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This is a literary tale based on my other AAR. Enjoy.

A Soldier of the American Nation

Chapter I


It’s a glorious day,” proclaimed Edward Lewis, leaning back in his chair. The August afternoon heat baked the streets of New York.

“Don’t do that,” said the figure sitting across from him.

“Don’t do what, Jonesy?”

Mark Jones gestured at the black armband with the letters NAFCP stitched in white Lewis was wearing. “Gimme a break- don’t tell me you like that scoundrel Roosevelt!”

“You’re supposed to be college-educated, Ed- you should no better than to openly support a bunch of fanatics. Roosevelt might not be perfect, but we did elect him, and…”

“What do you mean we? We were seventeen, and unless you lied about your age to get to the poll, you didn’t elect anyone and neither did I. And this whole “new deal” business? Yeah, it’s a new deal alright, and we got the short end of it- everybody did!” By now, other patrons at the café had begun to glance at the young nationalist. “Come on, we’re dead broke and FDR wants to spend even more money- this is 1935, Jonesy- the idealism is dead, everyone’s woken up and is finally starting to see the world the way it really is.”

“Quiet down, you’re making people edgy”

“Look, I got a shop to run, you know?” Edward’s father had passed away recently, and though it technically belonged to Edward’s widowed mother, Edward had been doing most of the work and handling most of the finances, working full-time, even through college. “Business is tough, there’s not much difference between me and those poor bastards out on the streets these days, to tell the truth. Yet the buffoon that America let into the White House is putting huge taxes on business now to try to help all the jobless. I don’t think it’s fair, it’s not like my store caused the whole depression, why do I get singled out?”

“We’ve all go to do our part, Ed, you know that better than anyone,” Mark replied, becoming uncomfortable with the argument.

“No, Jonesy, what I know better than anyone is that people need to take care of themselves.” Mark sighed and looked away. “Listen up, there’s an NAFCP rally next weekend, and if you want to be a limp-wrist commie then don’t bother, but if you know what’s good for you, what’s good for all of us, you’ll be there.”



The Sun had begun to set by the time they set out back home. Edward had refrained from talking more politics and the topic turned to literature and philosophy, though Mark became uneasy each time he glanced at the black armband.

As the two rounded a corner into an alleyway which they used as a shortcut to the store, they were confronted with several large policemen. The dark-blue uniformed cops all glared at Edward, who simply smiled and continued on. One of the policemen put out his night stick in front of him, halting the pair. He gestured at the armband. “What’s this then?”

“The salvation of this nation,” Edward replied, beginning to lose his positive attitude.

“What a load of shit!” scoffed another cop, stepping forward and jabbing Edward’s arm. “A bunch of stooges following around a foreigner they want as president! It’s corrupted my kids, Ned, people like this little freak! Got them talking all that political nonsense in my own house!”

The third cop nodded. “Take it off, son” he ordered.

Now becoming angry, Edward refused. The first policeman stepped forward and backhanded Lewis across the face. “Do as he says!”

Mark grabbed Lewis’ arm “Let’s go” he said, pulling Edward back towards the street. One of the police kicked him, sending him sprawling back out onto the sidewalk. A few passersby noticed the commotion and gathered around to see. Mark looked up in time to see Edward on the ground being beaten savagely. “Ed!” He shouted, leaping to his feet. He rushed towards his distressed friend and attempted to pull one of the cops away but was swiftly elbowed in the face.

Finally the brutes relented. One of them spit on the battered and nearly unconscious form of Edward Lewis, and they headed back out towards the street. Mark lifted Edward to his feet. Edward’s face was streaming with blood as he limped towards the store, leaning on his comrade’s shoulder. Neither said a word the rest of the way back. When they entered the back room of the small store, Edward collapsed on the ragged-looking thing that served as a sofa. Mark hurried to get a wet towel to wipe the dried blood from his face, which had mostly stopped bleeding.

He handed the rag to Edward, who, on the verge of losing consciousness, spoke. “Mark,” he gasped “The rally… you coming?”

Mark Jones, political moderate, hesitated. He’d never seen the police beat someone without reason, and Edward’s armband was no reason. He’d always had faith in the system, in the government but now it waned. “Yeah,” he sighed. “I’ll go”.
 

