America’s Attack from Within-Chapter One

America’s Attack from Within-Chapter One

March 4, 2024, 2:40 PM

The agents were there to provide security for the new Vice-President and President of the United States.

As many of you know, I enjoy writing books. I have decided to publish the first chapter of my new book titled America’s Attack from Within. Read it, share it, and give me your feedback in the comment section below. I would love to hear if you found it to be intriguing, entertaining, boring, or whatever you think. Ken Crow 

America’s Attack from Within

How a rock star and his band of patriots restore the nation.

Chapter One

Say it Ain’t So

The sky always seems bluer just after a snowstorm. This day was no different. Last night’s storm had left a little over six inches of fresh powder on the ground, which cleaned the air and produced the brilliance of the deep blue heavens.

It was now eleven-thirty in the morning, and the temperature still hovered around twenty degrees as the small crowd stood around the base of the Washington Monument on this January day in Washington, D.C. The group of about fifty or so were the high-ranking members of the military, which included several generals, a smattering of colonels, Supreme Court Justices, friends, family, and invitees.

As the group visited with each other, it was clear the temperature was well below freezing as all their breaths were frozen in white mist as they spoke. For the next few minutes, the group faced Capitol Hill as they chatted about “how best” to restore the mall to its original condition.

It was now eleven-forty-five as the two black SUVs approached the monument. Six Secret Service agents exited the second SUV to open the doors of the lead vehicle and provide security. All were dressed in black knee-length wool overcoats, all were wearing black leather gloves, and all had toboggans on to protect their ears from the blistering cold.

The agents were there to provide security for the new Vice-President and President of the United States.

The backdrop to the auspicious occasion was a still smoldering United States Capital building. Most of the attendees at this swearing-in ceremony were still misty-eyed as they talked while staring at the once beautiful Capital on the hill. With half the dome gone and much of the base building destroyed as well, it was not the only victim of mass conflict, which had only concluded two days prior.

In fact, many of the historic structures on the mall had been heavily damaged primarily because the Capital, White House, and many other buildings were the last to see combat in the struggle to save the United States from enemy forces.

Almost unbelievably, America had been attacked. It would not be nuclear missiles from China or Russia. It would not be ground forces from North Korea coming down from Canada or up from Mexico. America had been assaulted from within our own borders, and unfortunately, millions had died over the past year.

Some fourteen months earlier, on the beautiful plains of Montana, retired Air Force Lt. Colonel Jon Campbell and his brothers Nate and Sam were watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions in the living room of Nate’s home on the K Bar C ranch outside of Great Falls.

Thanksgiving Day is a holiday that the Campbell family celebrates annually. It was a day to feast on great food and enjoy a ballgame, as well as the aesthetics of the surroundings. The crisp air, fresh snow on the branches of the pine trees, as well as a few inches of white powder on the ground. And the best part was the smell of smoke coming from the chimney wafting through the air.

One could not wish for a more appropriate setting to celebrate this traditional American holiday. Nate’s home is a large one. It is a rambling six-thousand-square-foot house constructed of giant stones and logs. It has five bedrooms, five bathrooms, a large kitchen, and a formal dining room with a table that seats twelve. The living room has a massive fireplace built from rock collected off the ranch.

With a huge fifty-five-inch flat-screen high-definition television on the wall and four lazy boy recliners along with a large L-shaped leather sofa, this was the epitome of the perfect setting to watch a ball game while munching on deviled eggs, and chips, and salsa provided by Nate’s wife Monet and Jon’s wife, Cheryl.

The K Bar C is not a small operation. The ranch is a ‘century-ranch’ that was started by the three brothers’ great-grandfather back at the turn of the twentieth century. It encompasses some three hundred and forty-five thousand acres.

The ranch employs four seasoned cowboys to assist with handling the thousand-plus head of purebred Angus cattle, planting the fields of alfalfa hay, breeding, raising, and training top-grade quarter horses, and acting as tour guides for elk, deer, and antelope hunting during the fall hunting season; the ranch nearly always clears a handsome profit.

