Freedom's Sons, Chapter IV. - New Dawn
[The following is a draft chapter from the fifth Northwest Independence novel by H. A. Covington, Freedom's Sons, which details the first 50 years of the Northwest American Republic's existence.
I need to explain that originally, on Sunday morning, I posted just the first part, the Basic Law, and not the entire chapter. About five in the afternoon, I got one reaction in the comments section from a Jew who just plain FREAKED. I won't approve the comment because of the scatological language he used, but I have to say that this was the wildest, most shrill, most hysterical reaction of fear and loathing I have seen from a kike in a long, long time.
It made my day to the point where I simply have to add in the rest of the chapter, despite the length, and see if I can complete the job of driving this one Jew completely insane in the membrane. In fact, I think I'll leave it up for an extra day. - HAC]
(Six months after Longview)
The following document, subsequently known as the Basic Act of Establishment and General Repeal, was published in all major newspapers of the Northwest Republic and delivered in the form of a nationwide televised address by the acting State President on March the seventh. Although predating the actual ratification of the Northwest Constitution by some months, the Basic Act laid down the ground rules for the new state, and is considered by historians as the formal beginning of the new Republic and the end of the Cleanup, by formally reinstituting the rule of law.
* * *
The Constitutional Convention and government of the Northwest American Republic, assembled at Olympia, in anticipation of the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic by the aforesaid Convention, do hereby declare and proclaim for the purpose of interim governance the following acts of repeal, and do also decree the following affirmative statutes and acts, to wit:
1. The Constitutional Convention now sitting at Olympia, and the government instituted by the Convention, are henceforth the sole governing authority of the Northwest American Republic. Martial law is hereby rescinded in all remaining counties of the Republic wherein it is still in effect, and the entire Republic is henceforth under civil authority.
2. All federal, state, municipal, county, and other law enforcement agencies that existed under the United States are hereby abolished. All law enforcement plant, property, premises, and personnel are herewith consolidated into the Northwest Civil Guard.
3. Elections for all offices under the new Constitution to be promulgated and ratified by the Convention will take place no more than thirty (30) days after ratification, the precise date to be determined by the Electoral Committee.
4. Graduated Franchise: For the purpose of the Republic’s initial national elections only, any resident of the NAR over age 18 may be granted third-class citizenship and one (1) vote thereby, provided they swear an oath of loyalty to the Republic before an election commissioner and bring the notarized instrument of said oath to the polls on election day.
Residents requesting third-class citizenship must also produce a certificate from the Civil Guard, affirming that the individual in question did not commit any acts or crimes in the service of the United States government and/or its multifarious agencies during the War of Independence that were of an especially heinous, cruel, or violent nature; and that furthermore, according to all information available, the said petitioning individual did not at any time during the war act in the capacity of an informer or collaborator with the United States forces.
Second-class citizenship, carrying two (2) votes for electoral purposes, is hereby granted to all serving members of the Northwest Defense Force, as well as to all women who can prove they are the mother of three or more children living in the home or resident elsewhere in the Republic.
First-class citizenship, carrying three (3) votes for electoral purposes, is hereby granted to all personnel over the age of 14 years who served in the Northwest Volunteer Army, or who served the Party in any capacity either during or prior to the War of Independence. First-class citizenship is also hereby granted to all members of the Northwest Defense Force who fought in the battle of Portland from November first through November fourth, or who have been decorated for valor in combat during the Consolidation, or who served in the unit designated as Force 101.
5. All laws and ordinances which previously existed under the United States of America and its state and local governments that in any way prohibit, restrict, control, or limit the keeping and bearing of arms, the open carrying of arms, and the possession and transportation of firearms, ammunition, powder, supplies, cartridge casings, or any other material necessary to the exercise of the First Amendment of the Northwest Constitution, are hereby repealed and declared to be null, void, and of no effect.
6. All vouchers, receipts, and IOUs issued by officers and other personnel of the Northwest Volunteer Army and the Northwest Defense Force for personal property, cash, food, supplies, vehicles, fuel, weapons and ammunition, or other material during the War of Independence and the Consolidation must be presented for payment to any office of the Ministry of Finance or the Northwest Defense Force within a period of ten (10) years dating from this proclamation. Such vouchers or receipts must be presented by the original persons to whom they were issued, or by their legal heirs. Where possible such documents shall be authenticated by the original issuing NVA or NDF officer if they can be located, before payment. If the original issuing officer is dead or cannot be located, the Ministry and the NDF shall make reasonable assumption of good faith and shall reimburse such creditors.
