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Author Topic: The Devil's Menagerie
SBL
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The Devil’s Menagerie
Part I; Academic Achievement

No one had ever actually declared war. It was just sort of understood by society that a dirty war had started. It has been said that “Society continues when everyday people do everyday things every day.” So far most people were making an attempt to carry on with everyday life as best they could. With the economy in a sudden tank, many small businesses had shut down, leaving millions unemployed.

Crime soared to the point that law enforcement all across America couldn’t keep up. Non-emergency calls went straight to an ignored answering machine. Emergency calls had a response time of two hours. Police cars traveled in convoys. At first, people who defended themselves from violent criminals were staying put and waiting for the police to respond, just like their concealed carry instructor had advised them. But now they were just fleeing the scene and often not even bothering to report the incident.

The far left was hard at work. Groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter routinely burned down gun stores and churches, murdered “capitalist pig” small business owners, and kidnapped the family members of Republican politicians. But those on the right were striking back. Although they had never claimed credit for the incidents, when prominent Antifa leaders suddenly disappeared without a trace, many on the left suspected that a militia unit of some sort was responsible. The effects of the decapitation of Antifa groups was immediately apparent; suddenly they were chaotic and unfocused. The new leaders who stepped forward were neither charismatic nor organized. They found themselves herding cats more than leading a revolution.

Captain Paul Sotterly sipped his coffee on the aft deck of the Premeditated Motor; Captain Leo Staghorn’s command vessel. They sat together talking. Each had his specialty. Leo Staghorn is the commander of the local Naval Militia, usually just referred to as privateers. He specialized in maritime insertions and extractions, but also smuggling and maritime raids. Paul Sotterly made a name for himself as a killer long before the dirty war ever started. He prevented a team of Somali jihadists from massacring his church’s congregation on an Easter Sunday morning. Now he commands a small and specialized team of Militiamen who primarily work in urban areas, or as they call it “the jungle.”

The view of the river was almost non-existent where the Premeditated Motor rested. But that was one of the reasons that this was Leo’s favorite place to lay low. It was a small private harbor that was nearly invisible from the river due to a natural screen of bamboo that the landscapers had long neglected. The harbor was in the yard of a very large brick house whose owner primarily lived in the city and had not been seen or heard from in several months. Some who knew him feared that he had been the victim of a violent home invasion or an Antifa assassination.

As the two were pleasantly conversing in the morning sun, a man in his early thirties approached. He had muscular arms and wide shoulders, which made his head look too small and created an optical illusion that suggested that he was shorter than he actually was. Paul could see by the look on Cornelius Douglas “Corndog” Watkins’ face that he had important news, and his peaceful October morning coffee had come to an end. Trying to be as positive as he could about the possibilities he said in a cheerful tone “What-cha got, Corndog?”

“Well, boss-man, one of the guys here in our home guard unit is a rat. A kid; twenty years old, college student, and who apparently has a dirty little habit of talking in his sleep.” Corndog grinned.

“So what did he say exactly? Please don’t tell me he was talking about sucking dicks or snorting coke.” Paul asked. Leo Staghorn chuckled at Paul’s joke.

“No, this one is a bit more serious than that. He’s a mole. Apparently at his college they’ll give you an honorary theatre degree if you infiltrate a Militia unit and report back to them so they can hand that intel over to Antifa and BLM. He’s totally oblivious that we know. Right now he’s still with the team.”

“Good. Corndog, listen. I need you to keep this only between those who already know. So that’s you, me, and Leo, right?” Corndog agreed. “Okay, cool. I need you to interrogate the kid. I’ll write down some questions for you to ask him, but the main thing is to get him in the diarrhea-of-the-mouth mode. The best way to get him there is to make him think we already know everything, that we he doesn’t feel bad about giving us ‘old’ information.”

At 1523 that afternoon Corndog handed a notepad full of names with notes written under them, and arrows linking them with one another. Paul compared this with his own notes. He had not been in the room during the interrogation, but he had heard every word of it. It had gone easily, with Corndog only having to make very subtle threats to get the information he wanted. Corndog had done a good job. He was physically intimidating, didn’t put up with crap, and kept his bearing. It was for these same reasons that Corndog served as the village home guard unit’s military policeman.

Paul rejoined Captain Staghorn on the Premeditated Motor. “So how’d it go? Did you have to cut off his balls or pull a few nails?” Staghorn asked, half-jokingly.

“No, it was pretty straightforward this time. Corndog did a good job interrogating him. Now we know what happened to Corndog’s ammo cache last week and how our safehouse upriver was compromised. The good news is that we’ve got a new target, someone who wasn’t on our radar until today. Now I need to work out a plan.”

“So what are you gonna do with the rat? Hang him?” Leo asked. That’s how Leo was; a bull in a china shop. Staghorn would string the kid up butt naked on an interstate overpass with COMMUNIST BITCH written with a sharpie on his body.

While Paul didn’t mind the young man being put to death, he didn’t want to do it in a manner that got people’s attention. “No, Leo. I don’t want them to know we’re on to them. He’ll get his, don’t you worry. But for now we’re going to keep this super secret so that it can’t be compromised. We don't know if there are others like him around here, and I don’t want their boss to be tipped off that I’m going to be kicking his skull in sometime soon.”

Three hours later, Paul stood next to Fletch Rollins, the local Militia unit’s intelligence officer. He had confirmed Paul’s target, and handed Paul a printout with all the information. “Here you go, Sod.” Fletch said with a confident smile. “Sol Goldstein, Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre. I found his office, which I listed there. And also I listed his weekly class schedule. As you can see from his photo, he’s an ugly fucker but from the ‘Rate My Professor’ website and Facebook, he’s a pretty popular guy on campus and has a fanatical following.”

Paul was impressed with Fletch’s work. He had worked with Fletch before on several previous projects, and he never let Paul down. Fletch was a computer genius and a geek in every sense of the word. Paul had an idea. “Where’s that class schedule?”

“Second page. He’s got only one class tomorrow. But Wednesday he’s got three. You’re thinking of going back to school?“

Paul smirked. He was in his late twenties but could still pass for a college student if he needed to. A Che Guevara T-shirt could work wonders. Fletch didn’t get an answer, and he didn’t expect to. Paul never discussed his operations, not even with Fletch. Paul had a very tight-knit team and they didn’t brag. Sometimes Paul acted on Fletch’s intel immediately, or not at all. Sometimes several weeks would pass, and then Fletch would hear about some leftwing fanatic disappearing or found overdosed on drugs.

At 1602 on Wednesday afternoon, Paul was in a line slowly making its way to a folding table placed in front of Professor Goldstein’s podium. At the table, two of his assistants handed out application forms for the Community of Responsible Actors Program. He had sat in the back of the auditorium-style classroom pretending he was fiddling with his smartphone so as not to stand out. He had taken photos of the professor and his assistants. While in line he discreetly took photos of the applicants. While waiting in line, Paul overheard the professor say to his assistants “When you’re done in here, bring those completed applications to me in my office. Oh, and let the applicants know to expect a message from me on Blackboard by six this evening.”

