July 2010 Archives

I will let Conan explain it to you. (Hat tip to io9

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Texas Wildfire

Chapter 15

By Dwayne MacInnes

Buck Dubois sat in the pilot's seat aboard his prized possession the B-29 Superfortress he named the Yellow Rose. The old forgotten runway teamed with other vintage aircraft ranging in service dates from World War II to the Gulf War. Buck had deliberately chosen this field for its remote location and forgotten origins.

Buck waited for over a month and a half as the forces in the New Republic of Texas consolidated. Furthermore, as Ramirez dawdled, Buck, along with the nearly two hundred fellow pilots and crewmembers, awaited word for their service. Today they received the word, Operation Snakehead was to begin.

Fuel, armament, and supplies had been smuggled to their airfield. No one left to go to town lest they raise suspicion. Only a few heavily bribed smugglers brought them their supplies.

Now as the venerable piston engines roared to life along with the heavy whine of the more contemporary jets, the airfield was alive with action. The tall yellow grass swayed and buffeted in the artificial windstorm produced by the aircraft.

Buck, being the flight leader, proceeded to run the Yellow Rose down the old cracked runway. The bomber laden with tons of bombs eventually defied gravity and gracefully climbed in the morning sky. Soon, other bombers and their myriad of fighter escorts joined the B-29 in the air.

Buck smiled to his copilot and gave a thumbs-up. By the end of their mission, they could very well end the war against the New Republic of Texas.

* * * * *

LTG Groves still held Fort Hood. The siege at first was nothing more than a band of rabble encircling the huge military base. The rebels made a few attempts to charge the perimeters with cars, trucks and an old Brinks armor truck. The M-3 Schwarzkopfs easily obliterated any threat that approached the outer defenses.

The remains of those vehicles now littered the fields around the base. Groves prepared his troops to be ready at moments notice to sally forth and push their way through Killeen.

However, the order as of yet still had not been given. Groves also made sure that he had whatever air cover that was available. He needed whatever he could have provided to Fort Hood. This unfortunately entailed a few Blackfoot attack helicopters. The air force bases across Texas, though still valiantly resisted to succumbing to the rebels, were in no position to mount an offensive or lend any air support.

Airdrops and helicopters were resupplying bases like Fort Hood. As of yet, the rebels were not successful in posing any challenge to the United States air superiority. The problem was that Ramirez feared an errant bomb hitting a school or hospital. The political backlash that such and event would bring him and his supporters was not wanted. Therefore, there were no air support strikes.

Groves never liked politics, never liked any of the major parties and did not give a damn about political backlash. Right now, his forces were under siege and they awaited the orders to spring forth to wipe off this stain on the honor of the United States of America.

Before Groves could proceed to make himself any angrier, the air sirens across the base started to scream. Groves ran toward his office window and was surprised to see the entire sky filled with aluminum foil balloons. There had to be thousands, no hundreds of thousands of them. He suspected that the balloons were shadowing the entire perimeter of the base.

Groves raced out of his office and started to organize his people as the sky continued to fill with more and more foil balloons. Officers scrambled to their posts and readied their troopers.

"Sir," a master sergeant ran up to Groves and saluted. Groves returned the salute as the sergeant continued, "The radar has been rendered useless by the balloons. There are even latex balloons with strips of aluminum foil inside them. When they burst they act as chaff."

Groves felt the impending attack. He just did not know where it would come from. It could come from the sky, the land, or even both.

Without further notice, one of the Schwarzkopfs exploded in a bright fireball that washed across the base. Groves looked up in time to see an F-16 loose another missile at his tanks. Soon another M-3 burst into flames and debris.

The F-16 did not get far before a shoulder mounted SAM raced towards the old jet fighter. The burst of white near the jet's tail sent it spiraling out of control. However, there were more jets racing out of the sky to attack the base.

Missiles from ground defenses, helicopters, and soldier shoulder mounted systems raced towards their targets in the sky. In the same minute, missiles launched from F-16s, F-15s and a few relics from previous wars going back nearly a hundred years headed towards the ground.

The sky around Fort Hood blazed into fire, as did the ground. Soon, debris was raining down on the defenders. Great clouds of dirt, metal, and fire covered the horizon. However, through it all a new sound made its way through the cacophony of combat to reach Groves' ears. The sound tank treads bearing down on the defenders.

