No announcement yet.

PAS Chapter XIII - Ominous Beginnings

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • PAS Chapter XIII - Ominous Beginnings

    Patriot Aid Station – Chapter XIII - Ominous Beginnings

    Dateline: Goodland, Indiana

    Chacka was breathing hard as he hugged the wall of the frame building that until tonight had housed a styling salon. Whether it would in the future remained to be seen. So far the damage was repairable. The front window was blown in and the wall below and to either side was partially shredded. None of which was any concern to the men assaulting the structure.

    For the eyes that watched it was a sad necessity. Though the owner of the targeted structure didn’t know it yet there would be some recompense in the way of free labor and perhaps also some materials provided in the next week or so. Not that they even knew of the damage being wrought upon their business by the present action. There was only so much you could do. Normally it would be chalked up to the fortunes of war but the last thing the so-called rebels wanted was to succeed in alienating their fellow countrymen. This wasn’t one of the eastern battlefields after all, where total destruction was a matter of course, especially when it was the Royal Guard doing the damage.

    Catching the eye of Psycho as well as one of the Arabian troopers, whose face showed little in the way of concern for his infidel comrade-in-arms, he nodded to signal his move. Spinning on his left foot he exposed only a portion of his upper body as well as his rifle long enough to trigger a 3-round burst of his own through the dangling shards. Quick as that he was back out of sight and doing a fast two-step to the side in case the defenders inside wised up and tried to punch a few rounds into him through the minimal cover offered by pressed wood siding and Fiberglas insulation.

    Almost as if reading his mind but not bothering to correct their aim another burst came through the open area. Heading out into and across the street. ‘Shee-hit! Whoever those dumb bastids be,’ thought Chacka, ‘they ain’t got a lik o’ sense when it come to fightin’. Too bad the stoopid muthahs won’t be getting’ no chance to learn themself no lessons.’ Unclipping another frag from his harness he prepared to put an end to their foolhardy stand.

    Unseen by Chaka and friends were another set of eyes, set within the visage of a carefully concealed form that had yet a clear view of the events taking place upon the street in the semi-distance. One hand held a pair of lenses before the eyes. The other a small black box that looked suspiciously like a Hollywood detonator, complete with a shielded red light that indicated when the button was pressed and the unit transmitted.

    Payton, whose hand held the device, was an electronics hobbyist. It was his idea to rig the device to remote control. Thus the honors went to him as well. A veteran of the Viet Nam conflict decades ago he nursed a stiff leg, a gift of another canny booby trapper in a far-away jungle. As a result he had to choose his battles wisely if retreating with his skin intact was his intention. Behind him 100 yards, concealed behind a stand of brush, sat a Honda 4-Trax Rancher AT GPScape. Purchased new out of the showroom back in “05 with the stock olive paint scheme Payton had tinkered with it over the intervening years. In addition to the stock GPS unit it had an expanded fuel capacity, carrying nearly 6 gallons total. The muffler had been removed in favor of a much quieter unit and a non-stock engine shroud that further muffled the noise. At idle it couldn’t be heard running 20 feet away. There was a pair of infrared lamps fixed to either side of the front cowling where they wouldn’t interfere with the controls and steering. And a custom scabbard could be fitted across the front rack to house Payton’s favorite rifle.

    When he was finished with his control box he’d take time to toss a couple well-aimed rounds in the direction of the Royalist forces then make his way back to his get-away vehicle. Later he’d rendezvous with the other members of the team.

    Elsewhere others were playing their respective roles in the little diversion that Goodland was intended to be. So far it was working. The Royalist forces were tied down dealing with what they thought was a poorly planned effort to confront them. In reality the unit that was facing them had no intention of making a pitched battle. A little improvisation here and there and a few men were making life miserable for a much larger, far better equipped force. They’d taken no casualties so far. Indeed if all worked as planned they wouldn’t. The cute tricks they were peppering their enemy with were intended as force multipliers, the goal being to tie up the convoy for as long as possible and cause as many casualties as they could without taking any themselves.

