Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Cache - Part 15 - Desperation

The scene before him devastated the dwindling shreds of his remaining struggling morale. He sagged to the ground, the sight of his salvation destroyed and scattered about the clearing, emptying what strength hope had given him. He slumped there, utterly devastated, lost in a consciousness-devouring darkness for what seemed an eternity.

He was lying on the cold hard ground where he had collapsed after the shock had spread thru his system like a fast acting poison. The devastation of seeing his cache destroyed and spread about the clearing was too much for his already weakened body and hope deprived psyche. His mind was steamrolled by the sight of all his hopes dashed before him.

A fluttering sound drew him slowly from that Stygian darkness into which his mind had retreated. It was a familiar sound, one which he had heard many times.

The fluttering grew louder, slapping his ears with its tempo. The coldness of the ground was making him shiver as he lay there in its grip. He gradually began to move to a sitting position, and then shakily standing. Barely able to focus on the present and real world, the sound invaded his mind like a parasite, until finally a realization sank in. That noise, it sounded so much like... A Helicopter!

He sluggishly looked about him, seeking a place to hide. Like a drunken man, he stumbled to a clump of small evergreen trees and hastily hid himself among the sheltering branches. The beating of the blades was growing louder by the second, pounding into his head; and then it passed over him, flying at tree top level.

Slowly his mind cleared. "They must have found the empty patrol car." he thought to himself as he tried to become smaller. He quickly pulled out his well worn Mylar Emergency blanket and donned it like a cloak; then he pulled his poncho back over it, hoping that they did not have thermal imaging, hoping that his trick would mask most of his heat signature if they did.

The helicopter slowly passed over again, and he wondered if he had been detected. From the shelter of his hide he could see a sniper sitting in the doorway of the chopper, ready to shoot if a target was located. He could have taken him out if he had possession of a good rifle. Most all of his weapons had been cached in the arsenal located at Bastion, leaving just a single M1 Carbine at home for defensive purposes. Many people derided the effectiveness of the M1 Carbine, but the .30 caliber was proven to be on a par with the .357 Magnum pistol, and nobody was debating its performance!

The helicopter soon passed from hearing leaving him tensed up, listening for sounds of ground pursuit. Getting to his feet, he began to collect the now empty and tattered buckets. They all bore different markings; C1-WF, C1-NF and C1-OF. The food, so carefully packed, was all gone! Something had destroyed or taken his supplies.

Upon closely examining the scene, he determined that a bear must have sniffed out his cache and dug up all the food containers, eating and spilling while opening the containers with claw and tooth. He just about cried for the loss of his foods, not just his but that of his sons as all the food buckets had been unearthed and destroyed.

He set about recovering the buckets that held only his clothing and gear, discovering that the ground around them had been recently disturbed. He hurriedly excavated his remaining buckets, dreading what he might find.

There, next to his cache was buried a garbage bag. He removed it from its grave and opened it to find six cans of food and a note in a Ziploc bag. The note read:

"Dad, something got to all the food before us. Not sure what it was. I took most of the cans because I would have nothing otherwise. I left you a few though. Hope you're ok. They came for me at school but I gave them the slip using the tactics that we had planned and practiced. Love ya, OughtSix"

He felt a great relief that after a few elated moments morphed into a lopsided worry as he now knew at least one of his son's was safe. All the hours planning, the dry runs and scouting of routes had paid off. It had been originally a plan to deal with several emergencies, such as terrorist attack, earthquake or flood. It was made to overcome a lock-down scenario which could potentially render OughtSix vulnerable to manipulation by Jack-Booted Thugs as well. Now it was revealed as time well spent!

But what about his oldest son, Neo? Since he had graduated high school and was not yet attending college, he was using a modified escape plan for arriving at C1 and the final rendezvous at Bastion. He sometimes felt that Neo was just humoring him, going along so as not disappoint him. It was normal teenage behavior, more focused on girls, food, sleep and video games. He knew that some if not all the preps were being absorbed into his distracted mind, as he seemed to be able to discuss most all the topics that were part of his training, but still, it seemed as though only part of his attention was there sometimes.

He retrieved the other buckets and after he had covered up the signs of activity, retreated into the evergreen thicket to unload the contents and re-load them into his pack.

When setting up the caches, he had divided each family member’s items into groups of three, food, clothing and gear. Items that would benefit from it were vacuum packed. This protected them further from moisture as well as compressing items such as clothing, allowing more to fit within the buckets. Items that may rust were coated with a layer of Vaseline and wrapped in wax paper. They were then sealed in a bag with a moisture and a oxygen absorber.

