This is a work of Fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in this short story are entirely fictional and are of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or organizations or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
A Special Thanks to NC Scout for his technical advice and guidance. You can contact him HERE for training.
As Jasper returned from the dead drop site he caught a glimpse of himself in his rear-view mirror. My God! Who is that burly, homeless looking bastard! Jasper realized to his horror that he had morphed into some kind of half-ass version of tom hanks from castaway. It was no wonder. He had not shaved or had a haircut for over eight weeks. He had been living as he had always wanted; alone, off the grid and self-sufficient. Jasper had always preferred his own company. Crowds and towns made him nervous. The peace of the woods and the gentle sounds of the forest always put him at ease. In the hours he was not tinkering on the equipment, he typically spent building game snares and reading. He had caught three rabbit’s so far, perfected his grandfather’s rabbit/rainbow stew and was working his way through the Gulag Archipelago for the third time.
After driving back to the site and walking the perimeter twice he stopped and admired his technical and tactical handiwork. He had stretched a homemade version of ATACS green camo netting twelve feet high over about a sixty-foot square piece of heavily wooded real estate. Concealed within this square was his sleeping quarters, his Dodge Ram Pickup, which in the bed set all the equipment and supplies needed to broadcast the partisan ledger radio program.
First was his power sources: Four 35aH sealed lead acid batteries charged by a 2200 Honda power inverter generator connected to the radio by Anderson Power Poles. Second was his Primary radio: a 100w Icom 706mkIIG with a MARS CAP mod which freebands the radio so it can transmit on any frequency with a LDG-100 auto-tuner placed on top. Third was his antenna: A crossband sixty four foot dipole in the 4 to 6 mhz range powered by RG-8X coax cable.
Satisfied the equipment was tip-top, Jasper took a load off in the “captain’s chair” and reached down beside his chair in a small cooler and got a cold beer. He sat there drinking his beer and listening to the sounds of the woods and the quiet hum of the generator. Many a night he had dozed off to this exact same sound but he would not be dozing off tonight. No, tonight at 2100 hrs, the partisan ledger radio program was going live for the fourth time this year, and he could not wait!
* * * * *
It had been three days since I found out about Sheriff Jim Pritchard and his family’s arrest. Unbeknownst to my old friend Bill Carlyle, Jim had been working with us since the beginning. Passing along valuable intel and running interference with other LE agencies when needed. But now he was locked up and being interrogated by God knows who, most likely FBI Counter-Terrorism which under the current regime was equivalent to the East German Stasi in scope and tactics.
As I sat at the kitchen table drinking my morning coffee from my monogrammed mug the size of a viking flagon, I mulled over what to do next.
“When there is no clear option, it’s better to do nothing.” said Erwin Rommel.
But could I afford to do nothing right now?
On top of all of this was the psychological irritation of wondering if Jim had indeed already given up names. Was the UNDOD’s painful house call to me and the half a dozen other citizens on this mountain four days ago a result of Jim? What about Gary? Due to strict radio silence I had no way of knowing if he had been picked up.
My mind raced and played the odds both ways.
It was highly unlikely that Gary had been nabbed. The reason I could say this with some certainty is because I was still sitting here. I knew from historical record that when an occupying force dismantled a resistance network they did it thoroughly, quickly and without mercy.
As far as the actual radio site, I could breathe easy.
When we began this thing it was agreed the actual location of the site would always be in rotation and never fixed. We also decided to keep it compartmentalized so no one person, except Jasper, would know the location. Consequently Jasper’s location would always be in rotation also so no one would know where to find him. Add to this all active electronic counter-measures would be taken to erase his digital and analog footprint.
Add to this that Jasper had contacted me via dead drop giving me GPS coordinates and a broadcast time (2100) for tonight.
As I sat at the table playing through the scenario’s in my mind I heard a car horn honk twice out near the road. Mosby, awakened from his coma like state, came alive and ran to the front window to investigate and growl menacingly at the trees swaying in the wind. Knowing the signal, I called out to Leah.
“The gossip pony express is here!”
“OK, I’m a coming!” Leah replied from the back bedroom.
Since the internet and all other digital means of communication had been compromised, Leah’s social circle had improvised by trading information the old fashioned way. Once a week Leah’s close friend Anne Brady would make the rounds via a four wheel drive Honda Pioneer side-by-side to about half a dozen homes passing pertinent info and of course a few pieces of juicy gossip. Anne had worked out a signal with each house. With us she would honk twice and then drive on up.
Typically these little weekly visits took upwards of an hour, with Anne often coming in for coffee and me evacuating out to the shop to work on something. But this time was different. Leah was not outside five minutes with Anne before she returned.
“You are not going to believe this.”
