Saturday, July 30, 2011

Indivisible Chapter 20

Chapter 20
The only thing Michael Rollins liked about ‘Camp Anubis’ was its namesake.  There’s nothing quite like a thirty foot tall black jackal-man statue watching over the airport and the Domestic Security Force’s bivouac.  Rollins found the presence of the Egyptian god of mummification and the afterlife oddly uplifting.  Other than “Jackie” (which was the sentry’s nickname), Rollins found the swath of frozen prairie tucked to the west of the north-south runways of DIA rather bleak.
Rollins spent his morning disassembling, cleaning, and reassembling his rifle.  After that, he spent an hour surfing the armed forces approved list of websites.  Then he worked out for a half hour with a set of dumbbells looted from a Denver sporting goods store.
Many new faces had recently arrived from Fort Carson which was located just eighty miles to the south.  They came well-equipped bringing along all their newest and most expensive toys including MRAPS, tanks, helicopter gunships, freshly painted Humvees, and high tech predator drones.  It was an awesome spectacle of modern mechanized shock-and-awe but it seemed forced with the potpourri of clashing camouflages and nonlinear command structures being hastily jammed into the Domestic Security Force.

The uber-rumor making the rounds among the grunts was that they were all being combined into one super mixed-unit, fully mechanized and nearly self-sufficient.  The Army called it ‘living off the land’ which meant taking whatever they needed from the civilian populace.
They had to combine and deploy rapidly as pockets of civil unrest were erupting like teenage acne all over the western states.  Idaho, Montana, Utah, Nevada, Texas, Oklahoma, in addition to Colorado, all had ‘situations’ coming to a puss-filled head.  Denver was the lynchpin.  It was by far the biggest city to dissolve into chaos and if it could not be subdued quickly, the rebellion might spread nationwide.
Further complicating matters were the massive number of AWOLS that had undermined the DSF’s functional cohesiveness.  Hundreds of defections had occurred after the Denver Civic Center ‘security operation’.   
“Traitor,” Rollins mumbled as thought about Marzan while buffing his ring.  He kicked his boots up on an ottoman in the lounge which was really just a huge tent that contained casual furniture, a television, free weights, and a video game system where soldiers could take a break between firefights by immersing themselves in virtual firefights.  Rollins affixed his eyes onto America One which was the new cable news network deigned to replace all the others networks in the wake of their de-licensing by the FCC.  America needed ‘news’ that was “fit for public consumption” and “served the public good”.  Thank goodness the government was there to provide it for the information-starved masses.
The America One report at that moment described how “mass protests in Denver had “turned violent” and how security teams comprised of local police and National Guard were deployed and how they exercised tremendous restraint in their efforts to restore peace and security.  Rollins was disappointed.  He didn’t recall any National Guard anywhere near the riots.  The Guard was, of course, redirected out of state by command.  It was much too risky to put weekend warriors into a melee that might require them to shoot their neighbors.  They were already suffering abominable rates of attrition— some units losing 50% of their members— as the flow of videos taken during the Civic Center ‘security operation’ found their way into the Guardsman’s cell phones.  America One reported two dozen civilian casualties.  Rollins knew it was more like two thousand.
The entire Denver situation was still blistering.  The morning after the sweep of Civic Center Park saw a flurry of violence as enraged civilians firebombed federal offices in the suburb of Lakewood and threatened the lives of dozens of federal and state officials and policemen who had been rumored to have taken part.  The ranks of the police were the hardest hit of all with some precincts losing in excess of two thirds of their force as cops simply went home to protect their families or get their families out of town.    
“Yo, Frodo…” shouted a shirtless PFC named Black who had just taken a seat next to him.
“Why do you call me Frodo?”
“Cuz that ring and cuz you look like a fucking hobbit.  Does that ring double as your cock ring, too?”
“Fuck you, Black.”
“Hey, did you hear?”
“Hear what?”
“Another officer went AWOL.  That’s three in two days!”
“Captain Rick!”
“No shit?”
“Yep.  You heard about that patrol he was on with Hazlitt this morning?  Intel-gathering such and such.  Yeah, well they took ten guys out and I guess they never came back.  Can you believe that shit?”
“Maybe he got ambushed?”
“Nope.  Sent Cheeks back in a Hummer all by himself.  Guess he had second thoughts.  Drones spotted the torched Hummers parked at a grocery store.  ”