With the smells coming from the kitchen and the occasional cheering from the living room, a knock on the backdoor welcomes Sid, Bucky, Donner, and “The Kid” (the four ranch hands) to the festivities.

Cowboys often nickname those closest to them. The Kid obtained his nickname mostly because he is the youngest of the crew, being only twenty-one years old. While being only twenty-one, The Kid is most often the one turned to for training younger horses. He seems to have a sixth sense of what a horse feels and thinks. The horses seem to gravitate toward the young cowboy, so the training process is much less stressful on the horses.

Sid is the oldest of the four at fifty-five and served under Jon when he (Jon) was his Commanding Officer in the military. Sid had befriended the Colonel largely because he was ranch-raised in West Texas and knew cattle, horses, and how to care for them. Sid had lived and worked at the K Bar C for some ten years. Nate, Jon, and Sam relied heavily on Sid’s expertise and experience when it came to ‘anything’ ranch. He always seemed to have the right answers for any issue.

As the four entered the living room, they all landed comfortably on the huge leather sofa and immediately immersed themselves in the deviled eggs and the game. As halftime approached, Cheryl came out to the living room and announced that the Thanksgiving feast was set on the table and everyone should begin heading toward the dining room.

The setting was gorgeous, as always. One beautiful large turkey with a golden crust, one large ham that had been glazed, large bowls of stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and many other delicious plates and bowls, including a large pitcher of gravy.

This was one of those days at the K Bar C when all seemed ‘right with the world.’

Nate led the family and ranch hands in prayer; then bowls began getting passed around the table as Jon carved the turkey and Nate passed out glazed ham.

As the ‘game’ was being discussed by most of the “boys,” Nate asked Money if the “girls” were still heading over to the Minneapolis-St. Paul in Minnesota for the annual “girls-weekend” of Christmas shopping at the famed Mall of America.

For years, after Thanksgiving dinner, Monet and Cheryl would load up the family’s Cadillac Escalade and go for a long weekend of ‘girl-time’ in the Twin Cities. This was their time to enjoy the Black Friday sales, get pedicures and manicures, and they usually enjoyed a few hours of “spa-time,” where they enjoyed a healthy massage to relieve the stress of fighting the crowds and hauling presents out to the parking lot.

As the feasting came to an end, Monet announced, “We’re out of here. You boys do the dishes, and we will see you Sunday night.”

The plan for the two wives was to drive to Fargo, check into a nice hotel, get up around 7:00 AM, grab a shower, eat breakfast, and then finish the trip into the Mall of America by around noon. Theoretically, the plan was to let the “crazy” people grab their half-priced televisions and gaming consoles, and they would be done and leave the mall. At least, that was the theory.

One nicety to owning a Cadillac Escalade is that it is fantastic for highway driving. It doesn’t matter if there is snow on the highway as the four-wheel drive kicks in, and you can still drive quite safely. In addition, the seats are leather and heated, so the vehicle makes for a comfortably great trip. In addition, with the speed limit being seventy-five and with the cruise control set, you can cover a ton of ground very quickly.

All was going according to plan when the sisters-in-law exited the Interstate to the Mall. Just as they pulled down the ramp onto the access road, they decided to “kill” a couple of birds with one rock, as it were. They pulled into a very nice convenience store to visit the restroom, grab a cup of coffee, and fill the Escalade up. This way, when they had finished at the mall for the day, they could drive back to Fargo without having to stop. At least, that was the plan.

As Monet was filling the truck, Cheryl ran into the store.  At the moment Monet stuck the gas nozzle into the tank, a massive explosion filled the air. She could hear screaming from others at the convenience store, with people shouting and running in panic. Cheryl came running out of the store in a frenzy, asking, “What the hell was that?” Monet said, “I don’t know, but it was loud.”

No sooner had the words escaped her lips than another explosion rocked the area, then another.

