[The first full chapter from my novel A DISTANT THUNDER, in which a very old veteran of the Northwest Volunteer Army describes the Northwest War of Independence.]

Anyway, you asked me about Burger King. Burger King was our slang term for what the Germans used to call a Hofjüde, a major-league, powerful Jewish politician or millionaire, someone high in the American media, the intelligentsia, the political or social or economic establishment.

Burger King. B. K. Big Kike. Get it?

Yeah, I know I’m rambling. For the information of whoever is listening, the little girl from the university says she just wants me to sit here and babble into the microphone and try not to pick my nose while I’m on video. No disrespect, honey, I know you’ve got kids of your own, but I’m ninety-one years old and to me your mother is a little girl. I am exercising the timeless prerogative of geezers who are no longer merely old but downright ancient to irritate the young, since we can’t do jack shit of anything else. Anyway, the little girl here says she wants to record “history as stream of consciousness.” Well, she’s going to find out that my stream of consciousness has a lot of dead fish in it, floating belly up.

The reason why I mentioned that particular term is that I figure I’ll start my stream of consciousness flowing by telling you the story of the heaviest tickle I was ever on back in my Volunteer days. The biggest, juiciest Burger King our crew ever took out. That would be the Right Honorable Samuel L. Rothstein, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court and one of the most blood-soaked monsters in human history. The man who in one bang of his gavel swept away the last remaining state and Federal restrictions against abortion on demand, so that to this day in the Jewnited States of Amurrica women of all races, creeds, and colors can drop by the corner clinic and flush their rainbow-colored babies down the toilet with no more thought or hindrance than if they were having their nails done. I hear they call that getting a scrape.

I’m sorry, ma’am. I know that’s a terrible thing to say and I didn’t mean to upset you, but you do know that’s what they called it back then, don’t you? And still do in the United States? That it’s their term, not mine? You’re asking me how could any human woman on earth murder her own child and not go mad? They did go mad, ma’am. Mad as March hares. They just didn’t realize it, because all the world around them was mad and they had no point of reference by which to discern sanity. There’s nothing wrong with being judgmental when judgment is called for. If human beings aren’t supposed to make moral judgments then what the hell is the difference between a man and an animal? That’s what happened in the Garden when Adam and Eve chomped down on the forbidden fruit. They came to know sin when they saw it. I mentioned that scrape thing in case anyone who watches this is inclined to bitch at me and the NVA for our colorful use of the language. I always thought those media reptiles had a hell of a gall to call usmurderers while every day those people were literally throwing baby parts into dumpsters. Jesus Christ on a raft! Still makes me killing mad every time I think of it. I exult in every one of those sons of bitches whose head I busted open with a bullet. You want brutality, ma’am? You’ll get plenty of it if you want to keep on with this project. We Jerry Rebs were plain mad dog mean, but it was the righteous brutality of God against those unspeakably evil people and their wicked government, who broke asunder the very temple of life, and I glory in every minute of it I can remember. At least I never killed babies. I waited until they were grown-up people and in the full flower of their evil before sending them to hell.

No, ma’am, I’m not a Christian. Not sure why not. I lived around them most of my life, but for some reason it never took. That was Rooney and China and Ma Wingfield talking through me, but theology aside, they were right. There was evil abroad in the world in them days, and you didn’t have to be a Christian to understand that. Our battle against the United States was a battle against Satan, against the principle of evil that is hateful and destructive of all human life, in a time when it sat enthroned and triumphant over all the world. We had Christians and Odinists and National Socialists and atheists and agnostics and Wiccans and neo-Druids, all of whom understood that. Yeah, we were cruel. We had to be to survive, never mind win. But the empire we fought against was cruel on a scale never before known in human history. ZOG didn’t just kill. ZOG kept people alive and miserable, like some monstrous snot-nosed mongoloid idiot pulling wings off flies. Those American sons of bitches had every bit of what we gave ‘em coming, and then some. Never mind abortion, even. Any American cluster bomb on Baghdad or nerve gas warhead in the Gaza Strip killed more people than my whole crew took out during the War of Independence.

I know, I’m wandering again. You okay now, ma’am? Again, I apologize. I didn’t mean to upset you. Then listen, my children, and you shall hear. This is how that baby-killing bastard Sammy Rothstein got his.

*  *  *

At the time of the Rothstein hit I was with Tank Thompson’s crew, here in Dundee. We were one of several active service units working out of Lewis County. Washington’s own Rebel County, as we call ourselves to this day. It’s a proud tradition and I’m glad I was a part of it. Officially Tank’s boys and girls were called Company E, South Sound Brigade, Northwest Volunteer Army. At any given time there were maybe twenty or thirty of us on active service with Company E, but so many came in for a couple of tickles and then went, for whatever reason, that I couldn’t even begin to give you any kind of numbers for any given month, never mind the whole War of Independence. A hundred or a hundred and twenty total? More? If you’re curious, ma’am, you can try looking up the official brigade history with the Old NVA Association. I’m sure it’s in the library somewhere. I never bothered.

The first South Sound brigadier was Dick Warner, who was arrested three months after 10/22 and wasn’t released until after Longview. He later became a Member of Parliament and after that he was the director of the NAR Wildlife Conservation Trust. In my day the brigadier was Brian Kovacs. I think I met him five, maybe six times during the entire war, when I was riding shotgun for Red Morehouse who was the Army Council’s Political Officer for our sector. Kovacs was killed in the street fighting in Tacoma after the Longview accords, when some of the Federal troops at Fort Lewis decided the treaty didn’t mean them and we had to correct that little misapprehension. He won a posthumous Iron Cross. Our third Brigadier for about six weeks before the NVA transmuted into the NDF and the organizational table changed was Franz Ulrich Molitor, who later took command of the Second SS Panzer Division, the all-German outfit that racked up all those victories and decorations during Operation Strikeout.

