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Thread: Downgrade

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state


    A new doomer story, I hope you enjoy!

    It’s funny how things can change so fast, how event’s half the world away that seem so inconsequential one day, can come to mean so much to you now. Events happen, and the world seems to turn, changing everything in a fortnight.

    John stared out his back porch window, looking at all the other townhome porches lined up the same way. He noticed his neighbor, Devlin, had a tarp up, covering his porch from view. John knew if he stepped outside, he would hear his neighbor hard at work, but no one knew what he was building or repairing. Whatever it was, Devlin did not want the rest of the world to see it. John, who was a live and let live kinda guy, decided that was ok. A few busy bodies had brought up the tarp at the last board of directors meeting, but John had voted not to do anything about it. Devlin wasn’t hurting anyone, besides, it never stayed up longer than a few hours. John did not feel it was any of his business, and there had been times he had opted for a fence covering his small patio. All the back porch areas were in clear view of each other, townhome living was becoming an acquired taste.
    John folded up the classifieds, and placed them in the recycling bin. He walked upstairs, and began getting ready to go out. He had been out of work for six weeks, leaving a job he was making no money at, and he hoped to have the time to find something better. After six weeks it was straining his family’s savings, but he had faith he would find something better. He had been on the computer for hours, this morning, after getting his wife off to work and his son off to daycare. Needing a break, he ate alittle breakfast, and decided to head to the range. John was no big firearm collector, he had a belief in self defense, and being prepared. His firearms reflected that. He owned a Fn highpower, a Remmy 870 riot gun, and two M1 carbines. He wanted a good 308, but he had no access to a rifle range, and the pistol range was only down the road. He liked the AK and the AR, but had no use for them, since he could not properly shoot them at a range. So his collection reflected the realities of living in an urban environment. He grabbed a few boxes of ammo, and his handgun, deciding to leave the carbines in the safe. He didn’t want to waste any more 30 cal ammo, since until he began working again he would not be able to replace it. Since he had plenty of 9mm, he did not feel so bad placing 100 rounds downrange.
    Before he left, he made a mental note of his “honey do” list, which included going to the bulk grocery warehouse, and get the usual. He knew he was going to add a few items to the shopping list, and he needed to write down what he thought he needed for the “emergency” larder. John was a closet preparedness geek. He had gotten into it before Y2K, and kept up some type of supply list since. It was that one thing that kinda made him different. His wife, Linda had chalked it up to “his thing” and she only focused on it during hurricane season. She never thought it was necessary, but never questioned her husband. It had become part of his “charm” and she just let him carry on. He had built up enough supplies, hidden in the nook and crannies of a three bedroom townhome, to last about three months. John would’ve felt better having enough for a year, but finances and room was the spoiler.
    With his gear in hand he headed out the door, putting his key in the ignition of his six year old Mazda truck, and started the engine. He checked the radio for any decent tunes, finding none, he switched from fm to am, and began listening to the local talk station. Luckily, it was the top of the hour, and the news came on. “Today, Saudia Arabia admitted in a public statement that they had been through a four day battle with insurgents, in three different cities.” “Smoke could be seen rising from the lower income neighborhoods in Riyadh, and information is coming in that high explosives may have been found at the largest oil processing center in the country.” John visibly frowned, as the local talk DJ came on. “Looks like the Saudi’s are facing some unrest.” Then he moved on to the ongoing MinuteMan group operating in Arizona. John lost interest, and put a tape into the deck. Sometimes, nothing can compare to a little Bruce Hornsby.

    Devlin simply spat in frustration. He had built four Fals, and thought that would mean the fifth one would be easier, but getting the receiver knub off of the barrel assembly was harder than expected. This was his third R1 kit, which was supposed to be South African, but actually had Rhodesian serial numbers. He was a military history buff, and the Rhodesian War was by far his favorite time period. Owning rifles that still had the paint scheme and shooting them, somehow brought Devlin closer to the conflict. He heard a car door slam, and listened for the engine. “It’s John, must be going somewhere”. Devlin had shared only a few pleasantries with John over the year’s, busy schedules and personal space had kept him from getting to know the family next door. He figured John was all right though, because he had gotten a few of John’s “Shotgun News” issues by mistake. Devlin believed in the second amendment like a Baptist in the second coming, and it had cost him socially whenever the subject came up. He had moved here from out west, taking a software position with a company in the triangle. He had been lucky enough to find a rifle range, about an hour and a half away, and he went there twice a month to keep his aim up. He was a FAL guy, and would accept nothing else. He owned a 1911 clone, which he had night sights added to the slide. But he was no pistolero, preferring a rifle to anything else. Apart from a few cases of MRE’s and bottled water, preparedness or end of the world scenario’s weren’t on his mind. As he was getting frustrated and hungry, he began putting everything up, deciding he should not have taken the day off. Going into the kitchen from his porch, he turned his radio off, just as the news about a new terror attack was coming on.

    Most American’s, dulled by constant images from Iraq, ignored the days goings on. Most Americans would not even comprehend event’s as they happened. So who cared that a dirty bomb went off at one of the ports that oil was shipped out of. Who cared that it happened in Venezuela. As events cascaded into memory, who cared that a group of Mexican soldiers, thinking they were shooting at the Minutemen, instead killed a unit of border patrol agents. They had gotten lost in the wasteland, and seeing a group of armed Americans, assumed the worst and opened fire. Four agents were killed. But in the end, who cared?

    In this story, I hope to talk about my perception of peak oil, and how it may effect our lives. Acts of terror, and the chaos that follows, the rising prices and how that may effect our cities and families. I hope this is a good read for all of us, and I hope it is enjoyable. Some of these events will sound familiar, but I at least hope to put a different spin on my own version of the Downgrade in our society. Hold on to your hats, and grab on to something stable, the winds of change are beginning to blow.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    South East South Dakota
    I'm enjoying it. More?


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state
    Debating the Apocolypse

    As John began his session at the range, loading his mags and placing the paper target on the electronic spacer, he began thinking about the possible consequences of the turmoil in Saudi Arabia. He had not yet heard the news about Venezuela. Thinking to himself, he realized that even though the US does not get most of it’s supply from the Mid East, prices were based on production and futures speculation. If there was unrest in the Kingdom, it could drive prices higher than they already were. “Sheesh, it’s $2.30 a gallon now.” He thought to himself. Moving the target, and preparing to fire, he made a mental note to read as much news tonight as possible, and try to remember to listen to the BBC. American news would still be fixated on Michael Jackson. What a waste of bandwidth.

