The Second Civil War: Chapter Eight
The Pentagon Versus the People
For a full list of chapters, go to The Beginning
New chapters are published either weekly or every few days.
Week Four, August
President George Stoves, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, had always been a popular military man. He had been appointed to his position by the assassinated president and he felt it ironic that he now replaced the man. Perhaps not, he thought as he pondered the events of the past week.
The death of General Mike Barton had been a necessary evil as the inquisitive officer had heard rumours that he shouldn’t have heard, and it couldn’t be chanced that he might pass them on to others. Through expert manipulation of all the known players, they had managed to get the right wing militia to dispose ofl him. George Stoves smiled. It was so easy to manipulate a collection of people. People were just people. When their beliefs dominated them, they were simply unable to think.
The pieces weren’t quite in place yet as all the players hadn’t quite fallen into the places designed for them, but they would. They would. There was the far left militia, the right militia, the far right militia, the Christian militia, Jewish militia, the anti-corporate militia, the black militia, and the pink militia. It was the pink militia that really amused him. Who would have thought that those gays were probably the best organized and the most deadly? They certainly knew how to take a man out. Then, again they’d had years of organizing.
It hadn’t been planned that he take over the reins of leadership – not yet, anyway. That had been the job of Sheila Long, but the speed of events had taken them all by surprise. Who would have thought Congressman Peter Allen would have lost it and landed a right in the President’s eye? And who would have thought that Bill Muchoo would have seen it as a signal? Of course, it was bound to happen. Americans had been sitting on a tinderbox for a while. Tempers, fears, anger, ignorance, and half-baked belief systems were bound to erupt at some point.
The point was that they had been ready. Well, not quite. Shiela Long hadn’t been in place, and now she was dead. As the wife on one of the leading billionaires in the country, she had been one of the thirty five super super-wealthy elite who had died at the hand of the hands of the ACM – Anti Corporate Militia. It was too bad, but collateral damage was to be expected. It was the result of war.
He looked around at the faces that surrounded him. Senator Tom Grey wasn’t one of them. He was with the actor, redesigning the grand plan, and gathering intelligence as to who was doing what. It was a very necessary part of the operation. After all, Senator Tom Grey came from a long line of distinguished Virginians. His forefathers had fought in the first civil war as foot soldiers, bent and intent on victory. Now just over 150 years later, Tom’s family was once more involved in a civil war, because, of course, that is what this would become. The civil war would eliminate all the wrong sort of people.
President Stoves looked around him. He had selected his joint chiefs of staff well, plus he had appointed a loyal follower to the position of Chairman of the JCS. The director of the CDC and his second in command were chatting to each other, both with briefcases held tightly in their right hands. Ginger Pike was absent, of course. She had vanished when the President and the vice-president had been assassinated. They had most certainly not wanted her to step into the Presidential office. She would be found at some point, he thought.
Jennifer Goodman and Reilly were talking.
“What do you mean that the arrest of Peter Allen was the signal to kill the senior members of the Federal Reserve?”
“Congressman Peter Allen has been trying to get the American government to print the money because it shouldn’t be the hands of a profit-making corporation.”
“Reilly, the Federal Reserve is not a profit-making corporation. It’s part of the federal government. Even the name indicates that.”
“Jen, you’re wrong. The Federal Reserve was started by Nathan Rothschild―”
“Reilly, out with the conspiracy theory!” Jen laughed. “It’s the central bank which controls our money supply – what’s left of it.”
“Jen, do you really know that? The president selects the board of governors just after he takes office, but it’s an old boys’ network… It’s an inside job.”
“Their job is to make sure that everybody is employed, that prices are affordable and that interest rates are kept low.”
“Well they haven’t done a very good job, have they?”
“So you shot them? Why did you shoot them? Why would you kill the people who are most likely to get us out of this mess?”
