Chapter Nine

Dawn came up as a gray dusty glow to the east.

Bill snapped out of his daze to the muffled sounds of what could only be a heavily laden Hummer driving down their dirt road. A bleary glance at the clock told him that it was 6:10. The edge of the sun was just above the eastern hills. Beams of sunlight were reflecting off droplets of dew on a huge spider web in the corner of the window.


Help was finally on the way. His focus switched from the spider web to the faintest hint of a dust cloud to the north — maybe a mile off. Then there was movement — a Hummer was slowly lumbering down the road toward the house. It was painted flat black. It had what seemed like a dozen antennae sticking out of its top.

The Hummer followed the road to a point where it dipped into the third and last gully that had one of Bill’s water pressure driven vehicle destroyers. Then the Hummer stopped. Bill could plainly see where it was because one of its antennas stuck up over the rise of the hill and was bending back and forth in the morning breeze.

All Bill could do was look in morbid fascination. What were those idiots doing?

He cupped his eyes and slowly looked up and down the nearby hillsides to see if he had any other visitors, tourists? Who were these guys?

The earth was denuded of foliage. Where were the leaves? The ground seemed stripped — even of its mulch. It finally registered in his brain that the fuel-air detonation he’d brought upon his own property had really worked. There was nothing left but black twigs and gray ash for an eighth of a mile around.

Bill thought his eyes were playing tricks on him because several of the blackened bushes along the distant ridge line to the north-east were getting thicker and darker and then thinner and lighter and then thicker and darker again.

Suddenly it dawned on him that little clusters of people dressed in black were crawling around behind various burned clumps of chaparral. Somehow, these idiots didn’t realize that they were being silhouetted by the early morning sun.

Thank God the fire storm had sucked the leaves from the bushes and burned much of the chaparral. If the chaparral had remained then these guys would be hidden by the foliage — and invisible.

Then he realized what he was really seeing. Those bastards had tried to crawl toward the house but his entangled “solid-steel-dead-bush” barrier had stopped them and they were having to back up!

How close would they have come if there had been no barrier? Inside?

Bill moved closer to the window and looked intently at the ridge line. He still couldn’t figure out what these yahoo’s were doing. He shielded his eyes from the direct sunlight and gazed intently at the black dots far in the distance.

A gloved hand gripped a pistol grip. A muscular finger pressed trigger. A powerful firing pin slammed into a primer. A bullet heavier than a golf ball moved down a polished and grooved steel barrel. The barrel recoiled 13 millimeters as the bullet passed the exhaust ports of the muzzle brake and then left the gun. The barrel recoiled another 40 millimeters before releasing the gun’s bolt and slapping it far to the rear. A now empty brass cartridge case almost the size of an empty toilet paper roll snapped sixteen feet to the right of the shooter.


Bill’s window shattered into sparkling grain-sized particles and white firebricks exploded out of the fireplace hearth twenty feet behind him. Chunks of ceramic gas log and firebrick bounced around the room.


He dropped to the floor and low-crawled toward the hallway.


The fireplace continued to explode but now he could hear the gun’s report echoing off the hillsides. It seemed to have taken more than two seconds from the time a bullet hit the house to the time he heard the gun. Range? Five to seven hundred yards or more.

It didn’t make any sense!

But Bill wasn’t going to walk outside and ask the “Hummer-people” any questions. Instead, he snaked back to the window and using a hooked steel handle he tugged on the Spanish style window shutters until they each closed. There were ten windows on the ground floor, plus the front door and patio doors. Only six windows plus the front door faced American territory. The rest of the openings faced Mexico. For all of his disgust with Clinton and “The New World Order” he hadn’t really believed that his enemy really was within America itself!

He’d been a fool. This wasn’t a rescue team — this was a death squad!

It took him more than half an hour to grope blindly and close all of the ground floor windows.

To keep the Mexicans from breaking into the house when the family was gone, Bill had made the shutters from scrap steel plate. Each shutter was made of eight layers of quarter inch thick steel — two inches total — and then covered in pieces of pressure treated plywood trim — front and back — to create fake louvers and edging. Each shutter weighed more than nine hundred pounds. Bill remembered this easily because he first wanted to make the shutters from new steel and had been told it would cost more than $1,000 a window. He’d used quarter inch steel because it was cheap, available, and nobody asked what you were building.

The home’s front door was Bill’s pride. To protect it from attack by Mexicans, Bill had created a roll up door from scrap railroad rail. Each rail segment weighed four hundred pounds and there were forty nested segments. The segments rolled up and down in a track cut into the wall at each side of the front door. Bill could have made the armored door open quickly or close quickly. He had chosen a slow open and a quick close. He thanked God for his choice.

It took only eight seconds to close the armored door. To make the system foolproof he’d used two Warn model 9000 winches. He had doubled the cable run so that either winch could carry the entire load. And the system ran on 12 volts.

Bill had done the same at the rear of the house. There, the segments were double wide and weighed more than eight hundred pounds each — with forty segments — and there was a set for the picture window and one for the sliding glass doors and one the kitchen door. The rear segments used bits and pieces of a forklift chain hoist to move them up and down. He carefully pulled the safety pins on all the rail sets and let them begin their free-fall closed. Free fall in this case was painfully slow. Bill had more than enough time to re-insert the locking pins in the sliding door’s track’s holes before the door hit the floor. The rails clanked to a stop two feet off the patio deck. Leaving this singular escape route was dangerous — someone could smash the glass and wiggle in but some escape route was always prudent. It would now take a full ten minutes to re-open any of the others.

