Ladies and gentlemen - yeoman - all ships at sea and natives of any stripe lets go to press.

Fountains of exploding, gritty earth marked an Impact line of 37-mm frags just beyond the low hedge. Southward ACK-ACK etched the blue sky. Shock sounds chewed at my ears. Thursdays last coded email from Pavi. “DONT MOVE, SCRANTON”. Three emails last night said “RUN”. Earth and sky. We lay with water running down our legs in a shallow rock ditch. Across the narrow tracer infested green a double line of oaks beckoned. One shredded branch carried a tattered, faded militia banner. It waved the fools greeting; 'step up palsy - - get what you deserve'.

AK-47 gunfire rattled from behind us as a shadowy Federal picket advanced. Bitter bitch. “You had to talk to Pavi.”

Not just mini-balls; screeching 25-06-cal nipped our ears. My Leicas picked them out of Manitou Parks woody southern shoulder; against riflemen brush covered camoed sons-a-bitches till they hit the rose garden. Then militia snipers would bleed them. Now, the girl wants metaphysics. “He sent the message, - - messages, he did the planning, he did the killing, he did the escaping.”

“That's more than you do when you take my ass.”

“I don't expect a million hits webday either.”

Snickering - - “You said Pavis last four emails went both ways.” - - obscenely. “Bet he's an easy lay.”

I grunted. “NOW!”

A shotgun slug had chipped thru my knee-plate, and the girl was quicker than me, even carrying the digicam. Legs pounded and pounded and pounded. I stumbled behind, a weaving, stuttering stumble while 37-mm frags exploded where we had been or might have been or - - obscene cheers from the line of oaks and a crackle of A-16 hard-points. National Guard; unexpected. We dove into a shell crater, and rolled across granite spurs took squatting positions. You and me babe. Back to back. One A- -3 blood-stain sharing another. Her 38-cal Colt and my 357 Dan Wesson scanned the crater rim. It wasn't hard to find. Both barrels sent a useless patter of lead against the metal duck hiding behind Manitou Parks greenhouse.

“Wish we had a Peshi TOW.” Puffing and spitting she bit her lip and said. “Can the Seals hold HRI?”

HRI - - not just my webzine, but top half of a four story brick Victorian. The lapped walnut entryway sat at the curve quarter-way up east hill, skirting the borders of Manitou Park and backing stone hardpoints of the old Manitou estate. “Three more special-force guys defected from Kitsap.” Like I had anything to do with that, beside hiring the first batch of Seals. “They brought two docs , more Russian 14.5mm autos and an 81-mm mortar.”

“Gives us a bundle, eh” the girl snickered. “Fucking Kshama released and armed four-hundred kidskin molesters from the local perv-factory; another 400 came in by train - - the Feds gave them Ranger Lieutenants - - or don't your read your own morning copy?” She bit me above the mouth and I bled some.

“Jake wrote HRI morning addition, you and Jake - - “ The girl cringed, like I might slap her. My own blood tasted dull; I knew the numbers, but needed to eat more vitamins. Funny thing about the rail-lines. Both sides could blow-tracks in an afternoon, but both sides moved men and provision using their own diesel engines and neither side could repair damaged track for a month - - for two - - no Muzzi-wogs poisoning wells in the great-white-north so the tracks stayed open, unmolested on alternate days for each side. “Nothing westward changed overnight. City police and free-rangers hold downtown, and everything north of Washington Ave.”

“Will you stay to fight!”

“Bedroom closet has two Remington 308-cal semis.”

“What's left of the Spokane militia?”

Any numbers were good enough. “Two battalions, since two brigades were sent to Mt Rainier to push back narco.MEX raidiers. Pavi had almost got Sand Point fundies outa their lakeside bunkers. The Government oil-shale lab revolted, and since biker and Nevada air-clubs joined them for fuel it's a damned-well army they can swing.”

“They - - ?”