    The dirty bomb set off a wave of hysteria in Venezuela, a country which the US receives a lot of oil from. Chavez cancelled all oil shipments, citing security concerns, then went on a rampage of blaming America for the attack. Of course, most intelligence analysts in the US said there was more of a chance that Chavez did it himself, than anything else. After this and with the admission of Saudi Arabia that they were having internal problems, the stock market that afternoon went into panic mode. Now, you would think, dear reader, that the market would start tanking. Fear not oh weary invester, what happened that afternoon, was a massive trade off, as high dollar portfolio’s began trading on oil futures. The numbers we watch on TV stayed level, because at first people began trading up and down. The numbers accurately reflected the “trading” but not loss of confidence. That would come later………

    John plastered his targets with 9mm. Satisfied, he began packing up to leave. Once outside of the actual indoor range, and in the shop, he began watching the news reports, which were on a TV hanging from the ceiling.
    “You ready to settle up, John?”
    “Yeah, Hazey, What’s the damage?”
    “You brought your own ammo, about $15 bucks”
    “Great, here you go.”
    “The market is going through some heavy trading today.”
    “Yeah, but it does not seem to be tanking, what happened?”
    “Some idiot set off a dirty bomb at one of Venezuela’s tanker ports.”
    “Your kidding?”
    “No, it was on the news, before everything switched over to the market watch”
    “Hazey, have a good one.”
    “You too John, have a good’un”

    John had never really felt scared before, and a lot of times when something happened in the world, he felt apprehensive. But this was raw fear now. He knew that this would have a cascading effect on everything. “Gas is $2.30 now, it will be through the roof by the end of the week.” He thought to himself. It was Tuesday, and only the man upstairs could tell what would happen next. Placing his pistol kit bag in the back of the cabin part of the extended cab of the truck, he grabbed it out again. He had a concealed carry permit, and his highpower rested in an inside the wasteband rig on his right side. He never carried a spare mag, because he was never anywhere he though he needed more than 13 rounds. Most of the time he only carried while shopping in areas where criminal behavior may be a factor. Most eating establishments served alcohol in Raleigh, and that negated carrying a concealed weapon on the premises. He slipped an extra mag which was loaded into his jacket pocket, and decided to drive straight to the local warehouse grocer. Hopping into his truck, he turned on the local news station, and listened with bated breath.

    Arriving at the grocer, John opted for a dolly instead of the usual cart. He filled it up with Diapers, wipes, trash bags, toilet paper. Then he got to a food section, he loaded up on canned goods, soups, veggies, tuna, chicken. Then pasta, rice, and sauce. Then he hit the water isle, and loaded about ten cases of 1liter bottles. He was getting a lot of stares from the stay at home moms and dads floating around store. Because he had been shopping here for the past few years, he knew a few of the clerks. He had built a cover story, which was technically true. His parent’s owned about three acres in a rural part of the state. His story was that periodically stocked a vacation lodge near the mountains. The house was about an hour and a half from the mountains in Virginia, but it was not anywhere near the “vacation paradise” John made it out to be. But it allowed him to make large purchases, without building any kind of suspicion. Checking out, the clerk asked, “Stocking the vacation house, John?”
    “Yeah, we may start taking my son out there twice a month, to let him run around a bit.”
    “You can’t really run much where we live now.”
    “Your bill comes out to $1200, how do you want to pay?”
    “Credit card bud, charge it!”

    John pushed the items out to his truck and loaded it up. Starting his truck to head home, he listened to the radio.
    “Chaos has erupted in Venezuela, as the Chavez Government tries to keep control.” “The Venezuelan military has been placed on full alert, and are now patrolling the streets of the major cities.” “All oil refineries and processing stations have been taken over by military authorities.” “ Chavez has turned down an offer from the US to send FBI and ATF investigators to help with identifying the maker of the explosive device.” “Chavez announced that Chinese investigators would be arriving soon to help with the clean up and the terror investigation.” “China announced that it would be sending aid to Chavez, adding that they would be working closely with the UN and the Security Council.” “In other news, the market was down only 100 points today in late afternoon trading.” “When asked about the effect of the days events, a market pundit working for this news station suggested that this was a correction, and that there was nothing to worry about, adding “Even if prices of crude oil go up, America can probably take one, more hit at the pump.”
    “And now to our regularly scheduled program.”

    John wished he would have spent more than $1200 on groceries. When he got home, He began bringing in the supplies he bought. He quickly began running out of places to put it all. They had an extra bedroom, that had been converted to a small study/office, and he just stacked everything in the room. He began mentally preparing himself for the talk he would have to have with his wife. Would she understand? Would she get it? Only time would tell. He thought about calling his father, and trying to get him to understand what may happen. So many people that he wanted to call to explain how he felt about what was probably a lifechanging event. But everyone he knew, would only laugh at him, tell him he was “paranoid” and change the subject. John was also stuck with a father who was a know it all, and could except no one’s opinion but his own. John had learned over time how bad pride could effect a family. He had sworn to himself that he would not suffer his father’s fate.

    Devlin finished his sandwich, and stared at his porch. Deciding to give it one more shot, he went outside and gave the receiver knub one more shot. Surprisingly, it came off, and he was able to finish the kit. Getting everything together to be put up, he thought to himself that this would be the last Fal he would build, yeah, like that would happen.

    Devlin turned on the radio, and got the local talk show. They were debating oil prices going up, and the effect of the days event’s on the oil supply. To say it caught Devlin’s attention was an understatement. The DJ was talking with a local professor about what could happen, trying to stay general, and not start a panic. What the Professor said would reverberate for hours.
    “SO you are saying Prof, that this is serious, and that these attacks may actually hurt the US more than the countries involved?”
    “Yes Conservative talk guy, I am.”
    “But how, I mean, Americans are already paying $2.50 at the pump. There has been no revolution, a lot of grumbling, but no revolt.” “I do not even hear many politicians complaining about it.”
    “But how much did you pay for a gallon of milk last week?”
    “ Well, about $5.00, give or take a buck?”
    “ OK, so at $2.50 a gallon, milk is, on average $5.00. How about a loaf of bread?”
    “Alright, bread is roughly $3.00.”
    “So now milk is $5 and bread is $3, much more than this time last year, and how do you think they end up at the grocery store.”
    “Well they are delivered by truck, but …….”
    “That’s right, they are delivered, by independent vendors, who add the charges of transportation into the bill.”
    “ What are we going to do if gas is $5, milk goes to $10, and bread goes to $6, correct?”
    “Yeah, but……”
    “Well, that could happen overnight, we haven’t even gotten into other dairy products, or produce, canned goods, meats, the list goes on and on.”
    “And another thing, how long do you think that the mall will be open?” “If you are spending all your money at the pump, guess what? No more money for impulse shopping, resturaunts, or the movies.” “That means layoffs, and companies going out of business.”
    “That is just a worse case scenario, Prof”
    “No it is very realistic. We will be in a situation where we have warehouses full of goods, but they will still be too expensive for people to afford.” “ America will have in the next few months, an unaffordable surplus of goods, most of which are not necessary but they are luxury items.” “And the loss will be felt around the world.”
    “Well, this has been an eye opening discussion, if a little on the alarmist side.”

    Devlin was about to hit panic mode. He looked around his home, and decided it was time to make some changes. He started making a serious grocery list, what he might need, what he might not. He decided to buy as much as he could. He made a great living, and could afford to blow some money, but he did not want to full tilt toward panic, yet. He decided to wait a day, and go to work. But he began thinking about that shopping list, and how he could maybe change his vehicle into some sort of bug out vehicle. Staying here would not be a good option, too urban, too many people. He had some serious thinking to do!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state
    Running On Empty….

    Devlin could not relax. It was now 7pm, the news was still calm, portraying events as if it has no bearing on the United States. But he could not shake the sense that this was earth shattering, that life was about to turn, or change. He wanted to step back for a moment, go to work tomorrow, take a breath of fresh air. But he couldn’t, he wanted action, he wanted it now. He grabbed a piece of paper, and began writing a list. Drawing a line down the center of the page, one side titled, “NEEDS” the other “WANTS”. He wrote down these titles in the NEEDS section, food, water, shelter, power, cooking, protection, fuel, job security. In the WANTS section he wrote, reloading equipment, then he stopped. He realized at this point most everything would be a NEED. So he pressed on, taking everything he had wrote and tying it in with how he would get it.

