Category Archives: Survival Stories

Moonshine Transylvania Style – Survival In Romania Part II

This morning I found a few questions in my PMs from a member   The comment was also made we live here in a pre- industrialized age.   Yes – to some extent.   Certainly if we had no more electricity as of today – life would take a bit of a dive, but we wouldn’t suffer:   just complain a lot.   I NEED internet for contact with family in England, and without WizzAir and my nice people carrier (think Crown Victoria), traveling between here and England would be something more of a challenge.   There are a few foodstuffs I refuse to do without too, things I can’t find in the shops here.   Ex: maraschino cherries.   I’ve tried various recipes, but haven’t come up with anything good enough to make me happy.

Questions asked:
* Do you use the horse bedding in compost ?   Yes, it goes into a huge pile outside the barn along with manure from the pigs and cows.   Then, in the spring and late summer, it all gets loaded onto the wagon and distributed over the fields.   We hire a couple of gypsies for the day, and they fork it onto the wagon and then off again in clumps around the field before it’s all plowed in.   Before it goes onto the muck heap outside, we strain it a bit with a light fork with 8 tines.   An alternative name for horses poo is “meadow muffins”.   The lumps are about the size, colour and consistency of a decent muffin.   They go into a bin, and what I don’t keep back is collected by neighbours for their mushrooms.   Mushrooms ADORE meadow muffins.
How much can one of those old girls till in a day?   Our girls are 7 and 8 years old.   This put them in the prime of their lives.   We aren’t breeding them because a pregnant mare needs to be cossetted a bit, and we need them to work.   Also a colt is a serious pain in the neck for years.   Better to buy in if   and when it is ever needed.   Our girls are semi-heavy and in superb condition, although in the spring we start them out slowly.   We grow all their food, so they are cheap to run.   My husband keeps their harnesses in top condition by cleaning them once a week with neetsfoot oil when working, and then putting them away upstairs in a dry room for the winter.   Harness are made of leather with stainless steel fastenings.   Time was they were made of brass, but there are always people at the animal markets selling all and sundry for farm use and the prices are good.   The villages use horses for most day to day operations… but there are combines around and although they are expensive, they’re worth it for many people because of the reduced labour.   The church in our village had a problem with the roof a few years back, and a church group from Holland donated the money for repairs.   The presbytery decided to use the money to buy a small, second hand combine imported from Germany.   The church then borrowed the roof repair money from the bank.   A man in the church had worked on combines, so knew how to run it, and also there are a couple mechanics in the village to keep it in good repair.   The church rents out the combine and driver and has managed to pay for the combine and pay off the loan.   The Dutch severed relations with the village because the money wasn’t used as donated.   (Comments from me on that would be offensive.)
Our girls can plow around 2 acres in a day, using a single bottom plow. That’s a 12 hour day with about 4 half hour rest stops. They can cultivate an acre in about a day and a half, again a single row. We mow using gypsies and scythes. Planting is broadcast or a neighbour does it by field with his seeder (we don’t own one) and I haven’t paid much attention. Guess about half an hour to an hour per acre. Our wagon holds just over a ton of old manure and it takes about an hour and a half to load and spread, depending on how many people are working. They can pull the hay wagon with over 80 middle size bales. There are a couple of balers in the village, we sometimes rent to have it done. Just as an aside, I’ll mention that two years ago we were harvesting hay in a field with a large walnut tree at one end. I was driving and as I turned the team at that end of the field, the tree was struck by lightning. Our lovely, gentle draught horses went insane. It was an interesting experience for all concerned.
This milk collection, is it a social gathering/barter session as well?   The village bar has a 1500 litre milk tank in a room on the ground floor.   The dairy sends a truck round the villages every day to collect milk from colletion points like this.   We pull our little wagon to the bar, carrying our two milk canisters, where we pour the milk into the big tank.   Quantity is recorded every day, and there is quality control a couple times a month.   Most people top up their canisters with a cup or litre of water if the quantity is down.   It brings their fat content down, but as long as it doesn’t go below 3.2, nobody gets too strung out.   Everyone knows everybody does it and nobody admits to it.   The bar serves as an employment exchange for the gypsies, a guaranteed source of information on current milk prices and the vagaries of the government regarding agriculture. Need something?   Tell it to the girls running the bar.   Want to sell something?   Same.   Need advice?   Go have a beer or two in the evening.   There’s a small shop as well, about 18′ x 10′ in size, carrying just about anything normal village folk would want.   The bar has a television showing Budapest (Hungarian speaking village) channels and is a huge draw for people who haven’t electricity at home. (Maybe a quarter of the village.)   All ages welcome, and the bar will fill glass jars sent from home with whatever alcohol is requested.   The bar will happily sell even to 5 year olds, in the sure and certin knowledge its being taken home to a parent.

What do your neighbors produce ?   Everybody has their own gardens, most have a few acres.   The usual size acreage per home is about 5 acres producing sunflowers for oil, corn for chickens and animals and household cornmeal, wheat, rye, and Jerusalem Artichokes.   Favourite animal food is lucerne (alfalfa), along with Trefoil and mixed grasses. J. Arties EVERYTHING eats, including people. A truly universal crop and even great for diabetics.

Gardens produce that which is consumed in the home.   Mine is pretty standard:   I grow sweet corn, summer and winter cabbage, beets, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.   Bell peppers and hot peppers plus a little sweet pepper I stuff with soft cheese.   Also spinach, castravets by the boatload, peas and carrots, onions by the cartload in several different types, Aubergine,   5 types of tomatoes, leek and potato, asparagus.   (I’ve probably missed something.)   We have a two acre garden surrounding the house, and half of it is in orchard.   There are 4 types of apple, a huge walnut tree, 3 types of plum, apricots (make the best palinka) pear, black cherries and sour cherries plus little wild cherries that are fantastic for making cherry liquor.   The hedge is full of hazelnuts, gooseberries, wild roses (for beauty and for rosehips), sloes for making sloe gin, perennial peas, red, black and green grapes, raspberries, and so much else I can’t even remember.   Long past owners of the property plants   planted herbs, so I have access to most of the daily cooking needs and a fair amount towards home pharmaceuticals.   My husband has a low grade high blood pressure, and I control it by giving him a cup of hawthorne tea every morning, well laced with honey.   Its cumulative in the system, so if he goes a day or two without, it doesn’t have an effect.   On the other hand, if he were to go without a couple weeks, apparently it would take a month to be properly active.  About two weeks or so ago i had to buy an antibiotic cream for a scrape on my daughter’s skin that wasn’t healing.   That’s the first time I’ve bought drugs in over a year.   We have willow trees around a boggy part of the garden, and I use willow bark for aspirin.   I keep it in the freezer so it’s to hand.   A couple ounces of willow bark, lightly simmered about 15 minutes in water and honey will knock ANY headache on the head (so to speak).   I use the same tree and the same side of the tree, always, to maintain quality control.   We would NEVER plow the house acreage because I would loose far too much:   Garlic, Ramson, horseradish, rhubarb, the list is endless.   Foxy

