The Stand at Klamath Falls

Third Excerpt From Dragon's Fury - High Tide
Volume Three in the Dragon's Fury Series by JeffHead
Copyright 2002 by Jeff Head, All rights reserved

September 29, 2007, 23:02 PST
Hill overlooking A Canal Head Gates and the Dam
Klamath Lake, OR

The men watched over their two charges very carefully. The weather was cool but dry, the air crystal clear with not a cloud in the sky. Off to the west and south was the dam, a relatively small structure that held back the immense expanse of Klamath Lake and generated electricity critical to northern California. To the north were the A Canal head gates that allowed irrigation water to feed the entire Klamath basin, which stretched into northern California down past Tule Lake. The variety of crops being produced in that basin, as was the case with every major agricultural valley in the western United States and throughout the rest of country, was critical to America’s ability to remain agriculturally independent in these war years.

After two years of world war, America had re-established its agricultural prowess. From the Rio Grande to Florida, from the Central Valley of California to the Midwest and throughout the Intermountain West, vegetables, fruits, grains, feed and crops of every variety imaginable were being produced in record quantities. The American farmer was literally feeding the allied world, and had risen to that challenge after overcoming significant difficulty in getting both land and machinery back into production. As with America’s industrial and manufacturing base, throughout the 1990’s and into the 21st century much of America’s commercial agricultural production had been “outsourced” to take advantage of the lower costs available in the world market. Now the folly of the magnitude and extent to which those practices had been applied was finally being overcome … and the ultimate cost had been paid in lost lives and lost territory. Few people were as aware of these facts as they related to agriculture as were the men on watch this night above the A-Canal head gates and dam near Klamath Falls. They had experienced first hand the effects of being “completely idled” in the summer of 2001 and had already known what it took to get back into production in terms of money, effort and commitment.

On top of the ridge, Stan, Darren, Jake and Joseph scanned the area around each structure carefully with their night vision equipment. Stan and Darren were watching the head gates, Jake and Joseph were watching the dam. Closer to each structure, patrols consisting of two men each were roving. Darren’s younger brother, John and another local man, William, were near the head gates while another two men were patrolling close to the dam. Each of the groups had radios that allowed them to communicate with one another and with the Klamath County Sheriff’s department. All of these men, and the other patrols out this evening around Klamath County were a part of America’s Home Guard units. All were armed with M-14 rifles and all had undergone training to allow them to conduct the surveillance of the county’s critical infrastructure. Those duties did not include full police powers. They were simply watching over the infrastructure and reporting suspicious activity to the local Sheriff’s dispatch. They were only empowered to interdict and use their weapons in the case of imminent attack or danger. In over two years of patrolling, there had never been so much as a suspicious report out of the teams here above the Lake … that was about to change.

“Well Stan, another evening watching over the source of our livelihoods.

“4 AM is not going to come soon enough for me,” remarked Darren as he scanned along the north edge of the lake leading to the head gates and then continued along the lake shore to the south of the gates.

Stan was also looking forward to 4 AM as he scanned along the canal itself leading away from the head gates. He thought it was strange how things had changed since the momentous events at the head gates in the summer of 2001. Back then, the government had not trusted these same men to so much as set foot on the ground around the same head gates that they were now protecting with loaded weapons. Thinking back to that water rights confrontation with Federal authorities, in which he and Darren and every other man on these patrols had been involved in, Stan said,

“Darren, we’ve been watching over these head gates our entire lives … even when it wasn’t so popular with the authorities. I guess we’ll get through this evening, just like all the others, now that it is popular.”

