Just hours after getting off the plane from Afghanistan, Dusty and Lou jumped
on their motorcycles and headed to the Beach. Riding their crotch rockets
helped wash away some of the battle fatigue of the last twelve months. Slowing
down from 120 mph they exited highway to cruise the boulevard along Daytona
Beach. Dusty wore jeans, a leather jacket and military boots despite the
predicted hot temperatures. He always felt better carrying his 40 caliber
Smith and Wesson in his jacket where it was easy to grab. Lou dressed like
he was ready to jump in the ocean wearing sandals, big pocketed shorts and
a torn T shirt with Arabic writing on it that said "Hodgies do it in the
sand". Lou carried his SIG 45 in the right pocket of his cargo shorts. Both
of them were legal to carry a concealed hand gun; not because they just got
back from war zone but because they both had a Florida CCW license. For these
"special operators" carrying a gun was as comfortable and normal as wearing
underwear. In fact if they didn't carry, they felt naked.
Turning left off the exit ramp towards the ocean Dusty yelled to Lou
"Gas!" pointing to his tank. "Follow me!" Lou yelled back jerking his throttle
hard lifting his front wheel off the pavement. They darted across traffic
into a gas station, cutting in front of a large group of bikers going the
opposite direction. Both of them knew if there was a few feet of room to
make a move there was plenty of horse power to do it fast enough to avoid
an accident. Dusty, being last to make the turn, earned the guile of the
angry bikers he just cut off. Leaning forward, turning his head staring at
Dusty, the long haired biker raised his fist and shouted indistinguishable
obscenities as he and his rough looking crew roared past the station. They
weren't your typical affluent 50 something bikers. They were The Outlaw Bikers
Club that demanded respect "or else". The Biker’s anger went unnoticed by
Dusty and Lou because it didn’t come close to the extreme danger they faced
the last twelve months in Afghanistan. If the bikers weren't carrying AK
47's, RPG's or wearing suicide vest they didn't register on Lou's and Dusty’s
radar as a potential danger. Just three days before Dusty and Lou were dodging
real bullets, mortars, and IED's.
As they pulled up to the gas pumps a Jeep full of girls in swimming
suits giggled and gawked at Dusty and Lou. "Hey ladies" Dusty yelled as he
swiped his card and unlocked his fuel tank. "Hey gentlemen “one of the girls
shouted back as another one skipped over to Lou's bike. "We're heading to
the beach. Where you guys heading?" the tanned blond asked Lou as she ran
her hand slowly across his fuel tank. "If you ladies are heading to the beach
that's where we're heading" Dusty quickly answered for Lou knowing his best
friend would have very few words for the pretty girls teasing. "I like your
beard" she said to Lou with less confidence, seeming to wonder why Lou had
nothing to say to her. "Thanks" Lou responded softly as he stared deep into
her young eyes. Dusty shaved off his long beard and cut his hair short as
soon as they got home but Lou enjoyed the rough local Afghan look of a full
beard and long hair that was required on their deployments. "You girls look
like Jail Bate to me" Dusty shouted to the girls in the jeep. "Jail Bate?"
"How old are you?" one of the girls shouted back. "I'm 27 and Lou here just
turned 28. I'm sure that's a lot older than what your daddy allows you to
hang out with." Dusty responded, calculating the girls were around 18 to
20 years old and most likely college girls on spring break. "You look like
a mountain man." Lou's admirer teased as she threw her leg over the seat
of his bike leaning forward grabbing the handle bars. "Yea I'm a mountain
man. You want to ride with me to the beach" Lou asked so quietly only she
could hear. His soft response was much more personal than she expected from
such a rough looking handsome man. It was the perfect response to win her
over. She was just flirting and he called her bluff. "Sure. I'll ride with
you to the beach but you have to promise you’ll follow that Jeep and go where
they go." "That works for me" Lou responded as he unlocked his gas tank and
stuck the gas pumps nozzle in the tank. "What's your name mountain man?"
she asked smiling. "Lou Forrester. What’s yours, swim suit girl?" Lou teased
"I'm Lisa Combs". She responded sticking out her hand to shake. Lou shook
it and said "It's a pleasure to meet you Miss Combs" slightly nodding his
head in respect. "The pleasure mine Mr. Forrester" she responded "Have you
ever driven on a motorcycle before?" Lou asked, worried she might not like
what she was getting into. "Oh yea I'm a farm girl and we ride four wheelers
all the time". "Well I'm a farm boy and trust me riding on this baby is nothing
at all like riding on a four wheeler." "Don't worry I can handle it as long
as you don't get crazy and go too fast". She instructed. "What's fast to
you?” He asked “because fast for me is between 150 to 200 miles an hour.
I just had it at 140 a few minutes ago." “Oh no” she responded sternly "Too
fast for me is anything over the speed limit. You have to promise me you
won't go over the speed limit." she demanded "You got it! I promise I won't
go over the speed limit if you promise to hold on tight around the turns."
Lou teased. "Done Deal" she said, holding out her hand to seal the deal and
for the opportunity to hold Lou's hand one more time.
