We're Not Gonna Take It
Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.
All Rights Reserved
Wednesday, Nov. 14th, 08:00
Wanakena, New York
New York Ranger School
Chief Instructor, Commander Robert Coleson stood at the front of the mess hall. Hands behind his back, he looked out at the people that were eating their breakfast. There were eight instructors and twenty-two rangers in training. The mess hall could hold almost twice the number of people and usually did. In the first couple of days, since the elections, many had elected to return home to be with family. That included much of the staff that would normally be at the school.
Those who remained had been seriously looking at the situation they found themselves in. Instead of the normal clatter and boisterous talk you would expect to hear at the morning meal before classes resumed for the day, it was almost quiet. No animated talk among the students, just the sound of people eating.
Coleson coughed to clear his throat, "Gentlemen. May I have your attention, please." To a man, everyone looked at the Commander. "Today we are facing a dilemma. Since the election and the resultant chaos, we have lost half of our instructors and student body. We are three-quarters of the way through the current Adirondack ECO/FR Academy, with only five weeks of instruction remaining. Those of you sitting here this morning have all passed your NY State Police Officer training and all but passed the rest of the training regimen. However… I received word, late yesterday, that the government in Albany has ordered the school to close, due to the declared emergency by the Federal Government." Coleson scowled and started pacing in front of his men.
"Your instructors and I discussed the situation at length, last night, and we have come to a couple of decisions.
"First, the school and Academy will close, per the orders from the Governor. We will be issuing your Certificates of Achievement, as if you had completed the full course. Your instructors have agreed that everyone of you sitting here would have no problems completing the next five weeks of instruction and testing.
"Those of you completing postgraduate studies may elect to take your finals tomorrow. If passed, you will receive your certification and/or degree." His pacing stopped as he was again front and center of his students. "Now to the real reason for this little speech of mine." Coleson's face took on a very serious look.
"No matter how you look at it, President Ashwood has committed an act of outright treason against his sworn duty to uphold the Constitution of these United States. The vote of the people was in favor of his opponent, Jackson Bryce. Yet this president has decided to remain in office by unlawfully declaring the election null and void without even the semblance of a declaration by the Federal Elections Commission." There were some murmurs from some of the students, so Coleson held up a hand to forestall any outbursts. "Simply because Ashwood declares his opponent a terrorist does not make him such. Nor does that give the Chief Executive the power to unilaterally void an election on a mere assertion. Can we all agree that there are laws and processes in place that must be followed before such an extreme event can take place?" Coleson looked at those who had begun to protest. "If we can agree that the process was not followed, then we have to give credence to the idea that the American people have disagreed with the policies of this current President and elected someone else.
"Gentlemen, I take my oath as a sworn police officer of the State of New York seriously. Do You? If I saw the Governor poach a deer, I would arrest him. Wouldn't you? It is no different than a sitting President who suborns the law by voiding an election, because he didn't want to give up his power."
Coleson looked at his students. His eyes on fire with his passion. "No man is above the law. We, as Environment Conservation Officers and Forest Rangers of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, operate with the highest of ethics of any Law Enforcement department within this state. We do so proudly. We put aside our own opinions, our politics and our religious persuasions. We do this for the betterment of the people of this state. If we cannot do that then we are not fit to wear this uniform nor carry the badge. If any among you cannot hold to the ideals of this office, stand up, turn in your gear now and leave us. We neither need nor want your indecision in the coming weeks as we work towards returning our land to the people to whom it so rightfully belongs. We would rather forget that you were ever in our midst." Coleson then looked not only at his students, but also his staff. Waiting for anyone to stand up and walk out.
When it became obvious that no one was going to leave, Commander Coleson continued, "Alright. Today will be a short day. We will be meeting back here at 13:00 hrs for lunch and orientation with new directives. Those of you that want to take your finals get with your Proctors. All of you, finish eating and go to your assigned classes or duties." Coleson walked over to the serving line, filled his tray, then sat down at the table with the instructors and began eating.
Commander Coleson was in his office at his desk, thinking about the orientation meeting they had just had. It had gone exceptionally well, as none of the remaining instructors or students wished to leave the campus. To a man, they were set to see the emergency through, and possibly even help out in combating the excesses of the Ashwood administration, whenever and wherever they could. Even those who were initially for Ashwood had changed their opinions when presented with all the very damning evidence.
