I didn't sleep soundly. Between the lack of soil beneath my back and the wind screaming up above, there was no chance of that, and I was rather glad for it. I heard between the fitful moments of dozing a regular pounding on the walls. I was too regular to be a side effect of the storm, as the wind whistled unevenly through the cracks in the garage.
The pounding continued around the building, echoing strangely, a dynamic I might have better recognized if I'd been in that building before.
The back door rattled in its frame several times before it bounced completely open, slammed back by the rising wind once it had a finger's grasp on the door. Now I could hear it better: a sub-woofer. A couple of riled kids barreled in, presumably looking for a good time--something to break, something to steal--something I definitely didn't want to be a part of.
I double-checked that my self-defense kit was securely strapped, and crawled out of my tent, away from the glaring flashlights of the--
"What's in this kit?"
"My cell, a flashlight, a couple of knives, flint and tinder, a small hando, and a yawara. All the same gear your guys took from me when you patted me down. Can I continue?"
I crawled out of my tent and away from the bobbing flashlights seeking a darker corner of the garage, but it wasn't long before they found my gear.
Yes, I was tempted to go back and defend my stuff, show them what-for and all that, but I didn't. My gear was insured, I had my wallet and itemized list of my belongings. It wasn't worth the struggle. But then they came to the realization that whomever's gear it was, they were probably still in the building, waiting for the storm to abate. They weren't wrong.
"And then what?"
"They cornered me and I defended myself."
"You beat them brutally."
"They were drunk and probably high. I was stone sober, and prepared. I was also fighting for my life, because I knew they weren't going to just let me get away, as witness to their own lawbreaking."
"But you still beat them viciously."
"What, you want me to let them off with a warning? Some fancy moves and a slap on the wrists to scare them away?"
"You watch too many movies. In the real world, fancy moves just get you hurt. I disabled them as best as I could without causing any permanent damage, but if they ran into my fist while I was throwing a punch, I won't feel guilty for the extra damage it caused due to their added momentum. It's basic physics."
"Fine, fine. Then what happened?"
"They scampered off, presumably called you guys, and I called emergency services too. You should have a copy of my call. It corroborates everything I've just told you."
"I checked out my gear while I waited, took pictures with my cell, and documented the damage, to send to my insurance agent for a claim. I had no signal until you gentlemen showed up, presumably an unsecured signal booster in one of your cars. My cell automatically connected to the signal and sent the message. If you keep the traffic logs on those things, you should see it."
"I want to talk to a lawyer."