Castle Roland

We're Not Gonna Take It!

by Al Norris

In Progress

Chapter 12

Published: 22 Jun 17

We're Not Gonna Take It

Copyright 2016, 2017 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership

Saturday, Nov. 17th, 08:00
Harrisville, New York
Bradford Residence

Wingit LogoFrom the last chapter: "Bill seems to think that her pastor, Rennick? Is that who it is? Anyway, Bill thinks that this pastor is somehow involved."

"That would make sense. She thinks I'm an abomination. Probably thinks that of Lee now. She would have told Rennick who would've went to Ashwood's stooges."

Lee looked up at Paul, "They both have to die. You know that, right?"

Maxwell quickly looked at Lee, "What do you mean, Lee? I don't think any of us are willing to commit murder."

"OK. Maybe I didn't phrase that right. But consider, if Mrs. Mason is complicit with Pastor Rennick in the death of my mom by the hands of this foreign power, then they have committed treason."

Ben nodded and picked up the conversation. "Treason is defined, in the Constitution, as going to war against the U-Ess, or aiding the enemies of the U-Ess. A conviction of treason can only be made if the accused admit their act, or that there are at least two witnesses to the act.

"As I understand it Lee, only your father witnessed the murder."

"That may be Ben, but it is enough to arrest them and hold them for trial. Let's not forget that this started with the beating of Bill Truesdell and ended with the death of my mom. Two very related acts, each witnessed. I'm willing to let a court decide if those acts are merely the same act, taken as a whole, and if that is enough to convict them."

"OK, if we assume this to be true, who is going to arrest them, and where will they be held?" Ben asked. "Since this is a federal offense, we will need to find a federal judge to issue the warrants and preside for the arraignment."

"I think the real question here is: Lee, why are you going this route?" Maxwell asked.

"Simple really. I know my dad. If we don't come up with a plan of some sort and tell him what the plan is, he is going to kill Paul's mother. Maybe even Rennick and probably sooner than later. Justified or not, that would be murder." Lee looked around.

"Look, we are a militia, even if we are only a guerilla unit. As a militia, we have to conduct our war in a certain manner. We are fighting foreign troops who are occupying the United States at the direction of an already declared traitor, Ashwood. As much as I would like to take revenge, we are not fighting the citizens of this country. People who aid and abet the enemy are subject to criminal prosecution. The way I see it, if President Bryce has declared martial law, then these kind of people are subject to a military tribunal. We are not a recognized tribunal, nor are we a recognized court of law."

"Very good Lee. As a duly sworn law enforcement officer for the State of New York, I'm glad that you want to do this the proper way and not just go all vigilante on us."

"So, my thinking is that we need to do three things. One is find a federal judge that will issue an arrest warrant and another is to find a place of detention to hold these traitors. First and foremost, we need to communicate to the folks at home, what we plan to do, thereby cutting off action on their part," as Ben said this, he looked around for agreement with everyone else.

"If my dad, or any of our folks, takes the law into their own hands, I can almost see the reprisals that 'assbites' troops will take." Lee said.

Maxwell looked at Lee, "I have heard reports of their reprisals. It ain't pretty."

Four hours later saw the group setting up 'housekeeping' in the vacant residence house that had already been singled out for their use at Sabattis. Everyone had pulled under the canopy of the carport and thrown their emergency blankets over them, to further diffuse their heat signatures, as an extra precaution.

Once inside the residence, the guys took a look at the accommodations. With seven men and three bedrooms, there would be a bit of doubling up. With the added four Rangers, it would be a tighter squeeze but not altogether bad.

When they had all congregated in the main room, Maxwell addressed everyone, "I'm thinking that we stay here until the morning. That will allow things to settle down a bit. Then tomorrow, us Rangers will move back to Wanakena. You guys should stay here and make yourselves cozy." He held up a hand to forestall any talk, "Look, you've all been doing stuff at a rapid pace. Up till now, this has worked to your advantage. The places you have struck have been far enough away from each other that the enemy has been kept off balance.

"As of today, that changes."

"Why would that change anything?" Ben interrupted. "Why not hit them again, as soon as we can?"

