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TSHTF
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Thread: TSHTF

  1. #121
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    SW Louisiana
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    Thank you! I think the S is fixing to hit the fan for some bad guys, and just in a knick of time for Doug's group.

  2. #122
    Grate chapter Bad, I hope the good army isn't taken by surprise by the bad one. Thanks for the story and chapter.
    Wayne

  3. #123
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    I'll be posting later tonight
    And Yet I Smile

  4. #124
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    In case people are wondering why the stories are not coming as frequent, I have been unemployeed for four months. It has been really weird, there is zero interest in me despite a pretty well rounded resume. I have been investingating franchises. I started out with four and have wittled it down to one. I then talked to over ten franchise owners of this one franchise and I went on a ride along with one franchise owner. Since it appears my value in the IT industry has disappeared or the economy is such that there is no need for me, I decided to risk my retirement 401k and create my own fortune or fate. It is pretty scary and if anyone felt inclined to offer a prayer that I am making the right decision and am on the right path, it would be appreciated.

    The final go/no-go decision will be coming shortly, I should have more time this weekend to edit and post the remainder of my story.

    From my experiences, I have to think the economy and job market are a LOT worse than what is being reported but that may only be from my point-of-view.

    At the conclusion of my story, I will solicit opinions not just on the story, but the writing, the style, the content and any suggestions that people might have that would make this a better saga.

    Once again, thanks for hanging in there with me.
    And Yet I Smile

  5. #125
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    Prayers said for a good business decision and a very prosperous future for you.
    The right of the people to keep and bear arms is an extension of the natural right to self-defense and a hallmark of personal sovereignty. It is specifically insulated from governmental interference by the Constitution and has historically been the linchpin of resistance to tyranny.” – Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

  6. #126
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    Prayers said for you, for support and guidance. Take care of yourself first, write when you can.

  7. #127
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    Sep 2006
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    Where fog and sun meet.
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    Well.....may you have good fortune in creating an income producing franchise or job.

    I really like the story although it does creep me out about the very real possibilities of wolves in the guise of "official" uniforms reigning terror on the the citizens they are supposed to protect and defend.

    Thank you for your story.

  8. #128
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    Dec 2002
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    Just a word of caution... remember the old adage about all your eggs in one basket... don't sink *all* your 401k into this new franchise... if the economy is this bad, will Joe Six Pack be able to buy your goods or services? just thinking out loud here...

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  9. #129
    Yes dstraito, please make sure you assess all of the risks and rewards before jumping in. If you will be employing people, what will O-Care do to you? There are other new issues for small business as well, but I don't know them very well. Please make sure you do ALL of your due diligence before buying in. So long as it is economically resilient and can withstand the extra pressure from DC, you could be setting yourself up for a fantastic future! The more work you do now, the better you can align your franchise to weather the problems DC and the economy throw at you, so even if you decide to go ahead with it (and I hope the opportunity is a good one!) you will be able to maximize your returns and know what to beware of, so the effort won't be wasted.

    I LOVE your story and want more, but you should be using your time to view the franchise opportunity from all angles. We will be here craving moar story, but we want you to secure your finances first.

  10. #130
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    Your story is excellent and I would buy it from Amazon in a heart beat. Thank you for your imagination and your efforts.

    I appreciate all the above posters have said but can only add my prayer that you are well guided by answers to your personal prayers. I have no knowledge of what a franchise owner must go thru to establish him/her self but imagine they are legion. Keep us updated on how your plans play out. We wish you only the very best.
    What we are is God's gift to us.
    What we become is our gift to God.
    Unknown

  11. #131
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    I wrote a 45 page Business Plan, one of the reasons I haven't had time to edit and post. I've talked to over ten franchise owners and I went on a ride-along.

    We decided to go forward with the franchise. Initially the only employees will be DW and myself. We have a dedicated territory with about 469K people and countless opportunities.

    It really irked me to rely on Corporate America for my ability to make a living. I was at the whim of some HR person who had the power of sending my resume on or not. It was kind of a helpless feeling and I decided to take matters into my own hands, make my own fate.

    I didn't have a lot in my 401K but I used a third for an annuity that pays 5%, a third in reserve and a third for the franchise.

    I figured if it was all in the 401k and things went bad like we all expect, it would have become worthless anyway and it was not enough to allow me to retire on.