7. All debts owed to American financial institutions, specifically to include home mortgages and liens, mortgages and liens on any commercial or industrial property, credit card debt, automobile debt, student loans, and all other forms of corporate indebtedness or indebtedness to Jews or Jewish financial institutions, that existed prior to the signing of the treaty at Longview, are hereby declared null and void. Existing home ownership in the Republic shall be determined on grounds of present occupancy. Transfer of title deeds free and clear to homeowners shall be expedited by the Bureau of Race and Resettlement.
8. All real estate, money, valuables, fixtures, vehicles, and other property abandoned by white persons who have fled the Republic, will be deeded to the National Abandoned Property Trust established by the Convention on February 20, and shall be placed in a state of escrow for a period of one (1) year from the date of this proclamation. During that time any person seeking the restoration of any real or personal property thus sequestered, or seeking compensation for any property which for any reason cannot or will not be returned, may make application at any office of the Trust or at any Civil Guard station, provided that such application shall be made in person by the property owner and that said property owner provide proof of their permanent return to the Northwest Republic.
9. At the conclusion of the one-year period described in the previous paragraph, any and all abandoned property that remains unclaimed may be sold or distributed to such governmental or private agencies as the officers of the Trust and the government of the NAR shall determine.
10. All real estate, money, valuables, fixtures, vehicles, and other abandoned property reasonably determined to have been owned by Jews, by non-whites, by sexual deviates, by the United States government or by any American state or local government, by any corporate entity hostile to the Republic, or by any individual determined to have been irredeemably hostile to the Republic during the War of Independence, is herewith declared to be the property of the state and shall be distributed among the appropriate government departments and agencies. The Ministry of Defense shall have first refusal on all American military property and installations. The Ministry of Race and Resettlement shall have first refusal on all housing for potential use for new immigrants. The Ministry of Finance shall receive all identifiable enemy cash, stocks and bonds, coins and precious metals, jewelry, and other movable personal property of value that can be liquidated for the treasury.
11. The retail sale of alcoholic beverages and intoxicating liquors is hereby declared to be a state revenue monopoly, and shall be administered through the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, which shall be a statutory body to be run at a profit for the benefit of the treasury. Private sale of alcoholic beverages by individuals and businesses shall be legal, but subject to taxation to be determined at a later date.
12. The retail sale of tobacco products is hereby declared to be a state revenue monopoly, and shall be administered through the Tobacco Control Board, which shall be a statutory body to be run at a profit for the benefit of the treasury. Private sale of tobacco products shall be legal, but subject to taxation to be determined at a later date.
13. All laws and ordinances of the United States and its several states and local authorities prohibiting the use, possession, cultivation, and transportation of marijuana and/or cannabis products are hereby repealed and rendered null and void. The Ministry of Finance and the future Parliament may at their discretion impose excise taxes on the cultivation of cannabis hemp and the manufacture and sale of marijuana and cannabis-related products.
14. The use, possession, sale, importation and transportation of hard narcotics such as powdered cocaine, crack or crystal cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, heroin, PCP and lysergic acid shall not be illegal per se, but until such time as these substances pose no further risk to the fabric of society, shall be treated by the Civil Guard and the Ministry of Justice as an anti-social activity and dealt with as the appropriate authorities see fit. The use of capital punishment is authorized in especially egregious cases.
15. Homosexuality is henceforth to be legally defined as a form of mental illness. Those suffering from this condition will be suitably confined in secure mental facilities for treatment. The Civil Guard and Ministry of Justice may reserve the right to prosecute the commission of actual homosexual acts through the criminal code.
16. The practice of infanticide by abortion is prohibited, except in cases where two physicians certify to the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Justice that the prospective carrying of a fetus to full term constitutes a clear and present danger to the life of the mother, or else that the fetus will be born irremediably mentally retarded, brain-damaged, or dead. Subsequent confirmation is to be obtained prior to any abortive procedure by a third physician acting under the direction of the Ministry of Public Health. Individual cases of infanticide will be treated by the state and by law enforcement as acts of premeditated murder.
17. National Service. The first national service intake of young people aged 18 to 20 who have completed high school will begin on June 21. All citizens and residents of the Republic aged from 15 to 20 must immediately register for national service.
National Service shall consist of one (1) year in the National Labor Service and two (2) years in the Northwest Defense Force for males, and two (2) years in the National Labor Service for females. Female citizens and residents of the Republic may be exempted from up to one (1) year of national service on grounds of impending or recent maternity. For the first three (3) years from the date of this proclamation, young men may upon graduation from high school opt to go directly into the Northwest Defense Force for a period of two (2) years.
All persons having completed national service will subsequently be eligible to attend any college, university, or technical school in the Republic free of charge for tuition and housing.
18. All laws and ordinances that existed under the United States and its several states and local authorities dealing with taxation, regulation, and/or control of private business and enterprise are hereby repealed and rendered null and void, and of no effect.
