Castle Roland

Dawns Early Light
Book I

by Ken Barber


Chapter 2

Published: 8 Apr 14

Dawns Early Light

Copyright © 2012 - 2015 by Ken Barber and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

14:00 GMT (09:00 EST) 06 November 2012.

USS Ronald Reagan Battle Group.

On patrol in the Strait of Gibraltar.

Dawn's Early Light LogoThroughout the day, ship by ship, SEAL Team 4 and the Marine Expeditionary Unit slowly regained full control of the Ronald Reagan Battle Group. They began with the USS John Dunham; their ruse worked to get the Captain to go with them willingly to the Ronald Reagan, the rest of the mutinous officers were quickly subdued in the briefing room and under control. However, once secure, Ensign Henry Hovas was left in charge. Ensign Hovas was completely out of his element bringing to light the power vacuum the arrests where creating.

A platoon of Marines secured the USS Fort Worth and the ship’s Skipper, Commander Peterson activated the jamming equipment. The Fort Worth had been equipped with a prototype electronic interference system that would cause all electronic detection systems to lose their return signal effectively making the whole battle group invisible for a short time. The system was still in testing and after running for about an hour would overheat and have to be shut down for a couple of days, however the area electronic communication disruption system (AECDS) had multiple settings and could disrupt incoming and outgoing radio and cell signals. Anyone using Radar or Sonar could still see the battle group but would not be able to reach them on the radio.

The entire battle group, except the three subs, was under Captain Norris' control. They were scheduled to surface at 14:30 GMT and radio the Captain. By 14:15 GMT all commanders from the battle group were aboard the Ronald Reagan waiting on a full briefing. Captain Norris, Bucky, Lieutenant Myers and Commander Peterson were in the command center. Commander Peterson had ordered the USS Fort Worth to disengage the jamming at exactly 14:20 GMT and stand by to re-engage, on her command.

14:29 GMT everyone jumped a little as the Radio blared to life. "Ronald Reagan, this is Ramage we have three submersed contacts off our port bow."

Captain Norris grabbed the headset. "Ramage, this is Reagan, are they surfacing and do you have a signature yet?"

"Reagan, it's the Providence, Olympia and Rhode Island and yes they are surfacing."

Captain Norris turned to Captain Miller, the CAG Carrier Air Group Commander. "Josh, get your Barrier Combat Air Patrol over there just in case. Have Flight Two ready to pick up BARCAP. Bucky, get your team in the air to either retrieve the captains or take the subs."

Both spun around and got to work without saying a word.

"USS Ronald Reagan, this is USS Providence."

"Providence, this is Reagan."

"Reagan, we need to speak to Reagan actual."

Captain Norris grabbed the head set again."Carl it’s Aggy, have you heard from Bill yet. We show him surfaced next to you but no contact yet."

"Aggy, Bill has been shot. It looks like the mutineers were getting ready to make their move right after you sent the message to us. My COB and I reacted quickly and got them under control, not so with Bill. He's not too bad, but he has three traitors dead and his COB was killed."

"Shit. Carl, I am sending the Fort Worth to pick you, Bill and Tristan up and we will get Bill to the sickbay."

"Aggy, This is some crazy shit, you better not have gone off the deep end here."

"Carl, I think we have been dragged off the deep end. See you on board in a few, Ronald Reagan out."

All the captains, commanders and flight commanders were assembled in the air wing briefing room. Captain Norris walked in and went straight to the podium flanked by Major Sinclair and Bucky.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, I am going to be as direct as possible. This Morning Lieutenant Commander Buchinski uncovered a plot that would have caused mass mutiny throughout the Battle Group. The leader of the plot was Battle Group Commander Rear Admiral Buchinski. The evidence was irrefutable and Commander Buchinski attempted to place the Admiral under arrest. The Admiral fired on and wounded Commander Buchinski, however the Commander was able to overpower the Admiral and detain him until I was able to look at the evidence. As the next highest ranking officer I have the authority to place the Admiral under arrest for treason. I do not have to explain to you why I decided to make that call. However I am going to because I have a feeling this is going to get really ugly in the next couple of days."

