Bug Out! California Part 172 – The Quadrant

Trevor and Kaylee were in their battle wagon when the text came in. They both looked at their phones, then at each other.

“This is bad,” Kaylee said. “That’s a lot of UN vans.

“We aren’t one hundred percent sure they’re coming here, you know.”

“How far away are they?”

Trevor looked over at her from his phone. “Looking at that now. Just under twenty miles. If they don’t run into trouble, they’re about half an hour from here.”


“Don’t get too worried yet. We’ve got a lot of people in place along Highway 94, remember? They’re just coming in vans, too. They won’t take much abuse, and if the highway gets blocked, it’s not like they can off-road.”

“Then why would they come this way?” Kaylee asked.

“That’s why I’m not so sure they’re really coming here. They might have another target in mind.”

“Where are our people on Highway 94?” Kaylee asked.

“There’s about three thousand by Otay Lakes Road. The lion’s share are south of us, around Engineer Springs. Almost ten thousand citizens.”

“I guess that would figure, if we’re expecting the enemy to attack us from Mexico.”

Trevor shot her a grin. “Last I saw of that battle in Mexico, the enemy forces aren’t gonna make it here.”

They both jumped as another text came in. “They’re not coming here,” Kaylee said. “Southwest on Highway 54.

“But we’re going there. I’ll get us unhooked.”

“Which route?” Kaylee asked.

“I’m sure we’ll get instructions in a moment, but looking at the map, the only good way is Otay Lake Road. I’ll be a struggle to beat them there, though, assuming they’re gonna try to take Highway 125 south to the border.”

“I’ll get things locked down in here, then. Glad we reloaded all the weapons.”

“See you in a few minutes,” Trevor said, slipping out the door. He saw Angel rushing to the back of his coach, parked about twenty yards away.

“We’re gonna see some action,” he said. “I’m almost glad.”

Trevor nodded. “Yeah. Wonder if we can beat them there?”

“We’ll see. Hear that?”

The sound of engines starting drifted over the property.

“All those recruits,” Trevor said as he unhooked the water. “Hope they’re sending the citizens who were along Highway 94.”

“Where were they?” Angel asked, as he yanked the power cord off the mast.

“They were close to Otay Lake Road. Hopefully they’re already taking off. We might need to block the road.”

“Highway 125?” Angel asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “We ought to be hearing any minute. I’m done. See you, man.”

“Take care, dude,” Angel said, heading for the door of his coach.

“Ready to go?” Kaylee asked.

“Yeah, we get the instructions?”

“North on Highway 94, stop at Otay Lake Road unless we hear from them.”

“They’re making sure,” Trevor said, pushing the button for the main slide. It moved in slowly. When it was finished, he brought in the bedroom slide, then went to the driver’s seat and fired up the engine. “Ready?”

“Let’s go,” Kaylee said, walking to the passenger seat with her M4 and one of the M60s. She sat as Trevor drove towards the gate.


“You call our Teamster buddies?” Mr. White asked, walking out of the motel room’s bath.

“Yep, they’re hitting the road soon. Three thousand semi-trucks.”

“Sounds like traffic jam in making,” Mr. White said. “Glad Ivan get weapons here in time. Lots M-60, mortars, and RPGs. Distributed at Teamster’s union hall.”

“Excellent, let’s go.”

The two men grabbed their weapons and headed for their van, setting the guns between the seats. Mr. Black took the wheel. “What about others?”

“Jesse gathered three hundred. They already left. Heavily armed. All have military training. They tip of spear.”

“Are we trying to stop them on road?” Mr. Black asked.

“We do what we can, and Ivan send forces from Dulzura. Another four thousand, including all but three battle wagons.”

Mr. Black glanced at him. “Why not all? We know where enemy is, and Dulzura have cavalry.”

Mr. White chuckled. “They use generators from last three battle wagons to power computers in broken mine.”

“Oh. They should buy stand-alone generators.”

Mr. White nodded. “Would have. Not time. This happen fast.”

“What we do about Dana Point Harbor?”

“You worry too much,” Mr. White said. “Either moot point, or we mess with. Depend on this fight, no?”

“This wasn’t all UN forces. Have to watch back.”

“That be part of our job,” Mr. White said. “Let’s hit it.”

They drove south.


The BFV on the end of the line blew up, hit by more tank cannon fire, as four TOW missiles flew, taking out two tanks and disabling a third.

“These are lousy tanks,” Doug said, watching in his sight. “There’s one turning its gun towards us.”

