Eric's Writer Blog

20100123

Azad Gel Chapter 1 – New Dawn

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric Mertz @ 1900

Tall’Suma Village

Iraqi Kurdistan-Turkish Border

1979-08-13

1030 Hours Charlie

Savid Hakim strode through the rocky mountain pass outside the small village where the Peshmerga had chosen to set up their base of operations.  They had been pushed out of the town of Az Zibar by the Kurdish Democratic Party following the union of the KDP with the Iranian Leadership, and the denunciation of the union by the leader of the Kurdish Repulican Union.  While the KDP and the KRU had once acted together, both viewing the overtly socialistic Patriotic Union of Kurdistan as a greater threat to Iraqi Kurdistan as a whole.

Now, with a Fatwa out against them, written by the Supreme Ayatollah himself, many cells of the KDP had turned on the KRU, and those few cells who had managed to survive the sudden and brutal fight had withdrawn to the village of Tall’Suma and where currently workign to fortify the village.  However, it’s location was a problem.  There where few roads in the area, none of which reached the isolated village.  Water was rather scarce, and had to be hauled in along with massive quantities of food.  But the most important supply the KRU was missing was spare parts and ammunition for their AK-47, FN FAL, and FN CAL Assault and Battle Rifles, as well as the supply of IMI Galil Battle Rifles that Mossad had promised them.

The latter was probably a moot point, as Israel was more concerned with the Soviets massing on the borders of Afhganistan, and mas moving the arming of Anti-Ayatollah Militias to a back-burner until the situation in Afghanistan was resolved, or at least understood.

The nineteen year old Savid had been one of the key contacts to the Mossad agents in that weapons deal, chosen because he was the most unabashedly Pro-Israel, Pro-Republican man in a group of Kurds who where prominently Pro-Israeli and Pro-Republican.  That Savid was also a rising star in the Kurdish Republican Union, and had taken the Executive Officer position in the Command Cell of the KRU’s Peshmerga, and was looking to take over the Command Cell within months.

As he marched through the pass with the cell, out on a routine patrol, the morning calm was shattered, as a pair of Soviet RPD Machine Guns opened up on the patrol.

Savid dove tot he ground, rolled to bear on the unit that had ambushed his patrol, and opened fire on the machine gun nests with his AK-47 Battle Rifle, pumping three round bursts of 7.62 mmR ammunition into the rocks surrounding the nests as he tried to get a clear shot on the forces he was now recognizing as the PUK Peshmerga.

That threw him for a loop as it was widely believed that the PUK was operating closer to the Syrian border.  Regardless, they where the threat, which meant that they needed to be eliminated before they could get into the village to wreak unimaginable havoc upon the non-combatants taking shelter there.

All thoughts beyond mere survival where driven out of Savid’s mind when AK-47 and AK-74 Assault rifles opened fire on the patrol from the other side of the pass, forcing Savid to start digging with the spade on his belt, hoping to build a foxhole of somekind to give him protection from the flying led that was whining past his ears.

As he dug, he heard the sound of a Kudu Horn, as the leader of the patrol, Aslan Havid called for re-enforcements from the town.  The call was cut off as Aslan was cut down in a hail of bullets.  A rising war scream rose in the throats of the KRU as a number of their fighters jumped from their fighting positions, and began to pick their way up to the to the enemy fighting positions.

Answering Kudu Horns sounded from the northeast as fellow KRU Fighters rushed to meet the fighting and rescue their embatled brethren.  The PUK Fighters began to withdraw as the first of the KRU Reinforcements arrived and pummeled the socialists, shouting “Frag Out!” so often it might as well have been their war cry.

A short hour and a half after the battle had been joined, the last of the PUK Peshmerga had been driven away, and the KRU began to gather up their fallen for the long walk home to the village.

A great mourning wail rose from the families of the injured and deceased, led by Gona Havid as she mourned the loss of her husband.  Adem Havid, only eleven years in age, stood numb by his mother, trying to pretend to be an adult as he fought away the tears.  Savid walked towards the home that Aslan had built, and lowered his friend and commander’s body to the ground.

