Sam and Erica sat in their coach with Mia, who was at the dinette eating some food. Erica had bathed her and helped her into fresh clothes.
“Clem, Sid, and Yvonne have been in Sarah’s coach for a while now,” Erica whispered. “This is horrible.”
“Yes, and it’s not the last of it,” Sam said softly. “We’re getting in deeper, and the enemy knows how much of a threat we are. More of our people are going to die.”
“They’re preparing Julian for us right now, I’m sure,” Erica whispered. “We’ll be lucky if they don’t try anything at home.”
“The Williams place and Dodge City,” she said. “We need intelligence on Julian before we go in there. We’ll need to send in scouts. Our best.”
“I know,” Sam said. “Damn UN. Can’t completely trust the apps because of those losers.”
“We should try to sleep,” Erica said. “I think we’d better bring Mia into bed with us.”
“I know,” Sam said. “Don’t want her waking up early and either leaving or messing with the weapons systems.”
“We really need to get her back to the Williams place,” Erica said. “This is a battle party. It’s no place for a little girl.”
“How do we do that? Take the Jeep. Leave the rig here?”
“Maybe,” Erica said. “Let’s sleep on it, okay?”
“Probably best,” Sam said. He studied her worried look. “They aren’t going to win.”
She sighed. “I know, but how many of us are gonna die before they’re defeated?”
“Look, Sid and Yvonne are leaving the coach. Maybe Clem will stay with her.”
“Sid’s typing something on his phone,” Sam whispered. His phone dinged. “Thought so.” He looked at the message.
She’s taking it hard. Clem will stay night. We should talk in the morning. Maybe we go home and regroup.
Sam showed the message to Erica. She nodded in agreement. Sam sent a response, then put his phone down.
“It’s probably for the better,” she said. “We need to plan the attack on Julian. It’s going to be huge. That town is too spread out, and there’s lots of places where they can dig in.”
“Maybe we leave them there and attack something else,” Sam said. “They’re expecting us to attack there. Even with our numbers, they’ll be ready, and they’ll kill a lot of our people. Better to draw them out. Take their strategy away from them.”
“I’m tired,” Mia said.
“I know, honey,” she said. “We’re all going to bed.”
“Protecting her is job one,” Sam whispered, tears in his eyes.
“I know, honey,” Erica said.
Mr. Black and Mr. White hid in the bushes by the windows of Dean Lambert’s office, watching him rise and fall on top of the pretty blonde coed.
“Wimp,” Mr. White whispered.
“Wait till he finish, then we take,” Mr. Black whispered.
“Think the old goat can?” Mr. White whispered. They both snickered. “We take her?”
Mr. Black shook his head no.
“We let go?”
Mr. Black shook his head no again.
“Oh, I get. We kill. His DNA inside.”
Mr. Black shot him a deadpan look. “Look, he finish.” They watched as Dean Lambert rolled off of the girl. “Now.”
The huge men rushed to the door, breaking it down like it was made of cardboard. Avril screamed, sitting up, covering her breasts. Mr. Black pulled his silenced handgun and shot her in the forehead.
“No!” Dean Lambert shouted. “Don’t kill me!”
“Don’t worry, we not kill you yet, scumbag,” Mr. White said, reaching down and yanking him to his feet with one hand. “Come, we leave now.” He pulled the naked Dean out the door and into a van parked in back, throwing him in with the two others.
“Hodges! Davis!” Lambert shouted. They looked back at him, duct tape covering their mouths, hands bound behind their backs, terror in their eyes. Mr. Black came into the back as Mr. White drove away.
“What are you doing? Do you know who I am?”
Mr. Black unrolled some duct tape and bound his hands behind his back, then covered his mouth. “Your wife arrives at office any minute. She thinks you have heart attack. She might have heart attack when she see.”
Dean Lambert’s eyes were wide. He struggled against the tape on his wrists. Mr. Black elbowed him hard in the face, breaking his nose, causing him to pass out. Then Mr. Black went back to the passenger seat.
“Night night?” Mr. White asked.
Mr. Black nodded yes. Several police cars and a paramedic unit flew by them in the opposite lane, sirens blaring as they made their way to Lambert’s office. Mr. White chuckled.
Tex was sitting next to Karen on the couch when a text came in. He looked at his phone.
“Meeting?” Karen asked.
