Trulbert! Part XXXVII – Armagitdown

 – 3:55 PM, November 7, 2015 – Inside the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

“Looks like they’re maneuvering to surround us”, Os muttered as he stared through the window from the second story of the Federal Reserve building.

“That’s what I’m counting on”, said Fleen.

The two men, along with Hendrickson, crouched behind a rough barricade of government-issue desks and file cabinets that they’d piled near the window as rough shelter from…

probably nothing they’ve got, thought Hendrickson, remembering how he’d seen the bullets from the socials tear through just about everything in their paths.

Fleen pulled a small gray case from his messenger bag, opened it, and withdrew an absurdly large pistol.  Looks like something from a comic book, thought Hendrickson.

“So you’re going to shoot at them with a pistol?” Os asked Fleen, his voice quavering and on the edge of despair.

“In a manner of speaking”, Fleen replied absently, loading a cartridge.

– 3:56 PM, November 7, 2015 – Hennepin Avenue in front of the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

“Surrender now and avoid any pointless bloodshed”, Steve Oswaldson yelled into a bullhorn.

“Maybe”, Ilktost japed to Todd Chuffle, the gunner in his social.

“Yeah, right?” Chuffle replied, beaming and anticipating getting to fire the big machine gun again – something, he thought, that gave his life the first real meaning it’d had.

The three men – and men in the other 20-odd socials pulled up along Hennepin, and the infantry million around among the vehicles – startled as the sound of one of the Fed’s glass windows shattering from the inside.  A square – six by six feet – broke out.  Out of the darkness inside the building stepped a tall, slim figure in a crisp white suit.

He didn’t say a word.  He aimed a pistol into the air.

“He’s gonna shoot!”, bellowed Chuffle, swinging his machine gun around.

Fleen fired first; a bright green flare arced into the sky over Hennepin.

– 3:56 PM, November 7, 2015 – The Roof Of “The Towers” Condominiums, Across From The Fed, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Marcus Broadman, crouched below the parapet at the top of the 12 story apartment block, saw the green flare arching into the sky.  20 other men – armed men, but mostly not military veterans – crouched alongside him.

“Up into the wild blue yonder”, he yelled, rising and aiming his rifle over the edge. The other men followed suit in a raggedy line.

– 3:56 PM, November 7, 2015 – Hennepin Avenue in front of the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

The line of Methodists wilted under the concentrated gunfire from the roof behind them; men fell, some dropping to the pavement, others crawling away leaving trails of blood.  One of the socials burst into dull flames, leaving a gout of greasy black smoke.  A few of the social crews bailed out of their unharmed pickups, and most of the infantry scattered for whatever cover could be found on the bare streetscape.

Ilktost looked at Chuffle, wide-eyed and mouth agape, and shook his head.  He cocked back and punched the pudgy younger man in the face.  Chuffle fell back against the cab.

Ilktost drew a pistol and aimed it at Chuffle’s head.  “Shoot at the roofs, you idiot”.

Chuffle scrambled back to his feet and trained the gun around, firing at the roof of the building.

Ilktost looked at the “infantry” – a hodgepodge of Methodists, Jets, Sharks and Speed Racers – as they cowered in the lee of the trucks, in bus shelters and by sidewalk planters – and shook his head in disgust.

He hopped wearily over the tailgate and out onto the sidewalk, as bullets crackled off the pavement.

“Do I have to do everything myself?” he bellowed, aiming his revolver at the roof and squeezing the trigger six times.

The infantry took the hint, and started shooting.

The crews of the socials, their wavering courage bolstered by the friendly gunfire, leaped back into their trucks.  About half started blazing away at the rooftops.  The other half turned their fire on the Fed.

– 3:56 PM, November 7, 2015 – The Roof Of “The Towers” Condominiums, Across From The Fed, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

“Christ”, Broadman yelled as a piece of the parapet next to him disintegrated, hit by one of the Socials’ machine gun rounds.  He ducked, and looked up and down the wall; the other men seemed unhurt, but as bullets buzzed overhead and bits of parapet crumbled under fire, nobody seemed keen to be a hero.

Me either, thought Broadman.  “Let’s crawl down the roofline a ways”, he yelled.  Three or four of the men followed, as the rest crawled away, and Broadman remembered ruefullly how hard his drill sergeants at Lackland Air Force Base had to work to teach people to move toward the sound of gunfire.   It’s truly not for everyone, he thought, crawling along the rooftop as bullets split the air above his group.