“I’m sorry, Gona.  I tried to keep him safe, but…” Savid couldn’t finish, he couldn’t find the words to tell her just how much he wished he could have taken Aslan’s place, and left the room as Gona turned a stony gaze on him, dismissing him with her hands.

Savid ducked out of the building, and almost ran head-long into Aram Nagi, his right hand man, as the older man handed him a note, “We got the camel flea ridden bastards who ambushed us, including the man who shot Aslan.  They are being held under the Mosque, seperately, with men who didn’t fight guarding them.”

“Good thinking,” Savid said, as he walked over to the Mosque.

The guards snapped to attention as Savid walked past, returning their salutes as he entered the building.  Making his way down to the holding cells the KRU had dug under the mosque not long after their arrival.  After several flights of stairs, lit only by the light of the bare electric bulbs hanging over the landings on the long stairway to the halls full of holding rooms they had dug.  Most of them where still being dedicated to storage for weapons, food, ammunition, and electronics.

The PUK leader was thoroughly roughed up, with a split lip, broken nose, one eye swollen shut, an arm that was clearly broken, and from the way he was sitting, he had at least one broken rib.  Savid smiled, his boys had done a good job of roughing the guy up, which meant he would be more receptive to Savid’s questioning.  His rather intense and painful interrogations.

“How did you find us?” Savid asked, as he sharpened the knife he had pulled from his belt.

“I will never tell you, you won of a dog and a pig!” the man spat, landign a glob of blood and saliva on Savid’s cheek.

Wiping it off with a small towel, Savid held up the knife, letting the light from the bare bulb overhead flash into the PUK’s eyes.  “Yes, yes you will.  Everybody breaks eventually, and the more bravado you show beforehand, the sooner you break…”

Savid walked out a few moments later, wrapping his thumb in a bandage and cleaning his blood off of his knife as he did so.

“That didn’t take long,” Aram smirked, his face showing how throughly impressed he was.

“You hurt yourself in the interrogation, you get your target wondering what are you going to do to him.  Works better than actually hurting them every time.  Come on, we need to administer a little justice.”

Savid requisitioned one of the guard’s Makarov PM Handgun, and asked for a small number of them to follow him to the stage at the center of town, while he sent a pair of them to seek out a member of the KRU and drag the man up on stage.

Nadar Qadi was waiting on the stage, his arms padlocked as the Security Guards aimed their rifles at his back, daring him to try and escape.  Savid had suspected that Nadar had turned on the KRU for some time, recently tenatively confirmed by his Mossad contact.  However, Nadar had been a friend of Aslan’s, so he had been untouchable.  Now, Aslan was dead, and Savid had the evidence he needed to have Nadar summarily executed for his crimes.

Mounting the stage, he noted the absolute quiet the fell over the gathered crowd, as all eyes turned to where he stood, the Makarov pistol heavy in his hand.

“Nadar Qadi, it has been discovered that you are responsible for betraying our location, that you have been trafficking in weapons and information with our enemies, and of attmepting to mount a coup against Aslan using the PUK as your basis of support.  How do you plea?”

“Not guilty!” He shrilled, terror forcing his voice up several octaves.

Savid called up a number of witnesses, each of who gave testimony for and against, and put the question ot the people for a vote a mere two and a half hours later.  The vote was overwhelmingly guilty.

“Nadar, you have been found guilty of Treason against the Peshmerga.  The penalty is death.”

Nadar began to scream his opposition, only to be silenced with the sound of a gunshot.  The crowd was silent for a moment, before they began to cheer for Savid, proclaiming him their new leader.

Savid managed to control his face, forcing the sickness he felt back down into his gut, where it could wait until he was in private to release itself.

Finally released from the resulting feast with the dusk, Savid stole out into the caves overlooking the village, where the signs indicated that Malachi Sokolsky, Savid’s Mossad contact, was waiting.

“Was that really necessary?” Sokolsky asked, his face indicating the revolt he felt.

“This isn’t New York City, justice is far more immediate out here.  If I didn’t kill him now, he would rally allies and try to start a civil war.  I needed to stop that from happening.”

