Civil War II

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: War and Military  |  House: Booksie Classic
An earlier version of this story appeared on a defunct site. A bad economy leads to a new Civil War.

Submitted: June 06, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: June 06, 2017




Civil War II

By J. Todd Miles


Colonel, are you awake?”, “Yes Sergeant Major”.  Colonel Tom Backmann  (Massachusetts Army National Guard, Retired…..long since retired at 70 years old) laughed to himself, and in a fraction of a second thought over the life that had brought him to what would probably be his last military engagement……command of an 8 person “speed bump”  ambush.


Just out of college, he had commanded a 45 man combat engineer platoon as a Lieutenant of Marines. After 3 years of initial service, he had been selected to stay in the Marine Corps as a career, but only if he transferred to service as a Motor Transport officer, a career choice that did not appeal to him. He had left active duty, and after a few years, joined the part time National Guard. The National Guard offered the chance to command an infantry company, and eventually an infantry battalion. He had retired, in his words, as a “pencil pushing, chair warming” staff officer before his 50th birthday, and  collected a reserve pension starting at age 60. He and his wife, both retired teachers, had spent a few pleasant years, tooling around the country in a small RV. They visited the kids, grandchildren, old friends, and a lot of national parks. Then the bottom fell out. A garden variety recession turned into a real depression, as various and increasingly desperate government measures failed to restore prosperity. His retirement benefits had been ravaged by inflation, and then stopped…….then it got really bad. States erected toll booths at their borders, and taxed interstate pipe and power lines that crossed their states. Smuggling was a growth industry. As states got less and less help from Washington, they were less and less inclined to follow increasingly strident edicts from the starving federal bureaucracy  The USA had never formally dissolved but was now a changing coalition of de facto nation states. Alaska had thrown in with Canada, and Hawaii was virtually independent and almost 3rd world poor. The former Confederacy was the biggest, and strongest region, but it lacked the strength and until recently, the will to rein in the shifting alliances between the northeast, the midwest, and the west coast.  A year ago, a coordinated military coup by Federal and National Guard units across the south had installed a former governor as president and temporary dictator in Washington, DC.  After consolidating power for a few months, President North had insisted that all regions of the United States were to come under control of his “one true United States government”. Civil disobedience against Washington appointees, both civilian and military rapidly turned violent, and the United States of America was now involved in a new Civil War.


Colonel Backmann had returned to service, but only as a member of the Massachusetts State Guard, a home guard, citizen militia type unit. The MSG, as it was called had existed for many years, but usually as a small cadre of recently retired National Guard folks who helped out with small projects at the Massachusetts National Guard headquarters. The MSG now had “thousands” of members, at least on paper, and acted as 2nd and 3rd line troops, for an increasingly weary northern Army. Sometimes the MSG soldiers were respected members of the Northern Army. Usually, they ran or died. The chain of command was flexible. The Colonel had been “suggested” into his present position by a young captain who HAD called Backmann “sir”, but both knew who was in charge. Backmann’s “command” was too old, and weak to run, once the action started. The Captain had hoped that they could buy him a few minutes. Backmann planned to buy an hour, at the expense of 8 lives.


The southern army had pushed up the Hudson River valley in hopes of splitting New England off from it’s allies. It had now turned east. Backmann figured, but had not been told that the main focus would be control of I-90, or the Mass Pike as it was called locally. The other east west highways, Rt 9 and Rt 2 had to be defended too. His unit was defending Rt 9, and he had set up firing positions, just west of the Quabbin Reservoir dam. He made it a point to be higher than what would flood should the dam breach. He knew that protection of the dam was a high priority, but in case of capture, he knew nothing of it’s defense. Were the dam to break, though, he didn’t want to be in the way.  He was out of contact with the captain or any other unit, but was to fire off a hand held parachute flare once in contact with the enemy, thus letting the captain know that the enemy was on the way.  The unit was armed with a variety of light weapons, from hunting rifles to a couple of old M-16s. They also had a Viet Nam era M-79 grenade launcher with 3 rounds, and an old anti tank rocket. He gave the M-79 to the Sergeant Major, and kept the anti tank weapon for himself. Should they survive, they were to fade into the civilian population, and try to carry on the fight in enemy occupied territory. In other words, they were expendable and abandoned…………………..but back to the present.