Groves yelled orders to have the remaining tanks and armored vehicles meet the new threat. Soon from all directions, that Groves could survey every design of tank converged on Fort Hood. From old Soviet T-34s, and M-4 Shermans from World War II, to some M-48s from Veitnam, to M1A1 Abrams that were decommissioned twenty years ago.

Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon

Sheriff Gracen walked into Oath Keepers headquarters, which right now was a hotel room occupied by Wilson. As Gracen entered the room, he saw Wilson talking to a soldier whose arm was in a sling.

"Thank you Lieutenant, I have already passed the information on to the right people," Wilson said shaking the soldier's good hand. "If what you told me last night is true you have done a great service for democracy."

"Sheriff, good to see you," Wilson said joyfully when he noticed Gracen at the door. The soldier nodded towards the lawman as he vacated the hotel room.

"Today could mean certain victory for the New Republic of Texas," Wilson stated proudly. "Ted is waiting for General Davis at the airport. He'll make sure he gets to the Army Reserve Center in time."

Gracen frowned; lately he was starting to become disillusioned in the Oath Keepers by Wilson's lack of neutrality. "You mean Davis is coming here?"

"Yes, and if the reports are correct he is going to set up headquarters in Littleton," Wilson stated sternly. "We must protect the Constitution at all costs."

"What are you talking about?" Gracen asked as worry began to work its way into his stomach.

Wilson looked at his watch, "You will find out in approximately two hours. That should be plenty of time for the new commandant of New Mexico to be at the Army Reserve Center."

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Reunited...

Chapter Thirty-Three

By Douglas E. Gogerty

King Thorbjorn had his permit as he began looking for someone to raid Princess Angelina's new kingdom. There were plenty of individuals willing to take the work in the Pirate Peninsula. However, the King had a particular group in mind; thus, he had some searching to do.

In the past, the King had dealt with a man known as The Shrub. He was a powerful and respected man. Further, he had many connections, and therefore went by a pseudonym to protect his legitimate business deals. The King did not know from where this name originated, but it mattered little. He was the man, who the king wanted to hire to get things done.

It took several days for the King's emissaries to find the men to whom he wished to speak. Eventually, the King's people arranged a meeting with The Shrub's people. In this way, the negotiations could begin. It was just the first step.

"There is a new kingdom forming," stated the King to the representative of The Shrub.

"How does this concern us?" asked the man.

"It is in my best interest that this kingdom fails."

"And...?"

"If my interests are realized, then benefits could flow your way."

"If the benefits are right, I am sure we could assist you."

"I will only discuss the details with the man himself."

"The Shrub is a busy man. He is not to be disturbed by trifling details."

"We have done business in the past. Face-to-face is the only way I will continue this discussion."

"Then we are finished here then?"

"I guess so."

"I cannot persuade you to deal with me?"

"No you cannot."

"In that case, I will take your proposal to the boss. Perhaps, someone will get back to you."

"That is all I can ask."

The meeting was short. However, the King was optimistic for the results. The pirate always ran his business this way. He always sent a representative to check things. If everything seemed fine, then a meeting could be arranged. Again, The Shrub was cautious. This is how he kept hold of his power.

The King met with others for backup. If the deal he preferred to make fell through, he wanted others in line to make new arrangements quickly. In this way, he would not be wasting the waiting time. He had spoken to several groups when he got word that negotiations could continue. He would meet with The Shrub.

However, he was informed that it was going to take several days to make the arrangements. Once again, instead of waiting the King met with a few more groups. He would not waste his time waiting. He thought that perhaps he could get the entire peninsula involved. The drawback on that would be that it would cost too much. However, the King thought that perhaps that would not be entirely bad.

Finally, the day came to meet with The Shrub. It was at this meeting that he would find out if a deal could be struck. If it could, then he could see to all of the arrangements.

"Glad to see you again," the man said.

"Good to see you," replied the King.

"I understand you would like to make some sort of arrangement."

"I would indeed."

"Let me hear the details."

"On the other side of the gulf from this peninsula is some land that used to belong to me. I was curious to how good are their defenses."

"And you do not invade because...?"

"I did not mention the part about no questions asked?"

"I beg your pardon. Please, give us some details -- whatever you are comfortable with."

"It is a new kingdom. The monarch is young, and may not consider defenses as a priority."

"You want us to make it fail?"

"I think a few excursions would make this young monarch ally themselves with a friendly and large kingdom."

