Seth’s computer sounded the history program alarm. He clicked on it, his eyes getting wide.
“What is it?” Kaitlyn asked, turning her chair towards his screen.
“Same highway in Mexico where we saw the semis unload before they took out the Marines. Wow. I’m seeing about thirty-thousand new RFID hits. Better call Jules and Ivan over here.”
“I’ll go get them,” Ben said, getting up from his seat.
“Why don’t they drive closer to the border before they reveal themselves?” Kaitlyn asked.
“Good question,” Seth said, turning as he heard Jules and Ivan come into the room. Ben sat back down, still working the problem with his drone feed.
“They’re dumping, huh?” Jules asked.
“Yeah, but why here?” Seth asked. “Why not closer to the border?”
Jules looked at Ivan, who was thinking, watching the screen over Seth’s shoulder. “They think it’ll be harder for us to stop them when they’re spread out wide on the dirt between there and the border. They’re probably right.”
Robbie and Morgan came back into the room with cups of coffee. “Uh oh, what’s happening?” Morgan asked.
“Thirty-thousand enemy fighters just revealed themselves in Mexico,” Kaitlyn said. “Same highway as before.”
“Maybe it’s time for the planes of the Theodore Roosevelt to start attacking,” Robbie said. “They’re close enough.”
Ivan shook his head no. “They’re going further south. Not for us. There’s an attack coming in the Gulf of Mexico.”
“Against what?” Ben asked.
“Governor Nelson’s team isn’t sure yet. Probably Houston. It’s the largest town in that region.”
“What about us?” Kaitlyn asked.
“We don’t have a city of over two million who are in danger of a nuke attack,” Robbie said.
“That we know of yet,” Seth quipped.
Robbie chuckled. “Yeah, that’s a fair point.”
Seth’s computer sounded another alarm. “Oh boy, another five thousand, same place.”
“This is going to go on for the next couple hours,” Ivan said. “All we can do at this point is watch and pinpoint their locations. If you see any that are on roads closer to the US border, come get me right away, okay?”
“Will do,” Seth said.
Ivan smiled. “Thanks.”
“Mind if I stay and watch, boss?” Jules asked.
“Sure, be my guest. I want to check on the UN base. Mr. White and Mr. Black are running a stakeout.”
“Good, they bigger problem,” Jules said. Ivan left the room, motioning for Ben to follow him.
“There’s a lot more Islamists,” Robbie said.
“True, but them we can see,” Jules said.
It was first light along the border. Doug crawled out of his pup-tent, his bones aching.
Jorge was getting up. “Hey, dude, ready for coffee?”
“Yeah, let’s go to the mess hall,” Doug said as he stood and fixed his pants and shirt. “I need a shower.”
“Yeah, me too, and I need some time with my wife,” Jorge said, dusting off his knees. “Looked at the apps lately?”
“Need to plug my phone in when we get to the mess hall. Glad they provided all those charging stations.”
“We’ve got military equipment that needs to be kept at the ready,” Jorge said.
Doug laughed. “Yeah, our cellphones with the apps on them are military equipment. Never thought of it that way.”
They walked down the hill, getting into the line for breakfast.
“Wonder where Conrad is?” Jorge asked.
“Who knows? That smells good. Bacon.”
“Perfect thing to go with powdered eggs,” Jorge cracked. “Wish they would’ve waited on pulling those trains out of here until morning. Woke me up at two-thirty. Took a while to get back to sleep.”
“I heard it but fell back to sleep right away. Wonder if they’re going to leave that stuff here?”
“Conrad was non-committal on that.”
“He doesn’t have any say,” Doug said.
“Oh, I know, dude, I was talking about him being non-committal on his opinion.”
Doug snickered. “Sorry, I’m not awake until I’ve had some coffee.”
“You and me both. That’s more tanks than I thought, but not all of them are M-1s. What are those other things?”
“Bradley Fighting Vehicles,” Doug said. “I’m surprised they weren’t using those before. M-1s are mainly for battles with enemy tanks, and this enemy doesn’t have them.”
“At least we haven’t seen any yet.”
They got through the food line after about five minutes, then found a place to sit next to charging outlets, both plugging their phones in.
“We’re slaves to modern technology,” Jorge said, his mouth half full of eggs.
“Listen. Is that another train coming?”
The low rumble got louder, Jorge getting up to look out the flap of the tent. “Two again. Looks like they’re both full of weapons.”
“Hope there’s more Bradley Fighting Vehicles,” Doug said.
“Good morning,” Conrad said, walking to their table with his breakfast. “Mind if I join you?”
“Sit,” Doug said. “Another two trains pulling in.”
“Yeah, chatted with Major Higgins about it earlier this morning. We’re finally getting smart.”
