> TEOTWAWKI Blog: You Took Away Tomorrow: Chapter 7 - Further Complications

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6/30/13

You Took Away Tomorrow: Chapter 7 - Further Complications

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Chapter 7: Further Complications

“Could this be real?” Amy asked, hands clearly starting to shake as she looked at the cell phone in her hand.
              “It could be real, but I don’t think it is. But, let’s get back home anyways.”
              “But if it’s real, don’t we need to, like, run?” Amy said.
              “It’s not real, Amy,” Fiona insisted “It sounded fake, didn’t it?”
              The group walked the short distance back to the Rourke home, where Tex was standing guard in the front yard, AK-47 held in a low-ready position. The big former linebacker made an imposing sentry.
              “You guys get the same bogus phone call about an incoming nuke?” Tex asked.
              “Yup—you think it’s a fake?” Jack asked. Tex nodded.
              “Tricky as heck, but fake. USA Air Command? What the heck is that?”
              “Nothing that I know of. 20 minute advanced warning is hardly enough time for a mass evacuation, anyways—I doubt the real government would even pass on that warning if a nuke was incoming,” Jack said. Fiona nodded in agreement.


              “It sounded like a script written by someone who didn’t speak English as a native language—awkward. And, did you notice how they made sure to discredit news from any other source?” she said.
              The group nodded.
              “So—we just pretend like we didn’t get the call and hope that it was a fake?” Amy asked.
              Jack shook his head.
              “No—let’s go check the radio and then hunker down in the basement, just in case. Probably our best bet.”
              They gathered Kyle and Porter, who had been collaborating on the construction of the improvised spike strips to protect the neighborhood entrance, then turned to go inside the home. The sound of slamming doors gave them pause, and they turned to see the elderly neighbor’s Cadillac roar to life. The old man stomped on the accelerator, tires squealing, and rocketed out of their driveway.
              Jack and Fiona waved at them, trying to get their attention in order to warn them that the message was likely a fake, but it was no use. The old man was in flight mode, blinders on, wanting only to get out of dodge as fast as possible. In a few moments, the Cadillac swerved around the corner, disappearing from view.
              “Dang, that grandpa could drive,” Tex said in quiet amazement.
              The retreat of the elderly neighbors seemed to open the floodgates. Moments later, other neighbors were dashing to their cars in panic. The liberal family with their teenage girls made a run to their luxury SUV, arms overflowing with frantically gathered food. The divorced man threw open his garage and turned over the engine on his motorcycle. Others made their mad dash to their vehicles, loading up as quickly as they could.
              Jack’s group jumped up and down in his driveway, waving their arms and yelling out warnings.
              “It’s a fake! The message was a fake!” they yelled, but to no avail. Nothing could divert their neighbors from their planned course of action. In the space of a minute, all had loaded up and raced away.
              “Guys, maybe we’re missing something…” Amy said. Kyle, who hadn’t had his cell phone when the call went out, cleared his throat.
              “Are you certain it was a fake message? No chance it could be real?”
              Jack, Tex and Fiona looked at each other and nodded.
              Amy, though, was still noticeably anxious.
              “It’s 100% fake, Kyle. Like those Nigerian Princes that want to share their inheritance with you—fake as can be,” Tex said.
              “But guys—what if you are wrong? Shouldn’t we run, just in case?” Amy said.
              “Where to? There were zero directions about a projected impact site or which direction to travel. And, I guarantee that right about now, the roads are becoming choked as the masses try to get out of the danger zone. We wouldn’t make it very far in the time we have left,” Jack said.
              Kyle nodded.
              “Ya, I just got off those roads—I can only imagine what they’ll be like. Hellacious.”
