It had been another exhausting day. As a bright orange evening sun penetrated the west-facing windows of the cabin, the group sat around the kitchen table eating dinner. For the past few days, Jake had been largely unsuccessful in his bid to sell his idea of taking up arms against the district government.
“Jake, I just don’t think that you’re living entirely in the real world,” Kevin said as he took small bites of smoked salmon. “This isn’t some Hollywood action flick.”
“War, what is it good for?” Sarah Jane was a near total pacifist. “Peaceful civil disobedience is the only way to go.”
“More like the most sure-fire way to get yourself killed,” Jake countered. “These aren’t nice, down-to-earth people who are willing to negotiate. They’re bloodthirsty and ruthless.”
“You don’t think we already know that?” Kevin said. “We only have a few guns and a limited supply of ammunition. Heck, we’ve been doing most of our hunting with bows and arrows. What good is that against a militarized force armed to the teeth and equipped with APCs, attack helicopters, drones and even fighter jets?”
“Kevin, you were in the military,” Jake said. “Surely you learned a few of the basic principles of guerrilla warfare.”
“When I was serving overseas, a large part of my duties, especially in the Middle East, was disarming and disposing of improvised explosive devices built by insurgent forces,” Kevin explained. “But there’s one big thing you’re forgetting, Jake. We’re living in North America. To be more specific, Canada. Very few people here are used to fighting. Most are just too comfortable. If you’re serious about organizing a strong rebellion, you’ve got your work cut out for you I’m afraid.”
“I realize the guy was a butcher who makes Hitler look like a choirboy, but have you ever read ‘Mao Zedong on Guerrilla Warfare?’ For starters, our enemy will supply us with much of the weaponry and provisions we’re going to need. Guerrilla forces dictate the timing of engagement with the enemy. When the enemy advances, we flee.” Jake felt as though he was driving his point home. “Save for a few local police, most of these goons are from outside the area. We know this country a hell of a lot better than they do. We will employ Taliban-style tactics; sniper attacks, roadside bombs, sabotage of bridges, highways, power stations…whatever we can do to wear them down. Eventually, we will link up with other resistance fighters and retake Kamloops. That’s how the Vietcong were so victorious. They began with small attacks and continued until they were strong enough to launch the Tet Offensive in 1968 along with the North Vietnamese Army. Guerilla warfare is quite possible. You have seen the Red Dawn movies, haven’t you?”
“I must say, you’re quite a military historian Jake,” Kevin said. “But, other than an impossible scenario where we ambush a supply column, you haven’t clearly outlined how you plan to acquire the supplies necessary to do this.”
Calvin looked over at Kevin. There had been something weighing on his mind the entire time.
“Uncle Kevin, I know of somebody who will be sympathetic to our cause.”
Kevin peered at him strangely.
“You mean that crazy old Irishman who lives in the woods off of the Caribou Highway?”
“My God, Calvin! If your father knew that you were associating with the likes of that! That nutcase supposedly set off a car bomb in Manchester, England back sometime in the early 1980s that killed four innocent people, two of them little children.”
“Kevin, I understand that Shamus may have been involved with the IRA at one time. But he’s been living in Canada as a model citizen for decades. He denies those allegations. Shamus is an avid survivalist who’s probably got all kinds of weaponry cached around his property.”
Jake was becoming interested.
“Calvin, how well do you know this man?”
“Well enough. Neil and I have spent a lot of time in this area hunting. We’ve been to his home a few times.”
Jake looked over at Kevin.
“If there’s a good chance he’ll be able to help us, we have to at least try,” Jake stated.
“I suppose so,” Kevin said reluctantly. He looked at Calvin. “The trip will take a few hours heading west. Whatever you do, don’t veer off the backcountry trails.”