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(WHNWC) Pavlov's House, Part One

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posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 01:52 PM
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I keep telling everyone about Pavlov's House. One under-strength platoon held an apartment building for thirty-two days against daily Nazi attack during the Battle of Stalingrad. They fought off tanks, SS paratroopers, waves and waves of Nazis day in, day out until relieved. The students don't believe me, of course, but I keep trying to tell them about it. I try to relate other last stands: Thermopylae, Rorke's Drift, the Imperial Guard. I keep trying to convince them that someone, anyone is coming to help us. But they don't believe me, seeing the crowd out there, gathering. Seeing the flames flicker, knowing that the anarchistos are down at the highschool lighting Molotovs. My crunchies know they're coming to try and smoke us out. They all know the odds. I think most of them have given up dreams of making their communities a better place, and settled for killing a few more black bloc asshats. My DIs would be proud.

I know how it started, I just don't know how it got so bad. I served in Afghanistan and Haiti as a medic. I did my time for my country, then came home. It was like living in exile, I guess. The military cushioned me from the civvie world. I came home to find that the government, the military, and the police were being branded Nazis for...well, for doing their jobs. The police enforced the laws, and they hadn't changed since before I made the choice to join up six years ago. Jesus, I know it for a fact; I was angling to get back to the dream of being a SWAT cop, maybe canine during my last month or so. I hit the books, brushed up on my law. Of course, I come back home, talk to my parents, and I learn about the BS that was going on before the Revolution. The Vancouver Riots, the attacks on off-duty cops. I took my severance pay, bought myself a small arsenal, and rethought my position from the safety of my parent's basement. My basement, now.

So, I went back to my alma mater, Sheridan College. They saw my resume, hired me full time on the spot as a graduate of their Police Foundations course. I guess no one else wanted to teach the next generation of police officers. I started that September, with the smallest class yet. The first time I saw them, they were a pitiful lot. Three had facial bruises earned on the way there, more that that sat glumly with food and spitstains on their clothes. Looked terrible, but it was my job to mold them into the sharp end of the justice system. I told them my credentials, and the very first thing I did was break them down into three sections. Gave them competition, internal and external. Then, I gave them a taste of hell- a three mile run on the track behind the school, spaced out with diamond pushups, leg lifts, and any other unpleasantness I could come up with. I did it with them, and the first day we weeded out the weak and gave the survivors something to bond around. Shared suffering, shared friendship.

It took a month to get them in shape, but they were there. I told them the first day of October that they were to take a poll, and give their platoon a name. Three sections, ten men apiece. I assigned leaders, and the three of them didn't disappoint me. I had given them crap all day, every day for a month, just like my DI's had done to me. Most of them had been given a 'final opportunity' to get themselves squared away to my satisfaction, which most did. They thought of themselves as the bottom of the barrel, so they came to me with a name that any recruit, anywhere could appreciate: 1st Platoon, A Div, commonly referred to as Cameron's Last Chancers. My boys and girls. Despite the news, despite the anti-police, anti military media stance, I didn't lose a one of them.

I made a small pennant for them, and during the daily PT had them running laps of the main building, shouting cadence at the top of their lungs. Every morning and evening, we did pushups in the pathway between J-Wing and the SCAET building in front of God and everyone. The flagbearer stood on guard, and often enough a sweaty young man or woman armed with eight feet of doweling was enough to discourage the passers-by from anything but verbal abuse. I still had to arrest more than a few of the more aggressive protesters, which turned into lessons by themselves. It didn't earn me any friends with most of the faculty, or the Dean, but I wasn't gonna put up with anyone laying a hand on my platoon.

It took until November of the first year for the guys to get to making a habit of shaving their heads, military style. The women were the ones who started it, keeping their hair regulation. The guys figured out soon after that a number-one buzzcut made hygiene less of a pain in the ass, and it looked good. Took only three months to learn pride and teamwork for my platoon. I suppose having the hatred of so many helped- walking in pairs or trios to cars to the sound of anarchist jeers. I never could figure out why the campus was alive with such violently anti-authority scumbags, and I never did.