I looked up into my wife’s face to discern whether or not she was about to hit me with some more bad news. She was calm and half way smiling. A good sign.
“Anne just told me that Julie Pritchard and her two kids were just released from that camp and are back home!”
“Did she mention Jim?” I asked quickly.
Leah shrugged. “Nope”
“We need to get over there.” I replied getting up from the table.
“We should stop and get her a few groceries first. With everything going on she is going to need some help.” Leah remarked as she walked over to the table in the hall to retrieve her purse.
We were both out the door and in the truck in under three minutes. I did a couple of loops down some county roads to ensure I did not have a tail while Leah checked for drones and aerial surveillance. We were clear.
We stopped for a few essentials and then drove out to the Pritchard place west of town. Jim and Julie had built this beautiful log cabin home by themselves over fifteen years ago. Situated on over thirty acres of lush, unspoiled farming land passed down from Jim’s grandfather, the Pritchard place was one of the nicest homes in Roxboro county.
Getting out of the truck we were both met by Jim’s two redbone coonhounds, Daisy and Dixie.
“Hey girls! What have you been up too?” Leah asked, kneeling down letting them smell her.
I reached into my jacket pocket and brought out some of Mosby’s treats I had brought from the house, Smelling the treats, both of the dogs immediately left Leah to come investigate me. I gave them a treat each and a scratch behind the ears.
“You been taking care of the place you two?” I asked.
I heard the front door open as Julie came out on the porch.
“My Gosh, this is a surprise!” she said walking down the front steps to greet us.
Julie and Leah were the same age and had known each other their entire life. Graduating the same year at the local High School, they had both played on the same Volleyball team that had won the State championship twice in a row.
An inch shorter but athletically built like Leah, Julie was dressed in a pair of yoga pants and a simple Nike t-shirt with curly shoulder length blonde hair pulled back in a pony tail.
Her and Leah hugged for a long while, both of them letting out soft whimpers as they embraced.
When they were done Julie turned to me with damp eyes and a smile and gave me a hug also.
“Y’all come on in, the kids will be excited to see you!”
I grabbed the bag of groceries from the back seat and followed Leah and Julie into the house with dixie and daisy hot on my trail looking for more treats.
Once inside Julie led us to the kitchen where I sat down the groceries.
“You guys did not have to do that!” she said smiling at Leah.
Suddenly, from down the hall Tyler and Kayli, ages five and seven, charged me and Leah like a Comanche war party.
“Hey there Tyler!” I braced myself as the five year old who was built low to the ground and solid as a locomotive like his daddy jumped into my arms.
Seven year old Kayli followed close behind jumping into Leah’s arms.
“Hey there Princess!” Leah said with a huge smile on her face.
After a good bear hug, Tyler began pulling me into the playroom at the end of the hall where he had came from.
“C’mon Logan, let’s play!” he yelled loudly
“Tyler! Be nice!” Julie warned from the kitchen
As he led me into the play room I saw on the floor where he had constructed a massive land battle with small army figures.
“What’s this Tyler?” I asked kneeling down
“It’s a war” Tyler replied seriously
“Who is fighting who?” I asked
“This side is my daddy’s army” he replied pointing to a large group of figures.
“And these are the bad guys who put people in jail!” he said, pointing to another group, his little face contorted with anger.
“Well who is gonna win Tyler?” I asked cutting my eyes over to him
“Logan you know my Daddy always wins!” Tyler replied smiling
I smiled and grabbed the little rascal and gave him another hug, my heart literally bursting inside of me with emotion.
After playing a few more minutes I walked back into the kitchen to find Kayli coloring with crayons at the dining room table and Leah and Julie at the kitchen table talking over coffee.
“Did he wear you out?” Julie asked smiling pouring me a cup of coffee as I sat down at the table.
I just smiled and shook my head.
“Julie has been telling me all about the past few days, boy it’s crazy” Leah said sipping her coffee, nodding her head and directing me with her eyes to a yellow legal notepad that sat between them on the table.
Sipping my coffee I casually looked down at the notepad.
Julie’s Writing: The day we were arrested Jim said they would most likely bug the house. He said be careful what I talk about when I came home.
Leah’s writing: Really? OMG! How is Jim?
Julie’s writing: They let me see him before I was released and he was fine. They separated us when we got in there. They put me and the kids in a small room with three beds and a bathroom. It wasn’t great but it was clean.
Leah’s writing: Did they question you?
Julie’s writing: Yeah. They sent this chinese woman in with a British accent. She did not introduce herself. At first she tried to soft soap me to make me think she was my friend, but when I kept my answers short and vague she got really pissy, started threatening to take my kids away and all this other crap. I just kept my head and played it cool. They never touched the kids.
Leah’s writing: What kind of questions did she ask?