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oo possible fascist usa...nice start!
 

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sounds interesting.....
 

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How ironic. An act of near-fascism to start a fascist's career.
 

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MIG-15 said:
there seems alot more USA AARs since doomsday came out...hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
Well as far as Fascist USA AARs go, this is A spin off of my other one "The American Eagle and the Fasces and follows the plot in a literary style- mine was started in May, and during that whole month there had only been one other fascist USA AAR written, and it came out a day before- I apoligized for writing an AAR so similar. Nonetheless, the three AARs written by Dogma, myself, and OAM respectively came before the flood of other US aars, so give me some credit, I was doing it before it was cool :cool:

Thank you all for your comments thus far!
 

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Is the Evil USA fad coming back?
 

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Mark Jones stood in the back room of Lewis' store admiring the shine the golden bar gave off as it reflected the light of the autum sunset filtering through the window. He flipped the tiny bar around between his thumb and forefinger, feeling the letters NAFCP etched into the top.

"Sure is pretty, aint it Jonesy?" Edward spoke, leaning against the door frame. Although Mark Jones was college educated just as his colleage, the labor market was tighter than ever so he simply lived with Edward and worked in the store. When the two had attended the National American Fascist Citizens' Party rally months before, Edward had gotten up to speak. Being a talented orator and still bearing a prominent and sinister-looking scar on his nose after it had been set by a doctor, the local party leadership had assumed him to be a sort of inteligent tough. This, coupled with his later appeal to the local party members, had earned him the psuedo-military rank of Lieutenant of the Citizen's Party and control of a local chapter of NAFCP Grey Shirts. Edward Lewis had never been a fighter, but he took to the job well despite being initially unprepared, excercising physically to gain respect among his new subordinates and studying the work of great tacticians whenever time permitted. His small bedroom above the shop was cluttered with books and essays by Sun-Tzu, Clausewitz, von Schlieffen, Napoleon, and anything else he could get his hands on.

Mark had followed suit, engaging in Edward's pursuits almost as rabidly as Edward did. His visison of democracy, initially scathed by the brutality thrown at his comrade, had begun to gradually fade away. As the months went by it became more evident that Roosevelt's vision was failing. The soup lines in the street were more packed than ever, and fights broke out all over the city as emaciated men all competed for the right to feed their families. The New York Police were confounded, not knowing how to deal with such incidents save perhaps hauling off a father and husband in chains in front of his own family, who, without an adult male family member, would never be able to brave the violent queues of the desperate before the food ran out. Most times, they were unwilling to do this anyway. Mark kept an eye on the neighborhood, noticing the decreasing number of police and the increasing number of Grey Shirts, who wore their weapons publicly in side holsters. With a sigh, he'd come to the realization that the NAFCP was doing the job that the police weren't, namely keeping order.

Mark hadn't earned the symbol of rank he now held. Up until recently, his involvement in the party had been limited to acting as Edward's aide during local party meetings. Edward, seeing how much time and energy Mark had put into pursuits much like his, had decided to use his growing influence to secure another officer's rank for him. His endeavor had been successful.

"Do I get one of the hats?" Mark asked, pointing to Edward's forage cap wich rested on the coat rack.

"They'll send you one in the mail in about a week. Check the mailbox as soon as the mailman comes every morning, you dont want some scoundrel stealing it before you even get a chance to wear it. Until then, just wear the cap you've got." Mark sat down and grabbed his own grey round-top cap from the coat rack. He pinned the gold bar to it.

"How does it look?" he asked, jamming the tight cap over his scalp.

"It's too small, your ears are sticking out. Have you been wearing it the whole time?"

"I don't really wear it a lot- most of the time I'm in uniform its indoors," confessed Mark.

"Well we're going out to a rally tonight, the whole company. The regulars wear the same hats you've got, see if you can trade for a better-fitting one."

Mark hesitated "There aren't any NAFCP rallies in the entire city for another two weeks."

"So?"

"You said we're going to a rally."

Edward chuckled and grinned. His scar made him look even more sinister in low light. "We're going to a socialist rally."


