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Link Posted: 10/19/2009 12:20:03 AM EDT
[#1]
Originally Posted By Mounger:
Great Stuff!

Thanks and keep it up....please?

..........Mounger


I check this page daily for the next chapter.
Link Posted: 10/19/2009 3:27:40 AM EDT
[#2]
Moar please.
Link Posted: 10/21/2009 1:34:53 AM EDT
[#3]
Man, you're scaring the crap out of me hahaha, keep it up.
Link Posted: 10/21/2009 7:23:33 PM EDT
[#4]
I am going into story withdrawal . . .
please, help a brother out . . .
you gotta have a little extra story to  you can share with us.
Link Posted: 10/22/2009 8:35:41 AM EDT
[#5]
Moar please...............
Link Posted: 10/22/2009 10:37:16 PM EDT
[#6]
Chapter 19


"Print is the sharpest and the strongest weapon of our party."
Joseph Stalin

“In relation to the political decontamination of our public life, the government will embark upon a systematic campaign to restore the nation’s moral and material health. The whole educational system, theater, film, literature, the press and broadcasting – all these will be used as a means to this end.”
Adolf Hitler


Inside Sean Bastle’s study, the radio covered the public response to the President’s call to action.  The anchor hosted, while his man on the scene described to the audience the events as they unfolded.

“I’m here at the Grass Roots transient sanctuary in what used to be the Oracle arena, and I’ve just witnessed what will go down in history as one of the greatest moments of our generation.  This morning a full stadium of people simultaneously took the Oath of Commitment to the Principles of Progress”.

“Chris, would you characterize the people’s support of Progress as overwhelming, or as unstoppable?”

“Both Dan, and I have to tell you, the energy here is amazing and I feel almost drunk off this wonderful show of loyalty to the political movement that will undoubtedly fix this country.  The people who committed themselves to Progress today spanned all walks of life and institutions.  They are an example that every citizen must do the commonsense thing and commit themselves to Progress.”  

“Is it true that the Progress Union has fully embraced the President’s request for action?”

“Absolutely Dan.  The Progress Union just made membership in the Progressive Party a requirement to receive full union benefits.  But this isn’t just the unions. Trade organizations, business groups, academic institutions, student bodies; they are all demonstrating a commitment to Progress.  In fact, I’ve just received breaking news that University of California school system is now making membership in the Progress Party a requirement for admission.  I tell you, this is so exciting.  I’m just so happy to be part of this historic occasion.”

“Now Chris, there has been some opposition to the President’s speech from some of the less important states in his nation.  Personally, I don’t think much of their talk, but are any of the patriotic citizens there discussing the opposition, and what do the people there think about the speech given in Canada by former mayor Dale Genesee?”

“The people hear haven’t heard of the man and haven’t heard the speech, and frankly Chris, they don’t care.  The general consensus here is that somebody who lives in some small town in South Dakota really can’t contribute to this conversation.”

“Actually he is from North Dakota.

“Is there a difference?”
  Both commentators laughed heartily before continuing.

“But in all seriousness, a recent poll conducted by the esteemed social justice group, Grass Roots, 99 percent of people interviewed said they wanted a more efficient and enlightened single party system.  And 97% said they won’t accept the failed and inefficient system we have today. The statistics don’t lie.”

“Personally, I really like the way the president reached across the aisle to his opposition and offered them a chance to embrace the Progress movement.  He told his opponents to abandon their old ways and join the Progress party.  He told them to answer the demands of the people. My question is this; why don’t crazy people like this man from North Dakota take the President’s gracious offer?”

    “Well, the opposition right now isn't very intelligent.  If it wasn't for Progress, people like the former Mayor would have allowed this flu to kill hundreds of millions.”

“Yes, he is probably more worried about his guns and bibles than the greater good of the country.


“It is funny,” Jim said.  “They consistently argue how wrong this mayor and his speech are, yet they never actually play anything from the speech.”

“Why would they.  If they did that you could form your own opinion, rather than get an opinion force fed to you.”

Jim, Sean and Chris all worked in the Sean’s study.  The radio played in the background.  Sean’s wife was also in the study, typing away on a computer.  After the President’s speech, this new political player, Dale Genesee made a counter-speech from the safety of Canada.  The content of that speech was unknown, but it must have struck a chord because the forces of Progress were doing everything they could to suppress and discredit it, without ever discussing its actual content.  Sean’s wife typed away at the computer, trying to find any scrap of information about either the speech or the man who gave it. She wasn’t having any luck.

“This search engine sent me to the Progress Party website too,” She said.  Every time she ran a search on Dale Genesee, she got directed to Progressive websites.  “It isn’t just him that gets you redirected.  You type in any number of subjects into these search engines and it sends you to Progressive websites.  And old websites that aren’t Progressive do the same thing.  You try and go to AR15.com and you get sent to the website for the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.”

“Can you hack through it?  Bypass it maybe?”

“Not with just this laptop and a wireless device,” She sighed.

While Sean’s wife worked on the computer, the rest developed plans; Plans on getting everybody who would go into Canada, plans on attacking the Progress Headquarters, plans on moving into the valley if trouble with the transplants got worse, and plans on going into the harsh terrain of the Cascade Mountains to the east. The President’s speech spurred them to action.  But while that speech served as a catalyst to drive some to resistance, others were not so defiant. Despite the hints of opposition, support for the Progressive cause was growing.  Whether this support was out of true belief or out of fear was unknown.  Rumors circulated that in Seattle, Pro-Progress thugs openly attacked the homes and businesses of anyone who might attempt to slow the spread of Progress. The media attacked any non-conformers.  The Attorney General was going to make an appearance to discuss the opposition.

Chris worked on a map, computing the distance from various points into Gerry’s valley. Without looking up he spoke.  “We’ve got about ten families who are packing up to leave.  What are we going to do about them?”

“From what I’ve heard, if you want to work at the old aircraft plant, you have to take the oath to Progress.  It’s hard to say you are committed to Progress if you are living under the leadership of somebody who is considered not a friend of the Party.  If they want to leave, let them leave.”

“Are you sure about that,” Chris asked.  “These people will take a lot of information about our operation when they leave.”

“We are not taking any kind of reprisals against civilians, and we certainly aren’t holding them hostage.  Period.  We may need the support of these people some day.  Right now people are taking the side of Progress out of fear.  I don’t want them going to the side of Progress because we drove them to it. I want to keep the moral high-ground.”

Chris nodded and went back to his map.  As he worked, he spoke again.  “Gerry’s been losing a lot of people too.”  They knew all too well about Gerry’s problems with the Grass Roots and the Transplants.  Many farmers had been pushed over the edge.  The Transplants threatened them with violence, the Grass Roots threatened their livelihood by taking away their property, and the now after the President’s speech and the following media blitz, there was a new threat, the threat of being label as not a supporter of Progress.

Jim rubbed his eyes.  “We’ve been at this for hours.”  He’d been using a calculator and a few charts to figure out what they could do with the amount of fuel they had, based on vehicle counts and types.  

“Having a higher-headquarters would make this a lot easier,” Chris commented.

“If I had a General Staff they’d be hard at work, but it’s just us,” Sean sighed.  He set down whatever he’d been working on and rubbed his eyes.

“I thought not having a higher-headquarters would be great,” Sean said.  “More freedom, and less bull-shit.  The truth is it means a lot more work for us.  We’ve got to put together our own logistics program, from supply to maintenance, our own finance system, our own intelligence network… the list goes on and on.  There is a reason why commanders have their own staffs.  This is a lot of work to do.”

“Well you are going to need your own cyber-warfare wing if you want to make the internet work for you,” Sean’s wife said, snapping the laptop close and disabling any connection to the internet. “They’ve got it locked down, just like the TV and the radio.”

“You want to work as my head of cyber-warfare my Dear,” Sean asked.  His wife rolled her eyes, but smiled.  “You’re my husband; I think that means you work for me.”

The back-and-forth on the radio continued.

“Do you think the President’s call to Progress will take root in the military?”

“Well Dan, I’m glad you asked that question.  The rank and file members of the military generally enlist for one of two reasons; either they were tricked into joining by some slick talking used-car-salesman of a recruiter, or they joined out of desperation.  So, we know members of the military for the most part aren’t enlightened enough to understand the complexities of the Progress movement. But I do think generals need to be required to be members of the party as part of their confirmation process. Those members of the military are in too important of a position for the people not to be aware of their political affiliations.”  

“Do you think we should make this retroactive for the Generals and Admirals already serving?”

“The President should order every general and admiral in his armed forces before congress today and ask them if they subscribe to the principals of Progress.  Remember, this was a mandate from the people. Our military must reflect the political ideals of this administration’s ruling class because the military ultimately serves at the whim of the politicians.”


“Doesn’t sound like they think too much of our nation’s veterans,” Jim commented.

“The military has never been popular in a lot of political circles in this country.  But this isn’t really an indictment on the military. They’re just trying to coerce the military leaders into joining their party, and isolate any who don’t.  It’s a classic move. Isolate the opposition, then discredit and ridicule them.”

“Kind of stupid to attack the military if we truly are on a road to revolution.”

“They don’t see this as a military fight.  While they may have a pretty low opinion of the military, they are smart enough to know that in a military fight they don’t have the expertise to win.  That’s why they want to avoid a shooting fight all together. They think by controlling the media and the flow of information everywhere from the public schools to the internet, they can achieve politically what they know they can’t achieve militarily.  If they can get the military leadership to join their cause outright, so much the better.

“That is why they are putting so much weight into their propaganda campaign. They want to manipulate everyone into thinking they way they want them to think. Listening to these two on the radio, you’d think every man, woman and child championed the cause of Progress, and anybody who didn’t was a moron.  When people think everybody else is doing something, they are more likely to do it themselves. This goes double when they are being told anybody who isn’t doing it is unenlightened or hateful or whatever the slur of the day is.  How much of this popular support is coerced and how much isn’t remains to be seen.”