    Dateline: Somewhere in Minnesota

    Fred Hawkins had been on the move for weeks now. The idea for this bit of mischief had slowly percolated through his mind for several years and he’d made plans accordingly. Measures were in place that would allow him to move with reasonable autonomy throughout an area of several states. Here there was a warm bed, a hearty meal and a barn to hide his vehicle in. Elsewhere a mom and pop motel – one of the few independents remaining these days – registered a John N. Smith for 3 nights. The owner/clerk asked no questions, merely looked at the proffered business card and quietly stuck it into his pocket for later disposal. He’d never met Mr. “Smith” before but he recognized the card.

    Gradually the load bearing down on the springs of the delivery truck began to groan under the weight of successive additions to the cargo. Occasionally the burden grew all at once lighter, but the loading would only resume somewhere else down the road. The lettering on the side touted Pella Meats – Ring Bologna Sausage Ham Jerky Smoked Chops. Who was going to take the time to search a small refrigerated meat delivery truck any way? No one apparently. At least they hadn’t yet. There were even a few small cases of product dropped off hither and yon. No one took notice that the same delivery points also seemed to include pick-ups as well. Funny looking wooden cases at that.

    The ruse surrounding the truck went so far as current DOT registration. What the DOT didn’t know was that the company whose name was on the side didn’t know they had such a vehicle listed in their inventory. No one questioned the person who’d shown up at the area office with a bill of sale and other documents in hand to register and license the vehicle. Even if a State Transportation enforcement officer were to pull the truck over for inspection they’d find everything in order as far as could be determined. Unless they were determined to unload each and every locker that is.

    Fred had equipped himself with a nice bundle of cash after selling out his inventory at the Des Moines Fairgrounds gun show. He’d saved back nothing for himself; that had been taken care of long ago on the chance it might one day prove prudent. There were other funds as well. What became of his house, sitting empty in a smallish community in the northwestern quarter of Iowa, he had little care regarding. Certainly there were memories within its walls, cherished years with his beloved wife, the children they had raised, and the friends they had entertained. Once Blanche had passed on though…. Well, he’d needed to find something else to justify a suddenly lonely existence. That was when he turned his eyes towards the potential for an uncertain future in earnest. His seemingly distracted wanderings across Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Minnesota were the near-final product of that vision. After Wisconsin he’d head back to Iowa and take stock of the situation once again and recalculate his moves from there. So much to do and seemingly so little time. The dull, distant ache in his chest only served as a reminder.

    Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Benjamin Franklin

    I have but one person on my ignore list. Can you guess who it is?

  • #2
    Part I (Cont'd)

    Dateline: Kentucky/Tennessee Area

    The forces were gathered, an Operational Plan (OpPlan) decided upon, and a timetable set. The action would begin at 0500 local time, before the military dawn began to break over the horizon hidden behind the tulip poplars, hickories, pines and hillsides.

    The goal was to retake the Mammoth Cave National Park from the UNESCO personnel stationed there. Personnel who’d only shown too much enthusiasm for the new government in Washington, D.C. Though the US had formally pulled out of the UN several years back it nevertheless supported certain policies via ongoing treaties.

    The current situation was regarded as an “internal matter” that did not call for UN intervention. Secretly many of the smaller nations were chortling with glee at the events of the past few months. Then, too, there were the secret negotiations between the Boxer regime and the UN, still headquartered in NYC at One UN Plaza. Deprived of US funds the body nevertheless continued to exist and even thrive. The US, stripped of its vote on the Security Council, was the loser. While the idea was sound in theory it was rushed into in haste. The end result was no action being taken when calls to quash the not-too-secret build-up of forces in certain areas of the world previously brought to heel by the US were made.

    Tourism was down nearly 2/3’s for the year and expected to fall further as fuel prices kept increasing and the problems with interstate travel increased. Most of the visitors this year had been people from surrounding states. Very few international travelers visited now, as much because of fears and rumors concerning the “uprising” within the US as due to any problems negotiating travel arrangements. Thus the closing of the park would upset very few people. Many of those would be were on the East Coast, situated in Washington, D.C. and New York City. Not one of the gathering force gave a tinker’s damn what they thought.

    In all some 341 men and women had gathered. Most of them were Guard and Reserve personnel who’d failed to heed the call the duty by the national government. A few had reported, granted. Just because someone was a born-and-bred Kentucky or Tennessee native didn’t mean they were loyal to the Constitution, or anything or anyone else for that matter. So long as they had a paycheck, food, clothing and a promise of authority they didn’t care who was writing the checks or giving them orders. It should be noted, though, that most of the personnel gathered were over 30 years of age. Generations, it seems, still had their differences concerning more than just style and music.

