Chapter VII Solider of Infinity

Soldier of Infinity was his web name.  He had become an active member of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) while a freshman at Berkley and had proven to be quite an effective burglar and arsonist—able to break into practically any building and set up a slow burn to give him and his comrades plenty of time to escape.  He then moved to ANSWER and spent time writing propaganda for the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism coalition of Marxists and Socialists that formed after 9-11.  A number of his new group were able to watch the response to a large fire on the television in his apartment, but he did not find the group active enough using mischief and mayhem.  He was now considered a leader in Antifa. 

            Soldier of Infinity hated the country he saw as nothing but an exploiter of labor and wasteful user of every resource that could possibly be sold to the highest bidder.  He was convinced that every war America had entered was only entered to enrich companies who dealt in death-ware, as he called munitions and armor.  He thought the only good capitalist was a dead capitalist—like their side called reds a generation before him.  He knew that he very well wanted to pass the test of his heart whether he would kill as part of his beliefs, honed by his time at Berkley and with ELF.  He felt confident he could kill when the time came. 

Years later he was put in a job of security and provided a rifle by a contact from the Venezuela Socialist Front who had agents in California and New York.  Along with the Marxist Worker’s Party, the group had been partly responsible for paying protestors in the United States for years and maintained a shadowy existence out of sight of the FBI.  Many top agents of the violent arm of Marxist groups were routinely rotated in and out of the country to keep the federal government guessing.  They worked as Al Qaeda operatives worked—as normal immigrants seeking a better life.  The few blended in with the many that were in fact in the country to earn a living.  But these men and women had a purpose.  They secretly rendered payment to high profile leaders of protest movements of every kind—as long as they were confirmed to be radical leftists.   

The network extended beyond South America and included elements in the Middle East, investing to keep America busy so their governments could operate without a great deal of American influence and Europe where a sizable socialist movement often decided the vote in their own parliaments and governments.

The powers in the network determined the time was right—there was a sufficient trigger following Iraq and the defeat of the conservatives in the United States—which had the effect of making the right something slightly larger than a speed bump now—making the country more vulnerable by its own weight and division.  And even though it was well known that most did nothing more than post rants on the various blogs, there were plenty of American Marxist recruits now willing to use the next step in the process of capitulation—violent take-over of government seats throughout the country. 

Antifa, ANSWER, and ELF were solid credentials for Soldier of Infinity because most of them actually took action on a scale ever increasing in the destruction of the American system; they planned movement and operations deep in the political underground.  Washington D.C. would be the last and best part of the scheme—to see the form of government shudder and fall.  Their goal was to then replace leadership by the seating of a select few Socialists who could be counted on to bring America in line with the rest of the world—giving up much of its wealth to other countries and finally becoming a partner in global socialism.

The dictators in the Middle East knew it would be the end of the military incursion into their states from the United States.  Their unfailing, constant dream for decades was taking back the land and the final dissolution of Israel where a weak United States couldn’t interfere to save this sole democratic state in the Middle East and ally.  It would be a happy day for the world for theocracy.

Soldier of Infinity received his message from a runner who came to see him in person.  He was to travel to Seattle where men and women from across America were gathering to plan operations and make assignments.  There was also to be plenty of money used for security guards, police and other government employees who was already identified as susceptible.  The intelligence work had been continuous for ten years in every major city.  The runner was an olive skinned Hispanic who could be from Cuba or other country Soldier of Infinity didn’t recognize but who also supported the Marxist leadership in those countries.

“How did you know my address?” Soldier of Infinity asked.  He knew now that someone—this group—knew his real name—who he was.  His name was actually Grayson Mellon, of the Mellon vineyards and wine distributorship.  That meant the FBI could also know.  He almost urinated himself but stopped when he was shown the rifle.  As he held and caressed it, he suddenly felt power.

“We traced you through your ISP address of your computer… your postings for the past year has been monitored and we have references from one of your comrades with the Earth Liberation Front,” he said, then smiled a smirk.  “We have far and wide connections, Mr. Mellon, and know about your involvement in certain acts that are of interest to us.

“Who are you?” he asked in a humble tone.  “How do I know this is not a set-up—where I can be arrested for carrying an unregistered assault rifle or something?”

“I am to be known only as Zeke to you, sir.  I also have here an envelope with part of the funds we will pay you and the map to the meeting place in Seattle.  Can you find the place to be there Sunday night at nine?”

“Yeah, Zeke… “

“We have the rest of the funds, the ammunition and scope to give over to you once we know you are serious and will follow instructions.”

“Yeah… Okay, I guess.”

“Mr. Mellon, it is important you are with us.  Once you become a member of the Shroud, there is no turning back, and only one way out.  I must tell you that if you back away from the effort after you commit, there could be serious ramifications.”

Something about the stranger that was more than the message had Mellon also known as Soldier of Infinity on line nearly petrified with fear.  He didn’t ask what serious ramifications he could be talking about out of fear that he may receive a portion of it for just asking.  He’d never felt this emotionally and physically nervous before in his life.  Not even the invasion he led on Bio-Labs where they almost got caught by a security guard with a drawn pistol had caused him to tremble.  On that occasion, only the dark of night outside the building saved him.  Thinking positively, he also knew this could take the struggle to the next level—something needed for the sake of Marxism and the earth and all the workers of the world.  He then smiled at his new prospects.  He was big time now.  He was important enough to be enlisted for the Seattle meeting.

While Grayson was anxiously anticipating achieving new heights as a warrior for the cause, there were counter revolutionaries that would fight people like Grayson for America and one group of such people were a veteran’s motorcycle club that began as members of Rolling Thunder and the Gathering of Eagles.  They had already begun their work to provide a counter to leftist protestors as a new club they named “Eagles.”  Although disavowed by some of the main groups who were opposed to political violence, the Eagles purpose was to be disrupters—a smaller group who were willing to engage the leftist protestors in violence on the street.  Their first cause came on Memorial Day when thousands of their brethren gathered to remember the fallen in Washington D.C.   There was a small but loud group of anti-war and other protestors that came to show a different anti-American point of view and being a nuisance to the believers in honoring American sacrifice.  The Eagles knew that this was not the time nor place for such nonsense and went looking for them.

They found a small group numbering something near one-hundred people near the Washington monument and fountain.  They waded through the crowd, quickly dispensing their chosen method of free speech on each body they came across except for the few elderly who were there with Antifa because they were likely either senile or in their fragility, wanted more from the government—or were simply harking back to the sixties and their anti-war protests.  That was the reasoning as the Eagles caused the protestors to scatter and run away; a few were chased down and caught to receive the quickly thrown punches to their bodies and faces.  It wasn’t enough to kill but it was enough to hurt and “getting your attention,” as several Eagles enjoyed saying to their targets.

One leader of the Eagles was a biker from Philadelphia who had nothing for those he considered idiots who were against the country and him—simply because he chose to fight in Viet-Nam.  His name is John Rousch.  His brother is Bill Rousch who is a veteran Special Forces officer.  John was an Army Airborne sniper who had volunteered for two tours and safely returned home to a population that had largely turned against the war, consequently what he had done there—and him. 

Using a baton was not the same but it was the best he could use to do the work he wanted in his country.  During his initial visits to protest sites he wielded it and his fists with abandon knowing that the sentence for assault would be light in a politically charged atmosphere.  But he was trouble and was looking for it any way he could find it with these people—the same kind of people who shouted and spit when he came home from the service.  In a fantasy of a kind of justice as he saw it, he would have killed Jane Fonda and others of high stature during those sixties and seventies—some were now in elected office.  He would have if he thought he could get away with it. 

Bill, the younger Rousch, served in Granada and Panama where he was one of the first Americans to enter he countries.  He had thirteen confirmed kills to his credit and remained on contract to the CIA.  He was able to do more than think about it.  Not even his brother knew.  He remembers what happened in one moment—he doesn’t know which day it was, when he was too close to the mortar round and the dreaded, awful pink mist the explosion caused. 

It wasn’t that he knew any of them before the incident.  Several people died that day as he watched a horror in that instant less than fifty feet away.  He stood there frozen and saw the enemy begin shooting at people at random.  He did nothing through his fog.  He was one of the lucky ones.

They were taken in one instant, a single point in time forever to change their families, forever to change him.  How he came to this, he didn’t know.  Why he let it happen without saying a word, he didn’t know.  Next he felt and saw an explosion.

He saw a separated foot within a few feet of where he was standing.  It was still in a tightly laced boot, severed above the ankle.  The blood had congealed and was quickly beginning to blacken—a sticky, foul sight.  He stared at it and watched as it seemed to shrink in size.  The man it belonged to was no longer living.  All that was left as a last bit of evidence he did live for a while was the dead tissue inside the boot.  The rest of him had been instantly transformed into pink mist, with only small particles to detect he had been there.

He had nothing to say to himself or to anyone else.  He had no thoughts that were particular or concentrated.  His mind was in a kind of confused whirl, unfocused, unrestrained, in the early start of a shut-down.  He quickly moved through the carnage and gore in the place until he had his mind back and rejoined his platoon.  Where was I when this  went down?  What was this?  Why did it happen?  Is this our job?  The job sucks.

*

Sam went to the ANSWER office in downtown Nashville.  It was a small, decrepit space that bordered a vacant storefront that appeared as if it had been years since anyone occupied it.  Bricks were missing and the paint had peeled completely off its front.  Only one person was inside—she had to unlock the front door to invite him inside.  He looked harmless enough.  She had become used to detectives looking for this person or that person—of which she never cooperated with the authorities.  She wouldn’t help them this time either but take their questions and assure them that she would notify if anyone by those names came into her space.  She was good at acting unknowing about anyone with a connection with her organization.  It didn’t matter what the investigation was for—larceny or even murder, she had nothing to tell them.  This one came alone and she thought he was probably another detective working on some of the looting problems that occurred this past weekend.  He would leave with nothing that could help him solve the thefts.