XXXX

A sense of dread filled Sheriff Maltby all morning.  James Pritchard summoned him to the Progress Headquarters, and while the Sheriff did not know why, he knew it couldn’t be good.  The Pro-Progress propaganda he saw everywhere made the feeling worse.  The concentration of the Progress message increased the closer the Sheriff got to James Pritchard’s office. Even in the elevator the Sheriff couldn’t escape it.  A big poster inside displayed some PA men and women with bright blue uniforms and bright white smiles and asked:

The Party of Progress: Are you a member?


The feelings of sickness and dread only got worse in James Pritchard’s office.  James and Malik, along with Raymond Lynn and some new PA official in a blue uniform were already assembled.  Clearly something was afoot.  The Sheriff could only wait for them to drop whatever bomb they carried.

“Sheriff, I’m so glad you could make it,” James said.  He flashed his politician’s smile.  One look at the gleaming teeth and the Sheriff felt violated. “I’d like you to meet a friend of mine.  This is Commander 2nd Class Tobin, of the Rehabilitation Wing of the Progressive Auxiliary.”

The Commander sat on a couch and made no effort to stand.  He only smiled in the Sheriff’s direction.

“Earlier you expressed some concerns over your available manpower.  Well Sheriff, The PA has come to your rescue.  Commander Tobin and his staff will be taking control of the county jail, starting immediately.”

“What,” the Sheriff asked, trying to process what he’d just been told.

“The PA will now be running the county jail.  And since the jail will no longer be your responsibility, you’ll be able to use that manpower in other ways to support the community.”

“The PA just can’t come in and take over my jail.”

“I’m afraid you are wrong about that.  The President signed an executive order, Sheriff.  The Progressive Auxiliary has been given oversight on all incarceration and detention facilities in the nation; jails, State and Federal Prisons, juvenile detention facilities.  Why, even psychiatric hospitals have been turned over to their control.  It is for the best really.  I’m sure you can see that Sheriff.”

“How is turning over a county jail to federal control for the best?  And the PA isn’t even a true federal agency."

“Because it is the Progressive thing to do, and because the people have demanded it,” Malik said from across the room.

James smiled his sickening too-white smile, “With the PA, we’ll be able to run these facilities more efficiently, more cheaply and more Progressively than ever before.”

“What do you mean, more ‘Progressively,’” the Sheriff asked.

Now Raymond spoke, his face plastered with his idiotic grin.  “Today’s prisons will be tomorrow’s Ivy League Universities.  They will be run by green energy, utilize de-development to save the environment, and promote the ideas synonymous with the word Progress.  Prisoners will be paid not just a minimum wage, but a living wage. A wage they can use to support their families and communities.  A wage they can be proud off.”

“Turning prisons into universities? A wage they can be proud of? This is insane.”

“You wanted more deputies to put in the field.  This is your chance. You won’t have any more of your people tied up with the jail.  Frankly, I expected you to be more excited about this.”

“To hell with more deputies on the street.  What about our local rights?  The Constitution?  The10th amendment?  What about that?”

“Look, we’re not abandoning the 10th amendment or tearing up the Constitution, we’re just modifying them a little.  We just want to see them get a little more contemporary.  Give them a makeover if you will. Besides, the states cannot govern without the guidance and tutelage of the federal government. The entire history of our nation proves that.”

“What you are doing flies in the face of the Constitution.”

James shook his head, as if he were dealing with a foolish child. “Progress will not be stopped by a mere piece of paper,” James said, his tone sickeningly self-righteous.

“What does that even mean?”

“It means the people want Progress.”

“Do the people really want it?  Or are you saying the people want it?”

“Haven’t you seen the news?  Didn’t you see the reaction to the President’s speech? The people are demanding this.  They want Progress. They want programs just like this.”

“But what makes this Progressive?  What makes anything Progressive?”

“If it is Progressive its right.  It is compassionate and it supports the dignity of the lowest members of our society.  If it’s Progressive it is for the people.”

“No,” the Sheriff answered.  “You keep saying the people want this, but it’s only for half the people at most. And it seems to me it benefits half the people at the expense of the other half.  Half this country doesn’t believe in your so-called Progress.”

“Well those people are stupid and wrong,” James shouted back.

“Why?  What makes them stupid and wrong?”

James pointed an accusing finger at the Sheriff, “Because they aren’t Progressive.”

After those words, the air in the room got still.  Raymond Lynn, smiling his idiotic smile, nodded silently in agreement, oblivious, but the others felt shock at Pritchard’s words.  The Sheriff felt shocked.  Although he didn’t show it, Malik felt a bit of shock as well. Even James Pritchard realized the lunacy of what he just said.  What just took place in his office was a perfect demonstration of how the circular logic some ideologies use can spin out of control.  But James’s fear of what just happened washed away, replaced by another fear; the fear of missing the opportunities that the Progressive movement could provide him.  While this ideology might be getting more radicalized every day, to James it meant wealth and power.

The Sheriff looked at all the faces around the room.  Their expressions and silence told him everything he needed to know.  The jail now belonged to the PA. He spoke softly

“This isn’t right.”

“Sheriff,” James said.  “I’m troubled by your apparent lack of commitment to the cause of Progress.”

Without replying, the Sheriff grabbed his hat and left the room.  What else could he say?

XXXXX
Link Posted: 10/23/2009 7:06:02 AM EDT
[#7]
Damn... I love this story. Can't wait for the next chapter.....

Toad
Link Posted: 10/23/2009 4:24:51 PM EDT
[#8]
Progressive chapters are LONG chapters.
Short chapters are destroying the environment and cause suffering in the third world.

Link Posted: 10/23/2009 6:03:37 PM EDT
[#9]
Originally Posted By BroncoMafia:
Progressive chapters are LONG chapters.
Short chapters are destroying the environment and cause suffering in the third world.



This
Link Posted: 10/24/2009 11:19:35 AM EDT
[#10]
NEED MORE CHAPTERS PLEASE!

Time to start progressivly killing the enemy.......................
Link Posted: 10/25/2009 2:53:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: sharkman6] [#11]
18 Cont.

That night, the rain only drizzled steadily until a messenger from Gerry showed up at the compound. Gerry needed Sean in the valley and he needed him immediately. Whatever the reason was, it was sensitive enough that it required a messenger, and couldn’t be sent across the open airwaves of the CB radio.  Sean and a security detail mounted up and hit the road.

Once the team got on their way, the rain increased from a drizzle to a violent downpour.  With the windshield wipers going as fast as they could, Jim could just barely make out the truck in front of them.  It made driving risky, because the constant rain had taken a toll on the roads. At one point the convoy had to stop and turn around.  The bank of the elevated farm road had given way.

“It s bad,” Sean said after they made a U-turn.  Jim looked over at him.  Sean continued. “This is the worst I’ve ever seen it.  The rain keeps up like this, and there will be flooding soon.”  As if on cue, the vehicles slowed to drive through a puddle that swallowed the road.  The water came up to the trucks’ door jambs.  On the radio, the Attorney General commented about the opposition speech.

“It’s not his views and opinions that are the problem.  He is entitled to them.  What is a concern is that he is expressing those views.  He has a right to think what he wants, but does he have a right to speak if his views conflict with policy?  He isn’t contributing to the conversation. I think the 1st amendment immediately goes on hold when somebody is using it to spread corrupting and contaminating ideologies.

“We already have laws preventing hate speech.  The hate speech laws where put in place to protect minorities and other under-privileged groups, but can those same laws be used to protect political groups and ideologies? That is something the Justice Department is looking into, and if we determine that the Progress Party is protected under the laws against hate speech, you can be certain that I will not rest until those who speak out against the Progress movement are brought to justice in a swift and brutal manner.

“This Justice Department will not stand idly by while cowards are condemning patriotic American’s simply for their political beliefs.”


Bonfires marked their destination, another farmhouse in Gerry’s valley.  Several farmers stood in the downpour. They carried rifles and shotguns at their hips, barrels pointed out into the night.

“Be careful,” Sean said over the radio.  “These guys look jumpy.  I don’t want anybody getting shot by accident.”

Jim brought his truck right up to the house.  He checked the chamber on his rifle to ensure it was ready to go, then hopped out of the truck and unfolded the butt-stock.  He felt strangely sharp and alert. Sean stepped out into the rain as well.  He wore a tactical vest and carried a carbine.  From the doorway to the house, Gerry waved for him and Sean to come inside.  “Bring a medic,” Gerry called out.

A variety of lamps lit the inside of the farmhouse.  Gerry and some more farmers were assembled in the kitchen, chattering back and forth loudly.  Their tones were hurried and panicked. A man, obviously not a farmer, lay on the floor of the kitchen.  Horrible burns covered his face and his breath came in ragged gasps.  A farmer and his wife sat at the kitchen table. The farmer had a dressing on his arm. Gerry motioned towards him.

“He’s alright.  Just got winged is all.”

“What happened,” Sean asked.

“A pair of transplants came by here tonight.  They kicked in the kitchen door while the Misses cooked dinner. They came in with their weapons drawn and she threw a pot of boiling water on one of them. That’s him right there.”

“She got him right in his face,” Sean said.

“Yes she did,” Gerry agreed.  “That’s when the man of the house came in with the shotgun, and clipped him in the hip.  His buddy opened up and emptied the magazine on his rifle.  He sprayed and prayed, but managed to wing George over there and then he took off.”

Hooker picked up an assault rifle on the kitchen counter, cleared it, and then held it up.  “He carrying this,” he asked, indicating the man on the floor.  The lady of the house nodded.

“Chinese Type 56 with the stock removed Boss.  Same as the PA carry.”