“Fine, I’m just glad your little group of free men survive, your the only allies we have in this sorry ass country.”

“We will not abandon you, and we will survive.  But only if we can get the arms we need.  Those AK-47’s are wearing out, we need new arms.”

“They are on their way, just have to bribe enough customs agents in Syria and Turkey to get them here.  Can’t exactly ship them through Kuwait anymore, not with the current location you guys are hiding in.”

“Fine, whatever, just get them here.  We are going to need them very soon, it looks like Iraq is prepping for another push into Kurdistan.”

“Not likely, looks like the Soviets are getting involved in Afghanistan.”  Sokolsky turned to leave, only to pause and turn back towards Savid, “Hey, do you know anything about the consturction down at Osirak?”

“No, we don’t.  But I have contacts in that region.  I will let you know what I find.”

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20100118

Azad Gel Story Begins

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric Mertz @ 1219

The Azad Gel story, originally shown in Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere will be rebooted through a new series of short stories by the title of Azad Gel, following the birth of the Political-Religous Movement out of Iraq which shall play a heavy role in the Montana War, and which shall follow the rise of Savid Hakim, the leader of the movement, as he leads his people through the terror of the history of Iraqi Kurdistan since the 1980’s.

I need to warn you, this will be a rather darker story than others, due to the violent nature of life in Iraqi Kurdistan during this time, and Savid Hakim’s own pragmatic leadership as he does what he must to keep his movement alive.  It restarts on Friday, and will be rated PG-13 overall, with those rated R being given a warning before hand.  Welcome to the ride.

20091223

Nova Caput Mundi Chapter 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric Mertz @ 1900

26 Federal Plaza

Manhattan, New York

Monday, 2010-05-10

1030 Hours Romeo

Kell Anderson hated New York City.  It was too crowded, too busy, too aggressive, too oblivious, and more than anything else, it smelled disgusting.  A pallid fog of gasoline fumes, garbage, tobacco smoke, ozone, and a host of other smells fought for dominance in the role of assaulting Kell’s nose.

New York City was home to the second largest collection of Statists on the East Coast, with Washington D.C. being the first, and the New York City Council believed that it had the power to determine what he ate, what he drank, where he lived, what he watched on tv, what he read, what he heard on the radio, what he drove, and what kind of electronics he had in his house.  He had to smuggle Root Beer into the city because there was no way he could afford to purchase it, effectively making it impossible for him to obtain.

On top of all those unpleasant facts, it was also home to the United Nations, an organization that Kell despised, more so since the Copenhagen Treaty had fallen apart following the ClimateGate scandal, and it had been released to the public, that not only was Global Warming a fraud, but since it had been revealed that the Copenhagen Treaty would have set up a proto-type global government designed to tax the wealthy and redistribute the wealth to the poor.

It was why he rented the apartment in Pleasant Plains, the least populous portion of Staten Island.  His back window looked over the Mount Loretto Unique Area, where the Catholic Church had set up the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin on a 320 acre farm as an orphanage in 1882.  It was a much more pleasant view than the canyons of concrete and steel he would have seen out a window in the rest of the city.  Unlike Manhattan Island, Staten Island was a bedroom borough, full of green lawns and gardens, and the sounds and smells associated with the suburbs.

Pulling into a parking spot reserved for Coast Guard Liasons, Kell unlocked the gun vault in his central console, and pulled out his Smith & Wesson 625-10 revolver, chambered for .45 ACP, and his Tactical Law Enforcement Badge.

Putting his keys, gun, badge, iPod, BlackBerry, and pocket watch through the X-Ray machine, he stepped through the metal detectors, donned his shoes, and made his way up to the office of Special Agent DeLaine.

“Agent DeLaine, you wanted to see me about the case your working on?”

“Intelligence Specialist, yes, come on in,” Special Agent DeLaine waved for Kell to take a seat opposite his desk.

“So, you think you have a lead on a Jamaat al-Muslimeen cell here in New York?”

“Yeah, its why I called you in.  We may have the jurisdiction, but you have the expertise.  Can you brief my team on them in an hour?”