Sara Cummings was born in Canada and moved to the states with her father and mother.  They had settled in Marin County, California where her father worked as an engineer.  She dropped out of Berkley after her sophomore year to work with ANSWER full time.  The struggle of the working class and keeping religion out of any government space and schools were the issues that were all important to her. 

He smiled and thanked her for letting him inside.  She appeared to be typical—long stringy hair, eyeglasses and clothing that concealed her beauty if there were some, he thought.  Her t-shirt has the image of Che in black on a red background and was oversized.

“What can I do for you, sir?  Are you here to learn about ANSWER and the hope for the working people of this country?  I have plenty to share.”

“No, ma’am, I’m not really involved in anything.”

“Do you think it’s fair that the multi-billion dollar corporations can get government contracts to kill in Iraq?  They do this while we have women and children who can’t see a doctor because they have no health insurance.  Do you think that’s right?” she asked, the look of scorn plainly obvious on her face.  To her, he looked the part of a typical bourgeois American who was more interested in his own wealth than the welfare of others.

“Well, maybe not so much—but I’m Sam Adams.  My wife died the other day because of the protest.  We didn‘t know they would be so close to…” he voice trailed off as he choked and cried.  “The protest downtown where someone was throwing bricks at people,” he managed to say. 

“I’m sorry to hear that.  Why are you here, Sam?” she asked the adult who was nearly a generation older than she.

“Yes, well, the incident happened a few blocks from the courthouse where her car was battered with bricks.  They hit her and my daughter—I’m sure it was all a terrible accident,” he summoned the courage to say it that way even though he didn’t fully believe it.

“As I said and really am so sorry for that awful thing, but why are you here?”

I’m being tested by a smart-ass Marxist, he thought.  But he had to maintain a dialog with her to have a chance of learning anything about who did it.

“I thought maybe you could help me.”

“I don’t know how I can help you with that… you do know what is going on, don’t you?  There’s a lot of bad stuff happening right now what with the murders of blacks by police, the political assassinations, and riots and all… things happen when there’s troubles like we have now.”

“Can I learn who might have been over there… maybe they saw something or maybe they even recognize who was throwing those bricks?”

“I don’t know, the protest was much larger than we expected and it must have brought in all types, and I think it was that Antifa crowd that did most of the damage, not ANSWER; we’re not into violence.  I think there are some people who aren’t even political who come to these peaceful gatherings to do what they want to do.  ANSWER does not condone violence.  We’re peaceful.”

“I know you are.  I believe you.  Do you know who some of these visitors might have been?” he asked, tears forming in the corner of both of his eyes.  She noticed that.

“You’re not a cop are you?”

“No, I’m a husband and father.”

“I’m sorry, Mr. Adams about what happened to your wife.  I hope your daughter is okay.”

“I don’t know yet.  She’s still in ICU,” he lied so as to heighten the chance she would help him and lessen the chance she may see him as a motivated to take revenge.

“I don’t know who all was there of course, but I can give you some contacts to make who might know more—they’re not part of us really but do come out to the events sometimes.  Please don’t tell them you got this from me?  Will you do that?”

“Yes, ma’am I will.”

“I’m Sara, Mr. Adams.  Just call me Sara.  Ma’am is so bourgeois,” she said and smiled. 

Her conscience had been touched when she saw him as sincere person simply trying to find out more about what happened to his wife.  She could give him some names and hope he reconciles her death with an out of control environment where no harm should have come to anyone.  Maybe it will help him find peace, she thought.  Everyone needs peace.  “I assume you’re not a violent person and mean to take the law into your own hands, right?”

“That’s right… I just want to know what happened.  Thank you, Sara.  Don’t worry about anything.  I promise I have no desire to involve you in any of this.  No one needs to know how I found someone to talk to about who might have seen something down there.”

“Very well, Mr. Adams…  I don’t completely know why I should, but I believe you.  I’ll type them up if you just give me a minute… I can think of six or seven leaders and others who came out to Tennessee and are not part of ANSWER.”

“I thank you, Sara.  I believe you.  Non-violence is the way.”

Within a few minutes he was handed a page with five names, phone numbers and addresses printed straight down the page.  There were several other names added at the end she didn’t have the addresses or numbers listed.

“That’s all I know, Mr. Adams.  Good luck.  I hope you find what you’re searching for.”

“Good luck to you too, Sara.”

He took the paper in hand and left the storefront, walking confidently that he was getting closer.  There was no reason for Sara or anyone to know what his plans were if he found who killed his wife.  He wasn’t sure what he was going to do himself.

He heard what happened to Freddie and Jasmine from Gaines while the men were at work together the next day.  Freddy called Shelby to tell her the story and warn her to be careful because she might still have the wrong bumper stickers on her car he put on while they were together.

Sam sighed, “That’s bad.  Are they all right?”

“Yes, no one was hurt but there may be a next time.  I told my daughter to be careful what part of town she drives through but then I thought what part of town should she avoid?  There’s no clear answer anymore, Sam.”

“Something is going on unlike anything we’ve ever seen, Gaines.  Hell fire has come to our country.”

“Everyone’s a suspect out there, Sam.  What can we do?”

“We can’t do a damn thing about it but stay alive.”

“How long before it affects our jobs do you think?”

“I don’t know but there is a management teleconference scheduled tomorrow morning.  Maybe we’ll learn something then.”

“Yeah I guess, but there’s no way our distributors are doing well in this environment.  No one wants to build anything until they see what happens and all this crazy crap is over.”

“How are the Grand-babies, Gaines?”

“They’re fine,” he said and smiled over the thought of them.

“See—there are some things far more important than anything else.”

*

Although much later than it could usually be expected to arrive, the ambulance finally made its way to the Gonzales residence and picked up Herman, his wife and daughter.  The ambulance service was so stretched they all had to ride in the same unit while the Paramedics worked feverishly on each of them—to do what they could do for them.  After his son’s death, Herman was the most seriously injured left alive of the family.  Every employee of the service had been at work since the day of the protest, only sleeping a few hours on relief.  The ambulances ran constantly as did every emergency vehicle from police to fire.  The Gonzales boy was taken to the morgue to await an autopsy order.  His body was one of many and it would be weeks at best before the report was produced, assuming the murder rate subsided to pre-riot levels.

Herman was unconscious, with intravenous tubes inserted in his arms and a breather being used to force oxygen into his lungs.  The bleeding was controlled by one of the Paramedics using his fingers placed deeply in the knife wound.  His face was partially covered with layers of blood soaked gauze.  The ride to the hospital took nearly one-half hour because of the cluttered streets of every block.

There were burnt out cars and trucks, garbage of every kind and various fires that enveloped the city by the time the Gonzales’s were on their way.  Their home had been trashed along with several others in the Heights.  The remaining homeowners who were successful in guarding their homes were the people who did not hesitate to shoot to kill.  Herman was unable to kill another human being for a reason in his mind that went to simply protecting possessions.  That was not part of his makeup and it cost him.  He may have thought it possible that he was protecting his family and his life but it wasn’t real or certain.  It happened too fast.

The police force was stretched too and was only operating in a containment mode—failing because of the large numbers of the aggrieved showing in every part of the city now.  Many people were looting, taking what they wanted and felt they deserved.  The city was set in hate let loose.  The fires were its final contribution to the forging of a new society.  That society was growing to an unmanageable mass of people to be paid for doing nothing but breathing.  Someone would have to pay them or the city could expect chaos.  There weren’t enough jail cells.  There weren’t enough police or National Guard to contain them or stop them all.  The mayor and most of the city politicians were beholding to the same mass of takers who took over the streets so they could say little and they could do nothing. 

Anything they did to stop the rioting would cost them an election.  Media reports were that the protests were mostly peaceful.  The police and National Guard troops were specifically ordered to stand by and watch.  Their presence was all the city would do—as the politicians hoped it would be enough and the riots would end as they always have in the past.  The insurance companies and taxpayers would pay for the rebuilding and clearing of sectors—clearing more downtown blocks to a vacant lot because businesses of any kind were reluctant to build and move into the target zone—the target zones now including every city block.

Herman survived—barely—and was in surgery just in time to save his life.  Had another hour passed he would have been too far gone because the nick of a knife took out a piece of his heart muscle.  His wife Anna and daughter Maria were treated and released to a nearby guarded shelter for abused women and children—the safest place for them in the current climate of violence. 

Herman was taken to recovery where his condition would be closely monitored for eight hours before being taken to one of the rooms designed for two patients—now housing four beds.  He would be heavily sedated for days.  It would also be an undetermined time before he could see Anna and Maria—that made him cry between periods of unconsciousness.  Although he had not been told, he knew his son was no longer with him.  He didn’t know how the rest of his family was doing after the attack.  They couldn’t possibly be well and I can’t help them a damn bit.  The nurses couldn’t remember what day it was and most of the doctors also put any reference of time out of their minds days ago.

*

                Soldier of Infinity found the address and went to the nondescript door leaving the rifle safely locked in the trunk of his hybrid.  He worked as a systems analyst for New York Life where he helped keep the computer system up and functioning that tracked premiums and claims payouts for the western sector of the company, ran cross checks on claimants to make certain there were no unusual patterns of one customer or another to ferret out fraud, a part of the job he detested.  He hated his company almost as much as he hated America.  But it was a job.  Living with his parents proved to be a drag and since they wouldn’t pay to keep him in an apartment, he had to work for his own living—mostly so he could entertain the random guests he met in bars.

He would not work if he didn’t have to and often thought fondly of being free to blog full time.  His attempts to start up a site that would attract revenue and donations had fallen flat each time.  The investments he made for domains had proven to be poor choices as his political pages didn’t attract many visitors over the years.  The competition was stiff.  There were well established leftist sites that seemed to attract most all of those who thought like he thought and felt like he felt about things.  So he had to content himself with a job where he was practically unsupervised that allowed him to pay for the kind of vehicle, clothes, food and apartment he wanted.

