June 2010 Archives

Texas Wildfire

Chapter 10

By Dwayne MacInnes

Governor Tucker wasted no time in assembling the state legislature for an emergency session. The clash between the soldiers of Fort Hood and the protesters the press had dubbed the Killeen Massacre. It was still being webcasted live over the net by various news crews. The governor was able to salvage some of his plans from the fiasco started by former Vice President Watson. The launch of the riot earlier in the day nearly ruined everything. The images of police officers overrun by an angry mob did not look promising.

However, with the soldiers firing into the crowd marching towards Fort Hood, the public sentiment for secession soared. Tucker quickly ordered that the state legislature assemble before the "feds" shut them down. Many calls went out, and Tucker expected to hear from the legislature any time now.

The governor sat behind his desk and ordered the computer to call up the local National Guard commander. The connection was instantly completed.

"Hello," a voice said over the speaker in the desk. The image of a man in military garb came into view on the holographic screen on the desk.

"I need to talk to Lt Peebles," the governor said to the unfamiliar soldier.

"I'm sorry sir, Lt Peebles is unavailable."

Governor Tucker nearly exploded when he heard this, "What do you mean he is not available? I told all commanders in the state to be ready at a moments notice!"

"You must be Governor Tucker," the man said flatly.

"Where the frick have you been?" Tucker screamed. "Of course, I'm the goddamn governor! Who the hell are you?"

The man seemed to grow larger on the screen as he stared into the camera of the compu-phone. His eyes were steely and his gaze stern. "I am Captain Brooks."

"I don't give a frick who you are," Governor Tucker said in a barely controlled voice. "You are in the National Guard and you will follow my orders to call out the guard."

"No sir, you are wrong," Brooks stated.

"Are you violating a direct order from the governor to call out your units?"

"Sir, you do not understand. I am not from the National Guard. I am Captain Brooks of Delta Force. I take my orders from the President of the United States."

Tucker suddenly felt very cold as he hit the disconnect button. It appeared that former President Roberts or President Ramirez had in fact had Special Forces units stationed around the state to take over various strategic buildings. He should have spent more time investigating these rumors.

An aide suddenly ran into Governor Tucker's office. Tucker did not look up at the excited aide. "They did it sir!"

Tucker turned towards the aide with a quizzical look on his face. "What are you talking about?"

"The legislature, sir. The state legislature voted to secede."

Tucker shortly forgot his new worry. "Texas seceded from the Union?"

"Well everyone voted for it except the western districts. But it was overwhelming in favor. We are free!"

The governor smiled weakly. "No, not yet. We still have a war to win."

* * * * *

"Well, things have come to a head," Todd Schneider briefed President Ramirez. The Hispanic president sat at his desk in the Oval Office and listened to his advisors as they briefed him on the situation that was quickly getting out of hand in Texas. "All federal military installations are under siege and most of the National Guard installations remain under our control."

Ramirez shot a troubled look at his friend. The president appeared to have aged a good twenty years in the last few hours. "What do you mean most of the National Guard installations remain under our control?"

Todd looked around uncomfortably. "Well, the special forces Roberts had moved into Texas clandestinely were able to secure most of the Guard bases. However, some were either overrun by the protesters or the Special Forces did not arrive in time."

"So you are saying that some of the rabble in Texas is now armed with military grade weaponry?"

"Yes, a few. Most bases are still under our control," Todd replied defensively.

"Exactly, what are we looking at as far as material that is now in the rioters hands?" Ramirez pressed.

"Well, as far as we can tally about 20 F-16 fighters, 12 M1A1 Abrams tanks, some support vehicles, and an unknown quantity of M-16 assault rifles, machineguns, grenades, LAW rockets and the like."

"This is not good," Ramirez replied in a forlorn voice. "We have a rebellion on our hands and it looks like many of them are armed with some of our own weapons."

"Well, fortunately it is not the top of the line stuff. Just the castoff equipment that the army or air force no longer use and has been handed down to the National Guard."

"That is small comfort to the military forces I am now going to have to order into Texas to put down the rebellion."

General Richard Slater the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff stepped forward. "Sir, we have a very ticklish situation here."

President Ramirez nodded his head, "Yeah, we can't just send our military into Texas and just stamp out the rebellion. We have to be very precise and specific with our targets. Many of those people still consider themselves American or at least do not fully support the rebellion. If we make a mistake we only strengthen our opposition's hand."

"That is correct, sir," General Slater replied. "However, if I may advise the president it would be a good idea to federalize the National Guard in Texas and the surrounding states. Or any state that may be showing significant sympathy towards the rebels."

"What you are proposing is tantamount to martial law," Ramirez stated.

"Yes sir," General Slater answered in a deadpan voice.

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Reunited...

Chapter Thirty

By Douglas E. Gogerty

While Prince William and King Thorbjorn were heading to areas south of Lakeland, Princess Angelina returned to her father's castle in Calmondak. She had much news to share with her father.

"Father," began the Princess in their formal meeting.

"Yes...?" the King responded with a skeptic voice.

