We're Not Gonna Take It
Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
The man and boy jumped off their quad and opened the doors, so Ben drove right in, and the rest followed him.
"Howdy, men. You can park 'em anywhere. Up in the hay loft," the man pointed, "are some cots, if'n you need some shut-eye. My name's Bert, but my call sign is Elessar. This here is my boy, Jeremy. There's a gas barrel on the backside of the barn. Feel free to gas 'em up and fill up yer spares."
As introductions were quickly made, John gathered up a couple of Jerry cans and went out back to begin filling them up with gas.
Bert waved to the rest, and moved into what appeared to be the tack room. He went to a large table, setup in the middle of the room. On the table were maps of the area. As everyone gathered around the table, Bert began. "First, I have news from Canton. I guess ya could call it an after action report!"
"The two overpasses were destroyed. This has caused a major delay to troop movements, as I understand it. Seems there was an actual troop train going across the western bridge when it blew. Derailed it and killed forty or so and injured about a hundred. Local hospitals are sorta swamped."
"The military pressed the locals to do the cleanup, but about an hour into it seems most of the heavy equipment all developed hydraulic problems." Bert smiled. "So they's are using smaller stuff, until more D-6's and D-9's can be brought in from Potsdam and Malone. Gonna be awhile before the railroad can be repaired, though. Not sure, but I hear'd they's gonna have to bring in some stuff up from Syracuse."
"You done put the whole countryside up there into an uproar! I hear'd they linked the killin's over in Edwards to the killin's on the eastside. Seems someone left some M14 brass at both places. I hear'd they gots a reward out fer the shooters... they's callin' 'em traitors! I also hear'd they are scratchin' their heads over the fact that the shots were near a mile with that gun."
"I gots ta say, that was some mighty fine shootin'."
Peter smiled at the man. "I did take out two guards at Edwards, and I made a very lucky shot in Canton. But I really can't take credit for that one. That would go to Lee. He took out the other two in Edwards and three of the four in Canton. I left my brass there intentionally, just to confuse them. I guess it worked." Lee, who had been studying the maps, looked up at that, as it dawned on him why Peter didn't pick up his brass.
"Damn. Which one 'o you is Lee?" Bert asked. Lee timidly held up his hand. "Whacha shootin?"
"I use a Barrett 98B in .338 Lapua. It's what the Marines wanted to use for their snipers, but the DOD forced them to use the 98B in .50 cal. Mine's a bit tricked out."
"Nevah shot that caliber, but I hear'd it's pretty mean." Bert paused, before he continued, "Now I understand that Ben wants to take out the bridge at Cranberry Lake. Unless you have several hundred pounds of TNT, it ain't gonna happen. The supports are too well built." Bert pulled out some photographs and showed them how it was constructed.
"Well..." Ben replied after looking at the pictures. "Then we can take out the trestle bridge at Long Lake. That would block Highway 30 northbound."
"I know the bridge at Long Lake. It's an old trestle bridge. Between the C4 that I have and the dynamite you have Ben, we can take that down, quite easily." Peter said. "But it still leaves Highway 3 open."
Bert smiled, "You men think you can do both, if'n you had the explosives?"
"What do you have in mind, Bert?" Tom asked.
"Funny you should ask that... People here don't like what this so-called President is trying to do." Bert's speech began to lose it's "country" afectation. "We kinda like our Constitution and it don't rightly sit well that he's using it as shit paper. Some of us have seen those foreign troops he's been importing to maintain his hold on this country. So when Ben came up with this idea, we kinda liked it. We kinda knew that Ben and you guys wouldn't have enough explosives ta do the job... so we's kinda got together and between alla us, we've kinda made a depth charge to blow the dam. Forty foot a water should undermine that bridge at Cranberry. That'll stop 'em from using Highway 3. Ya blow the trestle at Long Lake, there goes Highway 30."
Ben smiled, "Between taking out the railroad and blocking the highway at Canton and now this, we will have almost isolated Plattsburgh from Fort Drum."
Lee looked at the maps and decided to speak up. "So, if we split into teams, we will need to coordinate when they blow. We will need a fallback point, where we can hide, because we won't have time to get out of the area, before they start searching. After Canton, I suspect there will be several types of aircraft on standby, just waiting for our next move. You sure we will get a warm reception at Sabattis?"