Grayson Mellon was a graduate of the University of California—Berkley—where he finished a degree in computer science.  His competence with the computer began as a youngster when his parents brought him a PC and allowed him to spend countless hours on the web through his high school years.  They knew of his interest in environmentalism and thought it was good for him to have a passion.  His wealthy atheist parents watched their boy grow to what they thought was a responsible adult who took the health of the earth seriously.  They didn’t know he had become an expert in arson or that he was skilled at breaking into and entering buildings—regardless of the security hardware those buildings had installed.

He figured he’d find out soon if this entire scenario was an elaborate set up by the feds.  Like he avoided them when it came to his favorite kind of porn, he had to be careful—but this invitation was too promising to ignore.  The idea of doing even more in the war with capitalistic pigs was well worth the risk.  He dreamed that one great day his country would be a socialist utopia where everyone was provided for and the final vestiges of tradition and foundation of law or religion would give way to everyone doing what they wanted on the drug of their choice with the partner or partners of their choice.  He dreamed of the downfall of corporate America and its abuse of the earth, the air, and its people.

He knocked on the flat solid door and was let inside where he saw Zeke and over forty others already gathered.  The leader was an unknown personality to him but it was clear the dark haired man was in charge.  He spoke with an accent and told everyone in the room to take a seat around a large conference table.  Grayson took his place on one side and remained quiet. 

“Fighters for a better world,” the man started.  “We are here to take the next step in the fight for freedom and true democracy.  Listen now as the shadow delivers the request of millions who have been exploited and remain silent in hope they will be free!” he said to introduce Caesar, the single name by which he would be known to them.

Caesar stood and walked slowly to the podium while eyeing each person attending.  He stared at them as if he was testing them and making certain they were people who could be intimidated and trusted.  He stared at them with a silent threat that to betray him and the cause would mean certain and quick death.  There was no room for weak-willed talkers—and people who would not keep a secret, secret.  Caesar had direct contact with an overseas benefactor, Hasimi.  Through Hasimi he had been provided millions of dollars cash and an equal value in equipment.  He felt strong because he was strong.

“Comrades, brothers… rest easy.  Once we begin you will not live should you go to the police or FBI.  You will not live if you tell anyone—anyone—about what we are doing.  We are beginning to take back the country for its people and you are the vanguard of this struggle—this fight—this war!  Listen to me now.  The time has come for people of good will to do whatever it takes to bring down this system!  Are you with me?  Are you part of the shroud of truth?” he shouted.

“Yes!” the cry came from the group in unison, including Grayson.

“We are one fire-brigade and there are others.  Our area of operations is the entire Northwest and part of California, the Midwest and South.  You will be paid tonight, provided your means and objectives.  Do not hesitate when the time comes for to hesitate means mission failure!  You must be sure and quick!”

After begging his parents enough and assuring them he was non-violent, Grayson Mellon finally received a portion of family money—enough to quit his job at New York Life for months or more if he needed the time—and to rent a better apartment and pay cash for a new car.  He was set to act out the part of a modern day American Che Guevara as he had no problem now with his finances.      

The rifle and scope he was provided could be fired with deadly accuracy by a calm hand and clear mind.  The manila envelope had several pages of strangely coded text he would be trained to read.  Receiving all of this made him very excited and happy.  As soon as he could he would seek his own private celebration and find a welcoming bar that afternoon.  He felt the perspiration, wiped his forehead, licked his lips and happily sipped each beer.  Soldier of Infinity excitedly thought he was really in business this time and had ascended to a high office.

*

The breakdown of the country as it has been developing and growing since its founding was slowly taking form and gaining momentum.  It appeared the Socialists and Marxists finally had the opportunity to make a larger difference—faster—than the legislative and judicial process that had taken years and still not delivered a sufficient re-distribution of wealth and property.  The efforts had established secularism deeply within most people of the blue states.  Most people in the red states relied on God and prayer but not entirely.  As the violence and protests continued, more people in the red states began to pray for a resolution to all the hate and violence and people in the blue states hoped for an equitable government above all else.  It seemed a Constitutional Convention would greatly assist the healing of a land born out of the want of liberty and justice, prosperity, and peace.

Many on the left were proud of the fact that these days most schools and municipalities were so afraid of lawsuits that any mention of God was banned.  Most Universities have been hiring liberal and Marxist professors for years and the number was ever growing.  Many corporation have even accepted collectivist ideas and a degree of “wokeness,” that descriptive word for anti-police, anti-faith, and anti-equal, with the bearing being very much pro-hate.  Their instruction was designed to affect as many young men and women as possible to create the thinking in their minds and hearts the value and righteousness of the collective good—the benefit of working “for the greater good.”  Even t-shirts worn by students were critically examined by administrators to admonish and correct wearers of anything that was conservative oriented.  They hate dissent from the political leftist rules, disagreement with collectivism, and anything related to religion and God. 

They have also been trained to hate their race if they’re a certain hue.  They work for equal outcomes rather than equal opportunity.  Effort and results are paired down to a lowest common denominator to achieve a collectivist farce we know as “equity.”  There’s less of a need to work hard to achieve.  There’s less of a need to learn math, science, English, reading and writing than to be given treasure on a par with every other common denominator person.  Teaching is easier for the professional social justice warrior.  Most people in the red states reject the ideas of equity outright and believe in rewarding effort and knowledge, skill, and work.     

And the years did see a greater emphasis finally placed on accused individual rights and cause—still not enough since there was a large disparity in prisons, with black and Latino prisoners being far more represented inside than their population warrants.  To many on the left, the country was still being strangled by an institutional white racism and power structure.  To the left much more has to be done to change that by some means—or by force if force is required.  It appeared that the level of danger and violence was shaking the American public enough to demand peace at practically any cost.  And it appeared that peace was going to cost them what the Marxists desired to charge unless something could be done to protect their liberty while somehow giving the left what it wants.

The far left had begun to covertly put soldiers in the field to do the work most had no stomach for—killing opponents—for either actual effect or for public consumption to instill fear to speak out against it.  Taking out effective authors, teachers, and corporate officials was thought to have the effect of stopping thought and political activity.  Taking out more symbolic figures rather than conservative workers was a show intended to take the anger most people may be feeling to a different emotion–a constant level of fear such as achieved by Stalin in the Soviet Union. 

The Nation would then be ripe for a new way, their way.  All they had to do was to step in at the right time and take the government by a gentle coup all in the guise of restoring peace.  It should work in part by constantly seeking methods and opportunities to affect the publicized vote, regardless of unimportant actual counts.  Those elected or selected, especially to federal offices, could increase their treasure as the level and depth of mischief contrary to Constitutional provisions went beyond anti-Constitutional Supreme Court decisions.  It’s easy to claim to be the freedom fighters and attract many of those who would be given things from a rich government rather than work for a low wage paid by greedy Capitalists.      

Thousands of precursor agents for a new way dressed in all black and were already in place across the country, in every large city and many college campuses often supported by the seats of power in education and government by great stealth numbers.  These were the volunteers of Antifa as they called themselves.  Millions of believers came to follow them and took their words as truth and right.  The thinking of most who heard of them was that “since they were anti-Fascist, they had to be right”—a universally plausible and correct sentiment toward Fascism.  It was and is especially acute in the United States that had lost many men in World War II exterminating the German Fascists and ridding the world of this evil.  The quashing of free speech, the harassment of conservative office holders, appointees, churches, and individuals was in full force and continuous.  The fights against the status quo in every form under the sun were employed by the new generation of radicals with the consent of the older radicals.  The social justice warriors were in mass and were exploited easily.     

            There was a strong foundation of support for those who billed themselves as compassionate leaders.  Being that it is human nature to care about others and want to help the needy, these people enjoyed strong support among the electorate.  Years of liberal non-judgmental leadership in every venue of media, government, and academia provided the roots of the movement.  It promised a massive growth of social aid that would replace the Republic with a Democracy.  This new attempt at Socialism in its finest, modern version—and in their view one that would finally work better than it did in Scandinavia until the country changed much of their system because of the impossible economy the experiment caused.  Happy days of peace and living were surely on the horizon for a fully implemented American version of collectivism that was worked to perfection by more intelligent economists and more compassionate politicians than any in history.

All that had to be done was a number of operations to take the pressure for change over the capacity of most people to endure and cause an overwhelming demand for change.  The majority population capitulation to them should occur although they wouldn’t know what it was before they had power, long term power.  The left was willing to employ every conceivable tactic for power.  It was all important to it, one of religious proportions to those invested in the ideology of power to the workers and “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”        

Deep within one of the progressive think tanks a secret group—the Shroud—was conceived to do the most dirty work.  Work had not begun with this drastic and dangerous method but the outlines were drafted and locked away in their vault.  It involved selected targets of those who had the money and power to prevent change—a number of capitalists, Educators, highly ranked military officers, elected officials and speakers.  Their offenses were not described but it was understood that they would be eliminated for the good of the revolution.  That was the meaning of the list. 

In 2021, it appeared happy days were upon the country without that great of risk.  Wonderful bliss was soon to be realized, would certainly take hold and there would be no turning back to the dark days of President Trump and all that imperialism—as it was proclaimed.  The Nation had endured a year-long campaign of riot and protests attributed in large measure by the unconscionable actions of one police officer in Minneapolis—and then there were just enough additional incidents of shooting black people in a law enforcement setting, whether correctly interpreted or not, to keep the public tuned to the violence.  The new waves of violence were more pronounced and absorbed all the groups of grievance against the United States so that the future looked good for a form of American Marxism to finally take its place in power and begin to reshape the history of the Nation.  Only a Constitutional Convention could forestall such a thing for red states and so the leaders got busy organizing one before the complete fall of the country.  It would be a great compromise with collectivists to provide the movement their chance to install the economic system desired as opposed to hated capitalism.  Roughly half the states were set to be on each side of the political spectrum.

*

Names weren’t exchanged and pleasantries were few when the small gathering met in Seattle.  Soldier of Infinity had driven several hours as his first effort to follow instructions of people who seemed to him to be the power center of his political ideology.  He was proud to be invited as part of them but leery that the small group may be federal agents.  He dismissed such a notion because of the way he was invited through Jasmine, pretty Jasmine.  Surely it meant a great future for him.  He could see it now.  He’d be allowed to earn a great salary for writing—he’d have his internet site and run things.  Life was turning sweet. 