19. All laws and ordinances that existed under the United States and its several states and local authorities dealing with the taxation of income, and of homesteads housing individuals and families, are hereby repealed and rendered null and void, and of no effect.
20. The conversion of the Northwest American Republic to its own currency, the Northwest credit, shall begin on the first day of July of this year for a transitional period of six months until the thirty-first day of December, after which date no moneys other than the Northwest credit shall be accepted as legal tender in the Republic.
* * * * * * *
For Amber Myers, the dreaded Knock On The Door finally came one balmy evening in late April. Actually the Knock On The Door was a ring at the doorbell, and it came just as the family was sitting down to dinner.
“What’s for dessert?” asked Georgia, as she usually did at the beginning of any meal.
“I made us brownies,” said Amber. “I wanted to serve ice cream with it, but there’s no more ice cream in the stores.”
“Why not?” asked Georgia.
“Because the Nazis ate it all!” replied Amber viciously.
“Mom, I’m ten years old, not four,” said Georgia in disgust. “Come on, really, why is there no ice cream in the stores?”
“Because the United States government has imposed economic sanctions on the Northwest,” explained Dr. Clancy Myers. He pointedly avoided using the term Northwest Republic to avoid setting off his wife into another one of her hissy fits. “That means that no one in America is supposed to do business with us or send us anything to buy or sell. The sanctions aren’t working very well, at least not so far. Too much border, and too many people interested in making a buck off smuggling. The U.S.A. was never able to seal off the southern border sufficiently to stop illegal immigration, and they’re not having much more success now with the even longer border around the Northwest. Certain items like gasoline are more expensive than they used to be, and a lot of luxury items aren’t available any more, but nobody is actually going hungry, or doing without basic needs like clothing and heat and most medicine. But one effect of the sanctions is that there’s not the kind of big selection of merchandise there used to be in the stores. Sometimes we run short on certain items. This week it happens to be ice cream.”
“The shelves in Southgate Mall are half empty,” said Amber mournfully. “So are the shelves in Safeway. Mighty Mart is even worse.”
“You always hated Mighty Mart, Mom,” said Georgia. “Mighty Mart never had anything but cheap Chinese crap anyway, you said so.”
“That’s true,” agreed Clancy. “Now people in Missoula can go downtown to stores owned by local people, small businessmen who can make a living once again now that they don’t have to compete with Chinese slave labor via Mighty Mart. Also, it means we get things fixed when they break and we don’t just throw them away and go to Mighty Mart and buy another one.” He avoided saying “white people” for the same reason he avoided saying “Northwest Republic.” Clancy was coming to realize that the Party and the new authorities weren’t quite the ogres everyone had expected, but he was still worried that his wife would one day lose it and go off into an anti-NAR tirade in public that might attract the attention of this new Bureau of State Security that everyone was whispering about.
“And you didn’t used to like all those Mexicans, either,” said Kevin reminded his mother as he spooned mashed potatoes into his mouth.
“Kevin, that’s not true!” snapped Amber.
“Then why did you always wrinkle your nose and tap your toes and snort like a horse when they held us up in the line?” asked Kevin. “I guess it’s true what Mr. Overbury at school says. Liberals are hypocrites. They want to tell everybody else how to live, but they don’t want to live in the messes they create.”
“Oh, my God, what are these monsters turning you into?” moaned Amber. “I suppose the Nazis make poor Mr. Overbury say those things, or else they’ll come and take him away in the night. And don’t tell me they’re not doing just that very thing, Clancy! You ought to know, after what happened to poor Linda!”
“I have no intention of denying it, dear,” said Dr. Myers with a sigh.
It was true. Linda Barnard at the University had disappeared on Christmas Eve, and Clancy had been delegated by the faculty to approach Jason Stockdale about it, since he seemed to have a friendly relationship with the new chancellor. Stockdale had proclaimed an open door policy, and so Myers took advantage of it. He went to Stockdale’s office on the day after New Year’s and knocked on the door, noting with approval that the young man had exchanged his NDF uniform for a sober and more academic suit and tie.
“Linda who?” Stockdale had replied, arching his eyebrows.
“Professor Linda Barnard from the Media and Journalism Department,” said Clancy patiently. “She is missing, but her mother is still in the nursing home, her car is in her garage, and I’m told there is no sign she took any of her things with her or that she left voluntarily. Mr. Stockdale, you know quite well who and what I’m talking about. I don’t expect you to reveal classified information, if that’s what this is, but if she’s dead her friends would like to know. I’d also like to know if we’re going to be arrested and disappear ourselves, if we have a quiet private memorial service for Linda and for the Copettas?”