Backmann was in a carefully camouflaged fighting position hiding under a “space blanket”, a reinforced plastic sheet, green on one side, silver on the other. It was hoped that they could hide from the less sophisticated heat seeking drones likely to be used in the area. He was less confident than he sounded, when he told the 4 men and 3 women, that the drone controllers would not waste a missile on a few light infantry in the woods, but that if they were seen, their location would be quickly passed on to artillery and mortars that would be near by.  His orders to the little group had been to wait for the enemy scouts to pass and then open up on the following units for a minute or two and then retreat to the south. The Colonel planned to defend their retreat while the Sergeant Major brought the survivors to safety. In reality, all knew that it was their final battle.


President Oscar North was shook, upset, and disappointed with him self. A year ago he was a retired 2 term governor, who had left office at the height of his popularity. He’d had the good luck to leave office while things were good, and lived a comfortable retirement before the inflation started.  He had often looked in the mirror and seen a president, but it had never happened. When the appointment to office had been offered, they had given him 2 minutes to decide, and then whisked him off to a secure location until the coup was a done deal. He later found out that another former governor had died in a car crash earlier that same day. As a state senator, attorney general and then governor, he had never stolen a dime, nor wanted to. Today he had go bags with a pound of gold coins and a 9mm pistol hidden in 5 separate White House locations, and he had secret accounts in Switzerland. His son was serving in the Army, but he had posted his daughter to the State Department, in jobs that kept her mostly out of the country. He missed his departed wife terribly, but was glad that she had not lived to see his down fall.


Just 2 hours earlier the treasury secretary had lectured him on the need to end the war. Foreign suppliers were demanding gold payment for supplies, and domestic production was crippled as factories were bombed.  An hour after that, the Secretary of Defense had come in looking for a million more troops so that he “could end the war in a year”, or to consider a first strike nuclear option. The trouble was that he had few nuclear weapons……how few was a closely guarded secret. The boomers as the missile launching subs were called had not responded to messages, and the ICBMs were in the north, and hopefully not yet aimed to the south. The pesky internet continued to function,and each attempt to limit connections to the north was met with a work around within hours.


President Muriel Hildreth was less disappointed in herself, than angry at her situation. When the coup had come she had been ushered off White House grounds with her supporters, and the gate shut behind her. Not a shot had been fired. She had made her way to Boston via Greyhound bus, and by the time she got there, had only 2 Secret Service agents, and 4 loyal staffers in attendance. She was running her administration, such as it was, as a guest of the Massachusetts state government when the new government in the south started war on the American people. She had generals, but way too few troops and supplies, when the southern government moved north. Only the poor condition of the southern armed forces had prevented a quick defeat. Rearming had gone poorly. Lots of former military members who had been “right sized” during the depression had returned to service, but feeding them, let alone arming them was a big problem. Logistics officers struggled to repair trucks, weapon systems and aircraft that had already been worn out when put into storage. Half the needed spares were manufactured in the south, and northern factories had to re-tool with limited resources. Northern state governments were finally forwarding at least SOME tax revenue, but they were keeping their National Guard units close to home. When National Guard units were federalized and ordered to other states, few complied. The national command authority was able to coordinate with National Guard units in any given area, but orders were only halfheartedly obeyed unless the local governor saw an advantage to the home state. The federal government was providing few resources to the National Guard in any case. At least her electoral problems had been solved. Congress, less the southern members, had passed a constitutional amendment to increase her term to 6 years. The amendment had been ratified by all non southern states within hours. She was tasked with restoring order and prosperity, and she was considering resignation………….let the VP or Speaker deal with the situation……….she was already being blamed for enough.


