A New World: Taken

A New World: Taken by John O'Brien Read Free Book Online

Book: A New World: Taken by John O'Brien Read Free Book Online
Authors: John O'Brien
road.   McCafferty is driving and we slow to a crawl so we don’t kick up a dust trail.   The fine dirt covering the road doesn’t have any fresh tracks so I am moderately convinced no one is using or monitoring this road.   Greg reports our tail clear as he enters the road a short time later.   I’m not sure of the patrol pattern, if any, by the people at the camp but it certainly wouldn’t do for them to come across our trail if they happen along the side road.   I radio Greg to find some large, leafy branches to tie just behind the rear tires of his vehicle.   This should partially erase the tracks of our vehicles or at least not make them as apparent.   Being the trail vehicle, this should cover all of our tracks.   It will stir up more dust but if we go slowly enough, it should be negligible.   My main concern is the noise as we creep along but there are hills between us and the main road which should hide any sound we are making.   If they’ve posted lookouts on the taller hills, we will be spotted though.   I turn on one of the walkie-talkies and set it to scan.
    Every once in a while, as we slowly thread our way through, around, and over hills, a burst of static or a hint of a word comes through the radio in my hand.   I notice it stops at channel seventeen each time.   I take a second one out and set it to that channel while allowing the first one to continue scanning.   The day is heating up and, with our vests and full uniforms, it causes sweat to form under our armpits and a drop or two to run off our brows.   The bandage on my neck becomes soaked and the stinging brings awareness of the scratch from time to time.   The sun shines brightly through the dusty windshield and seems a touch overly bright.   Not the distinct brightness like when I had the “vision” outside of the Safeway, but still a touch intense.
    Our wheels continue to turn slowly on the dusty road as we pass tower after tower; the steel monoliths no longer doing the job they were designed for, or, I should say the large, heavy lines they are supporting aren’t.   The towers now sit as remote reminders of a time past; forgotten in the hills through which they wander.   We eventually arrive at the bottom of the hill I plan to observe from.   I have McCafferty edge off the road and maneuver through the trees until we come just below the crest.   I get out and walk to the top, being careful not to silhouette myself against the skyline.   The location provides an open view but the trees give enough of a cover so we can remain concealed.   I guide McCafferty to a piece of flat ground from which we will be able to view the encampment.   The two other vehicles pull alongside just behind the crest.
    We gather branches around the area and throw them around the Humvees to conceal them further.   A big concern is any glare from the windows reaching the compound.   I’ll keep the windows covered during the day on the camp side to prevent the sun from hitting them at the wrong angle and giving our position away.   We’ll rotate shifts.   Two will be outside observing through binoculars and another two monitoring the radios.   We’ll monitor the walkie-talkie radios and record our observations with times and activity.   The shifts taking the night positions will rest during the day and observe from the lead Humvee at night.   We’ll close up the vehicles at night and keep the windows up.   This is to minimize our scent being transmitted outside and to ensure we are secure in case any night runners show up.   Hopefully any scent we do leave during the day will have dissipated.   We will also make our restroom activities a good distance from our location.
    With the vehicles concealed but still allowing easy entrance, I radio base to let them know we’ve arrived.   With the rest of the team, I climb to a place where we can overlook the camp with ease, crawling the last few yards.   We won’t be able to make out the

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