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Old 12-20-2016, 08:18 PM
MayDay MayDay is offline
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Default The skein of your life was woven long ago. Chapter 1



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Howdy folks. This is something that came to me as I was writing and e-mail note to a friend a couple of hours ago. I have no idea where it came from it just sort of was there in my head. It is liable to be a short story and considering the way it is in my head it will probably offend some folks. Violence and situations not considered acceptable by some folks will most likely find a way into this story. Also BE WARNED that I sat and wrote this practically nonstop for a couple hours so punctuation, grammar, spelling or proper structure are very liable to be bad, bad, bad!

Not only that, I also have another story going on the forum that needs attention so this one could possible languish for a while. I don't like having two stories going at the same time. I have enough trouble getting one story to behave and say what I wanted to say. I know me pretty well by now and if I hadn't written this down while it was in my mind I would have lost it.

OK to be forewarned is to be forearmed! Read on at your peril!

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


The skein of your life was woven long ago.

Chapter 1


Dying right after delivering him into the twice cursed world, his mother had just enough time to name him Lukas. A name she seemingly picked for its Norwegian links. In Latin the meaning of the name Lukas is: Light.

What little Lukas knew about her came from her vast collection of books and stories dealing with all aspects of Scandinavia. It was evident from that collection she was fascinated with medieval Norse culture. Anything relating to medieval Norway or Scandinavia, or their inhabitants or language seemed to hold a deep fascination for her. She was of Norwegian extraction and his father was of northern Germanic extraction so maybe it wasn’t that unusual.

His father was a dyed in the wool military lifer. He never forgave his son for the death of his dearly beloved wife and dumped the infant on his half-sister Margaret mere days after the death of his wife.

The first seventeen years of his life were spent in Pittsburgh with Aunt Margaret and her husband Roger a near alcoholic that worked in one of the remaining steel mills. Not actually abusive Roger was a man of strong personal beliefs. He was always that last word in what was right, according to him, and had a work roughened, hard hand for anyone that argued too much with him. He had his own ideas of what made a boy into a man and the muscle to enforce those ideas.

Walk the straight and narrow according to Roger and life was easy. Violate his rules and pay the penalty.

Life would have been easier if they hadn’t lived in one of the worst neighborhoods in Pittsburgh within blocks of the worst government run ghetto around. One writer trying to be upbeat referred to the neighborhood Lukas grew up in as “One of the sore thumbs of the Pittsburgh”.

Growing up fast and hard was mandatory. Those that didn’t adjust got plowed under by the street gangs. One of Rogers few “approved” diversions was the local gym. So Lukas found himself hanging out there from an early age.

Being in a depressed area the gym drew outside supporters, eager to help mold the young generation coming out of such areas.

At age six Lukas joined a group taught by a world class powerlifter who had, had his own issues as a young man. He had overcome his issues and become not only a leader in his sport but a life example to his students. He not only excelled at powerlifting but had a background in mixed martial arts.

Over the years the classes taught at the gym as well as the one Lukas was in shrank year by year and were boiled down to one class of twenty.
Lukas’s powerlifting mentor tried to instill both physical skill and a moral outlook on life. He always felt that he was somehow failing with Lukas. Every time he tried to point out that Lukas was learning martial arts for all the wrong reasons, the young man would smile and nod but that was as far the morality lesson would penetrate. Lukas had learned early on to keep his own counsel and keep that counsel close to his vest.

If not for the check Lukas’s dad sent every month to Aunt Margaret every month Roger would never have agreed to have him under his roof.
Years of constant bickering about money and every little bump in life’s road never got better or changed. Interminable infighting with his older cousins. Street fights and the constant pressure to join a gang and to try drugs created a seventeen year old boy of many contradictions with several dark corners in his soul.

One week past his seventeenth birthday found Lukas and his circle of friends from the gym being arrested once again by the same beat cop, a sergeant that had patrolled his neighborhood for as long as Lukas could remember. The sergeant had arrested all of them at one time or another many times over the years. Always some petty crime or street fight, the severity kept going up as the boys got older.

The sergeant had mixed emotions about this particular group. Considering where and how they grew up they were actually better than they should have been. None of this group had been given a break by life. In trouble more than they were out, they were one misstep from doing serious time.

He would give this group one thing though. They never called the cops arresting them pigs or other derogatory comments. The group knew they were committing criminal offenses and had the good grace to realize that being arrested was their own fault.

Call it a whim, call it a last ditch effort, the sergeant had them all lined up handcuffs and all. He was talking to them all but he kept eye contact with Lukas the longest as he was the de facto leader.

“I won’t call you boys. You are within spitting distance of being men by virtue of how you live and legally men by the definition of the law.

I am sick and tired of arresting you same nine hardheaded *******s. I am going to give you a cold hard fact, one you can take to the bank. You have walked a thin line between petty crimes and doing hard time. I know some of you have been running drugs or money for some of the gangs and so far you have been lucky enough to not end up doing hard time or dead in the street.

Listen and listen well. From now on I will make catching all of you as a group or as individuals a priority with myself and the men I command. You either get your act together or pack your bags right now for a long, long, all expenses paid vacation on the government.”

Something clicked in the back of Lukas’s mind. Without conscious though he found his mouth speaking.

“You’ve always treated us fairly all things considered. But you know this neighborhood and for that matter all the ones surrounding us. How exactly do we get out of here?”

The sergeant had been trying his best to get through to this kids before he had to write a report on a crime scene where one of their bodies was found. He hadn’t exactly expected any of them to respond.