Doc Hyde looked over the man on the floor. After listening to his patient’s labored breathing, he commented, “He’s got burns on over 40% of his body including all of his face and he’s got burns in his throat too.  His airway is compromised. He needs to get to a hospital if he’s going to live.”

“Who gives a shit if he lives,” Somebody asked rhetorically.

“You want to call the Sheriff,” another asked Sean and Gerry.

Someone yelled, “The Sheriff is the reason we’re in this mess.”

“We take him to the hospital and the Sheriff will definitely get involved.  That’s the last thing we need,” Sean said, more to himself than anybody else.

“So what do we do? We just let him die on the floor?”

While the others argued, Jim walked through the throng of people.  A fiberglass handled maul for splitting wood stood in one corner of the room.  Jim hefted it and moved to the gasping body in the center of the kitchen.

“Move away,” he said, motioning with his free hand.  Doc Hyde moved.  Before anybody could process what he was about to do, Jim brought the maul up and then down on the man’s head.  It made a sickening crunch. The gasping stopped.

Faces with wide eyes all stared in silence at Jim.  He put the maul back in the corner.  

“What,” He asked the crowded room. “We weren’t going to turn him over to the Sheriff and we weren’t going to take him to the hospital.  He wasn’t going to live and we weren’t going to save him.  The least we could do is end it for him. That was the reality we faced.  Now, he’s dead.  So now we need to do whatever it is we’re going to do next.”

Jim looked to his boss.  Sean didn’t look happy with what just happened, but he accepted it.   Near the dead man, Doc Hyde just shrugged and looked to the wounded farmer.  Sean motioned to Gerry and they stepped to a corner of the room to give them some privacy.

“What do you think,” Gerry asked.

Sean shook his head.  “This isn’t going to get any better over time.  We need you to hide that body in there where it won’t be found.  If we’re lucky, those transplants won’t cry to mamma or get the Sheriff involved.”

“What about the Transplants?  I’ve got people packing to leave as we speak.  This can’t go on.  Everything that is happening is just too much for them.”

“I’ll take care of them,” Sean said.  He looked to the dead man on the floor and hung his head.  “Keep your people on the defense and out of the way.  I’ll take care of the Transplants.”

On the way back to the compound, Jim spoke to his Boss first.

“I didn’t think we were in the prisoner taking business right now. Seemed like him being dead solved a lot of problems.”

Sean grunted a response. “His pain must have been unbearable.” On the radio, the Attorney General was still speaking.

“We can talk about the Constitution all we want, but what the opponents of Progress need to realize is the people elected the President, the people elected our Senators and Congressmen, but, they did not elect the Constitution.”

“I don’t like killing prisoners either.  But sometimes you have to do what you have to do.”  Sean tapped the radio with a finger.  “After all, the stakes don’t get much higher.”
Link Posted: 10/25/2009 9:40:23 AM EDT
[#12]
great story...character development has been awesome.  I am not  a story reader but this has kept my interest from the beginning.
Link Posted: 10/25/2009 3:23:49 PM EDT
[#13]
Thanks for extending chapter 19 to an acceptably progressive length :-)

The pressure is building like the water in that reservoir . . .
I am ready for the crew to open up the can of whoopass.

Frustrating to see how "sheepy" the farmers are.
I know that most people are unwilling and unable to make the hard decisions in situations like this, but MAN it tears me up to wallow in their weakness.

What happened to our friends in the Corps out in the ship yard?
Those boys have been unusually passive, even considering the ranking officer in the region is a Progressive appointee.
Why are they calculating how much fuel they have? I thought they would have all they needed from the border run?

So many questions . . .
so little "progress" . . .

Thanks for the amazing story so far Sharkman !
Link Posted: 10/25/2009 6:15:35 PM EDT
[#14]
We've "Progressed," to the end of the Chapter.    

The next day the sun had almost set when Sean got summoned to the front gate.  He’d heard the distinct rumblings of motorcycle engines, so he had a good idea who was there. Walking up to the gate he could see a large number of his people already manning the ramparts.  All were armed.  Sean walked calmly to the gate, shotgun in hand and his dogs in tow.  Tommy Stevens nervously adjusted his grip on his SKS rifle.  Hooker stood defiantly with the RPK, staring down whoever was on the other side.  

At the gate Sean saw what all the fuss was about.  About two dozen motorcycles and a mix of other vehicles were parked in the street.  The riders all wore the distinct leather jackets of the Mutants Motorcycle Club.  Like Sean’s people, they also carried weapons. They stayed a respectable distance from the gate until Sean walked up and then one came forward.  It was the Master at Arms. He came forward without a weapon in either hand, but a submachine gun hung from a sling underneath his leather jacket.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to assume he carried a pistol or two as well.

“You Bastle,” the Sergeant at Arms asked at the gate.

“What do you want,” Sean asked, annoyed.  His mind was focused on what to do about the Transplants.  He wasn’t in the mood for any more distractions.  

“We wanted to let you know our charter is getting out of town for awhile.  Things around here are getting too weird.  We’re heading to Idaho for the winter.”

“Idaho has lots of snow in the winter.  Not exactly motorcycle weather.”

“We’ve got some snowmobiles to pass the time… and alcohol.”

Sean drew in a deep breath and let out a heavy sigh. “Good to know, but I bet that isn’t the reason you’re here.”

“We wanted to give you a gift before we left; a gift of information.  There is a hit out on your friend the farmer.  Those transplants are going after him in his house, tomorrow night.  He must have pissed somebody off because they have all the transplants in the valley in on this job. They want him dead.”

“How do you know this?”

“There is a lot more to our operation than motorcycles.  We have our sources, as I’m sure you do.”

Sean asked, “So why the free information?”

The Sgt at Arms grinned underneath his beard.  “I think our club’s long term goals might be better served not working with the forces of Progress.  We aren’t too happy with what’s been happening lately.  I’m sure you aren’t either.”

Sean grunted an agreement.

“Anyways, we’ll be back in the spring. We’ll contact you then,” the Master at Arms said.  With that he left for his bike.  They didn’t shake hands.  If an alliance existed between the Mutants and Sean and his veterans, it was an uneasy one.

As the bikes rumbled to life and sped away, Chris and Jim walked up to Sean.  Before they could ask, he answered their question.  “The Transplants are going to kill Gerry tomorrow night.  We aren’t going to let them.  Our timeline just got moved up.”

XXXX

“Sir, wake up.”

Major Ski, still groggy, slowly came to life.  He’d tried to catch some sleep after being ordered to do so by his Sergeant Major.  Like Sean, he’d been working long hours on plans of his own. Now the Battalion Operations Chief stood before him.  Major Ski looked at his watch.  He’d only been asleep for thirty minutes.  If somebody woke him, it meant something important was happening.
“Sir, you’re needed in the COC,” The Master Sergeant said.

The Major nodded, swung out of his cot, dressed, and grabbed his pistol belt and map case.  He checked his pistol, holstered it, then headed down the hallway to his Combat Operation Center (COC), the room full of radios and computers and maps and all the personnel and equipment necessary for Major Ski to run his battalion.

This COC had received some recent additions.  A deputy from the Sheriff’s Department manned a desk.  His purpose was to coordinate military efforts with any local Law Enforcement operations.  The Major didn’t care about that.  But he did care about the blue uniformed PA men who also manned some desks in his COC.  They felt like spies, because they were.  They were spies to ensure that the Marine Detachment wasn’t doing anything to conflict with the political goals of the PA.  At some point the Major expected them to extol the virtues of Progress, just like traditional Political Officers.  These PA men were also serving on all the ships in the Naval Station.  The PA had infiltrated the military, if only to a degree.

The deputy spun around in his chair to address the Major and the Master Sergeant.

“The Maysville PD is requesting some support, combat engineers or an explosive ordnance disposal team if you have them.   They just arrested some Sons of Liberty with a vehicle full of explosives.”

The Major rubbed his eyes. “What’s that?”

“The Sons of Liberty.  They just arrested a cell at the junior high school.  The Maysville PD just captured three of them with a minivan full of explosives.”

Outwardly, he maintained his composure, but Inside, Major Ski groaned.  On the weekends the junior high school sports fields were used as training grounds for the newest PA recruits, not that that would matter.  All that would matter was that the Sons of Liberty were caught at a school with explosives. He fished through his map case, and then set it down on his desk in the COC.  “I’ll be right back.” The Major turned and headed back to his room.  He had an encrypted satellite phone there and he needed to make a call.

XXXX

“If they sweat those guys and start rolling up the Sons of Liberty network, it will get back to our friend,” Sidney Green said into his own encrypted phone.  He stood on the runway of an airport in Vancouver Canada.  He wore normal civilian clothes, but nothing to indicate any connection to the United States Navy. The door to a chartered cargo plane opened and its passengers exited.

“Anything we can do to slow down that process we should do.  The last thing we want is for him to end up in jail, or worse.  Look I’ve got to go.  We’ll talk later.”  He shut off the phone and walked to the ramp of the plane.  About two dozen passengers left the aircraft.  All were men, in their mid twenties to early thirties, and with dark features demonstrating their Indian heritage.  The younger members of the group looked like professional track athletes.  The older ones looked like professional soccer players.  The oldest walked up to Sidney Green.

“Amandeep Singh, of the New Deli News Services,” the man said with just a slight Indian accent.  Sidney Green introduced himself and offered his hand.  The man shook it, his hand like a vice. Back at the plane, the other men were already unloading their cargo, most of it packed in pelican cases some the size of small couches.

“How was the flight?”

“It was long.  We’re happy to be at our destination.”

“I’ve arranged transportation to take you and your team to Camp Martel.  We have the vans you need for your equipment staged there.  From the camp, we’ll get you across the border and into the United States.”

“Wonderful,” Amandeep, said.  “We’re anxious to get started.”