    Food- Must be storable, last at least six months stored, easy to cook, easy to find, easy to trade. He wrote down, ramon noodles, ravioli in cans, canned pasta, canned meat, canned veggies, canned fruits, canned soups. Boxes of crackers, boxes of granola, boxes of fruit bars, boxes of oatmeal, rice bagged or boxed. All kinds of jerky, boxes of all kinds of pasta, pasta sauce, soft burrito shells, cheese dip in cans, powdered milk. Candy, bulk chocolate, flour. He kept going for a while till he thought he had written enough.

    Water-As much bottled water as he could store, as well as a filter. He also wrote down juices, canned and bottled. Plus, get some tang, it makes all water taste good.

    Shelter-As long as he could make his mortgage payment, he was ok. See job security.

    Power- would stay on as long the bill was paid and there were no interruptions

    Cooking- Power, but needed propane, and a small packable grill as well. Hope the power stays on!

    Protection- 1911, four FALS, about 500 rounds for the 45, 3000 for the FALS. About 100 mags (They are $5 a pop from DSA). Look into getting riot gun. Get ammo, reloading equipment as well. Check prices for Wolf ammo in 308. Rising fuel costs will bring surplus ammo prices higher. Geez…..could spend as much here as the food section.

    Fuel- How long will current supply last? Will other countries step up supply? Will prices stabilize? Look into getting four 5gallon cans, and some stabil. Keep one in the vehicle, the rest at home.

    Job Security- Software engineer, programmer. We have two Federal Government contracts. Will company downsize? Will there be layoffs? Who knows?

    Money- Will have to spend like a drunken sailor, and keep cash. Will cash loose value?
    Devlin looked at his watch, it was 9pm. Most grocery stores were open until midnight, he decided he wouldn’t be able to relax, so he jumped into his Jeep Cherokee and drove to the nearest grocery store. He grabbed two grocery carts, and pulling out his list, filled them with non-perishables. He made the purchase with his credit card, and drove home. He noticed the shelves were not empty, and that no one seemed to be panicking. Going home, he thought on his day, and how he felt his life was going to change.

    John sat there facing his wife, who was about to nuclear on him. She had saved her anger, waiting after dinner and after their son was put into bed.
    “$1200? On groceries? Because you think the world is going to end?”
    “I never said the world was going to end, just that starting tomorrow things are going to change.”
    “I just wanted to get a leg up, to give us a fighting chance to make it through”
    “I agree John, that the events of the day have me worried, but we just don’t have the money for you to spend this way.”
    “You want to go spend more tomorrow don’t you?”
    “Yes, but it will help us get ready.”
    “John, I have to say I am so disappointed, you should have waited to speak with me first.”
    “I understand, I should have, but the time to wait and discuss may be over.”
    “John, make a list of what you think we need, and tomorrow we can talk about it, I forgive you, but from now one we discuss the spending of this much money together.”
    “ OK darling, we will”
    “I am too exhausted to talk anymore, I am going to bed.”
    “I think I will stay up, maybe catch the news.”
    “John, you are going to drive yourself crazy”
    “I know”
    “I love you baby”
    “I love you too”

    John began surfing the stations, going to FOX, CNN, and MSNBC. They were talking about the attacks, but everyone was very careful not to talk about the effect it may have on the US. He turned the channel to the PBS station, which ran the BBC every night. Strangely, it was not on. There was a message that it would not be shown on PBS affiliates anymore. John, turned the tv off, and went into the computer room where he kept his shortwave. Trying to find the BBC, he noticed weird bonging noises on the shortwave. He could not get the usual end of the world broadcasters either. “What is going on?” He heard a door slamming outside, and looking out the window, he saw Devlin carrying groceries into his home. “Maybe Devlin’s thinking what I am thinking”
    John made a mental note to speak with his neighbor in the next few days.

    The firefight between Mexican soldiers and Border Patrol agents hadn’t been reported yet in the national media. But all along the border citizens had heard the rumors, and began arming themselves. As both the Mexican and American government were doing their very best to control the information, the criminal element, struck next. The big drug dealers, those that had exacerbated the border problem with a modicrum of support form the Mexican military, began sending as many people as they could across the border. Sensing rising tensions, they were trying to get as many people across the border into the US as possible. Those people were carrying drugs and guns, both of which were needed by the Hispanic gangs that were taking hold all throughout the American South and Southwest. The leaders of these gangs knew, that in the coming days, the US would have to put troops on the ground, or they would have a serious situation on their hands. Already, in 24 hours, the NICS system, which is the system in place for background checks, was becoming backlogged as residents of the border states started arming themselves. Farmers, in actions reminiscent of Rhodesia, were forced to defend their homes against AKM and SKS fire. Citizen protection groups, such as the Minutemen and others, were now retreating from the border areas, because they were not trained or armed to handle the situation. They also knew, the government would come down hard on anyone not a resident, who was armed and on the border. It was a prudent gesture, as they were there to both bring attention to the crisis as well as support law enforcement on the border. They were not there to cause trouble or to create problems for law enforcement.

    The Mexican president had a whole set of problems. His government runs at best at a certain level of chaos. Some generals believed in law and answered to el presidente, others, who were in the pockets of the different drug cartels, refused to answer to his authority. Since evil has a trickle down effect, those bad seeds, had men who were totally loyal to them, not Mexican civilian authority. The stage was set for anarchy, and a possible military junta (you guys should rent or buy the movie Power Play). This in turn would bring a whole set of problems to the US President, whose military was already stretched to the breaking point. World wars have started for less reasons, but this would be very complicated.

    Fletcher lived in the same townhome building as John and Devlin. He and his wife enjoyed their relative wealth and comfort, taking expensive trips four or five times a year, and living life to the fullest. They were home this week, coming back from a long weekend trip to Barbados (The most friendliest place on the earth, after my mom’s house of course). They were heavily invested in the stock market, and thanks to both sets of parent’s investing wisely in the 70’s and 80’s, they were pretty much set for life. Fletch worked as an insurance salesman, very lucrative if you hit your marks. His wife worked in a flower shop, because she could only be around lovely things. They were oblivious to the coming crisis, and were in for a shock.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state
    Getting’ in Tune

    As John was locking up for the night, he looked outside his front window, as he normally did, saying goodbye to the night, and welcoming a new day. He saw three men, walking the street, looking at the different cars. They seemed to be making notes about where the nicest cars were parked. John kept watching as they walked to one of the townhomes across the street. He knew those guys, and had never liked them. John lived in a nice area, but you can’t control who your neighbors are. These men were young, early twenties and never worked or went to school. They just lived there. John knew what they were doing, and did not like it one bit. They were the local dealers, every neighborhood has one (like it or not). There was nothing you do about it, just watch and learn. John did, as much as possible.

    Wednesday Morning

    Fletcher had a busy day planned, he needed to check a few references, and make some calls then hit the road. He found a large retiree golf neighborhood, and wanted to make some leads there. Supplementary insurance is big business these days, and he wanted to get in on this opportunity. Then the general manger called all the agents who were in the office into the conference room.
    “All right people, this will be quick, then you can go about your business”
    “Premiums will be going up starting next week, the price changes will be emailed to you from the home office, they will high, so expect some resistance.”
    “The good news is, every insurance provider is going to do the same thing, so no one will be able to cancel their program.”
    “The bad news, is the residual payment system is being cancelled starting next month.”
    “The company is expecting net loss within the next six months, and may not be able to pay out residual commission on new sales.”

