Tales of the Black Flag – Blood and Flowers
- by Subversify Staff
- Posted on 11 November, 2011
I’m standing by the window of an apartment on the fourth floor looking out at a massive sea of humanity – gathered below are thousands of discontented beings that have come to voice their grievances to the powers that be, and gathered to meet them in the streets are over two hundred state-backed paramilitaries armed to the teeth. The protesters carried on chanting their slogans and waving their signs while the goons just stood there with their shields up and weapons at the ready. Out of sight lie my fellows and I: we are here to document this event – and deliver a clear message to the fascists concerning their attempts to repress dissent in the event that everything goes to shit.
Right behind me is Jorge Rodriguez, a short Mexican fellow who formerly organized the protests down below – he was expelled from his protest group when he suggested that at least one in twenty of their number should carry a weapon in the event that it turned out those stories about riot police gunning down people without provocation were true: the other organizers insisted that those people gunned down in previous demonstrations incited violence and believed the official line that the crowd attacked the police and they were “forced to defend themselves” – claiming that he endangered their cause they dismissed him from their number.”
He heard stories of our successful engagements with various National Guard units and sought us out – turns out that one of his cousins had enlisted into our ranks and arranged a meeting between Jorge and the Bear. Fearing that riot cops would slaughter his compatriots, he made a security arrangement for them: should the pigs open fire on the crowds, we step in and do what we do best – whilst he records the whole event on video for public education purposes.
So far, nothing much has happened – the protesters are still waving their sings and the bastards haven’t responded with anything heavier than tear gas at this point. However, the crowds have swollen significantly since the marches began about two weeks ago: what was once about 500 malcontents has increased to over 10,000 demonstrators – this is not something that the pigs will tolerate for much longer and Jorge knows it.
Near the back of the room manning the radio and watching the door was the Bear and Tater – there was another three man team in an apartment building across the street from our position and a number of other guerrilla soldiers posted in concealed positions behind the riot police lines: all awaiting the signal to strike – all that was lacking was an incident of state paramilitary forces going a step too far. The Bear just calmly listens as I give him the updated status report from my lookout position, but Tater is anxious for something to happen; this isn’t the first time he faced heavily armed riot cops, but this certainly was the first time he’d have a chance to shoot back and he has plenty of grievances to vent on those fucks.
After watching the scene for nearly ten hours, I was ready to call it quits – just like the past two weeks the riot police demanded that the demonstrators clear the streets, some tear gas and rubber munitions were fired and the crowd started retreating to the park where they initially set up camp in hopes that the fascists would let them finish their march to city hall the next day (spoiler alert folks: they won’t). But just as most of the crowd was withdrawing, one person refused to budge from her position: she was an unimpressive figure – a young brunette girl of medium height and slender build dressed in a tie-die t-shirt and skirt, wearing glasses and carrying a basket of white flower petals (cherry blossoms from the look of them).
I don’t know what she was thinking – was she desperate to make some kind of statement? Does she not fear the fascist troopers or is she simply high on something? In any event, she refused to follow the dictates of the megaphone: she just stood there dropping handfuls of cherry blossoms as the line of storm troops advanced on her position – she had this serene look on her face, as though she didn’t have a care in the world. As the riot police came within ten yards of her a few of the paramilitaries demanded that she get on the ground and put her hands behind her back – her response was to simply continue dropping the cherry blossoms until…
The girl’s belly had erupted into a burst of red as the rounds went through her midsection – she had dropped to her knees clenching her stomach. The serenity of her demeanor was replaced with a look of horror as she saw her own blood mingle with the petals on the ground: for a moment she gazed up into the face of her assailant to be met with a faceless helmet – she never saw the eyes of the shooter, even as he fired a second volley into her chest.
At this, Jorge turned away from his video recorder and buried his face into his hands – “oh god” he murmured over and over as he burst into tears. The Bear quickly reached for the radio: “there’s no god here today” he says as he raises the receiver to his mouth and shouts the command.
“All units – lead salad. I repeat, lead salad.”
Within five seconds all hell breaks loose on the streets – RPGs and LAW rockets fired from our conceal units behind police lines instantly destroyed the APCs and armored cars the pigs had set up as barriers to impede demonstrators: what was meant to keep the masses from reaching the city’s government center had transformed into the means to cut off the escape route that the storm troops would have used to flee the kill box. Disoriented by the sudden loss of vehicle support, the bastards were by no means prepared for the surprise I had in store for them: from the fourth floor of the apartment, I raised my Milkor MGL and began launching 40mm fragmentation grenades into their lines – the team on the opposite side of the street did likewise, burying the riot cops in a hail of shrapnel.