Link Posted: 10/25/2009 6:20:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: kaiserworks] [#15]
Fom chapter 18
You try and go to AR15.com and you get sent to the website for the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.


If that didn't spark the revolution, nothing would...
Link Posted: 10/26/2009 4:30:12 AM EDT
[#16]
I started out thinking that Jim was a real weenie. But damn, he has come a long way. Keep it coming "Progressivly" please....

Toad
Link Posted: 10/27/2009 6:19:39 PM EDT
[#17]
DANG! Mercs from India?
Cool twist on the outsourcing phenomena . . . and SOOO progressive

(more please)
Link Posted: 10/27/2009 8:36:40 PM EDT
[#18]
Originally Posted By BroncoMafia:
DANG! Mercs from India?
Cool twist on the outsourcing phenomena . . . and SOOO progressive

(more please)


I don't think you read it closely. They are just reporters from the New Deli News Service.  A group of reporters who just happen to all be military aged males in excellent physical shape, meeting with an intelligence officer to make an illegal border crossing.  Nothing to see here.
Link Posted: 10/28/2009 12:05:51 AM EDT
[#19]
Originally Posted By sharkman6:
Originally Posted By BroncoMafia:
DANG! Mercs from India?
Cool twist on the outsourcing phenomena . . . and SOOO progressive

(more please)


I don't think you read it closely. They are just reporters from the New Deli News Service.  A group of reporters who just happen to all be military aged males in excellent physical shape, meeting with an intelligence officer to make an illegal border crossing.  Nothing to see here.


Forgive me Sharkman, it appears I may have prematurely progressed to some irrational conclusions . . . Thanks for keeping me on track.
Heh, heh  
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 7:54:54 PM EDT
[#20]
Thanks, keep it coming!
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:39:51 AM EDT
[#21]
This is actually a pretty good story line that did not get bogged down in too many technical details. Someone has read Ayn Rand it seems, the "progressive" movement and the themes and actions it encompasses looks similar to the unity and humanity pursuits of Rand's books. A great modern adaptation at least and a good start on what could be a pretty solid novel at best.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 1:47:06 AM EDT
[#22]
Originally Posted By kudzu630:
This is actually a pretty good story line that did not get bogged down in too many technical details. Someone has read Ayn Rand it seems, the "progressive" movement and the themes and actions it encompasses looks similar to the unity and humanity pursuits of Rand's books. A great modern adaptation at least and a good start on what could be a pretty solid novel at best.


Thanks.  This wasn't necessarily how I intended this book to go at first, but when you work in the Bay Area of California and live within walking distance of the U.C. Berkeley campus, progressive inspiration isn't hard to find.

The follow-up book I have planned will focus on military theory, not as much politics.

And a lot more gun battles.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 7:51:40 PM EDT
[#23]
I think I am going into withdrawals...
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 8:55:49 PM EDT
[#24]
When?
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 1:38:28 AM EDT
[#25]
As soon as I can get it out there.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 1:42:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: sharkman6] [#26]
Chapter 20:

We are no longer going to ask for the land, but we are going to take it without negotiating.
Robert Mugabe


The morning sun poked through the thick grey clouds, giving some light to the compound.  Most of the veterans were loading up the trucks again for another run.  Davis cleaned his rifle on the open tailgate of a truck as Marcus walked up.  Davis looked Marcus up and down with a cold stare.  After the trip to Canada, Davis admonished Marcus for his disregard of orders.  But if Marcus felt any shame about disobeying orders and sneaking into the convoy, he did not show it that morning.

“Are you guys going out tonight?”

Cody, also cleaning a weapon at the truck, grabbed his gear and walked away without speaking after giving Marcus a look of disdain. He obviously had no use for Marcus.

“What’s his problem?”

“You’re his problem.  You’re my problem too.  Look, you screwed up, in a big way.  The Boss gave you an order, and you blew it off.  And since I vouched for you that made me look like an idiot too.”

“Well he’s the idiot for not taking me.  You know how good I am with a rifle?”

Davis straightened up and put his finger right in Marcus’s chest. “I don’t how good you are or how good you think you are.  You were given a very specific order and you blew it off.  You snuck onto a convoy.  That isn’t the way it works.  You should know it.”

Marcus tried to respond, but Davis cut him off.

“And I don’t care if you think the Boss is an idiot.  If you’re so damn smart, why aren’t you running things?”

“I could run this operation just as good as him if somebody gave me the chance.  Better in fact.”

Davis laughed.  “You’re must be kidding.  Who the hell do you think you are?”

“I bring just as much to the table as any of you.  More even.  You shouldn’t be going on a single mission without me.”

Davis walked right up to Marcus, invading his personal space and getting inches from his face.  The effect was immediate. Marcus backed down instantly.  “You can’t be trusted.  You’re immature and you’re attitude is bullshit.  Fuck you and fuck your attitude.”

Marcus didn’t answer. He just looked at Davis with resentful eyes.  Davis couldn’t tell if any of what he said sunk in.  

“You’ve got a long way to go if you want to get back on a mission.  Better start redeeming yourself.”

XXXX
An Indian delegation stormed out of the UN today when peace talks between that country and Pakistan broke down.  The Indian delegation rejected a U.S. led peace plan, calling it, “absolutely unacceptable.” The peace plan which was authored by the U.S. Secretary of State, called for India to cede the Kashmir valley as well as make the cities of Mumbai and Porbandar Pakistani protectorates.  The plan also called for India to pay Pakistan concessions equal to 20% of India’s gross national product for the next 50 years and pay the United States 3% of their gross national product for an equal period for brokering the deal.

The U.S. Secretary of State had this to say, “India’s child like rejection of my fair and equitable peace plan is further proof that India is waging a war of genocide against the peace loving people of Pakistan. Whether or not India is winning militarily is irrelevant. Their battlefield victories are overshadowed by their reckless disregard for social justice and their destruction of the environment. If the people of India won’t cease their expansionist policies and accept this treaty, the United States may have to take a more active role in this conflict.”


James turned off the TV when the phone of his desk rang.  It was a private line, and not too many people had the number.  He answered to find his friend from Washington D.C., the one who had given him the information on Sean and the others.

“I heard you’ve caught some Sons of Liberty?”

“Yes we did,” James replied, his face glowing with excitement.  He felt happy to celebrate his successes.  “We caught them red-handed.  They had a van full of bombs parked right in front of a school of all places.  A Joint FBI-ATF task force is flying out from D.C. just for them.”

“I know,” the voice on the phone replied.  “I just walked them out to the plane.  The reason I called is there is something you can help us with while they are flying out there.”

The smile on his face grew.  James liked the idea of doing somebody another favor, and of course getting a favor of his own in return, “Certainly.  What do you need?”

The voice on the other end answered. “Look, we need to know if there is any connection between your man Sean Bastle and the Sons of Liberty.”  

James laughed.  “I doubt there is any connection between the two.  Bastle has done quite a few favors for me.  Why he sent a messenger by this morning to let us know he ran off a biker gang that has given us all sorts of trouble.  He isn’t one of those Constitutional crazies. We can buy him just like anybody else, and we have.”

“I’m not so sure about that.”

“What does that mean,” James asked.  The phone answered with uncomfortable silence. Eventually the voice spoke.

“Well, we’ve gotten some more information on this guy.”  The voice trailed off.

“What did you find out?”  There was only silence on the other end.  James prompted his friend. “Go ahead, this line is secure.”

“It may not be that secure.  I’ll fill you in when I get out there.  Look, in the meantime we need to know if there is a connection between the two, and we need to know now.  Have the PA look into this.  If they have to get creative to get the information, do it, just do it before the task force gets there.”

“What does that mean?”

“We need information they have, and we need it quick.  Do the math.”

James hung up the phone.  He didn’t believe that Sean Bastle could be connected to the Sons of Liberty.  After all, there was no angle to it; no way to benefit from it, no way to profit from it.  People, smart people, don’t take risks like that.

Still, if they needed to lean on the captured men to find out, they would.  James picked up his phone and called Malik

XXXX

Gerry Sheely looked out the window off his home.  No rain fell this evening.  The moon and stars shined brightly through a cloudless sky.

“Stay away from the windows,” Chris said.  He sat at Gerry Kitchen table.  He and a few other veterans lounged about Gerry’s house.  But most of the veterans were somewhere out there, out in the night.  As bright and clear as it was that evening, Gerry couldn’t see them.  He turned away from the window and sat down at the table.

“How long,” Gerry asked.  “How long until this all happens?”

“It’s up to them.”  Chris tapped a handheld CB radio on the table.  On the table next to it sat a map and a checklist written on an open notebook.  A loaded rifle also rested on the table, as well as Gerry’s shotgun.  

“We need to wait for them to do their thing,” Chris said. “But don’t worry. Once that happens, you’ll know.”

XXXX

Jim crouched next to his Boss. The clear sky provided plenty of light to see, but it did little to keep the heat in.  Sitting along an earthen embankment, Sean, Jim, and a small security element waited for the rest of Sean’s men to move into position.  The cold kept Jim awake and alert. The metal of his assault rifle was cold enough to sting bare flesh.  Sean poked his head up over the embankment to look at the farmhouse a few hundred meters on the other side. Lights, electric lights shone brightly out of all the windows.  As far away as they were, they could hear the hum of a generator.  Luckily the house stood alone in the valley.  Whatever happened, there wouldn’t be anybody to witness it.

Jim poked his head up as well, looking out into the dark fallow fields.  Hooker was out there somewhere with a few men and the RPK and RPD.  The thin skin of the farmhouse would be no match for those weapons.  Ivan led an element as well.  Together they were encircling the Transplants’ farmhouse.  Soon, they’d have it completely cut-off. Any ground they didn’t physically occupy they’d be able to cover with their weapons.  The relatively flat ground around the farmhouse wouldn’t give the Transplants any avenues of escape.  