Lou suggested Lisa put something on over her suit to protect against
the cool morning air. After determining the girls were heading about five
miles south down the road along the beach and agreeing to follow them closely
they headed out. The other four girls in the jeep shouted and waived at Lisa
behind them as they pulled out of the station. Traffic was light at 9:00
in the morning. Like most tourist towns Daytona was slow waking up. A Daytona
Police car with two officers in it going the other direction cruised slowly
by barely noticing the Jeep and two crotch rockets. There was nothing unusual
about a Jeep full of girls or two guys on motor cycles to arouse suspicion.
Turning right, heading south on the road that follows the Atlantic Ocean
along Daytona Beach they slowly drove the boulevard with high rise condos,
restaurants and gaudy beach stores lining both sides of the road. It was
like a stream of beautiful pictures being snapped and framed by the buildings.
Between each building was a new scene of the ocean waves breaking on the
sandy beach with the sun shimmering just above the horizon.
Traffic was a heavier on the main road but eased as they headed out
of town towards Highland Beach. As they started leaving the populated area
of the boulevard they passed a large group of bikers parked at a public beach
area on the ocean side of the road. For the second time Lou and Dusty didn't
notice the large group of bikers; but the biker gang recognized them as the
two guys at the gas station that just cut them off a few minutes before.
Never looking back Lou and Dusty followed the Jeep at a slow 40 miles per
hour pace. A little further down the road the girls on the Jeep started aggressively
pointing behind Lou and Dusty. Both of them casually looked back to see what
all the commotion was about just as a long line of large Harleys screamed
by just inches from Lou and Dusty. "Two, four, six, eight, nine" Dusty and
Lou instinctively counted the potential threats, just as they’d been doing
in Afghanistan for the last year whenever they made contact with personnel
that might be unfriendly. Three bikers raced around the Jeep as two more
slipped in behind the Jeep just in front of Dusty and Lou. The leader of
the gang came up alongside Dusty’s right side as another pulled alongside
the left of Lou. The last two bikers stayed behind covering the rear. Their
thick leather Jackets with the words "Outlaw" on the back made it clear they
were a biker gang. As they pulled their big Harleys into position with a
low intimidating rumble, the site and sound of them was menacing. They were
all covered in tattoos, over weight and rough looking.
Even though he had not noticed them at the gas station, Dusty’ recognized
the rider next to him immediately as the guy he cut in front of at the station.
"Hey ass hole you just about ran me off the road back there!" The biker screamed
over the roar of the engines. As they slowed down to about 20 miles an hour
Dusty shouted back "Sorry man I didn't mean to get so close..." "Bull shit!
You punks think your bad on those fast bikes but you aint shit! Fast don't
make you a man punk!" the leader shouted as he glared at Dusty. Lou and Dusty
had already done the math and devised several attack scenarios in their heads
at this point. Both knew cutting and running was the best option. Why kill
nine biker thugs when you could easily out run them. Big heavy Harleys are
no match for a crotch rocket when it comes to pure speed. There would be
no legal problems with running compared to explaining nine dead bikers to
the police. For Dusty and Lou it wasn’t about being afraid. Fear never entered
their minds. The only thing both of them feared was explaining to the courts
what they might do to the biker gang, not what the biker gang might do to
Dusty looked over to his left at Lou and said "What do you want to
do? If we cut and run we’ll leave the girls in the Jeep at their mercy".
"Let's keep riding and a cop might come by." Lou shouted back. Suddenly the
Jeep slowed to almost a stop because the three bikers in front were slowing
down forcing the girls to slow or run over them. The jeep slowly turned right
and pulled into a public beach access area. Dusty and Lou followed knowing
they had no choice but to protect the girls in the Jeep. There were two empty
cars in the parking lot with no one around, eliminating any hope witnesses
might force the biker gang to behave. As the Jeep came to a stop with the
bikers in front Lou and Dusty immediately stopped, put their kick stands
down and jumped off their bikes. Dusty shouted "Right!" Lou responded "Left!”.
Their tactical battle plan was set if they needed to pull their guns and
start shooting. It would be an easy kill, like shooting ducks in a pond.
Based on the experience of many previous fire fights both calculated in their
minds all nine bikers would be dead in less than ten seconds and probably
in five. Compared to hunting down bad ass Taliban’s and Al-Qaeda’s who carried
Ak-47s and RPGs, this engagement was a relaxing non-threating conflict for
Dusty and Lou. This was a very manageable engagement for both of them.
"Get in the Jeep" Lou ordered Lisa as he took her arm firmly and escorted
her to her friends. "You boys with the fast bikes get the some fine ass women"
the leader growled grinning like a pirate about to get his bounty. "Hey dude
we don't want any trouble" Dusty said firmly. "I'm sorry I cut you off. I
apologize. You know how it is when you’re on your bike. Sometimes you just
make quick decisions." Suddenly the girls in the Jeep screamed "Get off!
