The War Journals: ResistanceCory Mccoy / Thrillers & Crime
The War Journals: Resistance
Copyright 2013 Cory McCoy
We aren't always given a choice where our path in life takes us, we just have to hope for the best and pray that God equipped us to handle the worst. My involvement in this conflict began in the shadows of the cascade mountains.
It seems like a century has passed since the war began, still no one fully believes life will one day be better. The hardships have become a way of life. Constantly on the run, always hiding. What happened to that paradise we had hoped our children would grow up in? May 23rd, was the day God abandoned America.
I believe it was Santayana who said, "Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.” And so the historians urge us to tell our stories. These professors think that by chronicling our accounts of the war, that we will somehow instill hope in the generations to come. I have witnessed more deaths than any man can comprehend, taken enough lives to ensure my place in hell. I am responsible for more deaths from both sides than any man would dare to claim. In their naivety, these historians believe that my accounts of the conflict may have the power to shape the outcome of this war in our favor.
My name is Connor Jeffries. This is my account of the darkest days in our country's history and how the Resistance began.
An Incredible Burden
My involvement in this conflict began in the shadows of the cascade mountains. We aren't always given a choice where our path in life takes us, we just have to hope for the best and pray that God equipped us to handle the worst.
It was stiflingly hot that day, but our biggest concern was making sure we had enough potato salad for the party we were having that weekend. We had just seen a movie and decided to go to the big box retailer next door to grab some last minute supplies. God how I hated those places.
Mega Mart was 150,000 sq ft of everything you could possibly need, brought to you at discount prices. Crushing mom and pop stores was in it's DNA. The place was built like a fortress, with the only entrances being a side access road and the movie theater parking lot. The city had required Mega Mart to build the store with it's back to the interstate and a courtesy fence with a twenty foot drop off in the front. The walls were thick, you couldn't hear the highway or airport just a few miles away while inside. They built these places to withstand the worst natural disasters, with enough supplies to sustain any army for months.
I was 28 at the time. In that life I had just been accepted to start clinicals for my doctorate in psychology. I'd even managed to land a paid internship with the county mental health hospital in order to make up the shortfall that my GI Bill wouldn't cover. The GI Bill was earned over four years in the USMC performing reconnaissance in drug ravaged countries.
I'd met Liz in a child psychology class, she was studying to become a social worker. We'd been together for over 3 years by that time. She was beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate. Obviously, I didn't deserve her. She didn't know it yet, but I planned on marrying her after I finished clinicals.
It had been a good day so far, aside from having to shove my way through people just to grab an item off the shelves. These places were a nightmare if you only needed a few things and I needed some beer. You can never have enough cheap beer at a cook out. Hell, I probably needed a second cart for it. Liz disagreed, she hated beer. She only ever drank girly drinks, but that's what blenders are for I guess.
"But I only have one blender, and you have 10 cases of beer!", Liz whined playfully." I need at least three more to keep up"
"Well they're only, what, ten dollars here?" I responded, "They've got everything here, I bet you could even buy a kid"
"Oh in that case, I'll just have the kid make the drinks", she said. "What aisle are indentured servants on?"
"Hell if I know, they don't even have aisle numbers here, let's check over by the...", I stopped mid sentence. I could recognize that sound anywhere. Three short pops in rapid succession, and now people were screaming.
"Someone's shooting, we need to find some cover." I said, years of training taking over.
As I turned to look for somewhere to get Liz to safety and saw a small man in combat gear armed to the teeth coming at us. Shots were ringing out everywhere, this place had turned into a battlefield. As the soldier went to train his gun on us, I flung a beer bottle hard at his head. He went down, I didn't stop to think. I kicked him hard in the ribs as he tried to get up, there was a sickening crunch, the sound of a few broken ribs. As he writhed, clutching his chest, I yanked off his helmet, viciously slamming his head into the concrete.
A second soldier had heard him screaming in a language I didn't recognize. I took the dead man's rifle as I got up from the floor. It would be minutes before his other comrades realized one of their own was down. They were dressed in all black like some kind of SWAT team, I wasn't sure what kind of body armor this was, which meant I would have to shoot to kill. As he rounded the corner, I took out the second gunman with one shot and attempted to survey the situation. People were trying to run and being shot down everywhere, this was a fucking massacre.
