An excerpt from a book I am writing which reflects life after EMP. There are similarities with the novel “One Second After" and the TV series,
"Falling Skies” They are not the inspiration, they just beat me to it.
(The entire world had been exposed to an EMP attack, rendering most modern electronics useless. No one knows who ordered the attack and every country
has been balkanized. It is truly a World War. This is the story of some of those who try to bring the United States back together.)
“Dragon 6. The field is clear and you are cleared to land.”
Steve Dragonov, breathed a sigh of relief and lined up his P-51 on the grass strip. It had been a hell of a mission. And he still had to land his shot
up Mustang. It wasn’t over yet.
He missed the automation of his old F-35. He chuckled. Heck, his great Grandfather may have piloted this very craft, he thought.
“It truly is a trusty old warhorse”, he reflected, patting the dashboard. It did get him home alive…so far.
USACOM (OHIO sector) 24 Hours earlier
Col. Miller pointed at the map. “Dragon, you are to escort a flight to attack the New River Gorge Bridge south of Charleston. Now I know we have
little in the way of ordinance to actually take out the bridge, but we must make it as impassable as possible. While the puddle jumpers concentrate on
dropping the loads I want your flight to suppress any AA fire and if you have the chance, use your rockets to weaken the support structure. I know
it’s a long shot and quite possibly suicide, but it has to be done”
There was a pregnant pause. “The squatters have managed to repair some modern armor and are moving north, things aren’t looking good at this
Steve snorted. Miller looked at him crossly, “You have a problem Dragon?”
“Hell yea Sir. They’re all suicide missions nowadays. But how the hell are we supposed to fight M1 Abrams and Bradleys with what we have?”
Miller looked at the ground. “We’ll do what we have always done, we’ll fight. The guys at Fort Drum are starting to bring things on-line, but we
don’t have enough….yet”
Steve looked up hopefully, “A-10’s, 15’s or 16’s? Hell, I’ll even fly a F-4 if need be”
Miller continued to look at the ground, “Not yet, too complicated, but they’re making in-roads. But they’re concentration is on a ground force.
Look, Dragon, I understand your frustration, but control of the air don’t mean squat without control on the ground. We have to slow the squatters
down before we can defeat them. We have to break that bridge.”
Dragonov stood up straight and smiled, “I’ll get my people ready, Sir. We’ll do our best not to disappoint. Dragon flight has never failed you
before have they?”
Miller chuckled, “Yea, they have, but they keep trying. I guess that’s all we can ask, eh?” Steve smiled, and shook the Colonels hand and exited
“Dragon”, Steve stopped in the entrance, “We’ve underestimated them again I’m afraid.”
“Squatters,” Steve mumbled as he made his way to the briefing tent, “They are doing everything but squatting. They’re nothing but a slave
Steve looked up to see his XO. Mary Johnson was a former stunt pilot and had a good head on her shoulders. MJ was also easy on the eyes, but you
didn’t dare tell her that. Besides, she already knew that. But she could be a ball breaker if need be.
Steve looked her in the eyes. “Uh, the squatters are moving north again, and we have been tasked with slowing them down, if not actually stopping
them. And they have actual armor this time.”
MJ grabbed Steve’s arm, “Armor? Like tanks? And we still call them squatters? They’ve taken like eight states in one year. They ain’t
squattin’ fer squat!”
“You don’t think I don’t know that!” Steve hissed, “They take anybody with a skill and put them to work, and those without skills, work the
fields until they’re dead. Hell, two years ago they had control of Georgia and South Carolina and we thought that’s where they would stay until we
could bring them back into the fold. I guess they want to bring us into their fold now, or kill us if we refuse. Tell the flight that the briefing is
in 12 hours. It’s time to take the fight to them.”
