BRAVE NEW WORLD SERIES A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure in the Canadian Forest
Charles W. Bird firstname.lastname@example.org
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. This story may not be copied by any means without my express written permission.
Paul Cormier: For the idea of such an adventure
Dr. Robert Vallier, Ph.D.: His input on the construction of this story made it possible.
This story is dedicated to the memory of Colonel Richard Dagget O'Donnel, United States Marine Corps 1937 – 2009 A wonderful friend from my own childhood
A NEW STAGE
Basil Sky Jones, Great, Great Grandson of the National Hero Major General Basil Jones of the War of Restoration fame, was weary. He had run his campaign from one end of the nation to the other and the results of the Presidential Elections would be announced the next day.
He had run a clean campaign, refusing to stoop to the false claims and dirty tricks being used by his opponents. He was sure his opponent was being funded by the outlawed Society of Elders, but he had been unable to prove it.
His intimate companions from his boyhood home of Colony were staying in his hotel suite with him until the elections were over.
Basil had served his time in the National Army of Canada, rising to the rank of Brigadier General before a sniper caused him injuries that resulted in the loss of his left leg below the knee.
They had been chasing slavers in the Caribbean in a joint effort with the United Eastern States of America when he had been hit. It had ended his military career, but not his service to his country. He then served two terms in Parliament before being asked to run for the Presidency.
It had been a brutal campaign that included lies, slander and even murder. Two of his prominent supporters had been mysteriously murdered in Ottawa, the perpetrators had never been found.
His best friend and aide from his military days, Retired Colonel Patrick Lion had stayed with him throughout the campaign. While they did not make a public display, it was common knowledge that the two men were a married couple and they had managed to raise four upstanding young men as their sons.
All four were up and coming officers in the Canadian Military and were a constant delight to their fathers. Two of them were currently on leave and staying with him and Patrick. They were Peter and Henry Lion-Jones.
Peter Commanded a Navy Cruiser and Henry had just been selected as Commander of the Western Frontier Regiment.
Basil was resting his eyes before supper and Lion was on the telephone speaking with Basil's Campaign Manager. Peter had gone downstairs to see about the security arrangements before they all turned in for the night.
Peter and his Dad Patrick entered the suite together and they all waited for the hotel staff to bring their supper up from the hotel kitchen. It was to be a Colony favorite meal, wild plum soaked elkison* done on the charcoal grill, with braised vegetables and roasted potatoes, a meal that dated from their forbearers' refugee days immediately following the great collapse.
The first election returns were not expected before noon of the next day, so they were planning on a restful night before the nail-biting began.
The Society of Elders had poured much money into the campaign to defeat him, despite the fact that they were outlawed in all of Canada and also in the three American countries to the south.
All four of them in the room were powerful mind speakers and they had a variety of other gifts between them. Unknown to Basil, The Basil Jones Memorial Cadet Brigade* had taken up station throughout the hotel. The Brigade was named after his Great, Great Grandfather and was headquartered at Colony High School and Colony University.
Elkison – see BRAVE NEW WORLD, Basil Jones Memorial Cadet Brigade – the traditional protectors of the President since the War of Restoration
Peter had stationed the young men in strategic points in the hotel, nobody was going to get a second chance to do away with General Jones!
After a comfortable meal and light discussion, they all retired for bed. After Basil had left the room, Peter stuck his head out the door and gave a "heads up" to the Cadet Major in charge of the guard detail and then went to bed himself.
Nothing disturbed their sleep and they had a leisurely breakfast before turning on the television to watch for early election returns. At 11:30 am, the first returns from Prince Edward Island began to come in, voting was heavy and it was apparent early on that Basil was the favored candidate there.
As the day wore on and the poll closings moved westward, with only a few exceptions, Basil Sky Jones won every precinct. While not a total landslide, it was close enough that he was declared the winner by 9 pm that night.
That night, Cadet Lt. Colonel Joseph Panther doubled the guards in the hotel and called up a second Cadet Brigade to back them up. He was expecting trouble and he was not disappointed. At 2:00 am, a heavy truck crashed into the glass doors of the Ottawa Grand Hilton Hotel and a large group of armed thugs rushed the lobby.
