People on the main street of Dodge City hurried about to their jobs in the early morning light, as the leadership converged on the saloon for a meeting.
“We all know what happened last night,” Garrett said, “and we all know that there are nearly two hundred thousand Islamists heading this way.”
“Yep,” Trevor said. “They’re halfway between Mohave and Highway 395 at the moment. They’ll take that south, probably.”
Sam looked at his phone. “They might take the far eastern route. Head for I-40, then take Highway 95 south. If I were them I’d be afraid of having to go through San Bernardino. Lots of patriots there.”
“Good point,” Trevor said.
“We need to get on social media and round up a whole lot of citizens, if they’re really sending two hundred thousand fighters our way,” Sid said.
“Ivan working,” Ji-Ho said. “Just got text message. He knows what go on.”
“How are we gonna protect ourselves here?” Justin asked.
“Yeah, this area is big,” Ed said. “Too many square miles to cover.”
“Maybe we try to find their shielded vehicles and destroy them,” Trevor said. A few people chuckled.
“How are we gonna do that?” Garrett asked.
“Trevor has something there,” Sid said. “The amount of lead they need to mount a large attack isn’t that easy to come by. If they’re really tooling up to do this, I’ll bet we can find out where they got it.”
Sam grinned. “And when we find that out, we can find them.”
“Exactly,” Sid said.
“But how we gonna find that out?” Garrett asked.
“Put Seth on it,” Justin said.
“Yeah, good idea,” Trevor said. “He’s great on the internet. He can figure it out. It’s not like we have a thousand sources. It’s probably more like ten.”
“Where is Seth, anyway?” Sam asked.
“He was up all night working that tracking program,” Kaitlyn said. “I let him sleep.”
“That’s going to help us too, you know,” Sid said. “When we see these slugs disappear, we’ll know what’s about to happen. Seth’s doing important work.”
“That’s a great point,” Justin said.
“You guys talking about me?” Seth asked as he walked in.
“You’re up already?” Kaitlyn asked.
“Yeah, once I woke up I couldn’t sleep anymore. I got that program finished last night.”
“Wow, really?” Kaitlyn asked.
“What does it do, exactly?” Garrett asked.
“I’m running the PC version of the app on my server,” Seth said. “It’s going to take a snapshot of the icons in the entire Southern California area every five minutes and save it to a database, so we can see movements and disappearing – reappearing hits.”
“That will tell us if they’re mounting an attack using shielded vehicles,” Sam said.
“If we aren’t too late gathering the data,” Seth said. “I can’t get history. I can only compile what’s happening since I turned this thing on.”
“If we couple that capability with the lead shielding investigation and our social media operation, it might solve most of our problems,” Sid said.
“What lead shielding investigation?” Seth asked.
“Funny you should ask,” Sam said. He took a few minutes to explain it to Seth. “Think you can help us with that?”
Seth smiled. “Yep, that’s right up my ally. When do you want me to start?”
“As soon as possible,” Garrett said. “Meanwhile we’ve got to figure out a band-aid for this place.”
“Hey, Clem, you got any ideas?” Sam asked. “You did pretty well at my RV Park.”
“Not well enough to save the folks,” Clem said, “but yeah, I’ve got some ideas.”
“Good, then start drawing up some plans,” Sam said, “and I’ll help however I can.”
“Let me know what supplies needed,” Ji-Ho said. “I get from Ivan. Also getting more battle wagons and more ammo and guns. Already on way.”
“More battle wagons?” Justin asked. “Seriously?”
“Yes,” Ji-Ho said. “And off-roaders based on Texas design. Help patrol area and use in attacks.”
“You guys are gonna make my cavalry obsolete,” Garrett said.
“No way,” Sam said. “I’d rather see your men with M4s or AKs than those Winchesters, but the cavalry is very effective in this type of terrain. You guys have saved us more than once. I’m impressed.”
Garrett smiled. “Thank you kindly,” he said. “Maybe we can get enough ammo from Ivan to switch our guns out. I’d be okay with that. I’ll kinda miss the smoke and the smell, though.”
Trevor laughed. “Hell, I think those cannons are awesome.”
A few people in the room chuckled.
“I’m gonna go get busy, if you guys don’t need me here,” Seth said.
