We're Not Gonna Take It
Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
"Hey, anyone know where I can get a used quad?"
Jonathon was laughing so hard, he had to sit down on the porch. Bill Truesdell walked up to the guys, "Look, I've got the comm gear, you guys need it. I'm in this, come hell or high water. Just accept it.
"Now, the only complicated thing about this stuff is when you have to program a new algorithm for the encryption module. I have the docs printed out and whoever gets the mobile units will get copies. We will go over how this all works, in case I'm discovered and taken out. What you have to remember is that the base station essentially controls the other units. We will need to change the encryption on a daily basis, so we will have to have a set time, each day, to do this. That means all the radios will need to be turned on at those times. The base station will then reprogram the mobile and handhelds for the new encryption."
"Why will we need to do this, Bill?" Ben asked.
Peter, who had been listening, took over the explanation before Bill could answer. "Any encrypted message can be decoded, given enough time and resources. By changing the encryption every day, we lessen the chances of our transmissions being intercepted and decoded.
"There is one more point to all of this. We do not talk on the radios, unless it is really necessary. And then, for no more than a few brief seconds. Anything longer, and there is a good chance that even if the enemy cannot understand the transmission, they will get a range and bearing of the transmission. In other words, they will have our location.
"So, once each day, the encryption will change. At that time, any further information I might obtain will also be broadcast." Bill said. "That's the only time I will transmit. Part of that transmission will include the next time the encryption will be reset. By varying the times the base station is active, these guys will never know when to be looking for me. My transmissions will never exceed more than thirty seconds, and you will never acknowledge receiving."
"This is more cloak & dagger stuff than I ever realized." Ben said.
"Yeah. When you wage real war, there are a lot things that happen that the ordinary person never thinks about. I can explain all of this, in more detail, as we get out of here and have more time." Peter explained. "What is needed right now is to get us ready to leave tomorrow morning, at the latest. Then we can set up camp and begin some training and then, and only then, can we get ready to fight back.
"Ben, Lee tells me me that you have more information. Would this be in the form of troop movements and the like?"
"Yeah, but let's not discuss that here. That's stuff we can talk about later."
"Works for me!"
Everyone started to move inside, when there was a yell from inside John's car, "Hey! Can I come out now?"
John, started laughing, "Oh hell! Sorry Tom, I done forgot about you! Look, I know that you guys haven't had a chance to talk to Tom, but he and I had a talk earlier, and he wants to help out. He's got some training, as he was with the 1st Engineer Brigade at Fort Wood, MO. Between him and Peter, I think we'll have the necessary experience and training to do what we have to do.
"I had him sorta hide, as I didn't want to give away the surprise."
Peter walked over to Tom and stuck out his hand. "Welcome aboard, Tom. Glad to have you." Everyone welcomed him, as they all went inside.
Once everyone was seated and had some drinks in hand, Ben got some papers and handed them out to everyone. "OK guys, here's a list of what I thought we would need. I would like everyone to go over this carefully. If you see something we don't need or something not listed that you think we need, speak up."
"Um, before we go over this list, I think we need to get some 'Official Business' taken care of." Peter used his fingers to place quote marks around that. "If we are going to be a 'militia' of sorts, we need to elect our officers. Since this is mostly Ben's idea, I nominate him to be our leader. And since it was Lee who carried the idea through, I nominate him to be our second in command. All in favor say, 'Aye'!"
Everyone said or yelled, "Aye!" Well, everyone but Ben. He just glared at Peter.
"OK, now that that is taken care of, Ben you can have the floor back." Peter looked over at Ben with a rather smug, but self-satisfied smile on his face.
"Son of a bitch! I was gonna ask you to lead us..."
"Yeah, I kinda figured that, so I needed to head you off at the pass."
"So, getting back to the list... another list we need to make is what arms we are all taking and how much ammo we all have."
