Ethan came over the radio yesterday afternoon, calm as a cucumber, with gunfire in the background. Those of us with radios reacted immediately to his short, simple message.
“Taking heavy fire at MGR. One casualty, critical. Requesting immediate QRF support.”
I haven’t heard a message like that in a long time. I mean years. I’d forgotten how badly it chilled you to the bone. I also forgot just how fast it got your heart pumping.
Kevin came over the radio in response just a few seconds later, “copy that. QRF gathering and enroute.”
It took us just five minutes for our pre-agreed upon QRF force to gear up, saddle up, and get the fuck out of the gate. As we piled into the two humvees and the HRt there was a mixture of fear and adrenaline coursing through us. We knew we were driving into danger, but we also wanted to be there for our friends, and nothing, nothing at all would get in the way of us getting to the people we cared about.
Caleb drove the HRT with me in the shotgun seat. In the humvees we had Kevin, Quan, Kate, Roger, Nick, and Joel. Pretty much the majority of our heaviest hitters. We left a good number of our second tier shooters behind for security in the event the school was attacked. Abby, Mike, Harold, Angela and Patty for example.
“Out of the gate. ETA ten minutes,” Kevin said as we pulled away, gunning it up Auburn Lake Road.
Ethan responded a few seconds later, “Better hurry. We’re going to have a KIA here shortly.”
Never something you want to hear. KIA. Killed in Action. A dead body. A dead friend. My resolution broken already, just 12 days into a 365 day long year.
“Roger that,” Kevin said.
The roads were clear right up to the area where the police station was. In the road there we swerved and ran over a couple of dead that were walking towards the sound of the gunfire at MGR. Right about as the rear tires of the HRT were bumping over the smashed corpses Kevin asked Ethan to switch to the more secure military comms and give us an update. Ethan’s intel came into our ears, crisp and clear.
“We’re taking fire from the north and west. You’ll be coming in from the south west if you take the normal route, so be careful. As best as I can tell, we’ve got three or four shooters in both locations. They’re got high powered rifles, and are firing accurately. I’m more or less suppressed at the moment. Right now I believe they are maneuvering on us, trying to get to the base of the building. If they get to the gate, we’re bent.”
“Roger that. We’ll adjust course to approach from the west attacker’s rear. Maybe we can flush them out. Who is the wounded and what is the severity of the injury?” Kevin asked him.
“Mallory took a round to the left arm just above the elbow. Lower arm is trashed. I’ve got a tourniquet on her and the bleeding pretty much under control. She’s in a lot of pain, and lost a lot of blood. She’s gonna need fluids stat.”
As much as I may or may not be angry with her for leaving me, or wanting to be happy without me in her life, I did not wish ill upon her. I always deep inside understood what she wanted. She didn’t deserve to get shot like that. No one deserves to lose an arm.
The PJs exchanged some fancy medical jargon that I won’t even try and regurgitate. I didn’t understand it then, and I certainly won’t do it any justice. Over the comms we discussed driving hard into the back of the western shooter’s positions, and engaging them with overwhelming fire superiority. Shock and motherfucking awe.
We saw them and they saw us pretty much at the exact same time. Two shooters were crouched down behind a car parked on the side of the street. They weren’t firing when we turned onto the street, but as soon as they saw our vehicles rumbling down the road at them, both shooters spun, and leveled off to shoot at the windshield of the HRT. Caleb ducked like a mongoose and not one moment too soon. The windshield spider webbed right where his face was and a massive round punched through the glass. I hate a loud “PUNK!” noise as it passed out the back of the HRT. Must’ve been a heavy duty round.
I had my window down already and as soon as the round hit I leaned the weapon out the window and thumbed it to full auto. I pulled the trigger and fired as a tight a grouping as I could into the space where the men stood, sending plumes of dust and snow into the air as rounds skipped off the pavement. The two men dove over the car as we slowed down and Caleb sat up, they ran with all their might and around a corner. We pursued, stopping the vehicle at the small intersection near MGR. We got out and pulled security, having watched the two shooters run as fast as they could away.
Our main concern at the moment was Mallory. Chasing down the attackers was secondary seeing as how they’d ran so fast. Ethan came over the radio as we started to form a perimeter saying the north side attackers had retreated as soon as I started to fire on full auto. I guess there’s a instinctual thing when you hear the tearing noise of 500+ rounds per minute coming out of a gun that isn’t on your side of a fight.