    I will be resuming story shortly, after I catch my breath.
    And Yet I Smile

  12. #132
    Congratulations! Sounds like you found yourself something great. I hope it exceeds your expectations. I'm looking forward to more of the story when you are ready.

  13. #133
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    I'm sure all of us here wish you well in your new business.

  14. #134
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    Texas
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    Sooo How can we help? I have biz intrests in DRW area.... what is your company doing? Perhaps I can send u some biz ur way. you can PM me if you dont want info out to gen public.

    Anyway prayers and good wishes sent your way!

  15. #135
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    Doug walked into the study reeling from the day’s events. He’d been shot at, dumped and he just spent the last two hours at Ralph’s bedside only to watch him pass without ever waking up. His conflicting emotions spiraled out of control as he had waited with Susan and Jeb. Susan wept silently when Ralph’s chest quit rising and Jeb had put his arm around her comforting her.

    Now it was the tradition Crown time where he and Ralph would discuss the day.

    They would talk about what worked, what didn’t work, what they could do better.

    He stared at the half empty bottle sitting on a silver tray. He was torn between wanting to drink it all and not even taking the first sip. He sat down in his usual spot but it felt weird looking at the empty chair Ralph would never sit in again.

    Gunny knocked on the open door. “Just heard about Ralph.”

    Doug nodded.

    “This may not be the time but you need to hear it.”

    “Hear what Gunny.” Doug said as he decided a Crown would be good after all. He poured them both one even knowing that Gunny didn’t drink.

    “You have to know, that people looked up to Ralph, they saw him as a natural leader and knew that he cared about them. You also have to know that this place requires discipline and strong leadership without which it could fall apart quickly.”

    Doug handed the glass to Gunny and took a sip of his. “Where are you going with this?”

    “You have to be that leader, people saw you as the second in command and you are going to have to step up.”

    “I don’t know if I should be leading anyone.”

    “It has to be you Doug; you have to hold us all together. Well I’ve said my piece, think on it and think about what to say when you announce it tomorrow about Ralph.”

    Gunny put his glass down on the desk and left.

    Doug chugged his down and grabbed the other glass. “Can’t let it go to waste.” He thought. In fact drinking the rest of the bottle started to seem like a great idea. He didn’t ask for any of this. He had been content with his role in brain storming ideas with Ralph but letting Ralph call the shots. He had lost his girlfriend and father figure all in one night. Now he was being asked to be the fearless leader.

    He thought “I don’t want to make decisions that affect everyone’s lives. I thought we’d be relatively safe here, I would have Susan by my side and life would go on.

    Maybe I should leave; at least I wouldn’t be seeing Jeb and Susan every day.”
    He poured another drink. They had taken to limiting themselves to one drink per night, both for conservation and for clarity. Ralph said they needed a clear mind so they could make clear decisions. The last thing he wanted right now was a clear mind.

    He looked at the bottle wrestling with what he should do and what he wanted to do. After a long pause, he put his glass down, left the study and went to his cabin. He lay down on the bed but couldn’t find the solace of sleep. He wasn’t really being honest with himself. Yes, it hurt being dumped and his image of an old fashioned courtship followed by a wedding.

    “Two cats and a dog.” As the song went. In reality he’d been thinking of Sheila a lot lately and when Susan told him of her interest in Jeb, he thought of telling Sheila. His relationship with Susan had been one of mutual interest and friendship but it had also been safe. He’d been very complacent in the relationship and the passion just wasn’t there.

    Now he’d have to deal with his bruised male ego.

    He went to the tower and climbed to the top. At night, they kept the lights out because of the strong silhouette showing up. Ever since Sean had been shot, they were very careful.

    Ironically, Sean was in the tower tonight as well.

    “Still have two hours to go in my shift.” Sean said.

    “I couldn’t sleep, thought I’d come up here and look around. Anything going on?”

    “I thought I saw a light a little while ago but it disappeared and I couldn’t see it again.”

    Sean said “I heard about Ralph.”

    This was a small compound, word got around fast.

    Doug nodded. “Yes. I’m going to have to say something to the compound tomorrow; I don’t know what to say.”

    “Yes you do, you will know what to say when the time comes.”

    “We are going to bury him by that big tree I used to park under. He always told me to be careful around that tree; he’d planted it for his wife a half century ago.”

