Both federal Agents been in the captain’s office now for better than twenty minutes were Peter had brought them.
He was tired of waiting on those arrogant Federals and went to his own office.
He was gone for about a week , but there were always work and open cases, not that he was big in office work or should technically be there.
His office was a source of much ridicule by his colleagues, because it was a lot like his home, or in other words a semi chaotic mess.
There was a deer head on the wall. In the left corner a Marine Corps flag and in the right one the flag of the US.
There were stacks of magazines and newspapers, gun cleaning stuff, ammo boxes. File folders, stacks of documents. To one side a rack with hats and rifles and shotguns, the only place of meticulous order in this otherwise chaotic office.
The cleaning staff had long given up on it. He sat down on a truly antique office chair and checked on his messages. Captain Wills and the two agents came in moments later without knocking.
Wills looked around and sighed. ”How often have I asked you to clean up this pig sty?”
Peter felt angry as he said.”Many times, Captain. Many times, but I had other things to do.”
He felt this way because his captain felt it necessary to chastise him before the Feds. Especially the guy calling himself Miller could not completely hide the fact he was enjoying that.
Peter got up. “You are going to tell me now to cooperate with them, right?”
Wills smiled.”That’s exactly what I was going to do.”
Peter grinned back.” Well I am still suspended you said I should take a vacation and I am going right back to it. ”
Miller sneered. ”And that is your best man? Captain Wills if that is your best; I wonder how your worst is.”
The Captain was not amused. ”Listen Agent Miller. I might have some differences with Ranger Baker and I don’t care who you know or who you are in Washington, this is Texas and you play by our rules.”
Wills suddenly rose a few notches in Peter’s opinion and asked sharply. ”So what is this all about? I checked with DPS dispatch and there weren’t any accidents reported anywhere up and down the 54, at least not the last five days. So why the FBI or whatever is outfit you working for snooping around and harassing citizens?”
The Captain crossed his arms.” Their credentials check out and the FBI Office in Washington told me to fully cooperate with them, but I also like to know what kind of case this is.”
Miller motioned his colleague and then cleared a stack of Guns&Ammo magazines of the only visitor's chair, sat down pulling his suit slacks. ”Maybe we did start of the wrong way, Rangers. I must say I am impressed how fast you pull that artillery piece of yours. It is a Smith and Wesson 500, 4 inch barrel is it not?”
Before Peter could say something, Wills said.” He is the best shot you will ever meet. I am sure we can all compare side arms later but I like to get an answer and I am sure Peter does too.” “Our case is a matter of National Security and we can’t divulge many details of course.”
Will’s voice became surprisingly soft and theatrically friendly. ”I was almost certain you would say that. I think I call the Governor right now. It might come as a surprise to you but in the entire Constitution of our great nation there is not a single passage giving federal authorities special rights over local law enforcement and you won’t find the words national security anywhere in the same document.”
Peter looked at his Captain with new respect in his eyes, as the older Rangers voice changed from the friendly softness to cold steel. ”I know how much personal rights and civil liberties have eroded nowadays and how much Washington likes to impose control over State matters.
This is Texas and here we still uphold the law and all of it. So you tell us what this is about without all this national security bull shit and you might get our cooperation. If you think your badges have more cloud than the law of the land, and then I suggest you drag your asses back to wherever you came from and if you harass citizens again I will have you arrested, simple as that!”
Miller was not happy about that and got up. ”I see there is no sense in collaboration with you. I will be back of course and get whatever I need from you.”
“Threats work real fine, Agent Miller. Real fine!”
The other Agent spoke for the first time. ”No need to get all worked up, Rangers. We are after a few heavy hitters and we are going to call our superiors to see how much we can divulge and then I hope we can work together.”
Peter got up. “While you work that out, I still got some vacation time and a bunch of steaks in my truck waiting for me.”
Wills sighed. ”I work this out, but don’t plan on going far. There is still a hearing before the civil rights commission.” Miller grinned coldly. ”Enjoy your evening ranger. I am sure we will see each other again.”
“Just make sure you got all your paperwork in order when that happens, Agent Miller.”