Lieutenant Jason North was pleased with himself. The former philosophy major had discovered his natural leadership style and mechanical ability during his few months in the Army. His air defense battalion commander, telling him that he was the best of his junior officers had just today given him command of 3rd battery, a composite unit of various light anti aircraft weapons based about a mile north of downtown Atlanta. The previous commander had been promoted and transferred, leaving the battalion commander with few options but to post North as a very young and very inexperienced commander to a weak and poorly trained battery made up mostly of part time gunners/full time factory workers. The job had come with a jeep, and a very attractive driver named PFC Janet Hurley. He was aware of and intended to comply with regulations stating that he could not date her, but she was very pleasant to look at, and to talk to in a purely professional manner. Even though North had said not a word, members of the unit quickly realized that he was the president’s son. His goal was to defeat low level enemy aircraft, without making his battery a target so he quickly set about camouflaging positions, building dummy, less camouflaged, positions, and integrating the constant flow of new, untrained members into the battery.


Captain Milton Jarvis had his reinforced motor rifle company halted at the intersection of Rt 9 and Rt 202, in Belchertown, Massachusetts, a few miles west of Col Backmann’s ambush position. Local security was posted, but most of the men in the unit were shopping at the crossroad stores. The Dunkin Donut shop had quickly sold out, and the worried manager had decided, at least for the time being, not to restock from his small, hidden, coffee supply. The already sparse shelves in the convenience store were stripped bare, and the gasoline tanks emptied. Everything was paid for in new “Freedom“ dollars, which were said by the southerners to be worth exactly the same as “old” US dollars. Capt Jarvis had sent a 3 person civil affairs detail to the town hall along with an infantry squad for protection. The little garrisons that his parent battalion had posted in towns between here and the New York border, had sapped it’s strength, and now C company, was the only southern force still heading east along Rt 9.  This morning, he had expected to spend the night in Ware, but now intelligence had notified him that there was a company sized unit dug into a reverse slope defense between him and the old mill town. There was also a 2 or 3 man enemy scout team near the large dam that they would need to pass down stream from. He considered sending a platoon over the dam roadway, even though it was dangerously exposed, and considered, once again, a request for reinforcement. His thoughts were interrupted by a flash message that the I-90 force was under air attack. As he was passing orders to spread out and prepare for air defense, 2 little Cessna 172s came in at treetop level, each dropping a small bomb. One failed to explode, and the other turned out to be napalm. Damage at first looked to be slight, but then it was reported that the Executive Officer, and the platoon leaders had been killed when the working bomb had landed in the middle of their meeting. As he was sorting things out he got orders to move south along Rt 202 and 181 to link up with, and reinforce the now depleted force on the Mass Pike/I-90. Taking I-90, and then Boston was top priority.


LtCol Peter Direnzo (retired), flying low and fast, lined up for the runway at Otis AFB on Cape Cod. The base was all but closed a year ago, but now hummed with activity. He had flown the same plane, an A-10, years before, as an Air National Guardsman out of Westfield Mass. Two weeks before, the plane had been pulled from storage at Davis Monthan AFB in Arizona, and he had flown her out just hours before the southern forces over ran the base. Six other A-10s got out before him, along with a few copies each of other fighters, transports, and helicopters. Most of the mechanics got out on the transports, and Direnzo dearly hoped than the remaining repairable planes had been burned. He didn’t know how successful his attack had been. The enemy had been lined up on I-90 just like a training film, but his GAU-8 gun firing the scarce 30mm rounds had jammed halfway through his firing run. He hoped that at least most of his bombs had exploded. Even though they had taken only one low and fast pass, his wingman had taken a hit to his port engine, and made a precautionary landing at Worcester.


Seeing the A-10 come in to Otis, Senior Master Sergeant Greg Pilker, also a retired A-10 veteran feared the worse. His “reward” for getting 7 A-10s airworthy, was to get 3 assigned to Otis. In his opinion, none were safe to fly, but this morning he had gotten 2 in the air. Direnzo was a good stick, and he was not surprised to see him bring ole ‘76 back. He feared the worse for Lieutenant Johnson, who wasn’t even a qualified A-10 pilot. The next day, he drove out to Worcester to see ’88, and found that it could be repaired.  As he passed through the main gate upon his return to Otis, a sniper killed him.