“I repeat, Linda who?” asked Stockdale. “There is no record of any such person ever having worked here at the University of Montana, on the faculty or in any other capacity,” he went on. “Check the computer and personnel files yourself if you don’t believe me. In fact, you will find that no such person ever existed. No driver’s license, no voter’s registration, no bank records, no property listing. If you go to the house this imaginary individual allegedly lived in, you will find that the premises have been taken over by the Bureau of Race and Resettlement, and for all I know there may be a family of white refugees from Florida or Toronto living there already. I suspect that given time, there will eventually be no birth certificate or old social security number or anything like that. We’ve got a lot of really good computer people working for us over in Olympia who specialize in correcting erroneous public records all throughout North America, and even the world. You won’t even find any references to any such individual in back issues of the school paper. Those files have been sequestered until a number of factual errors in them can be corrected. It seems our student reporters were very sloppy; there are all kinds of references in there to people who never existed and events that never occurred. Don’t worry, we’ll have definitive editions back in the archives soon.”
“Good God, it’s like 1984!” groaned Clancy, slumping down into a chair in front of Stockdale’s desk. “Right down the memory hole! Mr. Stockdale, I …”
“Call me Jason. You did when I was in your class, and I see no reason to get all formal now.”
“Uh, I did explain to you that the favor you think we did for Jenny was done without the knowledge of my wife or myself?” asked Myers.
“Yes, I know, it was Peanut and Kevin and Bobby, but the end effect is the same,” said Stockdale. “My wife owes her life to your family.”
“Then hopefully I can speak a bit more freely than most without going down the memory hole myself,” said Myers. “Jason, I won’t deny that I see a lot of good coming out of your revolution. I see it already, here in the university where we can actually teach without fear again to students who really want to learn, and in our daily lives. Not to mention our new faculty—my God, we now have three Nobel laureates teaching here who have fled from Europe! Just not having to worry about the constant petty crime from Mexicans and drug addicts is wonderful, being able to leave my house and my car unlocked, and not having to worry about Georgia if she’s an hour or so late coming home from school, because I can be sure she hasn’t been snatched off the street by some kind of pedophile freak. I’m genuinely grateful for that, Jason, we all are. You guys are well on your way to winning people’s hearts and minds, and then you go and do something like this! Look, I suppose my attitude is typical of most people who are still watching and waiting. Thanks for getting the American assholes off our backs—now when are you going to stop killing people?”
“Hmmm …” said Stockdale, tapping his pen on the desk. “Look, Dr. Myers, I was just a Volunteer, a common or garden-variety shoot-‘em-in-the-head and wire-a-bomb-to-their-car type. I’m not a trained Party political officer or a historian like Doctor Luger, but I’ll answer that as best I can. I think if you asked every Northwest Volunteer why he or she did what they did during the war, you’d get a different answer each time. I admit that a lot of us—hey, maybe most of us—joined the NVA and staged this revolution purely out of personal motives of anger and revenge, and there’s nothing wrong with that, or unexpected. Very few people are deep philosophical types, and fewer still actually base their behavior and their lives on profound moral principles. Hell, we were lucky enough back in the ‘teens to find that first thousand white people who still could base their behavior and their lives on some kind of idealistic principle. I was one such person, though, and here’s my take on it.
“At some point in time, a long time ago, our whole civilization started to slide off the tracks. There’s all kinds of debate as to when that point was, and everybody’s got a pet theory. Adam Weishaupt and the Illuminati, the Civil War, the establishment of the Federal Reserve, the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, whatever. The fact remains that by the time you and I were born, all of Western civilization was off the track and sinking into a swamp. Not only civilization, but the very existence of the race that created it was in question. You know the rap, I’m sure. I won’t ask you if you agree, because what matters is that the new government agrees.” Stockdale leaned forward. “For the first time in generations, Dr. Myers, white people now have a country of our own, and the forces resisting the existential crisis of the white race now have the full power of a modern state behind us.
“What we have to do, Dr. Myers, is wrench that train of Western civilization back onto the track by force, the same way we took this land from the United States, because it is now apparent that nothing else will work. Our enemies are utterly implacable, they are impervious to civil argument or reason, and so from now on they get a club upside the head. Among other things, that means avoiding the mistakes of the past. This experiment was tried once before, during the last century in Germany, and the Germans made a terrible mistake that eventually cost them the life of their nation. They allowed the Jews and the lefty scum to conduct a six-year campaign of incitement to hatred and economic warfare. Eventually the Jews got their war.
“That’s not going to happen this time,” Stockdale went on in a grim voice. “We will not allow disloyalty, subversion, incitement or cultural poisoning from within the Republic or from outside it. This non-existent person you referred to and all like her are finally going to hear the word no, loud and clear. She’s heard it already, and though I don’t know for certain, I suspect it was the last thing she ever heard.”
