Team Freedom: Operation Skyline (Chapter 12)

I wrote this in high school. I now find it humorous. I offer no further commentary and, like a good exegetical scholar, will let the text speak for itself. Enjoy.


Slowly Chase began to wake up from the deep sleep he had been in. The first thing he heard was the birds chirping outside, then the sounds of a shower going. The smell of bacon frying reached his nose as he continued to wake up. Then came the pain, the soreness that came from the escapades of the night before. Finally, he opened his eyes. He moved his head to glance at his clock. It was nearly noon. Slowly he pushed the covers off and sat up, swinging his legs to one side of the bed. He stood up and reached for his shirt, pulling it on, he felt the soreness in his shoulders, chest, and back. He walked into the bathroom that was connected to his room. He looked in the mirror and saw how badly he needed to shave. He didn’t want to get in the shower because he didn’t want to use take the hot water from whoever was showering in the other bathroom. He opened up a drawer and pulled out his razor and some shaving cream. He ran some cool water in the sink and splashed it on his face. He shaved slowly, having no reason to hurry. When he was finished, he not only looked better, he felt better. He walked back into his room and pulled a pair of jeans of over his shorts. He walked barefoot down the hall to the kitchen. Jake was frying bacon in a pan on the stove.

“Morning Jake.”  Chase said.

“Morning, breakfast ll be on here in a few minutes. Oh, you might want to take a look at the paper, we made the front page again.”

Chase opened the fridge and poured himself a glass of milk. He sipped it as he sat down at the table to read the paper. Sunlight was streaming in through the dining room window and was reflected on the table. He glanced at the main headline on the front page. It read,


“Wow,”  Chase said,  “They dubbed us the fantastic four.”

Jake looked over from where he was cooking,  “Yeah I know, kinda cool if you ask me.”

“I never knew this job got so much media attention.”  Chase said after he took a swallow of milk.

“Neither did I, I always expected we would be a little more covert. At least we don’t have reporters breaking down our doors.”

“I don t think I could handle it if I had to put up with the media, this job has enough stress without having to answer a million questions after each operation. Most of the guys in the higher ups like to take credit for the things we do. I really can’t blame them though, they have to root out the bad guys, all we have to do is capture them.”

Jake walked over and set a steaming plate of bacon and eggs in front of Chase.

“Just the way you like your eggs Chase, over easy.”

“It looks great, while your up could you get me another glass of milk?”

Jake made a look of mock surprise,  “Me! After all that I’ve done for you?”  He poured Chase another glass and then sat down beside him at the table.

“Where are Jose and John?”  Chase asked between bites of bacon.

“Jose was showering, and I think John was emailing his girlfriend. I was the first one up so I thought I’d cook a good, healthy, artery clogging breakfast.”

“I like this artery clogging cooking, I was beginning to get tired of cold cereal.”

“I thought you loved Lucky Charms?”

“I did, well, still do. Its just that having cereal for breakfast every morning can get pretty boring.”

Just then John walked in. He saw the bacon and eggs in pans on the stove and helped himself. He dished up a heaping plate of bacon and eggs, he opened a cupboard door and got out some pepper. He sprinkled it over his eggs and walked over to the table and sat down to enjoy his breakfast.

John was just finishing his breakfast when he heard Jose belting out a song from the shower. The three sitting at the table looked at each. John smiled mischeviously and got up from the table. They watched him walk quietly down the hall. He opened the utility closet in the hall and pulled out a small screwdriver. He stuck into the lock of the door and turned in until the door opened. He tiptoed inside and flushed the toilet. Quickly he went back out to the hall and shut the door. By then Jake and Chase had gathered around the door to hear the results of John s prank. Jose was still singing.

“From the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, Lord I lift your name on highawwwohhhhhh!”

From outside the door they heard the shower curtain fly open.

“Oh man, that is cold! That’s one way to wake a guy up. Somebody’s going to have to die when I get out of here!”

The three in the hall began to laugh out loud. The bathroom door flew open and Jose came out dripping wet wearing a pair of shorts.

“Alright, who’s the wise guy?”

None of them said anything. They just stood there and smiled.

“Well, I guess since none of you will fess up, I ll have to take my revenge out on each one of you. I ll stalk you in the night and you’ll never know when I will strike!”

They all laughed again as Jose took on exaggerated pose of sneaking down the hall. Chase, Jake, and John let Jose go back in the bathroom to dry off. They all went back to the dining room and pitched in loading the dishes in the dishwasher. After they had loaded the dishes they went to living room to watch the noon news. Jose joined them after about five minutes.

“Hey guys,”  Jake said,  “Stephanie and I are going to go to dinner tonight about seven o clock, but first we are going to go and catch a two o clock movie.”

