Bradford County's Finest

Discussion in 'The World Stage' started by Sylvania, Nov 18, 2018.

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  1. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
    Nick:
    RevolverZeek
    The Bradford County Sheriff’s department nineteen ninety eight Arrow Landmaster slowly moved through the fog, it’s headlights unable to pierce the the thick fog that had blown in from the Great White Lake that covered a small portion of Laurel State. The dirt road that Sherriff’s Deputy Jennifer Page drove over was filled with holes and ruts that made driving over it maddening as her body was bounced around in the seat of the SUV. A drive that seemed like forever was soon over as Deputy Page came to stop at a mobile home trailer that sat in a clearing in the woods. The mud clung to her boots as she walked, the wet ground clinging to her as she picked up her feet, followed by a wet sucking sound that echoed though the woods. Guided by the porch light that hung over the door to the trailer she was finally able to see the entrance clearly, the screen door hung open, the entrance like a black hole sucking in the white fog.

    “Norman you in here?” Deputy page called into the trailer, her knocks rattled the aluminum walls, drowning out the slight twang in her accent all Sylvanians from the mountainous south west have.

    A quiet wordless moan replied to her. “Drinking again, dammit.” She swore in her head. Page removed her boots to avoid tracking mud onto the carpet as she entered, but it was no use, the carpet was already covered in half eaten chicken thighs from the local Chicory Fried Chicken fast food restaurant. Almost slipping on a greasy bucket she made her way to the couch and in the dim light filtering into the room, she ripped open the curtains to find Norman Daggett, the Sheriff of Bradford County, drunkenly splayed out upon the couch still in uniform.

    “Dammit, Jen, what are you doing?” He said through a yawn.

    “I’m fixin to beat you over the head with a drumstick if you don’t clean yourself up and get back to work, we have leads to follow!” Jennifer said, half smiling at the pathetic display.

    Norman sat up on the couch as Jennifer sat down next to him. A copy of the nationally distributed Charleroi City Magazine sat on the floor, opened to an article about the kidnapping of Hailey Quincey. “I didn’t know you read the City Magazine,” Jennifer as she picked it up.

    "I don’t,” Norman sharply replied, “I just wanted to see what they wrote about the department. That trash reporter got it all wrong, for one, Tall Trees isn’t a suburb of Twin Echo and clearly they think this whole investigation will be headed up by the Twin Echo County Sheriff’s department. I could only wish that were the case, why what I would do to have 500 officers in my department. I’d be glad if we had 30 on any given day.”

    Norman stood up and walked to the bed room in the back of the trailer and closed the door to change into a fresher uniform. “What’s on the agenda for today?” He called through the thin particle board walls.

    Jennifer took out her pocket note pad and flipped through the wrinkled well used pages. “Well, last night we got a few promising tips we should follow up on, but first we have to visit Hailey’s parents in the hospital, they are finally stabilized and ready to talk about what happened.”

    Ten minutes passed as Jennifer put her boots back on and patiently waited for her boss to get ready, she had left the trailer, the smell of half eaten old chicken left her nose and was replaced with only cold earthy air from outside. The wet air stuck to her skin and clothes and a chill crept up her body as she stood there. Only Norman’s rummaging could be heard, no birds chirped, there was nothing but a deathly silence and the occasional creaking sound as the wind swept through the trees. Winter was setting in and with it the gloomy moods that accompanied it.

    The old SUV took only a few minutes to heat up and warm its cold occupants. The Sheriff and Deputy back out on the dirt road to drive to the hospital. With both hands on the wheel Jennifer carefully navigated the ruts and holes before finally finding pavement and the highway to the city fifteen minutes later.

    ”Did you get any sleep last night? Jennifer asked with a disapproving tone.

    “Not much. I can’t get this whole thing off my mind.” Norman glumly replied. “This kinda stuff is only supposed to happen in the big city, I can’t believe these kidnappings have made it out this far. I suppose the city is becoming to dangerous to operate in.”

    “It’s possible they aren’t connected, Norman. The Quincey’s have a lot of money, perhaps they are just waiting for things to die down before they call in a ransom.” It was clear Jennifer didn’t believe that herself.

    The talk died down for a minute before Jennifer started the conversation again.

    “You can’t be drinking right now Norman, we all need to be strong during this. We can’t let it get us down, this is probably going to happen again and we need to be ready.”

    Norman ran his hands down his face deciding not arguing with his friend and coworker. “Yea.” Was all he managed in response.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
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  2. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
    Nick:
    RevolverZeek
    Traffic driving into the city was light, there was never much of a morning rush into Twin Echo, like most of the border region the city was quiet and people took things slow and easy compared to the rest of the country. The fog had lifted by this time and a thin broken cloud layer occasionally gave shade to the people walking along the avenue that led to the hospital. Jennifer parked the SUV near the door, but out of the way of arriving traffic, outside the automatic sliding glass doors, a few nurses and other hospital staff in scrubs smoked cigarette and chatted lazily about work and other personal matters.

    “Hi were from the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office, in to see two patients, last name Quincey?” Jennifer queried the reception desk, after a few directions to the appropriate ward, the officers found themselves at the right room, breakfast was being served by a nurses aide as they walked in. Norman spoke first, “Morning, Mister and Misses Quincey, I’m Sheriff Norman Daggett and this is Deputy Jennifer Page we’re from the Bradford County Office.”

    Misses Quincey’s pale face, dark circles around her eyes and constant look of despondency set the mood, but Mister Quincey had on a braver, more determined face. “Good Morning Sheriff, I hope you have news of Hailey.”

    For a split second Norman looked at the floor, betraying his answer, “No Sir, we are still investigating the kidnapping, we were hoping to ask you a few questions about the attack.”

    Misses Quincey began the cry, it was clear that she was hoping their visit would signal good news, Jennifer moved in to comfort her while the two men spoke.

    Norman went straight to the point hoping to end the awkward meeting quickly, “Sir, we are looking for any information you two can provide, any details that could lead us in a direction that drives us toward finding your daughter. Did you perhaps notice anything during the attack? Perhaps the sound of their voices, the type of weapons they used, anything peculiar that they said or any kind of feature that might set them apart from everyone else?”

    Mister Quincey nodded in the affirmative, “At first I didn’t remember much, we were both in and out of consciousness for the last few days, but now I see that man’s face every time I go to sleep. In the attack I got the upper hand against the larger of the two who invaded our home. I don’t know how I did, but I got his ski mask off and underneath… he had a strange round head, his dull, brown eyes showed no emotion, huge pupils too, either he shaved his head or he just doesn’t have any hair, not on the top of his head, not on his face or even his eyebrows. He just didn’t look human to me.”

    “Huh.” Was all Norman was able to muster.

    “Yeah, strange face all around, I’d almost say he was like one of those gray aliens you always hear about on the late night radio shows. He was pretty pale, but he was a person alright.”

    Jennifer, looked up from the crying woman, “perhaps he had on pantyhose or sheer stockings over his head, you know like in the bank robber films? They obscure the face but you can still kinda make out what they look like, yet it makes them look strange in a way.”

    “Oh no, m’am. I could see his face plain as day, smooth like a baby’s bottom, we keep a lamp on in the living room and I could make out his face clearly. He had a pretty wide nose too, like a black man’s but he was white looking enough. Thin wide lips too, kind of looked like a worm wriggling around on his face.”

    Not much else could be gained from questioning the victims, the officers found themselves back out on the road. Norman chuckled to himself, “Bank robber movies.”

    “What? People do that, wear those hose on the heads to obscure their face. Right?”
     
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  3. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
    Nick:
    RevolverZeek
    With his hangover finally subsiding, Norman took the wheel for the drive back to the small riverside town of Tall Trees, where the kidnapping had taken place. Their destination was a gas station where the attendant had seen a peculiar sight from two unknown men that had stopped for gas the night of the kidnapping.

    “Hey, check it out.” Said Jennifer through a big grin. She pulled her notepad out of from an inside pocket on her jacket and produced a drawing she had made, it was sketch of the man Mister Quincey had described down to the last detail.

    “Holy crap! That is really good Jennifer! I had no idea you could do that.” Norman said with genuine surprise.

    “Well it could be better if I had more detail to work from but, I think we might be able to show this around and have some posters made.” She said, blushing at Norman’s praise. Jennifer was a great police officer and Norman knew that her time in the Bradford Sheriff’s Department would soon end as she went on to bigger and better paying law enforcement positions.

    “Who knew that Jennifer Page had such artistic talent! That is really something.” Norman continued.