"Who is this monarch?"

"I was sure I mentioned no questions asked..."

"Fine," responded the man with a bow. "What do we get in return?"

"I will double the payment I made last time," replied the King.

"Double?"

"It was a considerable sum. You do not find this sufficient?"

"This is a major undertaking..."

"I am not asking you to invade and take over the country. I would like you to test its defenses. Nevertheless, if you cannot handle it, I will find someone who will. In fact, I have lined up some alternatives already. However, I thought I would give you first chance because of our previous successful transaction."

"Do we keep the plunder?"

"If there is any, you may keep what you find."

"Where is my head? Do you have the proper permit?"

"Of course," the King replied showing the man his certificate.

"It appears that your paperwork is in order," replied the man as he looked over the document.

"As I have alluded to many times, I have done business here in the past."

"So, when would you like this transaction to be completed?"

"You can begin as soon as you like, but I do not expect you to finish until after the storm season. I will not pay extra for the risks."

"So, you want a couple of raids after the stormy season and we keep the plunder. Is that the agreement?"

"I do not remember saying any of that."

"Understood. We have a deal," the man said offering the King his hand.

"Thank you. I will send half the payment before the storm season ends, and the other half when the job is done."

"That will be fine. It has been a pleasure seeing and doing business with you again."

"I hope we can do this again sometime," replied the King with a slight bow.

The King and his party left the room, and walked to their waiting suncars. When they arrived, the King shouted, "Let's go!"

"What is it?" asked a member of the King's entourage.

"That was not The Shrub. We could be in big trouble if we do not get out of here fast."

The group of suncars started to head away, but some guards blocked their exit. The King ordered them to break through the blockade, so the entourage did not stop.

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Texas Wildfire

Chapter 16

By Dwayne MacInnes

He was the former governor and now President of the New Republic of Texas. Lester Tucker reclined in a large leather chair of his old office. Until Texas built a proper capital, the old Governor's Office would have to suffice. The assault on Fort Hood was still well on its way. The resistance was better than expected and the losses suffered by the New Republican Army were heavy.

The training was starting to tell. The army was now an organized affair with good officers and a growing number of recruits. Tucker knew that if he could hold off for another week, President Ramirez would have to call back his army. This was because the War Powers Act only allowed him 60 days before he had to seek a declaration of war. A declaration that had to go through Congress and right now Ramirez lacked the votes.

A fly buzzed annoyingly in the window. Insects were thick this time of year and one just learned to live with it. Even with the multiple pest control sprays used around the office the flies kept on reappearing.

A knock on the door brought Tucker back to business. He grumbled an 'enter' and a young female aide walked in.

"Sir," the woman said. "We have received some replies to your recognition of the New Republic of Texas."

Tucker sat up straight. This was important. If enough world powers recognized the New Republic as a country, the international community would force Ramirez to recognize Texas as a new and sovereign country. Tucker rubbed his hands in anticipation, "How many did we get?"

"Just three, sir," the aide replied. "However, it is still too early for most foreign countries to reply."

Tucker waved his hand in annoyance. It was well into the 21st century one could make decisions instantly. "Well, which countries recognize us?"

The aide turned slightly red before she stammered, "Ah -- North Korea, Iran and -- um -- Venezuela."

* * * * *

Ted Morrel had no problem getting into the airport. The military had secured every airport in the south and it would normally be impossible for a civilian to get inside without a thorough search.

Fortunately, Ted still had his army uniform and his military I.D. card. Luck smiled when Ted joined the ranks of some soldiers marching into the facility. The MPs standing guard only looked at everyone's I.D. with a cursory glance.

Once inside Ted worked his way over to the proper gate. There he would receive the military plane that was bringing General Powell Davis to New Mexico. Ted, with clipboard in hand started making an inspection of various things like outlets, light fixtures, chairs. He would then pretend to mark them off a checklist on the clipboard. No one bothered him because a private doing a checklist obviously was under orders.

It was not long before the large cargo plane pulled up to the ramp. A few soldiers marched out of the gate, as did some officers. Last, to depart was General Davis who was talking to some aides.

"Look, I want security tightened around here," Davis spoke to an aide. "Anyone could get in here and sabotage the airport."

"Yes sir," the aide replied.

"Well, right it down!" snapped General Davis.

The aide looked embarrassed as he searched his pockets for a pen. Davis rolled his eyes before letting them fall on Ted.