Soldier of Infinity planned to kill Bill Minnett, CEO of Seattle based Dupree International.  He thought for sure that that would make him a famous personage in Antifa.  It was a corporation that specialized in designing and building electronic warfare systems.  Some of the hardware was used as part of missile guidance, components of systems used to sight and lock targets with artillery and others down to the rifles an individual soldier carried that enabled him to see targets at night.  Dupree International was a large defense contractor and deserved to be destroyed starting with the top executive in charge.  Grayson needed no more motivation to carry through with his first murder than the knowledge of the man’s company’s contribution to war.  He was justified in his mind and much smarter than the guy who killed people in that church in Texas. 

  Daley Electric was one of Dupree’s many suppliers.  The plant in Nashville built control systems used in armored vehicles.  Sam was able to hire thirty more people when the three million dollar a year contract was signed.  Nashville was home to the still largest Daley plant in the country because of its quality and safety record—reserves to cover injuries were low enough to insure the company could produce the control systems at a lower cost than any other reliable supplier.

 Happier days are coming for the enlightened left though.  The time was now when the giant arm of the left would wrestle away the last vestige of rightist control.  Grayson was helping.  He hoped after all was said and done he would be given a highly paying, new government job in systems.  A career as a secret assassin did not appeal to him as much as a future in government but he could do it for excitement until he was able to monetize his presence in the new government and run one of its websites.  

Soldier of Infinity read on the company website that Minnett would be visiting Nashville.  He was going to be at the Daley Electric plant for several days where a new contract for an expansion of the plant and the employment of over one-thousand more people.

Nashville, he thought.  Yeah, the son of a bitch is down there on a big deal—all going to America’s imperialistic war machine of courseThey’re talking an expansion the plant building for this job, it’s so large… so much more death and destruction at the hands of these lousy bastards!  What I can do is help stop the slaughter of thousands!  Elijah knows Nashville.  He’d be a perfect partner!  

Grayson went to see the olive skinned member of Antifa he knew to be an excellent soldier in their several street conflicts.  Grayson thought he may be willing to do this with him.  Elijah always wore a hooded sweatshirt.  Under the sweatshirt was a committed Muslim revolutionary of Yemen.  Between the hood and his long dark hair, his face was barely recognizable.  Whoever it was inside of all of that was Elijah—that much was certain.

Grayson went to see Elijah and ask him to partner with him.  He would pay Elijah handsomely for his time.  The door opened upon his knock at the second floor loft apartment the man he wanted to help him look out near the Daley Electric plant.  He noticed the pallet on the floor and the aroma of chicken cooking.  He told him of his plan, offered him $10,000 dollars per job, and waited for his answer.  Elijah said he wanted to think about it first.  

Grayson stared at him for a minute—not his type of regular friend.  The man didn’t say a word to Grayson but stared back.  Grayson finally asked, “So, when will you know, Elijah?”

“In a few days’ time,” he said, leaving Soldier of Infinity unknowing.

*

Sam stepped inside his house, a kind of empty place now.  It was quiet, a fact that brought back his loss of Cheryl.  She was gone for no reason other than an evil, wanton thrill killing, a worse than animal-like act only some men would have the thoughts to do.  He cried as he stepped toward the desk and telephone unit.  Tears dropped on the pad in front of the answering machine.  He had to wipe the paper dry first. 

Failing that, he tore the first page away and retrieved a pen to be ready for anything he could write down that he would take with him.  Every call would be recorded as well for solid evidence, he reasoned.  He had five numbers to call.  He began to work on a script he would use to lead up to the questions that were important to him.  Somehow he had to begin a conversation with these people if he could—perhaps meet them—and be someone at least one of them who had the answers could trust.

He scratched his head.  There was no good way to start these conversations with people on the list that Sara provided—who had the ideas about anyone not liberal and anyone like him that they must have.  He thought he knew how they would react and assumed the calls may each last for less than a minute.  Sam had read and heard many of them over the past few years as they posted their contempt and said the same things in public forums of radio and television. 

Most would probably not care to listen to him as Sara did, a young woman who had her mind made up about things but who did indeed possess a genuine sense of humanity.  She was a true peacemaker.  He respected that.  Thinking about her brought a smile to his faceMaybe there’s hope we can see the people who did this be brought to justice, he thought.

Anne may be able to come home soon.  He spent most of his time by her side in the hospital where he was praying and begging God to show healing in her.  He was told that she may be transferred out of ICU and into a regular room for a few days.  He heard the Nurse say that she may be moved within twenty-four hours if the monitor showed stabilization and the tests were normal.  Sam had not told the young girl about her mother yet—and doing that was filled with more dread than anything he faced in life thus far.

He planned to make at least one call to a name on the list each day.  Having a script in front of him would help him stay on track.  He started, stopped and threw the page of notebook paper away several times.  It wasn’t working for him.  He felt a headache pounding inside his skull, a constant these days, most hours.  Sam began to write his script.

Hello, Im calling to get to know a little about what I can do and was told that you could help.  I’m very frustrated over the war and all and want to do something positive.

I’m worried about the violence in this country though.  Los Angeles is in a mess and the Senator’s assassination is a horror I thought would never happen again. 

What’s going on?

What can I do?  Engage and listen, compliment and say I agree with everything said.

Let me ask you about the protest… I was nearby and tried to join the point of the spear but was stopped by the police from reaching the courthouse.

Did I read somewhere that a woman was killed?

Do you know who she was?

Do you know what happened, why it happened?

Is there anyone I can talk to who was there to find out what it was like?

Sam went to his refrigerator, found a beer, and opened it quickly to drink down half its contents in one swallow.  He took a cigarette out of the pack he bought earlier—a habit he had successfully beat several years ago—but found himself impulsively asking the clerk at a quick shop near the hospital for a pack and a lighter.  He smoked one as soon as he stepped outside.  Clumsily he put it between his lips.  It felt fat and out of place in his mouth and the smoke made him cough.  It felt right for the time though.  

Now he lit another and the coughing was gone.  He brought the vapor deep into his lungs and felt it work on his system.  He felt dizzy and stupid.  He didn’t care.

He sat down at the desk, placed the half can of beer nearby and began dialing the first number.  He almost tipped the can when he reached for his pen near the script he finished.  He caught it as the phone began ringing on the other end.  It was the number of James Hill, the first name on the list.

*

I asked Susan if she was aware of what was happening in Los Angeles.  She did know and it scared her for the country.  Before this all started, I have kept no firearms at home for years.  Since I don’t hunt I figured I had no reason to spend the money to buy something that is never used.  Years ago I had enjoyed target shooting and did own a couple of powerful pistols; a .45 caliber long barreled western revolver and a black .357 western style six inch barrel.  I got a kick out of practicing quick draw and could shoot a target accurately at fifty yards—at least hitting the target page somewhere most of the time.  But when our first child was born I made an easy decision to sell both and get them out of the house.

We talked about whether to bring a weapon back into the house and decided to acquire a rifle.  I picked out a semi-automatic we make at the plant that is a version of the AR-15 assault rifle.  I know the weapon.  Six magazines and two boxes of shells completed our home protection.  We felt safe enough before buying the rifle but now we have a little extra assurance just in case. 

It is a strange feeling to arm myself.  I wonder if I will ever have to use it.  I certainly hope I’m never forced to seat a round in its chamber for any reason other than to shoot a target.  If I do, it’ll be the worse day of my life.  I’m not sure I can actually squeeze the trigger while aiming at another human being.  But it seems that I must be prepared to do exactly that.

*

The Interstate toward Nashville was oddly vacant of much of the traffic that Soldier of Infinity expected to encounter along the way.  Elijah sat in the passenger side of the fairly new hybrid and was very quiet.  They both listened to music channels for the beat and kept the vehicle traveling at a speed near the posted speed limits.  Grayson had to be careful not to attract the attention of any State troopers that may not be tied up with other work and may still be patrolling the highways.  The plan was to slip into Nashville, get the job done and leave quickly without being seen or known.

He thought it should prove to be a relatively simple job—one of the most difficult elements would be to wait for the target to show in the open so they could follow him and determine where he was staying and which room he was using.  He figured the best place to shoot Minnett was at the motel in the parking lot or in front of the plant when he arrived to make the deal.  Odds were great that the motel would be close to an on-ramp of the Interstate highway where he could quickly become another car in traffic and disappear toward the west.  Minnett would never know what hit him.  Soldier of Infinity and Elijah actually believed their mission was only to rid the country of a war profiteer. 

The men listened as the radio station began its news broadcast.  One item got the attention of Soldier of Infinity and probably, Elijah, although the quiet passenger showed no reaction or emotion.  It seems a speaker who was giving a lecture at Ithaca College was gunned down in the streets while on campus.  Neither of the men from the west coast knew of him but the killing was eerily similar to that which they had planned—only it was a killing from the other side—those Nazis of the right.  Soldier of Infinity began sweating.  It seems there are fewer places where the conflict hasn’t visited.  Grayson wiped his face dry, rubbed his eyes and stretched his arms out widely.

It had been a long trip and he felt beyond tired.  He wanted to sleep a while and take up the mission after he rested.  First they had to find the Daley plant and scope out a good location where they could watch the pedestrian traffic in and out of the office building.  Hopefully it was in the front and easily seen as most were.  Hopefully there was a location within sight where they could park and not attract attention.  He would sleep there.

The pair awakened as the men and women who worked the first shift began arriving for work that morning.  It was still early.  High powered guests were most likely still a couple of hours away.  Minnett would undoubtedly show up as one of an entourage and they should be able to pick him out from the glossy picture they had brought. 

It was all they had that could help them identify their target—but the man should be easily recognizable.  He was white headed and paunchy looking in the picture.  His nose appeared to be a prominent extension from a puffy face.  Steely, narrow eyes centered his face—in the photograph, they appeared as fill pupils with room for little white to show.  Soldier of Infinity asked Elijah about leaving for a few minutes to find some coffee and wake up better.

