Chapter Twenty Four
President Theodore “Teddy” Mellon did not want to be bothered until the engagement was complete. He was golfing with the CEO of Hamilton Corp. He fully delegated the operational task to Director Morgenthau who, while in flight to Fiji, was in constant communication with Major Biggs. Biggs was the man really running the show.
The Director’s Chinese-made aircraft was exceptionally luxurious. It had supple leather captain’s chairs and reclining sofas, a floor to ceiling holovision and even a wet bar and masseuse. All of this was furnished at taxpayer expense.
Major Biggs convened with his staff at five A.M. on the morning of July 4. He gave orders to his nine captains and they disseminated those commands to their hundred, milquetoast lieutenants who then passed orders down to their five hundred stubble-faced sergeants who, using barks and grunts and blunt force traumas, beat the instructions into the five hundred and sixty five grunts who would be doing the actual ground fighting that day. All in all, there were ten thousand men involved in operation Restore Patriotism, but only five hundred and sixty five would actually see any action.
The medals of honor had already been minted. The silver stars had been buffed and aligned in felt boxes. The commemorative patches had been pre-embroidered. A series of narrative, china plates had already been kiln fired and made available whenever Freemerica’s million channels went to commercial. The cool July day flew by.
On the West Coast, the solar powered barbeques had begun their two hour preheating process. On the East coast, mortars were being loaded with American Independence Day fireworks (made in Taiwan). Kegs with the strongest alcoholic beer available, measuring 1.55% alcohol by volume, were being tapped. Transit officers were pulsing teenage boys for threatening public safety by setting off illegal bottle rockets.
At five P.M., the first dragonflies rose off the tarmacs of Fort Clinton in Anchorage and headed north. Inside them rode the beleaguered and brow-beaten NaPol grunts, each a fragile vile of nitro-glycerin about to explode.
“Take no prisoners! Kill them all! Get some!” They barked. “Light these motherfuckers up!”
The missile batteries were aimed by global positioning satellites. The accuracy of medium range missiles had been improved a hundred fold in the previous five years at a cost of a mere one trillion dollars. NaPol could now direct the explosive energy of ten thousand kilograms of TNT onto a specific grain of sand from six hundred kilometers away. Before, their accuracy had been limited to a target area slightly larger than the size of what great grandfathers once knew as a ‘postage stamp’.
The plan was in motion. The satellites would direct the missiles to take out Goldstein’s pulse emitting field arrays. The dragonfly gunships would swoop in and pepper anything moving with a thousand rounds of heat-seeking, laser-guided bullets every second for the next four minutes. After that, concussion bombs would reign down followed by coma-gas. Then five hundred and sixty five grunts with nitro-glycerin blood boiling in their veins would repel out of their dragonflies and scour the terrain with their infrared scanners. They’d uncover the spider holes and bunkers that concealed the survivors. The Goldsteiners who didn’t surrender would be terminated in bursts of twenty or thirty heat-seeking, laser-guided rounds.
It was at this point that the battle plan got a little dicey. The three or four percent ‘unfriendlies’ that had survived the initial onslaught would most likely take to the high cover wilderness areas to the north. Goldstein was an expansive place and the sweep and clear operation was expected to take up to two whole weeks. It was at that point that the embeds would finally be brought in close to show the magnanimous and beneficent NaPol troops gently extracting the hungry, filthy-faced cultists from their caves and hideouts.
After the sweep and clear, Hamilton Corp would come in and bulldoze the place, plant some saplings, and the entire three-decade Goldstein embarrassment would be as if it had never occurred. Axel would get his homecoming victory and all would be made right in the world.
The dragonflies thumped along northward. Armored personnel carriers carrying communication relay equipment plowed through muddy, rutted trails. Satellites transmitted their high-resolution, three dimensional images. Officers ordered, grunts tightened their gear, and corporate spreadsheet jockeys at Numenor extrapolated their financial statements another day into the future. War is good for profit! Numenor’s stock (ticker NU) climbed ten percent on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
A million or so holovision channels were streaming video of some nondescript Alaskan horizon but it could have been Argentina for all the sheeple knew.
“Out there,” a stoic, narrative voice would report, “the anti-patriotic, defiant Goldstein compound stands alone in the Alaskan wilderness where they are plotting the mass murder of at least a hundred million innocent Americans. In less than a half hour, it will be liberated by the most powerful paramilitary police force the world has ever known. Stay tuned! This coverage is brought to you by: The Orgasmatron! Buy one today with zero down and negative five percent interest!”
At six o’clock Alaska time, the missiles were finally launched. Their solid fuel rockets fizzed to life and they quickly gained speed and altitude. In six minutes time, traveling twenty seven hundred kilometers per hour, they would crash into the center of a pre-designated Phillips head screw which was fastened to a panel that concealed a circuit board which controlled the direction and strength of the pulse emitting force field that repelled the NaPol dragonflies and ground troops. The equivalent of five metric tons of TNT would blow each of the twenty-five foot tall arrays into pea-sized shards of molten metal, exploding the flak outward at supersonic velocity, leaving nothing in its wake except a one hundred meter wide crater.
In two minutes time, the missiles had passed over the Knik Arm sending off thunderous, supersonic booms heard back in Anchorage.
“What was that?” some toe-head grandson asked his grandfather who was turning his soy-dogs over on a solar grill. They only had seventy or eighty minutes to go before they were done.
“Fireworks, Jimmy! Go get the eco-mustard.”
The rockets zipped over the Susitna River valley. A blip on a map in a trailer posted as ‘Headquarters’ confirmed that everything was on target and going according to plan.
