From Freedom's Sons - Chapter II.
A thick white curtain of snow was falling on Daly Avenue, obscuring everything in a floating white curtain, muffling the sky and houses and rooftops. Out on the street in front of her house, Amber could see a number of trucks and Humvees with snow tires and rattling chains rolling slowly by, painted in camouflage, with blue, white and green roundels on the doors. By the glow of their headlights, and beneath the streetlights that were still on in the white dawn, Amber could see files of armed men in camouflage field jackets and coal-scuttle helmets moving eastward down the street along both sidewalks. Their breath frosted in the freezing air, and their rifles were held at the ready. The column was moving toward the University of Montana campus a few blocks down.
Amber woke up her husband, Doctor Clancy Myers, and whispered to him in terror, “They’re here!”
“Are the kids all right?” demanded Clancy, lifting himself up in bed, still groggy from sleep.
“Yes,” Amber told him. “The Nazis haven’t come in the house. They’re out on the street. I think they’re occupying the campus.”
“I thought we had more time,” mumbled Clancy. “At least until the Christmas break. Not that there are many students left on campus. The news reports said the towns and cities to the west of here were resisting them. They weren’t due for weeks!"
“And where were the media getting their information?” raved Amber. “Six months ago they were telling everybody that the FBI and FATPO had the racist terrorists on the run, and everything would be returning to normal soon! Then the President went on national television and told us she was talking to the sons of bitches, but oh, no, not to worry! She was just doing that to get them to play nice, and be reasonable, and stop murdering people. Chelsea and her mother would never hand us over to be ruled by fascist sociopaths, oh, no, that would never happen! How many times were we assured of that? The goddamned media don’t know anything about what’s going on in this country, any more than anyone else does! They’ve spent the past six months reading government press releases like parrots, while that bitch in the White House and her hag of a mother sold the Northwest out because keeping us free was getting to be too expensive! And the so-called Missoula Patriotic Committee have had their heads up their asses ever since this horrible thing happened. We should have at least tried to resist!"
“Yes, so you’ve said,” snapped Clancy, sitting up on the side of the bed. “Resist with what? All the Patriotic Committee was ever able to put together was a bunch of drunken cowboys waving their deer rifles and American flags in the air like John Wayne, all of whom seem to have vanished when the first fascist tanks actually rolled over the Bitterroot. Guess when it came time to shit or get off the pot, or should I say shoot or get off the pot, our wannabe John Waynes had more sense than they let on. Come on, Amber, you saw what these people did to Portland! They defeated the United States Marine Corps, for God’s sake! How the hell are we supposed to fight that? They seem to have conjured an army up out of the earth, God knows how.”
“Better to die on our feet than live on our knees!” snapped Amber.
“I wonder if you would still say that when the artillery shells and the bombs started falling in our own back yard?” asked her husband. “Where would we have hidden the children? Where would we be safe?” His wife remained silent. “Oh, yes, I forgot, I’m not supposed to be safe. I’m supposed to be showing my middle-aged macho in this time of crisis. Yes, I could well see me on a barricade out on Highway 93, freezing my ass off in the snow,” Clancy went on with a sigh. “With my forty extra pounds, and my varicose veins, and my glasses all fogged up, fumbling around in mittens with some rifle I’d just fired for the first time the day before, maybe. Going up against thousands of bearded, tattooed, homicidal psychopaths armed to the teeth, with tanks and artillery to back them up, who have just run the entire United States military out of the Pacific Northwest. That would be a truly Quixotic way to throw away a PhD in English literature. My doctoral thesis on Jack Kerouac would stand me in good stead out there on the ramparts of glory, for all of two minutes, and then you would be a widow and my children would be without a father. A rather high price to pay for a moment of drama, don’t you think? I’m sorry if you think I’m a coward, Ammy. I’m not. But I just don’t see anything brave about throwing my life away and leaving you guys behind to live with the result.”
“Then if you won’t fight for them, what’s going to happen to our children now, Clancy?” sobbed Amber. “I don’t understand! How could President Clinton have betrayed us like this?” she wailed.
