Quinn’s three guys on the roof had been watching as the small group bombed the hooch. They saw where they had scurried back to.
Two of the guys were men Quinn considered “shooters” and one was what he considered “place-holders”.
The place-holders did not duck down after shooting. He was trying to see the results of his shooting.
The attackers on the ground saw the blooms of light from the muzzle blasts. The Guatemalan ammo was particularly bright. Flash suppressors don’t eliminate the flash. Rather, they reduce the amount of light the shooter is exposed to with the hope that the shooter’s night vision is not totally nuked.
Ronnie Rubberneck did not survive the fusillade of bullets the attackers unleashed at the roof.
Quinn and the other fighters who were on the ground took advantage of the chaos to start picking off the attackers who were fifty yards from the hooch.
After the first few rounds, Quinn ability to discriminate detail in the dark was gone. He was picking out muzzle-blasts and then sending one down-range, biased slightly to the left.
Quinn ran on muscle memory. Shoot, slide over. Shoot slide over.
The biasing to the left was almost his undoing. He had fired three times at one of the attackers without effect when the attacker turned around and started shooting at Quinn.
Guessing, Quinn deduced that perhaps his target was a lefty. One more round put the target down.
But by then, the attackers realized they were getting fired at from south of their position.
Fortunately, Quinn and his squad had solid cover to shoot from. They had whittled down the attackers by about ten but that wasn’t enough to make a material difference. Two of Quinn’s fighters had picked up wounds but Quinn had no way to assess the severity.
That is when the day-shift guys decided to not wait for Quinn’s signal to start. It was a face-plant moment for Quinn. He had forgotten he was supposed to be running the counter-attack.
After losing another fifteen fighters, the attackers withdrew by heading west, then south. Even though the retreat was orderly and well executed, the defenders were able to render another five fighters “ineffective”.
A quick nose count revealed Quinn was down to thirteen fighters. The good news was that the attackers used the same rifles as Quinn’s squad and the magazines were interchangeable.
Quinn now had ammo but he had very few tactical options. A second wave would likely have more fighters than the first wave and Quinn’s forces would break.
General Patrick’s force was handily holding off the fighters from Washtenaw County. His house was built on an “island” in the swamp and it had been necessary to bring in countless yards of fill to raise the roadbed into a causeway over the bog.
The causeway funneled the attackers and the defenders were at little risk of being flanked.
It also helped that General Patrick's personal guards had their own, personal stash of ammo.
The flip side was that General Patrick was pinned down at his house.
The Washtenaw County fighters tasked with attacking the outpost where Strider and Lieutenant Martens were station got sloppy.
They pulled back and radioed for direction after they got peppered with fire from the defending forces.
Unfortunately, that tiny engagement was sufficient to burn through the five-rounds per rifle and nearly everybody was skosh on ammo.
Martens stepped out of the bunker and radioed General Patrick.
“This place is a death-trap. We are out of ammo. We are going to bug-out.” Martens informed Patrick.
That was not entirely true. Some of the rifles still had ammo because the corroded cases had locked up the actions tighter than a drum. They had a little bit of ammo caused the rifles to malfunction.
“You will stay and defend Livingston County.” Patrick ordered Martens.
“With what?” Martens asked. “Sharp sticks? Harsh words?”
“Hand-to-hand combat if you have to.” General Patrick snapped back.
Martens briefly considered the possibility that the attack was nothing more than a probing raid. Then Corn Dog reported in.
“We were able to push back the attack” Corn Dog said. “Estimate it was thirty-to-sixty fighters.”
“Unfortunately, my scout on I-96 tells me that reinforcements are arriving. We are moving to our secondary firing-positions. Corn Dog out.”
That settled it for Martens. Probes don’t have reinforcements.
Going into the bunker, Martens announced “I just got off the radio with General Patrick. He gave the order to bug-out. He said to preserve what you can, to stay in touch and to be ready to retake Livingston County when we are sufficiently armed.”
Strider tapped Martens’ arm. “Are you staying?”
“No” Martens said. “I have family up in St. Johns. I will try to make it there.”
“St. Johns, north of Lansing?” Strider asked.
“Well, yeah. Why?” Martens asked.
“Mind if we go with you?” Strider asked. “Three is a lot more likely to make it than one.”
Now Martens was confused. “Three?”
By way of answering, Strider whistled and said, “Dog, time to hit the road.”
Dog’s stump tail indicated that Dog was more than ready to go.