NVA Lieutenant Dorsey “Tank” Thompson got his handle from when he was a tank commander in Iraq and Syria, and later on during the abortive American invasion of Egypt. He got his tank blown out from under him. Thompson was pretty badly burned, including the left side of his face, which gave him a very distinctive appearance and one the Feds were always on the lookout for. He practically had to turn into a vampire for the whole war, moving only by night and staying in the shadows so no one would recognize him. We referred to our outfit as our guys, or our crew, or just Dundee. Some of the companies in our brigade had snazzy names, like B Company in Tacoma, that had so many Russian immigrants in it they were called the Don Cossacks. There were other outfits that had such names, like the Barbary Pirates, the Montana Regulators, and the Butcher Boys up in north Seattle. We once kicked around the idea of picking a name for ourselves, the Dundee Destroyers or something juvenile of the kind, but Tank vetoed it. “You let the media pick up on something like that and it draws unwanted attention from ZOG,” he said. “We get high profile and Centcom in Washington is going to move us to the top of their hit list and send in more heat than we need or can handle. Sorels and his goons are enough to for us to deal with. We want to stay off their radar screen as much as we can while still being effective. With any luck they’ll think we’re imports from Seattle or Vancouver, although Sorels isn’t as dumb as he looks.” (It would be impossible for anyone to be as dumb as Sorels looked.) “I think he knows we’re right here in town and I’m sure he remembers some of us from his previous incarnation as village constable.”

One warm spring day in May, with the cherry blossoms come and blown, and the green leaves newly on the hardwoods, I was lying on a mattress in a back room in a safe house in Dundee, trying to get some sleep, when Johnny Pill came in and told me we had a tickle on. One thing you learn when you’re doing the resurrection shuffle—sorry, me lapsing into old fighters’ gab again, and no, I got no idea where that one came from—one thing you learn when you’re on the run is that you sleep whenever you get the opportunity, even if it’s only a cat nap, because you never know when you’ll have to spend the next two days out on a tickle and then make a fast break and gopher hole it. Yeah, I can say ishkabibble and twenty-three skiddoo, too. Anyway, Johnny Pill, that’s John Pilafski, a big grumpy middle-aged Polack who rented the safe house, came in and told me we had this major tickle shaping up in Olympia and the CO wanted us to meet him at the old swimming hole ASAP. The old swimming hole was our code name for a state government warehouse on Airdustrial Way in Tumwater. There was nothing even remotely connected to swimming about it, the idea being if the Feebs were to overhear some reference to it they’d think water and look elsewhere than a one-story corrugated iron hangar full of steel shelves stacked with outdated state documents and forms and misprinted calendars from 1999. All the paper was supposed to be recycled, but one of our girls in the state offices had gotten into the computers and deleted the whole building from the database. Thus far no one in the government even appeared to remember the place existed. The lieutenant had a key and we rendezvoused there occasionally.

The previous evening I had been out on a minor tickle, what we called a Come to Jesus session, no offense to any of our Christian comrades. Actually, our Christian comrades called it a Come to Jesus session as well. Some old fart whose name I forget had been going around Dundee wearing a white construction hard hat with a large Amurrican flag on the front and an equally prominent Israeli flag with a blue Star of David on the back accompanied by some obscure Bible verse or other. He drove a battered old white Nissan covered with assorted bumper stickers from various religious right churches and pro-Israel committees, etc. He’d stop on the street or in a shopping mall, pass out those stupid tiny little Christian comic books and babble to anyone who would listen about how the Lord of Hosts would soon come down from the sky and vaporize all evil Muslims in the name of Jeeee-zus, as opposed to Jesus, and God would smite hip and thigh on anybody else (like us evildoers of the NVA) who dared to lay hands on the Apple of God’s Eye, the Joosh pipples who were the Chosen Ones blah blah blah ishkabibble. Oh, Walter. Yeah, Walter was this geezer’s name. He was crazy as hell and he had the papers to prove it, since he lived on some kind of government nut check. We had ignored old Walter for months, figuring that if anything he was helping us. The village idiot was not exactly the best advertisement in the world for truth, justice, and the Zionist way. That’s one of the more subtle revolutionary skills, by the by, figuring out who among your enemies are such incompetent nincompoops that they are actually doing more harm to the régime and more good to the revolution by remaining where they are.

But then one evening Walter was in Fulton’s Market, and the checkout girl, who was not a Volunteer but knew how to get word to us, overheard some snippets of suspect conversation between Walter and our local red-white-and-blue headache, Washington State Patrol sergeant Leon “Dummy-Dummy” Sorels, of whom you may be sure I will have more to say at a later date. Walter was just a kook, but Sorels was definitely on our crew’s to do list. He had already survived one bomb under his patrol car and one .30-06 slug through his living room window. After these bashful tokens of our affection, he adopted a lifestyle distinctly nomadic. We were thinking in terms of setting up a major full-force ambush and whupping a spot of Shock and Awe on Dummy-Dummy’s steroid-pumped ass when time and place should serve, but he was a cagey bastard, always varying his movements, always surrounding himself with his fellow gun thugs, never sleeping in the same place twice in a row, and then just after the Walter incident…never mind, that’s for later. Anyway, to make a long story short, old man Walter might have been crazy but he wasn’t stupid. He was up on all the latest poop and propaganda from the Department of Homeland Security, he had all the DHS wanted posters up on his wall (we later saw) and he was evidently not averse to collecting some reward money for the apprehension of us domestic terrorist evildoer-type dudes. I guess he saw no reason why doing the Lord’s work shouldn’t put a few shekels in his pocket. The girl at Fulton’s told us that Walter was telling Sorels some spritz about how he’d allegedly seen Carter Wingfield and one of his sons riding down Second Street in a gray pick-up truck with such and such a license number.

