Copyright© 2020 by Ernest Bywater
Mitch and Diane Davis, with their four children, are hosting a dinner for Diane’s best friend Maria Sanchez and her family of Roberto Sanchez with five of their six children. All are worried about the absence of the eldest child, Sophia, who left the up-state college at the same time as Joan Davis, but Sophia isn’t home. She was making an intermediate stop, but should’ve been home before now. The dinner discussions cover the political unrest sweeping across the USA: the riots and violence in the major cities, especially the increasing violence in their own city. Other item are the events where groups of violent protesters take over areas in Seattle and Portland then declare them as ‘Free Zones’ which the local mayors are not doing anything about taking back control of the areas.
Many of the protesters are calling for the total removal of the police and elected officials to establish a state of anarchy while others want to establish a socialist state. Mixed in with them are the vicious thugs who call themselves ‘Antifa’ and claim to be antifascists while also pushing a socialist agenda at the same time they use the very same tactics used by the Italian Fascists and the German Nazis in the 1930s.
At one point Mitch says, “I wish I knew what today’s educators think when they tell people Nazis are fascists and the opposite of socialists.” Joan frowns at him, so he adds, “The aims and intent of the Russian Communists, German Nazis, Italian Fascists, and Spanish Falange were based on the same agenda and the same sources. The only difference was the Russians wanted a world government with them in charge while the Germans, Italians, and Spaniards put their nations first.”
Roberto says, “Most people think of all of the forms of politics as being in a line with the fascists on the right and the socialist on the left, thus the terms right wing and left wing. However, that left and right wing aspect applies only to the line of socialist political parties. If you were to design a chart of all of the forms of political groups you would have to do something like a slightly distorted capital ‘H’ on its side. The bottom line would have all of the socialist political forms listed on it with the International Socialists on the far left, such as the Stalinists, then to the Ultra-nationalist Socialists on the far right, like the Nazis, Spanish and Italian Fascists. Also, nearly all of the socialist groups would be run by a totalitarian dictator from within a small group that’s in charge. The top line would be all of the forms of the democracies from Republics at one end to the Total Democracies at the other end. The joining bar would be all of the forms of Monarchy with the bottom one being an Absolute Inherited Monarch with total control like a dictator to the top one being an Elected Monarch from a small pool of family candidates.”
Joan interrupts with, “What do you mean by ‘an Elected Monarch?’ Isn’t that a contradiction of terms?”
A smiling Roberto replies, “Many ancient cultures had what is a sort of mixture of monarchy, democracy, and socialism. The best example I can think of is the system in Ireland two thousand years ago. Each tribe was a clan of a very large extended family in which each family had a family head and the family heads met in council to decide all things that affected the clan as a whole. For the day to day operations they had a clan head who was elected by the council of family heads from the eligible members of the lead family, which was the direct line of the original family in the area. While a clan head was usually elected for life they could be removed from office and replaced if they did really bad. The council also elected the ‘heir apparent’ from the same pool of eligible candidates, who might not be the clan head’s son. The usual process was the ‘heir’ became the elected clan head when a new one was selected, but it wasn’t automatic. On a regular basis the clan heads met in council to manage inter-clan issues and elected a king from a similar pool of eligible candidates. Thus you had a monarchy where the monarch was elected by the peerage who were elected by their local people.”
Looking about him Roberto says, “Back to the socialists. The Italian Fascist symbol is an ax and a bundle of sticks tied together to show their united socialist intent. In English the full name of the Nazi Party was ‘National Socialist German Workers Party’ and most of the manifestos of the Communists, Nazis, the Spanish and Italian Fascists were the same with key points of centralized control of a socialist society. Where the Russians had full state ownership and control, the Nazis and Fascists allowed for some privately owned and managed businesses under state control with the state having the full ownership and control of all of the essential operations. A few points where all three agreed were the disarming of all of the people except their own immediate supporters, the bullying of people who did not totally agree with them, total control of the media, and the easy use of violence against any who opposed them. The way the Antifa of today attack people in the street is exactly what the Fascists and Nazis did in the 1920s and 1930s when the Italian Fascists took on the Italian Socialists supporting the push for a Stalinist style world socialist order and the Nazis attacked academics and Jews.”
A wide-eyed Joan says, “That’s nothing like what I was taught about them in high school or college in history or politics. I was checking what you were saying on my phone, and I see everything you say is there. Yet what I was told in school and college was different. I feel like I’ve been cheated by my teachers in not covering these things evenly or fairly.”
