Last night the UAS mounted a daring raid against Block. You remember the place, yeah? It was where the gang and I holed up for a while on our trip across the country.
They came at dusk. A small force, three heavy attack vehicles, and less than fifty soldiers. They were aided by a team of operators that slipped the walls there, weakening the gates to allow an easy entry.
I won't keep you waiting: there are no survivors left in Block. Oh, they weren't killed by the UAS. Not a one. In fact not a hair on the head of a single resident of Block is even out of place. Those folks are smart and clever, having caught the infiltrators well before they could do any real damage.
We've suspected for a while that Block would become a major target. It makes sense strategically, after all, since the place is basically a fortress anyway. It would make an excellent forward position for the UAS as they slowly creep sideways across the country into occupied territory. It's also well known that the people of block rely more on stout defenses than skill in combat or strength of numbers. Made it an obvious soft target.
So the Union has been planning the evacuation for some time. Many of the women and children have been gone for almost a week, leaving mostly single men behind to put on a show of being populated. When the UAS showed up, a few shots were fired, enough to give the impression that the place was going to be defended. The gate was indeed weakened and easy to take down, and the small but deadly UAS force made entry in scant time.
By then the remaining citizens were escaping through the sewer system, tunnels carefully tended for just such an occasion. I can only imagine the look of surprise on the faces of those soldiers as they hit the empty courtyard between those massive buildings. Must have set off all kinds of 'oh shit' sensors in their brains.
Then Block fell in on them.
It's amazing what one guy who used to do demolitions can accomplish with enough TNT and time to figure out the most devastating way to use it. Sixty explosions in twenty seconds, the first few designed to cut off every avenue of escape as the towering concrete structures suddenly became shining examples of Objects In Motion.
The infiltrators were in the top floor of the main barrack. The windows were left open. I wonder if they survived the fall long enough for their counterparts to hear them scream? Who knows.
Block is gone. Where once a stalwart collection of buildings stood, where good people made their homes, there is now a pile of rubble that rises to an impressive height. Don't be sad for the people who abandoned it; they aren't. It was an important place to them, truly, but in the end only a place. Their lives and health--not to mention denying the UAS any useful sites or materials--are of much higher value. They've moved back to a secondary location, a prepared community built from prefab materials specifically designed for the world as it is now. It's not that far from Block, the new place, but almost impossible to find if you don't know where to look. It's safe and capable of sustaining a large group for a long time. It's a new home, and in the long run perhaps a better one.
Ask any citizen of Block if losing their home to blunt the ambitions of the UAS and kill some of their best soldiers was a trade worth making, and I can almost guarantee what the answer would be. Just ask yourself what you'd say in the same situation. Give the enemy nothing he can use. Give him no quarter, no mercy. Above all, save your own.
Worth it? You bet. Every time.