    Jennifer opened up a little. “I applied to go to an art school In Charleroi when I was sixteen, but they rejected me, I’m kinda glad they did though, I don’t think the big city would be a good place for me. Seriously though, it wouldn’t hurt you to get to know your deputies a little better, Sir.”

    Norman glanced at Jennifer, she was turned toward him, in that moment she brushed a lock of her shoulder length auburn hair out of her eyes revealing her green eyes and freckled face. She was twenty seven and extremely capable, one of the few deputies in his department that wasn’t completely useless. It didn’t hurt that she was attractive as well, he took a look at himself, ten years older and already a beer belly to show for his unhealthy lifestyle. “Don’t even think about it, you don’t have a chance in the world with her.

    “We know enough about each other to work together, Jennifer, that’s all that is really needed.” Norman said, turning his eyes back to the road. “Besides, by middle of next year you will be on to a better paying department. Hell you could be a really great sketch artist. The world is, as they say, your oyster. A woman in law enforcement? They’d be scrambling to pick you up on that fact alone. Let’s not kid ourselves.”

    Norman saw a flash of annoyance across Jennifer’s face at his comments, “Oh, you already know what I’m going to do with my life, huh? Perhaps I’m gunning for your job, Norm.”

    “Ha!” flew out of his mouth before he could stop himself. “You don’t want my job, you know enough about me to see that all I can afford is that trailer I live in and beer.”

    A few moments passed and Norman thought that perhaps the conversation was over, but he could here her winding up for more. “Some people are happy with their lot in life, Norman.” Jennifer’s voice had taken a scolding tone. “I was born here and I might die here and I’m happy with that outcome. I might not be rich, but I stayed where my family, and friends chose to settle and I cannot think of a worst way to dishonor the memory of my family than to chase riches in a place that is unknown to me, that I have no connection to.”

    Norman, managed a quiet apology and the drive continued in silence. He scolded himself mentally for shutting down her moment of unexpected openness with his cynical behavior. Twenty minutes later they pulled into the Petro-Sylvania branded gas station.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018
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  4. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
    Nick:
    RevolverZeek
    A few moments passed and Norman thought that perhaps the conversation was over, but he could here her winding up for more. “Some people are happy with their lot in life, Norman.” Jennifer’s voice had taken a scolding tone. “I was born here and I might die here and I’m happy with that outcome. I might not be rich, but I stayed where my family, friends and ancestors chose to settle and I cannot think of a worst way to dishonor the memory of my blood than to chase riches in a place that is unknown to me, that I have no connection to.”

    Norman, managed a quiet apology and the drive continued in silence. He scolded himself mentally for shutting down her moment of unexpected openness with his cynical behavior. Twenty minutes later they pulled into the Petro-Sylvania branded gas station.


    Not much was going on at the rural gas station, located about five miles outside of the small town of Tall Trees, most would think it was closed if not for the visible lights coming from within the convenience store located on the premises. The sun was high in the sky by now, but it was hardly noticeable as the gray winter sky prevented anyone or anything from seeing the blue skies above. The fog, which had lasted till about ten in the morning was gone now, and with the grayness above, the color of the surrounding area seemed like it had been sapped away.

    “Oh boy, what a day this has turned out to be. I’d like to feel the sun on my face sometime before the spring.” Jennifer stood outside the vehicle they both had just exited, her hands on her hips, looking up into the seemingly dense clouds above.”

    Norman glanced at the sky but said nothing as he motioned Jennifer to follow him into the gas station. The inside of the gas station was dingy, everything about the place looked rundown. At the pay counter stood a a teenager, pimples and pockmarks scared his face, an inquisitive look ran across his eyes as he noticed their police attire.

    “What’s up officer? Anything wrong?” He said nervously.

    “Should there be something wrong?” Norman decided to play with him a bit before asking him who he was looking for.

    The teenager became wide eyed for a moment, “No, no, dude, just… we don’t see cops in here very often… is all.”

    Jennifer lightly punched him in his right shoulder, a signal to knock it off. Norman relented, “Don’t worry kid, we are looking for Robert Mills, you know him?”

    The teen relaxed, “Oh yeah, that’s me. Sorry I forgot I called the tip line, I didn’t think you would show up. Just call me Bob, nobody calls me Robert.”

    Norman got to the point, “You said you had information for us?”

    “Yea, yea, the night of the kidnapping, I saw something strange.” Bob paused.

    “Yes?” Norman said, trying to politely coax him into telling his story, he didn’t seem too smart.

    “Yea, like I said, I saw something strange. It was the night shift and I was working that night. Nobody usually comes through here at night, the town’s shops usually closes up around nine in the evening and traffic in and out of the are dies down.”

    “So you don’t get a lot of customers at night then, why stay open all night then?” Jennifer asked.

    “We used to get a lot of truckers through here, but after they built the new highway they haven’t taken the route through town since, my boss thinks we should still be open, in case business picks up again. Anyways, this sedan pulls up around one in the morning and I come out to do the whole full service thing, you know fill up the car and wash the windshield.”

    “You do that even at night? Wow. That’s dedication.” Jennifer said with a smile, Bob was still nervous and she could see the guy didn’t like telling his story to Norman.

    “Heh, well you know, the town has an ordnance that says you can’t pump your own gas, so I sorta kinda have to go out there.” Bob, looked at Jennifer sheepishly.

    “Anyways, I walk up to the car and I see this little girl in the back seat, two men got out of the car and told me to screw off, they could pump their own gas. You know this ain’t Auraria so I see a little girl with two guys and I get suspicious. They were real scary looking though so I went back into the store and watched them from outside.”

    “Did you notice anything about the girl? Was she sleeping? Or was she awake?” Jennifer had taken over the questioning as Norman took notes.

    “Well I didn’t get too good a look, but she seemed to be moving, wasn’t tied up or nothing, but she wasn’t sleeping either.”

    “Might have been drugged.” Norman commented

    “Yea maybe.” Bob replied. “After they were done fueling one guy came in and paid in cash.”

    Jennifer pulled out her sketch from the hospital, “Did he look like this?” She held up the drawing to Bob so he could see.

    “Yea! That’s pretty close, creepy looking dude, mean to boot!” Bob excitedly nodded his head affirmative as he spoke.

    Norman took over from here, “You didn’t happen to get a license player number? What about make and model? What about camera footage.”

    Bob shook his head negative, “No I didn’t get the plate number, the guy creeped me out, I didn’t want to give them a reason to come back. I also ain’t very good with cars, it was a black sedan though. I do have one working security camera outside, but it's poor quality. I'll get you a copy. I did see which way they went, that might help you."

    “Okay then, which way did they go, Bob?” Norman asked not expecting much from him.

    “Well you see where we sit on this corner here? That left turn there only goes to one place about fifteen, twenty miles from here.”

    Norman looked at the direction the gas station attendant was showing them and then suddenly realized where that road did in fact go. “Damn, that’s not good.”
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2019
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  5. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
    Nick:
    RevolverZeek
    Walking back to the old police Landmaster, Jennifer softly grabbed at Norman’s arm to stop him. “Norman, what do you mean that’s not good?

    Norman turned to face her, his face had an unusually worried look, a look she hadn’t yet seen in the year she had worked with him. “It’s just not good, do you know what is up that road?”

    Jennifer shook her head no, not many officers in the department had ever needed to venture out to this side of Tall Trees, it was quiet and sparsely populated and people kept to themselves. If any one had come out here it would be Norman usually by himself.

    “Up that road is a very large estate, one that many people in power use here to maintain their privacy, it’s well guarded and about 200 acres of land are kept clear and fenced off. If the people we are after went up there I can only think of two reasons why they would. One: they knew that Bob was watching them and they went up there and came back down to throw him off, which I doubt they really cared to do. Two: They went up there because that was their destination.”

    Jennifer scratched her head, she was unsure why Norman was being so illusive. “You didn’t say who owns the estate. What’s the big deal?”

    Norman let out a nervous sigh, “That estate is owned by Lars Ellington.”

    Jennifer’s eyes widened slightly, you mean the Vice President?

    “The very same.”

    “So then what are we waiting for then? Let’s get going.” Jennifer quickly got in the passenger side and waited for Norman to enter the vehicle.

    “Are you kidding?” Norman said to nobody in particular, he got in the SUV ready for an earful, but it didn’t come, Jennifer sat there waiting, staring directly at him.

    “You don’t pay attention to politics do you, Jennifer?”

    She didn’t respond to him, only reaching over to the ignition and bringing the engine back to life. Norman closed the door to the SUV and turned in his seat to face her.

    “This isn’t a joke, Lars Ellington isn’t a joke.”

    Jennifer looked deeply into Norman, not just his eyes but his very soul. “Are you saying child kidnapping isn’t important, Norman? Because suddenly it sounds like you want to drop this whole thing.”