Enough for the moment.   Simply MUST make myself useful for a few hours.   Foxy

The Long Walk Home

Written by Anonymous User

What a weekend it had been, cold mist, now hard rain, deer just out of range, not the most sucessful of hunting trips. “Oh well”
he thought, “maybe next week that eight pointer will show”. Wiping the Savage as he put it away in it’s case and stowing his
gear he could almost feel that comfort of that warm bed awaiting him at home. After shedding his wet clothes for dry duds he
climbed behind the wheel, turned the key…… and nothing. “fuck” he grumbled,”dead battery a million miles from nowhere.”
“Yea ” he laughed “Die hard, died and left me in a hard spot”. Digging through the glove compartment he retrieved his cell
phone, flipped it open, and it would not turn on. He had left it off to conserve the battery, and not to be disturbed during his hunt.
“If it wasn’t for bad luck” he mused, “I wouldn’t have any luck at all”.
“If I’m going to be stranded a bit” he thought “not a bad place to have to wait”. He had left word as to where he would be, same place
as last year, his favorite hunting grounds. With a twenty mile walk to the nearest anything he figured he would at least wait for the rain
to stop before hiking back.digging out the portable radio, the coffee thermos, and a bottle of Jack he sat back to listen to his Saints,
maybe the wouldn’t disappoint him today. “Strange’ he muttered, he could always pick up WWl from here before. Running the dial from one end
to the other the reality, and horror set in. There was nothing on the radio but static. There would be no help coming for him, or for anyone
else, his worst fear, an E.M.P. attack, had just become a living nightmare. How many days had it been since the attack, he had not even had a radio on for most of the week.

Eighty five miles of unknown, and the Mississippi River lay between him and his home. “Settle down, examine the situation, and be rational”
he thought as he tried to calm his fears. Getting home was not just a matter of a walk, he had brought a weeks worth of camping gear with him.
“Can’t carry it all” he shrugged, “this is gonna suk”. Decision time, what to carry, what to leave, and where to leave it. Inventoring the
weapons alone was depressing, his Savage scoped .308, an old Winchester .22, his FN, a 1911, .22 ruger pistol, and his 12 gauge Browning. He
surely couldn’t carry them all. Tent, stove, cookware, food, sleeping bag, at fifty-nine he sure wasn’t going to load a rucksak and run like he did
in the service fourty years ago. “I can comfortably and quickly about carry fourty pounds” he thought, “but I can drag a hunderd on a travois”

While waiting for the rain to stop he climbed into the back and started sorting, and selecting the essentials. Tac-vest with two two litre
bladders, 3-556 mags, 4-1911 mags, 2-1 qt canteens, butt pack with survival kit, that he could carry on him. the backpack he stuffed with a set
of clothes, socks, 4 cans of chili, some crackers, a jar of honey, ziplocks of oatmeal, 4 cans of soup, jerky, coffee, the large first aid kit, t.p.,
hobo stove and pot, extra poncho, batteries, 6 cell maglite, and a ziplock with his truck title, registration, other important papers, and his dead
cell phone. That was the easy part, now which weapons to carry. They would all fit on the travois, but what if he had to abandon it? They all had
good cases so they could be hidden, essential would be defense and hunting. The 1911 defenitely, having carried one for fourty years it was more like a body part, that couldn’t be left behind. The FN was the go to rifle, and the ruger .22 pistol would take small game. So the rest would have to be hidden and hopefully when it was all over still be there.

The rain stopped before morning, finding a fallen tree some distance from the truck he dug under it, shoved the three rifle cases, an ammo can, and covered them with dirt and leaves. Making a quick map of the cache he headed back to the truck, grimacing about all the stuff he had to leave behind. Three saplings and some rope made a quick and sturdy travois. In addition to the backpack his axe, shovel, a taurp, some rope, and his sleeping bag were tied down, now the fun part. Getting back home.

The old logging road was not the best, but a slow steady pace was maintainable. It took all day to get out of the wooded area he had been in to the parrish road that wasn’t much better. “Paved potholes” he snickered as he approached it. The sun was beginning to set so he headed a ways into the woods flipped and leaned the travois up against a large pine tree, spread his taurp over it, anchored it down — covered the floor with pine boughs, instant tent, crude but dry. making a fire in his hobo stove he heated a can of chili, boiled some coffee, and settled in for a mostly sleepless night. The visions he had of what he was facing were disturbing at best. Would his house and preps still be there, will roads be safe, will bridges be open, how many refugees will he have to avoid, the possibilities and situations were as endless, as they were troubling.

Day 2
A quick hot oatmeal and honey breakfast and coffee made for a good start on the day as he headed out for Brenner. Lunch, another can of chili, and crackers. Dragging that travois was a bit harder than he imagined, as well as more frequent rest stops. “One step at a time, perseverance will get you there, yeah eventually” he laughed. it started a light rain as he left, hiking in a poncho he found is a tough way to go, and a dehydrating one. The fluid loss walking in a poncho dragging a travois was consuming a lot of water. Worried about meeting someone unfriendly he kept to the woods about 40 yards from the road. “Mental note” he grunted, “travois and woods not a good mix.” The road sign said Brenner 2 miles. It wasn’t much of a town, a gas station, feed store, intersection, and some great boiled crawfish. “Sure could go for a plate or two of that now’ he smiled. It took about an hour to traverse the distance. Holding up in the woods near the feed store he dropped the travois and moved up to take a look. Several people were milling around the gas station, a couple of cars and a trucks were littering the station and road. he crept up as close as he dared to try and hear their conversations. He didn’t have to, there behind the station were the previous owners, dead. Rage almost overtook him, but he knew that there were far too many to fight. Those two had been filling his tank and belly for the past eight years he had been hunting here. Crawling back to his hidden travois he fumed, but what could he do. Go around, and continue on his way was about all, as much as it riled him to do so.