Maybe he had, maybe he hadn’t. Our crew used a whole motor pool of different vehicles which we had stashed all over Lewis County, and for all I know one of them might have been a gray pickup truck, but whether or not Walter was telling the truth or just trying to weasel his way into Sorels’ good graces to get on his snitch pad wasn’t the point. Riding around town in a foolish car plastered with stupid Amurrican bumper stickers and babbling like a loon about Israel being the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy was one thing. This was informing, and informing of any kind was something the NVA could not, dare not ignore. Besides, I was field-married to Rooney Wingfield, the finest long, tall drink of redneck honey ever to come out of the South Carolina Low Country, so Carter Wingfield was my father-in-law and his sons were family. Yeah, I’ll tell you about that later on as well. But for that reason, I took a personal interest. All of a sudden Walter was very much on my own to do list as well as the crew’s. We got the okay from the lieutenant, and the night before some of the boys and I went to the old geezer’s cluttered, sad little house and chastised his sorry, crazy, snitching ass. We tied Walter into a chair in the kitchen while he screamed Bible verses at us, then we took his hard hat with the Masonic dishrag on it, clapped in onto his bald mottled noggin and nailed it into his skull. Nice big tenpenny nails. Then we sewed his lips together with fishing line for good measure so that everyone would know why we had done what we did. I assume Walter was dead by the time someone eventually found him, but by then I was really hot from the Rothstein hit and I had to ease my young ass on down the road a bit until I cooled off, so I lost track.

Did we have to be so cruel to the old man? Yes, ma’am. As a matter of fact, we did. The United States had more men, more money, more weapons, more gear, more informers, more courts, more electronic spying equipment, more prisons, more instruments of torture, and more resources of every single kind than we did. Not to mention total control of all the newspapers, all the television networks, the full backing of Hollywood, and except for the activities of a few of our cyber-guerrillas, the government controlled almost all of the internet. We had to even the odds in one of the few ways we could. Through pure, raw fear. Why do you think it’s called terrorism? Shock and Awe didn’t just apply to actual combat. When we sent a message we needed to bellow it from the rooftops and let everybody know in no uncertain terms that we were very, very serious about this new white nation business. We needed to make damned sure that a little light bulb came on over everybody’s head as they realized that opposing the Northwest Volunteer Army’s agenda was not a good life decision. Kind of like that old movie where the Jew movie producer wakes up with a horse’s head in his bed. In fact, I think we actually did that once to some rich bitch who was part of the horsey set. The result was her husband resigned from his Federal judgeship and didn’t send any more of our people into the living hell of ZOG’s Third World prisons, and others of his kind suddenly discovered they had serious health issues that required them to lay aside their judicial duties for the duration. They were right. Staying on the bench wearing those black robes could be very unhealthy.

Terrorism is the weapon of the weak against the strong.

That afternoon I went up to Oly with Johnny Pill. Johnny drove one of our legitimate i.e. non-stolen vehicles, a delivery truck from an organic bakery. Dundee was blue-collar working class, when there was any work available that hadn’t been stolen by Mexicans. Oly, on the other hand, was hoity-toity liberal, lattés and birkenstocks and granola, bicycle paths, and women who hyphenated their last names, so the truck fit right in. Believe it or not, there were plenty of right-wing health nuts, and one of them owned the bakery and gave Johnny a front job under a false name, and the use of the panel truck. I stayed hidden, crouched in the back amongst the sourdough loaves and bran muffins with my .455 Webley Carter had given me as a first shoot-out present, and a sawed-off double-barreled shotgun. When we got to the warehouse on Airdustrial Drive, somebody opened a roll-up door and Johnny pulled the truck inside. “You got any doughnuts in there?” I heard somebody ask.

“Naw, just goddamned bran muffins and bagels,” said Johnny. I clambered out.

“The muffins are pretty good,” I commented, having eaten one on the way up.

“Right, all the bods I sent for are here,” called the CO from over in one corner of the large shelved hangar piled high with dusty boxes of obsolete paper. The burned side of his face always flushed red a bit when he was intent on something. “Pull up a pew, guys, and let’s get started.” Our whole crew wasn’t there. I don’t recall a single occasion during the entire war when every man and woman we could muster from the Dundee area were ever in a single place. It wasn’t a good idea. If something went bad, we didn’t want it to go all the way bad. But this afternoon there were about a dozen Volunteers present, which for us at that time was a lot of bods to go out on a tickle, so we knew that this one was something heavy. Most of my comrades present I knew by their noms de guerre. Protocol was strict. You never asked a Volunteer his or her real name, and the information was seldom offered. There was Tank himself, of course, lean and mean in slacks and a black t-shirt, reddish hair hanging down over what was left of one side of his face. There was Echo Company’s quartermaster and armorer, Smackwater Jack. Smack was a shaggy, hulking, white-bearded old sinner covered with prison tattoos. He looked like an evil Santa Claus. I either never knew what his real name was or else if I did, I long ago forgot. The quartermaster of an NVA unit was arguably the most important officer in the crew, in some ways more so than the CO or XO, because he had charge of the three things that made us capable of fighting at all: the guns, the vehicles and the safe houses. Smack always wore a very old denim vest with an insignia of some kind on the back, which had been defaced by almost two generations of sweat. We always figured it was some biker gang’s colors, but we never knew which one.

