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Free Born
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Fiction: -A world away-

This is my second try at fiction, please let me know what you all think, all the wonderful authors here have inspired me to give it another try.

-A world away-

Thomas Lyle Garcia woke to the raucous scream of his alarm clock going off at 0500 hours, grumbling and rubbing sleep from his eyes he mashed the off button. Standing up and yawning Thomas went through his morning routine of stretches and warm ups before hitting his Bow flex and elliptical for a good hour and a half of intense workout, followed by a shower and shave. This was his favorite part of his day, besides lounging on his Saturdays reading a favorite book, chopping wood, or hiking with Zepplin his 86 pound golden retriever who looked up at him from the foot of his bed with a smile only a happy dog could give.

Today was like the many days of his life for the past 6 years, get up, work out, shower, eat and drive to his 8 to 5-forty hour a week slave routine like many of his fellow Americans do every day.

Petting Zepplin on his way to the kitchen to grab a blueberry muffin for breakfast Thomas was pleased to see out of his living room window that today was going to be a really nice one, even though he would be stuck in his cubicle drafting floor plans all day without being able to enjoy much of it.

“Well Zepplin when I get home today ill take you for a walk on your favorite trail!” Making Zepplins tail slap the floor with excitement at the word “Walk” and doing happy circles around his feet. Seeing his dog happy always made Thomas smile, Zep was one of the few constants in his life in the last 3 years since his wife left him for some traveling salesman she met on the Internet. He had rescued Zepplin from a animal shelter for abused pets and the rest was a furry blur. “Oh well” Thomas thought ”At least I have you, you big fuzzy mutt” Giving Zep another good head rubbing before heading for his breakfast.

Just before Thomas reached the bread box a loud and guttural growl halted Thomas in his tracks, looking back at his dog Thomas saw that Zep was pointed like an arrow looking directly at the garage door shaking all over producing a low wine, flicking his eyes from the door to him. “What’s the matter boy?” Thomas whispered drawing his Glock 21 with practiced ease from his paddle holster under his work shirt.

Zepplin had only growled maybe a hand full of times before, and it was usually on hikes to warn Thomas of some wildlife and once a shady group of hikers, and never with this sort of intensity.
“Crap looks like we have a visitor” what puzzled Thomas was if he had a visitor how did they get past his security system? “Looks like ill figure that out after I find what is up” He thought to himself. His heart ran cold when he reached for his cell phone and realized he had left it in the truck to charge and forgot to bring it in and also making himself regret not having a land line. “Well looks like I’m on my own here until I can get to my cell” wishing his nearest neighbor wasn’t seven miles away.
Circling around through the back door after telling Zep to “Stand ready” his command to keep a static watch, he then deactivated the perimeter alarm stepping onto the back steps.

Thomas slowly and silently passed through the back yard and up to his back entrance leading to the work shop attached away from the house and connected to the side of the garage. Glancing nervously around the shrubs for any threats, not knowing who or what was waiting for him he positioned himself in front of the windowless door.

Fishing his surefire and keys out of his jacket pocket he unlocked the door as silently as he could, slipping into his work shop closing and locking the door behind him. Passing his spotless racks of wood working tools and rolling craftsmans mechanic chests Thomas reached the connecting door that lead to the garage. Just before he closed his hand around the knob of the door he heard a very stealthy rustle of something metallic from inside the garage and a muffled grunt. “What the duce?” he whispered, slowly opening the door and letting it silently swing open by it’s self on well oiled hinges, bringing his Pistol and surefire up at the ready he swiftly crouched and crept in.

