John Lee Pettimore, III
Assignment: Recon AB-7 File ID: 85AB706023
Male Hair: Brown Wt: 155
Age at Freeze: 36 Eyes: Brown Ht: 5'9"
Weapons Load: #2 Position: TL / Chemist / Agri field
John Lee Pettimore, III was born in Marion County, Alabama in 1949. He was always expected to follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in the ‘family business’…making moonshine in the Appalachian foothills. He grew up roaming the woods, hunting and fishing. He grew strong carrying bags of sugar, yeast, and rolls of copper tubing through the hills. His high school science teacher saw potential in the young man and began pushing him to broaden his horizons past the small town of Winfield. John had a natural talent for chemistry, maybe because he could relate it to his experience in distillation. But he knew his parents would never be able to send him to college, and it was hard to give up the thrill of high-speed night runs down country roads in his daddy’s Dodge.
John enlisted in the Army in 1967, breezing through Basic and making Corporal just before being sent to Viet Nam. He successfully completed two tours, returning home with a new maturity and memories that awakened him screaming some nights.
John decided to make use of his GI benefits to attend college at Mississippi State. He graduated four years later with a degree in Organic Chemistry, accepting a job with Olin Corporation in Mobile, AL. That part of his life came to a halt one day with a phone call from his mother. His father was dead. He had been found in his wrecked car, a bullet wound in the chest.
After the funeral the local sheriff, a dyed-in-the-wool SOB named Akers, came up to him with an evil smirk. Out of earshot of anyone else he said, “So, you’re back, eh boy? Well, I finally got your daddy, and if you hang around here I’ll get you too. Run on now, boy.” John never knew how he kept from killing Akers that day, but he knew that he was responsible for taking care of his mother and couldn’t do that from jail or the cemetery. He also knew he wouldn’t rest until he had beaten Akers.
John took over his father’s business, rebuilding the stills with an exacting eye to efficiency. He also looked up an old Army buddy, the company ‘acquisition specialist’. When John told him what he wanted, the man looked grim and said “Yeah, I can set you up. You sure you want to get into that?” Within months John had expanded the business into 'agriculture', using camouflage tricks he had learned in 'Nam. Business was good and thus eventually came to the attention of Akers.
The two auxiliary deputies turned down the abandoned logging road and parked their car. They started following the tree-choked path toward the patch of wood Akers had told them to search. “Why didn’t old lard-butt send Mason and J.D.?” “I dunno. After last time, J.D. always finds somethin’ else to do when the Sheriff wants to send someone out to hunt for Pettimore’s still.” The two walked for over a mile, entering a weed-choked gully. The lead man felt a tug at his shin, then cried out as a log festooned with bamboo stakes smashed into the bank two feet ahead of him. The two never looked back to see John Pettimore on the hillside a hundred meters above. He lowered his binoculars and nodded with satisfaction. The trap was intended to frighten and intimidate, not injure. It was so much easier when you knew they were coming…
A month later it was the sheriff’s turn... Armed with an M-16 and his Colt Government .45 auto, Akers approached the suspect area by a different path. He smiled with satisfaction as he saw the thin cord stretched across the trail. He carefully stepped over it, sneering at the deputies who were so stupid to fall into a trap as obvious…SNAP.POP.SLAM... His left foot had gone into a hole covered with leaves when he straddled the wire, and now it was being held fast by something that felt like a bear trap. He began to cough and choke as clouds of white smoke rose about him.
Someone snatched the M-16 out of his grasp. As his vision slowly cleared, he looked through streaming eyes to see John Pettimore, the M-16 pointed at his chest. “What…what do you want from me?” he cried, fearing the answer.
“You told me the day of Daddy’s funeral you’d get me, too. Well here’s your chance. I’ll even let you clear your holster before I kill you.”
Akers licks his lips, thinking, tempted, but he knew he had no chance.
“I want you to walk back to your office and resign. Today. And if you have any ideas about foolin’ me... I bet you didn’t know your clerk, Samantha, and I go way back, did you? She finally got into your safe, and I have enough dirt to put you in jail for life. I’m just decidin’ which would be more fun: shoot you or watch you go to jail.”
Pettimore raised the rifle, his knuckles going white on the grip. He pointed it between Akers’ eyes and held it for thirty seconds before lowering it again. He had a cold smile on his face as he said “I wanted you to know that I beat you, Akers. And that I’m the better man, because I could have killed you, and I didn’t.” He tossed a file at Akers' feet. “You’ve got an hour to saw through that trap, and another hour to be out of your office or it’s Katie-bar-the-door. Your leg’s not broke, I put a shim on the trap." Pettimore backed away, disappearing into the brush.
The next year should have been a banner year for Pettimore. After Akers resigned no one dared come after him. But his mother’s death from a stroke and the absence of his game with Akers took some of the spirit out of him. He lived in his family’s house, keeping the business going until one fateful day in mid-summer. A knock on the door, and a uniformed man with an envelope saying “John Pettimore?” The photos, one an odd, reddish color that plainly showed his camouflage over three large patches of crop, another normal photo blown up to show his face peering around the edge of the net.
"You’re in deep trouble son. I’ve been keeping tabs on you for quite a while. I have a proposition. You can do a lot of years in prison, or you can spend a year in a special rehab center, and if you keep your nose clean you might be eligible for a year of advanced training; something I think you’d be interested in.”
John Lee was part of an experimental MP program that targeted criminals, ones who fit a specific profile and had needed skills. They were subjected to a year in a special MI rehab facility, and if they passed they were assigned a team and processed through the regular MP training regimen. This is where he first met Jaz Medlock, a physical therapist, counselor and, unknown to either of them at the time, his impending teammate and confidante.
Subsequently John Lee made it out of the rehab program and entered advanced training. While awaiting a team slot he found himself reassigned to a contingency effort along with Jaz. They were to observe, backup and intervene if necessary an existing Recon team already in place, but the subject of sensitive investigation. Thus were the humble beginnings of AB-7.
Played by Art...
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