Our executive officer, Tank’s wife Pam, wasn’t there. The XO was the liaison contact with the rest of the NVA, but also the money man or woman in a Northwest Volunteer Army unit. We seldom saw Pam unless we were doing something that needed cash or we had done a revex—sorry, revolutionary expropriation, which is a fancy word for an armed robbery—in which case we gave the cash to her, less commission. Yes, the Party allowed us commission on stickups. This was a completely pragmatic concession to human nature. They figured if they let us keep twenty cents on the dollar we would avoid the embarrassing sitch of stealing from the revolution. The laborer is worthy of his hire, as Carter Wingfield would have put it in his scriptural way. Revexes were popular tickles, as you can guess. Some of us showed a real flair for it and became real John Dillinger types. And you know? Because we were allowed that commission, I don’t think any of us ever skimmed off any more than that from our take. It was a point of honor. We weren’t common gangsters, you know. We were political gangsters, madam.

There was a big muscle man in a tank-top with a blond buzz cut whom we all knew as Teddy the Bear. He usually carried our crew’s one prized belt-fed M-60 machine gun. We’re talking Rambo here. The Bear could drive nails with that gun at a hundred yards. There was our field medic called Bones—what else? He was a damned good medic actually, who’d served in Iraq and Saudi and had already saved a couple of our lives. For shooters we had me and Johnny Pill, Ray Hamilton, Tommy Connors, Mack the Knife, a kid with a green Mohawk called Spiderman and Susie Q., his equally punked-up girlfriend with a purple pageboy who sported a diamond in her nose. For special weapons there was a tall skinny guy with vacant eyes we called Lurch, whom I remembered from my childhood as living with his mother in Dundee in a big house full of a couple of dozen cats. Lurch’s Mom owed money to the IRS which she refused to pay, or so they said. Dummy-Dummy Sorels and some Feebs had come to their house one night while Lurch was at work. They claimed Lurch’s mother fired a .22 at them, which maybe she did, maybe she didn’t. She was pretty gaga, but whatever the case was, Dummy-Dummy went berserk. Mother and cats all died when the house burned to the ground. Lurch was now in the process of returning the favor with interest. He had been in Iraq and Saudi as well, before he was kicked out of the military on a Section Eight. His military speciality had been air defense, and he was a dab hand with Stingers and SAM anti-aircraft missiles, not to mention Patriots if we ever managed to get hold of any, and so far he had brought down two ZOG helicopters, one with a Stinger and one with an RPG. Okay, one of those was a television news copter, but it was just as much an enemy aircraft as any Blackhawk or Apache. I might mention as a footnote that Lurch made it through the war. I heard he went off into the woods to some cabin and lived out the rest of his life with more cats, and everybody left him alone. A lot of us were fighting for just that, the right to be left alone. I don’t think ZOG ever quite figured that out.

There were also a couple of Volunteers I hadn’t seen before, which was not an unusual thing. Sometimes somebody would show up for one major operation and you’d never see them again until years later, if ever. One of these new faces was a chain-smoking, dark-haired, hard-looking woman in blue jeans named Carol, who I later learned had come down from Tom Murdock’s Olympic Flying Column. The second was a heavy-set, blue-eyed and blue-chinned bruiser with black hair in a bicep-bulging polo shirt with an Irish accent, whom the CO called Paddy. Carol died with the Column at the Ravenhill ambush, and many years afterward Paddy became the Honorable Patrick Brennan, President of the Republic.

The tickle was planned and organized by Brennan and Tank Thompson, and it was a big one indeed. “Right, evildoers, gather round and lend me your ears,” said Tank. “We’re going to take down a Burger King, a big one, an honest-to-God Elder of Zion. This is a nose we can mount on our wall. Chief Justice Sammy Rothstein of the Supremes.” Tank held up an old cover torn from a magazine. I saw a round bald head with a frizzy aureole of gray hair, a bespectacled sheep face with thick lips and a proboscis of note. There were mutters of surprise and pleasant anticipation. “Among other crimes against God and man, Hizzoner the Chief Justice more or less destroyed the last vestiges of democracy in the two-party system by declaring primary elections unconstitutional, a maneuver designed specifically to keep politically incorrect candidates like us among others off the ballot. But that’s not why he was TimeMagazine’s Man of the Year a few years ago, as you see here. That accolade he earned for enshrining forever in the Constitution of our beloved empire a woman’s right to choose not only to murder her child, but to do so up until and including the very moment of natural birth. Not even partial birth. Birth. A woman now has the right to choose her own damnation right up until the moment the doctor slaps her baby on the butt. All she has to do is say no and instead of getting the butt-slap the baby gets run through a skill saw once or twice, and the pieces get tossed in the dumpster. Unfortunately, Hizzoner Justice Rothstein’s mother did not make such a choice. We are going to correct that error of hers tomorrow.

“Mister Rothstein seems to have had an attack of bravado. He’s gonna show the world that we aren’t so domestically terrifying after all. He is arriving in Olympia as a surprise speaker to address the graduating class of Evergreen College tomorrow afternoon. He will give them his Talmudic seal of approval and his benediction to go forth and become good little liberal yuppies thinking diverse thoughts, and no doubt he will offer a fatherly homily as well on how they need to stand fast against the dark and naughty forces of wicked racism, which is us. He doesn’t know it yet, but tomorrow this Moloch in a black robe will be the guest of honor at a kosher barbecue. His own. I want this hebe to burn, boys and girls. I want to hear him scream like all those babies ripped from their mother’s wombs screamed. I want to hear all that Philadelphia cream cheese sizzle, like his black soul will be sizzling in the fires of hell.”

We cheered, already pumped. The boss had a way with words. “So what’s the plan, Tank?” asked the Bear.