    The room exploded, Fletch, being more of a thinker than an emotional speaker, nodded his head and went back to his cubicle. Insurance companies reflect how much money Americans are willing to spend. If companies were expecting a loss in income from American spenders, mainly the middle class and the baby boomer generation, something must be up. Fletch decided he might want to take the day and go home, get on his personal computer, and see what he could learn. He also decided to call his uncle Rick, who worked for a law firm representing many different corporations. If something major was about to happen, Uncle Rick usually had the skinny. Never under estimate the power of Southern network.. He immediately sent his uncle an email, and got a reply to call him at home later that night. The email also had general info that chilled Fletch to the bone.

    Dear Fletch,

    You are my only nephew, and I love you. You were always the son I never had. I have never told you, because that just wasn’t in our family culture. You have led a comfortable existence thanks to your circumstances. But that is about to change. I want you to understand that our world is about to change. Leave work right now, and go to your bank. Get as much cash out as you can. Hit as many ATM’s as you can and withdraw more cash. Soon, you will not be able to do this. Go to the grocery store, and buy as many groceries as you can, as much as possible. Do not wait, do it now. Think about what you and your wife will eat for the next 6 months and go to town. Fill up all your cars with gas, and get a few extra cans and fill them up as well. Prepare for a power outage, get ready. Go to a firearms dealer and get some protection. I know you were never into hunting, and have supported some pretty liberal causes, but in the coming month, you will need self-protection. It may be too late to get a handgun permit, but purchase a good 12 gauge riot gun, and a good magazine fed rifle. Buy all the ammo and magazines you can. I suggest you get Remington 870, and for the rifle, something that uses at least a thirty round magazine. Buy them now, don’t wait. Order the ammo and have it shipped to your house.

    When I have more time, I will send more info on the net, for now, get this done, and call me tonight around 10pm. I will not be able to leave Washington DC for a long time.

    Love you,
    Uncle Rick

    Fletch just squinted his eyes at the email. The questions started pouring through his brain. But he knew his Uncle Rick. Fletch’s parents had been killed in a car accident after he was married, and his Uncle Rick had spent a lot of time filling in for his father. Rick had no family of his own, as he was married to his job. He enjoyed the solitude, and being his own man. Fletch had made sure they spoke at least once a week, and Rick reciprocated. Rick had infinite wisdom, and was always ready share some insider tidbit, or information for his nephew. One thing Fletch was sure of, Rick was always right. Fletch looked at his watch, it was 11am, and he switched on the radio……
    “The futures market has just brought down the Dow today in overnight trading.” “The Dow was closed at 10:30 am after losing 500 points.” “Market experts were quick to point out that this was a residual effect of yesterdays news, but other analysts are saying to keep an eye out this week for more losses.” “It is being reported that the market should correct itself by early next week.”
    Fletch cringed, and prioritized. Cash, groceries, protection. These were things he could something about now. He could feel the panic in the air, even if most people were treating the news as background noise. He suddenly felt empowered, as if his uncle had given him the directions to the Holy Grail. He now felt excited, and mentally strong. The country was changing before his eyes, and he would be a part of it. “I guess I’ll head to the bank.” He spoke to no one in particular. Closing down his computer, and packing his things, he decided to get all his personal info out of his cubicle, just in case he never came back. He was crossing a strange rubicon, some line he could not see.

    Devlin stared at his watch, hearing the news about the Dow, and wishing he was somewhere else. Working though line after line of code, so that .gov could count more widgets, and move more assets. He wondered how long this would last, when companies like his would have to begin laying off people, if the markets really began to tank. He just wanted to go home, and keep working on his preps.

    As a Chinese delegation entered the Venezuellan palace, one could only wonder at what was being said. As China’s diplomatic group began dealing with the tragedy that had befallen their new ally, other allies of China began their own diplomatic talks. Farc rebels, in Columbia, began a new series of attacks, car bombings and sniper activity. The idea was to bring the Columbian government to its knees. It was just beginning.

    On the Mexican border, a SFox news team made it to the border. They had gotten through an Arizona State roadblock, and now were filming the most important film footage since 9-11. Setting up on a hill, overlooking the scrub desert that made up the border of Arizona and Mexico, they filmed an event that would have severe repercussions for the American mindset. A US Marine recon unit, probably sent in to observe the activity around the area for the past 24 hours, was in a running firefight with an armored Mexican military unit. To say the recon unit won was an overstatement. An airstrike, had been called in, and while being filmed, took out the Mexican armored cars and humvees. Two drone aircraft after the action, began flying toward the Mexican border, and the recon unit, began digging in. The crew was astounded, and began sending the film via satellite, to Sfox headquarters in New York. The footage was beginning to make the airwaves less than an hour later. It clearly showed Mexican military units, escorting armed troublemakers to the border and providing overwatch as they entered the US. A border patrol unit, approached the military unit and were cut down under automatic fire. The Marine Recon Unit, who were hiding two hills over, immediately returned fire and called in an airstrike. Already, the White House was announcing a press conference for 8pm that night. Things were spinning out of control on the border. In Mexico, as the Mexican President was trying to stop the violence from spreading, an explosion ripped apart his mansion. Mexico had elected their last President. A general, in the employ of the drug cartels and the Chinese spy agency, was now in charge of Mexico. Calm was a thing of the past.

    Devlin, after hearing of the attack, knew he had to get out of his office. The office manager, an ex-Marine himself urged calm. If you have family in that part of the country, please feel free to call them, but you must finish your day of work. Devlin, realizing the sky wasn’t quite falling yet, decided to finish his day out. But he kept his radio on to get updated reports.

    John was floored, watching the footage and praying for those who were obviously in harms way. Although a strange excitement began taking over, he realized, that people would begin dying on the border, and he knelt down and prayed for their souls. He then looked at his preps, and began thinking about what to do next.

    Next chapter……..Man Shopping……..Stay Tuned

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state
    Man Shopping

    Fletch heard the news like a man reborn. His first stop was the bank. Now Fletch has great people skills, this is born out of the confidence level wealth can give some people. It is hard to be afraid of failure when you are permanently solvent. Fletch knew that if he went to the counter and began the process of closing out all his accounts, he would not get everything he wanted, and he would cause stress on the bank employees. He knew that he would not be able to cash out all of his holdings, in fact, he expected the bank to try to limit his withdrawal. Since the sky hadn’t fallen yet, he was going to get as much cash as possible, while transferring more cash to his debit card. Since the debit card was better than a check now a days, and the end wasn’t quite in sight, he wanted to keep his debit card current. Walking into the bank, he went straight to the manager’s office. Knocking on the door, the manager let him in.
    “Hi, Fletch, how have you been?” “Have you seen the news?”
    “Yes, Mr. Bankguy, I have.” “I have to change some of my accounts around, and wanted to be discreet.” “I knew your tellers would be busy, so I was hoping you could help me.”
    “It has been crazy, Fletch, some people are actually calling to ask about closing their accounts.” “I don’t have that much cash around, and I am expecting the FED to change the rules any moment.”
    “Really, why?”
    “Well, it may not have hit the news yet, but the US won’t be getting crude from South America anymore with all the trouble down there.”
    “Isn’t that where we get most of our supply from?”
    “Yes, even thought the futures market is more focused on the Middle East, most of our supply comes from other areas of the world.”
    “Well, how about helping me out.”
    “Sure, what exactly did you have in mind.”
    “Well, I have three checking accounts, and one savings with you, I want to take everything in savings and place it into my business checking account, and close my other two checking accounts.” “I want the cash for the other two.”
    “I understand, Fletch, but how much cash are we talking about?”
    “Well, I want to close my smaller two accounts, maybe $3000 all together, but I want my savings to go into my business account.”
    “I see……well, you have been a great customer, and a decent golf partner over the years, so I think I can process this.” “For a moment, I thought you were going to take everything out.”
    “No just enough to pay some incidental stuff, I just may need my debit card, and I want the freedom to spend.”
    “Let me just get the paperwork started, would you like some coffee?”