As the last rays of light faded, the two locked up the building and headed down the street. It was cold, and neither had a coat suitable for the uniform as the New York Party Headquarters only distributed the bare essentials for free- the two agreed to set aside some money to get trenchcoats tailored to match their uniforms- but still Mark walked upright, chest out and shoulders back. He felt a little guilt in displaying so much pride in his undeserved rank, but couldn't help it. His posture changed when he remembered where they were going. There was no question about it, Lewis was looking for trouble and taking 75 fascist street fighters to help find it.

A party-owned store which used to sell guns and, as far as the government knew, still did, served soley as the armory and headquarters for Lewis' troops. As they approached the armory, the gaggle of grey-uniformed men sprawled along the roadside awaiting them rushed to hide their liquor and exstinguish their cigarettes before forming up and coming to attention. About a quarter the men of the company had various articles of uniform missing from hats to belts to boots and were wearing civilian aricles of clothing instead, contrasting sharply with their issued garmets and giving the whole company the look a rabble. Which wasn't far from the truth.

Edward came to a halt and motioned at Mark's hat. He swiftly removed the pin and scoured the ranks before them for a man whose hat was too big. Finding one, Mark snatched the cap and replaced it with his old one, eliciting a chuckle from the group as he did so.

"You all know why we're here," Edward began, "so there's not much I need to tell you. Get inside and grab a club or bat. Keep your sidearms with you, but don't discharge them unless you absolutely have to. If I hear a round go off, you better bet I'll check all your guns to see who's got the itchy trigger finger. Get moving!" the group filed into the armory. Three men, appointed as Sergeants by Edward when he first assumed control of the company, came forward. The entire system could've never passed off as a substitute for a professional army, but, administratively, it worked for what the NAFCP needed to do.

Two of the Sergeants were veterans of the great war, and another, O'Connor, a one-eyed, red-headed walking wall of a man, had been a revolutionary in Ireland during the Easter Rebellion and, after fleeing into exile, decided to stay despite the fact that Ireland was now independent.

"James, Thompson, you'll be with me on this one. Jones is going with you, OConnor- I don't want all the officers on the same side. Now, we come at the square from the East, so we'll start in ten minutes after we part- keep track of the time. I'm expecting them to fight back, so after five minutes from the time we go in, you start heading in- hit em in the back, they'll start running in no time."

O'Connor slowly nodded in agreement, then, in a cracked, booming voice, spoke "I think I should be taking a rifle. One of them might be armed, and we'll need to take him out before he can cause us too much damage- he might be at range, see and he can shoot at us with a handgun and not miss but we'll waste bullets trying to hit him with a pistol."

Edward turned to Mark. "Jones?"

Mark nodded. "Sounds good to me." The three sergeants nodded in agreement before rushing to the armory to get equipped. "Ed, did I just give permission to a psychopath to carry a ranged weapon? What if he murders someone?"

"I don't think he will. He's more of a veteran at what we're doing than anyone else, he'll know if he needs to start shooting."

"I hope you're right."



In a large square in Manhattan, over a thousand angry socialists shouted, spoke at the podium, or waved signs demanding bread or money or social reform from the government. Rallies usually happened in the day, but it was becoming increasingly dangerous to be something other than a Fascist when the sun was still up and the Grey Shirt patrolled NAFCP-controlled areas of town. As Mark hurried along quietly with 25 of the Company to circle around the other side, he thought that soon the socialists would understand that no time of day was safe to hold rallies.

Reaching the other side of the square early, the group crouched down just within sight of the square but concealed in a dark alleyway between a church and a restraunt. They were all breathing hard, partly from the spriting, partly from the anticipation of fighting, and their breath was visible in the cold night air. Minutes passed. Despite the presence of an officer, most took the opportunity to smoke or drink from flasks concealed within their uniforms. Mark took a cigarette for himself from one of the men, noting the redish glow of many lit cigarettes in the dark alleyway, like the embers of a dying fire. Soon, shouts and screams could be heard from the far side of the square, and a commotion came about. O'Connor's thick arm disappeared inside his shirt and emerged holding a cheap copper pocketwatch. It was held around the giant's neck by a simple shoelace. The rally was being pushed back, but few fled outright. A few figures bounded for the outskirts of the square to get away, one, a young man dragging a wooden sign which read "No to Capitalism" behind him, ran straight through the alley, paying no attention to the waitin greyshirts.

