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· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Chapter 1
Jimmy couldn't believe his bad luck. Traffic was backed up as far as he could see and he wasn't sure why. It was Friday and he had left work a few hours early to meet two friends for Happy Hour. He had to be home by 6PM because his wife Sydney had invited some friends over for dinner. It was 3:30 and he had been stuck in the same spot for at least 30 minutes. His cell phone rang and it was one of his buddies he was supposed to meet. Jimmy answered his phone.
“Hey Jimmy where you at?” Joe said
“Stuck In traffic Joe. What about you?” Jimmy replied
“Same thing here Jim. Same damn thing”. Joe said
“Joe, have you talked to Mark at all?” Asked Jimmy
“Yeah, he is waiting for us at the bar. He got there a little while ago”. Mark replied.
“Alright, well if I don’t move soon I am just going to bag it and head home” replied Jimmy
“10-4 Jimmy. Let me know either way. Talk to you later” Joe said

Jimmy hung up his phone and looked around. What in the world could be up ahead causing this delay? He knew Joe was probably 5-10 minutes ahead of him, if they took the same route that is. Jimmy’s office was 15 minutes south of his home, and the bar was in between the two about 5 minutes from his home. Joe had called Jimmy earlier and said he would be headed past Jimmy’s work around 2:45. Jimmy left work at 2:55 or so they would all get to the bar around the same time. Jimmy opened his can of chew and threw one in his mouth. Jimmy rolled down his window and he was happy how warm it was today. It was still early spring and the temperature today was almost 65. Jimmy looked at his gas tank and was thankful he almost had a full tank. Jimmy always tried to keep the tank as full as possible and he was glad he decided to fill up this AM even know he was running late. Better safe than sorry he said to himself and smiled. He could see the off ramp up ahead about 1000 feet and decided to drive along the berm and get off the highway. As he pulled ahead a few others saw him and had the same idea. Jimmy pulled down the off ramp and came to a stop at the light. The traffic heading south was bumper to bumper however headed North there wasn’t a car in sight. Luckily Jimmy was headed north and he made the turn towards the bar. He picked up his phone to call Joe but all he got was an error that kept repeating “All circuits are busy, please try again later” so he hung up. Jimmy hit the gas and was happy there was no traffic in his direction. He tried to call Mark who was waiting for him at the Bar and he got the same circuits are busy message so he just hung up. At this pace he would be at the bar in less than 10 minutes. Jimmy turned up the radio and he noticed the emergency tone starting to play. Ah I hate these tests he thought to himself as he changed the station. Every station he changed it to had the emergency tone followed by a warning. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. He picked up the phone to call his wife. It was now 3:40 and his wife picked up the kids from school at 3:00. Hopefully she was able to get them and get home without any issues. He was surprised to hear his wife answer.

“Hello” she answered
“Babe, where are you at?” Jimmy asked
“Oh my god, I just got home. Traffic was crazy” she replied
“Did you hear on the radio what’s going on?” Jimmy asked
“No, I was listening to my IPhone” she replied
“Close the Garage and stay inside. I have to make a stop but I will be right home” Jimmy said
“Jimmy, what’s going on” she asked
“Just go inside, I will be home as soon as I can” Jimmy said
“OK Babe, be careful” Sydney said
“Will do babe, see you soon” Jimmy replied as he hung up his phone.

Hopefully the roads were clear to the bar where he hoped Mark was still waiting for him. He would grab Mark and head to his house where they would make their plan on what to do next.

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Jimmy was surprised there was little to no traffic on his way to the bar. As he pulled in he saw Mark’s truck was there but Joe’s wasn’t. Jimmy parked his truck and entered the bar. There were 4 or 5 people sitting at the bar watching TV in shock. Mark saw Jimmy walk in and he pointed at the television.

“Can you believe this crap Jimmy?” “Can you believe what just happened?” Mark said as he started at the TV
“Mark, we have to go. Sydney is at home with the kids waiting for me. Let’s head there and decide what to do”.
“Jimmy, I have to get to my house” Mark replied.

Jimmy’s house was less than 5 minutes north of the bar, while Mark’s was 15 minutes away but it was also South West.

“Mark, have you called your wife at all?” Jimmy asked
“I can’t get through, cell phone towers are down I think” replied Mark.
“I was able to get through to Sydney, try my phone” Jimmy said as he handed Mark his phone.

Mark was surprised when his call went through. He talked to his wife for a minute or so and then he hung up.

“She’s at her brothers” Mark replied. Jimmy was surprised as his brother in law Jeff lived close to his work.
“Mark, I just came from there and it’s a nightmare”. “You can’t head south or west at all.”
“She has our daughter so she is ok for now” Mark replied. “Let’s head to your house and plan our next move”.

Mark’s brother in law Jeff was very much like us in regards to the fact that we liked to prepare for emergency situations.

“Let’s wait a few for Joe” Jimmy replied. “Hopefully he makes it here soon because we need to get to my house”.

Jimmy was scared and nervous at the same time. First the emergency reports on the radio and now what he was seeing on the TV. If this was all true what does that mean for the United States, let alone the rest of the world. Jimmy called the bartender over.

“Bill can you sell us some beer and booze?” Jimmy asked
“How much you want Jimmy?” Bill replied
“10 cases of beer and whatever you can spare bottle wise”. Jimmy replied. “How much Crown can you part with?”
“I can give you 4 bottles” Bill replied.
“Give me 4 Captain and 4 Jack as well” Jimmy said

Bill gathered the beer and booze and stacked it in front of Jimmy. He also gave Jimmy 6 cartons of smokes.

“Here you go Jimmy, Need anything else?” Bill asked.
“Nah, I got wine stored at the house” replied Jimmy. “We could use more beer though if you can spare it”.
Bill gave Jimmy 10 more cases of beer and helped them load it all into Jimmy and Mark’s trucks.
Jimmy asked Bill “How much do we owe you?” and Bill just smiled.
“It’s on me Jimmy. Bill replied. “I know what this stuff is worth now so hopefully it will help you guys out down the road”.

Jimmy and his friends had frequented Bills bar for a long time and Bill was repaying his gratitude today. Jimmy smiled and shook Bills hand. Jimmy looked at his watch and it was now 4:30 and Joe had still not arrived. Jimmy dialed Joe’s number again and this time it went through.

“Holy **** Jimmy, Have you heard the news?” Joe asked
“Yeah, I am with Mark waiting for you”. “How far away are you?” Jimmy asked
“I am headed home myself Jimmy, I need to head there first” Joe replied. “Where are you headed?” Joe asked Jimmy.
“Mark and I are headed to my house to come up with a plan” Jimmy replied. “We are going to pull out now”.
“Sounds good Jimmy” Joe said. “Give me 2 hours if you can”. “I will head home grab my wife, my kid, and my stuff and then head over”.
“Joe I don’t know how long these phones will work but keep trying” replied Jimmy. “Its 4:30 now and we will wait till 8PM before we do anything” Jimmy Replied.
“OK Jimmy sounds good” Joe replied. “Hope I get there long before then”.
Jimmy hung up his phone and looked at Mark. “Joe’s headed home to gear up and he will head over if he’s able to” Jimmy said to Mark.
“Follow me” Jimmy said to Mark.

