[Excerpted from THE BRIGADE by H. A. Covington. A young woman, an unwilling police informant, is having her initial "job interview" with the Northwest Volunteer Army.]
Ten days after the death of Lenny Gillis, Kicky had almost decided that nothing was going to happen, and she turned her mind toward finding some way to convince Martinez and Jarvis to give up and fold the operation and let her go. She was cogitating on this subject one night at about eight o’clock, as she dropped a fare off in front of the Vintage Plaza hotel on Broadway SW. She marked off the trip on her sheet, pocketed the ten dollar tip, and was about to pull over into the cab rank and wait for a possible pickup when the door opened behind her and someone got in. “Where to?” she asked her new passenger, her eyes still on her clipboard.
“To freedom, comrade, in a new nation under a new flag,” said a familiar voice. Kicky whirled around and saw the man she had been introduced to as Thumper sitting in the rear seat. He looked less biker-ish tonight, wearing a long-sleeved canvas jacket and slacks. “Shit!” she exclaimed. “Oh, uh, Comrade Thumper. I guess you’ve been following me around, huh? Sorry, sorry, I know, no questions. Uh, where do you want to go? I’ll need to call something in to my dispatcher.” She sounded flustered, but presumably the man would accept that as natural with him popping up in her cab like a jack-in-the-box.
Jimmy Wingo gave her an address in rural Clackamas County. “Call that in. It’s a restaurant and roadhouse, but we’re not actually going there. Tell your dispatcher I’ll want you to wait for a while. It will be a long trip, so the mileage will more or less match. This ought to cover it.” He leaned forward and gave her a hundred dollars in twenties. “That way your sheet will balance out, plus tip.”
Kicky called the bogus trip in and pulled out into Broadway. “Okay, where are we really going?” she asked.
“Just head toward Gresham,” he said. Kicky felt the phone at her side vibrate. She knew that the cops back in the operations center had heard and understood what was happening, and were recording. “Uh, okay, what happens now?” she asked.
“You’re going to meet someone and have a talk with them,” said Wingo genially. “And with me.”
“Get to tell my life story, huh?” remarked Kicky, navigating through the traffic. It was still light out, so she had no need for headlights.
“We already pretty much know that,” said Wingo. “We actually think you can be of some use to us. This cab, for instance. Cabbies are people we like to recruit. Taxis can go anywhere, be seen on the streets at any time of day or night, and no one thinks they’re out of place or questions their presence. For the time being, a lot of your work for the NVA will be doing just what you’re doing now, driving people and sometimes packages here, there, and everywhere. Of course you’ll have to get creative about your trip sheet. We’ve wanted to get someone with access to an Excelsior Cab for quite some time now. Most of the more upmarket fleets have GPIs installed in their cars to keep track of where their vehicles are going, make sure the driver’s not cooking his sheet or running off the meter or fucking off, that kind of thing. But Excelsior is owned by a couple of Bangladeshis who are too cheap to spring for the system. You might say you’re uniquely positioned. How bad was it down in Coffee Creek?” he asked, abruptly changing the subject.
“It wasn’t one of my more edifying experiences in life, thank you,” said Kicky sourly.
“I’ve been there myself. Angola, in Louisiana,” he told her.
Kicky was tempted to ask him if that’s where he was from, and what he had gone to prison for, but the old convict code immediately kicked in. You never asked. “That’s worse,” she admitted. “Even out here we’ve heard of Angola.”
“Any society that permits a place like that to be, has to be destroyed,” said Wingo, not angry or bitter, simply stating a self-evident fact.
“Is that possible?” asked Kicky, genuinely interested. “I mean, I meant what I said, I want in, but it seems to me we’re either going to have to have some kind of secret weapon to bring these bastards down with, or else just get really lucky.”
“There’s an old Norse saying: ‘Luck often enough will save a man, if his courage hold,’” Wingo replied. “McGee. That’s Irish, right?”
“Yeah, way back,” she said. “Both sides. My mom was a Harrigan. I remember my dad used to get drunker than usual every St. Patrick’s Day, before he split. I guess that’s about all of Ireland we kept with us. Some of my tats are Irish. The Book of Kells thing, and also I have a Celtic Cross on my ankle.”
“Well, the Irish never gave up for eight hundred years,” said Wingo.
“I hope we can win a bit sooner than that,” said Kicky with a small laugh.
“The Army Council is basing all its strategic thinking on an assumed thirty-year conflict,” said Wingo seriously.
