Ruth’s Story #34 – Going to eat Chinese food within the barricade on Lake City Way surrounded by a zombie horde
“You should be careful of startling people Doc, especially when that someone is standing next to a machine gun with the safety off.”
His eyebrows rise, “That is an AR15, not an assault rifle. I may not know much about guns, but I know the difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic sporting rifle. Although, Sam did say there was something not kosher with your rifle.”
“Generally you would be correct Doc, but see; I have this little highly illegal replacement four-position fire control group (FCG) installed in my rifle that essentially turns my POF AR15 in to a select fire M16 with full auto and three-round burst capability.” Jamal’s use of the word kosher was rather intriguing.
“My carbine has an adjustable flat-topped gas block installed at rifle length, preventing the rifle from being over-gassed. With the suppressor mounted, and the gas block adjusted accordingly, my rifle runs much cooler and cleaner with less crap blasted back into my face and the breech of the weapon.”
“For a very petite woman Ruth, you pack some serious weapons. Yes, Sam and I looked through your things while you slept. No, I did not drug you although it was considered. We also looked at your pass port; your last name does not sound Israeli although your pass port is.”
“My father is Lebanese my mother was Israeli; my last name is Lebanese.” I am a little perturbed that they dug through my purse. Now I have an itching to verify the contents of my purse. I wonder if they found my “CIA letter opener” in its secret slot. One of the nice things about carrying a custom designed purse made for the Mossad is its ability to hide all kinds of useful items from the average person.
“You obviously served in the IDF, and we are guessing the Mossad as well did you not? Sam and I construed that you are likely an Israeli agent. We are concerned about your back ground Ruth, and we assumed that you are still Mossad by your weapons. We would like to know with whom we are travelling.”
“Yes, Jamal I was in the Mossad for a number of years. Then I went to work for a private intelligence consulting firm after living in the States for a while. I’ve actually worked under contract with a private subcontractor from some of the US Government’s alphabet agencies for a few years now. I still have contacts and friends in the IDF and Mossad, or at least I did.” Aharon immediately comes to mind.
I get some raised eyebrows at that statement.
“So you mean if I had a mini-Uzi, a Tavor and a Jericho 941, you would have considered me a rouge agent? Is that why you gave me a trunk full of anti-tank weapons? Who the fuck gives an anti-tank missile and LAWs rockets to someone they do not know?”
For my little tirade, I get a shit-eating grin in response.
“I had to be able to defend myself, and occasionally a target needed eliminating that I could get close to with my skills. Sometimes the opportunity presented itself, and I took it.”
Getting no response, I continue my diatribe, “I grew up speaking Arabic, English, Hebrew, Farsi and Yiddish. Most of the time in the IDF and later the Mossad, I was a translator and intelligence analyst. While I am pretty good at the dirty, physical aspects of the intelligence field, that was not my main calling. I can pass myself off either as an Arab or a Jew so I can work easily within either society although I am a little dark skinned for a Jew and a little light colored for an Arab. While the ultra-Orthodox Jews may disagree, and despite my Arab heritage, I still consider myself first and foremost a Jewish Israeli. I was vetted very carefully because of my Arab heritage, and it took a long time for me to gain my position in Mossad. The Second Lebanese War of 2006 finally gave me that opportunity.”
I was actually in Sayeret Maglan during the Lebanese War, but he does not need to know that. I did not join Mossad until after the war.
“You have some serious weapons for an intelligence analyst and translator. I am fairly intelligent, but I suspect that you have a particularly scary-high IQ. Carol and Nikola informed me that you speak Russian perfectly, even with a proper Moscow accent. Nikola also said that you recognized his AK rifle, which is rather rare and uncommon outside of the former Soviet Union. How do you remember all this material and how are you able to speak so many languages?”
Silence falls for a minute as we watch our comrades walk to the Chinese restaurant in that strange hunched over shuffle. The former soldiers, trying not to be spotted by the zombies massed against the barricade, hustle to the restaurant.
