Chapter 4

Copyright© 2020 by Ernest Bywater

The First Months of Secession

Cleaning House

Early on the evening of December 31st the members of several private militia groups gather in a number of places across the USA. All are well armed and all have a lot of ammunition with them. All of the people in the militias are combat veterans, thus they’re calm as they go over their plans for tonight’s operations, have a light meal, then move out to their staging positions. While some of the organizations involved have people across the country, there is no organized coordination between all of the groups involved. However, in some cases there has been coordination at the local level so they don’t end up shooting at each other by mistake.

Despite the various militia groups acting mostly independently the situation has them all working toward the same goals at the same time.

At 2350 hours, that’s 11:50 p.m. for the non-military people, of 31 December heavily armed people in twenty US states are staged ready to attack nearly two hundred locations housing large numbers of very violent criminal groups who’ve been causing a lot of trouble in the areas where they’re located. The places to be attacked are not evenly spread between the states because their locations have been based on the activities of the criminal groups in those areas.

Fifteen minutes later, at 0005 hours of 1 January, the militia groups all attack their nearly two hundred targets which are no longer in the USA.

Commander Davis looks at his watch. At 0005 hours he speaks into his radio, “Phase one, now.” The only way he knows the snipers heard his command is by looking up at the men guarding the main gate into the compound his force is attacking. All three guards drop to the ground as the snipers assigned to this gate take out their targets. He smiles as he says, “Phase two, go,” while he stands and darts toward the gate. As fast as he is, the men with him are faster. He’s only seconds behind them, but they have the dead dragged to the side and the gate is being opened to allow the rest of their assault team in. The compound has three gates and the scene is being repeated at all of the gates.

Like the rest of the forty-six person inside team, Commander Davis is very happy to finally deal with this large group of murdering criminals living in this compound in the middle of his home city. For many years everyone has known about these killers, but nothing has been done due to the lack of living witnesses. Now they can deal directly with the killers without any fear of legal retribution because there are no laws to stop them right now. All he has to do is be successful in eliminating all of the men within the compound. There’s twenty troopers watching their backs, so his combat teams need only worry about the enemy ahead.

“Phase three, go,” is the next order of Commander Davis. The two doors into the building are solid steel and are locked at night. They need to remove the doors without making enough noise to wake up the men in the building. There used to be others doors, but they’re all bricked up now. Davis smiles at the sight of his troops throwing mattresses on the ground in front of the door his team will be going through. Two others are securing wire ropes to the door handles and moving back to pull the doors outward when it’s time, while another two are placing liberal amounts of a thermal compound around the edge of the door frame.

When all is ready those at the door move back. Davis waits. Seconds later he hears Lieutenant Wilkes in his radio, “East ready.”

Davis looks over at his explosives expert, Master Sergeant Dillon. He gets a thumbs up from Dillon. Davis speaks into his radio, “Burn ‘em.” He then shakes his head at the low level of light being produced by the thermal compound, despite the high heat it generates to melt the steel.

There’s no way the thermal compound will melt a hole in the steel doors fast enough to gain entry. However, when the killers replaced the doors with high quality doors to withstand a pounding by the police they neglected to replace the basic light-weight metal door frame. It seems they, like a lot of people, think anything made of steel is strong. While the frames are stronger than wooden frames they aren’t the heavy duty type normally used for the doors now in them. He smiles while the thermal compound heats the frames up until Dillon makes a sign to the men with the wire ropes to pull on the ropes. They pull hard, and the door frame warps as it’s pulled out of shape and out of the doorway. The metal door and ruined frame land on the mattresses with a very soft not quite ‘thud’ sound. He waits.

About twenty seconds later Lieutenant Wilkes says, “East open.”

“Execute primary mission,” is the next order by Command Davis. Now comes the hard part for him. His job is to stay here and make sure no one comes out the door except his troops while his troops go in and clean out this nest of vipers. He’s not happy with it, but that’s the plan he was given, and it’s the plan he has to follow.

