Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 23

August 20, 2012
The Captain and I, along with a few soldiers and notables from the Big 12, traveled to Larry's area. We have spent the last 3 days and 2 nights observing the Guard Company's protocol. As the defensive and patrol aspects of the Company is comparable to ours, it definitely lacks the friendship we've gained with ours. The two Captains had a private 2 hour meeting the first day and when they emerged from the house, the Captain of Larry's crew looked perplexed. I was not privy to the meeting nor was anyone from Larry's crew. So we were unsure of what to expect for the remainder of our visit.

The next morning the Captain approaches and informs we are to attend the morning target practice. Larry was shocked as this was a first! I was stoked hoping all went well and they'd be well supplied as we were...dreaming a bit but hoping for a chance. As we approached the range, we came across a PVT arranging guns on the table. He tells us we need to learn proper maintenance of the M-16 before practice with live rounds. As my Captain watched over the whole training scenario, he had this sheepish grin about him. I let the Pvt continue his instructions as I disassembled my firearm. As he was talking I was performing the tasks and reassembled the M-16 as he finished. As I was about to step away, a Staff Sargent came up behind me and barked..."Seems we have a smart ass in our midst. Bet he can't disassemble and reassemble blindfolded!" He definitely wasn't accepting of the whole civilian militia concept. My Captain spoke out..."I'll take that bet!" Ummm...I'd never done it blindfolded before. I sure hope I didn't let the Captain down. I was blindfolded, handed a M-16 and told to start. I fumbled at first but I got my bearing and wits about me and relaxed. I disassembled and reassembled the M-16 in working order. The bet...medical supplies for Larry's crew!

Next to the target range and we all zipped off 2 clips of live ammo at targets 200 yards downrange. The Captain was impressed with my marksmanship but he definitely had laced his words with sarcasm. I did not think much of it as I was on a diplomatic mission and no need to upset the balance this early. We all cleaned our firearms and headed in for lunch. The Captain and crew joined us for lunch and the others went to the mess tent. The Captain was still grinning and he chuckled when I asked why. He claimed that the other Captains arrogance and disdain for civilian militia was his Achilles heel. He was purposely setting him up. I was his Ace.

After lunch, we trained on basic maneuvers and had a mini-raid simulated. No firearms just basic maneuvers and how to counter act them. Nothing fancy as it was extremely hot this August day. As we broke from the mini-raid, I noticed one of the men from the Company carrying a sniper rifle. I asked if this was a M24 and he nodded slightly, looking me over from head to toe. I told him I was a big fan of the Remington 700 series and he scoffed that military weapons were far superior to mine. Now those that aren't familiar with the M24, its the military version of the Remington 700 series in .308 caliber but uses a 7.62x51 NATO round. A friendly debate started over the two comparable rifles and their qualifications. A few soldiers from each crew chimed in and the game was on. Before long, the two Captains were involved and a challenge was laid out. Starting at 300m, 3 shot groups would be charted and accessed between the sniper and myself. Each grouping must be within 1" location of your opponent and within 1/4" overall size in diameter. This would be done to 800m or until a winner was decided. If after 800m a winner was not declared, a shoot-off at 800m with 1 shot within 1/2" of location. Location is determined by the distance from the bulls-eye in any direction. Each contestant would be allowed a spotter, thank goodness!

The gauntlet had been thrown! The prize?? If I win, the opposing Captain must meet the same protocol as my Captain with Larry's crew. If I lose, the opposing Captain has no obligation to assist Larry's crew. Unbeknown to me, both Captains had already had an argument that day while we were training. Since the Army had no established protocol for such a scenario, there wasn't much my Captain could do besides persuade them to provide the same.

That night at exactly 1900 hours we gathered at the range for the sniper match. I had spent the last 2 hours talking with my spotter, Jim, who seemed patient enough to help this civy out. I was confident to 600m but after that things were a bit fuzzy. I'd never shot over 600m and had no idea what to expect. Jim calmed me with his charm and jokes. He said it was a goodnight for shooting as little winds and low light were perfect. And if all else failed, I'd be able to hold my head high.

I was a bit sore from the cast having been removed. How would the 308 and extra padding effect my shooting? Would I re-break my shoulder? I didn't care, the purpose was worth the risk. We shook hands and commenced to the range line. We flipped a coin and I was given first chance to shoot. 3 rounds in the bulls-eye at 300m. Easy as pie...yumm pie. The sniper did the same and was a bit faster in his shots. Accuracy I told myself..thats what its about today. We moved out to 400m and again, the same thing although I was drifting a bit left. Jim said the wind had picked up a bit and next round I needed to compensate for this. I forgot at dusk the warmer air rushes out as the cooler air falls. 500m and I was all around the bulls-eye but well within the limits of the rules. The sniper was a closer grouping but he had drifted high this time and was very close to missing the 1" criteria. 600m and I struggled with all 3 shots. My shoulder was sore and a bruise was developing. I left a grouping low and left of the center. I was 2 inches from center and was praying he was outside an inch from center or I was finished. 700m and my stomach was grumbling, sweating and shaking from the heat and lack of food. I didn't eat while talking to Jim as I obtained all the information possible. Jim told me 2 clicks right and 1 click up from our last setting. I sent one downrange and he said perfect, keep the same and you'll be fine. I chambered another one and sent the second one downrange and then the third. I jumped up from my position and ran off to the field. I dry heaved what was left of lunch. I couldn't watch the sniper shoot. I didn't want to know my grouping. At this point I wanted it over...over with and done. I heard the first shot...second...and the last. I stood frozen anticipating the outcome.