Making it up as he went along the sergeant said. “Have you considered joining the military? I’m not sure what all the qualifications are but it could be a way out of here. Maybe you can get your GED or finish your education while in the military. Sure it’s a hard way to get out of here but how much harder can it be than being gutted like a fish by some gang banger?”

The sergeant wasn’t eloquent or a public speaker but for some reason that little click in the back of his head told Lukas the sergeant had a point. It was either get out as soon as possible or end up like Roger and Aunt Margaret.
Thirty days later Lukas and three of his friends from the gym, ones that had heard the same speech from the sergeant were on their way to boot camp.


Go and hide in a hole if you wish, but you won't live one instant longer.

Chapter 2


Eleven years and some odd months later the boy Lukas the one who stepped on the bus for boot camp was merely a shadowy presence glimpsed, if at all, rarely. Four years in Special Forces then a transfer to the action arm of one of the lesser known alphabet agencies with some occasional lending of his services to the CIA and its ilk had come close to erasing that person forever.

The man Lukas had changed his name so many times he had to actually sit and think to recall the name he had used in those long ago days. Changes not always of his choosing. The man had learned many life lessons, most of them not acceptable in the more civilized nations of the world. The life he had lived took no notice of those nations or what they thought about correct moral values.

The life he now lived was spent with men of his same moral flexibility. They plied their profession, their art in the deserts, jungles and urban settings where quick deadly violence was called for. Violence and death might not be a daily or weekly occurrence but it came close.

Amongst the many life lessons, standing above even the violence and red hot lead of his world, one stood out above all the others. If you were very, very good, had a skill that only one in fifty thousand men had your most persistent reward was another assignment where you could go to kill or be killed. To excel was to never be allowed to rest too long or to grow any grass under your feet.

According to civilized nations Lukas, the men he associated with, who he
commanded had broken moral compasses to say the least. Yet who had heated them up white hot then pounded him out on the anvil of war, violence and destruction? One of those judgmental “civilized” nations that was who.

What was left was a man who those same civilized nations had done their best to hammer the impurities of compassion, caring, of knowing right from wrong out of.

He was the product of the unrelenting pressure to follow orders to set aside any of the softer emotions. Like a piece of coal pressure had turned into a diamond, Lukas had been turned into something different from the boy Lukas. Hard, ruthless and determined he was now a diamond of a man.

It was unintended by those who had trained and used them so many times but the result was a band of warriors, flawed, haunted, barely house broken, yet warriors.

Through it all there was one overriding imperative for Lukas. Keep the faith with the men he served with. Never let a fellow warrior down.

His driver kept their vehicle pounding down the roadway, while Lukas checked his impact hardened lap top, and asked questions of the radio tech behind him. Their situation was bad bordering on desperate, still the errant thought ran through his mind. One thing that can be said about working for private contracting companies employed by the alphabet agencies, you always had the cutting edge, the most advanced equipment money could buy. After all it wasn’t their money.

Checking the outside mirror on his side Lukas checked the vehicles behind him, they were all exactly where they needed to be.
Lukas had worked with this same tightly knit group of men for long enough that they thought almost as one.

“What’s the status of air support?” Lukas said as if into thin air.

The radio tech didn’t need to think he knew that question was directed at him.

“I’ve been on with the chopper piolets and they will be TOT with air support, guns blazing if we need them by the time we reach our objective. They are having a little hitch with fuel so they might be bingo fuel about the time we wrap up and will need ground transport. They are doing some fast talking and throwing around our clearances, but the local guys are trying to verify them with higher-ups.”

“OK, if they don’t take too long we should have the extra fuel then. There is nothing wrong with out clearances or our priority status. No one that actually knows anything can countermand those orders.” Lukas told the vehicle occupants.

The radio tech told himself, ya no one alive anyway.

With nothing left to do until they deployed for their next assault Lukas let his mind drift to the events that brought his friends and himself to this point in time. He had been over it, several times trying to decide if they had been just plain lucky or did it have something to do with his mother’s belief that the skein of his life had been woven long before his birth.

It wasn’t hard to pinpoint the radical right turn his life had taken, that was easy. That point happened almost three years ago. The only question right now was could he have changed or influenced what followed that turn.

It started out with the type of mission Lukas and his team seemed to draw way too many times. According to the mission briefing a high value asset of some unspecified agency found himself, an interpreter and a body guard stranded on the boarder of Syria and Turkey. According to the briefing this “asset” was being searched for by Syria, Turkey and the Russians. Extract him if they could make sure he wasn’t captured if they couldn’t. FYI kill the sucker at the least hint they might lose him.

It was one of those hot potato missions that higher ups were hesitant to hand to more mainstream military entities.

Lukas and his crew had the dubious honor of being the closest expendable team with a history of keeping their mouths shut. Their employer was in theory one of the many defense contractors scattered around the world. The reality was that they actually worked for the CIA or ABCDEFG agency. At this point the actual line of their employment was of little interest to Lukas and his team. If their fee was deposited in their off shore accounts everything else was golden.

Logistics really sucked. The asset was closer to the coast than he might have been, still it was too far for a round trip by chopper. Add to that fact not one country close to the extraction point would be helping and it made things close to impossible. The only plan they could come up with involved a Cyprian smuggler, choppers to ferry fuel part way to the extraction point for refueling the chopper making the insertion and the pick-up.

The mission had Lukas seriously examining his employment choices. In his experience those that could be bribed had an unsettling habit of becoming unbribed at the worst possible point.

