Street Corps Gym, Reno
Saturday, 9:00 AM
Joe walked into a small gym near where the Airbnb he was staying at. Other than a few guys, there weren't many people out and about in the morning.
At the front desk sat a slender, athletic Black man who was looking at something on his phone, snickering. He didn't even address Joe when he walked in. Joe stood there for a few more seconds, but the man didn't respond. He continued snickering at whatever was on his phone.
Joe cleared his throat and the man looked up with an annoyed look.
"You need somethin'?" He asked with a cross experience.
Joe scowled down at him. "Is that how you greet a customer?"
The man stood up with a scowl of his own. While shorter than Joe, he was still a very tall man at around 6'4. He had a rather slender build, lacking the muscle mass and girth of Joe. Even so, he had a highly intimidating air about him, much like Jay Razor of Olympus Gym did. Joe wondered if he was a former military guy.
He looked Joe up and down. "You have an appointment?"
"Do I need one?" Joe asked.
"This is an invite-only gym. You need a referral from one of our members to come train here." The man said in a rude tone.
Joe looked around. "Where's the manager?"
"Not here." The man said in that standoffish tone of his.
"Of course." Joe thought to himself as he started to head out when the door opened and a familiar, hulking figure stepped into the gym.
"Captain Savoy!" Joe exclaimed in surprise as his boss stared stunned.
"Joe?" James Savoy asked in surprise. "When did you get here?"
"It was near where I'm stayin' at and I just decided to check the place out because it had good reviews" Joe said, still surprised at seeing his boss at this gym of all places, "Are you a trainer here, captain?"
"I am. You thinking of training here?" Savoy asked. Joe briefly considered saying yes, but realized Savoy was his boss and that going to the same gym as him might violate the employer-employee relationship.
"No. Just checkin' out. See you Monday, sir." Joe said as he walked past Savoy to exit the gym. The Black man at the front desk went back to smirking at whatever was on his phone.
Savoy approached the desk. "How you doin', Ridgeway?" He addressed his co-worker by his last name. The Black man didn't answer and kept laughing.
"Richard?" He asked, calling him his first name this time.
"Did you see the recent news, Savoy?" Richard asked, still laughing and shaking his head in disbelief.
"What news?" Savoy asked. Richard showed him the phone where he was reading the news.
"The hell?" Savoy asked as he scrolled down the news article on the phone. On the phone was a familiar picture of a pale-faced, silver-haired blue-eyed man.
"Shit!" He swore loudly. "Is that Keith Jones!?" He asked to no one in particular. He scrolled further down the page.
"The state police have launched a massive manhunt for Keith Jones, former US Army Ranger, owner of the Iron Furnace Gym, and gang leader. Jones was said to be responsible for over a dozen disappearances and suspicious deaths." the news article stated. "The feds have since apprehended a dozen members of his crew have been apprehended." The article continued. "But Keith Jones as well as the former bodybuilder and convicted felon Wesley Rogers, said to the gang's second in command, could not be located despite an extensive man-hunt lasting several weeks. In addition, the feds seized a safe with $40,000 in cash at Rogers's property."
"One of the members, who has been placed in witness protection, confessed he a prospect for the gang. He confirmed that the Iron Furnace was a legitimate business that Keith used as a front to cover the gang's criminal activity. He confessed that to join the gang, Keith required new prospects to assault and murder dark-skinned immigrants, Muslims, Jews, sex workers, homosexuals, drug users, and anyone else deemed an "undesirable. The informant testified that Keith frequently preached that there was a Jewish conspiracy to use illegal immigration of third world minorities to breed the White race out of existence. That they were soldiers on the front lines of a race war for Whites to retake America."
"An anonymous source confirmed that Jones held two women as hostages in his house, but they were saved. An anonymous source also turned over ten tapes to the authorities in which, Jones and Rogers discussed a plot to kidnap the daughter of Harold Stein, the chairman of the Golden Lion Casino. The source will not confirm or deny any knowledge of the whereabouts of Keith Jones or Wesley Rogers."