Jim and Cody had already been out there awhile, watching the activities at the farmhouse, and feeding the information back to the others. It looked as if all the Transplants were there.  They lounged about outside the house despite the cold.  Some made preparations for their attack on Gerry, but none moved with any real sense of urgency.  One carried an armload of assault rifles and dumped them carelessly in the truck of a car, while others smoked cigarettes and watched.  Some were armed, some weren’t.  Some were drinking, and some were drinking heavily, perhaps to numb them to the task at hand or to give them courage.  All seemed quite certain that no one would attack them here, and thus there was no level of security.  

Knowing Jim had something to say, Sean leaned over to his driver and asked quietly. “What’s on your mind Jim?”

Jim shivered with the cold.  Then spoke.  “I’m not sure how I feel about this pre-emptive strike.”

“You don’t win wars by letting your opponent get the initiative. And I don’t see a whole lot of nobility in letting your enemy attack you just to maintain some sense of moral superiority.  If you know your enemy is going to attack you or the people you are accountable to, and you have the ability to stop it, I think you have a responsibility to do so. This isn’t like some fight on a playground, where what matters is who swung first.  We’re talking about people’s lives.”

“I guess,” Jim said. “It just feels like we’re punishing people for a crime they may commit.”

“This isn’t a law enforcement issue, this is war.  War is war, and criminal justice is criminal justice.  The two aren’t the same. And the more you try to make war a criminal justice issue, the more you invite war upon yourself.”

The radio hissed with a code word.  Ivan and Hooker had maneuvered their men into place, effectively surrounding the Transplant house.  Nobody would get in and nobody would get  out.

“What are they up to,” Sean asked into his radio.

The radio hissed with Davis’s voice.  “Loading one of their cars with weapons.  Looks like they are about to go somewhere."

Jim looked over at Sean, but didn’t speak.  Sean keyed his radio again.

XXXX

“Cleared hot.”

Davis brought up his carbine. He outfitted his rifle with a scope with an illuminated reticle.  The red dot of the scope contrasted well with the background.  The bright exterior lights of the house made it easy to spot the men outside.  Davis picked one of the few who were armed.  After placing the red dot on his target he gently squeezed the trigger.”

The gunshot took all the transplants by surprise.  One dropped to the ground.  Before the rest could react, a fury of gunfire erupted from the fields around them.  Rifle shots mixed with automatic fire from the RPK and RPD.  Bullets punched through men and vehicles.  A few tried to get back inside the house, but skilled bursts dropped them before they could make it inside.  Some took refuge behind their vehicles, only to be picked off by accurate rifle fire.  The Transplants were taking fire from multiple angles, so taking cover from one group exposed them to the others.  It didn’t take long for the men outside to be cut down.  Those who were armed never even got a shot off.  

But the fire died down only momentarily.  From a window of the house, some return fire broke out from an assault rifle.  Hooker answered it with fire from his RPK.  It splintered apart the wood of the house.  More rifle fire keyed in on Hookers bursts and then the RPD joined in.  Soon the entire fury of the veterans erupted again.  The window and everything around it shattered. The return fire coming from the house dwindled against the mass of fire against it. It only took a few seconds before all fire from the house stopped.  Only after a liberal application of firepower did someone give the signal to cease fire.

Hooker lowered the barrel of his weapon as Ivan led an assault group into the house.  From inside came the distinct cracks of Ivan’s Heckler and Koch assault rifle, but no other sounds.

XXXX

“Objective secure.”

“Roger.  We’re enroute to your position.” Sean said into his radio.  He turned to his small headquarters group.  “Let’s go.”

Wreckage from the short gun battle littered the inside of the house.  A few bodies lay strewn about the rooms and hallways, some killed by the initial bursts of fire, others killed during Ivan’s assault.  Not all the dead were men.  In one of the rooms, three young girls lay in heap.  One of the girls looked to be about 20 years old.  The others looked to be much younger.

“Survivors,” Sean asked.

Ivan shook his head no.  Jim felt relieved.  He knew they didn’t have the capacity to take prisoners.   Using the barrel of his rifle, Ivan pointed to the dead girls. “They’re dead now,”
Jim said, “We might have just killed some innocent girls.”

“If they were innocent, they shouldn’t have been here.  If they were non-combatants, then these Transplants shouldn’t have had them in a house they were using as a staging area to launch an attack on our friend and ally.”

“I didn’t bring them into the fight, they did.  They were using this house as a base of operations to go out and kill one of our friends.  If these girls weren’t combatants, they shouldn’t have been here.”

“Still…”

“Still nothing," Sean replied.  His voice held no malice.  He spoke with the calmness of a man who knew everything he said was true.  “My point is they shouldn’t have been here in the first place.  I won’t target civilians.  I’ll do what I can to avoid hurting true non-combatants and do everything I can to protect and comfort them.  But if my enemy hides amongst civilians, or brings in civilians to hide behind, I won’t abstain from seeking him out and destroying him.”  

Jim looked from his Boss to the dead girls and back again.  He didn’t really like what Sean said, but he understood and accepted it.  

“The best way to avoid civilian suffering is to end the conflict as quickly as possible.  You can’t do that by pussyfooting around.  Sometimes getting real brutal pays off in less suffering in the long run.”
Done Sean turned to Ivan.  Done discussing theory, he went back to issuing orders. “Grab whatever we need out of here, then burn it.  Burn the house, burn the vehicles, burn everything.”

“What about the seized equipment they got from the Grass Roots?”

“Everything.  Destroy everything.”

XXXX

Malik walked into James’ office and collapsed into a chair.  He felt weary from the day’s work.  He had not slept or even been home since the phone call asking him to get the information out of the prisoners.  After solving that problem, word came to him from the Grass Roots about the Transplants.  It had been one crisis after another.  Now he looked across the desk at James.
“The Transplants are gone. Last night they were attacked and their houses were burned to the ground.  Bullet shells everywhere.  Their bodies were inside the house, burned too. The Sheriff is out there now.  None of the farmers are talking, but the Sheriff thinks Bastle is involved.”

James Pritchard rolled his eyes.  “Bastle is with us.  Maybe not a true believer, but he’s done what we asked without asking for much in return. He’s smart enough to know which side of Progress is going to pay off. Hell, he just got the bikers out of here.”

“He says he got the bikers out of here. I don’t know if I believe that,” Malik said.  “Whether he did it or not, those Transplants are gone.  The Grass Roots aren’t going to be happy about that.”

“I’m not worried about the Grass Roots,” James said.  “Their original purpose was to get Progressive candidates elected into office.  Now that that is done, their political capital is gone.  It was their hair-brained scheme to use transplants to run off the farmers.  In the end we won’t need to run them off since we’re just going to have the PA seize their land and throw the farmers in jail.

“It is all part of the plan Malik.  The Economic Adjustment, Progress, Equality, and Stability Act, to be specific.  The President is going to sign it into law by the New Year.  Once that happens, we’ll be able to seize whatever private holdings we want for the good of the society.  In this county, we’ll start with the farmland.”

“If we were going to seize all this land pretty anyway why did we need to drive anybody off or kill anybody?”  

“Left hand wasn’t talking to the right hand I guess,” James said.  “Who knows? The idea of using the Transplants to run off the farmers was always a stretch. I think the Grass Roots put this together because they thought they’d get a cut of the land if they drove those hayseeds off. It might have had a chance if the Grass Roots could have gotten people out there into the farmlands quicker. But they moved too slowly.  Grass Roots just couldn’t get the people out of the camps fast enough to make a difference. As it is, it doesn’t matter.  The PA will just march in there and take it.”

Malik shook his head. He’d never been impressed with the Grass Roots.  He couldn’t say the PA impressed him either. For a Paramilitary group, there wasn’t much military about them beyond the uniforms and guns.   He asked, “I can see us seizing the land, but why do we need to arrest the farmers?”

“The government feels just taking the land is just too soft politically.  Maybe a year ago we could have done that, but not now.  Most of our supporters have spent a year or more in the Transient Centers, being told that the reason they were there is because of people like these farmers.  These farmers represent the uncompassionate, the greedy, and the profit driven people responsible for all of society’s ills; from healthcare to the environment to economic disparity.  We need to release the dogs on them and hold them accountable for their crimes. If we don’t, we’ll have problems of our own. If you drive the people into a frenzy, you need to provide them an outlet for their anger.

“One of the key elements to the Progress movement is the pursuit of Social Justice.  That means that Progress is founded on the premise that people are acting unjustly, and thus need to be brought to justice.  We target one group of people for having money of jobs or food or some other asset while others don’t.  How they got those assets is irrelevant, but what is relevant is they have more than their fair share.  Once you have that established, you convince the group without that their condition isn’t their fault.  You tell them it is because the system is stacked against them.  You tell them it is because others are too greedy and not giving up their fair share. You tell them they aren’t responsible for their condition. You tell them an unfair system and uncaring citizens are the root of all of the world’s problems.  Then you promise them that Progress will smash the system and make it more fair, and that Progress will bring the greedy to justice.  You tell them Progress will make everything fair.

“No, once this all goes down those farmers will be rounded up and jailed for their crimes.  Their assets will be seized by us and administered by us in a way that benefits society, and us.”

“So what happens when we lock up people like these farmers and things don’t get better for the little guy?”

“It’s easy to find another group to target.  Besides, there will always people who aren’t satisphied with having just the minimum.  There will always be people driven to acquire more, more for their families, more for their children, more for themselves. When we identify people who have more than what we arbitrarily define as their fair share, we make them a target.  We demonize them, take whatever we want from them in the name of fairness, and use the law to punish them.

“It is pretty brilliant really.  Every revolution like this needs people to target.  The Russian revolution had the Romanovs. The French had the aristocracy and the guillotine. Hell, Pol Pot had people with glasses.  For Progress, it is those who enjoy success.”