And so they crawled.

 – 3:57 PM, November 7, 2015 – Inside the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Hendrickson, Fleen and Os crawled toward the center of the building, as the air around them turned into a maelstrom of flying glass, paper, bullets, drywall and disintegrating office marginalia.

They crawled to a stairwell where, protected by actual concrete, they stopped and regrouped.

“We’re surrounded.  What’s the plan?” Hendrickson asked.  His sole contribution to the battle had been breaking open the window with a sledgehammer they’d found in one of the teller cages.

“Hopefully not be surrounded long”, Fleen muttered. “Follow me”, he said, darting down the stairs.

 – 3:57 PM, November 7, 2015 – First Avenue North, West of the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

A “Brigade” of socials and Methodist infantry moved up First Avenue.  Hearing the gunfire to the east along Hennepin, they’d stopped and taken cover briefly in the street.  Gradually figuring they weren’t the targets.

“Everybody up.  Let’s get in there!”, yelled their leader.  Gradually, they got to their feet…

…just as a couple of dozen armed men – most of the veterans that’d turned out – opened fire from the west wing of the bank.

Many of the infantry dropped; two socials burst into oily flame.  Another, jammed into reverse in a blind panic, crashed into a social behind it.

Under the disciplined, measured gunfire, the Methodists ran in disarray back down First Avenue, leaving a trail of bodies.

But among the group on Washington – the southern part of the pocket – cooler heads prevailed.  The socials engaged the veterans with heavy machine gun fire from a range of a block or two away; the veterans had cleared the street in front of them, but were pinned down.

– 3:58 PM, November 7, 2015 – Hennepin Avenue in front of the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Buoyed by Ilktost’s example, the Methodists in the street had pinned down most of the first from the surrounding roofs.   While harassing fire still peppered the column, the Methodists controlled Hennepin.

“And now”, Ilktost said to Oswaldson, “it’s time for the coup de grace“.   He picked up the radio microphone as Chuffle uncorked a long burst of machine gun fire into the Fed, where a fire was starting to build.

“Fourth Brigade – move across the bridge and attack”.

– 3:59 PM, November 7, 2015 – Northeast Hennepin Avenue, across the Mississippi from Downtown Minneapolis, MN

“Fourth Brigade – move across the bridge and attack”, the radio crackled in the cab of the burning social.

Arnie Quist listened to the radio for a moment, stepping over the bodies in the street.

His group – swollen with hundreds of volunteers since overrunning the Methodist outposts in Plymouth and Golden Valley – had fallen upon a long column of the Methodists’ machine gun trucks, and had attacked from complete surprise, catching the Methodists unawares as they deployed to cross the Hennepin Avenue bridge.  It’d been a slaughter; the Methodists who hadn’t been killed or wounded immediately ran in a panic into the residential area to the east.

Quist surveyed the scene, with oily smoke billowing from blazing vehicles and the moaning of the wounded.  He ran his hand through is long, wild beard, thought for a moment…

…and jumped onto the hood of a car, parked alongside the road.

“Patriots!   We have won another great victory here!”

A throaty cheer went up all around.

“But we are not finished!  For liberty must be constantly fed with the blood of its enemies!”

“So therefore let us carry on into the city, and drown the enemies of liberty in their own blood and gore!”

The cheer reverberated down the street.

“Death for Liberty!”, Quist began chanting, pumping his rifle in the air.

The crowd took up the chant.

– 4:00 PM, November 7, 2015 – Northeast Hennepin Avenue, across the Mississippi from Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Fourth Brigade will show up when the Fourth Brigade shows up, Ilktost thought.  Fortune favors the bold and, moreso, the ruthless.

“Methodists!   Forward!  Let’s take the building, and crush them for good!”

A cheer rose up, and the Methodist infantry began moving gingerly forward across the plaza.

Ilktost turned to Oswaldson.  “Radio Second and Third Brigades; close in for the kill now.”

– 4:01 PM, November 7, 2015 – Somewhere Inside the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN

As Fleen watched toward the lobby, Hendrickson ran to tell the men in the West Wing – among them Dan-Marius Codridiu – to get ready to pull out.

They didn’t need to be told twice; the Methodists were leapfrogging up the street, and within yards of getting into the building.

“This looks pretty bad”, Hendrickson told one of the armed men, blazing away at the Methodists.