"I have acquired my own kingdom."

"What?"

"King Thorbjorn has given me the Treaty Lands."

"Why?"

"It is a long story, which you do not need to hear."

"As you wish."

"Naturally, I know little about running a kingdom."

"I will have my best people aid you in establishing this kingdom of yours."

"Thank you. I was hoping you would say that."

"What will you call this land, and where will you establish your castle complex?"

"I have not decided on a name yet. There is time for that. As for a castle, there is a centrally located building complex that I would like to use."

"Establishing a castle is an important first step. Do you know anything about that castle?"

"I was going to visit it first, but I believe it is suitable."

"If memory serves, there is nothing tall and grand in those lands. At least, there is nothing similar to the castle here."

"The complex I chose has a lake nearby...."

"So water should not be a concern...."

"No. Thankfully. It is a lovely spot."

"Good. Now when is the wedding?"

"Wedding? What wedding?"

"I assume this kingdom will be run by Prince William after your wedding."

"You would assume incorrectly."

"So, who will run the kingdom?"

"I will."

"You?"

"Yes Father, I am capable of taking care of things."

"But running a kingdom requires a man's touch."

"You are impossible!" the Princess exclaimed in exasperation.

"What?" responded the King with a shrug.

"You have access to the ancient records. There were numerous female leaders in ancient time, and you know it."

"That was then. This is now."

"What does that mean?"

"Times have changed. What will you do about the raiders?"

"I will handle them."

"How?"

"In my own way. No one else's tactics have worked, so a different approach may be warranted."

"What about advances from other kingdoms?"

"We will cross those bridges when we come to it. I assume that my kingdom and yours will be allied."

"Certainly."

"I also do not expect trouble from Lakeland."

"I would not be so sure."

"Someone in that court is strongly on my side."

"Do not underestimate King Thorbjorn's treachery."

"You do not have to worry about that. I also will not underestimate yours."

"Dear!"

"Father, I know you..."

"I guess you do. Is there anything else you need?"

"Can I get a couple of those fast cars?"

"Fast cars?"

"Some people in the Forbidden Zone drove them. My suncar could not keep up."

"Oh those cars! Well, those cars are not to stray far from their home base."

"Why is that?"

"For one thing, they run on compressed gas. There are no gas stations outside the zone."

"I am sure that can be easily rectified."

"For another, they are made with technology that I do not wish others to possess."

"Not even me?"

"As you are aware, these cars travel much faster than suncars. Further, they can travel at night without a reduction in performance. If they were to get into the wrong hands..."

"They would also be helpful to me should I get into trouble."

"I -- uh -- yes. I will make the arrangements, but you can only have one."

"That will do -- for now."

An entourage left in suncars in advance of the Princess's departure. Their task was to establish the castle complex prior to her arrival. She wished to view it in person first, but the car situation changed everything. In this way, she had to trust her father's advisory team.

The Princess was anxious to get going, but she understood the reason for the delay. She knew that her father did not wish his little girl to get into trouble. However, it was well too late for that. The Princess was regularly getting into trouble. In fact, it did not start with her running away to the Forbidden Zone either. She managed to get into trouble well before then.

Nonetheless, she was getting restless. In fact, she began plotting trouble just so that the King would be glad to be rid of her. She pondered on what she could do to force the King to deliver the car. However, those plans were unnecessary as the compressed air car (or CAC as the King calls them) was delivered after several days.

The King also gave her a mobile solar powered compressor. In that way, she could refill the vehicle on her journey to her kingdom. A gas station would be unnecessary. A technician taught her how to work the compressor.

The device was simple, and she soon learned as much as she could about it. Her father's engineers built the thing on an ancient air compressor design. The only difference is that it ran on solar power. Thus, she could set it up in the sun to fill its tank. Then, when her CAC's tank was empty, she could refill it with the now full tank.

She thought of several improvements when she learned how the vehicle worked. A cross between the suncar and the CAC should be workable. Using sun power to compress the air while in transit should not be much trouble. That could possibly increase the range of the vehicle. She also thought that the portable compressor tank should be the same as the CAC's tank. In that way, a refill process would not be necessary. A quick swap of the tanks would be all that was required.

Those improvements would have to wait. Perhaps her own kingdom would develop those cars. In her mind, the Princess had spent too much time in Calmondak as it was. Thus, she was ready to go when the CAC arrived.

However, she did not anticipate the spare tank. Thus, she filled the spare compressor tank on the first day. At first, she thought about driving at night and recharging the air tank during the day. However, she decided against that and left the next day.

It was cloudy and rainy on the day she wished to leave. At first, she thought she would have to postpone her trip for one more day. However, the CAC used different technology than the suncar. It was not fully dependant on the solar energy, so it could travel during cloudy and rainy weather. Hence, the Princess left without delay.

Further, because of the CAC's speed and range, she made such good time that the entourage did not have much time to get anything ready at her castle complex. The old suncars where hampered by weather. Thus, the Princess did not have to rely fully on her father's advisors. She could make decisions on her own.

