Garen hadn’t realized it at first, but this was the first time in a long time he had been in a HMMWV. The last time didn’t work out so well. He had high hopes this time would work out better. The signs weren’t good for that however.
The route he was taking had run into a few detours so far. Unfortunately, the last two were man made. Kara had spotted them soon enough they could bypass them, but the activity was troubling. The detours kept pushing them farther and farther south, away from the direction they wanted to go.
Some of the storefronts they were passing had obviously been looted. The looting was bad enough, but there were also some bodies around them as well. This was giving Garen some serious flashback potential. He was reminded of Baghdad in 03, and New Orleans after Katrina.
They rounded another corner to find a rope or cable stretched across the road between two rows of cars lining each side of the street. Kara spun around and found a truck had pulled out behind the SUV and trailer, closing the distance rapidly. There was no place to turn around, and no good place to turn. Kara hopped on the radio at this point, since there is no reason to keep trying to sneak when you’re in an ambush, they know you are there so you might as well communicate!
“Buffy! Inbound on your six!”
Garen was already doing calculations in his head to see if ramming the cable was an option. His eyes were darting frantically trying to find what it was attached too. What he found wasn’t good. Somebody had been doing their homework. The cable had been tied to the telephone poles on each side with cord. He knew it would snap, but the cable went from there to the line of cars on both sides. That were chained together. If he rammed the cable trying to snap it, it would just pull free and leave him trying to drag six more cars down the road. It was basically like an aircraft arrester gear: too much flex to break, and too heavy to tow. He had a plan though. He screamed up to Kara.
“Hold on, this could get hairy!” Then he keyed his mic. “Buffy, I’m going to get us some running room, maybe. Give me a moment, but be ready for a ground fight if I **** this up!” Garen punched the accelerator after shifting down to low. The big vehicle surged forward. He knew this was exactly what this trap was set up for. He also knew most people wouldn’t think after hitting the wire.
“Kara! Keep an eye to the sides for goblins trying to chock the wheels or something!”
Garen was going to hit the wire enough to engage the wire. This should snap it free from the poles. The next part was the big if. He would then stop and back up a bit to get the cable to drop, then, they could drive right over it and escape. With his solution so easy, they had to have some sort of contingency for that though.
He hit the wire with enough force to pop the strings. He carried forward enough to feel the HMMWV slow as the dead weight of the other cars took hold. This would be where most people would stomp the gas. Garen hit the brakes. As he was throwing the big machine in reverse Kara screamed.
“Goblins left and right! I have the right, you got to get the left!” He voice was punctuated by the booming of the 12 gauge.
Bekka knew this had been too easy. They had detoured a few times, but this all collapsed now. Kara’s call had started a cascade of events, many not good but necessary. Bekka pulled her shotgun onto her lap, ready for use as her eyes scanned for targets. Allyson meanwhile had one of the more unfriendly duties. She pushed a full load of Narcan into Angelique’s IV to negate the pain drugs. They didn’t want something to happen and Angelique be out and unable to defend herself. This was one of the lessons and plans modifications after the AAR from their last patient evacuation. She was going to hurt bad, but not be a complete sacrificial goat.
Bekka saw figures moving on the other side of the line of vehicles as Garen’s voice came over the radio. She saw the HMMWV move forward and stop. She barked a warning over the radio.
CCG, you remind me of those old "Outer Limits" shows:
"I am in charge of your entertainment cycle. Do not attempt to predict or influence where I will go with my story. I may make you laugh. I may make you sweat. I will keep you GLUED. I AM THE AUTHOR. I am in control of your refresh button!"
I respectfully submit you lacked that kind of confidence last July when you started this with: "A little one off put together awhile back-" Feels good, huh? Lots of fun for you? Right?
I gotta take a nap now, cause I'm old and decrepit, so I'll let others give you well deserved praise.
l I just came inside after chores and started reading. Got excited, and then I'm hanging on a cliff.
Was his "pop it and back up ploy" enough, or did they have a plan for that. I suspect they had a plan for that, but we'll see. How close was the convoy running? I can't imagine trying to back up that trailer in a combat zone.
Anxiously awaiting the next installment! Thanks.
A stream of red glowing balls rained down from Kara’s shotgun into the parked cars on the right. She was trying to keep them down under cover so they couldn’t do whatever they were planning. Her shotgun ran dry quickly. She reloaded form the sidesaddle with five rounds of OO buck as quick as she could. This gave the enemy a small slice of time to move. A guy was creeping out from the end of the line of cars. He was dragging a chain and a hook like you find on tow trucks. When Kara saw this, she knew what the backup plan for the bad guys was. Hook the chain on the back of the vehicle string and achieve the same effect as the cable would in the front. She knew she had to stop this from happening, and warn the others.