"Private," Davis said to Ted.

Ted pointed to himself in askance. "Yes you, dammit!" General Davis snapped. "Let the captain borrow your pen."

Ted's mind raced. This opportunity was too great. He could end the whole show right here and now. He would be a hero. Even if he died in the attempt, Texas folklore would immortalize him.

Ted walked over too the captain with his pen held out in his extended left hand as he reached behind his back for the knife he had hidden there. The captain reached for the pen but before he could grab it Ted dropped it. As the aide bent down to get it Ted kicked the officer in the face knocking the man back. He then whipped his combat knife out and slashed at General Davis.

Davis instinctively blocked the slash with his right forearm. He did not immediately feel the blade slice through his shirt and across his arm. With his left hand, he smashed Ted in the nose with the heel of his open hand. The private staggered back as blood gushed from his broken nose and then Ted fell over a trashcan. Before he could recover, various soldiers all with their assault rifles aimed at his chest surrounded him.

"Do I have to do everything myself?" Davis grumbled.

"Sir," a corporal nodded towards the General's arm. "You are wounded."

The blood ran down his sleeve and onto the floor where the unconscious captain lay. "Somebody please help Captain Gregory out," Davis said dryly as he clasped his left hand over the bleeding and burning wound.

* * * * *

Mike Farr was not happy. He was late for work because his son forgot his lunch. They were nearly to the grade school when his son noticed that he had left his lunch at home. Therefore, Mike had to turn the car around grab the lunch box and again start to take his son to school.

"I'm going to be late because of this," Mike lectured his son for the hundredth time. Charlie only hunkered down in the backseat hoping that he could endure his dad's tirade.

"It's bad enough that traffic is a mess with the damn military marching all over the place. But to have to turn back for your lunch really burns me up," Mike continued. "Next time you can starve young man."

A large roar split the sky as Mike turned his car down a street that led to the grade school across the street from the Army Reserve Center. "Damn," Mike cursed as traffic now came to a standstill and people jumped out of their vehicles to look towards the sky.

Mike rolled down his window and looked up to see what all the commotion was. The roaring increased as Mike noticed what must have been a hundred vintage aircraft flying over Littleton.

Then a disturbing whistle broke through the heavy roar of the big engines and bombs began to plummet towards the earth. The ground shook as explosions rocked Littleton.

Mike watched in horror as the school at the end of the street exploded along with the Army Reserve Center. After a few loud and chaotic minutes the bombs stopped falling. With tears in his eyes Mike turned towards his frightened son, "Thank you God," Mike prayed aloud, "and Charlie, you can forget your lunch anytime."

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It doesn't look good for the Princess... (Hat tip to Facebook Friend Mike Biersma!

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Reunited...

Chapter Thirty-Four

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Prince William had to travel several miles before he found a communication station. During the water wars, communication was the first thing that the opposing sides would disrupt. Hence, in some regions, the communication lines were quite thin. This was particularly the case in unimportant regions of kingdoms. The Princess's new kingdom was one such place.

The Prince felt the travel was well worth the effort, as he was anxious to prove Princess Angelina wrong. He would then have her hand in marriage. He was sure his father was still in Lakeland. After all, why would King Thorbjorn leave? The transfer of sovereignty always required some preparation. The King would need to handle much of those items. Therefore, the King would need to be available to sign things, etc.

The Prince entered in the code for the Lakeland castle complex, and waited for the connection.

"Hello," stated the voice on the other end of the line.

"It is Prince William calling for King Thorbjorn," replied the Prince.

"Oh! thank goodness you called."

"What -- what has happened?"

"Your father has been kidnapped by some pirates."

"Kidnapped? Pirates? Where?"

"He was on a secret mission to the Pirate Peninsula, and someone there grabbed him."

The Prince let out a big sigh, and then continued.

"So, what is being done about it?" he asked in a disappointed tone.

"Nothing."

"Nothing -- why?"

"Naturally, none of the heirs wish to risk anything to get him back."

"Naturally."

"The group that have him are asking for a small ransom to get him back."

"... but no one wants to raise the money."

"That is right."

"Typical."

"The King was hoping that you would come get him."

"Me?"

"He said you were rather close. Are you?"

"Me and him close? Hardly."

"Close geographically."

"Oh! I suppose that is true."

"He also told me to mention that he would make it well worth your while."