Coleson was also looking at some reports of recent shootings by, what could only be termed, a militia group. What he was reading appeared to him as a couple of very well orchestrated movements by highly trained professionals. Even though there was a very clear line of movement towards cutting off Potsdam and Malone from Plattsburgh, which would keep Fort Drum from consolidating its hold on the border with Canada, Coleson did not think they would continue in the same direction. He thought it might be a misdirection and the next attack would be elsewhere. But where? He mused. In his current state of mind, Coleson almost wished he knew the people or where they were operating out of. There were many things that he and his Rangers could help with. Coleson shook his head and then hit his intercom.
"Lieutenant Maxwell, may I speak with you?" A moment later there was a knock at his door. "Come."
"You needed to speak with me, sir?"
"What is the status of our generators, Charles?"
"If we continue to run 24/7, we have at most another two weeks of fuel. I would suggest that we cut our usage to five hours in the morning and five hours in the evening. By restricting the cooks access to the refrigeration, this will allow our food stuffs to remain in good condition. We will also need to keep showers to a minimum and I will be working out a rotation schedule. That will give us a month of usage. If we can find more diesel fuel, we can increase that time."
"How about heating, as the weather turns colder?"
"That is going to be problematic, sir. As you know, the buildings are still heated by steam, despite all the renovations that have taken place. The longer we have to fire the boilers for heat the less overall time we have until we run out of fuel. My suggestion would be to move everyone to the north wing and close up the rest of the main building. Since the north wing also houses the kitchen that will keep everything centralized. Then we will need to winterize all the other buildings and close them up, until spring or longer if we need to. Since each building has it's own boiler and all the boilers draw from the same fuel tank, we can cut down fuel consumption. Also, they will not really operate without electricity to power the pumps for the heat exchange even though they have a separate fuel supply." Maxwell rubbed his chin as he thought out a plan. "Since we have already received our winter fuel allotment, and will be limited to running the boilers to when the main generator is on… let me do some calculations. But I'm thinking we just might have enough fuel to get us through the winter, for both the generator and the main boiler. That's if we take the rest of the campus offline."
"That sounds like a feasible plan, Lieutenant. Get with whomever you need and draw up a sound plan. Can you present the plan by... say tomorrow?"
"Yes sir. That will give me enough time to plan it all and start to get it implemented. In the meantime, I think you might want to have all the staff and students begin winterizing all of the other buildings and classrooms."
"Yes, I agree. Now, on to another subject." Coleson grabbed some papers and then continued, "Is there any other news that you've been able to pick up?"
"Yes sir. You know that early this morning that militia group, that ambushed those guards in Edwards, struck again.
"As you know, the rail from Ft. Drum to Massena crosses US Highway 11 on both the southwest and northeast ends of town. This group dropped both trestles as they passed over Highway 11. A troop train was crossing over the southwest bridge at the time of detonation. This has resulted in mass casualties and has all but overwhelmed the area's medical abilities.
"Then there is the cleanup of this mess. A lot of the heavy equipment that might have been used seems to have been sabotaged. The forces for Ashwood are stuck with lightweight backhoes and such to get the roads serviceable again. I hear they are calling for equipment from Syracuse to be sent up to them to expedite cleanup and rebuilding the railways.
"They also disposed of the four guards at the northeast end of town at the junction of Highway 11 and State 56. From what I've listened to, the shooter was three-quarters of a mile away. They have a real sniper amongst them."
"So what's the reaction of Ft. Drum's commander?"
"That's the weird part. All of the reaction was in Spanish. Emilio says that these people are not Mexicans. The dialect is too different. I have to agree. They sound more Castilian than Mexican. What we heard this morning was an argument between the Air Wing commander and some Spanish Colonel. The Colonel wanted to use the F-16's for Search and Destroy, but the Air Wing commander was adamant that these aircraft were to be held in reserve in case of Canadian encroachment.
"So by the time the foreign troops got into action with their own choppers, I'd bet that the guerrillas had gotten clean away. Of course this is speculation, as we don't have the equipment to monitor more than a handful of frequencies at any one time. The fact remains, that there is currently no indication that the guerrillas were located."
"Alright, Charles. For now, keep someone listening and let's get the cadre to winterizing the school and you work out the details of winter heating and fuel consumption." Coleson made some more notes on the sheaf of papers he was using, which Maxwell took to be a dismissal. As he was leaving, he heard his boss say, "Oh, and tell the cooks that dinner will be at 7pm tonight. We will be discussing all of this during that meal."
