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Bug Out By CT Horner

Discussion in 'Survival Reading Room' started by C.T.Horner, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    If you liked Bug In you might also enjoy Bug Out.
    Thank you to all those who support me. This is for you and for all my readers who have asked for a second story.
    Bug Out - will be a short story. I will be posting a chapter a day so follow along at your own pace. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it.
    CT Horner.
    Bug Out - Chapter 1
    Spring was a long time coming and I had a bad case of cabin fever, so I decided to take my old friend Gary’s offer of joining his prospecting club. I wasn’t much interested in digging or panning, but I liked to explore, so I thought I could get something out of it.
    After I got a couple of meetings under my belt, I felt comfortable probing the old timers for stories of abandoned mines and one such story peaked my curiosity. The club collected old maps marked with mining claims and one long abandoned claim really had me excited. It was a hard rock mine, fifty miles from the nearest road and the trail in, that wound its way through the mountains, had washed away some fifty years ago.
    One of the old timers had hiked in with a partner about ten years, or so, ago and it took the pair three days to make it to the old claim. What they’d discovered was that the mine was shut down because they’d struck water and the mine flooded. The remote location and the lack of any real strike made the decision to give-up easy. The pair went through the tailing pile and came up empty. Three days, hiking back, was plenty of time for them to come to the same conclusion which was it just wasn’t worth it to mine the place.
    After listening to their story and surveying the map, I had to agree with them, but after staring at the map for hours, a thought struck me, so I pulled up a current topographical map of the area and transferred the coordinates to it. Now, my idea was taking shape - the mine was fifty miles from the closest road, but only eight miles from the Colorado River.
    So, my friend and I packed our backpacks and set off, in my boat, up the river. Gary and I planned on an overnighter - beach the boat and hike in - with the GPS, it would be a simple task. When we got to the closest spot on the river, the plan had to be changed - there was no place to beach the boat. So, we continued upriver, another three miles, to a cut in the bank where a wash had eroded it away. I pushed the boat into the soft sand and set two anchors on the beach.
    We organized our gear and hiked in, followed the wash for nine miles and turned south to the old mine. The going was easy and we made great time - it took us four and a half hours. “If we had our quads we could do it in fifteen minutes,” Gary remarked flippantly.
    My response was equally sarcastic, “Your quad floats then?”
    “What do you mean?” he inquired.
    “How do you reckon we get our quads here to ride them?” I challenged. That ended that.
    At the mine, we explored the site and were able to find the foundation of a cabin as well as a half-standing, stone workshop. The mine itself was nothing more than a tunnel slanting down into the bottom of a hill. It went in about eighty feet before you were ankle deep in water and we didn’t want to get soaked - the flashlight could only penetrate so far. It looked like the mine continued its descent until it was completely, submerged under the water. It looked like they’d struck an aquifer or underwater river.
    We explored the rest of the area all afternoon and discovered, what appeared to be, the remains of an old out house. “This has promise!” Gary announced.
    “How so?” I replied?
    “Well people would throw all kinds of junk down the hole, especially bottles and old bottles can be worth quite a lot,” he continued.
    “How do you suppose we excavate the area when we only got one small shovel?” I stated the obvious.
    “We come back with the proper tools,” he replied confidently.
    “You gonna pack them in?” I questioned suspiciously.
    “Sure. Be glad to. Piece of cake, in fact,” Gary assured me.
    “This I gotta see!” I countered.
    Once we had our camp set up and the dinner mess cleaned up, and repacked, Gary pulled out a bottle of Kentucky Bourbon and took a long pull before handing the bottle to me. “The way I see it,” he started, “is this would be a great place to explore if it weren’t so remote.”
    “But, the fact that it’s so remote is what makes it a great place to explore! There have only been four people here in the last fifty years and you and I are two of them,” I reminded him.
    “Exactly my point,” Gary continued as he reached for the bottle. “Now, as I was saying, this is a great place to explore. All we have to do is make it not so remote to us,” Gary suggested.
    “How do you propose we do that?” I asked in anticipation because I knew he’d already figured it out. We slept out under the stars like a couple of pioneers, hashing out the details of his plan and hiked out the next morning to set our plan in motion.
    Tully Mars, STANGF150 and whynot like this.