"I am guessing he did not give you any specifics..."

"None."

"How much is the ransom?"

"5000 gold pieces."

"5000? I would have to come there to raise such a sum."

"The King says that the funds can be obtained there if you just come right away."

"I see," the Prince stated with suspicion. "He stashed some money before they grabbed him."

"That is probably true."

"So, where is he?"

"He is being held somewhere in the Capitol of the peninsula."

"If the King calls, tell him I am on my way."

"Will do!"

The Prince terminated the communication and headed back to the Princess. She was preparing for some sort of expedition of her own when he returned.

"You won," stated the Prince with a downtrodden expression on his face.

"Won what?" asked the Princess.

"Our bet. The King is in the Pirate Peninsula as we speak."

"He is quite transparent."

"Apparently to you he is."

"In any event, I hope you live up to the conditions of our wager."

"I will. I will leave at first light."

"No interference."

"No interference," replied the Prince with a sigh.

"Very good -- and have a pleasant journey."

"Thanks."

The Prince was not as important as the King was. Thus, he could easily travel alone. He was not an heir to the throne, so he had no ransom value. He was unlikely ever to gain a kingdom, so he had little power to wield. Thus, he could travel just about anywhere alone.

He thought about hiring a boat to take him to the Capitol, but the water route was fraught with danger. Not only was there danger from pirates and raiders, but also storms could arise suddenly. Thus, he decided to take his suncar. It would probably take at least a day longer depending upon the weather, but it was well worth it.

Furthermore, unlike his father, he could travel the main roads. If there were any news flowing in the peninsula, the citizenry would be looking for someone bringing the ransom. Hence, the Prince would not be in much danger. There was the threat of ambush, but he did not actually have the ransom on him. Therefore, if someone stopped him, that individual would not get anything. Hence, he would be mostly safe to do his work.

The Prince gathered all his belongings and drove away from the Princess's castle complex at first light. He did not anticipate that he would ever return. In fact, he did not think he would ever see Princess Angelina again. He was saddened by this, but she had won the wager. He wanted to be a man of his word. Thus, he planned on living up to his part of the bet.

The Prince drove for most of the day, but it was clear that a storm was brewing. His suncar was not capable of full power. In fact, towards the end of the day, but still far from dusk, it got quite dark. He went as far as he could and set up camp. He found a concrete building near the road to use if it got really bad.

It was a good thing too, because the next morning was worse. It was as if the sun had not even arose. The Prince felt vindicated on his choice of driving. At sea, the ship would be taking a beating from the storm. It might not have even made it to its final destination. At least here, he had protection from the storm. He felt very grateful for the concrete structure in which he found himself.

With the storm raging, it was going to take a few extra days to get to his father. However, citizens in this part of Morica were used to the delays. This was particularly true during the stormy season. The storms grew quite ferocious in this area.

The storm blew hard for the one day, but as it pushed north it lost steam. On the second day, it was just rain. There was enough light to give the suncar some power. Thus, the Prince pushed on towards his father.

Once he reached the Capitol, he would have to find his father. Once that was accomplished, he would need to find the stash of money. The ransom would be paid, and then they could hopefully all leave together. It was going to be a busy time for the next few days.

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Perhaps a Commander Joe Preview??? Hat tip to Boing Boing

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Reunited...

Chapter Thirty-Five

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Princess Angelina was still packing when the big storm hit. She was nearly all prepared for her trip, so she was delayed. This did not sit well with her because she was quite excited about the entire thing. She considered leaving anyway, but she was convinced of the folly of it. After all, who would come see her in torrential rains?

Hence, she left well after the storm had passed. It did get time for her transition team to arrange stops ahead of time. This allowed them to scout locations and prepare for her arrival. Thus, the tour would be much better planned because of the storm.

The crowds on her first top were small but enthusiastic. For most, this was just another change at the top. It did not usually effect those closer to the bottom. In other words, the change in status for the people did not mean much.

In fact, sometimes a change like this meant war. The new kingdom could be the result of an uneasy treaty. Further, it could be the result of a bribe or to soothe bad feelings. These new situations could lead to uneasiness. This was not something the average person wanted. Hence, if it were not required, the people would not celebrate the oncoming of war. Therefore, the crowds tended to be small.