"Two things have changed Ben." Maxwell turned to directly speak to him, "First, you have just succeeded in taking out a major garrison. A reinforced armored platoon and two of their limited supply of attack helicopters. You've cut off easy access from this side of the state to Plattsburgh. I agree with you that they need that area under their control in order to secure the Canadian border.

"Now think. They are going to be on high alert for a bit. They are not going to believe that a mere few guys could have taken out an entire platoon, let alone one that was reinforced. Anything you attempt to do at this point in time may backfire on you, because of this heightened awareness.

"The second thing that has changed; You have a wounded sniper. Don't for a minute underestimate the usefulness of having a sniper at your command. The way you guys operate, Lee is a needed component of your team. Besides, moving around now will only exacerbate his wound and lengthen his recovery. He needs a few days of rest to heal."

"Give me a day and I'll be as good as new!" Lee quipped, as he stood up.

"Really?" Sergeant Mallory walked over to Lee and smacked him on his thigh. Lee immediately dropped to the floor with a loud yell. "What the fuck, Dude!"

Mallory smiled evilly as he said, "I think I just made the lieutenant's point." Everyone else was either putting a hand over their mouths, to avoid laughing at Lee, or were outright chuckling.

"OK. So we need to take a few days off. I'll concede that point, Maxwell." Ben couldn't help smirking at Lee as he said this. "This will give us time to plan the next phase and see how we can get more supplies."

"Peter, do you think we can go back to Drum and restock?" Lee asked, gently rubbing his thigh.

"We would need to recon the ammo dump, to make sure they haven't discovered our break-in… what are you thinking we need?"

"Well, more C-4 for one thing. More of them missiles for another. They will come in handy."

Lee had gotten off the floor and gingerly sat on a couch, "If we're gonna take some down time, we need to think of how we are gonna deal with my Dad. Sooner rather than later, if we are to keep him and Harrisville safe."

For the next couple of hours, it was Maxwell, Tom, Ben and Peter who sat around the kitchen table, discussing the things they might need from the bunkers at Fort Drum.

Soon, the light began to dim, as the afternoon progressed and the sun began to sink. Sergeant Mallory and Ranger Anderson got up and could be seen placing panels on all the windows, making it much darker inside the house. Meanwhile, Ranger Hardy had lit a couple of gas lanterns for light.

"Before we make any decisions, I would like to remind everyone that we had a very early breakfast, we missed lunch and it's nigh onto dinner time. I know for a fact that decisions are better made on a full stomach. So all of you relax, while I go look at our kitchen stock and get a meal ready." With that, John stood up and walked towards the kitchen.

George Hardy also stood up, "John, let me help you. I'm a pretty fair cook."

"Come on then. Let's see what we have to work with."

After dinner, the group came to some decisions. The Rangers would go back to the school in the morning. The guys would lay low until Wednesday, giving Lee some time to heal, at which time they would meet again and discuss the next target. In the meantime, Peter and Tom would go back to Fort Drum to see if the break-in at the ammo dump had been discovered. If not, they would bring back a few Javelins and some more explosives.

Belatedly, they also realized they needed to get ahold of the folks at home and get that sorted out. Maxwell asked for a handheld, so he could let Esteban know what their temporary plans were.

"Smokey, this is Smokey Actual."

"Actual, Smokey, go."

"Smokey, get ahold of Stormcrow and let him know that we understand the situation. We need him to calm Lee's father down. Let him know that Lee was shot, but that it was a non-threatening wound and he needs a couple of days to recover. Let Stormcrow know that any reprisals against Ashwood's troops or the informants will result in the entire town being massacred. Try to explain that we have a legal means to proceed against the informants and that they are to do nothing. over."

"Roger. But you will need to tell me something of what you have planned, or I may not be able to convince them."

"We believe we can find a federal judge to issue arrest warrants for treason. We will find a secure facility to jail the traitors, then we plan on executing those warrants and holding them until they can be tried for their crimes."

"You really think you can do that, Actual?"

"Actually, I do. We just need to buy some time. Tell them that Lee said we can't trade murder for murder. That makes us as bad as they are. We need to do this in a lawful manner."

"Roger. That just might work. When can I expect you guys to be back here?"

"We're going to stay the night here. We will see you tomorrow."

"Roger. Keep your ears on, in case I need more explanations from you guys."