Twenty minutes later, Paul pretended to be entranced by his smartphone as he walked the halls of the Theatre Department’s faculty office building. He passed by Professor Goldstein’s open office door, taking note of who was inside, and listening as nosily as he could. It was the professor and his two assistants, plus one more who was most likely another professor, Paul guessed based on his age. He reached a stairwell at the end of the hallway, but not more than thirty feet from the open doorway. Once Paul was out of sight, he stopped and listened.

“No, not tonight. I’ve got a big thing going on at my place… Yeah… For the Responsible Actors Program, yes.” Goldstein was on the phone. “Oh yeah, we shoved a monkey wrench right up those fascists’ asses, and now we’re turning it sideways!” Goldstein was getting excited. Paul wanted to take him out right there, but with the other three in the room, it wouldn’t be possible to both guarantee the kill and protect his identity. Plus, it wasn’t that easy.

Killing was getting hard to do these days, but certainly not impossible. Paul had to come into the city unarmed in order to get through the checkpoints set up on the outskirts of town. Could he have snuck a subcompact pistol past the checkpoint? Yes. But was it worth taking the risk of getting caught with it? No, Paul decided.

An hour later, Paul was following Goldstein home. He kept his distance and studied Goldstein as he walked through the urban campus and through his neighborhood. The professor was oblivious to his surroundings, and was easily distracted by the many people he saw who apparently knew him well. What would normally be a ten-minute walk took at least thirty with him. When Goldstein reached his home, Paul wrote down the address and memorized the landscaping to the best of his ability. He took a discreet photo of the house as he walked past on the opposite side of the street.

At 1954 people began to show up. It was mostly the same students from the classroom who were in the line with their applications, but also the two assistants. At 2028, a serious-looking Asian man in an expensive suit showed up, along with an assistant of his own. This peaked Paul’s interest, so he decided he should go ahead and check things out. Nobody monitored traffic coming in. A wide glass door swung open surprisingly easily, and the smell of incense and cedar greeted arriving guests. The party attendees clapped, but it wasn’t for Paul.

Paul had arrived at the tail end of Goldstein’s speech welcoming the students to the program. Apparently Goldstein had just introduced the older Asian man. Paul had missed the man’s name and whatever other description might have been thrust upon him. Mentally, Paul labeled the man “Mr. Miyagi”. As Goldstein wrapped up his speech, Paul was taking all the discreet photos of Mr. Miyagi and his assistant as possible. He also got as many of the students as he could.

The house was amazing. It was old, but well kept and spectacularly furnished. Seeing Goldstein’s house, it made Paul sick overhearing the professor say to one of the students something about destroying the ‘one percent.’ Tubs of ice cradled a decent variety of craft beers, but also wine coolers and strange drinks that Paul couldn’t help but think were marketed to gays. Paul chose a locally produced craft beer and began mingling with the students.

After several conversations with some of the students ranging from vegan diets to male feminism, Paul noticed that the crowd had grown a bit thinner. Mr. Miyagi had been sitting next to the professor at a coffee table chatting, but now got up to leave. By the time Mr. Miyagi reached his car, all but a handful of the students had left, including one of his assistants. The remaining assistant was chatting in the kitchen with three girls about an overseas internship she did in Amsterdam. Paul smiled at the four as he passed by them to reach a beer from an iced tub resting on the kitchen counter. Paul had taken note of Goldstein’s drink, and approached him with the same, extending it out to the professor.

“Here professor, drink one with me before I go.” Paul handed him the beer, which he took happily. “So how many other schools have programs like this?” Paul asked.

“There are more all the time. I’ve been talking with my colleagues at other universities all over the country and we think we can really make this a huge program. The first to do it was Dr. Redding at the University of Mississippi, then a handful of us started our own programs, and now it is really taking off.” Goldstein said with a proud smile on his face. Paul smiled back, hating the man’s guts.

“We’re even seriously looking into this becoming a paid internship. That was what Colonel Djang was here to discuss with me. The People’s Republic is eager to help fund the Responsible Actors Program. Like I said earlier, he’s with the embassy, but he has some other responsibilities as well.

Paul raised his eyebrows in interest. But on the inside, Paul was furious. Not only were they giving away free college degrees to anyone who was willing to be a rat, but now they were going to get paid for it. And if that weren’t bad enough, a foreign government was responsible for undermining everything that America stood for. He glanced left, right, and behind him. Nobody else was in the room or within line of sight. Paul stood right in front of Goldstein who sat comfortably reclined on a large leather couch.

Paul raised his beer in a toast. “To fucking up the one percent!” Goldstein clinked his bottle, and then took a swig. That’s when Paul sprang. He slammed the heel of his palm into the flat bottom of the brown glass bottle and instantly heard the sound of glass on teeth. Goldstein’s face showed a look of confusion and shock. But Paul had only begun. He grabbed the back of the professor’s head with one hand, and with the other he again slammed the bottle, pushing it further forward, through Goldstein’s teeth. The sounds of breaking glass, tearing gum tissue, and cracking teeth followed the blow. The professor’s facial expression contorted to a mixture of pain and anger. Beer and blood shot from his nose. A third blow to the bottle bottom sent it even further, passing the teeth and tearing any flesh it made contact with. Goldstein’s jaw popped, and he started to swing his head left and right but it was too little and too late. He tried to talk but couldn’t do more than gurgle. His eyes said everything to Paul; absolute fear. Another blow sent the bottle into the back of the professor’s throat. Blood poured as Paul bashed the brown glass beer bottle even further. Then again, further. And again.

Sol Goldstein, Professor and Chair of the Department of Theatre slumped over on his side dead. Paul acted quickly as he searched the professor’s pockets, quickly finding Goldstein’s smartphone, wallet, and car keys. After shoving these into his pockets, Paul picked up his beer, and briskly walked past the kitchen doorway where the girls still chatted and exited through the large glass front door.

Paul vowed that he would find out who this Colonel Djang was… and kill him.

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On equipment: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
On training: Our drills are bloodless battles so that our battles are bloody drills.
On tactics: Cheating just means you're serious about winning.

Posts: 4297 | From: Central Virginia; VIM | Registered: Jan 2008  | Report this post to a Moderator
Taurus
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This could be the start of a good story. Thank you.

P.S. Are you done with the 15 Day Plan?

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Training to be the best I hope I never have to be

Posts: 31 | From: AR | Registered: May 2009  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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Good stuff, again! I hope this never happens, but I wouldn't bet against it.

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17346 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
SBL
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quote:
Originally posted by Taurus:
This could be the start of a good story. Thank you.

P.S. Are you done with the 15 Day Plan?

This is just the setup for the rest of the story. Now that we're past the boring part, we can get to the hood-rat stuff.

The 15 Day training plan is still going on, just got put on the back-burner. Honestly, its just not as exciting (for me) as some of these other story lines, even though they're all interconnected. Notice I've skipped around in time a bit, so you sort of have to figure out how far along things are with each story. Sorry if that's been confusing for you.