Sergeant Edmund Riker was a professional. One of just a few snipers left on active duty on “Freedom Day” when the coup took place, he was true to the southern cause, even though he had been raised in Chicago. He had been based at Fort Brag on Freedom Day, and followed orders, just as he always had.  He had been ordered to sneak north, through the leaky border, to hide near the gate at Otis, and to shoot a general. He had hidden 300 yards from the gate for 2 days. A patrol had passed so close, that he thought they might step on him. Finally, an older man, with the authority to burn gasoline in a single passenger car showed up. One shot, and a quiet withdrawal lead to escape. A few weeks later, he was across southern lines to the “true” USA, and found that he had not killed anybody important. Little did he, or “they”, know.


Colonel Backmann was surprised to see friendly forces approach from the east, and relieved to find that they were out of immediate danger. The southern push had been blunted, and the goal now was to push the enemy back across the Connecticut River. Backmann was sent Divisional HQ to replace the G-4 logistics officer who had been killed by a sniper. His troops had been left behind to maintain order in Belchertown, and to revert to the traditional home guard role.


Backmann inherited a logistics nightmare. He didn’t have enough of anything, except people. The rapidly swelling MSG sent two over strength, and under equipped companies to feed and train, while higher headquarters laid on a draft for sergeants and company grade officers. While the actual orders to transfer so many important people was the responsibility of the G-1, the problems created fell mostly to Backmann. How could he fix stuff without mechanics? How can he train new mechanics if the potential teachers have been transferred? How can stuff get fixed without spare parts?? He had commandeered as many SUVs, and pickup trucks as he could find, and had State Guard members paint them grayish green with whatever paint could be scrounged and mixed. Civilian pilots, if they owned a plane, found themselves commissioned into the State Guard, and flying dangerous missions. He learned of the small home made napalm bombs that had been used with some success, and had more made, using scarce gasoline. He issued all of the gas that he had, knowing that a tanker had made it into Boston harbor, and he prayed that there would be another within a week. Ammunition was a real problem. None was made nearby, and all of it needed to come in by a long northern route avoiding enemy lines that bulged so far north. He knew that other, bigger, battles were being fought in California, Oklahoma, and Ohio, but his pleas to the logistics command now functioning at Fort Drum in western New York were not listened to with much sympathy. He tried to make the point that access to all northeast ports could be lost if he failed in his mission, and he got enough supply to defend, but not enough to advance. When a truck convoy left Boston Harbor, headed west he saw his chance. He levied a toll for convoy protection, taking 25% of the supplies, before they turned the convoy over to members of the New York National Guard. He later heard that New York authorities had extracted a toll too. When the depleted convoy reached Fort Drum, the logistics commander was crazy angry, but what could he do?


PFC Hurley had the best job of her life. She had been out of High School for a few years, and been under employed since. She took a few college classes, as she could afford them, got a few hours, and decent tips at a coffee shop, and dated a rather obnoxious older man who paid some of her bills, until he had been laid off. Her draft notice had scared the heck out of her, but she worked hard at basic training, and her good grades got her a job as a driver. She shared a functional room with 3 other girls, got enough to eat, and a small paycheck. Life was already ok, and now she was driving the President’s son around. The handsome son of a gun was nothing but professional, but she knew that he liked her, and she dreamed of finding a way to make him like her better.


The antiaircraft battery was partly manned around the clock, but most of the gunners were part time, manning AA guns around their shifts at a factory. As one of the 20 or so full timers, Hurly saw her commander struggle to schedule the 200 or so part timers, as he always wanted to have enough people on hand in case of a short notice air raid. In fact, the battery had been caught off guard when a single plane had slipped in at treetop level. The fact that the plane had left trailing smoke, wasn’t much consolation for the 4 people killed, and 9 wounded.