The thugs had not counted on the second Cadet Brigade being there, the attackers got no further than the halls of the ground floor. When the bodies were collected, there were 225 dead men in the hallways! Only one Cadet was slightly injured when a piece of flying glass clipped his ear and drew a small amount of blood.
It would be two months until the inauguration, so as soon as Basil had given his acceptance speech, he and his party headed for Colony, which was fast becoming an armed camp, ready to protect him.
Instead of returning to his own home, he took up his Family's apartment in Colony House for the duration. It was a busy period, vetting selectees for various appointive posts in the government and initiating a legislative plan for the first year in office.
He would have dearly loved to be able to root out the Society of Elders, but nobody even knew where they were headquartered or what their source of funding was. They knew of several members of Parliament suspected of having Elder sympathies or connections, but they were in positions of little power or rank.
Things quieted down and Basil made his appointments to cabinet posts and began attending the weekly security briefings. He wondered about the heavy expenditures of the Ministry of Fisheries and was met with sullen refusal when he asked about oil production versus consumption. The two numbers did not seem to correspond.
About two weeks before taking office, an anonymous note was left on his desk indicating that there were production discrepancies in the reports from the military ammunition factories. His first inclination was to toss the note out, but then he remembered something that one of the officers had said about there being a shortage of rifle ammunition, so he put the note in his "to do" pile that was growing to alarming heights!
The day of the Swearing In Ceremony dawned clear and cold, a cold raw wind was blowing, so they hurried through the ceremony and everyone headed inside the main door of the Parliament Building.
Just as the doors closed, an enormous explosion totally destroyed the front portico, where they had been standing less than a minute earlier. The force of the explosion knocked them all to the floor and a dozen Cadets piled on top of Basil, protecting him with their own bodies.
Fortunately, nobody was injured, only the front of the building was totally destroyed. By some mixup in communications, two television stations carried a story the President Basil Jones had been killed in the explosion, causing a slight panic until he went on television himself and assured everyone he was alive and unhurt.
The news story was traced to operatives hired by the Elders.
He was attending to his official correspondence the next morning when his two nephews, Octavio and Jorg, Great, Great Grandsons of Rodrigo* and Dancing Deer, came marching into his office and stood before him, "Uncle Bas, let us investigate those who attempted your assassination, nobody would expect two Indian Boys of being investigators."
Basil laughed, "I would, but then, I KNOW you both and what you guys can get into!" He continued, "Go ahead, I will set up a special account for you to draw expenses from. Please be careful, these people take no prisoners!"
Basil heard in his head, "Never fear, Uncle, they are no match for us!" Basil just shook his head as the two young men walked from his office, he knew most of their capabilities, they were fast movers, powerful mind speakers, mind readers and illusionists.
As he was going over that list in his mind, he heard a giggle, "And more Uncle, more". Basil sighed, knowing there would be no secrets from those two!
He was about to go to lunch, when his secretary stuck her head in the door and told him the Middle United American States Ambassador was asking to meet with him and that he said it was an emergency. Basil had never met the man, but he had a reputation as a "mover and shaker" in his own country, in addition to being an honest and open politician.
He told the secretary to send the man right in. He stood to greet the Ambassador, who was a large man with the huge hands of a man used to farming, more than running a desk. His manner was also that of a farmer, blunt and to the point!
The man began, "President Jones, I am Edward Morgan, Ambassador representing the Middle United States of America. As you know, our borders extend from your country all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico, and that is where we have a problem, sir." The man pulled out a small map of his country and continued, "Infiltrators are landing on our shores of Louisiana, where it is sparsely populated and is a continuous swamp all along the coast. We find traces of them moving north and loose them as they cross the border into your country. They are easy to track from the terrible crimes they commit against our folk, murder, robbery and the snatching of young people, presumably for slaves.
*Rodrigo – see Brave New World, also Roberto
We do not have the police manpower nor the military force to prevent them from landing and we have been unable to catch them as the pillage, burn and rob their way north. Sir, we are asking your help in putting a stop to these people, surely they are causing trouble in your country as well."
Basil thought for a while, thinking, "Perhaps THIS is how the Elders are causing our problems?"
He heard immediately, "We are on it, Uncle Bas!" He shook his head, "Sheesh, are my own thoughts not even private from those two?" He heard a giggle and then silence.
