The Greyhound Rules

103

Okay, now you folks remember which page we’re on, right? If not, go back to previous posts here and here, then rejoin us. This is the only way I can tell this, so get yourself a refreshing beverage, relax, and we’ll play “let’s pretend,” okay?

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was a fair and fertile land festooned with lotsa bananas, bunches of Bad Guys, and some buses. The bananas grew mostly out in the countryside, and the Bad Guys did too. These Bad Guys used to be armed, funded an’ fed by an Evil Empire, but when its wheels fell off like a flattened Flexy Flyer, the Bad Guys just dropped their political pretensions and became freelance murderers, bandits and killer-kidnappers. They ’specially liked killing and kidnapping BananaLand’s judges, mayors and Deputy Assistant Ministers of Thus-and-So, because it was both entertaining and profitable.

A group of “Hard Hombres” was formed to protect these officials. About half of ’em came from the state police, a quarter from BananaLand’s army, and the rest were just really tough dudes with shiny hair and shinier pistols. All of the Hombres could shoot, though they tended to get kinda festive with the fireworks, and all were either very brave or too proud to ever back down from a fight, which is almost the same thing. What they didn’t have was “consistent tactics,” so they couldn’t dance well together while fightin’ BadGuys.

Far to the North, a country called YanquiLand heard about this and offered to help. YanquiLand sent four guys to teach the Hombres how to fight BadGuys, and how not to shoot innocent bystanders. This training would happen at The Big Bus Farm, upcountry from the capitol, Santa Mañana, on the edge of a dark, damp forest called The Yongle.

The Big Bus Farm

The buses — lots of ’em! — and some assorted trucks lived on a not-quite-flat crazy-quilt expanse of asphalt, grass and concrete patches behind some charm-free but room-rich government buildings. The buildings housed a vehicle maintenance facility, some s’posed-to-be-secret treasury offices and not enough bathrooms.

Training was fun, though some Hombres questioned the value of learning to fight as “fire teams.” Everybody played nice, and the coffee was excellent and plentiful. So, during a break, the whole happy group kinda wandered out amongst the buses an’ trucks, to go pee on the bushes at the edge of The Yongle. As the Hombres and YanquiDudes wandered out, they encountered some other dudes wandering in, like maybe they’d hadda go pee too, you know? But they didn’t.

They were BadGuys, and they had picked the wrong day for whatever mischief they had planned. Actually, they looked kinda like the Hombres, except not so clean and neat, and they had pistols like the Hombres, and some rifles, too! Everybody sorta looked funny at each other, an’ then some eyes got really big and others got really squinty, and then there were some shots, and then things got really weird.

Everybody scattered like a good break on a pool table, scrambling in and around an’ over those big buses an’ trucks, all the while shooting at each other. One Yanqui described it as “a disorganized, chaotic, drawn-out string of vicious firefights involving two, three, up to 10 participants, which would then break up and form different firefights — a helluva mess.”

Window Weirdness

Several BGs clambered aboard buses, and that was dumb. They trapped themselves. Most of the bus windows were two-piece, so they could be opened from top or bottom. One BG stood up and fired over a window’s lowered panes, as though the glass was “cover.” It wasn’t even concealment. He was shot lotsa times. Another stood up at a closed window, holding a pistol in one hand and fumbling to lower the top pane with the other. He got punctured plenty, too. Another fired at some Hombres and then just ducked down below the window. Bus skin didn’t stop bullets. Neither did bus seats.

Some guys on both sides stood and fired over the decks of flat-bed trucks and semi-trailers. They got shot a lot in their hips, groins and legs. About a dozen guys from both sides fell flat on their beaks or butts while traversing the uneven seams of those asphalt, earth and concrete sections. Some of ’em didn’t get up. It’s like they were only thinking and fighting from their belts up.

At one point, a glass-rattling godlike voice commanded Stop shooting! — and amazingly, everybody did. Then the voice went on, Stop! You’re shooting my buses! PLEASE stop! It was the motor pool manager, screaming over a PA system. Firing resumed.

The BGs, who had some rifles, began fighting in cells, while the Hombres, with only handguns, fought as individuals, pairs and amoebae. The BGs started winning. Then some Hombres returned from their vehicles with M-1 carbines and Thompson submachine guns, and the tide turned — hard.

Pistol ammo ran low fast. A teenager wearing a Chicago Cubs cap appeared outta nowhere, passing out loaded Glock-17 and 1911 .45 magazines from cardboard boxes. That was nice. Afterward, nobody seemed to know who he was. Weird. The surviving BGs fled into The Yongle. Many lessons were learned, to be discussed later.

One YanquiDude wrote this in his book of “Evolved Practices”: “From touching distance to bus-bumper width, I’m gonna start shooting fast as soon as my muzzle covers meat — kneecaps, elbows, I don’t care, and I won’t worry about conserving ammo as long as an enemy is armed and upright. From front bumper to rear bumper distance I’m going for a straight point, a flash sight picture, a firm grip and trigger control. From there out to The Yongle, I want a crisp front sight and a rock-steady hold — or I’ll move closer, or get further away.” He called these “The Greyhound Rules.”

Connor OUT

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