Spotting an office by the auto parts about 60 yards away, I knew that was my best bet to get Liz to safety. I wasn't sure what I would do once we got there.
"I need you to listen, I’m going to get you somewhere safe. You have to trust me and do exactly what I tell you. "She was scared, she had no idea what was happening. I had a little time before someone would notice us so I grabbed the body armor off of the guy i had taken out first and put it on Liz. These guys were absurdly well armed. Each had an assault rifle and two sidearms along with a knife and a bevy of grenades.
Knowing I couldn't risk leaving the first gunman to be found by his friends, I prepared to put a round in his head, but I must have cracked his skull on the floor. He was already dead, blood pooling around him.
"Take this pistol, if someone comes at you, you shoot them in the head. Don’t hesitate just pull the trigger, ok?" I said handing Liz one of the guns, as I unhooked his radio just in case.
"Connor", she sobbed. "I’m scared, what's happening?"
"I don’t know, but they're not going to let anyone live to find out", I said. "I need you to keep your head down and don't stop moving no matter what. We're headed to that office, It'll be safer there. Don’t look up just run as fast as you can, ok?”
I shouldered the second rifle and grabbed a belt of grenades. Sixty yards feels like the Atlantic Ocean when you have god knows how many people trying to kill you along the way. There was no time to waste. We would have to run through the women's clothing to get to our destination, with nowhere to stop for cover if we drew fire.
We ran like our lives depended on it, because they did. There was no turning back, these guys knew someone had taken down one of their men already. Why the hell hadn't they just cut the power? As we started to move across the store it became apparent that these guys had more of a reason to be here than just killing random people.
We were a little over half way to our destination when we began drawing fire. At least three men had spotted us.
“Keep moving.” I urged Liz as I drew the rifle up to retaliate, hitting one and leaving the others sprawling for cover. We were almost there when a gunman cut us off, he was between us and the office and there was no turning back. I was headed straight at him with no way of stopping, he had a line on me.
I was as good as dead when a mountain of a man with a baseball bat came out of nowhere and nearly removed his head. If not for him, we would have both been among the body count..
"I've got to try and stop this," I said as I got Liz into the office. "everyone here is going to die if we don't try something."
"Connor, you can't just-", she said as I closed the door before she could try and talk me out of it.
We had a moment's reprieve in the chaos. I'm easily six feet tall and this guy had to be closer to seven.
"What's your name?" I asked handing him the rifle of the man he had just taken out
"Jim. Listen man, my boy is out there somewhere. You've got to help me find him." He plead
"Got any combat experience Jim?" I asked as I handed him a few extra clips.
"No, none. I know my way around a gun though." He replied.
"Good, because these guys want us all dead and you and I are the only ones standing in their way. Something big is going down here, it's like they're trying to secure this place." I said, I could see gunmen patrolling outside of the auto bay. They were waiting to kill anyone who managed to make it out alive. "My phone can't get a signal, what about you?"
"No, it stopped working right after we got here. I tried to call my son, but it wouldn't go through. " He said, sounding more and more desperate by the second.
"I've got a plan," I said "these guys are speaking some kind of oriental dialect, so we have no way of telling what they are saying or if they've located our positions. They can communicate, but we can't. We need to block their radio like they're doing to our phones."
"How the hell are we going to do that?" he asked.
"See that counter over by the stereos? We're going to lock down the talk button and open up the store's intercom. While I set that up, you're going to turn up those radios as loud as you can on one of the rock stations"
"Those little bastards won't know what the hell is happening", he said with a grin."Let's do this, boss man."
The counter was probably 15 yards away, but there were open aisles on the way to it. We had no way of telling if someone was waiting to take us down.
"Run like hell Jim, don't stop for anything" I said as we took off toward the counter. Shots rang out a few aisles down, but we kept moving. Once we got there we both jumped over the counter to cover ourselves in case one of the gunmen had followed.
"Wh-what in the hell is happening?" said a little old man who was already hiding there. He was wearing one of those obnoxious vests with the big thumbs up on the back, indicating he worked there. Although, Mega Mart employees general disdain for life usually gave them away better than the vest did. His name was Tom, I think.