              The group retreated inside the Rourke home and gathered in the basement, where the radio was playing. The local news station had already picked up the story—the newscaster’s voice was tinged with stress.
              “Many of you listening may have received an automated message a few minutes ago. We have confirmed with the Sherriff’s Office that this message is fraudulent—it is suspected that hackers have commandeered the county reverse 911 system and are sending out fake alerts in order to cause mass panic. If you received a call, ignore it. The nature of the message may be highly alarming—but that’s the point, to cause panic and fear. Please ignore the message. The system has reportedly been disabled, and no subsequent calls should be possible.”
              The group, though confident in their original assessment, let out a collective sigh of relief after having received confirmation.
“Unless the bad guys have actually commandeered the local radio station, then I think it’s safe to say that we were right,” Jack said. He checked his watch—by his count, if there was going to be a nuclear attack, it would come in a mere ten minutes.
 “I think our diplomatic mission has been cancelled—at least for the time being. There’s a good chance that we will see a horde of people coming through the area soon, as they try to make it away from the supposed attack. Top priority is getting our security in order. We need to move the vehicles, get the roadblock for the neighborhood entrance set up and all of the other measures we discussed,” Jack said.
“If the whole thing was a hoax, then we’re just burning time hanging out around here. I’d like to get back to work on those spike strips. You think you could pitch in, Jack?” Kyle said.
Jack was about to agree, but Amy spoke up.
“Look, I know it looks like the message was a fake, but can we at least just hang out down here for a few more minutes before we go running around again? Just to play it a little bit safe?”
Jack thought about it for a moment, visualizing the mass evacuation on the freeways, highways and side streets that was now beginning to take place around them. There were only two real major interstates that intersected the area—one heading north/south, the other heading east/west. While his home was not smack dab on the freeway, it was also under a ten minute drive to the nearest interstate on-ramp for the north/south road. Who could guess exactly what the hordes would do—if they would ignore their exit, or if they would continue onwards. Would some try to seek refuge in his neighborhood? It was impossible to know.
“Amy, I think this moves up the timetable for when we need to get things accomplished. There are a lot of people moving out on the roads now, and a lot are probably going to end up stranded. We’ve got to be ready for that—we might have a crowd of people outside tonight, looking for food and a place to spend the night. If we’re not ready for that, it could get pretty ugly,” Jack said. He was about to continue, but Fiona touched his arm, diverting his attention.
“Love, it’s only a few minutes. Let’s just wait here and take a breather, and then we can all get to work,” she said in her soothing Irish accent.
Reluctantly, Jack agreed. Tex was about to voice his disagreement, but a sharp look from Esmerelda stopped him before he could even open his mouth.
The countdown to the supposed time of impact ticked downwards as an exhausted silence fell over the group. The radio sounded in the background, the newscaster repeating his calls to ignore the phone message.
Sitting there, Jack’s mind wandered back over the day’s events—his run for home, the initial gathering of the group, the mission to the Blackwell’s and the gunfight that ensued. Jack hadn’t paused long enough to think over the damage he’d caused during the battle and the lives that he had likely taken. As Jack reflected, he realized that he felt at peace with his actions—he had fought to save his life and the lives of his friends. He felt no sadness at what had happened to the thugs who had attacked them, but instead was filled with gratitude that he had been able to act decisively and effectively protect the lives of others.
Soon, the twenty minute time had come and gone, with not a sound of distant explosion or rumble from an impact. Jack was about to get the group moving into action, when the familiar sound of ringing cellphones again filled the room. There was a pause as they looked at each other, unsure of whether to answer or not. Jack answered his phone, finding the now familiar computerized voice on the other end of the line.
