Bugout! California Part 50 – Tunnel Warfare

 

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“Sam!” Sid asked, looking down at him, crumpled on the sand.

“Is he alive?” Yvonne asked.

“Yeah, he’s still breathing,” Sid said. “Where’s Connie?”

“Oh, God,” Yvonne said, looking around in a panic.

“There’s pieces of One Eye all over the ground,” Sid said, tears streaming down his cheeks.

They rushed around, finally seeing Connie, lying about thirty yards from Sam.

“Oh, no,” Yvonne said. “Still alive?”

“I can’t tell,” Sid said, getting down close to her. He listened. “She’s breathing, but it’s shallow. We have to get both to the hospital right away.”

“I’ll call John and have him bring his truck down here, with whatever blankets we can find in the vehicles.”

“Yeah, you do that,” Sid said.

Sam moaned. Sid ran over to him.

“Sid?” he said, groggy. “Where’s Connie?”

“Unconscious,” Sid said. “Yvonne’s calling John to get his truck down here. We’ll take you both to the hospital in La Quinta. It’s close.”

“One Eye?”

“Gone,” Sid said.

“Oh no,” Sam said, trying to sit up.

“No, relax for a few minutes,” Sid said.

“John and Sara are on the way,” Yvonne said. “I’m going to run up there and get our Jeep so we can follow them.”

“Good idea, honey. I’ll stay with them.”

“If Connie’s dead I’ll never forgive myself,” Sam said.

“That wasn’t your fault,” Sid said. “Don’t go there.”

“What’s the tribe going to do without One Eye?” he asked.

“The tribe will be fine. Don’t worry about anything right now.”

John’s truck came down the hill and around to the broken driveway. He rushed over.

“He’s alive?” John asked.

“Yeah,” Sid said. “He might have internal injuries. Connie isn’t conscious. You get some blankets?”

“Yeah,” John said, “They’re already spread out in the back. It’s not very clean back there, but it should be okay for a short trip. Sarah’s mapping the route to the hospital on the GPS.”

Sarah rushed over. “The closest place is JFK Memorial, on Monroe Street,” she said. “It’s not far. Ten minutes’ tops.”

“Maybe we should call for an ambulance instead,” John said.

“I think minutes are gonna count,” Sid said.

Yvonne drove up, three tribal warriors in the Jeep with her. They got out and rushed over, all of them crying.

“Let’s get them loaded,” Sid said.

They lifted Connie and put her carefully in the back of the truck, and then went back and fetched Sam, who was becoming more lucid.

“Okay, let’s go,” John said. Sarah got into the passenger seat.

“We’ll follow,” Sid said.

“Good,” John said, getting behind the wheel. The two couples took off down the road, hitting Monroe Street in less than five minutes. They arrived at the emergency room and Yvonne rushed to the counter.

“We’ve got two wounded people in our truck,” Yvonne said. “At least one of them is critical.”

“Wounded?” the orderly asked.

“Yeah,” Yvonne said. “Come on, let’s go.”

The orderly typed something on her computer, then called out for the paramedics, who rushed outside with gurneys.

Yvonne came over to John, Sarah, and Sid. “Well, that’s all we can do right now.”

“Oh, God, I hope they both survive,” Sarah said.

They sat down in the waiting room, looking like death warmed over.

***

Jules looked at his phone, shielding it, then shut it down. “Almost time.”

“Finally,” Robbie whispered. “Going stir-crazy.”

“Settle down, kid,” Tex whispered. “You’ll get plenty of action soon.”

“What’d they say?” Sparky asked.

“Audience almost full. Most of players backstage. Security heavy. Mister One say he see Blake down there.”

“As in Attorney General Blake?” Ted asked.

“Yeah, he’s big Fed who’s here,” Jules said. His phone buzzed. “Wait, something new.” He looked at his phone, then chuckled softly.

“What?” Cody whispered.

“It Ivan. Coup happening in DC. Just coming out on channels. Not on news yet.”

“You’re kidding,” Robbie whispered. “We still going?”

“Yes, we still go,” Jules said. “Kill bad guys while can.”

“Good,” Tex whispered. “Didn’t want to give up this kind of entertainment.”

Suddenly there were footsteps again, more than the times before.

“Freeze,” Sparky whispered. They watched as about two dozen UN Peacekeepers ran from the police station to the City Hall, all of them murmuring.

“I bet they hear about coup,” Jules whispered. Then his phone buzzed again. He looked at it, carefully shielding, and then locked the screen. “Two minute. We’ll hear shots. Then go.”

“Yes!” Tex said, picking up his weapon, and slipping some of the explosives into his pocket. The others did the same. They all quietly checked their weapons.

“Stacey, get ready with shotgun,” Jules said. “We clean hallway if anybody come. Rest hit police station.”

Shots rang out above them, and people’s screams floated down.

“Now,” Jules said. The men rushed down the tunnel as explosions rocked the area by the City Hall.

“Here comes men from City Hall,” Jules shouted. Stacey got to the junction and pointed his shotgun in that direction, pulling the trigger and reloading several times as the UN Peacekeepers yelled in panic, not even able to get off a shot.

Robbie, Tex, Sparky, Jordan, Cody, and Ted rushed down the hall towards the police station, rushing through the open door, firing at the UN Peacekeepers minding the door before they could react. Then they headed down the hall.

“You know where we’re going?” Robbie asked.

“Yeah, kid,” Sparky said, rushing down a long corridor.

“Where is everybody?” Tex asked as they ran.

“Twenty-four or so left, remember?” Sparky said. “Probably a lot of them in the theater too.”

“There’s the corridor where the cells are,” Sparky said. They raced down it. A door opened behind them. Jordan heard it and turned around. He waited until a few UN Peacekeepers went out, heading for the exit door. Jordan fired his M60, hosing down the hallway with lead, dropping all of them. Then he and Ted ran back down with Cody, going into the door and firing, men screaming for their lives. They emerged and got back behind the main group, who were just getting to the holding cell door. Tex put the plastic explosive and detonator on the lock and motioned for everybody to get back, pulling a remote switch out of his pocket. He blew it, the door bouncing open as women inside screamed. Then Robbie, Sparky, and Tex ran inside as the others watched the hall, waiting for more UN Peacekeepers to arrive.

“Robbie!” Morgan shouted, tears of joy running down her cheeks. Katie was next to her, crying as Tex put explosive on the cell door.

“Stand back, ladies, and face the wall,” Tex said. He got back and used his switch again, blowing the door open. “Everybody out. Let’s blow this joint.”

The women rushed out, Morgan rushing to Robbie and hugging him.

“Save that for later, little lady,” Tex said. “We aren’t out of here yet.”

They raced for the stairs, rushing up, Sparky and Jordan shooting several UN thugs who were rushing towards the stairwell. The women cued up behind them, then rushed forward when Sparky called to them.

“Ted, put claymore mines by stairwell and wait,” Jules said. “We collapse whole area before we leave.”

“C’mon, ladies,” Tex said, rushing to the back door. He looked out the wire-reinforced window into the parking lot behind the police station. “Wonder if they left keys in any of those UN Vans?”

“You go check, bring women out back,” Jules shouted. “We look for documents, then blow mines. Keep eyes open. Shoot out video cameras.”

“Roger that,” Tex said.

The women were led under a ledge along the back wall of the police station. Robbie and Jordan stood by them as Tex and Ted rushed to the nearest van. Tex got in, found the keys in the ignition, and started the engine. Robbie saw a video camera and shot it out with his rifle. They could hear the battle going on in the City Hall building.

“Better get that other van too,” Tex said. “Lot of girls to carry.”

“On it,” Ted said, getting into another van a couple spaces down. He got it started too, and both vans drove to the women, side doors facing the wall. Robbie and Jordan opened them and helped the women in, all of them scared to death.

Gunfire erupted from inside the police station. Robbie looked at Jordan, and they both ran over to the door, guns at the ready. Jules, Sparky, Cody, and Stacey burst through, turning to fire another volley. Jules had a briefcase in one hand. Stacey had the remotes for the claymore mines.

“Now?” Stacey asked.

“Yeah, blow to kingdom come,” he said.

Stacey grinned as he blew the mines. The explosion was so large that it blew the back door of the station right off its hinges.

“Let’s blow joint now,” Jules shouted, getting into the first van with Tex and Sparky, Robbie jumping in last and shutting the door. They raced towards the gate, the other van following right behind them.

“Oh no!” one of the women in the back cried. “The gates are shut.”

Tex chuckled and pointed to the opener hooked on the visor. “This probably opens it.” He pushed the button and the gate rolled away, both vans driving through.

“Where are you taking us?” another woman asked.

“Away from here,” Tex said.

“Robbie is my boyfriend,” Morgan said as he held her. “The big man in the passenger seat is my boss.”

“I know Robbie too,” Katie said.

“Kid, call friend,” Jules said. “If not him, hang up.”

Robbie nodded and pulled out his phone as they raced down Madrona towards 190th Street. He hit Justin’s contact and listened to it ring.

“Robbie,” Justin’s voice said, sounding scared. Robbie gave thumbs up to Jules.

“Where are you? We just rescued Katie.”

“Really? How?”

“Long story. Where are you?”

“I’m in one of the dugouts at the Alta Vista Park baseball diamonds. The one next to the parking lot.”

“Prospect and Knob Hill,” Robbie said to Jules.

“Good, we go,” Jules said. “Need more recruits.”

“Great,” Robbie said. “Justin, stay put. We’re coming in a UN Van.”

“UN Van?”

“Yeah, we just stole it,” Robbie said. “Here, I’m going to give you to Katie.” He handed his phone to Katie, and then hugged Morgan.

Jules went to the front of the Van. “Prospect and Knob Hill,” Jules said. “I call other van and send to safe house in Culver City. We meet them there afterwards.”

“Sounds like a plan, partner,” Tex said, grinning back at him. “You don’t think all this tooling around is going to get us caught?”

“We just cut head from snake,” Jules said. “They can’t find ass with both hand right now. Don’t worry. We still got machine guns, too.”

“True, we do,” Tex said. “I can pick up Prospect from 190th.”

Jules got on his phone and called Ted.

“Ted, activate plan to go to safe house. Wait for us there. We go to pick up recruit.”

“Got it,” Ted said. He continued down 190th as Tex turned left on Prospect.

“Who are you guys?” one of the women asked.

Jules sat down next to her. “You hear of Ivan the Butcher?”

Her eyes got wide. “Really?”

Sparky smirked. “Ivan is a resistance leader. We’re working for him.”

“What’s going to happen to us?” the woman asked, pushing her long black hair back. Her face was dirty and her clothes tattered, but she had an exquisite beauty that showed through.

“Our priority is to keep all of us alive and keep you safe,” Sparky said. “The worst place you can go right now is home, though. You know that, right?”

She was silent for a moment, then nodded yes.

“My name is Sparky. What’s yours?”

“Dana,” she said. “What about my family?”

“We have ways of finding things out,” Sparky said, “but this is gonna cause a real crap-storm. Relax. Everything is gonna be okay.”

Robbie looked at Morgan’s face. She was looking down, avoiding eye contact. “Hey, you okay?”

“I’m ashamed,” she said, starting to sob.

“This wasn’t your fault,” Robbie said. “I’m so sorry that I wasn’t able to stop them from taking you.”

“You don’t know what they’ve been doing to me…to us.”

“I have a pretty good idea,” Robbie said softly, petting her hair. She moved closer, clutching him, arms around his neck as she cried.

“Are we really getting Justin?” Morgan asked.

“Yes,” Robbie said.

“Why do they care?”

Robbie looked her in the eye. “We need recruits. I’m working for Ivan’s resistance now.”

“These people can be a little rough,” she whispered.

“They’re good people,” Robbie said. “Really. Especially Tex, Sparky, and Ted.”

“Ted? Your boss?”

“Yeah, he and Sparky go back years,” Robbie said. “Most of these guys were special forces. They’ve been training us.”

“You’ve killed more people?” Morgan asked.

“I killed that big dumb German guy who I was left with, and the two men they sent to check on him. Killed half a dozen UN Peacekeepers tonight, too, but most of the carnage happened at City Hall and in the Armstrong Theater.”

“Armstrong Theater?”

“Yeah, long story,” he said, his face changing. “Hey Jules, what happened to Mister One and Mister Two?”

Jules laughed. “They killed most people in theater, including dirty Attorney General and Regional Governor. They take off. Long gone.”

“How about the rest of the battle, partner?” Tex asked from the front.

“Rout,” Jules said. “Close to hundred enemy slugs. High ranking, most.”

“Wow,” Robbie said.

“Don’t get over-confident,” Sparky said. “This was just another battle. There will be more.”

“Can we join?” Dana asked. “If we want to?”

“You shoot, keep mouth shut, spy?” Jules asked.

“Will it result in the death of UN pigs?” she asked, hatred rising in her eyes.

“Hey, I like you already. Welcome to team.”

“You’d better explain how crazy this is gonna be before you start committing people to our operation,” Sparky said.

“Hey, kid, we’re almost to Knob Hill,” Tex said. “Where to from there?”

“Turn right, then take the next right, which leads into the parking lot. He’s at the baseball diamonds right next to the lot.”

“Okay, kid, get ready.”

“He’ll be ready,” Katie said, handing the phone back to Robbie. “He’s still on.”

“Justin?” Robbie asked.

“Yeah, man,” he said. “Thanks. I owe you big time.”

“Hey, I’m just glad we’re getting you back.”

“What happened to the others? Steve and Gil?”

“I have no idea,” Robbie said.

The van turned onto the street and rushed to the parking lot, both Tex and Sparky searching the area for trouble.

“Okay, kid, go get him while I turn this sucker around. I don’t like dead-end streets.”

Robbie nodded and slid the door open, bolting onto the parking lot.

Justin appeared from the dugout and ran over, then both of them got into the van. Robbie slammed the door shut. “Let’s go.”

“Hold on,” Tex said, speeding forward, going too fast for the little street, the van bouncing over the speed bumps.

“Hey, be careful,” Jules said. “You see something?”

“No, but like I said, I don’t like dead-end streets.” He turned right onto Knob Hill and took it down to Pacific Coast Highway, where he turned right.

Justin sat next to Katie, taking her into his arms, both crying.

“Thank God,” Katie said, rocking with him, cheeks sopping wet. “I’m a mess, and I stink.”

“I don’t care,” Justin said, looking at her, seeing the hurt in her eyes. “You had it rough in there.”

“They raped me over and over,” Katie said, the shame showing on her face.

“I’m so sorry, honey,” Justin said, hugging her tight.

Robbie looked at Jules. “You want to talk to him?”

“Later,” Jules said. “He be with woman now. We talk at safe house.”

***

Ji-Ho yelled for everybody on top of the ridge to gather around.

“What was that explosion?” Tyler asked, worry on his face. “Who got taken away in the truck?”

“Everybody hear me?” Ji-Ho asked.

Everybody looked at him, a few murmuring they could hear.

“I sorry to have to say,” Ji-Ho said. “Our dear friend One Eye killed in explosion.”

“Oh, God,” Kaitlyn said, crying, Megan running to her side. The other tribal members were crying or looking numb.

“What happened?” James asked, tears streaming down his face.

“Booby trap on supply containers,” Ji-Ho said. “Sam and his wife got thrown. Sam probably okay. Wife Connie may die.”

“Oh, geez,” Trevor said, pulling Kaylee close to him.

“I’m so sorry,” Seth said to Kaitlyn. She left Megan’s arms and fell into his, her head resting on his chest as she cried.

“He was my cousin,” she said.

“Angel,” Megan said, crying uncontrollably now, Angel trying to comfort her as she held him.

“What now?” one of the warriors asked.

“We go back camp,” Ji-Ho said. “Wait for news. Who second leader for tribe?”

“We have to elect a new leader,” Zac said. “The elders do it. They’re all back at camp.”

“They’re going to take this hard, man,” Tyler said.

“I know, I take hard,” Ji-Ho said, trying to hold back tears. “Let’s go.”

“We don’t want to sift through the stuff down there?” James asked.

“Maybe more booby trap,” Ji-Ho said. “We have what need. Let’s go. Be with loved ones. Pray for Sam and Connie.”

“I knew we were going to lose people,” Kaitlyn said. “Why’d it have to be him?”

“I know,” Megan said. “I’m surprised James can hold it together. They were close.”

“We’ll leave you two alone if you want us to,” Seth said softly. “I don’t want to intrude.”

“Yeah,” Angel said. “We can give you some time.”

Kaitlyn looked at Seth, stopping, putting her arms around his waist. “You make me feel better,” she said softly. “I’d rather be with you.”

“I’m glad,” Seth said, petting her black hair. “Whatever you need.”

Megan didn’t say anything. She just pulled Angel over and hugged him hard, sobs shaking her body. “Let’s stay together. Please?”

“Yes,” he said, tilting her head up to look into her eyes, feeling himself on the verge of tears again. “Let’s go.”

The weary group walked back towards their vehicles.

To be continued…

 

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Bugout! California Part 49 – The Furnance

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“They’re stopping,” Seth said. “We’re gonna have to split up now.”

“Can I drive the off-roader?” Kaitlyn asked.

“Sure, no problem,” Seth said as he shut down the Jeep’s engine. They got out and walked to the back, waving at Angel and Megan behind them.

“Her war paint looks a little smudged to me,” Kaitlyn whispered.

Seth smiled, looking at her in the darkness. “This is strange. I’m not scared. All I can think about is you.”

“Well snap yourself out of that,” she said. “Just focus on what you get if we live through this.”

Seth finished un-hitching the off-roader, and stashed the tow bar in the back of the Jeep. “Come here.”

Kaitlyn looked at him with aching eyes, then rushed over, setting her rifle down as he took her into his arms.

“Oh, Geez,” she said, feeling herself pressed against him. “You feel so good.”

“So do you,” Seth said, looking into her eyes. They kissed passionately, both of them moaning.

“Wow, that curled my toes,” Kaitlyn said, breath coming hard. “We’d better get going.”

“We’ve got a couple minutes,” Seth said. “Look at Angel and Megan.”

Kaitlyn looked back at them, Angel pressing the tiny girl up against the side of the Jeep, their mouths locked together. Kaitlyn groaned and pulled Seth back against her, kissing him again, tenderly this time. They broke the kiss and stared at each other.

“I wish I could say it already,” she whispered.

“Say what?” Seth asked.

“Hey you two, we need to go,” Trevor shouted from in front of them.

“I know,” Seth said. “I’m driving the Jeep. Kaitlyn’s driving the off-roader.”

“Okay,” Trevor said. He got into the off-roader, loading his bow and arrow, his M60, and his Winchester into the side seat. “See you there, man. Fight proud.”

“Damn straight,” Seth said.

“Guess I’d better get in,” Kaitlyn said. She turned to leave. Seth pulled her back again, kissing the side of her neck from behind. She turned and grinned at him. “Later.”