“We still have a while before the pig shows up here, Elijah.  Anyway, it would be better to take a final look at the layout around here to make sure we can get away.”

Elijah nodded while he rubbed his eyes.

Returning to the industrial park where they had found a place to park and sleep near a tree-line that partially hid the car, Soldier of Infinity noticed his hands were shaking.  He felt his stomach turn between sips of coffee and thought he might not have the stomach for this job.

But he and Elijah had traveled a long way to perform a good deed.  He told himself it was right.  The bastard makes millions by exploiting workers and his products contribute to the killing of tens of thousands people.  Surely I can fight back this much!  Surely I can take one of them out.  Either I’m serious or not!  I’ll have to prove I’m a man of convictions and this one capitalist isn’t so important in the scheme of things.  But I am! He thought.

The next hour began as a nervous period that gradually changed for Soldier of Infinity to something else.  He felt he was steady.  He noticed his hands stopped shaking.  Surely he would arrive soon, he thought, and we can do our job and get the hell out of the sucky south.

He prepared the rifle below his waist, watching for cars, security and police.  Chambering a round from the spring loaded magazine, he set the safety to wait for his shot.  Elijah would witness his commitment while armed himself if anything goes wrong.  He would return and be received as a hero for the struggle.  One shot is all it will take.  One shot and I will be in forever!  I’ll be a leader, a force who passed his trial by fire in this war.  I’ll have it all and move up quickly!

Two vehicles suddenly turned and entered the property.  Grayson watched them turn into the curved drive toward the front office of Daley Electric.  This could be the time—the opportunity to show the world what he could do—what he would do. 

“Elijah, see if you can spot him!” he said as he handed his passenger the binoculars.  It was less than two-hundred yards and there was a clear line of fire.  Grayson planned to rest the rifle on the door mirror for a steady shot into the pig’s head.

Several men began piling out of the two vehicles.  To Soldier of Infinity and Elijah, they looked the same.  They were corporate types.  The kind of people who cared about nothing but making money in any way they could.  Each suit was dark colored, black and navy blue.  Every one of them wore a long tie and every one of them was white and well groomed.  How the two visitors hated them and what they stood for! 

“Do you see him yet?”

“I don’t know,” Elijah said some of his first words.

“There’s not much time.  The door to the office is only a few feet away.”

“They’re unloading their stuff from the trunks of the cars, Grayson.  I don’t think I see Minnett in this group.  Wait a minute.”

“I don’t want to waste a shot.  Maybe he’s not here yet.”

“I don’t think so.  These people look like lawyers and accounting types.  They’re probably here to seal some kind of deal.  Minnett may be on the way though.”

Suddenly a van approached the clump of trees.  It was a security van with one driver making his rounds. 

“Damn!  Who’s that coming over here?” Soldier of Infinity said.

“I don’t know.  It looks like he’s coming right for us.  Be still!”

“That’s as excited as I’ve seen you, Elijah.  Don’t be nervous.  If I have to, I’ll do the talking and get rid of him… these dumb-asses are easy.”  He smiled a confident smirk.

Inside the front office, Gaines asked Tom Smith if he had seen Sam. 

“The Dupree representatives are here and he should attend the meeting.  They’ll want to know about the skilled labor availability I’m sure.”

“I haven’t heard from him.  He’s pretty tore up about his wife.  I’ll get Cindy to answer for him.  She’ll do a good job.”

Soldier of Infinity decided to pull out of their place and drive toward the entrance of the industrial park to throw the guard off, leaving him no one to question.  He would not have the authority to stop a car on public roads. 

As he approached the intersection he saw another vehicle stopped in front of him with its left turn signal blinking.  He quickly glanced into the car and saw Minnett driving with one passenger seated next to him. 

“That’s him!  He’s here for us!” he excitedly said as he steered back to a straight line.

“Cool!  Now how do we get to him, Grayson?”

“I’ll make a quick turn and get behind him.  Look and see if that van is anywhere close.”

Soldier of Infinity turned around and followed Minnett toward the front parking lot of Dupree.  He leveled the rifle and let a shot fly.  He hit his target and made his way to fame and fortune in the underground.  Soldier of Infinity ran back to the car with Elijah at the wheel and they sped off.    

Sam was turning into the industrial park when he saw a commotion near his plant.  Suddenly a small sedan raced toward him and almost hit his car.  He had to quickly turn off the road to avoid the collision.  Damn!  Whats going on?  What the hell happened?

His first thought was that a jealous husband or boyfriend had visited the plant to hurt someone.  It seems to happen frequently.  As he pulled closer to the parking area in front of the office, he noticed several men emerging out of the building.  Some he didn’t recognize, but he saw Gaines and Tom standing near the entrance and Harry rushing toward something in the lot.   

As Sam turned in several men waved him to the right, away from a particular area near the front entrance.  He saw a person lying on the surface of the asphalt.  Harry had a first aid bag with him and was kneeling at the man’s side.

Sam quickly parked his car and ran to the scene.

“What happened?  Who is it?” he asked as he noticed an unusual amount of blood around the man’s head.

“It’s Bill Minnett, Sam,” Harry said.  “He’s been shot.”

He knew the name although he never met the man.  The contract was pending and closing was scheduled today.  Sam knew that much about him. 

“Why did someone do this?”

“I don’t know.  The police and ambulance have been called and are on the way.”

“A small white car just passed me and ran me off the road… did they do this?”

“Yeah… don’t know who they are but we have some descriptions of the man who was driving and the car,” Gaines said and sighed.  “It doesn’t look good for Mr. Minnett, does it?”  He let his head drop to his chest.  “This is bad.  This is horrible.”

“Better get everyone back inside,” Sam said.  “I’ll stay here with Harry until the ambulance arrives.  They may come back.”

Soldier of Infinity Grayson and Elijah were speeding toward the cut-off road and entry onto the Interstate highway.  It had been a successful hit, they thought and now their problem was escape.  In other cities and towns a mix that Monday would be reported.  Some of the targets had been taken and others had not been.  There were seven murders and six injuries associated with the far left’s Shroud organization.  Eight jobs had not completed for one reason or another.  Most that were not shot at or killed were left alive because the operatives couldn’t pull the trigger at the moment of decision.

A company sized contingent of the California National Guard finally made its way into the Heights of Los Angeles.  Fourteen people who did not live there were found still occupying homes and arrested.  Order was tentatively restored in the area and the cleanup started.  Twenty bodies had to be removed, most of which were the remains of unwelcome intruders.  The stench had settled in the area and was becoming more severe as the hours passed.

Across town the firebombs were taking buildings, some in service, occupied, others vacant.  The heavy smoke hung over the city as a testament to uncivilized man whose desire was to destroy.  The left destroys out of their driving hate for tradition, values and resentment of the successful.  The right destroys out of their sense of justice, fear of authoritarianism and hate for those who live no respect for tradition.  The boil was in full steam.

*

I pray for the country every day.  We’re losing it.  We are losing the fragile peace our society strives to maintain by the commitment of public funds to staff police and National Guard forces.  I hear the rumor at work that martial law has been declared by the President.  It seems we have allowed chaos to reign in the large cities and some smaller towns have even been the scene of violence and expressed hatred.  Entire divisions of Army and Marine troops have been put on alert to be pressed into domestic service when it was deemed necessary by the President.  They would be ordered to take up positions in cities armed with fully loaded weapons.  It would be an awful thing to have to do and the one making the call would forever be marked as the one who brought war to American civilians.

The newspapers are filled with stories of arson and violence.  Everyone it seems has been impacted.  Travel is becoming dangerous.  It is a matter of time before many manufacturing plants begins to close their doors, making it hard on the working people—and many of these may resort to joining the fray on one side or the other.  I read the terrible stories of preachers and priests being slain across the country. We inventory the food and water on hand and realize we only have enough to last one week.  I make sure my rifle is sighted in and ready.  There is little I can say to Susan to ease her mind because I don’t know what will happen before all of this is over. 

Nor do I know what kind of battered and torn Nation will be left to the survivors when it is finished.  It was thought that a peaceful transition to two Nations under an arch of unity for the singular purpose of the defense of both seemed the answer.  This would require a Constitutional Convention of great substance, with the Convention being both a blessing and a curse because of what could happen there by representatives who were often representing themselves rather than their constituents.  The people demanded it through every video, written piece, meetings of city councils, school boards, and political rallies.  The unceasing, dirty, bloody violence had to be stopped for the sake of a sane and rational society.    

*

Soldier of Infinity and Elijah are moving steadily on the Interstates toward Seattle.  Grayson was confident they had gotten away with an important and relevant kill—an important strike on behalf of everyone who loves and values peace and charity.  There were no signs of police looking for his car and the Interstate was wide open with little traffic to interfere with him.  He was careful to stay within the posted speed limits just in case.    

“We sure got him quick and good!” Grayson said.  He grinned widely trying to put away any possible anguish that may creep into his consciousness—just in case any might.   But he felt no remorse.  He felt good about what he did and of that, there was no doubt.  It will be easier to do other jobs now that he knew.

People like Minnett are in fact, enemies, of every person of good will after all, he thought to himself and felt the surge of power and energy inside his weak frame.  He was elated, a kind of high within his central nervous system.  He began to think of his rightful power within Antifa for his act of mercy for people affected by war.  He wanted it as bad as he had to breathe.

With Elijah being the only presence and the road he had to travel to get back to his center, he couldn’t do much to satisfy his cravings for notoriety.  He was unsure how he would work it out but was sure it would happen for him. 

*

Sam called the first name that Sara had provided him.  It was James Hill, a young man who lived downtown Nashville near the strip.  He shared an apartment with two other students and wrote a few articles for Democratic Underground and Daily Kos.  His screen name moniker was Hill for Hillary. Though he didn’t trust the Clintons, he felt she had the best chance to win and would bring about more good legislation with a Democrat congress.