"Will do, Smokey. Out." Maxwell handed the radio back to Ben. "Everyone hear?" Ben and several of the group nodded. "Well then, nothing left to do but get settled in."

"Anderson? Wasn't it you who set up this place? Would you give a rundown on what we have here and how these folks can get by?"

"Sure thing, El-tee." He sat up straight in his chair as he started to speak to everyone.

"There is no electricity, except for pumping water. Everything else is being run on LP gas. Stove, refrigerator, water heater… the LP is supplied by a two hundred pound tank. This should last you for most of the winter, if not all winter. Kinda depends on how much gas you use.

"All the windows are blacked out with removable panels and lighting is, as you can see, by camp lanterns. There is a small supply of white gas in the pumphouse for them. Use it sparingly and don't forget to ventilate. Ya'll don't want to die of carbon monoxide poisoning. During the daylight hours, you can take down the blackout panels for light. The windows are triple-paned and heat reflecting. Just remember to put them back in place, before it gets dark.

"I would suggest that if you need to use the showers, do that in the daylight hours, so as to minimize exposure of the heat signature. It's only a fifty gallon tank, so it can't supply enough hot water for all of you. That means that you will need to take your showers in as cool water as you can. The water is supplied by a small shallow well pump. That pump is run by a small LP powered generator. Again, only use it during daylight hours. It's not automatic, so you will need to start and stop it manually.

"On the food end, everything is bulk freeze-dried foods. It's all stored in the pantry. The fridge is mostly for anything you might find or use that has to be kept cold. Mostly, I think you can keep it all outside and let mother nature be your fridge or freezer. That will also keep your LP usage down to a minimum.

"Any questions?"

Paul looked up, "Where is the generator and the pump?"

"Ah, yeah. The pumphouse is that small shed, just to the north of the house. Tomorrow morning, before we leave, I'll show you the setup and how it's used."

"This sounds like all we will need. You guys have been real thoughtful in putting this together for us." Ben continued, "With all that has happened today, I think we should all get an early night. I know for a fact that Lee needs his rest." Lee started to protest, "No buts Lee. Take some aspirin or something and go to bed. I'll bunk with you and Paul. That way, if anything comes over the radio, we will be together."

Lee nodded and with Paul's help got up and limped to one of the bedrooms.

"Since there are four bunk beds to each room, I'll join you Ben," Maxwell said, as he also got up.

The rest of the guys settled on who was sleeping where and within a few more minutes, the house became silent as everyone turned in.

"Stormcrow, this is Smokey, over."

Bill jerked his head awake at the sound of the radio and looked around. It was past sunset and things were getting real dark. He grabbed the mic to respond. "This is Smokey."

"Stormcrow, I know it's late, but Striker just got back to me. They have a plan. Can you contain Lee's dad?"

"Wait one." Bill turned to another radio and keyed the mic, "Anybody listening?"

"Franklin here. I'm with Colin over at Jonathon's for the night."

"Okey, stand by; getting a report from Striker."


"Smokey, go ahead and tell me what's going on," Bill said as he keyed the first mic.

"They are afraid if any action is taken, the town will be destroyed and everyone in it. I have monitored reports from other places that suggest their fear to be valid. Their plan is to go and find a federal judge, get a lawful warrant on the grounds of treason, find a jail and detain them until a trial can be held. Nothing is to be done, otherwise. over."

"Understood. I will try and convince Lee's dad. over."

"One last thing. Ben insists that Jonathon know that Lee was wounded in the last engagement. It is not life threatening, just a through and through on his left thigh. This puts him out of commission for a couple of days. This is actually a good thing, as this last strike has all of Ashwood's troops up in arms. The countryside is swarming with those South Americans looking for the guys. Lee also knows what happened to his mother. Just so there is no mistake, Lee was wounded before he knew about her death, and this plan of action is his. That's all I have for the moment, Stormcrow."

"Thanks Smokey. Out." Bill set the mic down while he thought over the situation. After a couple of minutes, he picked up the CB mic, "Franklin, you there?"

"Roger, Bill."

"I have news. Tell Jonathon to hang tight and I'll be over to talk to you all tomorrow morning."

"10-4. We'll be here."