“The target arrives at Olympia airport tomorrow at eleven,” said the lieutenant. For all it was the state capital of Washington at the time, the city and surrounding environs of Olympia did not rate a major airport and had only a tiny little regional field with a couple of landing strips on it, maybe a mile from where we sat.
“Not Sea-Tac?” asked Mack.

"No," replied Thompson. “The plutocracy’s big knobs who have business in Oly usually fly into Sea-Tac, but that would give him too much time on the ground and too far to travel, and his security people don’t like that. They have sense enough to be nervous even if Rothstein himself doesn’t. We considered the idea of trying to nail Rothstein’s government Lear jet with our one Stinger missile or with an RPG up the engine intake as he lands. That way we know damned well he’s in there. But the Feebs aren’t fools. They know they’re dangling a tempting goodie beneath our noses by bringing him here, and we have to assume they’re going to be all over that airport with satellite surveillance, lookout posts, infra-red, you name it. This morning through our field glasses we saw their bulldozers and cranes installing concrete Bremer walls around the terminal building, so they’re anticipating trouble. I don’t fancy the idea of an attack against a static position when we don’t know with one hundred percent certainty who we’ll be going up against, how many, how they’re armed, and where they will be disposed.”

“What’s his security?” asked somebody.

“Feeps,” said Tank. I should explain that in these pre-FATPO days the Federal Protective Service was top dog in the Zionist kennel, a mutation that grew out of an unholy mating between the FBI and Secret Service and BATF. Feep was one of those purely reactive things that ZOG dreamed up after an especially wet piece of work O.C. Oglevy did on the senior senator from Idaho. Locking the barn door after the horse was already slaughtered. That was always ZOG’s way. Once we seized the initiative the United States government never really gained it back, and they were always reacting rather than acting. Federal Protective Service didn’t last more than a year or two, largely due to their failure to prevent very many of our hits, and they were eventually sent back to the FBI and Secret Service and their budget was absorbed by FATPO, but at the time we took down Burger King they were still in the saddle viz. VIP protection. “The chatter we’re picking up from their side of the fence seems to confirm they’re worried,” Thompson went on. “The speech is being kept very much under wraps. All the students at Evergreen know is that there will be a special commencement speaker, which was what alerted us that someone major was coming. We got curious so we asked the birdies, and one of our contacts in La Cesspool Grande was able to tell us who the surprise guest was. The target will be transported from the airport to the Evergreen campus in a limo convoy. I wish it was a copter, because then our Stinger could zap him with no muss or fuss, but they’re not that careless. Three, possibly four vehicles, and as a further bit of good news the convoy will be covered from the air by at least one helicopter gunship, most likely a Blackhawk out of Fort Lewis. Once Rothstein arrives on campus there will be a special power luncheon for the chief justice in the staff dining room, attended by all manner of local Zoggish wheels from the governor and both U.S. senators on down. This seems to be where they’re concentrating most of their preventive measures. They’re worried we’ll try to hit all of the bastards at the banquet, and I wish to hell we could get more people together and do just that, but we didn’t get sufficient advance notice to work out the manpower and the logistics. They’re not going to let Hizzoner spend the night here lest something go boom. After Rothstein’s speech to the kiddies in the afternoon he goes scuttling right back to the airport in the same limos, then back onto his Lear jet and back to D.C. The limos will be Bremerized, armored and bomb-proofed, special mine-proofed tires and undercarriage, super-powered engines, and equipped with full automatic fire capability from a swivel-mounted M-60 through the sun roof. As part of their SOP, they will try to avoid us knowing which vehicle en route actually contains Hizzoner Chief Justice Rothstein. We hope to get a tip, but it may turn out to be a shell game. Find the kosher pea under the tin cup. The hit is going to have to go down on the ground, on his way either to or from the airport. We haven’t got anybody on the inside at the airport terminal, worse luck,” Tank continued, “The one bod we had who was willing to try couldn’t have passed the security screening because in his youth he made the mistake of attending an Aryan Nations rally, so he’s in their system. We do have someone on the inside on the Evergreen campus, and he or she will attempt to let us know which vehicle is transporting the target if it turns out we have to make the attempt on his return journey

Lurch raised his hand. “Uh, lieutenant, I know the airport is going to be infested with ZOG, but if we have that Stinger then I still say, why not let me take a crack at noseboy in the air? No need to overcomplicate things. We spot the plane coming in, you put me on the back of a pickup with the launcher and then we bust through the fence and onto the field. At a descending altitude I’d only need a stop of about five seconds to sight and lock in, maybe a hundred yards short of the runway, and then I could let fly and we’d be on our way. You’d only be risking me and the driver instead of a whole crew, Tank. Jeez, I’d love to add a Lear to my two choppers!”

“I’ll drive,” volunteered Spiderman.

“We’ll drive,” said Susie Q. “You’ll need a shooter for covering fire as well.”

“Oh, don’t worry, with any luck you’ll get your third whirlybird tomorrow,” said Tank with a grin. “No reflection at all on your courage, comrades, but in the first place you’d have to cover maybe as much as a half mile of open ground and back, with a clear field of fire for the Feds in the terminal or patrolling the airstrip. You could run into anything from land mines to TOW rockets and they may even bring in a tank or two from Fort Lewis, plus that helicopter gunship will probably be hovering around in the air. Let’s just hope it’s only one. Your chances would be dicey at best. Secondly, these new Federal VIP jets have all kinds of high-tech radar scramblers, heat shells and infrared decoy imaging. This Stinger is Afghan war surplus, still a fine weapon, but it’s a much older model and even at short range and low air speed it might get faked out by all the new gadgetry on the Lear and go spinning off target or even get distracted by the chopper. It cost us a lot to get hold of it, it’s the last one we’re likely to get for a while, and we want to make sure it counts and makes something fall out of the sky. This is a target we can’t afford to miss, boys and girls. We want Mr. Rothstein’s briefs turning red, not just brown. So we’re going to have to chomp down on our Burger King on the ground.”

