“This spot looks pretty level,” Megan said, walking with Kaitlyn, Seth, and Angel. “What do you think?”
Seth looked down at the ground in front of them, about forty yards from the nearest tent being put up. He set down the small tent he was carrying. “I think it’ll work.”
“Me too,” Angel said, setting his tent down. “Water isn’t too far away either, see?” And the bathrooms and showers are about fifty yards away. Not so bad.”
“There’s a lot less people,” Kaitlyn said. “Glad they got the others out of harm’s way.”
“I hope they’re going someplace safe,” Seth said. He untied the tent and rolled it out. Kaitlyn got down on her hands and knees and helped Seth set it up.
“How far away should we be?” Angel asked.
“Fifty yards,” Kaitlyn quipped. “No, just kidding. Ten or fifteen yards, maybe?”
“Fifteen,” Angel said, twinkle in his eye.
Megan giggled and shook her head. They walked to the place and got to work.
“I could really use a shower,” Seth said.
“I know, me too, but I don’t have clean clothes to change into.”
Seth chuckled. “You still have traces of war paint.”
“Oh, crap, I do?” she asked. “Where?”
“Left temple,” Seth said. “That war paint was kind of a turn on.”
She snickered. “You’re just smitten. I could put dung on my head and you’d probably still want me.”
“Eeeewww,” Megan said. “I’ll go to the showers with you when we’re done setting up. Need to get sleeping bags and pillows too.”
“Yeah, sounds good,” Seth said. They finished with the tent. Kaitlyn un-zipped the door and crawled inside, smoothing out the floor. “This could use some sweeping out. It was dusty at the last place.”
Seth climbed in after her. “Alone at last.”
She chuckled. “Oh, brother. Don’t expect a hot passionate night in this thing. At least not yet.”
“I know,” Seth said. “You worried?”
“Scared to death,” she said. “We need to get our guns out of the Jeep and bring them over here.”
“I know,” Seth said. “Let’s leave them where they are until we get done with our showers.”
“We’d better go pretty soon. There’s gonna be a line, I suspect.”
“Hey, Kaitlyn, quit making out and let’s go get our showers,” Megan said from outside the tent.
Seth laughed. “Go ahead, honey. We’ll meet back here in a little while. I’ll bring the guns.”
She nodded and climbed out of the tent. “We weren’t making out, Megan.”
Megan laughed. “I know. Let’s go bust the sod off. You’ve still got some war paint.”
“I know, Seth told me.” They walked to the shower, looking around as the others were setting up around them. “Hope they have towels in there.”
“Crap, didn’t think about that,” Megan said. “We’ll find out, I guess. It’ll be nasty if they don’t. Kinda cold here.”
They were the first to get to the women’s showers, and went inside, picking stalls next to each other.
Megan undressed and turned on the water. “Good pressure.”
Kaitlyn’s shower turned on. “Yeah, not bad.”
“Oh, this feels so good,” Megan said. “Wish we had clean clothes. Shoot, I forgot to check for towels.”
“They’re right outside,” Kaitlyn said. “I already grabbed one.”
“Shoot, I didn’t. I’m gonna sneak out before somebody else shows up.”
Kaitlyn giggled as she heard Megan’s stall door open. It closed again a few seconds later. “Get one?”
“Yeah,” Megan said. “It’s cold out there.”
“So, you gonna do hanky panky with Angel?”
“Here?” Megan asked. “Tonight? No way. It’ll happen eventually, though. He’s good for me. I want him.”
“That’s nice,” Kaitlyn said.
“How about you?”
“Same,” Kaitlyn said. “He can barely keep his hands off me. Glad he’s such a gentleman.”
Megan snickered. “White boys.”
“Yours is almost white,” Kaitlyn said.
“We sound kinda racist,” Megan said. “I don’t notice that he’s not tribal.”
“I know, me neither,” Kaitlyn said. “He have any Indian blood?”
“I have no idea,” Megan said. “Don’t really want to bring it up. Chances are good he doesn’t know anyway.”
“I’ve dated outside the tribe, remember? While I was going to school.”
“I don’t care about the differences,” Megan said. “I like talking to this guy. A lot. He’s like a big kid sometimes, but then he can get so serious. He’s very down-to-earth. He’ll be a good provider.”
“Good provider?” Kaitlyn asked. “You’re already going there?”
“Tell me you haven’t thought about that,” Megan said. “We’re wired that way, even if we don’t realize it’s happening.”