Major Sinclair stepped forward. "Before the Captain begins his explanation, I must tell you as Commander of the Marine Expeditionary Unit, I have reviewed the evidence along with Lieutenant Commander Buchinski and agree with the Commander's and Captain's decision to remove the Admiral. The Admiral is now in my custody." He stepped back.

"Thank you, Major. Lieutenant Myers, would you start the presentation."

The lights went down and a slide of the radio silence order came on the screen.

"You all received this radio silence order at 18:00 GMT 05 November 2012. A typical radio silence order is proceeded by an intelligence update with regards to the alert status and possible threats. New battle orders are issued and then the radio silence order. None of the information we needed, to do our jobs, came before the radio silence order and we have received no communication from SECNAV since then. This next slide is a radio transmission that was received and coded for Admiral Buchinski's eyes only. We are showing you the decoded version, as you can see, it clearly orders the Admiral to use force to remove all ship commanders and executive officers that could not be trusted in "Operation Starshine". The officers to be removed by force are listed below. It’s everyone sitting here in this room."

"We are still trying to figure what Operation Starshine is. Notice the order is authorized by President Ashwood. This order makes no sense, all SECNAV had to do was transfer all of us back to the states and assign other officers to our posts. This process is illegal as clearly defined in the Navy Charter and the Uniform Code of Military Justice article 94 paragraphs A and B."

"Med Fleet Commander Admiral Davidson was killed in a car crash in London. Scotland Yard is investigating and hinting at foul play. With Admiral Davidson dead and SECNAV possibly compromised, the next authority I can report this incident to is POTUS. However at this point I believe POTUS is committing treason."

Captain Norris paused to wait for the rumble through the room to finish.

"Myers, the video please. Here you are watching a video of an air battle over Texas. US Air Force attacking President Jack Bryce's Base and then shooting down his plane." He let the video play for a bit.

"Next, you will see Ashwood make a statement announcing President Bryce’s death." The press conference ended and there was some more rumbling in the room.

"Next you will see a statement from President Bryce refuting the claim of his death and blaming Ashwood." They all sat there watching the video. After the video was over, the lights came on and Captain Norris stepped back in front of the podium.

"Throughout the history of the United States the US Military does not get involved in the political process. That appears to be changing. Based on the polls, we have been tracking President Ashwood will lose the election. If he loses the election and refuses to acknowledge the loss and begin preparing for the transition of power to the rightfully elected President, he will be committing treason, making him an enemy of the People of the United States."

"What is currently happening on the home front is disturbing at best. There are reports of refugees beginning to evacuate the cities on the East Coast and heading to the West Coast and Canada. State and local officials who refuse to enforce Ashwood's executive orders are being arrested and detained without trial or due process. It is my belief that President Ashwood's actions are the precursor to a second US Civil War. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a decision to make. This battle group could tip the power to either side should we decide to act but we must be clear. If I am wrong, then I am committing treason. I am not asking you to forgo your loyalties to our country, instead I am asking you to dig into those loyalties. I am not loyal to any man, Jack Bryce or Richard Ashwood, I am loyal to the Constitution of the United States of America and The People of the United States." He stepped away from the platform and the room erupted with shouting and questions. Norris shook his head. "BATTLE GROUP, ATTENTION!" The command had the effect he expected the entire room snapped to attention and stopped talking. "No matter what, you are US Navy officers and you will conduct yourselves as such. I will do my best to answer your questions but one at a time. We will go by rank. At ease, take your seats. Air Wing Commander Captain Miller what are your concerns.

Captain Miller stood. "My only concern is what we plan to do Skipper, I have a hard time believing we are going to be firing on other US military"

As he was talking, Captain Norris noticed Ensign Payne enter the room, whisper into Lieutenant Myers ear and hand her a file. She stood and started walking toward the Captain.

"Captain Miller's concern is a legitimate concern. I am not sure I can answer it completely, other than if any military or civilian force, officer, agent or elected official attempts to prevent the legitimate transfer of power to the rightfully elected president they are committing treason and I will take whatever action is needed to stop them. Excuse me for one second please." He took the file from Myers. "What's this?"

"This just came for Admiral Buchinski it's the Operations order for Operation Starshine, Skipper it’s bad. You need to read it now."

He took the file. "Everyone give me a second, I need to review this. Take five and meet back up here and we will get to your questions."

