Bugout! California Part 42 – Bulletproof

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Trevor, Seth, and Angel sat in the big motor home, watching out the windshield.

“It’s been almost an hour,” Trevor said. “We should go look for her.”

“All of this really shook Kaylee up,” Angel said. “Think she’s just upset about Emma?”

“She did just break up with Matt,” Seth said. “They went out for a long time. I know she was ready, but it’s still not easy. It wasn’t easy for me to break up with Emma, even though it was past time.”

“I could see that, I guess,” Angel said. “I hope Matt doesn’t get himself killed.”

“I’m a lot more worried about Kaylee at this point,” Trevor said.

“She’s probably at the lookout,” Seth said. “I know where it is.”

“Then let’s go get her,” Trevor said.

“She be back soon,” Ji-Ho said. “She have to work this through head. Leave alone for few more minutes.”

“Here she comes,” Trevor said. “Thank God.”

They watched her approach. When she noticed, she looked away.

“Remember, don’t bug,” Ji-Ho said as she came in through the door. She silently walked to the dinette and slid in, leaning her head against the back wall. Her eyes were red from crying.

“She going to be okay?” Trevor whispered to Ji-Ho, Angel, and Seth.

“Give time,” Ji-Ho whispered back.

“Hey, quit talking about me,” Kaylee said. “Give me a chance, okay? I just lost my best friend.”

“Lost boyfriend too,” Ji-Ho said. “Sorry it be like this.”

She started to calm down. “I’m not sorry about Matt. That was only a matter of time.”

Trevor, Angel and Seth sat silently, watching her with concern, afraid to say anything.

“Don’t you guys get all weird about this,” Kaylee said. “You understand what happened. And uncle, knock it off with the match-making. I can choose on my own, you know.”

“Yes, I know,” Ji-Ho said. “You know what I think. These men all worthy.”

Kaylee rolled her eyes. “How do you know I’m worthy of them? Like I said, stay out of it.”

“Okay,” he said.

“What now?” Trevor asked.

“I show what we have, what plans are. First show my rig, although we not use in first mission.”

“We’ve already seen your rig,” Seth said.

“There’s a few strange things about this coach I’ve already noticed,” Trevor said. “It’s bullet-proof, isn’t it?”

“Yes, is,” Ji-Ho said. “Also armed. Guns in front. Guns in back. Gun slots in sides. Turret on back roof.”

Trevor’s eyes lit up. “Turret?” he said. Seth looked shocked. Angel laughed and shook his head.

“I show,” Ji-Ho said, getting up. He went to the driver’s seat and punched a button. A console came up from the dashboard with a touch screen.

“Shouldn’t this be away from the window?” Seth asked.

“Bullet proof glass, plus can raise shield.” He touched the screen and a metal cover came up from below the windshield, covering it. “This metal stop .50 cal.”

“Who made this rig?” Trevor asked.

“Me,” Ji-Ho said. “With help from friends. You meet someday. You like.”

“Does my dad know about this?” Kaylee asked.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “By way, he not in Torrance. He and mom in South Korea. I sneak them out when we have chance.”

“Why didn’t they take me?” Kaylee asked.

“No time, hammer already down,” Ji-Ho said. “Time for your training anyway. Your folks agree.”

“They knew what was going on?” Kaylee asked.

“Run in family,” Ji-Ho said. “You hear of Gyeongbokgung Royal Guard?”

“Gyeongbokgung?” Kaylee said. “Yes, from Korean school. That was the palace in Seoul. Our family was in the Royal Guard?”

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “Warrior blood. All have.”

“The Gyeongbokgung Royal Guard is just ceremonial now, isn’t it?” Trevor asked.

“You know about?” Ji-Ho asked. “Impressive for American.”

“I read a lot,” Trevor said. “So you’re saying they got involved in this mess?”

“No,” Ji-Ho said, “but family from, have traditions. Not back down. America my country now. I do job. I guard just like family guard Korea.”

Seth eyed Ji-Ho, then Trevor. “This all sounds pretty crazy to me.”

“Seriously, dude,” Angel said.

Ji-Ho chuckled. “You learn. Have what takes. Seth, Angel, Trevor too. And Kaylee.”

“I’m no warrior, uncle,” Kaylee said.

“Direct line from father,” Ji-Ho said. “You have. Don’t know yet.”

“Let’s see the turret,” Trevor said.

“Can’t raise now,” Ji-Ho said. “Park people see. Come to back, I show you in down position.” He got up and walked towards the bedroom in the back, Trevor and the others following. “See metal box on ceiling?”

“That’s big,” Angel said.

“It mini-gun,” Ji-Ho said. He stood on the bed and undid latches on the passenger side of the sheet metal box, then lowered the cover. The mini-gun was there, with a large holding area for the ammo belt. “Load from here, shoot from front. More ammo under bed.”

“Hell, this thing is a battle wagon,” Trevor said. “No wonder you wanted the girls to ride in here.”

“Why aren’t we using this thing for the first mission?” Seth asked.

“We meet other group in wilderness area,” Ji-Ho said. “This no good off pavement.”

“Wilderness area?” Trevor asked.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “Jeeps and off-roaders only. Have more toys. We go to Murrieta in morning and get. Come, we go have food and talk in salon.” He closed the sheet-metal cover and led the group out. “Zap lasagna in microwave.”

“We have pizza in the fridge too,” Kaylee said. “Brought it from the house.”

“Good, you cook?”

“Sure,” she said. “Microwave, right?”

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “I set up TV screen to show plans for attack.”

Ji-Ho plugged his laptop into a port on the wall next to the dinette table. “Trevor, TV remote in center kitchen drawer, next to range. Grab and turn on.”

Trevor nodded and went for it, getting next to Kaylee. She shot him a glance. He looked back at her, then looked away quickly.

“I said don’t get weird,” she whispered, half a smile on her lips.

“I’ll try,” he whispered, looking at her in a way she hadn’t seen before. They lingered for a moment.

“Okay, up now,” Ji-Ho said. “TV please.”

Trevor snapped out of it and aimed the remote at the TV over the kitchen counter, clicking it on. He sat next to Ji-Ho on the dinette, Angel and Seth sitting on the other side of the dinette. Kaylee backed up a little to see the screen.

“Here map,” Ji-Ho said, bringing it up with the laptop. “We south of Temecula, here.” He moved the cursor over it, doing a circle motion over the spot.

“Where’s the other hardware again?” Trevor asked. “Murrieta?”

“Yes, north,” he said, moving the cursor over it. “Big warehouse. We go in my SUV and Seth’s SUV. Leave there, take Jeeps. Tow off-roaders.”

“We’re leaving the RVs here?” Trevor asked.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “We come back later. After mission.”

“If we live,” Kaylee said, as she loaded the frozen lasagna into the microwave.

“We’ll live,” Trevor said quickly. Kaylee shot him a glance, and he looked away quickly again.

“Where’s the target?” Angel asked.

“Due west from south La Quinta, here,” Ji-Ho said, circling the cursor over it. “We meet up here, in Anza Borrego.”

“Meet up with who?” Angel asked.

“Indian tribe, and another group who just join them,” Ji-Ho said. “Enemy expect attack, but not from wilderness.”

“Are these people who are working with Ivan the Butcher?” Seth asked.

“Indian tribe yes,” Ji-Ho said. “Other group no, but Ivan has watched. I know leader. Old friend. He be shocked when I show up.” Ji-Ho chuckled.

“You’re enjoying this way too much, uncle,” Kaylee said as she turned on the microwave.

Ji-Ho’s phone rang.

“Excuse,” Ji-Ho said. Trevor got up and let him out. He rushed back into the bedroom with the phone to his ear.

“Wonder what that’s about,” Seth asked. “He looked a little concerned.”

“Nothing will surprise me now,” Angel said.

Ji-Ho ran back out. “Jamie and Gus captured,” he said. “Probably talk. Move other motor home away, and vehicles too. Go to open spaces in other side of park, then rush back.”

“Oh, no,” Kaylee said.

“C’mon,” Trevor said, heading for the door. Seth followed, then Angel.

“Un hook the utilities and water,” Trevor said as he ran. I’ll move in the slides.”

“Got it,” Seth said. “C’mon, Angel, you can help.”

“I don’t know how,” Angel said.

“You can undo the water. You know how to use a garden hose, right?”

“Hey, that’s racist,” Angel said, grin on his face. “Just because I’m Mexican.”

“You’re joking now?” Seth said, eyes full of terror.

“Yeah. We’re going to kill those slugs,” Angel said. “Wait till that mini-gun goes off.”

They got to the back of Trevor’s motor home. “There, turn off the water, then undo the hose and cram it into that compartment there.”

“Got it,” Angel said.

The engine started, and then the big slide on the driver’s side moved in, motor whirring. Seth unhooked the electrical, and then the cable TV as Angel stuffed the dripping hose into the compartment. Then Seth undid the sewer. The coach lurched.

“What’s that?” Angel asked.

“Leveling jack’s going up,” he said. “Close the compartment. Then we’re done.”

They finished and rushed to the door of the coach. “Done,” Seth said.

“Good,” Trevor said. “Follow me in your Four Runner.”

Kaylee ran out. “I’m moving my uncle’s SUV. Where we going?”

“Follow me,” Trevor shouted from the driver’s seat of his rig. He pulled through the front of the site and got on the road, heading for the back of the park. Seth and Angel rushed to the Four Runner and took off after him, Kaylee taking up the rear. They parked about six hundred yards back, in a vacant space hidden from Ji-Ho’s spot.

“This will be good enough,” Trevor said, locking the door to the coach as he left, Winchester in his hand. Kaylee ran over, then Seth and Angel.

“Shoot, we need to grab our lever guns out of the back of your Four Runner,” Angel said.

“Yeah,” Seth said. They rushed back over and grabbed the rifles and a metal box full of ammo.

“Let’s go,” Kaylee said in a panic.

They ran the whole way back to Ji-Ho’s rig.

“Look, there’s plates in front of the wheels,” Trevor said as they scurried in the door.

“Shut door,” Ji-Ho said. “They almost here. Got call.”

“Dammit,” Kaylee said.

“No worry,” Ji-Ho said. “We nail them.” He got into the driver’s seat and turned on the console, still above the dashboard from when he showed them earlier.

“What about dinner?” Kaylee asked.

“What, you want to eat now?” Seth asked.

“No, the microwave is running, silly,” she said.

“Leave it,” Ji-Ho said. “Get ready. They be here soon. You brought rifles?”

“Yes,” Seth said.

“Good. If we need I open slots. Probably not need.”

They watched out the windows silently for a few moments.

“What happened to Emma?” Kaylee asked.

“They no say,” Ji-Ho said. “Not good.”

“Oh, God,” she said. “I hope they didn’t kill her.”

“Wonder how they found them?” Trevor asked.

“Maybe they know about Gus,” Ji-Ho said. “They too badass for own good. Maybe not careful.”

“Look,” Angel whispered. “White van. Just pulled into the gate.”

“Another one behind it,” Seth said.

Ji-Ho flipped a switch, and they heard a whirring noise as the mini-gun rose into position. He chuckled. “Come papa.”

“Better wait until we’re sure it’s them,” Trevor said.

Suddenly there was the sound of metallic impacts on the outside of the coach.

“They’re shooting at us!” Kaylee said, moving away from the wall.

Ji-Ho grinned. “It them. Hold ears!” He pulled the trigger, following the vehicles on the monitor, keeping the cross-hairs on the target as the two vehicles literally came apart, one of them exploding in flames.

“Holy crap,” Angel said. “None of them survived that.”

“Another vehicle coming,” Trevor said.

“I see,” Ji-Ho said. “Can’t get past wreckage blocking gate.”

“You going to fire?” Seth asked.

“Let them push van out of way. Less for us to do when leave.”

“Yeah, we’ve probably overstayed our welcome already,” Angel said.

Ji-Ho laughed. “That funny. Look, they push out of way. I let come in further.”

“Don’t play with these people, uncle,” Kaylee said, brow furrowed.

“That far enough.” He pulled the trigger, the tight stream of bullets plastering the side of the van with lead. It exploded before their eyes. “Wonder if that last?”

They watched silently for several minutes as the two vans on fire burned out.

“Anybody get out of the van that wasn’t on fire?” Trevor asked.

“Not that I saw,” Seth said. “Might be somebody alive in there, but I doubt it.”

“I hope Emma wasn’t in there,” Kaylee said, eyes glassy with tears.

“They might follow us out of here,” Seth said.

“Yeah,” Trevor said. “What should we do?”

“We need to leave,” Ji-Ho said.

“I’ll go unhook,” Trevor said.

“You’re going out there?” Kaylee asked, eyes wide.

“Have to,” Trevor said. “I’ll take my gun. I’m good with it.”

“I’m going with you,” Seth said. “C’mon.”

“Okay,” Trevor said. They slipped out the door, closing it and running in a crouch to the back of the rig. Trevor undid the power while Seth undid the water and cable. Trevor shut the rear compartment, then both of them heard a door slide.

“Van?” Seth asked, heart beating faster.

“Maybe,” Trevor said. “Wish there was a back way into the coach.”

“You and me both,” Seth said.

“Well, here goes nothing,” Trevor said, sneaking around to the front rear. He started towards the door when a shot rang out. He dived to the dirt and played dead as Seth opened fire with his Winchester, hitting the van several times. Someone yelled something in Arabic.

“Watch out!” cried Kaylee, her voice muffled from outside.

Two men were running towards the RV, getting too close for the big gun to hit. Seth fired, hitting one of them. Trevor rolled and opened fire, hitting the second man in the head. Then he got up and ran towards the van, aiming the gun. Seth followed him slowly, looking in all directions. Another shot rang out from up the driveway. Seth fired but missed, then leapt behind some cover next to the road side. Trevor was on the far side of the van now. Two Islamists rushed towards the van, and Trevor showed himself, hitting both of the running men before they got twenty yards. Seth got up and ran towards him.

“I think that’s all of them,” Trevor said, breath coming hard. “Look in the van. That’s Matt’s Winchester.”

“Dammit,” Seth said. “Let’s see what else is in here.” He climbed in and took out his phone, turning on the flashlight, looking around inside while Trevor stood watch. He came out, face grim.

“Crap, what did you find?” Trevor asked.

“Emma’s bra and panties,” he said. “Don’t tell Kaylee.”

“Shouldn’t she know?” Trevor asked.

Seth was quiet for a moment, thinking. “Finding these doesn’t mean she’s dead.”

“True,” Trevor said. “You want to go rescue her?”

“I would if I could,” Seth said. “We’re not going to get the info we need to do that.”

“I thought you were over her,” Trevor said.

“Are you for real, man?”

“What do you mean?” Trevor asked.

“She’s alone and afraid, and she’s a human being,” Seth said.

Trevor looked back at him, tears in his eyes. “Oh, geez, I’m such a jerk.”

“I didn’t think about it right away either,” Seth said. “We need to talk to Ji-Ho, but I think right now we’d better just get the hell away from here.”

“Let’s get back,” Trevor said. “Ji-Ho’s rig will go through here just fine.”

They hurried to the coach and climbed inside.

“Nice job,” Ji-Ho said. “We need to go now.”

“Should we go get the other vehicles?” Angel asked.

“No,” Ji-Ho said. “We’ll go to Murrieta tonight. Pull inside warehouse. Maybe get other vehicles in morning, maybe not. Ready?”

“Yeah,” Trevor said.

“Let’s go,” Seth said.

Ji-Ho got back into the driver’s seat and used the touch screen on the targeting console to lower the front shield. Then he brought down the turret, raised the wheel plates, and hit the button to lower the console screen.

“Okay, we go,” he said, starting the big diesel. He drove forward to the access road and headed for the gate. Trevor went in the salon and sat on the couch. Angel got on the dinette bench, Seth joining on the opposite side. Kaylee took the front passenger seat.

“She still looks pretty shook up,” Angel whispered to Seth.

“We found some stuff in the van,” Seth whispered. “Matt and Emma’s stuff. Once we get on the road, we need to talk to her and Ji-Ho.”

“Maybe we should wait until we get there,” Angel said. “Murrieta isn’t far.”

“Okay,” Seth said. “Did you see Trevor out there? Wish I could handle my gun like he does.”

“You shot a couple of guys,” Angel said. “I was on my way out there, but Ji-Ho asked me to stay inside just in case.”

“Just in case of what?” Seth asked.

“In case the mini-gun jammed. He said we’d both need to fire out the slots in the side.”

“Okay, I could see that, I guess,” Seth said.

“Kaylee likes Trevor,” Angel whispered. “Should have seen her watching him out there.”

“Yeah, I know,” Seth said. “That’s probably a good thing.”

“Probably?”

“Trevor isn’t as mature as she is,” Seth said. “He’s off-the charts smart, and that covers for it a lot, but not always.”

“Oh,” Angel said, chuckling. “I can’t think of one girlfriend I’ve ever had who wasn’t more mature than me.”

“Yeah, but that’s you,” Seth said, straining out a smile.

“What’s wrong?”

“Worried about Matt and Emma,” Seth said. “I’ve seen Emma scared to death a lot lately. Now all I can see is her face with that expression.”

“Maybe they aren’t hurting her,” Angel said. “Maybe they let her go. What good is she to them?”

“Her underwear was in the van,” Seth whispered.

“Oh no,” Angel said.

“Now you get it.”

“We’re back in town already,” Trevor said. “Didn’t look at the side when we were out there. Are those bullet marks going to show up much?”

Ji-Ho turned to him for a second, smiling. “They show, but people don’t know. Scratches and dents.”

“You hope,” Kaylee said. “You think anybody followed us?”

“I have one eye on rear camera screen,” he said. “Guns in back. We shoot if we need.”

“Let’s just hope nobody followed us,” Trevor said. “How far is the warehouse?”

“Not far,” Ji-Ho said. “Longest part route 79 through town. Once we get to I-15, another ten minute. Get off on Los Alamos Road.”

Kaylee fidgeted in her seat, then got up and walked into the Salon. She stopped in front of Trevor. “Can we go talk for a few minutes?”