Turning to the Ambassador, he replied, "Mr. Ambassador, I am sure we can work something out to our mutual benefit. Have you a Chief of Police Forces or a Ranking Military Officer we can work with?"
The Ambassador sat down with a smile, "Sir, please just call me Ed, I am but a jumped up farmer doing my lifelong friend and President, Albert Long, a favor. We have both a National Police Director and a Military Chief of Staff. They are back at the Embassy, waiting for my call.
Basil warmed to the man, sensing he was an honest man they could work with. He said, "Suppose we meet tomorrow over lunch, I will bring my Inspector Superintendent of Police, Carl Bear and General Jacob Ammons along with me.
The man looked a bit awed at those famous names, known even in his own country.
The two men agreed to meet the following day and the Ambassador took his leave.
Basil buzzed the Orderly room and the Cadet First Lieutenant on duty came into his office immediately, "Sir?" Basil saw the name bar on the Cadet Officer's shirt, Robert F. Knife. He asked, are you….."
The young man laughed, "Yes sir, Warrior Knife was my Great, Great Grandpapa."
Basil smiled, "Well son, you can be sure he is up there as proud as can be of you!" The young man beamed and replied, "I try to make him proud sir, what can I do for you?"
Basil replied, "Will you contact Police Superintendent Bear and General Ammons and ask them to attend a luncheon meeting tomorrow in the conference room with me and some folks from the Middle United States of America?"
The young officer said he would and did a precise about face and left the room. Basil spent the rest of the day going over reports and some arithmetic of the production reports from various government departments. The numbers from the Ammunition factories and the oil fields/refineries still did not add up.
In fact, the missing production was significant and very worrying. Someone was stealing large quantities of military ammunition and civilian fuel.
By the time he had finished the reports, it was getting dark and he figured he had better head for home, he was sure that Patrick was starting to become worried about him. As he stepped out of his office, he was surrounded by a full company of Cadets, led by a young Cadet Second Lieutenant Malcom Boxer from Colony University.
He asked the young officer if his rotation was about up and the man replied, "Almost, Sir, we return to classes in two weeks and you will have a new Regiment here for their rotation, SIR!"
Basil smiled, there were six Cadet Regiments in the Brigade and each regiment took a two month rotation each year. Some of the nation's finest officers and heroes had started in the Cadet Regiments and it was a splendid opportunity to train the young men. Other Universities in the country had smaller Cadet Brigades and they were frequently asked to supplement Colony Brigade with Cadets for specific purposes.
Chapter 2 – INTRIGUE
The next day started out hectic, there was a frantic call from Quebec that the fuel for the fishing fleet had been contaminated with water and the fleet was unable to sail until the entire supply had been centrifuged.
Almost before he had put the telephone down, Basil's private line rang, it was Octavio, "Uncle Bas, we caught some men planting explosives under the rails at the switching yard in Ontario, they all committed suicide, but not before we tied them to the Elders. There is a man named Josiah Best, who is running their show here in Canada. As soon as we learn where he is, we are going to take him out!"
Basil did not even try to argue with his nephew, they would do what they would do, regardless, but he also knew that they would drain the man of all he knew before they disposed of him. A strong streak of Indian Justice ran in their veins!
By the time for his luncheon with the Americans, he was sure he had added a few grey hairs to his head. He heard a giggle in his head that he was sure was Cadet Robert Knife and he got a response, "Yup!"
In retaliation, he insisted the young Cadet Officer attend the luncheon with them. He was a perfect companion at the table, his quick wit and intelligence impressed Ambassador Morgan. More than once, the Ambassador turned to Cadet Knife and asked his opinion of something.
They spent several hours hammering out a plan stop the infiltrators from landing on the Louisiana Coast and try to find out where they were coming from.
The more he thought about it, the more he was impressed with Cadet First Lieutenant Robert Fox Knife, so he called the young man in and asked him to be seated. He asked, "Robert, when do you graduate from the University?"
The cadet officer replied, "Sir, one month after I return from this rotation, SIR!
Deliberately not thinking about his plans, he dismissed the cadet and then he left immediately for his home. Robert Fox Knife knew "something was up" and he realized that the President was being cagey about not thinking about their conversation.
Robert had a powerful mind and he knew he could have worked the information out of President Jones' mind, but it was not an emergency and his Poppa had instilled a strong set of ethics upon him, so he decided to wait and see what developed.
