THE STORM BEGINS
52 TEXAS RANGERS
Jeremiah and Andrew had met all16 of the people that escaped from the Emperor’s Army. They had been leery at first but Cathy had dispelled Jeremiah’s concerns by asking him if he was going to arrest her along with the others and Isaac vouched for the ones he called the Misfits. The other ones that had chased the misfits and then opted to desert, told them about the robot or half man half machine that went berserk and killed one of them and tried to kill another before they took it out. Michael asked some questions about the machine and he and Daniel talked about the Georgia base that was making these creatures using live human beings. All of the misfits and Renegades disarmed themselves and asked to be given citizenship in the Nation of Texas. Jeremiah was torn between his concerns with the latest Intel of the Emperor’s army buildup surrounding the Nation of Texas and somehow getting these people to the capital to be accepted. Theresa and Susanna read his thoughts and stepped forward. “Jeremiah can you picture the closest room or office of where Sam Houston could be located?” Jeremiah was a bit confused with that question but he could speak telepathically also and the conversation that occurred in his mind and the two women gave him some comfort. Susanna was the one that suggested they go and bring Sam here to swear these men and women in and then they could take him back. They would also find uniforms for them and take them to be outfitted.
Sam Houston was sitting in his war room at the capital building discussing strategies with his Generals. The people of Texas were being put on full alert and the military and all LEO’s were reporting in about the armament of the peoples. This was going to be a full on assault by the Emperor and the Nation of Texas was preparing. The one thing the Emperor did not understand was the entire nation of people of Texas had been trained with weapons and the art of war. Sam had made sure since the turn of 2030 that all of the free peoples of Texas were thoroughly armed and outfitted to fight in such a situation as was happening. He had vague Intel of the Emperor’s Army and how many might be coming to invade. He knew the buildup points and all of his forces were on standby. His Air force would strike and defend as needed. This was going to be a ground war mostly. Sam knew the Emperor had fighter jets and choppers. The ground armor was not as massive as the choppers and many of the peoples that lived in the United States were joined in the underground to fight against the puny little dictator but he did not nor did his Generals know the extent of those forces. The Emperors army was scattered around the world involved in skirmishes so that could reduce the amount of forces he could mass against Texas. Sam was counting on that particular fact and he had folks in many places to keep an eye on the US army troop movements in those countries. All the chess pieces were in movement he was thinking as he left the war room for a quick meal. He didn’t have to walk far when two women materialized in front of him. He recognized both of them and waited for them to approach him. Theresa was the first to speak and said “Sam Houston can we barrow you for a minute or so?” Sam’s tongue was tied for a moment before he said “Theresa and Susanna, you know we are on the verge of war with the Emperor and the War room is very busy at the moment. What can I do for you in 1 minute worth of time?”
The camp was busy with talk as everyone was getting familiar with Jeremiah and Andrew. Cathy and Isaac were missing and Hanna was asking where she might be. Michael told her that Cathy had taken a walk with Isaac and they should be back soon. Hanna just said “oh” and moved back to Uri whom she was sticking closely to now. Sam, Theresa and Susanna materialized between the corral and the fire and walked toward Jeremiah. Daniel was the first to see them and bumped Michael who was talking with Jake about going and retrieving the Humvee’s. Michael turned and smiled. Sam Houston was grumbling about being kidnapped or something although he was smiling. Jeremiah stood up and saluted the President, “Welcome Sam we have been waiting.” Sam looked at him with a questionable face and said “So you are responsible for these two kidnapping me then. What am I to do with you, and what am I here for? You know that we are being invaded on the eastern border and I must be in the war room.” “Yes sir, we will not take much or your time and I am assured that you will not be missed from the war room. We have acquired some new recruits and they need to be sworn in as Texas Citizens and Rangers. We need additional troops to hold the invasion from the west here.” Sam looked at the group of people that were dressed in the Emperor’s uniforms and turned back to Jeremiah. “We are getting quite a few folks from the Emperor’s army seemingly coming across the border and stating they are deserting and want to join Texas. Can you vouch for these men and women?” Daniel stood up and started to say that all of them had been vetted when Isaac spoke as he and Cathy walked up from the corral area. President Houston, I can vouch for these people or at least the ones from the Dulce base, which does not exist any longer. They helped us clean up that mess and send all the aliens back to their home worlds. I can’t say there aren’t others but that base is completely gone and these folk have all sworn allegiance to the Patriots and Texas. The others have told us how they escaped from that damn I-40 fort and have become detached from the Emperor’s army.”