“Unbelievable.  They oughta shoot those bastards.  They should (RFID) chip us all and say, ’next asshole that even talks about deserting we’re lining him up against a wall’.”
“Well, they’re doing just the opposite.  Rumor is brass is shitting their pants over these defections.  They’re worried the whole fucking battalion’ll bug out so they’re downplaying everything.”
Rollins saw command’s nuanced approach as just political pussification.  He too was a little disappointed that Black spoke of it without any scorn.  The wheels within Rollin’s brain started to turn.
“So tell me, Black, what do you think of deserters?” Rollins asked with his lie detector glare turned on.
“Hey, chill out, dude.  I’m just telling you what I heard, that’s all.”
“Well, what ya gonna do, Black?  You gonna go traitor, too?”
“Fuck you, Rollins,” Black replied as he stormed off.  Rollins added him to his personal watch-list.
He attended a briefing that afternoon in the ‘big tent’.  It was learned there that, as part of the new ‘Block-and-Control’ strategy, water and fuel stations were going to be set up at seventeen points around the city.  These distribution centers were to be manned by dysfunctional municipal police units and civilians would need RFIDs to get anything.  The dislocated cops apparently needed a job that kept them out of the fray as they were unreliable in combat.  The Colonel giving the briefing joked that the notion of police being ‘paramilitary” had more to do with poorly conditioned cops acting like ‘paraplegics’ in combat operations.  Everyone chuckled just like they chuckled when the Colonel mocked the local police in similar fashion back in Talibanistan.
It was decided that it was best to leave the real fighting to real soldiers and hand the ancillary functions off to the mustachioed wannabes in blue polyester.  The cops that remained on the force protested and howled about this but were secretly happy to oblige as none of them had been taught civil war tactics at Police Academy.  Being plugged into the community, they knew very well what was headed the way of the Domestic Security Force.  The DSF information agents tried to squeeze the cops for info but the ones that knew anything useful had already defected.
Some suggested the metroplex might be evacuated but evacuating two million people was an inconceivable, logistical nightmare.  Nearly as bad was the prospect of a mere division patrolling a city that spanned over 400 square miles with double that area in wooded, mountainous terrain immediately to its west.
The ranking officers knew that pacifying an enormous metropolitan area that was armed far better than originally expected, that was pissed off (motivated), and that had empty bellies and nothing to lose violated the best consultations of Sun Tzu.  Some Casey guy once said that there are three types of soldiers: The conscripts who are essentially worthless cannon fodder, the mercenaries who are professional and efficient and of which Rollins was a proud member, and the guerrillas who care nothing for Geneva conventions, rules of engagement, or rotating back home in one piece.  The guerrilla is already in his home.  All he wants to do is kill the occupiers. Every generation of officers thinks, “This time it is different.  This time my army has total technological tactical superiority.”  But from third century Huns to the Warsaw Jews to the Mujaheddin, the lesson must be relearned by the inbred twits who comprise the bulk of the officer-class.  Some officers are so damn dense that they have to be re-taught partisan respect three times on three different continents.  Things never, never change.
Elements of the military command were beginning to worry that a latticework of guerrilla cells might have metastasized from the stacks of dead, unarmed civilians from the Civic Center Park massacre.  A little douse of leadership from the defecting officers might just be enough to galvanize the guerrillas into a pesky opponent, especially in the foothills.  Thank god it was winter.  It gets damn cold at night at seven thousand feet.
Rather than taking the ‘evacuate the populace and slaughter all the Docoms that remain” approach, the DSF’s plan was to cut the water and electric and force the sheep into their FEMA corrals (distribution centers) where they could be kept dependent and properly supervised with daily check-ins for fuel and food rations.  Any uprising of fat, middle-aged American men would quickly dissolve and the proper hegemony would be quickly restored.
If that failed, there was a plan B.  When Rollins heard the rumor of it he almost got an erection.  But somewhere, somewhere buried deep down within his simian brain, a synapse flickered to life and Rollins briefly understood why officers, who had undoubtedly heard of Plan B themselves, were defecting at such an alarming rate.  He shook the synaptic connection loose with a vigorous nod and went back to buffing his precious ring.
Stay Tuned. There are only 5 chapters left!

Chapter 19                Chapter 21