However, the word spread that the new sovereign was young and beautiful. Therefore, the crowds grew as she continued her tour. Mostly, the crowds simply turned out to see the beautiful young woman. The Princess took advantage of the growing crowds to get them enthusiastic for her reign. After all, they were there to see her. A few words could make them glad she is in charge.

At various times, the Princess would smile, wave, and point at individuals in the crowd. She might even wink at an individual. The people on the other end of the gesture felt special, and would do almost anything for her. In this way, she felt that if she needed to recruit a large group of people, a similar tour would be all that it took.

The tour took her all over her realm. When she had visited most of the large population centers of the treaty land, she still wanted more. Thus, she decided to visit neighboring realms. This drove the security people crazy, but she was in charge.

She did not feel it was necessary to visit Lakeland or Calmondak because they were confirmed allies. Certainly, her father would be a close ally. She could count on him to come to her aid in any circumstance.

As for Lakeland, she at least had a verbal agreement. She believed that Lakeland would attempt some sort of underhanded scheme. Nevertheless, she could go to these other places and claim the allegiance of this large kingdoms for now. This would aid in negotiations with other states.

Instead of just a meet and greet tour, the visits to the other places had an additional goal. She wished to get some sort of written treaty with her close neighbors. If her kingdom was going to survive, the Princess needed to live in peace for a while. Thus, it would be key to get agreements with the people close by. She was not interested in expanding by force.

For the most part, the Princess was in a good situation. Since she was allies with the most powerful kingdoms, she would have a strong negotiation position with the smaller states. This worked to the Princess's advantage when negotiating the treaty. It also aided in acquiring tour locations in other realms.

While security would be tight, the visiting cities would increase security themselves to prevent an excuse for war from Calmondak or Lakeland. In fact, everyone was on their best behavior for the entourage.

The crowds at these cities were huge. Everyone wanted to see the gorgeous sovereign. The Princess easily won over the crowds in these cities. After the throngs came to see her, she was in an excellent position with the governmental authorities. She had the support of the people, so the government was in a poor position to deny her anything. Hence, she had signed treaties with the neighboring state before she moved on to the next one.

It went this way with all of the areas north and east of her kingdom. The governments did not wish to go against the throngs of people that came out to see the Princess. Therefore, the entire royal entourage was quite pleased with the results of the tour. It went beyond their greatest dreams. In fact, they wanted to visit even more states. However, it was simply not practical.

Nonetheless, they did find themselves attempting to arrange a few visits to the Pirate Peninsula. This was quite difficult to arrange. First, the peninsula was not like the other states. The current leader had only been there for a few years. Their system did not allow for a lifetime sovereign. Thus, they were always being torn one way or another for their policies.

In fact, the Princess wondered how they got anything done with the leaders needing to bend to the will of the people. This did not lead to leadership. She believed that someone would need to lead -- point the way. Having to pander to an unintelligent crowd would only lead to chaos. It seemed like a backwards way of doing things.

After all of the negotiations she only managed for one stop. She would hold a rally at the capitol city. Straying far into the peninsula would be just too difficult to arrange.

From their experience, the royal party expected immense crowds at this one stop. The government of the peninsula was not willing to put in place too much security. They warned against the trip because of the throngs of people that would would turn out to see the Princess. The officials felt that this visit would be too expensive to bring in the required security. Further, they would have liked to have more time to get things in place.

However, the unexpectedness aided in the Princess's security. No one would have much time to plan anything nefarious. Thus, she could greet the throngs and win them over. Once that was complete, she may have the masses on her side. Since the mob ruled the land, this would work in her favor.

In the other states, the leaders wanted their people on their side. They were often guarding against an uprising. However, it was not a requirement. There were plenty of oppressive regimes that kept their citizenry in line by force. Her father's rule was not like that.

The Princess believed that public opinion was key for this peninsula. If you were an unpopular leader there, you did not last long. The leadership obtained their right to govern from the masses. The government was run by the will of the people. Hence, if they wanted something, the leadership had better provide it. This could be the reason for the perceived wild nature of the peninsula.

After her wildly successful rally in the capitol city, the princess met with the leaders of the state. They had been as equally enthused about the reaction of the crowd as the Princess had been. Further, they were also excited about meeting the Princess in person. Perhaps the non-aggression treaty would be as simple as the rest. Sadly, this was not going to be the case.

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Texas Wildfire

Chapter 17

By Dwayne MacInnes

Staff Sergeant Murphy walked over to George Murdock. His expression belied that something was troubling him. The elder Murdock was good at reading people's expressions. That was what made him so good at business deals as well as poker.

