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The Answer Is "Seclusion," The Question Is Orthogonal (Part 3)

(Part 1/Part 2)

It’s not as if the squad is going to go immediately from their vehicle to barging into a dwelling -- they have to get all situated first -- but, still, if they’re already out of the van, I don’t have much time. Obstacles and no shoulder to speak of prevent me from stopping instantly on this unheralded detour of mine. Ugh! I can’t just leave my car in the middle of the doggone road.

One street over has a perfect piece of ground to plant my four wheels. I zip my car in place and shoot out of it like a dart. Don’t slam the door!

As astonishing as it seems, I can be quite lithe on my toes; I sprint along the concrete making barely a sound. When I get to the block the officers are on, I round the corner and stop after about fifteen feet. I take a moment to assess the general state of things. Right off the bat I notice that an overhead streetlight is casting a three thousand foot long shadow of me in the direction I intend to go. I make a beeline for a nearby yard, moving until I trap the silhouette of me completely beneath my shoelaces.

Satisfied I’m currently less at risk of being spied, I have another go at surveying the situation. I see the hulking outline of the Drug Enforcement carrier but I’m unsure of where the men are in relation to it. I don’t know which residence is their target. I don’t have a lot to go on but I formulate a plan -- a partial one, anyway. Phase 1 is simple: just make it to the van.

Working with my surroundings I steal closer to my destination. About three-quarters of the way there I hear harsh pounding that isn’t coming from my heart. It’s jolting in the quietness of the neighborhood. This is it. I scramble furtively through the terrain until I’m flush with the back of the JADE transporter. I wait for more sounds. A deep backwoods-style voice cuts through the air and, to the beat of its words “search warrant,” I step from the grass onto the road immediately at the rear bumper of the Task Force van. Yes!

The shouts have given me their position. Now I know which side of the van I’ll be using for cover. Ha! Not a bad shield, and what a nice plan. I slink upright along the length of it until a panel of window, then pitch of the hood, forces me to stoop to finish inching forward. I crouch by the front bumper contorting my shape to the tire’s, heedful not to touch any part of the vehicle lest I give myself away by its movement.

I study the activities of the search team and simultaneously scan for optional places of concealment to retreat to. I’m glad I did the second thing because at one point I have to skitter elsewhere, a shift that my ‘til then scrunched up body much appreciated.

The thing about viewing a raid is that it will inevitably reach a stage when it’s no longer interesting to be a spectator -- could be anywhere from right around when the officers inside the home are peeking into peanut butter jars and poking their noses in toilet tanks, or whatever mundane procedure they're performing, to hours into it. Also once the epinephrine rush the men had has petered out and their labor-oriented tunnel-vision recedes, I believe the chances of being discovered increase with every tick-tock of the clock.

Having sated my curiosity on numerous levels and remembering the thing back at the JADE office, after an hour of observation I depart from the scene as secretly as I’d gone into it. All I have to evidence the events of that night are my memories and the… well, I’ll tell you the story about those items some night when I’m pushing up daisies.