Pro Aris et Pro Focis (P&S: New York City)

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by GAB-1955, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. GAB-1955 Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Part 7: Clearing the Arteries of the Apple

    Monday, 130728R Feb 1984

    "WNBC time is 7:28. Now Jane Gennaro with the traffic."

    "Traffic is heavy on the West Side Highway this morning going to the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels and the GW Bridge; expect delays up to half an hour. Traffic is lighter on the East Side. On Long Island, the LIE and BQE are bumper to bumper. Metro-North and the LIRR report lighter than usual traffic coming into the city."

    The Lieutenant went back to paying attention to his breakfast. There were only fifty-one soldiers and State Guards in the Armory, and none of them were cooks. Someone in Albany had been smart enough to realize that and a contract had been let out to a local catering company to provide three meals a day to the Armory. "Of course, officers are expected to continue to pay for their meals," Major Sholom reminded his three lieutenants. "Technically we're not in State service."

    "Never mind that, Sholom," said Lt. Col. Capparelli, commander of the 5th Regiment. "Get in and eat. We'll settle it later."

    The Lieutenant said to Maggione and Kingsley, "Guys, put some money aside to pay for this. Someone will settle it later, no matter what."

    Capparelli pointed to the aluminum foil casserole pans. "The eggs are getting cold."

    A runner came into the drill hall, found Sholom, and said, "Telephone call, sir."

    Sholom went to answer it. He returned in two minutes. He whispered in Capparelli's ear. The State Guard colonel stood up. "Everyone get ready to move out in thirty minutes. Draw your weapons."

    Sholom said, "That includes us, gentlemen. Rifles, load-bearing gear, and helmets."

    "What's going on, sir?"

    "We'll tell you when we assemble."

    "Are we deploying?" Maggione asked.

    "Not yet," Kingsley said. "We haven't been asked to take our duffels."

    "Keep thinking," said the Lieutenant. "It's a good habit to cultivate. By the way, boys, in your copious amounts of free time, have you been keeping up with your branch qualification courses? No? Well, we will see about that. I can get my books and we can make sure you're ready to lead infantry. You have ten minutes to report back here in field gear, ready to move, and nine just expired. MOVE."

    Master Sergeant Williams said, "Are you ready, sir?"

    "What's the word?"

    "Someone tried to sabotage the Lincoln Tunnel last night."

    "What? How in the hell did they keep it secret?"

    "A radio patrol car saw a bunch of men riding in a van. They followed the van into the tunnel on a hunch. The guys in the van stopped in the middle of the and brought out sticky bombs and det cord. The cops moved in before they could set demolition charges. The saboteurs shot back at the cops. The cops shot back and a Port Authority unit was able to help. They killed three and captured two wounded saboteurs."

    The Lieutenant said, "You got this from..."

    "My connections with the Port Authority Police."

    "Do they know who they are?"

    "Not yet, but the word Spetznaz comes to mind."

    "Ogarkov is getting funny, Williams. That's an act of war, but they did try to sabotage Hamburg last week, and we didn't start shooting then. But those tunnels are the Big Apple's oxygen."

    "And we may end up on tunnel duty, Lieutenant."

    "I can practice counting tiles," he said, smiling grimly.

    The National and State Guardsmen formed up at 7:50. Capparelli was less of a stickler for formality than the Colonel. "Break ranks and huddle.... Listen up. The FBI has asked us to block off the roads around 21st and 24th Street and Sixth and Seventh Avenues. They'll be doing the heavy lifting."

    "What's there?" a State Guard sergeant asked.

    "Only the headquarters of the Communist Party USA."

    The soldiers growled. "About time for those assholes to get it," a State NCO said.

    He followed up with team assignments. "And be careful out there."