    Facing them were 96 World Heritage Conservators, the former National Park Service Rangers they had replaced no longer in evidence. Odd conservators at that, as they were armed at all times, though only occasional side arms were visible. Long arms and force multipliers were either carried only while patrolling the perimeter of the park or kept in ready rooms. They also had at their beck and call a quad of Giat armored scout cars. The good news was they were lightly armed with only a GPMG-medium and smoke ejectors. The bad news was that they were heavily secured behind a double security fence surrounding the stout structure that housed them. For once the conspirators were right – there were foreign troops in the national forests. Just not divisions of them, and they had only arrived in late 2008.

    The patriot forces were psyched, the Conservators edgy but otherwise unaware. One had superior numbers and grim determination, the other light armor and governmental backing.

    To the south of the state border, in the Lebanon State Forest of Tennessee, 100+ men and boys gathered. Women were deliberately excluded from the gathering. Not because they couldn’t fight. There were a few present that held to such views it is true. But even the orneriest cuss wouldn’t dare tell a man to his face that his wife was no good. Not when the other man was packing iron and everyone knew full well the other half did also, and knew how to use it.

    Rather for the women another role was slated. In the tradition of their more liberal sisters they were going to march in protest. Protest against the well-known abuses of the current administration in Nashville. A real sign waving, bullhorn shouting protest. Something sure to catch the attention of the State Police as well as the city PD. No march permits, no advance notice, just show up, gather and start marching. By using the element of surprise the plan was to catch the law enforcement agencies off guard, forcing them to rush men and equipment to the protest site, while their husbands, brothers and uncles, and even a few grandfathers, snuck in via the back route as it were.

    A private tour bus had been arranged for. A short-notice tour permit had been acquired in the name of an alternative lifestyle women’s group. There wouldn’t be any problems should a passing patrol car notice that the passengers were entirely females of varying ages. Only when they debarked the bus at the capitol building would it become evident that this group was militant in the extreme. It was rights and recognition they were seeking, but not for the purpose one would have thought had they per chance seen the name on the permit application. Within 48 hours “Del” Cyrus would have cause to regret every nasty scheme, every dirty trick, every last twisted interpretation and disdain of the law, every single usurpation of the state Constitution. Dozens of others of his family, friends, supporters and political hacks would likewise have the opportunity to experience quasi-religious revelations. Some would go into hiding, others would flee the state; most would find their circumstances in life suddenly and irrevocably altered in a manner not of their own choosing. Once again Sgt. Alvin York would inspire the people of Tennessee.

    Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Benjamin Franklin

    I have but one person on my ignore list. Can you guess who it is?


    • #3
      Part I Cont'd

      Dateline: Marble Rock, Iowa

      The small cabin to the rear of the care center, measuring all of approximately 28 feet x 19 feet, held surprises well out of proportion to its size. Few people, very few, had even an inkling of the treasures it guarded. Cedric was one of those people. Only he, in fact, knew all there was to know about the contents, not to mention the special security features.

      Myrtle knew a great many of the secrets as well. Most of them but not all. She trusted her brother even more than she had ever trusted her husband. Not that he was not worthy of trust, her husband. He’d been a very good provider, and even with his premature passing he had left her reasonably well cared for in the financial sense. He just had never been one to take a hardliner stance when it came to politics and individual rights. “Just go with the flow, Myrt, just go with the flow,” he’d always say. Politics were one topic of discussion that was studiously avoided around their house during their many years together. Myrtle saved such discussions for visits with her brother. They had been raised by parents who were astute in their observations far beyond those of their peers. Their parents hadn’t been so readily fooled into complacency when the New Deal came to town; they had seen the changes in the laws of the land for what they truly were. When it came to the truly difficult decisions in life Myrtle trusted her brother like no other. He’d always been there for her when she was growing up, was always welcome in her house during her years with her husband, and was still there in her infirmity.

      Besides Myrtle and Cedric a few others were entrusted with documents that would, in case of Cedric’s death, reveal in a roundabout way the secrets of the little storage building. Only by actually opening the building and probing its inner crevices would all be revealed. The documents were written in such a way as to appear to be the random musings of a mind affected by age. Only someone who knew Cedric personally would see through the ploy.

