About a month ago I posted Justin Smith’s dystopian fictional peek of an America experiencing a Dem-Marxist consolidation of power through the eyes of the story’s chief character Maggie McGuire entitled, “Maggie’s Trials and Tribulations”.
A couple of days ago Justin submitted another short story focused on an America essentially occupied by an UN-like governing force managed by Chinese Communists with American Dem-Marxist acting as vassal leaders. The central character is Axl married to Maggie (I am uncertain if Justin intends Axl’s wife to be the Maggie McGuire of his previous story), with a few older gents who remember America as the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave as veterans who served. This is a story taking a glimpse at pockets of Americans resisting ChiCom occupation. One of these gents is named Sgt. Maj. H.C. Donlon who Justin tells me is based on actual Medal of Honor recipient Captain Roger H.C. Donlon whom he knew personally.
I see an irony reminiscent of the Afghan Taliban resisting Soviet Communism then continued American troops lingering way too long among a people more in love with Islamic totalitarianism than American Liberty.
I need to point out other online website publishers have picked Justin’s submission of which they may or may not have selected a Justin-suggested title. One such Website is The Federal Observer that chose the title “To Live Without Freedom and Liberty Is a Sort of Death” which I use as a subtitle. I mention this because I enjoyed the dispersed photos so well there, that I am collaging those photos as one here at the top.
This is a work of fiction which usually does not need info links, but I did so anyway to hopefully add context to potential younger readers that otherwise might be clueless to Justin’s train of thought.
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The United States Unraveled
To Live Without Freedom and Liberty Is a Sort of Death
By Justin O. Smith
Sent 5/2/2021 1:06 PM
America had long ago slipped into the dark night of tyranny. She had failed to heed the warnings offered by many of our ancestors, between the years of 1979 and 2028, when Americans finally arose to fight a bloody civil war, that ended with the defeat of those who stood for Liberty. And so, the country had soon found itself under the “Protectorate” of the sadistic Chinese Communists and the United Nations, whose leadership had been found more than willing to go along with the push into the new world hegemon, if it meant sharing in the spoils of all that followed.
By 2076, the American people were suffering unimaginable cruelties, as millions of people were sent to the camps for political prisoners that now scattered the countryside, from one coast to the other, on the outskirts of every major city in what was once known as “the United States”. Not many referred to the “United States” anymore, after it had become so apparent that it was anything but “united” and so many of its people had fully embraced the ideas of Marx and Mao, while so many others contented themselves in engaging in activities of no worth, as the nation drifted along to its demise. Instead, the long active, still standing resistance always spoke of “Free America”, while to the vile and evil forces who now occupied nearly the entire country, America was now known to the world as Xindalu, roughly translated as “New World”.
Axl had grown to manhood often marveling at the drive and hard-fought freedom his grandfather and father managed to protect, to some degree, in the face of constant assaults and weekly and sometimes daily firefights in the Basin of Middle Tennessee, where the people had successfully managed to secure the area against the foreign invaders and their willing amerikkan allies, the traitors. Other such areas that sprang up in similar fashion, included the entire state of Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota, Southeastern Colorado and the Oklahoma Panhandle, and areas like the Summersville Dam area between Summersville and Leivasy, West Virginia, and parts of Arizona and Texas and most of Alaska, as well as several scores more.
Drifting into a daydream, as he momentarily stopped chopping wood, Axl looked back on his childhood, sitting on GranPa Grover’s knee, while GranPa spoke to those nearby and explained how their current misery at the hands of the world’s Fascists and Communists was the result of the previous generations of Americans forgetting God, even turning their backs on God, in favor of immoral pursuits and the much ballyhooed “Free Entitlements” offered by the Marxists and Maoists. This had opened the door to every kind of evil imaginable, and each time cracks appeared obvious in the “perfection of Marxism”, the Ministry of Truth’s Cultural Control Commission rapidly struck down any voice that dared to speak of it or challenge the tyranny that had replaced a government of the people and self-determination, many terrible and sad decades ago.
The beginnings of this ongoing civil war were such that it had kept nukes of any type from being detonated, although the Democratic Party Communists in control of the military had suggested using tactical neutron bombs on certain regions; but then, someone got the bright idea of calling in “U.N. Peacekeepers”, who then turned to China for the bulk of its “peacekeepers” …
“And there it was. Here we are”, Axl said out loud to no one in particular, since there wasn’t anybody for miles around, not out this far where he’d set up an outpost and a farm of sorts, that he enjoyed calling “Axl’s Freehold”.
