By nine in the morning, the lead elements of the Sedelia invasion were forming up in the vast parking lots north of Shaw Avenue and east of Cal 168.
Trucks loaded with generators, welding supplies, groceries and the like had been arriving since six and they were staging in the area set aside for logistics in the parking lots west of Woodrow Ave. Direct assault elements were east of Woodrow.
The raw reality of the scattered, unorganized avalanche of men and materials demanded that the effort become self-organizing. The core-team arbitrarily decided to launch waves every four hours.
The first wave to launch consisted of most of the Godzillas, a quarter of the Armored Personnel Carriers, half of the best battle-tested troops, several trucks that were partially loaded with groceries and a fleet of flat-bed farm trucks and a scant, few buses.
The grocery trucks were only partially loaded because there was not time to cross-load. Fork trucks simply pulled ¾ of the load off each truck. While there was no way to be certain, it was expected that the three thousand hungry prisoners would not turn their noses up at Dinty Moore Beef Stew, Pop-Tarts, Granola bars, carrots and Mountain Dew soda pop made with REAL cane sugar.
The flat-bed trucks sported an eclectic assortment of hardware. Some had Soviet era GPU 14.5mm anti-aircraft machine guns. Some were rolling, sandbagged sniper nests. Some had generators that were started and left running for the duration. Some had miscellaneous welding and machine tools. Others had tow-truck stingers, slings, booms and rigging.
Trucks and helicopters continued to arrive in Fresno even as the convoy headed north on 168 toward the frontier, thirty miles to the north. One helicopter stopped on the southbound freeway to off-load a special passenger just before the convoy reached the frontier. Her name was Dee Evans. She was an eleventh hour addition to the manifest.
The convoy drove up the southbound lanes as no traffic was coming from Cali even as traffic was backed up fifteen miles into Sedelia.
Hopping out of the lead, rolling sniper-nest, Bucky walked up to the eight lanes of turnstiles that had brought all north-south traffic to a halt.
Walking up to a gruff looking trucker standing at the southbound turnstiles. Buckey addressed the man who was wearing a leather H-D vest and sporting a mullet, a neat trick when you are balding. “Hey, Fuck-head. That you stopping up traffic?” Buckey shouted.
Fuck-head hawked and spit. “Its pronounced ‘Foo-Chard’, dumb-shit.” The men clasped hands like old friends.
“Been listening to the chatter?” Buckey asked, referring to the CB radio that old time truckers still used.
“Yeah. Was wondering when you would get here.” ‘Foo-Chard’ said.
“Here is the plan:” Buckey announced. “We drop the turnstiles in the two southbound lanes closest to the median. We can't get to the northbounds because of the stacked up traffic. We got generators and plasma-arc cutters. It will take us about five minutes.”
“Then, you move the five vehicles closest to the turnstiles through but don’t let anybody else move. We drive through the gap you opened up. Then you guys can go.” Buckey said.
“What are you going to do if number six decides to follow the first five?” Foo-Chard asked.
Buckey eloquently pointed to the flat-beds bristling with gun barrels. “They die.” he said with no drama or emphasis.
“Gonna take you ten minutes to drive through the gap. Don’t suppose you could keep cutting the turn-stiles while that is happening?” Foo-Chard stated.
Buckey considered for a couple of seconds. “I can leave one flat-bed with a generator and cutter. We can drop one more south bound lane and open up three north bound lanes in that time. Then they are going to have to haul ass to get up to the next set of turn-stiles. That do-ya?” Buckey counter-offered.
“Works for me.” Foo-Chard said.
Then Foo-Chard walked up to the vehicles that were sixth in line and had a short chat with the drivers. He suggested that they pull the keys from the ignition and sit on them for the next twenty minutes...if they wanted to live to see tomorrow.
Foo-Chard had a certain charisma that made him difficult to argue with. Some of the drivers who were sixth in line decided to take a short walk and take a leak. They did not plan on stopping once they started moving