“Simon, I need you to lead that little pack train down the native path to the drop site. I will go ahead to be sure the path is open,” I suggested.
“Let me at least go with you, Williams can relay anything we need to say to them,” Jerrod suggested.
“Simon, one or five of us, it isn’t going to make any difference. It is going to be just make a lot of noise and run like hell, if they are set up on the path. If not, it’s just a walk in the park. You wouldn’t be anything but another target. You couldn’t be of any real help.” What I didn’t tell him is that he would do more harm than good. I could crank my hearing up, without the distraction of him, I could hear a monkey fart at a thousand yards.
“I guarantee you that if we are compromised, you will hear a gunshot. If you hear that, you need to figure out what to do next on your own. I will call you on that cell phone I gave you, if I can give you any advice. Now one thing I will tell you, everybody fights and everybody unloads the pallets. We want to be in and out of there in a very, very short time.”
I made sure he had the group ready to depart before I slipped through the gate. The Monastery had been positioned where it was for a reason. It was both close to the river landing, but still on higher ground. They had easy river access for centuries, and they also had some protection from the heavy rains of the monsoon seasons.
The quarter mile down hill passed quickly, but I knew that it was going to hard on the men and animals going back up. We also were never going to be able to get in more than enough food for a couple of weeks. After that it was going to be eat the animals to keep from feeding them. I’m sorry, but it would likely come to that. I’m also sure that not even Helen could make an old jackass taste good. She would probably make a large enough stew from it to feed everyone in camp for a day or two, but that bitch would be tough and stringy, even after she worked her magic on it. That was another good reason to end the coming siege quickly. Not so much for me, since I could really care less basically, but for the others.
Of course I got to the clearing first. I made it to the riverside quickly and listened closely. All the sounds were normal, except for the clanking of metal coming down the path. That I knew to be our people. They were on site when I sent the message back to the farm. I just wanted to be assured that they could get the plane into the drop zone in a hurry.
The hurry turned into ten agonizing minutes. Even my perception of time changed a little while we waited. I was nervous, even though I knew the government troops were not on the way to the drop. They had no way to know it was even planned let alone on the way. We were the ones with the advanced information.
The Problem would come only if they got between us and the Monastery. If that happened it would be a run and shoot, since they were going to have no time to dig in either. They would be just as out in the open as us. We might lose everything on the animals, but then again maybe not.
When the drop came, it was something I had never seen before. There were two twin engine planes. Not even as large as the old C47 and their cargo doors were under the tail. They came low up the river. Then when they got over the drop-site they pulled almost straight up with the rear cargo doors open. The G forces jerked the cargo pallets out of the plane. They had what amounted to the parachute of a base jumper. It was open by the time the cargo was out of the plane. The pallets swung wildly a couple of times then hit the ground with a terrible force.
The strangest of all things was that the pallets were sitting on very large commercial truck inner tube looking things. They bounced about six feet into the air then settled back down. The only thing I recognized from either of the pallets at first glance was a tiny blue gasoline generator from harbor freight, and a ten gallon gas can. I knew exactly what it was for, I had been worried about having to run on half charge while I used a solar vest to charge. It was a huge relief.
The workers from the Monastery were a combination of priests and pendants I supposed. Whatever they were, they made quick work of the cargo on the pallets. Before I knew it, we were headed back up hill. The climb was nothing much to me, but the burros and the fathers had a bit more trouble with it. Even the strong looking Simon Jerrod was huffing and puffing here and there. Mr. Williams was a complete wreck before we got back.
“Too many good restaurant?” I asked as I walked back to encourage him to keep moving. “Trust me dude, you don’t want to get left behind.”
“The head of the pack animals said he didn’t expect so much crap. We could have used more animals. He wanted to leave some of it.” Jerrod informed me.
“You did explain about how bad a siege could get?” I asked.
“I have never been in a siege, but they are legend with the Legion,” he replied.
Once we had the animals inside the courtyard, we began to unload them. As the boxes got stacked by the chapel door, the animals were led away. Once they were no longer needed. they would be taken to a farm several miles away. They would return to carry our dead away after the siege. It was going to be a very efficient system. The Monks thought of everything, except that we might need them for food. I should have kept them, but I knew that if the siege lasted more than a week, I would be gone and their food problem would be up to the monks. If that was the way they wanted it, so be it.
By the time the animals were gone, the stacks of wood and heavy cardboard boxes were piled high. Williams and Jerrod went through them, I held back waiting for the final tally.