He finished his work for the day and turned the Orderly Room over to his relief before going to supper himself. While he was at supper, one of his messmates, Cadet Captain Willie Graytree, another scion of an early Colony Family, laughed, "Bobby, you had better watch out, my Daddy served under General Basil Jones, he doesn't EVER ask idle questions!"
He continued, "Best you have your bags packed and your uniform pressed before graduation, your butt belongs to the President!"
Robert Knife's father was dead, he had been killed fighting in the same battle that had cost Basil his leg, but he was very close to his Grandfather, Henry Knife, Rear Admiral, Retired. His conversation with his friend had disturbed him and he wanted some advice, so he telephoned his Grandfather, "Grandpop, is President Basil Jones one of the good guys?"
Henry Knife laughed, "Bobby, there are lots of men who would follow Basil Jones through the Gates of Hell and I am one of them. What has you worried?" Robert related to his Grandfather what had taken place and the old man told him the same thing that his friend had said, "Pack your bags, Bobby, you are going places and doing things. Gad, I wish I was 50 years younger, I would go with you!"
Satisfied, the young Cadet Officer relaxed and quit worrying, whatever President Jones wanted him to do, he was going to do his damnedest to do it! Nothing more was said and Robert returned to the University to complete his examinations and to prepare for graduation.
The ugly problem of sabotage continued, it was just not possible to guard a thousand miles of border with the Middle United States of America. Most worrying was the ammunition losses, not only did it hamper the Military Forces, that ammunition had to be going somewhere and to what purpose?
Octavio and Rodrigo captured several agents trying to sabotage vital industries, but the nebulous Elder Josiah Best always seemed to slip through their fingers.
The sabotage was becoming newsworthy and people were beginning to notice strangers in their midst. Tips began coming in that kept both Octavio and Rodrigo on the run, nearly 24/7.
Someone had rerouted a whole train load of tank cars filled with gasoline to a deadend railhead at Yellow Knife. The two investigators discovered the plot before the train ever left the switching yard. Before they could question him, the Routing Clerk shot himself in the head with a pistol and died in his office.
By interrogating the clerk's family, who had no idea the man was an Elder agent, they back tracked his movement and discovered a whole cell of Elders and their sycophants right in downtown Ottawa!
The arrest was sensational, Octavio and Jorg rounded up 50 Soldiers and Cadets that they had personally vetted and camped a trustworthy soldier or cadet on each person they arrested. They intended on bringing them all to trial!
The trial was a newspaper sensation, the two investigators were powerful "mind smiths" and they forced the Elders to tell the truth in the courtroom. As the trials proceeded, there were suddenly empty offices in several Ministries as collaborators ran from the law. Still, the mysterious and elusive Josiah Best slipped through their grasp.
Basil agreed to assist the Middle United States of America by sending two Navy Cruisers and a Destroyer Flotilla to help them secure their coastline. Their hosts guaranteed fuel would be available for the ships and that their crews would be welcome in the liberty ports.
It was going to be a long campaign, but it was something that had to be done. When Robert Knife graduated, he received official orders from the Military Department, his eyes nearly bugged out as his Grandfather was watching him. His orders read: "Robert Fox Knife, First Lieutenant, Army of Canada is to report to the Office of the President of Canada immediately, leave is not authorized, delay is not authorized."
He looked across the room at his Grandfather, who was holding his sides in laughter. Robert said, "Grandpapa, you KNEW, didn't you?" When the old man had finally recovered, he said, "Not exactly Bobby, but I KNOW Basil Jones!"
The old man loved his Grandson dearly and he prayed that young Bobby would survive his trial by fire. Anyone who worked for Basil Jones earned his keep!
Bobby spent the day with his family, his Mother cooked his favorite foods and his two younger brothers looked at him in awe. Basil Jones was a famous hero to him and his brothers and came from a whole line of heroes all the way back to the War of Restoration. To work directly for him was a dream that many boys drooled over, including Johnny and Roger, his younger brothers.
The next morning an official car with blacked out passenger windows pulled up to the Knife home and a Corporal knocked at the door, "Lieutenant Knife, sir, I am to take you directly to President Jones immediately, SIR!".