“Fire,” Gonzalez said, but somebody else beat Doug to it, the tank getting hit in the front part of the turret, blowing it half way off, fire erupting from the right side of the tank. The crew tried to escape through the top, mowed down as soon as they were on the ground by a fast-moving L-ATV.

“Those little L-ATVs are too fast for the tanks to get a good bead on,” Jorge said. “Watch that tank coming this way. It’s trying to decide whether to shoot at us or the guy next to us.”

“On it,” Doug said, firing his first TOW missile, steering it right into the turret of the tank, a large explosion stopping it in its tracks. “Bullseye!”

“Nice job,” Gonzalez said. Remember you’ve only got one left before we reload.”

“Here come three more tanks!” Jorge shouted. “Heading this way.”

“Crap,” Doug said, getting ready to fire his second TOW missile. Then the enemy tanks turned and headed south, going full bore. “What the hell?”

There was a loud blast from behind them, knocking one of the fleeing enemy tanks into the air, coming down on one next to it, both bursting into flames.

“Our M-1 Tanks are here,” Gonzalez said. “About frigging time.”

“There they go!” Jorge shouted, watching eight tanks flying by at high speed, two of them firing on the run, hitting two more of the fleeing enemy tanks. Several more tanks passed them to join the fight.

“Yes!” Doug said. “Should I go back to shooting at infantry? There’s a group over there getting another mortar ready.”

“Go for it, man,” Gonzalez said, watching through the CIV.

“I got you, suckas,” Doug shouted, hitting a mortar team with full auto from the M242, killing all the men and blowing up their crate of mortar rounds. Then there was a pop close by, and a large group of enemy fighters exploded in white-hot flames.

“What was that?” Jorge asked. “Mortar?”

“Looks like Sessions and Jenkins finally got their mortar working,” Gonzalez said, his comment punctuated by another pop, another large group of enemy fighters going up in flames.

“What is that, napalm?” Jorge asked.

“Willie Pete,” Gonzalez said. “When that goes off, be someplace else.”

“What’s Willie Pete?” Doug asked.

“White Phosphorous.”

“I thought that was illegal, dude,” Jorge said.

“Only when you mix it with high-explosive rounds,” Gonzalez said. “We aren’t doing that.”

More M-1 tanks sped past them, heading right for the ridge where the enemy tanks were hiding. One climbed it, starting to go down when it was hit, the round from the enemy tank making a lot of noise but not slowing the M-1 down.

“Like I said, they got lousy tanks,” Doug said, watching the M-1 turn its main gun towards the fleeing enemy tank and firing, pieces of armor raining down around the area. “That shot just pissed off the M-1.”

Jorge laughed. “The enemy isn’t advancing anymore. They’re running south.”

“Then we’ll go further south too. Remember to follow a path already traveled.”

“That’s gonna be tough. The ground is a mess.”

“Hey, Gonzalez, open the door,” Sessions yelled. “We need to go further south.”

Gonzalez pushed the button to open the rear gate, the men flooding in.

“You got that Willie Pete secured?” Gonzalez asked.

“Yeah, it’s back in the container, sealed up,” Jenkins said. “Let’s get going.”

Jorge listened for the sound of the back door closing, then drove forward, trying to keep on a safe path. M-1 tanks continued their assault on the enemy tanks, blowing them up wholesale.

“There were a lot of enemy tanks,” Doug said. “How come we didn’t see them?”

“I don’t think they’re being driven by Islamists,” Gonzales said. “I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.”

“There are still a lot of enemy hits out there,” Doug said. “We haven’t seen the largest group yet. Not by a long shot.”

“Yeah, I know,” Gonzalez said, nearly shouting as the noise outside grew louder.

“Think we’re running into a trap?”

Gonzalez looked at Doug, shaking his head no. “They might think that, but they have only seen about a quarter of the force from the Jacumba Hot Springs area, and we’ve got a huge flow of patriots coming east on Highway 2 right now. Just got an update in my text inbox.”

An L-ATV ahead of them touched off another IED, a second hitting one a few seconds later.

“Here we go, men,” Sessions shouted. “Their next kill spot, or so they think.”

“Keep your wits about you, Jorge,” Jenkins shouted.

“No prob, dude,’ Jorge shouted back. “I’m back on a good path again. We’ll be fine.”

“There aren’t any ridges nearby for tanks to hide behind,” Doug said. “Where’s our M-1s?”

