THE BLOODY BUCKET-turns

THE BLOODY BUCKET

keystone

THE BLOODY BUCKET
The Keystone Division after WW3

Calico 9mm helical-fed carbine

The Great Escape PT II

Date: 31 APR 03
Time: 1825
Place: Smashed-up Maintenance Shed, 228th FSB, Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA
People: WIZ, JACK(npc), DOC, YATES(npc), CRUISER(npc)

Before Wiz and Jack could even react, a HUMMER plowed right into the building in which they were hiding...

Wiz and Jack scrambled out from behind a counter, and pointed pistols at the group of people before them...

A chopper swooped overhead, apparently circled 2 or 3 times, then flew off into the distance...

[Wiz]
Wiz's first reaction was to draw his gun. Then he waited until the copter left, and inspected the people in and around the HUMMER. Wiz wasn't certain whether they were the enemy or not. Wiz aimed his gun at the nearest of the thrown passengers and demanded, "Who are you and what are you doing here?"

The people were dressed in US Army fatigues. None currently were holding a weapon. The driver of the vehicle was thrown, Wiz was pointing his gun at him.

[Wiz]
Wiz looked at the thrown man and asked, "Who are you and what are you doing here, and why was that helicopter after you, and exactly which side are you on?"

The former HUMMER riders still looked a bit woozy from the collision, and to no one's suprise, they didn't answer right away...

[Wiz]
Wiz looked at the thrown man and again asked, "Who are you and what are you doing here, and why was that helicopter after you, and exactly which side are you on?"

[Yates](an NPC)
The former HUMMER riders still looked a bit woozy from the collision, and to no one's suprise, they didn't answer right away. But finally, a blond woman stood, and, unimpressed that two pistols were pointed in her general direction, she gave her sarcastic reply. "We're dangerous MEDICAL personnel from the flippin' HOSPITAL. Obviously, we've crashed our friggin' TRANSPORT, and sh*t, we're all AMERICANS, you bonehead -- just who's side are YOU on, anyway?..."

[Wiz]
Wiz placed his gun back into it's holster and turned to the lady.

"I have no $%#*ing idea whose side I'm on right now. I don't even know who is attacking! And I'm going to go ahead and assume that you ARE on my side and that you ARE from this base. For all I know, Americans are attacking us right now. But, it appears we have the same idea... get the hell out of here. So..."

Wiz began to help the fallen people back to their feet. "Have any idea where to head after we get out of the base?"

[Novak]
"Yes... Away!"

[Yates]
"Doc, don't be a wiseguy... could you do something for my arm -- it hurts like a b******!... we've gotta regroup -- whoever these people are that are attacking, U.S., Russkies, mutineers, whatever... they still might be a threat. They had choppers -- I thought all the air had been grounded for at least 5 months. And we got d*** for weapons..."

[Jack]
"Well, if you're not the attackers, then, who are you?" Jack looked sly for a moment. "What unit are you guys with, anyway?..."

[Novak]
"Hospital. Let me fix this person's arm first, and I'll tell you all about it".

[Cruiser&Yates]
Yates motioned the kid nearer and talked quietly to him. She cradled her broken arm with her good one. He dug in a fanny pack for some ammo, and then cleared and reloaded Yates' M92 pistol for her. He looked quite comical with the large purple "goose egg" enlarging above his left eyebrow.

[Jack]
"If we leave, then can't we be shot as deserters?"

Jack's question went unanswered, while everyone looked around the room, and sized up each other for ranks and so on.

Novak, referred to as Dr., wore Captain's "railroad-track" bars. He had Medical insignia, too. He would be the ranking officer present...

Wiz, 1st man in shed, wore camou pants, a black tanktop, and had a 2LT bar on a hat.

Jack, 2nd man in shed, wore camou BDUs, sleeves rolled up, and had a toolbelt with small tools around his waist. He wore Spec4 "icecream cones" on his collar.

Yates, the sarcastic, athletically built blond woman, wore Spec4 "icecream cones" on a hat. She was dressed in olive drab Army running shorts, and a tight-fitting black T shirt. She resembled the actress Sharon Stone, but was somewhat shorter and more muscular.