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On equipment: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
On training: Our drills are bloodless battles so that our battles are bloody drills.
On tactics: Cheating just means you're serious about winning.

Posts: 4297 | From: Central Virginia; VIM | Registered: Jan 2008  | Report this post to a Moderator
Mexneck
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A good beginning.

--------------------
Well, this is it.

Posts: 336 | From: San Antonio, TX | Registered: Oct 2012  | Report this post to a Moderator
The Answer
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I like it! Can't wait to see where it goes. You're very good, thanks for sharing your gift

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Semper vigilantes, numquam exspectantes

Posts: 574 | From: Somewhere in these blue ridged mountains | Registered: Apr 2009  | Report this post to a Moderator
SBL
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The Devil’s Menagerie
Part II; Death by a Thousand FPS

“Its too bad you couldn’t get your hands on his tablet.” Fletch Rollins said walking along the dock as he approached Leo Staghorn’s privateer boat, the Premeditated Motor. Paul Sotterly turned away from his conversation with Leo to welcome Fletch aboard. Rollins took a quick survey of the vessel, scanning for crewmembers.

“Hey, Scuttlebutt. Its just us here at the moment.” Leo said with a smile. He always called Fletch Scuttlebutt, butt he never told Fletch or anybody else why. All of Staghorn’s crew adopted the nickname for Fletch, and so had several in the village. “Have some coffee.” He gestured toward a coffee pot, which stood next to two not-yet-used cups. “So what’d you find out?”

“Sod, I got past the security code on the phone and I got a lot of leads. Enough to keep you busy for a long time. If we had his tablet, we could get a lot more details about his operation. Fortunately, Goldstein was quite the texter, and did a lot of his work on his phone, so we’ve got a lot to go on.” Fletch poured himself some coffee. “It turns out that your boy, Colonel Djang is staying at the Monroe Hotel. He and Goldstein were going to have Saturday brunch there and discuss some details of their operation.” Rollins handed a printout to Sotterly. “Do you know who this is?”

“No, but I’ve see him. He was in Professor Turdburglar’s office along with the two assistants. I figured him for another professor.”

“He’s the Assistant Chair of the Department of Theatre. Now that Goldstein is out of the picture, he’s Colonel Djang’s go-to guy. And this Saturday he’ll be meeting with Djang in Goldstein’s place.” At least that’s what I’m counting on. Djang has a reputation for taking his job way too seriously and not letting minor inconveniences like sudden unexpected deaths get in the way. He’s going to want to continue with the operation without missing a beat.”

“How do you figure? You don’t think he got spooked?” Paul asked.

“Well, besides being completely obsessed with his job, he’s a former People’s Liberation Army human intelligence officer. These days he’s more bureaucrat than warrior, but he won’t pull the plug on things just because Goldstein’s pushing daisies.” Fletch leaned back in his chair. “Paul, this guy is bad news. He’s going all over the country setting up financial agreements to pay these kids to spy. Imagine what that’ll do for their recruiting.”

Paul nodded in agreement. “I see your point. We know where he’ll be, when, with whom, and what they’ll be doing. It looks pretty straight forward to me.”

“I included maps and satellite photos of the Monroe Hotel and surrounding area for you here in this folder. Sod, there’s something else… if you can’t get to it, it won’t be the end of the world. But we’re running out of time.”

“Whatsup? Is somebody on to us?” Paul asked.

“No, its nothing like that. Antifa is talking about tearing down statues and destroying graves of Confederate soldiers this Saturday at noon at the Battery Hill Cemetery. Police won’t do anything to stop it.”

“What’s that got to do with us?” Paul asked. “That’s what happens when you lose a war… they take all your shit, even long after your dead.”

Fletch produced an old brass padlock key from his pocket and handed it to Paul. The metal was so old it looked black. “A friend of mine, Jack Collins, died of pancreatic cancer back in 2013. He was real involved with the Militia back in the mid-90s. He was big into competition rifle shooting, like CMP, National Match, Appleseed, that sort of thing. He was an expert reloader. He loaded everything he shot. Anyway, when he was buried, he was buried with a whole bunch of equipment. Mostly weapons and ammo. Probably a good deal of his higher-end reloading equipment. We’re not one hundred percent sure though. His wife told me about it and said he would want us to have it. She gave me the key only a couple weeks before she had her stroke. Thank God, because now you can barely get two words out of her.”

“So you want us to go grave-robbing while we’re out there trying to smoke this Chinese douchebag? And why do we need a key?” To say that Paul was skeptical was like saying someone with Ebola is ‘slightly under the weather.’

A smile crept along Fletch’s face as he slowly shook his head. “No, you don’t have to dig anything. He’s in his family’s mausoleum. It’s above ground. Unlock the door and walk on in.” Fletch could see that Paul was still not yet convinced. “Listen Sod, whatever you find is yours. Jack would hate the idea that communist college kid grave robbers got their hands on his guns and ammo. He put it there for us, and this is what he would want us to do. If you can do it, its yours.” Fletch pointed at the folder in Paul’s hand. “I included the details in there. There’s a map of the cemetery where you’ll see the exact mausoleum circled. I made it retard-proof for you. And of course you got satellite photos and road maps too. I know how you like it.”

The new objective changed things a lot. Paul had to figure out a way to sneak the guns and ammo out of town without getting snagged at one of the many checkpoints. He and Leo talked and after a while they came up with a plan. Paul would drive a covert team into the city with minimal weapons; wax Mr. Miyagi, then go to Battery Hill Cemetery where they’d find the gear. After that they would have to follow the river down to below the fall line. That's where Captain Staghorn came in. He would have a small boat waiting to receive the gear and take it to a larger and faster vessel. After dropping off the gear, Paul and his team would drive out of the city as if nothing ever happened.

“We’re getting low on ammunition components.” Don, the village armorer and reloading guru said to Paul. “It’s making it harder for me to put together the rounds you guys want. And it doesn’t help that Staghorn likes the bigger calibers.”

“Don, I hear you, and the good news is that I’m working on something to get some more reloading supplies in your hands. But here’s what I need from you right now. I need a rifle, something real quiet and real compact. Preferably suppressed. It needs to be headshot accurate within two hundred yards. Also, I need four very small handguns. I’m thinking 9mm or smaller. I don’t think we’ll need them but just incase. It is very important that they’re all the same model and caliber.”

“Yeah Paul, I know how you are with that. Everybody on your team has the same gear. Well I don’t have a suppressor for you… but here’s what I’ve got as far as rifles go.” Don gestured to a simple hinged-action rifle that lay on its side on a folding table. The stock was synthetic, which gave away its young age before Paul could lean in to see the caliber. “I got this one in a little while ago. It’s an H&R Handi-Rifle chambered in .300 blackout. Now I don’t have a scope for it at the moment, but I do have an Aimpoint Micro I just took off that AR over there on my workbench. With that I can’t promise that it’ll do headshots at two hundred, but pretty damn close. Not only that, but I’ll load you up some subsonics. It won’t be silenced, but at least it’ll be a lot less noisy. I’ll sight it in specifically for the subsonics. I was playing around with it the other day and came up with a good recipe. As far as the pistols go, give me a couple hours and I think I can round you up some .380s.”

As Don rattled on, Paul picked up the rifle, opened the action, and inspected the bore. Paul had no attachments to any particular weapon. He viewed them only as tools. He was just as deadly with any tool, as long as he was using it on his own terms. He liked the idea of the little single-shot rifle. It was compact, having a sixteen-inch barrel that could completely and easily disconnect from the stock and receiver assembly. The Aimpoint Micro was accurate enough for the job, and with a quick-release mount could be removed and remounted without losing the zero. The subsonic loads weren’t as good as a suppressor, but would still be a lot quieter than a conventional round. Paul’s only hesitation was on the power behind it. Subsonic loads weren’t exactly known for their penetrating ability, especially at distance. Paul would have to go for a headshot. That was the only way to guarantee the kill. People don’t wear armor on their face. Paul smiled. “Thanks Don, I’ll see you later.”

Paul gathered his crew. Besides himself he had Sergeant Aaron Jackson, his mechanic and driver; Sergeant Dennis Router, his radio expert; Hank Riggins, his electrician and drone operator; and on loan from the village Home Guard Militia unit, Sergeant Corndog Watkins. “Alright gents, listen up. We’re going into the jungle. Our primary objective is a targeted killing of a real bad dude who’s been working a lot with Antifa. This guy is one of the top fuckers responsible for that raid on our safehouse upriver a little while back. After we take care of him we’ll pick up some gear at a cache, drop it off with someone else, and then come home. Now, before you guys start asking questions, I need to know who’s on board for this op? If you’re not, that’s okay, but you guys know how I roll; I only answer questions for those who are on the op. If you’re not going, then you don’t need to be knowing.”

No questions were asked, and everyone stayed where they were. They knew their questions would be answered shortly, but they also knew there was no backing out at that point.

“Okay cool. We’re going to kill a Chinese colonel who’s setting up a network to pay Antifa spies to infiltrate us. We’re rolling in light and sneaky to avoid detection at the checkpoints. We’ll be posing as some working-class dirtbags. We’ll take a white van into the jungle. We’re borrowing the van from a guy up the road. The deal is that if we get compromised or don’t return on time, he’ll report it stolen to cover his ass. We got some paint supplies around here somewhere. I want the side of the van to say “Make Like a Tree Leaf Removal Service” on the side. Next item is our clothes. We’re going to be wearing green work pants like Dickies or Carhart. We’ll need charcoal-gray long-sleeved shirts. Everybody’s got to look alike, like we’re wearing a company uniform. Sunglasses, preferably safety sunglasses. Nothing expensive. When we get out of our van, we’ll be wearing dust masks. So everyone needs at least one dust mask on their person at all times. Also brimmed hats. Absolutely no camouflage! I know this goes without saying but we don’t want to stand out. I’ve arranged for three gas-powered leaf blowers and some other gear. I’ll pick them up after this briefing, along with the van.”

“Weaponry will be a subsonic compact rifle, along with defensive weapons, which will be subcompact pistols. These will be disassembled and hidden really really well until we get past the checkpoints.” Paul handed each man a scrap of paper with a different list of gear and duties. “Hank, I need you to swing by the armory and pick up the guns and ammo. I already talked with the armorer, so he should have the rifle sighted in. Just make sure he sighted it in with the correct ammo. I told him I want subsonic loads. Aaron, I need you to top off the gas tanks on the van and the blowers, and make sure they actually work worth a shit. Router, get our radios unfucked. I know there was something going on with VHF the other day on mine. I could receive but not send. And get with Staghorn’s radio guy and figure out how to talk to one another. Corndog, go see Mrs. Delmond about the clothes. If she doesn’t have the long-sleeved shirts, then hoodies and sweatshirts will do as long as they’re the right color. We just need to cover our arms and look like we’re wearing some sort of a work uniform. I don’t want any tattoos showing. Get everyone’s sizes before you go. Oh, and work gloves. We’ll need those too.”

“After we do the dirty deed, we’re going to Battery Hill Cemetery to open a casket in a mausoleum.” Almost all the team members expressed disgust and confusion. “It's a weapons and ammo cache. Antifa is going to be tearing stuff up over there because it was originally a Confederate cemetery. We’ll be driving the gear downriver to the Canal Walk. One of Staghorn’s guys is going to meet us there in a johnboat or something to take the cargo so we won’t get caught with it on the way home. This part is important if we can retrieve the cache. I just talked with our armorer and he’s real concerned because we’re starting to run low on reloading supplies. If this cache is what it’s being talked up to be, it’ll help us out a lot in that department.”

Later that day Paul stopped by the armory again. “There are four LCP Rugers in that cardboard box over there.” Don said, gesturing to a small square unsecured package on the folding table where the Handi-Rifle had rested earlier. As Paul peeked in the box, Don started to chuckle. “You’ll get a kick out of one of ‘em.” Paul immediately saw what Don meant. Three were the conventional black color, but the fourth had a lavender frame. He smiled and shrugged. Two were double-action only, and two were striker-fired. But they all used the same magazines and ammunition, which was Paul’s biggest concern. There were four guns and six magazines total. Beneath the guns lay two boxes of one hundred rounds of full metal jacket ammunition.

“So what do you have for me?” Don asked Paul, who knew exactly what he meant. Paul lifted his shirt and removed from his pants his Sig Sauer P232 tucked inside a kydex appendix holster. “And…?” Don asked expectantly.

“I’ve got two ARs, and a Remington 700.” Paul replied.
Don looked up from his workbench, suddenly interested in Paul’s offered collateral. “Caliber?”

“It’s a .270.” Paul answered curtly.

Don sighed. “No ammo for that. At least not here.” He said in a disappointed voice.

“That’s why it’s available to you right now.” Paul threw back. Don smirked and nodded his head. “I’ll send them over here in a little bit. Thanks for the guns and ammo.”

Paul started out the door with his box but paused, thought for a second, then turned around to face the old armorer. “Hey Don, one more thing. Do you still have that jar of .300WinMag that came from the City Police range?” He held out a small ziplock bag in a gloved hand.

At 0637 on Saturday morning, after a thorough-ish inspection of the interior of the van, Paul’s team was waved through a checkpoint that was strategically set up on an interstate exit ramp. One of the police officers made Hank start up the leaf blower that held the Handi-Rifle’s barrel hidden inside its chute. Hank strategically placed the toe of his boot at the chute’s opening to prevent the barrel from coming out. The police officer was satisfied after only a couple seconds and made a motion to kill the engine, an order with which Hank happily complied.

The van arrived at the Monroe Hotel at 0716. Aaron Jackson drove while Captain Sotterly rode in the passenger seat. They circled the block of the hotel, and then located the large parking garage they had seen on their satellite photos. Jackson parallel parked the van on a side street, with the rear doors facing the Monroe. Each holding a trash bag in their gloved hands, Hank Riggins and Dennis Router pretended to pick up trash as they ascended the corner stairwell and arrived on the third floor of the four-floor parking garage. Router went to the side of the parking deck that had the best view of the Monroe Hotel. He took a knee between two parked cars as if to pick up some trash, but instead discreetly placed the spent .300WinMag case underneath the car to his right.