    “No! Of course not, I’m just trying to… well you haven't even given me a chance to… look Jennifer, this is starting to look like something else is going on here. If we go up there, people who are much higher on the food chain are going to take notice.”

    “Norman, I understand why you are nervous, but we have no other leads, there is no evidence at the crime scene, all we have is the word of the attendant and some grainy camera footage. If we don’t go up there and at least ask or attempt to look around then we aren’t doing what we promised.”

    “You don’t have to tell me that! I know damn well what I promised!” Norman shot back. Norman turned away and slammed his hands down on the steering wheel.

    “Damn!”

    “So are we going?” Jennifer asked.

    There was no answer, Norman put the vehicle in drive and entered the road to the estate.
     
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  6. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
    Nick:
    RevolverZeek
    Leaving the gas station the Jennifer could feel Norman’s apprehension rising as they drove up the road to the estate. The road was well kept, probably the best kept road in the entire county. The road went deep into a forest of white oaks and tall pine trees that looked like they had been untouched since the dawn of time. The ride was quiet, Jennifer knew that Norman was not up for having a conversation so she looked out the window of the old Landmaster. the light through the trees added to the tense feeling in the vehicle, she could only imagine what it looked like in the usual morning fog, her imagination conjured up something from an old 80’s slasher flick. Hunting a kidnapper certainly added to the horror movie feel, she imagined that the kidnappers could see them driving through forest with some sort of supernatural monster vision one might see in those old movies she had in mind.

    Something strange caught her eye, something that didn’t fit in with the natural formations of trees, leaves and needles. Poorly hidden, she spotted a metal pole with surveillance camera attached to it, they were being watched after all.

    “We are on camera Norman.” Jennifer warned.

    “Nothing we can do about it now. Having second thoughts?”

    “No.”

    The officers pressed on, the road seemed to never end, but suddenly the forest did. Giving way to bare grassy hills, the expanse of land before them came into view and with it the sight of another vehicle quickly driving toward them.

    “Welcoming party?” Norman inquired.

    “Seems so, slow down they are turning to block us.” Jennifer replied.

    The SUV had indeed turned to block them coming close to almost ramming the police Landmaster.

    Two men in all black tactical clothing and body armor quickly exited the vehicle, with sub machine guns slung on their bodies and at low ready.

    Norman went to exit the vehicle but just as they opened the door, the men yelled for him to stay in the vehicle.

    “That’s my line.” Norman joked to Jennifer as he continued to get out.

    “GET BACK IN THE VEHICLE!” The man continued yelling his gun now shouldered and pointing at Norman

    Norman refused, “Lower your weapons gentlemen, I’m here on the authority of the County of Bradford.”

    “The County has no authority over Federal Protection!” The armed man yelled back. The other FP officer came around to the passenger side and opened the door to pull Jennifer out.

    Norman and Jennifer had no choice but to cooperate as the armed FP agents handcuffed them and put them on their knees by the side of the road. After they were secured and disarmed a man in a suit exited the vehicles the FP agents had arrived in after what seemed like an eternity.

    “What are you doing here? The county has no authority here. This is the home of the Vice President!”

    Norman gave an I told you so look and turned his head to face the man in the suit.

    “No answer eh?”

    Before the man in the suit could say anything else another car pulled up behind the police Landmaster, where Norman and Jennifer had just come from. Norman and Jennifer’s eyes widened when they saw who exited the sedan, but they kept their mouths shut. It was the bald headed kidnapper who the Quincey’s and Bob the station attendant had described.

    “Whats going on here?” The bald man asked. He did not seem alarmed to see the two police officers who were looking for him. He didn’t know what they had on him.

    The man in the suit turned to answer him, “Nothing is the matter Agent Levine, get back in your car and all will be settled quickly.” Agent Levine as he was now known to Norman and Jennifer returned to his vehicle, his eyes trained on them as he sat behind the wheel waiting.

    “I don’t know why you are here, but I don’t have time for telling local idiot cops to get off this property. This land is under the services of the Federal Protection Squadron and you are not to come back. Are we clear?”

    “Crystal.” Norman answered back clearly.
    ____________________

    As they turned around and left Agent Levine pulled up to the man in the suit and rolled his window down.

    "You think they know?"

    "Know what?" The man in the suit said with a dismissive look. "Don't you have a lot of work to do? God punishes those with idle hands."

    Agent Levine drove away toward the mansion.
    ____________________

    The police Landmaster was on its way back toward the gas station to return to the highway and ultimately the Sheriff’s Office. Jennifer broke the silence first. “Norman I’m sorry.”

    Norman shook his head. “You have nothing to be sorry about. With that said, we might have blown our investigation.”

    Jennifer opened the glove box and saw that the sketch of the kidnapper and the gas station video tape was still there. “They didn’t search the vehicle though. Perhaps we haven’t blown our chance yet.”

    Norman glanced at the items. “I have an idea. Want to do an old fashioned stake out?”
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
  7. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
    Nick:
    RevolverZeek
    The stakeout would begin that night, a trip back to town for supplies, food and a quick rest in the station break room would have to suffice for now. They had no idea if the kidnapper would leave the place, but they figured if they kept watch he would have to come out eventually.

    The area they would hide out in next to the gas station where they had identified the kidnapper, the vehicle was placed behind two large dumpsters, the rear was covered by a concrete wall, anyone coming down from the road that led to the estate would not see them waiting and they would not be able to see their quarry until they stopped at the stop sign where the estate’s road let out. Unfortunately they would be seen if anyone going to the estate had turned on to the road, but this was a risk they would have to take. Their plan was simple, wait for the vehicle they had seen earlier and pull it over, after that they would attempt to take custody of their suspect. It would be difficult to tell who was in the car from the distance that they where from the stop sign, the car the kidnapper had driven could be seen into, but the tint was enough that from a distance it was no use attempting to identify the driver. They would have to hope that the car they pulled over contained who they were looking for.

    It was dark by the time they had positioned themselves for the stake out. A heavy snow had come into the area, already an inch of snow had fallen in the last few hours. Norman kept the vehicle running for the heat and to keep the snow from accumulating on the windscreen. Three hours passed and the snow began to pile.

    Jennifer yawned, the urge to stretch causing her to stiffen up and push herself up off the seat for a moment before plopping back down. Her eyelids were heavy and she felt as if she could fall asleep at any moment. Rubbing her neck and taking a drink of cold water helped her fight off the feeling of exhaustion.

    Norman was wide awake, he wanted nothing more than to capture the man they were looking for. He looked at Jennifer and noticed how tired she was, “Jennifer, get some rest, I am wide awake, there is no need for us both to be awake right now.” Jennifer didn’t argue, she nodded her head, took off her coat and folded it up to use as a pillow up against the passenger side window. Sleep came quickly.
    He was left alone with his thoughts, his mind raced over what he would do when they caught their man. At least one of their suspected kidnappers, “What about the other one? What if they’re both together when we pull them over? Even if we do take them into custody, then what? There will be no way to hold them, not if the powerful people they serve have anything to say about it.”

    It was clear that once they had take whoever they found into custody, that it was a one way street from then on out. Norman explained this to Jennifer before they left the station, they had been the only one there, none of the other officers had much time to spend away from their duties and the dispatcher/secretary had already gone home for the day. He explained to her that they would most likely be forced to operate outside the law once they had custody of their quarry, that if any one were to find out, at worse they could be killed or the governor could strip the whole department and disband them entirely. Jennifer had agreed anyway, she knew that this had to happen, that even though the evidence they held was slim, that something much bigger than your average kidnapping was taking place here. There was no way that the kidnapper was not working for someone close to the Vice President or perhaps the Vice President himself. Why else would he be taking children to the VP’s private estate.

    Norman remembered how Jennifer had laughed after they looked back on their conversation as they drove to their stake out point. “Damn it Norm, we sound like some crackpot conspiracy theorists calling into one of those late night talk shows,” she had exclaimed. The memory brought a smile to this face.

    Hours passed, it was getting late and to save gas Norman turned off the vehicle, taking a blanket he had brought from the station he draped it over his sleeping partner so she wouldn’t freeze. There was no doubt that at this late hour it was most likely that nobody would come down from the estate. It might be days before anyone came down.

    Norman could feel his eyes getting heavy and before he knew he realized he had them closed for longer than he had thought, he forced his eyes open only to find the man they had been looking for standing right in front of him, pointing a gun right at him. Norman knew it was over as he jumped up from his seat in fear, letting out a yell to wake Jennifer before it was too late for her. He saw the flash from the gun’s barrel, his eyes clenched shut, he hit his head off the Landmaster’s roof and then found himself staring at daylight.