“This is urgent emergency message. U.S.A. Air Command now reports missile is thirty minutes from your location. Missile may be nuclear, chemical or biological in nature. Please continue evacuation process. Disregard any reports to the contrary—the enemy may be broadcasting misinformation—“
Jack shut the phone off before the message could repeat again.
“So much for the system being disabled. They’ve added chemical and biological weapons into the mix—probably because there is no mushroom cloud coming and they want people to continue to freak out afterwards.”
“Damn,” Kyle said, “When people get stranded, they’re likely to try to seek shelter.”
              “It’s going to be a long night,” Tex added.
              “Well guys, then let’s get to work. Fiona, I think we need to move the vehicles to the hide site as soon as possible, and I want you with me. We’ll see if it’s even feasible to hide the vehicles—if we can, then we’ll do it. Tex and Amy, you guys run guard duty. Esme, you hold down the fort here, watch the kids and Brooke. Kyle, I need you to crank out those spike strips fast. And guys, I think the time for low profile has passed us—I want rifles and combat loads from now on, and make sure your walkies have fresh batteries,” Jack said, to the agreement of the group members.
              The group moved into action quickly, donning chest rigs, plate carriers or other means of carrying ammunition, before heading off to their assigned tasks with their long guns in hand.
Jack and Fiona set their attention on loading the assigned supplies into the two vehicles—jugs of water, bins of food, some basic tools and camping gear, ammunition cans and similar. Jack realized quickly how exhausted his body was—he was running on very minimal sleep—but forced himself to power through the fatigue. Large army surplus camouflage nets were the last to be loaded into each vehicle.
As Jack closed up the camper shell on his Tacoma, an echoing boom sounded off in the distance, startling him. Instinctively, he ducked down and turned in the direction of the sound, his mind trying to process what had happened. The boom didn’t sound like a gunshot—it was too far away, and too deep of a sound for that. It was almost like distant fireworks on the Fourth of July. The way that the sound had echoed made it hard to be certain the direction it had come from, but Jack guessed that it had come from the west—the direction of the interstate.
Since the group was still alive and not a pile of charred remains, it was doubtful that the boom had been caused by a nuke, unless it was one that had impacted very far away. With the thick forests surrounding them, Jack barely had line of sight to the end of his street, let alone across any long distances, which made it impossible to know for sure what had happened. He could only guess, or hope that the radio would accurately report what had happened.
“Everybody ok?” Jack yelled, scanning over his people. Fiona had taken cover next to him, clutching tightly to his arm. Kyle poked his head out from the garage.
“What was that?” he asked, shifting the protective goggles off his eyes.
“Not sure,” Jack admitted. He couldn’t see Tex and Amy, who had taken up positions closer to the neighborhood entrance. Jack keyed the walkie.
“Tex, you guys good?”
“We’re all right. Any idea what that was? That couldn’t have been a nuke, right?”
“No—I don’t think it was a nuke. We’d all be fried, or the electronics would at least be toast, too.”
“What about a chemical weapon? Nerve gas or something?”
Jack didn’t have an answer for that.
“Not sure—it’s possible, I guess. But we heard about chemical weapons from the phone call, and the phone calls are faked.”
“But that was nearby, Jack.”
“I know it was, Tex—but we have zero idea what it was.”
“But what if it actually was nerve gas or something? Do we adjust our plans? Bug in and button up?”
Jack wasn’t sure. The boom could have been next to anything—should they scrap their plans due to some distant detonation and hideaway for a while? They would lose valuable time and daylight to prepare for what lay ahead—a potential horde of refugees seeking shelter and safety. But, if some variety of WMD had gone off nearby, if they didn’t act, group members could start dropping like flies in a matter of minutes.

