A BattlBox Story – Mission 29 Operator Owned

BattlBox Story #2 by AR Shaw

Mission 29

SITREP: Operator Owned

Location: San Antonio, Texas


The next morning, Davis woke before the first rays lighten the sky. There was no way he could just lay there any longer. There was too much to do but first he needed coffee. After fishing out his camp stove, he pulled out one of the few things he truly enjoyed in life, his Black Rifle, Just Black coffee grounds and brewed a fresh cup. Only having a tin mug in his pack he missed the mug he’d received from the veteran owned company long ago that was sitting in his cupboard back home. The well-worn cup was chipped now but his morning wasn’t the same without it since it held just the right amount and fit well in his hand and had the saying, Coffee or Die with the Don’t Tread on Me insignia which never got old…he had to chuckle each time.

Checking the time on his Rockwell Raider Project wrist watch, Davis would give his daughter just a little more time to wake up before he bothered her. One thing he’d learned long ago was to give that girl just a little more time to sleep, otherwise you were asking for trouble. In the meantime he checked the radio and by then the sunrise was on its way. He put on his Multicam Mesh hat to protect his eyes while he tuned in.

“…Bexar County line is still closed. Only military aircraft are permitted inside the perimeter. Reports of quarantine and an unknown number of casualties are causing rampant fear and speculation. Military vehicles are forming north of Bexar County. We can only assume they’re going to extend past the county line into Austin….”

“Oh hell, no,” Davis yelled spilling his coffee. “Leigh!” he said as he fumbled for his phone. She needed to get up now and get the hell out of there, before it’s too late.

Took forever for her to answer and when she did her voice was groggy as he suspected. “Leigh, grab your pack and get out now. Go east.”

“Dad…I just woke up….” Just then the signal began to stutter as a military airlift helicopter flew overhead.


“Leigh, hang on,” he said as he ran to get inside of his truck to hear her better. “Baby, wake up now.” His heart pounded inside his chest. He knew he needed to remain calm to motivate her or she’d break down. “Listen,” he said calmly. “This is what I want you to do. Get up. Even if you’re still in your pajamas. Put your boots on and grab your pack and your keys. Get in your truck and drive east. Avoid 290, take 71 out to LaGrange.”

“Dad, I need coffee,” she whined.

He pictured her sitting on top of her bed still in her oversized t-shirt and pajama pants. Her long blond hair scattered in a mess of tangles, her spare hand slapped to her face as she rubbed her eyes.

“Sweetheart, inside your pack are bottles of water and those Strike Force Energy packs you like. That’ll get you going but you can’t have one until you’re driving. So get up and go. Call me when you’re on the road when your phone is in the hands-free device, okay?”

“Jeez, Dad, is this really real?”

He waited a bit…hated shattering her world. “Yes, I’m afraid it is. Now go.”

When the signal died, Davis stepped out of his truck to pack his gear, he smelled something funny. It was a familiar smell somehow and then suddenly an image of his grandfather sitting in the shade of a porch flashed before Davis’ mind. The smoke twirling around Pop’s head and one end of his mouth raised just enough for a Warfighter cigar to hang out. He often smiled like a pirate that way.

Then the hair on the back of Davis’ neck prickled. Someone was nearby and without a sound of warning, he suddenly felt a searing pain in the back of his thigh as a form jumped up from a crouch behind him. Catching his assailant around the neck as he plowed into him against the truck’s side, Davis clamped his hand around whatever it was that sunk into the back of his thigh as his enemy removed it to strike him again.

“No!” he yelled knowing he had to survive or his daughter was in dire jeopardy. “You f…ing little son of b…ch!”

Having the advantage of size over his assailant, Davis concentrated all of his strength on the man’s weapon hand. Once he saw the sharp point of a gnarly seven-inch dagger, Davis pushed him away, reached back to his waist, pulled his Glock 19, and shot the man three times straight in the heart. “Enough of this…sh.t.”

It wasn’t the first time he’d killed a man. He certainly hoped dagger man was the last, but hopes were filled with doubts and he kind of figured more dead men would cross his path soon.

He picked up his camo hat that came off in the struggle and dusted it off. That’s when he saw the nice Kydex sheath on the man’s waist. From the dead man’s outstretched hand lay the dagger in the dirt. Davis picked it up, sliced off the sheath from the man’s belt, wiped the blade of his own blood onto his jeans and sheathed the dagger. “Leave no weapons behind,” he said under his breath. “Especially not nice ones.”

He still smelled the damn cigar though and found it laying on the ground around the other side of the truck. The sneaky bastard was nothing more than an opportunist and by the rich smell of the cigar and the quality of the dagger, he’d likely taken them from his last victim.

Once he was packed up and inside his truck he took care of his stab wound. It wasn’t too bad and could have been much worse. On his arms were several skin tears from the struggle that he knew would fester if not treated so he pulled out the Doc Spartan Combat Ready Ointment that he kept in his truck med kit and rolled it on quickly. Then he inspected his Glock, knowing it needed to stay ready, he quickly dropped a few drops of ND999 lubricant of the ridges of the slide to keep it in good working order, refilled his magazine and once reassembled, used his left hand to release the slide quickly. He could not afford any malfunctions.

Then his phone rang. “Leigh? You okay?”

“Yes Dad, I’m fine. What’s going on? There are cops and military police everywhere. It took me forever to get through town.”

“By your rapid fire answers, I take it you drank the Strike Force?”

Ignoring him, she said, “Dad…is this the zombie apocalypse.”

He laughed. Hell…who knew? “This isn’t a zombie movie,” he said in a different voice.

“Oh please dad, don’t quote Range 15. That’s not even funny.”

“Okay, you’re safely out of town I take it?”

“Yes, I’m traveling east. Just passed Bastrop.”

As he put his truck in gear, he said, “Keep going. I’m headed your way.”

“Okay, Daddy.”

“And honey?”


“Don’t stop for anything or anyone.”


Note from the Author AR Shaw


This is a story based on the items I’ve received in the BattlBox.com monthly subscription. There are affiliate links to the items listed. I do receive a small payment from the affiliate links that helps to cover the cost of writing a free story for you. I hope you enjoy this ongoing tale of Davis Cole and his apocalyptic adventures. We’ll see what happens based on the items received in the next monthly box.

Until then, if you enjoy reading post-apocalyptic stories, please check out my books.


Books by A. R. Shaw


The Graham’s Resolution Series

The China Pandemic

The Cascade Preppers

The Last Infidels

The Malefic Nation


Surrender the Sun

Book One

Book Two


The French Wardrobe

The French Wardrobe


Kindle Worlds Novellas

Deception on Durham Road

Departure from Durham Road

Kate’s Redemption







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