The Everpresent Threat

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Thank God for Georgetown Snots

McKenna’s improvised column raced South down River Road along the Potomac River. All about them they saw the misery, hunger, confusion, death and destruction in the thousands of refugees that accompanies the abandonment of any city. It was all the more painful to know these were fleeing America’s capital city.

When they got to the intersection of Falls and River Road at the heart of Potomac, there was a major disturbance by a group of people in front of a Korean grocery and a Chinese restaurant. What appeared to be the owners were standing in front of their stores armed with guns.

They were preventing a mob from entering their store by firing into the air. Alert to any gunfire that was that close to him, Sgt. McKenna halted his column and went to the source of the fire.

Without identifying himself, he asked what the disturbance was. As Potomac is the home of hundreds of nationalities and even more dialects, he heard a chorus of responses, only a few of which he could make out. It was apparent that they all wanted food and water. He quickly surmised that the people in front of the store were the owners who wanted payment for their product.

“Things are a bit different, now, men. You may have to share your food with your...” and here he gestured to the crowd around him...”fellow Americans.”

“NO! THEY PAY! THEY PAY!” he heard the merchant answer quickly.

“How many of your ancestors died for the privilege of your owning that store?” he shot at the owner.

“NOT MATTER!!! THEY PAY FOR FOOD AN WATER!”

“No, it does matter. You have to learn the old American virtue of sharing with your fellow Americans in time of need so we all survive together, not just the rich ones.” Frank was in no mood for an argument and he certainly did not have the time. He signaled to McGillicuty in a dialect only the special ops spoke. McGillicuty opened up with his .50 caliber across the top window pane of the store.

The owners dropped to the ground and the crowd swelled into the store to get food and water for themselves and their family.

Sgt. McKenna returned to his vehicle to hear a bullet whiz by his head. Before he could think about it he took his .45, aimed at the source, and the merchant of the store splattered off the front of his store. The other merchants fled.

The column made good time down River Road, turned down 355, and encountered confusion and destruction all the way. They encountered no July 4th Strike Force opposition until they encountered two snipers on the corner of P and Wisconsin in Georgetown.

There was a theater in that area that had been turned into a store for cheap jewelry. Apparently, two of Abdullah’s soldiers could not resist the urge to do some looting and choose that store to set up their guns in because they could stuff their pockets with jewelry in between firing rounds.

As the citizens in Georgetown were victims of the strictest gun law in the nation and therefore unable to own firearms, they were easy prey for the snipers who just waited for them to venture out, like Sarejvo, and picked them off at will. Until Sgt. McKenna’s team arrived.

“Ah, Ahmed...look at our good fortune, eh? Dead Americans and diamonds lining our pockets. Surely Allah is good! I myself have probably killed ten Jews and a hundred Jew sympathizers today.” He loaded another clip into his AK-47 as he said this, took aim at the Mercedes Benz that was ambling toward his position, and opened up.

Unlike before, the car returned a fusillade. One round ripped through his neck and decapitated his head from his torso. The bloody torso landed on his partner Riza and upset his stash of diamonds.

Riza, a seasoned terrorist who had taken such sustained fire from Israeli commandos in the past, quickly realized these were professionals firing back at him. He started to run for the exit to do the same thing he had done whenever faced by soldiers and not unarmed civilians: flee for his life.

Before he could get two feet a grenade launched from one of Frank’s men caught him in the back and made him unidentifiable.

Frank pulled his column to O street and raced away from the small firelight. The last thing he wanted to do was encounter any more of Abdullah’s troops who could alert him to the fact that organized American forces were in the area. Surprise was his only advantage in this current fight, and he did not want to lose that advantage by encountering every sniper nest between here and the White House.

At the end of O Street he found a large Catholic Convent that had been deserted. It was old with plenty of brick and concrete walls -- just the kind of structure that would make an excellent fort. With Georgetown University next door a haven for many of Adbullah’s Jihadi’s, the fruits of the millions given by the Arab oil countries to the university over many years, Frank quickly surmised that this would be a good location from which to start recapturing territory after he got the President out. He would need a good place from which to secure the President’s liftoff and the football field above the McGonigle Gym would be just the right place.

That McGonigle Gym had been cut into the clay and rock under the Georgetown campus because they had had nowhere else to expand made it doubly attractive as fortified a concrete structure as one could find below ground in this areas.

