– 4:25 PM, November 7, 2015 – The Sub-Basement Under That One Really Undistinguished Office Building, on Nicollet, or maybe Marquette Avenue, Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Hendrickson raced up a stairway from the tunnel, hearing Ilktost’s footsteps echoing behind him.
He found himself in a dark room full of shelves. He quietly padded off behind a set of shelves, willed himself to stop panting and listened.
He heard Ilktosts footsteps shuffle along…
He let them recede into the distance, apparently climbing some stairs, as he caught his breath.
He sat stood for a few minutes, until he figured the coast had to be clear, before starting in the direction the footsteps had gone.
Ilktost, panting for breath, climbed the steps. The man with the gun had lost him – but that was the least of his worries.
He pulled out his cell phone; two bars. He pressed Oswaldson’s number. Oswaldson answered.
“Dave – Myron, here. What’s the situation?”
Hendrickson, padding his way slowly toward the stairs, stopped cold as he heard the dim, muffled voice at the top of the stairwell, having an extended, animated conversation.
– 4:26 PM, November 7, 2015 – The Plaza in front of the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN
The two shared a hug – less comfortable than usual, what with the grenades Marquette was carrying and all, but still.
“So…”, Os, started, gesturing at her. “You’re, like…”
“Oh, yeah. I went back to my parents after Ron Pallsacher died, and everything hit the fan. I got in touch with my Jewish heritage for the first time. We’re big on self-defense. Who knew?” she said, beaming.
“Wow. So…”, he stammered, pointing at the trio of M-60 tanks in desert camouflage with Stars of David painted on the side.
“Oh, yeah. I was as surprised as you are. The Israelis sent surplus equipment to Jewish communities around the country that needed to protect themselves. Saint Louis Park introduced mandatory service, like in Israel. So when the Methodists started causing problems, we were able to take care of things”.
“Ah, I get it”, Os replied, not really getting it. “So – Israel? Even with all the stuff we used to talk about? Settlements? Aggression?”
“Oh, that”, Marquette chuckled. “I’m sorry, Dave. I finally figured out that pretty much everything Ron Paul said about Israel was full of shit”.
“Wow”, Os said, taken a bit aback, before recovering. “So…you wanna go grab a cup of coffee and talk about…”
“Oh”, Marquette answered, shuffling a bit and looking around, stopping and beaming with recognition. “I have a boyfriend. Aaron!”, she shouted.
A tall man with a long Orthodox beard carrying a long rifle turned and walked over to them.
“Dave Os, this is Aaron Weiss. He’s a professional skateboarder. And a sniper”.
Os stood, mildly slack-jawed, for a moment.
“Pleasure”, Weiss said, offering a hand.
“Nice to meet you”, Os finally replied, shaking Weiss’ hand. “Dude – righteous beard. What do you use?”
Weiss, his face dissolving from alertness to mild disgust, shook his head, and looked at Marquette. “I gotta go. Nice to meet you, Dave”. He gave Marquette a quick kiss, and turned and moved away at the double.
Marquette turned to Os. “Anyway, I discovered that the ultimate liberty is freedom from worrying someone’s going to kill you! Hey, Dave – great to see you! Gotta run. Let’s meet at Dripping with Irony someday soon!”
– 4:28 PM, November 7, 2015 – The Basement Under That One Really Undistinguished Office Building, on Nicollet, or maybe Marquette Avenue, Downtown Minneapolis, MN
“OK, Dave, that sounds bad. But we’ve got more people waiting in South Minneapolis. We can get the rest of the army rounded up, and hit them all back. We outnumber them. We can still have a new, clear day”
He arranged a rendezvous, disconnected, and started walking upstairs
It all sounded like mumbling to Hendrickson – except the part that sounded like “we still have a nuclear” something or other.
His stomach congealed into a cold, hard ball as he heard Ilktost hang up the call and step away into the distance.
OK, now what? Hendrickson patted his pockets and found the extra clip thingie with bullets for his pistol. He reloaded as he slunk up the stairway, measuring his steps, trying not to hyperventilate.
He was on the ground floor of some sort of boutique store – he didn’t get downtown much, so he didn’t recognize it – but he saw light in the distance.
He picked his way through the store toward the window – and saw Ilktost, on the sidewalk, stepping toward the street.
This ends here, Hendrickson thought. He moved more quickly now, stepping between the racks of clothes to the front door.
He gave the door a yank, and walked out onto the street, raising his gun.
“Ilktost!”, he yelled.
The portly older man turned and blanched.
“You’re coming with me”.
Ilktost shook his head. “No. I’m really not”.
Behind Ilktost, six socials rounded the corner, their gunners scanning the rooftops.
Ilktost turned, waved his hands, and pointed at Hendrickson.
The socials, advancing three abreast down the street, began swinging their machine guns toward Hendrickson.
Hendrickson, panic exploding from the core outward, raised his gun and started squeezing the trigger.
– 4:35 PM, November 7, 2015 – The Plaza in front of the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Dave Os yelled at Arnie Quist.
“How ya been?”
Quist, his face and long, tangled beard flecked with spatters of blood, grimy from smoke, looked at Os. “Been good. You?”
“Can’t complain. So – you…?” he started, pointing at the wild-eyed army of suburban Minnesotans waving guns and gathering prisoners.
“I discovered that the ultimate liberty was the freedom to crush everything that stripped you of your liberty”.
“Kill”, Quist replied, his eyes focusing back into the small, beady beams of rage they’d been since the sacking of Corcoran, four days earlier. “Kill, burn, disembowel, dismember, obliterate the enemies of freedom. That is the truest liberty”.
“Huh”, Os said, nodding. “So – great seeing you…”
– 4:28 PM, November 7, 2015 – 7th Street and Nicollet Avenue, Downtown Minneapolis, MN
He opened his eyes to see all three socials, guns trained on him.
And then a gout of flame erupted from under one hood. One of the gunners slumped into the bed of the truck; another recoiled backward, flipping onto the pavement.
Whoah, Hendrickson thought, wide-eyed, looking at his pistol.
Chuck Torstenvaldsen looked at Josh Yetterboedal. They were leaning on the trunk of a car, parked along Nicollet. “Good shot”.
They were among a group of a couple dozen people – old and young, mostly men but a few women as well, black and asian and white and latino, armed mostly with hunting rifles, who’d seen the TV broadcast and started making their way downtown, drawn by the sound of the gunfire.
The hunters blazed away at the socials; one burned, and the other five backed out of the line of fire.
Hendrickson snapped out of it, looked around, and saw Ilktost disappearing through the door of the IDS Tower, the tallest building in Minneapolis.
He trotted after him, trying to formulate a plan in his mind, and coming up with nothing.
– 4:30 PM, November 7, 2015 – Plaza in front of the Federal Reserve, Downtown Minneapolis, MN
Fleen and the rest of the people on the plaza heard gunfire to the south.
He jumped into the bed of a captured social.
“Presbyterians – move down Nicollet. Wild-eyed suburbanites, take Marquette. Saint Louis Park Jews, clear Hennepin Avenue”. They’d approach the shooting on a three block front.
Dan-Marius Codriciu climbed into the driver’s seat, and started the truck.