Session 1.2.2 Airdate: 4/12/2006
FLASHBACK, May, 2052…
Jack Stockwell sits outside the Office of the Dean of Western College of Colorado. He checks his watch and sees that it’s well past the scheduled time of his meeting, but he’s a patient man. The Dean’s assistant shows him into her office. The Dean sits behind a large, old wooden desk and the walls are lined with bookcases and portraits of famous faculty and administrators from the college’s past. The Dean seems distracted by some college related matter, but finally turns her attention to Top Gun and his request to recruit students as mentors and teachers at the Youth Scouts of America camp he’s building near Gunnison. The Dean expresses some concerns and as she’s agreeing that many of the students have the outdoor interests and skills to make good YSA leaders her door bangs open.
In marches Associate Professor Rance Allen, who ignores Top Gun and launches into a tirade about disciplinary action brought against two of his advisees in relation to the recent Annual Luau, which jeopardizes their participation in an upcoming sporting event. Not wanting to get in the middle of what is clearly a college politics issue Top Gun quietly excuses himself. As he’s leaving Professor Allen is explaining to Dean Alberts that several important alumni will be attending the race, and he strongly hints that the Dean’s actions will impact the yearly Annual Fund.
At the Annual Luau Mitch is grabbed suddenly from behind. Instincts honed in prison kick in and he performs a deft wrist twist and grab move on his assailant. He finds himself staring down into the baby blues of Jessie Jane. Mitch offers her a beer or three as an apology, which seems to be the way to her heart. Meanwhile Head Shot goes looking for Dean Alberts to see if he can smooth the feathers he ruffled earlier in the night. He finds the Dean surveying the party in full swing. Head Shot takes a different diplomatic tactic and finds a language she understands: beaureaucratese. The combination of Pike’s discussion of resource allocation and growing piles of half filled plates and cups begins to get through to the Dean. However they’re interrupted when a student runs up and tells them that he saw a couple of people breaking into the hospital.
Head Shot and Top Gun immediately head towards the parking lot while the Padre heads on foot to the hospital. The Padre comes across Mitch and Jesse making out in a dark corner. The moment spoiled Mitch agrees to join the team and heads to the parking lot where he finds Top Gun and Head Shot impatiently waiting to get into the locked Molly and retrieve their weapons. In no shape for driving Mitch gets kicked to the passenger seat and Top Gun takes the wheel.
At the hospital Padre finds the front doors broken open and he can see flashlights inside rooms on the second floor. He heads in and up the stairs where he finds Dr. McConnell crumpled on the floor, the victim of a nasty blow to the head. The Padre grabs a crutch to defend himself, and heads towards the sounds of looting further up the hallway. He calls out to the looters and tries to convince them that they don’t need to steal what they need – Gunnison will be glad to help them. The looters don’t seem to agree and come out, backpacks filled and brandishing pistols. The bolt for the back stairs and the Padre gets on his walkie talkie to tell the rest of the team which way they’re headed.
Top Gun brings Molly around the West side of the hospital but they’re too late – the side door is ajar and there’s no sign of the looters. The team exits Molly and begins to scout the area. Mitch gets out his binoculars, but in his inebriated state he turns on both the thermal and low-light settings and the resulting vertigo leaves him disoriented and unable to find the looters. Top Gun and Head Shot use their military training to try and track the looters, but in the dark they’re not able to find them. However when they’re joined by the Padre and walk off a ways the looters try and make a run for it. Unfortunately for the looters Top Gun had found a position that was uphill of the hospital and backlit, which gives him a good view of the looter’s silhouettes. Activating the laser scope on his rifle he fires a warning shot and informs the team of the target’s location. Facing three armed opponents one of the looters hits the ground and the other makes a run for it. Between Mitch’s hunting bow and Head Shot’s high powered rifle the looter on the run never stands a chance and goes down like a string cut marionette. Top Gun secures the surviving looter and Head Shot helps the Padre drag the corpse of the first looter back to the hospital.
The rumor of a break-in at the Hospital had spread and several of the nurses had arrived to help. They tended to Dr. McConnell and helped the team deal with their prisoner and corpse. The prisoner, a black man with salt and pepper hair, early 50s, introduced himself as Ed Friedman from Monte Vista. Being questioned by Top Gun he explained that Monte Vista was desperate for medicine so he and his buddy had come to Gunnison to grab what they could. They’d considered asking for help but decided that if they asked and Gunnison turned them down then Gunnison would be on alter and it might be impossible to steal the meds. Top Gun locked Ed in an examination room for the night and went to find Head Shot whom he promptly socked in the face for shooting the other looter. Then, worn out from the Luau and fighting the looters, the team dispersed. Mitch crashed in Molly in the hospital parking lot, Padre and Head Shot went home, and realizing that his horse was way out at the new HQ and Mitch was fast asleep Top Gun had to settle for a cot in one of the communal lodges in town.