Southern Alliance (South of the Bridge)
Looking out at the Bridge through his Binos, Major Bill Davis thought to himself. “If we can take this, the Northeast will be ours; there will be no
stopping us.” He longed to see the US returned to its former self. He didn’t necessarily agree with the way Southern Command implemented its
rebuilding strategy, but knew that sacrifices had to be made. And it wasn’t like only blacks were slaves. Hell, his own XO was black. Only the non
producers. Those with no discernable talent were slave labor. “Of course,” he thought wryly,” we call them indentured servants.” Only until
this was over anyways, he told himself. Then they would be free to produce art, movies, or whatever. “Crap” he thought, “I miss movies.”
“Sir” Davis jumped, he hated, yet loved, the way his Deputy Commander moved about like a ghost. The man had a natural ability to move about yet
never be heard or seen. It was a talent that had been useful in the past. Naturally, his call sign was “Shadow”. It wasn’t racist, it just fit,
and he was the Deputy Commander after all. He’d best be able to step into his Commanders shoes if need be.
“Balls Miles! Stop startling me like that. I think you do that for fun” He extended his hand.
CPT Mike Miles smiled at his old friend and shook the proffered hand, loving every second of it. “Startled or scared, Sir? I received a report from
recon on the other side…it seems to be clear.”
“I’m rarely scared Miles, but often surprised…wouldn’t want life any other way. That’s what makes it challenging.” Davis paused, “So? Is
recon saying the route is unsecured?”
Miles leaned against a tree. “It appears so, but appearances can be deceiving, these hills can conceal all sorts of observation posts. Recon has
looked over the site within 1000 meters of both sides of the bridge. At least, the Yankees don’t have satellite recon….or do they?” He smiled
Miles had a PhD in history and thought it amusing that a black man would use the term Yankees as describing the enemy. He was also a veteran of
Operational Detachment-Delta, which was where he met his Commander and long time friend.
Davies looked dejected, “Miles, we have no air support on this one, they’re tied up in Oklahoma right now.”
Miles rolled his eyes and put his hand upon Davis shoulder. “It’ll be ok, just due to the valleys. The armor is about three hours out. Should I
send the teams out to secure the other side?”
Davis gave a lopsided grin, “Make it so. And do tell the boys to be careful”
Miles turned and walked away with a grin. “Will do Sir,…Flippin’ Trekkies.”
Davis turned, “What?”
Miles laughed. “Nothing Sir, talk to ya later.”
USACOM (Dragon flight)
“Dragon Flight, form up on me and we’ll climb 200 feet above the bombers. Target is approximately one half hour out. We are to provide cover fire
only, until it is clear that our efforts to take out the bridge are needed. Does everybody understand? I or MJ will make the call, if we are taken
out; it’s on you, your decision.” Multiple double clicks answered him. They knew the mission.
“Bombers?” Steve thought, ”They were just a bunch of mostly Cessna and Piper aircraft with a couple of DC-3’s rolling homemade bombs out the
cargo doors, low and slow for better effectiveness. That truly is a suicide mission. But with luck, we can weaken the structure and buy some
He looked over both his shoulders and observed mainly WWII and Korean War vintage aircraft, but also cobbled together civilian aircraft of all types,
25 prop driven aircraft in all. These were his fighters. And the pilots and aircrews knew their planes, what they could and couldn’t do. They were
the survivors of many battles.
The planes rounded the last bend in the valley and there was the bridge, right in front of them.
“On my mark, Dragon 1 breaks right and Dragon 2 breaks left. Good luck.”
Southern Alliance (South of the Bridge)
The radio crackled. “Spearhead, we have aircraft inbound.” Davis was always amazed at how nonplused Miles seemed, regardless of the situation.
Always the professional. He smiled, thinking, “If you could call a wiseass a professional.”
Davis held the armor up at the wood line and spread them out. He wanted the recon teams to push further out before risking such assets. “Thank God
for prudence.” he thought.
Then he heard them. Scanning the skyline he could not see them. Where are they? Like a typical infantryman, he felt powerless to stop the attack from
“There!” his Radioman pointed down the valley. They weren’t above the bridge, they were below it!
As the planes neared the bridge, they broke into two groups, raking each side with machine gun and rocket fire. No one was returning fire. Davis ran
down the hill to the nearest tank whose crew was caught off guard and had huddled behind it.