Julie’s writing: At first they were pretty general like do you know anybody who has a grudge against the Government? Stuff like that. Then they got more specific like Do you know any armed guerillas? Are you aware of a pirate patriot radio station? If so do you know it’s location? Of course I said No to all of it.
While I was reading Leah and Julie kept chatting away to fill the air the way woman can only do. When I had finished reading, I picked up the pen and began writing.
Do you think they re going to release Jim soon?
Julie’s writing: I don’t know. Jim’s smart, so I hope so.
Do you think they questioned Jim the same way as you or worse?
Julie’s writing: Not sure. I only saw him the day we got arrested and the day we got released and he looked the same, no marks or bruises. I did not get to spend any time with him to ask anything, just a hug and kiss goodbye basically. But when he hugged me he whispered in my ear to give you a sim card he had hidden in the baseboard in the kids playroom. He said it was very important.
My eyes got wide and my heart began to pound as my mind began to calculate the odds of betrayal.
If Julie had flipped and was trying to set me and Leah up, she was doing a piss poor job of it. She had alerted us about the possible bugs in the house and had not asked me any detailed questions. As far as this sim card went, yeah it could contain malware and a trace program but it was obvious from the house call the other day they already knew where I lived so what would be the point in trying to jam me up with a sim card unless they thought I would be stupid enough to take it to the actual radio site?
No, I quickly deduced Julie was on the level and Jim was indeed trying to pass along legit intel to me. Again I started to write.
Where is the sim card now?
Julie’s writing: In your right hand coat pocket. I slipped it in there when I hugged you earlier.
I looked up to see Julie smiling like the cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland.
Me and Leah said our goodbyes to the kids and when we all walked outside to the truck and were a good distance away from the house Julie whispered to both Leah and me.
“They put a hood over all our heads when they arrested us so I am not sure where this place is at. I do know we crossed two sets of railroad tracks and were on a gravel road for a while near the end because I could hear it pinging underneath the van.”
I nodded and she gave me and Leah a final hug.
“Don’t worry yourself Julie. Jim’s tough. I’m sure they will release him soon. In the meantime I will work on finding this place.”
It only took us ten minutes to get home as I gunned the gas, anxious to see what was on this sim card. Leah made coffee and then went into our bedroom.
“If it’s bad, I don’t want to know” she said before closing the door.
Playing it safe in the event the sim did have malware, I found an old android tablet in the closet and popped the sim in. After a quick virus scan, I clicked on the directory. twenty-seven pictures? What was this?
My heart sank as the viewer loaded the first picture.
It was Gary Evans meeting with several UNDOD thugs.
I glanced down at the date stamp. Jim would be arrested the day these pictures were taken and the next day UNDOD made the house calls.
Nausea began to build in the pit of my stomach as bitter bile slowly inched it’s way up my esophagus.
I clicked the arrow for the next picture.
Same meeting with Gary now pointing on a laptop screen while UNDOD thugs closely watch from behind. The bastard was giving them directions for their raids.
Next picture: Gary laughing with said thugs. He must have told one of his raunchy jokes.
I quickly got up and ran to the bathroom and vomited. After rinsing out my mouth with Scope and washing my face I walked back into the living room and stared at the tablet. Hearing me puke, Leah came out of the bedroom to check on me.
“I guess I don’t have to ask if it’s bad.”
I was so pissed I could not speak.
She turned around and went back into the bedroom.
Thought’s raced through my mind in a heated frenzy.
Why did Gary do this? It obviously wasn’t against his will judging from the jovial and relaxed mood of some of the pictures. But more to the point what happened that made Jim suspicious of Gary in the first place? I was hoping the answer was on that sim card.
I went into the kitchen and found my bottle of Talisker single malt, put two ice cubes in a tumbler and poured two fat fingers and downed it in one go. I then Poured myself two more and went back to the tablet.
After scrolling through a couple more pictures of the same meeting the date stamp skipped back five days. The first picture was of a group of a half a dozen or so young high school and college age kids at what looked like a back yard meeting of some sort. Scrolling to the next frame I recognized one of the kids in the group as Gary’s eighteen year old son, Eric and the backyard they were in as Gary’s. The next picture was of the same group of people standing behind a red flag. At first I thought it was a five star Chinese flag but then I saw the writing on the bottom: Roxboro County ANTIFA #409. The next couple of pictures included Gary’s wife, Barbara with a short Chinese official in glasses and five UNDOD masked thugs included.
It was clear that Jim had some how got wind that Eric was involved with ANTIFA and digging deeper found out the whole family was involved.
I held my head in my hands not wanting to believe what I was seeing in black and white.
