Online Fiction- The Troublemaker


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Jmurman
April 29, 2005, 06:40 AM
Hi guys!

I am writing a online SHTF novel called "The Troublemaker" (http://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/showthread.php?t=147348) I have posted this work in progress on two survival sites. If you 'd like to check it out, I'd like to know what you think.

I'll post the first chapter here, so let me know what you think, ok?





The Troublemaker


Chapter One – Desires


The twin solid mahogany doors of the stately Vienna hotel opened with a silent announcement that the meeting was adjourned. The spokesman for the group’s powerful majority smiled and walked slowly to the outstretched microphones of the news hungry media. The Saudi Arabian Oil Ministry Press Secretary paused for a moment before speaking.

“Good afternoon” Pausing briefly, the very well dressed spokesman continued. “We have reached agreement on ‘near future’ production. As it stands now, prices are about $50.00 per barrel. We will increase our production by approximately 2%; this should have a very positive effect on world prices.” With that said the OPEC spokesman turned and walked towards his Oil Minster who was surrounded by the ever-present body guards.

This particular meeting was especially important as world oil prices had begun another spiral upward, putting a huge strain on the economies of the most powerful nations on earth. Saudi Arabia’s increase in production would drive down prices and was excellent news to the oil consuming world.

Power in the world can be categorized as, the have’s and the have not’s. The haves are the oil producing nations and the countries that control enormous armies and economies. Everyone else falls into the have not’s. OPEC also has their have’s and have not’s. The alliance was thinly held together and dominated by the Saudi’s who could out produce the others, thereby dictating the supply and price.

A small group of the have not’s gathered off to the side of the meeting room. Although fabulously wealthy in their own right, this group wanted more of the power and control over their production pricing.

“I am not pleased with this meeting, at all. Again the Saudis have sided up to the United States and are not allowing the market to dictate price.” Venezuela’s Oil Minister, Alberto Santos was particularly angry. Venezuela had been at odds with the US ever since their recent election of President Martinez. The newly elected socialist President and ruler of this oil rich nation, sought respect through whatever means necessary, for his kingdom.

“Yes, I am in complete agreement with you Alberto. Our country is also tired of the US control of our financial destiny.” Nigeria’s Oil Minster, Abrahim Ahzir, was a man on the hot seat. Meeting with his Finance Minster and President recently he was told in no uncertain terms that oil production and profits had to increase, or else he would be replaced.

Standing close by and listening intently and nodding with agreement were the Libyan coequals. At the other side of the room, the Iranian contingent observed the gathering and walked over to join in the conversation. To an outsider, this group looked like any other business meeting with multi-national players. Knowing the dress code of the various nations present made it easy to discern who was who. The Nigerians with their multi colored full length robes and round cake pan style hats, the Libyans with their white floor length robes, although tailored by London’s finest. The Iranians wore their charcoal gray business suits and white tie-less button down shirts and finally the only non-Muslim in the group, the South American in his hand made Saville Row pinstripe suit. To an outside observer this was a group photo of wealth and power.

Greeting the group warmly, the Iranian Oil Minister, Mohammed Mahzari spoke. “Gentlemen, I would like to invite you to our Embassy for dinner this evening, we have much to discuss.”

The group accepted the invitation of the Iranian, who many consider to be the de facto leader of the have not’s in OPEC.

Later in the evening the invitees arrived at the Iranian Embassy in vehicles that matched the image of their status. Mercedes Benz and Rolls Royce’s, all fully armored and filled with personal body guards pulled through the front gates and up to the door. They were escorted into the Embassy’s ostentatious meeting room. The well dressed Iranian in-house staff, valet parked their vehicles as the body guards made small talk and took positions outside of the meeting room.

Dinner was served and the men ate, complimenting the chef who expertly prepared lamb and the various side dishes. Everyone present knew that business wasn’t to be discussed in the open. After the meal, Mahzari started the business conversation. “Gentlemen, I would like to show you something, follow me”. Mahzari got up and walked down the oversized hallway which was lined with a collection of antique armaments used throughout history.

“Fascinating collection, Mohammed.” Alberto Santos was genuinely impressed, as were the others.

“Thank you; there is much history and beauty in this weaponry. This Roman short sword for example is from the time of the Prophet Jesus. No doubt many Jews blood was spilled with it.” Mahzari had a smile on his face. He then led the group through a door and into a large room that resemble nothing like where they had just come from. This room was lined with rubber foam and carbon fiber sound insulation material. In the center of the room was another smaller fully enclosed room that resembled a cargo shipping container. This containment room was a sound proof safe room. Opening the door and stepping the inside the group sat in the plastic resin chairs.

“My apologies for the furniture. It seems that plastic is best for eliminating any eavesdropping. My friends, I am as upset about the Saudi production increase as you are. We feel that all of our products should be in the $100 per barrel price range, or higher.” Mahzari paused for agreement, which he received.

“If we could convince the Saudis not to produce as much, then we would have this price.” said the Nigerian.

“The Saudis are being controlled by the Americans. The Americans dictate what they want and threaten to take over the fields if they don’t get it. You’ve seen what they have done with Iraq. It won’t be long before they have uninterrupted oil flow from them and that will drive pricing down even further. We must find a way to deal with this.” The Venezuelan’s anger was increasing.

“We need to do two things.” The Libyan, Ali Sayed, finally spoke “First, we need to get the Americans out of Iraq and secondly we need to slow down Saudi production.” Ali Sayed was no stranger to the methods he was suggesting, having spent years building Libya’s underground terror network, which was blessed by his President.

As a good lawyer would never ask a question in which he didn’t already know the answer, Mahzari had the group exactly where he wanted them. “I want to share with you all what is taking place right now, even as we speak. We are making a proposal to the Americans for peace in Iraq. We are doing this through the UN Secretary General Santana.”

“The UN! They are worthless ba*&ards!” The Nigerian voice rose as he had seen first hand the ineffectiveness of the UN in Africa.

“Hold on for a moment, please. We are withdrawing all of our funding and weapon supplies to the Freedom Fighters in Iraq, and we are calling for them to leave the country. When this is accomplished and the Americans are lulled in their sleep, we will make our move.” Mahzari spoke with confidence. “When the Americans leave Iraq, we will shut down the Saudi’s production and you will have all the fortune and power you have ever dreamed of. We must be united amongst ourselves on this.”

The group accepted the Iranians statement unanimously.

“Madame President, UN Secretary General Francisco Santana is here for your appointment.” The presidential aide spoke an introduction, not looking directly at US President Lydia Chase. President Chase did not allow aides to look at her directly, as she felt this was not acceptable behavior of the subordinates who served her, the first female President of the United States.

President Chase rose from her chair and standing behind the expansive desk in the West Wing of the Oval office, she offered her hand to the Secretary General. “Good afternoon Secretary General Santana. Please have a seat.”

“Madame President, it is very good to see you again. I thank you for taking the time from your busy schedule to meet with me on such short notice.” The Secretary General knew that this President liked to be treated and admired as if she were royalty. “Again congratulations on your election victory, and I hope that the transition of your administration will be a smooth one.”

“Thank you Secretary General Santana.” President Chase enjoyed being courted by powerful people, and the UN Secretary General was a very powerful man. “So, Secretary General Santana, what do I owe this honor of your visit today?”

“Madame President, I know that you are being pulled along by the previous administrations military’s advisors, in regards to Iraq. It must be a grave burden on your economy, and your plans for this countries recovery. What do I tell the World Council that you are proposing to resolve this conflict?”

President Chase, who made no effort to hide her distaste for anything military, visibly reddened at the thought of her military advisors and of Iraq. “This Iraq business is standing in my way of getting this country back on its feet again. The Pentagon says that we are well on the way to winning this war. However, every day that an American dies there, I am hounded by the press, “When it will be over?” We’ve already lost over 5,000 soldiers and billions of dollars.”

“Madam President, I have spoken with some of the leaders in the Middle East. It is my understanding that they are gearing up for a longer and tougher fight than what you have seen so far. I get the impression that this conflict will last a long time and will be very costly, both in men and dollars. I have also spoken with some of the other leaders who like you; want this Iraq business to be over. There is a great opportunity here.” UN Secretary General Santana waited for his information to register with the President.