While an added expense, Bill had run his own experiments and found that cold soaked steel had about three times the strength of normal steel. He’d spent a month figuring out how the process worked — and why — and then spent $3,000 on liquid nitrogen and some thermocouples. He’d soaked every one of his window shutters and all of the railroad rail segments and when he knew he had the process down pat he’d even cold soaked all of his rifles and pistols.

All of this protection had been built into the house so that it could withstand an attack by Mexicans or Negroes or white trash armed only with chain saws and sledge hammers. Bill had no idea how the place could take a concerted attack by federal troops.

He was going to find out.

The house was almost surrounded. To the north the FBI’s Hostage “Rescue” Team had positioned three detachments of snipers. Each team’s main armament was a Barrett model 82A1 semi-automatic .50 caliber sniper rifle.

The Barrett .50 could put a 750 grain slug into the same eight inch circle time after time after time — from a thousand yards away.

The FBI teams had three standard armor piercing, high explosive, incendiary (APEI) cartridges — with the preferred types being the armor piercing, hard core, incendiary (APHCI) and armor piercing (AP) M8 rounds. Both of these were constructed of an armor piercing tungsten penetrator covered with lead and then covered with a copper jacket. The FBI also had an explosive round.

The explosive round could actually be filled with almost anything. It did not have to explode, it could just carry a payload. That payload could be some heat tolerant nerve agent, or even a biological toxin. It seemed that the most popular of these special rounds carried the biological toxin Saxitoxin. To speed absorption of the toxin into the human body it was mixed with water and Dimethyl Sulfoxide.

FBI snipers used these rounds when ordered to apply what they called “Alternate Technologies for Obtaining Functional Kills.”

The FBI’s favorite poison — Saxitoxin — came from what are called “red tides” which are a flowering of certain plankton in the open ocean. Many plankton, or dynoflagellates, even produce light. This light can be quite bright — as bright as a firefly.

These plankton have even been praised as having actually saved the life of a U.S. Congressman. This Congressman was a pilot during the Vietnam War and was returning to his ship when all of his instruments lost power. After some seconds of night blindness he was able to see the glow being generated by the plankton that had been stirred up by his home ship’s propellers and he followed that path of dim light for miles and directly to the stern of his aircraft carrier.

The California coast is especially rich with these plankton from mid to late summer. At this time of year nutrients from the depths are pushed to the surface by certain ocean currents. These nutrients allow the plankton to reproduce at extreme rates. At these times of year it is not uncommon for 100,000,000 of these plankton to be found in a single gallon of seawater.

And these plankton are deadly poison. One of the most poisonous is Protogonyaulax catenella.

It is important to understand how potent this poison really is. Saxitoxin is 100,000 times more potent than pure cocaine.

In the early days the FBI would contract out the harvesting of clams and mussels and other shellfish which had fed on these poisonous plankton. The FBI would then take the part of the clam called the siphon and process only that. In the case of the mussel they would process only the digestive tract. The FBI liked the mussel Myrtilus califorianus the best.

This was serious business. The FBI even scattered a rare species of Japanese mussels all over the northern shore of San Francisco Bay — to create a local poison farm. The mussels are now entrenched at an average population density of 15,000 mussels per square yard (these are tiny mussels). As usual with government agencies, the FBI agents then changed their minds and abandoned the project. San Francisco is now living next to a veritable Holocaust-in-the-making and doesn’t even know it.

The FBI finally decided that all of this shellfish processing was a lot of work and that people could ask questions as to what these strange people were doing with all of these grey creatures of the mud. Their San Diego processing plant had already been busted by the California EPA because large (and illegal) quantities of biological material were traced up the sewer system and right to their door.

So the FBI started harvesting the plankton directly. While this required a 200 ft long ship it was easy to hide because all along the California coast a company called Kelco harvested kelp. The FBI’s harvester looked quite a bit like one of the Kelco ships. The main difference was that the FBI’s ship only came out at night and only during what California’s TV weathermen called a “Red Tide.” The toxins could be wrung from the plankton and the residual bio-mass was just dumped back into the sea.

Anybody could do the same thing. They could even use a 16 ft ski boat — just plumb the thing so that some sea water was passed into a canvas duffel bag being carried as a “passenger” behind the driver. After less than an hour of tottling over the ocean during a red tide that bag could contain enough Protogonyaulax catenella to kill more than a million people.

All one needed to do was squeeze the bio-mass to remove some of the salt water and then wash it with fresh water. Squeeze again. Then place batches of the bio-mass in a blender and cover with rubbing alcohol. Then add a two shot glasses full of Muratic acid purchased from the local pool supply store.

Blend for ten minutes.

Put on Rubbermaid dish washing rubber gloves found at the grocery store. Pour the bio-mass through double Mr. Coffee, coffee filters.

The clear-ish liquid that comes out of the filters is deadly. Pour it onto a teflon cookie sheet and let it dry. The dried scab will kill anything living in our solar system. One small breath of it (about a dust particle’s worth) and you will be dead too.

People in the southeastern areas of the country should not feel abandoned. There are various extremely evil little bugs that they can use as well. One of the most lethal little darlings is Pfiesteria piscidia — also a dynoflagellate.

Pfiesteria piscidia can kill you if you eat it, or even get it on your body — and it might even kill if you just breathe the air near the water where it lives. This is one hell-fire bug. The book “And The Waters Turned To Blood” by Rodney Barker gives a good overview on the little fellow. The bug exudes toxins that can eat holes through your flesh and then paralyze your muscles. Many biologists say the bug actually does feed on blood.

It can be removed from its watery environment and the toxin quickly separated. The process is easy and identical to that used to produce Saxitoxin. It would be an ideal ingredient in an exciting home project for anyone with access to a crop duster airplane and the schedule for the next New York City Gay Pride Parade.

Pfiesteria piscidia can be found from the Chesapeake Bay to the Neuse River in North Carolina. Look for big clumps of brown smelly algae floating at the surface.

