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Story The Bunker
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Thread: The Bunker

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Wherever I am, there I is.

    20 The Bunker

    The Bunker

    Paul Andrulis

    Copyright(c) 2014 by Paul Andrulis

    Joe sighed. He rubbed his trembling hand through his graying hair and felt the shake of exhaustion.

    "So, what is the count?" He asked a he alternated his gaze from James to the gun port in the wall of his living room.

    "Several hundred at least, it looks like everyone from Kerville came to the party," James replied, his short black military style haircut framing his thin, hard face.

    "Maybe we should have given them the antibiotics they needed," a thin, high pitched female voice sounded from the kitchen.

    "Betty, we couldn't spare the medicine. I had a hard time turning them away myself," Joe replied, "Watching grown men cry and plead broke my heart, but what if we had come down with pneumonia?"

    "You made the hard call," James said, a look of satisfaction on his face as he looked at their leader.

    Weather had spared them from most of the radiation. Bright flashes in the sky, and one sudden dome of light was all of the warning they were given that the world as they knew it just ended. A slow moving front pushed the clouds of radioactive debris away from them, sparing their bug out location... Joe's house. The cities to the west were just too far away to be an issue with the slow moving front.

    Years ago Joe bought the property because it was cheap and had an awesome 1960's fortified nuclear fallout shelter. Careful examination of the shelter demonstrated that it was rock solid, and would still withstand anything short of a direct nuclear blast. For a long time Joe watched the signs and read the handwriting on the wall and just knew war would come. When it did, he wanted to be prepared, so he fixed up the shelter and built a house with a full basement over it for camouflage.

    Keeping an eye out for another wave of attack, Joe pulled a small radio from the upper right pocket of his black nylon vest. He keyed the button and held the device close to his lips, still staring through the small port, looking for even a hint of motion.

    "Susan, do you and Jan have those magazines filled yet?"

    "No Joe, there is only two of us and you guys went through all but four magazines. We are reloading them as fast as we can," Susan replied.

    Joe smiled. For such a short girl she sure was feisty, her red hair belying a fierce Irish temper. She was sweet as you could want, but oh boy you did not want to make her angry. Joe felt a twinge of sorrow. He held off getting married to June for over a year. The time was never right. Now, June was gone, along with the city she lived in. The odds of him finding someone else now were worse than slim.

    "Susan, bring up what you have. I am down to just the magazine in my gun. James has one clip I can see in his vest, and I imagine the other three are in as bad of shape as I am," Joe said.

    For five years he had squirrelled away as many supplies as he could afford, and now had an impressive stash by any standards. There were enough supplies stored in the bunker to last five years at least. Now it looked like they would have to get back into the shelter. There was no way in heck anyone was going to get in to the bunker without serious explosives or highly specialized tools, and the men outside did not have either.

    Something moved in the trees and Joe shot it, the high pitched bang from the 5.56 round of his AR was deafening even with ear plugs in the enclosed space of his former living room. A couple of shots followed the sound of metal slugs hitting the three-quarter inch thick hardened-steel shutters he had installed over the windows. A rattle of pellets smashed through the opening of the firing port, and his left leg stung like fire.

    "I'm hit!" Joe whimpered through clenched teeth, "Leg took a couple of pellets. At least I didn't catch them through the eye like John did."

    "Can you fight?" James asked, a look of concern knitting his wide black brows together.

    "I can't even think!" Joe moaned, "Crap, I have a ton of bogeys on my side, leapfrogging each other."

    Rifle fire from the kitchen and bedrooms signified a full scale frontal attack. The sound of rifle fire changed pitch. The rifle magazines were empty, and his people had switched to their sidearm, the trusty 1911A1 in .45acp. Susan was just starting up the stairs as hey keyed his mike on the radio.

    "We are being overrun, get to the shelter. I repeat, grab everything and bug down," Joe said through clenched teeth.

    It would take the invaders a while to get into the fortified house, so everyone buttoned up their firing ports, grabbed their weapons, cleaned out the supplies upstairs, and went down the hole. Once the big massive steel door was shut and he heard the massive clunk of the thick steel rods sliding home in their steel sockets, Joe relaxed. Nothing short of a trained military demolition crew was going to get through that door. It was design to withstand the pressure of a close hit from a mid-sized nuke. The whole bunker had an extra twelve inches of reinforced concrete which he had poured as the basement floor, and a layer of welded and hardened inch thick steel plate between the two layers of concrete.