“She’s a politician, she’s a Democrat, and beyond that she’s a Clinton,” said Clancy wearily. “It’s what she does.”
Amber and Clancy went downstairs into the living room, where they found their two children Kevin and Georgia, both still in their pajamas and staring out the picture window through the snow at the column of soldiers and vehicles. “Mom, Dad, they’re here! They’ve got tanks!” cried ten-year-old Georgia in excitement.
“Silly Peanut, those aren’t tanks, they’re Strykers,” said Kevin with the superiority of a 13-year-old video game expert. “They captured them from the Americans.”
“Oh, for God’s sake! You are an American, Kevin Myers, and don’t you ever forget it!” snapped Amber angrily.
“Then so are they,” said Kevin, pointing to the passing NDF column outside the window.
“No, they are not! They’re all foreigners and criminals and crazy people!” said his mother. She stopped herself; Amber was angry and terrified, but she wasn’t stupid. She had followed the news over the past five years, and she knew her statement wasn’t true, as irritating as she found the fact. She also knew that her son knew it. As shocking as Amber still found the fact, the Myers family had actually known neighbors and friends, or at least acquaintances, who had gone with the Nationalists and even the NVA itself. “All right, maybe some of them were born here,” she conceded. “But they’re certainly criminals, and what they have done to the Northwest and to the country as a whole is unforgivable. I don’t know why they have done this. I never had anything against people with a different skin color, and we have raised you children not to harbor that kind of hatred either. They have to be crazy, that’s all. Anyone who commits terrorism and murder for any cause is by definition insane.”
“Is Jenny crazy, Mom?” asked Georgia in a small voice. Jenny Campbell had been Georgia’s favorite babysitter in the days before she had to go on the bounce with the NVA. “Is she bad?”
“Honey, Jenny is—well, she’s very wrong to do what she’s done, is all,” said Amber lamely.
“Does this mean that I can hang out with Bobby Campbell again now?” asked Kevin eagerly. He had been forbidden his best friend’s company for a long time. “It might help you guys to get on the good side of the new bosses.”
"You know, that might not be a bad idea,” said Clancy slowly.
“Oh, for … Clancy!” yelped Amber. “We cut the Campbells off when we found out they were terrorist sympathizers and their daughter was a murderer, and that is still the case! We will never, ever associate with people like that!”
“I don’t know how much choice we will have, dear,” said Clancy soothingly. “People like that, as you put it, seem to be in charge now. Let’s see if we can find out what’s going on.”
They turned on the television to their local CBS channel, KPAX-TV, expecting to see handsome morning newscaster Brad Jensen with his flawlessly capped teeth, as usual. Instead, what they saw was the KPAX news desk, but no Brad in the Morning. Seated behind it, fiddling with a clip-on microphone he was trying to attach to his tunic, was a young man with a sandy beard, wearing NDF tiger-stripes and a billed Alpine cap. The sight of the dreaded National Socialist eagle emblem on both cap and fatigue tunic jarred Amber and Clancy Myers; somehow the eagle right there on the sacred screen itself made it all seem real, in a way that none of the news over the past few months had done.
The young man looked up at the camera, startled. “Huh? We on the air? Oh, okay.” He sat up straight, “Uh, hey there, all you folks out in TV land. My name’s Captain Ricky Johnson, Tenth Infantry Brigade, Northwest Defense Force. I’m originally from down Anaconda way. Mr. Jensen can’t be here this morning. He’s kind of indisposed. Well, folks, if you’ve been looking out your windows this morning, you know that here we are, and here we’re staying,” the young soldier told them cheerfully. “Over the next few months, we’re gonna be bringing the city of Missoula formally into the Northwest American Republic, as per the Longview Treaty. I guess by now you people living here all pretty much know the details of that treaty as it applies to Montana, but just to re-cap, everything west of Interstate 15 is now part of the Republic, and everything east of 15 still belongs to the goddamned Jews. Helena and Great Falls get split right down the middle.