Maria joins in, “The real crazy thing is a Total Democracy is so close to a True Socialist State it’s hard to see the difference. The biggest one is who is in control and who sets the rules. In a Total Democracy all of the rules and major decisions are made by everyone in the society in a huge meeting until they all reach an agreement on the issue under discussion, and the same is true for how a True Socialist State works. Sadly, there are no True Socialist States today and there have never been any that were successful, beyond small agrarian societies like an Israeli Kibbutz. The closest we’ve gotten in an industrial society is with a business run as a co-operative where everyone working there buys one share in the business and each of them works at the job they can best do and they all share equally in the profits. In them all of the discussions on major decisions are made by everyone within the group and they come to a mutual decision or a great majority decision. Sadly, none of the socialist states work that way as they all have an elite group and a dictator.”
Joan says, “All that is interesting, but the professors at college all say it’s the fault of the rich white people creating the poverty and this unrest is just the poor people expressing their dissatisfaction at the situation.”
Mitch turns to Joan, saying, “Joan, my grandpa’s family was so poor he didn’t have shoes to wear to school in the nineteen thirties. He left school to get work as an unskilled laborer to help put food on the table so the family didn’t starve. Things weren’t much better for him after the Second World War. The only reason he had shoes then was they were the Army boots he had when he was discharged after serving in the war. Work was hard to find for a man without a high school diploma. The poverty he grew up in and lived in with Pa and his family never caused any of them to go around demanding they had the right to have things handed to them. The social security services weren’t worth a damn then, so they all still lived hand to mouth. Pa was able to finish high school but he couldn’t go to college. That’s why he volunteered for the Air Force before he was eligible to be drafted, and it’s why Grandpa signed for him to join at seventeen years of age. Pa learned a trade in the Air Force and he stayed in until he died in a riot overseas. Growing up we lived in countries with a lot of poverty that was much worse than what we see them rioting about today. However, none of the countries had any unrest and violence, unless a part of the population was using violence to gain their own power or wealth. Criminal gangs and revolutionaries used violence to control the people, but the poor didn’t go out and riot. The riot that overran the base where Pa died while protecting the staff family living areas was started by the local socialist revolutionaries while the general poor population ignored it all until the socialists murdered everyone in a hospital and caused the local government to overreact and send the military in against the rioters. Things would have died down if the socialists hadn’t started shooting at the families of the police and soldiers. That caused them to overreact and fire at all of the rioters. That started the bloodbath that followed. It was the violent political people who caused the death and destruction, not the poverty. That’s still the situation today. All that’s different is the high number of violent socialist groups stirring things up with false claims of abuse to make people angry when there’s no need to be.” Joan is shocked by the emphatic way her father tells the family history, as she never did realize how bad it had been for her grandfather and great grandfather.
When they move from the dining table to the lounge room the two families are very worried about Sophia being so late. Just after they’re comfortable on the chairs Roberto’s cell phone rings. He looks at the number, smiles, and answers it to hear a man ask, “Excuse me, Sir, do you know the owner of this phone?”
Roberto is no longer smiling as he replies, “Yes. The phone belongs to my daughter, Sophia Sanchez. We’re worried about her as she’s overdue home from her college today.” Because of what they just heard the rest are all now looking at Roberto with very worried expression.
The man on the phone says, “I’m Sergeant Marks and this phone was in the pocket of a young woman brought in to the County Emergency Trauma Unit about thirty minutes ago. She’s in the operating theater for emergency surgery right now. Could you please come to the hospital to confirm who we have here?”
After Roberto hangs up the phone he tells the others about what he just heard on it, then he and Maria leave for the hospital.
At the hospital they find the young woman is now in Intensive Care, and it is Sophia. She’s seriously injured with multiple broken bones and other trauma damage as well as a severe concussion. She’s unconscious and heavily bandaged. They also learn several police officers, and many others, are in the hospital with serious injuries from an incident at a protest about half a mile from the Sanchez family home.
When Roberto asks what happened he’s taken to a police woman who has her left arm in a sling, has bandages on her head, several bruises, and two bullets are stuck in her vest. After they’re introduced as Sophia’s parents the young women tells them about her afternoon, along with what she saw and did. She starts by telling them of the approved protest march and how the police were organized to control it.
A Peaceful Protest!
Police Woman Molly Walker is one of the fifty officers assigned to see no one interferes with what is supposed to be a peaceful protest march by the ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) group. There are over three hundred people marching down the center of the main road through this part of the city, and the main duty of the police on hand is to stop people from entering into the march route from the side streets until after the protesters are half a block past the intersection. There are two police cars with an officer in each and three officers on foot at the front of the group with a similar group at the back of the marchers. The other forty officers are in groups of five with a group on each side of the march at the cross streets the protest is moving through. With this set up they either have four cross streets blocked off or three streets blocked with groups racing from the back to the front to block the next street. A police sergeant is in charge of the officers with the Deputy Mayor giving orders to the police.
The route of the march has been well publicized, so all of the shops along the route have been well boarded up. The local residents are avoiding the route to keep away from the violence they’ve seen at the past ‘peaceful protests’ organized by these people. It’s like the whole city is empty except for the group marching and the police keeping back any possible counter protesters, because there’s no one else in sight.