“I’ll stick around and tell you what happened,” Kaitlyn said. Seth kissed her and left the room.
“We need to protect that kid,” Sam said. “He’s got skills.”
Kaitlyn smiled proudly. “He does, doesn’t he?”
“Maybe I should start working some surveillance plans,” Clem said.
“I think this meeting is about over,” Garrett said. “I’m going to keep the patrols going at a higher level until we get other things in place. Talk to you folks later.”
Everybody except Willard left the saloon.
Mr. White sat in the front of the bus, M60 across his lap, the back a mix of armed commandos and state elected officials. Machine gun fire and explosions could be heard as they approached the State Capitol area. He pulled out his phone and hit a contact.
“Ivan, others in place?”
“Yes,” Ivan said. “Seventy-thousand armed citizens are coming in to help the other commando team. The enemy is holding the Capitol grounds between Ninth Street and Thirteenth Street. They’re well-armed, but the commandos are wearing them down.”
“Still protecting capitol building, right?”
“Yes, they’re trying not to blow that building up. Are the other three buses still behind you guys?”
“Yes sir,” Mr. White said. “And hoard of off-roaders on way too. We really have seventy thousand civilians?”
“Yep, and there’s more behind them. Ben Dover is getting really good at this.”
“True, but people smell blood in water, which help him. People had enough. Rampage coming.”
“Yes, my friend,” Ivan said. “We’re gonna take the top half of the state back. Then the problem will be the south.”
“True that two-hundred thousand Islamists are on way?”
“True, and so far we’ve only been able to raise about a hundred thousand there with the social media blitz.”
“How long was effort?”
Ivan chuckled. “About half the time we spent working the Sacramento area, and that had a smaller population to work with, so I still have hope.”
“Good,” Mr. White said.
“Where are you?”
“Off freeway, just passed Sutter’s Fort on L Street.”
“Perfect,” Ivan said. “I’ll let you go.”
“Talk later, boss.” Mr. White put the phone back in his pocket. The white-haired man sitting behind him poked him on the shoulder.
“Sir, do we get to fight?”
“You elected official?” Mr. White asked.
“I was Speaker of the Assembly,” the man said. “Garrison Hause.”
“Too important to get shot,” Mr. White said.
“I’m pissed at these guys,” Speaker Hause said.
“Then be smart when back in office. Stop bad guys. Don’t help them.”
He sat for a moment, tears forming in his eyes. “I guess I deserve that.”
“Yes, do, but not over. Become great man. You can.”
“Mind if we move around, talk?” Speaker Hause asked.
“Be my guest,” Mr. White said. “You free man again. Do job.”
He nodded at Mr. White, then turned around. “Members of the legislature, let’s meet. Switch seats, come up here.”
Half the people on the bus got up and moved forward, the commandos moving to the rear.
“Thanks,” Speaker Hause said, sitting sideways in the seat so he could look at those behind him. “We need to discuss what we do when we get back on the job. I believe job one is to restore the bureaucracy and re-take control of all state offices.
The tall black man towards the back of the group laughed out loud.
“Senator Wilson, do you have something to say?” Hause asked.
“Are you ready to admit that we need borders, and that we have a right to keep illegal aliens and phony refugees out of our nation? Because if you aren’t ready to admit that and move forward against that policy, we might as well just shoot ourselves.”
“I think that’s a little extreme,” said a small Hispanic man towards the front.
“Yeah, I figured you’d say that, Assemblyman Lopez,” Wilson said.
Mr. White shook his head, his expression one of disgust. “You have everything, deserve nothing.”
“Yeah, he’s right,” Wilson said. “We’ve got a war going. We’ve got citizens being attacked and killed. The first thing we need to do is capture or kill every damn UN Peacekeeper in the state. That is job one. Then we need to capture or kill each and every Islamist thug. After that’s done, we can go back to bickering about sanctuary cities and Islamophobic speech.
“That’s not a very enlightened attitude,” Lopez said.
“Are you serious?” asked another man, a pasty-looking red-haired man with a face that didn’t fit the color.
“Yeah, Senator Reilly, the idiot is serious,” Wilson said.
“Stop the bickering,” Hause said. “It’s not helpful. We aren’t going to target Muslims in this state. I’m all for deporting the UN Peacekeepers. We asked them to come in and they failed. Now we can ask them to leave.”