O'Connor put the watch away and got up. The rest followed, flicking their cigarette butts into the gutter. Brandishing a giant club with the rifle slung over his back, O'Connor let out a deafening war cry and ran headfirst into the crowd. There was a gap of 20 meters between the socialists and the alleyway, but all the greyshirts had covered the distance before anyone noticed them. O'Connor was in first, swinging his club left and right, sending people flying over the heads of the crowd, forcing the mass to notice this goliath and its comrades. Members of the crowd tried to fight back with their fists or wooden signs, but they were sandwiched between other socialists and the fascists and lacked the discipline and planning for such an event. One of the crowd swung wildly at Mark, who was hesitant to strike the crowd members. Mark dodged, then, seeing the assailant was about to swing again, brought up his own blunt weapon, a short lead pipe which collided with the assailants fist with a loud *CRUNCH*. The man grabbed his arm and recoiled in pain, at which point Mark kicked him in the stomach, sending him to the ground.

Just as Edward had predicted, the crowd broke and ran after a few minutes. Two dozen or so of the Socialists were sprawled uncoscious on the ground, and, after regrouping int the nearly-empty square, the Grey Shirts set about rifling through the pockets of the fallen. Ten of the Fascists were injured, having sustained broken arms or ribs, but none of the injuries looked too severe.

On top of the raised speaking platform sat O'Connor, clutching his rifle. Mark approached him and gestured at it. "I guess you didnt have to use it then," he gasped. The fight had left him out of breath. Much to his suprise, however, O'Connor pulled back the bolt handle and ejected an empty shell casing. He then gestured at a body slumped over the side of the stage still holding a thompson submachine gun. A small pool of blood surrounded a bullet wound to the front of the skull.

"Things are picking up", mumbled the giant.
 

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Edward the american verison of Skorzeny? :p i guess the violence is picking up..
 

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How can you call yourself an AARlander without a fanatical obsession with Skorzeny, with which you would already know those facts? :p
 

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anonymous4401 said:
How can you call yourself an AARlander without a fanatical obsession with Skorzeny, with which you would already know those facts? :p
Hmm I thought all I needed was a fanatical obsession with Rommel, and I met that criteria long before I ever laid eyes on an AAR.
 

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No, it's a fanatical obsession with Skorzeny. I'm sure everyone else will vouch for me.
 

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Skorzeny and Rommel, and Guderian.

There are several popular figures around here. Most apparently are German.
 

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Spring of 1936 was cold in the Northeast, and, miles outside of New York, the Grey Shirts began engaging in field training. At dawn, the frost still well entrenched on the long grass, crunching and breaking as thick leather boots smashed over it. While the other companies of the 2nd Battalion, 1st Brigade of the 1st National American Fascist Citizen Militia Division were sleeping, or waking up lazily to eat. The 2nd, or Bravo company was run by a man who was considered a sadist by most of his subordinates. During these times Edward often remarked that he missed the days when a Lieutenant could run an entire company rather than simply being a platoon leader, but deep down both he and Mark knew that America was going to expand, and when it did, they would be glad to have been trained by the hardest, toughest bastard there was because their chances of surviving improved substantially.

The company commander was a Captain- a man who had actually been a Captain during the Great War rather than simply a party-appointed officer. It was due to this that Bravo Company trained the hardest, for Captain John Preston was intent on making the militia company every bit as professional, perhaps even more so, than the company he’d left almost 20 years ago. Of course a 45-year-old former captain of the Great War would almost certainly be denied re-entry to the army if he had no connections, no strings to pull, and the grey-shirted Citizen’s Militia made an exception for the sole reason that there weren’t enough experienced men to lead the vast multitude of new soldiers that needed training.

The multitude was so great, in fact, that, after calling for massive enlistment, an extremely successful campaign which appealed to the jobless more than anyone else, the NAFCP soon found itself with more men than it could possibly train. For this reason, those who had already been Grey Shirts before the NAFCP takeover were reorganized into the structure of a professional army and sent out into the field for advanced training and maneuvers. Advisors from Italy and Germany were sent to aid training, and units under their watch were much better disciplined, but there simply weren’t that many of them. The few officers and non-commissioned officers who volunteered for duty were given their old ranks back, no questions asked even if they’d been expelled from the military with dishonorably but still most militia units were poorly-trained. Outnumbering the US Army 5 to 1, the Citizen’s Militia simply didn’t have the proper tools to train a professional fighting force, but the effort was outstanding nonetheless.