It’s clear the protest organizers and their more militant members are not happy with the total lack of watchers, other than reporters. About an hour into the march the group reach a cross street with two cars in it being held back half a block by the police. Since these are the first people seen by the protesters they turn to go down the street instead of staying on the route they requested. The Corporal in charge of the police group securing the intersection tells the protesters to return to their approved route. The marchers continue to enter the side street. The Deputy Mayor is with the group leading the march, so he’s immediately aware of the change. He tells the police to fall back and let the marchers go where they want to, so the police start to fall back in the side street. The officers moving from the intersection the rear of the march has finished passing are rushing to move up to support their colleagues in the side street. The protesters start yelling at the people in the cars.
The driver of the rear vehicles stalls his car, then he and his friends get out of the car and run down the street. On seeing the three fleeing young white men the protesters surge down the street, and some of their leaders run after the men while others surround the lead car and start yelling and shouting at the young woman in the car. Soon after this the other police officers arrive at the next intersection down the side street and start to move toward the marchers to get them back on their route.
Molly says, “When my team moved into the intersection I could see the two stopped cars. One was clearly abandoned and the other had a young woman half out of the roof. It was obvious she was standing on a car seat with her head out through a sunroof. The crowd was shouting at her with the nicest comment being about her being a white racist pig. She got back into the car, then soon returned with a microphone on an ear mount. When she spoke you could her her amplified voice, so she must have had some speakers in the car. The Corporal in charge of my team had us spread across the road to support the team already there. A moment later the team that normally takes the other side of the road also joined us, so there were now fifteen of us there. However, the lead members of the protest group near us lined up with Antifa shields and aluminum baseball bats to stop us moving them back. We set up a line holding our batons in front of us and waited for orders. I could see a few of the baseball bats being raised and lowered as members of the crowd smashed at the cars. Then things kind of froze and went quiet. We all waited to see what was happening next. On our radios we could hear the Sergeant calling for reinforcements, the riot squad, and his orders redeploying the other teams with us on this assignment.”
After sighing Molly looks up at Roberto and says, “You daughter is one of the bravest people I’ve ever seen. There she was surrounded by a few hundred angry people shouting at her and waving bats at her when they weren’t smashing her car with the bats. She stood there proud and defiant as she threw their own words back at them. I heard her say, ‘The only racists in this street are you who claim Blacks are more important than anyone else. All lives matter. The native Americans and the Hispanics have had it much worse than the Blacks have over the last four centuries. The American Indians have had their lands, livelihood, and culture torn from them as well as facing deliberate genocide. Yet you don’t hear them saying they deserve to be treated better than anyone else. There were Hispanics in these lands before the first Black slaves arrived. The natives and Hispanics had been murdered and enslaved for decades before the Black slaves arrived. Yet here you are saying the Blacks are more important than anyone else. You claim they deserve priority treatment based solely on the color of their skin. That’s the very definition of racism. Wake up to yourselves. Start trying to improve your life and stop trying to destroy everything you can’t steal.’ Well, you can imagine how that went down. When they started to crawl through the windows of her car she climbed out and stood on the roof. When they started to rock the car and others tried to climb up on it she kicked them in the face. I heard the Deputy Mayor on the radio ordering us into the crowd to arrest the young white woman who’s inciting a riot and attacking the peaceful protesters. I’ve no idea how he could claim they’re peaceful protesters while they’re pounding her car with baseball bats.”
After stopping for a sip of water Molly continues, “The Corporal in charge of the original team had us quickly form a tight ‘V’ group and we charged the line of protesters. When they raised their bats to swing at us we used our batons on them and broke their line. We were doing well until some of the protesters produced guns and started shooting. Three of the lead officers went down. I saw one of the gunmen, so I drew my gun, and shot the gunman where I could see skin at the top of his jumper as he clearly had a ballistic vest on. From that point on I just hit anyone who didn’t fall back from us and shot anyone who showed a gun or knife. I don’t know how long the fight took, but I was eventually standing beside the car while my team’s corporal was providing emergency first aid to your daughter. Six of us made it to the car where we formed a half circle around the Corporal and your daughter while we used our batons to club every one of the protesters who came near us. Several minutes later a large group of officers arrived and they established a controlled lane from the main street to the car down which an ambulance drove to us. Your daughter was loaded up with three seriously injured officers and the ambulance left. It was the first of many ambulances that came in to take the injured to the hospitals. The Deputy Mayor went crazy when he saw that the rioters were being left where they lay until after every injured police officer had been loaded up and taken to hospital. I’ve no idea of the final toll, but it has to be bad.”