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Texas Wildfire

Chapter 11

By Dwayne MacInnes

Ramirez looked over the reports his advisors had seen fit to bring to the staff meeting. It looked like the U.S. military forces were able to retain control of their bases. However, many were now under siege. The rebels overran a few more National Guard bases. In most cases, the various Special Forces that were holding them destroyed the military stores before pulling out.

The borders to New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mexico were now essentially closed. The president wasted no time in rushing regular troops to closing off those borders. Thousands of refugees flooded the checkpoints and had to wait many hours before the guards allowed them through as they checked the refugee's credentials and meager possessions.

"Mr. President, we can knock out their power grid if you would only authorize it," a pudgy balding aide said.

"No, Andy. As I said before, if it looks like we are harming civilians, we only help the rebel's cause."

"Sir, let me point out that the rebellion has been going on for a week and we have not shown any significant gains. All we are doing is holding on by our fingernails," Andy Pickens shot back.

"General, could you enlighten us to current intelligence in Texas," Ramirez nodded towards General Slater.

"Sir, we are still strengthening our noose around Texas. They are completely hemmed in by land, sea, and air. There was an attempt to force their way through with some boats, but the Coast Guard, with the help from ships belonging to the Fourth Fleet, easily repelled them.

"As to the rebels, well sir, it is complete chaos. The governor and former Vice President Watson are bickering over who is in command. Many members of the New Texas Tea Party and Sons of the Alamo refuse to acknowledge either one. There is an advantage here if can mass our forces for a big push through Texas."

Ramirez nodded in agreement. "Yes General, but we must have a good plan to minimize the damage and civilian deaths. I will not budge on that issue."

"Mr. President," Todd Schneider broke in. "The rebellion is gaining in popularity across the United States. Many militias, freeman, and other super patriot groups have snuck into Texas. Not mention there is a good arms smuggling ring operating out of Mexico."

"How would it look if we bombed a hospital, or if we killed a bunch of nuns at mass? Do you think our cause will become more popular?" Ramirez shot back.

The door to the presidential wardroom suddenly shot open, an aide in a blue suit and red tie burst into the meeting. The man had obviously been running for his flushed face matched the color of his tie. Before anyone could object the aide blurted out, "Sir, check out the news!"

Ramirez nodded his head towards Andy Pickens who was closest to the video display controls. With a touch, a screen mounted on the wall in the back of the room flickered to life. A news channel had already been preset.

A journalist sat behind a desk with a projection of a holographic display of Texas behind him read from his teleprompter. "Again, it looks like the western districts of Texas have left the New Republic and are proclaiming themselves as a new state called West Texas. They swear that they are loyal citizens of the United States and will not aid the rebels."

Ramirez looked over towards General Slater. "General, I want military units into West Texas immediately. I want those people protected from reprisals."

General Slater stood up and saluted the president, "Consider it done."

"Andy, see if you can get Congress to accept West Texas as a new state."

"It'll be close in votes. Many Republicans are not openly pulling for the rebels, but there is a growing sympathy from them. We'll need to get the few remaining moderates onboard."

* * * * *

"It now looks like our dictator and chief has now been able to rally the liberals in the western part of Texas to form their own state," Limbeck said forcefully into the microphone in his studio. "It did not take the liberals in Washington long to acknowledge and form the new state of the Socialist Republic of Texas or as they are calling it, West Texas."

"Come on people. We need to wake up and support our brothers in arms in the New Republic of Texas. If we all can overthrow our communist president in Washington, D.C. we can have our country back."

Limbeck's studio manager rushed into the studio occupied by Limbeck. He made a furious slashing motion across his neck beckoning Limbeck to cut off his rant. Flash looked at his manager and frowned.

"I'm sorry folks. It looks like Gene -- my manager -- believes I have gone too far. I will assert that we haven't gone far enough…" before Limbeck could finish his statement, Gene flipped off the broadcasting switch.

Flash furious threw his headphones onto the broadcast control panel. "Dammit Gene, you have no right to pull the plug!"

"Are you trying to get us thrown into prison for fomenting a rebellion?" Gene yelled back. The slight man rarely disagreed with Flash, but when push came to shove the studio manager could hold his own.

"What are you talking about? The First Amendment protects free speech," Limbeck replied more calmly.

"You are not protected if you ask people to take up arms against the president."

Flash smiled, "I never said for people to take up arms against the president. I am not seditious if I have not advocated any immediate and specific act of violence."

"You are picking nits my friend and the FCC could revoke our license if you do not tone it down. Plus, you did make a threat directly towards the president of the United States. I suspect we will be getting a visit from the Secret Service pretty soon."

"Oh, great. Now the Gestapo is going to come after me," Limbeck said rolling his eyes.

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Texas Wildfire

Chapter 12

By Dwayne MacInnes

The military convoy moved slowly through the back roads of New Mexico, winding its way between desolate rock formations and barren hills. The Army and Army National Guard have been shuttling supplies into the new state of West Texas for days now. The convoys rarely repeated taking the same routes at the same time to make it more difficult for rebels to lay an ambush.