Georgetown Hospital nearby also made it a good capture in case the President was injured or there were too many friendly casualties. The plan rapidly formed in Frank’s mind and he gathered his forces about him.

“Jackie, Bobby and Lou...you’re Team One. You take your men under the Whitehurst Freeway. If you encounter any opposition...and this goes for everyone...I want you to work your opposition toward the river. I don’t want anyone shooting each other by accident and by driving them toward the river I think we can avoid that. I also want any bodies weighed and dumped in the river when possible to prevent them identifying us as a counterassault unit on their trail.”

“John, Hank and Stevie...you’re Team Two. You take your men north along Massachusetts Avenue but remain close to the buildings if possible. Some of the embassies on that row are honeycombed with Nation of Islam and Adbullah’s forces because their embassy staffs either cooperated or offered no opposition when he demanded access to their building.”

“Listen carefully. They apparently captured the Vice President’s home at the Naval Observatory but only left a small occupying force behind. There is a strip joint on Wisconsin just behind that residence. Be careful. Go to the ballpark in the middle of the street and behind the stores to the back of the strip joint. I want you to launch at the Vice President’s home from that bar because it is the shortest route to the building and there is good coverage. Take that building and hook up the damaged equipment if possible. I want that as an alternative location of egress if I can’t get the President to this convent.”

“Todd, Luke and Matthew...you’re Team Three. Take your men straight down Wisconsin. You’re my scout party and I want you to ID anything that is going to slow me down. I want a straight line to DuPont Circle and you are to make sure I get it. Don’t engage in a firefight unless you have no other choice. I will count on you to alert me to anything, anything that I must avoid. My hope is to get there undetected.”

“Now the most important part is that nobody gets hurt or killed so avoid, I repeat again for the hardheads among you, avoid fights. All three teams are to gather info for me and I’ll need all of you from DuPont Circle to the White House. Now go.”

All three teams fanned out into the rubble that was now the rubble, confusion and madness that was now the Nation’s Capital.

Team One made its way across 36th Street to M and went underground parking lot to underground parking lot until they got to a parking lot that was underneath the Whitehurst Freeway. That Freeway was such a jumble of steel and concrete and hidden spaces that it provided excellent cover for their progress along the Potomac to DuPont Circle.

As they avoided the Washington Harbor complex and the Kennedy Center and hugged the inside alleyways that crisscross most of Washington, DC, they made excellent progress. They were the only unit to make it to DuPont Circle without encountering opposition.

Team Two ran down 36th Street North until they came to Wisconsin where they turned north along back alley ways. They took cover behind trash bins and the flotsam of destroyed buildings that littered the whole neighborhood.

At Wisconsin, two clocks down from the Russian Embassy Compound, they found enough cover from blown up trucks and cars in the street they were able to cross undetected.

From there is as a short jaunt to the baseball park Frank had said would be there, and then to the strip joint that was directly behind the Vice President’s home. Inside that fine establishment John, Hank and Stevie locked and loaded and crept up from bush to tree on the old Admiral’s compound that was now the occupied Vice President’s home.

Fortunately, they were able to slit the throats of the seven Jihadi’s and four Nation of Islam militants who had occupied the compound without firing a shot or being detected. They were not so lucky as they crept down they alleys behind the embassies along Massachusetts Avenue.

The first place they took fire was at the old Iranian Embassy a block away from the Vice President’s residence. Abdullah made it a point to secure it immediately upon his “victory.”

He had been in America when the American government had seized in 1979 as collateral after the Abdullah had come to power and seized all American assets. He had hoped to take over that building as “Special Representative” for the new Revolutionary Islamic State of Iran” but the American’s had seized the building and closed it to him.

When he had presented his credentials to the American government at the time and demanded to be let into Iranian territory to run his mission from there, the State Department had ignored his credentials and shut the building down.

Subsequently it had sat idle in a huge diplomatic and international law dispute as to who owned it and who owed what until Abdullah had taken decisive action and sent his people over to secure it.

Now John, Hank and Stevie were cruising down the trees behind the building unaware that it had been occupied by Abdullah’s forces. They were still dressed as Jihadi’s but unaware that there were Jihadi’s and there were Jihadi’s and the people currently inside the former Iranian Embassy opened fire because they suspected the men behind their complex might be a rival group who had infiltrated their area.