Roberto reached down to shake Molly’s hand while saying, “Thank you for doing all you could for our daughter. I don’t know if she will survive or not, but I now know you and your fellow officers did all you could to help her and the other good citizens of our city.” Maria leans down to give Molly a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
Roberto asks, “Sergeant Marks, what was the final toll today’?”
Marks replies, “Twenty-five officers injured and sent to hospital, with another three killed. Eight of the injured have bullet wounds. Thirty-two of the rioters died, and another sixty were taken to hospital. Most of the rioters have mild injuries compared to the injured officers. After the area was cleared we recovered seventy firearms along with one hundred and fifty aluminum baseball bats as well as ninety-eight expensive riot shields. Forty-seven of the rioters had expensive body armor on. This was a well planned and funded riot. While the area of the incident was cleared the rest of the rioters weren’t dispersed, all that could be done was to push them away from the car area to let us get to the injured. We’re sure there are more weapons among the rest of the rioters.”
“I bet the Mayor and Deputy Mayor will blame the police for the riot and all of the injuries!”
“What we’re hearing from downtown agrees with that. If they do take that path the city is going to explode. Over half of the force was ready to walk out the door last week, after today I doubt we’ll retain anyone worth keeping in uniform. The Antifa people will be able to set up the anarchy they want, unless the Mayor backs the police force.”
Roberto has a grim smile when he looks at Marks as he says, “Years ago my grandfather told me, ‘Be very careful of what you wish for, as you may have it granted.’ I wonder if the BLM and Antifa people know what they’ll have if they get what they wish for. I’m sure they’ve not thought it through fully.” Marks slowly shakes his head as he walks away while thinking about what he just heard.
A Long Night
The hospital is very overcrowded with the families of the injured, so the staff are clearing out the families of the injured who aren’t awake or expected to wake up soon. As Sophia isn’t expected to wake up for many hours the staff pressure Roberto and Maria to go home about two hours after they arrived at the hospital.
When they get home Maria and Roberto visit with the Davis family to tell them of what they learned at the hospital. Mitch tells Maria and Roberto about the news report of the march and riot. While they couldn’t identify who was being attacked the news report did show the start of the viscous attack on the young woman in the car and some of the events after the police moved in. Mitch says, “The news reports focused on the police actions and the downed protesters, but no shots of downed police. The reporters said the young woman was a racist who baited the crowd into attacking her. The Mayor said, ‘The riot was due to the heavy handed way the police attacked the peaceful protesters.’ They gave the numbers of the injured protesters, but nothing on injured police or guns used by the protesters.”
The two families discuss the issue for some time before Roberto and Maria leave for their apartment on the other side of the landing. The two families live in apartments above their shops with a joint yard, shop access, and apartment access in the back of the block their building is on.
At two o’clock in the morning Roberto is woken up by his cell phone. The hospital staff are sorry to tell him his daughter just died without having regained consciousness. Both Maria and Roberto are devastated by the news. They hug each other as they cry. After nearly an hour of crying Maria falls asleep again, due to being emotionally exhausted. Roberto gets out of bed, puts on some warm clothes, and leaves the apartment for his favorite thinking spot: the building’s flat roof.
Roberto is not a violent man, as he’s very much an academic. He was a typical ‘brain’ or ‘nerd’ at school, depending upon your local slang, and he’s made a very good living in Information Technology writing code, designing websites and applications, as well as teaching people how to use computers and software. He’s also a good researcher with a very wide range of interests. He’s in great turmoil while he stands on the roof as he thinks about the events of the last twenty-four hours, along with the last few years of political violence. He also thinks on where it may go from here if the current trends continue unabated.
Mitch has a bad night due to thinking about his friends and Sophia. Thus he’s awake while it’s still dark out. He checks the news, where he sees the report about the young woman in the car at the riot and her death. Her name isn’t given in the news report, and he wonders why not since he’s sure the authorities would have told the family before telling the news. After a little thought he feels sure the name was withheld by the media outlets because her being of Hispanic heritage doesn’t fit the media agenda to create and justify violence against whites.
After making a cup of coffee Mitch leaves the apartment to go up on the roof while he thinks about the recent events. Like Roberto, he finds the view from the roof conducive to good thinking. However, when he steps out of the stairwell he can see Roberto on the roof in the cold dawn air. Mitch stops to look at Roberto standing near the edge of the roof: from Mitch’s angle Roberto is standing at the low parapet and staring out across the city with the rising sun just far enough over the horizon and other buildings to be showing above Roberto’s head in the orange tinted clouds. The heavy warm clothes make Roberto look a lot beefier than he is. For a moment or two both men stand there: Roberto looking outward and silhouetted against the rising sun while Mitch looks on in silence. Both are like statues. Then Mitch moves forward, and he makes a small sound as he steps on the gravel on the roof.