Mr. White doubled over laughing. “That rich.”
“What do you mean?” Hause asked.
“UN occupying force, not helpers for time of need,” Mr. White said. “Islamists worse. Kill like the dogs they are.”
“There aren’t even many Islamists here,” Hause said. This time both Mr. White and Wilson laughed hard.
“You want to see size of Islamist problem?” Mr. White asked. He pulled out his phone and fired up the long-range app, then showed him the Islamic fighters on the way south. “You see this?”
“What is that?” Hause asked, as others got closer to take a look, flooding the aisle in the bus.
“Each icon is one Islamic fighter. They have RFID chips. You people need to catch up fast. Lot happened while you were locked up.”
“My God, how many men is that?” Lopez asked.
“Roughly two hundred thousand,” Mr. White said.
“What?” Hause asked, his eyes wide. “Where are they going?”
“They go south to re-open I-8 and other roads down south, so they can help seven hundred thousand Islamic fighters come into California from Mexico.”
Wilson chuckled. “So now can we get serious?”
“I’m almost afraid to ask,” Reilly said. “How many UN Peacekeepers are still here?”
“We not sure,” Mr. White said. “UN Peacekeepers no have RFID, so we can’t see. Less than Islamists. Citizens been doing jobs for you slugs. Retake San Francisco and Oakland already, kill many thousand Peacekeepers. Almost have Sacramento back. Final battle goes on at Capitol.”
“So, we really have no idea?” Lopez asked.
“Boss said EU Navy ships coming with another sixty thousand,” Mr. White said. “Was coming to Bay Area. Now going up north because Bay Area lost. We should sink boat.”
Hause showed an expression of disbelief. “The EU is in on this?”
“Why is that a surprise?” Wilson asked. “They want a global government with themselves at the top. Why don’t you get that?”
“Who else is against us?” Hause asked.
“Saladin and the Caliphate,” Mr. White said. “Funny. EU think they subjugate people together and live happily ever after. Islamists bide time, take over everything, impose sharia, kill infidel in mass numbers. EU very foolish.”
“What’s still left?” Hause asked.
“What mean?” Mr. White asked.
“National guard? Police organizations?”
“Disbanded or killed, mostly,” Mr. White said. “Some can be brought back. Citizens probably win before you get all back, but should try. That my advice. Call up National guard, and get police departments and CHP back to work. Give them real weapons, not pea-shooter. Understand?”
“Where did you get that phone?” Reilly asked.
“Normal phone with special apps from General Hogan’s team. Ivan have one for each of you. You get when we arrive. Oh, and by the way, look.” He moved the app to Washington DC and the Mid-Atlantic, showing a sea of icons.
“My God,” Wilson said. “You liberals have killed us all.”
“Stop,” Mr. White said. “You understand, so stop bicker and start work. Past arguments not matter. Survival. Liberty. All that matter now. Lay blame and argue later if must, but not today.”
“He’s right,” Lopez said. “I’m ashamed. We all should be. We need to redeem ourselves. We need to work for the people.”
“Now you think correctly,” Mr. White said. “Get ready. We close to hot zone. We pull on side street, building is set up. Phone banks, weapons, your cellphones, also documentation to get you up to speed, since you in stir so long.”
“We can thank Ivan for all of this?” Hause asked.
“Ivan and others,” Mr. White said. “Many patriots still out there. Give us fighting chance.”
The buses made a right turn on 17th Street and pulled to a stop next to a large building. Mr. White stood up. “Come, hurry, run into parking structure, we enter building from there, under cover.”
The buses emptied out, the elected officials and commandos rushing into the building as the gunfire continued, just two blocks away.
Jules, Tex, Sparky, and Ted sat in folding chairs under the corrugated metal stall between two battle wagons. Jules had a bandage around his forehead, which the doctor had put on half an hour ago.
“Hot today,” Tex said, wiping sweat off his forehead. “Wish we could have a few beers.”
“Yeah, that’d be nice,” Ted said.
“Probably could have one or two,” Jules said. “Ivan text. Sacramento fell. Legislature back in place…what left of, anyway.”
“How many survived?” Sparky asked.