    An hour later Fletch walked out of the bank with $3000 in cash and a checking account with over $50,000.00 in it. Fletch was about to go on a shopping spree, he wanted to et rid of his cash as fast as possible. He was smart enough to know that the markets would keep going down, and that cash would quickly lose its value. It was time to get into a tangible market. Fletch drove straight to the grocery store, the first of five on his way home. He spent thousands of dollars at each one, filling up his Suburban, even stopping to rent a trailer to haul more. He filled it, and headed home. Violence was escalating on the border, even thought the authorities were urging calm. It was obvious the US was trying to hold the line, and keep a lid on things before it got out of hand. Refugees were now showing up, since the coup. Fletch got home and opened the door to the rental trailer. He began unloading the contents into his home, humming to the who’s “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. He realized he needed a bit of help, and remembering John was home, he knocked on John’s door.
    “Fletch, how are you?” “Good gosh, all that is groceries?”
    “John, I need your help unloading a few things, could you give me a hand?”
    “Sure Fletch, let me get my cell phone.”
    Fletch did need the help, but also had an alternative motive. He had known John since they moved into the neighborhood at about the same time. He also knew John was a gun owner, who had a relationship with the local firearms dealer. John at a past homeowners meeting, had offered to ask the local range owner if he would teach a self defense course for handguns and shotguns, after four of the townhomes were broken into. No one took him up on the offer, so the idea was dropped, but Fletch who was a master networker, filed the info away for further study. Today he would need John’s sage advice.
    As they began to unload the supplies, John realized Fletch was preparing for the same thing he was.
    “Fletch, obviously we need to talk.”
    “John, I agree, I need your help after this.”
    “Oh? What can I do for you?”
    “John, I want to purchase some firearms, I want you to ride with me.”
    “I want you to advise me on what to purchase, for an emergency, I wish I had taken you up on that deal you offered at the last homeowners meeting.”
    “Fletch, I have to ask, are you worried about future events?”
    “Yes, I have some inside info, and this is what I am doing with it.”
    They talked for over an hour, finding out they had similar ideas. To John it was great speaking to a convert, especially when that convert was asking questions and taking notes. Fletch was happy as well, enjoying the company of his neighbor, who had not really taken the time to get to know. They decided to head to the gunstore, and see about getting Fletch armed. Just as they were getting into Fletch’s suburban, John’s cell phone rang.
    “John, where are you?”
    “Hey honey, I am about to head to the range with Fletch, is everything ok?”
    “I just heard all the news today, I am so sorry I questioned your motives yesterday, I am so sorry.”
    “Honey, it’s ok I should discuss things with you more, times are just moving faster than I expected.”
    “I will be home at the normal time, with our son.”
    “I will get us something for dinner, I do not believe either one of us feel like cooking tonight.”
    John put his cell back into his pocket, and smiled. “She gets it!”
    During the drive to the Gunshop/range, the men made small talk, and generally talked about the conflicts that could befall the nation. Fletch told John about what his uncle had said, and John parlayed that with what was being reported on timebomb2000 and Frugal’s. They agreed to work together, and try to weather the storm together. John wanted to talk with the other two neighbors, Devlin and Drew, when they got home. It was time to get a game plan together, and make some plans for the future. Fletch hit every ATM between their homes and the range, getting more cash. John had never seen anything like it. John told Fletch about his job search, and how this would mean he may not ever be employed again. Fletch told John, he would not be alone, that millions may be unemployed before this was over. It was a somber moment for the two men.

    As they drove, they began to quiet, listening to the news. The Secretary General of the United Nations spoke of his concern for the rising tensions in South America. He also said a new multi-national force was being mobilized, including the new European Lightening brigade, to head to the border between the US and Mexico. He said General Mendoza, the new leader of Mexico, had invited the UN peacekeepers into Mexico to try and stop the clashed going on all across the border with the United States. There was no response from the US government, and all that was known was that all members of congress were on their way back to Washington. It was also known the President was flying to Washington from his recent trip to Australia. A carrier battlegroup was heading to the South Pacific to officially escort the President back to the US. Things were getting serious.

    As they drove, Fletch’s cell phone rang, answering it, he realized this call was necessary, so he found a place to pull over, so he could talk with his full attention.
    “Fletch, its your investment guy, how are you?”
    “Hi investment guy, thanks for returning my call.”
    “What can the firm do for you, the market will re-open at 2pm.”
    “I want to move most of my stock profile, I want to keep my shares in IBM, RUGER, HARLEY DAVIDSON, and all the metals markets, and sell the frivolous stuff.”
    “Do you understand what I need?”
    “Yes, Fletch, stay in the metals and American companies, get out of the foreign based stocks, and sell those not moving.”
    “I was afraid you were going to tell me to sell it all and cash out, thanks, you have saved my sanity today.”
    “How has it been?”
    “Some people are trying to cash out, but they are really losing net worth.” “Although the market will take a beating in the next few days, things are going to slow down enough that it will be a buyers market again.”
    “You will have to still be in the market to continue to do business in it though.”
    “Investment Guy, here is the account number I want you to place the funds in, and email me a confirmation everytime money enters this account.”
    “You got it Fletch, I think you will see some cash by the end of the day, more tomorrow.”
    “It will just be slow because I think the market will close again tomorrow.”
    “Thanks, I will be in touch”

    Fletch told John what his plan was, anything that might be used by the Gov in the coming days he wanted to stay in, because that was still real collateral, but anything international, or not a tangent use stock, he was getting out of. Right, now some people were being optimistic, so he could still sell plenty of shares for cash, right into his debit account. Debit cards would be taken all day, until cash began to lose its worth, but this was as good as cash, as long as there was power. John, was learning a lot today. It was then John remembered that NICS was down, and he began to ask Fletch what he needed.
    “Fletch, the electronic background check system is down, because of what’s going on down on the border.” “How much cash do you want to spend today?”
    “John, I have $4000 in cash, and loads on the debit, but if I can’t do the background check, how are we going to buy anything?”
    “I have a concealed carry permit which I can use to purchase handguns or rifles, I do not have to wait for the check.”
    “John, I will give you the cash, do your worst!”
    “We use cash for the weapons, but the debit for the ammo, this way we have a little bit of spending power.”
    “Fletch let me talk to the owner a bit first, because we may be making a huge purchase, and I do not wan to freak anyone out.”
    “Park as close to the back door as you can.”