    The two stared out at the darkness in silence, the mood now very somber between them. Being out from DFW the stars were usually pretty visible but with the power out it seemed like you could reach out and touch them.
    And Yet I Smile

  16. #136
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    You played this scene very well. Feels heartfelt and vital.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. You write very well.
    What we are is God's gift to us.
    What we become is our gift to God.
    Unknown

  17. #137
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    I'm greatly enjoying the story. I know how it feels to have the experience, and no one wants to hire you. Strike out in a different direction, keep pushing, and eventually you will have some success. It took a while for me, and I'm no where near where I want to be, but I am where God wants me to be at this moment.

    Good Luck!

  18. #138
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    Thank you for the new chapter. Best of luck on your new adventure.

  19. #139
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    Thank you for the chapter. Really enjoying the story!

  20. #140
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    Thanks. Looking forward to seeing where this goes now.

  21. #141
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    Thank you, yes what a night that would be for anyone.

  22. #142
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    Captain Adkins allowed Sergeant Major Chandler to show a seat in front of Colonel Saline’s desk. The Colonel made a show of not looking up from his paperwork for a full minute, keeping the Captain cooling his heels. It was a classic power move.
    Finally the Colonel looked up.

    “Captain, what are you doing in these parts?”

    “Sir, we have orders to try and establish order. Our orders state if the cities are too chaotic then we are to try to help the suburbs and provide martial law order as well as any assistance that is possible.” The Captain said.

    “Are you in contact with your superiors?”

    “No sir, we have been unable to communicate with them for the last week.”

    The Colonel nodded and said “You now report to me as I am your ranking officer.”

    “Yes sir.”

    “Our mission is similar to yours, we are to consolidate resources and see that they are distributed equitably. In troubling times such as this, people take to hoarding and there are not enough resources to go around. We have to help them share.”

    Captain Adkins had an uneasy feeling about the Colonel.

    The Colonel went on. “Are you onboard with that Colonel?”

    Something in the way the question was asked put the Captain on guard.

    His inclination was to question the Colonel about what exactly his orders were and how he carried them out but he thought better of it.

    “In fact, I want you to take a few of your men with my squad to the town perimeter; there has been a report of some people hoarding supplies. In fact, the town has mostly emptied. We have done house to house searches and besides a few dead bodies, they are mostly deserted. They are also mostly cleaned out of any useful resources. For us to be able to do our job, we first have to locate enough resources for our needs and then we can tend to the population.”

    “Sir, I know we are under martial law but can we legally take things belonging to private citizens.”

    The Colonel glared at him. “Of course we can. Those private citizens took an unfair proportion of resources given their numbers. We are in a crisis and without redistribution; people will die because of the hoarder’s greed. Besides, you talk is it legal, that is what martial law is, it means we ARE the law, we make the law, and we enforce the law.”

    This was exactly the situation the Captain talked about with Staff Sergeant Yates, Hawkins, Hinton, and Larson. The Colonel exemplified the situation the Oath Keepers describe as going against the Constitution.

    Sergeant Major Chandler said “If you will come this way sir, and round up your guys.”

    The Colonel dismissively glanced back at his paperwork signaling the conversation was over. The Captain followed Sergeant Chandler out of the building to where his guys were standing around.

    “Pick four.” Chandler said.

    Captain Adkins pointed at Yates, Hawkins, Hinton, and Larson. “You guys come with us.”

    The rest of Captain Adkins squad was seated in the shade of their truck.
    The Sergeant Major picked four of his own squad, PFC’s and the eight got in the troop truck.

    Sergeant Major Chandler and Private Bramble were in the front of the truck with the Private Bramble driving. The Captain sat on one side of the carrier with the three soldiers the Sergeant Major picked. His four guys sat opposite him on the other side. He waited until all four were looking at him and gave a subtle nod. He hoped they would know he was trying to signal them. They should have worked out a signal when he had them take the Oath.

    The transport came to a stop. The eight of them crawled out the back and were met by Sergeant Major Chandler and Private Bramble.

    Chandler talked directly to the Captain. “Sir, this is the reported location of the Mayor. It was reported that he confiscated goods from the townsfolk for his own use as well as taking this house.”

    A shot rang out striking the front fender and all of them scrambled to the far side of the truck.

    The ranch style house had boarded up windows that had ports in them. In one of the ports a rifle barrel was sticking out. The Sergeant Major pointed at Bramble and then at the house. Private Bramble aimed his M16 over the hood of the truck and unloaded the clip in full automatic mode. They stayed hunkered down for another minute when a white flag appeared through the window. The rest of the soldier deployed around the truck pointing their weapons at all areas of the house.
    Chandler called out “Come out with your hands held high?”