But what was the FBI going to do with tens of thousands of pounds of Saxitoxin when less than 100 micrograms would kill anybody. Nobody knew.

This was the “new” FBI.

Thanks to the Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents the FBI was no longer interested in long duration stand-offs and world-wide media coverage. The best thing for the FBI was to quash any coverage of “extremist” situations as fast as possible. Justus, Montana was an aberration and a situation already in the public eye before the FBI arrived.

The events in Atlanta in 1998 had been ended within four hours of their start. And the world only knew that some “businessmen” had accidentally blown themselves up.

The reality had been somewhat different.

The reality was that six small business owners had sent a letter to the IRS refusing to pay the retroactive tax increase implemented by the then second term President Clinton. To the IRS the letter sounded threatening. This was especially true since one of the men was the pastor of a church and another was the owner of a water well drilling firm that sometimes used explosives.

The HRT had surrounded one of their meetings and fired ten Saxitoxin-filled rounds into the building — from a distance of 1,500 yards. The targets inhaled the dust and dropped dead.

The FBI then closed in on the building and filled it with an oxygen / propane mixture and let nature take its course. The blast was felt six miles away. The news media reported that a gas leak in a wall heater had caused a tragic accident and that 17 people had been killed. To make sure there were no survivors the local gas company had been told not to allow emergency crews into the area until it had been completely checked out. And by “checked out” they meant “wait until everybody was known to be dead.”

A few people were starting to learn a terrible truth. Any time the government said one thing it meant quite the opposite.

• Tax reduction and tax relief meant tax increase.

• Privacy Act meant privacy invasion.

• Rescue meant — murder.

Total enslavement was only a matter of time.

The FBI’s Hostage Rescue Teams had placed their Barrett .50s so that all of the windows on the north, east and west sides of the house were covered. The teams had orders to kill anyone they saw.

Ruby Ridge and Waco had proved to all concerned that even killing women and children was easily white-washed — and that’s if they even got caught.

If they could finish whole this thing quickly enough then nobody would ever know they had even been here.

The FBI agent snuggled up to his Unertl 10x scope and gripped the Barrett .50 like it was an eager girlfriend. He really liked the old Leopold & Stevens M3a Ultra 10x scope but the new scope had a better range reticule. He could see the shutters being closed on all of the first floor windows. He thought about how this yahoo must have read some cheap Louis Lamour cowboy story. There was gonna be a big surprise for this guy when a .50 caliber explosive bullet took that piece of shit wooden shutter right off the window.

The sniper team went over every square inch of the house looking for any signs of gas lines, power lines, telephone lines — anything. All they found was a curled up cell phone antenna and some dangling wires between the house and a funky shed about fifty feet away.

They also counted about eight bodies laying out on the gravel on the north side of the house. This was what the FBI wanted to see. The “Constitutional Extremists” must have executed them. The deceased looked like Mexicans. That made the murders a hate crime. These people were racists!

A command post had been set up one mile from the Johnson’s home — right where the San Diego Gas & Electric Company had terminated its service into what looked like a green water pump box.

The first thing the FBI did on arrival was cut the telephone lines. After all, the last thing they wanted was this bunch of “Constitutional Extremists” calling the news media.

Their command post site was ideal in that it was far away from the target and yet close enough to easily monitor the operation. It was also miles away from any paved road and that would limit news reporters and “Lookie Lou’s.” The FAA had been alerted and a “Notice To Airmen” had been published and broadcast — there were to be no flights over the area at an altitude of less than 10,000 feet.

The FBI had moved in eight special M1042 Hummers. Each had been equipped with what could best be described as a square black camper shell. Inside these field offices the FBI team could monitor the situation 24 hours a day. The FBI would bring reinforcements to the site as they arrived from their dispersed offices around the region or “war zone.” The total FBI presence for a BLACK RANGER response was 115 men.

The FBI had run a land line down the dirt road and then branched it off to each of the sniper locations. There was to be no radio chatter that might be picked up by anybody — ever.

The BATF had taken hind tit. Their team had been forced to walk three miles through extremely rugged terrain to a point on the hillside overlooking the Johnson’s house. Their teams’ trek had been made easier by their use of what seemed to be heavily traveled wild animal trails leading south and even across the international border and into the Republic of Mexico.

But the BATF had it made. Thanks to Senator Schumer (“New World Order”) of New York, the BATF had even been able to purchase surplus Marine Corps close support aircraft.

They had tried to hide their purchases by using fake company names and addresses. The truth had come out thanks to dumpster divers who had been watching various BATF research offices in the Washington, DC, area. The BATF’s trash had been finely combed for anything of value and letters approving the aircraft transfer had been discovered.

The BATF team planned to sit there on the hillside and shoot anybody or anything they saw. They would also radio their observations to Brown Field — where the BATF had set up their operation’s headquarters — 50 yards from where their assault aircraft had been staged. Just one word to the BATF’s pilots and their OV-10 Bronco aircraft would launch, fly to the farmhouse and rocket the place to cinders.

Bill Johnson had finally calmed down. There had been times during the Mexican’s night-assault that he thought he was going to have a heart attack. These little clusters of morning-men in black suits had caused him far less stress.

After all, those black-suited bastards were still way out there — and not — in here.

He still had time to come up with a strategy to save his family. He also knew that his diligence in building the house the way he had was the only thing that had saved their lives so far.

The more he thought about it the more he knew the truth. He and his family had become the targets of cold, ruthless, United States Government assassins. He had to fight. But how?

The first thing he did was escort Bobby and Sally back to the strong room closet and have them sit down in the hall. This was the safest place in the house — the equivalent of more than ten feet of construction grade concrete plus an equivalent of another couple of feet of granite plus the equivalent of three feet of mild steel was now between them and the government’s murderers.