After 10 seconds of a hellish firestorm, what was once about two hundred fascist storm troops were reduced to a pile of bodies in the street – most of them dead, others barely clinging on to life. But we’re here to send a message, so the teams in the two apartments overlooking the streets were dispatched to ensure that it’s properly conveyed…
As I exit the apartment building I immediately begin searching the mass of bodies before me for any signs of life, putting a bullet into anything that twitches – the Bear patiently works his way towards the back searching for the commanders, whilst Tater fires on every body he passes calling out names. “This is for Danny” he says “and Michelle, and Nathaniel, and Jenna” and so he goes on reciting the names of his fallen compatriots as he goes through the center line of corpses.
As I advance along the front line I finally come up to the man who fired the first shot – I recognize him by the weapon he carries on him: a Heckler & Koch UMP45 – not standard-issue for most police units, he probably purchased it as a personal weapon and planned on “field testing” on a protestor. A bit strange that he chose an unamred, defensesless teenage girl for a target considering that this weapon is intended to stop large intruders hopped up on potent narcotics without overpenetration – but I digress.
He was reletively intact as he only had several shrapnel wounds in his arms and legs and has suffered significant blood loss during the barrage we sent his away – I’m amazed that he survived at all, let alone without losing a limb or two. But he’s delerious and in no condition to fight: then gain, his chosen opponent wasn’t exactly battle-ready either. So I have absolutely no remorse over tearing his H&K out of his dying hands and putting a .45 caliber burst of fire through his head.
In less than 2 minutes from the time our teams left the apartments we had finished off any surviving elements of the riot police – the Bear gave the signal and a black van pulled out of a dark alleyway between a couple apartment buildings further up the road. The van pulled up along the curb just at the edge of the battefield and the driver’s side window rolled down: old man Simmons peers his head out – “you done here or you want to stick around for the afterparty” he shouts to us. We all pile in the van and move out before any additional police forces arrive on the scene.
It’s been three days since what the media has dubbed “the riot cop massacre” – all units involved in the operation have withdrawn to safehouses run by various sympathizers of the Black Flag (my unit is presently at Jorge’s home, but we’ll relocate by the end of the week). The streets have not been safe to travel due to the overwhelming number of “law” enforcement that has been patrolling them since the attack: this kind of damage being done to the state’s paramilitary forces at home is unprecidented and the fascists in Washington have a lot to prove because of it – as this incident is more than just a black eye to them, it can potentially destroy the carefully crafted myth of invulnerability they spent decades creating.
In any case, so long as we keep our heads down the heat will let up – the pigs can’t keep the roadblocks up forever (can’t keep the wheels of commerce moving at a snails pace too long…) and sooner or later they will have to start paying attention to other “law” breakers if they want to maintain civil order. For now we just hold up here until Jorge gives us the word on a new safehouse being ready to accomidate us: the Bear is in the living room doing push-ups, Simmons is taking a nap on the couch and Tater is anxiously watching the door (has been since we got here – won’t even go take a leak without keeping one hand on his rifle). As for me, I’m just polishing up my little war trophy; the dead pig’s H&K is a fine weapon and serves as a reminder that one should pick his targets carefully – failure to do so will make you a target yourself.
All of a sudden Jorge comes bursting through the front door (spooking Tater – I had to jump on his gun hand to keep him from shooting our host) – he had just returned from an intel run and told us to turn on the television immediately. “I never thought in a million years this could happen! Just see for yourself what you started!” he shouted at the top of his lungs: half-filled with shock and with excitement.
We turn on the TV, flip to a major news network (don’t remember which as they’re all pretty much the same to me) and we are greeted with the sight of another demonstration – one of a very different kind than three days before. The demonstrators wielded blown-up photos of the girl that the jackbooted thugs gunned down that day: all chanting in unison “her name was Roberta Paulson! Her name was Roberta Paulson!” – among their number at least one in five of the demonstrators was openly bearing arms (many of them look like police-issue ARs and SMGs – probably scavenged from the scene of the battle) and signs calling for blood were carried by the protestors at the front of the march.
The TV anchor man said that Roberta Paulson was an inter-disciplinary studies student at Berkley that came here to protest the state’s imperialistic policies – she was nineteen years old when the pigs gunned her down. The video of her death went viral with a few hours of its posting on a social networking site (not Jorge’s – he had the recording relayed to several other people before publishing to ensure anonymity) and this group had only gathered outside city hall this morning: they don’t demand the usual things (new investigations, apologies from the cops, etc…) – they come seeking the blood of the mayor, the commisioner and the chief of police as retribution for the slaying. In response, every last cop in town has been called into city hall to prevent the armed demonstrators from stringing these bastards up.
The anchor also said a bunch of other things – shit about “not resorting to violence” and “solving this dilema through the democratic process” and so forth, but we’d already tuned him out by this time and started discussing our escape: with “law” enforcement busy trying to keep their own from being acountable to those they claim to “protect and serve” the path was wide open for us to regroup outside town and return to base.
