Friday, February 6, 2015
In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty One of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story
In Gods' Good Time
C V Ford
Disclaimer: I take/assume NO responsibility or liability for any and all death, dismemberment, maiming, disfigurement, scarification, injury, physical/mental trauma, property damage/destruction, or criminal/terrorist activity that may be brought about by the misuse/carelessness or malice, intended or otherwise, by other individuals of the information contained in this chapter herein.
While the ownership and use of firearms are a right (At least in the United States of America. Consult the local laws of your own country in regard to this.) it should be treated and guarded by ones' self as a sacred privilege with attendant heavy responsibilities of ones' own conduct and behavior in regard to this.
BE SURE TO READ THE RULES OF FIREARMS SAFETY AT THE END OF THIS CHAPTER. (1)
When one owns and uses firearms, one LITERALLY has the power of life and death in ones' own hands.
THE RESPONSIBILITY IS YOURS.
Chapter 21: Shooting Party
The bullet kicked up dirt a couple feet to the right and down. With the coffee can on the creek embankment unhit, the tall young lady let out a sigh of exasperation.
"I don't think I'll ever-"
"It's just going to take some time Sakaki-chan," Takamatsu explained. "It being your first time shooting and all-"
Hmmm ... Not only flinching but probably has the trigger in the knuckle joint of her finger.
"-it's a bit difficult, I know. Even I have trouble connecting at times."
As if in confirmation, the shot from Takamatsus' magnum landed the same as the tall girls' though a foot closer.
"See what I mean?" he said adjusting glasses.
That much is obvious.
"I'll hit it this time," he declared taking a shooting stance.
Ayoob grip: Both hands, index finger of supporting hand forward and snugged under trigger guard.
The young man raised the pistol.
Line up front and rear sights on target, concentrate on front sight.
Takamatsu sharply squeezed the pistols' trigger.
Trigger on pad of first joint.
Again, down and to the right, the lads' shot hit a few inches closer but still a miss.
Front sight, press.
"We both just need more practice is all."
Front sight ... PRESS ...
The hollower sounding report of the .45 startled the couple as they saw the Key Coffee can flip several feet in the air.
Mountain grown for better flavor ... Good to the last drop. Yeah, like that caffienated sugar water could hold a candle to Folgers or Maxwell House!
Turning to their left, the would-be markspersons espyed the foreigner holstering his Colt.
"Was heading to the food court, heard some noise. Thought I'd take a look."
"Yeah," the deceptively thin looking one answered. "Doing some target practice."
"Hitting any?" Smiling.
"Ummm ... not as well as we'd like."
"Actually ... Not at all," the tall girl chimed in, eyes downcast. "Just not my thing I guess ..."
Duffy knew something of the young ladys' past. She was studying veterinary medicine before her demise. Understandable that one who would be a caregiver of some kind wouldn't take to firearms as readily as most.
"Maybe the sights are off," Takamatsu speculated. "That or more practice-"
"More practice would mean practicing MORE of what's keeping you from connecting with your target. As for the sights ... ," the American extended his hand to Takamatsu. "Can I give it a try?"
"Well ... "
"Hold on to mine in the meantime," Jack suggested, handing his Colt over, butt end first.
Takamatsu took the proferred Colt.
"Careful," Duffy cautioned with a grin. "It's loaded."
Turning from the faux chagrined Takamatsu and a giggling Sakaki, Jack hefted the Desert Eagle copy. Having handled quite a few different types in the past when in the pistol ranges' employ, he was more than familiar enough with the oversized pistol.
Checking to see the two would-be shootists were behind him, he then flipped the safety and sighted on the aforementioned battered can.
The boom of the .44 mag sounded off the gorge walls as the can remnants flipped a few feet back. Another can was reduced to shards, then a third. Flipping the safety back "on", Jack handed the gun back to Takamatsu.
Turning to Sakaki, he extended his hand. "Madame?"
Recieving the semi-auto from the tall one, he turned back to the cans on the bank.
"First too big, now too little," thinking to himself as he examined the Glock copy. "Then again, maybe not. This is a .40 not a nine milly."
A repeat of the same moments before. Three cans of former Key and micellaneous juice he couldn't make the names out of, lay plugged.