Then Bill started thinking.

What was the worst thing these bastards could do?

It sure didn’t look too good. His family’s first encounter with these thugs had been a polite “knock” — and from the looks of the bullet holes in the walls it was with some miniature anti-tank gun! If he resisted them then these scum would just ratchet up the level of lethality as much as they needed.

He was going to die.

They could easily send an F-117 in here and just bomb him.

Times have sure changed. His house was about a hundred feet wide and about sixty feet long — just the size of the standard bombing accuracy target. The B-17 of World War Two needed about 9,000 bombs to ensure a hit within such a target area. A Vietnam era B-52 needed about 300 bombs. Today, an F-117 has a hit rate between 41% and 60% — so the number of bombs required was two.

One reason for the dramatic difference in bomb volume required to hit a target was the fact that the World War Two B-17’s and Vietnam-era B-52’s had no stand-off capability. The pilots had to drop their loads right on top of hostile targets — targets that shot back. When a pilot saw a bomber ahead of him drop his load he would drop his as well — right then — and then turn and run like hell. Thus, only one bomber might be close to the target and the bombers following him would miss completely.

Today, a pilot could drop his load from ten miles away and have every confidence that not only will he escape safely but that his bombs will find their own targets.

Bill quickly calculated the numbers in his head — from the news reports he remembered about Iraq — he estimated that the United States Air Force using a laser guided GBU-27 2,000 pound bomb would only have a fifty — fifty chance of actually getting him on the first attempt. Even if they used a conventional thick-walled penetrator bomb it would probably just bounce off the steel drill pipe roof and then go boom.

That wasn’t good enough odds. And besides, they would just come back.

As soon as he even tried to take out the sniper teams then the feds would escalate their efforts to the next level. Arranged in an order of ever higher levels of paranoia they could:

• Bring in Apache helicopters from the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton

• Bring in “Puff The Magic Dragon” from Nellis Air Force Base

• Bring in F-117’s from Nellis Air Force Base.

• Bring in a B-2 from Alamogordo.

• Bring in B-52s or B1s

“Puff” was really the most threatening. Bill had seen it at work in Panama. “Puff” was a cargo plane that had first been modified as a weapons platform in the 1960’s. The craft had been upgraded constantly ever since. Now these planes carried 20 mm Gatling guns and even artillery! The official name for this thing was “AC-130H Specter Gunship.” The plane had: two 20 mm Gatling guns, one 40 mm cannon (manually fed) and a 105 mm howitzer!

If Bill was really unlucky then the feds would send in an AC-130U — on that airplane the two 20 mm Gatling guns had been replaced with a 25 mm chain cannon.

All of these “Puffs” had F-15 fire control systems. While under computer control these planes could circle a target and weapons operators could simply hose the ground. The plane was designed specifically for situations like this one where the target couldn’t shoot back.

Then he thought about it a bit more. They probably wouldn’t use one of those things because the tracers coming out of the plane and into his house would be as bright as a Fourth of July fireworks show. The gunfire would be seen for fifteen miles around.

He felt good about the fact that they would not dare bring in ground vehicles. They would not truck an old Abrams tank from some California National Guard outfit or one of the new rail-gun vehicles from General Dynamics Land Systems in Detroit. Not all the way here — not through freeway traffic — because that would do nothing but make the media curious. And besides, it would take them time they didn’t have.

The longer this situation lasted the better the chances that word would get out and they would be exposed as the murderers they were. Look how they completely screwed up a brain-dead-simple operation like killing Hillary’s boyfriend Vince Foster.

The KGB had the motto: “Killing someone is easy — making it look natural takes an artist.” The FBI was long on action and short on “artists.” Thank God — or he and his family would already be dead.

The government’s actions at Waco and Ruby Ridge were but two in a long string of clumsy atrocities. As far back as April 15, 1985, the government used overwhelming force against Christian threats to “New World Order” domination of America.

On April 15, 1985, Cobra gunships of the Missouri National Guard were sent out to kill one lone Christian hiding in the Missouri woods. Their effort was closely monitored by FBI surveillance aircraft which even supplied ground forces with infra-red imagery of the scene. The guilt or innocence of their target is not material. The level of overwhelming force used against a lone Christian must be a warning to be heeded. When it comes to Christians who are ready to fight, “The New World Order” shows absolutely no mercy. And yes, they got him.

But there were quite a few factors in Bill Johnson’s favor.

All of these federal agencies depended upon infra-red signatures of vehicles and buildings to learn more about their targets. The IR signature of a house could tell them everything from where people might be hiding within — to how many hours the house had been empty. This was also true for vehicles — the feds could tell which parked vehicles were real and which were decoys or even how long ago a vehicle had been driven.

Nobody knew how his house had been built — it didn’t show from outside. The top of the house had a Spanish “tile” roof — which created an almost conventional IR signature.

The house also had what seemed to be river-stone walls coated with stucco — which also created a conventional IR signature. The thick foam insulation between the stucco and the yard-thick concrete (more highly reinforced than any underground missile silo in the United States) — was invisible to all of their sensor systems.

The roads to his house were well prepared. Bill could kill any normal vehicle coming down the road — once he knew they were headed his way.

The hillsides were a mess of steel entanglements — for tracked vehicles as well as for people.

The “kill zones” to the north-east and north-west were they only way humans could approach the house and few would live through such an assault — running down hill over open ground — with Sally shooting from one window and he shooting from another.

Surviving an airborne attack was less sanguine but none of the cheap stuff they might think of using was equipped with modern Global Positioning Satellite navigation (GPS) or inertial navigation. All of their cheap weapons used a TV camera or depended on a laser return for guidance. Laser guidance meant having a spotter and that meant a soon-to-be dead spotter if he was on the ground. There was little hope of them using an airborne spotter thanks to the mountains.