    Fletch handed John his cash, and John felt like a kid in a candy store. Fletch had only one parameter, which was to get good stuff, just like his uncle suggested. When they got to the front door, there was a sign on the window-


    John walked in, with Fletch. Hazey was behind the counter, and not in a good mood. The shop was empty, even for middle of the week.
    “Hazey, how are you?”
    “John, I have had better days, I haven’t sold anything but a few boxes of ammo.”
    “NICS is down, so I can’t sell any guns. I have had some real angry customers today.”
    “I had one bunch cancel a huge order, and now I am sitting on inventory”
    “What was the order?”
    “Well, I have this history buff who likes to own firearms that are historically popular, and he and some of his buddies had ordered quite a few things, and I had to repay their cash, which has put me in the negatives today.”
    “Hazey, I might make your day, what did they order?”
    “Two of those Chinese Winchester 97 copies, with the bayonet lug, three underfolder AKM’s, and three Springfield Armory 1911a1 military copies.” “I had also ordered about 30, thirty round mags, and about 24, 7 round mags as well.” “I also got in two Enfield Bayonets, and about 200 rounds of buckshot, and about 2000 rounds of 762x39, also 500 rounds of 45.”
    “This sale was worth about $4000 buckarooneys!” “To be honest, this was going tomake my week!”
    “Hazey, I will take it, take it all here is $4000 in cash”
    “John, where did you get this money, I know your out of work.”
    “I am Fletch, John’s neighbor, he has helped me with some work I needed done, and this is to repay him.”
    “I will use my concealed carry permit, and everything will be registered to me.”
    “John, you ain’t freakin’ out over this border stuff are you?”
    “I am more worried about the economy than that, our military can handle that stuff in one hour.”
    “Tell you what John, I will start the paperwork, pull your vehicle around the back, so we can load it.”
    “We need some other things to Hazey.”
    “I want all the 9mm, 45, 30cal, 762x39 you got, and …..what’s in these two boxes?”
    “Those I got in for another person, who was to impatient to wait, they are GIBBS short rifles, in 308.” “Similar to the cut down Brit jungle carbines in 303, these are brand new.”
    ”They do not make them anymore, I also have about 100 stripper clips, and 4 extra ten round mags for them as well.”
    “Hazey, my friend will be using his debit card, but add those to our “shopping cart” as well.”
    “John, you have to take responsibility for this stuff, its my butt if you get in trouble”
    “Hazey, don’t sweat it, I am going to need about 2000 rounds of 308 too.”
    “You got it John!”

    About two hours later, after loading the suburban and doing the paperwork, and after letting Fletch shoot about 100 rounds out of one of the 45’s(on the house Hazey said), they were on their way home. As they were driving, Fletch turned to John and said, “Two bolt guns? Is that wise?”
    “Fletch, we can keep one in each of our vehicles, they are not too threatening, and the 308 round is as good as it gets.”
    “You really have to teach me some things I guess”
    “Yeah, like where the hell are we going to keep all this stuff!”
    “John, we aren’t through, I want more ammo, more mags, we need a way to carry them, and…….”
    “Fletch, lets get home first.” “My wife and your wife will be home in an hour, and we have to get them together and have a serious talk.”
    “That reminds me, John, I am going to drive down to Olive Garden, you and your family come over to my house, and have dinner with my wife and I.” “And another thing John, you take one of the Gibbs and one of the Ak’s.” “I want you to have them, for your help today and the help I know you will be in the coming days.”
    “Fletch, I don’t know what to say?”
    “Just say thanks”

    After driving to Olive Garden, and buying about one of everything on the menu to go, they pulled into the townhome parking lot. As they were stepping out of their Suburban, who should pull up but Devlin, getting home from work. What a world we live in!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    High Desert, Elko NV
    patiently waiting for the next chapter JR.
    The only rights we have are the ones we're willing to fight for.

  8. #8

    Where is it?

    I'm waiting too, LOL, but I'm not as patient as CFI. WHERE'S OUR CHAPTER????

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state
    I have had the flu/avirus for the past week. So I have not been able to write. But I have it all in my head, well one of my personalities have it in their heads/head. Another chapter soon.

    Guys, how about we use the comments thread for talking, and this one fer writing?

    Not complaining or being bossy, just asking?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state
    There once was a note......

    As Fletch and John were bringing the dinner into Fletch’s place, Devlin noticed the suburban’s wheels seemed to showing some signs of stress. When the two men came back, they began unloading the SUV. Devlin could only stop and stare as they brought box after box of rifles, ammo, and all the extra’s. He walked over to the two men and started a conversation.
    “You guys just buy that stuff?”
    “Yeah, Devlin, have you met Fletch?”
    “We have spoken a few times, how are you?”
    “I am fine Devlin, how are you?”
    “I am a little freaked out about the past two days events, but other than that, well I am just kinda bothered by it all.”
    “Devlin, we just bought a few things, obviously some are firearms.” “Is this going to be a problem for you?”
    “Hell no, I am a bit a firearms nut myself, in fact my specialty are Fals, I have a few of them, and can build them.”
    John smiled actually he beamed.
    “You own fals?” “And you can build them?”
    “Yeah, would you like to check them out?”
    “I would, but we need to get all this stuff situated first.”
    “Let me give you a hand.”
    “Where can you shoot rifles around here?” “I only know about the pistol ranges.”
    “There is a great range about an hour and a half from here.”
    “Learn something new everyday.”
    “Devlin, when you say you are worried about world events, what do you mean?”
    “Well, I do not believe this is it, I think things will get worse, I think things are going to become pretty bad here pretty soon.”
    “Devlin, why don’t you have dinner with us, there is more than enough food, and we can all talk about today’s events.”
    “Well, if you don’t think it would impose…..”
    “Nonsense, have you ever had the tour of Italy combo from Olive Garden?”
    “No, but if it’s Olive Garden, you can’t go wrong!”

    As the three men began unloading the contents into Fletch’s already filled to capacity house, they discussed more of the days events and the email from Fletch’s uncle. By then, the wives began to come home. First, was Barbara, Fletch’s wife.
    “Fletch, what is going on?” “What have done?”
    “Barbara, you have met John and Devlin, haven’t you?”
    “Yes, how are you, what is all this stuff?”
    Fletch took her for a short walk around the townhome complex. He explained everything he had learned, and all the preparations he had started. She was reluctant at first to believe him, she had come from wealth and stability, as he had. But as they began walking back toward their home, she realized her husband was taking care of their future, and she was proud he was working to solve a problem. John’s wife Linda came home next, and was getting their three year old out of the car when John ran to her. They embraced, and John told her they would be eating at Fletch’s place. Linda always said hello to Fletch and Barbara when she saw them, but had never really talked to them before. She shook hands with Devlin, whom she had seen only a few times. As everyone made their way into the house to eat, John noticed the three gang members across the street watching them. He made a mental note to speak with Fletch and Devlin as soon as possible about that group. They were dangerous, and in desperate times might prove to be deadly. Putting that out of his mind, John spoke to everyone as they were seated.
    “Fletch, I hope you don’t mind me imposing before we eat, but I would like to say a blessing before we dig in.”
    “Sure John, go ahead, Barbara always says Grace before dinner.”
    “Thanks Fletch!”
    Devlin was glad someone was thanking the Lord that they had been brought together. He had been raised a Christian, and he was glad to be in the room with more of the same. Inside his mind, he thanked God for bringing him to these people. “I only hope I have as much to offer them as they seem to offer to me.” He thought.

