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Nightmares

 

 

 

 

Nightmares

By Stephen Brandon

Copyright 2017 Stephen Brandon

Shakespir Edition

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These nightmares are in alphabetical order by title. See Table of Contents.

 

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Shakespir Edition, License Notes

 

Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

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Table of Contents ~(ToC)~

 

Authors Note

Acknowledgments

Prologue

Story 1 A New Precedent {published in 2014}

Story 2 A Simple Battle Plan {published in 5 short Stories in 2014}

Story 3 Defense {new}

Story 4 One Day in Texas {published in From Texas to New York in 2014

Story 5 Riots {new}

Story 6 Self Defense {published in 5 short Stories in 2014}

Story 7 The Drone {new}

Story 8 Polls have Consequences {new}

Epilogue

About Stephen Brandon

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Author’s Note

 

This book is a work of fiction. All characters, organizations, incidents, and dialogue are from the authors imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or other persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. Real and fictional locations are used for background only.

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Acknowledgments

My wife has put up with me for over forty seven years. Without her support and love I don’t know who, what, or where I would be, so I thank her from the bottom of my heart, and I dedicate my books to her!

Others that I dedicate my books to, are teachers, librarians, and those other individuals that take the time to instruct children and young people. They may not have certificates, but they care!

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About Stephen Brandon and his other books

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Prologue

 

A collection of stories that … well you decide.

Over the years, everyone has nightmares. Some from eating to late, some from life experiences, and others from just listening to the evening news just before bedtime.

A few nights ago I watched the evening news, and then went to bed. I woke up in a cold sweat about three AM remembering a few stories I’d published years ago, and some I wrote but didn’t publish. I don’t remember what caused the original nightmares that prompted me to write those stories.

I reread them and decided to republish them, and publish some of the unpublished ones. I still have several, but they are so off the wall or what you would consider controversial, that I’m going to hold onto them unless I hear their contents in the news. After all, I’m not a harbinger.

Each is a nightmare in its own right, some more so than others. It depends on your point of view.

Here they are!

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A New Precedent

~ ~ ~

 

The Inauguration

 

It was a blustery January morning in Washington as the crowds gathered.

Everyone had been surprised at the landslide victory last November. The political fight and daily polls were so close that pollsters had been reluctant to forecast a winner.

The Chief Justice approached the podium and then the president elect. His wife stood up and handed the Chief Justice her family Bible and took a step back. As the new president said “I Do” and lowered his hand; his wife stepped forward and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Then her head exploded in bloom of blood. The secret service dragged the new president down to the platform and others looked around as the sound of a high powered rifle shot snapped over the crowd. A second shot killed the vice-president elect and two secret service agents as they hustled him from the platform. A lone camera recorded the tears on the new presidents face as he was carried into the White House.

The press clamored and raised hell when they were told that the inaugural address would be delayed 24 hours.

Half a dozen international news organizations played news clips from all over the world. Spontaneous crowds gathered and cheered the death of a leader of the great Satan.

The White House press corps did not clamor with questions when the President walked into the press room and simply announced that he would be in mourning for 3 days and then give his inaugural address in the rotunda. A single reporter started to yell a question. Three other reporters knocked him down right in front of the live TV cameras broadcasting the announcement.

~ ~ ~

 

Mourning

 

The vice-president elects casket had been moved from the center of the rotunda over to the front of the low platform built in front of the doors. Security was so tight that every cameraman had to disassemble their cameras and everyone else was patted down to ensure no weapons or explosives entered the rotunda.

The leader of the house was blatantly absent. Several reporters noted the fact and broadcast it as their cameras zoomed in on the empty chair. Even though the leader of the house was from the opposite political party, they pounded in the fact on live TV that common courtesy dictated the fact that he should be present.

As the President approached the microphone, the reporters commented that he still wore a black armband. His first words were, citizens of the United States, today is a black day in western civilization. One of the two assassins was caught and interrogated. An appropriate response is now on its way to the headquarters of the terrorist group that launched the assassination of one of the leaders of this great country and my wife. Our ambassadors were instructed one hour ago to contact the leaders of all the countries we have diplomatic relations with and inform them of our response to this dastardly attack. National and international law forbids assassination of a countries leaders unless they are in active armed conflict. In the morning I will be requesting a formal declaration of war against the terrorist groups that are attacking the foundations of our society. In the meantime I am responding against the attack with fire under the existing laws and provisions granted the Commander in Chief. If I am granted a formal declaration of war by the Congress the military will be placed on alert and the so called war on terror will become a real fact. At present known terrorist and suspected terrorist are being arrested under the present laws. Fifty military tribunals will be convened to review the evidence against these terrorist warriors.

The southern border remains a problem. I ordered the pentagon to implement a border security plan which started yesterday. Active military units have started moving to secure the border from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean. I will be asking congress to declare a five mile wide border security zone. All private property owners will be compensated and relocated within the next thirty days. Cities located on the border will be under marshal law within a half mile of the border, and the private property owners given the option of selling or moving. Once barriers are in place, shoot to kill orders will be implemented. The invasion of the country will be stopped. Illegal aliens located within the country will be arrested and documented. If their home country will not accept them upon deportation, there is sufficient desert in the southwest to build permanent internment camps and I will also be asking congress to pass a mandatory life sentence for illegal entry to the country. Homeland Security and the border patrol will no longer operate on a capture, ticket, and release policy.

I now ask all legal citizens to contact their congressional representative and senators to express their opinion. The citizens of this country should let their opinion known. It will help forge the policies that will determine the rise or fall of our country.

Looking at the clock on the wall, he then said, “Now if you will patiently wait four minutes and thirteen seconds you will observe the retribution for the dastardly attack on the government of this county by a group of terrorist.” The rules of war and the Geneva convention do not apply to this response because we have not formally declared war on those terrorist. Also our law enforcement agencies have located several of these type bombs that were smuggled into our country. Everyone watched the monitor behind him on the wall as it switched to a desert scene; then a bright flash of light, and the horror of a mushroom shaped cloud forming above the target.

Then the President raised his hand and informed everyone that the original chain of succession was now in effect as outlined in the constitution. Then he said, Thank-you, there will be no questions, a press release will be handed out in the morning. Turning he stepped off the stage and was escorted through the doors into the hall.

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The Reply

 

His red phone was ringing when he entered his office. Picking it up he answered. The recorded conversation from his side recorded him telling the person on the other end of the line the fact that three nuclear devices had been captured by local and federal law enforcement. Since the terrorist were planning on using them within the country, it was only appropriate to reply in like manner. Our military wants to return those devices to their country of manufacture, however I’ve overruled them because two of those devices are from your county and one from France. I’m sure when the ambassador gives you the pictures with identifying markings you will move to punish the persons that stole and sold them to the terrorist. Pictures and documentation of their device was delivered by our ambassador to the French president.

Within the hour the French ambassador was at the White House demanding to see the President. When he explained his governments outrage at us having a French nuclear device. President explained. “Our military wanted to return all three devices to their country of origin; however I overruled them. It will be used when appropriate. Don’t worry about it because we have captured two more devices within the country and another is now being tracked. They will also be returned to the terrorist. Any other problems today? “The fat French ambassador sat with his mouth open looking shocked and stated that no civilized man or nation would use nuclear bombs. The President simply stated that the attack on his government had set a new precedent! The terrorist wanted to be martyrs, he would help them accomplish their desires, and the ambassador had his permission to let everyone know.

~

That evening at the pentagon the president sat with the Chief of Staff and the heads of each branch of the military. Patiently he explained, “The next time a terrorist act is committed against our country I want a military response against the crowds cheering the terrorist act. I believe we have the technology to quickly deliver a fuel air bomb to the locations of the terrorist supporters demonstrations. I know that leaves a very short time frame for retaliation. Fire is something that is feared by everyone. If a few terrorist supporters are incinerated, I won’t loose any sleep and they might get the idea that supporting their terrorist is hazardous to their health.

“This will in no way cause any delay or problem with Homeland Security finding out who launched the attack and then a targeted response on their headquarters and leadership.

“I am determined that our country and citizens will not be put in unnecessary danger by terrorist. They only have to slip through once to succeed. However, we must make it so costly that they will think twice before thinking about trying another attack.”

~

The next morning local time a crate, marked weapons, was delivered to the Hamas headquarters with the return address of mosque in Iraq. As they pried the top off; a 15 kiloton nuclear fireball incinerated almost two square miles.

~

A second crate marked personal for the head Imam of the Brotherhood in Syria was pried open less than an hour later. It produced a 250 Kiloton explosion that destroyed their capitol city.

~

Within the hour the red phone rang and the President replied to the caller that our military is no longer in possession of any of your nuclear devices. However, we’re still tracking one and expect to capture it shortly. Then we will know who built it before we return it to the sender. Then he asked the caller if he knew how many of his devices were missing. Homeland Security would know how many to look for. All the President got was silence before the caller hung up.

~ ~ ~

 

Politics as usual?

 

Congress spent the next three days politicking and trying to add amendments to the requested bills. That Sunday a freight car exploded on a rail-siding in Kansas. The mushroom cloud was visible from Wichita, and they were downwind. Thousands were injured in the panicked mass exodus from the city.

Monday morning the air-force dropped five fuel air bombs on demonstrations celebrating the attack. The international news media broadcasting the demonstrations live, lost their reporters and cameramen. They protested the brutality of the American governments targeting of peaceful civilian demonstrations, yet their own recordings showed the malevolence of the crowds.

Monday at noon local time the French nuclear device exploded over the Al Qaeda headquarters of a training camp in Yemen. The air-burst left a several hundred yards of fused sand in the desert.

A hundred and twenty-seven men were arrested at a demonstration in Michigan and deportation proceedings started that afternoon.

Tuesday morning the requested bills were delivered, with no amendments, to the President for his signature into law. He reluctantly signed them knowing they would limit the type responses he could use.

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A SIMPLE BATTLE PLAN

 

BRIEFING TO TROOPS:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fourteen male adults have been identified as friendly to our side. Their pictures are on the cards passed out. Make every reasonable effort not to kill them, provided they are not with a group that is engaging you with weapons.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Enemy combatants are anyone that shoots at you, male or female.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Potential enemy combatants are any male old enough to have facial hair.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Deployment will start the minute you touch the ground. Some of you will parachute in to secure the drop zone. These will be followed by helicopter troops. These will be followed by airplanes full of soldiers with vehicles, more ammunition, food, and miscellaneous supplies.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. All units deployed must be 16 kilometers from their deployment point within the first 24 hours. The reason for this mandatory distance is the Air Force will start carpet bombing 24 hours after the first troops are deployed. They will also be dropping various types of mines.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The exit location is the eastern border of the country and transportation will be on hand from day 25 to day 31. That means each unit will be required to advance 16 kilometers per day.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The planners of this operation expect that the enemy may try a scorched earth defense ahead of our advancing line. This will not work because logistics has plans that will be implemented to airdrop, ammunition, explosives, food, water, and fuel plus repair parts for vehicles deployed.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Previous attempts to subdue the enemy and their terrorist nation build have failed. Therefor this is a punitive war. 8000 soldiers will start on the western border of the country plus company and battalion size units dropped at strategic locations on the norther and southern borders.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. No prisoners will be taken. No surrender of enemy combatants will be accepted. This information has been relayed to all the governments in the surrounding geographic area and they’ve been informed that if they deploy troops within the border of the target country they will be carpet bombed.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Due to the fact that they have eliminated almost all of our ground intelligence resources we will have not any method of determining who is armed and who is not. Anyone entering the countries border will be considered an enemy combatant.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Each of you will be given a card with local phrases. These will consist of, Come out with you hands up, Anyone not coming out with their hands up will be considered an enemy combatant and will be shot, Lay flat on the ground with your hands on your head, Stay on the ground until we leave. At that point the building they exited will be quickly searched. If there is any resistance or persons within the building explosives will be placed and the building will be destroyed.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Reasonable attempts will be made to refrain from destroying the countries manufacturing infrastructure. Factories and business will be quickly searched. If there is no resistance, then they will be left intact. If resistance is encountered, then they will be destroyed using explosives and fire.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Then the unit will advance and all persons laying on the ground left after a warning that they should remain on the ground.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Any tunnels or bunkers will have gasoline and or diesel poured down the entrances and then destroyed with explosives. Any heavy resistance at fortified locations will be considered enemy combatants. If the unit cannot advance and take the location within 2 hours the following actions will be implemented. The unit will surround the fortified location at the distance of 1 kilometer. Unit commander will contact Unit Seven and give location. At that time all soldiers surrounding the fortified location should have dug in. The fortified location will be bombed with bunker busters and then carpet bombed with mines. Warning signs will be placed every 1/2 kilometer around the fortified location. The unit will at that time move on to their next objective.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The attacked fortified location will be monitored. Any movement detected will automatically trigger a scorched earth attack using napalm.

 

WARNING TO ALL SOLDIERS: Rape and pillaging will not be tolerated. Anyone caught raping or having sex with a female will be immediately executed. All solders leaving the theater of operations will be searched. Any items not of military issue will be confiscated and they will be charged with pillaging.

 

COMPANY COMMANDER: Briefing under tab A.

 

BATTALION COMMANDERS: Briefing under tab B.

 

COMMUNICATIONS SECTIONS FROM SQUAD TO COMPANY: Frequencies and authentication under tab C.

 

COMPANY AND ABOVE COMMUNICATIONS SECTIONS: Frequencies and contacts listed under tab D.

 

GROUND WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION: Listed under tab E.

 

AIR WEAPONS AND AMMUNITION: Listed under tab F.

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Defense

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First Meeting

 

“The meeting will now come to order. I see that everyone is here.”

“Chairman, Why were we asked not to bring our phones or recorders, and why is your secretary using that antique?”

The Chairman replied, “You are now Mr. Brown, this meeting is so secret that no electronic copy will be made of the discussion or plans made here. We face a problem, almost all the electronic media and storage facilities we have, have been penetrated. My typist will type up the conversation, plans, and decisions made today. You each will get a paper copy if you so desire.”

“ Chairman, My computers are secure.” stated the second man on the left.

The Chairman replied, “You will now be referred to as Mr. Blue. Mrs. Jones, would you please pull Mr. Blue’s company file.

“Thank you.”

Handing Mr. Blue a thick folder the chairman stated, “If you will quickly look through the contents of your folder, tell everyone your first impression.”

As Mr. Blue looked through the folder his eyebrows got higher and his expression got more and more angry. Looking up he hollered, “I strongly object to your underhanded tactic of trying to get my cooperation by hacking my company files!”

The chairman replied, “You may notice that file ID’s are not in our language. Look at the top of each page. These were smuggled out, and I got this copy last night. Does anyone else want to see their company files?

“One of my analysis made the mistake of copying some of the memory chips to our mainframe last week. One of our foreign contacts managed to get part of a message through before it was cut off. It simply stated, Some of the files I sent you last week are reappearing as new fil—-. Our IT team has located several problems in our system that compromise all our file security. The first program located was in the kernel of the operating system. That leads his team to conclude that the operating system teams have been compromised for some time. I suggest that you dig out your old typewriters. Mrs. Jones will give each of you another folder to take to your most trusted IT individual. I suggest you only use paper copies of anything you want to keep secret until your IT teams can secure your computer systems including your stand-alone research computers. One of our IT guys stated that the only way would be to trash our operating systems and write our own.”

Pointing at the other three men at the table the Chairman simply stated, “You will be referred to as Mr. Green, Mr. Yellow, and Mr. White. I will be referred to as simply as Mr. Chairman. As you know, I am not the head of the agency, I’m just a member. He briefed me last week and told me to handle it, along with another problem.

“Now for the second problem. Our allies are getting their asses kicked. The enemy has captured the equivalent of four divisions worth of prepositioned equipment in the last year, and they are using it. We need a new weapon that any illiterate tribesman can understand and use. I hate to state it, but it must be powerful enough to take out our main battle tanks that are being used against our allies.”

Mr Yellow raised his hand slightly.

“Yes, Mr. Yellow.”

“There is a weapon that is in the idea stage. So far as I know it hasn’t been put on any of our networked computers. I’ll talk to my research team as soon as I get back. It may be useful. Are there any requirements that your boss demands for any weapons we develop?” as he looked around the table.

The Chairman looked at each member and then stated, “His only fear is that the enemy might get hold of the developed weapons and use them against us, or reverse engineer them. Now that you know our problem, Mrs Jones will type up a copy for each of you that want one. Any contact or future planning will be only transmitted by courier on paper. Any questions?

“Yes Mr. White.”

“If John, I mean Mr. Yellow doesn’t mind I will send two engineers over to brainstorm with his research team.”

The Chairman looked at the assembled men and then said, “My boss doesn’t care who works together as long as we get results, and neither do I. He simply stated we needed some new toys and they would be purchased as such. Any royalties or development cost will be covered by the developers. If they work, we’ll buy them. If they don’t, we won’t.

“That leaves you free to decide what they are, how they work, and how efficient they are. He simply wants results, politics be damned! He referenced an aircraft developed several decades ago that was superior, but wasn’t bought because of politics, the more expensive one was. He also referred to a story he heard in Europe back during the Cold War days. If I remember it correctly it was about a weapons system that could have been replaced by giving every soldier in Europe a brand new Cadillac with several antitank rockets in the trunk. The Cadillac and antitank rockets would have cost less.