    “Don’t shoot.” Came a reply. The front door opened up and three guys walked out.
    They walked to within ten feet of the truck, their hands held high.

    The middle guy was the leader of the group judging by the deference given to him by the other two.

    The guy on the right said “You didn’t have to kill Zack.”

    The Sergeant Major said “Shut up. If you will recall, you fired on us first.”

    The middle man said “There have been bandits going around, we were just trying to defend ourselves.”

    “I told you to shut up. How many bandits are driving army trucks and wearing army uniforms?” Private Bramble slammed his rifle butt into the middle mans’ face.

    The three stayed silent.

    “Okay, who are you?” Chandler asked.

    The middle man spoke up first rubbing a reddened cheek. “You killed Zack and this is Mack and Mark. I’m the Mayor of this town. People answer to me.”

    “Not anymore.”

    “You can’t just come in here and take over.”

    “Haven’t you heard about martial law? That means we can come in a pretty much do as we please.”

    “Bramble, put them in the back. Captain, I’d recommend you and your men stay and recon the supplies, we will be back to pick you up shortly. The Colonel wants to talk to the Mayor.”

    The Captain, though technically in charge had been letting the Sergeant Major call the shots. He continued to do so. “Good idea. We will secure the supplies and this position.”

    The truck with the three from the house left.

    Captain Adkins said “Check the house out, see if there are any more people, check on the guy they said was dead.”

    Hawkins and Hinton entered the house in full alert mode while Larson stayed at the entrance guarding it. They came back a few minutes later.

    “Guy is dead as a doornail Captain.” Annie Hawkins said.

    “Okay guys, this is exactly what I was telling you about. As far as I’m concerned, Seline is a rogue Colonel who is acting against the Constitution. I have no doubt if we didn’t go along with him, we would cease to exist.”

    Hawkins said “So what are we going to do?”

    Captain Adkins said “I wish I knew. We are out of communication with headquarters, we are in the middle of nowhere, and we don’t have transportation, and if we did, we wouldn’t know where to go, except anywhere but back towards town.”

    “There is a Jeep Wrangler in the garage. I don’t know if it will run.” Hinton said.

    “Check it out.”

    Larson said “I was talking to a Corporal Jenkins back in town, he told me they were about to go check out a place called the Compound. Apparently it was a walled in area where a group of town people holed up in.”

    “Do you know where it is?”

    “Not exactly, but in town the corporal pointed West.”

    They heard a jeep start up and a few seconds later it came around the corner driven by Hinton.

    “Going my way?” Hinton said.

    Hawkins and Larson crawled in the back, Adkins got in the passenger seat. Hinton said “Where to?”

    Adkins said “West.”
    And Yet I Smile

  23. #143
    Ooh, I hope the good guys can join forces with the Compound and neutralize the Seline fellow and his henchmen.

  24. #144
    Great chapter, I hope every one talks before shooting.
    Wayne

  25. #145
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    Thanks for the new chapter.

  26. #146
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    Chapter

    Tim led a tight ship. When he lectured he expected everyone to listen. Everyone gave him respect except for John Stanley. Tim rode hard on everyone and would never admit it, but he was more afraid of Stanley than he was of the behemoth Willis. They’d taken to calling Willis Bear because of his stature but he was really a gentle giant. John Stanley had never said anything to lead anyone to believe he was violent but his eyes, his eyes emanated a raw energy that was a warning beacon to everyone to not mess with him.

    “This motley crew had come a long way.” Tim thought. They had their share of adventures since offing the Sherriff at the edge of Lake Charles. Every time they had to refuel, find food or shelter it was an adventure that usually ended up with victims giving up what they had involuntarily.

    They had made their way to Texas and after Longview started having a harder time navigating the roads. When they approached the East Side of Dallas they had to get off I20. There had been a couple of fights over Candy so Tim had to rule that there could be no more fooling around in the Van, they would have to wait until they found shelter for the night. The night before, Willis had found a stash of Meth inside the toilet tank at a Motel Six. Everyone but Garrison and Tim had gotten wasted and were rowdy. Tim let them peak and crash. It took most of the next day. When everyone was finally asleep he went through their packs and clothes and found what was left of the meth stash. He would have flushed it but the toilets didn’t work so he went to a car in the parking lot and pour the contents into a gas tank of an abandoned car.