Axl had been fortunate to have had parents, whose own folks and relatives had been deep in the many years long fights to rid the country of its invaders, and it had made him want to do all he could to gather more recruits to the effort and build an army of men, who were willing to kill for Freedom and Liberty, every bit as much as they were willing to die for America. And even now, as he thought of how easily the largest part of the country had fallen to the Communists and One-Worlders, he shivered in his anger, as he saw these radical, red Communist bastards as the enemies of Liberty and Humanity and Justice and Truth. He knew America’s occupiers to be the Handmaidens, the Manservants, to the cruelest Evils his country and his people had ever seen.
Ambling on to the rough-hewn rustic cabin he had built with his own two hands, he didn’t think much that day of any impending danger. Oh sure, there were the occasional incursions by the hard-core True Believers who would come charging in on a Ministry operation to see how many more Free-Born Americans they could kill. But technically, they had an ongoing “peace” and this area was largely seen as a “free autonomous region”; and still to this day, the “peacekeepers” were supposedly still bound by U.S. Constitutional law, which meant any incursion required a search warrant. Today would be different.
The dawning of the day saw sunlight shining through the arbor window and warming the hardwood floors, where Mudflap, the house cat, napped and where Axl studied a painting he’d been working on. He turned to smile at his wife, Maggie, as she approached him and they embraced and kissed.
“You better not have paint on those hands, Big Boy!”, Maggie playfully warned, kissing him again and moving away to do her chores, as he gave her bottom a bit of a squeeze.
Deciding he’d dallied about the house for too long already, Axl thought to go set some traps and then head down to the nearby river to catch enough fish, hopefully for lunch and dinner, for today and maybe tomorrow, too, and he headed to retrieve his gear. If he hadn’t been thinking so hard on what needed to be done to prepare for the meeting of the local resistance that evening, he may have paid more attention to Sweet Mutt, a half-pit/half-coonhound mix, who normally just laid around all day; but now, Mutt moved from his spot near the fireplace, barking and looking out the multi-paned door that led into the backyard, literally the back forty acres.
Sweet Mutt’s barking was most usually due to some squirrel gathering food within eyesight of the backdoor, at least ninety percent of the time, or some other equally harmless annoyance. But his tone today finally got Axl’s attention, especially when it changed to a low guttural growl. Telling Mutt to stay, he grabbed his shotgun and headed towards the barn where Sweet Mutt had been intently gazing, his senses on full alert, standing next to the barn for a few minutes, before deciding nothing was out of sorts.
He turned to head back to the cabin, taking about five steps before he heard the crackle of leaves and twigs behind him and was knocked out cold, as something hard and solid hit him in the back of his head. “Stupid, stupid, stupid” he thought as time seemed to stop, with him falling through thin air grasping for anything to stop a hard impact with the ground, and he heard the voice of Elvis softly singing:
“We’re caught in a trap … I can’t walk out … because I love You too much Baby …”
[Blog Editor: Justin and I are old enough to visualize in our mind’s eye the old King of Rock-n-Roll singing the above lyrics from “Suspicious Minds”. For you youngsters who are clueless, here is a 4 and ½ minute clip for you to hear that which Justin and I can recall by our memories:
Youtube VIDEO: Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds (Audio)
Posted by Elvis Presley (Channel)
Axl awakened sometime later in his own living room, to the sound of Sweet Mutt barking and growling from inside a nearby coatroom, his hands and feet bound with zip ties and his head pounding like a big kettle drum on the 4th of July, giving thanks they hadn’t simply killed his dog. Seven black clad thugs from the United Nations Firearms Confiscation Bureau (UNFCB) stood staring at him, with their faces hidden behind balaclavas and sunglasses, holding their QBZ-191 assault rifles — the same standard 5.8x42mm with an effective range of 400 yards that they’d been using since 2021, capable of firing 750 rounds per minute. They were the new enforcers for the Communist People’s Republic of Xindalu, largely comprised of foreign private military contractors from Europe supported by a large contingent of Chinese military “advisors”, who had pretty much abandoned all pretense of being “peacekeepers” in the earliest years of the Times of Trouble.
Communist Chinese QBZ-191 assault rifles 2021
The UNFCB’s motto said it all: “A Friendlier, United, DISARMED America”.