Several hours later, Jeremy came running into the barn and scrambled up the ladder to the loft. "Hey Guys! Dad says ya gots ten minutes to get yourselves together." He hollered. "Come on! Get Up! Ma done fried up some chicken and smashed taters and gravy!" Once Jeremy heard the groans and mumbles, he scampered back down the ladder. You could hear him running across the dirt floor of the barn and you definitely heard the slam of the door, as he raced out.
The guys came down from the loft, cleaned themselves up in the crew washroom and left the barn for the main house and food. The meal was excellent; fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob and fresh apple pie for dessert! Afterwards, John and Tom helped Jeremy clean up the table and kitchen. Then they all sat down with Bert to hear what he had found out.
"I'm thinking that y'all would want the bad news first. That way you can plan out different approaches to whatever ya want ta do next." Bert started. "First, we can't get more explosives up here for at least two days. Whatever ya plan, y'all will have ta use what ya gots."
Peter looked over to Tom and shook his head. "That puts a kink in taking down that bridge at Long Lake."
"Oh, that'd be the least of your worries there." Bert replied.
"What? There's more?"
"Yup! Ma people tells me thar's a whole platoon of armoured troops there. Thar' using the old Adirondack Hotel as their headquarters. They have an armoured vehicle at the bridge. Guarding it, I s'pect. Thar's two vehicles at the cross of Highway 30 and 28N. That leaves three vehicles at the hotel."
"Well just shit!"
"Unless we can come up with some Javelins, I don't see how we can go up against any armour." Peter said.
"Bert, does anyone resupply these guys?" Asked Ben.
"Wait a minute guys," Lee interrupted. "the dam at Cranberry is really incidental, isn't it? I mean, it does block Highway 3, making Ashwood's forces have to route further south to Highway 30, then up and over Saranac. From there they can get straight to Plattsburgh on 3 or Malone on 30. So by blowing Long Lake, we have killed any direct route to Plattsburgh or Malone, as long as the rails at Canton are down. That about sum it up?"
Ben turned to him, "What are you thinking Lee?"
"We can't take on armour with what we have. What say we take out the dam and bridge at Cranberry, then hightail it back to Ft. Drum?"
"Are you thinking of raiding the ammo bunkers, Lee?" Peter's eyes were lighting up, Tom was nodding.
"If we go back to Drum, we can get what we need to take out a couple or three Stryker's."
"How do we bypass the security and get into the bunkers?" Tom asked.
"Well… if we had a diversion, it might just be a whole lot easier. Say, blowing up a couple of F-16's on the tarmac. Think you and Peter could do that? How much explosives would you need?"
Tom spoke up before Peter had a chance, "It wouldn't take much at all. Whether we cripple them, or blow their wing tanks, a quarter pound of C-4 per plane…"
"Is more than enough to destroy the plane, whether or not there is any fuel in the wing tanks." Finished Peter.
Lee was on a roll, "Here's what I think we could do…"
After thanking Bert for everything he had done for them, Lee said, "Let's get moving guys. If we can do this fast enough, we might be able to get to Ft. Drum well before daybreak." Since this was Lee's plan, they all agreed that he was the leader for this particular operation.
They took the main dirt road from Cook's Corner to the dam. Tom and Peter had stopped at the bridge and began setting charges on the north end, while everyone else went on to the dam to place the charges there. A little more than an hour later, they all met back at Tooley Pond Road.
"Charges are all set for just before sunrise, at 6:00 am?" Ben asked.
"Yeah. Peter and I saved four pounds of C-4 and a dozen or so radio detonators. That will give us plenty to take out the F-16's and to open up a couple of the ammo bunkers. Lee, you sure that the F-16's are staged on the tarmac?"
"Yes Tom. For the three days I was watching Drum, the F-16's were always on the tarmac in front of the hangars, ready to be deployed. While there, I also noted what was coming out of which bunkers. So I know where they were stocking the Javelins. I also know where they were keeping the Claymores, if we think we have time to resupply our explosives."
"Bert has said that the only places that there are any troops, between us and Harrisville, are at Star Lake on Highway 3 and at the generation station at Newton Falls. So, like we planned, we can take Tooley Pond Road up to Cook's Corner, then River Road until we get to the backside of Chaumont Pond. We head north for a mile then cut back west for another 5 miles and take Highway 3 almost all the way to Harrisville."
Ben rechecked his maps and nodded. "OK, so we have a fairly easy forty mile trek to the ammo dumps. Then Peter and Tom have another ten miles to the flight line."