Because of the reorganization, Edward and Mark, now commanding the first and second of three platoons in Bravo company, only knew a handful of their subordinates from the old chapter. Being subordinate to Preston was a different experience. The first day on duty, he’d called in all three Lieutenants under his command- the third was a rather scrawny shifty-looking man named Theodore Alexander who served as the company’s scrounger, and told them that this wasn’t the Grey Shirts, this was the army and they were all going to act like it. Preston had a certain charisma about him, one that kept all three of them smiling and nodding when he told them that, to set a good example for their men, the three would not smoke, drink, gamble, or pursue any other vice of their civilian lives even off-duty unless they were on leave. He told them that there would be no complaining because it was bad for morale, that they would act like real officers and never question anything Preston said. He warned them that Bravo Company would be the most difficult company to be a part of, that they would do drills and patrols and marches and practice when no other company would, but his demeanor was so enchanting that all of them felt as if they were being spoken to by God, and they never asked questions but simply felt a joy for having heard him speak. It wasn’t until later that they fully realized his warning.

Still, it was good to be part of Bravo. All three Lieutenants and their men were stronger, faster, more energetic, and had more stamina after the first exhausting week. The food supplied to them was simple and wholesome, provided in quantities large enough to sustain them well. Their training earned them the respect of the entire Battalion, and, despite the fist fights which occasionally broke out between other companies, no man ever picked a fight with any of the Bravos. Other Captains were taking notes from Preston, and had finally begun to enforce some of his policies, though it would be some time before they were at the level Bravo Company was at currently. Besides their grey uniforms, the Bravos were now indistinguishable from soldiers of the professional army.

Their journey neared an end. On the top of small hill in the distance, they could already see Battalion HQ through the light morning fog. The company had been recalled from an extended exercise for an unknown reason, and the messenger sent after them was as clueless as they were. Rumor circulated that someone was going to be picked out at random and shot in order to keep the rest of them in line, but there was no evidence of something like that happening. Nearing the building, Captain Preston motioned for the company to rest. All collapsed on the ground at once while Preston continued alone to the Headquarters building. Edward made his way over to wear Mark was lying on the ground, staring at the sky. He resisted the urge to close his eyes despite incredible fatigue. The company had been marching from sundown to sunup, and had been doing exercises the whole day before, not sleeping for a whole 24-hour period.

Edward was joyfully optimistic, as usual, but tired. “Food?” he asked, reaching into his pack.

“Pooouuundcake” came the reply from his exhausted comrade. Edward fumbled about in the pack before removing a fist-sized object wrapped in cloth. He unwrapped it to reveal precious pound cake, broke off a piece and handed it to Mark. Mark sat up sluggishly and stuffed the chunk into his mouth.

“I saved it from dinner last night, figured we’d be needing it sooner or later.” Mark gave a thumbs-up, his mouth too full to talk. Alexander stumbled over to the two, and, seeing the pound cake, immediately spoke up.

“That’s awfully little cake you got there, I can hook you up with some more.”

Edward glared at him “Oh? For what?”

“Gratis, free, a favor for you my friend!”

“That’s what you say every time” Mark cut in, swallowing his chunk of pound cake, “Then when you want something big done, you harrow on about how generous you were and how risking our careers for you is the only way we could ever repay you.”

“Well it was!
“No thanks Ted, we’ll stick with what we got.” Alexander turned and walked back, looking for possible targets among the men to leap on and offer some sort of favor or ask for one himself.

“Ed, how’d he get to be an officer in the first place?” Edward thought for a moment. Surely, Edward had no leadership skills and wasn’t a tough guy like most Grey Shirt Lieutenants.

“Bartered his way in, no doubt. Some high-ranking official probably owed him for pound cake." The two broke into an exhausted laughter. Suddenly the figure of Captain Preston appeared. The Captain hurried towards them, and the exhausted troops stood up and got to attention as quickly as they could.