    “A dream,” he said to himself. Nobody was there, the snow was still pristine, no footprints, no tire tracks on the road to the estate, nothing. He had fallen asleep, but luckily they had not missed their chance yet. Jennifer had been awoken by Norman’s sudden jump from nightmare to reality.

    “Goddamit, we slept right through, are you ok? Jennifer asked.

    Norman was rubbing the top of his head, he might not have been shot but he did hit his head off the roof of the SUV.

    “Yea I’m fine, I had a bit of a nightmare. It happens.” Norman looked at his watch it was 6:30, the sky was clear after the overnight storm.

    “ I’m gonna use the toilet, be right back,” Jennifer said through a yawn.

    Ten minutes passed before Jennifer came back to the Landmaster. She stood outside the SUV for a moment, letting the cold air wake her up fully as she took deep a few freezing breaths. Then she heard it, the tell tale sign of a car coming, she could hear the crunching snow and the sound was coming from behind where they were, someone was coming down the estate’s road.
     
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  8. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

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    RevolverZeek
    Jennifer hurried back into the Landmaster. “Look!” She said breathlessly to get Norman’s attention.

    “I can’t tell who is in there.” Norman said.

    “We may not get another chance to do this. We have to pull them over.” Jennifer’s voice shook as she spoke, her nerves caused her to excitedly bounce in the passenger seat.

    The black SUV that had come down from the estate road turned left to go toward the highway entrance only a few miles down the road, from there they could go anywhere in the county or even the state. Norman threw the Landmaster into gear and entered the road to follow, he kept the police lights off, he wouldn’t throw them on until they were ready to pull the black SUV over. Norman made up a reason in his head to pull them over and briefed Jennifer as they closed the distance. Coming up on the rear of the black SUV, he threw the police lights on and put on the siren.

    Jennifer could barely contain her nervous excitement. “Look! They are pulling over.”

    The SUV had pulled over onto the shoulder of the on ramp to the highway and Norman parked behind and to right, blocking the entrance to the on ramp.

    Norman took a deep breath, what they were going to do was against all regulations, but it had to be done. “Alright, follow my lead and be prepared for anything.”

    Norman and Jennifer both got out of the police Landmaster, making their way to their respective sides of the black SUV. Norman could see in as he got closer, their suspect was the driver, but someone they hadn’t seen yet was in the passenger seat. Their suspect rolled down the window.

    “What’s wrong officer… oh it’s you again.” He remembered them from the previous day when they had been apprehend by the Federal Protection Squadron agents.

    “Yup, I’m Sheriff Daggett and this over on the other side is Deputy Page. Do you know why we’ve pulled you over today?”

    “No.”

    Norman put on a fake smile. “Well, it’s quite simple, the highway is closed due to the heavy snows. State of emergency was called last night because of the weather.”

    The suspect shook his head. “I haven’t heard anything about a state of emergency and besides we are essential personnel.

    Norman shook his head. “Regardless, I’ll need to see your ID.”

    The suspect grunted in an annoyance. Jennifer motioned for the passenger to roll down his window. “I’ll need your ID, sir.” She said, a tinge of nervousness in her voice.

    The passenger nodded and reached to grab his ID, it slipped from his hands to the floor of the car. “Whoops, I dropped it.” Jennifer suddenly became uneasy, she moved so she was ever so slightly behind the front seat passenger, her moving allowed her to see further in to where he was reaching. A flash of metal! Her heart stopped, was he drawing a gun? There was no time to think, her right hand moved to her holster, a click of kydex was the only sound she could hear as she removed her pistol from her side. Her vision blurred as she brought the gun to bear, all she could see was the sights of her semi-automatic pistol. What she didn’t see as her vision narrowed was the passenger turning to aim a pistol he had hidden on his ankle. His finger tightened on the trigger as he brought it to bear.

    A gun shot rung out, a second followed. The acrid smell of spent gunpowder intermingled with the frozen air.

    “Hand’s on the fucking wheel!” Norman, screamed. His gun was now out and aimed at the head of the driver. “Don’t fucking move!” He moved to open the door, his gun still trained on the head of the driver. “Get out! Hands in the air. No sudden movements!” The driver complied, he was covered in blood spatter. “Turn to face the vehicle! Up against the door! “Hand’s behind you back. Slowly!” Norman holstered his gun and hand cuffed the driver. He grabbed him by the arm and moved him to rear and slammed him up against the trunk.

    “Jennifer! Are you ok? Jennifer!” Jennifer Page stood still, stunned, her arms still outstretched, gun still at the ready.

    “Come back to us, Jenny!”

    Jennifer snapped out of it and holstered her gun. The man who had tried to draw down on her hadn’t fired a shot, but she didn’t know that yet. All she could see was the blood leaking out of the passenger’s head and neck. She had fired twice, one shot blew out his throat, the other had hit him in the temple, both shots had exited and miraculously missed the driver. Blood ran everywhere, the dead passenger was soaked in it and the dashboard was splattered. She felt the urge to puke as she surveyed the damage, but looked away and forced the feeling down. Her ears rung and eyes watered.

    “I killed him.” She said with a whimper.

    “Yes, you did. No time to worry about it, help me get this guy into the back of the SUV. They searched him and disarmed him, one gun in a shoulder holster, a knife in and band around his ankle. His cell phone and wallet they left on the top of the black SUV.

    The driver yelled as they locked him in the back of the police vehicle. “You really fucked up now, do you know what you have done? You are both dead! Do you hear me?” The both ignored him and slammed the door on his words. He was caged up in the back of the police SUV and couldn’t harm them now.

    “What do we do about him?” Jennifer motioned toward the black SUV, she couldn’t bear to give it a direct look. “We should call someone from the office.”

    “No, you know we can’t do that, we can ‘t let anyone from the office in on this yet.” Norman replied sternly. He came up to Jennifer, placed his hands on her shoulders and looked into her green, watery eyes. “He was going to kill you, Jennifer, you did what you had to do. We have a long road ahead of us and I need your help for at least a few more hours, you want to quit after that, I won’t judge you.”

    She blinked, a tear ran down her face. “No, I don’t want to quit. We have to stop these people.”

    “Good, now let’s stuff that dead piece of shit in the trunk, I’ll take their car and you follow me, I know a guy we can trust. We have to get some info out of our friend.”
     
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  9. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

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    RevolverZeek
    Norman made a phone call as they drove away from the scene of the altercation. Luckily the heavy snow the night before had kept prying eyes away from the roads and they were able to stash the dead man in the back of the black SUV without incident. In the police Landmaster the captured Federal Protection Squadron Agent Samuel Levine yelled angrily at the shell shocked Deputy Page. He was uspet that they had taken and destroyed his and his fellow agent’s cell phones. Levine’s hopes that his employer would be able to get him out of this situation and punish these two officers had been smashed with the phones. Clearly the two officers were operating outside the law and knew more about him than he had anticipated.

    Their destination was a scrapyard close to the border of Beautancus and Sylvania, the land was heavily forested but not overly mountainous. The border in this area was mostly a formality, one could cross between the two countries a thousand times by hopping over the imaginary line and nobody would know or care that you had done it. Not only had they left the more populated area in Tall Tree where they did most of their work, they had left Bradford County completely. The scrapyard was a treasure trove of car parts, old appliances, farm equipment, logging equipment and other various metals of shapes and sizes. The man who ran it, Tony Teteli (Tony wasn’t his real first name and nobody really knew what it was), was a sixty year old loner with a bushy graying bushy black beard and a greasy graying black ponytail coming out the back of his sweat stained baseball cap. His brown eyes twinkled as he came out of the squat ranch style two bedroom house he called home.

    “Norman! What the hell brings you here buddy!” He said with a heavy Cussian Indigene accent.

    “Tony I need your help.”

    Tony’s happy expression became very serious when he saw blood on Norman’s police jacket. “Jesus Christ! What happened Norm?”

    “I’ll explain everything.”

    Norman and Jennifer sat on an old couch across from Tony, he had spent a good portion of the morning explaining what had happened, his rationale and how they had gotten up to this point. Their prisoner was locked up and tied to a chair in a Quonset hut behind the house with only an old blanket to keep him warm.

    “Fuck man, that’s one hell of a story!” Tony finally said after a moment of silence, he wasn’t the least bit bothered about having a Federal Protection Agent tied up in his shed, he never really cared for the government or society in general.

    “So what are you going to do with him?” He said referring to their prisoner.

    Norman had a look of solemn determination on his face. “I’m going to torture him for information.”