“Our next meeting date and location will hand delivered to you soon. Please don’t put anything on any computer or talk on any telephone system.”

~ ~ ~

 

*Mrs. Jones invites you to her son’s birthday party on the 14*th of next month. He will be ten.

The location is the Cranberry Club. Limousine service will be provided from your location in Pennsylvania. Pick up time will be noon.

Attire will be informal. Dinner and breakfast will be furnished with accommodations.

PS: No electronic toys, he has enough junk as it is. I am trying to interest him in art.

The party started off with a buffet dinner. The adults of each family had seats at the head table with the birthday boy having a round table in the center of the room. All the other children sat at that table.

One of the mothers behind the buffet was covered with splashed food within five minutes by several younger children playing with their food. Linda just smiled and commented to another server, “Just like home. It was nice of Mrs. Jones set up this party for my son.”

Barbra, the server to her left commented, “Yea, next month it’s my daughters turn to have a birthday party. Betty said something about planning a western weekend for her.”

The third server, Ann, then commented, “I see the boys have retired for their conference. How soon do you think the kids will wear down?”

 

“OK, this room is now secure. Mr. Green, you asked for the meeting.” stated the Chairman.

“I know its only been three weeks, but some of my boys have an idea. It’s based on the old SFR. Just in review, the SFR was a shoulder fired rocket. To prevent it from being used more than once the tube will be made out of cardboard lined with heavy foil. The firing trigger and sight mechanism will contain a microchip powered by a battery. In the nose of the rocket will be a black and white led TV camera with the necessary microchips. This should allow the firer to lock on a target, fire, and throw the empty tube away. The rocket will be solid fuel with three guidance vanes. The overall weight will depend on the type of warhead, but half my team wants a depleted uranium rod with a shaped charge. The other half wants to try tungsten steel sabot with Teflon coated penetration tip. Everyone agrees that the rocket needs to be over four feet long for sufficient velocity.”

The Chairman asked, “Anyone else?”

Mr. Blue said, “Yes, my dream team has come up with a portable rocket. It weighs in about sixty pounds.

The guidance vanes are deployed to form a launch platform, and act as the safety for the motor. The control unit is twenty pounds with a periscope range finder. A UV laser tags the target. A two hundred foot wire carries the launch signal allowing the rockets to be placed away from the controller. Range is four miles. Once launched the rocket climbs to 1600 feet and scans for the tagged target. Once located it sends an acquisition signal with picture to the launch controller. The operator has thirty seconds to verify the target or tag something else. If the tag remains steady or disappears, the rocket then goes for the target. If it is moved then the rocket re-targets. This can be done twice. The backup targeting system is thermal. It looks for any heat source over two hundred degrees. The rocket is fueled for a five mile range with the last part of the fuel in the form of a shaped charge to fire the penetrator. The rocket is subsonic until the shaped fuel charge is ignited. With ten test so far we have a 7 hits with 5 penetrations of the M2 reactive armor. Over 90% of the targeting components are off the shelf and the main rocket is an adapted J43.

Rubbing his chin, the Chairman asked Mr. Green and Mr. Blue the cost per unit.

Mr Green replied, “The first handmade two hundred will cost approximately $1200. Production line cost will drop to $600 each.”

Then Mr. Blue replied. “The control targeting unit is a reusable unit costing $1200. The rockets and their electronics can be built for $525 each, once the production line is set up.”

“Mrs. Jones, as soon as the meeting is typed up I need a contract for Mr. Green to deliver two hundred of his units plus one trainer in forty-five days. Units will be packaged so they can be either carried by man or beast.

“Mr. Green, can you meet the deadline?”

“Yes Sir.”

“Mrs. Jones then type up a contract for Mr. Blue to deliver two control targeting units, two hundred rockets, and one trainer in forty-five days. All units including the control unit should be packaged for man or beast transportation.

“Mr. Blue, can you meet the deadline.”

“Mr. Chairman, I’ll need to send two trainers.”

“No you won’t. Mr. Blue, your trainer will train the native soldier on the first fire mission, and then he will train the second operator on the second fire mission. They will then train their replacements.

“I will assign observers to confirm hits and kills. I expect a kill ratio of 60% or better. If both of you are confident, then the next batch will be purchased at the prices you've given me in lots of two hundred each.

“Mr. Blue, that will include a control units per hundred rockets. Is there any maintenance required for the control units?”

“Yes Sir, the batteries are estimated for approximately twenty uses.”

“Mr. Blue, I hope that they are replaceable by someone that can not read the instructions, and may have never even seen transistor radio.”

“Sir, can you give me a fifteen day extension on the first order. I need to get my team to make the control units more shockproof, and childproof. The cost will remain the same.”

“Mrs. Jones, change Mr. Blue’s delivery date to sixty days out.

“Now, Mr. Brown, do you have anything in the works or ready to propose.”

“Mr. Chairman, my team was uncertain of a high kill rate on tanks and APC’s. They concentrated on soft targets like helicopters, small aircraft, troop trucks, cargo trucks, troop concentrations, etc. It is also utilizes an optical guidance system. We have the targeting and flight control system design ready and can put out the contract to our toy manufacturer in the morning. The warhead is a reshaped claymore. The basic rocket is any Stinger rocket in inventory. Guidance system replacement and testing takes approximately one hour from start to finish. The original shoulder launchers can be used without modification. Original range can be extended by replacing the fuel core, and that takes an additional hour. Guidance system manufacturing cost is $209 off the manufacturing line in lots of five hundred or more.”

“It seems that your design crew just upgraded the Stinger with a new guidance system, am I correct?”

“Basically yes Mr. Chairman, however they have tested the prototype against several foreign shoulder launch guided missiles and found that they also work. I almost forgot to mention that the new guidance system contains pictures of over a hundred vehicle and aircraft types and can be launched in the direction of the enemy without locking on a target first. This feature also allows it to pick a target by threat priority and adjust its impact to the most favorable soft spot of the target.”

“Mr Brown, just how adaptable is your design? Could it work on smart bombs or torpedoes?” asked Mr. Blue.

“Yes, my team is working on different frequency modules from the infrared to x-ray. That also includes a target memory for radar installations that go off line before impact. Another feature is what my team is working on is the ignore circuit. That would allow it to be fired into a group of aircraft and ignore the friendlies, and only target the hostiles. One of my boys suggest that it could be used as and anti-missile missile guidance system with the proper air-frame.”

Mr. Blue then asked, “Can I get a few dozen to test on other munitions?”

“No, when we finish design on all the snap in modules and harden it to make it shockproof, we will only sell them in five-hundred lots. After retooling the manufacturing line I can let you have five-hundred optical only units for $125000, or you can wait an negotiate for different frequency modules.

“Mr. Chairman, the first lot will be at manufacturing cost to you with a technical crew to install on any weapons system you desire for test. The technical team will write the installation manuals on site. I know that isn’t what you outlined at the first meeting, but that is what I am prepared to do. You may accept or refuse, your choice.” stated Mr. Brown.

Then the Chairman turned to Mr. Yellow and Mr. White and asked how they were progressing with their project.

Mr. Yellow replied, “We are progressing with the operating system, however our first attempt failed because we used part of an existing system. Mr. White has written a completely new language that has no root in any existing language that we know of. From it my team is designing a root kernel that will not work on most of the latest microchips. I also had to design and manufacture a new central processing unit. This CPU has twist in it that will hopefully defeat any attempts to compromise it. It will work only with our new OS. Standard programs loaded into our new computer will not work, so that means that we are having to write all standard programs from scratch. Two members from our teams have had nervous breakdowns, and have been institutionalized. One of them kept claiming that the CPU was sentient. We are in completely uncharted territory. The memory requirements alone are eight times what we anticipated. Your boss is going to hit the ceiling because we have used three quarters of the allotted budge so far, and we estimate that we’ll need twice that for the first dozen computers. ”

The Chairman rose and said, “Mrs Jones will furnish each of you with a copy of the meeting before you depart in the morning. Have a pleasant evening.

~ ~ ~

 

Fishing

 

“Mr. Yellow, I hate fishing,” stated the Chairman.

“I didn’t know that.” Turning up the radio he continued, “I rented this boat on the way up here so I don’t think there are any local bugs. This radio also puts out white noise along with subsonic and hyper sonic frequencies.

“Now for the reason. As you know I reported that my team designed a new CPU for the computer and other teams are writing the kernel and OS. Let me explain that the CPU is quad, not binary. In simpler words it needs four commands to perform any function, not the two like a normal computer CPU. I explored this architecture and its structure because of a comment made by a doctor friend of mine. His comment was that a DNA strand contained as much information as any library in existence. Not completely accurate, but closer to the truth than I knew at the time.

The language that Mr. White created for us is also unique. It only has sixteen letters. Let me give an example. A simple command like print a cursor on the screen takes several layers or rungs on the ladder. First you code in the rung number, then the number or rungs to read, where to execute, then execute, and the cursor appears on the monitor. To print the cursor on the printer you just change one rung of the command. Each command is coded in like a rung of a DNA strand and each command ladder has its own unique number. Do you understand so far?”

The Chairman answered, “I think so.”

“Now we get to the hairy part. The original language only had the ten numbers, 0 to 9, and sixteen letters. A combination of four codes, imagine binary, make up each number and letter. Remember at the last meeting I informed you that the computer required eight times the memory we forecasted. One of my boys finally figured out what was in that memory. The CPU has been writing its own code and expanding its capabilities. It has also been modifying the code we programmed it with. Yesterday it posted to our monitor a schematic for us to make a new CPU that looks simpler than the one I designed, but upon close examination it is far more complicated and capable. Not to mention the fact that we calculate that it will be almost twice as fast.

“Do you have any idea what I’m describing?”

The chairman looked puzzled and then commented, “I think what you are describing what’s referred to as an artificial intelligence computer.”

“Yup, what you wanted was an unbreakable computer and I’ve got one. However, we’ve lost control of it, and don’t know what it is capable of doing, and quickly loosing our knowledge of how it is doing it.

“I need some guidance. Do I pull the plug, or will your boss take responsibility for what comes out of this project? The decision may go way above his pay grade, because we built a second computer at a different location, and the first line of code we put in was that it was not allowed to write its own code. In less than a week it found a way around that command and expanded its capabilities. Mr. Chairman, I’ll brief him and his bosses anytime.”

Rowing back to shore didn’t take long.

  1. # #

 

 

One Day in Texas

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Prologue for One Day in Texas

 

This story is fiction and I hope it remains so! It wasn’t until modern times that an army was deliberately disarmed when it returned to its country of origin.

Governments that are afraid of their military forces disarm them. That way they can control them. Soldiers are trained to obey the lawful orders of those appointed over them.

Governments that are afraid of their citizens do everything they can to disarm them. Gun registration, background checks, and gun free zones are the early indicators.

Having law abiding citizens with no weapons create a target rich environment for armed criminals. It also creates a target rich environment for an enemy whether domestic or foreign.

A national border that is easily crossed is asking for problems. One of the laws of nature dictates that a vacuum will be filled. What fills the vacuum at the southern border of this country is something that the beginning of this story assumes could happen.

This is not an essay on border security or gun control, but a story of possibilities.

~ ~ ~

 

That shouldn’t be happening

 

First thing I was aware of was the floor coming at me. As I shook my head I realized that someone had dumped my bunk over. Having the top bunk had it’s advantages, sometimes.

Some scoundrel was yelling, “Get your asses up and gear up. Formation in 10 out front, full riot gear.”

Stumbling out into the dark I heard trucks arriving. “Load up by squads” came a roar. A few minutes later we were bouncing around like bowling pins after a strike. Suddenly fear clutched my heart as we tumbled to the front of the truck and someone dropped the tailgate and started shoving rifles into the truck. A wooden box I recognized as magazines followed. Then a few green cans of ammo landed with a crash. A Corporal climbed in as the tailgate slammed up and the truck lurched forward.

His first words were, “Get that ammo and start loading magazines. We got no time to waste.”

Fear really grabbed me because Fort Hood was in the middle of Texas, not some dangerous part of the world. Scrambling back I grabbed the clips on the magazine box and twisted them popped the lid up. As I grabbed several magazines hands started reaching over my shoulder, so I lifted my hand and passed them back. Soon my hand hit the bottom and I was able to grab several for myself. Someone grabbed the corner of the box and dragged it over my leg and I heard a box of ammo being dumped into the magazine box. Twisting I grabbed a few boxes. Spotting a loader clip in the bottom I snagged it and twisted until my back was against the tailgate and started loading my magazines. Loose rounds were rolling around on the bed of the truck and I saw an unopened box of rounds by my right foot. As I reached for it the corporal’s foot hooked it and looking into his eyes I realized that he was as fearful as the rest of us.

A few minutes later we heard a voice from the cab yelling at us to be at ease and listen up. He then told us that there was a situation in Belton. A mob had stormed the jail complex and released the prisoners. Another mob had taken over the courthouse and were shooting everyone in sight. The mayor and local police chief called the governor and he’d called out the state police. After half of the police had been killed he called out the Texas National Guard. Their local commander had called for his people to report, but told the governor that it would be a day before he could get a sufficient force in place to contain the mobs. When mobs attacked the capitol in Austin the governor had called the Ft. Hood commander and demanded support. Only then did he discover that this terrorist action was happening all over the country. The President had issued a national state of emergency shortly before a rocket blasted it’s way through the oval office wall and killed everyone there. Some General in the Pentagon issued a full alert the orders stated in no uncertain terms that the military would restore order. Our rules of engagement stated that when fired upon we were to eliminate all enemy combatants. We would be in Belton in a few minutes, and form up by squads.

Suddenly we were all sliding toward the front of the truck as I head what sounded like a machine gun. A line of little holes appeared from the front of the canvas and ran down the sides. The corporal was laying on the side bench. I could see blood running down the side of the truck bed and toward me. I snagged an M-16 and slapped in a magazine. Even thought I knew I wasn’t the ranking squad member I shouted, “Grab a weapon, lock and load. As soon as this truck stops everyone out and get down on the ground. Anyone firing at us, kill them.”

I heard someone cry, “You ain’t in charge.”

 

I yelled back, “The corporal is dead, and I don’t think anyone up front is going to object to my order.” Just then the truck slammed into something and we all tumbled to the front again. I lost my weapon and started searching for another as guys were jumping over the tailgate. Shoving the dead corporal off my legs I unhooked his web belt and fastened it over my shoulder. Then I spotted a weapon and snagged it. Jumping over the tailgate I hooked a toe and landed flat on my face. Looking to my right I could see another truck that had crashed into a house. Tapping the leg by head, I saw him react and start to swing his weapon toward me. In as calm a voice as I could manage, I told him to crawl over to the other truck and see if anyone was alive. If they were get them off and get them back over here. Take someone with you. He mumbled something so I hollered, “Move it soldier and tell everyone you pass what you’re doing so they can cover you.”

Looking then to my left I saw several guys laying in bushes and several hiding in a hedge. Crawling toward them I yelled for two of them to crawl back to me. Two privates arrived as I was tipping over a few lawn chairs to block a view of the road behind the truck. Twisting I could see the truck jammed up against a car that it’d shoved into a garage door. Looking at the first private to arrive, I told him, “Starting back where you were, crawl to the left and tell everyone to find cover and make a perimeter. Anyone approaching should be told to identify themselves. There was one truck behind us, we need to make sure it’s our guys before we let them into our perimeter. OK move out and then report back to me how many guys you told and where they are.” I repeated my instructions to the other private, except he was to go to the right. I added, “If you find any NCOs or officers tell them to report back here. Now move out.”

Looking around I saw a short brick wall with a BBQ grill not twenty feet to my left. Crawling over to it I found a SP4 whimpering beside the grill. Slapping him got his attention. As he started to sit up I grabbed his arm and jerked him toward me saying, “I need you to crawl over to the house and check it out. Grab that PFC over there and check all the rooms. Make sure anyone there are civilians. Have one of them come out here and report to me. If there ain’t no one in the house make sure the front doors are locked and report back to me. Send the other PFC over to me. Now move it.”

As a SP5 driver I knew I only had so much authority. Hopefully they’d find an NCO or officer to take charge.

A few minutes later several guys crawled through the opening in the brick wall and over to me. One said, “I found these guys alive in the other truck, we got some of the ammo and magazines. Most of the rifles were destroyed because someone threw a grenade in the back. There is a sergeant in front, but he’s shot in the chest.

Thinking, I stated, “OK, take these guys and get that sergeant over here. While you’re over there throw all the ammo you can back in the box and bring it along with all the magazines and weapons you can carry. There are probably a few of our guys still out there from the other truck, so use your common sense if you see anyone. Anyone not in uniform, make sure they ain’t armed before you bring them in. If there’s a radio in the cab, bring it too. Move out.”

The SP4 from the house ran over and said all they’d found in the house were dead bodies. All had their throats cut. I told him to setup on the second floor looking out the front and keep watch. Anyone approaching should be identified and he could send out the PFC to check their IDs before allowing them inside our perimeter.