“Hello, I am calling to get to know a little about what I can do and was told that you could help.  I’m very frustrated over the war and all and want to do something positive,” Sam faked being leftist.

“Who is this?” Hill asked.

“Sorry—I guess I’m nervous,” he said and chuckled disarmingly.  “I’m Samuel Smith of Gallatin.”

“I don’t know you or anything about you.”

“I am a union organizer,” Sam said, thinking quickly.  “I work the mid-eastern part of Tennessee against every greedy corporation I can get into” he said and chuckled.  “I got your name from one of the resisters at the courthouse.  They’re still there!”

“Yeah—we take turns down there.  What you do for a living is good work, Sam… but why are you calling me?”

“I want to do more to help.  It seems the time is right because so much is finally happening.”

“There is a lot going on, Sam…  That’s true and the fight has just begun,” Hill said and smiled proudly.  The caller sounded sincere and he thought he may add fuel to the movement.  “What can I do for you?”

“I hope you can connect me up.  I’m worried about the violence in this country though.  Los Angeles is in a mess and the Senator’s assassination was a horror—a mess I thought would never happen again.”  Sam read his script in a conversational tone.

“Yeah, it’s a shame.” 

“What’s going on now that I may be part of… and how may I help?”  Sam added a tone of excitement in his voice.

“Donations are always needed and welcomed, Sam.  You can do that immediately.  Come to number seventeen in the Armitage apartment complex tomorrow night and meet us.  We’ll talk then.  You know the place?”

“Yeah—down off I-40, isn’t it?”

“Yeah—make it about seven.”

“Very well… see you tomorrow night.  And, thank you very much, James.  I’m looking forward to working with you all.”

He had a time and address.  He felt the rage inside of his body, in every pore, every organ, and deep in his heart.  He would be there and learn as much as he could about Cheryl’s death.  Tearfully, he went to the hospital to see Anne.

*

In Los Angeles, Herman was yet another human being who had been hurt to his core and was thinking of revenge.  His son deserved justice.  His wife and daughter were due justice.  He was due justice.  Each day he felt some strength returning and except for the interior and exterior sutures, he was ready to work on the problem that would surely recur any day—only it would be someone else—some other wife, daughter, some other men and women who worked for what little they had and followed the laws.  He thought about what he would do—what he could do.

Herman Gonzales was no stranger to violence.  Before coming to this country on a visa to work the engineering job he was recruited for that involved designing electrical coils for induction heat systems.  Since the company had to advertise the job inside the United States first and canvass qualified candidates, it was determined he was the most qualified.  That got him a pass to move to California. 

He had worked with the Oaxaca, Mexican police against the drug lords in that area as a part time officer—a job he took to supplement his income while he finished college and worked daytime at the Met Heat Systems Company facility in Los Angeles designing inductor coils for their systems that were part of electrical heat treat machines.

The night job as a Mexican police officer made him an early target of elements that would gladly kill him to rid their business of a man who had become a major problem.  Herman never had to shoot but he did arrest several of the dealers and was an effective witness against them.  He was responsible for several twenty year sentences. 

He managed to survive long enough to leave Oaxaca though there had been two attempts to shoot him and one assault that nearly left his right arm paralyzed.  It was the same attack that killed his father, Julio, who was a senior police detective.  The takers who violated the sanctity of the families living in the Heights were nothing compared to the thugs he faced down in Mexico.

He thought about what he would do—what he had to do—as soon as he could walk.

*

Sam found the apartment and went to the door.  It was partially opened and a number of people were walking in and out, joking and smoking as they waited for the start of the meeting.  The gathering was to support the siege of the courthouse and plan the next action.  Sam noticed a few appeared to be capable of violence while most didn’t fit the part.  There were the ones physically capable and others who were the whiners longing to be given more—health insurance being on top of the list.  Money and homes were on the list but secondary to accessible drug treatment.  Several of the people meeting on how to destroy the country were nothing more than dangerous jokes.

He listened to every bit of conversation he could possibly hear and memorized the faces.  He introduced himself as Sam Smith, a disaffected Democratic Party loyalist who became disillusioned over the inaction of a Democrat Congress.

“I don’t know why we haven’t ended the war and used all that money here at home to help people,” he said to several who listened, mimicking phrases he heard before from the left.  He had to develop a level of trust in the room.

As he looked around, he noticed most of those attending had to be in their twenties—many were probably students who took the words of some professors as truth.  He avoided laughing because of the thought.  Few professors knew much outside the classroom and most were representative of the old axiom, those who can, do.  Those who can’t, teach.  To Sam there was a good amount of truth to the old canard based on what he read and heard some of these professors express about economics and government.

A short, thin man appeared at the doorway between one of the rooms inside the apartment and the living room area where most of the crowd gathered.  He wore small glasses, was dark and greasy looking.  In his hands he held an assault rifle—Sam recognized it as a take-off of an AR-15.  He thought it odd as the crowd reacted to him with smiles and raised fists in gestures of solidarity.  Sam waited to learn what it was that most of them were so happy and agreeable about.  James Hill entered the living room from behind the small man carrying the rifle.

“This is what it has come to, brothers and sisters!” Hill announced.  “We must arm ourselves and take this country back!  It’s time!”

Sam looked to his left and noticed a young woman who appeared to be in a drug induced haze, smiling dumbly, fixed in a stare.  What is he talking about?  What are these idiots going to do in Nashville?  What are they talking about?

“I want you all to meet Sam, Sam Smith.  He’s a union organizer from Gallatin and wants to join us in the struggle for ending the war, stop racism and protecting our rights!  Welcome him tonight as a fellow traveler in our fight for freedom!” Hill said while pointing to Sam. 

Sam suddenly felt very uncomfortable.  He thought that maybe he shouldn’t have come to this place.  These people were about to prepare for violence unlike anything he had ever heard and he was in the middle of it.

He wanted to find out who killed his wife.  That was his mission and his purpose.  If he could provide the police with details, names and descriptions, surely they would be prosecuted.  Then he thought he would like to have the opportunity to punish him or them himself.  That would be better but there was a lot of work to do in order to know for sure—he had to be certain.

“Tell them your entire story, Sam,” Hill said as he smiled toward the stranger.  He would have answers or they would all know he was a phony and be dealt with as any spy should be dealt with.  He guessed capital punishment would be fitting.  They could take his body near the chaos at the courthouse and dump it for the police to find—without a clue where it came from.  He smiled.  It was either that or one more voice in the chorus of their righteous cause.

Sam had to think fast and relate something that would make sense and that they would buy as truth.  He knew it was a test—and there may be more.  Luckily had read a few far left blogs from time to time out of curiosity and to learn what their goals were.  Trying to understand many on the far left had not been something he was able to do however but he had to try his best to fake it. 

“I’m tired of not being able to get past the coercion used by companies to keep me out!” he said, sounding emotional.  “The bastards lie and cheat—and threaten people who want a union to represent their interests at the workplace!  We have to change the dynamic and make them accountable for what their employees want,” he said and stopped for less than a minute. 

Sam had the experience to know the kinds of things some of the actual union organizers he has encountered say.  “I’m also tired of seeing people treated so badly—letting them die because they don’t have insurance.  It ain’t right!  And I’m especially tired of seeing the rich paying less while every working person pays more—most of it used to fund an illegal war!” 

He figured he had done well enough on the first test.  He had successfully repeated several exaggerations and outright lies the left uses regularly that he heard and read over the years many times.  They should know him now as one of them—full of the same hate that fills them.  He smiled when he saw Hill nodding because of his words.

“You’ve said it all, brother.  Welcome to the People’s Front for Equality and Peace!  We will help you in your quest.”

“Thank you, James.  I knew you would.”

“Yeah… now we have to talk about our next move against the courthouse.  There are four hundred brave hearts holding up in the building and the word is that the police are planning an evacuation.  I’m afraid there are going to be skulls crushed if we don’t fight back.  That courthouse is ours!  That building is the people’s building!  Hell no we won’t leave!”

A chorus of voices joined and affirmed Hill’s pronouncements.  Sam joined in and shouted too.  He was in the right place to learn about a dangerous development in his city.  The first chance he had, he had to warn the police.  He thought about Cheryl and how she never had a chance this time.  This time the protest was different.

James had another announcement that he seemed to be waiting anxiously to make.

“The largest federal buildings in New York and Miami have to be taken back for the people brothers and sisters!  We’re moving on others and need everyone here to join the fight!  We’ll take this country back for the people!”

Sam noticed the small man raise the rifle over his head and shake it.  They’re talking about using force of arms,he thought.  He had to try to get answers and leave them soon.  He would report what he heard and saw to the FBI as soon as he left them.  He had their address, a number of their names and their words… the FBI would surely want to know about a group planning an armed insurrection.  Surely the bureau can and will stop them before anyone is killed.  He was unaware of the agency’s compromised leadership because of their politics at the time.

Sam managed to find James alone as the meeting was drawing to a close. James had dispatched several attendees to the courthouse with the advice to keep weapons hidden in the one vehicle they would use to get everyone to the place.  He told them the next step in the war would be announced soon.  Antifa, La Raza and ANSWER were joining soon to organize the strategic use of arms.  Already a good start had been made by unnamed warriors who took the culture fight to the enemy.  A good number of their enemies had been eliminated.  All restraint was removed.  The left had reason, the righteous cause to burn and intimidate.  Some among the number were more than willing to kill.  Murder is the ultimate intimidation.

Those of the left was typically not concerned with the murders in Los Angeles and elsewhere where the innocent were killed by their compatriot takers.  The advocate media, the organized groups, and the politicians were convinced the acts of a few who kill were justified in their view.  It was the war between the haves and have-nots after all.  Leadership were convinced that more of the same would result should the transformation of government fail to become their design.  It was all out war.  It was their best chance.  America would not tolerate violence and most people would surely happily concede control if it meant a return to peace.  Then they could do all they felt was right by using government power. 

“Hello, James—good meeting,” Sam said and smiled.  “I’m curious…

Where were you when all this started downtown?  I was working upstate near Kentucky when I heard.  I think everyone will remember where they were the day the revolution began.”  He managed a forced chuckled.

“Yeah, I think you’re right, Sam.  It was a day for the ages!  It will go down as the most important day in our history!”

“Did you watch it happen?  That must have been lucky!  I wished I had been there.”

“Yeah, I was on the front lines when the pigs came for us and tried to get us to leave.  But they couldn’t!  We stood our ground and there weren’t enough of them to put us down this time!”  He laughed.  “You missed it all right.  It was beautiful!”

“So you were at the courthouse?”

“Yeah, I was right in the middle of it all.  And I have a few bruises to show off!”

“It must have been a hell of a fight.  I’m sorry I wasn’t there to help.”

“Don’t worry about that, Sam.  There are more opportunities now as we grow bigger than anything they’ve ever seen!”

I was wondering about an incident that happened a few blocks away where a woman was killed.  Have you heard anything about that?  I just think it hurts our cause when that kind of thing happens.”

“Yeah… is that what you think?”

“Yeah—it gives us a rep we don’t deserve and I think it hurts our cause.”

“I wouldn’t worry about it.  There’s going to be casualties in this war that can’t be helped.  It’s called collateral damage by their side.  We call it part of the cost of the great struggle.”

Sam was compelled to strangle him right then and there for his disregard over the death of his wife.  He controlled the impulse in order to be able to move on to someone else who may know about Cheryl’s murder and get to the guilty.  James wasn’t directly involved if he was on the steps of the courthouse. 

“Do you have any idea who did that to those people?”

“No, I don’t.  We had thousands of people come out for this action and all sorts came to lend support.  It’s unfortunate but it will happen.  Don’t worry about it.  Most people who shouldn’t be there will stay away.  She got caught up in a mess probably because she didn’t watch or listen to the news.  She should have known to stay away.”

“It was her fault?”

James stared back at him for a long minute.  “You seem to be awfully interested in that accident.  Was this person someone you knew?”

“It wasn’t an accident.  Bricks were thrown into her car and fractured her skull.”

“I don’t know who she was or who threw the bricks.  There were a lot of people there.”

“It’s true, James.”

“I don’t have anything on that.  I have a word of advice for you—don’t believe everything you hear.  The pigs use propaganda against us all the time and this may be nothing more than bull-shit to try to make public opinion go against us.  Most of us—we’re not brick throwers.”

“But now you’re rifle users?”  As soon as he said that he realized he was being argumentative—something most in the left can’t tolerate.  “I’m sorry, James.  I didn’t mean to say that.  It’s just that all of this talk of war is pretty scary.”  Sam had to make an effort to keep James confident that he was part of the movement.

It was not a role he would have chosen for himself but the opportunity was right in his face and it was something he could do to help America.  He knew that and as hard as it was to lie and appear to be one of the leftist revolutionaries, it could help the country.  Sometimes the words seemed to want to stop at the top of his throat.  It was difficult for him to act and sound like a taker.

“I know it’s scary to some people but to most of us it is that the time has finally come and we have to do all we can.  We won’t force anyone or you to take up arms.  There are plenty of jobs to do that won’t involve that—all of which are important, Sam.  Not everyone can take part in the force—we need support people too.  I’ll write something up on that and maybe that will help you.”

“Thanks, James.”

*

I pray to God to deliver us from these troubles.  The division has hurt our country cohesion for many years and it’s getting worse.  I pray for peace to return.  I want to earn a good living and want others to do the same and have a good life.  I tell my wife that I love her so I don’t forget love.  I hear her tell me that she loves me.  I forget what is happening for a blessed while. 

I scan the television channels and see every network trying to report what is happening in the country but in much different ways and with different emphasis.  It is obvious there is a great deal of advocacy corrupting straight news.   A parade of leftist experts are brought into newsrooms to saturate the screen on every channel, all coming to the same conclusion—that conservatives are bad and liberals are good.  At times, they even include lawyers, professors, and politicians from districts where most of the killing is taking place.  Denial of the carnage and waste is great among our left. 

In an attempt to cause people to think about what they are doing and stop the violence, networks begin a more or less twenty-four debate between representatives of “both sides” to develop answers that will either provide good ratings or diffuse the mistrust and hate—or both.  But conservatives don’t watch CNN except as a masochist exercise to know what is being broadcast.  Liberals don’t bother to watch FOX except for the same reason. 

Still, in the streets, in reality away from television, there are meetings between competing positions that continue at some gatherings, with several becoming physical before the cameras shift away.  It has gotten to the point where the divide between the left and right was deep enough to sustain itself on the very actions being taken by both sides in the public debate.  The divide had grown beyond control of the intelligence human beings and morphed into two camps resolved to give no quarter, no compromise, and no peace with each other for good reason.         

*

Sam Adams would soon go to the FBI offices near the courthouse and tell any agent willing to listen all he knew about the “People’s Front for Equality and Peace.”  He planned to so that before he made contact with next name on the list.  He knew that failure to report may mean the death of people who were perceived to be on the wrong side of this new war.  He didn’t know the FBI actually had agents in place to stoke the violence so a quick and case could be made against the perpetrators. 

He returned to work and reported to Gaines and Tom that he went to see the FBI.  Bill Minnett had been killed and that fact alone made it imperative he talk to them.  Someone was killing people and no one knew who would be the next target.  He didn’t share the details with his co-workers.  Every employee at the plant was in a solemn mood and nervous about the murder.  Many thought they could be the next one to be walking along somewhere and be suddenly gone.  No one understood why it happened.  There was no rational reason.  Management had to do what it could to reassure the employees that they were not targets—that it was a random act of violence—and ask them to pray for his family.  That was the best guess and all they knew to do regarding the tragedy.

Police were covering the parking lot and interviewing as many people who may have witnessed the killing as they could identify and find.  The yellow tape crossed the entries to the parking lot in front of the building.  Several plain clothes detectives had arrived and were taking statements.  The white car had been seen by a few—a few others thought it was blue, gray or champagne color.  No one had seen the tag.  No one had seen the shooter clearly.

Sam had his own investigation and decided to try to call the next few names on the list Sara gave him from the office.  The next name was Coy Anders.  Nothing was noted beside his name so Sam didn’t know anything about him.  A wrap on his office door jamb distracted him.

“Sam, the detective wants to talk to you,” Tom passed his office and spoke.

“Okay, I’m available, Tom…  Sure.  Where do I need to go?”

“He’s in the conference room, man.  This is really something awful.  I can’t believe someone pulled up and killed the man.  Damn, just damn.”

“Yeah, the world has gone crazy and poor old Minnett was gunned down like he was in the drug trade on some damn corner somewhere.  I hope they find the son of a bitch who did that.  We ought to hang the sleaze-bag who did it.”

“By the nuts,” Tom said.

“Yeah, by his nuts would fit the crime while we beat him to death with a bat—slowly.”

“He’s waiting, Sam.”

Sam got out of his chair and walked toward the conference room.  He passed Gaines in the hallway and nodded.  The office was a quieter place than usual.  No one was in anything close to a jolly mood and most just wanted to leave and return home.  It was hard to focus on work that day and the next.

The First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville was fire-bombed the following night.  The large historic stone building was half destroyed and completely gutted by a powerful blast and fire that would bring the ATF into the city in force.  Quickly it was determined that C-4 and gasoline was used, a substance not available in the retail or wholesale market in the United States.  It appeared as if the materials most likely came from a foreign source but that identification would be difficult if not impossible to determine.

Within twenty-four hours there were fifty-two churches either bombed or set on fire across the country.  Most of them were completely destroyed.  There had been a successful start of the obvious gathering places of mostly enemies to certain leftist groups—some acting on their own while others had assistance from shadowy agents of governments hostile to the United States.  The ATF began its twenty hour shifts that day.

In Nashville, detective Harris had interviewed everyone at the plant where Bill Minnett was killed and recorded all he could get from each person who saw or heard anything related to the murder.  He spent more time with the accountants who were traveling with him than anyone but didn’t see an opening presently that would help him solve the case.  Sam told him everything he remembered before finishing the calls he had to make to solve his own case. 

So far the police weren’t telling him anything if they had something and had not arrested anyone.  He knew the police force had been used to the point of exhaustion in terms of time and presence with the action at the courthouse.  Their main job had been to keep it confined to just that building and prevent looting and arson from occurring anywhere else in the city—a battle they were engaged with mixed results.

Coy Anders had been no help—he didn’t want to talk to Sam no matter what he tried to convince him of his intentions.  Sam wanted the creep’s address and had no way of getting it without police help.  The next name on the list was an Amanda Page—but she was not answering at the only number he had.  He tried for several days with no success. 

Terry Roach was the next name off the list he called and on the third try he reached someone at the number—but the person who answered the phone said he was not Terry, but a friend of his.  When asked where he could find Terry, the young man who answered only said he was in jail somewhere—that he wasn’t sure yet what location he had been taken.  Sam had more luck with the last number Sara provided.  He called Gale Bryson, a young man who was a student at Vanderbilt University in law.

Gale listened to his story and sympathized.  He said Sam would be welcome to join him at the courthouse. 

“I and a few other law students are going to be relieving some of the kids down there for a few hours so they can get some food—rest and relaxation.”  The young man laughed as if it was all a big joke.  A government building was in the hands of anarchists and he thought it was fun.

“I will be happy to help you, Gale—first tell me about the killing last month near the courthouse.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.  It’s all about peace, man.  Have the cops killed someone?  I knew they would!”

“I don’t think so—but there was a woman who was bricked a few blocks away on the first day.  Did you hear anything about that?”

“I kind of heard about something, Sam.  But it’s just hearsay—rumors if you will.”

“Tell me what you heard and I’ll tell you what I heard, okay?”

“Well, I don’t know why this is germane to anything we’re doing now but I heard she gave the finger to one of the people who call themselves the shroud.”

“The shroud…  What’s that?”

“I don’t know any of them but I heard it was an anarchist group from Seattle or somewhere close to Seattle.  I’m not sure about that.”

“I understand, Gale.  I’ve never heard of them myself but I guess the internet attracts all types.”

“Yeah, but it gives us a great way to coordinate things that help us stand up to the oppressive fascist regime we have in Washington!  Isn’t it great?  They don’t know what hit them before it’s too late to do a damn thing to stop us!” he said and laughed.

“I guess throwing someone the finger is a capital offense,” Sam said, forcing the words through his throat.

The phone line was quiet.  Gale didn’t have anything to say to that.  Sam thought quickly to recover.

“I’m sorry, Gale.  It just seems that shouldn’t have happened, you know?”

“I guess not… but those people shouldn’t be coming around.  Do you know what I mean?  Anyone not joining us has no business interfering in our rightful assembly.”

“I know what you mean—but everyone’s entitled to move freely in my view.”

“Fascists have no rights as far as I’m concerned.  They can go to hell.  They spew their hate and racism and so they have no right to say anything—none of them.”

“I see… that sounds like the student group at Columbia year before last.”

“Yeah, I was a senior at the University of Colorado when that happened.  They were right then and we’re right now!  Say, who are you?  What is your agenda, really?”

“I’m an American, and Gale and I both know our rights.  It’s just not something reserved for you… for us.”  Ward Churchill has had an impact—I wonder how many others kids bought into the hate,Sam thought.

“I think we’re finished talking.  I don’t know where you’re going with this but I suggest you drop it, mister.  You’re beginning to sound like one of them.”

The phone line went dead.  Sam had more than a phone number for this young imbecile and made a note to visit him at his address in the future.  The shroud, the shroud… there has to be something on them, somewhere there has to be good information… somehow I have to find them and find the ones who killed Cheryl.

Sam knew the left was stretching their activities to include burning churches and killing select people they detested—except for Cheryl—and they killed her for nothing.  The right was doing the same thing but on a smaller scale so far.  He figured it was only a matter of time before the right would explode once they had enough.  Most of those who are on the right were also the same people who worked to protect their right to own firearms.  To Sam, he hoped it was to prove to be a fatal irony for the leftist war on the country.  He smiled at the thought.  He added a .357 caliber pistol loaded with hollow points to his personal arsenal. 

Sam knew as a fact that we had home-grown insurgents against everything being an American meant… a number of people who want to destroy the system, the government, the country—partly because of our very success.  It seems the more people have the more they want and when they can’t have it, frustration sets in and sets some on a dangerous path of self-indulgence to the point of even killing other people.  He viewed the right as being dangerous too—the want of a country as many see in their minds have caused some to kill too.  Killing was always wrong unless it was self-defense.  And sadly, it was looking more like self-defense for both ends of the political spectrum.   

It was time for Sam Adams to visit the police and tell them all he knew about the murder of his wife.

*

Herman had regained his strength and ability to move about.  The first thing he did was to go to a firing range and spend hours sharpening his aim.  He had never had to kill but was confident he could kill.  The animals who invaded his home were going to pay for their aggression with their lives.  He thought about shooting as many who came from the southern section of the city as he could.  They were all guilty as far as he was concerned.  They all joined the melee and enjoyed rioting and looting, raping and killing people who got in their way.  The police had all but forgiven most of those arrested because of an overwhelming case load without enough evidence to convict most but Herman had not.

Attacking their neighborhoods the way they had attacked his would not work.  He would be stopped early in such an exercise.  He had to plan something different that would cause those compelled to do what happened that June day to show themselves again—which seemed likely since the violence had not stopped.  It had only become more isolated out of fear of the National Guard and police.

These days they were attacking people they could attack whenever the patrols were out of range—out of sight.  Herman figured some were using radios or some similar device to track law enforcement.  He would have to find the means and listen to know where to find them. 

Herman knew that most would not be the most intelligent people, never bothering to take school more seriously than to use it for what they could steal or to sell drugs to young people they managed to get hooked.  It should be easy once he started.  He would track them down as much like wild animals were tracked down in the Mexican desert.

He didn’t know that others were laying for the same targets.  Many people had enough and were no longer going to be patient and forgiving out of the false fear of being racist.  There would be charges of racism made that were just as false.  It wasn’t their particular race that made some targets of the new effort.  It was the acts that made them what they were and deserve the consequences for what they do. 

He bought a scanner and tried to pick some of them up on that but it wasn’t working.  He figured they were using stolen blackberries instead and a computer expert would have to help him tap into the messages.  It was worth a try.  They were communicating long distance somehow—telephones and radios were too susceptible to monitoring.  It must be computers, he thought.  He went to the firing range every day for the next three weeks and had become a good shot.  He had also become familiar with quick firing a shotgun.  His time was near.  His daughter Maria was still not talking.  The medications her doctors tried had little effect thus far.

Herman Gonzales, once a child immigrant, had worked hard and built a home in his new country, heard the La Raza claims and put them aside.  He watched as the group and many American born politicians tried to equate everyone who crossed the border with everyone already in the country—whether born inside the United States and those who followed the law and process as he did years ago—with those who wanted no borders and a shortcut to full recognition.  He knew they were wrong and only hurt the sanctity of what he had accomplished—as well as any resemblance to security that works to prevent those who would do harm from coming into his new country finding the greatest opportunity to steal and kill than there is in any other country.

He heard them.  He watched them.  He knew the weak politicians who would use the illegal aliens to vote them into office.  He watched his paycheck bring him smaller and smaller returns because of taxes levied to pay for everything and anything La Raza and others wanted.  He was not born and raised as a hater but had become one because of the baseless, senseless, greedy, licentious attack that took his wife and so grievously injured his daughter. 

He hated what some people did, not an entire race or anything so misplaced and contrary to the word of God.  There were people who regardless of their race or ethnicity hated him and his family—who wanted to take what they had, even their minds and body—and use them to feed their own selfish desires—and those people had to be stopped.  They had no right to take more from him. 

He read of some liberal fools who supported them.  He read where tax dollars were actually given over to La Raza and community groups where many rioters hid and continued to proclaim their victim status.  He was enraged by this other fact that wouldn’t have meant much to him before the riot.  Now it meant everything—more fuel for his drive to fight for an end to the absurdity.

He had every right to defend his family from those who would take so much, his home and would defend it with everything he was, with every violent means he detested but had to use.  He could kill.  Next time he knew he could pull that trigger and end the life of another human being.  His son’s body was released to the family to be buried in the family plot in nearby Maricopa, a peaceful town where Herman’s parents lived.

He returned to work and was asked about his wife and daughter, Maria.  Everyone avoided asking him about the boy.  They had all heard what happened, knew not to ask the man and had no answers for him.  He shook his head and did not speak.  He focused on the work and remained a quiet presence.  He had to find help and he knew the fastest way was computer technology.

*

The day of the bombings was the final insult, the last outrage for many to decide that they would no longer watch from a distance.  More men and women prepared themselves to do battle with forces that had now more than spit on the various houses of God.  Herman, Sam and thousands of early resistors were not so small anymore.  The numbers of people who identified with the right had swollen to millions—millions were willing to mass and confront evil and liars—the socialist takers.  More were aware of Antifa and La Raza—and many of its members’ goals to take back portions of North America as a new state—an extension of Mexico. 

Reports of the violence were being generated and compiled by journalists and the FBI in their more pure days about a decade past about the groups who had joined forces to take America away from most of her people and divide her up as much like a carcass to be devoured with no thought of tomorrow, no thought of how unsuccessful Mexico has been in its corrupt State—but the language suited them and no thought of consequences for the greater society in every state.  

Some on the left didn’t like the bombings either and were moved to retreat out of public view.  To some there was something unhealthy about setting fire to places where God was praised and worshiped.  Many liberals identified themselves as Christians but this action was hardly Christian in nature.  For these the disagreements over religion and what it means did not extend to firing buildings no matter the degree of dispute over the meaning of the bible. 

Killing other people was not something most secular progressives who claimed Christianity as their moral justification for collectivism could relate to as being something necessary or moral, though their view of morality was always second to being non-judgmental.  There was no absolute right and wrong to them—except killing.  Killing was wrong for them unless it was a fetus inside a mother’s womb or those afflicted with an incurable disease who wished a dignified death at a time of their own choosing.

Across the country firebombs have begun to be used on the homes of known conservatives.  Men, women and children were killed in those fires set by those who were convinced theirs was a better way.  Fires were set in the richest neighborhoods and those not as rich as an act against the “Repugs,” the “Bushbots” and the feared religious right—the “fundies.”  Many on the left also call conservatives Nazis, without attaching any specifics to why they deserve the evil moniker.  People who had not armed themselves before were arming themselves now.  Every gun shop sold out as soon as new inventory was delivered.  But the industry could not keep up with the demand.

*

Sam reported all he knew of “The Shroud” to the Nashville Police department.  He had a name for them to investigate and follow through to stop this group—who very well may be the key to stopping the violence.  There is still a chance, he thought.  Maybe things have not gotten so out of control that nothing can be done to sop this.  Maybe they can find who killed Cheryl.

“I’ll take this information to the Captain, Mr. Adams.  But I have to tell you his hands full—we all have more than we do—and I’m not sure what we can do with this.”

“But it may take you to the people who started all of this.”

“I’m telling you we are stretched and even with the Guard, the job cannot be done.  We’re trying!  Now, give me your number and I’ll call you if I get any information.”

Sam knew the death of his wife was a subject that would hardly get any attention.  A report was filed and it probably laid quietly, unattended on some desk somewhere.  She would get no justice in the horror.  One life, her beautiful life, does not rate even a few minutes.  The sergeant obviously wanted him to leave.  He turned back and forth in his chair, acting busy and answering the phone while he stood there.  He did not ask him to take a seat and avoided eye contact. 

To the Sergeant, Sam Adams was just another person among hundreds who came to the police station to report various crimes.  Murder, arson, assault, theft—the crime rate had exploded.  The police force was too small to deal with it all.  Sam was just another complainant.  He felt that was all he was before he left the station.  It would be up to him to get justice for Cheryl if there was to be justice.

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