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Fiction – Ruth’s Story #41 Stuck guarding the convoy while the boys sweep the barricade on Lake City Way

June 5, 2012

From behind me I hear Jamal’s voice. “Ruth is something wrong?”

“I thought I saw someone or something near the rear Humvee.”

Jamal comes up beside me and I immediately notice that he has his Beretta M9 pistol in his right hand. “Ruth, do you want us to go have a look?” I wonder why he has his pistol out already; did he see the person by the Humvee as well?

“You bet your ass I do. I do not want anyone fooling around with the convoy.”

“OK Ruth. It is a shame that we cannot go on the left side of the convoy as that will rile the zombies. I will follow your lead.”

I open the driver’s door of my little Smart car and pull my POF AR15 out and notice that someone has dropped an O.D. green single point sling in my driver’s seat. Lying beside the sling is a medium-sized, black vertical fore grip.

Looking at the sling I see that it is made by a company in Tacoma, Washington called Tactical Tailor. The end of the sling that clips to the AR15 has the HK-style metal claw latch. These HK-style weapon latches are known for holding a weapon securely in the most arduous of environments. It is one of the best weapon retaining latches that you can buy; in service with almost every country that fields an armed force.

I toss the rifle sling over my head so it rests on my left should across my chest bisecting my breasts. Picking up my AR15 I clip it to the sling. My POF AR15 has a single loop attachment system at the base of the buffer tube assembly. Carrying an AR15 in a single point sling is about as comfortable as you can get and something that I learned in the IDF. It permits hands-free weapon retention and the ability to drop your AR15 on to your body to use something else.

Picking up the vertical fore grip I notice that it is the lever tool-free style that permits attachment quickly. I have not used a vertical fore grip much but I knew plenty of Special Forces (SF) guys that loved them. I will check the fore grip out later and drop it back into my driver’s seat.

The comfortable weight of my AR15 hanging from my shoulders is nice. I load my LBV with six full M16 magazines. I grab two of my old M2 pineapple grenades and insert them in the bottom two grenade pockets on my belt.

I take a moment to consider the AAC M4-2000™ suppressor attached to the AAC Blackout™ 51T muzzle break and mount on my AR15. Those not familiar with the effects of a suppressor on a rifle, like the M16, might be surprised to learn that even with the suppressor attached you should wear hearing protection when firing the weapon.

Because of the nature of the hot little 5.56 NATO round, even suppressed the supersonic crack of the round is usually more than 125 dBs. The suppressor does not quiet the supersonic crack of the little bullet, but does reduce muzzle blast and the booming echo of the rifle shot. If I shoot something it may attract attention even with the suppressor.

Taking a sealed bottle of water from the floor of the passenger side of my Smart car, I briefly consider adding a water bottle cap full of water into the suppressor. A little bit of water helps eliminate a little more noise and reduces the first shot’s muzzle flash which is nice in the dark when shooting supersonic ammo. I decide against putting water in the suppressor right now. I shove the one liter bottle of water in my left front pants pocket.

I eject the magazine out of my rifle and in a move that I have practiced thousands of times, I eject the chambered round and catch it in my left hand. I put the round I just ejected from my AR15 in the magazine along with the round that I took from Nguen. I insert the magazine, slapping it a few times to make sure it is fully seated and drop the bolt chambering the first round. I make sure my fire selector is in the single shot position.

I consider my pistol and its AAC Evolution™ 9mm suppressor. I decide to slide my AR15 to my back and grab the pistol suppressor off the passenger floor where it was lying covered by my Scottevest jacket. I draw my pistol and screw the suppressor on it quickly. I cannot holster my Browning Hi-Power with the suppressor attached but it is much quieter than my rifle. This way I can shoot anything I need to without causing too much ruckus.

I do a head toss and nod at Jamal while closing my driver’s door.

“Jamal is this sling from you as well,” I ask him.

“Umm, no Ruth I believe that sling is from Sutton,” he replies.

We start a quick trot towards the Humvee. We are running hunched over so the zombies do not spot us over the vehicles. We are not trying to move silently and quickly close the distance to the Humvee.

When we get around the front of the Humvee I can see the female wheeled mechanic is sleeping in the Humvee driver’s seat. I still have not learned her name, and I see the former soldier is sound asleep with her mouth slightly agape.

I drop to squat on my right knee, and check if I can see underneath the Humvee. Humvees are particularly tall vehicles with high ground clearance and do not provide a lot of shelter underneath.

I see a young Caucasian boy lying underneath the Humvee. I turn around and see Jamal is also looking at the young boy.

“Ruth let me talk to him.” He is talking softly but I am sure the thing under the Humvee can probably hear him. I notice that Jamal has put his M9 pistol back in its holster. Since I cannot holster my pistol, I step to the left allowing Jamal to come around my right.

“OK Jamal, I’ll cover you but if it does anything crazy, I am going to shoot first and think about it later.”

  1. Craig W permalink

    I love Tactical Tailor! I brought a great backpack from them that saw some use in Baghdad. I learned about them from another guy coming back from Iraq and recommended them. Great quality gear that has held up for years.

    • Yes Craig W Tactical Tailor is a great company and I have many of their bags and web gear. Another soldier turned me on to them when I got posted at Ft Lewis. It was nice they were just outside the gate.

  2. Helios permalink

    Where are the zombies? Still outside bumbling around? They don’t seem like much of a threat yet, so long as you stay in the barricade. Maybe the little boy is a zombie (if the KCAP doesn’t present itself yet).

    • The zombies are still outside the barricade. You are right the zombies are not much of a threat at the moment as long as they remain outside the barricade.

  3. Filler chapter…

  4. Robert permalink

    IMHO, you should concentrate more on providing an actual story than the intense focus on minutia of everyone’s gear. It’s distracting. You can also use pronouns and alternate words – look at how many times you use AR15 when you could for some variety refer to it as a rifle / carbine, use “it” instead, that kind of stuff. There’s an awful lot of repetition in the excessive description. Describe it in detail, but don’t remind us every single time she touches the rifle.

    It’s ok to use contractions. People do it in real life all the time. That you don’t makes the characters sound a bit stilted. You might also run your posts through a grammar checker first, too.

    You might also want to tone down the gear fairy. All this great equipment just keeps falling into her lap. That doesn’t exactly create any tension at all. It seems like everything is just going to work out.

    I know this all sounds picky, but I’m not trying to hassle you. I’m interested in the story and what could happen, but the writing slows down the idea, you know?

    • Thanks Robert that is one of the best critiques I have gotten on my writing so far. Two of my characters Ruth and Jamal are English as a second language. So both speak English without contractions. If you look at the native English speakers, they will use contractions and abreviations. Thanks for the input about repitition and suggestion of other words.

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