  2. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    Bug Out - Chapter 2

    The next day, we went to see Steve about his boat. Standing around Steve’s old gutted pontoon boat, Gary started, “We’d like to make you an offer on this old eyesore you got cluttering up your back yard Steve.”
    “Yeah, I’ve been meaning to fix it up and take the family out,” he countered.
    “This old hulk’s been sitting here, like this, ever since I first met you, Steve. What was that, five years ago, now?” Gary continued.
    “Well I’ve been busy and this project isn’t a top priority. Have you guys been following what’s going on? All hell is about to break loose!” Steve warned.
    “What do you mean?” I interrupted.
    “Hell, it’s all over the news! They can’t hide it anymore! The banks are all insolvent, Congress is considering confiscating deposits and there’s even talk of going after pension funds!” Steve continued.
    “Nothing we can do about that,” I responded.
    “We can prepare,” he quickly replied.
    “Prepare for what?” I asked.
    “Prepare for the coming shit storm it’ll create. When the dollar collapses, people will lose faith in the government and we’ll lose the rule of law. When that happens, it’ll be a dog-eat-dog-world, until the rule of law is restored. There will be riots, looting, the stores will be empty and many’ll be burned to the ground, by the starving masses!” Steve assured.
    “How do you prepare for something like that? If you lay-up supplies won’t someone just come and take them?” I inquired.
    “Yeah, they’ll try and probably succeed if they can find you!” Steve answered honestly.
    “Where are you gonna hide?” Gary interrupted.
    “That’s what I’ve been working on,” Steve replied sheepishly.
    “I got all the supplies put together for bugging-in, but I’ve been unable to find a good place to bug-out to,” Steve qualified.
    “I think we can solve each other’s problems,” Gary offered.
    “How so?” Steve inquired optimistically.
    “What if I told you, we had a place that’s well hidden, practically inaccessible, easily defendable and has an abundant supply of water?” Gary asked
    “If it’s inaccessible, how am I gonna get my supplies and my family there?” Steve countered suspiciously.
    “I said practically inaccessible, not totally inaccessible - that’s where you come in, actually, Steve. You can make it accessible for Bill and me, as well as, for yourself, your goods and your family. In fact, I like your bug-out idea so much, that I’ll also move some of my goods there as well, what do you say, Bill?” Gary asked me.
    “Sounds like a plan to me. In fact it sounds like a great plan to me,” I corrected.
    “Now, what kind of goods do I need for me and my wife?” I asked Steve.
    “I’ll help you make a list, but you’ve got to hurry, there isn’t much time left!” Steve responded.
    That night, we all met up at Steve’s house for dinner and hashed out the plan. We figured it would take at least four trips to pack in all the goods and a week to get the pontoon boat and trailers ready for the job. Steve gave me an address of a warehouse, up in Utah, where I could get all the supplies I’d need for me and my wife, as well as, for Gary and his wife.
    While I was in Utah, Gary and Steve replaced the tires on the pontoon boat trailer and wrapped the awing with tarps, so the boat was enclosed. We would use my runabout as a tug and the pontoon boat as a barge. We refit a couple of garden trailers with all-terrain tractor tires and took our first load the following week, on a Wednesday, when the river traffic was at a minimum.
    When we got to the wash, we waited for a boat to pass and be well out of sight. When the river was clear, I pushed the barge into the soft sand while Gary and Steve put out the ramp. They were fired-up and away in minutes. I pulled in the ramp and pulled the barge out of the sand. I drifted for a while, motored upriver then, drifted again and, an hour later, the two were back. After checking the river, I pushed the barge in again, dropped the ramp, they pulled up on the barge, pulled in the ramp, and we were away in minutes and headed back to the marina.
    Three weeks went by and we had made six trips, but we still had gear to go and it was taking a lot longer than we’d anticipated. The situation with the banks was getting out-of-hand and riots were already breaking out. To make matters worse, the EBT card system, used to administer food stamps, was not working and the government blamed it on hackers. Martial law was declared in Chicago and New York. LA was coming apart at the seams and the Governor of California was having trouble getting the National Guard to respond there. Gas stations were running out of fuel and most were closed. The fear of a bank-run was so high, that they were talking about a Bank Holiday. The shit was heading towards the fan and we still had two more loads to take.
