Thursday, April 26, 2018

Installment 3.9: Black boxes



***
Stevedores were unloading a cargo of Jasmine Rice invoiced for shipment to the Patel Hotel warehouses.  There was none of the grab-ass and foot-dragging common when manually unloading bagged, bulk goods.  The foremen of the crews were uncommonly harsh to anybody who got the bags wet.  Nobody questioned Venezuela as the country of origin.

The dock-master at the receiving warehouse signed for the shipment of 150,000 pounds of “Jasmine Rice”.  Bags were being shipped out of the back end of the warehouse as fast as fork trucks unloaded the four semis that transported it from the port.

The bags actually contained ammonium nitrate which produced an industrial grade explosive when mixed with fuel oil.

Other vessels had shipments of “pipes”. 

***
Pitoitua was directing his squad leaders.  “We gotta strip the hardware off the APCs.  Leave anything that might have electronics.  Take the ZPUs (heavy machine guns) and the munitions.  Booby trap all the vehicles that look salvageable.

“Hey, boss!” Dilip said. 

Pitoitua looked slightly pained.  “Hey boss!” is poor military etiquette.

“What do you have?” Pitoitua asked.

Dilip said, “The ZPUs have electronics on them.  They are slaved into the IFF system.  If you are going to take the ZPUs you better have the guys beat the living shit out of these black boxes right…here.”

Pitoitua exhaled.  There were so many ways to screw up on the new battle field.  He had almost directed his teams to put a beacon on the resistance’s headquarters.

“You heard the man.  Beat the living shit out of those black boxes.  I don’t want a single molecule of them hanging on those weapons when you load them into the trucks or you will be running back to camp.” Pitoitua bellowed.  One thing that had not changed was the need for command voice and clear verbal communication.

The resistance had blinded the giant and now had ZPUs and “pipes” to harry air reconnaissance.  The tide was turning.

Next installment

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