Malik shook his head.  “I don’t know about this seizing of land.  We’ve been doing pretty well with the creeping incrementalism. Personally, I think we need to stick with that.  It is safe and it works.  If the plan is to kill somebody by a thousand paper cuts, we shouldn’t come running at them with an axe.  They might pull out a gun and shoot us.”  

“Well, we need to seize more assets to keep the government running, and there isn’t much else left to seize.” James said.  Then he laughed.

“I don’t think you need to worry about that. The plan is to avoid any large scale violence through our overwhelming media campaign. Just turn on the TV and look at the news.  The only people against us are the Sons of Liberty, a band of rubes who blow up schools.  Who wants to be associated with them?  No, by controlling the flow of information and controlling the message, we’ll make certain that everybody is either a believer, or feels powerless to stop it.

“No Malik, with our plan there will be very few people willing to stand up to us, and those that do won’t be smart enough to cause much trouble. This will truly be a velvet revolution.”
“But what if it isn’t?”

“But it will be Malik. We’ve planned it out.  The information campaign we’re waging will overwhelm any chance of significant resistance.  All we have to do is sit back and reap the benefits.”

Unconvinced, Malik didn’t feel like arguing with his boss.  “The other reason I’m here is because we got those Sons of Liberty to talk.  It wasn’t pretty, but they talked.”

“What did they say?”

“They said when Bastle was up in Canada getting your fuel the Sons of Liberty offered him a command.”  Malik paused to see what kind of reaction he could get out of Pritchard before he continued.  “They offered him a command, but he refused it.  He turned them down.” James smiled.  Malik continued.

“Apparently the honchos in the Sons of Liberty weren’t too happy with that.  It sounds like he’s on the outs with that particular organization.”  

James smiled.  “I told you so.”
Link Posted: 11/7/2009 12:42:59 PM EDT
[#27]
Another well done chapter!
Link Posted: 11/11/2009 9:20:17 AM EDT
[#28]
excellant, keep it coming...........
Link Posted: 11/13/2009 6:04:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: glklvr] [#29]
Why do I have this feeling Marcus is going to be a disgruntled turncoat?

eta: Its freaky reading this story and then going to a news website.
Link Posted: 11/13/2009 8:36:40 AM EDT
[#30]
Don't ya just hate it when a turncoat loses his gruntle?

.............Mounger
Link Posted: 11/13/2009 9:49:00 AM EDT
[#31]
more please :-)
Link Posted: 11/17/2009 1:21:06 AM EDT
[#32]
––––Chapter 21:  Thanksgiving––––


Early this morning, joint units made up of Federal Law Enforcement Agents and led by members of the PA took the families of the members of the Supreme Court into federal protective custody after a captured Sons of Liberty cell in Washington State confessed to a plot to kill the families of prominent politicians.  The operation continued into the afternoon as the families of selected members of Congress were also taken into protective custody.   The FBI would not release specifics on the plot, but did say that the Sons of Liberty presented a major threat to the families of America’s most prominent politicians and protective measures must be taken.  The families taken into custody will be held in an undisclosed located under the protection of the PA.

At the President’s request, rallies all across the nation are scheduled for Thanksgiving day so Americans to show their opposition to the Sons of Liberty and other groups who seek to stall and undermine the progress movement and the President’s call to action.  A White House spokesman this morning strongly recommended that all Americans attend these rallies and show their patriotism and loyalty.  

In other news today, the White House announced the appointment of Michael Fallbrook as the nation’s first Capital Security Czar.  A former U.S. Army Corporal, Michael Fallbrook came to prominence when he founded the action group, “America as Equals,” which posted the photographs and private information of US Intelligence officials and their families on the internet in order to level the playing field for the world’s intelligence services.

As Capital Security Czar, Michael Fallbrook will have oversight and the ability to assume tactical control of all military, DHS and law enforcement units within 200 miles of our nation’s capital.


JD proudly displayed his latest handy work in the driveway of his house.  A thick steel pedestal stood in the driveway on a rectangular metal base.  On the tip of the pedestal, a collar spun smoothly, the ball bearings inside making a whizzing sound with the movement.

“How long to finish the rest,” Sean asked.

“Not long, a couple days.  I’ve got most of the stock already cut.  At this point it is mostly just a matter of assembly.”

Chris, Jim and Hooker also stood in the driveway.  Hooker looked the pedestal up and down approvingly.  “These will work.”

“How soon can we start packing up the shop?”  This time Chris asked the question.  

“I can have everything we really need packed up in a few hours,” the mechanic said.  “I’ve got most of the need to have stuff already set aside.”

The conversation stopped as Judy drove up to the house in an SUV.  She parked it and hopped out, her face full of concern.

“Quite a few people got shot out in the valley not too long ago,” Judy said to the group.  “It was the transplants.  All of them. The Sheriff and a few of his men were over at our place this morning, asking questions.  Mostly questions about you Sean.”

Sean and Chris looked at each other.

“The Sheriff is going to come by today looking for you.  Something to do with those transplants getting killed in the valley.  He seems to think it was you that shot those people and burned down their house.”

Neither Sean nor any of the others spoke.  They weren’t going to admit what they’d done, but they wouldn’t insult Judy by denying it either.

“There is more.  I don’t think the Sheriff is the only one looking for you.  We found two guys hiding in an abandoned building just outside our compound.  This was the same night as those transplants… died.  They were armed.  They were waiting in ambush.”

“What makes you say that?”

Judy opened the door of the SUV and pulled out a short dark green tube.   Jim couldn’t tell what is was, but the veterans knew right away what Judy had.

“Shit, it’s a damn rocket launcher.”

“RPG 18’s,” Chris asked.

“Nope,” Sean said.  “These are the real deal.  LAAW rockets.  The newer models too.”  He tapped the top of the tube.  “They’ve even got the accessory rails on them.”
 
“Where does somebody even get one of those,”  Jim asked

“From the government,” Chris said.  “From our government.”

“I’ve got another one,” Judy said as she pulled out a second launcher.  The disposable launchers LAAW rockets are in are collapsible, and normally kept collapsed until it is time to fire them.  This second one was not only was it open, but the safety apparatus were removed.  A safety pin on a retention cord swung against the launcher, clicking as it hit the tube.  The veterans’ eyes got wide.

“I’ll take that,” Hooker said, quickly but carefully taking the open launcher out of Judy’s hands and then making it safe.

“All yours,” Judy said.  “Better you guys have them then we blow ourselves up.”

“Tien has enemies too,” Sean said.  “What makes you think they were after us?”

“They also had this.”  Judy pulled out a piece of paper from her jacket and handed it to Sean.  The sheet of paper had picture on it.  Sean took a look at it then passed the picture to Chris.  Chris looked it over and handed it to Jim.  The picture was of Sean’s truck.  Jim looked it over.  The truck was parked along a curb.  Painted on the curb were a set of house numbers.  The house numbers were Jim’s.

“This was taken inside the compound,” Jim said, astonished.

Chris leaned over to Sean and whispered in his ear, and not just a few words.  The one way conversation went on for some time, long enough to make the others a little uncomfortable.  When Chris was done, Sean nodded once, as a sign of agreement.  Nobody, not even Jim who stood close by, heard what was said.

“Where are these guys now,” Jim asked.

“Dead,” Judy said.  “They were assassins.  We didn’t handle them with kid gloves.”

She continued.  “Tien wasn’t happy to have the Sheriff come by this morning, especially not after we took care of those two with the hardware.  He thought the Sheriff was coming after him, again.  He’s lost what little faith he had in the government around here.  They’ll probably shut down the operation here and take it up north soon.

“Which reminds me, Hoang and Tien want to know when you want to start moving your stuff?”

Sean turned to the east.  Through a break in the evergreen trees you could see the snow capped Cascade Mountains rising up.

“Well, the big rally is tomorrow night,” he said.  “I imagine many of the progressive elements of the country will be preoccupied with that.  How about we make the first run tomorrow night?”

“Consider it done,” Judy said.
 
XXXX

In the Maysville Police station, Malik explained the situation to Chief Kim and Commander Tobin with what he felt was childlike simplicity.  “It is simple,” Malik said.  “You know who the Sons of Liberty are, now go out there and arrest their families.”

“Arrest them for what,” The Chief asked.  “They didn’t commit any crimes.  I can’t arrest them without a reason.”   Commander Tobin seemed to grasp the situation, but the Police Chief still struggled with the concept, but not necessarily on moral or ethical grounds. She just didn’t get it, and her inability to grasp the situations wore on Malik, who rolled his eyes at her question.

“Arrest them for being the families of the Sons of Liberty.  Christ, what are we talking about?  Find a reason damn it.  Now that we’ve caught this group, we need to keep the pressure on them to see how far into their network we can get.  The FBI got them talking, but we need to keep them talking.  We need some leverage on them.  I’m sure you can at least understand the urgency of capturing more members of the Sons of Liberty.  So go out there and arrest their families, and do it today.  We’re going to need the ones we’ve already arrested for the rally tomorrow, so this needs to be done today.”

She stared back blankly.  “It seems wrong  to arrest people for no reason.”  She said this more to herself than anybody in the room.  “We can’t just go around arresting people for no reason.”

Malik wanted to flip the desk over and throw it out a window.  What did she think was going on all around her?  He took a deep breath.  He tried again to explain things to her.

“You don’t have to worry about any ethical issues Chief.  You see, arresting families of Sons of Liberty is okay because they are an enemy without honor.  If they had honor, they would be progressive, but they seek to destroy progress, therefore they have no honor and thus it is okay to arrest their families in order to gain leverage against them.”