Bobby thought to himself, "President Jones doesn't waste any time!" The Corporal smiled, "No sir, he sure don't!" Bobby looked at the Corporal and asked, "You are a mind sensitive?"
The Corporal sent back in reply, "Yes sir, mind speech, mind reading, compulsion and levitation, SIR!"
The car was equipped with red lights and a siren, both of which the Corporal turned on as they sped to the Presidential Offices. Two blocks out, they picked up a police escort and were escorted to the security door where a dozen Cadet MPs (Military Police) whisked him inside the door before he could be identified.
Chapter 3 – THE WORK BEGINS
The MPs led Lt. Knife to an office deep in the bowels beneath the Presidential Office Building. They passed through several security doors and Robert had to present his orders to armed sentries at each door.
He had no idea how deep they were, but he could imagine tons of dirt over his head. He entered a room where President Jones was conducting a meeting with all his Cabinet Officers. The President stopped in what he was saying to introduce Robert as his Aide and "dog robber"
When he turned to leave, Basil asked him to remain and that he would welcome any comments the new officer wished to contribute. Robert was to discover that President Basil Sky Jones prized intelligence and encouraged all his staff to contribute their thoughts.
After the meeting, Robert was given a Security Badge that would admit him to any security area anywhere in the Canadian Government and his had "Presidential, Eyes Only" security clearance!
The things that were being discussed thoroughly disturbed the young officer as he had no clue that their nation was being threatened so severely by the Society of Elders and that their neighbors and good friends to the south of them were in a desperate situation because of the infiltrators.
Basil purposely asked Robert questions and drew him out until he became comfortable in speaking with all the Cabinet Officers. He valued the young man's insight and quick intelligence and the Cabinet Officers were surprised that Robert had such a quick and keen grasp on the situation facing them.
He was the one who spotted the increased truck traffic crossing the border into Chicago. They were able to plug one of the major routes that the purloined ammunition was being smuggled out of the country and by placing some cadets, posing as shipping dock workers at several of the trucking lines, he was able to pinpoint those involved in the smuggling.
The Elders began taking notice that someone was interfering with their smuggling operations, but they never connected a very junior Army Officer, acting as "flunky" to the President as the source of their problems. To their way of thinking, it had to be someone "important"!
Robert's next assignment was to look into the fuels that were disappearing. The worst loss seemed to be the tank farm at Quebec, so Robert let his beard grow for a couple of weeks, it was scraggily at best, but it made him look quite villainous. He then rode the train, in the third class car, to Quebec and started looking for a job on the larger fishing boats.
It took several weeks, but he finally landed a job of the "Le Fleur", a 300 ton deep sea trawler out of Quebec. He kept his eyes open and his mouth shut, especially about the after hold, which they never seemed to use.
Several times, they laid him off just before sailing and rehired him as soon as they got back. He had been there for about three months, when one of the AB's (Able Bodied Seaman) came down with the mumps just before the fisher was scheduled to sail.
Captain Fontain, a gruff, foul mouthed skipper told Robert he was going to sail with them and warned him not to be too nosy about what they did and where they went.
Robert had projected a persona of someone who was of lower intelligence and not very bright. He spoke perfect French, but he managed to butcher the language so horribly, he prayed his instructors from the University never heard of his performance!
The Le Fleur first went to the fueling dock to take on fuel, Robert noticed a second hose connected to a riser near the stern. He made sure he went nowhere near the stern during the fueling and mumbled so badly, the crew referred to him as "the idiot"!
Robert could tell the vessel was heavily laden and was sitting deep in the water. Instead of heading to the Grand Banks, where they were scheduled to fish, the ship made for the barren coast of northern Eastern United States of America.
They pulled into a deserted bay and met a small tanker in the dead of night. They proceeded to offload the fuel that had been stored in a bladder hidden in the after hold. As soon as the fuel was offloaded, the Le Fleur headed for the Grand Banks and proceeded to fish for nearly a week, filling the forward hold and a compartment that covered the now empty bladder in the after hold.
As soon as the vessel returned to Quebec, Robert went to a bar, presumably to get drunk, but the bar was operated by men who reported to him and they slipped him out the back door and into a light truck that took him to the train station.
He had cleaned himself up and shaved off his straggled beard. When he had changed to his uniform, there was no way anyone could have connected the well dressed Army Officer with the drunken lout who had worked on the fishing boat.
