Relentless PursuitBy: Kathleen Brooks
A special thank you to Yasmin Gonzalez of Vohne Liche Kennels for her professional insight into police and military K-9 handling. I was so impressed with Yasmin’s experience and all that Vohne Liche does to help protect our police officers and military through the positive training of their dogs.
Two Years Ago…
Pierce Davies sat back in the chair and held his breath. He looked down at what he had just finished and then at his professor. Dr. Howard Oldham was staring similarly at the object sitting on the tile floor of lab 107 in the University of Kentucky Agricultural Building. The silence of the early morning was thundering in his ears as he pulled out his smartphone.
“Okay, here it goes.” Pierce pressed in a series of commands and waited. The object on the floor turned on. The red light turned to green as the object started to move across the floor.
“You did it, Pierce!” Dr. Oldham shouted as they followed the object down the darkened hall.
Pierce worried as the object stopped by a ficus tree to test it. “I don’t know yet. I still think it’s too soon to celebrate.” Pierce paused and flashed a smile to Dr. Oldham. “But I sure as hell am excited.”
“We need to test it out in the environment first,” Dr. Oldham said, more to himself as he nodded his gray head and pushed his black-rimmed glasses back up his rounded nose.
Pierce put his hand on his hips and narrowed his hazel eyes as the object started moving again. “I know the perfect place, Dr. Oldham. There’s an abandoned farm in Keeneston. The owner died and a family member who owns it lives out of state. I’ve had my eye on it since I was eighteen. Now I just need a loan.”
“That I can help with. I know a guy.” Dr. Oldham winked as his bushy eyebrows bounced. His smile slipped and his lips tightened. “You know what this means if this works?”
Pierce nodded. He may be the baby of the family, but he also might have just invented something that would change the farming community forever. His brothers never seemed to realize that he was an adult after they came home from the Special Forces, showing off their talents. Pierce was always paying attention, even if being the youngest somehow made him invisible.
He had learned hand-to-hand combat from his oldest brother, Miles, during their workouts together. He had paid close attention to Marshall when he interned at his old security company and learned all kinds of neat tricks from assessing risk to lock picking. Then he learned the computer skills it took to hack into nearly any system in the world from Cade, the youngest of the three brothers who were deployed. From that knowledge, Pierce worked backwards and became somewhat of an excellent programmer. Cade had never thought twice in pulling out the computer to hack into some database for the U.S. government when they called, even though Pierce was sitting there on the couch watching football.
He loved his brothers, all five of them, and his sister, who was probably the only one who saw his potential. But for some reason he wanted to keep this discovery from them. It was his and he wasn’t ready to share it with anyone until it was so perfect that Cade couldn’t hack it, Marshall couldn’t disable it, and Miles couldn’t find any fault in its design.
Pierce tapped a button on his cell phone and the object turned around and rolled back into the classroom and shut itself off. “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ll test it, make adjustments, and then test it again. It’ll take a little while longer, but when it’s perfect…” Pierce looked up at his professor. “We can’t tell anyone. Not your wife, not Aiden, no one. Not even my family.”
Dr. Oldham nodded his head and held out his hand. Pierce shook it and the two men slapped each other on the back. “I just can’t believe we did it! If this works…”
“I know. I can’t really believe it myself.” Pierce pulled out the flash drive from his computer with all his notes and programming code and placed it in his pocket. He gathered the six notebooks in front of him and shoved them into his backpack. “Now all I need is the deed to that land.”