Two one-way streets separated the parking garage from the Monroe Hotel. Between them sat a small city park consisting of four concrete benches surrounding a large piece of modern art that seemed to Paul to have no soul, despite all its odd angles and edges. Flanking each bench were small decorative maple trees, which littered the park with their bright colored leaves.

In the back of the van Paul assembled the rifle. With one rear door open, Corndog pretended to fiddle with his leaf blower. His job was to run interference incase anyone got curious. Jackson sat in the driver’s seat with the engine off. He pretended to be goofing off on his smartphone but was really acting as Paul’s spotter and lookout. Hank and Dennis made their way back to the van and strapped their leaf blowers on their backs. The blowers were loud, and they blew not just leaves, but dust and trash all over the place. They were perfect. They kept passersby away from the area. Businessmen in suits and ties crossed the street to avoid Paul’s van. It wasn’t too long before Colonel Djang appeared on the second-floor patio for brunch. Accompanying him were four Chinese men in suits who looked very uncomfortable. Paul figured they were soldiers who somehow got stuck with executive protection duties. Soon a nervous-looking American joined them; the guy from the photograph, Goldstein’s replacement.

Paul got himself comfortable in the van. He had full support, with his rifle resting on a rag towel folded in thirds and draped over a heavy plastic storage tub. Just as he was settling in, one of Col Djang’s bodyguards casually repositioned himself right in Paul’s line of sight. Just then Corndog fired up his leaf blower and went to work with it. Suddenly a blast of small leaves and dust hit Paul in the face. “Fuck! You got me right in the fucking eyes!” He said forcefully, but not too loud.

Corndog stuck his head through the single propped door. “Sorry dude, I was so focused on that pedestrian. She looked like she was getting too close.”

Paul could only partially open his eyes. “Corndog, you fucker. Now you’re going to have to take the shot.” Paul laid the rifle down and put on his sunglasses and dust mask before exiting through the rear door. “He’s the Chinese fucker who’s sitting down. The other Chinese dudes are his bodyguards. Since we’re uphill slightly, there’s no real angle to worry about. We’re pretty much level with them on the second floor. We’re between eighty and ninety yards out so put the red dot one dot’s width lower than where you want the bullet to go. Go for a head shot.” Paul pretended to check the fluids on the leaf blower. The truth was that Paul could take the shot if he wanted to, but he hadn’t worked with Corndog on targeted killings ops like this before, and this gave him the opportunity to see what kind of warrior Corndog Watkins really was. To be a truly trustworthy member of Paul’s crew, Corndog needed to have blood on his hands. He had seen Corndog shoot. He was a good shooter. Paul knew that making the shot wouldn’t be hard for Corndog. The question was if Corndog would take the shot.

Corndog picked up the rifle and positioned himself. “I’m really sorry dude. I didn’t mean to do that.” He looked through the sight. “Hey Sod, I don’t see him… oh no wait, there he is. The big dude got out of the way.”

Paul motioned for Hank and Dennis to start leaf blowing their way back to the van in an inconspicuous manner. They were slightly staggered, and worked on opposite sides of the street.

“All clear up here.” Aaron Jackson said from the driver’s seat.

“We’re good back here.” Paul said to Corndog. “Just wait for me to start my blower and then it’s all on you, brother.” Paul strapped on his leaf blower and revved it for several seconds at a time. It seemed like forever, but it finally came.

The three competing leaf blowers whining in the city street distorted the distinctness of the boom, and his foam earplugs muffled the sound, but Paul heard it. It was expected, so it didn’t startle him and he didn’t jump. He revved his blower for a few more seconds before cutting it off and climbing back into the van through that same doorway Corndog had just shot through a few seconds earlier. The other two soon followed. Jackson turned the key and calmly drove off from his parallel parking spot. “I think you got him.” Jackson said.

“Yeah.” Said Router, chuckling as he looked through the back window. “His body guards are running around like chickens with their heads cut off.”

The men removed their leaf blowers and dust masks. Corndog looked exhausted. Paul smiled at his team, proud of each of them.

“Next stop, Battery Hill.” Aaron Jackson said over his shoulder.

[ 01-05-2018, 07:32 AM: Message edited by: SBL ]

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On equipment: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
On training: Our drills are bloodless battles so that our battles are bloody drills.
On tactics: Cheating just means you're serious about winning.

Posts: 4297 | From: Central Virginia; VIM | Registered: Jan 2008  | Report this post to a Moderator
SBL
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I'm going to try to post Part III within the next couple days.
Enjoy

--------------------
On equipment: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
On training: Our drills are bloodless battles so that our battles are bloody drills.
On tactics: Cheating just means you're serious about winning.

Posts: 4297 | From: Central Virginia; VIM | Registered: Jan 2008  | Report this post to a Moderator
Taurus
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Good story so far.

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Training to be the best I hope I never have to be

Posts: 31 | From: AR | Registered: May 2009  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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My family knows I want my old .22 rifle buried with me. But I've had that rifle for sixty years, and it won't be anyone's idea of a weapons cache. It'll be interesting to see what Mr. Collins took with him. [Wink]

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17346 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
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The Devil’s Menagerie
Part III; A Treasure Hunt with a Talking Parrott

Paul put his sunglasses back on as he weaved himself between the two front seats of the van and took his seat next to his driver. Aaron Jackson was at the wheel. “Same route… just like we planned.” Paul confirmed with Aaron.

Aaron nodded, then looked over his shoulder at Corndog Watkins. “Was that your first?”

Aaron had asked the question in such a casual manner, that Corndog wasn’t sure if he was actually expected to answer it. He decided that he didn’t want to appear to have anything to hide, so he answered. “No, I killed a guy on local ops with my Home Guard unit. But those were all defensive shoots. Doing it like this… before they even know to come after you… that’s totally different.”

“Yeah, it’s safer!” Aaron responded, grinning.

“Hold your horses there, Hondo. We don’t even know if Mr. Miyagi is even dead. You might have just wounded him… or missed entirely.” Paul said.

“Oh, fuck you asshole! You’ve seen me shoot.” Corndog retorted.

Paul grinned. “That doesn’t mean anything. I’ve seen IDPA champions dump an entire mag and still not hit shit in a real-world op.” Paul looked over his left shoulder at Corndog and smiled. “But I’m pretty sure you got him.”

Captain Sotterly addressed everyone in the van. “Alright listen up. Everyone got their earplugs out? Ok good. I know we went over this before we left, but I want everyone to be one hundred percent certain what the situation is before we get there.” Paul handed out the satellite photos of Battery Hill and the surrounding area. “Battery Hill is on the north side of the river. It is about a hundred fifty yards wide by three hundred yards long. Back during the Civil War it was an artillery position at some point, then became a cemetery for both sides. There’s an eight-foot brick wall on all sides but the water side, which has a very steep slope going down to some railroad tracks and then the river. I’d say its steep enough that you can get down it relatively safely but not back up without a rope.”