They both got in their trucks and headed towards Jimmy’s house. They had to pass through 1 stop light and Jimmy wanted to check out the situation at the gas station. As they approached the gas station it didn't look too crowded so he pulled in. Jimmy grabbed his XDS 45 and holster out of his armrest storage and put it inside of his pants. He couldn't carry at work so he stored his carry piece in his armrest. He pulled up to a pump and parked. Mark did the same and they both fueled up. When they were finished refueling they went into the store and noticed there were no clerks. There were a few people in the store grabbing whatever they could. Jimmy and Mark looked around and decided it was better to head off. Jimmy looked into the office behind the counter and saw 2 girls crouched in a corner looking scared. Jimmy told Mark to watch his back as he went behind the counter to enter the office.

One of the girls screamed and said “Take whatever you want just don’t hurt us”. Jimmy put up his hands and tried to calm the girls down.
“Do you have cars” he asked the girls.
“Yes, she does but our boss told us to watch the store” one of the girls responded.
“Listen, I will walk you outside where both of you get in that car and head home”. “Who’s ever house is closer head there” Jimmy told them.

They followed Jimmy out of the office and were shocked to see Mark had cleared out the store.

“I suggest you fill up with fuel before you head out” Jimmy told them.
“We don’t have enough money to do that” one girl replied.
“Just fill up and go home” Jimmy told them. “Give me your store key and we will lock up for you”

The girls handed Jimmy a key to the store and Mark walked them outside. They pulled up to a pump and Jimmy turned it on for them so they could fill up. Once they were full one of the girls came back into the store.

“We are going to grab some food and water” she said.

Jimmy helped them gather some supplies and asked where they kept their chew. She walked Jimmy over to where it was and he grabbed whatever they had left. Jimmy then walked the girl out and then he locked the door behind him. He knew the locked door wouldn't stop people from getting in but it was a start. Mark was waiting outside and they both watched the girls pull away. Mark looked at Jimmy and Jimmy knew right away that they were both thinking the same thing. Those girls had no chance to make it out there. Jimmy and Mark jumped in their trucks and headed towards Jimmy’s house. They had a 2 minute drive and the roads were still mostly empty.

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Jimmy pulled in first and opened the garage door. Mark pulled in seconds later and they both parked in the driveway with their trucks backed in facing the street. There was little to no traffic out but Jimmy was still wary of any traffic that might stop to chat. As they entered the garage Jimmy closed the garage door and locked his truck, as did Mark. They entered Jimmy’s house and Sydney was in the kitchen waiting for them.

“Jimmy, What in the hell is going on?” she asked. “I can’t call or text anyone and our TV stopped working as soon as the girls turned it on.
“Hang on where are the girls” Jimmy responded. “I don't want them to hear this just yet”.

Jimmy walked into the living room and looked at the TV. There was a searching for signal error and he knew the satellite signal would not be coming back for a while. He told the girls to go into their rooms and start to pack for camping. He said that Sydney would be in shortly to help them out.

“Syd, go help them both pack” Jimmy said. “All types of clothes: Warm, cold, medium, socks, hats the whole 9 Yards”.
“Jimmy, you have to tell me what’s going on” Sydney said.
“Syd, just do this while Mark and I get everything else ready, Please” Jimmy responded. “And when you’re finished with them pack for us”.

With that Sydney walked into the bedrooms to help the girls pack. Jimmy knew she had no idea about the events that just happened. Jimmy had always warned Sidney about the day he and Mark would come home telling her to pack everything but she never believed us. Today was the day it happened and she was handling it ok for now.

“Mark. Let’s head into the basement and get everything ready” Jimmy said. “We will bring everything up and load it into the trucks”.
“Jimmy I don’t have any weapons on me so I will need to grab one from you” Mark said

Mark and Jimmy headed into the basement and started hauling supplies upstairs and into the garage. Jimmy had moved Sydney’s SUV outside and parked it behind the garage on the grass. He looked at the gas gauge and of course she was almost empty. Jimmy went back into the house and finished bringing everything upstairs. The pulled one of the trucks into the garage and loaded it. When they were finished they moved in the second truck and filled that one up. They loaded everything they had prepped for including food, water, gas, guns & ammo, clothes, BOB’S, various camping gear etc. They managed to get two thirds of the stuff into the two trucks. It was now 5:30 and he had an hour to decide if he would load up Sydney’s vehicle or wait and see if Joe would make it. Jimmy went back into the house and down to where he had his gun room. Mark was already there loading up magazines.

“Mark, we will head to your brother in laws first to grab your family” Jimmy said. “I am not sure how we will get there as the roads might be bad”.
“We will play it by ear and take back roads there” Mark replied. “If everything is clear it should take 30 minutes or less”.
“Jimmy, what about all the stuff we stored at my house?” Mark asked Jimmy. “We need to get over there as well and grab what we can. Maybe we can use my brother in laws trailer?”
“Mark I am not sure if we can make it over there but we will sure try” Jimmy replied. “Maybe we can drop everyone off at your brother in laws and head over to your place tonight to check it out”.

Just then Jimmy heard a horn blaring in his driveway. Jimmy grabbed a rifle and ran up the stairs. Jimmy looked out the window and saw it was Joe with his wife and son. Jimmy opened the front door and let them in. Jimmy was happy that Joe and his family made it.

“How is it out there” Jimmy asked Joe.
“Not bad yet” Joe replied. “The roads are still clear. Maybe it’s because people were all still at work?”
“Probably” Jimmy replied. “That’s a good point Joe”. “How much room do you have in your vehicle?”
“My truck is half full” Joe replied. “I have a full tank of gas as well”

Joe and Jimmy went into the garage and Jimmy showed Joe what was left. Joe nodded his head and Jimmy opened the garage door. Jimmy pulled out Mark’s truck and Joe pulled in his truck. The two of them loaded up the rest of the supplies and then Jimmy realized there were still more weapons to pack. They both headed downstairs to help Mark load magazines.

“Jimmy how many guns we taking?” Joe asked
“All of them for now which is 50 or so total” Jimmy replied. “We might have to trade some later on so we should take them all”

The three of them loaded up 50 weapons in total plus 50K rounds of ammunition into the 3 vehicles. They had 5 AR-15’s that were all different makes and models, 15 different caliber bolt action and automatic long rifles, 10 different shotguns and 15 varying caliber handguns. Mark had already taken a .45 1911 and Joe had brought one with him as well along with some other guns. Jimmy had his .45 XDS and folding knife. Jimmy walked further into the room and noticed that all of the knives had already been packed. Mark’s good he thought to himself. The three of them all went upstairs to talk to the women about what should be next.

