I knew that the war would not end before Thanksgiving. Hell. It wouldn’t even be done before Christmas. I had a feeling that it might stretch into a long and very consuming struggle.
I only hoped that it would not take more than a year. I would not want to tie the world up in violence for any longer than that. Because war is hell. And I knew it was. I had fought more than my share of battles in hell that had nothing to do with my freedoms.
but then, by that time, I no longer really had freedom. No one did. It had all been stripped away by those who’d taken the power away from us. We had only the illusion of freedom. And the illusion soon wore off.
Our first losses were actual education, entertainment, and wages. Then we lost our weapons. Their view was that, without money to buy goods, we had nothing to steal. With nothing to steal, we no longer had need of weapons to defend ourselves.
Everything else was taken after we had nothing to care for it all. Our homes became ‘company owned’. We no longer had cars. We were forced to use ‘company transport’. We had become slaves.
Only mercenaries were paid. But they really didn’t make that much. Perhaps that was why they weren’t really all that loyal. With pay as miserable as theirs, I would have been too.
Perhaps that was their main reason for aligning themselves behind me. If the current system were to collapse, they stood to be able to regain a wage worth having. And perhaps, re-form the military that once was. It was all such a nice dream.
I was brought out of my thoughts by Tim. “Dan. The Saudis are on our secret channel asking for you. They say they want an alliance. The whole of the Arab world has joined them. Africa, too.”
I looked over at him. “Ok, I will be there in a second.” He shook his head and mouthed ‘NOW’. “Oh, alright. I am coming.” I turned and followed him to com central.
Central Command was a chaotic mass of rushing bodies. My board of directors had become my command team. All, having been soldiers in the same command I had been, were seasoned soldiers and generals. None more than Tim. He knew when a message needed urgent attention.
I stepped into the com-room. “Riyadh?”
A voice came crackling through. “This is Ali Ibn Bakr Al Saud. The last of the House of Al Saud. The proud kings of Arabia.”
I couldn’t help but smile. “Yes, yes. Can we get on with this?”
He seemed despondent. “Am I speaking with Lieutenant Dan Hargis?”
I looked over at Tim quizzically, who merely shrugged. “Yes.”
A relieved laughter came over the signal as a response. “My friend! Why do you still go by Lieutenant? You should be general by now.”
I smiled, though he couldn’t see it. “Yeh, I know. But once they had to put me back together, my climb up that ladder ended.”
His laughter lightened the mood. “Not so quick, my friend. You no longer march to their drum. You can give yourself a title worthy of the leader you are.”
I chuckled. “You’re right, Ali. So, what is on your mind? I know that you didn’t call just to catch up on old times.”
I could hear the smile in his voice. “Ah. You are so astute. So it is business you want to talk. And it shall be business. I remember our last meeting, the same one that caused your–employers–to have to put you back together. It was nothing personal, Friend.
“I hope all is forgiven? If so I would like to offer an alliance. We want to offer an alliance. The A.R.M. would like to become a part of your NRA. We might even be able to get the ARA and the ERA to join.”
I was confused. “The ARA? The ERA?”
He was apologetic. “Sorry. The Asian Revolutionary Army and the European Revolutionary Army. I am almost afraid to approach the African Separatist Army. Especially after the conflict I had with them a while back.”
I understood his dilemma. “All between us was forgiven a long time ago, Ali. Especially after I found out that I took one for those I now fight against. And that was not the reason I joined the federal military.
“Anyway, tell the Africans that I sent you. They might accept you then. In the mean time, I will figure out a way to send a message to them myself requesting that they accept you in talks…that you will be there in my place. Tell the other two that we should come together and attack simultaneously throughout the day and night. I would also like to coordinate the beginning of the actual war.”
His excitement was evident. “Yes, yes. Perfect. I will get right on it over here. Allah be praised. Will talk to you later when all is done. Over and out.”
I nodded. “Roger. Over and out. Godspeed.”
So there it was. An alliance was forming. I only hoped we could also bring in the smaller more underground groups from the far east and Russia. Not to mention the islands.
I looked over at Tim. “find out how to contact the Africans. I need to let them know that Ali will be coming to represent me in an attempt to form an alliance. I will not throw him to the dogs just because of something that was the fault of neither of us. Also monitor to see if China is buzzing with activity. We need to hit everywhere all at once and not let up until we break the backs of the corporations.”
Tim grinned. “Will do, Boss. Any other orders?”
I shook my head. “No. If you need me, I will be up with Margot. Oh. and when we get a chance, we need to call the troops together. We’re going to start stepping up our attacks.”
He nodded. “Will do.”
I left Central command and headed for the penthouse. Margot awaited me, and I didn’t want to disappoint her. This was my time. Our time.