2.2 Our Top Man

by Matt P.

Walter wrapped an arm around whatever had hit him, even as the momentum carried them both to the floor. Before he hit the floor he had his pistol out and pointed down while he assessed the situation, and the person in a subduing headlock. And it was a person, it turned out, a young man with his hands cuffed behind his back. A group of people came over to him while he put his pistol away, one of them an older African American man.

“You must be Major Richards.” He commented, with more amusement then reproach in his voice. The man was older, probably in his mid fifties, with laugh lines around his eyes and a strong face that Walter thought looked equally at home in sternness or in laughter.

“Yes sir.” He responded easily, pulling himself and the young man to his feet. The prisoner was white, with crazy hair, bloodshot eyes, and the teeth of…well, a meth addict. One of the cops in uniform had the decency to look sheepish as he reached out to take the prisoner.

“Booked it from booking?” Walter asked with a little bit of a laugh, drawing a nod. He shook his head, before he looked back to the tall black man. “Marshal Alexander, I take it?” He asked, holding out his hand. The man had strong features, a clean shaved scalp and a neat goatee with threads of silver running through it.

The other man took it in a firm grip, and shook it. “That’s what they tell me. But I’ll make you a deal, in this den of civilian luxury.” He had an easy smile, and Walter liked that. “I’ll call you Major, if you call me Top.”

Walter looked him over for a moment, as if examining for fault. “Army?” He asked hopefully.

Alexander snorted. “Hell no, I wanted to actually fight, not just talk about it. Master Sergeant William Alexander, USMC. Oorah.” He barked, and Walter made a show of rolling his eyes.

“Well, I suppose even a Marine is better than civilians. Its a pleasure to meet you, Top.” Walter said with a smile.

“Welcome to the Border, Major. Why don’t we talk about your new life in my office.”