Peter stopped the engine and got out. In his mind he was still at his office thinking about the strange and arrogant Agents. Ever since the Waco Massacre, no real Texas lawman trusted the Feds and their motives.
To this day he personally didn’t believe the ATF had neither the authority nor the legal right to do what they did there.
He understood the necessity for a national law enforcement agency, but he felt that they forgotten their true mission and have become bloated and self important.
He didn’t pay much attention to his surroundings as he; loaded with brown paper bags approached his house. It was already dark and the only light came from his porch light and a full moon.
Just as he put his foot on the small five step stairs leading up to his porch the ground under his boot was pulled away and he almost fell, he was carried up! He gasped in disbelief as he realized his front steps moved like an escalator!
Still completely baffled he went to his front door, windscreen door as well as his front door slid open all by itself! The broken window to the left was fixed.
There wasn’t a piece of trash anywhere and his living room was sparkling clean. The door slipped close behind him. The old shoddy couch looked like the day it came from the factory and so did pretty much everything else!
His kitchen that had been a mess for years now and had been the source for friendly jokes among his friends and colleagues. The piles of empty bottles, dirty dishes and food packaging were gone.
His old round top fridge, sparkled as if just delivered by Sears. From the kitchen window, that now was also clean he saw Wolf standing by the barn, the door to it open.
He rushed out and his back door also slid to the side just as the automatic doors in malls and supermarkets. In the shed he kept an Oldsmobile 442 and an old International Pickup Truck.
The old John Deere tractor, that hasn't moved since it broke down ten years ago, looked sparkling new and with apparently brand new tires.
He also stored tools there and all those things that accumulate through life and weren't needed anymore. He found himself still speechless about all the changes when he arrived at the barn, looking as if it just had been built.
Wolf turned and smiled at him. ”Cloud and I made ourselves a little useful around your place and fixed things. I hope you like it.”
He swallowed dry and coughed to get his voice back. ”Escalators, Automatic doors in a prefab double wide? You did all that while I was at Wal Marts?”
“I set up my Nanite factory and your friend Cloud has more special talents than all Saresii combined. He ate most of the trash before my nanites could re arrange it.”
Then Wolf lost his smile and looked disappointed. ”You don’t like it, right?”
Peter sighed. “I almost broke my neck getting on my porch; I didn’t expect you guys turning my house into Bloomingdales when you said you going to help a little by cleaning and fixing things.”
He threw his big hands into the air as he saw the saddened face of his new friend and then he grinned.
”I am almost afraid to ask what else you did.”
Cloud came out the Shed. ”You have returned from your sustenance acquisition mission?”
“I would not have put it exactly like that, but yes I am back from shopping and I am still coping with the changes you made to my home.”
Cloud, unlike Wolf didn’t notice the sarcasm in Peter’s voice and looked proud. ”Yes friend Peter, your abode is now much stronger. The previous materials of aluminum and tin are now replaced with Neutronium compounds, we also noticed you were on an external power grid and your computing power was quite inadequate.”
Wolf nodded. ”We found only one system that could be considered a computer in your living room but it had less than eight gigabyte so I am not sure it actually was a computer.So we raised the storage capacity to one hundred petabytes, approximately and linear computational speed to about sixty trillion operations. That was the best we could do for now.”
Peter laughed. ”You two are something else. I never used that Computer much in the first place, and I am not exactly the latest gadget type, but I have a feeling you guys gave me more computing power than the entire NSA has.”
He boxed Wolf in the side. ”Thank you both. I am sure you did it all with the best of intentions and maybe I even get used to all the gadgets you put in. For now let’s fire up the BBQ. I am quite hungry.”
Wolf smiled too.”I think we are going to be friends indeed. I am hungry too and I am looking forward to real Texas steaks.” “How about you Cloud, are you hungry or are you filled up eating all the garbage?”
“I do not feel such needs. Hunger and thirst are quite alien to me, but I shall participate in this feasting as a symbolic act to celebrate this, our union and blossoming friendship.”
“Do I even want to know what you did in there?” Wolf shrugged.” Not all that much, we simply restored your vehicles and perhaps improved them a little.”