Once the other guys were sure we were safe for the moment, we got our PJs upstairs to Mallory, and they stabilized her. I remained outside on the north corner of the tower for security. I was useless to them inside. I’m better at hurting people than fixing them, sadly.
We remained at MGR as a force for an hour while they got Mallory patched up enough to travel. It was clear after talking in depth with Ethan and the folks at MGR that the attackers had some skill. The attacked on two fronts, used accurate suppressing fire to free up movement elements, and had a clear and concise plan to attack the tower to get inside. I won’t go so far as to say they were professionals, but they clearly had a very good idea of how to do what they wanted to do. Not a good sign at least. This is where I talk about regret in doing things hasty.
We had to get Mallory back to campus pretty fast, and we also had to beef up the numbers at MGR, so Kate and Nick, our flight crew folks elected to stay there. We also left them with their M4s, as well as a SAW and a thousand rounds or so for it. If they need to suppress attackers, that gun will buy them time. We were very lucky we left yesterday with just a single wounded person. Granted, Mallory is now down her left arm forever, but I’ll chalk that up as us being a little lucky. Had that bullet hit her about eight inches to the right, it would’ve ripped her chest apart, and she’d be dead.
She’s stable right now in the clinic. I spent some time with her, but they’ve got her sedated pretty good. I can’t imagine the pain she went through. Poor woman has already been through so much, and now she’s without an arm. Life’s a bitch right?
Kate and Nick are still at MGR until we come up with a more stable, solid plan to staff the location. We are now working on having two people on watch 24 hours a day. It isn’t enough to just have the cameras. Speaking of which, we saw just a little of the attackers. They stayed pretty far out, and the cameras aren’t the best anyway, so we saw very little of use. In good news, I don’t think they knew the cameras were there, and we saw them exit to the north towards the area where we saw the most of the fires the other day, which may or may not mean that’s where they are. We’re also debating mounting a recon in force to those areas to see if there’s a hornet’s nest to kick.
We’ll see. Security first.
What a rush though. Felt good to be a part of the team that kicked some ass, despite not actually shooting anyone. I guess that’s the fight we want to win right? No one died, and we all walked away, as did they.
Martin finished his plan to upgrade the doors yesterday as well, which was sheer coincidence. We’re making a plan to upgrade the doors immediately. I think the plan was for tomorrow, but I’m not entirely positive. Kevin and Mike were working on it.
What I can certainly say is that with the clear need to upgrade the staff levels at MGR we need another generator for there, as well as increased food on hand, and food production. We also need a better sewage system than just bagging it and dumping it back here. We can throw it out the windows, but that isn’t sanitary in the least…
Of course an apartment building in a town with no electricity or running water doesn’t have a lot of options. We’ll see. I’ll leave that plan to someone far smarter than I.
We’re moving a few of the hydroponics stations to MGR. We’ve got a few that are already well growing that can spruce up their fresh food on hand, and we can also relocate about ten chickens there as well. I think they can build a coop on the roof to make it work. Feed for the chickens might be difficult, but fresh eggs will be good. Water will be a concern there too, with added mouths, but… We’ll figure that out too. We’re also probably going to have to abandon the construction on the waterfront tower due to a sheer lack of manpower. As important as it is to build the towers, dealing with actual threats as they come to light is more important than a guard tower overlooking a lake.
Fucking logistics of this shit kills me. There’s just no easy solution to anything.
Jenna came to me right after dinner and pulled me aside. I was talking to Michelle about how Syl was doing at the time, and for a moment, I thought Jenna was doing some kind of jealousy power play (which might be the case, as I’ve clearly shown, I’m a fucking giant dildo when it comes to women).
Jenna raised the concern that we’re going through our canned goods at a pretty good clip, and the chickens aren’t laying as many eggs the past few weeks as they have been, so we’re actually not looking good on the food stores. She said she wanted to show me more of the deal, and I said I’d see her tomorrow, depending on how the day went, and whether or not we went to MGR to supply them, and start the work on the door upgrades.
I’m very tired, but we’re all sitting here waiting for the radio to fire up again. I am sincerely hoping that the idiots that attacked us the other day don’t attack again, but if they do, we’ll be ready for them.
I just hope they aren’t ready for us.