Freedom's Sons: Section II, Chapter 13
[Figured it was about time I gave you guys another teaser on Northwest novel number five. - HAC]
XIII. The Price
Courage is the price that life exacts for granting peace. – Amelia Earhart
At five o’clock on the morning of July the Fourth, a grim group of men walked down the upstairs hall of the East Wing of the White House and knocked on the door of the presidential bedroom. They were Vice President Hugh Jenner, Admiral Hector Brava, General Albert Scheisskopf, and Special Agent in charge Lee Lyons, who was acting as escort to the Vice President on this occasion. Jenner knocked long and loud and called out, “Mr. President! This is Hugh Jenner. We need to speak with you. The matter is urgent.”
Hunter Wallace finally opened the door, wearing pajamas and belting a bathrobe around his waist. “What the hell, Hugh?” he demanded.
“Mr. President, we have some bad news,” said Jenner formally. “Could you please close the door and step into the hall? This information is significantly above Ms. Halberstam’s security clearance level, and I would prefer that she didn’t overhear.”
Once the door was closed and Wallace stood with them in the hallway, Jenner remorselessly laid it all out. “We have news from Montana, and it couldn’t be worse. Combined Military Group South has ceased to exist. It has been almost completely wiped out by the enemy in a night attack, in a matter of hours.”
“Almost?” asked Wallace woodenly.
Scheisskopf spoke up. “We are getting some scattered radio chatter which indicates that a few isolated companies and smaller units down to squad level, even individual soldiers, may have broken out of the encirclement and are attempting to fight their way eastward, back onto United States soil.”
“May I remind you that the entire state of Montana is United States soil, General?” said Wallace in a wooden voice.
“Of course, Mr. President,” replied Scheisskopf soothingly.
Not good, thought Hugh Jenner. Only a nodding acquaintance with reality, and that may be receding in his rear view mirror fast. Not good. He went on, “It gets worse. The relief column headed toward Anaconda was defeated and dispersed outside Billings last night.”
“Dispersed? What do you mean dispersed?” demanded Wallace.
“I mean they were reduced to a panic-stricken rout, and they are now running from the enemy in complete disorder. It’s been a very bad twenty-four hours. What you have to understand, Mr. President, is that the United States has lost the war. In point of fact, the war was lost within the first twenty-four hours, because without massive and overwhelming air power and high-technology surveillance, the United States military is a second-rate fighting force at best due to the poor mental and moral quality of the people who comprise it. But that’s spilled milk. We have to deal with the reality on the ground. Group Center and Group North are now in extreme danger. They are isolated and surrounded by vastly superior forces, and the best we can hope for is to extricate those men with their lives intact, so that the United States of America still has at least a few soldiers left. I have a sneaking suspicion that once the magnitude of this total cluster-fuck can no longer be concealed from the American people, and the whole world understands what has happened in the past two weeks, we are going to need all the armed men we can to keep order and maintain our own positions. You have to make the call, Mr. President.”
“Make what call?” asked Wallace.
“Send the e-mail, make the TV or internet transmission, however it is to be done, and I admit that even I’m not sure how we get in touch with them,” admitted Jenner. “But in some way, you have to make the call to the commander-in-chief of the enemy armed forces, President Henry Morehouse of the Northwest American Republic. The nation we are at war with, and which will now remain a nation, because we have failed. You have to negotiate the withdrawal of our remaining forces alive from their present state of encirclement and siege, and you have to try and broker a peace that will at least keep them from grabbing any more of the United States or Canada and getting more non-white and Jewish people to exterminate. We’ve lost, sir. You have to pick up the pieces now.”
The president ignored him as if he had not spoken. “I’m sorry to hear about the loss of so many fine American fighting men and women,” said Wallace. Jenner noticed the president’s hands beginning to tremble and his eyes beginning to twitch and roll a bit. Definitely not a good sign, thought the Vice President to himself. Jenner had always been of the private opinion that Hunter Wallace was not completely stable in his mind, and that any major opposition or a serious crisis that threatened his massive ego might produce unfortunate results. “Obviously we need to convene an emergency meeting of the War Cabinet to consider what measures to take. I think we all know what advice Angela and Mr. Schiff and Secretary Chalupiak will proffer, and in light of these developments, perhaps I need to reconsider …”
“Angela Herrin and Ronald Schiff won’t be proffering you any advice ever again, Mr. President,” said Jenner brutally. “They’re both dead. They were assassinated last night, just before midnight, at almost the same time but in different locations in the District of Columbia. They were shot and bombed by unknown assailants, although I don’t think we need to offer any prizes for guessing who those assailants were.”