“I have my briefing ready and waiting,” Kell responded, holding up an IronKey USB Flash Drive, “Just let me know where to go to give it.”

“Fifth floor.  Come on, I’ll be running this show, so I will escort you to the briefing room.”

“Before we go, how certain are we that this guy is JaM?”

“I wouldn’t have called you in on your day off if I didn’t think this was actionable.”

“That’s what I was afraid of.”

A half hour later, he stood in front of the gathered FBI agents in the small briefing room, remote control in his hand.

“Hello, I am Intelligence Specialist Third Class Kell Anderson, and I will be conducting this portion of the briefing.”

Pressing a button, Kell brought up a trio of Satellite Images.  The images had been degraded, but two of them where readily recognizable.  One was of JFK, with an arrow pointing to the fuel tanks.  The other was of the convention center in Boston, where the 2004 DNC had been held.  The third however, was of a small airport on an island.

“Before we begin, these are the sites of three attempted attacks conducted by Jamaat al Muslimeen.  One in 2004, one in 2007, and another on a date that remains classified.  All three of them involved this,” Kell clicked the next button on his remote.  “A suitcase nuclear weapon.”

Instantly, a shocked mutter rose up in the room, as the shocked FBI agents asked their partners for more information.

“The attempted Nuclear Attack on the Democratic National Convention in 2004 turned out to be a dud, and the weapon misfired.  However, NEST Teams had been on site and working with EOD to disable the device.  The JFK Terror Plot was similar.  And in the third event at the airport, Navy SEALS where present to recover the nuclear weapon.  All of them where Russian in origin, and are believed to have been one of the hundreds sold as surplus following the collapse of the Soviet Union.”

“Jamaat al Muslimeen is based out of these Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and attempted a coup of the two island nation in 1990, holding the government hostage for six days before surrendering to the army.  However, only the ringleader, Yasin Abu Bakr, has been charged with any crime associated with the coup attempt.”

“This coup attempt brought them to the attention of al-Qaeda, and Abu Bakr has since become the Fritz Julius Kuhn of al-Qaeda, and JaM are the Bund.  However, JaM has the access to American cities most al-Qaeda operatives could only dream of, as Jamaat al-Muslimeen’s rhetoric sounds more like Nation of Islam than Sunni Islam.  This has given JaM the position to infiltrate the United States almost at will, and is how they managed to smuggle three nuclear weapons into the United States.

“We have reason to believe that they are currently operating in the Little Jamaica neighborhood of Queens, using domestic converts recruited in prison to forge Nigerian and South African Passports to smuggle something into the United States.

“Special Agent DeLaine will take the briefing from here.  DeLaine?”

“Thank you, Anderson.  The man we are after is an ex-felon by the name of Jamaal Mujahid.  We believe that he converted to Whabbism while in prison.  We do know this for certain.  He is currently forging passports which we believe are going to be used to smuggle terrorists into the United States.  Two documents where recovered by the NYPD during a traffic stop, and turned over to ourselves.  Our document fraud department positively identified the documents as being Jamaal’s creations.  We put the scans through all databases, and the State Department Facial Recognition System kicked back the second one.  It was meant for one of the men arrested for the JFK Plot.”

“Given Jamaat al Muslimeen’s record, we need to stop them, now.”

20091220

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Filed under: Fracture War,Real Life,Short Stories — Eric Mertz @ 0057
Tags: , ,

Having grown rather…disillusioned with the political slant my local newspaper takes in even its news pieces, I have recently begun to read The Bozeman Daily Chronicle, as a means of researching one of the Fracture War’s “Protagonist Cities,” and I have recently fallen in love with the Police Reports section.

Most of the Police Reports in the KC Star, especially for my area, are rather mundane (It’s a common joke that the city cops are the best equipped because they never have to actually spend money DOING anything besides ticketing High School Students). However, Bozeman’s police reports are both unusual (instances of gunshot calls during Hunting Season seem oddly common given the area),a nd well written. My favorite so far, has to be the one from August 25, 2009, for reasons I really can’t explain, but will become evident upon reading the blog entry.

