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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest Post: Firestorm Chapter 1, by Christopher Young

Firestorm Chapter 1
June 23, 2007
by Christopher Young
(and  co-written by many others)



"And in closing, we wish to ask all loyal American Civilians
to
remain calm. Stay at home, if possible. Do not go outdoors
for
any reason, and keep your doors and windows locked. Call 911
if you
see the start of troubles. We will update you with further
news. For
now, this is Martin Williams, the assistant
Secretary of the Interior. Speaking on behalf of the
President."

Chris turned away from the television, and his eyes settled,
gently,
on Dora, the waitress at the Lazy K diner. Dora was standing
right
behind the counter, holding a plate of pancakes that had
long since
gotten cold. Chris called, very quietly. "Dora! Pancakes
over here!".
Moving in very slow motion, Dora walked out from behind the
counter,
and carried Chris's pancakes over.

"So, they got the Prez", Dora said to no one in particular.
The news
report said that after the two weeks of rioting and looting,
the Muslims
were still on the loose. After beheadings in many major US
cities (with
the films on the Internet on many free sites) finally the
White House had
been the site of a terrorist attack. From what the news was
saying, a low
level nuclear "dirty bomb" had been used. Due to the
radiation level, they
were evacuating a 20 mile radius from the White House. The
President,
Vice President, and most of the cabinet were unaccounted.
Congress was in
session, but the Capitol building was relatively undamaged
by the blast.
Though, the capitol building was highly radioactive.

Chris's cell phone rang, and without much conscious thought
he answered
"Yeah?". The familiar Florida accent on the speaker was both
calming, and
unnerving. "Looking pretty bad, you think, buddy? Might want
to head for the
hills for a couple days, eh? ". "So right", Chris replied.
"See you soon, my
friend." Bill's next sentence was familiar, and reassuring.
"Bet you wish
you were driving a Dodge while getting out of Dodge?" Bill
had worked for
Chrysler, and liked to remind Chris that Ram Tough trucks
were the finest
made.  Chris smiled, pushed the end button, and
absentmindedly slipped the
cell phone back in its belt holder. At this moment, Bill's
retreat home was
looking rather good. The underground residence, with solar
power, and
independent living supply was really better than being in
the cities or
towns.

Pausing to watch the television over the counter for a few
minutes, Chris
learned that essentially all the US cities were under state
of emergency
now,
account of the Muslim riots. The National Guard had been
called out, but
there
was not enough jail space to house all the rioting crowds.
The Fed had been
ordering local mobs to disband and disperse, when possible.
Rather than
arrest
or interfere with the rioting Muslims. Out of sensitivity
for their
religious
freedom of expression.

"That's stupid" Chris thought to himself. "Catch and
release, just like the
border. Wow, talk about guaranteeing more riots!".

So many cities had been severely burned. The fire
departments were running
out
of water for their hoses. People had taken to filling bath
tubs and buckets,
the
water systems were nearly zero water pressure. The fire
departments had
taken to
using rigid steamer hoses, and sucking the water out of the
mains. Of
course,
people opened their faucets, and the faucets sucked air.

There was talk on the news about bringing in United Nations
peace keepers.
The November elections had been postponed for an indefinite
time.

Chris put a twenty dollar bill on counter next to his plate,
and said good
bye
to Dora. Headed out to the door of the diner. As he was
walking out, a
couple
dark skinned men were coming in. "Hope my car is still
there...." Chris
thought.

The truck was fine, and started right up. The fuel injected
4.3 engine had
just been tuned up. New plugs, wires, and a few
modifications which weren't
factory authorized.  Chris pulled out onto the road, there
was nearly no
traffic. Lost in thought, he headed the familiar road home.
A quick check of
the gauges revealed that the truck was fine. The outdoor
temperature was 54F,
which is about right for middle of October. The clock on the
radio read
12:25 in the afternoon. The gas gage was on 3/4, but Chris
stopped at the
gas station. There was a line of cars out to the street, and
so Chris sat
and listened to the news radio while he waited for gas. Only
took four
gallons. Might be the last four galons for a while?
Mentally, Chris reviewed
the fuel storage he had at  home. Wondering how long the
barrel of gasoline
in the shed would last, and if the shed was on fire.