Clancy groaned and buried his face in his hands; Stockdale ignored him. “We are now a free country, but in order to keep us that way, we do make a few very basic demands on our own people. One of them is that every young man must become a soldier for a time and defend their country and their civilization, including your son Kevin and my brother Bobby when their time comes. Another demand is that from now on, our people refrain from two or three specific behaviors that our instinct teaches us are vile and wicked, and which our history and experience as a people teaches us are socially and culturally poisonous. This non-existent person you speak of was fully aware of what her position would be in a society run by moral decency, and yet like so many of her kind she was so stupidly arrogant as to believe the rules did not apply to her, and that what she did was a personal matter that was none of anyone else’s business. She found out the hard way that she was wrong, but she wasn’t just wrong, she was bad. Sinful, if you want to put a religious slant on it. We are returning to the old ways where gray areas are few and far between, and what is bad and sinful is not only not tolerated, but punished.
“As to the removal of such people from the historic record insofar as it is possible for us to do so, there are two reasons for that. In the first place, we have no intention of allowing our living enemies to make political and propaganda hay from our dead ones. They will do so anyway, since of course we can’t completely erase a hundred years of filth from official memory, but as a matter of policy we intend to make it as hard for them to do so as possible. We don’t give them a single inch, not ever. The second reason is a moral one. This long procession of deviancy and corruption and sin that has trooped through everyone’s lives for the past century deserves to be forgotten as much as possible. There is always shit in the sewers, but it needs to stay there and not overflow into the streets and onto people’s lawns. Allowing these people to have names and human faces detracts from the overriding magnitude and import of their crimes. It generates sympathy which they don’t deserve. We don’t want anyone to put a human face on their revolting behavior. It is enough to know that it happened, and it must never happen again. We don’t need to wallow in endless details.”
“And what the hell gives you the right to erase human beings from memory as if they never existed?” Clancy demanded.
“What gives us that right?” chuckled Jason. “We’re the guys with the guns and the will to use them, that’s what. We gained that right when we finally stopped tapping on computer keyboards and stood up to ZOG with weapons in our hands and spilled blood, including our own, to obtain it. Dr. Myers, there are certain things in life that simply have to be done, for no other reason than because they are right. You don’t agonize or introspect over these things, you simply do them, and you never, ever talk about them afterward.”
“But these are people, dammit!” shouted Clancy.
“Of course they are,” said Jason, nodding in agreement. “Bad people. People are the source of everything that’s bad in the world, in case you haven’t noticed. Back in the old days, screwed-up angst-ridden and disillusioned young white people used to moan about how life sucks, and the world is a horrible place. Not true. Life is actually wonderful, and the world is a beautiful place. It’s people and their behavior who make it horrible and sad. Now there are a few less of those people here in the Northwest.”
Back at the Myers family dinner table, Clancy asked Kevin, “Overbury is your history teacher, right?”
“Nobody makes Mister Overbury say anything, Mom. He’s just saying what he always wanted to say,” Kevin told his mother. “He explained that to us. Now he’s free to teach us real history, what really happened, and not what some politically correct school board full of mud people and faggots say happened, most of which is bullshit.”
Amber was about to light into her son for his language when the doorbell rang. Amber got up and peeped out the curtains she always kept pulled over the picture window these days. She turned to her husband, her face white as a sheet. “Clancy!” she whispered. “It’s happening! They’ve come for me!”
Clancy got up and looked out the window. “Amber, that’s just one of the new police cars,” he told her.
"The blue, white and green ones?” asked Kevin.
“Yes. The Civil Guard, it’s called now.”
The doorbell rang again. “I’ll get it,” said Clancy steadily. He was unsettled and nervous; despite the lack of any real outward appearance of a totalitarian police state, he couldn’t help but remember Linda Barnard’s disappearance. Had they just sent one single car for her?
“No, don’t interfere, Clancy, it’s me they want!” announced Amber dramatically. She threw open the door.
“Good evening, ma’am,” said a male voice outside on the front steps. “Are you Mrs. Amber Myers?”
“That’s Ms. Amber Escott-Myers to you, fascist scum!” Amber replied in a snide yet shaky voice. His wife was genuinely terrified, but she was still trying to show courage in front of the children, and Clancy couldn’t help but admire her for it. “Finally made it to the top of your little list, did I?”
“Uh, yes, ma’am, you did,” said the voice. Clancy stepped to his wife’s side and saw a single police officer standing on his doorstep, a large genial-looking man wearing the new uniform of dark green trousers with bloused boots, light green shirt with a slightly different version of the eagle-and-swastika emblem from that worn by the NDF, and a green billed cap with silver sunburst-type crest on it.
“I’m Doctor Clancy Myers. What can I do for you, Officer, uh, Rhinehart?” asked Clancy, looking at the man’s name tag.