As the crowd started to applaud, gunfire erupted from the south and a flare went into the dusk sky. The air was whistling with bullets and the thump thump of mortar fire. Two mortars hit the firing range and screams of agony rang through the calm night.

I was helpless, I left my weapon at the firing range. I fell to the field and lay motionless. I heard footsteps approaching but not from which direction. My mind was blank...I needed to gain my wits about me or I was good as dead. The footsteps came closer and closer with what seemed about 5-8 people. Maybe..possibly..no idea how many. I was afraid to look. And at the last second a set of hands reached down and dragged me into the woods pinning my hands and covering my mouth.

Cataclysm - Post 22

August 15 2012
Larry and friends stayed a few days. After we finished bragging of my adventures, we set out to build a smokehouse. We built a smokehouse of cinder block, then constructed a separate underground (or lower) fire pit. The finished smokehouse is quite versatile and will enable us to smoke hams and bacon as well as drying meats. This requires far less wood than outdoor drying racks, and thus take less of our time and energy to use. It can be operated 24 hours a day (No carrying in the racks at night!) and thus can dry meat in about 1/3 rd the time required for outdoor drying.

Cell phone use has been null and void for many months now. We've all decided not to even try them anymore as its heartbreaking and pointless. We have one radio station and TV station which are state run. Of course we're not relying on a state run station for our information. But when electricity is available, its a nice break to watch some TV or sit around a fire and listen to music. There is no Internet and even if there was access, we are hesitant to use it for fear of our location being detected.

We are slowly preparing for a winter onslaught of scavengers. Reports of small groups of people roaming the countryside and attempting to scavenge anything not nailed down or protected by arms. The Captain states that if this kind of activity continues, anyone caught inside a community and not a resident there will be shot. We have devised a plan to maintain our safety and allow the Guard to visually verify each of us. Each member of the Big 12 will have a yellow strip sewn on the top right shoulder of their garments. In th event they have no strip, they will perform a series of moves when asked to halt and turn around. None of these moves are life threatening to the soldiers. For example, if one is asked to halt and turn around they will stop with left foot forward and right foot back. Turning around will always be to the left and facing the Guard will always have the head tilted to the right and back. And if that is convincing enough, there is a serious of questions with predetermined answers. Always thinking ahead...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 21

August 10 2012
Our trip to the mill was uneventful. We took our time to clear a path large enough for a horse and wagon. Also made some pullovers in case wagons met with little room to pass. The reconstruction of the mill went as planned. Captain agreed to have his company redirect the creek and within a day we had water. We located a few trees capable of running the water flume. We damned up the water as we built and placed the flume. Also, the water was allowed to flow without the water wheel in place. The flume had a water gate to stop the wheel when not in use. A paddle gate would be deployed to divert the stream into the flume when operational. We also located trees to reconstruct those pieces deemed unreliable. The water wheel was completely rebuilt with the old one used as a template, what was left of it. The years had not been kind to the mill. We cleared allot of trees and brush to allow sunlight to reach the mill. We didn't want needless mold and dampness around all the grain. Luckily a few of the Big 12 families and a few soldiers were experienced wood craftsman. The past few days solidified our relationship with the Guard and with ourselves.

After a couple of days of oil and grease, all the metal gearing is functional. The stone was lifted and inspection found the stone was in great shape. We built wooden brackets for support and doubled up areas we thought might give way early. The water wheel was set in place with allot of sweat and pulleys. After a week of hard labor we were able to fire up the mill. A few minutes of creaking and groaning the mill finally came to life!! A test run of some wheat was a success as was the corn. We can now grist our harvest and have goods for barter.

All the woodcrafters, including the soldiers, were staying behind to finish out the detail pieces.

August 13 2012
Finally I can type well enough to make entries again. I must be honest here, the destruction of the local town is a blessing. I was afraid we'd have to help support all those people without them offering any help by labor. With the Guards permission, we have been removing items from the town. All the glass, wiring, copper, plumbing, etc...has been removed from the homes. We have inventoried it all and are storing them in barns and the town storage units. Basically, we are preparing for the future needs of our homes. We just can't run to the hardware store anymore. We have to make do with what we can salvage.

Plans are developing to create a forge. We eventually will need basics like shovels, picks, farrier equipment and many other items. We also can smelt down the jewelry into bars of gold and silver.

Larry and friends came by today for a much needed visit. We told war stories, tall tales and had a great laugh. Doc came by while the guys were visiting and gave me news that my wounds are healing nicely. A couple more weeks and the cast can be removed. I am getting more use of my hands and fingers everyday. I won't even attempt movement of my arm for fear of causing permanent damage. Doc says the surgeon will be here in two weeks for a final exam before removing anything.