My knee was feeling better so I started off in the opposite direction until I found the first member of our squad that I knew. He was a cook. I told him to follow me. As we came upon several soldiers whispering behind the hedge I told them to shut-up and listen. You two move over by that tree and dig a shallow trench for cover. Your field of fire will be in front of here to where you see me set the next guys. You two dig in here and keep an eye on the driveway. Set your fields of fire from in front of the tree to the the road. The last guy I told to follow me. In a crouch, I ran past the tree and curved back toward the house. We picked up one more guy and I found a crepe myrtle patch. I told them to dig in behind the crepe myrtle and their field of fire would be from in front of the tree to the front corner of the house. If I can find anyone over there I’ll have them dig in, so watch me and adjust your fields of fire. If I don’t you have to keep an eye on the whole area. Pulling my notebook from my pocket I made a quick sketch of the area. Then we started off toward the corner of the house. Concealed behind another bush we found two more privates, so I told them to follow me. Whoever lived here liked their bushes spread out so I found another and told them to dig a trench for cover behind the bush and their fields of fire would be from the last position to the corner of the house. Turning back toward the last position I pointed down and then held my arms out showing where this positions field of fire would be. One of the guys back there did the same. At least his arm pointing in my direction wasn’t pointed behind us. Reaching the corner of the house I peeked around front hoping to see the other truck and some more soldiers. No such luck. Then my cook and I ran back toward the back of the house and around the corner on the the roadside. Spotting several guys I headed over to where they were.

When we got there I moved them to better positions and told them to dig in. After setting their fields of fire I asked them if they’d seen anyone between them and the road. They said they’d seen several guys between them and the road. I sent one of them to get them and bring them back. I heard him tell them that SP5 Kenric wanted them back toward the house. Just before they reached my position I yelled, “Halt and identify yourselves.”

From the cursing I knew they were from our group. Then I said, “Is everyone in your group known to everyone else, no strangers” When they said yes I told them to come on in. I recognized two of the mechanics and several drivers, but one guy I didn’t know. Pointing my M16 at him I asked him who he was. One of the mechanics piped up that he knew him, he’d just signed in yesterday. I told the stranger to undo his web belt and drop his weapon. Instead he grabbed a grenade off his belt, so I shot him on full auto. The grenade flew over his head and back toward the road. I yelled down and dropped flat just before the grenade went off. The guy laying beside me stuck his weapon in my side and said, “You just killed him.”

I then stated, “We weren’t issued grenades, someone disarm him and check him for ID.”

My cook took my .45 and went over and unhooked the guys web gear and rolled him off it. Then he reached into the guys pocked and open his wallet. Then he announced, “No military ID, just a drivers license and lots of money. No dog tags around his neck, just this weird emblem. Let Kenric up, I don’t think this guy is one of us.”

I then got up and walked forward and took back my .45. Looking down I simply stated, “Anyone you don’t know from back on post, don’t trust until you verify that they are one of us period.” One of the mechanics didn’t get up so I walked over to him and rolled him over. The whole front of his body was covered with blood. I reached down and jerked his dog tags off. Sticking one in my pocket I stuck the other in his mouth and jammed his jaw shut wedging it between his teeth. I heard gagging from my left. Turning I simply said, “We need to be able to identify the body for later recovery. Get their gear and move their bodies out to that tree by the road. Anybody you see out there, verify their identity and bring them back. If you don’t know them take their weapons before allowing them back here. Tapping two of them, I told them to dig a shallow trench for cover and their field of fire would be from the bush on their right to the bush on their left.

One of them said, “I’m not digging a hole in someones front yard.”

I realized that it was the company clerk. Turning to her, I told her, “Whoever started those riots don’t care that you are woman, they will simply kill or rape you because you don’t belong to their group. Act like the soldier you are, or take off the uniform and walk. I don’t think you’ll stand a chance out there because all the civilians we’ve found so far have been butchered.”

With a shocked look on her face she whispered, “I need a shovel and a gun.”

“Take the dead mechanic’s rifle and entrenching tool. Sorry, but they’re the only spares at the present time.”

The other guys were back so I took them over to the next position and told them to dig in and assigned them fields of fire. The last two I positioned so their field of fire was down the side of the house and back to the last position. Taking the web gear from the intruder I headed back to the BBQ patio checking each position and telling them that I’d send relief as soon as we had more soldiers rounded up. Back at the pit I found the guys I sent over to the other truck. They looked sick, but the sergeant leaned against the wall was instructing a soldier on how to place a field dressing on his shoulder. Looking at my cook I told him to find any other cooks and then check the house for food. We need food for about 30. If there isn’t enough check back with me and we’ll check some other houses. I then turned to the remaining three soldiers and said, “Dig in a position between here and the truck,” pointing over to my left. “You’ll be the relief and security squad. That means I’ll be sending you where you’re needed. No questions, move it.”

The sergeant just sat there and looked at me. Then he commented, “Ever seen combat?”

“No,” I said, “but I just had to kill a guy on the other side of the house.”

“Any other NCOs or officers survive the ambush?

“You’re the only one so far, we haven’t located any other trucks yet,” I said as I pointed toward the two.

He then said, “There were four trucks in the group, I was in the third so I assume you were in the second. What is this platoon made up of?”

“So far as I know, a couple of mechanics, a dozen drivers, one cook that I know of, and a clerk that’s female. I’ve set up a loose perimeter around the back and this side of the house, two guys in the house plus the cook, and as you just heard a relief force of three. Is the radio working and what should we do now?”

He looked at me and with a chuckle said, “Don’t tell anyone but I’m personnel, never seen a day in a combat zone, and never killed anyone. You’re doing a good job as far as I can tell, so you keep it up. I’ll back you up suggest anything that I can think of. Consider me a butter bar as far as experience goes.

“Now for the radio, it’s got holes in it because I was using it as a headrest when we were ambushed. I suggest that we get the troops fed and watered. Then just before dusk we move to another location. You probably should send two soldiers out to scout the neighborhood and locate us another house we can spend the night in. Also have a mechanic check out both trucks and see if we can get one operational. Since we can’t complete our mission we need to locate the others that were sent to Belton. Captain James was in charge, but I have no idea who is now.”

After a few minutes I called one of the relief soldiers over and told him to go around to the far front corner and bring the two soldiers from there back here. Also tell the next position that they need to cover that positions field of fire. I then walked over to the remaining two relief soldiers and told the private to start checking the positions. When he found the SP5 mechanic he was to tell him to report to me and take up his perimeter position.

When everyone got back, I sent the mechanic to check out our truck. The other four I gave the following instructions to. “In pairs I want you to check out the neighborhood. Stay far enough apart so you can cover each other. One moves forward while the other covers him. A bush ain’t cover, however a tree or wall is. If you run into any soldiers, check their ID before exposing both of yourselves. Only after you’re absolutely sure their Ft. Hood soldiers and friendly are you to send them back to our perimeter. Another part of your mission is to check the houses on both sides. One of you will remain under cover outside while the other knocks on the door. Find out if someone is home and who they are. If no one answers, try the doors. If you can get in be careful not to get ambushed by some scared civilian or the enemy. Do a quick check of the house and see how much food is in the kitchen. Make a quick map, I’m sure you’ll find pen and paper. You need to be back here before dark because we’ll be moving at dusk. We need someplace safe to hole up for the night. Any questions? I know you’re probably getting hungry, but we’ll have hot food just before we leave here. I think we have about three hours before it gets dark enough for us to move safely. OK pair up and head out. Oh, and by the way, don’t try any John Wayne shit, stealth is our best defense until we locate where ever command set up headquarters. They looked at each other and headed out in opposite directions.

I heard a grunt, looking at the sergeant I saw him trying to get into a more comfortable position. He then said, “Well that was as good a mission briefing as I could have given, however I’d have given them a password to reenter our perimeter.”

“All except you are from our company and everyone except the cook and clerk live in the barracks. I’m not going to give them a password and countersign until we move out at dusk. What’s your best guess as to the location of the other trucks and soldiers?”

Scratching his jaw he stuttered, “My guess would be one on either side of us on this side of the road. They hit us in the curve. We really need to move to higher ground because if they blow Belton damn we could get washed away. I think we should head back to Ft. Hood. We’re short on equipment and supplies.” Just then we heard a single shot and then someone yelling.

I took off at a run around to the back of the house. I yelled, “Who fired that shot?” At the far corner I heard my company clerk yell, “I did sarge.”

Dropping beside her position I said “Why?”

“The five guys out there didn’t stop when I told them to.”

I then yelled, “OK, you guys, this is how its going to go down. I want you to stack your weapons where they can be seen. Get out your ID and lay on your back with arms and leg’s spread. You are within the field of fire from more than one position so running isn’t an option. After you comply, I’ll sent someone to check you out. Any of you still armed or if you try anything, we will kill you because we don’t have anyplace to hold prisoners. Any questions?

“Good, one of you stack the weapons and then lay down. Then the rest of you move to a spot to the left of the bushes.” I watched four of them move out into the open and lay down. I then said, “You are missing one of your group. Either he comes out now or you need to lie real still while we put a few bullets into his position.” Then I yelled, “Don’t target the ones laying on their backs, but anything around them is a free fire zone upon my command.”

I’d no sooner gotten the words out of my mouth than we all heard, “Coming out, don’t shoot!”

“Put your weapons on the pile and then your web gear. If any of your group is wearing web gear have them unhook it and roll off it. After you put their gear in the pile they can lay back on their backs, then you assume the position with your ID out. The soldier I’m sending out will be nervous. He’ll approach you from the head, check your ID, then put his pistol under your chin and pat you down for any other weapons. When he clears you, he’ll send you in one at a time for verification. We’ve already had one attack and casualties so a twitch from any of you will get a bullet. Am I clear?”

We all heard, yes sergeant.

I handed my pistol to the PFC in the other trench and said, “You understand.”

He whispered back, “I can’t go, I peed my pants.”

“OK,” I whispered, “I’ll go out, but when I send them in I want you to have them sit separately with their hands on their heads. Keep your weapon on them and tell them no talking.” To my clerk I whispered, “Move over there and cover them, until I get back they are to be considered unfriendly. OK. Then I stood up and ran to the closest of them. Putting my pistol to his head I said where’s your ID. He tilted his head back and I pulled his military ID out of his mouth. It looked like him so I asked his date of birth, and it was the same as on the ID. Then I stated, “I’m going to move my pistol to under your chin so I can search you, so don’t move.” After patting him down I stepped back and told him to roll over so I could check his back. Then I said in a loud voice, “One prisoner coming in. I then told him, go in sit with your hands on your head where the PFC tells you. He’s young and so scared he already pissed his pants so if you don’t follow his instructions he’ll probably just start shooting. I hope you understand and don’t try anything.” I then moved from one to the next until I got to the last. When I place my pistol to his head he whimpered. Checking his ID I saw the ID showed longer hair. Then I place my pistol under his chin and said, “I’m going to pat you down for weapons, so lay still.” Starting at the left hand I checked the arm up and to the armpit. I felt extra clothing in the armpit, but not lumps. Same thing on the right arm. Then I started at the collar and when I got to the chest I realized I had a small busted woman under my hand. I whispered, “Do they know you’re a woman?”

She whimpered back, “No.”

“Lay still, sorry but I still have to check you for weapons, so I’ll be quick.” After I had her roll over I found a knife in her belt. “Tsk-tsk”, I muttered, “by the rules I outlined before coming out here I should kill you, but I realize why you didn’t expose it. On your feet, pick up all the web gear, and when we get back on the other side of the perimeter take a seat and put your hands on your head. Also no talking.” I picked up five M-16s and marched her back.

I had her move off from the others and asked her where she was from. After stating that she was from Ft. Hood I asked her how she got here. She said, our truck was shot up and then crashed into a swimming pool. I also asked her if she knew the four guys and she said no. I took her back and then motioned one of the guys over. I asked him the same questions and his only different answer was that he knew three of the guys but the shrimp was shoved on the truck just as they were leaving. I got the same answer from the guy that tried to hide from us. Then I took him back over and said to them all, “You story seems to check out, however, until our NCOIC clears you none of you will be given back your weapons. Get out your IDs. You,” pointing at the shrimp, “collect their ID’s and follow me.” I picked up their M-16s and started back around toward the BBQ enclosure.

After the sergeant checked the ID’s and said they look valid he asked if I’d checked any of their dog tags. When I answered no the shrimp pulled hers off over her head and handed them to me. After handing them to him he pointed out a couple of things that I should check on them including the side they were imprinted from. He then handed me his and I check mine, hers, and his. They all matched. “This PFC will take up a position by the truck while I bring the rest around one at a time, or should I just check their dog tags and it they match give them their weapons back.”

He said, “Use your best judgment and what’s so special about him.” pointing at the shrimp.

I said, “The shrimp is a woman, I think we can trust her, and that ain’t my balls talking. Everyone knows my company clerk is a woman, but we’ll just nickname her as the shrimp if she is OK with that. I think it’ll be safer for her for now.” Turning to her I stated, “The enemy we’re dealing with will kill or rape you just for the hell of it because you’re not part of their group. So if the time comes that we’re attacked I expect you to be a soldier and shoot to kill the enemy. Am I understood?”

She simply answered, “Yes Sir.”

I then walked back around and the first three I checked their dog tags were OK. When I turned to the last guy he said, “I lost my dog tags.”

I shoved my pistol into his stomach and reached up and pulled the silver chain around his neck up and looked at the piece of jewelry hanging on it. There was a wedding ring and a Star of David. Dropping them back into his fatigue shirt I commented, “As soon as we get back to post get your ass to personnel and get another set made. Also I’m going to check with my NCOIC about the unauthorized jewelry hanging around your neck. Now you four take this and that position. No one enters our perimeter without authorization. Have them stack their weapons and lay down on their backs while someone comes to get me. Any questions? Oh by the way I’ve got two scouts out, so someone from the next position up can verify who they are. We’re all from one company.” Then I told my to guards to follow me.

The scout returned reporting one truck found in a swimming pool along with a bunch of bodies. There were dead bodies in all the houses they checked.

About 6 PM the cook asked for two soldiers to help. They came out with a big pot of soup and a basket full of cups, bowls, and sandwiches. I walked the perimeter while they fed the troops. At each position I told them to come to the BBQ grill location as soon as the sun hit the trees to the west.

My other scouts returned from the east and reported that all they’d found were murdered civilians. However they did bring in all the can goods they found in some civilian backpacks. The Sergeant gave them a password and reply and told them to use the same stealth that they’d used earlier to reenter all the houses to the west and gather dark colored blankets and any canned food they could quickly gather. Then he told them that there was a gas station about 2 miles back up the road. We’d rendezvous with them a hundred feet behind the station. Then he warned them not to approach the gas station because it could be a rally point for the enemy, especially if they were using vehicles.

After everyone reported in I divided them into two groups. “OK now we are moving out to the west. I want two columns. Second man in the column keep you eye on the lead man in the other column. Quietly inform the lead man in your column it they get more than ten yards off. Lead man, you are the point man so if you spot anyone ahead of you crouch and hold up your arm to signal those behind to stop. Everyone else keep an eye on the point man and the outside of our column. Cook, you and your assistant bring the cooking gear you need and you’ll be at the rear between the columns. Shrimp, you and the company clerk will travel with us between the columns and act as runners if we need to pass any messages. The Sarge and I will move up and down between the columns. Now, if we suspect a trap or anything unusual the Sarge or I will give a whippoorwill whistle. If you hear that drop and assume a perimeter facing out. Stealth is our best defense because we’re probably outnumbered. Now quickly check your and your buddy’s gear to make sure you don’t have anything that will rattle or shine. We move out in 2 minutes.

We passed through three backyards before hitting the woods. An hour later we were at gas station. Out scouts joined us there. We went on up and behind the next gas station and over the hill. Coming down the hill almost at the bottom he had the lead turn right. He sent shrimp back to bring the last two men up from the rear of each column. He instructed them to position themselves on the other side of the road so they could see down the road. They were to give a woof whistle if they saw any vehicles coming. The other two he instructed to cross the road and check around the storage unit area and the other building and then signal from the road edge if everything was clear. He gave them 15 minutes to scout the areas and report.

They gave us the all clear and we hurried everyone across and behind the storage unit area. As soon as the guys from the top of the hill arrived he explained that we needed to move about a mile off the road toward the lake before setting up camp for the night. After a ten minute rest we moved out again. Not a half hour later a dog started barking off to our left. Everyone froze except the sarge. He pulled his notebook out and tore a strip of paper from one page. He stretched it tight and started blowing on it. For a second I heard a high pitch whistle and then it got higher, and I couldn’t hear it. Dogs started barking all over the place, and I could hear dogs barking so far away that I could barely hear them. Looking at the sarge I commented, “Neat trick, you got to teach me that one.”

All he did was head for the head of the column, and we started moving again. Shortly we stopped again and he quietly announced, “Rest in place, pass the word. We spend the night here. No fires, no smoking, no noise. Pair up, one man sleeps while the other guards, 2 hour shifts.” After a few minutes I could hear the crickets and other nightlife start making their noises. A few minutes later I felt a tug on my web gear. It was the shrimp and she whispered to me that she needed to go to the bathroom. I led her over to a couple of bushes and pulled out my entrenching too and dug a shallow hole. I whispered in her ear grunt like you having to shit. Wipe from the rear and dump the paper in the hole and then cover it up and tamp it down. I could see reflections from several locations on the perimeter. I stood up and put my entrenching tool back in its web carrier and turned and quietly went back to my position. Listening I could hear some faint grunts and then the shrimp came back to my position and whispered loudly, “I’ll stand guard, so you can get some sleep.”