38 comments :

  1. Drop the vehicles off as fast as you can, while the others finish the spike strips. Set it up and then figure out some sort of test to see if any thing bad is in the air. What could have happened is the bad guys heard the radio some how and set off a somewhat small bomb, that was big enough to scare people. Remember, if they are trying to cause panic, not necessarily casualties then it might not be a nerve gas or any thing like that. If there is any sign of toxic gas or any thing like that, get in the basement.

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  2. AnonymousJune 30, 2013

    Occam's Razor Analysis says its most Likely A Gunshot From a Disagreement On The Road. Keep Developing The SecurityPlan.

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  3. AnonymousJune 30, 2013

    I say stay with the original plan. Maybe it was a terrorist plan all along to get everyone on the freeway and then set off a bomb there. Check radiation levels and if clear, finish loading and hiding the cars, put up the strips and figure out guard duty. They are going to have to start working in shifts or people are going to keel over from exhaustion.

    I would take an inventory of everyone left in the neighborhood. The next day or the following day I might consider going to the unoccupied homes and moving their food supplies into the Blackwell home, clearly marking who it belongs too. If they come back, or any of their family does, then they get everything back, and their stuff has been protected. If they don't come back after two months, then I think it is safe to say they are not coming back, and that food should be divided among the remaining neighbors. I would tell the remaining neighbors what I was doing.

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  4. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Jack says the Interstate is 10 minutes away. At approximately 25 mph for neighborhood streets, that would put the highway a bit over 4 miles out.

    I would guess if it is an explosion on or near the highway that it would be pretty large to be described as distant fireworks.

    The explosion may be much smaller and much closer because there is no good line of sight.

    I don't recall if the Rourke home is 2 story or not, but an immediate priority for me would be to get to some place high up to see if I could get any intel on the explosion. An upper story window or even the roof with binoculars.

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  5. Get the trucks in place first and foremost, have the spikes put down. Then, have a constant monitor of the radio. If possible attempt to get a line of sight on the explosion. Have the person inside get any chemical gear ready and window plastic ready to go.

    LOVING the story! Just read all 7 chapters back to back!


    -Southeast Georgia

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  6. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Most likely the explosion is a set up. Have someone monitor the radio station for follow up. Where's Jack's scanner at? If he's gone to the trouble for all this other equipment, they should have a scanner. It doesn't make sense they wouldn't. Maybe he just forgot about it and needs to go set it up (hint).

    Now's not the time to quit working on fortifications. Don't worry about raiding neighbors' pantries just yet. The group has plenty of supplies for now. If the neighbors make it back and find that their houses have already been ransacked, they are going to be upset with Jack's group.

    Now is the time to do all they can to prepare to defend themselves. There's very little chance that the explosion was something threatening, but a certainty that they will have to deal with large groups of wandering desperate people in a very short time. That has to be priority 1 right now. If there is a real NBC attack in progress and they are in the threat zone, then they are likely screwed anyways, even if they take cover now. If an NBC event has taken place, they are likely going to have a mass of very desperate people moving quickly in their direction seeking immediate shelter.

    It is imperative they do all they can to prepare to defend themselves. They are not a large enough force yet to be able to just stand their ground by a show of numbers. They need to turn that area into a bunkered firebase, and they have no time left to waste before the S really does HTF, one way or another. Too bad they don't have any barbed wire or such, or a tractor backhoe, or do they?...

    I say forget the distractions, work like hell to get that place secured. You might take a moment to check the direction of the wind and assure everyone that anything bad isn't coming their way, just so's the women will settle down some. After that, everyone needs to get back to the task at hand pronto. Make sure whoever's on watch is paying attention and has the best view they of what's coming and from where. You need lookouts more than sentries right now.

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  7. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    I would be really cautious about how you run the manning of the roadblock and the "inspecting" of neighbors houses. I'd say at a week, you can start digging through, but until then, they might return. Likewise, you need to come up with some way to ensure that the residents can get back, if they do return - I know if some group was keeping me from my house (and thus most of my preps), hell would come for one of us (but it is important to have shown that you've started and are ready, most people will follow a good plan and an effective leader, so show that you are and you have a larger group that will rarely argue with you)

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  8. Peanut_galleryJuly 01, 2013

    I would continue with plan, although I wouldn't be in too much of a hurry to put out of the spike strips as the neighbors that left in such a rush might just be on their way back after realizing that the message was fake. You don't want to piss off the very people you will need to work with in the future.

