The Big Raid
Later that afternoon, the Bennett’s, the Carpenters, the Bledsoe’s, and Popeye and his partners Alvin and Oliver all gathered in the living room. Daniel spoke up.
“Okay. I’ve got a neat little plan that will keep that sheriff and all the sheriff’s deputies busy while we go in and find Brielle, Raina, Big Bruce, and the kids,” he told them, “In fact, it’ll keep most of the locals busy and out of the way.”
“Sounds like you’re going to pull off something huge, Daniel,” Chris said.
“You’ll know when it happens. I promise you. And I’ll let you know when it’s taken care of. And it’s tomorrow night. If we’re going to bust this cult and the child trafficking ring, we’re going to have to catch them in the act and, at the same time, keep the local establishment off our ass. So, we have to create a diversion, and this one’s going to be a doozy!” Daniel told them.
The Time is Now
When Halloween night finally arrived, they all sat at the kitchen table at just after five o’clock that evening.
“Okay, we need to come up with code names for the places we have to hit,” Atticus advised, “Code for the courthouse will be ‘The Castle,’ code name for Opaque Lake and the posted area near the shore will be ‘The Coastline’, and the field you go through to get to the lake will be ‘The Elysian Fields,’ and code name for the catacombs will be ‘The Pit.’ The bluff will be ‘Sinai’ and the bottoms will be ‘The Badlands.’ And the code name for the Sheriff and his ilk will be “Bogey or Bogies.”
Daniel then moved to the living room and sat on the sofa, typing feverishly on his laptop. All the men dressed in all black, even gloves, masks, and caps, then put their earpieces with microphones intact.
“Daniel, switch over to the speaker,” Chris told him.
Daniel had three other monitors set up on the coffee table in front of him, connection to another keyboard. He set his laptop aside and pecked a few keys on the keyboard that was connection to the three monitors. On the third monitor, showed a media-player type application with a sound system.
“Got it,” he said.
Chris began to speak.
“Testing, testing, one, two, three. Testing,” he said as his voice came through clear on the speakers and the green line on the screen began to distort as the sound came through.
“Sounds coming in clear on my end,” Atticus said as he touched his earpiece.
“Clear,” Alvin said.
“Clear,” Cindy said.
After everyone gave the all-clear, Daniel clapped both hands together one time in excitement.
“Perfect, Atticus. Malcolm, one at a time, everyone else test your mics, and if the sound comes through clear, say ‘clear,’” Daniel told them.
Each of the other men did as they were told.
“Great. All the mics are in great working order. All the sounds are coming through on the monitor and your earpieces, equipment is set!” Daniel told them, “Now, let’s check our body spy cameras, then we’ll do a weapons check. And be sure to screw in your silencers.”
After everyone tested their body cams and ensure they were all in working order, Atticus took a magazine and put it in his old Army-issue M16A2, then took it back out and put it in a pouch on his belt. Jesse checked the chamber of his shotgun to see two new shells firmly in place he then attached his Salvo suppressor to it. Finally, he tucked a nine-millimeter pistol in his belt. Everyone checked their weapons and attached their silencers. They were all in working order.
Miles tossed a couple of grenades to Atticus. Atticus attached the grenades to two of the loops on his belt. He then checked his ammo pouch to see that it had two magazines inside. Finally, they each attached their silencers to the barrels of their guns.
“Okay, weapons a go, now let’s test our homing beacons.”
Miles looked at his phone to see that each person’s homing beacon was working perfectly.
Daniel grabbed his laptop and sat it in his lap. He then began typing as fast as he could. After fifteen minutes of typing, he stopped and looked up at Chris.
Daniel Sets up a Distraction
“Virus is in. Now, we wait,” Daniel assured, “The county-mounties and local cops will be so busy, they won’t even think about us. Even the locals will be scared shitless, but this is a gun-rich area, so I think they’ll be able to take care of themselves.”
“Whoa! What did you just do, Daniel?” Chris asked suspiciously.
About fifteen miles away, just outside of Sugar Village, a large state maximum security prison sat in the middle of a field. The guards at the first checkpoint sat, looking at the monitors when the system went down. One by one, the monitors went dark.
“What the hell?” The head guard shouted as he jumped up.
Monitors and cameras all over the prison went dark. Next, every locked door made a loud click, then opened. Then, the gates began unlocking and opening. Finally, droves of inmates began overpowering the guards and escaping their confines before running out into the fields that surrounded the prison.
Convicts on the Lose!
“Holy shit!” Shouted the second prison guard.
Back at the Carpenter estate, Daniel pulled up the Glover County Tea forum and waited. Atticus and Grandma sat in the kitchen, listening to the police scanner. Sure enough, the alert sounded.
“Calling all state, county and city personal! There has been a massive prison break at the state maximum security prison in Sugar Village! Assume all escaped inmates to be armed and dangerous! The number of escapees is believed to be in the hundreds. Please advise!” Said an older male voice over the scanner.
Suddenly, Bobby’s voice sounded over the scanner.