The President did not want to hear that the war could drag on. A long drawn out war would destroy her popularity ratings; after all it was the drop in popularity ratings that took down the last President and swept both Houses towards the Democrats. “Tell me General Santana, what can we do to make peace?”

“I think that we can have a win-win situation here. I will recommend to the Arabs that we have a Cease-Fire, with your assurance that the US military will participate in the Cease-Fire. If we can have this Cease-Fire agreement, then there is no reason why we cannot take it further, to a complete withdrawal of US Forces from the Middle East. I will also recommend to the Security Council that we place UN Islamic troops as Peace-Keepers on Islamic soil.”

“I can agree to that General, however, I need assurance that we will have the oil supplies needed for our country.”

“Madame President, I think you have made the right choice. I will insist that you have as much oil as your country needs. There could be some fees for this guarantee, but we can discuss that at a later point. May I add that it is a good thing to have the US participating in the World Community again.” General Santana rose from his seat as did the President. They shook hands in agreement. “Madame President, I will call you after I’ve spoken with the others about our agreement.”

UN Secretary General Santana left the White House and was escorted to Andrews AFB to begin his flight back to Madrid, his home. Once he was airborne in the UN registered Tupolev TU-154B airliner, he phoned Mohammed Mahzari on a secure satellite cell phone. “Mohammed, this is Francisco. We have agreement on a Cease-Fire. What would be the earliest you can implement this from your end?”

“I will need at least 72 hours.”

“Very good. I will phone the President about this good news.”

Both UN Secretary General Santana and Iranian Oil Minister smiled at their very good fortune.

Bolting upright, Gary opened his eyes to almost total darkness. Reaching for his left wrist Gary pressed the stem on his watch and the green glowing dial showed 3.10 am. Breathing a deep sigh, he relaxed a bit. This was the same dream he has had before. The first dreams didn’t upset him as much lately, it was the ones that came before he awoke every morning that did. Gary looked over at the glowing red embers of the fire he had lit before falling off to sleep. Gary unzipped his sleeping bag and half rolling over to the small firewood stash he set out each night, he placed a couple of mid size pieces on the embers. Lying back on his makeshift pillow of wadded up clothes on top of his make shift bed of pine boughs, Gary stared at the dark ceiling. The fire started small and the light it gave off danced around the granite cave he had called home for the past couple of months.

Gary’s mind asked and then answered questions. “I’ve been here for what, one or two months now? Spring should be coming soon. How long have I been running and fighting, three years I think. When will it ever be over?” No answer came on the last question.

Gary slowly settled back into sleep, the fire working its dancing and warm magic on his body and mind.


The Troublemaker is copyrighted by Jmurray aka Jmurman and may not be copied or used without the authors permission.

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jobu07
April 29, 2005, 06:47 AM
:cuss: Like I have time to keep reading these... Well, something has to give. Work, school, reading these ludicrous stories... ;) I spose I can always explain to the boss why nothing got accomplished today!

The only thing I suggest is that you might post it here so we don't have to run all over the web to read it. PDF files seem to be popular too.

Jmurman
April 29, 2005, 07:19 AM
Thanks Jobu, I am in the process of making it available on a PDF format, but the writing keeps getting in my way! :D

jobu07
April 29, 2005, 07:22 AM
Good excuse ;)

Jmurman
April 30, 2005, 04:40 PM
Jobu, I've posted the first chapter in this thread, let me know what you think.

jobu07
April 30, 2005, 07:56 PM
It's a great start so far! You've got a topic here that interests everyone with fuel prices. I also think that by posting the text on our site here, you're going to increase your traffic greatly. I eagerly await the next installment! :)

Jmurman
April 30, 2005, 10:32 PM
Chapter Two – Deceptions



Flying over the vast expanse of desert, and seeing and hearing every sound was wonderful. The freedom to be unchained from the ground and soaring was unlike any other. He saw himself moving over a vast stretch of water which was dotted with large ships all heading the opposite direction of where he was flying to. Some of the ships were heavily laden oil super tankers and some of the others were Navy transports carrying all forms of military hardware and men. The over water flight turned and headed towards the shore, where the great oil tankers were being loaded with their enormous quantities of crude oil. The flight followed a long overland pipeline away from the shipping terminal and towards a group of concrete buildings.