The Chief stared back at Malik with blank eyes.  He could tell she wasn’t getting what he was asking her, and he wanted to punch her right in the face.  Her excellent law enforcement skills weren’t what got her into office.  She was an empty uniform, appointed for political reasons.  Malik tried a different approach.

“Either arrest those families of your prisoners or we’ll force you to resign and find a new Chief of police, got it?”

That she did understand.  She promptly stood up and left the office to execute her orders.  Commander Tobin followed behind.

One thing about these people, Malik thought.  They don’t always understand logic, not even the circular logic of the ideology, but they always understand the concept of self-preservation.

XXXX
Link Posted: 11/17/2009 2:40:04 AM EDT
[#33]
good but to short................
Link Posted: 11/17/2009 9:50:10 PM EDT
[#34]
Chapter 21 continued:

“Staying or going?”  Jim held up a thick book in each hand.  

Sean considered them.   “They both go,” he said.

Sitting amongst the boxes of books were some 55 gallon steel drums.  The drums were filled with weapons and ammo, mostly the weapons they’d captured over the last few months.  Hooker sealed the drums while the others packed the books. Amidst the packing, Chris entered the room.  He carried a carbine and wore a pistol in a leather military shoulder holster.
“Sheriff is at the front gate Boss. He wants to talk to you.”

Sean let out a deep sigh.  He hoped this moment wouldn’t come, but knew it would. Jim could tell the constant stressors were wearing on his Boss.  Sean took a pistol and tucked it into the small of his back.  He then reached into his pocket and drew out a small revolver.  He checked it, and then snapped the cylinder shut and put it back into his pocket.  The others also grabbed weapons and followed Sean outside.

Outside the gate to the compound, the Sheriff stood flanked by several of his deputies.  A palpable tension could be felt on either side of the steel gate, as everybody waited to see what would happen.  The Sheriff looked disheveled, like a pile of dirty laundry.  His uniform hung sloppily off his thinning body.  He hadn’t shaved, and his shoulders slouched as if he’d been beaten.  The deputies around him looked confused.  Even on the opposite side of the gate, Sean caught the smell of stale bourbon.  Perhaps the Sheriff hadn’t been drinking today, but he had been drinking.  The dark stains on his uniform proved that.  

“Will you let me in,” Sheriff Maltby asked his old friend.

“Should I Sheriff,” Sean replied.  

The Sheriff’s eyes narrowed.  “Those transplants in the valley all got shot to pieces.  Somebody burned their house down to try and hide the crime, but it is still pretty obvious that it was a military style attack; A night attack, Automatic weapons.  Like I said, a military style attack.  There aren’t that many people around here capable of that.”

“So what are you saying?”

“It looked like your work.”

“You’d be the one to know Sheriff,” Sean said. That statement made the Sheriff tense up.  He glared at his old friend from across the gate.

“You know anything about what happened to the transplants?”

“I know that if you put a stop to this earlier, maybe a lot of people in that valley wouldn’t have gotten killed.”

The Sheriff kicked at the ground, turned to his deputies, then turned back to Sean.

“I want inside your compound.  I want to see exactly what it is you have in there.”

“No,” Sean said.

“What?”

“You’re not getting in here, you’re not searching anything.”

The Sheriff turned back to his deputies again. He tapped at the steel gate with his fist.

“I’ll be back with a warrant.  I’ll be back with a warrant and more men and I’ll come in there and if I find any illegal weapons not only will I confiscate them, but I will arrest people.  I will arrest you if I have to.”

The deputies looked around uneasily.  Law or no law, they knew what their chances were if the shooting started.  Hidden amongst the suburban sprawl of the compound, Davis and Cody held their scoped rifles on some of the deputies.  Just out of sight of the gate, Hooker cradled one of the machineguns and a belt of ammo in his arms.  Even Sean’s wife, standing a few paces back from her husband, wrapped her hand around the pistol in the pocket of her coat.  

“Now you listen to me Sheriff, you come in here and try and take our weapons or our food, or anything else, and it will be a war.  A war between you and me, and you know what I am capable of.  You and I were friends, but if I have to, I will destroy you and the whole Sheriff’s department if that’s what I have to do to protect my people.”  

“You can’t break the law.”

“Your law does nothing to protect me, just like it did nothing to protect Gerry’s people.”

“People can’t just take the law into their own hands. Not even you.”

“When the instruments of law enforcement can’t protect people, people will protect themselves.    That is a fact.”  

The Sheriff only stared back with eyes that were hateful, but tired.

“I’ll be coming back here to have a look inside,” Sheriff Maltby finally said.

“I’ll be ready,” Sean said.

After the Sheriff and his deputies drove away, Sean left the gate and headed back to his house.  On his way back, one of the on lookers spoke out.  “Looks like the Sheriff been hitting the bottle a little hard.”

Sean turned, his anger flashing. “Shut your fucking mouth,” he yelled.  Nobody spoke, not wanting to invoke anymore of the Boss’s anger.

Sean headed back to his home.  Once inside, he produced a bottle, collapsed into a chair and took a drink.  As the liquor warmed him, he considered his words.  If he had to, he would kill the Sheriff.  He hoped it wouldn’t come to that, but it wasn’t realistic to think if things descended into chaos he wouldn’t find himself at odds with law enforcement, the Sheriff in particular.

A knock on the door of the study brought Sean back to reality.  He looked up to see Chris, who walked into the room, grabbed the bottle and took a long pull.

“I guess you’re feeling what they call the burden of command,” Chris said, passing the bottle back to Sean.

“I was hoping the Sheriff and I could maintain some type of understanding.  I fear that isn’t the case.  If he just stayed out of the way, that would be one thing.  For him to work against us is quite another, even if his motives are pure.”  

Chris nodded.  “If it makes you feel any better, you ain’t in this game alone.”

“Thanks Chris.”

The pilot smiled.  “I’ve got more good news for you, Boss.”

“What is it,” Sean asked.

“Ski needs to see you tomorrow.  He’s invited us to, ‘Thanksgiving coffee.’”

“’Thanksgiving coffee?’ What does that mean?”

Chris smiled.  “I don’t know, I suppose we’ll find out tomorrow.”

XXXX
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 2:57:08 AM EDT
[#35]
Mmmmmm Hmm . . .
who was behind the idiots with the rocket launchers?
Is that progressive union guy still around? I cant remember.

Man I love this story, but the updates are so slow, I may have to re-read it from the beginning.

Sharkman,
Please wrap this up before the real world problems catch up to your fiction
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 3:32:41 PM EDT
[#36]
Originally Posted By BroncoMafia:
Mmmmmm Hmm . . .
who was behind the idiots with the rocket launchers?
Is that progressive union guy still around? I cant remember.

Man I love this story, but the updates are so slow, I may have to re-read it from the beginning.

Sharkman,
Please wrap this up before the real world problems catch up to your fiction


I have to agree with everything said here.

I think I'm going to have to re-read this to catch back up. And the real-world problems seem to be catching up.
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 6:01:27 PM EDT
[#37]
Chapter 21: Concluded.

XXXX
For Thanksgiving, there wasn’t much of a celebration among the veterans.  That morning, they visited the Marines and Major Ski managed to slip Sean several documents without being noticed by the PA commissars overlooking his operation.  The first was a detailed assessment of the PA and their capabilities.  The second was a list of the names of everybody who had been arrested recently in connection with the Sons of Liberty network.  

That evening, Sean and the others watched a televised broadcast of the Pro-Progress rally being held in Seattle.  Cameras swept over a sea of supporters.  Some waved signs condemning India’s war of, “Islamic Oppression,” and “Neo-Colonialism.”  Others waved signs demanding greater protection of the environment, or an end to capitalism.  Some even waved signs that called for an end to specific human emotions, like, “Outlaw Greed,” or “Punish Hate.”  Whatever their individual causes, all were linked by their common belief that Progress, and the increased centralized government power that came with it, would make not only their lives, but the entire world better.

The angry sea parted for a convoy stake-bed trucks.   Standing shackled in the back were the captured Sons of Liberty, their families, and whoever else had been arrested by the PA in the last few days.  Jim watched the crowd cheer wildly as the prisoners were paraded onto a podium to be displayed as trophies.

“We’re going to let them know,” a moderator shouted.  “We’re going to let the greedy and the hateful know that we have a mandate to fix our nation and our planet! We’re going to let them know that the train of Progress will not stop, and they can either get on board or get run over!”

Jim, Sean and all the others knew by looking at the truck loads of captives, that it was only a matter of time before somebody established a connection between the Sons of Liberty.  Sean understood that risk when he first supported the Sons of Liberty, but now that risk loomed ahead like a raging sea that they would either have to best, or else be consumed by it.
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 6:03:18 PM EDT
[#38]
Originally Posted By BroncoMafia:
Mmmmmm Hmm . . .
who was behind the idiots with the rocket launchers?
Is that progressive union guy still around? I cant remember.

Man I love this story, but the updates are so slow, I may have to re-read it from the beginning.

Sharkman,
Please wrap this up before the real world problems catch up to your fiction


I'll try and type faster.
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 9:05:56 PM EDT
[#39]
Sharkman,
Thank you for taking the time to write this.  I check daily for updates and am really enjoying the story.
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 11:13:30 PM EDT
[#40]
I know your busy and have a life.  I really enjoy your writing and thank you for the update.

............Mounger
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 11:41:37 PM EDT
[#41]
What he said!!
Very good !
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 11:43:44 PM EDT
[#42]
Originally Posted By sharkman6:
I'll try and type faster.


I love the story sharkman6, and appreciate every word of it. Please don't take offense at my comment.
It is amazing what you are doing and I eagerly await the next chapter
Link Posted: 11/18/2009 11:52:16 PM EDT
[#43]
Originally Posted By BroncoMafia:
Originally Posted By sharkman6:
I'll try and type faster.