He took the overnight train back to Ottawa and was waiting in Basil's office when the President came in. When Robert laid out what was going on for his President, Basil looked at him and asked, "Well?" As soon as he had his thumping heart under control, Robert replied, "Yes, Sir" and went to put together a task team to shut down the fuel smuggling operation out of Quebec Port.
The raid made all the newspapers and broadcasts, Robert made sure his back was to the cameras whenever any news pictures were taken.
Evidently, there was a leak in their own organization and rumors began to spread that a young Army Officer was directing the efforts against the Elder's smuggling operations. He was never named and no photograph was ever taken of him in connection to the raids, so his identity remained their own secret.
Robert spent a year shutting off supplies to the Elders, including one that nearly unmanned him. What he thought was a ship laden with machine parts was, in fact, filled with teen boys and girls destined for the Caribbean Slave Markets.
In his anger, he beat the ship's captain nearly to a pulp, the man appeared in court with two broken legs, a body cast around his ribs and both his hands were broken. When the Captain complained to judge of being maltreated, His Honor, Judge Oliver Jenkins merely grunted and said, "Good!"
Slowly, they were shutting off supplies needed by the Elders to maintain their pressure against Basil's Government.
The Selection Board had deep selected Robert for promotion to Army Captain and Basil decided to get him "out of town" for a while, so Captain Robert Fox Knife received orders to command two companies of "surveillance troops" on loan to the Office of the President, Middle United States of America.
The Ambassador had already advised his President, John Walker, of his opinion of young Captain Knife, so when the train pulled to Memphis, Robert and his men were welcomed with open arms.
Chapter 4 – COASTAL INTERDICTION
Robert proposed to work with the Middle States Coast Guard and patrol the bays and bayous of the Gulf of Mexico Coast. The shallow patrol boats were ideal in those waters, big enough to carry 3" guns, but small enough to enter the shallow waters of the coast line.
Navy Captain Andrew Markwell of the Middle States Navy was impressed with this young officer from the North, he arrived with a workable plan already developed and was insistent that he would direct his forces from the front lines, not back in New Orleans behind a desk!
They encountered smugglers the very first night of operations, and the Skipper of the CG23, Lieutenant Jeffry Toll had nothing but praise for Robert when he reported to Captain Markwell, "He led from the front and I sure don't want him shooting at me, that man is a deadly shot!"
Despite the Elder's practice of never surrendering, the military jails in New Orleans were filling with captured Elders and their henchmen.
On one trip out, Robert was slightly wounded, a bullet creased his forehead and he came back injured. He refused treatment until all his men had been cared for and only then would he allow a Corpsman to stitch up his wound.
The Doctor wanted to keep him overnight for observation and Robert was having none of it, he had men hurt and he was going to be with them until they were safely out of danger!
Even then, he refused to slow down, while he was "convalescing", he spread maps out in his quarters of the entire Gulf of Mexico. He then invited Naval Officers to his quarters and grilled them on ship practices and cruising ranges of the vessels they had captured.
Taking string and a pencil, he started drawing radii of all places they had captured Elder vessels and the remaining fuel they had in their tanks. It wasn't long until all the circles converged upon Haiti.
Robert got on the radio and had a long conversation with Basil that resulted in the arrival of a Canadian Cruiser and three Destroyers, all with a full load of ammunition.
It might have seemed strange for a young Army Captain to be in charge of a Navy Task Force commanded by officers much senior to himself, but those officers already knew of Captain Robert Fox Knife and they were quite willing to let him lead.
Robert was commanding a combined fleet of two heavy cruisers, six destroyers and 20 local Coast Guard craft as they converged upon the island of Haiti. The ship's radar showed a concentration of small freighters in Port-de-Paix.
Again, leading from the front, Robert led Marines and Sailors ashore to investigate the port. They took small boats and arrived at the mouth of a small river just to the west of the port, beaching their boats and leaving a strong guard force to protect them, Robert led his troops into the Port.
The ships were sloppily moored and none had night guards protecting them. There was no cargo remaining on the ships, but empty boxes indicated they had originated at the Canadian Munitions Factory in Montreal and other boxes had contained foodstuffs and fabric, all having originated in Canada.