When 5 experienced, full timers were transferred out, and 20 new, full time, recruits showed up with only a week of basic training, she saw her chance to get ahead. She went to the newly promoted 1st Lieutenant North and volunteered to train the new gunners in addition to her other duties. Between the transferees, the killed, and the wounded, the battery could barely function. To her surprise, he immediately agreed, and said that he had been authorized to promote 2 full timers to Corporal, and one to Sergeant. He ordered her to pin on Corporal chevrons before she met the recruits. She gushed,”You can call me Janet, sir”, but he coolly replied, “Call me sir or Lieutenant, and I’ll call you Corporal”. She recognized the put down, but all in all, it was a good day. That night she moved into a single room recently vacated by a departing Sergeant, and was pleased to know that her next payday would be about 25% larger.


President North fumed as he was briefed about the stalemates on almost every front. The victory at Davis Monthan AFB had gained a few planes and spare parts, but the best was gone or destroyed before the base was secure. The 100 or so prisoners had wrecked planes to the very last minute, and then stuck their hands in the air. The prisoners were lucky not to have been shot, but it hadn’t come to that….. yet…….had it?? He really hadn’t admitted to himself that he was in the middle of a civil war. He was only trying to bring back wayward parts of the country for their own good, and too many stupid people on both sides refused to see his vision. Mexico had offered to enter the war in return for parity in the new world order. They were actually demanding an open border!!!! In the meantime, they were openly selling oil, parts, and agricultural goods to both sides. They threatened to cut off anyone who would dare to sink a ship in their territorial waters, and were using their new found wealth to buy modern weapons in Europe, mostly from France and Russia.  Sinking ships would be tough in any case, as most of the US Navy remained loyal to the legally elected president in Boston.  The few operational ships docked in southern ports on Freedom Day, were mostly still there, but crews had deserted long before open hostilities had started. The few ships that had been at sea in the depression ravaged navy had docked at northern ports.  North’s few available ships were busy protecting convoys, and approaches to the Panama Canal which was usable by the north, but not the south.


Tomas Ruiz had been underemployed since graduation from Minuteman Vocational High School five years ago. Trained as an auto mechanic, he had worked at two dealerships, leaving the first to get more hours at the second, only to be laid off when that dealer closed. He had been helping, part time, at his uncle’s garage, and working the weekend demolition derby circuit when the war started. He quickly applied when he found that Raytheon, a major Massachusetts defense contractor was hiring. Three minutes into his interview, he was hired, and told to report the next day. He started off doing basic assembly work on missile components. The work was classified, and he wasn’t supposed to know what he was working on, but he wasn’t stupid, and wasn’t telling the enemy anyway. After a month, he was promoted to inspector, and he joined the State Guard, mostly as a job requirement, so that he could help to protect the plant in case of a commando raid. His State Guard records were scanned by an all seeing computer, and soon he found himself being pitched by an Air Force recruiting sergeant, who recommended that Tomas enlist before he was drafted. The offer of guaranteed service as a missile tech, along with no service in the infantry appealed to Tomas who quickly found himself at Otis AFB doing a little missile work, and a lot of everything else.


Since the beginning, when the Air Force had been split from the Army, mechanics had been “parts changers”. Mechanics switched out assemblies, sent them to be repaired elsewhere, and switched in rebuilt parts. The “system” couldn’t cope with Civil War II. The depression had pared the Air Force past skin and bone.  A lot of the repair facilities were in the south, and planes rescued from the bone yard at Davis Monthan had been out of the system for years. Tomas had a knack for keeping junk in flying status by fixing parts that could not be replaced. He spent a lot of time off base visiting his network of small machine and electrical shops that provided the means to fix irreplaceable sub assemblies. In return for their service, he went to bat for them with his commanders. He badgered for quick payments and made draft notices go away. Mostly so that he could sign his own requisitions, rather than wait for an officer signature, his commander had recommended him for field promotion to Warrant Officer, WO-1, a rank that had not existed in the Air Force a year before. Within days, over his commander’s screaming objections, he was transferred to Minot AFB in North Dakota.


