Thursday, February 20, 2020

When plans meet reality (fiction)

Wade Hawk called back to Chernovsky “Something weird is going on.”

Wade Hawk and Mike Danek had just come back from plugging up the drain-tiles on the West Branch and Doan Creek. Work had gone much faster than expected. Wade, confronted with the physical limitations of being over seventy-five years old, made some executive decisions.

One advantage of being a little older is that you know people. Wade called in some favors and paid hard, cash money to get the work done. In this case hard, cash money meant silver.

Wade and Mike had no sooner settled in back home when they got the call to man the fighting positions that protected Kate’s Store.

Wade grumbled. He lived a quarter-mile from the store but the new fighting position was a mile-and-a-quarter north of his home. He grabbed the backpack he took east to plug the drain-tiles. He threw in a few snacks and a couple 2 liter bottles of water. He assumed it was a false alarm and would be back home in a few hours.

Walking out the door, he picked up his .270 Winchester. Everybody else was toting .30 caliber rifles but those arms brought Wade no joy. Wade was old-school, he would dance with the one that brung him.

Sure-as-shit, early the second day a group of armored vehicles made their way up Gunn Road, heading directly toward Kate’s store. The lead vehicle was a dump truck with a deep box. Wade could see the barrel of a belt-fed weapon protruding above the high sides of the box.

The dump truck was followed by what looked like a prison transport van.

The last vehicle was a flat-bed truck.

Steel plate covered the windshields and side windows of the vehicles. The plates were painted primer gray. To Wade’s surprise, there were no viewing slots cut in the windshields. Looking through his scope, he saw pods mounted on the roofs of the trucks. His best guess was that they were web cams.

Wade made a tactical decision. As the lead truck approached the second blast zone, Wade had his demo expert fire the southern but not the northern charges. Wade’s team would know soon enough how well the trucks’ backup cameras worked.

Wade had no need for glory. He let the other shooters do the shooting. His job was to “run” the operation, not pull the trigger.

Countless hours and endless bottles of beer had been used up discussing the best way to incapacitate improvised, armored vehicles. The consensus was that the side windows were the weak point.

Windshields are sloped for aerodynamic reasons. Sloped armor was one of the reasons for the Soviet T-34’s incredible survivability under fire. Side windows, are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. They have very little tilt and are easier to penetrate.

Take out the driver and the vehicle is dead-in-the-water. Everything else can be dealt with at the ambushers’ leisure.

The flurry of armor-piercing, .30 caliber bullets made Swiss cheese of the driver’s side windows of all three vehicles. If three shots was probably sufficient, then thirty was ten times better.

It was not just the projectiles bouncing around the cabs of the trucks like peas in a whistle, but the slug of material that the projectiles punched out of the armor.

Wade knew that there would be no need to blow the second set of explosives when the brake lights on the trailing vehicle went off and it idled into the vehicle ahead of it.

That is when the script left the rails.

The fighters who poured out of the prisoner transport van did something they had never done before, they fought back.

In the previous Livingston County raid, the fighters surrendered en masse as soon as the vehicles were disabled.

Not only did the fighters not surrender, but they mounted a spirited counter-attack.

Wade cursed and dropped his radio. Picking up his trusty .270, he started prick-punching hostiles from 400 yards out. He had chosen his position based on the ability to see the entire battle, not optimum shooting range. His men who were closer were not able to see the Livingston County fighters closing with them. Wade could.

There were no un-wounded survivors from the Livingston County side. That was unusual in the extreme.

Wade Hawk called back to Chernovsky “Something weird is going on.”

“What’s that?” Chernovsky asked. Things were going pretty well on his end.

“I am at the roadblock north of Kate’s store.” Wade said.

Wade thought all the extra words were a waste of time. Chernovsky SHOULD know where Wade was. Chernovsky put him there. But Gimp said everybody should be repeatedly redundantly repeated in their radio transmissions and Chernovsky agreed. Wade would play the game.

“I copy” Chernovsky said “message from Wade Hawk at Kate’s store roadblock.”

Wade rolled his eyes.

“We just took out a raid heading south toward Kate’s store.” Wade said.

Wade could not see Chernovsky nodding his head.

“They fought back.” Wade said.

“That is sort of their job.” Chernovsky said in a dismissive way.

“Mebbe so” Wade said. “But we took two causalities and out of maybe twenty hostiles we took mebbe three prisoners, and they were all severely wounded. I am not sure they are going to make it.”

“Let me repeat, hostiles fought to the last man standing” Wade Hawk said.

Chernvosky frowned. “Please repeat.”

“We got the drop on them. Everything worked better than expected. They fought back even when it was clear they had lost.” Wade said.

“Copy that” Chernovsky said. “Hostiles fought back much harder than expected.”

Looking over at his small support staff Chernovsky said “Probably an elite fighting force.”

Even so, the fighting will of the Livingston County forces was far in excess of what they had ever seen before. It did not bode well. Chernovsky might have dismissed the report if it had come from somebody else, but he knew Wade had seen the elephant and was not inclined to exaggerate.



  1. Chernovsky and company don't know about Benicio's message.

    1. Benicio recorded the torture and killing of all Livingston County survivors. He recorded it as video on a smartphone and shipped it back with the one survivor...who had his hands cut off and his eyes burned out.

      That kind of message can play out two different ways.

  2. Yep, now it gets interesting... No quarter asked or given.

    1. In this situation, I don't see how there can be one, unless one side believes that slavery is better than death. Capiche would surely become slaves, and you will not be able to trust an independent Livingstone after you defeat them. That's why I thought it would be a good idea for Quinn to foment a revolution, but time for that idea is long gone.

    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    3. Possible. I would ask, though, "Where are his troops?" He will know the folks back home are going to attrit the ones on the road, but can't know how much. He needs to have troops that can take the remainder on, and I don't think it's the bunch he has at the warehouse. Maybe someone has some stashed somewhere.

      We'll see where Joe takes the story.

  3. Been following and reading your work for many years now. Excellently done.
    I do like now after the collapse everything has turned tribal. I do find it odd that Livingston County has actually hung together. As a Livingston County native, I can attest that the area's of Hartland, Howell, and Brighton are quite different and somewhat competitive toward each other.
    At least they were for the fist 30 years of my life before I left.
    Now, the redneck component of Livingston County is definitely something to behold.


  4. I'm intimately familiar with the landmarks you describe, and can picture most of what you are writing about in my minds eye. Especially as someone who grew up amongst the Tree Trimmer set, and as someone who would clog the damns in area's like Parshalville, and Argentine during the spring sucker runs to go spearing, not to mention having whole country blocks to go hunting on as a kid, so long as I would stop by and give a pheasant or rabbit to the local farmers. Helps when you go to the same high school as your parents. My last impression though was when I went to my last grandparents funeral about 8or so years ago. They've turned Livingston County into one giant parking lot strip mall. For shame. Guessing someone got rich.



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