Larry commented that their Guard company is a bit odd at times. Not the most friendly bunch and even getting a conversation with the Captain is like finding a store with toilet paper. They guys all chimed in with comments and for the most part they were negative. The next morning I talked with the Captain and asked him if I, being the "mayor" could visit the other Guard unit to see how they've defended and incorporated the locals. He said that was a great idea and we made tentative plans to travel within a week. I did all this without Larry's knowledge and felt its a way to repay all they've done for us.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 20

July 30 2012
Ok...I was stupid for traveling to Larry's alone. I almost lost my life and put my family in peril. That will never happen again! BTW...my son is typing for me as my right hand is basically useless and I can't type 1 handed without getting extremely frustrated. It's bad enough I am restricted to the house and 10 acre perimeter.

Doc comes by twice daily to check on my wounds. We are very concerned about infection setting in and have taken every precaution. Pain medicine is short supply and I've not had any today. And I can tell! I can sit for short periods as well as lay. Walking and standing is the most comforting but I am still weak.

The boy, who's name is Tommy, is adjusting to "civilized" living again. He still sleeps outside but spends his awake time indoors whenever possible. He let us cut his hair yesterday and he is a handsome young boy. Those eyes...he truly is gifted. He bathes or washes off every couple of days and is wearing some hand-me-downs. Doc says the boy is in great shape considering his living off the land for months. And talk about an appetite! I swear the boy could eat a steer all by himself. We've not talked about what happened to him being abandoned or his life after. I figure that will come in due time.

Lt. stops by daily to check on my progress. He won't discuss anything with me. I think he feels the stress is too much right now. And I fear he thinks I'll go Lone Ranger again, although that wasn't my intentions at the time. And yes, LR has stuck. And as m son types this, he will forever be known as Tonto!

Traveling in a couple of days, with Doc's permission, to the mill we found. We need to get that working or construct something with the grist stones that will. Harvest time is coming soon and we need to prepare. The crops are looking great and the wheat harvest was a success. About 70% of our predictions but its better than starving.

Hay harvest for the livestock...we forgot all about this! All available fields not producing grains will be used for hay. We are frantically working to get this monumental undertaking planned. No baling as we can't use up the fuel. Guess we'll have to accomplish this task the old fashioned way.

That's all for now...off to eat dinner!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 19

July 25 2012
We call him the Lone Ranger now. He blindly stumbled across a rebel encampment and was shot by a sentry, according to the prisoners. The sentry had shot "in the direction of the noise" and had the unfortunate luck of hitting the LR. The sentry then fled back to the camp and reported seeing a man on a horse. As the rebels massed a defensive strategy, they sent out 2 others to investigate. That's when a sniper from the Guard shot one of the men and all hell broke loose. Statistics of the fight: 25 rebels lay dead, 5 captured, 3 soldiers killed, 5 wounded and rescued one Lone Ranger. We also have one boy who is 11 and will not leave his side.

Our patrol had spotted LR and Pancake sprinting down the cornfield. They flagged the point of entry and called for back-up. They proceeded into the woods tracking his movements.The Captain alerted 15 men to assist the patrol and return LR. And to be hasty but cautious as news of rebel forces in the area had already reached command. Do not attempt contact with the rebels unless necessary. At the point of shooting one of them and the other fleeing, it became a mission of life or death. The rebels didn't know we, the Guard, were in the area but knew of the Big 12. The prisoners told of a mid-day raid that day but LR muddled those plans. The knew of the Big 12, had Intel on their locations and Intel on what supplies they were stocking. The prisoners told of another community half-way between their camp and the Big 12 (approx. 15 miles from the Big 12) they'd attacked the day before. The rebels had sustained heavy losses and retreated into the safety of the woods. Obviously they attacked Larry and friends and have sent a Squad of 12 to check into their well-being.

LR is recovering well. Doc has him sedated, on IV with anti-biotic and says healing time to be about 6 weeks. LR took one round to the right shoulder which went cleanly through and breaking his shoulder blade. Doc called in a surgeon and after 5 hours they had him all stitched up. He is a very lucky man to be alive. Pancake came home on her own and looks to have no wear and tear about her. Glenn told me of LR's journal entries and we found his laptop. Since he didn't have it password protected I took the opportunity to keep his journal updated. I'll relinquish the updates once he's recovered enough to resume his writings.


July 27 2012
LR is recovering nicely. He's been taken off sedation and is resting comfortably. I talked with the boy today. he's not much of a conversationalist but will answer direct questions. He claims his family owned the house down the road. They had abandoned it back in early March. He was abandoned also and left to fend for himself. He's been hanging around LR's place sneaking food and things when opportunity presented itself. He likes LR..no doubt about that. Otherwise, he posses no threat to the Big 12 or the Guard. We are not pressing issues like hygiene or clean clothes at this time. We are simply leaving out the necessities and in time he'll start taking care of himself. We even setup a cot in the room with LR. For now we'll just let him be himself.