“In case you’re wondering why you didn’t hear any shooting or sirens or explosions last night when we moved in, it’s because your so-called Patriotic Committee, your mayor, the city council, and that bunch of clowns they called a loyal Amurrican militia all skedaddled when it came down to the wire. They didn’t want to get what Portland got. But don’t get me wrong, I ain’t criticizing. We’re all glad they ran. There’s been enough fighting and killing, and it’s time to stop all that shit and get this show on the road. Huh?” A female voice off camera was saying something to Johnson. “Well, ma’am, in case you hadn’t noticed, the Federal Communications Commission don’t have no say any more about what words we can say on the air, but you’re right. Folks, I apologize for my language just now. No point in taking the Northwest away from the niggers if we’re gonna keep talking like ‘em. I’ll do my best to keep it clean from here on in. Don’t worry, you won’t have to put up with me for long. We’ll be getting somebody in here to do the news who’s more professional than me, and a da—a sight better looking, as soon as we can.”
Johnson went on, “For now, I just want to let you folks know in a general way what’s going on, and talk at you about how you can make this a whole lot easier for everybody. I know those yay-hoos from the Patriotic Committee have been telling you for the past month that the NDF is gonna come in here whooping and shooting up the town, and rapin’ your grandmothers, and all kinds of crap like that. Pardon me, all kinds of nonsense like that. That’s just not true. We are now the legitimate government in Missoula, and you folks out there are our fellow white people and fellow citizens. Truth be told, we’ve been doing all this for the past five years as much for you as for ourselves.
“The first thing we want to do is make sure that essential services remain open,” continued Captain Johnson, as Clancy and Amber Myers stared at the screen in stupefaction. “We’re asking first and foremost, that snow plow and salt truck drivers report to work as scheduled. We have men who can drive them in the army, true, and if we have to we’ll clear the streets ourselves, but it’s not really our job, is it? We also ask that those of you who work in certain fields and provide essential services report to work as normal. That includes all medical personnel and firefighters, employees of grocery and hardware stores so people can buy food and supplies, sanitation and landfill workers so garbage doesn’t pile up in the streets, and also city utility workers at the power and water and sewage plants. We don’t want any of those vitally necessary services disrupted in any way, and we are relying on you to do your duty to your fellow Missoulians, even if you may not think much of the new Republic or its people at the moment. Don’t worry, we’re not going to hurt anybody unless you try to hurt us first, or unless you’ve got skin the color of excrement, in which case you brought it on yourself by being a dumb-ass and not getting the hell out of our country when you had the chance.”
Johnson paused. “Now, on the other hand, there are in fact some people who we’re asking to take a few days off until things get sorted out. That includes police, Missoula County sheriff’s deputies, city and county employees in the administrative fields, and employees of banks. We want to make sure we don’t have any unfortunate incidents with police officers who still think they’re the law in these parts, which they ain’t. There was a bit of a ruckus at the central station and the county jail last night when we moved in. Don’t worry, nobody was killed, the boys just had to go upside a couple of dumb-ass Amurrican heads to get them to look at the clock and understand what time it is, but we want to make sure nothing worse happens. You guys are going to have to accept the fact that you’re no longer in charge here, we are. I know it’s going to be hard, so we figure it’s best we just stay out of each other’s way for a while and let things settle down a bit. Cops will be called in to your stations in shifts, and we’ll explain to you how things will work. You’ll be given a chance to go back to work at your old jobs in law enforcement under the new Northwest Civil Guard, unless it turns out you did some really bad acts against us back during the war when we were the NVA. But we’ll deal with everybody on an individual basis.
“I have been told to assure you folks that the bank holiday won’t last more than a couple of days. We just have to secure all the branches and whatnot on orders from the Finance Ministry in Olympia, make sure no die-hard Unionist types go and filch all the cash in the bank vaults and try to drag it off to the U.S. Not to mention just plain thieves trying to take advantage of the situation. Your deposits are safe; we’re not confiscating or stealing your money, we’re just making sure nobody else does. So far as I know, the computer lines are still up and running in stores, so you should still be able to buy stuff with plastic. In a couple of places where we’ve moved in the kikes were able to crash the credit and debit card networks from outside the country, but we got some real slick computer guys in the NDF, and they’ve gotten the drill down for hacking into these financial systems and building necessary firewalls and fail-safes, so we can hopefully prevent that from happening here.”