After a nerve wracking ride on an outdated chopper a fifteen minute firefight with some local militia Lukas made contact with the asset. He wasn’t sure exactly what he expected from a CIA undercover operative but what he found waiting for him in the tiny bar in town was a drunk.

With a mental shrug Lukas decided to go with the flow. As it turned out the drunk had an old, and I mean old boxy Mercedes that was on its last legs and barely cleared the ground on one side. According to the body guard it was packed and ready to go, whatever that meant.

Lukas considered just shooting the asset along with his two companions. Something about the dead drunk man crying into his drink and singing in a low voice about lost chances or lost highways kept him from doing it.

The interpreter turned out to be a girl in her twenties and about as drunk as the asset. From her makeup and the way she was dressed Lukas suspected that her chosen profession had little to do with the interpretation of languages.

Out of the three at least the body guard was sober but no way was Lukas going to help carry the drunks to the chopper.

The body guard drove the Mercedes with the other two sloshing around on the back seat slowly and Lukas and the extraction team slow trotted alongside.

At the chopper the drunken asset insisted that they load a number of crates from the back of the old Mercedes behemoth onto the chopper claiming they contained vital secret information he had gathered. Lukas had his guys load the damn boxes, at this point there was a real need to get into the air and make for the coast.

Twenty minutes of keeping below radar level and skimming hill tops and the old beater they were flying in decided to throw in the towel.

Lukas had flown with the pilots many times they were on contract just as he and his crew were. Over that last year or so they had become honorary member of the group. They were somewhat younger than the average, full of **** and vinegar secure in the knowledge that they couldn’t be killed. Youth does that.

Whether it was luck of skill Lukas didn’t really care. In the dark of night with an engine that kept sputtering providing lift one second then cutting out the pilots managed to bring them down in the middle of a low stand of scrub trees.

Shouting back at them the co-pilot screamed “Brace for impact, brace for a hard landing.”

At the last second the engine took hold and brought them to a stop five feet above the ground only to cut off and drop them like a lead weight the rest of the way.

It took three days for the half of his crew left at camp to get another chopper to them. Three days of his crew in a perimeter around the chopper.

Lukas and his crew had faced horrible deaths many times and they were tense in this situation as always. What they feared more than being dead was the method of that death. None of them wanted to spend the rest of their lives in a Turkish prison then die in some indescribable manner.

The “secret documents” turned out to be mostly cases of booze. Three days of huddling under a camouflaged chopper with a drunk CIA agent turned out to be an interesting adventure.

The drunken asset knew he was going to die one way or the other. He had no illusions about what Lukas’s orders were if the asset looked like he might be captured. He had personally carried out that same order when he was still in the field many times. Right now he was drunk and trying to find god at the bottom of a liquor bottle.

For Lukas it did have an upside. He listened for three days to secrets, of missions run and of ongoing activities spanning thirty five years. Unless he was reading it all wrong this drunk was or had been privy to information classified above super-duper secret, burn before reading type intelligence.

How could a man with this type of information be where he had been? Lukas was amazed the man wasn’t locked in some dark ultra-secret room buried under a million tons of concrete spinning agency webs of intrigue.

Lukas would find out much later that it involved a high ranking Russian official that this drunken man knew in some past life.

Eventually they made it out and made it to a US military establishment. When the drunk, who called himself Smith, sobered up he realized he had two choices. Sign and order to have Lukas and his team terminated or use them for their military capabilities. Sentiment didn’t usually play a part in his decisions. Still Lukas could have shot him in that little bar and saved himself a lot of trouble or so it would have seemed at the time.

Many times over the next two plus years Smith thanked his lucky stars that Lukas and his team were the ones sent to extract him.

Not only had they save the clandestine community and himself from exposure on several occasions, they had saved the US several more than embarrassing moments. If the allies of the US found out about two of those Smith doubted any amount of diplomacy would do much good.

The world that Smith inhabited and spun his webs in was a complex construction of threats, favors for favors, tit for tat. He would sit and pull a string here a string there, do a favor over there and ask for one over there. Business as usual for the murky world of alphabet agencies.

Smith’s army of computer nerds and hackers picked up a piece her a piece there and complete the puzzle they represented. Sometimes it amounted to useless information many times it resulted in good solid information that could be passed on or acted on.

The names of various projects or ongoing investigations ranged from laughable to, scratching the head what were they thinking of? In ideal moments when his brain was tired from the wealth of information flowing across his desk Smith played a simple mind game to amuse himself. He would pick one of the more outlandish names and try to envision what the project actually was. To date as the reals goals of those projects came to light he hadn’t gotten one right yet. How far wrong he had been made him smile, after all it was just a silly game.

One result of his harmless mind game was that some of the names stuck in his mind. One of the names came from the Chinese ideogram for wind and the ideogram for wind. Translated into English it was loosely interpreted Golden Wind.

Smith could never get any more information than just that. The interception of the original message over a year ago merely said Golden Wind proceeding as scheduled.

That is until it came across his desk again today. Smith had not intuition that the name meant much, actually he was just annoyed that the entire network of agencies had only those two words to go on. For personal reasons Smith put a crew of his best hackers and communication specialist on finding out more about the subject.

After two months of prodding and poking his network started sending him snippets of information. Since this had been a whim and not something would usually be assigned as a full time job to four of his best Smith deemed it prudent that he be the one to put the pieces together. A week later he didn’t like what he found. No, not one bit.

Smith knew what he needed to do and he couldn’t do it himself or involve any of his agencies regular assets. He needed someone from outside the regular channels. Someone he could trust and that could be ruthless when it was called for and with balls the size of grapefruit. He needed Lukas and his team.