They would not use the expensive GPS or inertial weapons because the military would bill the FBI for the weapons used. The FBI had a limited budget and a million dollar tab for some front-line weapon could not be justified. The FBI would not want to pay that much — even for the extermination of White Christian Americans. They would only agree to using old cheap stuff. The FBI might even get the military to use the attack as a “training mission” and get this older stuff for free.

Bill thought that he just might beat them.

He knew he could beat the snipers for a day or two — or three. After that they would escalate to what? Probably not to Apache helicopters — because they would have to “whup, whup, whup” right over half of San Diego. And probably not “Puff” — it would attract too much attention.

The worst they would probably do quickly was escalate to an F-18.

The F-18 would drop a $100,000 GBU-27 2,000 pound TV bomb and go away. Then the bomb damage assessment people back at Nellis would look at the video tape recorded by the weapon’s fire control system and see what?

They would see a flash and a shockwave. And then they would see a “smudge”!

They would see a big black place and flames from the burning foam insulation. It might burn for hours, or even days. The smoke was poisonous and it might even drift over the sniper teams.

But they would look at that video tape and think that the bomb had gone right inside and destroyed everything!

Of course, this was all predicated on them not actually driving that bomb right through a window.

In any event, that F-18 would come back and do it all again. And then it would all be finished — a quarter million dollars worth of bombs to kill three Christians. Welcome to the new America.

But even a worst-case scenario would still give them several days to prepare an escape. They would have to move south into Mexico. There was a small landing field in the pine trees south of La Rumorosa — forty miles away. If they could get that far there might be a way to get a plane and escape back inside the US. That shouldn’t be difficult. Shit, Mexicans did it by the thousands every day!

So, the plan must be to get rid of any feds that might be close enough to see reality and report . And they must all go quickly. And they must not be replaced.

This left Bill to think what for most Americans would be unthinkable: How to prepare to repel and survive an ever escalating string of attacks by his own government.

Bill Johnson quickly outlined the tasks that lay ahead:

• Create a public audience — witnesses for the defense — advertise their plight

• Determine the location of all immediate threats

• Get intelligence on what they are planning

• Eliminate all immediate threats

• Create a minefield — somehow delay their return or reinforcement

• Prepare a “Bodyguard of Lies” — pass on false intelligence

• Prepare a defense against everything up to and including an aircraft

• Play dead / run

He picked up the telephone and listened for a dial tone. Nothing.

He picked up his cell phone and dialed the weather. The weather recording answered and told him that the inland high was to be 110 today and that there was a possibility of rain in two days. Then the phone went dead.

“Those sleazy bastards set the telephone company on us!

Any time our cell phone ID comes up they kill the call at the central office! The bastards!”

Bill’s phone was under the control of the local mini-Bell — SBC Pacific Bell. Thank’s to their “Investigative Service” the feds needed only to call Pac Bell and tell ‘em what they wanted. The feds could stop his outgoing calls, turn off his custom calling features or even change his phone number.

Bill thought for a while.

“Our call is being picked up by the local cell phone antenna system on that hill next to highway 94 — maybe seven miles away to the north. There’s a Mexican cellular network covering at least the eastern edge of Tacate. Maybe I can get a cell phone to start roaming — in the Mexican’s system!

Sally, help me with this table!”

“What are you gonna do?”

“I’m gonna make an antenna!”

They took the folded ping pong table from its place of honor against the far wall and carried it to the edge of the sliding glass doors and placed it — legless — on the carpet. Bill then squatted, peered under the 3/4 closed railroad rail window barrier and aligned the center line of the table with a notch in the hills to the southeast.

Bill found scissors, a spool of insulated wire and duct tape and came back to the table. He cut the wire into six inch lengths and laid these lengths of wire along the length of the table’s center line white stripe like railroad ties. When he was done he stretched a length of duct tape down the entire length of table — sticking the wires in place.

“Someplace I’ve got a cheap Radio Shack copy of a Nokia cell phone. The phone belongs to Fred — remember him? I promised to modify it so that it could be used with Fred’s laptop computer. I’ve got that thing around here someplace”

He found it.

“We might just be able to use our own cell phone on the Mexican cell system to call people but I betcha they got our number blocked even at the Mexican’s central office.”

He laid the Nokia copy on the table with its antenna over one of the duct taped “railroad ties.”

“This should convert the cell phone’s 360 degree beam spread to a five degree beam pointed toward the Mexican antenna — none of the phone’s energy is gonna be coming out the back of this “ping pong” antenna and I don’t think the Pac Bell system will even know we’re alive. They should be seeing our signal strength as being way too weak to be from a phone inside one of their cells. The Mexican system on the other hand should be seeing us as a phone parked right next to one of their antennas. The Mexicans don’t do time delay ranging on their customers so we should be safe.”

Bill then trotted to the cupboard and retrieved a Plantronics cell phone headset and plugged it into the cell phone.

He tried it. He got the weather, and more weather, and even more weather — in Spanish.

He closed the cell phone.

“Hot damn! We might just make contact with the outside world!”

He then went over to his PC and connected this cell phone to the PC’s modem and then looked up the number for his Internet Service provider — in Mexico. He told his computer to dial it. It worked.

As soon as the connection was made, he saw he had E-mail.

There were maybe fifty messages from scanner people all over the country asking him if he was still alive. He had a vague curiosity about how on earth they knew he was the one being attacked by the feds — but damn! At least somebody was on his side!

“I don’t know how long this line of communication is gonna stay open. We’d better keep sending messages to everybody we can think of before it’s cut.”