“On the ground where?” I called out.

Tank moved up an overhead projector on wheels, called for the lights to be turned off (the blinds were already drawn on the windows, for obvious reasons) and then he switched on the projector and shot an image onto one wall, a street map of Olympia. “Paddy? You did the recon on this,” he said.

“Right,” took up the Irishman, who if I caught the accent right appeared to be from Belfast, “Here’s where it gets a bit dodgey, because we’re having to assume some things and second guess the mind of an enemy. The contact in Washington D.C. informs us that the Feep in charge is Special Agent Donald R. Shelley, late of the United States Secret Service, so he knows his shite. I happen to know that Shelley did a similar quick in-and-out through Olympia Regional Airport this January, escorting the director of the National Security Agency who wanted to have a high level meet with the governors of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in town here. That one was totally hush-hush on their part, no publicity. We tried an impromptu ambush, and I recognize a couple of your faces who were with me on that one, but it was aborted. We missed the bastard both coming and going. But I noticed something that I think might be relevant tomorrow. The quickest way to get from the airport to the governor’s mansion where the NSA meet was held is obviously this way, hang a left on Airdustrial and out onto Interstate 5 North, get off at Exit 105 and you’re there in five minutes.

“But Shelley’s a good paranoid player, and he doesn’t like the freeway. Understandable, in view of the various cowboy exploits the NVA has pulled off on interstates. He likes to take the scenic route through town. More little cross streets that he can use to vary his target’s route, more scope to run and hide if he gets ambushed, more things and people he can use for cover and interference against pursuit. On an open freeway, once you’re boxed in by a determined assault there’s really nowhere to go. On the NSA chief’s trip into town, we were waiting here in this building we’re in now, and we were in place at a couple of other points up and down Airdustrial, but yer man gets real cute and the three-limo motorcade just rolls right on down Capitol Boulevard into the city. I had thought of that possibility, but we simply didn’t have enough people to lay two adequate ambushes along both routes, nor will we tomorrow. So we went to plan B. When we got word the convoy was coming back about seven at night, in the dark, we moved into position on the corner of Airdustrial and Capitol. If he takes the same way back or if he comes back down I-5 and gets off at Airdustrial, either way we figure he runs into our welcome wagon.”

“Why didn’t you take up that position when the target landed, sir?” asked Carol, Marlboro dangling from her lips.

“Too congested in the daytime, too much chance of being observed in daylight and ratted out by some tout with a cell phone who wants to pick up some quick cash,” replied Brennan. “There’s a big telemarketing company on the corner here, with hundreds of employees going in and out all the time and not enough parking for them, so there were cars parked all up and down the shoulder, plus a petrol station on the other corner, here. We would have had to take over the buildings and use them as firing positions, which means detaining hundreds of telemarketers and the petrol station staff. Impractical with the numbers we had. All it would take would be for one rat with a cell phone to dial 911.”

“What happened when the NSA guy came back to the airport last January?” asked someone.

“Because it was a pitch black Northwest winter night, we were able to assume some temporary positions near the intersection, sitting in the Cascade Teleservices parking lot and parking on the verge in our vehicles along with the telemarketers’ motors,” Brennan replied. “We were able to cover all four corners of the intersection. But what does yer man do? He comes back up Capitol Boulevard, but while still in town he cuts the motorcade across on Cleveland Boulevard and then down into the Old Yelm Highway, here,”—Brennan was using a laser pointer—“And he slides right up to the airport down Henderson Boulevard, a quick left and then a right, and the limos were in under the sheltering guns from the terminal. Any attempt to mount an attack on our part at that point, in the dark against an enemy unknown in strength or disposition, would have been pointless and suicidal. Either on a map or from scouting out the ground personally, Shelley knew about that back way. I think he’s going to use it again tomorrow with Rothstein. Either going in or coming back. He’s not going into downtown Olympia this time, true, and he’ll have to at least cross over the interstate where it branches off into Highway 101 in order to get up to Evergreen College here in the northwest corner of our map. But he’ll be heading in the same general direction, and you can do that by simply reversing the route he used before. My guess is that since he used this back way in January on his return trip to avoid us, he’ll get cute again and this time go that route into town before he cuts over towards Black Lake.”

“So we set up along Henderson?” asked Tommy Connors.

“Aye. Last time we just had RPGs and a 90-millimeter recoilless rifle. This time our opening salute will be high explosive, your basic Baghdad banger, a roadside bomb. What can I say? I have a weakness for the classics. We’ve about seventy pounds of gelignite and some Semtex, both factory construction-grade, not one of our homemade concoctions made up in the kitchen sink. Small enough to be easily rigged and concealed. Assuming they take this back way on either the in-bound or the return trip from the airport, we’ve got two fairly good choices for the actual takedown point. First, right here,” (pointer) “At the intersection where the Old Yelm Highway runs into Henderson Boulevard. Second, where Henderson Boulevard runs into Old Highway 99 by Olympia Regional Airport. The Yelm Highway-Henderson site offers better terrain. It’s a wide open intersection, six lanes on Yelm Highway crossing two on Henderson. Very open ground which gives us good visibility and a clear field of fire, but there’s enough cover in surrounding buildings to where we can conceal ourselves and our vehicles. A good range of options for E & E after the fireworks, and you’d better believe they’ll be after us like the hounds of hell once we lay hands on this particular Apple of God’s Eye, no offense to any Identity folk present. The target’s motorcade will have to slow down in order to make the right turn onto Old Yelm going in, or the left turn onto Henderson coming back as may be, and there’s a derelict petrol station right on the corner there. We can conceal the HE charge in one of the old petrol pumps, and if we can get the nod and the wink on which vehicle Burger King is in, we can blow it when he’s within ten to twenty feet, depending on coming or going and therefore what lane he’s in. Pack the lot in Teflon pellets, roofing nails and some white phosphorus for luck and that should do it, if we have the right vehicle. One good way we’ve found to get around the Bremerizing is to use that particular anchovy combination. The teflon and roofing nails can put at least a few puncture wounds in the skin of most armored vehicles at the weak points, window joints, door handles, plexiglass that’s been weakened by the explosion or vehicle roll. A blast of sufficient force will actually drive the burning phosphorus through those pinpoint punctures and into the interior of the vehicle, thus giving us that kosher barbecue effect your company commander so desires.” Laughter. “The rest of us will be waiting with RPGs and our one anti-tank rocket and we give Burger King the maddest of Mad Minutes, then we pop the smoke and beat feet out of there.

