Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Without Consent

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay. Article I, Section 10, Clause 3 United States Constitution

They met in one of the committee rooms of the Capitol, away from the prying eyes of other members of Congress. Two men and three women, all had held unprecedented power until the past few days had left them staring into the abyss.

"Has this been confirmed?" the Speaker of the House asked in a shrill tone.

"Madam Speaker, this just came in a little over three hours ago. You know how difficult it is to get messages in and out since the military closed off access to the building. We are getting meals and the like delivered, and our sympathizers are helping with that, but full blown intelligence reports and up-to-the-minute news reports are nearly impossible. We get tidbits of what's going on in the outside world, that's it."

The Speaker looked down at the floor, she had to be aware that things were changing, but she still seemed to be in denial. Without rich donors, she and her ilk could lose their power over the rest of Congress.

The Marine staff sergeant looked at the pizza delivery man, who had been a defense contractor working out of Dahlgren until Congress had decided that his job should be outsourced to a company in India. "So they sick of pizza yet?"

The ex-contractor grinned, "Well, a couple of 'em were bitching about why they were only getting cheese pizza. I told 'em that their supporters were kinda cheap about supporting free pizza for them when they've been having trouble paying their own bills lately."

The staff sergeant grinned and said, "I wonder if we should tell 'em about the latest polls showing that the head of the Chinese Communist Party has a higher approval rating than Congress right now."

"Seriously?" the contractor asked.

"Well, he did order their peacekeepers pulled out of the country. That's something."


Billy and Ida Kasparian were outside making repairs to their house and the various outbuildings they had on their little patch of heaven, as Ida called it. Billy stopped what he was doing then looked over at Ida, "Do you hear that?"

"Hear what... Oh, it's a helicopter..." as she said that she looked up to see an Army helicopter fly over, then turn and come back towards their property. "Are they going to..."

"Land here? Sure looks like it."

As they watched, the helicopter flared then settled down about fifty yards away from the house. Three people disembarked, one of them turned and waved to the pilot, then the helicopter lifted off and headed towards town.

As the people got closer, the Kasparians recognized the two men, but not the woman. Billy's eyebrows lifted in surprise as he realized that the woman was Chinese. Jack Bishop was one of the men, Frank Teller was the other.

Billy nodded and said, "Jack, Frank, ma'am. What's up? Gotta be important if it justifies using an Army chopper to bring you out here."

Jack spoke, "Billy, Ida, this here is Ye Meihui, sorry ma'am, did I pronounce that right?

"Close enough Mr. Bishop." the woman stepped forward to shake hands with Billy and Ida. "I suppose that seeing a Chinese person is perhaps not a good thing in these times."

Billy spoke first, "Well, Ma'am, seeing someone not from around here was pretty rare, up until a couple of months ago. What do you do?"

"Ah, perhaps a better question would be, which China am I from?"

"Yes, Ma'am, that's good for starters." Ida said.

SSG Craig Sager knocked on the door of the shack Major Morrison was using for his personal quarters. The man was trying to catch up on much needed sleep and Sager hated to bother him, but for this, he knew the major would want to be bothered.

"Okay, okay, I'm up." the door opened to reveal a very disheveled Army officer. "Damn it Craig, what the Hell..." he stopped talking as soon as he saw who was behind his sergeant. "Holy shit, General Jones! Er, sorry Sir, but what brings you way the Hell out here?"

Major General Allan Jones, until recently the Adjutant General of the New York National Guard, smiled and said, "Well, the Chicoms chased me out of Albany, so I headed west, seems that some of our boys have been chasing Chicoms with some success out here in the boondocks."

"Let me throw my uniform on, we can go over to the TOC¹ and I'll brief you on what's happening."

"Wow, you guys went old school," the general commented as he looked at the various maps of the region tacked up on the walls of the enclosure. Most of them with plastic overlays upon which grease-pencil markings had been applied showing the tactical situation.