Smith had one man on his staff that was a speed reader. His sole job for eight hours a day was to read books or stories that fell outside the main stream. Prepper books, zombie books, dystopian fiction, internet prepper, forums dealing with all types of theories no matter how outlandish. Anything new, any theory no matter how far out that had not been put forward already was placed in a report and sent to Smith once a week.

As Smith picked up a secure line to invite a “friend” that worked at Homeland Security to a tête–à–tête he had to smile. One theory that had been tossed around all over the internet was that Homeland Security had set up secret bases around the US. Smith had learned that it wasn’t just a theory. They were real, with real vehicles, real weapons and a supply of MRE’s.

Not only that other agencies had established other secrete bases tucked away in remote areas not in the continental US.

Where these various locations were and what else they contained Smith had never bothered to find out. He intended to find out those facts and much more soon.

One way or another Smith intended to either co-op an existing supply catch with its attendant facilities or to build one of his own, on the taxpayers dime of course.

Your fate is fixed
Chapter 3


Base Hesco, where did they come up with these names? Sure a Hesco barrier was a great idea and had saved many lives but why would anyone name a secret facility after a barrier?

Last edited by MayDay; 12-21-2016 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:22 AM
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Gipsy Smith Gipsy Smith is offline
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More please
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:52 AM
MayDay MayDay is offline
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Default Looking for signs...

Hmmm...no footsteps in the snow.....no pebbles out of place.....no smudges under the brush.....not even a broken twig....dang that MountainMan is good. Either he has been here and left no sign...or he missed this camp entirely? No, that doesn't sound like him. Eagle eyed scouts don't miss something this obvious....Ah that must be it...too obvious!

lol lol
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:48 AM
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Quite the yarn....

Sorry couldn't resist

As a knitter and wannabe novelist spinning and weaving always gets my attention in either instance.
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:20 PM
MayDay MayDay is offline
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Default Just a feeling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OKCorral View Post
Quite the yarn....

Sorry couldn't resist

As a knitter and wannabe novelist spinning and weaving always gets my attention in either instance.
Just a feeling I have but I figure the kind of spinning and weaving mentioned in my story might best be left to the Norns. Unless of course you want to take on the job of ruling and plotting out the destiny of gods and men. : ) lol
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:43 PM
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Like it so far. Thank You for the read.

COB
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
The skein of your life was woven long ago
From one of my favorite movies, The 13th Warrior.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u5aTyZtbXUM
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Old 12-21-2016, 07:25 PM
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I like it. I'll keep a watch out for more when you get back to it.


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Old 12-21-2016, 08:35 PM
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Default The skein of your life was woven long ago. Chapter 3

Evening folks here is more of the story. Keep in mind it is a rough, rough draft! : )

Your fate is fixed
Chapter 3


Base Hesco, where did they come up with these names? Sure a Hesco barrier was a great idea and had saved many lives but why would anyone name a secret facility after a barrier?

For his purposes the site could have been named anything, Lukas found the naming process amusing. On the plus side he had passed through some beautiful country and the picturesque little town of Evanston Wyoming to get here. The view from up here where the abandoned Microwave tower built by AT&T Communications sat was breathtaking.

When he was given this assignment Lukas had to brush up on microwave towers, previously he had never even heard of them.

What he found was that the AT&T microwave towers were used for both civil and government communications. They were mostly built in the 50s and early 60s, and moved the Bell System's long-distance communications off of copper wires for a large part of the network. Some communications went over transcontinental cables, others over microwave links. The buildings supporting the towers were hardened against a nuclear blast, and some of them in high-danger areas were underground. The towers themselves were engineered to withstand all but a close (within 5 miles) blast. The microwave horns were covered with a protective shield to keep out not only the elements, but also radioactive fallout. The buildings were shielded with copper to protect the equipment against the Electromagnetic Pulse associated with a nuclear explosion. Foot-thick concrete walls protected the vital electronics and people inside the base installations of these towers. Thick copper grounds went deep into the bedrock beneath each tower. Fallout showers, backup generators, sleeping facilities all existed to keep the network up in times of war.

Ultimately, the thing that killed the Long Lines towers was the demand for bandwidth. A microwave link can only carry a small percentage of the capacity that a single fiber optic strand can carry...and with the explosion of the Internet, it meant that bandwidth was king. As AT&T replaced more and more of the old network with fiber, the towers became more valuable as towers that could be rededicated to cell sites.

The vast AT&T Microwave Tower network had largely been sold by the time Lukas found himself at Base Hesco.
The base looked exactly as it was supposed to look, like an abandoned construction site. Lukas had brushed up on what a microwave tower was, basically a form of communications. For the more pertinent answers he questioned Smith about how a microwave tower had been turned into a base that Smith felt would protect himself and his people, AKA Lukas and his crew.

Since Lukas and his crew were the linchpin so to speak of his whole plan Smith decided now was a good time to lay it all out. Many operations had been taken to completion by just by pointing Lukas at the problem and giving him the materials he needed to get the job done. The whys and wherefores didn’t matter in those cases. This time their whole existence hung not only on how Lukas handled the job but also Lukas’s perception of would it work.

There was nothing wrong with Lukas’s mind. The twisted story Smith told appeared on the surface to be incredibly complicated, but in reality, when all the extemporaneous facts were blown away it turned out to be fairly straight forward.

Basically Base Hesco was the product of paranoia plain and simple. Built when everyone believed atomic war was inevitable this out of the way tower was chosen to be something more than was obvious. It was on record that many tower sites had been hardened against atom bombs with living quarters for personal to keep the towers running after an atomic war and into the future.