Through split lips and a few loose teeth, Axl demanded to know where his wife was, which got him another hard crack to his jaw from a short wooden club. One of the foreign thugs leaned in close to his face and shouted, “Tell us where your group’s unauthorized radio site is located, asshole”, as he flexed and unflexed his right hand, preparing to deliver more abuse.
“Show me your warrant, you rat bastard sonuvabitch”, came Axl’s reply and the huge smile that followed. He knew they didn’t have one, but such demands always served to remind them that they were occupiers without any real popular support.
After all the ensuing failures over the decades under their control, even their initial allies in America’s own Communist and Socialist ranks had soon become highly disillusioned with what was actually unfolding in the name of Marx, Mao and an all-consuming Communist regime, that abandoned all semblance of truth and with it any chance for real justice for anybody; it was a regime that destroyed love and compassion wherever it was found and never exhibited any human kindness or mercy for anyone.
In Xindalu’s occupied land, it was “legal” to own slaves, and sex slavery had grown into a massive and lucrative business. It was also legal to murder a slave for any reason. All women were treated like chattel and baby murder was a regular occurrence, especially when those babies were female, since the goal was always to strive to reduce the country’s overall population, and in theory, to reduce the world population to a mere 500 million people. And for this reason, the Western and Judeo-Christian principles and virtues that once flourished openly across America were the targets of systematic eradication and being thought to be a Christian always marked one for death, in just as cruel a manner as took place during the era of Christianity’s earliest martyrs — thousands of bodies each year appeared along the roadsides hanging from inverted crosses.
Upon witnessing the upside-down crucifixions, one old man was heard reciting the following to all who would listen:
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Window shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?” [From W. B. Yeats, “The Second Coming”]
One of the black clad PMCs came into the room with Maggie, hands bound behind her and a gag in her mouth, still kicking and screaming through the gag with the fierceness of a wounded panther. “Get your hands off me, you commie bastard” came her muffled words.
God how Axl loved her right at that moment, as he saw what a strong woman he had married. It made him smile again, this time with all the warmth and love that he held for Maggie. And, as one of the PMC cowards made her scream with pain from having her hair pulled back quick and hard, Axl jerked against his ties as hard as he could, wishing to be free so he could bite the bastard’s neck in half and watch him bleed out, but once again, his efforts brought him another good clubbing.
The one in charge told Axl, “I’ll ask one more time and then we’re all going to take turns with your wife”, which brought forth a gleeful, raucous laughter from the group of deadly agents, reminiscent of a pack of hyenas. Maggie’s eyes narrowed down into two hot glowing embers filled with a venomous hatred that Axl had never seen in her.
Across the way from Axl’s little homestead, some twenty miles, at his nearest neighbor’s spread, another similar situation was unfolding.
Eighty-seven-year-old Sergeant Major H.C. Donlon, retired U.S. Army and Medal of Honor recipient, sat on his back porch, drinking coffee and looking at old family pictures, especially those of his wife, Libby, who had been dead these past ten years. Tears rolled down his cheeks as he looked at her grave in the backyard, now marked by a large boulder he’d painstakingly rolled to that spot and chiseled her name, along with the sentiment “loved and cherished forever”. His dog, Bowser, a wolfhound mastiff crossbreed, had been his only companion all these years, and as he took in the group of rolling thunderheads from the east, he saw the rapidly approaching blacked out suburban heading his way, and with a crystal-clear clarity, he knew danger was coming with it.
Bowser started barking and growling like he was on a bear hunt, and so, following his usual procedure for whenever he had the rare visitor, he quickly put Bowser in his bedroom and closed the door. H.C. donned his Iraq War Veteran cap exhibiting his rank and a Combat Infantryman’s Badge displayed and went back outside to see just what would be, taking time to untangle his American Flag from around the pole.
Before he could turn around, H.C. heard the much familiar sound of a command booming from a loudspeaker. The anonymous voice ordered, “Put your hands on top of your head and slowly turn around to face us.” He hesitated just a moment too long, as he studied how he wanted to play this confrontation out, and the voice immediately screamed, “Hands on top of your head NOW!”
H.C. slowly turned and let his enemies see the smirk and disdainful look on his face, for to be sure, he had always known these UNFCB boys as “the Enemy”, target practice and rabid vermin to be put in the ground, tout de suite. He had to admit his surprise at seeing a man wearing no identifying patches in multi-cam camouflage and body armor with a snazzy high-tech assault rifle moving his way.