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  9. The phone messages are a fake. On a cell phone there is no voice mail emergency messaging, it is via text messaging. On newer phones it is a dedicated in bound message service with the same audio alert as the tv and radio. Since no one has said this was heard on the radio, hoax is most likely.
    Time and distance are the best protection from chemical or biological weapons and the interstate is not a likely target, more likely cause a tanker or gas station explosion due to panic masses.
    Now is not the time for looting the neighbors homes. Some may be back sooner rather than later.
    First, secure the bug out vehicles with emergency supplies. Second, divide and conquer, Fiona and Amy recruit remaining neighbors if possible, guys finish the security / defense barriers, and get at least two of the fastest runners out as lookouts.
    Monitor as many radio stations as possible, unlikely ALL would be hacked / compromised.

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  10. Stay the course. The nuclear warning was false. Why else would the next report, in the same, lame method be true? The explosion could have been from anything - car wreck, propane tank leak, somebody stealing gas while they were still smoking (I've actually seen that bit of personal Darwinism in action in Saudi Arabia), etc. And a surface-level detonation is a very poor way to disperse any chem/bio agent.
    Get secure, get fighting positions set, and consider going to see Barry (they haven't done that yet). But stay OFF the highways: it will be pure chaos for hours, at a minimum.
    They really need to improve their tactical communications and task organization in the field. Way too lax, and they don't move out with clear positioning and contingency plans. They need to fix that ASAP. It doesn't have to be complex, but it needs to be there as a basic routine or they will get caught out with a wing-and-a-prayer plan like they did when going to Brooke's neighborhood.
    OBTW, how's Brooke's arm wound? What's on the radio? How are the rest of the kids doing?
    Great stuff. Keep it up.

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  11. Oh, and once the warnings are proven false, the looters will be out. The zombies know that the sheeple will have headed for the highways, so the neighborhoods will be easy pickings. Will our intrepid preppers be willing to protect their neighbor's property? It could be a big danger. It could prove to be the 'glue' that forms a neighborhood tribe once those who fled straggle back home. Personally, I'd post a few "Looters will be Shot" signs out at the entrance of the street as a general deterrent.

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  12. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Pre-positioning vehicles for theft????

    I don't like the idea of putting the vehicles over the fence and through the woods, fueled and supplied, with no guard. I understand the logic but I'd say it would be far better to sketch a route out of the neighborhood without doing that. Cut property fences and clear brush or yard structures to establish alternative lanes to pavement (this type of mental exercise is best done in advance of a crisis...). The cell phone messages are a very disturbing development I had not considered. I should have because we did exactly that to the Iraqi population during the Gulf Wars.

    Good work here. It makes US think...

    Colorado

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    1. Remember, they are pre-positioning the vehicles as a fall back in case the entrance to their neighborhood is compromised. There is no other road route out of the neighborhood.

      Property fences and brush aren't the concern - it's trees and thick South Eastern woodlands they would have to clear out, which would be a major undertaking.

      Delete
  13. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Got to agree with staging vehicles without a guard. I don't know how secure they'll be if you can't see them or they aren't guarded. The supplies in them are going to be needed at some point. I think I would have an alternate escape route cleared, if possible. Also, any chance the phone messages were designed to not only cause panic, but to reveal who was prepped and ready to stand their ground? Just a thought, maybe trying to separate the sheep dogs and sheeple to make it easier to establish control. Just a little "conspiracy theory" for ya.

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    1. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

      Good point , the phone calls could be a huge false flag event to get people out and stranded so they can be easily herded to the FEMA camps. Have we actually heard who was responsible for the first nukes??? Could be our own govt.

      Delete
  14. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Secure the neighborhood, by dark there will be lot's of people that are stranded with nothing , no food , water etc.

    Leave the neighbors houses alone for now, they are at the end of the dead end so IF anyone gets thru they will go to the first house and hopefully stop there when they find what they want.

    I agree with Hypax, the explosion was probably due to some car blowing up in an accident or some thing else going up in the chaos. If it was a chemical or bio agent and you don't have NBC protection you are probably gone anyway, seal up the house and get ready to hunker down.