Sam had listened to Isaac and Jeremiah speak for the extra men and women and then spoke with Theresa and Susanna who told him that they had looked into the minds and hearts of the group and found them to be true to what they professed to, escaping the Emperor’s Army. He knew he was going to send extra troops to this small group of Rangers which would be hard at the moment because of the invasion from the east but here they were and all he had to do was swear them in as Texas citizens and Rangers as they all wanted to join that force. He gathered all of them and spoke a memorized statement and swore them into Texas and the Rangers. He asked them what they were going to do about the uniforms they were all wearing and was told by Susanna that she would handle the uniform problem. Sam didn’t want to know about that and finally said after looking at his chronometer, “I have been gone for at least an hour and those Generals are probably searching like crazy for me.” Theresa took him by the arm and said “Sam I think we can get you back within a minute of when you first left are you ready?” Sam looked at her with a questionable face and said “how are you going to do that and turned around in the big corridor. “What the” he said and looked at his Chronometer. The time was only 1 minute since he left the war room. He smiled at Theresa and said “will you join me for a quick snack before you return?” She smiled at him and wrapped her arm around his as he continued to walk to a small lunch room.
Susanna searched Isaac’s mind and got a clear picture of a base commissary that had a big room where new uniforms lined racks and all the other clothing was stored also. She and Michael gathered 4 at a time and they disappeared and came back within seconds in full dress of the Texas Ranger uniforms. It was determined that they all would keep there present rank but the uniforms would be just standard issue until they could find the proper insignias and name tags. Jeremiah decided to name them the Misfit squads and dubbed them like a knight would have been during the dark ages. Michael had talked with Hank and Jake about retrieving the Humvee’s they left in the small town of Bovina. “Now that you all have the proper uniforms, we can go and have a word with the Sheriff. I think he will be a bit friendlier this time but know that he will be a bit touchy about those vehicles.” Andrew had listened closely and asked if he could be taken with them. “I know the sheriff and we can do this without any type of trouble. In fact He and the people need to be told about the impending invasion so they prepare properly. In fact we must begin to notify the western border towns and cities. I believe that is part of our job out here and Sam definitely knows we will do this. There are 4 main Emperor Forts on the western border of the Panhandle and at least 3 others spread across the southern border of New Mexico. Major Leroux has mentioned something about some of them closing or being abandoned down on the Mentone county border.”
The chopper came in low and landed on the roof top of an old abandoned Walmart that stood on the road leading toward the New Mexico border. The roof top was huge and Michael placed the chopper in the center so no one could see them as they climbed out. He wasn’t sure if the structure was still solid so he kept the chopper just above the roof top until Mark and Tim jumped down and hurriedly searched to see if the structure was still in tact. These old buildings were constructed with steel trusses attached to concrete block walls and called brick and mortar at the time. The Walmart’s sprang up in mass during the early 2000’s and flooded the world through the early 2020’s before becoming obsolete as big box stores. They became abandoned almost overnight it seemed and no one wanted to demolish them. Around the world they became large shelters for the homeless and even semi military operations during the purge of most freedoms. Mark and Tim disappeared through a roof hatch and soon returned. “The roof structure is intact and the building is empty as far as we could see. I can’t believe how big these things were and how in the hell they could fill them with so much stuff,” Mark reported. Michael dropped the chopper to a rest and shut down the rotors. He kept the machine on standby and the 7 man team jumped out and was invisible with the Dispance cloaks. They hurried to the roof edge and levitated to the ground. Andrew Knew where the sheriff’s building was located and they began to move toward it.
Sheriff Kirk Roberts had received an emergency message from the capitol the day before. All it said on the printout was “Alert, impending invasion. Prepare accordingly.” It was cryptic but he knew from his own Intel that the Emperor’s forces were building just across the border in many places. He had already alerted the town folks and the surrounding farms and ranches to stock up on ammunitions and food supplies. Most of the folks that lived in Texas usually kept an underground supply anyway and any invasion from outside would be surprised beyond an ability to succeed. The Army infiltrators that had come through just recently had left three Humvee’s and for the life of him and the town folks he could not figure where they had escaped to. Fred Kister had lost 3 rooms at his motel and was not real happy that no one was willing to pay for the damage. Hell, he was one of the many that unloaded into those rooms. Most folks knew to stand together when it came to defending their town. Fred was just peeved that none of those invaders were caught. Henry and Martha, his deputies were down at the diner for lunch when the front door opened. He thought they might be coming back and was busy looking at the inventory of weapons they had on hand.