What wasn’t public record and only recorded in one place was what had actually been done to that specific tower location. The dusty file containing the key information was hidden in a dark archive protected by a very paranoid agency. What had been added to a handful of sites might have stayed buried in a sub-sub-basement locked in an ancient file if not for one agent retiring after 55 years of service. Not even AT&T Communications was aware of the additions to their tower by the government. A simple block wall designed to be breached with a sledgehammer and lot of sweat disguised the steel door that provided entry to a much larger facility.

Even the agent had no idea what was contained in a few files he had sworn to protect in the 60’s. You can’t be forced to reveal what you don’t know. Passing the location, some keys to the room and files into the hands of the head of the agency Robert Nesco was his last official act. An act that left him with a feeling of satisfaction. He had given his word when a man’s word was his bond. He remained true to his word for 55 years.

Never having even heard of the room let alone the files in it the agency head felt obligated to look into it. He hadn’t been around in the days of mass hysteria, still it was possible some ghost from the past might cause him problems in the here and now.

Everything he found was mostly outdated and didn’t seem to pose any threats right now. Still it seemed prudent to simply shred what was there. The only files he found even remotely interesting were the ones on the handful of hardened microwave sites.

One didn’t survive for long in the murky underbelly of clandestine agencies if one didn’t protect ones assets and one’s own ass. What he had discovered seemed more a curiosity of the cold war, with little relevance today, still he locked the file away in his personal hidden safe.

A year and a half later when he came into possession of solid proof that Homeland was building secrete supply catches and mini bases he mentally shook his own hand.

The present US administration was so weak and ineffectual that the chances of a cataclysmic event between the US and those bent on bringing her to her knees seemed more than possible.

If Homeland felt there was a need for clandestine locations to be used as bases for actions against the US populace and for bolt holes for the top officials in their agency he best see to his own protection.

He could make what needed to be done happen with outside contractors. No need to involve the agents in his own agency. For what he was about to do he felt it best to keep the whole operation out of his agency. His people couldn’t reveal what they didn’t know. Still he would need help with some difficult patches.

Two days later he had come to the conclusion that no matter how hard he tried there were going to be loose ends to tie up. The world he occupied was small in one way. The more obvious agencies, Homeland and CIA weren’t a choice. He need someone ruthless that wouldn’t ask too many questions and willing to trade favors.

He knew the man for the job but he had tried his best to find a way around using him. Involving himself with the man was a lot like mounting the tiger.

No help for it, he picked up the phone and put in a call to Smith to arrange a meeting.

Perhaps the universe has a sense of humor. A year later Smith would be the one calling Robert Nesco for a meeting. A meeting that would find him being asked pointed questions about the very subject he was trying so hard to keep secret from Smith today.

The facility that was now Base Hesco had been not only hardened but had been greatly expanded in the underground portion when it was constructed. Using a slush fund he had been adding to for years, with agency money, Robert Nesco started the ball rolling. Through proxies he set up what appeared to be a startup wireless service company. The new company had a few trucks with a logo designed by a well know PR and real professional PR people were hired to spread the word that the company’s goal was to provide cell service to rural Wyoming as well as parts of Utah.

These same professionals spoke with the people of Evanston explaining that the microwave tower and the buildings would be refurbished to change the tower over to a cell tower. This would be the first of many cell towers built around Wyoming and Utah. Since they actually believed there was such a company the front men were very convincing.

Within a week equipment and a small crew showed up. Since the tower was situated on top of a hill the buildings and the base of the tower weren’t visible to anyone not directly onsite.

Equipment rolled in, a shipping container converted to office space and three containers converted to sleeping quarters and one converted to a cook shack were strategically placed to block the view of any sightseers.

The first crew consisting of eight men that came to town and introduced themselves around as the construction crew were actually handpicked freelance agents. Working for a private security contractor they were actually a guard detail placed there to keep things going and keep the actual work crews on site and out of any towns.

The twenty-six actual workers, three of whom were cooks, were the crème of the crop from other countries. From master electricians and plumbers to construction workers they had been selected a few from here a few from there never taking more than three from any one geographic location.

Smuggled into the country and driven to the tower in blacked out buses with no electronics of their own they spent twelve hour shifts working in the underground facility.

This wasn’t the first secret facility they had worked on. The pay was good and so far they had kept their mouths shut.

Being a careful man Robert Nesco would make sure that within months or perhaps less of finishing his project he would no longer have to worry about any slips of the tongue. Providing a permanent fix for any slips was the main reason he had involved Smith in his plans.

Using different states and only using a few trucks from any one company at any one time Robert Nesco orchestrated a delicate dance with deliveries. He spaced out the truck deliveries to the tower facility making sure the deliveries came far enough apart to keep the actual number of trucks seen down to a minimum.

One of the town folk might be out on the highway several miles from town and see trucks pass by but the chances of them actually seeing the trucks turn off onto the little dirt road that serviced the tower were minimal.

Seeing two or even four trucks once wasn’t a problem. After all the town folks new some construction was being done, the nice PR people had explained it all to them. What seemed like just a couple of trucks passing a motorist were actually several dozen that turned off the highway.

To expedite the turn and make sure it happened as quickly as possible two of the guard detail kept a lookout on delivery days. They kept an eye on the state road stepping out and waving the truckers on to the dirt road.

The private security contractors took turns visiting Evanston providing details of the minor refurbishments that eight me were capable of accomplishing. The project was scheduled to last six months around month four they began to spread the word that the parent company was having financial difficulties.

