Thursday, November 15, 2012

Freedom's Sons: Epilogue




[There's this one Jew heckler who always goes completely batshit with hatred when I run excerpts from my novels, so here is the final closing chapter of Freedom's Sons. - HAC]
 

Winston Wayne’s Escape

Well, my name is Joe McTeer, and I was a Volunteer
In the War of Independence long ago.
I got out of Coeur d’Alene and hooked up with Winston Wayne,
And we headed down to southern Idaho.
When the rising was put down, we very quickly found
That in our own homes we could no longer dwell.
Ah, but many’s the lonely cave some form of comfort gave,
And the folks up in the Sawtooth knew us well.

Well, the snow was falling fast on a February night,
When the cabin up near Redfish came in view.
The weather was severe, but a guard was posted near,
Though the dangers on a night like this seemed few.
But some rotten little spy went and called the FBI,
And may I live to even up the score.
For it’s when we awoke in the dawn, it was no joke
To find the flashing LED lights at the door.

“Come out, you rebel band!” yelled the agent in command,
“You haven’t got a prayer, don’t got a hope!
Give up and do it fast, or we’ll hit you with gas,
And we’ll kill each man we sight on with our scope!”
Says Winston to his men, “Well, boys, here we are again,
And I could swear I’ve seen this same old flick before.
We held out for sixteen days, and we set the world ablaze,
If we have to we’ll hold out for sixteen more!”

The house was set on fire and as the flames rose higher,
We fired through every window all around,
With the tear gas and the smoke we were nearly overcome,
But we never thought to lay our weapons down.
Then a well-aimed sniper round knocked Ted Langenheimer down,
And he rolled across the floor to try and hide.
His AR was blown away and he stared down with dismay
At the blood that bubbled crimson from his side.

He says “Commandant, I’m done. Throw me down the Thompson gun,
And I’ll hold them so you boys can make your break!”
He kicked open the door and the Thompson roared,
And he blew one agent right into the lake.
While he kept them all pinned down, we got out the side and found
That they hadn’t yet destroyed one SUV,
Oh generous and brave, young Langenheimer gave
Up his life so his people might be free.

Well before they could reload, we were halfway down the road,
With an armored Humvee snapping at our heels.
We turned the Escalade and we threw our last grenade,
And we blew the Hummer off into the fields.
Driving like a lunatic, on black ice inches thick,
The temperature was eight or maybe nine,
With the low clouds in the sky, their choppers couldn’t fly,
And we made it to a safe house down in Pine.

We lost three men that day, but seven got away,
And we all went on to fight to free our land.
Albert Walsh was killed one night in Porterville,
Pat Murphy fell with Murdock’s gallant band.
The Commandant and me, also the other three
Lived to see our flag at Longview hoisted high.
Every year we all make a trip to Redfish Lake,
And we drink a toast where Langenheimer died.


-The Second Generation, Songs of Freedom album
©Bifrost Music, Seattle



XXXIX. Remember, Remember, The First Of November

(50 Years and ten days after Longview)

And the band plays Waltzing Matilda,
And the old men still answer the call.
But year after year, their numbers grow fewer,
Someday no one will march there at all.
-Australian song commemorating
the battle of Gallipoli, 1915


At 7:30 sharp on the morning of November first the whistles blew again, as they had done at the same time on the same day fifty years before.

The NDF’s first wave that rose to cross the Interstate-5 bridge in that dawn half a century ago had numbered over 22,000 men, with as many more behind them in the second wave. On this morning, fortunately without rain, not quite three thousand people began to move across the bridge from the Washington side into Portland, Oregon. The bridge was no longer used for traffic; in order to make it passable for levitational vehicles the engineers would have had to tear down the iron superstructure over the asphalt and essentially rebuilt the archaic structure from the ground up, and so it was decided to build a new bridge down where the old 205 crossed the Columbia, and preserve this one as a historic monument.