Gary and his entire family were active members of a regime supported chapter of ANTIFA right here in Cooper’s Mill. It was common knowledge the regime was using ANTIFA chapters all over the country to recruit high school and college age kids for their “Youth Brigades” to help pressure their parents and friends into becoming loyal party members.
I had seen one of ther pamphlets a while back. It talked about all the “benefits” of being a party member and the responsibilities that went along with it including informing on any “dissenters” (an act which carried with it a large cash reward) that would threaten the stability of the “people’s” party.
Jim had sent me verifiable proof of treason by Gary and his entire family.
It made me sick to think about but I had to act.
It was my duty. But I could not do it alone. I was going to need help, and with Jasper off floating in the ether taking care of the radio broadcast, my only other choice was Leah.
My mind quickly devised a plan.
Walking into the bedroom I found Leah lying in the bed reading.
“We got a fox in the henhouse?” she asked, cutting her eyes up at me.
“Yeah, it’s Gary and his entire family.”
Without me saying a word Leah got up from the bed and began getting dressed.
For the second time in a week I thanked God above for the strong woman he had given me.
After getting dressed in a black fleece jacket, A black Nike cap with a braided pony tail pulled through the back and Merrell hikers Leah walked out to the garage where I was loading up the Polaris with gear for the trip.
“So what’s the plan?” she asked
“We need them all together in one place to make this work, so I think our best option is to show up at Gary’s house unannounced. Our story will be that Julie has told us where the camp is that Jim is being held and we need their help to break him out.”
“What if they have other people there?” Leah asked
“We either restrain them or kill them, depending.” I replied curtly.
“Depending on what?” Leah asked, her eyes wide.
“Do I really need to answer that Leah?” I asked, cutting my eyes.
Leah stared at me for a long moment, her eyes growing moist.
“My God Logan, did you ever think it would come to this!” she whispered.
I held her close and comforted her and after a couple of minutes gently took her head in both my hands and stared into her eyes.
“Look, I know this is tough, but we are going to have put away the emotion and tears from here on out. We don’t have time for it. Remember, we didn’t want any of this. Gary made that decision for us.”
She nodded her head as she took a deep breath and dried her eyes with her jacket sleeve.
“OK, I’m ready.”
Calculating that all or most of our weapon hide sites that Gary knew about (about a third of them total) had been compromised, we drove out to one of my half a dozen contingency hide sites that only I knew about. After thirty minutes of digging I found the three PVC Pipe capsules sealed with aluminum tape. I took out a Glock 19 for her and a Sig 220 for me. I then took out two suppressors, an AAC for the Glock and a Gemtech for the Sig. Opening another pipe I took out extra mags and ammo to go around for both of us.
Finally, in the event this thing turned into a sideways goat rodeo I took out my modified Yugo PAP M92 AK Pistol, re-installed the pistol grip and brace (it would not fit in the pipe otherwise) checked the battery in the Burris Fastfire II red dot then took a bandolier of eight mags and stuck it all into a double Head tennis racket bag. I also took a small duffel and filled it with a stun baton, a tazer, OC spray, Ka-Bar knife, roll of duct tape and flex cuffs.
After a quick oiling and cleaning of all the weapons, I handed the Glock to Leah.
I was happy to see her handle the weapon like we had trained. Immediately dropping the mag and pulling the slide back to lock, she eyeballed and then physically checked the chamber to ensure it was empty. Handing her a magazine, she inserted it and hit the slide release, ramming home the round with a snap.
With her trigger finger at high register she extended her arms and eyeballed down the taller fiber optic sights, targeting a pine stump ten yards away.
“You remember shooting with the elevated sights?” I asked
With a “Pftttt!” Leah squeezed the trigger, sending a 147grain Corbon hollow point into the pine stump, the action of the pistol cycling quiet as a church mouse.
“Yeah I think I got it.” she replied with a smile
We stayed off the main highway using mostly logging roads and half-ass game trails to approach Gary’s house from the east. I had modified the Polaris with a muffler silencer and spark arrestor so we were quiet as a baby mouse pissing on cotton on our approach. Killing it, I parked in the woods, around thirty yards from the house.
I unzipped the duffel and handed Leah the Glock and took out my Sig.
I then took out my AK pistol and slung it over my back and slung the bandolier and other duffel over my other arm.
“Make Ready” I whispered to Leah.
I quietly charged the Sig, flipping up the thumb safety as Leah charged her Glock.
“I’ll take point, just follow five steps behind. When we get there, just follow my lead and act casual. I have no ideal how we are going to be received. Either he is going to play along or go Defcon One. Either way, remember our plan and what I told you.”
Leah nodded nervously.
“Hey! look at me!” I whispered.
“It’s going to be OK, just follow my lead.” I reassured her.
She took a deep breath and nodded.