Seth rushed back to the Jeep, and the column took off slowly, poking along the rutted and uneven road, turning into a mere trail after half a mile. They drove over the dry creek, rocks hitting the dash plates as they hit bottom and climbed out. The space between the vehicles increased until they had to slow down again, hills breaking out on both sides of them.

One Eye and Ji-Ho were still in the lead, driving the Jeep Unlimited. Sam and Connie were in the off-roader behind them, a large two-seater with a storage compartment behind the seats.

Sid and Yvonne were in their Jeep, riding along silently, both of their minds racing. John and Sarah followed in their four-wheel drive truck, having a little more trouble with the road than the Jeeps and off-roaders.

“What if we get stuck?” Sarah asked, looking over at John in the dark cab.

John chuckled. “There’s a lot of Jeeps here with winches. If we get stuck, we’ll be out in a hurry.”

“Are you scared?”

“If I wasn’t I’d be crazy,” John said.

“You’ve impressed me,” she said, choking up. “I thought I was losing you to the drinking before this started.”

“I know, honey,” John said. “As bad as this is, it’s given me a second chance with you.”

“I wasn’t going to leave you,” she said quietly.

“I know, but you only looked at me with disappointment back then. Now I see the old looks. You want me again.”

She reached over and touched his thigh. “I always wanted you. You were leaving me. Now you’re back.”

John chuckled, looking in his rear-view mirror.

“What’s so funny?”

“Clem,” John said. “An old man tooling around in an off-roader. He’s having the time of his life.”

“I hope he’s careful,” Sarah said. “He’s too smart to lose.”

“He’ll be okay,” John said. “In case you haven’t noticed, he’s a tough old bird.”

“So are you,” Sarah said.

John’s phone buzzed. He fished it out of his pocket and handed it to Sarah. “Check that. Probably telling us to turn off the headlights.”

She opened the message app. “Yep. We gonna be able to drive without the lights?”

“We’ll have to slow down a tad,” John said as he turned his headlights off. He saw other headlights going off in his rear-view mirror. “This means we’ll be there in about five minutes.”

“I know,” Sarah said, voice wavering. “I’m getting scared.”

“We’ll be fine,” John said. “Just stick near me. You remember how to work the M-16, right?”

“I think so,” she said. “No, I do know how. I’m just nervous.”

“You’ll do fine. We’ll take these cretins on and win. I can feel it.”

“Hope you’re right,” Sarah said. “This is for our friends back at the RV Park. That makes it easier. Mad is better than scared.”

“Yep, use it,” John said. “Look, they’re slowing down.”

“Oh, God,” she said. “Okay. I can do this.”

“Yes you can,” John said, pulling off to the side. He spun the truck around so it was pointing back at the road. “Just in case we have to beat a hasty retreat.”

“Look, everybody is doing that,” Sarah said.

They got out and met with the group of people by the lead car.

“Keep your voices down,” One Eye said. “It will carry further than you think it will.”

People nodded, their speech coming down to a dull murmur.

“Bow team, come up here,” One Eye said.

Sam rushed up with Sid and Yvonne. James walked over, cross bow and quiver on his shoulder, followed by Tyler and Ryan.

“We need a few of the M60s up here too,” One Eye said. “To take out their mortars.”

Trevor stepped forward, M60 on a sling, Winchester in his hand. Kaylee was by his side holding an M-16.

“Seth, maybe you should be up here too,” Tyler said. “And Angel.”

“We’re coming,” Seth said quietly, walking up with Kaitlyn. Angel and Megan followed. A couple dozen young warriors approached too.

“Okay, as soon as you hear gunfire, rush over and be ready to attack. Mortar team, you know what to do?”

“We ready,” Ji-Ho said. Several tribal members joined them with their rounds and mortars, nodding silently to Ji-Ho.

“Okay, if no shots, start towards the ridge in five minutes,” One Eye said. “Unless I text you to stand down. Be careful. We don’t want any guns going off until we’re ready.”

The team murmured amongst themselves as One Eye picked up his bow and his rifle. The bow team started forward, picking their way down the trail in almost total darkness. The mortar team followed about a hundred yards behind.

“How do you feel?” Sam whispered to One Eye.

“Good. I think we’ll win, but it will be a tough battle.”

Sam nodded.

Trevor and Kaylee walked with Angel and Megan, Seth and Kaitlyn following them.

“Nervous?” Trevor asked.

“More like scared shitless,” Kaylee said. “You believe all that crap my uncle was saying about the family?”

“Yes,” Trevor said. “I can see it in your eyes sometimes. The way they sharpen and focus.”

Kaylee giggled. “Oh brother.”

“I’m serious,” Trevor said. “You’ll kick ass. Wait and see.”

“I can’t shoot like you can.”

“Maybe not yet,” Trevor said. “You’ll learn a lot tonight.”

Sid and Yvonne followed One Eye and Sam.

“You okay, honey?” Sid asked.

“We’ve been to this rodeo before,” Yvonne said. “Remember?”

“Yes, you can shoot rifles better than I can,” Sid said. “I probably got you on the bow, though.”

“No doubt,” Yvonne said.

“Look, you can see a glow past that next ridge,” Sid whispered.

“Hope they aren’t watching too closely,” Yvonne said. “They’ll see us for sure.”

“Keep your eyes open and your mouths closed,” One Eye whispered back at the group. “Try not to scuffle your feet too much.”

The group snuck forward as the ground rose to the ridge. They could hear talking and laughing and Arabic ramblings. One Eye turned and looked at the group holding bows, motioning for them to fan out to the left and right.

“Here we go,” Sid whispered as they went to the left.

“There’s one, honey,” Yvonne whispered. “See him? Sitting down on the ridge, watching the canyon instead of the approach.”

“Dummy,” Sid whispered as they crept towards a good cover spot.

Sam and One Eye went to the right, James and Tyler in the middle. Other’s filled in.

Trevor stopped at the ridge and hit the dirt, Kaylee getting on the ground next to him. Seth and Kaitlyn dropped to their right, Angel and Megan to the left.

“We’re ready,” Trevor whispered, putting the M60 in front of him. He caught Sid letting an arrow go out of the corner of his eye, dropping one of the sentries. “Scratch one.”

“He’s good,” Kaylee whispered, sighting her M-16. We might have to shoot the ones on the far side of the ridge.”

Another arrow flew from the right side, Seth catching it as it shot from Sam’s bow. A sentry on that side dropped, struck through the upper back. Another dropped about sixty yards past that one.

“That was a hard shot,” Trevor whispered.

Sid and Yvonne snuck further to the left, trying to make it to the other side of the canyon, where there was another sentry, paying more attention to the food he was eating than to the ridge. Sid let an arrow fly, hitting a good kill zone on his side.

Trevor got a text. He looked at his phone, shielding the light from the screen.

“Who?” Kaylee whispered.

“Ji-Ho. He wants me to spot for the mortars.”

“Oh. Hope they don’t fall short and hit us.”

“Seriously.”

James raised his crossbow at a sentry across the wide canyon, and let the arrow fly.

“That’s got to be out of range,” Kaylee whispered. The sentry clutched his chest and fell, but somebody to his right noticed and started to yell in Arabic.

“They’re onto us,” Trevor said.

Kaylee fired her M-16, shooting two sentries who were running forward to the cusp of the ridge in front of them.

“Damn, girl,” Trevor said, laughing. “C’mon, let’s get up there and find their mortar emplacements.”

The three couples crawled forward on their bellies as fire erupted from below.

“There,” Seth said, aiming the M60 at several men running to a mortar, frantic to get it working. He pulled the trigger, hitting several of them. Kaitlyn fired her AK-47, hitting the mortar itself, then trying to hit the box of rounds next to it.

“Good idea,” Seth said, concentrating M60 fire until the box of shells blew up big.

“Nice shot, dude,” Angel said. He strafed the area around the second mortar with his M60, Megan joining him. Then there was a pop and a large explosion, hitting the ridge on the far side. Sid and Yvonne ran back from that area, almost getting hit.

Trevor texted to Ji-Ho. “Bring in twenty yards.” Kaylee fired at the fleeing men below, hitting several as they ran in a panic towards the opening of the canyon.

“Look, here comes the rest of our people,” Kaylee shouted, looking behind them. They hit the dirt and opened up, thousands of rounds going off in short order. The enemy fighters ran in a panic, not knowing which direction to go.

The mortar fired again, this time hitting the side wall of the canyon about twenty yards above the floor, sending rocks and dust into the eyes of everybody nearby. Trevor sent him a text to come in another ten yards.

“Pour fire on them!” John shouted, firing his BAR, mowing down the men below. Sarah joined him, firing at the fleeing men. The mortar popped again, this time landing right in the middle of a large group of panicked Islamists.

“Bullseye!” Trevor shouted, texting to Ji-Ho. “Keep aimed there, load with Willie Pete. Then move to the left another fifty yards”

“I’m going over there,” Kaitlyn said, pointing left. “Too many of these creeps are getting out of the canyon.”

“Yeah,” Seth said. They got up together and ran to the left just as the Willie Pete hit, the hot air rushing towards them. Both dived for cover.

“What was that?” Kaitlyn asked, eyes full of terror.

“Willie Pete,” Seth said, looking over the ridge at the burning people below. “My God.”

“It’s like a furnace, dude,” Angel said as he ran up with Megan. “Where you guys going?”

“The mouth of the canyon,” Kaitlyn said. “That’s where they’re all running now. We don’t want them to escape.

“I just texted Ji-Ho to plant some mortar rounds there.”

Suddenly two mortar rounds went off, both by the mouth of the canyon, hitting the gasoline tanks.

“Whoa,” Seth said. “Glad we didn’t make it there before those tanks went up.”

The gunfire slowed way down. Sid and Yvonne ran along the far side of the ridge, getting to the canyon opening and firing at fleeing men.

“Look, there’s some trucks,” Yvonne said, aiming at them. She fired.

“We need more people down on this end, or those guys are gonna drive away.”

“Seriously,” Yvonne said. She took out her phone and texted to the group. “Get to mouth of canyon and destroy vehicles.”

“Somebody else figured this out,” Seth said to Kaitlyn as they rushed over.

“Wow, look at all their trucks,” Kaitlyn shouted, dropping to one knee and firing. “This isn’t big enough. Use the M60.”

“On it,” Seth said, laying on the ground and opening fire. He shot tires and radiators as quickly as he could, as fleeing Islamists tried to get into the trucks. Some of them began returning fire.

“Look out!” Trevor said, firing his M60. It stopped. “Crap.”

“What?” Kaylee asked.

“Out of ammo,” he said, pulling his Winchester up. He took a bead and started cocking and firing, hitting a fleeing person with each shot.

“My God, that guy’s good,” Kaitlyn said as she watched. Seth ran out of ammo for the M60 too, and picked up his Winchester.

“I’m not as good as he is,” Seth said, firing off rounds, slower than Trevor, but still hitting most of the people he fired at. Kaitlyn changed clips and started up again with the AK-47. Rock chips flew at them, one of them hitting her in the right cheek.

“Ouch,” she cried, but shook it off and fired again, concentrating on anybody she saw that was aiming a gun in their direction, squeezing off rounds one at a time.

“You’re good,” Seth said.

“So are you,” Kaitlyn said. “I’m impressed.”

“Good,” Seth said, smiling, then aiming his Winchester again, hitting a man who was about to get into the cab of a truck.

“Good, here comes my uncle,” Kaylee said, watching Ji-Ho quickly set up the mortar again. He dropped in a round, hitting behind the trucks about fifty yards, then making a quick adjustment as the other men with mortars showed up near him. He dropped another round, which went off right in the middle of the vehicles, close enough to another gas tank to set it off.

“Wow,” Megan said. “This is just about over.”

“I can’t believe we did this well,” Angel said. “I don’t think we’ve lost anybody.”

“We caught them by surprise,” Trevor said. “And they were in a bad place. This size of force should have been able to take us.”

“Look, headlights coming towards the canyon,” Kaitlyn said, pointing.

“We’d better get those folks,” Megan said. “I don’t have enough range. Then two of the mortars went off, one going wide, the other hitting the lead truck on the road.

“Yes,” Trevor shouted.

Sam and One Eye ran over with a box. “Here, reload the M60s,” Sam said, dumping a box of ammo next to Seth and Angel. They reloaded as quickly as they could. Sam and One Eye continued down the line, stopping at the opening of the box canyon and reloading their machine guns. Everybody opened fire on the trucks, which were trying to leave now. Ji-Ho dropped another mortar round, hitting the last truck, blocking the road. The other mortars joined in, blowing up the rest of the trucks after a few more shots. Then there was silence.

“Is it over?” Kaylee asked. Trevor looked at her and grinned. “I think it might be. We need to watch that road and see if anybody else shows up.”

Sam and One Eye stood and looked at the smoldering mess below them. Every so often there was a rifle shot, stopping an enemy fighter.

“This was too easy,” One Eye said.

“We had an extreme tactical advantage, and the element of surprise,” Sam said. “We won’t be this lucky next time.”

“Who’s that coming down the far side of the canyon?” One Eye asked. “Shoot, that’s Sid and Yvonne.

“We’d better get down there,” Sam said. “See if there’s any intelligence we can gather.”

“Yeah, but let’s not send many people into that canyon. It’s a death trap.”

“You got that right,” Sam said. “C’mon.”

“I’m going too,” Connie said, sweat coming off her brow.

“You did good,” Sam said. “I saw you shooting.”

“It’s funny,” she said. “After it started, I wasn’t scared anymore.”

They went down the hill together. Others started to join them.

“Stop,” One Eye said. “We don’t want many people down there. Stay up here and watch the road and the surrounding desert. Be ready to attack anybody you see coming.”

Ji-Ho stood up. “I shoot flares, okay?”

“Yeah, let’s light up the area,” Sam said. “Good idea.”

Ji-Ho adjusted his mortar to shoot further up, then dropped a flare, which cast a dim light over the area. Everybody watched for movement. All they saw was empty desert.

Sid and Yvonne walked carefully through the wreckage of the trucks, guns at the ready as they peeked inside the backs. They saw Sam, Connie, and One Eye coming towards them, doing the same thing.

“This was too easy,” Sid said to Sam.

“One Eye was just saying the same thing,” Sam said. “Not sure I agree.”

“Why not?” Yvonne asked.

“These folks aren’t professionals,” Sam said. “They’re a bunch of un-trained privates. They should’ve been on those mortars right away. Hell, I’ll bet they didn’t even have them aimed properly.”

One Eye thought about it for a moment. “You might be right about that. Three of their sentries weren’t even looking at the ridges. They were watching something down in the canyon.”

“What’s in those shipping containers over there?” Sid asked, pointing at a row of ten. They were against the wall of the canyon, on the side that was hidden from view.

“Whoa,” Sam said. “If we’re lucky those are full of ammo and weapons.”

“Be careful around those,” Sid said. “They might be booby trapped or something.”

“I’m gonna go check them out,” One Eye said. “Wait here.”

“We’ll cover you,” Sam said. They all watched as he hurried to the first one. He turned and looked at the others. “Hell, this doesn’t even have a padlock on it.”

“Don’t touch that!” Sam yelled as One Eye’s hand touched the door lever. He pushed it, and it exploded, blowing One Eye apart and setting off a chain reaction in the other containers. Sam felt his body being lifted and thrown, landing in the sand twenty yards back.

To be continued…

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 5 – Wave of Patriots – next in the series is now available in the Kindle store, free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

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!

 

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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 48 – Dark Journey

IMG_1563

“Let’s saddle up,” One Eye shouted as the sun sank below the western hills.

“There’s our cue,” Trevor said, still lying next to Kaylee in their tent. They had slept for a mere half an hour.

“It’s gonna be a long night,” she said.

“I know, but we’re young,” Trevor said. “We’ll handle it fine.”

They got up and left the tent, Trevor zipping it shut. People were converging on the row of vehicles, now stretching almost two hundred yards.

“Man, we got a lot of vehicles,” Angel said, getting beside Trevor and Kaylee. Seth joined them.

“Where’s your uncle?” Seth asked.

“He’s riding with One Eye and Sam,” Kaylee said. “Where’s your girlfriend?”

“Staying here I hope,” Seth said. “See, I’m not going to deny it.”

“Me neither,” Angel said. “I was dreaming about Megan.”

Trevor chuckled. “Don’t you know better than to tell us something like that?”

Kaylee laughed.

“Hey, wait for us,” Kaitlyn said, rushing over with Megan. She got next to Seth and took his hand again. Both of them had on dark jeans and black shirts.

“You’re going?” he asked, freezing for a moment when he saw the war paint on her face. “Whoa.”

She giggled. “There’re many parts of our culture that I love.”

“Me too,” Megan said, taking Angels hand, face beaming behind her war paint.

“You two don’t look nervous at all,” Kaylee said.

“Why should we be nervous?” Kaitlyn asked. “We need to be at our best tonight.”

“That’s a cool rifle,” Seth said, looking at her AK-47. It was accented with colorful beading and scraps of leather.

“Wow, yours is cool too,” Angel said as he looked at it, decorated in a similar way.

“How good are you guys?” Seth asked.

“We’ve been shooting and hunting since we were about five,” Megan said. “We’re gonna make short work of these punks.”

“What’s that you’ve got on the sling?” Kaitlyn asked Seth.

“M60 machine gun,” Seth said. “Kinda heavy, but it’s got it where it counts.”

“Is that all you’re bringing?” Kaitlyn asked.

“No, I’ve got my M-16 and my Winchester .44 mag lever gun in the Jeep.”

“You’ve got a Winchester?” she asked. “Love those. I learned how to shoot with my grandpa’s Model 1892.”

“Nice!” Seth said.

“Can I ride with you?” Kaitlyn asked.

“Of course,” Seth said.

“I want to ride with Angel,” Megan said.

“I’d love it,” Angel said.

Trevor and Kaylee shot each other a glance, smiling.

“We might have to split up when we unhitch the off-roaders,” Seth said to Kaitlyn as they got in their Jeep.

“I know, but that’ll be a couple hours from now,” Kaitlyn said. “Nice time to get to know each other a little better.”

Seth started the Jeep and drove forward as the vehicles in front of him moved.

“This is going to be pretty, I’ll bet,” Seth said. “I love the desert at night.”

“I know, me too. The place we live isn’t that much different from here.”

“Where’s that?” Seth asked.

“Barona Reservation,” she said. “We’re gonna have to rebuild a lot when we go home. The Islamists burned parts of it to the ground.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that,” Seth said. “You lose any people?”

“We did in the last battle,” she said. “It could have been a lot worse, though. We’ll lose people tonight.”

“I know,” Seth said. “Hope it’s nobody I love.”

“Me too. Let’s not think about that.”

“Okay,” Seth said. “I’m surprised you don’t have a boyfriend. You’re so gorgeous.”

“Stop,” she said, flashing him an embarrassed smile.

He chuckled. “You don’t know, do you?”

“Do you know how handsome you are?” she asked.

Seth was quiet for a moment. “Touché. No, I don’t think of myself as handsome, particularly.”

“I think you’re handsome,” she said. “Kaylee said I was just your type. What did she mean?”