    However, whatever was outside the bunker would become the property of the attackers soon enough.

    "Did we get everything?" Joe asked.

    "Oh no, the gas cans are in the shed next to the tractor. We lost ten gallons of gas," Betty yelped.

    Betty was something else. Joe still couldn't picture her as James's wife, yet they had been married for four years. James, the tall ex-military badass and Betty, who screamed and jumped up on a chair when she saw a mouse. Joe almost croaked when a shotgun blast caught John in the face and Betty had taken his place without even blinking. Scared of mice, yet she was a five foot tiger hiding in plain sight.

    "Medic, I took a few shotgun pellets in my leg," Joe whimpered as he slumped against a wall.

    Jan opened a steel storage locker, pulled out a bag and slung it over her shoulder.

    She was thin and tall, yet the heavy black surgical bag with symbol painted on it, consisting of a red cross inside a white circle, did not phase her. Joe passed out from the pain as James and Billy lifted him up and put him on the long stainless steel table.


    Jack looked down the stairwell in the basement at the dull surface of the steel door and gritted his teeth in frustration.

    "We aren't going o get through that. No way in heck," he grumbled as he thought.

    "You mean them jack-wipes managed to get away?" Jonathon yelled in rage, his wide face filled with a mixture of grief and rage, "They might as well as strangled my kids with their own hands!"

    "They haven't gotten away with anything," Jack replied, a sudden look of determination on his face. "They still have to breathe, and they are in an airtight box. If that nuclear shelter is of average size for the period, they are cramped as sardines in there with all the stuff they probably have. Not much room to store air cylinders, maybe only enough for a month or two, assuming that they did not use any right after the bombs fell."

    Jack walked down the stairwell, having to duck to clear the entrance. Still, his mop of thick brown hair brushed the concrete lip. He slid his hand over the cold steel door and smiled.

    "They have not gotten away with anything at all Jonathon. I lost five kids because they refused to help... five kids," Jack stated as his grin slowly turned into a snarl, fire leapt from his brown eyes as he turned to face Jonathon. "Post ten guards with rifles on this door, five here and five in the basement in case they have something cute like a hand grenade. This door is the only way out of that concrete cave, and we want them to stay in there."

    Jack went upstairs into the living room. The massively reinforced steel doors and the shuttered windows were still bolted. No-one had even bothered to open them; instead, the team he assembled just walked through the gaping hole in the concrete wall that they had made with sledge hammers. Planning for the raid had taken a month. Worse, not one of the people there even cared about the mounds of stuff in the shelter. They were not here to steal, they all wanted revenge.

    The pneumonia epidemic killed a lot of children, and these people felt like they had nothing left. Even their futures were stolen from them. Jack tipped back his head and let out some of what he felt. The bass roar sounded like a lion's challenge of defiance and rage.

    This group had cleaned out the pharmacy in town just two months after the bombs fell. Another group had cleaned out the store. A couple of other groups had cleaned out most of the hardware store. All of these groups had just left the town to die, and this one was the last remaining. The rest of the groups were black smudges on hillsides, their structures, fortresses and hidey-holes burnt down around their ears.

    Revenge is a powerful and ugly motivator.

    The thought of his two year old girl entered Jack's mind, her blonde hair bobbing as she jerked, her blue face terrified, pleading with daddy to help her as she gasped for air which would not come. Something ripped again inside of Jack and he was suddenly filled with a horrible rage, slamming his fists like a machine gun into a wall., not caring about injury or feeling the pain. He wanted to rip something apart with his bare hands, to crush the life out of it. The image faded, as it always did, with the little body arching into the air, and then slumping back to the couch, the little head tipping sideways. And the eyes, they were the worst, pretty blue eyes, sightless and staring at nothing. Jack slumped to the floor with his back against the wall. A flood of tears washed the gray concrete dust from his cheeks.

    Howard, a neighbor of Jack's for ten years, walked up to him and waited until the sobbing stopped. Jack played with a broken chunk of concrete for a second and then looked up with a feral smile. He jumped to his feet, still holding the piece of rock.