“That’s the pros of this position,” Brennan went on gravely. “The cons are that the very features that help us will also help the enemy. Those six wide lanes give Burger King’s limo drivers a lot of dispersal area and turn-around room. Those drivers will be trained in their own escape and evasion tactics. Once the Mad Minute starts, the limos that aren’t immediately disabled could be scuttling all over the area like cockroaches when you turn on the light in a Puerto Rican kitchen. We’ll have our own vehicles at hand, obviously, but I don’t want this thing to turn into a Bonnie and Clyde car chase with us trying to run Sammy down. A good hit should run on rails and there should be no call for anyone to get creative. This kind of operation should never last more than thirty seconds of actual contact time, and then we should all be beating feet. We hit, take down the target, then make like an amoeba and split. Special Agent Shelley obviously likes a lot of elbow room for his transport. We shouldn’t give it to him. Another problem is that if we have good visibility then so will Rothstein’s escort, and that includes visibility from the helicopter. That’s where you come in, Comrade..ah…”

“We call him Lurch,” said Thompson.

“Thank you, Thing. Lurch, while we’re taking down the Burger King I want you to splat that chopper with the Stinger missile whenever it gets within such range as you’re sure you can get a hit. Not only a nice spectacular bonus for the six o’clock news, but it also means that after the hit when we’re doing our E & E’s we won’t have to worry about the eye in the sky.”

“I’ve been past that intersection,” said Lurch approvingly. “Good wide horizon. If that copter comes anywhere lower than three thousand feet I can have that Stinger up his ass before he knows what hit him.”

“I don’t doubt it, comrade. He’ll have to get lower than that to see what’s happening once we pop the top. Just remember, as flamboyant as a Blackhawk Down is, we want a Black Robe Down. Now, as to the second possible take-down point on Henderson.” (Pointer) “This alternative site is a lot more up close and personal, two-lane highway and the forest very close in to the shoulder. We’d have them good and boxed in, and we could be hiding behind every tree and firing our weapons at almost point-blank range. But by the same token that means more problems for us. For one thing, fewer E & E routes. For another, a much narrower field of fire for the Stinger. Mister Lurch would have to wait until the chopper was visible over the roadway. The actual hit would be here, about a third of a mile from where Henderson Boulevard runs into Old Highway 99.”

“Not at the intersection itself?” asked Carol.

“No,” said Brennan. “That would place the strike within sight and sound of the airport and Rothstein’s security detail there, who might come to his aid with more vehicles, maybe even another copter. We’ve got a natural ambush just about here, although it’s not shown on the map, but I went over the ground this morning and I discovered that there’s a very sharp turn, almost 90 degrees in fact, and traffic has to slow to about 20 mile per hour to negotiate it. The woods are very close in and there are a few houses and sheds and whatnot that can provide cover for the shooters, not to mention trees and bushes. Now, we know that place is there. Shelley knows it’s there, and I suspect it worries him, but he may figure what worked once will work again, and help him to evade anything we may have waiting for him on I-5. You lads may remember that running battle Number Two Seattle Brigade had with the FBI’s SWAT unit on the I-90 bridge into Bellevue? They’re very paranoid about interstates ever since, and they do not want a repetition. If Rothstein’s motorcade takes Henderson Boulevard either coming or going, they’re going to have to slow down to about twenty on that elbow. Right at the angle of the curve, there’s a concrete pipe culvert running beneath the road that we can stuff full of the gelignite and all kinds of lovely boomables with a remote detonator. Better compression than the gas pump, and we can do significant damage to at least two of the limos, bring them to a halt and then use our RPGs and armor-piercing bullets. Of the two sites I frankly like this one better. It’s ideal. So ideal in fact that I almost mistrust it as too good to be true.”

“I like to get in close and see their brains,” said Spiderman. Coming from anyone else who looked like him, with his slouch and his painted Mohawk, you would have said to yourself Jeez, what kind of snot-nosed arrogant little punk is this? But none of us laughed or sneered. We knew Spiderman and Susie, and they really did like to get in close and see the brains. Being sodomized by niggers in the King County jail had that effect on a person. And what they’d done to Spiderman was even worse.

Brennan nodded. “So do I, lad. Well, then, Henderson Boulevard it is. Now as to our dispositions on the morrow…” The discussion went on the whole afternoon and I won’t give it verbatim. After the CO finished his briefing, Smack passed out the weaponry. “Young Ryan, the CO tells me he likes your style on full auto during a tickle,” said Smack.