It was all he could do to manage another ten miles through the woods with his load that day, but he ended the day near a pond. Digging out two yo-yos, catching a few crickets, he crawled out on a limb overhanging the pond and set his lines. With any luck there would be fresh fish for breakfast. it didn’ttake long for the first yo-yo to go off. A small bream had scarfed up that juicy cricket. it wasn’t even as big as his hand, but it sure tasted better than chili, or oatmeal. a hot meal, a refreshing quick wash in the pond, a swig of J.D., and another night in the travois tent. a night filled with visions of that old couple laid out behind their store. Was this what he had to look forward to for the rest of his trek home? Was this what society had devolved into? Surely there were those out there who had managed to keep a semblance of order and humanity to their communities. he felt like finishing the bottle, it would make him sleep better, but being alert was more important.

Day 3
Woo-Hoo a nice Catfish had taken the hook he baited with the bream entrails. Pinned to a tree with the bayonet, skinned with a leatherman, what a good way to start the day. Roasted with some wild onion found near the pond, a side of cattail tubers, and a nettle salad. “If my forum buddies could see me know”he smiled. “If I ever hear from them again” he winced. After breaking camp, filtering and filling water containers it was time to go. another day of a slow long walk home. Keeping to covered terrain required a considerable detour, a cotton field had to be walked around. “Detours like this will add a lot of miles, and time” he sighed. But it was after what he seen at Brenner better safe than sorry, or dead. Going around the field and the farm took what seemed like forever. To make matters worse there was little cover, no place to hold up and start a fire, so lunch was cold oatmeal gruel. Filling and sustaining, but that was all that could be said for it. At this rate it would take more than a week to reach home, and four days to reach the river, what kind of problem would that be he thought. Supper was once again chili and crackers. “A few days of this makes you wish for a treat like spam” he laughed. But a warm fire and a cup of Irish coffee made the day seem better and the night more restful. Especially as it was the first night that had not had at least a light rain.

Day 4
As he broke camp he looked back at his trail. The travois was leaving a nice set of tracks in the muddy terrain as he went, it couldn’t be helped, but it was awful worrisome. There was not much getting back to the road and there were no woods for all of the farms and fields. stealth almost impossible. The farms were strangely quiet, deserted. there were no cattle, no people to be seen, except for an occasional bird all was disconcertingly quiet. More cold oatmeal, a short rest then plod on. The boredom, and slow pace was beginning to take it’s toll, dejection mixed with desperation is a will sapping combination. Hard to deal with, and almost impossible to stop. Both bladders were empty, one canteen was dry but one thing about cattle farms that can be counted on is stock watering tanks. Filtering water, eating a cold meal, sleeping in the open, getting a restless nights sleep. “This was getting old quick” he complained to himself.

Day 5
He slept facing East for his alarm clock. Up at dawn, cold meal and gone. Moving as fast as he could to make it out of the fields was draining more energy than he was taking in. It was harder to cover the same amount of distance as he had the day before. But he had no choice, he had to get out of this open terrain as quickly as possible. If all went well he would be in the woods again by the end of the day. It would do his mind good to feel the safety of real cover again. And the possibility
of game, a body and soul warming fire, and a hot meal. Finally, woods again. Harder travel but it felt a lot more safe. As the sun faded he saw the clearing, “*%$&” more farmland” he griped. Setting camp he once again filled water from livestock tanks after dark.

Day 6
As daybroke camped just inside the woodline then he saw movement, someone was coming from the farmhouse to the watering tank he got water from evening. An older man witha shotgun slung over his sholder. “Well” he thought “at least this one doesn’t look like a looter” Looking back at the farmhouse he saw a child appear on the porch. “That defenitely is not a looter or brigand” he noted. Leaving his gear, carrying only his pistol he arose and began walking into the field. Stopping some 50 yards from the woodline he called out “friendly — just passing through”. Startled the man raised his weapon, studied this stranger for a moment then called him over. “Slowly” he
commanded “walk towards me”. The conversation was friendly, and informative. there had indeed been an attack, three missiles, one on each coast. The center of the country had somewhat survived it. The big cities were for the most part burning and lawless. Informed of what had happened at Brenner he was visibly shaken, they had been old friends. He had his extended family there, sons, wives, kids, 16 in all. He said he had to put his cattle in the barn on the second day and fight off a group of looters. We both assumed the same ones that were in Brenner. There were running vehicles at the farm, but not much fuel, the diesel was reserved for the tractor, so a ride was not a possiblity.
There was however a warm, dry bed, and hot meal to be had, for a half pound of coffee as trade. What a comfot it was to sleep dry, off the ground, and not worried about what may wake you up, but the 1911 was still under the pillow.

Day 7
Before dawn there was a knock on the door and a call “breakfast in 30 miniutes”. “Yea” he thought as he arose. The day on the farm, just like when he was young started early, and as he recalled ended late. Eggs, bacon, and homemade bisquits, what memories that recalled. After that feast he prepared to move on. Barter time again, a box of .45 ammo, another half pound of coffee (his last), and a hundred .22 rounds bought a bonanza of provisions. Some jerky, three mason jars, squash, stewed tomatoes, and pork, a loaf of homemade bread, and three jugs of water. Those would be a lifesaver he thought. At least the walk would be better today as he knew the lands owner, and didn’t have to hide during the crossing. Well by the end of the day the mighty Mississippi should be in sight. “Mighty, Yea “he mused” mighty hard to get across” he mused. Another two hours of walking and dragging, with a tasty (for a change) meal of bread, squash, and boiled pork, there was his nemesis, the Mississippi. Dropping and hiding his travois he headed for the bridge. With a little luck (he could sure use some) it would be an easy crossing. As he approached through the woods he heard voices, and they weren’t speaking English, but Spanish. Working his way slowly back then down to the river bank he surveyed the situation through his binoculars. This was not good at all. Foreign troops at a roadblock on an American bridge. He was sure they were not going to allow an armed man to cross, even if he could prove he lived only fifteen miles away. The crossing would have to be light, “once again leaving gear behind. This was getting real old” he muttered. Arriving back at his drop location he surveyed his situation and gear. Well, the tacvest, weapons, and two days food were a must. The rest would have to be buried – again. Moving upstream for the better part of an hour he figured this would give him enough distance that the current would not carry him as far a the bridge.Taking his time digging a shallow pit because he would not be able to cross until dark he buried the pack, and water jugs. The squash, pork and some more bread made a hefty meal, he would need the energy. Packing the remaining bread, pork, jerky, oatmeal, and dry clothes into a waterproof bag he prepared for the swim. filling the taurp with brush he tied it off as a floatation device. It had been a long day and tired as he was he didn’t dare stay the night, too many boots tromping through the area for comfort. Moving quietly to the waters edge he set the taurp float in the water, places his waterproof bag, tacvest and rifle on top, pushed off and started the long swim across the river. It seemed like it took forever to make the half mile wide crossing, felt like it as well, he was exhausted. There was not a lot of night left for a fully restful sleep, just a nap it seemed before the light woke him in the morning.

