Another clueless, airhead model

Thursday, May 30, 2019




Jessica Sanborn hung up the phone. Staring out the office window she slowly took in another ass chewing from the regional director. There was a time when her only concerns as project leader was maintaining and improving habitat on the Texas Gulf Coast Wildlife Refuge. Now she was inundated weekly with putting out human resource fires. The latest of those stemming from the complaint by a visiting female biologist after overhearing three refuge employees rattle off a litany of vulgar instructions on how to satisfy a woman. The same problem children again – Dan Sigmond, Vincent Ybarra and Jack Hammond. She was given an ultimatum; either subject these men to intensive cultural and diversity training or forget about that promotion to Chief of Refuge Operations. She made the call to request training from Milton Feebish, Chief of Cultural Enlightenment for Region 2 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. She subsequently informed the children when to attend their training.


Dan and Vincent arrived first to the refuge conference room. Both employed as wildland firefighters, which, despite the glamorous title was often a position that included mundane repair of vehicles and maintenance of the refuge grounds. They sat at the furthest section of the room.
Soon after, Jack appeared. Protocol for Fish and Wildlife law enforcement personnel required him to wear the trappings of law enforcement officers – armored vest with body camera, radio and utility belt containing handcuffs, pepper spray, Taser and a Glock M-17 service firearm. These men have known each other for fifteen years. Not friends socially but comfortable enough to trade insulting barbs. Jack set his sights on Vincent.

Hey Vincent, my neighbor needs day laborers to fix his roof so I gave him your number.
Thanks, Jack. I’ll call him after I bang your mom.

Their Laughter abruptly stopped when Milton Feebish entered the room. The large box he carried contained a laptop and projector, training manuals, water bottles, donuts and a small plastic case. He was a middle age, balding man of average height. His frumpled shirt covered a midriff paunch. Sagging, alabaster skin suggested he rarely stepped outside or engaged in physical exercise.

Good morning gentlemen. Thank you for being here on time. I have a very ambitious and informative agenda today so bear with me while I set up. Setting the box down, he brought out two boxes of donuts.

I have water and donuts for you. They are Krispy Kreme so the sugar high will keep you awake all day. Hee-hee.

They didn’t laugh. These alpha males shared an unspoken agreement to give Milton the barest of attention. Still, those were Krispy Kreme donuts so they grudgingly accepted his offer.

After connecting his projector to the laptop, Milton handed out the 200-page study manual to each man. He returned to his station, using a Bluetooth remote to bring up the first page of his PowerPoint presentation: Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in the Federal Workplace. Two minutes into the lecture Milton turned to see his students engaged with their cell phones. Milton said nothing rather, he continued on with the lecture. Moments later Dan’s vision blurred, accompanied by an inability to stay awake. He fell asleep sitting up. Likewise, Jack and Vincent nodded off.


Jack awoke first, realizing his immobility. His arms and legs were duct taped to the legs and armrest of his chair. His body armor, firearm and utility belt laid in a pile across the room. He looked to his side, seeing Vincent and Dan restrained in the same manner. After a minute of testing the limits of his restraints, he called out to his coworkers.
Hey! Hey! Wake up.

Clarity returned to Dan. What the fuck is… zzzzzzzzzz! Aw fuck! Zzzzzzzzzz! Dan grimaced as high voltage current shot through his body, nearly jerking the chair free from mounts bolted to the floor. The shock wave subsided.

Is this one of Roger’s and Antonio’s sick fucking jokes? Zzzzzzzzzz! After the shock passed, Dan remained quiet. Jack spoke to him calmly.

Dan, maybe you shouldn’t say anything. I thought this was one of their pranks too but they’ve never gone this far.

Roger and Antonio, both firefighters, were just as suspect as these men were into lowbrow antics but this was far more intricate than any prank they had pulled. Nevertheless, Roger and Antonio were expected to walk in any moment and have a good laugh at their expense. Milton entered the conference room instead.

Good evening. I’m glad you are awake from your sugar crash nap although I’m sure the Rohypnol in the donuts had a little to do with it. Hee-hee.

