Cathy walked over to Wendy and sat beside her on the couch as the cable news cacophony blared on over the explosion. She put her arm around Wendy and said, “I can tell what you are thinking, and I have just one answer.” Wendy looked over at her with a, “OK and that answer is” gesture. Cathy smiled and said, “this is bigger than you and me. What we are doing is for all of us and those we help. I think we spend too much time killing and not enough time helping but even with all the death we do good.” Wendy turned to the others as they sat and talked. She said, “yes, I think we should do more to help. I think about all those that died…... All the people I killed, and I can’t help but think how many of them could have been innocent or deserved a second chance like the one I had.” Cathy leaned over and said, “babe I hate to say this, but you had more than one second chance. I think I lost count on your second chances and none of that matters. What matters is who are you are right now and what you are doing right now.” Wendy leaned over and kissed Cathy.
An hour later Wendy parked next to Sam’s gun shop. The closed sign was still on the door, but the lights were on. The ATF and FBI vans were gone as well as any visible signs of governmental surveillance. The door opened, and a hand waved her inside. She knew she would have to explain why she left his nephew Owen in Mexico and that this might not end well. Sam let her in and hugged her. His wild over the top combover was gone, replaced with a near bald top with just a little hair on the sides and a deep tan. He looked like he lost twenty years with his time away from the shop. Sam said, “it’s good to see you my dear, and I hope you and everyone else are doing well.” As he said this, he had his hand up to his mouth in a shushing manner while pointing to a sign saying, “infested by the Feds.” Wendy nodded and said, “everything’s great Sam. I was wondering if that ball ammo came today for my black powder rifle?” Sam replied, “yes I have them in the back.” He led her into the back room. Inside he asked, “I took the bugs out of this room and placed them in the bathroom. How are things really going?” Wendy replied, “quiet. We stopped all activities and now with this thing down in Dent I think our active operations will be on hold for a while.” Sam cocked his head in that dog with a question posed and asked, “that wasn’t you?” Wendy just shook her head saying, “no.” Something felt off about how Sam was acting. She said, “that’s something we would never do.” Sam smiled and said, “I wanted to hear that from you in person…… I think there’s another crew doing what you and your or our family is doing but in a scorched earth sort of way.”
Wendy left with a fifty-caliber St. Louis Hawken rifle, a kit for another rifle, rounds, black powder, and primers. Hidden in the stock was a micro flash card with all the information Sam could find on the new people working in the area including video of two men abducting an addict and the same men breaking into a gun shop near Albuquerque NM. They stole ammo and survival gear but nothing easily traceable like a gun. Both men moved with precision taking as little time as they could take what they needed going to those items as if they knew where everything was. Sam said how he watched the day footage but hadn’t seen anyone that matched their body types in the video. They wore gloves and used hand signals instead of speaking, but their signals seemed unusual. Sam couldn’t pin it down, but he felt the men weren’t from the States. Possibly military but not American.
A teenage girl walked down the aisle of the Prepper’s Paradise military surplus and gun shop dedicated to people that like to be prepared for the end of the world. Gia was sixteen and dressed in a mix of black camouflage and leather with a spiked dog collar and near thigh high black boots. She was in the new age goth that shopped in this store every day. The owner of the store watched her while smiling about all the money such people spent in his store. Up until the show bearing his name came around most people had called Dexter Diego by the name Dex but after he was known as Mister Dexter and he liked the change. He went from his usual green camouflage to a white lab coat with dots of red paint acting as blood. He liked playing the part. He also liked it when the pretty little girls dressed in his gear. He didn’t see the camera hiding in her jet-black teased hair. Jorge watched the live footage and grew angry watching the fifty-something old man watch the ass of the teenage girl. Luis made notes on the store marking where the supplies they needed were as well as any problems. They paid Gia three thousand dollars to shop in the store as well as a small bag of cocaine. She passed on the cocaine meaning she would live when she was done. The ones that took the drugs died that night when the job was done.
That night both men went down the isles with the map and plans in their heads taking what they needed. Both men in black from their boots to the balaclavas over their faces. Jorge had a battle flag of Virginia also known as the Confederate flag while Luis had an American flag in shades of gray with a blue band in the middle. Their goal was to make people think they were white supremacists sending the authorities in the wrong direction. They took what they needed leaving traceable items. Their time in the Mexican military came in handy with timing and execution. The next morning, they met with an expat from their hometown who would supply them with a new truck and a place to operate from. To protect their operation, they killed the man and buried the body in the desert. According to contacts back in Mexico, the explosion had shifted the operations but not away from their part of the border. Another large attack might just force the smuggling further west or east away from what was left of the small village of Jaluco on the border. The village was little more than a drug warehouse built over a mass grave.
Wendy turned the video screen off after showing the footage of the break-in to the others. Sally asked, “what do we know about them? Where they from….? You know?” Cathy replied, “No. we don’t know much if anything about them but what we see on the video and their actions at the gas station.” Darrel said, “I have known more than a few military people, and they carry themselves as military.” Sally replied, “military training can be faked.” Wendy asked the room, “does any of it matter?” Jill looked over and asked, “so now what do we do?” Wendy said, “I want to find a way to cover what we are doing with another project. A place away from the operation where we can help people with problems not just kill them.” Zoey asked, “some sort of halfway house or I don’t know a camp?” Sally smirked and shook her head, but Wendy replied, “yes. I want us to do more good than evil. Help not just kill.” Zoey mouthed the words, “more good.” Gina said, “there is the old Adobe Motel on the other side of town.” Everyone turned to Gina who went on saying, “we own the property and it just sits there falling apart. We could turn that into a sort of halfway house for people looking to get clean and sober.” The room went silent until Scott asked, “we own that crap hole out in the middle of nowhere?”