What happened next was so startling Thomas almost stumbled over his own feet, creeping into his 3 car garage and damn near making him fire a round off. Working in what looked like slow motion in the middle of the garage stood two shrouded figures stacking hand tools and chainsaws into his dump trailer in the first bay and trying to be as quiet as possible. A third person was crouched in front of the door leading into the kitchen holding what looked like a pistol, with the lights turned out and only a trickle of light coming in through the garage door windows Thomas wasn’t sure. The three hadn’t noticed yet that he was no more than 40’ away. The punk crouched at the door whispered to his two cohorts “Hey I haven’t heard him for a few minutes, when he comes back ill signal and we can jump the brown bastard when he comes in” one of the other punks snickered and slowly added another shovel to the growing pile of loot “When we gets into the house ima gonna love getting my hands on his flat screen TV, hehe bastard wont know what hit’s em” All three snickered at that.

At this point Thomas probably should have ben mad, but something like a cold flow of ice moved from his toes up to the bridge of his scalp, giving him a sort of detached and focused feeling. Clicking on his sure fire and blinding the obviously armed thug instantly Thomas coldly and in a surprisingly calm voice “Freeze or I will shoot ” The two loading the goods instantly put their hands up into the air with shocked enthusiasm, but apparently number three at the door was the reacting type. Startled he started swinging his pistol arm up and tried to squeeze a shot off but Thomas was the faster of the two, squeezing off a fast double tap to center mass slamming the thug into the kitchen door with a loud sickening thud he slowly slid to the floor dropping his piece to the floor with a loud clatter. The burnt and metallic stench of cordite followed the almost slow motion “Tink” of the .45 brass bouncing on the concrete floor. The smell made memories flash bringing him to another place and time where that smell was like a permeating cologne that hazed over the smell of death and burning garbage from another world away.

Flicking on the garage lights Thomas started giving orders in a calm voice ”You two lay down on the floor with your hands on your head” Both “Thugs” turned out to be two young teens barely past puberty shaking and both had wet themselves “Please man we wasent gonna do notin man, we was just doin what Randy wanted us to” after they both got onto the floor the other kid started sobbing and crying onto the concrete "Please mister, we don't want no trouble" Thomas let out a heavy sigh and holstered his weapon “Well boys looks like you two got yourself into a pickle didn’t you?“

Free Born
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Okay ill add some more, and yes it's going to be a SHTF story, Im just trying to build the character, thanks guys.

Free Born
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
-A world away-

Chapter 2

“Roger that sheriff, there has been shots fired and I have two young thugs covered and secured on the floor, if you could come out yourself Jerry I would really appreciate it”
Thomas was starting to come down from his adrenalin high and his hands were shaking “Okay Thomas” Sheriff Jerry oldson, a old and trusted friend said with a heavy sigh “We have been having allot of problems in your area of young punks doing exactly what you described” A muffled shout and some swearing came through from the muffled hand set
“What the hell did you just say sergeant Wilkins? No the military is not testing any ordinance up on Lolo pass…..” Thomas frowns “Sheriff is everything Okay?” “Well Thomas I’m getting reports of bright flashing lights from…..Eeeeekkkk” A loud series of clicks and then some static and the line goes down. Thomas frowns into his cell phone thoughtfully wondering what the hell he was talking about. After a few attempts to get back through to the sheriff the phone switched into roaming mode and was picking up no signal.

Frowning Thomas walks the back of his fully restored jet black 72’ Chevy pickup looking at his tattered tonno-cover, suppressing a small chuckle at the inventiveness of a few dumb kids. They confessed that they stowed away into the back of his truck when Thomas left work and where in the back of the truck for the hour drive from Missoula to his house, and for most of the night. They also confessed that Randy wanted to kill Thomas and they were going to take everything.

“I have to give it to you two, I never thought I would have stowaways in the back of my truck, and damn weren’t you hot back there?” Muffled replies come from the two hog tied teens from the back wall of the garage “Well doesn’t really matter does it? Sheriff Young will be here shortly with a few deputies and you two are going to jail” More muffled cries and big alligator tears running down the duct tape gags. And some more muffled cries as Zep barked at the two scared teens from where he was standing guard over them.