“So the cook is going to leave us here to fend for ourselves?”  Chase said jokingly.

“Yeah, I think you can survive on microwave pizza for one night.”

Jake left the room and went to get ready. He took a shower and shaved. He put on a nice pair of khaki pants and a navy blue shirt. He looked at himself in the mirror, he ran a comb through his hair to get a few stray hairs in place. Then he stood there for a few seconds trying to calm his nerves. After a minute he walked out of the bathroom and down the hall to the living room. The other three were still in the living room. They were gathered around the TV laughing at the antics of the Three Stooges.

“I’m outa here guys.”  Jake said.

“Have fun Jake.  Chase said looking up from the TV,  Have you got your pager in case we have to get ahold of you?”

Jake turned so they could see the pager clipped to his belt.  “Don’t page me unless it is an emergency, okay.”

“Gotcha.”  Jose said just before he burst out laughing at some stunt the Stooges had pulled.

Jake walked out the door to his car. Jake had a rich uncle who lived in Texas. His uncle was in the oil business. When Jake had moved to Seattle, his uncle had offered to buy him any car he wanted. Jake had always wanted a Pontiac Trans Am growing up. His uncle bought him a sparkling, souped up, silver Trans Am that had 345 horsepower. Jake took good care of the car, he wanted to make it last for a long time. The fact that he would probably never be able to afford a car like that contributed to his careful treatment of the car. He got in and fired up the car. The big V8 growled as he pulled out onto the street. He drove through a small business area to a middle class housing development. He drove through a seemingly endless maze of houses until he found the two story, cream colored house where Stephanie lived. It was a nice house, one of about a dozen similar houses positioned around a culdesac. Stephanie was the second oldest in a family of four. She had an older brother and two younger brothers. Her older brother was 25 and in college on a full ride scholarship. She was 23 and was going to a community college. Her younger brothers were 20 and 21, both were in college. Stephanie was the only one living at home with her parents. She went to school in the afternoons and worked in the morning at a high school near her house. All through high school she had jumped rope. She had competed in national and international competitions and done extremely well. Now she was coaching a team of freshmen jump ropers.

Jake pulled into her driveway and she opened the door and bounded down the steps to his car. Her long, dark, blonde hair was blowing in a light breeze. She opened the car door and got inside.

“Nice car Jake!”  She said as she examined the inside of it.

“Well hello to you too.”  Jake said smiling.

She looked at him apologetically,  “Sorry, it really is a nice car though.”

“I know, I’m thankful to have it.”

“Did we ever decide where we were going to eat?”

Jake thought about it for a moment,  “I think we were going to go to Papa Murphy’s Italian Eatery.”

“I’m glad someone here can remember things, I’m a blonde after all.”

Jake looked at her as he pulled out onto the street, ” A very pretty blonde.”

“Jake, you re sweet.”

They drove across town to an area with expensive diners at every street corner. They found the restaurant and pulled into the nearly full parking lot. They got out of the car and Jake took Stephanie’s arm.

“Shall we?”

“Yes, I’m about to starve!”

They walked to the door and went inside. Jake held the door for her as they entered the lobby. They walked to the front desk where a well dressed young man was standing. Jake told him he had reservations. The young man looked at his list for a moment. Then he looked up and smiled.

“If you will follow me please, I’ll show you to you’re table.”

They followed him to a small table by a window.

“Can I get you anything to drink?”  the waiter said.

I’ll have a large root beer.”  Jake said.

Stephanie looked at a drink menu on the table,  “I’ll have a glass of iced tea.”

The waiter left to get the drinks and was back with them in less than a minute. Before he left he took their orders for their dinner.

Jake and Stephanie settled into the booth to talk. They held hands while they talked about their lives.

Stephanie positioned herself in the booth so she could look at Jake,

” Jake, did you have a hard life growing up?”

Jake didn’t even have to think about his answer,  “Yeah, compared to most my life was pretty hard.”

“Well, what did you do make money?”

“About fifteen miles from where I lived, there was a post factory. They treated posts so that it would help keep them from rotting. These people were always needing a supply of posts. Since I was a pretty big guy, I decided I would try cutting posts for while. So a friend of mine had an old truck and we rigged it up for hauling posts. So we drove out into the woods and found us a tree that looked the right size. We started up our chain saws and cut it into five foot posts. We trimmed all the branches off of it and loaded them up on the truck. It was hard work, and it was not very fun. We made a fair amount of money though.”

Stephanie looked a little surprised, she never even knew such a thing as cutting posts existed.

“So what made you want to get into police work?”