Anyways, both the blog archiving the Police Reports, and the Newspaper’s Website itself, will be posted in the links section.  I hope you find them as funny as I do.

20091216

Nova Caput Mundi Chapter 1

YMCA of Greater New York, Staten Island Broadway Center

Staten Island, New York

Monday, 2010-05-10

0700 Hours Romeo

Intelligence Specialist Third Class Kell Anderson stripped off his white t-shirt to reveal the Coast Guard Issued suit as he stood on the edge of the pool.  Unlike most young men in the Coast Guard, Kell Anderson wore a shorty wetsuit, marked with the Coast Guard logo above his left breast.  No one knew why he wore that suit, though many believed that the Arabic stitching running around the Coast Guard logo, reading “Sow the lightning, reap the thunder,” meant that he was a devout muslim, following sharia law in regards to modesty.  Jason could attest that Kell had never removed his shirt in Basic where anyone else could see him, and only those who had access to his medical files could see the pictures of the scarring running up the left side of his body.

Kell was, in fact, a devout catholic, and had chosen to have it sewn in Sorani because he found the Arabic Script beautiful.  The same with the Chinese Characters running down the spine of his suit.  As someone who could speak both languages – as well as Gaelic, Modern Hebrew, Japanese, and a smattering of Russian, among others – he often used them for religous or personal effects.

Diving into the pool, he swam strong laps through the Olympic size pool in Staten Island.  He pulled himself though the water with strong and sure strokes, breathing every four strokes as he pulled himself through the water in a steady crawl, letting the water flowing past his body wipe away the recurring nightmare visions that still reminded him of the events he had foreseen, and been able to stop, in Beijing during the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony.  Visions of a young woman whom he would love and then lose to the wars he was so certain where coming.  Visions and dreams that woke him up at night, out of breathe and drenched in a cold sweat.

Pulling himself out of the water an hour and a half later, he winced slightly as he moved his sore back wrong, drawing a curious reaction from the others in the pool early that morning.  Fixing up his face, returning it to the studied mask of nonchalance and boredom he normally wore, he gathered up his shirt and towel, and walked into the locker room of the gym.

A few minutes later, he exited the YMCA in his almost trademark gray faux-military jacket, complete with shoulderboards and mandarin collar, black t-shirt with the United States Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown logo, and a pair of dark blue jeans.  A silver crucifix hung around his neck, with a USCG Logo/Medal of St. Michael hanging on a separate silver chain below the crucifix, and a black and silver rosary wrapped around his belt loop and stored in his pocket.

The crucifix was a gift from an ex-girlfriend, one he had kept despite the emotional trauma of the breakup, as a memory of the good times they had together.  That it had been bought at the Vatican and blessed by the Pope didn’t hurt the matter any.

He didn’t have to work today, or so he thought, until his phone began to ring.  Pulling it out, he frowned at the phone.  On the BlackBerry’s screen, an image of the United States Coast Guard logo had popped up, and it was displaying the numbers from Kell Anderson’s boss, Lieutenant Kind’s personal phone at the Coast Guard Station at Fort Wadsworth.

Putting his phone up to his ear, Kell answered, “Petty Officer Anderson.”

“Anderson, I need you to come in today after all.  Special Agent DeLaine requested you personally for an investigation.  Seems you made quite the impression on him at the last Counter-Terrorism seminar, and he needs your expertise with a case he is working on.”

“Wilco Lieutenant.  Please inform Special Agent DeLaine that my ETA at 26 Federal Plaza is 120 minutes.  Over.”

“Roger that Anderson.  I will have the files sent to your inbox within 30 minutes. Lieutenant Kind out.”

Ending the call, Kell let out a fervent “Frak.” Exchanging his  BlackBerry for his iPod Touch, he activated the remot activation app, and typed in the password Denali, he started the black four door Jeep Wrangler and unlocked the doors.  Sliding in, he pulled out of the YMCA Parking Lot, and made his way home to the mid-sized apartment in Pleasant Plains.