"William," Murdock said as the soldier walked over to his desk. "You look like the cat ate your canary."

"Sir, in a manner of speaking it was your canary," the Delta Force operative replied.

"I'm sorry you lost me," Murdock shook his head. "I pray none of my oil facilities were attacked by some of the rebels."

"It is nothing like that. However, your accounts are being drawn upon," Murphy replied. "We have frozen your assets until we can figure out what or who is to blame."

George snorted, "How much was being withdrawn?"

"At first, a hundred thousand a week."

George smiled, "That would be my almost useless son. I allow him one hundred thousand a week for 'expenses'."

"Well, he requested a few hundred million just today," stated William flatly. "We declined the request."

Murdock's face went from white to red to a deep purple. "Why that no good son of a bitch. He can't even organize his sock drawer and he wants to run this company! Thank you, sergeant for declining his request," Murdock said finally regaining his composure. "Oh, you can go ahead and decline all of his requests from here on out."

F22 Raptor

The timing of the attack on Fort Hood was no coincidence. They sent every combat plane the New Republic of Texas could spare to assault the military base. In fact, the United States would have to send its own warplanes to meet the threat. That meant every airbase in New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Arkansas had to respond.

So, when the squadron comprising of bombers and fighters from World War II through the Gulf War attacked Littleton there were few jets available to stop them. However, it did not take long to recall some of the jets sent to Killeen to find the squadron led by Buck Dubois.

The United States Air Force was also monitoring the route the squadron was taking with a satellite. This allowed the recalled jets to intercept the squadron before it could sneak back over the border into Mexico.

Buck knew it was a long shot that they would be able to return unscathed. He was happy to know that with the bomb run on the Littleton Army Reserve Center his mission was a success. The United States' great hero sent to suppress Texas was more than likely dead now. Only a divine miracle could have spared General Davis's life after Dubois's squadron leveled the southern half of Littleton.

So, it was with no great surprise when he heard the pilot of the F-20 Tigershark announce enemy bogies approaching. The combat jets in the squadron raced off to meet the threat. There was no illusion that a handful of F-86 Sabers, F-4 Phantoms, F-14 Tomcats and one F-20 could hope to defeat the overwhelming strength of the F-22 Raptors and the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. They only prayed they could take some of them out before they destroyed the ad hoc squadron.

Bombers continued to race for the Mexican border only keeping the piston driven fighters as cover. Buck listened to the fight over his headset. The combat was over before it even began. The F-22s and the F-35s could fire missiles from over the horizon and their missile jamming electronics were light-years ahead of anything the vintage fighters could boast.

As steel and a few lucky ejected pilots descended towards the earth, the might of the U.S. Air Force bore down on the bombers with a vengeance. Any pilot in the U.S. jets who may have felt any regrets for shooting down such rare and beautiful war birds did not have those feelings now. They were after blood, revenge for the lives of the innocent schoolchildren bombed by these heartless demons claiming to be patriots.

Buck caught out of the corner of his eye the explosion of a B-17 Flying Fortress that had been flying off the Yellow Rose's port wing. With the sudden loss of the bomber, the gun crews instantly opened up with the .50 machineguns in the Superfortress. However, Buck knew that the men were shooting at nothing. The fighter jets wisely chose to hang back and let their missiles do their talking.

Cowards! Buck Dubois thought the instant before the B-29 he was piloting completely disintegrated in a fireball.

Several missiles locked onto the big bomber's profile and exploded in almost perfect unison.

F35 Joint Strike Fighter

LTG Groves continued to issue commands as his troops soundly resisted the combined might of the Texas army and air force. Occasionally the general feared the New Republic of Texas forces would overrun the base. However, it appeared that President Ramirez finally allowed the U.S. Air Force to give some air support to the beleaguered base.

The F-22s and F-35s quickly cleared the skies of all opposition aircraft. Once the warplanes removed the threat from the air, Groves was able to direct his remaining tanks to confront the Texas armor. Between the United States Air Force and the soldiers of Fort Hood the army of the New Republic of Texas felt compelled to pull back leaving the bulk of their armor and jets wrecked and burning across the landscape.

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This is not for the faint of heart or those easily offended. For me, it is hysterical! (Hat tip to Boing Boing)

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June 2013

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