By Dwayne MacInnes
The U.S. army pushed its way south through the panhandle region now known as the state of North Texas. Many bridges were sabotaged and demolition teams had to work constantly to disarm the IEDs. The New Republic of Texas soldiers had left these as they retreated back across their new border.
This caused the U.S. military to move at a snail's pace. There were some opportunities for the U.S. forces to rush forward, but General Davis always ordered the military to continue its slower rate. Many officers doubted if Davis really wanted to win this war because the slower advance was allowing the Texans to reform and gain more reinforcements.
The combat tended to be one sided with the better-trained and equipped U.S. forces easily pushing aside the Texans. Davis also warned against the harsh treatment of civilians. Only if there was solid proof that a civilian was aiding and abetting the enemy could the military make an arrest
There were a few partisan forces; however, most of the citizens of North Texas looked upon the U.S. as liberators. It meant a return to stability, something that Texas lacked every since it seceded.
At night when most of the combatants on both side opted to rest, many U.S. G.I.s would listen to some old radios that they found along their trek south. The music was a mixture of rock and country, the popular hits from the last half a century. It originated from Austin.
The voice of Flash Limbeck played on the radios as he introduced the music. Limbeck knew that the U.S. forces listened to his broadcasts so he always tried to make it something personal for them.
"Hello there, to our aggressors from the north," Limbeck broadcast. "It appears that your government is forcing you to fight in a futile war against the peace-loving people of Texas. We are not your foes but your friends. I have a special song here for you. It's that old classic tune from last decade called, 'A Soldier's Dear John' performed by Billy Jackson. As you enjoy the music, please listen to the lyrics and remember that your sweetheart could right now be in the arms of another man."
No one really paid much heed to Limbeck's propaganda. In fact, the music selection was so good that many soldiers looked forward to the nightly broadcast. The officers allowed the men and women to listen to it because it actually raised morale instead of lowering it.
The old governor's office again was crowded with aides, top military advisors, and fellow politicians. President Tucker looked at an old highway map laid out on his desk. It was irritating that they had to resort to using old style maps because there was not a single computer available in Texas that could project the usual 3D holographic ones everyone knew.
"General," Tucker asked as he pointed to the new border of the New Republic and North Texas with an unlit cigar. "How are the reinforcements coming along?"
"As best as could be expected, sir," General West replied. "We are still forced to use old radios for communication. Plus, there are still some pockets of rioters and protesters that we are dealing with.
"We are damn lucky that General Davis appears to be in no great hurry to head into Texas. That may be our one advantage. It is allowing us to mass our forces for one climatic battle."
"General, I want all the stops out," Tucker said in a stern voice. "I want every available piece of military hardware that can be spare thrown into the fray. I want anything that may offer us an advantage available. This will be the last showdown and we have to win." Tucker emphasized his last point by slamming a fist onto the map.
"Do we have any aircraft left at all?" Tucker asked.
"Yes sir," an aide replied. "We have a handful of F-105 Thunderchiefs and F-104 Starfighters. They weren't ready for combat when we assaulted the military bases. However, they are ready now and hidden away for the moment we need them."
"Good," Tucker said. "I want any volunteers to fly anything that can get airborne across the country. Be it a civilian plane, a blimp, a flipping kite -- I don't care. I just want the U.S. Air Force distracted so that those fighters have a chance to aid in the final assault."
General West nodded his head, "We will start recruiting immediately."
"General, I will leave the timetable to the assault in your hands," Tucker gravely stated. "However, General, do not wait too long or all is lost. Is that understood?"
"Yes sir," West replied.
"Do we have any intelligence on what the U.S. is planning?" Tucker turned to an aide who was holding a briefcase.
"I'm sorry sir. But, the U.S. military has closed down all borders and with the loss of the computers we can’t get any reliable information. However, it appears that from our spies in North Texas that General Davis is going to continue his drive south towards Austin."
"Well, let's hope he continues to move slowly and predictably. If we can continue to lull them into a false sense of invulnerability they will let there guard down. That, gentlemen, may be the chance we need to end this war once and for all."
General West did not want to correct the president about his forces lulling the U.S. military into a false sense of invulnerability. The truth of the matter was that the United States simply outclassed them in military hardware and experienced soldiers.
However, there was a chance that Davis may become careless and that would be the best time to strike. General West knew that as soon as this meeting was over, he would need to head north and prepare his troops for the last assault President Tucker wanted.