We're Not Gonna Take It
Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
Morning always comes early on a farm. Even small farms, like the Bradford's had. Mary was in her kitchen, finishing making breakfast, when Lee and Paul came in. "Morning, boys. You ready for this day?" She asked.
"Morning Mrs. Bradford."
"You boys go set the table. After that, Lee you can go get your Dad. Paul, could you help me carry this food to the table?"
"Yes ma'am!" They both said at near the same time. It took almost no time at all to get breakfast set up.
They all sat down and Jonathon said grace. Afterwards, he looked up at Lee. "Well? Did ya get it fixed between the two of you?"
Lee almost choked on his first mouthful of food. Both the boys' faces began to burn. Jonathon let out a belly laugh that even got Mary laughing. All Lee could do was to say, "Daaad!"
"I take it, from your red faces, that is a 'Yes'?"
"Don't you worry none, Leland." Mary, still laughing, said. "Jonathon has been wanting to do that for years. He would've done that, even if you had gotten married to a girl and this was the morning after the wedding!"
After regaining his composure, Jonathon looked at Paul, "Sorry that you got caught up in that, Paul. But Mary's right, I've been waiting for the last six years to pull this on Leland." Turning serious, he looked at the boys. "OK. We've got some work to do this morning. I'm gonna get the backhoe out and start digging some holes to bury the Gas and Heating oil tanks. You boys can help by pulling off the lines and capping them off.
"After we get them buried, we can take the excess dirt and run it evenly along the driveway to the house. Paul, you can mark the capped lines on a map of the property in the barn. You'll find the map in the tack room, and use the old lead pencil you find there. Less chance of anyone looking and wondering what fresh ink means on those plans. Leland, you can fill up the bobtail with some gravel and spread it out on top of the fresh dirt. That'll make it look more natural, and we would have had to gravel it anyway this year.
"If'n you're both done with breakfast, let's get'er done. I want to be done before those army guys get here."
It didn't take long to disconnect the tanks and unbolt them from their legs. At about the time the 500 gallon gas tank was ready to be moved, the hole had been dug. Jonathon drove the backhoe over to it and Lee chained it up to the bucket.
It was lifted carefully and placed in the hole. While Lee's dad was filling in the hole, Lee and Paul dismantled the carriage and stacked the parts over by the far side of the barn.
By that time, Jonathon had the second hole dug and they repeated the process for the heating oil tank. Lee jumped into the bobtail dump truck and let his dad fill it up with the excess dirt from the holes. From there, he began to spread the dirt over the driveway. Paul measured where the cap points of the tanks were. He went into the barn, found the old property map and made two marks on it, with the old #2 lead pencil. He didn't bother to put any labels on the marks, since they would all know what they were for. Then, for good measure, he gently rubbed the pencil marks, making them appear faded and older than they were.
He looked around and saw a couple of old 55 gallon drums, and some older stands. The old barrels were empty, but capped, so they weren't rusted inside. While Lee and his dad were leveling the dirt and getting the gravel to top it with, Paul moved the barrel stands and the barrels over to where the other tanks had been. Looking at the ground, Paul knew they had to gravel over the area to hide where the large tanks had been. There was too much ground that had been spilled on to account for the smaller barrels.
So Paul had Lee dump a bit of gravel on those areas, raked it in somewhat and set the barrels on their stands. Now all they had to do was to fill the barrels up, re-hook them, and everything would look just fine.
They were almost done, when Jonathon came out of the barn with an old hand-cranked siphon pump and some hose. They filled the barrels with the old pump. Then Lee and Paul started raking some leaves from the tree line, to cover over the fresh dug earth that now covered the buried tanks.
Just before noon everything was completed. They all looked at their handiwork to see if it all looked natural, to a casual observer. They nodded to each other. It looked damn good.
"Dad," Lee said to him. "Would you excuse us to Mom? We promised Ben that we would meet him over at James' place for lunch. Not sure what he wants, but he said there were some things the four of us had to discuss. If we leave right now, we should get there in time."
Jonathon got a somber look to his face. "Alright son. You boys get over there. But take the back road so's them army boys don't see ya. Do not go through town. Ya hear me? And you call me on Channel 14, before you head back."
"Yes sir." Lee said. "Come on Paul. Let's get cleaned up a bit and head over there." The two young men waved goodbye to Jonathon, as they turned and walked over to Lee's house.
"Lee, there's something I have to get and take over to James' house. It's something I caught on the net, before it went down. I've told Ben about it, but you guys all need to see it." Paul said, as he rummaged through his duffel bag. A minute later, they both got on Lee's quad and they took off.
"Paul, You can hold on tight if you want. I didn't say anything yesterday, but I kinda like you holding on to me." Paul smiled to himself, as he hugged Lee a bit tighter.
Lee and Paul broke through the forest and into the backyard at James' place. They had taken the South Creek Road until just before it turned onto Main Street, where they turned left onto the old road and through the forest over to Goose Pond Road. That way they avoided having to take the quicker way on the paved road. Quicker, but it also ran right through the town center and next to State Route 3. The most likely place the troops would be expected to show up.
James and Ben were there to meet them and they shook hands as they greeted each other and moved into the house.
"You boys hungry?" Nancy Robbins, James' mother, asked them. "I have a plate of sandwiches and chips over on the counter."
A chorus of "Thanks, Mrs. Robbins" was heard.
"Paul, you have those videos you were talking about?" Ben asked, as he finished his sandwich.
"Yes. I have them on a flash drive. All we need is to boot up James' computer and you can all see what has happened over the last couple of days."
The Robbins, like a lot of people in this area of upstate New York, had their own generator. The winters here, being what they were, could knock the power out. Sometimes for days or even weeks.
The guys cleaned up the kitchen and moved back to James' room. James booted his computer up while Paul handed him the flash drive he had brought.
"OK guys. Here's the deal. All of the videos that I have were taken from the underground net. James, just play them in the order they are listed." Paul instructed.
Ben and Lee pulled up chairs to watch, as James clicked on the first video. This showed Ashwood telling the country about the death of Jack Bryce. Then Bryce came on, right after that, telling the country how he had narrowly escaped an assassination attempt, engineered by Ashwood. Then there was a video that showed Federal agents at a school in Texas that began killing the townspeople, then they turned their guns on the kids and the parents as they tried to stop the massacre. It was like something out of a nightmare. The final videos were of Ashwood blaming the whole Breckenridge massacre on Bryce, and Bryce showing some wounded kids and telling Ashwood he would pay for what he had done. Finally, there were the underground reports of a bombing in Kansas City; a cruise missile attack on Austin; a "dirty" bomb being set off in Oklahoma City; and a blister agent being released in Boulder.
It was the sobs from James' Mom, Nancy, that broke the silence. Colin, James' dad, just stood there. There was a smoldering fury in his eyes. "I may not have liked everything that Ashwood has tried to do, hell!, I didn't like everything that Bryce did. But when did these United States become a third world dictatorship?" Colin said, more to himself than anyone else.
Ben stood up and slowly looked at everyone in the room. "There has to be something we can do, to push back against all of this. How can our own military obey orders that basically enslave the population?"
Lee looked at him and shook his head. "I don't think it's going to be the US Army that takes control."
"How do you figure that, Lee? Those troopers told James and me to essentially get home and lock ourselves in, as the Army was going to be here today." Ben practically spit out.
"Easy Ben. They didn't say the US Army, did they? We are all aware of the influx of foreign soldiers over at Fort Drum. What you're not aware of is what I saw yesterday, while I was watching the ammo bunkers." Lee went over to one of James' book shelves and quickly went through some of his hunting maps. Finding what he wanted, Lee spread it out on James' bed. "Look here." Pointing to a specific area, "I made a portable tree stand here, and watched both the bomb dump and the small arms dump, here and here."
Colin and Ben both studied where Lee was pointing.