In order to determine which bucket belonged to whom he decided on a numbering system based on what the bucket held and to whom it belonged. There was also the issue of marking the buckets as to where they were going to be cached. All the buckets used were 6 gallon vs. the 5 gallon. Green buckets were preferred but not used exclusively.

Based on the Cache location, the buckets all were marked C1, C2, and so on. Next, he used the first letter of their code names, Wilson, OughtSix and Neo as an identifier as to the owner of each bucket. Then was Gear, Food, and Clothing, or C1-WF, C1-WG, C1-WC. If there was more than one container of the same category per cache, it was marked as 1, 2, 3 and so on. C2-WF1 was "Wilson's" 1st food bucket at Cache C2. He kept a list on his computer in an encrypted file and in a paper notebook in his EDC as to the contents, the date packaged, and the date cached. Any expiration dates were also recorded so that if needed, the contents could be rotated. Included were the encrypted GPS and map coordinates for each cache. This info was also recorded in a coded manner so that only he and his sons could read them. The last three locations were left out as they could be determined by landmarks once you had arrived at Cache 7.

Cache One had been planned first of all the caches as he tested different concepts, its contents reflecting what he felt would be needed most on a "Hard Bugout", that is one without any warning, just get out of the house and go carrying nothing, with perhaps even no shoes! All the other caches were planned in reverse order from C10 to C2. This was because he knew what he wanted at the final refuge and what could be needed along the way to reach it. Some of the caches were located near constructed camps, with specific goods for that location. He originally planned the caches to ride out the Ninety Days following an economic collapse or Pandemic event, that time frame in which all hell would break loose and the great die-off would begin. In the case of Pandemic it could be several years before he would attempt to rejoin whatever was left of Society, if it was worthy to do so.

Sitting on the bucket marked C1-WG1 he used the small plastic tool that had been taped to C1-WC to lift the lid off it. He grinned as he looked in at the contents. He felt almost wealthy with these additions to his possessions.

He reached into the bucket and pulled out his brand new, mildly broken-in boots along with his vacuum packed wool Commando sweater. He wanted to put the sweater on then and there but held off until he had secured a safe camp for the evening. He wanted to "bathe" using the wet-wipes that were part of the hygiene kit included. A tooth brush and toothpaste had a date with his teeth also after all was settled. A wide grin spread across his face as he relished the thought of replacing the worn out and ruined boots he was currently tying onto his feet each day. There in vacuum sealed bags were three pair of brand new wool socks. 1 pair each were stuffed into his boots. A set of Polypropylene thermal underwear was also stuffed into the bucket like an afterthought. He dumped the contents of the bucket onto his lap, looking them over for any damage, but thankfully finding none.

He decided to wait no longer and took off the tattered remains of his failed boots. SOP would have him remove only one boot at a time, but he was not in the state of mind to be following commonly established rules.

He opened C1-WG1 with the plastic tool and removed the First Aid kit from the bucket. He extracted the depleted kit from his pack and combined the contents of the two, saving out a roll of gauze, some tape and the container of Bag Balm. He would see to his feet before replacing his socks and shoes with the fresh ones from the bucket.

His feet were healing nicely, which he credited to using the Bag Balm each day as he tended to them. The ointment kept the skin soft and it's antiseptic properties kept infection at bay. Without it, he would most likely be holed up somewhere waiting for them to heal. Starving as it were, most likely having run out of food at some point. Satisfied with his endeavor, he completed his work by putting the 1st aid supplies away and then set to donning his new socks.

Pulling the wools socks on was near bliss after so many days of wearing the tattered remains of the previous pair. He could feel his feet warming as the wool did its job, and after a bit, for the first time in what seemed like forever, he had warm feet again! Now to set up camp for the evening. It would be a simple implementation as he was going to move out at daylight.

The poncho was once again employed in the role of covering shelter with his ground cloth laid underneath. He sat there on his erstwhile bed and began to empty all of his buckets into his lap.