"The sights ... Are just fine," declared he, still grinning, as they exchanged guns. "The problem ... Lies elsewhere."
"Then I guess we have to try harder."
"Like I said before. You'll only be trying harder at doing what keeps you from hitting the target. Waste of ammo."
The two students looked at him semi-crosseyed.
"Tomorrow's Sunday and about a week earlier than I would usually practice ... Tell you what. Meet me right here tomorrow, nine AM sharp."
"Nine in the morning!?" The disbelief on Takamatsus' face was apparant.
"Got anything better to do ... 'sides sleeping in?"
"But then again," thought Jack, noting the statuesque Sakaki in his peripheral vision, "maybe you do ... Get your mind out of the gutter, Jack!"
"I ... WE ... ," Sakaki gave a quite definite look towards Takamatsu. "We'll be here. Nine O'Clock."
"Be sure to bring a hundred rounds each," the man instructed turning towards the stairs up the support of the Second Entrance Bridge. "If things go right, and they WILL ... You'll probably not need to use it all. I'll supply everything else."
He turned back.
"Oh yeah. Be sure to wear something more suited to a walk in the woods."
"Were going to the little range I have up the creek. Don't want HER nosing around do you?"
"So what's with the artillery?" Takamatsu pointing to the M1 Garand rifle slung across Jacks' back.
"And O'Hara-sensei?" Sakaki curious as to the history teachers' presence.
The two students showed up at the creek bed with customary Japanese punctuality, finding Jack as well as Rachel awaiting, clad in jeans, sweatshirts and hiking boots. The two students gym workout sweats and track shoes an improvement over the usual uniforms.
"When Jack told me what he was up to, I wanted to go along ... Find out what this 'gun culture' is about," Rachel in reply, holding up a backpack. "Made lunch for all of us."
"As for this," Jacks' thumb indicating the slung rifle. "Protection."
"From what?" Takamatsu asked.
"As you know,' the man began, handing one of two satchels to the erstwhile student, "I've done a lot of exploring the woods around here. Done a lot of walking ... a lot of looking ... seen things."
"Seen things ... ," an interested Sakaki.
"I don't know wether or not the uh ... 'resurrection factor' ... for want of a better term, is in force off the school grounds, but I have seen indications that the uh ... 'law of the jungle' is.
"I'd be keeping a sharp eye out when hiking. Seen some interesting signs of wildlife. Tracks ... deer, fox, wolves-"
"Wolves? They're extinct aren't they?" Takamatsu looked quizikly.
"In the Japan ... the world we're all from, yes. But keep in mind we're not in the Japan you're from.
This is some parallel state of being. An earth where the only human beings we know of reside here at the school.
"So I see things ... indications of wildlife, plently of it. Every so often I'll run across a scruff of feathers, bones, other signs of struggle. Not to mention, have not only seen deer and serow, but bear a couple times. BIG .. Bears. I mentioned tracks before. Sometimes of cats ... huge. Wouldn't surprise me if some were made by Siberian Tiger."
"Tiger!?" Rachel exclaimed. "Japan?"
"I've read they made it out this far." Explained Sakaki. "Japan may have had a 'land bridge' to the mainland before the glaciers melted."
"Ressurection or not, the thought of getting chewed up doesn't appeal to me. Hence ... the artillery, as you call it."
"Any sign of Iriomote cats?" Asked Sakaki in an attempt at levity.
Perplexed look on his face, Duffy turned to the tall one.
"Iriomote cats? They only come from that tiny island WAY southwest of here."
"Well I ... had one ... As a pet."
"You've mentioned that to me before. Just how DID you manage that!?" An amazed Takamatsu. "I seriously doubt the government would let you have an endangered species as a pet."
"I kept telling everyone he was a mix breed of some kind."
"No way!" Her incredulous boyfriend exclaimed.
"And how did you get him?" Rachel was curious.
"Long story but ... I guess you could say eh- ... He followed me home?"
"Riiight." A dubious Duffy concluded. "And with that, we'd best get going, burning daylight."
Rachel quickly put herself arm in arm with Duffy.
"So," she started as they began walking, "think we'll be seeing any (winking) ... lions-?"
"-and tigers-," Jack quick on the uptake and nodding in an exaggerated manner.