“Actually, it’s Guardsman Rhinehart now,” replied the cop with a smile. “Don’t worry, I’m still not used to it myself. I’m here to …”
“I know why you’re here,” said Amber, re-appearing at the door with her coat on and holding her purse. The two kids crowded behind her, staring at the cop with wide eyes. “I don’t know who denounced me, maybe even someone in my own family.” (She glared at Clancy.) “But whoever it was, they’re right. I am still a loyal American, I love and respect people of all colors and religion, and I will never give in to you murdering racist bastards! No matter what you do to me! So go ahead, you son of a bitch! Drag me away from my home in front of my children, and show them just what you are! Take me down to your secret torture chamber and do your worst! Beat me! Waterboard me! Put your electrodes on my nipples and fry my tits to teriyaki! Gang-rape me! I will tell you nothing! Nothing!” she shouted, her voice rising to a frenzied scream.
“Oooo-kaaaaay,” said the puzzled cop. “Actually, that’s not why I’m here, ma’am.” He handed her a bulky manila envelope. “Here’s the deed and property title to your house.”
“What?” said Amber, surprised.
“The deed to your house,” explained Rhinehart patiently. “Basic Law of March Seventh. No more mortgage payments for anybody. Your house is all yours, now. No more property taxes to pay, either, so long as people are actually living here full time. One of you needs to sign for these papers.”
Amber gaped at him. Clancy stepped forward and took the envelope of documents, then signed the paper taped to the outside of the envelope. The cop tore off the top copy, folded it, and put it into his pocket. “Thanks, folks. Hope you enjoy living in your new debt-free house. I know I like living in mine. You folks have a good evening.”
“Wait,” said Clancy. “Look, Officer, uh, Guardsman Rhinehart, I have a few questions. You did us a good turn bringing us these papers, and although we were just sitting down to dinner, the least we can do is offer you a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea. Won’t you come in for a few minutes? Please?” Amber was glaring icicles at him, but he eased her out of the way and beckoned the policeman into the house.
“Might as well,” said Rhinehart agreeably. “Coffee sounds good. I’ve only got a couple more of these to deliver.”
“Georgia, bring a cup of coffee for Guardsman Rhinehart, will you?” Clancy told his daughter, figuring he’d better not ask his wife. “How do you take it?”
“Black is fine,” said the cop.
“I’m curious about something,” Clancy went on as he ushered the Guard into his living room. “Not that we don’t appreciate it, but why are the police delivering these documents? Don’t you have more important things to do?”
“Not really, thank God,” said Rhinehart, seating himself on the sofa at Clancy’s invitation. “Not much crime these days. Well, hasn’t been much actual crime in Missoula for some years now, since the NVA ran all the beaners and the junkies and the drunken Indians out.”
“What about the crime caused by the NVA itself, with their murders and their bombings and their terrorism?” snapped Amber from the doorway, still glaring at them.
“Yes, ma’am, there was that,” agreed Rhinehart. “Although we had more problems with those damned FATPOs, getting drunk and stoned, beating people on the street, firing into people’s houses, that kind of thing, not to mention what they did in their official capacity. Not that the local police were allowed to do anything about that. Any of us who tried ended up sitting in one of those torture chambers you mentioned just now, Mrs. Myers. Their federal badges topped ours. But nowadays everything is as quiet and peaceful as I’ve ever known it. The people who made trouble simply aren’t around any more.”
“I notice you’re not wearing a sidearm,” pointed out Clancy. “How’s that working out?”
“Oh, my gun’s in the car. I can get it if it looks like I may need it, but that hasn’t happened so far. They’re weaning us off ‘em, so to speak, but it looks like unarmed police in an armed society is turning out to be a good idea,” Rhinehart replied, taking the cup of coffee from Georgia. “Thanks, young lady.”
“Did you eat all the ice cream?” asked Georgia solemnly.
“Mom says the Nazis ate all the ice cream in the stores, and that’s why we can’t have any for dessert.” said Georgia. She pointed at the eagle and swastika sewn over the Guard’s buttoned right pocket. “You’re a Nazi. Did you eat all the ice cream?”
“Uh, no, honey, I didn’t.” said the bemused Rhinehart. “And actually, I’m not a Nazi. Most Civil Guards aren’t. We were city or county policemen or deputies before, and we stayed on. That emblem is just part of our uniform, now that we have a new government, and yeah, it’s a bit strange. I never thought I’d be wearing a swastika, but a lot of strange things have happened in the past five years. I’ve met some real Nazis since Longview, true, and they do some unusual things sometimes, but no, I don’t think they’re running around to grocery stores and eating all the ice cream so children can’t have any.”
“Ignore her,” said Clancy. “My daughter is ten years old and not four, as she just reminded us a few minutes ago, and she knows she’s being silly.”
“Peanut is just being a brat to pick at Mom,” said Kevin. “I think the revolution is cool!”