He told his computer to broadcast messages that the FBI had put sniper teams around his house and that he and his family might be killed at any moment — and if somebody was going to help — they’d better do it NOW.

He was scared — but he had work to do — and it made him feel good to know that he was not alone.

Before he’d built the house Bill had spent a month collecting all the information he could get on his new neighborhood. He wanted to be certain that he positioned his new home at an optimum location. This had included the best view, the best sun angle, the best orientation of the home itself. It had also included optimum positions for the vinyards — and especially each obstacle.

First, he had pulled up a copy of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) map for the area off the Internet. Bill then obtained as much data as he could from “” — the CIA’s terrain database Internet site. The government didn’t let you have digital terrain data at better than a 100 foot resolution — the “” data was only a government paranoid .6 mile resolution. You could hide a football stadium at that resolution. This CIA data was good for one thing — looking at a general overview of the area — out to a radius of ten miles from the house. If he had wanted high resolution data he could have bought it from the Russians — who were now teamed with KODAK and sold 6 foot resolution photos for $6.00 each.

He had then purchased a standard paper USGS terrain map of the area and carefully — and by hand — traced every terrain contour line within two miles of the house. These tracings were then loaded into his computer. He then let his computer run for more than a day — processing data he had traced from the map. The computer took in all of the terrain lines and followed natural slopes and then added the fine ripples in the terrain where they should occur in nature.

He now had created a digital terrain map of his neighborhood with a pseudo resolution of three feet. He then paid “NIMA” $10 for a satellite photo of the area and overlaid this image on the terrain profile. He knew the “NIMA” photo was an old one because it included the previous owner’s house. But with this effort he had created a near perfect 3D image of everything within several of miles of his house.

Placing the house and the road — and even every single plant he ever planted — on that digital game board had been fun — even exciting. But that had been years ago — in a different time, a different age.

Now, he loaded this masterpiece that had taken him so many hours to build onto his large computer screen and looked at it, carefully, thoughtfully.

“This is kinda like looking at tropical fish swimming in a tank — restful.” Sally came over and looked at the image for a few seconds.

“You gonna try and spot the hiding places of those snipers?”

“That’s what I have in mind. I hope it’s worth the effort!”

It did not take him long to write a program in Quick Basic that would mark all areas on the terrain map — out to 2,000 yards from the house in all directions that would be hidden below the line of sight from the second floor of the house.

All he did was write a program that took every point on his grid (every three feet) and compared the altitude of that point with each and every other point on a line directly to the center of the house. There were more than 16 million points.

What this did was let the computer tell him where people might hide — out of his sight — anyplace within a direct line of the house and out to 2,000 yards.

He had programmed the computer to display only areas where the dip creating the hideout area was less than ten feet deep and more than one foot deep. This way he would have little pink bands that represented places a sniper could lay flat and shoot at him.

He now had little pools of pink all over the screen.

He then pulled up the AutoCad plans of the house and overlaid the positions of all the second floor windows — and drew lines on the screen which represented fields of fire from each of the windows. He then told the computer to delete all of the pink spots that were not in a window’s field of fire.

What this really did was plot the data in reverse — it showed him where a sniper had to be to shoot him when he stood near a window.

Bill knew that some aircraft sending a 2,000 bomb into his front door was something else again.

He rolled over to the file cabinet and found his two year old — and bootleg — copy of Janes’ $1,425 “Air Launched Weapons” CD-ROM. He loaded it into the drive and scanned through the lists of cluster bombs and laser guided bombs and TV guided bombs. He found that none of these things could make radical changes in their flight paths. All of them were about like a 747 on final to LAX — “movin nice and easy.”

Lastly, he found that the TV guided bombs had a critical time when they could be defeated — the final fifteen seconds of flight. That last fifteen seconds required slow and steady control from the weapons officer riding in the back seat or right seat of the plane or these bombs would go astray. He also learned that many of these bombs would lock onto something in the scene all by themselves if they were ordered to do so or if they lost contact with their guidance commands from the aircraft. Once locked-on to the image of the target these bombs would track their target all the way to impact, but if they “lost lock” then they would simply drive themselves on a straight course and right into the earth.

What he found was that laser bombs were off the list — no way to control them from a second aircraft because the terrain shielded the house and that TV guided bombs or even stand-off weapons like Maverick missiles could only be dropped on them from up the valley — only from the north. Yes, they could get him directly from the south but that meant flying over the Republic of Mexico -and they certainly would not want to impugn the sovereignty of that Great Republic.

The north. He only had to look to the north — and then only in a narrow band because the bombs needed a stable flight path for at least the last 15 seconds.

And that glide path window started (thanks again to Jane’s data and some calculations from his PC) at a point 3,432 yards north of the house.

Of course, all of this would be futile in the end. The bastards might escalate their level of lethality until they dropped the “ULTIMATE BOMB” — the 15,000 pound BLU-82.

Now that was a bomb. “FSN 1325 — 00 — 176 — 2121 E562, BLU 82/B, Bomb Blast, Cradled, OBA — 22M …” It was filled with 12,500 pounds of gelled slurry explosive.

Standard operating procedure was to drop them in pairs — out the back of a C-130!

And the minimum safe distance from the blast was 6,000 feet.

He forced himself to calm down. It was time to check out those “tourists of death” sitting out on the hillside with their big black cannon.

Bill wandered around looking for bits of junk he could use. He took a mirror from one of Samantha’s toys and taped it onto his spotting scope — at a 45 degree angle. He then printed out the computer’s suggested sniper hiding places — the pink zones — and took those sheets of paper and the scope upstairs.