As Kell changed into his Tropical Blue Long uniform, the file from Lieutenant Kind arrived.  Activating his computer’s Text-to-Voice module, he listened as Special Agent DeLaine explained the situation.  It seemed that the NYPD had gotten word of a forgery operation in Queens, one affiliated with Jamaat al-Muslimeen.  Swearing at the luck, Kell hurried to finish dressing, and ran to his Jeep, desperate to arrive at the FBI Office as soon as possible.  Things where about to turn ugly, and Kell was one of the few people qualified to handle the situation.

20091215

Reboot

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric Mertz @ 1030

I will be rebooting Nova Caput Mundi and Si Vis Pacem to better fit the way I will be taking the story in the future, and to reflect a small change in the past.  But mostly, it is too tell the story better, and to help give a better introduction to Kell Anderson, the protagonist of the Fracture War series.

The Nova Caput Mundi Reboot will begin tomorrow at 1900 Sierra (7:00 pm central for those on 12 hour time),while the Si Vis Pacem reboot will begin next friday after I fully flesh out the characters more and finish a rough treatment of the Second Chinese Civil War timeline.

Anything in the previous stories that is carried over into these reboots is to be considered official cannon, while everything else is to be ignored, unless corroborated in later stories.

Thank you, everyone for reading, and I hope you enjoy the reboot, it promises to be a better read.

20091125

Nova Caput Mundi – Chapter 5: Time is running out

Filed under: Uncategorized — Eric Mertz @ 1900

Kell stood in front of a small briefing room aboard the USCGC Dallas, looking out at the Maritime Safety and Security Team gathered before him.  The highest ranking member was a Chief Petty Officer with an impressive array of ribbons showing time spent in the Persian Gulf with Iraqi Freedom and a 9/11 ribbon showing that he had been present at the Pentagon during the rescue efforts, which was where he had gotten the scars on the left side of his face, and the Purple Heart ribbon on his chest.

The other members of the Coast Guard CT Team where rather unremarkable, if special forces personnel could be described as such.  But right now, all of them had their attention on Kell, waiting for the details of their upcoming mission.

Holding up a remote, Kell turned the overhead projector on, and an image of the target ship appeared on screen.

“This is the Trader Victory, a Trader Class vessel formerly owned by British Petroleum.  It was captured by Jemaah Islamiyah in a pirate attack in the Straights of Malacca back in 2007.  Like about half of the ships stolen in those straights, it disappeared without a trace, presumed sunk.”

“However, those presumptions were wrong.  The ship was given to al-Qaeda by J.I.’s leader, Abu Bakar Bashir.  The LNG in the tanks was, for the most part, sold off, and the inner hulls of the Liquid Natural Gas storage tanks where removed.”

Kell hit a button, and the slide changed to show a cross-section of a normal Trader Class LNG Ship, with the Trader Victory next to it.

“According to a recently acquired suspect, Abdul Jamaal,” Kell hit another button bringing up the terrorist on the screen.  “The ship has been further modified with sprayers and atomizers designed to spray an explosive aerosol into the air and disperse it across a wide area.”

“We have reason to believe that the ship has been given to Jamaat al-Muslimeen, the group responsible for the attempted nuclear bombings of New York City in 2007 and Boston in 2004.  We have tracked the ship, and discovered that it is less than 24 hours away from New York City.”

“We will intercept the ship in twelve hours.  Loadout will be shotguns, submachine guns, and corner shots, and insertion will be from the air.  We hope to be able to stop the ship without sinking it, but if necessary, a Jayhawk armed with a Penguin Anti-Shipping Missile will be overhead, ready to sink that vessel if we do not succeed.”

Breathing in, Kell continued.  “The expected range of destruction includes much of Lower Manhattan, Jersey City, and the surrounding areas.  Casualties are expected to be in the thousands, with billions in damages.  Failure is not an option on this mission, the ship will sink.  Chief?”

“Thank you Petty Officer.  Okay boys, go get some food, catch some rack time, get yourself limber.  We move in eight.  Dismissed.”

As the nine man team left the debriefing room, Kell spoke up, “Chief?”

