Quote Originally Posted by Brewin View Post
Nice. save it up and give us a big bit.
Ok will do...

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Most of the winter had been spent indoors and Mark has chose to act as "middle man" for the Kahn's group & the group in the Park. As close to what Mark could figure that left a few minor gangs in town and what was left of the police department which had fallen back to the station house & the national guard unit which was based in the armory. When the snow had let up a bit Mark & Clyde went to check out the armory. They had figured on not having a shoot out so they left their weapons at home, both men carried white bed sheets rolled up under their coats to observe the Armory from a concealed position. It had took them almost an hour to get their on the ATV; having to weave between abandoned cars as they did so. Both men walked the last 100 or so yards on foot to a hill just behind the Armory. They had to go slow and Clyde kept Mark from stepping on a Claymore mine set to a trip wire. Once they low crawled into place they just sat still and watched. After several hours of watching the armory and seeing nothing Clyde looked at Mark and yawned. Mark just smiled and without saying a word signalled Clyde to take a rest while Mark watched alone. Clyde slid back over the hill and once safely from possible view rolled over on his back, crossed his feet & put his hands behind his head. Clyde layed their listening to the sounds of birds, feeling warm sunshine on his face, and cool breeze and damp grass beneath. Clyde almost busted out laughing at the thought that a claymore mine was within less then 3 feet of him, yet here he was relaxing & enjoying this fine spring day.

Mark didn't see any movement and when he was tempted to say "enough was enough" and go knock on the door. Mark saw a young woman in ACUs walk outside with an M4 slung on her back & a radio pack in hand. The Young girl got on the Mic and said something but Mark couldn't make out the words. Another man walked out behind her and chugged a canteen, before placing it in the canteen pouch and walking over to the girl's position. The man was older, maybe mid to late thirties, somewhat on the puggy side and carried his M4 as if he was secure in not having to need his weapon. Finally, Mark slid down beside Clyde and placed his hand over Clyde's mouth so as to muffle any sound and shake Clyde awake. Clyde just slapped Mark's handaway as soon as it touched him & gave him a stern look; as if to say that Clyde was not new to this sort of thing. Mark gave Clyde the look out or security sign and Clyde crawled up to see what Mark was looking at. Clyde only saw the older man and shoot his head in disbelief; had to be National Guard thought Clyde.

On the way back, Mark grabbed the Claymore; the mine was set with a pull detonator which meant just snipping the wire could defuse the mine. Course it was hardened steel wire which meant without wire cutters the detonator could be set off. Fortunately Mark had his gerber multi-tool. Marks & Clyde found two more claymores on the way back to the ATV; they took them to. Then back to the ATV and before heading home, Mark & Clyde hit a few nearby toy stores. They had almost all of their stock, so Mark & Clyde got airsoft guns for the kid's to practice shooting & a few other oddities, chemistry sets, doctors toy sets, some of those toy NVGs (better then nothing if they worked) & a few batteries, plus the micro-telescope pins and the larger telescopes that would have been worht a few hundred dollars, Mark grabbed five; one to play with and four for 360 security and as many of those kid's spy alarm devises & motion sensitive croaking frogs for security. When Mark showed up with toy guys and telescopes the kids were all extremely happy, the poor little girl Clyde and his wife had taken looked sad until Clyde surprised her with a brand new doll.

As the kids were all happy to play with their toys and take turns trying to shoot at the paper targets from the airsoft boxes, Mark called a meeting and explained what they saw. Mark wasn't sure what the deal was with the Guardsmen in the Armory, so Mark was going to just observe somemore but said he managed to get some Claymore mines & saw David's eyes light up with the possibilities. Finally, Mark said all that need to be said and then went to bed. Laying their and staring at the ceiling Mark wasn't sure what to do. In the Balkans and even in the middle east, military units had devolved into basicly tribal warlords and Mark wasn't sure if the Guard Unit had done that or if they were just hunkering down after the city when crazy. Finally Mark drifted off to sleep and was woke up by his wife screaming as some drove something hard into his stomach and grabbed his armed and drug him frim his bed. Mark could see anything and ended up getting that same hard object driven into his face, as his nose cracked and broke & warm blood poured over Mark's face and neck andfilled his mouth with a coppery taste. As Mark was dragged into the well let living room he was thrown into a chair as man in ACUs sat across from him, the rank on his uniform was that of a captain & soldiers in ACUs, body armor & with NVGs were gathered in the hall telling everyone to be quiet while children cried at gun point.

