Sunday, September 26, 2021



The sheriff came limping up the drive, he should have retired a while back, but no one wanted the job now. Old Frank stayed on, not because he needed the money, as little as it was now, but the folks in the area still trusted him. They knew that he was ambivalent about the so-called "peacekeepers," at least he had managed to keep things calm. Up until now.

The chief stepped to the front door, he turned to his wife and nodded. She would serve the coffee, then make herself scarce. She too felt that the sheriff's visit was anything but coincidence.

"Evening Frank, looks like we're gonna have thick fog tonight, sure you want to be out this late?" The chief said that with a grin.

Old Frank shook his head, "Yeah, yeah, kiss my ass Billy. I ain't as old as you think."

Billy, the chief, knew exactly how old Frank was, he'd served in the sandbox, the first one. It's where he got the limp. Frank had wanted to make a career of the Army, which he did. But that war in the desert had cut that career short, medically retired with fifteen years in.


"Love some, this weather is going to turn cold soon, I can feel it in my bones."

"Me too, let's go sit in the kitchen, Ida's had the stove going so it's warm in there."

"Sure thing, evenin' Ida."

"Evening Frank."

After Ida had gone upstairs, Frank took a sip of coffee, then looked Billy straight in the eye, "I hear the peacekeepers were out here earlier."

"Yup, apparently there was an incident on the old county road this morning."

"An incident Billy? An incident? Three men were murdered out there, gunned down in cold blood." Frank sat up straight, he didn't like the chief's tone.

"Well, I don't know about cold blood Frank, people are starting to get pretty upset about those boys over there in the compound. I heard that they're breaking into empty houses. Hell, some of the houses they've gone into weren't empty. From what I hear."

"We aren't at war with anyone, last I checked Billy. So those deaths go into the books as homicides."

"Not at war Frank? Not yet."

The sheriff drove off into the fog, thinking he'd made his point with the chief. As the chief watched Frank's taillights disappear into the thickening fog, he knew that things were coming to a head.

Those three men had been singled out. They had roughed up a local teenager two days before they went out "foraging," as the peacekeepers liked to call it. Goddamned theft is what it was, Billy grumbled to himself.

"Any problem hon'?" Ida came up behind him.

"Maybe, Frank's hinting that if I know what's going on, I should use what little influence I have to calm things down. He should know better."

"Things are starting to get out of control, aren't they?" Ida asked with a worried tone.

"Yeah, they are honey. The soldiers are getting bored, so they drink more, they harrass the townsfolk, they need action. I'm afraid some of the hotheads may actually escalate the situation now that they've lost people. The colonel who was here today? He's not a bad sort. But he has superiors to answer to, that worries me."

"What are you going to do?"

"I'm gonna head up into the mountains tomorrow, talk to Jack."

"Jack Bishop? Wasn't he in the Army with you?"

"Well, we were in at the same time, he was special forces, I was just a tanker. He might have some good advice. He's been in these kind of situations."

"These kind of situations?" Ida asked with an upraised brow.

"Yeah, indigenous people waging guerilla warfare."

"Is that what it's coming down to?"

"I'm afraid so, love. I'm afraid so.


  1. "Peacekeepers"......uh huh....Had to look up how much the US funds the UN, eleven billion in 2019....just under twenty per cent. Looking forward to more Sarge.

  2. My CIWS is an 18th century 6 pdr. Carronade. It will fire 6 lbs. of buckshot on top of 2.2 lbs. of black powder. The ideal range is about 37 yards before the pattern opens too much and the velocity starts dropping. Very effective at discouraging riots. Old Guns

    1. Carronades and howitzers (the same thing except a land carriage and not a naval carriage, sort of, kind of) can be made from either thick-walled high-strength steel (like, oh, say, drill pipe) or thinner walled with either a poured bronze outer or another section sweated on. Breach can be made out of high-strength steel, either just a plug or actually machined with a powder section. Welded on. Using even the cheap arsed box welders at Harbor Freight.

      Plans are on line.

      Just saying...

      If'n I had such equipment, a series of poacher's guns (anti-poacher swivel guns with lines that pull the gun in the direction of whatever trips the line and then fires) wouldn't be hard to make. And I've seen a saboted round, designed in the Civ War, fired out of a brass Napoleon (12lb field piece) punch through a bank armored car with ease.

      Only problems with black powder are it's noisy and leaves a bit of a signature.

      For further speculation only.

    2. Carronades and howitzers are not the same, they look different, they're used differently.

      If making a cannon was that easy...

      But it's not, not really, fire some makeshift home-made thing a couple of times and it'll blow up in your face.

  3. Very realistic Sarge. Although based on the situation that you have explained, the Sheriff only seems to be turning a blind eye in one direction.

    And certainly in modern times we have examples of "Peacekeepers' acting badly (of note, I did a single search. The information comes up very readily).

