Saturday, February 25, 2012


In Mexico, the heads of Los Zetas made an announcement that would seize the attention of the whole world: they now issued their own currency, the Villa Dollar, and they issued it directly as credit with just the full faith and credit of the cartel backing it. The Mexican government had a fit, as did the rest of the world’s governments and the world banking system. Press attention diverted away from the nasty county guerrilla war far, far to the north in the United States.

The Syndicate signed off on the move, and both cut the Angels out of the loop. The two groups agreed that their ally had become too weak to maintain any longer and thus became expendable. Not that the Angels’ leadership had the presence of mind to understand the significance of the betrayal, as none of them were savvy as to how the world really works to get that this was not more than just your average attempt by a criminal cartel to transition into a rival government. Instead, obsessed with Ken, they focused mono-manically upon the furiously-fist-firing-fellow from the North Star State.

The Hell’s Angels, as an international organization, declared war upon Ken. Observers agreed that this was one of the dumbest decisions ever made by any organization in human history. Word went out that all available Angels are to ride upon Ken and take him out. Dutifully enough, they did; sure, some failed to go for understandable reasons—imprisoned, injured, slain—and for ones less-than-noble alike. All of the world’s governments, as soon as they got word of the decree, facilitated the Angels present into the meat-grinder.

The top hitters of the Hell’s Angels gang, on the other hand, held back. They weren’t stupid; if Ken and his allies showed themselves quite capable of dealing with the brethren, then these top Angels reckoned—correctly—that they would need the aid of their counterparts in the Syndicate and the Zetas. Instead, they managed the operations of the brethren, knowing full well that they sent these men to their deaths. Some infiltrated the county under the guise of being a journalist, an insurance adjuster, or something similar; these men were the best because of their intelligence- not their brutality.

Ken slept at Reginald and Kathy’s home, sometimes alone and sometimes not. He would also spend time there meditating or practicing and it was in that state where he—contemplating events—broke through and awoke from his state with a start. He started the Berglund’s daughter, Ellie, when he did so, but—quick of mind—saw the child’s distress and soothed her swiftly before rushing off. He needed paper and pencil, and found them in Reginald’s home office.

Ken scribbled without thought, letting it flow before it faded, and soon he had three pages full of notes. Then it faded, and he walked into the kitchen to put on some tea while he tried to make sense of what his own hand put down. Ellie followed, now curious.

“Uncle Ken?” she asked, meekly, “What’s that?”

Ken waived for Ellie to come over, and she did as asked. Ken put the girl on his lap.

“I sat down to meditate.” Ken said, “That’s a thing some grown-ups know how to do. It lets me rest without sleeping, so I can think about things in a way that’s not done at school or everyday life.”

“Does this happen ever time?”

Ken laughed. “No. Most of the time, it’s as quiet coming out as going in. This, Ellie, is a big deal because it doesn’t happen that often.”

Friday, February 17, 2012


The next few weeks turned the county into the focal point of attention by national and international media as the citizens of the county turned out their guns and joined Ken and the Sheriff in waging war against the Hell’s Angels, Los Zetas and the Syndicate. Angel clubhouses emptied out all over the Upper Midwest of the United States as well as adjacent Canadian provinces, only to bleed out on the roads when ambushed from the sides by vigilant citizen militiamen or from above by Ken or Guiscard in the latter’s plane. The Sheriff stepped back from field work and concentrated on media management, while Ken and Guiscard took over day-to-day operations.

The governor, knowing who was there, dragged his feet and cited precedent stating that the county sheriff was the supreme official within that space- not him. The President of the United States stayed out of it officially, but every morning had a report incorporated into his briefing; he talked with the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada regularly once the word got out, and all of them privately agreed to funnel these criminals into Ken’s death trap- and any other undesirables foolish enough to follow them.

Ken anticipated this; he knew that politicians relied greatly on image and illusion, so by disrupting that illusion he could wield that weakness to drive them where he wanted them to go- much like the criminal syndicates he waged war against. As for those organizations, they also conferred- with the World President of the Hell’s Angels being furious. Now, at last, they fell into Ken’s trap utterly: the calls went out for each syndicate’s best men- top cleaners, fixers, hitmen, mechanics, assassins one and all.

Called off of holidays, other assignments, lower-priority targets, etc. they were to assemble and go after Ken, and unlike the previous attempts these operators knew better than to infiltrate openly. No, these were experienced veterans, many formally trained, and understood as Ken did where this battle really occurred: in the mind. They all knew, from examining the intelligence supplied, that Ken wanted this to happen. Therefore, they all knew that Ken expected them to come for him, and that meant assuming that Ken prepared for their assignment against him.

Ken, apart from the media at Guiscard’s bar, managed operations. He put out the word to look for outsiders in plain clothes or outside agencies, training the people in how to spot men like him from far enough distances than they could slink away and call for backup. Through Reginald he got weapons and ammunition sufficient to keep the militia and their families well-armed and supplied, as well as the space necessary to train regularly between engagements. The county hospital and morgue kept busy, keeping the people up and disposing of the dead, and The Sheriff kept the media mostly corralled by letting the go-getters go alone; more of that lot got killed in the crossfire than got anything good out of their endeavors, with the survivors being those wise enough to stay away from firefights and hostiles. In short, things were well in hand for now.

