just touching them ever so gently is very painful.  Not so much of needing to have the right touch, but you have to know how to touch them and where to touch them.  Hearing from alot of lupus warriors, taking showers feels like little needles coming out of the shower head, eating and drinking can be extremely difficult and can potentially choke if their muscles in the swallowing process is not functioning properly.  Other issues that lupus can create or bring on is gastrointestinal problems, depression, thyroid issues, extreme fatigue, edema, weight loss, weight gain, fever, joint stiffness, seizures in some, anemia and chest pain.  Sadly, I have seen my wife experience all these symptoms and the worse part about it is that there is nothing I can do; except make her as comfortable as I can and get what she needs.

So if you know someone who has lupus, trying to figure out if they have lupus or is curious about the disease I suggest you do some research so you can be aware what it does and how it affects others.  It took my wife about two and a half months to get diagnosed and even then I was able to figure it out before she was officially diagnosed and put in her records.  Still to this day we come across doctors who either don’t believe this exist or don’t understand it, not educated about the disease.  With doctors carrying this kind of mindset it can become very frustrating and make you want to give up trying to figure out what is ailing you.  If this has happened to you, don’t feel like you are alone in this fight to make the medical world understand and be better educated about this disease.  Some have gone years and years before diagnosed, and the trick behind the delayed prognosis is that lupus has no specific test.  It takes numerous factors and symptoms to determine if you have lupus.

Do you know or understand how much this cost with numerous doctor, urgent care and hospital visits? Daily? Weekly?  We spent over $3000 just in co-pays, medicine that didn’t work and equipment.  Others have surely spent more and just telling someone that it is all in their mind, doesn’t exist and practically making them feel like a mental patient doesn’t help the credibility.  Also, having a doctor just throwing you pain medicine just because he or she can, even though you may need them, doesn’t show the sensitivity and care the patient needs.  Not only does the medical field need to be more aware and educated on this disease, but your employers and organizations alike.  This disease can be so bad for some that they have gone on disability, but even that is a fight in itself and lead to more frustrations and flare ups dealing with that stress.  Most employers don’t understand and will quickly get rid of an employee who they think is a liability and trying to play the system instead of actually showing support.

All in all this disease is very unpredictable and can strike at anyone at anytime.  Anything can set off a flare up, such as stress, anger, too much excitement and just sometimes life can be a hindrance.  More awareness needs to be spread around about this disease and get the medical world on board to learn more and do more.  A cure for this disease needs to be found just like cancer and other severe and deadly ailments.  Spread the word and get yourself educated.  The more you know, the more you can do to help!

Thank you,

Henry Scott

 

SHOOTING STAR – PART VI

“STAR STRUCK”

[WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINS]

U.N. HELICOPTER #1: Helo Fox to Base, come in!

U.S. AIRBASE: Lion to Helo Fox, go ahead!

U.N. HELICOPTER #1: Helo Fox to Base, we are about two mikes out and have both packages on board.

U.S. AIRBASE: 10-4! We will have personnel on the ground awaiting your arrival.  See you when you get here!

U.N. HELICOPTER #1: 10-4!

During the whole flight from downtown Raleigh to their final destination deep in the West Virginia mountains, a make-shift airbase, Vince fell asleep from the exhaustion and his mind just being overwhelmed.  With just under a minute to land, he begins to wake up and adjust his eyes to the soldiers inside the cargo bay with him.  He quickly notices that they all have transformed in front of him, neither one of them are wearing their gas mask, but he quickly realizes that he’s having slight issues breathing.  He goes to scratch his face and hits hard plastic on his cheek area, and quickly begins to feel around his face and notices that he is wearing a gas mask himself.  Vince begins to freak out and grabs the closes soldier to him by the blouse and starts to become aggressive by tugging and pulling.  Just as he realizes that he can take the mask off himself, the attempt becomes quickly squashed as the soldiers grab his arms to keep him from removing it.  The fight continues in the back of the helicopter and grabs the pilots’ attention when the helo starts shaking and the commotion in the back gets very loud.

