Here’s a chapter from Bug Out! Texas Book 13 – currently in work. It’ll go through more editing before the book is released. I’m targeting the end of June for the release. Enjoy!
Brushy was behind the wheel of his truck, Jax in the passenger seat, a line of trucks behind them, comprised mostly of Nixon’s men.
“We’re gonna stuff everybody on that Texas A&M property?” Brushy asked. “Won’t they be easy to see?”
“I’ve been there before,” Jax said. “There’s a police academy on the property, along with the airport.”
“Flight Test Air Station,” Jax said. “Don’t worry, we’ve been given permission. It’s off the beaten path quite a ways. We won’t be seen.”
“How many people are coming?”
Jax snickered. “Current count? Hundred and eighty thousand citizens, all armed, most with off-roaders. We’re getting about three quarters of the Fort Stockton off-roaders too.”
Brushy shot him a glance. “Holy Toledo.”
“Get back on Highway 6, then take Highway 21 west after we pass College Station.”
“I remember seeing that when we were going up to Benchley. Are the enemy fighters still holding at Whiskey Bridge?”
“So far,” Jax said.
“How we gonna hide all these folks? Whiskey Bridge isn’t that far north of where we’re going.”
“Next time we stop, look at the satellite view on your map program. There’s a big forest next to the river. It’ll hold all of us, but we’ll have to be quiet, and keep the smells to a minimum.”
“Where’s the rest of the forces going?”
“Both further north and further south,” Jax said.
“There’s Highway Six,” Brushy said, getting on it. “We’re already on the back side of College Station.”
They rolled along quietly for a moment, Jax reading text messages on his phone.
“Lookie there,” Brushy said, pointing ahead on the right side of the road. “Seems like a whole lot of semi-trucks to be parked there.”
“Shit,” Jax said, looking at the big parking lot covered with rigs. “What is that place?”
“That’s the parking lot for an off-roader park,” Brushy said. “See the tracks behind it?”
“Son of a bitch,” Jax said, typing on his phone as they passed it.
“What are you doing?”
“Telling Nixon to get his people to spread out before they get here, so it don’t look like no caravan.”
“Maybe we should go check it out,” Brushy said.
“We’ve got a job to do.”
“Yeah, but we didn’t know they was here.”
“We don’t even know if that’s the enemy or not. Might just be storage of some rigs.”
“What if it ain’t?” Brushy asked. “We might be able to blow up the whole kit and kaboodle before they can disappear along the river.”
“Dammit,” Jax said, typing on his phone again. “Get off at the next ramp.”
“Now we’re talking,” Brushy said. “Where’s the next ramp?”
“Further than I like, and we’ll have to do some twists and turns to get back there. The next ramp dumps off near the back parking lot of a small shopping center. Looks like you can use that to get to a road we can take south. Austins Colony Parkway. Take that to Boonville Road.”
Brushy nodded, watching for the off-ramp, getting into the right lane after a while.
“There it is, see the sign?”
Brushy nodded. “About time.” He took the ramp onto the frontage road, then turned into the parking lot of the shopping center, threading his way through to the road and turning right.
“Now don’t go nuts when we get there, you crazy old coot,” Jax said. “Get it?”
“Not on your life,” Jax said, shooting him a stern look, then cracking up. “I can’t stay mad at your sorry ass for more than a minute, I swear.”
Brushy broke into his donkey-bray laugh.
“Pay attention, dammit. There’s Boonville Road. Get on that sucker.”
“Yes sir, Captain sir.”
Jax rolled his eyes, then pulled his two pistols out of the glove box, raising his right pants leg and stuffing the small .38 snuby in his boot. He held the 9mm auto, checking the magazine.
“I thought we weren’t going crazy,” Brushy quipped.
“I’m not. Use a hideout gun. We’re liable to get caught.”
“Maybe we should bring that dynamite I’ve got in the back,” Brushy said. “Could hide some in my overalls.”
Jax eyed him, shaking his head. “How much we got?”
