THE BLOODY BUCKET-norry1

THE BLOODY BUCKET

keystone

THE BLOODY BUCKET
Norry...

A night patrol
Reb, Robbo, Tina Yates, CPT Panoke, and MAJ Tyler???

The briefing for the Recon to Norry got more specific...

[Berger]
"OK, The bridge between Lewisburg and East Lewisburg is just a rickety railroad bridge. The highway bridge was..." he smiled thinly, "demolished. The 3/103rd maintains an OP there, in a wrecked brick house on a hill overlooking the bridge."

"Here we are. The camp is located midway between "College Park"(Bucknell University) and the reverse-L shaped road that connects RT 15 with Miller Run. Right by the little swiggley roads there."

Berger laughed to himself. "Very technical description, I know..."

"Anyway, proceed south on RT 147 and you come to Northumberland. Norry, as it is often called, was known for 2 things. First, Joseph Priestley lived there. He was the guy that discovered, or more correctly, proved that oxygen existed. Second, there was a fairly large railroad classification yard there. Not as big as Enola-Marysville, where you said Reb saved the civvies from the monster truck, but still pretty large. No idea what the current state of the RR yard is."

"The bridge between Pine Knotter Park and Blue Hill has been demolished. Shikellamy State Park is also called "The Marina". It once had extensive recreational boating facilities. The fate of the boat docks, and the rail and highway bridges between Norry-the Marina-Sunbury are unknown."

"Travelling south on RT 147 from Norry, you reach Sunbury. Sunbury is the Northumberland County Seat, and the OA of the Mutineers of the 3/103rd. The highway bridge linking RT 11&15 with Sunbury, just north of the Fabridam, has been demolished. The Fabridam, more or less, an inflatable dam, was also destroyed a few years ago. This leaves the river at a pretty low level sometimes in the summer."

"So our route is basically this: We'll cross the Susquehanna on horseback, going over the railroad bridge from Lewisburg to East Lewisburg. We'll pick up RT 147, the main road that parallels the river, and we'll go south. About 9 miles south is Norry, but we'll stop about a half mile short of that, where the security platoon will set up."

[Royce]
The ruddy man, somewhere in his 40s-50s, spoke with a strange accent. It was something akin to a Scottish accent. The tab on his shoulder read "Canada". He went on to describe the security platoon.

"The Platoon is 15 persons strong, we have 6- M16s and the remainder civilian hunting rifles. Many of them are scoped. We're a little sparse on ammunition. We have an M79 for support, but we're kinda shy on ammo for that, too. We've 3 rounds..." The SGT adjusted the L85 automatic rifle slung over his shoulder. "They're good people, they can shoot. They're the best platoon in the camp." He smiled with pride. Berger nodded as if to confirm this. "We'll hold onto the horses, and if pursued, we'll make a big ruckus to discourage those bastards from following..."

[Berger]
"So the trip will be on horseback until we're abit outside of Norry." He smiled at some of the people's reaction to riding horses. "No, I'm no Willie Schumaker, either. We're not running a race, just using the horses so we have something left to complete the op."

"We'll pick thru the woods parallel to the road, on the east side of RT 147. About here", he points to a spot just north of the railyards, "is the rally point where the security platoon will be. There is a powerline cut thru the woods there. That's where we'll meet security platoon after we complete the op. And if we get seperated while in Norry, we'll meet there, at the powerline cut."

"As for what we'll find, who knows!?!? But the Colonel thinks they'd be fools not to have something in Norry. At least an OP/LP. There was a warehouse and offices for a drugstore chain downtown, but I don't know what's up with that place. Then there was the cannery. There were all kinds of fruits and vegetables in the area, and they were packed and shipped out from a spot about half a mile from the rally point. And there were 2 or 3 oil&gas distributerships, just outside the east end of town, heading to Bloomsburg on RT 11. Damn, if we could... well, we're just window shopping tonite, maybe we'll actually buy something next time..." He smiled.

"Then based on what we see and/or run into, we will continue south to Sunbury. We very well might hafta swim or wade the river. After all, we're going to see about the bridges. They just might not be there."

"We'll do our snooping there, and retrace the same path back to the powerline cut, north of Norry. If we get seperated in Sunbury, we'll meet at the Marina. There's an old restaurant there, it kinda looks like a beached ocean liner. Tacky as Hell. Anyway, we get split up, we'll meet there. Sunbury was one of the larger towns in the area. There was a bus/rail station, a hospital, a little downtown shopping area, but it was mostly lowe-rent apartment buildings, 7-11s, and a few businesses. At the northeast end of town was the shopping center, and east of that, the Armory grounds. There was a large warehouse for a regional grocery store chain there, but I'm sure that's been picked over. That was at the south end of town."

"As for gear, I plan on travelling pretty light. I would suggest you do so, too. I'm taking a canteen, a knife, a pistol, and my bow. Nice in case we hafta, well, you know..."

"Does that about cover it?"

Everyone took a slight break for some coffee...

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

RESTRICTED MSG to Von Fischer and Panoke
(shared here for informational purposes)

[GM]
Stryfe tells you that group of troops that came in, are from 28th Division's Aviation Brigade. There were two officers. Captain Ryan Tyler, apparently knows COL Stryfe. Pretty well, it would seem. They both were in the 101st together over in Saudi Arabia, till the division was dissolved last year. You remember very few members of the 101st actually made it back stateside. See the background page...

CPT Tyler never had to hand in his weapons, (among them an MP5 with a big suppressor on it) but his men did. The troopers, along with a rotor-jock LT1 named Chuck Jones, are being "detained, pending verification of ID" in the mess tent. Some of them, including Tyler, Jones, a SGT, and 2 troopers, have been slightly wounded. Four people have been detailed to guard them.

There are 3 civvies that came in with them, all men in their mid-late 20s. One took the "Detained, pending..." thing pretty calmly. The second went stomping into the mess tent, mumbling and grumbling loudly. He's not exactly a small guy, maybe 5"10" and 300#. He's pissed. The third guy is about 6'4", 350lbs, and damn near got himself shot in some kind of standoff between him, Tyler, and the camp guards.

This last guy's got the hot temper and accent of an Irishman. Major von Fischer recognized the name -- Sean Patrick Cunningham. He was an Irishman, alright, a journalist. He ran with a campesino band all the way from Mexico up to Maryland, reporting the war from their viewpoint. He always seemingly had this "attitude". The little guy struggling to come out on top. To sum it up, he was somewhat "anti-US" in his reporting. But he was no Wolf Blitzer. Maybe in ability, but not in charisma, presence, or rame. Von Fischer was sure not many people even remembered him, but he was the first reporter to go live during the Second Battle of Gettysburg. After one or two broadcasts, the AP brought in some other guy with audience appeal and manners, and booted Cunningham aside...

Tyler placed Cunningham under arrest, and told Royce to shoot him if he didn't cooperate. Royce calmed the man down somewhat.

The big Irishman is sitting in the mess tent, close to the two other civvies. They are under guard, but the Irishman is not cuffed or otherwise restrained. The big rottweiler belongs to the Irishman, someone said. MR Stoltzfus, the Amish blacksmith, went out and chained the big dog finally, down by the barn.

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

[von Fischer]
$%#@! He spent a few minutes discouraging the rotweiler. He contemplated having to sic "Boris" on him...

[Panoke]
yelled to what ever Sgt or soldier is around, to get that animal under control. "We will need those cats to keep any rodent problem under control."

Someone said MR Stoltzfus, the Amish blacksmith, went out and chained the big dog finally, down by the barn.

When Cpt. Panoke saw that the blacksmith had the dog chained up and under control, He complimented the man on a Job well done.

After finishing up his conversation with CAPT. Panoake, the Major made a brief trip to Operations and snagged a map (preferably a military map, but a USGS topographical map of the area will do) for the target area, folding it carefully and putting it in a pocket for the return trip to his tent. By the time he arrived Captain Panoake, Sergeant Berger, Corporal O'Herren, and Ms. Whittaker were all present (and most likely in the process of being claimed by a dog or cat).

Von Fischer stuck the map up in a convenient location, then turned to face his semi-captive audience.

"Gentlemen, ma'am, I'd like to take a few minutes to hash out a few final details of the patrol and make sure that we're all operating together on this."

"First of all, Corporal O'Herren - I am assuming that you will want to take the lead in the reconnaissance - you have more experience in that sort of thing than anyone else. I'd like to hear any comments you would like to make on how to go about getting this job done, because you are likely the person who has done this sort of job the most. You and Sergeant Berger should also get together sometime today and go over the lay of the land , then finalize our route, as well as alternate routes and likely locations of ambushes - both for the badguys and for us."

"Ms Whittaker, I would like to hear from you as to what sort of support you will need to carry out your field assessments. Do you need any sort of specialized equipment? How close will you need to get? How long will you need to spend in your assessments? Is there any way that other members of the team can assist you?"

"Captain, since you are Operations Officer, I'd like to send you off this morning to make a quick inspection of first platoon. If there are any serious inadequacies I want to know about them as soon as possible. Also, I'm going to be going over personnel files and after action reports this afternoon, and you are welcome to join me - I would value your input."

"Finally, on an altogether different note, Corporal - the Captain and I have the benefit of your services until 0100 hours. You're not a company clerk, and I for one don't expect you to act like one, but the Captain and I have, shall we say, quite a bit of work to do in integrating ourselves into our new responsibilities here, and an extra pair of hands today would be quite appreciated."

[Paused a moment to wait for groans from O'Herren, but pretends not to hear them.]

"Lady, gentlemen. Okay for a start what weapons do you all have. If you are short on anything let me know, I will try to get it for you. Panoke looks around the group. Trying to get a feel for the people here.

The group discussed weapons and equipment.

[Reb]
O'Herren took a better look at the map brought in by the Major and nodded. "Pretty straight forward, actually sir. I'll have a better idea once I've had an opportunity to study the map. We'll go in using the land to screen our moves and climbing up to a few preselected elevations to give a better over-all view. Stealth will be the rule. We will not take the easiest route, that is to be sure. If it's easy for us to traverse, then the enemy can easily have pickets in the area. A few extra klicks of humping could save us a world of trouble where this is concerned.

"I'll take along a field book to make notes and quick sketches in...I'd like to have time enough to be really detailed, but it's just not practical. When we get back I'll work up a tactical map from the info that we obtain."

[von Fischer]
Nodded. "Good idea - I'm sure the Colonel will appreciate it. If you're good at that sort of thing, we'll see about scrounging you a drafting table or something else to make your job easier, because I expect that in the future the Colonel will have you doing a lot of it."

[Reb]
O'Herren nodded. "I was a Land Surveyor before the war...I also have inks, paper, a scale...pretty much everything I need to do a little drafting. The table would be nice, but any smooth surface'll do. I actually have an EDM too, though I dare say we haven't the time for turning angles this night! I also have a CAD package on CD, but it's pretty useless without a plotter...or a working printer. Even a desktop can do okay, but I'm not sure what we have in the computer line. At the very least I could have the ACAD14 maps on the 'puter for reference..."

The map the Major brought in was a USGS map.

[Reb]
"I'm not sure if Pennsylvania is on the same datum as Tennessee, but the most recent USGS maps are NAD-83 where I'm from...which means the information is twenty years old...If that's the case with that one, and it's easy to tell, there are bound to be structures and roads that do not appear on that map. We'll have to be prepared for that as well." A half-smile breaks through Reb's short red beard. "'Course, it could be worse sir, could still be the old NAD-27."

[von Fischer]
Nodded. "Or a Texaco map."

[Reb]
Will's grin almost looked as if it would split his face. "Good one, sir."

"Ms Whittaker, I would like to hear from you as to what sort of support you will need to carry out your field assessments. Do you need any sort of specialized equipment? How close will you need to get? How long will you need to spend in your assessments? Is there any way that other members of the team can assist you?"

[Brooke Whittaker]
Brooke thought about the questions for a moment. "I don't know, I guess it depends on how much detail is needed. I don't have any kind of equipment with me and I haven't done this in a while, but I think I can still give you a good idea of what's out there."

"Visual inspection is the easiest, so I can probably do that with a pair of binoculars. The closer we can actually get, the better. Something more detailed than that, well, I'll have to write stuff down and do the calculations here if they have some engineering handbooks and a scientific calculator around."

"A camera, regular or video, it doesn't matter, might also be helpful to take a second look and it will make things easier to explain to the Colonel afterwards."

[Reb]
O'Herren nodded in understanding. "I have a few extra engineer's field books; you're more than welcome to one and a mechanical pencil if you need it. The books have some formula tables in the back I think you'll find useful, though you'll have to do everything longhand. I'll also take my binocs with me, so we'll share them" he added.

[von Fischer]
"For this mission, that would mean night vision equipment if we have any available. I'll also check to see if we have a video camera available, but I would tend to doubt it - to many electronic gizmos. We might be able to get you access to a calculator as well. I'll check on it once we adjourn."