"After all this biking around the countryside, a safe fallback area, something like Sabattis would be really nice. It might take a day or two for the area to clear enough to make our next move. So while you guys are figuring out how we are all going to get there before the world blows up... Bert? Why don't you show Tom and me this depth charge you built?" Together, the three of them walked out of the barn and out of view.
"Yes," Ben replied to Lee, as Tom and Peter left with Bert, "we have friends at Sabattis. We can hide there for a couple of days."
The boy, Jeremy, looked at the others and asked, "Y'all hungry for some breakfast? I know it's getting on ta lunch time, but I think Ma is cooking up some food now."
"Jeremy," Lee said, "If you think your Mom could feed seven hungry men, then we would be pleased, otherwise, I think John has some more spam sandwiches for us..." Both Lee and Jeremy wrinkled their noses.
"Um, yeah... I'll go see what Ma is cookin' up." Jeremy said, then ran out of the barn, towards the main house.
Outside, Peter and Tom were looking at a thirty gallon drum, that had been made watertight. On top of the drum was a digital timing device that had also been waterproofed.
"Okay..." Peter rubbed his chin, "what am I looking at?"
"Ever hear of a man named Barnes Wallace?" Bert asked.
Both men thought a moment, before Tom's face brightened up. "Yeah. Now that you mention it. Wasn't he the guy that designed those dam busters back in WWII?... So you made up a batch of Torpex?"
"Seeing as how it's obsolete and isn't made anymore..."
"Is this going to be enough? I have no idea how much is needed to break a dam. I'd have to work out how thick the concrete wall is, the back-pressure of the water at that depth..."
"Trust us. When Ben brought up this whole idea, we had several people work on it. This is pretty much the original Wallace design that was used to burst the test dam at Nant-y-Gro in 1942, which was the same type of construction and pert'neer the same depth as the dam at Cranberry."
"That solves the problem of isolating Highway 3 at Cranberry. If we take the heaviest duty quad; I think that would be Lee's, and mount that charge on it, distribute what gear Lee has to the others in his team, then we have a doable job." Tom, thinking, asked Bert another question. "How much extra explosives can you get?"
"Not sure. What would you need more for?"
"Well, for this to work, we would still have to weaken one of the supports on the bridge. That way, we would know for sure that the water will do the rest of the job. Otherwise, the erosion may not be enough."
"How ya figure, Tom?"
"The highway was built before the dam was built. They had to take into account the spring floods. The supports for that bridge are a bit tougher than they would be, if the road was built after they dammed the water. I would have to really look at the lower support face, but I think another thirty or forty sticks of dynamite would weaken the north face enough, that the water would do the rest."
Bert looked at his watch. "I'll see's what I can do. Let's go an' get the rest of ya, 'cause I think the Missus will have some food ready for y'all."
As the men started to make their way back to the front of the barn, Jeremy came screaming around the corner and almost ran into his dad. "Pa! Ma says for y'all to come up to the house, 'cause she's got some food ready for y'all."
"Slow down, son!" Bert said, as he grabbed the boy. "No need to run me over," he chuckled.
As the guys sat out on the front porch of the main house eating, they continued to discuss their plans.
Ben had talked with Bert, while they were getting their food and had a solid plan to get to the Long Lake bridge. Taking the bridge out however, might prove to be problematic.
"So, going overland from here, it will be a forty-one mile trek on dirt trails, many of which we won't be able to travel faster than about ten mph. Part of the way, we will be able to go faster, and part of the way, it will be slower." Paul was saying, "I've run on most of this. So I think we have to figure about four hours travel time. Then we will have a twenty-two mile trek to get to Sabattis. Figure on another two hours of travel. We will have to refuel, by the time we get to Long Lake, or we won't make it to Sabattis."
Peter had gotten up to return his empty plate. He rubbed the stubble on his chin as he thought over the 'plan'. "Refueling won't be a problem, as we are all carrying extra cans. Can we make sure we have more fuel at Sabattis?" Peter asked, looking at Bert. "We are going to need it, when we decide we can move down to Polaski."
"Yeah, we'll have what gas we need when we get to Sabattis." Ben said with certainty. "What really worries me about that bridge is, if it is guarded and how many people are guarding it."
