Authors: Robert Boren
Bugout! Part 4
Mortars and Motorhomes
Robert G Boren
Frank and Jane have become part of a tightly knit unit, and that’s a good thing, because their group is getting attacked from all sides. The foreign and domestic enemies they’ve been fighting have teamed up. More foreign fighters flood in from the north, over the long open border between the United States and Canada. The U.S. Army finally takes notice of our friends, and sends two officers and a small force in to help them, but then there’s an ambush, and half of that force gets wiped out, as our friends continue to fight for their lives. Officer Simmons, the shadowy man who tried to destroy them before, shows himself. Is he behind the attacks? Or is he actually a on our side, working for the agency? Can he be trusted?
“How are you nice folks doing?” asked Officer Simmons
as he got out of the car. “I’m Officer Simmons.” He shook hands with Major Hobbs, and then looked over at Frank, who had a terrified look on his face.
“You remember who I am?” asked Frank.
“You don’t forget being shot,” Officer Simmons said. He had a smirk on his face. “If I wouldn’t have had body armor to deflect your shot, I wouldn’t be here now. Why the hell were you packing a .44 mag anyway?”
Frank ignored the question. “So what now?” he asked.
“You don’t need to worry about me,” Officer Simmons said. “I was trying to keep you guys in the Williams campsite because I thought you were all part of the militia. I know now that you weren’t, and I’m sorry about that.”
“We’ve continued to hear stories about you working against, and then with, the militia,” Frank said. “Which is it?”
“Both have been true at different times, Frank,” he said.
“You know my name?”
“Of course, we’ve been watching you and your group for a while now.”
“You’ve had spies in our group?” Frank asked.
“Actually, I got my initial info from Lewis. We captured him after you took out Hank and Ken.”
“Where’s Lewis now?” asked Frank.
“What do you need from us?” asked Major Hobbs.
“The agency needs to know who the active Islamist fighters are in this area,” he said. “We have profiles on many of the Islamists that have come up from the south. We know very little about the group coming down from Canada. I’m here to inspect bodies, if that’s possible.”
“We noticed one big difference today,” Frank said. “In both attacks. There were no militia men with the Islamist fighters. In the several incidents we’ve had prior to that, they were working together.”
true,” Officer Simmons said. “That isn’t good. That means that these latest attacks are probably coming from the north. The militia is still active with the southern Islamic forces.”
“I’ll bet it also means that there’s communication between the northern and southern forces,” Frank said. “Otherwise, how would they know about us?”
“Yeah, I think you’re right about that,” Officer Simmons said. “Also not good.”
“Do you have any idea why this RV Park is getting all the attention?” asked Frank. “There’s a town close by.”
“You guys have hurt the southern group, and you’ve taken supplies,” Officer Simmons said. “Their biggest problem is re-supply. Hitting a gun shop in town for hunting weapons doesn’t make sense when you guys have a growing number of their AK-47s and a ton of their ammo.”
“I agree, but there’s more to it,” Major Hobbs said. “In town, you have people spread around in houses that can take a fair amount of small arms fire. The Islamists would have to go house to house to take over, and it’s likely they would fail. Here things are much easier. Small arms fire would go through an RV like a hot knife through butter. You only have a few buildings in this park that are defendable at all, and it would be much easier for the enemy to be successful against them than all of those houses in town.”
“That doesn’t make me feel very secure,” Frank said.
“You shouldn’t feel secure anywhere around here,” Officer Simmons said. “You’re in the thick of things at this point.”
“So I’ve heard, from Major Hobbs and Major Darcy,” Frank said. “They basically said that we’re going to have to step in as citizens and join the fight against the Islamists, since so much of the US Army is tied up in Mexico.”
“I would agree with that assessment,” Officer Simmons said. “In fact, often the best defense is a good offense. If you go destroy their supplies over and over again, they’re going to be in trouble. They can’t rely on air drops for re-supply. The Air Force has complete air superiority, and they’re taking down any unidentified aircraft in short order.”
“Why don’t we go take a look at the bodies up front, Officer Simmons,” Major Hobbs said. “And then we’ll take you to the back. Some of the bodies back there are in bad shape, though. There were about twelve in the back of a truck that we hit dead center with a mortar round. It isn’t pretty.”
“I’d better spread the word around about Officer Simmons with the rest of the group here,” Frank said. “Most of them still think you’re the bogie man.”
Officer Simmons laughed at that.
“Well, I must admit, I did everything I could to foster that image, and it needs to stay intact outside of this group, so please let them know that as well.”
“Got it,” Frank said. “Glad you’re on our side.”
Officer Simmons smiled and nodded, and then he and the Major went out to the front area. Frank went into the clubhouse.
Jane, Jasmine, Chester came over to Frank. Rosie slowly made her way over too.
“What’s wrong?” Jane asked. “You look like you’ve just seen a ghost.”
“I was just talking to a CIA agent with Major Hobbs. Guess who it was?”
The group stared at him blankly.
Jane put her hand to her mouth.
“Oh no,” she said. “Did he come for you?”
“It’s alright. He’s been on our side all along.”
“According to him?” asked Chester. “I remember that guy when he first came over to Williams. He was a jerk.”
“How long ago was that?” Frank asked.
“Not long before the trouble really got started,” Chester said.
“He was placed there by the CIA. They probably had their eye on the Williams Militia after what happened down in Yuma.”
“Well, if it’s true, that would explain a few things,” Chester said. “It bothers me that the police chief in Williams left and committed suicide like he did, though.”
“His wife was sick, wasn’t she?” asked Jane. “Didn’t that explain it?”