“You’ve been there, I’m guessing?” Corndog chimed in.

“Yeah, I used to jog through there sometimes back when I was in college.” Paul replied.

“When he was working on his Women’s Studies degree.” Hank teased.

“Oh, I studied quite a few women in college.” Paul grinned. “Anyway, on the west end is a golf course, on the south side the river, and surrounding the north and east sides is a neighborhood composed mostly of two-story houses which tend to be rented out to statist college kids. There are two gates; both are on the north side. One is the main gate, which is toward the east end and leads to a parking lot at a small stone admin building, which used to serve as the gatehouse. The second gate is sort of centered on the north wall and leads to the maintenance compound consisting of a shop and a couple small sheds. A six-foot wooden fence separates the maintenance compound from the cemetery. Plan on all these gates being locked. We won’t know for sure until we get eyes on.” Paul said. “Worst case scenario, someone hops the wall and unlocks the gate from the inside. We didn’t bring bolt cutters because we didn’t want any extra attention at the checkpoint.”

“So who gets to pop open the casket?” Aaron asked with a very skeptical look.

“There’s a dead guy in there. Get over it. We need the supplies in that casket. He had them put there for us.” Paul said, matter-of-factly. Aaron still looked skeptical, so Paul added, “Just think Christmas, not Halloween. Anyway, so the mausoleum we’re looking for is on the south side and sort of central eastish. It should have the name Collins in big-ass letters.“

Several minutes later they arrived at Battery Hill. Paul pointed and said to Aaron, “Here we go, slow down. See that big tall black iron gate? That’s the main gate. Looks like they’ve got a big ass chain and pad lock on it, so let’s go check out the other one.”

The maintenance gate was similarly secured, but Hank hopped the wall and found a key inside the deserted maintenance shop. Four minutes later the van was parked right in front of the Collins family mausoleum. It took some work, but Paul finally got the lock to turn. The gate-like iron door opened loudly, with every degree of pivot the rusty iron complained more. During this, Aaron Jackson maintained a lookout while pretending to pick up trash near the top of the small hill that stood between the line of mausoleums and the gatehouse. He didn’t want to be anywhere near that casket. Dennis Router set up an antenna to get in touch with Captain Staghorn’s crew. Corndog and Hank took the van to the maintenance compound to find tools, specifically a crowbar. Before long they were back with a crowbar, sledge hammer, and three empty five-gallon buckets with lids. The four of them removed the lid of the vault and then opened the casket, expecting a terrible odor.

Paul shone his flashlight inside, and then laughed joyously. “They cremated him! They fucking cremated him!” Paul pointed to the urn centered in the casket. Surrounding the urn were countless plastic jars of powder, boxes of bullets, bags of shiny brass, a disassembled loading press, A few boxes of complete ammunition, and four guns; a Springfield M1A Match, a Mossberg 500 Mariner, a Browning Hi-Power, and a Smith & Wesson 686.

Corndog and Paul loaded the supplies into the containers they had, starting with the storage tub from the van. Just as they had begun filling the first of the buckets, Jackson called out, “Hey boss man, they’re here!

Paul looked at his watch. “Already? They’re an hour early. Shit!” Paul exclaimed as he ran out of the mausoleum and up the hill in Aaron’s direction.

“So far they’re just congregating outside the main gate. Looks like both Antifa and Black Lives Matter.” Aaron chuckled. “Half the BLM is white, and its funny seeing the black BLM guys telling the white BLM guys that their opinions don’t matter and how they don’t want ‘white socialism’.” Jackson said.

Paul headed back to the mausoleum. “ Hank, go double-check that back gate. Make sure it’s secure. Corndog, back him up. Go on foot. I don’t want to attract attention.”

Hank inserted a loaded magazine into the Browning 9mm pistol, sent the slide forward, engaged the safety lever, and then tucked it in his waistband in an appendix carry method. “Sure thing, boss man. Be right back.” Router and Paul stayed behind and loaded the M1A’s four magazines. When they had finished that, Router loaded the revolver, while Paul loaded the shotgun with buckshot.

Paul, M1A in hand headed up the slope to Aaron’s observation point and took a knee next to him. “There are more of them. It doesn’t look like we’ll be driving out of here.” Aaron said.

Paul suddenly heard a rumbling, and then looked to his ten o’clock to see Hank returning at a brisk pace. “Sod, they’re outside the maintenance gate. It’s totally blocked. Corndog had an idea though. He’s bringing the Bobcat from the maintenance compound. I gotta find that sledge we brought over.”

Aaron and Paul looked at each other, then said in unison, “What the fuck?” Sure enough, Corndog drove the Bobcat skid steer through the wooden maintenance gate, got out, and closed it behind him.

Captain Sotterly ran back to the van where he found Dennis Router loading a five-gallon bucket full of reloading supplies through the side door. “Forget that for now.” Paul said in a hurry. “Tell Staghorn that we need an extraction here, ASAP!” Router immediately got on his radio.

Hank, wielding a sledgehammer, dug through the buckets until he found a jar of shotgun powder. “That should do.” He looked up to see Paul staring at him with a questioning look. “Originally we were gonna take the skid steer incase we needed to bust through the wall, but then we took a look at that cannon about halfway between the maintenance shop and here and we’re pretty sure we can make it work. Those things are like nine hundred pounds, but we can actually move it with the machine. We grabbed a bunch of tools out of the shop. We just need some help.”

Hank, Corndog, and Paul Sotterly managed to break apart the concrete base, which held a three-inch rifled parrott rifle. Corndog lifted the now-liberated cannon tube from the ground and drove it to the maintenance compound. Corndog led the project, with Hank and Paul acting as go-fers. If something was needed from the maintenance shop, Hank would find it. If something was needed from the mausoleum, Paul would run it over.

Corndog filled trash bags with dirt and used them to steady the gun in the skid steer’s bucket. A nail served as a front sight. A power drill cleared the fuze hole, and an air compressor blew out the debris from inside the bore. A toilet brush wrapped with a wet rag and duct taped to a broom handle would serve as a swab.

Paul figured out a hasty stand-in for a fuze. He pulled a bullet from a loaded .357Mag cartridge, and then stuffed paper in place of the bullet. This cartridge was the placed in the fuze hole, headstamp up. A thin post-it note pad was duct-taped over the cartridge, and then a roofing nail was carefully placed in the paper directly over the primer.

Hank worked on ammunition. He found some soda and soup cans in the trash and cut the tops off as carefully as he could. He didn’t want to crush the cans. Three were filled with nuts, bolts, washers, screws, and nails. Another was fitted with a trailer hitch ball. Another was filled with plaster of paris mixed with small chunks from the concrete base. He then found the jar of shotgun powder he had grabbed earlier and filled paper cups with about a quarter of what would normally be used if they had black powder.

The three amateur artillerymen drove their new self-propelled howitzer back to the mausoleum. They had prepared enough ammunition for five shots.

Dennis Router ran to Paul to deliver his news. “Staghorn’s guys are on their way. They sent a detachment up river by land. They’re going to secure a big enough boat and meet us here. Not sure how soon though.”

