From: American Mercenary


Nobody really needed a break down 10/22, especially one with a side folding stock cut down to work with the break down front, but Josh happened to pick one up from a friend who needed some cash and didn’t mind opening his gun safe to get it.  Josh wasn’t a prohibited person, and even though he let his concealed carry permit expire a few year back he still kept his nose clean.  Retired military, a signal support specialist, he still had his security clearance.  His friend was off working on an offshore oil rig, and would come back to find his house burglarized, and his gun safe broken open.  He would dutifully report the losses of his firearms to the police, reporting that he’d sold the 10/22 at a gunshow some years back but that the rest were gone.Josh checked the room once more, the thin gauzy curtains providing diffuse light and concealment from the outside, the easy chair wasn’t a perfectly stable shooting platform, but by sitting on the back with his feet on the seat and using two TV traysstacked on top of each other, duct taped for stability, he was able to get a steady position.  As he settled in, the rifle resting on a bipod and sand sock Josh thought about all the moments that brought him to this place, and the actions he was about to do yet again.

Josh had been selling off his “papered” firearms one at a time for several years now, on consignment at a local gun store.  His off the record purchases getting squirreled away.  The worst part about going underground was not being able to buy powder, primer, and bullets in bulk off the internet anymore.  But Josh still paid cash, and a pound here or there didn’t pick up any notice.  Picking up business cards at gun shows gave him numbers to call to see if he could get something particular in stock.

When the Sheriff came calling Josh welcomed him in, and showed him the nearly empty gun safe, only a side by side shotgun and break action 30-06 HandiRifle remained, along with a single shot target 22 Josh had used to train his sons to shoot as part of Boy Scouts.  The Williams micrometer rear and globe front sight gave the rimfire rifle the appearance of something you would see at the Olympics, and so far the gun bigots didn’t seem to up in arms about “legitimate sporting arms.”

The deputy carefully checked Josh’s data, showing that he once had an extensive collection, and while sipping a cup of rather good local roast coffee chatted about how things used to be.

“Oh sure, I used to compete, three gun and High Power” Josh said, sipping his own cup.  “But that was when my boys were young, wanted to have something to do with them.  Now I just keep that old 22 around in case I get grandbabies to play with.  The shotgun was my great uncles, and I never needed more than one shot when I hunt so I picked up the handi rifle.  Dropped an elk last year.”

The deputy dutifully wrote down the firearm serial numbers on hand, and asked about a pistol that Josh had purchased sixteen years ago.

“Damn, can’t even remember why I bought the damn thing.” Josh smiled, “I remember I had it for about six months then I hit a deer with my truck.  My insurance didn’t cover the work, but the guy who did the work traded labor for the pistol, said he’d always wanted a stainless 1911.  I’ll be damned if I can remember his name though, closed up shop and moved away after a nasty divorce.  Used to see him around the rifle club from time to time though.”

Josh knew that the only auto mechanic who had been a part of the rifle and pistol club had died three years ago, and that there was no way to get testimony off a dead man.

His memories of the past were disturbed by the police cruiser pulling into view in the present.  The Tek Sights provided an excellent sight picture.  The cops got out and went into the restaurant, like the normally did the day after payday.  Josh lined up the cross hairs on the drivers side front tire and gently squeezed the trigger.  The illegal sound suppressor did a fine job of reducing the audible signature, and the sound of traffic masked the crack of the bullet breaking the sound barrier.  Josh shifted to the rear tire and went through the cycle again, breath in, out, pause, squeeze.

Josh immediately unscrewed the suppressor, and used the takedown button to break the rifle into two pieces.  The pieces went into a “civilian assault pack” of a style that Josh habitually carried.  The bag wouldn’t pass a serious inspection, but if a cop opened only the main compartment he would see books, laptop, a mess of wires, and other random junk associated with normal use.  Josh had modified the internal frame to make room for the Ruger parts, so a cursory inspection wasn’t likely to arouse suspicions.

The 10/22 parts fit nicely into the hydration pouch area and nestled into the empty parts of the internal frame, the side folding stock reducing the length of the receiver even more, and the 16″ carbine barrel slid smoothly into place.  The suppressor went inside an aluminum water bottle padded with egg crate foam and into the main compartment.  Josh moved quickly to sterilize the room, placing the spent casings in a double layer ziplock baggies.  Josh made sure to wash his hands and face to remove and gun shot residue using baby wipes from a travel dispenser, not perfect but it would have to do until he could get to a real sink.

If the cops kept to their schedule, they wouldn’t leave the restaurant for another 20 to 30 minutes unless they were called to respond to an emergency.  He couldn’t plan for the unexpected but Josh hoped they had a quiet shift today.  Josh left the building and walked to the bus station, just another old man waiting for a ride.  Three connections later Josh walked into the parking garage and put his bag into the trunk of his car.

Josh drove carefully, maintaining the speed limit and using turn signals.  He drove to the local library and enjoyed a Clive Cussler novel, devouring the book inside of three hours.  Then he drove home, careful to obey the speed limit.  Once inside he immediately transferred his normal items into the spare “civilian assault pack” that he kept, this one with the internal frame unmodified, and hid the other, Ruger and all, in the sub flooring compartment he built.  Moving the refrigerator in and out of place was a pain, but added security.

Josh removed the old man beard he had used to disguise himself, and the bushy eyebrows.  The brown contacts came out and the added inserts to his shoes as well.  The long grey wig came off and his normal buzz cut showed through.  The disguise material all got put in a box marked “Halloween” and stored in the attic.  The athletic shoes, pants, and jacket, were thrown into the washing machine for a quick clean, then everything went into the dryer.  Once dry they went into a black plastic bag to be dropped off at a charity drop off site.

Josh would lay low for a while before striking again.  Job hunting in the economy was tough, but it gave him a good excuse to be out pounding the pavement.   The government hadn’t totally cut off his pension, but it looked like a good bet that it would come in the next round of austerity measures, so he laid out his suit and got ready for another long day of job interviews.  Maybe he could get a job with a tow truck company replacing blown cop car tires.

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