The previous phone conversation was really bugging Thomas, what was the sheriff talking about with bright flashes? Giving the bloody mess of the tango slumped against the kitchen door a hard look a powerful feeling of regret came over him. Thomas really regretted having to shoot the man, he looked to be in his early 30s with pockmarked face and really bad acne, most likely a meth head that talked the two teens in helping him with a score, that drug really drove people to doing some really desperate things. He wasn’t going to touch anything until the sheriff and his posse showed up, the two kids could wait as far as Thomas was concerned.

Thomas flipped out his phone to try calling again when before his eyes the phone froze then went blank, the overhead lights flickered off, then a series of loud clicks as automatic relays switched off the main power hook up then the muffled roar of his diesel gen set roaring to life bringing the lights back on. “Oh jumping jebus this can’t be, oh crap” Running full tilt Thomas ran out through the shop and onto the back court yard gazing into the sky, there it was a series of bright flashes way high up in the clouds. “EMP…..oh this is not good, not good at all”

With practiced ease Thomas went through the process of shutting the Gen-set off, turning every switch off and dropping all of the armored window shutters and secondary insulated and armored garage doors down, locking everything from the inside with oversized deadbolts and latches. All of the sensitive equipment and solar panels where all connected into his relay set up to automatically disconnect in the event that he may not be home, but leaving the gen-set to run to keep the security system going, but now where running on a very oversized and well grounded Pelco UPS that will keep it going for a few weeks.

Cursing silently he went back to his work shop and pushed his largest tool cabinet from the wall, and gave the peg board a good slap at its top most edges to engage the hidden latches making it drop into his hands. With that done he spun the dial on the American security vault door and swung it out going to work on the secondary inner door inside of the air-lock to his “Man cave” that was basically a hallow commercial grade exterior door on 6 custom hinges and filled with concrete that swings out from a concrete filled frame for added strength, with a bolt lock and inner drop bars for added security and radiation protection. Running down 15 feet of stairs and pass a small nook containing a shower and racks holding generic mechanic coveralls in several sizes he went to work unlocking the second concrete filled door and leaving it open, reaching in and turning on a bank of LED lights in the inner room for him to work in.

Returning to the garage Thomas yells “Okay boys normally this is something I would never do, but I’m going to lead you out side and let you go” The boys giving each other a startled look of disbelief and both staring at him. “Turns out the US just got hit with a EMP, Electromagnetic pulse, knocking everything out, so my suggestion is you run like hell and find a ride to your home because I sure the hell am not going to help you two out” Practically dragging the two out like sacks of garbage he kicks the corpse out of the way and leads them out of the yet to be secured front door dropping them onto the graveled front drive. Flicking out his Spiderco the boys flinch out of the way as he cuts there zip tie cuffs and tears there duct tape from their mouths.

There looks of unbelief are quite comical, Thomas supposes under normal circumstances he would have been mad, but instead he laughs “Well get now, if I see you two around here again I’m going to give you what your buddy Randy got” The older of the two “We don’t know what you was talking about with that EMP thing but we are outa here!!!” Both hooting and hollering they run down his rough and winding driveway and disappeared into the trees. “I sure hope those kids will be smart enough to get into shelter” Shrugging he heads back into the house.

“Well Zepplin looks like we better take care of this body shouldn’t we?” Dragging out a 15’ length of left over drop cloth he used a few weeks ago for painting his guest room he unceremoniously flop’s the corpse onto the canvas. Rifling through the guys pockets he finds his wallet and a spare magazine for the Beretta 92f stuffing them into his cargo pocket along with tucking the pistol into his waist band, then wrapping the guy in canvas he drags the body out to the back court yard through the kitchens back door.

Headed back to the kitchen to grab the keys to his large equipment building so he can dump the body into the deep freezer that sat empty for the anticipated elk for this upcoming season he felt a rather slight rumble through his shoes. Stopping he cocks his head to listen, Zep starts to wine and tucks up close to his masters legs. Then all of the sudden the ground heaves harder almost making him loose his balance, sprinting for the back door he quickly secures the front and back door shuttering both and activating the security system in a hurry yelling for Zep to go down stairs, with a whine Zep complies and darted away.