“BBBBININNING!!! BBBBINNNNGGGGG!!! Team Two heard the echo of large caliber weapons being fired close by. When they saw the wood splintering off the trees immediately in front of them, they realized these bullets had been meant for them.

“STEVIE!!! STEVIE!!! YOU ALL RIGHT!!!” Stevie had been the one the closest to the embassy and the one who might have taken a direct hit.

“I’M FINE BUT WE BETTER GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE NOW!!!” Stevie bolted down hill in a weaving pattern designed to avoid fire. John and Hank ran in opposite direction to him to draw away fire, much in the pattern they had learned from the rabbit nests they had hunted all their lives.

To their everlasting relief, the trees in this part of Rock Creek Park provided enough cover that the wall of bullets that followed them struck trees and not their flesh as they fled.

In the confusion as they fled south along the trees of Rock Creek Park that were contiguous with the buildings along embassy row they failed to realize they were so busy fleeing they failed to realize they had crossed Massachusetts Avenue to the Japanese embassy grounds.

When grenade and mortar rounds began to crash around them from the Embassy they knew they were in hot water again. Unfortunately, they were pinned down and had no recourse but to fire back.

Stevie called out to John, “COVER ME BROTHER! I’M GONNA SMOKE THESE SUCKERS!” With that said, he rolled round the side of the firefight to take up position behind a garden wall. He loaded grenades into the grenade launcher on his M-16 and began to fire rounds into a window that had been left open to allow direct fire from inside.

About this time Hank appeared and began to roll up the other side of the outracing fire. He removed a weapon he had brought along from his farm that was not approved of in the official Army handbook: dynamite. He was an expert at its use as it had blown out the most entrenched roots and stumps of hundreds of dead trees. For this reason he was able to gather up a few bundles from his farm’s barn and carry them with him to this place.

He now ran along the crown of the Japanese Embassy lighting stick after stick and lobbing it far inside where it could kill the maximum number of Jihadi’s without being picked up and lobbed back out.

After a series of explosions there was dead silence. All three looked at each other and gave a thumbs up. Hank began to zig zag back to John and Stevie when one shot fired from behind a car in the driveway made hit him directly in the back.

The impact drove him several feet into the air. Johnnie and Stevie returned fire and the lone gunman was killed instantly. Hank shook his head, felt the pain of the impact of the round, got up and said, “Who was Mr. Kevlar, anyway? I want to shake that man’s hand once this is all over. God Bless that Mr. Kevlar man.”

“Do you think we should contact Frank and tell him about any of this?” Hank asked Johnnie.

“Nah. He said maintain radio silence as I recall. Anyway, who knows who else is listening. We’d better just proceed to DuPont Circle. The sooner we get there, the better.”

“Hey, Hank?”

“Yeah, Johnnie.”

“You’re Momma know you took all that dynamite with you on this journey?”

“Oh...suspect not. She wasn’t awake when I left and I wasn’t about to wake her.”

“Good. Way I see it nobody needs to know you been usin’ dynamite against regulations. Course, I’m not sure what regulations even apply in this here situation.”

“Amen.”

Team Two continued toward DuPont Circle with an eye to every piece of detail that would be of value to Frank. All hunters, they knew that noticing a broken twig could be the difference between eating and starving, and they let both eyes funnel information to their brain stems where it would be processed and used faster than any computer yet devised.

Team Three was the only one not to encounter opposition on the way to DuPont Circle. It was the team Frank was leading and he was glad that thus far the Good Lord had favored him enough to keep the Jihadi’s off his ass and out of his way.

He took up position in an office building that had a clear view of the entrance to underground DuPont Circle. An investor some years back had cleared out the street people from the tunnels, paid millions to have stores built there, and made quite a sum of money renting store space to various enterprises.

His efforts had ensured that Frank and his three teams would now have a way to gain access to tunnel that led to the White House’s underground. Unfortunately, the Jihadi’s had also discovered the stores and had placed a substantial number of troops to greet Frank’s forces.

When Frank saw them entering and leaving as he waited for his other two teams arrived, a saying of his father’s came back to him. “It’s never simple. And it gets more complicated the older you get.”

“What’s that?” Todd whispered to Frank.

“It’s never simple!” Frank answered back.

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