The arendt files, p.31
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       The Arendt Files, p.31
 

           Ivan Rosemblatt
When they hit the southern states there was a change in tone. Main streets were freshly painted and there was an air of triumphalism, a new obscene form of patriotism. These states flew the confederate flag alongside the Swastika. They seemed obsessed with flags, they hung from every light on every street, off of building and water towers. Each town had city slaves they kept in the center square to provide free shoe shines. Of course that meant they had to have armed police there as well to insure that the slave didn’t kill anyone as had been common earlier on in the occupation. They knew reality was not as clean as it was being presented here. The resistance had made a point of sullying public landmarks with the severed heads of collaborators. It was barbaric they knew, but it got the point across. As efficient as they had become at cordoning off and removing all traces of travel restrictions had re established local communities, people stayed where they were and word traveled with the old world speed of gossip.

  There were more checkpoints and people were more suspicious of outsiders. John guided his through out of the center of town into a working class suburb. They pulled into the driveway of a simple two story home with a well kept yard. The others stayed in the car while John went to the front door. From the back seat Jimmy was able to see a small boy open the door and his father appear behind him. After a brief exchange the door closed. John walked back to the car, opened the door and sat back down in the passenger seat. A moment later the garage door opened, they pulled in and the door closed behind them.

  The man they assumed to be the owner of the home shook each of their hands. He was a commanding figure, tall and his hands were rough from labor and hard like steel. “We’ll have some food out for you in a minute and some sweet tea.”

  “Are we safe having pulled up in broad daylight like that? We’ve come too far to get sloppy.”

  “Everyone in a five block radius are resistance people. We map it all out like we are instructed, sending it up the channels to central command. All are active sympathizers. Some are willing to take action. All of them can be trusted to keep quiet.”

  “This will be an important point for those of us who make our way back this way. We need to be confident that we can trust people here to fight if it comes to that.”

  “You’ll meet the fighters in an hour or two.”

  “You all completed your first action a few months ago right?”

  “Yes, the Mayor. He was from this town, right here I grew up with him. ”

  “Hard to believe people would stoop so low.”

  “I know. He knew he had it coming. Took it like a man though.”

  There was a couch in the garage and they took turns sitting there or laying down in the back seat of the _________. It had been an exhausting trip. They ate their turkey sandwiches and drank sweet tea. After night fell the other men showed up. Once they were all there John spoke to them about what was needed. That if necessary they would have to be able to hide and care for up to fifty people. They discussed how well communication lines had been established with the Appalachian resistance. The whole area had become a beehive of activity. Slim spoke up, “Word is some Colonel got trapped up there, organized the different bands and is whipping up a firestorm.”

  “That’s very good. Taking it to them. So if we end up back here that’s where we will head.”

  “Nazi’s are all over the area. More every day. It’ll be a bear getting through.”

  “We’ll deal with that when the time comes.” After that they worked out the detail. Arrival routes through the city. Which houses people could head to. Where they would hide and how they would be fed. Once the meeting was done Mike walked over to John.

  “Sir, can I speak to you for a second?”

  “Sure.”

  “Look. I want to join up. Go with you. Since we did our thing, you know, with the Mayor, I can’t stay here. I just can’t look people in the face. I feel like everyone knows. I’m afraid I going to blow it.”

  John saw how anxious the man was, his hands dug deep into his pockets, shoulders up by his ears. “I’m not a coward. I want to fight but I just can’t do it from here.”

  “We can’t take you now. If we come back this way you can join us then. Just know, that may not happen. You have to serve where you are.”

  Chapter 32

 
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