“Wait, earlier this morning?” Jorge asked. “Damn, dude, what time were you up?”
“Four,” Conrad said as he shoveled the first bite of powdered eggs into his mouth.
Doug washed down his breakfast with coffee. “So, they’ve gotten smarter than yesterday?”
“I’m kinda joking,” Conrad said. “Most of what they sent here yesterday were Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and about half of them came from further north in California, not from San Diego or Camp Pendleton.”
“I’m still not understanding what makes these Bradley Fighting Vehicles better than M-1 tanks,” Jorge said.
Conrad finished chewing a piece of bacon and washed it down with a small cup of orange juice. “The BFV has firepower that’s better to use against this enemy, and they hold a crew of three, plus up to six fully-equipped soldiers.”
“That sounds more like an armored personnel carrier,” Doug said.
“It’s much better armed.”
“What’s it got, dude?” Jorge asked.
“M242 chain gun, TOW missiles, and an M240 machine gun,” Conrad said. “It’s got reactive armor, too, so they can withstand a lot of abuse. Not as much as an M-1, but plenty for this situation. They’d eat a Gaz Tigr for breakfast.”
“Probably more enjoyable than this breakfast,” Jorge said, turning to toss his empty paper plate into the big cardboard trash box behind him.
“Always with the complaints, man,” Conrad said, shaking his head.
Jorge laughed. “Next, you’re gonna tell me about how Charley eats fish heads and rice, and squats in the bush.”
Doug cracked up, watching Conrad shake his head.
“What’s a chain gun?” Jorge asked.
“It’s a cannon that fires full auto,” Conrad said.
“Whoa, really? Bitchen, dude.”
“I’m sure that’s what the brass said when they selected that particular weapon,” Doug quipped.
“You two never fail to amuse me,” Conrad said, standing up. “We’ve got something even better coming now, from a base in Nevada.”
“Oh, they’re not BFVs?” Doug asked.
“The first train has a few. The second will be full to the gills with L-ATVs.”
“Great, another acronym I have to learn. What the hell is an L-ATV?”
Conrad smirked. “They’re a smaller, lighter MRAP.”
“Well that was helpful,” Jorge said, Doug cracking up as he tossed his empty plate in the trash.
“Sorry, I’m messing with you,” Conrad said.
“You seem happy this morning,” Doug said, sitting back down at the table. “You didn’t look so happy yesterday.”
“Uncle Sam is finally getting into the fight on our side,” Conrad said. “We’ll be a little short on men, but there are enough citizens to cover it with some short training.”
“Why the change?” Doug asked.
“General Hogan is working directly with the new Joint Chiefs now, and he knows where to direct hardware and what kind to deploy.”
“Are you gonna tell us what an L-ATV is or what?” Jorge asked.
“It’s a smaller, lighter form of MRAP, which means Mine Resistant Ambush Protected,” Conrad said. “Remember in the Iraq war where roadside IEDs were killing a lot of our troops?”
“Oh, yeah,” Jorge said.
“MRAP vehicles were designed to protect against those. They have a hull-shaped structure underneath that directs the blasts of mines away from the occupants of the vehicle. And before you ask, L-ATV stands for Light Combat Tactical All-Terrain Vehicle.”
“That’s more words than there are letters in the acronym,” Jorge said.
Conrad smirked. “Take it up with the Pentagon.”
Doug snickered, then eyed Conrad. “Are we gonna end up in one of these vehicles?”
“Possibly,” Conrad said. “You guys done? Let’s go down and check them out. The trains are almost in position to unload.”
“I’m ready,” Doug said, looking at Jorge, who nodded in agreement. Conrad tossed his empty plate in the trash and they headed down the hill, getting to the tracks just as the first train was slowing to a stop. Major Higgins was there, directing the crews, poised to unload the train.
“Those are the BFVs?” Jorge asked, looking at the vehicles sitting two to a flatbed.
“Beautiful, ain’t they?” Major Higgins asked.
“How many?” Conrad asked.
“We’ll only have twenty of these,” Major Higgins said. “We’ll use them to lay down fire, mostly.”
“How many L-ATVs?”
Major Higgins shot him a grin. “You aren’t gonna believe it. Just got word from my CO.”
“Fifteen hundred here, another five thousand near Tecate.”
“Wow,” Conrad said. “Nice.”
“That’s not all,” Major Higgins said. “The marines took control of Federal Highway 2D in Mexico and locked down the city of Tecate, with help from that city’s leadership. Seems the Mexicans aren’t too keen on a bunch of Islamists turning their country into a battleground.”
“What’ll they do with that highway?” Jorge asked.
“They’ll load anybody willing to fight onto trucks and take them to the enemy front,” Major Higgins said. “We’ve got citizens massing in that area from all over the state now, itching for some action.”