  3. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    Bug Out - Chapter 3

    The following morning the workers at all six power plants in the state, went on strike together, because they found out their paychecks were worthless. We mustered-up at Steve’s house when the power went out. Steve announced, “This is it! We can stay here and see what happens next, or we bug-out, now!”
    “Bug-out, now!” was the unanimous reply.
    Steve and Gary loaded the rest of the supplies on to the pontoon boat and I ran home to stuff everything, I thought we could use, into our runabout. We loaded our guns, ammo, extra cloths and all the food we had on hand. I packed up the liquor cabinet, and we were on our way to the marina.
    The marina was deserted and the pontoon boat was already in the water when we arrived. I dropped my boat in the water and she sat dangerously low in the water. I looked over and the pontoon boat wasn’t fairing any better. We hooked up together and slowly made our way into the river.
    On the way out a Marine Patrol boat stopped us. “Where you folks headed overloaded like that?” the officer asked me. Gary, his wife, Linda, Steve, his wife, Susan and their two children were in the pontoon boat, behind the tarps, safely out of sight.
    I told the officer, “We’re headed to Moss Creek, where we have a houseboat, and we’re going to wait out the trouble there.”
    He said he thought we should unload some of our gear and make two, or even three trips, because we were dangerously overloaded. I agreed with him and told him I didn’t have enough gas, for more than one trip, and there was no way to get any more gas. He had no response to that, but ordered me to return to the marina anyway.
    “And if I don’t?” I asked him.
    “Then I’ll ticket you and confiscate your boats!” he replied.
    “You and what army?” Steve interrupted as he stepped out from behind the tarp with his AK-47 in his hands.
    The officer quickly assessed the situation and replied as coolly as he could muster, “You folks want to kill yourselves, be my guest. I could care less. I’ve got my own family to worry about.” Then, he stepped behind the wheel of his Boston Whaler to slowly and carefully motor off toward the marina.
    “Do you think he’ll come after us?” I asked Steve.
    “Not by himself, he won’t. Besides, you heard him, he’s headed home to take care of his own family, now let’s go!” Steve ordered
    “I’m going, but this is as fast as she’ll go!” I replied.
    It took us four hours to reach the wash and another four to unload both boats. When the boats were unloaded, I pulled the plugs on the pontoons and set it adrift and, then, I pushed my boat into the bank.
    It was dark, by the time we got the women and children to the camp. Steve went back and spent the night with our load in the wash. He reported that three houseboats passed in the night headed toward Moss Creek, but he didn’t think that they spotted our boat in the dark.
    In the morning, Gary and I returned with the other quad and trailer to pack our gear in. By lunchtime, we were all loaded-in and the women made us a great meal of shrimp and fresh vegetables - determined to use up all the perishables before they went bad.
    We went back and stripped the boat of everything - seats, the motor, wires and all - and packed it in to the camp. Then we loaded the boat with rocks, pulled the plug and let it sink, just upstream of the wash, near the bank. It came to rest with the top of the gunnels just below the water. If need-be, we could unload the rocks and refloat her.
    By the time we got back to the camp, the women had the place squared-away and supper was ready, this time, more fresh veggies and salmon filets. After dinner, we decided we should go back and work on the wash and do our best to erase our presence. However, our luck was still running high - it started to rain and continued to rain all night - a real gully washer so, the wash was wiped clean for us.
    By the time the rain stopped Steve had the shortwave radio set-up and receiving, and the wives cooked steaks for our breakfast. We crowded around the speaker, listening in somber silence. The whole country was in chaos and people were dropping like flies. Hospitals were overflowing with the dead - emergency generators had long since run out of gas and most of the staff had abandoned their posts. The police and National Guard were deserting in huge numbers - the few who stayed at their stations were overwhelmed - some were attacked and a few were being openly targeted. Widespread looting was reported everywhere, looters were being shot on sight and bodies littered the streets. The military was setting up “Safe Zones” and having trouble holding them. FEMA camps were overrun and the staff had abandoned them…
    Steve was at the radio all day and he picked up some chatter between two militia groups - one of their compounds was raided by a mob of looters and, they estimated, they’d killed fifty before they beat them back. They were requesting assistance from a sister militia with a backhoe to help them dispose of the bodies before they got ripe.