Day 8
looking down the river towards the bridge he had almost not moved up far enough, less than a half mile seperated him from those invaders. Too close for comfort as far as he was concerned, but he was still too tired to set out again. Oatmeal and honey again for a cold breakfast as he didn’t dare start a fire. Resting until near noon he set off again. There would, except for the highway, was mostly timber company land. Easier to walk now that he wasn’t dragging that travois. But he sure did miss those extra supplies. He had just enough with what was in his cargo pockets and what he could gather to feed himself until he got home. Home, how good and scary that sounded. Was it unocupied, were his neighbors alright? A thousand questions raced through his mind, but no answers were forthcoming. There it was, four lanes, a median, a lot of abandoned vehicles. and a few bloated scattered bodies. His binoculars revealed nothing moving as far as he could see. A night crossing would be safer, but it had been a long journey, and patience was nearing it’s limits. Crawling over the fence he jogged for the wooded cover beyond the road. Finally it seemed he made it. “That was not as easy as I remember it 20 years ago” he laughed as he rested for a bit. Only a few miles to go, joy, anticipation, and worry mixed together in his mind. Late in the day Giddens creek came into view. Home he thought, water, and catfish holes I know. Crossing the creek he set up camp. Camp, that was almost a joke, his taurp had to be left at the river. His shelter was now a pair of ponchos buttoned together. At least the catfish cooperated and a late dinner was filling and nourishing. This nights sleep was peaceful, something about your old stomping grounds does that. Pine needle tea with a touch of Irish was a good end to the day as he settled in for the night.

Day 9
Almost running he crossed the last mile of the Georgia Pacific timberland that stood between him and home. as he crossed the powerline right of way he saw smoke. Smoke coming from near his cabin. “Well” he thought “this might be one fight I can’t avoid”. Moving slowly through the pines he saw it, smoke coming from his chimney. Creeping around past the spring he came up through the crape myrtles near the spring. There, in his rocker sat a large figure, a figure he recognized, Jeremy. Calling out as he stood up –“never thought I’d ever be happy to see someone as butt ugly as you”. Jeremy slowly looked up from shaping a new axe handle and replied. “Heard ya comin the other side of tha cabin, saw ya creepin past tha spring, what took ya so long ta git back”? Getting up he disapeared into the cabin and reemerged with his jug – “could ya use a drink” he asked? Jeremy’s shine was multi purpose, in addition to drinking it would clean rust, paint, and run a car. “Absolutely” he said and took a long belly smoldering swig. “How is everyone doing”? “Well, as can be expected”” Jeremy said, “we had a little trouble with some yahoos, but they won’t be trouble again, me, Sammy, Fred, and Allen handled it”. “Ran ’em off” he asked”? “Naw” replied Jeremy “buried em”. He said he saw soldiers in town, and they weren’t being very neighborly. Wondered how long it would be before they came this a way. Sammy and the rest had started moving things into hiding, and patrolling the area near the road. “Looks like there is a fight on it’s way” he thought, “it’s 1776 again”.

READ: The Long Walk Home Part II

The Long Walk Home Part III -Retribution

After getting the latest from Jeremy, Ralph headed over to Sammy’s to check in and find out what else was needed. He still had a lot of questions he needed answers to.
Sammy greeted him at the door “Hell of a homecoming eh”?
“Yea” Ralph replied, “and I have stuff scattered from the river to Brenner”, Ralph moaned as he told Sammy of the return trip.

“You didn’t pack that coffee pot yet did you darlin” Sammy joked.
“No honey, that’s an essential” Helen replied.
“And the Irish” he asked?
“In your condiment drawer” she laughed.
“It’s not Jeremy’s belly burner is it”? Ralph asked
“Naw but you’ll have ta settle for Johnny Walker” Sammy joked.

Ralph and Sammy sat at the table pouring over cache maps, and deciding what was left to be done and moved. “We have supplies all the way up to the Beaver pond, but covered only.Haven’t had time ta bury ’em yet.”
“Well” Ralph added as he pulled a map out of his vest “you may want to copy this, it’s where I have cached some buckets, not a lot but, it’s there if ya need it.” “And we have a bit more to move” Ralph said “I have about a hundred buckets in root cellar, rice, beans, flour, yeast, salt and such”
“S***” Sammy quipped ” I thought my pantry was a load to empty.” “Well we can probably move it with a coupla wagon loads. But where to?”
“Is that old logging shack still there” Ralph querried?
“Yea” said Sammy “no glass in the windows, and the door is half off, but it has walls and a roof that doesn’t leak too much. We can board up the windows, not so sure bout tha roof tho”.

“Well” Ralph asked “how many can we count on”
“Jeremy and Allen are out patroling near the main road, Fred packed up and left” Sammy informed him. “You know that crazy Cajun he says he is gonna git the family down to his dads place at Lake Maurepas, says if they show up there he and the family will turn them into gator bait” He laughed. ‘That leaves me, you, Jeremy, Helen and Allen. His wife and kids are with his mother in Breaux Bridge”.
“What about tha Ward boys” Ralph asked?
“You know them” Sammy scoffed, “they won’t take or give help, especially us, remember me and you ran them off at gunpoint fer hunting on your land”
“I can still see Lucas’ face when he heard that bolt go forward and looked up at your AK” Ralph laugheda
“And you on the other side with that damned FN” Sammy added.
“Hope they aren’t looking to settle a score” Ralph muttered.
“Well I’ll git tha horses hitched and we can git a load of buckets moved before nightfall” Sammy replied.
As they both headed out Ralph couldn’t help but think – five people, not much defensive firepower, as big of Aholes as the Ward boys were, there were three of them and they would be a lot of help.

As they took the wagon down the logging road Sammy filled Ralph in on what had happened the week it took him to get home. Seems the attack came three days after he left to go hunting, he had been there five days not knowing the excrement had hit the oscellating device. There had been some looting in town, and a few gangs, younger men,the ones who didn’t work or ran/used drugs. They were either run off or planted, but a lot of folks, especially the elderly were hit hard by them. Wakefield wasn’t very big and everyone pretty much knew each other, at least the long time residents, so they managed to pull it together somewhat. But without electricity the hospital ran out of gas for the generator and most of the sick passed away. Then the day before he got back the “Army” moved in. The Mexican army, and they were there to clear out the national
guard armory, confiscate weapons and any “excess supplies”. And they were in no mood to argue, neither were the residents, there were a lot of casualties on both sides.
“I’m worried about my horses” Sammy lamented “the quarter horses and those three adopted prairie horses can live on grass, but my thoroughbreds won’t make it well without grain, and I have enough about two months”.
“I can help with that” Ralph informed him “we have plenty of people food since there are only six of us, and I have ten thirty pound buckets
five wheat, five oats that we can use for them. They are after all our transportation”.
“I had been planning to mix my grain with grass seedheads from the right of way and make it go a bit further” Sammy added.
After returning from the shack they decided to move as much as they could night and day as they could. There was no telling when
they would be visited, and they had no illusuions about being able to hold off regular army troops. The next two days were hectic and busy as the root cellar was cleared out, along with about half of Sammy’s horse feed, scattered it seemed everywhere. The shack, the beaver lake, the old Heston place, it had long ago fallen down, but the old lumber made a good ground floor and cover, no one would think of looking there.