“At ease,” ordered the Captain. Looking over the entire Company, he spoke, again firing up the aura of charisma as he did, “This was supposed to wait until next week, but the schedule got moved up. The command has decided that, because of failures and lack of discipline in the ranks, one man of ten will be killed from this company so you’ll be drawing straws.”

Every single jaw dropped in terrified disbelief. “Just kidding. We’re going to Texas, but now that you know you’ll live, the trip seems like a walk in the park. Hit the barracks and sleep, you’ve got two days to get your shit together, then we leave. Dismissed.” The company breathed a sigh of disbelief before dispersing to get the packs and head to the barracks.

Mark Jones didn’t go straight for the barracks, but instead approached the Captain. “Sir, if I may ask, why are we going to Texas?”

Preston grinned. “I think you already know, Lieutenant.”

“We’re going to war with Mexico, aren’t we?” Preston nodded.
 

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war with mexico! heh heh...this isnt looking good for the us army! of course while the army is in mexico, the greyshirts will seize power? :p
 

unmerged(57215)

First Citizen
May 20, 2006
324
0
lifeless said:
war with mexico! heh heh...this isnt looking good for the us army! of course while the army is in mexico, the greyshirts will seize power? :p
Sorry if I wasn't clear enough, the NAFCP has already siezed control at this point, now training as many professional and irregular forces as possible. Re-read "The American Eagle and the Fasces" if you want to know where the plot's going.
 

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Missing my avatar
Aug 4, 2005
7.251
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oops :eek:o forgot that this aar was tied to your other aar too :eek:o
 

unmerged(57215)

First Citizen
May 20, 2006
324
0
lifeless said:
oops :eek:o forgot that this aar was tied to your other aar too :eek:o

Don't worry, sometimes I forget too despite the fact that it's my own AAR. I had to erase the entire part about flying undergarmets because I realized too late it didn't fit with the plot.



July along the Mexican border was unbearable. Even though Washington had issued the Grey Shirts extremely lightweight uniforms, the heat was so great that the men of Bravo company had no choice but to alter them to make them short-sleeved and short-legged. A few had simply taken a knife to the fabric, but most paid one of the privates who'd been a tailor back in New York to alter their clothes.

Mark now had no doubt that war was imminent. He’d seen thousands of soldiers arrive with his eyes alone, and knew that many more along the border were arriving in other locations. He’d spent hours talking with Edward and pouring over maps. He couldn’t know exactly where they were headed, but the most logical choice, considering their position, would be to make a beeline for Mexico City. Professional soldiers were now arriving, perhaps two divisions or more in their location alone, including hundreds of tanks and armored vehicles. Although the 1st Citizen’s Militia Division wasn’t trained to be a motorized force, the only alternative to using vehicular transport would be walking hundreds of miles through desert to get to the capital. Preston had informed them that they had been given vehicles-light trucks, but that these would be far from bulletproof. They had undergone drills, practicing the motions of leaping down from the transport as quickly as possible and hitting the dirt.

On the 9th of July, the entire army was placed on alert. Normal drills were suspended and all men were ordered to gear up and be ready to fight at a moment’s notice. On the 10th, the order finally came to attack. Just minutes after the official declaration of war in Washington, troops all along the border rushed into Northern Mexico. Not wanting to provoke the Americans but sensing the possibility of conflict, the Mexican government had kept the army in reserve rather than near the border- a wise decision considering how vastly outnumbered the Mexicans were, but it entitled the Americans to a ride free of conflict through the border provinces.

At 12:00 noon, the entire division was in a rush. As airplanes flew overhead to perform reconnaissance, the soldiers on the ground climbed into their vehicles and set off through the desert hills of Monterrey. The dust kicked up by the vast column of vehicles was immense, and all the troops were forced to wear their goggles and cover their faces with rags. Edward joked that they looked more like near-sighted Arabs than American soldiers.

After hours of travel, they finally came within sight of Monterrey. Unfortunately, they also came within range of the artillery stationed there. Atop Cerro de La Cilla, a flash was seen. Not knowing what had happened, all members of Mark’s transport got up and leaned forward to see what it was. Suddenly, a shriek penetrated the air, and the transport in front of them was annihilated in a hail of shrapnel a moment later. The transport veered off to the side just in time to avoid colliding with the combusted vehicle. Two men had sustained minor shrapnel injuries, but neither looked serious. The men prepared for the chance to leap down onto the dry grass as they’d been trained, but Mark shouted “No!”