    The State troops slinged their M-14s, while the National Guardsmen checked their M-16s and looked at Sholom. "Let's go, gentlemen," the major said.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
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  2. Das_Colonel Banned

    Aug 13, 2010
    The original Native Americans might object to that...
  3. Lord Grattan consigned to OTL

    Dec 20, 2007
    Michigan USA
    I'm enjoying your story GAB. :)

    A face-palm worthy non sequitur.
  4. Blizrun Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2007
    The Morning Calm
    Since when did the NYG have M-14's? When I talked to a recruiter, he said the only time he touched a weapon was during a competition with the NYNG.
  5. NoOneFamous Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Central PA
    Great story
  6. GAB-1955 Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Things are a little different since international tensions increased in late 1983. State Guard units are a little heftier and better armed than they would be in this time line. However, there aren't enough of them and even with 14s, they're undergunned.
  7. GAB-1955 Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Part 8: A Curse and a Prayer

    235 West 23rd Street
    New York, New York

    The old man was very angry. He gripped his cane as if it were a weapon. Considering the button with VALB and the three-pointed red star on his beret, he was used to them. However, he used words.

    "You should be ashamed of yourselves!" he snarled. "How can you stand there and assist these fascists trample on what's left of American liberty?"

    The Lieutenant said nothing. This was one dialogue he would stay out of.

    "I fought in Spain to save the world from militarism and fascism! I fought in the Pacific. I fought McCarthy and Nixon and Hoover and Lyndon Johnson over civil rights and Vietnam. And what good did it do? You people make me sick."

    The old man spun away and headed north on the Avenue of the Americas.

    In the center of the block, FBI agents were carting boxes of documents and putting them into a van. A dozen employees of the office stood by under the watchful eye of a Treasury agent.

    "Is that Gus Hall?" the Lieutenant asked. "Next to Angela Davis?"

    "Who are they?" the corporal asked.

    "Chairman and vice-president of the Communist Party, U.S.A."

    "It sucks to be an old-school Commie," replied the Corporal. "They sided with Russia, let them deal with it. Even that old guy who chewed us out deserves it."

    "Yes, but he's done more than we have," the Lieutenant said. "He's seen combat."

    The Major said, "We're done here. The 42nd people can go back to the Armory. The G-1 said new orders would be coming in."

    The five National Guardsmen walked south along the road. On the other side, a statue of a World War One doughboy stood; it was inscribed TO THE SOLDIERS AND SAILORS OF CHELSEA. The traffic was lighter than usual, but not Sunday-morning empty. People were still going to work; housewives went shopping; mothers took their children to daycare; and alternate side of the street parking was in effect.

    The party passed Holy Apostles Church. It, and the Catholic church next to it, both had banners over the door, saying OPEN 24 HOURS - PRAYER VIGIL FOR PEACE. ALL WELCOME. A thin man with thinning blond-gray hair stepped out of the rectory. He saw the Lieutenant and waved, then gestured him to come over.

    "Uh, Major? That's my pastor. He wants to see me."

    Sholom said, "He's probably going to scold you for missing Mass."

    "I'm an Episcopalian, sir... he probably will commend me for showing up in the last month."

    "Go on. We have time. It will do you good."

    The Lieutenant walked over and shook the priest's hand. "John," the priest said.

    "Father David."

    "How are you?"

    "Okay; just busy. I thought I would be in Kentucky by now, but they want me to handle some stuff before we go; catch up with stragglers and the like."

    "What were you doing blocking the street?"

    "Seizing the offices of the Communist Party," the Lieutenant replied. "But I think that was for show. I am sorry I had to miss Communion."

    "We can take care of that, if you would like. But you're cold. Have a cup of coffee."

    "I can't stay long, but I would love a cup. It's been a raw, soggy day."

    They walked into the church. The Lieutenant paused to look at the cross with Christ as King which dominated the altar. "Forgive me, Lord, for carrying a weapon in Your house, but I am a man under authority," he murmured.

    Father David led him down the steps from the street to the church office. "Mary's at lunch," he said, noting the empty desk with the typewriter and its nearby Gestetner duplicating machine which produced the Church bulletins. They went past Mary's desk and into the priest's study; a closet with another desk and two chairs. David closed the door.

    "I am afraid the coffee only has Coffeemate," he said apologetically. The Lieutenant shook his head. "That's fine. I drink it black."

    "Some New Yorker you are."

    "Those Confederate ancestors assert themselves in the strangest ways. I could argue that three of my great-grandfathers would be madder than a wet hen because I joined a Yankee unit, but I was here in New York, not in Arkansas."

    "That war never did end? Just like the coming war," Father David said. They sipped their coffee.