The riots got worse. They went from events like the G8 riots, to monthly riots downtown. The protesters made a big stink about globalization, poverty, this and that. The police listened until the bottles and rocks started to fly, and the 'protests' turned th mayhem. Nathan Phillips Square was often a battleground. The injuries started to mount on both sides, and then in major cities. All of them, across Canada. Then a mounted police officer paralyzed a York University student, and things got a lot worse. Students and unions fought police openly for three days in Montreal. As the weeks wore on, police were mauled by projectiles, but protesters walked away from the fights worse for wear. Despite the restrictions placed on them, the thin blue line held.

It took half a year for the Liberals to get a proper lynch mob together and start tearing into police departments and the upper levels of the Forces, on a witchunt for corruption. They found some, yes, and it kept the fires fueled. More than punk protesters joined on the bandwagon- former hippies, peace activists, and the NDP openly called for senior police officers to resign, and a toughening of the federal policing laws. All the while, violent crime went up, especially against uniformed first responders. We watched, shook our heads. Crime rates were going up because the police were being harassed and attacked, not because they were slacking off. The harder the police had to work, the more likely they got themselves into scenes of alleged (and actual) brutality. The vicious circle had begun.

DE




posted on Dec, 29 2006 @ 11:16 PM
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They pull back, leaving their dead lit by the firelight of the shattered gas bombs. Bowers caught one trying to hop the back fence, gave him a load of buck. She's holding up pretty good, all things considered. My platoon can shoot straight, for green recruits. I call out for them to reload, check on 'em. No dead this time, so I go check on the wounded in the basement. Baker was reloading my old Mauser, shell by shell. His leg busted, he sat there atop a bunch of milk crates and kept fighting. There were a few others with bad burns and stab wounds, but we had no way to break out. We had no stretchers, not enough fighters. All we had was the house, and the willingness to die fighting.

I checked their bandages. Tracy and Gordon are doing well, well as can be expected.

"Two section, you have watch. Remember the backyard. One and three sections, get some shuteye."

My troopers nod, and I start to point out where the blankets are. It's our first chance for sleep in forty-eight hours. We fought off a mob, four determined assaults with police firearms, drivebies and the last attempt with fire. There must be fifty rotting corpses out there. We'd have to clear some of the debris, scavenge for more weapons. No telling how long we'd be there, and we sure as hell didn't want the Bloc getting their hands back on them.

Sporadic gunfire through the night, potshots to keep us up more than anything. Andover Road looks like downtown Grozny now. I put myself on watch with Two Section, Garand slung over one shoulder. Second story window, watching down the street with Bowers. She was dozing off already, so I gave her a nudge.

"Huh? Sorry sir."

"Don't call me sir, I work for my living. How're your men holding up?"

"Tired and sore, Master Corporal, but still kicking. Show me how to work this thing again?"

I walked her through the basics of the Enfield. I had bought up a lot of old World War Two guns, after I got back. No reason not to- they're cheap, and the most firepower a man can obtain legally up here. It was good enough for Chesty Puller, well it's good enough for me. I showed Bowers how to load, safe and aim her rifle before standing up to do my rounds. To my shock and surprise, not a single member of Two Section was asleep. My boys did me proud again.

I settled back down next to Bowers. She looked at me, brown eyes blazing in the reflected light of the dying fires outside. Pride in those eyes, so brown they were almost solid black.

"Master Corporal, get some sleep."

"And let you guys have all the fun? Damn no."

"You have to sleep sometime, and it might as well be here and now."

I knew she was right. Had to sleep sometime. But I also had to be on top of the next attack.

"It'll be fine. Grab a blanket, lie on the floor there. We have this watch."

I caved, I'll admit it. I shouldn't have. But she was right, smart, and a decent leader. Girl had it in her to be a warrant, if she went Army. I grumbled, got a fire blanket.

"Wake me up in two hours or I'll kick your ass."

I'd be up for the next two watches, I swore. But it didn't work out that way. Hell, I passed out before she could respond. I slept and dreamed, and my sections went through their watches without me.

I dreamed of the escape. We had been in glass, and in my dreams I saw the walls sweating. It added a surreal element to the entire ordeal. A cell phone call during class. I was going to ignore it. Luck, luck, luck. I picked it up, and the local chief of police was on the other end, warning me that...well, to expect trouble, that the downtown core was being looted. He was kitting up to head out with his men. Sure enough, there was the odd plume of smoke in the sky when I led my platoon on PT. We stepped out, saw the signs, and I turned them right around. Told them to grab their kit, assemble in class in five. I had a handgun in my car, and I didn't like the way things were shaping up. The chief of police almost never goes out, much less warns teachers of riots for no good reason.