“ Lots of Yggdrasil people; hard right militia, ex-military and very tough men. Earth and sky.”

The girls eyes brightened. “You think?” She would have fucked right there, before putting 38-lead into my guts. I spit out a bloody mud chew. “No, Federal pervs won't capture the HRI building.” Not us either. We would not allow capture. Not by them. Decided yesterday after a fuck worth having.

“Now,” she hissed as a stream of 22-mm tracers raced over our head threading toward the rump Federal battalion gathered south, a vipers nest of rapists, paedofiles and stranded narco.MEX cholos that - - once armed - - had advanced across Spoken from the prison. Our militia defended high points in Manitou Park; they had once owned the city. Bitterly militia gave street by street, waiting for the Sand Point Nazi brigade to run in from the north. We ran - - again stutter-stepped as M1-A rounds chipped at grey granite outcrops and when we belted into the bullet- scarred line of leaf-heavy oak trees fear had frozen our blood and we had nothing left to give.

A bevy of 7.62-cal slugs danced dirt between us; strong arms pulled us behind a tree trunk. “Think you're feckin-A batman,” spit a guy in a three piece suit. The unexpected battle had backed that far down the combat ladder. He was watching the girl - - staring - - lusting. Shrapnel had slit her A- -3 and the breast showed bloody, scorched and un-noticed , as unaware battle-line tit mattered. Women at war will fight, but not like men. I learned that in the caves of New Israel.

“Bugger's got to talk with Pavi.”

Eyes pull away toward me. “Oh he does just so - - - and I've got to shit white.” The suit was a twenty-something slinging an M1-carbine ; 20-clip; coat, tie, tailored slacks he carried half a ripped right sleeve, patched with a seeping-red bandage. He gave a fuck-you salute with that right hand. “So this is Scranton. Since our unit came over from Seattle I read HRI web bullshit most mornings. Is any of it true?” He took a Camel straight I offered. “Any except - - except this crap?” He waved at the sleet of bullets whipping over our heads.

“True? Only G*d is true.” True enough, I thought to shock Washington DC limo-liberals; but those HRI shilled actions brought Seattle into revolt, led by homosexuals now more hoplite than fagot. Other cities too. Some fags wised up, like those who bled-out to liberate Puget Sound, but the kittenish soul-rot festered. This simpering bastard. I thought who, what, where, how - - -

Suit twitched and babbled. “The fight at Olympia was a rut - - who fucked first lived on first blood. Every man who escaped the airport got burned out. Pavis' band had to fight at the terminal to put-down Boeing Federal guards. Then beat-off tarmac snipers Kshama set up. By the end they were toast.”

Wasn't much, but a bogart left of my Camel; I cupped paws and sucked. Ex-liberal sympathy is what he wanted - - the pussy brigade of LBTG all grown up and simpering while Fed supported Muzzi-wogs slashed their throats, and the ISIL - - AJIB duo gutted their bleating lovers. Was this one of the galvanized fighters? Suit had bushy eyebrows, and the honest face of a practiced politician. I rammed the bolt home. “Where is Pavi?” Suit flinched. “Who's he with and how long will he stay in Spokane?”

“How would I know,” snarked suit? I hear the airplane landed, everyone cleared out taking militia SUVs .”

“Which one were you in?”

Glazed eyes sparked red. “Fuck you - - I came to Spokane three months ago.”

“Suit and all - - - “

Girlie whine. “Will, the bastard's just - - - gawd sakes tell him what you already know!“

From the airbase - - if you couldn't guess - - a missile bristling control-vans rose on a long-tailed barrel of flame, curved north and vanished above the blue. I followed it with the Leicas telephoto. More 37-cal smashed into the tree-line. We ate dirt, but the sprinkle of regulars held steady return fire. Two snipers with National Guard uniforms, A-5 armour and 338-cal long-barrels came scrambling to kneel beside us. An M-60 team reported to one, then scrambled south. Anybody could be general. I told half of what I already knew while they fired at leafy brown helmets.