“I would be ‘pretty bad’, if we had enough ammo.  Since we don’t, we’re more like ‘screwed blue'”, the man said, loading the last magazine into a chrome-plated AK47.   He turned to the rest of the men.  “Start peeling off!”, he bellowed.  Half the men got up and started moving back.

“You better make your move”, the man said to Hendrickson.

Hendrickson looked around, and headed back up the hallway.

He ran down the stairs toward the east wing, ran out into the hallway that led to the lobby…

…and pulled up short, as he saw hundreds of Methodists, advancing toward the shattered windows, guns at the ready.

I wonder if I’m soiling myself right now, he pondered, frozen in the hallway.

– 4:03 PM, November 7, 2015 – The plaza in front of the Federal Reserve,  Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Once we get in the building, we’ll have them, Ilktost thought, waving his men forward.

They moved in fits and starts…

…and, suddenly, stopped cold.

From the left – south – came a sound that, it occurred to Ilktost, sounded like cattle being sodomized out of a deep sleep.

He looked to the south, along with many of his men.

– 4:04 PM, November 7, 2015 – Advancing west on Second Avenue toward the Federal Reserve,  Downtown Minneapolis, MN

“Nieewwwww!”, bellowed Angus MacArthur, a bearskin cap jiggling merrily as he swung his Claymore sword in an extravagant arc, as the bagpipers inflated their bags with a sickly moan.

A vintage Vickers machine gun opened up, the bagpipes begin playing “The Forty Twa”, and the rest of the Presbyterians, bayonets fixed, moved forward at a deliberate trot, firing their rifles at targets of opportunity.

“Begorrraaaaaaaauuuuugggghghhhhh!”, bellowed MacArthur, nearly losing bodily control in gleeful Presbyterian bloodlust.

– 4:03 PM, November 7, 2015 – The plaza in front of the Federal Reserve,  Downtown Minneapolis, MN

The Presbyterians’ machine gun fire scythed through the infantry on the plaza; many of the men who weren’t cut down dropped to the ground in panic as the Presbyterians moved forward.  Several socials out on Hennepin, surprised, were captured, their crews surrendered or were put to the pike.

Oswaldson frantically ordered his driver to accelerate, grabbed the machine gun from the panic-stricken Chuffle, and fired a ragged burst toward the khaki-clad, kilted figures; a group of them took cover behind a dumpster as Oswaldson’s truck, leading half a dozen others, accelerated north on Hennepin.

“Wesley Three – move in.  Wesley Two, move back to Hennepin and help us out”, he bellowed into his radio.

“Copy”, replied the Methodist commander down on Washington.

The head of the Methodist standing next to Ilktost exploded in a shower of blood and gore.  Ilktost instinctively ducked through the broken windowpane into the lobby of the Federal Reserve.  He trotted through the lobby – and stopped cold.

– 4:04 PM, November 7, 2015 – A little further back in the lobby of the Federal Reserve,  Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Paul Hendrickson – panicked, confused, covered with gunpowder dust (but not, he thanked merciful fate, not soiled), looked across the lobby, and saw Myron Ilktost.

Their eyes met.

Time shifted into slow motion for Hendrickson – and then, even slower motion.  He saw the cascade of shattered glass in the shadows behind Ilktost; he saw Ilktost’s big, menacing revolver slowly rising.

Gun, Hendrickson thought.  I’ve got a gun.

He hunched down and lifted the…someone had told Hendrickson what it was, and he knew it wasnt’ a Glock, but beyond that he had no clue – and started squeezing the trigger.

Hendrickson was aware only of shattering flashes, and absolute silence, as he squeezed the trigger until the slide locked back on an empty magazine.

Is it supposed to do that?, he wondered, before becoming aware of a rhythmic booming sound.

It was Ilktost squeezing the trigger on his revolver.  He’d fired all six rounds.

Neither man had hit each other.

Hendrickson shook his head, and turned, and ran back up the hallway.

Ilktost followed.

– 4:05 PM, November 7, 2015 – Washington Avenue, south of the Federal Reserve,  Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Dave Os had found a fire escape on the far west end of the Federal Reserve, and slipped out.

Trying to affect an air of nonchalance, he sauntered briskly south on Second Avenue, stopping at the corner of Washington, and holding up, watching the mass of Methodists on the street turning and moving toward the Fed.

Oh, well.  It was all a voluntary transaction. And when you think about it, we probably did provoke them, interrupting their football game and all…, he thought, briefly.

But his thoughts were shattered by a deafening crash that literally bounced him six inches off the ground and left his ears ringing.  He fell to the ground, dazed.

