The Bitch is Back
Most of us encounter souls in life we love to hate and hate to love, love to talk about, dread the next encounter, yet love the fascination of what may come next, often testing the limits of ones mercy, understanding and patience.
Herein is an introduction to one of those souls and how it reappears from hiatus.
First the big picture......
06:30 at the Lifeguard Station and DJ has called his crew in as the storm nicknamed, The Blob, has been classified as a Cyclone moving slowly towards the Island nation archipelago. He’s been on a of series video conferences for hours with various EU officials, Police Chief Constable Ryan and the European Frontier Border and Coast Guard Agency, Aka; Frontex. Frontex needs DJ’s nimble, fast, well equipped, professional crew as their assets are stretched thin.
Off the Southern coast the Sea has changed from long smooth majestic four meter rolling surges to even bigger rolling white caps. The North side of the Islands are spared for now allowing a professional beach volleyball tournament to play on with just under ten thousand spectators and a half dozen or so international sports broadcasters . The weather is clear with high altitude cirrus clouds displaying that air brushed streak appearance on sky blue with a tint of yellowish gold from high altitude Sahara dust particles.
The classic calm before the storm.
The Lifeguard crew gathers on the ground floor for the morning briefing.
The sounds of sheet metal lockers opening and slamming, the jokes, jabs, jives, neoprene Sea rescue suits strewn out, rescue bags being packed, ropes, tow lines, carabiners, first aid gear, water bottles, flares, glow sticks, boxes of high carb energy bars, rescue harnesses, rescue life vest, helmets, waterproof spot lights, headlamps, strobes, (allot of batteries being changed out), radios checked, etc.
The energy of a team in the repetitive cycle of check, check double check.
It’s all hands on deck.
In a stroke of luck, tragically or comically, depending on how one looks at it. Two of DJ’s star Rescue Cowboys, Boris, Aka; Bad Boy Boris, Aka; (Triple B) has been kicked out of his girlfriend’s flat, again, resorting to lodging at the Lifeguard station sleeping in the bunk room next to the equipment garage. He’s been bunking with weird Renni; yoga master, capoeira instructor, big wave surfer who last winter competed in the famed monster wave surf challenge at Nazare Portugal and surf safari guru of the West African coast with almost a million followers on his blog.
Renni basically lives in a tent for the season at a nearby government owned camp ground that’s over booked at the moment forcing him to temporarily relocate.
Now before casting judgement on those two, as some cool, rouge, Lifeguard beach bum types. Not so fast. They have an e-commerce platform attached to the national parks, Nature preserves, very lucrative.
Or as DJ jokingly says; “those rescue cowboys are smarter than they look”.
The point is; with Boris and Renni residing at the Lifeguard station, besides their normal A team, team leader-Lifeguard duties, going to the gym allot, gorging themselves on so called organic takeaway food and assorted off duty evening libations, to DJ’s amazement, they organized, categorized, stocked, cleaned, repaired and replaced equipment in the entire Lifeguard rescue HQ. So well so, it would be the envy of any Naval Officer station inspection.
It makes the early morning ramp-up, equipment check, kit prep, all go that much more smoothly.
It’s the ambiance of a Sea Rescue Station vibrating. The smell of saline Sea salt, mixed with sun protection ointments, and someone has lit a stick of organic good vibe- spiritual-incense blessed by a Buddhist Monk that has a faint wisp of high grade marijuana, but it’s not. It’s intended to waken protective Sea spirits and provoke mercy from the weather God’s. (Something like that).
Gabby and Trix setup the beamer (projector) and do the roll call. Marina is floating around the upstairs office like a ballerina, printing out the latest Op’s info sealing it in plastic, uploading files to the cloud network and fielding endless phone calls.
DJ jogs down stairs, clip board notes in hand.
The greetings from the squad of; good morning Cap, morning sir, Captain.
DJ gets right to the point.
“This is the real deal ladies and gentleman, this is part of the reason why you’re all here, and our Island nation needs you. At present we have about two hundred thousand visitors on the Islands plus two cruise ships in layover at port”.
Using a laser pointer at satellite live feeds projected on the wall. The monster storm comes to life as he goes over the deployment strategies for both land and Sea crews.
“We have about 24hours before it makes landfall on the South, South West coast. So we have to work fast and furious, the right way the first time because when this bastard of a storm hits there’s no second chance”.
There’s a moment of silence as the crew gazes at the Blob SAT live feed.
“Estimates are there will be about one Lifeguard for about every three thousand people on the coastal areas. Evacuate the entire South Coast immediately; close the beaches, parks and recreation areas, storm flags up, batten down all the Lifeguard watch stations right and tight”.
“Boat Crews, evacuate all recreation watercraft from the South to South West. All of them! There is no mooring, no overnight outings, no camping, no day cruising".