He looked at her silently, and shook his head yes. They walked to the back, Angel and Seth watching them with concern.

“Think he’s gonna tell her?” Angel asked.

“I hope so, for his sake,” Seth said.

To be continued…

 

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Bugout! California Part 41 – Tunnels

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Robbie waited at his restaurant, watching the lighter-than-average traffic flow by on Sepulveda. Ted came back out of the office, brow furrowed.

“Where’s your car?” Ted asked. “It’s not in the parking lot, I hope.”

“No, it’s down 2nd street about two blocks,” Robbie said.

“So how do you know Sparky?” the manager asked. He was a middle aged man with a slight build and a bald head.

“My girlfriend works for him, Ted,” Robbie said, eyeing him. “You’re nervous as hell.”

“You know who Sparky runs with, right?” Ted asked quietly.

“Yeah,” Robbie said. “Don’t care. The UN thugs took my girlfriend. They tried to kill me in the process. Time to choose a side.”

“Sparky has murdered people before, you know,” Ted said.

“Yeah, I figured,” Robbie said. “He treats my girlfriend like a kid sister. He’s probably my best chance to save her.”

“Probably your best chance to get killed too, either by the UN or by Sparky’s people. Watch yourself, kid. I mean it.”

“I understand,” Robbie said. “And I will. You’ve always been good to me, Ted. I’m gonna miss you.”

“You’re not coming back?”

“After what we’re about to do, I’ll have to make myself real scarce around here,” he said.

A UN Van pulled into the lot, parking in the handicapped spot. “That might be him,” Robbie said.

“You know what he looks like?”

“I have this picture.” Robbie showed it to him on Morgan’s phone.

“That’s him, all right,” Ted said, looking at the phone screen. “Go hide in the back until we’re sure it’s him. This might really be the UN. You know they’re looking for you after what you did. Where else would they come?”

Robbie felt dizzy for a moment. “Dammit. Why would Sparky want me here, then?”

“They’re probably going to pull something,” Ted said. “Sparky is nuts.”

Robbie rushed into the back and hid in the supply room, pistol in hand. Ted watched him, then turned back towards the door as two men in UN uniforms walked in. One stood by the door. The other walked up to Ted.

“Are you the manager, sir?” the man asked in a Greek accent. He was a tall thin man, clean-cut with dark hair and olive skin. “I’m Inspector Demetriou of the UN.”

“Yes, I’m the manager,” Ted said, smiling. He extended his hand to shake. Inspector Demetriou stared at it. “What time does your establishment open?”

“We’ll open for lunch in just over an hour,” Ted said. “Why are you here?”

“We’re looking for one of your employees. His name is Robbie Johnson.”

“Robbie works the night shift,” Ted said. “He won’t be here until about six pm.”

“Yes, we know what his hours are,” Inspector Demetriou said. “He has left his house, after killing three UN Peacekeepers. Has he come here?”

“No sir,” Ted said. “That doesn’t sound like Robbie.”

“It’s not a good idea to question UN Inspectors.”

“This is still the United States of America,” Ted said, feeling his face flush. “We have a constitution.”

The Inspector chuckled. “Your silly nationalist document means nothing now. You are under Global Governance, just like the rest of the world. We’ll finally have progress.”

A huge man came out of the kitchen. “Hey, boss, these slugs bothering you?”

“No, Stacey,” Ted said. “Get back to work. I’ll handle these guys.”

The Inspector grinned. “If you want to engage us, be my guest, Stacey.”

“Boss?” Stacey asked, face turning red.

“You heard me, Stacey,” Ted said, sweat breaking out on his forehead.

“I’m calling for backup,” the large UN Peacekeeper by the door said in a British accent. “You’re playing with this bloke. That’s what got Stephan killed.” He pulled out his phone and made a call.

“Go ahead, Cameron,” the Inspector said. “The more the merrier. Now, on with the questioning. You say Robbie is not here. Has he contacted you?”

“No,” Ted said.

“I don’t believe you.”

Ted sighed. “Oh, hell, believe what you want, Eurotrash.”

“How dare you?” Inspector Demetriou spat. He pulled his weapon and aimed it at Ted’s forehead. Then there was a shotgun blast, the Inspectors head splattering all over the front of the Restaurant.

“Dammit, Stacey,” Ted said as he dropped to the ground. Cameron pulled his pistol and fired wildly in his direction.

Stacey waited until he emptied his pistol, and then moved out and fired the shotgun, catching him in the shoulder.

“You bloody wanker,” the man screamed. Then he saw another UN Van roll up. “Yes! You blokes are dead meat now.”

Sparky leapt out of the Van in a UN uniform that barely fit. He rushed in.

“Thank God,” Cameron said, his eyes getting wide as Sparky pointed a pistol at his head. He pulled the trigger without pausing on his way through the door.

“Sparky, dammit,” Ted said. “Thanks a lot. You did this on purpose. Now I have to leave too.”

Robbie ran out in a panic, looking at the carnage.

“Hey, kid,” Sparky said. “Good to meet you.”

“Who had the shotgun?” Robbie asked.

“Me,” Stacey said. “How’s it going, Robbie?”

“We’d better get the hell out of here,” Sparky said. “Let’s pile into the UN Van, okay?”

“What choice do we have now?” Ted said.

They all rushed out the door and got into the van.

“Stop by my car so we can grab the weapons,” Robbie said. “I’m a couple blocks down 2nd Street. Turn right at the light there.”

“You got anything worth taking, kid?” Sparky asked.

“Two Weatherby rifles with scopes,” Robbie said. “Nice sniper rifles. Cost over a grand each.

“Yeah, that’s worth it,” Sparky said. “What else?”

“There’s a 30-30 lever gun, a double-barrel twelve gauge, and two 9mm auto pistols.”

“Okay, we’ll grab them,” Sparky said. He made the right turn and drove down the street.

“There it is,” Robbie said, pointing to his car. He slipped out the side door of the van and opened the trunk, grabbing the guns and setting them in the van. “What about my car?”

“Leave it,” Sparky said. “You won’t be needing it anymore.” Robbie got in and they drove away.

“Where we going?” Stacey asked.

“Our hideout,” Sparky said. “It’s not far.”

“Listen,” Ted said. “Those damn euro-sirens.”

Sparky chuckled.

“This isn’t funny,” Ted said. “I had a good gig going there.”

“We’re on a mission from God,” Sparky said. “We’re putting the band back together.”

“You son of a bitch,” Ted said, shaking his head. “You sent Robbie to my place on purpose. You knew what would happen.”

“You found me out,” Sparky said. “You still as sharp as you used to be?”

Robbie and Stacey looked at each other.

“You two knew each other before,” Robbie said.

“Yeah,” Stacey said.

Sparky laughed.

“Quit laughing, Sparky,” Ted said. “You could’ve just asked me.”

“Would you have left that high-paying gig to join us?” Sparky asked.

Ted sighed. “No, but after the way those guys threw their weight around, I’m mad enough to join the fight.” A smile crept over his face.

“Good,” Sparky said.

“How do you two know each other?” Stacey asked.

“Navy Seals,” Ted said.

Robbie grinned. “Son of a bitch.”

“What about these two?” Ted asked Sparky. “I won’t allow them to be hurt.”

“We want Robbie on our team,” Sparky said. “He killed three UN Peacekeepers so far, and he’s an expert hacker.”

“I killed that Inspector and wounded the other UN creep,” Stacey said. “I get to join up too?”

“Probably,” Sparky said. “We’ll talk when we get to the hideout.”

Ted glanced over at Robbie. “This what you bargained for, kid?”

“I’m just reacting at this point,” Robbie said. “Job one for me is getting Morgan back, but I’ve seen enough of these cretins to know we have to fight them no matter what. You saw how they were in your place. I heard a lot of it.”

“I’m not going to disagree there,” Ted said. “You’ll be dealing with some very dangerous people. You’re gonna have to get a lot more street-wise than you’ve been in the past.”

“I know,” Robbie said.

“You think you know,” Ted said.

“Hey, don’t discourage the recruits,” Sparky said. He got onto the 405 freeway, heading north.

“Where the hell are we going?” Ted asked.

“Marina Del Rey,” Sparky said.

“Ivan there?”

“No,” Sparky said, “but he’s still running things. He moved up north to get the resistance started there. Once we’ve turned the people against the Globalists here, we’ll join him there. I think he has something big planned. I’m guessing Sacramento.”

“We just enlisted, didn’t we?” Stacey said, grin on his face. “If you let me join, that is.”

“We’ll see,” Sparky said. “I like what I see so far.” He made the turn onto the Marina freeway. His phone rang. He answered it and put it on speaker.

“Sparky. I’m driving, so you’re on speaker. Who is it?”

“Cody,” the voice said. Robbie’s head snapped towards the front of the van, and he moved up to hear.

“Hello, my friend,” Sparky said. “Nice job in Beaumont. They can’t use the 10 or the 60 to get out to their base in Coachella Valley anymore.”

“Yeah, that worked out pretty well. Almost as well as what those retired folks did to that pass outside of Dulzura.”

“Yeah, the enemy finally gave up trying to clear that pass,” Cody said. “You know we lost most of those people, right? The enemy hit the RV Park. Beheaded almost everybody there.”

“The core people got away,” Sparky said. “They’re with the Barona tribe now.”

“You’re kidding,” Cody said. “Good news. I look forward to meeting them.”

“Why are you calling?” Sparky asked. “I’m kinda busy.”

“I captured another UN Van. Just wanted to know where you want it brought.”

“Where’d you get that?” Sparky asked.

“I know where he got it,” Robbie said.

There was silence on the line for a moment. Sparky cracked up.

“Robbie?” Cody asked.

“Yeah,” Robbie said. “You stole their van from in front of my condo, huh? Good job.”

“How do you two know each other?” Sparky asked.

“Cody lived across the street,” Robbie said. “He was there during the problems this morning.”

“In your condo?” Sparky asked.

“No, man,” Cody said. “I was at my condo picking up some stuff, when I heard the gunfire.”

“How many people did Robbie kill?” Sparky asked.

“Three,” he said, “although I had to put a bullet in the one he ran over in the driveway. Guy wasn’t quite dead yet.”

Sparky chuckled. “Okay, then I guess the score is two and a half.”

“Two and three-quarters,” Cody said. “He was pretty close to dead.”

“You guys are sick,” Ted said as Stacey snickered.

“You doubt my story?” Robbie asked.

“I trust nobody until I get to know them,” Sparky said. “And by the way, you shouldn’t either.”

“The van?” Cody asked.

“Bring it to the tower, and park it in the structure. We’ll be getting there in a couple of minutes. We can chat.”

“Okay, see you soon,” Cody said. Sparky slipped his phone back in his pocket.

“Small frigging world,” Ted said.

“You ain’t kidding,” Sparky said. “Talked to him lately?”

“Yeah, a couple of months ago,” Ted said. “He tried to enlist me.”

“A couple of months ago?” Robbie asked. “You guys knew about this a couple of months ago?”

“Yeah,” Sparky said. “We found out about that meeting with the President, Governor Sable, Saladin, and Daan Mertins. It didn’t take much digging to find out what they were up to.”

“Guess it brought Ivan out of hiding,” Ted said as they drove into the parking structure. “I didn’t want to get involved, although I’m pissed enough at those UN thugs now to enjoy this.”

Sparky parked by the elevator. “Okay, let’s go. Hide your weapons on your person.”

“What about the long guns?” Robbie asked.

“Cover them with that blanket back there,” Sparky said. “They’ll be fine.”

Robbie did that, and then joined the others by the side of the van.

“Ready?” Sparky asked.

“Yeah,” Robbie said. They got into the elevator, Sparky using his key to access the top floor.

“Damn, Sparky, you ought to either lose a few pounds or get a bigger UN uniform,” Ted said.

Sparky chuckled as the elevator doors opened. “Yeah, I know. This is the only one we have that isn’t full of holes.”

They walked through the entry way, past the armed guards, and through the double doors.

“Sparky!” Jules said. “You bring more than expect.”

“Hello to you too, you Belgian son of a bitch,” Ted said, smiling as he walked in.

“You said you sit out, no?” Jules said as he shook hands with Ted.

“Sparky here set me up,” Ted said. “Took advantage of the situation with Robbie.”

“Who other?” Jules asked.

“Stacey, one of my employees,” Ted said.

“He join?” Jules asked.

“I told him we’d chat about that,” Sparky said.

“Can he handle self?” Jules asked.

“Yes sir,” Stacey said, shutting up quickly when Ted and Sparky shot him a glance.

“He parted the hair on a UN Inspector who was holding a pistol against my forehead,” Ted said. “With our 12 gauge. Then he hit the second one in the shoulder.”

“I finished him off as I walked in,” Sparky said, “but it would have been more difficult if he wouldn’t have hit the guy. I think he shows promise.”

“Okay, we work detail later. You in, kid.”

“Thanks,” he said.

“And you’re Robbie Johnson,” Jules said. “Nice to meet. Don’t worry, we get woman back. She might be damaged.”

“I know,” Robbie said. “They’ve probably already abused her.”

“You still think you join?” Jules asked.

“Yeah,” Robbie said. “Had two run-ins with the UN now. We can’t let them take over. We have to attack. There’s no choice, if we want to remain free people.”

“I like what say,” Jules said. “Welcome aboard.”

“Hey, guys, come in here,” Tex said from the next room. “I’ve got the plans just about done. I want to run them by you.”

“We come,” Jules said.

The men walked into the room. Tex was sitting at a keyboard, looking at a large monitor on the wall. It showed the Torrance Civic Center.

“Google Earth?” Robbie asked.

“Yeah,” Tex said. “You the little lady’s man? I’m Tex.”

“If you mean Morgan, yes,” Robbie said. “Good to meet you. Morgan told me about what you did in the card club. Nice.”

Tex laughed. “Yeah, that was fun. Now let’s get down to business. As usual, the enemy hasn’t thought things through very well.”

“Hey, Tex, you know Ted?” Sparky asked.

“Never met, but I’ve heard good things,” Tex said. “Glad to meet you, partner.”

“Likewise,” Ted said.

“Let’s see what you’ve got,” Sparky said.

“Okay. We know that prisoners are being held in the Torrance Police station, here, on the center-north portion of this complex. We also know that the regional governor of the UN forces has his headquarters in Torrance City Hall, which is on the south-east part of the complex, right on Torrance Boulevard.”

“That’s a big complex,” Ted said, walking towards the screen. “That police station looks pretty well protected.”

“It’s totally protected from a ground assault,” Tex said. “We don’t have to do a ground assault.”

“I don’t get it,” Robbie said, getting closer to look at the screen.

“You said they missed something,” Sparky said. “What did they miss?”

“Had to dig to get this info,” Tex said. “I’m hoping Robbie will be able to help out on this kind of stuff in the future. Not my forte.”

Jules shook his head and sighed. “Get on with. What weakness?”

“There are tunnels linking most of these buildings together,” Tex said. “The city hall, the police station, the courthouse, the human resources department, the library, and the cultural center are all linked together. It’ll be easy to enter the system.”

“I can understand the court house and the police station being linked,” Sparky said. “Why would they bother with the other buildings?”

“You have to look at this in the context of the time it was built,’ Tex said. “Most of it went in during the late 1960s. Remember what was going on then?”

Jules chuckled. “Unrest on scale not seen in USA for years.”

“Exactly,” Tex said. “The tunnels between the courthouse, city hall, and the police station are probably still in use. I have reason to believe that nobody’s paid any attention to the tunnels from the library and the cultural arts system in years.”

“Why would they have tunnels to those buildings?” Ted asked.

“The Library used to have the city’s communications center on the second floor, towards the back,” Tex said. “It made sense to link that, in case the city needed to do emergency TV broadcasts. The cultural center was built later, and they moved the communications center there. Extended the tunnel for the same reason. The one I don’t get is the theater.”

“Theater?” Sparky asked.

“Yeah, the Armstrong, and also the art gallery next to it. Those are linked by tunnel as well. Torrance must have had money to burn.”

“Tunnel systems are good places to get killed,” Ted said.

“Yes, sound risky,” Jules said. “What is proposal?”

“Simple. We do exactly what we planned to do next. Attack the city hall building, and take out the regional governor. Kill everybody there. That will be the main team, and it will be large and very heavily armed. While that’s going on, we load up the tunnels from the library and the cultural center. When the UN Peacekeepers try to rush from the police station to city hall, we’ll get in, get our women, kill everybody else there, and take off.”

“I like, but I talk to Ivan,” Jules said. “Get okay. I know he plan hit on regional governor. Might not want distraction of rescue mission.”

“We should sneak into the police station and take video,” Robbie said. “Show what they’ve got going on in there. I can get it onto the internet. All over. It’ll go viral. Industrial rape by the UN.”

Jules laughed. “That good idea. I run past Ivan too.”

“Yeah, partner, I like how you think,” Tex said. “You’re gonna fit in with this group just fine.”

“He have friends?” Jules asked. “Remember what I say. Maybe we bring in.”

Robbie’s eyes lit up. “I have two friends who might join. One of them lost his girlfriend the same way I did. She’s probably in the same place that Morgan is right now. I’ve got another guy who has good experience with guns. Good in a fight.”

“Call them,” Sparky said. “We’ll get on a conference call and chat, but that won’t happen until this operation is over. You understand?”

“My woman is being raped by UN thugs in that police station,” Robbie said, eyes tearing up. “I want to do this mission as soon as we can.”

“He right,” Jules said. “I go talk to Ivan. Be back five minute tops.”

To be continued…

 

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The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

Copyright Robert Boren 2016

Bugout! California Part 40 – Holding Cell

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The men dragged Morgan back into the holding cell, dirty and crying, her clothes ripped in several places. She curled into a fetal position and sobbed. There were a number of other young women in the cell with her, looking at her through red terrified eyes. Some were only in their mid-teens.

“Roll call,” barked a UN Peacekeeper with a French accent. “Stand in line.”

The women and girls rose slowly, some whimpering, others shooting icy stares at the UN Peacekeeper and the armed men next to him.

“Count off. Number and name. Now.”

