***Note from the author: This is fiction. Since this is far outside my normal areas of expertise, I am extremely grateful when readers point out major errors. Please continue to do so***
Suddenly, I was a purchasing officer.
I was sitting in on the three-times-a-day meetings between Alex (leader of the neighborhood), Brad and Darryl. When I wasn’t with Brad I was scrounging equipment to use for the defense.
The challenge of purchasing is that it takes time to spend money. I know that seems odd to somebody with a daffy relative who watches Home Shopping Network.
It takes time to decide what is needed.
It takes time to find the needed equipment.
It takes time for the seller to get it prepped.
Shipping takes time.
Installation and training on the user’s end takes time.
By Tuesday evening, it was pretty clear the Marxists were going to wait for the next weekend. Pretty clear, but not 100% sure. Consequently, the preps could not leave the neighborhood spread-eagle and vulnerable at any time.
Brad and Darryl disappeared every evening and spent the night dozing somewhere between Spencer Avenue and the Hall-of-Justice. They said it was important they do that so they could see what the neighborhoods looked like at night. And what they sounded like and smelled like.
It was also two sets of eyes, and ears and weapons between the probable threat and the neighborhood. There would be some warning and something to disrupt the attacker’s cadence if they decided to attack on a weekday-night.
Back to the problem of purchasing:
It is difficult to formulate a viable defense if you have no clue about the attacker’s.
Fortunately, there was a great deal of information about the Marxists. For example, they nearly always dropped the power-grid when rioting.
That did several things for them. For one, it disabled most home-security systems. It also dropped out the street-lights.
The Marxists had shown a very deft hand in which neighborhoods they dropped the lighting on and when they did it. It was obvious that it was being coordinated in some way.
As the Quartermaster, one of my tasks was to find some way to negate the tactical advantage the Marxists gained, in fact relied upon, when they played with the lighting.
Brad and Darryl had some very strong beliefs about “gimmicks”. It was their belief that any gimmick or “trick-play” made the other side more vulnerable if the defenders had the wit to exploit that reliance.
That unshakable belief launched many spirited discussions.
Brad and Darryl also believed that technology was a two-edged sword. Technology that you have not mastered is as likely to be a liability as an advantage. The battlefield is chaos. Anything that tempts you to look down while you fumble-finger controls takes your eyes of rapidly developing threats. Threats that can kill you.
One quick example of “technology” that came up early on. Darryl and his half-squad took the southern defense which included the high school.
Darryl asked me to purchase twenty parkas and a hundred feet of 4”, corrugated, plastic drain-tile as well as a few other, miscellaneous items.
After delivering the items on his eclectic list I asked him what he was going to do with them.
That is when he showed me how to drape a parka over a folding chair with a length of sewer-pipe sticking out through the head-hole. It took Darryl less than 90 seconds to set it up, and that included cutting the length of sewer-pipe with his Kabar.
Then, pointing to the base of the chair Darryl said, “I put one of those votive candles down there then that 10 inches of sewer pipe will look enough like a human head through infrared to fool most people.
We don’t have enough people to defend the neighborhood from all approaches, but suppose you saw twenty-five snipers on the roof of the high school...don’t you think most people would choose a different way into the neighborhood?
In fact, it seemed like Brad and Darryl were putting more effort into funneling the impending attack than in setting up defenses.
“Do you have a chainsaw?” Brad asked.
“Does a bear shit in the woods?” I replied.
The trouble with being a smart-ass is that I ended up spending most of one day cutting down shade trees.
Brad marked them with a simple dot. Once he knew I was capable of dropping trees in a specific direction (Thanks True Blue!) he put the dot on the side he wanted the tree to fall in.
I dropped A LOT of trees, including trees on the streets Brad and Darryl WANTED the aggressors to come down.
When I asked, Brad said “If we make it too simple, they will smell a trap. We just have to make the approaches we want them to use to be just a little bit less competently obstructed.”
I wasn’t exactly sure what “formula” Brad was using but he did consult with Alex and Darryl several times and did multiple “walk-throughs” from the direction of the Hall-of-Justice.
I guess that made sense. Frustrate the aggressors. Break up their tempo. Disrupt their logistics. Whittle away at their numbers every step of the way.