Then came Aaron Jackson with his news. “Yo Sod, There’s a shit ton of ‘em now. Some are carrying ARs and shit!” Just then they heard a gunshot coming from the main gate, which was a hundred and sixty yards away. Someone had used a shotgun to blow the chain off.

Paul surveyed the horde as they poured in. Many carried signs, several carried cameras, and several were armed. Amongst the armed lefties, Paul identified three types; Black Panther militants, Warsaw Pact-armed hipsters, and a handful of Antifa militants who had a former military look to them. The latter concerned Paul the most. They would be his priority targets if shots were fired. They were dressed in multicam BDUs, were protected by rifle-defeating armor plates, carried semi-auto high-capacity rifles, and communicated with hand signals and radios.

Right away the statists went to work, destroying and vandalizing indiscriminately. They knocked down ancient tombstones, breaking apart the marble ones with glee. What they couldn’t move or knock over they spray-painted with graffiti. A guy with skinny jeans and a bright blue beard swung a crowbar at an angel on a small monument until it’s wings and head were gone. The thugs were so busy in their vandalism and had so little attention to detail that none had noticed Captain Sotterly and his crew.

Paul’s men watched the destruction, then looked at their commander in shock as he was laughing at the spectacle. “If those fucking idiots actually gave a shit about this place, they’d know that they’re destroying the Union side of the cemetery.” The rest of his crew joined in the chuckle, but stopped suddenly when they saw what was going on at the gatehouse. The gatehouse door flung open and two of the Black Panthers hurled a balding white man out of the building. They stepped out the door and began kicking him, calling him all kinds of nasty names; faggot-ass cracka, racist motha-fucka, dumb honky, fascist bitch, white-ass bigot. After that it was for the most part just variations on previously used vocabulary. What their insults lacked in creativity they made up for in enthusiasm.

Aaron, Hank, Dennis, and Corndog looked at Paul for orders. He handed the M1A to Hank. “Hank, you see that guy with the plate carrier? He’s got a red bandana and a Karl Marx beard. He’s directing people. You’re gonna kill him. I’m gonna get the Black Panther on the left. After you shoot Karl Marx, then you shoot the Black Panther on the right. Corndog, fire up the machine and get the cannon ready. Load it with the trailer hitch. Router, bring me the Handi-Rifle and whatever ammo is left for it. Jackson, grab that shotgun and watch our flanks.”

Soon Paul had a rifle in his hands and was taking aim. He put the red dot on the Black Panther’s nose and pressed the trigger, and then reloaded. Hank fired two shots, and then turned his attention to the other Black Panther. “Shit! I got Karl Marx over there but my Black Panther ducked inside the building!”

“That’s okay. We’ve got something for that.” Paul said, waiving Corndog’s Bobcat up the hill. Antifa and BLM protestors and militants were scurrying out the gate. Several dove for cover behind large monuments. A bearded hipster had snuck to the southeast corner and fired his Nagant rifle and missed. He fumbled with the bolt as Aaron Jackson put him down with one shot from the shiny Mossberg. The skid steer rumbled between two rows of tombstones, then stopped when the cannon tube was high enough to hit the gatehouse. Paul checked the elevation, lifted the sledgehammer, and then dropped it on the roofing nail above the primer.

The parrott rifle spoke, and everyone listened.

The cannon tube bucked in it’s makeshift carriage, and a soda can sized hole suddenly appeared in the wall of the building. No longer feeling safe there, the occupants fled out the door and through the main gate. After a few seconds, another handful of protestors fled from behind a monument.

Paul handed the Handi-Rifle back to Router and jumped in the van’s driver’s seat. With Aaron standing in the rear doorway with his shotgun, and Hank standing in the side doorway with the M1A, Paul threw the van in reverse and the three of them made their way to the old man who had been beaten so brutally by the Black Panther thugs. When they got there, Hank cleared the gatehouse, Aaron covered the gate, and Paul loaded the unconscious man into the van.

Hank signaled to Paul to come take a look inside the gatehouse. Paul took one quick glance at the damage. He saw the hole drilled through the wall by the trailer hitch ball. He looked down and saw the body of a revolver-wielding Black Panther. A rather large chunk of his rib cage was now missing. A torn lung peeked out. “Let’s go.” Paul said.

Corndog was back behind the hill next to the mausoleum realigning the cannon tube and reloading it when the van returned. Router yelled to Paul, “Hey Sod, they’re on their way. They found a boat and should be here any minute.”

“Oh, thank God! Here, see what you can do to help this guy out. Oh, and don’t forget to pack up your antenna.” He said to Router as he and Hank unloaded the stranger from the van. “Aaron, you run back up the hill and keep an eye on things. Take the M1A with you.” But before Paul could finish his orders, a gunshot at the maintenance compound two hundred yards away announced the mob’s second breach. “Scratch that. Corndog, we’re gonna put a plaster round right through that wooden maintenance gate. Aaron, cover him with the M1A.

A minute later Paul again suspended his rusty sledgehammer above the cannon tube’s primer hole. Suddenly, the gates opened and a yellow Subaru station wagon pulled through. Aaron instantly opened up with the heavy .308 rifle. The driver, a fat girl with a shaved head, was killed instantly. Paul dropped the hammer, but nothing happened. He looked down and saw that the nail was sitting at a funny angle. With some effort he adjusted it, then looked up. The Subaru had traveled forty feet forward before coming to a halt after the fresh corpse in the driver’s seat steered it straight toward a large granite tombstone. Barely-aimed shots were fired from the Subaru and from behind the wooden fence of the compound. Corndog adjusted his deflection by pivoting the skid steer, and Paul directed the new angle. The vehicle’s occupants abandoned the Subaru just in time. Again the cannon tube bucked. The plaster and concrete projectile put a hole through the rear passenger door, destroying an abandoned AK in the process.

“Sod, they’re almost here, I can see them! They’re upstream and halfway across the river.” Dennis Router yelled.

“Awesome! Get that dude down there, we’ll take the gear.” Paul yelled back to Router. “Corndog, load her up one more time, this time with nails. Aaron, give Hank that rifle and grab that tub and take it down the hill. Hank, give me that shotgun and cover Corndog. Once he’s done, you two need to each grab the buckets and get down that hill and on that boat.” Corndog finished loading then pointed the whole rig toward the main gate. Hank put an entire magazine through the wooden fence of the maintenance compound, which had an immediate effect; Antifa abandoned that avenue of approach and once again tried the main gate.

Paul looked behind him and saw Corndog, then Hank slip down the hill with their buckets of treasure. He lifted the hammer over the primer hole and held it there for several seconds. He was waiting… waiting… finally there appeared in the gateway one of the squared away John Brown Militia types wearing multicam, armor, and carrying an FAL. Others soon joined him. That’s when Paul dropped his hammer one last time.

He didn’t know if they had been hit, ran away, or if they had just taken cover, but they were gone. Enemies no longer in sight, and at least for the moment not shooting at him, Paul abandoned his cannon and slid down the steep slope toward the river.