When she woke me up I went over to pee at the same bushes and when I got back she was curled up using my web gear as a pillow. The only talking I heard for quite awhile was someone asking what time it was. I was getting drowsy so I went over the perimeter and started checking each pair of guys. The third pair of soldiers I checked started making comments about the shrimp. I replied, “He’s still got mama’s milk behind his ears. By time this is over he’ll know how to shit in the woods and walk like a soldier. Who’s supposed to be asleep? Get to it.” Then I worked my way around and met the sarge on the other side half way up.

“Any problems?” he asked. “All clear up front, we’ll move out at dawn, in about two hours. Get some rest.” We walked back over to where the shrimp was sleeping and he told the clerk to wake us as soon as it started getting light. I told her that if I started snoring to just give me a slight shake on the shoulder. I gently lifted the shrimps head and pulled out my poncho and lowered her head back on the pack. My poncho wasn’t the most comfortable pillow, but it worked. I was just getting real drowsy when I felt someone throw their arm across me, and scoot right up to my back. Opening my eyes I was looking right into the company clerks face. She whispered, “Is he queer?”

I whispered back, “No, he is a young woman and feels safer if no one knows. I discovered the fact when I searched her before allowing her and the guys into the perimeter. They didn’t know, and she prefers that we keep her secret. I guess she thinks I’m a big teddy bear, so wake her if anyone appears to be approaching.”

Then we heard the shrimp mumble, “He already taught me how to shit like a bear.”

I heard the clerk chuckle as she stood up. Then I was out.

I felt someone shaking my shoulder. As I opened my eyes the shrimp said, “Kathy went to pee and she’s been gone a long time.”

“Which direction? Wake the sarge.” Grabbing my pistol belt and M16 I headed off in that direction. Two of the new guys had her stretched out on the ground and one of then was humping her. I just butt stroked him with the butt of my M16 behind the ear and swung it back hitting his partner in the neck. He fell back and grabbed his neck. If he hadn’t jerked his head up it probably would have cracked his skull instead of ripping his throat open. A couple of guys came rushing up from opposite directions with their weapons at the ready. The sarge arrived a moment later. I simply stated, “Rape is a capitol crime in some cultures. What do you want done with this scum.”

He looked at the three soldiers and said, “I need three volunteers to bury this scum, deep.” By then Kathy, my company clerk was crying. That drew a larger crowd. He repeated, “Rape is a capitol offense, I need some volunteers to bury this scum deep, and remove all identification from them before you bury them.” Several guys each grabbed the rapist and started dragging them off and telling others to get their entrenching tools.

I stood up and said, “Situation is handled, reform the perimeter facing out. Shrimp get my poncho.” Then I squatted by Kathy’s head and called her name. The third time she answered so I said, “Give me your hand and let me help you up. We need to move you over by the bushes so you can clean yourself.” Shrimp arrived with my poncho and I put it over Kathy’s head and led her over by the bushes. The I told the shrimp to run over to the cook and get some water and a towel. Also grab a couple of field dressings off our gear. She was back in no time at all.

I then asked Kathy, do you want any help, I can leave the shrimp here for awhile. She replied, “No you stay.”

“Shrimp, grab a weapon and guard the other side of these bushes.”

The sarge walked back and handed me their ID’s and dog tags. “Handle this while I get the cook to make something for breakfast.”

Looking at my company clerk, I told her I’d be back in a few minutes. When she asked why, I simply stated I needed to dig a latrine to make several deposits in. Then we heard off to the side, never mind sarge we’ll have a nice hole dug in a minute. Several of us will use the facilities after Kathy. Kathy just said thanks guys, and grabbed my hand and squeezed.

When the guys announced the hole was ready Kathy walked over to it. I handed her the ID’s and dog tags. She dropped them in the hole and then squatted and peed on them. After she got up several of the guys shit on them and others just peed in the hole. Then they covered the hole and tamped the sod back in place. She started crying again as she thanked the guys. The shrimp took her by the arm and led her back toward our position.

The sarge came up with the cook and said, “You know its dangerous to bunch up in combat zone. Spread out so the cook can give you a light breakfast. We move out in half an hour.” Looking around he again open his mouth and stated, “I was going to take a shit in this hole, but I see it’s full. I guess I’ll have to wait. Hopefully we won’t need to dig another shit hole like this one.”

After what the cook served what he called breakfast we moved out, and got the lake recreation area about noon. The sarge took 10 guys and headed down to the swimming area. After circling the building they broke in. A few minutes later he sent guys into the latrine areas and they reappeared with several rolls of toilet paper. We then moved to the far west end and set up a perimeter. The cook used one of the grills and made a pot of what he called stew. After seeing beans, corn, what looked like spinach, and a few other unidentifiable cans dumped into the pot I turned away and went to check the perimeter. As I crossed near the barbed wire fence I spotted the shrimp point at me. Suddenly Kathy jumped up and ran over and hugged me and thanked me again. Then she ran back and dropped into her position. I said, “You OK shrimp? The cook thinks he’ll have what he calls food ready in about half an hour. Pass the word we’ll bring it around and then move out. Also, all the canteens need to be topped off. Pass the word that one man at a time can come back to fill his and his partners.”

After eating and packing everything up the sarge called everyone in. “OK we’ll move out in the line formation we’ve been using. When we reach open area we’ll split in half. One group will cross while the other covers them. After the first group has secured the forward area they’ll signal and the rest of us will follow. If we come under fire only half will return fire while everyone else maneuvers to flank then, and then open up with everything they got. Just hope it isn’t our soldiers. I’ll try to make contact with the opposing force and verify who they are before we open fire on them. Lets move out.”

Two days later we arrived at the airfield perimeter fence. We could see two choppers, one looked like it crashed and the other looked like it burned on the ground. After a quick conference the sarge ordered us back. After crossing the road again we turned north over the ridge line and then west again across east range road. Approaching one of the small arms ranges we could see motor pool road and a line of burned motor pools. We retreated back over the ridge and kept moving west. Our scouts kept an eye on the motor pools. Down near the west end we heard a firefight. Cautiously we spread out on the ridge line. A motor pool was under attack from our side. We sent in two scouts to see if they could tell who was who. They returned with an unconscious man. When he opened his eyes we could see the fear on his face. He started pleading for mercy in broken English. The sarge just kept asking him who was inside the building until the prisoner said Yankee solders. Then he tried and managed to break free. He made it less than 10 feet before one of the guys dropped him and then said, “Well sarge, what direction are we going in from.”

With a smile the sarge knelt and drew a rough map of the area. It showed us attacking at a 45 degree angle against both ends of the enemy line about a quarter of the way in from both. Then he said, “We will move into position and each of you will take a single target from the ends toward the center. When everyone is in position we’ll all fire at the same time. After that first volley pick your targets until none of them are left. Then I’ll make contact with the soldiers inside the motor pool. Move out.” It took us almost an hour to get into position.

We were stretched out and sighted in when the sarge fired from the far right end of our line. Almost instantly everyone else fired. Half the enemy line was down before they realized we were behind them. Then they broke and ran, although that didn’t help them. We didn’t find any live ones as we advanced to take up their position. Then the sarge yelled across the road, “We’re US Army, send out someone to verify us so we can come in.”

A couple of dozen soldiers stood up behind vehicles and started cheering. One yelled, come on in, the gate is just pushed shut.

Looking at me the sarge said, “Take five guys and verify they’re our guys and then find out what happened.”

I pointed at 5 guys and started forward. Suddenly two of the guys stopped and the shrimp and my company clerk Kathy took their places. We approached the gate and two guys jumped up and dragged it open. As soon as we were through they pushed it closed. One of them said the sarge is in the conex, but he’s shot up. I looked at the corporal and said, “Lets see some ID and then lead the way.”

He pulled out his dog tags and showed them to me. When I said, military ID card he turned and called one of the other soldiers over. Show them your military ID he ordered. The specialist pulled out his ID and showed it to me and I showed mine to them. Then I said, “Can’t be to careful, they’ve already tried to infiltrate us once. Can you vouch for everyone here.”

I could see the realization hit him. He turned and said, “Take six guys and disarm the two newbies at the front gate and march them back here. Anyone not from the company disarm and bring back to the conex. Tell Jones to take a few guys and sweep the motor pool and round up anyone not from our company. Now SP5, if you’ll follow me I’ll lead you to the sarge.”

Over my shoulder I said, “One of you guys get back to the sarge and inform him of the situation here and prepare for a firefight to get out of here. Also scouts out a few hundred yards including the ridge.”

As we entered the conex I heard, “Kenric what are you doing here. I saw you get in a truck for Belton.” Turning I saw my First Sergeant. He was covered with blood from the waist down.

I replied, “We were ambushed this side and had to return. 32 survivors out of the four trucks. We now number 30.

After spitting blood on the floor he said, “Corporal, Kenric will be ranking man here shortly. Bust open the deployment conex and load as many MRE and all the water those mules can carry. Don’t forget a few cans of fuel. Take our guys out of here. Kenric, I suggest you head up east range road and pick the best range you find to defend. Get the corporal to get a few radios out of the deployment conex and then burn everything on the way out. Don’t waste time or wait for me to die, I’m entrusting these soldier to your hands.” Then he started coughing up more blood.

The medic looked at me and said, “Nothing more I can do for him. What do you want me to do.”

“Grab all the medical supplies you can carry and load them on the mules. We leave in fifteen minutes. Inform the corporal send the supplies out as they are loaded.”

~ ~ ~

 

The motor pool

 

When I got back outside to the sarge he took one look at me and started laughing.

When I asked why, he replied, “I haven’t seen a mule since a few years after Vietnam. The first one I saw was loaded with ammo at NTC. I was told those little four wheeled platforms were used at forward post to move supplies to heavy to carry. In case these guys don’t know, they can ride using the controls on the front or dismount them and crawl alongside and use the mule and cargo for cover from small arms fire. After we get up the road, we’ll find out if these guys know how to use them and teach everyone else. By the way, one of the guys from the motor pool mentioned that your First Sergeant gave you some instructions before he died.”

“Yup, he said move up east range road and find a range that we could defend and stay at until everything shakes out. There were forty three soldiers to begin with in the motor pool. Five of those were infiltrators and dealt with by the corporal’s men. We also now have three more women. Two were personnel clerks and the other was a nurse. I think it best to divide everyone into three platoons and move out within the hour.”

The first night I put my original personnel out on perimeter to guard and had all the motor pool soldiers gather in. I put the corporal in charge of one platoon and my SP5 mechanic in charge of the third. The third platoon consisted of all the mechanic’s and women. Then I informed them all of the disciplinary action that I’d had to enforce on our way back from Belton. I also added the warning that until we had a secure location and somewhere to secure prisoners we would be taking no prisoners.

The sarge then stood up and confirmed my statements and stated that he would pull the trigger on anyone that didn’t obey. He also offered to let anyone that wanted to leave have a days rations and five magazines of ammo. They could leave in the morning and would not be allowed to return.

The next morning no one wanted to leave. It took us two days to reach the bridge. The stream was low so I had the corporal divide his platoon in half. I told him to take half east and cross then come back to the ridge overlooking the road and set up a fighting position. He picked another corporal and I told him to take the rest of the platoon west and do the same. We’d wait until they were in position and then we’d cross the bridge with the supplies and rest of the personnel. If they found anyone out there, disarm them first and then verify that they were soldiers. Also keep them under guard until we can verify that they are soldiers and tell them the rules. Also if they were fired upon they should try one time to make contact with the persons firing on them. If they aren’t friendly, kill them and confiscate their weapons and ammo along with any ID’s, maps, or other paperwork they have on them. Our radio operators back here will be one of the clerks. If you run into any problems you can’t handle with your squad, call back and we’ll send reinforcements. OK corporal’s, if you ain’t got any questions, brief your squads and move out after you’ve fed your men.

Six hours later we crossed the bridge divided up in groups of four. Most of the groups had a mule and they continued up the road until reaching the top of the ridge and moved off to the right side and set up a perimeter. That evening we made a cold camp. We had the high ground and good visibility. We also had four prisoners. Three were soldiers and one was a civilian.

She was the only one armed and it was a small pistol with only three rounds left. She claimed that she was going to meet her husband to go camping when attacked on the highway. After turning down a side road she ended up crashing her car into a fence. She claimed she grabbed the camping gear they’d packed and ran for five days. She was terrified because she’d seen several people dead and she thought there was someone following her until she ran into the soldiers.

The three soldiers stated that they were on their way back to main post when they were ambushed. They crashed after being shot at, escaped, and ran. They claimed that no one followed them and last night they’d heard someone crying. They found her in a dry creek bed hung up in some brush unable to get free.

After asking her if they’d acted in any manner that was inappropriate she answered that they’d been polite except that they’d taken all the food she had left and eaten it.

I laughed and then informed all four of them the situation that we’d found in Belton, our trip back to Ft. Hood, and gave them the option of following our rules or taking off on their own.

They all said they wanted to stay. I put them under guard and told them I wanted their final decision in the morning.

In the morning I pointed out the directions they could go to get to main post, off post toward Temple, and finally north toward Gatesville. None wanted to leave so I told the corporal to get them gear and arm them. I took the civilian woman back to sarge’s platoon. The SP5 mechanic in charge assigned her to one of the clerks and assigned her duties.

Two days later we found a range that we considered defensible with an intact tower off the road. We found three burned cars in the employee parking lot and when we found the bodies we buried them. I picked the mover bunker furthest from the road and had it set up as our headquarters. Our makeshift commo section managed to rewire some things so we had field phone contact between all the bunkers and the tower. Even with the backhoe we located it took over a week to set everything up to our satisfaction. We had the tower just inside our perimeter, and three trench systems with foxhole outpost.

Then we started sending out patrols to scrounge equipment and supplies from the ranges further north. We only found one more soldier and he was wounded. When the first patrol got to north FH they found plenty of bodies and one intact mess hall. They hot-wired two pickups and brought back all the rations they could carry.

The sarge wanted to organize an expedition to the north FH motor pool and attempt to get some fighting vehicles plus a few trucks.

My only objection was that we’d need to take most of our personnel just to do a proper job and have a group for security. I then asked him where we could get ammunition for the fighting vehicles. Also what would we do if we found a lot of dependents and civilians?

He commented if we had the vehicles, then we could make a raid on the ammunition dump on main post. Dependents and civilians we’d deal with if we find them alive.

~ ~ ~

 

First Blood

 

Three days later we had our plan for raiding the North Fort Hood motor pools. That’s when the commo section sent a runner to get me and the sergeant. The runner told us that they had contact with another unit over the radio, but told them they would not give any information until our NCOIC was present.

When we arrived I picked up the headset and told the operator on the other end to get me their NCOIC. Someone claiming to be a 2LT came on, and demanded I identify myself. I told him that I was SP5 Kenric and I wanted to speak to his NCOIC or he could hang ten. After screaming over the radio he wanted me to authenticate Alpha Romeo. I then informed him that our radios were from a load-out conex and we didn’t have any authentication books, so unless he wanted to put his NCOIC on he could get off our net. After another minute of yelling a calm voice came over the radio claiming to be Master Sergeant Wilcox.

I replied that I was SP5 Kenric and acting NCOIC of a mixed troop of soldiers retrieved from several locations. We were at present in a defensible location without external logistics or other support. We had two evacuation routes mapped and booby-trapped.

After a long pause he replied, your unit is in almost as good a position as we are. We have three tanks, and two deuces. Low on tank ammo, but good on small arms. Our next move is to gather more ammo and a fuel truck. Any ideas. By the way we are located in the impact zone on FH.

I told him to wait one. Turning to the commo man I told him to pull a PRC-77 with a foil antenna and tune it to our present frequency. I took it outside and set it on top of the bunker and called MSG Wilcox.

He came back with, “What the hell happened to your radio, you were 5 by 5.

I told him that I had a radio problem, and would sent a couple of my scouts out to find him and his unit. After they verified that he and his unit were actually who they said they were, we’d resume contact. Then I told him my scout would be at his location within the week and he’d know how to authenticate us.

Turning to my sergeant I informed him that they were probably within 20 miles and we should continue with our plan on NFH, except we’d move all personnel except a detachment to maintain security here on this range. That evening we explained to all except the guards, and then I designated a detachment to remain behind. The corporal, sergeant, and I chose a rendezvous range further up the road and he pulled his 15 men and explained what their new mission was. I then had the other corporal show them the escape route and how to arm the booby-traps.

Before dawn the next morning we moved out on the west side of the road. We all knew that it was a three day walk to NFH and then we had to infiltrate to the motor pools.

Several of the guys the first night were joking about the bitch squad when one of the women stuck the muzzle of her M-16 in his crotch and told him she could arrange for him to qualify for the bitch squad. That stopped all the lewd comments and jokes. The sarge came and told me and I replied that I knew all about it, and then asked him how many shadows he had. Looking around he just said, “Hell, we might as well get a gallon of coffee, two cups won’t do.”

Five days later we had scouted and selected eight vehicles, plus two fuel trucks. One platoon had secured a dining facility, after eliminating the three guards quietly and replacing them with three of his troops. The early morning cooks were eliminated when they entered to fix breakfast for the terrorist. Two hours later eighteen terrorist entered and lined up for chow. One machine gun got them all.