"Well, when you have no network to connect to, or in our case don't have the latest access codes, then it's back to the 20th Century. Hell, Sarn't Sager here even dug up an old manual typewriter for written reports."

"So what is the situation? I've been on the run for over a month now and I'm kinda out of touch." General Jones leaned in and looked at one of the maps.

Major Morrison briefed the general on the current state of affairs, he knew the general had questions about the map with the annotation of "eliminated" next to a red flag marker. General Jones had a broad smile on his face at the end of the briefing.

"So the Chicoms are on the run?" he asked.

"Well, most of 'em," Morrison leaned forward and tapped on a position marked in red, right on top of Fort Drum, "suckers are holed up here, no air support but they're in strength. We don't have enough ammo remaining, nor the numbers, to hit 'em ourselves. But we had a courier come in this morning. We might be getting some help out of Hancock Field."

Jones nodded, then asked "Air Guard drones?"

"Drones and Warthogs General. A-10s, four of 'em. I sent one of my company commanders to liaison with the zoomies. Plan is to hit the sumbitches in three days. After we clear Camp Drum, we're going to drive the bastards into the open and kill the ones in Albany as well. Then the state north of Poughkeepsie will be clear of those Chicom bastards."

"Excellent, what's going on in the rest of the country, do you know?" the last thing Jones had heard was that a coup was in progress in DC, which he related to the major.

"We haven't heard anything in weeks from outside our little AO². Maybe the zoomies can tell us, they do get out more, so to speak."

"Let's hope."

"So Miss Ye, is it miss, or..." Billy began the questioning.

"It is Miss, I am too busy to start a family just yet. I think I know your question, I am here from the Republic of China, what your government insists on calling, 'Chinese Taipei.' My government has dispatched a number of representatives to the United States to work with the organizations currently fighting the illegal regime in Beijing. I am the representative for New York. Do you have any questions for me?" the young woman paused.

"No ma'am, seems pretty straightforward, but what can you do for us?" Billy asked.

"And what's it going to cost?" Ida continued.

With that question Miss Ye reached into her briefcase and withdrew a thick document which she handed to Billy, "This details what my government is prepared to offer your resistance movement. As to what it will cost you? Nothing, Sir. We have a mutual enemy, one that has threatened the peace of the world for far too long."

"While there is no tangible help we can offer right now, substantial funds have been deposited in various bank accounts removed from your government's scrutiny. There is a set of debit cards inside that document which can be used for anything you might need to resist the criminals from Beijing."

"Where'd your government get all this money?" Sheriff Frank Teller asked. He had been wondering how a government so far away, and from a pretty small country, was going to help them. Could they afford such largesse?

Miss Ye smiled and said, "A certain Mr. Cancelli, from Seattle, decided to cooperate with us after we showed him the error of his ways."

"Cancelli, the big computer tycoon?" Billy asked.

"The very same." Ye answered.

"When did he get so patriotic? I thought he was some kind of globalist?" Jack Bishop had to ask.

"Ah yes, well, as a character in one of your better motion pictures might put it, we made him an offer he couldn't refuse." Ye smiled as she said that.

In that moment, Billy Kasparian actually felt sorry for Will Cancelli.

¹ Tactical Operations Center, a command post, in this case it was two Humvees connected by a canvas tarp. A fairly minimal set-up, but in tough times, you go with whatever you have at hand.
² Area of Operations.


  1. "Drones and Warthogs..." Okay, now I've got a woody!
    'Tis a hopeful tale you're crafting, Sarge. Just wish the reality of the current state of affairs would quickly progress to a hopeful nature.

  2. Oh, BTW, the "speaker" has gotta be in pretty dire straits, what with not having access to her own personal hoard of craft ice cream. (chuckle)

  3. Don't feel sorry at all for Cancelli, not.... one.... bit. So the cell towers around the Capitol shut down as well as landlines? Drones and ....yes....yes.......BBBBRRRRRTTTTTTT?!?