"Normally, when there is some sort of planned exercise going on, there would be a lot of activity, pulling larger ordnance out. Usually for practice with the Falcons and Apache's. Some small arms munitions are carried out of this set of bunkers," Lee pointed it out, "but not in great quantities.
"Yesterday, almost all of the activity was at the small munitions bunkers. What makes this odd in the extreme was that the people moving this stuff were not regular US Army. They were foreign troops."
"How do you know they were foreign?" Ben interrupted.
"I was using that new 60 power Kowa scope I bought last summer. Since I was only a half mile from the bunker complex, I got a real close-up look at the troops. They were all dressed in what looked like jungle cammies, not the standard woodland BDU that we are used to seeing. None of them had any distinctive markings to identify the country of origin. They did have some sort of rank insignia, but I'll be darned if I could figure out the structure. They sure weren't US standard. Their appearance? I'll just say they were all 'swarthy' looking with many, if not most, sporting mustaches. If I had to guess, I'd say they were of South American origin."
"That makes more sense than thinking the entire US Armed Forces have turned against the people they are sworn to protect." Ben said. "I think we need to find ourselves some radio operators. Without communications of some sort, we can't possibly do what I'm thinking."
Lee had been had been mulling over all this, but what Ben just said brought his attention to the front. "Just what're you thinking, Ben?"
Looking over at James' parents, "I don't think I should say at the moment. The less those involved know, the less they can be forced to tell."
Colin took Nancy's hand and they walked out of the room. Just before they left, Colin stopped and said, "Boys, whatever it is, be damned careful." With that, he shut the door on his way out.
"You know you just hurt Dad." James said. It was a statement and not a question. "Dad was in the Marines, so I think we could've included him."
"Perhaps we can, James. But later, after I lay this out to you guys.
"We pretty much know that Bryce is in the west, somewhere. We also know that he won the election, an election that Ashwood is ignoring. I'd bet that Bryce has plenty of military on his side. Can't say how much or how many, but I'd wager that it is enough to maybe overthrow this dictator. I can't imagine that people would sit still if they have the information we have. So I have to suspect that Ashwood is controlling the information flow. With the electrical grid down, no radio, satellite or TV… I suspect he has as much of a lock on the flow as he can get.
"I'd bet that if we really look at what is going on, we'd find that this country is now in a civil war. A revolution, if you will. But this war isn't about the North against the South. It isn't about taxation without representation. It's about freedom to be what we want to be, against the slavery that Ashwood would seem to want to impose on us. I don't know about you guys, but I'm damn sure not gonna believe in Ashwood's form of Christianity. It goes against everything I was ever taught about the Bible and how we are supposed to view ourselves.
"Ashwood and his followers only believe in the Old Testament laws, not what Jesus preached. And even here, he picks and chooses what Hebrew laws he wants to enforce and which ones he ignores.
"I don't much care who a person loves, or what gender they may be." Ben looked directly at Lee and Paul. His look was not lost on James.
"Ben? Did they finally get together?" Ben nodded."Well, sweet Molly Malone! It's about damn time you two jokers got your act together!" Lee and Paul sat there, blushing at this outburst. James wasn't done however, "For all these years, you two have hidden your feelings about each other. Lee, you've most likely hidden this from yourself. I'm pretty sure that you knew you were gay, Paul, but were afraid to show it and afraid to tell Lee. The one thing neither of you could hide was what your friends saw.
"Ben and I have had an ongoing debate about when you guys would admit to yourselves and each other what you feel… Wait a minute! That's why your Mom kicked you out, wasn't it, Paul." The light dawned on James as he spoke. "She somehow found out you were gay! Damn fundamentalist church she belongs to has poisoned her against her own blood."
"Yeah, I kinda figured that out. The how and why she never said anything, is neither here nor there." Ben got serious. "Right now we have a war on our hands. I think we have only two choices."
"We can bow down to what this evil bastard wants or we can fight against him. To do nothing is to condone what is happening. There may not be much we can do, in a real sense, but anything we can do to harass and delay his takeover of this country is better than just sitting here, moaning about things, and slowly being enslaved by the likes of that church Paul's mother belongs to."