    1. Certain nations are worse than others.

    2. From what I've read of the local security's interactions with the UN peacekeepers, in Bosnia and in Africa, the roll of the sheriff as Sarge said is pretty realistic. Having to smooth over and calm down the locals due to the peacekeepers acting badly.

      And, yeah, the blue helmets don't have a good reputation in Africa. Something about large scale slavery, both traditional and sexual, being a major funding source of many UN bureaucrats and peacekeeper officers. But what do you expect when most of the world's nations are some form of kleptocracy (including, sadly, way too often our nation, especially at the federal level.)

    3. The UN is a collection of proto-nations led by robber barons and murderers. Very few of the world's "nations" are anything more than tribes with flags.

  4. Hey Old AFSarge;

    Realistic, people will have to decide which way they go, and unfortunately the "peackeepers" will get worse because they will have a "Us vs Them" attitude and some of them will view the locals as "less then equal" and they will retaliate against the locals which will then ratchet up the pain.

  5. I really can't see peacekeeper being brought in to the US but there is a lot going on in my world today that don't really make sense... Actually I'm just looking for something "not too stupid" to say so I can hit the "Notify me" button and have the rest of the comments sent to me during the day :-)
    This is a good story!

  6. From my interactions with combat vets and from those that served in Bosnia and in various places in Africa, the Blue Helmets are hated by most of the enlisted of the US Army and Marine Corps. And by a lot of non-senior-grade officers. I have no knowledge of an artillery battery dropping fire near one blue helmet enclave in order to get the point across. Nope. No knowledge at all.

    And do I see this possibly happening? With the way #44 and #46* have acted and are acting, along with the current speaker of the house? Yeah, could be. And, of course, it won't be western Europe who shows up. It will be Russia, the ChiComs, Pakistan and maybe India, with a sprinkling of other forces from places ending in -stan.

    Then again, even English or Canuck forces would be met with great suspicion and resistance by the American dirt people or American fly-over people. Even some blue-city or blue-staters would get their hackles up. And it won't take much to provoke a situation, like in supposedly gun-free Chicago...

    This is a 'what could be' that is frighteningly frightful, as there have been rumors and speculations of said actions by certain people towards such a move.

    Violence that erupts if 2022 or 2024 continues the election steal, which, from what I've seen of the recall in California, will happen (the steal) would be a possible time for peacekeepers, especially if any attempts to federalize the National Guards is attempted as a beat-down on vote rioters while leftist rioters are allowed to continue their attacks on decency.

    I would not want to be the sheriff above. A good man who's trying to smooth things between all sides. If he leaves, then some lickspittle of a quisling will replace him and no restraint on the peacekeepers' side short of serious measures taken by the Colonel would slow any depredations by the peacekeepers.

    I like the story. Then again, I liked the original "Red Dawn." But I fear that something like this is happening.

    Could be the peacekeepers are foreign troops. Could be the peacekeepers are 'Not-this-state's' National Guard units. Either way, a bad situation.

    1. "Not-this-state's" units would talk of the people's "master"....

    2. Beans - UN peacekeepers are singularly ineffective at their jobs.

    3. You really think so? I'm not a city person but I can't picture any American today using the term "Master" in anything but sarcasm or historical talk. Boss or some other term like term but not master...

      Having said that I'll be the first to admit that I am often surprised by what I didn't know but thought I did...

    4. Some city dwellers see themselves as latter day aristocrats. As if money makes you "better" than others.

  7. I'm beginning to hope that you have translated this whole story from another language and it's not us that serve to act in this drama.

  8. Dunno that the Sheriff IS a good guy; seems like he'll bend in order to keep his paycheck. Relying on such to follow their oath is a fools gambit.
    Have observed "peacekeepers" in the balkans; even the "good" troops are frequently given directions that compromise their effectiveness. Srebrenica anyone?
    To paraphrase Longstreet; pick your nightmare side and go to it. The time is nigh on our story for people to pick one side of another.
    Boat Guy

    1. He might be another one who "goes along to get along." Then again, he might surprise you.

    2. (Don McCollor)...(as I remember from the book) In WW2 Norway, there was a man who was shunned. A Quisling, a traitor beneath contempt collaborating with the Germans. His friends shunned him, children spat in his face, his mother wished he were dead. Then there was a late afternoon on a farm where he crouched at the top of a steep narrow stairway. The tapping of the radioman sending England the message that Bismarck had put to sea rang like hammer blows in the hot attic. Through the tiny window, he could see the German RDF trucks had picked up the transmission signal and were very close. He kept his machine pistol entrusted to him by the Germans aimed down the stairway. The selector was on full automatic. [and he got away clean and unsuspected]...

    3. Sometimes you have to pretend to be one of them.

  9. Thank you for placing your story in a "time". I like the way you're slowly developing the characters of Billy and Ida; I look forward to meeting them again and again.

    1. I've known folks like them, salt of the earth.

  10. Once again, Sarge, you're showing your mastery of being able to tell both sides of the story.

    Well done, and I'm sure I'll be glued to this one like I was about your WWII story.


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