“Okay, you’re right,” Kaitlyn said. “Funny, though, I’ve thought less about him being a provider and more about him being a father.”
Megan laughed. “And you’re talking about me? Damn, girl.”
“I didn’t say I wanted to be pregnant right this second,” Kaitlyn said. “The picture of him with our kids pops into my head every once in a while. You haven’t had that?”
“Maybe once or twice. I’m just about done.”
“Me too,” Kaitlyn said. “This liquid soap they have isn’t the greatest.”
“It’s a whole lot better than nothing.” Megan turned off her water and picked up the towel. Kaitlyn did the same.
“You hungry?” Kaitlyn asked as she dried off.
“Yes,” Megan said. “I heard one of the park employees talking to that Korean guy.”
“Ji-Ho,” Kaitlyn said. “You know he’s Kaylee’s Uncle, right?”
“Then better call him by his name,” Kaitlyn said. “Trevor and Kaylee are very close to both Seth and Angel. If we’re with them, they’re gonna be close friends of ours too.”
“You’re probably right. I like Kaylee.”
“So do I,” Kaitlyn said. “Damn it, I hate to put these filthy clothes back on.”
“I know,” Megan said. “We won’t be up for long, at least. Made sure to grab the sleeping bags the guys had, too. They’ve only been slept in once.” She came out of the stall dressed. “Hell, my hair brush is in the car.”
“So’s mine,” Kaitlyn said. “Oops.” She came out dressed too. “I got any war paint left?”
Megan gave her face a close look. “Nope, clean as a whistle. Let’s go.”
They left the shower room and headed back to the tents.
“The guys must be in the showers,” Megan said when they got back. “Wonder if they left the Jeep keys?”
Kaitlyn climbed into her tent and found them. “Seth did.”
“Crap, Angel must have his with him.”
“C’mon,” Kaitlyn said. “You can use my brush.”
“Okay,” she said. They walked to the Jeep together, seeing Angel and Seth on the way, coming out of the men’s showers.
“Hey, honey, I got the keys to the Jeep,” Kaitlyn said.
“Oh, crap, here’s ours,” Angel said, rushing over to Megan. He handed them to her.
“Why don’t you just go with me?” Megan asked. “Looks like you need a hair brush too, mister shaggy.”
Angel cracked up. “Okay.”
“I’ll go too,” Seth said. The two couples walked to the Jeeps, which were parked in a lot about twenty yards to the right of the showers.
“That food I smell?” Angel asked.
“Clubhouse,” Seth said. “I think we’re making another stop. We can grab the sleeping bags on the way back.”
“Mmmmm, that does smell good,” Kaitlyn said. “Wonder what they have?”
“I don’t care, as long as it’s food,” Angel said.
They stopped at the vehicles long enough to brush out their hair, and then headed to the clubhouse. It was full of people, in line for barbequed chicken and ribs, with potato salad, coleslaw, and rolls.
“Yes,” Seth said, getting into line behind Kaitlyn.
“You smell good,” Angel said to Megan, snuggling up behind her. She glanced around.
“Behave,” she whispered.
He chuckled at her. “For now.”
“Well, for the record, you smell good too,” she whispered. “I don’t know why, though, since we both have dirty clothes on.”
“Hey, no canoodling in here,” Kaylee said as she got into line behind them, Trevor right behind her.
“Hey, guys,” Trevor said.
“How’s the rig?” Seth asked.
“Love it,” Trevor said. “Got room for more, you know.”
“We’re staying in our tent,” Kaitlyn said.
“Oh, I see.” Kaylee grinned.
Kaitlyn giggled. “So sue me.”
“You guys worried about the battle?” Megan asked.
“Of course,” Kaylee said. “And this guy has to volunteer for the most dangerous jobs every time.”
Trevor got a sheepish grin on his face as the others chuckled.
“Is this battle wagon really all that?” Kaitlyn asked.
Trevor laughed. “Seth didn’t mention what happened outside of Temecula?”
“He said his ex-girlfriend and a few other people left, and then you were attacked.”
“That vehicle saved us,” Seth said. “We locked it down into siege mode and used the mini-gun. Practically cut the UN vans in half.”
“What’s a mini-gun, anyway?” Megan asked.
“It’s a power-driven machine gun with revolving barrels,” Seth said. “It shoots extremely fast. They use them on helicopters, mostly.”