    "Howard, get a crew. Twenty men ought to do it. Have them tear out the rest of this wall."

    Howard just stared, the look of incomprehension plain on his old, lined face.

    "I haven't lost it yet. No time for that. Throw all of the concrete into the hole next to the blast door and call me when it is finished. Fill that hole up as much as you can."

    Jack smiled and strode off as the gray haired man started barking orders. Two hours later, the old man walked up to him, where he sat under a pecan tree, emotionally drained and empty of tears. The man knelt down and started to clean Jack's hands. He then bandaged up the injured knuckles as he spoke.

    "Jack, we are done. I have an idea of what you are planning, and it is ugly. It would be more humane just to shoot them in the gut," Howard mumbled.

    "And let them miss out on what all of our children and your grandchildren went through? Not a chance in hell," Jack replied savagely, violently shaking his head to keep away the memories.

    Jack got to his feet and strode to the house, his long legs quickly eating up the distance. In the basement, he looked at the pile of rubble filling the stairwell. The top of the stairwell was at least two feet above the top of the door.

    The lights are still on in the house, which means their generators are still working. That also means their well pump is still running," he said as he walked over and removed a ceiling tile.

    After removing one along each wall, he saw what he was after, two pipes running side by side. One galvanized pipe was cold, so he used a pry bar to wrench it loose from its mooring. He grabbed the pipe with both hands and started to wrench at it, bouncing his full two hundred pounds. The pipe suddenly gave, and water poured from the ceiling.

    "Even if they have explosives, opening that door will be the biggest mistake they ever make," Jack said as he strode over to the sump pump and unplugged it.

    Pipes connected the deep sump to the stairwell so that water would be drained in case of a plumbing mishap. Jack grinned, as this was no accident. Water poured onto the floor and started to spread. It eventually started to back up and fill the basement after first filling the stairwell and sump hole.

    The water in the basement was three feet deep before the lights went out and the water flooding from the ceiling slowed and then stopped.

    "Too late," Jack said, turned, and waded out of the flooded room.


    "What does it mean if the door is cold?" Betsy asked.

    Joe hobbled over to the door, still tipsy from the painkillers. He put his hand on the door, and it was noticeably cooler than the wall.

    "James, kill the power to the exterior well pump, a pipe must have busted in the house," Joe roared, kicking himself for not thinking of that probability.

    James tripped the breaker, shutting off the juice to the exterior pump.

    "Are we trapped then?" James asked.

    "No, that door has secondary hydraulics to open it even if the stairway is half-choked with wood, debris, and rubble. Massive rams on that thing, so we can still get out even if the stairway is full of water and wood. We just have to wait this out," Joe responded.

    "What if they have blocked the stairwell?" Herschel asked from across the room, his brown eyes thoughtful.

    "Don't worry about it Hershy. If they did, then we will simply break out the sledge and dig ourselves out. We will try the door first though, as breaking through one of those walls and digging a tunnel will be a real chore," Joe replied. "Guys, we will be fine. Let's get settled in. We will try the door in a week."

    "Shouldn't we wait longer?" Susan asked, her long black hair bundled into a neat ponytail.

    "I seriously doubt they will wait a week. We will crack the door, and if anyone shoots at us we will seal this thing back up for another month. We can outwait them," Joe replied.


    "But how can you be sure that the water will get them?" Jonathon roared.
    Jack glared at him, and the younger man settled down.

    "Simple math. That basement has to have a larger footprint than the shelter. It is obvious that the house was built to hide the shelter," Jack stated calmly.

    The putt-putt-putt sound of the portable two-twenty generator hummed in the background, as well as the sound of flowing water.

    "That is why we are finishing the job of filling the basement. They have to crack that door eventually," Jack patiently explained. "With all of the small chunks of concrete in that stairwell, as soon as they crack the door it will be permanently wedged open as water forces concrete into the seal. It may or may not be hydraulically powered, which is good for us."

    "What if they choose to dig their way out from a side wall," a middle aged balding man that Jack was not familiar with asked.

    "That is why we parked all of those old tractors around the house. I am glad we had those ten gallons of gas, that was a good find. The combined local weight of the tractors will collapse any tunnels unless the diggers reinforce them somehow. Anyways, I say let's make their choice sooner than later," Jack replied.

