ESCAPE

ESCAPE

A continuation of The Future of Warfare

 

 

J. Croft

http://freedomguide.blogspot.com

https://freedomguide.wordpress.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/freedomguide

ABANDONED FARM

ANDOVER, OHIO

March 18, 2014

 

Kayla Miller is in bed, convalescing from the recent battle, her war injuries; a tray that had food was virtually cleaned off, hardly needing washed.  She was watching a movie on the TV courtesy of the VHS-an old one called The Survivors.  By her bedside was her Mosin-Nagant ; she cradles the suppressor-equipped M-14 she got off the cop she bagged during the closing seconds of the Battle of Pymatunig Lake… her new best friend.

A knock on the door.  Kayla cooly points her new rifle… “who that?”

Chris Bernard walks in, all 140 lb 5’7 gangly teen.  Maybe before the war you could call him a gamer or a geek but him wearing full German camo, a pistol belt with a Browning Hi-power and his eyes… he’s seen combat, definitely.  He was scrawny, but he didn’t look weak…

“Sup Chris.”

“Hey.  How’s the shoulder?”

“It’ll get better.  Range was too far for the 5.56 to do it’s hyperlethality bullshit or I’d be out an arm.  I be out bustin’ on fools soon enough but until then I guess I’ll be giving lessons.  Which is cool because the more people we got out there with rifles that know what the fuck they doing, the sooner this war’s gonna end… if I HAD to though, I could go prone or support my new boyfriend on my pack-but hopefully they give me some time to recup, y’know.”

“Sorry about your dad.”

“So am I.  Believe that.  Got back at the muthafuckas though.”

“Yeah we did!”

“Good service though.  It fucking worked!”

“Fuck yeah it did!

“Just need to get the next one to be able to hit ground targets.  Could’ve definitely used some of that the other day.”

DOCKYARDS

BAYONNE, NEW JERSEY

 

In the largest port in the world, dozens of commercial Roll on-Roll off fast merchantmen are being opened up and unloaded…

The entire U.S. European Command plus British, French,  German and Belgian armored divisions are being offloaded, combat ready.  The Main Battle Tanks; M-1 Abrams, Challengers, Leopard IIs, infantry fighting vehicles are driven onto trains and flatbed trailers and secured.

Those trailers roll out in convoys under heavy guard and air escort from Apache gunships, Reaper drones and fighters from both the U.S. Air Force and various NATO services.  They head westward, toward Ohio.

ABANDONED HOUSE

ANDOVER, OHIO

 

Kayla and Chris watch The Survivors…

“That’s going to require a lot more programming and perhaps better sensor technology than repurposed surveillance cameras-like IR or synthetic aperture radar.  Or maybe I can modify some pattern recognition technology but then we’d need the same IFF aircraft use but then there’s introducing a transceiver into the design and any radio link will open a way to hack it.  As it is we’ve pushed the available technology pretty far-you got to remember we can only use whatever’s available and the Beowulf requires certain chips, certain components.  Thank God the rest of the Minuteman can be put together in about any machine shop and hanger, the fuel’s common enough and we can throw about any machine gun into the thing… and what the fuck are you watching?”  Chris catches his breath.

“The Survivors.  Robin Williams is some yuppie turned survivor, some country singer is some killer trying to whack him and some other old dude’s trying to stop him or some bullshit.  Kick it with me for a bit an watch it’s actually not that bad.”

Chris pulls up a chair by Kayla and they watch, and she’s still lovingly cradling her M-14.

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIRBASE

DAYTON, OHIO

 

F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, RAF and Luftwaffe Tornados, Apache gunships are all being rapidly fueled and armed.  Overhead, a KC-130 tanker flies by with F-22 fighter escort.  Pilots from the US Air Force and NATO air services emerge from the barracks… we can see on their legs strap on maps with a 100 mile circle hue around Lake Pymatunig.

ABANDONED FARMHOUSE

ANDOVER, OHIO

 

“Would you like me to get Pastor Conrad, get you two properly hitched?”  Chris teases Kayla about how attached she is to her new war prize.

“Huh, what?  Oh, my new rifle?  …Well that just means you’re out of luck aren’t you?”

“Funny.”

They watch the old movie; Robin Williams and Jerry Reed are exchanging gunfire in the woods, Robin banging away with his Valmet and Jerry being a practiced killer.  “See that hillbilly would be me an’ those cops are fucking Robin Williams with guns they don’t deserve.  Now we got the drone issue solved I can get back in the hunt.  We all can.  Get some more nice ass pieces to add to my collection.”

“What about your Mosin?”

“I dunno… I mean I like how I can put down a muthafucka with it, an I like working the bolt and lining up but I can lay crosshairs on a lot more motherfuckers in the same time with the 14.”

They watch more of the movie-Jerry shoots Robin’s expensive Valmet’s barrel, ruining it.  They laugh.  David Getz enters, 6’ 200lb, in his 20’s in fatigue pants, combat boots, a form fitting t-shirt.  Soldier.  “Ah, you found The Survivors.”

You shot my rifle!  What kind of sick bastard does that?!”  More laughs.  Robin pulls his handgun.

“Chump.”  Kayla snorts.  Robin shoots one shot-then his pistol jams…

“Uh, um, can-can we have a cease-fire?”

 

“A cease-fire?!”

 

“Yeah.  Um, uh, you’re not going to believe this but I loaded the wrong bullets in my gun!”

 

“You what?!”

 

“Yeah, see I loaded the long, skinny bullets when I was supposed to load the big fat ones.”

Kayla doesn’t look comfortable-Chris laughs: “Kayla I remember you doing that your first mission.”

“No shit?”  Dave gets in.

“Yeah I remember you fucking shitting yo’self on yours-an we didn’t even start out.  Glass houses dude.  An fuck you too Dave for jumping in!  I’m a combat casualty-EMMA!”

Emma Moritz, short girl, peeks her head in, holding some electronics parts:  “what’s up Kay?”

“These boys are interrupting my convalescence an’ shit.  Make em’ go away.”

“Honey, I just make sure you get food an’ help you to the toilet.  I got nothing to do with these clowns.”

“Ha!”

“Fuck you Dave.”  Kayla frowns… she hits pause on the remote.

“Shouldn’t they be tearing the state apart looking for us?  I mean, we did take down two drones and two jet fighters with our drone.  They gots to be pissed.”

ROCHESTER, NEW YORK

 

Phone Crews, guarded by State Police, are busy disconnecting phone lines and fiber optics along the western border of town.

STATE COLLEGE, PENNSYLVANIA

 

More Phone Crews, more disconnection of landlines, fiber optics.  All over town, all supervised by Pennsylvania State Police.

ALTOONA, PENNSYLVANIA

Same story: Phone Crews disconnecting service all over town.  The Mayor, a shriveled crow of a middle age woman approaches the ranking State Police Trooper, a Lieutenant:  “what’s going on-why are you cutting service?”

“Orders.”

“But, we can’t use cell phones, we have no television, radio, internet-“

“-State of emergency, that’s all I know.”

“What about everyone west of us?”

What can the LT do but shrug.  Orders are orders.

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA

 

Phone Crews under the supervision of Belgian NATO troops cut phone service all over town.

ZANESVILLE, OHIO

 

Same story:  Phone Crews under supervision of U.S. Army cut landlines across town.

MANSFIELD, OHIO

More Phone Crews cutting service across town, supervised and guarded by Ohio Highway Patrol.

SANDUSKY, OHIO

Last phone line is cut by the last crew… they watch as elements of a US Army Brigade Combat Team-Stryker AFV variants-line up…

LAKE ERIE

 

Coast Guard patrol vessels-armed with machine guns and cannon-are patrolling hard along the shore of Lake Erie, alongside their Canadian counterparts, with Canadian Air Force F-18s flying overhead.

CITY HALL

CLEVELAND, OHIO

 

Pure chaos rules the heavily fortified 30’s granite structure nestled in the midst of downtown Cleveland’s fortress/skyscrapers and office buildings;  people dart in and out, yelling, trying in vain to get cell phones to work, landline phones to work, but it’s not going to happen.

