“Political power comes out of the barrel of a gun”.
MAO TSE TUNG
BIRMINGHAM CITY CENTRE 12:15.
The weather was a brilliant sunlight burning deep into the atmosphere and lightening the pact Birmingham city centre. All ethnicities mixed together in relative harmony. A genuine 21st century melting pot. People hurried around like ants their time filled with their busy lives.
Outside the library students sat around talking idly baking in the heat. It was then that one noticed a strange silhouette in the sky. Her first thoughts were it was some kind of glider a smaller plane even. Then it began to swoop down.
The vehicle was a US military drone. Unknown to the onlookers nearby it was about to terminate their very existence.
The missiles fired quickly in succession The explosions were huge. The old beautiful library was no more. Neither were 47 people who were killed in the attack…
Adam Quist could not believe the horrific footage he just witnessed. Timmons was almost speechless.
“Why the hell did this happen?” Adam demanded.
“The US has only apologised as far as I know. They will probably offer some money, they usually do”.
“What the hell right did they have to launch a drone ion the first place!”
Timmons sighed pathetically.
“I’ve learned that they do what they want. Our powers are limited in comparison”.
“This could be interpreted as an act of war”.
“I believe they were looking for a possible terrorist”.
“Does it really matter. They don’t seem to bother about the legality when they send the people to Cuba to rot illegally”. Adams was scathing with anger.
“I’ve just brought Paul back from the airport”.
“Have they allowed him to be a free man?” Adam asked Timmons.
“I believe so”.
“What has the Asian community made of this attack?” Adam asked.
“That’s what my superiors want from Doomwatch. An investigation.In recent years anti American sentiment in the UK has being growingdramatically. There is a concern that the embassies will be attacked”.
Adam stared straight into Timmons eyes.
“Maybe they should”.
“Come on Quist. We’re not going to go to war or fall out with the US”.
“If enough people here revolt, you can’t stop them. Unless the US aregoing to bombard us with nukes?”
Col Adams was a burly American GI who had seen action in Iraq and Yugoslavia. He was a devout American and would defend his countries honour against a foe no matter how formidable they might appear. British intelligence wanted to grill him over the recent deaths in Birmingham. Some of the more extreme members even wanted the states severely punished. But Col Adams and they knew this was not going to happen. The US was responsible only to itself and God. It was these words that every US military operative in command understood. The US after all was the arsenal of democracy.
The President of the US issued a statement via his subordinates, but the British Prime Minister and his cabinet knew this would not be enough. There had to be reasons for the drone in British skies and there had to be suitable compensation. The US offered a fund of 2 million dollars but could not explain the reasons the drone was over UK skies. The Prime Minister had to break the dead lock somehow.
“The President of the United States deeply regrets the incident in Birmingham andwill of course financially compensate all people and indeed the library for any harmcaused by the drone”. The advisor stated flatly.
“Why was it there?” The Prime Minister demanded.
The advisor flushed.
“Sir, Prime Minister. My government is currently following up operations which relate to the Taliban and indeed our current fighting in Afghanistan”.
“If it involves my country I want an explanation damn it!”
The Prime Minster thumped his desk.
“Unfortunately at this present time no explanation can be given. However wewould appreciate any cooperation you could give us Prime Minister”.
The Prime Minister could hardly believe the words he was hearing.
“This is not acceptable!” He demanded.
The advisor was shocked by the outburst.
“I’m afraid sir it has to be. By orders of the President of the United States ofAmerica”.
“Now you listen to me you little prick. Your country will tell me what the hella drone spy plane was doing over my country within 24 hours else all military involvement featuring my country and all US military equipment in this country will be seized”.
The advisor smiled superciliously.
“Sir don’t push us. We will bury you if need be”.
“24 hours. Now get the fuck out of office”.
The advisor scowled, then saluted and disappeared.
Paul returned to Doomwatch. He sat behind his new desk.
“Well what do you think of place?” Adam asked.
“It’s…I prefer it”.
“Yeah. I’m surprised they gave us bigger premises”.
“So what are we working on boss?”
“You know about that recent US drone attack?”
“We’ve been asked to investigate and curb the growing anti-American sentiment herein the UK”.
“A lot easier said than done boss”.
“Agreed. In the last ten years post 9/11 the British people are growing indistrust not only of Muslim peoples but also of Americans. The wars theyhave dragged us into and the waste of lives. Look at Afghanistan. No one hasever won there. Be it Russian or us in the past. This drone attack which theleft wing press have been whipping up into a frenzy will no doubt permanentlydebase Anglo-American relations”.
Adam replied sombrely.
The conversation was then interrupted by the telephone. Adam grabbed the receiver and listened tentatively to the voice on the other end before hanging up.
“Not good news I take it?” Paul asked.
“That was Timmons. The US embassy here in London has just been firebombed”.
In the US military they have a colloquialism. It’s FUBAR, what it stands for is Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.
The news of the US embassy being firebombed in London was a great shock to the US government. They expected the British government to have it under control already and safe stories prepared to their media. But no. The British people had united under a banner of Anti-Americanism. It wasn’t just the British either. Desperate not to be outdone in their dislike of the US, the US embassy in Paris had also been attacked.
Col Adams was furious. The British were meant to be their most dedicated allies. In truth the people had shown their true colours. Of all the US had done for them. However his superiors were desperate to rebuild relations rather than fall out. The UK was valuable to the US in terms of being the door into Europe. It also had a large US base in the south of Britain. The directive came through that the US were to offer more money to Britain in compensation and a explanation for the drone attack (that was currently being created at the Pentagon). Col Adams hated cowing down to the Brits. But orders are orders.
Adam Quist and Miranda sat with Timmons in the autopsy room.
“Here’s the fellow”.