It took only another half hour to decide what to take and not take. It was also decided that everyone have a sidearm, preferably a 9mm of some kind, as that was the most useable caliber that they could get ammo for. Those that didn't have holsters, there was enough leather between them, that they could make a passable holster, once in camp.
For rifles, because of his skill, Lee was the designated sniper and would be taking his Lapua, scope and however much ammo he had or could make on short notice. Peter would be the secondary sniper, since he had a M1A, the civilian equivalent of the M-14. A very accurate firearm, even if it didn't have quite the range of Lee's .338.
Everyone else would be using a 30-30 lever gun. The reasoning was fairly simple. It had a high sustained rate of fire. It could be loaded as needed, and it was accurate and deadly out to two hundred yards for those experienced with it, which was everyone.
They had somewhere close to two thousand rounds of ammo in 30-30, between them all, and about one thousand rounds of 9mm. Lee, who didn't own a 9mm, was going to take his Ruger Super Blackhawk in .44 magnum. With five 100-round boxes, everyone thought he had plenty. Lee was not happy because he didn't think he had enough.
The one thing they all agreed though was that as soon as they could trade their 30-30's for M4's, then the better off they were going to be. Ultimately, they would run out of 30-30 ammo. But as long as they had the time to scavenge ammo and guns from those they attacked... well, they would never run out... unless they ran out of "enemy" to take out. That didn't seem too realistic, at this point.
While John and Tom didn't own any quads, they did know where they could probably "borrow" a couple, for an extended period of time.
As the meeting broke up, Ben had some final words to everyone. "I have all the topo maps we will probably need. So, we should all separate and get things ready. Leave tomorrow as soon as you think you can get away. I've already shown you all where our first rendezvous will be. Since we won't be using the radios until maybe tomorrow, Bill, I don't think we will need to reset the encryption until that time. Well, at least twenty-four hours after we make our first broadcast."
"I want everyone to be clear about this. The current codes will be good until the first time you guys start using the radios. Note the time when you do. Because the first reset will be exactly twenty-four hours after your first use. After that first reset, I'll have a generated random time, which will be displayed on the mobile units for the next reset." Bill reminded them all. "And your sets had better be on, else your comm will be useless."
"Let's keep on our toes, guys. I've given you all individual directions to our first camp." Ben said to them. "See you all sometime tomorrow morning at Bonner Lake."
Monday, November 12th, 05:00 EST
Morning came early for Lee, as he rolled over and woke up, not feeling Paul in bed with him. Then the smell of fresh coffee hit him. Smiling, he got up and went into the bathroom to take care of his morning business.
Paul had set a fresh cup on the small kitchen table. Lee sat down, tied his boots and sipped his coffee. "You ready for this?"
"Yes and no. Yes, because we have to do our part in stopping this madness. In that case, the sooner we start the better our chances of doing something good. The longer we wait, the more entrenched the powers become. No, because I don't want to think of what it may cost us. I don't think we'll all get out of this, um, whole."
"Yeah. You're right on both counts. These are good people that are going with us. They are committed to the ideals that our country was founded upon. I think we all know that some of us may be killed out there.
"Paul, the last two days have been the absolute best days of my life. I wouldn't trade them for anything. But if for whatever reason I buy the farm, I would like to think that you would carry on. Can you promise me this?"
"Yes, I can make that promise, if you will do the same. This is way too important, for whatever we have between us, to interfere with."
"Done. Now let's get over to the big house and have what may be our last really good meal."
By 5:30 that morning, Peter was packed and moving slowly through the brush, in a generally northerly direction. That muffler he had installed the evening before really cut the noise. That meant he could get a very early start and have the rendezvous set up way before anyone else got up there. At the moment, he was traveling known trails, without any lights. The sun wouldn't be up for another hour and a half, and he should be just about at the lake by then. At least, that was his plan.
Tom Petty and John Merrill were also on the move. Tom was in the lead, using night vision goggles to see the trail, with John bringing up the rear. Between the two of them, they had managed to bring about fifty lbs of composition C explosive. It was actually Tom's, but John was helping to distribute the load.