“Jimmy, Lisa just told me what happened” Sydney said referring to Joe’s wife. “Why didn't you tell me?”
“Listen Syd, we need to talk about what’s next before we get into that” Jimmy explained.

The three men decided what to do next. It was now 6:30 and they needed to go. They would pull out in 15 minutes and take back roads to Mark’s brother in laws house. They would drive single file and not stop for anything. If they encountered a traffic jam they would keep heading as far east as possible before they had to head south. They had all of the women and children loaded up in 10 minutes and Jimmy did a double check of the house and its remaining items. Joe pulled out his truck and Jimmy moved Sydney’s SUV back into the garage. He latched the security locks on the garage doors and then he headed into the basement to kill the main power. Jimmy double checked his gun room and determined that they had grabbed everything they could fit in their vehicles. Jimmy made sure everything was locked and exited the house. Mark and Joe were already waiting in their trucks as Jimmy got in his. He turned to look at his wife and she was crying. He looked in the back at his two girls and he felt even more scared than ever. Hopefully he could protect them as best he could. All 3 vehicles pulled out at 6:45 headed south east towards Mark’s brother in laws house where Marks’ family was waiting for them to arrive.

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Mark was leading the three vehicles on his way to his brother in law Jeff’s house where his wife and kid were held up. Thankfully his wife Janet was visiting her brother when all this went down. Mark knew that Jeff could protect Janet and his daughter if anything were to happen and he also had supplies in case they couldn't get there right away. Mark reached under his seat and grabbed at his radio where he kept it charging. Mark grabbed it and held it out his window. Hopefully Jimmy would see it and grab his as well. Mark couldn't believe they forgot to mention these to each other before they left Jimmy’s house. Mark turned his radio on and tuned it to their channel.

“Bandit you got your ears on?” Mark Asked over the radio.
“Snowman I hear you loud and clear” Jimmy replied. “I think we got the names backwards though as the Bandit is supposed to be up front”.
Mark laughed and replied “Yeah we probably did”. “Let’s stick on this road as far south as we can”.
“10-4” Jimmy replied.

Mark knew that the further south they could make it the easier it would be to cut over. Jeff’s house was more south than east and he wanted to get there ASAP. They managed to avoid any traffic for most of the way south until they hit where Jimmy had said he headed north. It was the same road Jimmy had traveled on his way home from work and it didn't seem like anything had changed. Thankfully Mark knew a back way to Jeff’s on a street that went under the highway so he turned left to head east. They continued driving until they hit the road and then they started heading south again. They made it under the highway without any problems but there was more traffic ahead. It wasn’t at a standstill but there was definitely more traffic. It was moving at a steady speed with a few stops here and there. Mark heard Jimmy come across the radio.

“Snowman, we should get off this road if possible” Jimmy said. “Is there another way to get to Jeff’s from here?”
“Bandit I don’t like this road either” Mark replied. “We only have maybe 2 miles to go and I don’t know another way”.
“Snowman I wish Joe had a radio as he knows all the roads everywhere” Jimmy replied.
“Bandit lets pull over here in this parking lot and talk it over” Mark said.

Mark pulled into an empty parking lot on the side of the road as did Jimmy and Joe. All 3 men got out of the truck to discuss their next route.

“Joe, what’s the best route to get to Jeff’s from here?” Jimmy asked.
“This road is the best route” Joe replied. “We have less than 2 miles before we hit his street”.
“Yeah we know that we just don’t like this road” Mark replied. “We have three trucks loaded with supplies and we are out in the open”. “What If someone follows us to Jeff’s?”
“I just don’t know what other options we have” Joe replied. “I don’t know of any other way from here”.

Mark looked at the traffic that was starting to back up and decided to make an executive decision.

“Listen, let’s stay on this road but we will use the northbound lane” Mark said. “I haven’t seen a car coming that way since we have been standing here and if one does come our way we can use the sidewalk”. “We only have 2 miles to go before Jeff’s street”.
“Let’s get out of here quick” Jimmy replied. “People are starting to stare at us with all of this stuff”.

Just then two police cruisers flew by chasing a truck packed with people. “Looters” Joe mumbled.

We all jumped into our trucks and waited to pull out. The traffic had backed up and was now crawling by. A guy in a minivan was nice enough to let Mark out and the other two trucks followed. Mark jumped into the northbound lane and hit the gas. He was doing 50 as were the other two trucks behind him.

“Bandit we are going to have to hit the grass up here” Mark said. “Just follow me when I do it”.
“10-4 Snowman” Jimmy replied.

Up ahead Mark saw what looked like a roadblock. He could see 4 state trooper cars with their lights flashing blocking the road. They were double stacked but the sidewalk and lawn of a house were not blocked. They must not think anyone will try and run it Mark thought to himself. They were closing in on the roadblock and Mark knew if he stopped for it they would be delayed, or even not be allowed to pass. They had less than a mile to go past the roadblock to Jeff’s turnoff. Mark stopped his truck and the other 2 stopped behind him.

“Bandit I think you should pass me and have Joe follow behind you” Mark said over the radio.
“What are you thinking Snowman?” Jimmy replied
“Bandit you two trucks turn down Jeff’s street and get to his house” Mark replied. “You guys got kids with you and I don’t want you guys running from Johnnie law with them this early in the game”. “I will take the rear and block them so they don’t see you turn”.
“Snowman, you sure want to play it this way” Jimmy asked. ‘What if they just let us pass?”
“And what if they don’t bandit?” Mark replied.
“10-4 Snowman” Jimmy replied. “Once we are at the Jeff’s I will let you know”.
“10-4 Bandit” Snowman replied. “I know a back way in through the woods so hopefully I can lose them”. “Hopefully just one comes after us and not two”. It was now 8:30 and almost dark.

Mark saw Jimmy lean out his window and yell something to Joe and then the two of them blew past his truck. Mark watched them blow to the left of the roadblock on the sidewalk and front lawn. The State Police tried to get them to stop but they failed. Mark floored his truck and took the same route with success but then he slowed down to see what the troopers would do. Mark looked ahead and saw the other two trucks round the bend and he knew they would make it to Jeff’s. Mark was watching his mirror and to his surprise none of the 4 trooper cars came after him so he floored it around the bend. Just then he got a double chirp on his radio and he knew the other trucks were safe at Jeff’s. He passed Jeff’s street and found the trail through the woods about a mile up the road and turned onto it. He turned off his lights and waited for 15 minutes before he drove the rest of the way through the woods to Jeff’s street. Once there he pulled into Jeff’s driveway and pulled up behind the barn where the other 2 trucks were parked. Jimmy and Joe were waiting for him while he saw everyone else walking to the house. Mark was glad they made it to Jeff’s but he knew they weren't out of the woods yet.