    “And then what? Jennifer interrupted, she was still shaken over taking a man’s life. “Are you just going to storm the estate all by yourself?”

    “If I have to.” Norman wanted to sound certain but his tone of voice betrayed him.

    Jennifer punched him in the shoulder. “That’s suicide! You said it yourself the other day.”

    “I know, there is no point in arguing this, Jennifer. We have an interrogation ahead of us.” Norman stood up. Tony stood up as well. “I can help you with that.”

    Jennifer stood up with a huff. “You are really going to torture him?”

    “Look Jennifer, if you want to stop here I won’t blame you. Nobody but us knows you were involved in this. Go home.”

    “No, I just wasn’t expecting… I don’t know what I was expecting. Let just go and do this.”
     
  10. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

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    Inside the Quonset hut their quarry had exhausted himself attempting to get out of his restraints. Norman entered first, the Agent’s identification in his hand. “Agent Samuel Levine, Federal Protection.”

    “Fuck you, hillbilly.”

    Normally, this epithet wouldn’t anger him, but Norman was on a ever shortening fuse.

    “Nah, fuck you.” Norman said as he delivered a right hook to the side of Levine’s face. Norman shook his aching hand, he hadn’t pulled the punch. “Tell me why you took Hailey, I already know where you took her. I got you and one of your buddies on camera. Real dumb of you to stop for gas right before heading up to the estate.”

    Levine didn’t answer, Norman continued. “What do you guys do with them up there? Rape them?

    “I’m not telling you shit.”

    Tony put a hand on Norman’s shoulder to stop his pacing. “Look here Norman, the guy isn’t gonna talk and you ain’t cut out for this kind of work.”

    Levine sensed he had the upper hand in the interrogation, “Yea listen to the red skin. You aren’t man enough for this.”

    Tony turned his head to look into Levine’s eyes. “You know, when I was a little boy, my squaw maw told me a story, one of many stories, but it’s better if I show you.”

    Behind Levine there was a coal fired stove running that kept the hut warm, Tony stuck the poker into the coals.

    Levine laughed. “I can’t see what you want to show me if you do it back there.”

    Tony came back around and stood over Levine. “Don’t worry my friend, you will see soon enough. Come let us go have a bite to eat while we wait for our little surprise.”

    The three of them left Levine to have a much needed meal, Norman and Jennifer had realized that they hadn’t eaten a proper meal for almost a day and half, and even a simple meal would raise their spirits for the hard work ahead. A few hours passed and they soon found themselves facing Levine once more. Levine had one again struggled to try and get out of his bindings but had failed, Tony was no slouch with his knots. Levine awoke to find Norman and Tony turning the metal chair he sat in on its back so he faced the ceiling now. His legs had already been tied down to the legs of the chair and they were removing his shoes and socks. He had felt the heat of a heater on his back when he was moved into the hut but now, leaning back his head he saw the coal fired stove behind him, a poker sticking out of the slats in the stove’s door.

    Levine could feel a churning in the pit of his stomach as he slowly came to the realization of what was going to happen to him. Federal Protection training did not train agents to resist torture, only how to protect who you were assigned to. Clearly he was far outside the parameters of his mission when it came to working for the Vice President, but everyone who could get in the way had either been paid off or was part of the program so the thought of consequences had never occurred to him.

    Norman had finished preparing Levine, making sure the restraints were tight and holding, he turned back to to look at Jennifer who had been standing awkwardly in the corner, unsure of what to do. “Jennifer, you don’t have to stick around for this, why not go back to the house?”

    “I’ll be fine, I want to hear what he has to say.”

    Norman stood up and looked at Tony, everything was in order and now it was time. “You do the questioning, I’ll do the hard stuff.” Tony said, fully committed to going through with their plan.

    Tony put on heat resistant gloves and pulled the now glowing red iron poker from the coal fire. He walked over to and stood over Levine, where Levine could see him. Levine’s eyes widened, all of the cocky attitude he had early was gone. “Now like I said, my maw told me what the Tsapon’I used to do to people they captured, they take their feet and burn them in hot coals until they talked, or sometimes just for fun. They loved to hear them scream at the top of their lungs.”

    Norman came into Levine’s view, he squatted to get closer to him. “Now why are you kidnapping kids?” He questioned.

    Levine refused to answer, Tony took the hot poker to Levine’s left sole. The pain was instantaneous, the sound of flesh searing was drowned out by the high pitched screaming. Jennifer placed her hands over her ears and felt her stomach flip. Norman’s eyes remained on Levine’s twisted face, it felt good to see him squirm, to see the tears of pain well up in his eyes. What seemed like forever was only about ten seconds, Tony removed the poker from Levine’s foot.

    “YOU MOTHER FUCKER! I’M GOING TO KILL ALL OF YOU!” Levine screamed and trashed about uselessly. Norman laughed, “No you won’t, you are going to answer our questions or you’ll never walk again, I promise it. Tony took the poker to Levine’s right sole. The screams and thrashing started again. Tony removed the poker and went to heat it back up.

    Levine could see only Norman’s smug face, he could think of nothing but the pain. “No one is coming to save you.” Norman laid it on thick. “We will do this until you die if we have to. Just imagine day in and day out of this torture until die of a heart attack or some infection takes root. Either way, you will know suffering.”

    Levine couldn’t take much more, he was already passed his limit for pain, his feet were on fire from the burns. The smell of burning flesh filled the air. “Alright, I’ll tell you everything, please just stop it.” Levine had surrendered. Norman motioned for Jennifer to record Levine, just in case.

    “We take kidnap girls and boys, most of them had come from the Twin Echo area and the resort towns on the lake. The Vice President holds parties at the estate, people from all over the country, high ranking congress members, business men and even elites from other countries come to take part. I’ve never seen what they do up there. Everyone is paid off, the police, you name it, Ellington has them on his pay roll. We didn’t always have to take people from the surrounding area, we got them from poor countries, brought them in from the West Engell Republic. Then they got cocky, people started requesting local children. Guess, the brown ones weren’t good enough. I heard he runs some sort cult, they meet during the parties.”

    “When is the next party!” Norman yelled.

    “It’s in April.” Levine told him the day. “They stay for few days during the spring congressional break. Like I said, I’m either out looking for whoever they want, or working security for the event. I don’t know what happens in there!”

    “My gods” Tony said out loud. Tears streamed down Jennifer’s face. Norman knew what was coming but he was still stunned to hear it. “Tell us about security.”

    Levine shook his head, “I won’t!”

    “Tony!”

    “Noo, please not again.” Levine then divulged details of security for the last event. Guard placements, armaments and security features of the estate. Jennifer stopped recording.

    Norman picked Levine back up off the floor. Levine’s feet stung as they touched down on metal floor. Taking an old drop cloth that was sitting on a shelf nearby, Norman draped it over Levine’s head. “Hey, I told you everything, what is this all about.” Norman drew his pistol and shot Levine in the head, the cloth containing much of the splatter.
     
  11. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

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    That night Norman and Jennifer stayed at Tony’s place, they needed sleep, even Tony felt tired and oppressed by the recent events. They all felt like the fate of the country rested upon their shoulders. The next morning after disposing of the dead Federal Protection agents in a scrap crusher, their remains hidden within a crushed metal cube that was once their vehicle, they gathered to discuss what they should do with the previous day’s revelations.

    The conversation had started with defeatist tones starting with the idea of abandoning the whole ordeal, to stop while the body count was low and the already illegal actions prevented from spiraling out of control. What could they do against a government, let alone one run by a secret society of people who’s actions were so beyond the pale, to the average citizen it would be unthinkable? It would be easy to admit defeat, to go to the Quincey’s and say there was nothing to be found or discovered from the small amount of evidence they could legally rely on. It would be chalked up to another failure of underfunded county policing. What could the people of Bradford really expect from an underpaid sheriff and his over worked six deputies?

    Ultimately they knew what they had to do, even if it meant giving up their lives, the could not allow the horrors to continue. They discussed the means of how they would accomplish the goal of capturing or killing the people at the party, rescuing the kidnapped Quincey girl and anyone else who was being held there and finally exposing to the country the sick freaks which had sullied Sylvania. They knew that they would possibly be at the tip of the spear of an event that could spark conflict across the country, once people saw and heard what had happened at the Ellington Estate, they themselves might be compelled to take violent action. It would take months of planning and careful discretion in who they recruited to take part in what could be a suicide mission.