Seth glanced at her, wishing he didn’t have to watch the road.

“Well?” she asked.

“I like women with curves and a pretty face,” he said. “Not unusual, though. Most guys do.”

“So you wouldn’t have been attracted to Megan like you are to me?”

“Oh, I’m attracted to you, am I?”

Kaitlyn giggled. “I know the look you gave me.”

Seth glanced at her again. “Okay, you found me out. You’re one of the most attractive girls I’ve ever seen. I would’ve been after you regardless of the situation.”

“My hips are too big,” she said.

“They’re perfect,” Seth said. “You’ve had boyfriends, I’m sure.”

“Yeah,” she said. “I’m a little too controlling. High maintenance. You’ll have to understand that if we’re gonna work.” She put her hand to her mouth.

“What?”

“Listen to me. I’m talking as if you’re my boyfriend. I’m sorry.”

“I’m not,” Seth said, glancing at her again.

“I can be a little jealous too,” she said. “That’s killed more than one of my relationships.”

“I can handle those traits,” Seth said. “I tend to gravitate towards women like that. I like their strength.”

“I think jealousy is more of a weakness than a strength. You’ve had girlfriends like that?”

“Yes,” Seth said. “The last one, for instance. Full disclosure, we broke up very recently, although I was done with the relationship for a few months.”

“Where is she?”

“I don’t know,” Seth said with a grim expression. “She left our group when she found out that we attacked Saladin, along with two of my friends and some others. We’re pretty sure they got captured.”

“Oh no,” Kaitlyn said. “How do you know?”

“Long story,” he said.

“It’s a long drive.”

“True,” Seth said. He told her the whole story, from when the trouble first started. She hung on every word, watching him in the darkness.

“Wow,” she said. “That’s crazier than what we’ve been through.”

“What are you talking about?” Seth said. “You had to flee your home, and it got burned down. You barely escaped with your life.”

She was silent for a moment. “You have a point. Do you still want to find Emma?”

“Of course,” he said. “She’s a human being. I don’t want to be with her again. We never worked.”

“She wasn’t your type? Like me?”

Seth chuckled. “She was very pretty in a blonde cheerleader sort of way. She approached me, and I went with it because of her looks and her popularity. We had some good times at first, but we were a disappointment to each other.”

“Maybe I’ll be the same way,” Kaitlyn said.

Seth was quiet for a moment. Then he glanced at her again. “Look, we just met. We barely know each other. That takes time. There is one thing that sets you apart in my mind, though.”

“What’s that?”

“It was my gut reaction the first time I saw you,” Seth said. “You really knocked my socks off. I wish I didn’t have to drive.”

“Why?”

“So I could hold you and look into those gorgeous brown eyes,” he said.

“Oh, God,” she said. “You know how to say the right things to me.”

Seth smiled, glancing at her again, feeling himself tremble. She touched his thigh and noticed.

“You okay?” she asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“You didn’t feel this way with Emma?”

Seth laughed. “This is gonna sound corny as hell. I’ve never had that reaction with anyone before.”

“Good,” she said softly. “Me too.”

“Really?”

“Really,” she said.

“Maybe it’s the time.”

She smiled at him. “Yeah, and maybe it’s us. We’ll see.”

They rode silently for a while, both of their minds racing. Seth could feel her looking at him. It made him feel warm all over.

“What do you do?” she asked.

“I’ve been in school, and working part time,” he said.

“For what?”

“Computer Science,” he said. “But I spent time as a music major too, and as a business major. How about you?”

“Accounting,” she said. “Wasn’t that far from taking the CPA exam when all this crap started.”

“Were you gonna work outside the tribe?”

“Yeah, probably,” she said. “I planned to donate a certain amount of time to the tribe, though.”

“You want to live on the reservation when this is over?”

She chuckled. “I don’t think I’d want to be too far away from it. It’s a nicer lifestyle than most people think.”

“What if we work?”

“Oh, so now you’re thinking ahead, huh?” she asked.

“It’s just conversation.”

“Uh huh,” she said. “We’ll have to talk about that. You can live on the reservation if that’s what we choose to do. Happens all the time. It’s encouraged, in fact.”

“Really? Why?”

“Because of our kids, silly,” she said. “I think we have a little time to think about all of this.”

Seth laughed. “Yeah, I guess we do.”

“You want kids?”

“Hmm,” he said. “Yeah, I think so. I haven’t thought about it much.”

“You didn’t have those kind of conversations with Emma?”

“No,” Seth said. “Not seriously, anyway. I think we both knew it would be a passing thing.”

“Nobody else?” she asked.

“No,” Seth said. “I’m not that old, you know.”

She chuckled. “How old are you?”

“How old are you?” he asked.

“I asked you first.”

“Oh, we’re playing it that way, are we? I’m twenty-four.”

She laughed. “Good grief.”

“Well, how old are you?

“Twenty-four,” she said. “We kinda fit each other like a glove.”

Seth cracked up. “Yeah, except for coming from completely different backgrounds, that is.”

They both laughed. “What is your background, Seth?”

“Northern European,” he said. “British Isles and Scandinavian, mostly.”

“That ought to make for interesting kids.”

“They’d be beautiful,” he said, feeling himself tear up.

***

Robbie woke up, the hard concrete of the dark tunnel hurting his back. He pulled his phone out and checked the time. Almost ten am.

“You wake,” Jules whispered. “Sleep okay?”

“No, I didn’t fall asleep until after three,” Robbie whispered back. “See any activity?”

“Yeah, twice I see UN thugs in passage way. They not look down here.” He handed the food bag to Robbie, who took out a package of trail mix and handed it back.

Jules’s phone buzzed. He looked at it.

“Text message,” he whispered, holding it up to Robbie.

“UN setting up more chairs on stage, ask me to turn on lights. I do.”

“Mister one,” Robbie whispered. Jules nodded, then typed a reply.

“Pass that food over here,” Tex whispered.

Robbie picked the bag up from next to Jules and passed it over quietly. Then they heard footsteps.

“Shut down that phone,” Tex whispered.

Jules nodded and locked the screen as three UN Peacekeepers walked down the tunnel towards City Hall.

Robbie sighed with relief as the sound of the footsteps faded.

“Hope none of those guys come down here with a flashlight,” Ted whispered.

Sparky was awake now, and nodded in agreement. “Pass me that empty bottle.”

Jules snickered and passed it over.

They sat silently for what seemed like hours. Robbie looked at his phone. Barely an hour had passed.

“Bored, kid?” Tex asked.

“You’re not?”

“Oh, yeah, I’m bored,” Tex said. “But I’m also excited. We’re gonna kill a whole lot of UN slugs tonight, and hopefully get your little lady back.”

Robbie nodded.

Ted woke up and stretched. “What time is it?” he whispered.

“About eleven,” Jules said. “Mister One say stage being set up.”

“Hope nobody goes up there,” Jordan whispered.

“Oh, you wake too,” Jules whispered.

Footsteps approached again, this time coming from the City Hall side of the tunnel. Everybody held their breath as the men walked by.

“Dammit, ten or eleven hours of this crap to go,” Tex whispered.

“Be patient my friend,” Jules whispered. His phone buzzed again. He looked at it, trying to shield so light didn’t escape. “Ivan text.” He read it silently.

“What’s going on, partner?” Tex asked.

“Big attack tonight to the east,” Jules whispered. “Ivan worried.”

“He’s always worried,” Sparky whispered. “Who?”

“You remember Ji-Ho? Sam?”

“No way,” Ted whispered. “Wish those two were here.”

“We be fine,” Jules said. “They attack supply depot in Coachella Valley.”

“Quiet,” Sparky whispered as another set of footsteps approached. This time it was a larger group. Five UN Peacekeepers, laughing and joking with each other as they walked towards the police station.

Robbie gritted his teeth.

“What, kid?” Sparky.

“I was just wondering how many of those creeps raped my girlfriend,” Robbie whispered.

“Anger good, but control,” Jules whispered, shooting him a sidelong glance.

Robbie nodded, trying to push the hatred down to a reasonable level. It wasn’t easy.

They sat silently for another long period of time, all of them in their own minds. Then Jules grabbed his phone.

“Text,” he said, reading it quickly and locking the screen. He looked at Sparky and Tex, grinning.

“What?” Sparky whispered.

“This gonna work,” Jules whispered.

Tex and Sparky looked at him. He chuckled.

“What, dammit?” Sparky asked.

“UN Thug come into control room, talk to Mister One about change to lighting and sound. They follow instruction. UN Thug tell Mister One and Mister Two they do good job, then leave.”

Tex chuckled softly. Sparky shook his head, a grin forcing its way onto his face.

***

One Eye drove the Jeep Unlimited, Ji-Ho riding shotgun, Sam and Connie in the back.

“What chances?” Ji-Ho asked.

“If we can surprise them, and if they don’t start flinging willie pete up at us, probably sixty percent,” One Eye said.

“That low?” Connie asked, her voice wavering.

“For a total victory, that’s pretty good,” Sam said, putting his hand on her thigh.

“This is scary,” she said.

“It war,” Ji-Ho said. “Very unpredictable.”

“Based on those pictures of their box canyon, I think our chances are a little better than that,” Sam said. “We’ve got willie pete too, you know. We can turn that canyon into a lake of fire.”

“Yes, but we must sight mortars in. They should have setup now,” Ji-Ho said.

“As soon as we take care of the sentries, we need to open up on the mortar positions with the M60s and the BARs,” Sam said.

“We toss grenades too,” Ji-Ho said. “Boom.”

“How close can we drive?” Connie asked.

“There’s a ridge about three-hundred yards away from the canyon,” One Eye said. “We’ll park back there and send the bow and arrow team in, along with several people armed with grenades.

“Wish we had laser target designators and air cover,” Sam said.

One Eye laughed. “Yeah, that would be nice.”

“Too bad drone blow up,” Ji-Ho said. “That be nice too.”

“You didn’t waste that,” Sam said. “You almost got Saladin. That was worth a try.”

“He duck,” Ji-Ho said.

One Eye snickered. “Wonder if he crapped his pants when he knew what you were about to do?”

“He professional,” Ji-Ho said. “He hunting me now. Glad captured people didn’t hear where we come.”

“Captured people?” Connie asked.

“Most of Ji-Ho’s group took off when they found out he tried to take out Saladin,” Sam said. “They got captured and gave up his position at the RV Park in Temecula. The enemy attacked.”

“They try to attack,” Ji-Ho said. “Cut in half with mini-gun.”

“Wish I could’ve seen that,” One Eye said. “Hell, I wish we could bring the battle wagon around.”

“Where is it?” Connie asked.

“We park in clearing, before road bad,” Ji-Ho said. “It live to fight another day.”

“The road is getting worse,” Sam said.

“You ain’t seen nothing yet,” One Eye said. “We’ll have to unhitch the off-roaders before too long.”

“Listen,” Sam said. “Sounds like a chopper.”

“Crap,” One Eye said, turning off his headlights. He fished his phone out of his pocket and handed it to Ji-Ho. “Send text to the top group. Off with the lights.”

“Hope we weren’t too late,” Connie whispered.

“Done,” Ji-Ho said. Lights behind them went out.

“See it?” One Eye asked.

“Looking out the side windows,” Sam said. “Nope. It’s black outside, though. Very little moonlight.”

“That good,” Ji-Ho said.

“The sound is going away,” Connie said. “Listen.”

Sam rolled down the window and stuck his chest out, looking to the rear. “It’s not coming this way. I see it now, barely. It’s military. Probably out of San Diego.”

“Free zone,” One Eye said, looking relieved. “They’re on our side, by the way.”

“I’ve heard rumors to that effect,” Sam said.

“Me too,” Ji-Ho said.

They hit a hard bump. “Dammit,” One Eye said. “Think it’s safe to turn the lights back on?”

“Yeah,” Sam said. “Can’t even see the choppers anymore.”

One Eye turned his headlights back on, then looked over at Ji-Ho. “Spread the word, man.”

“I do,” Ji-Ho said, typing on One Eye’s phone.

“What happens after this battle?” Connie asked.

“We go home and plan the next attack,” One Eye said.

“Where’s home?” Connie asked. “Camp?”

“Yes, for now,” One Eye said.

“We don’t know the next target, do we?” Sam asked.

“No,” One Eye said. “I was in some discussions about a month ago. I know some of the possibilities.”

“What they?” Ji-Ho asked.

“Barstow,” One Eye said. “Originally Blythe, but they moved that depot here.”

“Oh, really? Wonder why?” Connie asked.

“Less remote, probably,” One Eye said. “After we destroy this one, they might try to set that one up again.”

“Where else?” Sam asked.

“Buttonwillow,” One Eye said.

“Where hell that?” Ji-Ho asked.

“West of Bakersfield,” Connie said. “I’ve been there. It’s not nice. On I-5, so it’s probably a good place for a depot.”

“Why did you go there?” Sam asked.

“College friend,” she said. “Grew up there. Always said it was a nice place to be from.

“You plan return to reservation?” Ji-Ho asked.

“Of course,” One Eye said. “We’ll have to rebuild quite a bit.”

“I wonder what happened to our RV Park?” Connie said, a faraway look in her eyes.

“We’ll get it back someday, honey,” Sam said.

“If we survive,” she said. “We might not.”

“Don’t dwell on that,” One Eye said. “Bad before battle.”

“I’ll try,” Connie said. “It’s hard.”

“I know, honey,” Sam said.

“Hey, One Eye, you see my boys and your maidens?” Ji-Ho asked, grinning.

One Eye snickered. “Kaitlyn and Megan. Hope they aren’t behaving too badly.”

“They’re lovely girls,” Connie said. “So beautiful.”

“I talked sternly to them before you guys arrived,” One Eye said to Ji-Ho. Then he chuckled. “I’m not worried. If your boys aren’t worthy, they won’t last long with either of them.”

“They worthy,” Ji-Ho said. “We fight together. They men. Warriors in own right.”

“Good,” One Eye said. “Time to unhitch the off-roaders. We’re coming up to the dry creek. Can’t tow over that mess.”

He slowed to a stop.

To be continued…

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 5 – Wave of Patriots – next in the series is now available in the Kindle store, free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

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.

Bugout! California Part 47 – Romanian DJ

“Meeting, five minute,” Ji-Ho said to his group as they finished setting up their tents.

“Where?” Trevor asked.

“Middle of camp, around fire pit,” he said.

“Wish we had some shade,” Kaylee said. “Hot out here.”

“Wonder when we’re going to attack?” Seth asked.

“Tonight, I’ll bet,” Angel said.

Zac walked over with Tyler. “You guys just about done?”

“Yeah,” Seth said. “How come nobody is using the house?”

“The elders say it’s an evil place,” Tyler said.

“You guys buy that?” Seth asked.

Zac shrugged. “I don’t. I snuck in there once.”

“What?” Tyler asked.

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch,” Zac whispered. “And don’t tell everybody.”

“I won’t,” Tyler said.

“What was in there?” Angel asked.

“Rotted couches and a nasty looking bed. Dried blood on the floor in the living room and kitchen, and nasty blood splatters on the walls in the living room,” Tyler said. “Bullet holes everywhere. Big bullet holes. I don’t believe the evil spirits stuff, but it’s nasty. You’d have to gut the inside to make it livable again, and then you’re going to remember what it was like. Doubt I could live there.”

“I’d like to check it out,” Trevor said. “I read all about that ambush and the people involved. Fascinating stuff.”

“Don’t go in there,” Kaylee said softly. “It scares me.”

He looked at her, eyes softening. “Okay.”

Seth and Angel laughed.

“Damn, dude, she’s got you good,” Angel said.

Trevor returned a sheepish grin, and Kaylee rolled her eyes.

“It’s starting,” Tyler said.

“Let’s go,” Trevor said. The group walked to the center, where many people were already gathered. One Eye was standing in the middle, Sam and Ji-Ho next to him. Sid and Yvonne sat near the front, on the dirt. Jason, Hank, Clem, John, and Sarah sat nearby.

“Hello,” One Eye said. “Let’s talk about the attack. We leave at dusk. Lights can be used until we get to the last set of ridges, right before La Quinta.”

“Where is the depot, exactly?” Sid asked.

“You know where the Fish Traps Archeological Site is?” One Eye asked.

“Yeah, as a matter of fact,” Sid said. “That’s a waste land.”

“They’re in a box canyon surrounded by ridges,” One Eye said. “There’s nearly two hundred enemy fighters in there.”

“UN or Islamist?” Seth asked.

“Mostly Islamist,” One Eye said. “We’ve seen UN Vans deliver supplies, though.”

“Why would they put a depot there?” John asked.

“There’s a good road to Highway 86, that runs through farm land,” One Eye said. “Highway 86 merges into I-10.”

“Oh, crap,” Yvonne said. “A back door into the LA area, and to the Arizona border as well.”

“Yes,” One Eye said.

Clem chuckled. “Holy crap. They’re probably moving more Islamist fighters into California from Arizona. Since the state government is in on this, there’s nobody to stop them at the border.”

“Yes, from either side,” One Eye said. “The government of Arizona has been out of power for over a month now.”

“How big of a problem is this going to be for the enemy if we take it out?” Sarah asked. “Won’t they just rebuild it right away?”

“They’ll try,” One Eye said. “This place is somewhat unique, because it’s remote enough to hide their numbers and their activities, but it’s also an easy drive to the biggest road of the Southwest.”

“How did you guys find out about this?” Clem asked.

“Ivan gave us a hint,” One Eye said.

“You really trust that guy?” John asked.

“Yeah, we trust him,” One Eye said.

“How did he know about this?” Sid asked.

“I can’t talk about that,” One Eye said.

“He’s got somebody inside,” Trevor whispered.

“Barona Tribe, you’ve already been briefed about the operation, and have your weapons loaded in your off-roaders. Our new friends need to do the same. Queue up your vehicles on the road in front of the house, loaded with the weapons you will use. Dusk is only a couple hours away.”

“We’ll be lucky if we have enough fuel to make it there and back,” Sam said.

“We’re bringing a lot of Jerry cans full of gas,” One Eye said. “We might have to leave some vehicles behind on the way home. Don’t worry if we do. We’ll fetch them later. The Jeeps should make it there and back with no problem.”

“Maybe we ought to tow some of the off-roaders part way there,” Sid said.

“That’s not a bad idea,” One Eye said. “We should do that where we can, at least until the bad part of the road.”

“How far away is the bad part of the road?” John asked.

“About two hours in,” One Eye said.

“Okay,” Ji-Ho said. “What else?”

“Those of you who are good with bows, come up here,” One Eye said. “The rest of you are free to go.”

The crowd started to disburse. Trevor got up and headed for the center.

“Where are you going?” Kaylee asked.

“I’m good with a bow,” he said. “From when I was a kid.”

“That’s going to put you right up front,” Kaylee said.

“I know,” he said. “They need me.”

She sighed, pulling him close. “I don’t like this one bit.”

“Neither do I,” he said. “But I’m not going to hide it.”