"Looks to me like a couple dozen little bastards are trying to kill everyone here," I said "You're gonna have to help me out Tom. I need you to turn on the PA for me, we're going to fuck with their heads so we can try to secure the store and save as many people as we can. Oh, and I need a map of the store, do you have one?" He nodded, terrified that he might draw the enemy toward him. As he frantically searched through binders under the counter for a marketing schematic, I secured the phone for the PA and use a zip tie I found under the counter to attach it to the radios.
Damn those radios were loud, we probably didn't even need the PA on. I could barely hear myself think, so those bastards definitely couldn't hear each other. With a little assistance from Tom we had a diversion and a map of the store with every possible location people might be using for cover. Now was the time to strike.
Tom was too afraid to move, so Jim and I set off toward the kids section where his son was supposed to be. We were under heavy fire for much of the the way until the gunmen seemed to break off, chasing someone. Seconds later an explosion knocked an entire aisle over just yards away from us.
I could hear someone yelling even over the music, "Come on mother fuckers, I’ve got more where that came from" We spotted the guy yelling and he ran toward us, he must have taken a shooter down because he had a belt full of grenades strapped across his chest like some kind of Rambo. He was bouncing off of shelves, hopping from one side of the aisle to another like some kind of rabbit on crack.
"Hey you guys! HEY, you guys must have been the ones taking those fuckers out!" he exclaimed.
"Are you insane?" I said, "they're going to swarm us because of that shit, use the gun for Christ's sake"
"I don't know how man, my only gun training is on the xbox", he said rather sheepishly for a man covered in grenades.
"Come on kid, we need all the help we can get" I said, this kid was pretty handy with the grenades to be honest. "How many do you think you got just now?"
"I don’t know the bitches were all over me after I grabbed the grenades off one of the dudes when he wasn’t looking", He explained " I was hiding in a clothes rack and jumped out and grabbed the belt and ran."
This kid couldn't have been older than sixteen, he was just a baby still. Yet at sixteen he had become a man and taken other men's lives. "Did you see anything while you were hiding kid? I need an idea of what we're up against"
"Quit calling me kid, my name is Jesse!" he said irritated and scared, "I could see the front of the store from there, there were 6 or 7 by the doors and checkouts. Bodies were everywhere, they killed my mom when we were in line." As he said this, Jesse began sobbing. He was fighting to hold back the tears.
We were wasting time and were in a dangerous spot, hiding under an aisle that had been knocked onto another by the one of the blasts, almost forming a makeshift tent.
"She'd be damn proud of how brave you're being, you're a hero Jesse" I said as I searched for the safest path toward our destination. "Listen we need to move, we're headed toward the kid's section. Jim here, his son was supposed to be over there and we need to find him. Let's go."
We were heading into a dangerous position, the toys were in the corner by the outdoor living area and the whole place was wide open. I knew there would be gun men waiting to mow people down as they headed toward the exits. If we could get across the main alley we could run through the rear of the area, the problem was the main alleyway was about as safe as the far end of a shooting range.
We were peering around a corner when a shooter saw us and fired. We had to duck back, surely his friends knew we were there now. I turned to Jim and Jesse to tell them we were going to have to make a break for it, but Jesse was gone. He had run off without saying a word.
"It's just you and me again Jim, we need to make a break for it. I'll open up on our left you take the right. We only need to cover 10 feet or so and we're across." I said. Before we could move I heard more explosions toward the outdoor living, it had to be Jesse. The kid was stupid, but he had balls. These guys wanted the place intact for whatever they were planning. It was only a matter of time before the police or military arrived and tried to break the perimeter, we just had to hold out.
We took advantage of the momentary distraction and made a mad dash for the other side. The gunman who had fired was running toward the explosions. He saw us and tried to start firing, but I tackled him and we slammed into the far side of the aisle. We hit hard, so hard it knocked the breath out of me. As we fell to the floor Jim clocked him with the butt of his rifle.
"Don’t shoot him," I said, struggling for breath.
"What do you mean don't shoot him? He'll kill us if we don't kill him first" Jim roared at me.