"Alright, everyone," I said in the class, 1911 tucked in my belt and pulling it down, " class is off today. Go home, but no one moves alone. Folks with cars, give everyone you can a ride. Dis-MISSED!"

We walked out of class, to find the halls conspicuously vacant. Even during periods, there were at least a few people wandering around, getting gitch from lockers. Not a one, which set off all kinds of alarms for me.

"Stick together," I called behind me. There was definitely crap going down. I strained my ears as we walked past the computer labs, also fairly empty. I could hear a chant. I didn't like it. We walked down the hallways, out the front doors, without seeing a soul. No teachers, no security guards, no one.

"By the left, double time!"

My hackles were up. Something definitely wasn't right, and the sounds of the yells and chanting started getting closer. We broke into a run as we hit the pavement outside.

DE



posted on Feb, 25 2007 @ 12:59 AM
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Two gunshots in the night, and a flurry of fire.I start awake, go prone.

"STAND TO! STAND TO!"

Everyone's carrying the cry, fumbling for weapons and covering the nearest arc. They're not soldiers, they're cops. I peer out the window, see a young man in black reaching for a pistol on the ground. I bring my rifle up, watching the dawn light curl over the smoke of the burnt-out home across the street, and give him two .308s to the chest. He drops, more shots errupt, and they're on the retreat again.

"Section commanders, check your men!" I yell. I'm shaking a little.

"Two section, all okay!"

"One Section, all okay!"

A sob.

"Three section...Gordon's dead."

I rush over, and they weren't kidding. Lucky shot, I guess- took the kid right in the forehead. I cursed.

"One section, get ready to move. Two section, get upstairs to cover them, we're getting the guns and ammo out there. Three section...we'll clean up the mess."

I got a tarp from my workshop. Rolled him in while section three scrubbed the blood and gore up. I put him on my shoulder, walked him out to the garage. Nothing to be done. My mind drifted as I walked, back to the escape from Sheridan.

* * * * *

"Group group group!"

One and three sections bounded across the parking lot, as I pointed my 1911 around the corner of C Wing.

"Remember, up-he-sees-me-down!"

"Moving!"

"Covering!"

I moved with two section, kneeling behind a parked Taurus. The chants were getting louder.

"Towards the gym! Covering!"

"Moving!"

The first crack came, distant. It was in the courtyard near the Cage- the campus pub. The cheering and chanting grew louder. I spotted a mob forming at the entrance to the parking lot, rocking a car trying to leave. Time for a new course of action.

"Covering!"

"Moving!"

I ran back, watching my boys, trying to get a count.

"Towards the ravine! Covering!"

The plan was forming in my head. Back to my place, hole up there until I came up with a better idea. Another crowd started the round the C-Wing by the time it was our turn to move.

"Covering!"

"Moving!"

I heard more cracks, definitely from the crowd near C-Wing.

"Covering!"

"Moving!"

"Just run for the path, wait at the T-junction!"

I fired twice back towards the mob. They scattered as one figure in black went down howling and clutching his leg. By the time we made the woodline, there were regular cracks from the group to our left. Sparks danced as a round struck a Ford to my right as I followed two section onto to the gravel trail and into the trees. The first mob near the parking lot exit had begun firing at us as well. I put four rounds downrange towards Trafalgar, sending more black and red forms scrambling for cover.

Bowers panted a little, clutching a length of wood. Some of my students milled about, wondering what to do. Some knelt, others clutched improvised weapons. Well, better than nothing. A small crowd formed around me as I ran up.

"Drop any kit you don't need, troops. We're going to head up this path towards Upper Middle Road, cross. Keep to the woods until we get to my house, where you can all stay. Seen?"

"SEEN!" they answered as one.

"Master corporal!"

"Yeah Bowers?"

"Baker's hurt, so's Duhaime."

I looked them over. Baker's leg was broken, and Duhaime had a through and through in her forearm. Great. Three miles to go.


DE



posted on Mar, 24 2007 @ 10:31 PM
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"What's this?" called a voice. I walked over to where Havel pointed to a glass case. Inside lay a momento- my flag, given to me by the men of the unit I was posted to. Blue, yellow, black bands and the crest- VRI.

"Flag of the Royal Canadian Regiment. I was posted with them in Afghanistan."