Back in the operations center Lainie Martinez had her headphones on. She was listening intently and taking notes. “Ex con check record Louisiana DOC Angola”, “Use of taxis by t’sts”, and “30 year terror campaign (???!!!!)” Jamal Jarvis was off tonight, no doubt out doing the rounds collecting his graft and raping white prostitutes, for which Lainie was thankful. Now she could concentrate on what she was hearing.
Back in the cab, Kicky glanced into her side mirror. “Cops coming up in the left lane,” she said. “Two cars. They always move in pairs now.”
“I see them,” said Wingo. He shifted slightly and Kicky was sure he’d pulled out a pistol. “Just watch your speed and wave at them if they look at you when they go by. Don’t look away.”
“That would be One Charlie Nine and Ten,” said Andy McCafferty, quickly checking a computer monitor to identify the units. “You want me to get on the horn and warn them to back off?” he asked Lainie.
“No,” she said. “Let’s see how they both handle this.” The two police cars slowly pulled up alongside the cab in the left lane; the cops in the passenger side looked into the cab. Kicky waved casually; Wingo looked them right in the face but did nothing. The two units pulled on ahead, and after a few minutes made a left turn onto a freeway entrance ramp.
“No problem,” Wingo remarked.
“How did you know they wouldn’t try to pull us over?” asked Kicky.
“That was just a regular patrol,” said Wingo. “They might have tried to pull you if you’d been speeding, or they had a warrant on you, or something else routine, but they’re under orders not to tangle with any Volunteers they detect. They’re supposed to hang back, keep us in sight, then get on the horn and yell for an RRT, a Rapid Response Team. Those are the ones you have to watch out for, small convoys with multiple squad cars and one or two armored trucks or vans with them. The armored personnel carriers have a squad of muscle men in body armor and all kinds of heavy weapons inside. Some of them have concealed .50-caliber machine guns in a kind of retractable turret. Remember, ordinary police will never engage any suspect or enemy whom they even suspect might have equal or greater firepower. They always maintain distance and call for backup. Preserving their own lives is a very serious priority with them, and they are trained to operate in those parameters.”
“How the hell do those bastards know about the fifties?” demanded McCafferty in a stunned voice back in the ops center. “Not to mention our terror contact SOP?”
“How do you think?” snorted Lainie. “The whole PB has been compromised from day one. If we hadn’t had our heads up our asses we would have phased out and banned all white male police officers and about half the white females, years ago. No offense, Andy, of course, but the only way we’re ever going to excise the virus of racism and sexism from this society is by a complete removal of power from the hands of those who carry it.” McCafferty either didn’t hear her response, or else chose the politic route of pretending not to hear it. He hunkered down over the receiver and diddled with the dials.
“GPI shows they’re entering Gresham,” he said.
In the cab Wingo said, “Hang a right here.”
“They’re turning onto Arbor Lane,” said McCafferty, checking his GPI.
The taxi was now driving down a residential street of ranch-type houses that would have been called middle class, back in the days when America still had a middle class. Dusk was falling now, and the street seemed desolate and deserted; there were no lights shining from about half the houses on the street. At the far end of the street Wingo told her to pull into the driveway of one of the apparently darkened homes. He got out, and she followed suit. “Some day you may have to pick yourself a location for a meet like this,” he said conversationally. “Let’s see how sharp you are. Why do you think we chose this house?”
“Uh, I see a front and side door, and I assume there’s a back, so a lot of exits,” said Kicky. “That looks like a big open field in the rear, vacant lots or something like that, and this street is a straight shot down to the end here, so you can pretty much see who’s coming a good ways off. It would be hard for anyone to sneak up on us. All kinds of side streets around here you could slide around in and most of them feed onto main arteries, so once you got loose either in a car or on foot, you’d have a pretty good chance to get away, especially in the dark.
“Very good!” he said approvingly. The lights flashed on a car parked down the street; it started and moved slowly toward them, then into the driveway. The door opened and a small, birdlike woman with gray hair got out. She was wearing a simple dress and carrying a large battered handbag.
“Hey!” she called cheerily as she walked up to them and the car pulled away. “Y’all eaten supper yet?” Her accent was more distinctly Southern than the man’s.
“We’re fine, Ma,” he said. “She’ll cook at the drop of a hat,” he said in an aside to Kicky. “Ma, this is Kicky McGee. Kicky, this is Ma. She kind of does the hiring for female Volunteers. She’s the one who decides tonight whether we bring you into the NVA, or whether we kill you and bury you in the basement.”
“Now you just hush!” scolded Ma. “Who are you tonight, anyway?”