“Wonder how many enemy fighters there are now?” Jorge asked, reaching into his pocket. “Crap, man, I left my phone on the charger back there.”
“Shoot, so did I,” Doug said. They ran to the mess hall in a panic, Conrad and Major Higgins chuckling.
“Is it really as good as you’re saying?” Conrad asked.
“Yeah, but this is gonna be bloody as hell. Most of the ninety thousand enemy fighters are visible now, walking on a huge line towards the border. We’ve got all these weapons and vehicles, but I expect the enemy to pull some nasty surprises out of nowhere. This battle isn’t about what everybody thinks it is.”
“The Islamists and the UN have had a falling out,” Major Higgins said.
“Where’d you hear that?”
“Never mind. Just trust me on this. They’re evacuating their forces from the US. It’s happening in Texas, and it’s happening in California. No way can they win in the US. They’d evacuate the southwest too, if they didn’t have General Hogan standing in their way.”
“I don’t know that I buy this.”
“They think they can take over Mexico and re-group, if they can get those pesky US regular army folks away from Mexico City and the other places they now control.”
Conrad was quiet, thinking for a moment. “You’re saying that they’d like to draw the US army into a fight to save all the civilians down here?”
“That’s what I’m thinking, and I’m not alone in that. I think they’ve prepared a nasty trap. If we’re dumb enough to fall for it, that’s on us.”
“They want to turn Mexico into a new Afghanistan right on our border, and they think the USA is just gonna let them do it, huh? That’s not so bright.”
“You’re right, it’s not so bright,” Major Higgins said, “and that’s why we’ll win in the long run. There are big glaring signs that they’re ignoring.”
“The Mexican people are actively fighting on the same side with the US Army. They’ve stopped the flow of Islamist fighters from Central America, and very few of the Venezuelans are left alive in Mexico at this point.”
“It’s hard to believe they don’t see that,” Conrad said.
“They believe their own BS. They still think they can convert most of the poor in Mexico to Islam. Catholics usually won’t go there without a fight, and the Pope has finally turned against the globalists. I expect him to be killed any day now.”
“That doesn’t sound so good.”
“If they’re successful in taking out the Pope, it’ll be the end of radical Islam in any Catholic-majority country. Trust me. These sixth-century cretins think they want a religious war. That’ll be their undoing. They don’t have the numbers nor the good leadership. They’ve made mistake after mistake. They always push too far because some stupid Imam tells them it’s the will of their God. They had a good chunk of Europe at one point. They lost it because of the same thinking they’re using now.”
“Charles Martel,” Conrad said.
Major Higgins laughed. “He’s one of the most important figures in European history, and most people have no idea who he was.”
“Yeah, cracks me up when modern historians rail against the Crusades.”
“You ain’t kidding there. It’s portrayed as stupid and evil by the revisionist historians today, when actually it was a reaction to the Islamist invasions of Europe. Bottom line, look who ended up in the 1st world and who ended up in the 3rd world. Hell, we were so dominant over these Islamist slugs that we drew up the boundaries for their countries. Cut their lands up like a frigging birthday cake. Many say we caused all the rancor in the Middle East because we were stupid in how we drew the borders. That’s a misguided opinion.”
“How so?” Conrad asked.
“We set those countries up the way we did to keep the crazies fighting each other instead of the civilized world, and it worked for a long time, until the globalists started messing around with it.”
“Hell, I never thought about it that way,” Conrad said.
“Remember the results of the Arab Spring? The stupid globalists in the EU and a bad president here pushed that forward. The result was a new invasion of Europe which they’re still dealing with today. Morons.”
Doug and Jorge returned with their phones, both looking scared.
“What’s up?” Conrad asked.
“Do you know there’s nearly a hundred thousand Islamists on the way to the border?” Doug asked.
Conrad and Major Higgins shot each other a glance.
“Last time I looked it was in the nineties,” Major Higgins said. “We’ll have six more trains making deliveries here today, and five times that many near Tecate. Don’t give up yet, men.”
Conrad nodded. “Let’s go check out those L-ATVs.”
Jorge and Doug followed him to the second train, which had just started unloading, leaving Major Higgins to his job.
“How worried are you about this?” Doug asked.
Conrad glanced back at him. “We’re in a better position than we were before. Wow, these look brand new.” The three stopped next to a massive flatbed railcar, which had eight off-road vehicles on it. They sported massive tires, and a small turret on top.
“What kind of gun is that?” Jorge asked.
“Looks like an M240 machine gun to me.”
Jorge got closer, looking up. “Is that good?”
“Yeah, it’s good,” Conrad said. “The army replaced M60s with these in most applications.”
“Most?” Doug asked.