News arrived from Larry's place. All is well and no one lost their life when the rebels raided. Larry had ventured into the same wooded area and detected someone had been there. He saw no one but his sign cutting left no doubt. They had 3 days to prepare for the unknown. He states the rebels attacked at night. They were met with a barrage of arrows, guns and fire. They had spread dry grass and straw between the woods and the houses. When the rebels advanced, they were met with heavy gunfire. They tried to retreat but Larry's group had set the straw afire cutting off the retreat temporarily. 20 rebels lay dead, 10 injured and 5 others tortured while being interrogated. All 5 were hung publicly and with the 10 injured watching. A cache of weapons was found a few miles away with information obtained. Maps, directions, Intel and other valuable information were found inside the bunker.

We have called for another company. Captain says they'll make a fire base between the two communities to keep both guarded. I'm relieved they are coming...its damn scary knowing only a company of men are protecting us. None of the Intel gathered from the bunker told of our positions here. But after our attack, you can beat they know we are here now.


Cataclysm - Post 18

Pancake ran off when I fell into the creek. I was getting tunnel vision from the mix of adrenaline and the pain. I was nearing shock and needed to focus. I had to figure out where the shot came from and more importantly, how was I to defend myself? I reached for the revolver with my left hand very slowly. I cocked the hammer and poised my finger on the trigger guard. I had now become the predator with the prey stalking me. If I had been ambushed, whoever it was would want either trophies or confirmation I was dead. Being down in the creek I was partially concealed from anyone on the ground. I rotated slowly to my left so only my right side was in the water. My shoulder and arm were throbbing with intense pain and I knew I was losing blood. I was hoping the cold water would slow the bleeding down a bit and give me time to retreat. Why hadn't I heard the shot? Was it like the old tales of not hearing the shot before hand? Was it a sniper? Was it a stray bullet?

At the very moment I was beginning a panic attack, I heard a movement to the left. Snapping myself back to alert mode, I scanned the creek bank and part of the woods I could see. I heard the movement...very light footsteps...cautiously approaching the area I lay. I decided the footsteps were zig-zagging looking for signs. Apparently whoever it was didn't know my exact location. I lay motionless...slowed my breathing down to minimum and waited what seemed like hours. Then silence...had the person or animal stopped? A squirrel perhaps maybe an opossum. How long had it been since the shot? Were the woodland creatures coming out again? I listened for birds and heard none. That meant something was in the area. But what?

About that time I heard more movement and finally caught a glimpse. A head of hair...lots of it! And it was moving in my direction slowly. I closed my eyes halfway and started breathing as little as I could. My heart was racing and I wanted to jump up and fire. I was still losing blood and I knew without my right arm to use, dragging my 200 lbs frame upright quickly enough to shoot was about as likely as Hell freezing over today. I had to lay and wait for the right moment. As the hair came closer I saw a forehead and then the eyes. Eyes..the window to a persons soul. These eyes were very comforting and those not of a killer. These eyes belonged to a child...the body of a 10-12 year old. My goodness...a wild child had shot me? I'll never live this down back at home. The child stayed motionless for an eternity. I guess we were both playing chicken to see who moved first. Finally the boy moved towards me very cautiously and at the last possible second, he splashed water in my face. Naturally I flinched and the boy jumped back. "Help me please", I whispered at the boy. The boy inched forward and reached out to push the hair back from my face. He looked like he shed a tear but I couldn't be sure as he was wet as I was. He grabbed me by the collar and pulled me out of the creek beyond my knees onto the small sandbar. Our eyes met again and they were filled with tears. Obviously this was not the shooter. Now we were both in danger...the shooter was still out there.

Another shot rang through the woods and the boy disappeared in a flash. Then a series of shots from my left and from my right. I could hear the bullets whizzing above me whooshing through the leaves. Two distinct sets of arms fire...one was M4 and the other sounded like AK's. About the time I got my wits about me, all hell broke loose. I heard some splashing in the creek like someone running. In an instant, the boy had returned and was laying across me as if protecting me. The gunfire intensified and I heard what I believed were mortars incoming. Explosions ripped through the treetops and the concussion of the blast rippled through my body. I could hear the cries of people being hit by shrapnel. The gunfire from my left was coming closer and the boy and I were both trembling in fear. I raised my gun to defend ourselves just as the first soldier cleared the creek bank. I held my shot as the man looked familiar. He grabbed the boy and threw him against the bank and pointed the M4 at his head. I screamed, "Don't shoot don't shoot for God's sake don't shoot!!" The man didn't appear to hear me so I rolled to my left and hoisted my gun to his family jewels. I screamed again, "Don't shoot Don't shoot or I'll shoot your balls off!"

At that moment, 10-12 men cleared the creek banks, started laughing and took off to what had been my right. More gunfire erupted and Hell had come back to breakfast for a second helping. The man took his M4 off the boy and looked at me again. it was the "boy" from the supply truck. As I dropped my revolver he was yelling, "Medic Medic...MEDIC goddamnit!" I then heard the company medic saying, "Yep thats him...clear the way. I need to administer his BP meds and confine him to bed rest in the brig!" I chuckled a bit and everything went black.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cataclym - Post 17

"Quiet Pancake...don't wake the others.", I said quietly in her ear. We headed out of the barn and across the pasture on foot. The grass had a coating of dew and felt like walking on water. Pancake was all giddy with excitement as her ears were perked and she wanted to run. Pancake is a 6 year old Palomino who has followed me everywhere since the day Larry gave her to me. The boys thought she was colored like a pancake so the name stuck. She didn't seem to mind and sometimes I think she has a sheepish smile when you called her name.