“One. Amber.”

“Two. Denise.”

“Three. Katie.”

“Four. Casey.”

“Five. Brittney.”

“Six. Morgan.”

“Seven. Stephanie.”

“Eight. Lacey.”

“Thank you,” the UN Peacekeeper said. “Your charges are currently under review. You will follow our instructions to the letter. You cooperate, and you will be released unharmed after our investigation is over. If you do not cooperate, you will be punished severely, and your family will be brought in for questioning. Is that clear?”

Some of the women and girls nodded yes. Others continued their icy stare.

“I didn’t hear you,” the Peacekeeper barked.

There were feeble utterances of yes from them.

“If you want yourselves and your families to fit into the new world order, your attitudes must improve. We will resume questioning in one hour. Remember your numbers. We will interrogate numbers one and two next.”

The UN Peacekeeper and the two guards left the room.

“Jerks,” Morgan said. She looked at Katie. “You look just like my boyfriend’s buddy Steve. Are you his sister?”

Katie’s eyes lit up. “You’re that Morgan?”

Morgan shook her head yes, looking at her, with her long blonde hair tangled and her face dirty, still a striking beauty. “You’re a mess. How long have you been here?”

“They picked me up early yesterday,” she said. “You?”

“About the same. They picked me up during a routine house check. They were looking for Robbie’s parents.”

“Did they say why they arrested you?” Katie asked.

“They said it was because of my job,” Morgan said, face full of disgust. “I thought it was because of my boss.”

“Why, what’s with your boss?” Katie asked.

Morgan got closer and whispered. “My boss helped destroy the checkpoints that first night, after killing several UN thugs at his card club.”

“Oh, crap,” Katie said.

“That’s not why they grabbed me,” Morgan said. “Look around. See any unattractive women here?”

“No,” Katie said, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“Why’d they pick you up?” Morgan asked.

“Same kind of thing,” Katie said. “House check. I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, and I don’t have a job. The arrested me and brought me here. I figured out pretty quickly why they did it.”

“They raped you too?” Morgan asked, tears running down her cheeks.

“Five guys,” she said. “You?”

“Three,” Morgan said, starting to sob.

“Amber and Brittney are only fifteen,” Katie whispered.

“My God,” Morgan said. “These folks may be sorry they messed with me.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I left my phone pin and my boss’s name with my phone back at Robbie’s place. If he figured out what to do, Ivan the Butcher is going to know about this.”

Katie’s eyes got wide. “Your boss is Ivan the Butcher?”

“Not so loud,” Morgan whispered. “No, he’s my boss’s boss.”

“Wow,” Katie said. “You really think he’ll do something?”

“My boss treated me like his kid sister,” Morgan said. “If he can do something about it, he will.”

“They may not know where we are,” Katie whispered.

“Oh, they’ll find that out,” Morgan said. “Trust me. They probably already know about this place.”

“You know where we are?” Katie asked.

“Yeah, we’re in the Torrance Police Station,” Morgan said.

“How do you know? Didn’t they blindfold you on the way here?”

“Yeah,” Morgan said.

“Then how do you know?”

“I’ve been here before,” Morgan said. “Picking up a dirt-bag ex-boyfriend. I recognize the place.”

The door opened up. The UN Peacekeeper came back in. “Morgan Smith.”

“Oh, God,” Katie said.

“Dammit,” Morgan whispered. “They might know my connections.”

“Morgan Smith! Stand up. You are wanted for interrogation. Unscheduled.”

Morgan got to her feet, trembling, and moved to the cell door. The two guards were back. One opened the cell door while the other held a shotgun.

Morgan walked out. The guard grabbed her upper arm roughly, and led her out the door. The head Peacekeeper followed them. They went down a long corridor and turned left, into a short hallway with doors on either side.

A man in a different uniform stood at a door on the left, and ushered them in. Morgan was pushed into a chair on one side of a table. The guard chained her ankle to the chair, and then left the room with the other guard and the Peacekeeper.

“Good morning, Morgan,” the man said in a Swedish accent. “I am Inspector Solberg.” He sat at the other side of the table.

Morgan stared back at him silently.

“I see you are unhappy to be here. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah, well rape does that to a person,” she spat, her face flushing.

“That is a nasty accusation, Morgan,” Solberg said calmly. “I will look into it, of course.”

Morgan laughed. “Cut the crap. It’s the only reason any of the women in that holding cell are here.”

“Lucky for you I’ll ignore that falsehood,” Solberg said.

“Why’d you bring me in here? You going to rape me too? Kinda hard with my ankle locked down like this.”

Solberg sighed. “I see this is going to be an unpleasant conversation. So be it. I called you in here to discuss your boyfriend, one Robbie Johnson.”

“What about him?” Morgan asked.

“After you were taken, he killed Stephan, the Peacekeeper who arrived at your condo with Hans. Then on the way out, he killed two other UN Peacekeepers who had come to look for Stephan. In addition, the UN Van that the last two Peacekeepers came in was stolen.”

“Sucks to be them, I guess,” Morgan said, excited feeling coursing through her.

“Crude remark for such a lovely young woman,” Solberg said.

“So sue me.”

“Who was Robbie Johnson working with?” Solberg asked.

Morgan laughed. “He’s a waiter and a part-time writer.”

Solberg chuckled. “Come now, my dear, you would have me to believe that an average citizen was able to kill three UN Peacekeepers all by himself?”

“Sounds like that’s the case,” Morgan said.

Solberg reached across the table and slapped Morgan so hard she almost fell out of her chair. She righted herself and shot him an icy grin.

“Who trained this man to fight? Does he have military experience? Tell me now, or I’ll hit you again.”

“Well, he probably didn’t spend his formative years playing with dolls like the pansies you sent to our house,” Morgan spat.

Solberg hit her again, harder than the first time. She righted herself more slowly this time, and spit blood on the table in front of her. “You’re pretty tough, with a girl half your size. You play with dolls growing up too?”

Solberg was really mad now, breathing harder. “You’ll regret that remark, young lady.”

“Young lady?” Morgan laughed. “I’m not a lady. Women like me are your worst nightmare.”

“You won’t be anybody’s nightmare,” Solberg said. “You won’t get out of this facility alive.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket and called for the guards. They arrived in seconds with the UN Peacekeeper.

“Take this one back to the holding cell, and move her routine interrogation slot to the front.”

“Yes sir,” the lead UN Peacekeeper said. He nodded to the guards. One held a shotgun on her while the other one unlocked her chain. They prodded her out the door and into the big hallway, not slowing down until they got to the holding cell. She was shoved inside so hard that she landed face down on the cement floor. The three men left, slamming the door behind them.

“Morgan,” Katie said, rushing to her as the others watched in horror. Morgan looked up at her and smiled. “My God, your face!”

“I got the inspector a little pissed off,” Morgan said softly.

“Why did they call you in there?” Katie asked.

“Robbie.” She grinned.

“What happened?” Katie asked, eyes wide. “They didn’t arrest him, did they?”

Morgan sat up, and shook her head no.

“Then what did they want to know?”

“He killed the UN thug that came with the guy who arrested me,” Morgan said, the pride showing on her face. “They sent to more thugs to check on him, and he killed them too. Then somebody stole their UN Van.”

“Robbie did that? Our Robbie?”

Morgan shook her head yes. “I know; I didn’t expect it either.” Her expression changed. “I’ll bet Stephan tried to kill him. Unfortunately for him, Robbie had his gun hidden in his pants.”

“But then he killed two more,” Katie said.

“You’re right, it doesn’t sound like him. He’s usually pretty gentle.”

The door opened with a clank, and the lead Peacekeeper appeared again.

“Number one and number six, it is time for your routine interrogation.”

“They mean rape,” Morgan said, getting up.

“What are you going to do?” Katie asked, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“Survive.”

***

“We’re almost to Scissors Crossing,” Yvonne said. “See it up ahead?”

“Yeah,” Sid said. “Almost dusk.”

“Maybe that’s just as well.”

“You still afraid they’re following us?” Sid asked.

“Aren’t you?” Yvonne asked.

“Not really,” Sid said. “None of us has our phones on. They don’t have a good way to track us without those.”

“They might know our vehicles by now,” Yvonne said. “If these cretins are in league with the Feds, they might have access to satellite imagery, you know.”

“Maybe,” Sid said, “but none of these vehicles are unique. There’s thousands of Jeeps and pickup trucks around, especially back here in the great Inland Empire.”

Yvonne chuckled. “Inland Empire. Who the hell came up with that stupid name?”

“Probably wasn’t an Indian,” Sid said.

“That our friends?” Yvonne asked.

“Looks like One Eye to me,” Sid said, driving towards the lone intersection. He parked just past the group of vehicles, the rest of the party following suit. Everybody got out.

“One Eye!” Sid said, rushing over to him with Yvonne.

“You made it, my friend,” he said. “You guys ready to fight?”

“Not tonight, I hope,” Sam said as he walked up.

One Eye chuckled. “No, not tonight. Soon, though. Who’s this?”

Jason and Hank were walking over with John, Sarah, and Clem, still wearing their police uniforms.

“This is Jason and Hank,” Sid said. “We killed a bunch of UN thugs together, in Julian.”

“Any friend of Sid’s is a friend of mine,” One Eye said. “You want to join the fight?”

“We do,” Hank said. “Glad to know you. Barona tribe, right?”

“Yes,” he said. “We’ve met?”

“Didn’t you work the Poker Room at the casino for a while?” Hank asked.

One Eye grinned. “Sure did. You play?”

“I do,” Hank said. “Jason thinks he does.”

“Hey,” Jason said.

One Eye laughed, looking at Sid. “I like this guy.”

“Where we going?” Sid asked.

“In the middle of nowhere. Keep going on Route 78, then take a little road called Yaqui Pass Road for a few miles. Then north on a dirt road into the hills. We’ll lead the way.”

“We’re going way back in there?” Sid asked.

“Yep,” One Eye said. “We probably should get going. We want to be there before it gets dark.”

“We’re ready,” Sam said.

“Yeah,” Sid said. “Let’s go.”

They got back in their vehicles and drove past the Scissors intersection, down the deserted route 78.

Sam and Connie were following Sid and Yvonne, who were following One Eye and his people.

“Nobody around here,” Connie said.

“I’ve actually been back here before,” Sam said.

“You know your way around?”

“I wouldn’t go that far,” Sam said.

“What were you doing back here? Or should I not ask?”

Sam chuckled. “Remember that friend of mine I told you about? George Franklin?”

“The one who works with Malcolm Davis?” Connie asked.

“That’s the one,” Sam said. “He disappeared for a while. Some of the guys from my old unit organized a trip to find him. Remember that fracas that happened with Sadie Evans and Jason Beckler?”

“Who doesn’t,” Connie said.

“Well, the place where the famous ambush happened is back here.”

“Seriously? You went?”

“Yeah,” Sam said. “He saved my life more than once. Felt like it was an obligation.”

“You find him?”

“No,” Sam said. “He turned up eventually, after the battle with that white slaver.”

“Don’t remember that one,” Connie said. “What happened to him?”

“He went into the detective business with Davis,” Sam said.

“Davis is kinda scary, as I remember.”

“That’s an understatement,” Sam said. “We were all surprised when George took up with the guy.”

“Look, they’re turning onto that second road,” Connie said.

“See them,” he said. “Not much of a road.” He followed Sid and Yvonne onto it.

“Think the site is still back here?”

“I don’t know,” Sam said. “If it weren’t so remote, it would’ve been picked over by now. You need four-wheel drive to get back there.”

“Maybe we could go check it out,” Connie said.

“I don’t know if I could find it again,” Sam said. “Not sure I could even find the turnoff.”

“They’re turning onto the dirt already, up ahead.”

“Here’s where the fun begins,” Sam said, steering the Jeep onto the dirt road to the left.

“Think we’re gonna need four-wheel drive?” Connie asked.

“Maybe,” Sam said. “Looks like it’s been really dry for a long time, so maybe not.”

They bounced along the dusty road, both of them scanning the area.

“What a waste land,” Connie said.

“I like it back here,” Sam said. “Hard to believe it’s so close to towns.”

“Close to towns?” Connie asked. “What towns?”

“Salton Sea is to the west. Not much left there anymore, but in its heyday there were all kinds of people there.”

“That place is a ghost town now,” Connie said. “Try again.”

Sam chuckled. “What, is this a test?”

“Well you brought it up.”

“Okay,” he said. “Northwest you run into Coachella Valley. Lots of towns there. Indio, Palm Springs, Cathedral City. It’s not all that far.”

“Palm Springs,” Connie said. “That sounds nice. Why don’t we go there instead of back here?”

“You really want to go there?” Sam asked. “There’s probably UN thugs and checkpoints.”

“All right,” she said. “Forget I said it.”

Sam chuckled. They rode along silently for a while, watching the shadows grow longer.

“How did your friend end up out here?” Connie asked.

“Thought you remembered it,” Sam said.

“Not the details. I never follow that serial killer stuff. Scares me too much.”

“But you want me to tell you all about it on this deserted road, when it’s about to get dark?”

She giggled. “Stop teasing me. Answer the question.”

Sam sighed. “I’ll have to introduce you sometime. He’s got an office in Marina Del Rey.”

“I don’t think I want to go that far,” she said.

“Hell, I wish he were here,” Sam said. “We could use him.”

“You got his number?”

“It’s probably on my phone, and I can’t even put the battery into that.”

She chuckled. “Yeah, you’re right.”

“He’s probably left the state by now anyway,” Sam said. “There’s no way he’d put up with UN thugs and Islamists pushing him around.”

“Stop with the hero worship. You’re pretty tough yourself, you know.”

“Yeah, I know,” Sam said. “Okay, here’s what happened. George was married to Sadie Evans.”

“What? Why would he marry a serial killer?”

“He didn’t know who she was,” Sam said. “Knew her as Lisa. Hell, I knew her. Always thought she was a real iceberg, but she was pretty. Really pretty.”

“You knew her?” Connie said, eyes wide. “How come you never told me about that?”

“I had to get away from that circle of friends. I heard that George did too. The last time any of the gang saw him was right before his wedding.”

“Interesting,” Connie said. “Why did Sadie Evans want to marry him?”

“Jason Beckler was hunting her after she double-crossed him. She needed a cover. George was the perfect mark. After that battle with Saladin, he was a wreck. PTSD. Decided to change his life and hide his past. He quit the agency, got himself an aerospace job, married Sadie, and tried to settle down.”

“What agency?”

“CIA,” Sam said.

“Oh,” she said. “Crap. How come you never went to work for them?”

“I had problems with that last mission too,” Sam said.

“What kind of problems?”

“Honey, I really don’t want to talk about that right now. I’ll tell you someday. I promise.”

She looked at him silently for a moment. “Okay. Go on.”

“Sadie decided to kill George, so she enlisted the help of a low-life who worked for him at the aerospace job.”

“Seen that on more than one cop show,” Connie said.

“Seriously,” Sam said. “To make a long story short, Sadie’s henchman tried to kill George by blowing up his condo. George walked away, but the blast damn near killed Malcolm Davis.”

“What was Malcolm Davis doing at his house?”

Sam laughed. “He was a psychotherapist. George was his patient. They were working the PTSD problem. Davis figured out who the wife was. They were at the condo closing things out so he could disappear when the bomb went off.”

“Geez,” Connie said. “How much of this made the news?”

“Not much,” Sam said. “This is a long road.”

“Yeah, and it’s getting dark. I don’t want to talk about this much more. Just tell me how they ended up in this area.”

“Okay,” Sam said. “Sadie and her henchman came to the house out here to hide out. The henchman stranded her here.”

“Why?”

“He figured out that she was going to kill him the first chance she got.”

“Wouldn’t she have done that out here in the sticks?”

“She needed him in order to get out herself,” Sam said. “It’s tricky getting in and out of here. Lots of roads to make a wrong turn on. Easy to get lost. Apparently her sense of direction wasn’t good, plus he took the car when he left.”

“Oh,” Connie said. “I’ll bet this guy got picked up by Jason Beckler.”

“You got it,” Sam said. “Forced the henchman to bring him out here. Meanwhile George and Malcolm figured out where the house was. They were waiting. The rest is history.”

“They’re making a turn up there,” Connie said. “Around that bend.”

“Yeah,” Sam said. “Notice how we have two roads branching off here? One of them might go into the middle of nowhere another fifty miles. The other might lead right back to the highway. It’s nuts back here.”

“Lots of ridges around too,” Connie said. “It’s pretty now that the sun is lower. Look how it lights up the canyons coming off of that mountain over there.”

“Yes, it’s beautiful,” he said.

They road silently for another half an hour.

“Better turn on the lights now,” Connie said. “Wonder how much further it is?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “Another bend coming up.”

“Is that an old truck? Down there in that gully off the road?”

“Yep,” Sam said. “That looks really familiar.”

“It does?”

“Maybe I’ve seen a picture of it or something.”

“Maybe you’ve been here before,” Connie said, glancing around nervously.

They rounded the bend further, and Sam gasped.

“What’s wrong?” Connie asked.

“That’s the house. My God.”

They parked along the road side, the dark house on the left, a group of about forty tents to the right, in a big open pasture.

Sam got out with Connie, and they rushed over to where Sid, Yvonne, and One Eye were. John, Sarah, Clem, Jason, and Hank joined them.

“You know what that place is?” Sam asked.

“What, that old house?” One Eye asked. “Somebody grandfathered in before they made this a State Park, I imagine. It’s abandoned. Has been for years, from what I’ve heard.”

“Why are you camping here?” Sam asked.

“Water. There’s a well behind the house,” One Eye said. “The diesel pump is toast, but we rigged up a hand pump. We stay out of the house, though. The elders say it’s an evil place.”

“They said a mouthful there,” Sam said.

“You know something about this place?” Sid asked.

Oh, yeah, I know a lot about this place,” Sam said. “I’ll tell you all about it after we get settled.”

“We should wait on that,” One Eye said. “We’re planning an attack. We need to discuss it tonight.”

“An attack?” Sid asked. “Good. Where?”