One of the pilot’s starts yelling through his headset to the soldiers in the back, but gets no response.  Unable to unbuckle to check on what is happening, one of the soldiers respond on their headset, ‘situation is under control’.  Almost immediately after the soldier said that, Vince was struck in the midsection and flipped on his side with his hands bound behind him.  Vince tries to scream through the gas mask, but his screams and words were muffled.  Just as the helicopter touched down on the helo pad, several medical personnel rushed towards them and quickly grabbed Vince out the cargo bay, threw him on a stretcher and wheeled him into an awaiting ambulance.  Christina’s helicopter lands a few seconds later and although she doesn’t see what happened to Vince, she knew something wasn’t right.  With her hands bounded in front of her she was more cooperative and didn’t fight with the soldiers escorting her to another awaiting ambulance.  Once Christina enters the rear of the emergency vehicle, she is strapped down, gas mask removed and feels the ambulance speeding away with the siren blaring.

In a few quick minutes, the ambulance that Vince was in pulled into a bay and the doors quickly opened where more medical personnel were stationed in full body chemical suits.  Vince’s gas mask was removed and the sweat started to pour from his forehead as they escorted him to another part of the facility.  Halfway through the escort Vince was cooperative and making smart remarks about the situation until he saw that he was going to be quarantined.  This just sparked up the aggressive fight once again, but with limited range of motion with his arms still bound behind him.  Knowing this he starts to use his shoulders and his body weight to shove off the medical staff, and for a few seconds he was gaining the upper hand.  He even kicked one staffer in the groin and just watched the man fall to the ground in pain, holding himself, but the joke was on him.  Vince received a strike in the groin from behind and unable to use his hands to hold himself, he tightly closed his legs together and dropped to his knees.  Coughing on his knees, he hears boots being walked from behind to in front of him.  Looking up he sees a purple haired woman standing in front of him, but that vision went black when he was knocked out by a boot kick to the face.

Christina’s reaction when she saw herself being escorted to a quarantined room was of some fight, but she was quickly overwhelmed.  The back of her hair was grabbed and pulled severely to the point of her falling on her back and then stomped in the midsection.  She was quickly rounded up and shoved in the room and didn’t know she was next to Vince until a few minutes later.  She heard this strange knocking to her left and someone calling out to her name when she realized it was Vince in the next quarantined room.  Due to the thickness of the hard plastic make-shift walls surrounding them both it was very hard to hear words, and reading lips was somewhat of a challenge.  Neither one was very good at it.  With nothing to write on in their room communicating back and forth was very frustrating, but Vince’s attempt to tell her something was interrupted.  He hears unzipping and air being released from the door being opened to his room.  Turning around he sees two medical personnel standing and looking at him.  Not knowing who they were he stares at them and gets sense that these two in the room are of importance.  He walks up to them within a few feet and breaks the awkward silence.

VINCE: Who are you people?

DR. MELINDA: I’m Dr. Melinda Jones and this is Dr. Phil Marks. We are with the CDC.

VINCE: CDC, huh?! What the fuck is going on? Why did you bring us here?

DR. MELINDA: Mr. Green. You and Mrs. Smith were located in an extremely contaminated zone and radiation poisoning is very likely. We will need to run some tests on you both to make sure two are not in extreme danger, and if so we will need to know how to treat you.

VINCE: Treat us, huh? It probably wouldn’t matter anyway since we were out there for a very long time and most likely we will die.  If so I would just ask that you let us die in peace and with less pain as possible.

DR. MELINDA: Once we know how much radiation you have been exposed to we will understand better of how to treat you. There is usually no cure for radiation poisoning, but the best we could do is to help you live better with the issue.

VINCE: We’re both part of the presidential campaign team so we would ask for transparency in this treatment.

DR. MELINDA: We planning on treating you two with such ideas in mind.

VINCE: Good.  So what is next?

DR. MELINDA: We need to draw blood from you and get you cleaned up, change out of those clothes and ask that you be patient with us.

VINCE: See! That’s what I like.  Respect and ask nicely you shall receive.  Not those assholes I was dealing with earlier.  Especially that bitch!

DR. MELINDA: They’re not my responsibility or under my command, but they can be a little heavy handed.

VINCE: A little heavy handed? Whatever…what do you need me to do?

DR. MELINDA: Strip down to your underwear and lie in the bed. We need to get blood from you and start that process.

VINCE: Sure. (Everyone just stands there looking at each other)

DR. MELINDA: Anytime you are ready.

VINCE: So I have to undress in front of you two?

DR. MELINDA: You don’t have anything that I haven’t seen already, Mr. Green. Besides stripping down to your underwear is all we need.

VINCE: I see. Well…I suppose I better comply.  Don’t want that purple haired bitch in my room.

DR. MELINDA: I would ask you to refrain from using that language here. Some of my colleagues might take offense.

VINCE: You rather…cunt?