    "So, why are you involved in seizing the Communist Party? They aren't important. Half the Central Committee are FBI agents."

    "Only about a third," the Lieutenant found himself saying, "but the KGB connection makes up for that. General Oleg Kalugin has admitted that, according to the Post. But I think it's a little razzle-dazzle showmanship. The cameras see Gus Hall in cuffs, but they don't see the FBI raiding the offices of the New York rezident of the KGB, or some of the other agents. The Soviets have a word for it, Father; it's maskirova. We're doing a little maskirova ourselves."

    "So, what is going on?"

    "I don't know, Father," he said heavily. He paused. "You know, I used to think I was the hottest thing that came out of ESMA. I knew the Soviet Army backwards and forwards; I knew the names of the generals on the Stavka, and their previous commands, and I could quote Tukhavchevskii and Frunze and Zhukov and Chuikov and tell you why the First Ukrainian Front was the home of future leaders from commissars like Khrushchev and Brezhnev. And you know what? It means nothing. The movers and shakers are moving at levels I don't see. I listen to the radio. I read the papers. I get orders - but I'm missing details."

    "You're only a junior officer, John. Why do you think you have to be Superman?"

    "Because only Superman can save this city if the bombs fall."

    David smiled. "I think you're forgetting Who's in charge."

    "I haven't forgotten, Father. I am a Christian and I believe. But I know I don't have all the information. I guessed that Moscow was evacuating and I found out that the reporters were incognito for a while. Good for me. But I missed that the Central Committee would remove Andropov and replace him with Marshal Nikolai Ogarkov. I thought it would be another Brezhnev apparatchik like Chernenko. And Ogarkov scares me."

    "You're only a man, and you do your duty as God guides you. Having doubts is a good thing. Faith is not faith unless it is tested. Even Our Lord prayed that the cup would pass from him. Be of courage. You may not know all the picture, but you're doing your duty and people are being helped." David fiddled with a pen. "Why does Ogarkov scare you?"

    "Because he knows what will happen if there's a war. He's written about it. This war will be conventional for about as long as one side realizes it's not going to win. Then the nukes fly. You could bluff a nuclear cowboy like Khrushchev. You could deal with Brezhnev. Andropov was a realist. But they were civilians, with doubts about warfare. Ogarkov knows what's going to happen, and he's going to do it. He won't hesitate to use nukes. And neither will we. I don't know any details, but I know we don't have so many missiles in Europe just to let them go to waste. They'll go after Soviet logistics, and some will be nuclear-tipped. And that ends it all."

    "We can still watch, and wait, and pray, John. You do that as well as do your duty."

    "I always have, Father. So has my wife."

    "Has she been able to get out?"

    "Where shall she go?"

    "Like most of us here, we're trapped by circumstances or by duty," the priest said.

    "Will you hear my confession and give me communion?"

    "Of course," David said.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
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  8. marcus_aurelius A BIRD and proud

    Sep 29, 2008
    Imperial City of Hong Kong, British Empire
    If I could find time to write a P&S for my hometown I would, but seeing one Soviet ICBM's enough to wipe it off the map I don't think there'd be anything for me to write about... and IIRC the original P&S specifically mentioned Hong Kong as being leveled. :(

    Marc A

    P.S. Someone should make a sticky thread and put all P&S TLs in :)
  9. Nckdictator Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2011
    Great update. I'm suddenly wondering how the Berrigan brothers fare, probably martyred when the bombs fell if their not in some prison first.
  10. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    Keep it coming, GAB!:)
  11. GAB-1955 Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Part 9: This Ain't No Disco

    The Lieutenant got back to the Armory. The caterer was serving lunch: chicken salad sandwiches, pasta, and coffee. He paid for his lunch, got his plate, and went to sit with the officers at their table. It wasn't that exclusive; there were almost as many officers in the State Guard as there were enlisted. Many of them were veterans.

    Kingsley sat next to him. "They're shipping Maggione and me out early Wednesday."

    "Are you going to Campbell?"

    The second lieutenant shook his head. "No; to Fort Riley. Apparently the Army is getting all the Guard officers in the middle of IOBC and going to accelerate us through it."

