Part 5: Acts of Heroism During the Recent Alien Invasion
The Battle of Sasafrass Ridge
Hamilton B. Crockett
Part 5: Acts of Heroism by Ordinary Individuals During the Recent Alien Invasion
(c) 2012 by Tom King
One of the curious things about the response of the general populace during the recent alien invasion was a general lack of the expected mass running around and screaming and massive looting. While some looting did occur in larger cities, most of it was of the “get myself a free flatscreen” variety and had more to do with the distracted condition of the urban police forces.
After the initial shock as waves of “flying saucers” struck military installations and major cities worldwide, most people hunkered down by their television sets and waited for instructions from a badly frightened federal government.
The aliens abandoned their initial tactics after Al-Quaeda forces overwhelmed the Pakistani military and set off a nuclear version of their classic IED. The nuke not only took out the spacecraft flying directly overhead, but turned Karachi into a nuclear wasteland at the same time.
Apparently, nuclear wastelands are no more habitable to aliens than they are for human beings, so the large scale assaults halted for a while in favor of a block by block, village by village strategy. It was during an alien raid on the retirement community of Sassafrass Ridge along the south shores of John Bell Hood Lake in East Texas that the raiders came up against the indomitable Hamilton B. Crockett, a great great grand nephew of Davy Crockett and member of the National Rifle Association.
Ham opened up Hidden Valley Pawn & Sporting Goods early that morning. The parking lot was already full and pickups were backed up along FM 837 almost to the lake. Ham had to park around behind the dumpster in front of the sign that said, “Do Not Block the Dumpster”.
“Wally? You here?” Ham called as he let himself in the back door.
“That you Ham?” came a nervous voice from the front of the store. Ham shuffled off his jacket and hung it on the peg in the tiny office in the back.
“Any trouble, Wally?” he asked as he walked out into the shop past displays of battered guitars and fiddles. “Where are you?” he squinted against the sunlight streaming through the single front plate glass window.
“Here,” Wally stuck up his bald head from behind a rack of fishing poles.
“Why are you hiding there?” Ham reached under the counter for the front door key.
“I was afraid if they saw me in here, they'd break down the door,” Wally explained crawling out from behind the fishing lures and foam ice chests. “They've been here all night some of 'em. I thought there might be a riot.”
“Did you call the sheriff?”
Wally blinked stupidly in the sunlight. “Yeah, but they're busy helping the Guard Boys set up over to Neches.”
“We on our own then?”
“Sounds like it.”
“You okay, Wally?” Ham extracted a wicked looking Remington shotgun from behind the counter checked the magazine and clipped a 4 shot extension magazine in place.
“Didn't get no sleep last night,” Wally tucked the Mossberg he'd been clinging to all night up under his arm. “Guess I'm all right, though.”
“Shall we open up?” Ham snagged the key off the wall behind the cash register.
“If we don't they're going to open up for us.” Wally gestured toward the front window where a dozen burley men pressed against the glass.
“Okay, you take the register and I'll handle crowd control.” Ham stepped to the front door, leveled his shotgun at his next door neighbor Pete MacAvoy and waved him back. The crowd around the entrance surged forward as the key rattled in the front door..
They surged backward again as Ham racked a round into the chamber and shoved it in MacAvoy's belly. As the the door swung open. Mac, a big man with a good 300 pounds packed into his plaid hunting jacket, shoved back the ten or fifteen burly farmers behind him. The crowd around him started to tune up, but settled quickly when the men in front saw Ham leveling the big Remington assault shotgun at their collective navels.
It got pretty quiet pretty quick. Ham took advantage of the moment to make a brief speech.
“All right boys, lets do this as quick as we can without getting' anybody hurt.” He raised the barrel of the Remington slightly so it wasn't exactly pointing at anyone's head, but near enough to give someone a healthy dose of buckshot in a split second. A couple of guys protested, but were quickly silenced as others saw the good sense in what Ham was trying to do.
Crockett looked over the anxious crowd puzzling over how he would organize what could quickly become an armed mob. Most of the men were hunters, some guys from the VFW, farmers, ranchers and church-goers by and large. An idea struck him.
“Any deacons in this bunch?” he called.
That got a laugh.
A few hesitant hands went up.
“I need ya'll to come up here and help me organize this so we do this quick and clean,”
Several large men pushed to the front of the crowd and the others stepped aside.
“I'm a Methodist. We got stewards in the Methodist church!” one wiry looking elderly gentleman shouted.
“You'll do,” Ham beckoned for him to come forward.
“I ain't no steward,” the man protested. “Just didn't want this to be a strictly Baptist revival.”
That got a laugh from the crowd and the tension visibly eased.
“Okay, we got any stewards out there?” Ham grinned. A couple more men came forward along with a tiny blonde-haired woman in what had to be her son's camouflage hunting gear.