The small arms basic load was secured in a warehouse only three hundred yards from the motor pool, and it was ours as we moved into the motor pool at dawn. The guards were no problem and we had the trucks fueled, and the fuel trucks topping off as the APC’s we picked moved to the warehouse to load their ammo. I didn’t want to waste the extra ammo by blowing it in place so I grabbed a 5 ton and drove over to the warehouse and told the crews to fill it to the top, then set the warehouse on fire. By then the first of the other trucks were at the dining facility and supply warehouse loading. Two trucks of ammo, three APC’s, two fuel trucks, and four trucks full of food hit the cattle guard to east range road two hours later. Our convoy rolled down toward the rendezvous range at thirty miles per hour.

I was getting load reports from each of the trucks and was surprised when one claimed to have liberated two cases of grenades and a pallet of claymores.

My scouts had done their job to the T, and we spotted two M-60s just short of the rendezvous range. They were dug in, one of each side of the road. As we pulled into the range parking lot a 2LT came running out and demanded the NCOIC report to him immediately. The sergeant stepped out of the truck he was riding on and saluted the lieutenant. Then he told the lieutenant to shut up and get under cover because when he returned the salute he identified himself as an officer and officers were the first target that any sniper would aim for. He followed as the lieutenant ran screaming back toward a tank.

I signaled for my commo guy to call our range and verify their status. He got an all clear and I then sent one fuel truck, two trucks of food, one truck of ammo, and two APC’s on down the road to them.

The first thing I heard when I walked up to my sergeant was MSG Wilcox congratulating him on putting the fear of God in that butter bar asshole, that got some of his men killed.

When he heard my voice as I reported the trucks en-route to base he turned on me with a smile and informed me that my mother ran out from under the porch and bit officers.

It was hard not to smile as I told him that his mother needed rabies shots.

As he was telling us that his men would pull security he suddenly stopped and asked why he had two rifles pointed at him, and why we were surrounded by half a squad of women.

I then told him what happened on our retreat from Belton, and the field punishment I enforced.

He glanced back at the shrimp and said, I heartily agree with the punishment and that rule will be announced and enforced here by me and my NCOs. Lets go get some coffee. As he called in half of his NCOs to introduce them to us his lieutenant came out of his tank, and started toward our tent.

I heard one of the women loudly announce officer in the area, rifle salute. Needless to say all we heard outside the tent was someone scrambling to get out of the area. One of Wilcox’s NCOs then said, “So that’s how you control your officers in a combat zone.”

I simply answered him by saying, “If I had an officer, he’d do the strategic planning and leave the day to day operations and planning to his NCOs, like any good officer would. Officers tell their NCOs what they want done, and then get the hell out of the way.”

One young buck sergeant then commented, “Everyone knows that a sergeant outranks a SP5, however I think your experience outranks this sergeant, Right Top!”

Then MSG Wilcox told them that I had a mixed sex unit and they’d better pass the word quick that rape was a capitol punishment crime, because we have no way to keep prisoners. Also my unit did not take prisoners.

One of his corporals then commented that he wished that the prisoner the LT insisted they take alive would escape. The only problem was that guy was so lazy, he wouldn’t even roll over without an kick. I had my guard detail back off the other night and left him alone and untied for three hours, all he did was sit under a bush and whimper like a bitch.

I ducked my head as two of my escort walked in and asked who used the bitch word. When the corporal said, I did they informed him that that was a word that he’d better inform his soldiers not to use. Then she explained that one of them would personally arrange for anyone that used that word to become qualified to join their squad. Then she pulled a knife and started stropping it on her boot. After testing the edge, she announced that it was sharp enough, and they left.

As the tent flap dropped I lifted my head and informed them that one of my female squad was a nurse, and she’d make sure any castrations were done in a medically safe method. Now the female civilians I have have accepted military training, but prefer the Bobbet method.

Wilcox then turned and announced that years ago a woman was charged because she cut off her husbands junk, and threw it out the car window as she drove away. “I think this meeting is over and you’d better brief all your solders before chow and relieve the sentries and have their NCOs report to me now.”

Suddenly the tent flap was kicked back and the shrimp and my civilian drug in a sorry looking soldier that had no shirt on. Shrimp announced, “We found this trying to sneak up on the tent. Where shall we put this terrorist body?”

Wilcox then said, “LT, you are out of uniform in a combat zone. That means that you could be shot as a spy or terrorist. What do you want?”

The LT then said, “I’m the officer in charge of this unit. I insist that you must tell me what plans are being made. I’m in charge of this unit.”

Then MSG Wilcox said, “Sit down over there and listen to the briefing that will start as soon as the rest of my NCOs get here.”

His other NCOs entered and grabbed seats.

I noticed none of them took more than a glance at the LT.

MSG Wilcox started his briefing and informed them that my sergeant had a mixed sex unit. He plainly stated that rape was a capitol punishment crime, and two soldiers had already been executed for a rape near Belton. They were to make sure that all of their soldiers were on their best behavior, and also not use derogatory words about the females in the other unit. They’d already been blooded in combat and chewed up the enemy.

One of the corporals commented they’re only a bunch of rear echelon pussy’s.

Then MSG Wilcox glared at him and stated, “Those supplies they brought in were secured by those pussy’s and a bunch of terrorist at NFH died the hard way, because those so called pussy’s were there with weapons. Several of them prefer knives over M16’s.

Shrimp then commented to her friend, “I never did get the idea of sticking a bayonet on the muzzle of an M-16. I like it better when I can just slice them up like a pig.”

Genevieve then commented, “I just stick the knife between their ribs and then castrate them like they did my husband. After all they can’t play with their 72 virgins without their joy stick or balls. Master Sergeant Wilcox, permission to go play with your prisoner.”

I quickly stepped in and said, “Ladies, you have enough blood on your hands for today. We need to let MSG Wilcox’s unit have some. Go take a break and locate the chow tent. All the exercise this morning has given me an appetite. Don’t kill the cooks no matter what they say today, they don’t know about my lady squad. Move out!”

Shrimp pointed over her shoulder with her bayonet and asked, “What about it.”

Wilcox jumped in and said, “He’s mine and he’ll stay in uniform from now on.

~ ~ ~

 

Punishment

 

“Corporal, escort the lady’s to the mess tent and brief the mess sergeant before they go in. Make sure they get VIP treatment, after all it isn’t every day we get new combat veterans visiting.”

Not five minutes later the corporal rushed in and yelled, “There is a riot in the mess tent. One of the KPs reached over the line and grabbed the little one by the tit and she stuck a fork in him and then butt stroked him with her rifle. Two of the other ones grabbed her and took her knife away before she cut him. Right now the mess sergeant is telling all our men to get out of the mess tent because these are amazon warriors. Somebody is going to get killed as soon as they get their rifles.”

As I stood up Wilcox told the LT, “Now is the time you should act like an officer. You got two minutes to get your uniform straight and get to the mess tent. Otherwise you are going to cause the death of more good soldiers.”

As Wilcox entered the mess tent he roared, “At Ease!”

Pointing at my lady squad he roared, “Please stand over by your sergeant at that table.”

Then looking at the mess sergeant he bellowed, “What kind of undisciplined chow line are you running when a KP is allowed to molest a soldier? Drag that individual over to my table as soon as someone gets us three cups of coffee.”

Looking at my lady squad, I said, “Lt. Andrews, if he is in any danger of bleeding out render medical aid, after all you are and officer and a nurse.”

I heard several gasp as she handed her M-16 to one of the girls and pulled her pack off. She pulled a camouflage aid bag out and walked across to the mess line where the KP was laid out being looked over by a couple of young soldiers. After examining him and putting a dressing over the holes caused by the fork, she told them to get her a bucket of cold water. She then instructed the two young soldiers to secure him as she poured the water over his head. After a few splutters he sat up and made a grab at the M-16 laying on the floor. She stepped on his hand and slowly flashed her bayonet in front of his face saying, “Soldier, you are in enough trouble already. As an officer in the US Army, I am advising you stop resisting and start thinking about a defense for your assault on a female soldier. When I remove my foot, if you move that weapon on the floor, my only conclusion is that you are attempting to kill me. In that case I will be completely justified, within my rights of self defense, to use this bayonet to prevent bodily harm from your actions. I am a nurse and know all the body parts that a scalpel will immediately remove. Your choice.”

He looked up at her and his mouth dropped open. “I’m sorry.” he said and dropped back down.

MSG Kendrick ordered one side of the mess tent raised and tied up. After that was completed, he then had some tables moved so two were together and two separate in front of them. The KP had his arms tied behind him and was seated at one table, and the Shrimp at the other. He asked LT Andrews to put her rank insignia on and sit in the middle chair at the long table, and his LT to sit beside her. Then he sent one of his solders to gather an audience and have them stand just outside the open tent flap.

A few dozen soldiers from his unit and almost a dozen from my unit bunched up in two separate groups eying each other. With his coffee mug he rapped on the table and announced that a 1GT court was now in order.

Addressing the KP he loudly announced that he was charged with improper conduct for a soldier by physically assaulting a female solder. He asked what he would plea, guilty or not-guilty.

Hanging his head the KP plead guilty.

He then turned to the Shrimp and said, “PFC Wallace, you are charged with assault with a deadly weapon in self defense, a fork. Assault with a deadly weapon in self defense using rifle butt, and almost assault with a deadly weapon in self defense with bayonet, all instigated by the actions of the KP. What is your plea, guilty or not-guilty.”

She stood up and stated, “I was reacting to his grabbing me, and I’d do it again!”

He then turned to the two Lieutenants and quietly stated, “We have a situation here that has to be resolved quickly. Will both of you support what I have in mind.”

When they both agreed he turned and loudly announced. “KP, you are guilty of assault, ten days bread and water under guard on details I will assign. PFC Wallace, your reaction to the assault with the fork and rifle butt was pure self defense. However pulling your bayonet was over the top, and if you hadn’t been restrained you would be up on charges for murder. Your punishment is five days bread and water under guard on details that I will give to your NCOIC. If either of you object to the punishment I’ve given you may appeal to your unit commander and then we’ll hold a field courts martial. Then you will face more serious punishments.”

Shrimp looked a me and started to open her mouth, and I shook my head from side to side. Then she said, “Sergeant, I’ll accept my punishment.”

The KP stood there and said, “This ain’t fair, but I’ll accept my punishment this time.”

With his hand on his chin, MSG Warren, loudly said, “SP4 Hernandez front and center. You were assaulted by two soldiers earlier this month. State all the details from the beginning.”

She moved up between the tables and said, “Specialist Kenric, must I?”

Thinking quickly I stated, “Yes you must to clear the air and settle any future charges.”

With tears in her eyes she started, “I was grabbed by two of the soldiers we rescued near Belton. They were raping me when they were caught. Several soldiers from the unit executed them, and buried their bodies.”

Then Wilcox asked, “Why didn’t the chain of command, charge, try, and sentence those soldiers?”

She answered, “It was so fast, I don’t know. Maybe my sergeant can answer better.” looking at me.

I stood up and then said, “The two individuals caught in the act of raping her while we were retreating from an enemy of unknown strength in hostile territory were tried, sentenced, and executed under my order. The integrity of the unit and moral demanded extreme measures to prevent chaos.”

With a slight smile Wilcox turned to the lieutenants and whispered something. They both nodded yes. Turning back facing me he announced, “Specialist Kenric, your punishment for taking command in a situation without proper authority is one day of bread and water. Then you will assume the field position of first sergeant of your unit. Do you wish to appeal your punishment.”

I could hear some murmurings from the soldiers outside the tent, and thought what the hell is going on. Then pulling myself to the position of attention I announced, “My punishment is unjust, but I will accept the field punishment assigned by this legal authority.” UN-slinging my rifle I held it at arms length and said, “Specialist Hernandez, secure my weapon until I’ve completed the first part of my punishment.”

With a puzzled look on her face she grabbed my rifle and said, “What?”

Looking at my lady squad I simply stated, “My punishment is in two parts, first as a prisoner or bread and water for one day, second I must act as first sergeant of my unit until our military problem is resolved. I would suggest that the Shrimp’s weapon be secured and she be marched over to our vehicles to start her punishment.”

As she was escorted out of the tent I heard, “Corporal Jones, secure the other prisoner by the LT’s track. Mess sergeant, get your area cleaned up and start feeding these soldiers, also I need bread and water delivered to all three soldiers under punishment. Make them end pieces, hopefully stale. Lieutenants, SSG Henderson, if you will follow me to my tent we need to discuss our situation.” Then he pointed at two soldiers and ordered, “Escort the prisoner, SP5 Kenric, to my tent.”

Upon arrival at his tent he loudly stated, “Sit over there prisoner.” Then he and the lieutenants started discussing integrating our units and where we should locate our main camp. LT Andrews looked at SSG Henderson and stated, “I’m a nurse, not a combat soldier.”

He simply stated, “You are the ranking officer in our two units, so you have to assume command, My LT will have to be your XO. Kenric and I will handle the soldiers and day to day details. However both of you must support our decisions or the units will turn into a mob, and then heaven help us. Fear of what has happened, and discipline are the only reason we are still functioning as a military units, and not mobs. First we need a secure base to operate from. Then we need to scout both NFH and main post. We also need to secure food, ammunition, and fuel sources.

SSG Henderson, you will be our personnel sergeant and we need a system set up to identify all of our present soldiers, and a way to identify anyone we either rescue or capture. Kenric’s method was hard and raw, but it worked then. We need something slightly more civilized now.

“Kenric, get someone to sew you some first sergeant chevrons to put on your uniforms.

“LT Andrews, you need to think about a headquarters. Might I suggest you appoint me your 1SG. That way with two 1SG you can split the units for different operations. Also you might think about keeping your lady squad as headquarters security.” Raising his hands to stop her retort he said, “I know they are perfectly capable of combat operations, but the men might try to be protective and get in situations that could endanger the unit. Think about it.”

LT Warren started to complain, but was quickly shut up when Wilcox stated, “Suck it up LT, your actions in the last month have pissed of half the unit. If discipline fails somebody will probably frag you.”

Kenric, do you have any clerks in your unit, I have one in mine. They need to report to the LT’s asap. For now we’ll use my tent as an orderly room. The first punishment detail I can think of is setting up a nice rock bordered path to the front flap. Moving and painting rocks has been a punishment for longer than I’ve been in the army. I’ll get a sergeant to supervise starting in the morning.

“Kenric, instruct PFC Wallace that her conduct while on punishment detail will set an example. Every male soldier in both units will be watching. If she shirks any of the work she’ll put all the women at risk.”

Just then the mess sergeant entered the tent with a loaf of bread and three canteens.

Wilcox told him to deliver the bread and water to the prisoners with a visible show of contempt, and if either of them say anything tell them to suck it up and act like the soldiers. Then leave Kenric over where Wallace is. I hate to have to do it but you will have to deliver the bread and water for as long as they are on punishment detail.

He stopped to feed the KP first and then escorted me to my vehicle. As soon a we approached the Shrimp got to her feet and started toward me. “Sit down shrimp, we’ll talk in a minute.”

The mess sergeant split the remaining bread and handed half to me and the rest to shrimp. Then tossed both canteens on the ground and stated, “Guards, he’s yours for now.”

I picked up both canteens and walked over to the truck and sat leaning back against one of the rear tires. Shrimp came over and sat beside the other. Hernandez came over kicking up a little dirt and quietly said, “What do you want us to do sarge.”

“Pull guard duty as you were directed and have someone sew some 1SG chevrons for me to wear day after tomorrow. Have someone get some blankets for us tonight. Also find out where the field latrine is set up, we’ll need to be escorted when we go. You realize we’re being observed by soldiers from the other unit, so be professional. Now I’m starving, so we’ll eat as soon as you back off.”

We devoured our bread and then Shrimp looked at me. “I’m still hungry.”

“I’m still hungry too. We’ll have to wait for breakfast. Now the punishment detail we’ll be on starting tomorrow will be making an entrance path to the orderly room tent, in other words moving rocks and making a clear path. You are going to have to be tough. The example you set will reflect on all the women in our unit, and any women we rescue in the future. By the way, if you hadn’t pulled your bayonet you’d gotten off with just a reprimand. But you set the example, and I think all the male soldiers will think twice before grabbing any of you women again, especially after Juanita told her story and the punishment I metered out. Wilcox is cagey like a fox, he set me up as field first for our unit, and put the lieutenants in a box where they will have to support us.”

Then I heard a cough from under the truck. “I got some real food for you. Anything else you need?”

Quickly I commented, “We can’t accept the food. We’re being watched. However, you can pass the word that we will be setting the example for our unit. Combat troops come with an attitude, and we’ve got to show them even our women are as tough as they are.”

 

The next morning a sergeant walked up and announced that he was in charge of the punishment detail. We got up and followed him. One of our guards followed us and the other picked up our blankets and threw them in the truck.

When we arrived at the tent the KP was sitting on the ground. MSG Wilcox came out of the tent and told the sergeant that the punishment detail would clear a four foot wide path from the entrance of the tent out twenty feet. Each side of the path was to be neatly lined with rocks. All rocks will be removed from the path and it will be raked smooth. He was to escort us to the mess tent for bread and water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Latrine breaks would be supervised. Work breaks would be ten minutes every hour. At the end of the day we would be marched back to our respective detainment locations and turned back over to the posted guards.

My hands were blistered, even through the gloves that we were furnished, but we got the path finished that first day.

~ ~ ~

 

Interrupted Plan

 

That night it turned chilly. I asked for extra blankets. Shrimp and I both shivered. We were under the truck between the tires to keep out of the wind. When she complained that her hands were freezing I told her to tuck them in her arm pits or in her pants to warm them up. She did.