"So what are you proposing, Ben?" Lee asked, not sure about where Ben was going with this talk.
Paul spoke up at this point, "Any of you ever hear of a man named Francis Marion?" This earned a big smile from Ben.
"Isn't that the guy who Mel Gibson portrayed in 'The Patriot'?" James asked.
"Very loosely, but yes. Colonel Marion was the original 'Swamp Fox' that stymied the British at almost every turn. He was the father of modern guerrilla warfare tactics." Ben said. "I propose that we start asking around, to those we really trust, and see how many like minded guys we can get. Then we can start to plan how we can stall these mongrels, until our real military shows up, and takes back our country."
"If you're serious, Ben, then we had better start getting things together. The sooner we see where we stand, the faster we can get things moving. I'm saying, you can count me in." Lee said as he stood up and shook Ben's hand. Paul and James also stood up, their hands covering Ben and Lee's.
Ben then stepped to the door, opened it, and said, "Let's see if we can take the next couple of days and cautiously ask around. We need to get maybe fifteen to twenty people together on this. People that know the woods, who can stand to be out in the woods foraging for food. People like us, that want to stop this madness.
"We need to take stock of what guns and ammo we have. Along with all the other equipment we will need to survive out there, and be able to move fast on short notice. This is going to be unbelievably hard, make no mistake about that. Anyone who has reservations about this, need not apply. It's going to take more than simple resolve to see this through. It's going to take more than endurance. It's going to take the sort of patriots this country hasn't seen in a long, long time."
Lee and Paul left on their quad and started back through the forest the way they had come, but not before Lee turned on his hand-held radio and told his Dad they were on their way back. As they came upon the old Main Street trail and neared the edge of the forest, Lee slowed down and stopped.
"I think we need to walk to the edge of the clearing and make sure there are no troops that can see us. They are supposed to be here by now." Looking at his watch, Lee saw that it was close to 3:00pm.
Harrisville is a small town. Spread over about a square mile, there were only about 630 people that lived there. Perhaps another 200 folks lived in the surrounding areas. Set up in the rolling hills of the mid-western slope of the Adirondacks, it was actually quite a serene place. Some people farmed small acreages and some worked down in Carthage or even as far as Watertown.
As Lee and Paul reached the clearing, the quiet and serenity were broken by a bloodcurdling scream. Not more than 250 feet ahead of them, at the corner of Main and State Streets, was a Humvee. What they could see was a small girl, maybe nine or ten, thrown on the seat while a soldier had his pants down, very close to the girl. It was blatantly obvious what was happening.
There were three other soldiers standing around, with what looked like M-4's, keeping guard on the area. When the first soldier had finished, he appeared to wipe his front off, then pulled up his pants and let another soldier have the girl. Her screams had diminished, but not stopped.
Lee and Paul stood there at the edge of the forest. Lee said, "Slap me if I ever leave the house without my rifle." It looked like he was about to lose his lunch. Lee pulled Paul back into the cover of the trees, then turned and puked his guts. Lee finished retching and was about to go back to the quad for some water, when Paul's urgent voice drew him back to the edge. "Lee there's Mrs. Wilson…" Lee saw her running at the soldiers screaming at them. Lee knew then that it was Polly that the soldiers had.
One of the soldiers saw the women and raised his rifle, yelling at her in Spanish. Lee and Paul could just barely make out, "Alto!" a couple of times, before they saw smoke from the barrel and Mrs. Wilson clutching at her chest, then they heard the gunshots. The one that was still raping Polly only paused long enough to see what had happened and immediately went back to his own self gratification.
Ten more very long minutes and they were done. They let the little girl go and she started running towards her mother, who had fallen where she had been shot. Polly reached her mother and knelt down, screaming again. A soldier walked up to the little girl, drew his sidearm, and shot Polly in the head. He gave a laugh and then joined his companions in the Humvee. They turned it around and headed towards the highway, a couple of blocks north of where they had been stopped.