“Finishing off those old Russian tanks back there,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a turkey shoot. Their cannon fire just bounces off the M-1s unless they get very lucky and hit them in exactly the right spot.”

“I saw one of them try a cheapo hand-held anti-tank weapon back there,” Jenkins said. “Bounced right off.”

“Modern Russian anti-tank weapons will work,” Gonzalez said. “Luckily for us, Russia is on our side in this war, and they’re not selling that stuff to anybody but us and our allies.”

“Something’s gonna happen pretty soon,” Jenkins said, looking at his phone. “The enemy troops retreating got to the main group and stopped. They’re liable to come back at us.”

“This is within mortar range,” Sessions said. “We don’t need to go much further before you can drop us off.”

“Listen,” Jorge said. “Sounds like choppers.”

“Crap, it is,” Gonzalez said. “We aren’t stopping yet. Doug, target any choppers you see coming with the M242.”

“How do we know which ours are and which theirs are?” Doug asked.

“We don’t have any in the area,” Gonzalez said.

“Those choppers are in for a nasty surprise,” Jenkins said.

Sessions chuckled. “You ain’t kidding.”

“What?” Doug asked.

“All of the L-ATVs were issued with stinger missiles,” Jenkins said. “Their choppers won’t last long.”

“I see one,” Jorge said. “No, there’s four of them. They look kinda old.”

“They’re strafing our L-ATVs,” Doug said, “but not with a round strong enough to kill them.”

One of the choppers fired a missile, which flew into an M-1 tank, blowing it up.

“Dammit!” Jorge shouted. “You see that?”

“Yeah,” Gonzalez said. “Didn’t kill the crew. They’re getting out of the tank.”

“What happened?” Jenkins asked.

“Chopper hit an M-1 with an anti-tank missile.”

“Whoa!” Jorge said, punctuated by a loud explosion and the sound of metal hitting the ground. “One of those stingers just came out. Knocked that chopper right out of the air.”

“I’ve got a bead on one,” Doug said, firing full auto with the M242, hitting it in the tail, stopping the back rotor. The chopper began spinning through the air, clipping the chopper near it, which went out of control, both of them hitting the dirt and blowing up.

“Nice shooting, Tex,” Gonzalez yelled, laughing. “Two with one frigging shot.”

“It was on auto,” Jenkins said. “That was about ten shots.’

“It was one burst,” Doug said.

Sessions laughed. “You guys crack me up. We close enough for the mortars yet?”

“There’s a small mound coming up. We’ll stop behind it. Doug, keep an eye out for more choppers.”

“There goes another Stinger,” Jorge said, and the explosion went off, sounding closer than the others. Some debris hit the top of their BFV. “Wow, listen to that!”

“More stingers just fired,” Doug said. “One hit, one miss, but the other choppers are flying away now.”

“Don’t blame them,” Jenkins said.

“Jorge, pull up by the mound. See it?”

“Yeah, man, I’m almost there.” The vehicle stopped after a moment. “This good?”

“Yeah,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve got the back door opening. You guys ready?”

“Hell yeah,” Sessions said, leading the others out the back.

“Once they start frying that big group with Willie Pete, this is gonna be over,” Gonzalez said. “There’s another group further south, but they’re at least a day’s walk from here.”

“Maybe we should drive over there and nail them,” Jorge said.

“That’ll be the commander’s call. I’m getting some chatter about a huge caravan of UN vans heading for the border.”

“Vans? What good will those do?” Jorge asked. “There aren’t roads here.”

Gonzalez shrugged. “There is Highway 2D, but last I heard the Marines had complete control of that.”

“Maybe they’re coming to attack the Dulzura base,” Doug said.

“They’re already south of the road for that,” Gonzalez said. “Let’s move around this mound so we can fire at the enemy with the M242. They’ll be setting up mortars any second now.”

“Will do,” Jorge said, moving forward, going around one side of the mound, getting into position to fight again. There were rows of BFVs on either side of them, getting ready to open fire, and then the first of the mortar shots from the enemy ranks flew, hitting a BFV about sixty yards from their position.

“I see where that came from,” Doug said, firing the M242 again, the projectiles smashing into the huddled men and their mortar. Then Sessions dropped a Willie Pete round into his mortar, the round flying into the midst of a huge group of Islamists, the whole area exploding in flames, burning men running, trying to drop and roll as other mortar teams started up, setting the whole enemy line on fire.