The drive home gave Chris plenty of time to think. Chris
mentally reviewed
the equipment and supplies he had. Would it be enough? Only
actual trying
out would prove the point.

Turning into his trailer park, Chris noticed at least three
or four trailers
burned to the floor level, and one or two which were still
on fire. A couple
of
cars had been burned, also. No signs of police or fire
department. Lots of
people standing around and watching the fire.

Backing into the driveway, Chris waved hi to Ernie, who
lived next door.
Ernie was sitting on the side porch, smells of dinner were
coming out of his
gas
grill, and Chris noticed a shotgun leaning into the corner
of the deck
railing.
"How's it going here, Ernie?"

Ernie replied that the Muslims had tried some of their shit
in the park.
They just kept driving when they saw that seven or eight of
the people who
lived
on this street had been standing outside with guns in their
hands. Just at
that
time, a clanging noise could be heard in the distance, in
the direction of
the
entrance to the trailer park. Ernie got up and moved his
shotgun to just
inside
the front door.

"Early warning -- the National Guard has been confiscating
guns. Ted at the
corner goes out and pretends to work on the car when the,
uh, hang on."
Ernie
stopped talking, about the time a green camo painted truck
came down the
street,
with a dozen men on the back with M-16 rifles. They drove
slowly down the
street, just looking up and down. Ernie silently went back
to turning the
meat
on his grill.

"We figured out the Fed wasn't going to do anything about
them damn camel
humpers. So, we been doing it ourselves. You know the pit in
the back corner
of
the park, where they dump all the leaves and branches from
storm cleanup? We
been dumping more than that. They burned a couple trailers
here, and got
their
asses dumped in with the sticks. Amazing what double ought
does to a towel
head.  Want a hot dog?"

Lost in thought, Chris shook his head no, and said the usual
greetings and
polite comments about the weather. He turned the key and
went in to his
trailer.
Wondering if his trailer was still standing cause Ernie was
out front with a
shotgun. After all, a couple other trailers in the park were
a smoldering
pile
of ashes, now.

Hmm. thinking. What to do? Is it going to be safer here, or
at Bill's, and
how
about the roads and chances of getting there? Chris went in
and turned on
the
computer. There were the usual emails from the lists. Chris
clicked on the
internet browser icon, and glanced at Google News. The
Google News said that
essentially all the US cities were burning. That a travel
ban was in effect,
no
one was allowed out except for government employees, and
"essential
services"
such as nurses and doctors. They were showing pictures of
the empty roads.

Chris got up and locked the door. Might not be the right
time for a bug out
across the country. Well, unless I can come up with some
government ID. Or a
plausible reason for travel. That's gonna take some thought.
Chris pulled
out
his cell phone, and called Bill. His advice was much the
same as before. Get
down  here if you can.

Another call, this time to Sam the long haul driver. Chris
and Sam had met
on the computer, and had developed a friendship based on
similar interests.

 Sam sat in the driver's seat, watching as traffic inched
forward. This was
just the latest in a long string of traffic jams. It seemed
as though
everyone in every medium and large town was trying to go
somewhere else. It
wasn't just rush hour either. It was every hour of the day.
For the last few
days, the roads had been clogged. The riots, initially by
Muslims, had
triggered
riots by blacks, hispanics, cubans, and anyone who wanted to
make a
statement or just vent. It scared a lot of people so bad
they were running
away, not sure if their destination was any better if they
even had a
destination in mind. Food and fuel were rapidly becoming
scarce. He looked
at his fuel gauge. The big rig had three quarters of a tank;
more than
enough to get home.
 This would be his last load until the madness was over. He
needed to be
home with his wife. She had never believed how quickly some
people turned
their dark side loose. To her this was a bump in the road of
life. Only a
minor bump. Yeah.....right.

 Traffic started moving again. Two miles per hour and two
hundred miles to
go. His clutch leg would have charlie horses before he got
out of here. He
took the notebook off the dash and started writing.
Vitamins, minerals, bike
tubes and tires, repair kits for tires and chains. The lists
never seemed to
get any smaller. He'd stop at a Walmart when he got closer
to home for these
and other items on his list. The mom-and-pop hardwares were
already emptied
out or closed down. Guns and ammo had been pulled from
shelves early on.
Camping gear was almost completely gone. He put fishing
tackle on the list.
 Rumors were flying hot and heavy on the cb. IF he made it
home. The rumors
had Fema confiscating trucks.