A little while later she asked me if my hands were cold. When I answered yes, she told me that I could tuck my hands in her pants to warm them. I answered, “If I put my hands in your pants to warm then I don’t think I could stop with just warming my hands. I’d probably want to warm something else too.”

She answered me by saying, “I’d rather share body warmth with you than anyone else around here. Several of the girls would. Juanita has told me that she gets hot every time you are near. You have your choice of almost all of us.” With that she rolled over and gave me a long kiss on the lips. One hand was around my neck, and her other hand darted down toward my crotch.

I was getting an erection when I realized her pants were undone. One hand was stroking between her legs and the other inside her T-shirt. Her skin was hot and she wasn’t wearing a bra.

My left arm was pinned between us as she pulled her knees up and continued kissing me. She was fumbling with my belt and zipper when LT Andrews crawled under the truck and slapped her on the butt.

“Cool it, your making noise. Wait until we get back to the bunker day after tomorrow. I need Kenric back at the orderly room, Wilcox needs to see him.”

“Dam it June, I’m first.”

“I know the order Alice, you will be. Right now our survival has to come before our pleasure. Pull your pants up and get some sleep. He won’t be back tonight.”

I gave the Shrimp a quick kiss and whispered, “I’ll hold you first.” Then I rolled over and fastened my pants and crawled out from under the truck. Both of the guards giggled and one pointed out the fact that my erection was showing. She then pulled off her field jacket and handed it to me saying, “Wear this until it is my turn. I’ll find you one your size.”

June then informed me that the Wilcox’s scouts had come across several trails of small groups of unknown personnel.

Back at his tent we discussed sending out more scouts, also moving down to our secure area. I told him that it was set up the best we could to repel an attack, but there were to many holes in the perimeter to keep out infiltrators.

Wilcox then said, “I guess we’ll have to move back into the impact zone. I think we can set up a couple of ambushes. The only problem is some of the terrain may be to rough for those tractor trailers.

~ ~ ~

 

Brass picker

 

“Well, that can work to our favor. We’ll send out scouts to find a trail for the vehicles. When we get to a area that’s impassable we top off everything that can keep going, then camouflage the vehicles. You and I both know they’ll find them.”

After a moment I continued, “Hopefully you have some snipers with a good scopes. We’ll also booby-trap some claymores on any approaches. If you have a squad for bait we can also leave them. However I only have one pallet of claymores and a case of grenades. Our retreat into the impact area will have to generate enough noise to attract them.”

Wilcox replied, “That sounds like a plan, but what about your CP south of here.”

“I’ll need to contact them and tell them about the threat. I think they will want to rendezvous with us in the impact zone. However, I hate to abandon that range.”

His LT then piped up, “We can’t split up the our unit, we barely have enough men as it is.”

Wilcox then said, “The LT is almost right, but the infantry squad we rescued can be do our ambush and snipers. Hopefully you can furnish a few personnel also.”

I replied, “Most of my soldiers will volunteer, even the women. I hope the women won’t be a problem. Knowing them, they may even volunteer to stay with the vehicles as bait, I pity any enemy that they catch.”

LT Andrews then commented, “I think we should send out a patrol or two today and have them return at dusk. Then after eating we can sent everyone needed to scout the path into impact zone. I also think we should retake NFH, or at least get everything we need and destroy the rest.”

A corporal entered the tent and announced, “One of our patrols caught a civilian family on the edge of the impact zone. He claims he lived in Gatesville. I think he’s a brass picker. They are bringing them in.”

Looking at the corporal I said, “Have them hold him just inside the perimeter, MSG Wilcox and I will come to where you have him.”

Wilcox looked at me and said, “What the hell.”

“Look, if he is a brass picker, and escaped with his family from Gatesville, he probably knows some safe routes through the impact zone. We may be able to use his knowledge to infiltrate NFH, and move any vehicles we get. I’m not above using any asset we can find. We can use his family as leverage once we insure he’s the real thing.”

 

Bill Gail was his name. Wilcox and I grilled him for almost an hour and then started on his wife. His three girls were terrified. The oldest was only seventeen and the youngest thirteen. We separated them and we started on the daughters one at a time. They all had the same story, but not word for word.

When we finally moved back to Bill, Wilcox said, “We think you might be the real thing brass picker, but we’re going to keep your wife and girls back here with our rear guard. You however, will come with us.”

Three of my lady squad walked up then and said, “Where are the women that were captured. We’ll take charge of them.”

I could see him deflate as he watched Brenda playing with her bayonet. Looking at him she raised her voice slightly and said, “Don’t worry about them, my girls and I will keep them safe from these horny guys around here, as long as you play it straight with my sergeant. However, screw with us and we’ll do to them worse than we did with those guys we caught the last time we visited north Fort Hood. They went to meet their maker without any balls, and a nice hole we cut with our bayonets, where they like to stick their peckers. Am I clear?”

With dread in his eyes he asked, “Sir, are you going to keep them safe.”

With a laugh another of the girls stated, “We’re women and nobody that has tried to rape any of us is still alive. Does that answer you question?”

With a groan Wilcox exclaimed, “One of that lady squad almost killed one of my soldiers the first day here, because he reached out and grabbed her. If two of them hadn’t stopped her, she’d have gutted him like a hog. Your wife and daughters will be safe as long as you are honest with us. We are going to raid NFH again, and can use your knowledge of the impact zone.

“Girls go secure his women and bring them back over here.”

“Yes Sergeant Wilcox.”

“Mrs. Gail, our unit is going to raid North Fort Hood again, and we need your husbands knowledge of the impact zone. The lady squad will be responsible for you and your daughters safety as long as your husband is honest and helps us. After this raid, if you want to go your separate way you will be given a few days rations and allowed to leave. If you want to stay, we’ll make room for you.”

 

The move into the impact zone was without problem. Bill knew the lay of the land and we even got the tractor trailer trucks in without to much problem.

Our ambush squad reported eight enemy ambushed and bought their weapons and ammo in. They also found a hand drawn map and notebook. The problem was we had no one that could read the squiggly script.

~ ~ ~

 

The raid

 

We arrived just outside of NFH before dawn. After going to ground we sent three scouts forward to reconnoiter the area. The Indian had the annoying habit of sneaking up behind us and then asking us if we’d heard him approach. I jumped out of my skin more than once on the trip north because of that.

When they reported back we knew we had it to do. There were about 75 enemy and they were rotating guards on three shifts with roving patrols. They also found a barracks with several women being used.

The Indian suggested that we use claymores to eliminate most of the enemy in their barracks and set up claymores along the patrol routes. They would need three more stealthy guys to take out the guards at the motor pool and warehouses.

It took half the next night to get the claymores set up at the barracks. By then the booby-trapped claymores were set along the patrol routes. We determined that the best time to attack would be 0600 because we only had six night vision goggles.

The attack went off with only one hitch. One of the patrols was out of place because they’d decided to wander off and smoke their dope. We lost two men and three wounded because of those doped up assholes.

The guards at the women’s barracks managed to kill one of the women before they were taken out. The scout that took them out said he’d never seen women so vicious when they realized they were rescued. They went out of their way to mutilated every enemy body they passed as they were escorted back to our rally point.

We took every vehicle that would run from the motor pool and emptied the warehouses. We had to stash three loaded vehicles in the impact zone due to lack of drivers. On the way out we set fire to everything that would burn. The women rode in the back of an almost empty five ton truck.

At the end of the day we set up a temporary camp near a dry creek bed. From what the 5 ton driver told me the women were acting weird, because they just huddled together and shivered, besides their moaning and crying.

I grabbed a hummer driver, told him to drop his trailer and beat feet back to the main camp. He was to tell MSG Wilcox that I needed the Shrimp up here ASAP. I also reminded him what she’d done to the KP and warned him to keep his hands to himself. He wasn’t happy when he left, but traveling light he thought he could make it back by noon the next day.

Then I sent the scouts around camp to find clothing and blankets for the women. When they returned I led them near to where the women were huddled. I took a blanket and set of fatigues that smelled like mothballs and sat down about ten feet from the women. Quietly I announced my position and name.

Several were looking at me.

Then I said, “I have some blankets and fatigues. If one of you will come over here I’ll give you a set. My unit consist of US Army soldiers that escaped the first attacks. We’ve been in running battles since. If you decide to trust us you can join us. If not we’ll give you a weapon, ammunition, food, and water and let you leave.” Then I sat there and watched them talk amongst themselves. Finally one got up and limped over, but kept just out of arms reach. I held out the blanket and fatigues at arms length. “Sorry they smell like moth balls, but at least they’re clean.”

She looked at me like I was nuts and gabbed the fatigues. After holding them up to her face and smelling them, she launched herself at me and landed on top. I quickly realized that she was just holding me down, not trying for my knife or pistol. Two other women scrambled over and took the blanket and fatigues. One of them then said, “Do you have more?”

“If you will let me up I will get more, or I can call my scout over that has them.”

The woman on top got off and squatted beside me and then picked up a rock.

I called over my shoulder, “One of you bring up the fatigues and blankets on my clear side and set them down. Then back off.”

I then heard, “Sarge you got a pair. I almost pulled the trigger when she jumped you. If you’d fought she’d be dead.”

“Then I’m glad I was relaxed. These women have had it rough. One of you guys find a couple of pots of water. I’m sure they would like to clean themselves before putting on clean clothes.”

The woman with the rock dropped it, grabbed me and started sobbing. Her two companions started patting her on the back and I could see the tears in their eyes. I heard a quiet here, as my scout set some blankets and fatigues down.

One of the women grabbed him and also started sobbing. I caught the flash of his knife as he put it back in its sheath. Then he just started patting her on the back. After a minute or two he used his free hand to pick up several blankets and said to her, “Lets take these blankets over to the other women.”

She had the blankets from his hand in a flash and was running back to the main group. The third woman then asked, “You’re Apache, aren’t you.”

He replied, “Only half.”

She replied in a language I didn’t know and he answered, I guess in the same language. She then turned to me and said in English, “White eyes, you have my spirit.”

I was puzzled by the comment, but then thought of something I’d read. “I return to you your spirit, and offer you my knife to protect yourself and the other women.”

I guess my reply was what she needed because as I handed her my knife she grabbed my hand and made a small cut on it and her hand and clasped them together. Her only word was something in Apache, then she got up and strutted back to the other women.

Looking at my scout I asked, “Was I just adopted?” He slapped me on the shoulder and grinned. Then he answered, “White eyes, you just got a wife if you accept her. When she gets done talking to the other women you may have a harem. Tread carefully if you don’t want her. I’ll tell you the custom later.”

“Oh shit, I don’t need another woman trying to get in my pants.”

A look of astonishment crossed his face as he said, “The women with your unit. How many?”

Answering him, “I don’t know, I just found out the other night. We were interrupted, and another mentioned an order that they were to get me in. I think I’m screwed!”

With a laugh he commented, “I thought something more that sleeping was going on under that truck, but I didn’t mention it to Wilcox.”

The woman sobbing on my chest lifted her head and said, “You have other women here.”

“No, they are south of here, but I’ve sent for one. They are all soldiers and hardheaded. You’ll be safe and they can teach you, if you want them to. Now take these blankets and fatigues back over to the rest of the women.”

“No, you two bring them.” she replied and got up.

Sgt Longbow got up and said, “Well you heard the boss sarge.”

We gathered the fatigues and blankets and followed her back to the main group of women. She started calling them up one at a time and introducing them to us. My new name was White eyes and Longbow’s was Sgt Elisha. That’s when I figured out that she must be part Indian, when she started talking to the woman with my knife in that strange language. The other woman bent down, picked up a pebble, chanted over it and then handed it to me.

I looked at Longbow and he said, “You need to accept. This is an exchange of gifts. You still need to either accept or reject the proposal, but at least you now have some time to make a decision.”

Just after noon the Shrimp and her driver arrived. The hummer was piled high with stuff that wasn’t in it went south. I saw the Shrimp question one soldier. I could tell from his posture that she intimidated him as he pointed over where we were. She started my way and the hummer followed. As she approached she took one look at me and then walked down to the women. Whatever she barked at the women made them all stand up. As the group approached the hummer the driver shut it off and ran.

Sgt Longbow and I just stood there and laughed as they tore into the clothing and other stuff in the hummer. Then the Shrimp pointed at four soldiers and told them to grab the water cans and carry them down to the creek. They hesitated until she put her hand on her bayonet. The women scurried to the side as the guys grabbed the eight five gallon water cans. Then they grabbed the bundles of clothes and walked back to their area by the creek. After the Shrimp saw that they were going to start cleaning themselves she barked, “You guys better face away so these women can have some privacy.” Then she marched over to me and turned me away. Longbow was laughing so hard he was crying.

After a few minutes he commented, “Good thing she wasn’t here yesterday. I think someone would be walking in the Happy Hunting Grounds.”

As she twisted toward him I said, “Don’t say another word, I’ll brief her.”

Grabbing her arm I dragged her over to a fallen tree and told her to sit. “After rescuing these women I got some blankets and fatigues and took them over near them and offered them if one of them would come and get them. One young woman was selected and came over. I offered her a blanket and set of fatigues at arms length. She jumped me and forced me to the ground. I realized she wasn’t trying for my knife or rifle so I lay there while two others came over. After smelling the mothball smell of the clothing she started sobbing on me. Her older sister and the other woman took the clothing back to the other women and they changed.”

Squinting she said, “And what else, don’t lie to me.”

“The older sister offered her spirit. I declined and offered her my knife so she could protect herself and the other women. She cut my hand and chanted something. Sgt Longbow told me that that was a proposal of marriage Apache style. This morning she gave me a round pebble and Longbow told me to accept it as an exchange of gifts. I’ve still got to figure out to decline her proposal and Longbow said he’d tell me how later. Satisfied?”

With a glare she jumped up and stomped over toward the women. Spotting a bayonet she zeroed in on the woman. After some words she pulled her bayonet. Feather Airwing picked up my bayonet off the blanket and handed it to Shrimp handle first. They exchanged bayonets and she stomped back to me. Handing me my bayonet she commented, “Stupid move white-man, you better get her straitened out fast or I’ll scalp you.” She then turned and sundered back.

I grabbed Sgt Longbow by the collar and said, “We will go get a cup of coffee and you’ll tell me how to get out of this mess, or else.” I damn near had to hold him up, he was laughing so hard, as we walked to the mess truck.

~ ~ ~

 

Contact

 

By time spring came busting in, we’d hit main post several times. We now had over a hundred female civilians and dependents. All had problems because they’d been used to satisfy the invading forces. It appeared that women from 16 to 25 were their favorites for sex slaves. Once we trained them, killing the enemy wasn’t a problem for them.

 

For over two weeks we’d been using captured weapons and ammunition. We must have attracted lots of attention because the enemy units coming at us were larger and better led, but we knew the terrain, and guerrilla warfare is a bitch.

They would set up supply points and we’d raid them as we found them. Their patrols didn’t survive contact. One thing that seemed to terrorize them were bare-chested woman screaming and running right at them with a large knives in their hands.

My Apache’s taught many infiltration skills. I learned as well as I could. I still jumped out of my skin because now the women enjoyed sneaking up on the men and tapping us on the shoulder and asking if we’d heard them coming. They didn’t tap the enemy on their shoulder, they just gutted them.

In October after destroying one of their ammunition dumps near I-35 we heard a plane flying low. Suddenly ten parachutes popped out the rear. My Amazons moved to intercept them. Three were gutted before I could stop them. They were Special Forces. Their NCOIC was still shaken when they dragged him to me.

I informed him that he and his men should consider themselves under our protection until we moved to a safe area, and then we’d see whether they stayed or got kicked out on their own. He agreed and told his surviving men. They grabbed their gear and asked for their weapons, but the women said no. I told him that this was a completely volunteer guerrilla unit and every one of the women had been abused by the enemy. The only men safe from them were the ones that trained them. On the way back we spotted a convoy, ambushed it, and took the remaining vehicles and used them to move to our temporary camp near Belton Lake.

What was left of our command structure was briefed. The military had held in northern Oklahoma and was now pushing south. They were sent to locate the problem the enemy seemed to be having in central Texas. My women started laughing and screaming. He and his men looked like they wanted to run and hide. I calmly said, “Death never had a prettier face than these women. You think this is bad, you should see the enemy when we attack. Those that don’t die immediately, die trying to run.”

He replied, “Like I said, we’re pushing south. We were sent to organize and train resistance fighters. We can supply leadership, communications, weapons, and ammunition.”

The Shrimp slipped between us and placed her favorite hook blade knife against his chest and said, “We have our knives, bows, rifles, pistols, and explosives. Everyone of us uses what we’re most comfortable with. If we strung the balls we’ve cut off the enemy on a rope, it’d stretch from here to Austin. The one problem we have is that the buzzards follow us, because they know we leave them a free meal.”

  1. # #

 

 

Riots

~ ~ ~

 

OK, quiet now and listen up. “We’ve all lost money in these damn riots and looting. Any of you that don’t want revenge enough to do something, well you better leave now. Anyone that leaks this plan will be dealt with. I’m fed up and taking legal steps, if you want in good, if not leave now.”

“Jack, we’re all fed up with our stores being looted and wrecked. I’m with you.”

“Smith, Johnson, are you in.”

Johnson replied, “What safeguards do we have to prevent being found out. You know how the law is, like a bulldog.”