    Stage the vehicles and only load gear you can afford to lose if it is found. If you have go bug out you may have time to take more gear from the house , should have cached more supplies at the BOL but deal with what you have if you bug out.

    Main emphasis is to get area secure and then be ready for the hoards. One thing to worry about is how to recognize the neighbors if they do make it back and there is a big group at the barricade at the end of the block , how do you get the neighbors back in without having to shoot a bunch of other people??

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  15. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Wind direction would be my first concern for a possible NBC detonation, which at this point seems the least likely. If the calls were perped by a terrorist cell wanting to mass people on the freeway's for a terrorist strike in conjunction with the nukes on NYC and DC well maybe. Or possibly a sleeper cell that is seizing the opportunity. Those are the only two scenarios I can see as remote possiblity. Short of cannaries if the wind is in the wrong direction, how will you know? More than likely too far to have any affect on your location. You could break out visqueen and seal up the basement and break out he gas masks.
    Unless you have bullet proof concealment (unintended oxymoron) I would not put my supplies in prestaged vehicles without security period. Furthermore, with the roads this congested I'm a little unsure as to what good it would do you. I'm afraid the "bug out" option is lost for a while. Which brings me to a third point. The Wandering Hoards.
    Spike strips are often manned, which would allow you to possibly ID a friendly before you pull the strip into the road.
    Spiking an unfriendly's vehicle will just make them well, more unfriendly. Then your only option is a show of force which if possible or unsuccessful will be followed by firepower. I would consider a physical barricade. Which spiked cars if not too shot up could be moved into position to create. If preplanning would permit, orange water filled barrier barrels with sand bag backup and road closed and detour signs would be the ultimate low key area denial tool. Just thinking. Love to play devils advocate, its easy, writing is not. Good job and keep it up.

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  16. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    Depending on the exact location of the city in regards to proximity to the coast, I am sure you would see some sort of vapor trail from any NBC delivery mechanism. I doubt the military would be so disorganized to allow a plane into US airspace they know is loaded with a deadly bomb, so if you don't see a vapor trail from a giant missile I would feel fairly confident there was no foreign NBC attack.

    As far as defending the neighborhood. I think you want two levels of security. You want a visible roadblock to deter casual threats like decent people with kids trying to find a place to stay for the night. The second level of security would be the spike strips designed to stop determined invaders which will damage their vehicles. You don't want people to find out they shouldn't come to your neighborhood by ruining their only means of transportation. You do want them to see that making a fuss about staying would be more trouble than its worth. Signs on the road would be good to direct people away from the neighborhood but give neighbors the warning they need to approach safely. For the coming night we also want to consider if our group has night vision capabilities. The benefits on guard duty would be huge. Also as far as guard duty I would recommend setting up someone on the roof, and basing the roadblocking on the vantage point afforded on the roof.

    Last thing, I am also not a huge fan of the idea of setting up fully loaded cars where the group can't readily defend them. If I was in a situation where I had a family to take care of after I ditched my car in a traffic jam and I came across what looked like an abandoned car, I might take advantage of the situation if it meant keeping my family safe.

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    1. The two layers of defense is the current plan - signs and blockades, followed up with the spike strips in case someone gets ambitious.

      Since the group is planning for the eventuality that the sole exit to the neighborhood is compromised/falls into enemy hands, what would you recommend as an alternative to hiding the vehicles?

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

      I would stash the vehicles as planned, but as someone mentioned above with supplies cashed in a hidden location along the route to the vehicles. I would also render them inoperable by removing plug wires, distributor cap, etc. These essential items are portable and easily replaced when personnel need to bug out.

      Also as stated above, someone should try to get 'line of sight' on the explosion. We all know that no intel is bad intel.

      Delete
  17. Day TripperJuly 01, 2013

    This story is awesome! I think that I would hide the vehicles and put the camo netting over them, but I would leave them empty except for extra gas and hide the remaining supplies somewhere in the woods on the way to the vehicles. That way if the cars are stolen, you aren't also out a decent bit of vital supplies too. Most likely they are going to be hauling their BOB's anyway and can decide then whether they have enough time to pick up the hidden supplies or not.