It was about 7:30 in the morning when Bill pulled up in front of Jonathon's house. Peter's father, Franklin, met him at the door. "Howdy Bill. I figured what you had to say, everyone needed to hear it, so we're all here."

"Doesn't look like a bunch of people are here, where'd you stash all the cars?"

"Oh, I had everyone move them in back of the barn. Completely out of sight from the road. You're the only one that has been over here all the time, so your truck won't look out of place."

Bill chuckled, "Frank, you're just gettin' too much into this spy shit!"

Franklin smiled, "Hell, I'm just catchin' up to the rest of you, Bill. Now siddown an' I'll get ya some coffee." He turned and went into the kitchen.

"OK. You said you have some news. Spill it." Jonathon said, as Bill took a seat.

Franklin came back in and handed a large cup to Bill before he took a seat on the loveseat next to Mathew, "Here ya go. So what's going on that you couldn't talk about it on the radio last night?"

"Our boys are going to take a couple or three days off. Seems this last attack of theirs has really stirred up the hornet's nest. Ashwood's forces are looking under every nook and cranny for the guys. So now's a good time to lay low."

"That would explain the increased activity on Hwy 3 and the 812 road I've been seeing and hearing about, since yesterday." Mathew said.

Bill nodded as he looked at everyone but Jonathon, "There's one more reason for this. One of the boys was wounded during yesterday's fracas, and he needs some time to heal." Bill held up his hands, before everyone could start asking questions. "The wound is not life threatening and will heal rather quickly, as long as the guys stay put for a couple of days."

"Bill, who got shot, and what type of wound are we talkin about?" Colin asked, before anyone else could say anything.

"Left thigh. A through and through. So with a couple of days of rest, he'll be as good as new."

"You're dancing around the question. Who got shot, Bill?" Franklin asked.

Bill took a drink of his coffee and kinda stared at the wall before he answered. "Jonathon, it was Lee." Jonathon came up off the couch, before Colin could stop him. "Easy Jonathon," Bill continued, "this happened yesterday morning. I didn't find out until last night."

"'Easy Jonathon'? Easy my ass. First Mary, then Leland? I'm gonna kill me some South Americans!" Jonathon shouted. His eyes had gone almost wild and he took a step in the direction of his front door. But Colin had gotten up and caught him. He wrapped his arms around Jonathon's waist, trapping his arms and stopping him in his tracks.

"No you're not. That would just fuck up the plans the boys made." Bill had also stood up and looked his friend in the eye. Nancy and Emily both winced at the language Bill used, but said nothing.

Jonathon couldn't ever remember a time when he had heard Bill swear, so he was willing to back down a bit, as his eyes again showed intelligence behind them. "What plans?" he spit out. "Colin, you let go of me right now, or I'll show you I'm not too old to tussle!"

"Not until you sit back down and listen to Bill. He says the boys have a plan."

"Alright, jus let go." Colin released his grip and Jonathon backed up and sat back down.

Watching Jonathon closely, Bill continued, "After I had spoken to that Ranger lieutenant and Ben, it was decided that everyone deserved to know about Mary. It's us they're fightin' for after all. They also said that we all deserved to know what happened to Lee.

"They have a plan, Jonathon. By the rule of law, they are gonna get a warrant for treason issued by a federal judge. Then they're gonna arrest Abigail and Rennick and hold them for prosecution. I don't know when or where or how. I just know that they said doing anything else lowered us to Ashwood's level and they weren't havin' none of that."

Bill could see that this whole 'wait' thing wasn't going over very well with some of the men, and not at all with Jonathon. "I have two more things to say before y'all say anything else. First, this is Lee's plan of action and second, anyone that has taken direct action against Ashwood's troops has had the entire town destroyed. They are afraid that any reprisals against Abigail or Rennick will be looked at as an attack on the troops. The Ranger I talked to confirms that entire towns have been butchered."

Jonathon slowly sat back down. You could see he was deep in thought, as various emotions warred on his face. Finally, he looked up. "Leland has always had a good head on his shoulders. Mary and I had always tried to teach him that revenge is never the way to settle things. In my grief and anger, I guess I have forgotten that. If he thinks this is the way to go, then so be it. Thank you Bill for reminding me."

