I had an idea which I put the pen to. This a different perspective than what you are used to.
What Are You Advertising?
The white slightly bruised and rust stained Chevy Impala idled quietly, its exhaust emitting thin wisps of vapor and drops of water in the chilly May morning. The occupant, twenty year old Sean Stein sat back in the driver’s seat, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. His life was about to take an irreversible turn.
Sean nervously tapped the steering wheel, and for what seemed to be the hundredth time, glanced down at the towel covered, sawed off, double barrel 12 gauge shotgun laying atop the passenger seat. His mind wandered back to the recent past…
“Professor!” Sean spoke rather loudly and increased his pace, trying to catch up to Professor Mark Dohrn.
Professor Dohrn turned and smiled, recognizing the thin, bearded brown haired young man as one of his top students in his ‘Revolutions and Governments’ class. “Sean, what’s the hurry?” He asked.
“Professor…” Sean said pausing momentarily, trying to gather his thoughts “…I’d like to ask you about…”Sean paused again and then stammered “…when you...”
The Professor looked Sean directly in the eyes. “Let’s walk outside. We can talk privately.” Professor Dohrn put his arm around the student, leading him through the side door. Under ordinary circumstances, touching students by a teacher would be forbidden, but in Liberal Arts College circles, touching was quite accepted. They walked to a wrought iron and wood bench and sat. “What would you like to know Sean?”
Sean nodded and said “I’m tired of this stuff. I mean, nothing seems to be happening. The world is collapsing around us, and all we can do is…” He said as his voice trailed off with a note of frustration. “Look, Professor, I know you’ve done this before. You were very active in the 60’s right?”
“I was.” He replied. “And let me say that there are some things I cannot talk about.” He said and paused a moment. “I understand there are rumors that I was on the FBI’s 10 Most wanted for a brief time.” He said with a wry smile. “It’s true. I was a part of the Weather Underground Organization.” He paused and looked around trying to see if anyone was within earshot. “I understand your frustration. There are some whose comfort level is holding signs and shouting protests, and some will attempt civil disobedience.”
“But that wasn’t you, was it?” Sean asked.
“No, and I suspect that the reason you’re here now is that civil disobedience and sign-holding protests aren’t for you either, are they?” He asked.
“No…I want to be more active.”
The Professor looked Sean in the eyes and said. “I’ll have someone contact you.” With that said the Professor rose and started to leave.
“Umm.” Sean tried to speak
“That’s all I can say, Sean.” He said with authority as he strode off.
…Sean looked at his wristwatch. His target has been in the grocery store for twenty minutes now. Sean’s nervousness was starting to get the best of him. After all, not many people plan on killing another human being in cold blood. Sean’s mind raced with the thought. His mind responded ‘This isn’t cold blood, after all this planet-killing man deserves it. His advertising said who he is, a Republican, gun-owning, cop or fireman. This guy probably voted against everything that was right…that meant voting against clean water, clean air, a woman’s right to choose, gay marriage…’ The list went on and on, and as Sean’s mind raced, he now became angry. He now wanted more than anything else, to kill this guy. Sean took a deep breath and thought about his first contact with the Party.
…Friday evening, schools out and time to relax. Sean and his two most favorite people; Sarah Albright and Benson Fowlkes were all together, drinking wine and having dinner. Sean, Sarah, and Benson were life long friends. They became friends early on from Junior High School. Since then they shared everything. Sean was the more aggressive and outspoken of the group, while Sarah was the computer nerd, and Benson was the engineer who could figure out anything that was mechanical. It was a full two weeks since Sean had his conversation with Professor Dohrn, and the trio was pretty anxious about it. A knock at the back door interrupted their conversation.
Benson answered the door and invited a man inside. “My name is Nicholas.” The tall athletic man said.
Sean and Sarah came into the kitchen to see the person behind the voice and introductions were made. “The Professor sent me.” Nicholas said, getting to the point. “I’m your contact and will handle all of your training.”
“So, you’ve accepted us?” Sean asked.
“Accepted isn‘t quite the term I’d use. But yes, your initial background check as well as Sarah’s and Bensons were satisfactory.” Nicholas said eyeing the three.
“What kind of training are we going to have?” Sarah asked.
“We are going to teach you the basics of tradecraft. Like dead drops, coded communications, how to follow someone and being able to ditch a tail, firearms training, and as you progress we will get into explosives.” Nicholas didn’t hold back, he looked at each for their reactions. He was pleased with what he saw. It was always nice to have fresh students. Once they understood their part of the Party’s goals and their personal mission, attitudes might change.
Nicholas continued, “Your job is very important and quite risky. The rewards will come later as we gain victory over the enemy. You three will become a cell. You will have no further contact with the Professor. All contact with the Party will come through me, understand?” He stated. “It is for your protection and for ours.”
…Movement brought Sean’s mind back to the reality of the moment. His target now exited the supermarket, and with half of a cart of blue plastic bagged groceries and headed towards his late-model club cab pickup truck. The man paused at his truck, glancing around at the vehicles within his immediate range. Unlocking the door electronically, he unloaded the foodstuffs into the rear passenger seat, then got behind the wheel, and started driving.
Sean waited a few moments as the targets truck exited the parking lot. He then put the car in gear and headed out. He let the target get about three blocks ahead. After all, Sean knew where the man lived and as long as they were headed in the right direction, he was somewhat comfortable. The target made an unexpected stop at a local bakery. Evidently there was something not right at the bakery, as he took an inordinate amount of time inside. Sean tried to relax by closing his eyes and deep breathing.