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  18. Peanut_galleryJuly 01, 2013

    Maybe an illusion on the vehicles, make them appear to be inoperable. Leave the hoods up and spread around some extra tools and parts making it appear that they currently don't run. Maybe even have one up on mechanic ramps with odd tools spread out underneath as if the vehicle is in the middle of a major overhaul. Keep them loaded but block sight into the vehicle. If they need to leave in a rush they just slam the hood shut and drive off the ramps.

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  19. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    My guess is the boom was an explosion from an accident on the interstate. I'd batten down the hatches at the homestead, there's going to be trouble out and about very soon now that most people have been shaken up and have gone tearing out of their homes in a hurry.

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  20. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    They had gas masks and hazmat equipment didn't they? It would probably be a good idea to put them to use, at least until they can confirm the identity of the explosion. It could also be a good idea to get the kids and anyone who didn't want to take the chance of a WMD into the basement.

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  21. AnonymousJuly 01, 2013

    I agree with peanut gallerys idea of illusion. I would keep going with the rest of the plan for defenses. Great story keep it coming, im ready for the next installment.

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  22. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

    I meant to ask about NVD. Do they have any? This will be critical for night time ID, fighting, and E and E. I'm just unclear as to how a vehicular bug out will be possible with the current road congestion. A driveable lane through the barrier for locals/friendlies backed up with spike strips for the unconvinced will have to be manned. A breakdown of assignments would be helpful. You have plate carriers but how about plates? Level III/IV plates or even just pistol resistant vests, If available those on barrier detail should be wearing them. I like the ideal of a supply/resupply cache near the vehicles. Even if vehicular bug out is not possible a cache nearby could be a rally point for those separated and unable to remain with the group. This is really cool. You are table topping whith a whole lot of brain power. "Seeking wise council" is smart. I don't know how "wise" we are but I for one am seeing angles I hadn't considered.

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  23. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

    Addressing the explosion, I would argue that it is probably an explosion from a crash on the interstate and is probably not any direct threat. It could be an indirect threat in that it could shut down traffic and cause an exodus of travelers off the interstate into our protagonists neighborhood. So the idea of passive (signs and warnings) and active (spike strips, guards) access control into the neighborhood is definitely a good idea.

    And perhaps my faith in humanity is too high, but I would like to think an average American stuck on the interstate won't devolve into a roving looter at the drop of a hat. Barring cities/situations with a lot of underlying tension (LA riots and post Katrina New Orleans)I think Americans can be amazingly civic minded. I am often surprised at how well New York City weathers everything from blackouts to winter storms to terrorist attacks with a minimum of social chaos. That being said, I am still of the "hope for the best, prepare for the worst" mentality.

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  24. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

    Excellent. I'm glued to my screen for sure, now...

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  25. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

    Quoting another anonymous poster: "I don't like the idea of putting the vehicles over the fence and through the woods, fueled and supplied, with no guard."

    I have to agree with this. It rubbed me wrong when I first read it but I was so caught up in the story, I didn't address it in a comment. I also agree that all bets are off and some alternate routes could be established. Cut stuff down or run it over if need be, but put those well-stocked, fueled up vehicles where they can be guarded. Great story. Keep em comin !!

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    1. You must not be familiar with eastern woodlands. You can't run over fully grown trees and using a chain saw is dangerous and they need to conserve there fuel. Getting a passable road is a lot harder than you think, especially when you have a half mile to go. With a tractor and a chainsaw, you might be able to do it in a couple days, but they don't have that time. Depending on what the vehicle hiding spot looks like, it would be easier to cut one big tree down and park the cars behind it with camo netting over them, then cutting a road through the woods. If there is a field between the road and the wood it would make it even easier to hide them with a tree. There wouldn't be as many people that could potentially get close and see the vehicles.