Wow.  You literally see stars, Os thought.  Then he shook his head, and looked back down the street.  Several of the pickup trucks were blazing, and Methodists were fleeing in a dead panic.

He startled as he felt a hand on his shoulder, and turned.

Standing above him, silhouetted in the afternoon sun, was a woman in a helmet.  It took a moment to realize it was Frena Marquette.

Behind Marquette, a line of tanks, painted desert tan with a big Star of David on the side of the…the thingie on the top with the cannon, Os pondered, moved up the street, frp, west to east, guns blazing.

“Stay here”, Marquette yelled.  “I’ll be back!”

She trotted up the street, firing an Uzi from her hip.

This is getting weird, Os thought, as he slowly crawled toward a garbage bin for cover.

– 4:08 PM, November 7, 2015 – At the Hennepin Avenue Bridge over the Mississippi River,  Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Oswaldson had gathered about a dozen surviving socials at the southern approach to the Hennepin Bridge.

He pointed at a group of socials, loaded with infantry.  “Go north on Hennepin, link up with Fourth Brigade, and get them the hell down here.  We’ll set up a perimeter and wait for you.  We can turn this around”.

The leader of the four trucks nodded, looped his hand in the international “move out” signal, and led the four trucks over the bridge span.

Then two of them lurched to a stop, belching flames.  The other two shifted into reverse and backed frantically back the way they’d come, guns blazing.  One of them swerved tail-first into a guard rail; its crew, dazed, bailed out and started running south.

Behind them, on the other side of the span, Oswaldson saw why; a mob of people surging across the river, guns blazing, led by a man with in a long, ratty black beard and a seed cap.

Arnie Quist and his army moved across the bridge.  “Blood for Liberty!”, he bellowed, as his “army” roared with mob blood fury behind him.

Oswaldson looked around; the bridge north was blocked.  East of Hennepin, the Presbyterians.  To the west – the guys from Second Brigade had yelled something about “Jews in Tanks” before the radio went dead.  Bullets buzzed around his head.

He decided.

“Chaaaaarge!”, he bellowed.

Oswaldson’s driver floored the accelerator.  The other seven surviving socials followed suit.

Guns blazing, wheels spinning, they charged south on Hennepin, running a gauntlet between the Prestyterians and the tan tanks.  One social, caught squarely by a Presbyterian machine gun burst, slowly swerved off the road, trailing a stream of flame, before ramming into a barricade post and exploding.  As they crossed Washington, a cannon round from a tank caught another, blowing into dozens of pieces.

But twenty seconds after ordering the charge, Oswaldson and half a dozen socials had broken out of the trap.

– 4:15 PM, November 7, 2015 – The Plaza in front of the Federal Reserve,  Downtown Minneapolis, MN

Presbyterians brought in gaggles of Methodists at bayonet-point.  So did Quist’s men, after Fleen laboriously persuaded them not to kill every single prisoner on sight.   And the group from Saint Louis Park – the ones that had arrived from the west in the Israeli-surplus tanks – brought in still more.

Todd Fleen, his white suit tarnished with a few small splotches of blood, smoke and grime, started conferring with Angus MacArthur, Abe Klein of the Saint Louis Park contingent, and Quist, when he stopped and waved “hi” to Marcus Broadman, who was bringing in another gaggle of prisoners along with his troupe from the top of the Towers.  With them walked Hana Codriciu and Jessica Hardman – who broke into a squeal of joy, running across the plaza to Dan-Marius.  They kissed extravagantly, as Fleen counted noses.

“Hey”, Fleen yelled to Dan-Marius, “have you seen Hendrickson?”

– 4:15 PM, November 7, 2015 – Somewhere Under Downtown Minneapolis, MN

SHKANG!

The bullet sparked as it ricocheted off the pipe that ran along the ceiling of the dark tunnel deep below downtown Minneapolis.

On the one hand, Hendrickson thought, it’s probably a good thing that the government contractors that built one of the most sensitive banks in the world left a tunnel for no apparent reason leading south – I think – into downtown.  

He panted for air as he dashed through the tunnels, the deafening report of another shot from Ilktost’s revolver not quite drowning out the sound of a bullet buzzing an inch to the right of is ear

On other other hand, I’m almost out of ideas, here…

1 thought on “Trulbert! Part XXXVII – Armagitdown

  1. sounded like cattle being sodomized out of a deep sleep.

    That’s one for the ages…

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