• By Keserian

“We are the true patriots, gentlemen. It is ironic that we who violate the principles of our Constitution are the ones who seek to protect this nation.” The leaders sitting around the table nodded. Here was the cream of the crop, the most decorated of American generals, admirals, and few select leaders of industry. They all sat around a large wooden table, the scene of dark red mahogany table and large wing chairs contrasting with the large video screens that covered the walls of the room. The largest screen, covering one entire wall showed the position of every United States military asset, and the assets of allies and information of the locations of enemy units. To these men, every non-ally was a future enemy, a threat to the power of the United States.

The general, a man with graying hair and a face that looked like it had withstood everything war had thrown at it, and then some, continued speaking, “The United States much change to adapt to the world around it,” He gestured at an image of the United States senate, where senators were debating a amendment to remove the military from the President's control, and place it under the control of Congress, “and fools like that seek only to weaken to United States for their own personal and political gain. Whether or not this amendment passes, the United States will not survive through this time of rising Chinese power, and increased instability if we do not take drastic measures.”

The Commandant of the Marine Corps nodded, “How drastic are we talking? Are we going to resort to...” “We must.” The Air force Chief of Staff interrupted, “Congress would never willingly turn over power to us. The President we could convince, but those fools on the hill are more concerned with their own job security.” “But,” the Commandant continued, “such an action would be treason. We would be violating the principles of our Constitution.” The head of the CIA spoke up at this point, “It was said once that a little revolution now and then is a good thing for a nation. That the tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots. That was Thomas Jefferson.” The Commandant nodded, “Right. Will our troops support this?” “They will if the people do.” Said the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, “And the people like Congress slightly more than they do the IRS right now.” The leaders sitting around the table laughed, “When shall we roll?” Asked the Air Force Chief of Staff. “Immediately.” Responded the Chairman

And so, was the end of the Republic.

It was on December 12th, 2007 that the armed forces of the United States suddenly went on active alert. At 2 AM, North American Aerospace Defense Command suddenly issued a DEFCON 1 order to all branches of the military. United States ABM systems went onto active alert, and ground based missile silos across the Untied States began pre-launch spin-up procedures.

All was normal to the people of the United States, except for some minor disruptions in the phone, satellite, Internet and TV systems. At noon however, things began to change rapidly. F-22 Raptor and F-15E fighters were spotted over major US cites. At noon on the 12th, the entire city of Washington D.C. was closed as air-raid sirens began to sound. Soon, Stryker units were spotted heading at full speed towards D.C.. Within minutes of the streets being cleared, army Ranger teams began landing in Blackhawk helicopters around the Capitol building and the Whitehouse. At 12:30 PM reports began streaming in from cities across the United States that military forces from all branches of the military had taken control of most major TV and Radio stations.

In Washington, military forces placed both houses of Congress under arrest for corruption charges, as well as multiple counts of Treason. At this point, Stryker ICV units began arriving in Washington D.C., carrying troops who began to take up patrol positions around the city. The scene was similar across the nation, as soldiers from the conventional US Armed Forces began to take up patrol positions at strategic points in cities.

At 1 PM, US Eastern Standard Time, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs made an announcement, “My fellow Americans. I speak to you today as a true patriot who is sick and tired of the corruption, of the inefficiency, of the cowardice and weak will of our government. I, and my fellow commanders throughout the United States Armed Forces decided that in the interests of the people of the United States, we were forced to take drastic measures to assure the survival of our great nation.

As such, we ordered the forces of the United States military to seize control of the Federal Government. As part of our operation, we were forced to take measures to assure that there would not be a prolonged civil war in the United States. As such, we seized all major TV and Radio stations and severely limited Internet and Satellite communication. Do not worry. As soon as the situation in each city stabilizes, full control of the media will be restored to each city.

The troops who are garrisoned in the cities are there for your protection and safety. As we saw after hurricane Katrina, it takes a strong government presence to stave off some of our baser instincts during times of crisis or instability. We will also take this opportunity to reform many of the corrupt state governments and institutions, bringing them more in line with the new, strong, America that I and my co-commanders will create.

Many things will change, in order to create this strong America. First, we must deal with the looming monster of the national debt. This means that there will be significant budget cuts put in place immediately. Projects that are judged to be not in the good of the American nation will be cut. There will be no more bridges to nowhere in Alaska, nor is the Federal Government going to be funding a teapot museum.

Unfortunately, to stabilize the budget, we will need a “do more with less” approach. Something that the military has become expert at over the past several decades. There will be significant reform in the Education, Health care, and environmental fields. It has always amazed me that military academies and programs can educate teen-ages into soldiers capable of fighting on todays highly-technological battlefield, but that our schools can't seem to teach our children to read.

Although many things will change, others will not. The freedom of speech, and the freedom to demonstrate will never be removed from the American people. There will be certain restrictions placed on the news media in areas that relate to national security. Myself, and the other members of the new US Military and Civilian Control Council will not see national security compromised by reporters who seek the next “big story.”

We do these things for a new and stronger America. We do these things so that the United States will prosper, grow, and continue to be a power in this new world that we now face. May God bless America, and may He watch over us in this time of change.”