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Chapter 5

Chapter 5

It was now 9PM and it had been 6 hours since the president of our USA and most of his staff had been shot down while taking off from Washington. Whoever shot down Air Force 1 had also decided to detonate what were thought to be large dirty bombs or nuclear devices in New York, LA, Texas and Washington. New York and LA were chosen to severely injure the United States two largest cities as well as the financial sector of New York. Washington was chosen to take out our government and Texas was chosen to take out our largest Oil refineries. In the 6 hours since 3PM the United States already fragile economic system had completely collapsed. Millions had died in the 4 bombings. They also took out most of our communication satellites with EMP blasts so news was very slow to spread but once it did spread the US was in complete chaos. Millions were injured, police were in demand but there were not even close to the amount needed to stop the madness. Looters were destroying every major city and even the smaller cities were in complete chaos. Hospitals were overcrowded and short staffed. They were also being looted for any type of drug that addicts could get their hands on. Pharmacies were being looted and then burned. Fires were raging out of control everywhere and EMS staffs had nowhere to take the sick and injured. Every store was looted of anything that wasn't tied down. Land phone lines barely worked and cellular phones were all but non-existent. Very few worked without the communications satellites however some were still functional in certain areas. There were still some satellites that were working however they couldn't handle the amount of volume that was trying to pass through them. At least 30% of the country was without power and water. Cities close to the 4 bombings were the worst off as most of the power and water ran through those major cities. Satellite Radio and Television had both been disrupted due to the blasts. Local radio stations, if working, didn’t have much news to relay as most of the major news stations couldn't broadcast or they were destroyed in the bombings.

Mark’s house was 20 minutes west on a normal day and they wanted to go and grab all of his supplies from there. Jeff had a large Diesel SUV that should fit most of it and Mark had a trailer at his house if needed. Mark wasn’t sure what types of conditions they would face on the way but he hoped they still had time to get there. The three men walked up to the house where Jeff was waiting for them.

“Boy this is sure a **** storm we are in” Jeff said to all three of them.

The 4 men entered the house to decide what their next steps would be.
Thankfully the news was slow to spread or these 4 friends may not have ever seen each other again Mark thought to himself. They all headed to the kitchen to discuss their options. If they had any chance to get to Mark’s house they had to do it soon. It was decided that Mark and Jimmy would take Jeff’s SUV to Marks and collect what they could. They would leave immediately and would be well armed. Jeff and Joe argued that they should go as well but Mark thought it would better to leave 2 men behind. He didn't want the women left alone in case they were robbed or worse yet if they never returned. Mark and Jimmy loaded up the SUV with enough supplies to be gone for 10 days if needed. The radios they had a max range of 10 miles, and that was if the ground was flat, so communication would be difficult. Mark took the radio from his truck while Jimmy gave his radio to Joe and Jeff.

Jimmy and Mark had always planned to head out to their 100 acre property if anything like this every happened. They have a large barn suitable for living, small livestock, seeds for crops and water. The property is mostly isolated and hard to get to so they are hoping it would be difficult for other people to stumble across them. It would be easier to protect / survive at this property than it would be at any of their homes. The land was 60 miles south east and they should be on their way their already. Jeff suggested they load up his supplies and hit the road now but Mark wanted to at least attempt to grab his supplies as well. Mark knew they would need everything all of them had to make it. Mark knew Jeff was right that they should be leaving now. They were unsure how the trip would be to the property, or even if they could make it at this point. They had all agreed that if Jimmy and Mark were not back in Two days the rest of the group would head to the 100 acre property. Jimmy and Mark would hopefully be back by then and if not they would have to make the trek separately. Jeff also had a group of people that he had emergency plans with however he hadn't heard from any of them as of yet. Mark was hoping they would arrive supplied because adding more people meant their supplies would run out quicker.

At 11PM Mark and Jimmy pulled out of Jeff’s driveway and headed for Mark’s house. Not knowing what to expect they were hopeful the run would be easy and non-eventful. They had 48 hours to make the 40 mile round trip but Mark was hoping to be back in a few hours. Jimmy wasn't as sure and he was worried the roads would be difficult. Again they would be taking back roads the whole way to Marks. They pulled out onto the road headed west with no headlights on as there was a bright moon that lit the road for them. Mark had to turn on the fog lights as it was getting hard to see the road. Jimmy didn't like this trip at all but he knew it was a necessary one to make. They made it 10 miles before they ran into anyone. They were coming up on a 4 way stop light with stores all around. Mark stopped well short of the intersection so they could examine the situation. Jimmy saw them first but Mark wasn't far behind in noticing. At least 4 men were to their right all holding guns. One was smoking a cigarette so he was easy to spot. Jimmy thought he saw 3 more but wasn't sure. Mark floored the gas and the SUV went flying through the intersection. They were 1000 feet past the intersection before Mark slowed down and Mark’s heart was beating so fast he almost threw up. Mark slowed down to 25 MPH and both were looking around at their surroundings. Mark saw the truck flying at them and swerved to avoid it causing the SUV spin out. The truck Mark avoided had turned around and was pulling up to them. Mark threw it in reverse and turned back around. The Truck pulled next to them as Jimmy was pulling up his XDS. The truck slammed into the passenger side of the SUV and stopped. Jimmy raised his XDS and pointed it at the driver of the truck. The driver threw it in reverse and sped away back towards the intersection. Jimmy hung out the window to assess the damage and after seeing it wasn't that bad told Mark to “DRIVE”!! Mark sped away and both men were in shock of what just happened. Jimmy holstered his XDS and reached in the back for his Kimber Pro Covert II. His XDS magazine only held 5 shots and after that altercation he wanted the 3 extra shots the Kimber had. He had 7 round magazines for the XDS however they were in his truck. He checked his spare Kimber mag’s and counted 5 fully loaded with 8 rounds each.

“Ain't that some **** Jimbo” Mark said.
“Sure is Mark” Jimmy replied. “I am sure that won’t be the last time either”.
“We need to find a different route back that’s for sure” Mark told Jimmy.
“We need to make it there first before we worry about the way back” Jimmy replied.
“Good thing we live out in the sticks” Mark said. “Could you imagine if we were in the city?”

They had been on the road 30 minutes and traveled 11 miles. They still had 9 miles to go to Mark’s but rest was all country roads. Mark was hoping they could just coast on in to his house. Jimmy was hoping the same thing with but with less optimism.

· Southern by choice
91 Posts
Whew things are going down fast in this story! So far so good...keep the chapters coming :) Don't leave the guys hanging out there for long...don't want the bad guys catching up with them.........


· Registered
1,135 Posts
Tried to send private msg.

I don't see where you tell us what happened to get so many upset. Some how the characters in your story know. Did I miss something ? I see now. But you should have told us when the chars found out.

Liked it otherwise.