“Big supply depot, a few miles this side of La Quinta,” One Eye said.

“Excellent,” Hank said.

“Yeah,” John added.

“We’re cooking up a feast,” One Eye said. “We’ll eat and then talk.”

To be continued…

 

Horror Road Book 4 – the latest in the series is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 4 – Texas Battle Cry is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 3 – Republic in Peril is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 2 – The New Republic is now available in the Kindle Store. Pick up your copy of this exciting thriller today!

 

Bug Out! Texas has just been published in the Kindle Store! This is the story of Texas Patriots and their struggle against enemies, foreign and domestic, during the Bug Out! War. Chock full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance. Pick up your copy of Bug Out! Texas Book 1 today!

 

Please visit and like my author page on Facebook!

 

Here’s the series that started it all! Bug Out! Pick up your copy of book 1 for just 99 cents in the Kindle Store!

 

Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

 

The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

Copyright Robert Boren 2016

Bugout! California Part 39 – Recruitment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Trevor!” Ji-Ho shouted again from his rig.

Seth looked at Trevor. “We’re done. We should go over. Maybe he needs help. Lord knows he’s helped us enough.”

“Yeah,” he said, getting up. “We’re done.”

“What did you mean about Kaylee?” Seth asked as they headed over.

“He wants me to take her away from Matt,” Trevor whispered.

Seth laughed. “Yeah, I could see that.”

They went into Ji-Ho’s coach.

“Wow, this thing is great!” Trevor said as he rushed over to Ji-Ho. He was sitting at the dinette, watching his laptop.

“They in house,” he said.

“Oh, crap,” Trevor said, getting behind him to watch over his shoulder. “They don’t see the cameras?”

“Not yet,” Ji-Ho said, looking back at him, glee in his eyes.

“Who’s that guy?” Seth asked. “Looks like an Islamic Cleric.”

“I see face before,” Ji-Ho said. “I think he called Saladin.”

“No way,” Trevor said, watching him. “The guy in the picture with President Simpson and Governor Sable?”

“Look, they follow bread crumb downstairs,” Ji-Ho said. “They get surprise.”

“What’s going on?” Kaylee asked, coming up behind Trevor and Seth.

“We’re watching the enemy in Ji-Ho’s house,” Trevor whispered, moving over so she could get closer. She shot him an uneasy glance.

Ji-Ho switched the video to the lower level, just in time to see the UN Peacekeepers rushing down the stairs, Saladin following them cautiously.

“We won’t get him,” Ji-Ho whispered. “He smells rat. He too smart.”

“Where can he go?” Seth asked.

“He’ll go by the window,” Trevor said. “He can jump into the pool from there.”

“He’s on the lower level,” Seth said. “He can just walk out.”

“No, twenty foot drop,” Ji-Ho said. “Cantilevered against hill. Make nice view. Crawl space under that room.”

“You’re right,” Kaylee said, getting closer to Trevor, head going close to his as she focused on the screen. “Doesn’t it bother you that you’re gonna lose your house?”

“No worry, more where that came from,” Ji-Ho said. “I still own land. Was tired of house anyway.” He turned to her and grinned.

“There are police officers in there,” Seth said.

“So?” Trevor asked.

“We don’t want to kill them, do we? UN thugs are one thing, but cops are different.”

“These cops in league with enemy,” Ji-Ho said. “Their fault.”

“I agree,” Trevor said.

“Look, they go into vault,” Ji-Ho said. He pulled his cellphone out of his pocket and punched an app.

“What’s that?” Kaylee asked.

“Detonator,” Ji-Ho said.

“Well, there’s three of them in the vault now,” Seth said.

“I wait for them to open back door in vault,” Ji-Ho said. “Then boom.”

“How big is the explosion going to be?” Seth asked.

“Knock down house,” Ji-Ho said. “Like Iraqi wedding.”

“Uncle!” Kaylee said.

“Bad guys,” Ji-Ho said. “Look, they open.”

“Wow, Trevor was right,” Kaylee said. “That Saladin guy is moving to the window.”

“Told you,” Ji-Ho said. “He not get killed. We kill him later.”

“They see the drone,” Seth said.

“Yes, one of them say to Saladin,” Ji-Ho said. “He move closer to window. Time’s up.” He punched the button on the phone app, and the video went blank.

“Kaboom!” Trevor said.

“Wish the video stayed on,” Seth said.

Ji-Ho laughed. He moved his finger on the trackpad of his laptop, and selected the only camera with a picture. “Front yard. Battery backup. Still transmitting.”

“My God,” Kaylee said, looking at the ruined house, parts of it on fire.

“Look, there’s Saladin, running towards the front gate,” Trevor said. “He’s all wet.”

Ji-Ho grabbed his phone in a panic, and opened another app. He punched the button. There was an explosion shown silently on the screen, Saladin flying through the air and landing on the far side of the lawn.

“I get you,” Ji-Ho said with glee. “This more fun than video game.”

“What was that?” Seth asked.

“Modified claymore mine,” Ji-Ho said. “Hope he dead. Wasn’t that close. Maybe just wounded.”

“If he’s wounded, he’ll get to the hospital,” Trevor said. “The fire department will be there any second.”

“He’s not dead,” Seth said. “Look, he got up.”

“He’s badly wounded,” Trevor said. “Look, he’s aiming a pistol at the video camera!”

The screen went blank. Ji-Ho laughed. “I get you. You know I get you. We finish job.”

“I’d say we have a gigantic target on our backs now,” Seth said, brow furrowed.

“We did already,” Ji-Ho said. “They know what we do.”

“Hope the creep dies on the way to the hospital,” Seth said.

“Where’s Emma?” Kaylee asked.

“I don’t know,” Seth said. “Thought she was with you.”

“You need help with your hookups, Ji-Ho?” Trevor asked.

“Sure,” he said. “You done?”

“Yeah, Seth and I finished up before we came over here.”

Ji-Ho pulled a keyring out of his pocket. “Here keys. Back driver side compartment. You know how?”

“Of course,” Trevor said, taking the keys. “You want all of it hooked up?”

“Just electrical and water,” he said. “We wait and see if safe for rest. Big tanks.”

“Maybe I should’ve done that,” Trevor said, heading out the door.

“We could undo all of the connections in about three minutes if both of us worked on it,” Seth said. Kaylee followed them outside.

“You want to learn how to do this too?” Trevor asked. He shot a glance to Seth.

“Sure,” she said. They walked to the back of the coach and Trevor tried keys until he found the right one for the compartment.

“Here we go,” Trevor said.

Jamie walked up with Angel. “How’s it going?”

“We’re getting the utilities connected for Ji-Ho,” Seth said. “What are you two up to?”

“We wanted to check out the surrounding terrain,” Angel said. “Gus went with us.”

“Is it defendable?” Seth asked.

“A lot better than Gus expected,” Angel said. “I don’t know crap, but Gus does. I’m glad he’s with us.”

“You see Emma anywhere?” Kaylee asked.

“Yeah, she and Matt were following us when we checked out the park,” Jamie said. “They kept walking when we came back. I think they’re just looking around.”

Kaylee and Seth glanced at each other. Trevor noticed. “Hey, man, hook up the water, okay? Use that white hose. I’ll hook up the electrical and cable TV.”

“Got it,” Seth said, breaking out of his thoughts. “This is the same as the setup for your coach, isn’t it?”

“It’s a little easier,” Trevor said. “He’s got air-bag suspension on this puppy. It levels out a lot better. Rides a lot better too.”

Kaylee laughed. “It ought to do everything itself,” she said. “He paid seven hundred grand for this puppy.”

“Holy crap, really?” Seth said.

Trevor chuckled. “You haven’t spent any time looking into these things, have you?”

“Not really,” Seth said. “You have?”

“I helped my dad pick out the one we have,” Trevor said. “I was being the total geek, doing research for him.”

“There’s nothing geeky about that,” Kaylee said. “Think I’ll go find Matt and Emma.”

“Wait a sec and I’ll go with you,” Seth said as he turned on the water. The hose tightened.

“You’re done,” Trevor said. “Go ahead. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay,” Seth said. He looked at Kaylee. “Which way? You’ve been here before, right?”

“Yeah, so has Matt,” she said. “If they already took the tour, they’re probably at the lookout.” Her brow furrowed.

“Do you trust him?” Seth said as they walked.

She was silent for a moment, then she sighed. “Matt? Not so much, but I trust Emma.”

Seth chuckled. “She’s not happy with me, you know.”

“She hasn’t given me that impression,” Kaylee said. “This way. See that small trail?”

“This is really nice,” Seth said as he looked around. They got on the trail and followed it towards a ridge.

“Do you think she’s gonna break up with you?” Kaylee asked quietly.

“If we weren’t going through all of this stuff, I think she would,” Seth said.

“You don’t look very concerned,” she said, eyeing him.

He shrugged back at her.

“Hell, you wish she would dump you,” Kaylee whispered.

He was silent for a moment as they walked. “No, I wouldn’t say that exactly,” he said.

She giggled. “Exactly? How long has this been going on?”

“Don’t get me wrong. I do have feelings for her, but she’s so controlling. I’m getting tired of that. I’m probably sending her signals, and she’s sending me signals too.”

“What kind of signals is she sending you?” Kaylee asked.

“She treats our lovemaking like a chore,” Seth said. “It’s hard to get her interested.”

She giggled. “Oh. That’s not supposed to happen until after you’re married.”

Seth laughed. “That’s funny.”

“You two ever talked about marriage?”

“Not really,” Seth said. “Not seriously, anyway.”

“She used to talk about it to me,” she said. “Don’t you dare tell her I told you that.”

“I won’t,” Seth said.

“Why don’t you just break up with her?”

“She’s scared all the time,” Seth said. “I don’t want to make it worse for her. We’ll probably break up when things settle down. It’s not that big of a deal. Her looks got me interested, but after a few dates I knew she wasn’t the love of my life.”

“Well, that’s an honest comment,” she said, shaking her head. She flashed him a sly smile. “Can I tell you a secret? You can’t tell anybody, especially Matt.”

“Now I’m intrigued,” Seth said. “You’ve got some stuff on me, so I’ll keep quiet.”

She giggled, then got closer and whispered to him.

“My uncle wants me to dump Matt and go after Trevor.”

Seth smiled at her, and she got a shocked look on her face.

“Crap, you knew,” she whispered.

“Swear you won’t say anything?”

“Of course,” she whispered.

“Your uncle has been working on Trevor too. He told me.”

“Why that troublemaker,” Kaylee said, shaking her head.

“You don’t look too upset,” Seth said.

“I’m in about the same place with Matt that you are with Kaylee,” she whispered. “Keep your mouth shut, though. I don’t want to change anything right now. We’ve got enough to worry about.”

Seth laughed. “We’re both in the same boat.”

“I don’t see Trevor and me anyway,” she said. “He doesn’t know I exist.”

“You got that wrong,” Seth whispered.

“Has he said anything?” Kaylee asked, eyes dilated.

“No, but I’ve seen how he looks at you,” Seth whispered. “Honor is a big thing for him. He’d never let you know as long as you’re with one of his friends. Probably one of the reasons your uncle likes him. It’s one of the reasons I like him. He has the makings of a great man.”

“Look, there they are,” Kaylee whispered. Seth looked forward on the trail. The two were sitting down on the ridge ahead of them, looking out over the gorgeous valley below.

“Should we sneak up on them?” Seth asked.

“No, they’re on a cliff. I don’t want them falling.”

“Okay,” Seth said. “Hey, Matt.”

Matt turned around, smiling. Emma did too, face red.

“Hey, guys,” he said. “Check out this view. It’s awesome. Hey Kaylee.”

“Hi, Matt,” she said cheerfully. “Hi Emma. What do you think?”

“It’s beautiful,” she said. “How many times have you two been here?”

“At least five,” Kaylee said, sitting next to Emma. Seth sat down next to Matt.

“You guys get everything set up?” Matt asked.

“All done,” Seth said. “Jamie said you toured the area with Gus.”

“Oh, that’s how you knew where we were,” Matt said.

“Kaylee knew about this place. What’d Gus say? He think we’re safe here?”

“He was pleasantly surprised,” Matt said. “He mentioned that we should set up sentries in a couple of key spots to keep watch.”

Seth chuckled. “Yeah, especially after what just happened.”

“Uh oh,” Emma said. “What’d we miss?”

“The bad guys showed up at my uncle’s house,” Kaylee said.

“Oh, really?” Matt asked. “He get them?”

“Killed everybody except for the most important target, from what I could tell,” Seth said.

“Most important target?” Matt asked.

“Yeah, Saladin was there,” Seth said.

“You mean that guy that Ivan the Butcher was talking about?” Emma asked, horrified. “The guy on that picture with the president and the governor?”

“Yeah,” Seth said.

“We’re dead,” she said, a look of panic on her face. “He’s connected and he’s smart. He’ll find us.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it,” Kaylee said.

“Are you insane?” Emma asked. “This is like being in Nazi Germany and having Hitler after you.”

“She has a point,” Matt said. “Gus know about this yet?”

“We didn’t tell him,” Seth said, “but he was back at camp with Jamie and the others. I’m sure Ji-Ho will tell them.”

“I’m scared,” Emma said.

“Settle down,” Kaylee said. “My uncle is pretty smart too, you know. We did wound him, too. He might not survive.”

“How’d he get away?” Matt asked.

“He dived out the window in the back of the room where the vault was. Landed in the swimming pool.”

“You saw him after?” Matt asked.

“Yeah, through the video camera out in the yard,” Seth said. “Ji-Ho blew up a claymore mine while he was trying to escape. Sent him flying through the air.”

“How much chance is there that he’s dead?” Matt asked.

“Not that much, in my opinion,” Seth said. “After he got hit by the mine, he was able to turn and fire his pistol at the video camera. Hit it with one shot.”

“Dammit,” Emma said. “We’ll have to leave again.”

“Calm down,” Seth said. “It’s gonna be okay.”

Seth’s phone rang. He looked at it. “Trevor.”

“Wonderful,” Emma said as Seth answered it.

“Hey, man, what’s up?”

“Seth, where the hell are you guys?”

“Just down a trail, looking at a nice view of the valley. What’s up?”

“Come back here,” he said. “We got problems.”

Seth ended the call and stood. “C’mon, we’d better get back there.”

“Crap, they’re coming for us already,” Emma said.

“No they aren’t,” Seth said. “Let’s go.” He took her hand, but she pulled it away quickly. Seth shrugged and started walking to the camp, Emma behind him, Matt and Kaylee bringing up the rear.

They got back just in time to see Gus’s rig pulling out of its space. He saw them and waved them over.

“What the hell?” Seth asked.

“We’re out of here, kid,” Gus said. “You guys might want to leave too.”

“Why?” Kaylee asked.

“Saladin knows Ji-Ho targeted him. He’s going to use every resource he has to find him. We don’t want to be around when he does, and neither do you.”

He drove forward, pulling the trailer down the road.

“See?” Emma said.

“See my ass,” Kaylee said. She rushed to Ji-Ho’s coach, Trevor on her heels. Emma and Seth followed them inside.

“Uncle, what did they say?” Kaylee asked, rushing to his side.

Ji-Ho grinned back at her. “They get scared like baby. Think we sitting ducks.”

“We probably are,” Emma said as she trembled.

“Saladin try to find. We be ready. We have big bag of tricks.”

Jamie came in. “I’m ready to go. Any of you want to take off?”

“What, you too?” Seth asked. “Seriously?”

“We should think about it,” Emma said, glancing at Seth and then at Matt.

“I agree,” Matt said.

Kaylee glared at him. “Really? You’re going to abandon my uncle after the way he’s treated you?”

Matt looked embarrassed. “Don’t look at it that way.”

“C’mon, guys,” Jamie said. “The train is leaving the station. Better get on board.”

“Let’s go, Seth,” Emma said, getting up. “I’ve decided.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Seth said.

“You’re picking these people over me? Over us?”

“What us?” Seth asked her. “You’ve been looking for a way to dump me for weeks. The only reason you haven’t yet is because of the war.”

“That’s not true,” she said, tears running down her cheeks.

Seth went to her and put his arm around her shoulder. “It’s okay. I understand. Really. No hard feelings, but you aren’t interested in me anymore, and I’m not really interested in you anymore, either.”

She hugged him tight. “I’ll be a lot better if we leave.”

“I’m sorry,” Seth said. “I can’t do that. My place is with Ji-Ho and Trevor.”

She stiffened and backed away. “Fine,” she said. “I’ll go with you guys, Jamie. Let me get my stuff.”

“Hurry up,” Jamie said.

She nodded yes and trotted into the back of the coach.

“You’re really going to let her go?” Matt asked, a shocked look on his face.

“She’s doing what she wants to do,” Seth said. “It’s all good.”

“I think she’ll be safer if she leaves,” Matt said softly. “I think we all should leave. They’re probably tracking this vehicle.”

Ji-Ho chuckled.

“It’s not funny, man,” Matt said. “C’mon, Kaylee, let’s go.”

“Not a chance in hell,” Kaylee said. “I’m not leaving my uncle.”

Matt’s face turned red with anger. “Fine,” he said. “I’ll stay then.”

Emma came back out with her bag. Matt watched her walk by, both of them glancing at each other.

“C’mon, Matt, make up your mind,” Jamie said.

“Go,” Kaylee said. “It’s okay.”

“You want me to go?” he asked.

“I saw how you two looked at each other when Emma went by,” Kaylee said. “Go get her. You know you want to, and I know you want too.”

His face flashed anger. “Fine. I’m outta here.”

He stomped out of the coach.

“Scratch one friendship,” Trevor said.

“He’s still my friend,” Seth said. “You’re not going too, are you Angel?”

“No frigging way, dude,” Angel said. “I’m staying right here.”

“There they go,” Kaylee said, watching them drive away.

They all sat silently for a moment, Kaylee starting to cry. “I’m going to miss Emma.”

“She be fine,” Ji-Ho said. “She be with Jamie. He protect. At least try.”

“Matt wants her,” Kaylee said. “They might have already… you know.”

“I doubt it,” Seth said.