[NORTHERN FREDERICK COUNTY, MD]

Just a few minutes outside of Camp David, Jennifer and Marcus start to try their luck by searching in the nearby woods for any dead animals to eat.  Not sure if any water source nearby is contaminated, they find a small stream flowing over the rocks and from their position it looks clean.  Marcus still not trustworthy of his legs, and now going around with a prominent limp, Jennifer crawls down towards the stream and as she gets closer her excitement rises.  She sticks her hand in the water once she reaches the stream’s edge, and the cold rushing water just pounding against her hand and flowing through her fingers, gets her excited and yells to Marcus that the water appears to be clean to drink.  Hearing the exciting news, Marcus yells as loud as he can back at the car to Luther and Brooke, who sigh in great relief of possibly drinking some clean water.

Marcus limps as fast as he can through the tall grass to find a container to fill it with water.  He gets about two feet from the car, and along with Brooke and Luther, hears a helicopter off in the distance and they can only speculate that it is near Camp David.  Filled with such excitement Jennifer doesn’t hear the helicopter in the distance until it gets closer and she pulls her head from under the stream.  She shakes her soaked blonde hair and strokes it back with her also wet hands as she frantically looks around to see where it is coming from as the noise bounces off the terrain.  Suddenly the helicopter appears above going in the eastward direction, real low and slow as if it was about to land.  Jennifer was able to get a look through the trees she was under at the helicopter flying low overhead.  Frantic and excited about the possibilities of being rescued by American soldiers she finds her way across the stream to follow the helicopter.  When it disappears behind a set of farm buildings and trees, she stops and immediately make her way back to the rest of the crew.  As she gets closer to them, Marcus looks at her with a curious look and asked her, “Who was that? Are they American?”  Jennifer looks at him and responds, “I’m not sure who that is! I just know we need to find out.”

Brooke shouts out, “What about water?! We are severely dehydrated?” Jennifer pauses after getting back in the driver seat, and tells everybody, “We’ll come back. I promise.  We need to find out if they will be able to help us.”  Luther jumps in as she pulls off, “If they can’t help us? Then what?”  Another pause by Jennifer before she responds to Luther’s concern, “Hopefully we don’t find out.”  She drives off and heads in a direction where she thinks the helicopter might’ve landed, which takes her down dirt and private roads bypassing old abandoned farm buildings and dead animals tucked away in the brush.  After about ten minutes of guessing where she thought the helicopter landed, Luther points out to her that he can see it through a set of thick branches.  Jennifer leans forward to see if she can spot it and she does when they break through a small clearing that doesn’t impede their vision.

Jennifer was able to find a spot that they could park in and hide themselves from being seen.  She pulls parallel off the dirt road and in a position where all four can see the helicopter about 100 yards into the grassy field.  While they are watching the crew of the helicopter mulling about doing whatever they are doing, Jennifer begins to ask a question to everyone in the car about who are they waiting for.  Finally, Brooke breaks the streak of silence and comes up with an idea of just going over there to at least get medical help.  This becomes a discussion between the four of them for at least a few minutes of what to do, who is to go, all four should go or neither should go.  After a few minutes of going at each other’s throats, Marcus makes a decision in a very determination voice to go over there and get help.  Making the argument that he isn’t sure if they will have another opportunity to get help.  Several minutes of hesitation looms over the situation and Jennifer makes the decision to drive over to them, but does it at a speed not to alarm and frighten the men.  Almost no matter what they do it will definitely strike up the alarm in the men.

Great anticipation and nervousness creeps through the car as Jennifer makes her way on to the grassy field towards the helicopter.  Coming from underneath the shadows of the trees, they just knew that someone would see them right away.  Anticipating being spotted at any moment, Jennifer moves ever so slowly towards the helicopter and is shocked that they haven’t been spotted yet.  Suddenly, they are approximately fifty yards away from the helicopter and someone opens fires on the car, which causes Jennifer to accelerate in shear panic.  Everyone in the car is screaming and yelling as rapid fire rounds pierce through every glass structure in the car, the hood and one tire blown out.  Even with heavy fire coming at them, Jennifer maintains control of the car and turns away from the helicopter to only find that she was heading towards a tree stump.  Turning away from the tree stump became impossible when both front tires were blown out and the car just slid through the grass striking the tree stump.  A very loud crash and scratching could be heard as the car went over top of the stump and crashing in place.  Although the rapid fire of rounds had stopped, they were not completely out of danger as Jennifer fruitlessly tried to start the car.  Male voices could be heard coming up from behind them and before they knew it, automatic weapons were being pointed at them with trigger happy soldiers.