Darren considered his friend’s words as he scanned the area below them on the hillside. What Stan said was true. As farmers here in the basin, they had watched over, paid for and been concerned with the welfare and operation of these head gates their entire lives … and their fathers before them, and theirs before them. The Reclamation Act creating the lake had been passed and implemented in the very early years of the twentieth century, in 1902 to be exact. The dam and head gates had been built and large scale irrigation implemented to compliment and vastly increase what was already in place at that time. Under the original terms of the Act the farmers who were invited and enticed to come to this arid country were to pay monthly usage fees until they paid off the construction project. After that time the entire irrigation project, including the head gates, was to have been privatized. In order to get people to come to the Klamath Basin over the years, the government had allowed them to homestead the land and had written the water rights into the agreement. The water rights associated with the reservoir attached to the land as an appurtenance. It was a good deal and through the first half of the century many farming families had taken up the challenge, overcome the obstacles and established profitable working farms in the Klamath Basin. Many of them were veterans whose land and water rights were signed by the President’s of the United States at the time.

Ultimately, over fifteen hundred farming families farmed in the Klamath Basin, families just like Darren’s, Joseph’s, Stan’s and the others watching over the dam and head gates this night. The construction costs had been paid off in the forties, but the government had not lived up to its end of the bargain. For several decades, discussion and legal wrangling had held up the privatization. The farmers continued farming and producing, secure in the belief that the government would honor their rights and ultimately make good on the promise. But the farmers were mistaken.

In the nineteen seventies, another Act of congress was passed that would ultimately bring the farmers in the Klamath Basin into headlong conflict with their own government and into the national spotlight. This was the Endangered Species Act. Originally intended to be directed at saving entire species like the Bald Eagle, and originally meant to work hand-in-hand with conservation efforts of local governments, the bureaucracy and agencies surrounding the act became disproportional to the Act’s intended purpose. By the early nineteen nineties, when the Act was supposed to sunset, the budgets, special interest groups and politics of what had been intended as a good faith effort to save endangered species, had taken on a life of its own. By that date, private citizen property rights and other civil rights were regularly being infringed in favor of the political ambitions and whims of those pushing a now radical environmental agenda. They used the hundreds of millions of dollars wrapped up in the Endangered Species Act and the agencies and organizations surrounding it, and the resulting power of the Federal government to implement that agenda. They also used the power of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) for the UN to accomplish the same agenda. That agenda and those politics came to a head in the early spring and summer of 2001 in the Klamath Basin when they ran headlong into the farmers there. Farmers like Darren and Stan and these others. Darren remembered it well. It had very nearly destroyed him and his family and their livelihood.

An environmental group in the urban areas right along the coast filed suite in Federal Court demanding that the water levels of Klamath Lake be held artificially high throughout the summer to protect the supposedly endangered sucker fish residing in Klamath Lake. A Federal Judge, appointed by the administration that had been in power in Washington DC during most of the nineteen nineties had agreed with what were later proven to be flawed scientific findings and ordered the Department of Interior to carry out the court’s ruling. Rather than refuse to carry out the Judge’s order and force a constitutional crisis over a ruling that would endanger the livelihood and security of over fifteen hundred law abiding families in the basin, the new administration had ordered the Department of Reclamation to carry out the Judge’s order. In April of that year, the water was turned off, all of it … no irrigation water would flow in the Klamath Basin.

The local farmers were flabbergasted. The sucker fish were not endangered and everyone living in the intermountain west knew it. In most areas there were infestations of these bottom feeding fish, commonly refereed to as “trash fish”. They had to be literally exterminated in many areas to insure that other fish, like trout, could subsist in various watersheds. In addition, the sucker fish in the Klamath Lake itself were in no danger. The science was flawed and the common sense of the farmers in the area saw it. They knew that if the Klamath Lake were drained to mud that year … which had never happened … that the sucker fish who were capable of burrowing into the wet mud, would be back the following year as soon as the snow melt filled up the lake. So the farmers protested.

In May of that year, over 20,000 people flocked to the small town of Klamath Falls along with all of the politicians and administrators to hear the farmer’s case. The crowd was made up of farming families, various agricultural organizations and concerned citizens from every state of the union. After the speeches, people from every state of the union filled buckets from Klamath Lake and symbolically dumped them into the irrigation canal on the down stream side of the closed head gates. After all of the promises, everyone went their way confidant that the politicians would now see the folly of the situation and reverse it. They called themselves the Bucket Brigade, but they all underestimated the power and influence that the special interests and radical environmentalists had on many of their elected and appointed officials. May and then June passed with no change … no water … no crops … and no income.