    Tim came out of the room he and Garrison shared. It worked out that Garrison was the second in command and that he was the first person to join up with Tim. He pounded on the doors on either side of his.

    “Wakey Wakey Rise and Shine.” He yelled.

    He heard moaning and cursing coming from both rooms.

    He went back into his room where he saw Garrison putting the last of his gear in a duffle bag.

    “Let’s round em up.” Tim said.

    Garrison repeated the procedure of banging on the doors. “Five minutes or we’re leaving you.”

    Willis and John stumbled out of one room. No one said anything about who bunked with who but Willis was the only one brave enough to be in a room with John.

    Steve, Candy, and two others came out of the second room. All of them looked like they’d been rode hard and put up wet.

    Tim noticed that though Willis came out of the room with John, he didn’t turn his back on him.

    Four doors down Tim saw a door open and a head stuck out. The man quickly pulled his head back in and shut the door. He looked around and there wasn’t another working car in the parking lot besides the van they came in.

    He told Garrison to check it out.

    John said “I got this.”

    John walked down to the door that had opened. He was six feet tall composed of wiry muscle.

    Tim wasn’t sure what to expect. He found out quickly.

    John leaned back, raised his leg and kicked the door busting it open from the handle. He quickly scooted to the side in case the occupants were armed. No one shot so he ducked into the room going in real low. A few seconds went by and he came out of the room dragging a raggedy looking man.

    “I didn’t do anything, leave me alone.” The man said.

    John stopped in front of Tim and dropped the raggedy man in front of him.

    “What’s your name?” Tim asked.

    The man was sobbing. “Skip.” He said snuffling.

    “What are you doing here Skip?”

    Skip wiped his nose on his grimy sleeve. “I’m just trying to survive. You got any food or water?”

    “Not for you.” John said.

    Skip was obviously in bad shape, looking dehydrated and hungry.

    “Skip, tell us about this area, have you been in Dallas?” Tim said.

    Skip composed himself. “Came from there. Bad juju. Don’t want to go there. Buggers almost got me.”

    “What’s a bugger?”

    “Boogey men. They wait for you in the shadows and take whatever you have. Happened to me several times. Got beat twice.”

    Tim was starting to feel bad for this guy. “Want to join up with us? We are headed west.”

    John stepped behind Skip, brought his arm around from behind his back. He whisked out a knife and in a quick movement grabbed Skips head with his left hand and played the five inch buck knife across his neck as the knife were a bow and he was playing a violin.

    Tim jumped back. “Jeez, what did you do that for?”

    “No room in the van, let’s go.” John said.

    Tim was hard core. He’d seen a lot of death and been the cause of much of it but this unprovoked act rattled him. “Gonna have to keep my eye on that one.” He thought.

    They made their way across Dallas having to take mostly residential roads and having to double back and try alternate routes as they encountered dead ends and blocked streets. They were mostly across Dallas and traveled in silence both from the scenery and the hard partying from the night before. It was sobering the amount of carnage and dead bodies they’d come across. They crossed under I35 and saw a Centennial Liquor store.

    Willis said “Let’s stop, I need a drink.”

    Garrison was driving and looked over at Tim who nodded okay.

    They stopped in front of the broken windows. The door frame was twisted off to one side. Willis got out and entered the store while Steve stood guard holding a Bushmaster AR-15 and looking around. A few seconds later Willis came back empty handed.

    “Nothing there.” Willis said.

    Everyone got back in the van and they traveled until they came to a sign they could partially read that said ort wor.

    “Fort Worth.” Tim said. “Let’s go that way.”

    They started getting low on gas. They check ten or twelve cars but all were empty. They pulled into a Chevron. The covers for the underground tanks were all off but one. They found a crowbar in the back of the van and pried the lock off and lifted the cover up. Garrison shone a flashlight down the tank and saw the light reflect off a pool of liquid. It was about ten feet down.

    “Okay, how do we get it?” Tim said.

    Willis said “Let Candy do it. She could suck a golf ball through a fifty foot hose.”

    Candy just rolled her eyes at him.

    In the end, they’d wired a slurpee cup to some string and lowered it down dipping it into the gas. It took about five hours to fill up the van’s gas tank and it was getting dark.