    1. Not hard to shut down cell phone service.

    2. An electric nail gun and some bolt cutters will do fine. Follow me for more "advice"....

    3. Amazing what a nail or other piece of metal through a feedline does to both the transmit and receive. Open circuits are also disruptive, especially on the power supply end.

    4. (Don McCollor)...The Internet was originally designed to survive a nuclear strike. However, it seems particularly susceptible to backhoes. Back in the Bad Old Days, I remember a fellow grad student (ex AF) telling when they were in the middle of a big SAC exercise when they lost all contact with SAC Omaha. A backhoe had cut through a main cable bundle that handled all land lines and radio feed to the transmitters...

    5. Don McCollor - Not sure what you mean, digital circuitry is very vulnerable to EMP. Also "the Internet" is a rather broad term.

    6. (Don McCollor)...1960s internet...

    7. Didn't exist as far as I know.

    8. (Don McCollor)...My apologies. Internet began around 1969. {In other matter]..If the NG in your story could just dig up an old AC130 gunship, my joy would be complete...

    9. It started as the ARPANET. When I worked at Fermilab we had access to a node at Argonne National Lab via a T1 line in 1973.

    10. Perhaps Don McC is thinking of ELF?

  4. Cancelli? What you did there, I see it.

  5. Much of any internal command and control is, I suspect, based on the concept that the Power in Charge will maintain control of such things - and while perhaps the military authorities would be prepared, I doubt the civil authorities would be.

    An odd things, how power so quickly slips away when you are not longer in position to dictate and the people are no longer willing to concede.

    The Second China is out of left field Sarge. I am an intrigued.

  6. Wildcards are always interesting. I wonder what is available to buy with a debit card at that time and place?

    How would you resupply a company sized element before they kick off against Ft. Drum? I mean, it seems that everything is disjointed and ad hoc.

    And if your typewriter ribbon is not marking due to age or being "used up", a squirt of alcohol can bring some life back into it. Just don't over do it and make sure you roll it back up to the feed side before you give it the shot. For some reason, WD40 is stuck in my mind as what we used, but then alcohol comes to mind too. Any one have an old mill they want to send to me, I'll test and report.

    1. Everything is very disjointed and ad hoc. Revolutions usually are.

      The Guard unit is larger than a company, smaller than a regiment.

    2. And they'll pick up irregulars and prior service as they move, most likely.

    3. Rejuvenated many a dot matrix printer ribbon with the WD-40 back in the day.

    4. Never tried that. Have "re-inked" one or two typewriter ribbons back in the day, very messy if you're not careful! (DAMHIK)

  7. As in "cooperate or there will be a tragic fire in your chip fabrication plants"?

  8. Ha. Good on Miss Ye. Chinese Taipei my arse. It's the Republic of China (in Taiwan) or it's nothing. Feckless bureaucrats and state department toadies.

    Saw a good one on some meme the other day. We should start referring to that area of the world as Taiwan and West Taiwan and see how quickly we get banned.

    Regarding our 'dear leaders' in Congress, I'd cut them off of food, water, electricity, gas, and if possible, air. They can surrender and be subject to the people's will or they can die, their choice. You are far too nice. Pizza? I'd send them MREs if I send them anything. And not the 'good' MREs but the ones most disdained by the troops.

    As to the ChiCom forces, the CCP better just acknowledge that any still in-country are lost forever. People have been building a mighty big hate in the last 30 years, and once any civility is removed, it's going to be bad. Again, like the meme says, They don't understand that our reaction is not a dimmer switch but a regular on-off light switch. Either we're not cutting throats or we are. Disproportionate show of force has always been a part of the American way of life. What some call 'The Jacksonian Way.' Stonk big, stonk hard, stonk long, then when there's nothing left to stonk, repeat and walk away. It's why the half-assed or even quarter-assed retreat from Afghanistan was taken so poorly by so many. At the least, all the equipment should have been piled up and blown up. But, no, half-quarter assed plans by people who couldn't even fathom how to play "Stratego" and you get the pull-out.