Norris, Bucky, Myers and Sinclair moved to the Captain’s Office and went over the operations order line by line.

Bucky stood up. "He can't be serious."

"I believe he is, sir, and its already begun. There is no official news coming out of the Eastern Seaboard except on hacked signals; the information we are getting is not good. There are reports of agents rounding up citizens and moving them to relocation centers."

Major Sinclair sat back in his chair. "That's Nazi Germany type of shit."

Captain Norris pointed to the line on the op order that authorized the use of Nuclear weapons against our allies. "This is the biggest concern right here. MED Fleet is authorized to use first strike weapons on Military and Civilian Targets in Russia, France and England, should they attempt to intervene with this administration's attempt to maintain control of The United States." He paused after reading to let it sink in. “We don't know if we are the only one authorized to release nukes or not. Do we warn the Russians, British and French."

"Skipper, I don't think we can take that chance, they may decide to make a preemptive strike on US targets. Releasing that information would be putting a lot of US citizens at risk." Bucky was pacing as he spoke. "I think we need to move closer to the US. He states right there he is not going to give up power. We have to imagine he has the majority of the Armed Forces under control. We have to be prepared to defend the people of the United States from this maniac."

"When we get back in there, we need to show the rest of the officers the order. It's going to seal the deal. Captain Cole has to take the missiles offline ASAP. Your right, Bucky, we need to get the Battle Group reorganized and moved closer to the US in case civil war breaks out. Myers, I want you to prepare a message to President Bryce and a message to President Ashwood. The message to Bryce is as follows."

From USS Ronald Reagan Battle Group
Captain Augustus Norris
Regards: Current Political/Military Climate Continental US.
To: Former President Jack Bryce.

Due to recent intelligence received by the USS Ronald Reagan, this command believes civil war to be imminent in the United States. This force has already quelled a mutiny led by former Battle Group Commander Rear Admiral Buchinski. The intelligence data also shows serious threat to our allies in Europe from US Naval assets operating in the area.

The intelligence data also points out the unlawful arrest and detention of civilian authorities, as well as the detainment of what the Ashwood administration calls 'undesirables'."

It is our belief that President Ashwood and his administration have no intention of relinquishing authority to the incoming administration.

In light of this intelligence data and the fact that we charge President Ashwood with treason against the People of the United States, this Battle Group under my command and authority is abandoning its post in the Straits of Gibraltar and moving to a more strategic location closer to the East Coast of the United States.

It is the intention of this command to ensure the safety and well being of the People of the United States by force if necessary.

During our transition of the Atlantic, we will continue to monitor intelligence data and will respond accordingly, however we will remain in radio silence status. We will make contact once we are on station in a location where we can actively effect the current situation.

God Save us all.

Captain Augustus Norris.
US Navy, Commanding
USS Ronald Reagan.

PS: You know I let you win. Couldn't have a US Navy Commander beat the President in a game of pool.

"That Message only gets sent if Bryce wins the election. If Ashwood wins the election this message gets sent.

From USS Ronald Reagan Battle Group command, Captain Augustus Norris.
Regards: Command of USS Ronald Reagan.
To: President Richard Ashwood and The Secretary of the Navy

President Ashwood, I Captain Augustus Norris commanding officer of the USS Ronald Reagan and Acting Commander of the Ronald Reagan Battle Group do here by resign my commission with the United States Navy. I have ordered the Ronald Reagan to put into the nearest friendly port and put me ashore.

God Bless the United States.

Captain Augustus Norris, US Navy Retired.

Bucky put his hand on the Captain's shoulder. "Myers, I will need you to send the exact same message to Ashwood for me."

Major Sinclair stood up erectly. "I, as well. Semper Fi."

Myers shook her head. "Going to be hard to send when there are no officers on board to send it. One little problem with the message to President Bryce. I don't have any way to get it to him without it going through normal Navy channels."

"I do." Everyone turned to look at Bucky. "Captain Makel Filitov, Russian Special Ops. I can get him to forward the message to Jack Bryce. It might take a little longer, but I can guarantee they will get it to him."

Captain Norris had a smile on his face. "That will work, Bucky. Let's get back to the briefing, they have been waiting too long."