It was then that the two ladies looked toward the Mall of America, which was only two blocks up the street. Large black clouds began rising over the sign on top of the building. “My God in heaven,” said Monet. Over the course of the next couple of minutes (which seemed like hours), two more explosions pierced the air, with yet more black smoke rising above the rooftops. “What in the world is happening?” Cheryl shouted.

As the two ladies stood frozen in time, sirens began getting closer and closer. The wives turned around to look toward the wailing of the sirens only to witness dozens of police cars, ambulances, and what appeared to be SWAT and tactical vehicles exiting the freeway and heading toward the convenience store.

Dozens upon dozens of police cars passed by the gas station, traveling at high rates of speed. Behind them, it seemed like every ambulance in the Twin Cities was also arriving. Cheryl was trying to count but lost count of around twenty-five ambulances and thirty or so police vehicles. It was then that several city buses passed by loaded with officers dressed in SWAT gear. They all were holding what appeared to be AR-15 types of guns; they all wore helmets and had armored vests that had “POLICE” emblazoned on both the front and back.

It was then that Monet grabbed her credit card from the gas pump and announced, “We’re getting the hell out of here.” Whatever is happening at that mall, we don’t want any part of it, she quipped.”

The two jumped in the Escalade, drove around behind the building, and up a side street heading away from the mall. Several blocks down the street, they were able to drive under Interstate 494, turn left, and onto the Interstate, heading away from the mall and back toward I-94, where they could begin driving back to Great Falls and the ranch.

As they were picking up speed on I-494, Cheryl’s cell phone rang. It was Jon. His first words were, “Thank God you’re o.k. Better question: are you safe?” Cheryl responded (her voice shaky and stuttering), Yeah, we are, but we just witnessed what must be mass carnage; what is happening?”

Jon said, “Reports are just coming in, and it appears to be a mass attack on the Mall of America as well as many other locations around the country.” It was then that the cell signal cut out, and Cheryl was saying, “Hello, hello, Jon, are you there?” Cheryl grabbed Monet’s phone and tried dialing Nate, only to hear, “We’re sorry, but your call cannot be completed as dialed.” This can’t be good, Monet said. Is it just that the circuit is jammed because of the disaster at the mall? Cheryl said, drive Monet, pretend you’re at the Daytona 500, and drive.

Around 6:00 PM, the ladies pulled back into Fargo, and they were finally able to get a signal. Monet called Nate and said, “We’re stuck; we are nearly out of gas, and it seems that all computer systems are down, and we can’t fill up anywhere.” Monet gave him the hotel they were at, and Nate said, “We are on our way!”

One of the benefits of owning a large ranch is that you have an enormous supply of diesel and gasoline. Many years prior, Nate’s and Jon’s father had five-thousand-gallon diesel and gas tanks installed. Nate’s truck had not only the factory gas tank but also a 100-gallon tank mounted in the bed of the truck. Filling up the truck to capacity allowed for a range of more than two-thousand miles.

Realizing the situation, the manager of the hotel comped the room to the ladies. The ladies had credit cards but little actual cash, which they used to purchase supper that night. Due to the outages, the hotel couldn’t receive payment via credit card, and besides, this had become a national crisis in a matter of minutes.

Not only had most of the cell towers become incapacitated, but so had the electrical grid gone down across a wide swath of the nation.

The two older brothers drove through the night; most of it was done with a heavy snowfall. The snowplows across Eastern Montana and North Dakota were not to be seen. Fortunately, the big Ford F-350 was equipped for just an occasion. Not only did the truck have a large fuel capacity, but it also had large snow tires and extra running lights mounted on the front. Nothing was going to stop the two brothers from getting to their wives and bringing them home.

There is an unwritten rule in the North country. If you happen upon someone broken down on the side of the road, you always stop to check on them, especially if it happens during a snowstorm. As the brothers passed through Bismark, they noticed two almost eerie things. The first being that Bismark was almost totally blacked out. No streetlights, no lights from downtown, and only the odd light coming from residents who obviously had their own generators. It was then that Nate noticed the Chevrolet Blazer on the side of the Interstate.