Facing certain failure and bankruptcy, a number of the farmers finally acted in early July. Someone manually opened one of the head gates in the first days of that month. The U.S. government ordered the Bureau of Reclamation to close the gates. On July 4th, a group of people protesting the closure opened the gates again. The government then sent armed U.S. Marshals to help the Bureau of Reclamation close the gates again and insure they stayed closed. On July 13th a crowd of over two hundred farmers and their supporters opened the head gates again. This time they vowed to stay there and keep them opened. As the group sung gospel hymns, the two U.S. Marshals withdrew to call in more forces.

Darren remembered well the events that followed. He and most of these others on watch and patrol tonight had been present. That night of July 13, 2001 most of the farmers and their supporters went home to sleep, feeling they would even have more support the following day. About a dozen farmers spent the night by the head gates and they were joined there in the middle of the night by a few others who had heard of their stand and came to support. One of those supporters was from an agricultural valley in southwestern Idaho who had been involved on behalf of the farmers on the internet and had written a petition on their behalf. He immediately warned the farmers that the federal officials would not take the event laying down and that the farmers should immediately call back the citizens who had gone home to sleep. But the farmers were convinced that it would take the Federal government longer to react and they decided to wait for the morning and the help they knew would assemble then. They were wrong.

Early the next morning of July 14th, 2001 about 6:30 AM, a force of fifty or more law enforcement officers, including federal law enforcement who approached the gates from the back side of the facility, took the head gates back from the farmers and closed them down at gun point. What followed those sad events had ultimately built a pride in Darren’s heart that remained to this day. Proud of the people in the area and from all over the country who rallied to the farmers aid.

Later that morning hundreds of people had come, with more arriving every hour. The law enforcement officers watching the now closed gates were surrounded and held in their “compound”. For the next four weeks the farmers harassed, outsmarted and literally went around the federal officers who were under siege as they “protected” the gates. Using irrigation pipe, pumps were set in the lake and water pumped around the federal authorities into the canal. Those pumps and those pipes were under twenty four hour a day watch by the farmers and their hundreds of supporters in a fashion that Darren now realized actually fore-shadowed the Home Guard activities he was now currently involved with.

The result of the pumping operation was a token amount of water, but the point made was not lost on anyone there or on other farmers throughout the west watching events unfold. Plans were discussed to dig a new canal around the head gates, or to place in several 36” siphon pipes around the head gates to move the water in the necessary quantities for irrigation.

Helpers organized relief convoys of large trucks from Northwestern Montana, from Northern California and from Nevada. These convoys stopped in every major city/town as they made their way to Klamath. Salt Lake City, UT, Sacramento, CA, Boise, ID, and many other cities hosted stops. Tons of supplies and hundred of thousands of dollars were gathered to help the farmers who were standing up to an atrocious and unconstitutional action by their own government. The relief effort was a success and enough materiel was gathered, along with the farmers own efforts, to get them through the next winter to the next growing season

Although tempers flared and harsh words were spoken, somehow violence was avoided. The Federal government looked for a way to gracefully extract themselves from the growing political crisis. When the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 occurred, the farmers who were manning their vigil offered a compromise to the government. They would stand down, remove the “siege” of the head gates and allow these federal officers to be deployed to where they were surely more desperately needed. The farming season was a loss, but the farmers had gathered and been given enough to get through the winter. They indicated to the government that some arrangement and satisfactory resolution must be in place early in the year 2002, or the farmers would take back the head gates by force if necessary and would keep them.