Andrew was the first to enter the sheriff’s office. All 7 of the team were cloaked as they spread out in the office. Andrew, Hank and Jake turned off the cloaking device and stood quietly as the sheriff spoke without turning around. “Did you bring my lunch back with you?” The silence made him turn around and when he did he stood up so fast the chair he had been sitting in rolled backward and hit the desk hard enough to bounce sideways and tip over. Kirk looked at the three men that were dressed in the Texas Ranger uniforms and slowly moved to the counter that stood between him and the men. He looked at Andrew closely and finally said “Andrew, what the heck are you doing here, you looking for those Emperor Army invaders?” Andrew looked at Hank and Jake and smiled. Well Kirk, I did hear that you had a run in with someone just recently and managed to ruin 3 motel rooms and capture a few Humvee’s, is this true?” Kirk looked at the two other Rangers and back at Andrew. “News sure travels fast in these parts I guess, yes it seems a couple of squads showed up at Fred’s motel the other day and paid for three rooms. The funny thing about it was they were all still dressed in their uniforms and they really didn’t try to hide the Humvee’s or them selves. We did not know what to think but we weren’t taking any chances what with the Emperor building up his forces all around our country.’ “You here to tell us about the eminent possible invasion, I got the alert over the wire yesterday from the capitol.” Andrew knew that wire would have gone out so he just shook his head. “Yes we are starting to move around and notify folks as best we can, I am sure you have already notified as many as you can.” “Well the folks down at Farwell have already bunkered in and spread along the border as far as possible and I am sending more from here to help them. Seems there might be a couple of platoons of Emperor Soldiers gathering just outside Texico, could be more.’ “What can you tell me about further south? I know the boys from Amarillo will be gathering at that damn I-40 blockade and I hope to God that Sam is sending reinforcements. I know all the other places are most likely building the forces. God Andrew has it finally come to that little puke of a used car salesman actually attacking us?” Andrew looked sternly at Kirk and turned to his men. He waved his hand and the other 4 decloaked. Kirk was startled and Andrew quickly calmed him. “Where are Henry and Martha, we got to talk and time is not on our side at this point.”
Deputy Sergeant Henry Gregory was taking a bite of his Texas Steak burger when the two Texas Rangers walked in the door of the diner. He looked at them while he continued to bite the mouthful from the sandwich and watched both of them walk toward him and Martha. As they approached, Martha turned and looked at them also. The other folks in the diner had hushed up and were watching silently. Both Rangers stopped at the booth and the taller of the two spoke. “Are you Deputy Gregory?” Henry finished chewing his bite and took a drink of his soda. “Yes I am and who might you be?” Martha could feel the tension from Henry and knew he was always suspicious even with these two Rangers. She wanted to calm him but waited for the answer from the Ranger. “I am Corporal Mark Tanner and this is Private Greg Hunter of the Texas Rangers and Sheriff Roberts has sent us to retrieve you. We have notified you and will return to the office. There is a storm on the horizon and you might want to come as soon as possible.” With that being said Mark and Greg both turned and left. As soon as they exited the diner, the people began to chatter. Henry called Janet the waitress over and had her put the rest of his lunch in a carry out as did Martha and they both got up and left.
Henry had pulled his gun on the Rangers when they told him and the Sheriff about the Humvee’s and how they were going to need them at the canyon against the NM fort. He understood that some of these men were the ones that came through a few days earlier and left the vehicles. It was Martha who took him down in the end and talked some sense into him. They all needed to come together now. She left in a hurry to tell people to get out of the public buildings. Henry was really angry but calmed enough to go with her. Kirk showed the Rangers where the Humvee’s were located and when they opened the doors to the garage they all got a surprise. Kirk told them that he would miss the two twin .50’s that had been mounted on the turrets of two of the vehicles. There were two other Humvee’s in the large garage and they too had the old .50’s mounted on the top turrets. The third Humvee was still under construction so it appeared it would have to be left behind. “We filled the ammo cases and the belts are all ready so you owe me Andrew and I expect to see these back when you’re done with them.” They had a good laugh about that. Andrew said “Kirk, we will give that third vehicle to you and that should even us up somewhat.” Kirk was not real happy about that but decided that the duel twin .50’s was a fair trade for the Humvee. Jake and Hank took the driver seats while the others divided and joined. Andrew gave them directions to the canyon from Bovina and where they could leave the vehicles in a safe place until needed. They all bid the Sheriff farewell and Michael took Andrew back to the chopper and they flew back toward the canyon.