That night as they all sat around Sammy’s table they discussed what they should do. It didn’t take long for them all to realize that holding out with only five of them was a pipe dream. They would have to delay and run. The wagon would be kept packed with some clothing, the extra tack, grain, water, and backpacks. Helen would be in charge of hitching the wagon, and taking off down the logging road with the extra horses. Sammy would saddle the mounts needed to run, Jeremy would help Helen. Ralph and Allen would buy the time, charges were set, Ralph’s crank field phones would trigger the steel wool detonators, then mount up and run like all Hades was after them, cause it would be.

With their spare time Ralph and Sammy mixed fertilizer, deisel fuel, packed plastic pipe and fuzed it. Jeremy took the now useless power lines and strung them across the road.
Allen notched some trees near the road, behind the opening rigged some of the homemade charges in the tops to drop them. Four propane tanks were rigged to the homemade charges covered in rocks and duct tape, placed, and covered in trees near to the opening where the road crossed from the powerline right of way , four more were placed in the trees facing the powerline right of way thirty yards inside the woods, to cover against a flanking move through the woods. It wouldn’t stop them, but it would slow them down enough to make a getaway.

Jeremy kicked Debbies flanks as he headed full speed for Sammy’s, Allen called in “the fights here” and headed for the woods and keep contact with the column they saw approaching the road. Just as drilled Hellen, Sammy, and Jeremy headed for the barn. Ralph mounted up on Molly (one of the prairie horses) called Allen to get to the roadblock and headed that way. Allen arrived first and took up his position in the woods to the right. Ralph headed for the field phone on the left. Both were back in the woods, out of sight, but they would be able to see vehicles as they came down the road.

The Ward’s were at home when the column rolled down the road. Stoping in front of the sprawling farm complex they turned two APCs towards it, two squads moving up in covered rushes, as the squad on the right sprinted toward one of the out buildings gunfire erupted from the house and four of them fell. Immediately the APCs opened fire on the house as other vehicles targeted the remaining dwellings. It was all over in a matter of minutes as heavy weapons and high explosive projectiles mangled buildings, bodies, and left only burning hulks of what had been three houses, and the three families that were inside of them.
After the two dismounted squads made sure there were no survivors the column rolled down the road towards the crossings.
“Well I guess we’re next” Allen called over his radio.
“Looks like it” Ralph replied “Are you moving yet Sammy” he called.
“Give me two miniutes” he answed.
“That’s about all I can promise” came the answer.

The APCs made short work of the wire barricade rolling right over it. Rolling down the road, they stopped as they approached and a squad split into fireteams and approached the woods as the vehicles moved forward. As the APCs eased into the restricted opening between the trees and the road after the fireteams had entered the woods.
“These boys have some talent” Ralph noted. When the fireteams were within range Ralph radioed to Allen “fire three”. The explosions and gasballs lit up the woods as rocks, metal, and wood penetrated everything with devastating effect. “Fire two” he hollared, The road cylinders did the same, exposed gunners shredded by all manner of shrapnel.
“Fire one” he called as the lead APC reached the treefall. Four trees fell across the road, one on top of the APC. “Ride like hell” was the last command as they took off through the woods to join the others.

It was a good five miles from the crossings to the old Heston place, all had made it, but Ralph and Allens horses were in need of a rest.
“I need a fresh mount” Ralph said “better go look and see if anything is chasing us”. “Jeremy” Ralph called “Mount and fix bayonet, you just drew short straw, your with me”.
Now Jeremy was one of those old country boys of whom it had been said didn’t have too many forks in the family tree. But he hunted Hog with only a spear and bowie knife, and could sneak up on a nervous rabbit. A better choice for a recon partner I couldn’t have.
We circled around and came up between the woods and the powerline. making a wide sweep we found all our houses burning, and the troops scouring the woods arond them. Heading back for the Ward place we peeked in on the ambush site. It was erily quiet as we slowly swept it. The APC that had been hit by the tree was gone, but the remains of the nine soldiers caught by the tree mines still lay in the woods. As we approached the Ward Farm (or what was left of it) there were only bodies, seven soldiers, and the burned bullet ridden corpses that were the Wards. Then something caught Jeremy’s attention. “Wait here” he said as he rode down the road and into the woods. A few miniutes
later the radio blurted “you better git over here – quick” Riding up I found Jeremy holding a body, it was Sarah Ward, she had been in the barn when the fighting broke out, she had been hit by a stray bullet in the leg. I put some quickclot and a bandana around it, we loaded her on with Jeremy and headed the long way back.

The sun was setting as we headed back, and one last look saw the troops loaded up and heading back to Wakefield. It was almost eight P.M. before we made it back to the rally point. Hellen took Sarah, administered some proper first aid, and did her best to comfort her.
Puzzled Sammy looked at us “how the hell did you find your way back here on a moonless night”?

“Easy I said”, then told him of finding the soldiers in the woods, and at the Ward place, and held up six night goggles. “one of them is thermal ta boot” I exclaimed. We each had a pair of M4s as well.
“Couldn’t salvage much, the tree mines did one hell of a job”, I said nearly gloating.
“Scavanged about twenty grenades, a dozen mags, four pistols and some magazines as well, you can bet that when they find that stuff missing this place will be crawling with troops and gunships.” I Surmised.

“Well then, I don’t think we outta be here tommorrow” Sammy injected.

After digging through the Heston cache and adding some stuff to the wagon we headed out. The night move wasn’t bad at all, except for the rain which I was thankful for as it would make it harder to track us. We covered probably twenty plus miles. We held up at first light so all, man and beast alike could take a well earned rest. As close as I could figure we were somewhere west of Kentwood, and I-55. If we were going to find any juicy targets that would be a good place to start looking.