As we began making our way up to the house, I could hear music from inside. Closing the distance to the tree line I could see that Gary’s truck and Barbara’s Camry were in the driveway and the garage door was open. Doing a quick scan I could see no movement outside of the house and all of the windows and curtains were closed tight. At this point all that I could hear was the music, which as I got closer I could now tell was some kind of symphony or opera?
Making the decision the coast was clear, we broke past the tree line to the sidewalk that led up to the front door. Remembering they had DSL, I looked up to see where the phone line split and came into the house. Motioning for Leah to stay put I walked around to the side of the house to the junction box and taking out my Emerson Commander I cut all the lines going into the house, severing the land line and DSL connection. As I stood there next to the house. I could hear the music very clearly now. It was not an opera or a symphony like I had initially thought. It was the Soviet National Anthem being blasted at high volume.
Walking back around the house, Leah joined me and we walked up to the door. I rang the doorbell and stepped back and to the side, moving Leah back with me. I had my Sig behind my right leg with the safety off and finger at high register. The music volume was turned down and I could hear movement in the house. Suddenly the deadbolt turned and the door opened.
Instinctively I prepared to bring the gun up.
It was Gary.
I quickly concealed the pistol behind my thigh.
“What the hell?” The look on Gary’s face was one of pure surprise and fear.
Before I could reply he hurried me and Leah inside and shut the door.
“What are you two doing here! It’s really stupid of you to show…”
I raised my left hand up to interrupt him.
“Gary, we had no choice. Julie contacted us and told us she had the location of the camp where Jim is being held. We need to gear up and get ready to go now.”
Gary stood there dumbfounded. Like a deer in headlights.
Then he noticed the guns.
“Wait…why are you two armed, How did you…?”
Again I interrupted him, this time bringing up the Sig.
Gary’s eyes got big as saucers.
“Nice music you were jamming to Gary. Is that your new family anthem?” I asked with a smirk, my eyes drilling holes straight through him.
All the color drained from his face in an instant and his bottom lip began to quiver like a child.
“Is anybody else in the house besides your family?” I asked quietly
Gary shook his head no.
“Where are Barbara and Eric?”
“Upstairs in their rooms.” Gary answered, looking down at the floor.
“You need to tell them to come down here right now and bring their cell phones with them. If you try to warn them in any way you get the first bullet. Clear?”
Gary nodded nervously.
“Barb! Eric! Can you guys come down here please!” Gary yelled.
“Who was that at the door?” Barbara asked from upstairs.
“Nobody. Can you please come down here now.” Gary replied, a look of terror on his face.
“Hey Dad, the internet is not working” Eric yelled from upstairs.
“Don’t worry about that right now Eric! Come downstairs now!” Gary yelled.
Footsteps could be heard upstairs and then doors opening.
Leah moved past me to a better position in the hall to cover them as they descended.
Eric was the first one to come bounding down the stairs, closely followed by Barbara.
Eric was tall lanky and pale with wire rimmed glasses and shaggy brown hair. You could tell he was one of these kids that spent every waking hour in front of some kind of digital screen instead of outside in the fresh air and sunshine.
“What’s more important than the internet not work…” Eric stopped in mid-sentence at the bottom of the stairs when he saw Leah.
“Both of you, hands where I can see them.” Leah commanded
Both Eric and Barbara reached for the ceiling, their mouths agape and all the color draining from their faces at once.
“Now I want you to walk toward me Eric, very slowly. Barbara you stay still and if you make any sudden moves, your son dies, do you understand me?” Leah asked, her eyes staying squarely on Eric.
“Yes! Please don’t hurt him!” Barbara yelled back, her voice cracking.
Eric obeyed the command, slowly walking toward Leah with his hands high. A look of complete surprise and fear on his face.
“Where is your cell phone Eric?” Leah asked when he was three feet away.
“In my back pocket” He replied, his voice trembling.
“OK, turn around and back up to me slowly.” Leah commanded, the Glock centered on Eric.
“OK Stop.” Leah commanded as she removed the iPhone from Eric’s back pocket.
“Now I need you to go over and face that wall in front of you, keeping your hands on top of your head.” Leah commanded.
“Now Barbara, where is your phone?’ Leah asked.
“In my right hand” Barbara answered, her voice cracking.
“OK, come to me very slowly with your hands high. No sudden movements.” Leah commanded, her Glock now centered on Barbara.
Barbara was in her late forties with shoulder length curly brown hair. She worked as a CPA and had that pasty, pale look just like Eric.
When Barbara was a few feet away Leah commander her to stop.
“Set the phone down at your feet and then join your son on the wall over there, your hands held high.”
Barbara obeyed and Leah picked up the phone.
“Join your family over there, hands high Gary” Leah commanded.