He lay on his back, released one of the window shutters and used the spotting scope as a periscope. He did this at each window — using a printout of the computer’s pink zones as a guide. He found three sniper nests that were well hidden and each seemed to be equipped with a BIG gun. One nest was to the east, one to the north and one to the west. He could zoom in on the gun’s muzzle brakes and they seemed to be four or five inches wide.

These guys seemed to be pros — with cannons.

He also noted that only the guys in the eastern nests could do a shift change without the possibility of being seen moving around.

He also found six really sloppy one-man “hides” that could have been built by 14 year old Boy Scouts. He was able to find these “hides” because these twits had rested their hand-held radios on the edge of the hill like teenagers plant their boom boxes on a sand dune at the beach.

These twit — people were not operating rationally. They had even built their hides without any regard for taking a pee break! They were stuck there until nightfall. None of them could move more than five feet without being exposed.

He then slowly tracked his telescope up the dirt road — from his house until the road disappeared about half a mile away.

And then he saw them.

Several dark green cables were running along the side of the road. One of the cables crossed the road maybe a quarter of a mile away — toward the western sniper nest. The other cables headed off to the right — toward the northern and eastern sniper nests. “That’s why they drove that Hummer up here!”

Bill hooked the shutter with the pole and slammed it shut. “Hot Damn!” He clambered up off the carpet, ran downstairs and started pulling his stereo system apart. He connected the microphone input of the stereo to wires he ripped out of the regular dial telephone in the rec room.

He then called to Sally and asked her to go and unplug every telephone in the downstairs part of the house. Bill went upstairs and unplugged the three telephones there.

He was amazed that these fools hadn’t killed his AC power yet.

He turned on his stereo, switched it to “MIC” input and listened. All he heard was 60 Hz AC hum.

He then set the equalizer so that all frequencies below 400 Hz would be eliminated.

Nothing …

He was about to give up in defeat when out of the speakers came a “TEAM ONE — STATUS REPORT.”

Bill leaped to the stereo and killed the volume.

Sally had been sitting there in the hall watching him run around. She finally asked him what on earth he had done..

“Those shit’s have used a land line between their command post and their sniper nests. And they put their lines next to the road. And they put the lines on the east side of the road and that’s where our own telephone cable is buried.”

“There’s enough of their cable and our cable running side by side that over the mile or so they travel along the road together their signal is bleeding into our cable — and we can hear them!”

Sally got up off the floor and walked into the rec room. She looked at the stereo and looked at the sloppy job Bill had done connecting everything together.

“If your wiring was soldered together you might get a better signal. Her two college degrees were kicking in.

“How many PC’s do we have around here that have sound cards?” She asked Bill.

“Shit!” Bill had locked onto her thought processes. If they were lucky then they could actually create the voices of the snipers and send these voices down the sniper’s own phone lines!

This was standard procedure for the NSA. They had collected and stored the voices of Soviet fighter pilots — and the voices of other people — for many years. The EC series of Air Force aircraft were fully equipped with massive libraries of pilot voices. They could send a message in what seemed to be the actual pilot’s voice and easily confuse enemy operations. In the 1970’s this was very secret and extremely expensive stuff. Today, any PC owner could do the same thing for $39.95 and a trip to his computer store.

Sally got out the manual on the SoundBlaster audio card and started checking what software came with it.

“Yep, they included the libraries!”

She set about writing a program to listen to sounds of voices coming in from the telephone line and record them to disk. All she had to do was call the programs that came with the sound card. She then wrote a program to simply call the dictation program and let it “listen” to the data recorded on the disk and store the text in a disk file and then print out a transcription on their HP Laser printer. Again, easy stuff. The dictation program might make a mess of things but at least they’d have a printout of the conversations.

Bill had also discovered that most of these federal people took technology for granted. Not one of them knew that their technology — or even better stuff — could be used on them. Not one of them knew that even their federal pager messages could be read by any Cub Scout with a scanner and a PC. While not as important as the sniper voice communications links; just knowing what messages were being sent to the guys at their hidden base camp could be quite helpful. The pagers operated at 152 MHz, 454 MHz and in the dedicated 929 — 932 MHz band. The data was sent using the POCSAG standard — 32 bits per word with error correction, 17 words per frame and broadcast at 512, 1200 and 2400 bits per second. A PC program was available on the Internet to provide bit sync, word sync, error correction, data decode and display of this data. Bill had down loaded this program years ago.

Now it was time to apply the PC’s to their task.

Bill pulled an old radio scanner out of a cardboard box under the table and plugged it in to the AC power. He then connected it to the parallel port of one of the PCs. The PC would order the scanner to sweep the desired frequencies and then print out the data on an old dot matrix printer.

A voice output system was next. The hard part was writing a program that would allow Sally to type in a sentence and have the PC go and get each of the words she had typed from the database of words that had been already uttered by the snipers and then send them out the SoundBlaster card. And there was more to it than that — the words had to have been uttered by the same sniper.

The SoundBlaster operated in stereo. Sally took the right channel and connected it to a small speaker. She took the left channel and connected it to the stereo input and took the stereo speaker output and connected it to a cable that led out to the underground telephone lines.

There was a problem with this operation. She had to figure out how loud to make the signal so that it would match the existing sniper phone system sound levels. Sally measured the voltage levels from the input lines. She now knew how much energy the FBI was cross — feeding into her line. She knew about how much line she had to the green pump house. She knew how deep it had been trenched below ground. She did some calculations and figured a 50 volt signal would do it. She then wired the meter to the output of the amplifier and clicked the line. When the meter hit 50 volts AC she stopped.

They were ready.

She set the program up so that she could type something in and then listen to the words on the small speaker. If everything sounded okay she could replay the sentence and direct it out onto the line.


“Bobby, we have a job for you.” Bill said.