"That's gonna be the only scary part. But I think with Tom's training in the Sappers and mine in Recon, we can get to the planes and plant the charges. It will be getting out of there that might be a bit of a problem. We can't get more than a mile from the planes, before we have to detonate the charges, then meet with you guys at the ammo dump."
Tom nodded. "Remember guys, if we get in a pinch, we will be leading them away from your location. So when you see the explosions you will know that the planes are gone. That's when you breach the bunkers. You absolutely have to get what we need. Don't be worrying about us. We will make it to your folks home Lee... if we can."
"OK. Let's worry about that stuff if and when it happens. For now, we have a forty mile trek. We should get started." And with that, Lee took the lead and the rest of the guys followed.
The only snag that they hit was the almost seven mile overland trek between Chaumont Pond and the Skate Creek Road, where they could cross Skate Creek at Scottsbridge and rejoin Highway 3. There were no trails to follow that didn't take them at least fifteen miles out of their way. With only starlight, and the barest sliver of the newly waxing moon, getting through this leg of the journey was mostly by night vision goggles and compass.
They made much better time once they were back on Highway 3. Just north of Harrisville, their hometown, they cut across some dirt roads and hit the final leg of their journey.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
The group pulled onto the staging area of the small arms ammo dump. It was quiet. They had not seen any sign of the area being patrolled. Tom and Peter gave them some final instructions on how to breach the doors on the bunkers, without damaging the contents inside, and then the two of them sped off to attempt to create the diversion needed to breach those doors.
"Alright. The bunkers we want are at the far end of this dump. Stay close and follow me." Lee addressed the rest of the guys in almost a whisper. A short couple of minutes later, Lee followed the road to the right and then took the first left dirt trail and stopped. "James, you stay here and watch for any patrols. See those bushes right up ahead?" James nodded. "Park your quad in there, then walk back down to this spot. If you see anything moving, flash your light once at each of the bunkers. We will be parking our quads right behind the bunkers. Ben, you take that bunker on the right and set the breaching charge. Paul, you go with Ben. Your job is to watch for a light from James. John, you're with me, and you will be watching, like Paul.
"Everyone, if James sees anything, we move behind the bunkers. In this darkness, it will hide us. James, you just move into the bushes between the bunkers. Don't move until you're sure it's safe, then signal us with another flash of light.
"As we all know, sound travels real far around here. So no talking. We set the charges and wait for the diversion that Tom and Peter will be giving us. You'll be looking over there," Lee pointed, "at those bright lights, about ten miles away. You'll know the signal, as you will be able to see the explosions. Breach the doors at the first sign of the planes being blown up. Their explosions will hopefully mask ours."
Peter looked at his watch. "Tom, I've been thinking. We didn't talk about this, but it will take about one minute for the sound of the breaching explosions from the bunkers to reach here. What say we blow the eight F-16's first? That will make for enough light that the team will see it and breach the bunkers. We can wait just about a minute and blow the four Apache choppers."
"Makes sense. Everyone will be tumbling out of those barracks and moving towards the wreckage. They will probably call out the chopper crews and start spooling them up. We blow four of them and no one will hear the breached bunkers. Might even cause them to evacuate the choppers, waiting to see if anymore of 'em get taken out."
"Yeah. Also buys us some time to get the hell out of here." Peter held the first detonator and triggered it. A split second later, eight small explosions touched off, followed by eight huge fireballs as the fuel in the wing tanks ignited.
Nine seconds later, the sound reached them, along with the noise of klaxons going off. They saw people start to pour out of the barracks and emergency vehicles emerge from the hangars. Pandamonium seemed to encompass the view below. Peter had spaced out the eight charges among the sixteen aircraft that were lined up on the tarmac. As they had hoped, some of the fireballs had been widespread enough to engulf a few more of the remaining eight planes, leaving only four jets that were unaffected by the explosions.
As they were waiting for the remaining few seconds to tick off, they could hear the choppers spooling up. Tom looked at his watch and triggered the remaining charges. Two explosions were clearly in the air. This resulted in those two Apaches just dropping to the ground, right on top of another two choppers and damaging three more. The two choppers that were on the ground exploded causing damage to four others.
Peter and Tom watched for a few seconds more, as the crews of the remaining five Apaches abandoned their birds for safety. "Time to go, Tom."