      “Now take that horsehide couch. A genuine antique passed down from Myrtle’s grandparents. Mine too. Miss them I sure do. Oh the wonderful times we had. Granddad he’d a been in the Great War. Come to think he was there in Cuba long about the same time as ol’ TR. Weren’t there with him, no. But he were there. Weren’t no young feller even then. But that there settee holds the memories. Them memories could be the key to the future if you know how to use them. Yep they could.”

      The documents went on, seemingly rambling at times, reciting old memories, and offering advice (“There be a reason they’re a called junk bonds; Their junk! My daddy never had any use for them and I didn’t neither.”), wishes for a future restored to the days he remembered from his youth (“used to be a boy could take his marbles, walk down to the hardware store and buy a pack of 22’s for not much more’n a quarter dollar. Head hisself on down to the river and have a whole afternoon of fun. Not one ol busy-body would dare say a thing. The Sheriff see him he might wave is all.”), and occasionally more lucid appearing instruction. One such passage was very firm:

      “I have lived a good life. There have been times I wished hadn’t oughta been but all in all it’s been good. Good friends I can trust, a good house, a decent living. I had a will writ up a few years past that I have passed along to trusted friends. I want it to stand as I wrote it.

      The trust fund is to be used just like I said in the papers; educate the youth and make life bearable for the folks at the Marble Rock Rehab Center. Read the papers, it’s all spelled out in there. The youth are and always have been the future of our country, of our world. God made little children for a reason, and gave humans longer childhoods than any other of His creations for good purpose. The elderly also have a purpose in God’s plan. I don’t presume to know for sure what it is but I have a couple of ideas. One is to teach the youth. We are supposed to learn as we grow. We never stop growing, so we never stop learning. A sharp mind is a valuable tool. Use it wisely.”

      An astute reader could readily discern some of the references within the documents. The marbles referred to in an apparently off-hand manner had nothing to do with glass orbs. Cedric had been given a Marbles Game Getter by his father. Banned later by the ATF in 1934 for some reason Cedric’s father, and later Cedric himself, never quite got around to registering the arm nor ever turning it in. An over/under rifle chambered originally in .22 upper and .44 shot and ball on the lower side it had a nifty under folder stock. Cedric’s came in the original 12” barrel length, though 15” and 18” barrels were also produced.

      Cedric had hand loaded special cartridges for the arm some years before. It had been thoroughly checked by a master gunsmith, the original leather holster carefully tended to and the metal kept oiled and free of rust. Shooting a cold cast round lead ball the larger barrel was capable of somewhere over 1,140 fps velocity and 326 foot pounds of energy. Hardly an engine block penetrater by any means but effective. The untwisted barrel wouldn’t stabilize a conical bullet so round ball it was. For certain types of shooting it was nearly ideal: easily concealed under a light jacket and packing a decent punch at shorter ranges.

      There were other arms in Cedric’s collection. A genuine Model 1897 Winchester 12 ga. configured for trench warfare, complete with the ventilated barrel shroud and the original bayonet. His grandfather had brought it back from The Big One. He’d always claimed he’d won it in a poker game aboard the troop ship on the return journey. It had been likewise well cared for, complete with a stock of replacement parts; the firing pins were somewhat notorious for breaking.

      M1893 Turkish Mausers comprising a full case were well hidden within the safety of the cabin. All were legal antiques excluded from registration owing to their age, re-heat treated in the 1930’s and rebarreled for the 8 x 57 Mauser cartridge (7.92 mm x 57mm). There were several cases of spitzer ammo for the arms as well, packed in strippers and bandoleers.

      In the more modern line of arms were 5 CETME’s in .308. No less than 17 magazines, all carefully checked for proper function accompanied each. Again, ammo was plentiful, of Portuguese manufacture carefully selected for both price and functionality in the rifles. Cleaning kits, slings, spare parts of varying quantities and even a few armourer’s tools were stashed with them.

      The cabinet, which lined the rear wall, uninterrupted, save for the sole window in the middle, was the keeper of these secrets. It had been carefully fitted with a hidden back panel. Inside the recess, undetectable unless a person were to actually grab a tape measure and calculate to the ½” the space from the exact front of the building to the rear. Only then would they discover that a few inches were unaccounted for.

