Night Vision Goggles

Officer Tim Walanski slowed the car, circling the little dirt turnaround as he held his breath, horrified at the damage the dirt rode could be doing to his new Plymouth cruiser. He crashed through deep holes and bounced over huge, bolder-sized rocks. He was following a pair of dirt wheel tracks which crested a deserted hilltop next to a large housing area. The cruiser scraped through the dry, lifeless bushes as they scraped down the sides of the cruiser, clutching at the only signs of life in their dry, barren existence as if desperately seeking escape.
 Officer Tim was not simply out sightseeing, he was Code-5, on assignment. A series of burglaries had taken place in the nearby housing area, and he was there on stakeout. He believed it was a token gesture to please the civilians. Burglary stakeout had a 100 to 1 shot of ever succeeding. The prowler had a million places to rob, but a cop could only watch one. A famous park burglar had gone nearly ten years before he was finally caught, and the authorities had staked out nearly every park on Earth.
 Normally, such attention would not be given to a simple string of burglaries, except for the fact that his captain lived in the complex, and the residents were screaming for justice. Tim was there to provide it. Tim would rather be out on the highways, cruising along and enjoying the scenery, but Tim was a rookie and Tim did what he was told.
 Tim was mad, and Tim was bored, but Tim liked being employed. He did not join the force to sit amid a jungle of tumble weeds and sage brush. He wanted action, high speed pursuits, take-downs, and investigations.
 "This sucks," Tim said as he turned off his engine. He sat there in silence, listening to the click of cooling metal, checking out his surroundings. They too sucked. He could see that a thousand teenagers had used the area to get high, get drunk, or get fucked. The area was littered with paper, bottles, and condoms. It was dirty and dusty, and it stank.
 "This sucks," he said again. He opened his thermos of coffee and poured the metal cup half full. He watched the condensation from the stopper drip on his pants, while he replaced the stopper and sipped his coffee. His shift had started at 5:00 o'clock pm. It was now 6:20 pm. He had to sit out in the sagebrush for at least five more hours, before he could head back to the station.
 "Fucking shit," he whispered, while digging an apple out of his briefcase. He punched up the latest info on his computer screen. Nothing had changed, the same perpetrators were being sought throughout the state, and his own burglaries simply ready "Under Investigation". Yeah, he knew about their investigation. He WAS their investigation, he thought as he bit into the apple.
 Tim suddenly remembered the large black plastic case he had been given. It came under the heading of special ops equipment. He slid the cup up on the dash, clamped the apple in his teeth and turned to pull the case out of the back seat. He turned the case so it faced him and opened it.
 He had been in the Army for several years, and even though he had never used them, he recognized the night scope gleaming in the case before him. The black foam rubber in the case still smelled new. He pried the night vision scope out and turned it in wonder. Technically, it was day/night vision monoculars, he observed as he pulled the user's guide from the case. It had it's own 9 volt infrared light source and a simple on/off lever. It was idiot proof.
 "Fucking A," he said, taking the scope out and looking at it in wonder. He knew it was expensive, up to a thousand dollars, the last time he'd checked. He held it up to his eye, it was a normal scope in the daylight. Good, he didn't have to worry about burning out the unit in bright lights, or his eyeball. Suddenly his day became infinitely brighter. He may be pulling shit duty, but at least he had a grown-up toy to play with. As he finished his apple, and sipped his coffee, he couldn't wait for night to fall.
 
 "Seven Delta Six, what's your status?" the radio asked, destroying his daydream of pulling over a woman in a short skirt.
 "Dispatch, this is Seven Delta Six, 10- 75, Code-5," Tim said hurriedly, meaning he was on sight and staking out the area.
 "10-4, Seven Delta Six, Captain Raleigh wishes to inform you that he will be 10-10 at this location. He doesn't wish to disturb the perpetrator by arriving in a marked unit."
 "10-4, dispatch, I've got it covered. His family is in good hands," Tim said, opening his sandwich.
 "Dispatch out," the radio said.
 He turned it down and watched the lights blinking on in the nearby housing area, while he chewed his sandwich. Night was falling. A car pulled up behind him, stopped, then backed out of sight with great speed. Tim laughed, eating his sandwich. He doubted if they would have sex again for at least a week, after that scare. Suddenly he wondered if the car might have belonged to the perpetrator, rather than young lovers. What better place to hide your car during a robbery?
 Suddenly the lights came on in 2-h. He was very familiar with that apartment, he had attended semi- formal functions in Captain Raleigh's apartment before. There had been one wetting-down ceremony and a bachelor party for the desk sergeant. He also new and worshiped Mrs. Raleigh, aka Sadie, a 32 year old blonde that looked like a Valeric right out of Norse mythology. She was strong, slender, and physically perfect. He couldn't help but lick his lips every time he saw her, which did not exactly endear him to the Captain, but did wonders for his wife's ego.
 Tim grabbed up the monocular and held it too his eye. She was untying her hair. She shook it out while looking out the window in his direction. Tim knew she couldn't see him in the evening darkness, she was looking at the lights of the city, far beyond him. He turned and looked himself. Yes, it was a million dollar view at night, with several magnificently- lit freeways one bordering the Kern River and reflecting in it's surface. Car lights lit the nearby roads like Christmas lights, red in one direction, white in the other. And beyond all this was the magnificent lights of Bakersfield. Bakersfield was splendid at night, with a million multi-colored lights shimmering in the residual desert heat.
 Tim was distracted by headlights flashing on the scenery in his mirror. They were bouncing, shining up toward the sky as the auto weeded it's way up the hill.
 Was it a prowler, or a young couple looking for a make-out area? He couldn't sit there wondering, he had a job to do.
 Tim threw open his door, grabbed the monocular and pelted down the road toward the headlights. He ducked into the bushes, just as the headlights dropped, highlighting the area where he'd been running. Safely hidden in the brush, he brought the monocular up to his eye and focused in on the approaching vehicle. There was one occupant in the vehicle, a young white male of about 18 or 19. He thought this was suspicious until the car drew closer and he could make out the back of a female's head, bobbing in his lap.

...CONTINUES IN THE MEMBERS SECTION