I packed lightly with emergency backpack, a 30/30, a 357 revolver and some food. I didn't plan on being gone more than 48 hours and seemed senseless to travel packed for a week. I did pack some coffee the Guard had supplied as I knew Larry and friends were low. Always nice to show up bearing gifts!

We found the edge of the pasture so I bridled and saddled her. We cleared the barn and pasture right at daybreak and if all went well we could be at Larry's by mid-afternoon. I was tired of no news and decided this "Project Manager" was going to check on his friend. I mean its not like they'd miss me or anything. I left a note with the missus and told her to keep hush, I'd be back tomorrow. I saddled aboard Pancake as she reared with anticipation. "Whoa Pancake...easy girl", I said as I patted her neck. I felt her relax just a bit and thats when I yelled, "Giddy-up Pancake..to Larry's we go"! She sped down the side of the cornfield towards Larry's as if she instinctively knew the way. As we came to the edge of the corn and about to enter the woods, she slowed to a trot and we stopped 20 yards inside the woods and listened. "Listen girl...lemme know if you hear anything", I said as her ears were like radars. After a few minutes all was calm so we proceeded on our marked trail.

After an hour of riding, that feeling of being watched hadn't subsided. We had cleared the first woods, crossed down two fields and entered a second woods. I had circled back some and kept an eye on the fields yet I saw nothing. Pancake and I proceeded down the creek as it was easier traveling and in the heat was a fresh source of water. I kept an eye open and her ears were still swiveling like radars. We both were on edge trying to listen and watch behind us. I had taken a different route this time that took us deeper into the woods. I had mistakenly taken this route once before and I knew we'd be ok. No one else knew of the path and if someone from home was following, they'd either become lost or give up and go home.

Another hour of riding and we stopped for a break. It was warm and humid today and in the early morning the bugs were thick. I took my handkerchief off and dipped it in the cool water. Wiping my brow and squeezing the rest on my head. Pancake was drinking and suddenly snapped her head up and towards the rear. Her ears were locked on something I couldn't hear or see and she nickered. Shuffling about nervously she started to lunge forward. I jumped up and grabbed the reins and looked back as I felt a searing pain in my shoulder and blood splatter across Pancakes backside. I fell forward halfway into the creek as I grabbed my 357 from the holster. I never even heard the gunshot...

Cataclysm - Post 16

July 21 2012
Wow...what a cookout!!! We could not have asked for better weather, food or company. Sweet corn, green beans, fresh tomatoes, peas and the list goes on. Not much food left but what was left we sent with the Captain for his troops. And the Captain is quite the horseshoe player! We had games of baseball, horseshoes, frisbee and we even had the pond cleared out for some afternoon swimming. The kids all had a great time and most of the younger ones were asleep by dance time. The older kids collected fireflies and the teenage ones do whatever teenagers do. We kept the fire down a bit so we didn't attract unwanted attention. But it was enough to keep the dance area lit and the players able to read their music. Nothing like a band with guitars, banjo, mandolin and even a washboard. We danced until the wee hours of the morning.

I participated in the sniper shoot and made a name for myself. My 308 did a fine job out to 700 yards. I was better suited for the 500 yard and kept a group of three at Silver Dollar size. Since I was shooting against the Guard, I didn't hold back my aim. I will say the guys were most helpful getting dialed in to 700 yards although I won't be using that distance anytime soon. I wasn't much good at the horseshoes so I tended to the younger kids and kept them busy. I set up a scavenger hunt and that kept them all busy for a couple of hours. And yes...no one was a clear winner as Armadillo eggs are very very rare around these parts. **Evil Grin**

I am still on restricted work duty and this is killing me. I'm tired of being Project Manager!!! Still no word from Larry and friends...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 15

July 7 2012
Had to call for the company medic today. I was having issues with my vision and concentration. Headaches were severe also. My BP is elevated and I'm positive its from all the news. It's stressful knowing all this information and can only share it with Glenn, who is just as stressed out. I've been taken off chore duty for 2 weeks and told to get as much bed rest as possible. Was given some kind of sedative that will knock me out at night. During the day, they'll have to lock me in a shelter to stop me. Rain brought a much needed relief in cooler weather. For July here, its only getting low 80's during the day and a comfortable high 60's at night.

We have a few town stragglers coming out from hiding now. 2 of the clergymen and their families escaped harm and we've taken them in. The other 12 or so were sent back to town for the Guard to care for. We just can't take anyone in and besides, having a man of God on our side is a morale booster.

July 9 2012
Two Guard supply trucks came today with ammunitions and weapons. We also received some sort of radar thingy. Glenn was practically drooling and we had to fan him to keep him cool. Not sure what its really for but he claims it'll track enemy fire and direction. To me thats all good and dandy, but that means trouble is brewing on the horizon. They also brought us items we needed, such as toilet paper.

The grunts offloading the trucks told of excited "chatter" on the military radios. I eyeballed the Lt but he acted like he didn't see me. They weren't sure what the chatter was about as it was in code. I'll be asking Lt later...