While the zombies might not be terribly smart, and individually they are not much of a threat, in large groups they can be quite deadly. The zombie horde presses against the barricade, and by their sheer amassed weight alone is able to bend and move sections of the barricade.
Jamal reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a pack of Djarum Black clove cigarettes. Seeing the clove cigarettes which have been banned from importation in to the US since 2009, causes me to wonder how the former colonel obtained the illicit cigarettes. We are close to Canada, maybe the colonel traveled to Canada for his prohibited cigarette purchases.
Kreteks (proper Indonesian term for clove cigarette) have always smelled terrific, but I dislike how they make my lungs burn. Most of the cigarettes like the colonel is smoking has more tar and nicotine than the Marlboro Red “cowboy killers” that I am smoking. Jamal lights his kretek with a long skinny, chrome single blue flame lighter and takes a long drag.
Jamal takes another long drag of his cigarette, letting the smoke out slowly though his nostrils. I notice that he cups his cigarette between thumb and index finger, rather than the common two finger pinch style that most people use including myself.
“So how are you able to remember all of this material? Your ability to recall facts and figures has been noted by several members of our party.”
Silence falls between us for a moment as we smoke our respective cigarettes. Glancing behind, I notice that Carol and Nikola are listening with rapt interest although they are trying their damndest to appear uninterested.
I consider how best to answer Jamal’s question. I finally decide a little honesty would not hurt too much in this situation.
“Doc, early in my teens I was diagnosed as possibly having Hyperthymesia. Would you happen to be familiar with this mental condition?”
“I am somewhat familiar with the concept of Hyperthymesia, but psychology was not my specialty.”
“Well Doc that turned out not to be quite an accurate diagnosis, because although I have some of the OCD characteristics, and a lack of certain inhibitions typical of a person with Hyperthymesia, I did not fit many of the other factors. An MRI revealed an enlarged temporal lobe, caudate nucleus, and hippocampus, but I still did not fit the Hyperthymesia model completely.”
Jamal interrupts me, “You said this was in your early teens, did you not?”
“Yes Doc, during my teens I was a somewhat problematic child for my parents. The death of my mother in a suicide Hamas bus bombing when I was 14 did not help either.”
“I am sorry to hear of your loss,” Jamal does seem saddened to learn of the death of my mother. It is an old wound that I have borne for many years; I miss my mother terribly, I wish we had not fought so much before she died.
“I was later diagnosed as having an eidetic memory with near perfect recall which is probably as close to correct of diagnosis as I can determine. Although the term eidetic memory is somewhat misleading and not widely accepted in the field of psychology, it is a fair description of my mental abilities. I always just thought that I possess an excellent trained memory rather than some savant-like ability. I have always had a natural affinity for languages and am able to learn new languages fairly fast. Although, I think I have reached my limit of languages.”
The four of us lean against my little car watching former soldiers come and go from the Chinese restaurant. Nikola finishes his cigarette first, dropping the butt on the ground and stomping on it. I follow suit a little bit later while Jamal is still about half way through his kretek.
We continue to watch the former soldiers come and go from the Chinese restaurant as they finish eating. Sam, with the hulking Laurel beside him, comes walking up to us chomping on a wooden tooth pick in the right corner of his mouth. “Let’s start getting the second half of the crew fed, and then look at getting out of here.”
Carol and Nikola start walking towards the Chinese restaurant holding hands. Both are openly wearing M9 side arms. I decide not to take my POF AR15, and lay it across the driver’s and passenger’s seats in front of my little Smart car.
Sam continues, ignoring the passing of Nikola and Carol. “That damn zombie horde shows no sign of wandering off. Randy thinks we may need to cause a diversion to draw the zombies away. While you are eating, we will gather some options for causing a diversion. When the crew is done eating I want to get everyone together and discuss our options and next actions.”
Looking at the top of the deuce, I notice that Sutton is no longer in his perch, I assume he is eating.