“One third, give or take,” Jules said. “Some maybe escaped, will join later. Many died in prison or during capture.”
“Well, I hope they’ve learned something,” Tex said. “We ought to have a part time legislature here, like we’ve got in Texas. Keeps them under control a little better.”
“What’s our next objective?” Ted asked.
“Still wait for Ivan,” Jules said. “May be able to leave north half of state soon. Big trouble brewing in south. Ji-Ho and Sam need us.”
“What’s left up here to liberate?” Sparky asked.
“Bay area under our control from San Jose to Santa Rosa. Sacramento now. Boss say boatload of UN Peacekeepers on way north. US Navy chasing now.”
“How many Peacekeepers they talking about, partner?”
“Sixty grand,” Jules said. “Much smaller problem than Islamists now.”
“I’ve been watching the Islamists move south,” Ted said. “The first group is almost to Yucca Valley.”
“Dammit,” Sparky said, pulling out his phone. He looked silently for a moment, his teeth grinding. “It’s pretty obvious what they’re doing.”
“What’s that, partner?” Tex asked.
They can take Highway 62 to Highway 95. That leads right down to the part of I-8 that’s closest to the border.”
“Wait, they’re that close?” Ted asked. “Do we need to airlift forces over to stop them?”
Sparky shook his head no, not looking up from his phone. “They’re really well spread out. The furthest I see them now is Landers, but it’s a small number so far. Some of them are still up north as far as Bakersfield. Some of them haven’t moved for several hours. Almost looks like they’re digging in, waiting for something.”
“Is it still a couple hundred thousand?” Tex asked. Sparky shook his head yes.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Ted said.
“You not kidding,” Jules said. “Look at numbers of Islamists over border, though. Changing last time I looked.”
“When was the last time you looked?” Sparky asked, as he moved the view south of the border.
“Before doctor get here,” Jules said. “Three hour.”
“Whoa,” Sparky said.
“What you see?” Jules asked.
“Looks like about half of them are moving southeast,” Sparky said, looking over at Tex.
“Crap,” Tex said, pulling his phone out to look.
“Governor Nelson see them,” Jules said, “got apps before us. They ready, trust me.”
“Hope you’re right,” Tex said.
“Hey, Jules, you might want to watch this,” Shelly said from the door of Tex’s coach.
“What?” Jules asked, getting up.
“Press conference starting in a few minutes,” Karen said, standing next to her. “California legislature.”
The four men got up and went into the coach, finding seats with their women. The camera was already on in the room, pointing at a podium with the California State Seal on the front.
“Wonder who’s speaking?” Ted asked.
“They haven’t said,” Haley whispered to him.
“It’s the Speaker,” Sparky said, watching Speaker Hause take the podium. Eight other members of the legislature came on the stage and stood behind him, a mixture of both parties.
“Hello, fellow Californians,” he began. “We have been in Folsom Prison since before Martial Law was declared, and are deeply sorry for the actions of the UN Peacekeepers and others who have been illegally oppressing California citizens during our confinement.”
He paused for a moment, on the verge of tears, composing himself to go on.
“I am currently the acting governor of our great state, because the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, and the President Pro Tem of the Senate were all killed by the enemy. The job now falls to the Speaker of the Assembly. I ask for your support as we bring California back under the control of the people.”
“A lot of this is his fault,” Ted said.
“Give him a chance, honey,” Haley said.
“Our first actions will be to bring the criminal UN and the Islamist Army to justice. I am ordering that all California Law Enforcement Officers return to their jobs for further instructions, and I am activating the National Guard as well. This will not be enough to beat the enemy, but we have a robust citizenry who have already taken up the fight, and are, in fact, responsible for our rescue. We will work together with them to bring the state back under control, and to defeat the enemy on all fronts.”
Is this going to be too little, too late?” Shelly asked.
“The citizens must join,” Jules said, his brow furrowed. “They must trust. It might not be easy, but we already in fight.”
“This is a good development,” Sparky said. “At least I hope it is.”
“Look, he’s done already,” Karen said, watching the men leave the stage.
“Do you want to watch the talking heads?” Dana asked. “I think I’ll go outside.”
“They partly responsible for problem,” Jules said, standing. “I go call Ivan.”
He left the coach, Shelly following him.
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