A US Army Major, flanked by a six man infantry squad briskly enters the office of the Mayor of Cleveland, whose having an emergency joint meeting with staff from every office that could come at an emergency notice without electronic communications of any sort.

The Major assumes control; “gentlemen, I am here to inform you that this city and the entire region are under direct military rule now.  You are to cooperate fully with any and all NATO military forces operating in this area.”

“Why” the Mayor has to ask, “why is everything down?”

“National security.  There’s a major terrorist threat, and we’re here to contain it; it is feared domestic terrorists may have another nuclear weapon-“

“-OH MY GOD!”  A councilwoman blurts out.  Everyone is really afraid now.

“Yes, that’s why.  We have our NATO allies here to assist us in crushing the insurgents once and for all.  I won’t have another Columbus on my watch.”

Everyone nods in agreement.

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE

MINOT, NORTH DAKOTA

 

A B-52 is being armed with six freefall nuclear weapons, under heavy guard.

ABANDONED FARMHOUSE

ANDOVER, OHIO

 

Chris Bernard expands his thoughts.  “Actually the Minuteman took down two F-22 Raptors.  Those are as top-of-the-line as they come but as stealth as they are against radar and I guess infrared, they can’t mask engine noise.  Minuteman uses both optical and audio recognition software, and even that’s derived from common software.  It flies and fights like an air to air missile only it searches for the next target; just homes in and kills but it can also react faster than a human.  Any human.  Preprogrammed maneuvers and scenarios… well it works.”

Kayla nods.  “Believe me I saw it!  I thought I was dead but then I saw the fighters-no it was the drone-shoot missiles at it but they only hit the rocket boosters after they separated.  THEN, there was the dogfight an’ our drone took both those F-22s out like they was nothing.  Course the Reaper sent every last missile after the Minuteman but it dodged them all an’ handled business.  Most awesome thing ever, and if y’all hadn’t have launched it, I’d been dead, for real.”

“And you saved ours when you made that last stand and took out two of their ground droids.  We’d been dead if you hadn’t.”  Emma chimes in.

“Tell the truth I didn’t have no place to go and… I didn’t care.  I think they will-they ought to we downed two of their best jet fighters and all their drones-why haven’t they gone ape shit?”

“Good point Kayla.  I think we really shocked the fuck outta them.  I think we stunned them and they’re trying to figure out what to do.”  Dave Getz though shakes his head…

“Then we need to attack.  Right now, and take advantage of their shock an’ fuck they shit up proper.”

“Would love that but that was our only drone.  Yeah we recovered the hard drive but everything else is busted up we got to build another one from scratch-body, avionics, sensors, get a Beowulf built up, get another cannon.  Can we?  Depends how long until they regroup-“

“-An flatten the state looking for us.”  Dave shakes his head.

“Think they’ll go that far, Dave?”

“Chris, Emma; you try getting on the nets?”

“Been laying low y’know after the battle.”  Chris nods at Emma’s comment, and it seems to have been the appropriate response.

“Get those plans out, now.  Nets, dead drops, however you can: we got to unass outta here, might as well get the word out.  Hopefully people are spreading the word on our battle-if not, then it up to us.

They’ll be sweeping the entire state, just as soon as they can gather enough troops.“

FEDERAL FUSION CENTER

WARREN, OHIO

March 20, 2014

 

The new Ohio Federal Fusion Center is located in otherwise abandoned downtown Warren, Ohio-the town itself being cleared of the last of its former inhabitants… which Lieutenant General Andreas Warburg of the German Army hasn’t arrived yet as he’s en route.  Accompanying him is his aid and liason officer Major Carl Fox, US Army.

“We’ve established a hard 160 kilometer perimeter marking the edge of total electronic blackout-landlines cut, every signal jammed.  We also have a 30 kilometer perimeter we’re forming as well, and with NATO reinforcements we’ll have an airtight perimeter to begin operations.  And we’ll have additional support from Wright Patterson-we cleared out Dayton several months ago and are in the process of doing the same with Warren.  The fusion center in town has the only operational communications within the blackout zone” Major Fox finishes, then: “kinda overkill ain’t it?”

“A fully autonomous drone that can dogfight and shoot down stealth fighters and be built in some hillbilly’s garage?  No, Major-this could change the course of the war, and that will not happen!”  General Warburg sits, thinks, then; “so, still no explanation what really happened to Columbus?”  The German looks archly at his Aide D’Camp.

“No:  the fissile materials tested indicated it was an American device, but the readings are inconclusive, like someone remanufactured the device from different bombs thrown in the same mix.  That’s the analysis at any rate.”

“Our opponents obviously have those.”

“Which ones, you think?”

“Could be the Israelis double dealing, could be some devices stolen from your inventories.  Since the warheads are locked out they’d have to tear them apart and remanufacture them anyway and it would not be in the interest of Israel doing a double cross and using weapons that can be traced back to them.  They could’ve recovered some bomb lost in the sea, in North Carolina, used what they stole out of Minot, or maybe… ach forget it!  If there’s really another bomb, we’ll deal with it then-there’s one of your B-52s that will make certain of that.  Right now we got a drone problem.”

“Amazing they chose a ramjet for the engine.”

“Not really; turbine engines require a sophisticated industrial base.  Ramjets are but shaped metal tubes with fuel sprayers and burners, but require high airspeed to begin operating and our opponents do not have factories nor airbases.  So a crude engine with rocket boosters is the logical choice no?  Set up anywhere and launch.  …The computerized brain they used; they’ll be wanting to get that out, or at least the plans.”

“We’re jamming literally every frequency.  All landlines are cut, and there’s two perimeters; we’ll close in, go house to house every step of the way.”

DINER

MARIETTA, OHIO

The former Commander of the Warren Base is sitting at the counter in work clothes, grimy and tired.  He watches as the Waitress flips through every channel only to find static.

“Nothing!”

The Commander gets a cell phone out and checks the bars-nothing.  “Looks like the cell networks out.”

“Another nuclear attack, Hank?”

“Had one of those; it didn’t take out everything.  I gotta go” and Hank the Commander leaves.

WARREN, OHIO

The German General, and his American staff continue in the MRAP.

“We have civilian authorities looking for every dead drop, busting anyone who even remotely looks suspicious; we need more bodies for the FEMA camps.  Speaking of which, we’ll have Warren emptied out by the end of the week.  Too bad about Columbus, I really liked that town.”

They travel;  along the route he witnesses an operation as he’s driven via a MRAP.

“Stop!  I want to see this.”

The Driver obeys.  Warburg watches with cold blue eyes as down a side street is being raided by elements of the German and US Armies in a joint operation;  Bundeswehr Infantry alongside elements of a Army Combat Brigade go in hard and fast with armor support from three Strykers and a Leopard II Main Battle Tank originally tasked with repelling the Soviets… a NATO operation in America’s dead heartland.

Half the homes are boarded up; several of those boards pop out and machine gun fire scythes the troops; the gunners are good and catch about all of them, but they also hit several civilians.

The Stryker variants employed have remote operated .50bmg mounts and they go into immediate effect swiveling to the machine gunners and chopping away at the entire homes.

More boards pop out and grenades-no, much larger than hand grenades, larger than rifle grenades-lob at the Strykers.  Now, the Strykers have the railing on the side which chain link fencing is attached to act as a catcher’s mitt for rocket propelled grenades or anything else with a HEAT or HESH charge.  The grenades lobbed at the Strykers are just big bombs filled with high explosive-they rip and shred the railing, the fencing and a second volley of rifle grenades splat on the surface of the Strykers-HESH rounds that spread their soft plastique charges over a wider area and detonate creating a spall effect.

The Leopard, oriented outward of the operation spins around on the asphalt and orients toward the action.

“Halt the Leopard!”

“Yes General” an American Sargeant gets on the radio.

General Warburg can’t watch from the MRAP.  He steps out.

“Tell that crew I am approaching.”

“This is too much for his Aide D’Camp: “General you can’t go out there its dangerous!”

“Stay there: I want air support right now, these insurrectionists are not getting away!”  And off goes General Warburg, climbing the Leopard II tank like a tanker and raps on the command hatch.