Lt was informed another squad would be in our area before sundown tomorrow. I asked one of the grunts about Larry's area. He said he'd been through there and a few places had been looted and burnt. He was going back through there soon and promised to look in on the folks. We gave him a crude map of the area and houses with names. He was a good kid...19 if I guessed right...and seemed genuine to our requests. Of course the convo was without anyones permission. But a few jars of homemade whisky will get ya motivated.

July 11 2012
I finally cornered Lt in a shelter to ask about the increased "chatter". He was reluctant at first but when Glenn appeared in the door way, he knew there was no use resisting. We broke out the whisky and talked for a good hour. The increased chatter was the exile of the current POTUS. The POTUS, VP and President pro tempore fled to Mexico and took refuge in a submarine of unknown nationality. This left a vacuum in the Executive Branch and left our Nation leaderless. The Joint Chiefs of Staff took control, from what I gather, and is currently assisting the remaining states not under rebel control to fill the voids by special elections. Not sure if thats how its supposed to run but I don't really care at this point.

Federal troops have been activated and are currently planning a defensive stance. They are also responding to relief in the form of food and medical needs. News from my home I left was gruesome and we are so glad we left. While the capital did fall, it was completely surround by guard and militia. It did little to capture the city as they couldn't do anything with it. We chuckled for a long time over that one!

Lt still wouldn't give up the nationality(s) of religious sect(s) of the rebellion. But Glenn and I aren't stupid...

July 18 2012
Things have calmed downed immensely! Fire fights are non-existent and people are working back towards a normal routine. We are still heavily fortified and encamped with a platoon of Guard. Glenn and the other ex-military men have been given trainings on all the weapons. They have also been refreshed on the basics and have gone on patrols.

Power has been constant lately and a huge relief as our gasoline supply was getting low for the generators. We'd only run them every two hours for 30 minutes. But over what, 3 weeks, it took a toll on our supply. In the winter it won't be as important to keep the generators running the freezers. But in the summer, with our limited supplies of goods, its been crucial.

We are planning a huge feast July 20 for the Big 12 community and our platoon. We have invited the company Captain and 6 guests of his choosing. We figure to be feeding over 100 people. We are slaughtering 2 hogs and a steer for the feast. We've not had much beef lately and this will be a welcomed change of diet. Sweet corn came early as did the green beans. So yes we will be feasting. Games with prizes for the children are planned as well as some adult type games. We are also having a dance with bonfire after dark. I cannot wait to don my suit that has been tucked away since we left our home. As I've lost 30 pounds, it will fit a bit loosely but I am still excited for the dance.

Still no news about Larry and friends. My heart is saddened not knowing their fate.

Cataclysm - Post 14

July 5 2012
Medics have Lt. stable and recovering. He is alert and is back in command via one of our shelters. Fires were seen from the direction of town the last 2 days and 1 night. Patrols by the squads split into small teams of 3 provided intel on what we already assumed.

Glenn and I were in a meeting with the Lt for over 4 hours being briefed. The town was burnt to the ground and anyone left was murdered...men, women and children. Everything was looted and then either torn down or burnt. Seems the rebel force moved west after their looting spree. They estimate the rebel forces numbered in the 100-150 range and our Guard of 24 cannot repel such a force. If they had come north, we would have been overrun and decimated. Thank God for sparing our lives. We are not to discuss any of the briefing with the people, only the town is evacuated and be on the lookout for stragglers.

List of gear the squads have on hand: M4 Carbine, M107, FGM-148, M136 AT4, M60, M249SAW, M252 Mortar, M32 MGL, M18 claymores, TDI Vector

I have no idea what these are but Glenn's eyes lit up when he was told. So I'm guessing its good armament. We agreed to the use of claymores for providing a defensive perimeter but will NOT allow the use of land mines. All claymores must be off pastures and fields as not to kill livestock. And must not be present in areas us civilians can be killed or injured. I realize we limited the uses but I will NOT allow us to kill ourselves. A map was drawn of the Big 12 area and copied to give to all the households. Outlined in red is considered "no mans land" and should not be journeyed into without prior permission and escort, no matter the reasons. This is also considered a free fire zone. Anyone seen within these areas will be given 3 verbal warnings to vacate the area or risk being shot.

It sure is HOT without air conditioning. Rain has been minimal and we are all glad we built multiple cisterns, especially with 24 extras. We have plenty of food available with an explosion of the chicken and hog population. lol We didn't manage that too well as no one really had experience with that livestock. And the gardens are still growing well minus the rain.

July 6 2012
Relief in the form of rain and troops arrived this morning. Lt. has sent two men out to find our troops and obviously they were successful. Lt and 6 men have stayed behind to assist us and conduct scouting operations during the night. Lt. said it was an infantry company and they were heading back to the town and sweep it clear. While it holds no vital strategic importance, its the perfect spot for a fire base.

News from the company Captain wasn't good news at all. Illinois and Ohio have fallen to the rebels. Michigan is holding firm as the rebels are having a tough time in Chicago getting through the warlords who have taken control. This makes it tough for them to come across Lake Michigan or through the southwest part of Michigan via Illinois. Detroit is also a warlord controlled area now as is Toledo and Cleveland. Kentucky is standing firm as they have Fort Know tanks brigades at their disposal. News from the other states was not discussed...only our neighbors are whats important right now.