“Yes Petty Officer?”

“I want to join you on the mission.”

“No way in hell, Anderson.  You are IS, not PS.”

“I understand that Chief, but I am Tactical Law Enforcement Qualified, and I have my badge.  This would not be my first storming.”

“But from your CV it would be your first time to do so at sea, and I need people I can count on.”

“You also need someone who can speak Arabic.  None of your men can do so.  I am fluent in the language, as well as in French and Spanish.  You need me on that ship, Chief.”

The Chief looked Kell over for a few moments before nodding.  “Fine, but Seaman Beck stays on ship.  That kid has no place on the front lines.”

“Thank you, Chief.”

“Dismissed.”

Kell spent most of the next eight hours working out and meditating, doing his best to relieve the pre-mission jitters he felt.  As the mission neared, he retrieved his AA-12 from the armory, checked the EOTech Holographic Sight, disassembled the shotgun, cleaned it, and put it back together.  After stripping it down and cleaning it for a third time, Kell was satisfied with the weapon, as the call came for the MSST to assemble on the Flight Deck.

20091118

Nova Caput Mundi – Chapter 4: Red Dawn

Filed under: Fracture War,Nova Caput Mundi,Short Stories — Eric Mertz @ 1900

Kell stepped out of the interrogation room, wiping off the blade of his knife off on a scrap of cloth before sheathing his blade.

“Can I get a band-aid?” he asked, looking at the blood trickling down his thumb.

His thumb was bleeding from a deep cut, where he had sliced it open in an effort to scare Jamaal into talking about why he was making the fake passports, and who he was making them for.

It had worked like a charm, and he hadn’t ever had to touch Jamaal.

“Here,” Seaman Apprentice Jason Beck said, as he handed the Band-Aid to his mentor.

“Where did you learn that?” he asked.

“I watch too much Burn Notice. Cut your target with a knife, he tells you whatever you want to hear. Cut yourself with a knife, and he wonders what you will do to him, and tells you the truth. Works every time.”

“Still,” the young, non-descript Coast Guard Intel Specialist asked, “How are you gonna find our target. That is a big ocean out there.”

“Easy.” Kell replied as he opened his phone and called one of the numbers on his speed dial.

“Stan. Kell. I need your help with something.”

“Sure Kell, what do you need?”

“I need you to look over some satellite data for me. We have a Ghost Ship.”

“Location?”

“Atlantic Ocean. Left Lagos, Nigeria for New York City a couple months ago. It should be arriving in US Territorial Waters soon.”

“Anything more?” Stan asked, dubious.

“Yeah, I think it might be heading toward Trinidad before heading towards New York, more then likely to pick up some passengers at Port-of-Spain. Oh, and Stan?”

“Yeah?”

“It’s UBL LNG.”

Stan began to swear at that, turning the air blue and earning Kell interested looks from other members of the New York City Office of the FBI, as the sounds of the swearing escaped the speaker of his phone. Jason looked at him, curious.

“It’s a bin Laden Liquid Natural Gas Tanker. One of the ones that al-Qaeda affiliates pinched in the Straights of Malacca last year. If she is still even half full of LNG, the explosion will be as big as that Father of All Bombs the Russians detonated back in oh seven.”

One of the EOD Techs with the NYPD Bomb Disposal Unit walked over then, and filled in for Jason as Kell turned back to give Latitude and Longitude information to his friend at the NGA.

“You know how a Thermobaric weapon works?” Jason just shook his head. They hadn’t taught him about those in A School.

“It’s a two stage weapon. First blast disperses the fuel into the air. The second blast ignites the cloud of fuel and air. The resulting shockwave will either kill you outright or rip your lungs out of your chest. This isn’t a concentrated weapon either. If this detonates in the port, we are going to see damage all across the city. Major damage. Worse then 9/11 or the Carnival Liberty. Much worse.”

“Okay, Stan, let me know when you find it. Kell out.”

“The NGA is looking, but let’s get the team ready.”

Turning, Kell called out, “Special Agent DeLaine, let’s start prepping. It should be arriving within a week or so!”

