Dusty - Silicon Snow

Catanich returns to the thrilling historical fiction he has so brilliantly made his own. This is the first of seven side stories from the infamous Gopal affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged series of novels of theft, conspiracy and espionage.

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Dusty - Silicon Snow

Chapter 6

One thing about being shot is how self-consciousness you become as you heal. The scars label you, brand you and everyone has to ask, "What happened" or "can I touch"?

After two weeks of searching around Half Moon Bay, a 20x binocular spotted him sun bathing, shirt off and the two scars looking almost like his. There he was. Finally, Dusitmier had found the last of the guys that shot his partner.

Would it be two quick "taps" up close and personal or a single long range shot just to get it over with? He knew either way would be sloppy and very risky. No, this would have to be clean, untraceable where the body could never be found. How many times in his past did the smallest amount of evidence trip up a well thought out plan? And now the cops want to use this new thing called "biological trace evidence". No, this must be thought out, implemented by someone else that would leave no trail back to him.

It was getting very close to 4 in the afternoon when this "Deeter guy" got up to get another beer. Also about then, two other fully dressed guys entered the pool area and called out to him. The tall guy, about 6 foot did most of the talking, but the short guy, 5'6" just entered the sliding door of the apartment and came back out with two bottles of beer.

It was after about 5 minutes of talking when this Deeter guy lifted his shirt and showed them the wounds. "Yea, it was something to talk about alright. Two inches more to the right and you wouldn't be bragging about it" Dusitmier thought.

Then the short guy said something and they walked back into the apartment. Ten minutes later, they locked up and left thru the front door. The tall one was carrying a brief case and the short one was carrying a large cardboard box that he placed in the back of this Deeter's van. Then the other two walked over to the black Porsche and drove off with Deeter following behind.

Although it was only 4 minutes back to his car, Dusty knew it would be hard to catch up without speeding. So as he hit PCH south bound, he accelerated to 50 mph only to see them on the right side of the road pulling into McDonalds. With a quick turnaround, he pulled into the parking lot across the street and waited.

It wasn't long until two girls walked up to them and started talking. Then the shortest blonde walked with the tall guy out to the van and opened the rear doors. It was easy to see her give him the bills, but Dusty couldn't see what she put into her purse.

With that, the girls left and so did the guys. Deeter left in the van heading north. The other two headed south and were the ones he followed.

As they turned east on Route 91 and accelerated, Dusty did as well. It was at the top of the hill that they made the right turn onto Skyline Blvd. heading south and accelerated. It was about two miles south when the red lights came on.

"Shit" Dusty said. He was going 45 in a 30 and was now being stopped by a cop. The second "shit" was that he was now going to lose them.

"Good afternoon. May I see your driver's license and registration?" the Officer said as he walked up. "The reason, I stopped you today was that you were going 45 in a 30 zone. Was there a reason?"

"Not really, I have a job interview down town and I'm late" he lied. "Do you know Chief Jefferies?"

"No sir I don't, I'm San Mateo Sherriff not Santa Clara Sherriff. Are you in law enforcement now"?

"Was. Not now, I'm checking into it again".

"Well Mr. Dusitmier, I'm not going to site you today but do slow down". As he turned away, he turned back around and said, "Hey, you know, we're looking now as well. Maybe you should check out San Mateo while you up here".

That afternoon, it was one of those "what the hell" moments that Dusty did when he passed by the Santa Clara Sherriff building and walked in to fill out their application. With his background, there wasn't "a chance in hell" but isn't this where the phrase comes from.

History shows that any community that is growing at a rapid rate like Santa Clara will lower their standards for hiring. Companies do it all the time. So it was a major surprise when the letter came 8 weeks later for Dusty to come in for a preliminary interview and screening tests.

The interview went well, and with his experience, he breezed thru it. The battery of tests was something else. As with all the candidates, came "we will be contacting you one way or the other within 4 weeks".

In exactly four weeks, he received a request for a personnel interview. It said, "Plan on staying all day from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm".

Many of the new recruits had combat experience in Viet Nam and Sherriff Oliver Balkan was a two-tour veteran himself. As a Marine, he knew combat. He also had his opinion on the Colt 45 that was standard police issue at the time. Good gun, not enough rounds.

In his memory were images of the close quarter combat that final day when their position was over run. The fighting was hand-to-hand, his rifle was empty, his 45 was empty, his knife was broken, and he was left fighting with only rocks, sticks, and water. Thirty one of his friends died that day, but the only thing he remembered was that when his 45 went "click", his friend from 3rd grade died because Balkan's gun didn't fire. To this day, he still felt guilty for not having just one more round.

Dusty explained what happened, the close quarter situation, and that he felt that a 15 round clip was justified. To his surprise, the Berretta was standard issue in Santa Clara for just that reason.

"Look" the Captain said.  "Anyone who has been up close and personnel will never play by those rules again. The days of the ‘good-guy' drawing last ended with the last cowboy movie. Look, I have to be honest; it might take 2 months to process the paper work on you. In the mean time, would you be interested in private investigation job? I have a friend that needs someone to look into a problem he has."

"Sure," Dusty said. "I'm open to anything right now."




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