    "That's good news," said the Lieutenant. "So I'll be chasing stragglers all by my lonesome."

    Kingsley took a bite of his sandwich. "No. You and the Major are going to stay here to help them train up a new force, I was told."

    That hurt a little bit. "I joined the 71st a while back, as an enlisted man. I went to ESMA and asked for the 71st again as my posting. Now they've gone and left me."

    "Yeah, but you get to go home now to your wife. I will see Joanna one more time, then off to the boonies."

    "Don't knock Kansas, Dan," the Lieutenant said. "Wide open spaces; fresh air; and room to duck."

    Kingsley said, "But Kansas... What's there to do in Kansas?"

    The Lieutenant said "Run your ass off and then get to Germany, or France, or England, LT. At least you'll get to shoot some Soviets if they're stupid enough to come your way. Me? I get to shoot Giants fans."

    "Hey! I'm a Giants fan!"

    "Okay, I'll say it slowly..."

    Master Sergeant Williamson walked over to the table. "Lieutenant? The Major wants to see you."

    The Lieutenant finished his sandwich and moved quickly up two flights of stairs.

    Sholom said, "Got your sins taken care of?"

    "Yes, sir. Thank you."

    "God may have forgiven you, but the DMNA hasn't forgiven us. We're detached to the Fifth as Federal advisors. I am going to be XO of the Fifth and you are getting a rifle company."

    "We must be hard up."

    "The good news is that you are on leave until 0800 tomorrow morning. Go see your wife, LT."

    "Thank you, sir."

    "Get going. Don't forget to check your weapon in."

    He rode back to Richmond Hill with a duffel full of dirty underwear and uniforms. There was a laundromat on the corner; he could get that done while his wife was still at work. He went up the steps to his apartment, planning to shed all his uniforms and do the laundry in sweats.

    He opened the door and walked in the apartment. Pete and Springtime ran to the door to greet him.

    Pete meowed.

    "I'm glad to see you too, Pete."

    Pete meowed interrogatively.

    "I got called up to active duty. I was away for a few days. I'll have to go back, but I couldn't not say goodbye to my kitties."

    Pete accepted a chin chuckie and ear scritchie and walked off. Springtime was always a more aloof cat; she would accept her homage on the bed, where humans and kitties all slept in a big pile.

    He put the radio on to WPIX-FM. His wife could never stand New Wave.

    ...This ain't no party, this ain't no disco,
    This ain't no fooling around
    No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
    I ain't got time for that now!

    Heard about Houston? heard about Detroit?
    Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
    You oughta know not to stand by the window
    Somebody might see you up there...

    "That was the Talking Heads, Life During Wartime. Next, the Ramones, Here Today, Gone Tomorrow, from their album Rocket to Russia on our Peace Day Requestathon."

    "And I think of times we were together as time went on it seemed forever
    But times have changed now things are better someone had to pay the price..."

    The Lieutenant started singing along as he undressed. He had shed his clothing and was about to take a shower when the phone rang. "Sure, why not do things backwards?" he thought.


    "John? It's Robbie. Where's my sister?"

    "At work. I got called up but got some leave time. What's up?"

    "Can she get her stuff all packed and be ready to leave if we gave you a phone call?"

    "I think so. Why?"

    "There's a hunting lodge my buddies have in central Pennsylvania."

    "I've been in that there, Robbie. It's isolated, but you'll need to dig in against fallout; those houses are still above ground."

    "We may not need to."
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
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  12. modelcitizen note2self, no ranting ninjas

    Aug 12, 2008
    New Jersey
    This is very good and very engrossing.

    I subscribed, naturally.
  13. statichaos Liberal Hollywood Elitist

    Jan 20, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    You set a mood like nobody else. Very well-done.
  14. Sam R. Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2011
    The Talking Head's "Life during wartime" actually raises a good question:

    * If the CPUSA has been arrested
    * If the United States has mobilised

    What is the Ultraleft doing about it? Now certainly a great measure of the hysteria of the historical militant ultraleft came about because nice middle class people (the children of management and contract professionals) were being conscripted occasionally when they didn't get endless deferments or medical exemptions.