The Ghawar oil fields contain the world’s largest known oil reserves. It is from these fields that the Saudi Kingdom pumps enough petroleum to stabilize the fluctuating oil prices of OPEC. It is a vast desert region with acre upon acre of pumps and pipes. The outgoing pipelines stretch 24 miles from the vast numbers of pumps towards the Persian Gulf and Oman.

Ishmael Bakht has worked in this complex for almost 7 years. Being employed by Aramco the Saudi Oil Corporation as an engineer certainly brought its share of challenges and rewards. Rewards came in the form of a very handsome tax free salary. The challenges of keeping the 4.5 million barrels of light sweet crude flowing towards the Gulf were stimulating. At the same time the crude was going out, sea water from the Gulf was pumped back towards the field and into the ground. Ishmael arrived every evening at 7:30 pm, after the nightly prayers.

The black Mercedes Benz pulled into the complex and to the Guard Post. “Good evening, sir. ID please” The police guard had also worked at this complex for as long as Ishmael had. They had spoken on numerous occasions about family and cricket matches. After giving Ishmael’s ID a quick glance, he waved him through.

“Good evening, Tariq.” There wasn’t time for chit chat tonight for Ishmael was about to become wealthy.

Parking his car and walking into the complex, Ishmael carried with him his briefcase and his portable short-wave radio. The radio gave him great pleasure as he was able to listen to the various broadcasts of the differing Arab countries each night. The radio came with Ishmael on his first day at the complex and each and every night there after. Tonight Ishmael had to do three things. Number 1: allow the Freedom Fighters into the complex undetected. Number 2: set the explosives in the radio to destroy the computerized controls for the many pumps. Number 3: get away and spend the 10 million dollars he had hidden in his Swiss Bank Account.

The four groups of ten saboteurs came from four different directions. Their goals were the same, plant and detonate the ten pounds of Semtex plastique explosives that each man carried on any pumps and pipes to cause the greatest amount of damage. The time for the attack was to begin at midnight.

At 11:55 pm Ishmael set out his radio next to the main frame computer where he processed the daily production readings. The main computer room was state of the art and had both primary and back up systems. In case of a main computer failure the oil would still go merrily on its way to the Gulf. The short-wave radio was reconfigured as a two pound Semtex bomb and was to give Ishmael 30 minutes to walk to his car and make his escape. Ishmael turned on the power switch and the radio instantly and thunderously detonated, destroying all of the computers and vaporizing Ishmael. Within 15 minutes the entire operation of The Ghawar Oil Field was shut down, as explosions boomed across the vast desert. Oil was burning uncontrollably all along the 24 miles of pipeline and the water that was being sent back to the fields was also shut off, making it almost impossible to put out the oil fueled hellish fires.

Gary tossed and turned in his sleeping bag while he subconsciously agonized over the fires and coal black smoke of the oil fields. His dream again turned to flying although this time he found himself over a busy city street in some large city. Hovering by a newspaper stand he was able to read the various headlines:

Oil Prices $100 per Barrel

Gas $4.00 per Gallon

President Chase Considers Rationing

National Guard Units Called Up

Stock Market Down on Oil News


“Madame President, the UN Secretary General is on the line.” The voice said through the intercom.

Reaching over and pushing the blinking red light of the waiting call. “General Santana, you told me that we could have all of the oil we would need. Now I’ve got real panic over here.” President Chase was obviously angry and felt she was running out of options. Her reforms seemed to stall in committee and now this oil crisis was threatening the economic fabric of the US. It wasn’t very long ago that the same headlines were touting ‘Peace and Safety’.

“Madame President, the terrorist incident at Ghawar was most unfortunate. However the Saudis tell me that they should be up and running in about 6 months or so.”

“Six months! I don’t have six months! I need action and need it today!” President Chase was furious that something would hold her plans back.

“Madame President, I will be in Washington tomorrow. Maybe there is something that we can do for you. What time would be best for us to meet?”

“We can have breakfast together, say 7:00 am?”

“I’ll see you then, President Chase.”

The next morning at the White House breakfast was very tense. All of the President’s staff was anxiously waiting for their morning briefing.