I love the story sharkman6, and appreciate every word of it. Please don't take offense at my comment.
It is amazing what you are doing and I eagerly await the next chapter


No offense taken.  
I'll keep writing if you all keep reading.
Link Posted: 11/19/2009 8:10:51 AM EDT
[#44]
Standing by for MOAR !!!!!
Link Posted: 11/19/2009 11:32:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: sharkman6] [#45]
––––Chapter 22––––

Today the State of California announced that they will require a travel pass for all vehicles entering or leaving the state.  The cost of the travel pass will be based on the value of the vehicle and its potential environmental impact.  At a press conference, the Governor of California said this will promote California’s economy be demonstrating the state’s commitment to the environment and the ‘green economy.’  Several of California’s major cities are expected to make similar requirements for vehicles entering and leaving city limits.

In national news, the Secretary of Education testified before congress about a proposal to levy a new tax against parents who do not send their children to public school.  This tax would be equivalent to 10% of the combined parents’ income and used fund summer programs for inner city schools. The Secretary of Education had this to say.

“Private schools and home-based education ain’t structured to give provide children the Progressive teachings needed to support a just society. We need to penalize those parents who aren’t contributing to making our country more gooder.”


The week after Thanksgiving, Steven Grant, the political powerbroker who put James Pritchard into office, arrived at the Progress headquarters in Maysville.  He walked from his motorcade, past the Progressive propaganda, past the growing numbers of PA goons who lounged around the area, past the increasing layers of security and defense, and past Stumpy who was still able to bypass those layers.  Steven Grant went to James office to discuss the direction the Progress movement would take in the next few weeks.  When he finished with that subject, he moved on to the subject of Sean Bastle.

“A very real connection has been established between Sean Bastle and the Sons of Liberty.”  Steven went on to discuss Sean’s relationship with the Sons of Liberty; that he’d given them both money and weapons, and that he’d been involved with them for quite some time.

When he heard this, James didn’t feel shock at the betrayal.  As a career politician, James understood how fickle loyalty could be.  What James did feel was fear.  He felt afraid that his association with Sean Bastle might hurt his career.  It couldn’t be a good thing that he’d been associating with a supporter of terrorism. He attempted to defend his relationship.

“He’s changed."

      "Unlikely,"  Steven said.  "I know he's worked with you in the past on several projects, but I don't think his motives were genuine.  He represents a threat to our policies."

James protested, unwilling to concede his mistake. “Even if he hasn’t changed, I can change him.”

“How?”

“The same way we turn anybody, by offering them something.”

“James, I don’t think you have anything he wants.  If you do offer him something, he’ll just take it to make you think you’ve bought him, and then stick with his agenda, whatever that is.”

“If he’s against us as a matter of principal, then let me talk to him.  I can bring him around to our way of thinking.”

Steven Grant was all too familiar with that argument. So often he’d heard passionate politicians who thought they could change things or people simply by their charisma or their command presence.   That somehow their charm and personality would overcome the hard reality of facts and logic.  It was a belief that no matter how common and inspiring, never seemed to work out.  

“I don’t think you can talk him into aligning with the goals of Progress James.  He took an oath to support and defend the Constitution, and what we do isn't always in concert with that particular document.”

“We all take oaths to support and defend the Constitution.”

“Yes, but when people like him do it, I think they mean it.

“No,” Steven said leaning back in his chair, “I think it would be best if Sean Bastle disappeared.  It is the best thing really.  Perhaps you have changed him to our way of thinking, but there is a link to him and the Sons of Liberty.  On top of that, you have this deal with those transplants getting shot up. The political liabilities for you are just too great to justify keeping him around.  It would be best if he just went away quickly and quietly and for good.”

James looked up to the ceiling, as if the answer to his problem lurked there. Finally he nodded agreement.  

“Glad you see it my way,” Steven said.  Now, don’t do it yourself.  Hugh Bowden wants him dead.  In fact, he’s tried several times to kill this guy.  He hired those bikers to blow him up, he even sent a couple of ex-cons in to their compound to try and kill this guys and his wife.  He’ll be enthusiastic, so go through Malik and give the job to him.  See to it he gets whatever he needs to get the job done this time, but have him use some outsiders.  None of his union goons.   You’ll want plenty of layers of insulation between this act and you.”

"We could use the PA."

“No, I want you to use Bowden, and for two reasons.  If he succeeds and kills Bastle, you’ll want as many layers of insulation between you and Sean as possible.”

James rubbed his temples to ease the stress. “What’s the other reason?”

“If he fails and doesn’t kill him, you’ll want as many layers between you and Sean as possible.”

XXXX
Link Posted: 11/20/2009 12:01:44 AM EDT
[#46]
YES!
Link Posted: 11/20/2009 3:02:04 AM EDT
[#47]
Just a note to let you know I really enjoy your writing.  Thanks for taking the time.
Link Posted: 11/20/2009 1:37:49 PM EDT
[#48]
Schweeeet... Thanks for the update(s). I look forward t this story every time I check this part of the Site.

Thanks...
Link Posted: 11/24/2009 1:07:16 AM EDT
[Last Edit: sharkman6] [#49]
Chapter 22: End.

When governments lose their ability to provide services to their citizens, they quickly lose their legitimacy.  This is especially true when it comes to security.  It is immaterial whether this is for reasons of incompetence or corruption.   People do not sit idly by when their safety and the safety of their families is endangered.  Instead, people look for something to fill that void.  In some cases the people get organized and fill it themselves.   In other cases, third parties step in to exploit the gap. Often, that third party is organized crime.  This was the case that Sheriff Maltby found his county in not long after the seizure.  The economic collapse made the local government powerless to fulfill its obligations to its citizens, and the Progressive elements had not yet stepped in.  The situations was not anarchy, but instead the type of lawlessness seen in most countries unable to adequately govern themselves.  Into this situation came the DGV, a Central American gang that had branched out across the country.  Like many international gangs, they were motivated and brutal.  They recognized how crippled Sheriff Maltby’s county was, and they moved in to exploit the opportunity.

The DGV moved quickly.  They infiltrated government offices through bribes and intimidation.  Citizens were robbed, extorted, and sometimes killed.  Several of the Sheriff’s deputies were killed.  Many more received death threats or had their families threatened.  The Sheriff made attempts to stop the gang, even managing to arrest a few members.  But the Sheriff’s ability to the counter the gang was severely limited by not just the normal constraints of the law, but also by the DGV’s ability to influence his deputies, the courts and the offices of the local government.  Although they didn’t have much more than a dozen members, the DGV was able to rapidly expand its power base to the point they threatened much of the county.  Ordinary citizens reached their breaking point.

Sean Bastle entered into the midst of all this.  At this point he’d begun to amass a power base of his own, and people were slowly recognizing that he could provide services that the government could not.  Sean told the Sheriff he could rid the county of this gang problem, all the Sheriff had to do was sit on the sidelines and not interfere.  The Sheriff felt desperate, and agreed to give Bastle the latitude he needed.

The local DGV established a headquarters in a small dive bar. One afternoon while they were holding their court, Sean entered their bar with a shotgun in his hand and a veteran on either side.  Inside, the gang members all sat at one large table in a corner.  The criminals were street smart. When they saw Sean enter the bar, their leader tried to disarm him, not physically, but with words and smiles.  Sean expected that.  The leader barely got a sentence out before Sean raised his weapon and without a word, opened fire. He emptied the shotgun, then dropped it, pulled his pistol, and emptied that as well. The veterans with him did the same.  When they were done and the bodies sat piled on the floor, Sean and his men burned the bar to the ground.  
It didn’t stop there. They had the Sheriff arrange for those DGV members in jail to be released.  As soon as they hit the streets, Sean and his men snatched them up and killed them as well.  Associates of the gang were either killed, or driven outside the county and left there, but only after they’d been explained the mortal consequences of returning.  Wayward officials received midnight visits from Sean and his men.  Sean and his men exposed and destroyed any hint of DGV influence in the area.  No target was off limits.  

The violence didn’t cycle.  Instead it peaked and died.  Sean’s brutality and ruthless efficiency put a stop to any DGV aspirations here.  The gang knew they could get in a war with Sean and his men and maybe even win, but the price for victory would be too great and much softer targets existed.  So while they still wanted revenge, the DGV went away.

The people of the county regained a sense of safety.  The Sheriff, though conflicted about his choice, had prevented a catastrophe.  Public officials appreciated Sean’s ability to get things done, and feared that his brutality could be directed against them.  The real winner in it all had been Sean Bastle.  He’d been able to demonstrate the most important thing in such a world; I am the one who holds the power.

Hugh Bowden discuss all this with another group of DGWs in a bar outside the county. The leader of this chapter sat across from Hugh, taking it all in.  Tattoos covered his body.  They covered his neck and face.  Devil horns were tattooed on his forehead.  A barbed devil’s tail snaked out from the collar of the man’s shirt, up his neck, and ended on his cheek.  The others behind him had similar tattoos across their exposed skin.  Some of their tattoos indicated past crimes.  Other tattoos signified time in prison, or their status in the gang.  But all the tattoos publicly demonstrated their commitment to the gang.

The DGV already had the motivation to kill Sean Bastle, so Hugh Bowden provided them with some additional incentives and tools to make the job easier.  Hugh could supply them with information about the target. As a leader of the progressive union, Hugh Bowden held sway over workers who built, transported and stored military weapons. When the conversation ended, money and weapons were exchanged between the union man and the members of DGV.  A deal had been made.  The gangsters would get their revenge, and Hugh Bowden would get the satisfaction of killing Bastle.
Link Posted: 11/24/2009 1:11:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: RandyBuck] [#50]
WTF.  Did I miss something?  It went from chapter 22-24?  I am very confused

ETA:  This must be some sick joke.  This story must last 50 chapters, at minimum (check the COC).  It's too good to end already.
Page / 10
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