The forensic doctor wheeled a body out and pulled back the sheet. The body was a dead white male in his forties.
“So this man is the one that the US claim to be after?” Adam asked unnerved by the dead body.
“Apparently he converted three years ago to Islam and they believe he was involved in certain activities”.
“Cause of death?” Adam asked.
“Please take a look”. The doctor said.
Adam glanced at Miranda to look. Miranda nodded and removed the sheet and looked over the body. Her attention was drawn to the eyes. There were what appeared to be tiny starfish in the eyes. In reality they were burst capillaries.
“Suffocation”. Miranda announced.
“Spot on. Probably with a pillow”. The doctor replied.
Adam turned to Timmons.
“You people believe this bollocks?” Adam asked.
“No. The US are feeding us misinformation”.
Col Adams was briefed that morning that the United States of America might be approaching defcom 3. The last time they had reached this level of security was 9/11. What the hell was going on?
“The US are lying to us. They have sent warplanes over and killed our civilians. This is an act of war. And they’re now bullshitting us with some ridiculous story?”
Adam announced. Timmons nodded reluctantly.
“But why are they doing this?” Timmons said.
“The US has been the world power since WW2. Every empire crumbles. Perhapsthe military/industrial complex has finally sent them insane. With money beingdrained away in the middle east, oil running out, revolutions and China the upand coming world power already dominating the Pacific perhaps this day was inevitable”. Adam said coolly.
Miranda and Timmons exchanged a worried look.
“It’s only a theory”. Adam said half joking.
“If the US would send a drone killer over our skies and kill civilians, then what’s tostop them nuking their enemies?” Miranda questioned.
“Or us?” Timmons added.
Col Adams was greeted by Charles “chuck” Walker. A senator and former military men and one of the few human beings Col Adams would salute and call sir.
“Well you look good Adams”. Chuck said genuinely.
“Thank you sir”.
“Adams, you know we’re at defcon 3 don’t you?”
“Yes sir I was wondering why”.
“Look son, Adams, this isn’t easy to me…to anyone. Fact of the damn matter is the world has changed. All the other countries you see now…they can’t be trusted.The cold war ended twenty God damn years ago and yet I still wouldn’t trust a Russian. Even the ungrateful Brits are whining like bitches. Son the world is changing and soon everyone else will turn on us. This might be our last chance to stop everyone else with nuclear weapons. Stop anyone else ever challenging us”.
Col Adams couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He was patriotic and right wing, but nuking the rest of the world was too much even for him.
“Oh don’t look at me like that. You don’t want to see the land of liberty fall do you?”
“I take national security and patriotism very seriously. But pre-emptive strikes against the rest of the world seem…a bit much”.
Chuck sat back shocked by Col Adams.
“Fucking hell Adams, I never had you down as a God damn communist”.
“Sir I’m not. I just think this action is paranoid and can’t be justified…” Adams cried.
Chuck slammed his fists down on the table.
“You listen to me you son of a bitch! If you leave the US border what you got? Fucking Mexicans and Canadians you go further a field what then have you got?Fucking French and Italians further still you get Chinese and Russians. These ain’tproper people son! They all god damn foreign fuckers who take pot shots at ourglorious constitution. But they still expect us to help them! Wellfuck them all. If you aren’t US then your enemy. Which side are youon Adams!” Chuck roared.
Col Adams thought for a moment then stood up and saluted.
“I’m American sir!”
“That a boy. Now lets nuke the bastards”. Chuck replied proudly.
The cabinet assembled for a emergency meeting. The meeting was to be kept a complete secret. Polaris submarines believe they have tracked three US Trident C4 class submarines in British waters. Following on from the drone attack the heads of the military suggested the subs are sunk before the US attack us here.
The Prime Ministers hands were tied, he wanted to attack but the US was too powerful. He dare not antagonise them.
“Sir we have just received a communication from the Chinese embassy“. The assistant said hurriedly.
“God damn it we’re in session here!” The PM roared taking his frustration out on the assistant.
“Sir, its regarding the situation”.
The PM shot up and snatched the piece of paper from the assistants hand and read it. The allowed himself a brief smile.
“The Chinese government sympathises with the United Kingdom and isprepared both economically and militarily to warn the US off us should theneed arise”.
The cabinet exchanged puzzled glances.
“Send a message back thanking the Chinese government and tell them we would deeply like to form a new “special relationship” with them”.
The assistant nodded and fled the room.
“It seems gentlemen we’re not the only ones with common sense”. The Prime Minister declared as he made a b-line for the whisky.
“I’d sing the Internationale now if I knew the words”. The Deputy Prime Minister declared.
Col Adams stood silently as Chuck paced the room.
“You see the fucking Brits can’t trust them! They could have all been Chinese damn communists for years!”
Col Adams had to play for time. It was becoming painfully clear that Chuck had lost his mind. He had become a paranoid mess. Spent far too many years in the US senate and in foreign relations. He now believed the rest of the world had to be crushed once and for all for future US safety. This was not the US that Col Adams stood for. He stood for democracy and freedom. He had fearlessly fought throughout the cold war against communists and their corruptions.
Col Adams had to get a word out to someone else in the senate asap before Chuck did any more damage.
Timmons was briefed on the situation. He was told that the “special relationship” with America had become strained of late. He was also told that the situation was cooling down. For the moment the government were keeping quiet about the assistance from China.
Timmons knew they were keeping the details back from him deliberately. But he was not in a position to challenge them. Instead he returned to his duties.
Adam Quist followed the news trying to work out what would be done regarding America. The US government issued a apology and edict and did their best to stop Britain losing face. He wondered what had really happened behind the scenes.
In a secret location in Beijing a elderly man with glasses stared at his computer screen. Suddenly a infectious smile broke out over his face…