“Look out! They are trying to hook us from behind!”
Kara leaned over and pumped a one ounce slug into him at short range. She then moved her line of sight back up the chain to the back of the vehicles, prepared to stop the next guy to try and get the hook. As she was watching for a moment, she was feeding more shells into her shotgun from an ammo can she had zip-tied to the roof at hand. Her hand bumped the other can up there and she remembered her other idea. Grabbing one of the objects in the other can, she whipped around and screamed at the top of her lungs as she threw.
The object sailed over the line of cars to clatter against the wall and the sidewalk. Evidently, someone over there heard her and started scrambling away from that row. This got them farther away from cover, exposing them to Garen, Bekka and Allyson.
Bekka lined up to provide raking fire up the line with her shorty shotgun. It had worked well against Logan and she knew she had to be just as effective now. They had to clear the kill zone before the truck barreling up behind them got in position. She didn’t know if it was a simple cork for the bottle, or filled with a thousand more members of the horde.
Unlike Kara’s initial load, Bekka’s was all steel buckshot. She unloaded up the left hand side of the row of cars. This was about the same time Kara yelled ‘frag out’. The bodies were moving in all sorts of directions. She felt the vehicle shift under her as Allyson swung open her door and stood up.
Allyson, once her medical task was done, swung open her door and stood up on the sill. This gave her some visibility over the top of the SUV and trailer, enabling her to see the right side of the trap as well as the truck advancing from the rear. At hearing Kara’s shout of frag out, Allyson played her part to muddy the waters for the ambushers. She had in her possession a couple of small flashbang grenades. She was the one with the most time and experience using them, so was the go to person for them. She threw one across the roof of the SUV to land covering the blind spot next to the SUV.
Garen’s brain was fighting in three directions at once. Part of him was telling him to jam it back into drive and go forward. Part of him was wanting to climb out and eliminate the threat, otherwise, why did they do all this in the first place, only to leave bandits behind. The third part was sitting back and taking notes of such things like he really screwed up not having a better anti-ambush fighting tool for himself right now. Handgun rounds really don’t do much against car bodies without an awful lot of precision. It also made note that Kara’s trick with the rock worked quite well.
Garen’s brain won its tug of war on which part was in charge. He stomped the accelerator pedal, praying the cable had dropped free and didn’t hang up on anything. The HMMWV rolled forward five feet, ten feet, and he knew they were loose. He shouted over the radio.
“Rolling, let’s get clear!”
Both vehicles surged forward, picking up speed as they went. Now they just had to worry about the truck behind them.
Garen was racking his brain trying to figure out a solution for the truck closing in on them. He was pushing the HMMWV to accelerate, but he knew in a race, they would probably lose. Right now, he was just trying to keep separation. They needed space to maneuver.
An idea came to him. Well, actually it was half an idea, but who’s quibbling? Better something done right away than the perfect thing a week later. He keyed the mic.
“Buffy! Drop speed a bit and give us about 30-45 second offset. Carrot, get Thor ready. We are going to pull a Jutland off my side. Carrot, drop a flash just before you pass us.” He then turned to Kara. “Kara, load the shotgun with all slug and get your bolt gun for me, with the magazine with the black tape. We are going to get a bit of separation, then you and I are going to stop, pop out the top and do a mag dump. You take the windshield and the cab; I’ll get the engine.”
Kara saw where he was going with this. She also knew he was faster with the Enfield than she was. As soon as she had the shotgun loaded, she grabbed the ancient battle rifle and the second mag, the one with the black tape.
Bekka was a second or two behind on understanding Garen’s plan. Jutland was a famous naval battle where the British fleet crossed the T on the German formation. Basically, Garen was figuring to make it where they were lined up and able to pour fire into the oncoming truck. She looked over at Allyson.
“Allyson, when we pull past Garen and Kara, we are going to turn left and fire out through the windows. You use the shot gun,” she handed it over. “and I’ll use my 300. You and I will bat cleanup for any squirters.”
Garen found a spot in the road that veered a little to the left that was the best spot he found for his plan. Bekka was about twenty to twenty-five seconds behind him.
“Alright. Ready Kara?” Kara nodded to him. Garen stomped the brake to bring the lumbering vehicle to a stop. Kara was already standing up, faced backwards. The shotgun was in her hands and the Enfield was on the roof next to her for Garen. As Garen turned and stood, Kara lowered herself to brace her shooting position on the roof like resting on a bench at the range. She drew a bead past the SUV as Garen dropped into position next to her. They both figured shooting around fifty feet. At that range, they could just pour the fire into the truck.
Garen figured if Bekka was fast enough, they had a chance to get them on line and catch them from a slightly different angle. All four of them were fairly sure the back of the truck had to have more ambushers. It didn’t make sense to pursue after the victim escaped the trap unless you thought you could still capture or defeat them, especially once they were known to be armed.