    Jonathon's eyebrows suddenly raised as Jack caught his interest.

    "What do you mean?" He asked.

    "Those old shelters had filtered air vents. That is why we brought those five gallons of ammonia we rounded up. The vents are probably camouflaged, so everyone grab a hammer or something solid and hit every larger rock, stump, or boulder you find. If it sounds hollow we have found one," Jack stated. "At least one vent will be here somewhere. It may even be covered with a pile of brush, metal, wood, or even under a small shed. Check everything, and move everything."

    An hour later, a younger man hollered from the tool shed, "I found it!"

    Jack walked back from the tree line where he was searching, and noticed the round pipe embedded in the concrete. It was camouflaged to look like a gutter, but the fine bug screen gave it away.

    "Good work, and help me shove this thing over," Jack stated.

    With twenty more men helping them push, the shed ripped from the bolts holding it to the foundation and tipped over. Underneath the shed were two pipes that teed off from a single larger pipe, heading to identical spots as false gutters.

    Jack smiled, grabbed a hammer from a man next to him, and bashed a hole through the junction abover the larger pipe.

    "Before I do this, get some men at the basement with rifles, and one runner. If air bubbles burp up, let me know. Guard that entrance and shoot anything that tries to come out.

    Jack waited ten minutes, and then emptied four of the five one-gallon jugs of ammonia into the vent pipe.

    "How is this supposed to work again?" Jonathon asked.

    "Pumps suck air through the filter, and then distribute it throughout the shelter. We just filled the filter with ammonia, so the pumps will be pumping in ammonia fumes instead. It won't be long now," Jack replied as a matter-of-fact.

    The runner came galloping back.

    "Huge bubbles coming up, and the water level just dropped by five feet," the teen-aged kid gasped.

    Jack strolled over to the house, and walked calmly over to the entrance of the basement.

    "Anything?" He asked.

    "Nothing, Jack, nothing but air. How did you know?"

    "Ammonia fumes are quite toxic. With the shelter suddenly full of fumes, they would have been choking and coughing their guts out, they would be disoriented and probably unable to find any gas masks. Someone was bound to panic and try to escape, it's human nature," Jack replied. " I doubt there is much of an opening in the door, so I also doubt anyone is coming out this way. In twenty minutes we can all go home. Doesn't matter at that point if they have scuba tanks... just not enough time."

    "What would you have done if the ammonia didn't work?" Jonathon asked.

    "That's simple. I would have found and plugged the exhaust vents for their generators. No generators, no air pumps, no lights, no cooking, no running water. They would have been forced to use up their bottled air. Kind of difficult to do when someone breaks off the muffler by driving down the exhaust pipe with a sledge hammer. I would have just dumped the last gallon down the pipe. Either way, the results would be the same."

    Jack's feral grin slipped and the horrid grief hiding below seeped through.

    "This is over. I am going home to bury my daughter," he said and walked off.


    This story fits the scenario I posed in the other thread 'A Question'.

    Paul Andrulis
    My Amazon Authors Page:

    My Bloated Dog... uhh... Blog

    "Those whom refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

  2. #2
    Wow... Great story. Thanks..

  3. #3
    A lot to think about...Maybe shouldn't have invaded the pharmacy?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    State WA
    I had more trouble with this then I thought I would. Wow.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Wherever I am, there I is.
    Had they left the pharmacy alone, or had they shared what they took and the scenario would have become implausible. In either case the townsfolk would have probably left them more or less alone.

    The culmination of that groups actions with those of similar groups destined them all to reprisal and justice, as loose as the term fits in this story. To the townspeople, the prepper groups were the MZBs.
    My Amazon Authors Page:

    My Bloated Dog... uhh... Blog

    "Those whom refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    West central Georgia
    Wow! Talk about food for thought!
    Visit my Etsy shop at

    If we aren't showing love, His love, then what are we doing calling ourselves Christians?

    Psalm 73: 25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
    26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart
    and my portion forever.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Wherever I am, there I is.
    I understand. It is kind of hard to find a 'good guy' in this story, as is often the case in real life. As I told KarenInKS, the preppers were the MZBs in this scenario due to the way they acted and it is hard to justify what they did. Every attempt at justification comes back to selfishness, the gibmethis attitude as you put it in the other thread, except it is gibmethis or else I will take it by force.