Bert was looking at his watch. "I can get on the shortwave and see if'n I can get an update on the troops at Long Lake. Gonna take a bit, especially if the other end isn't at his radio or hasn't really been looking." Bert stood up and with an after thought, he said, "Guys, why don't y'all go back to the barn and get a bit of sleep. Y'all look pretty worn out. It won't do no good for any of us, if'n y'all ain't in top condition. Correct me if'n I'm wrong, but you guys are goin' on to a day without any sleep. I'll find out what I can, then wake y'all for dinner. Then y'all can go over your plans one more time, with fresh information. Y'all won't need to leave until tomorrow and y'all will be fresh then.
"I'm-a thinking that this here war is gonna take longer than a week. So y'all don't be pushin' yourselves more'n you have to. Tired men make mistakes."
"The biggest problem we have at the moment is time." Ben said. "The longer we wait, the more time the enemy has to ponder where we might strike next, and then reinforce those areas.
"These men elected me as their leader. So I guess, that I have to think about their well-being and morale, in addition to the strategy and tactics of our mission.
"You're right Bert. We are tired and it would probably be better to take some downtime. So let's do as suggested and get some sleep."
"Now you're a'talking, Ben. You guys go bunk out, and I'll come get y'all before dinner. Y'all can do some planning after that, get a good night's sleep and be fresh an' ready tomorrow morning. There are some crew showers just off the tack room y'all can use, now or later."
As the guys stood up and began moving back to the barn, Peter walked over to Lee and Paul. "Paul, do you think you and I could walk over to the pond behind the barn and talk a bit? Lee, would you mind?"
Paul looked at Peter, then Lee, wondering what this was about. Lee had nodded his head, as he suspected he knew what Peter wanted. "Paul, I think it might be a good idea to go talk to Peter. I'll see you when you guys are done." Lee walked away, leaving the two of them standing together.
"What's this about, Peter?" Paul asked as he began walking with the older man.
"Tell me about what you saw, when you were on your way back from James' house."
Paul's demeanor immediately changed. He stiffened up as the suppressed rage came back. "What's to tell, Peter? Some butchers gang raped a ten-year-old girl, killed her mother and then executed the little girl in broad daylight." Paul recited this in monotone, as if he were a news reporter on the TV. "And no one batted an eyelash." He said, very softly.
Peter was watching Paul's almost expressionless face, but noted the fury in his eyes. "Not even you." It was a statement, not a question. They had just entered the treeline, with a path to the pond at this point, when Peter made what Paul took to be an accusation. He spun around. Fists clenched at his sides, as a barely contained rage took over his expression.
"Just what the fuck would you have done?" Paul spit out.
"Ya know, it was me that found the bodies, still lying in the street, the next morning. It was a real mess to clean them up and move them. It was hard not to see what had been done to poor little Polly. I can't imagine how scared all the neighbors must have been, to have watched that happen and do nothing… not even attempt to clean up the mess afterwards." Peter just shook his head.
"But as to what I would have done? Nothing. Just like you. Anything I could have done would have done nothing but get me killed. Just like it would have you, Paul." Peter had continued to walk down the path to the pond.
"But I should have done something!" He nearly yelled, as he followed Peter.
"What, Paul? What could you have done? You were a football field away. You weren't armed. Even if you were, you would have been outmanned and outgunned. Just what could you have done, besides get you and Lee killed? Did ya want that, Paul?" Peter had never raised his voice beyond that of ordinary conversation. He knew, that if he did, it would only play into whatever anger and rage were driving Paul's emotions. They had reached the pond, so Peter was picking up small flat rocks and skipping them across the water. For his part, Paul just stood there glaring at Peter. It was now, a waiting game.
"So what can I do? I feel so damned helpless."
He blinked, thought Peter. "Just keep doing what we're doing. We are hurting them, even if only a little. The more we can cut off their resources; the more we can harass them; the more we can stall them… it all adds up. Sooner or later, they are going to have to devote resources to finding and eliminating us. Then it gets real hard for us."
"I understand you and Lee have just gotten together?" Peter said, cutting Paul off and changing tactics.
Paul suddenly got this scared look about him. "Whadaya mean? Whadaya talkin' about?"
"I'm talking about you and Lee. Together, as in partners. Lovers. Fuckin' faggots!" Peter hated himself for doing this, but it had to be done. "That's why your mom threw you out, isn't it? She found out you were nothing but a filthy little cock sucker and threw you out!"