One ship was evident, it had contained human cargo, Robert could barely constrain his troops. They returned to the Task Force and put out to sea, concealing themselves over the horizon.
They were all hoping the captives were still in the port town, Robert proposed to lead a ground force overland from the stream they had discovered earlier and coordinate an attack with the warships as they bombarded the ships moored in the harbor.
When Robert called for volunteers, so many wanted in on the action, there were not enough men to operate the ships! When they finally had it worked out, Robert commanded a ground force of one thousand angry men!
They scheduled everything by time, not wanted to chance using radios that the Elder forces might be able to listen to. On the next night, the cruisers began shelling the harbor, sinking the ships moored there.
After two hours of bombardment, the shelling stopped and Robert led his troops into the town, anyone who resisted was shot. They stumbled upon a stone warehouse with all the windows and doors solidly barred.
It didn't take the soldiers long to rip the bars from the door and inside, they discover several hundred youths from Canada and both Middle and Eastern United States, Robert broke radio silence to call for the medics.
The young folk were in desperate condition, they had been beaten and their wounds left untreated. They also had not been fed nor given water in several days. One of the boys pointed out a building where their captors had taken a group of girls earlier that same night.
A hulking Chief Petty Officer, Juan Nichols shouted, "FOLLOW ME!" The man was nearly seven feet tall and built like a bull moose. CPO Nichols crashed through the door of the building, barely slowing down.
What they found in that hell hole so infuriated them, no Elder survived! Robert found Chief Petty Officer Nichols standing in the doorway with an injured girl in his arms, she was stripped naked and he had tears running down his face, unable to see where he was going!
Robert gently took the child from the Chief's arms and led the two of them to where the Medics were frantically trying to save the captives' lives.
Chapter 5 – CLOSURE AT LAST
Robert's forces ransacked the town, it was the headquarters of the hated Society of Elders. They discovered vast sums of money, hoards of gold and, most important, records.
As he perused through the records a name jumped out at him and he read the papers more closely. What he saw both infuriated and frightened him.
He ran to the senior Captain of the Canadian Cruisers and asked, "How fast can you get me back to Ottawa?" He showed the man what he held in his hand and the Captain got on his radio telling his Executive Officer to get up steam, they were leaving in less than an hour!
Robert gathered enough of his men to act as a security detail and transferred his command to Army Captain Joe Mahoney, telling him to bring everyone home as fast as they could load the ships!
They raced back to the Canadian Cruiser, The Chief Snow, and the mighty ship fled the harbor at flank speed! The huge ship raced northward, her engineers frantically trying to keep enough oil going to the burners to keep their speed up.
Robert authorized the Captain to share his information with his crew, after being told what he had found, the crew would have been willing to get out and row in order to get Robert back to Ottawa, even a minute sooner!
So much fuel was being forced into the boiler fireboxes, the stacks were glowing red at night.
Robert feared to use the radio in fear that his information might get out! For days the great ship struggled north, finally reaching the Seaway that led to the Great Lakes.
In order not to warn anyone, Robert got off the ship in Quebec and commandeered a locomotive and crew. They hooked one car to the tender and filled it with Robert's men, all armed to the teeth and very angry!
The locomotive raced eastward, leaving a trail of sparks as the drive wheels slipped on the rails. Robert had sent two cables before they departed Quebec, one to the President and one to the Cadet Regiment at Colony.
To the President, he sent, "STAY HOME, THE REGIMENT IS COMING!" To the Colony Cadet Regiment, he sent, "PROTECT THE PRESIDENT AT ALL COSTS!"
The railroad telegrapher had sent ahead to clear the tracks and the train crew stopped only for fuel and water, refusing to be relieved after Robert had shared with them what he had.
The train had hardly stopped at Ottawa Station when Robert and his men leaped from the train, and raced up the street to the Capital. President Basil Sky Jones was in his residence, along with his cabinet when Robert and his men burst into the room, Robert dove across the table, grabbing Sheldon Watters, the Minister of Agriculture.
He sat on the man as his men plucked two pistols and several grenades from under the man's clothing. His men tied the man to his chair using their own belts to secure him. Robert pointed at the Minister, "THAT IS JOSIAH BEST!"
The Colony Regiment had already locked down the Capital and secured the President's Residence. The man now known as Josiah Best began screaming obscenities at all those around him, kicking and screaming at his captors. One of Robert's Soldiers took his own garrison cap and stuffed it in the man's mouth to shut him up.
