Praetorium Honoris

Saturday, June 22, 2024

The Field Narrows Further ...

Site B
VA Medical Center, Martinsburg, WV
Secretary of the Interior John Nakagawa and his little convoy were nearly at their destination, what was known as "Site B," which was a United States Continuity of Operations facility. It shared space with a VA Medical Center. There were three vehicles, the lead vehicle, about five miles ahead was a scout team. The second vehicle had two members of the Secretary's security detail, the third, in which he was riding, also had Bill Aspinall, the leader of his security detail and two more security men they'd picked up after leaving Green Ridge State Park.

Aspinall sat up straight when a voice in his earpiece said, "I dunno, boss, something isn't right."

"What is it?"

"We're supposedly in a state of emergency, right? Martial law in Virginia and Maryland, but the gate has a single rent-a-cop, no other security. Something seems off."

"Hold where you're at." Turning to the driver he said, "Pull over at that gas station."

Nakagawa asked, "Something amiss?"

"Yes Sir, the gate to Site B isn't manned by any soldiers or Federal agents, looks like business as usual here. Isn't that odd, Sir?"

"Hhmm, maybe not. Site B was always a backup contingency, SecDef and the other heavies are up at Raven Rock, Site R. This might be a good sign."

"In other words, they expect you to join them at Site R."


"Throwing them a curve ball, Mr. Secretary?"

"Uh uh, Bill, I'm throwing knuckleballs, I doubt they can hit those at all."

Aspinall grinned, he keyed his mic, "Head on in scout team."

FBI Director William Sheppard was pacing back and forth, he was not happy. In front of him were the two special agents who'd been tasked to bring Captain Alexander Choe in. It had been meant to look like a rescue, Nancy Pelton gunning down a rogue agent trying to apprehend Choe. Instead she had overplayed it and Choe had taken off like a scared rabbit.

"What the hell, Delaney, what the hell?" Sheppard spoke in a low hiss, which made the hairs on the back of Special Agent John "Jack" Delaney's neck stand on end.

"Mr. Director, I have no idea why Choe ran. I pulled him over, made sure he could see that I had my weapon out, Pelton roared up, discharged her weapon multiple times, I went down, she called out to him. I tell you Sir, it was Academy Award stuff, we made it look really good."

"Apparently not. Pelton?"

"I may have f**ked it up, Sir. I called Choe 'Skipper,' which is what a Naval aviator calls their commander, but Choe's surface warfare. I figured Chapman would use aviation terms, I didn't realize that ship captains are always called, 'Captain,' not 'Skipper.'"

"D-minus, Pelton."

Going behind his desk and sitting down, Sheppard addressed his two agents. "Okay, Choe and Chapman are in the wind. Admiral Washington is MIA, this whole f**king thing is going to Hell in a handbasket."

Sheppard's desk phone chirped, "What is it?"

"You gotta be shitting me. goddammit, what next?" Sheppard slammed the phone down, Pelton visibly jumped at that.

"Nervous in the service, Pelton?"

She gulped, "Sir?"

"Never mind, more f**king bad news. The goddammed President wants a meeting with the House and Senate leadership, the Secretary of State is nowhere to be found, and worst of all, our pet militia unit got their asses wasted up in Maryland," he turned on Delaney.

"I thought you said Johansen was good at this shit?"

"He is, Sir, he ..."

"Well, he's in custody up in Maryland. Jesus Christ!" Sheppard slammed his fist on his desk as he stood up.

He hit his intercom button, "Get Deputy Director Monroe in here, now."

"Delaney, Pelton, get your asses up to Cumberland, Maryland, that's where they're holding Johansen." the two started for the door.


Choe and Chapman were sitting in the same interrogation room which Al Rossi had occupied not so long ago. The difference was that the door was unlocked, it hadn't been for Rossi.

"So, Cap'n, what do you think is going on?"

"I think we're with a group of cops just doing their jobs. Maryland is essentially ignoring Federal authority. Did you know that Jackson ordered the Army to bring their prisoners here? Ordered. Cops don't order the military around under martial law. Seems Governor Woodson has his people in control here. Army and law enforcement."

"Whose side are we on, Cap'n?"

"I'm kinda surprised you have to ask, Beth. The Constitution, first, last, and always."