On both sides of the old I-5, large crowds stood in the chill morning air, some sitting on bleachers which had been set up for spectators. As the line consisting mostly of elderly men began to move, applause and cheers rang out. Television cameras from news outlets all over the world focused on the marchers from various vantage points, including cherry pickers and some mounted on the bridge’s superstructure. The old men were mostly dressed warmly in civilian clothes, but a few retired old soldiers and sailors and airmen wore uniforms from a lifetime of military service to the Republic. Their chests were decked with medals from the War of Independence, the Seven Weeks War, and numerous Aztlan border campaign ribbons. Iron Crosses were as common as summer dandelions.

They moved slowly, almost at a shuffling pace, unlike the steady and relentless march across the same bridge under fire fifty years ago. Some even carried the same weapon slung on their shoulder that they had borne on the morning of combat. Not all the marchers were elderly veterans of the NVA and NDF; some were wives accompanying husbands, as well as children and grandchildren walking slowly beside their relatives should they need support, in some cases pushing them in wheelchairs. In the lead was a small handful of a dozen or so German men, the last survivors of Conrad Baumgarten’s Stormtroopers who had broken the American barricade on that morning. Baumgarten himself had died the year previously, and they were lead by retired Sergeant Major Günther Thiessen, who had served twenty-five years with the colors and recently retired from running a government guest house in Montana.

Jason Stockdale was among the marchers. The retired chancellor of the University of Montana was now aged 78, but straight as a ramrod, and the cane he flourished as he strolled along the right-hand traffic lane of the historic bridge was merely for show. He was jaunty today in a fawn fedora, ascot, and corduroy jacket with patches on the elbows, as befitted a academic type. His handsome wife who walked beside him was wearing tweeds and sensible shoes. Jenny Stockdale hadn’t gotten older, but better; she was living proof that a woman of 69 could be beautiful. Carter Wingfield’s order that NDF women not take part in the opening attack on the battle morning had always rankled a bit with Jenny, and she’d let her husband know in no uncertain terms that this time she was coming across the bridge at his side.

Jason chatted for a while with another elderly couple walking at their left. He introduced himself and Jenny. “Shane Ryan,” returned the other man, also wearing the old Party fedora and the NVA roundel. “This is my wife, China. We’re from up in Dundee.”

“I know you, you’re Carter Wingfield’s daughter!” exclaimed Jenny. “Didn’t I meet you and your husband once during the war, when Red Morehouse came out to Montana? You two were his escort and driver. Only it seems to be you were a little taller.”

“That was probably my sister, Rooney,” said China. “She and Shane did a lot of work for Red. I was with the South Sound Brigade right up until just before Longview, then my dad more or less abducted me for his staff.”

“I kind of put a word in for you myself,” commented Shane.

“I know, dear,” replied Mrs. Ryan with a smile.

Stockdale spotted another couple moving up beside him, a little old man with a bit of a stoop and a tall, thin white-haired woman with a beaky nose and a bit of a scowl, wrapped in a shepherd’s coat and a warm toboggan on her head, who was being pushed by him in a wheelchair. Both wore the Old NVA piped roundel. “Hey, another boy-girl team,” Stockdale said. “You know, comrade, seems to me I actually remember you from back on the day itself. Name escapes me, though. Getting senile.”

“I’m Cody Brock,” said the little old man. “Foxtrot Company, First Battalion, Fourth Infantry. I remember you too, I think. You were the G Company CO, name of Stockton, right?”

“Jason Stockdale,” replied Jason. “This is my wife, Jenny. Jenny, this is Comrade Brock, or Lieutenant Brock as he was back then. We walked together for a while the first time we took this little stroll, when there weren’t so much by way of cheering crowds.”

“Nice to meet you, comrade. This is my wife, Emily.”

“Yeah, it’s coming back to me—you said you’d just gotten married to some Third Section James Bond chick,” said Jason. “This the same lady?”

“That would be me, all right,” said Emily.

Cody spoke over to Jenny. “I was an eighteen-year-old lieutenant at the time, and some idiot gave me a company to command.”