    After dinner, everyone was sitting in the living room, moving around the supplies that had been purchased before. Fletch wanted to sound John out on his thoughts, and try to understand what might lay before them. John was happy to speak about his feelings, since this was not a topic that one usually can expand upon with out being called names. This is what he said………

    I don’t know that I am a big believer in “Peak Oil”. I also don’t believe in the end of the world stuff. After Y2K fizzled, I realized that another dark age was impossible, simply because mankind, this time, had come to far for that. What I do believe in is what I call “Downgrade”. Which means, the stepping down from our high horse, a change in how we do business, how we live, and a change in our culture. Downgrade is a philosophy, more than a theory. Why I think “Peak Oil” should be called “Downgrade”, is pretty simple. Cheap oil, since the end of WW2, has fueled our success. It has been easy to trade our (The United States) knowledge, industry, education process, and culture for the barrels of oil coming from the third world. Since the late 70’s, we haven’t produced enough here to dampen the effects of any world wide calamity. We got tremendously used to real cheap gas in the nineties, and it has fueled this suburban glut we live in now. Cheap gas has been to the US what breech loading rifles were to the British Empire. As long as they had those rifles, they could keep the tribes and other groups of people from revolting. And their Empire stretched across the globe. Once the natives got their hands on a few of those rifles, and they changed their own culture in order to use those rifles, the Empire began to crumble. Thank about now, what keeps us different from the third world. We no longer manufacture our own goods, but they do. We no longer grow enough food for own country, but they do, and they ship it to us. We have left farming behind, it is still part of their culture. Our technology and wealth, come from the ability to answer every need immediately, and without cheap oil, we can’t do that. Now, it seems, mother nature is equalizing the playing field. Without cheap gas, we are going to have to change the way we do business. Communities are going to have to come together, and work closer. Jobs will come back, such as sewing, and farming. Carpentry will make a comeback. I do not believe it will be the end of the world, but I believe things as we know it will change. Technology will still be there, but the way we use it may change. School may take place over the net, since people will be unable to travel as much. Magnet schools, and other institutions will wither, as people can longer afford to send their kids 40 miles away. Service jobs will go away, as manufacturing begins to make a comeback. But it will be a long road before we are comfortable again. In fact, it won’t be in our lifetime. This will a depression like nothing we have ever seen in the world’s history. Their will be massive poverty here, rioting too. The government will be broke, and will cut benefits. Social Security, welfare, student loans, Medicare, Medicaid, will all be cut or cancelled. States will be more autonomous. Cash will have no or little meaning. The economy will be wrecked.
    How do we survive it? We have to work together, and find ways to trade, and make safe. We need to have skills to trade for food, and fuel. We have to find ways of surviving the best we can. It won’t be easy, but I think we can do it. We all have extended family, and they may want to stay with us. What strengths do they have?
    Would it be better to move closer to a farm? Do we know how to farm? What can we do to survive? How can we change our homes into a more survivable location? What can we do to our vehicles, to prepare them for future calamity?
    These are the questions you have to answer for yourselves. What I suggest, is we go home, and list our interests, and hobbies. Think 19th century, what knowledge do you have that can contribute to our survival. Then we can move forward. The world won’t end this week, but in a month it will be different. How can we make it next month.

    Everyone thought for a moment, and Devlin said, “We should get a game plan, since the stores are still opened and money still has meaning today.” “What we need to purchase now, before others begin to realize what is at stake.”
    “Good idea, Devlin, Why don’t we do this, lets clean up dinner, and get my son to bed.”
    “Then we can get back together and make a few lists, and see where we stack up.” “Also, we need to inventory what we have, so we can move forward.”
    “John, why don’t you and the men work on the list, I will go with Linda to help put your son to bed, and Linda and I will start on the inventory.”
    “Barbara that is a great idea” Fletch had never been prouder of his wife.

    The men talked till well into the night, deciding on many different things. Some of the things they needed were……

    1-More firepower, for family or friends who may join later. It was decided that they would try to get ten SKS rifles, since it was a good semi auto that was affordable.

    2-22lr rifles and pistols, for small game, and training. The round had many uses, and they overlooked it in their haste.

    3-Gear- They needed web gear for their defensive rifles. Again, Fletch would peruse websites, although Arktis vests were decided on, since the pouches could hold both AK mags and Fal mags. He ordered web gear as well as assault vests. Different uses required different gear. He also ordered packs, ponchos, and other things each individual might need, along the same pattern as the web gear. He also ordered holsters, and mag pouches for the pistols, everything from concealable holsters to thigh rigs. Fletch was having a ball.

    4-Ammo and magazines- Fletch would order through the net tonight, and pay for overnite shipping. Most of it would reach them by Friday, which was seen as optimal. They would order a boatload of magazines as well, because most were surplus, so you had no way of knowing which would work and which would not.

    5-Bulk Food- They also decided to order bulk foods, such as Mountain House, and MRE’s. Whatever they could get. Already, in surfing the net, they discovered that a lot of companies were showing out of stock on some popular items. Someone would have to hit the camping stores for additional supplies.

    6-Propane- They all had propane powered outside grills, also, they all had camping style stoves that used propane as well. They decided they would purchase as many big cans as they could as well as stockling up on the little cans as well. They would also purchase all the lanterns and other machinery that used propane. Cabella’s had an oven that ran on propane, and Fletch bought two of those. John, who loved bread, owned a bread maker, and they also purchased another bread maker, as well as instant bread boxes, made for the machines.

    7-Small seeds-They realized they could not start a major garden where they lived, but they ordered seeds for all major vegetables anyway, just in case they ever were able to get their hands on any land. They would start cultivating tomatoes, and other veggies that could be grown in small planters. That would help a little.

    8-Clothing- They also felt it would be important to prepare for their clothing needs a year in advance. Most of the adults would need work clothes, and the biggest problem would be John’s son, who would grow in all directions in the next few years. They placed orders for good quality outdoor style clothing, as well as some tactical stuff from Royal Robbins.

    9-Barbara asked for a sewing machine, and Fletch obliged with two kinds, one a basic model for clothing repairs, the other was a heavy duty model, that could sew on heavy fabric, such as ship rigging. He reasoned this may be a valuable tool in the coming “Downgrade”.

    10-They began taking a long look at their vehicles-How could they modify their vehicles to make them more durable. They decided to add roll bars to all the SUV/Trucks they had which included a jeep Cherokee, range rover, suburban, and a mazda pickup truck. Linda drove a four door sedan, which was small. The “trucks” would all get protective barriers on the front and rear, and cages on the hood for more carrying capacity. This would help on shopping trips as well as giving them the room to carry more incase they had to bug out. Also, the “trucks” would get bolted gas can carriers, so extra gas could be carried. Places for weapons and supplies would have to be thought of and what firearms would be placed in the racks as well. Linda’s car would get a makeover as well, but more subtle, gas in the trunk, protective covers for the lights. It was thought that once the “Emergency” started, the SUVS would get more use. Each vehicle over the weekend would get an oil change and tune up if necessary, as well as new tires. Extra tires would be purchased, as well as tools and manuals for each car. All repairs and checkups would have to be done by the group once the emergency started.

    Looking at their lists, each member said goodnight so they could go home and get some sleep. Fletch wanted to call his uncle Rick, and Devlin had to prepare for work the next day. Thursday would bring a calm before the storm, and as events transpired, the rest of the week would be uneventful. But Thursdays can be exciting too. Stay Tuned!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    State WA


    Waiting waiting waiting, need next chapter

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state
    Thank You for reading the story!

    Please use the comments section, for..........comments.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    NC, eastern part of the state

    chapter 6

    Too Much of Anything…..