He walked up to the remaining group.

“Crossbow, thanks,” One Eye said, “and Sid. You too, Sam?”

“I’ve got experience, but I’m a little rusty,” Sam said. “John, you know how.”

“I know, but I’m not so good at climbing around anymore,” John said. “Just here to listen.”

“Yeah, I don’t want you up on the ridges,” Sarah said.

“You’re Trevor, aren’t you?” One Eye asked.

“Yeah,” Trevor said. “I used to be pretty good with a bow. Maybe I should practice a little, though.”

“You valuable with rifle,” Ji-Ho said. “I see. We should hold you for that.”

“Let’s see how it goes,” One Eye said. “We might have enough. All we want to do is take out sentries on the ridges before we attack.”

The group talked for a few minutes, and then Kaylee and Trevor walked back to their tent.

“I’m going to join you guys in the battle, you know,” Kaylee said.

“I know. It scares me, but I think it’s good.”

“Glad we understand each other,” she said. “We’d better move the vehicles in line.”

“Yeah,” Trevor said. “Where’s the others?”

“Probably moving vehicles already,” she said. “We gonna tow?”

“I think we should,” Trevor said. “Look, there they are.”

He pointed at Seth and Angel, pulling an off-roader up behind one of the Jeeps in the line. Trevor and Kaylee rushed over.

“Hey, guys,” Trevor said as the two walked up.

“Hey,” Angel said. “You really joining the bow and arrow squad?”

“Only if they need me,” Trevor said. “Ji-Ho told them I was more valuable with my rifle.”

“You taking the lever gun?” Seth asked.

“Yeah, but I think we need to have all the M60s in play,” Trevor said.

“Yes, he right,” Ji-Ho said. “Winchesters for backup only. M-16s better for rushing around.”

“I’ll go get the next Jeep,” Seth said. He rushed back to the parking spot. As he started to open the door, he heard somebody walk up behind him.”

“Hey there,” Kaitlyn said. He turned and saw her, frozen in time, taking in her curves and her beautiful face and her shiny black hair.

“Hi,” he said, face turning red immediately.

“Which one are you?” she asked.

“Seth,” he said. “What’s your name?”

“Kaitlyn,” she said.

“You’re Ryan’s sister,” he said, still staring.

“Take a picture,” she said, showing a soft smile.

“Sorry,” he said.

“I’m glad Ryan told you his real name,” Kaitlyn said, leaning against the Jeep. “One Eye likes the traditional names.”

Seth chuckled. “Yeah, Touchdown. What’s yours?”

“I don’t want to tell you,” she said.

“Oh, come on,” Seth said. “I won’t call you that.”

She rolled her eyes. “Still Pool.”

“That’s pretty,” Seth said. “You’re pretty.”

“Stop,” she said, flashing him a grin. “Are you the one with the Korean girl?”

“No, that’s Trevor,” Seth said. “Here he comes now, with Kaylee.”

“Wow, she’s your type,” Kaylee said. She flashed a grin at Kaitlyn. “Hi, I’m Kaylee.”

“Kaitlyn,” she said, smiling. “And you’re Trevor?”

“Yep,” Trevor said. “Nice to meet you.”

“Likewise,” Kaitlyn said. “Oh, here comes Megan.”

She walked up, looking tiny and fragile. “Met one, eh,” she said. “No fair. You were supposed to wait.”

Kaitlyn rolled her eyes. “I was here, and he was here.”

“Where’s the other one?” Megan asked.

“Other one?” Kaylee asked.

“The other one without a girlfriend,” Kaitlyn said. “My brother and his buddies briefed us.”

Trevor laughed. “She means Angel. Be nice to him. He falls hard and fast, and he loves petite women.”

“Shut up,” Kaylee said. “They were doing that to us, you know.”

“I don’t care,” Trevor said, slipping his arm around her waist.

She giggled. “Okay, I guess I don’t care either.”

“What’s going on?” Angel asked. He froze when he saw the women. “Whoa.”

“Whoa?” Kaylee asked, grinning. “Angel, this is Kaitlyn and Megan. You can pick your mouth up off the dirt any time now.”

“Hey, dude,” he said, looking embarrassed. “Don’t mind her. She always teases me.”

“Oh, don’t worry, I won’t,” Megan said, getting closer to him. Her head was just above his shoulders. “My, you’re big.”

Seth snickered.

“Don’t be nasty,” Kaitlyn said, punching him playfully in the arm.

“Sorry,” Seth said. “I need to move this into line. Want to ride with me?”

“Let me think about it for a little bit,” she said. “Yes.”

The others chuckled as Seth opened the passenger door for her. He got behind the wheel and drove towards the lineup.

“You got something to move too?” Megan asked.

“No… I mean yes,” Angel said, completely befuddled.

“Good,” she said. “Which one?”

“Wait, we need to pull an off-roader up behind the one Seth just moved,” Kaylee said. “C’mon, Trevor.”

Trevor nodded and they got into one of the off-roaders, driving away, leaving Angel and Megan together.

“You okay?” Megan asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “Sorry, I’m a little awkward with girls sometimes.”

“Now why would you tell me that?” she asked, smiling. “Let’s go. Which one?”

“That yellow one over there,” he said. They started to walk towards it, Megan linking arms with him as they walked. He shuddered at her touch.

She giggled. “This is gonna be fun.”

He opened the passenger door of the Jeep for her.

“You’ll have to help me up,” she said. He groaned, his hands going around her middle, lifting her up. She pretended to lose her balance, ending up in his arms, looking up at his face.

“Sorry,” he whispered.

“I’m not,” she said, her face getting closer to his. “I like you. Do you like me?”

“You’re pretty fast,” he said, still holding onto her.

“And yet you’re holding me tight,” she said, smiling. “I don’t believe in waiting around, and I don’t hide my feelings. It’s a turn off to some of these old-fashioned guys in the tribe. It’s not going to bother you, is it?”

“No,” Angel said, heart pounding in his chest.

“You’re trembling,” she whispered, moving her arms around his neck, trying to pull herself up. He got the message and moved her up so their faces were level. She kissed him gently, making him freeze for a moment. Then the dam burst, the two of them in an urgent long kiss.

“Ahem,” Kaylee said. “You guys going to move that thing or what?”

They broke their kiss. Angel looked embarrassed. Megan didn’t.

“Megan!” Kaitlyn said. “What are you doing?”

“Test drive,” she said. “Why wait? We might be dead tomorrow.”

Kaitlyn looked over at Seth. “I’m not quite that fast.”

“Neither am I,” he said. “Let’s go get that last Jeep.”

“You have to wait for this one and another off-roader,” Kaylee said.

“Good,” Seth said as they walked to the last Jeep. Kaitlyn took Seth’s hand, enter twining fingers.

Angel helped Megan into the Jeep, trembling with excitement. He rushed around to the driver’s side, almost tripping as he got in. They drove towards the lineup.

“Geez,” Trevor whispered.

“Well, at least they’ll lay off us now,” Kaylee said, turning him towards her. He smiled as she pulled him in for a kiss.

***

“Okay, we got everything down there,” Robbie said, standing by the trap door with the others. “What now?”

“We go camp out in the booth and wait,” Ted said.’

“Maybe we ought to camp out in the tunnel, and let Mister One and Mister Two camp out in the booth,” Tex said.

“Yeah, that better idea,” Jules said.

“What if somebody shows up?” Jordan asked. “I can be cover for them.”

“No worry, they kill anybody who show up with piano wire and keep bodies up there,” Jules said.

Ted chuckled. “Yeah, that’s probably how we should play it. We might have a swarm of UN thugs running around here before we can get back into the tunnels.”

“Okay, if we do that, then I’d better show them how to work things up there,” Jordan said. “They might ask them to turn on or off lights, or make sound adjustments. I can show them in a few minutes.”

“I like, we go,” Jules said. “I translate if needed.”

“They speak English?” Jordan asked.

“Me some,” Mister One said. “Mister Two not so much.”

“Well, then you do talking,” Jules said. “C’mon. Let’s go do training. Grab grenades and claymore mines too.”

They picked up the explosives and their guns and headed back towards the lobby, Jordan in the lead.

“He got us some food, right?” Ted asked.

“Yeah, in that bag there,” Robbie said. “We’d better take some water down there,”

“Yeah, kid,” Sparky said. “Look, there’s some flats of water bottles over there. Let’s take one.”

“Perfect,” Tex said.

“What’s in the food bag?” Ted asked.

“Trail mix, bread, candy, nuts,” Tex said, looking inside.

Robbie’s phone buzzed, startling him. He set down the flat of water bottles and looked at it.

“Who is it?” Sparky asked.

“Justin,” he said. “The one who’s girlfriend is in lockup with Morgan.”

“Don’t answer it,” Sparky said. “Don’t let him know what’s going on. If he knows the location he’s liable to try something.”

“Understand,” Robbie said, grim look on his face. The ringer stopped buzzing. “Hope he got out of the place he was staying.”

“He probably did if he can still call you,” Tex said.

“Or he was captured and the enemy is calling his contacts,” Sparky said.

“Crap,” Robbie said, heart beating harder.

“See if he leaves a message,” Ted said.

“I’ll check later,” Robbie said. “I’m gonna take the water down.”

“We should keep the empties to pee in,” Ted said.

“Yeah, but where we gonna do number two?” Tex quipped.

Sparky shook his head. “If there’s any plastic bags around, we ought to bring them. You know we’ll all have to by tomorrow night. Don’t want a lot of smell.”

Tex cracked up. “Kind of a crappy situation there. Better rip off a roll of TP too.”

Robbie shook his head as he snuck down the stairs. He heard footsteps and froze. Two men walked past the junction in UN Uniforms, heading towards the Police Station. After they passed, Robbie snuck back up the stairs.

“You look white as a sheet,” Tex said.

“Two UN slugs walked by when I was down there,” he whispered. “We’ve got to be quiet. Really quiet.”

The others looked at him and nodded.

Jordan and Jules walked back in.

“What wrong?” Jules asked.

“Robbie just watched two UN creeps walk past the junction,” Sparky whispered. “We’ve got to be completely quiet down there or they’ll notice us.”

“Are we leaving some of the food for the other two?” Ted asked.

“No, they have,” Jules said.

“How’d the training go?” Tex asked.

Jordan smiled. “The one who doesn’t speak English was a DJ in Romania,” he whispered. “He knows the sound equipment better than I do. I taught the other one how to run the lights.”

“Good,” Sparky whispered. “Better take bathroom breaks, and then we should go downstairs. Try to sleep.”

Robbie walked to the bathroom with Sparky.

“You think this is really gonna work?” Robbie asked.

“I’d give it a seventy percent chance,” he said. “That’s about as good as we’re gonna get in an operation like this. Remember there’s gonna be a whole lot of distractions going on when we do our part. The attack on city hall and the theater will happen at the same time.”

“How they timing it?”

“When the dignitaries get on stage in the theater, Mister One will radio the two-minute warning to the teams outside,” Sparky said. “Then whammo.”

“Excellent,” Robbie said.

They passed Tex and Jules on the way back to the shop.

“See you in few minute, guys. Break a leg, no?”

“That’s right,” Jordan said as he rushed to catch up. “Break a leg.”

To be continued…

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 5 – Wave of Patriots – next in the series is now available in the Kindle store, free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

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 46 – Meat Market

IMG_1469

The Jeeps were loaded with the weapons when One Eye and Sam rolled up in a four-wheel drive truck. There were four young men in the bed.

“You guys ready to go?” One Eye asked, getting out of the passenger seat.

“Yes, we ready,” Ji-Ho said.

Sam got out and rushed to Ji-Ho, giving him a hug. “Good to see you, old friend.”

“Same,” Ji-Ho said, patting his back as they left the embrace. “How Connie?”

“Scared and tired,” Sam said, “but well.”

The four young men got out of the truck bed.

“This is Sandy Creek, Crossbow, Touchdown, and Quiet Fox,” One Eye said. “Drivers. Great warriors.”

They nodded silently.

“Good to meet. This my daughter,” Ji-Ho said, motioning to her. She came over.

“What, Uncle?” she asked, eyeing Sam.

“This old, dear friend Sam and One Eye,” Ji-Ho said. “Men, this Kaylee.”

“Nice to meet you,” Sam said. One Eye nodded in agreement, smiling.

“Good to meet you,” Kaylee said.

“Guys, gather round,” Ji-Ho said.

Trevor, Seth, and Angel rushed over.

“This Trevor, Seth, and Angel. Good fighters.”

“We need all the help we can get,” One Eye said. He eyed the young men and chuckled.

“What funny?” Ji-Ho asked.

“Two of our young women are anxious to meet these guys,” One Eye quipped. “They’re handsome. They’ll be in trouble.”

“This one’s taken,” Kaylee said, putting her arm around Trevor’s waist.

Angel snickered. “What? Already?”

“Why hide it?” Kaylee glanced at Trevor. His face was red.

“I think it’s good,” Seth said. “How far is the drive?”

“About forty-five minutes while it’s light,” One Eye said. “Nearly twice that in the dark.”

“What do you want us to drive?” Crossbow asked.

“Off-roaders,” Ji-Ho said. “Okay?”

“I’ll show you,” Trevor said. The four followed him to the vehicles.

“Whoa, these things are bitchen,” Sandy Creek said.

“Yeah,” Crossbow said. Touchdown and Quiet Fox looked, wide-eyed. Seth and Angel walked over. “Hey, my name is James, and Sandy Creek there is Zac. Touchdown is Ryan, and Quiet Fox is Tyler. One Eye has this thing about the traditional names. We only use them around him and a few of the other elders.”

Seth chuckled. “Yeah, I figured. You really good with a cross bow?”

“I’m okay,” James said.

Zac snickered. “Okay? He can shoot out a charging boar’s eye at forty yards.”

“That was a lucky shot,” James said.

“No it wasn’t,” Tyler said. “You’ve done a lot of nice shots. Don’t sell yourself short.”

Seriously,” Ryan said.

“Anything we need to know about these things?” Zac asked.

“I’ve driven all of them,” Kaylee said as she walked up. “They’re pretty straight forward, but you have to shift them. Do you guys know how to drive a stick shift?”

They all nodded yes.

“Good, then you won’t have any problem,” she said. “I’m going to go pack up what’s left of the food. Want to help me, Trevor?”

“Sure,” he said, following her back to the motor home.

“Wow, she’s gorgeous,” James said. “She really taken?”

“Yeah,” Seth said. “There really women in your camp who aren’t taken?”

The four men looked at each other and chuckled. “Yeah, there’s two who don’t have men. Both of them are pretty strong. Most of us thought they weren’t worth the trouble. Too much like white girls.”

Seth laughed. “Oh, really, now? You guys got women already?”

“Hell, we’re all married,” Zac said.

“What do these two women look like?” Angel asked quietly.

“I’ll let you be the judge of that,” James said. The four men looked at each other and cracked up.

“You have to be nice,” Ryan said. “One of them is my sister. Kaitlyn.”

James laughed. “These guys have more to fear from Kaitlyn than she does from them.

“C’mon, man,” Ryan said, grinning. “Don’t scare them away. I want to watch this develop.”

“You’re bad, man,” Tyler said.

“You guys about ready?” One Eye asked.

“Yeah, I think so,” James said.

“Good, then let’s saddle up.”

“Kaylee and Trevor, we go,” Ji-Ho said.

“Coming, Uncle,” Kaylee said. She came down the steps, followed by Trevor with a box of food in his hands.

“Some of this stuff will need to go on ice,” Trevor said.

“We have some,” One Eye said. “Let’s go.”

Ji-Ho locked up his coach, then got into one of the Jeeps. Angel, Kaylee, and Trevor got into the other three Jeeps. Seth, Sam, and the four warriors got into the Off-Roaders. They took off, around the bend and onto a heavily rutted dirt road, which wound through some small hills and settled into a long, flat stretch on the floor of a valley. After nearly half an hour, they were back into the hills again, climbing, then down again, rolling along a road next to a dry wash, a hill rising on the left side, up to about forty feet at one point. A ridge on the right started, rising to a fairly high hill several hundred yards away. They passed that and turned right, following the road as yet another ridge rose along the left side. They came around a bend and a large group of tents came into view, across the road from an abandoned house. The vehicles drove past the camp and pulled into the flat ground there.

“Wow,” Seth said, getting out and walking to Angel’s vehicle. Zac, James, Ryan, and Tyler met them.

“Well, it’s not much, but it’s home,” Tyler said, twinkle in his eye.

“Why’s that guy up on the ridge?” Seth asked.

“Long story,” Zac said. “Sam filled us in. Remember the gun battle that killed Jason Beckler and Sadie Evans?”

Seth’s eyes got wide. “You mean that thing with Malcolm Davis?”

“Yeah,” Zac said. “That’s the house. Wait until you see the bullet holes.”

“Later,” Sam said, walking up. “Let’s get your camp set up and the weapons distributed. Then we need to plan our attack.”

“We have more tents and sleeping bags,” Ryan said. “I’ll show you where they are. Two person and four person tents.”

“Okay, let’s get busy,” Seth said.

***

Morgan sat in the holding cell, leaned against the wall, trying to forget what happened less than an hour before. The door creaked open, two guards bringing several women into the room. The UN Peacekeeper with them unlocked the door. The guards pushed the women through the cell door, and the UN Peacekeeper slammed the cell door shut and locked it.

“Katie,” Morgan said, watching her approach. She sat down next to Morgan, then buried her face in her hands and sobbed.

“Bad?” Morgan asked, touching her shoulder.

“Worst so far,” she said. “I had to take on five of them. Why don’t they just kill us already?”

“Don’t say that,” Morgan whispered. “Don’t give up. We have to survive.”

“They don’t even pretend to ask questions anymore,” Katie said, looking at her. “I’m bruised all over. They’re hitting me more.”

“I know, same with me,” Morgan said.

“I saw different people in the meeting room that we pass on the way,” Katie said. “Some Arab guy on crutches and a little weasel-looking character in a euro-trash suit.”

“Really,” Morgan asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “There was a guy there that looked really familiar, too. I think I’ve seen him on TV before. He was in an expensive suit. He checked me out as I walked by.”

Morgan froze, brow furrowed.

“What’s the matter?” Katie asked.

“Probably nothing,” Morgan said.

“Come on,” Katie whispered.

“If it’s somebody high in the government and any of us have seen them, we might never get out of here alive.”

Katie’s eyes got wide. “Crap, they might kill us so we don’t talk.”

“I’ve known since the first day that we’ll only get out of here if somebody rescues us.”

“You really think Robbie can do something?” Katie asked.

“I hope so,” Morgan said. “I don’t know.”

“When do you have to go in again?” Katie asked.

“Tomorrow morning, unless they get a wild hair up their ass again.”

“I don’t see how they can stand to get close to us,” Katie said. “None of us have had a shower for days. We stink to high heaven.”

Morgan nodded. “I know. They might be trying to break us. I’ve read about that before.”

“Break us?” Katie asked.