Cruiser, the pimple-studded driver, wore BDUs with the single stripe of a PFC.

[Cruiser]

The young driver dusted himself off, and walked behind the HUMMER. "S***! Aw, man, O'Neil!....", and with that, the kid lost his lunch in a noisy SPLASH! on the concrete floor. "Doc... Oh, God! They've had it fer sure!..." [Novak]
Doc checked the bodies to see if they were still alive. Realizing they were not, he helped Cruiser and Wiz get the bodies out of the Hummer. "If anyone knows last rites, say them now, and quickly. Otherwise, let's get busy..."

Jack said a few ill-remembered words over the men, then covered them with a tarp in the middle of the room.

[Novak]
Novak, realizing the responsibility of the safety of the group, ordered them to cover.

"Everyone into the warehouse. Unless someone has a main battle tank, hiding's the only thing we can do".

===============

Date: 31 APR 03
Time: 1835
Place: Smashed-up Maintenance Shed, 228th FSB, Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA
People: WIZ, JACK(npc), DOC, YATES(npc), CRUISER(npc)

Novak began bandaging Yates' arm.

[Yates]
She yelped in pain and looked as if she might punch the Dr. at one point.

"Hey, watch it, buddy. That's TEN-der!"

[Novak]
Doc smiled and said, "Sorry, I'd offer you something for the pain, but I left my anestesiologist back in my other hospital..." [Yates] The blond woman smiled abit through a grimace of pain.

The group pondered each other, and their situation, for a few minutes, until bursts of gunfire broke the stillness...

[Yates]
"Sounds real close, and just north of here.

[Cruiser]
"How can you tell direction? We're indoors..."

[Yates]
"Shut up!... Yeah, definately north..."

[Wiz]
"Here is what I think we can do," Wiz said, standing. "We all want to get out of here, so we combine our efforts. You've got this HUMMER, which actually helps us all out a lot. I've got a few essentials I'd like to load on there, if you don't mind. And don't worry, I won't touch your medical supplies". Looking around, he said, "We have plenty of stuff in here, we just need to decide what we need to take, and what we can do to get us out of here. When we leave, I can speed on ahead and attract attention with my bike", he said, pointing to an old dirt bike. "I'm not sure what else. Maybe we can find something to burn and create smoke, but we can't stay here much longer. We need to get out, and get out fast. Any objections?", Wiz asks, but he is already looking around for makeshift weapons, and ways to create a diversion or cover while the group makes their escape.

The sounds of short bursts and single shots, and the occasional explosion from a grenade could be heard, steadily becoming nearer to the maintenance shed.

[Novak]
"If it's just small arms, it may be a ground assault, in which case we'd best leave south."

[Yates]
"Hell, that sounds good to me.

[Jack]
"I'd rather take my chances DOING something rather than gettin' shot like fish in a barrel."

[Novak]
"I agree with that. Okay people, we've got maybe 5 to 10 minutes to get everything ready before they start sending out search parties. We need to make enough smoke to distract the choppers, so find anything that will make smoke, tires, green wood, dirty oil, anything. If someone has a smoker or something, then throw that in too. Let's get cracking.

[Wiz]
The techie began to think outloud while he set to work.

"Okay, so maybe we DON'T have hardly any weapons. But I'm sure we can throw together some gasoline bombs, and you can... umm..." Wiz kept talking as he helped Cruiser mop up blood from the back of the Hummer.

[Cruiser]
"S***! I've never touched another person's blood before. H***, I've never touched a dead ANYTHING before, let alone a PERSON..." The young kid looked as if he might puke again, but thankfully, he held it...

[Wiz]
Wiz knew this place -- it was his workplace. He came up with several computers in various states of repair, electronics devices (likewise broken), etc. These were largely housed in plastic cases, which he thought should probably smoke or burn as requested. Also, he stacked up several spools of coax cable, and empties three shelves of plastic conduit. These he had seen smoke and burn when a voltage spike went through the O-Club last February.

