I jerked my chin off my chest the next morning. Apparently I had slept. I stood up slowly and headed towards the computer, where I logged on to a few social networking sites and a forum or two. I posted my name and contact information on all of them, and then got on to my e-mail and sent three copies to anyone I had ever messaged. I then joined a few more forums and posted all over them, hoping to get at least some response.
After this technological excursion, I left the house in my liberated SCHP cruiser and drove into town, where I was struck once again by all the empty cars on the roadway. Periodically I tried the loudhailer, but never got any response.
I pulled up outside the outdoor store I had frequented before- Before what? I thought. I decided right away that what had happened to me needed a name. D-Day, I decided, D-Day will work . . . people died on both this one and the real one. Shoving philosophical thoughts aside, I took my new shotgun and shattered the glass door at the front of the shop and entered in.
Just like with the police car, I couldn’t help smiling. I was king of everything in here. It all belonged to me now, and I decided to help myself. I took an SKS off the wall and reduced a glass pistol case to splinters. I yanked out a Kimber Warrior that I had been ogling for weeks, immediately turned to ammo counter, loaded it, and stuck it in my belt.
I then began systematically removing pistols, shoving them in cases, and stacking them in the trunk of the patrol car. When I had taken everything I wanted, I turned my attention to the long guns. The store had happened to sell Class III weapons, and I decided to “liberate” their prize, an AK47, first. I pulled back the bolt and smiled grimly. This’ll do, I thought, This will definitely do. I took the magazines from a few other semi-auto versions, and loaded them as well. Heading back into the store, I took a nice sling from the wall, attached it to the AK, and slung it over my shoulder.
I continued moving weapons from the store to the car, and stopped only when I had filled the trunk and the backseat with weapons. I muttered irritably at this, I still had to get ammo. Finally, I decided to go back home, dump the weapons, leave the car, and liberate a truck from the road somewhere. I proceeded to do just that, and half an hour later I was back in a very nice red Ford F350 pickup truck.
It took me nearly three hours and several trips to completely gut the store of everything useful. I took not only the rest of the long guns and ammo, but tents, sleeping bags, water purifiers, knives, fishing gear, packs, ammo carriers, gun slings, boxes and boxes of extra magazines, and more. Already hungry, I smashed a vending machine with my AK and helped myself to some junk food. When I was finished, I took a large Sharpie from the checkout counter, wrote my phone number on the wall and got up. I still had work to do.
I drove to a Wal-Mart and liberated pretty much the entire tool department. Bolt cutters, saws, hammers, nails, screws, welding supplies, air compressors, and several giant fifty gallon drums. I then headed to the auto department and took oil, spare parts, filters, chains, tires, and boxes of fuses. Encountering some immovable objects, I helped myself to their forklift and a very nice open trailer. This I loaded with three massive generators and more drums. The power grid would go down within the week, I was sure of it.
By the time I’d filled the truck and trailer, it was late-afternoon. I took this load home as well and stacked it in the garage. I’d organize it tonight.
As I was heading out, something struck me. The pickup truck was maxing out on loads every trip, why not . . . upgrade. I grinned at the thought, and ran across the street to my neighbor’s house, leaving the truck in the driveway. I went in through his unlocked back door and found the keys to his moped. I hopped on and took off, winding my way through stopped cars. I finally coasted into the National Guard armory parking lot, where I scaled the fence and found myself surrounded by Humvees and giant green Deuce trucks. These will do, I thought.
I had brought bolt cutters and a side by side 12-gauge shotgun with me, and with these I dismantled the door and scouted around until I found a lockbox full of keys. I scanned them idly and selected one at random. I then headed back out into the parking lot, found the corresponding truck, and turned the key. It started with a roar. Good, I thought, It works.
Turning the truck off, I went back to searching the armory. A thought had struck me while searching for the truck: There would probably be a bunch of military weapons inside. I wasn’t expecting to find many light weapons here; the place was air and missile defense, so the best I’d get would probably be crates of Stingers. Wonder if I can figure out how to work those? I wondered to myself, Not sure what I’d need them for, but it couldn’t hurt.
When I finally found the actual armory door, it took me two hours, two sets of bolt cutters, and twenty-three shotgun slugs to get it open. I had to find a workshop and make a brief trip to the outdoor store on the moped to get these items about halfway through my work. I walked in, gaping at the wealth around me. Individual Stinger missiles and launchers were stacked everywhere, as were a few spare box-style for mounting on a Humvee, with four tubes in each. I helped myself to two launchers and twenty missiles, as well as an instruction pamphlet I found. After loading these, I came back for more.
Moving further into the armory, I found what I was looking for: The (relatively) light arms. I found and took an M249 SAW, three M16s, 1 M4, four attachable M203 grenade launchers, and a small mountain of Berettas and spare magazines. I then came back with a cart and liberated every last round of 5.56 ammo I could find (this alone took me two trips) and a slightly smaller mound of 9×19 for the handguns. Much more carefully, I also liberated thirty 40mm grenades for the 203s and two boxes of grenades that I had found as well. On a final scan of the room, I found an AT4 rocket launcher and liberated that too, along with a crate of spare rockets. How in the world did that get here? I thought idly as I carried it out, It’s not like you can shoot down airplanes with these. Whatever. I didn’t care. It was there, and that’s all that mattered.
By now, I figured I was good. I drove back home, dumped my entire haul into the living room and peeled off again for another trip. This time I hit Wal-Mart again and gutted the grocery section. I took equal amounts of fresh and canned food, knowing that the fresh would go to waste soon, so I might as well eat it now. I did three truck and trailer loads of nothing but food before I decided that would be good enough. How long will it last me? I thought, Six months? A year? I can always go to new stores, but . . . what about when it runs out? Unnerved by this new thought, I went into the gardening section and took seeds of everything edible, as well as every book they had on planting. I then checked the back of the store and took all their stored canned goods as well.
By now I night had long since fallen and I was exhausted. I decided my haul was good enough for the day, and headed home to my lonely house. I was bushed, but the mounds of useful equipment all over my garage and house reenergized me. I stayed up past midnight organizing everything, and then took a bandolier of 40mm grenades outside, along with the M4 and a launcher.
After a bit of experimentation, I was able to figure out how to attach and load the launcher. I took aim at my neighbor’s camper trailer, but then stopped and thought. What the heck was I doing? Then my sensible side took over. There was no one there, no one was coming back, and that trailer was of no use to me. If I needed one, there was a dealership on the other side of town. Screw it. I pulled the trigger.
Thunk. Ba-BOOM! I giggled like a little kid as the back of the trailer exploded. I reloaded and fired another. This one landed in the middle of the camper, tore a gaping hole in the floor and shattered every window. I continued shelling the trailer until I hit the propane tanks, which exploded in a massive ball of flame, the concussion knocking me backwards. Chastised by this and rubbing my sore back, I took my weaponry and the remaining shells back inside and collapsed on the couch. I would keep working tomorrow.