The Sargeant and the Major look at each other in dread, horror, awe.

At the Leopard the hatch opens and a Bundeswehr Lieutenant pops his head up to see a General cocking the handle on the pintle mounted .50 BMG.

“Sir!  What are you doing, this is very dangerous!”

“Yes now I want you to start shelling that street.”

“Our troops-“

“-Are dead!  Level every fucking house on this street!”  General Warburg’s left hand loosens its grip on the 50 and starts moving toward the Beretta.  Now the tank commander understands; he ducks back in his tank.

General Warburg aims the .50 at the first house enemy fire came from and chops away.  He adjusts as the Leopard II’s turrent traverses to the gunner’s own priority target and FIRES it’s 120mm main armament at a house which blows up spectacularly!

Warburg keeps raking the enemy positions on his own as the Leopard FIRES and blows up a second home, a third home, a fourth home, a fifth.

General Warburg empties the .50 bends down inside the Leopard II: “take it from here!”  He jumps off the tank runs back to the MRAP to a shocked Major Fox and crew of his command vehicle.

“I’ve sent a message: we’re not going to fuck around anymore.  Where’s my air support?”

Major Fox was thinking as this Kraut general sat, sweating, a feral look to him and made up his mind that  this bastard wasn’t someone to fuck with.

“Sir, as you know there is only landline communication and we’re waiting on fighter cover before we can-“

“-They are not going to get away, do you understand Major?”

“Yes, General I do.  The Air Force-“

“-I’ll get that air support if I have to take that panzer to Wright-Patterson and ram the main armament up their arses myself!  Get that fucking air cover up right now!”

“Our troops General-”

“-Died doing their duty but they died stupidly.  That is that.  …How much longer must I wait for my air support Major?”

Five hours later…

A third of Warren shot up, burning… US A-10’s and Apache gunships fly low overhead, F-16’s fly higher for air cap….

General Warburg finally arrives at the Federal Fusion Center astride that Leopard II; the center itself occupies an foreclosed office building that’s been heavily fortified… the entire Downtown is fortified against a major assault.   The Leopard stops and the General hops off.  Tankers are short to fit easier inside their vehicles but Lt. General Warburg must’ve just barely met Bundeswehr requirements.

Greeting him:  FBI Special Agent in Charge Allison Stevenson;  Jack Caruthers of Homeland Security; Major Terrence Brown of the Ohio Highway Patrol;  Major Allen Tibbs of the Pennsylvania State Police; Major Janet Hines of the West Virginia Highway Patrol; Major Dan Glass of the New York State Police; Trumbull County Sheriff Dan Kowalski.

General Warburg bulls through: “Inside!”

The German General bulls through security, through everyone and enters the Command Center; lavishly high tech with workstations and screens and dozens of personnel from both civilian and military branches of the government.

“Achtung!” Everyone stops, looks at their new commanding officer.  Germans certainly know how to get attention.

“I am Lieutenant General Warburg, German Army, and this is now a military operation under the North Atlantic Treaty-my country and the rest of NATO are going to assist you in putting down your latest rebellion.  When we are finished it will be the last.”

The General approaches a interactive holographic display of the region-Ohio, Pennsylvania, Western New York, West Virginia.  Varying shades and shapes of blue represent local police, state police, US military-all of which are cordoning off both a hundred mile and 20 mile perimeter around Lake Pymatunig if they’re not already swarming that area far more than the rest of country-if they could.  Red represent known rebel forces and those are very few… what aren’t are the number and types of attacks.  Streaming into Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Pittsburgh are NATO forces from Great Britain, France, Italy, Norway, and a huge contingent from Germany itself.  Additional US forces stationed in Germany also accompany the airlift.

“Your rebels have managed under heavy internal suppression, disarray, and a lack of apparent research and manufacturing resources to field a fully automated drone capable of air combat-something straight out of a terminator movie.  That drone from reports can be easily manufactured under clandestine conditions, and apparently so can the computer given the conditions the enemy operates under.  This… Battle of Pymatunig Lake if repeated could be the turning point of this war, negating our air dominance and open the way toward total collapse that the detonation of several nuclear weapons on your soil hasn’t.  That will not be allowed to happen: we are establishing a 160 kilometer and 30 kilometer perimeter around the battle site: every possible landline is cut, every frequency jammed, and from there we shall close the noose and catch the parties responsible for constructing that drone and secure this area.  I have been authorized to use whatever means necessary.  All forces in the region will be under my direct command, neither resistance nor incompetence will be tolerated.”

General Warburg looked about at his staff; all of them had some measure of fear in their eyes.  Good.

“That will be all for now, I have had a long day.  I will be in my office freshening up.  Major…

Major Fox leads the German General to his office; it is of course an executive office.  The Major shows the German in and he assumes the soft leather seat at his desk, already equipped with his computer and papers.

“Ah, good.  You set up exactly as specified.  I think we will work well together.  Now: I need something to fuck, right now.”

“I got that covered as well General.  How do you feel about ‘Batman and Robin’?”

“Ah, I like that one!  Do we have costumes?”

“Of course.”

Several minutes later the German General and the American Major are… God in Heaven the kraut’s wearing a Batman cowl, cape, his combat boots, a ‘utility belt with cuffs and sex toys and that’s it.  The Major’s Robin and similarly attired… (author’s note: unbelievable… these are some sick fuckers but that’s the kind of satanic pedophile that would conduct this sort of operation against civilians.)

The Major marches into an adjoining room and drags out a naked, underweight 14 year old boy.

“Ah, he’s just right!  Wunderbahr!  Let’s begin! NA-NA-NA-NA-NA-NANANANA BATMAN!”  The Major lets the boy go and both he and Warburg give chase…

ROUTE 6

OUTSIDE CHARDON, OHIO

 

A work truck, used for hauling rubbish from roofing jobs is cruising westbound through the pretty Ohio countryside, carrying a full load…

…Inside that load is a hollow space and in it are:

Kayla Miller: commander of the Pymatunig Militia, sniper:  “hope to God we don’t see combat cuz’ I can’t do a whole lot beyond snipe… should’ve got the fuck outta there right after the battle!”

Chris Bernard: computer programmer:  “I had no ideal they’d shit themselves this bad over it.  Must’ve really scared the fuck outta them-this might be the game changer we’ve been looking for.”

Danny Miller: (no relation to Kayla) the Amish kid who helped Kayla at the Battle of Pymatunig Lake.  “You really should have stayed back at the farmhouse Kayla, you need time to heal.”

“Shut up Danny, we’re going through with this.  Em, you getting anything yet?”

Emma Moritz:  short blonde girl in her early 20’s, kind of a hippie but has seen a lot of combat.  She is going through several cell phones trying to get a signal. “Still getting nothing.  I think they really did shut down all communications.”

David Getz: ex US Army, Iraq War Veteran, has the M240:  “All of you be ready when we get to the checkpoint.  Danny you help Kayla.  We’ll have to move fast, get to a car-stay together.  Hopefully this hide will work.”

Hal Leskovitch: 30’s, balding and aside from his AK it’s unclear what his role is.

“At any rate we’ll get to our contact in Chardon-go from there.”

“Yes” Kayla replies, “and above all we got to get Chris here to safety.  We can hide him in Cleveland, eventually get him to Alabama, Upper Michigan, Montana, Texas, Jefferson, or one of the other Free States.”

Kayla pulls out of her pocket a picture of her a few years back; 30lbs heavier… she really had a fine body back then… friendly, untouched by poverty or war.  She has her little brother with her and they pose for the camera and she’s happy to do so… same kid the German has as she looks at her photo.

At the checkpoint, Geauga County Sheriff’s Deputy Angie Kent shuffles her 5’9”, 130lb frame on her tired feet as she waves traffic forward.  It’s been a long couple days.

“Come on!  Next ten-let’s go!  Follow the vehicle in front until it stops!”  Backing up the cop is Corporal Dylan Gordon, U.S. Army, carrying a M-4.

“Let’s FUCKING GO NOW!”

The line of vehicles and horse drawn wagons starts to advance forward.  The checkpoint was organized in a single file line, with ten TSA Search Teams waiting at each “station” strung along the road; Mike Benson leers at the incoming meat, his slicked back hair, greasy skin, glasses, 300lb fat frame just scream pervert, as do the rest of those freaks and rejects.