Jennifer went to explain that they are just looking for help, but discovers the soldier at her door is only shouting at her in a foreign language; which to her is German sounding.  She pauses and glances at each one of them to see who they are and notices that each one looks German, but in a blue camo design unlike the U.S. Air Forces design.  Silence falls upon them and Jennifer becomes brave enough to ask in German, who they were and her response shocked her senses when one of them said United Nations Security Force to preserve stability.

MARCUS: WHAT THE HELL? THE U.N.?

END OF STORY

Next Publication – Part VII @ May 13, 2017

SHOOTING STAR – PART V

“PATRIOTS MOURNING”

[RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA @ DUSK]

It has been at least a few hours since an American fighter jet was seen streaking at very low altitudes, about tree top level, through the ruined scenes of Raleigh, North Carolina, witnessed by Vince and Christina.  As dusk begins to take heed in the skies, Christina continues to struggle over the massive debris in the streets, weaving through burned out automobiles, and keeps fading back and back as Vince easily overcomes obstacles.  Unable to keep up and exhaustion overtaking her physical being, she yells out to Vince who stops in mid-climb on a truck and stands on the severely damaged bed.  He turns around and sees that Christina is leaning up against the frame of a car and breathing heavy.  He yells back out to her, “you okay?” and so exhausted she shakes her head side to side indicating that she is not well.  Frustrated to have to stop again, Vince takes his time getting down off the bed of the truck and navigates his way back to her location.  With dusk quickly approaching the air is getting thinner and beginning to get cooler, but neither one is prepared to spend the night underneath the stars.

“What happened to the jet?” Christina asked Vince when he gets within normal voice range.  Vince kneels down, feels for a fever and checks her injury on her leg before answering, “I can only assume that the pilot has relayed the information back to D.C. about the president of the United States, and they will send a rescue party.”  He makes a seat next to her and leans his back up against another car frame right across from her.  “Do you think we will ever be found? Will we ever make it out of here alive? Get back to our families and loved ones again?” Christina quickly stated to Vince.  He looks at her, glances down at his hands and responds, “We have to maintain a positive attitude and have the faith that we will be just fine.  I would like to say we might get rescued along with the president, but for all we know they might not be thinking about us.”  Vince takes a big gulp of saliva and then looks up into the sky at the early evening sky with a full moon getting brighter each minute.  In the middle of his stare at the full moon, Vince begins to hear a chopping sound to his right and struggling to make out what it is.

He whispers to Christina, but when he looks over to her he sees that she has fallen asleep from mere exhaustion.  Vince tries to wake her up as the chopping noise gets closer and closer, but appears to be unsuccessful in doing so.  He slowly stands up and as the noise gets closer, bouncing off the ruined landscape, Vince finally makes out what the noise is and looks in that direction.  Coming from behind a tall concrete rubble structure, two large helicopters appear, with their floodlights on for searching the ground below them, and as they fly overhead, Vince screams as loud as he can waving his arms in all directions to draw attention.  The helicopters, flying at tree top level, continue over his head towards the last known location of the U.S. president and vice president.  Immediately Vince starts to scream at Christina to wake up, as he shakes her aggressively, but slowly starts to come around.  As the choppers continue to fly away from them, Vince lowers his voice and gets Christina’s attention and tells her what has just happened.  Hearing the news about helicopters flying overhead wakes her up enough to gain the strength to get to her feet.  Once on her feet Christina begins to navigate through the very rough terrain they had did once already, but knowing that help has arrived she ignores the pain and fights through it.

Within seconds they lose sight of the helicopters and can barely hear them off in the distance, but they use the hope to keep tracking their way in the same direction.  Eagerness increases with every other step as they can hear the blades of the chopper getting louder and louder.  Voices could be heard along with tearing metal and radio traffic from around the corner of their present location.  Both get close enough to round the corner of a concrete post and spot the two large helicopters about two blocks down from where the president’s motorcade is located.  They smile at each other and get closer to the group of soldiers prying into the president’s vehicle, but that would quickly become a huge mistake.  One of the men spot them and yells at them through his gas masks, which was very hard to hear, but Vince assumed by the reaction of the men pointing their automatic rifles at them that they are to stop immediately.  With Christina leaning her weight onto Vince, he struggles to hold her up as he stands there wanting to drop her.  One of the soldier’s slowly approach them with their rifle pointed directly at them.  Christina and Vince stare at the soldier approaching them and they attempt to slow down their breathing as their heartbeat increases with the fear of the unknown.

