About a week ago I received a call from a Canadian citizen having trouble with poachers. Now I can already tell you are thinking, “what the heck do they need mercenaries for something already illegal?” You are right. And a little rude. This man’s trouble is that the government was unwilling to come out and deal with this. He is what could easily be called a conspiracy nut. He called once for the cattle defiling aliens probing his cattle. Then on the Canada geese wearing all those cameras implanted in them by the US Government to spy on him. Cry wolf enough and people stop listening.
Now I guess I should feel bad about taking a job for money, but how many days do you go to work and say to the boss. “don’t pay be today boss this is my free day.” Electricity isn’t free and we have a payroll to pay for. With TC, out of the country with the best of the best I am stuck at the headquarters with the scrubs. TC stands for Tima Cocks a Singhalese American who looks like a supermodel and fights like a ranger. They are guarding a shipment of AIDs drugs going to eastern Africa. Yes, I’m bored. Looking for nothing but a good time and how can I resist. At best, we spend a couple of days in the north at worst an alien ass inspection. Ok, that would be bad.
To get to his land we needed to first drive to seven hundred miles away. Then fly into the part of the country near the arctic circle. It is late July and already freezing. The pilot spoke of snow soon. I moved from Ohio to get away from snow. My business was built in the jungles and desert because they have no snow. On the way, I read the intelligence report. Gavin Le Grand was a relief worker for an agency working in the Congo trying to help stop deforestation. When he left that work, he moved to Canada and took over his family’s ranch. A few years, a few cattle deaths later he sold the ranch and moved north to track the wild life. The Congo must be how he knows one of our booking agents. He spends his days tracking animals such as wolves and polar bears. At one point the pilot asked if we were out here for the grizzly ahole. I had to explain to my crew that he was referring to an old show called Grizzly Adams and yes, we are out here for him.
After a three-hour trek into the woods that took four hours because I left the mapping up to an idiot. Oh, wait I had the map. We finally found the client or rather he found us at the end of his shotgun. I explained to him who we are and showed him my identification. He grumbled something about “too many foreigners.” Gavin Le Grand looked like a person would look if they lived by themselves out in the woods for years. Long black and gray hair with a thick beard. A coat that was more quilt than original material and boots with duct tape around the soles. We made it to his cabin about twenty minutes later. It’s most likely a good thing I left my tech guy back at HQ. The client’s cabin has no electricity. He uses a hand crank to generate power for a radio. No cell phone towers mean no cell phones. The satellite phone doesn’t work in the valley were his cabin is. With all that there is no internet access. Even the cheap two-way radios I brought would be limited to a short range because of the mountains. The Canadian government limited us to basally weaponry a person would use to hunt with. I have my M1a rifle and a Smith & Wesson 500 with a four-inch barrel just in case we run into a bear. The round will most likely just piss the bear off but it makes me feel safer.
With the dream team in Africa I have what was left. Phil is acting as my second on this job. He is maybe 5ft 3” with a bald head and bright orange sideburns for some reason. He’s short but good with a knife and deadly with the Winchester model 70 he is packing. Next to him is Janet. She is about 5ft 9” with almost white long blonde hair. As a member of a SWAT team in Los Angles she was hit with friendly fire in a raid. The shot cost her a left hand and we gained a person who knows tactics. Only if she would use her knowledge in the field. The final player in this little game is Jimmy. Jimmy is a 6ft tall white boy from southern Georgia. His brother Bobby is a long-time employee who said Jimmy would be a natural fit. In his time, he has shot a hole in the roof, set off a flash bang in a car being used for surveillance and just recently said to TC that he was better at hand-to-hand than her. Fifteen seconds into the fight he was slapping his hand to the mat trying to stop the fight without having to say, “TC is the woman.”
In his cabin, the client explained his troubles. In a word, Russians. He said the Russians invaded and set up camp in the hills. As he spoke I just thought about the vacation I could have taken. Maybe on a beach or fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Then he spoke of the flag the Russians erected in their camp. A red flag with a hammer and sickle. The flag of the Soviet Union. Once again, I found myself explaining to my team what something was. To some of them the USSR was just the villain in the fourth Rocky movie. The Soviet Union ended in 1991 twenty-five years ago. The client said, “from the look of the camp they have been here for at least thirty years.” This was the slowest invasion I ever heard of.