There were several cases of Ammunition for the guns Williams had arranged for the Monks. He looked relieved, as if he had personally placed the order knowing where the shortages would be. Then there was the box containing six Remington 700 scoped 308 rifles along with a carton of Ammunition for each. My desire for sniper rifles was granted at least.
There was also a box containing a half dozen bloop guns. The Vietnam era M79 anti personnel grenade launcher. It came complete with several boxes of 40×46 mm grenades.
Simon handed me a Law Rocket Launcher. “It looks like an episode of storage wars for a Vietnam Storage Locker somewhere,” I suggested.
“Long as it works,” he said.
“Isn’t that always the final judgment. Does the damn thing work or not?” I suggested.
I took a closer look at the Remington 700 and found that they were the base sportsman model. It would do just fine, and if we did get overrun, it could be traced to a gun shop in Hoboken, I was sure.
I gave one of the scoped rifles to Jerrod and one to Williams. “Who gets the other three?” Simon asked.
“That depends on who comes in with the news crew. They may be Swamp Thing Operatives’ If they are, I assure you they can fire a sniper rifle better than the monks. So we are just going to have to wait.”
“Well even if we run out of food we won’t starve,” Simon said handing me a carton of MREs. “Meals Ready To Eat, to prevent starvation.”
“I am so happy to see these,” I said. “Maybe we can get the other guys to eat them. and win by intimidation.” I smiled. No matter what they sent, I would not have been just as happy. As much as I loved Helen, I had to admit that her MRE was only slightly better than the Government one.
There was one thing she made a thousand times better than anyone else. Her version of the power bar. It was something you could eat, while you stood guard, without losing your concentration. Most likely they weren’t the healthiest thing to eat three times a day. However once a day on the march, or three times if you were cut off, pound for pound I would have taken those anytime, well back when I had to eat at all that is.
I began to meet our Monks, while I waited for the newsies to show up. There were 77 able bodied men, some of who were monks, available. We also had a dozen women who could tend the wounded, which kept the men free to shoot. We might not hit anything, but we were definitely going to make that joyful noise thing come true.
“Maxine,” Williams said. “I figure, counting the new arrival, that we have enough ammunition to last a week, if we are careful how we use it.”
“That means we have enough for three days. These men are not trained soldiers they will shoot at movement in the bushes, if they are taking fire, even if they can’t see a thing. Give me a few minutes alone to think.”
I found a quiet corner, then contacted the farm. Okay people living in the pig shit universe, I need help here… I messaged silently.
Seems to me you have it under control… came the reply.
Not really, I need a few tricks… I messaged.
Has the news crew come in yet?…. was the answer.
No we are still waiting for them… I said.
They have the master of unorthodox warfare with them. I have to warn you that neither you, nor the master, is expendable… It was the controllers way of telling me to keep whoever it was safe at all costs. Most likely the expert would want to hide with the head monk.
“Simon, I have a job for you. Take Williams, since he says he did some training with these men, and evaluate them. When you finish assign them to places along the wall. We need about half a dozen really tough brave men to fill any breaches in the wall. Fill some of these carts with rocks or sand. You are going to want to upend them in any breaches made by their missiles.” I said seriously.
You are in charge of organizing the defenses until the new people get here. They will most likely take over from me. They are the real experts at this,” I admitted. I expected that I had all the information buried in my memory programs, but these guys could pull that shit up without searches, I hoped.
“I got it boss,” he said as he started to limp away. We had both forgotten that he limped at all. There was just so much going on, and he handled the limp so well. He suddenly turned back and said, “No matter how this turns out, thank you.” He grinned as he walked away.
I went to stand outside the walls. I tried to filter out the noises from inside, but it cut the distance I would be able to hear anyone approach. As far as I could tell the race was on as to weather it would be the news crew, or the Bolivian, or wherever we were, army who arrived first. The news crew could cover the action from either inside or outside of the walls. So it was academic more than urgent as to who showed up first.
The so called unconventional warfare expert could get in touch with me and pass along his advice from outside, as well as he could from inside the walls. Hell it might be better if he were outside, it would make ignoring him much easier.
I heard a noise, but it was coming from the path leading to the river. The Army could have come up that way, but the noise wasn’t that much. It was either scouts or the news crew. I slipped off into the jungle until I knew which. There seemed to be a half dozen or less, with no backup group coming behind. I could handle them alone, I was pretty sure.