When the soldier gets within a few feet of them, Vince notices a black inscription on the chest of the soldier’s olive drab chemical suit.  As he leans forward to get a better look at the inscription, his heart quickly drops from the surprise to see the U.N. on American soil picking up the president of the United States.  His surprise quickly turns to anger and for the moment of not thinking he rushes the soldier in the response to protect his leader, but to only receive a butt stroke to the side of the head, and he stumbles down to the ground.  For the time being Vince forgot where he was and forgot about Christina, who was able to maintain her own weight and rush over to aid to his injury.  She looks up at the soldier into the tinted glass of the gas mask, with tears in her eyes, and makes a request to save them as well.  Christina goes on to explain that they are part of the campaign team of the United States president, and that they can help them with anything they need.  During her explanation, two other U.N. soldiers walk up with their rifles at the ready standing slight behind the lead soldier, on both sides.  A few seconds later the other two walk up to her, on either side of her, and pick her up by her underarms and aid her to the waiting helicopters.  One more soldier comes up to help the lead soldier pick up Vince, who resists a little bit, but quickly goes quietly with them to the second helicopter.

As Christina is being lead to the first helicopter, she looks down to the second helicopter and sees the American flag draped over the bodies of the president and vice president while being loaded into the rear of the helicopter.  Once she climbs on the first chopper, she begins to let the tears flow as the reality of the situation has begun to hit her like a brick wall falling down.  Vince is guided to the second helicopter and sees the president being loaded on the same chopper that he is approaching, and the emotions strike his hard in the chest.  Emotions hit him so hard that he had to be almost forced on to the helicopter as the first one started to lifts off.  Just before he was able to grab a seat, the second chopper lifts off the ground seconds later and quickly thousands of feet in the air leaving the city.  Both Vince and Christina sit in silence, into their own minds, as they take it all in of what has happened, what is happening and what is about to happen in the near future.  As the helicopters streak quickly through the skies, over nothing but ruined landscape as far as the eyes can see, Vince sees two fighter jets accompanying them on either side with Canadian markings.  Life has just become very real!

END OF PART V

Next Publication – Part VI – April 29, 2017

THE CRAB DIARIES: HELL WEEK!

COLLEGE PARK (UMPD) & LAUREL, MARYLAND (HOME)

Being diagnosed with lupus is one thing, but living with the disease is a whole other situation. I can’t remember the exact time, but it might have been summertime of 2013, however, the one thing that I do remember is that it was definitely summer.  Living in the Mid-Atlantic region you are used to dealing with certain weather forecast and cultures, but even with some of the native locals they still complain every chance they get.  With this summer in particular, I couldn’t really blame anyone complaining since it was the hottest summer on record, or at least one of the hottest.  Unfortunately, this incident took place while I was at work on patrol and I don’t think anyone expected this swift storm, called a “Deracho”, to come through the area and cause mass problems in such a short time.  I remember being at work, this particular night I was on the evening shift I believe, and just doing my normal patrols around the city and campus, when suddenly it seemed like we were reliving the scene of the tornado swooping through Kansas in the Wizard of Oz.

A very strong wind started to come through the area, causing light poles and power lines to sway very noticeably. Then the rain started to come down very heavy and hard where your windshield wipers, even on the highest setting, wasn’t making visibility good enough to drive comfortably.  Suddenly, I started to see objects, which were not heavy enough and not secured to a solid structure, fly through the air, such as construction cones and trash.  In driver through this harsh mess of a storm, I made the decision to find a parking lot on campus and just stay there until it passed.  Some of us drove around the area with our emergency lights on so we would be visible until we all got to a safe place, which I think was broadcasted over the radio for us to do so.  As I sit stationary in one parking lot, near the Children Youth Center, one of the construction cones hit the passenger side of the cruiser and continued across the windshield through the parking lot.  In complete amazement, I continued to sit there watching the storm all around me as I felt the cruiser shake and rock a little bit.

