Three Pines, OR—Fire Marshall Hank Tenner was everything but appreciative when he saw a stranger in fatigues attempt to hurdle a barrier blocking off Interstate 5, the south-bound route directly aimed at the wildfires relentlessly consuming half of Oregon’s habitat. “Hold up there, Sir. Can’t you read? It says ‘road closed.’ You’ve got to head back—.”
“It’s okay,” the figure replied (later identified as Russell Marquez), “I’m ready for it.” He motioned to a bandolier of canteens cascading across his chest and seized the opportunity to cinch down their straps. Marquez then jerked his chin to the side, repeatedly biting down on air until it made contact with his Camel Back straw, “How far out are we?”
“Three Pines is easily five miles back from where you—”
“No, I mean how far out are we from the fire?”
It was a confusing introduction that would ultimately end in similar fashion—and the need for the Three Pines Fire Department to expedite a Missing Persons Report.
Still bewildered, Tenner packed his lip with some chew, winced at the memory, and continued recounting the event for our crew, “So I told the guy the whole place was going up and that he needed to get back home with his family. But the fella, he just kept firing back, ‘That’s why time is of the essence!’” Tenner then paused and slowly shook his head in confusion before continuing.
“Then he just broke into leg stretches and goes, ‘How long [have] I got? Thirty minutes? Forty-five minutes?’ He went on about how the smoke was no problem for a ball fireman’s tritium tubes and I should watch out…” Tenner’s voice tapered in volume as he questioned whether he heard correctly. “It was a real struggle to get through to him.”
Based on what appeared to be a trading card with his likeness, Marquez was later identified as a member of OSERM (Oregon State’s Emergency Response Militia), a group with no apparent links to federal or state funding. Tenner continued, “When I asked for ID, he just gave me some autographed picture and goes, ‘Russell Marquez. Balls explorer club. When you call this in, give the boys my regards.’ Then he sprinted off toward the tree line with a collapsible shovel in-hand yellin’ back, “Just remember, a journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step!”’
Tenner shook his head, “Damndest thing I’d ever seen,” then spat to his side, “guy had balls though, I’ll give him that.”
At this time, no reports have been made as to Marquez’s whereabouts or his groups’ possible ties to terrorist activity
Damon is based out of the Bay Area, where he’s a black sheep among Apple Watch loyalists. Having served as a Combat Engineer with the USMC, he believes a true field watch’s success is measured by how closely it compares to a “G-Shock.” Nonsensically, a background in design has guided his preference toward higher craft, as he struggles to become the lifestyle his watch tastes more closely reflect.