The rebel forces are a combination of different sects of religion and nationality. The troops are efficiently trained and move quickly, never staying put in one place too long. Our Federal government hasn't intervened yet and have left the State governments fend for themselves. Not even relief supplies for the population or troops! Captain estimated over 15 million people (civilians) have perished in our region of surrounding states alone. Thats about 1/3 of the population. Most have died from starvation and lack of proper medical care.

Glenn and I were shocked...

Cataclysm - Post 13

July 1 2012
Power has been very sporadic the last few days. The only things we have plugged in are the freezers and a light in each occupied shelter. Still no communications with cell phones or landlines. 2-way radios are static and we believe a frequency jammer is being used by the Guard or even possibly the rebels.

We heard small arms gunfire from the direction of town yesterday. We are at the ready to defend our homes and lives. Helos were seen all that day flying towards town and reports of gunfire from the helos. A few townspeople were seen fleeing town but no one would stop long enough to tell us whats happening. One older couple were taken in by a family and given medical care. We haven't heard yet what news they gave the family.

We are only taking care of the livestock before light and after sunset. This makes it challenging as most times we can't see. I've found the barbed wire fence now 4 times. lol We've flagged the fence lines in orange and gates in yellow. And not flagged every 5 feet to be obvious...just far enough apart to get the idea. Even ran a wire across the top so you could follow it by holding on.

July 3 2012
Guard Unit finally stopped by today. Lt. is injured and the unit came to the only known safe haven in the area. I guess I should use the proper terminology as Glenn mentioned during talks, it is a Squad not a unit. The Squad brought along another one so we have 24 extras to defend and feed. They would have 26 but they lost two during the town battle. They are busy preparing defenses right now so I best lend a hand. Small talk with the squads...doesn't sound good.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 12

June 29 2012

Word from town and other information gathered isn't good. June 26th we heard jet fighters doing bombing runs to our North. The fighters flew throughout the day and into the wee hours of dawn the 27th. We are certain the fight is far enough away we won't have to worry about friendly fire. We never heard small arms fire or anti-aircraft guns so we're quite certain its over 20 miles.

We took extreme defensive measures as word came back from town the rebellion had flared up. We took shelter in the bunkers, posted guards all around the Big 12 and rotated our shifts of guards and tending to the farms. All the weapons we have are spread out with each house have enough to make a small stand.

After the Lt. left, I talked to the men and found out 4 of them are ex-military. Glenn, who was a Staff Sargent in the Army, is now our Commander. He spent the time I was at Larry's showing everyone how to use the M-16s. They also left a few cases of hand grenades but decided only those ex-military are selected to use them. Glenn was reluctant at first to take the responsibility but as I explained to him, we needed someone with the knowledge to keep the guard unit comfortable with us. He can talk the lingo and understand the tactics. We also need them to provide us with much needed supplies that soon they will only be able to obtain. It is vital for our existence we keep in their good graces. We all jokingly referred to us as F-Troop. But the more I think about it, this does seem fitting to our situation.

On a lighter note, our gardens are plentiful! The first round of planting is providing a much needed change in our diets. Its amazing what a Big 12 group can do to can and prepare foods for the winter. The things these people know...we would have never survived the winter without their assistance and knowledge. The chickens are now producing over 6 dozen eggs a day. Each family has taken livestock as their main responsibility. We were given the chickens as our main livestock. Some other livestock we initially started with as did the other families. That way each farm could sustain itself through the hard winter with a fresh supply of milk, eggs and meat. We are now trading the eggs with folks in town for our inventory needs. I am also donating a dozen eggs a day to the old nursing home that has become a hospital/shelter.

The Lt. and his unit should've been by today for the visit. I don't suspect they'll be visiting after dark though. I hope we didn't lose our Guard connection.

Cataclysm - Post 11

June 25 2012
Electricity and landlines went out today. Cell phones were static and intermittent. The Big 12 started preparations for a long stay in the shelters as we have no idea whats happening. Two of the men traveled to town to gather any information.

I have just returned from Larry's place assisting in the wheat harvest. Spent two days there learning the skills of harvesting. I was able to drive a combine and to save diesel we used horse and wagons to haul the grain to the silos. They had modified the original grain trailers to accept hitches. They had also cut them into quarter sized trailers to make the weight less and easier for the horse teams. Was quite a show and I remembered seeing late 1800 pictures of these types of operations.

Larry has started his own community around his area. Unfortunately, with their location closer to highways they have quite a few unwanteds in the area. These people are starting to cause a problem and I told him about the National Guard unit stopping by. I will tell them of the situation when they arrive in a few days. Larry has guards posted now at various areas and so far no violence has erupted.

I still feel a presence when traveling back and forth to Larry's. Its hard to say exactly what I feel but I am being watched. I don't sense any harm though. My intuition is on high alert when I travel and its not failed me yet. I am gonna devise a plan for the next trip in 3 weeks.

Logging off so I don't use up the batteries!

