Collin and Brandon were in the observation post on the bluff behind the metal pole barn that fronted the paved road leading south out of Dimondale.
The post was sandbagged in with grungy, mud smeared sandbags. They could just see over the standing walls of the barn and see the crown of the road. They could see for more than a quarter mile to the north since it was early spring and the trees were not carrying any leaves.
They had been watching columns of smoke from burning buildings to the north and saw their first band of “yutes” at mid-afternoon. “Yutes” was a made-up word. It was something between “youth” and “ ‘yotes”, local slang for coyotes or worthless vermin.
|Hostile forces traveling north-to-south on gray, paved road. Collin and Brandon in the southmost observation post. Bridge Street approximately 1/4 north of where Silver Creek passes beneath the road.|
They rang up Quinn and Donnie when the band of yutes came into view. There were eight of them. Brandon had the spotting scope and he estimated they ranged in age from fourteen to nineteen. Their orders were to get a count and to flag the house they went into to raid. There were no houses on the close side of the road but there were five large, ritzy, abandoned houses where both Collin and Brandon could clearly see both front and side entrances.
Everybody had assumed that the first band of yutes would go into the first house they came to.
Everybody was wrong. This band of yutes continued walking south on the road and would soon be south of Collin and Brandon and they would lose sight of them. That would pose a major problem.
“What are we going to do?” Brandon asked.
Collin was set up over the sandbag with his bolt action .22LR. Collin was a slightly better shot than Brandon so Brandon had the semi-automatic which was slightly less accurate. Collin was eyeing the yutes through his 4-power scope which was far less capable than the 20X spotting scope that Brandon had been using.
“Who is the leader?” Collin asked.
“The short guy in the U-of-M hoodie.” Brandon said. The short guy was in the middle of the swarm and the other kids kept looking back at him as they played grab-ass. For his part, he stayed stone-faced and gave nothing away, letting them guess how he was feeling.
Collin frowned. He really wanted them to not be moving and, ideally, looking away when he took the shot.
“Can you hit that dead elm?” Collin asked, referring to the dead elm tree 120 yards away and on the far side of the paved road.
“In my sleep.” Brandon said.
“Hit is about six feet up when they are just past it.” Collin requested.
Both firearms had suppressors on them.
“You better duck down after you take the shot.” Collin said.
Brandon pulled the shot and hit the trunk a foot higher than he intended. They had not done much target practice shooting over the over-stuffed sandbags.
When the group turned to parse the sound of Brandon’s bullet hitting the punky wood of the trunk, Collin drilled the leader of the yutes in the left ass-cheek.
Then Collin quietly slid down, out of sight behind the sandbags.
The leader was thrashing around in the middle of the road making inarticulate sounds ranged from squeals to moans.
The other yutes pulled out their weapons and poured full magazines into the empty pole building. Some of those bullets skipped across the floor and when whining up, over Collin and Brandon’s hide.
When the shooting suddenly died Brandon risked a peek over the sandbags. He saw the yutes inexpertly attempting to reload their weapons. They were all carrying handguns and in some cases were trying to jam magazines that did not fit into the weapon’s magazine well.
The leader was getting a grip on his pain and barked commands at his troops. He was still thrashing back-and-forth like a freshly caught fish but he seemed to be regaining the reins of control.
One of the larger yutes helped him get up and the yutes went into the closest house.
“Damned good timing.” Brandon said.
He was looking through the spotting scope again and he saw another band of yutes coming up the road. The new band of yutes seemed unphased by the massive amount of shooting they must have heard.
This group was smaller and only had six members.
“Do you still have that laser range finder?” Collin asked.
“Yeah.” Brandon said.
“How far away is that road sign?” Collin asked.
“It says one hundred sixty-five yards.” Brandon said.
“Same game plan.” Collin said. “When they are even with the road sign, ring it like a gong, but not before you tell me who you think the leader is.”
Brandon and Collin stayed in position until dark.
Chernovsky, Quinn and the rest of the Squad came after full dark.
Collin and Brandon’s strategy had parked two different bands of yutes in houses, fifty yards apart.
Chernovsky told them to relax. The houses had been liberally seeded with 80 proof vodka and high potency weed. There were also candles and lighters in the house. "Time is our friend if we let it be." he cautioned.
After about four hours, when the candles had started to burn out, Chernovsky told them to wait while he checked out the houses. He came back a half hour later.
“Now the work starts.” Chernovsky said. “You young bucks gotta haul the bodies out and put them into the middle of the road up by Bridge Street.”
“Bodies?” one of the younger boys asked.
“You don’t think I was just looking at them do you?” Chernovsky snapped back.
“Now stop jerking off.” Chernovsky said. "I dragged them out to the porch. Now it is your turn to sweat."
Then to Collin and Brandon. “Good job, especially on the counts of the yutes that went in. I had to hunt a while to find one of them. Would have sucked if I hadn’t found him.”
Then to Collin, “I don’t know if you want put any notches in your stock, but one of the guys you tagged didn’t make it. He was dead when I got there.”