“The idiot was General Frank Barrow!” snapped the woman in the wheel chair in front of him. “He seemed to think a lot of you, God knows why.”
  
“I wasn’t actually on the bridge crossing that morning, because of General Wingfield’s no-girls-allowed order,” explained Jenny modestly. “I was back at headquarters monitoring computers.”

“Screw the stupid order,” said the thin woman in the wheelchair. “I was here anyway. I was here before you guys.”

“Oh? Where?” asked Jason skeptically.

“Right up over your heads,” she said, pointing upward at the iron arches. “I was sitting up there spotting for the artillery and listening to indecent proposals from some Okie Luftwaffe pilot.”

“You’re Nightshade?” gasped Jenny in astonishment. “We actually spoke on the radio when you got up on top there and started calling the shots. I remember you back-talked General Wingfield.”

“Why am I not surprised at this?” said Cody.

“It is an honor to meet a national heroine, comrade,” said Jason with a serious bow. “I’ve heard about your exploits during both wars.”

“No, you watched that stupid movie where Kelly Shipman played me as a blonde bimbo, and you’ve probably seen that telephoto lens shot of Cody and me making out behind the vending machines at the Longview conference,” said Emily in irritation.

“Ignore her,” said Cody. “She’s just crabby because she broke her hip in the bathtub a week ago, and I’m having to push her across. She wanted to climb up on the girders again.”

Up ahead the SS band struck up the Panzerlied, serenading the small group of Germans who had just crossed the line on the Oregon side of the bridge, where the American barricades had been set up, and where they had swarmed over the Bremer walls and left bodies of dead comrades lying on the asphalt for a hundred yards until the last of the Portland gang-bangers were dead or had turned tail and run. The marchers walked slowly along after them, mostly in silence now, as memories swelled of men who had begun the long march with them and were gone now. Not just the march across the bridge, but the march that had begun five years before that, when America’s carrion crows had come for White children in Coeur d’Alene and been shot to pieces by ordinary people who suddenly, through some miracle, remembered that they came from the greatest warrior race in all of history. Ordinary people who at long last, at the eleventh hour and the fifty-ninth minute and the last second, had finally had enough.

A few minutes later Jason and Jenny Stockdale, Shane and China Ryan, and Cody and Emily brock crossed the old barricade line together, with the roar of the cheering crowd in the bleachers and along the river bank below roaring like Niagara Falls in their ears.

“Well, we made it,” said Jason.

“Yeah, we made it,” said Shane.

“We did,” said Cody. They all understood what they meant.

* * *

"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill
cannot be hidden." – Matthew 5:14

The State President of the Northwest American Republic sat in his oak-paneled private office in his official residence in Olympia. He was a fit but elderly man with a white moustache, wearing a neat charcoal gray suit that was patterned after one President Calvin Coolidge had worn at his inauguration, with his pinned decorations over his left pocket and his Iron Cross and Knight’s Cross around his neck. He was studying a report in a folder on the desk before him.

He looked up and saw a small golden head looking at him with solemn green eyes over the edge of the desk in front of him. One of his great-grandchildren. “Hello,” he said.

“Hello,” said the little girl.

“Which one are you? There are so many of you that I forget.”

“I’m Annie. I’m going to be four.”

“Oh, yes. Your father’s my grandson Michael.”

“Daddy’s on the moon,” said the little girl.

“Yes, that’s why you and your mother are staying here at Longview House for a while.”

“Whatcha doing?” asked Annie.

“I am reading a report on steel production in our country,” he told her.

“Why?”

“Because I’m the president, and I have to do presidential things, which includes reading a lot of long, boring documents.”

“What’s them?” she asked, pointing at his decorations.

“Those are medals. I got them in the war. Several wars, actually. I am wearing them all today because in a little while I am flying down to Portland to make a speech.”

“Where did you get them?” she asked.

“The state and the army gave them to me because they thought I was very brave, although in fact I just acted like a damned fool where others could see me.”