No laughter.

We will now resume training.

Vincent’s stupor dissipated. What the fuck! Zzzzzzzzzz! Fuck! Zzzzzzzzzz!

He writhed in agony until the high voltage torture stopped a few seconds later. He wasn’t finished.

Motherfucker, what… zzzzzzzzzz!

The electro-torture resumed then subsided. Vincent fell limp. His breathing laborious. At this point Dan put it all together. He recalled the same outcome from a scene in the South Park movie where Cartman received a shock from an implant every time he cussed. Only this shock originated from a wire protruding from patches adhered to bald spots on Vincent and Jack’s heads. The wires ran down their bodies across the floor then plugged into a computer. Dan noticed another wire from his head leading to that computer. He warned his friends.

Don’t cuss! It sets off a high voltage electric charge to your bodies!

Very good, exclaimed Milton. You figured out what happens when you curse. Those wires are plugged into a computer with speech recognition software that is designed to send an electric shock to whomever says a vulgar expletive. Now let us proceed with the training.

Fuck you! Zzzzzzzzzz! The current ripped through Vincent again. When it stopped, he remained quiet but his brown, piercing eyes expressed homicidal intentions.
Jack called out to Milton. You can’t get away with this. Other people are going to show up.
Afraid not, Jack. It’s a late afternoon on Friday. Jessica assured me before she left she was the only one working today. I take my job seriously and you three are the most bigoted, misogynistic federal workers I have encountered in 20 years at my job. I’ve waited that long for the right people to show up so I consider this a reward from God. Now please, can we continue?

Go fuck yourself!

Zzzzzzzzzz! Another current of discipline convinced Vincent to relent. Moisture spread out from the groin of his trousers. Milton turned on the projector. A layout of the board from the Jeopardy TV game show appeared on the screen. Each of the six blocks on the top row were categorized with a cultural-diversity related topic.

 Jack, you are first. Pick a category.

No. I won’t play your stupid, sick game.

Milton expected this from a ten year law enforcement veteran as well as from Dan and Vincent.

Now Jack, this is important for all of us. The Fish and Wildlife Service takes cultural diversity very seriously now. Men such as yourselves are relics of the past that need to acknowledge every race, sex, religious belief, ethnicity and sexual orientation should be treated with respect.
Jack’s response was an icy stare. It was time for Milton to incentivize them into capitulation.
Look at the back of your hands. You’ll see a small scratch. A similar one is on both your legs. That’s where I infected each of you with Staphylococcus aureus. You know it as flesh eating bacteria. Normally the symptoms take a three or four days to advance into decaying flesh but I’ve cultured an especially virulent strain. I’d say you have three hours before there is irreparable damage, then death.

Milton took a petri dish from the case. He proudly held it up to show blotchy bacterial growth on jellied agar medium.

Vincent observed his scratch. He and Dan were part-time emergency medical technicians. Both had seen patients in various stages of staphylococcus infection. It usually resulted in having their limbs amputated. The reason for infecting them escaped him.

What’s the point of infecting us, Milton?

Only one of you will win this game and that person will be treated with the antidote to neutralize the bacteria. The longer we wait the more the bacteria will spread and your chance of survival will likewise diminish. Any more questions?

Jack felt the first symptoms of necrotizing fasciitis on his hand – expanding rash and shiny skin around the wound. He also felt a slight fever coming on.

OK, you win, Milton. Let’s get on with the game.

Thank you, Jack. Pick a category.

HOLIDAY for 300.

A question flashed on the screen. This holiday is observed as a “day of joy” by persons of the Persian culture.

Fuck me, Jack thought to himself. What is Ram-a-dam?

That is incorrect Jack. The correct answer is What is Norooz? Also known as the Persian New Year. And it’s pronounce Rom-a-don. Dan, you’re next.

LGBT for 200.

This organization serves as a major non-for-profit advocacy programs for LGBT citizens, companies, entrepreneurs, and ally companies that seek information, resources, and access to power

What is the Rainbow?

No Dan. The correct answer is What is the Human Rights Campaign?

Jesus Christ! No one knows these answers!

You would know them if you read the study questions I sent to your email. And you are very close to having that computer discipline you. Vincent, pick a category.


Vincent was lost in thought. He remembered the reeking smell of rotting flesh in the hospital ward where a victim of the bacteria were treated. Morbid fascination prodded him to watch that patient in her delirium. At the bedside, Vincent lifted the sheet to reveal a leg severed at the knee yet still ineffectual at stopping the bacteria’s advancement. The fetid leg was swollen, purple tinged with broken blisters of gelatinous, foul-smelling fluid. Flakes of discolored skin festooned the bedsheets. He ran, vomiting in the hallway as Code Blue was sounded.



Affinity is a form of ____ that can occur when we see someone we have an affinity with (e.g. attended same college, grew up in same town, remind us of someone we know and like)

What is…bias?

That is correct! Well done, Vincent! You have the board.

You can go suck my salty balls for 500!

Confusion filled the room when the reciprocating shock failed to occur. Vincent smirked, reveling in his rebellion then his punishment ensued and to Vincent’s horror it did not abate. His body convulsed in a synchronistic dance with 10,000 milliamps the software’s algorithms had determined for this transgression. Olive-hued skin burned then blackened. Hair shriveled to the scalp. He would have screamed if not for his jaws locking up. Death came within seconds but the software meted out its verdict for another twenty seconds, culminating with eyes exploding into splattered offal against the far wall. With the tape burned away, his charred body crumpled to the floor.


Jack and Dan wretched on themselves. Each had witness death in their line of work but never that of a friend nor in such a violent manner. Milton was unfazed.

One down, two to go. Jack, I believe you have the board.

Law enforcement training kept Jack cool and thinking rather than yelling a barrage of threats at Milton. His firearm and Taser were on the floor only ten feet from him. He also noticed the body camera pointing at them with a red light indicating the On button was engaged. It was probably depressed after the vest was thrown to the floor. If he freed himself, he could reach the Glock within seconds and end this madness. He thought it best to play the game while he pulled against the tape to weaken it. A surge of pain brought attention to his hands. They were yellowish with weeping eruptions. Judging from the stains on his sleeves and trousers the bacteria had traveled up his extremities. Jack was not one to beg but pleading might buy him time to break free and throttle Milton’s fleshy neck.

I can’t concentrate, Milton. There’s too much pain from the infection.

Milton smiled. He walked to the box, removing from the case a medicine vial, syringe with needle, catheter and surgical gloves. Donning his gloves, he inserted the syringe into the rubber-tipped vial, removing 10 ml of its liquid contents. Walking behind him, Milton lifted Jack’s shirt up to expose the lower back. Dispensing without local anesthesia or antiseptic, he inserted a syringe into the epidural area of the spine. Jack arced his back, grimacing more from the thought then the pain. After removing the needle Milton inserted a catheter in the hole left by it. He injected the vial’s liquid into the catheter where it flowed into the spine until the syringe was emptied. He then faced Jack.

I’ll have you know I learned all that from YouTube. The lidocaine into your spine is triple the dosage so you shouldn’t feel any more pain.

Milton looked at Dan. Perplexed after seeing the bacteria’s effects were not as advanced. The game continued for another hour with neither contestant answering a question correctly.

This Jewish holiday is observed as a “day of anointment” with a 25-HR period of fasting and intensive prayer, often spending most of the day in synagogue services

What is Hanukah?

Wrong Jack. The correct answer is What is Yom Kipper?

The Schnitzel, a thin slice of meat with noodles coated in butter and friend is served in this country.

What is Poland?

Wrong Dan. The Correct answer is What is Germany?

You apply and are hired for a position at a new company. Before beginning your job, you inform your employer that you are undergoing a gender transition and will be presenting as a woman instead of as a man. Your new employer then informs you that the job is no longer available due to budget constraints. You later find out that another person was hired for the position. What form of discrimination is this an example of.

What is trannyism?