Lt White rode in the front truck hauling crates of the M-18 assault rifle and boxes of assorted ammunition. The five other trucks also were loaded with various cargoes. Some were hauling food, some medical supplies, and others just basic supplies needed to keep an army going. One venerable Ultra AP vehicle rode along to protect the convoy.

Music played from the small MP5-keychain dangling from the truck's ignition. If one wanted, they could even depress a button and a holographic video projected from the MP5-keychain. However, the military frowned on such things while on maneuvers.

"Say Loot, we could sure make better time if we could use the interstate," Corporal Martinez stated as he drove the truck over the rough gravel road.

Every bump caused the driver and the passenger to hop into the air; sometimes leading to an irritating connection between the soldier's head and the cab's roof.

"You know the orders," Lt White stated coldly. "We are to move through this area so that the rebels cannot ambush us and steal the valuable supplies we are carrying."

Martinez snorted, "Are you kidding? The rebels would have to make their way through West Texas and into New Mexico and back with our supplies. That would be highly unlikely."

"I don't think the rebels would be wearing signs that say, Look! I'm a rebel. Remember there is a lot of support for their cause across the country."

Corporal Martinez opened his mouth to reply when an explosion rocked the truck. Martinez slammed on the breaks as the Ultra AP, now a flaming wreck coasted off the dirt road to stop when it collided with a piled of rocks.

"Holy shi…" Martinez started before a bullet exploded his head against the driver's side windshield.

Lt White hit the button activating the mike in his helmet as he exited the cab. "This is convoy Echo Bravo! We are under attack!"

White continued to broadcast his message as he slid underneath the truck. Bullets ricocheted off steel and rocks all around him. He watched as other soldiers jumped from their trucks only to be sawed down by a machine gunner located somewhere in the hills to their right.

"Repeat: this is convoy Echo Bravo! We are under attack!" White continued to broadcast. He noticed that the firing had now slacked off. He halted his transmission as he heard voices and footsteps approach the convoy. Occasionally, a pistol would bark as someone finished off a soldier.

Finally, a pair of black military boots stopped in front of White's face as he pushed himself back further under the truck's frame. A head looked down under the truck and smiled ominously.

"Well, well. What do we have here?" the man with a face full of stubble and wearing a cowboy hat grinned. "It looks like we missed one."

"No, no…" White protested holding his hands out in front of him as he pleaded. "This was not the plan."

The man grinned even harder as he held an old Colt .45 Peacemaker threatening towards White. He pulled the trigger only once. The pistol barked one last time before he pulled himself up straight and looked back towards the men mounted on horses behind him. "Okay, boys we need to get these supplies loaded up and we need to vamoose immediately."

Colt 45 Peacemaker

The growing numbers of people joining the Oath Keepers were almost unmanageable for Fred Wilson to control. He constantly needed to find bigger and bigger areas to host his meetings. Thankfully, Sheriff Gracen was always able to secure a location.

With the military presence in Littleton constantly growing, the people of the small New Mexico town were in near riot. However, it would not help anyone if another massacre happened here. The main reason was that the military was prepared to hold onto all states that even thought of seceding.

Sympathetic states' legislatures and U.S. Congress people all protested the heavy-handed way they felt President Ramirez was dealing with the rebellion. Some people were angry because they felt that the Federal Government had no justification to stop Texas from seceding. Others felt that the president was taking too long to respond.

Wilson could feel that soon there would be enough people and sentiment of support for the New Republic of Texas that the U.S. government would have to bow to the people's will and sue for peace with the new country.

The meeting was another long and vehement affair as people vented their anger and frustration over the whole situation. Many people called for the assassination of Ramirez or another armed rebellion. However, Wilson knew that the time was not ripe for either.

Sheriff Gracen, a man straddled with maintaining the peace of the small town and making sure that the military did nothing to violate the Constitutional Rights of his people, wanted to speak to Wilson after the meeting. His concerns grew nightly about the growing animosity being displayed at the meetings. They needed a better and more productive approach. That is, unless Littleton and his people in New Mexico wanted to leave the Union and therefore, suffer the chaos and carnage that was raging across the New Republic of Texas.

Gracen stepped up to the stage where Wilson had for two hours railed against President Ramirez and the Federal Government. He noticed that Wilson was speaking to a wiry young man in his mid-twenties. The young man was wearing his military fatigues as Gracen approached the two.

"Hey Bernie!" Wilson waved to the sheriff. "Have you met Ted Morrel?"

Sheriff Gracen nodded towards the young man. "Ted was recently discharged from the army for his views on the rebellion," Wilson added.

Sheriff Gracen smiled and looked towards Wilson, "Fred, I have a few things to discuss with you."

"Of course, Ted was just enlightening me on an interesting idea of his that very well could end this whole debacle a lot sooner."

"Really?" Gracen said arching an eyebrow.

Fred Wilson motioned for Ted to step aside, "Ted, I'll be back. We'll discuss your plan further. Now Sheriff what can I do for you?"

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Reunited...

