Is Anyone Out There?

They’d been moving everything they needed to the cave for the past three weeks. Today was the last trip. Once the vehicles were unloaded, Christopher and Bud backed the trucks down the side of the mountain at various points. The mobile was positioned on the crest of the mountain. After they repositioned everything, Bud had the distinct honor of lighting each one on fire, even the mobile.

As the four vehicles burned, Christopher sat in the tall grass with Bud on his shoulders eating candy, watching the thick black smoke billow up into the blue sky.

Christopher with the help of Bryan and Natalie, had over the last twenty-one days, wired the cave with the cold fusion generator producing enough electrical current to run a water heater, washer, dryer, and pumps for two baths with tub shower combinations. They equipped the kitchen with an electric range, five coolers with an ice maker, lower cabinets with a concrete countertop with a cave wall back splash and double sink. The cave floor was poured concrete to the drop off. Bedrooms were constructed on either side of the cavern to include a medical room. A large plastic covering spray painted camouflage to cover the cave entrance was made and put into place.

Claudia and Bud would scan for anyone playing hide and seek from the burned our mobile on the ridgeline. From their vantage point, they could see many kilometers in any direction. During the night Bryan, Natalie and Christopher took turns standing watch.

Another three weeks had passed since their arrival with no sign of any life. Once the front of the cave was closed in, Christopher, Natalie and Bryan alternating with Sylvia patrolled along the ridgeline in search of animal and plant life. They found abundant animal life and a variety of plants and trees to provide an additional food source. As the weeks passed, they were asking themselves, “Is there anyone out there?”

On the eleventh week, their question was answered. Five mobiles carrying scavengers pulled into town. Christopher watched them for two weeks as they moved from store to store and house to house, taking what they wanted. Two weeks later, another convoy of three mobiles carrying scavengers entered the town. They were not warmly greeted.

Christopher watched fire fights over territorial claims of stores and houses for many weeks. Before long there were, by Christopher’s estimation, one hundred scavengers from distinct groups claiming sections of the town.

It was time to ready their defenses they had in place. Fighting positions along the ridgeline were stocked with ammunition and grenades taken from the police station. Barbed wire fencing with concrete parking bumpers as post, had been strung below the top of the tall grass for one hundred meters further up the slope from the third truck. They also rigged flash-bang grenades in each of the staged trucks. Christopher designed the booby-traps, barbed wire and bumpers to slow them down long enough for sniper rounds to kill as many as possible. Natalie and Bryan had proven themselves to be quite the marksman, capable of hitting a paper plate from five hundred meters. After the barbed wire, Christopher buried thirty barrels, staggered in two rows along the one-hundred-meter defensive line. Each of the thirty barrels had a flash-bang grenade sealed into the bottom of the barrel, then filled with hydraulic fluid. Wires running back to Christopher’s fighting position enabled him to ignite the barrels spewing a fire ball of home-made napalm.

As the fighting increased in town. Christopher knew a weak group would try to escape over the mountain or the strongest group would want to explore the other side of the mountain for more resources.

The next day at 1300 hours Bud and Claudia radioed five mobiles were coming from town heading for the mountain. Christopher, Natalie, Bryan and Sylvia ran to their fighting positions. Christopher, Natalie, and Bryan had sniper rifles with night-vision scopes and automatic rifles in their fighting positions. Sylvia along with Bud and Claudia manned a machine gun. They watched as the mobiles moved up the slope. They drove by the first truck, staged at five hundred meters. As the mobiles progressed, they stopped at the second truck to investigate. Their first mistake.

The second truck, positioned at three hundred and fifty meters, afforded an excellent distance for them to snipe their enemy. Christopher radioed, “Call out your targets.”

Four people from a mobile got out and moved toward the truck. Natalie and Bryan called out their targets. Christopher would clean up the remaining two. As the four reached the truck Christopher radioed, “Now.”

Three shots were fired with the sound of one. Three of the four fell, followed shortly by the fourth. All now dead on the ground.

Then they made their second mistake. Each of the four remaining mobiles emptied and took cover in the tall grass. Christopher, seeing their lack of tactics, radioed, “Hold fire. If they move forward, we can reengage.”

After ten minutes, the confused group sent eight back to the first truck as the other eight moved toward the third truck. Christopher then instructed Natalie and Bryan to select their targets and be ready when he called. He radioed Sylvia to fire one shot from her pistol on his mark.

As the eight approached the first truck, he radioed, “Targets selected?”

Natalie and Bryan confirmed their targets.

Then Christopher radioed, “Now Sylvia.”

When the pistol shot rang out, all the scavengers stopped. Three dropped immediately by the truck. With the scavengers separated and in the open, Christopher instructed Natalie and Bryan to fire when a target appeared. Natalie handled targets on the right side of the first truck. Bryan had responsibility for targets on the left. In less than three minutes, two more scavengers fell victim to Natalie and Bryan. Within 10 minutes, eight bodies laid dead as they tried to make it back to the others.

As bullets zipped over their heads, the eight trying to make their way to the third truck were panicking. After the gunfire stopped, they thought it was ok to move back to their mobiles. There was their third mistake. Christopher, Natalie and Bryan took out another three as the remaining five ran as fast as they could back to the second truck. They each jumped into a mobile and sped away back to town. The engagement was over in less than thirty minutes.

Published by M.Short

As a 19 year old CW2 helicopter combat pilot, M. Short served as an aircraft commander being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and eleven Combat Air Medals while serving the U.S. Army in the Vietnam war. His passion for Science Fiction and his experiences in combat as a pilot gave him his inspiration for the series -A Saga of Dogs of War. A Mercenaries Story. His series starts in 2235 after the Earth starts to heal from a cataclysmic event. The series follows the lives and experiences of one mercenary clan as they reclaim the Earth for their corporate sponsor, XTECH.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: