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SCENE THREE of THE BREAKDOWN

What's the plan man?











Mark - Let's sum up our situation. We have no food, water, power, gasoline, and we're generally unsafe from these raiders. Time is of the essence, because we have vulnerable people to take care of. Hungry kids aren't going to understand why they can't eat. If anyone gets sick, they probably can't get medical attention.


Dan - We'll go down to Lake Madison and bring water back in cans. Set them in my back yard.


Abby - Look for anything edible that the raiders didn't bother with. Bread, flour, crackers, vegetables in our gardens. It'll have to be rationed.


Emma - Someone has to hurry out to my uncle's farm and find out the situation there. If it's clear, then we need to get vulnerable families transported out there to it.


Jerry - To do that, we need to get ahold of one or more pickup trucks.


Carl - I can bike out to the farm. In fact, most of us probably have bikes around.


Emma - I can go too. Or I can draw a map and write a note. My Uncle Al will be suspicious of anyone coming around.


Mark - It'll be best if you and Carl hustle out there and see what's what. We'll do the ambush later when it gets dark.


Jim - Who's going to check out the airport?


Mark - When we go down to the lake for water, we'll check out the airport. If there's any group at the airport, they could be trouble. We need to know what side they're on.


Jim - There's twenty five of us altogether.


Mark - Yeah. We are against an unknown number of Goppers, skinheads, and Russians. That's why we have to be careful and smarter than they are. We need to increase our numbers, and we need to work together. We can't tell friend from foe right now. So we can't trust anybody.


Jerry - There are still a lot of people in the subdivision who aren't here. What about them?


Mark - Good question. Are they on our side or not? Will we have to take care of them insofar as food and water and protection? When we get survival stuff, will they attack us?


Abby - I don't know. They could go either way. I'd hate to ignore anyone who needs help. But we don't know who to trust. Everybody is in a bad way right now. Some can't fight or help, and others are attacking their neighbors for food. They're just out to save their own skins. Every man for himself. When it comes down to self preservation, morals just get in the way, and have to take a back seat. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. Let's give them a second chance later. But right now, it's just this group of us to worry about.


Mark - Okay. Carl and Emma, you head out to Uncle Al's farm. You'll be back in about an hour. Abby and Jerry, you'll coordinate the water and food. Dan, and I will check out the airport. Jim and Manuel, will build the Molotov cocktails and check out what kind of weapons are here among us. When that's done, we'll plan the details of the ambush.


Jim - What if the Goppers come while we're doing all this?


Mark - My advice would be to hide. They're killers. We can't afford to lose anyone. They've already been through this subdivision. If they come back, it's for the joy of killing. They'll be looking for anything they overlooked before. If we had the expertise, we'd step out of the shadows and do some throat cutting.


Manuel - I'm all for that.


Mark - Yeah. But be careful. We need you and your goose gun later.


Dan - Let's get this show on the road.


Mark - Wait. Let's lay out the ambush plan now.


Dan - Okay. We'll need about three men to find a large limb down by the river, and lay it out in the road. We'll need everyone with a weapon to hide down the banks on both sides. When they get out to move the limb, we'll gun them down. We'll assign four or five people to do that. We'll need another four or five people to throw the firebombs. Everybody will then blow away anyone who is trying to escape. We need to not damage the truck, of course.


Emma - That's going to work. Believe me. It's a good plan. The weakest point is going to be, when gunning down the ones moving the limb, the truck

bed group is going to open fire towards the sides of the road with automatic rifles, and the firebombers won't be able to get their bombs launched.


Dan - What's your answer to that?


Emma - Assign five or six to fire at the guys in the truck bed. They might lay low for a bit if they're pinned down - long enough for the bombers to light and throw their bombs.


Dan - Sounds like a plan. Let's get this show on the road. It'll be dark soon.


Mark - Jim and Manuel - organize the ambush party.


Manuel - I just hope they're the same ones who murdered my family.


Mark - Just don't let your taste for revenge make you reckless. There are a lot more of these guys where these guys come from.


Jerry - We really need to wait for Carl and Emma to give us a report on Uncle Al's farm.


Dan - Right. After all, that place is our planned refuge.


Mark - I think I see them pedaling in right now.


Emma - Uncle Al's place is okay for us. Our biggest worry is the group gathered up at the airport. We have no way of knowing whether they're on our side or not. We were lucky to get by there without being seen.


Mark - We're going to have to bypass the airport, until we know who they are.


Carl - It only took us about a half hour to get out to Uncle Al's farm


Abby - I believe we need to re-think our plan.


Mark - I think you're right. We need to get everyone to Uncle Al's farm, quickly, and without being seen by anybody. Emma, what's the situation at Uncle Al's place?


Emma - It's perfect for us. Nobody has raided it yet. There's room enough on the property for all of us. He has a big barn, and there's plenty of space for folks to set up their tents and camping equipment.


Jerry - What about heat, water, and electric?


Emma - Well, it's not going to be the Hilton hotel. People managed in the 1800s didn't they?


Jerry - I didn't expect any electricity. What about heat and water? It's getting cool at night here in the middle of August.