DeLaine blanched and nodded. Acknowledging that Kell now had jurisdiction over the situation. They had less then a week to contain this situation.

As Kell walked towards the briefing room, his phone rang.

“Petty Officer Anderson.”

“Kell, your Ghost Ship is a day away from New York. I am routing the information to the USCGC Dallas. Should I tell them to expect you?”

“Yeah, let them know I am coming to brief them on the situation.”

20091116

Schedule Shift and Cerebus Syndrome

Filed under: Fracture War — Eric Mertz @ 2339

Sorry about the lack of a post today for Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere, but I discovered that it is a rather difficult story to write, and though I know Savid very well, I know him as the head of a pair of major Private Security Contractors and personal bodyguard of his good friend Samuel Anderson, not as the 1980’s Guerilla Leader trying to fight Saddam Hussein, the Ayatollah Ruhollah Mousavi Khomeini and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, the Kurdish Democratic Party, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan.

As such, the story shall shift to a MONTHLY update format to allow me to get a better handle on who he once was and how I am going to handle the Halabja Poison Gas Attrocity in story in a way that will not turn off opponents of the Iraq War.

I am planning on writing that story for chapter three, and thus warn you now that the story will not be for the faint of heart, and will show, in full grisly detail, the effects of these chemical weapons on the populace of the city of Halabja.

I promise you here and now, that I will do my best to keep politics out of these stories, and to let the stories tell themselves.  The story of Halabja will be different.  The story of Halabja is but one in a long number of abuses conducted by the man known as “Chemical Ali,” a man who has yet to be punished for his crimes of humanity.

The story of Halabja, told from the point of view of a victim of the attack, will explain WHY I support the Iraq War.

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Si Vis Pacem – Chapter 3: It Shall Be Done

Filed under: Fracture War,Short Stories,Si Vis Pacem — Eric Mertz @ 1900

Liu San stood on the docks of the port of Guangzhou, binoculars to his eyes as he watched the fighters of the Taiwanese Air Force flying along the border, daring the PRC to shoot them down.  A state of war had been in effect for a week and a half, but nothing more than a continuous desultory exchange of Counter-Battery Artillery Fire, and an extended posturing by the People’s Liberation Navy and the Republic of China Navy, existed to prove as such.

But for Liu San, that was all he needed.  Liu San was a citizen of Taiwan who had been pretending to be a political exile and refugee living in China.  Somehow, under the radar, Liu San had been gathering an army of disgruntled Pro-Democracy and Anti-Socialist persons.  There where a limited number of Overtly Pro-Capitalist citizens outside the Special Economic Zones, though the number of “Double-Thinkers,” people who sang the party line in public but voiced doubts and objections in private, had been growing.

The inability by the government to create the one hundred and twenty five million new jobs a year for the last few years to prevent economic collapse.  It had come close enough to fudge the numbers, but as Liu San knew, these problems would not exist in a Capitalist Economy.

Oh, he knew that Capitalism wasn’t perfect, and that no matter what there would be a certain number of unemployed and homeless, but at least under Capitalism there was more freedom then under the current tyrannical regime of the Chinese Communists.

So, he had started an underground army, composed mainly of thugs and toughs and college students and dissidents from the military, which was armed and ready to begin a revolution in South China.  All they needed was the signal.

As a Chinese Shenyang J-11, based on the Sukhoi SU-27 Flanker, passed into Taiwanese Air Space, Liu San watched for the fight to begin.

It was brief, as an AIDC K-CK-1 Ching-kuo knocked the fighter out of the sky, and a small flight of F-16 Fighting Falcons penetrated the airspace of China, and hit the Army Base near Guangzhou with Maverick Air-to-Ground Missiles.

As soon as the missiles where away, Liu San hopped into a waiting EQ5021 Mini Van.  Grabbing the radio, he stated, “Climb Mount Nitaka.”  A hail of single clicks answered as cells across the city confirmed their readiness.  As he listened to the answering hail, Liu San pulled a Norinco Type 86S Bullpup Assault Rifle, and worked the charging handle, ready for the Second Chinese Civil War to begin.

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