Finally, he got help, and moved a heavy, olive drab crate containing a linked belt of 25mm API (armor-piercing incendiary) ammo. He put this next to the large heap of debris which had accumulated in the middle of the room. This contained 33 rounds, according to the stenciled letters on the crate. This would burn and explode, obviously. Perhaps so obviously as to take people's attention off of the group...

[Wiz]
Wiz found some room in the back of the Hummer, and rigged up some netting from the back, up over the top of the HUMMER, which created an area where more cargo could be carried. He was very careful to avoid messing up the Doc's stuff. Once that was done, he started looking around for empty bottles, rags and gas. He found no gas, but substituted cleaning solution, and thereby put together a few "Molotov Cocktails". He continued mentally itemizing everything in the shed that could possibly used to make a weapon, or confusion, or anything that would help.

[Doc] As Wiz began to make a few cocktails, Doc looked at what he was doing with alarm. "Hey, what are you doing? Don't waste gas, it's not like there's any place convenient to fill up anymore. [Wiz] "I couldn't find any gas -- I used cleaning solution". [Doc] "OK, but put any gas, spare parts, and the like into the Hummer. We need to assume that we're not coming back, and what we carry is what we'll have. There might be used oil and the like in drums. Although I can't remember if the stuff will explode, it should still burn. Use that instead. At the very least it will make alot of smoke."

[Wiz]
The techie agreed and began getting the few cans of used oil together to make a smoke screen.

[Doc]
"Maybe find some tires or something, they make alot of smoke when they burn. About what you said earlier -- If you want to risk it, then run interference -- I guess telling you to be careful is kindof an understatement. Is there somewhere we can meet if we get separated?

The group discussed their options for a few moments...

So everyone gathered their stuff together, Wiz checked out his dirt bike, and Cruiser made sure the HUMVEE started.

[Wiz]
Wiz strapped the rest of his own possessions into the Hummer before dragging as much burnable stuff right outside the door. He took a lighter to it and asked, "Everyone ready?" He started up his motorbike. "On the count of three? I'll meet you outside of the base." His emotions of fear and excitement at the danger, nearly overwhelmed him, as he ignited the pile of oil-soaked papers that served as the fuse for the building-sized "smoke bomb". In a flash, he worried if the fuse was long enough. He didn't want to risk his neck, but...ohh well.

[GM] There was really very little similarity in 2003 to what the area was in 1998. The most memorable place was a nice restaurant, called the Country Oven. They specialized in Prime Rib, and served an awesome peanut butter pie. Trouble is, in 2003, it was illegal in PA to purchase meat 4 days out of the week. There was an "arrangement" between the restaurant and the base, where for a price, things could be had. The base had ringed the restaurant with sandbags and wire, and posted guards there to keep order.

Wiz and Doc, being officers, splurged once in a while, and bribed the waiter for a nice 20-ouncer, done to order. They both vaguely remember seeing each other there, except they weren't aquainted at the time.

Nearby in Bordnersville was a Nursery and Garden Center, two small public airports, a Lowes (hardware/home furnishing chain store), a Giant(grocery chain), a Short-Stop(convenience store), a high school, a shopping center, and many houses, most of which were damaged, many of which were totally demolished. Most of the businesses had been THOROUGHLY picked over and looted. (Don't even ask... ) Most of the people had moved away or onto the base, if they could justify it. Some people still lived in the town, and were pretty nervous about the base.

Nighttime in the town was crazy! Insane! Nuts!... The base sent out patrols in squad strength, usually augmented with one or two vehicles. There was some sort of "Fifth Column" movement operating there, and occasional raids were directed at the base. Some of the men from the base talked about getting together and cleaning out the town for the good of everyone, but the orders never came down, and it would have been nuts to leave the base for long.

RTs 78 & 81 were Major Interstate Highways in the vicinity. They were in poor repair in 2003. This means bridges, exit ramps, overpasses, etc. were probably NOT passable, and that some "cross country" travel would be required to traverse these obtacles. So travel at your own risk...

Harrisburg, the Capitol of PA, was a mere 20 minutes SW on RT 81 from here. As had been stated, Harrisburg was in a state of Anarchy. Some units from the base had been assigned guard duty at the Capitol Complex, but that ended a couple of months ago, when the surviving units pulled back into the base, and severely limited travel into and around the area. Doc had treated many casualties from the riots and unrest in Harrisburg. One of the last remaining commercial radio / TV stations broadcasted from Harrisburg, and the news from there was, well, "limited" by the Government.