“I think that everyone knows UN Secretary General Santana.” President Chase didn’t greet anyone; she immediately jumped into the day’s business. “General Santana is going to tell us how the UN can help us through this crisis.” President Chase gave Santana a nod for him to speak about his proposal.

“Good morning everyone. I know that you are going through a very difficult time now. This is a time of challenge and a time of great opportunity. I have spoken to the member countries and they are showing their support for you, Madame President.”

President Chase smiled knowing that other members of the World Community were aware of her importance.

General Santana continued. “We are all sending a portion of our own oil supplies to help you through this crisis. A nominal fee amounting to 5% will be added to each barrel that you receive. However, you will have as much oil as you need.”

“We are being taxed?!!” The President interjected loudly

“Yes Maam, you are. You are paying the same price as everyone else on this planet. Now, that being said and please don’t take this as an accusation or condemnation, but as an opportunity to lead this great nation back to the prominence you deserve.” The UN Leader paused allowing his words to have their desired effect. “There are many areas where this country wastes a substantial amount of resources. Resources that if economized on and capitalized on would greatly improve your situation. I would like to share with you some ideas that if you implemented would make your countries ‘bottom line’ so to speak, the envy of the entire world.” Secretary General Santana was hitting all the right buttons with the President and her inner circle. “First of all, as a member of the World Community, you have no need to spend the enormous amounts of money that you do on your military and weapons systems. I would think that you could save hundreds of billions of dollars on this alone. Secondly, there are millions of illegal immigrants that walk across your borders each and every year. These undocumented people are using the welfare system and are a drain on your recovery. Thirdly, your health care infrastructure is being eaten up with run-away costs due to law suits, shootings, drug use and inefficient processes and redundant paperwork. Finally, there needs to be a standard set for the miles per gallon on the vehicles that are being produced, on each vehicle and not on the average miles per gallon of the fleet.” Santana sat back allowing each person to think about the issues he stirred up. Some of the issues were overstated, but everything was now on the table.

President Chase was the first to speak. “General Santana, now that you have told us what we already know, maybe you’d like to share with us some solutions?”

“Let’s take the first item I mentioned, your military. Having a strong military is paramount; however, if you focus on the non-human systems you can reduce your man-power tremendously and those costs associated with human personnel while still maintaining your strength. Robotics is the future of the military. As for the Second and Third items: Have you heard of the “Encompass” system that we are using in Europe?”

Some of the group nodded yes and some no.

“’Encompass’ is a global computerized system that allows the instant identification of all people who use any Government services.” General Santana pulled out of his pocket a small metal pill box. All eyes were on this box which was opened, revealing a tiny piece plastic the size of a grain of rice, which he passed around the room. “This is the ID that is given to each person. It is securely and painlessly implanted under the skin behind the neck. When a person uses any Government services, their personal signal is used to access their computer files, thus eliminating all paper work and guaranteeing positive ID. The incidents of Immigration fraud has almost vanished where this system has been implemented. You see the ID is also used for banking transactions. A person can have all of their credit cards and monies accessed through this system. Retailers simply have the person walk up with their merchandise, that person is scanned and the funds are instantly transferred to the Retailers account.” The room was totally silent as they approached the cross roads of Big Brother and Disaster. “Now, here is the real beauty of it. You receive your taxes instantly, there is no float time between the transaction and the time the Treasury Department receives their funds.” The President smiled at the thought of instantly receiving funds that normally took months. “The Encompass System also has other features that will greatly reduce your crime rates.” General Santana again paused for effect.

“Now, if you will join us, the World Community, in the treaties that the rest of us have accepted and implemented, you can further reduce the amount of monies spend on your Health Care issues. The Treaties I am talking about are the “Land Mine and Small Arms Prohibition Treaty” and the “World Patriot and Anti-Terrorist Project”

The entire room nodded in agreement. The President issued Presidential Orders for Encompass and placed a High Priority on the Treaties for the Senate to be agreed upon. A week later the entire proposal was legal and funded. Implementation was to start immediately.

Gary was now starting to awaken, and began to toss, turn and sweat. He saw himself hovering over the same newspaper stand in the same city as he had before, the headlines on the papers this time read:


Government Gets Efficient

Illegal Immigration Down

Wall Street Soars to Record Highs

President’s Approval Ratings Up


“Daddy, look at me! Look at me Daddy!” The little girl pranced in front of Gary, in between him and the TV set.