The two students were momentarily taken aback on seeing Jack Duffy clasp his face with both hands in mock effeminancy, accompanied by a laughing Rachel.
"I'll lend you two the movie," he said on seeing the mildly aghast looks on the young peoples' faces. "You're gonna' love it."
Running east/west, seemingly made to order, the several hundred yard range was a small grassy plateau a mile and a half north of the school grounds. A small leanto consisting of log and tarp at east end with a sharply jutting rock ridge west making for a perfect backstop. All could now see what it was Jack had been "spending" those meal tickets on. The rudimentary camp furniture and equipment stored there made things definitely less primative.
In less than an hour and a half of trainings' commencement, Jack was quite pleased. All three students (Rachel a pupil for the moment.) had progressed nicely. His insistance on eye and ear protection was initially met with resistance. After all, if ones' ears "healed up" soon after, why bother?
"On my range, safety first, no exceptions, no questions." (1)
The photocopied NRA (2) sanctioned targets (12 inches across with 3 inch bullseye.) set 21 feet away, were off putting at first. Wouldn't cans do?
"We're going for precision and accuracy first. Plink later if you want."
"Most 'social situations' happen within 21 feet or less. Even an out of shape assailant can get to you within two seconds at that distance."
Sighting in was a literal "eye opener".
"Don't try to focus on sights and target at the same time. The human eye can't focus on two or more points at different distances. Go back and forth, rear sight, front sight, target and back again. Line your sights up with the bullseye then CONCENTRATE on the front sight."
"My sights disappear in the bullseye," said Takamatsu. "Can't see 'em."
"For purposes of training, make as if the bull is resting on top of the front sight. This is what's called the 'six o'clock hold'."
"I'm right handed but I 'see' better using my left eye," an uncertain Sakaki explained. "Is that wrong?"
"It's Okay. Unlike most right handers, you're left eye dominant. A lot of folks shoot 'cross eyed' and do just fine. Whatever works for you."
One at a time, five shots each, Duffy supervised, noting their inability to connect.
"Part of the reason you're hitting down and right is you're 'squeezing' the trigger instead of 'pressing' it."
All three expressed confusion as to the difference.
"Think PRESS not squeeze. When you think squeeze, your brain subconciously makes your whole hand squeeze thus changing point of aim. With right handed folks it tends to go down and to the right. Down and to the left for lefties.
"Thinking PRESS, you instead only use your trigger finger. Think of it as something like reaching around an appliance and PRESSing the reset button. Only your finger moves, not the whole hand.
"Having the trigger in the joint of your finger also contributes to changing point of aim. Have the trigger on the first PAD of your finger. Then PRESS ... straight back."
The next set showed some improvement. Mostly closer, even a hit or two on the bull.
Taking Rachel, the out and out novice, Duffy had her 'dry fire' (unloaded) the old Smith and Wesson .38 he had lent her.
"Watch what she does here. This is something you two have been doing as well."
Hammer clicked on the empty chamber.
"Now ... What ... did she do?"
"Yes!" Rachel with a dubious eyebrow raised at Jack. "Just WHAT did I do?"
"Um ... ," Sakaki, hand raised, started to speculate. "I noticed the front of the gun go down oh so slightly just as she sque- ... uh ... PRESSed ... the trigger."
"It's something you're all doing ... Flinching."
"Anticipating the shot. As you're pressing, just as the triggers' about to 'break', you blink and push slightly forward on the gun. That also causes the point of aim to go down.
"Don't anticipate the shot. Let each shot be a 'surprise'. Don't worry ... relax ... You're on the correct end of the weapon."
After a short break, they were again, one at a time, put through a five shot string. All three scored at least three each on the bull.
"Good!," Duffy exclaimed. "Now is the time to practice. PRACTICE ... what I've told you."
All three shooters lined up this time, six feet apart. They were to fire five shot strings at their own pace, Duffy going up and down behind supervising.
"Ready on the left ... Ready on the right ... READY on the firing line."
After a couple "sets", with some observational correction from their instructor, the three not so novice
shooters were scoring at least four out of five or better per string.
Gathered round Duffy gave his appraisal.
"All three of you did a LOT better than I expected. Rachel especially."