Jeremy and I headed out in the afternoon, keeping to the woods and moving slow. There didn’t seem to be an army presence in the area. Were they sticking to the built up areas I wondered. Just about dark we spotted a light, a campfire from the looks of it. As we got closer it got bigger, who other than an army unit, or an idiot would build a big fire at night? Sure enough it was the latter. Looked like about twenty or so, if theses idiots get spotted the army will be too close for my comfort. Doubling back we had made it no more than a few miles when we heard the helicopters going that direction. I almost felt sorry for those poor fools, but with that type of opsec they weren’t going last long
or be very effective anyway. By the time we got back the group was loaded and ready to go. Sarah was better, physically, but still was not talking. we headed south, there near Lake Maurepas we knew there were friendlies,and a chance to trade for what we needed, didn’t want to go the direction we just scouted. Too much traffic. we would soon need batteries for the night vision, or even better a charging system. The wagon was not a thing we could move easily during daylight hours, and woods with it were impossible.
This living on the run was getting old quick, especially with three noncombatants. Sammy and his wife were 70+, Sarah was wounded, the discussion that day was spirited,
Sammy wanted to fight, but it was pride, he knew in his heart he couldn’t do much. Hell – I was even borderline myself, but I had the tactical knowledge that was needed. It was a hard decision for all, but:
Sammy had some good friends near Pine Grove he had met some years back through his horse breeding association, now if they were still there. Another night march brought us to the isolated horse ranch of Rene’ Broussard, Sammy’s buddy. It was a relief to get a real bed to sleep in and a meal that didn’t come out of a bucket. In addition to leaving Sammy, Helen, and Sarah we left the wagon, the thoroughbreds, and a lot of supply. The three prairie horses we decided to ride, the three quarter horses were traded in for pack mules. It took a few days for Rene’ to build the panniers for the mules. So Jeremy and I took the time for an extended patrol. Movement with just horses was quick, easy, and stealthy.
We made it all the way to Independence and Amite. There we found what we had been looking for, a transportation hub and lots of stuff ta make go kaboom. Heading back we were surprised, well I was anyway, by hogs in the brush. It didn’t take Jeremy long to isolate, take, gut, and quarter. we were heroes when we got back, Rene’ even broke out a keg of homemade beer for the occasion. “Enjoy it” Jeremy told me “It may be our last for a while”.
As I drifted off to sleep I thought of the days ahead, would we ever get back to days like this, to what we once had? With a little luck, a lot of hard fighting, and a smile from the man above I figgered our odds better than even.

The pack was ready and it was time to go pick a fight. Two mules each with 220 lbs of supplies, three horses, this would allow us to move fast and far, we had supply points back home, here in Pine Grove, and whatever we could scavange from the enemy. As we said our goodbyes, and wished each other good luck, Sarah came running up. Threw her arms around Jeremy’s
neck and told him “thank you, please come back”. This was the first words anyone had heard her say in three days. Her next words almost made me fall off my mount. Walking up to me she took my hand and said “Promise you’ll bring him back to me”.
What could I say except “I will”.
First Strike

Traveling east toward Independence we passed the area that we had seen that bonfire, they had not even bothered to bury or collect the bodies, several were hung from trees, bruised, cut, and with burn marks, I guess that tells us surrender is not an option. That evening after dinner the subject of what we had seen came up again, as some of the bodies were no more than 14 or so years old, including two of those tortured and hung. Obviously mercy was not a trait of our enemy, but should we be the same? After surprisingly little discussion we arrived at a decision. Torture was out of the question, barbarians we were not.

Our creed would become —-
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary ……….
Let the revolution begin, let freedom spread like a wildfire, fanned by the winds of liberty until this tyranny has been burned from our land
Go home, send no more, we will kill all you send.

When your enemy is arrogant or sloppy it makes life a lot easier. While scouting out one night we all met back up to share info and decide on a target. Jeremy was late showing up.
When he finially did he had the biggest S*** eating grin. Seems he had found an un-or-laxly-guarded vehicle. There in his bag were seven remote detonators, and a remote detoThe Escape

After getting the latest from Jeremy, Ralph headed over to Sammy’s to check in and find out what else was needed. He still had a lot of questions he needed answers to.
Sammy greeted him at the door “Hell of a homecoming eh”?
“Yea” Ralph replied, “and I have stuff scattered from the river to Brenner”, Ralph moaned as he told Sammy of the return trip.

“You didn’t pack that coffee pot yet did you darlin” Sammy joked.
“No honey, that’s an essential” Helen replied.
“And the Irish” he asked?
“In your condiment drawer” she laughed.
“It’s not Jeremy’s belly burner is it”? Ralph asked
“Naw but you’ll have ta settle for Johnny Walker” Sammy joked.

Ralph and Sammy sat at the table pouring over cache maps, and deciding what was left to be done and moved. “We have supplies all the way up to the Beaver pond, but covered only.
Haven’t had time ta bury ’em yet.” “Well” Ralph added as he pulled a map out of his vest “you may want to copy this, it’s where I have cached some buckets, not a lot
but, it’s there if ya need it.” “And we have a bit more to move” Ralph said “I have about a hundred buckets in root cellar, rice, beans, flour, yeast, salt and such”
“S***” Sammy quipped ” I thought my pantry was a load to empty.” “Well we can probably move it with a coupla wagon loads. But where to?”
“Is that old logging shack still there” Ralph querried?
“Yea” said Sammy “no glass in the windows, and the door is half off, but it has walls and a roof that doesn’t leak too much. We can board up the windows, not so sure bout
tha roof tho”.

“Well” Ralph asked “how many can we count on”
“Jeremy and Allen are out patroling near the main road, Fred packed up and left” Sammy informed him. “You know that crazy Cajun he says he is gonna git the family
down to his dads place at Lake Maurepas, says if they show up there he and the family will turn them into gator bait” He laughed. ‘That leaves me, you, Jeremy, Helen
and Allen. His wife and kids are with his mother in Breaux Bridge”.
“What about tha Ward boys” Ralph asked?
“You know them” Sammy scoffed, “they won’t take or give help, especially us, remember me and you ran them off at gunpoint fer hunting on your land”
“I can still see Lucas’ face when he heard that bolt go forward and looked up at your AK” Ralph laugheda
“And you on the other side with that damned FN” Sammy added.
“Hope they aren’t looking to settle a score” Ralph muttered.
“Well I’ll git tha horses hitched and we can git a load of buckets moved before nightfall” Sammy replied.
As they both headed out Ralph couldn’t help but think – five people, not much defensive firepower, as big of Aholes as the Ward boys were, there were three of them and they
would be a lot of help.