Chapter Thirty-One

By Douglas E. Gogerty

King Thorbjorn and his small entourage headed into the Pirate Penninsula. There was a government there, but to outsiders it seemed quite ineffectual. It appeared that the government leaders spent all of their time arguing and not actually governing. From an outside perspective, these leaders spent all of their efforts pandering to the mob. With this form of government, there was no one to stop the raiding and the piracy. Nowhere would you find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

Nonetheless, it was a place where anything could be purchased, and that is what King Thorbjorn wanted. He planned to purchase a few raids upon Princess Angelina's newly formed kingdom. He could contact several people for this purpose; however, he had to speak to the provincial government first. The King very much wanted to get in and out of the peninsula as fast as he could, but he could not do anything without the permission of the area authority.

The government required a transaction permit was required for any business to take place on the peninsula. In other words, the government wanted its cut on anything that went on within its jurisdiction. The King just thought of it as a bribe.

Fortunately, the governmental establishment was not out of the way. It was on the northern part of the peninsula on the coast. Thus, the trip, while still dangerous, was not arduous. There were many major roads heading in and out of the capitol.

The King and his group arrived at the statehouse at midday. He told one of the guards that he wished to see the governor. The King laughed to himself because the thought of the man he was about to meet governing was funny to him. It seemed to the king that the man pandered to the people in every conceivable way. At no point did he feel that the governor actually led anyone. He felt that this governor just bent to the will of the people.

"Good afternoon sir!" greeted the governor's office assistant. "How can i help you?"

"I came to see the governor -- miss," replied the King a little miffed that their government would be so backwards as to hire women.

"And whom may I say is asking?" she responded with a similar condescending tone.

"I am King Thorbjorn of Lakeland!" he shouted at the top of his lungs.

"Please have a seat," the office assistant replied unintimidatedly. "He will be with you as soon as he can."

"Did you not hear me? I am the King of Lakeland!"

"Well I did not vote for you, so please have a seat."

The King stormed away, but he refused to sit down. He paced like a caged tiger until the governor's office assistant informed him that he could see the governor.

"How dare you keep me waiting!" raged the King at the governor.

"Your visit is most unexpected," whimpered the governor. "If you had an appointment..."

"Appointment? I am the king of the largest kingdom in Morica. Do you really expect me to make an appointment?"

"Sorry -- it is just..."

"Enough of this small talk. Let us get down to business."

"Very well -- what business?"

"I need a permit to do business with a few of your citizens."

"My secretary could have handled that."

"Have you not been listening? I am the King of Lakeland!"

"Oh right, I apologize."

"I have wasted enough time here. Tell me what you want."

"What type of business transaction is it?"

"Nautical."

"How much is the transaction worth?"

"How should I know?"

"Any estimate?"

"I do not know. It will probably be a lot!"

"Less than a million gold pieces?"

"I should certainly hope so."

"Are goods being traded?"

"I am purchasing a service. No goods are involved."

"So, a commercial transaction for less than a million is 1000 gold, plus another 500 for the nautical permit. I will waive the rush processing fee. Thus, the total will be 1500 gold pieces."

"Robbery! I will not pay such an exorbitant price!"

"I could add the 100 for processing the request immediately..."

"You sir are a thief!"

The King waved at one of his men, and the man produced a case. Out of the case he counted out 1500 gold pieces.

"I wish you would have informed me that you were paying cash," the governor said shyly. "There is an additional 100 for cash handling."

"What!?!!" stated the King sternly.

"We will handle it. It was an oversight on my part. I should have asked how you intended to pay. It is just that I am not involved in these things often."

"Are we through?"

"We need to process the request and issue the permit. It will take a bit. You can take advantage of the commissary while you wait."

"Wait!?!!"

"You will need the permit to make the transaction. It will take a few minutes to type it up. We will have to an the accountant count the gold. A few minutes will be required to type your receipt."

"What?"

"These things take time. We will rush it through..."

"I will wait here until it is done to make sure that you do!"

The governor gave the request to his office assistant, and she typed in the information. Her fingers flew along the typing device. A short time later, a knock came at the door. Another woman walked in with the printed permit. The governor immediately signed it and handed it to King Thorbjorn.

The King began to leave, but the governor reminded him that the transaction would not be complete until the gold was counted. The accountant had not yet arrived. Thus, they had to wait for several minutes. Another knock at the door, and a third woman arrived. She was the accountant. She carefully counted the gold coins. Once she was through, she counted them again.

She typed the information into her little device, and out came a sheet of paper. She handed three gold pieces and the paper to the governor. Without a word, the accountant left the room. The governor handed the receipt and the three gold pieces to the king. The transaction was complete, and the King was now able to continue on his journey.

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Texas Wildfire

Chapter 13

By Dwayne MacInnes

Governor Tucker reclined in his office chair with smoldering cigar in his hand. Former Vice President Watson also sat in the room, as did several members of the New Texas Tea Party and the Sons of the Alamo. Smoke filled the room and a fly buzzed in a window vainly trying to get out.

"Well, people," Tucker said finally opening the meeting he had called. "We need to hammer out a government.