The PA Turnpike (RT 76) ran east and west in the southern 1/3 of the State between Pittsburgh and Philly. No reports on how safe it was, or the condition of the roads...

RT 80 was a major interstate highway that also ran east and west, only it was in the northern 1/3 of the state.

Doc went to Med School at the Hershey Medical School, in Hershey (Chocolatetown). The factory closed about 2 years ago. Darn! The college was affiliated with Penn State, and even in 2003, it had an excellent reputation.

Wiz was born and bred in Alabama (you can still hear abit of the accent...) He went to school at Carnegie Mellon, which also had an excellent reputation. That school was in the eastern section of Pittsburgh, so Wiz would have a thing or two to tell you about that city.

Jack once lived in York. He knows that the situation there was about the same as in the other cities. He'd rather not return there. Cruiser was from a small farming community outside of Lancaster, and he said that Lancaster was even worse than York, with the displaced city gangs roaming the countryside, stealing livestock and killing those who resist. Philly was nuked on July 4th 1999, and nearly four years later, it was still a radioactive wreck. Pittsburgh was rumored to be run by a consortium of local businessmen. No news on Scranton-Wilkes Barre...

Yates argued convincingly with several encouraging pieces of information. She was from a small town called Port Trevorton, which was about 45 minutes north of Harrisburg, on RT 15. The town was little more than a few houses, a church or two, a gas station, and a family restaurant. It was quietly nestled on the banks of the Susquehanna River. At least that's how it was when she left 3 years ago...

back to our story...

[Yates]
"The central and north parts of the state are largely agricultural. Alot of the problems we might encounter are PEOPLE, and there are very few PEOPLE living where I came from. In my little town, there are fish to be caught in the river and nearby streams. And the woods are full of deer, rabbits, and squirrels, just waiting to be roasted over a nice fire. The farms, they've been untended for awhile, probably, but... well, with some work... we could find seeds somewhere... Anyway, fewer people means fewer idiots taking a potshot at us. For what it's worth..."

[Doc]
Doc says, "Well, the restaurant sounds like a good place to meet, let's say that we'll meet there in two hours. Any who aren't there are going to be left behind." Doc looks thoughful for a few moments. "It's premature to talk about where we're going if we don't know who's going. I think Yates has the right idea though."

[Yates]
"I'm not staying HERE! I'm goin'!!!"

[Cruiser]
"I can't go home. I got nowhere to go... I might as well hang with you guys..."

[Jack]
"I'm going where Wiz goes, until he starts acting nuts again." Jack feigned a punch to Wiz's left bicep. Well, I don't think anyone's gonna stand in line waiting to be shot here. We're ALL going, right?"

Everyone nodded or otherwise responded in the affirmative.

"Okay remember the restaurant. Mount up folks." Doc started the engine of the HUMMER.

[GM]
Yates and Cruiser piled into the Hummer. Cruiser rode shotgun, and Yates got in the backseat. Yates checked her pistol, and Cruiser eyed Doc's M16...

[Cruiser]
"Doc, if you're gonna drive, could I?..."

[Doc]
Sure, knock yourself out. I think I got some grenades in the back of the Hummer. You might want to load those in too.

[Jack]
Jack, giggling with nervousness, whipped out two revolvers, opened them in a fancy maneuver, checked them, and then flipped them closed. He hopped on the motorbike, in back of Wiz, holding the revolvers loosely at his sides like a comical cowboy on a horse from some goofy western movie...

[Doc]
Doc looked at Wiz, to see how he wants to resolve this. He didn't really have a problem with Jack riding with Wiz, but he thought that Wiz would probably lose some precious mobility if Jack rides with him. On the other hand, Jack could provide some much needed extra firepower for Wiz.

[GM]
So the little group quickly made it's plans for escaping the base. Rifle shots and the explosion of grenades could be heard nearby. Occasionally, yelling, shouting, or a single unnerving scream could also be heard.