Tom's thinking was that it was better than dynamite, as it could be molded and shaped. Useful for many things when fighting a guerrilla war. Besides, C-4 was much more stable than plain old dynamite. They knew that Peter had the blasting caps, and had rigged up some radio detonators.
Tom and Peter weren't sure how the rest of the guys were going to take it, but it would be a done deal, once they were all together. John was OK with the idea. He could see the need for being able to blow things up and was glad the two former soldiers had actually thought of it.
Bonner Lake was a short eight miles from Harrisville, as the crow flies. About fifteen miles the way Peter was traveling and about twenty miles on the route Tom and John were following. Peter would get there just before sunup. It would be about another half hour before Tom and John arrived.
Ben and James took off at about 6:00 in the morning. They had the longest route, at twenty-five miles. But they made better time as they were in the dark for only about a half hour, before it began to get light and they could pick up speed. So they arrived just shortly after Tom and John.
Between the five of them, they pretty much had the camp area laid out, long before Lee and Paul showed up, at just after 8:00 in the morning. They were shown where to park their vehicles and where to put their personal gear. When they were done, Ben called them all together.
"OK guys, here's the deal. That stuff the other day with Polly. As bad as that was, it's just the tip of the iceberg here. I had already heard from some friends that live over in Edwards that that kinda thing was going on there, Friday. The fuckers were taking their pleasures with any kid they saw and could get ahold of."
"Aw man, that's just sick!"
"Yeah, well… Over in Gouverneur, the town was literally hit by thugs, and hit hard on Thursday. Seems that all the cons in the state prison there were given pardons and released into the town."
"Holy Shit! How in the hell would pardons be given to every inmate?"
"Seems like Ashwood gave out the pardons, Tom. I don't know why or how federal pardons can be handed to state prisoners, but there it is. Even that's not the half of it. Somehow, there were trucks there that were giving all the inmates guns and instructions on where to go and what kind of trouble to cause. The upshot is that the town of Gouverneur is pretty much a ghost town now. Between the inmates and the foreign troops, they were shooting and raping anything that moved. Word is that the inmates were moving north, towards Ogdensburg, while the troops are using Gouverneur as a staging area now."
Peter's eyes narrowed. "How are you getting this information?"
"One of my hobbies is Ham radio. Right now, the only real distance communications is by short wave and Morse code. Ham operators all over the country are starting to talk about what's happening in their areas."
While Ben was talking, Peter had also been keeping an eye on Paul. He glanced over at Tom, and noticed he was also watching Paul. "OK. So it's like, all over and not just here in Harrisville?"
"Yeah. I figured we could take our first baby steps by hitting Edwards."
"OK. What's there?" Tom asked.
"There are two Humvees, two Jeeps and a larger truck, a deuce-n-half, I believe. There are twenty-four personnel, all told." Taking out a map, Ben started pointing out some areas. "They have a roadblock set up here, where Route 24 intersects Highway 58, at the southwest end. There is another roadblock set up here, at the south end of town, where Maple Street meets Highway 58. If we time it just right, we can hit both targets and eliminate those four guards at the same time."
"What is the actual objective?" Tom asked.
"To harass the enemy without bringing undue reprisals against the local population."
"How does this accomplish that?"
"By taking out two roadblocks in a simultaneous attack, away from the town, and not doing anything within the town, we have a situation wherein the townspeople could not have known about the attacks and could not have set it up. At least, without the enemy seeing something of what was going on."
"Looking at the map, I see two possible routes to and from the roadblocks. What did you have in mind?" This from Peter.
"The southwest block can be done by a sniper, here. It is about a five hundred yard shot. The other target can be had by taking this route, leaving the quads here, making the approach overland to here. That is a three hundred yard shot. We would have to be in position by 06:00 and coordinate the attacks to be as close to 06:30 as we can. That should provide enough light to acquire the targets, and still be dark enough to get the hell out of there before any help could arrive. The guards are relieved at about 08:00, so they should be at that state of boredom that will most benefit us."