Everyone! Situational awareness is critical, if one crew finishes their sector early, team up with the next crew and assist them. All personal GPS trackers on-active, and everyone needs two emergency strobe lights. Most of you will be on duty until 9 or 10 tonight”.
DJ pauses a minute to allow the team leaders to soak it all in.
A team of world class 1st responders that can absorb a plan, stay cool, lead other smaller teams and improvise i.e. make, create, innovate out of the box strategies and solutions on the fly in a dynamic fluid challenging environment.
The Q&A’s are spot on, professional with a mix of creative solutions as DJ field’s questions and goes through a list of scenarios using a variety of topo maps and 3D Geo location graphics on the big screen. Sounds a bit like a military operation, it is.
DJ can see some of the seasonal part timers and Jr. Lifeguards are clearly nervous, stressed and senses fear. This week will be a baptism by fire for rookies here.
“Any more questions”?
A hand raises from the back of the room.
“Cap how are you get’n out to the forward position on Gozo Island”?
“Helicopter Renni, I’ll rendezvous with you, Trix, Gabby and Boris’s crews at about midday”.
“Awesome Cap! Are you fly’n with the Bitch”?!
DJ stares towards the ceiling, shakes his head with a smirk, both hands raised as if asking a guardian angel to strike Renni dumb, as giggles and whispers spread through the crew, a paper airplane seems to soar in from nowhere and hit Renni in the side of the head.
“Ok team dismissed, lets Rock and Roll!”
DJ suits up, check’s his gear, then out the back gate to an adjacent meadow of wild low growth grass.
A low frequency vibration emanates in the distance, the kind you feel before you hear, then the tempo beat of helicopter blades cutting the cool morning thick marine air, a few seconds later the wining scream of turbine fan-jets.
Catching a glimpse of the low flying aircraft meters above the coastline closing in fast, instinctively dropping to a crouch position as it screams bye on a hair raising low pass, then the rush of rotor wash air turbulence and that kerosene smell of jet exhaust.
The Lifeguard crew in the boat yard and parking area lets out a round of hoots and howls, cheers and wow’s liken to home town fans at a football match that just scored a goal.
Off the coast, the helicopter climbs hundreds of meters over the pastel aqua hues, using the cool air trade winds for an accelerated lift. And then it seemingly stalls in an almost slow motion maneuver with its nose pointed at the blue heavens streaked with cirrus clouds.
The aircraft appears to be in a slow vertical drift backwards, then points its nose straight down at the crystal blue waters, pulling off a gravity defying acrobatic hammerhead maneuver, pulls up with a hard to port banking turn catching the trade winds, leveling off grooming the water’s surface trailing a vapor swirling affect from the rotor wash a few meters over the Sea surface.
The turbine scream, heading right at DJ, it pulls up again just over the rugged coast line, moves into an easy graceful decent sideways for a perfect feather lite touch down.
DJ takes notice of the aircraft, a brand new twin jet sleek machine from the famed British Italian joint venture. In laymen terms, it could be described as; a refined engineered piece, pumped up on raw British jet power and that Italian Stallion aerodinamica sculptured fine tuned finesse.
A new state of the art, fast, medium size, streamlined search and rescue aircraft that has some radical military applications customized from its pedigreed core design team. As it turns out, it’s a demo from the manufacture to help out with SAR Op’s, a show off piece with high-tech sex-appeal, PR for a top tier global client list and wow the company shareholders.
But that’s not all that catches DJ’s eye when the chopper powers down.
It’s the pilot that displays “Fly Bitch” stenciled in black on that bright yellow Helmut.
The pilot lifts up the tinted Helmut Sun visor showing a few strands of dull, dishwater blond hair. Dangling a shoulder length pony tail, she blows DJ a kiss with a wink.
DJ returns the greeting with a middle finger gesture and a smile.
Side door slides open, Chief Ryan jumps out to assist DJ with his gear. DJ glances at Ryan, rolls his eyes and mouths the words “the bitch is back”? Ryan shrugs his shoulders and does the traditional catholic heart cross and kisses his fingers with a smile.
DJ hops in the Co-Pilot seat and straps in.
The pilot is the famous, more like, notorious Sophie Bertrand.
To get a grasp on what’s about to happen here, one needs a quick introduction as to what she really is.
Crude, rude, foul mouthed, nasty insults, vulgar, brash and no friends.
Yet she likes to hang out with the rescue team and tries to be accepted.
She’s got one talent that’s the envy of every man, woman and child, inspiring all the girls and boys.
She is; the real deal legendary bad-ass helicopter search and rescue pilot.
She grew up on the streets of Paris. She used to drive a taxi in that big city and was a part time stripper when she was younger. She says that taught her to drive machines in challenging environments and test the limits of her body while showing off for allot of cash tips.
Live’s up in every way to that “Fly Bitch” on her Helmut.
Former French Army Captain, Combat helicopter pilot. Shot down three times, four crash landings, captured by the Taliban, escaped, and test pilot for the famed Anglo British-Italian Aero Space JV allowing her to fly the latest equipment.
