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For All Nails #162: Ashes and Action

Just south of Webster (1), NY, NC, CNA
March 7, 1975
3:00 PM

Kevin Fleming of the CBI walked through the charred
remains of the army club shed.  His last report from
Agent Richards-Keith had been two weeks ago.  Now he
would never hear from the undercover agent again.  The
tool shed had been set on fire with the body of his
man inside, and dental records had been needed to
identify the dead man.  Preliminary investigation said
it looked like an explosive had been set off.  Except
for the explosive and the body, the whole compound had
been cleaned out.

The house and garage had not been set on fire, but
they had been wiped meticulously clean of anything
which could be evidence.  There were not even any
fingerprints.  Fleming was amazed at the effort it
must have taken to wipe prints off every surface in a
whole house which had so many living and operating
there for so long.

Fleming sighed.  Now he had to start over.  This time,
the army clubs would be more difficult to infiltrate.

Northeast of Westborough (2), Massachusetts
March 10, 1975
10:30 AM

The man once named Brian Donaldson, then John Hanson,
now called William Smythe, looked around the table. 
Sixteen men sat there.  All of them were either
leaders of a chapter of the Brotherhood or prominent
members of affiliated societies.  Two were from the
Tree of Liberty Group; over at one corner sat Jason
Yates of the Crispus Attucks Society. (3)  Everyone
else headed a Brotherhood chapter.

George Eskin-Brookline had been President of the
Brotherhood for eight years.  He was the one to call
the meeting to order.  "Gentlemen, you all know of the
support we have been receiving from the USM, and then
from private sources based within that country.  Many
of you have met their agent in person. (4) Some of
that money has been invested wisely, and will continue
to work for us in years to come.  The rest has gone to
supply our cause with weapons, ammunition, and
explosives.  Three compounds could not have been
purchased without these funds.

"Now the time has come to do something.  We have been
accumulating materiel for almost three years.  Some
chapters have so much they have no more storage space
for it.  I say it is time to put this to good use. 
There are a number of military bases and
administrative targets throughout the CNA that are
vulnerable to some sort of attack, most likely a truck
bombing.  If we achieve high enough casualties, the
revolution will be starting in the right direction."

Smythe/Donaldson spoke up now.  "I don't think that's
such a good idea, boss."  All heads turned to face
him, as if on swivels.  "At the moment, we don't have
anything close to the membership we'd need for a
successful revolution.  The overwhelming majority of
the CNA is loyal to the Design.  We may be able to
take power with all this ordnance - and that's not a
sure bet - but not hold it for any length of time. 
Even if we did, it'd have to be through repression of
the people we're trying to free.  This'll set us back;
everyone will think we're murderers and scum.  What we
need is something big to swing more support our way."

Eskin-Brookline was intrigued, but slightly angry.  He
didn't like being disagreed with in front of others;
but at the same time he valued an opposing viewpoint
to keep him from sending the movement down the wrong
road.  What that meant was that any opposing viewpoint
had better turn out to be right.  "What do you
propose, then?"

"Something to achieve maximum damage, yes.  Something
people will notice.  But it'll need to be something
with minimum casualties, not maximum.  No casualties
at all would be nice if we can do it.  If we are seen
to go out of our way to avoid killing anyone, we're
standing in a pretty spot." (5)

Donaldson turned to the man sitting two spots to his
left.  Julius Bauch was the head of the chapter in
Endicott. (6) "Julius, didn't you tell me a couple
months ago that one of your men was a night watchman
at the Confederation office building down your way?"

Julius nodded.  "Yes, he's a reasonably good
intelligence source for anything that goes on into the
wee hours."

"I'm proposing we hit this building with a truck bomb.
 Enough to destroy the whole thing.  And we do it in
the middle of the night when there's no one there but
guards.  Your man gets us in, we use tranquilizer guns
on the other guards, then move them to safety before
the bomb goes off."

"What about peripheral damage?  Surrounding
businesses, anyone happening to be in the area?"
wondered George.

Donaldson was prepared for this question.  "I've been
to Endicott a few times.  I know that for some stupid
reason that building isn't centrally located within
the city.  It's on the northern edge of town.  Hardly
anything in the way of business, not even to cater to
the people working at the building.  Certainly no
innocents in that neighborhood at that hour."

"Sounds worth a go.  Gentlemen, you had best have
something here," warned the President of the
Brotherhood.

1. Webster is on the site of OTL's Orchard Park.  The
area was settled shortly after the assassination of
Daniel Webster in 1840, and was named in his memory.  

2. A real community, founded in 1717.

3. The Crispus Attucks Society is a predominantly
black army club numbering about 500 men scattered
throughout New England.  It is the only pro-Rebellion
group to have decent success recruiting
blacks,although there are some in clubs in western
Virginia.

4. Harold Pickett is deliberately not named, because
not everyone in the room knows his real name, and he
has changed his name from Edward Allen since his last
appearance.

5. As opposed to OTL's slang "sitting pretty."

6. See FAN #25.