Emma - There's plenty of wood for burning. But we'll have to cut more. Uncle Al has a hand-pump well there. There's an outhouse. I know... It's all primitive. But we'll be safe long enough to catch our breath and gather our wits. We can set up our families there, and it gives us time to plan our next steps. So far, nobody has been out there prowling around. He has chickens, eggs, some milk cows and other livestock, and corn in the corn crib.


Mark - The raiders are busy in and around town, gathering low-hanging fruit. What about gasoline?


Emma - Like all farmers, he has a big gas tank, and equipment full of gas.


Mark - He's a juicy target for these bastards in town. We're going to have to move fast, get settled in, and plan a defense.


Dan - Our ambush plan was okay, but it had some flaws. Our throwing firebombs and shooting would be seen and heard from their pals up at the mall. We would be in a desperate hurry, and easily attacked from the others at the mall, or even from those at the airport from our other side.


Mark - Let's let go of that idea for now. We've got to get everybody out to this farm.


Carl - It's probably about three miles from here. Emma and I got there pretty quickly on our bikes. But we're going to have people walking and carrying stuff. We can't just take Cadmus Road past the airport. We're going to have to bypass that.


Mark - At the west end of this subdivision is a field. We go across the field, and we'll reach Sand Creek Highway. That road runs south along the airport, so we cross it and we'll keep on going west through another field, and then angle south until we catch Cadmus road. We get on the road where it's easier travelling and go west, until we reach the road where Uncle Al's farm is.


Jim - If we get on Cadmus, we'll have to dive off to the sides if raiders come along.


Emma - That won't be easy with this group. Easier said than done.


Mark - Tell everybody that if we see a string of headlights coming, then dive off to the side and hide.


Dan - And if they see us and stop?


Mark - Then we carry out the ambush plan.


Jerry - Yes, except for the limb in the road plan.


Mark - Right, except anyway, they are stopped. The rest of it goes as planned.


Manuel - You keep changing the plan, dude.


Mark - Yeah. But we have to adjust to the circumstances, and think what our best move will be. You'll get your chance with that goose gun, sooner or later, if that's what you want.


Jim - Why is it called a goose gun?


Manuel - My grandpa told me it's powerful enough to hit geese flying way high overhead.


Mark - That gives me an idea. Birds fly around in flocks because they think one of them is going to find something to eat. So they all take off after him to get their crack at whatever this first guy is after. These assholes we're up against aren't any different. I think we can use it against them somehow.


Dan- I think our group is more like schools of fish and herds of antelope. We swarm together hoping the ones on the fringes get picked off, instead of us.


Mark - Yeah. The school of fish is up at the mall, and at the airport. Then their raiders go out like a flock of birds without a definite plan.


Jim - Then what are we?


Abby - We're just prairie dogs looking for a safe hole.


Emma - Well, let's just get running for that hole: Uncle Al's farm.


Mark - Right. It's going to be a hard trip. Dan and I really couldn't see much at the airport, but at least we didn't see any Confederate or Russian flags flying. There are plenty of campers there. It's a good place for defense. It's all fenced in; you can see all around because it's flat; there's water nearby; some hangers and buildings; gasoline; and they've got food, for a while, because they raided us and took it.


Abby - I'm not going to trust them. Let's carry out our plan on getting our own place. If any of us goes over there now and joins them, they'll know where we're going and it'll blow our farm plan.


Carl - Does anyone still want the mall checked out? I can ride up there.


Mark - No. It really doesn't matter anymore, since we've settled on a little plan of our own. I have my doubts if there's more advantage in being with a bigger group anyway. You know how big groups start preying on one another. I'd rather stick with the idea of a little group. But we'll need secrecy to keep us safe.


Emma - For cryin' out loud let's get going. We'll be looking at daylight before we hit the pavement on Cadmus.


Mark- Move out everybody.


Dan - Wagons Ho !


The little group gathered up and set out on their journey. A few were pushing wheelbarrows full of supplies. All were carrying backpacks full of who-knows-what. They were all sensibly dressed in heavy clothes; all with hiking boots or comfortable walking shoes. No frills here. It looked like a practical-minded group. There was weaponry of all kinds: pump shotguns; deer rifles; pistols; axes; and knives. Some little kids even carried long handled weed diggers. This looked like a group determined to survive.


The first part of the journey was easy. All they had to do was walk on the paved little side streets in the subdivision that led to the edge of a field. Stretching before them was a soybean field. The plants were thigh high, and the rows straight, and luckily ran from East to West. But the ground was soft from recent rain, and the rows were narrow. They reached the edge of Sand Creek Highway in very good time, and still had some darkness left in their favor. Mark called a halt at the edge of the road,

before anyone could cross.


Mark - Okay everybody. Hold it right here, and stay low. We don't want to be scoped out by anyone from the airport down the road. We need a little hundred yard dash by a few people at a time. We need to get across this road without being seen. There's two houses across the road. It looks quiet there. But we can't be sure of who's in there, or how they'll react. We need to filter across the road and go between the two houses. Once behind the houses, you can't be seen from the airport. It's weedy and brushy back there, but you have to keep going through it and get out of sight. We'll go in small groups of five or so.


The crossing went well, up to a point. There was no reaction from either house, so they were probably abandoned. There was one more group of five left to cross, but

Mark ordered a halt.


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