    That night we had barbeque chicken for dinner and Steve cut up the two roast beefs, we had, into strips and was smoking them into beef jerky. I was busy fixing up our tent - fortifying it with scrap wood and rocks - the tents would have to do, until we could build a proper shelter, Steve had advised us.
    Our stores were safely in the mineshaft and it was determined that the water, in the mine, was not safe to drink - because it was too high in heavy metals without filtering it first - but we could bathe with it. Steve set up a diatomaceous earth water filter and assured us it would be putting out enough clean water in a month.
    Meanwhile, we would haul water from the river and boil the water before drinking it. Steve hauled the water in two, five-gallon water tanks. He’d drive the quad a mile from the river and hike the rest of the way - Steve said, The engine noise carries, especially over the water, so it’s better to be safe and not take a chance.” When he got back, from one of his trips, Steve reported, “I saw two boats, loaded with armed men, heading up river. They were probably going to raid the Houseboats at Moss Creek.”
    The camp was coming together and we were settling in as best we could. Besides the six, five-gallon gas cans, we also had the one, five-gallon portable tank from the boat, as the other was just about empty, when we arrived. That gave us a total of thirty-five gallons of gas for the generator. So, we decided to charge the batteries, we had for the radio, along with the one from my boat, with the solar panel, Steve brought - save the generator for emergencies and save the gas for the quads.
    Gary and I spent a whole day building a lookout post on the hill above our camp. We piled stones as naturally as we could so it was indistinguishable from the surrounding area. The location gave the observer an unobstructed, 360-degree view while being concealed. There was also a clear line of fire covering the two approaches to the camp below. We felt confident we could hold that position against greater numbers.
    Steve said he would add “force multipliers,” as he called them, as time permitted. I asked him what that meant in English and he replied, “Booby traps, trip wires, and obstacles.”
    As the week ended, reports were coming in less and less frequently. One night, at supper, Gary asked Steve, “Why don’t you call out and find out what’s going on?”
    Steve answered honestly, “If I transmit, someone can triangulate my position. So far, nobody knows were here and I want to keep it that way for as long as we can. I’ll only transmit when we have no other choice.”
    We all seemed to come to the shocking realization of our situation at that moment and finished our dinner in silence.
  4. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    Bug Out - Chapter 4

    Steve called us over to the radio as the broadcast continued. “…our NATO allies have come together and are sending troops to restore order. The death toll has been revised, and is now, estimated, to be over ninety million. The CDC reports that the numbers will grow rapidly, in the second wave, as disease and starvation spread unchecked. Humanitarian food drops are underway, but have been intercepted by roving bands of raiders. The military is coordinating operations with NATO to eliminate the insurgents. They advise everybody to stay off the streets, stay in their homes and they will get aid to them as soon as possible. They are asking citizens to move dead bodies away from populated areas and, either bury them, or burn them. Boil water as it is unfit to drink. Hunting is prohibited and looters will be shot.” The broadcast ended with, “Remain calm and order will be restored.”
    Mike Foster was a river guide when the shit hit the fan, but now, he led a small band of pirates. The pickins were getting slim on the river and a larger band of pirates had moved in. Mike was on the run, he had no real plan, his men were getting restless and Mike knew he needed a score soon.
    He nosed his boat into the soft sand of an old wash, “We camp here.” He announced to the other boat, “Small fire and two men on watch.” Mike continued, “One bottle tonight. I want everybody sharp!”
    Mike jumped off the boat and headed up the wash to take a leak in privacy and, about twenty yards up the wash, he saw tracks. He hadn’t seen them before, then, he saw why - there was a branch tucked behind a rock - someone had wiped away their tracks, down by the river, out twenty yards to make sure. Clever, but not good enough, Mike thought as he looked around and saw impressions of two heavy objects. His first thought was, Water cans, hauling ten-gallons at a time. That’s a lot of water for one person! Mike called out for Murphy and barked, “Come here and bring my rifle! The rest of you, stay there and set up camp. Murph and I are going to take a look around.”
    They followed the tracks. They were deep - the weight of the water was making them easy to follow. About a mile-in, the footprints ended and the walker became a rider. “Looks like a quad,” Murphy said assuredly.
    “You don’t say, Murph, my boy? What, now?” Dave inquired.