Eventually the divulged that they had heard the money men backing the company had started pulling out. Of course they added little snippets about how they were worried about getting paid. Being generous folks the town folks expressed their sympathy.

By month five all the construction crews were finished and packed off to be delivered back to their home countries. A small team of electronics specialists spent the next month setting up the latest cutting edge technology.

At the end of month six, two of the supposed construction crew were in town spreading the word that the project was on hold for an undetermined time while various lawsuits were in the works. They vocally cussed big money and corporate lawyers. They were gracious enough to introduce four older rather portly men that would make up an ongoing security force. Once again cursing all corporations they let it slip that those infighting fat cats didn’t want one of the other entities stealing anything.

Appearing drunk and laughing out loud they laughed about old rusty towers that had been dismounted and sixty year old concrete.

The four new security men were contracted from one of the larger private security companies. They would be rotated out of the remote site with new personal replacing them. It was an off the beaten path assignment and no one wanted to work there for more than a month or two at a time.

For over a year four security workers lived, slept and cooked in the converted containers left on the job site. At first some visited town a couple of times a month to eat and drink with the locals spinning stories of absolute boredom. After all, guarding an old concrete building, some rusty steel and abandoned containers just didn’t generate much excitement.

It wasn’t lying on their part. The concrete building had a deceptively rusty looking but solid steel door. That door had been locked when they came on the job and they had no key to it. Even the new steel pieces that had replaced the 60s era work had been artfully rusted to look old. They were told the same story that had been given to the town’s people. Bankrupt company, a work site on hold until the lawyers worked it all out and that was all they knew.

Newer guards did their month and didn’t make the 21 mile drive to town much. With visits from the guards becoming less and less frequent the little town of 13,000 let the memory of a bankrupt company slip out of the collective consciousness.


Fate smirks!

Chapter 4


Turning away from the view seen from the abandoned Microwave tower built by AT&T Communications Lukas joined Smith and five of his crew. Smith was dressed as befitted a representative of a banking trust. He was officially taking control of the property that formerly belonged to the now defunct communications company. Lukas and his men were dressed in blue coveralls sporting the logo of the banking trust Smith purported to represent.

Earlier in the day a representative of the security company drove up to the site to inform the guards that as soon and the bank representative showed up they could leave. He had new assignments for them and told them to take two days off then report to the main office.

He remained on site to welcome the bank rep and offer the security companies services on any future projects the bank might have coming up. You never know maybe he could drum up some new business.

There was some irony in the situation though. The security rep had driven here to inform the guards because there was no cell service up here.
Smith shook the hand of the security representative and warmly thanked him for the wonderful job his company had done securing the site.

Minutes after the security rep hit the state road the first set of four tractor trailer rigs well-spaced out made the turn onto the dirt road leading to the tower. Ten minutes later another tow trucks made the turn and fifteen minutes after that two tractors towing oversized vehicle transport trailers made the turn.

Lukas and his five men had driven twenty-six foot box trucks with the same logo on the side that they had on their uniforms. Smith and driven and well-polished BMW as befitted the high dollar rep of a major banking conglomerate.

Smith didn’t mind getting his hands dirty, Lukas would give him that. The man quickly changed into work clothes. He wasn’t in tip top shape and he was at least thirty years the senior of most of the guys but he was willing to pitch in where he could.

Lukas was mildly surprised. Enough so that he smiled at Smiths enthusiasm. He never suspected Smith ever lifted anything heavier than a 35 year old single malt scotch. Had he known the real reason Smith was raring to get things going, that smile might have slid off his face. What motivated Smith wasn’t enthusiasm it was fear. Fear that the world would fall apart before he was ready. Smith knew enough about what was happening around the world to fill what little sleep he managed with nightmares.

The office container, like all the others was mounted on skids so that it could be re-positioned around a job site. The first order of business was to hook two of the big box trucks one to each towing eye in the front of the skids. Next they needed to slide it off the concrete pad it sat on far enough to clear the pad by at least thirty feet.

While Lukas and one of his crew were hooking up, Smith took a ring of keys out of his pocket and opened the steel door. It was marvelously well balanced on its hinges. The more than a ton door swung open with nothing more than the force needed to open your houses front door.

Smith found himself in a short tunnel like hallway facing another steel door. What looked suspiciously like shooting ports aimed down from the top of the solid concrete walls. Recessed nozzles sat in the twelve foot concrete ceiling.

Even though he knew there was no one manning any of the defenses a cold chill went up Smiths back. Shaking off his dread Smith hurried into the interior headed for the control room.

Outside Lukas had the container moved and was waiting on Smith to do his thing.

For several minutes nothing happened and the only sound around were the sounds of the remote location, wind, insects and birds.

The next minute a slight grinding nose could be heard and a seemingly blank wall of the building and part of the pad in front of it swung out of the way revealing a double tractor trailer loading dock. Next to the dock on the right was a ramp that vehicles could be driven up. A minute later solid steel doors slid to the sides and provided access to the interior.

Smith had the complex’s generators going so the crew put a quick charger on three forklifts. Thirty minutes later they coxed them into life and started unloading the trucks.

Fifteen hours straight and they called it a night. By now the underground pumps were providing plenty of fresh clean water and the hot water heaters had been filed and brought up to temperature. Lukas took a long hot shower broke open a MRE and joined in the bull session his guys were having while they ate. Everyone had brought their own sleeping bags and ground pads. With the exception of a guard detail that was changed every two hours everyone else hit the bags and were dead to the world.