“Yeah, break our spirit like a damn colt. Then use us to entertain their leadership.”

Katie shot her a sidelong glance. “Like Mr. Eurotrash and Mr. TV.”

Morgan nodded. “If they offer us showers and nice clothes, I’ll bet that’s what they’re planning.”

“I’m not broken,” Katie whispered. “Are you?”

“No way,” Morgan said. “Might not hurt to let them think I am, though.”

“Why?”

“If Robbie and Sparky can’t get us out, I might take the opportunity to kill a leadership creep that they give me to,” Morgan said.

“Oh,” Katie whispered. “That’s not a terrible idea, if we’re gonna die anyway.”

“We’ll be doing our part, at least,” she said.

“Exactly,” Katie said. “This is weird. I’m not even scared about it. I hope I get the chance.”

“I’d much rather be rescued,” Morgan said. “I miss Robbie so much.”

“You really love him, don’t you?”

“Yeah,” Morgan said. “How do you feel about Justin?”

“Same,” she said, tears coming again. “I’m afraid I’ll be too damaged to have a relationship after this.”

“That thought has crossed my mind,” Morgan said. “I’ll try to will myself out of that. Might need help.”

The door opened.

“Oh, crap, what now,” Morgan whispered. “It’s not the top of the hour.”

The UN Peacekeeper was back, followed by a small man in an eclectic suit.

“That’s Mr. Eurotrash,” Katie whispered.

“Attention, please,” the UN Peacekeeper said in a German accent. “Line up in front of the cell, please. Stand up straight, shoulders back.”

A few of the women and girls slowly got up, others still sitting.

“Schnell!” he shouted. The rest of them stood and slowly walked to the bars.

“I said stand up straight, shoulders back,” he barked.

“This is good enough,” the small man said. He walked down the line, looking at each with scary intensity.

“How old are these two?” he asked the UN Peacekeeper, nodding at two girls standing next to each other.

“Fifteen,” the UN Peacekeeper said. “Is this a problem?”

“No,” the man said, as he continued down the line. “I’m finished.”

“Yes, sir,” the UN Peacekeeper said. They both left the room, shutting the steel door.

“What the hell was that about?” one of the women asked.

“That creep looked at us like meat in a butcher shop,” another one said.

Katie and Morgan glanced at each other, then went back to their spot on the wall and sat.

***

“What time is it?” Ted asked.

“Don’t you have a cell phone?” Sparky asked.

“I never bring them on gigs,” he said. “Forgot to shut off the ringer once. Almost got me tagged.”

Tex chuckled. “Yeah, there is that.”

“It’s almost seven,” Robbie said. “We ought to be hearing from Jules pretty soon, right?”

“Yeah,” Sparky said.

“What if we don’t?” Jordan asked.

“Good question,” Tex said. “Don’t worry, we’ll hear from him.”

Just at that moment the radio blipped.

“Sparky?”

“Yeah, Jules. You guys outside?”

“We back on lot. Walk from across street. Which door?”

“Go to that side door I was talking about,” Robbie said. “It’s less visible than the front.”

“You sure old woman gone?”

“She should have left two hours ago,” Ted said.

“You can’t see?”

“Not from inside,” Robbie said. “We don’t want to be out by the lobby. It’s too visible.”

“Okay, we go. Around back. By Japanese garden, right?”

“Yep,” Robbie said. “I’ll head back there now.”

“Who’s with you, partner?” Tex asked.

“Cody, Stacey, and three assassins that Ivan send,” Jules said. “They handle auditorium. We handle tunnels. Original team handle City Hall and outside of theater and police station.”

“Excellent,” Sparky said.

“I’m going, guys,” Robbie said. “Anybody want to come?”

“Let’s carry the box downstairs and take it into the shop,” Jordan said. “Even if we don’t load the stuff in the tunnel right away, it looks like something that belongs there.”

“Good idea,” Ted said. “Robbie, you go ahead. We’ll catch up.”

“Okay, just take that door across from the restrooms,” Robbie said, heading down the stairs. “You can’t miss it.” He went to the door and tried it. It opened, and he rushed down the long hallway, making a right turn where the side door was. Jules and the others were there when he opened it, and flooded in with several cases and a couple bags of food.

“Hello, kid,” Jules said. “Where others?”

“Coming down the hall in a few seconds with the box of weapons and explosives.”

“We’re right here,” Sparky said, pulling the wagon along by its handle. “Where’s the shop, kid?”

“Go past the green room and turn left. Then go down the long hallway to the double doors on your right.”

Sparky kept going, the others coming down the hallway.

“We follow,” Jules said. “See where trap door to tunnel is.”

“Yeah, partner, I think that’s a good idea,” Tex said. “Hey, Cody.”

“Tex,” Cody said, falling into line with him as they all walked down the hall.

“This is a heavy door,” Sparky said, looking at it. “Same doors on the other side of the hall.”

“That’s how we move sets from the shop to the stage,” Jordan said. “Stand aside. I know how to open these.” Sparky moved out of the way and he undid the strange-looking latches and pushed the doors. They opened with a creak.

“Smells like sawdust and paint,” Ted said.

“Yep,” Jordan said. “Spent a lot of hours in here. Surprised I never saw the trap door. Where is it?”

“Should be about eight feet to the left of the loading dock door,” Tex said.

They walked towards that spot. Jordan cracked up.

“What?” Jules asked.

“Ready to work up a sweat, gentlemen?”

Tex laughed. “Dammit. It’s under all of those old sets leaned against the wall. Those look heavy.”

“Good thing we have lots nice strong men,” Jules said. “Go ahead. I supervise.”

Tex cracked up. “Gee, I’m shocked.”

“I’m not afraid of a little work,” Ted said.

“Me neither,” Jordan said. “Looks like there’s just enough room to move this stuff a little closer to the loading dock. We don’t want to block the door. The UN might move more stuff through there tomorrow.”

“Yeah,” Tex said.

The men pitched in, moving the slabs of painted wood over to once side.

“There it is,” Ted said. “It’s got a padlock.”

“Probably hasn’t been opened for years,” Jordan said.

“Yeah, probably not,” Tex said. “We were kinda counting on that.”

They finished moving the scenery out of the way.

“Doesn’t look that much different with the sets moved over,” Jordan said. “Good. We might want to cover the trap door with something easy to move when we’re done.”

“We need a hammer to break the lock?” Robbie asked.

“NO,” Jordan said. “Too much noise.”

“Yeah, it could carry through the tunnels,” Tex said. “The Police station isn’t that far.”

“Out of way,” Jules said. “Got my start picking locks. Let’s see.”

Tex chuckled. “Figures,” he said as he moved back. Jules got down close and looked.

“Cheap Master Lock. Piece of cake. Where toolbox?”

“Work bench, over on the opposite wall,” Jordan said. He walked over to it, Jules following. “That Kennedy toolbox has some small stuff. Try the drawers on the top half.”

Jules looked through them. “This do,” he said, coming out with a small strip of metal. He took it to the lock. After about thirty seconds there was a click. “Done.”

“Nice job, boss,” Tex said.

Jules pulled the door back on its hinges, sawdust running from its surface down onto the floor.

Ted pulled out a flashlight and shined it inside. “Stairs? I expected a ladder.”

“This was built for emergencies,” Tex said. “A lot easier to run down stairs than to climb down ladders, especially if you’ve got a lot of people queued up.”

“Oh,” Ted said. “I can see that, I guess.”

“Shall we?” Tex asked.

“Yeah, let’s check it out,” Sparky said. “See if we can stash stuff down there. Be quiet!”

Tex went down the stairs, followed by Sparky, Jordan, Ted, and Robbie.

The tunnel was concrete, with conduit running along the upper wall on the left, and light bulbs under cages in the ceiling. The lights were on, but the bulbs close to the theater door were burned out.

“They obviously don’t use this anymore,” Tex whispered. “Glad these bulbs are out.”

“That helps,” Ted said. “See that intersection up there? Lights look like they’re recent. I see a compact fluorescent.”

“That should be the stretch from the Police station to the City Hall and the Human Resources building,” Tex said. “That dark opening about half way down, to the right, is probably the Library.”

“I’m gonna sneak down there and have a peek,” Sparky said.

“Be careful,” Tex said. “We might have traffic. Robbie, go kill the lights in the shop, okay? It’s lighting this end up too much.”

Robbie nodded and went up the stairs, rushing for the light switch. The tunnel went completely dark, except for the glow at the intersection. Sparky crept down the hall with Ted at his side. They peeked around the corner to the left.

“That’s the police station,” Tex whispered.

“Somebody was just in here. I smell cigarette smoke.”

“Yeah,” Tex whispered. “This stretch gets used a lot.”

Sparky turned and looked back towards the theater trap door. “Good, can’t see anything back there. Perfect.”

“Let’s go get the guns loaded down here,” Tex said. “We need to leave the lights off in that shop, though, and listen carefully.”

Sparky nodded in agreement, and they snuck back to the stairs and climbed into the shop.

The others were standing by the trap door in the darkness.

“Well?” Jules asked.

“It’s perfect,” Tex said. “You can’t see this end of the tunnel from the intersection with the lights off. We can hide our stuff no problem, but we need to keep the lights off in here.”

“What are we bringing down there?” Robbie asked.

“The M60s, the shot guns, a few grenades, and the plastic explosives. Ammo. Maybe a claymore mine or two.”

“Good,” Jules said.

“How about guns for the control room?”

“Mister One and Mister Two brought their own guns,” Cody said.

“They don’t say much, do they?” Tex asked.

“Professionals,” Jules said. “How many grenades? Maybe we take some into control room too.” He glanced at the two men, looking like they walked out of a European spy movie. One of them nodded yes.

“We’ve got more claymore mines than we need,” Jordan said. “We should find good hiding places so we can set them off when people start to flee.

Mister Two grinned and shook his head yes.

To be continued…

 

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Copyright Robert Boren 2016

Bugout! California Part 45 – Control Room

Georgetown_Front

“You think the person in the box office will let us into the Armstrong, kid?” Sparky asked, from the wheel of the UN Van.

“Probably our best chance if we don’t want to break in,” Robbie said. “Our cover story should work, as long as the box office is still manned by a normal Torrance city employee.”

“How’d you get in before?” Ted asked.

“I’ve always gone through the side door by the green room,” Robbie said. “That’s down a walkway between the Japanese Garden and the Media Center. It’s probably locked, unless there’s an event going on.”

“If there’s an event going on, we’re screwed,” Tex said. “We’ll have to go to plan B.”

“The media center might be harder than the theater, even if there are people around,” Robbie said. “The doors are exposed to the side road that leads to the police station. The walls inside the courtyard by that side door are brick. No windows.”

“Any good places to hide in the theater if it does have activity?” Sparky asked. “That orchestra pit you talked about?”

“The orchestra pit isn’t very deep, and there’s no place to hide. People on stage or in the walkway in front of the seats can see in easily. The only chance in that part of the building are the wings on either side of the pit, and I wouldn’t suggest that. No reason to be down there, for one thing.”

“So where could we go and not arouse suspicion?” Ted asked.

Robbie thought for a moment. “Two places. Either the control room at the back of the house, or backstage. Both locations have audio consoles. The control room would be much better.”

“Why?” Sparky asked.

“It’s kind of like a projection room with larger windows, up above the rear seats. We could hide in there.”

“Okay, then that’s our play,” Sparky said.

“We’re getting close,” Robbie said. “Turn left on Madrona, then take the first right. It’s just past the public swimming pool.”

“Got it, kid,” Sparky said. “Less traffic around here.”

“Probably a high concentration of UN creeps,” Ted said. “We’re close to their South Bay headquarters.”

“Great, then they might stop us,” Tex said.

“I’m more worried about Jules’s team,” Sparky said. “They’re going in as civilians.”

“There’s Madrona,” Robbie said. Sparky got into the left turn lane and waited at the light.

“I can see quite a few cars in the parking lot back there,” Ted said. “That’s a good sign.”

“It is,” Sparky said. “Hope our plan for sneaking in the weapons works out okay.”

“It will,” Tex said. “Hope we can use the walkie talkies without being detected.”

“That’s my biggest fear,” Ted said. “Light changed.”

“Shoot,” Sparky said, driving forward, making the left, then turning right into the parking lot.

“Where?” Sparky asked.

“Go past the two buildings on the left, and park by the circular driveway.”

“I see it,” Sparky said. He found a parking place near the front. “Okay, everybody out. Let’s get the wagon.”

They got out and went around to the back, all of them helping to lift out the wagon. It was a coffin-shaped wooden box on wheels with a handle to pull it. TPRD was stenciled on the sides and top.

“Thanks for the tip on the stencil, kid,” Sparky said. He grabbed the handle and pulled it as they walked towards the plaza in front of the theater.

“What does TPRD stand for again?” Tex asked.

“Torrance Parks and Rec Department,” Robbie said.

“Good, there’s somebody in the box office,” Ted said. They walked up, the middle aged woman smiling at them from behind the window.

“Hello,” she said. “Can I help you? Looks like you’re with Parks and Rec.”

“We’re here to do some work on the audio systems,” Ted said. “Can you let us in, please?”

“Oh, it must be for the presentation tomorrow night,” she said. “Of course. Pull your equipment by the door.”

“Thanks,” Ted said. “C’mon, men.”

They headed to the first of several doors on the glass front of the theater lobby. The matronly woman was there, holding the door open. Sparky wrestled the box through the door.

“Where are you working?” she asked.

“The control room,” Robbie said.

“Very good,” she said. “Go up the stairs, over there. I’m afraid you’ll have to carry your equipment up.”

“No problem,” Sparky said. “Thanks so much.”

“You’re quite welcome,” she said. “There’s a crew setting up risers on the stage, but they’re almost done.”

“What’s going on?” Robbie asked.

“Some kind of panel discussion,” she said. “They aren’t telling us much about it. It’s by invite only. Probably a bunch of UN creeps.” She put her hand over her mouth. “Sorry.”

“Don’t worry, we aren’t fans either,” Tex said. “This is just a job to us.”

“Please don’t say anything,” the woman said. “People have been punished.”

“Mum’s the word,” Sparky said.

“How long do you think you’ll be,” the woman asked.

“Several hours, I’m afraid,” Sparky said.

“Oh, dear,” she said. “I’m only here for another hour. You’ll have to let yourselves out. Just pull the door shut until you hear a loud click, okay?”

“No problem,” Sparky said.

She smiled, then turned and went back to the box office.

“Wonder what kind of shindig they have planned?” Tex asked.

“Good question,” Ted said. “I’ll hold the door until you get this beast through.”

Sparky nodded as he opened the door. There was a long, straight stairway, dimly lit. The men got on both sides of the wagon and lifted it, Ted joining them after they cleared the door.

“This sucker is heavy,” Tex whispered.

“The lights are on in there,” Sparky whispered. They got to the top of the stairs.

“Who the hell are you guys?” a black man asked, working on a large TV camera.

“Audio,” Sparky said. “You working the gig tomorrow too?”

He eyed them for a moment. “Yeah. You with the UN?”

“Contractors,” Tex said. “You don’t look like you like the UN much.”

The man chuckled. “I’m not saying jack.”

“You know what’s going on tomorrow night?”

“Not sure, but it’s gonna be a big deal,” the man said. “I’m Jordan, by the way.”

“Tex, and this is Sparky, Ted, and Robbie.”

“Good to meet you,” he said.

“You gonna run this camera tomorrow night?”

“Yeah, but they made me go through a background check before they okayed it. I was the only person in my company who passed.”

Tex chuckled. “Really? Must be muckity-mucks, then.”

“Yeah,” he said. “I probably won’t be too busy. The main camera work is gonna be from those cameras down there.”

Robbie looked out the window, into the house below. There were two metal stands holding large TV cameras on either side of the stage, and one dead center, taking out two rows of two chairs in the middle.

“We heard the crew was still working the stage,” Ted said.

“They finished a couple of minutes ago,” Jordan said. “You just missed them.”

Tex glanced at Sparky. “Where’s the restrooms?”

“Downstairs,” Robby said. “Go left through the lobby when you get out of the stairwell.”

“I’ll go with you,” Sparky said. He and Tex left the room.

“You going to be up here alone tomorrow night?” Ted asked Jordan.

“Yeah, they’re controlling the sound from the console back stage,” he said, eyeing him. “Why?”

“Just wondering,” Ted said.

“What’s in the box?” he asked.

“Tools and equipment,” Ted said.

“Uh huh,” he said. “You need about three different screwdrivers to work on the audio in this place.”

“We have test equipment too,” Robbie said.

“Uh huh,” Jordan said. “Who are you guys? Really?”

“Audio techs,” Ted said. “Really.”

Robbie’s heart pounded in his chest.

“You look a little nervous,” Jordan said, eyeing Robbie.

“I’m okay,” Robbie said. “Being around these UN folks gives me the creeps, that’s all. Heard bad stories.”

Ted glanced at him, then back at Jordan. “What do you think of the UN?”

“How do I know you’re not with them?” Jordan asked.

“How do we know you’re not with them?” Ted asked.

Jordan laughed. “We have a stalemate here, I’m afraid.”

Sparky and Tex came back in the room. Jordan’s head snapped around, looking at them, brow furrowed.

Sparky made eye contact. “Jordan, let’s take a walk.”

“Wait,” Ted said. “Jordan, you have any military experience?”

“Why do you ask?” Jordan looked at them, sweat breaking out on his forehead.

“The way you observe, and the way you carry yourself,” Ted said. “Special Forces of some kind, right?”

He sighed. “Army Rangers. You too?”

“Navy Seals,” Ted said.

“Ted,” Sparky said.

“You ever hear of Ivan the Butcher?” Ted asked.

Jordan froze. “Crap, you guys are planning a frigging hit.”

“We gonna trust this guy?” Sparky asked.

“I trust him,” Tex said. “Got a sixth sense about that. Want to kill some UN creeps, Jordan?”

Jordan sat down on a chair next to his camera, his eyes shifting between them. “I’m listening.”

Sparky sighed. “Dammit, you’d better be right about this guy,” he said, looking at Ted, then Tex.

“What’s going on tomorrow night?” Ted asked.

“I overheard some of those UN slugs talking earlier, when I was downstairs near the stage. It’s a leadership discussion. The regional governor is gonna be here. Also some of the Feds. High ranking.”

“Simpson?” Ted asked, eyes wide.

“No, they’d already have Secret Service crawling all over the place if it was him. Somebody mentioned the Attorney General, though.”

“Blake,” Sparky said. “Son of a bitch.

“We have a mission, guys,” Robbie said. “Remember?”

“We just talked to Jules,” Sparky said. “He’s getting with Ivan. We might move this out one more night.”

“You guys weren’t planning a hit here, were you?” Jordan asked.

“Oh, there was a hit planned,” Sparky said. “City Hall. The Regional Governor is living there. We were planning a hit tonight. We still might do it. Or we might change our plans.”

“We still have a rescue mission, guys, remember.” Robbie said.

“Rescue mission?” Jordan asked.