“This is Sheriff Bobby James Crabtree; I’ve just put every deputy in my department on alert! The reservists and those off duty have been placed on emergency duty. We will be out in full force! Alert the news medias in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, Little Rock, and Paducah. Get all the trick-or-treaters off the streets and send out an internet bulletin instructing everyone to stay in their homes. Halloween just got cancelled!”
Daniel perked up.
“That’s our cue! We got to move now because they’re going to be setting up checkpoints and we don’t want to get caught in the dragnet.” he announced.
” Suddenly, the lights went out, then Atticus’s generator kicked in and the lights flickered back on.”
“Daniel, was that you?” Atticus asked.
“Yep. As an added cover, I cracked into the Glover County electric company and caused a power outage,” Daniel answered.
After they took Grandma Bennett and Kim to the bunker for safety, everyone piled into two dark-colored SUV’s, Atticus’s black Denali and Popeye’s black Escalade. In Atticus’s black Denali were Atticus, Chris, Malcolm, Jesse, Daniel, Shannon, Jane, and Cindy. In Popeye’s dark blue Escalade were Popeye, Miles, Alvin, Oliver, Alexandra, and Jo.
As Chris sat in the passenger seat of Atticus’s SUV, he spoke.
“Okay everybody, you know what to do. We’ll head to the Castle and Popeye; your group will head to the Badlands and watch the Elysian Fields! You gotta get down there before they set up the western checkpoint. When you get there, find a place for cover but where you can see the lake and keep watch. Take plenty of photos and don’t move until I give the signal. In the meantime, Daniel, you need to find a way to crack and override the system that monitors the courthouse cameras and doors so we can get in.
“I’m already on it,” Daniel said as he sat in the backseat of Popeye’s SUV, laptop computer in lap, typing vigorously, “Shit, Chris this van is packed. I hardly have any elbow room.”
“We all have inconveniences, Daniel,” Chris told him.
As they drove toward town, the intro to the song, Kid Rock’s “Let’s Ride” played on Atticus’s car stereo.
“Used as a scapegoat and taped to the wall, Bruised and abused on some foreign soil, Trained to kill baby that’s what we do, Programmed to bleed red white and blue
C’mon and grab your guns, let’s ride, And may your conscience be your guide, I’ll say a prayer for you to make it through to the other side, Tonight’s the night we fight or die…”
As the song continued to play, they passed businesses where people were outside standing guard with machine guns, shotguns, or rifles held against their chests. They also passed private homes and properties with large men sitting in their yards, armed to the teeth with their weapons. They even spied a silver-haired grandmother sitting on her porch, in a rocking chair, with a shotgun laid across her lap, sipping on a large mug of coffee. A large golden retriever sat on the porch beside her. A pickup truck with a bed full of heavily armed farmers sat off in between rows of bushes.
“Boy, these people aren’t playin’!” Jane said, viewing all the armed citizens as they drove.
“Hundreds of escaped convicts on the loose? I wouldn’t be either,” said Jesse, “If I know my wife, she’s probably sitting on the living room sofa holding our shotgun and got my kids hiding in the closets upstairs.”
“I sure don’t blame any of them,” Chris added.
“I probably won’t have a job after tonight,” Malcolm mentioned, “My Lieutenant’s been trying to call me ever since the prison break.”
“You’ve had the last two days off. When you talk to them, just tell them you went to Alabama to see your family and couldn’t get back in time,” Atticus advised, “A story like that should stick like superglue.”
Shannon looked skyward through the windshield.
“There’s a full moon tonight. So, we still need to be careful,” she said.
Atticus kept a police scanner in his vehicle as well. A split second of static sounded, then Bobby’s voice as Chris quickly turned the stereo off.
Bobby’s Arrogance Makes Him Stupid
“We’re setting up checkpoints north, south, and east. We won’t worry about a western checkpoint because the cons will be trying to get out of the state. They know that if they go west, they’ll only run into the river and they won’t make it to Arkansas if they swim across it,” he announced.
Atticus chortled and looked at Chris in amazement.
“Can you believe this moron?” he said.
“For real!” Jesse agreed, “That’s one stupid motherfucker! Because if I was a convict, the bottoms is exactly where I’d be, least likely to be seen!”
“At least we know Popeye and his bunch have a much better chance of getting to the bottoms without running into any checkpoints. So, it bodes well for us,” Chris said.
When Chris pulled onto the town square, about a block away from the old courthouse, everything was deserted and looked like a ghost town. He pulled to a stop in a dark alley across the street from the courthouse.
“Hey, Daniel, what’s the status on that override?” Chris asked.
“I’m uploading the virus now,” Daniel said, “I’ll let you know when it’s uploaded and does its thing.”
“Well, we don’t have a lot of time,” Chris told him.
“Chris, I can’t make this upload go any faster.”
In Popeye’s SUV, Miles spoke.
“Daniel is uploading the virus. It’s taking a minute though,” he said in a low voice.
“Yeah, we heard him,” Oliver said.
As soon as the upload was complete, Daniel sounded over all the group’s earpieces.
“Okay, guys! It’s showtime!” he announced.