      Even better hidden was the subterranean vault beneath the cabin. Not on the original plans and excavated unknown to the immediate witnesses that the residents and staff of the rehab center comprised. It began 3 feet underneath the concrete slab floor. The floor itself was covered with wooden strip flooring removed from an old retail store long gone to the wreckers. Admiring visitors commented on how it fit the décor so well. They never had an inkling of an idea that it also served to conceal a very carefully crafted trapdoor. Over the door itself sat a wood and glass display counter salvaged from the same store. Seemingly bolted to the floor it actually turned on carefully concealed pivots, revealing a 32” wide x 48” long rectangle cut out of the flooring. Lifted up it would reveal a short shaft leading to the vault below. More ominous tools than lay concealed within the false cabinet walls waited below.

      End Chapter XIII Part I
      Last edited by Reasonable Rascal; July 9th, 2014, 15:48. Reason: deleted obsolete URLs
      Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Benjamin Franklin

      I have but one person on my ignore list. Can you guess who it is?


      • #4
        Re: PAS Chapter XIII - Ominous Beginnings

        Dateline: Near St. Olaf, Iowa

        Muttering mild curses at his lack of foresight Rick was sweating heavily in the cooling air of the descending night. How could he have been so thoughtless! He’d seen the glistening shards lying on the pavement but had blithely driven right through them when he could have just as easily swerved around them. At the time though his only concern was his passenger. He’d been more aware of the effects of every bump and the continuing hard breathes between clenched teeth than he had of the possible ramifications of his choice of paths.

        In order to get at the spare tire he’d had to unload the machines in the rear. To affect this he’d first had to seek out a likely safe spot where his actions would be unwitnessed. Not that he was doing anything wrong per se but because his plight would all to likely bring unwanted attention from a passerby, who’d then stop to offer help. Once stopped it would all too easy for them to catch a glance of Leadfoot and his evident misery. That would lead to questions and perhaps an offer to take him to the nearest hospital. An offer that would seem incredible to refuse considering the time it would take to change the tire. But how would one explain to a complete stranger that Leadfoot’s best interests did not lay in the direction of the closest hospital, given that it would be all too evident that he was suffering from a gunshot wound at the same time that a wide hunt was underway for a tractor- combination being operated by a driver who might have been wounded in a gun battle with law enforcement? Perhaps the stranger would be more than a little sympathetic, and just as likely they could call in the law, ending Leadfoot’s freedom and risking everything the group had worked so hard to accomplish.

        Once a suitable barn was found at an abandoned farmstead Rick had assured Leadfoot he’d move as quickly as possible. Leadfoot assured him he could stand it. He was as loath to put the group and the hospital at risk as anyone, especially in light of what he’d already endured. He was determined that his contributions to the cause wouldn’t be for naught.

        “How ya doing up there?”

        Leadfoot heard Rick call to him as he sweated and grunted at the back of the Wagoneer. He called back in reassurance.

        “I’m holdin’ on okay. Tire pretty bad is it?”

        A grunt then a reply: “Yeah, time we got here it was pretty well shredded. Thought for sure these better grade tires wouldn’t puncture so damn easy. Sorry I was wrong. For your sake, not mine.”

        “Ah’ll live, don’t worry none. Just wisht I could hep you unload all that stuff.”

        Another grunt of effort. “Nyahh, not so heavy if you know how to do it. Just that my lift doesn’t work too well on this old floor here. Wheels are too small to roll easily. But that’s done for now. Wheew!”

        Rick stopped to wipe the sweat off his brow. The last of the copiers was unloaded and moved out of the way. The hidden batteries within them made no small addition to their weight. Now for the easy part: get the spare tire and the tools from the compartment under the floor.

        His movements only slightly slowed by his fatigue, he worked as quickly as possible. The concealing plastic floor panel was pulled out, and then the carpet lifted. Finally the fiberboard panel underneath. There in the well sat what he sought.

        Removing the spare then the tools he set to work. The left rear wheel had punctured, losing air over the course of the past 20 miles. The last 2 miles had been driven on the rim, shredding the tire and gouging the rim itself. It’d have to be replaced. Fortunately Rick thought ahead enough to have a spare pair of rims and matching tires stored away. His space saver spare would stand the distance for a while, enough to get back home if he took it slow enough and stayed off the non-paved roads. Time to worry about that later.