Cadet Colonel David Means, Regimental Commander of the Colony Regiment took the list that Robert had prepared of all those who were Elders in Government and elsewhere in the capital city and rousted them out of their beds in the middle of the night. None escaped, the back of the Society of Elders was broken at last!
When daylight came, the citizens of Ottawa found themselves under martial law, Colony Regiment had the entire city locked up tight. None could enter or leave without a pass signed by Robert or the President.
As the Elders were arrested, the city's prison was filled to overflowing, Robert was asked, "Where do we put the prisoners" He replied, "I don't care, cattle cars if necessary!"
That is exactly what his men did, they rounded up cattle rail cars from the stockyards and jailed the Elders in them. None had been cleaned before the Elders were shoved in them and they all complained bitterly.
Cadet Second Lieutenant Roger Knife, Robert's younger brother, decided he would help out the jailed Elders, he had his Platoon hose them down with fire hoses each night, after dark!
Octavio and Jorg were watching, they later told Robert that it took them an hour to stop laughing! The two were there to interrogate the prisoners and the information they extracted made it possible to rid the nation and their neighbor nations of the Elders, once and for all.
When things had calmed down, Robert was able to report the whole story to his President and he asked specifically if Chief Petty Officer Juan Nichols could be made his aide.
When Basil heard the whole story, he knew he had to do something,. First, he had Chief Nichols transferred to Robert's staff. The Chief came, with his new Daughter, Emily holding his hand. She went up to Robert and gave him a 6 year old kiss and hugged him tight.
All the children who had been held as captives by the Elders were taken in and given homes, mostly by the same troops who had rescued them.
A month later, President Jones announced there would be a public awards ceremony held on the rebuilt portico in the front of the Presidential Office Building the next day at 2 pm. "BE THERE!"
Robert came with his entire command, he had made Chief Nichols his Command Chief Petty Officer and the Chief organized Robert's Troops behind him.
Chief Nichols had been clued in by the President on what was going to take place and, behind Robert's back, the man had a grin from ear to ear.
As two pm arrived, President Jones stepped out onto the portico and, in a voice made famous during his years as an Army General Officer, he commanded, "Captain Robert Fox Knife, FRONT AND CENTER" Robert stepped smartly facing the President and saluted him.
Basil began to speak, "This Army Officer, Captain Robert Fox Knife repeatedly saved this administration, and this NATION from an awful calamity. His wisdom and perseverance removed a plague from our presence that none other had been able to conquer. He freed over 200 hundred young people from slavery and led the forces of this nation and our sister nation to the south against the forces of evil intent on our destruction. At his young age, he commanded forces far in excess of what would be normal for an officer of his rank and has gained respect for himself and his nation from all who have met him. It is only right that we should honor this young man, who risked his life and his honor in the service of his country. It is hereby ordered that Captain Robert Fox Knife be elevated to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel effective this date and that he be awarded our Nation's Highest Honor, THE NORTHERN CROSS WITH CROSSED SWORDS!"
He stepped forward and hung the silver cross and crossed swords around Robert's neck and shook his hand. He whispered to Robert, you are still my aid, Colonel, see you after your leave. You are going traveling for a month!"
At that moment, all the Navy ships along the Seaway began to blow their steam horns in Robert's honor. The din could be heard miles away!
Robert Fox Knife would serve his nation for the rest of his life. He became General Robert Fox Knife and headed the Joint Chiefs of Staff for many years before retiring. His nation again called upon him to serve and he spent four terms in the National Parliament before again attempting to retire. He then served until his death as Ambassador General to the three American Nations to the south of Canada, where he was revered there as much as he was in his home nation. There is a statue to him in Parliament Square and he left funds to be invested to provide a perpetual scholarship to boys who would not otherwise be able to attend Colony University. The Chairperson of the Scholarship Committee is currently Mrs. Emily Nichols Ammons, Daughter of Navy Master Chief Petty Officer, ret. Juan Nichols.
This ends our story that began so many years ago with young men fleeing into the Canadian North Woods from the collapse of all they had known. That they survived the rigors of that collapse is a testimony to the human spirit. They rebuilt civilization into something better and brought together all the peoples that they might flourish equally.