"Come on Lee." Paul said, shocked at what they had just witnessed. "There's nothing we can do for them." Lee was still feeling sick, but Paul's face was one of stone. They got on the quad and made their way back home
When Lee stopped the quad in front of the house, he got off and without a word, walked over to the barn and went inside.
Jonathon came out of the house and walked over to Paul. "What's up with Leland, Paul?"
"I think he is reloading, Mr. Bradford. Tonight, I think will need to sneak over to my house and get my hunting rifle and what ammo I have."
"Paul, call me Jonathon, or even Dad, if'n you want. You're as much family, now, as Leland. Now sit down and tell me why you look like you saw a ghost and why you need your guns."
Paul looked Jonathon straight in the eyes and asked, "Do you have any hard liquor in the house?"
Without batting an eyelid, Jonathon pointed to the main house, "Go sit at the kitchen table. I'll be up there in a minute." Paul went into the house, grabbed his computer bag and strode to the big house.
Jonathon walked into the barn and through to the tack room. There he found Lee, busy setting up to reload for his .338 Lapua. "Lee, son, stop for a minute get into the house. Paul needs you. Um, I need you."
Lee shrugged his shoulders and went with his Dad. Inside, Jonathon motioned for Lee to sit next to Paul, while he went into his study. Paul meanwhile had his laptop from his backpack and had it booted up, with the flash drive attached.
"You going to show them, Paul?"
"Yes, Lee. They have a right to know."
"Yeah, I guess they do."
"Lee, after what we just saw, they need to see this first, to make sense of what is happening here."
"See what, boys?" Jonathon said, as he came into the kitchen. He had a bottle and three shot glasses. He filled the glasses, one by one. Setting one in front of each man. Paul reached for his glass and downed it in one swallow, followed by Lee. Both of them pushed their glasses back over to Jonathon.
"Now I know neither of you boys do a lot of drinking. What in Sam Hill is wrong?"
Paul looked at Jonathon, "Jonathon, I have something here you need to see. It's not pleasant. Fact is, it's pretty gruesome. Once I've shown you this and we tell you what we saw today, I'm betting that bottle won't be full for very long."
"Oh Hell! MARY! Get in here!" Jonathon shouted. "And bring yourself a shot glass!" He added as an afterthought.
Mary came in and looked at everyone, "What in tarnation is all this fuss about, Boys?"
"Mom, sit down. Please." Lee softly asked her. "We have something we need to show you, then we need to talk to you both about today."
After watching the videos, Mary got up and got a shot glass. "Gimme the bottle, Jonathon. Looks like you boys are all one up on me." She took the bottle, and poured herself a shot and in two quick gulps, it was gone. She poured another one for herself and passed the bottle around.
"Now, Boys," she started, "what happened in town?"
"Mom, Mrs. Wilson and her daughter, Polly, are dead." Lee began telling what they saw on the way back from James' house. By the time he was done, there were tears streaming down his face. But there was no sadness. What was there, was an anger great enough to terrorize a brown bear. He looked at his glass, and drained it, once again holding it out for more. Throughout this, Paul hardly showed any emotion at all.
"Jonathon, while we were over at James', we got to talking about what we could do." Paul had picked up the conversation. "Ben came up with an idea. I think we all thought it was pretty far-fetched, but after what we saw in town… Jonath… Dad. You ever hear of a man named Colonel Francis Marion?"
"Yes. I know my history… Wait! Are you saying you boys are gonna go guerrilla on us?"
"Yes." Paul said, and Lee nodded. "I think it's the only way to fight back against Ashwood and the people he has hired."
"Do you two have any idea of what you are getting into?"
Lee looked at his folks. "Aside from the danger we are putting ourselves into? If these treasonous bastards suspect you are our parents, they will kill you both without a second thought. Is that what you mean?"
Jonathon rubbed his cheek with his hand and then looked at Mary. She looked back, and nodded once. "Well, it seems that I need to get you boys and the rest of the parents over here and have a talk."
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