“Ruthie, you have to be the fastest girl I’ve ever seen.” Gary said as he moved his head around to see the TV while his daughter sought his attention.

“Daddy, read me a story, pleeeaaassseee!”

Taking a deep breath and releasing it with an audible sigh, Gary knew that he would not be able to watch TV tonight. “Sure, Honey. What do you want to read?”

“Clifford the Big Red Dog” Ruthie had three books already picked out. As she sat in her Daddy’s lap; he could smell her freshly washed hair and feel the smoothness of her pink polka dotted flannel pajamas. Ruthie was her Daddy’s complete delight. Having been blessed to have this child late in his life was a total joy for both parents.

Ruthie turned to her father, and hugged him tightly around the neck. Looking up and directly into Gary’s eyes she said “Daddy, why did they have to kill me and Mommy?”

No_Brakes23
May 1, 2005, 03:09 AM
So far so good. But I really need to quit reeding SHTFic and Zombocalypse stuff at midnite.

Bad Dreams, bad dreams...

Jmurman
May 1, 2005, 07:51 AM
No Brakes..if this story is giving you bad dreams, than I'm doing alright with it, huh? :D

kudu
May 1, 2005, 08:03 AM
I've been following most of the stories at TBTK, been there 4 or 5 years.

Flyboy
May 1, 2005, 03:45 PM
Editing note:
That should probably be the Prophet Jesus, not Profit. Entirely different concept. Either that, or I missed the irony. ;)

Jmurman
May 1, 2005, 07:55 PM
Flyboy...thanks for the heads up!

Jmurman
May 2, 2005, 08:57 AM
Chapter Three-Tears



Gary instantly sat up, wide awake and with tears flowing down his cheeks. “I don’t know Ruthie; I don’t know why they killed you and Mommy. It was my fault Ruthie; they should have killed me instead. I am so very sorry. I love you and Mommy so much and I miss you” This mornings dream had repeated itself again, and as like the other mornings it all started off with tears which turned to anger and finally rage.

Gary unzipped the sleeping bag and looked at the dying fire as he slowly became wide awake. Placing a few more pieces of wood on the fire, he started to prepare for the day ahead. Finding and lighting a candle, his eyes adjusted to the slowly brightening cave. Gary could feel the cold of the outside through the caves rock walls, and he quickly dressed into his gray and brown hunting clothes. As the fire grew in light and temperature, so did Gary’s mind and anger.


Today would be a recon to the west. Gary studied the road map he recovered from his cache. Thinking that the next time, if there ever was a next time, and hoping to God there was never a next time, Gary would have placed topographic maps in his cache instead of only a road map.

Standing upright, his head had enough room to clear the ceiling by only a few inches. The heat from the fire had warmed the area above by a much greater degree than on the stone floor. Taking a few steps towards the front and only entrance, he removed the pine boughs that made the makeshift doorway to the outside world. Peeling back the boughs Gary was greeted with a blast of cold wind and daylight.

Stepping outside of the hidey-hole he had called home for the past couple of months, Gary’s eyes adjusted to the morning light as he slowly scanned the area. It was a late winter gray morning, maybe early spring and the trees along the ridges and slopes of the mountains had not yet started to come into leaf. Looking at his map, Gary could see the five fingered mountains he had penciled in. These mountains, which were more like large long hills, ran north and south and were spread out just like the fingers of your hand. Geographically he was on the third ridge of the five from east to west and was close to the Pennsylvania border in northern Maryland west of Thurmont. The nearest town was about five miles to the south, a small spot on the map called Simmonsville. The ridge lines of the five mountains were, as far as he could tell about 1,500 feet high. Gary’s cave home was about 500 ft below the ridgeline and faced west. There was a natural path that led gradually lengthwise along the entire outward slope that gave him a moderate climb up or down, which ever way he wanted to access his cave.

The view below him was of the valley and the single not often used railroad track which paralleled a small stream that ran through it. The valleys to the east had hard surfaced roads that ran through them; however his valley only had a gravel access road that ran alongside the train tracks.