Dillon nods to his commander before he leads the assault teams in through the door. Davis shakes his head at the incongruity of the lead squad in each assault team. The aim is to quietly kill as many as they can so the lead squads are armed with short bows and plenty or arrows with the carbines slung across their chest for use only as a last resort. The second squad in each assault team have sound suppressed pistols with the rest of the team ready to back them up with rifles and shotguns.

For ten agonizing minutes Davis stays at his post while he wonders what is going on inside of the building. The night is quiet, it’s literally ‘deadly quiet.’ However, quiet is good as it means the assault teams are doing their job in the best way possible.

The radio comes alive with Dillon’s voice, “Alpha and Beta Teams on the roof. Commencing double check.”

A moment later Lieutenant Wilkes is on the radio with, “Charlie Team has cleared both of the basements. Commencing double check.”

Twenty minutes later Lieutenant Wilkes reports, “Checks clear. Have prisoners to bring out. Exiting front door now,” just before Private Marks leads a long line of women and children out of the door Davis is at.

While they expected some women prisoners the presence of children is a concern, especially when Davis sees how battered they are. He takes out his cell phone, calls a number, and says, “Alert the hospitals and get the ambulances and buses in here. We’ve hurt civilians here.” He hangs up and makes a couple of phone calls while he watches his troops go about the business of double checking and cleaning up the compound.

After all civilians are out and taken away for medical checks and appropriate treatment the trucks arrive with extra people to help load the trucks. Despite the extra thirty workers helping them it still takes them three hours to load and remove all of the weapons and ammunition they remove to their own storage locations around the area. While this is going on several specialist teams are taking photos of the two hundred and fifty-three dead gang members in the compound while taking DNA samples of them and fingerprints. Other teams of specialists are also checking every square inch of the building for hidden areas and safes.

Dawn is breaking when the last of the trucks loaded with the dead go out the gateway on their way to a major incinerator for disposal. Another truck is loaded with the stashes of money and valuables they found in the building. Commander Davis checks with all of his officers to confirm their tasks are finished and their troops have left the compound. All is ready for the final act to start. Davis marvels at how well the raid went. All the vicious killers dead and only seven troops with minor wounds.

Sergeant Mustapha walks toward the gateway while checking the line his two men are laying across the courtyard. The Sergeant looks up and says, “Sorry, Sir. You have to leave now.” Davis nods, turns, and walks out of the compound to stand behind a truck down the street. Mustapha and his men are soon there. After a minute the explosives collapse the building and they all climb in the truck to drive away from the scene.

Each of the militia raids is different to suit the circumstances of the places being attacked. There are so many similarities in them the raid by Davis can be described as typical of them all. Even the raids where some of the raiders died are seen as successful. Overall, just over five thousand vicious killers are eliminated and the communities they’ve terrorized for years are now a lot safer. One hundred and ninety-three of the targets are demolished when the raid is over, while four compounds are taken over by the raiders for their own use. No one keeps a count of the trucks of weapons and ammunition taken, or the tons of drugs destroyed.

Later in the day, when the news of the attacks is made public, many of the politicians are shocked, and are further shocked to learn the actions were legal because the new governments had not yet gotten around to passing laws on what is or isn’t crime. Despite them knowing they were no longer under the US Federal laws and the laws of their old state governments they hadn’t realized they had to pass laws to replace all of the old federal and state laws. The politicians get busy writing new laws to replace all of the laws they forgot to deal with before.

The elimination of the gangs sends shock waves through the other chapters of the same gangs attacked. Many of them declare to avenge their dead, and send armed groups in to the new countries to do so, and to reestablish their controls in the areas. Most give up after six months of attempts which more than double their losses.

Business as Usual

For the great majority of the people in the USA and the new countries there’s no change in how they live and work because a lot of work has been done to ensure the change over has a minimal disruption on the general population and their business activities.

Apart for the criminal groups and those fighting them life for all in the new countries goes on with few hiccups until the end of spring.

Right and Left Grand

On January 2nd a special envoy from the Canadian government visits the Ketchikan government to sign the prepared agreement of mutual assistance in natural disasters and self-defense. None there doubt it will be needed in the near future.