“Yep,” Tex said. “Let’s get ready to go.”
“Maybe it’s time to attack,” she said, worried look on her face.
“Could be, little lady,” he said. They went out the door. Others were walking towards the patio behind the house. It was mid-morning, the sun burning hot already.
“Look, Ted and Haley are holding hands,” Karen whispered.
“Saw that coming,” Tex said. “Jules is already set up.”
“With Shelly,” Karen said. “Those two are peas in a pod.”
“Yep,” Tex said. They took seats towards the front as the others arrived.
Jules stood and raised his hands. “Hello all, thanks for coming.”
“We gonna attack?” Justin asked.
“Yes, and timeline short, so we need to meet quick and get on road. VIP scum attending conference at Mertins plant. We wipe out.”
Shelly nodded, and the TV screen next to Jules showed a satellite shot of the facility.
“That place is huge,” Ted said.
“Yes, is,” Jules said. “Now look.” An overlay covered the picture, showing icons in various places in the building, and some around the grounds and by the parking lots.
“That looks different than our apps,” Tex said.
“New,” Jules said. “High resolution view. Used to rescue General Hogan. We can zero in on right part of building when enemy meetings go on.”
“So we’re getting new apps?” Robbie asked.
“This PC only,” Jules said. “Takes too much power to put on iOS or Android devices.”
“What are we gonna do with that?” Ted asked. “It’s not like we have laser target designators and smart bombs.”
“We sneak in nearby, then watch where enemy personnel are using the laptops. Ivan’s commandos rush in and kill bad guys. We communicate, act as eyes. There is extra enhancement, too. Headsets visible on screen. We can see where commandos are as well as enemy.”
“Wow,” Karen whispered to Tex. He nodded, brow furrowed.
“Hope we’ve got a lot of commandos, partner,” Tex said. “Looks like a death trap.”
“We have two thousand men,” Jules said. “Another thousand in reserve. Plus us.”
“Geez,” Sparky said.
“We also on hand to prevent escape,” Jules said.
“We can use this new technology for the rescues, too, can’t we?” Morgan asked.
“Yes,” Jules said. “Laptops and headsets inside house, set up and running. For each rig. We train now. Leave in two hours.”
“Wait, honey, let’s show them where we’re parking first,” Shelly said.
“Oh, yes, sorry,” Jules said. “Area bounded by Winchester Boulevard, West Valley Freeway, San Thomas Expressway, and Los Gatos Creek.”
“What’s that water?” Ted asked. “Looks like a reservoir system.”
“Yes, prevent escape that direction,” Jules said, getting next to the screen to point. “We stop along roads off Winchester. Here, here, here, here, and here. Escape through this maze of roads.”
“What’s to prevent them from blocking our rigs in and taking us?” Ted asked.
“You let me worry about,” Jules said. “Ivan and I have something special planned for certain key roads, and attack happen on UN base of operations at same time.”
“Geez, how many people are involved with this operation?”
“More than ten thousand,” Jules said. “Including rogue law enforcement personnel who were supposed to be security for this event.”
Tex laughed. “We turned them, huh?”
Jules nodded his head yes. “We go over assignments for each specific rig. Have easy part of battle.”
“Uh huh,” Ted said. “We’d better get busy. I’m not comfortable enough with the plans.”
“Yes, I knew,” Jules said. “You help develop now. You’re on board, no?”
Ted sighed, looking at Haley. “Yeah, we’re on board.”
The group focused on where each rig would park, what the escape routes were, and how to use the headsets and app. After that was over, everybody went into the house and got training on the new apps and the headset radios.
“Wow,” Karen whispered. “This is a professional hit, isn’t it?”
Tex nodded yes. “We’re gonna cream these folks. Big time.”
“Okay, let’s get into our rigs and take off,” Shelly said. “Staggered exit. Five minutes apart.”
“There’s our cue,” Tex said, picking up the laptop and headsets for their rig. They headed out along with the others. Soon there were diesels starting, and coaches pulling away, leaving at five-minute intervals.
“Almost our turn,” Karen said as they waited at the stop sign. Tex’s phone buzzed, and he drove onto the street, making a right turn. “Glad we’re not taking Route 17 all the way in. There’s that massive interchange right by the target. Seems like we’d be too visible to anybody watching.”