“Story is palsy that after Governor Inslee was beheaded, Federal courts forced Stalinist Bantu Kshama Swaant as his replacement. Lawyers sued, citizens complained - - rejecting the gunbarrel citizens just sat to be butt-fucked by the Feds and the Feds aren't shy. Seattle City Council complained they were losing a sexually bivalent evangelist, kinda like a river smelt in California ag-canals. Big surprise - - promotion didn't bother her, even if she understood the language. Liberal Senators admitted for a sleeze-easy squeezer she was the best blo-job in Olympia. Bitch promptly freed and armed all state imprisoned sex-offender; fair's fair coastal liberals wonked and threw in Bantu bangers, kommi true-believer clutches and scattered bands of narco.MEX raiders. Trained in two weeks by sympathetic drug-addled forest rangers they were marched north-east to fight a second Battle of Spokane.”

“You natives ready for it? My software group was still cleaning Stuxnet from the power-plant voltage converters; Federals code real good. Us ready for battle? Not even - - !”

We didn't expect them for another four days, and this time their pickets caught us knickers-down.”

I looked at the two new men. “You heard any different?”

Months before - - with Seattle ruled by Debian whiteboards under a Committee-of-Correspondence - - the first bloodbath pitted a flood of escaped Seattle yellow-belly liberals against an unorganized, but determined county militia. With 270-cal deer rifles firing against M-14s, the reverse-rout had been a Federal and lib-com humiliation. Kshama thought the Seattle uprising a pot-headed freakshow; the proletariat needed discipline. She thought. That same night her Attorney General - - Ingo Pavi, a rag-head and supposed globalist pimp blew off her head with a 45-cal Glock , snatched a Dreamliner 787 and headed east from Olympia with his family, State Police SWAT, National Guard snipers, two dozen members of the legislature all reported armed and two squads of dark militia. He brought a small army east. But, east where - - now that was the question worth a million-hit day for HRI.

“Boeing people tell me the 787 has fuel economy like a 1968 Oldsmobile. Assuming the airplane left Seatac with gas-tanks half-filled, then the flight must stop in Spokane for fuel. No other option.:


“Canadians shoot Americans on sight anywhere near the border. Cars, boats, trains and planes; Brits orders since a Welshman now runs the country.”

Official like. “You talk lots, and know too much Scranton,” snarked the suit.”

Out of the loop - - out with the in-crowd - - “Blood in the veins for HRI,” I snarked back and suits carbine wavered just the slightest. You know when stuff goes to shit. My 357-cal was loose in a casual way under my left shoulder. “Since Federal raiders landed at the railroad station , Portland has been a slaughterhouse, with bodies clogging the Columbia River and Fed installed 100-mm anti-aircraft guns on the HP Campus.”

“Mafia makes planes pay to land at Las Vegas.” The girl was sure of it. She had once dealt black-Jack at the Sahara and thought she had fucked all the right people. She wanted the story published, like suit wanted a new right hand. But, without corroboration, backup, second source HRI never published a story no matter how lubricious.

“Every - - - “ a 75-mm TOW snaked into the tree-line and cut short her rap.

Talk is fat, a TOW burns bright and hungry with three sharp fins, a conish chrome head and black sensors behind the cone. This one snakes between us - - two arms-length you can see the metal blur and feel its hot breath before hearing snik snik snik - - and its silver cone snatched-off the suits head like a barber shaving a whisker and leaving a blood-spray passing away thick as the green rippling oak leaves. Not really the present or future it tosses the ragged body through the 2nd line of trees and leaves it burning in a clump. Then - - later - - the explosion beyond the roadway. Pulled through the stage of being aware, we are on the ground vomiting while the snipers work bolts and spit long-legged tracers into a house-line.

