April 24, 2015: Trojan?
We’re recovering from what appears to be a fairly well-coordinated attack on the Union Creek community.
Two nights ago, at around 3:00 a.m., a family of five somehow slipped through our defenses and made their way to the barn. Fortunately, Ariela’s cabin is close enough to the barn that something woke her up. Whether it was a noise or more of a sixth sense that woke her … she’s not sure.
Regardless, Ariela snuck out in her pajamas to check on things. She made a couple mistakes. First, she went unarmed. That, in and of itself, could have proven disastrous. Second, she went alone. We’ve tried to drill the buddy system into everyone’s head around here. I would think Ariela, of all people, would have known better. Her military training should have augmented the training we’ve done here on the farm.
Those two mistakes will need to be addressed.
Thankfully, Ariela took her radio with her and radioed the guards to let them know that she’d spotted a group of people and was following them. The guards ran through their protocol flawlessly and, fortunately, we were prepared when Ariela flushed the family from the barn.
The family of five consisted of a mother, father and three children ranging in age from six to sixteen. The two younger children are girls. The sixteen year-old is a boy – a good-sized kid who Ariela initially mistook for a third adult in the dark.
The Schmidt family has reportedly been making their way north toward a relative’s farm up near the South Dakota border. I say “reportedly” because, frankly, I’m more than a little suspicious of pretty much everything strange or different right now. Based on recent events, I’m at Threat Level Red.
According to their story, the Schmidts started out in the direction of their family member’s farm in early November – right around the time that I started writing this journal. They recognized that things were headed south in a hurry and wanted to get to a place where they had a chance at self-sufficiency. While the phone systems were still working, they called their relative – Mr. Schmidt’s uncle – and asked if they could ride out the impending collapse on his farm. He suggested that they make their way as quickly as possible. They packed up that night and headed north on I-29 late the next day.
I-29 quickly became a parking lot. Vehicles ran out of fuel. Traffic gridlocked and virtually nothing moved. According to the Schmidts, some folks stayed with their vehicles. Others packed up what they could carry and headed out on foot. The Schmidts, active campers and hikers, chose the latter approach.
They ran into the snow storm that I described in my first journal entry.
Fortunately, they were able to find an abandoned home on the outskirts of a small town. They initially holed up there to wait out the storm, but ended up staying there for several weeks. Their supplies ran out in a few days so they resorted to emptying out the houses around them. A number of other people had decided to remain in the same small town. They reached a fairly amicable approach to doling out what was left behind, but eventually that ran low as well.
The weather was improving so the Schmidts set out on the road again. They were pretty consistently able to find deserted homes and unguarded outbuildings for shelter and, occasionally, supplies all along their route.
Makes one wonder about the families that left those houses behind and those barns unguarded.
Anyway, the Schmidts’ northwesterly route eventually led them in our direction. I’m of the opinion that their arrival here may not be entirely coincidental. In my mind, it’s a distinct possibility that they are a Trojan Horse, of sorts, sent here by the group that attacked Pete’s farm.
Speaking of Pete’s farm … shortly after we flushed the Schmidts from the barn, Pete’s younger son raised us on the short-wave and said they had been infiltrated by a group of six well-armed and well-coordinated individuals. Pete was concerned that they might be part of a larger force.
Pete’s concerns were well founded.
I was hesitant to leave our farm undefended in light of the new arrivals. We decided to put two people in each of the HMMWV’s – one to drive and one to man the .50 cal. I drove one of the HMMWV’s with Anders as my gunner. Ariela drove the other HMMWV with Levi as her gunner. We’d drilled this way with just such a situation in mind. After the community meeting the other day, it was clear to me that we might be providing emergency fire support to our neighbors at a moment’s notice.
I hate being right about stuff like this.
We drove as carefully and quickly as we could to Pete’s. His son provided periodic updates on their situation by radio. We were about a half mile away when Pete’s son radioed that they were taking fire. The original group, of about six, had been joined by two more similarly sized groups. Maka gave us a rundown on locations, force strength and weapons and then cut off radio communication to go lay down some fire.
There’s a fairly sizable hill to the west of Pete’s house. The original insertion force came from the east, pinching Pete and his family between their firepower and the hill. The second and third insertions came from the northwest and southwest, effectively taking the high ground above Pete’s house and establishing fields of fire that would not endanger the initial group to the east.
It seemed like these guys had their stuff down pat. This was obviously not their first rodeo.
Their failure came in a lack of recon information. They were totally surprised by our arrival in armored HMMWV’s with .50 caliber guns. Admittedly, the arrival of heavily armed assistance from five miles away in only a few short minutes was a long shot. They obviously had never encountered a group like ours before.
Had we been more centralized … the results may have been disastrously different. I may need to re-think my position on centralizing the inhabitants of the Union Creek community.
We split the two HMMWV’s about a quarter-mile east of Pete’s and drove overland to flank the eastern-most team of attackers. Their gunfire covered our advance. We were on them before they realized what had happened. Anders and I drove directly south from the north side of Pete’s farm. Ariela and Levi approached from exactly the opposite direction. The maneuver gave us clear fields of fire to our 2:00-3:00 o’clock and 8:00-9:00 o’clock positions that neither endangered Pete’s family nor ourselves.
We parked about 100 yards from Pete’s house and opened up on the attackers’ positions with the .50’s. The muzzle flashes of the attacking forces had given away their positions. The heavy fire from our big guns drowned out their gunfire and decimated their ranks in a matter of seconds. We took a few incoming rounds but nothing particularly accurate or effective.
It was all over in a matter of moments. Fifteen of their eighteen were dead when we got to them. Three of the original insertion team, who had better cover in the dense trees, were badly wounded but still breathing when we got to them. One of them attempted to put up a fight, but Ariela quickly dispatched him with a single round precisely placed at the top of the bridge of his nose.
Despite her earlier mistakes, that girl’s marksmanship lacks nothing.
Pete and I had a little chat with the two remaining survivors but it wasn’t particularly productive. Neither one was in condition to convey much information. Both passed within a few minutes of our discovery of them.
An exciting night, to say the least.
Pete, I’m sure, has patched up his home and doubled up his defenses. We’ve cleaned our weapons and returned to some semblance of new normal. The question that remains in my mind is this: Was this just a probe of our defenses? Did they have better information that we thought? Was the eighteen-man team a part of a larger group that systematically timed and measured our response? Were the Schmidts a part of the whole thing?
Or … am I just paranoid and perhaps a bit delusional?