The Federal Government was grateful and the administration ultimately corrected the immediate problem. The National Academy of Sciences was commissioned to review the science that had led to the Judge’s ruling in the first place. They found the science flawed and the head gates were re-opened the next April … and the farmers enjoyed normal irrigation for a full planting, growing and harvest season. They had been doing so ever since. Darren would never forget those events, or the people involved in helping them get through them.

“Stan, what ever became of that fellow from Idaho that showed up here and helped us those weeks during the stand at the head gates?”

Stan, while continuing to monitor the area along the canal, had been having similar thoughts. The events of the summer of 2001 were still fresh in his mind, even though over six years had passed.

“Well, he went back to the Payette River valley over there in Idaho and spread the good word. He wrote a book about the whole thing in 2004 called, “The Stand at Klamath Falls - How rural farmers stood up to the environmental agenda and the federal government and won” and it sold pretty well from what I gather. He’s back in Idaho doing his engineering work as far as I know now.

“I’ll tell you Darren, the farming communities all over the west, and all over the country learned from what we accomplished that summer. I do not believe it will ever happen that way again. I sure welcomed the efforts of that fellow, both as he stood right here with us and as he spread the word on those two Internet sites, SierraLines and the Independent Republic. Without those tens of thousands of people hearing about what was going on here and contacting their own representatives and the White House like they did, I'm not sure it would have turned out like it did.”

Darren agreed … it had been amazing to see the people come to help and then to see their influence spread to tens of thousands and then hundreds of thousands before the major media ever really picked up the story. “Well, old JT Samson sure took off from there didn’t he?

“I mean he came here and spoke at one of the rallies … he was the editor of that online news source, SierraLines … but look at him now.”

Stan knew exactly what Darren was talking about. JT had come and worked with that fellow from Idaho and spoke to the crowd. It had been an inspiring speech and he had published the things that were going on here just as they occurred.

“I suppose his honesty served him well Darren … it always does you know, at least that’s how we were raised. That report he made about President Weisskopf’s campaign comments back in 2004 really got things rolling for him, and then he was right there on that ship when the Chinese attacked our relief forces headed for Korea. I will never forget, if I live to be two hundred years old, those images he captured and sent back from the battle in the Pacific. That carrier splitting in two and going down like that was the most traumatic and graphic thing I have ever seen … including the pictures of the twin towers from 9-11.

“Anyhow it’s been kind of neat knowing a guy like that and seeing him make good and be in a real position to … wait … I’ve got something here.”

Darren turned and looked at his friend as he stopped talking and concentrated on something down near the canal, to the east of the head gates. “What is it Stan?”

“About two hundred yards to the east of the head gates, moving along the canal itself, down in the ditch … two or three guys … they’re moving carefully towards the head gates.”

Darren turned his attention to the same spot and soon noticed the movement. There were three individuals, only their heads or upper bodies visible occasionally as they moved towards the head gates.

“I got ‘em. Go ahead and call it in Stan, I’ll keep them in view.”

Stan keyed his lapel mounted mic and called in the report.

“Klamath dispatch, this is A Canal, I have movement of three suspicious individuals towards the head gate facilities.”

In the Klamath county Sheriff’s office the dispatch officer immediately responded.

“A Canal, what is the disposition of your roving patrol, are the suspects armed?”

At that very moment, Darren noticed that two of the individuals were armed with rifles of some sort and that the rifles were unslung and being carried by the suspects.

“Stan, these guys are armed, better call that in.”

Stan wasted no time responding to dispatch.

“Two suspects are armed with rifles dispatch. Patrol is in a position to interdict.”

“A Canal, I am patching you through direct to Sheriff Eslinger, go ahead Sheriff.”:

There was a brief pause and the Sheriff came on the channel.

“Who have we got there? Stan, is that you?”

Stan had met and gotten to know the Sheriff personally during the confrontation with the Federal authorities back in 2001. The Sheriff had ultimately asked the federal officers to leave and allow the local people to mediate. The Federal officers had refused and had not left until the agreement had been reached after the September 11th terrorist attacks of that year. But, in standing with the farmers, the Sheriff had endeared himself to them and several had supported him strongly ever since.

