Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

The Ambush – Tales of the Black Flag

By: Azazel

I sit at my post in the firing line overlooking the kill box – it’s almost sundown and the ambush team is growing anxious, for the convoy was supposed to have reached our position at least an hour ago.

I turn to see the unit commander – large, black fellow by the name of Leon, but he’s better known as The Bear amongst our number – and the impatience that radiates from him is palpable: during his time in the Green Berets he learned that when the enemy deviates from his appointed time-table it’s because he anticipates trouble: the question now was how much he knew about the trouble that lay ahead of him.  “If I don’t get word on the status of the supply convoy in five minutes this action is off – spread the word” he whispers to me: run down from my post on the ridge and relay this information to our machine gunner Gerald Simmons (or just old man Simmons – as the is the eldest member of our unit) and quickly return to my position.

Back on top of the ridge I see old man Simmons passing the word on to the men in ditch – afterwards he returns to the M-60 set up about 30 yards from where our roadblock will fall: the plan is the detonate explosives on a pair of large trees in front of the lead vehicle of the convoy, then the men hiding in the ditch will disable the last truck in on the road to trap the remaining vehicles – at which point they sweep the trucks of enemy troops while the commander, myself and a couple other men give covering fire from the ridge.  Of course, this all depends on whether or not the convoy even shows up tonight…

Nearly five minutes have passed and The Bear is just about to call off the action when a message comes in over the short-wave – the message is coded, but basically what is said is that one of our lookouts a few miles up the road spotted the convoy and that it’s coming towards us.  The Bear orders everyone to stay out of sight and prepare for battle: no sooner than the words escape his mouth than another message from the lookout comes in – one of the trucks just stalled on the road.

“Fuck” he says as he puts the radio down – at this point Johnny Tate (our greenest recruit, simply known as “the Tater”) asks why we don’t march down to the position of the enemy and simply overpower them: “they have a stalled truck and there’s no way they’ll leave it behind – if we use the pick-up we can get within a quarter-mile of them in less than five minutes, dismount and stalk them through the woods until we reach adequate position to launch an ambush.”  The Bear replies that this is too risky – that they might have already deployed patrols in the woods around the stalled convoy to prevent opportunistic guerrillas like ourselves from taking advantage of the situation.  We will wait here for them, no matter how long it takes.

After talking with The Bear, old man Simmons and the others the consensus is reached that the most likely cause for the delay of the convoy has been mechanical problems – the National Guard units operating in the U.S. backwater territories don’t get the most regular resupply of machine parts or the best mechanics as the U.S. empire’s military machine faces little threat of open defiance in these regions.  Well, that changes tonight…

Oh, you want to know who we are and why we out here this evening?  Well, since there’s a lull in the action it will be my pleasure to introduce you to us – we are the guerrillas of the Black Flag unit: we are here tonight because we were fucked over by the fascists in Washington in one way or another and we’re here to make those bastards answer for it.

What?  You want something more specific than that?  How exactly were we betrayed by society?  That story is different for each of us here – take our commander The Bear, for example: he used to serve at the beck-and-call of the state and kill its enemies for them on command – that just goes with the territory being a Green Beret and all.  After he completes his tour of duty he attempted to start a small body shop with his brother – a guy who was known for dealing some weed from time to time, but otherwise committed no serious offenses against anyone.

As it would happen, his dope-dealing brother happened to be trailed by the feds for some time – they believed him to be a key in setting up some other fellow as a major drug kingpin (but from what I hear this guy just happened to piss off the right people in the right places of power – he was just a recreational user at best), but he kept refusing to cooperate with the “investigation” (more like frame-up): one day the SWAT teams came into the body shop with guns blazing and killed the poor sucker – planting a gun (he never touched a gun in his life) and about one hundred thousand dollars worth of crack cocaine at the scene after the fact to justify the shooting.

When The Bear took the case to court it was thrown out on do to “insufficient evidence” (i.e. the mysterious disappearance of surveillance tapes in and around the shop and omitted testimony from police reports that would have rendered his claim against the SWAT bastards a slam dunk case): being denied a chance for retribution through the “legal” channels, he turned his back on the society he once served – renouncing “law” altogether, he sold his business and used the money to fund the initial arms and training for the Black Flag unit.