[Major]
"I'll need to scrounge a canteen, a mini flashlight (the squeeze kind to illuminate your keys will do fine) and some rations. Last, but not least, if someone can show me how to tape it up so its quiet I'd like to borrow a k-bar". Some of his thoughts went unspoken. KBAR?... it isn't a sabre, but it will do. And where did Everett get those cool tiger stripes? Hmmmmmm....

"Any further comments?"

"Very well - We'll meet here for a final brief at 2215. Captain Panoake, if you would be so kind as to inform Sergeant Royce when you see him? Dismissed...."

The Major went off in search of night vision equipment, particularly those with image magnification abilities. Binoculars were preferred, monoculars gladly accepted, CostCo Special Bushnells taken in a pinch.

A camcorder was also on the shopping list, as long as it worked and had low light capability.

Finally, a scientific calculator will round out the order.

[GM]
That new guy, the Irishman that came in with all the guys from Aviation Brigade, well, 5th Platoon transferred a bunch of his stuff into one of 2 new cots in your tent. It's getting crowded in there, now. They're holding onto them, just like they did your group. Are they security conscious, or just paranoid...

Anyway, this guy, the owner of that Rottie, is a reporter or something, they said, had a bunch of camera gear. Brooke had mentioned something about that, too.

If you're in need of some regular binocs, Berger has his own, and can probably scrounge up another pair for the Op.

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

01 MAY 03 / 2100 hours
3/103rd Armored Camp
Lewisburg, PA

The men and women of 1st platoon had mostly gathered together, even though they weren't due to leave for some time. Another smaller group of people, two officers and a few others, also made their preparations.

SGT Royce met with the two new people in 1st PTN to give assigments. Well, to be more specific, to brief them on a mission. He laid out a map, and by the light of an alcohol lantern, he pointed out local highways, landmarks, and so on, attempting to familiarize everyone with where they would be going. Apparently, they would be leaving tonite for some sort of Operation...

[GM]

Notes: The bridge between Lewisburg and East Lewisburg is just a rickety railroad bridge. The highway bridge was demolished. The 3/103rd maintains an OP there, in a wrecked brick house on a hill overlooking the bridge.

The camp is located midway between "College Park"(Bucknell University) and the reverse-L shaped road that connects RT 15 with Miller Run. There are a few little swiggley roads there. I'll put a star there soon.

Proceed south on RT 147 and you come to Northumberland. Norry, as it is often called, was known for 2 things. First, Joseph Priestley lived there. He was the guy that discovered, or more correctly, proved that oxygen existed. Second, there was a fairly large railroad classification yard there. Not as big as Enola-Marysville, where Reb saved the civvies from the monster truck, but still pretty large. No idea what the current state of the RR yard is.

The bridge between Pine Knotter Park and Blue Hill has been demolished. Shikellamy State Park is also called "The Marina". It once had extensive recreational boating facilities. The fate of the boat docks, and the rail and highway bridges between Norry-the Marina-Sunbury are unknown.

Travelling south on RT 147 from Norry, you reach Sunbury. Sunbury is the Northumberland County Seat, and the OA of the Mutineers of the 3/103rd. The highway bridge linking RT 11&15 with Sunbury, just north of the Fabridam, has been demolished. The Fabridam, more or less, an inflatable dam, was also destroyed a few years ago. This leaves the river at a pretty low level sometimes in the summer.

[Royce]
"So 1st PTN's part in the mission is this: We'll cross the Susquehanna on horseback, going over the railroad bridge from Lewisburg to East Lewisburg. We'll pick up RT 147, the main road that parallels the river, and we'll go south. About 9 miles south is Norry. The special team will be going on a snoop there. 1st PTN will be providing a secure rallying point for special team. We'll hold up a half mile outside the town, and wait for them, and provide cover for them should they need it."

The ruddy man, somewhere in his 40s-50s, spoke with a strange accent. It was something akin to a Scottish accent. The tab on his shoulder read "Canada". He went on to describe the security platoon.

"The Platoon, with the addition of PVT McCain and MR Cunningham, is now 17 persons strong. We have 6- M16s, McCain's Tommy Gun, and the remainder is pistols and civilian hunting rifles. Many of them are scoped. We're a little sparse on ammunition. We have an M79 for support, but we're kinda shy on ammo for that, too. We've 3 rounds..." The SGT adjusted the L85 automatic rifle slung over his shoulder. "They're good people, they can shoot. They're the best platoon in the camp." He smiled with pride.