“Tim, this is Stan. We have a situation developing here, how long before units can respond?”

The Sheriff responded from his own vehicle that was in transit to the area and would arrive within ten minutes. He had one vehicle closer.

“I’m in route myself but am about ten minutes out, I have another unit that will be there a couple of minutes earlier, and then another unit already in route behind me. We’ll have six deputies there inside of twelve minutes.”

Stan thought quickly, analyzing the distances and the rate at which the intruders were moving. The deputies would be too late.

“Tim, these guys are going to be real close to the head gates in five minutes. Look, we have loud speakers up here and I can get Darren’s brother and Will in position to help interdict these guys. We could try and warn them off just before you guys arrive, otherwise they are going to be right on top of those head gates.”

Tim Eslinger trusted these farmers and their instincts. He had seen them in action before, in the most distressing of circumstances and had determined at that time to stand by them. He would do the same tonight.

“Okay Stan, maybe you can get one of the guys spotting for the dam to assist and go ahead and warn these people off … we’ll monitor and be there quickly. Elsinger out.”

September 29, 2007, 23:06 PST
Ridge two miles to the West of the Dam
Klamath Lake, OR

The increased activity on the hill overlooking the head gates and the dam had been noticed by another set of eyes that were observing through their own night vision device. Michael Lee and the individual he had providing security were watching the carefully planned drama unfold from just inside the timber line on the higher ridge to the west of the dam.

Michael was the leader of this assault. He had entered the United States in the early nineteen nineties with paperwork indicating that he was a dissident who had escaped from the Chinese occupation in Tibet that had made his way to Thailand. He had worked in a Eugene Chinese Café ever since. In reality, he was another Chinese sleeper agent, trained by the PLA and sent to America over fifteen years ago. He had scoped out the Klamath Lake Dam on several occasions and knew that the electrical production resulting from the station below the dam and from other stations along the Klamath River were critical to California energy requirements. It was for that very reason that this operation was being conducted tonight, and that ten other similar operations were being conducted from Klamath Lake south, all along the Sierra Nevada mountain range at other electrical production and routing facilities.

Michael had seen the farmer’s protests at the head gates in 2001 and taken great interest in them. He had marveled at how the farmers had stood up to their own government and at how the American Federal; government had ultimately turned the issue around. He understood that there were significant political considerations in that decision, but was also aware of the many armed citizens in the United States and the raw power they represented. He knew the government could afford to push the armed citizens of America only so far and he believed that a fear of that power had kept the government from using brute force against those farmers in 2001. The vigor with which those farmers had laid siege to and defended their rights in regards to those head gates along with the development of these home guard units is what led Michael to planning tonight’s mission in the manner that he had.

He had three of his team members currently approaching the head gates from the east as a diversion. Their orders were to briefly exchange fire with the patrol watching the head gate and then fall back. Michael would precisely plan when to activate the major assault on the dam as he watched things unfold from this position and as more of the county’s personnel were sucked into the diversion.

“Just like the overall operations in this entire war. The Americans are so predictable … so easy to pull into a diversion. Sun Tsu’s methods are timeless”

As Michael watched, he saw one of the individuals on the hill between the dam and the head gates raise a mega-phone to his mouth and speak. He caught the words even at this distance as the wind carried them to him.

“You there, to the east of the head gates along the canal. Stop and lay down your weapons, this is the Klamath County Sheriff’s department.”

As the amplified voice carried to his three men, Michael swung his binoculars to their position just in time to see them take cover and open fire on the hilltop. The flashes of their weapons were clearly visible and the individuals on the hilltop immediately began to return fire. In addition, much closer to the three men, more fire was directed at them from the two man patrol closer to the head gates. One of Michael’s men went down and he was helped by one of the others while the third individual provided cover fire and all three began to withdraw.

