Thursday, January 30, 2014

Illuminoimia Ch 19: Negotiations With Men

In 1975 Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson published The Illuminatus! Trilogy. It remains a seminal work of conspiracy fiction. Today, The Omnivore continues a serial-fiction experiment: Illuminoimia. 

Everything You're Afraid Of Is True.

Five months later, as the Second American Revolution rages down in Georgia, our hero, Theodore Odell, finds himself living in Seattle with his 'soul-mate' Sarah, a gift of the Illuminati--but now his eyes are open and he can't go back to living the lie.
Previously On Illuminoimia
Ch 12: The Heart Vault  
Ch 13: Last Flight Out 
Ch 14: The World Trade Organization 
Ch 15: Postmortem Interrogation 
Ch 16: The True Kings of the World 
Ch 17: The Second American Revolution 
Ch 18: Angels In The Architecture 

Chapter 19: Negotiations With Men
December 2013, Georgia Resistance Front
Thomas Mary, leader of the resistance, stood in the snow on a brilliantly clear December day and watched the enemy chopper come in. In the woodline were his snipers. Some were militia and would be moderately trained and eclectically armed.

Some of the men, though, were AWOL United States Special Forces with surface to air missiles and M98B Sniper Rifles which could achieve a state-of-the-art 4.5 inch shot-groupings at 800 yards. The Department of Homeland Security chopper followed the flight plan exactly, putting down in a field before two security soldiers exited and made way for Matt Tanner, emissary from the White House, to get down into the snow.

“Deploy,” said the radio in Mary’s ear, and an army Humvee rattled to life and, belching steam into the cold air, rumbled down the soft incline leaving tracks in the otherwise undisturbed snow.

They would strip Tanner. They would search him taking any jewelry, anything metal, anything chemical--and for the duration of their meeting they would remain at least two meters apart. Tanner would be told that if he made any moves in the direction of Mary the highly trained soldier shadowing them would execute him. The Special Operations Forces Security teams had been briefed once before being “detached” from the service proper but they had been given very vague and very ominous warnings about what level of threat they could expect.

Mary had been told that if he so much as touched Tanner he might die. They believed it was possible Tanner--or any emissary--could be infected with a lethal disease and intended to pass it on to him through skin contact. Thomas Mary wondered what these men had been told in their above Top Secret clearance briefing--it chilled him to imagine what it might have contained.

He put on his game face and smiled as the men marched Tanner up to him. He was wearing a new set of clothes with a thick thermal jacket and boots they’d given him in the Humvee.

“Do I get to keep the clothes?” Tanner asked, a big grin. “This is Gortex--good stuff. Makes me feel nice and warm inside.”

“I’m glad we can accommodate you,” Thomas Mary said. “I suppose you can keep it. I’m informed that if you touch it it’s yours.”

“What’s up with that?” Tanner asked--his voice a little raised as a cold wind blew between them in the empty death-space that the men with rifles created.

“You’ll have to ask them,” Mary said. “Is that what you came to discuss?”

“Let’s walk,” Tanner said. “It feels a little more natural than just standing here talking at each other.”

Thomas turned and walked and Tanner shadowed him. Behind them, silently, Thomas’ security detailed followed.

“We want to put an end to this, Thomas,” said Tanner. “With enough pieces of the country intact so we can put things back together. We know you have a lot of sympathizers--followers--in the armed services and we’d rather not protract this. I’m here to make you an offer. When I get back in that chopper, though, it’s over. That okay?”

Thomas looked the man over. He’d agreed to this not because he was interested in their deal--and they must know that, he thought, mustn't they? But because he wanted to see what he was dealing with. Thomas Mary knew that Tanner--aide to the president--was not who he was dealing with: whatever shadow had lurked behind him--had stalked Thomas’ father--had corrupted Senator King--that was what he was up against.

And here it was--almost in the flesh. This was as close as he’d ever been. He wanted to get closer.

He knew, instinctively, he was playing with fire: He’d been so, so lucky to get as far as he had.

As Thomas Mary had slipped through the quickly closing hole in the near-biblical fire that was consuming Atlanta the 499th Georgia District Militia had joined the battle against the Department of Homeland Security in Cedartown almost sixty miles away. What neither the DHS nor, for that matter, the 499th had prepared for was an AWOL detachment of special operators “excused” from Fort Benning and armed with BLOC II Stinger Missiles.

When the special forces group, operating illegally and Absolutely Without Orders From Command made contact with Militia Captain John Barrows they told him that in addition to the heavily armed DHS troops, as soon as the battle was engaged Cedartown would be the target of a chemical munitions airstrike.

The airstrike came in the form of a United Airlines Boeing 757 jetliner designated flight 1683 with twin Rolls-Royce RB211 engines and outfitted with customized chemical dispersion tanks. It was joined by American Airlines 737 (code 638) also capable of delivering what DHS considered a “chemical softkill” that would blanket Cedartown and the surrounding woods in a “nullifying agent” that would shut down everyone’s ability to fight.

