Chapter 3 – Salvage

I woke up the next morning, feeling very groggy, around ten o’clock. I left the house after a leisurely breakfast, and couldn’t suppress a laugh at the smoking remains of my neighbor’s camper. I’d never liked that guy anyway.

I took the Deuce truck and drove downtown, ramming cars all the way. The Deuce was not very maneuverable, you see. When I arrived at the courthouse, I headed back into the sheriff’s office. I dug through some desks until I had found three or four sets of keys, and went back to an intimidating steel door and tried them until I found the one that worked. Once I got it open, I set to work liberating bulletproof vests, night sticks, helmets, stun grenades, battering rams, break-n-rake tools, and anything else that caught my eye. I was thrilled to find several carefully packaged night vision goggles, along with more 5.56 ammunition. Unfortunately, my county was too small to merit an APC, or I would have taken that too. I did take bolt-cutters to the lockers, though, and liberated a few baby Glocks from them as well.

Feeling safer already, I took the truck down Main Street to the city police department and liberated another pile of the same stuff, minus the SWAT equipment. The haul was mostly Glock 17s and duty shotguns, along with a bunch of gas masks, but I didn’t mind. In fact, I found myself smiling like a little kid as I donned a baseball cap with “Police” on the front in big white letters.

By now, I had to make a trip home, as the hundreds of pounds of liberated law enforcement gear were teetering dangerously. I put the awning over the bed of Deuce and a tarp over the trailer hold it all down, went home, and emptied them both in the garage. I didn’t stop for a break after unloading, but grabbed some water and went right back out. I was planning to pick up a lot of stuff this time around.

Thus lightened, I drove to a shopping center and took a small fortune’s worth of CDs and movies from a Target, along with what seemed like a thousand gallons of bottled water. I also got two giant TVs from Circuit City, and six shopping cart loads of books from a Books-a-Million (manuals, fiction, nonfiction, magazines, anything). I then went to another outdoor store and took propane heaters, stoves, lanterns, and dozens of propane bottles to fuel them. I also hit a Home-Depot and took all the gasoline drums they had, along with battery-powered heaters. Full again, I took the load home and went to unload it in the garage.

When I tried to raise the garage door, it refused to open, and I realized that the power had finally gone out. There had been lights at Home-Depot and stoplights at the major intersections, so it had obviously just happened. Is it ever going to come back on? I shrugged off this thought and manually raised the door to unload. Once done, I went straight back out, this time to a Sears. I took five refrigerators and five freezers, and then went to Lowes, where I took the thickest, strongest doors they had. I was planning to replace every door in my house. I also took bars for windows and spare deadbolt locks and padlocks.

During this time, I became very proficient with the different types of forklifts they had at the various stores. I also indulged myself by wreaking a little wanton destruction with them as well.  

The truck’s suspension already protesting, I headed into a hospital, battering ram at the ready, found medicine storage rooms and took everything. Painkillers, anesthetics, antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, blood pressure meds, absolutely everything. It took me three stretcher-loads to get everything I wanted. I also took bandages, needles, thread for stitches, and basic first aid items. I then went next door to a fire station and took their giant first aid bag with me as well, along with two Halligans and several axes. During this time, the lights came back on. Taking advantage of this, I drove to a Verizon store and took several cell phones and a satellite phone. I activated these myself after a process of trial and error.

The truck was packed to bursting, and I took everything back to the house and dropped it off. Power was out again . . . drat. I dug around in my backpack and pulled out a Surefire weapon light and clipped it onto my M4. It made me feel much better. Before I got to the truck, though, the lights came back on. Then they went out, came back on, and went out. This time they stayed off.  

“Power’s in its death throes,” I announced to myself.

Shrugging, I drove out of the neighborhood, I noted that the stoplights were on again. To be expected, I guess, I thought, I’ll have brownouts and flickers for a while before it goes out for good.

Deciding to do something different, I had loaded the Deuce and the trailer with giant drums and was headed to a nearby water tower. I pulled up to the gate, and, deciding to indulge myself a little, blew it to pieces with a frag grenade and drove through.

Now, I thought How to get the water? I could put a grenade in the tower and blow a hole in it, but there had to be something better. I considered a few different ideas before it hit me. I ran back to the truck and retrieved the battering ram I had liberated from the county SWAT team. I broke down the door at the base of the tower and found just what I was looking for: a spigot. Victory.

I then began what I suspected would be the long and boring process of sticking the drums under the spigot, filling them, and then . . . nothing. They were far too heavy to lift. I took a spare gas can and went down the street until I found a car. I filled it and drove around, looking for a construction site.

After about five minutes of looking, I found a small apartment complex being built on a street corner. I abandoned the car and drove a giant front end loader with a hook on the scoop back to the water tower. I hooked a chain to it and easily shifted the bottles back and forth.

This took me most of the day, and when I had unloaded all the water into my garage (Again, with the aid of the front end loader. I drove it home as well and left it in my neighbor’s yard), I was exhausted, soaked, and, since my defenses were lowered, very depressed. Thoughts of my undoubtedly dead family and friends were chasing each other around my head, and it kept me down enough that I could hardly summon the energy to get out of the truck once I was finished.

I sat in the back of the Deuce, watching the sun slowly sink towards the horizon and feeling incredibly sorry for myself. I needed a pick me up. I was just heading inside to use some of my newfound medications when it hit me. I didn’t need those! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of this before!

 I ran down the road, leaving the Deuce in the driveway, took a large stick, and broke a neighbor’s garage door window. Sitting inside were his two most prized possessions: a beautiful purple Honda Goldwing and a dazzling candy plasma blue Kawasaki ZZR600.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes.

I hooted and scrambled through the window. I kicked in his door, found the keys to both the bikes, pocketed them, and decided to try the Kawasaki first. I got it started just fine, but I had never driven a motorcycle before, and it took me the better part of two hours to get used to handling it. By the end of that hour, though, I was the happiest I had been since D-Day. I wheeled both motorcycles into my garage after riding them each around my neighborhood a few times. They would be perfect for hops around town. I grinned as I stared at them. Somehow, I felt I would be all right now.

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