“Jamie kill Matt for her,” Ji-Ho said.

“Don’t say that,” Seth said.

“It true,” Ji-Ho said. “If it were you and Emma, he try to kill you. Seen before.”

“All right, let’s get off this,” Kaylee said. “They’re gone. What are we gonna do now? We may really be in danger.”

“Enemy in danger,” Ji-Ho said. He got on his laptop and went to his meeting software.

“You’re setting up a web meeting now?” Trevor asked, watching him.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “Gather around.”

He picked up his phone, hit a contact, put it on speaker, and set it down on the table next to the Laptop.

“You hear?” Ji-Ho asked.

“Yes, old friend. Just about up on the web meeting.”

The screen came up. Trevor, Kaylee, and Seth gasped.

“That’s Ivan the Butcher,” Kaylee said in a hushed tone.

Ivan laughed. “You down to people you trust?”

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “I trust all of the people left.”

“What happened to the others?”

“They got scared because we wound Saladin,” Ji-Ho said. “They go.”

“Good,” he said. “Gather around closer so I can see your faces.”

Seth and Trevor moved in behind Ji-Ho, next to Kaylee.

“Ah, good,” Ivan said. “Names?”

“I’m Trevor, sir.”

“Seth.”

“Angel.”

“Kaylee. Uncle, you planned this all along,” Kaylee said.

“Not all, but some,” Ji-Ho said. “Had to do.”

“How much do they know?” Ivan asked.

“Very little so far,” Ji-Ho said. “Don’t worry, I tell them all. Show them what we have. When first mission?”

“Next week,” Ivan said. “Rest up and train. Build your team. We’re building others now too, from Torrance. Tex, Sparky, and Jules are on it.”

“Good,” Ji-Ho said. “Can’t wait to see again.”

To be continued…

 

Horror Road Book 4 – the latest in the series is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 4 – Texas Battle Cry is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 3 – Republic in Peril is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 2 – The New Republic is now available in the Kindle Store. Pick up your copy of this exciting thriller today!

 

Bug Out! Texas has just been published in the Kindle Store! This is the story of Texas Patriots and their struggle against enemies, foreign and domestic, during the Bug Out! War. Chock full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance. Pick up your copy of Bug Out! Texas Book 1 today!

 

Please visit and like my author page on Facebook!

 

Here’s the series that started it all! Bug Out! Pick up your copy of book 1 for just 99 cents in the Kindle Store!

 

Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

 

The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

Copyright Robert Boren 2016

Bugout! California Part 38 – Abductions

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Robbie rushed up the stairs. “The UN is here.”

“Oh no,” Morgan whispered, watching Robbie bolt into the bedroom. He came back stuffing a pistol into the back of his pants.

There was another harsh knock on the door.

“Now I wish we would’ve left,” Robbie said as he went down the stairs.

He opened the door. The first UN Peacekeeper immediately put his foot in the door.

“Frank Johnson?” the man asked in a thick German accent. He was a small man with dark hair and complexion, clean shaven.

“He’s out of town,” Robbie said.

“And who are you?”

“Hans, we should go inside,” the large, muscular blonde man behind him said.

“Yes, you are right, Stephan,” Hans said. He walked past Robbie, eyes darting around. “Is anybody else here? Tell the truth, or you’ll be shot.”

“This is America,” Robbie snapped.

Hans chuckled. “Not anymore. You and I are countryman. Who else is here?”

Stephan closed the door and pulled his pistol, pointing it at Robbie’s head.

“His girlfriend,” Morgan said from the top of the stairs.

Robbie looked up at her, eyes full of fright.

“Upstairs,” Hans barked. “Now.” He walked up, Robbie following, Stephan behind him.

They got to the top of the stairs, Robbie relieved because Stephan didn’t see the gun under his shirt.

“You two want coffee?” Morgan asked, trying to be cheerful.

“Yes, of course,” Hans said. “You, sit down on that couch. Stephan, cover him.”

Robbie sat, the gun biting into his lower back.

“Now, who are you?” Hans asked.

“I’m Robbie Johnson,” he said. “Frank and Jane are my parents.”

“I see,” Hans said.

“Here,” Morgan said, handing Hans the cup of coffee. “You want one two?”

“No thanks,” Stephan said.

Hans took a sip of the coffee and smiled at Morgan as she sat down. “Where are Frank and Jane?”

“They took off on a motor home trip,” he said. “Last I heard they were in Arizona.”

“I see,” Hans said. He pulled out his cellphone and looked at it. “Robbie Johnson, correct?”

“Yes,” Robbie said, trying not to tremble.

“Ah yes, here you are,” Hans said. “Why are you not in North Torrance?”

“My apartment was burned down by rioters,” Robbie said.

“I see,” he said, making an adjustment to the record. He pushed send, then looked at Morgan. “What is your name, my dear?”

“Morgan Smith,” she said. “I lived next door to Robbie in the apartment building that burned down.”

Hans went back to his phone and looked her up. “Yes, that checked out.” He updated her record. “Do you both plan to continue living here?”

“Yes,” Morgan said.

Robbie shook his head yes.

“Are there any guns in the house? Be honest.”

“No sir,” Robbie said.

“Check the database,” Stephan said. “This one looks a little too nervous to me.”

“Of course I’m going to do that,” Hans said, focusing on his phone.

“Where do you work?” Stephan asked.

“We already know,” Hans said. “He works at a restaurant on the coast. Nights. He’s not scheduled to arrive at work until six tonight.”

“And the Fraulein?”

“She works at the big card club in Gardena,” Hans said.

“That is very interesting,” Stephan said, eyeing her. “That establishment is run by a wanted man.”

“I don’t know anything about that,” Morgan said. “I’m just a cocktail waitress.”

“You did not go past the checkpoint last night,” Hans said to her.

“What about the gun database?” Stephan asked.

“It’s not available at the moment,” Hans said. “Looks like a systems glitch.”

“We don’t have time to search the unit,” Stephan said. “We’re behind already.”

“Yes, I understand,” Hans said. “Back to Morgan. Why didn’t you go to work last night?”

“My boss told me to stay away. There was trouble there. He said he’d call me when they were ready to open again.”

“That club will not be opening any time soon,” Hans said. “We’ll find you alternate employment inside of this zone. I’m afraid you’ll have to come with us for questioning.”

“No,” Robbie said.

“Shut up,” Stephan said, stepping forward.

“It’s okay, Robbie,” Morgan said.

Robbie’s phone rang. Hans picked it up off of the side table next to Robbie and looked at it.

“Somebody named Justin. Is that a man or a woman?”

“A man,” Robbie said. “A friend.”

“You’ll have to call him back later, I’m afraid,” Hans said, glancing up at Stephan. “What is your phone pin?”

Robbie glared at Hans.

“Watch the attitude or you’ll be arrested,” Stephan said. “You don’t want to be arrested.”

“Robbie,” Morgan said softly.

“Fine,” Robbie said. “5821.”

Hans input it into his phone. “It’s on his data tab, Stephan.”

“Good,” Stephan said. “Very good.”

“Okay, young lady, we’re leaving now,” Hans said.

Morgan nodded her head yes. “I’ll get my purse.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Stephan said.

“You’ll stay here and finish up with Mr. Johnson, Stephan.”

“Yes sir,” he said, eyeing Robbie with glee.

Hans grabbed Morgan’s upper arm and led her to the stairs.

“Where are you taking her?” Robbie asked.

“We’ll let you know,” Stephan said.

They both listened as Hans and Morgan walked down the stairs and went out the door, closing it behind them.

Stephan got a wicked grin on his face. “Stupid American. Can’t wait to screw your girlfriend. She’s out of your league, my friend.” He set his pistol down on the coffee table and pulled a long knife out from behind his back. “Sorry, we can’t have noise disturbing people in the neighborhood. This is going to make a mess on your daddy’s couch.” He approached slowly, fingering the blade with glee.

Robbie reached for his gun, brought it out, and pointed it at Stephan, who moved back, eyes wide.

“I’m done with you, Eurotrash,” Robbie spat as he shot him three times in the chest and once in the face, brains and blood splattering all over the TV set behind him. Stephan crumpled to the floor in a bloody heap. Robbie ran down the stairs, pistol in his hand, and rushed out the door. The driveway was empty.

“Dammit,” he muttered, running to the street, looking both ways.

“They left,” a voice said from across the street.

“Cody?” Robbie asked.

“Yeah, he said, walking over, eyes darting up and down the street. “You just shoot somebody?”

“Yeah, UN Peacekeeper,” Robbie said. “He was going to kill me with a knife. I had this concealed.”

“Hmmm, Colt 45, eh,” Cody said. “I heard four shots. That guy must be a mess.”

“Yeah, he is,” Robbie said.

“You know you can’t stay here now, right?” Cody asked.

“Yeah, I know,” he said. “You know where the UN is taking prisoners for questioning?”

“Yeah,” Cody said. “Torrance Police Station. You know where that is, right?”

“Yeah, I grew up around here,” Robbie said.

“I wouldn’t go there,” Cody said. “It’s well protected. Very well protected. I know, I was a reserve officer, mainly out of Redondo Beach, but I worked with the Torrance PD too. The place is like a fortress.”

“Dammit,” Robbie said. “The guy I killed said he was going to screw her.”

“They round up nice looking women and rape them all the time,” Cody said.

“How come I haven’t seen you around? Last time I saw you was the second day we were here.”

“I’m just back here to gather up some personal stuff. I’m with a militia that’s forming.”

“Where?”

“Inland to the south,” he said. “We’re considering coming back up here, but we need a safe house. It’s so locked down around here. These guys are running the South Bay the same way the damn Germans ran things with the Gestapo. They’re even getting neighbors to rat on each other.”

“They’re moving way too fast with this nonsense,” Robbie said. “It’s gonna backfire.”

“It already is. They still don’t have all of the checkpoints back up and running, and Ivan wasted their video surveillance system. Wonder what he’s going to do next?”

“I’d better go get my stuff and start planning,” Robbie said.

“Planning for what?”

“Rescue of my girlfriend,” he said. “I’m not leaving her to die.”

“How close were you to her?” Cody asked.

“What kind of a question is that?”

“You stand about a ninety-nine percent chance of getting killed if you show up at their headquarters. Better be sure she’s worth it to you.”

“She is,” Robbie said, turning to leave.

“If you change your mind, you could go with me,” Cody said. “We could use you.”

“Maybe I’ll take you up on that, after I get her back,” Robbie said.

“She might be dead already, you know,” Cody said as Robbie walked away.

“I can’t believe that right now,” Robbie said. He rushed back into the house and up the stairs, grabbing his phone. He pushed Justin’s contact.

“Justin?”

“Robbie. Thank God. They took her. Katie. Where’s Steve?”

“Dammit,” Robbie said. “They took Morgan too. I just killed a UN guy.”

“Son of a bitch,” Justin said, his voice trembling. “What are we gonna do?”

“Why’d they take her?” Robbie asked.

“They said they wanted to talk to her about why she wasn’t living where she was supposed to be living,” Justin said. “They were undressing her with their eyes the whole time they were here, and they made sure I noticed.”

“Crap,” Robbie said. “The guy I shot came right out and said he couldn’t wait to screw Morgan.”

“How’d you kill him?”

“He was left behind to kill me after the other creep took Morgan away. He thought it’d be less noisy to kill me with a knife. He didn’t know I had my .45 on me.”

“Good, glad you wasted the son of a bitch. Where’s Steve? I’ve been trying to call him.”

“He and Coleen took off this morning for a cabin in Wrightwood,” Robbie said. “They were only gone about five minutes when the UN showed up.”

“Geez,” Justin said. “This is bad.”

“Don’t stay there,” Robbie said. “And don’t come here. I’ve got to go someplace else.”

“Where you going?”

“Probably to work,” he said. “My buddy is running the place for the lunch crowd. He’ll let me hang out.”

A phone rang from the kitchen. “I gotta go. That’s Morgan’s phone.” Robbie ended the call and rushed into the kitchen. It stopped ringing as he got there. “Crap.”

He picked up the phone and then noticed a post-it note next to the coffee maker, six inches from the phone. It said Sparky, with a four-digit number under it. Morgan’s pin.

Robbie picked up the phone and input the pin. It opened, and he went to the recent calls and hit Sparky’s contact. It rang twice.

“Morgan?” Sparky asked.

“No, it’s Robbie, her boyfriend.”

“Uh oh, what happened?” Sparky asked.

“The UN took her about half an hour ago,” Robbie said. “She left her pin and your name next to her phone while she was making coffee for one of the creeps.”

“Son of a bitch. You have any idea where she’s being held?”

“My neighbor said they’ve been taking prisoners to the Torrance police station.”

“Dammit, that place is like a fortress,” Sparky said. “Where are you now?”

“A condo in North Redondo, but I need to leave. I killed a UN Peacekeeper after the other one took her away.”

“Why?”

“He was going to kill me with a knife. I had my .45 on me.”

“Nice job,” Sparky said. “You’d better leave now. Take Morgan’s phone with you. I’ll text an address.”

“Okay,” Robbie said. “I’m leaving now.”

“You should have a little time before the checkpoints are back up.”

“You were in on that, weren’t you?” Robbie asked.

“No,” he said. “We’ll talk soon.”

“I’m going,” Robbie said.

He ended the call, and rushed into the bedroom, gathering up the remaining weapons and ammo. He rushed down the stairs with the first batch, noticing Gil’s open bedroom door. Call him. He stashed the first batch of weapons in the trunk of his car.

He went up for the rest of the weapons, rushing them down into the trunk, and then pulled his phone out. He hit Gil’s contact. It went to voicemail.

“Gil, this is Robbie. Don’t come to the condo. The UN showed up. One of the cretins took Morgan. I killed the other one after they left. I’m out of here. They’ll probably show up any second.”

He slipped his phone back in his pocket, and then heard somebody bang on the front door.

“Stephan! You in there?”

“Crap,” Robbie whispered. He took off his shoes and ran up the stairs as quietly as he could, slipping out onto the balcony. There was a UN Peacekeeper at the door below, gun drawn. Robbie pulled out his gun and fired, hitting the man in the shoulder. He turned, trying to take aim. Robbie shot him again, this time in the upper chest. The man collapsed in front of the door. “Take that, cretin.”

Robbie topped up the magazine in the .45 and rushed back to the garage. He got his engine running, hit the garage door opener, and then backed out, catching a UN Peacekeeper running up the driveway. He floored it, hitting the man, running over him with both sets of wheels, then got onto the street and took off. He saw Cody rushing to the UN van with his gun drawn as he went down the street.

***

Sparky rushed over to Jules and Tex, who were sitting at the bar in the plush Marina Del Rey headquarters. “We got trouble.”

“What?” Tex asked.

“Morgan got picked up by the UN,” he said.

“That cute little lady from the card club?” Tex asked.

“Yeah,” Sparky said. “Her boyfriend just called. He iced one of the UN thugs after the other one took Morgan.”

“You know what they do with pretty girl,” Jules said. “Know where they take?”

“Yeah, Torrance police station,” Sparky said.

Jules rubbed his chin for a moment. “On target list. Maybe I get boss to move up attack.”

“We can’t blow the whole thing up,” Sparky said. “We need to rescue her first.”

“I’d love to kill me a few UN turds today,” Tex said. “Talk to Ivan.”

“Yeah,” Jules said. “I do. What about boyfriend?”

“I told him I’d text a safe place for him,” Sparky said.

“Drop point?” Jules asked. “You sure you trust?”

“Not any more than we’re sure of anything in this damn crazy world,” Sparky said.

Tex laughed. “You said a mouthful there, partner.”

Sparky’s phone rang. He looked at it. “It’s him again. I’ll put it on speaker.” He answered the phone, hit the speaker button, and put it on the bar.

“Hello,” Jules said. “I’m Jules, here with Sparky and Tex. Who this is?”

“Robbie, Morgan’s boyfriend,” he said.

“What’s going on?” Sparky asked.

“I just shot another UN Peacekeeper, in front of my door, and then ran over a third in the driveway.”

“Both dead?” Jules asked.

“Yeah,” Robbie said. “Where do you want me to go?”

“We still work on that,” Jules said. “You kill three UN pansies. Want job?”

Robbie was silent for a moment. “I want Morgan back.”

“I understand, partner,” Tex said. “She’s a sweetheart.”

“You have relatives?” Jules asked.

“Parents and a sister,” Robbie said.

“Where they?” Jules asked.

“My sister lives in Oregon. My parents are east, probably Arizona. Maybe Utah by now. They’re in a motor home.”

“You must make story,” Jules said. “With parents and sister. Requirement of all team member.”

“What skills do you have, other than shooting UN cretins?” Tex asked.

Sparky looked at him. “What is this, a job interview? We need to figure out how to save Morgan. You know what they’re doing to her, probably as we speak.”

“They think they screw. We screw better.”

“Dammit,” Robbie said.

“Talents?” Jules asked. “Tex had good question.”

“I’m a hacker and internet research specialist,” Robbie said.

“Now we talking,” Jules said. “Sparky, direct him to drop point, then go get.”

“On it,” Sparky said. He picked up his phone and walked away, taking it off speaker. “Okay, it’s just you and me on the line now. Which restaurant do you work for?”

“Morgan told you I was a waiter?” he asked.

“Yeah,” Sparky said.

“Isadore’s, on Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach.”

“Go there. I know the owner from the Restaurant Association. I’ll come get you. You have weapons?”

“Yeah, I got a trunk full.”

“Don’t get caught. I’ll probably show up in a UN van, so don’t get spooked. There’s a picture of me on Morgan’s phone from a few weeks ago. Look for one with her, an old Asian woman, and a large man, standing in back of a poker table. I’m the big man. That way you’ll know I’m not a UN creep.”

“Okay, I’ll do that,” Robbie said. “Thanks.”

Sparky ended the call, and went back to the bar. “Okay, it’s set. I’m taking off in a minute, in one of the UN vans.”

“Good, my friend,” Jules said. “See if he have friends that hate UN.”

“Why are you so quick to add people you don’t know?” Sparky asked.

“If we don’t build organization, we lose,” Jules said.