Leah took out both phones and did a quick once over and then gave me a quick nod.
They had made no calls or text or done any activity online (via the 4G network) in the last ten minutes.
Once Leah had them all covered, I unslung the gym bag from over my shoulder and walked over and sat it on the dining room table, taking out three Flex-cuffs. I then walked over and cinched the cuffs up on each one of them. After that I did a quick pat down for weapons, finding nothing but a pocket knife on Gary.
“OK, all of you go sit down in the dining room.”
“Please Logan, you don’t have to involve my family in this…” Gary pleaded as he walked past me.
“Gary, you and your family already made that choice.” I replied.
Once everybody was seated I proceeded to show them the evidence on the tablet. Every one of them went three shades of green as I scrolled through the pictures of their treachery.
* * * * *
SGM R.C. Jackson, USA (Retired) gently reached down and picked up Jolene. She was heavier than he remembered, but hell time put’s weight on all of us right? R.C. chuckled to himself as he brought the 1903 Springfield A4 up to his shoulder and sighted through the 4-15×50 Leupold mil-dot scope. He had replaced the original M84 scope over twenty-five years ago for a hunting trip to Montana with an old platoon buddy. He could hit with the M84 but he found he needed a bit more than 2x magnification to make ethical shots on mule deer and antelope!
Plus he never cared much for the M84’s reticle, which was a heavy post with a thin crosswire, but he had learned to hit with it, that was to be sure. His longest recorded kill was a Chinese officer at 429 yards, which by today’s sniper standards is chicken feed, but back then in Korea, men died for yards, sometimes feet, and the distance between front lines sometimes ran as little as under a quarter mile.
He ran his hand along the smoothness of the wood and worked the bolt a few times to check the mechanics. As he did this he caught a whiff of the Hoppes gun oil he had lubricated the action with and suddenly he was eighteen again! He felt young! Alive! Virile! and without a doubt, ready to do some killing! R.C smiled at the thought, knowing his one true love Kat had told him to do this one last thing before he came to be with her forever in heaven, and he always kept his promises.
R.C. may have been old, but he was still a soldier and he had been busy the last few days doing recon. In particular, keeping up with the frequency of patrols by the same group of assholes that had punched him in the gut, tore down his flag and murdered his dog taco. R.C. had memorized the plate number of the assholes tahoe that day and now after a few days of observation and patience he had been able to put together a patrol schedule of sorts. For one reason or another, the UNDOD made regular patrols past R.C.’s house and up the road a few miles to another home where they often stopped for thirty minute intervals. This would be where he would strike. There was a hill with good concealment across the road from this house with a decent line of sight of around three hundred fifty yards, which R.C. felt comfortable with. He named it Hill 255 after the Pork Chop.
R.C. checked his watch. The patrol would be coming by the target house in around an hour. R.C. mounted up on the four wheeler and hit the electric start. Before punching the gas he did a quick mental checklist. Rifle, check. Ammo, check. Scope Dope card. check. Sidearm, check. Prostate pill so he would not be needing to piss every five minutes, check. Buttoning his M65 Woodland Camo Field Jacket and adjusting his Korean War Vet hat with his CIB proudly pinned on, he thumbed the gas and took off down the road to Hill 255.
* * * * *
Me and Leah followed the three traitors out to the garage to fetch shovels and then to the back yard for grave detail.
Gary’s plea’s for mercy continued to drone on.
“Please Logan! I did all I could to not to give them anything useful!” he blabbered, snot rolling down his face.
“And by ‘not anything useful’ you mean when you gave them directions to my home where that group of masked thugs threatened to rape my wife ?” I asked with a smirk.
“No! I knew they would not find anything at your place! That is why I sent them there!” he replied, a shocked look on his face.
“You’re pathetic!” I replied.
“Please Logan! At least spare Eric!” he screamed.
“Start digging asshole.” I was beyond listening anymore.
Surprisingly eighteen year old Eric was the only one not blabbering like a baby.
“Dad shut up begging and conduct yourself like a proud member of the party!”
Me and Leah both laughed out loud at that remark.
“A proud member of the party, huh? Wow that is some solid gold bullshit right there!”
Eric stopped digging and glared up at me and Leah smiling.
“You arrogant capitalist pigs! You both know you’re going to die today right?”
“Shut up Eric!” Barbara yelled out beside him, her curly brown hair matted with sweat and her eyes bulging and wild looking.
I walked over in front of him.
“How exactly are we going to die?” I asked.
“Because once a week the UNDOD area commander comes by the house for coffee and today is one of those days! You’re fucked!”
As if on cue the sound of a truck engine could be heard coming up the road.
I quickly deduced what I had to do.
“Not as fucked as all of you.” I said.