…”So what makes you an expert in this kind of thing?” Sarah asked Nicholas with a sly seductive smile.
“US Army Special Forces, with two tours in Afghanistan.” He replied.
“So you’ve…um…killed people before?” She asked, the seductive tone gone.
Sean nodded his head. “Yeah, it was part of the job, No one likes that part, but when your ass is on the line, and it’s you or him…you just want to make sure it’s him.” He paused a moment. “The Taliban were very worthy opponents, good fighters. I mean, anybody that can stand up to the most advanced military in the world…and force US to the bargaining table for a surrender, has my respect.”
“So, why are you now doing this?” She asked, while motioning with her hands.
“You mean why leave the Army and train radicals like yourself to kill?” He said bluntly.
Sarah was taken back with that comment. “Yes”
“I saw during my second tour what our country had really become.” He said pausing briefly, “We aren’t in Afghanistan to do anything noble, we’re there for the defense contractors. We think that we can take a country who is as backward as anything you’ll find on topside planet earth, and change them into a civilized democratic society.” He took a breath and continued. “We’re killers of the worst kind, cowards who use drones to take out whole families to get to one person.”
Sarah looked at the young soldier affectionately, and reached out her hand to his arm.
“Look, if I can help bring down those who are responsible, then I’ll die a happy man.” Nicholas said quietly, and withdrew slightly from her light touch. “Sarah, there’s a good chance you’ll get hurt or arrested, worst case, we all get killed.” He said looking her directly in the eye.” It’s best not to get too attached to someone in war.”
“Are we at war?” Sarah asked.
“We will be in a few weeks.” Nicholas said confidently.
“Maybe you should explain to us before we go further, what we can expect.” Sean asked from the opposite side of the room.
“Ok fair enough.” Nicholas paused and looked down, trying to arraign his thoughts. “You will be one of hundreds of cells scattered across the country. On Friday May 1st, you will be tasked with taking out one of the enemy. It will be completely random, and will be chosen by you. I’ll help you with this.” He said with a smile. “The next day, we will take out another of the enemy. By this time the news media might have a clue that something is up, as there will be hundreds of republican earth killers being shot.” He said and then added, “Sunday will be the turning point, we attack Christian churches and kill as many as we can. Now, you won’t be involved with the Sunday attacks, we have groups that have been specifically trained for this.”
“So after three days of attacks…don't you think that the enemy will strike back?” Sean asked.
“We hope so.” Said Nicholas with a sly grin. He continued, “We want the enemy to attack us. You see after the third day, the news media will be clued in to the killings that follow. So any republicans that want to attack us will be singled out as murderers. At this time we hope…President Obama will declare a state of emergency and martial law.”
“Martial law?! That’s NOT good.” Sean exclaimed.
“Hold on…” Nicolas replied with a chuckle “…ok look, I know on the outside Martial law doesn’t look all that good, and we lose a lot of freedom, but we figure…”
“We?” Benson chimed in.
“The Party.” Nicolas replied. “Now look, let me give you what our analysis is, ok?”
The trio nodded.
Nicolas continued. “There are four entities of this countries government. First is us, the Progressive Democrats. Now we control certain parts of the government and make policy, but there is another group which we don’t totally control. These guys are the alphabet agencies and the military. They are only concerned with continued governance. Third are the republicans, and the conservatives. Understand?” He said at the trio. “Finally, the general civilian population…and their three hundred million firearms.” He paused. “Now if we can get Martial law enacted, then we’ll have Martial law for a long time. We’ll do everything to disarm the population and then eliminate the troublemakers.”
“Ok.” Sean said speaking for the group. “So if we are successful…we have a good shot of this thing succeeding?”
“Damn straight.” Nicolas said with a determined smile.
…The target exited the bakery with a large flat box, probably a cake of some sort, He put it in the passenger seat and started down the street. Sean held back a couple of car lengths and on the drivers side. At the next intersection, the light changed, and this was what Sean was waiting for. Taking the towel off of the shotgun, he pulled up beside the Ford truck. Sean used the window controller on his side of the door to lower the window. Taking a deep breath, he removed the safety, raised the weapon, resting it on the passenger window sill and firing the first round. The explosion was deafening, but expected.
The driver of the ill-fated Ford F150 pick up, Luis Gallego, was off duty today. Luis had 12 years in with the county as a police officer. Today was his daughter Alyssa’s sixth birthday. The explosion, slightly off target, blew lead and glass into and smashed the head and shoulder of officer Gallego. After what seemed like an eternity, the officer, still alive, shook his head and came to the conclusion he had been shot. Reaching down to his right ankle, Luis retrieved his small back up pistol, while looking at the car next to him at the same time. As he started to bring up the pistol, he saw the double-barreled shotgun release its second round. In slow motion, Officer Gallego watched the pellets tear him apart. He felt no pain, but he knew he was dying.
He slurred his last words silently. “I don’t remember if I told Helena that I love…her.”
The black pick up rolled across the intersection and stopped after hitting the light pole at a slow speed. Witnesses would come up from behind and see the blood-splattered glass, which highlighted the rear windows stickers. Two red circular decals adorned the right side, one identifying the driver as a Marine and the other a NRA decal. On the left side a Sig Sauer decal and finally a bumper sticker of a Republican Governor candidate.
So, what’s your advertising?
It’s my hope that something is learned through this fictional story. If you want to repost to other sites, that’s fine. All I ask is that you give me credit and link to this site.