Chris figured that if anything was going to go wrong, it
would happen
between
midnight and 3 AM, as with many mobs and loots. It was only
about 1 PM, and
midnight was a bit of a ways away. Chris decided to change
his sleep pattern
a
bit, and so went back to the bedroom. Set the alarm clock
for 8 PM,  and lay
down for a nap.

The alarm clock went off at a few minutes after 8 PM. Chris
swung his feet
off
the bed, and started to put on his socks and shoes. The sun
had gone down,
and
the windows were dark. The night light was still on, so the
electricity was
still on. Chris thought about it for a few minutes, and then
unfastened his
belt. Slipped the one side of his belt off, and slipped it
back through the
inside the waist band holster he got out of the dresser
drawer. Opened the
closet, and switched on the battery light that was on the
wall next to the
gun
safe. A couple of digits on the safe, and the door opened. A
Glock compact 9
MM
pistol was comfortably in his hand, and then into the
holster.

Two states away, Sam was about half awake in his truck.
Hours of stop and go
was wearing on him, and all the other drivers.

Reaching the top of a hill, Sam saw several police cars with
flashing lights
ahead. All the trucks were being diverted into a big parking
lot of a
factory, near the highway. The passenger cars and sport utes
and vans were
going ahead. Slightly faster, because of less traffic. It
didn't look good.

As he pulled into line, he saw a large group  of drivers
standing together.
He shut off the truck, got out and walked over  to them. A
man in uniform
was reading from a list."You may take one set of clothes,
any  personal
medications, one book or magazine. Leave the keys in the
ignition.  Bill of
lading on the seat. A piece of paper with your name and
address, company
name, and truck number on it and attach said paper to the
bills. Shuttle
will be by every hour to take us to a Fema shelter at the
local school gymn
in the next town." Sam walked back to his truck shaking his
head in
disbelief. Once in the truck, he got out his atlas. Just
under a hundred
miles to home. No big towns to go around and there was a
decent sized river
going his way too. He got the topo maps from his alice pack.
They showed
lots of woods between here and home.He made up his mind.OK.
Screw Fema. He'd
walk home.

 Going through his pack, he added extra socks and
underwear. He dumped in
his remaining food stash, filled the canteens from his water
bottles, and
put his diabetes meds in an outside pocket. He always
carried an extra pair
of shoes. These went in on top of everything else.  Lastly
he opened the
e-kit bag. Everything here was in belt pouches.He removed
his regular belt
and put on a heavy one with all the pouches. He also put on
a Bianchi
shoulder holster. From a locked case he took out a
Beretta model 92. He put a clip in and racked the slide.
Making sure the
safety was on, he put it in the holster. Looking at his
watch, he saw the
shuttle arrive ten minutes late. Consternation and
apprehension was visible
on the faces of many drivers as they climbed on the bus.
Sitting back in the
shadows in the bunk, he waited until the bus topped a hill
heading east.
Putting the topos back in the pack, he took a last look
around. He took down
all the pictures of his wife, kids, and grandkids and
put them in his pocket. He put the cell phone and charger in
an outside
pocket of the pack. You never knew when service might come
back.Getting out
of the truck, he pulled the pack out and put it on. He
locked the door and
pocketed the key. Screw Fema. He turned north and started
walking. Hang on
Momma. I'm coming home.


On the eastern end of NY, Faith was on the phone with her
parents. Her two
daugthers were starting to get sleepy in front of the
television. They were
only 4 and 6. Her Dad was saying that the violence was
getting worse, and
could she possibly get out of the small city where she was?
After all, she
didn't have any men in the home. Faith figured that was a
good idea, and
started to pack a couple suitcases and boxes to put in the
back of the mini
van. "What you doing, Mommy" Savannah asked. She was six,
and starting to
understand some things about the world. "We're going to
visit Gomer for a
couple days" she replied. The girls looked at each other and
giggled. That
was good news. Gomer's place had lots of kids, and plenty
things to do.