Roberto slowly turns to Mitch, recognizes who it is, and says, “Time to be a farmer and to start the harvest.” Mitch frowns, so he adds, “As the Bible says, ‘whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.’ Well, it’s past time those murdering racist scum got what they’ve sown and it’s now harvest time for them.”
Roberto and Mitch both agree the anarchists need to have some first hand knowledge of what true anarchy means. While they walk back down the stairs the two men discuss what they can do about the situation and what they have to do in order to ensure their families are safe from the violent anarchists. In the short time it takes them to walk down from the roof they agree they need to turn the shops and apartments into a well armed fortress as well as stocking up on supplies of all sorts. They also agree they need more intelligence on their enemy before they can take any direct action to make the people responsible for Sophia’s murder pay for their actions; both the actual killers and the ones orchestrating the events for their own power gains.
Over the next few days the two men work with their spouses to list what they need for their survival and their campaign. They also agree on a short list of friends to contact for advice and assistance, especially in the intelligence gathering process for information on those behind the idiots causing all of the trouble at the local level.
The tasks include large orders of long lasting food supplies and daily use consumable to be stored in their fridges, freezes, and the basement. A number of firearms, ammunition, and other munitions are also stored, along with supplies of various chemicals for use against the anarchists. The men don’t want to use any chemicals, but their wives insist on them. However, the men agree when they see the list of chemicals won’t cause any explosions or fires, but they will make the recipients and their clothes stink worse than a fight with a skunk. The idea is to be able to later identify all of the rioters who wear masks by the smell they have from being doused in the chemicals or the bright dies in their clothes caused by the chemicals.
Another set of tasks relates to obtaining the equipment the families will need to keep both of their businesses operating after they fort up. They see the need to keep a source of income going, as well as the need to continue providing their clients with their services.
The building the Sanchez and Davis families live and work in is in an older part of the city that’s made up of two story shop and residential buildings with basements. The buildings were all constructed of bricks and wood in the mid to late 1800s. Most were constructed on narrow rectangular blocks of land, and most of the buildings have common walls with their neighbors. This suburb is still doing fairly well, despite it bordering on some of the worst poverty stricken areas in the city.
The Sanchez building is on a much larger triangular shaped block of land due to the intersection it’s at. The five-way intersection is more like a ‘Y’ with another road as a bar at ninety-degrees from the down road at the joint of the ‘Y.’ The road going down is three lanes each way heading to the main city center while the other four roads are two lanes each way, and there are traffic lights controlling the intersection. At the traffic lights each road has an extra lane for the traffic turning left. The building is located on the block of land in the joint of the ‘Y’ with its apex facing down the main road to the city. The left arm of the ‘Y’ is at thirty degrees from straight ahead of the road from the city center while the right arm is forty-five degrees from straight ahead of the same road.
The block of land is two hundred and forty feet straight back from the apex of the ‘Y’ to run three hundred feet down the left hand road as well as a few inches under three hundred and forty feet down the right hand street as the back property line is parallel to the other side streets.
The original building was constructed with double brick walls in the mid 1800s as a large open floor two story with basement that was used as a shop or warehouse along with a large rear yard. It was in use until the late 1990s when it burnt down. Over the years many speeding cars failed to take the turn and ended up hitting the building. The crashes resulted in damage to the building, which was repaired each time. However, it burnt down when a car caught on fire after failing to make the turn while speeding and it ended going through the wall into the building. For a few years the ruins sat there while the owners tried to sell the land for a high price as a premium site. Eventually they dropped the price to little more than the ‘City Assessed Value’ of the land because of the lack of interest in the site, due it needing an expensive clean up.
Roberto Sanchez purchased the site for what he saw as a good price for such a large block of land in a good location. Although he did value the cost of cleaning the site up and constructing a building to survive the regular car crashes into the building as a part of the cost of the land.
The original building had double brick walls with hardwood beams and floors. The triangular footprint of the building and the basement was about a hundred and fifty feet along the side streets with a the rest of the block as a large backyard. The original yard was so big because it included a wagon storage area and a corral for the horses. Like many of the older buildings in the area the basement was an earthen floor with the bricks of the walls sitting on rows of flat stones. The basement was six feet high with the two above ground floors with eight foot ceilings.
During the clean up Roberto was surprised to find most of the beams and floor boards had survived as the fire was contained to the front part of the building before it was put out. However, the loss of support at the front caused those side walls to collapse in during the fire, then the rest of the walls buckled and collapsed. Thus the whole building was mostly a pile of rubble. The only good thing was the rubble pile had been covered with heavy duty canvass after the fire was out, so there was very little weather damage done to the building’s remains.
Roberto hired a lot of the locals to help clean up the site. The bricks were cleaned of all of the mortar and grime then stacked up across one half of the back property line of the block against the wall of the next buildings. The beams and boards that could be reused were cleaned up, damaged areas cut out, and stacked beside the bricks. Then the bricks in the basement were taken out, cleaned up, and stacked too. The flat stones were also taken out, cleaned up, and stacked beside the beams and boards. Only totally useless rubbish was taken to the city dump.