[Wiz] Wiz, with Jack covering him, sped out of the warehouse, weaved in and out of a few blocks of the compound to draw attention away from the main group, and then wheeled around and tore a** toward the Country Oven restaurant.

[Doc]
Cruiser, Yates, and Doc left shortly after Wiz and Jack. Doc careened the HUMVEE sharply around several turns, did a passable imitation of a bootlegger turn, and crashed the gate doin' 98... or more like 58 mph... Cruiser would lend support with Doc's M203. Yates alternated between hanging on, and bouncing around when she lost her grip.

[GM]
Both groups could see the smoke rising from their erstwhile hideout, the maintenance shed. Shortly, the 25mm autocannon rounds went off, first just a few pops and bangs, then, the remainder of the belt cooked off in a rapid burst. Anything in or around the shed was no doubt shredded.

[Wiz]
Wiz and Jack on the dirtbike, had a substantial lead on the HUMVEE. The main fence around the restaurant had been battered and torn down. There were apparently no people around, so Wiz and Jack dismounted, and began the long, painstaking wait for the others in the HUMVEE.

[Wiz]
Wiz decided to use the time as best he could, and pulled his bike right inside the place where the wall used to be. He drew his gun and motioned for Jack to do the same. Jack didn't have to be told, though. He was ready with those two .357 Magnums...

They quickly moved in and tried to determine if any hostiles were in the place. Certainly they both were hoping there were not...

===============

Date: 30 APR 03
Time: 1900
Place: The Country Oven Restaurant, near Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA
People: WIZ, JACK(npc)

[GM]
The two friends dismounted, and began checking out the restaurant. The walls had been sandbagged, and firing loopholes had been added. A thin whisp of smoke rose from a stovepipe in the roof. It was very quiet outside the place.

Jack readied his pistols and quietly stalked into the lobby. Broken glass was everywhere. Wiz entered on Jack heels, and kept a lookout while Jack proceeded.

Directly ahead was an employee entrance to the kitchen, and to the left was the cashiers counter and the bar. The quaint, antique stained glass windows around the bar now laid in a million pieces on the floor. There were bulletholes, probably from massed automatic weapons, all around the bar, and not a bottle of liquor was intact on the shelves. There were also several bodies, civilian and military, strewn around the place. They appeared to have only recently been killed...

Further into the place, to the left, were two dining rooms. The first, was smaller, and more private. The second was quite large, and boasted 16 or so 8-person tables, in addition to 25-30 4-person tables.

Jack signaled silently to Wiz that he heard movement in the next room, the kitchen, if you both remembered correctly. Jack whispered an idea.

[Jack] "On the count of three, we'll burst in, and surprise 'em. Sound good?"

[Wiz] "OK..." Wiz wasn't really sure about this, but...

[Jack] "1..., 2..."

Suddenly the doors from the kitchen burst open. To their amazement, it wasn't a squad of Green Berets, and it wasn't a musclebound cook armed with a nasty meat cleaver. Just a cat. A rather scroungy, scrawny cat at that. Jack almost shot the thing out of sheer shock, but decided not to risk the noise.

Jack and Wiz heard noise outside. Rushing to a window, they saw a car whip into the parking lot. Sure enough, a familiar bullet-riddled HUMVEE was parked outside the restaurant. It was Doc and the others, who arrived here without major incident.

Date: 30 APR 03
Time: 1900
Place: The Country Oven Restaurant, near Ft. Indiantown Gap, PA
People: WIZ, JACK(npc), DOC, CRUISER(npc), Yates(npc)

[GM] Wiz and Jack had searched the place, and came up with a 6-pack of Coors Lite that someone had left behind, under one of the bodies. He must've fell on it when... There were 6 bodies in the main dining room, and another two behind the bar. All wore US fatigues, and all had been stripped of equipment, weapons, and money. The kitchen had lots of pots and pans, and utensils galore, but no food. There were three huge walk-in freezers, but all had been stripped. There were some prep areas with herbs and spices, but these too had been picked over -- no sugar, salt, pepper, or flour, just other stuff like marjoram, thyme, etc. There were two large dumpsters outside that were not searched yet...

