Zombie apocalypse fiction – Ruth’s Story #168 Dealing with the wagon outside Baker City #TEOTWAWKI #SHTF #WROL
Iain pokes his head out from underneath the tarp. “You’re not gonna believe what that nasty fuck has under here,” he says softly.
“What is it, Iain.”
“It’s a F-86 Sabre nose section with an enlarged and strengthened gun bay housing holding six M39 20mm cannons. I know why he needed four large draft horses to pull this damn thing. There are also some old, rusty OD green 20mm ammo cans as well. Mostly APIT (Armor Piercing Incendiary Tracer – pronounced “apit”) and HE. Behind the plane’s nose section is a small, Gray Marine, two-stroke, V8 diesel engine hooked to a Heemaf generator.”
“That is the nose of a plane, correct.”
“Yes, honey. It’s an old fighter from the Korean War. Not very many of the 20mm variety were made – I can’t remember how many. Stupid 20mm cannons replaced the 50 cal six-pack the F-86 normally carried. Looked good on paper, but the smoke from the much larger 20mm cannons tended to cause compressor failure in the engine. This version was abandoned after some trials. It’d be interesting to see where this plane came from. A museum or private collector maybe.”
“Do we have a 20mm at home?” Since the red-head is listening, I do not want to tip her off that we have a reinforced retreat. We usually refer to our home as the bunker.
“Nope, and don’t really need one either, but having one can’t hurt. Although I won’t run all six barrels at once – that’s just stupid.”
“When I was with the Convoy they had a Oerlikon 20mm cannon.”
“What happened to it?”
“As far as I know they took it north with them.”
Since the morning is shot, we decide moving the wagon off of the road into the trees and brush beside the Powder River is better than sitting in the roadway. Iain ties Joker and the mules to the back of the wagon. He drives the wagon like an old pro off the old highway.
Iain makes the gorgeous red-head walk in front of the wagon the whole time. I follow behind on Mary-Margaret keeping an eye out for stragglers.
Reaching the shelter of the trees beside the river, Iain hobbles the black draft horses leaving them to munch on the grass growing beside the river and to drink from it when they want. Our horses and mules are similarly situated but farther from the draft horses as they are strangers to each other and not likely to get along (at least according to Iain whom I trust with all things horse).
Securely tying the red-head to a tree in a sitting position, Iain leaves me guarding the motley collection while drags the headless corpse off of the road into the bushes. Iain disposes of the head by kicking it swiftly. I hear the rustle of branches as the head bounces into the brush on the opposite side of the road.
There is nothing to be done with the lake of blood in the roadway, so Iain leaves it. He comes trotting back carrying something small in his hands.
“Nasty fucker had this in his pocket,” Iain says holding out his huge hand. Appearing tiny by comparison, lying in Iain’s massive paw is a Beretta 950B .22 short pistol. I may not know planes, but I am good with small arms.
“May I,” I ask. Iain nods his head. I take the tiny semiautomatic pistol immediately ejecting the magazine into my left hand. I note that the Beretta’s magazine holds five, slightly green tarnished Remington .22 short rounds.
Tipping the barrel up, I remove the chambered round which turns out to be just as green tarnished as the rest. Reloading the little pistol, I hand it back to Iain who drops it into his jacket pocket.
We spend the rest of the morning searching the wagon. Iain discovers red clover and buckwheat seed in large, vacuum sealed bags. Iain likes growing red clover for his bees although the sheep and goats seem to like it as well.
I have heard Iain talk about buckwheat, but lacking the seeds I have never had the opportunity to see the plant. From Iain, I gather that buckwheat grows fast and is easy to harvest. He says that bees love buckwheat flowers although the flowers do not particularly smell good.
Bees make a dark honey with a spicy malt-like flavor from buckwheat flowers. Darker honey is supposed to be richer in antioxidants, but I could care less, as I crave something different in our diet. Our diet is rather bland if nutritious, but I desperately crave more variety.
Having spent the morning searching the wagon, we eat a cold lunch of hard biscuits, fake high fructose corn syrup honey from an MRE, with some venison jerky. We feed our quiet captive who has watched us all morning.
After appropriate calls of nature into the bushes, Iain reties the woman to the tree, but with some more slack so that she can at least keep her legs from going asleep. I cover Iain while he secures the woman who still has not spoken.
We spend the rest of the afternoon carefully searching the wagon. In a secret compartment underneath the automobile bench seat, Iain finds several rounds of ammo wrapped in old newspapers. Iain carefully unwraps each bundle of bullets, saving the newspaper for reading later.
Iain has always loved reading the newspapers; he laments when most of the papers went out of business. From the few pages I see, most of the newspapers are but mere shadows of their former selves. After unwrapping all the bundles of ammo we carefully look at the rounds.
I grow cold as I immediately recognize the Russian, silver plastic-tipped bullets in 7.62×54, 7.62×39, 7.62×25, and 9×39.
“I have seen these before, be very careful with those bullets Iain. Each one has enough nano-concentrated puffer fish poison to kill 10,000 people give or take a few.”
“Puffer fish poison – tetrodotoxin. Nano-concentrated tetrodotoxin. Also known as TTX.”
I should not be surprised that Iain knows exactly what kind of poison is in a puffer fish. A few years ago Nikola explained the poison-tipped bullets as he issued them to the convoy snipers and guards. Body shots on zombies were ineffective, but head shots (which are instantly fatal to most things anyway) worked well.
I never thought I would see Russian poison-tipped bullets again. Body shots on uninfected humans resulted in death within a few seconds as the poison hits the nervous system very fast. The nano-concentrated TTX in the bullets is even deadlier than the venom of a Palestinian yellow scorpion AKA “Deathstalker scorpion.”