Or how about old man Simmons?  The guy was born into a family of hippie pacifists – tofu turkey, tie-dye t-shirts, transcendental meditation and everything else affiliated with peace, love and universal harmony.  Not surprisingly, his folks were into political activism and wanted to stop the U.S. war machine through “flower power.”  Together with a group of their hippie friends they raised enough money to go protest the conflicts in Latin America: Gerald was only 15 at the time, so he was left at home with the grandparents whilst his folks set off to “save the world” – three weeks later the entire group was found decapitated in a ditch in the Nicaraguan back-country, the “official story” being that it was the work of anti-Western guerrillas but the deed was done in territory that was then occupied by the Contras (which casts serious doubt on this story).

As soon as Gerald reached the age of 18 he set off on a personal mission of vengeance – he worked with every anti-U.S./NATO revolutionary movement he could link up with: IRA, PFLP, ELN, FARC and many others – his only goal being to tear apart the interests of the U.S. empire wherever he can so that he might finally kill the entity that killed his family.  A few years back he caught word of an anarchist guerrilla movement taking form in the backwaters of the U.S. homeland and he just couldn’t pass up the chance to face his sworn enemy on its home soil: he hooked up with The Bear via some mutual affiliates in the arms trade and formed the core of the Black Flag – old man Simmons’ years of experience as a guerrilla fighter and The Bear’s logistics (connections to local arms dealers, intelligence people, recruiters, etc…) are the driving engine of our war efforts now.

Or what of Johnny “the Tater” Tate, you might ask?  What would motivate a young man with no previous experience with the horrors of war and carnage to join our unit?  Well, he was once an idealistic college student with a bright future ahead of him – being an above-average student coming from an upper-middle class family that was very supportive of his academic endeavors, it seemed like the world would surely be his oyster: but he just had to get involved in politics and try to “make the world a better place:” he was one of the organizers of the Citizens Against Police Brutality march of 2015 –  he arranged for about 1,000 protesters to surround the police station in downtown L.A.

At first, the cops attempted to break up the demonstration through standard crowd-control tactics – use of tear gas, rubber bullets, sonic emitters and such.  But Johnny made sure that his protesters came prepared: he equipped them with plastic body armor he had them buy at paintball shops to resist rubber bullets, gasmasks to counter the effects of the tear gas and a combination of headphones and earplugs to block the sound of the emitters – he had planned this protest six months in advance and took up fundraisers and donations to procure all the equipment that he felt would give his volunteers the edge they need over the cops in the demonstration.

But everything fell apart when the police fired on them with live ammunition – at least 100 people were killed that day, including three of the organizers that Johnny was coordinating with.  To make matters worse, the police claimed that the demonstrators had thrown explosive devices at them and were “forced to defend themselves” against what they called “violent, fanatical home-grown terrorists.”  Since that day Johnny and all other key members of that protest have been declared “enemies of the state” and have been relentlessly hunted by the fascists.  While on the run he heard about armed resistance to the state forming and instantly came on board when approached by Black Flag recruiters.

What’s that?  You want to know who I am now?  Well, maybe I got fucked over by the so-called “legal” system like The Bear.  Perhaps I’m a victim of U.S. foreign policy directives in search of revenge against the empire.  Or I’m possibly an idealist who has all of his delusions about “truth” and “justice” shattered by a police state like the Tater.  It’s also a possibility that I’m none of the above: that I’m the kind of guy that just hates taking orders from powers that I have no control over and don’t have my own interests at heart – the kind of guy who just wants to see this diseased and corrupt world burn once and for all so that there might be a *chance* for something new to take its place when the dust settles.

At any rate, it’s not all that important – now, in case you have forgotten, we’re still sitting around the edges of a kill box here…

A crackle comes over the short-wave and the lookout reports that the convoy is on the move again.  We all throw on our balaclavas and take our respective positions – not five minutes later do the headlights of the lead vehicle, a humvee with a .50 cal turret mount, come into view of my position.  As the convoy further approaches the ambush point I count a total of six vehicles in all: four supply trucks and two humvees (one at the front and another at the rear) acting as escort – just as the lead humvee approaches the edge of the kill box The Bear presses down on the detonator.