“You got that right,” Tex said.

“Okay,” Sparky said. “You really want him to make up a story for his family?”

“Yes, and any friend we don’t recruit,” Jules said. “A must with new people.”

“Like what?” Tex asked.

Jules thought for a moment. “I got. He join military in San Diego to escape martial law hoodlums.”

Sparky laughed. “Perfect. I’m out of here.”

He rushed out the door.

Tex looked at Jules. “You serious, partner?”

“Authorities closing in,” Jules said. “We relocate in next day or two. Ivan move to Bay Area and start resistance there. We build up team here, then join him up there. Very important.”

“Oh, so he’s not too worried if we get a bad apple or two,” Tex said.

“We kill bad apple,” Jules said. “And we manage group, but from north. Boss already gone.”

“You’re kidding,” Tex said. “When did he leave?”

“After meeting with us,” Jules said, grinning.

“Sneaky,” Tex said.

“You bet,” Jules said. “Let’s go to PC and study Torrance Police Station.”

To be continued…

 

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The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

Copyright Robert Boren 2016

Bugout! California Part 37 – Scan and Post

IMG_1466

Sam, Connie, Clem, and Jason snuck up Washington Street to the intersection with Main Street.

“Oh, crap,” Connie whispered. “Look, they got a gun on Sid. Down at the next corner. Two of the others are trotting down there.”

“Looks like we need a diversion,” Sam said, taking a grenade out of a bag he carried. He pulled the pin and tossed it under the UN Van across the street. It blew the van sky high, killing the two men beside it. Clem moved out and fired his hunting rifle at the UN Peacekeeper holding his gun on Sid, hitting him in the head. Jason ran forward with the shotgun, hitting a man who was by the checkpoint barrier. The gunfire erupted from behind Sid, killing the three peacekeepers running towards them. Sid joined the fight, killing two peacekeepers who were running away. Then there was silence.

“Wow, that was fast,” Clem said.

“You know where the rest of them are?” Sam asked.

“This may be all of them,” Jason said.

“We just killed seven, and you only saw six before,” Clem said as they walked down Main Street to meet the others. Then there was a shot, missing them, hitting the building past them.

“Up there,” Clem said as they dove for cover behind a car. “Second story window across the street. They looked up and saw two gun barrels sticking out.

“At least two people in there,” Sam said.

A rifle shot sounded, Yvonne on one knee, watching where she shot. One of the people in the window screamed and dropped their weapon out onto the sidewalk below. Another rifle came out and fired, almost hitting Yvonne as she leapt back under cover.

“There’s several in there,” Sam said. “Cover me. I can toss a grenade in if I can get across the street.”

“Be careful,” Connie said. They started firing into the window, the gun barrels pulling back. Sid and his group got the message, and they started firing into the window too, also hitting other windows surrounding it. Sam bolted across the street.

“Damn, that Garand is loud,” Clem said. “I’d forgotten.”

“Yeah,” Jason said. “That’s the old man’s pride and joy.”

Sam hugged the brick façade of the old building, pulled the pin on the grenade in his hand, and tossed it through the window. It blew up. That stopped the gunfire for a moment.

“Chances are good that didn’t get all of them,” Jason said. “I’d better go over. We’ll have to enter the building. This shotgun will be good for that.”

“There a back door to that building?” Clem asked.

“Yeah, in the alley behind it,” Jason said. He ran over to join Sam on the sidewalk.

“Let’s go,” Connie said, running down Washington to the alley behind the building, Clem trying to keep up. Sid saw them run down Washington, and headed into the alley from B street as the others in his group aimed at the windows and door of the building. Sam and Jason rushed in. There was shouting from inside, and then the shotgun blasted, followed by the pump being cocked again. Sam’s rifle fired, then another rifle went off. There was another shotgun blast.

Connie saw the door in the alley open. Two men ran out. She and Clem fired, hitting one of them.

“Dammit, one got away,” Clem said. Then there was a shot from the other side, hitting the fleeing man in the chest.

“Sid’s over there,” Connie said, grinning.

There were two more shotgun blasts from inside the building, then silence. Sam and Jason ran out the back door into the alley.

“Hold your fire!” Connie yelled as Clem raised his gun. He lowered it as Connie ran to Sam. “You okay?”

“Fine,” Sam said, his breath still coming fast. Sid, Yvonne, Hank, John, and Sarah rushed over.

“How many were in there?” Hank asked.

“Another six,” Jason said. “Glad I picked the shotgun.”

“Seriously,” Sam said, smiling. “You’re good.”

“So are you,” Jason said. “We need to go back in there. One of the guys was trying to shred documents when I stopped his clock.”

“Yep, just what I was thinking. Some of you stay outside, here and on Main Street, just in case there are others.”

“Townspeople are probably awake now,” Hank said. “I’ll be out there to talk with them.”

“Hey, by the way, I found our guns in there,” Jason said. “I’ll bring them back to the station.”

“No, we’ll load them in the car,” Hank said. “We can’t stay here.”

“Where will we go?” Jason asked.

“Where are you guys going?” Hank asked Sid.

“Anza Borrego, to meet up with some Indian friends from the Barona tribe,” Sid said. “We’d love to have you guys along.”

“Definitely,” John said.

“We’d better get this done,” Sam said, heading to the door. Jason nodded and followed. Connie rushed to catch up to Sam as he got to the door.

They went through every room in the ground floor, checking for documents and weapons.

“Nothing much here,” Connie said. “Shredder was upstairs?”

“Yeah,” Jason said.

“There was communications stuff up there too,” Sam said. “We might be able to learn something from that.”

They went up the stairs. “It was this room,” Jason said, nodding to the left. They entered the room, stepping past two bodies sprawled on the floor.

Sam rushed over to the stack of documents, laughing when he read the first one.

“What?” Connie asked, walking over to him.

“They’ve got their plans for the subjugation of California spelled out here,” Sam said. “It’s too broad to be of immediate use, though. Wonder why they bothered to shred?”

“Most people have no idea about this,” Jason said. “We should scan that and post it on the internet.”

“Good idea,” Connie said, taking the paper out of Sam’s hands. “They forgot to lock the screen on that PC, and there’s a scanner right next to it. I love it when they’re so helpful.”

“What are you gonna do?” Sam asked.

“Duh,” she said. “I’m going to splash this all over the net. Find me more material.”

Sam smiled as he watched her logging into her internet accounts.

“Change the password on that PC,” Jason said.

“No need,” she said. “It’s not set up with a screen lock time out. Look.”

“Idiots,” Sam said, continuing to look through documents. He stopped on one. “Holy crap. Here’s an org chart of who’s running the California Government. Funny how Sable isn’t anywhere on it.”

“Hey, what’s this thing?” Jason asked, looking at a device about the size of a stereo receiver with USB ports on it and a small LCD screen.

“Good question,” Sam said. “Look, there’s a phone connected to it. See?” Then his expression changed, glee washing across his face.

“What?” Connie asked, looking away from the PC screen.

“I’ll bet they load their virus program on cellphones with this,” Sam said. “We need Clem up here. He understands this stuff.”

Connie was by the window. She stuck her head out. “Hey Clem, get up here. There’s something we want you to look at.”

“Okay,” Clem shouted.

Connie finished scanning the first document, then sent it out onto every social media site she had an account on. Jason watched her.

“Those your accounts?” he asked.

“Yep,” she said.

“Aren’t you worried about them knowing who did this?”

Connie laughed. “They’ve been trying to kill us for weeks now. This isn’t going to make things any worse, trust me.”

“Hey, what was the guy logged into?” Sam asked.

“Good question,” she said, clicking on an item in the application tray at the bottom of the screen. “They have a database site. Look.”

“How much access do you have?” Sam asked.

“Good question. I don’t know. Let’s see if I can delete anything.” She navigated to a tab called Schedule and opened it. “There were more people on the way, I suspect. I count twenty names on here. What’d we kill?”

“Thirteen or fourteen,” Sam said.

“What do you guys want to show me?” Clem asked as he walked into the room.

“That,” Sam said, pointing to the device with the phone attached. Clem got closer and looked at it.

“Son of a bitch,” Clem said. “This thing programs solid state memory. He hit the power button and watched the display fire up. “We have to take this with us.”

“Why?” Jason asked.

“So I can attempt to reverse-engineer their tracking software,” Clem said.

“You know how to do stuff like that?” Jason asked, eyes wide.

“Yeah,” he said.

“Well, I can delete stuff created with this account,” Connie said from the PC. “I just deleted their checkpoint schedule.”

“Here’s another document to share with the public,” Sam said. “It’s a listing of the number of firearms expected by town. It’s twenty pages.”

“Excellent,” she said. “Hand it over.”

Sam gave it to her, and she loaded it into the document feeder, scanned it and posted it.

Gunfire erupted outside.

“Dammit,” Sam said, rushing to the door with his gun. He saw another UN Van, rolling towards the curb as Sid, John and Hank ran towards it. Hank paused to fire the big M-1 Garand into the van, the 30-06 rounds slicing through the thin metal like a hot knife through butter. The side door slid open and somebody fell out, trying to crawl away. Sid and John both opened up, killing the man dead.

“Must be the other folks on the schedule,” Jason said.

“I wonder if they’ve got a residence around here, or if they were just arriving from someplace else.”

“Good question,” Sam said.

“Anything else to post?” Connie asked.

“Not yet,” Sam said, getting back to the list.

“Hey, there’s a tab in here that says Gun Registry,” Connie said. “Wonder if I can delete this?” She clicked on it.

“Let me see that,” Clem said, looking over her shoulder. “This is a copy of the state registry. They’re using it to keep track of guns they’ve confiscated. Look at that column there.”

“Holy crap,” Connie said. She tried to delete it. A message popped up that said Forbidden.

Clem looked at it, then looked around the desk by the PC, and at all of the post-it notes on the monitor. “Click on that message,” he said.

Connie nodded and clicked on it. A password input window came up.

“Thought so,” Clem said. “Sometimes people put passwords on paper. Look in the drawers there while I check around on the table.

Connie opened the drawer under the keyboard. There were pencils, pens, stamps, paper clips, and a couple post-it note pads. One of them had a seven-digit number written on it in red ink. “Maybe this is it,” she said, typing it into the window. She hit submit, and a message came back saying Incorrect Pin. “No dice.”

“We probably only get three tries before we get locked out,” Clem said. “Keep looking.”

“How about the dead guys?” Jason asked. “I’ll take their wallets.”

“Yeah, I’ve kept passwords in my wallet before,” Clem said. “Good idea.”

Jason pulled the wallets out of both the men’s pockets and handed them to Connie. She looked in the first one.

“Nothing on the desk that I can see,” Clem said.

“We should take the enemy weapons,” Jason said.

“We always do,” Sam said as he continued looking through the stack of papers.

“Hey, this might be it,” Connie said. She held up a yellow post-it paper, folded so that the glue section was covered. It had a code on it which was a mixture of letters, numbers, and special characters. Clem looked at it.

“That might be it,” Clem said. “It follows the rules for strong passwords.”

Connie typed it in and hit submit. “Dammit. Incorrect Pin again.”

“Don’t toss that one,” Clem said. “It’s for something. Keep looking.”

Connie continued going through the wallet. She found a paper card that said burn after use with a code similar to the complex one from the post-it note. “Check this out.” She handed it to Clem.

“Well, we know this guy doesn’t follow instructions very well,” Clem said. “Might be it. This is probably your last shot. Maybe we should look through the other wallet, just in case.”

“Here,” Connie said, handing it to Clem. “I’m still not finished with this wallet.” She continued to look in all the card spaces as Clem looked at the other one.

“Nothing else in this one,” Connie said.

Clem was still looking, all of the credit cards and pictures laid out on the table in front of him. “Nothing that looks like a password in this wallet. The man had young kids. Sad.”

“That’s war,” Sam said. “I don’t see anything else that’s worth posting in this stack of papers.”

“Nothing else in this wallet,” Connie said. “Should I?”

“Might as well,” Clem said.

“Yeah, we can’t stick around here forever,” Sam said. “We don’t know if any of these folks got a chance to call out when the attack was going on.”

“Good point,” Jason said.

“Here goes nothing.” Connie typed in the password from the card and hit submit. A message came back. Accepted. “Yes! We’re in.”

“Delete that database,” Clem said. He watched as she clicked delete and then clicked through the Please Confirm window.

“It’s gone,” she said with glee.

“What else can you mess with?” Clem asked, watching over her shoulder.

“Here’s a list of partners in local government, sorted by city,” Connie said. She hit print. The laser printer on the other side of the PC fired up and printed the document.

“Twelve pages,” Clem said. “Fine type.”

“Give me that,” Connie said. She loaded the document into the feed shute on the scanner and then clicked the scan button on the PC.

When the scanner finished with all of the pages, Jason pulled the pages out and looked for Julian. “That jackass.”

“What?” Sam asked.

“The Mayor of Julian is listed as a partner. We ought to stop his clock on the way out of town.”

“You know where he lives?” Sam asked.

“Yeah,” Jason said.

“Sure that’s a good idea?” Connie asked. “It’s so barbaric.”

“This is war, honey,” Sam said.

“These cretins were hunting down citizens who wouldn’t turn in their guns yesterday,” Jason said. “I heard gunshots more than once. They were killing citizens who resisted. This can’t stand. Wish we could take pictures of the Mayors body and post them with a caption saying what he did.”

“How far away does he live?” Sam asked.

“Couple of blocks,” Jason said.

“NO,” Connie said. “You want to kill the guy on the way out, fine, but we aren’t waiting here while you go try to get the guy for a photo op.”

“She’s right, Sam,” Clem said. “We’re sitting ducks here. If they roll up with a tank or even a Gaz Tigr like we’ve seen, we’ll be lucky to get out alive.”

“Okay, okay,” Sam said. “Post that stuff and then let’s gather weapons and ammo and blow this joint.”

“I’m done,” Connie said. “Let’s go.”

Clem picked up the phone programming device. The others grabbed weapons and ammo that was in a downstairs room, and they joined the others outside.

“What’s that thing?” Sid asked, eyeing the device Clem was carrying.

“We think it programs phones with the tracking functionality,” Clem said. “Gonna try to reverse-engineer it.”

“Good,” Yvonne said. “We’d better get going before somebody else shows.”

“What else were you doing up there?” Hank asked.

“We found documents they were in the process of shredding and posted them on social media,” Connie said. “I also deleted their gun registry database.”

“Really?” John asked. “How’d you do that?”

Sarah chuckled. “Clem probably helped.”

“Connie found the password,” Clem said. “We did a lot of damage to them. That gun database covered the whole state, and had check-boxes on each line.”

“Oh, they were using it to keep track, eh?” Sid asked.

“Yeah, it was a good find,” Clem said. “They’ve got a backup, but it might take them several days to get it up again, and the backup might not cover all of the people who’ve had their guns confiscated already.”

“Did you guys gather up the weapons out here?” Sam asked.

“Yep, we already ran them back to the station,” Hank said. “We’d better get going.”

“Hey, Hank, we saw the Mayor’s name on a list of partners. I’m gonna stop his clock on the way out of town.”

“No you aren’t,” Hank said. “He’s got young kids living with him. Don’t worry, he’ll get his if that list got published. It did, I hope.”

“Far and wide,” Connie said.

“C’mon, let’s get out of here,” John said. “We need to get back on the road.”

They ran back to their vehicles, loaded the guns and ammo, and took off.

***

Morgan woke up next to Robbie as the dim light of the overcast morning streamed through the window.

“Hey, you awake?” she asked softly.

Robbie stirred. He turned towards her and smiled. “I am now.”

“Sorry,” she said. “Sleep okay?”

“Nightmares,” he said.

There was a soft knock on the door.

“Just a sec,” Robbie said. He climbed out of bed, threw on a robe, and went to the door. Steve was standing outside.

“Hey, Steve, what’s up?” he asked.

“Coleen and I are taking off,” he said. “You two want to come?”

Robbie studied him silently for a moment, then turned towards Morgan, who was walking over in her robe. “You want to go to the mountain house with Coleen and Steve?”

“No, but if you want to go, I’ll go,” she said. “I’ll follow you anywhere, in case you haven’t picked up on that yet.”

“I don’t want to go either,” Robbie said, watching Steve’s disappointed face. “I’m sorry man. I think it’s too risky.”

“Okay,” Steve said, sticking his hand out. Robbie shook it. “Take care of yourself and Morgan.”

“You two,” Robbie said.

Steve went back down the stairs.

“They’re really going to do it,” she said.

“Yep,” Robbie said. “I think they’re nuts. The UN is liable to go on a rampage after what Ivan the Butcher did last night.”

“That’s what I’m worried about,” Robbie said.

They listened as the front door opened, and sounds of car doors opening drifted up.

“I hope Steve’s car makes it all the way up there,” Robbie said. “It’s kind of a pile.”

They heard the car back down the driveway and head down the street.

“Well, that just leaves us and Gil,” Morgan said.

“Yeah,” Robbie said, feeling nervous all of a sudden.

“You all right?” she asked.

He sighed. “Yeah, I guess. Let’s get up.”

Morgan nodded, and they both got dressed. “Want French toast? We still have the makings.”

“Sure,” Robbie said. “Wonder if Gil is still here?”

“I think he left early,” she said.

Robbie rushed down the stairs and saw that Gil’s room was open. “Yeah, he’s gone,” Robbie said up the stairs.

“Hope he’s careful out there,” Morgan said.

There was a harsh knock on the door, startling Robbie.

“Who’s there?” Robbie asked through the door.

“It’s the UN doing a neighborhood survey,” said a voice with a German accent. “Open up immediately please.”

“I have to get dressed,” Robbie said.

“You’ve got two minutes,” the German voice said.

To be continued…

 

Horror Road Book 4 – the latest in the series is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Horror Road Book 4 – the latest in the series is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 4 – Texas Battle Cry is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 3 – Republic in Peril is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 2 – The New Republic is now available in the Kindle Store. Pick up your copy of this exciting thriller today!