As suddenly as it started, the storm ended and everything was calm once again. However, it wouldn’t be without consequences that the storm left behind in such a short time.  The quickest and strongest storm I ever been through, as far as I can remember at this point, caused numerous power outages throughout the D.C. area, including my apartment complex.  Thankfully, my wife was home at the time when this storm happened, but while the storm was going on she was sound asleep in the bed.  In other parts of the county, power lines and telephone poles were knocked down and strewed across roadways, along with trees, and it appeared, the thickest branches of those trees were causing horrible travel conditions.  I can’t remember if any cars in the area right off hand were heavily damaged, but if none were, then that was truly a blessing.  Normal patrols, I believe, were suspended as we had to drive around the city and campus assessing damages and what areas need our attention immediately.

With the damages that was done during this Derecho, most people were out of power for at least three days to a week, or maybe even longer. Our apartment complex was out of power for at least a week, and that sucked royally for so many reasons.  Thank God we didn’t have any family pets with us because it would’ve been a lot worse.  During the week of no power, the temperature in the apartment reached over 100 degrees, and every window in our apartment was opened as wide as it could be, but with no wind blowing around for that entire week, which seemed impossible, didn’t help at all.  My wife’s lupus anti-bodies began to work overtime, and each passing day and night her condition was getting worse and worse.  Her lupus made her body swell, joints extremely sensitive to the touch and constantly sweating with no break it seemed.  You would think at night the temperature would be low enough to make it feel cool, but even at night the humidity was high and the temps sitting somewhere in the mid to high 80’s; sometimes in the low 90’s.  However, the outside temperature didn’t matter because the sauna inside our apartment was literally killing my wife with her lupus just breading through her body like never before.

It was during this week also that the Marriott Hotel on campus was offering all the university employees, especially the police officers, a break in the daily rate to stay at the hotel for at least one to two days. Watching my wife over on the other couch suffering in this God awful situation, day in and day out, prompted me to check on that deal or we would end up in the hospital if she has to suffer through this one more day.  On a Saturday night while at work, I went to the Marriott and spoke to one of the employees there, who told me that at least 75 people are checking out the next day and that he will hold a hotel room for us to have.  I was so thankful for his generosity and for the Marriott allowing us to stay there for a night or two to regulate our body temperatures once again.  The news excited me that when I told my wife about it, she explained to me that she can make it one more night, but after that the hospital would be our friend once again.  Being in a position at first where I couldn’t think of anything to help her ease the pain and suffering, I felt much better knowing that for the entire day Sunday we would be in great shape.

The only positive glimpse we had during the week of no power, is while the power company was working on the busted up transformers and severed power lines, everything came on for at least ten seconds, but then it went out once more until that Sunday night/Monday morning. I was definitely happy to be in a cool and comfortable hotel room after suffering for nearly six days in the intense hot and humid apartment, but I was extremely happy to know that we avoided my wife visiting the hospital, which were apparently working at near max capacity.  Our overnight rate at the Marriott turned out to be only $35, which was a tremendous break from the normal rate at that time of $350-$400!!!  I got the employee discount rate, and was in good standing with employees there; however, shortly after that or before that Hell Week, our free dinners at the Marriott were stopped suddenly.  Most of us have suspicions on why that is and can probably point fingers at certain people for jacking that privilege up!!  My wife and I lived through that week without getting pissed off at each other and without arguing.  At that point in our lives, and through that situation, being good towards each other was our most important goal, and it worked.

We were not going to spend our week, or days, in the hospital once more because the lupus disease decided to kick in high gear! Everyone who lived through it lost tons of money in generator gas and the supplies of food in the refrigerators.  When you buy bags and bags of ice, which we had a very hard time finding some, seriously, and you pour them in the bathtub to keep food fresh and cold and the ice melts within a matter of a couple of hours, sometimes minutes, you know that inside your dwelling the temperatures are just brutal.  I hope to never experience anything like that ever again in my life, but if it does happen again in our lifetime, my wife and I will be much better prepared; we hope lol!!  After that week passed, some homes and businesses still had no power, but majority of the area was able to go on with their lives and look back into history to remember where they were when this quick, but devastating storm struck.  I don’t want this to sound like it was hurricane force winds and trees and telephone poles coming out of the ground, which some did, but it was bad enough to cause millions of dollars in damages throughout the area.

Once again this storm exposed the vulnerability of our infrastructure in this country, and that things need to be replaced, repaired and rebuilt as soon as possible. This storm also, once again, sparked up the debate that power lines and telephone lines throughout the D.C. area should be placed underground and out of harm’s way.  Knowing the area, this will take another twenty years, three more devastating storms and cost serious more millions of dollars in damages and hundreds of lives before they expedite the fixes.  Time will tell!!

Henry Scott

Nenes Life

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