“If they could get us out of this mess, they would have already. We’ve been getting into a bigger and bigger mess for fifty years! The huge arms industry invents wars for Americans to fight so that they can sell arms to the military. The prisons are private for-profit companies so they use lobbies to bribe congressmen and senators. Those congressman and senators then set about writing laws to put more and more people in prison. Do you know that America has more people in prison than any other nation in the world?”
“That’s a lie.”
“That’s the truth. This is not a free country. This is the country that invented corporate greed and spread it throughout the rest of the world. We’re here to stop it.”
“And who are you?”
“We are the ACM – the Anti-Corporate Militia.”
The president thought about his options. The one piece of intelligence they did not have was who let loose the biological weapon. It was not something that they had intended – although, as it turned out, it had done a very effective job. While their organization had made a tidy profit selling arms to the many militias, none of them had asked for biological weapons, and they would certainly have been unwilling to provide them. It was one thing to kill off some individuals for the greater good. It was quite another to wipe out the entire population. He was worried. He turned to the director of the CDC.
“Jack, what’s the update.”
“Mr. President, the CDC have established that it’s definitely a biological weapon. The progress of the disease brings death within a few hours. It’s based on the plague and has been optimized to spread quickly and cause death quickly. Whereas the plague used to kill between fifty percent and ninety percent of its victims, everybody who has caught this bug has died. The CDC does not see any form of natural resistance to it.”
“Is there a treatment for it?”
“No, and we’ll probably all be dead before we can even think of one. It’s that serious.”
That was not what the president wanted to know.
“So how do we prevent it from spreading.”
The eyes of the director of the CDC dropped to the floor for a moment. “It’s a hard decision,” he said.
George Stoves knew what he meant.
He turned to the new chairman of the JCS and said, “You have a plan of action?”
“Some more radical than others. Unhappily, the ones that are the more effective ones are also the more radical ones. There will be a lot of collateral damage.”
The Democratic congressman spoke up, his voice outraged, “We do not kill American citizens. Surely there’s enough suffering going on already?”
Chad Newman, the leading Republican spoke, “Have you liberals never heard of the greater good? Sometimes if you choose to try to save as many as possible, everybody dies. Sometimes, you can only save some. It’s a hard decision. Don’t make it harder with unneeded sentimentality.”
“We can work something out,” the Democrat retorted.
“We don’t have the time,” one of the aides spoke out. His voice was irritated. Then he apologized for being out of line. Nevertheless, the Democrat conceded.
“Well, what is the least damage we can do?”
The president spoke. “I assume you mean the least damage for the safety of the entire country?”
“No way of putting this nicely – kill everybody within the parameters of the disease.”
Stoves noticed that Rudi Morgan was speaking into his cell. There was something about his tone of voice that did not bode well. When he terminated the call, he turned to the room and said, “The Chinese are headed our way. They have missile destroyers and are on their way to America to collect their gold. It looks like they have three headed towards Houston, four towards San Diego, four towards Los Angeles, and five towards New York.”
There were times when one word covered a multitude of sins. The president decided not to use it as it was not befitting to his office. Instead he said, “Gentlemen, I think harsh measures are called for in harsh times.” The tone he used said almost as much as the word he avoided.
Alasdair had given a brief outline to Bett’s family. Now he wondered if he should tell them the rest of it. His father, Ben, had sent him, after all, and his father knew who could be trusted. He made a decision. “There’s more,” he said.
“We think we are being set up. We’re not sure how or why, but somebody knew that one of our scientists had developed an oversize stink bomb, and somebody knew enough of our timing and methods to release a deadly biological weapon in that zone. Several of our own people were killed.”
Bett’s elder brother, Tom, spoke up. “I assume that you’re telling us this because you want our help.”
“We know that in military intelligence, your father has been put down as a question mark. We think that he could start a survivalist moment, expressing neutrality, and insisting that you’re only teaching people basic survival skills – like growing food, protecting themselves, finding water, etc. We think that you will be infiltrated because we suspect every single militia in the United States has been infiltrated, and we think there’s someone else behind all this. We don’t know who, but if you establish if anyone suspicious joins your movement, it could tell us who.”