"This bickering is not helping us out at all. It is only a small miracle that Ramirez lacks the intestinal fortitude to invade us or this whole rebellion would have been put down weeks ago."

Several people nodded their heads in agreement, as Kimberly Watson stared at Governor Tucker with an icy glare. She did not like the fact that Tucker had jumped upon calling this summit before she did. This put him completely in control of the situation and allowed him to direct where the dialogue would go rather than her.

Tucker ignored Watson as he continued with only the constant buzzing of the fly competing with his words.

"We have lost a third of our country already to the Democrats in the west. We lost it without firing a single shot! Yet, to make it worse, because of the lack of leadership, we could not even pose a threat to take it back! Now it is too late.

"We cannot afford to let this happen again. Therefore, I propose that we form a government before we leave this office. We also need to discuss forming a real army instead of the mob we have keeping the Federal forces under siege in their bases. We need to seek allies, form treaties and come up with our own currency -- just to name a few items."

Now the mood in the room started to change to a more positive affair. Former Vice President Watson's face started to brighten. She realized everything Tucker said was true and if she wanted to play any part of it, she would need to contribute.

* * * * *

The young Air Force sergeant sat at his terminal situated deep inside Malmstrom Air Force Base located in Great Falls, Montana. A screen sat before him in the dark room that was his workstation. He listened to a headset positioned on his head as he toyed with various dials, switches and buttons on his terminal. He hit a button and spoke into his mike that radiated off the headset.

"Captain," Sergeant Wilcox said in the mike. "You better get in here."

Captain Richardson wasted no time in responding to the young man's request. She stepped into the dark room making sure to secure the door behind her.

"What is it, sergeant?" she asked.

"I'm getting some very good stuff that I think the brass may be interested in," Wilcox responded as he punched a button that brought the large screen in front of him to life. The image flickered briefly before coming fully into focus. There at an odd angle was an interesting image. A camera caught the images of Governor Tucker, former Vice President Watson, and a various number of other people sitting in the governor's office.

"Can you give me audio?" Captain Richardson asked.

Wilcox flipped a switch and turned a couple of dials before sound began to emit from the speakers in the terminal.

"…so we call up all veterans and have them start training our mob into a real army." Governor Tucker's voice stated.

"I want a sweep of those faces so we can give intel the images so that we can get an idea of who we are dealing with," Richardson ordered Wilcox.

The sergeant grabbed a joystick in one hand and a control panel that resembled and old 'Tracball' mouse in the other. The camera began to bob around the room and the faint sound of a buzz filtered into the background of Tucker's conversation.

The image floated surrealistically as the camera panned the room. The camera captured all the faces and recorded into the central computer banks located in the base's heart. One man swung a hand towards the camera and Sergeant Wilcox scrambled to move his device out the hand's way.

"Damn, fly," the man muttered before Wilcox parked the camera back on the window.

* * * * *

"Okay, loyal listeners," Flash said into his mike. Gene monitored Limbeck closely from the other side of the studio's window. Limbeck's tirade the previous week nearly cost the station its FCC license and even some harsh criticism from their benefactors. "It looks like Comrade Ramirez has appointed General Powell Davis to lead his assault into Texas."

"You all remember Powell Davis from his work with the U.N. inside Chile last decade as the Argentines threatened to invade.

"Well, it looks like the New World Order of the United Nations has gracefully allowed our dictator to borrow Davis to bring the New Republic of Texas to heel.

"Where will this all end my friends?" Flash stated as his voice started to rise to his usual fever pitch. "I'll tell you where. It'll end when every freedom loving person in this country is rounded up and deposited inside one of Ramirez's concentration camps."

Gene frowned. Limbeck had always carefully stayed away from the New Tea Party's ideology of concentration camps inside the United States. However, now in the heat of his tirade, Flash was now reinforcing the idea put forth by the fringe element of the right.

"No my friends, we have waited too long. I have held myself back too much for fear that Washington may take away our broadcast license. If we broadcasters cannot operate freely under this administration, it is a dictatorship. We must send a message to Der Fuhrer Ramirez and his Gestapo and SS cronies in Washington. Even if that message has to come from the end of rifle it needs to be done."

Gene was too slow in shutting down the show. However, the phone started ringing immediately after Gene cutoff Limbeck. Gene swore to himself as Flash angrily left the studio to confront his station manager.

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A little Friday Fun...posted particularly for Dwayne! (hat tip to Pharyngula...

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Reunited...

Chapter Thirty-Two

By Douglas E. Gogerty

With her castle complex set in place, Princess Angelina could explore her kingdom. At first, she thought about using her CAC (Compressed Air Car), but she was going to be a part of an entourage. She did not dare travel across her kingdom alone. Further, she did not want to show off her new technology right away. Since the suncar was well established, she and her group would travel together in suncars to meet her new people.

Furthermore, while meeting her subjects, she wanted to learn more about them. She wanted to discover what kind of technologies they had to offer. Since her father had a lot of technology that he did not share, she wondered what things others had that she may not know about. She was quite curious about these things. She really liked learning about new technologies.