“They’ve got a rape operation going on in the Torrance Police Station,” Robbie said. “They took my girlfriend there. Also another young woman I know.”

Jordan got an angry look on his face. “So it’s true. Been hearing rumors. You know that police station is like a fortress, right?”

“There’s tunnels,” Sparky said. “That’s why we’re in this building. When the attack starts on City Hall, we were going to use the tunnels to get into the Police station. Rescue the women and kill every UN thug we see.”

“What’s really in the box?” Jordan asked.

“M60 machine guns. M-16s. Shotguns. Grenades. Claymore mines. Plastic explosives for the holding cell in the police station.”

“You have another team,” Jordan said.

“Yeah, in another one of the buildings that’s connected into the tunnel system,” Ted said.

Jordan sat silently for a moment, thinking. “Okay, I’m in.”

“Good,” Sparky said, pulling out his walkie talkie. He sent a blip to Jules.

“Sparky?” Jules asked.

“Yeah. Where are you guys?”

“Parking lot,” he said. “Waiting for instructions. If we hold off until tomorrow night, we go and come back tomorrow afternoon.”

“I wouldn’t do that. I’d find a place to hide here,” Jordan said.

Jules was quiet for a moment. “What the hell? That the camera guy? I told you to ice him.”

“We recruited him,” Sparky said.

“He’s an Army Ranger,” Ted said. “And he hates the UN.”

“Son of bitch,” Jules said. “You sure you trust?”

“We’re sure,” Tex said. “Trust me, old buddy. We know our own.”

“Tex thinks okay,” Jules said. “You always right. If he get us killed, I come back from grave and mess you up good, Texan.”

“I’ll take that chance, partner,” Tex said.

“Okay, Jordan, welcome to the team,” Sparky said. “You think we shouldn’t leave and come back. Why?”

“They’re probably gonna shut down the parking lot,” Jordan said. “I would if I were them. Where were you gonna hide?”

“The library,” Jules said.

“Wait until dark, and come to the theater,” Jordan said. “There’s a bunch of places to hide here. Catwalks, for instance. Hell, you could probably even position yourselves and your equipment in this tunnel system.”

“I like,” Sparky said. “We go into library for now, before somebody notice us here.”

“The woman in the box office will be gone in an hour,” Ted said.

“Anybody else in theater?” Jules asked.

“No,” Jordan said. “Last of them left a few minutes before your team got into the control room.”

“Should we take care of box office lady?” Jules asked.

“No, man,” Ted said. “She hates the UN. Let it slip. She’s a Torrance city employee. She bought our story. I won’t kill her.”

“Yeah, I agree on that,” Sparky said.

“Me too,” Tex said.

“So we’re gonna let the women go through another day of rape and torture in there?” Robbie asked.

“Yes,” Jules said. “Sorry. If we can kill high level globalist thugs, it will help with greater war effort. This good for our women too. We must. It Ivan’s call, though. I’ll get with him before we get out of car. Understand?”

“Yes,” Robbie said. “Sorry, you’re right. I don’t have to like it.”

“No, you don’t,” Jules said. “Talk to you later.”

The radio went silent.

“So we wait an hour and then head for the tunnel system?” Robbie asked.

“Yeah, kid,” Sparky said.

“Where’s the tunnel opening?” Jordan asked.

“It’s in the shop,” Tex said.

“Ah, behind the stage,” Jordan said. “Never noticed a trap door back there.”

“You’ve been around this theater, I take it?” Robbie asked.

Jordan laughed. “Yeah, I’ve been in musicals here before. Been a few years. I helped with set building, did audio work, and was part of the chorus on stage. You?”

“Orchestra,” Robbie said. “Spent many an hour down in the pit.”

The radio blipped.

“Sparky?”

“Yeah, Jules, we’re listening.”

“Ivan agrees. We hold off. I go get food, come back later. We have plan changes to discuss.”

“We’re still gonna rescue the women, right?” Robbie asked.

“Yeah, kid, no worry. We get them out. Trust me.”

“Okay, talk to you soon,” Sparky said.

***

Trevor woke up, spooned against Kaylee, who was snoring quietly. He looked at her shiny black hair, spilled over the pillow, her naked shoulder inches from his face. His pulse quickened. Control yourself. He was losing the battle.

Kaylee stirred and stretched, pushing against him harder, and then turned her face towards him. “You’re both up.”

“Sorry,” Trevor said. “I’m trying.”

“You didn’t do anything,” she said, turning on her back. Trevor froze, moving away. She giggled. “Where are you going? Get back here. I’m cold.”

He moaned and moved against her again, beside himself as he looked into her eyes.

“You already love me,” she whispered. “How long has that been going on?”

“Months,” Trevor said, looking ashamed.

“Hey, you did the right thing,” she said. “You were honorable. I didn’t know.”

“You said you could tell I was attracted to you,” Trevor said.

She giggled again. “This is gonna sound bad. Most guys are attracted to me. I’ve seen Seth and Angel check me out too, you know.”

Trevor smiled. “Yeah, I know. You’re hot.”

“Stop it,” she said. “What time is it?”

He reached for his phone. “It’s only six. What time are we supposed to get up?”

“When the others get up, I guess,” she said. “I don’t hear them, other than my uncle snoring.”

“That’s who that is?”

“Yeah, it drove my auntie nuts,” she said, reaching up to stroke his hair. “What made you fall in love with me?”

“I’m not sure we should talk about this right now,” Trevor said. “I’m having enough trouble as it is.”

“I know,” she said, “I can tell. You poor man.”

“You’re enjoying this,” he said.

“Maybe just a little.” She snuggled up closer, and pulled his leg over her waist. “There, that’s better.”

“Kaylee,” he whispered.

“It’s okay,” she said.

“Easy for you to say,” Trevor said. “What do you think about me?”

“I thought you didn’t want to talk about it like this,” she said, flashing a coy smile at him. She moved closer to him, taking his hand and putting it on her belly. “You can touch me, you know.”

“I think I’m touching you more than enough,” he said.

“You don’t get me all the way yet,” Kaylee whispered, “but you can touch me. I want you to.”

Trevor moaned, his hand roaming over her, avoiding the parts he wanted most. She stared into his eyes, her hands roaming on him, slowly and tenderly. “This is strange.”

“Sorry,” Trevor said, moving his hand away.

She rolled her eyes and pulled his hand back to where it was. “You don’t know what I think is strange, so why get all worried about it?”

He moaned as his hand roamed again, trembling with love and lust.

“You don’t want to know?” she asked. “You’re going to take patience.”

“Sorry,” he said.

“Quit saying that,” she whispered. “I’m already in love with you. It’s never happened to me this fast. That’s all.”

“Oh, God,” he said, moving in to kiss her. She returned it with abandon.

“Can I trust you not to do it?” she asked.

“Yes,” he said.

She pulled him over on top of him, feeling his weight crush her. “Oh yeah, that’s better.” They settled into another kiss, going on for several minutes.

Somebody moved out in the salon. Trevor moved off of her quickly. “They’re getting up.”

She got on her side and looked at him, a calm happiness on her face. “Did you like that?”

“What a question,” Trevor said.

“We’d better settle down. You’ve got the flush. Bad.”

Trevor chuckled. “Yeah, I do that when… you know.”

“Yeah,” she said. “Everybody does, but my skin hides it more than yours does. Let’s talk for a while.”

“Okay,” he said. “What do you want to talk about?”

“What do you want your life to be like? You want a family and kids, or do you want to travel, or start a business, or what?”

He chuckled. “Got all day? That’s a big question.”

“Okay, just the first one. Do you want a family? Do you like kids?”

“Yes,” Trevor said. “I’m not mature enough for that yet, but I want it eventually. You?”

“Same, basically,” she said. “Check one.”

Trevor laughed. “I’m being tested, aren’t I?”

“Maybe a little bit,” she said.

“You two up?” Ji-Ho asked through the door.

“Yes, Uncle.”

“Good, I call Sam and One Eye. Better get dressed. We need to unhitch off roaders. I ask them to bring drivers.”

“Okay,” Kaylee said.

“I look okay now?” Trevor asked.

“Yes,” she said. “I want to kiss you again, but we’d better wait, or it’ll come back.”

She got out of bed, standing before him naked. He moaned when he saw her.

“What?” she asked, spinning around for him.

Trevor smiled and got out of bed, and they got dressed.

“Okay, now it’s safe,” she said, getting into his arms. They kissed one more time, and then she slid the door open. “Good morning.”

“They come,” Ji-Ho said. “They bring enough drivers. Let’s load weapons in Jeeps.”

“I’m ready,” Trevor said. “That coffee I smell?”

“Yes, but take out with you,” Ji-Ho said. “They be here half hour.”

To be continued…

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 5 – Wave of Patriots – next in the series is now available in the Kindle store, free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

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

Bug Out! Texas Book 5 – Wave of Patriots. Just published in the Kindle Store and Kindle Unlimited!

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Bug Out! Texas Book 5

Sample:

The door into the emergency room opened, the nurse poking her head out. “We’re done with Madison, if you’d like to come back in, Juan Carlos.”

“Great, thanks,” he said. “What are you guys gonna do? You don’t have to hang out here. She’ll be okay.”

“We’ve got two days to kill,” Richardson said. “How long is Madison going to be here?”

“I don’t know,” Juan Carlos said.

“We aren’t sure about that yet,” the nurse said. “I’d guess she’ll be here overnight.”

“Okay,” Richardson said. “I’ll call the emergency room and let you know where we’re gonna settle.”

“Roger that,” Juan Carlos said. “I’m going in.” He followed the nurse inside.

“Your chair is still there,” the nurse said. “Let me know if you need anything.”

“Thanks,” Juan Carlos said. He parted the curtains and saw Madison’s smiling face.

“I’m a little loopy,” she said. “They’re using strong pain meds. They’re really hitting me now.”

“Enjoy it,” he said. “How are you doing?”

“I wish we could just curl up into a bed somewhere together and cuddle,” she said.

“You and me both.”

“Can I have a kiss?” she asked.

Juan Carlos got up and moved over her, kissing her tenderly. She pulled his head down and raised the passion.

“Wow,” he said.

“Did that bother you?” she asked, eyes dancing with the drugs and her happiness.

“Are you kidding?”

“Well, then kiss me again, silly,” she said. He kissed her again, more urgently than before.

“Ahem,” the nurse said as she walked in. “Better slow that down. She’s a little too open to suggestion right now.”

“I know,” Juan Carlos said. “I’m sitting back down.”

“Spoil sport,” Madison said, grinning ear to ear. “You’re trembling.”

“You have that effect on me.”

“Kids,” the nurse said, shaking her head. “The doctor says you can leave tonight at about six. Do you have a place to go?”

Madison laughed. “Yeah, we got a hole in the ground where the trailer used to be.”

“Don’t worry, Richardson and the others are finding a place for us to spend the next couple of days.”

“What happens after that?” Madison asked.

“We’re being moved to the Houston area,” Juan Carlos said.

“Oh,” Madison said. “That’s not bad. At least it’s a big city. We’ll be harder to blow up there.”

The nurse shot a glance at her. “Lunch is coming in about twenty minutes. Would you like a second lunch brought up, Juan Carlos?”

“Sure,” he said. “I can pay you for it.”

“Don’t worry about it,” she said. “You’re a service member. It’s the least we can do.”

“Thanks,” Juan Carlos said.

“Remember, no monkey business in here,” the nurse said as she left, pulling the curtain closed again.

“Monkey business?” Madison asked, eyes dancing. “Is that what it was?”

Juan Carlos chuckled. “So you’re okay with following me to Houston? With getting a place there?”

“What, you want me to shack up?” She giggled. “You probably want to knock me up too.”

“You’re a riot when you’ve got a buzz,” Juan Carlos said. “Maybe we should hold off on this conversation.”

Madison rolled her eyes. “I’m gonna follow you wherever you go, but you already knew that.”

Juan Carlos snickered. “Oh, really? Anything else you want to tell me?”

“A great many things,” She giggled. “This stuff is fun. It feels stronger.”

“Do you feel your cut anymore?”

“Just a dull throbbing,” she said, voice slurring. “Don’t change the subject.”

“What subject?”

“Marriage,” she said.

“Marriage? When were we talking about that?”

She put her hand over her mouth. “Did I just say that out loud?”

Juan Carlos chuckled. “That stuff is hitting you harder.”

“You’re still trying to change the subject,” she said. “What about us?”

“You’re going to follow me wherever I go, remember? We’re going to find a place in Houston together.”

“Are Lita and Richardson going to get married before we leave?”

“I don’t know,” Juan Carlos said. “Maybe.”

“They’d better not go without us,” she said.

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

“But I want to be there,” she said. “You want me to be there too.”

“What are you talking about?” Juan Carlos asked.

“You’ll try to get me to marry you while we’re there.”

“You warned me not to do that,” Juan Carlos said.

She laughed. “That’s what I told you. You’d better do it anyway.”

The nurse poked her head inside the curtains. “You know it’s illegal for her to make contracts when she’s under this kind of sedation, right?”

“Well, she is my fiancé,” Juan Carlos said.

“You’ve been eavesdropping,” Madison slurred. “Naughty naughty.”

“Yeah, whatever,” the nurse said. “You’re right next to me. Curtains don’t kill the sound.”

Juan Carlos looked at her and winked. “It’s okay, we were having this conversation before. I’m just a little more anxious. She loves to tease me, and these meds ramp that up.”

“Understand,” the nurse said. She got up to his ear and whispered. “This woman is seriously in love with you. Don’t hurt her.”

“She’s my whole life,” he whispered back. “Don’t worry.”

“See that you do right by her,” the nurse said. “She’s a lovely girl.”

“You can count on that,” Juan Carlos whispered.

“Hey, no fair whispering,” Madison said. “What’d you say?”

“I told her you were pregnant with triplets,” Juan Carlos said.

The nurse rolled her eyes and left.

“You did not,” Madison said. “What did you say?”

“I told her you were my whole life,” Juan Carlos said.

“Oh. That’s nice. Is that really true?”

“You know it is, Madison.”

“I love it when you use my name,” she said. “My very own man using my name.”

Juan Carlos laughed.

“Don’t change the subject,” she said. “What about Lita’s wedding?”

“I don’t know about that yet,” Juan Carlos said. “Sure you want to talk about that now?”

“Why not?” she asked. “You were planning on marrying me there, weren’t you? I could tell.”

“The thought crossed my mind.”

“If you do, I’ll say yes, but don’t tell anybody,” she said softly.

“I already knew that,” Juan Carlos said, face serious.

“Get out,” she said. “Really? You want me that badly?”

“Madison,” Juan Carlos said, shaking his head.

“Well?”

“Yes, I do want you that badly, you troublemaker,” he said. “You won’t remember any of this later, I suspect. I’ll probably do it anyway, and you’ll get all flustered. Then you’ll still say yes.”

She giggled. “I’m getting sleepy again.”

“Good, sleep for a little while,” he said.

“But I want to be with you,” she said.

“I’m right here, honey,” he said, taking her hand. “Sleep. You’ll wake when the food gets here. I’m not going anywhere.”

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 5 – Wave of Patriots – next in the series is now available in the Kindle store, free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

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 44 – Motion Detectors

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“Hey, kid,” Sparky said to Robbie while they were waiting for Jules.

“What?” Robbie asked.

“You mentioned a couple of friends. Tell me about them.”

“Okay,” Robbie said. “Gil and Justin. Gil is good with a gun. He’s the first person I know who shot at anybody.”

“I remember Gil,” Cody said. “Seemed like a good man.”

“Who’d he shoot at?” Sparky asked.

“Gang members at my apartment in North Torrance, before the Martial Law took over,” Robbie said. “By the way, Morgan lived next door to me in that building.”

“He killed one and wounded one at your parent’s condo, too, remember,” Cody said.

“Yep,” Robbie said. “That seems like ages ago.”

Sparky smiled. “Okay, what about the other one?”

“Justin. He’s a different kettle of fish. His girlfriend was snatched the same day Morgan was. He’s plenty pissed off.”

“You been in any fights with him?” Sparky asked.

“No,” Robbie said. “I didn’t kill anybody either, until Morgan was taken.”

“Those the only friends you have?” Sparky asked.

“Well, there’s Steve. He took off with his girlfriend Colleen about ten minutes before the UN Peacekeepers arrived at the condo.”

“Where were they going?” Sparky asked.

“Colleen’s folks have a cabin up in Mountain High,” Robbie said. “They were gonna go there and wait this thing out. Good thing they left, too. Colleen is beautiful. The UN guys would’ve picked her up for sure.”

“That was the redhead, right?” Cody asked. “What a dish. If any of the UN Peacekeepers saw her in the car, they’ve probably pulled them over. Her hair was something else.”

“Long, dangerous trip to that area,” Sparky said. “Chances are good they didn’t make it.”

“I know,” Robbie said. “They tried like hell to get Morgan and I to join them. Maybe we should have.”

“Maybe,” Sparky said. “You haven’t tried to call them?”

“No,” Robbie said. “I haven’t had any idle time since Morgan got snatched. By the way, Steve is the brother of Justin’s girlfriend Katie. I probably should try to contact him just to let him know about that.”

“If he’s still alive, he shouldn’t come back here for that,” Sparky said. “Maybe you ought to wait on calling him until we get his sister back.”

If we get her back,” Robbie said. “You really think this plan is going to work?”

“It’s risky, but it has potential,” Sparky said.

“Risky?” Cody chuckled. “It’s insane, but I’ve seen plans like this work.”

Jules walked into the room.

“Well?” Tex asked, getting out of his chair.

“Ivan say yes,” Jules said. “Tonight. We need to get into position for tunnel earlier though, in daytime. Boss want no tip-off before attack happen on City Hall. You guys be out of sight waiting.”

“If we do this at night, won’t a lot of people working in the Regional Governor’s office be home?” Robbie asked.

“Regional Governor living there,” Jules said. “Only Torrance city employees go home at night.”

“How do we know that?” Tex asked.

“We know,” Jules said. “All I can say.”

Tex chuckled. “You got yourself an insider in the Torrance bureaucracy.”

“No comment,” Jules said, sly smile on his face.

“So what now?” Robbie asked.

“Tunnel team needs to get ready. Go in three hours. Three hide in library until close. Four go in cultural center. Armstrong Theater best bet.”

“Yeah, I’ll bet they don’t have any shows running there,” Robbie said. “I’ve been in there before, back stage and downstairs where the orchestra pit is. Know my way around, but I don’t know where the tunnel is.”

“I do, partner,” Tex said. “It’s in the shop. There’s a trap door in the corner, about five feet to the right of the big roll-up door.”

“The shop isn’t in the basement,” Robbie said. “It’s behind the stage.”

“Yep,” Tex said. “Who’s doing what?”

“Ivan work directly with the team that will attack City Hall building,” Jules said. “Not come from this cell. Come from cell that work West LA and Valley.”

“Why?” Sparky asked.

“They better equipped for massive ground assault,” Jules said.

“Who’s going on this one?” Sparky asked.