    “Let’s stay here, we’ll leave in the morning.” Tim said.

    “Stay where?” Candy asked. “There isn’t anywhere to stay.”

    “We’ll stay in the garage bay, should be relatively secure. Steve, you stand guard
    first, I’ll spell you in about three hours and then Garrison can do the last watch.”

    The group gathered a few things and spent the night amidst the smell of oil and grease.
    And Yet I Smile

  27. #147
    Thanks for the chapter dstraito,
    Wayne

  28. #148
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    Oh please tell me the genius just filled the gasoline van with diesel.

    A few years ago I visited my daughter in KCMO in a marginal neighborhood. Parked the RV on the street with the genny running and me staying in it (had my friend Mr. Kimber staying with me. One afternoon I came home from sightseeing with DD and the genny was off. The fuel tank was empty.

    The next morning two of the scroungier neighbors were parked behind me both had their car hoods up working on the engine. As I walked by them with several 5 gal gas cans - I just looked over at them and said. "The RV is diesel." they swore, I didn't laugh until I got inside.

    DM

  29. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by DustMusher View Post
    Oh please tell me the genius just filled the gasoline van with diesel.

    A few years ago I visited my daughter in KCMO in a marginal neighborhood. Parked the RV on the street with the genny running and me staying in it (had my friend Mr. Kimber staying with me. One afternoon I came home from sightseeing with DD and the genny was off. The fuel tank was empty.

    The next morning two of the scroungier neighbors were parked behind me both had their car hoods up working on the engine. As I walked by them with several 5 gal gas cans - I just looked over at them and said. "The RV is diesel." they swore, I didn't laugh until I got inside.

    DM
    I originally intended to do that but I needed them to move along and get closer to Paradise
    And Yet I Smile

  30. #150
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    Dust Musher said:
    I just looked over at them and said. "The RV is diesel." they swore, I didn't laugh until I got inside.
    I don't care who you are, that is funny!

    dstraito, good chapter. I am so ready for these guys to get their comeuppance.

    Are you into your franchise yet? Sure hope all is going well for you on that front.
    What we are is God's gift to us.
    What we become is our gift to God.
    Unknown

  31. #151
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    Chapter

    The activity at the compound seemed routine but everyone was on edge. The tower scouts reported activity outside the walls on a frequent basis. There were people or groups keeping an eye on them but they were far enough away where they only saw glimpses of movement or a flash of a scope. Since Sean had been shot they were very careful about not exposing themselves.

    People had their routines; in fact they needed their routines. They worked hard and long hours but it was satisfying with all the chaos going on outside the walls. The ham radio reports painted a pretty grim picture of communities around the country but the few reports that came from Dallas and Fort Worth were horrific. Those reports tapered off and they stopped altogether over the last week.

    Jose Garza and his family fit into the compound very well. They helped with the agriculture and Jose was skilled in wells and drilling and had the opportunity to repair a well pump. They had other sources but over time if equipment broke down and could not be repaired they would eventually lose their water sources. Jose and his family spent what little spare time they had in the evenings learning English and teaching Spanish. His wife Eve was a wonderful addition in the kitchen where she shared her culinary knowledge of authentic Mexican food and taught several other members how to prepare delicious meals.

    Nothing was wasted at the compound. The manure from the animals was diluted with the compost and provided a fertile growing solution for the crops. The uncooked kitchen scraps went into the compost and the cooked ones if there were any were often fed to the pigs. The rabbit pellets fell into the worm bins below where a very rich soil was also used, usually for starting the seedlings of some of their more exotic plants.

    Dan Martinson stayed busy as the resident blacksmith. Besides teaching classes to two teenagers and two men, he was busy making things that the compound could use. He made some tools for use around the blacksmith shop, some other tools that were used in harvesting the crops and even some kitchen utensils. He made some hooks for hanging things including animals they slaughtered for food. One of the better things he made was an old timey bellows to supplement his hand powered air crank. Given these he could do his blacksmith work and not ever worry about whether there was electricity or not. The wood cut down for fifty yards around the compound when it was being built was just starting to season to where it burned down to coal well.

    Doug fell into a routine that was similar but different to when Ralph was around. He felt as if the weight of the whole compound was on his shoulders. He had Gunny helping him but it seemed he had to make every decision. People were lining up to get his input or okay or direction about things. Sheila kept him sane by keeping everything organized. He also didn’t mind her being around. They’d developed into a comfortable relationship that seemed like it would blossom into more but there just wasn’t time.