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I tried to introduce the characters first before diving into the emergency. It's just how it came out of my head onto paper! I have been working on this book on and off for 3 years and 10 or so other people have read it. Other then here that's it. I have been told that it's too long and I need to split it up into separate books. As the story goes on I get into the situation in more detail and I wanted to show the characters struggles and persona's at first.

I am not sure how much I will post of it but I hope everyone enjoys it!

Thanks for the feedback. I appreciate it!

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Chapter 6

Chapter 6

It took another 15 minutes to make it the last 9 miles to Marks house. Mark dropped Jimmy off down the road and Jimmy hoofed it through the woods to get setup behind Mark’s house. Mark’s driveway was almost ½ mile long and looped through the woods so it never went straight. Mark knew the driveway well so he didn’t need lights however he drove very slowly so he wouldn’t make much noise. Jimmy had run to position and was set up on the wood line behind Marks house. Jimmy had a Digisight night vision rifle scope mounted on his AAC 300BLK AR. He had built the gun for a coyote / hog rifle that he could use at night but now it was proving to be useful in other ways. He scanned the perimeter of Marks house and didn’t see any signs of life. Next he scanned Marks windows and once again didn’t see any sign of life. Jimmy saw Mark pull the SUV into position and he flashed his Nebo flashlight twice to let Mark know that the coast was clear. Jimmy slowly walked in a crouch across Mark’s yard until he approached the SUV.

“See anything?” asked Mark.
“Negative” Jimmy replied.
“OK I will back this SUV up to the garage” Mark Said. “Just cover me as I back it in”.
“Roger that” Jimmy said as he slowly walked behind the SUV as Mark pulled up towards his house. Mark then turned the SUV around and opened the garage door. Jimmy was on full alert using the Digisight night vision scanning the area for any movement. The garage door wasn’t terribly loud but in the dead of the night if anyone was close they might have heard it. Mark pulled the SUV into the garage and Jimmy stood guard outside scanning the area for a little while longer. He could hear Mark’s German Shepherd in the house barking now so Jimmy walked over to the kitchen door and let the dog out. Hans was a 4 year old German Shepard that was trained by a K9 trainer that Mark knew. Jimmy started to pet Hans as Mark exited the SUV. Mark walked over to Hans and said “Patrol” and Hans took off into the yard.

“Hans will let us know if anyone joins us” Mark said to Jimmy. They entered the house and began to load up all of Mark’s supplies. Mark had about half of what Jimmy had stored but everything was considered both of theirs. They would be able to fit everything into the SUV plus Mark had a luggage rack that connected to the trailer hitch on the back of the SUV. The only issue being whatever they put back there was exposed but it meant more room so they didn’t care. They loaded up all of Mark’s supplies, 40+ weapons and 25K of ammunition in a little over an hour. Hans never made a peep so they knew no one was out there. They got everything loaded up and Jimmy threw in a chew. He offered one to Mark and he threw one in as well.

“I had about 40 tins in my fridge and we got another 75 or so from the gas station” Jimmy said. “No way to keep them fresh so they will dry out eventually but we have to ration them”.
“Maybe it’s time to quit already” Mark replied and then laughed.
“Maybe not” said Jimmy as mark whistled for Hans. Hans came running back to the garage and Mark let him in the back seat of the SUV.
“You got enough dog food for this mutt” Jimmy asked Mark.
“Well I got 400 pounds for now” Mark replied. “That should last a while and once it’s gone we will figure it out”. “That’s 10 bags and he normally goes through 1 bag every 2 months”.
“**** that’s enough for now” Jimmy replied.
“You drive this time” Mark said to Jimmy. “I will run watch on the way back”. Jimmy entered the SUV and pulled out of the garage. Mark shut the garage door and then turned off the main to the house. Mark double checked to make sure he grabbed everything and then closed the door behind him. Mark turned and looked back at the house and wondered if he would ever be back here again. Mark entered the SUV and Jimmy pulled down the driveway towards the road. It was now 2AM and they were headed back to Jeff’s house. Hopefully they could find an easy way back and get there quickly. Mark finally had his AR and his own 1911. He pulled the charging handle on his AR and started to look out the window as they drove. Jimmy floored the SUV onto the road and sped off. Hopefully they would make it back without any major incidents.

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Chapter 7

Chapter 7

Jeff was on high alert as he anxiously waited for Mark and Jimmy to return. Like them, Jeff also prepared for emergency situations and had done so for years. When Mark introduced Jeff to Jimmy he knew right away they were all like-minded. All three men used to go hunting / fishing / shooting together frequently and they also hung out as families on weekends. Jeff is married with two children of his own, one boy and one girl. Jeff, Mark, Jimmy and Joe’s families were all sleeping inside while Joe and Jeff patrolled outside. Joe was supposed to be sleeping while Jeff was on watch but Jeff knew that Joe was most likely awake somewhere. Jeff’s had two black labs that were contained in an outdoor kennel that was attached to his barn. Just then they began to bark and the noise startled Jeff so he began to scan the area. Jeff noticed movement coming down his driveway so he dropped to a crouch. Joe came up on the other side of the porch and took to a crouch as well. Jeff watched as two pickup trucks drove up his driveway with parking lights on but he couldn’t tell who was in the trucks. Jeff flipped from safe to fire on his AR and raised it up towards the trucks. Jeff noticed Joe sprint over and crouch behind a tree to his left. The trucks stopped by the barn and two men exited the first truck.

Jeff called out to the men “Who’s there and what do you want?”
“Evening sir, we were just checking out this neighborhood” one of the men replied.

Jeff didn’t have any night optics and right about now he wished he had some.

“I suggest you get back in those trucks and turn back the way you came” Jeff told the men.
“Easy there partner, we don’t want any trouble” the man replied. “Like I said we are just checking out the neighborhood”
“Where you coming from” Jeff asked the man
“One town over” the man replied. “We had a run in with a Ford Excursion a few hours ago and one of my guys recalled he knew where it had come from”
“What kind of run in would that be” Jeff replied. Jeff glanced over to where Joe was positioned and then back towards the trucks.
“Just a little misunderstanding I suppose” replied the man.
“I suppose” replied Jeff. Now he was worried about Mark and Jimmy. What exactly transpired during this altercation he thought to himself?
“I’m going to approach the porch” the man replied. “Hands up in the air for you to see them” he said as he walked slowly towards the porch.
Jeff had very bright flood lights attached to his porch and all of the sudden they came on. Both the man and Jeff were startled and Jeff could tell the man was having trouble seeing after being blinded by the lights. Jeff saw movement to his right and heard the sound of a shotgun being racked. He glanced over quickly and realized his wife was the one holding the shotgun. He quickly looked back at the man and he had stopped when he heard the shotgun. Jeff didn’t think the man could see that it was his wife since the lights were so bright.

“That’s far enough” Jeff told the man. “I suggest you get back in that truck and head out of here”.
“That’s not very polite” the man replied. “We just wanted to talk”.
“Well we don’t feel like talking” Jeff replied.
“In these times we all need to come together to survive” the man replied.