They held:
1 set of Woodland BDUs
3 pair wool socks (one pair worn)
1 pair cotton socks
1 set thermal underwear, Polypropylene
1 wool Commando sweater
1 pair boots, broken in, waterproofed (on feet)
1 pair Leather "Camp" Moccasins
Trangia stove and fuel bottle
Fire starter kit (Kitchen Matches, Lint tinder, Mag bar, lighters, Fire Steel)
50 rounds .22 LR, Subsonic
20 rounds .38 special JHP on SKS stripper clips
1 box (25 rounds) shotgun shells, No. 4 shot
5 slug rounds
5 rounds 000 Buckshot
60 rounds 7.62x39mm
1 GMRS radio w/2 sets Lithium batteries
4 AA batteries, Lithium
4 AAA batteries, Lithium
1 pair gloves, Thinsulate lined, leather palm and fingers
1 large kitchen knife, in homemade leather sheath
1 hatchet (yard sale purchase)
300 feet 550 Paracord
8x10 Silnylon tarp
LED Headlamp with Red diffuser lens
Hygiene kit
1 can peaches
1 can condensed soup, Cream of Mushroom
1 can condensed soup, Cream of Chicken
1 can beef stew
1 can Chicken with wild rice soup
1 can Cream of Potato soup

He set aside the 60 rounds 7.62x39mm since he did not have access currently to a rifle in that caliber. He bolstered his worn and depleted fire starter kit with the new one and begin to group the items into separate piles. If he just added all this to his pack it would be way to heavy, especially with the addition of the fresh ammo. he emptied the contents of the pack into a pile and begin separating it into the groups he had already established.

He stripped down until he was stark naked, shivering in the afternoon chill. Using the Wet Wipes, he cleaned himself as best he could, removing the funk and imparting a clean smell. Back on went the wool socks, then the polypropylene underwear, the woodland BDU trousers, the wool sweater, then the BDU jacket. Finally he slipped his feet back into the boots, lacing them tight and finally blousing the trousers. Satisfied he was ready to move if needed and feeling much cleaner, he turned his attention back to the piles of gear.

The 60 rounds 7.62x39mm went back into a bucket, The socks were left in their wrap and stuffed into outer pockets of his pack. He set aside the cast iron pan after deliberating its usefulness as opposed to its weight. The new camp cookset was more than adequate for his needs and weighed less. It would also be more manageable with the trangia stove. He placed The 20 rnds of .38 on the clips into a breast pocket.

His original cookset went into the bucket also, replaced by the stainless steel camp cookset. He installed the batteries into the GMRS radio and did a quick scan of the frequencies to see if there was any chatter. Nothing but static was his reward. He grunted in disappointment and stuffed the radio in one of his BDU pockets. He worked his way through the pile of gear and clothes and soon had the pack loaded with what he considered indispensable gear.

He opened the can of peaches and hungrily devoured the contents. He grabbed a handful of the dwindling supply of coon jerky and consumed it while ruminating over his current situation. Gear wise he was now in pretty good shape, sufficient firepower to protect himself from individual predation. He decided he was going to take the majority of his number 4 shot shells and make them into cut loads. That would make them much more effective than just the small pellets spread. Especially against larger creatures such as man or Bear.

Darkness once more cloaked the land and stole perception from his eyes. It was time to turn in since he had no fire this night, fearful of discovery by those searching for the officer, or his killer if they had found the body in the river. Rolling himself up into his bedding, he got as comfortable as possible while leaving one arm free for using the .38 Special if needed. Sleep soon took him as he was quite exhausted from the desperation that had filled him most of the day.

Tomorrow would bring its new challenges.


  1. ...had my comment up, signed in and it disappeared...anyway, if this is a double tap delete it...
    ...Yes ! glad yer back, hope ya got more saved, and this was a teaser...

    GodBlessYa Brother...tell the crew i said hey

    1. How are you my friend? It is good to hear from you! I am glad you are still above ground! I hope all is well with you. The crew say hey back!
      I do have some more words in the pipeline.

  2. From the "Brave Anonymous Liberal Wanker",
    Thank goodness you are continuing the "Cache" story. I've read it from the beginning and have enjoyed it immensely !!! I have also enjoyed the writing on your other site on "Years After" and "Post- Ap. Vehicles".

    1. Well i am glad you have enjoyed it. This chapter has been the most fussed over bit of story and I am still not sure I am happy with it. All well, I couldn't keep it bottled up any longer and had to let it out! As far as writing on my other site, I am a bit confused as to what you are referring to as I am not writing elsewhere at this time.

    2. I stand corrected. I thought Survivalism and SHFTfiction were yours as well. Thanks again for the great "Cache" story.