Further, since necessity was the mother of invention, the regular raids may have brought up solutions. Often people come up with novel ways to handle situations. At least, the Princess wanted to know the solutions that some residents used. Certainly they had to do something to fight against the raiders.

In addition, if the Princess thought that some technology might be useful for more people, she planned to spread it around. Not to mention, she could get others to see if they could improve these technologies. This is one of the things she really liked about technology.

The Princess realized that her father exploited a technology gap to stay in power. The Princess hoped to do the same. If she could use technology to improve the lives of her people, they would certainly wish to keep her around. At the very least, she would be able to recruit people to fight for her. This could be very helpful to her.

Moreover, she was going to see if her charms could work towards her goals. She would flirt with citizens all over her kingdom and determine if it helped her achieve her goals. If someone were reluctant to discuss their technologies, she would attempt to use her beauty to change his (or her) mind. In her limited test, she did get what she wanted with a wink or a few words. Thus, she was hopeful.

All over her kingdom, her citizens greeted the Princess warmly. For most, the change in leadership meant very little. Since the Princess did not plan to treat her residents more harshly or tax them a great deal more, the power change would not affect their lives. Most expected to just go on with their lives.

Nonetheless, the citizens did enjoy meeting royalty. Hence, crowds of people cheered the Princess as she came to the various towns. Obviously, with the greeting, she felt very good about her kingdom. However, she realized that she would need to change her title. No longer was she Princess Angelina of Calmondak. She was a sovereign now. Was she going to be Queen Angelina? Perhaps she would have her subjects call her Empress Angelina. Would her small kingdom count as an empire? Perhaps she should take something else. Maybe she would invent her own title. For now, she continued to call herself princess.

After all, she had other things to consider. For instance, she would have to determine a name for her kingdom. She had only known this part of Lakeland as The Treaty Land. Did it have another name? Would she have to make something up?

Further, she wanted her title to fit with the name of the kingdom. She wanted her title and kingdom to roll off the tongue easily. She laughed at herself for thinking about these trivialities. However, they were things she needed to consider at some point. She realized that there was more to establishing a kingdom than just declaring it so. She would get to these small things when she was ready. For now, she was enjoying meeting her subjects.

As she traveled around, she eventually met someone unexpected.

"What are you doing here?" asked the Princess.

"I have been waiting for you," replied Prince William.

"Why would you do something that stupid?"

"Because we are good together."

"You have not heard a word I have told you."

"Sure I have."

"Then why are you here?"

"I told you, because we are good together."

"That is not it."

"What?"

"You think that you have a shot at a kingdom by coming to see me."

"Why do you think that?"

"Because I know you."

"I suppose you do at that. Anyway, we could run an excellent kingdom together."

"However, this kingdom is mine."

"We could run it as a couple."

"You know we could not."

"Why do you say that?"

"Like I said, you have not heard a word that I have said."

"I have too. I just disagree with your conclusion."

"Listen, if there was a kingdom where the king made none of the decisions, did none of the adjudications, did none of the administrative kingdom running, what would you think of him?"

"I would think he was something special."

"Let me rephrase that, what would your father think of him?"

"He would probably think he was a weakling," replied Prince William meekly.

"How would he react to this weakling?"

"He would probably invade his kingdom."

"Exactly!"

"But I am his son. He would never invade with me here."

"If you think that being one of his many children would matter, you do not know your own father very well."

"I guess..."

"Further, he is not the only one who would think that the kingdom was week."

"You may be right, but they are going to think the same thing with you running the kingdom. So, what is the difference?"

"My availability changes the equation."

"Wow! You think very highly of yourself."

"On the contrary, I think very lowly of them," replied the Princess confidently. "Those kings outside of my kingdom will attempt to build their kingdom through marriage rather than conflict. In this way, I should be able to sway them. However, if I am married, that sort of alliance would be out of the question."

"So you do not want me here."

"While I sympathize with your desire to have your own kingdom, I cannot help you."

"Is that your last word?"

"I should not have had to spell it out for you, but yes."

"So what am I supposed to do now?"

"I suggest you leave the area before your father sends some raiders here."

"He would not dare!"

"Obviously, you do not know your father very well do you?"

"What makes you think he would do such a thing?"

"Because he wants this land back."

"Why would he not just take it back directly?"

"That is complicated, but let us just say his queen would forbid it."

"Still, he would never."

"I would not be surprised to find out that he is attempting to purchase raiders at this very moment to do his work for him."

"Impossible!"

"I bet if you contacted someone in Lakeland, they will tell you that King Thorbjorn is away."

"What will you wager?"

"Well, if I win, you have to let me run my kingdom my way. In other words, leave me alone."

"And if I win?"

"I will marry you."

"Deal! There is no way my father is away from Lakeland at a time like this!"

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Texas Wildfire

Chapter 14

By Dwayne MacInnes

Sheriff Gracen drove his patrol car down a back road towards Littleton. The broadcast studio Flash Limbeck operated from was a good 50 miles outside of town. Gracen's prisoner sat in the backseat fuming over his incarceration.