 

Bug Out! Texas has just been published in the Kindle Store! This is the story of Texas Patriots and their struggle against enemies, foreign and domestic, during the Bug Out! War. Chock full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance. Pick up your copy of Bug Out! Texas Book 1 today!

 

Please visit and like my author page on Facebook!

 

Here’s the series that started it all! Bug Out! Pick up your copy of book 1 for just 99 cents in the Kindle Store!

 

Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

 

The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

Copyright Robert Boren 2016

Bugout! California Part 36 – Julian

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Here comes Route 79,” Yvonne said. “We want to go south, right?”

“Yeah,” Sid said. “Towards Julian. We pick up route 78 again there. It goes a little out of the way, but then curves up towards the southern part of Anza Borrego.”

“I keep waiting for somebody to come up behind us,” Yvonne said.

“I know. I think they have bigger fish to fry now. There’s a lot of havoc going on.”

“What do you think about this Ivan the Butcher character?” Yvonne asked.

“I think he might be exactly what the doctor ordered.”

“You think he’s right about the state government? President Simpson?”

Sid chuckled. “I’ve never trusted the white man’s government. Have you?”

“On and off,” Yvonne said. “I had real hope for President Simpson.”

“Bleeding heart,” Sid said, glancing at her with a grin.

“Shut up,” she said. “Where’re we meeting One Eye, again? Scissors something?”

“Scissors Crossing,” Sid replied.

“Never heard of it. Is it a town?”

“No, I think it’s basically a monument,” Sid said. “Something about an old Stage Coach route.”

“Oh,” Yvonne said. “Maybe we can stop in Julian and get some apple pie.”

Sid chuckled. “You think they’re gonna be open for business?”

“It’ll be morning before too long,” Yvonne said. “Yum.”

“You’re right, no place has apple pie like Julian,” Sid said. “We’ll see. Have to gas up there anyway.”

“Wonder if we’ll run into more checkpoints along the way?” Yvonne asked.

“Hope not, but it wouldn’t surprise me. I’m kinda worried about Julian, actually. Route 79 runs right through the middle of town. I think it turns into Main street for a few blocks. It’s an important junction if you want to control access and movement. You can go south to I-8, east towards the Salton Sea and beyond, and north towards Palm Springs and I-10.”

“You’re thinking there might be a checkpoint there,” Yvonne said, pulling out her paper map. She frowned as she looked at it.

“What’s wrong?” Sid asked.

“There’s no good way to skirt Route 79 if there is a checkpoint,” she said. “The town is just too small. It’s not like Ramona.”

“Then maybe we need to take out the checkpoint,” Sid said, hands gripping the wheel tighter.

“Crap,” she said, watching him grind his teeth. “We don’t want to get killed there.”

“That isn’t the plan,” he said.

“Might turn out to be the reality, though. You heard what they said on the radio. They’ve got tanks at a lot of the checkpoints now, and we don’t have any anti-tank weapons.”

“I’m betting they don’t have tanks this far out,” Sid said. “Maybe we should stop before we get there and chat with the others.”

“You’re serious about this, aren’t you?”

“We’re in a fight,” Sid said. “The enemy just murdered our friends and destroyed our home. There’s a time to run and hide, and there’s a time to attack. If there’s a small checkpoint in Julian, it might be time to attack. We’ve got the hardware to do it.”

“Unless they have a tank,” Yvonne said.

“If they catch us in a checkpoint we can’t get around, you know they’re going to kill all of us, right? We’ve hurt them. They want us dead. We’d be dead right now if we wouldn’t have joined the attack in Fernbrook.”

“Maybe we could have saved the RV Park if we’d been there,” Yvonne said.

“Maybe, maybe not. Depends on what they threw against us. Remember that the people there had the weapons we left behind, including that mobile artillery piece.”

Yvonne was quiet for a few moments, thinking, tears seeping down her cheek. “Dammit, you’re right.”

“Look, there’s a better than even chance that there won’t be a checkpoint up there yet anyway,” he said. “If there is, we’ll have to do something. We can’t go through it. They’ll nab us for sure.”

Yvonne continued to look at the map, her brow furrowed. “Julian isn’t the only place we have to worry about.”

“Where else do you see?” Sid asked.

“Santa Ysabel,” she said. “It’s almost as much of a hub as Julian is.”

“You can go north and south through there. Not east.”

“True,” Yvonne said. “I’m still worried about it. For one thing, it’s the only viable way into Julian.”

“Hell, you might have a point. I’m going to get the other’s attention. We need to have a pow-wow.”

“Pow-wow?” Yvonne asked, laughing. “You going to break into “What Makes the Red Man Red?”

Sid laughed. “Sorry, it’s just a figure of speech. Wasn’t even thinking.”

Yvonne snickered. “Okay, let’s stop them.”

Sid laid on his horn while flashing his lights on and off. Then he turned on his right blinker.

“They got the message,” Yvonne said, watching Sam pull over to the side of the road in front of them. John did the same behind them as they pulled over. Everybody got out.

“What’s up?” Sam asked, walking over with Connie and Clem.

“Yeah, what’s going on?” John asked, Sarah by his side.

“There’s two towns coming up that might have checkpoints,” Sid said.

‘That thought crossed my mind,” John said. “Which towns you thinking?”

“Santa Ysabel is the closest,” Yvonne said. “Julian is another.”

“I should’ve thought of that,” Sam said.

“I think we should stop outside of town and check it out,” Sid said. “Attack if there’s a good opportunity.”

“We better attack even if the opportunity isn’t perfect,” Sid said. “You know what’ll happen if we get stuck in a checkpoint.”

“Yeah,” John said. “It’s lights out.”

“I wish we could use our phones,” Connie said. “So we could figure out a good place to pull over. Maybe a good place to escape if we can’t fight.”

“I know Santa Ysabel pretty well,” John said. “There’s a bakery with a big un-fenced parking lot right as you enter town. If they have a checkpoint there, it’ll probably be where route 78 hits route 79. I don’t think there’s going to be a checkpoint there, though.”

“Why not?” Yvonne asked.

“Not enough people there,” John said.

“That’s right,” Sarah said. “That town is little more than a wide spot in the road. We had friends living there. Only twelve houses in the whole damn town.”

“There’s several businesses there,” Yvonne said.

“Yeah, there are,” John said. “Most of the people who work there live outside of Wynola.”

“Do we have to worry about Wynola?” Connie asked.

Yvonne shook her head no. “I doubt it. It’s not a hub. It’s just a little town on route 79. Unless the enemy has a lot of resources, they’ll probably concentrate on Julian instead.”

“What if the checkpoint has a tank?” Sarah asked.

Sam laughed. “If they have any this far out, which I doubt, they’re probably rushing them into the LA Area. You guys hear what happened up there tonight?”

“Yeah, Ivan the Butcher struck again,” Sid said. “Blew up a whole mess of tanks and destroyed the video surveillance system.”

“He also got the internet un-blocked,” Connie said.

“Dammit,” John said. “Our radio has a lousy antenna. We finally shut it off. Missed all of that.”

“Okay,” Sam said, “let’s stop at the bakery that John brought up and check out Santa Ysabel. If it’s clear, we’ll proceed with caution through Wynola. Have a good place for us to stop before Julian?”

“There’s a San Diego Sheriff’s Station right off Route 78,” John said. “Wonder who’s side they’re on?”

“Probably have to assume they’re with the UN,” Sid said.

“Don’t be so sure,” Sam said. “It’s not like they’ve been participating with the enemy so far. Not in the LA area, and not in Poway either, from what we’ve seen so far. There a good place to park and walk up to the station?”

“Yeah, there’s a small private road to the right,” John said. “It’s wooded. We could park in there and not be seen if we’re careful. It’s gonna be pretty close to light outside by the time we get there, though, so keep that in mind.”

“How do you know about this?” Sid asked.

“Same friends,” John said. “There’s a great Mexican restaurant right there. It’s actually on the same parking lot as the Sheriff’s Station.”

“Okay,” Sam said. “I think the chances of there being a checkpoint in Santa Ysabel are slim. I suggest we send one car through to check it out. It’ll save us time. If we walk in, it’ll push us to far into morning when we arrive in Julian.”

“Who goes through?” Sid asked.

“Connie and I,” Sam said. “We’ve got the weapons hidden better than you guys do.”

“If there’s a checkpoint, they’ll find them in a hurry,” Sid said.

“If there’s a checkpoint, you’ll hear us start shooting. Come on in and join me if you hear it.”

“You sure, honey?” Connie asked.

He nodded yes. They got back in their vehicles and took off down the road.

“You okay?” Sid asked, glancing at Yvonne as he followed Sam down the road.

“I’m scared,” she said. “It’s okay. I can maintain.”

“Good. Won’t be long.”

“I’m glad,” she said. “The longer we wait, the worse it is.”

They drove silently for a while. There were no cars on the road.

“It should be coming up,” Yvonne said. “Maybe another two minutes.”

“Yeah,” Sid said. “We’re making good time.”

“Sam’s slowing down,” Yvonne said.

“Damn, this pops up out of nowhere,” Sid said. “There’s that bakery John was talking about, off to the left. I’m pulling in.” He made the left turn, John following him as Sam and Connie continued down the street.

John nodded at Sid and Yvonne as he parked next to them.

“Don’t hold your breath,” Sid said.

“Can’t help it,” Yvonne said. “How long?”

“Couple more minutes,” Sid said. “The intersection was only a block down. I could see it when I made the left. Didn’t see anybody around.”

John rolled down his window. “That ought to be long enough. Let’s go.”

Sid nodded and drove out to the road, making a left turn and rolling through the intersection. “Good. Nothing. I see Sam up ahead.”

“Thank God,” Yvonne said. “We’re on route 79 now.”

They were out of the little town and heading for the tight bend that put them in Wynola.

“Perfect,” Sid said. “This road is high enough that we can see the whole area down there. Keep your eyes open.”

“I am,” Yvonne said, watching out her window. “Lots of nice houses nestled in this area.”

“Yeah,” Sid said. “There’s not going to be a checkpoint here. How many miles to Julian?”

“Wish we could use GPS,” she said as she unfolded the map, looking for the scale. She put her finger up to it. “About the same as the last joint on my pinky.” She walked her finger along the route.

“Well?”

“Less than five miles, sweetie,” she said.

“Good, that’s only a few minutes.”

They followed Route 79 as it made a sweeping curve to the east.

“Won’t be long now,” Sid said.

Yvonne looked at him, sweat breaking out on her forehead. “I’ll be glad when this is over.”

“It’ll be all right,” Sid said. They rode along silently for five minutes, eyes darting around to every small dirt road feeding the highway.

“There,” Sid said. “Sam just made a right. Those trees are dense. I can’t even see them now.”

“Don’t miss the turn,” Yvonne said. “Slow down.”

“I see it.” Sid slowed and took the turn. He drove off the road into the forest, John following. They parked next to Sam, who was already outside.

“There’s something here,” Sam said. “I can feel it.”

“Still want to go to the Sheriff’s office?”

“Yeah, but only two of us, okay? The rest of us stay here.”

“Who’s going?” Sid asked.

“How about you and me?” Sam asked.

“Yeah,” Sid said, glancing at Yvonne. She reluctantly shook her head yes.

“Okay, let’s go,” Sam said.

“You going in armed?” Sid asked.

“I’ve got my pistol. It’s concealed. Let’s go.”

The two men walked through the brush and trees.

“There’s the parking lot, right ahead,” Sid said. “It’s so close that they probably heard us drive in.”

“Only if they were outside.” They stepped onto the pavement. “The lights are on inside.”

“Good, I think,” Sid said. They walked to the door, looking around in every direction.

Sam tried the doorknob. It was unlocked. They went inside. There were two men behind the counter. A middle aged man and an older man. Both of them had gray hair, the older one balding.

“Can we help you folks?” the older man asked. “I’m Officer Hank Miller.”

“I’m Jason Kiley,” the other man said, eyeing them suspiciously. “What are you two doing out this time of morning?”

“Passing through on the way to Anza Borrego,” Sam said. “There a checkpoint in town?”

The two officers looked at each other, then back at Sam. “Now why would you want to know that?”

“You guys aren’t armed,” Sid said, looking at their empty holsters.

“The UN is taking over policing responsibility, now that we got martial law everywhere,” Hank said.

“You don’t look too happy about that,” Sam said.

“Don’t engage them, Hank,” Jason said. “We don’t know who they are. They might be with them.”

“They don’t look like it to me,” Hank said. “Hell, one of them is an Indian. Aren’t you, friend?”

Sid nodded yes.

“Where you guys from?”

“Dulzura,” Sam said.

Hank froze. “You know Officer Ryan? Officer Patrick?”

Sam and Sid looked at each other.

“Oh, crap, you do, don’t you?” Jason said. “They’ve both been missing for days.”

“They didn’t work out of this outfit, did they?” Sid asked.

“No,” Hank said, “but we were friends with them.”

“What happened?” Jason asked, getting up, leaning on the counter towards them.

“They’re both dead,” Sam said. “I’m sorry. They were our friends too.”

“Dammit, I was afraid of that,” Hank said, tears running down his cheeks. “How?”

“UN and their Islamist buddies,” Sid said. “They’re gonna pay.”

“What’s been going on around here?” Sam asked.

Hank looked at Jason, who shrugged. Then he turned back to Sam and Sid.

“The UN blew in here several days ago. Started throwing their weight around even before the martial law declaration. Disarmed this department. Also went door to door taking weapons from the population. A lot of people left when they got word of that. The UN is hunting them now.”

“Yvonne was right,” Sid said. “They’re going to lock this down because it’s a hub.”

“Yvonne?” Jason asked.

“My wife,” Sid said. “How many enemy fighters at the checkpoint?”

“Enemy fighters?” Jason asked.

Sid smiled. “Yes, that’s what I said.”

“They were still setting up last night,” Hank said. “There was only six men there in a couple of vans, last time I looked.”

“No armored vehicles or tanks?” Sam asked.

“Not that I saw,” Hank said.

“What are you guys planning to do?” Jason asked.

“Take out the checkpoint,” Sam said.

Hank and Jason looked at each other. Hank smiled. “Want some help?”

“You know what you’re saying, right?” Jason said. “We’ll have to gather up our families and split.”

“I know,” Hank said. “This can’t stand. They’re hunting down our citizens, Jason.”

“Got any weapons?” Sam asked.

“Yeah, I got my old M-1 Garand out in the trunk,” Hank said.

“Dammit, Hank, they might kill both of us for that.”

Hank ignored Jason. “Got a pump shotgun out there too, and a Winchester 30-30. What do you guys have?”

“AR-15s and AK-47s,” Sam said. “And other assorted toys. Grenades. Claymore mines. A couple of mortars.”

“Where’d you get that stuff?” Jason asked.

“We captured it from the enemy, mostly,” Sid said.

“Let’s hit them,” Hank said. “No time like the present. It’ll be light in about twenty minutes. You coming, Jason? You can use the Winchester.”

He sighed. “I think I’ll use the shotgun. We won’t be that far away.”

“Where are they?” Sam asked.

“They’re on Main between Washington and B Street,” Jason said. “How many people you have?”

“Four men and three women,” Sid said.

“All of them can shoot?” Hank asked.

“Yeah,” Sam said.

“Sam was in Special Forces,” Sid said. “All of us have had combat experience recently.”

“Okay, meet us back here in five minutes,” Hank said. “C’mon, Jason, let’s go get the guns.”

Sam and Sid ran back to the vehicles.

“Okay?” Connie asked.

“Yeah, there were two officers in there. They’re going to help. The checkpoint is on Main Street between Washington and B Street. We’re gonna meet them there.”

“They got guns?” John asked.

Sam laughed. “The old guy has an M-1 Garand.”

“Don’t laugh, those are great,” John said. “They fire as fast as you can pull the trigger, and you can reload in a hurry if you know what you’re doing.”

Sam ran to the back of his Jeep and opened the tail gate. He handed rifles to Connie and Clem, and grabbed a few grenades.

“That’s gonna ruin their whole day,” Clem said. “Maybe I should take a few.”

“No, you can’t run fast enough,” Sam said. “It’ll get you killed.”

“You’d better be careful yourself, honey,” Connie said. “You’re not twenty-five anymore.”

“Roger that,” Sam said.

John came over with Sarah, both of them carrying AK-47s. Sid and Yvonne hurried over, both of them with rifles on slings. Sid had his bow.

“What’s that for?” John asked.

“Just in case they have any sentries at the end of the block.”

“We shouldn’t all go up B Street,” Sam said. “I’m going up Washington. We’ll get them in crossfire.”

“I’ll go there too,” Connie said.

“Me too,” Clem said.

“Okay, that leaves Sid, Yvonne, John, and Sarah on B Street, plus those two cops.”

“Let’s go,” Clem said. “Don’t hit each other in the crossfire.”

“Seriously,” Sam said. “Stay sharp.”

They rushed to the Sheriff’s station. Hank and Jason were waiting.

“Ready?” Hank asked.

“Yeah,” Sam said. “Three of us are going up Main. The rest are going up B Street.”

“That’s a good idea,” Jason said. “I’ll go up Main too.”

“Good,” Sam said. “Let Sid go up B Street first. If there’s a sentry, he’ll take them out with his bow.”

“He good with that thing?” Jason asked.

“You don’t know the half of it,” Clem said.

Both groups took off to their spots.

“Look, there is a sentry,” Yvonne whispered. “I’m surprised.

“I’m not,” he said, getting down on one knee in the shadows. Yvonne motioned for the others to stay back. Sid drew back the bow and let the arrow fly, hitting the UN Peacekeeper square in the middle of the back. He fell dead.

“C’mon,” Sid whispered, motioning the others forward. He ran to the corner of Main Street and peeked around. Then somebody came up behind him from across B Street and pointed an AK-47 at the back of his head.

“Freeze,” the man said in a thick French accent.

To be continued…

 

Horror Road Book 4 – the latest in the series is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 4 – Texas Battle Cry is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 3 – Republic in Peril is now available in the Kindle store!

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 2 – The New Republic is now available in the Kindle Store. Pick up your copy of this exciting thriller today!