I don’t know just what will come of this new development, but I know for certain that all pretenses of democracy are dead – that it’s now readily apparent to anyone with a room temperature IQ that the state is at war with the common man. All cards are on the table, the beast is unmasked and there’s no longer any question about the validity of “reform” in anyone’s mind: the only question left unanswered is how the war will finally play out…
Azazel- I don’t know what she was thinking – was she desperate to make some kind of statement? Does she not fear the fascist troopers or is she simply high on something? In any event, she refused to follow the dictates of the megaphone; she just stood there dropping handfuls of cherry blossoms as the line of storm troops advanced on her position
Az, I think my cell-phone hates you. When I try to post a response to you the reply always vanishes – and this happens only with your articles. Either that, or Subversify’s haunted.
Oh yes, about the story. I have only two things I want to mention. First, your resistance group will be hard-pressed to come by the kind of hardware you mention, won’t it? I mean, for a sustained campaign? Even if soldiers or Marines desert to the resistance with their weapons, your ammunition for those rocket launchers will run out sooner rather than later.
And the “pigs” will likely simply use drones to murder protestors. Not much the resistance can do against drones, is there? In fact, I think drones have already been deployed over US territory. Wonder why?
Good story though. Your writing style’s not mine, but I like it all the same.
There is nothing like a martyr to sway public opinion, which is what i think makes a good catalyst for this story. Bill’s question reminds me of a time during the seventies when discontent was at such a height, that weapons smuggling was not only an International racket, but the practice of American political activists. The ring was broken up after a weapons review team discovered there were unaccounted for artillery. Some very big names came up, including some who held high political offices. Once the ring was dissolved, there wasn’t a lot of talk about revolution anymore, but i often wonder what would have happened if just one member of that team had been sympathetic with the activists. I also wonder what happened to those weapon supplies, because very little of what went missing has ever been recovered.
It also occurs to me that in the United States, a great many people own weapons. Enough, i think, that the deployment of drones would only aggravate an existing problem. Once people feel they have absolutely nothing left to lose, they can get a bit ruthless. It is a good story; well delivered. Your characters might have to work on the problem with drones; but then again; what if even among the military and the government there are sympathizers? It’s not at all a far fetched idea.
Keep in mind that this short story is a continuation of a previous “Black Flag” tale – it’s not explicitly stated, but some time (at least a few months) has passed between the initial raids on convoys and this event: an ample amount of time to either expropriate heavy weaponry from the state-backed military/paramilitary forces, acquire weapons from defecting troops or else purchase them off “black markets” via cash or barter from surplus goods taken in raids (keep in mind that a guerilla army’s lifeblood is expropriation of the enemy’s resources).
About the drones, I’ve not forgotten about them (they will feature in the next segment of the “Black Flag” series) – they are great for recon and assassination, but not so much for “crowd contol” (the state still needs boots on the ground for that). Drones might pose a threat to leaders of a given resistance movement, but the firepower of the typical drone is limited to two hellfire missiles: not enough to do more than scatter a crowd temporarily – a state needs troopps to keep a crowd from storming a given area, hence the reason they spent the last thirty years or so militarizing the police forces (they will be the frontline troops in the early stages of any civil war that should arise).
I’m familiar with the weapons rings you mention, but I doubt that such a thing can exist on a large scale today (given the ever-increasing powers of the police state) – like I told Bill, the weapons in question are largely the result of expropriation or “black market” deals with third parties (think drug cartels or corrupted military quartermasters looking to hoc a few rockets for a quick buck).
That said, certain activities of that period did inspire this incident – particularly the massacres at Kent and Jackson. In both cases innocents were slaughtered, some lame “investigation” was launched and no one was really held accountable for what happened (other than a few weak apologies, that is…). This story is one about people who are sick of this bulshit and decided to call power to acount for its actions without the niceties of “due process” (not that they really matter all that much anymore…) and send a clear message that this won’t be tolerated anymore.
BTW: I also through in a few “Fight Club references – see if you can spot them if you are interested in a game of “Where’s Waldo” to go with your short story. Enjoy folks!
“Her name is Roberta Paulson!”
I have to say I can see several problems as well with staying on the grid watching the telly after such and action, but I concede to the fiction of it all.
Technically, the Black Flag still lives off the grid – they are just staying at the home of a sympathizer until the heat dies down to a point they can leave the city (one I *conveniently* left unnamed…) and return to their Base camp in the middle of nowhere.
“one I *conveniently* left unnamed…”
Yes. In my first novel, I left the city unnamed, and in my third novel, I invented a fictional city. This is recommended because that way you don’t have nitpickers shouting “But there’s no church opposite the sex shop on that road! This author knows nothing of what he’s talking about!”
I still can’t submit comments by the cell to your articles. Weird to bizarre.
That’s part of it Bill, but I also wanted to create an impression that this event can occur *anywhere* – from the Bible Belt cities of Atlanta and Dallas to more “liberal” regions like New York or San Fransisco. Wherever there is centralized power there is the potential for shit like this to happen to those who dare speak out against it.