Hoping he has at least a few more minutes Thomas loads what fresh food he had out of the fridge and small pantry into a few empty totes and drags them down stairs and loads everything into the fridge in the shelter. Locking everything behind him and making sure Zep is with him he sits down on at his old lazy boy recliner he retired to shelter life after he upgraded to a newer one for upstairs.

Patting and scratching his dog behind the ear Zep whines and presses closer to his chair “Well you big flea bag looks like we wait and see what happens”

Free Born
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
-A world away-

Chapter 3

The rattle of a Kalashnikov followed by the whistle and ping as 7.62 rounds striking the armor plating on the Bradley where the first sounds to reached his muddled and ringing hearing. The far away and distant yells and screams of dying and fighting men were mixed into the chaos of sounds and smells of burning metal and ****, like a dark twisted symphony where the conductor had gone mad waving and driving the orchestra into a frenzy where the rules no longer applied and chaos reigned supreme.

Pulling his cracked and soot smeared goggles from his face Staff sergeant Thomas Lyle Garcia was finally able to make sense of his surroundings, the discarded and empty magazines, 5.56 brass, blood, crumpled snickers bar wrapper and a torn rucksack laying across his left leg with someone's Ta-50 spilled out like a can of beans. Looking around himself he realizes he is still in the back of the Bradley slumped on the floor spread eagle leaning on the partially open back hatch looking in. The drivers’ hole is a mass of twisted charred metal where the driver should have been. Broken linked 25mm rounds spilled out of a hole where the sponson box was torn asunder like a piece of paraffin from whatever hit the vehicle, somehow not cooking the rounds off.

Garcia’s brain was defiantly not working like it should be he thought with a detached, confused calm, and where was his M-4? He holds up the frayed remains of his 2 point sling in almost childlike awe turning them over in his nomex clad hands. looking down he noticed all of his load bearing gear was torn from the front of his vest showing his spalled and pocked marked Sappi plate showing through the ripped nylon. Then like some kind of apparition coming from a far off place there is a moon shaped face wearing a Kevlar helmet smeared in dirt wearing a pair of NVG’s over its eyes shaking him and screaming into his face to wake up. The voice is like a banshee wail, a repeating mechanical sound like the dive alarm in a submarine….

The scream of his alarm clock took him from his deep and almost bottomless dream making him wake with a scream halfway stuck in this throat, sitting bolt upright he realizes with a sigh of relief he is in his lazy-boy. Drenched in sweat he stumbles from his recliner and hits the off button on the alarm.
The dreams where back and with such stunning clarity that it was like he just ETS’d home, fighting and drowning the nightmares in whiskey. But this time there was no whiskey to drown those memories, he figured out long ago that embracing and accepting them was best. It gave him an edge, the paranoia he used to keep him aware of his surroundings, always sitting in restaurants at the back to see the door, knowing all the exits, always armed. His friends never understood why he was like that or why he prepared, not many did.

“Hey you big fur ball how are you this wonderful morning?” Zepplin looked up at his master from his favorite rug cocking his head with a small whine of concern “Don’t worry about your eccentric and crazy dad, just a bad dream, what should I make for breakfast boy?” At the sound of that key word Zep was on full alert waiting for any potential treats that may come in the form of frying bacon, or a juicy sausage link, wagging his tail with suppressed excitement. With a small laugh he went about his morning routine in his “Living room”.

Skimming down his check list Thomas wrote in concise tight lettering logging the radiation reading from outside, adding numbers to his flow chart, noting that he had another week before he could go outside and start the arduous task of decon. It’s was the 4th week of his stay, a time that he reflects back on as kind of a dream, his time spent playing with Zep, playing cards cooking the remainder of his fresh food and reading several novels.