Lee Lyons spoke up. “Mr. President, since this seems to have become a war of assassination now, I have ordered special security units to the homes of Secretary Chalupiak, Secretary Modlin, and all the rest of the Cabinet, and emergency protocols will be in force for the duration …”
“Angela and Ron?” said Wallace, gaping at them. “Both of them dead, you say? "
“Yes, sir,” said Jenner.
“You idiot!” shouted Wallace. “Jesus Christ, what have you done?”
“I beg your pardon, sir?” asked the Vice President, nonplussed.
“You don’t think I know you did it?” raved Wallace. “Unknown assailants my ass! It was you who had them killed, wasn’t it? Of course it was. I always knew that you hated my Jewish advisors, and you were jealous of them because of their special relationship with God and their special relationship with me, but are you really so anxious to save your house or your lot or whatever in Portland that you had them both murdered?”
“What?” said Jenner, dumbfounded.
“It’s not just unconscionable, it’s fucking stupid!” shouted Wallace. “Do you have any idea who you’ve pissed off now? A world political and financial power so great that they could even survive the total loss of their entire ancestral nation and shrug it off like it was a mere hiccup! Who in God’s name do you think has initiated and decided every major world event for the past century? Does the name Bilderberg mean anything to you? Ever heard of the Trilateral Commission, the Council on Foreign Relations, the ADL, the Aron Habrit? You’re a Freemason, for Christ’s sake, so you ought to know who really runs the world!”
“Yes, I do know, which is why I would never do anything that!” cried Jenner in denial. “Jesus, Hunter, do you think I’m stupid enough to bring the Aron Habrit and the Mossad down on my ass?”
“You better hope and pray you can prove you had nothing to do with it, Hugh,” warned Wallace. “Angela Herrin and Ronald Schiff were considered by their own kind to be tzaddikim, living saints whose very existence sanctified the Jewish people in the eyes of God. Now you or somebody has killed them, and I find it mysteriously convenient that their deaths come at a time when the Apocalypse Option is on the table.”
“It is not on the table, sir,” said Jenner flatly. “It cannot be on the table. Going Apocalyptic would damn the United States in the eyes of all mankind for the rest of recorded history, no matter what the cause.”
“And this is your decision to make since when?” demanded Wallace. “Maybe that’s why Angela and Ron died? They were practice runs so I could be murdered by traitors in my own party and my own White House, in order to save a gang of racist murderers and your stupid house in Portland? Were you in on it?” Wallace demanded of Lyons. “Hughie here doesn’t have his own assets for wet work, so he would have to get some trigger men from somewhere. One of your covert ops squads, Lee? Figure to change horses in midstream, get in good with the next guy in the Oval Office, maybe help put him there, eh?”
“No, sir, you’re wrong!” said Lyons, stunned. “I find your insinuation insulting and offensive!”
“Blackwater, then?” mumbled Wallace, his eyes rolling. “Yeah, Blackwater sounds likely. Those goons will kill for anyone who pays them enough.” He turned and looked at Admiral Brava and General Scheisskopf. “How about you two? Were you in on it?” He cut their protests short. “Never mind. I don’t know whether to believe you, but it doesn’t matter. Suddenly it’s all clear now. I know what I have to do.” He turned and opened the bedroom door, stalked inside, and they could hear the click as he locked it.
“My God, the President of the United States has lost his mind!” breathed Brava.
“And locked himself in with a Nazi spy,” muttered Lyons.
“What?” exclaimed Brava.
“Well, maybe,” said Lyons with a shrug. “I’m pretty sure the WPB or the CMI or whatever leprechauns pulled these killings off last night have an agent or a source of information in the White House, and I think it may be the president’s current bedmate, but I can’t prove it. Yet.”
“Maybe if it is her she’s drugging him, and that’s why he’s acting so loony?” suggested Jenner. “They seem to have some kind of capability like that. I can’t get the pictures of Kanesha Knight being chased through the parking lot by men in white coats and Marlon Bagwell running down the halls of the White House flapping his arms and clucking like a chicken out of my head.”
Lyons shook his head. “No, sir, I don’t think so. Ever since Clinton the First, the president has always been subjected to random drug-testing and tox-screening by the Secret Service, assisted by the staff at Walter Reed.”
“Sounds like a good idea,” muttered Scheisskopf. “When I was young and just out of West Point, I knew some officers who served under Billyboy. Apparently his nasal passages were as slick as an ice rink.”
“His medical records are still classified as top secret even to this day,” Jenner told them. “I imagine some of those presidential tox screens down through the years showed up some interesting results.”
“Well, Hillary used to test positive for testosterone supplements she took,” said Lyons. “She was pretty much a man when she died.”
“She always was,” said Jenner. “But go on, Agent Lyons.”