A Stinger BLOC II missile is a shoulder-fired anti-aircraft rocket. The radar-guided projectile can reach speeds of Mach 2.2 and carries a 3kg penetrating hit-to-kill warhead. When the 499th entered the fray their AR-15’s were, in fact, functionally identical to DHS’s actual assault rifles since neither side was firing fully automatic. In some cases, it turned out, the 499th was substantially better trained. They were also fighting for their country--and their families.

When DHS Atlanta Command ordered the jets in to a rapidly deteriorating situation, the Special Forces group responded with twin streaks of smoke and light that brought down both planes in immediate, apocalyptic balls of fire. While the 499th and their Spec-Ops cohort were regrouping and tending their wounds, Atlanta Command, unable to determine how they could possibly have lost two jetliners (with potentially incriminating black boxes and specialized chemical warfare gear) sent in an armored column of their heaviest local troops.

The Department of Homeland Security’s counter-strike hit Cedartown like a hammer.

At about this time, Senator Thomas Mary, on bike, made contact with the 78th Response Force of the US Army National Guard who had been activated when Atlanta started to burn. The 78th was in complete confusion with seemingly senseless--but ‘verified’ by command’--orders to find and arrest any American citizen bearing a weapon--as a suspected terrorist.

For several tense hours the battle of Cedartown raged (Atlanta Command was unwilling to send in any more jets, had no other air-power, and the 499th and their allies were dug in and fought viciously). During this time Thomas Mary spoke with generals deep within the Pentagon and with other active forces elsewhere: Everyone was coming to grips with what the Mary family had known for some time. The Mary name carried a lot of weight in the rank and file of the United States Armed Forces.

It seemed that while there were legal questions as to the standing of the Georgia Militias--and the courts waiting to determine the constitutionality of his resistance to the Department of Homeland Security--as well as Mary’s claims of war crimes and the use of chemical weapons on American soil--the army would wait on the side-lines. There were huge, largely unspoken, questions as to whether or not US Army troops would fire on American civilians.

The legal battle was aided by a cabal of constitutional lawyers who had, apparently, long been inspired by Mary’s father and had sprung into action immediately the battle broke out. They had filed a battery of motions against DHS claiming, among other things, they were unconstitutional, that they represented American Military on US Soil despite their police-like stance, and that the courts that would try Mary were, themselves, unconstitutional “Admiralty Courts” of the same sort that had been used against the Colonial rebels by the King of England.

They drew up arcane “incorporation / emancipation” papers on behalf of Mary and held that he was Constitutionally beyond the reach of DHS--and Georgia authorities had yet to charge him. The result was a cross-fire of lawsuits so complicated that it could take years to resolve them.

As Cedartown burned, and the generals consulted with their lawyers, they came to a conclusion: until the JAG was convinced that Mary would be able to receive a fair trial--that was until there could be a full third party investigation of the Atlanta incident (not to mention reports of DHS with chemical weapons on American soil and using civilian jetliners to deliver them)--the Pentagon would not engage the ‘rebels.’

They would not completely abandon their Commander in Chief, either, however. It was DHS vs. The Militia. DHS was far better armed--but ‘rogue elements’ from military bases across the south had moved to join engagement. Individual elements of the state national guard were left to their own decisions.

It had been called the “fair fight doctrine.”

The decision made, 1-214th Army National Guard Field Artillery unit was unleashed on the the Department of Homeland Securities armored forces in Cedartown: a crushing rain of explosive shells that obliterated the lightly armored DHS battle-force. By mid-afternoon, Cedartown lay in waste, Atlanta was still burning, and the battle lines were drawn. The first engagement of the ‘Second American Revolution’ had been won--by the resistance.

The first communication from the White House to Thomas Mary--now the leader of the resistance--was to stand down and hand over his weapons.

His response, of course, had been: “Come and take them.”

They did, kind of. Across the country, it turned out, there had been a program of targeted infiltration of militia units. There were immediate FBI, ATF, and DHS raids--all synchronized--all against various state militia’s commanders. Done under military and national security jurisdiction the subjects were held in undisclosed locations and scheduled for trial under the so-called ‘Terror Courts.’

Using revised national security laws the subjects were given only military attorneys and denied access to the press. In many cases their families were held as material witnesses: they could not be compelled to testify--but they could, it was reasoned, consent to give up valuable  additional intel.

The signature weapons of these groups, those patterned after the Armalite 15, were immediately banned and ordered for confiscation. Where there was resistance heavy firepower was brought to bear. It turned out there was a national database of gun-owners: the government seized the National Rifle Association’s membership list as well as credit-card receipts from any gun store or gun show. Only weapons paid for in cash from members who did not support the NRA might have escaped scrutiny.