Get Off" as two of the bikers jumped up on the hood of the jeep leaning over
the windshield grabbing the keys out of the ignition. "Give me my keys back"
the driver screamed. "Shut up bitch! I'll give these back when I'm good and
ready to give them back. What d ya got to trade for em?” The biker snarled
with a toothless grin. "Hold Steady" Dusty softly said to Lou without looking
at him. They both knew what signal would start their attack and end with
nine dead bikers. Dusty worked enough missions with Lou to know Lou might
decide a few more plays ahead of Dusty to start a fire fight. Dusty always
tried to work a few more angles before starting an engagement. Lou
was always fast to pull the trigger. He figured waiting was not worth the
risk of negotiating. The biker gang had no idea their lives where hanging
on the thread.
The leader of the gang walked up to Dusty and said "You college punks
come into our town and think you can get away with anything. We’re sick of
your kind racing around on your silly looking bikes acting like you own the
place. It's time you punks get your asses kicked so you know your place."
Dusty interrupted sternly "Listen we don't want any trouble. Let's just call
it a mistake and leave before someone gets hurt or killed." "Hurt or Killed!
The biker next to Lou shouted. The only people going to get hurt or killed
is you bitch and your rich friends!" Dusty turned to Lou and said softly
"steady! We can work this out” Suddenly, screaming broke out from several
of the girls as one of the bikers jumped into the back seat between two of
the girls. "Get away from me you gross animal" one of the girls yelled as
he put his arms around both of them. "Get your attitude adjusters boys."
The lead biker yelled as he walked to his bike. All the bikers except the
two on the Jeep went quickly to their bikes and pulled ball-peen hammers
from their saddle bags. As the converged back towards Dusty and Lou the leader
walked up to Dusty’s bike, looking down at it smiling and shaking his head
and looking back up to Dusty and said “You want your ass whooping first boy
or do you want your bike destroyed first?” Dusty pleaded back, “Look man
your about to get yourself in too deep here. I’m going to tell you just one
time, if you don’t stop what you’re doing you’re going to regret it” Suddenly
one of the girls screamed from the Jeep “oh my God he’s got a knife!”
Lou and Dusty never looked towards the Jeep knowing the distraction could
earn them a sucker punch or blow from the hammers. The Bikers seizing the
distraction, with raised hammers, rushed Dusty and Lou.
Their fate was sealed. The fight was on. Dusty extracted his gun from
his jacket and at point blank range fired the first round into the forehead
of the gang leader. His head snapped back as the hollow point self-defense
round pulverized his brains. The bullet exited the back of his head spraying
a mist of blood, bone and brain matter into the air. Lou quickly side stepped
his attacker pulling his 45 from the pocket of his cargo pants. The heavy
set biker brushed by Lou missing him with a swing of the hammer. Lou fired
two quick rounds into the biker’s neck and left temple. The explosive power
of the 45 hollow point slugs slammed him to the ground leaving his body twitching
despite already being dead. The same time Lou's rounds went off Dusty raced
forward changing the angle of his next target in order to clear the jeep
from the line of fire so he bullets wouldn’t accidently hit one of the girls
in the Jeep. He fired double taps into the chest of the two bikers standing
frozen with hammers in hand between him and the jeep. Before their bodies
hit the ground Dusty turned and headed to the next threat. Lou and Dusty
were making their kills simultaneously. After taking out his first target
Lou instantley moved towards the two bikers in the rear. The distance from
Lou and the two bikers was about 15 feet. Lou shuffle fast and controlled
towards them aiming his gun and firing one round into the chest of each biker
and then quickly back with one round again into each of their chest. The
speed in which Lou executed his tactics was paralyzing for the sloppy bikers.
Before they could recoil from the first bullet thumping into their chest
and out their backs the second round hit less than an inch from the first.
Both hits were fatal but left time enough for both bikers to realize they
were both standing dead men. Lou then spun around and took off running towards
Dusty at the front of the Jeep. As Lou was taking out the bikers in the rear
Dusty raced to the front of the Jeep double tapping the biker standing on
the hood of the jeep. Before Dusty could acquire another target, the biker
on the ground in front of the Jeep ran towards Dusty blindly driving his
shoulder hard into Dusty’s gut slamming him to the ground. Landing on top
of Dusty the biker raised his hammer to strike. Trying to wiggle free Dusty
squirmed undernieth the heavy overweight biker. Dusty instinctively reached
up with his left hand grabbing the biker's raised hammer. Before Dusty could
get a round off with the gun in his right hand Lou raced by putting two slugs
into the biker’s chest. He slowly lowered his head and fell backwards leaning
with his back on his ankles still straddling Dusty with his knees on both
sides of Dusty’s chest. Shooting on the run Lou put one foot on the bumper
and jumped on the hood of the jeep confronting the Biker who was holding
a knife to one of the girl’s throat. With one hand holding the knife and
his other arm around her neck in a choke hold the biker screamed “You kill
me, I’ll kill her. I’ll cut her throat if it’s the last thing I do.” Suddenly,
screeching like a wild animal the girl grabbed the biker’s hand that held
the knife and with brute force pushed it above her head. Lou fired one round
into the forehead of the biker, paused a second and calmly said "Nine".
Written by Dirk Lemmons