ung Wu was in the hospital talking with two of the girls who'd been part of the fight.  Traveling at night with half lights on the front only, they came upon a roadblock.

The first truck in the convoy was a Humvee Jeep with four personnel.  Riding shotgun was Major Wendy Seines.  Driving was Corporal Kristen Harrison.  As she began slowing to make the stop two dark complected men approached, one to each side of the Humvee.  Two others stayed by the road block with rifles at ready.

Major Seines keyed her mike and said lowly before the vehicle even stopped "all side arms - locked and loaded. Keep vehicles running and in gear ready to go at a moments notice.  Don't fire until I do."

It was pretty obvious she had been through a moslem experience.  "Howdy she said to the guy walking up.  What's going on?"

The guy seemed friendly enough at the beginning.  "Hello Major.  Nothing much.  Just a road check to see who's out and about.  What group are you with?" he asked.

"We're with the Paradigms heading north for a meetup with the rest of our crew.  Trouble ahead?" she asked attempting to play the situation through and keep it light.

"So, you're with a rogue militia.  I'm going to have to ask you all to dismount your vehicles."  Suddenly he was not friendly and the two men standing by the road block had leveled their rifles at the driver.

"What's the meaning of this outrage?" Major Seines demanded.

"We have orders to disarm anyone we come across and to seize all military vehicles.  Now if you'll kindly step down we won't have to force you" the man growled.

He turned to motion for the men standing in front of the Humvee to move toward him.  At that second she fired her XD at the spokesman and he staggered back.  Corporeal Harrison floored the Humvee and fired at the man standing beside her.

Russian Jeep

She caught the guard standing on her side between her front bumper and the Russian Jeep across the road with a small trailer.  Major Seines second shot took down the other guard on her side of the Humvee.  The girl sitting right behind Kristen fired at the guard who'd walked up beside Kristen catching him in the throat.

That was four moslems down and immobile.  But the guard beside Kristen got a shot off catching her in the left shoulder.  She was bad, blood going everywhere but she kept that Humvee floored and straight.  The front end of the Russian made GAZE slid sideways as she hit it, pushing the truck around enough for her to get past.

Major Seines was yelling in her mike "Don't stop for anything.  Hammer down full out!"

Corporal Harrison was fading and slumped forward.  Wendy yelled at the girl behind Kristen, "Penny, Hold her up!"

Sergeant Penny Lopez grabbed Kristen by the shoulders but there was not enough of her left shoulder to hang onto.  She then grabbed her by the head and pulled her off the steering wheel.  Major Seines had her rifle on the accelerator and had it pushed to the floor, all the while leaning over and guiding the vehicle with her left arm.

"Cut her belt and drag her into the back.  I'll drive, Allison (Ayers), you ride shotgun.  Move!  She could hear gun fire coming from the rear of the convoy as she keyed her mike again.

"Keep moving!  Don't stop for nothing!  Any casualties report in immediately.  Keep moving!"

It took Penny and Allison both to pull Kristen over the radios to the back seat of the Humvee. And it was extremely tough to move around even though they were riding open air in the Humvee.

Major Seines was yelling again "Rear of convoy.  Shoot anything that moves behind you.  Keep up a steady fire on anything that approaches!"

"Sergeant Lopez - contact the Bunker and report engagement - need medical immediately - provide coordinates and eta."

She keyed her company mike again.  "Casualty report."

"Two wounded in tail end transporter.  Bleeding stopped" came the reply.

Major Seines recognized the voice of colonel Jesse Orozco.  She knew if there was any way to provide assistance, he was one to be counted on.  The problem is with them running flat out (less than sixty kph) they didn't have much of a chance of outrunning the private American vehicles which many of the thug factions were using.

Were it only one vehicle they cold possibly hold any attacking from the rear.  She had deliberately placed some of her best shots in the tail end of the convoy specifically for that reason.

"Driver, shotgun, radiator, tires" in that order she stressed.  They had practiced that just yesterday morning.  She had rather just stood and fought, but with all the unknown details, she thought it best to get her group out of there."

With her quick decision to activate instead of dismounting, she probably saved the whole lot of them.  As it is, she still may face a tribunal since her command had suffered some casualties.  Within another hour she heard the radio come to life.

colonel Forestall was inquiring a situation report.  "One confirmed dead, two confirmed wounded.  Rear two tonner outside dual tire coming to shreds.

"Keep em rolling hammer down" she ordered.  "Rover Weasel is en route.  Three vehicles with two mounted 50's.  Ten men and two women - eta meetup - forty five minutes."

"Acknowledge that" Penny replied.  Within thirty minutes the radio came alive again.  "Paradigm this is Weasel.  Have you in sight.  Fall in behind desert Humvee.  Warn tail end of friendlies falling in behind them."

"Affirmative" Penny responded.  Then on the group mike she repeated the instructions to the tail end truck.

"Once more the radio came alive.  "Casualties dire?"

"Negative" Penny replied.

"Remain hammer down.  Lights out.  Leaving asphalt left - three mins."

"Copy that" she responded then on the company mike she ordered 'lights out!  High alert to vehicle ahead."

Weasel started slowing.  Care had to be taken to prevent ramming the vehicle you're following.  He pulled off the highway on a hard to see dirt road then continued on for a mile before finally coming to a full stop.  He walked back to the lead Paradigm vehicle and stated Rover Weasel here.

"Let's make a check on your casualties Major" Jesse said.  "Never mind the men, they're just scanning for tracking bugs.

Major Seines dismounted and ordered Allison to drive, Penny rear shotgun."

The girls all took their new positions in the Humvee.  Major Cummings, see to Miss Harrison.

"She's dead colonel" Andrea said as Major Seines looked on.

"Very well.  Majors, let's check on the rest of your casualties."

Within twenty minutes Jesses speaker reported "They're clean colonel.

"OK, mount up he called.  Within another five minutes they pulled out traveling the rough back road all the way to the compound.  The far west tunnel door opened allowing enough room for all the vehicles to shelter.  They would put the vehicles into the cavernous parking bin later.

A track sweeper contingent would erase all the tracks to the tunnel back for a couple of miles with a sweeper designed for exactly that and would have the job finished before first light.  colonel Forestall and General Cadarette were there to meet them.

Also three gurneys met the convoy - one of which had an empty body bag on it.  One of the girls had received a slight wound to the leg and the other had a crease on her left arm.  The rest were shown to their barracks and happily trudged off happy they were alive or had not been taken prisoner.

Ladasha was giving orders to the orderlies about the two wounded.  Doc. Wilson would see them there.

colonel Forristal would be having a change of mind in the near future.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

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Chapter XIV