LtCol William Jackson commanded the “most ready” ICBM squadron in North Dakota. He was career Air Force, a second generation officer, and last in a long line of professionals going back to his great, great grandfather, one of the original Buffalo Soldiers. He had survived a religion scandal while at the Air Force Academy, and had survived, as a Captain, the cheating scandal that enveloped the ICBM forces in 2013. He then survived the massive military downsizing of the depression, and now after years of preparation, expected to make at least Brigadier General very quickly. He had a lower priority for parts, and high quality new recruits than the rapidly expanding aircraft and drone units, but at his currant rate expected to be fully operational within six months. For now, he played a shell game with his 6 fully trained launch crews and 4 fully operational rockets. Six crews could, along with other duties man 3 of his ICBMs 24/7. Another 19 partly trained, non launch qualified crews manned other missiles, operational or not, on a rotating basis, leaving southern and foreign intelligence guessing about his strength. He worked almost around the clock, sleeping less than 5 hours a day, and now, he was enjoying the one “down time” that he allowed each week……..Sunday morning church services with his family. He never felt the explosion that ended his life. 


President Parker, then Speaker of the House, had been meeting with the old president and her cabinet, arguing about budget priorities, the need to protect the ICBM force, tax collection, and the refugee problem, when a clearly exasperated President Hildrith exclaimed, “I quit!!!”. She scribbled a resignation onto her legal pad and passed it to the veep, who without a word, scribbled, “me too”, signed it, and handed it to the Speaker. Parker had himself immediately sworn in, moved to the head of the table, and continued the meeting. Within days, he began the process of moving the federal government to Chicago, feeling that Boston, although out of immediate danger, could fall on short notice.


The old income tax had failed, because by the time the taxes were due, inflation had wrecked their value. Now, with the “new federal dollar” somewhat stable, income tax collection became worthwhile. Withholding and quarterly payments were pouring in and although he still didn’t have the assets to fight a major war, he could again operate a fully functional federal government, and soon, more office space had to be rented in the windy city. His treasury began small bond offerings, based only on the full faith and credit of the government, and was able to bowwow at less than 10%. Gold was still the preferred form of payment by overseas suppliers, but as the “legitimate” US government stemmed the southern tide, and moved towards stalemate, more and more foreign countries (who were desperate to get out of depression too) accepted dollars and granted credit.


Captain Elsie Higgins, USMC, flew her state of the art F-35 stealth fighter north after topping off her tanks at Andrews AFB. She had been based in Cherry Point, NC, with the last operational Marine Corps fighter squadron on Freedom Day. She worked long hours retraining pilots as they returned to active duty, and today, she was finally on an operational mission. Two small tankers, presumably filled with gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel were hours from Boston Harbor. She was to sink them, along with defeating any second line fighters that might scramble from nearby Otis AFB. As she passed east of Long Island, she slowed, and lowered her landing gear. With the gear down, she quickly showed on radar, and soon a F-16 intercepted. The surprised F-16 pilot escorted her to Otis AFB.


Col Backmann, after 2 weeks in the G-4 job, had been replaced by a much younger, regular army (career) colonel. The general commanding the division was effusive in his thanks, and commented that they couldn’t have stopped the enemy without him. With the situation stabilizing, it was decided to consolidate and standardize northeast regional recruit training at Camp Edwards, next to Otis AFB. Backmann was put in charge. He organized a 3 week initial course, with a new battalion of about 600 starting each Monday. He trained Army and Air Force recruits together while the Navy continued to train their own. After graduation, recruits were supposed to get specialized training in Army or Air Force skills, but in practice, recruits, especially those with pre existing skills, were sent directly to operational units. Everyone knew that the military had to expand faster, but the logistics operation was not growing fast enough to support additional recruits. With 10 similar training units spread across the secure part of the country 6000 recruits a week strained the system to the limit. Recruits were already being issued only one pair of boots, and those showing up in a serviceable pair of boots got none.