    “We go back, put together a party and pack some gear. Then, we set out at first light,” Murphy replied with confidence.
    “That’s why I picked you, Murph, my boy. That’s why I picked you,” Mike assured.
    Dave announced that he would no longer have to haul water from the river as the diatomaceous earth filter was up and running. The work on the restoration of the cabin and workshop was taking its toll on us. Summer was upon us and it was getting hot in the sun.
    It was my turn to go to the lookout post and relieve Gary. Hauling those heavy rocks to build our cabin was killing me and I needed some relief, so I grabbed my water bottle and started the climb. Gary handed me the 30-06 and left without ceremony.
    I had just got settled-in, when a movement caught my eye - there was a man walking up the trail to our camp. I pulled the scope up to my eye, put the cross hairs on him, saw that he was carrying a rifle, had a pack on his back and he was alone. I watched him for a moment, then, he stopped and waved his arm, pointing in my direction. Who was he pointing for? I thought as I scanned the horizon and then I saw them - six men fanned out coming toward the camp, well off the trail and all of them were carrying rifles and packs.
    I quickly grabbed a rock and threw it into camp, but no one saw it. I hurled another one, right at Steve, I missed by thirty yards, but he saw it and looked up at me. I held up my hands indicating seven, pointed toward the trail and I made a gun sign with my hand.
    Steve gave me the OK sign, bolted toward his tent and, both he and his wife, came out with AKs. They quickly ran over and got Gary and Linda as my wife grabbed the kids and made for the mine. Gary and Steve climbed the hill from behind me and entered the nest together.
    “Where?” Steve asked when he was in the nest.
    “There,” I pointed.
    Steve brought the scope to his eye and looked over the situation. “These guys aren’t amateurs. They must have seen the no trespassing sign I put up in the wash. And sent one guy in alone while the others ambush us,” he said in a low whisper.
    “What do we do?” I asked Steve.
    “We take ’em out. We fight as if our lives depend upon it and we fight as if our family’s lives depend upon it!” Steve replied somberly.
    “Both you and Gary were in the military and fought in the war. You’ve both killed before. Not me. I’ve never killed anybody. I don’t think I can,” I replied
    “Do you want those thugs to have their way with your wife?” Steve asked me in a calm voice.
    “Well if you don’t kill ’em, that’s exactly what they’ll do!” he concluded.
    Gary interrupted, “I can take the two on the right, right off the bat!” he announced. “Look at ’em! Walking right in line, together!” Gary assured.
    Steve replied, “Good idea! After you shoot, I’ll concentrate fire on the others. We can pin ’em down at least!” Steve agreed.
    “Bill, you fire when Gary or I need to reload. We’ll work together!” Steve ordered.
    “What about the guy in the wash?” I asked.
    “He’s already dead, but he doesn’t know it, yet. The berm in front of him is booby trapped with a homemade Claymore Mine remember? So when he hears gunfire, he’ll run right into it, trying to take cover. No we concentrate our fire on the group on the hill,” Steve said mater of factly.
    “Ready!” Gary announced.
    “Go!” Dave replied.
    The shot was deafening. Then, Steve opened up with the AK. When the firing stopped, I stood up and fired my rifle at the hill, it was a bolt-action rifle and, I was so busy working the bolt, that I’d had no time to aim. Not to mention, I was shaking so violently, it’s a wonder I hit the hill. Bullets whizzed all around us as the attackers returned fire. As the firing subsided, Steve’s hand pulled me down as he watched the hill.
    “Three dead and it looks like one wounded,” he announced almost screaming, but I could hardly hear him over the ringing in my ears. Then, came an explosion and the berm in the wash was turned into a cloud of sand.
    “Make that four dead,” Steve corrected.
  5. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    Bug Out - Chapter 5

    Mike crouched behind the boulder, wondering where he went wrong. He looked over at Murphy and asked. “How bad is it?”.
    “It’s bad!” Murphy responded.
    Mike knew it was hopeless, they were pinned down, out gunned and surrender was their only hope. Mike yelled out, “I got an injured man here!” Then, he added, “We surrender!”
    “Sorry, we don’t take prisoners!” Steve responded.
    “Then let us leave, you made your point!” Mike countered.