"It's a hard thing to do, Jonathon." Bill got up and went over to Jonathon, where he knelt and softly said, "Mary is a casualty of war. One of the hard-fought lessons I learned in Vietnam was that while we bury our dead today, we have to cherish their memories for all the tomorrows. Otherwise, vengeance, anger, remorse and yes, even guilt, will destroy us." Jonathon's shoulders began to heave, as he silently cried for his lifelong wife.

After a couple of minutes, Colin got up and went into Jonathon's office. He returned with several glasses and a full bottle of Scotch. He poured everyone a stiff drink and said, "To Mary! Wife, partner, friend and not the least of which, mother. Her earthly labors now done, may she rest in peace."

Everyone stood, "To Mary!" and they all drank.

Wednesday, November 21st 10:00 EST
Sabattis, New York

Ben came running into the house, "Guys! Guys! Get your coats on! Ya gotta come outside and see this!" he was yelling.

Peter looked up, "What the hell, Ben! What's got you so worked up?"

"Santa Claus has come early this year! Get your stuff on, and come see!"

Despite all the questions from everyone, Ben wouldn't say more.

Lee stood up from the couch and went to put his heavy jacket on. Paul got up and said, "Where do you think you're going?"

"I'm gonna go out, with the rest of ya and see what the hell Ben is talking about."

By now, Ben had walked over to where Paul was and almost together they said, "The Hell You Are!"

Lee looked at both of them. "I have sat or laid around for four days now. Four days while all of you babied me. Enough! I need to get up and move around and exercise these muscles before I don't have anything to exercise with."

"Come on Lee," Ben implored, "just one more day and I swear we'll ease off."

"No. It stops now. Today."

Paul almost begged, "Listen to Ben, Lee. Just one more day."

"No." Lee stepped towards the door. "Ben, you going to show us, or do I have to knock your lights out?"

Ben sighed and went with Lee outside.

After everyone was outside, Ben said, "Yesterday, we had that early snowstorm come in, so I was out here making a path to the pump house when I noticed three large mounds of snow that shouldn't be here. Look!" he pointed out towards the main road through the camp.

Sure enough, three six-foot mounds, each about fifty yards apart from the other, just sat out there. It was plain that Ben had gone out to see what they were, as there was a clear trail out to them. As everyone trudged through last night's snowstorm, they began to see that these were pallets. Small ropes were attached to each one, and as they got up to the first pallet, they saw that the ropes were attached to parachutes. The chutes were largely still buried in the snow.

"Did anyone hear any big planes last night?" Ben asked. "I mean, these were obviously air-dropped."

"Hmm, three pallets, had to have come from a C-130." Peter said, with Tom nodding. "But no, who could've heard anything the way that wind was howling?"

Lee was brushing off some snow when he stopped and looked… "Hey guys! Looky here." On one side of the pallet, written on the heavy protecting plastic were the words, 'Give them hell, with love from the United States Air Force', off to the side of that was, 'Kilroy was here'.

Tom and Peter both started laughing when they saw that last message. "Peter, have you ever wondered how Kilroy got everywhere before we did?" Peter didn't bother replying, he was laughing so hard.

After another moment or so, Peter stood up straight and asked Ben, "Who the hell would have sent us military munitions?"

"Beats me." He scratched his head. "Who besides the Rangers even knows we are here?"

"It's pretty obvious that the U.S. Air Force knows. How they would know is what I don't get." Peter said. "That someone, other than the Rangers, knows exactly where we are makes me nervous."

"Look, this pallet is on standard skids, I'm betting the others are too." Tom said. "I think we need to get our quads out and pull all of them to the vehicle canopy, before we take inventory of what Santa sent us. We can use the parachute ropes to pull them with."

They ended up taking three quads for each pallet and two hours to get the job done. As Lee, Paul and James were pulling the last pallet into place, Tom and Peter had the first pallet pretty much stripped and Ben and John had a good start on the second pallet.

Lee parked his quad runner and walked over to Peter. "It looks like your nervous feelings went away."

"Hah! Not until Peter had thoroughly checked this pallet for booby-traps!" Tom chuckled. "Then he checked on the second pallet before he allowed Ben to start tearing it down."