“Why were you brave?” asked the little girl.

“Because someone had to be.”

“Why?” she asked.

“So that you could be here today, asking me questions. How did you get in here, anyway?” He asked. “There’s supposed to be an SS man on duty outside the reception room. You didn’t take him out, did you?”

“I snucked in.”

“So I see.”

“Why are you making a speech?” asked Annie.

“Because that’s one of the presidential things I have to do all the time, so they will let me live in this nice big house,” the old man told her. “Sometimes when I make speeches people want me to clatter around with all this junk on my chest. Normally I don’t wear these, except for this one.” He pointed his thumb at the piped blue, white and green Old NVA roundel on his lapel. He wore it even though he was also wearing the actual decoration itself, which was technically incorrect, but he didn’t care.

“Why?” asked Annie.

“Because that is the one I am most truly proud of,” said the president. “That is the badge of the Northwest Volunteer Army. There are not many people left who wear it, and I am the last man who will ever sit in this office to do so, which is the natural way of things. My generation has had our day, and now it’s the turn of others. Including you.”

She pointed to a picture. “Who is that man?”

“His name is Edward Langenheimer. He died very young, and he is the reason I am sitting here today, wearing medals that should have gone to him, and would have if that was the way it had played out. I am here because of what he did, and you are here because of what I and many others did.”

“I don’t understand,” said the little girl.

“You will when you get bigger,” promised the old man.

“Annie!” came a voice from the door. A pretty young woman and an SS officer in dress black stood in the doorway. The girl looked flustered and the SS man looked embarrassed. “Stop bothering the president! I’m sorry, I don’t know how she got away from me ... ”

“That’s quite all right, Mary.”

“Sorry, sir, she slipped by me,” said the guard. “She’s just so little I must not have noticed her.”

“You need to be a bit more on the ball, Lieutenant. The ONR might be employing hit leprechauns.”

“President McTeer, your limo is on the airpad. You’ll have the usual Luftwaffe copter escort down to Portland,” the officer told him.

The president glanced at his watch. “I’m not due on the rostrum for another hour. Plenty of time.”

“Can I go?” asked Annie.

“Mmmm, I don’t think so,” said McTeer. “It will only be grownups, there are going to be a lot of speeches besides mine which will bore you to tears—which will probably in fact bore me to tears—and I will be staying up way too late to get you home in time for your bedtime. I’ll tell you what you can do for me though. I will make you Minster of Heavy Industry, and you can sit here and read this report for me and tell me what to do about our energy-to-output ratios, which are not what they should be.” The little girl frowned. “Or you can go down to the kitchen and ask Eleanor to give you some ice cream.”

“Ice cream!” said the little girl immediately.

“Good choice. Now go with Mommy.” Instead she ran out the door like a streak of lightning.

“She’s headed for the kitchen,” said his granddaughter-in-law.

“I need to get moving, but before I go, any word from Mike?” asked the president, picking up his briefcase and his overcoat.

“Annie and I talked to him at Tycho Station via satellite link last night. He looks well and he did some moon-gravity gymnastics in front of the camera for Annie, held himself up on one finger, talked to her while he was standing on his head, that kind of thing.”

“Hmm,” said McTeer, shaking his head. “You know, when I first joined the Party, nobody had walked on the moon for almost fifty years. The Americans made it there a few times, and then they just gave up. They decided they’d rather pay niggers and Mexicans to have babies. Now a century later we’re back again. Guess it was all worth it after all.”

The girl reached out and touched the Old NVA badge on his lapel. “Mr. President … yes, it was worth it. All of it. There’s not much I can say except thank you, sir. From me, from Annie, from all of us. Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” said the old man.

3 Comments:

Blogger brian boru said...

As always Harold, very moving stuff. Now, if we can just make it happen.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAC could you post a few comments from the crazy jew? There's nothing funnier than frantic hebe.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is great stuff. Where do I get a copy of the compleat Freedom's Sons?

10:17 PM  

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