    “Sorry can’t let you do that either!” Steve replied.
    “Well, then, it seems we are at an impasse!” Mike stated. After a long pause Mike shouted, “Come and get us!”
    “What do we do now?” I asked.
    “We do as the man said. You two stay here, keep them pinned down and I’ll go and flank them. We end this here and we end this now. If they get away, they’ll be back with more men and they won’t fall for an ambush a second time!” Steve warned.
    Mike counted the magazines in his pack, a second time - still two and both of ’em empty. His canteen was empty as well. “Damn!” he swore under his breath. “Toss me your pack!” he called out to Murphy.
    There was no response - Murphy was dead.
    “Shit!” Mike swore again and looked at Kyle, sitting next to him - the kid was green and a coward to boot. “The only way we get out of this, is to make a run for it. You’re faster than me, so you have a better chance. I’ll go first and you follow me when I signal you,” he told Kyle.
    As expected, Kyle immediately jumped up and made a run for it.
    Gary saw the movement, took careful aim at the running target and, when he was sure, he squeezed the trigger - Kyle was dead before he hit the ground.
    Meanwhile, Mike was making a break for it, on his own, in the other direction. But, before Gary noticed and acquired him in his sight Mike was over the hill.
    Steve was working his way around the hill when one of the men made a run for it, so I brought my rifle up and opened fire. Then, another man made a break for it, the other way, and I started to shoot at him. Gary fired and the first man dropped. I wanted to get the second, so I fired four shots and missed all four of them. Gary looked at me and all I could say was, “I tried.”
    He responded, “I know you did. I know you did.”
    Steve saw the guy disappear over the hill and was up and after him like a shot - it was a foot race, but Steve was losing. We watched from the nest as Steve cleared the other hill and the runner started his ascent on the next hill - 300-yards away.
    Gary took careful aim and squeezed off a shot - it struck low a foot away, so he re-sighted, adjusted for elevation and tried again. Hitting a running target at 300-yards would be an amazing feat - if he pulled it off. However, 300-yards quickly became 350-yards and, then, the runner vanished over the next hill. Steve was hot on his tracks and all alone.
    Gary jumped out of the nest and ran down the hill. When he got to the camp he grabbed the AK from Susan and jumped on a quad. I was right behind him. I grabbed the shotgun from my wife kissed her for luck and jumped on the other quad.
    About a mile up the wash, I saw Steve jump on the quad with Gary. They waited for me. “What now?” I asked.
    “He’s headed for the river. We need to get ahead of him and cut him off!” Steve ordered.
    “What if there are more of them at the river?” I asked fearfully.
    “We can count on that!” Steve responded.
    Gary interjected, “How many more is the question. I say we go down, take a look and, if there are only a few, we take them out first.”
    They both looked at me. I stared back dumbfounded as the words left my mouth in a whisper, “I’m with you guys.”
    We left the wash about two miles from the river, rode north and then cut back toward the river. We stopped about a mile from the river and hiked the rest of the way in. We followed the river south and spotted their camp in the wash - three men armed with rifles.
    “Are you clear?” Gary was asking me.
    “Yeah, I shoot the guy by the fire. I take my time and get it right the first time. Then, you two shoot the other two,” I assured.
    “Good now let’s move over to those rocks and do it!” Steve ordered.
    When we were in position, I took careful aim, but I couldn’t pull the trigger.
    Steve whispered in my ear. “Look we’re all scared, but it’s us or them. Think about that. Let it sink in. They’ll do unspeakable things to your wife, Gary’s wife, my wife and my two children - if we don’t stop them. If you don’t stop them, NOW!”
    I took a deep breath, let it halfway out and squeezed the trigger. The report was deafening and the man by the fire fell into the flames. He never moved again. Two shots followed and the other two men fell.
    The two boats were full of spare gas cans, guns, ammunition and lots of food, liquor, and two crates of treasure. We removed everything and stashed it up the bank. Then, we pulled the plugs on the boats and set the boats adrift. We dragged the bodies into the river and set them adrift as well. Steve built up the fire and we took up positions along the bank in view of the camp. We waited and waited and waited. Night came and night went.
    Steve sent Gary and me back to the camp, to check on things and report to our families that we were all okay. We took one quad together and left the other for Steve. When we arrived at our camp, it looked deserted.