“Thumper,” Wingo told her.
“Don’t mind Thumper, dear,” said the old woman. “He’s got a bug up his ass about women in general. He’s just trying to see if you scare easy.”
“Of course I’m scared!” snapped Kicky. “But I’m here, aren’t I?”
“Come on inside,” she said. She took the house keys out of her handbag and opened the door. She took them right into the kitchen and turned on the lights. Kicky didn’t see too much else of the home other than a darkened living room. Then she put the kettle on the stove and rooted around in the cupboard for cups. “Have a seat, both of you, and I’ll make us some tea. Tell me, dear, are you a Christian?” she asked Kicky suddenly, taking her by surprise.
“Uh…I don’t know how I’m supposed to answer that, ma’am,” Kicky said. “I think you already know what I am.”
“Yes, dear, I know,” said the old lady kindly, “But the two have never been as mutually exclusive as people tend to think.”
“Judge not lest ye be judged in turn and all that?” asked Kicky.
“Oh, poppycock!” said Ma. “This idea that no human being is supposed to ever make a moral judgment on anyone else is horse hockey. The Bible is full of people who did nothing but that. They were called prophets. There are all kinds of people running around today who are in urgent need of being judged. People make moral judgments all the time. The hog-jawed doo-doo birds who run this country have judged our entire race and condemned us all to death, and by God we need to start returning the favor!”
“Hog-jawed doo-doo birds?” laughed Wingo in amusement. “I never heard that one before. I’ll have to remember that.”
“You do that, young man. No, honey, the reason I asked was that I need to know what your moral universe is like. Everybody has one.”
“Uh, I don’t think I do,” said Kicky carefully. “I mean, where would I get a moral universe and what good would it do me if I had one? I just want in with the NVA to try and make some kind of better life for me and my baby, and well, I told myself I’d be honest with you, so I’ll say it. I want revenge! Revenge against some specific people who have hurt me, yes, but mostly just revenge on this whole damned filthy world that has never done anything except shit on me! I am just so tired of bad people winning all the time, so sick of nothing ever being right or good anymore. Why should it always be the bad people who win, and me who hurts? Goddamned niggers and Mexicans taking everything, goddamned cops beating me and shaking me down and locking me in a cage with animals, fucking Jews and rich bastards looking down their noses at me and treating me like dirt, I just want to hear them scream, and watch everything they have burn …” She put her hand to her mouth, and realized with sudden astonishment that she had begun to cry. “Jesus, where did all that come from?” she asked in a shaky voice.
“I’d say from the heart,” commented Wingo. “And ma’am, there ain’t a damned thing wrong with anything you just said.”
Ma took her hand. “Honey, if you’d given me some long speech that sounded like you’d been reading our books, and I thought you were telling me what you think I want to hear or something you’d been coached to say, I would have been suspicious, but you would be plain astonished to learn how many of us come into this thing running on nothing but pure rage. It is a righteous rage, the true Wrath of God, and it is a thing to be gloried in, not ashamed of. You have been done a terrible wrong, from the very moment of your birth, as has every man and woman with a white skin born in the past century. You have been denied your birthright, which is this world and everything in it, and you have every right to desire revenge and to seek it though our Army. Later on we’ll educate you, give you things to read and teach you how and why this terrible wrong has been done to you and to all of us, and by whom, and why, but pure righteous rage in your heart is a good starting point.”
“It’s just that—damn it all, things shouldn’t be like this!” Kicky sniffled, tears streaming down her face.
“And that tells me that you do indeed have a moral universe in you somewhere, in spite of the bad things you’ve done and in spite of the way you’ve lived your life,” said Ma. “That’s one of the things that make us different from these dark-skinned animals around us, Kristin. They glory in the filth of this world. They wallow in it like hogs in a trough. They love it, because like animals they don’t know it’s wrong. The muds have no knowledge of good or evil. They have only appetites to be sated.
"We know, and the Jews know as well, only the Jews worship that evil as their god. I think that was the secret of the forbidden fruit that Eve partook of in the Garden so long ago, that knowledge of right and wrong and the instinctive choice of right. For better or for worse, we ended up with that knowledge in our souls, and a hundred years of Jew lies and political correctness can’t eradicate it. In spite of everything, it’s still there in you, girl. You’re still good inside. The rest we can work on. The rest you can change.”
For the next hour, they simply sat around the kitchen table and talked. Kicky calmly went over her whole life, such as it was, from her childhood to the present, and with the exception of the events of the past couple of weeks, every bit of it was true. However deeply they had investigated her background, she knew it would all check out.