        Tossing a plate on the ground underneath the side of the car he placed the scissor jack on top and attached the jointed handle. The car rose in the air at an awkward angle until the destroyed wheel was clear.

        Grabbing the compact lug wrench he set to work on the nuts after first removing the hubcap. In 10 minutes he was finished, the spare firmly in place, the useless tire dragged to the side of the barn and placed in plain site, while the copiers were placed behind some debris nearby. The tire would command less attention than the machines themselves, or not. It might also explain why several multi-thousand dollar business machines came to be sitting in the barn to begin with, if by chance they were found before he could return for them.

        Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Benjamin Franklin

        I have but one person on my ignore list. Can you guess who it is?


        • #5
          Re: PAS Chapter XIII - Ominous Beginnings

          Dateline: PAS Supply Convoy

          After making the tractor switch and dealing with the problem of the too-easily identified the convoy of now two vehicles resumed their journey. Raymond and Charlotte ran ahead in the Explorer, watching carefully for other traffic, especially anything with official plates. Heading south from the rural Keystone area on Iowa 200 they caught US 30 and headed east towards Cedar Rapids. Once on 30 the driver could plausibly explain his presence. The plan now was to stay in the open, for all appearances a regular delivery run from the warehouse in Mount Pleasant, heading ultimately for Prairie du Chien via Decorah. The worst thus far was sweating out the entrance onto Hwy 30, lest surprise traffic catch the truck as it entered. Fortunately luck was with them and they made the highway without any traffic within visual distance.

          A mere 9 miles brought them to Iowa 150, which they took north. For a moment they were afraid they’d been made when a County Deputy watched carefully from the intersection as the truck made the corner. The driver gave a non-committal wave as he came by, the Deputy scanning the rig carefully as if he intended to stop it. Ray and Charlotte were unaware of the drama save that they had seen the squad car sitting there and made a quick scrambled call to the relief driver.

          Apparently the hasty placard job and the change of tractor models was enough and the Deputy remained on watch. It wasn’t until he was 3 miles up the highway that the driver made a quick double click to indicate that all seemed well. Wal-Mart trucks were after all not unusual on this highway as several stores lay along the route stretching south to north.

          The next test was at Vinton, 13 miles to the north. After that another 13 miles would bring them to I-380 where 150 crossed over. There was an interchange there but nothing else. If stopped he could always claim he was just coming out of the store at Vinton. Workable only so long as no one checked or asked to see the inside of the . One glance would tell that a stack of animal feed was hardly a typical cargo for the discount chain truck, never mind that it was stacked to the far back doors.

          It was now just after 2100 hours. Darkness was falling fast, the twilight dim enough that headlights were called for. Soon only lights would show in the distance and would as a result be far more readily picked up by anyone watching. Anyone wishing to check out the truck would have to either drive alongside or slow it to a crawl to see that it didn’t match the one being sought.

          Almost holding their collective breath the intrepid patriots carried on. If all went well they could expect to arrive at the Aid Station around 2300 hours. A journey that should taken under 4 hours was now well into it’s 13th hour.

          Dateline: Unnamed Location Within the US

          The meeting went well. The outcast professor had excellent progress to report. His experiments to date had proven fruitful, so much so that he was overwhelmingly confident that the program was a complete success. All that remained was to produce the material in sufficient quantity to be useful. The men in the other SUV seemed quietly pleased.

          The professor had his objectives in mind and his backers were willing to provide the resources he needed to meet those goals. To him that was all that mattered. The only ideology he cared about was his own. He could have cared less who was in charge so long as they allowed him his experiments, and then the exploitation of his research.

          Insofar as principles he had virtually none. The only guiding precepts he accepted could be summed up by the text inscribed upon the Guidestones in Elbert County, Georgia:


          1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
          2. Guide reproduction wisely - improving fitness and diversity.
          3. Unite humanity with a living new language.
          4. Rule passion - faith - tradition - and all things with tempered reason.
          5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.
          6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.
          7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials.
          8. Balance personal rights with social duties.
          9. Prize truth - beauty - love - seeking harmony with the infinite.
          10. Be not a cancer on the earth - Leave room for nature - Leave room for nature.