Two large explosions to the south turn blue sky burning phosphor. Trails of flame tumble ground-ward. I rise beside the girl her digicam grinding, and the armed men slammed us to the dirt. Then - - I count them - - eight JDAM ground explosions. One, two, three - - - eight. The granite infested ground rattles like a jar of marbles.

Death moves fast and I listen to snipers rap. “You wanna die, Scranton? Like those Nazi F-28s? For fighter- bombers they got too far south, too close to the Fairchild airbase.”

“The Air Force declared neutral.”

“Yeah, and snakes don't eat kittens.” He spit. “Neutral means ten miles away. Their Nike-4s keep the sky above them clean. Easy to die in this police action.”

“Mean Civil War number Two doncha?” I stared into the field and turned back. “Suit died.”

“Died? You mean Senator Hughs? Don't figure he cared much.” Sniper hunched over, intensely filling his 20-round 338-clip. “You ever been in a real war?” I said nothing. “Hughs - - Republican from the Oregon border territory - - his wife and daughter were raped and burned on the Olympic airport tarmac. A couple hundred Isis immigrants – we call 'em Obama Oreos - - jumped us hustling across to the plane. Yeah, yeah we know Obama's long dead, but the evil men do - - “

“Yeah I heard the story.” I looked at the girl; her face had bleached white, hands and arms the color of a tombstone. “Lucky the plane wasn't hit.”

“Dreamliner 787 is built with that self-healing plastic; drill a hole it refills, but not people.” That wasn't enough for the second sniper. “I was riding a luggage cart with my spotter - - my girlfriend, she just made corporal - - when a wall of dark slugs started the shooting. Our body armour took hits. Ragheads flooded the loading zone. Some of us ducked the Muzzi firestorm and some were just lucky returning fire. We both wasted a clip, reloaded and fired again - - I made it - - maybe our Glocks took down a couple-three head-choppers. ”

Heavy ordinance trawled the blue sky and explosions ravaged the far edge of Spokane River Canyon. Those shells were 203s and you didn't find them at Ace Hardware; two hundred pounds of snark would rip metal and guts from Federal resolve. Earth and sky; I was trying to match them up. He started crawling away. I said. “Sorry about your girlfriend. Did Pavi make it? He knows all HRI needs to know.”

It a quiet thing most times, an end or a beginning. Scratch of stones, 404ERROR strings in a /16 ipv4 address block, wind-whistle, a message runners pause - - hell has not forgotten you and such a ragged quiet descended over Manitou Park. Machine noise massive and uncertain rumbled somewhere far distant. Shadows of men stretched by the sun, but shortened by 300 meters darted along Federal lines. Then chaos. Three more JDAMS. Closer, flashing, shocking and the brittle drumbeat of Gatling guns. A sweep of mortar rounds hit the Federal positions pissing up dirt showers and tossing bodies like pine-cones. Four M-60 tanks firing and dashing threaded a path from flank left and a rash of 25-mm turrets and swastikas spread out behind them. Shouts swept down our tree-line and six rifle squads howling a Pict battle-cry broke into the green. For'ard!

Both snipers stood watching the tanks. “That's the Wittmann brigade.”

Itchy. New bullet-clips SNACKED into their magazines. “Sorry to say Mr. Scranton. Ain't no Pavi - - he'd been shot, assassinated the previous afternoon. A well kept secret - - everyone knew after Kshamas bitch secretary got water-boarded.” He looked away. “You ever been certain, Scranton?”

“Yeah - - certain that bullshit floats liked whipped creame.”

Sniper laughed. “Pavi did have his say, only much earlier. We heard him. Twenty-four senators brought pistols to Kshamas talk last night. Twenty-two slugs hit her. I know; I counted. Those involved scattered, then re-joined just before the airport. We joked and swilled bourbon having done justice sworn to our Constitution and got home free. ” He was running toward the Federal lines, screaming and firing - - -

We're home with another HRI. Returning to port, Ladies and gentlemen good night.