Tim had found the frequency at which the African Separatist Army had set their coms. He sent Simi up to inform me, and I grudgingly followed her back down into the bowels of the building to where the com center was. I was in slippers and night pants, all tucked nicely under a silken monogrammed robe. I was out of uniform. It made my staff grin and giggle. I merely smiled lopsidedly.
when I got into the com center, I looked at Craig the communications monitor. “Is this an unmonitored signal?”
He didn’t even look up. “I am checking, Sir.” He shook his head. “No sign of spy-net signals. It is safe.” He handed me the microphone.
I took it hesitantly. “Africa Corps, come in.”
Another old, familiar voice came on. “Not quite what we call ourselves, but go ahead, Daniel Hargis.”
I smiled. Tony Umbwele. “Tony. I am trying not to draw attention to you if anyone is listening. But I need you to listen. I am sending Ali Al Saud to meet with you. He is representing me. we are trying to solidify the opposition and form a single driving army working in unison to bring the tyranny to an end. If we are at least willing to drop our old names and think of a single one that builds a bridge between us, then coordinate our actions so that everything happens in unison and the corporations are kept off balance, we may just succeed in bringing them down. If not, then we may or may not succeed. And I would place my bets on the ‘not’. This is too big for just one group. It has to be all or none.”
Tony was silent for a moment. “What is the overall name?”
I paused in thought. then I smiled. “The New Revolutionary Army. We will be known as The North American Corps here in the states and Canada…and maybe Mexico. Each continent that joins will be named accordingly. You would be the African Corps. Al Saud would lead the Arabian Corps. And so on.”
He did not hesitate. “Agreed. But can I still give Al Saud a hard time? Kind of make him think I won’t before I agree?”
I smiled. “Sure. Why not? just don’t make him too nervous, OK?”
He was silent for a second. “Agreed. Better get off here before someone does start monitoring. Over and out.”
The com went dead before I could reply. Tony was a smart man. Smarter than most Americans, that was for sure. But, then, we both came from an era when education was still important. I stood for a moment, staring at the mic.
I handed it back to Craig. “Keep monitoring the signals, will you? We need to have everyone onboard before Thanksgiving.”
Craig nodded. “Yes, Sir.”
I headed back to bed. Simi looked at me. “Going to get your beauty rest?”
I let our a sarcastic chuckle. “Yeh right.” I looked at her. “Tell Tim to keep the shifts going all night. when one team comes in, the next team needs to go out. The more damage we do, the easier it will be to gain an overall victory.”
She smiled. “Yes, Boss. Now, good night. Go back to your wife.”
I turned toward the door and waved at her as I exited the Command center. “Bye.”
Morning seemed to come so quickly. I was up before first light and out the door. I would eat MREs down in the command center. I let Margot sleep. Her night had been a rough one. between the leg cramps and flashbacks, she had fought a war all her own all night. I felt sorry for the kid. Hell. I knew all about those night terrors and those horrible flashbacks. I had suffered them all after I came home.
Just because I was half machine didn’t mean that I had lost all memory of everything. On the contrary. I remembered it all. Even things I shouldn’t have remembered. Like the surgery to save my life.
I could just imagine what her nightmares are about. Firefights. Being behind enemy lines. The horrors she saw. I know, I had been there too. No one needs to see that.
After the last one, I held her close to me. She fell asleep shortly after and stopped having the nightmares. I watched over her the rest of the night. And cried.
I cried because I knew I couldn’t do anything to help her. I couldn’t take her pain away. I couldn’t stop her nightmares. I couldn’t help her fight the enemy in her mind.
She made her way down to the command center around noon. I handed her an MRE. “We’ll have a nice dinner tonight, I promise.”
She smiled sadly. “Sorry about last night.”
I put my arm around her. “Don’t be. I know what it is like.”
She looked at me. “Mine aren’t mere night terrors. Mine are premonitions. Warnings.” she hugged me tightly. “Promise me that you will never leave me.”
I looked into her eyes. “I Promise, Baby. I will never leave you. Why? What’s wrong?”
She shuddered. “I saw the corporations working on something last night. A secret weapon of sorts. They attacked this building with it and killed everyone in it. If they are allowed to build a secret weapon, they will destroy us. All of us.”
I waved Micah, Tim’s second in command over. “Tell the teams to search deep into the corporations for their secret laboratories. Their development centers. We need to stop any weapons development they might be doing. Destroy their labs and development centers. We cannot afford them getting their hands on something that could destroy us. We are man’s last hope.”
He nodded and scurried off to relay the direct order to those troops already out. Our fresh teams were coming in were also being briefed on the new mission. Soon, everyone, everywhere knew what needed to be done. We had started Operation: Stay alive.