I raised my pistol and shot Eric in the bridge of his nose from six feet away. Instantly Barbara began yelling like a banshee and I quickly walked over and popped her in the back of the head. Gary stood up as I approached and began whimpering like a scared animal. All I heard was a rush of wind in my ears as I raised my pistol and shot him twice in the head, his body going slack and dropping to the ground with a thud.
* * * * *
R.C. had finished setting up on the side of the hill with good concealment and a clear line of sight. From this position he could see the driveway, the front door, the garage and the fence gate that led to the back yard.
Since laying down prone was too hard on his back and legs, R.C. had decided to use the gun mount on the handlebars of the four wheeler. He had shot from this position many times while hunting white tail deer in the past and felt comfortable with it. Using a large piece of camouflage netting and a little common sense, he fashioned him a sniper’s canopy that along with the scrub and tress, helped him blend into the side of the hill perfectly.
R.C. double checked his range to the driveway with his Leupold rangefinder. Three hundred seventeen yards. The front door and garage door were three hundred forty-seven yards. Glancing up at the tops of the trees where he was at he saw there was very little wind and down at the driveway almost no wind. He also took into account the hill he was on was not that steep, so downward angle would not be a major factor in his firing solution. Glancing down at his dope card for the scope, a three hundred yard hold was the first vertical dot below the crosshair since he always zeroed this rifle at 200 yards. Since these assholes were wearing body armor he was going for cranial T head shots today. For ammo he chose a 168gr Hornady BTHP load he had shot with this scope before all the way out to five hundred yards with 1MOA results. Opening the bolt he punched down 5 rounds and loaded the sixth in the tube and closed the bolt. He had three stripper clips in his coat pocket in the event he needed them. He was hoping he would not. There were a total of three assholes down there, so six rounds would be more than enough if he did his job.
R.C. had been in position for about twenty minutes when a truck engine came rumbling down the road. On schedule and on time just like good communist, the tahoe pulled into the driveway of the home and parked. R.C. mounted his rifle and found his targets in the scope, adjusting the magnification. To his surprise, there was a fourth person in the vehicle, a short chinese man with glasses. R.C. zoomed in. He had never seen this guy before, but he was definitely a bureaucrat of some type. R.C. smiled behind the scope. This was a bonus! He was going to get to kill more chinese communist! Today was going to be a good day!
R.C. took a couple of deep breaths and settled in. He decided even though the bureaucrat was a tasty target, he was going to go for the goons first. Taco’s death demanded it. Checking the wind, he let the mil-dot float above the first target’s head and then slowly brought it down where it was resting right above his shoulders. With the three goons in a semi-circle talking with the bureaucrat, R.C. pressed the trigger. As soon as the bullet left the barrel R.C. instinctively worked the bolt, slamming home another round and quickly choosing his next target. Seeing the goons head disappear in a pink mist R.C. smiled as he set the dot on the next set of shoulders, adjusting slightly for the target reacting to the report and instinctively kneeling and lowering his height by several inches. Trigger press. Rifle report. Work the bolt. Get on target. Not seeing a hit for the second shot, R.C. slowed down and took the scene in. The bureaucrat dived for cover underneath the vehicle while the other two goons started firing blindly in R.C.’s direction, the report of their G36 rifles drifting up the hill.
* * * * *
“My God Logan! You killed them all!” Leah’s exclaimed her eyes wide.
“Yes I did, now find some cover, we got company outside and I don’t think they are friendly.”
I went to the fence gate to have a look. Peering through I could see It was a UNDOD vehicle alright with three soldiers and what looked like a Chinese official of some sort.
As I considered my next move suddenly one of the soldier’s heads exploded in a pink cloud of bone and viscera with the report of the rifle echoing down the hill like thunder.
On command the Chinese official dove for cover underneath the vehicle while the other two soldiers began firing wildly in the direction of the sniper’s shot, which seemed to be coming from across the road somewhere.
I quickly summed up the situation.
A sniper had decided to engage this vehicle for whatever reason. Maybe it was a coordinated ambush? Maybe an assassination attempt on the chinese official? I had no clue. What I did know is I had to take advantage of this chaos.
I unslung the M92 AK Pistol from my back and disengaged the safety. While the two soldiers were firing blindly across the road I opened the gate, went prone and took aim with the red dot at the nearest soldier about fifteen yards away. With his back toward me, I centered the dot high, near his neck and fired three rounds. The soldier crumpled like a lawn chair, with the rounds impacting around his spine.
Seeing his partner go down, the remaining soldier realizing he was surrounded did what I expected; he told the official under the truck to get in, they were leaving!
Not a good decision.