    The 1980s has far less of a time for the development of strong networks of privileged idiots willing to use ineffective political violence; but, then again this is life during wartime.

    Anyone remember when Weather finally demobilised? Or have a better understanding of ultraleft armed violence in the United States in the early 1980s?

    Sam R.
  15. Shaby Sontaran

    Sep 27, 2011
    Flagship "Undefeatable" of the Battlefleet Ib
    Hopefully his wife survives in that lodge. Really nice update.
  16. GAB-1955 Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Part 10: Fading Voices

    "What do you have in mind, Robbie?"

    "This area is filled with old mines," his brother in law said. "One is close to the lodge."

    "Is it accessible by road?"

    "It depends on what you mean by 'road'," Robbie replied.

    "Is it safe?"

    "Safer than New York, John."

    "Touche. Can you stay in the mine for three weeks? Is there water? Sanitation? Enough food?"

    "We can find out those details," Robbie replied.

    "Who owns the mine?"

    "Who cares?"

    "Well, Robbie, someone may be planning to use the mine, and might object to neighbors dropping in unannounced."

    "I don't think the railroad even knows the mine exists."

    "So, your plan is to head to the mine if the nukes fly, and stay down there until the radiation dies?"

    "We'll have food, bedding, and water. And guns."

    "Will you take care of her?"

    "Yes. She's my sister, John."

    "And she's my wife."

    "You are welcome to come as well, John."

    "I'd go with you, but I can't. I'm commanding a company in the New York Guard. It's going to *suck*."

    There was a pause on the phone. "Can you get out of it?"

    "If I can, I will not be in New York City when the biological waste product positively interfaces with the rotary air circulation device, Robbie."

    "Don't be a hero. Desert."

    "I don't think I'll have to do that, Robbie, but I'll keep it in mind."

    "We will be there tomorrow morning."

    "The earlier, the better, Robbie," said the Lieutenant. "New York doesn't realize what's going to happen yet."

    They talked for a few minutes more, and then Robbie hung up.

    The Lieutenant did his laundry, and then repacked his duffel bag. He sat down at the radio and let his hands touch the dials of the S-38. He turned it on, and when it had warmed up, he twisted the knobs, listening. He'd done this when he was eight. It was early in the evening; the North African stations were still on. One station made him listen intently: Moscow in Arabic. He didn't know what they were saying, but he could hear 'Ogarkov', 'Reagan', 'al-Amerika'...

    He moved down the dial. The BBC World Service was solid on 9,590 kHz. They were talking about the F.A. Cup on "Sports Roundup." It was too early for the news and Radio Newsreel. Only three years before, he had heard the warning of the Argentine invasion of the Falklands... "the enemy has not yet landed on the islands."

    Another twist... the sound of "Adelamos Cubanos" on chimes. "Esta es Radio Habana Cuba, transmite desde Cuba -- territorio libre en America." The announcers were discussing the deteriorating situation in Germany. If he understood it correctly, "it is no longer possible for the United States and NATO to play a positive role in maintaining the peace and security of Western Europe and for the peace and security of Western Europe, NATO must leave German territory."

    Fado music from Radio Portugal. The Lieutenant laughed. Up until 1975, the Portuguese had been in the pocket of Salazar, a staunch anti-Communist. They used to end their programs in English with "The West can, and will, win?" But what way would the socialists jump when the Russians pushed?

    The door opened. His wife came in. "John?"

    Nothing more was said.


    "He'll be by in the morning," said the Lieutenant. "He'll take you to Pennsylvania. They have a mine there."

    "What should I take?"

    "Everything you can, including the ham gear. I won't need it anymore."
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  17. NoOneFamous Well-Known Member

    Aug 17, 2008
    Central PA
    I love this series
  18. JN1 Has been called a 'liar' & a 'troll' by a Cybernat

    Nov 16, 2007
    My house
    To quote from the main thread:

  19. Archangel Battery-powered Bureaucrat

    Nov 14, 2007
    I hope Robbie and the Lieutenant's wife make it to the the mine safely.
    The Portuguese government of the time was a coalition between the two major parties (which at the time meant a coalition between a democratic socialist and a social-democratic parties, by European standards). Both parties (and half the opposition) would be very adamant in supporting the US.:)

    Keep it up, GAB!:)
  20. GAB-1955 Member

    Sep 9, 2005
    Part 11: Meaning Business.