As they took the wagon down the logging road Sammy filled Ralph in on what had happened the week it took him to get home. Seems the attack came three days after he left
to go hunting, he had been there five days not knowing the excrement had hit the oscellating device. There had been some looting in town, and a few gangs, younger men,
the ones who didn’t work or ran/used drugs. They were either run off or planted, but a lot of folks, especially the elderly were hit hard by them. Wakefield wasn’t very big
and everyone pretty much knew each other, at least the long time residents, so they managed to pull it together somewhat. But without electricity the hospital ran out of gas
for the generator and most of the sick passed away. Then the day before he got back the “Army” moved in. The Mexican army, and they were there to clear out the national
guard armory, confiscate weapons and any “excess supplies”. And they were in no mood to argue, neither were the residents, there were a lot of casualties on both sides.
“I’m worried about my horses” Sammy lamented “the quarter horses and those three adopted prairie horses can live on grass, but my thoroughbreds won’t make it well without grain,
and I have enough about two months”.”I can help with that” Ralph informed him “we have plenty of people food since there are only six of us, and I have ten thirty pound buckets
five wheat, five oats that we can use for them. They are after all our transportation”. “I had been planning to mix my grain with grass seedheads from the right of way and
make it go a bit further” Sammy added. After returning from the shack they decided to move as much as they could night and day as they could. There was no telling when
they would be visited, and they had no illusuions about being able to hold off regular army troops. The next two days were hectic and busy as the root cellar was cleared
out, along with about half of Sammy’s horse feed, scattered it seemed everywhere. The shack, the beaver lake, the old Heston place, it had long ago fallen down, but the old
lumber made a good ground floor and cover, no one would think of looking there.

That night as they all sat around Sammy’s table they discussed what they should do. It didn’t take long for them all to realize that holding out with only five of them was
a pipe dream. They would have to delay and run. The wagon would be kept packed with some clothing, the extra tack, grain, water, and backpacks. Helen would be in charge
of hitching the wagon, and taking off down the logging road with the extra horses. Sammy would saddle the mounts needed to run, Jeremy would help Helen. Ralph and Allen would
buy the time, charges were set, Ralph’s crank field phones would trigger the steel wool detonators, then mount up and run like all Hades was after them, cause it would be.

With their spare time Ralph and Sammy mixed fertilizer, deisel fuel, packed plastic pipe and fuzed it. Jeremy took the now useless power lines and strung them across the road.
Allen notched some trees near the road, behind the opening rigged some of the homemade charges in the tops to drop them. Four propane tanks were rigged to the homemade charges
covered in rocks and duct tape, placed, and covered in trees near to the opening where the road crossed from the powerline right of way , four more were placed in the trees
facing the powerline right of way thirty yards inside the woods, to cover against a flanking move through the woods. It wouldn’t stop them, but it would slow them down enough
to make a getaway.

Jeremy kicked Debbies flanks as he headed full speed for Sammy’s, Allen called in “the fights here” and headed for the woods and keep contact with the column they saw
approaching the road. Just as drilled Hellen, Sammy, and Jeremy headed for the barn. Ralph mounted up on Molly (one of the prarie horses) called Allen to get to the road
block and headed that way. Allen arrived first and took up his position in the woods to the right. Ralph headed for the field phone on the left. Both were back in the woods,
out of sight, but they would be able to see vehicles as they came down the road.

The Ward’s were at home when the column rolled down the road. Stoping in front of the sprawling farm complex they turned two APCs towards it, two squads moving up in covered
rushes, as the squad on the right sprinted toward one of the out buildings gunfire erupted from the house and four of them fell. Imediately the APCs opened fire on the house
as other vehicles targeted the remaining dwellings. It was all over in a matter of miniutes as heavy weapons and high explosive projectiles mangled buildings, bodies, and left
only burning hulks of what had been three houses, and the three families that were inside of them.
After the two dismounted squads made sure there were no survivors the column rolled down the road towards the crossings.
“Well I guess we’re next” Allen called over his radio. “Looks like it” Ralph replied “Are you moving yet Sammy” he called. “Give me two miniutes” he answed.
“That’s about all I can promise” came the answer.

The APCs made short work of the wire barricade rolling right over it. Rolling down the road, they stopped as they approached and a squad split into fireteams and approached
the woods as the vehicles moved forward. As the APCs eased into the restricted opening between the trees and the road after the fireteams had entered the woods.
“These boys have some talent” Ralph noted. When the fireteams were within range Ralph radioed to Allen “fire three”. The explosions and gasballs lit up the woods as rocks,
metal, and wood penetrated everything with devestating effect. “Fire two” he hollared, The road cylinders did the same, exposed gunners shredded by all manner of shrapnel.
“Fire one” he called as the lead APC reached the treefall. Four trees fell across the road, one on top of the APC. “Ride like hell” was the last command as they took off
through the woods to join the others.

It was a good five miles from the crossings to the old Heston place, all had made it, but Ralph and Allens horses were in need of a rest. “I need a frest mount” Ralph said
“better go look and see if anything is chasing us”. “Jeremy” Ralph called “Mount and fix bayonet, you just drew short straw, your with me”.
Now Jeremy was one of those old country boys of whom it had been said didn’t have too many forks in the family tree. But he hunted Hog with only a spear and bowie knife, and
could sneak up on a nervous rabbit. A better choice for a recon partner I couldn’t have.
We circled around and came up between the woods and the powerline. making a wide sweep we found all our houses burning, and the troops scouring the woods arond them. Heading
back for the Ward place we peeked in on the ambush site. It was erily quiet as we slowly swept it. The APC that had been hit by the tree was gone,
but the remains of the nine soldiers caught by the tree mines still lay in the woods. As we approached the Ward Farm (or what was left of it) there were only bodies, seven soldiers,
and the burned bullet ridden corpses that were the Wards. Then something caught Jeremy’s attention. “Wait here” he said as he rode down the road and into the woods. A few miniutes
later the radio blurted “you better git over here – quick” Riding up I found Jeremy holding a body, it was Sarah Ward, she had been in the barn when the fighting broke out, she had
been hit by a stray bullet in the leg. I put some quickclot and a bandana around it, we loaded her on with Jeremy and headed the long way back.