 

Bug Out! Texas has just been published in the Kindle Store! This is the story of Texas Patriots and their struggle against enemies, foreign and domestic, during the Bug Out! War. Chock full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance. Pick up your copy of Bug Out! Texas Book 1 today!

 

Please visit and like my author page on Facebook!

 

Here’s the series that started it all! Bug Out! Pick up your copy of book 1 for just 99 cents in the Kindle Store!

 

Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

 

The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

Copyright Robert Boren 2016

Bugout! California Part 35 – Newsroom Horror

IMG_1839(2)

Morgan and Robbie sat on the couch, watching the TV. They heard the front door open.

“I hope that’s Gil,” Robbie said. “It’s almost nine.”

“Hey, guys,” Gil said as he walked up the stairs. “Anything new going on?”

“The internet’s still down,” Morgan said.

“Yeah, I knew that,” Gil said. “Can’t get LTE on my phone. Been down all day.”

“It’s down on purpose,” Robbie said. “Has to be. What’s going on outside? Why so late?”

“I had a long heart to heart with my boss,” Gil said.

“How’d it go?” Robbie asked.

“Good,” Gil said. “We buried the hatchet. I think he’s just glad to have people around who he can trust at this point. He’s scared to death. The state has basically taken over his business. They tell him what hours he can operate and who he can do business with. They also put taxes on any employee who lives on the other side of a checkpoint, and are making him keep records of employee arrival and departure times.”

“You don’t have to go through a checkpoint to get there, do you?” Morgan asked.

“No,” Gil said. “The factory is right on the border, though.”

“How about your real address?” Robbie said.

“It’s inside the checkpoint too,” Gil said. “They probably think I’m still there.”

“Good,” Robbie said.

“They might start knocking on doors, you know,” Morgan said. “To see who got caught outside of their assigned quarters when the checkpoints went up.”

“I know, that’s crossed my mind,” Robbie said.

“You guys see what they put at the checkpoints now?” Gil asked.

“I thought you didn’t have to go through any,” Robbie said.

“I can see the one close to work,” Gil said. “They have a tank sitting there.”

“Figures,” Robbie said. “They’re getting us into a stranglehold.”

“Wonder how martial law is going over in the hinterlands?” Gil asked.

“The news has been quiet about that,” Robbie said, “other than to say that it’s been declared by Governor Sable.”

“They’re still lying about him?” Gil asked. “After Ivan showed his body on TV?”

“All the stations are saying that Ivan’s video was a hoax. They’re lying about the attacks last night too. Pretending that the reports were way over-blown.”

“Some of the sheep around here will believe it,” Gil said. “What happened to the card club, Morgan? Figured you’d be gone when I got home.”

“Sparky told me to stay home until he called,” she said. “No call. I hope he’s okay. I’m worried.”

“I’m glad you didn’t have to go in,” Robbie said.

There was a loud explosion outside in the distance.

“Holy crap!” Gil said, running out to the balcony. “Look at that fireball rising.”

Robbie and Morgan rushed out and looked.

“Machine gun fire,” Robbie said. “Listen.”

“Yeah, I hear it,” Morgan said. “That smoke looks like it’s coming from my checkpoint.”

“Sure does,” Robbie said. “I haven’t heard a tank cannon go off.”

“Maybe somebody blew it up,” Gil said.

“Hopefully,” Robbie said.

They went back inside. “It’ll be interesting to see if there’s anything on the news about it,” Morgan said. She picked up her phone. “Hey, I got a text message. Missed it.”

“From work?” Robbie asked.

“Sparky’s personal number,” she said, opening the message. She read silently for a moment, brow furrowed.

“Something wrong?” Gil asked.

“He said the card club came under attack and he escaped with Tex and Jules,” Morgan said.

“Oh, geez,” Robbie said. “I wonder if they had anything to do with those explosions?”

“If they did, they got some better hardware,” Gil said. “Hear from Justin?”

“Nope,” Robbie said. “As far as I know he’s still at Katie’s place.”

“How about Steve?” Gil asked. “Coleen still here?”

Morgan giggled. “They’re here. Acting like a couple of bunnies. I don’t think they know how loud they are.”

“That boy is in love,” Gil said. “Good for him. I’m gonna go take a shower. Talk to you two later.”

He went down the stairs.

“It’ll get bad around here in a hurry,” Morgan said.

“Hear that?” Robbie asked.

“What?”

“My phone,” he said. “The email tone just sounded. Maybe LTE is back up.”

“Where is it?” Morgan asked as Robbie got up.

“I put it on the charger a couple hours ago,” he said, rushing into the bedroom. He came back out with the phone, eyes on the screen. “Whoa.”

“What happened?” Morgan asked. “Is it really back up?”

“LTE is,” Robbie said as he sat down. “Email message from Ivan the Butcher.”

“Really?” Morgan asked. “To you personally?”

“No, this is a broadcast message,” Robbie said as he read. “This is great. He just took responsibility for blowing up the tank at the Artesia checkpoint.”

“That was fast,” Morgan said. “I’ll bet Sparky was in on it.”

“He also says he got the Internet back on line,” Robbie said. He went to his phone settings and turned Wi-Fi back on. “Yes! The broadband is up again too. I’m gonna get my laptop.”

Morgan picked up her phone. “I’m back up too.”

“Hey, you guys get the email?” Steve shouted from downstairs.

“Yeah, man,” Robbie shouted back down as he fetched his laptop from the kitchen table.

“There’s pictures of that attack, look,” Morgan said, holding her phone up to Robbie as he sat down next to her with the laptop.

“Wow, look at that tank!” Robbie said as his laptop booted up. “It’s blown all over the intersection.”

Steve and Coleen came up the stairs. “This is great, dude.”

“I’ll say,” Robbie said.

“Hi, Coleen,” Morgan said, slight smirk on her face.

“Oh, crap, you could hear us,” she said, face turning red.

“Don’t worry about it,” Morgan said. “You can probably hear us too. It’s nice to be in love.”

Steve caught that and looked at Coleen, melting as she smiled back at him.

“Wow,” Morgan whispered.

“Don’t rush things,” Coleen said softly. Steve pulled her closer and kissed her forehead.

“We’ll go as fast as you want to,” Steve whispered.

“Maybe you two should go back downstairs,” Robbie said.

“Shut up,” Steve said.

Robbie and Morgan chuckled as Coleen turned red again.

“The enemy took some big hits in northern San Diego County,” Robbie said, scrolling through messages. “They tried to hit back at an Indian reservation, but it was booby trapped.”

“Which reservation?” Steve asked.

“Barona,” Robbie said. “Crap, they went into an RV Park in Dulzura. Beheaded a bunch of old people.”

“How brave of them,” Steve said.

“This is interesting,” Robbie said. “That pass that was blown up a week ago is nearby, and rumor has it that folks from this park did that job. Also said they repelled several attacks.”

“They all dead?” Morgan asked.

“Nobody knows,” Robbie said. “The enemy around Poway got destroyed. That’s the best news on here.”

“Who did it?”

“Sounds like Indians again,” Robbie said. “With help from the local population. Crap, they were gonna attack Santee too.”

“The enemy?” Morgan asked.

“Yeah,” Robbie said. “The population figured it out and counter attacked. It was a rout. There’s a bunch of pictures in here. Dead Islamists.”

“Wonder how martial law is gonna play into this?” Morgan asked.

“Martial law isn’t enforceable statewide,” Robbie said. “They’re fooling themselves if they think it is.”

“Who’s running the state?” Steve asked. “We know that Sable is taking a dirt nap. I don’t buy the hoax stories. Not even a little bit.”

“The major news outlets are still sticking to the story that he’s alive, and Ivan’s video was a hoax,” Robbie said.

“It’s not,” Morgan said. “The state has bitten off more than they can chew.”

Gil came up the stairs in gym shorts and a t-shirt, his hair wet from the shower. “Something happened. I’ve got LTE again.”

“Somebody blew up the tank at the checkpoint on Artesia,” Robbie said. “Ivan took credit.”

“That’s what that was,” Gil said. “Rumbled the shower.”

“Yeah, it was pretty loud,” Steve said. “There’s still smoke rising. See? Out the window to the balcony?”

“Yeah,” Gil said, stepping over to look. “Awesome.”

There was an explosion in the distance, and then another, coming from a different direction.

“You hearing this?” Gil asked.

“Ivan’s taking out more tanks, I’ll bet,” Robbie said.

“Let’s hope so,” Steve said.

“This is scary,” Coleen said, moving closer to Steve.

“You’re right about that,” Morgan said. “I wish we could leave. I’m expecting a knock on the door any time now.”

“They don’t know where we are,” Robbie said.

“I wouldn’t feel too safe,” Gil said. “They know your apartment got blown up. Wouldn’t be too hard for them to figure out where your parent’s house is.”

Morgan flashed a frightful look at Robbie. “He’s right.”

“I know,” Robbie said. “I suspect the UN has bigger fish to fry than us, though. Thanks to Ivan.”

“You’re probably right about that,” Steve said.

“I hope so,” Coleen said. “If the checkpoints are down again, maybe we should take off.”

“Take off to where?” Steve asked.

“My parent’s cabin,” she said. “It’s in Wrightwood.”

“That’s a long way,” Steve said.

“I know, but if the checkpoints are down, we can make it,” Coleen said.

“Risky, but it would be nice to be away from here,” Gil said.

“Are you suggesting we all go there?” Robbie asked.

“Something to think about,” Steve said. “If we’re gonna do it, we’ll have to time it well. If the checkpoints go down, it won’t be for long.”

“Maybe we ought to stay here and fight,” Robbie said.

“Fight?” Morgan asked. “We’ll get ourselves killed.”

“Hey, look. The TV screen just went black,” Gil said.

“Maybe Ivan’s coming on again,” Steve said.

“Hope so,” Robbie said. The screen came back up, showing the desk where Ivan spoke from in the last appearance. “Yes, it’s him.” He grabbed the remote and turned up the sound.

“There he is,” Morgan said, watching the man in a gangster suit with fedora saunter behind his desk and sit down, shadows hiding his face.

“This guy has a sense of style,” Gil said.

“That he does,” Morgan said, watching mesmerized.

“It’s me again. Ivan the Butcher. As you know, the corrupt enemies of the people attempted to take down the internet, in the hopes that it would stop the resistance,” He chuckled. “We have put it back up, and they can’t take it down again.”

“I really like this guy,” Gil said.

“He’s a criminal,” Coleen said.

“Yeah, but he’s our criminal,” Steve said.

“Quiet, he’s going to make more comments,” Robbie said.

“Many of the checkpoints in LA County have been destroyed again,” Ivan continued. “The UN and the traitors holding their leash think putting a few tanks at checkpoints will protect them from the people. They are sorely mistaken. See the evidence of our dominance.”

The screen showed video of burning checkpoints, focusing on the remains of ruined tanks and dead UN Peacekeepers. It went on for several minutes.

“Wow, I counted about twenty checkpoints,” Gil said. “Wonder how they’re blowing up the tanks?”

“The surveillance camera system installed by the corrupt, overreaching government has been destroyed,” Ivan said as the video continued to roll. “It will be difficult to put back together. You may go about your business without fear of reprisals due to video of your movements. The UN and their Islamist allies are now on camera themselves. Please note the locations of these bases on the banner at the bottom of the screen. Join us as we bring them to their destruction.”

The screen changed to a series of photos with the locations.

“Wow,” Robbie said. “They’re all over the place. How did this happen without anybody knowing?”

“Our press is against us,” Gil said.

“I just got an email,” Robbie said.

“Me too,” Gil said.

Robbie laughed. “Another email from Ivan, which has a listing of every base in California. This is great.”

“I got it too,” Morgan said, looking at her phone.

“Me too,” Steve said. “This guy is amazing.”

“Memorize this man’s face. His name is Saladin. He’s the leader of the Islamist fighters in the western United States. We will hunt him down like a dog. He’s currently running the state with this man, whose name is Daan Mertins.”

A picture showing each man, mugshot style, filled the screen.

“Daan Mertins is a kingpin in the Global Governance movement. His father was one of the founding fathers of the EU. This carpet-bagger is from Brussels. We are on his tail. I don’t expect to capture him. He has too much money. I expect him to leave the country. We have operatives in Europe waiting for him. Daan Mertins, you can run, but you can’t hide. We will track you down and kill you in your home country.”

“So it is true,” Robbie said. “Been hearing about these folks on the message boards for a while now.”

“Do not expect the California State Government or President Simpson to protect you. They will not ride to the rescue. They are behind this. They let the devil into our midst.”

A grainy photo showed on the screen. It was on airport tarmac with Airforce One in the background. The picture zoomed in on several men at the bottom of the steps out of the plane.

“Oh my God,” Robbie said. “Look at that. Saladin, Daan Mertins, Governor Sable, and President Simpson.”

“Who’s that other guy?” Steve asked.

“Looks like the Attorney General,” Robbie said.

“The Federal Government is behind this?” Morgan asked, her eyes filled with terror. “Why? What does this buy them?”

“Just as a reminder, please remember that Governor Sable realized his error and died for it,” Ivan said as the picture of Sable’s body showed on the screen. “The media tells you he is alive. He is not alive. He was killed by the UN. They say this is a hoax. I bring you a live picture of your governor now, direct from the morgue in Sacramento.”

A video came on the screen of several men in the morgue, in front of a bank of body cooler drawers. A man walked to one that had a big padlock on it. He aimed his gun at the lock and fired, the lock blasting apart. Then he pulled the drawer out and laid back the white cloth. The camera focused on Governor Sable’s lifeless face, eyes staring. Then the camera went to the feet of the corpse. The toe tag was held up to the camera. John Doe was written on the tag.

“Wow, look at that,” Robbie said.

“This is horrible,” Morgan said. “How’d we let our government get so out of control?”

“Apathy and an evil media,” Gil said. “Bastards.”

“Kind of late in life for a name change, eh?” Ivan said with a chuckle. “Go out and attack. The enemy is on the run. Do not comply. Do not submit. Kill UN Peacekeepers and Islamists where they stand. Shun the Federal Government. They are no longer legitimate. Don’t pay taxes. Don’t follow Federal Law. Burn Federal Buildings around the state. This is your land. Destroy the interlopers.”

The screen zoomed into a circle which got smaller and smaller, leaving a black screen. The network feed popped back up, people in the newsroom looking terrified.

“Wow,” Gil said.

“I can’t believe the President and the Governor were in on this,” Morgan said.

People could be heard cheering outside, up and down the street.

“Ivan knows how to get people fired up, I guess,” Gil said. He went out onto the balcony. “Yes!” he shouted. “Go Ivan!”

“That’s not a good idea,” Morgan said, glancing at Robbie.

“It’s not going to make any difference,” Robbie said. “This is going to become a shooting war very quickly. I see people starting to organize right now, on the internet.”

“Wonder if Ivan can really keep the internet up?” Steve asked.

“We’ll see,” Robbie said. Gil came in from the balcony.

“Proud of yourself?” Steve laughed, then glanced at Coleen, who didn’t look amused. “Shoot, you’re really scared.”

“I’ve got the keys to my folk’s cabin, and the cameras and checkpoints are down,” she said. “Can we leave? Please?”

“That trip might kill you guys,” Gil said.

“What do you think, Robbie?” Steve asked.

“There’s probably not a better time than now,” Robbie said. “Gil’s right, though. The trip might kill you.”

“Staying here might kill us too,” Coleen said.

“I can’t argue with that,” Robbie said. “It’s a bad situation all the way around.”

“Look, there’s a ruckus going on in the newsroom,” Gil said, nodding at the TV.

A man in a dark suit was approaching the anchor’s desk, yelling at the Anchor man as the weather person looked on in horror.

“Show the damn video,” the man in the dark suit said. Two gaffers rushed over and grabbed the man, pulling him away as video of Governor Sable at a meeting came up.

“That’s not recent video,” Robbie said. “Who do these guys think they’re fooling? I’ve seen that clip before.”

Popping sounds came from the news set.

“Oh, crap, somebody’s shooting!” Coleen said in horror.

They all watched as the anchor man and the weather person dropped behind the desk, bullets hitting the front of it. Then a gaffer was pushed out into camera range, a large wound on the back of his head gushing blood.

“Look out!” shouted somebody from off camera. The weather person ran off the set, somebody firing at her, hitting her in the back. She fell just out of the camera’s view.

“No!” the anchor man screamed as the man in the dark suit walked up with his pistol. He pointed it over the desk and shot the anchor man in the top of the head, blood spattering on the wall behind the desk. The screen went black.

“Oh my God,” Coleen cried, turning her head into Steve’s chest.

“Control of the state is unraveling fast,” Robbie said. “Things are gonna get crazy before they settle down.”

“You think they knew this was live?” Gil asked. “Can they really be that stupid?”

“Yeah they can,” Steve said.

“Let’s leave,” Coleen said. “Please?”

“My God,” Robbie said, eyes getting big.

“What happened now?” Gil asked.

“Texas. They just declared themselves a sovereign republic.”

“Texas seceded?” Morgan asked.

“That’s what this said,” he replied. “It happened earlier today. There was so much going on that it took me a while to get to the story.”

“They know the President is with Saladin and the Globalists,” Gil said. “That picture.”

“Yeah, that picture,” Robbie said.

To be continued…

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 4 – Texas Battle Cry is now available in the Kindle store!

 

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Bug Out! Texas Book 2 – The New Republic is now available in the Kindle Store. Pick up your copy of this exciting thriller today!

 

Bug Out! Texas has just been published in the Kindle Store! This is the story of Texas Patriots and their struggle against enemies, foreign and domestic, during the Bug Out! War. Chock full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance. Pick up your copy of Bug Out! Texas Book 1 today!

 

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Horror Road – A Supernatural Thriller! Available now in the Kindle Store

 

The first of my full length novels has been published in the Amazon Kindle store, available now. For those of you have have been readying the Bugout! series, the story involves George and Malcolm, and is set about seven years earlier. This book R rated, instead of the PG-13 of the Bugout! Series, so be warned. Here’s the link to “Never A Loose End”

 

 

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