Johnson leaned forward into the camera. “As far as civil authority goes, for the time being there ain’t none, since the mayor of Missoula, the city council, and most of the Chamber of Commerce have lit out for parts unknown. In their absence, the military administrator for Missoula will be General Dan Macready. Some time within the next few months, as decided by the provisional government in Olympia, there will be an election throughout the Republic where all kinds of public offices will be filled, including municipalities, although candidates and voting in that election will be restricted to people who meet the new citizenship requirements, and who are willing to swear an oath of allegiance to the Northwest American Republic. I don’t know how many of you have actually read the new Constitution, or at least the bits and pieces of it that have been published in the newspapers and on the internet, but from now on we don’t just hand out the vote to any dimwit who happens to have two arms and two legs and a head. That’s how we got into all the trouble before, letting niggers and drug addicts and illegal aliens and any damned body vote. Garbage voters vote in garbage politicians.
“No more. From now on citizenship and the right to vote is something that has to be earned, and right now the only ones who have earned it are those who fought in the NVA and the NDF. I have been told that there will be ways in which non-NVA veterans may apply for and receive third-class citizenship, which will get you one vote. Us guys who put our lives on the line for our race and our new nation will have two or three votes each, that’s true, but that’s as it should be. And there’s other ways you can get a vote. For example, one of the things they’re talking about at the Convention in Olympia is allowing mothers with children to get third class citizenship right away, so long as you’re willing to take the oath of loyalty to the Republic. We understand that the results of an election that allows only NVA and NDF people to vote would be considered morally questionable, and so for the first couple of years until we can work up a whole new order of society and a whole new way of doing things, we’ll be kind of playing it by ear.
“Now, one more thing I want to talk about,” Johnson went on in a serious tone. “I know there are a lot of folks here in Missoula city and county who suffered during the war, even though they weren’t actually NVA. Their only crime was to have white skins. There was an especially nasty FATPO unit stationed here in Missoula, commanded by a monkoid colonel named Pimpin’ Sam Porterfoy, as he called himself. Gang-banger from the L.A. Bloods. Fine upstanding Amurrican, was Pimping Sam. You may also remember his second in command, Major Michael Bonaparte, the Haitian voodoo man. I know I sure as hell do, and his magic necklace of white babies’ skulls he got from abortion clinics. We all remember what the Americans did, at least to ordinary white people who didn’t have one of those nasty-ass little immunity cards issued by Mayor Kirschbaum and his cronies in the liberal University clique who used to run Missoula. Note my terminology there: who used to run this town. Not any more!” Johnson said with a sudden grin.
“Oh, my God, our cards! Our cards!” cried Amber in sudden fear. “We have to destroy them!” She ran upstairs for her purse.
On the TV screen, Captain Ricky Johnson was speaking on. “There are those of you who have lost loved ones because of what the United States occupation forces have done. There are others who have had loved ones disappear, either shipped to the concentration camps in Nevada, or else simply buried out in the landfill by Porterfoy and Bonaparte and their thugs. You know who among the community fought against the Americans, and you know who helped them. No one on earth could blame some of you for wanting to take vengeance against those who oppressed and tortured and tyrannized you for five years, but since the actual perpetrators are gone, you will be tempted to take it out on those collaborators who remain here. Folks, on behalf of the new government of the Northwest American Republic, I’m asking you not to do that. Let us handle it. Actually, we’re already doing so. Among the first of our men into the city last night were some gentlemen from an outfit called Force 101. Those boys specialize in making right what has been wrong for so long. I’m not going to get into details, but there are some of your fellow Missoula residents who you won’t be seeing around any more, and we’re not going deny or conceal that fact. It’s time Amurrica learned that what goes around, comes around.