    14 February 1984
    Queens, New York
    0730 hours

    "You didn't get much sleep, sis," Robbie said. "Are you up to this?"

    "I can sleep in the car," the Wife said. "You brought D.J. and - who's this fellow?"

    Robbie's teenage son said, "This is Cousin Walt."

    "Walt? You grew! The last time I saw you, you were only so tall!"

    Robbie said, "Okay, show us what we're supposed to take, sis."

    She pointed to the suitcases of clothing. Walt and Robbie went downstairs with them, and then Walt stayed downstairs to make sure that the van wasn't bothered. D.J. started hauling books downstairs.

    Robbie looked at the books and said, "Do you think you're going to have time to read?"

    "We're going to have a lot of time to read," she said. "John told me to tell you to stay down for three weeks. I think he was being an optimist. There may be more than one round of nuclear exchange. We could be down there for months."

    "Did you bring a pack of cards?"

    "Yes. But the books include things like 'When There Is No Doctor', 'The Anarchist's Handbook', some of John's courses on combat engineering and medicine."

    Robbie said, "I see. And 'Total Resistance?'"

    "How to fight as a guerrilla group. It was written by a Swiss officer."

    "I hope we don't need it," Robbie said, closing the case.

    Clothing, bedding, blankets, books, guitars, and the ham gear packed the van. The last thing in the car were the cats. "Don't even ask, Robbie. They're going with us."

    "I wasn't going to, sis." Robbie reached down to scratch Pete on the nose.

    0800 hours
    National Guard Armory
    125 W. 14th Street
    New York, New York

    The Lieutenant looked around the orderly room at his platoon leaders and sergeants. He was a camouflaged peacock in a sea of green fatigues. "How many of you served in Nam?" Six hands went up.

    "In Korea?" Two hands went up - the First Sergeant's and the XO.

    "Both?" One hand went up - the First Sergeant's.

    "You probably know, or have forgotten more about fighting than I ever learned," the Lieutenant said. "Here's how I plan to lead. I get orders. I tell you what the Regiment or what I want done, and I get the hell out of your way and let you do your work. Fair enough?"

    "Fair," several of the men chorused.

    "We don't have enough manpower to overwhelm any crowds. If we get into a situation where we have to face down someone, we do it with an eye to backing off gracefully. But if the NYPD needs us as a backup, we have to be ready to shoot, so everyone stays armed, officers and senior NCOs having rounds in the magazine."

    The XO raised his hand. "Are you going to swap that Mattel special you carry for a real rifle, LT?"

    The Lieutenant grinned. "Can you get me a Garand, XO?"

    "We might be able to..."

    "However, this is the rifle I signed for, and I'm used to it," the Lieutenant said. "Besides, this isn't a Colt. It's a GM 'sixteen. GM makes good cars and better rifles."

    "You're not likely to get your rifle beaten out by a Japanese model, either," Top said.

    "Now, we are probably going to get recruits. We turn them over to D Company, where Master Sergeant Williamson is going to train them, right?"

    "Unless they are prior service," the XO said. "Those we keep."

    The Lieutenant looked at his watch. "All right, we have a formation in fifteen minutes. Make sure everyone has good gear, and then focus on good looking. When we hit the streets, we want them to know the Fifth means business."

    Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York
    0934 Hours

    Two men with their hands in their pockets strolled up to the van. Robbie looked at them warily.

    "Hey, you. You going to get out of town?" the first young man said. He was wearing a leather Knicks warmup jacket and pulled his balaclava over his eyes.

    "Yeah," Robbie said.

    "How about giving us a ride?"

    "Sorry, we're full up."

    The young man reached into his pocket and pulled out a pistol. "Not anymore, asshole."

    D.J. swung the muzzle of a shotgun into the young man's face. "Drop it."

    The other young man drew a sawed-off shotgun from his coat. Before he could use it, Walt shot him. The first man ran away, leaving behind his pistol as he ducked into an alley.

    Robbie put the van into gear, ran the red light, and headed down to I-278 as fast as he could manage in traffic.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
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