She survives in a man’s world, respected and feared.
She has a long list of warnings for low level flybys, violating air space, landing in restricted areas but she still has her license through some mystery political connections.
She has a history of stormy relationships with both men and woman. Attractive, in a female handsome way, and the mystery of a hotshot pilot fascinates everyone.
She walks with a slight limp; she tries to cover scars from being badly burned on one side of her body, and is missing a breast due to her combat injuries.
Her bedroom is full of cuddly stuffed animals and she often cries herself asleep alone.
She collects unicorns, pictures of exotic flowers, buys children’s toys so she can play with the kids at the orphanage.
It’s DJ that communicates best with her professionally. It’s DJ’s wife Portia that helps her feel accepted and makes sure she’s invited to social gatherings, and even helps her dress up, takes her shopping, lunching and girl stuff that no one else dares engage in because of her abrasive social behavior.
She has a love crush on someone in the upper echelons of government power. DJ isn’t sure if that’s a man or woman and Portia won’t tell him, it’s a girl’s secret thing. But DJ’s wife says she’ll need a love rescue from people she trusts when the time is right.
The rescue squad will tell you she's a stone cold professional and wicked smart.
Once high jacked at gun point by a harden Russian gangster posing as an AID worker attempting an escape off the Island. She literally scared the shit out him, defecated and vomited all over the rear of her Aircraft during the failed air piracy attempt.
When police showed up at the remote landing zone, the notorious gangster was in his soiled underwear on his hands and knees using his designer clothes to wipe up, sobbing and whimpering. Somehow Sophie managed to secure a wide band cargo-tether to his neck as a restraining device, holding it at about a meter or so in length like a dog leash, while live streaming the Moscow Capo cleaning up on her phone. The arresting police sergeant told DJ and Chief Ryan, it looked a little BDSM, but no one was seriously injured so they took their time before they hand cuffed the gangster, just so he could finish cleaning up a bit more. And it was a bit of a show.
Bad, likes being a bad girl and shes good at it.
In a chance encounter at a trendy local beach bar, Sophie called Gabby a burnt cookie, a racial slur, then said her lipstick looks like it was scribbled on by someone with downs syndrome, and called Trix a tattooed toad. Sized up Trix’s boyfriend and said “any slut can pick up a school boy pony at a bus stop, but it takes a real woman to catch a grown race horse and ride it properly”. Then grabbed his crotch in a hard squeeze as he buckled over in screeching pain.
As one can imagine, that didn’t go down well with the two power rescue girls. Needless to say when it was all over, there was allot of broken glass, alcohol, hair, lipstick and furniture scattered about the premises.
Supposedly, hopefully and DJ believes at the moment it’s all been patched up and Sophie has profusely apologized with gifts, taking Gabby’s son and his friends for a helicopter tour for his birthday. Portia was the peace negotiator in the middle of all this; she assured DJ all is well.
Sophie has an internal radar for people lost at sea and finding things in that vast open aqua world. She has a spiritual relationship with the marine weather that allows her to foresee changes before they happen.
It’s her raw determination, mastery pilot skills, rule breaking fuck- off attitude that will find whatever is missing out there and find a few other things DJ and Chief Ryan rather not be found.
In the big picture of search, rescue, recovery, dead or alive, they’re all coming home with insults, funny, cold, crude, rude, trash talk and hilarious in the gutter locker room jokes.
Love her, hate her, pity her, you’ll be rescued one way or another and everyone will be offended and thankful.
NAV+Terrain Software Booted-Up/On Screen*
GPS Coordinates In-Check*
Course set for Gozo Island. Chief Ryan and DJ need a birds eye view before they fly out to the outer edge of the storm, hoping to get a visual on that mystery shape with no ID that left a signature on the SAT radar stream.
Whatever their Nemesis of the past and now present is up to, it’s gonna suffer out there making it a vulnerable target. Its not about who wins or loses, good vs. evil, its about who and what is going to survive. Either way, facing an incoming storm and a storm of the past is going to get ugly for them all. What ever has been eluding Interpol and a handful notorious international spy agencies isn't really a mystery for DJ and Ryan anymore. As the saying goes, if there's a poisonous snake in the garden, kill it, don't build a zoo around it. Easier said than done, but you gotta get an ID on it first.
There's two things the stealth, mystery, dark cartel doesn't have today. Two Pro's that know their boss from the past that can predict their next moves from a small piece of signature data. And a Fly Bitch that's gonna track their ass down in a storm. Risky or Crazy? Or liken to a profession of their past? We have all have ghost, but living in one and being one, is a gray area in soul searching, clarity comes with hindsight.
Something out there, on the edge of that storm is about to have an encounter that will more than scare the shit out of it. And that will be a ghost story for their Cartel boss, if he believes it or not, before he decides if they live or die. Aint that a bitch*.