Poor Zep was the one that seemed to have the most difficult time, normally he was a pretty shy dog who liked to potty in private, but in the tight confines of the shelter he had to make due on news paper that Thomas had to put into an air tight composting bin made for such times. Zep would be embarrassed for a good hour after, like it was shameful he had to make due on the floor. He had to give Zep extra love after he was done and make him feel better with a milk bone and a big hug.

When the time came to go top side Thomas opted to use the emergiency exit that led to a small outbuilding that was used as a pump house and storage shack for excess tools. He strapped on his Glock 21 over the Olive green Tyveck coveralls strapping the thy-rig over and putting on the hood and rubber gloves making sure the gorilla tape was keeping the pant legs on the rubber over boots. He opted for a PTR-91 from the arms room attached to the shelter via a locked steel door and clipped a small two-magazine Molle pouch onto his pistol belt. He clipped a Ludlum 2401-p radiation meter to his belt and slung a pair of Leopold binoculars over his shoulder. As an afterthought he grabbed a small cheap wind-up short wave emergency radio shoving it into the pouch holding the binoculars.

“I want you to hold the fort for me okay buddy?” A whine and a small tail wag “It’s for your protection fuzz ball, there may be allot of ash and fallout particles to make you sick” Heading out through the emergency exit, also constructed of a concrete filled door, he locked both dead bolts and headed down the 1,100’ tunnel at a slight crouch due to the low ceiling, avoiding the small string of low wattage construction lights he never had the chance to replace with LED’s.

Just before he opened the hidden vault door leading into the pump shed he put his Msa Ultra Elite CBRN gas mask on and pushed hard on the door, swinging the door and the large and parts filled shelving unit welded to the door to conceal it just open just enough for him to squeeze out. He had built the pump shed backed into a small roiling hill that was timber covered just out of sight of the main house just in case he had to leave unnoticed.

Standing in the hot and small brick pump shed he looked out of its only small window facing the forest that backed his property at a world….untouched? It looked like a normal spring day out, sunny at 9:35am. Taking a reading from the detector he was barely getting anything on it, just an occasional squawk. Silently he unlocked the sheds overbuilt metal double bolted door and stepped out at a low crouch scanning the woods for threats, the only thing he noticed was the lack of bird calls and insects, there were a few but not like it normally would be for this time of the year.

Taking another reading he was getting the same thing as before, just slightly over background radiation, then he noticed why, the ground was very well saturated. It must have rained very hard for the last couple of days because it never got all that muddy up by the shed and he was ankle deep in clayed mud. Crouching again he silently crept over the small hill that over looked the main house and equipment building. Parting some withered looking brush he scanned the compound. Everything looked to be quiet and untouched, almost to quiet. He waited for almost 35 minutes laying prone when he detected movement in the courtyard, just a shadow through the huckleberry thickets that lined his yard.

Silently running at a crouch with his rifle at the low and ready he ran up to the thickets, with his back to the forest he came around the thicket bringing the rifle up, 'slicing the pie' hoping to surprise whoever was in the courtyard. Clearing the bushes with practiced ease hugging it closely he came face to face with death.

Free Born
2,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
-A world away-

Chapter 4

“Hey dude toss me the cheese burger one!” Sergeant Garcia tosses the MRE to corporal Adams who fell backward from his cot to the dirt catching the high throw “Hey man that wasn’t cool!” all the while laughing quietly, eagerly digging into the MRE with enthusiasm never even getting up from the ground. Shaking his head Garcia never understood how that crazy loon would still love a MRE after eating them for the third month in a row. “How can you eat that crap still? I have to tear into 3 cases worth of the damn things and mix and match to find anything I want” Happily munching the cold “Meat” patty squeezing a cheese packet onto it Adams just shrugs. “Because man, where I come from grub was a plate of watery rice and a ‘I wish’ sandwich, basically two pieces of bread and imaginary cheese and meat on the inside” “My mom could barely afford to feed me and my two sisters and feed her drug habit at the same time, so we had to make due on some nasty stuff”

It was 3 days away from the holy day the Local afghans’ usually celebrated, and they were still stuck in a high elevation OP dug into the rocks 200’ above a small ‘Fire base’ manned by a hand full of US army infantry and 35 Afghanistan regulars, keeping the key trade route and area from falling into the Taliban’s hands. The small village a little over a mile away was starting to buzz with activity in anticipation of the festivities, Garcia smiled to himself, these people live on the desolate spine of nowhere and they were still able to find something to celebrate.