Garen and Kara could see Allyson’s hand reach out the window and toss something just before they got even with the HMMWV. They closed their eyes and turned their heads just in time to miss the sudden explosion of bright white light. As soon as the detonation ended, they were behind their weapons and pouring rounds into the front of the oncoming truck.
Bekka saw the stopping point and prepped Allyson for the timing.
“Ready, Ready, NOW!”
Allyson flipped the flashbang out the window. Moments later, it exploded in a massively bright flash of light. Designed to blind and stun someone in a room or vehicle, at night to someone straining to follow a fleeing vehicle in the dark, the flash struck with a physical force. At the least, it destroyed any finite details they could see at any distance for minutes. Any dark adaptation by the eye was violently shattered.
The Enfield No. 4 is considered one of the fastest operating bolt actins ever made. Garen was trying to pour out rounds as fast as he could. At the range they were shooting at, he was trying to hit a fairly big object, so being precise wasn’t slowing him down. His self-appointed job was to kill the engine. Ten rounds of armor piercing 303 rounds should do quite a bit of damage to the engine block and other parts necessary for it to continue running. This counter-ambush was all about getting them to no longer be able to pursue them, not hunt all of them down. They had already tried that caped crusader route and didn’t want to do that again. At least for now.
Kara was unloading the shotgun into the windshield and cab of the truck as fast as her finger could dump the rounds. Every pull of the trigger sent nine thirty-eight caliber balls out the muzzle. In just a few seconds, it was like over a dozen cops had unloaded their revolvers into the passenger compartment of the oncoming truck.
Bekka and Allyson joined in as they slid to a stop. Allyson dumped the six slugs from the shorty shotgun into the driver’s side door in a quartering angle across the cab of the truck. Meanwhile, Bekka started punching a few holes into the box on the back of the truck at about two to three feet above the deck. Allyson reloaded with buckshot and followed Bekka’s lead.
Once Garen had expended his ten shoots, he dropped back down into the driver’s seat and got on the radio.
“Buffy, take the lead, we will keep the back covered.”
Bekka finished the magazine, pulled her rifle back inside the window and started rolling. Handing the rifle back to Allyson, she started to focus on where they were and how to get free from there. They needed to make their way uphill and inland. They have been in the city too long. She could hear Allyson reloading the shotgun behind her. They slipped their goggles back down and searched the way forward for more problems.
Bekka started trying to make a good rate of travel. She wanted to get away from the ambush site quickly. Sprint, and then hide to check for more pursuers. While her eyes danced all over the place, she could hear Allyson explaining things to Angelique, and reassuring her the pain drugs would be coming back to help her and just lie still.
Allyson wished she could do more for Angelique. It was a rather rude thing to take all of the pain-killing effects of some of the drugs away in one big dose. She couldn’t even just push more pain drugs in. Once the reversing drugs wore off, the pain drugs would be back. Any attempt right now would lead to an overdose situation. The shoulder and hip had to ache, but shouldn’t be too bad if she didn’t try to move them. She had to just talk her through it.
Garen and Kara were moving a little slower. Kara was back in position standing up looking out towards the rear. She was especially alert for any movement around the truck. She didn’t see any. Once they turned another corner, blocking their view, she returned to scanning everywhere.
Bekka was able to work a route up higher into the hills. She was now traveling through a residential section, something they had tried to avoid earlier. Now she was using it as a method to scrape off any trailing people who might have decent local knowledge. As she turned and twisted up a winding road, it kept getting narrower and narrower. Finally she passed a sign marking the road a dead end. This was what she was counting on. Most people know the road dead ends, especially people newer to here. What Bekka had found out by accident several years ago, was the ‘dead end’ was nothing more than a couple of cables locked to pillars on each side of the road. Beyond that, the road continued. It was the private back entrance of one of the older estates overlooking the city. Years ago, the mansion burned down and was not rebuilt. The owners of the land closed off the road to keep people out. They did the same on the other entrance off of the main highway above.
Bekka knew she could pick the locks or they could cut the cables. Either way, they could go through here and jump a lot farther up the highway than expected. If someone was following them, they would expect it was an error, and they had them trapped. She was hoping to just pick the locks so they could lock them back. No reason to give away an escape route if they didn’t have to.
Garen was following the SUV at a slight distance. He thought he knew what Bekka was doing, but wasn’t sure. His pucker factor increased when they passed the dead end sign. He started wondering how hard it was going to be to turn these trucks and trailers around on this narrow ass road on a hillside in the dark.
When Garen pulled up behind the trailer, he could see Bekka working on the locks. He told Kara to go give a hand and lock them back once he pulled through.