Tomorrow is the 4th of July where, in America, we celebrate Independence Day. It's a time for remembering our history and celebrating with copious amounts of hot dogs and beer alongside friends and family.
For those who've served, it's a time to remember old comrades and shed a few proud tears at the sound of our national anthem. You don't have to be an American to know the feeling you get when your nation's flag is raised, and for a moment you pause to reflect what it means to you.
This Independence Day I'd like to say how proud I am to be surrounded by patriots like you. We come from around the world, but we've joined together as a team, maybe even a family.
Every time I get an email from one of you, and we spend a few minutes swapping sea stories, it takes me back to my time in the Marine Corps when I felt like I could take over the world. I feel that way again, and it's only been because of your unwavering support.
With your help, I want to make Corps Justice a brand that is recognized around the globe as one that stands for patriotism and outstanding heroes. We don't have enough heroes in the world. This 4th of July, YOU are one of mine.
C. G. Cooper
P.S. Thanks to you guys National Burden is climbing the charts on Amazon.
P.P.S If you haven't had a chance to submit a review for National Burden, feel free to do so here: http://amzn.com/B00L2X37QS
P.P.P.S Thought you might like to get a little taste of Lethal Misconduct below.
"Lethal Misconduct" Excerpt
(WARNING: SUPER DUPER LIGHTLY PROOFED AND EDITED. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...)
North Florida Regional Medical Center
7:00am, April 6th
He walked with a practiced air, looking perfectly at home in his blue scrubs and well worn camouflage patterned scrub cap. Hospital staff were too busy with morning turnover and rounds to notice him. Besides, he looked like any number of surgeons, trim, serious, all business.
It hadn’t been hard getting into the most secure halls of the hospital. He’d been in too many to count and knew the level of deference given to doctors. He was a doctor, after all, just not a physician currently affiliated with any facility within the United States. It wasn’t impossible that someone would stop him, but it had only happened once in his travels. In the end, he’d reluctantly aborted that mission.
Finding patients was the easy part. Selecting the right one was tricky considering his dwindling supply. Success was paramount. What he wouldn’t give for access to his old lab. But that was impossible.
He ignored the bored look of a sleepy nurse and grabbed a chart from a metal rack. It wasn’t his first trip into the ward. He’d had to find his target beforehand, had to make sure the patient fit the profile. Failure would not be tolerated. He wouldn’t allow it.
Examining the chart as he walked, the intruder scanned the notes confirming his own determination. Diagnosed weeks earlier. Cancer. Terminal. According to her physician’s scribbled notes, she’d been told, but didn’t believe she was dying.
He opened the door to Room 307 after knocking lightly. “Hello?” Came the sleepy voice from inside and slight creaking of the hospital bed.
The doctor switched on the light inhaling the smell he’d come to associate with impending death, antiseptic cleaning solutions and a forced cleanliness.
“How are you feeling this morning, Mrs. Miller?” he asked, still studying the chart, careful not to make direct eye contact.
“Better, doctor. I really think the radiation is working.” Mrs. Miller squinted. “I’m sorry, are you one of my doctors?”
“Not really. Doctor Peterson is an old friend. He wanted me to stop by and have a look at your progress. Just trying to go the extra mile.”
Mrs. Miller nodded, relaxing. “That’s very kind of you, doctor.”
“It’s my pleasure, Mrs. Miller. Now, feel free to get back to sleep if you’d like. I’m just going to do a quick check on all these beeping things over here and then I’ll get out of your hair.”
Mrs. Miller smiled sleepily, her once round face now tightening around her cheekbones. According to her records, she’d already lost sixty pounds.
Turning away from the patient, the doctor pretended to be checking the array of monitors behind the bed. Once he knew Mrs. Miller was no longer looking, he slipped a capped syringe out of his pants pocket. It took less than twenty seconds to inject the solution into the IV line that was providing Mrs. Miller with a slow drip of saline and electrolytes.
He recapped the syringe and replaced it in his pocket, stepping around the bed to look down on the patient. Like every time before, he swore there was already a visible change in the patient, but he knew intuitively that it would take days for the drug to run its course.
Patting the resting woman on her hand, he said, “Hope you feel better soon, Mrs. Miller.”
She nodded with closed eyes and drifted off to sleep as he slipped out the door, now hurrying to leave, his guard up. This was the trickiest part, mostly because his adrenaline raced. He’d been careful to avoid the video cameras, opting for a circuitous route to the ICU.
Not five minutes later, Dr. Hunter Price stepped out of the service exit, the smell of rotting vegetables hitting him from the dumpster sitting askew against the brick wall next to the door. Glancing around, he grabbed the backpack he’d stashed behind the garbage receptacle, quickly slipping on a pair of track pants, windbreaker and stuffing his scrub cap in the bag in exchange for the white Nike running visor.
Price slung the backpack over one shoulder and headed toward the bus stop, knowing he was cutting it close before the next bus arrived. As he stepped to cross the street, still keeping his eyes downcast, he heard a car door shut. Looking up as casually as he could, his gaze locked onto the man standing next to a forest green Ford F-150, his arm resting on the side of the truck bed. He wore a pair of black wraparound sunglasses despite the overcast day. His dark tie and suit and made him look like a Secret Service agent, only with an added hint of menace that seemed to radiate from the man’s placid demeanor.
Dr. Price increased his speed, noticing the man walking in pursuit, stalking like a panther. Fifty yards to go to the bus stop where three nurses stood chatting and puffing away on cigarettes. To his left Price heard the revving of a large engine. The bus was coming.
He could feel the man behind him, closing the gap with his longer strides. How had they found him? He’d been careful, more so than in months past. And yet…
The bus come to a halt and opened its doors for the waiting passengers who hastily took last drags before throwing their still burning cigs on the ground. He was fifty feet from the bus, forty. He waved to the bus driver who motioned for him to hurry up.
He broke into a jog, thankful for the impatient public servant staring at him in annoyance. Dr. Price hopped aboard the bus, handing over his prepaid bus pass, glancing furtively behind him.
“That guy with you?” asked the driver, pointing.
“No, uh, he works for my wife’s lawyer. Trying to serve me papers. Can you step on it?”
The overweight bus driver took a split second to make his decision, closing the doors with a hiss and stepping on the gas just as the man in sunglasses reached to knock on the door.
Dr. Hunter Price breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks.”
“No problem. Just went through a nasty divorce last year. I fucking hate lawyers.”
Price nodded and watched as his shadow passed far behind, still staring at the bus like a statue. Menacing in his posture.
Dr. Price took a seat, his legs shaking, trying to figure out how he could avoid being found in the future. Then again, if he didn’t find a way to replenish his supplies, it wouldn’t matter.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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