Jeff heard another vehicle coming up the driveway but it didn’t sound like his diesel SUV.

“You see that there are more of my friends that decided to work with me” the man said in reference to the vehicle pulling up to join the other two trucks.
“We don’t need any friends right now” Jeff replied. Jeff glanced at his watch and noticed it was 3:30 AM. He wondered how long this standoff would go on before something turned ugly.
“I urge you to reconsider” the man replied. “Working with us will be better than working against us” he told Jeff.

Jeff was thinking about his children as well as the rest of the children sleeping in the house. If shots were fired would they be out of harm’s way? If Jeff and Joe could not protect the women and children what would happen to all of them? Three men exited each of the rear two trucks and there were now eight men that Jeff was aware of. The flood lights were so bright he could see they were all holding rifles of some sort. The man who had approached lowered his hands and reached for his cigarettes. He lit one of them and then held the pack out towards Jeff and offered him one.

“I don’t smoke” Jeff replied.
“That’s too bad” the man replied. “I was hoping you had some I could take when we are finished here” he told Jeff.

Jeff saw the man grab his knee before he heard the report. The man began to yell as he fell to the ground. Jeff aimed his rifle at the other 7 men and he could tell they were scared. The three men that arrived in the last truck ran back to the truck and drove off quickly. The other 4 men were all uncertain of what to do next and one of them raised his rifle towards Jeff. The man who raised his weapon was hit with two shots to his chest and dropped to the ground. The other 3 men quickly dropped their weapons and put their hands in the air. Jeff saw movement to his right approaching from behind the barn. A man was approaching with his rifle aimed at the men. Once he entered the light Jeff could see it was Jimmy and then Mark appeared from the left. Neither Jeff nor any of the other men had heard Mark and Jimmy approach. Jimmy walked up to the men and kicked away their weapons. He made them all get on their knees and put their hands behind their heads. Mark walked up with rope from Jeff’s barn and quickly tied the three men’s hands and feet. Jimmy rolled over the man who had been shot twice and confirmed he was dead. Jeff walked down from his porch and approached the man who had been shot in the knee.
“You should have left when you had the chance” Jeff told the man. “None of this needed to happen”.
“You all are going to pay for this” the man replied. “We have 50 men and they all know where we were headed”. “They are probably on their way here as we speak” he snarled at Jeff.
“I pray you are wrong” Jeff replied. “Enough blood has been shed here tonight”.

Mark walked up and bound the man’s arms and legs. Jimmy collected all the weapons and searched all of the men for anything useful. He found two 9MM Glock’s with one 15 round magazine in each. There were 4 older hunting rifles and 1 of them was unloaded. The man who had talked to Jeff also had a .45 Glock and two 15 round magazines. He also had 2 packs of cigarettes and a zippo lighter that Jimmy took. All four assailants were silent and looking at the ground. Jimmy searched the trucks but all he found of value were 2 cartons of cigarettes.

“Jimmy, Mark I am so happy to see you both” Jeff told them as Joe approached the three men.
“I am glad we got here when we did” Jimmy replied. “We figured we would park the SUV in the woods and come in on foot and it’s a good thing we did” Jimmy told Jeff.
“How long were you guys out there” Jeff asked Jimmy and Mark.
“When Jennifer turned on the lights we were just approaching” Jimmy replied. “We had heard the talking and we weren’t sure if it was your friends that you were expecting or enemies” Jimmy said.
“Yeah when we saw Jennifer approach with the shotgun we decided we would take the leader out first and then deal with the rest” Mark said
“I figured we didn’t have much time before it got ugly so I took out his knee” Jimmy told Jeff. “We thought they might all run but only three took off”. “When the guy raised his rifle Mark put him down and thankfully the rest surrendered”.

Jimmy could tell Mark was distraught and offered him one of the man’s cigarettes.
“I don’t smoke” Mark told Jimmy. “I quit years ago”.
“I quit also but it might calm the nerves” Jimmy said to Mark.
Mark took a smoke and Jimmy lit it for him. “What I need is a shot of something” Mark told them all.
“Amen to that” Jeff said as they all took a cigarette from Jimmy and lit them up.

The four men stood there looking at the tied up assailants while they all smoked. Jeff saw Jennifer walk up and he gave her a hug.

“Thanks for the backup” Jeff told Jennifer. “He was sure surprised when he heard that shotgun rack.
“**** so was I” Joe said laughing. “I didn’t know who it was but I was sure glad Jennifer was there” Joe told them all.
“I don’t even think they knew you were there Joe” Jeff said. “I never heard a peep out of you”.
“I was waiting for the right moment” Joe replied. “I figured being un-noticed was a good thing”. “I was getting ready to take kneecap out when he went down” he said. “Jimmy beat me to the punch” Joe laughed.
“Well it’s a good thing only 2 of them were shot” Jeff said. “It could have been much worse”.
“What do we do with them?” Jennifer asked.
“We need to get ready to move out ASAP” Jeff replied. “Kneecap guy told me there might be others on their way here and I believe him”.
“Move them all to the barn and leave them there” Jimmy said. “Someone will find them eventually”.
“Well we got extra trucks now” Mark replied. “Let’s get all of Jeff’s stuff loaded up and head out” Mark suggested.
“That’s a good idea” Mark replied. “We will load up the trucks and head out”. “Jennifer go wake up the other wives and get the kids ready to go and fed”.

Jennifer went into the house to get everyone ready. She was certain that everyone would have woken up after the gunshots. The four men moved the tied up assailants into the barn and shut the door. The one who was shot in the kneecap had passed out and Jeff was glad he wasn’t talking anymore. Jimmy pulled up the Excursion from the woods. Jeff filled up the SUV and then he noticed the damage to the passenger side.

“What happened to my SUV?” Jeff asked Jimmy
“Some thugs attacked us at the four way light in Parkman” Jimmy replied. “It was the only problem we had on our trip”. “That was on the way there so on the way back we went a different route and didn’t see a person” Jimmy told Jeff.
“Well that’s a good sign” Jeff said. “Let’s head out at first light” Jeff suggested. “It will be easier for us to be spotted but we can also spot anyone out there better ourselves” Jeff told Jimmy.
“Sounds good to me” Jimmy said as he glanced at his watch. It was 6AM and the sun would be coming up very soon. “Let’s make sure everyone has eaten and then we will head out”.

· Wait for the flash!!!!
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Chapter 8

Chapter 8

Everything was loaded up and ready to go. The men all sat at Jeff’s kitchen table eating eggs, bacon and toast. Jeff, Mark and Joe all drank coffee so they made sure they had a large supply. While Jimmy didn’t like coffee he did tea, or better yet Mountain Dew. Jimmy had twenty 36 packs of Mountain dew. He only had one each morning so that should last him a while even with sharing some with others.