That’s what Ken kept fixed in his mind, “for now”, knowing that the next step would disrupt this initially- and threatened to do so permanently. Compelling these entities to dispatch their best killers to deal with him was not risk-free, and he knew that. The one thing he wanted to know was which group would move first, because he could guess whom amongst that group would come for him- and once he knew his enemy, dealing with him would become much easier.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


The first indication that things were seriously amiss in the county came the evening after Ken intercepted a massive ride of Hell’s Angels coming from the annual Sturgis rally, diving upon them from above in the same attack plane that he used to shoot down the Syndicate and Zetas hitters. Without warning he winged over and strafed the bikers, ripping apart their double-column with a volley of big bore machine gun fire and then powered away before the bikers could react. He swung around, did it again from the other side and moments later the highway choked with burning bikes and bleeding bodies bearing big, bold bottom-rockers showing that Angels from across the nation now laid dead or dying on that rural road.

Back at the airport, Ken met The Sheriff as he got out of Guiscard’s old attack plane.

“You got a hell of a plan.” The Sheriff said, “There’s five-score corpses on the highway heading into town west of here. Ain’t no way that the media will ignore that.”

Ken smiled. “Good. That’s just what I need to embarrass and humiliate the bosses. There’s no way the men in charge of these three organizations can afford to back down now, not if they want to save face with each other.”

“Y’know, for a guy who never served a day in the military or ever spied for anyone, you sure know how to start a war.” The Sheriff sighed.

“Oh,” Guiscard said, “by the way. I took some liberties while you two were out. My people in the right places informed me that the Zetas and the Syndicate are, as you people say, astonished- and, also, angrier than they ever were before.”

Ken chuckled. “Excellent.”

“So,” The Sheriff said, “what’s the next step?”

“Call Reggie. Get that militia out, warmed up and ready to roll. All of them. Put the county on a total war footing; tell the women and children to head to the hills, batten the hatches and hunker down until it’s over.”

“That bad, eh?” The Sheriff said.

Ken nodded. “The Zetas play for keeps, and don’t obey decent folks’ ideas of war.”

“The Syndicate isn’t any cleaner.” Guiscard said.

“What about the media?” The Sheriff said.

“Let them be. Stupidity is a self-correcting problem, and as I recall the local managers aren’t a bunch of morons.” Ken checked Guiscard’s computer.

“And if they come from The Cities, Duluth, Chicago, L.A., N.Y.C. or D.C.?”

“Again, self-correcting problem.” Ken said, “Apparently, someone’s already on the scene and has a Livestream report going.”

“Citizen journalism.” The Sheriff said, walking over, “Ah, that’s the Anderson boy. I’m going to have to have a word about listening in on the police band with him. There’s no way that the bad guys are not going to find him first.”

Ken smiled. “Then he just volunteered to be our bait. Put an eye on him.”

“You’ve gotten hard since I last saw you, Ken.”

“Nearly dying does that to you, if it don’t break you.”

Saturday, February 4, 2012


In a quiet hanger at a municipal airport in the Chicago area, a handful of well-dressed men met around a table. On that table sat a conference-capable phone.

“Gentlemen,” said a voice, coming from that phone, “we have a problem. Approximately 12 hours ago, one of our pointmen and his counterparts with our associates failed to check in. According to local media, there was a firefight at the appointed rendezvous point and local law enforcement took out our operatives.”

The gathered men looked at each other, nodding their consensus.

“Our associates are not amused. They agree with us that an example must be made. That is why you are here.”

A young woman, attired for the head office, distributes file folders to the men assembled.

“Normally, we would leave this to our rough-and-tumble motorcycle enthusiast friends. This is not a normal situation. As the provided information shows, this incident involves an opponent whose skills and presence demands men of your caliber.”

The men look through the provided photographs and reports, and all of them seize upon the one photo showing The Sheriff with Ken, shaking hands.

“Clean up the mess, gentlemen. The one that brings in Ken’s head gets a $1 million bonus, paid in diamonds. Your luggage is already aboard the plane. You have all that you need to do the job, so get going.”

A similar briefing occurs in Montreal, at another municipal airport, and the Hell’s Angels put out the word of a mandatory ride to deal with the issue. Back at Guiscard’s place, Ken and the man sit in the back office when Guiscard gets a phone call. He listens, and then hangs up.

“They’re coming.” Guiscard said, “All three of them have sent cleaners here.”

“What’s their approach?” Ken got out his phone.

“The Synidicate and the Zetas are flying in.”

“Naturally, the Angels will just ride. The organized groups are being managed, and that photo op I did with The Sheriff will get them focused on me. You still have that old East European plane?”

Guiscard nodded.

“Get it ready. In the meantime, have your boys get my field kit ready.”

Ken dialed The Sheriff’s number, and soon the man picked up.

“It worked. They’re all coming. I want you to intercept the Angels. I have the other two.”

hung up and then hauled ass with Guiscard back to the airport, where the old Legionnaire kept an old ground-attack plane. The two men quickly got it ready to fly, and then up Ken went. He found first the Zetas’ plane.

Ken winged over and moved into an attack position. “Hello, Los Zetas! This is Ken, the man you came to kill. Unfortunately for all of you, I have God on my side and He warned me that you were on your way. If you have a problem with that, you shall soon be able to take up with Him yourselves.”

Then, without mercy, Ken shot the Zetas’ plane out of the sky. He circled a bit as it fell to the ground and collapsed into a flaming pile of debris. Ken repeated this stunt with the Syndicate’s hitmen, and then returned to the airport without incident. It was only after he got back to Guiscard’s hangar that he got any further news.

“The Sheriff reported one ambush while you were out. No causalities for us, so far.”

“The rest of their first wave will be just as easy to handle. Once word gets back to their bosses, then the real pain comes.”