  6. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    Bug Out - Chapter 6

    Mike doubled back to the ambush sight to get the spare ammo and water. He knew he couldn’t outrun a quad. When he arrived, he saw a little girl poking her head out from a cave in the hill. He worked his way around the camp and into the mineshaft where he found two children hiding. Mike called out to the others in the camp who were busy gathering things to spend the night in the mine. “I have the kids. You show yourself or I’ll waste them - one at a time!” Mike announced to the camp.
    Susan came running first, then Linda and my wife followed. “Let them go! I’m all you need!” Susan begged.
    Mike tied the women and children up in the mine and forced Susan to keep her word, behind the crates.
    “Where is everybody?” I called out when we arrived in the camp the next morning.
    “Drop your weapons!” came the reply.
    Gary swung the AK toward the mine.
    “Drop it or I kill the women and children!” Mike reiterated.
    Gary lowered his gun and I dropped mine in the dirt.
    “Where’s the other one?” Mike pressed.
    Gary responded reluctantly, “He’s dead! Your men at the river killed him!”
    Susan screamed.
    I struggled at the rope binding my wrists - the circulation in my feet had long since left me. Linda and Betty were crying and Gary was as cool as a cucumber. Little did I know, he was slowly and methodically working his old-timer, cattleman knife out of his pocket.
    Our captor finished his breakfast and Susan was begging him to feed her children. “At least give them some water!” she begged.
    “Sure,” he said, walked over, gave the children a drink of water each and snatched Susan off the floor and dragged her behind the crates.
    Meanwhile, Steve had given up the vigil and was heading back to the camp.
    Mike heard the sound of the quad as it entered the camp. He jumped up and pulled on his pants, ran around the crates, grabbing his AR on the way. Gary managed to get one hand free, struck like a viper, slashed out and struck with speed and accuracy. Mike went down, as his Achilles tendon retracted with the speed and force or a rubber band.
    When Mike hit the ground, Gary was on top of him. Gary still had one hand tied to his waist and his feet were tied, but he fought like a rabid badger. Mike managed to pin Gary’s knife wielding wrist to the ground, but that just seemed to make it worse - Gary started head butting Mike.
    Just then, Steve walked into the mine, taking in the scene. Steve jumped on Mike and Gary pulled free, used his knife to free himself and freed the rest of us. Susan emerged from behind the crates naked, in tears and clutched her children as the women tried to cover her with a blanket.
    Steve took one look at Susan and knew what Mike had done. “Out! Out! All of you!” Steve commanded.
    We filtered out of the mine and the women led Susan and the children into their tent. Gary and I lingered outside the mine and heard Mike beg Steve to make it quick - it was a plea that would go unanswered for hours. The screams were haunting and, when they finally stopped, Steve came out of the mine with his head hung low and covered in blood. He looked at us, straightened himself up and walked slowly toward his tent.
    When Gary and I entered the mine, the scene was ghastly and I almost threw up. Gary grabbed the tarp from the crates and tossed it on the filleted corpse - Steve had literally skinned the rapist alive. We wrapped him up and hauled him away.
    Tully Mars, techsar, oldawg and 2 others like this.
  7. C.T.Horner

    C.T.Horner Monkey

    Bug Out - Chapter 7

    Time passed slowly over the next several days. Susan never left their tent and Steve stayed with her. Our wives watched the children and brought meals to the grieving couple while Gary and I took turns standing watch and running the camp.
    News on the shortwave was improving. The military was gaining more and more ground every day, however, the death toll had exceeded 150 million people - half the population was dead. Power was restored to most of the country and commerce was coming back. Gold and silver was all that anybody would accept, besides barter.
    Gary and I inventoried the loot we got from the pirates and added it to our stores, while Linda divided the contents of the two crates of gold and silver. “We’re rich!” Linda remarked to everyone gathered around after she finished dividing the treasure. She smiled widely as she stacked the gold and silver coins alongside the piles of gold jewelry. “Okay, since I made the piles, it’s only fair that you two should pick first,” Linda declared as she tossed a coin in the air.
    Steve called heads and it landed on tails. While I was trying to decide what pile to pick, my wife picked up a gold bracelet and admired it before putting it on. “I guess we’ll take this pile,” I said with a smile.