    Who would they recruit? Norman and Tony both had experience in the militia before it had been disbanded several years before by Executive order. They still kept in contact with their fellow ex-militia members. The men they could count on were hardy, working class folk. Men who’s fathers before them worked in the same factories and fields they currently worked at, who had drilled with their young sons on the weekend when the militia was still legal. They were the kind of men who listened to Dale Emerick’s show the West Engell Wild Man or Midnight in the Highlands with Bart Wells on their radios as they cleaned their SLR2’s after a round at the range or at night when unable to sleep. They were wary of government overreach and they had seen enough of it in their lifetimes that rousing them against government was only a matter of time and a matter of who or what would do the rousing.

    Their enemy would be well trained and well equipped; a force of forty agents would be on hand to protect the party or so Levine had told them. Surprise would only get them so far, they needed equipment that would give them the edge against men who trained to protect and extract politicians from dangerous situations. Their militia contacts would net them much of the equipment they needed, the government used to subsidize weapons and body armor. Men would pool money to buy vehicles, just before they had been forced to disband, they had purchased an M110 APC equipped with an operational fifty caliber machine gun. Another man had knowledge of the power grid and where it would be easily disabled to knock out power to the estate just prior to the attack.

    Norman, Tony and Jennifer over the months they spent planning gathered a small force consisting of forty two fighters they could trust not to blow the plan before it could be put into motion. thirty seven former militia and the five other young deputies who had been told the story and listened and watched in horror the video that Jennifer had taken. Everyone could feel the tension as the day drew near, in that time the snow gave way to rains and warmer temperatures. The events of the riots in Charleroi and the continued strange behavior of the Snyder administration only served to steel their resolve and prove to them their anti government views were the right ones to have. In particular the letter delivered by Orton to the airwaves and papers, which was well covered in the more conservative west, quickly forgotten out east and largely ignored by the international community shocked them all. The letter detailed a crimes committed and conspiracy to commit crimes of racketeering, money laundering, theft and most shocking of all sexual crimes against minors. If there had been any doubters in their camp, this letter had obliterated them.
     
  12. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

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    Attack Part 1

    They had gathered at a nearby garage owned by a friend of the groups fighters. Tonight would be the night they would attack. Levine had given them the time and place and even a who’s who of the attendees, businessman, congressmen and women, supreme court judges, members of the cabinet and the Vice President himself would all be in attendance. That was of course assuming he didn’t lie in some attempt to save his own life.

    Tony had put the finishing touches on surplus M110 APC that had needed work to get running. Fifty caliber ammunition had been loaded into the machine gun atop the APC and extra ammo cans had been stored away. Everyone moved about the garage checking their gear, a mishmash of different body armors, chest rigs, IFAK pouches, Lassiter SLR2’s, Lassiter SLR1’s from the 40’s and 50’s and as much ammo as any man could carry. Norman, Jennifer and the boys from the department who had volunteered put on their best uniforms and cleared out the small armory of armor, rifles, pistols and ammo.

    A silence had developed where once there had been a cacophony of velcro, weapons checking and the click clacking of metal on metal. Norman decided now would be the best time to speak before the deed was done or they all died.

    “I ain’t gonna sugar coat this guys, what we are about to do is insanity when you really think about it. A small group of people attacking powerful politicians? Most people today would say that death is certain. I’m no expert on history, but it’s rife with examples of small groups making change on a massive scale. I cannot guarantee that any of us will come back alive or at the least spend the rest of our lives in jail. However you being here today shows that you want to destroy the rot that has taken hold in our country. If any of you are having second thoughts you may take your leave now, nobody in here will blame you for it.”

    Not a single person moved. “All right, five minutes, we go.” There was no clapping, or cheering or hollering, everyone went back to checking or loading gear and steeling themselves for the battle ahead.

    It took them thirty minutes to reach the three way intersection that led to the manor where the party was taking place. Federal Protection had made up a check point at the gas station which had been closed down and kept clear of civilians.

    Two agents stood guard along the road, another five where in the station, everyone that needed escorting had arrived a few hours earlier and security at the checkpoint had been drawn down so that most of the agents were at the manor.

    A loud engine sound could be heard in the distance. “Hey you hear that?” one of the agents asked the other.

    “Yeah, it’s probably a log truck.” The two agents looked down the road, the approaching convoy masked by the dip of the hill the road was on.

    “No, can’t be. Sounds like a bulldozer or somethin..” His words were cut off by heavy weapons fire, the hill they had watched lit up with fifty caliber gunfire as the APC peaked over the hill. The round tore up the vehicles that blocked the road and impacted into the gas station behind them. One of the agents standing guard was sprayed with blood as the other’s right arm exploded into ribbons of blood and sinew. Another agent running out of the gas station convenience store to see what was happening was cut down mid stride, blood spraying out of his back as the round exited.

    What was left of the Federal Protection Agents that had been stationed attempted to take cover inside the store, but were mowed down by the APC’s gun, the stores flimsy counters, shelves and glass windows providing only concealment.

    The old Police Landmaster came flying past the APC up into the station after the gun fire stopped, Norman and Jennifer led the Sheriffs Department volunteers in a sweep of the building, finishing off anyone still alive before they could interfere. Exiting the store as fast as they entered, Norman signal for the APC to push through the vehicles in the road block, the crunching metal of the vehicles being pushed out of the road revealed the last agent, who attempted to run toward the woods away from the intersection. An SUV in the convoy hit him with a sickening crunch, his body going underneath the vehicle and being torn up by the undercarriage.

    The screams, gunfire and grizzly sights of their lightning attack on this small group did not faze Norman, his face was blank as he rounded his group back into the Landmaster, they merged back into the convoy to continue the advance.
     
  13. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

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    Attack part 2

    The convoy traveled up the one lane road to Ellington’s manor, the APC in the front to cover the SUV’s and the deuce and half carrying a majority of the men. Two SUV’s full of federal agents raced down the road only aware that something was coming up from the cut call from the gas station. A total of eight agent’s ran into a blaze of fifty caliber gun fire from the gun atop the APC. The lead enemy vehicle ignited and caught fire, racing past the APC into the woods, the screams of the agents that hadn’t been instantly killed could be heard as they burnt alive. The other enemy SUV stopped and the at least three of the agents dispersed into the woods to take cover. The machine gun took another agent down who was unable to get to cover quickly and the other two were pinned down, unable to return fire lest they also be cut down by the machine gun.

    They kept moving, the woods gave to open field and the manor was in sight, up ahead a larger group of men had taken position along a wall, the enemy was outgunned, perhaps one carbine to every three men, compared to Norman’s small army each equipped with some sort of fully automatic rifle or high powered rifle of their own. The fifty caliber opened up again, laying down sweeping suppressive fire on the men along the wall. Norman’s men clambered out of the deuce as it began to take some fire, they returned fire as well. The reports of pistol and automatic fire lit up the the darkening evening sky.

    The convoy had stopped, its occupants taking up positions behind vehicles, the ramp of the APC slammed into the ground as eight men spilled from the back, the back turned away from the gunfire and the fifty caliber covering them as they took up positions. Norman and Jennifer opened fire at targets taking cover at the wall, the wall was low and did not provide much in the way of protection from penetrating rounds grinding the wall apart from repeated hits. In the corner of Norman’s eye he saw a few of his men cut down from flanking fire, it was then he realized that men were shooting at them from the manor itself. He yelled for the gunner of the APC to put suppressive fire on the manor’s second floor. The rounds tore up the ornate exterior and broke glass, the enemy gunfire lessened as a result.

    Inside the Manor, the ceremony was taking place in a sound proof room and the agents guarding the only entrance to the room were unsure of what to do.

    “What the fuck is happening outside? One agent asked the other.

    “I’m not sure, should we go in?”

    “Fuck no, hold on.” The agent reached for his radio and changed to the channel the outside units were using. Suddenly the hallway was filled with the sounds of screams and confusion blaring out of the radio.

    Inside the sound proof room, a group of Sylvania’s most power men and women spoke in a strange language, a chant that harmonized and filled the room with a haunted aura. They wore ornate masks adorned with symbols and made their faces too look disfigured or were made to look like an exaggeration of the human face. The walls were decorated with the contorted figures of humans in pain and agony, interspersed with owls, stags and other unknown horned creatures. The room was not well lit, in the center four figures were lit up by a central spotlight hanging down from the ceiling, two figures stood before one who was clearly leading the ceremony, he carried a staff and would raise it along with the raises in the harmonized chanting. The crowd was barely lit, only the light of the central spotlight barely revealing them as they circled around the center of the room. In the very center a child was hung upside down, bound and gagged, her face flush as the blood rushed to her head, underneath her lay a large wash basin, currently empty.

    Suddenly the chanting stopped. The commanding figure ceased his circling and stood before the two masked figures.

    “Reveal yourselves to me!”