“You were talking about the new unarmed police force,” said Clancy, trying to steer the conversation away from both Amber’s confectionary paranoia and Kevin’s adolescent enthusiasm about the Northwest revolution.
“Oh, yeah,” said Rhinehart as he sipped his coffee. “The way they laid it out to us in our briefings is that in a truly free society, everyone should have guns except the police. That way we’re not just another armed gang, we’re representatives of the law, and if the law and the state itself command respect, then we don’t need guns to do it for our officers.
“The message does seem to be sinking through, even in a wild and woolly place like Montana,” he went on. “Oh, the cops still have guns, all right. We actually have a better firearms course and higher range qualification standard these days than we did under the old system, and we can get weapons quick enough if the need arises. We just don’t carry them around with us on routine duties and community contact work. So far, everyone seems to be getting with the program. Unless they’re just plain crazy, nobody is going to pull down on a Guard, because they know who’s standing behind us, and they know who’s standing behind us won’t f … uh, fool around if you shoot one of us. It’s not like the old days, when there were zillions of laws and the whole system could be played like a pinball machine by anybody with enough money. We have very few laws these days, but the ones we have, you obey. Period, end of story. When folks clearly understand where the lines are and that you don’t ever cross them, there’s no problem.”
“People having jobs certainly helps,” said Clancy. “My understanding is that what with the new Labor Service, and with all the regulations and taxes taken off small businesses, we already have full employment here in Missoula, which was certainly not the case a year ago. Kevin has an after-school job now, and other business people downtown keep trying to lure him away with better offers.”
“Mr. Majeski is already paying me in the new Northwest credits,” said Kevin, holding up a red five-credit note bearing Melanie Young’s image, modified from its original pink by the Ministry of Finance.
“Yeah, the Guard is getting paid in credits now as well, even though the official transition period doesn’t start until July the first,” said Rhinehart. “The new mayor was talking in the city council last night about how Missoula is going to petition the Bureau of Race and Resettlement in Olympia to steer a lot more of these refugees from the States out here, instead of Portland and Seattle and the I-5 corridor, because with the old factories re-opening and new ones on the drawing board, we actually have a labor shortage. You’re right Dr. Myers. With no minorities and full employment, crime figures disappear. Sure, in any society you’re going to get a small element of people who are too lazy to work, or who are weak in the head, or just plain predatory. That will happen here, but when it does we’ll deal with it, and we have a lot more latitude to do so now. Since we’re no longer locking people up for having a couple of joints, we can concentrate on more serious stuff, like what’s left of the meth trade, which isn’t much.”
“How on earth did you ever clean that up?” asked Clancy curiously. “Meth was everywhere in Missoula. I used to be afraid to go certain places with my family because of all the hopheads.”
“First time we catch anybody with meth or rock, we take ‘em down to the station and beat the crap out of ‘em,” said Rhinehart happily. “We figure a lot of people just haven’t wrapped their minds around the fact that things have changed. Then we tell them that the second time we catch ‘em, we’re going to take them up into the mountains, dig a hole, and leave ‘em in it. So far we haven’t had to do that. For one thing, the market has dried up, since almost all the remaining junkies ran off when the NDF marched in. You’d be amazed how quick people acquire a whole new attitude, when they know some lawyer in a thousand-dollar suit isn’t going to help them play games with the system for a year and then get them off with probation. Of course, there are no more lawyers any more, and I can tell you for sure that every cop is over the moon about that.”
“And you think this is right?” demanded Amber from the doorway where she stood. “A totalitarian state denying accused persons legal representation? Assaulting and threatening substance abusers and denying them due process?”
“I’m no big legal scholar or philosopher, ma’am,” said Rhinehart with a shrug. “All I know is that this way works, and the old way didn’t. I know that arrests are way down for everything from drugs to burglary to domestic violence. I know that with no blacks or browns, there’s almost nobody ever in our jail any more. I know we don’t need half as many police as we did before the revolution, and I know everybody in the community is a lot safer. The old system sounded good in theory, but in practice it sucked. The new way is better, and that’s a fact. Well, thanks for the coffee, folks, but I need to get going.”
Clancy escorted the cop out the door and down to his patrol car. “Look, Rhinehart, I really did want to talk to you about something,” he said. “You heard what my wife said when she opened the door. She was a lifelong Democrat and a Hillary Clinton supporter before the revolution, and she has a tendency to kind of—overreact these days. She really isn’t any kind of threat to the new government, her liberalism is just kind of a habit I know she needs to break. She really did think you were coming to take her away just now, and I know it happens, because some friends of ours have, ah, disappeared.”