All eyes turned to him “Don’t jump, not unless we stop, we’re sitting ducks out here. We need to make it to the cover of the buildings.” Without a word, every man nodded and crouched down, trying to make the most of what little protection the open-topped truck could provide. Mark kept his head up. The driver headed back into formation and kept going even though some transports had already pulled off to the side and were unloading their soldiers. The transports containing the men of Bravo company were towards the front thanks to their reputation, and so, along with the numerous tanks which led the column, they were the first targets of the Mexican artillery. More muzzle flashes could be seen on the mountaintop, and Mark braced himself. More shrieks cut the air, but none were as sharp as the first one. Impacts kicked up dirt and spread fragmentation through the air, but they missed the column almost entirely, landing up to 20 yards away with loud roars. One seemed to land on a tank 50 yards ahead, but the armored beast kept rolling as if nothing had happened.

A private crouching next to Mark spoke, shouting to be heard above the barrage. “Sir, there’s got to be a better way to do this!”

Mark nodded. “A column shouldn’t be used to attack, not one like we’ve got. They weren’t planning to meet resistance this early, the Mexicans must’ve deployed from their reserve positions! Also, we don’t have any artillery!”

The man nodded in agreement and stood up slightly to get a better view, unfortunately, a second later another shell hammered the earth a few meters away from the truck and a piece of shrapnel sliced into the private’s jaw. He fell over backwards with a gurgled scream escaping his throat. Mark pulled off his rag and handed it to another soldier. “Put pressure on the wound, stop the bleeding!” but there was little he could do. Most of the man’s jaw was gone, and he was bleeding badly with no easy way to stop it.

More shells screamed towards their position and Mark could feel each blast as it erupted. Mark glanced up briefly and saw that the buildings were now close, so close, in fact, that the Stuart tanks at the head of the column had already engaged in combat. The blasts of their small main guns paled in comparison to the deafening clamor of the artillery. Mark’s heart was racing. This was it, this was combat. It was terrifying, but deep down part of him was thrilled by the experience and the rush of adrenaline, a phenomenon which deeply disturbed him.

The suburbs had been reached by the tanks on point. They continued to roll through the vast stretches of houses, turning their turrets and blasting the walls from which hostile gunfire came. The truck reached a large house and pulled over alongside it. Mark looked back at the jawless man and realized he was dead. Mark pointed at the house. “Secure that! Now!” The men rushed out of the truck and around front where the door was, on the other side. A wide window was on their side, but it was too high off the ground to reach. Mark picked up the dead man and, careful not to slip in his blood on the floor of the truck, hopped down and laid him up against the wall. The driver, a squat, muscular-looking man, stood next to him.

“We can’t go into the city with that,” Mark pointed at the truck, “Bullets will go right through it. What are you supposed to do now?”

The driver shrugged. “I have no idea, sir.”

Mark glanced down and noticed the man was carrying a sidearm. “You’re packing, you may as well come with us.

The two hurried around front and made it inside just in time to escape the peppering of machinegun fire launched at them from the adjacent house. They dove inside. Picking himself off the dusty floor, Mark noticed that the rest of the men they were with were all crouched down against the corner. “Anyone hurt?” Two raised their hands. “I mean recently.” They put their hands down. “We need to get out of here and hit that machinegun nest.”

The sergeant pointed to two men of the squad. “Jeffery, O’Brien, break the window around back to get out. Crawl around the side of the house and toss a grenade at them. Both saluted, grabbed their rifles, and headed down the hallway to the back. A crash was heard as the smashed the glass, and then silence. Mark clutched his pistol and slowly made his way towards a window to see what was happening. He carefully stuck his head in front of the window to see, then swiftly pulled it back half a second before the window broke and the far wall of the room was perforated by bullets. A few seconds later, a loud BANG broke the silence and the squad rushed out the door. Smoke was rising from the window where the enemy machine gun had been mounted.

Mark turned to the two soldiers emerging from the side of the wall. “Nice throw”.


Yes, two in one aar and one in the other aar in less than a day's time! Turns out I'm even more awesome than I'd previously believed!