With my LBV on and my suppressorless pistol hanging from the belt, I decide that I am armed sufficiently for all but a heavy assault. I consider taking off my field jacket, but I am still a little cold. Taking off my field jacket, I would also have to readjust my fucking LBV to fit me without the jacket on.
I do, however, strip off the heavy Scottevest jacket as it is a little too warm and bulky, tossing the jacket on top of my rifle while the two former colonels talk. Under the premise of checking my boot laces, I make sure my little Ruger LC9 is still firmly strapped to the inside of my left boot.
While checking my boot laces I also make sure the CIA letter opener is still secured in its slot in the inseam of my right pants leg near my ankle. My entire collection of CIA letter openers are made of Zytel, a fiberglass reinforced nylon, and all were made by the A.G. Russell™ knife company.
Based on the old, all steel Sting 1A from the 1970s, the CIA letter opener with twin stiffening ridges and a deep blood groove, is an excellent clandestine knife that can pass undetected through metal detectors. I have sharpened all of my Zytel weapons using 1,200 grit automotive wet-dry sandpaper.
While my CIA letter openers may not cut through heavy clothing and would not be my first choice of weapon to use in a knife fight, as a backup or emergency weapon they can be quite handy as long as you are aware of their limitations.
Using a CIA letter opener as a stabbing weapon, aiming for soft spots like the abdomen, groin, eyes and throat can be an effective weapon in an emergency, or when you might need a weapon but know that you are going to be searched by a metal detector.
I also have a Zytel Cold Steel 92HC Honey Comb in my purse that I will never use on my hair. The handle separates from the comb part revealing a marvellous cruciform dagger that I have likewise sharpened with 1,200 grit automotive sandpaper.
The Cold Steel 92HC dagger has the same limitations in close quarters battle (CQB) as the CIA letter opener. The 92HC dagger will not slice but as a stabbing weapon aiming for the typical soft points of the human body, might do in an emergency when no other weapon is available.
Of course, either Zytel weapon would be useless against a zombie because they have no fear of injury and do not feel pain. Stabbing a zombie in the eye with either Zytel dagger and actually penetrating to the brain through the skull requires an inhuman amount of force.
The only thing that might give away my Cold Steel 92HC dagger is the fact that I have wrapped the handle in a delightful interwoven pattern using two separate pieces of O.D. green and red 550 seven strand paracord. I drilled a hole through the base of the 92HC dagger/comb handle to facilitate the attachment of a small O.D. green 550 paracord monkey fist, as well.
Both the monkey fist and the paracord wrapping on the handle make an easy and unobtrusive way to carry a shit load of paracord with me should I need it. I also have a blue and white paracord survival bracelet on my key chain with a stainless steel shackle which is also in my purse.
You just never know when you might need some paracord to tie someone up, make a garrote, or fix your slinky tight-fitting bare shoulders evening dress because the stupid spaghetti straps were not made to survive Krav Maga CQB fighting.
Although the sight, of my suddenly bare tits surely distracted my male opponent enough for me to knock him unconscious when he came to as sudden of a stop as the appearance of my tits. Of course, I do not recall Aharon teaching the “flash your tits to distract your male opponent” Krav Maga technique, but it was certainly effective in that instance.
Closing the Smart car’s door while musing about the contents of my purse and unordinary martial arts techniques, I see Laurel has joined the conversation with Sam and Jamal beside my little car. This is the first time I have heard Laurel talk.
I overhear Laurel (AKA Randy, or Sargent Major) and Sam talking about the men in the barricade armed with newer compound hunting bows that were apparently obtained by raiding several pawn shops. Some of the firearms apparently also came from raided pawn shops.
From the two former soldier’s discussion, it does not sound as if this group were well prepared with weapons and supplies before the SHTF. I wonder how the barricade defenders managed to erect the barricade, which is no small feat of urban survival engineering.
Walking behind Carol and Nikola to the Chinese restaurant, I join a small group of former soldiers coming and going from the restaurant. Nikola opens and holds the door for Carol and I for which we thank him. Nikola nods at us and follows us inside the restaurant.