Wrong Jack. The correct answer is What is Sex based discrimination?


What is hating albinos?

Wrong Dan. The correct answer is What is prejudice against people with disabilities?

You gotta be shitting me! Zzzzzzzzzz!

Jack, you are next.

Jack was now a ghoulish caricature of his former self. Eyes sank into a mottled head of exposed skull, matted tufts of hair and vestiges of ears. The bacteria had metastasized over his body, leaving oozing pustules and putrid flesh in their wake. The overpowering stench of decay forced Milton to run out of the room to the restroom. Realizing this opportunity for freedom Jack rotated his bounded wrists repeatedly. The motion allowed him to slip the right hand out of its skin as if he wore a glove. He unraveled the tape on his left hand then freed his legs. Rising to his feet, he ran towards his firearm only to collapse onto the carpet when his partially eaten femurs snapped in half. Jack crawled, undeterred from the pain. Dan watched as he edged closer to his Glock, leaving a trail of fleshy detritus. Only a foot away when Milton returned.

Nice try Jack, he quipped.

Milton walked casually to the firearm, removing it from the holster before Jack could reach it then
 pointed it at him.

You did not answer any of the questions correctly but I give you credit for trying so I’ll put you out of your misery now.

He fired one round into Jack’s chest but was unwilling to go near the body to confirm death. He walked over to Dan, resting the Glock’s barrel tip against his forehead. Dan stared back at him as he strained against tape. He needed a minute more of Milton’s gloating to break free.

Well, Dan. It’s been fun but I’m sure you know by now I had no intension of allowing any of you all to live. After I blow your brains out, I’m changing cars and driving to Mexico with a fake ID and almost three days head start before your people come back to work. I already have a remote location to live where no one cares who I am. Goodbye Mr. Sigmond, it has been fun.

Then, a voice behind him.

You can suck cocks in hell for 500!

Milton’s body seized up after two wire-guided darts embedded into his backside. 50,000 volts surged through his body. It lasted another five seconds as his body fell to the floor. Dan tore free from the tape. He looked at Jack whose now lifeless hand still grasped the Taser.


Dan drove Milton’s rented KIA ten minutes to a refuge forest that was off limits to the public. Once passed the gated entrance he drove an addition five minutes on a back road until stopping at the location he visited with Jack a week ago. The smell of death hung in the air. Crime scene tape cordoned off the site where bat researches found limbs and entrails strewed for several yards across the forest floor. They found only one head. One of those biologists had ratted out Dan and his friends so he took pleasure in knowing she would have nightmares for some time. The victims were identified as men with a long history of poaching. They made the mistake of hunting in an area where wild hogs had attacked people before.

Dan walked around the vehicle to the passenger’s side where Milton was gagged and bounded with duct tape at the wrist and ankles. He was dragged a few yards beyond the tape then thrown to the ground. He watched as Dan gathered several rebar, a small sledgehammer and the catheter case from the trunk. He hammered the rebar into the ground three feet from each of Milton’s arms and legs then tased him again. His body spazzed then fell limp. He was helpless to resist Dan cutting off his clothes with a pocket knife. He cast the clothes aside then flipped Milton over. A painful prick to the base of his spine was followed by a rush of numbness. Dan flipped him over again, removing tape then tying each limb to the rods with parachute cord. He then sat beside the naked, prostrate body.

For a few quiet moments, Dan took in the serenity of the forest under a canopy of live oaks. Eastern winds had pushed billions of mosquitoes from the marshes into the woods where they sought out scatter pools of water to lay eggs in. He watched as they sought out his blood to help gestate eggs but finding their access barred by his mosquito jacket and head net. Not so for his victim. With his knife, Dan sliced across Milton’s abdomen just enough to draw a beaded line of blood. Mosquitoes jostled among themselves to feed on the blood meal. The ravenous bloodsuckers were the least of his problems. With gloved hands, Dan removed the bacterial petri dish from the case. A waft of mold permeated the air as he opened the top and emptied the agar-bacterial contents onto the Milton’s wound.