During this time Roberto talked to his friend Mitch Davis about what he wanted in his restaurant. After the two came to an agreement about what to have in the building they approached an architect to have the plans drawn up, then a contractor to build the new building on the site.
The site was prepared by digging out the basement to install modern footings for the new triangular building footprint of two hundred and forty feet from the apex. New utilities and services were run into the basement from both side roads near the back of the new building.
The back wall was built forty feet in from the rear property line to make the basement rear wall three hundred and fifty feet long to be two hundred and fifty feet along the left wall with just under two hundred and eight-three feet along the right wall. The two feet thick outer walls were constructed of reinforced concrete with polymer balls instead of stones for the ballast, as this gave better internal temperature control and protection while being a lighter overall weight. This same concrete was used for the six inch deep floors and main walls at each level. Despite the walls being able to take the total load weight of the building some pillars were placed in the open basement areas every fifty feet with ‘I’ beams between them as well as the walls to help spread the upper floor weight over them. This was done to allow for extra weight on the ground floor for business equipment and customers, and to assist with the lateral stress loads from car crashes to the exterior. Concrete walls were constructed to create five basement rooms. Across the back were three rooms forty feet deep with a seventy foot wide room right in the center. The fourth room was the first eight feet of the apex as the crash support area, and the rest of the basement was left open. The first four feet of the apex had ten twelve foot tall steel poles in it while the second four feet had twenty-six eighteen foot poles in it. All of the poles had bracing between them to spread lateral loads, then reinforced concrete filled the room the poles were in up to the ceiling height. The three back rooms and the main room all had high security double doors into their adjacent rooms, and there was no door into the pole room, just the wall.
The basement wall was built as two feet thick reinforced concrete until it reach the ground level, then the outside wall was reduced to allow for the exterior bricks to be part of the wall from there up. When the wall reached the ten foot mark the inside of the wall was reduced to allow for brickwork from the floor up to the ceiling of the ground level. The now fifteen inch wide reinforced concrete exterior walls were continued to the roof sides with the reclaimed bricks as the outer layer of the walls with spaces left for the windows and the doors in the walls.
The one significant difference between the basement footprint and the upper level footprints was the apex of the building. The basement was the full triangle while the ground level apex was an arc based on a line four feet back from the apex, which placed the start about five feet down each side of the street. The curve continued up to the roof. In front of the curved front wall was a small garden area with a three foot high wall.
After the walls up to the ground floor level were properly dried and set the ground floor was poured, then its interior walls were constructed over the basement ones. The same process was done for the upper level floor and the flat roof. Before the upper floor was poured the apex area of the ground floor was finished. The garden area was filled with reinforced concrete for two feet then good soil and shrubs were planted. The rest of the apex was filled with reinforced concrete up to the ten foot ceiling of the ground floor. This created a very strong buffer against out of control cars hitting the apex of the building.
To provide extra strength to the building at the windows the window lintels were metal frames the full width of the wall with thick steel bars through them set deep into the wall’s reinforced concrete. This created a set of two foot wide squares of bars to protect the windows from large objects. Inserted in the windows were a set of fine alloy security bars and triple glazed windows of a strong plastic. The windows of four feet high by six feet wide were set three feet from the floor to place the lintels at six feet above the outside ground and at table level on the inside.
The windows were designed to be air tight, provide good insulation, be secure, and to greatly reduce the street noise.
The finished building had an exterior made out of the original bricks and the ground floor public access areas had an interior made out of the original bricks. However, the upper level had plasterboard for all of the interior walls. The restaurant street access was a door on each street ten feet back from the true apex of the property. Another door was in the left side two hundred and ten feet back from the apex to give access to the shop and offices of Roberto’s Information Technology business. All three street doors had strong security grills installed to secure the ramps that go up the three feet to the floor level of the building. The back of the building had a fifty foot wide ramp leading up to the center of it with two garage doors on each side of a door in the center of the wall. On each side of the ramp was a fifty foot gap then a thirty foot wide loading dock with stairs on the dock’s ramp side, and a double door in the center of the dock area. The three structures were ten feet deep and went up to three feet above the ground. All of the outside doors were high security doors with high grade security locks and internal bolts fitted to them and the grills. Thus it was an extremely strong and secure building designed to stand up to all sorts of stresses. The permanent walls and floors were made of reinforced concrete with the polymer ballast, so they were very fire resistant, as were all of the doors in the solid walls.