“Ted, Robbie, Tex, and you in Armstrong Theater,” Jules said. “Stacey, Cody, and I in library.”

“How do we hide in the library?” Stacey asked.

“Bathroom stall, perhaps?” Cody asked.

“We go in, be studious, case joint,” Jules said. “We find space.”

“Yeah, Jules, you three look like students,” Cody quipped. Ted snickered.

“Maybe Robbie ought to be on that team,” Sparky asked.

“Robbie wanted man after killings,” Jules said. “Less people see the better.”

“Oh, yeah,” Cody said. “They’ve got pictures by now. You know damn well they’ve got a big fat APB out on him.”

Tex chuckled. “How does it feel to be famous, kid?”

“Not great,” Robbie said. “So we get into position, and manage to avoid being seen until zero hour. What then?”

“When attack hits, we go into tunnel and wait until police rush from station to city hall,” Tex said. “All that noise will cover up our presence.”

“As long as none of them see us,” Ted said.

“Roger that, partner,” Tex said.

“Then what?” Cody asked.

“Four run into police station and kill bad guys, save women,” Jules said. “Rest hang out with shotguns in tunnel. Blast anybody trying to return from city hall to police station.”

“Sounds like a job for me,” Stacey said.

“You got,” Jules said.

“This is a pretty rough plan,” Ted said.

“So what else is new?” Tex asked. “Remember that first attack on the checkpoints? We just drove down there and started shooting.”

Jules chuckled. “Yes, you right. Nobody expect, so we get away with. Nobody expect this either.”

“You want me to call those two friends of mine?” Robbie asked.

“No, not until after this mission,” Sparky said. “We’ve got enough going on as it is. Let’s sit down and do some planning. We have time, and Tex got us good diagrams of the area.”

“Yeah, I agree,” Ted said. “Let’s get busy.”

***

Ji-Ho sat alone in his motor home, driving down the dark deserted road, one eye on the video from his rear camera. He could see the four Jeeps behind him, towing off-roaders. His GPS screen glowed in the dark on the dash in front of him.

“There is,” he muttered to himself, making the turn onto a much smaller road. The huge coach lurched as he slowed down. The walkie-talkie blipped at him. He picked it up.

“Ji-Ho?” Trevor asked.

“Yes, how you?”

“Fine,” Trevor said. “Maybe I should get in front of you. If there’s going to be a problem on the road, it’d be better if I saw it in the Jeep than if you run into it with the battle wagon. I’m tracking the coordinates on my GPS. I can lead us right there.”

“Smart. Think you can pass here?”

“Yeah,” Trevor said. “Move over just a tad.”

“I do,” Ji-Ho said. He moved over, watching Trevor come forward, along the side of his rig, inches away. He slipped in front of him.

“Okay, I’ll keep watch,” Trevor said. “Out.”

“Thanks,” Ji-Ho said. He put down the walkie-talkie and settled into the drive again, more confident with Trevor in front of him.

Does he like Kaylee? Ji-Ho hoped against hope that he did, and that the feeling was mutual. He wouldn’t be able to protect her forever. She needed a good man. His mind flashed to her parents, hoping he’d be dead before Kaylee found out, hating himself for telling her they escaped. Ji-Ho had been hunted for years, along with his old pal Ivan. Daan Mertins made it a priority to find all the members of the old outfit. The European press considered Daan an anti-crime crusader. Ji-Ho chuckled. Little did they know that Daan just took over Ivan’s operations. He was Al Capone to Ivan’s Bugs Moran. Nothing more.

The dark desert sky calmed him as they drove along, getting to the first fork. Trevor took the right one without even slowing down. Did Kaylee buy what he said about her Gyeongbokgung blood? He chuckled to himself. “As long as Trevor believes, he protect queen. Don’t worry. Clear your head.”

The road was all dirt now, rutted and rough, but wide and flat enough for his rig. He watched the dirt ahead, lit by his headlights, searching for tracks other than the Jeep in front of him. Nothing. Desolate. Perfect. Ji-Ho’s thoughts moved back to the enemy. To his past, when he recognized the danger of the globalists, of their ever-increasing grasp of governments and banks and phony aid groups. The controls on free speech. The demonization of anything nationalistic. The separation of people by race, ethnicity, religion, and income level. The constant outrage in the press as the splintered society faced off against each other, whipped up by political hacks on all sides. The half-truths and outright lies. His thoughts were once of finding refuge, of escape to watch the world sink into darkness. A life boat, which he planned to row away from the sinking Titanic that was global governance. Then there was the appointment. The tests. “Two years,” the doctor had said. His wife’s only hope was anonymity. He pushed her back home to Korea, with a new name and no ties, aching for her constantly but comforted by her relative safety. He tried with his brother, but he was too late. The UN found him. Kaylee got away just in time, aided by the craziness that the UN had caused themselves.

Trevor slowed down, going around a tight bend next to a small hill. There it was. A big, flat clearing. Ji-Ho smiled, driving deep into the clearing, then making a sweeping turn, facing the coach towards the incoming road. He watched as the other three Jeeps parked next to him. Trevor was already out. Ji-Ho shut off the engine and went outside.

“You find, very good,” Ji-Ho said.

“Look at that old truck over there,” Trevor said, pointing to it.

“Been here long time,” Ji-Ho said as they walked over to it. The tires were flat, the metal showing rust. There were bullet holes in the sides.

“You think this was in a gun battle?” Trevor asked, looking at the bullet holes with his flashlight.

“Probably target practice,” Ji-Ho said. “Lots out here.”

“Hey, guys,” Angel said, walking up. Seth and Kaylee were right behind them.

“An old truck?” Kaylee asked, looking at it in the glow of the flashlight.

“Abandoned junk,” Angel said. “We used to shoot these up. Probably what happened here.”

“We going the rest of the way tonight?” Seth asked.

“I think long and hard,” Ji-Ho said. “I say we spend night in coach, turn on motion detection system. If followed, we blast.”

“Motion detection?” Seth asked.

“More from bag of tricks,” Ji-Ho said.

“You’re something else, uncle,” Kaylee said. “How many beds?”

“Six, but some double up,” Ji-Ho said. “Two in bedroom. Couch convert to queen bed, another two. Two in dinette bed. Work for one night.”

Seth chuckled. “We don’t even have a whole night left.”

“I call on radio,” Ji-Ho said. “Tell them we wait till morning.” He went into the coach and picked up the radio, changing the channel to the one Sam told him.

“Sam? Come in.”

A hiss came from the speaker.

“Sam? It Ji-Ho.”

There was a click. “Hey.”

“We arrive. We stay here tonight. Turn on motion sensing device and sleep in bullet-proof coach. If we followed, we blast them.”

Sam’s chuckle came over the speaker.

“Who’s that, honey?” a groggy woman’s voice said.

“The other group,” Sam said. “We’ll go get them in the morning.”

“You go back to sleep,” Ji-Ho said. “We see you tomorrow.”

“Roger that,” Sam said. The radio went silent, and Ji-Ho put it back on the console, then went outside.

“Move vehicles behind coach,” Ji-Ho said. “Out of sight from road.”

“I was gonna suggest that,” Angel said.

They got back into the vehicles and moved them, Ji-Ho watching from the road vantage point.

“Perfect,” he said, walking over to meet them. “Let’s go inside and hunker down. Wait. Sleep.”

“It’s dark out here,” Kaylee said, following Ji-Ho inside. The others came in after a couple minutes.

“You mentioned motion detectors,” Trevor said. “What do you have?”

“Here, I show how we button up. Motion detector part of that.” Ji-Ho sat in the driver’s seat and turned on the generator. It started and then purred silently. Ji-Ho pushed the button to raise the console and screen. “We set up in siege mode.”

“Siege mode?” Seth asked, glancing at Angel, who was on the verge of cracking up.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said, pushing a series of buttons. The sound of electric motors filled the coach, as the screen in front of the windshield came up.

“That’s dropping those plates in front of the wheels too, isn’t it?” Trevor asked.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “And raising screen around engine compartment. Can’t run main engine in that configuration, but bullets not disable.”

“This thing is a fortress on wheels,” Angel said.

“It good against small arms fire, even up to .50 cal,” Ji-Ho said. “We done if somebody fire RPG or TOW missile at us.”

“Comforting thought,” Kaylee said, moving closer to Trevor.

Ji-Ho pushed another button on the touch screen, and they heard a whir in the back of the coach.

“You’re raising the mini-gun?” Trevor asked.

“Yes, in case we get surprised during night,” he said. “Save seconds. Might be enough. Have to reload anyway.”

The console screen changed to a reticle view with cross hair. Ji-Ho touched the picture on the screen, causing the gun to move, the picture moving with it. He stopped when the gun was pointed at the road.

“That’s so cool,” Trevor said.

“Now we set motion detection. Works on all sides of coach.”

“What happens if somebody shows up?” Seth asked.

“Alarm go off inside coach,” Ji-Ho said. “Weapons systems go off standby, ready to use. Come to back, I show how to reload mini-gun. Ran out during battle at RV Park.”

He got out of his seat and walked to the back, Trevor right behind him, the others following. He stood on the bed and opened the sheet-metal compartment, then pulled a metal box off of one side of the gun.

“Cartridge brass,” Ji-Ho said. “We save. Maybe reload. Have setup in warehouse.”

He pulled a box out from under the bed and poured the brass inside, then grabbed a long belt of ammo. He pulled a box off the other side of the gun, and loaded the belt inside, with the end sticking out of the slot in the top. “See?” he asked. Then he put the box back into position, clicking it into place.

“That’s pretty easy,” Trevor said.

“Not done. Thread end into gun, see?” He stood and moved the belt into the slot on the side of the gun, then flipped a lever next to the slot. “There, ready to fire.”

“A belt doesn’t last long, does it?” Seth asked.

“No,” Ji-Ho said.

“I thought that mini-gun was ready to protect us on the road,” Kaylee said.

“Did I say?” Ji-Ho asked. “I meant front and rear machine guns. Those fully loaded, don’t fire as fast as mini-gun.”

“You can’t aim them as easily, though, can you?” Trevor asked.

“Range of motion small,” Ji-Ho said. “Road protection and road attacks only. Larger ammo, though. They .50 cal.”

“What’s the mini-gun?” Trevor asked.

“It 7.62,” Ji-Ho said. “Now we set. Want bite to eat?”

“We never ate that lasagna,” Kaylee said. “I’ll go heat it up. I’m sure it got cold.”

“Will the microwave run with the generator?” Angel asked.

“Yes, everything work,” Ji-Ho said. “Come. We eat, then hit sack.”

Trevor watched Ji-Ho close the metal cover for the mini-gun as the others went into the salon. He stepped off the bed. “You like my toys?”

“Hell yeah,” Trevor said. “You designed this for what we’re going through now?”

“It my bug out vehicle,” Ji-Ho said. “Was going to take to Montana or Idaho and sit out mess, but hit too close to home. Now it battle wagon.”

Trevor laughed. “Yeah, it is that, all right.”

They went out into the salon together. Kaylee had the food warming up, and pulled the pizza out of the fridge. “Want me to heat this?” she asked.

“Nah, it’s good cold,” Angel said.

“Yeah,” Trevor said. He went next to Kaylee. “Need help with anything?”

“I’m fine,” she said, turning to him, soft smile on her face. She whispered in his ear. “We aren’t fooling anybody, are we?”

“Probably not,” Trevor said. “I don’t care.”

She sighed. “Maybe I don’t either.”

“How do the beds work?” Angel asked.

“Sofa sleeper here just like normal house version,” Ji-Ho said. He lifted up the cushions. “See, grab this bar, pull out. Normal. Comfortable.”

“We have to lower the table for the dinette bed, right?” Angel asked.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “It little short. I use. Then two and two in other beds.”

Kaylee shot a worried glance at Trevor, still standing next to him.

“Don’t worry,” Trevor whispered. “I’ll sleep on top of the covers with my clothes on.”

She rolled her eyes. “Don’t get all nuts over this.”

“I won’t,” he said.

“Go talk to my uncle while I finish,” she said, making eye contact with him. He shuddered at her look. “Stop that,” she whispered.

He nodded and left her side. “How sensitive are the motion detectors?”

Ji-Ho turned to him. “Very sensitive. Hope no rabbits nearby.”

“Oh, great, we’re gonna crap our pants when some wild life walks by?” Angel asked, grinning.

“Be aware,” Ji-Ho said. “Remember that we bullet-proof. We have reaction time.”

“You don’t think anybody followed us, though, do you?” Seth asked.

“Nobody that I see,” Ji-Ho said. “I do this for sleep and to show friends we safe bet.”

“Well, if you’ve got the capability, might as well use it,” Trevor said.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said.

The microwave bell went off.

“I’ll check it,” Kaylee said, pulling the container out of the microwave above the range top.

“Smells good,” Angel said. “I’m really hungry.”

“Seriously,” Seth said.

“It’s hot enough,” Kaylee said. “Plates in the usual place?”

Ji-Ho chuckled. “Shoot, forgot to stow in safe travel spot. We’re lucky they didn’t fly out.”

“I’m surprised you can drive with the microwave turntable in,” Trevor said. “We have to take it out in my parent’s coach.”

Kaylee grabbed five plates and started dishing out the lasagna. Trevor got the pizza out of the fridge and set it on the counter as she worked.

“Thanks,” she said, glancing at him. He nodded and sat back down.

“Okay, come and get it,” she said.

They got the food and ate quickly, barely saying anything.

“Think we can get anything on the TV?” Angel asked.

“Need satellite dish,” Ji-Ho said. “Buried under weapons in storage compartment. If we stay longer I’d get out. Not worth for tonight.”

“Okay,” Angel said. “Wondering if our little dust-up in Temecula made the news.”

“Can your warehouse be tracked if they find your SUV?” Kaylee asked.

“No, different names,” Ji-Ho said. He got out of the dinette and set his plate in the sink.

“Should we wash dishes tonight?” Kaylee asked.

“No, we sleep,” he said.

The others finished and got busy with the beds.

“Who’s sleeping where?” Trevor asked.

“I’m sleeping here,” Angel said, pulling out the convertible sofa. “Wow, this is full size, huh?”

“Full queen, yes,” Ji-Ho said. “I set up dinette.” He got to work on that.

Kaylee glanced at Trevor and he looked away quickly.

“I’m gonna bunk with Angel,” Seth said. “If I can trust him.”

“Shut up, dude,” Angel said. Both of them snickered.

“C’mon,” Kaylee said to Trevor.

“We’ll leave the door open,” Trevor said, shooting a glance at Ji-Ho.

“Stop it,” Kaylee whispered as they walked back.

“Just trying to be polite,” Trevor said.

“You’re being weird. I’m not undressing with the door open in front of all those men.” She slid the bedroom door shut.

“I’m going to sleep in my clothes, remember?”

She rolled her eyes. “You’ll get cold. Forget it. Turn around.”

Trevor’s heart pounded as he turned.

“Don’t get weird,” she said softly. “You’re trembling.”

“Sorry.” He could hear the flutter of her pants as she pulled them off.

“I’m getting under the covers,” she said. “Your turn.”

He stripped down to his underwear, back still to her, and then turned around.

“Wait a minute,” she said softly. “Underwear. Let them dry out, at least. It’s not like we have new clothes to change into tomorrow morning.”

“You sure that’s a good idea?” he asked, back still to her.

“It’s what I did,” she said.

Trevor slipped off his underwear and rushed to the bed, slipping under the covers. He lay on his back, still trembling, heart pounding.

“You need to settle down,” she whispered, turning her face to him. She giggled. “You’re afraid to move.”

“Sorry, I’m trying to settle down,” he said softly.

She sighed, then moved over him, her naked body almost on top of him. “There, now you don’t have to worry about it. Can’t get much more familiar than this.”

“Kaylee,” he whispered, beside himself.

“Relax,” she whispered. “You don’t get me tonight. We’re not even close to that stage yet. Just settle down and go to sleep. Keep me warm. I’m freezing.”

He turned to her, the urge to kiss overpowering.

“Go ahead,” she whispered.

“Go ahead?”

She rolled her eyes and kissed him, slow and passionate, both of them moaning. Then she broke it. “There. Now let’s go to sleep.”

“Seriously?” Trevor whispered. “You’re trying to drive me nuts.”

“No I’m not,” she said. “It is what it is, now sleep.” She moved slightly away, still facing him, still touching, feeling him tremble. When he shut his eyes she let a grin wash over her face.

To be continued…

 

Bug Out! Texas Book 5 – Wave of Patriots – next in the series is now available in the Kindle store, free in Kindle Unlimited!

 

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 43 – Warehouse

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kaylee walked towards the back of the motor home, Trevor following, looking as if he was in for a beating. He glanced at Angel and Seth as he walked by.

“Close the door,” Kaylee said as she sat on the bed. Trevor nodded and closed it, then sat next to her. They looked at each other for a moment.

“You look scared to death,” Kaylee said, looking him in the eyes.

“There’s something I need to tell you before we get started,” Trevor said.

“Hey, I called this meeting,” she said.

“I know, but you need to hear it. Was going to bring it up with you and Ji-Ho when we stopped.”

She got a worried look on her face. “Are we in more danger than we thought?”

“It’s what we found in the UN van,” Trevor said, looking down at his lap. He trembled as tears came.

“Oh, no,” she said, putting her arm around Trevor’s shoulders. “What?”

“Seth found some of Matt and Emma’s stuff inside.”

Kaylee froze for a moment, eyes tearing up. “Oh, God, what?”

“Matt’s rifle and Emma’s underwear,” Trevor said. “I’m so sorry.”

“Oh no,” Kaylee said, collapsing against him in sobs. “She’s probably being raped right now.”

“Seth wants to go after her,” Trevor said. “Rescue her.”

She straightened up, trying to compose herself. “Matt’s probably dead.”

“Probably,” Trevor said. “Jamie too, I’ll bet, and Gus.”

“They’ll keep Emma for a slave,” Kaylee said. “She’s probably miles away by now.”

They sat silently for a few minutes, then Kaylee turned to him. “Thank you for telling me. I know that was hard.”

“I sorry,” Trevor said.

“It wasn’t your fault,” she said.

“I know, but she was your best friend,” Trevor said. He brushed her hair out of her eyes, looking at her with sympathy.

“You’re more mature than you act,” she said softly.

Trevor smiled. “Oh, I don’t know about that.”

“Can we talk for a moment, then?” Kaylee asked. “Seems stupid with all of this, but I need to get it out.”

“I watched you fidgeting out there,” Trevor said, hint of worry in his expression.

She smiled at him, and reached up to touch his face. “Poor Trevor, so afraid of girls.”

He watched her, feeling his heart beat quicker. “Go ahead.”

“There’s something between us,” Kaylee said. “Do you feel it?”

“Yes,” he said softly.

“Before Matt and I split?” she asked.

“Matt was my friend, so I wouldn’t allow myself to go there,” he said.

“I caught you watching me every once in a while,” she said. “I think my uncle noticed it.”

“Did it bother you?”

“No,” she said. “You looked at Emma sometimes too.”

“She couldn’t stand me,” Trevor said. “She was pretty, but I wasn’t interested.”

“I know,” Kaylee said.

“How?”

“You talked to me when you had the chance. I don’t remember you ever talking to Emma.”

“So what now?” Trevor asked.

“Nothing,” Kaylee said. “I don’t want to rush into anything. If our affection starts to grow, it’ll be natural, and something will come from it. I just don’t want you to be weird about it either way, okay?”

“You have affection for me?” Trevor asked, staring into her eyes.

“Yes,” she said, “but my match-making uncle isn’t helping it, and you getting weird won’t either.”

Trevor chuckled. “This is liable to make me more weird, not less.”

She smiled. “I know that. Let’s stay back here and talk for a little while. Let’s talk whenever we get a few minutes. We hardly know each other, really. If there’s something there, it’ll come out.”

“I like that idea,” Trevor said. “You’ll tell me if I get weird, right?”

“You’ll see me losing interest,” she said. “Be sensitive to me. All girls like that.”

Trevor’s eyes dilated, his breath coming faster. She noticed, watching him, frozen in time. “Oh, God.”

“What?” Trevor asked.

“Your reaction,” she said. “This is going to be a challenge. What got you so worked up?”

“You just said you were interested in me,” he whispered. “Sorry, that has an effect.”

She looked over at him silently.

“You’re trembling,” Trevor said.

“Shut up,” she said, reaching for him, bringing him in for a kiss. They moaned together, the kiss going on and on. Kaylee broke it and they stared at each other again. “I’m sorry.”

“I’m not,” Trevor said. “Why did you do that? It didn’t fit what we were talking about.”

“Don’t try to use logic for something like this,” she said softly. “I wanted to do that as soon as we got back here.”

“Really? Why?”

“Watching you fight out there,” she said. “Us females like to see our men in action.” She put her hand over her mouth. “I didn’t mean that the way it came out.”

“I understand,” he said. “I’ve never been kissed like that before.”

“You have had girlfriends before, I hope,” she asked.

“Yes,” Trevor said. “Been a little while, but I’ve had several.”

“They didn’t kiss you like that?”

“No,” Trevor said. “I don’t know, maybe it’s me.”

“Maybe it’s you?” she asked.

“My mindset,” he said, “and the world we’re living in.” He was silent for a moment, thinking, staring at her delicate face, touching her black hair.

“You’re holding something back,” she said.

“I’ll have to if we’re going to slowly get to know each other.”

“That’s not a good way to start,” she said. “Holding back.”

“Can’t have it both ways,” Trevor said. “Not if we’re going slowly like you’re suggesting.”

“Dammit,” she said. “Okay, okay, I get it. Now tell me what you wanted to say.”

“You sure?” he asked quietly.

“Trevor,” she said. “C’mon.”

He sighed, touching her cheek, looking into her eyes. “I adore you.”

“Oh, God,” she said. They kissed again, more passionately than before. Trevor broke it this time. “Feel that? We’re getting on I-15 already. Maybe we should get back up there.”

“Maybe so,” she said. “Do we understand each other? Can we at least try?”

“Yes,” Trevor said. “That means you can’t hold back either.”

“Okay,” she said, getting closer to him, petting his cheek. “I’ve never been kissed like that before either.”

They kissed again, soft and tender, then stared at each other.

“We’d better get back out there,” Trevor said. “You gonna be okay? What should we tell the others?”

“We have to talk about Emma and Matt when we stop,” she said, face grim. “I wouldn’t worry about the others going crazy over us with that going on.”

“There might be an us,” Trevor whispered, face flushing.

“It’s more than a might,” she whispered. “Come on. Maintain out there.”

They left the bedroom. Trevor sat down on the couch. Kaylee joined him, leaning against him as Angel and Seth shot each other a glance.

“They’re lucky,” Angel whispered.

“Yes,” Seth said, on the verge of tears.

“Emma?” Angel asked.

Seth nodded, tears streaming down his cheeks now.

“There off-ramp,” Ji-Ho said, his loud voice breaking through the room like a knife.

Seth got up and went to the passenger seat. “You mind?”

“Not at all,” Ji-Ho said, smiling at him. “No slugs follow. We be good.”

“I hope so,” Seth said. “We need to talk when we get there.”

“Why wait,” Ji-Ho asked. “Surface streets go on for while. What?”

“I found stuff in the van,” he whispered. “Matt and Emma’s stuff.”

“What stuff?”

“Matt’s Winchester,” Seth said, looking at him.

“He dead,” Ji-Ho said. “What else?”

“Emma’s bra and panties,” Seth whispered.

Ji-Ho shot him a glance. “You not surprised, I hope.”

“That wasn’t the reaction I expected,” Seth said sharply.

“Don’t get wrong idea,” he said. “I don’t want. I knew when I hear they captured. Blonde girl like Emma valuable to Islamists. I knew she in for trouble.”

“Should we try to rescue her?” Seth asked. “Can we try to rescue her.”

Ji-Ho looked at Seth. “Best hope for her is us winning war, not suicide mission to save. You understand?”

“Not good enough for me,” Seth said. “Maybe not good enough for Kaylee either. What if it was her?”

“It not,” Ji-Ho said. “I understand. Believe me. Many, many young pretty girls captured and used. We beat them in battle, problem gone. Has to be focus.”

They rode silently for a few minutes. “There warehouse,” Ji-Ho said, turning into the driveway. “We in back of industrial park.”

He drove through a maze of roads between rows of two and three story buildings, all white cinder block with roll-up steel doors.

“This place is huge,” Seth said.

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said, reaching up into a cabinet above the windshield. He pulled out a gray plastic remote and hit the button, the large roll-up door springing to life, rolling up quickly.

“Push off-roaders out of way,” Ji-Ho said.

“Okay,” Seth said.

“I’ll help,” Angel said, getting up.

“Me too,” Trevor said, standing, Kaylee getting up too. The men went outside while Kaylee got into the passenger seat. She and her uncle watched as they shoved the off-roaders to the side, clearing a path.

“You work out with Trevor?” Ji-Ho asked.

“That’s private,” she said, “but yes.”

“He want?”

“Yes, uncle, but don’t push it or you’ll ruin the whole thing.”

“You want?”

“Uncle.”

“Say. Make difference who I save when chips down.”

“Seriously?” she asked.

Seth gave a thumbs up, and Ji-Ho drove the coach through the door, creeping to the back. He shut down the engine and put on the brake. “Well?”

Kaylee sighed. “Yes, uncle, I want him, but I’m not going to rush it, so don’t mess it up. Okay?”

“What I want to hear,” Ji-Ho said. “Come, let’s go out.”

They went out into the warehouse, and Ji-Ho rushed to a big fan, turning it on and pointing it towards the back of the motor home.

“You don’t want to close the door?” Angel asked.

“In a minute,” Ji-Ho said. “Blow diesel fumes out.”

“I told Ji-Ho about Matt and Emma,” Seth said to Trevor as they walked next to the fan, Angel catching up, Kaylee following.

“You did?” Kaylee asked as she joined them. “What’d he say?”

“He said the best thing we can do is win the war,” Seth said.

“You okay with that?” Trevor asked. “He’s right, you know.”

“You told Kaylee back there, didn’t you?” Angel asked.

“Yes, he told me,” Kaylee said. “I’m right here, you know.”

Ji-Ho went into a walled off part of the warehouse, in the corner up front, to the right of the roll-up door. He switched on lights, then came back out. “Turn off fan. Push button by roll-up door to close. Red button.”

Trevor nodded and shut off the fan, as Seth and Angel rushed over to the door.

“We aren’t done for the night,” Kaylee whispered. “My uncle is getting ready to do something in his office.”

“You’ve been here before?” Trevor asked.

“Once,” she said. “On the way to the RV Park. We picked up the off-roaders and took them out into the back country. I loved it.”

“Girl after my own heart,” Trevor said.

“Watch that,” she whispered as Seth and Angel came back over.

“Come to office,” Ji-Ho said. “Conference call.”

They went inside and joined him, taking seats in the cramped space. Ji-Ho sat behind his desk.

“Who we calling?” Trevor asked.

“One Eye,” Ji-Ho said.

Seth snickered. “One Eye?”

“Indian name,” Ji-Ho said. “His team already in staging area with team from Dulzura.”

“How many people we talking about?” Angel asked.

“Two-hundred tribal members there, but not all fight. At least six from other group.”

“Why’d the tribe bring that many people?” Seth asked.

“Reservation overrun,” Ji-Ho said. “Brought women and children to protect.” He pushed the button on his land line phone speaker, then punched in a phone number. It rang twice and picked up.

“Ji-Ho?” an old gravelly voice asked.

“One Eye. On speaker. How you?”

“Great, old friend. Still gonna join us?”

“Yes, but problem tonight. Attack in RV Park.”

“Everybody survive?” One Eye asked.

“Everybody who still with us. They capture some who left. That’s how enemy find us.”

“Where are you now?”

“Inside warehouse,” Ji-Ho said. “With battle wagon.”

One Eye chuckled. “Oh, yeah, that thing. You bringing it here?”

“This no off-roader,” Ji-Ho said.

“There’s a place close by. Came out in discussions with Sam. I’ll go get him and put it on speaker.”

“You do,” Ji-Ho said, smiling at the others.

The line was silent for a moment.

“What if they track this call?” Angel asked.

“Land line on this side,” Ji-Ho said. “No dice.”

“We’re back,” One Eye said.

“Hello,” Sam said.

“Sam, old buddy,” Ji-Ho said. There was silence on the line for a moment.

“Is that who I think it is?” Sam asked.

One Eye chuckled. “Recognize the voice, eh?”

“Yes, it Ji-Ho,” he said, a look of glee on his face. “Long time. Ready to mix up with enemy?”

Sam chuckled. “You involved because of Ivan?”

“One Eye told you about him?” Ji-Ho asked.

“Yeah,” Sam said. “Not sure how I feel about that.”

“You get over,” Ji-Ho said. “One Eye say you have place I can park big rig?”

“There’s a place not too far away, with good road all the way in,” Sam said.

“I didn’t know you knew area,” Ji-Ho said.

“This is where George and Malcolm were.”

Ji-Ho froze. “No, really?”

“Really,” Sam said. “We’re camped by the house.”

“Why camp there? Bad place.”

“There’s a well,” One Eye said, “and it’s in the middle of nowhere.”

“Good place for ambush,” Ji-Ho said.

“We posted men on the ridge,” One Eye said. “After Sam told us. There was still a bunch of .50 cal brass up there.”

“I’ll send you coordinates for the parking place,” Sam said. “How many people you bringing?”

“Not many,” Ji-Ho said. “Four young people and me, but we capable.”

“I thought you were bringing more like ten,” One Eye said.

“Some chicken out after what happen at house in PV,” Ji-Ho said.

“Oh, crap, what’d you do?” One Eye asked.

“Saladin show up at house. Almost killed by my booby trap,” Ji-Ho said. “Watched on video system.”

“Saladin?” Sam asked. “Crap. So the others didn’t want to be targeted by him.”

“No,” Ji-Ho said. “They scared to death.”

“You didn’t kill him?” One Eye asked.

“Almost,” Ji-Ho said. “He get wise before main explosive go off, jump out window. We wound him with secondary device. Not sure how bad.”

“Secondary device?” Sam asked.

“Claymore mine in front yard. Threw him ten feet, but he together enough to shoot video camera.”

“Dammit,” Sam said. “You know how he is. He’ll drop everything to search for you. That why you got attacked?”

“Maybe, but I doubt,” Ji-Ho said. “We with local militia group. Blow-hard type, but good enough in fight to bring. UN and Islamists catch them on road after they leave camp. Probably tracked by phone. Maybe car.”

“How do we know you won’t lead them here?” One Eye asked.

“We move from RV Park to warehouse. Nobody follow.”

“You sure?” Sam asked.

“I sure,” Ji-Ho said. “We call on land line, too.”

“Well thank God for that,” Sam said. “This worries me.”

“You leave anything behind at that RV Park?” One Eye asked.

“One motor home and two SUV,” Ji-Ho said. “We get tomorrow.”

“NO!” Sam said. “Leave them there. Come in the rig you’re sure they didn’t follow. Any witnesses get away?”

“Not that we see,” Ji-Ho said.

“You think it’s safe for them to bring that here, Sam?” One Eye asked.

There was silent on the line for a moment, then a sigh from Sam. “Yeah, because of where they’ll park. It’s not easy to find your way here from that location. We should rig surveillance to watch, though. Might be a good opportunity for an ambush if Saladin’s folks are on to him.”

“This could ruin the mission,” One Eye said.

“How?” Ji-Ho asked. “You think they take down supply depot? They need.”

“They might put a lot more resources there to guard it,” Trevor said.

“Who was that?” One Eye asked.

“Trevor,” Ji-Ho said. “You like. Sharp, fearless in fight. Remind me of your main squad.”

“Yeah, well Trevor is right, I’ll give him that,” Sam said. “When are you getting here?”

“Tomorrow,” Ji-Ho said. “We bring big coach, many weapons. Mortars, RPGs, M60 machine guns, claymore mines, and more.”

“Vehicles?” One Eye asked.

“We have four Jeeps here, and six off-roaders. We tow.”

“We only have five tow vehicles,” Trevor said.

“Big trailer for motor home fit two off-roader,” Ji-Ho said. “Each of us have to drive.”

“This sounds a little scary,” Kaylee said. “What if we get attacked on the road?”

“I fire up mini-gun,” Ji-Ho said. “All take M60s in Jeep with you.”

“Who was that?” Sam asked.

“Niece Kaylee.”

“You brought your niece?” Sam asked.

“She in Gyeongbokgung line,” Ji-Ho said.

Sam chuckled. “Oh, please, that doesn’t matter.”

“Don’t underestimate blood lines,” One Eye said. “My elite fighters are all from warrior families. It’s intangible, but it’s real.”

“Okay, whatever,” Sam said. “Hope we don’t get her killed.”

“We all in danger,” Ji-Ho said. “Worth fight anyway.”

“Not going to argue with you there,” Sam said.

“Me neither,” One Eye said. “If I were you I’d leave tonight, and make the first part of the drive in the dark. Saladin’s going to flood that region with fighters as soon as he can.”

“Yeah, I think he’s right,” Trevor said.

“No problem,” Ji-Ho said. “You guys feel up to driving tonight?”

“Yes, I feel like a sitting duck here,” Seth said.

“Me too,” Angel said.

“I’m good,” Trevor said, “but we could use some coffee. That machine there work?”

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “Okay, Sam and One Eye, we go now. I send radio message when we arrive.”

“Got it,” One Eye said. “Be careful. If you get followed, go someplace else unless you can kill them all. Comprende?”

“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “See you soon.” He ended the call.

“This seems pretty dangerous, uncle,” Kaylee said, face flushed.

“We be fine,” Ji-Ho said. “Who drive stick? Two of Jeeps are manual.”

“I can,” Trevor said.

“Me too, uncle,” Kaylee said. “I’ve driven these before, remember? That last off-roading trip. I towed one of the off-roaders in a manual Jeep.”

“Forgot,” Ji-Ho said. “Let’s move it. I start coffee machine.”

***

Sam and One Eye sat on rocks near the fire, in the center of the group of tents.

“You okay with this?” One Eye asked.

“Ji-Ho is one crazy son of a bitch, but that’s what we need,” Sam said. “It’ll be nice to see that old lunatic.”

“He’s liable to draw Saladin right to us,” One Eye said.

“That’ll give me a chance to kill him,” Sam said.

“Don’t let the personal stuff mess with you,” One Eye said. “We’ve got a job to do.”

He’s going to get personal,” Sam said.

“Then let him make the mistakes,” One Eye said.

Sam chuckled. “Message received, and you’re right.”

Clem and Sid walked over. “What’s going on?” Sid asked. “Saw you on the phone.”

“We just talked to another group that’s on their way here,” One Eye said.

“There’s another group coming?” asked a tiny young woman, moving closer to the fire.

“Yes, Sage Flower,” One Eye said. “Why do you ask?”

“Sage Flower,” she said, rolling her eyes, her beautiful face framed by thick shiny black hair. “My name is Megan. Don’t call me by the Indian name. I’m a grown up.”

“Yeah, I’d better not hear Still Pool, either,” a young woman next to her said. She was a larger woman, curvy with high cheekbones and the same long, shiny black hair as Megan. “I’d better not hear anything other than Kaitlyn from you and the other elders. Especially if we’ve got more men showing up. I’m not a squaw.”

Sid chuckled. “Heard that before.”

“We don’t want to abandon our culture,” One Eye said.

“We can have normal names in public and still be true to what we believe,” Kaitlyn said. “Tell us about the group.”

“It’s small,” One Eye said. “Ji-Ho is an older Asian man. Korean.”

“Who’s with him?” Megan asked.

“His niece,” One Eye said. “And three other men. One of them spoke on the call. He sounded like he was in his mid-20s.”

“Good,” Megan said.

“We’ve got men in the tribe,” One Eye said.

“All the best ones are taken already,” Kaitlyn said.

“Maybe because the other women don’t balk at our traditions,” One Eye said.

“Yes they do,” Megan said.

“Relax,” Kaitlyn said. “We might not even like them, and one of them might already be taken anyway.”

“Why do you say that?” Sid asked.

“Think about it,” Kaitlyn said. “The old man has his niece with him, and other men who he didn’t call relations. One of them is the niece’s boyfriend, and the other two are probably his friends.”

“How do you know all of the men are in their mid-20s?” One Eye asked. He glanced at Sid and Sam, smiling.

“And I wanted a daughter,” Sam said, getting up. “I’m gonna go find a place to bed down. I just texted those GPS coordinates to Ji-Ho.”

“I saw Sarah, Yvonne, and Connie setting up tents over that way about forty yards,” One Eye said, pointing. “See you later. You know our friends are gonna arrive in the middle of the night, right?”

“Yeah, I know,” Sam said as he walked away. “All the more reason to get some sleep now.”

Sid and One Eye looked at each other, chuckling. Then One Eye got a serious expression and looked over at Kaitlyn and Megan.

“What?” Kaitlyn asked.

“Don’t you be all over these new men,” he said. “It’s unseemly.”

“We’ll see,” she said, looking over at Megan with a grin. Both of them giggled and walked away.

“Holy crap,” Sid said. “How does this tribe feel about relationships with outsiders?”

“We try to discourage it, but it’s not doing much good. Each generation gets further from the traditions. It’s sad, but I don’t see a way to stop it.”

“We lost that battle a hundred years ago,” Sid said. “Truth be told, my closest friends are those white-folk that I came with. John, Sam, and Clem are as much family to me as anybody in my tribe. I put them right up there with you and your family.”

“What’s going on with your tribe?”

“I don’t know,” he said. “They’re mostly in Arizona. I’ve heard bad things about that area.”

“So have I,” One Eye said. “We’d better get some shut-eye while we can.”

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