"What exactly have I done wrong?" Flash griped.

"I have told you before," Gracen said in a tired voice. "You threatened the life of the President of the United States."

"How so? I did not give anyone a gun, I did not order people to kill him," Flash stated.

"You have incited a riot," Gracen told his prisoner.

"What? Where?" Flash said in an innocent voice. "You mean everyone who is upset with the president and then decides to riot is my fault?"

"The National Guard and the military across the nation are now being forced to restore calm in several cities because of your broadcast," Gracen said.

Flash Limbeck sat back in the seat. Gracen was kind enough not to use handcuffs and was even kind enough to pick him up instead of the military. Limbeck doubted if the Military Police or the Secret Service would have treated him kindly had they picked him up. It was lucky for him they were not available and Sheriff Gracen was.

"You know," Gracen started to say to his prisoner. "I really don't like this stretch of road."

Limbeck could hardly care what Sheriff Gracen liked or did not like and only listened half-heartily.

"Yep, you know that military convoy had been ambushed on this road not too far from here."

Gracen peered into his rearview mirror to see Limbeck's reaction. The overweight man in his 60s sat in the backseat with his arms folded pouting to himself.

"Well, as I was saying," Gracen continued. "If my car broke down I'd be out here in the middle of nowhere and at the whims of any rebel that may come across me. Hell, they may even kill me just because I'm a law officer."

Suddenly, as if just speaking about it caused it to happen the patrol car started to sputter. Gracen swore under his breath as the car lost speed and coasted to a stop on the side of the barren road.

"Dammit," Gracen said as he opened the door and placed his hat on his head. "You stay put now. I have enough problems."

Limbeck flashed Gracen a dirty look. Where the hell was he going to go? Gracen had him locked in the back of a squad car. As the sheriff exited the car, his arm accidentally hit a button on the front door's control panel. Flash heard an audible click on his door.

Sheriff Gracen popped the hood on the car and started working on something. Flash realized that this may be his best chance to avoid a Federal prison. The Texas/New Mexico border was only a couple of miles to the east. Flash tested the door and it swung open. The sheriff must have unknowingly unlocked it when he exited the car.

Limbeck could hear Gracen swearing to himself as he fiddled with the car's engine. "Damn thing. Is it this?" The sheriff asked himself too engrossed in his work to notice Flash stepping up behind him with a rock. Limbeck slammed the rock into the back of the sheriff's head and a loud clang rang out as Gracen crumpled to the ground.

Limbeck did not take the time to make sure the sheriff was still alive as he ran off towards the border. The road was leading to the Texas panhandle. He had never been a fugitive before. He ran on as the fear of capture and having a murder rap added to his record was enough to propel the large man to new speeds.

Flash did not get too far before a man on a horse rode up to him. Limbeck stopped in his tracks and huffed as he stared up at the man on the horse. He wore a cowboy hat and had a Colt .45 Peacemaker on his hip. Flash also noticed half a dozen men armed with hunting and assault rifles riding with the cowboy.

"You must be Flash Limbeck," the cowboy said his smile breaking across is stubble-ridden face.

Limbeck did not know what to say and only stared at the man dumbfounded. His brain could not fathom how a posse could have been there so quickly. Limbeck could still see the unconscious sheriff and the patrol car over his shoulder on the horizon.

"Zeke," the cowboy said. "Mr. Limbeck is going to need a ride."

A man wearing blue jeans and a military jacket rode up with an extra horse and held it out to Limbeck.

"I don't know how to ride?" Flash stated.

"You better learn fast, because the Feds are going to be on our ass all the way back to the New Republic of Texas," the cowboy said.

* * * * *

Fred Wilson walked into the sheriff's department and entered the sheriff's office. It was no secret that the two men were good friends. Therefore, the rest of the department allowed Wilson free rein. Wilson sat into a chair across from Gracen's desk.

"How's the head?" Wilson asked.

"Sore," Gracen replied holding an icepack on the back of his head. "It was a good thing I wore that steel bowl under my hat or my melon would be gracing some rocky back road."

"You did good work," Wilson said. "Limbeck is important to the Texas cause. His broadcasts are very popular amongst his listeners."

"I thought the Oath Keepers were supposed to be neutral," Sheriff Gracen stated.

"We are," Wilson answered. "We had to protect Limbeck's Constitutional Rights."

"You know he did break the law," Gracen pointed out, "even under the Constitution."

"Now, let's not split hairs," Wilson said with a smile. "The important thing is that everyone is alright."

"Speak for yourself, asshole," Gracen said repositioning the icepack on his head.

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June 2013

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  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks for the kind words Kerry. I too am very read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Christian! I too had a DOS computer. read more
  • Christian: A great story, i remember my first computer with DOS read more
  • Kerry Glasscock: Good story. I love that Dwayne. nice work! read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Thanks Susanne. You are correct, the OS of computers has read more
  • Susanne: Nice read, shame computers havent improved several years later (mainly read more
  • Douglas Gogerty: Hey Rushan! Sadly no, I do not have one. Thanks read more
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