“Yeah, they still use M60s for infantry, because they’re so much lighter than these, but where weight doesn’t matter, these are better. They never jam, and their barrels last a lot longer.”
“That vehicle next to it has a different gun,” Jorge said, pointing at the otherwise identical vehicle next to the first one.
Conrad chuckled. “That’s an M19 grenade launcher.”
“Wow,” Doug said. “Bet that packs a wallop.”
“Wouldn’t want somebody pointing that at me,” Conrad said. “You guys might get assigned to one of these.”
“We don’t know how to operate this thing,” Doug said.
“Don’t worry, not much to it,” Conrad said. “It’ll be dangerous, though. If you don’t think you can handle that, speak up. Nobody’s gonna force you.”
“I’ll do what my country asks of me,” Doug said, “but I don’t have kids or a wife who gives a damn. Jorge, you might want to think twice.”
Excuse me, gentlemen,” a young marine said. “We need to unload these.”
The three men backed away, watching as ramps were put into place, and the vehicles backed off.
Jorge looked down at the ground for a moment, then back up at Conrad. “I’ve got a lot to live for.”
“I know,” Conrad said.
“And I’ve got loved ones to protect. If we can take these creeps out south of the border, they won’t come up here and hurt my family. I’m in if they need me.”
“You have a few hours to think it over,” Doug said. “Best to be sure.”
Conrad nodded. “Yep, it’s best to be sure.”
Ivan and Jules stared up at the hole in the ceiling of the dim storage room, dirt falling as Tex and Sam dug at the earthen walls with shovels.
“It’s big enough now to get supplies down,” Jules said. “That’s the immediate danger, no?”
“The chemical toilets down here are gonna be a problem after a while,” Ivan said. “They weren’t designed for this many people living full time. Rolling the tanks out with carts was one thing. Hoisting them up this hole is going to be more difficult.”
Jules chuckled. “True, didn’t think. Maybe as soon as the hole is big enough, we use ladders to evacuate people.”
Ivan nodded, then his phone rang. “Mr. Black. I’ll put it on speaker.
“Hi, boss, still in the hole?”
“Oh, Jules with you. Hi, Jules.”
“Mr. Black, how are you, old friend?”
“Tired, was long night. Glad it morning now.”
“What’d you see last night?” Ivan asked.
“You right, many UN vans around, but not marked. Locals don’t seem to take notice. Foreigners keeping low profile, though. Much more spread out than expected.”
“I figured,” Ivan said. “Have any idea how many UN assets are in the area?”
“Rough guess? Many thousands.”
“Dammit,” Jules said.
“One thing that helps them is TV news,” Mr. Black said. “Talk of Islamists just south of border is on local channels. Saw people chatting in sports bar while watching. Most people stay in their homes according to conversation. Probably helps UN. Easier to not be noticed this way.”
“I’m sure,” Ivan said. “Where’s your other half?”
“Mr. White take nap. Me next. What you want we should do after? Keep motel room, hang out longer?”
“For now, yes. Blend in. Gather intel. We will be hitting them, but it’ll be a coordinated hit. When we get close, you’ll be moved to Dana Point. We’ll start the attack when the boat is at the dock. Kill everybody there, sink the boat, make sure the locals know what the operation was. Ruin that spot for them. That’ll screw them good.”
“How so?” Mr. Black asked. “Boats dime a dozen.”
“We’ll make sure the authorities in all the ports between San Diego and Santa Barbara know what they’re doing, and what to look for.”
“Oh. Hopefully none are on enemy side.”
Jules looked at Ivan.
“Jules, you have something to add?”
“Do we know if anybody at Dana Point knows about operation?” he asked.
“That’s good question,” Mr. Black said, “but very hard to determine. If we ask around, they’ll know, pass to enemy, be ready for our attack. Better to worry about later.”
Ivan sat quietly, thinking. “We need a second intel team.”
“We have, still in San Francisco,” Mr. Black said.
“Yes, but we can’t move them. There’s been attempts to return the UN there. Our operatives can handle it now, but if we lose the intel team, it’ll be much more difficult. I don’t want to battle again for territory we’ve won.”
“Sam, Tex, Ted, and Sparky?” Jules asked. “All trained. All experienced.”
“And Ji-Ho too,” Ivan said.
“Ji-Ho sick, Ivan. Remember, I tell?”
“Oh, that’s right,” Ivan said. “Better to leave him out of this.”
“Boss, I worry more about UN base than harbor,” Mr. Black said. “It’s spread out. Massive assault to take down. We not know boundaries yet.”
“Okay, we’ll table this conversation for now. You and Mr. White stay in the area and watch. Try to figure out what their footprint is, but don’t get caught. Got it?”
“Yes sir,” Mr. Black said.
“Good. Take a nap.”
To be continued…
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!
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 2018