"This looks doable. Who did you have in mind for the shooters?"
"Because of the range on the southwest target, I'm thinking that Lee can make that with his Lapua. And you with your .308 on the other target."
Tom nodded. "So what happens after this attack?"
"We move up twenty miles northeast to Canton. We create some mayhem there by taking out a couple of railroad overpasses. I brought thirty sticks of dynamite and I'm hoping to get some more just before we get to Canton."
"You ever take a look at how they make a railroad overpass? Thirty sticks ain't hardly enough." Tom replied.
Peter smiled. "Well, I brought fifty lbs. of C-4. But even that, along with the dynamite, is barely enough to take down one overpass. It's certainly not going to take down two of them."
"Can you guys trust me enough to guarantee that when we get to Canton, we will have what we need?" Ben asked. Slowly, everyone nodded.
Seeing everyone agreeing, Ben continued. "So, let's get the initial engagement down. How we are going to make it to Edwards, in the morning. How we will meet up afterwards, and how do we get the hell out of there and up to Canton."
John got up and walked over to where the food had been set out. "Guys, while you are all figuring that stuff out, I'm gonna get lunch ready. You can fill me in while we're eating."
After lunch, the rest of the afternoon was spent with Tom and Peter teaching Ben, Paul, James and Lee how to use the radios.
This wasn't a class on turning them on and pushing to talk. This was a fast and condensed course on how to operate in as military a manner as they could in the short time they had left to learn.
Then it was time to talk contingency plans. What would happen if things didn't go well. Lots of different scenarios were looked at and various actions and plans were discussed.
They had set themselves up into three teams. Lee and James would make up "Striker-1". They had both competed before on long range shooting and while Lee was the better shot, James knew how to be a spotter. Peter and Paul would comprise "Striker-2" for the same reasons. "Striker-Lead" would be Ben as the actual, with John and Tom as guards. Tom would operate the radio, unless Ben was needed.
There was some leeway as to where the two sniper teams would set up. Lee and Peter had used part of the afternoon to run up towards their targets to get a feel on how they were laid out today. They rode together on one quad, to cut down on noise and to only present the loss of one piece of equipment. The only weapons they took were their sidearms.
By the time they were satisfied with their plans and got back to camp, it was time for the evening meal. After they were done eating, and the campsite cleaned up, it was time to get some sleep.
They had all gotten up very early that morning, and the next day they would be up even earlier. A quick cold breakfast and on the trail towards what would be the first of what they all hoped were many strikes against an enemy of the United States.
The next three days were going to be very busy, if they stuck to the plan.
Tuesday Nov. 13
It took about an hour and a half for Lee and James to get to their dismount points. Though it was a mere five miles from their camp at Bonner Lake, they had slowed their quads to a walking pace most of the way. Sound travels far in the night air. Another fifteen minutes and Lee was getting into position. It was 06:10 and the sky was beginning to lighten with the approaching dawn. They were actually five minutes ahead of time.
Lee hoped that Peter and Paul were doing as well, but they wouldn't know until Ben asked for a sit-rep at 06:20.
At 06:15, it was light enough for Lee to acquire his first target. James, with the 60 power Kowa spotting scope, had a much wider field of view than Lee.
"Striker Leader to Striker-1. Sitrep, over."
"Striker-1, target acquired."
"Striker Leader to Striker-2. Sitrep, over."
"Striker-2, target acquired. Waiting for shot."
"Striker Leader to Striker-1, call shot."
James whispered, "Whenever you are ready, Lee."
"Hold. Vehicle approaching. Targets moving." said James.
"I see them... I'm going to wait until the guards stop the vehicle. Be ready to call, 'shot'."
"Steady..." whispered James.
A couple of seconds passed.
"Shot." James said into the mic.
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