Saturday, October 17, 2020

Home-field advantage: The best defense is the one that spends the fewest minutes on the field

Brad disabled the two power-feeds going to the string of Claymores. He wasn’t going to take the chance on one of the relays being stuck in the closed position.

Then he slithered out to reset the pop-up that he had borrowed from Nelson at the shooting range.

Something he had not anticipated was the sound of mortally wounded men moaning and gasping for breath. And he had forgotten the stench of ruptured bowels and atomized feces.

As he neared the pop-up, he heard somebody trying to contact the team leader by radio. Thinking he had nothing to lose, Brad slithered over to the radio and responded.

“What the HELL was that and why isn’t Colton answering?” the fingernails-on-chalkboard voice demanded.

“We ran into a spot of resistance” Brad answered, truthfully.

“Well, why the hell isn’t that bastard Colton answering?” the voice demanded again.

“Radio trouble” Brad responded. “Gotta catch up to the group so stop radioing me with stupid questions.”

“That ought to get her going!” Brad thought.

As he slithered back toward the pop-up, Brad bumped into a round object that rolled with a familiar, hollow sound. It was an RPG.

Scanning the ground with his monocle, he saw two rounds of ammo as well.

Suddenly, a host of opportunities bloomed in Brad’s mind.

In football, the best defense is the one that spends the fewest minutes on the field. Said another way, a viable offense is key to a robust defense.

Brad was about to go on the offense.

*

Brad took Bjorn and Johnny with him on his raid.

Bjorn and Johnny normally did not team together. Bjorn was a shaggy, mountain of a man. Johnny was an emaciated looking man with roots in southern Italy.

All three men, Brad, Bjorn and Johnny had training with RPG-7 clones at “the university” in eastern West Virginia and could manage to handle them while blind-folded, but Bjorn had proven to have an innate, inborn affinity for the weapon.

Johnny, while not much to look at, could steal the stink-off-shit and was an artist with edged weapons.

Brad...he was the planner and thinker.

Brad left Drew and Toby to maintain over-watch on Shiawassee and Iona streets. The last thing the defenders needed was for the shattered aggressors to pull themselves together and continue their original mission. The other thing was that Brad had an aversion to leaving potentially dangerous enemies in his rear as he infiltrated an enemy position.

Drew and Toby had an important job. They were tasked with killing anything that stirred in Brad’s absence...unless Brad called ahead and said they were in-bound.

The team of three moved east on Shiawassee. They used their ears as much as their night-vision equipment. There are many ways to defeat infrared monitoring. They had used some themselves. A simple foil-lined parka, for instance.

On the other hand, nobody had found a way to post sentries that did not make the sound of breathing.

They were able to move quickly because they had scouted out paths through the downed trees. They also had the advantage of knowing that the boobie-traps were disabled unit AFTER Brad called Toby and told him to reactivate the Shiawassee street defenses.

The team covered the 1300 feet from the corner of Shiawassee and Jenison to the corner of Ionia and Carey street in a blinding forty-five minutes.

Carey street was east of Lahoma, the aggressors presumed jumping-off point.

Johnny moved forward and determined that the corner of Lahoma and Ionia was clear but that there was traffic on Lahoma.

Johnny rejoined the team. They moved an additional two-hundred feet east and then cut across the center of the block to Ottawa street.

Then they strolled west as if they were a group of tardy protesters in a hurry to join the festivities.

As they neared the corner of Lahoma and Ottawa, the three men veered off the road and made as if they needed to pee.

They slumped down into shrubbery sized mounds and awaited developments.

Brad’s scouting on bike had revealed that the intersection with Lahoma was the high-point of Ottawa street. The street sloped upward at a 2% grade from the Hall-of-Justice to Lahoma and then tipped downward into a 3% grade all the way to Spencer Avenue.

Since all of the downed trees were west of Lahoma, the obvious place to put a trailer filled with Molotov Cocktails was on Lahoma.

And there it was. Men were loading crates out of the back of a trailer into kiddie wagons that were being pulled west by men with yellow glow-sticks in their hats.

Bjorn ranged the back of the trailer. It was 140 feet from his position. He did not notice the van seventy feet ahead of it.


*


Bert continued to watch the crowd guarding the parking lot.

It couldn’t be much longer now.

He was going to miss 09-23. He had been issued the truck when Lansing bought it back in 2009. The Federal government paid for it as it attempted to restart the economy and simultaneously reward urban areas that had overwhelmingly voted for the candidate that won.

He had spent more waking hours with that truck than he had spent with Therese. The City told them it was going to be scrapped when he retired. They fully expected another stimulus check and would buy a new one rather than refurnish 09-23.

Bert could have retired ten years ago but Therese had fallen in love with a house in the Florida panhandle. They decided that they wanted to own it, free-and-clear before Bert retired.

And now it was for naught. The bastards that had burned down his house had destroyed nearly every memory he had of her: Nearly every picture and knicknack.

All he had were the few snapshots he carried in his wallet.

When he finished what he had to do here, and he would see it finished, he was going to drive to the park where they took walks. He had a handgun in the glovebox. 
 

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