As Nate pulled over in front of the Blazer, a young man in military fatigues jumped out to greet the red Ford truck. Jon rolled the window down as snow flew in and inquired if they were alright. The young Captain said yes, but they were out of gas, and nobody was open or could sell them any. Jon informed them that they were happy to help, “where are you guys going?” Captain Johnson informed the brothers that he, his wife, and his daughter had been in Glasgow, Montana, for Thanksgiving with his parents and were heading home to Jamestown, North Dakota, before running out of gas as the power had been lost while they were driving and had no idea that this had happened. Jump in, Jon said, and we will take you home. Unfortunately, though, your Blazer will be stuck until the highway department has it towed into town.

Pulling back onto the Interstate, where now there were approximately six inches of snow lying on the ground, made for a slower-than-normal trip. The captain introduced his daughter and wife to the two brothers, who tried to keep things calm for the traumatized family.

Captain Johnson then asked, “What is going on?” We aren’t sure either responded Nate. The only thing we do know is that, apparently, there was a mass attack of some sort on the Mall of America today; other than that, we know nothing.

Jon then reached for the radio dial, turned the radio on satellite, and tuned in to Fox News. The first voice they heard was that of Fox News reporter Peter Doocy. Peter was anchoring their news desk in New York City and was talking to reporters across America. It was explained that the only reason they could communicate was because the reporters in the field were all using satellite phones. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been able to report the news.

The reporter on the ground in Minneapolis began describing mass carnage at the Mall of America. Seven (who had not yet been identified) apparent terrorists had attacked the mall with Rocket Propelled Grenades, hand grenades, and fully automatic military assault rifles. All seven of the terrorists appeared to be Somalian, and before being killed by the SWAT officers, they had managed to kill thousands of victims.

By the time the two brothers had arrived in Jamestown with their stranded guest, they had listened to hours of on-the-scene reporting. Doocy had interviewed reporters from the Los Angeles International Airport, where several terminals had all but been destroyed, leaving hundreds and maybe thousands of dead with countless more wounded.

The scenes had repeated themselves at the famed Grand Central Station in New York City, Atlanta, Georgia’s Hartfield International Airport, a mall in Newark, New Jersey, the massive Galleria Shopping Center in Houston, Texas, and many, many more high-profile locations across the United States. Even the Statue of Liberty had largely been destroyed from Ammonium Nitrate being planted and set off by a cell phone, much like the bomber had done years before in Oklahoma City when he destroyed the Federal Building.

Disaster and trauma have a way of causing complete strangers to bond to emotionally handle whatever disaster they’re facing. Tonight was no different. Nate and Jon had become familiar with the young family of three, particularly since the young Captain was on active duty in the Army.

As the big Ford truck crept down the ramp into Jamestown, Jon inquired of the captain, what does your food and water supply look like? Emily responded that they only had a couple of days’ supply of bottled water, and she needed to go grocery shopping. After Jon explained the full situation to the captain and his wife, the two brothers suggested that they run by his home, grab some extra clothes, and they should return to the ranch with Nate and Jon.

Jon explained that it could take months for the power to be restored, and in the meantime, grocery stores would be out of food, and this would be the cause for mass civil unrest. In the end, his family would not be safe, and while the national chaos ensued, this would be the safest course of action.

 

The young married couple stared at each other for a few moments, and then Captain Johnson agreed to the brother’s suggestion. Nate quipped, “Well, Jon, it looks like we have adopted a couple of grown youngsters.”

Pulling into the Quality Inn in Fargo as the sun broke in the East was a relief. Jon and Nate’s wives jumped into their husband’s arms, exchanged kisses, and began telling the brothers about their harrowing experiences.

After about ten minutes of reuniting with their wives, Jon said he wanted to stop by the front desk on the way out. As he walked into the lobby, the manager (an older fellow) warmly greeted him. Jon told him who he was and thanked him for the gracious hospitality, paid him in cash for his wife’s room, and shook his hand. The older gentleman simply smiled and said, “Any time,” my friend.