Eight hours later another MRE and the work got into high gear. Box trucks were unloaded the vehicle carriers had their load rolled off and driven into the building then down a ramp like you would see in a parking garage and parked. While the parking area wasn’t exactly a cavern it had more than enough room for the twelve vehicles they had.

Whoever designed the upgrading of the facility obviously spared no expense. The walls had been painted and things scrapped and cleaned to the point you had to really look to see where the sixty year old cement ended and the new additions started.

Lukas was no expert but he would have bet a sizable chunk of his last years income that construction guys had just torn out all the old kitchen and built a shiny stainless icon to the goddess of appliances.

When he found the barracks and the many bedrooms for VIP’s he found everything needed to make up a bed vacuum sealed and ready to go. Even mattresses had been vacuum sealed. Too bad he hadn’t gotten this far last night they could have slept in a bed.

As Lukas helped unload pallet after pallet of weapons in the weapons locker and ammo in the ammo depot he asked himself a question. How did the clandestine organizations such as Smith ran manage to get enough black money out of the system to fund all this. If they ever had to actually hole up here for a long period he might ask Smith about that detail.

After helping unload an entire truckload of MRE’s Lukas hunted Smith up in the communications room where he was checking equipment and encrypting everything in sight.

“Smith you got a minute?” Lukas asked.

“Sure, what’s on your mind?”

“I know you’ve eaten an MRE and while you can survive on them for a long time no one in their right minds actually enjoys them full time, or ever for that matter. Now I’ve seen thousands of square feet of freezers enough dry food storage to cover at least one football field, what I haven’t seen on any of the trucks is real food. I’m not talking about two inch thick steaks not even hamburger, or fresh vegetables.

I haven’t even seen a single can of chicken or any type of vegetable. No flour, sugar or coffee not even a bottle of ketchup. We’ve got enough weapons to equip an entire company maybe two and enough ammo for the various weapons to fight a middle size war. I even saw a couple pallets of mortar tubes.

Heck a flatbed trailer pulled up an hour ago with two tarped and disguised MRAP’s on it. Behind that are what appear to be three of the disguised Oshkosh joint light tactical vehicles. I thought I read that delivery for those wasn’t going to start until September? It’s December and you scored three? What we don’t have is enough food to feed us for a day. What gives?”

Lukas had never seen Smith embarrassed, not even when he sobered up and found out he was going to live and then remembered spilling his guts. Yet it appeared that Smith was embarrassed right now.

“Oh I know the issue. The problem is that while there are many millions of dollars of equipment out there that basically was a matter of misdirecting shipments. A few small sums for bribes here and there but overall mostly using a computer to re-rout shipments.

Over the last few years it has been harder and harder to drain off black money. While money coming in has gotten slimmer there are ongoing expenses that cannot be show in my budget. You and your team for instance have to be paid off the books for this type of operation. Paying for your teams transport out of the country for the last year or more is expensive.” Smith told him.

“Just a second. I understand about this operation but you are telling me that for over a year we have been doing work that wasn’t for the agency?” Lukas demanded.

Not that Lukas or any of his team were squeamish about who paid them. What bothered him was who they had been working for. It was bad enough doing wet work for an agency of the US government.

If they were called to an accounting by the government they might, just might avoid getting shot. Pointing out they were doing the work assigned them by the government at least gave them a leg to stand on. Doing work for unknown third parties was frowned on by the US.

Lukas and all his guys had an exit strategy if things got too hot. He had saved his money for years just so he could sit on the beach with a cute thing on his lap. It might be in some third world nation without extradition treaties but he would be alive.

Lukas kept telling himself that maybe it wasn’t actually that big a deal. Still
knowing would be a lot better than not knowing.

Maintaining his usual poker face Lukas said, “So who have we been working for?”

“You’ve mostly been working for the agency only part time for a third party. I didn’t know it at the time but the man who created all this had us cleaning up his loose ends.” Smith told him.

“I get the feeling you didn’t know what he was up to at the time right? By the way how many of the “accidents” or assassinations in the last year were for this third party?” Lukas wanted to know.

Over the last year he and his crew had been busier than any time since he went to work for Smith. He was pretty sure he wasn’t going to like the numbers Smith came up with.

“You are right. Up until recently I was banking up favors, I had no idea all this was going on.”

Lukas was a very sharp individual and Smith came to the conclusion that telling him the truth was a lot safer than not telling him.

“I can’t be sure of all of them of course but my best estimate is somewhere close to forty individuals.”

No wonder Lukas had to split his guys up into a number of teams over the last year to take care of all the targets Smith assigned them.

“I suppose it doesn’t matter but how did forty people become so important or so dangerous that they needed to die?” Lukas asked.

“Since I didn’t know what our….benefactor was up to at the time I will have to give you an educated guess. The ones spread out over Europe, India, Japan, Central America and South America were almost certainly the workforce that renovated this base. The two Brits and the six Americans I was warned were professionals. I did tell you to be extra cautious with them. They figure to have been security for this renovation. The why should be obvious.” Smith told him.

“OPSEC I get but all those deaths seem like overkill!” Lukas said.

Smith just gave a shrug as if to say it was a small matter. He was sure now wasn’t the time to mention to Lukas that there were a few more loose ends to be taken care of but that would have to wait

Lukas was about as hard core as they came. He hadn’t signed on to kill working guys or honest security types though. His usual targets were unmistakably bad guys. Every target that he knew the background on had a heart blacker than midnight. Sure there was collateral damage at times but he hadn’t set out to kill the bystanders it just turned out that way. From now on he was going to get a little more information about targets before the fact.