“Yeah, it happens,” agreed Rhinehart grimly. “Nothing we can do about it. When somebody files a report on one of those missing person cases, it goes to the new captain, who is a former NVA man. He knows which ones are the political cases, and he balls it up and throws it in the wastebasket. Although to be fair, sometimes it’s not a political disappearance in that sense. A lot of the time it’s people just getting twitchy about something in their past or some run-in they’ve had with the NDF or something, so they jump in their cars and they cut and run back east across Interstate 15, back into the United States. Those highways are still open, you know. All of the border posts and barbed wire and fences and minefields they’re building are on the U.S. side. The media in both countries are starting to call it the McCurtain, you know, from McDonald’s, like everything in America could be called a McSomething or other. The Republic doesn’t want to keep anybody in who doesn’t want to be here, it’s the United States that wants to keep people out. Anybody who wants to leave the Northwest still can. The official attitude is good riddance.”
“Amber wanted us to leave, but I think we’re past that, and now that we own the house I think that will be a definite incentive for her to forget about fleeing,” said Clancy. “But look, Rhinehart, I have to ask you, please, if you could forget about Amber’s little outburst when she came to the door, and her attitude just now, and not report it to anyone who might decide to take it further? She just talks that way because it was fashionable when she was in college, and she never grew out of it. But still, if certain people were to overhear her saying some of these things and it got back to the wrong quarters … ”
Rhinehart nodded somberly. “Yeah, there is a downside to this new way of ours, and that is that the people we’ve all been used to insulting and bad-mouthing for the past five years, and before that, are now in a position to do something about it. Looks like what goes around does indeed come around. Nobody ever figured that these men and women we were taught all our lives to hate and deride would win, and that someday we’d have to put our asses where our mouths once were. Don’t worry, Dr. Myers, I won’t say anything, but you really need to see if you can get your wife to tone it down in public. I was never NVA, but some of my new colleagues at the station house were, and she’s lucky it wasn’t one of the new guys doing this milk run delivering papers tonight.”
“Is it true this Bureau of State Security thing we keep hearing about is in town now, spying on people and tapping phones and hunting down people opposed to the new régime?” asked Clancy in a worried voice. “I really need to know. Is my wife in real danger or is she just being paranoid?”
“Yeah, the revolutionary spooks are around,” admitted Rhinehart. “Nobody knows where they are, or how to contact them. They’re genuine secret police, in that sense. I guess my captain would know. He’s that former NVA guy I told you about. Ironically, we were hunting for him during almost the full five years of the Trouble. He was the brigade commandant for Missoula County, and we never got near him. He walked in a few months ago wearing a new Guard uniform and called us all into the assembly room. ‘My name is A. J. Drones,’ he says. ‘I’m your new station commander. You boys wanted to get me in this place for years, and now I’m here.’ Shook us up, I admit. He would probably know how to contact BOSS, but none of us does. None of us has even seen ‘em, but we know they’re around. I would advise your wife to be a little more circumspect in the future, Dr. Myers. Hell, a lot more circumspect.”
* * *
The next day was a Saturday, and Clancy decided it was time finally to take the bull by the horns and have it out with his wife over her attitude toward the new government and her risky practice of baiting Missoula’s new top dogs in public. He decided to send Kevin and Georgia to a movie that evening to give them some privacy, which was now both physically and morally safe to do, since the streets were white at night and the theaters were showing virtually nothing made after 1965 or so. Clancy found an old John Wayne flick on at the downtown Paramount, which was within walking distance, and he figured it was time for his kids to meet the Duke.
He went into work that morning to grade papers and work on his lecture notes for the coming week, when his students would be covering the poet William Blake. The first warning he got that anything was wrong came at about four thirty in the afternoon, when Kevin called him from the school track meet. His mother had failed to pick him up. Puzzled, Clancy drove over and collected Kevin, then arrived at his home about five o’clock.
He could tell the moment he walked into the house that something was badly wrong. The place felt empty, and it was. He looked in the garage and saw that the second SUV, the Range Rover, was missing. He went upstairs and found signs of hurried packing in the bedroom and in Georgia’s room. He ran downstairs, calling the names of his wife and his daughter, somehow knowing in one terrifying moment that he would never hear either of them answer him again.
Clancy Myers found the note taped to the refrigerator, read it, and then he staggered into his living room and collapsed into a chair. “Dad, what’s going on?” demanded Kevin. “Where are Mom and Georgie?”
“Your mother has left us,” he told his son. “She is going to live with your grandmother in Washington, D.C. She says in this letter that I can have you, because you’ve already been ruined, and you’re nothing but a little Hitler Youth now. Her own words. But she says she won’t let us ruin Georgia.” Clancy Myers looked at his son, tears streaming down his face. “That damnable bitch! She took our little girl, Kevin! She took our little girl!”
[Don't worry, Georgia will make her re-appearance later on in the novel. - HAC]