PG Header

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Bug-Shoe Detective: A Bright Night At The Office...(Coninued 7)

Tony's answer worried Vance a good bit. "Czar Nicholas" was a defunct uranium mine. There were only a couple of ranches anywhere near it. However, the mine had been quite extensive in size, with many horizontal shafts and large piles of slightly radioactive tailings all over the area. A large crater could have opened up old mine shafts and destabilized others, or sent tons of vaporized radioactive particles into the air.

"That's not good." said Vance. "Nope." said Tony. Vance knew it was not going to be a quiet night. "Tony, let's call in Joe Morgan and a few other deputies and go check this out." decided Vance. "I'll make sure Joe has Geiger counters and safety gear. You get Zen in the Jeep and grab blankets and coffee." Vance knew Tony would have coffee made, he practically lived on the stuff.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Bug-Shoe Detective: A Bright Night At The Office...(Continued 6)

Vance walked around to Tony's back yard, calling out: "Hey, how's the World's Greatest Expert On Starshine tonight?" Tony's big german shepherd Zen got up to greet Vance, tail wagging. Vance patted Zen on the head, and then pulled a piece of beef jerky out of his pocket and tossed it in Zen's direction. It did not land on the ground. Not even close.

"I hope you realize that, if you feed him another one of those, we'll have to vacate the neighborhood." said Tony without looking up from his telescope. Zen looked at Tony, cocked his head and whuffed slightly, then put his head on his paws and turned his eyes up toward the stars.

"You see the star fall?" asked Vance. "Yup" said Tony. Vance queried: "Any idea where it came down?" "Yup. Out at Czar Nicholas." said Tony in a serious tone.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Bug-Shoe Detective: A Bright Night At The Office... (Continued 5)

Vance stepped out of the Jeep at Tony's place. So far, the scanner had nothing unusual: a traffic stop, a couple of reports of the meteorite falling, but nothing about where it had landed.

Tony's house was a fairly large adobe home, with the curves at the corners and roof line that softened its lines to the eye. It had a three-foot tall adobe wall around the yard. 

Vance could hear music playing out back, and there was a light on inside. That meant that Tony was likely out in his back yard with his telescope and binoculars. That was a hopeful thought for Vance.
Tony was an amateur astronomer, and quite a good one. If he was out back sky-watching, Tony had likely seen the meterorite fall - and that meant he might have an idea where it had landed...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Bug-Shoe Detective: A Bright Night At The Office (Continued 4)

Vance resisted the urge to turn on his favorite radio show - "Coast-To-Coast Radio" as he drove in the direction of the meteorite crash. Instead, he listened to the drone of a portable police radio scanner as he drove. Tonight was a night for driving with the top up on the Jeep. It was too cold to leave the top down so that the night sky could be seen overhead. That was a pleasure reserved for the warm nights of late Spring and Summer.

Vance was actually a Detective for the Luna county sheriff's department. He had a police radio with him, but had gone off duty half an hour before the star fell. He would only turn it on if something urgent came over on the scanner. "I'll drive out to Tony Nightmoon's place and see if he wants to ride out with me to look for the new crater." thought Vance. He'd been friends with Tony since they were little kids.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Bug-Shoe Detective: A Bright Night At The Office... (Continued 3)

Vance did use a computer and cell phone. Those were state-of-the-art devices - of course themed in retro-detective - and he knew that they were necessary tools for a modern agency and for research. He also had a very functional pair of Western boots in the 1950's Jeep that he drove.

The Jeep was in perfect condition and had the original motor with mechanical points and a carburetor. If a nuke ever went off, Vance's Jeep would still run. He always carried tools, a blanket, water, a dozen L.E.D. flashlights, a .45, and a World War II camouflage cloth from the old Army Air Corps. If Vance needed to vanish for awhile or be hard to find, he had the means and a few places out in the desert to go to.

Vance McCray was the kind of fellow who believed in being prepared for most things that life could throw at you.

Vance locked up the office and headed Southwest out of town, in the direction he'd seen the green flash. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Bug-Shoe Detective: A Bright Night At The Office (Continued 2)

"Wow, that came down close." thought Vance. "I'd better take a ride out there and take a look." he thought, realizing that there were several ranch houses out in the direction where the meteorite had struck. "Strange how green the light - even the crash-flare - from that thing had been."

Vance loved retro.  He was the kind of guy who ha been fascinated with classic detective stories as a kid. He loved the look of the 1940's detectives portrayed on old television shows and in old movies.

Vance wore a suit and tie and black hat to work. He had an old black "Ma Bell" rotary phone on his desk in the office, ad the desk itself was a period hardwood antique. The office was classic woo paneling and frosted glass. He a coat hanger post next to the door to the back office. He kept paper files on all of his cases. Vance had gone to a specialty shop and had a classic Hermes seafoam-green typewriter modified so that it doubled as a computer keyboard. Anything he typed on it was also input to his computer.

The Bug-Shoe Detective: A Bright Night At The Office...

Vance McCray stepped out of the office door into the cool night air of New Mexico in March. It's cold at night in the desert. The air is cold and full of stars.

The Milky Way sprawled across the New Mexico night like a soft wash of brilliance, filled with a trillion bright stars. A satellite was a bright point of man-made light that sped across the glowing night in three  minutes as Vance watched. It was one of the things he loved the most about New Mexico. The cold, clear beauty of those night skies was a true wonder. No surprise that people thought they saw starnge things in these skies. The whole universe was visible up there.

Suddenly a bright star fell from Heaven and shot across the night, howling and burning. The falling star crashed to Earth West of town in a brilliant flash of light with a bang...