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  26. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

    Darn it. Why did you have to get me sucked in? I'm really enjoying the story so far, and I love the method you're using. It's like watching a game where the volume of the fans actually impacts the decisions of the coaches and players.
    It's hard to give input without being able to see a map of the house and surrounding forest myself, but you'd probably be OK with the prestaging if you figured out a way to disable the vehicles by removing an essential part from under hood that could be reinstalled easily and quickly. Furthermore, if I were prestaging and couldn't provide a guard, I'd insist on a regular inspection of the supplies multiple times a day. The challenge there would be to ensure you weren't observed. Again, I'd have to see what the terrain looked like to see if this course of action was feasible.

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  27. AnonymousJuly 03, 2013

    While they are at it, they need to figure out exactly how they will respond to people that will inevitably be coming in contact with them. Most likely folks will be hoofing it from stranded vehicles, and not well prepared for overland trekking. There will be desperate parents who will plead with the group for a place to rest securely, for water, for food, for medical aid. It will be time to assess whether the group can afford to sacrifice any supplies or space to strangers in need. Most likely not, as whatever surplus they might consider would go away quickly. Since they have no secure perimeter, contact is unavoidable. Also, there will be unsavory types wanting to exploit any charitable intentions as weakness. The group will have to consider that every contact could be a setup. They better get the contact strategy worked out and firmed up. They only have a few advantages that will evaporate quickly if they aren't smart about how they deal with these folks.

    Dang, where's that barbed wire and the backhoe!!!

    If Jack's group doesn't come up with some serious tactical gear in their supplies, they may have to consider bugging out and finding a bigger, better equipped group to join. Hopefully Jack and/or Kyle know others they can rendezvous with if things get out of hand at their current location. If a location is not defendable, abandoning it for a better setup, even if you have to give up a few amenities, is sensible. Just something to consider.

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    1. Speaking of bugging out, How far are they from the hunting property and how far is the hunting property from the nearest town/city or main travel route? What kind of bushcraft equipment do they have?

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    2. And, Do they have a creek or stream on the hunting property that is safe to drink from?

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  28. "Chaos -The Greek myth of creation, the dark, silent abyss from which all things came into existence."

    Randy's World...Party Time...

    Can the now empty neighbors garages be employed to hide the loaded trucks?
    We just acquired abandoned real estate and maybe supplies...The safe zone can get bigger....

    Distant bang could be bad guys herding sheeples to a more convenient killing zone......Not a bad idea for our own situation, a controlled BANG at the end of our road herds the scared and not so scared a different way....

    Observe, Orient, Decide, Act...The hijack of communications means the treat IS REAL!! There be Monsters out there Brother Wolf...

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  29. AnonymousJuly 04, 2013

    love the story, keep it up. going to go a little off topic and make and observation about the problem of what to do with the trucks. I always see prepper's investing 10's of thousands of dollars into large four wheel drive trucks, duce'n a half's and vehicles so large that in a mass panic situation those vehicles do nothing but get them trapped in an urban/suburban nightmare of grid lock. Just like in your story. may be a good time to change the mind of prepper's to a different means of bug out. A motorcycle with saddlebags for BOB, or an utility ATV with large bolt on compartments for BOB, gear and weapons storage. A small light vehicle would be able to slip in and out of traffic with ease, and if it gets a little too "hairy" a quick jump into the woods to lose the "raiders" is not out of the question. And those that still want the duce'n a half store it in a location that is along your bug out route away from the masses, along with a resupply cashe. it's all about getting out of dodge with the most equipment and as quickly as possible. Just my opinion not a critisim, but seems to me the group in the story would have one less thing to worry about if they had more versatile vehicles

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    1. If you have a little truck with off road tires and some lift, Driving in a ditch is not a big deal. You can also go further faster with a truck than a four-wheeler. Not a bad idea though. Motorcycle would be best if not for the lack of carrying space.

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