“Don’t worry, if you or someone you love was murdered, if your family was robbed or injured by the Americans during this time, you will have justice and such compensation as it may be possible to make. If you have something to say, if you have a serious accusation to make against anyone who helped the tyrant to do actual harm, or who profited from tyranny, or if you know some white man or woman who has defiled their body with an animal or someone of the same gender, then bring it to the new administration down at city hall. Ask for the Force 101 guy or the Bureau of State Security rep. I promise you will have our full attention.”
Amber ran into the living room with her purse and Clancy’s wallet in her hand. “My God, do you hear that?” she cried in a shrill voice. “I heard that! They’re coming after anyone who stayed loyal to America! We have to get rid of the evidence!”
She pulled out her own wallet from her purse and extracted a laminated card the size and shape of a driver’s license, bearing her photograph and small embossed symbols, a Missoula city seal and a FATPO ID number. This was what had been known in Missoula as a Get Out Of Jail Free Card, or more earthily, a Back the [expletive of choice] Off Fattie Card. The text asserted that Ms. Amber Escott-Myers had been fully vetted and triple background-checked by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Intelligence Bureau of the Federal Anti-Terrorist Police Organization. She was known to be a loyal citizen of the United States, and was therefore entitled to all due courtesy and assistance from FATPO and the assorted other alphabet soup agencies who had attempted to suppress the NVA revolt for the past five years. “Give me yours!” she ordered her husband. Bemused, Clancy handed Amber his own card from his wallet. She ran into the kitchen, got scissors, and then coming back into the living room, she meticulously cut both cards into small strips. Then she balled up several pages of newspaper, threw them into the fireplace, and lit them on fire with a match, after which she threw all the little pieces of plastic into the flames.
“Ick! That stinks!” said Georgia, wrinkling her nose.
“They can find out who had the cards from computer records at city hall or at the old Fattie HQ,” commented Kevin.
“They destroyed the records! They promised they would before they left us here at the mercy of these kill-crazy Nazi thugs!” wailed Amber.
“Yeah, they promised, but the Fatties were mostly stupid niggers, and they probably screwed it up,” said Kevin.
“Kevin!” screamed Amber hysterically. “Don’t you ever, ever say that horrible word in this house or in my presence again, and especially in your sister’s hearing!”
“Uh, Mom, it’s all right to say nigger now,” said Kevin, gesturing at the television. “Don’t you get it? No more politically correct bullshit! White people can say what they really feel now!”
“Get out!” said Amber frigidly. “Get out of my sight, Kevin! Go to your room and don’t come out until I say you can.”
Kevin complied, shuffling up the stairs. “I’ll just keep on watching the news on my laptop!” he called down defiantly.
“Clancy, we have to make a decision,” demanded Amber, clicking the television into mute mode with the remote. “We have got to work up the courage and make a plan to get out of this city and back into the U.S.A. Even now, even with the snow, it may not be too late. The news, at least the news channels that are still in American hands, have been reporting that the roads heading east and south are still clear. I know that Nazi on TV said the banks will be closed, but we did take the precaution of drawing that five grand in cash out two weeks ago. Families have started over on a lot less. We can get to my mother in D.C. on that, for sure.”
“Just leave everything we have here, except what we can get in the Range Rover?” demanded Clancy. “Ammy, look, we have talked about this and talked about it. Hell, we’ve talked about nothing else since Longview. I thought we had finally agreed to stay in our home and not allow ourselves to be driven out.”
“That was before I heard our son utter that—that—that word!” shouted Amber. “What in God’s name will he be like after a year or two being raised with Nazi propaganda all around? I’m not going to have a little Hitler Youth in the house! And what about Georgia? She has blond hair, so these monsters will probably use her for breeding stock!”
“What’s breeding stock, Mom?” asked Georgia, looking at her own hair with interest.
“They’re going to make you have blond babies!” wept Amber.
“Uh, Mom, I’m not old enough to have babies yet,” said Georgia. “My sex education teacher says I have to be at least thirteen or fourteen and wait until my ...”
“Probably better than Kevin being raised by a Gameboy Play Station or whatever the hell it is he spends all his time with,” sighed Clancy. “I repeat, Amber, we discussed this at length and we decided to stay.”