“Everything’s on target and going according to plan,” a bespectacled dweeb uttered into his headset to a stubbly-faced sergeant who relayed the message to a milquetoast lieutenant who passed it along to his ambitious, squinty-eyed captain who then notified Major Biggs.
The rockets followed the Yentna River, with the oblivious king salmon finishing their run. A moose pulled his snout up from the water to examine the overhead roar. A clump of pondweed dangled from his mouth as the rockets roared past.
Five minutes from Fort Clinton the missiles crossed the western peaks of the Alaska Range that culminate in the six thousand meter tall Denali which stood shrouded in its own weather some two hundred and fifty kilometers to the east.
Fifty seconds from impact and the missiles were rocketing over the East Fork Hills and the thousands of lakes and rivulets fed by the melt of the majestic glaciers to the south.
Twenty seconds to impact. Director Axel Morgenthau watched from the security of his super-jet at twenty thousand meters. The path of the missiles was tracked via satellite imaging on his holopad. His leathery face was pulled taut with a confident grin. He seemed almost giddy with excitement.
Ten seconds. Brooks puffed away on his pipe sitting comfortably in his living room. He nodded to Devin. Devin prayed that the nanobot that had been inserted into his femoral artery that morning had successfully docked with his NaPol brain chip and shut it off. The doctor indicated the odds of success were eighty percent.
Five seconds. President Mellon scanned the pin for distance and wind with his laser golf range finder.
Four, three, two, one…
“Masada!” Brooks shouted.
The missiles, directed by no less than six internal safety mechanisms, detected a fatal error emanating from their nano-processor guidance systems. They arched upward into the heavens and committed explosive suicide.
The dragonflies lost power as their ignition-managing computers seized, halting the flow of hydrocarbons to their internal combustion engines. Still rotoring out of remnant entropy, they quickly lost altitude as they whirled out of control.
The Napol armored personnel vehicles stalled in their tracks with their doors permanently fused and their passengers trapped inside an airtight tomb of armored steel and bulletproof glass.
The NaPol communications trailers went completely dark. The map screens went black. The communication lines went dead. The radios went static. The multis turned off.
The captains barked orders to their lieutenants into their lifeless headsets. The lieutenants stared helplessly at their sergeants, shrugging their narrow shoulders. The burly sergeants beat their grunts to no avail.
Far away, back in the Lower Fifty-Three, Napol officers all experienced the same. Their gasoline cars stalled. Their helicopters dropped from the sky. Their communications equipment went dead. Their pulse emitters would no longer emit any pulses. Their bullets would neither seek heat nor laser-guide. Their brain interfaces beamed permanent, psychosis-inducing test patterns into their consciousnesses.
NaPol could not see. They could not move. They could not hear. They were completely paralyzed.
Brooks puffed on his pipe and looked out the row of thermo-glass windows lining the entry side of his subterranean home. Outside, two nats who had slipped in when the pulse ray field was brought down were being escorted through town by the sheriff and his 9mm. Their own NaPol assault weapons, body armor, targeting systems, communications equipment, and camouflage were rendered completely and utterly useless.
Brooks went back to his throne-like chair and opened a heavy black volume, amateurishly bound, with no name or title on the cover and removed a folded diagram. The diagram was a chip schematic. There, in the middle of the diagram, circled in red, was a tiny black line representing an insignificant circuit buried in a universe of tiny, insignificant black lines, the gauge of which were no more than two atoms thick when built to scale.
Two minutes earlier, when he was sure that the missiles were armed and headed for Goldstein, Brooks asked Devin if he would like to have the honor of hitting ‘enter’ on his multi to submit the Liberation Event routine. This command activated the virus known as The Delivery and with a touch of his index finger, Devin sent a billion copies of The Delivery to a billion Napol nano-processors. Each would receive the command within a mere millisecond. All that was needed was for the simple script to infect less than a dozen Numenor systems out of that same billion after which the Numenor matrix would be quickly, irreparably and irretrievably compromised. The Liberation Event would be underway.
Within a fraction of a second, traveling at the speed of light, ten tiny circuits that had always been on were switched off rendering their entire component and master device instantly and permanently useless. In one second, those ten successful routines made twenty slightly variant copies of themselves which were then sent out to two million more circuits. It replicated thus, doubling every second. Ten dead circuits became twenty. Twenty became forty. Forty became eighty.
In ten seconds, five thousand processors had been destroyed. By twenty seconds, five million were turned off. In thirty seconds the number was five billion.
“What’s wrong with this damn thing?” complained President Mellon as he chucked his dead laser range finder at his caddy. Although it marked his caddy’s forehead with a nasty bruise as it bounced off his skull, the caddy was unable to contain his grin.
By the time the missiles had self-destructed, every chip in every Numenor device ever made had been pummeled seven hundred and twenty thousand times by unique variants of The Delivery. Because all Numenor devices were made in China and all electronic devices made in China contained computer chips that were made by Brook’s own factories in Goldstein, no Numenor device remained functional.
Among the last of the Numenor machines to succumb was the engines, guidance and life support systems of flight One Nineteen. The great fascist bird, roaring through the stratosphere on its way to Fiji, went abruptly quiet, then dark, then tumbled out of the sky like a boomerang with its black, titanium, albatross wings sheared off by the supersonic vortices.
On board, Director Axel Morgenthau’s fingers clawed into the luxurious leather arms of his captain’s chair. His cosmetically enhanced, tear-streaked face turned incandescent as he screamed in terror.
For those who missed the beginning of Devin's journey, click here for Chapter 1
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