They had 60 or so miles to drive to the 100 acre property dubbed “Wicked Woods”. Jimmy and Mark had purchased the land 5 years ago for hunting property. They were so excited to own 100 acres of great Ohio whitetail property. It is mostly wooded and some parts are very thick and gnarly. The 100 acre parcel was part of a large tract that was broken up to be sold. There was a total of 1000 acres for sale and Jimmy and Mark had looked at all the parcels. They decided on the wicked woods parcel because they thought it would be the best of the lots for hunting. Once they started hunting the land they realized it was much more than great hunting property and it would be perfect to set up for BOL. They invited Jeff to help setup the land which included an old Barn which they converted into living space for multiple families. They also planted fruit trees and planted vegetables yearly. They also had chickens and they introduced wild Boar onto the property. The northern end was the thick gnarly part and that acted as a good fence for that end to contain their boars. They bought the property from an old man 2 years before he died. He had described Wicked Woods as the best parcel and Jimmy and Mark agreed. The old man had ten 100 acre lots for sale and the wicked woods parcel was the northern most lot. The old man had only sold 1 other parcel and that one was the furthest south. In 5 years Jimmy and Mark had only seen 2 other men hunting any of the lots so that made them feel good. Jimmy had set up trail cams all over the property 3 years ago and not one of them had ever picked up anything other than wildlife. They camouflaged the one entrance to the property accessible by vehicles and they thought that might have kept people out. The old man didn’t like trespassers so that also kept people away for many years as well. After the old man passed away his kids kept the land for sale but they never could sell any more parcels. The kids lived in Florida and neither Jimmy nor Mark had ever met them. The land was 60 or so miles southeast from Jeff’s house but that was via highways. They decided to take mostly back roads so that would add 15 or so miles but there were two sections of the trip required them to use a highway. They had Jimmy’s, Joe’s and Mark’s trucks, plus Jeff’s SUV and the two trucks the thugs came in. Jeff had two trailers so they decided to add them to Jeff and Joe’s vehicles. They would leave the thug’s trucks and use the trailers instead. They decided if they were to take the trucks instead of the trailers they would have spread themselves too thin. All of the men would be driving therefore leaving no one to perform watch. Instead Jennifer and Sydney volunteered to drive so that would leave 2 men able to be a gunner if needed. Mark drove lead in his truck with Jeff on watch and all 3 dogs. Joe drove his truck with Lisa on watch. Jennifer drove the SUV with all 6 children and Janet. Sydney drove Jimmy’s truck with Jimmy on watch in the rear. Jimmy and Mark’s vehicles would be blockers if anything happened as the other two vehicles were pulling trailers. It was 7:00AM and the sun was starting to come up as they pulled out of Jeff’s driveway. Mark was up front with Jeff and the dogs.

“I sure hope we can make it to the land” Jeff told Mark. “And I hope it’s easy going that’s for sure”.
“You and I both” Mark replied. “If the roads are clear we should be alright”. “We shouldn’t have to stop for anything so that should help”.

Hans and Jeff’s two labs were shuffling around the back seat jockeying for position. Jeff had his window down a crack and he was glad it was still warmer than usual. While they made the barn suitable for living it wouldn’t be as nice as any of their houses. They had running water from a well but they didn’t have septic so they built an outhouse. The women didn’t care for it but the kids didn’t seem to mind. They barn was separated into sections for separate families. Joe wasn’t involved in the BOL but he had been a valuable asset to the group prepping wise. They had planned for additional families so they had extra room. The barn was a pole building built by the old man to store his equipment and junk. It had taken them a solid years’ worth of weekends to clean it out. They scrapped a few tons of metal and the rest they put to use around the property. The barn had a full basement, full first floor and a full loft. It was a total of 10,000 square feet plus another 10,000 square feet of basement. They finished off the barn the best they could with new wood and some drywall. The first floor was separated into different rooms for living quarters. The living quarters consisted of a Kitchen, living room, dining area, Shower / laundry area and a Den type room for meetings / teachings. The shower / laundry area and kitchen drained into a French drain 500 feet away from the cabin. They had an electric washer and dryer as well as an electric hot water heater. The barn was heated by a wood pellet stove and they had over 3000 bags stored. They bought a truckload on sale last fall and spent 2 weekends hauling it to the property. The stove did a great job of heating the barn and they also had a wood burning stove as well as a wood burning fireplace to help out. The kitchen had a gas stove and oven as well as a working sink but they had to be careful what went down the drain. The loft was separated into 8 different living areas but they could change it around to make more or less rooms with movable walls. The basement area contained a shop area as well as a hidden gun room. Mark and Jimmy went through a lot of trouble to conceal the gun room and only Jimmy, Mark, Jeff and their wives knew it was there. They also had a cold room where they stored food and other supplies. There was also a drive in area to store up to 4 vehicles as well as 4 ATV’s that were currently stored there. There were also 2 other shed type buildings they built on the property to store additional supplies. All of the buildings were powered by a natural gas generator that was fed by 1 of the 2 gas wells on their property. Mark and Jimmy built an underground enclosure for the generator to conceal it as well as minimize the noise it produced. They also had spare Honda generators that could be run off of gasoline, propane or natural gas that when ran were very quiet.

They had been driving for 15 minutes and made it 20 or so miles. So far so good Mark thought to himself

“Look up ahead” Mark said. “What is that the Army”?
“I’m not sure” Jeff replied. “Let’s stop and I will take a look”. Jeff raised his binoculars to his eyes and glassed the road ahead.
“****, whatever it is it doesn’t look good” Jeff told Mark. “Here take a look” Jeff said as he handed the binoculars to Mark.
“I can’t tell but they seem to be blocking the road” Mark said to Jeff.

Just then Mark’s radio buzzed and Jimmy spoke “Snowman what did we stop for?”
“Bandit we have two camouflaged looking Humvees blocking the road ahead over” Mark said to Jimmy.
“Copy that Snowman” Jimmy replied. “What are your thoughts over?”
“Bandit you stay in the rear in case something comes up behind us and I will pull up ahead to check it out” Mark told Jimmy. “I will try and keep the coms open so you can hear what transpires up ahead over”.
“Copy that Snowman” Jimmy replied. “Just be ready to get the hell out of Dodge if things go south over” Jimmy said.
“10-4 Bandit” Mark replied. “Do me a favor and fill Joe in on the situation so he is aware over” Mark said.
Mark watched in his mirror as Sydney pulled the truck up next to Joe’s truck and after a minute or so she flashed the lights. Mark pulled forward towards the roadblock not sure what to expect. He had his 1911 out and ready to go while Jeff had a Glock next to his seat as well as his AR locked and loaded. As they approached the roadblock a man in what looked like an Army uniform held his hand up for them to stop. Mark pulled the truck up to the soldier as he rolled down his window.

