“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.”
“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 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!
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