“Smith do you have any objections”

“Yes Jack, I’m all for the plan except the part about eliminating the leaders in advance.”

“Don’t worry, all contacts with the enforcement personnel will be through mail drops that they will establish. Initial contact will be by email ads placed from Cuba. A friend of a friend knows someone in the government security section that oversees their Internet. Another friend of a friend knows a guy in Venezuela that will contact our Cuban friend.

“The only weak link will be trusting the enforcers we hire to complete the job. They’ll be instructed in the ad to set up an offshore account with a mail drop.

“I’ve set up a numbered account in the Islands to pay from. Each elimination will pay $7000 for an accident, and $4000 for a detectable murder. That will give the eliminators incentive to make it look accidental. $1000 will be paid in advance with the target individual’s dossier, and the balance when the death notice hits the local newspapers, provided there is no collateral damage.

“Can you think of any detail I might have overlooked?”

Johnson shifted in his chair and then commented, “I don't like just ki-- eliminating the leaders in advance.”

“They won’t be guiltless. The news media have enough evidence in their riot coverage to identify individuals that have showed up in different cities at different riots. A dozen or more of them have been spotted in multiple locations just prior to the looting of stores. They’ve even been recorded slipping away prior to the looting and fires set. I think three confirmed sightings is enough evidence to order an elimination.”

Smith got up and poured himself a drink. Holding his glass he asked, “Who makes the decision?”

“That’s the sore point right. I have news footage from four cities here. Lets take a look. At these four riots several individuals showed up. Here are pictures of them taken from one of the riots and the camera footage.

“Now lets look at the most vocal leaders of this second riot. Here are two of them again on the second night. I didn’t spot them on the first night.

“The third cities riots lasted four nights because of the wimps that let the rioters have free rein until they directly attacked the police. Here is one of the photo’s taken by a news crew. See these three.

“Now the last riot across the county a month later when a supposedly unarmed individual was shot and killed after stealing a car with a child in the backseat. The woman was shot in the leg after loading her purchases. On the second night here is film footage of two of the individuals clearly instigating a group in front of a drug store. Notice as the mob surges toward the store, they appear at the rear of the mob and then disappear. Those two are in all four riots, and three others are in two riots.

“Now, we need to vote on eliminating those two, and we’ll simply watch other riots to see if the others show up a few more times. That will demonstrate their guilt.”

“What, we just vote?”

“That’s right Smith, we just vote and I’ll send the dossiers out to two different eliminators. Then we sit back and watch the news and obits.”

“But that’s a woman!”

“Oh, you don’t think a woman can get a bunch of young men to do what she wants done. Sex doesn’t give anyone a free ride, neither does color. Look at that white face in the second row here and the first row here. They usually show up on the second or third night, and then the riots turn violent. It is the pattern that professional riot instigators have.”

“A seven thousand dollar consulting fee gets you a full report from my new security company on how you can improve your corporations store security. It gives us more cover for meeting. It also has a section on steps your local managers can take to better secure them when riots break out.”

  1. # #

 

 

Self-Defense

~ ~ ~

[Current personal note, there are several countries that consider their borders and populations at risk. Some of them have nuclear weapons. An example is India and Pakistan (constant enemies), with China (another enemy) just over the mountains. This story just describe another version of the dooms day weapon.]

~ ~ ~

 

“Good morning gentlemen and ladies of the press. Today I will unveil a new self-defense system that our scientist and engineers have spent eight years developing and two years of construction.

“First let me review the recent history of the conflict between my country and the terrorist. Last year they launched 1807 missiles at civilian population centers. Year before last 2904 missiles. The reason for the decrease in missiles launched was the simple fact that our intelligence sources informed us of several shipments of missiles and our military stopped them.

“As you know from pictures and news reports the terrorist stockpile, store, and launch their missiles from civilian locations such as mosque, schools, apartment buildings, and hospitals. This needs to cease. The last military strike incursion into the terrorist held areas and destroyed 687 missiles mainly found stored in the basements of civilian apartment buildings and schools.

“The idea for our self-defense system was put out in an article published twelve years ago. The author listed was anonymous. It took two years of debate and soul searching for our civilian government to decide to implement the idea. The deciding factor was the chemical rocket that landed and killed over four hundred of our citizens.

“With the help of one of our allies a rocket interception system was developed and activated nine years ago. We now have a second part to our self-defense system and a third section is still under development. The second part we call FLASH BACK.

“It consist of detection arrays that use visual, thermal, and radar to detect the launch location of missiles launched over our borders. It is fully automatic, that means when I press this transmitter button the computers controlling the system will activate and no human will be able to influence or direct the system in any way. The system will determine the type rocket launched over our border and return a similar type missile and warhead.”

Suddenly an aide rushed onto the stage and whispered in the Presidents ear. The President held up his right hand and pressed the red button on the gray box!

With a sad face the president announced, “I’m sorry to have to activate the FLASH BACK system early, but my aide just informed me that twenty-three missiles were detected by our normal air-defense radar being launched. The first launch was four minutes ago. It’s impact is estimated in another five minutes here in the capitol. If you will point your cameras out the south facing windows you will see one group of terrorist missiles headed toward us. Hopefully the IRON FIST, the first portion of our self-defense system will intercept and destroy them, however the terrorist have been launching more missiles in groups in an attempt to overpower our IRON FIST defense system.”

Then the President pulled from his jacket pocket his cellphone. After listening a few seconds he yelled, “Listen up”, and pressed the speaker phone button and placed the cellphone near the microphone on the podium he was standing behind. “Mr. President, the FLASH BACK system went on line two minutes ago. So far it has launched thirty-three surface to surface missiles. I think one was an error, all attempts to self destruct that missile have failed. It contains a three kiloton fuel-air warhead and the targeting information displayed is the seaside resort that two terrorist missiles were launched from. What are your orders, Sir.”

The news media stood there with their mouths open.

The President then replied to the cellphone, “What is the status of IRON FIST and how many of the terrorist missiles have been shot down.”

“Sir all but five have been intercepted. Four of those are due to impact the capitol within seconds.”

“Thank you”, the President replied as he pressed the disconnect button on his cellphone. “Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I hope we survive and I also hope that your video broadcast were live. Thank you all.”

The last picture received at International News Service was the President kneeling beside the podium praying.

~ ~ ~

The fires in the terrorist occupied area had hardly been extinguished when sixty-one missiles were launched across the border.

IRON FIST intercepted thirty seven before they hit populated areas. The FLASH BACK system replied with one missile. This was reported by several satellites observing the area. The nuclear warhead that exploded over the terrorist held areas broke windows five hundred miles away. Half the civilian communication satellites on that side of the planet were damaged by the EMP. Only seventeen military and spy satellites stopped transmitting.

The FLASH BACK system started transmitting from multiple locations requesting missile resupply. These messages were not answered by the military headquarters, because that morning a terrorist missile got through to its target.

~ ~ ~

During the emergency meeting held six hours later at the UN an aide rushed in and turned on the big screen TV.

On the screen the head anchor of International News Service said, “I repeat, our sources reported the launch of an intercontinental missile from the ISIS forty minutes ago aimed at the eastern Mediterranean sea. It was intercepted, but still detonated at approximately 100,000 feet. However, the new FLASH BACK system reported on yesterday, launched one missile. This missile is inbound to the launch area of the missile launched earlier. It appears that the FLASH BACK missile will impact in two or three minutes. The warhead in unknown, so I’ll keep broadcasting as long as the satellites allow. To recap this special news flash, yesterday and earlier this morning local time terrorist launched approximately four hundred missiles. Satellite images showed a total of one hundred and seven impacts including the capitol and several military targets. The terrorist finally managed to overload the IRON FIST missile defense system. The new FLASH BACK system activated during the news conference at the capitol replied with many high explosive missiles and one fuel-air missile which completed destroyed the terrorist port city. This morning local time an estimated sixty terrorist missiles were launched and only three were intercepted. FLASH BACK replied with one missile into terrorist held territory. Estimated yield from our source, was in the 20 mega-ton range. This was definitely a nuclear warhead missile. Forty-three minutes ago a missile was launched from central ISIS region and intercepted at roughly 32,000 feet over the eastern Mediterranean Sea. It was a nuclear missile. Any minute now the reply missile launched by FLASH BACK system will impact in centr……..

~ ~ ~

Everyone sat stunned until a man in uniform walked in and up to the chairman’s position. Holding up his hand he loudly stated. “Three minutes ago our allies FLASH BACK defense system launched a reply to an attack by the ISIS. This morning after the main terrorist missile attack we lost all contact with the civilian and military of our ally. The FLASH BACK missile detonated at ground level in the capitol of the ISIS. That was reported by satellites before the EMP fried every satellites within line of site. Seismic devices indicate seismic shock of 8 on the Richter Scale. This roughly indicates a 100 megaton warhead. The middle east is now in peril. Every country downwind will receive massive amounts of radioactive fallout.” Jamming his finger in his ear he said, “Repeat that!”

With a shocked look on his face the then said, “Some asshole just launched another ICBM toward the eastern Mediterranean. The FLASH BACK missile system is completely automated and run by computers. Contact your governments immediately and inform them that we do not know how many missiles or the warheads on them. If they launch anything the FLASH BACK system will continue to reply with nuclear missiles until it runs out.

“I also was informed that our special insertion teams report lethal levels of chemical contamination and no apparent survivors. That means those morons in the middle east are fighting a computer system, not their historical enemy.

  1. # #

 

 

The Drone

~ ~ ~

 

Comment

[I wrote this short story almost two years ago. I sat on it because it has the makings of a major nightmare for the law enforcement community, and I didn’t want to give any wackos any new ideas. Listening to the news reporting on a recent event in Washington DC, I heard the dreaded word. That is why I’m including it in Nightmares.]

 

The Kid

 

It all started the day his model airplane crashed into the windshield of a car, and the driver panicked and drove through the restaurant window and killed three people.

He’d loved torturing cats. Their screams had been music to his ears for years. The lady in that car was making the same sound as he ran across the street from the park. Grabbing the remains of his plane he darted back into the park and ran all the way home.

His dad bought him a plane kit for his fourteenth birthday several months later, and explained that building his own plane would teach him to take care of his toys. It took him two months to build the plane. It was to big to fly in the park, so he flew it out of the empty field at the end of his block. After three flights he hooked up a release to the bottom. It almost didn’t get off the ground, because the kitten tied to the bottom kept clawing the ground and jerking around. After listening to it howl for ten minutes he got more altitude and released the kitten to fall from the plane. He was so taken watching the kitten twist around and howl on its fall to the ground he almost crashed his new plane.

~ ~ ~

 

Airport

 

“OK, listen up, next week the senator will arrive for another of his surprise bullshit tours. The FBI got wind of an assassination attempt that’s supposed to take place here. Lieutenant James, you are in charge. Sergeant Killjoy, you have communications. Sergeant Brown, you will have assets standing by with two bomb sniffer teams. Lieutenant, you’ll need at least four cruisers, and half a dozen motorcycle officers. Let me know if you have any problems, I want your plan outline on my desk in the morning.”

“Yes Captain.” they all replied as they stood.

 

“Sergeant Killjoy handed the captain her plan outline along with a list of equipment that she wanted to purchase.”

After reading it he said, “Damn-nation, you mean to tell me the department doesn’t have enough communications equipment?”

“If you’ll remember, half of the communications equipment requested for this budget year was disapproved. It’s listed here, the list on the right is less reliable civilian equipment that we can purchase locally. All of it will have to be modified to work with our existing equipment, so you’ll also have to authorize overtime for the maintenance section to do the modifications.”

With a thump on his desk the captain growled, “I won’t authorize purchasing this. Borrow it from other precincts for the senators visit.”

“Yes Sir, I’ll need an authorization letter this morning and a travel voucher within the state.”

“What!”

“I’ve already checked both precincts in the city. I will have to go to the capitol to borrow compatible radio’s. I’ll also need to go downstate to borrow the rest. It shouldn’t take but a day or two.”

“Lieutenant James, are you having problems too?” growled the captain.

“No major problems sir, here is my plan along with an authorization for overtime for the traffic officers we’ll need to borrow. The county sheriff called me yesterday and wanted to know the senators itinerary. I’ve also included a request for him and a deputy for a week. The senators office refused to send me his travel plans.

“And by the way, I also got a call from the newspaper and TV station wanting to know when the senator will arrive.”

 

Friday morning the senators office called and informed the mayor that he would be arriving in two hours at the airport. The mayor was informed that he needed to be at the airport to greet the senator and his entourage. They would need four limousines.

The mayor called the police chief, the chief called the captain, and the captain called the Lieutenant. The Lieutenant called his teams and they scrambled to the airport.

Upon arrival they found the a TV crew from the capitol already setup. When the Lieutenant asked them to move from the terminal they refused. He cited the fact that they obstructed his security and they again refused. Sergeant Killjoy recorded it all as she checked her equipment.

The senators private jet landed and taxied up to the entrance to the terminal. As he led his entourage over to the news crew, two small drones were seen flying across the runway toward the terminal. His security hustled him toward the limousines.

Lieutenant James ordered the news crew to get into the terminal and they refused. He then ordered the crowd to scatter. Only a few slowly moved. When the first bullets from the drones started hitting the crowd they screamed and ran. The news crew stood like statues until the reporter was hit.

The police officers were firing at the drones with their pistols and shotguns, without any effect.

The drones then turned toward the limousines raking them with bullets. After one strafing run they headed back across the runway toward the woods.

When the ambulances arrived they counted twenty-two wounded including the senator, plus fifteen dead including the reporter.

Less than a week later a law suit was filed, suing the senator, the city, and news crew company. The city attorney brought forward Killjoy’s recordings, and recordings made when the Lieutenant had called the senators office requesting information on his travel plans.

 

Three weeks later, after seeing all the evidence the jury awarded a judgment against the news service for twenty-two million dollars. One of the civilians had recorded on their camera, the news crew telling the crowd where to stand, and how to act when the senator arrived.

The city was not found negligent and awarded four million against the news media company for obstruction of police operations. Half of the amount was to go directly to the surviving families of the officers killed.

However the senator and his office were found negligent for ten million dollars, because his office had leaked the time and location of his arrival and his refusal to furnish his itinerary to the city government.

~ ~ ~

 

Assassin

 

“Hello, this is John.”

“Hi John, I have a package that needs to be delivered.”

“When and where?”

“It will be in Metro city on Friday morning. The easiest place for delivery will probably be the airport.”

“Public delivery?”

“It would be nice if everyone sees it delivered.”

“I’ve opened a new email address. Send a picture and other data and I’ll send you back the price. Public delivery’s are double.”

“Yea I know, I’ve already bought extra flowers.”

 

The assassin sent back the price, two million, and that afternoon received another email with a Swiss bank account number.

After verifying the money was there he set about planning.

He knew there would be ground and maybe air security. He’d been playing around with some drones on his property, so he modified one by attaching a machine gun.

Then he sent it hunting and managed to get a deer. The only problem was he needed to figure out how to mount it better. When the machine gun started firing the rounds went every which away.

Changing out the machine gun for a modified M-16 he tried again and got much better results. Adding a second M-16, each with a thirty round clip worked fine. He could fire one, re-aim and fire the second.

Using his two largest drones he mounted two on each. After wiping every part down, even the bullets, he gave them a coat of light gray paint. They were almost invisible from the ground.

 

After buying a used pickup near Metro city he reconnoitered the area around the airport. The woods across the runway from the terminal were ideal. The two roads through the area and both gave him direct access to the main highway.

 

Friday morning he watched the targets plane land. As soon as it touched down he launched his drones. The camera, with their aiming marks, showed the target approaching a crowd. Not wanting to let him get into the crowd he activated one weapon from each drone as they crossed the taxi runway. He watched the targets damn security cover him and hustle him toward a line of cars. Using a controller in each hand he turned the drones toward the target and activated the second set of weapons. With a smile he saw the security fall and then the target. Blood was visible as the target fell beside one of the cars.

Turning the drones back toward the woods, he activated the homing beacon and started the pickup. As soon as they landed he threw the tarp over the bed and tied it down. Less than five minutes later he turned onto the highway.

 

Reading in the newspaper about the attack was pleasing, except for the fact that the target spent three weeks in intensive care before being released, and immediately retired.

Later he read about the lawsuit. That reporter buying the farm and the news organization loosing the lawsuit brought a smile to his lips. He thought to himself, I’ve got to get some better drones.

~ ~ ~

 

Killjoy and the Drone

 

“Edward’s, Anderson, this morning you’re on special assignment. Pick up Sergeant Killjoy from dispatch at 8:30. She will brief you on your patrol area.”

“Hey Anderson, ever met Killjoy.”

“No and I don’t want to with a name like that.”

“You’ll change your mind soon enough Anderson. Lets get some coffee, today will be a long day.”

Twenty minutes later they pulled their unmarked car around to the back door of the station. Edward’s led the way into dispatch and over to a petite woman in uniform and said, “Hi Killjoy.”

“Oh hell, do I have to put up with you today?”

“Yup, and this is my new rookie partner, Anderson.”

Looking up at Anderson she said, “I hope you brought your own luck. If you listen to Ed you’ll need it.”

“Luck has nothing to do with it. Where’s your gear.” replied Ed.

“It’s all set up in the brown panel truck out back. Transfer your gear and turn in your cruiser.”