Trevor smiled. “Some guy I knew told me about those. Said if you could freeze the bullets from that thing in the air, they’d be less than a foot apart.”
“Holy crap,” Angel said. “Really? No wonder those things work so good.”
“That sounds scary,” Kaitlyn said.
“It is,” Kaylee said.
“They have one drawback,” Trevor said. “They use ammo in a hurry, and we ain’t the US Army. We have a limited supply. That’s one of the reasons I wanted Ji-Ho in the back tomorrow. That big gun will be good for getting us out of a jamb, but it can’t win the whole battle for us. We’d run out of ammo.”
“It’s got the front and rear machine guns,” Angel said.
“True,” Trevor said. “But those have a limited range of motion. They’re made to blow away other vehicles that are coming at us from the front or the back. If we had a good position and could point one end or the other at the enemy, they might do some good.”
“Look, something’s going on,” Seth said. “Hank and Jason just ran over to Tyler. Up by the stage.”
“Crap, I think you’re right, dude,” Angel said. “Hank doesn’t look happy. He looks scared.”
“Oh no, I hope the enemy isn’t on their way here,” Kaylee said softly.
“Tyler’s going to the podium,” Seth said.
“Dammit,” Trevor said.
“You guys hear me?” Tyler asked.
“Yeah, what up?” Ji-Ho asked.
“How many of us aren’t in the room?”
“I think just about everybody is in here,” Clem said. “Food is a good draw.”
“Okay, then I’ll go ahead. Hank and Jason just gave me some news. It’s a good news, bad news situation.”
There were murmurs around the room.
“Go ahead,” Sid said. Yvonne got closer, putting her arm around his waist.
“The good news is that we know exactly where the enemy is now,” Tyler said.
“Hope it’s not on the road here,” Sarah said.
“No, they aren’t on the road here,” Tyler said. “They’re in the abandoned resort just north of Warner Springs, like the town sheriff suspected.”
“What’s the bad news?” Sid asked.
“One of the two men who were scoping out the site got captured by the enemy.”
“Crap,” John said. “How long ago?”
“Less than half an hour,” Jason said.
“Does he know where we are?” Sam asked.
“My boss doesn’t think so,” Hank said. “I can’t say for sure.”
“So, what do we do?” Trevor asked.
“My suggestion is that we take off now and hit them,” Tyler said. “We’re only a half hour away.”
“I agree,” Hank said. “We need to take them out before they move to a new hiding place, or before they move in this direction.”
“They’re right,” Sam said. “We need to leave now. Hit them before they can react. Turn on that big screen. It’s a new enough TV that I should be able to cast a view from my phone. It’s attached to Wi-Fi. Checked a little earlier.”
Tyler nodded, and James switched it on. Sam walked up to the screen. He pulled his phone out, moved his fingers on the screen for a moment, and then a Google Earth picture came up.
“Gather around, folks,” Sam said.
Everybody in the room moved closer, Tyler and his team getting off the stage to join them. Sam pointed to the area north of town. There was a collection of buildings, then some open land, then some dilapidated tennis courts and a ruined pool.
“That’s it,” Hank said.
“Stupid place for them to hide out,” Sam said. “Look at the ridges all around the back end. They’ve only got one way out of there.”
Ji-Ho chuckled. “This be easy if we get there fast enough. Send in first team to set up mortars. Start pounding them. Meanwhile we bottle up roads using our ground forces and the battle wagon here, on this road. They can’t go out. We fry them up good.”
“I see more than one way in and out,” Ryan said. “See that road that goes off to the right side?”
“They can’t go that way, unless they have some serious off-roaders,” Jason said. “It dead-ends into nothing. Move the picture over a little bit.”
Sam nodded and moved the picture over, showing the road coming to an end.
“We do need to bottle up two places,” Hank said. “Or they’ll get down into those residential areas, and we’ll have to take them out house to house. We don’t want to do that.”
“We put off-roaders at that spot,” Ji-Ho said. “Put battle wagon and other vehicles on road that merges with Highway 79 here. He pointed. “It work, but we leave now, or they go. Must hurry.”
“Okay, everybody to your vehicles,” Tyler shouted. “Lock and load!”
The clubhouse emptied out in a couple minutes. Engines all over the RV Park started.
Jules was at the wheel of the black coach, Sparky in the passenger seat. Shelly and Dana came up from the dinette as the coach got off I-5.
“We stopping?” Shelly asked, her short blonde hair swaying as she bent down to look out the window.