          Little did the professor know how closely his backers shared his principals. Perhaps shared was too kind a word. It was if they themselves had carved the inscriptions upon the stones.

          The professor didn’t care. To him the means were the end and the end was the means. All was the same and not. Not only did he talk like this he actually thought in that manner.

          “I have my creation. My creation is the destruction. The destruction is the creation. All is the same and not the same. All will be as is and is not.”
          The other three men present at the little gathering nodded sagely. They understood him better than he understood himself.

          Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Benjamin Franklin

          I have but one person on my ignore list. Can you guess who it is?


          • #6
            Re: PAS Chapter XIII - Ominous Beginnings

            Dateline: Des Moines, Iowa

            “So, Bob, lay it all out for me. What do YOU see happening and what can we do to stop it from happening?”

            Governor Balsack was meeting privately with his Media Relations Secretary. The discussion centered on recently received intel concerning the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middleton. He was definitely not liking what he was hearing.

            “Governor, in a time of crisis like this you need to move decisively. The people of the state expect that of you.”

            Sitting back in the depths of the huge leather office chair the Governor allowed himself a huge sigh. “I understand that. But what I simply do not have a firm grasp on yet is the situation down there. What is happening, who’s in charge, and what in blazes does it have to do specifically with this office?”

            Patiently, like a teacher addressing a child offering only a blank stare in response to a lesson the man representing the dark powers in Washington went over each point again, rewording it slightly and presenting it more slowly this time.

            “Item 1. We have received reports of a hasty collection of rebels gathering on the grounds of the Plant. Who allowed them access we do not know. We only know that they have complete access and the workers are cooperating with the Rebels.

            Item 2. The NRRT has identified the plant as a national resource of great significance to the national defense. As a result they have sent a combined forces detachment out of Pennsylvania to secure the plant site in the national interests.

            Item 3. We believe that the appearance of the rebels at the plant is merely a coincidence, that there is no connection between their being there and the detachment heading in that direction.”

            The Governor held up a cautioning hand. “Let’s back track a moment here. When you say “detachment” how many men are we talking about?”

            “I believe,” DeNiro began, suppressing a sigh of his own as he spoon-fed the Governor the information, “that it consists of several trucks of troops and some light armor. I do not know what type of armor; only that Washington said there was some accompanying the detachment.

            Apparently it was involved with the detachment in suppressing a misguided student uprising at the University of Pennsylvania at New Haven.”

            The Governor beamed as a recent memory struck him. “Ahh, yes. I recall the news reports. Quite a mess as I understand it. Fortunately our people were only facing a ragtag bunch of students.”

            “Yes sir, that is the gist of it. When the Civilian Environmental Corps tried to recruit them they balked and refused to enlist. Such a misunderstanding it was. Being offered free food, housing, uniforms, medical care and one day of the week of your choice for meditation or communing. The resultant loss of life is deplorable of course. But I do digress, sir.”

            “That’s alright, Bob. Filling in the details is helping me to understand this better. Now, you were saying?”

            Gathering his wits about him once more DeNiro pressed on.

            “Item 4. It appears that we can expect little assistance from law enforcement agencies in the SE. Local reports indicate that they are merely controlling access to the area by the media and civilians at large, and are doing nothing to interfere with the rebels. Considering the manner in which some of these groups are armed with their illegal assault rifles and other high capacity weapons I shouldn’t wonder but the Sheriff finds himself seriously out-gunned.”

            Interrupting once more Balsack broke in: “Do we know where these rebels came from? Are they Iowans?”

            “Unknown at this time, sir. As you know Iowa has prohibited the formation and meeting of militia groups for many years. We were ahead of the rest of the nation in that respect. But my source down there tells me that the license plates were removed from the vehicles carrying in these people, and that they arrived under cover of darkness in any case. Without actually taking some of them into custody and fingerprinting them we have no way of knowing for sure. We have reason to believe, however, that many of them are from southern Illinois and northeast Missouri. There may even be some ties to national militia groups. If so they are no less guilty of interfering with the affairs of this state, and certainly of opposing the legal government.”