"Hey! No one is supposed to know where we are and we get three pallets of munitions air-dropped on us? YOU didn't find that the least bit suspicious? Besides Tom, you were looking for traps as hard as I was."

Tom still chuckled. "Well, we did learn who sent us the early Christmas."

"Yup. There was a letter addressed to 'Commander Upstate New York Militia' that says it all. The letter explains that when Commander Coleson and the rest of the Rangers got to Maine to help hold the line there, they met up with a Naval task force that was taking command and pushing Ashwood out of New England.

"Seems our little exploits had not gone unnoticed by Naval Intelligence. Coleson merely filled in some minor details. Like where we might be holed up, if we met up with the remaining Rangers. Ben has the letter, if you want to read it."

"Maybe later. What do we have here?" Lee asked, licking his lips like he was looking at a freshly grilled T-Bone steak.

"This pallet contained four layers. The top layer is assorted sizes of body armor. Then there was a layer of MREs, at least we won't go hungry! The next layer was several crates containing M4 carbines. The bottom layer was filled with 5.56 NATO ammo."

Ben had walked over at this point. "Our pallet had several layers. Top layer was arctic camo in several sizes. The next layer had some body armor then a layer of 5.56 ammo. The bottom layer was some kind of explosive shells and a couple of super shotguns to shoot them with." Ben smiled, "At least I think that's what they are, but they seem to be a shotgun with a revolver!"

Both Tom and Peter’s grins just got even bigger when they heard what Ben said. "How many of those 'shotguns' did you say you found?" Tom asked.

"There were two crates. The one I opened had two guns in it, so I guess we have four of these units."

"Guys, there were three kinds of ammo for these things. There were four cans of some stuff that was labeled M1060, sixteen cans labeled M433, and ten cans labeled M406. Each can had ten rounds in it." Ben explained, "Do you know what we have?"

"Oh yeah. The 'six-guns' are M32A1 grenade launchers. They have an effective range of about 400 yds. M406 are traditional fragmentation grenades. M433 are dual purpose HE. They are used to penetrate lightly armored vehicles as well as conventional fragmentation. The M1060 rounds are thermobaric explosives. Quite deadly. We were just getting that type of ammo in, the year I left the service."

Tom took up where Peter had left off, "These grenade launchers are easy to use and train on. I'm glad that Santa was thinking and gave us a bunch of stuff to practice with."

"All right, let's go take apart that last pallet and see what other fine toys Santa has brought us!" Peter was like a kid in a candy shop, as he headed for the pallet that Lee, Paul and James had just brought in.

That pallet contained the motherlode of munitions, as far as Tom, Peter and Ben were concerned. The top layer of this pallet had a bunch of combat medical supplies; something they could have used already, considering Lee's wound. However, next they unpacked 100 claymore mines with detonators and clickers. Then there was 625 lbs. of C4 explosives, all packed in one and a quarter pound sticks. Both timer and radio detonators were included. More 5.56 ammo, and at the bottom, one very big surprise!

"Lee? Get over here." Peter shouted. Lee looked up from where he was stacking crates of M4s and ammo cans.

"What do you need? I'm kinda busy here." He moved towards Peter anyway.

"Hey, you gonna give me your .338?" Peter asked with a straight face as Lee walked up.

"Why would I do that? I'm best shot we have, particularly with that rifle."

Peter pointed, "Open that crate and you might change your mind. I think Santa meant that one just for you."

Lee shrugged and opened the crate and just whistled. "Is this for real?" he said as he picked it up and looked it over. "Damn, I always wanted one of these… Model M107A1, fifty caliber, semi-auto, gas operated, ten round magazine fed, muzzle brake and integral suppressor, two extra magazines... but I could never afford the ammo. Even reloads are expensive." As he fondled the rifle, like a new baby, Lee looked over at Peter and saw that just behind him were ammo cans labeled for .50 cal. "How much ammo they send us?" his eyes were gleaming.

"Oh no, Lee. First you have to let me run the .338."

"Fine. You get the .338. Now how much ammo did they send and what kinds?"

"Ya have one hundred rounds of M2 armor piercing and four hundred rounds of M33 ball."

"OK guys. I hate to break-up this love fest," Ben called out, "but how many M4s do we have and how much ammo for them?"

