— To Sarah, who helped put these words to print.
Books from the 299 Days series published to date:
Book One – 299 Days: The Preparation
Book Two – 299 Days: The Collapse
Book Three – 299 Days: The Community
Book Four – 299 Days: The Stronghold
Book Five – 299 Days: The Visitors
About the Author:
Glen Tate has a front row seat to the corruption in government and writes the 299 Days series from his first-hand observations of why a collapse is coming and predictions on how it will unfold. Much like the main character in the series, Grant Matson, the author grew up in a rural and remote part of Washington State. He is now a forty-something resident of Olympia, Washington, and is a very active prepper. “Glen” keeps his real identity a secret so he won’t lose his job because, in his line of work, being a prepper and questioning the motives of the government is not appreciated.
Raid on the Tweaker House
They all got in a truck—not Mark’s—driven by someone who knew where they were going. Tim, the EMT, was in the truck, too, with his big first aid kit, which was a good idea. Someone could get hurt; either them or the people in the Richardson house. Or both.
There was a serious mood among the Team. No one said, “This never gets old.” No one was smiling. This was for real.
Grant was in shock. Was this really happening? He had been through a lifetime worth of changes in the past two weeks, but this seemed like the biggest change of all. He was actually riding out to raid a house – without being a cop, or anything. Just a bunch of civilians going out to – what? – “arrest” some people. This was a job for the cops.
Except there are no more cops, Grant told himself. “It’s up to us,” he said softly, too softly, for anyone else to hear. He felt like a crazy man for muttering to himself, so he stopped and tried to get his head in the game.
The other members of the Team were doing the same thing. Each man was thinking about what would happen if he got killed, or if he got maimed. If he chickened out and disgraced himself. If one of their teammates got killed or maimed. What it would be like to have to kill someone.
Most of them thought about God. Grant thought to himself, silently, “Here for a reason.” He knew he was there for a reason, in that place, at that time, with these people, to do a particular thing. But that didn’t make this “normal.” This was weird. Weird as hell. They were going to point guns at people and they had no legal authority to do that, Grant’s lawyer brain was telling him.
Jail, Grant thought to himself. The Team would go to jail if the cops regained control over things and started to prosecute people for raiding homes. All the scenes of the past two weeks raced through Grant’s mind, all the scenes of one police officer trying to control a huge crowd and the abandoned police cars everywhere.
The sirens. Grant remembered the sirens from two weeks ago and how they suddenly stopped a few days later. The rational side of his brain kicked in again: there are no cops, as evidenced by the lack of sirens. His lawyer self was trying to talk sense into his scared self.
The truck was slowing down. They were getting close. Pow said, “Press check, gentlemen.” They checked the chambers of their ARs and pistols to make sure they had a round in. All did. They checked the safeties on their ARs, which were on, for now.
They looked through their optics to make sure their red-dot sights were on, and they were. Each man checked that all his magazines were full. They were, of course. They had this part down. It was the part about rushing into an unknown house with unknown people inside, without any legal authority, that they didn’t have down.
Rich could sense how the Team was feeling. He’d been there before. “You guys will do fine,” he said. That meant a lot to them.
Ryan thought he’d boost the new guys’ confidence and said, “Don’t worry, guys. I’d go into combat with any of you.” Given what Ryan had done in Afghanistan, that was very reassuring. Ryan was fairly sure these “UCG” (untrained civilian goofball) newbies would do OK, but he wasn’t 100% sure. Then again, he had no choice. These were the guys he was going in with. He had to play the hand he was dealt, so he might as well increase their confidence. But, Ryan had to admit, he wished he had Pow’s body armor.
They came up to the crime victims from the Grange who had gone ahead to guide the Team to the correct house. The victims waved down the truck. They were very happy to see the Team and didn’t seem to be worried about the fact that the Team had no legal authority. They had been worried for a long time about the tweakers next door and now something was being done about them. Who were these guys who would just rush into a meth house? They didn’t know why the Team was doing this, but they were glad to have them out there.
“No one has come in or out since we got here about twenty minutes ago,” one of them said. “The house is down the road about a quarter mile,” he said while pointing. “It’s the second house on the left. The first house on the right is mine. My address is 1761. Don’t go in that one. Go to the second house on the left, which is 18 something. The address isn’t on the place since it’s run down to shit. It has cars and shit all over the place. It’s a dark brown house.”
Rich knew the Richardson house well. He’d been there a couple of times when he was back on the force. “Is there any possibility of us going to the wrong house?” Rich asked. He wasn’t actually worried they had the wrong house this time, but he was trained to make extra sure they had the right house. “Is there any other house other than the second one on the left?”
The man shook his head. “You’ll know you’re at the right place because of the dogs.”
Oh great. Grant had a bad feeling about this; a really bad feeling. He felt adrenaline rush through him. The tip of his tongue started getting tingly. He was terrified.
“How many?” Pow asked calmly.
“A couple, at least. I think they’re Rottweilers,” the man said.
Oh crap, Grant thought. He considered “Rottweilers” one of the most terrifying words in the English language.
“There goes the element of surprise,” Ryan said.
“Hey, Scotty you got your ‘hush puppy’?” Bobby asked, referring to Scotty’s Walther P22 pistol with a silencer. The “hush puppy” was for use in situations exactly like this.
Scotty shook his head. “It’s back home. I don’t carry it with me.”
“Shit,” Pow said. “Can you go get it?”
Rich said, “No. We don’t have time. They might have gotten a call from someone at the Grange. We have to do this now. We’ll just have to power through the dogs.”
Rich looked at the weapons each man had. “Anyone got a shotgun?” he asked. They shook their heads. Rich wished that one of them had brought a high capacity shotgun with number 4 buckshot, which would throw out thirty lead pellets with each pull of the trigger. They spread out to about the size of a dinner paper plate at twenty-five yards. A dinner plate of lead to take out a dog. Numerous guys on the Team were realizing that next time they would have a “go kit” ready with the silenced .22 and at least one shotgun. There were probably more things they’d learn today that they needed on these raids, like having along Tim, the EMT.
Grant thought it would be nice to have some of Dan’s dogs to go in and clear out the Rottweilers and chase the bad guys. Grant didn’t want to mention yet another thing they’d do differently next time. There was no need to say that now. He was trying to project confidence, even if he didn’t have any right then.