  3. Replies
    1. Hey tweell, long time no hear from you! How are you doing?

  4. Hey - Henry's back - Cool! Thank you sir!

    1. His name is now "Wilson".
      Tom Hanks can go find his own soccer ball.

  5. Glad you are back posting! And you leave us hanging!!

  6. real glad you're back, I find a kindred spirit in "dusty", sounds like he and I have gone thru the NAM experience. hang tough scout.

  7. Sel Scout,

    Your stories are fantastic. I can credit you for getting me hooked on prepper fiction. Not only are your writings to the point but also have a profound element of education.

    Thank you sir,


  8. been waiting for the next chapter, I live in the area this story takes place in (I think)

    1. The geography is going to get shaken up a bit from reality.

  9. Someone was kind enough to Email me with the link, asking if I knew this latest installment was out.
    Obviously I didn't or I would have commented sooner.
    My thanks to that kind individual.

    As usual, I flat out devoured it.
    This is just a great story man.
    One of those increasingly rare well crafted tales that is deserving of the title Pick it up and don't put it down until you are done.

    Excellent work.


    1. Thanks for dropping by Phil, and i am glad you still like the story.

  10. Replies
    1. You are supposed to say "Moar Moar, Moar".
      I think that is how it goes...
      Moar will be coming soon.

  11. Wow!!! been looking forward to this!!! Thank you!!! MOAR!!!

  12. Man i have to say thank you, thoroughly enjoyed this story. Anxiously awaiting the rest. Again thank you.

  13. I stumbled upon your site and have to say I love the info and the story. I do have to ask though.......More Please!

  14. Very thought provoking, screams BE PREPARED very loudly! Can hardly wait to read the rest!

  15. Yup, I'd buy a paperback so I could finish this story before the meltdown coming in Sept.

  16. I was glad to see you start this story line back up again, but hate that you decided to succumb to comercialism and leave people hanging on for the next chapters that won't be there unless they PAY for them or drag down the speed of their computer with a large PDF.
    Oh well, it was good while it lasted, but guess that money does talk and everyone has their price.

  17. Over time, many have requested a printed copy and have encouraged that I publish it. I hardly think that the number of people who have requested a digital copy or print copy will make me much money, but it is for them that I do this. As I near my retirement I will need to supplement my meager income somehow, with writing being one option. As far as succumbing to commercialization, how many advertisements or sponsors do you see on my blog pages compared to others?

  18. I for one would welcome a print copy and have asked for one already.
    I see absolutely no harm, foul or selling out by our gracious host by making a few meager dollars for his efforts in doing so.
    Complaining about getting something for free that took many days months and years now to produce at a personal cost of time effort and thought is a very, low blow and not something I consider polite at the very least.

    Please keep us posted on any progress you make towards getting it finished Selous and I will spread the news of its completion the minute I hear it is done and will have payment ready as soon as possible.

    I personally think this is an excellent story and deserves wide recognition, especially for a budding novelist who obviously has untapped skills that should not only be recognized but compensated for.
    I thank you again for sharing what you have already and am anxiously looking for the finished product.

    Philip Paul

  19. We all wonder what's comin' down the road and when. I was pleased with the beginning of your tale. Like many , for years I attended party caucuses and county caucuses and thought there was a possibility of change. The main planks are already in place before the precinct caucuses. It saddens me that the nation I grew up in is no more and many are finally recognizing the things that are going on as treason. In college in the late '60s my thoughts were you can't be serious. In 1976 I attended the first ever "Farm Fest" and found a group, the John Birch Society, accusing Hubert Humphrey, our Senator, of signing a "---DECLARATION FOR WORLD GOVERNMENT". How right those "extremists" were. Thanks for your writing.

  20. Is The Cache in print yet? Want one! Will buy one. Great story, and great storyteller. Very thought provoking.

    1. I am currently learning how to publish it on Amazon. Working on proper formatting, Book dimensions (5x8 vs 5.25x8 vs 5.5x8.5) and cover layout. Very new to me with lots of jargon to absorb. I wanted to release it before Christmas but I think that might be a bit optimistic. Keep checking back, I will announce it when it is available. Thanks for reading!

  21. Just checking, any progress with this book publishing?
    Eagerly awaiting a method to purchase!!

    1. The Book is mostly done with the formatting (5x8)
      and I am working on the cover. Some of the std. interior pages need gone over such as the copyright. The kindle version may come out first, as it is easier to put together, but I really want to release both at the same time. Thanks for asking!

  22. Just checking in for any book updates? Thx

  23. let us know th progress.

  24. Fantastic story! Have read it from the start. Very willing to buy a print copy. Thank you again sir!