He nodded.

"Can I raise it?"

"Offa what, son?"

"Dunno. I'll figure something out."

He walked off in a daze, the weariness in his eyes clear. Bowers started, head drooping.

"Shift off, Bowers. Now."

"Yes Master Corporal."

She sauntered off, and I took her place, watching the sun rise on a field of corpses. They'd start stinking soon, of course, but I wasn't sending anyone out to clean up. Too dangerous. My boys and girls were doing just fine- hell, I could hear them clearing out what was left of my food, cooking it up. Cooking beef came over the smell of rotting people. At least they were sharing, I thought to myself.

The memories of the march over came flooding back. Curses at a whisper in the ravine.

"Screw you!"

"Go die in a fire, Bowers!"

"I hope you have fat kids!"

"Shut it, scumbags!" I said in a normal voice, cutting off the bellyaching. "Bowers, on me. Duhaime, you good to go?"

"Yes Master Corporal."

"Gordon, Smith, help Baker along. The rest of you, form a circle. Rear three, keep a watch, make sure they're not following. Bowers, you're two-eye-cee from here on in, so stick tight. Seen?"

"Seen!"

We moved as quickly as we could- as fast as Baker's injury would allow. He had his arms slung over the shoulders of the two 'volunteers', limping furiously. We dashed along the path until we hit upper middle. I poked my head up the hill- nothing. Not a car in sight. I didn't know why. I could see a pileup down the street near Trafalgar Road, but nothing in the other direction.

"Alright, everyone across, double time!Keep along the paths!"

I tucked my pistol into my waistband, standing in the middle of the road until everyone crossed before darting across myself. The chants were distant now, but still there- too close for comfort.We moved through the ravines as fast as possible, skidding and sliding on the loose gravel. Bumps and bruises, a few scrapes, but it doesn't matter. We're running for our lives.

We crossed about a mile along the paths before emerging at River Glen. A car blew through a red light going mach chicken, obviously running to or from something. I didn't know. I could see smoke in the sky, couldn't tell where it was coming from. Things were definitely looking bad. Watts bad. Cincinnati bad.

"Alright, on me."

My students caught up, crowded around.

"Duhaime, Baker...you good?"

They nodded. I check Duhaime's bandage- blood flow wasn't too bad, must have missed the arteries. Good.

"Alright, straight across the road. Head towards the plaza, up the street, I'll lead the way.Seen?"

"SEEN!"

We dashed to my home in record time, fanning out on the lawn. Duhaime and Baker were carried at a dash by five students apiece- weird, but it made me proud. I whip the door aside, pull everyone inside. I remembered shoving them, pulling them in, treating Baker some more...

Goodman shook me. I had drifted off again. He handed me a pair of hardboiled eggs and a bottle of water, asked if I was okay. I nodded, downed the chow. Thanked him. He was walking away when he noticed it.

"What that out the window?"

I looked over, and sure enough the flag was there, tied to my eavesthroughs with paracord. I smiled.

"My flag. A show of defiance, son."

He nodded, weary.

"Shows we're still fighting."

More attacks. More bodies. Eight more of my students died fighting, five still clutching a wood axe or bayonet or baseball bat. They got that close. We threw them off again and again and again. By official counts, the anarchistos left more than a hundred of their dead on my lawn and in the street, and God only knows how many more wounded.

They came out of the darkness, flashlights playing quickly over bodies. My men scrambled to their redoubts and barricades, some clutching onto little more than empty rifles and dreams of vengeance for slain friends.

Blink blink, a flashlight with a red lens.They came no further, keeping to shadows. It blinked again, twice. I sent Bowers scrambling for a flashlight. White lens, but whatever. I signaled back, mimicking their message. A voice from the darkness as I tried to make out the figures hiding behind crumbled walls and shot up cars.

"What's the Regiment's first battle honor?"

"Northwest Rebellion, eighteen-eighty five. Saskatchewan. Regimental birthday?"

"Hell if I know. Sergeant Webb, A Company, Queen's Own Rifles. Warrant McNeally from the Lorne Scots is about five blocks east of here."

"Master Corporal Cameron, 2 Field Ambulance. Used to serve with the RCR."

Men slunk from the darkness, rifles at the ready. Salvation. It took the army about a week to rout the rioters, to restore order. But we had done our part to help. We held our house, just like Pavlov did.



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