James read on until he had enough. He handed the phone back to Richard, shaking his head in appalled disbelief. Now it was Richard's turn to be confused.
"Wait, you know this guy?" Richard asked.
"We were both drill sergeants at Fort Jackson's 1-13 Battalion in 2013." Savoy couldn't believe what he had just read about his fellow army NCO. At the same time, he was somehow not surprised by anything he just read.
"Fort Jackson?" Richard Ridgeway stood up, surprised. "What basic training unit were you in?"
"1-13 Battalion. I was in Delta Company. He was in Echo." Savoy said. "How do you know Keith Jones?"
"We were stationed in South Korea at the Yongsan Army Garrison in 2003. This was before I got my degree and went to OCS to become a 1st Lieutenant." Ridgeway said, in disbelief himself.
"In 2003? How do you still remember him after all this time?" Savoy asked.
"Because I tried to get that bitch-ass redneck investigated by higher ups after I kept getting complaints that he made racist and sexist comments towards the lower enlisted, mostly from women and non-White, foreign ethnic minorities who were trying to get their citizenship through the military. Then during a surprise room inspection, I finally caught the fucker with a copy of Mein Kampf."
"The Adolf Hitler book?" Savoy asked as he took a drink from his canteen. Ridgeway nodded. "What happened after you reported him to the commander with the evidence in hand?"
"Almost got my ass busted down to corporal." Ridgeway said.
Savoy almost spat out the water. "WHAT!?" He yelled.
"Turned out higher ups in the chain of command were covering for his White trash ass. And knowing the company commander, I wasn't about to bypass the captain and go to the battalion commander instead."
"Then one day, I just saw him blow off the newly arrived company XO, who happened to be an Indian lady. He didn't even salute her. Refused to follow her orders. Just acted like she wasn't even there. She lost her shit and went to the commander: she got busted a rank. Jones went rolling on. And that was the pattern. Anyone who was a non-White, foreign minority who had a problem with Jones got the axe and he kept rolling along. That's when I put in transfer request and went to Camp Casey. Fuck that asshole." Ridgeway swore, letting out a bitter laugh before pointing at the news article at the phone. "And now this."
"Jesus Christ Almighty." Savoy swore, shaking his head. "I was in same battalion but different companies when the two of us were drill sergeants. Him and another guy named Ford just ran wild. Constantly picked fights with recruits. Showed no desire to train recruits. If you were in Echo Company and you were a woman, non-White, dark-skinned, foreign accented person- you were going to get singled out no matter what. And God help you if you were Muslim and under his charge." He shuddered at the memory of what he remembered seeing Jones and Ford do to one Japanese recruit.
"It wasn't just Echo Company either. Throughout all of Fort Jackson, there were constant rumors and complaints from female, homosexual, ethnic minority, and Muslim recruits saying they were getting singled out for racist, homophobic, sexist treatment. They were routinely given far worse punishment from White male, heterosexual recruits for the same infractions. The commanding general could never be reached for comment." Savoy recalled. "Keith and Ford were removed from drill sergeant duty and placed in 120th AG Battalion for reception processing duty. But they received honorable discharges with full benefits after that, as far as I know. The Echo Company Commander was replaced as was the First Sergeant. Then things just started all over again. After the first drill sergeant cycle ended, I turned in my hat and went back to being a regular NCO at 120th AG before I got out."
"Do you remember who was the commanding general of Fort Jackson at the time?" Ridgeway asked, wondering if the coverup truly stretched that high-up.
"Major General Williams." Savoy shuddered visibly at the name. Williams was a highly decorated war hero and spoken of with dread at the base he commanded.
"Has he retired?" Ridgeway asked.
"Maybe. I should hope so. But even if he is, he's probably working as a civilian contractor somewhere top secret like Area 51." Savoy guessed with a shrug, but his face had a grave look. "Might as well keep living off the government dime."