Now, six months later of standoff and small unit engagements, Mary looked across the snow at the emissary from Washington.

“Well,” Mary drawled, “I suppose when you get back on that chopper I won’t be any worse off than before you came. What do you imagine you could offer me? Nice Federal prison? TV privileges? Conjugal visits?”

He watched the man for any sign he was losing his cool. Other than the frost visible on his breath there was nothing--and then Mary saw it: fear.

“Something like that, to be honest,” Tanner said. “There are particulars. We need your lawyers to shut up and your--your followers--to voluntarily leave the military. Their resignations will be accepted: no retaliation.”

Mary watched the man: “And if I didn’t believe you were all vipers?” he asked. “If I thought I could take you at your word? Why would I do that anyway?”

“Because you can’t win and you don’t want your legacy to be all these young people dying for you--for your lost cause. You won’t last the winter, Tom.” Tanner shook his head. “The administration is close to cutting deals with the Pentagon. They pull your support in mid January--we give you 48 hours to stand down--nobody does--it’s a bloodbath. I’ve seen the projections.”

“Who sent you?” Thomas asked. “I don’t care about your deal--who’s behind this?”

Tanner looked surprised. “The president--”

“BULLSHIT!” Thomas thundered and Matt Tanner jumped. “Lie to me again and I’ll have you executed. Who. Sent you?”

“It’s the--the--it was the--” Tanner started--he didn’t finish though: maybe he could ‘feel’ the crosshairs on his back. “What are you talking--” he started, “What makes you think--” and then he saw Senator Thomas Mary’s eyes.

“I want to know who sent you--who sent that Errand Boy in the White House--I want to know. And if you even try to tell me that sounds crazy--well, you haven’t been out here, Matt. From what I’ve seen in the past few months? That isn’t crazy enough.”

Tanner’s eyes bored back into his.

Now we’re getting somewhere Thomas thought: He saw it again--that transient glimmer of fear. It unnerved him though. He knew Matt Tanner and the man was not one given to easy panic.

“You want to know?” Tanner asked then, his voice a raspy hiss. “You think you know something? You want to know more?” Thomas didn’t like what he heard in that voice, then.

“I do want to know,” he said, pressing ahead. “I’ve come this far. I’m not going to stop without answers.”

Tanner’s eyes were dark and dead as he looked into Mary’s.

“You got it chief,” Tanner said then--he sort of intoned. There was a sense of resignation. “I was briefed: if I fail they will talk to you. No man’s land,” he said. “That’s where they’ll meet you--just the two of you. You don’t have to worry: they won’t kill you. Not their style. You’ll just wish they had.”

Tanner felt for a cigarette but there wasn’t one: all his belongings had been taken. He let his hand drop. “You’re going to wish, lie or no, you’d taken the deal.”

“Who are they?” Mary asked again.

“The Kings of the World?” he shrugged. “I don’t know--I’ve never met them. The CIC has. The Secretary of State has.” Mary knew that while she’d planned to leave--to prepare for her own Presidential campaign--she’d been asked to stay on by the administration and now, with this crisis, she was stuck.

“The Kings of the World?” Mary asked, with a bit of a laugh. “Well bring ‘em on.”

“You have no idea what you’re doing, Mary,” the man said. “You’re going to wish you’d died in that fire.”

Thomas Mary looked at him across the snow. “I have not yet,” he said, “Begun to fight.”

Continue to Chapter 20: Return of the Sorcerer


  1. Those constitutional lawyers sound an awful lot like sovereign citizens.

    Anyway, there's an extra space in "valuable additional intel".

    1. You have a good eye! You'll see more 'alchemical lawfare' in a later chapter :)

      -The Omnivore

  2. Ah, there it is at last: the μολὼν λαβέ moment. Been wondering when you'd pull the trigger on that, so to speak.

    When I first came across this story some months back, it reminded me pretty strongly of some of Eric's writing (from 20 years ago). But not quite - perhaps a bit more of an emphasis on tech and hardware than I'd expect from him. The duh-bomb hit about 400 milliseconds later, of course. No fun getting old! (But it sure beats the alternative).

    1. WHO IS THIS!???!

      ;) Props on the Greek.

      -The Omnivore

    2. Why, 'tis your friend(s) from The Resistor, naturally. :-).

      Almost fooled me with the Gemini gambit there, but I thought I smelt a faint whiff of JAGS in some of your work, so... nah.

      - Ohm

    3. Ah, perfect! Glad you're reading :)

    4. Ah, thanks to you for writing this. I like the references to Ellison and Orwell, and was wondering if/when you'd get around to name-checking the Tristero (or W.A.S.T.E., or the posthorn symbol) from Pynchon's classic "The Crying of Lot 49". Because, at some level, all conspiracy narratives are more or less the same story, aren't they?