“Seriously,” Tex said. “We are on it for a while, though.”
“We’re getting off at Saratoga Los Gatos,” she said. “I’ll navigate you there, honey.”
“Excellent,” Tex said. “There’s Route 17.” He turned onto it and sped up.
“We’re going to have to run our generator if the laptop battery gets too low,” Karen said.
“Hell, I doubt we’ll use up all the battery,” Tex said. “Supposed to be good for five hours.”
“Not much traffic,” Karen said.
“They’ve got everything locked down. Can’t wait for Ivan to go public with Ben Dover.”
“When are we going public. About the rapes?”
Tex looked over at her. “I wish you didn’t have to do that.”
“I want to do it. You won’t be ashamed that people know, will you?”
“No, of course not,” Tex said. “I’m proud that you’re my woman. I’ll always be proud, no matter what.”
“I like that,” Karen said. “I like being your woman. Didn’t see that coming.”
“I did,” Tex said.
“Look down there.” Karen pointed. There was a checkpoint on a major street below the freeway. UN Peacekeepers with their blue helmets were beating an old man senseless with their batons as his wife looked on.
“Bastards,” Tex said. “They’ll get theirs.”
“And then some,” Karen said. “My teachers in school always talked up the UN as the future for mankind. What morons.”
“The teachers in Texas weren’t like that, except for in places like Austin.”
“What part of Texas are you from?”
“West Texas,” he said. “Long line of cattle ranchers.”
Tex chuckled. “We were between cities. I’m a country boy. The closest city was Lubbock.”
“How’d you end up in California?”
“I got caught outside of Texas after they shut down the borders,” Tex said. “Couldn’t get back in, so I figured I’d spend some time with Sparky. Didn’t expect this to be old home week.”
“Old home week?” she asked.
“Yeah,” Tex said. “I never expected to see Jules or Ted. That was a nice surprise.”
“Do you wish you were in Texas?”
“No,” Tex said.
“Because I wouldn’t have met you,” he said. “We getting close?”
“Oh,” she said, breaking out of her trance. “Three more miles. Sorry.”
Tex watched her red hair swaying as she looked at her phone. “You’re so gorgeous.”
“Stop,” she said, smiling at him. “Are you going back to Texas when this is over?”
“If you’ll go with me,” Tex said. “We don’t have to. I’d like to visit pretty often, though.”
“I have nothing holding me to California,” Karen said. “You’re all I have, actually. I’ll go wherever you want to go.”
“It’ll be a joint decision,” Tex said.
“There’s the off-ramp.”
Tex nodded, moving into the right lane. He took the ramp, getting onto the surface street.
“Wow, it’s even deserted down here, and this is a big street,” Karen said.
Tex was watching his rearview mirror. “Open the target console.”
“Oh, crap, what do you see?”
“UN Vehicle. They’ve noticed us. They’re getting ready to pull us over.”
“What are we gonna do?”
“Well, it’s not a van. I can see all the way inside, and there’s only two people. Think you can hit both the driver and the passenger with the rear machine guns?”
Karen had the console pulled out, and looked at the target reticle. “I see them. They need to be a little closer.”
“They just turned on their red light,” Tex said. “Good, nobody around. I don’t see anybody on the road for the next several blocks.”
“Nobody behind us either. Slow down a little bit, like you’re getting ready to pull over.”
Tex chuckled as he slowed.
“Come to papa,” Karen said. “Or should I say mama?”
“God, I love this woman,” Tex muttered.
Machine gun fire blasted out the rear of the coach, smashing through the windshield of the UN vehicle, hitting both occupants square in the face. The vehicle rolled to a stop against the curb, hitting a parked car. Tex sped back up to speed, eyes darting between the road ahead and the mirrors.
“Hope they didn’t call in a description,” Karen said. “Hey, there’s people running out to the vehicle. One of them looked at us and gave a thumb up.”
Tex laughed. “I’m telling you, the people around here don’t like this martial law garbage one bit, and they hate the UN. We’ll have plenty of help.”
“I hope you’re right about that,” Karen said. “I’m gonna leave the console out.”
“Good idea,” Tex said.
“Turn right on Daves Avenue. It’s coming up in a few blocks. We’ll follow that around until we get to our parking place.”
“Okay,” Tex said. He made the turn. “This is a nice street. Plenty of tree cover. Not much traffic. Just residential.”