Satisfied that he was still alone, Gary went back into the cave and took stock of what was needed for today. The interior was brighter now that his branch doorway was removed. Gary sat down and placing some more fuel on the fire he started to make some breakfast. His food was running out, it always seemed that food was running out, and it always seemed that just when he need more, providentially it presented itself.

Gary had scouted the east areas between the first ridge and the second a few weeks back, finding a few small dairy farms and sympathetic farmers. It was dangerous to come out into the open and meet people now; however Gary had met one family who really helped him with some food and basic items such as plastic milk jugs, rope, an 8X10’ blue plastic tarp, a warm micro-fiber fleece blanket and an old hatchet. There is no line between helping someone like Gary and running afoul of the law and the law said; if you don’t have an Encompass ID, you don’t buy anything, and you don’t sell anything. The family that had helped Gary took that risk, and Gary really appreciated that.

Farmer John was what he called himself and the look and title fit. John had blue coveralls under a Carhartt tan canvas winter coat and a railroader’s blue and white striped hat. John took Gary into Simmonsville and introduced him to the Feed store owner as a hired hand on his farm. Feed stores in small towns usually carried more than farm supplies and if they didn’t have it they could get it. Gary told the owner what he was looking for, a large frameless back pack, a day pack and fanny pack, a set of gray camouflage pants, shirt and coat from Cabela’s, insulated underwear, gloves, hat and a matching set in green camouflage. He also asked for a gasoline powered Coleman camp stove and gas lantern with extra mantles. The Feed store also had some hunting and camping supplies that didn’t fall under the illegal category so Gary purchased what he felt he needed, especially the Turkey hunting camouflage accessories. Randall the store owner; took the silver coins that Gary offered to pay for the equipment and quickly slid them off of the counter before anyone saw this illegal activity. Gary knew that Randall had overcharged him, however, the value of the Pre-65 Silver Quarters and Half-dollars were highly inflated, so all things being equal and with the risk that Randall took with selling him this equipment, Gary was most appreciative of this kindness. Farmer John had been kind enough to pick up his ordered Cabela’s clothes a week later and placed them in a location that Gary and John had agreed to earlier.

Gary started this day by walking up the granite ledge to the top of the ridge and began to gather firewood. The first and second trip to the top he had separated the firewood into bundles of softwood and hardwood. The softwood would be used for heat and the hardwood he could use for cooking. Gary had killed a whitetail deer a week ago and still had a lot of the doe left, which was propped up in the rear of the cave.

Once Gary had gathered and stored enough wood to last for a week, he began to fill the water jugs and his canteens from a ground spring on top of the ridge. Gary was walking downhill from the ridge carrying the water jugs when he stopped dead in his tracks. A Humvee was moving along the dirt access road in the valley below. Gary immediately crouched down, although at his height, the occupants of the olive drab Humvee wouldn’t be able to see him unless they were tipped off or there was a Predator around. Gary low walked to the cave entrance and quickly slipped inside. Once there and having set the water down, he went to his day pack and grabbed his pair of binoculars.

Creeping out of the cave entrance Gary sat beside a boulder and began to focus on the Humvee which was now north of his position. The Humvee turned left onto a hidden dirt road and as it moved through the barren trees Gary could glimpse it occasionally. Although his Baush and Lomb binoculars were intended for bird watching, its small size and excellent optics gave a clear picture of the scene below. Gary watched intently but couldn’t see all that he wanted to through the trees.

After what seemed like a few minutes, which actually was more like an hour, automatic gun fire was heard coming from the area of the Humvee. The sounds from the weapons, weakened by the woods where they originated, bounced off of the granite walls of the surrounding canyon. Gary also thought he heard laughing and cheering coming from the area.

“It sounds like they are having a real party down there.” Gary said to himself.

After a few more moments the Humvee came into view and out of the woods. They turned south, the direction in which they originally came and headed out of view.