    Skinny looked out of his window, as Fletch, John, and Devlin were unloading the suburban from the “man” shopping trip. He began salivating when he saw what were obviously firearm cases and ammo being carried into the townhome. He saw opportunity with each box being unloaded. Skinny, was the local drug dealer, who had found this little neighborhood out of the way of the main drag. He led a group of four boys who were in different levels of wannabe status. Three of them were white, from suburban upbringings. They had been enticed by the rap culture as early teenagers, and it had led them into nothing but trouble. They had long since bankrupted their parents, trying to keep their children out of juvenile detention, then prison. But in prison was where Skinny had met Solo, an African American “real deal”. And together, they had become small time dealers, making enough to be comfortable, and to stay under the radar. Skinny didn’t really have big dreams of becoming another scar face, he just wanted to skate under the radar, and not be noticed. Solo, on the other hand had big dreams, and he salivated every time he saw one of the larger movers. Solo noticed Skinny watching the men unload their gear.
    “Man, we can get that stuff too.” “Those white breads don’t have anything we need.”
    “Solo, don’t you pay ‘tension to da news, Yo?” “Bad things are coming, and gotsa plan fo da future.”
    “already with the border closing, good stuff will be harder and harder to get, costs will go up.” He began salivating at the thought of what some of his female customers would do if they had no cash, some were local cheerleaders, who led a double life. Crank would be expensive in a few weeks. They could make or grow a few things, but not in the amounts they would need to make a good living.
    “Skinny, if we knock over every white bread, sooner or later they gonna shoot back, you dumb enough to risk it?”
    “we just gotta plan is all, people still leave home, there will be plenty of time.”

    Fletch’s wife came home, and added a few things to his shopping list, including bikes, and trailers for the bikes. He looked around his house, and realized this would not work. There was just not enough room, and even if they spread things out over the entire building, there would be no living space. “More crap to worry about!” He exclaimed to no one in particular. It was almost time for the President to speak, which would be interesting, since so much was happening so fast. Fletch also needed to speak with his uncle, hopefully to learn more about the coming events. He felt like such an information collector, and wanted to be sure to tell his neighbors as soon as possible.

    The President stared out of his window, as he was being transferred to the aircraft carrier. Once event’s on the border with Mexico began spiraling, the Secret Service pretty much demanded the President stay on the carrier, allowing Air Force One to be re-fueled then flying on to the US. The President reluctantly agreed. He was not a military man by nature, had never been a historian or even interested in military history. He had been a doctor, and by trade was more worried about people than the events that affected them. He was a Republican, a darkhorse, defeating a female Democrat that even some of his best friends swore was a shoe in. But she had faltered, showing her true colors in the end, and being soundly defeated in one of the largest upsets in American history. The President had been thoroughly surprised even at the end when he had won, and only now had the reality of the office he held truly sunk in. He was carrying a legacy, giving the Republicans control of the White House for what would be now a third election win. America was lucky to have him, a soft spoken southerner, given to deep reflection before speaking, and showing respect to even his darkest enemies. His first test had been a bill that would have outlawed all rifle ammunition, because it was defined as “armor piercing”. He had run a campaign vowing no more gun control, and once in office, he had stuck to that rule. Hunters and gun owners alike were now solidly aligned for the Republican party, and this President had rewarded their loyalty. The Democrats, losing numbers in their own party, were now just bit players in a country solidly conservative, and solidly supporting their President. He had earned America’s respect. He looked out the window, watching the water of the Pacific roll by, going over his speech, and then looking in the mirror. He would speak with his wife and children before his talk with the nation, to let them know what would be happening in the next few weeks. Thank goodness we had begun the pullout from Iraq, and the Iranian situation had been handled by the last administration. South America would be the new focus, and he would need every unit he had in the coming months. Some of his advisors, were predicting that the administration would at some point have to declare martial law, but he resisted the easy way out. There had to be other answers, and he wanted to find them.

    Uncle Rick had kicked off his shoes and opened a bag of chips, preparing to wash them down with a good ole swig of Sun Drop. His friends would be sipping wine or scotch, but for him, nacho cheese and the taste of home was more important than the slow heady effect of alcohol. He knew what the President would say tonight, and how that would effect the nation. He knew, he didn’t want to hear it, but he knew. The US was about to become a third world nation, with Hyper drive price increases, and unemployment. And that would bring about massive urban problems, as well as hunger. There would be no way to stop it, and it was coming. Might be slow at first, but that would depend on how other countries dealt with the changing power of the dollar. He had hoped, as US power and prestige waned in the world, the US could go away gracefully, and focus on it’s inner problems. He had hoped, the US would be left alone, to quietly dis-engage from the rest of the world and allow others to take the fore front. He was wrong. __________-___________________________ _______________
    Skinny watched for the headlights to appear turning the curve, and parking in the visitor spot. A long and lanky kid, with a ball cap got out of the car, and stretching, walked around the car to the trunk. It was JT, a stooly of Skinny’s. JT did not do drugs, didn’t even drink, but he had a fondness for gambling, and skinny had helped get JT out of trouble more than a few times. But JT was worth his weight in gold, because he did not have a criminal record, and could purchase firearms, with cash all day long. JT grabbed a large duffle out of his trunk, looked around, and walked into Skinny’s Townhome. Once the door was shut, the duffle was opened, revealing four pistol cases each with a glock 19, and many extra magazines. Then there was the two underfolder ak47 clones in there as well. Skinny just smiled, paid JT and threw him out the door. Skinny, wanted the extra firepower, and the g19 gave good capacity as well as concealability. Happiness is precise machinery!!!!!

    John watched the car leave the townhome parking area. He knew what had just transpired, had seen that done a thousand times before. He also knew that those punks had probably seen he and fletch unloading the supplies from their cars the past two days. “I am going to have to get with my neighbors and deal with these guys sooner than later” John mumbled to no one in particular. He began working the bolt on the m1 carbine, checking the action, and adding a little oil to the stock. Although the carbine may lack coolness points, and may not have the most powerful cartridge, he had listened well when an uncle who was a retired LEO told him of how they would take surplus carbines, and load them up with soft point ammo, used under 100 yards they were very deadly. Since this was an urban environment, that was all John needed. He had ordered a flashlight mount for the barrel, so he could place a g2 surefire there. But what really made him happy was the fact that he was going to learn to shoot a FAL. He had always wanted one, ever since he was a boy and saw the adventure movie, Wild Geese. There was another movie, Power Play, that was loaded with Fals as well. They were sleek, accurate and robust, and took you back a bit in time. “And my neighbor makes them for fun” he mumbled to no one in particular.

    A Chinese business man picked his spot in Times Square, overlooking the streets that converged in this tiny part of NYC. He would go to Lindy’s, and get a slice of cheesecake, after the President spoke to the nation. Then, he would just walk around the city, watching the people, and seeing their reaction. Americans had lost their sense of wonder, and their pride. They were once defined by their individuality, now they had allowed themselves to be defined by their political affiliation. Regardless, America was about to lose her most wealthiest nation status. China would be the new superpower, and they had plans for the world. He looked south, imagining the rolling desert scrub of the Southwest border with Mexico, and closing his eyes, he saw Chinese commandos crossing the border, preparing to strike inside the US. Not yet he thought, not yet!
    I like rum.....

  14. #14
    great story, can we have anymore,john

  15. #15
    Thanks for posting your story, looking forward to more.


  16. #16


    a good start on a story.. would really like if it would have more done on it,,

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    More more more............................. please you be good writer for sure.
    Never Pick A Fight With An Old Man He Will Just Shoot You He Can't Afford To Get Hurt


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