    The two figures removed their masks and their robes, they stood nude before the commanding figure.

    “Behold, our two newest members Veronica and Felix, lovers, leaders and craving mastery over human cattle. With the consumption of this child’s life force you shall be fully inducted into our Order and deliver your people to us in secret slavery.”

    The commanding figure reached into his robe and pulled a long sharp blade, the steel flashed in the light of the spotlight and upon seeing this the child began to thrash and buck at her restraints. “As the Horned God commands! We sacrifice the child and receive his blessing” The commanding figure raised the knife to the child’s throat, muffled screams could be heard. Veronica and Felix stood motionless their gaze locked on the child.

    Behind them a door swung open, the crowd standing in front of the door parted, the commanding figure stood perplexed and suddenly there was automatic weapons fire, Norman’s band streamed into the room, each firing full auto left and right into the crowd, the surprised screams were drowned out by the deafening hail of gunfire. The masked crowd attempted to find escape, crowding into each other, clambering atop each other as they attempted to flee certain death. The commanding figure dropped the knife and disappeared, climbing into a secret passageway built under the room and covered with a carpeted hatch. Veronica attempted to cover herself and flee, but soon found herself on the ground her body being crushed and trampled by others attempting to find a way out that didn’t exist, a foot stamped down on her throat crushing her windpipe.

    Felix in some vain attempt at heroics charged at Norman who was changing a spent magazine, he blocked with his rifle and received a knee to the groin. The gunfire had dissipated as the attackers saw the carnage they had wrought, allowing Jennifer to hear Norman yell out in surprise, she came up behind Felix and with a thrust, plunged her combat knife into Felix’s throat, blood gurgled out of the wound and out of his throat onto to Norman who wide eyed and reeling from the knee to groin fell back, Felix falling atop him dying.

    “Get this motherfucker off me!” Norman yelled out Jennifer called for a cease fire and pulled the bleeding man off him.

    Norman got right to taking control of the situation. “Jennifer cut the poor girl down, if you will.” Jennifer acted quickly taking the unharmed child out of the restraints and carrying her down so she was no longer upside down.

    “Where’s Ellington!” Norman yelled out. People where going through the dead, dying and cowering elites clumped up against the blood sprayed walls, checking faces for the Vice President.

    “I don’t think he’s here!” Someone yelled out. Then the child motioned to Jennifer to check the floor, she had seen Ellington’s escape. “Norman!” There is a hatch here!
     
  14. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    1,370
    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
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    Charleroi
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    RevolverZeek
    Attack part 3

    Norman opened the hatch and looked into the darkness, he turned back to Jennifer. “Have everyone set up a perimeter, gather ammo off the dead and get our wounded into the house.”

    Jennifer looked perplexed, “You are going by yourself?”

    Norman didn’t answer, he reloaded and checked his gear and ammo reserves.

    “I’m not letting you go by yourself! Who knows whats hidden down there.” Jennifer, relayed Norman’s orders to Tony and prepared herself to enter the hatch as well.

    Norman took a deep breath and switched his weapon’s light on. “Alright lets go then.”

    The hatch was the size of a mans crouching height, forcing them to hunch over and at times crawl on one hand and knees as they kept their weapons ready for any surprises.

    Meanwhile Lars Ellington, Vice President of Sylvania had discarded his mask and robes, he was clothed underneath unlike the now two dead inductees. The hidden passage had gone down underneath the house and then spiraled up, exiting into his personal study where is computer and a direct line to President Snyder awaited him. He sat at the huge ornate oak desk and logged in and then made a phone call, unaware that he had been followed.

    Thousands of miles east in Charleroi a phone was brought to Snyder who had been working late that night.

    Her assistant brought a wireless phone to her on a silver platter. “Madame President, a call from VP Ellington. He says it’s an emergency.”

    Snyder looked up with a peculiar look on her face, she knew he was inducting Veronica North and Felix Ilchester of Engellachia into their Order, she knew everything about the Order for she was instrumental in its funding.

    “What’s happening, Lars.” She asked as she put the phone to her ear.

    There was a panting and wheezing coming from the other side, a furious clacking of a keyboard. “LARS!” She yelled out in her shrill voice.

    “They attacked us, I don’t know how they found out. Must have been that man we lost… should have looked into that harder, but preparations distracted me. Damn it all!”

    Snyder’s heart began to race. “What?” Her shrill voice rang out again. She was confused.

    “They’re all dead, North, Ilchester, Adelmann… all of them. Dead… Bunch of hicks with guns.” Ellington’s breathing was short, quick and showed no signs of slowing. His body was shuddering from the adrenaline high.

    “What do you mean? That’s impossible!”

    “Listen, Snyder, I’m wiping my computer you should do the..” Suddenly shots rang out, a burst from a rifle and the sound of the phone being flung to the ground. Back at the manor, Norman had fallen to the ground, his left shoulder was bleeding. Jennifer stood over him, smoke creeping out the barrel of her SLR2, she had just shot a burst into the Vice President’s gut, blood seeped through his expensive clothing as he grasped at his abdomen.

    “Norman are you ok?!” Jennifer yelled, kneeling at his side. Norman signaled for her to help him and they both went over to the computer.

    “he’s already entered the password, we have full access. Looks like he was trying to wipe the computer but didn’t expect us to be on him so quick. It seems like everything is still here.” Jennifer showed Norman who was grasping his shoulder.

    On the computer were lists of people involved, with fully names, addressees and their positions in society and the cult. A roster of every Federal Protection Agent working security for the Order, How many children had been kidnapped and sacrificed, sources of money leading from the Southern Poverty Action Center (SPAC), the Snyder Foundation and a myriad of other national and international organizations and accounts.

    “We gotta send as much of this as we can to whoever will listen.” Jennifer told Norman. Norman knew just who to send it to. Jennifer was more tech savvy and so flurry of emails with large file sizes were sent out to Dale Emerick of the West Engell Wildman, the popular nighttime radio show Midnight in the Highlands, the Charleroi Tribune Review, The Charleroi City Magazine, Vesper 24, The Tiroe City Register, The Twin Echo Post Gazette and then another sent to Katalin Faraday, Chairwoman of the Federalist Party and Ashley Breckenridge, President of the Continental Congress. They tried to think of whoever might listen to send the files to and it took them a while to gather the files and addresses of all who they were messaging.

    “I know you may find it strange to receive an email from the Vice President of Sylvania, but this not him and this is not spam. The files contained within will change our nation, it may break it, but it must be done. - J and N”

    The work had been done and Norman began to look pale, the wound was worse than Jennifer had thought and in the mad hurry to get the information out as quickly as possible she had neglected to check how bad the wound was.

    Back in Charleroi. Snyder was shaking, but she knew what had to be done. She picked up the phone and had the operator make a call.

    “Air Force Chief of Staff.” A man’s voice answered

    “Please standby for the President”
     
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  15. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    RevolverZeek
    Great White AFB 234th Fighter Wing - Twenty miles north of Twin Echo.

    “Cipher Two One, check.”

    “TWO!”

    “Great White Tower, Cipher Two One, ready for take off in sequence.”

    “Cipher Two One, Great White Tower. Winds three five zero at one two, climb and maintain one zero thousand, fly runway heading, runway three three cleared for take off, change to departure.

    “Cipher Two One, climb and maintain one zero thousand, fly runway heading, runway three three cleared for take off. Switching! SEEE YAAA!’

    Two F-10E Strike Wyverns took the runway at Great White Air Force Base and put in afterburner lighting up the night sky with fire and breaking the silence of the still countryside, in thirty seconds they punched their way into the flight levels began to level off inverted and then rolled over to complete the climb. Previously another F-10E was sent out and now holding over the target painting it for the laser guided munitions that would be dropped.

    Captain Victor Haraldsson was in command of the flight and flying the lead element, Cipher Two One. His wingman 1st LT. Mark Halsey was in the second element, Cipher Two Two. Captain Haraldsson broke the silence.

    “This mission still feels strange to me, terrorists are in control of the Vice President’s personal home? Where did these guys come from? And no input from Major General Spears? This just comes down from the Chief of Staff and the President. I don’t get it Mark.” The radio clicked as he unkeyed.

    Halsey Keyed up, they were speaking over their assigned personal frequency so as not to congest ATC freqs or block command from speaking to them. “I don’t either, but with the troubles that have been stirring lately, what with the riots and the terrorist attack on Breckenridge, I can’t say I’m terribly surprised.”

    The F-10E’s were twenty minutes out.

    Back in Twin Echo, Sander Rygaard the Third sat down for a late night supper with Major General Spears, the two were meeting to discuss the acquisition of trucks and other heavy construction equipment needed for Great White AFB and of course the two had been long time friends.