As much as I’d love to hear you beg for mercy Milton, I’m going to leave you gagged. I don’t want to attract people who may be trespassing. That yellow tape over there was put up for a crime scene. There was not a crime committed though, just good old natural retribution on a couple of poachers. Jack said wild hogs ripped them to shreds. Probably the same hogs that tore into some teenagers that road their ATV’s around here last year. Hogs are very intelligent, Milton. After sundown they’ll be back for the scraps the cleaning crew missed. I would say a little over an hour from now. If not the bacteria will finish you off by the morning.

Dan stood up. Looking down at his captive.

It ain’t hard to figure out why you did what you did, Milton. You were acting out on a world that has bullied and laughed at you all your life. That will never change until people like you grow a pair. Use to be evolution took care of piss ants like you or someone put a bullet between your eyes. I wasn’t about to let Jack and Vincent’s family go through twenty years of hell until you were executed in Huntsville. There’s a time for justice and a time for frontier justice.

With that, Dan walked to the car. He drove it a mile down the forest road until veering off into a green ash swamp, bogging the car down in muck. He walked to the headquarters from there.

Within an hour, Milton’s entire body swelled from repeated mosquito bites and bacterial festering. Dusk had yet to fall but the heavy forest canopy amplified the darkness. His mind raced with thoughts of escape, his petty strength unable to pull up the rebar. The creatures of the night emerged when complete darkness fell. Their sounds magnified his terror of the unknown. He lacked the knowledge to differentiate between them except for pigs in the distant. A rising cacophony of grunts and squeals signaled the sounder was approaching Milton’s perimeter. He tried to remain quiet but the overpowering stench of wild hog musk made him vomit through his gagged mouth. He felt the ground rumble under hooves too many to estimate. Milton’s swollen eyes shifted, attempting to see dozens of hulking shapes milling around him. Some larger than the mammoth swine he once saw at a county fair. Something warm and fleshy touched his foot. Milton looked at a behemoth sniffing up his leg until stopping at his genitalia. Now he knew why Dan gave him the painkiller. Lack of pain forbade him from passing out as his penis was devoured.

Chapter VI

Agent Michael Edwin finished his questioning as Dan laid in the hospital bed. He told him Milton’s body, or what was left of it, was found over several acres after the car rental company gave law enforcement the coordinates of the KIA’s GPS signal. Jack’s body camera also corroborated most of Dan’s answers.

Alright, Dan. The doctor said you’re fully recovered from the infection. He also thinks those electric shocks you took killed off most of the bacteria. You are lucky Milton let you live after your two friends died. I can’t say though I wish we got to him first before the hogs. It appears he was going to hide out in the woods until the heat was off but ended up getting his car stuck in a swamp. The hogs got to him when he tried to walk out. Guess karma is a bitch for people like him.

Guess so, Agent Edwin. I’m leaving tomorrow morning. Maybe slip out the back to avoid the media then take a month of administrative leave in Michigan with my daughter.

Good idea. Well, I’m finished here.

Agent Edwin shook Dan’s hand and wished him well. He paused at the door, then turned around.
This seems like an open and shut case but there is one little anomaly in the forensic report I can’t wrap my head around. That body cam’s video stopped running right after Milton shot Jack.

And? Dan replied.

Well, Jack’s was issued a high capacity micro SD card.

What is your point Agent Edwin?

My point is that Fish and Wildlife officers carry the new ten-terabyte card in their body cameras and only law enforcement agencies have them. The card pulled out of the body cam was only sixty-four gigs and Jack’s fingerprints were not on it. No fingerprints at all for that matter. It was like someone removed the larger card then deleted part of its video and transferred that video to a smaller capacity card and put it in the camera. That person was smart enough to know our forensic team can’t dig up deleted video on a card that’s never had footage before. Very strange.

Both men looked at each other. Dan broke the silence.

That does sound strange but maybe Jack lost his big card so he used a smaller one that didn’t have enough storage.

Agent Edwin gave him a knowing look. Yeah, that’s probably what happened.