Saturday, September 1, 2012
As Lane continued to roll down the interstate at more than 80 miles per hour, he thought about how to get Justin to safety as fast as possible. He knew the slug from the sniper's rifle would have caused serious damage to Justin's body, even if it didn't hit a vital organ on its way through his flesh. Lane's mind was working overtime as he keyed up the mic on his communications radio for the Langley office. "Tony, how far out is air support?" Lane knew his voice was tense and the sounds coming from his mouth didn't even sound like his voice. "Lane, we found a DEA chopper on its way back from a border run. They have a medic and supplies on board. We are working on a meeting point for you now." "Great!" Lane replied with obvious excitement and relief in his voice. "How far out are they?" "Four minutes max", Tony replied. "They say there's a hill about 2 miles ahead of you, and it will provide some cover for you, as there is a grove of trees there that you can pull into." "Ok, that's great Tony!We will get there as soon as possible." "Ok, you cant miss the turnoff, it's a little dirt road to your right, and the trees are about a half mile down behind a little knoll." "Sure, we will be there, you just get that chopper on the ground now!" Lane keyed up his CB and told Justin what they were planning. Justin's voice was obviously relieved and yet still weak as he replied and acknowledged that he understood Lane's directions. The two trucks raced down the interstate, and Lane spotted the chopper heading towards the rendezvous point from the south. He slowed his truck down and made the right turn onto the dirt road leading towards where the chopper was just setting down. Lane eased his truck onto the shoulder and didn't even wait for the brakes to fully set before he was out the door, and on his way to Justin's cab. When he opened the door to the truck, he saw the blood and flesh spattered on the dashboard of the big rig. He stepped up and told Justin to sit still as he unbuckled the seat belt securing him to the driver's seat of the big truck. He helped Justin free himself from the harness and lifted him down. His shirt was soaked with Justin's blood, as he carried him towards the medic who was already running towards them. The medic set his bag on the ground, as Lane eased Justin's body down. Justin looked at Lane and said, "Thanks pal. You saved my life." Lane responded, "I didn't do anything you wouldn't have done for me. We are going to get you fixed up and back on your feet." "I think I'm ok, the bullet passed clean through, and I don't think it damaged anything major." "Ok, you just take it easy, and let this guy patch you up, then we are going to load you on the helicopter, and send you to the ER." "I'm not going to an ER!" Justin responded with a surprising amount of energy. "As soon as he gets me patched up, I'm climbing back in that truck and taking it to Houston." "You're crazy!" Lane stared at his buddy in disbelief. "You can't drive! You just took a slug through the ribs!" The medic looked at Lane, and told him, "He is not as bad as it appears he is. The bullet passed between two ribs, and barely nicked one. He's lost a lot of blood, but not enough to be life threatening." "So, hes going to be ok?" Lane asked. "He should be fine. I have most of the bleeding staunched, but I need to stitch him up. I don't have any morphine to ease the pain though." Justin spoke up and said, " I don't need any morphine, just stitch it up and get me out of here, before that sniper has a chance to set up for a shot on this location. We have been here for 7 minutes, and he will be able to set up before 12 minutes are up, or hes not any good at his job." Lane smiled in amusement at his friend's usual candor and was amazed at how he had figured all this out, even while his flesh oozed blood from a wound the size of a silver dollar. The medic finished stitching Justin's wound shut three minutes later, and told him he was ok to go, as long as he got checked out by a doctor within 24 hours. "Sure," Justin responded, "I will get it checked out". The medic handed him a package of four Loritab pain killer tablets, and told him to use them one at a time as needed for pain. Justin got to his knees and Lane helped him stand up. After Lane had asked him again if he was ok to drive, and Justin affirmed that he was, they walked back to Justin's truck. Lane helped him in the truck, and Justin inspected the damage to his dash. "Is it drivable?" Lane asked him. "I think so. It looks like the alarms are going off just because the dash was hit. I have no gauges, so I will have to stay right with you." "Ok buddy, lets get these things turned around and try to get out of here." Lane would take time to update Tony and the rest of the group in Langley after they were rolling again. Hopefully, by then, they would have a place for them to park for the night. If they were lucky, they would be able to get Justin to a doctor and get his rig's dash fixed.