Chapter I: Fire, Bullets and Leaflets.
- Jan 31, 2018
Fire, Bullets and Leaflets: A Tale of the Second Civil War.
The city of Shanghai had been basically Wang Hongwen's fiefdom for the last few years, if the majority of the population was against him and his allies (Zhang, Jiang, Yao) it was almost irrelevant and the reason was clear. All over the city, since the Gang had taken power and following Hua's removal from it, the Red Guards had sprang back to life, running through the streets of Shanghai and calling Wang's enemies as enemies of the revolution, those who dared to oppose the new power in Beijing were quickly accused of counter-revolutionary activies, beaten and if not killed; then tried and jailed, tried and sent to reeducation camps or the worst one, tried and executed.
Everyone thought that the Gang would be removed almost immediately, after all, most of the population was already tired of the mass mobilizations that started back with Mao's cultural revolution. The excesses committed during it had been key to start up the resentment against the Chinese Communist Party, however, figures like Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping had tried their best to handle the situation, getting enough popularity among the people to calm down the anger and hatred that was starting to pile up. Even Hua Guofeng seemed to be against the restoration of the Maoist ideas regarding the Cultural Revolution, so when Wang Hongwen slowly started displacing Hua from the mainstage, everyone expected (and hoped for) some kind of event leading up to his removal and allowing a moderate figure like Hua or maybe a reformist like Deng to assume power over China.
But that did not happen, what surely did was a massive trial against a "Lin Biao-kind of enemy", a counter-revolutionary figure that had been "lurking from the darkness, awaiting the opportunity to conduct the counter-revolution financed by the Revisionists and their Capitalist allies". It was something everyone expected once Hua or Deng never took the power from Wang's hands, suddenly the trial took place at Beijing and would pass to history as the "Party Rectification Campaign". In it, Wang Dongxing and Chen Xilian among some other reformist-linked or moderate officers were accused of trying to launch a Lin Biao-like plot to usurp the people's revolution and "implement their Capitalist ideas by handing the people's will to the foreign bourgeoisie". Almost everyone came out from it alive, unscathed, it was more a warning towards the lower officers but also an opportunity for them to reach the higher echelons of the structure.
-Almost- being the key word, since Wang Dongxing and Chen Xilian basically left the public scene completely, nowhere to be seen, nowhere to be found.
---------------------------------------------------Mei was running as quickly as she could, she had received instructions from her Red Guard commander about a shipment of weapons arriving to the Jiangnan Shipyard, a few streets down from the textile mill. She was supposed to retrieve some of them, directly sent from a North Korean port, and take them to the Penglai Park where another group of militia was waiting for them. This wasn't the only city where someone like Mei would be running guns from one place to another, it was a picture replicated all over China, even in reformist-minded cities like Guangzhou and especially in the cities of Manchuria, where Mao Yuanxin (Mao Zedong's nephew) was organizing his Communist forces to rally against the Provisional Government of China headed by the capitalist roader and right-wing deviationist Hu Yaobang.
The Red Guard commander had been clear about it, Mei could remember his words as she ran, trying to be fastest as possible, considering they had the time against them. Yao Wenyuan had been captured by the Provisional Government and he sang everything he knew about the planned uprising, that's when Wang Hongwen appeared out of nowhere in Shanghai and called the remaining Red Guards to be ready, quickly organizing a militia and pleading to loyal officers of the army to remember their oath to Mao's Legacy, to the Revolution and soon, the People's Liberation Army was back.
"At least by running I can heat up," Mei thought to herself, noticing how cold the weather was in this January night, "maybe I should've taken the coat Fang offered to me," after thinking about her friend she couldn't stop getting worried about the whole outcome of this affair. The outsiders believed that the path China was going through was a good one, that the country was finally knowing stability and peace within it's borders, but that was a huge lie, there was resistance everywhere: she believed her commander, after all, he was a hero of the revolution himself.
But she pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind, that wasn't important right now, her mission was of utmost importance. The Central Shanghai uprising depended on her, without Shanghai the whole restoration could fail and she wasn't willing to let it happen. Her mother was clear about it, the Capitalist roaders had been the ones to blame after her father went missing, while the Communist Party was responsible for the achievements of their life, especially moving from the countryside to Central Shanghai. She was decided to defend Mao's Legacy even with her life.
After a few streets she finally got to the Jiangnan Shipyard, besides the Huangpu river, but before she could go inside to search the North Korean crates, something caught her attention. There was a truck parking in the street, but that wasn't the only thing, in the opposite side there was one as well, she could barely see in the darkness of the night but she couldn't be mistaken about what the trucks said by the side: Beijing Yanjing Brewery.
"Beijing Brewery?," and soon the words of the commander came back to her mind, "remember, the counter-revolutionaries will do everything in their reach to crush the popular will, be ready for any trick they may attempt, something new in the environment, something out of place, whatever, trust your instincts."
And as soon as she started running, from the trucks numerous soldiers started pouring out.
She was already tired, her legs shaking and her lungs doing their best attempt to allow her to keep running, but she knew that wasn't humanly possible, sooner or later they would find her or even worse, the defenseless students at the park, next to the university waiting for the weapons to begin the uprising.
The steps were getting closer and closer and soon she got an idea to warn the others, she jumped out of the shadows at the same time a soldier was passing by, he fell to the ground with a sharp blade piercing his throat ending up with her sleeve soaked up in blood, just as a soldier reached to his gun and quickly shot at her shoulder, she was fine, but now everyone in the block knew what was going on.
Yup, a new AAR by me, but don't worry, the Korean AAR isn't on hiatus nor cancelled, I'm still planning on finishing it but I got a bit tired of it and I stopped writing for quite a long time. So, this AAR is mostly an exercise for myself to "wake up" my writing capabilities.
Don't expect it to be a long one, I'm also going for another style in this one.
I have the material to update the Korean one, but I chose to try this one before writing an update, so I hope you truly enjoy this smol'AAR.
EDIT::: The title is supposed to say "After the Gang of Four", I don't speak Chinese so I had some help from Google haha, if anyone speaks Chinese and wants to correct it if wrong, feel free to tell me.