Tex was driving the Battle Wagon, in the lead, the rest of the rigs from Dodge City behind him. There were hundreds of citizen fighters ahead of him, in every kind of vehicle imaginable. They’d just made the left turn onto Otay Lake Road.

“Maybe we should put on the blue-tooth headsets now,” Karen said from the passenger seat.

“Yeah, it’s time,” Tex said.

“We’re on,” Karen said into hers. “Tex and Karen.”

“We’re on too,” Sparky said. “Ted, Haley, Bryan, and Brianna.”

“Robbie and Morgan are on.”

“Dana and Sparky.”

“Trevor and Kaylee.”

“Katie and Justin.”

“Megan and Angel.”

“Allison and Cody.”

A few others logged in.

“Hello, all. Jules here, with rest of intel and leadership team.”

“Where’s the UN Vans now, partner? You can see us, right?”

“Yes, we see you, most already on Otay Lake Road,” Jules said. “UN would have beat you there, but ran into trouble on Highway 125.”

“What kind of trouble?”

“Roadblock. Local sheriff in La Presa started. Most vans got message and went to side streets.”

“They can’t go very far to the west, and there’s not much in the way of good roads to the east of I-25,” Ted said.

“Yes, Ted, you right. If they go west of I-805, the Marines get involved. They watch. Same drone feed we use.”

“So are we gonna get to them before they can get south of us?” Morgan asked.

“They have to be lucky to make that,” Jules said. “Keep on plan. Maybe you go north, when off Otay Lake Road, maybe south. Either way, they doomed.”

“How’s it going in Mexico?” Sparky asked.

“Not good for enemy,” Jules said. “Looking like rout.”

“Their plan didn’t work, then?” Ted asked.

“What plan?” Katie asked.

Jules chuckled. “They try to draw regular army from Mexico City to save citizens going over border to fight. Now they need rescue themselves.”

Tex laughed. “That’s beautiful, partner. Maybe this war will be over sooner rather than later.”

“I’d love that,” Dana said.


Jesse was at the wheel of an old primer-gray pickup, the back full of his buddies. All of them were ex-military, most former Marines like Jesse. Sax was behind him, leading a huge group of truckers, all of them armed to the teeth. Both groups were supplied with military-grade weapons. M-60s, M-16s, M-4s, and some new M249s that Ivan had managed to obtain. Rounding out the group was another new weapon – the MP5.

“Hey, Jesse, how far away are they now?” asked Erik, a tall, well-built man who’d only been out of the service for three years.

“Last I saw, they were on Paradise Valley Road, nearly stopped,” he said, pulling his phone out of his pocket and handing it over. “Pin is 3357. There’s a browser up with the drone feed video. Should be right on them.”

“Cool,” Erik said, taking it and inputting the pin. He laughed. “They’re all over the damn place in Jamacha-Lomita and the Bay Terraces area. “I’ll bet they’re trying to find a place to turn around and lose the local law enforcement. There’s cop cars everywhere. Can’t all be from these little towns.”

“This effort is huge now,” Jesse said. “Got to hand it to this Ivan the Butcher character. I think he might have saved the damn state.”

“We’re just about to Lemon Grove. Maybe we ought to get off 125 and onto the surface roads to pick these creeps off. Otherwise they’re liable to keep going north to get away.”

“We know about their headquarters now,” Jesse said. “They’ve got to know they’re done.”

“They might just move someplace else in the state,” Erik said. “We need to kill all of them we can on the road, and then go hit that base. They probably only sent a fraction of what they had there.”

“According to Sax’s guys, they took pretty much all of their vans.”

“Get off on Spring Street,” Erik said. “I’ll text the others. Turn left on Spring, then right on Broadway. That’ll take us right into the quadrant they’re hiding in.”

“Quadrant?” Jesse asked, shooting him a grin. “Want to be back in, don’t you?”

“Yes and no, man. I meant the area between 94 on the north, 125 on the east, I-805 to the west, and 54 to the south. That’s where almost all of them are. We’ll have to hunt them down street to street.”

“They’ll leave their vehicles,” Jesse said. “We’ll be on foot.”

“Yeah, with M-4s, M249s, M60s, and MP5s. We’re gonna fry their bacon up good.”

“There’s our turnoff,” Jesse said, taking the ramp down to Spring Street. “Here we go!”

“Yep, here we go.”

To be continued…


Bug Out! California Book 7 is available now in e-book and paperback.


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Copyright Robert Boren 2018


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