Within a couple of minutes a Sheriff’s Office vehicle slid to a stop near the head gates and two deputies got out and began to advance on the retreating intruders, who were being slowed down by their wounded friend. Michael silently swore to himself and activated his own radio, quickly clicking the transmitter once, followed by three quick clicks … a code that had been committed to memory by all of the operatives over several years.

As Michael watched, he saw the man helping the wounded man stop, embrace his wounded friend briefly and then pull his silenced pistol from its holster and fire two rounds into the head of the wounded man. When complete, the other two men began withdrawing more quickly, covering one another as they attempted to reach their extraction point where two other team members were waiting in a vehicle.

As Michael watched, two other Sheriff’s vehicles arrived and four more deputies got out, armed with rifles and began making flanking movements on his remaining two personnel. A helicopter could be heard approaching. Michael turned his attention back to the hilltop position overlooking the dam … only one individual was left there, and he was watching the drama to his north and east as it played out. It was time to activate the primary assault on the dam. Michael clicked that code on the channel his entire team was monitoring.

September 29, 2007, 23:19 PST
Near the Dam
Klamath Lake, OR

Eight men, in two teams of four, who had carefully made there way to within two hundred yards of the dam to the west and then concealed themselves, now rose up and moved quickly towards the dam. Within two minutes they were noticed by the roving patrol that was operating on the eastern side of the dam. Upon seeing their approach, the patrol immediately radioed their observations to the team overlooking the dam.

Joseph, who had been monitoring the chase and encirclement of the intruders down by the head gates, received the frantic report from the patrol near the dam. Quickly turning around, he focused in on the area indicated by the patrol and immediately saw the eight heavily burdened intruders advancing rapidly on the dam, now only sixty yards in front of them. He immediately contacted dispatch.

“Klamath dispatch … Tim … we have eight heavily armed individuals approaching the dam from the west. The patrol is in position to the east of the dam to take them under fire, but there are too many of them. I can help out with fire from up here, but they are right on top of the dam now. We need help over here real quick.”

The Sheriff, seeing that his deputies and most of the Home Guard units had been drawn out of position, immediately recognized what was happening.

“Joseph, you warn those folks off with mega-phone immediately and open fire the minute they make any move directly toward the dam, I’m going to call in help.”

As Joseph picked up his own mega-phone and warned the new intruders, they immediately opened fire on him. As this occurred, the Sheriff contacted the state dispatcher for Homeland Defense for Southern Oregon.

“Homeland dispatch, this is Sheriff Eslinger in Klamath. We have a major situation here escalating out of control. Two teams of terrorists are assaulting the Klamath Lake dam and the A Canal head gates. The head gate assault is clearly a diversion and a much larger and more heavily armed unit is now assaulting the dam. We require immediate assistance. Home Guard unit designated Klamath Dam can assist with location and disposition of terrorist units.”

By this time, after two years of terror attacks on U.S. soil, the Homeland Security apparatus within the United States was a well-honed and well-oiled mechanism. Within thirty seconds of the Sheriff’s report, a request had been forwarded to the Oregon National Guard. Two F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft that were maintained on alert status at the National Guard Air Force base just outside of Klamath were contacted by their command within another minute. Thirty seconds later they were rocketing down the runway on afterburner in a full military thrust take-off. They would arrive over the dam in less than three minutes.

In the time since Joseph had made his request, a hot and one-sided firefight broke out near the dam. The two members of the roving patrol opened fire on the approaching intruders. But the intruders used their cover well and only two of them were hit. They responded with overwhelming automatic weapons fire at the muzzle flashes of the patrol and silenced them both, severally wounding one and killing the other. Joseph provided fire from the hilltop where he was joined by the other dam team member, Jake and then by both Darren and Stan. Under rather intense fire themselves by three of the terrorists, they fired as best they could at the terrorists with their M-14 rifles. With the counter fire from the terrorists, their efforts were relatively ineffective and three of the intruders quickly began setting charges all along the bottom face of the dam.