“Maybe,” Chester said. “Probably. I have a suspicious nature, in case you haven’t noticed.”
“That true….you won’t take me back to your rig,” Rosie said, grinning. “You think I take advantage of you.”
“I couldn’t handle a wild gal like you, Rosie,” Chester said. He smiled at her warmly.
“We handle each other,” she said.
“Mom! Stop that,” Jasmine said. “Behave yourself.”
“Wet blanket,” she said. She looked over at Chester and smiled at him. “I still try.”
Frank just shook his head and grinned.
“Let’s pass around the word that Officer Simmons is now a good guy,” Frank said. “But he needs to keep his cover, so don’t tell any outsiders anything about him.”
The group nodded.
“I’ll go up and talk to Jeb and Charlie about it, and bring them some fresh water, too,” Frank said, and he turned to go. Jane followed him, with Lucy.
“Mind if I tag along?” she asked.
“Of course not.” They stopped by the kitchen and filled a couple water bottles. Then they walked the short distance to the store and went up the back stairs. Charlie and Jeb were both sitting at the façade, looking out. They turned when Frank and Jane reached the top of the stairs.
“Hi, guys,” Frank said. “Here’s some fresh water.”
Both of them smiled and nodded.
“Was that who I think it was down there?” asked Charlie.
“Yes, it was Officer Simmons,” Frank said. “He’s a CIA agent.”
“Government spook, huh?” Jeb asked. “I don’t trust government spooks.”
“Well, he appears to be on our side at this point,” Frank said. “I just wanted to let you guys know so you wouldn’t shoot him on sight.”
“I’ll try not to,” Jeb said.
“So what’s his story?” asked Charlie.
“He’s here to look at Islamist bodies from the battles today. I think the agency is trying to figure out if the folks active around here are from the north or from the south, and if they are working together already. He did ask that we not tell any outsiders about him. He wants to retain that shadowy image that he has.”
“I had my rifle on him the whole time he was out there talking to you,” Charlie said. “I’ll be nice, but I’ll have an eye on him at all times.”
“Same here,” Jeb said.
“And same here,” Frank said. “Hopefully he is who he says he is.”
“How’s my Hilda?” Charlie asked.
“Sleeping, last time I checked her,” Jane said. “Rosie is a nurse, and she’s been taking care of her. The doc is still here, though.”
“Good,” Charlie said. “I don’t know what I’d do if she got killed.”
“Softy,” Jeb said, chuckling.
“Hey, I was a confirmed bachelor for quite a while,” he said. “Sometimes you owe it to yourself to live a little. We do have some history, you know. I might have been married to her. We came close.”
“I remember her when we were in High School,” Jeb said. “She had all the guys chasing her. Quite a looker, she was. I’m glad she’s gonna be ok, all kidding on the side, and I’m glad you two got back together. It’s good for both of you.”
“Well, Jeb, Rosie is looking for a man, you know,” Jane said, smirking.
“She’s too old for me,” Jeb said. They all cracked up at that.
“She’s after Chester right now,” Frank said.
“Hell, she’d give old Chester a coronary,” Jeb said, laughing. “At least I’d live through it.”
“Oh well, I think it’s time to go talk to the folks in the back,” Frank said. “Anything else you guys need before we leave?”
“No, we’re good,” Charlie said.
Jeb nodded in agreement.
“We need more cretins to shoot, though,” he said, with a sly grin.
“Careful what you wish for,” Frank said. He and Jane walked down the stairs, with Lucy behind them.
“What now?” asked Jane.
“I think we should go chat with the Sheriff, and we need to catch Earl, Jackson, and Jerry before they see Simmons.”
They walked down to the main road, and could see Major Hobbs and Officer Simmons chatting near the privates who were stacking bodies.
“Looks like they will be busy for a while,” Frank said.
“Think you should call the Sheriff to let him know we are coming?”
“Yeah,” Frank said. He pulled his phone out of his pocket and dialed.
“Yeah, Frank, what’s up?”
“Jane and I are on our way back there,” Frank said. We need to chat with you and Earl and Jackson and Jerry. Is Jerry back from tracking yet?”
“Yes, he’s up here with me right now. Earl and Jackson are down below.”
“Good, be there in a few.”
Frank put the phone back in his pocket.
Jane looked up at Frank as they walked.
“Are you really planning on being in some kind of Citizen’s Army?” she asked.
“I don’t see that we have any choice,” Frank said.
“We’ve been told these kind of stories a lot of times now, Frank. We need some independent verification.”
“You don’t trust Major Hobbs?”
“I do trust him, but he’s taking off soon. And I don’t know how to take Officer Simmons.”
“I’m with you there,” Frank said. “I wouldn’t want to be in a dark alley with that character. He really creeps me out. Those dark eyes. Shifty.”
“Charlie and Jeb seem to have a healthy cautious attitude about him,” Jane said.
“I know, and that’s about what I expect from Jerry and Earl and Jackson.”
“How about the Sheriff and the Deputy?”
“I don’t know,” Frank said. “Hard to read that Sheriff. He comes off as completely out of his depth, and then he surprises you. He is a damn good shot with a long gun, just like Charlie said. He got the drop on those guys when they were running at us from the parking area. Taking several running men out with a big bore bolt action rifle at that distance takes a lot of skill.”
“There’s the gate,” Frank said. They walked through and headed towards the blind.
“Sheriff, here we are,” Frank said.
“Good, come on up,” he said.
Frank picked up Lucy in one arm, and climbed up the ladder, with Jane behind him.