“We want you to sit here at the little PC and watch the words come up on the screen. If there is a word that looks goofy or comes up with numbers and stuff then we want you to click on that word and listen to it. If you can figure out what the word is then type it over — just type it in right on top of the goofy word.”

“Okay!” Bobby finally had something to do.

Bill went back to the computer and marked each sniper nest. Then he had the computer calculate how well each of the sniper teams could see the other teams.

Bad news — for them. The teams were blind! They could not see each other.

Now Bill and Sally did some brainstorming. They listened to the sporadic chatter of the sniper teams and started to recognize the nine distinct voices of the snipers and of the two agents back at the operations center. They checked the total word count and realized that these people only used about a 500 word vocabulary. They also noted that the sentences were always “flat” sounding. There was no emotion and there were no slight rises in tone as a question was asked. That was really important. With no inflection in the voices it meant that they could easily break each word spoken by each sniper into little pieces — and use these pieces against them. Thnk God for thug professionalism!

They both agreed that they now had to do some real work. First they wrote a program that called the “identity” routine provided with the card. What this routine did was compute a number which would be different for each speaker — kind of a voice print. This allowed them to sort out the utterances of each person into separate files. Then Sally sat down and broke each word apart into its distinct phonemes — its separate sounds.

The real work would have been writing a program to glue the phonemes together into spoken words — but that was part of the standard SoundBlaster package.

She then overlaid the SoundBlaster data files so that the existing SoundBlaster software would accept one of her text files and then speak — using the bits of words uttered by the snipers themselves.

Now they had a larger vocabulary than 500 words. They could make these guys seem to say anything.

Bill then took a .22 rifle upstairs — he did not want these bastards to have any idea what kinds of weapons he actually had. A .22 made so little noise that he would have to actually shoot directly at the snipers — and even kick up some dirt right next to them — to get them to react. He went up stairs, laid a pillow on the window sill and slowly opened a shutter. There was no reaction from the snipers. He then rested the rifle on the window sill just behind the pillow and blasted a few rounds in the direction of the eastern sniper nest and then dropped to the floor. No return fire — commendable fire discipline. He couldn’t risk closing the shutter — these guys might just be waiting to get a glimpse of his arm — and then take it off.

He waited five minutes, changed windows and did the same thing with the northern sniper nest.

He got cocky. Slowly, he slipped the .22’s barrel along the base of the window sill. He was just able to peek his right eye around the pillow and out the open window.


A huge bullet slammed into the window frame and then dug a six inch deep hole in the far wall.


Another bullet pounded into the room and ricocheted from one part of the room to another — digging a three foot long furrow in the carpet.

“Wow, that was close!”

He ran back down stairs.

“What did you guys get?”

“We got a lot!”

Sally was already breaking the words into pieces and storing them away.

“What do you think they’re gonna do?” Bill asked her

Sally got up and walked over to Bill and whispered into his ear so that Bobby could not hear. “They say they are gonna kill us just as soon as they get the chance.”

Bill answered with, “It must be about 105 degrees outside; it’s over 80 upstairs. Those guys are gonna get real thirsty. Those bastards are getting dumber and dumber as their bodies dry out — even slight dehydration can cause as much as a 50% decrease in mental acuity. I wonder when they change shifts?”


They hadn’t thought of that. Now they knew that they were going to be doing this word game stuff for the next 24 hours — to make sure they got everybody on every shift.

“Hey, we can’t keep this up. We’ve gotta do something now. We’re gonna be worn out. We can’t stay awake forever!”

“How much stuff do we have in the refrigerator?” Bill distracted her and answered his own question by walking over to the rec room refrigerator and peering inside. There wasn’t much.

Bill walked down the hallway toward the kitchen.

He could smell chlorine and death.

He checked the duct tape on the plastic sheeting and decided to add another layer. There was no way that he was gonna go into that kitchen and get anything.

And if he stayed here doing nothing for much longer, he would start thinking about Samantha.

He walked back toward the rec room and opened the strong room closet door. It smelled like Bobby had peed in the closet. Poor kid.

“Hey, Bobby! I’m glad to know you can pee real good. Someday I hope you can show me how to pee as good as you do!”

Bill then grabbed the ring on the floor and lifted the hatch and locked it open. The hatch was about two by three feet and it had been spring loaded so that he didn’t have to lift its whole weight of eight hundred pounds all by himself. He only had to make sure his hand wasn’t between the door and the wall as it slammed into its lock.

The door and its frame had been built on-site from a stack of five one inch thick sets of quarter inch thick steel plates. The sets of plates had been stair-stepped so that the bottom set of plates was four inches smaller all around than the top set of plates. The door frame had been built the same way and bolted through the slab. The sets of plates had been welded together. He had used garage door springs to carry the door’s weight. The springs had been mounted to a vertical steel frame bolted against the wall. He’d covered the door with Bondo and then painted it the same color as the carpet.

He stepped onto the first step of the steel ladder leading down to the basement storage room. To the right was the old generator room and shooting range. To the left were the three old tourmaline mine shafts that had been bored deep into the mountain.

Acrid smoke from his electrified fence explosion still filled the air. The smell of charred Bakelite burned his sinuses. There were pieces of exploded circuit breaker and power line capacitor laying all over the floor. Some of the large pieces had embedded themselves about an inch into the wood paneled walls and hung there like trophies. Some of these trophies has long drips of translucent jelly-like PCB hanging from them.

He climbed down the ladder and dropped onto the concrete floor. The soles of his shoes crunched on the bits and pieces of plastic, ceramic, and steel scattered over the floor.

He walked over to the refrigerator and pulled out some deli stuff and some cans of Diet Coke, put all of it into a flimsy plastic grocery sack and carried it back up the ladder.

It was only 1:30 in the afternoon.