As they were doing so, the roar of the F-15E Strike Eagle’s approach came thundering up the narrow confines of the valley of the Klamath River. Joseph provided precise information regarding the location of the terrorists, but the F-15E’s were unable to engage them for fear of damaging or destroying the dam themselves. As this new was relayed across the communication network, several things happened almost simultaneously.

First, another one of the terrorists was hit by fire from the Home Guard units on the hilltop. Immediately thereafter, Joseph was wounded in the upper thigh and fell, damaging his radio. As the charge placement was completed, the terrorists began to withdraw and one of them launched a shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile at the loitering F-15E’s.

As both F-15E’s broke off to avoid the first missile, another shoulder-fired missile was launched from the higher ridge to the west where Michael’s was coordinating the overall assault. One of the F-15E’s was hit in one of its engines and that engine immediately caught fire. That aircraft broke completely off and began to attempt to make its way back to the airfield, having cut complete power to the damaged engine but trailing smoke as it struggled forward on the remaining engine. The other F-15E diverted far to the south before evading the missile that had targeted it and then turning back towards the action, seriously peeved and looking for immediate pay back.

After Joseph was hit, Jake took charge and was monitoring the retreating and reporting on their position and disposition on Stan’s radio.

“Klamath dispatch, this is Klamath Dam. Both of our patrol members are down, Joseph has been wounded up here on the hill. We need emergency medical attention.

“Shoulder fired missiles have been launched at Air Guard aircraft from the vicinity of the dam and by another group on the higher ridge to the west. One of the aircraft was hit and has broken off in the direction of the base. The other appears to be circling back.

“I am observing the terrorists as they retreat. Wait one … they’ve stopped. One of them is … oh no, he’s going to blow the dam.”

As Jake finished the statement, there were several very bright flashes along the entire length of the downstream portion of the dam. These were followed by the tremendous sound of explosions as debris flew high into the air. As that smoking debris fell to earth, it was clear that the dam had been breached and a wall of water filled with twisting, rolling wreckage washed down the river.

After briefly observing the result of their work, the terrorists turned to make their way up the hill to the timberline. Just as they did so and as they began to separate, two thunderous explosions occurred amongst them, obliterating sight of them with the fire, smoke and debris from the blasts. Before the debris had fallen to the earth the surviving F-15E screamed by several miles to the east, having successfully launched to JDAM munitions on the terrorist location. When the dust began to clear, it was obvious from Jake’s position that all of those terrorists had been killed. By the time the F-15E turned to target the terrorists on the higher ridge, no indication of them could be found. Michael had retreated into the dense timber immediately after his man fired the second air to air missile. The two of them would be the only terrorists to escape alive.

September 30, 2007, 06:17 PST
Outside the Sheriff’s Office
Klamath Falls, OR

Stan and Darren got into Stan's pickup truck for the half-hour drive home.

“Long night, huh?” asked Darren as he settled into the passenger seat.

Stan, who was extremely tired, responded as he turned the ignition key and revved the engine. He turned on the headlights.

“It sure was. Those federal boys were sure full of lots of questions. Seems like they’ll be debriefing all of us and asking more question for the next week. I want to get home, get a little sleep and then try and help out with Larry’s family. Man, am I ever going to miss him!

“Right now I’m just glad the media isn’t here in force yet. You can bet they will be later today. I’ll be glad to be out in the basin getting things ready for winter when they start digging around. Maybe we ought to get with old JT Samson and let him tell the story.”

Darren thought about the long winter ahead and the coming spring. They were going to need water for next year’s crops.

“That sounds like a great idea, he’ll be sure to get the word out. Let’s get the old Bucket Brigade back together and in action. We can call everybody in the irrigation district and get word to all of our friends who helped out back in 2001. We’re going to need to petition the government to get that dam rebuilt as quickly as possible so we can have irrigation water flowing come April. I figure if we have enough volunteers, we can get ‘er done by then and to hell with these terrorists or anyone else who tries to shut that water off … we have food and crops to be growin’.”