“Why us?” asked Bett.
“Your entire family has been trained from birth. You’re a tight unit with built-in loyalty to each other. It’s unlikely anyone will be able to buy you or blackmail you. If anyone can do it, you can.”
“And if we want to remain neutral?”
“You will remain neutral. You’ll just be eyes and ears. We need to know who is behind all this.”
It was Bett’s father who made the positive decision.
Douglas and Anne didn’t know anything about boats, dinghies, yachts, cruisers, or anything else that sailed on water. Neither had a particular love of the sea and both preferred the mountains where they ardently hiked during summer vacations. It took them a day of hopping from one sea going vehicle to another before they settled on something that they believed they could float down to Mexico. During that time, they had had time to make use of the facilities on board a variety of crafts and had also bathed, helped themselves to clean clothes, and had a few decent meals. They almost felt human.
In the end they selected a small twenty four foot fishing cruiser with two berths. As luck would have it, there was an instruction manual on board, and when the two studied it, they believed it would be their best option to their reaching Mexico. It was also shabby enough to pass for one of the local boats. Fortunately, there was sufficient diesel on board for them not to have to complicate an already extraordinary situation by having to find more diesel. They decided to set sail in the early evening, understanding that while the night was not a good time to be on the sea for two beginners, it would also enable them to better escape detection.
Colonel Andrews left the oval office after a brief conversation with General Rudi Morgan, the new Chairman of the JCS. He had his instructions. His face did not reveal what they were. The president was pleased. It had not been an easy decision.
What are False Flag Operations?
Senator Tom Grey and the actor conferred over their choices.
“Until we know who the other party is, we’re taking a big chance here. We’ve already lost Sheila, and that was not on the cards.”
“It’s not the ACM and it’s not the lefties up in northern California. They’re as bewildered as we are. Both outfits have intelligence that there’s a new player.”
“What about the CRF?”
“That’s not their style. They’re doing this for their God, and they are not going to attack their own people.”
The Christian Right Fundamentalist Militia were well known to all. They trained their children in arms so that they would be ready for the anti-Christ, and if the Muslims came, then they would be able to kill them as well. They affirmed that God was on their side.
“There are a few hundred militia on the right but they’re small outfits. There’s two or three far right militias, and that’s about it. The EMP bomb took massive resources. Great false flag operation, by the way. The other interested party – the one that I assume is using bioweapons – must be internal.”
“Because the letter informing the president of the incident was found in the oval office, on the president’s desk. It’s pretty high up.”
Joy Brown smiled. It was all going according to plan. The senator thought he had it all under control. Little did he know that she had been specially selected to seduce him away from his office in case he presented resistance to commence activities earlier than planned. It had all worked out rather beautifully, she thought. And the disappearance of Sheila Long was an extra bonus. She wondered, briefly, what had happened to the Speaker of the House. She felt sure the little self-righteous atheist was dead.
In Los Angeles, the disease was spreading. With television and radio being mostly down and out, few people knew the real state of affairs in the city. Still, as the illness spread and bodies dropped dead in the street, panic became endemic as people realized the worst. The wise closed locked their doors, closed all their windows, and hoped they had enough staples in the pantry to last the duration.
Others continued their forage for food and other staples, thinking that without food, they would starve, so they tied cloth over their noses and across their mouths. Others wore gas masks, thereby identifying themselves as survivalists. A lucky few whizzed by on bikes to try to make their way out of the City of Angels, only to find that it had been cordoned off by the army. Still others, found breaks in that cordon, and slipped through, carrying with them the disease.
In Chicago, the first few bodies were discovered in the downtown area. Initially, there was curiosity and those that were titillated by events in the lives of others saw no reason not to get real close. Their reward for their unholy curiosity was to be infected, and they, in turn, carried the disease to those with whom they had contact.
Albuquerque was the first to become a dead man’s zone. There was no one left within forty eight hours of the first infection. The army moved in and used various incendiary devices to burn the city to the ground. Three days later, there was no sign that a thriving city had once existed in that location.