“I was going back to the life to try and make money so I could get out of Oregon, and take Ellie,” she admitted. “But I knew it was only a temporary fix. It Takes A Village is everywhere, and whatever file they have on me and Ellie would catch up with us, eventually. Then I recognized your guy Lockhart in Jupiter’s Den that day. I thought about it all day, and that night I was going to ask Lenny to introduce me, but he ended up dead. The rest you know. I don’t know what else to tell you guys,” she concluded. “If I’m going in that hole in the basement tonight, you’d better go get the shovel.”
“I didn’t think to bring one,” said Wingo.
“So what happens now? What do you want me to do?” asked Kicky.
“The next step is that we will arrange for you to receive a copy of the old Party Handbook and the new NVA General Orders,” said Ma. “The General Orders you need to memorize, and I do mean memorize, and then destroy the sheet of paper that they’re printed on, because if you’re caught with them in your possession it’s a federal felony carrying a death sentence. No kidding. These tyrants are killing people now simply for having a single sheet of paper. You need to have the General Orders committed to memory not just for your own security, but because you will be expected to obey them. Always. Without fail.”
“And not obeying the sheet of paper carries a death penalty from our side,” concluded Kicky, careful to use the word our. “Okay, I get it.”
“I hope you do, honey,” said Ma with a sigh. “The Handbook you need to read because it explains a lot of other things you need to know, deeper and more complicated things. It explains the nature of the corrupt and satanic society in which we live, why it must be brought to an end, and how we will accomplish that. The big picture, so to speak. Copies of the Handbook are too large to be destroyed except at necessity, although if you think you or your premises are about to be searched, for God’s sake hide it or destroy it. The Handbook is just as deadly dangerous to be caught with as the General Orders. Once we get a copy to you, you need to read it right away, because we can only let you have it for a few days and then we’ll need to get it back from you to pass on to the next person.”
“So when do I get to be a Northwest Volunteer?” asked Kicky.
“You don’t, not at first. We need to take a good long look at you and see how you perform, like any job,” said Wingo. “To begin with, you’ll be what some crews call an asset, what others call a candidate member. If we were niggers we’d use the term wannabe, if we were the Mob we’d call you connected but not yet made.
"That taxicab of yours still intrigues us,” he continued. “We have people and materials that need to do a lot of moving around. We start you out simple. We arrange a lot of business for you, posing as street hails because calling your dispatcher and asking for you specifically would raise suspicion. You drive people and stuff from point A to point B, you dummy up your records to make sure it all looks copacetic on paper, and we’ll pay you the meter and a good tip so you can actually make a nice legal income. If everything works out and you’re looking good to us in a few months, we start giving you some more stuff to do.”
“Okay, there is one thing I need to tell you guys right up front,” said Kicky hesitantly. “I know this may make you suspicious of me, but I can’t lie about it.” She took up a deep breath. “I don’t know if I can kill anybody. I know what I said about wanting revenge and all, and it’s true, but I just don’t know if I could point a gun at anybody and pull the trigger myself. I’m not saying I couldn’t, you understand. Hell, maybe I can. But I just don’t know, and if that’s the kind of test you want to give me to become a member, I’m not sure I can pass it.”
“You won’t be asked to make your bones for a good while,” said Wingo, “And even then, it will be voluntary on your part. This is not a regular war. Our people have to carry an immensely personal and crushing burden on their shoulders, and that goes far more so for the shooters and the bombers. Only a small number of people have the right combination of steady hand and nerves of steel, along with—oh, hell, I suppose you’d call it a lack of introspection, the ability to just do the job and then not worry about it afterwards. If they’re not right for it, their conscience gets to eating at them, they start losing their nerve and going to pieces and muttering about finding Jesus and getting forgiveness. No offense, Ma.”
“None taken,” said Ma. “It does happen, and then there are problems all across the board. White people are the greatest killers the world has ever known, but we have in fact been subjected to that century of social engineering and behavior modification through propaganda that I mentioned earlier, and in a lot of our people, that predator gene does seem to have been bred out.
"The NVA understands that as badly as we need combat soldiers, it’s just not a good idea to force somebody into that position. Kicky, we have got some women in this outfit that will shoot a man just as soon as look at him, if he is an enemy of our race. I know because I’m one of ’em. Maybe you’ll be one of ’em one day, maybe you won’t. You will never be asked to do anything that is beyond your strength. But you will find that as time goes on, and you come to understand who you are, that your strength is greater than you think. Now I reckon you and Thumper better be getting’ on back into town so you can finish your shift.”