Once everyone had piled into the pickup truck, things got cozy, and introductions were made. Monet and Cheryl immediately began bonding with Emily and explaining the ranch to the young couple. While Monet explained that they had two extra bedrooms for the young couple with a private bathroom for them, the brothers began explaining the rest of the ranch.

Food would not be an issue as they had over 30 chickens producing eggs, a very large hothouse that produced vegetables year-round, deer, elk, and antelope, as well as hogs and plenty of cattle. In other words, nobody would go hungry on the K Bar C ranch.

The Captain then inquired about power and communication. Nate explained that while they had generators, they were not actually needed much as they did have solar which supplied plenty of electricity for the homes. As far as communication goes, they had a complete ham radio set up in the basement of the main house where they could communicate globally if need be.

As far as defense goes, the brothers said they had plenty of rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition, but they likely would not be needed as the ranch headquarters was located miles from the nearest neighbor and some twelve miles outside of Great Falls, which was a smaller city anyway. In addition, the ranch’s headquarters was supplied with three high-output wells, so water would never be an issue either.

The drive back to Montana was indeed a somber one as more and more news reports began coming in about the disaster for our nation on Black Friday. It seemed as if every major city in America had been hit with some sort of terrorist attack. Most of the attacks were against large shopping centers where the attackers knew thousands of innocent victims would be. In most cases, the terrorists got away before law enforcement could arrive.

As Nate guided the big Ford pickup onto the Interstate, he couldn’t help but marvel at the fresh snowfall. Fresh snow seems to clean everything up. He was struck by the beauty of the pink tint of the snow as the brilliant red and yellow sun began rising in his rearview mirror.

In the backseat of the truck, the wives had fallen asleep as their stress levels lessened, along with Emily and her daughter. It had been a long night for all of them. The outside temperature had risen by mid-morning, and the snow on the pavement had turned to slush. Nate was now able to pick up speed as he headed toward home.

 

Jon reached up and turned the radio back to the Fox News channel to grab any possible updates on yesterday’s mass terrorist attacks. Fox was now reporting the unthinkable. The two brothers stared into open space with their jaws slack and their mouths open as the reporter began his announcement from Washington, D.C.

Yesterday’s attacks on the nation were not random. Apparently, everything was choreographed with military precision as they had all begun at exactly ten A.M. central time. In total, there were twenty-three major attacks, and one of these attacks was on the White House. One reporter was standing at the front gate of the White House and was sobbing as he gave a clear and frightening description of what had happened.

The reporter began describing how the smoke was still rising from the area where dignitaries come and go and from the backside of the historical building where the famed West Wing is.

It seems that three H-53 heavy helicopters landed simultaneously on the mall just outside the gates of the White House. Just before they landed, they fired a volley of rockets at the President’s home destroying the protective fencing, front gates and some hitting the building itself. At the same time, five tactical military armored personnel carriers rolled up and in total around three hundred Chinese troops stormed the White House killing the President’s protective detail.

The reporter still did not know if the President was safe, alive, dead or what condition he might have been in. What he did know was that Chinese troops now occupied the White House.

The captain and the two brothers sat in silence, listening to report after report being transmitted about the totality of the destruction having been carried out in an unprecedented fashion against the United States.

Besides major airports being hit, malls being destroyed, and the White House having been attacked, the terrorists had even destroyed Mount Rushmore, St. Louis Arch, parts of the Gettysburg battlefield, and even Arlington National Cemetery as well as sections of the Pentagon, which is just across the street from Arlington. The terrorists had wanted to not only slaughter American civilians; they had wanted to drive a spike through the heart of iconic memorials and symbols of American history as well.

The seven-hundred-plus mile drive from Fargo back to the ranch had indeed been a sobering event as hour after hour was filled with emotional pain, fear, and wonderment of what the days and weeks ahead might bring to the family, employees, and new friends of the K Bar C ranch.

By RAV contributor: Ken Crow
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Original Article

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