“I’ve got a whole crate back there, but ten sticks ought to do,” he said. “Stuff is kinda old.”
“Of course it is. I’m texting the others. I want them to follow but hang back a ways.” Jax picked up his phone and typed the text message.
“What’s the next street?”
Jax looked at his phone, moving back to the map program. “Right on Briarcrest, then a left on Green Valley Drive. We’re going in through the woods, next to a little lake. You still got fishing poles in the back too?”
“Hell yeah. Good cover.”
“Watch the road, there’s our street. See where the gas station is?”
“Don’t worry, I’m on it,” Brushy said, making the right turn almost too fast, Jax shooting him another stern look. “You ain’t kidding, there’s Green Valley.” He made the left turn.
“We need to pull over before we get to the homes. They’re just past the forest. Slow down. I’ll tell you.”
Brushy nodded, slowing the truck down, driving with his eyes peeled for a moment.
“Here,” Jax said.
Brushy pulled over to the side, tucking in under some trees. Brushy checked his pistols, putting his two shot .357 Derringer in the lower pocket of his overalls, a .32 auto into an upper pocket. Jax shook his head.
“Shit, your frigging Derringer is more powerful than your main gun.”
“She kicks like a mule with .357, too. Usually run .38 special through her, but plumb out of those now.” He pulled a box of .357 ammo out from under the seat and put a handful into a different pocket in his overalls.
“You’re gonna make noise walking around like that,” Jax said as he got out.
“It’s broad daylight, we ain’t gonna be hidden anyway.”
They went to the truck bed, Brushy opening the back of the camper shell, pulling out two old fishing poles, leaning them against the truck. Then he reached further in and grabbed a wooden crate, pulling it to the tailgate, removing the top and picking out ten sticks of dynamite. He slipped them under his overalls, down into his underwear.
Jax shook his head. “You’re joking, right? Remind me not to touch any of those.”
Brushy looked like he was going to start his crazy laugh, but stopped himself, shrugged, and closed the camper shell, handing a fishing pole to Jax and taking one himself. “Let’s go, peewee.”
They walked into the trees, which were dense, empty beer cans and cigarette butts littering the path, which ended at the bank of a muddy pond.
“We should get the lines wet,” Brushy said, casting out the Bomber bass plug that was tied on, reeling back in quickly. “Careful, lot of structure down there.”
“Afraid I’m gonna lose your frigging lure?” Jax asked as he cast out.
“Yeah, as a matter of fact. Some of these are collector’s items now.”
Jax chuckled. “Yeah, you might have to go as far as a Walmart to replace them.”
“Hardee har har,” Brushy said as he cast out again, reeling in quick. His pole bent hard, line peeling off, his drag squealing.
“You’ve got to be frigging kidding,” Jax said, watching Brushy fight the fish.
“It’s a stud, buddy,” Brushy said, trying to keep from yelling as he fought the bass all the way to shore. “Holy crap, this bad boy probably weighs eight or ten pounds.”
Jax smiled. “We’ll carry it over there, ask if they know where the fish cleaning station is.”
“Wonder if these fish are their kind of kosher?”
“Halal, you moron,” Jax said, “and I have no idea.”
Brushy grinned at him. “It’s a beauty. Maybe I ought to try for some more.”
“Later. Much later. We’ve got a job to do, and if we don’t hurry it up, Nixon’s guys will show up at a bad time. C’mon.”
Brushy took the fish off the lure’s treble hook, then grabbed it by the lower lip. They took off through the woods, along the bank of the pond, then onto the dirt track behind the parking lot.
“We’ve already been seen,” Jax whispered as they approached, nodding towards an Islamist fighter, dressed to look like a Mexican farm migrant.
Brushy sped up towards the man. “Hey, buddy, know where the cleaning station is? Look at this monster. Just got it out of the pond over yonder.”
“Freeze,” the man said, pulling a hand gun. His forehead was beaded with sweat, his accent upper Midwest American.
“Freeze?” Brushy asked. “What the hell? I just want to clean my damn fish.”