Kicky went back out to the cab. Wingo hung back. “What’s the verdict?” he asked Ma.
She sighed. “That girl’s got something eating at her, but from what we know of her, it could be any one of a dozen things. If we excluded everybody with secret sorrows and secret sins in their hearts, there wouldn’t be too many Northwest Volunteers. I can’t down-check her.”
“Hardly a ringing endorsement,” commented Wingo.
“We can’t get so paranoid that we can’t function,” said Ma. “I’ll tell Oscar I think you should try her out, just keep her at arm’s length, which is what we do with new recruits anyway.”
“Got it. Say hello to Carter and Rooney and Shane for me when you get back to Dundee,” said Wingo as he headed out the door.
On the cab ride back, Wingo ran down for Kicky the procedures that would be used for providing her with her “special” fares, simple pickup codes via text message and cell phone for her rendezvous points with Volunteers needing transport, etc. As they neared the center of town, Kicky asked him, “What did Ma mean when she said you had a bug up your ass about women?”
Wingo sighed. “Same thing you probably feel about men. I’ve just been betrayed once too often. Nothing personal. I think that’s the worst thing that the Jews have done to us, in a way. Made white men and women hate and fear and mistrust one another. I know it’s wrong. I know all white women aren’t like the one who sent me to prison, and I figure you’re smart enough to know that all white men aren’t like Lenny Gillis.”
“Yeah, I know it in my mind,” said Kicky. “It’s just common sense that there have to be some good men left out there somewhere. But why the hell don’t I ever meet any?”
“The mutual consensus seems to be that white women are all neurotic and treacherous bitches teetering on the edge of outright insanity, who view men as enemies to be overcome and humiliated and scored off, while white men are all overgrown adolescents who are still playing with toys at age forty, and who don’t ever intend to grow up and take on any responsibility in life,” said Wingo. “And you know, there is a hell of a lot of truth in both those assessments. That’s what the Jews have done to us, may God damn them all to hell.”
“Does the NVA have a lot of women members?” asked Kicky.
“Mmm, some. Look, I’m afraid I still presume most white women are write-offs, but I will say this: the few remaining exceptions have more range than men do. The good ones are better, the smart ones are smarter, the brave ones are braver, and the vile ones are viler. Okay, tell you what, let’s just leave that subject. I know it’s rude, and there’s no call to be rude.”
“Well, I will say, you have yet to make any snide cracks about my lurid past,” admitted Kicky. “That’s encouraging.”
“You’ve already said that you know where you’ve been,” said Wingo with a shrug. “No call for me to remind you. Here, pull over on this corner. You’ll probably start getting some of our special trips tomorrow night. One of the people you drive will give you a copy of the Handbook and the General Orders.
"I’ll repeat what Ma told you, because this is important. Memorize the General Orders and then live by them. There’s only ten of them, just like the Commandments, and like the Commandments they’re just what they say they are: orders, not suggestions. You’ll have a couple of days to read the Handbook, and then you need to give it back to the next comrade who will ask for its return. Do not show it to anybody else or allow yourself to be caught with it, Kicky. Possession of a copy of the Party Handbook or the Army General Orders is considered by the ZOG court system to be prima facie evidence of NVA membership or association, and gets you a short ride strapped to a gurney into a little room with a needle in it. We’re not joking about that.”
“I know you’re not,” She pulled over and he opened the door. She did not look back at him. “Hey, Thumper, do I get some way to contact you if I need to?”
“Not yet,” he said. “No offense.”
“None taken,” she replied. “One more thing: if Ma had given you a thumbs down tonight, would you really have killed me?”
“Yes,” he said. “Does that bother you?”
“It would have bothered me more if you’d lied about it,” she said, looking back at him.
“Have a good one.”
“You too.” Then he was gone. The car door hadn’t been closed for twenty seconds before her phone vibrated. Kicky picked up another fare and didn’t call in until twenty minutes and several vibrations later.
“Why the fuck didn’t you call when I vibed?” yelled Lainie Martinez.
“They were obviously following me for some time without my knowing,” said Kicky calmly. “Suppose they still are, and someone saw me open my cell phone as soon as the guy got out of my cab?”
Lainie sighed, but got a grip. “Yeah, okay, I can buy that. As soon as you get off work and check your cab in, we’re picking you up at the bus stop and bringing you in here for a full debriefing. I want to know all about this Thumper character.”
I hope you meet him some day, bitch, thought Kicky. I hope he kills you before he kills me, so at least I get to watch you die.