Jake got a far off look in his eyes,  “One time while me and my friend were out in the woods cutting posts, we came across an old shack. You know how teen guys are, they are curious by nature. So we opened the door to this shack. In the two seconds we saw the inside of that shack, we knew we had stumbled upon a person s drug house. That was where they grew the junk. We opened the door wide and light flowed into the building. A guy was hunched in a corner, that guy looked up as the door opened. As soon as he saw us, he jumped up and reached for a rifle against the wall. Let me tell you, me and my friend got out of there so fast! We took off through the forest as shots rang out. I don’t think I will ever run that fast again. We ran about a quarter mile through the woods to our truck and we nearly wrecked that truck on our way out of the woods. After that I knew I wanted to try and do something to help stop people from growing drugs and selling drugs.

She took a sip of her drink.

“Well, my story isn’t quite that exciting. Ever since I was about eleven years old, I’ve been jumping rope. I competed in international competitions and traveled all over the United States and the world. I did that all through high school. After I graduated, I knew I wanted to teach kids how to jump rope. Since that isn’t yet a full time job, I decided to take some courses at a community college so I could have some college credits so I could get a good job later if I wanted one. So I guess I’ve had a pretty easy life. My dad put in sprinkler systems for a living. It was hard work, but when business was good, it paid off. We never were rich, and there were some tight times, but we never went hungry. My older brother got some good scholarships, he is a college track star. He did awesome in track while he was in high school, so he was able to get some good scholarships. I really don’t have a particular job in mind, I’d like to be a full time P.E. teacher at one of the junior high or high schools. I think that would be a cool job.”

Just as she said that, their food arrived. They were splitting a huge, steaming plate of spaghetti. They made small talk while they ate. Just as they were about finished eating the sun began to set.

“Stephanie, we have to go, I need to show you something.”

She looked a little surprised, but she stood up and followed him to the front where he paid for their meal. They walked into the parking lot and got into his car. He drove through traffic for about ten minutes. He came to the outskirts of Seattle. He turned right down a gravel road that led into the forest. He drove for about five minutes.

“Stephanie, I want you to close your eyes until I tell you to open them. ”

She did it.

He drove about a mile farther and stopped the Trans Am.

“Keep your eyes closed, I ll come get you out of the car.”

He got out and walked around to her side. He opened the door and helped her get out. He slipped his arm around her waist and guided her about a hundred yards from the car. He backed her up against a picnic table at sat her down. He sat down beside her. Everything was perfect.

“Steph, look straight ahead and open your eyes.”

She did it, and gasped as soon as she opened them. She was looking out over a small lake. It was completely surrounded by towering pine trees on all sides. The smell of pine pitch was heavy in the air. Birds were twittering in the trees above them, their songs seemed to add a fitting soundtrack to the scene. The sun was beginning to set behind the Cascade Mountains. Rays of yellow pierced an orange and pink sky, while clouds that were once white began to turn a shade of purple. As the sun fell behind the mountains, the whole sky seemed to turn from blue to orange. She kept on staring as she said,

“Jake, this is so beautiful. I never even knew this place existed.”

He smiled,  “I come to this place to be alone and think. When I see the sunset, it makes me think about Heaven, and how incredible it will be.”

The sky began to darken as they talked. It wasn’t long before the first stars appeared in the darkening sky. Within ten minutes, the whole sky was lit up with the most spectacular light show in the world.

Jake and Steph looked up at the sky and picked out patterns that they had learned in school. After sitting in silence for awhile, Steph spoke up,

“Jake, this might sound stupid, but I think it would be cool if we both picked out a star, and if we ever felt down, we could see that star and know that we had a friend.”

Jake smiled in the moonlight,  “Sounds like a good idea to me.”

They searched the sky trying to find two stars that were easy to spot in the sky. After looking for a few minutes, Jake pointed to spot in the sky.

“You see those three stars lined up in a straight row?”

Steph followed his finger to a point in the sky and spotted the three stars.

“Those are perfect Jake. I’ll take the one on the east side.”

Jake looked up again,  “I’ll take the one on the west side.”

“What should the one in the center of the two stars represent?”

Jake looked thoughtful for a second,  “I’ve got it! That one will stand for Jesus. For two reasons. One being He died on the center of three crosses. The other being, He is the center of our lives.”

“That’s cool Jake, now whenever I look at the sky, I’ll think of two incredible people who’s names both start with  J.”

Jake squeezed her hand and gazed up the incredible starscape above them. He wondered how anyone could not believe in God after seeing the night sky.

They sat and watched the sky for nearly an hour.

Steph shivered and leaned closer to Jake.

“Are you cold Steph?”

“A little, I just have on my sweatshirt. Hey, why don’t you come back to my house and we can have some hot chocolate.”

She didn’t have to ask him twice,  “That sounds great.”




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