Overhead are four deployable towers, with two US Army soldiers, each with a rifle and a M240 or M249.  Beyond that, a pair of British Challenger Main Battle Tanks, their 120mm smoothbore cannons and top mounted 50 cal heavy machine guns aimed menacingly at the Americans.  All of them.

1st vehicle:  a semi hauling a tanker.  Driving is Bill Buford-just turned 50 whose clothes hung loose on his once well filled beer gut, just wanting to get in and through this latest brand of government bullshit and get home.  A CB and a shortwave radio are off-since no kind of radio was working now.

BILL BUFORD’S HOME

SHARON, PENNSYLVANIA

March 6, 2013

Bill Buford is looking over his semi, parked at his Ranch style home just outside Sharon.  His wife, Ann, stomps out of their home with suitcases in each hand, their children carrying suitcases-all headed to their ancient station wagon.  Ann whirls on Bill:

“Bill will you please come with us!”

Bill keeps working on his truck…

“Bill!”

Bill keeps working: “You should stay here-this’ll blow over.  Just do what you’re told and it’ll be alright.  I’m essential to the war effort, we’ll be taken care of.”

“I’m not telling you where we’re going, and don’t you dare come after us!”

“Don’t come back.”  Bill looks at his wife “Just don’t.  But you’re on your own out there, and if you’re caught, you’re in for it.  Just don’t take my kids.”

Ann pulls out a .45… Bill takes a breath, faces her.  “You’re just asking for trouble having that.”

“The kids are coming with me.  They won’t be slaves.”

“Then go.  You’re dead to me.”

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

Now

 

2nd vehicle: a green PT Cruiser driven by a single woman, about 30, strangely vacant look to her eyes but immaculate.

3rd vehicle is a flatbed truck hauling a backhoe.  Two Construction Workers sit in the cab utterly surprised at this kind of checkpoint… though given the events of the past few years one wonders what rock they were living under.

“Shit.”  Mike the driver looks at his boss, Jeff.

“Just go through, it’ll be alright.”

JEFF’S CONSTRUCTION BUSINESS

AKRON, OHIO

March 4, 2013

 

Jeff’s construction business is in a rented warehouse space, which given how Akron’s more economically depressed than most of the area, was cheap.  Jeff himself is in his office on his computer when Federal Agents rudely bust in.

“Jeff Goernke, we’ll be needing copies of all your records-“

“-Whoa, hold up!  Who are you and where’s your warrant?”

The first Agent grabs Jeff and SLAMS him to the ground, puts his Sig Saur to his head.  “We’re from your government.  We need your records because you’re a essential business-and we’d rather have people running their business helping to rebuild our country instead of just shooting you and seizing the equipment.”

Second Agent chimes in: “Goddamn it’s like you didn’t hear we’re under martial law or-“

“-Say WHAT?!”  Jeff realizes… he’d had his head up his ass…

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

Now

4th vehicle is a Geauga County vehicle driven by Dan Basolignio, a code enforcement officer who just screams unctuous prick with his ridiculously slick back hair, beady eyes, wearing a 1000 dollar suit-but working for the government these days carried lots of perks… but this damn roadblock-checkpoint-whatever’s going to get in the way of brunch….

GEAUGA COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING

CHARDON, OHIO

March 1, 2013

 

Dan Basolignio rips through the parking lot of the 70’s era government building in his new Mustang, pulls into his parking spot, gets out in his not-1000 dollar suit.  A Black Male approaches him, lost.

“Excuse me, but could y’all tell me where I pay this fine?”

Dan looks this latest mark up and down, “In there dumbfuck.”

“Hey man, I’m just trying to pay up.”

“Shut up.  You should have obeyed the law, but no, your dumb ass is giving us money.  Matter of fact, maybe I go in, find out who the fuck you are and fuck your life up some more.  How about that?”

“P-please Mister, don’t I’m trying to pay but my-“

“-Oh I don’t wanna fucking hear it!  …Get out of my sight.”  Dan quickly got tired and the man scurried off.

Dan enters the building, and there’s a sign stating everyone is to meet in the conference room, which he does, because doing what one’s told to do keeps your ass out of a sling.  Unlike that one dumb fuck outside-arrives where he’s supposed to but asks where he’s supposed to pay?

Dan enters, and someone from the Federal Government is just starting:

“I’m from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and as you know due to a combination of external and internal crises the President of the United States has put the nation under martial law.  FEMA will be liasoning with your offices in order to make the necessary transitions.  Now, aside from the ordnances you normally enforce you will also be authorized to enforce state and federal mandates, and codes.  Essentially you and your government are being united with the federal government.  Any questions?”

Dan steps up:  “Yeah, how much authority will we have-I mean, how much leeway will we have to do our jobs.”

FEMA Man leans forward, smiles, “as much as you need, Sir.  You’ll be armed, given any necessary firearms training, have the power to arrest and detain.  We’re in martial law, under a state of emergency, this is how it is.”

Dan smiles.  His career choice is paying off in so many unexpected ways.

Right after the meeting Dan marches out to the lobby where that man he accosted sits, waiting.  Dan motions for a Chardon Police Officer to accompany him, which he does.

“Officer, I need you to arrest this man’ he made terrorist threats against the government-“

“-I FUCKING DID NOT, MOTHERFUCKER-“

Chardon Cop pulls out his taser and zaps the wrong, protesting Black Man…

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

Now

5th vehicle is a late model Mustang.  The driver is in his late 40’s male, powerfully built, in a leather jacket.  He has a government-issued Panasonic Tough Book open and displaying  a failed attempt to log onto the internet, a government website.  He has in his jacket a Glock 18 machine pistol and a carrying case with four 33r round 9mm magazines… and a duffel bag on the passenger side floor.

6th is not a vehicle but a Amish cart hauling a full, tarped load with a married Amish Couple.

TOMKIN’S FARM

MIDDLEFIELD, OHIO

August 15, 2012

 

Dale and Jane Tomkins are tending their farm outside Middlefield, a small basic farm for a couple starting out-and the Ohio Department of Health, backed up by Middlefield Police and the Geauga County SWAT Team pull up in SUVs and the SWAT armored vehicle and conduct a raid.

October 6, 2012

 

Another raid on the Tomkins farm by about the same lot of law enforcement and bureaucrats, only with more force and some of the Tomkins’ property being vandalized during the search.

March 30, 2013

 

Dan Basilgliano leads this raid, and is finishing, smacking down on their kitchen table a list of violations he drew up.

June 8, 2013

 

A US Army HMMV pulls up, the Gunner aiming at the pacifist Amish couple with his .50 M2 while the other four Soldiers dismount from the vehicle… emerging later with eggs and produce-robbing them essentially.

June 20, 2013

 

Dale and Ann Tomkins are dragged out in the middle of the night, naked-they had been making love when this latest raid occurs.  A State Trooper emerges from the barn “No rebels, Sir.”

“Take what you want, then.”

June 22, 2013

Having nothing left of their farm, Dale and Ann spread kerosene all over their property, and set it ablaze.

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

Now

 

7th vehicle is a Dodge Charger packed with a Family; Dad driving, Mom, and Four Kids.

Mom:  “Honey…”

Dad:  “Yeah.”

Oldest Kid:  “I see blueshirts!”

“TSA!”

“Daddy I don’t want the blueshirts to touch me again!”

“Dad, please, can’t we go back please?!”

The two youngest-toddlers-start wailing uncontrollably.

“Honey let’s turn around-“

“We CAN’T!”  Dad had had enough…

…He thinks…. Shit.  There’s a loaded Hummer behind them, a checkpoint with 10 berths for TSA, flanked by four of those portable guard towers.  No drones-no kind of radio signal was working-but there were plenty of cops and they had two huge tanks in the distance, their cannons aimed right at them.  He looked to the right, and there are trees, homes.  He checks a tear in his seat; just visible is the butt of a revolver.

“I want all of you to get to those trees to the right, as fast as you can.  No arguments-I’ll clear the way for you.”

