Just hours after getting off the plane from Afghanistan, Dusty and Jake jumped
on their motorcycles and headed to the Beach. Riding their crouch 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. Jake 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". Jake 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 Jake "Gas!"
pointing to his tank. "Follow me!" Jake 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 Jake 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 Jake's and
Dusty’s radar as a potential danger. Just three days before
Dusty and Jake 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 Jake. "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 Jake's bike. "We're heading to the beach.
Where you guys heading?" the tanned blond asked Jake 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 Jake knowing his best friend would
have very few words for the pretty girls teasing. "I like your beard" she
said to Jake with less confidence, seeming to wonder why Jake had nothing
to say to her. "Thanks" Jake 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 Jake 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 Jake 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." Jake'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" Jake asked so quietly only she could hear.
His soft response was much more personal than she expected from such a rough
looking but 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" Jake 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. "Jake Forrester. What’s yours, swim suit girl?" Jake teased "I'm
Lisa Combs". She responded sticking out her hand to shake. Jake 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?" Jake 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."
Jake teased. "Done Deal" she said, holding out her hand to seal the deal
and for the opportunity to hold Jake’s hand one more time.
Jake 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 crouch 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 Jake 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 Jake 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 Jake 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 Jake and Dusty. "Two, four, six, eight, nine" Dusty and Jake
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 Jake. The leader of the gang
came up alongside Dusty’s right side as another pulled alongside the left
of Jake. 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. Jake 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 crouch 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 Jake 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 them.
Dusty looked over to his left at Jake 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." Jake 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 Jake 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 Jake and Dusty immediately stopped, put their Kick stands
down and jumped off their bikes. Dusty shouted "Right!" Jake 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 Jake. This was a very manageable engagement for both of them.
"Get in the Jeep" Jake 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 Jake without looking
at him. They both knew what signal would start their attack and end with
nine dead bikers. Dusty worked enough missions with Jake to know Jake 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. Jake
was always fast to pull the trigger. He figured waiting was not worth the
risk of negotiating. The bikers had no idea their lives where hanging on
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 Jake shouted. The only people going to get hurt or killed
is you bitch and your rich friends!" Dusty turned to Jake 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 Jake 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!” Jake 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 simultaneously rushed
Dusty and Jake.
The bikers sealed their fate. 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. Jake quickly side stepped his attacker pulling his 45 from
the pocket of his cargo pants. The heavy set biker brushed by Jake missing
him with a swing of the hammer. Jake 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 Jakes rounds went off Dusty raced forward clearing 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 between him and the jeep. Before their bodies hit the ground Jake
turned and headed to the next threat. Jake and Dusty were making their kills
simultaneously. The distance from Jake and the two bikers in the rear was
about 15 feet. Jake walked fast and controlled towards them aiming his gun
and firing one round into each biker and then back with one round again into
each of their chest. He then spun around and took off running, following
Dusty to the front of the Jeep. As Jake was taking out the bikers in the
rear Dusty raced to the front 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, blindly tackled him 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 as Dusty squirmed to get away. Dusty
instinctively reached up with his left hand grabbing the raised hammer in
the hand of his attacker. Before Dusty could get a round off with the gun
in his right hand Jake raced by putting two slugs into the biker’s chest.
He slowly fell backwards on his ankles still straddling Dusty with his knees
on both sides of Dusty’s chest. Jake 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. Jake fired one round into the forehead
of the biker, paused a second and calmly said "Nine".
Written by Dirk Lemmons