    1. I saw that meme, very much agree!

    2. "...half-quarter assed plans by people who couldn't even play 'Stratego'" is GOLDEN! Sadly a very apt description of the execrables running the country aground.
      Boat Guy

    3. Ayup. I'd go against most all of them in a game of Stratego, or Risk, or Empire Builder, or Squad Leader or Tobruk or any other good strategy game.

      Hell, I'd play them in Monopoly.

    4. Beans - Yes, they're all incompetent.

  9. The consent of the governed is a fragile thing. I see more folks rescinding theirs everyday. Mine? It's been gone for over a decade. I'll be damned if I'll allow common criminals and thugs to dictate my behavior based on their shiny office and expensive suit (which We the People paid for). Fuck. Them. ALL.

  10. I don't recall what the media is doing during all of this.. right now the media is full time propaganda and a lot of people believe every word they hear from the talking heads.

    1. Laying low, but I haven't really looked at them in this story. Yet, not sure if I will.

    2. I wish you would pay them the attention they've worked so hard to garner the last several years. I mean really, all that effort to foment division and hatred should be recognized... somehow.

    3. Not sure if this is gonna double post...Blogger broke the first time I tried...It does that sometimes...anyhow...
      Methinks it would be a sort of refreshing comic relief if the guilty parties in the media were to get the same treatment as the (also traitorous) financiers. They're all guilty of trying to subvert the Constitution which, by definition, is Sedition. Though their other crimes are also hideous, I think that is the one most deserving of a Full Stop! End conclusion.
      Like the Colonel told the Sergeant, "If he talks code, or tries anything funny, shoot him in the head."

  11. I hope that Billy and Ida are still getting their home delivery of the weekly "Epoch Times". It will help keep things in perspective, I'm sure.
    Lovven the story. Thanks.
    It's caused me to think through some things. As an example, I have split the ammo dump here in the condo rather than having all in one place, it's now in several. With a suitable weapon at each locale.

    1. CCP can mean other things as well. ;-)

    2. Best not to broadcast the nature of your preparations.

    3. Dave #1 - Not sure if the Kasparians have a computer. Even if they did, I'm sure their ISP is down, or co-opted.

    4. Dave #2 - Why yes, yes it can.

    5. Patrick - Unless you want your adversary to think you did something, but actually didn't.

      But yes, OPSEC.

  12. I'm with Nylon. If those Warthogs see action, you have to add audio to that post!

    1. Nothing quite like a loud and clear BBBBRRRRRTTTTTTT! to raise the spirits of friendly troops and demoralize those opposed, if they are left with any remaining emotions, at all.

    2. Tuna - Well, I didn't...

      Gomen nasai...

    3. Patrick - With all the stuff blowing up around them, I doubt the Chinese would notice the lack of a BRRRTTT.

      Not really the environment for strafing anyway, way too many gomers with rifles blasting at the sky. You've heard of the Golden BB, I trust?

    4. No worries. I can happily imagine it!

  13. Actually, I hadn't, but I have now. That one little fragment or projectile that somehow finds the aircraft's most vulnerable spot. Point taken, though this is the A-10 we're talking about, and it doesn't have one of those. You've gotta hit both of them, as all vulnerable systems are redundant. So you've gotta have 2 Golden BBs. Also not impossible, obviously.
    What the chicoms did or did not miss isn't really the point. It was we, your readers, who were anxiously anticipating that particular thrill, from the moment the A-10s came into the story. Especially to a ground pounder, that unique sound is a bit of music like no other. It imparts an electric thrill, and a warm comfort, all at the same time. It says, "We've got your back" like no other voice ever has.

    1. Even the mighty Warthog can be brought down by a single Golden BB.

  14. My hackles raised. I don't trust Gen. Jones. Briefing to bring him up to speed yet providing him with enough tactical details to sink the boat. Not looks good, shoot him now.

    OTOH, Miss Mei Hui is not the stooge you're look for.

  15. Style note: Army staff Sargent is SSG, Air Force is SSgt. I keep wondering why there's zoomies in the guard...


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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