    General Spears took a sip of the whiskey and ginger ale that had been set before him and sighed with satisfaction. “Well Rygaard, it’s been a while, the country is still going to shit, but at least I can take pleasure in the company of a good friend.”

    Rygaard nodded. “It’s good to see you old friend and I agree, things have been bad for quite some time. We have no friends, our trade partners are looking elsewhere the military is growing weak with every passing year. I’m surprised you even have the funds to come and discuss equipment with me, Spears.”

    Spears laughed. “Well I still have my ways of summoning funds from thin air, but even that’s drying up.”

    Suddenly both men’s cell phones erupted into a cacophony of rings and notification dings. Spears swore, he couldn’t get away from base for an hour without someone calling him with some trivial matter. Rygaard looked curiously at his phone, Katalin Faraday had sent him a text telling him to call her ASAP.

    “Strange, I haven't talked to Kay in a year or so.” Spears had already answered his phone, so Rygaard gave her a call. The dial tone rang out once and a breathless woman answered.

    “Miss Faraday, to what do I owe the pleasure?” Rygaard said as she answered. Kay’s usual calm voice sounded frantic over the phone. “Mister Rygaard, something has happened… just check your email, this is what we have been waiting for. Call me back when you see it.” Kay hung up and Rygaard saw the email waiting for him on his smart phone.

    Meanwhile Spears was incredulous at what he had just been told. “What do you mean the President ordered a strike? Where?… Of Course you can tell me, I’m you commanding officer you idiot… That’s only an hour from here!… Why was I not informed?… No! before the launch! Informing me now doesn’t help me!

    Rygaard interrupted, he could glean from what the General was saying that fighters had been launched. “Spears, please listen to me closely. A group of patriots discovered a child kidnapping ring run by the VP and funded by the President. You have to trust me, I can show you the information, but you have to stop those planes. If they came from your base we may have only a matter of minutes to take control of this situation. This is what we have been waiting for!”

    The General looked at Rygaard, he had never seen him with such an earnest, pleading look on his face. His friend wouldn’t lie to him, he had to at least put a wrench in things before the President regained control of the mission.

    Spears got back on his phone. “By my authority I am ordering you to stop those fighters, put them in holding, vector them around, I don’t give a shit. Do not let them bomb that house!”

    Back 23,000 feet and thirty miles above and away from Ellington Manor as Norman and his band of patriots treated their injured, gathered their dead and secured the area the F-10E’s were close to being on station for the drop of their laser guided munitions.

    Captain Haraldsson began to go through some final checks before he began to the final run to the drop point, when he got a call from base controllers. “Ciper Two One, Great White.” Haraldsson answered, “Go for Cipher.”

    “We have orders from Major General Spears to suspend the mission, turn right direct Twin Echo VORTAC and hold south east on the one five zero radial, five mile legs and await further instructions.

    “Cipher Two one, Wilco.”

    “What the fuck is going on?” Haraldsson’s thoughts raced. Halsey spoke his mind. “Haraldsson is their something you aren’t telling me? Are we under attack? Why is command so confused?”

    Haraldsson shook his head, unseen to Halsey. “I don’t know Mark, but we are the ones in the air, I’m following this order until we can figure out what the hell is going on. I’m not gonna drop a bomb on our own soil with a schizophrenic command in control. Come one let’s head to the VORTAC. We have fuel for a few hours.”
     
  16. Sylvania

    Sylvania Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    The Heart of Dixie
    Capital:
    Charleroi
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    RevolverZeek
    Jillian Snyder sat in the situation room with trusted members of her cabinet and the Air Force Chief of Staff watching a TV screen showing infrared video of Ellington’s private estate. It would only be a few minutes until a two thousand pound bomb obliterated the terrorist annoyance. She had already wiped her personal server, but it wouldn’t matter if the servers at Ellington Estate were not destroyed.

    The situation room phone rang, the Director of Defense answered.

    “What? We gave direct orders!”

    Snyder rushed over and ripped the phone out of his hands.

    “This is the President, I WANT THOSE TERROISTS BLOWN AWAY! I WILL NOT TOLERATE DELAYS!”

    The caller attempted to explain that Major General Spears had interfered.

    “HE IS NO LONGER IN COMMAND! KILL THEM NOW!”

    She slammed the phone down onto the receiver.

    Joe Bernstein, Director of Foreign Affairs broke the awkward silence. “We’re facing a coup! That’s the only thing this could be!” An aide burst into the situation room before Snyder could deliver her shrill response.

    “Madame President!” The aide called out. Snyder directed her furious stare at the offending aide and angrily gestured for her to speak up. “Madame President, the switchboard is being inundated with calls from the media, they are asking if you are the leader of some pedophile cult!”

    Snyder began to shake and feel lightheaded, it didn’t matter if she blew up the terrorists, the information was out and there was no amount of damage control that could possibly fix this. She fell into her seat, the leak would undoubtedly lead to a nationwide firestorm of proportions not yet seen. Suddenly visions of her being pulled out of the Executive Mansion by her hair and being strung up by armed citizens filled her head. She had to leave before morning, but where would she go?

    “Prepare Continental One.” Snyder ordered.

    A few hours later at the Ellington Estate the sun began to peak its head and light the windows of the mansion. Norman and his band had counted forty dead Federal Protection Agent’s and fifty two dead Order members. For Norman, he had lost twenty one men in their lightning attack upon the house and he stood, with his left arm in sling and the bullet wound patched up as best as could be done. He stood staring out an east facing window, looking down at where they had made their approach a line of dead bodies had been laid out. They had found a dungeon with five skinny children, including Hailey Qunicey who had been the one Ellington had planned to sacrifice. The children had suffered unspeakable horrors in their captivity and they would undoubtedly never be the same, but at leas they were alive for now.

    “Alive… for now.” Norman chuckled to himself, he had envisioned that if they had made it this far they would be surrounded by police or military, awaiting a final shoot out. Norman opened the window, it swung out letting in a cool spring morning breeze. Looking toward the treeline he could see the opening the road cut into it and his heart skipped a beat. A line of vehicles was coming up the road and they were almost in the clearing. Norman got on the radio. “Everyone get in the house we got company!”

    The few people who were handling the dead outside grabbed their weapons and headed inside, the fifty cal was out of ammo, so it would just be them and their rifles. Jennifer ran into the room and called out to Norman. “Who is it?”

    “I don’t know, but there is a lot of them, look armed men coming out of the tree line.”

    At the front of the new convoy coming up the road was a SUV with a flag with two stars and another flag with the Continental Air Force seal on it.

    “Air Force?” Norman thought to himself. He got on the radio and ordered everyone to hold their fire. Something was strange about this.

    The convoy stopped and men with guns and cameras began to take up positions, the men with cameras began to take photographs of the dead line up in the field outside the house.

    A man in a blue Air Force uniform and another in a suit got out of the SUV. Norman heard someone remark over the radio that the man in the suit was Sander Rygaard the Third.

    General Spears took a bullhorn and pointed it at the house, he could see men with guns in the window. He pressed the bullhorns on switch, “We got your e-mail.”

    Five minutes later, Norman Daggett and Jennifer Page were standing before Major General Spears and Sandery Rygaard, their rifles slung over their backs.

    “We sent your e-mail to everyone we could in the military and they are in full revolt against Snyder’s admin we are hunting her and her cabinet down as we speak. The military is full of patriots who appreciate what you have done here.” General Spears said after introducing himself, he shook both Norman and Jennifer’s hands vigorously as he spoke.

    Rygaard smiled. “You’ve watered the tree of liberty, you are heroes and we are going to make sure that you are honored as such, but the situation is liquid at the moment, I’ve known for quite some time that something odd was happening here but I couldn’t break through their wall of secrecy, but here you have handed us the opportunity to retake Sylvania and make her pure again. With all that said, it is not safe for you to be seen in public and we want you to come with us so we can protect you. Do not worry, these men will document what you have done here and make a proper archive of the damning information you have found.”

    “What about the children.” Jennifer asked.

    Spears nodded with understanding. “Of course we will take the children with us and provide them with top medical care and psychological aid, they are going to need it. We will inform their parents in the coming days. Please do not worry.

    Norman stood in awe for a moment, he truly thought they would die in a final shoot out. Jennifer turned Norman to face her. “We did it Norm.”

    Norman was stunned, he was about to echo her statement when she grabbed him in an embrace and kissed him in celebration. Norman paused to enjoy the moment and then turned to the house, with her arms till around him and raised his hand in a fist.

    “We did it!” He yelled and the men who had followed him erupted into cheers.

    To be continued
     

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