Flagstaff, Jamestown, Memphis, and Youngstown in Pennsylvania all followed the same path. The government kept the media from publishing any of it, but it was inevitable that something of it would leak onto the web. Nobody knew whether it was true or not. The American President had been, since his appointment, unavailable to the people. The press was barred from Washington as it did not serve the agenda of those in power.
Shortly after Stoves had taken the oath, he had appeared nationwide on television for five minutes during which he explained that information would be disseminated on the White House website but that he would be too busy dealing with serious issues to be giving encouraging speeches to the public. For once, nobody said anything about that. They understood.
Ginger Pike, the Speaker of the House, had no idea where she was. She was seated on a chair in a locked bedroom and was gazing out the window to a plantation of trees. It could have been anywhere. There was a scattering of snow on the ground so she assumed that she was not in the south, but that was as far as she went. Her bedroom door was locked and the windows were barred. Inside her room, she had a bathroom, a shelf of books, and two or three changes of clothing in the dressing room. She had requested a television or a computer but neither had not been granted. Nor had she been given any news as to what was happening in the world around her. She knew it was bad, and she wondered why she was still alive. Obviously there was a reason. She wondered what it was.
Jack Ruben, the CDC director spoke. “Nobody is going to get out of these cities alive. Both Chicago and Los Angeles endanger the entire United States. We have no choice but to use ultimate means. Some will have to die so that others can live.”
“We could save some of the folk in Beverley Hills.” General Rudi Morgan was an avid film buff.
Chad Newman seconded that. “Yes, I think that’s a good idea. We can’t afford for the American film industry to be decimated. It is partially what gives us the influence we have throughout the world.” He turned to the general. “Do we have a plan in place?”
The president turned to Colonel Andrews. “Have all the boys from Iran, Iraq, and our other bases returned to America?”
“They have. We’ve closed all our military bases worldwide so that we can deal with the situation at home. Just over 250,000 soldiers will be returning. We closed a total of 1005 bases.”
“Good,” said the president. “We are going to need every one of those men.”
He turned to Rudi, the new chairman of the JCS.
“Rudi, can you outline the plan, please?”
General Rudi Morgan stood up, cleared his throat, made eye contact with everyone in the room, then proceeded to outline the course of action that would take place within the next twenty four hours.
General Rudi Morgan was clear.
“After we have removed the uninfected dignitaries and celebrities from Beverley Hills, we will withdraw. We will then surround the city and wait for the Chinese to dock. Once the Chinese dock, we will send them a warning message that the city is infected, and tell them that we are about to bomb. If they do not move, then they will be caught up. That way we have followed correct channels. We will begin to bomb within thirty minutes. With a bit of luck, we will also take out some of the Chinese navy.”
“We will also need to take out Chicago and their surrounding areas. There is no other option. The other cities have been cleansed through intense fire but it is suggested that we keep the general public away from those cities as well as prevent any of this to be published by the press. Anyone from the CDC or the military who wants to go in needs to be properly attired in order to prevent infection.”
“We have not been able to collect the amount of gold that the Chinese have asked from us to repay our debt to them. While they assure us of honorable intentions, they have sent fully armed military convoys and that is not a peaceful signal. We need to be prepared for the worst. Not only is America turned upon itself, but we are now in a war with a nation which has the greatest number of military personnel on earth.
Anne and Douglas docked at Rosarito in the late afternoon. They tied up their fishing cruiser, took their backpacks, and walked into Mexico. Nobody questioned them outside of customs asking for their passports, and they didn’t volunteer any information. Both, however, were of the opinion that they would not return to it. They had decided to make their way to San Jose Del Cabo as they had once vacationed there amidst the quiet artistic community and they had loved the people.
Neither had any local currency, and the American dollar no longer held any value. So they slept rough on the beach, wrapped up in the two sleeping bags they had taken from the cruiser. They arrived at the village ten days after they started out. By that time, the people Los Angeles had been exterminated. The City of Angels no longer existed.
© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger