Chapter IX Pushing, Pushing (NATIONS)

I’m fairly confident I can use a firearm to defend my home—or other people.  I’ve gone over the possible scenarios that would cause me to point death in the direction of another human being many times.  There are a few I am sure I would willingly take out of this life if I had to.  While I hope I never have to do such a thing, thousands of Americans have had to defend themselves from violence.  Americans have been killed while many more have been injured and some maimed during this same period of troubles.  Many Asian elderly men and women have also become targets of convenience while other people have been shot simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

It’s more than trouble, it’s the waste of a kind of war within our borders taking place especially in our large Democrat managed cities and it’s happening in the midst of us right now.  People, families, have also been hurt or even killed for being perceived as conservatives.  Some liberals have been hurt for attacking people in the course of protests when there were counter-protestors at the event to demonstrate not everyone agrees with their goals of anarchy, Marxism, and whatever other totalitarian ideas easily raises a crowd of Antifa.  It was the sad, inevitable violent fight between both sides when there are no longer conversations and exchanges about the important issues of our day.  I have no desire to kill and hope I never have to do the worst thing any man or woman can do in their life. 

Fewer and in some cases, even less important issues have started wars between entire countries in the history of the world of mankind—humankind.  In my view the causes usually always come down to greed, envy, and religion.  The most certain and propagandized as righteous causes were murders on a genocidal scale over the false uses of race and religion.  Nazi Germany comes to mind.  There are many however dating back in all of recorded history.  The world has never been the home of peace across all tribes or nations.    

Fewer issues than those we are forced to deal with during this modern time started a Civil War over a hundred and fifty years ago in this country that pitted the entire region of the south against the entire region of the north.  Then it was state’s rights and taxation with the horrific sin of slavery an overarching evil as an impetus for many to kill.  It had to be, so it was, and many died.    

Now, it’s a jaundiced kind of seething, hateful war of words and lies that boil up and over day after day; at some point the branched will likely begin to cost more American blood.  It has already began in cities for different reasons by competing cultures from practically daily shootings in the streets for some kind of perceived need for revenge, to earn street credentials, or simply to commit robberies.  There is a persistent misguided rationale let loose in diseased, hate-filled minds by those who shoot people on our streets or kill them inside churches and synagogues.  Many issues and tragedies have become our reality across the land.  There’s no escape.    

It’s also the climate change environmental demands, taxes, inflation, Socialist programs, foreign relations, foreign investments, and public education being affected that are bound to cost us all for no needed or good result.  It’s the want of socialized health care, guaranteed incomes, the expanded use of domestic spying, the contraction of private sector jobs, illegal immigration-illegal votes, and wealth redistribution sponsored by people like the squad and their supporters that drive half the country to purchase more firearms and live with a minds anger much of the time.  It’s the hate of Israel, American religion, current property rights, and the right to bear arms, along with leftist views of hate crimes, sexuality, abortion, the criminal justice system, and the civil justice system under their microscope of change “for the people.” 

The political corruption, corporate corruption, and the meaning of the Constitution and how it’s treated in the courts is squarely in the cross-hairs of our own home grown, home honored (beginning with the Obama era in earnest) Marxists in government and wearing Judges robes that cause sleeplessness of many Americans.  Since there has come to us an end to discussing issues with people who disagree and will no longer listen. 

We have all picked a tribe.  We’ve reached a point where any chance to actually work together for the common good is gone in smoke.  Decency and peace have left us.  People are walking around with their particular insane state ready to reveal it in explosive ways.  Many people no longer have any respect for other people who do not think and believe as they do.  One wonders if we haven’t already crossed the line to a hot war and just haven’t fired at each other yet en masse.  Innocent blood is already readily shed by the most insane among us.    

Even pronouns to use to address other people are incorporated by the far left to intimidate people from their knowledge of natural biology.  Nothing can satisfy some people and it cannot be a Nation’s objective to satisfy every demand of everyone.  We’re wasting thought, time, and energy on things that do not matter at all, have no worth, and are, in fact, as unreal as if we’re being drawn into playing adult games.         

            I’ve always shot rifles, shotguns and pistols and am very comfortable using them.  I’m almost certain that if I point a weapon toward anyone who means harm I would be able to shoot him and knock him down without hesitation.  It would not be a prideful or pleasant thing at all.  It would be the absolutely worst thing for me to do and live with the rest of my life.  I can only imagine the nightmares that would follow.  I cannot imagine hesitating longer than the second it takes to know I had to do it.

*

Herman had the coordinates of his first target.  He heard them talk to each other about a liquor store in Belmont that had escaped danger during the cycle of violence against the man and everything he owns.  He watched and listened as they  planned to hit a liquor store at nine that night.  Herman figured on being there before they started and stopping them, achieving the beginnings of justice over his family’s suffering.  If there were two to show, there would be two less to rob, rape, or kill innocent people.  If there were three to show, he would do all he could to make sure there were three taken out of this life.

He could hear the conversation that surely met their limits of ability among them.  He saw things posted on the internet and heard all kind of language on the street many times before.  

“We’ll get the mother-f’ers money and all we want from them.”

“And we’ll cap any mother-f’ers who try to stop us.”

“We’ll cap them anyway.  Kill ‘em all!”

“I’m with you on that.  We’ll do that first.”

Herman could imagine them laughing with excitement over murder.  He knew some would kill particularly for power, or admiration, and many because of gang fidelity and some because of race.  And it’s nothing for these adults with such violent and child-like minds to shoot even if there were black children were in the way.  They’d be taken out without a thought by these vessels of no-faith evil.  Herman knew this was the place to start his work.  He planned to stop them and if it went well, they’d not even know what hit them.  They would simply be gone.

“David, I have to leave for a while.  Help yourself to anything you need here—there’s plenty of food and drink in the refrigerator.  You’re welcome to stay here as long as you want, okay?”

“Thank you, Herman.”

He packed his rifle in a bag and slipped out of the house without David noticing what he carried.  He didn’t want to cause the young man to be implicated in anything that might come back on him because of what he was doing.  David was monitoring the computer screen to make certain they were able to remain watchful.  He thought the effort and set-up of their systems were all done for self-defense.  Herman told him he needed to know what the rioters were planning to be so he would know about his home and his family.

Herman turned away from the protest site and found the address before 8:30 P.M.  He parked across the four-lane from the front of the targeted liquor store.  He surveyed the area to make sure there were no suspicious characters already there.  He identified a position at an angle off the right corner of the building where he hoped he could identify the men coming to kill quickly and execute his plan.  There were people sitting on a bench waiting for a ride along one of the city’s bus routes.  First he had to warn those inside about the coming hit.  He pulled his cap down low enough to cover his eyes and went inside.

“I suggest you lock it up now and leave out the back for your safety,” he said.  He’d make the criminals when they came to the door to help themselves.

The owner and employees did what he suggested.  Theirs was one store in a franchise that covered over a third of Los Angeles and beyond just north of San Diego.  Luckily it had escaped vandalism and the attacks carried out on most of the same kind of stores around the city.  Herman returned to the angle, retrieved the rifle and waited.

He lit a cigarette.  He started smoking again after he left the hospital but still didn’t smoke much.  Today he lit one after another.  While kneeling behind the bench he made sure he had six rounds in the internal magazine of the rifle and that they were ready to be used.  He knew he was close to acting out the daydreams of being a vigilante and it shook him.  He was afraid.  He felt the desperation convulsive nerves moving his arms and hands.  He didn’t want to be there for this.

Shortly before 9:00 P.M. he saw two vehicles slowly approaching the block from opposite directions.  The closest was a black Cadillac with dark tinted windows and spinner wheel covers.  Button lights dressed the roof in front and back.  He suspected this car could be bringing trouble.  The second vehicle was older.  The beige and brown Buick sedan pulled toward the store with no added accouterments such as shiny wheels, adornments and accessories.

He tried to see what the people looked like who were driving but couldn’t make them out.  Dusk had settled across the area but there was still enough light to see his surroundings.  He would have to wait until they exited the vehicles—if anyone did—to determine if these were the ones he was waiting for in this case.

The black Cadillac stopped down the block and the driver apparently remained inside the darkened compartment.  Two men got out and were brandishing machine pistols, making no attempt to fully conceal the weapons.  That much he could see clearly.  These certainly appeared to be the kind of men, he thought, who talked about capping the mother-f’ers, a ghetto word for killing anyone in authority or not, in their way, or from a different gang.

All right then… here we are… come a little closer.  Show what you are.                         

The taller of the two met one other man from the brown Buick who had dropped him out and drove on, out of sight.  The third man appeared as if he was trying to conceal a long barrel along his side.  It’s probably a shotgun, Herman thought.

He had three targets and he knew they may not be the men he had seen before as they moved toward the entry of the store carrying weapons.  Every shot would have to count if he expected to live another day and take more of the enemy out.  He didn’t have an outlawed silencer on the end of the barrel of his 30.06 bolt action rifle.  His quick fire practice had to pay off.  There was no doubt that these men were there to rob and kill.  He could either kill them first or walk away.  Streams of sweat rolled down the sides of his face.  He felt his forehead begin to bubble up.  It was a matter of seconds before the salty water would get into his eyes.  His spirit caught him. 

Herman was shaking as he brought the rifle up, resting it on the back of the bench to sight a target and aim.  Once the rifle was placed in position, he suddenly felt something else—as if another hand was with him—and his arms and body stopped shaking.  He thought of his daughter, Anna waiting in a world through the fog of a paralyzing mental trauma.  People like these deserved nothing less than what he was about to do.  But he couldn’t squeeze the trigger.  He didn’t know if these were the men who killed his son and raped his daughter and wife.  He knew their race.

Passing the point of no return, he watched the first target leave quickly when he couldn’t open the door and walk out of sight.   The other two men turned toward the bench momentarily but didn’t see Herman clearly.   Herman was able to sight in a second target and again the Holy Spirit mercifully stopped him.

Herman calmly rose from behind the bench and followed him.  He saw him get into a Cadillac and leave quickly.  No one was going to die in his sights today.  Herman walked the rest of the way across the street to the front of the liquor store.

The perpetrator didn’t know that he was the man who came close to killing him and put him into the eternal black and likely hell-fire for an eternity.  Herman stood in front of the store for a minute and didn’t see any movement so he crossed the street to leave.  Something spiritual was going on inside of him and he wasn’t sure what it was, but knew he had to listen and not do what he set out to do.  He did commit sin in his view and had to confess how much he hated other men and close he came to murder. 

            Before he placed his rifle in the car on the passenger’s side, he lost the contents of his stomach.  The sickness came upon him quickly, without warning nor did it matter to him; it was but a small bit of penance thus far for the hate filled place his mind visited for so many hours.  It was as if the act had consequences but the vomit carried away much of the evil in his heart.  He slowly drove home.  They’re gone, he thought.  They’ll be hurting someone else.  But as all things, it is in God’s hands, not mine. A few blocks away he noticed the beige and brown Buick traveling on the street past the turn to the liquor store.  He passed it peacefully.

*

Sam arrived at the Kingfisher of Nashville early to wait for Sara.  She was his best chance to get to the Shroud and the people responsible for Cheryl’s murder.  It was a restaurant on the outskirts of the city that Sara knew and committed to be there.  He hoped she would show. 

He knew she may be risking some standing or worse by helping him.  She may be putting her place in ANSWER at risk at the very least or she may be putting her life at risk.  It was an unknown during these times of strife.  He didn’t want her to suffer at all because of him or anything he might do with the information—he had to protect her from either in case there was anyone watching or listening.

In his view, Sara was intelligent enough to learn and know better than the political junk she was involved in and promoting.  He didn’t understand why she bought into all of their arguments—or even if she truly did.  But he knew she must believe some or most of it to be so committed and involved with ANSWER—to Sam, an unfathomable notion for a bright and educated person. 

One day he thought he would like to learn how she came to think the way she did about collectivism.  Certainly at the root of it must be human compassion—the drive to help the poor.  He knew that much.  The best ways to help the poor seemed to be the crux of the disagreement.  Sam would never understand how subjugation to government helps anyone. 

He was curious about her.  He wouldn’t debate or argue with her, he told himself.  He just wanted to understand her.  Besides debating her would not be a friendly thing to do for all she’s done to help me—someone she doesn’t know and someone she doesn’t have to help at all.  He thought that there seems to be a lock on the minds that the left takes credit for and counts in their numbers.  It seems that so many never deviate from the script set out by people like Sara.  It was as though they are sworn to some kind of Faustian bargain to stick to the lines given over to them by a cruel overseer.  Sara was no cruel overseer.    

Sam’s opinion that much of what the left stands for is inherently evil given the militant secularism foisted on their hearts to force a Nation to accept anything and everything—most of which weren’t positives for children or society at large.  It all—the liberal dogmas against freedom, religion and for a sterile, stripped initiative to achieve, collectivist environment—used to be only annoying and discouraging to him for the sake of the Nation.  Now the political differences between people were dangerous and violent.  Both sides were using something to justify violence and neither side could be right doing so.  But Sara had been a friend and deserved his respect for that.  Dangerous ideas were strangling happiness and confidence of being free.    

He watched the front entry while sipping a beer the waiter brought to his table.  There are plenty of vegetarian choices,he thought.  At least maybe she can find something to eat.  Maybe she can help, maybe she can’t.  In either event I hope she’s all right.  One of these days I would like to know more about her. 

She walked in looking side to side as if she was afraid someone was following her.  Sam didn’t look like an agent of the government or anything like that necessarily—but he didn’t look like he could not possibly be one either.  She believed the story about his wife.  If he was acting, he was a great actor, she thought.  There had been nothing structured, nothing contrived sounding in his approach. 

She did hear the news story early in the struggle about the woman and child who had been injured near the courthouse that first day.  The murder had yet to be reported.  Sadly, in her view, there’d been a number of attacks, murders, arson and looting—things on the streets were out of control when their blood is up.  Part of her saw justification—that was the word in her group—and everyone involved in ANSWER were encouraged to see the positives that came out of the chaos.  The word was that the government will bend, will change and will have to address their grievances in order for Nashville to return to some degree of normalcy.    

She was finding it difficult to believe that one in its entirety though.  To Sara, chaos and violence weren’t the answer, no matter the pronouncements some made that violence was always necessary or to be used as a threat in order to effect change in a revolution.  She worried she would forget what it was the revolution was to bring the Nation.  Nashville was an unlikely place for major changes to take place that would actually help people. 

Still this was her home and the starting point for the south.  Besides Atlanta, she thought it was the city where the germ of change could have a wonderful influence.  She often thought Nashville could compete with Atlanta as the center for progressive ideals.  A golden city could be reformed and established for all its people and show the rest of the south how good it can be if only—people had to listen and do the right things.

Sam quietly went to her and brought her to their table.  He smiled. 

“How are you, Sara?  Did the move go without a hitch?”

“Yes, Sam, it went well.”

“I hope you had help at the other end—near the courthouse—wherever you set up over there.”

“Yes, there was plenty of help waiting for me—it wasn’t hard, Sam.”

“I can sense this conversation is strained.  I’m sorry, Sara.”

“What are you sorry for, Sam?”

“I’m sorry I may put you off.  You know we feel different about things.  I worry that I have put you in a bad place, a dangerous place—and I can’t stand the idea of you coming to be harmed—I wouldn’t have anything happen to you.”

“No… no, I’m okay, man.  Don’t worry about me.  You’ve suffered a loss I can’t imagine and I don’t blame you for wanting the police to arrest somebody.  Sam, hurting anyone is not what I’m about.  I hate the thought of it.”

“I know you do, Sara,” he said just before he downed the last of the frosted, clear mug’s contents.

“Thanks for the dinner, Sam.”

“You’re welcome.  I hope you like what they have here, Sara.  I’ve been here a few times and know they have some good food that does not include meat.”

“I’m not totally sure what you expect,” she smiled.  “I like fish and some poultry on occasion.”

He saw her smile and returned favor for favor.  She knew him to be a friend so far, enough—as someone who respected her and used judgment although he did not judge her.

“Please eat well, Sara.”

“Well I haven’t had much since all of this began last month—crackers, peanut butter and jelly mostly—I’m very hungry.”

After the waiter served their dinner, Sara asked him why he hasn’t asked her opinions about things.  “Do you assume you know of me?”

“I’m afraid I’m guilty of that but whether you and I agree on every issue is not so important at all.  You’ve been helpful to me, Sara and I am in your debt for that.”

“And you’ve been honest with me, Sam.  Nothing has come back on me since I gave you some names to talk to about your wife and I appreciate that.”

“I haven’t used your name and I won’t, believe me.”

“I’m so sorry about what happened to your wife.  I never thought we’d be in the place where people are hurting and actually killing each other.  I don’t know what to say but that I’m sorry and sick about it,” she said, looking through perched eyes before casting her view toward the edge of the table in front of her.

“Yeah, it’s something horrible… it happened and never should have.  If only I’d been there…  I’m not able to speak about it yet, I’m sorry.  I can’t think about what she went through,” he said and paused.  There was no smile on his face.  He stared into the distance past her.

“I’ll do all I can to help you and the police on this, Sam.  The Shroud has been here, something I didn’t want because they scared me when I heard about what they were saying.  I’m not sure if any of them are still here.  I’ll ask around and find out more about them.  I do have some information for you tonight.”

“I don’t want you to put yourself at risk, Sara.  That’s something else I could never forgive myself for if something were to happen,” he said as the waiter returned.  “Nothing else for me but make sure the lady is taken care of—Sara?  Please order anything else you want.”

“I’ve had plenty, Sam, thank you.”

The waiter left with a quiet order Sam placed for two servings of a red wine. 

“I know you want to know more about this thug group who call themselves the Shroud, Sam.  Although as I’ve said, I do not know if any of them were at the place where your wife drove that day, they were in Nashville and I have one name and something close to an address.”

“Okay, Sara, thank you and you know I won’t…”

“I know.  It’s Luther Giovanni.  He sometimes goes by Lute,” she said and stopped.  “He’s one of them I’m sure.  My source is never wrong about these things and knows him pretty well.  They have been emailing and blogging each other for a while.”

Sam thought for a moment.  He wanted the information on Luther Giovanni but he also wanted to know about her source.  He wanted to know who it was and where he or she lives and works.

“Thank you very much.  I’ll try to find him.  Don’t worry, I’ll be nice,” he said while managing a forced smile.  He took the piece of paper from her hand, folded it and slid it into his shirt pocket.  It was another start. 

In his mind, he saw Anne’s eyes, wide open and wondering… looking into her father’s eyes waiting for answers.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for, Sam.  Be careful though… I’ve heard that the Shroud have a list of people they want to kill and I think some of it has happened.  Have you heard of Bill Minnett?  He was shot at a plant last week.”

“Yes, I know about that.  I was there.”

“Oh, God I didn’t know!  Was he a friend of yours?  I’m so sick about it,” she said, cupping her face in her hands.  “This is insane!”

“Do you suppose you could tell me who told you about the Shroud?”

“I don’t know, Sam… I know it’s important but he’s a professor who writes a blog and has a very visible profile.  He’s not involved in this mess and that I can promise you.”

“Very well, Sara, I understand.  Maybe you’ll consider telling him about me and see what he says—whether he’ll meet me.”

“I can do that.”

*

Millions of wings are flying into each other and some are crashing, causing their owners to plummet to their spiritual and at times a destiny of actual physical death.  The Nation is divided.  The enemies of each side are often difficult to determine.  People of good will who were part of both the left and the right were being drowned out by the noise of their loudest.  People of good will from both ends of the political spectrum are being ignored.  Men and women who were not political and avoided even thinking about the issues are sometimes in the crossfire of dangerous traffic, terrible fires, and violent riots.            

Herman visited his church to confess.  He was convinced that he was damned to hell for what he had planned and came so close to carrying it out.  Sam was working as an amateur detective alone and unsure, without a tether to safety.  Sara took her place near the courthouse just before the National Guard moved in force to clear the building once and for all.  Grayson, Elijah, Caesar and Zeke were celebrating their conquest.  Bill Rousch was keeping a low profile and working with the lawyer provided by an unknown benefactor.  Anna and Maria were slowly recovering.  Anna could talk.  Maria struggled with any communication with the outside world—a world she now despised.  The loss of her son was much to bear.   

The Mayor of Nashville, a long service Democrat, had to do something about the occupation even though he thought it meant a loss of support from some of those who elected him.  He finally agreed to the action plan the Governor and National Guard developed to take back the courthouse.  The President was working with advisors on an executive order to stop the violence.  It was an order that was short of declaring martial law—but rather as strong recommendations to every major metropolitan area.  He figured it a safer course to avoid the appearance of implementing an improper and unconstitutional level of executive power.

The two campaigns for president were promising an end to the violence.  Both campaigns promised a list of actions that would be taken if elected—from health care to lower taxes.  It was a constant.  The promises were repeat promises.  The government would be either more or less involved in lives depending on which party was successful and either won outright or cheated to claim a win.  It seems the government becomes more involved regardless of the outcome of any election.

I attended a meeting at work where the difficulties of transportation for deliveries will be discussed to solve the problem.  The firearm products we manufacture are in high demand and overtime has become the rule of the day.  Most of the transportation industry has shut down.  Ours is the only industry forecasting the highest level of profits ever experienced.  I feel ambivalent about that because of what it means across the Nation.  I wonder how many of our products are being used to murder people—men and women living targets.  Children are being killed in the crossfire.

*

Soldier of Infinity had made his way back to Seattle.  He decided to move there in order to be closer to the Shroud.  Seattle was as progressive as his home city of San Francisco.  He found it easier to move around the city and more affordable.  He could afford to take an apartment closer, just outside the city unlike the bay where one had to be sixty miles away to find any relief in the cost of rent.  He knew the culture was the same as he enjoyed in San Francisco.  He felt safer in Seattle and there were plenty of jobs for systems analysts.

Caesar, a prominent member of ANSWER and Antifa led over thirty loyal operatives of the Shroud.  He directed all of them to meet in the city park away from anything electronic, away from any ears and police.  He thought it was time to speak to all of them and keep them motivated and driven.  He expected to arrange more work soon on his path to contribute to taking America down.  He dreamt about enjoying the downfall within a single year and his place of leadership.  One month of their time had passed and there were few signs of weakness still. 

Troops and police were engaging more across the country and being forced to take ever more severe actions.  Luckily for the leftists, most of the media remained compliant to their revolution and more than willing to cast the police—and now the troops in a negative light.  Caesar had an opportunity to capitalize on the public sentiment he thought was rising strong against law enforcement.  Many large cities had begun to win support for defunding the police and had already elected leaders who promised to continue the same re-purposing of police and no cash bail.  Few victims of the reactive crime wave had a voice or were considered by the leaders of the derelict.      

There was a growing anti-revolutionary sentiment in more of the public against riots and this caused fear within the hearts of Caesar’s comrades.   The public revulsion over the riots, fires, and murders as showing up in great numbers on social media could cause a loss of heart by many on the left and take their willingness to fight away—exactly at the wrong time.  He remembered how it happened back in 2020.  Following the 2021 installation of Biden however as President, he thought the government was on the verge of collapse.  It would just take a little more to have the majority of the public screaming for relief.  His loyal members gathered in the furthest corner of the park away from any roads.  He knew part of what he must do was to reassure them and motivate them to fight on with him.      
            Being that there were riots and other actions still active, the time seemed right to recruit more men and women into the Shroud.  The time was right to expand their operations.  With all of the confusion and the tens of thousands of cases that were growing in number daily, they should be able to make war without being stopped by anyone.  He wiped his forehead with a silk comfort cloth and started to speak.

“Welcome warriors!  I’m happy to see you here, tonight, in this beautiful place of nature not spoiled by some evil sons of bitches only interested in the next dollar!  The time has come to press forward!  As much as they fight us, we’ll hit them harder!  And we’ll do that until we prevail and take this country back for the people!

Come with me!  Stay with me!  We’re close to winning brothers and sisters!  The end of corrupt white male dominance is at hand!  Our job is to put them in their place.  If not in the crematorium, in the ghettos!  Let them know what it is like to live like they’ve forced millions to live in poverty because of the corruption of capitalism and racism and want!  They’re letting their hearts give out with no health care!  Let them know what it is like to be shaken down by the pig cops very time they walk outside!  Let them feel the pain of a sorry-assed existence when they don’t know where their next meal will come from!  I tell you, the time is near and we’re going to make it happen!  Are you with me?”

A chorus shouted out in unison, “Yeah!”

“And I tell you this—we are going to add to our number and step up to the task!  Our hope has given way to a new reality all across the country.  It’s up to every single person here to do his or her part in this struggle!  Are you with me?”

“Yeah!” the crowd returned the answer.

“I know most of you know better than to believe in the fairy tale of there being a God.  Those of you who think there is—maybe you’ll come to the rational acknowledgment that what you’ve been taught all these years is as wrong as we’re right about the absolute right and need to share the wealth!  There is no such thing as a God looking down on you to catch you playing with yourself!” he said to laughter from the thirty-some odd number of followers who listened to Caesar as if he were a god.

If there were a God, then she’d look down and enjoy the struggle you’re making—the struggle of a people rising—taking their hearts and minds and using them to win a society of equity and fairness!  If there was a God, she’d surely agree with us!  She’d understand and certainly be gracious enough to help us by throwing the evil white sons of bitches into the sea to drown.  But as great as that would be, it is only a fairy tale.  We have guns to use!  We have the right weapons and the right idea!

It is right to kill in war and since there is no God to condemn anyone killing in the name of justice, we are doing the right thing!  Let no man doubt that fact!  Are you with me?” he asked them, the warning to each written on his face as he focused his eyes and used an angry stare.

“Yeah!” the chorus of thirty voices sounded at once.

“Good!  Listen to me brothers and sisters!  The men and women pigs who run things and have run things into the ground—those racist, misogynist exploiters, those evil abusers of people, those killers of nature—their time is over and out time has begun!  We’re going to stop them from destroying our planet, the earth! 

In every conflict where people of the good and right have had to rise up and rebel against the rich and powerful, there has been war and death!  Those corrupt owners, those capitalist whores, will not leave peacefully!  They never leave easily—they love the dollar too much!  They have to be forced and we’re part of the sharp end of the sword to push them away!  Whenever pigs meet force, some will have to die!  It be will them and not us because of you! 

I’ve heard it said by some who are even in agreement with us that what we’re advocating is akin to the nasty little people who kill doctors performing abortions—that murder is murder no matter the cause behind it—but let’s slap that notion down right here, right now!  We’re nothing like them! 

We’re fighting for our share, for an end to war and racism, for an equal sharing of those good things-of every good thing—that right now, the privileged think it is only they that are entitled to enjoy!  Bull-shit!  We’re going to take it from them and give it all to our brothers and sisters in need.  People must get what they need!  People die if they don’t!  We are on the front lines making it happen for every poor person in this sick-ass, suck-ass country!  We are healing America by killing the specifically human virus of greed!  Are you with me?”

“Yeah!” the crowd answered, gaining in confidence and audacity.

“Down with the pigs!”  Caesar shouted as he raised his arms at angles forming a “V.”

“Down with the pigs…  Yeah!”  The thirty soldiers happily called out.

            “So I’m telling you all to find one or two good warriors who will join our fight, who can be trusted to work dismantling the patriarchal horror of white male dominance.  We’ll join together soon brothers and sisters and the day will be ours!  In the meantime, there’ll be a new wave of operations—we have taken out some churches.  Now we are going to take out some homes too!  It is time to take the war to them where they live.  If they’re in the way, they’ll die.  Let us go out and do the job!  Zeke and Lute will give each of you your next mission.  Follow the instructions carefully, brothers and sisters so that there are no mistakes made out there in our glorious work for fairness.  We need you to come back to us!”

Caesar and another leader who had maintained a low profile, Shing Chen remained behind after the followers filed out in a joyous mood, laughing and singing to each other about the coming surge of what they considered the true American Marxist spirit of revolution.  Rasim, a cloaked religious warrior who had lived in the United States for two years registered as a student at Washington State University remained crouched in silence covering the corner of the front room he took as his own space.  He wore the black turban of the Taliban though his home country was Iran.

“They’ll make good front line soldiers when we attack, Caesar.”

“Yes, they will have no choice after they are implicated in this stage.”

“They’ll have to lead the attack.”

“Agreed, Shing and what of us?  Has the director said what he wants of us when the day comes?”

“We’ll push them from the rear,” he said and laughed.  “And then we’ll take a high position in the Party Congress of the new United States of America for the People.”

*

 Sam made arrangements to take off work for one week of vacation with little notice.  It was important for him to begin the search for Luther Giovanni as soon as he could.  Business was steady and there was work.  The murder of Bill Minnett had not stopped the contract between Dupree International and Daley Electric.  His death though did have the effect of stripping away the excitement of more work coming into the plant.  Gaines, Harry and Sam worked in rote instead of joy and did their jobs to prepare as nothing more than day activities until they could return home.

Mark Smith spent more time in the office as he felt there was little need to travel and visit clients.  What business they would schedule had to come to him.  The work was a matter of writing orders over the internet and telephone system.  He was afraid to leave his family alone during these volatile times.  His job wasn’t worth an extraordinary effort anymore.  His job wasn’t worth any effort if it came down to a choice between it and his family.  He sensed the time would come when a call to defend his country may pull him away from the people and work he loved for a while. 

Sara had given the name and the last known neighborhood to Sam as to where Luther was living.  He looked for Giovanni  the internet and found his blog, an amateurish page filled with poor writing consisting of rants against Trump and conservatives in red states along with comments posted that agreed with him.  It appeared he had few members who visited the site.  But there was no more specific of an address for this man anywhere available to him; he had only a proximity.  Sara had given all that she knew about him.  He would have to go there and hope Luther Giovanni could be found once he was on the streets of Seattle—a daunting chance—but it was all he had.

Sam Adams, an ordinary American caught in the middle of a giant conflict—one he didn’t know how large and how pervasive.  He could not know.  His life was work and family until he lost his wife, his partner in everything—his lover and the woman who contributed so much more than he, to provide Anne and them a home with their gentle teaching of life truths.  Theirs had been a peaceful, uplifting home—a loving home that included God and Jesus through their church.  The family was unabashedly Christian in nature and nurture.  Their life was happiness based on each other and a world view through their Christian lenses.

They were taught and believed that it was right not to provoke others, but to love everyone.  It was wrong to hate and against the principles that are important to live in good standing with the church—and God himself.  When Cheryl was taking Anne to the museum that day, she only wanted to take her daughter to learn.  She was trying to avoid conflict and thought she was far enough away but people with hard hearts found her. 

It was as if she was drawn to a trap by people much unlike her and Sam and who did not share the tolerance the Christian Adams family lived day in and day out.  She never had a chance.  Nashville took on a much different look and feel that day as thousands of visitors descended upon the city to do as much damage as they could during the time they had.

He wasn’t living as he did before.  He knew that he fell short as every human being and proved it to himself and God every day he tried to find the people who killed Cheryl.  He knew he didn’t plan to go to the police again as Sara thought.  He was using her and had not been completely honest.  Maybe she would feel different about helping me if she knew, he thought.  That’s absurd—of course she would feel different! He wanted to do something himself.  He tried in vain to avoid thoughts of what he was really doing—he wanted to kill other human beings.  He also knew it was wrong.

He left for Seattle after leaving Anne in the care of friends who had a daughter her same age.  He had over 1900 miles to travel—making five hundred miles each twelve to fourteen hour day he should be there sometime early Monday morning.  It wouldn’t be too hard.  He had plenty to think about during the trip.

He packed a few clothes, a rifle and pistol—he told himself the weapons were only for self-defense—and began his journey on a fairly open Interstate highway.  He was on his way to the Northwest with as few stops as it took to get the fuel he needed and to sleep a few hours at a time along the route.  He chose to use Cheryl’s mellow golden colored Kia Sportage still showing damage along with a new windshield.

Once he arrived in Seattle he wouldn’t have much time before he had to return home to Nashville and resume his normal schedule and routine.  He thought it likely a fool’s errand but he had to avoid the nightmare of not having tried.  The work would have to be done quickly.  He had to find the guilty, take care of them with some measure of justice and get back on the Interstate as quick as he started the trip.  There was no time to waste, no time to use for any purpose or reason but his job and then return to Cheryl’s headstone to love her in prayer and tell her he had done what had to be done.  The payment richly deserved by the guilty who threw bricks and killed her for being her.

He passed the first convoy of National Guard vehicles in Arkansas.  The unit was on the way to Little Rock where a number of churches and schools had been bombed out and burnt.  They would deploy to patrol the streets and guard what was left of the buildings.  Little Rock was like so many cities now—places where people let their hate express itself in every way as they let their darker side loose, as they prayed at the altar of secular man, violent in nature, homicidal now again, and willing to take the ultimate prize from others.  They must revel in the fire that was burning American society down.

Fifteen hours more.  Once he arrived he would have to make use of the sketchy location Sara provided—it was more of a neighborhood than an address—and he would have to find this Giovanni there.  Luther, Lute… I have his name… Luther.  There can’t be too many, surely.  I have to find him soon or I’ll probably lose the lead forever.

As he drove along, he picked up different radio stations and listened to many scattered reports that highlighted the violence across the nation in protests against the police.  There was virtual segregation of people in several cities along racial and ethnic lines.  The reporters had difficulty reporting the phenomenon in a politically correct way—which were in fact, fortresses of neighborhoods where people different than they were at great risk.  There had been killings of police officers and people involved or not in Austin, Atlanta, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.  The public hysteria ginned up over one incident of police going too far causes some number of black men and women to react with hate and violently to any police contact.  And so the cycle that feeds the Marxist narrative becomes human madness across the American landscape.  The leaders needed people to riot and destroy.        

In one particular case, the victims happened into a parking lot of an apartment complex, a public housing project and a strip mall at the wrong time—when a large number of residents trapped them, pulled them out of their vehicles and beat them to death.  They were killed for no reason other than because they were a different race—including one who was trying to recruit people to join a planned leftist assault on the Oklahoma City’s courthouse. 

Before he had a chance to explain to the group he expected to join him to stop racism and war, he was nothing but a large piece of dead meat lying next to his destroyed and burning hybrid.  The fliers he had brought made the ignition easier for the perpetrators and quick as the interior was set ablaze first.  He was the wrong race, in the wrong place, and at the wrong time.  Nothing he screamed in his defense was heard.  His mother would get the news of his murder from two police officers standing in her apartment doorway.

 Violence was let loose by Satan acting out at the opportunity.  Everyone with a grievance or a perceived grievance seemed to be ready to act in some way, whether against property or against other human beings.  Lines of civilian soldiers are massed in their respective camps though the battlefield is not a single plain or across a mountain or in the seas.  The camps are made up of people inside their homes and in organized groups located at many different locations for protest and showing force in numbers.     

Some of the injuries began between opposing groups during the daytime at organized protests.  Another murder was committed because a man wandered outside into his city neighborhood when he was promptly executed because he and the dog that he was walking didn’t belong on the street at that time.  It’s war between ideologies and smaller battles because of nothing or being a different race.  The root cause is hate in all the tragedies.  Its hate for ideas and for circumstances of birth.  If there were no different races, Sam thought, hate and killing may still plaque the nation because of the color of clothing, the length of arms, or some other such nonsense that some people would pick as a cause.  He knew that black racism is as real as white racism, or any race.  It is all wrong for the human experience and a terrible waste of time, soul, and heart.  Sam drove on.  No human beings are superior to other human beings as a circumstance of birth, but as they grow, many are held back by the culture that surrounds them as they grow.  Cultures are many and some are positive and some are negative, non-violent versus violent, God fearing versus no God, and loving versus hating.

He knew that many bitter people do teach their children hate and that white privileged, greedy, and non-caring people were keeping them down because of their race and couldn’t be trusted.  They would be surprised when their children grew to adulthood and killed a white, Asian, or Hispanic person.  And then later the parents and the child grown to adulthood suffers as some of their offspring are jailed for life.  This happens after believing the deceased privileged victim was at fault somehow and their poor child was yet another victim of discrimination against his race.  It’s always someone else’s or society’s fault—not the dear child brought into the unfair world.  It couldn’t be that the parents think this in their heart and then promptly teach the next child the same things. 

Sam drove on.  He passed parts of the lands of Missouri and Kansas before entering Colorado.  He thought of the beauty of each state and how blessed the United States had been—from mountains to plains, from sea shores to thick forests, the country was beautiful and without question, the best place on earth to live.  Most people of all backgrounds and races live in harmony with their liberty and free air.  He remained motivated to do something about those few who weren’t of happy hearts, souls and minds.  Mile after mile became more dedicated to do his part in protecting the innocent.  Not even the fatigue that soon bore down on him and made him bone-tired would keep him from making the effort.

He wiped his face with cold water he kept by his seat to avoid falling asleep as he noticed the Colorado sign.  It would be on to Boulder where, because of the continuous radio coverage of the event, he knew there were a large number of people occupying the city buildings in the downtown square.  Reports were that the authorities maintained some control—however with no end in sight of the occupation. 

He was unsure how close he would have to drive toward downtown off the Interstate bypasses.  He didn’t want to be delayed by a mass demonstration that could cause him to be bottled up for hours.  As Sam drove within thirty miles of the city limits, he was passed by hundreds of motorcycles, many sporting the American flag and other patriotic accoutrements that identified the riders as people with whom he had much in common.  MSNBC had reported that calling oneself a patriot was somehow a code word for hate groups.  He laughed about that reflection and it brightened his mood inside the dark vehicle.  There’s a hate-filled, lie-filled media that somehow keeps just enough viewers to survive. 

There was no doubt that a brewing up of trouble was now boiling over.  Many Americans had their blood up and were determined to express it.  There most likely would be inevitable collisions of ideologies and resulting violence across the Nation on a scale not heretofore seen in the interior United States by anyone alive these days. 

Sam figured the coming battles would be something unlike any American alive has experienced—as both sides had weapons and a growing will to fight, especially while the underfunded police were greatly outnumbered in the cities.  The Eagles were coming to Boulder.  Something bad will happen very soon in Boulder, he thought.  He prayed, Dear God, Jesus, and blessed Spirit, please help this Nation heal.  Please help us turn back to you dear Lord above, please.  Please be with us and guide us out of these troubles.  Thank you, dear Lord for your blessings.  I love you, dear Lord.

As dangerous as it was becoming, his driving at eighty miles per hour ae he closed on Boulder, a mid-west mountain region center of progressive thought, he was torn between helping the Eagles and driving on toward Washington State.  Sam thought he knew what he should do.  He gradually slowed and began nodding toward each rider as they passed his vehicle.  He gave them thumbs up signals and when it was safe, pulled his hands together to signify he was praying for them.    

Something of an explosion was going to be in Boulder.  Freedom loving citizens were going to take the city back.  They were coming in on motorcycles in loud, confident droves.  They were coming to win the one battle, in one city, and it appeared as though no one could or would stop them.  People were likely going to be hurt soon.  Sam was half the distance to Seattle. 

The Eagles were on the way to join their brothers and sisters who lived in Colorado.  The riders came as far away as Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia and New York.  The advanced rider’s guards arrived downtown loud, angry, and saw their enemies.  John Rousch was the first to weigh into the crowd and began busting people in the way.  He drove his motorcycle into the crowd with hundreds following him and the battle was on.  The Eagles would not be denied.   

*

Lute Giovanni rested along with Grayson Melon and Elijah after their strategy meeting.  They were given their choice of drugs to use for the night before their planned assassination of Edward Chance, the President of the Valley View Preparatory School.  The school was a well-known conservative enclave of education that prepared undergrads for college and law school at Pepperdine University.  The target was an easy one for them to find and remove from the world without too much difficulty. 

The group was overjoyed that was their job and not something more difficult.  Seattle was a sweet place of Grayson. He left the room they all shared while Antifa, ANSWER and The Shroud were hitting the internet to recruit.  Soldier of Infinity decided to visit downtown to find some action and alcohol.  The trio would be in Seattle for three days and then their job was to find the Nazi Chance in Sacramento and rid the world of one more fundamentalist.

*

Herman returned to his home where David was still in front of the computer screen searching and making links as shortcuts to the desk-top.  He and Herman wanted to access sites that tracked detailed the planned marches, protests and movements of takers in the Los Angeles area—at least as much as they were posted on the internet to organize.  He smiled as the man entered and told him that his wife Anna had called.

“She said Maria had spoken, Mr. Gonzales.  She wants you to call her back.  Maybe they both can come home soon!”

The news filled him with joy.  He quickly dialed the return number and asked Anna if it was true.  She told him it happened suddenly, over dinner when she asked for the salt and afterward she had more to say.

“She asked about you, Herman.  She wants to know where you are and if you’re all right,” she said.  He heard his wife start to cry. 

His daughter was back.  She had fought out of the trap in her mind so callously forced on her and won.  He prayed she would put the incident behind her forever and forget it somehow.  It wasn’t important to remember the human animals that did the horrible things to her and her mother.  It was only important to remember what to watch for—to be wary of and never be unarmed in the face of such takers, such demons of evil.  The move to the countryside was all-important now—they can have the Heights—and screw it up as they have screwed up everywhere they have ever stayed—lived.

It would mean starting over and that was fine with Herman.  It would hard, very hard but all the equity, money and whatever else the house in the Heights meant—was not worth very much to him compared to being put into a position of killing another human being for any reason.  His family was the only thing that mattered in his life and they would make it just fine, he thought.  He told David he was going to pack a little and leave the next morning.

“I suggest you go somewhere safe, David.  You’ve been most helpful and I will be forever in your debt.  You are welcome to come with me of course but I don’t know where I’m going yet,” he said and smiled.  “You need to leave this place because it is too dangerous, friend.”

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