Gary went directly inside the cave and gathered his weapons and day pack. He had yet to scout that area anyway; this would give him a better reason to do so. First the day pack was loaded with three MRE’s, the nylon gray and brown Turkey hunting camo net, compass, flashlight, gloves, first aid kit, a roll of silver quarters, filled canteens, extra ammunition for both pistols and an extra bandoleer for the Garand. The weapons came next. First on was his Kimber Pro-Carry .45 on his nylon black thigh holster and two 8 round spare magazines. Before both pistols were secure he attached his WW2 Garand cotton web belt with 10 en bloc clips. Next his Ruger Mark 2 silenced .22 pistol went on the left side cross draw holster, this he wore on the inside of his gray camouflage jacket. After the pistols were secured he slung on the day pack. Lastly, Gary placed two Mk 67 Fragmentation grenades, one in each waist pocket of his jacket and two spare magazines for the Ruger in his top left pocket. Gary put on his Boonie cap and came out of the cave fully armed and fully prepared to act, even though he knew that his best chance of survival was to remain unseen by the enemy.

Gary started the climb to the top of the ridge, weighed down with his weapons, and that familiar feeling came on him…the call of nature. Laughing to himself “Never fails, right?”


When Gary reached the top of the ridge he paused and rearranged his day pack, making sure the camo netting was easily accessible. He decided to work his way down to the valley floor via the south end of the ridge. Stalking brought back all of the memories from his hunting days, many years ago. Whether it was hunting squirrels or stalking deer, Gary felt at home in the woods. It took Gary almost an hour to reach the valley floor below; it was here that he became even more cautious.

Moving slowly and crouched down; Gary crossed the stream and on elbows and knees made the edge of the railroad track. Looking left and right, satisfied that nothing was coming in either direction, Gary stood and ran across the tracks and the gravel road and into the woods on the far side. Taking a moment to look and listen for any movement while catching his breath, he moved further into the woods, satisfied that he was alone. Gary headed west towards the base of the mountain, which he had identified on his road map as mountain number 4.

Gary reached the base of the granite out cropping and paralleled it north towards the road where the Humvee had entered and exited. As he moved further north, an awful feeling came over him, a feeling of dread. He stopped; fully alert and time seemed to stand still. The smell arrived a moment later. It was the familiar smell of death. Gary followed the smell to where the Humvee had recently been. On the ground lay the dead.

Gary walked around the pile of the dead, cautious and sickened at the same time. This place had been used as a dumping ground for their murdered for a while. This recent group looked to be about 5 people. It looked like they were on a pile of about 25 or 30 others; their decomposing bodies had been there for months. The headless man was dressed in a plain black suit. Gary looked around and saw his head about 10 feet away next to a small bush. Walking over and using his Garand to move it around, he saw that the man was obviously Jewish. His Yarmulke had been taped into his mouth, this before he was beheaded and used to kick around like a grotesque soccer ball. Gary went back to the others and noticed something on all. The Encompass chips had been removed from each of them. Gary looked and saw underneath a young woman, who had obviously been raped and tortured before being shot, a naked baby. Gary, put his feelings aside and moved the woman off the baby. This young boy looked to be about 6 months old, he was beaten to death.

Gary stared at the boy for a long time. The feelings of his family’s death three years earlier came up again, and so did the rage. As Gary wiped the tears from his eyes, an inner voice said to him “Get the chip”

The voice was familiar to him and it had saved his life more than once. Gary would never tell anyone about what he heard, as they would think he was certifiably nuts. Gary dropped the day pack and set the Garand down. Taking the young boy, he held him as if he was his own son. He hugged this beautiful but battered child and whispered “I’m sorry, I am so sorry you went through this.” Gary felt behind the boy’s neck and found where the chip was. Using his shaving sharp pocket knife, he made an incision and removed the device. Placing the boy gently down with his mother, Gary felt around inside the cargo pocket on his left leg. He found what he was looking for, a small square of aluminum foil. Opening this up he placed this chip with the four others already in the foil and replaced it back into his pocket. He had no idea why he carried these chips, he just did. The chips were shielded from giving away their signal by the foil and presented no signal that would endanger him.

Gary picked up his pack and rifle and moved away from the dead. He turned and made his way west towards the granite ridge he just paralleled. This was the fourth mass grave he had found.

Jmurman
February 21, 2011, 08:50 PM
I have both of my stories posted on my blog at http://standupandbefree.blogspot.com/

For the Greater Good is really drawing a lot of attention right now. This story is about a nuke attack on the US and follows the military, govt and survivors. Lots of gun play LOL

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