A low dome of a double-glazed strong clear plastic material covered the bulk of the roof with it stopping six feet from the outer walls. This kept the bulk of the roof dry and allowed the use of the roof in bad weather. All of the rain water was directed into pipes to flow through filters then into storage tanks in the center of the roof for their use. A wide line of solar panels were set just below the plastic cover to make a strip of shade along the center of the roof while also sending electricity to the batteries stored in a shed beside the water tanks. A number of Savonius vertical-axis wind turbines were mounted around the edge of the roof to generate more power for the building. The operating costs of the businesses and apartments were reduced by having the building wired for low voltage direct current and harvesting power in this way.
The one major modernization of the building was the inclusion of concealed air-conditioning ducts for the building’s multi-zone heating and cooling system from the several units on the roof to control the temperatures throughout the building at all times. It also ensured the flow of fresh air throughout the building.
Less the space taken up with the walls the finished building has just under thirty-five thousand square feet on each level. The top floor is divided into two equal parts for the apartments. The ground level has a fifty-two hundred square foot area for Roberto’s business, two hundred and eighty square feet for the apartment entrance and garages, another fifty-two hundred square feet for the restaurant kitchen, with the rest of the level for the main body of the restaurant. The basement rooms at the back are seen as part of the activity above them with the main basement area being available to both of the businesses. Both Roberto’s offices and the restaurant kitchen have a wide stairway down to their basement area while the garage has a standard stairway to the basement. There is also a chain emergency exit ladder bolted to the inside wall under a window on each side near the apex of the building, this ladder can be tossed out to be used.
Like all of the buildings in the area there is a basement with two levels above it. The other buildings have basements with six foot ceilings and eight foot ceilings in the other two levels while the Sanchez Building has a ten foot ceiling for the basement and the ground floor then an eight foot ceiling for the upper level. Due to the way the basement was constructed the ground level floor is three feet above the ground and the high ceiling of the ground level means the roof is five feet higher than the roofs of the other buildings in the area, so there is a good view of the surrounding area from the roof of the building.
While many people think Roberto over engineered the building they all think it will survive any future car or truck crashes. Many people joke about by giving the building the nickname of ‘Fortress Sanchez.’
The Saturday just over a week after Sophia’s murder is her funeral. It’s a very well attended funeral with most of the people from that part of the city in attendance, as are many of the police and one local media outlet. However, the funeral is ignored by the city management and the major media groups.
Late that afternoon several large trucks park on the streets outside of the Sanchez building, and three park in the yard. Twenty men are soon very busy working in the yard while they build a wall of special cinder blocks on the inside of the existing ten foot high yard walls. The walls are made by drilling holes in the concrete backyard before setting twelve foot high poles into the holes. Once they pour the concrete around the poles the first two rows of cinder blocks are put in place. The blocks are double the length of the traditional cinder blocks and are shaped to interlock with the other layers as well as the poles they slide down over.
Other men are busy replacing the two sets of gate posts while others are moving the wooden gates to be the outer covers on the new strong metal gates they’ll be putting up. More men are putting doors of the same design and strength in place of the garage doors. Still others are at work attaching shaped four foot high metal plates to the outside of all of the rails on the docks and stairs in the backyard.
Both of the families are busy at work in the restaurant moving the furniture to the middle of the room before they get to work to take out the triple glazed windows and screens fitted to the restaurant windows.
When the men finish mounting the plates on the dock rails some enter the restaurant while others enter Roberto’s shop and the rest go into the street to use ladders to put stiff rubber strips in the window frames. Once the strips are in place two forklifts move two steel and alloy plates to two windows which the men carefully direct into the window frames. The plates are pushed into the frames until the men inside use radios to tell them to stop. The inside men then use the special bolts to secure the plates to the main security bars of the windows on each side and cross section. With the rubber strips being compressed tightly between the plates and the bars the windows are air tight.
Once a plate is bolted into place the men speak on the radio to move to the next window. Once a plate is secured the families get busy putting the normal screens and windows back into place, thus they don’t have to try and store them elsewhere. The many people on the job work fast.
Similar, but differently shaped and designed plates, are fitted to the upstairs windows and the street doors of the building as well.
All of the windows and doors on the west side of the building are fitted with the covers before they move to work on the windows on the east side of the building. When the two streets are covered they go to work on the windows at the back of the building at the same time as they use a crane in the western street to lift special panels up to the roof.
Apart from the walls and gates in the backyard the work isn’t hard, just very time consuming and detailed. The work crews work through the night. This is because they deliberately left it until almost dusk to start the work to minimize the ability of people to see exactly what they’re doing until after it’s all done.
As the trucks are emptied they leave. Thus, only a few trucks and the bulk of the workers are still on the site at three o’clock in the morning when they finish with all of the building’s windows.
Just after seven o’clock on Sunday morning the building is finished with the windows covered and special protective covers for the gap between the dome and the roof parapet are in place. Both of the new yard walls and gates are finished with only the concrete needing a couple of days to finish curing. The last of the men collect all their tools while cleaning up after putting the last layers of the cinder blocks in place for the temporary wall blocking the eastern gateway.
