Saturday, October 24, 2020

Home-field advantage: The fog of war

Alyssa shivered as she waited in the air-lock between the outside doors and the interior of the Hall-of-Justice.

Word had gotten around that she was there and roving groups of….lovers?….had been rattling the handles on the doors to gain entry.

The Hall-of-Justice was an architectural marvel. The outside doors were heavy panes of tempered glass.

Alyssa was unsure about the amount of abuse the doors could sustain.

She was regretting having used so much of the can of wasp-spray she carried in her purse on the security cam. Katy had told her the thick, foaming gel was just the ticket for blinding cameras. Unfortunately, she could not put it back into the can to use on the groups of thugs that appeared intent on breaking into the building.

She heard a clatter coming down the stairs.


Things were not going well for Alex’s defense.

The operators on three of the water-cannons had been rendered inop in the short time he had been hyper-focused on neutralizing Tarkenton and riotors were climbing over the fence.

The rioters who had pushed through the tangle-foot were now pushing on the 8-strand, barbed wire fence.

They didn’t have a chance of pushing through it because each double-wire strand had a breaking strength of 1500 pounds. What pushing on the wires accomplished, though, was to tighten the wire so agile rioters could gingerly climb over the six-foot tall fence.

Once inside the fence, they could find pockets where the water-cannons could not traverse and reach them.

Alex swatted the one operator who was at 100% to get his attention and told him to focus on knocking climbers off the fence.

Then Alex dashed over the closest cannon and directed the first man he saw to hop on the cannon and start blasting riotors.

“How does it work?” Old man McCorkle asked. He was willing to give it a try.

“Figure it out” Alex shot back as he dashed to the next cannon.

McCorkle had been watching the riot unfold and had noticed that the rioters had become proficient at dancing out of the way of the oncoming blast of water.

McCorkle noticed how everybody in the crowd was converging on the newly made gap in the tangle-foot. He sighted through the crude peep sights and aligned them with the middle of the gap. Then he cranked the quarter-turn valve on the side of the barrel.

A couple of the riotors had hopped over the top of the fence before the first water-cannon operator started methodically working the fence.

The single water cannon could not quite keep up so a few rioters were getting over here-and-there.

This side of the eight-strand fence, they were below the most intense part of the lights and could actually see. They started carefully picking their way through the tangle-foot. 


Alyssa had a plan. If she could convince Bert to pretend to kiss her, perhaps the thugs would get the message that THIS entryway was taken. Perhaps they would go away.

The door at the bottom of the stairwell sprang open and the opening was filled by the largest man she had ever seen in her life.

"Are you Uncle Bert?" Alyssa asked.

Surprised, Bert said "Yes."

Alyssa threw her arms around his neck to pull him down. "Kiss me" she insisted.

Bert initially resisted but then bent his head.


Molotov Cocktails started coming over the barrier again.

Alex called Darryl. “What the hell is going on? I thought you guys had this handled.”

“We are on it” Darryl said. “We have a slight complication that is slowing us down but we are whittling them down.”

The complication was the wind direction. It had clocked around a bit more to the south and the men chucking the fire bombs were turning their backs to the wind to light the wicks. That had the unhappy consequence of blocking the shooter’s line-of-sight and their rules of engagement were to shoot after they had captured the thermal bloom on their scopes.

Of course, they had ample evidence after the men had thrown their fire-bombs and they acted on that evidence.

That was small comfort to the defenders on the receiving end of the incendiary devices.


That was when Vince hissed at me "We have company!"

That was hard to miss.

The defenses along the western edge of the neighborhood were the least defended because it offered the least cover to attackers.

But just because relatively few resources were invested in the defense did not mean that our pants were pulled down.

We had run an ad hoc power-line fifty yards east of the train-tracks and approximately 370 yards west of our position on the berm. The power-line was connected to one of the ubiquitous, Honda generators and a picket-line of motion-activated lights were powered by it.

Those lights were coming on and illuminating forms percolating through the rail-cars on the spur.

Gregious had picked up a few more homies somewhere and decided to crash the party.


That about when Brice Cunningham decided it was time to start helping the Marxists.

The chopper had a three-beam Nightsun spotlight system. Cunningham powered it up and started shining it toward the defenders, telling the camera-man it was to help him get better footage.



  1. You know, those really powerful spotlights are very easy to shoot out. Just saying...

    And all it takes is breaking the housing that the lamp sits in. The lamps are so strong, they will break from differential cooling. In fact, they'll actively tear themselves apart, rapidly. Like explosively.

    Though shooting down the helo works, too!

  2. No plan ever survives first contact. The winner will be determined by the backup plans/ability to think on the fly!

  3. If you worry someone will use bright light as a weapon, a corner reflector will always return it to its source.

  4. I'm hoping Brice doesn't end up with a good ending.


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