"Copy that, Sir. We're on the same page."

Secretary of State Jedidiah Proctor was sitting in the communications center at Site B when Nakagawa walked in. He jumped up.

"John, what the hell is going on?"

"Sit down, Jed. Your day is done, your race is run."

Proctor blustered, "What, what are you talking about?"

"Creating chaos in the streets, gunning down Federal agents, what was going to be next, little kids and old people?"

"I have no idea ..."

"Look, you need to sign this paper," he nodded at Aspinall who set a document in front of Proctor, "after that, we'll hold you here until the dust settles, then you'll go to DC to be put on trial."

"Whoa, look here, I can't be arrested and put on trial, I'm a Cabinet level official, I need to be impeached first! In the goddammed Congress, not by you!"

"Oh, you don't need to be impeached, that document," Nakagawa nodded at the paper in front of Proctor, "that's your resignation, effective immediately."

"Bullshit, I won't sign it."

Nakagawa sighed, "You're right, Mr. Aspinall, he is a stubborn bastard. Look here, Jed, let's be reasonable, you sign the paper, go on trial, hell, they might find you innocent, or my associate here will take you outside and shoot you in the back of the head. Then we take you back to your house, leave the body there, and surround you with dead Russians."

He turned to Jason Howard, who had just walked into the room, "They were Russians, right Senior Chief Howard?"

"Yes Sir, Russians, former Spetsnaz. Out of work since the war ended."

Proctor sat down, "Give me a pen, I'll sign."


  1. The plot coming unraveled and the rats running for the dark Sarge. That's quite the conglomeration of buildings on that VA site.

    1. It is big. It's also really a site for government operations in certain contingencies.

  2. The closer the pot to boil, the more dangerous to the cook it is. Boiling openly warns the cook of the dangers.

    Nice action having a resignation letter and the OR ELSE ready and fresh in his mind.

    So far the good guys are winning. I doubt all the rats are without teeth.

    1. Now comes the two fates of a traitor. Suicide (forced or unforced and Jeffrey Epstein didn't hang himself) or trial and execution.

      Be interesting to see which way Proctor will go.

    2. We shall see, I'd like to bump him off myself, but gotta do it legally.

    3. The rats will get to speak. Some of them do have teeth.

    4. The good guys? Don't be suckered. I suspect the 'good guys' are just less evil, more adept. Even that is suspect.

      Not everyone knows exactly what is going down, but all know something big is going down. Multiple opposing forces on multiple fronts. Shifting alliances. People clawing to be on top. Default bureaucracy

      Nakagawa played his hand with Proctor. Maybe not so wise at this time. Nakagawa's trick is far from over. Any one small thing could up end his cart.

    5. Very true, all the players need to tread carefully at this time. One wrong move could be the last!

  3. Plans going slideways, you've got to ride the waves.

  4. Always have a backup plan - King Archidamus II of Sparta, probably.

    Often, when things unravel, it does happen quickly.

    1. You really need to plan for when the plan falls apart. Note I said "when," not "if."

  5. Sterquilinus on a velociped playing the buccina! This sort of sounds as if POTUS isn't part of this. Maybe.
    I don't see it ending quietly. Dung is ready to be flung about, and with a clarion call to arms.
    "The Constitution, first, last, and always."
    Unfortunately the Lemures think that to save the Constitution they have to ignore it, dismantle it, and build it back better.

    1. POTUS will show up eventually.

    2. Well, he is brought into the dramatis personae with this episode of "As the Republic Churns," even if just in the mentioning. But is it for a "What in the fornicating underworld is going on?" meeting? Or a "OK troops, this is how we are going to meet this threat to the Constitution" meeting? Or "OK troops, here is how we are going to counter those who want to thwart our plans to build this republic back better." meeting?

      Only the Muse knows. Stay tuned for our next prophetic episode.

    3. He might just be a figurehead, placed to the bidding of some evil force operating in the shadows.

      Not that that would ever happen ...

  6. I'm enjoying the direction your story is taking. Riveting!

  7. It's not ripples on a pond, we're looking at a storm lashed Lake Okeechobee!

    The cards are falling everywhere, who knows what hand anyone will be dealt.

    Keep it up!


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