"I know, I know but hear me out. More Chinese speak English than there are Americans, so there is a damn good chance this fucker can understand us if he really is Chinese." I ripped the ski mask off his face, the guy definitely looked Chinese to me.
"Do you speak English? Do you?" I yelled.
Jesse was doing a hell of a job buying us time, I could hear him still throwing grenades. The fire set off the sprinkler system. Another distraction for these guys. Meanwhile, our temporary hostage took the liberty of spitting my face. That was a pretty clear indication he understood.
"Do you understand this, asshole?" I said as I grabbed my sidearm and fired a round into his thigh .
"YES, yes please don’t shoot me again. I tell anything, anything I promise", we were getting somewhere.
"How many are with you and what the hell are you planning?" I asked as I pressed the gun between his eyes. This guy opened up like a momma's boy on his therapist's couch. He didn't speak the best English, but it was good enough to get what I needed. I handed Jim his grenades, just in case. Jim held off the occasional soldier while I questioned him in a corner against the wall of the store.
They were Chinese, but they had no idea where they were. Their orders were simple, they would be dropping from a commercial flight going overhead and taking over the store that they were landing in the parking lot of. Meanwhile, others who had already been here waiting for the attack knocked over large trucks in front of the only exits. They had jeeps ready inside a semi as well as a mobile command center disguised as a delivery truck out back.
To avoid detection the Chinese had booked multiple flights headed for major airports with their own soldiers. There was no indication our government even suspected an attack. We had killed about a dozen already which left another twelve to fourteen by various entrances. Apparently they broke position when Jesse had started throwing grenades. They were under strict orders to do as little damage tot he store as possible. With it's proximity to the highway and airport this was to become their base of operations in this area.
"We destroyed all of the bas-" before he could tell me more he was shot by another of his soldiers. Jim had been busy with two trying to lock us down and didn’t see the soldier coming from the other side. I fell sideways and opened fire on him, taking him down, but not before he caught me in the shoulder.
I hadn't realized it until then, but the intercom had been shut off and the stereos were no longer on. They must have found the old man. We needed to move and fast.
"Come on, it's now or never" I said as Jim and I began firing on the two who had distracted him.
These guys must have been regular grunts, they weren't exactly expert marksmen. I remember thinking at the time, if these were the grunts than where the hell did they send the special forces to?
As we rounded the corner toward the bicycles, we noticed a pool of blood on the floor near some large boxes. Jim frantically knocked them out of the way, hoping it wasn't his son.
It was, "no no no no no, not him! It can't be..." Jim wept as he held his dead son in his arms.
"I’m sorry Jim, I am so sorry" I said, stunned even though it wasn’t the first body I had seen that day "we're gonna get these bastards back"
Without a word Jim stood up and took off running toward the outdoor area's doors. He had snapped. The man was built like an ox and was drawing heavy fire. He had to have been hit multiple times, but he didn't stop. I followed as well as I could, trying to take out the fighters before they could kill him.
Suddenly, I saw what Jim was headed toward. They had a supply truck backed up to the door and one man was unloading heavy artillery while another guarded the supplies. They must have just started because the truck looked packed still. Jim was going straight for the truck. Both men saw him and started firing. I had a line on the guard and took him out before he could raise his gun.
I was running as fast as I could behind Jim, trying desperately to catch up. There was no stopping him. Jesse had seen us and was drawing others in the opposite direction, some kind of commotion was happening that way. I didn't have time to look.
I reached out to grab Jim, he was going to run headfirst into the unloader's muzzle, when I tripped. My feet came out from under me and I hit my head hard on the painted concrete floor. I blacked out for a second, but forced myself to move, scrambling to pull myself up. I was as good as dead if I couldn't.
I had slipped on the pins from the grenades I had given to him not ten minutes before. Jim had dropped them as he ran toward the truck, shooting the unloader with his pistol. He wasn't dead, he laid there with a look of horror as this behemoth of unadulterated rage came barreling his way.
I knew I didn't have time to stop him and couldn't even if I had tried. I'd be lucky if the blast didn't take me out as well. He had decided his fate, they had broken this man by taking his son from him.