As they started to walk back in, Bucky paused and leaned against the table. Major Sinclair put his hand under Bucky's uninjured arm. "Skipper, I think Bucky needs to sit for a bit."

Bucky shook his head. "Thanks Sin but I will be okay. My place is beside the Skipper."

Captain Norris turned and got right in Bucky's face. "Lieutenant Commander Albert Buchinski, you are recovering from a damn gunshot wound. You will sit when we get back in there and after we are done, you will report to the sickbay. That's an order." He stepped back a little. "Bucky, this is going to get ugly, and I am going to need you at your best."

Bucky nodded in defeat and they all turned and reentered the briefing room with Major Sinclair supporting Bucky. The room hushed as they entered and Captain Norris walked back to the podium.

"Take your seats. We have some new intel. As of 15:30 GMT President Ashwood has ordered the Ronald Reagan Battle Group to stand by for Operation Starshine. With that message, we have received the entire Operations Order. Lieutenant Myers, can we get the order on the screen?"

The lights dimmed and the screen showed the op order. Myers had highlighted the key sections.

"First and foremost is the authorization to use Nuclear assets against allies that attempt to interfere with the Ashwood administration’s attempt to maintain control of the United States."

Myers zoomed in on that section of the order and Captain Norris paused to let everyone read it. He continued on, going over the order paragraph by paragraph. By the end, everyone in the room was completely silent.

The lights came up and Captain Norris looked out at the group. "Okay let's discuss your concerns."

Captain Miller stood and snapped to attention.

"I, Joshua Miller, having been appointed an officer in the United States Navy, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; so help me God. Captain Norris, sir, as Air Wing Commander USS Ronald Reagan, I charge Richard Ashwood with treason against the Constitution and the People of the United States."

He took his seat and even before he sat down Commander Peterson from the USS Fort Worth rose and repeated the oath and the charges. When she finished, Captain Davison followed suit, one by one all the officers rose and repeated the oath and the charges.

When they were finished, Captain Norris also repeated the Oath and the Charges. He took a deep breath and continued. "We are traveling down a road only traveled by Americans twice before, once in 1776 and again in 1861. Captain Norris snapped to attention. "See to your charges, we deploy at 21:15 GMT we will hold up just outside of radar/ sonar range of Bermuda. Commander Peterson, Captains Davison, Miller and Cole, please stay behind. Dismissed."

All the officers began filing out. Captain Norris walked over to Bucky."Sickbay now, I need you and your team on board the Rhode Island, ready to go by 16:30 GMT. I want you guys to infiltrate the East Coast. I am going to have Myers get me intel on the ground forces on the eastern coast of Florida."

"Aye Aye, Skipper."

He turned and looked at Commander Peterson. “Commander Sandra Peterson, It has been my opinion that you have been held back by Admiral Buchinski. Change your epaulets Captain Peterson and report to The USS John Dunham to take her helm, You are now Destroyer Squadron Commander. You need to pick an XO in the next couple of hours and work with Captain Miller to rape the other ships to get your officer corp replenished." He paused and looked around "Lieutenant Commander Rosewood.” He shouted across the rooms to the USS Fort Worth's Communications Officer.

Ted Rosewood turned and hurried back. "Yes, sir."

"I just promoted your boss to the Dunham. So effective immediately, the Fort Worth is yours. And I am giving you a field promotion to Commander. Get to your ship. Tristan, I want the Rhode Island to depart at 16:30 GMT with the SEALs on board, and make for the coast of Florida, silent running all the way. Get me some hard intel on what the hell is going on. Once we know what the hell we are doing, you’re going to insert Bucky and his team to get a feel for what's on the ground. Carl and Bill, get the Providence and Olympia ready to roll out at the same time, find out what the fuck is in front of me. Dismissed."

No one said a word. They had been given their marching orders and were off to accomplish them.

Captain Norris turned to Myers. "I need as much intel on the eastern coast of Florida as possible. I think that is where we are going to make our presence and loyalty known to the world. It's far enough south that DC can't react quickly." He paused. "Jesus Christ, did I just say that?"

"Yes sir and all of us are thinking the same thing."

"Thanks, XO." He turned and walked away as her mouth hung open.

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