It might have been ten miles away, but it seemed like the entire eastern sky lit up. James then heard the two breaching charges go off. A scant minute later, several more explosions lit up the sky, at the same time that the sound of the first wave reached him. Even at ten miles, the sharp thumps were loud enough to have disturbed anything nearby.
Ten minutes later, Lee and John rolled down the slight incline from their bunker. They stopped where James was and began unloading things from their quads. "James, get back up there and get your quad. We need to load you out." Lee said, as he finished, then sped back up the small hill.
James had just retrieved his quad, when Ben and Paul came down from their bunker. "I see that Lee is about half done." Ben remarked, as he counted the crates laying in the dirt. "James, strap two of these on. They're full of C-4. We've struck paydirt!" James looked at the satchels and began attaching them to his web gear.
When he was done, Ben and John were back. Altogether, they had eight missiles and two launch tubes with Command Launch Units (CLUs). Ben and Lee each took a CLU and strapped two crates to each quad. That along with each of them carrying 2 satchels of C-4, they were ready to go. At most, only twenty minutes had passed since they had breached the bunkers.
"Ben, did you get detonators for this stuff?" Lee asked. Ben merely pointed to the two extra satchels tied to the back of the missile crates.
"Yup. I think 400 are enough."
"Let's hope so. We won't get a second chance at this, once they find the bunkers breached. But that also means a whole bunch of guards will have to be stationed out here, to prevent another theft."
"So let's get back to home. I think we're all anxious to see our folks, before we head up to Long Lake. We going to your place?"
"I think so. Mom has the largest kitchen amongst all of us, so get ready for a good breakfast. I sure hope Peter and Tom made it out OK, otherwise, we aren't going to know how to use this new stuff."
It was a tired group of young men that pulled into Bradford farm. Lee led them by the barn, where they all dismounted and began taking everything off the quads and storing it inside, under tarps.
Just as they were finishing up, Jonathon appeared at the barn door. "Well, this is a surprise. A nice surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. I don't think any of us expected to see you boys so soon."
"We were in the neighborhood Dad, and thought we'd just drop in and say hello!" Quipped Lee.
"We heard what happened to Ashwood's troops at Canton."
"Well, you just keep listening, you just might hear more." When Lee said that just about everyone chuckled. Then they heard the sound of muffled quads pulling in. "Sounds like Peter and Tom made it."
"You guys get cleaned up a bit. I'm going back to the big house and tell your Mom ta get a big breakfast ready."
Ben looked at everyone, "Peter? Tom? Did everything go well? No problems?"
"Just like clockwork. Fact is, we did more damage than we expected. We had a few cook-offs from the initial explosions." Peter said while Tom had a shit-eating grin on his face.
"You can tell us while we use Lee's house to clean up. Then we'll tell you what we got."
Everyone wandered over to Lee's place and begin cleaning the dirt off of themselves. By the time they were done, Jonathon was yelling at them from the kitchen porch of the big house.
It was pretty evident, after the guys had finished breakfast, that they had really enjoyed the home cooked meal. The boys were all helping to clean the kitchen and put the dishes away when they all heard the front door being banged on.
Jonathon got up from his lounger and opened up the door, after looking to see who was there this early.
"Jonathon! Have you heard what the boys have done?" Bill's voice was loud, excited and recognized by everyone. "They blew up the dam at Cranberry Lake and took out the bridge across the Oswegatchie. They think the powerhouse down at Newton Falls will be OK, but they've begun letting out lots of water, just in case."
"When did this happen, Bill?"
"Right at six this morning. But that's not all, there must be another militia group operating, because reports are coming in from Ft. Drum. They were attacked about an hour before the dam blew! An entire wing of F-16's and half the Apaches that were left there were destroyed!"
Peter stepped out of the kitchen at that point, followed by the rest of the guys. "Um, Bill? It shouldn't hurt the powerhouse at all. We had already figured it out." Bill's jaw dropped and his grin just got bigger. "Oh, and don't believe what you hear about Ft. Drum. They are exaggerating a bit."
"Huh? What?... Wait!" Bill began stuttering.
Paul began laughing. "Sit down Mr. Truesdell, before ya fall down!" He walked over and guided Bill to a chair. "Would you like some coffee? I hear it's good for the nerves."
"Boys, why don't you all get us all some coffee. We can discuss this when we're all comfortable." Mary said. "Jonathon, would you get on the CB and let the rest of the families know to come over for lunch? Tell them to bring something for potluck."
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