Dead Reckoning, Chapter Seven
“Wolf team is in position” said the voice over his ear piece. “Roger, initiate op” replied commander Jim Suggs. They were about to enter a suspected illegal gun owners home and the stack of operators was just now moving onto the front porch. Suggs was a state boy. When the feds had asked the SBI to assist them in stomping on some of the holdouts he had jumped at the chance to impress some people in very high places. A real go getter by nature, Suggs had a reputation in the State Bureau of Investigation as a guy who didn’t mind doing whatever it took to get the job done. He had served in the Coast Guard and had worked in the State Highway Patrol for a stint before eventually being hired by the Bureau. Now he was showing these “Rube Goldbergs” that when the Federal Government says turn in your guns or face the music, you best get in compliance.
“Stupid inbred southern trash just won’t understand, we have to show them the light” he had told his team when they were in their first meeting. Now, they had ran ops all over NC and had taken out about as many holdouts as had been taken in. “Don’t wait til the rednecks shoot at you, be sure you take their heads off if they so much as look at you funny”. They had not lost a single man despite a few attempts by various targets. Overwhelming force and complete surprise was how to do this job well.
Lately, they had been running ops in the daytime. It seemed to be just as effective when they knew the targets were in the residence and besides, daytime or nighttime the outcome was the same. They had found out early on that some of the intelligence they received was not always accurate. After a raid where both occupants were killed and no weapons were found, he had started keeping a few guns from each raid to be sure there was always a weapon found at each site. “CYA Jim, CYA” he thought each time they had to plant some contraband.
As his team went through the front door after tearing it out of the frame he heard the flashbangs and then his team leader yelling “DOWN DOWN DOWN!”. He looked unconcerned as two suppressed shots in quick succession sounded through the yelling. Things seemed to quiet down after about a minute and his team leader radioed out saying “suspects are in custody”. “Sweep the house” he replied.
When he finally walked into the house he saw the suspects face down on the rug with flexcuffs on their wrists and one of the team covering them with his rifle. Beside the couple was a hound of some sort with most of its head missing. The woman was sobbing uncontrollably. Team members were tearing the house apart doing their job and it looked like another win for the good guys.
About an hour later the team had found a Ruger 10/22 and a single action revolver that were not in the serial number database of registered weapons. The old man had decided to not go along with FedGov’s mandate and had simply hidden the guns in the house. The problem with this was that both guns had been bought legally from a retailer and there was a paper trail. Records were scoured by an army of data analysts and “the list” was the result. If you were on the list and did not turn in the weapons recorded you were then on another list and a “no knock” was coming your way.
Both the suspects were put into a suburban and would begin questioning as soon as they were transported back to Winston-Salem. Often these “from my cold dead hands” types would spill the beans about others they knew who had weapons. It’s hard to be the stoic hardass when you go without food and water a couple of days with around the clock questions and no sleep. They most always talk.
The point of these raids wasn’t really to get the weapons out of the hands of the public, but to make as much noise as possible and keep the insurgency down. A few .22 rifles and shotguns here and there wasn’t what all this expense was about. It was about PsyOps, keeping the populace scared of assisting the idiots who were blowing up bases and putting bullets into politicians. By kicking in doors all over the state they were keeping the more timid of the would-be insurgents in their homes and not actively engaging in fighting. The sympathy level for the guerrillas was high and anything that kept it more in check was worth any cost.
Alone in the kitchen he sat at the table and noticed a plastic container of cookies. Removing the lid he ate one and breathed the sigh of a man who is right in his element and is doing exactly what he loves to do. Serving his country like so many before him, it seemed so noble. His dad would have been proud. Maybe he was watching, cheering on his son to victory. “Forward son, this nation has to go forward” his dad had often told him.
“Sir, everything is wrapped up here, do we burn it?” Suggs considered it for a moment. They had burned a few homes and claimed the owners had set the fires to hide felony evidence. “No, not this time…but just leave the dog in there on the rug. Should just about make this place uninhabitable in a week or so” he said with a smirk. Don’t want the lesson to be lost on any sympathetic folks who come here later he thought to himself.
Driving out of the gate he radioed the team and congratulated them on another perfect op. “Get some rest team, we have a busy week ahead of us”. He looked over at his team leader and smiled. “Good job today. We’ll be in this area for a couple of weeks. There has been lots of reported activity in this county and also there’s that missing FBI agent who was last heard from in this area. Mountain rednecks….”
Dave looked at the group he had assembled. They were a hardened bunch who had been fighting this dirty war for months. Some were off the radar, some still worked and owned businesses during the day. All were ready for whatever. Small pockets of resistance like this one were responsible for mayhem all over the FUSA. They were leaderless but with a common cause. FedGov had no head to target on this snake. “We have a team of door kickers in the county. They have raided several homes already in 3 days time. We plan to take them out, I need 2 hunter/killer teams and some ancillary help to make sure it stops ASAP. Who wants to take part in a little payback?” A smile broke across Dave’s face as every man and woman in the room raised their hand. “Outstanding, here’s what we’re going to do…”