The sun was setting as we headed back, and one last look saw the troops loaded up and heading back to Wakefield. It was almost eight P.M. before we made it back to the rally
point. Hellen took Sarah, administered some proper first aid, and did her best to comfort her. Puzzled Sammy looked at us “how the hell did you find your way back here on a moonless night”?
“Easy I said”, then told him of finding the soldiers in the woods, and at the Ward place, and held up six night goggles. “one of them is thermal ta boot” I exclaimed. We each
had a pair of M4s as well.
“Couldn’t salvage much, the tree mines did one hell of a job”, I said nearly gloating.
“Scavanged about twenty grenades, a dozen mags, four pistols and some magazines as well, you can bet that when they find that stuff missing this place will be crawling with
troops and gunships.” I Surmised.
“Well then, I don’t think we outta be here tommorrow” Sammy injected.
After digging through the Heston cache and adding some stuff to the wagon we headed out. The night move wasn’t bad at all, except for the rain which I was thankful for as it
would make it harder to track us. We covered probably twenty plus miles. We held up at first light so all, man and beast alike could take a well earned rest. As close as I
could figure we were somewhere west of Kentwood, and I-55. If we were going to find any juicy targets that would be a good place to start looking.

Jeremy and I headed out in the afternoon, keeping to the woods and moving slow. There didn’t seem to be an army presence in the area. Were they sticking to the built up areas I
wondered. Just about dark we spotted a light, a campfire from the looks of it. As we got closer it got bigger, who other than an army unit, or an idiot would build a big fire
at night? Sure enough it was the latter. Looked like about twenty or so, if theses idiots get spotted the army will be too close for my comfort. Doubling back we had made it
no more than a few miles when we heard the helicopters going that direction. I almost felt sorry for those poor fools, but with that type of opsec they weren’t going last long
or be very effective anyway. By the time we got back the group was loaded and ready to go. Sarah was better, physically, but still was not talking. we headed south, there near
Lake Maurepas we knew there were friendlies,and a chance to trade for what we needed, didn’t want to go the direction we just scouted. Too much traffic. we would soon need
batteries for the night vision, or even better a charging system. The wagon was not a thing we could move easily during daylight hours, and woods with it were impossible.
This living on the run was getting old quick, especially with three noncombatants. Sammy and his wife were 70+, Sarah was wounded, the discussion that day was spirited,
Sammy wanted to fight, but it was pride, he knew in his heart he couldn’t do much. Hell – I was even borderline myself, but I had the tactical knowledge that was needed.
It was a hard decision for all, but:
Sammy had some good friends near Pine Grove he had met some years back through his horse breeding association, now if they were still there. Another night march brought us
to the isolated horse ranch of Rene’ Broussard, Sammy’s buddy. It was a relief to get a real bed to sleep in and a meal that didn’t come out of a bucket. In addition to leaving
Sammy, Helen, and Sarah we left the wagon, the thoroughbreds, and a lot of supply. The three prairie horses we decided to ride, the three quarter horses were traded in for pack
mules. It took a few days for Rene’ to build the panniers for the mules. So Jeremy and I took the time for an extended patrol. Movement with just horses was quick, easy, and stealthy.
We made it all the way to Independence and Amite. There we found what we had been looking for, a transportation hub and lots of stuff ta make go kaboom. Heading back we were surprised,
well I was anyway, by hogs in the brush. It didn’t take Jeremy long to isolate, take, gut, and quarter. we were heroes when we got back, Rene’ even broke out a keg of homemade beer for
the occassion. “Enjoy it” Jeremy told me “It may be our last for a while”.
As I drifted off to sleep I thought of the days ahead, would we ever get back to days like this, to what we once had? With a little luck, a lot of hard fighting, and a smile
from the man above I figgered our odds better than even.

The pack was ready and it was time to go pick a fight. Two mules each with 220 lbs of supplies, three horses, this would allow us to move fast and far, we had supply points back home,
here in Pine Grove, and whatever we could scavange from the enemy. As we said our goodbyes, and wished each other good luck, Sarah came running up. Threw her arms around Jeremy’s
neck and told him “thank you, please come back”. This was the first words anyone had heard her say in three days. Her next words almost made me fall off my mount. Walking up to
me she took my hand and said “Promise you’ll bring him back to me”. What could I say except “I will”.
First Strike

Traveling east toward Independence we passed the area that we had seen that bonfire, they had not even bothered to bury or collect the bodies, several were hung from trees, bruised,
cut, and with burn marks, I guess that tells us surrender is not an option. That evening after dinner the subject of what we had seen came up again, as some of the bodies were
no more than 14 or so years old, including two of those tortured and hung. Obviously mercy was not a trait of our enemy, but should we be the same? After surprisingly little discussion
we arrived at a decision. Torture was out of the question, barbarians we were not.

Our creed would become —-
When in the course of human events it becomes necessary ……….
Let the revolution begin, let freedom spread like a wildfire, fanned by the winds of liberty until this tyranny has been burned from our land
Go home, send no more, we will kill all you send.

When your enemy is arrogant or sloppy it makes life a lot easier. While scouting out one night we all met back up to share info and decide on a target. Jeremy was late showing up.
When he finially did he had the biggest S*** eating grin. Seems he had found an un-or-laxly-guarded vehicle. There in his bag were seven remote detonators, and a remote detonator box.
Inbred rednecks are worth their weight in gold.

Pushing south we finially spotted our first target. Railroad tracks, a railyard, and a dozen big flamable fuel tanks. The next two days were spent looking, recording guard schedules. When they changed, when they smoked, when they went behind the building to take a leak. They must have been short on men, each guard shift was six hours long. Bad Idea, the average guards efficiency drops fifty percent after four hours. This would work to our advantage. At midnight we moved forward, after the guard rounded the tank for his nature break
Jeremy and I slid under the wire, as Allen provided watch and cover fire if needed. His surprise at finding us when he emerged lasted as long as his life, the blink of an eye.
Quickly putting on his coat and helment I resumed his well worn path around the tanks. Jeremy placed the charges under the valves on the discharge pipes, and made his way to the pump shed, and set another charge. His final stop was the tool shed, there he retrieved two spike pullers, and returned to the tanks, placing the guards jacket and helmet back on we leaned him up against the fuel storage tank, opened the valves and ran like hell.
Taking cover in a treeline about 500 yards away Jeremy (well he scavaged em so he got first use) fired them off. The explosion took the pump house full of fuel apart. The tanks ruptured and sent a river of fire down towards two other storage tanks. We didn’t wait around to see what happened next but ran to the horses and rapidly left the area. we didn’t even slow down until we were miles away, but even from there we could see the glow and hear more explosions. It wan’t a bad nights work, and we still had four detonators and over a dozen pipe bombs remaining. We rode to the northwest rest of the night and several hours the next morning.
When we stopped for a meal, a rest, and debreifing we decided this would be the best way to fight. There would not be (if we could help it) any stand up fights. Infrastructure destruction was probably a strike more conducive to a long life, and a return to Pine Grove. We also decided that it was best to keep moving, not strike in the same area as this would increase our chances of confrontation. A good next strike would be Wakefield, a good three or so days ride. The Wards needed vengeful retribution.

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