Friday, May 11, 2018

Installment 4.11: Trick or treat

A storm system blew into the central valley pinning all seven mobile groups into camp.  As darkness fell groups of two and three recruits slipped out of the camp to “forage”.  A half mile outside of camp one group of foragers found a recently abandoned cabin.  While rummaging through the house one of the foragers saw a bit of shiny plastic in the back of a cabinet.  He was surprised as he had been sure that this house had been cleaned out.  It was a bag of individually wrapped caramels.  The name of the lucky forager was Jason.  Jason shared some with his buddies and used a handful later that night to bed one of the women soldiers. 

She, in turn, handed them out to her friends, trading them for fingernail polish, a spritz of perfume, a few charms for her wristband and other things that are important to young women.

None of them noticed the slight fecal odor.  The amount of paper for wiping had not been updated when the mission was changed from a 30 mile per hour dash down I-5 into a ten day expedition.  The scanty supply of paper had quickly run out and people were wiping with their hand and cleaning with cold water.  Everything smelled slightly fecal.

The same basic story played out with several groups of “lucky” foragers in each camp.


Later that night a 107mm rocket round flew into camp and detonated near the fuel storage laager.  Crews quickly manned the Godzillas, powering them up and waiting for another round to come in so they could return fire.  Twenty minutes later, just as most of the crews were nodding off, another round came in from a slightly different firing point.

Lacking a spotter the crews were not sure of the exact location of the mortar but they enthusiastically returned fire.

If the detonating mortar rounds had not awakened the whole camp they were awakened as fourteen 122mm howitzers fired multiple shells.

The rocket crews harried the camp from midnight until dawn, varying the time between shots from twenty minutes to two hours and moving crews around so the artillery crews were never sure where the next shot was coming from.  The rocket launch crews were just as limited by the lack of spotters as the defending artillery but their primary targets, the fuel tankers, were much larger.  None of the fuel trucks caught fire but many of them developed leaks.

Next installment


  1. Mr. Bruce - Life before the advent of bleach and shades of Typhoid Mary. Disease has always killed more than armaments historically.


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