[Doc] Doc organized the efforts of the group. "Yates, Jack, check out the restaurant... see if there's any food in there. If so, grab it. It's going to be a really long time before we can expect regular meals. If there are any people hiding in there, pay for the food or trade with them. I don't want to start wasting ammo on a stupid fire fight".

"The rest of you fan out for now. Keep an eye on the approaches, we want to have plenty of warning so that we can get under cover or run for it. Especially look out for Choppers."

The group thoroughly searched the restaurant. Once the people were in position, Doc began to take inventory of what equipment they had now, paying especial attention to the equipment that the others had put onboard the Hummer.

[Doc]
Doc shook his head when he saw the bodies. "Such a stupid waste..." He looked around awhile longer. "Hmmm, grab one of the big soup pots and a frying pan. I highly doubt any of us have the equipment necessary to cook for a large group of people... get all the knives, and all the spices. I figure in a couple of years there'll be precious few prepackaged, and most importantly, well-preserved spices around. Cruiser why don't you and I check out the dumpster.

[Cruiser]
"Right, Captain."

[Doc]
It may be disgusting, but soon, food will be food... Besides, there may be survivors... Wiz while we're at that, why don't you set up a watch and then see if there is anything that you can salvage. I guess things like light bulbs, spare parts and such."

[Wiz]
"OK, sounds good to me..."

Wiz rounded up several cardboard boxes, and began loading utensils, cooking pots and pans, spices, lightbulbs, toilet paper, and other essentials, to be placed in the HUMMVEE. Jack kept watch by the main entrance.

The cat slinked around the room, but then froze in fear in the middle of the room. The cat was perhaps the skinniest animal of it's type that Doc had ever seen. It was obviously malnourished, probably a kitten 2 months old, give or take. It showed no outward signs of rabies, and looked about as fearful as anything else would be at this place. Doc reached out to pet the small animal. It cowered, but then slowly, cautiously approached, and let the man pet him. It was a black and white cat, patches over the body of the thing much like a cow. The animal had a white face, and a black "moustache", like maybe Hitler, or more accurately, Groucho Marx. The kitten emitted a pitiful "mrrrOWWW!" as Doc petted and scratched it. As Doc turned to leave, the animal did it's best to follow, right on his heels.

Cruiser and Doc carefully left the restaurant thru the kitchen's service exit, to a loading dock. This dark place had space for two trucks to pull up and load/unload. The dumpster was concealed behind a brown latticework screen, but was easy for the men's noses to spot. The dumpster was painted green, and was quite large, about 1.75m tall, 3m long, and 2m wide.

Cruiser, armed with a pistol, approached the dumpster while Doc covered him with the M16. Cruiser slowly approached, then flung the lid to the dumpster open. The lid creaked and grated, then slammed home into the open position. The most remarkable thing about the dumpster was the smell. It stunk. It smelled. It darned near knocked Cruiser off his feet. Well, in a way, it did, because he soon bent over and vomited for the second time that afternoon...

Doc covered his nose to shield it from the offensive smell, and investigated while Cruiser did the old heavy-ho! on the loading dock. The food, or whatever, was thoroughly decomposed. Flies swarmed out from the open door, and rivaled the smell in their ability to choke a person. Some of the stuff was identifiable as lettuce and vegetables, there was some badly molded bread, but the rest was just like sludge.

A large hill or slope was visible from the loading dock, looking to the north. Up on this hill some 600m away, puffs of smoke could be seen. The flash of muzzle blast from rifles then became visible. A single bullet ping!-ed into the dumpster, and Cruiser was back up onto the loading dock in an instant.

[Wiz]
Wiz rushed out the back when he heard the gun shot then ran back in on Doc and Cruiser's heels. "Well F*$@. Nothing is going to go right. I've got most of the things packed up now, let's grab the rest..."

The gears of Wiz's mind were grinding away on a plan.

"I'm not going to leave any of those bastards alive if I can help it... If

pot


To return to the BLOODY BUCKET PAGE, click HERE BLOODY BUCKET


Copyright 1998-2000, by ERIC, The Phantom of the Rock Opera. All Rights Reserved