In the second week of January the leaders of the Republic of Juneau send people to the leaders of the Republic of Ketchikan to arrange for the two republics to merge as one under the Juneau government. As each offer is refused the rhetoric from Juneau becomes less friendly. The Juneau government warns the Ketchikan government they have troops and arms that had once been part of the Alaska State Defense force they kept control of, and confirm they’re ready do use them. This is copied on to the Canadian government as soon as it’s received in Ketchikan. With the approval of the Ketchikan government some Canadian troops enter Ketchikan and establish observation posts within the country. Canadian Naval vessels sail north and anchor in empty bays in Ketchikan waters.

On the 2nd of April Juneau government troops enter Ketchikan waters in boats. The word is sent by the Canadian scouts to Ottawa, Ketchikan, and to various places in British Columbia. Ketchikan sends Juneau a formal complaint and demands they withdraw the boats carrying troops into Ketchikan without approval. This is ignored.

Troop transports fly into Petersburg Airport with two companies of combat troops. The troops soon set up in concealed defensive positions along the Petersburg shoreline ready to repulse landing forces.

From the slow speed the Juneau forces approach Petersburg it’s clear they’re hoping intimidation will cause the Ketchikan government to give in and surrender without having to use any force.

The Ketchikan leaders send a formal notice to the Juneau leaders that the moment any of the Juneau troops step ashore in Ketchikan territory or fire at anyone in Ketchikan territory a state of war will exist between the two countries and Ketchikan will only accept the total surrender of all of Juneau territory to end the war. The Juneau response is a threat to take control of all of the Ketchikan territory.

At 0900 hours on the 5th of April the three ships displaying mounted guns on decks and carrying armed troops enter the strait between Mitkof Island and Kupreanof Island. They’re met by a small boat carrying a local official who is allowed on board the lead vessel of the three coastal cargo ships in the little flotilla.

The official is taken to the senior officer of the Juneau Militia, General Mitchell. After being introduced the local official says, “General, I’m Tim Cable, the Minister for Foreign Affairs for the Republic of Ketchikan. You have one minute to turn your ships around and leave our waters or to surrender the ships and all aboard to me. As per our previous notice to your government a state of war will exist between our two countries if you fire upon any of our people or step ashore. However, that has now been expanded to include your continued violation of our waters.”

General Mitchell laughs then replies, “You really think armed locals will stop our trained troops from taking control of this land which really belongs under our control? I think not.” Both men stand and stare at each other in silence for the several minutes it takes for the ships to move into the main harbor area of Petersburg.

As the ships spread apart to move to their individual target docks the ship’s Captain says, “General, you should note there are no ships in the harbor, no vehicles visible in the streets, and no people visible at all.”

The General replies, “I expected the people to have run away. Let’s get docked.” He smiles as he watches one of his ships move to dock at the east end of the harbor, another in the middle of the harbor, and his ship heads for a pier near the west of the harbor. All three piers are normally used for unloading commercial fishing ships or cargo ships, so the troops can easily go ashore.

Mitchell moves to the shore-side of the bridge to watch the troops leave the ships. In a well coordinated move all three ships lower their gangways and troops start marching ashore. Cable moves up to stand on the left side of Mitchell. The first soldier from the ships steps ashore. A single shot rings out and the back of Mitchell’s head is spread over the bridge behind him. The troops all dive for cover, but none are hit.

Everyone on the bridge is stunned by Mitchell’s death. Cable says, “Captain, contact the next in command by radio and tell him if his troops try to go further into the city our forces will open fire on them and the ships. He has one minute to order them to lay down their arms and surrender.” The Captain stares at Cable, but he passes the message on.

The moment the message is acknowledged on the radio the whole shore-side is alive with movement as doors and windows are opened to show armed soldiers manning rocket launchers and heavy machine-guns. Other soldiers are seen moving into combat positions.

The radio comes alive with, “Where they hell did they come from?”

Cable walks over to the ship’s Captain, takes the microphone from him, activates it, and says, “Say hello to the Special Forces troops of Joint Task Force 2 on loan to us from our Canadian allies. You may now lay down your weapons, or die.” The radio reaches all of the unit radios of the Juneau troops as well as the ships and the JTF2 troops.

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