Pep and the "boys" were making good time. Of course, they would have preferred a short, fifteen mile run to safety rather than forty.
Pep's plan had taken advantage of a truck-ride to within a night's march of where the high school. Nobody on Ann Arbor's side was expecting a truck to sneak in from the Buffer-Zone.
They spent the day in a mosquito-infested wild-life sanctuary. Since everything larger than tadpole in the sanctuary had been harvested for meat, Pep and the squad had been the only food available to the mosquitoes.
After a hellish day, the squad moved to the high school and burned through their ammo load.
Now they were hoofing it north and then west. They alternated running a couple of miles north and then turned on a convenient gravel road and hoofed it another couple-three miles west.
Pep didn't want make it easy for pursuers to guess what road they would be on. There is no point in making it easy for pursuers to set up a road-block that will catch you.
Nobody bothered them.
None of the local residents called the authorities to inform them that a nearly silent group of men had run past their farm.
The good citizens of Ann Arbor had been well trained to mind their own business.
Sayed's troops somehow deduced the mortar shells were coming in from the north. Squads raced west and north intending to cut off the attackers before they made it to safety.
Things looked grim, that is, until twenty of Sayed's fighters who had been making good time on Allen Road tumbled headlong into the ambush.
The locals had informants everywhere and this was their home-turf. The resulting fire-fight dwarfed the little dust-up on the rail grade. None of Sayed's troops who were traveling west on Allen Road survived. The locals noted the uniforms, such as they wore, and that hardened their dislike of the Ann Arbor fighters.
"Hey, I found one who is alive!" the first responder yelled.
Performing a quick, preliminary examination the responder determined that the victim had probable spinal damage. He could not move his legs or toes, nor could he feel pain in his lower extremities. The victim's pupils did not dilate evenly. The patient could blink his eyes on command but did not appear to be able to speak.
"I need a back-board over here!" the first responder yelled.
The scene of the aerial bombing was a total goat festival.
Fighters with semi-automatic weapons were scanning the sky. Magazines were in place and live rounds were in the chamber.
Klieg lights lit the area and swept the sky.
Secret police were rounding up "suspects" from nearby neighborhoods on the possibility that they had helped target the house.
People with actual military experience tried to point out that multiple, 100 pound bombs would have leveled entire neighborhoods, not just two houses.
They were, of course, ignored. Thousands of people had heard the planes fly in from the west and then bomb the houses by the church.
Nobody was looking for Pepperoni and his squad.