"My name is Captain Howard Hue & I want to know why you were at my home and stole three of my 'lawn gnomes,' boy?" said the Captain in loud angry tone...
Mark just smiled even hurt he knew no one was going to kill him or hurt his family, this man obviously could have killed him already but didn't "Well Howie I thought they were free & well I have kids to protect, claymores are a huge advange against gangs out here."
The captain said nothing just stared straight at Mark for a long while and smiled "Well you two moved like soldiers so I'm going to make an ass out of myself and assume you are both former military. I'm also going to assume you're trying to see if my anger is posturing and intimidation or if you can mess with my head. That takes guts & brains but, less brains and more guts since I'm in the position of control here."
Mark smiled and started to say something but Captain Hues cut him off quickly "I'm not here for tea & crumpets, I'm here to give you a chance & beyond that I don't give a rat ass what happens to you so lets cut the 'hero/villain verbal chess match' BS. I have food, weapons & a secure facility. We also have equiptment which wasn't fried from the EMP. If you "re-enlist" we can help each other, your family and this country."
"What if I don't want to re-up & take orders?" asked Mark wieghing the options...
"I take my claymore's back & you fend for yourself..." said the Captain calmly, "but your family will get the same living conditions as my family & that goes for any other survivors you know. I'll leave you alone but since you invaded my home I thought it was only fair to invade your's, you can give me your answer tomorrow when you bring back my claymores. If your answer is yes we'll come and move your belongs to the armory."

With that the Captain stood up and left and told his men to folow suit. A medic came and shoved some cotton balls in Mark's nose while giving him two asprin to take for the pain. Mark sat up all night thinking about the offer and discussed it with everyone there. Mark liked the idea of having resources but he simply needed to know more, Clyde was in the same boat. David was simply undecided and said he'd go with Mark's choice. The next morning Mark & Clyde rode out on the ATV with the claymores and wanted to what the Captain was all about. As they rode up and soldier in ACUs took the claymore's out of Mark's hands and ran off down a hallway. The Captain handed Mark & Clyde both a cup of hot coffee, some expensive tasting coffee by what they could tell. In the large open stadium of the armory which had also doubled as a community center, Mark obseved several tents forming what looked like a shanty town.

"We have a cafateria, showers & a squad bay for the men. Families are staged in the tent city until we can work some kind of more habital structures." expalined the Captain. "We have running water, some power & a years supply of MREs come spring we plan to use the park as a community farm. Beyond that all soldiers keep their weapons in their living area & we use the conference room as a school except on the weekends which is movie night."

Mark said nothing about the Park and noticed the makeshift cat walk by the high windows which let sun light in. Mark also noticed the "CLU" which expalined how they spotted him and Clyde, they spotted their body heat!

"What do you do for power?" asked Clyde
"Solar mostly, we borrowed the panels from some of the green buildings during the winter but we have the field gennies if need be for back up" explained Capt. Hue.
"Do you know what happened?" asked Mark, who was simply taking things in at the moment.
"Well as far as I know and according to the last thing I heard, 4 nukes were set off with the 5th one being stopped in New York; but the first was in LA, then Houstin, Miami & Charlotte North Carolina. Everything was inferstructure except North Carolina we think Fort Brag wa the target." explained the Captain. "More so, I have no clue who did what and no one has taken credit. The most damage was caused by the EMP, New York was a delivery Truck, same with North Carolina, Miami was a plane & I have no clue for Houstin. My concern is stablizing this city and getting it on its feet again, between my reports allot of people died in the chaos from gangland power grabs, mob panic, the lack of resources and the cold. There was a lot violence directed at the cops, so they fell abck and held their presenct. When my guys managed to get indie their was about sixteen of them left. Cut off from everyone and everything, plus believing the city was trying to kill them they were too scared to venture outside. They ended up resorting to canabialism. Most wouldn't kill & eat their own and so instead commited suicide. So far various generals are running the show in their areas & right now its a logistical nightmare."

"Well," began Mark hesitantly "I know of two other groups of surviviors one group hiding out in the utility tunnels under the park and another headed by a former gang member in a warehouse."

"Thats all fine with me," said the Captain calmly "I'd like you to talk to them for me; even if you don't sign on here with me, to get some sort of dialog between us and them. Hopefully we can help each other and start rebuilding. As it stands right now I want to put this jig saw puzzle back togather & see if we can see an America in the big picture. So what do say, you want to re-up with me or what?"

Mark smiled and said "Yes, Sir..." then soluted. Captain Hue soluted him back and offer his hand in friendship...