Ham didn't see any purpose in discouraging her and an angry Mama just might be the thing to tamp down the testosterone that hung heavily in the air over the parking lot. He placed two deacons, one on either side of the door - one of them the feisty blonde.
“All right here's how we're going to do it,” Ham shouted over the heads of the crowd. He stepped up on the edge of the stone flower bed in front of the plate glass window.
“I want you to organize yourself into squads or platoons or whatever you want to call them – about 10 to a squad. Deacons will act as platoon sergeants for now. If there aren't enough of them, pick leaders from among yourselves – guys with military training, police training, hell if you're an Eagle Scout, step up and let us know who you are.”
“Bunch up with people you know and trust. If you hunt or fish together, go to the same lodge or even the same Sunday School class. It's going to be important in a fight to know the men you're fighting with, especially if you haven't had a lot of training.” Ham stopped for breath. The men were already forming up into groups.
“Pete,” he said pointing to the man he'd just been pointing a shotgun at. “As the groups form up send them in as a group. No more than a dozen at a time, okay?”
Pete nodded and moved in front of the shop's front door, flanked by Deacon Henry, a bulky PE coach at the local high school and Barbara the Steward, who produced a thick piece of lead pipe from under her coat and cast a baleful eye over the assembly.
“Deacons,” Ham ordered. “Do this quick. I don't know what we're going to be up against, but if they find out I've got ammo here, this is the first place they'll hit.” He waved for the crowd's attention.
“I'm takin' cash for the guns and cash or credit cards for the ammo,” he shouted over their heads. “You can sign IOUs for ammo if you've got a gun already and I know you. I'd like to still be solvent when this thing is over. Everything's regular price for now. There'll be no gouging. We're all in this together.”
The store was cleaned out of ammo, scopes, extra magazines and clips and guns of all types in short order. He even sold out his supplies of bows and arrows and knives. Squads were formed and gathered in bunches in the parking lot. An ex-Marine lieutenant sorted out the groups by weapons and skills. The group promoted him to Captain on the spot. Road maps were spread out over the hoods of trucks. Ham issued his entire supply of walkie-talkies to the deacon/sergeants and to the Marine in case the cell phones went down.
Ham got a call from the sheriff about 40 minutes later as the last of his stock went out the door. An alien troop transport had set down near the community center over at Sassafras Ridge. It was the nicest building in the county, so the aliens probably assumed it was some kind of government office. Within 15 minutes, heavily armed deer hunters with sniper scopes and boxes of high power ammo had piled in pickups, jeeps and Humvees and were in position, ringing the community center. The lieutenant coordinated the attack so that most of the lanky alien soldiers were in the open when the tree-line erupted. Most of the invaders died with bullet holes in their heads. A few gun enthusiasts sprayed the hapless aliens with modified full-auto AR-15s, some AK-47s and an ancient Thompson submachine gun into their targets, but for the most part, the shooting was deadly accurate. The survivors , apparently the leaders of the raiding party tried to sprint for the landing craft from inside the community center, but the hail of lead that greeted them managed to penetrate whatever protective gear they had and the rest went down in a condition one laconic soul described afterward as, “Stone dead!”
Ham called up the sheriff and asked if he wanted them to fly the ship down to Neches to the Armory. Bud Finley, who ran the private airfield over at Lake Hood had volunteered to try and fly the craft if they needed to move it. The sheriff told Ham they should leave it where it was for now and let the Air Force handle it. “Flying over this part of Texas right now,” the sheriff explained, “is downright dangerous. The Air Force has grounded it's F-117s from flying anywhere in Texas. They look too much like flying saucers and people are shooting at them. Kind looks like a reverse hailstorm,” the sheriff laughed. “Man, I didn't realize how any guns there are in this county.”
“There's a few more out there, now,” Ham sympathized. He paused and cleared his throat. “Uh, sheriff.”
“Any idea if we're winning this thing?”
“Well,” the sheriff said, “I can't say. They probably ain't through yet, but for now, a whole lot of those ships ain't going back into space – not with all the holes we put in 'em.”
“We'll see if we can ventilate some more for you.” Ham offered.
“Yeah, just be careful out there,” the sheriff cautioned. “They might come back looking for their ship.”
“Well, we'll see if we can raise a little hail storm, sheriff.” Ham said. “You take care.”
He hung up the phone and the battle of Sassafras Ridge was over. They buried the dead aliens in a big hole, that Buck Skinner dug with his backhoe over in the grader ditch by the County Road. Buck figured since it was county property, he could send his bill to the Sheriff.
The rest of the “resistance” for the most part drove north to the County Line Liquor store and bought enough beer, wine and whiskey for a proper celebration – even the Baptists, though none of them would later recall actually having seen each other inside the liquor store itself.
© 2012 by Tom King
* If you enjoyed this story, check out Part 7.