That level of training was a luxury the Capiche crews had not been able to afford.
However, the Capiche mortar crews did have the luxury of using laser range-finders to measure the distance to the targets. Complete dominance of the battlefield and the abysmal marksmanship of the Livingston County forces meant they could set-up without cover between them and the target.
They set-up slightly closer than max range and up-elevated the tubes slightly to compensate. The reason for being slightly closer was to account for the fact that the wind might shift and they would be launching into a head-wind. Adjustments to tube elevation are much, much faster than moving and resetting the mortar a hundred yards closer to the target.
The three mortar crews were setting up on their second set of targets. Unfortunately, the 660 yard maximum range made a new set-up necessary since the lieutenant’s command posts were about a mile apart. The mortars could have taken out five fire-bases but Chernovsky didn't want to spend the ammo on them.
The leverage was in taking out the Command-and-Control chain.
The effect of the second set of explosions was electrifying. Unlike the first set-up when Richards’ command post and those of the lieutenants closest to the throne were savaged, the second set of command posts were very visible to the much of the Livingston County line. In short order, all of the armored groups had started their engines and started to evacuate.
It wasn't going to be necessary to shell every C-n-C group. They were decamping en masse.
Chernovsky’s radio pinged him. He looked at who was calling and saw it was Donnie. “I really don’t have time for this.” Chernovsky said to forestall whatever it was that Donnie was going to say. Donnie could be a bit verbose and didn’t always have a keen sense of timing.
“If you don’t take this call, you are going to waste a hell of a lot more time.” Donnie replied.
Donnie’s use of ‘hell’ caught Chernovsky’s attention.
“What have you got?” Chernovsky barked. He really was at a loss at how to stop the armor from leaving. They were leaving in such haste that they were hitting hapless Livingston County soldiers who couldn’t get out of the way quickly enough.
“John Galt running a smartphone to you. We stumbled across a camp with Livingston County deserters. They shagged-ass into the brush but left behind this phone. Galt was curious and restarted the video the kid was watching.” Donnie said.
“Can’t you just tell me what is in it?” Chernovsky asked.
“Nope. You will understand when you see it.” Donnie said.
After watching the short clip of Benicio torturing Derious and his girlfriend, and burning the bus full of Livingston County prisoners-of-war alive, Chernovsky gave Donnie a bump.
“Yeah. I see why these guys aren’t just rolling over. You had longer to think about this. Any suggestions?” Chernovsky asked.
“Yeah, I have a truck running out to Amish-land to pick up Brett and a couple of the other former LC guys embedded with the Amish. Maybe they can calm down those guys down.” Donnie said.
“Send them to me when they show up.”
Troy woke up with a headache and a sense of unreality.
He was tangled up with sheets and a minx named….Sylvia...no...Ceclia.
He and his convoy team had been given a very cursory interview by the powers-that-be, given chits to the pub next door and then dismissed.
Ceclia had been one of the two waitresses who worked their table. The chits were good for unlimited beer. Every time Ceclia delivered another round she touched him or accidentally rubbed her thigh against his as she reached across the table.
She was clean and wholesome looking and oh-so athletic.
Later that night he learned just how athletic. It was like being in bed with an insatiable anaconda.
Even now as she stirred, he could feel her hand sliding along his leg heading toward Mr Happy. Looking over at her, he could see her boob peeking out over the top of her camisole.
"Peek-a-boob!" he said. Somehow, her camisole was even more exciting than if she had been stark naked. He needed to pee, but that was going to have to wait.
Fifteen minutes later, after he had a chance to pee, Ceclia said she knew where to score some free breakfast.
Troy assumed the older gentleman was Ceclia’s uncle and was glad that he made no mention of the hickies both he and Ceclia were sporting.
"Hello. My name is Bicklebaugh. It used to be Professor Bicklebaugh but those days are long gone." the older gentleman said.
The food was incredible. Sausage, eggs, french toast, hash browns. Coffee! Real coffee!
"Ceclia told me that you are a trucker" Mr Bicklebaugh said. "You know, I used to teach psychology and one of my areas of research was how brains rewire to get better at tasks it does all the time."
"Truckers are special" Mr Bicklebaugh said. "It is a provable fact that truckers can remember a hundred times more exact locations than a typical person."
“For instance, most people in Washtenaw County don’t know where the grain is stored or where the really important people live or work.” Mr Bicklebaugh said. “But the people who make the wheels turn...truckers like you...they remember everything.” Mr Bicklebaugh said.