            Item 5. As far as armaments we believe that they do not have the capacity to make use of the munitions manufactured or otherwise stored at the plant. There are rumors, unsubstantiated as of this moment, that they have begun removing the munitions to parts unknown, assuredly out of Iowa in any case.”

            “Nothing has been done to stop them then?”

            Rifling through his notes DeNiro seemed to search for a particular notation. Placing his finger on the point he was seeking he read it verbatim.

            ‘Report received from officers manning roadblocks in the area of IAAP that a convoy of 11 tractor-s, heavily loaded, departed from the immediate vicinity of the IAAP. Attempts by officers to halt the trucks to ascertain their cargoes were met with hostile action. The roadblock was destroyed when two large tractor-s traveling side-by-side rammed the barricades, causing destruction of one patrol cruiser and unspecified number of traffic flow barricades.

            Accordingly, I have issued instructions that no further attempt be made to block either the in-flow or out-flow of large vehicles from the area. This office does not have the manpower nor physical resources to confront these vehicles when they operated in this manner. The State government is better equipped to address such actions than we are, owing in large part to the severe understaffing of this office, and with this report I am giving notice that I have henceforth instructed my personnel to ensure the public safety and restrict civilian and media access only and under no circumstance, save unless they are fired upon or otherwise directly threatened, to offer resistance.


            Dean Collis
            Sheriff, Lee County, Iowa’

            “Does that answer your question, sir?”

            The Governor looked pensive as he digested the report. Then, “You mean between the city departments and the County they can’t pull together enough uniformed officers to deal with this matter?”

            “Well, sir, in their defense I do have to say that this really is a federal matter, owing to the nature of the plant grounds themselves. Also, as per previously issued instructions from the Department of Homeland Security the city officers are already stretched thin guarding the crucial river locks and dam, the bridges, and the railroad yards. I rather doubt the Sheriff has more than 40 men on his roster to begin with. In any case that department is not on the list of those that upgraded to include surplus military vehicles when they were offered a few years ago. Most likely the largest vehicle they own is converted SUV. You are talking about blocking 80,000 pounds of moving steel operated by a fanatic.”

            Governor Balsack started to drum his fingers on the top of the cherry wood desk that was the center of his work area. A wave of exasperation crossed his features, a lose strand of graying hair waving in the slight breeze afforded by the AC system. His eyes were focused on some unseen point seemingly outside the immediate room.

            After a couple of minutes of distant thought he seemed to come back to the present. “You said this is a federal matter. So how does it concern us as more than a passing item of interest?”

            DeNiro sat forward, seeming to jump at the offered opening.

            “Under the provisions of the Executive Order you had read into law earlier this week you can direct intervention on behalf of the federal government, using State forces drawn from throughout the state. Besides National Guard units there are county agencies, and the Iowa Office of Homeland Security. I’m sure I could have a report on the numbers of men available for reassignment by the end of the day.”

            In truth DeNiro already had the report prepared. He had only to guide the Governor into thinking that the decision to call on the available manpower resources was his own. Such was the burden borne by the embedded agent provocateur.

            The powers that were in Washington saw Iowa as a key player in a much larger plan. Owing to her position between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers the state represented a key blocking point. Were effective control to be lost the direct route west would be in the wrong hands. That bode ill for future expansion into the western states. Once across the Missouri there were no effective natural barriers before Denver and Cheyenne.

            Across the Missouri also lay Offutt AFB, still home to SAC. While officially under federal control, as were all the other armed services bases scattered throughout the country, they had resisted first suggestions and later outright commands to make use of their facilities in the take-over of the country. Feigning national security interests of a higher level than mere “rebel” resistance the men and women at Offutt continued with their task of watching America’s skies in case a stronger foreign power saw fit to take advantage of the situation and launch a strategic attack.

            Likewise Cheyenne Mountain outside Colorado Springs, home to NORAD, kept their distance. Budget cuts originating with a previous administration had eliminated much of the redundancy built into the space-born intelligence systems under NORAD’s command. Exaggerated in effect it made for a simple but effective ruse, keeping resources from being turned inwards toward the continental US and thus aiding in the subjugation of the American nation.

            End Part II
            Tricks and treachery are the practice of fools, that don't have brains enough to be honest. - Benjamin Franklin

            I have but one person on my ignore list. Can you guess who it is?