Friday, February 21, 2020

Mallards air-braking (fiction)

Milo, Gimp and the others on the Wallace Road firing positions heard the convoy before they saw it.

Shading the binos to avoid alerting the hostiles with reflection from the lenses, Gimp studied the trucks coming their way.

“Looks like a tank in front” Gimp called out loudly enough for everybody to hear. “Then three flatbeds behind that.”

Studying a bit more, Gimp announced “It looks like there is about forty feet between each vehicle.

“Jimmy and Gabe, you take out the driver and the person riding shotgun in the tank.’ Gimp said.

Jimmy and Gabe had AR-10s, semi-automatic rifles that fired the NATO 7.62X51mm round. They both had full magazines of armor piercing rounds.

“After you take out the people in the cab, knock out the goons in the box” Gimp said.

Then he called out six more names, three on the north side of the span over westbound I-96 and three who were in line with the median.

“OK, one last time” Gimp said. “I start the party. When I start shooting, everybody else service their designated target. If you get a confirmed, hard kill, then start shooting the goons in the back of the dump-truck.” Gimp said.

He got six “Roger, wilcos” in reply.

“What do you want the rest of us to do?” Milo asked.

“Well, if you don’t mind, what do you think of jumping in those trucks after they stop rolling and driving them a half mile up the road.” Gimp said.

Milo cocked an eyebrow signifying a desire for more information.

“I want the next convoy coming up the road to see those trucks before they get to the bridge. Maybe they won’t be looking for ambush here.” Gimp said.

Gimp told the men to lower their heads.

Gimp got down, prone. People look for “heads” up high. They don’t look for heads below guardrails and mostly obscured by the post.

Gimp fired when the lead truck was about sixty yards out. He wanted a quick hard kill on all the trucks in the hope that they would not have the presence of mind to work the radio.

It was the proverbial shooting fish in a barrel. Even though the trucks were moving, they were moving straight toward the shooters. The shooters were above the targets and the shots hit slightly high, but not enough to make a material difference.

Gimp drilled the expanse of steel plate that covered the windshield of the “tank” focusing on where he imagined the driver to be. Then, as he saw Jimmy’s fire punching holes in the steel plate, he switched to the driver of the rearmost vehicle. If both of those vehicles were incapacitated, then the other two would be trapped.

The ambushers were lucky. The driver of the lead vehicle lived long enough to mash on the brakes. The truck immediately behind him plowed into the back of it and left the road. The third truck slew violently sideways, started to roll, righted and then stalled. The last truck ran into the median before puttering to a stop.

Milo and the rest of the crew dashed down the embankment to the level of the free way.

Milo had his handgun in his right hand as he ripped the driver’s door of the “tank” open.

The driver would have flopped out except for his seat-belt. Multiple, tumbling .30 caliber bullets make a mess of meat.

Milo disengaged the buckle of the seat belt and raked the driver out.

He saw the passenger yanked out the other door. Milo waved the helper back. It only took one person to drive.

Three more men quickly volunteered to drive the three flat-beds.

As they got the convoy moving west, Milo got a call on the radio.

“We heard shots. Is everything OK?” came the disembodied voice across the radio.

Thinking quickly, Milo lied “Hello no! Everything is not OK. We just ran into a bunch of broken glass and had a bunch of blow-outs. We are moving good tires to get two running vehicles and will leave the two non-runners at...” Milo looked at a passing mile marker “near mile marker 124.”

Looking in his rear-view mirror, Milo could see that he had gone far enough down the road. The next convoy would catch a glimpse of the vehicles before dropping down into the West Branch valley and then see them again when they were two hundred yards east of the Wallace Road overpass.

Then they would be mallards air-braking and dropping into a spread of decoys. Easy meat.

As an afterthought, Milo ripped the hot cable from the battery post. The last thing he wanted was for a transponder to tell Livingston County that all four vehicles were stationary. Better they should have no information and have suspicions than to have good information.

As Milo jogged past the trucks heading back toward the Wallace Road overpass, he noticed that the three flatbeds were carrying four water-cubes each.

He wondered how long it would be before then convoy was missed on the other end and a second convoy loaded and sent their way.


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