    Steve bent over, scooped up the treasure from the pile closest to him and filled one of the empty crates. Then, Gary filled the other crate with the remaining pile. I collected our share and put it in a five-gallon, pickle bucket before grabbing a shovel and leading my wife into the desert to find a place to bury it.
    The months passed quickly and Susan came out of her shell. The women schooled the children and kept the camp running smoothly while Gary went out hunting, I gathered firewood and Steve manned the radio. We all took turns standing watch.
    We were in our camp for over a year, as news came in every day the situation in the world outside was improving slowly, but surely. The Federal Reserve was eliminated, the U.S. Treasury backed the “New Dollar” with gold and the price was set at twenty five thousand dollars an ounce.
    Steve decided it was safe enough to transmit and began regular communications with a ham radio operator in Salt Lake City. After months of communication, Steve learned things were getting back to normal there.
    During dinner one night, Steve recommended that we consider returning to society. He assured us things were safe in Salt Lake City and, with our treasure, we could all live comfortably for the rest of our lives - as long as society didn’t break down again.
    “But Salt Lake City is over five hundred miles from here, so how do we get there, with all that loot, and not get mugged?” Gary asked.
    When nobody could think of a solution, we finished our dinner in silence.
    The following morning, Gary announced to the group, “I’ll go and arrange for transportation, for everybody, but you’ll have to finance our evacuation.”
    “It’s too dangerous!” Steve replied.
    “Sure it’s dangerous, but sometimes, one has to take risks, especially when the reward is so great!” Gary insisted.
    “What do you mean?” I asked.
    “Simple. Each adult will give me ten ounces of gold - the children get a pass - then I’ll go,” Gary assured.
    “That’s a million dollars!” I declared.
    “Exactly!” Gary replied with a wide smile.
    The hours crept by, for the next week, as we waited for word from Gary. One day, the silence was broken, by a call on the radio, in the middle of lunch. Steve dropped his fork, ran over to the radio, answered the call and discovered it was a radio operator out of Bolder City, Nevada. He was relaying a message from Gary that a seaplane would arrive, an hour after sunrise the following morning and we were to meet it at the river, packed and ready to go.
    We celebrated by hollering hysterically and dancing wildly in the camp. Steve broke out a bottle of wine and we all toasted to Gary’s health.
    No one slept a wink at all that night - except the children.
    At sunrise, we packed the stuff we wanted to take with us and ferried ourselves and gear to the river with the quads.
    Linda was the first to spot the plane as it passed overhead. Then, it made a slow bank turn and circled us twice before rocking its wings. We all cheered as it touched down on the calm glasslike surface of the river. The door opened as the plane stopped ten yards off the beach, so Steve and I waded out into the river to take the line Gary had in his hand.
    After two and a half hours, the plane landed in the water, near the shore of the Great Salt Lake, taxied through narrow jetties and right up the boat ramp before coming to a stop, in the parking lot.
    We were met by Sam “Sparky” Montgomery the ham radio operator Steve had made friends with. As we disembarked the plane, the first thing I noticed was that everybody in the gathered crowd was wearing a side arm. “Sparky?” Steve called out.
    “Steve!” Sparky replied as he pushed through the crowd and offered his hand.
    The two men shook hands as Steve handed Sparky a Silver Eagle and Sparky gave Steve the keys to the van he’d arranged to purchase. Sparky attempted to give Steve his change, but Steve refused to accept it. “You still owe me dinner,” Sparky insisted.
    “I’m looking forward to it,” Steve assured.
    “I’ve got you booked at the Imperial - there’s a map on the dash,” Sparky informed Steve as he helped with the bags.
    We all grabbed our gear, piled into the van before driving through town and stopping in front of the Imperial Hotel.
    The first thing my wife did was take an hour-long hot bath while I called room service. “That’s right, two bacon double-cheeseburgers, two orders of French fries and two large chocolate shakes,” I confirmed.
    “Anything else?” the man asked.
    I thought about it for a moment and called out, “Honey! I’m ordering room service! Do you want anything?”
    If you enjoyed this short story please take a moment and consider my survival series, Corporate Survival, available on Kindle.
    As always, I truly appreciate the support you, my readers, give me. Thank you. C.T. Horner.
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