“No, we take Highway 58 through Buttonwillow,” Jules said, turning to smile at her.
“Watch the road,” she said, shooting a sidelong glance at Dana, who grinned back at her. Sparky noticed, and chuckled.
“Where are we dropping off the snowflakes, anyway?” Dana asked.
Sparky laughed. “Snowflakes? That’s not nice.”
“Oh well,” she said, getting close to him. “Move your hands.”
“My hands?” Sparky asked, looking at them on his lap. “Why?”
Dana looked him in the eyes. “Just do it.”
He moved them, and she sat down on his lap. Shelly snickered.
“Oh,” Sparky said as she settled in. Jules looked over and snickered. “I like. Hey, Shelly.”
“Yeah, right,” Shelly said. “Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes forward.”
“You never answered my question,” Dana said.
“We go Paso Robles. Friend’s ranch. We overnight there. Out of sight of road. Leave women with cash.”
“Women?” Dana asked.
“What, you want me to say snowflake. No respect.” He tried to keep a straight face, but busted out laughing.
“European men,” Shelly said, shaking her head. “Everything’s a joke to you guys.”
“Sound like…how you say…stereotype.”
Shelly chuckled. “Okay, a little, I guess. I’m still not sitting on your lap.”
“Maybe when I not driving, no?” Jules said, looking back at her.
Shelly rolled her eyes. “No. The American no.”
“You change mind,” Jules said.
“Hey, you see this guy behind us?” Sparky asked.
“Yes, I watch,” Jules said. “Wait for move.”
“Crap, there’s somebody on our tail and I’m sitting up here like this?” Dana asked, getting off Sparky’s lap. “Really?”
“Girls get in back,” Jules said. “Get out M60s, in case we need to use gun slits.”
Shelly and Dana nodded, looking serious.
“I’ll go help,” Sparky said.
“No, you stay. Pull out tray in front of seat. Joystick, trigger for guns, and sight for front and back.”
Sparky nodded. “I remember.” He pulled the tray out, switching on the sight. “Hell, great view. Those are Islamists. See?”
“I figure,” Jules said. “Hear they help UN in boondocks.”
“Where do you want us?” Shelly asked, M60 in her hands.
“Just hang back there,” Jules said. “If we lucky, we won’t need.”
“This is scary,” Shelly said.
“You be fine,” Jules said. “Trust.”
“Guns out in Islamist car,” Sparky said. “Goodbye.” He pushed the button, a loud machine gun noise coming from the back of the coach.
“Holy crap,” Dana said.
“It just rolled about five times,” Sparky said.
“Yes, I see. You get both, or should we go back?”
“I shot them both,” Sparky said. “Passenger first. They’re toast.”
“Onward,” Jules said.
“We aren’t even going to stop?” Shelly asked.
Jules laughed. “Why? To answer questions from police? No thank.”
“I agree,” Sparky said, “but I’m sending a broadcast text to the others. What city did we just pass?”
Dana walked up to the front. “We just barely made it out of Buttonwillow. I know which cross street we were by. Stupid name. Eighty Foot Ditch.”
“Good, thanks,” Sparky said. He slid the gunsight back in. “Gonna take your seat back?”
“No, I think I’ll save that for later,” she said. “Maybe you should leave that tray out, just in case.”
Sparky sent the text. “Nah, I can see back further with the side mirror.”
“You think they sent a description of this thing before we wasted them?” Shelly asked.
“Maybe yes, maybe no,” Jules said. “Don’t worry about.”
“Nothing bothers you,” Shelly said. “I’m shaking.”
“Ji-Ho’s crazy battle wagon give edge,” Jules said. “Not impossible to take us, but much difficult.”
“Yeah, I’d have to agree,” Sparky said. “Maybe he’ll let me keep one when this is over.”
Dana chuckled, glancing over at Shelly. “Should we put the guns away?”
“No,” Shelly said quickly.
“Keep out,” Jules said. “Makes feel safer, no?”
“Yes,” Shelly said softly. “Sorry I got scared.”
“You think I never scared?” Jules asked.
“You never look scared,” she said.
“Well I was scared,” Sparky said, “but it was also kinda fun.”
“That’s a little sick,” Dana said.
“Sure you don’t want back on my lap?” Sparky asked.
She shook her head and climbed back on. “There, satisfied?”
“For the moment,” Sparky said, shooting a smile over to Jules. He laughed as they cruised down the road.
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