“Hey sergeant Garcia come look at this” PFC Baggs a 6’4” beast of a man from Alabama, and about the darkest colored guy Garcia had ever met, and about the best guy he had in his squad motioned Garcia over to the high power spotting scope and laser designator system they used to monitor the area with. “What’s up?” Baggs was looking intently toward the village “It look like the village just all of the sudden stopped moving, I’m talking zero activity here” Frowning Garcia walked over to the spotting scope and took it over looking at the disserted dirt tracks, the short mud and rock buildings seeing nothing. In the last 3 months there was only one scare when a goat herder had taken a few pot shots at the fire base and ran away.

“Radio down to the fire base and tell them what you see, and tell them to be extra alert, I don’t like the looks of this” "Roger that" and Baggs starts telling the base what’s up “Hey Adams man the .50 just in case, and where the hell is Smith with the damn water?” Answering his question Smith trudges into view hauling two 5 gallon jugs of water up the small goat path to the OP. “Never mind here he com-“ A burst of blood and tissue issues from smiths neck just above the collar of his armor dropping him in a heap no more than 75’ away. The distant echo of a rifle shot heard from far off. “Sniper!” Garcia shouts dropping slightly behind the sand bags then getting back up to the spotting scope scanning for where the shot came from. “Adams did you get a fix on where that came from?” “I think so, 15 degrees north west, about 200 yards above that rock out cropping” Scanning the rocks he spots movement” OK I want you to lay a few rounds into those rocks to keep their heads down, and Baggs tell the fire base that position, I’m going to get smith”

With the roar of the Barrett .50 just above his head Garcia runs in a crouch out of the bunker from rock to rock with his M-4 at the ready reaching Smiths motionless body. Rolling Smith over it was immediately apparent that he died instantly, most of the front of his neck and lower jaw where gone. Picking smith up in a fireman’s carry Garcia gets back to the Op just as the Fire base starts letting out a stream of .50 machine gun fire and 81mm mortars raining destruction in the surrounding hills. Getting back to into the Op he gently lays Smiths body onto his cot covering him with a wool blanket, un-snapping Smiths m-4 and leaning it against the wall adding smiths Kevlar.

“Is he….” Baggs chokes “Yeah….he’s gone” With tears in his eyes Garcia gets back onto the spotting scope and starts calling in the AC-130 Spectre Gunship.

That was the first time he had ever seen a dead body he reflects as he scoops another shovel full of dirt on the grave patting the earth down, but defiantly not the last. It’s the faces you never forget, they look at you from the dark parts of your dreams, or you catch glimpse of them when you close your eyes to wash the shampoo from your face.

The four deep graves where quite a distance into the trees away from the house, all unmarked but for the freshly dug earth. He couldn’t bury the feeling of guilt of not letting those two idiot kids into his shelter when he knew what was going to happen. But they made the decision to kill, and his was to let them go to their own fate.

When he rounded the bushes of his court yard the first thing he noticed where the five feral, emaciated and mange covered dogs feasting on the bloated corpse of Randy. He never had a chance to dispose of properly, two of the dogs where snarling and fighting over one of Randi’s arms oblivious of Thomas. The second thing he noticed was the bloody hand prints covering the storm shutters on the back door of the house, it was the bloody hand prints that haunted him for the rest of his life.