Paul's knees buckled and he sank to the ground. He looked up at Peter, not quite understanding what had just happened. In that brief moment, his entire world came crashing down on him. Tears began leaking from his eyes. As he looked up, Peter noticed the sheer agony that was etched on his friend's face. Oh damn, Peter thought. He dropped to a knee and with one hand, gently stroked Paul's cheek. "Is that why your Dad and Mom got divorced? He raped you, didn't he?" It all clicked in Peter's mind. He looked around and saw a log off to the side. He grabbed Paul's shoulder, helped him up and guided him over to the log where they both sat down.
"Tell me about it, Paul." He asked gently. "You were what, fourteen when your parents got divorced?"
"He came into my room, late one night, and started playing with me. At first, I tried to pretend I was asleep. He'd get me real worked up and then just leave. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn't tell anyone about it. Ya know?" Peter nodded. "One night… it was when he went down on me and I guess I moaned or something. He knew I was awake, ‘cause he stopped and asked me if that felt good. He then took my hand and placed it on his… a couple of nights later, he wanted me to do him."
"Is that about the time you realized you were gay?"
"Yeah. I was figuring out why girls didn't seem to attract me as much as boys did. I really felt like shit. I wasn't supposed to like guys. But no matter what I tried to tell myself, I really liked what Dad was doing to me. Pretty quick it got worse, ‘cause I really liked what I was doing to Dad."
"Before this, had you played around with other guys?"
"Oh, a few, um, circle jerks with some of the guys. Nothing more than that, though. Looking back, I can see now I was more attracted to Lee than anyone else. But at the time, I didn't think much about it, other than it was fun."
"Yeah, back in the day, none of us thought too much about it. I think a lot of us were just curious about the whole sex thing. And hell yeah, it was fun! It always felt better if someone else touched me, than if I was just doing myself." Peter grinned as he remembered those days. "It was also the unwritten rule, that none of us ever said anything about it. It was a secret we all shared. But it was different with you, wasn't it Paul."
"Um, yes. There were a couple of sleepovers when Lee and I shared the same bed. For some reason, it always felt better doing things with him, than with the other guys."
"So even back then, you were beginning to have some feelings with Lee, that you didn't have with the other guys? When did it become not so fun, Paul?" Peter knew he was on the right track; that he had to get Paul to see what went wrong, in order to see why Polly hit him so hard.
"One night, it started just like any other time, Dad came into my room. I would be asleep and he would go down on me, until I woke up. Usually, he would then have me suck on him until he came in my mouth. He always made me swallow his… I've always wondered about that, ‘cause he would never swallow mine. He'd pull off just as I was about to cum and let it shoot all over my chest.
"That night, he wouldn't let me cum or let me finish him off. He said we were going to do it different… that night… he told me it was gonna hurt and to take it like a man. That after a few minutes, it wouldn't hurt. He said it would feel good. He told me to keep quiet; that he would beat the hell out of me, if I woke up momma... then he just shoved it in and fucked me. Oh God, but that hurt.
"After that, every four or five days, he'd come in and have me suck on him a bit and then just fuck me. He never bothered getting me off after that." Paul paused after this.
"So what happened?"
"After a couple of months, I guess Momma got suspicious or something. Because one night she came into my room as dad was fuckin' me. She kicked him out and divorced him. I was so glad!
"Funny thing, though, even though it never stopped hurting when he first pushed into me, towards the end, it did start to feel really good. There were a couple of times that I actually came without touching myself. I know why now, but back then, I couldn't figure it out. He'd notice and start calling me names and telling me how much I must really like to be fucked... that I was nothing but a little girl with a cunt in the wrong place… that I was good for nothing but to give him the pleasure my mother wouldn't give him."
"So he groomed you. He raped you repeatedly, then he humiliated you when he thought you actually took pleasure in what he was doing? Does that about sum it up?"
"I guess when you put it that way, yeah. It does." Paul had stopped crying at this point. But he was still scared, for admitting all of this to Peter.
"OK. Now think about what you saw when Polly was being raped. What did you really see and feel? Why did that enrage you so much?" Peter was watching the emotions play across Paul's face when he said this.
As Paul thought about the questions, the tears and sobs came back with a vengeance. "Oh God, Peter, oh God!..." he cried.
Peter grabbed and held him, stroking his back. After a moment, he took his radio and keyed the handset, "Lee? You there?"
"Yes, Peter." Lee answered after only a second or two.