The trees plummet directly onto the lead humvee, smashing the windshield and exposing the driver and passengers to fire – old man Simmons and his M-60 make quick work of them.  The humvee at the back is ambushed by the riflemen concealed in the ditch: the occupants were killed before they could reach for their weapons.

The backdoors of the supply trucks swung open and troops stationed inside came out and took cover behind the trucks and began to return fire on the men from the ditch – they were completely unaware of the presence of myself and the other snipers on the ridge.  I raised my .308 to shoulder, put my scope dead-on one of the soldiers and slowly squeezed off a round: headshot – he never knew what hit him.  Immediately afterwards the others follow suit with similar results.

Once all apparent resistance was put down, we hurried off the ridge to join our comrades from the ditch in the expropriation of supplies – we immediately set to work removing the gear of the vanquish guardsmen.  Weapons, body armor, ammunition, mole gear, combat knives, boots and anything else they had on them that might be of use to us were removed from the corpses: and that’s all before we get to the vehicles – the trucks contained dozens of crates filled with MREs, BDUs, grenades and humvees had machine guns we could pry off and convert to mobile heavy machine gun turrets.

Outside one of the trucks we approached there was a wounded soldier attempting to pull the pin from a grenade – a futile gesture due to the fact that his arm had been savagely lacerated by the M-60’s 7.62 NATO fire.  The Bear just pulled out a SOG and finished him with a quick jab to the throat.  Afterwards, believing all enemy troops to be KIA, he calls in a pair of pick-ups he had waiting in the forest about two miles down the road from our position: we load up as much up the supplies and field-stripped gear as we can fit into them when Tater calls out to us from the back of the convoy line.

The Bear and I drop everything and sprint to the back – we were greeted by the site of an enemy soldier cowering in fear before Tater: “please don’t kill me – I only signed up for education funding” he wails pitifully.  “I didn’t think that I’d ever see any actual shooting here.  I beg you – show mercy!”  Tater turns to The Bear and suggests that this poor bastard get two bullets in the head right now: the state showed no mercy to him, so he has no inclinations towards showing any mercy towards the state.

The Bear reaches over to Taters weapon and slowly lowers it for him – “he is not the real enemy, but even the agents of our foe should catch a break every now and then.”  With that, he orders that the soldier be tied to a tree on the side of the road and left there for his own to recover in their own time: assuming that some wild animal doesn’t devour him in the midnight hours, he’ll be rescued by dawn and live to tell the tale of the ambush.

After loading the pick-ups with as many supply crates as we could possibly cram into them, we took a few of the extra BDUs in the back of the supply trucks and tore them into rags – we then doused those rags with gasoline and jammed them into the openings of the fuel tanks of each vehicle in the convoy.  On cue, six of us light the rags and make a run for the pick-ups.  As we drive off into the night the orange glow of the burning trucks fills every one of us with a sense of accomplishment: that this is the first of many messages we will send to the fascists in the Washington government – we are here, we will not be intimidated and we are not afraid of their forces.

Nights like this one shall occur again and again until those bastards are no more…

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6 thoughts on “The Ambush – Tales of the Black Flag”
  1. From Bill whose comments aren’t showing on this article for some reason:

    “Hey, Az, you ought to try writing an action novel. Though of course the publishers wouldn’t touch that topic with a demining post, and I know whereof I speak.”

  2. Let’s see if this works now. If it does, then I can post from my computer but not from my phone, which is also weird.

  3. Well, Azazel, it looks like your company of readers are waiting for the finished novel. You’ve got a very good start in your character development. I hope we see more of your Tales of the Black Flag.

  4. To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever write a full-fledged novel – such things are time consuming and I just don’t have that sort of time on my hands. A series of short stories, however, is not out of the question: I was planning on writing at least three tales in the “Black Flag” series and I guess I’ll just see where it goes from there…

  5. Azazel, I think short stories are an underrated niche. I think a collection of shorts with connecting characters would be great.

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