While accepting the check for the work Juan says, “You should be safe against an attack by anything short of a main battle tank, Cousin. Now you’ll have to change the building name to ‘Fortress Sanchez.’ Stay safe, and good luck with surviving those scum.”
Other Local Events
While the two families prepare the building for a siege they all keep a close watch on the news about the nearby BLM Zone of anarchy the rioters established after being pushed away from the scene of Sophia’s murder. The city Mayor and Deputy Mayor have instructed the police to leave the BLM Zone alone. Many people living in the BLM Zone are making complaints about the demands of the thugs the Mayor is now letting run that part of the city. Also, a lot of the people in the adjacent streets are moving out as fast as they can make the arrangements to do so.
Violence in the area is increasing on an hourly basis. No federal law enforcement forces are involved because there are no federal properties within the area the anarchists claim as under their control and no longer part of the city, state, or the country as they’re an independent authority.
In the late Sunday afternoon Roberto receives a call from a friend who has a shop on the edge of the newly declared ‘Free State’ to ask for help in getting his family and stock to safety.
That evening Roberto and Mitch walk to the back of the shop concerned to help move the family to live with them as the city has no safer place for private citizens at this time. When they get there they find they have three families to move and the several men are loading four box trucks with the shop stocks from the three shops run by the families. The important family goods and food are already loaded in the trucks and cars. By midnight the three families have moved from their homes and shops with everything they wish to move to safety. While a lot is moved out of the apartments much is still left behind, due to the lack of space to store them elsewhere and the limited time to move them.
The families are quick to settle in to live in the spare rooms of the apartments of the Sanchez and Davis Families.
On Monday morning many people passing the Sanchez building are very surprised about the changes to the building. Many people ring up and ask about the operation of the restaurant and the work Roberto is doing for them. All are assured both businesses will still continue to serve their clients, but there are some changes to the service delivery.
Much of Roberto’s work is already done via the Internet and most of his current shop based client interaction is easily moved to be done over the Internet. The rest is so small it’s easily handled by the drones he now has available for deliveries from both businesses. After a few weeks he also gets extra work for some of the other local businesses by using his drones for small pick up and delivery jobs in the area.
Many of the regulars are happy to learn Mitch and Diane now have a take-away service where people can place an order by Internet or phone and then collect the prepared meals from the west rear gate, if paying by cash. However, most are happy to learn of the delivery service where they can pay by credit card and have their order delivered to their front door, back door, or roof by the new drone service. A new service is provided where clients can pay a one-time small fee to have a log on ID to a new set of chat rooms hosted by Roberto where a member can start a video chat and have a ‘virtual dinner’ with other service members by inviting them join the chat while they all have their dinner.
Many clients soon report they love the virtual meals with family and friends in other areas after they get them to also sign up with Roberto’s chat service. Neither Mitch or Roberto expected the virtual meals to be that well accepted, so Roberto has to hustle to get more bandwidth and servers set up to handle the extra workload.
However, the delivery and chat services usage go up a lot when the state Governor orders people to stay at home to limit interactions due to the concerns over the newly reported virus pandemic.
More House Guests
Over the weeks since the creation of Fortress Sanchez the Free State slowly expands to take over more blocks. Thus it slowly creeps toward Fortress Sanchez. Many people move out ahead of the violence on the edge of the expanding Free State, and the close friends of Roberto and Mitch end up taking sanctuary with them. To make room for them the main body of the restaurant is set up with rooms of temporary walls to house families in minimal safe housing in the building out of the weather. The businesses are emptied with their wares going into storage in the basement areas until it’s full. Luckily, for them all, the restaurant and the basement areas run out of room for more people at the same time. People who want out will now have to leave the area when they vacate their homes and businesses. Fortress Sanchez is now full.
During this time a lot of information is being collected and passed on to Roberto and Mitch so they can plan their actions against the Free State leaders and their violent supporters.
The two families also spend time training their friends living with them in the ways they want them to assist in the protection of the building when the violence reaches them. This will mostly consist of fighting from the roof and the catwalks on the back of the new walls in the backyard. While the women and teens learn how to use the shotguns some of the men learn how to use the shotguns and replica M 1 Carbines Roberto bought. Due to the circumstances they can’t have any live fire exercises, but everyone being given a weapon to use already knows how to shoot the type of weapons they’re being issued with. Those who don’t know how to shoot will be taught once the fighting gets to them. In the meantime, they’re learning how to use the large slingshots put on the roof to fire balloons full of foul chemicals at the attackers. Those not willing to be actively involved with shooting are trained in support roles of providing the munitions and first aid to anyone injured. All are trained in observation skills and placed on the roster for the various lookout posts for the building. A few ex-military are also trained as a special Reaction Team to work directly under Mitch if needed.