What he later came to the conclusion of was that the two boys came back to his place probably mere days if not hours after the bombs fell, probably beating and pounding on the shutters to no avail because he never would have heard them. What was left of them was scattered all over the yard by the dogs, but what boggled him was why didn’t they move on when they got hungry? They must have been here for weeks drinking from his hand pump, where he found one of Zeps bowls they used to drink from and probably ate what was left in Zeps other dog bowl to. Most likely succumbing to starvation and radiation sickness they beat and beat on the shutter until their hands became bloody, never trying to find their own shelter. He shot three of the feral dogs before the other two ran off yipping with their tails tucked. He ended up dumping the dead dogs into their own grave giving the other three their own.

Sweat running down the small of his back With silent tears running down his cheeks he went back to the pump shed to get back into the shelter. Before entering he tried the small crank radio, getting nothing but white noise and static, about what he expected. Thomas noticed when burying the dogs that one of them was the Fletchers German Sheppard ‘Rommel’, they lived seven miles away in a double wide trailer with a hand full of horses and pigs with not much else but a yard full of old car parts and run down farm equipment, nice enough folks but defiantly not the social types. He figured he would go check on them when he got around to it.

Securing everything he made his way back through the tunnel closing all the doors behind him. Entering the shelter pulling the mask and hood off Zep almost knocks him over licking his hands and whining obviously worried about his dad. “It’s okay buddy sorry I left you in here all day, I had to do some really sad work” Hugging Zepplin for a good couple of minutes. He took a long scolding hot shower trying to scrub bad memories away with soap with a course sponge, only succeeding in turning as red as a lobster.

Five hard days later he was done hosing down the house and equipment shed and cleaning the blood from in and out of the house, all the while keeping a close eye on the drive way that went about a rough ¾ of a mile to a small county dirt track. Not many people ever used the county road but him, forest service and the fire crews for spotting fires. Most people wouldn’t bother with his drive way, he had added a gate that looked just like a forest service gate and kept it locked with deep trenches to both sides to deter people from driving around it. Most of that time he thought of his few friends and wondered if they made it at all, none of them had listened to him when he tried gently to get them prepared. He didn’t have any family left to worry about, he was adopted when he was 6 and his folks died a while back in a car wreck in Florida leaving him a modest sum to help him live on.

Sipping a bottle of Coke, the good stuff from Costco, not that high fructose crap that most stores sold, he switched on his Yaesu tri-band and scanned for anything but getting nothing but static. About to give up, the scanner stopped on a very distant series of beeps, automatically he started writing down the Morse code on his note pad to decipher later. It only lasted about 25 seconds then stopped he waited for about 10 minutes and the same series came through, most likely on a loop of some sort.

After a hearty lunch of baked beans and the last hunk of his fresh cheddar on some crackers he was in front of his computer getting a translation of the message. When he ran it through the program that his nerdy IT buddy Jake wrote for him he about chocked on his crackers and cheese when he read what it said.


He stared at the printout for a long time reading it over and over again, whoever was transmitting that must have figured no one would have any radio equipment to pick that up or have the skill and software to decode the simple coding used.

Getting his Honda XR650L from under it's tarp he strapped on a custom set of saddle bags loading them up with water bottles and extra provisions for a 3 day trip. He also loaded up Zeps ‘bug out doggie panniers’ into the side car he had built custom for equipment and his dog. With some deliberation he took a PTR-91 with a mounted Accog putting on his plate carrier he had acquired on his last tour. Loading up 8 magazines for the rifle in Molle pouches attached to the vest with 4 for his Glock, and an extra bandolier of 6 magazines to a saddle bag. He put the Yaesu in a utility pouch and strapping on his helmet and goggles leaving the confines of his equipment shed. Letting Zep jump into his spot in the side car he locked everything up and jumped onto the bike.

“Well fuzz ball we are off on another adventure again!” Zep panted happily looking up through his dog goggles just happy to be going on another ride with his master. If only it where that simple.
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