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Entry #5 - Trouble in paradise
Next morning we awoke to the sound of sirens and the rush of army boots outside our quarters. As I opened the door a rushing soldier told me to stay put. “Raiders have been spotted to the north east of the base and they seem to be coming this way. For your own safety, please stay in your room.” He shouted as he rushed to his post.
Over the course of the next half hour we heard the muffled sounds of the bases PA system, telling the attackers to stop and turn back, then the shooting started. At first some random pops from small arms fire, both far away and close up. Then the heavier guns on the towers around the base opened fire. The roar of several heavy machineguns filled the air. And then it all stopped, the sound of the sirens died out. “Perimeter secure!”.
A few moments there was a knock on the door. Two soldiers were there to take us to Jackson. As we entered his office, we were greeted by a grim face. “Good morning gentlemen,” Jackson started, “I just got some bad news, both for you and for me.”
“Did.... you lose anyone during the attack this morning?” Phillip asked. “Two wounded, one severe... the doc’s not sure if he’ll make it.” Jackson replied. “The other one will be fine once the bullet hole closes.” Jackson sighed: “Now the other bad news, according to the quartermaster the casing you found originated from this base. The problem we both now face is that it wasn’t fired by one of my men.”
“Did the raiders ever get their hands on one of your ammunition stockpiles?” Phillip asked. “No,” Jackson replied. “Something far more severe happened. Just after the outbreak started, around the time that central command went dark, a group of my men went AWOL. They took a bunch of guns and ammunition with them and fled into the night.” Jackson looked embarrassed: “They are now known as the ‘raiding officers’, after their base of operations, an old police station not far from here. They still wear their military uniforms, so that the people they raid think that they can thrust them.”
“You seem to have a lot of firepower here at the base, why haven’t you dealt with this group of deserters?” I asked. “Because we don’t have the manpower to mount a proper offensive against them,” Jackson replied, obviously irritated. “Most of the heavy guns in the base are fixed and we have to defend a lot of people here that have nowhere else to go to. I can’t put the safety of the base in jeopardy.”
“Maybe we can help you with that,” Phillip said, “we have couple dozen of armed men protecting the town. If you could support us with small number of soldiers, we might be able to supply a descent amount of people.” I looked a Phillip: “Are you sure our guys can do something like that, most of them learned to shoot at bottles or tin cans.” “I’m not talking about the civilian force, although some might volunteer to get some payback. But the guys who were in the national guard, they are ex military. And some of our militia are excellent marksmen, as they were used to hunting in the woods.”
Jackson’s face brightened a little, after a short pause he said: “We do have an armoured transport in the garage. It’s been there for years, used as a training vehicle for disembarking exercises. But with a little work, it should still run. It has a gun and everything.” “If you can get me a descent amount of people, I will be able to spare a squad of my men. Together, with the APC, there should be enough firepower to take those guys out for good!”
“Although it scares me, I must agree with you and Phillip” I replied, “these guys must be dealt with. Or we’ll both risk losing our settlements. We will confront the townsfolk with this plan, not everyone will like it... but it has to be done. We’ll be in touch, Commander.” He nodded and told the soldiers to give us a radio to contact the base once we reached a decision. This could be hard to sell to the people of New Hope, but if we can pull this off... that base may prove to be a very valuable ally in the years to come.
Entry #6 - Time to strike!