“Can I pack that Thompson again?” I asked. I loved that tommy gun, although all I had done thus far with it was to make some Mexicans dance the flamenco in front of a bodega in Centralia (damned recoil got away from me in the awkward position I was in, leaning out a car window.) Plus later on I ventilated an Assembly of God minister’s house in Chehalis, in order to make a theological point about the Jews being God’s Chosen People. I called the minister up afterward and suggested that his sermon the next Sunday be on Matthew 27:25. He left town instead.

“Afraid not,” said Smack, shaking his head. “I lent the Thompson out to some boys who had a special job laid on up in Seattle, and it won’t be back for a week or so. Got a goodie for you, though.” He took a weapon out of the back of his van, which was pulled inside the hangar, and tossed it to me. Long and lean and lovely it was, with a reet pleat, a stuff cuff, and a drape shape.

“AK-47?” I asked, turning it, in awe of the sheer beauty and balance of Major Kalashnikov’s famous design of death. The wood of the stock was varnished a deep red-gold and polished to gleaming perfection. Without the weight of a magazine it almost seemed to twirl in my hand like a pistol. “Or is it a knock-off? What make? Not a Valmet, is it?” Valmet was the Finnish version of the Kalashnikov, probably the best made and best firing version of many.

“Nope.” Smack gave a sigh. “Wish I had a Valmet to give you, son. Wish I had Valmets to give all of you beautiful people. This is the later model of the 47, an AK-74. Last Soviet military issue before the Iron Curtain went down. This particular piece is a souvenir of sunny Iraq. Still got Saddam’s fingerprints on it. To tell the truth, the main reason I want you to tote this tomorrow is that I need to use up this 5.45-mm Russki ammo. You used to be able to buy 5.45 over the counter fairly easy, but the damned Schumer Act banned these beauties and so we’re pretty much having to stick to what we can take off the cops and the Feds. We’ve only got this one piece and about two hundred rounds, and after they’re gone I intend to convert it to .223, which is a hell of a lot more available caliber. Re-boring the barrel is no problem and I’m going to amputate the stock and cut the barrel down to right in front of the gas regulator, here, so this will be one hell of a close-in chopper. She’ll tickle Yehudi’s liver soft and sweet. Gonna smoothbore it too, to fuck up the ballistics so ZOG can’t trace it, although the re-chambering is going to be a bit tricky. Going to have to actually sleeve it up, if you follow.” He handed me a round canister drum magazine and two extra banana clips of red plastic, plus a handful of loose rounds. “One hundred rounds in that can.”

“This Soviet issue as well?” I asked, looking over the drum curiously.

“Nope. Home manufactured in our own machine shop, young Ryan,” he said proudly. “Gonna be too heavy for you?”

“I’m not a girl,” I said.

“Watch it, dude!” said Susie Q. “He means you’re a shrimp.”

“Sorry, Suze. I’m a shrimp, but I can handle it, Smack, although yeah, the drum does seem to throw it a bit off balance,” I added as I slapped the canister into the magazine well. I picked up the weapon and hefted it, aimed it. With the drum mag it was indeed heavy, but I was young and wiry and could manage it. “I’ve fired the M-16 and the BAR, and the Thompson, of course,” I told Smack. “The BAR and Tommy gun are heavier than this piece with full magazines. This bolt seems loose.”

“AKs are deliberately engineered like that, with a little bit of play to allow for heat expansion and crud and to avoid jams,” explained Smack. “That’s what makes them such fine weapons. You can stick an AK at the bottom of a swamp for a week, pull it out, blow out the bolt assembly and it will still fire. You was never in the army?”

“Nope, evil racist as I was. 4F on grounds of moral fiber, lack thereof.”

“But you know full auto fire control procedures, right? This is a joy to use, son, and it can do a lot of damage, but it’s not to play Rambo with.”

“Yeah, I know,” I told him. “Carter and Adam Wingfield both taught me. Fire short bursts and try for a good tight shot group. You say to yourself fire-a-burst-of-six as you pull the trigger and that actually gives you a burst of five rounds.”

“Tank, any way we can let Shane and some of these others test fire their weapons before showtime?” called Smack. “It’s just not good work habits letting people go into combat with a piece they’ve never even shot. Especially on a tickle this important.”

Tank agreed and so much of the rest of the evening was taken up with a trip to a private home on a back road outside Yelm where a long enclosed cellar contained an impromptu, soundproofed firing range. It was helpful but also make-work, since Tank was an experienced combat officer and believed in keeping his troops busy. We put on ear protectors and I fired a banana clip out of the AK-74, five shots semi and the rest in automatic bursts. The AK had virtually no recoil; I could have played tic-tac-toe with it. Susie Q. cut loose with a full drum of double-ought buck from the South African Stryker shotgun she would be packing, Spiderman put a magazine through the Uzi he’d drawn, Tommy Connors popped a few mags through an M-16 he’d been given, and Lurch ran over the firing procedure for our one LAWS rocket with Spiderman, although we couldn’t fire it for obvious reasons.

When we’d cleaned the weapons Tommy and I went back to the old swimming hole while the rest of them went to undisclosed locations where they would rack in for the night before rendezvous at 0900 next morning. Another rule we learned the hard way was never have your entire Volunteer force in one place for any longer than was necessary. Always move and camp in detachments. I was assigned a cot in one of the offices and given my guard duty shift, me and Smack on ten to two and then Tommy and Carol would relieve us. Before racking in I managed to have a word with Tank, a number of words actually, and he probably wondered if I was stoned or something until he finally figured out what I was hinting at. You never asked questions about the status or whereabouts of other Volunteers even within your own unit. Such curiosity made others curious about you. But there was someone special I hadn’t seen around for a while.

“Rooney’s the one on the inside at Evergreen with this one, Shane,” he told me. That’s what I had been afraid of. You wouldn’t have thought someone as striking-looking as Rooney would be a good

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