Lyons nodded and did so. “If a president doesn’t voluntarily comply, then the Secret Service has to covertly collect, uh, specimens, which I won’t get into, but this president has always given voluntary blood samples. We stepped it up after the Bagwell incident. The president himself was concerned that Mr. Bagwell’s behavior might have been biochemical in origin and somebody might have been slipping him a chicky, so to speak. The last time was six days ago, and his blood work came back positive only for Viagra and some alcohol. I have to say in all honesty that President Wallace has never been a drug user, whatever else his … well, he’s never used drugs, and if Georgia Halberstam or anyone else is doping him, it’s not something that’s showing up on his tests. Mr. Bagwell and Kanesha Knight were clean, too. Makes you wonder if the Northmen really do have some sort of alien mind control weapon that drives people insane.”
“This is America. Our whole world is insane,” said Hugh Jenner broodingly.
Down the hall three Secret Servicemen suddenly appeared from the West Wing below, marching in lockstep, led by the huge negro Jimbo Hadding, who looked like a refrigerator in an Armani suit. They walked up to the men in the hall. “Uh, boss man sent for me,” said Hadding apologetically to Lyons.
“Nothing unusual in that, James,” said Lyons. “You are his personal agent, after all.”
“Yes sir, Agent Lyons. But this morning he talking crazy,” explained Hadding. “He says you and Mr. Jenner whacked them Jews last night. I told him that can’t be, because when there’s any killing to be done around the White House I’m the one who’s gone be doing it. I’m the nigga who put de black in black ops, so to speak.”
“True,” said Lyons. “Did he believe you?”
“I think so,” said Hadding. “But the man’s mind ain’t right this morning. I can tell.”
“Well, we’ve had some bad news from the front,” said Jenner. “Gentlemen, I think we need to get to the Situation Room.”
As they left Lyons leaned over and said to Hadding, “Jimbo, Georgia Halberstam is now under a Code Two security watch. Last night’s events have made people around here a bit more inclined to listen. When you’re not actually escorting the president today, I want you to keep up with her whereabouts and follow her around on your phone. I’ll send you the feed from the control room. Know where she is at all times, and every second you don’t have your eyes on the president, they should be on her. Dig it?”
“Mos’ def,” said Hadding.
Back in the Situation Room in the West Wing, Admiral Hector Brava turned off the room’s internal electronic recording system. “A few words in private, Mr. Vice President,” he said. “Is the president going to be all right?”
“Is he flipping his lid?” asked Scheisskopf more bluntly.
“For the moment, yes, but can you blame him?” Jenner told them. “Hunter Wallace’s whole career has been aimed at this one moment. Today was supposed to be his hour of triumph. On the nation’s birthday, he was supposed to announce that the nation was whole again. Now all that’s in the crapper, and when the true dimensions of what has happened finally sink in, the entire country is going to be out for his blood. Including Congress, of course. No Congressional waiver on a third term for our Hunter, and even though he only has a few months left in office he will almost certainly be impeached out of sheer political bloodlust for revenge, probably successfully for once. The Clintons could all three slither out of it, but Wallace is no Clinton, and this fuck-up is too big for him to dodge. Somebody’s got to carry the weight for the first outright defeat this country has ever known. If they don’t impeach they’ll wait until he’s out of office and then prosecute him for criminal incompetence or treason by negligent treason or something of the kind, and he’s made enough enemies so we could see the spectacle of a former president actually doing hard time and giving up the booty.”
“Not our first defeat, actually, if you want to look at the historical record,” said Brava. “There was the War of 1812 and Vietnam. Hell, the British burned this very house to the ground, and yet today most people don’t even remember, and those who do think we won that war. We eventually withdrew from Iraq and Afghanistan with armed enemies still in the field against us, which goes against every military definition of victory despite how the politicians may spin it. Maybe the president can spin this?”
“Yeah, well, President James Madison also had the Battle of New Orleans to end that ridiculous little 1812 spat on a high note,” pointed out Jenner. “Even though it was fought two weeks after the war ended. Tell me, gentlemen, do either of you have any ideas on how we can throw our president a quick victory in the next few hours that he can spin on TV as an American triumph and get all the yay-hoos chanting ‘USA! USA!’?”
“No, sir,” admitted Brava.
“Nor do I. but the trouble is, Wallace thinks he has one to hand,” said Jenner grimly. “He’s got that damned briefcase and those nuclear attack codes, or he will have if he calls the Pentagon and has Patterson bring them, and we have no legal authority to stop him if he does. The fear of losing his legacy and his reputation before history may push him into doing what the kikes and the dyke couldn’t.”
“But we can talk to him? Is he sane?” persisted Scheisskopf.
“Jesus, I hope so!” said Jenner.