Paul’s descent was anything but graceful. His foot caught on a briar, which set him off balance. He spun and fell at a weird angle. When he stood he realized he was limping. He had sprained his ankle, but he would worry about that later. Paul hobbled across the train tracks, descended a much smaller and less steep slope, then was helped aboard a small sailboat. One of Staghorn’s sailors pushed off from the shore, and then gave another shove off a large slippery rock that peeked above the surface. As they headed down river Paul winced in pain, looked at the boat, then at the helmsman, whom he recognized but the sailor’s name escaped him. “Interesting choice of boat.”

The helmsman grinned and replied, “Its what we could find. At least its quiet, and we’ve got the current pushing us. Plus we’ve got paddles, although they’re mainly to keep us off the rocks here in the rapids. We couldn’t find the sails, so we just left the mast behind.” Every now and then the partially lowered centerboard scraped along a rock. A half-mile below the fall line captain Leo Staghorn’s vessel came into view. Paul had never before been so happy to see the Premeditated Motor.


Epilogue

Seventeen hours later, Paul Sotterly and Leo Staghorn sat drinking coffee in the stern of the Premeditated Motor, which was again docked safely in its secret marina. “Sorry I didn’t have more blankets for you guys last night.” Leo said.

“I can’t speak for my guys, but I’m not complaining. That was the best sleep I’ve gotten in a while.” Paul responded.

“What’s the story on your ankle?” Leo asked.

“Doc says I’m gonna be running and gunning again in a week or two.”

“How about your guy, Grayson?” Leo inquired, referring to the older man Paul and his crew had rescued. Jon Grayson had regained consciousness shortly after their escape from Battery Hill.

“A broken nose, two black eyes, some cracked ribs, and too many bruises to count. Other than that, he should be okay. Doc’s gonna check on him daily, and he’s staying with Mrs. Delmond, so he’s in good hands. Apparently he’s the head groundskeeper at Battery Hill Cemetery. The only remaining groundskeeper, actually. All the others had been laid off. His house was broken into too many times and his car was stolen and never recovered, so he just sort of moved in to the admin building at his workplace.”

“You’re talking about Mr. Grayson?” Fletch Rollins asked, already knowing the answer. He walked the distance of the dock and halted next to Leo’s boat, one hand resting on the gunwale. “Permission to come aboard, sir?” He asked, looking at Captain Staghorn.

“Yeah Scuttlebutt, come aboard and have some coffee with us. I know you’ve got some good info on Paul’s op, and I can’t wait to hear it.” Leo said, leaning back in his chair and grinning from ear to ear.
“Okay gentlemen, here’s what I’ve got from my sources so far.” Fletch poured himself a cup of coffee, and then blew on it before starting. “Colonel Djang is dead. He took a round in the face, made it to the hospital, but died before they could do emergency surgery. So far the investigation is pointing toward a professional sniper high up at a parking garage. The Chinese ambassador is furious and demanding full-scale gun confiscation.”

Fletch took a sip of his coffee. “The van has been reported stolen. From what I’m hearing, it is believed to have been burned at the cemetery, but my source hasn’t yet confirmed the VIN. Let me know if you need any help compensating the van’s owner.” Fletch took another sip from his cup. Looking at Leo Staghorn, he said, “Good coffee, by the way.”

Fletch turned back to Paul. “Ready for the body count? Okay, you guys killed seven at Battery Hill, with a couple more injured. That little skirmish is driving them absolutely nuts. The investigators can’t be sure of any evidence because the lefties disturbed the scene so much after you guys were extracted. Antifa is scared shitless right now. They were planning on doing the same thing to a veteran’s cemetery on the other side of town next week, but it’s looking like they’ve postponed it. Black Lives Matter is angry, especially with Antifa. They say Antifa led them into a trap and carried signs when they should’ve carried guns. Antifa claims that BLM left them high and dry and refused to take part in the counterattack, which fits in with what you were telling me earlier; that you didn’t see any Black Panthers after that first assault through the main gate.”

Paul spoke up. “So those fuckers don’t trust one another anymore. Good. Maybe that’s something we can exploit on our next op. What did Don say about those reloading supplies?”

“Don is like a kid on Christmas. You should hobble over there and see him. He said he wants your crew to have the guns you found.”

“Nah.” Paul replied. “I’m more interested in being able to borrow what I need when I need it. Besides, we rarely use any of those models.” Paul thought to himself for a few seconds, then said, ”Well… I guess I could take that revolver to my buddy to compensate for the loss of his van.” Paul painfully stood up and poured himself another cup of coffee.
“It’s a damn good thing ole Jack Collins left more than just reloading supplies. We would have been fucked with a capital F if the only weapons we had were a handful of .380s and a single-shot rifle. Oh by the way, Corndog performed magnificently yesterday in the jungle. It was as if he had been with my crew for months. He never once second-guessed or argued, and he hit his targets just fine under pressure. What I want to know is how the hell he knows so much about civil war cannons. He was really on top of that. Hank and I were impressed.”

Fletch sipped his coffee, and then replied. “Oh, Sergeant Watkins is constantly reading up on Civil War stuff. Before the crap hit the fan, he’d be out in the fields around here with a metal detector in one hand and an entrenching tool in the other. And I’m pretty sure he had a friend who owned a cannon and used to take it to reenactments.”

“Hey, Fletch.” Paul started. “I’ve been thinking about our rat and all those college kids at the professor’s party. I’d say about seventy percent of them were chicks. Which means they’re not gonna fit in with us warriors, but all it takes is just one of our guys to get a case of diarrhea of the mouth around his girlfriend and we’re totally compromised. I wouldn’t worry as much about the dudes I saw there. Skinny-jeans and pink hair sort of get noticed real quick around here.”

Fletch sipped his coffee and nodded, knowing exactly where Paul was going. “I hear you, Sod. I’ll send word to all my contacts in other units and let them know what to be on the lookout for, and to vet the girlfriends too, if they’re not doing it already.”

[ 01-12-2018, 09:00 AM: Message edited by: SBL ]

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On equipment: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
On training: Our drills are bloodless battles so that our battles are bloody drills.
On tactics: Cheating just means you're serious about winning.

Posts: 4297 | From: Central Virginia; VIM | Registered: Jan 2008  | Report this post to a Moderator
SBL
Senior Member
Member # 3900

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Just so everyone here is aware; my plan is to eventually move all my stories to Amazon Kindle and start making a buck or two off them. When that happens, you'll know because they'll suddenly be deleted from here. I'll edit them a bit and probably rename them. Until that happens, enjoy and feel free to share these with like-minded folks.

--------------------
On equipment: You get what you inspect, not what you expect.
On training: Our drills are bloodless battles so that our battles are bloody drills.
On tactics: Cheating just means you're serious about winning.

Posts: 4297 | From: Central Virginia; VIM | Registered: Jan 2008  | Report this post to a Moderator
airforce
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[Smile]

Onward and upward,
airforce

Posts: 17346 | From: Tulsa | Registered: Jan 2002  | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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