[Berger]
SGT Berger, who would accompany the special team, nodded as if to confirm this.

[Royce] "We'll hold onto the horses, and if pursued, we'll make a big ruckus to discourage those bastards from following..."

[Berger]
Berger continued by reviewing the info on the special team's part in the mission. "So the trip will be on horseback until we're abit outside of Norry. We'll pick thru the woods parallel to the road, on the east side of RT 147. About here", he points to a spot just north of the railyards, "is the rally point where the security platoon will be. There is a powerline cut thru the woods there. That's where we'll meet security platoon after we complete the op. And if we get seperated while in Norry, we'll meet there, at the powerline cut."

Both officers, a Major and a Captain, offered their comments on the operation. Although competant, and intelligent, they both seemed somewhat new to the camp as well. Perhaps that is why the briefing was delivered by the two SGTs...

So it would appear this evening would be on-the-job-training for more than one or two people this evening.

[Royce]
The Canadian said to the new men in 1st PTN, "MacCain, Cunning'um, the Colonel said you gents weren't Regular Army, but you had 'been around', as they say. That's good. Well, remember ta listen to the SGTs, and officers. There's no time in stressful situations to ask questions. Just do what yer told. We'll discuss options, why's, should'ves, might'ves and other intellectual ponderin's over a drink when we get back. Do I make myself clear?"

"Remember, we're NOT to engage the enemy in a headlong firefight. We're to hold the rally point secure for the special team, and make sure they get home safely. This operation will take several hours. I hope you managed some sleep. Barrin' unforseen circumstances, we'll be back in camp at sunrise. Get what you need of your stuff. We'll all be on horseback, and some of us will have to double up, so don't bring the kitchen sink."

"For the duration of the mission, we only open up on enemy forces to permit the special team's escape. If we're compromised before we reach the rally point, we'll scrub the mission. If we're knocked off before they return from their snoop, obviously they're on their own. So it's imperative that we're there for 'em. Is that understood?... Now, anymore questions?"

[McCain]
Understood...I take it we won't get to do any fishing or flirting with the rich gals at College Park. What I would give to see one of those fresh young lasses pop out of a BMW with a skirt up to here. I imagine they didn't fair too well though when things got tough. But seriously, I have done some scouting for other units and know a little about this area. Although not nearly as well as a native...mind you.

McCain used a few spare minutes to scratch a private stripe on his buckskin jacket with a piece of charcoal...

[Sean]
'Sgt. Royce, I picked up this 30-30 from the last fire fight I was in, the one Mr...er I mean Pvt McCain and the rest pulled my arse out of...I would be more then willing to give it to someone with more experience with long arms. I'm more comfortable with my .45. I could use a few more rounds for her though."

[Royce]
Royce looked at Berger.

[Berger]
Berger pulled out a little notebook from his fannypack, and removed it from a ziplock bag. He flipped thru, and read. "Mr. Cunningham, I'm sorry. We're very short on all pistol ammo right now, especially .45 ACP. I'd suggest you hang on to the 30-30..."

[Sean]
"Also I don't know how you feel about it, but my pal Guiness here" as he scratched his pals ears, "has more KIAs then I do, I think he would be of use to us tonight. I mean no offense when I say this, but since I don't know any of you, I would feel more comfortable having him watching my back if you know what I mean."

[Royce]
"I love animals. Guiness looks like a fine dog. But we'll leave him behind until we've had a change to run some practice drills with him under more controlled conditions. Anything else?..."

[Sean]
Sean knelt down and gave his ever present friend a kiss on the top of the head. "You have to stay here tonight boy...stay out of trouble ok?"

[Major]
"Captain, since you are Operations Officer, I'd like to send you off this morning to make a quick inspection of first platoon. If there are any serious inadequacies I want to know about them as soon as possible. Also, I'm going to be going over personnel files and after action reports this afternoon, and you are welcome to join me - I would value your input."

"Finally, on an altogether different note, Corporal - the Captain and I have the benefit of your services until 0100 hours. You're not a company clerk, and I for one don't expect you to act like one, but the Captain and I have, shall we say, quite a bit of work to do in integrating ourselves into our new responsibilities here, and an extra pair of hands today would be quite appreciated."

[Reb]
O'Herren shrugged and nodded in understanding. Far from being put off, the Corporal understands how the Army works. "I live but to serve, Major" he replies with his perpetual half-grin.

[Major]
"Any further comments?...."


Norry Oil Distribution Facilities-target info


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