“Howdy there gentlemen please put your hands on the dash for me please” the soldier asked Mark and Jeff.
“What’s this all about?” Mark asked as he put his hands on the dash while holding his 1911. Jeff did the same with his Glock.
The soldier raised his M16 towards the truck and asked the men to take their hands off the weapons.
Mark let go of his 1911 and Jeff did the same with his Glock. Jeff still had his AR across his lap and ready to go if needed.

“Thank you gentleman” the soldier said. “Where is it that you two are headed?” he then asked.
“About 45 Miles southeast of here” Mark replied.
“Are all those vehicles with you” the soldier asked as he pointed towards the rest of their caravan.
“Yes sir they are” Mark replied. Mark looked around and there were 5 other soldiers. “What’s this roadblock all about?” Mark asked the soldier.
“We are out patrolling as we have had multiple reports of robberies and looting in this area” the soldier replied.
“Sir we are just trying to get to a safe area is all” Mark replied. “We have 4 families in all and we mean no harm to anyone” Mark said.
“Do you gentleman have ID’s” the soldier asked Mark and Jeff.
Mark pretends to reach for his wallet and replies “Shoot, I must have left it at home”.
“Gosh I must have done the same thing” Jeff told the soldier.
“Gentleman would you mind stepping out of the truck for me please, slowly” the soldier asked as 2 more soldiers approached the truck.

Mark opened his door with his hands in the air and Jeff did the same. Jeff’s AR was still attached to him via the weapons sling. A soldier approached Jeff and removed the AR from his possession.

“What did we do wrong?” Mark asked the soldier. “Is there a problem?”
“You say you have another 45 miles to go to a safe place correct?” asked the soldier.
“Yes sir that correct” Mark answered.
“And where is it that you are headed?” asked the soldier
“Sir I don’t see why that is necessary” Mark replied.
“What are your names” the soldier asked Mark and Jeff
“My name is Mark and that’s Jeff” Mark replied.
“It’s very necessary because I am asking you Mark and Jeff” the soldier replied.
“We are headed towards Salem” Mark told the Soldier.

The soldier nodded over to one of the other soldiers that had approached the truck and he nodded back and walked towards one of the Humvees. The soldier came back a minute later and nodded to the soldier that was questioning us.

“It’s your lucky day Mark and Jeff” the soldier said. He then reached for the radio attached to his vest and said “322 - Come in over”.
“Copy Delta this is 322 over” came from the radio.
“322 I need you at our location for a detail over” the soldier spoke into his radio.
“Copy Delta in route over” came from the radio.
“322 what’s your 20 over” the soldier said into the radio
“Delta - 20 minutes over” came from the radio.
“Gentleman sit tight for 20 minutes if you would please” the soldier said to Mark and Jeff.
“Sir 20 minutes is a long time we could be on the road” Mark replied.
“Mark, just sit tight, and tell your caravan to pull up and wait with you please” the soldier told Mark. “You can wait in your truck and please holster your weapons” the soldier told Mark and Jeff.

The soldier who had taken Jeff’s AR returned it to him and walked back to his station. Mark and Jeff got back in the truck but left the doors open. Mark picked up the radio and told Jimmy to pull forward with the rest of the group. Jimmy and the other 2 vehicles pulled up and Jimmy approached Marks door.

“What the hell is going on?” Jimmy asked Mark.
“Not sure Jimmy, but they let us keep our guns” Mark said. “Let’s hang tight but keep your eyes open” Mark told Jimmy.

Jimmy nodded at Mark and walked back to Jeff’s SUV which Jennifer was driving and Jennifer rolled down the window

“What’s going on?” Jennifer asked Jimmy.
“We’re not sure Jennifer” Jimmy replied. “They told Mark to sit tight for 20 minutes or so” he told her.

Jimmy asked the kids if they had to get out for any reason and they all said no. Jeff let the dogs out of the truck and they ran off in a field to burn off some energy. Jimmy walked to the front of Mark’s truck and leaned against the hood. He took out his tin and threw a chew in his mouth. The soldier who had been questioning Mark approached Jimmy and smiled.

“Now if you had any smokes that would be amazing” the soldier said to Jimmy.
Jimmy smiled at the soldier and pulled out a pack of smokes he took off the thugs and offered one to the soldier.
The soldier took one and Jimmy offered his lighter as well.

“I got one of those” the soldier told Jimmy as he lit the cigarette. The soldier took a deep drag and smiled at Jimmy. “Thank you very much”.
“You’re welcome” Jimmy said to the soldier. “So what’s the holdup here?” Jimmy asked the soldier
“We are trained very long and hard on how to read people” the soldier told Jimmy. “It’s pretty bad out there and we are out here to help people” the soldier said. “I have another detail in route to escort you to your destination” he told Jimmy.

Jimmy didn’t know what to say or think. He didn’t know how to thank the soldier or even how to respond so he just smiled.
“I thought you might like that” the soldier said to Jimmy as he finished his cigarette. “You guys have coms?” he asked
“We only have 2 short range radios” Jimmy told the soldier. “A long distance radio was on our long laundry list of items to acquire”.
“Consider it checked off of the list” the soldier said to Jimmy. “Be right back” he said and he turned around and headed for one of the Humvees.

The soldier came back with a few boxes. “Here is a HAM radio, some spare parts, and a few antennas” he told Jimmy.
“I don’t know how to thank you enough” Jimmy told the soldier.

The soldier then gave Jimmy a brief crash course on how it all worked and boxed it all back up. The soldier pulled out a card and wrote some frequencies on the back of it telling Jimmy that he could reach him on those. Jimmy thanked the soldier and walked to Marks window.

“You see this man?” Jimmy asked Mark
“Yeah I sure do” Mark replied. “And did I hear him say he’s going to provide us with an escort?” Mark asked Jimmy
“That’s what he said” Jimmy replied. “I’ll be right back” Jimmy told Mark.

Jimmy walked to his truck and put the radio in the back seat. Jimmy rummaged around until he found what he was looking for. He put some items in a plastic grocery bag and walked back towards Mark’s truck. The soldier was speaking to Mark and Jimmy handed him the bag.

“It’s not much but it’s all we can offer” Jimmy told the soldier. Inside of the bag were 2 cartons of cigarettes and a bottle of Crown.
The soldier smiled when he looked in the bag and reached out to shake Jimmy’s hand. “My boys will sure like this stuff” he told Jimmy.
“I never caught you name soldier” Jimmy asked the soldier.
“Lieutenant Morris. Derek Morris” the Lieutenant replied.
“Well lieutenant Morris, my name is Jimmy and me and my family thank you for your support” Jimmy said to the Lieutenant.
“Anytime Jimmy” the Lieutenant replied. “I’ll keep an ear out for The Bandit or the Snowman on the radio” the Lieutenant told Jimmy as he turned and walked towards the Humvees. Jimmy looked at his watch and it was now 8:30 AM.
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