“Drop the fish and lay on the ground.”
Jax eyed him. “Who the hell are you?”
“You’re trespassing. I’m calling the authorities.”
“Call them,” Jax said, hand inching towards his 9mm.
“I said freeze,” the man said, his voice trembling.
“What go on there?” asked a second Islamist, dressed in the same way, with an Arabic accent. There was a bandage on his triceps.
“I told them to get down, but they aren’t following instructions,” the first man said.
The second Islamist grinned. “That easy to solve.” He pulled his pistol and fired, hitting Jax in the thigh, knocking him to the ground.
Brushy flung the bass at the men, hitting the first in the chest, causing him to drop his gun, Brushy’s Derringer out in a flash, hitting the shooter in the chest, killing him instantly. Before Brushy could fire at the first man, he had his pistol back and was pointing it at him. “Down now.”
“Screw you, cretin,” Jax said, his pistol in his hand now, firing several shots into his torso, dropping him as several other Islamists rushed towards them, stopping when they saw guns pointed at them. There were murmurs coming from inside the closest semi-trailer, and somebody started pounding on the door, another Islamist showing up to open it, and then all hell broke loose, Nixon and his men rushing in with their M4s and M60s, killing every Islamist they saw.
“About time you guys got here,” Jax said, his leg bleeding.
Nixon saw his wound and looked over at one of his guys.
“Chad, put a tourniquet on Jax here. The rest of you, make sure those semi-trailers are all latched, and make sure there aren’t any more Islamists around the cabs.”
“Hey, lookie what I got,” Brushy said, pulling out a stick of dynamite.
Nixon grinned. “Well I’ll be damned. We need to rig those, just in case these are just booby traps.”
“Heard fighters inside. Surprised they ain’t making any noise now. They must be scared shitless.”
“You’ve got a detonator and a bunch of wire in the back of your truck,” Jax said, his face turning to a grimace as the tourniquet was pulled tight.
“Yep, I sure do,” Brushy said.
Gunfire erupted from one of the trailers, poking holes in the side, causing the short-range apps to buzz everyone on the team.
“Look out!” Nixon said, pointing his M60 at the bullet holes and firing, the men inside screaming as bullets ripped through the side. “Brushy, go get that stuff. Chad, go with him.”
Brushy nodded and ran off with Chad, getting to the truck after a moment.
“Was that a bass laying next to the bodies?” Chad asked.
Brushy laughed. “Yeah. Caught it in the pond. Threw it at one cretin after the other one plugged Jax. Think we ought to bring the whole crate of dynamite?”
“Yeah,” Chad said, helping Brushy pull out the wooden crate, the detonator, and the wire. They rushed back to the parking lot, where Nixon had men pointing guns at the tailgates of all twelve semi-trailers.
“Holy crap, that’s a lot of explosive,” one of Nixon’s guys said.
“Quiet,” Nixon said, shooting a volley into the nearest trailer again to keep the enemy from watching them.
Chad and Brushy set up the explosives as some other men picked up Jax and rushed him back to the trucks. It took nearly fifteen minutes to get the charges set up. The faint sound of prayer was coming out of trailers now, the enemy knowing they weren’t going to last long. Brushy unwound wire from the spool, getting back about sixty yards, connecting the wires to the polls on the detonator.
“Fire in the hole.” He pushed down the plunger, all the trailers breaking and flying into the air, coming down in flames, body parts and metal raining down on the parking lot.
“Our job here is done,” Brushy said.
“Hey, boss, there were nearly two thousand hits in those trailers,” Chad said.
“A good day’s work,” Nixon said. “Jax is in route to the hospital now. Let’s continue on to our rendezvous point.”
Brushy nodded, but turned and ran back to the parking lot.
“What the hell are you doing, man?” Chad shouted.
“I ain’t leaving that bass behind.”
Bug Out! Texas Book 1 is now just 99 cents in the Kindle Store! Free in Kindle Unlimited! 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!
Copyright Robert Boren 2018