New York City had been bypassed as southern forces moved north, but now, poorly supplied southern troops were looting the outskirts as they were pushed out of the Hudson Valley. Local militia type units, often looking the same, and acting together, with gangs, caused the south a lot of trouble. Weak, but semi effective communication with federal forces was enough to control several devastating air strikes launched out of Otis AFB, and Burlington, VT. The city, already in tough shape due to the depression, ran out of everything fast. Facing a refugee crisis, and destruction of a national asset, the 2 presidents, in a short phone call, agreed to stay out of the city. New York harbor could operate, fuel water and electricity would flow, subject to the ability to pay, and neither side would try to take military advantage. The agreement brought hope to the entire country.


Tom Ruiz had known about his transfer to North Dakota for less than an hour. He was rushing to leave notes for unfinished projects, and made a copy of his repair contacts on one of a few working copiers. An Army Ordinance Corps Major, who he knew slightly, gave him a copy of The Army Officer Guide, and said “Leadership is about the same in any service. Skim the book, study the parts that apply to you, and mail it back” He went on to say that he had a Warrant Officer heading to Vermont to work on an ammunition manufacturing project. He said, “Travel together, and pick his brains about the important jobs that Warrant Officers do, and then catch transport west out of Burlington”. There was a C-130 transport, heading to several western bases when he got to Burlington. One of just 10 passengers, he grabbed a seat, along the side of the cabin on one of the red, nylon, folding benches. The middle of the cabin was loaded with pallets of cargo held in place with cargo netting. The crew chief was checking passenger seat belts when he stopped, and seemed to be listening to his headphones. He then yelled, ”Prepare for takeoff”. The plane moved, and then accelerated faster and faster. Ruiz thought to himself that the plane was still on the taxi way, but the plane took off and headed west at low altitude.


A few minutes later, a pair of southern F-16s attacked the base. They saw the fleeing C-130 on radar, but they were low on fuel, and also noticed northern fighters closing on their position. They made a quick, and safe, getaway.


At his morning brief, President Parker was told of a few southern units contacting local Federal units asking for sanctuary. When asked for instructions, he said, “I’m issuing a blanket pardon to everyone below the rank of Colonel. Restrict the Colonels and Generals to base, and we will deal with them on a case by case later…………..Turn the units to the south, and reintegrate them into our command structure”. The seemingly simple remark had almost immediate results. Within hours, more southern units were tapping into the Federal command net seeking orders. There was no official cease fire, but within a day, fighting had stopped.


Federal troops got to Washington the next day, and found a mostly deserted White House. They found “president” North at his desk, and he held up one hand and said, ”Just a minute please, I’m on the phone with President Parker”. When he got off the phone, he stood and said, ”What now?”. A young infantry Major said, “Go upstairs and restrict yourself to quarters. I don’t think that you need an escort, do you?”


Corporal Hurley was driving her commander to battalion HQ one last time. All of the 3rd  Battery equipment had been quickly stored at the National Guard armory, and then all other battery personnel discharged. Hurley said, ”Now that it is over, I hope that you will friend me on Facebook, sir.” As they drove through the unguarded gate at HQ, North replied, “Janet, I’m without prospects, but now that we are going to be civilians, you can call me Jason, and I hope to be seeing a lot of you.” She replied, “I’d like that”.


Lieutenant North was quickly ushered into the battalion commander office. The commander said, “North, I wish that I had more time to talk, because you have done a good job. I expect that you will be back in the Army soon, because China has just occupied Hawaii”.





The author has written non fiction for 40 years.  His articles have appeared in such magazines as Countryside, Journal of Light Construction, Marine Corps Gazette, New Farm, and Shepherd. He is a retired Marine Corps reserve officer, and works in the family building business. He is also a part time farmer, and has held local elective office.


© Copyright 2019 J. Todd Miles. All rights reserved.

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