    Those situations never end well. It is hard to cheer for a bully.

    However, revenge is a horribly bitter herb that is ugly to the bone. It is almost alien in its ferocity and knows only the moment. Revenge is only a thin facade when viewed as justice.

    Therefore, who is the good guy? Who can we cheer on?

    We can understand both parties; in some certain instances we can even sympathize, if not empathize, with both sides.
    My Amazon Authors Page:

    My Bloated Dog... uhh... Blog

    "Those whom refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    State WA
    Yes so very true.

  9. #9
    I'm going to be honest. The idea of retreating to a bunker that has only one exit has never sat well with me - ever. To my mind that is a trap. And I wouldn't chose it as my last resort position. My folks have a storm shelter that is single exit that makes me cringe because of that. Especially since if the house came down it would bury the shelter.

    If I ever manage to have the money/place for a "bunker" it will have two exits. Otherwise it's only for shelter/protect from weather. Humans will find ways in.
    Please, come say Hi! and share your experience/knowledge. I love to learn.

  10. #10
    Should not have read this. Further evidence to A. have op sec B. A pre dug couple of escape tunnels C. listening posts and don't defend the undefendable.

    Sorry about the town, but they chose to become evil instead of something else. The others might not have high moral ground, but the town was murders in fact, not the minds of the victims.


    My family & clan are my country.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Wherever I am, there I is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dosadi View Post
    Should not have read this. Further evidence to A. have op sec B. A pre dug couple of escape tunnels C. listening posts and don't defend the undefendable.

    Sorry about the town, but they chose to become evil instead of something else. The others might not have high moral ground, but the town was murders in fact, not the minds of the victims.
    What they became is the same as what the preppers would have become had the shoe been on the other foot. They chose vengeance for their children. If the townspeople had withheld medicine from a group of prepper children, subsequently causing their deaths, then people would happily cheer the vengeance angle...

    So, I ask, what is the difference?

    Preppers, by their actions, can indeed commit atrocity and the same is also true for non-preppers. If either commit an act that knowingly causes an innocent's death... murder is murder.
    My Amazon Authors Page:

    My Bloated Dog... uhh... Blog

    "Those whom refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

  12. #12
    pauldude000, this story tells how it could be in hard times. Desperate people do desperate things to survive. There was no good side bad side they were both wrong.

  13. #13
    Thanks! Good read. Enjoyed it. This story should point out a lot of ripples in some plans.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Wherever I am, there I is.
    Quote Originally Posted by stjwelding View Post
    pauldude000, this story tells how it could be in hard times. Desperate people do desperate things to survive. There was no good side bad side they were both wrong.
    I agree. Desperate people will do desperate and stupid things without ever thinking of the repercussions. If this story were continued, the townspeople would have eventually become the preppers, would commit the same acts, and ultimately would have met the same end from another town or some other large group of people, somewhere.

    People tend to forget that violence breeds even more violence and the effects tend to be geometrical in scope. Gunfighter kills man in saloon; lynch party strings him up by the neck without a trial; entire group who participated in the lynch party hangs for murder. In a way, I actually based this story on real-life scenarios that occasionally played themselves out in years gone by; ultimately, it was patterned off of the wild west, where people often had to deal with life-or-death SHTF scenarios on a fairly common basis.

    In a time and circumstance such as in this story, where the people should be banding together to help everyone survive (as was common in the wild west), too many individuals or small groups would be looking out only for themselves and ultimately assure their own destruction as well as that of others. Sharing and the sense and practice of community is a basic survival human trait. We help others and they help us, which means all are better off, survival wise, than either were previously.

    Humanity has gotten where it is for several reasons. We are smart. We are willing to cooperate with each other towards a common goal and thus achieve far more than one or even several could do by themselves. We are willing to defend each other against chance and circumstance, risking our lives for the safety of others. If we lose these things in a SHTF scenario, then we are no longer human. We become animals in that case and will share the same general fate, our lives hanging on a precarious daily balance, with little or no control over what happens.

    To quote Newton, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."
    My Amazon Authors Page:

    My Bloated Dog... uhh... Blog

    "Those whom refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it."

  15. #15
    great short story GREAT


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