"Why is that?" A slightly perplexed Takamatsu. "It took me a bit longer to pick up on it all though I did get it finally."
"That's 'cause you're a guy." Duffy grinned.
"What? How can-"
"I think what Duffy-sensei is trying to say," a beamingly proud Rachel O'Hara putting an arm around a blushingly surprised Sakaki, "is that girls kick ass!"
"Self flattery will get you no where my dear," the man softly retorted in faux suavity, grin still affixed.
"Oh?" Hands on hips, Rachel went into 'teacher scold mode' still smiling. "Just what IS it then?"
The man touched a left index to the side of his nose and commenced.
"As we all know, women and men are different. Our mentalities are wired differently from one another. Women are the gatherers and nurturers, men are the hunters and fighters. All their lives women are told to stay away from the 'boys toys' and vice versa. The females are into chick flicks whereas you and I, Takamatsu-san, watch the action/adventure stuff.
"Men are much more into activities that emphasize that of the hunter and fighter than women. We have preconcieved ideas as to what one does with such tools and pastimes.
"As men are of a more aggressive/assertive nature we tend to stick by what we already know or THINK we know when it comes to just about any subject. Thus, we are more resistant to taking and assimilating instruction.
"Women, on the other hand, being the nurturers and caretakers tend to empathise more and take to instruction easier. They're more willing to listen to and assimilate information. They tend to follow instructions more closely than men.
"The other factor is that because Rachel had absolutely no experience with firearms and Sakaki only a little exposure after coming to this strange place, they had little to no preconceptions and bad habits to unlearn.
"Whereas YOU Takamatsu-san, and I at one time-"
"Too many Sonny Chiba flicks!" Takamatsu beating Duffy to the punch.
"It's just entertainment to me 'skinny' one ... Nothing more."
"Suuure it is."
"And with THAT!" Rachel at the leanto holding up the backpack. "LUNCH!"
Getting situated, folding chairs in a row outside the leanto, Duffy set a wrapped sandwich and a can of juice on a low boulder twenty feet distant.
"What's this about?" Rachel inquired looking about at the boulder and the seating arrangements. "And why five chairs? There's only four of us."
"Remember when I said pack extra?"
"That's 'cause you're a big eater, right?"
Taking a seat, Jack pointed at the food on the rock.
To be continued ...
(1) The following are the RULES OF FIREARMS SAFETY quoted verbatim from the website of the National Rifle Association:
1. ALWAYS keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
This is the primary rule of gun safety. A safe direction means that the gun is pointed so that even if it were to go off it would not cause injury or damage. The key to this rule is to control where the muzzle or front end of the barrel is pointed at all times. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.
2. ALWAYS keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
When holding a gun, rest your finger on the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.
3. ALWAYS keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
Whenever you pick up a gun, immediately engage the safety device if possible, and, if the gun has a magazine, remove it before opening the action and looking into the chamber(s) which should be clear of ammunition. If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.
4. Know your target and what is beyond.
Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.
5. Know how to use the gun safely.
Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a guns' mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.
6. Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the guns' general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a guns' ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.
7. Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.
8. Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
Guns are loud and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gas that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protectors should be worn by shooters and spectators.
9. Never use alcohol or over-the-counter, prescription or other drugs before or while shooting.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.
10. Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person's particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun safety rules.
11. Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.
A. Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
B. A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
C. Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The guns' action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.
(2) NRA - National Rifle Association. The United States' premier organization in the promotion of firearms safety, the shooting sports and political activism in the preservation of the right to keep and bear arms.
Storyline and original characters (only) copyright © 5-1-14 C V Ford
In Gods' Good Time chapters 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.
C V Fords' profile page and anime fanfiction stories list at Fan Fiction dot net here.
Fan Fiction dot net here.
National Rifle Association website here.
Go to Jays' Tee Vee blog main page here. Yer already there ifn' ya sees other articles under this 'un.
Disclaimer: The preceding is a NON-PROFIT work of fan fiction for entertainment purposes only. I make no claim to ownership of the names/characters, places, and events mentioned in this work that are the intellectual properties of others. They are the sole properties of their respective owners. Please, by all means support the owners of such properties in the purchase and enjoyment of their works.