Paul looked up at Ben and replied, "We have twenty M4s. Five to the crate and four crates. The first two pallets contained fifteen cans of 250 rounds each. So that's seventy-five hundred rounds plus whatever this pallet had."

"Add another ten cans of 5.56. That fifty cal stuff is heavy." Tom said. "That gives us an even ten thousand rounds of ammo."

"Hmm," Peter thought a minute, "we need to check how many mags they gave us. For the twelve of us, that's not quite three load-outs apiece."

Tom thought and said, "You figuring on 240 rounds per combat load?"

"Yup. Eight mags each."

So engrossed in unpacking and cataloguing the contents of the pallets, that no one noticed how hungry they were getting until the sun began to set. John checked his watch. "Guys? We've been working on this stuff for the last six hours or so. I'm going to go get us some food ready, it will be dinnertime shortly. James, would you come and help me?"

"Sure. Let's go get washed up."

As they left, Ben chuckled, "Damn! Amazing how time flies when we're having fun! Let's get this all put away, go clean up and get ready for food… don't know about anyone else, but now that John mentioned it, I'm starved!"

Everyone agreed, and began their final stacking of the new stocks of munitions. Despite their intent to hurry, it wasn't until John stepped out and hollered that the food was ready, that they all noticed that another hour had passed.

Fifteen minutes later and everybody was sitting at the table, when John brought in a big pot of chili, while James placed a small stack of tortilla chips on everyone's plate. John then scooped the chili onto the chips and James backed that up by layering cheddar cheese on top of the chili.

As everyone dug into their meal, Lee began the dinner conversation with, "When are we going to let the El-tee and the other Rangers know what we found?"

"As far as that goes, shouldn't we hold another election?" Ben asked.

Peter looked up, "Why Ben? Don't like the leadership role? You know you're doing a pretty darn good job, don't you?"

"It's not that," Ben blushed, "but we have five more people who have joined us and never voted on the leadership roles…"

"Wrong Ben." Tom stated, "They accepted your role as the CO when they agreed to become a part of this thing."

"Besides, you know what we are all best suited for, in or out of the field. After Long Lake, you know that they have no specialized skills, like some of us, so you know what they can do. Maxwell doesn't know us and can only guess at what we are best suited for, based on one encounter with the enemy. He may know what his guys can do, but that is only five of them. There are seven of us." James said as he helped himself to more chips and chili.

"Like it or not Ben," Lee chimed in, "you are the captain of this rag-tag outfit."

"Shit." Ben conceded. "OK. After dinner I'll get ahold of Maxwell and tell him about our surprise package."

"Smokey, Striker."

A few seconds later, "Smokey." This was Mallory's voice.

"Is your Actual handy?"

"Sorry. The Actual is out doing a maintenance check. Is there something I can help with?"

"This is Striker Actual. Sometime last night during the storm, the U.S. Air Force air-dropped some pallets of munitions and some other miscellaneous gear. We just wanted to let you guys know what we now had, so we could equip you all."

"Air Force? Good stuff?"

"Yeah. Lots of good stuff. We were hoping all of you would want to come over tomorrow to see and pick out what you wanted to use."

"Hmm, since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day, how about you guys come over here and have turkey with us?"

"Yeah. We can do that I think. What time would you want us?"

"How about noon? That way you will have time to get back to your shelter."

"Roger. Noon it is. Striker, out." Ben placed the mic back on the mobile unit and walked back into the house.

Meanwhile, only Paul had noticed that Lee had limped to the bathroom. After he had showered, he went straight to the bedroom he and Paul were now using. Paul went to the doorway and watched Lee as he massaged his left thigh. "Is the big bad jock hurting?"

Lee looked up, and without even looking he grabbed a pillow and threw it at Paul while saying, "Shut up, asshole."

Paul dodged the pillow and started laughing as he turned around and went back to the living room. Lee went and retrieved the pillow when he heard lots of laughter from where Paul had retreated. "Damn assholes everywhere I look," he grumbled.

November 22nd, 11:00am EST
Colin and Nancy's House

In Harrisville, all the parents of the guys gathered at the Robbins' house to celebrate the holiday, even if it was a somber celebration. They all knew the guys wouldn't be able to be there in person, so that alone put a damper on things.