“Also a hard place to escape from,” Karen said, watching out the window. “Think that church parking lot will be safe enough?”
“Yeah,” Tex said. “It’s not visible from the street.”
“We need to park so we can drive out in a hurry.”
“Don’t worry, little lady,” Tex said. “We’re holding a good hand. We’ll be fine.”
They cruised down the quiet tree-lined street as it curved to the right twice, then to the left.
“Home stretch,” Karen said.
“Nice houses back here,” Tex said. “Looks like a good place to raise a family, except for the murderous UN thugs and Islamists.”
Karen laughed. “There’s a good point. See the church up ahead?”
“Yep,” Tex said. “That’s a tight driveway.”
“I’m sure you’ll make it just fine,” Karen said, watching as he made the left turn into the long driveway. “Hopefully Ivan made arrangements for us to be here.”
“Look,” Tex said, pointing to a man looking out the back door as he pulled into the parking lot. The man waved, and then went back inside. “There’s our answer. I’m gonna make a wide turn and pull this puppy around so we have a fast shot at the exit, though, just in case. No other way out of here.”
“Okay,” Karen said, getting out of her seat. “I’ll bring the laptop out here and get her set up. Want your headphones yet?”
“Bring it up, but I won’t turn it on yet. I’d rather save the battery.”
“We can plug them in,” Karen said. “To recharge.”
“You go ahead and put yours on,” Tex said.
“Okay.” She watched as Tex parked and shut down the engine. “Should we go into siege mode?”
“Nah, not yet,” Tex said. “Right now we just look like somebody’s rich uncle. There might be people walking around.”
“Good point,” Karen said, walking to the front. She put the laptop on the center console and opened it, turning on the power. “Wonder how long till we strike?”
“Good question,” Tex said. “Look for headsets on the app.”
Karen nodded as the application opened, showing the map. She moved the view to the target complex. “Wow, there are a lot of enemy personnel in there.”
“They clumped up yet?”
“Getting there,” Karen said. “You know that we can see them moving with this, right?”
“Seriously?” Tex asked, looking closer. “I’m surprised Jules didn’t bring that up. Surprised we didn’t see it before.”
Tex sent a text to Jules asking him about it. His phone dinged right away. Tex chuckled. “He forgot to mention it.”
“But why didn’t we see it before, during the demo?”
Tex typed a message. A reply came right back. “Distance. That’s why we didn’t just do this from the base.”
“Oh,” she said, “so this has a peer to peer element like the short-range app.”
“Probably,” Tex said. “I’m not that technical. Give me something that works. I don’t need to know how.”
Karen laughed. “There’s where we differ a little. I love to know how things work. I’m gonna zoom out and look for the commandos. Maybe you should mention that UN cruiser we killed on the way in here.”
“Crap, you’re right,” Tex said, whipping his phone back out. He sent a text, the ding coming back after a few seconds.
“We’re not the only ones,” Tex said. “They tried to stop Robbie’s rig too. Same result for them. So far no indication that they’re watching for us, but we’re all pretty well out of sight from the road.”
“I can see the other battle wagons,” Karen said. “Looks like all seven are placed.”
“Good,” Tex said. “See those commandos yet?”
“Nope…wait. There are a bunch of them. They’re riding down West Valley Freeway. Some of them are already on Winchester.
“This is gonna happen fast,” Tex said. “Maybe I should put the headset on.”
“Yeah, maybe so,” she said. “Another group coming in on Camden, from the opposite direction. They’re crossing the river as we speak.”
“We’d better focus on where the enemy is,” Tex said. “This is gonna ramp up fast.”
Karen shook her head yes. “Wow. There’s about four hundred people in the same room right now. Northeast corner of the building. There are still folks streaming in, though. I see icons outside, patrolling the buildings and the parking lots.”
“So how we gonna sneak a thousand men in there, I wonder?” Tex asked.
“Oh, crap,” she said. “We’ve already got a bunch of men there. I’m seeing headsets moving around inside, and they don’t have RFID chips.
“Rogue cops,” Tex said, grinning. “That’s how the other commandos are getting in. Wait and see.”
“Aren’t the enemy VIPs going to head for the hills when they hear shooting start outside?”
“Hopefully not,” Tex said, “but since we can see them, they aren’t going anywhere.”
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 2017