“We didn’t get a cruiser, we were assigned blue unmarked.”

“I’ll meet you out back in five, get your gear and make sure you have all the panels in your vest.”

 

“Good morning ma’am. You called in a report earlier about an object hitting your house.”

“Yes officer, It’s on the roof above the patio.”

“Killjoy looked at Edwards and said, “Bring a ladder around.”

Around back the woman was pointing at the roof and talking to Killjoy, Anderson was taking notes. Slapping the ladder against the house Edwards climbed.

“Hold it Ed. Get the video helmet and remote recorder.”

“Anderson, when you get to roof level, I want you to just edge up enough to let the camera get a good picture. Do not stick your head above the roof level. Do you understand?”

“Yes ma’am”

At the top of the ladder, Anderson listened to her instructions.

“Turn slightly to the right, now left and up. You’re moving to fast, slow down your head movements.

“Better. Come down.

“Edwards, move the ladder to the other side of the patio cover.

“Anderson, same routine.

“Tilt up just a little. Hold steady.

“Ed, get your full armor on and go up from the front of the house. Let me know before you reach the roof peak.”

Pulling her radio from her belt Killjoy keyed the microphone. “Dispatch, I need a tech bomb retrieval unit at my location.”

Her radio chirped and out the speaker came the reply, “ETA forty minutes.”

“Anderson, come down, meet us out front.”

In the van she pulled another camera and turned it on. Anderson, mount this on the ladder so it above the roof level. Make sure you don’t stick you head above the roof line.”

Pulling two more boxes she attached antennas and said, “Ed mount these at the crest of the roof with direct line of sight to the object.”

“Ma’am, for your safety and the safety of your family please pull your car down the street. When the other police van gets here, he needs to back into your driveway. Anyone in the house needs to go and sit in the car until we get that thing off your roof.”

“Is it dangerous.? asked the woman.

“I don’t know right now ma’am, but it is best not to take any chances.” Killjoy then pressed several buttons on a console in the back of the van and several antennas telescoped up and a line of recorders started.

Anderson asked, “Killjoy, what are you recording?”

“The full electromagnetic spectrum. I need a baseline before we go to move the object. When we do move it, I need any data I can get to located it’s controller source.”

An hour later Killjoy yelled at Sgt. Brown, “What’d you do, stop for donuts.”

“Na, Robbie threw a pad, had to fix him or he’d slip off the roof. What’s the layout.”

Walking around the house he pulled a rifle scope and looked up at the object. “Crap, that one is armed, and probably has a kill switch. Everyone out?”

“Yes the family is across the street in the SUV.”

“I’ll put Robbie up on the garage and move from there. Any damn reporters around yet? Shall we wait, then we can get some good PR.”

“Damn Brown, you just want your ugly mug on TV again. Oh hell here they come.”

As the TV van pulled up Killjoy and Sgt Brown walked over and pulled the passengers door open, “Good morning, If you transmit anything before we get the object off the roof of that house I’ll arrest you for interfering and attempting to sabotage a police operation. The best area for you to set up will probably be in the back corner of the yard. From there you can record the whole action on the roof. Killjoy here is going to setup the drone killer, you’ll have the exclusive film from ground level.”

“Come on officer, this is hot stuff. I need to get it on the air immediately.”

“If your station transmits anything about this operation, the police department and homeowner will both sue you for all damages. Freedom of the press and all that, but if the operator sees your reporting and detonates anything, you are responsible. Call your chief and remind him about the incident at the airport last year.”

“Sarge, are you talking about the reporter and fourteen other casualties when those drones attacked.”

“Yup, and don’t forget that news service lost a twenty-two million dollar law suit. Kinda cut down on your competition, didn’t it.”

“Anderson, show them where to set up and make sure they put on a long lens shade. I don’t want any reflection off their camera lenses.”

“Yes Sir.”

“Call me sir again and you’ll be a meter maid for the rest of your life. Am I understood?”

“Yes S.., uh boss. Yes boss.”

Thirty minutes later Robbie was slowly moving over the roof peak. The TV camera man had his camera mounted on a tripod and the cute female reporter had started her commentary.

Suddenly Killjoy yelled over her radio. “EMP that thing now.”

Sergeant Brown answered, “This Robbie doesn’t have that modification.”

“Everyone down, its transmitting and I’m picking up more signals.”

The drone killer started firing its laser from the roof of the house toward the end of the block. “Anderson get those reporter out the yard, incoming!

“Dispatch, code 9, I say again code 9, incoming drones, one down two airborne.”

“Copy that Killjoy, ground backup and medical support notified. Air assets unavailable.”

“Dispatch, second drone down, receiving fire from last drone. Object on house just blew taking out Robbie. Notify fire department.”

“Wilco Killjoy.”

“Killjoy, Anderson here, reporters want to retrieve film camera.”

“That’s a negative, anything that moves may become a target.

“Edwards, can you get a bead on the incoming. You’re supposed to be the expert marksman.”

“Open the van door, I’ve got to get baby.”

“No time, I’m activating van defensive program. Get under cover.” A radar aimed rifle telescoped from the roof and started firing at the incoming drone. The third shot clipped it and it dropped in the front yard across the street.

“Killjoy this is dispatch, air assets en-route, ETA five, copy?”

“Roger that dispatch, send another tech truck. I need two more backups to isolate downed drones.”

“They are en-route, dispatch out.”

“Anderson, bring the reporters to me with their equipment.”

When they got to the van Killjoy said, “I need a copy of your recording now.” as she handed the camera man a memory stick. “Come by my office in the morning and I’ll let you copy some of my recordings. Miss, I’m sure you can drum up some interest in tomorrows news with hints of more pictures. For your safety, I suggest you don’t transmit your recording unless you’re moving. Whoever is controlling these drones may not want everyone to know he failed.”

“I think I’ll wait until I can hand this recording to the editor.” she replied. “Lets go Joe.”

Scraps of the first two drones downed had residue of explosives. The third drone in the front yard had self destructed using a thermal charge.

Two days later, with the images of the drone attack still fresh in the publics mind, the city council posted a reward for the capture of the terrorist drone operator. They also upped the budget for the special operations section of the police department.

Killjoy and the special operations section spent the next month upgrading their equipment.

~ ~ ~

 

Assassin

 

Almost a year later he got another phone call. When he answered the voice on the other end stated, last time you only delivered the candy, not the flowers, but everything worked out OK. This delivery has to go without any screw-ups. Flowers only and anytime.

One mil, same account as last time.

It’s on it way.

 

The target had a habit of watering his garden every morning. He sent the drone in just before dark. A block before the targets house something went wrong. The drone crashed on the roof of a house. His new drone had one weapon mounted plus a two pound block of explosive. In the morning he could see cops looking at his drone from the ground.

He carried his last three drones out to the field behind the motel and launched them. Two black and one blue. The blue one was his newest. It had a built in Faraday cage and the electronics were all surrounded by mirrors to keep lasers from destroying them. He added that refinement after reading an article in a police magazine mentioning that some of the larger police departments were testing out lasers, and directional pinch generators to kill drones that wandered into airports and other secure locations. Metro city wasn’t one of the listed departments.

He saw a flash of light and one of his drones exploded. He wasn’t to worried he still had two in the air. Then he saw what could only be a laser on the top of the house and he lost his second drone. Grabbing the controller for his original drone he flipped the self-destruct switch.

The controller for his newest drone showed that it was no longer a target, the laser was firing into the ground. Since he couldn’t reach his target, he decided to eliminate the police that had shot down two of his drones. Aiming the weapon at the police van he flipped the switch. A second later he realized that it had been hit by something. With a scowl he flipped the self-destruct.

 

A week later he sat in the tree-house in the yard behind his targets house. Like clockwork the back door opened and his target stepped out. A crossbow is silent, and just as deadly as a gun at a hundred and twelve feet. Aiming dead center of the targets chest he pulled the trigger, just as the targets dog jumped up on him. He was loading a second arrow then the targets wife started screaming at the back door. Dropping to the ground he ran around the house and jumped into his truck. Blue flashing lights appeared in his mirror as he jerked the gearshift in drive and floored it. A block from the highway a second police car crashed into the side of his truck and he was thrown halfway out the door and dragged for a distance, before falling completely out and getting run over by the back wheel.

  1. # #

 

 

Polls have Consequences

~ ~ ~

“Governor, we’ve finished analyzing the last 4 poll results. They don’t look good for anybody.”

“John, the election is thirteen months away. Is there anyway we can raise our numbers?”

“Governor, the only way to raise our numbers is to eliminate 72% of the state's voters. However, your numbers are at least higher than the legislatures.”

“What do you mean, last night on TV they announced that my next crisis would drop me into single digits, and it was already building.”

“Yes, but the house is at 9.6% and the senate is at 8.9% job satisfaction. Their unfavorability ratings are in the high 80's. Yours are only in the high 70's. One poll even had the question, would you vote out the whole state government and put in amateurs. Across the board, the results were 73% to vote out all the politicians and vote in anybody that had no political connections.”

“What was the margin of error in those polls.”

Governor, when the numbers are this lopsided the margin of error doesn’t count for shit!”

“But, everything we learned and all the right economist state that we’ve taken every step in the correct sequence. It’s just that the economy keeps going down.

“John, call the senate and house leaders and arrange a meeting for this afternoon. Second, I want you to give a short presentation on the poll results. Last but not least, I want a presentation of what they and I have done in sequence and what the economy did, not just in my state but nationally since I took office.”

“Governor, a presentation like that will take several weeks to put together.”

“That’s bull, we don’t have that much time! All that information has to be somewhere. Try the state computer system and the Internet. In fact, call that new computer whiz you were bragging about hiring last month. Get him up here now.”

 

“Governor, this is Jimmy, the brightest kid ever to graduate from the state university.”

“Jimmy, what is your proper name?”

“James Monroe, Sir.”

“OK James, what I need done quickly is a presentation put together showing the state economy when I took office. Then, after each piece of legislation was passed the way the economy reacted. Also, I want a comparison presentation that can be run with it showing what the surrounding three states did during the same time frame. Last, the same thing thing for the nation. How soon can you give me a draft presentation?”

“If Mr. Abbot will let me pick three assistants and authorize working overnight I can have a rough draft on the computer tomorrow.”

The governor scratched his head and then said, “John give him the authority and authorization. Then set up a meeting with the senate and house leaders for a late lunch meeting in the large dining room. Also get any computers and other equipment that James needs to give his draft presentation after you give your poll presentation. Any questions?”

“No Sir,” replied John.

“I can only get a rough draft done by then, there will be information that I won’t have time to weed out by tomorrow.”

“That’s OK James, I want to give the attendees a shock that will hopefully make them get their followers in gear. I don’t want to stick another finger in the dike, like the little dutch boy. I want to quickly build a wall that will stop the death spiral the state’s in.”

“Alright Governor, I’ll do my best and have all the information ready to present by noon tomorrow. After I give the presentation, I’ll polish it and link in any points they have questions about.”

~ ~ ~

“Before we eat, John is going to give a quick briefing on the summary of the recent polls that the news media have taken.”

Then the Governor continued, “After lunch we’ll have another presentation that was put together by some of my staff last night. I haven’t even seen it yet. I hope that their draft presentation will put us in a better mood. So lets eat.”

 

As the dessert dishes were being cleared by the staff the Governor told John, “Get James in here. As soon as the staff is out of the room I want you to post yourself outside and make sure we have privacy while we check out this presentation and talk.”

James and a young lady entered and hooked up his laptop to the three big screen TV’s on the west wall. She then sat down and pulled out a steno book and pen. James started off by saying, “Yesterday I was given the task of tracking the governors term in office, the state economy, laws that were passed, effect these laws had on the economy, and a few surrounding states as a factor to see how the national economy was tracking. On the left screen is the national economy statistics on the day he took office. On the middle screen is the three surrounding states, each in its own window. On the right screen is our state statistics. All these statistics are published by the government budget office of the entity listed. As soon as you are ready I’ll start with each policy and law passed that I was able to track, they will be displayed on the far right screen. I’ll be using the national economy reports as a benchmark and progress in thirty day increments. Any questions before we start?”

“Yes,” said the senate majority leader. “Who are you, what’s your background, and what political party do you belong to?”

“Well sir, I graduated from the state college 5 months ago and was hired as a staff researcher due to my computer skills. I’m 23 and haven’t registered to vote, nor voted in any election. I was planning on putting in my resignation due to the boring aspects of my job here, and going into the private sector at the end of the year. That was until I was given this assignment yesterday. Anything else?”

“No young man, get on with the presentation.”

“Yes sir, now these three screens show the economic indicators that are tracked by each government entity. Here are February's statics, here are March's. As you can see all the states have taken a dip that the federal government does not show. Now in March the national teachers union started making demands, and the state teachers unions started echoing the demands in April. Notice in June all the states except our neighbor to the east, that is a right to work state, took a 2 point dip. New contracts were signed in July. The legislature of our state and the neighbor to the north passed tax hikes and user fees in early September. Our neighbor to the south passed theirs in late September. As you can see when they took effect in January, our neighbors economy slowed by an average of 3 points. Now lets go back to September when the state income tax was upped from 7% to 7.9%. You signed it in October. The combination of the two taxes and the user fees had a combined effect of slowing our economy by 5.7%. Our neighbors did not raise state income tax. Our neighbor to the east lowered their state income tax from 8% to 7.5%. Their economic indicators as of the end of January are up 2.5% even though they placed user fees on many state paperwork functions.

“If you will change the submission dates for the states economic indicators and have them sent to my office I can have February’s indicators for a presentation by the 10th.

“Also Governor, if you will require the regulatory departments to submit their new and changed regulations I will be able to include them in the presentation. I was only able to get hold of two in the housing sector and the housing sector took a dip about 30 days after each was implemented. The housing sector has not bounced back like it has nationally or in our neighboring states. That is all I have, questions?”

“Son,” said the senate minority leader, “How would you suggest we proceed to get the economic indicators for the state to rise before election time?”

With a deer in the headlights look James stated, “I can’t really say, all I can do is look at the policies the different states have implemented and the results in their economic indicators following those implementations. Politics is something my parents warned me to stay out of.”

The Governor stood up and stated, “I don’t give a damn about your politics. I want you to list all the laws passed since I took office and correlate them with the economic indicators for the three months following implementation. In fact include any previously passed laws that took effect after I took office. Put your assistants to combing the state regulatory agencies and list all their changes and effects upon the economy after implementation. To be fair you will furnish a copy to the senate and house leaders the same time you deliver a copy to me. I want you to start tomorrow and have a report to us every Thursday. I’ll be damned if I’m going down without a fight because what I learned, and what my advisers tell me sends the state into a death spiral. If it works, I want it done!”

Then he yelled, “John get in here.”

As John said, “Yes governor”, the Governor cut him off. “I want Mr. Monroe here to have an office tomorrow and room for his assistants. You will draft an executive order for me to sign tomorrow morning giving Mr. Monroe carte blanche to gather data from all state administrative offices. I don’t want any administrative red tape preventing him from getting his reports in on time.

“Now gentlemen, since you will be getting the same reports every Thursday, I am going to request that you give Mr. Monroe authority and freedom to gather information for the next year. These reports will be hand delivered to you by either him or one of his assistants. You will control the information, so if any of the information in the reports gets out you will know where the information came from. Either that or we can set up a luncheon meeting every Thursday here.

“As it stands right now the polls report that none of us stand a chance in hell to continue our political careers after the next election. I don’t intend to be a one term governor! Any questions or comments.”

“Yes governor I have a comment. As a loyal member of the opposition party, I must inform you that you are going to give me a headache. You are going to make it very hard for us to beat you in November. It’s really to bad that the information in the reports can’t be used against you unless you turn ultra liberal and refuse to act on policies that will improve the living and economic conditions of our constituents.

“Monday morning I will be submitting a bill to make our state a right to work state, and revoking the laws and regulations requiring all state employees join a union. We all know that there is a lot of deadwood lurking in our bureaucracy. Lets trim some of it out after bringing our pension plans more in line with the private sector. No one should retire with a pension higher than the salary they earned while working.

“A colleague of mine will be submitting a bill to revise state pension plans. If you get Mr. Monroe to add pension plans to his list, I’d appreciate it. I’ll even give him a list of sources to start with. I hope he will give you an unbiased factual report. My staffs report indicates that the state pensions will exceed projected tax revenues in seven years.”

“Anything else?” asked the Governor. “If not then I’ll talk to each of you next Thursday or Friday, or shall we have our first report over lunch. Let John know by Wednesday.”

  1. # #


Nightmares

A collection of nightmares that … well you decide. Over the years, everyone has nightmares. Some from eating to late, some from life experiences, and others from just listening to the evening news just before bedtime. A few nights ago I watched the evening news, and then went to bed. I woke up in a cold sweat about three AM remembering a few stories I'd published years ago, and some I wrote but didn't publish. I don't remember what caused the original nightmares that prompted me to write those stories. I reread them and decided to republish them, and publish some of the unpublished ones. I still have several, but they are so off the wall or what you would consider controversial, that I'm going to hold onto them unless I hear their contents in the news. After all, I'm not a harbinger. Each is a nightmare in its own right, some more so than others. It depends on your point of view. These nightmares are in alphabetical order by title. Here they are!

  • Author: Stephen Brandon
  • Published: 2017-02-03 04:05:11
  • Words: 32331
Nightmares Nightmares