“I never would have dreamed I’d be such a scary thing for boys like Y’all, all fitted up to storm the Reichstag. Who could have known that an arthritic old man was such a threat to national security”, H.C. asked as the rest of the group gathered nearby?
“Are you armed, sir?”, came the question as they gruffly began to search his person. “Not this very moment” came H.C.’s response. “You can lower your hands now” he was told.
“What do you want?”, H.C. asked fairly impatiently.
Pretty soon he knew he was just about to be deep in the mix, that point between life and death, where the slightest miscalculation would mean the difference between seeing the moon rise this evening and the sunrise tomorrow.
The UNFCB Commander asked about contraband and weapons in the house, as he explained that the area surrounding H.C.’s home harbored an armed insurrectionist group that also was operating an unauthorized radio broadcast site, and as such, they were going to have to search his entire property, just as they planned to search every home in the area, to flush any member from hiding. It was also suggested that his Veteran status placed him under heightened suspicion, while the Commander also informed him that the American Flag was “a piece of capitalist, racist shit” and flying it was grounds to be arrested and taken to the “re-education” camps.
H.C. knew he had just been swept up in the latest crackdown on civilian ownership of firearms. He stalled for time, laughing in the Commander’s face, as he stood his ground and declared: “I’m eighty-seven years old, you crazy horse’s ass. If you think I’m part of some crazy resistance group, y’all are dumber than a bag of rocks.”
H.C.’s mind drifted back to years gone by, when he had stacked the dead carcasses of Chicom and Eurofascist trash all about him for as far as the eye could see, and he found himself longing for the feel of a BAR in his hands, so he could dispatch these self-made sonsabitches on their way to hell. He snapped alert, seeing a glint of light from the western crop of hills, just as one of the PMCs headed toward his front door, and he hollered out in his best command voice:
“Now wait just a damn minute here! I don’t give a good damn who you work for or what misguided authority you believe you are operating under, but you sure in the hell don’t have any right to barge into my home. Stop NOW and there won’t be any hard feelings.”
A split second later, a rifle butt was swung into H.C’s stomach, forcing him to one knee to vomit, and a flash later shots were ringing through the air dropping one PMC after the next, as angry and anguished cries of pain filled the space between shots. The exterior window to H.C.’s bedroom crashed outward, as Bowser entered the fray, in a mad fury, sensing his master was in danger and slashing at every throat he could reach, even after taking a slug in the side — one angry yelp and on he raced, bringing several to the ground from behind as they tried to run.
The mass confusion of hell and fury raining down on the enemy gave H.C. time to reach inside the front door and come back out with his MK47, unleashing his own brand of hell on these Communist rat bastards, who had dared to interrupt his daily conversation with his precious dear departed Libby. And oh, how the colors made him feel alive again, the flash from the muzzles, bullets flying by, and the red splashes of blood as bullets hit areas unprotected by body armor. He was so in the moment that it barely registered when a bullet went through his left oblique and another scored his ribs.
What did fully register was the sight of his grandsons, Jack and Bobby, running through the tall grass, rifles in hand and dropping every government agent that moved in the least bit, shouting out for them to drop their weapons and lay face down. But between them and H.C. and Bowser, they were shouting out to still warm corpses, in the last moments of bleeding out.
“Get the men together, send out the call and get over to Axl’s place now”, H.C. could hear himself ordering. And no sooner had he said the words, his grandsons were on their motocross motorcycles and into the wind.
In the meantime, Axl and Maggie had held up well as they could in their captors’ hands, until they overheard the radio transmission, between the UNFCB Commander and his controller back at headquarters. The Commander told someone: “Yea, it’s negative in this sector and we’ve searched everywhere. There’s no semi-autos, no insurrectionists, no radios.” Shaking his head in disgust, he added, “10-4, secure search.”
The group of UNCFB and PMC agents cut Axl and Maggie loose saying: “It’s your lucky day, but don’t think you’ve fooled us. We’ll be back and when we catch you acting against Xindalu, we’re going to plant both of you in your own garden out back.”
Incredibly, these fools had missed the two semi-auto rifles in the front coat closet. A sigh of temporary relief rose from both Axl and Maggie.