* * * * *
R.C. did not have time to kick himself for the missed shot on the second goon before something totally unexpected happened. The soldier he fired at crumped and dropped as if he had been shot from behind? What the hell was going on? Not having time to play through the possible scenario’s, R.C. kept on mission. The remaining goon had stopped firing and had retreated to the cab. R.C. then saw movement on the right, it was the Chinese official scrambling out from underneath the truck! R.C. quickly got on target, dropping the first dot on the center of mass being the man was not wearing body armor. He squeezed the shot. Impact. Center punch right above the sternum. The man’s entire body cavitated and then dropped like a stone to the pavement.
R.C. worked the bolt and transitioned for another shot, but he did not have one from this angle. The solider had jumped in the driver’s seat and was preparing to skidaddle.
* * * * *
The shot that killed the Chinese official opened up his back like a meat cleaver. As soon as his body dropped the driver started the vehicle and dropped it in reverse. I knew I had to act. I closed with from the left side, since the passenger door was still open, it was my best chance. The sniper let off another round that impacted the driver side somewhere. Encouraged, I raised my weapon and let loose, putting rounds toward the driver in quick pairs. To my surprise the vehicle was not armored and the AK rounds chewed up the glass, some of them making it through and hitting the driver. Wounded, the driver managed to put the tahoe in reverse and gunned it straight across the road, through the barbed wire fence on the other side and into the field, slamming into a tree violently, the sound of crunching metal and the smell of burnt rubber and smoke filling the air.
Not wanting to let up, I continued to close with and fire on the vehicle, changing mags as I went. As I crossed the fence and made it into the field, I could see the vehicle was on fire in the back. I made a right hand semi-circle around to the driver’s side. With the windshield shot out I could see the driver inside, badly wounded. As I closed distance and was around ten yards from the vehicle, the driver side door creaked open. I took a knee and drew down. A bloody hand reached out and grabbed the outside door frame and the goon pulled himself out. He was a bloody, mangled mess. As I was about to walk over a shot rang out and the man’s head exploded like a ripe cantaloupe.
I looked up toward the hill and waved. I heard a four wheeler engine start up and soon I could see a man in a camo jacket making his way down toward me. About that time Leah crossed the road and came over, her eyes wide.
“My God Logan! Are you OK?” she asked out of breath.
“I’m fine.” I replied.
The man pulled up in front of us on his four wheeler and killed the engine.
Immediately I saw his Korean War Veteran cap and remembered the story Gary had told me.
“Are you R.C. Jackson?” I asked
“Guilty as charged” R.C. replied “How did you know?”
“I heard about what happened to you.” I replied
“Yeah, well I took care of that problem.” R.C. said looking at the headless corpse and burning wreck with pride.
“I can see that.” I replied.
“Listen son, we all need to get the hell out of here, I am sure another patrol will be coming around here real soon.” R.C. replied.
“Yeah I have a four wheeler stashed in the woods right over here, follow me!” I replied.
R.C. cranked his rig and followed us over into the woods. Away from the road, I introduced myself and Leah and told him about the radio site.
“You can follow us there if you like, you have more than earned it!” I said smiling.
R.C. sat there a moment and thought about it.
“Hell son I did not think I would live this long, so sure, I will follow you!”
R.C. followed us up into the mountains and after crossing two swollen creeks we arrived at base camp.
Jasper had coffee and a fresh pot of his rabbit stew on when we arrived and we all ate around the fire sharing the many stories we all had to catch up on.
Jasper was more angry than sad to hear about Gary and his family’s betrayal but the news about Jim being locked up really got him steamed.
“We are really going to let them have it tonight!” Jasper said fuming.
“You know Jasper I think we should devote part of tonight’s broadcast to R.C. here. An 88 year old Korean War Vet Sniper who took up arms against the communist aggressor a second time! Quite the story!” I said smiling.
R.C. shook his head
“No, I don’t want any special recognition Logan, I did what I did today to keep a promise to somebody I love.” R.C.’s voice cracked and his eyes got teary.
I got up and went and sat next to him.
“I know you did R.C. but you know what? All of us fight not so much because we hate what is in front of us, but because we love what is behind us more.”
R.C. smiled, a tear rolling down his weathered cheek.
“That’s G.K. Chesterson.”
“Yep, one of my favorites” I replied smiling.
And so it was at twenty one hundred hours that night these four battle hardened partisans went live over the air to encourage tens of thousands of other partisans across the country to stand up and fight their communist oppressors.
R.C. Jackson’s sniper story became legend among the partisan community and three hard fought and bloody years later after the war was won and the communist regime defeated, a statue of R.C. Jackson was erected at the exact spot he fired from on Hill 255.
The inscription read:
“For my dearest Katherine. I kept my promise. I fought the good fight. I’m coming home.”