The next day people from the New Church were going door to door inviting people to attend the big 10:00 service. Head Shot wasn’t planning to attend, but at the last minute he remembered that the Padre had been invited to speak so he rushed over just in time to join Top Gun and listen to Pastor Deacon Joe’s sermon.
The theme of the sermon was “The Armor of God” and Pastor Deacon Joe began his sermon with Ephesians 6:10-12, "A final word: Be strong with the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms." He then told a story about watching the Little League Softball World Series and how he was impressed with all the equipment the players had. Most especially he noticed the protective gear the catcher wore, including a mask and chestguard. Just like no catcher would go into a game with protective equipment the bible tells Christians that they have to go into life wit protection – The Armor of God. Satan cannot harm a Christian wearing the Armor of God. He then introduced guest speaker Brother Daniel.
Brother Daniel’s theme was ‘Helping your Neighbor’, though it got off to a weak start as he relied on the Bible and the parable of the Good Samaritan to do his preaching for him. Sensing that he wasn’t connecting with the crowd he appealed to the guilt associated with being selfish and the fact that helping your neighbor is one of the central teachings of Jesus’ ministry. By the end of his sermon the crowd was full engaged, and Pastor Deacon Joe leaped up and asked Daniel what it was they, the New Church, could do to help their neighbors. A bit flustered by being so on the spot Daniel rose to the challenge and suggested that just down the road in Monte Vista were people in need, and that Gunnison was in a position to help. Pastor Deacon Joe though that was a great idea and ended the service with a call for volunteers. The Pastor immediately began to mobilize the New Church to send a pilgrimage to Monte Vista. Top Gun was there to direct the Pastor’s enthusiasm, and inject some actual logistical planning into the ‘pilgrimage’ rather then filling a couple of buses with volunteers and hitting the road.
After the sermon Old Man Wendell approached Head Shot and invited him to a dinner being hosted by the Cattleman’s Association to introduce the new Regulator Captains and begin to talk shop.
While everyone else was getting their god on Mitch had a visitor at his junkyard. Vernon “Bouncer” White, career criminal and prison boss came to visit. Bouncer explained, over a bottle of Jack Daniels that was a part of his signing bonus, that he was one of the new Regulator Captains and he wanted Mitch to be on his team. Bouncer explained that this was their opportunity to make the law rather then be on the other side. Mitch told him that one of the guys he’d been crewing with was also a Regulator Captain, and that he’d have to think about it and get back to him.
In town Top Gun wanted to talk to Ed Friedman some more, and the Padre had volunteered to say some words at the funeral for the dead looter and Gunnison’s recently dead. With some volunteers from the New Church they headed up to the Memorial Garden and used a backhoe to dig another mass grave in the frozen field.
Top Gun found Ed Freidman’s cough had gotten worse, and that he had the chills. Dr. McConnell had examined him and prescribed two aspirin, but didn’t seem too concerned about the welfare of one of the guys who had pistol whipped him the night before. Top Gun talked to one of the nurses who, after examining Ed decided he should be in a bed and looked at further. Talking with Ed some more Top Gun told him about the plan to send aid to Monte Vista, which prompted Ed to explain that in fact he was from Gunnison’s eastern neighbor Waunita Springs. He and his looting partner had planned to make it look like they were from Monte Vista to throw off anyone chasing them, but since Gunnison actually wants to help then they should send their help to Waunita.
Dean Brooke Alberts – Dean of the College
Dr. McConnell – Gunnison’s doctor
Ed Friedman – Looter from Waunita Hot Springs
Jessica “Jessie” Jane – sweetheart tomboy
Old Man Wendell – member of the Cattleman’s Association
Pastor Deacon Joe Burnett – Pastor of the New Church
Ron Weststone – Looter from Waunita Hot Springs (deceased)
Vernon “Bouncer” White – Career criminal turned regulator captain
College Union – central supply depot for Gunnison.
Gunnison Valley Hospital – Small hospital located near College campus on the north side of town.
Kebler Hall – building on the college green, center of the Annual Luau
Monte Vista – Town due south of Gunnison.
Team HQ – ranch that the team requisitioned as a defensible team HQ.
Waunita Hot Springs – Town due East of Gunnison. Reportedly in bad shape due to shortages of food and medicine.