    Dusk approached which meant they only had a few more hours until their day was done. Sheila walked into what the two of them had come to refer as the “Crown” room. Like the end of the day conversations he and Ralph used to have, Sheila gave him an update on the day’s activities, what was accomplished and what was outstanding, still needing to be done.

    “Hey Doug.” Sheila said.

    He handed her a glass of crown and they shared a quiet moment together. Doug and Sheila had several long conversations so she pretty much knew about how he felt about Ralph, Susan, and her.

    Susan walked by all messy from a day in the clinic with the animals. She must have come back for a quick bite to eat and then back to the animals she loved. “Hey you two.” Apparently Susan had no trouble making the transition from Doug to Jeb. “Gotta run, I have a lamb that is about to be a mama.”


    Doug and Sheila went out to the front of the house and sat in a garden bench seat.

    The sun had gone down and it was starting to cool off. Sheila shivered and Doug put his arm around her. They sat silently for a few minutes. Sheila look up at him.

    “Doug, I need to tell you something.”

    “Okay.”

    “I don’t really like Crown.”

    Doug just laughed thinking she had been about to tell him something serious.

    “Why do you let me pour you one then?”

    “At first it was a way to spend a little more time with you and I saw how much you enjoyed it so I didn’t want to make it seem like I didn’t like it because then we wouldn’t spend that time together.”

    “Sheila, you don’t have to play games with me, you can speak freely. I don’t care if you have a Crown with me, you could have a glass of wine, or water, or whatever, I enjoy spending time with you too.”

    He looked into her eyes. She seemed so appealing, he just wanted to lean over and kiss her. He was about to do just that when Gunny came running up.

    “Doug, you need to come to the gate, we have visitors.” Gunny said.

    "Jeez, can't catch a break." Doug thought.

    Doug shrugged apologetically and got up. “See you later.” He said to Sheila.

    On the way to the gate, Gunny briefed Doug. “Got some Army dudes out there.

    They asked to talk to the person in charge. I asked them to tell me what it was about and they said it was for the person in charge. They looked well-armed. I don’t think we should let them in.”

    “How many are there?”

    “Five, the leaders name was James Adkins, a Captain I think.”

    They arrived at the fence. Three men and one woman were standing behind the Captain. He stood about five feet out from the fence. Sean and Tim held their AR-15’s trained on the group. Gunny kept his at the ready. Doug felt for his Springfield Armory forty-five on his hip and made sure the strap wasn’t buttoned in.

    Doug said “I’m in charge,” Though he felt a little silly saying that.

    The man in front said “I am Captain James Adkins of the 4th Regiment. Behind me are Staff Sergeant Yates, and PFCs Hawkins, Hinton, and Larson.”

    “Okay.” Doug said. “I’m Doug, what do you want?”

    “Can we come in?” the Captain said.

    “I don’t think that would be a very good idea. We don’t know anything about you.”
    Doug said.

    “You know, we could order you to let us in, given that the country is under martial law.”

    “You could try.” Doug said defiantly.

    “Seriously? You think we could not breach this gate and take you all down if we wanted to?”

    “In case you haven’t noticed, you have weapons trained on you.”

    “In case you haven’t noticed, we have better weapons. AR-15’s against M16’s, we have grenade launchers as well as grenades. That is neither here nor there. We are not here to make you do anything. Actually we wanted to warn you.”

    “Warn us of what?”

    “Warn you that not all in uniform are benevolent.”

    “We have experienced a little bit of that already.” Doug said, thinking of the Sherriff.

    “We are actually part of a larger contingent that is currently in Paradise, but they are planning on making a trip out here. They heard from various sources that there are a lot of resources here and they plan to take them.”

    “Take them. Just like that?”

    “Well, like I said, not all of them are benevolent.”

    “So what do you want from us?”

    “Okay, it is not what we want from you, it is what we can do for each other.”

    “What can we do for each other?”

    “For starters, you can take us in and we can help you fight them when they come.”

    “How do we know you are not with them and this is a Trojan horse type of operation to get inside so you can attack us and let them in?”

    The Captain turned his shoulder toward Doug. “Are you familiar with the Oath Keepers sir? This is the patch representing the oath we took to defend America against all enemies foreign and domestic. Colonel Frank Seline represents a domestic enemy and right now, he represents the your first and foremost enemy and right now he is planning on taking whatever you have and I don’t think he cares whether he leaves the people in this compound dead or alive.”

