After breakfast, Christopher gathered everyone together. “We are going shopping today. When we get to town Natalie and Bryan will drop us off at the Mall, then take overwatch sniper positions on her house’s roof. Maintain radio silence until a target is spotted. Once in position, radio us. When we have completed clothes shopping, we will radio for extraction. When we call, Natalie will collect her winter coats, then Natalie and Bryan will pick us up. Next stop will be Bryan’s house. Bryan, you need to be in and out with your clothes in fifteen minutes. The dealership will be our next stop. Bryan and Sylvia will select two trucks with sides. We will take hoses, funnels and buckets to siphon enough gas to get them back to the house. Chances are the refueling points will be empty, but we’ll check them, anyway. If we find a refueling point with fuel, we will fill the trucks and the bulk tank in Natalie’s truck. Minimum time on the ground without oversight. Questions anyone?”
Bud raised his hand, “Can I get red winter pants? I have never had red pants.”
Christopher nodded his head, “Red pants it is young man. Even if there are no red pants, we will dye them red for you. Any more questions before we leave?”
Bud raised his hand again, “Do I get to burn any trucks or mobiles?”
“Sorry big guy, not this time.”
Natalie dropped them off at the mall and then headed to her house to set up the overwatch with Bryan. Sylvia and Claudia checked out the girl and teen shops. Christopher and Bud checked out the boy’s stores. Three hours later, with half the mall stacked by the front door, they had everything on the list. Christopher radioed, “Overwatch were are ready.”
Natalie radioed, “Roger, ETA twenty minutes to your location.”
After they loaded the truck, they headed to the dealership. Natalie took overwatch as Sylvia and Bryan picked out two trucks. Christopher and Bud teamed up to siphoned fuel, as did Sylvia and Claudia and Bryan. After they siphoned as much fuel as possible, Natalie was called down from her observation point.
Sylvia and Natalie checked out fueling points while Bryan drove to his house. He was on schedule, in and out, in less than fifteen minutes. They found two refueling points with fuel. After all the trucks were full, they headed to the house.
As they were traveling, Bud let everyone know he was now the proud owner of red pants, big ones. Sylvia stared at Christopher as Bud kept bragging about his red pants.
Christopher shrugged his shoulders, “He insisted on wearing one pair home. What could I say?”
They unloaded the truck and covered them. They ate a late lunch, then they were treated to a fashion show of the children’s new clothes. After dinner it was time to start the 1800-hour watch.
Natalie and Bryan came to Christopher, “Would it be alright if we watched together until 0100 hours?”
Christopher trying to look stern, “There needs to be total concentration out there. If you miss someone approaching, we all could die. You understand the seriousness of these watches?”
Bryan stepped forward, “We understand, sir. Natalie and I won’t let you down. We will either be behind our binoculars or our scopes. It helps to have company out there, sir. It can get lonely on watch.”
“No one is going to die on our watch, Christopher. We promise.” said Natalie.
Christopher appearing to be in deep thought, “It is worth a try. I’ll relief you both at 0100 hours. Remember, you promised not to let me down.
Natalie excited, gave Christopher a kiss on the cheek, “We won’t.”
They grabbed their binoculars, sniper rifles and helmets to start their watch.
Bud and Claudia were playing a board game at the kitchen table, while Sylvia and Christopher sat on the sofa in the front room. Sylvia turned toward Christopher, “So, Mr. Softy. First the red pants, then Bryan and Natalie. You are on a roll today. My money says Bud sleeps in those red pants tonight.”
“If he does, it’s fine with me. He’s seven. Sleeping in your pants is a rite of passage, right? Since we are discussing expectations, I was very disappointed not seeing you in the fashion show. I didn’t take you for the shy type.”
Sylvia leaned over to Christopher and stroked his face, “You still have more cards to play soldier. If you play them correctly, you may get a private fashion show.”