“That was when I thought there was still a chance,” argued Amber. “That was when I thought we were going to fight. When I thought you were going to fight!” she added bitterly.
“Well, pardon me for being alive,” said Clancy in irritation. “Ammy, I know a Nazi bullet would have been a lot cheaper than a divorce lawyer, not to mention providing endless opportunities for you to play the drama queen off the whole patriotic American widow shtick for the rest of your life, but I’m sorry, I just couldn’t see my way to going down in a hail of lead gibbering like Sydney Carton about how it’s a far, far better thing I do!”
“Are you guys talking divorce again?” asked Georgia sadly. They had forgotten she was in the room.
“Georgie, honey, I think you need to go to your room and get dressed as well,” said Amber.
“Are Kev and me going to school?” asked Georgia.
“I don’t think so, dear,” said Amber. “I don’t think that’s a good idea. We don’t even know if the schools are open, and when they do open back up they will probably start teaching you to worship Adolf Hitler and hate black people and Mexican and Jewish people, which we are not going to allow to happen under any circumstances whatsoever,” she added with a fierce look at her husband. “Right now just go upstairs and get dressed, honey, and then we’ll have breakfast and you and Kevin can make a snowman in the back yard. I don’t want you leaving the house for a while. It’s not safe outside.”
“And where would we go? Just sponge off your mother?” demanded Clancy. “Both our jobs are here.”
“Do you still think they’ll let you teach?” Amber asked him. “UM has been using an inclusive and multi-culturally diverse curriculum for years. Do you think the Nazis won’t find out? What will they do to you when they find out you’ve been teaching Saul Bellow, James Baldwin and Maya Angelou? What will they do when they see tapes of your seminars on Armistead Maupin and gay literature?”
“Send me back to teaching Chaucer, Shakespeare, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain and Stephen Crane?” suggested Clancy. “I could do that. In fact, I really think I’d like to do that. Teach real English literature that has stood the test of time and not just passed a politically correct litmus test. Or Ambrose Bierce. God, I’d love to do an Ambrose Bierce seminar again!” Amber looked like she was about to explode into a liberal hissy fit, but she was interrupted.
“Look, Mom!” Georgia cried out suddenly, pointing to the television screen. “It’s Jenny! Jenny’s on TV!”
Sure enough, Amber looked up and saw Georgia’s former babysitter Jennifer Campbell standing beside the NDF captain Johnson behind the desk and taking his microphone. She was wearing not tiger stripes, but an NDF female garrison uniform with dark green skirt and a khaki blouse, Sam Browne belt, a holstered pistol, and a black beret. The ever-present eagle was over her buttoned right pocket. Amber clicked on the sound. “Now didn’t I tell you they’d be sending in somebody who’s a lot easier on the eyeballs than me?” Johnson was saying with a laugh. “It’s all yours, ma’am. Take her away!”
“Thanks, Rick,” said Jenny, seating herself behind the desk. “I’m Captain Jennifer Stockdale, General Macready’s press secretary, and I will be doing the morning and evening news for a while here on KPAX-TV.”
“I thought Jenny’s last name was Campbell,” said Georgia.
“She must have married that psychotic killer Jason Stockdale, the man whose picture those FBI agents showed us when they came here that time,” said Amber. “In which case her name is now Jennifer Campbell-Stockdale. I don’t suppose these NVA bitches have the guts to stand up to their Neanderthal men and demand to keep their own names.”
“They seem to have stood up to the FBI and FATPO well enough,” remarked Clancy. “It’s probably part of their political and social program. I would imagine that under the new order we’re going back to the old ways, as contradictory as that sounds.” His own wife’s feminist refusal to take his own family name had always irked Clancy, and he suddenly felt the germ of a suspicion that life under the Northwest American Republic might have its compensations after all. Not to mention avoiding the necessity of throwing the family on the tender mercy of Amber’s ghastly mother, a Washington, D.C., socialite who had never met a left wing or liberal cause she didn’t like, no matter how far out.