    Doug said “As a matter of fact, I have heard of the Oath Keepers and I respect what they stand for. The founder of this compound and I had many discussions of whether the military would actually take hostile action against the people. What is with this Colonel dude, why is he acting against the American people?”

    “There are good people and bad people in all walks of life, but when a bad person evolves into a position of power and you take the thin veneer of civilization away where there are no constraints such as a higher power to answer to, they naturally gravitate toward the base inclinations. This man is a psychopath and I believe he intends to do you harm.”

    Doug said “Give me a sec.” He took Gunny aside.

    Gunny said “I don’t like it, it could be a trap.”

    “Yeah it could, but you know this compound was never designed to keep out a military force. It was designed to keep the people inside safe from stragglers and roving bands of thieves and people that didn’t prep. We can’t keep out a military dedicated to taking this place.”

    “Yeah, but if we let them in they could have the upper hand and once inside take us out.”

    “I think they could take us out anyway, but with their help, maybe we can make it harder to take this compound.”

    “I don’t know.” Gunny said.

    “Look at it this way. If we do nothing we can’t stop the military from taking us anyway.”

    “Okay.” Gunny said, resigned to whatever fate lay ahead and willing to let Doug call the shots.

    Doug approached the gate. “Will you be willing to hand over your weapons before entering?”

    Sergeant Yates said “No way, sir. We don’t disarm, standard policy.”

    “That is the standard policy when dealing with the enemy, Sergeant, not with dealing with our own countrymen. Yes, we will hand over our weapons. Hand over your weapons men. Private Hawkins will retrieve our vehicle where you can inspect it.” The Captain said.

    The four men stepped up and held out their weapons through the gate to Gunny. He had to make two trips to lay them on the ground by the side of the gate. The Captain stepped up and handed over his M16 and his forty-five.

    Gunny opened the gate while Tim and Sean kept their weapons trained on the group. Hawkins walked back to the vehicle and the four men walked through the gate slowly. Annie Hawkins drove the transport past the gate and stopped. The gate was quickly shut and as Hawkins got down from the driver’s seat, two other compound members that had come up climbed up to inspect it.

    The Captain looked at Doug and said “We have some talking to do.”

    Doug said “Follow me.” And led the way back to the main house. Doug started feeling like it was Crown time again.
    And Yet I Smile

  32. #152
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  33. #153
    dstraito; Great chapter, glad that the two groups got together without any blood being spilled. The compound now has a chance of surviving and eliminating the rest of the trouble makers in the surrounding area.Thanks for the story.
    Wayne

  34. #154
    Join Date
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    great chapter!

    1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore of sound mind, and be sober unto prayer

    Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    Joh 3:17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but so that the world might be saved through Him.


  35. #155
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    Quote Originally Posted by DustMusher View Post
    Oh please tell me the genius just filled the gasoline van with diesel.

    A few years ago I visited my daughter in KCMO in a marginal neighborhood. Parked the RV on the street with the genny running and me staying in it (had my friend Mr. Kimber staying with me. One afternoon I came home from sightseeing with DD and the genny was off. The fuel tank was empty.

    The next morning two of the scroungier neighbors were parked behind me both had their car hoods up working on the engine. As I walked by them with several 5 gal gas cans - I just looked over at them and said. "The RV is diesel." they swore, I didn't laugh until I got inside.

    DM



  36. #156
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Thanks for the new chapter

  37. #157
    Join Date
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    MOAR please!!!!

  38. #158
    Have a Blessed Easter dstraito.
    Wayne

  39. #159
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca
    Posts
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    We all know that you are busier than the proverbial "one-legged man" with your new business venture. We'll be here standing by for whenever you are ready to carry on, even if it's the 4th of July.

    Henry in 29 Palms

  40. #160
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    Jun 2012
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    south Texas Gulf coast
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    Quote Originally Posted by helunnjr View Post
    We all know that you are busier than the proverbial "one-legged man" with your new business venture. We'll be here standing by for whenever you are ready to carry on, even if it's the 4th of July.

    Henry in 29 Palms
    ...or Valentine's Day....

    Read it start to here this morning. Got me hooked. Hope you're making money hand over fist and that's the reason you've had to direct your attention elsewhere.

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