For some reason, in a quick mental flash, Axl couldn’t help but recall reading some of his mother-in-law’s old keepsake letters that told of many of her relatives being lined up against a wall between 1953 and 1980 and murdered by Josip Broz Tito, president of Yugoslavia, and his Communist forces. Croatia, then a part of Yugoslavia, is where we got the word “partisan”. He remembered the old books he’d found that told of the richest South American country of Venezuela becoming a miserable, impoverished death camp, after its leaders took their nation down the path to Communism at the turn of the 21st century. And he wondered, when would all this madness stop in this America he and Maggie, and so many others, loved so well.
He understood his life belonged to God and to himself as well, not to those Communists who claimed our lives belong to the collective hive, to our neighbors. We have never been meant to be slaves to any state, or to be used as sacrifices to an all-consuming Leviathan, ever increasing in its insatiable demands for more, in its efforts to prevent men and woman from living righteous lives as they choose and see fit. His life had purpose, and he intended to not only save his and Maggie’s lives, along with his friends’ lives too, he intended to preserve Freedom and Liberty and one’s ability to fulfill and enjoy one’s life, to the best of his ability, or die in the effort.
He found it incomprehensible that so many Americans failed to see the new leaders that emerged in 2021 were always working for the ruling elite, just as they always had previously worked to the benefit of the one percent. And the new collectivists under Ol’ Uncle Joe Biden, the dictator who emerged, had worked even harder for the one percent than anyone had ever done under the free market system, eventually beating the middle class down to the same level as the little man on the street, attaining “equality and equity” through the lowest common denominator in a miserable state of poverty.
Axl pondered the surprise that came to many Americans as the United States began to unravel, after they realized the ruling elite had lied to them all, in their ready eagerness to supposedly benefit the poor of America, only to turn on all Americans to enslave them more than they ever could have imagined. He also found himself quietly chuckling in a sad manner as he realized how far ahead of his days Winston Churchill had been, when he noted that “… the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
And a snippet of a speech given by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, on May 10, 1983 in London came to him noting:
“Dostoevsky warned that ‘great events could come upon us and catch us intellectually unprepared.’ This is precisely what has happened. And he predicted that ‘the world will be saved only after it has been possessed by the demon of evil.’ Whether it really will be saved we shall have to wait and see: this will depend on our conscience, on our spiritual lucidity, on our individual and combined efforts in the face of catastrophic circumstances. But it has already come to pass that the demon of evil, like a whirlwind, triumphantly circles all five continents of the earth.”
He and Maggie watched in silence for a moment, as the agents of America’s Enemies prepared to leave their home wrecked in their search. Maggie could stand it no longer and unleashed her scathing condemnation of them and everything they represented, yelling loudly and clearly: “You’re nothing but Commie Coward Trash, every damned one of you — coming in here threatening us, beating my husband and trampling on the rights of free men and women for your Chinese stooge and Marxist whore in D.C. and Luxembourg. You’ll all pay a price one day, and I can only pray it’s soon.”
Axl addressed the Commander, asking him: “What am I supposed to do, when me and my family, my brethren and fellow Americans, only want peace and to live and let live, but you and your kind only understand the language of force and war? Your chosen path leads to your own downfall, but you may well discover this for yourself in the coming days, as you continue to press tyranny upon my people, leaving us no choice but to resist, to fight back and to make war upon you, for the good of all who desire to live free.
Yes … soon enough, not only will you see my righteous anger, you will also see the same in every man, woman and child in the Basin. And even now, as I see my reflection in your eyes, I know that a new day is dawning in America, with swords heating up in the furnaces waiting to be tempered by your blood, as my people are weary of this deep and bitter cold tyrannical existence and prepare to dance their maddest dance yet. We shall sing a song of the sword and of death for you, so that we may awaken each morning with a smile, and bliss in our hearts.”
They watched the PMCs exit their house, laughing and slapping each other’s backs over a mission well done, mission complete, only to hear the rat-a-tat-tat of machine guns on the other side of their front door, as the entire UNCFB Group was cut down by Jack and Bobby and forty-four other Free Born Americans who had quietly set up a perimeter and quietly waited, as they sized up the situation. Axl ran through the door, low and to the side to catch the one’s he could, in a cross fire, without hitting his neighbors, who had come to the rescue, while Maggie, who had grabbed her AR-15, provided cover fire from the front window.