"I want you. Just you! Get over here to the pond, right now. No questions. Just do it!" Peter placed the radio back into its holder on his belt. In less than a minute, Lee came running into the clearing, where he skidded to a stop when he saw Peter holding onto Paul. "Lee, get over here and take Paul."
Peter had stood up, pulling a very distraught Paul with him. "Paul, here's Lee. Tell him, Paul. You love him and he deserves to know." Lee took Paul into his arms and Paul broke down even more. He was holding onto Lee with everything he had, which wasn't much. It was obvious that Lee was now holding Paul up, so with Peter's help, Lee and Paul sat down on the log, with Lee rocking Paul.
Peter stood back up and watched the two young men for a moment. It was plain that Lee was concerned and had questions. Peter put a finger to his lips before he said, "Lee, you love Paul. I know this. But now you need to love him enough to listen to him. Love him enough to understand. Paul, you tell Lee everything you just told me. Get the secret out, so it can't come between the two of you later on. Because it will, if'n you don't face it together now."
"I... can't tell him, Peter... He'll just... hate me… just like Momma always did..." Paul was barely able to say this.
"Yes you can Paul. You told me, now tell the man who loves you." Peter turned around and walked away.
As Peter came into the barn, he saw the rest of the guys just kinda standing around over in the tack room. They all heard Peter come in and made their way to him, near the ladder leading to the loft.
"What was that all about?" Ben asked.
"Was the disaster averted, Peter?" Tom asked. "Bill told me what happened when Paul was over at his place convincing him to give up the radios."
"Yeah. I think so. I'm hoping that he is telling Lee, and that Lee is strong enough to handle it." Peter told Tom.
Ben started again, "What's goin…"
Peter interrupted him. "Paul was close to a mental breakdown. It is a form of PTSD, you know what that is?" They had all heard about it, but hardly anyone, except Peter and Tom, really knew what it was. Between the two of them, they told a bit about the condition and how it sometimes manifested itself. Of course, everyone wanted the details about Paul in particular. "Guys, it's not mine to tell. If Paul ever wants you to know, he'll tell you. Until then, just know that I think Paul will be OK. Why don't we all climb up to the loft and get some sleep, OK?"
"So, not battlefield, then?" Tom asked as he also moved towards the ladder.
"No. But Polly was the trigger." Tom looked hard at Peter, before he put two and two together. "Oh that fucking bastard." He whispered.
Ben had heard that exchange. Outside of Lee, Ben probably knew Paul better than anyone else. James and John were far enough away, that they hadn't heard this last exchange, so Ben felt safe in saying, "Include that mother of his in that. Nine years under her righteous thumb. She may have divorced Jacob, but I'd bet my eye teeth she blamed Paul."
Twenty minutes or so later, everyone else was asleep but Peter. He was still awake enough to hear Lee and Paul come in and start climbing the ladder to the loft. As Lee's head popped up through the floor, Peter told him, "Lee, why don't you and Paul go take your shower. Now's a good time, since everyone is asleep… go and enjoy yourselves." Even in the dim light, Peter could see Lee blushing, as he turned his head and whispered to Paul. He could hear Paul going back down the ladder, so he got Lee's attention again. "Lee, he told you?"
"Yes, he did. Now I understand some things, not just about his dad, but things that always struck me odd about Paul and his mother."
"Lee? There's one more thing you can do for him."
"You seem to know more about this than you let on, what else is there?"
"Paul desperately needs to feel like a man." Now it was Peter who was blushing, even if Lee couldn't see. "I don't know how far along you are in your physical relationship, but Paul needs to be a man with you, and you need to let him."
"Doesn't matter Lee. Paul needs you to let him, um, be a man. If he wants it now while you two shower, you need to let him be whatever he wants it to be. Understand?"
"Yeah, I think so. Whatever way he wants it, if he does."
"Yeah, um, I keep saying ‘if', but I don't think there's gonna be an ‘if' Lee. In rape cases, men behave differently than women. He'll want it. I just don't know if he will want to be the, um, pitcher or the catcher. But love him enough to let him decide and just go with it."
If Lee had blushed any harder, the glow would have lit up the entire loft! "Peter, I get it."
"Great, now go make your boyfriend happy." Peter chuckled, he could tell how embarrassed Lee was, as he climbed back down the ladder. Peter, still blushing himself, rolled over and fell asleep.
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