Not for the first time he tried to examine himself to see if he had become no better than his targets. Like always he didn’t have an answer. Once again he balled up what he had just learned and tucked it away in a corner to be reviewed at a later date.

“Let’s leave this for now, what about food, real food?” Lukas asked.

“It took a lot of cash on top of all the favors to secure this facility for us. The man I had to deal with found something he liked better and need a lot and I mean a lot of cash quickly. That’s the only reason he even shared this place with me. When we started negotiations I had no idea it even existed. I knew about the ones Homeland has and is building but there was no possible way to pry one away from them. I don’t think any agency as anything on them big enough to leverage a developed fully functional base from them. As much as it pains me to say it we are going to either have to find another way to stockpile food or we are going to have to wait for the next appropriations and see what I can drain off.” Smith told him.

Lukas didn’t like the situation but there was nothing that could be done about it right now.

On the way back to help finish up Lukas suddenly laughed out loud. He needed to leave a few guys here to run security for the near future. He was going to have to drive somewhere and buy, out of his own pocket, enough food to feed four guys for at least three months.

Now that was irony for you! Not only that he was going to have to take the rental truck he drove here back to Utah and pick up his own personal vehicle to go shopping in. He was pretty sure he had seen a Sam’s club. Considering the amount of food it would take to feed his crew that was probably the smart place to buy food. Rice, pasta and all the other food items could be bought in bulk.
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Old 12-21-2016, 08:45 PM
Raymond Raymond is offline
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You are off to a good start. Let's see some more.
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Old 12-21-2016, 09:25 PM
MayDay MayDay is offline
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Default Evening folks.

I want to thank everyone for coming along for the ride and for the encouragement. That's what keeps most of the writers on this forum producing.

Now I can't speak for anyone but myself but even though I enjoy writing my little stories that doesn't mean that there isn't a fair amount of work and effort involved. Take this story for instance. The first part I posted took two or three hours or just a tad longer to pound out.

That is EXTREMELY fast for me. The only way I was able to get that all done so quickly is because the beginning of the story just sort of popped into my head.

Now for the part I posted tonight. That part did not pop into my head, that part had to be thought about and thought out. Another thing that might not be obvious is the amount of research that is involved in even a simple story like mine.

It can take hours to find the facts about a subject. It can take hours to find a location that might, possibly be made to fit into the story. If a writer uses real things like microwave towers or real towns or real businesses that is more research. Then and only then can they write the story around those facts.

It is enjoyable and it is rewarding but at its heart it takes a lot of hard work, even some sweat at times.

Bottom line is that I sometimes take a long time to post between segments because I can't make the story come out the way I want. Sometimes real life just does not allow me the time to write. Other times I have to build up a large enough pool of desire to overcome the hard work aspect.

Even though a number of ex girlfriends will tell you differently I am just a simple human with frailties. (they would argue how human I might be and say an Amen to the frailties)

Anyway Merry Christmas and I'll see you good folks again when I see you. Could be tomorrow, next week or in three months, I never know. : ) : )
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Old 12-22-2016, 07:59 AM
aussie dave aussie dave is offline
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Great couple of chapter reLy gettng into it however

Want moar
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:34 AM
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mmamom mmamom is offline
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Thanks for the time you spend writing. Very interesting story. Thank you.
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:39 AM
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Iamfarticus Iamfarticus is online now
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This is a great story, keep it going!
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Old 12-22-2016, 05:51 PM
Freebirde Freebirde is offline
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The story is going well, keep it up.

The next thing Lukas needs to ask Smith is where is the fuel for these vehicles? May have to misdirect some fuel bladders to be dropped off nearby and trucked in.
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Old 12-22-2016, 08:46 PM
Catshooter Catshooter is offline
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Nice work man. I do appreciate all the hard work it takes to write and I'm sure a lot of others do too. There's a reason most of us don't write!

That said, could you, for us old guys on the site, up the font a bit please? Pretty small. Thanks.


Cat
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Old 12-22-2016, 09:14 PM
shooter90 shooter90 is offline
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very good, write more, I will read it,
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:22 PM
MayDay MayDay is offline
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Default Yes Sir!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Catshooter View Post
Nice work man. I do appreciate all the hard work it takes to write and I'm sure a lot of others do too. There's a reason most of us don't write!

That said, could you, for us old guys on the site, up the font a bit please? Pretty small. Thanks.


Cat
I have never really cared for the default font size. I have tried adjusting several times and the choices are 1 thru 7. On my screen 1 seems way to small, 2 isn't much better and 3 seems ginormous. But other monitors might display it differently. One problem is that the page where messages are written is one size then when you preview it it is another size but when the final product is displayed it seem different yet again. I wish it was more WYSIWYG.

But I sure will play with it some and see if I can come up with something where one words isn't taking up the whole page and that folks like better.

I'm going to try size 3 for this post and let's see how folks like that.

Of course there is the possibility that I'm just to dumb to figure the sizes correctly! : )

MayDay
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Old 12-22-2016, 11:28 PM
texican2 texican2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MayDay View Post


I'm going to try size 3 for this post and let's see how folks like that.

Of course there is the possibility that I'm just to dumb to figure the sizes correctly! : )

MayDay

MD,

Size 3 is good for these old eyes....

Thanks,

Texican....
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Old 12-23-2016, 09:43 AM
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Iowa102 Iowa102 is offline
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Size 3 works for me too. Keep it up the good work!
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