After what seemed like an eternity, everybody’s adrenalin was returning to normal levels and the cleanup had begun. They stopped and downed some quick rations and attended to the most seriously wounded first, before they undertook the grizzly task of disposing of the bodies of the UNFCB and PMC agents and sending the vehicle and the firearms where they could be put to good use. They knew it wouldn’t be long before a scouting team was sent out to discover what had become of this “lost group”.
Free Born Americans had long been on analog old school communications, never looking back, although they had found there were times they needed to run silent for a litany of reasons. But for the most part, their Resistance relied on the radio waves, dead drops and good ol’ fashioned spy tradecraft that was developed and perfected by the Office of Strategic Services during WWII and the Cold War, and it had served America well.
The next morning, H.C. met with Axl and Maggie and the rest, and it was agreed that every Free Born American needed to be called to a gathering to plan their strategy for the days and months ahead. They set a dozen tires on fire with five gallons of gasoline, sending up a smoke signal in the same way the American Indians used to communicate, since they had temporarily silenced all radio communications. This was the best way to let everyone know that this area was safe and well — as well as could be expected given the times — and that a meeting was needed during the next day, at a previously agreed upon location. H.C. called it “haji smoke” because he remembered how it was used by the Islamic militias and warlords of Mogadishu, the day they downed one of America’s helicopters, later dragging one of our soldiers through the streets.
The evening sun soon set, and many of the gathered locals sat around campfires, strategizing and often just going over old times and reminiscing of loved ones too far away to be seen with any regularity or long dead and lost to the fight that had been waged for so many years.
Axl was gazing into one of the fires with that twisted smile on his face again, when Maggie asked him: “What in the world are you smiling about? Those murderous jackasses beat the sense right out of you, threatened to rape and murder everybody for miles around and pillage our property, and you sit there with that silly smile on your face” — her voice cracking with the strain of it all and her anger renewed, softly quieted as Axl gently touched her cheek so that their eyes met.
“Sweetheart — this is our struggle in the here and now, for everything we hold dear, for any hopes we hold for any family we may eventually raise. And as ugly as it gets some days, we stopped them yesterday, They hurt us, but we ended up putting them under ground where they belong. And when the time is right, one day soon, we will drive every Commie son of a bitch in America from our land or kill them where they stand.”
Axl’s words hung in the air for a few good moments, as Maggie stared into his eyes. Finally, she smiled and her breathing returned to normal, while the little crinkle lines around her eyes faded away, and they kissed and hugged each other for a good, long ten minutes, happy to still be alive and happy to have each other to rely on and love.
“Better dead than red”, she whispered, snuggling her head on his shoulder, which made him squeeze her ever so slightly firmer in his embrace, as he prayed to God that it would not need to come to that end.
Three days after the killing of government agents the entire nation was lit up by drones, aircraft and soldiers on the march, heading to any and every city or small-town thought to even have the slightest connection to the Resistance. And they were being picked off, one by one, a dozen or a gross here and there — always with fierceness of purpose, unrelenting and merciless with no quarter given.
On this same day, Axl arrived at Cooper’s Mine, population 587, a small town forgotten by time with locals long since worn to a frazzle by the many battles they had already volunteered to enter. The local hardware store also served as the local firearms store, coffee shop, auto parts place and grocery store too. Oh … and a great place for gossip, and sometimes important information.
Axl walked in, expecting to see the familiar faces of many grizzled old men drinking coffee and telling tales, but only Glenn Climer, the owner, was there behind the counter, while his old coon dog Rufus was stretched out beside a pot belly stove. Coming out from behind the counter to shake hands, one could see that Glenn was still in fine shape for one pushing seventy-five. But as soon as Axl saw him limping, he knew what had happened.
Taking one look at Axl’s face, an angry scowl came across Glenn’s face as he stated, more than asked, “So, the bastards made it by your house too, huh?” Already shaking with his own anger, Axl ignored the question, for his own, “What happened?”, as Glenn motioned him to a chair and poured them both a good, strong cup of coffee.
“Their Nazis came in here asking all kinds of questions about firearms sales and ransacked my accounting books. I tried to stop them and got a few good whacks from the butt of a rifle in the process.” It looked like it had been some fight from the looks of Glenn’s own face.
Glenn added, “Don’t worry. All they got was a notebook full of old receipt carbons from 2015.”