Friday, May 06, 2011


Dad came through his surgery well and is recovering nicely. They are certain they removed all the cancer and he will have another test on May 24th to be sure. We are so thankful!!!

My friend is home now from the hospital. He is recovering nicely and I will see him Friday of next week. He is one lucky SOB and God was definitely watching over him.

I hope some of you are enjoying the Cataclysm posts. I may take them offline and write the entries in Word. Not sure yet as I've not received much feedback. Not the usual posts...lol

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!

Cataclysm - Post 10

June 22 2012
No real evidence was found of someone following us home from Larry's. I am still not convinced and will keep my ears and eyes open. Some sign cutting techniques were left around our property and I can check them as needed.

One of the Big 12 neighbors found an old mill along the creek. Now when I say creek, its not one you can jump over yet its not large enough to be called a river. And as per Mother Nature, the creek has changed course over the last 100 years. The mill was secluded within the woods and overgrown. We are planning an outing to see if its still usable. He stated the stones looked intact and just needed some care. Now with the crops coming, we can make flour and cornmeal.

Speaking of which, we are scrambling to gather sugar. The supplies are depleted in the store and future shipments are in doubt. Next spring we can obtain and make maple syrup which will help feed out sweet tastes. Coffee...yea this sucks without a cup of java. We have begun a ration process attempting to make it thru the winter months. Coffee...we definitely missed out gathering this commodity. Sugar, tea and Coffee will become like gold this winter.

National Guard unit stopped by today. They were told by some of the Big 12 families I was the "mayor" or elder for our community. I felt honored and a bit overwhelmed when the Lt. mentioned that. I invited the Lt. to the porch for some iced tea and biscuits. As we talked, his unit scouted the area and mingled with the kids. The boys were excited to see the military and as usual were best buddies within minutes.

The Lt talked of creating a militia force within our community. All weapons and gear would be supplied by them along with training. We would be supplied with small arms and a few larger weapons. They would like for us to be very mobile and the heavier weapons would slow us down. As we were talking, a truck arrived and a few men gathered around. The Lt. stated as a show of good standing they'd leave us with some weapons. M-16's with ammunition and a few other oddities like grenades and stuff. I have no idea what all was there but he left an inventory list. He said he'd be back in a week to receive our answer and asked that a ex-military person be appointed as "commander". All discussions would involve myself and the commander.

We also spoke of the supply situation and I was reassured we'd be supplied with what they could spare. This was a relief as medical supplies were top of the list.

Talk of World news took over the latter part of our visit. The last report I received, Pakistan and India were at a stalemate. Pakistan fired the first nuke and it escalated to a holocaust. Both countries are considered a "no mans land" and people are basically left to fend for themselves. Supplies are being air-dropped into the more populated areas. Nuclear fallout is ravaging the countries to the west and fears of this going Global grow each day. Israel and Iran now occupy most of the Middle East. Saudia Arabia is being supported by Israel. After the nuclear strikes in Pakistan and India, most nuclear capable countries have signed treaties to not use nukes. China and the earthquake damaged countries are being overthrown. The governments couldn't sustain a major disaster and the populations revolted.

Also there is talk of a revolt here in our state. There are rebel forces gathering north and south of our location. It appears they will try to squeeze the middle and force the state capitol to surrender. Other states are attempting the same and looks like the current government may fail.

All military is being called to active duty, oversea troops are being brought back within our borders and all American citizens abroad are being asked to return.

Our conversation ended with warm handshakes and the Guard Unit headed down the road. I tried to document as much of our conversation here but allot of information to process. More information will be posted soon.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Cataclysm - Post 9

June 15 2012
We are here to visit Larry and the gang! A nice visit and everyone seems to be well. The cisterns are almost completed but with the wheat harvest coming in 3 weeks or so, it'll be August before they are completed. We spent our days planning for the coming winter months. The ladies spent time doing whatever ladies do. lol Seriously though, they spent time talking canning, harvesting the garden, etc... Us guys spent time planning, designing, bartering, etc... I reviewed their defense setups and was quite impressed. In fact, I took a few ideas down on paper. One of Larry's friend is ex-Guard and had improvised their protocol to suit their needs. We spent a whole day reviewing and discussing plans for the Big 12 defense setup.

We left our home in care of the Big 12...our first big step in trust. We have become quite close to them all. We are slowly becoming more than just a small community. We consider them all family. We all agreed that each family should get 5 days of vacation and the other families would attend to the chores.

List of supplies we need to start gathering:
Toilet Paper
Butane, Lighters, Lighter fluid, Matches, etc...
Duct Tape
Womens Hygiene products
Medicine like aspirin, cold medicine, etc...
First Aid supplies like band aids, gauze, syringes, etc...
Storage containers
light bulbs

The list is endless!

June 20 2012
Home from Larry's and all is well. We returned to a small bbq and a day filled with fun!

On a serious note...while riding home via the countryside, I felt as if we were being watched. So we detoured and rode through town and stopped here and there. I'm hoping whoever it was left us when we entered town. I am still feeling uneasy. The town was also unusually quiet. I called Larry and warned him. They are gathering a scout party and retracing my route for signs.

Will be a long couple of nights.