The loss of Mary also had an affect on everyone. For Jonathon, he was glad he didn't have to spend the time alone and doubly glad it wasn't at his house… way too many memories there to even think of making merry.

After talking to Jonathon, it was decided that Bill would move in with him. The house and land were just too much for one person to manage, and the two of them could keep each other company.

It ended up taking two whole days to get Bill and his radio equipment moved in and a straight wire antenna to be strung. Bill figured it would be less suspicious than trying to dismantle the antenna at his house and reassemble it at Jonathon's.

Amongst all the supplies they had received, the guys packaged out five M4s, five Sally packs loaded with eight thirty round mags each, and five sets of winter camos. This they loaded onto their quads and headed out to Wanakena.

Needless to say, the Rangers were impressed with the 'gifts' the guys had brought.

It was Lieutenant Maxwell that said what they were all thinking. "You know, we are all going to need to find a place to practice with this new gear."

"I can think of some small draws between here and Sabattis for the M4s. Since they have suppressors, the sound won't be too great to attract attention." Sergeant Mallory said. "But even a suppressed fifty is going to draw attention, I suspect."

"Actually, you would be surprised at how well that fifty will work. It's the .338 and the grenade launchers that are going to be a problem." Peter replied.

Lee had a bit of a devilish grin as he spoke to Peter, "If you are as good as you think, then five shots should get you centered. Otherwise, I keep the Lapua and you take the fifty."

"Oh, I like a challenge." Peter grinned right back at him.

The group continued to talk about the practice session, while dinner was served and they all ate.

Afterwards, they all agreed to meet at the place designated by Mallory in the morning and set about getting familiar with their new firearms. It was also decided that, if they needed to, it would be Tom and Peter that would be carrying the grenade launchers, as they were already familiar with their use.

The one thing that they all agreed upon was that they would not need to raid the Fort Drum ammo dump.

November 24th, 15:00 EST
Wanakena, Ranger School

"Rangerbase this is Ranger-1, over."

George Hardy looked over at a radio that he had never seen active, up until now. "Ranger-1 this is Rangerbase, over."

"Rangerbase, please get your Actual on the horn."

"Roger. Wait one."

Hardy got up and went to Lieutenant Maxwell's office, where he knocked once and pushed the door open. Seeing Maxwell at his desk with Sergeant Esteban, he said, "El-tee? Commander Coleson is on the radio asking for you."

"Oh?" Maxwell and Esteban both stood up and followed Hardy to the communications room. He picked up the mic, "Ranger-1 this is Ranger-2, over."

"Ranger-2, we need a favor, if you think you can do it? over."

"What do you need? over."

"There is a resort of sorts over at Delta Lake State Park. Are you familiar with it? over."

"That's over just north of Rome, isn't it? over."

"Yes. That's the place. There is something going on there and we need either you and your team or those militia guys to do some recon work. I would like either or both of you guys to look it over really good, and report back every detail you can. Think you can do it without being spotted? over."

"Ranger-1, I think we can do that. Can you give us a hint about what you think we will find? over."

"Sorry. But Admiral Norris doesn't want any preconceived notions to color what you see there. Just observe every detail, without being spotted. As soon as you can, when you are sure of what you see, report back here, over."

"OK. We won't be able to get there until early tomorrow morning. Once we have something solid, we will get back to you, over"

"Remember Lieutenant, under no circumstances can you be discovered, nor can you engage any enemy that you may find. This is imperative. Do you understand? over." The use of his rank, was not lost on Maxwell. Whatever they thought was there, was extremely important.

"Understood, Ranger-1. We will contact you when we have something to report, over."

"Give my and the Admiral’s thanks to your militia guys, over."

"Roger. Give Santa our thanks for the early Christmas, over."

A bit of a chuckle was heard, "Wilco, out."

Maxwell placed the mic back in its cradle, then grabbed the one that linked them to the guys at Sabattis. "Striker Actual, this is Smokey Actual, over."

After a moment, "This is Striker Actual, over."

"Hey, you guys up for a sneak and peek? over."

It's been a Long time since I was able find enough time, in between all the work I do with the website and other peoples chapters, to sit down and write a new chapter. So I really hope the wait was worth it.

If you like my story please let me know by emailing me at: Al

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