“Those Commie Bastards” was all that Axl could say, as his breathing revealed his blood pressure had just shot sky-high.
As the numerous stories and local intel arrived, it was soon discovered that the UNCFB thugs had hit three other houses in the Basin, besides Axl’s and H.C.’s, and as angry as they were over H.C. being shot, many also were infuriated that Bowser had been shot while defending his master and his home. It also became apparent that they had little real or accurate intel of their own, and so they were attempting to draw the locals into a fight they couldn’t win, and so the calls went out for an increase in guerrilla tactics and operational security; and everybody was soon making mental notes on each strange vehicle or person that entered the area and every drone that passed overhead, passing the info verbally across the community.
A week after the UNCFB had hit Axl’s and H.C’s homes, along with the others, the Ministry of Truth Headquarters was demolished by a massive explosion, killing five-hundred and fifty-three Eurofascists and three-hundred ninety-seven Chicom Commie Rat Bastards. Simultaneously, across the region and in several parts of America, eleven UNCFB outposts came tumbling down in fiery explosions that killed eleven hundred and sixty-five more of America’s Communist invaders. The ripple effect was worldwide and virtually immediate, given the breadth and scope of what this meant.
H.C. opened his copy of The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, a Russian dissident and read, the following passage with a twinkle in his eyes and a smile on his lips:
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? … The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If … if … We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more — we had no awareness of the real situation …. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
The next day, Ira Hayes burst through the door to the Quonset hut, with his arms full of firewood, startling the two young men to attention who had come to see him. One might have thought Ira was a three-star general or something. He apologized for having them led there with hoods over their heads, by explaining it was as much for their own security as his.
“Cold as a stripper in a brass bra, isn’t it” he joked.
The boys remained silent, shaking and shivering, uncertain on how to respond, which made Ira burst out in laughter.
Feeding wood into the potbellied stove, Ira told them to come on over by it so they could get warm. He studied them for a few minutes, while he let them get warm by the fire that was now blazing bright inside the stove.
“So you two young rascals are Glenn Climer’s grandsons, are you?”
“Yes Sir” came from the oldest boy.
“Your GranPa is a damn fine man. It’s purely a shame what they did to him in his store the other day.”
Ira’s words were met with more silence. He smiled to himself over how intelligent and respectful these two had grown to be. Glenn’s only daughter and her husband were killed by a drunk driver just this side of Christiana on I-24 when they were just toddlers still, ages three and five.
The boys were now fifteen and seventeen, and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to know they had come to join the fight and get some revenge for what those Fascists had done to their GranPa. And they did get around to asking, just as Ira expected. The problem remained that Glenn had anticipated this day coming several years back, and he’d asked Ira to keep his boys out of the Resistance no matter what happened; they were quite literally the last of the Climer bloodline, and aside from that, he couldn’t bear to lose them because he loved them so much.
Ira did his best to let them down easily, finally coming right out and telling them: “Sorry young men, but your GranPa doesn’t want you anywhere near this mess, especially when the real fighting breaks out. I promised him I’d keep you both out of it, and that’s going to have to be the end of it.”
The oldest boy, Bailey, didn’t miss a beat and came back with, “It’s our lives. Shouldn’t it be our choice?”
Ira stood up and signaled the meeting was over, telling them to get ready for the return trip, as they objected and asked if there wasn’t anything they could do to help the Resistance win the day. And the more Ira studied the situation, sensing their disappointment and their excitement, he told them that they could keep a look out for anything unusual, relaying any such development to their GranPa straight away.
The uneasy silence hung like a heavy anchor in the night air. The boys turned to the door, but Sam, the youngest, stopped and told Ira in a firm and determined voice: “We’ll both be back to join you eventually. I love GranPa, but he has to understand — I know he does because he’s the one who taught us — that some things in life are worth dying for because to live without freedom and liberty is a sort of death in itself, anyway one looks at it.”
The boy’s words — the young man’s words — struck Ira just as hard as a left hook from Clint Jackson, one-time middle weight contender, and Ira stood speechless as those two brave brothers stepped into the cool night air. And he was sure as anything he’d ever been sure of that they would return. He was just as sure that he wouldn’t be able to turn them away when they did, since he had no right to make a promise for how one defended one’s own Liberty, one’s family and this America they all loved so well.
By Justin O. Smith
Edited by John R. Houk
All embedded links and text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.
© Justin O. Smith
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