“Ya think you might want to return fire Sergeant?” Davis yelled. The Sergeant blinked at him for a second and literally screamed “YES SIR!”
The crew clamored into the turret and turned it to the left where the planes were regrouping for another attack. The main gun fired.
Davis crawled on top of the tank and yelled down into the hatch, “Machine guns you dumbass! You’re not going to hit a plane with the main gun! Man
The Sergeant looked sufficiently chastened and got behind the machine gun. “Sorry Sir, We’ll get ‘em.”
Davis smiled and patted him on the shoulder, “Good man, just remember to lead them before you squeeze the trigger, ok?” He jumped off the tank
before the soldier could respond. He had a feeling that he had a lot more running from position to position in his near future.
Southern Alliance (North of the Bridge)
Davis’s radioman was trying to yell, but it kept coming out a wheeze. The 1940’s radio he was lunking around was fairly heavy. “Sir, Shadow is
calling for you.”
Captain Miles was yelling into the radio while running for the next fallen tree. “Spearhead! You are shooting the crap outta my positions over here!
Davis couldn’t believe his ears. “Shadow! What in God’s name are you doing over there?” Then he remembered that Miles always liked to lead
from the front. He stopped and shook his head. “What’s your status?”
“I don’t think we have any casualties, but we haven’t been able to return fire because we are hiding from the planes and your fire, which seems
to be a lot more accurate I hate to say.” Miles chuckled. “Give the planes two passes so we can get to higher ground and out of the line of fire.
Remember, ButterKnife, (a term that Miles used occasionally to dig at his boss), interlocking fields of fire?”
Davis smirked, he liked how his friend could always make a light hearted comment in times of high stress. “Will do, I’ll tell the guys to button
up and whether the storm. But you only have two passes. Let me know when you’re in position. Spearhead, not Butterknife, ya goof. Out”
USACOM (Dragon Flight)
Dragon pulled an Immelman coming out off his second pass and lined up for a third run. The bomber s will be here in minutes, he thought; we have to
suppress the ground fire. And that’s when it hit him. With the exception of the first pass, there was no return fire on the second. He saw the
Bradleys and Abrams, but they were firing no more. The woods were on fire and obscuring things, He even thought he saw a couple vehicles burning, but
he knew better than to think they had taken out an armored force with what they had.
He broke radio silence, “MJ, bring in the gunslingers, one per side, one pass only and put ‘em back into orbit.”
“Roger that Boss.” The gunslingers were her pride and joy. A pair of converted C-7 Caribou that had quad 25mm Bushmasters mounted in the nose.
They were used sparingly and only when it was known that they would have a devastating effect.
Dragon climbed his aircraft so he could observe the attack. The Caribous came in low and slow, and then they started crabbing sideways and letting
loose bursts of high explosive shells. Dragon observed four fireballs as the shells found there marks. But they were only on the Southern side. He saw
no vehicles on the northern side yet. And all the fire seemed to come from the southern side as well. He thought furiously, “Well, they didn’t
make me a flight leader for nothing, time to make a decision.”
“Dragon Flight, regroup on me on the eastern side of the valley, we’ll concentrate fire on the southern side, I don’t think the vehicles are
Southern Alliance (South of the Bridge)
The radio broke squelch, “Spearhead, this is Shadow, we are in position. We’ll still be in the line of fire to a degree, but are better dispersed
and protected…I hope. Did I see a couple of Brads get hit on that last pass?”
Major Davis looked up the valley where he could see the planes forming for another attack. “Roger that Shadow,
Two totaled, the others was external storage fires...shoot straight and true, Brother.”
"You too, Brother, Shadow out.”
Davis straightened up and lifted the handset to his lips again. “All Spearhead elements, this is Spearhead 6, here they come again. Only open fire
when they are within 300 meters of your position and switch to the next aircraft once they are at your 12’oclock. Remember to lead the aircraft and
remember that we have Brothers and Sisters on the other side of the valley. Good luck and Good shooting, Spearhead 6 out.”
edit on 17-7-2011 by TDawgRex because: (no reason given)