8th vehicle: pickup truck driven by Mark Harper, a former college student turned farmer and his truck’s loaded with produce.

MARK HARPER’S HOME

ASHTABULA COUNTY, OHIO

Earlier today

Mark Harper’s home is a century home in the middle of Ashtabula County, with peeled paint, several vehicles in the driveway.  Mark’s truck is in the back and he and several other Boarders/farmers load the produce.

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

NOW

9th vehicle is a U.S. Army Hummer with five Soldiers-all of them in good cheer.

“That was a good fuckin’ raid!”

“Hell yeah it was!  Nice when you don’t have motherfuckers shooting you in the back.”

“Yeah we actually had time to have some fun with those Yoders.”  “Yoder” being a term for Amish…

“Hey Sarge, you think we got these insurgents broke?”  Sarge sits shotgun in the front, about 34, a veteran of Iraq.  The rest are kids scooped up when it had come down to work for the government or take your chances starving or getting busted growing food illegally.

“I seen shit sway back and forth in the sandbox; one side gain an advantage, the other side figure out counters-it goes back and forth, just like here.  Share some shit with y’all; you know why comms all down?  It’s because they established a quarantine; they need to catch whatever group put up a drone, shot down three drones and two F-22’s-no bullshit.”

The troops all look at each other in shock.

“They built a drone that shot down two Raptors, and three drones?!”

“I wanna say naw” Sarge looks out at the line of vehicles ahead “but a LT showed me some classified footage-footage from a drone and you can see that fucker fly and shoot down those jets like it was nothing-and nothing we had could hit it.  It was unbelievable.  Hell’s coming down on here…”

The Roofing Truck is number 10…

Chris looks out… sees this checkpoint, sees the blue shirted TSA people.

“I don’t believe this!  Kayla, look at this!”

Kayla rises, looks out…

“Oh hell no!”

Scott Foster watches from the opposite side of the checkpoint from Kayla-in Ohio Outdoors, his sporting goods store.  Behind him are a rack half filled with antiques, 22 rifles, muzzle loading rifles, and single shot shotguns; a sign above them says CIVILIAN LEGAL WITH PERMIT.  Below the ammunition shelves were nearly bare.  To his left is a locked glass door, and a Chardon Cop emerges-we catch a glimpse of more potent, modern rifles and pistols-and locks the doors, pockets the key.

“Okay, we’re secure there Mr. Foster; let’s lock ‘er up.”

“Yes Sir.”  Scott robotically hands the store keys to the Cop and he escorts Mr. Foster outside and locks up the store, both security door and the main entrance.  “Y’know I did everything you wanted.  Everything.  I even sent friends of my down the river for you-I don’t deserve this!

“Thank you for your cooperation Sir, you’ll be compensated for your service” the Cop robotically intoned.  Scott just turns, stares at his now closed store.

Not asking for his keys.

Not asking when, IF, his store was going to open.  Scott Foster looks out again at the checkpoint; all the cops, the military, the long line generated, the machine gun armed helicopter style drone buzzing overhead, and further above he catches a Predator.

NELLIS AFB

Drone Command Center

Airman Kelly Goode is in the drone seat and he scans the area around Buffalo, New York; his tactical display shows a much larger overall military presence in the area, and about 20 fighters and a KC130 tanker orbiting alongside a veritable ring of law enforcement and military in a hundred mile radius from Lake Pymatunig, which is tinted as a NO GO zone for his drone as it’s radio command and every signal, every frequency is being jammed.  His commander coldly looks on from a distance-no communication, no camaraderie and certainly no Airman Dan “Master Chief” Hladr.  Kelly knew what happened-wasn’t Dan’s fault, but he got the blame, and got disappeared.

“Kind of an odd tactic isn’t it?  Jam every frequency so nothing works, including our equipment.”

“Just do your job Airman.”  The Commander had had a close enough call the other day; she had to bullshit hard and fast to get the blame square on “master chief”.  But that’s the way it goes.

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

The line of 10 cars is guided into their slots and the TSA descend upon them.  With the backing of the cops and NATO military any earned hatred is suppressed.  Ten berths: ten VIPER teams… blueshirted losers smirking, freshly confident that they once again have the upper hand.

Deputy Angie Kent waves Bill Buford’s tanker truck forward.

“Go all the way up to the first berth, Sir-LET’S GO!”

Bill throws his rig into gear, lumbers forward to the first berth a few hundred feet forward…

Deputy Kent waves forward the green PT Cruiser with the immaculately done up, immaculately spaced out woman-and Deputy Kent was in no mood for frightened sheep today.  She marches to the stopped car and slams on the roof “HEY, WAKE THE FUCK UP IN THERE, LET’S GO!”

The woman turns, looks up at the Deputy, her hand on the heel of her service pistol.  Somehow something connects and she puts her car into gear and goes forward.

“BERTH TWO!”  Angie shakes her head in wonder.   Some people… and there was no TV, no radio, no cell phones… no phones period!  Not even communications with the Sheriff’s Department were working, it’s like every wire was literally cut.  It’s the goddmandest thing.  Someone’s fucked up-but there’s work to do, gotta wave forward this third-pair-of assholes.  “Let’s go boys!  Time’s a wastin’.”

Mike looks at Jeff-fucking TSA fags and rapists out there.

“Just go forward and let’s get this over with” Jeff says, and Mike puts the rig into gear, heads to Berth Three.

Deputy Kent now looks at the Geauga County vehicle, with Dan Basogliano… oh joy, and he pulls up and stops right in front of her.

“Hey Angie” Dan gets smooth with her.  He’s even worse when he’s trying to be smooth, just makes him even more a greaseball.  “Any way you can let me ‘round this heavy duty roadblock?”

“Everyone gets screened Dan.  Everyone.”  Feels good to tell this cocksucker that, just like that.

“Hey, Hon; just to remind you I’m a County Official-“  Angie goes for her pistol…

“Jesus!”

“Berth Four.  I’m not telling you again.”  Angie would have NO problem shooting this fuckhead, it would be a pleasure.

“Alright.”  Dan goes forward, to the TSA VIPER team awaiting him at Berth Four… and he WILL get that cunt fired when he’s done-as soon as he’s done!

Deputy Kent waves forward the Mustang-and hello Daddy… Angie liked slightly older men and this was definitely a Man rolling towards her-she holds her hand out and stops.

“Hey, what are you doing?!”  A Soldier calls out.

“Just a minute here!”  Angie has authority and she’s going to take advantage of it!  The Mustang halts in front of her and she leans forward… okay this isn’t a totally fucked up morning.

“Hello, Sir.”

“Hello Deputy.”   This guy was smooth in every way Dan Basogliano would never be.  He even pulls off the cliché leather jacket without looking like he’s trying.  “Agent Cooper, FBI” and he shows her his ID.  “I’ve been in the field and got cut off-is there any place I can call someone?”

“Not in this town, or anywhere near here.  We’re under a total blackout.”

“That so?  Figures.  Anyway I can get around?”

“Sorry Agent” and now Deputy Kent was sorry for subjecting Cooper to this… “Orders are everyone goes through the screening.  Everyone.  You can check with the VIPER Team at Berth Five… sorry.”

“I got you.”  Cooper was cooperative.  Nice to know some people understand there are things beyond her control… though she didn’t mind Dan getting the blueshirt goons all over him as he’s pulling up to his berth now.  Angie turns and sees… AMISH?!

Holy shit.  Fucking unbelievable-what the fuck are Amish doing this far north?!  She has to ask… she waves the Tomkins forward and halts them.

“Whoa there!  Say what business do you have in Chardon?”

“Got goods for sale.”

“Here?!”

That Soldier butts in-“Hey, leave the questions to the VIPER teams!”

“I’m doing my job here!”

“Get those pilgrims the fuck on to their berth-RIGHT NOW!”  Shit, this fucker just might shoot me.  Dog eat dog…

“Berth Six-just go and get this over with alright?”

The Tomkins nod without another word, go forward.

Goddamnit.

Angie waves forward the car with the family packed in…

…Angie looks at the Driver: male, 30’s, he’s looking at me funny.  He’s hunched forward-what’s he reaching for?

Deputy Kent draws her service pistol “STOP!  STOP WHERE YOU ARE!  SHOW ME YOUR HANDS!”

Soldiers nearby can’t notice but hear Deputy Kent and join in aiming at the fully loaded family trickster.

“EVERYONE PUT THEIR HANDS OUT THE WINDOWS-RIGHT NOW!”

In the lead British Tank, Leftenant Alan Hines watches from his optics the local deputy and soldiers drawing on the fully loaded family vehicle.

“Gunner-front!”

Gunner sees, aims his armament at the suspect vehicle.

Both British tanks aim their cannon at the vehicle.

Behind them in the US Army Hummer, the Sarge makes a decision.  “Goddamn if I’m going to get splattered by our own allies-get the fuck out of the line of fire now Corporal!”

“Yes sir!”  Corporal/Driver guns it and the HUMMV maneuvers off to the side, the Fifth Man gets up on the M-240 7.62mm NATO machine gun, aims at the suspect vehicle.

“Beats getting raped by the TSA”  Corporal jokes.

In the Roofing Truck, everyone in the hide looks at Kayla.

“I-I don’t know what the fuck we’re going to do.”  It’s obvious all the OPFOR armament’s aimed at the family truckster up front, which wouldn’t take too much effort to aim their way.  Soldiers, machine guns, fucking tanks!  Fuck fuck fuck!

What can they do for them?  What?  They got to get that hard drive, those plans, outside of this communications dead zone the enemy has thrown down on the entire area and now they’re about to get blasted-some poor family’s about to get blasted AND THEY CAN’T DO FUCK ALL ABOUT IT!

Berth One:   Bill’s out of the truck, waved forward by a TSA “Agent”; some jelly gutted slacker given a choice of government service or starvation.  “Come on, hands on top of your head, Sir.”  Agent Slacker begins the pat down… feel down really… of this nasty ass trucker… feeling his sweaty flesh under his stained shirt, the grease, the hair follicles through his blue latex gloves, his lard pressed up against his lard… just view it like masturbating and maybe you can get a chick next time.  That was always the hope.

Berth Two:  that wacko woman in the PT Cruiser pulls up and the blueshirts grin at each other-jackpot!  They’ll take their time with her… make her take her bra off, her panties, her shoes… no telling what terrorists are hiding and where these days… she stops, parks…

Berth Three: Mike and Jeff pull their rig in the berth.  The TSA here look back at the blueshirts in berth two, who snicker at them-they got construction workers to play with.

Berth Four:  “Hey, where’s our meat?”  A blueshirt looks irritated as the Geauga County government vehicle stops, and Dan gets out, rushes to the action in the back.

A black woman in a blueshirt waddles after him “hey get back hear cracka!”

The Mustang stops, pulls into Berth Five and he steps out waving his ID “Agent Cooper, FBI; you got a working comm link? “

The lead TSA blueshirt of Berth Five, an older man, never like presumptuousness, but this was a badge and the man holding that badge looked like he meant business.  “No sir, all communications are down.  We’re going to need to search you, your vehicle and your computer-orders from NATO command.”

“I got my orders” he wanted to call him a blueshirt kiddie rapist “and some of those mean none of you are going near myself, my vehicle, or my equipment.  And you’re certainly are not going to disarm me.”  Agent Cooper looks back at the scene with the family of six behind him-this was getting serious.  “Excuse me-don’t touch it, I mean it.”  Agent Cooper trots back to the action…

Dale and Ann Tomkins look at each other, and at the scene behind them.  They had to get this produce to the market or aside from not getting paid for their labor they’d get evicted from the home they were at.  No they weren’t Amish but the way things are they wouldn’t be surprised if the same deal had gone down with one…

The car full of scared to death family being covered by every gun at this roadblock… nobody hasn’t soiled themselves in utter terror…

Maybe it’s an overreaction, and there’s been enough of that during this war.  Deputy Angie Kent is joined by Dan Basolgliano-fuck!

“We going to deal with them or what-“

“-GET THE FUCK BACK NOW, ASSHOLE!  FUCKING CODE INSPECTOR-SOMEONE GET THIS FUCKER OUT OF MY SIGHT!”

Agent Cooper comes up behind Dan, grabs him in a come-along…

“Let’s go Dan.”  Flings the bureaucrat aside and gives him a look stating he’s not hard core…

Agent Cooper directs his attention to the family.  “Stressful day.”

“Yeah.  I think we’re overreacting here.”

“What was all this about?”

Why is she confiding in this guy Angie thought.  Why, how does-oh… “He was reaching underneath him, he was leaned forward.”

“Did you ask?”

“I should have.”

“You want me to handle this?”  Agent Cooper asks.  He really needed to get out of here, but these poor bastards…

“I got this.”  Angie Kent gathers herself.  She approaches the family, the father still reached down, frozen.  “It’s going to be alright.  I just need you to sit up, show me your hands, okay?”

The father has his hands fully around the grip of the revolver tucked in his seat.  Gripping hard.

Berth Two:  the lucky blueshirts approach the car, open the door.

“Ma’am, step out the vehicle-I know you know the routine.”  Snickers erupt.

The immaculately dressed woman gets out, stands erect with dignity… with a remote control.

“FREEDOM!” 

She mashes down on the button before anyone can react…

…there’s a explosion in the PT Cruiser; a bursting charge rips out sending fuel to mix in the air, burning embers of mothballs like fireflies suspend in the air…

…the fuel-air mixture reaches the correct ratio on its own and the fuel detonates in a blast wave.

…Bill’s having a whole hand up his ass, his pride, his dignity long ago taken by the same government raping him now-now his truck he sacrificed everything for becomes immolated by the fuel-air explosion and the fuel in the tanker explodes, greatly increasing the conflagration.

British Tanks:  both are rocked by the fuel-air detonation, the crews rattled badly.

Jeff has no time to say goodbye to his employee Mike.  There are worse people to die with-he’s a good kid, a good worker.  Too bad.

Berth’s Four, Five, Six, and Seven are immolated by the fuel air blast-agents and all.

Dale and Ann Tomkins and their horses perish in the blast wave, sending their wagon and carcasses back towards the soldiers with their guns on the family.  Several are taken out.

Agent Cooper goes to tackle Deputy Kent, to shield her from the explosion…

…The father decides then: he draws the revolver from under his seat-a classical 6” .357 magnum with scope and blasts Deputy Kent in the head…

Agent Cooper tackles the Deputy to save her from the blast and gets blasted with brain and bone from her.

The explosion sends Agent Cooper flying, the Deputy’s corpse, and flips the car over.

All four portable guard towers are knocked down by the tanker truck enhanced fuel air explosion.

The blast reaches the HUMMV and rocks it almost sending it off on its side.

The Roofinig Truck is hit hard-doesn’t tip over but its load/hide is wrecked… the Pymatunig Militia is now exposed… and exposed to the sight of the blast.

Hal Leskovich stirs first, and checks his teammates out:

Kayla seems alright, and she stirs at Hal’s touch-then leaps up, awake.

“Shit!!  Holy fuck was that a nuke am I dead?”  Kayla catches her breath.

In the distance Agent Cooper looks at the people in the Roofing Truck… wait wasn’t it full of old tiles… who has money for a new roof…

Kayla and Hal check the others-Emma, Chris, David somehow escape serious injury but are pretty gonged from the blast… so are they.

So is Agent Cooper… that’s the roofing crew… that was a huge blast-fuel air type but it must’ve been the tanker truck that went… landline… there must be a link outside the quarantine… and why are those roofers wearing camouflage carrying AKs, M240, scoped M14… those faces…

…They’re the Pymatunig Militia-his targets!

DINER, STOREROOM

ANDOVER, OHIO

March 19, 2014

Agent Cooper has an Elderly Lady handcuffed to a chair in the half-bare storeroom and it’s late night.  Cooper’s tired from days and his patience with this stoic old bitch was up.  Before her on a table is Cooper’s toughbook, displaying a database of mug shots which she steadfastly refuses to look at even after all the cuts on her, smeared with salt.

So Agent Cooper goes out.  The woman takes a breath, makes a silent prayer… and the Agent comes back dragging her Granddaughter-a waitress-by handcuffs binding her arms behind her back, dragging her backward… she too refuses to scream.  Agent Cooper slams the girl down on a chair in front of the Elderly Lady, produces a knife, and starts to cut up her clothes…

“D-d-don’t!  Please…”

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

 

Kayla looks about her team:  “let’s get going already.”

Chris:  “soon as the planet stops spinning.”

“Spin with it already.  C’mon…”  David gets up, grabs Kayla and staggers up, as does the rest of the Militia.  She looks forward at the huge mushroom cloud rising and dissipating into the wind.  The entire roadblock is devastated; cars and trucks tossed, burning, bodies… what’s left… nearby homes and businesses are on fire, windows blown out further.  In the distance are two tanks.

In the first Challenger tank, Leftenant comes to, the rest of his crew stunned; their main battle tank’s armor having saved them from immolation.  He starts to get up…

Agent Cooper sits up.  He has to get up his primary target’s right there: Chris Bernard.

DINER, STOREROOM

ANDOVER, OHIO

March 19

 

The Elderly Lady sits, defeated, talks, her Granddaughter only having a couple cuts:

“…ran by Brian Miller but he got killed by a drone.  His daughter Kayla is his second.  Emma Moritz and Chris Bernard are their computer experts.  David Getz, Hal Leskovich,  Gary Wright-that’s all that’s left…”

Those six have their mug shots on Agent Cooper’s toughbook.

ROADBLOCK

CHARDON, OHIO

 

Kayla remembers-shit Gary!  She goes to what’s left of the front of the Roofing Truck, and sees what’s left of Gary Wright’s upper torso and head, and turns away.

“Let’s just go!”

“How’s Gary?”  Emma’s the last to get up.

“Dead.”

Agent Cooper manages to get on hands and knees, wobbly as hell, and now he notices the world’s a high pitched tone.  Years of training, of combat help get his equilibrium but those heavily armed insurgents who built and launched that autonomous drone are emerging from the back of a roofing truck.  A roofing truck that shielded them from the worst of that fuel air blast, and they’re heavily armed.

Cooper looks to his left-nothing left alive in the direction they’re headed, they can get away… wait there are two British Challenger main battle tanks in over watch in lieu of drone support; hooray for our NATO allies.  Maybe they’re alive but Cooper’s been extensively trained and that includes using a 70 ton tank.  Only way he’s going to get an edge over this bunch in his current condition-can he even aim straight?

Cooper watches the Pymatunig Militia march forward, slowly; a soldier stirs and the little girl-Emma Moritz-aims her AK-47 and puts a single shot into him.  He sees Chris, and Hal are also armed with AK’s and do likewise to the three people still alive in their way.  Okay:  three riflemen, one sniper, one machine gunner.  Everyone has pouches with spare belts of ammo for the M240, a couple grenades each.  A well put together fire team and even though they got gonged(not as much as he)they’re operating well.

The girl Kayla’s the eyes-going to blind them.

Cooper reaches into his jacket, draws both his Glock 18 and a suppressor and unites them.  Unsteadily he staggers forward, but not straight at the Militia; he goes to the side, staggering parallel to them… there he’s getting better, and  maybe if he can just stop the Earth from spinning and wobbling he can do what he does best.

In the first Challenger tank, Leftenant and crew check all their systems.

“Thermal’s out, so’s night vision.”  Gunner operates his turrent control yoke “bloody control’s broke!”

“Have to use the sodding crank then.  Fucking BALLS!  Fucking colonials!

The tank starts up.  “She starts up, Sir.”

“Right!  Gunner load beehive!”

The Loader hefts a 120mm shell and loads it into the breech of the cannon:  “beehive up!”

“Fucking Christ…” the Leftenant pops his hatch open, looks topside… the second Challenger isn’t even stirring, well that won’t do at all.  12.7 got shorn off by the blast as well as the grenade launcher.

“There’s nothing fucking left!  Who’s bloody ideal was it to jam every fucking frequency?”  Leftenant sees six targets in the distance; five man squad and a sixth individual, a civilian with a suppressed pistol off to the right.

“TARGET FRONT!”

“Got a bloke lookin’ like the Terminator with a pistol advancin’”

“There’s a five man squad to his left bout 50 meters.  M2’s gone with the grenade blast, aim for the squad!”

Gunner grunts, manually cranks the turrent wheel and…  “FUCKING turrent!”

“Driver on my mark traverse left until ordered to stop on my… MARK!  TRAVERSE LEFT!”

“Traversing, suh!”

Kayla and the rest of the Pymatunig Militia advance-until they see one of the Challenger tanks begin to turn left, toward them!

Where to go?!  Houses to the left-“To the houses!”

As best they can, they run, stagger to the burning houses… toward Agent Cooper!

Agent Cooper sees the Challenger turn it’s 70 ton bulk toward the militia, sees the militia running across him to cover…

“They bloody spotted us-turning right!”

“I can do elevation, Sir!”

“Well that’s something.  Don’t wait on my order fire when you-“

-Gunner sees the militia, that Terminator yank in his vision-it’s beehive that’s close enough-

“ON THE WAY!”

The Challenger 120mm smoothbore cannon FIRES!

Agent Cooper and Kayla’s militia turn, hear the boom, the blast of the British tank’s main armament, the blast and kick up of thousands of metal darts-nails with fins-into the dirt just bare meters from them!

“FUCKING GUN’S OUT OF ALIGNMENT!”

Both Gunner and Commander work on the balky fire control system-no use not to if the gun can hit something so close.  Driver keeps a watch on their targets…

Agent Cooper coughs, there’s a lot of dust, debris-this has turned into the mother of all clusterfucks-where’s that militia?!

Kayla Miller and her team advance-no sense not taking advantage of a broken battle tank that can’t shoot!  They advance…

…Cooper sees the militia advancing towards the tank, which makes sense if the turrent’s jammed and fire control system’s broke.  Up to him, then: five man well armed fire team, haven’t even noticed him…

“Spread out already” David Getz waves everyone away from him “don’t give those fucking English an easy target!  They’ll be a few minutes fixing their fire control!”

The militia starts to break up their formation, yes they’re experienced.  Gotta hit em’ right now… Agent Cooper aims, his Glock 18 on full auto with 18 rounds of 9mm hollowpoint… Cooper draws a 33round magazine, ejects the flush magazine and slaps the extended mag home-34 rounds.  His pistol on full automatic fires at 1200 rounds per minute-20 rounds per second so a full auto sweep across their formation may or may not get them all.  Cooper being a pro knows the Glock 18’s trigger intimately and can feel the sear break…

Get the machine gunner and sniper, in the center…

…Hal turns, sees some guy in a black leather jacket aiming a pistol-he raises his AK-47.

Cooper by reflex turns to the threat and fires P-FFFFFT!  Three round burst rips across Hal’s torso, and he FIRES a round, which impacts the remnants of the Roofing Truck and he falls.

Kayla, Emma, Chris, and David turn as one to face the new threat.

“Chris, RUN!”  Kayla raises her M14.  Emma and David raise their weapons as well.

Cooper reaches back, chucks a smoke grenade and it goes off, generating thick black smoke-Cooper heads to his left inbetween houses.

“Shit!”  Kayla moves forward-

“-Stop!  That’s what he wants!”  David points the M240 in the general direction of where Cooper went and lets loose a long string of machine gun fire.

“Emma help me get Hal up, get his belt Dave’s gonna need it now!”  Emma grabs Hal’s belt of M240 fodder as Dave empties his machine gun into the nearby homes, hoping for a hit.  She goes to him, and Dave immediately opens the cover, loads the belt as she covers.

Kayla gathers Hal, “gotta get up, this is a bad place to bleed-come on!”

Hal struggles to get up.

Agent Cooper lies low, letting the gunner empty his 240.  The rounds stop, he gets up, staggers forward-one ran… Chris Bernard.

Chris runs into Chardon, between homes afire, broken glass about.  One good thing about the war was he finally got in shape because being a tech expert… ‘nerd’… usually meant being physically pathetic.  Now he’s running for his life… no, he’s running to save the Second American Revolution from defeat.

Chris stops, turns, sees in the distance that man in the leather advance.  He aims his AK, fires… no he’s not the best shot but he’s got 6 more magazines and he’s got a pistol-how bad can this be?

Chris misses Cooper but not by much and he goes for cover… about 80 yards away, which is iffy for an accurate hit, but he has a machine pistol so he fires a burst.

Cooper’s short, Chris takes cover behind a house, pretty sure 9mm won’t penetrate.  He has to escape, but he’s going to have to kill this bastard.

Cooper advances, pretty sure this is just some kid whose seen some combat, but still a kid.  Just have to go right, go behind, hope he freezes and he’ll have this one bagged.

Kayla works on Hal, and thankfully his bulletproof vest stopped two of the three impacting 9mm rounds… the third hit his thigh unfortunately.  Not a lot of blood loss, but it’s centered.  Thigh bone’s broke likely.  Hal knows.

“Leave me.”

“Hell’s no!  There’s only five of us left-“

“-Four!  Protect Chris, that fed’s after him and we lose him, we lose this war-GO!”

Kayla gets up.  “Emma, take care of Hal, his leg’s broke.  Gimmie your ammo belt.”  Emma tosses Kayla the pack with the MG belt and she and Dave march forward after Chris and that fed agent.

The two spread out but stay in sight.

In the Challenger the crew finishes recalibrating the fire control system.

“Can’t traverse, the turrent’s jammed; but maybe the bloody sights will be on target.”

“Load beehive!”

Loader loads another beehive round: “up!”

“Fire!”

Gunner has both Hal and Emma in their sights… “on the way.”

Both Dave and Kayla jump at the BOOM of the Challenger tank’s 120mm cannon.

“Fuck…”

“Turrent’s jammed probably, from the explosion.  Lucked out there.  This fed’s the one we need to worry about now.”  Dave moves smoothly covering their left as Kayla covers their right with her M-14 rifle… good thing she had that now instead of having to do this with her Mosin…

“Chris, stay put!  We’re coming for you!”

Agent Cooper heard Kayla, now he’s got a sniper and a machine gunner to worry about again-sounds like the Brits took care of the other two though there’s no telling if or when help arrives… maybe as soon as some NATO jet sees the smoke and fires… then they’ll carpet bomb this entire hick town-gotta move fast!

Cooper moves around the house, sees Chris Bernard squatting just behind.  No need to sneak up, he aims and fires a burst into Chris’s back, the suppressed 9mm not sounding like a machine pistol.

Kayla gets a bad hunch… “COME ON!”  Kayla and Dave come running straight for Chris and oh God his body’s on the ground and not moving…

“CHRIS!!”

Dave cuts loose with half a belt of 7.62mm…

…Cooper ducks low, just low enough to avoid the burst and retreats backward as the M240 climbs on the gunner and the rounds fly through homes relatively safely overhead.

Kayla runs around the house… same path Cooper took.

Dave stops firing, runs around to get a better shot…

Cooper lunges forward, sees Dave and empties his Glock 18 machine pistol into Dave, cuts him down.

Behind him, Kayla aims her M-14 and fires five times into Cooper’s back, bucking him down.  She fires five more times.  Throws her rifle down, and Kayla checks Chris but he’s dead.

No time for grief.  None, she knows this.  Where’s the hard drive, the plans;  she searches Chris but there’s no trace so she goes over to Cooper and-there!  Kayla grabs the satchel with the plans and the hard drive.  She also takes Cooper’s Glock 18, roots around him and grabs his three other 33 round magazines and finds room for them on her.

Crap.  The M240-can’t leave it we need every weapon we can get our hands on but that thing’s nearly a third of her weight-unloaded!  Kayla look around-wheelbarrow by a garden!  Well, it’s for the war effort; Kayla grabs the wheelbarrow, just barely lifts the general purpose machine gun, puts the three belts of machine gun ammunition, sets her own M14 in and…. Damn this shot shoulder!

Do they got a car-with gas?

30,000 feet overhead a German Tornado fighter-bomber patrols, it’s two man crew having blanket authority to attack anything suspicious-an odd way to treat allies in their homeland even if they are shit Amis.

“I see smoke.”

“And I see the fire too!”

“Shall we go lower?”

“With those new rebel drones?  We need help.”

“How do we get that help, the radio doesn’t work.”

“Shit.  Up to us then.  We’ll just have to improvise!”

The Tornado fighter bomber could carry a greater ordnance load than a World War Two B-17, fly twice the speed of sound so it swoops low over Chardon in bare seconds.

Kayla sees the German fighter bomber rocket overhead… always bad news, those fucking Krauts love to blow shit up so much you’d think they were Americans.  Those poor souls haven’t had gas for their vehicle for a year, worse luck.  She needed an out-now….

…Chardon Police Officer Mark Goss stops in his cruiser, gets out with his M-4 in hand to establish a perimeter-what the hell happened there was a explosion then automatic gunfire, tank gunfire… hope they stopped it but if not it’s up to him to stop-

-Kayla puts one round into Mark’s cranium shutting him down for good.  Marching over she examines her prize… she rips his badge off and strips him of his M-4 and spare magazines… takes his hat as well.   That will have to do.  She gets in the police cruiser, does a donut in turning back where she came and-there’s the wheelbarrow!  Kayla pulls up, loads her rifle and Dave’s machine gun in, then west and turns on the sirens, flying through the streets, the intersection; no traffic due to the fighting and everyone running out of Chardon for their lives.

I’ll cry later.  It’s got to be later, I gotta get out of here, get the hell outta Chardon, get west.  Out of Ohio-U.P. of Michigan sounds good and she can go from there to Alabama, Texas, Montana, and finish off in Jefferson… just how are they going to make a 51 star flag look good though?

I’ll cry later….

The Tornado makes another pass, judges the wreckage and some bodies nearby.

“Rebels-in those houses I bet. “

“Ja!  Let’s leave some ordnance here!”

And the Tornado attacks the burning houses, letting loose pod rockets and drops several 500 lb dummy bombs in a bomb run, blowing up another good part of another American town.

FUSION CENTER

WARREN, OHIO

 

General Warburg watches the main view of the inclosing perimeter around Lake Pymatunig .  Major Fox talks to a Lieutenant briefly, then reports:  “General, getting reports of a town being attacked.”

“What?”

“Chardon, Ohio; there was a large explosion, dozens of casualties.  The entire TSA VIPER contingent is dead, as are a platoon of US infantry from a thermobaric blast.  One British tank and crew dead the other crippled.  And a federal agent along with five enemy combatants identified as the Pymatunig Militia-“

“-Ah, they’re the ones who launched that drone!  And they’re dead now, good.  What of the plans?”

“No plans, General.”

General Warburg looked at the rapidly updating tactical display of Northern Ohio and Western PA….

“They-I will assume there’s more than one of course, but an individual will be even harder to track…”

Jack Caruthers of Homeland Security stand by the German General, “they go north, catch a boat we’ll pick them up; Lake Erie’s only 70 feet deep at the most so even a submersible’s out.  They backtrack into PA, try for Appalachia-“

“-We’ll catch them.  Our forces are literally shoulder to shoulder, searching every last house, cave, outhouse-“

“-And reestablishing order.”  General Warburg whirls on the Homeland Security chief:  “get this straight-those plans cannot get out!  They do, and these rebels can and will turn the tide of this war, and we’ve already drawn down our forces across your country for THIS operation!!”

General Warburg turns back to the holographic display, zooms out to a wider view of America…

“You’re right Caruthers-we finish this operation, we can send NATO forces westward unimpeded.”

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3 Responses to “ESCAPE”

  1. wasajco Says:

    You write well, believable.

  2. boss Says:

    Thank you – really great!

    Only two notes:
    1. Show don’t tell – they may be a prick or a sadist, but let us decide.
    2. Muddy in spots – some action/dialogue is hard to pin to a character – noticed especially during the FAE.

    Other than those minor quibbles, a bang-up job! Ripping!

  3. atex ptt switches Says:

    atex ptt switches…

    […]ESCAPE « Freedom Guide[…]…

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