That night using a map the client provided Janet and I snuck over to their camp to see what was what. At first their camp looked like a recreation of Jamestown fort. A triangular palisade made of local trees with one main building and several smaller buildings. On a makeshift pole was the old Soviet Flagg. It felt like staring into someone’s strange fan fiction. They had men dressed in old Soviet army uniforms walking the perimeter. Each of them had an AK47. With a count of forty all of them packing AKs we were very out matched. We are a well-armed hunting party they are an army. We tried to quietly exfiltrate from the scene when Janet dropped her handgun. She hadn’t secured the gun in place. It didn’t go off that is something for the movies, but it did make a noise. Then as if to make sure they knew we were there she yields, “DARN.”
We ran for the cabin with about a dozen angry Russians following us. Nearly with in site of the cabin I could finally use the radio and alert them to what was coming. Phil closed the shutters and barricaded the windows from the inside. As we approached some rounds went by my head and into the cabin’s structure. We made it in just as the Russians opened fire. The logs of the cabin are thick and could take a beating. The client looked at me and said, “now I could have done this!” From the outside, we could hear in a thick Russian accent, “Yankee come out we only shoot you once.” Jimmy yelled back, “surrender now and we will go easy on you.” I just looked at him and shook my head. Outside the Russians were laughing.
Within ten minutes the entire camp was surrounding us. An older Russian most likely their commander stepped up in front of his men and spoke, “evil capitalist pigs you have no chance the red army is here to free the workers and cleanse the land.” He spoke as if he was reading from a script. In fact, he had a paper in his hand. The client looked at me and said, “you don’t think I’m going to pay you for this.” I responded, “the check already cleared.” The Russian commander walked up to the door and knocked. And I swear to god he made a joke. He said, “Fuller brush salesman.” Then he said, “can I borrow a cup of sugar?” I started to hand my rifle to Janet then thought again and gave it to Phil. Then I answered the door. As the door opened the solders tensed up and aimed. With a wave of an arms they lowered their rifles. I invited him in.
Inside I offered him a cup of coffee. He took the cup and smelled the contents. He said he hadn’t had a cup of coffee since their supplies ran out about twenty years ago. He and his men were sent into the woods to prepare for an invasion to happen in 1987. They were just waiting for the signal. A signal that was thirty years in the waiting. I tried to tell him about that has happened in the last thirty years but he just didn’t believe me. They were dedicated solders and would wait until the last for orders. I gave him my satellite phone and suggested he call home. He would have to go up the mountain to make the call. He hadn’t seen anything like it. On his way out he said, “if this is all a lie then we will burn the cabin down and shoot anyone who tries to exit it.” Outside he spoke something in Russian to his men. Then he handed the phone to a younger officer who took off for the mountain. Younger as in maybe sixty. That is when the shit hit the fan.
One of the Russians stepped on a trap the client had set for bears. A snap and a scream then hot lead. They opened fire on the cabin. It was a cacophony of sounds with gunfire, smashing logs and distant screaming. The windows imploded into the cabin with shutter shrapnel flying inside into the blankets Phil hung. After three minutes the gunfire stopped. The cabin then shifted to one side as first the foundation failed then some of the logs started to split. The client said, “I want my money back.”
About an hour later the officer with the phone came back. He said something in Russian to their commander. I really should learn some Russian. Then the commander turned to the cabin and said, “is everyone alive inside.” I yelled back, “so far.” As it turned out the battery died during the call to Moscow. At first Moscow didn’t believe they were who they said they were. That makes two of us. After authenticating themselves with janitor that was once a solder in the red army they were ordered to stand down and wait. Then the phone died. The commander said, “until we receive complete orders we will stand down and wait here in the woods.” Over the next couple of days, the solders helped rebuild the cabin. By the end of the week a plane flew over with a better satellite phone with a built-in hand crank. They were informed that they were relieved of duty and needed to go home.
Some decided to go while a few including Ivan the commander decided to stay. Hey, spent most of their lives here and didn’t want to go back. Russia tried to explain that they were an embarrassment to their countries past and could hurt their current relations. If they don’t come back then they won’t get any support from the government. That was just fine for Ivan. Eventually all the men decided to stay in the woods. Even the client Gavin Le Grand moved in with the solders. He said he finally felt safe from the alien menace with these armed men. So somewhere north in Canada you will find a small piece of occupied territory won by Communist Russian forces who wouldn’t mind if you sent them some coffee. And yes, I paid the money back.
These are short stories I wrote. Some are connected to the larger books I am working on others are just for the fun of story telling.
Chapters 1 - 12 PDF
PDFs are on new Story PDF page
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