And so the Empire began.

Chapter 2: Calm before the Storm

John Carson, the former Joint Chief of Staff, and the new head of the Military and Civilian Control Council, or MC3 as the newly independent news media had taken to calling it, leaned back in his office chair. His office wasn't anything special, he had always hated the trappings of power that his civilian companions had always enjoyed, just a desk, some filing cabinets, and pictures of his family.

He had been listening to the media reaction. Three weeks after the Second Revolution, and the media still seemed to be unable to comprehend what had just happened to the United States. Well, that was understandable, after all, one of the longest standing republican governments in the world had just been overthrown, and by all appearances, it would be a bloodless coup.

Shaking his head, Carson sighed, it was a sad realization that a government had just been overthrown because the people were more concerned about missing American Idol than they were by armored vehicles rolling through Washington D.C., and by most of the Executive and Legislative branches being placed under arrest. But that, he had come to realize, was exactly why the military had to taken control of the United States. The people, while they were given their bread and circuses, were all too willing to allow their leaders to do whatever they wanted.

It was odd, Carson thought, that the military should be so untrusted by the people, when in fact it was the most competent to make the decisions. In the military, men were promoted based on their competence and ability to command, not on their ability to harangue a throng of people into a frenzy, through lies and double dealing. Not to mention that it would no longer take six months to get a law passed, if you could get it out of committee.

Even as he mulled over the next move, there were massive corruption investigations occurring in almost every state. John has a suspicion that by the end of the year, half of the State governors would be replaced by, temporary, appointed military governors. The next election cycle would occur normally in each state, but the MC3 had already started to work on new laws requiring periodic investigations into the financial dealings of all high ranking government officials, even MC3 members.

The news response ranged from skepticism, to astonishment, to applause, to calls for revolt. The last category was a newscaster in New Hampshire who was later arrested trying to firebomb a military barracks; he didn't get passed the security fence.

Wall Street wasn't sure what to make of it. Several heads of major U.S. Corporations were on the WC3, and that seemed to calm down the investors a fair bit, but investors were more fickle than politicians sometimes, so he really didn't have any clue how that was going to turn out.

The special interest groups weren't sure what to do with themselves. John had joked with the Commandant of the Marine Corps that they had just put half of Washington D.C. out of a job by eliminating the need for special interest groups and lobyists. Still, John had the feeling that somehow the lobbyists would find a new job. Maybe Psycological Warfare units could use them.

The international community was downright shell-shocked. How would this new U.S. Government act? Would they join the ranks of the rogue states of the international community? That was one theory, and one that John had to laugh at. If the U.S. did become a rogue state it would completely upset international law. Such a world would be advantageous to the United States, but not yet. At present, the United States would need the rule of international law, if for no other reason than to provide a screen for what would soon be growing U.S. power and influence. Assuage the world's fears about the United States, act with the U.N., provide troops on peacekeeping missions. And then build up arms, after all, we are acting as the military branch of the U.N., we need the troops to support stability U.N. resolutions.

Still, that was many years in the future. Right now, John had to deal with a nation that was just starting to recover from a massive debt. Tariffs on goods and services would be the way out of that, as well as a new law imposing a large tax on any company outsourcing significant portions of its workforce outside the United States. If you are going to base your industry here, by god, you're going to hire Americans. And if you want to export into the United States from another country, you're going to have to pay the government for that privilege.

John, and the rest of the MC3 knew that a strong economy would lead to a strong military. But that developing the military too soon could leave the U.S. economy over-burdened and crumbling under the weight of upkeep costs. But that doesn't mean that the United States couldn't research the technology that would make up its next greatest weapon systems. The funding would be an issue, but again, once you eliminate all of those bridges to nowhere in Alaska, it's amazing how much funding you can find.

For the next few years, MC3 had decided, the United States would lay low and cooperate the with the international community, pending the United States having enough power to enforce its will on the world, one way, or another.

It had been ten years since the democratic government of the United States had been overthrown by the United States military. Much of the world had commented at the new, friendly, and “international” United States. A government that listened to the international community, that followed United Nations resolutions, and did not intervene in international affairs unless it had full United Nations backing. As one columnist from Germany had written, “The lion had been peacefully tamed.”

But within the United States, things were subtly different. The WC3 had made sure that the United States would be primed and ready for the next step, and that would mean changing the identity of the people. Movies began to subtly change their tone, showing the United States military as heroes, arriving just in time to save the small band of heroes as they fought their desperate last stand against a foreign dictator.

The schools began to change their curriculum, teaching students about events in a light that was much more flattering to the United States. Vietnam no longer was a “quagmire” but a “tragedy” that was lost by the “lack of the will to fight.” As well, the military had integrated itself into American society. It was not unusual for an officer in the military to be elected as a governor, or in select few places, be appointed by the military. In many states the military and police seemed to blur into one continuous entity, soldiers along side cops patrolled the streets.

Things were changing in the United States. A generation would be brought up believing that their country was the greatest on earth, and that to retreat from a war was cowardice. There was such a thing as a “just war,” and that war was much more widely defined than it had been in the past.

But these changes went unnoticed to the international community, where things continued as they always had. Yes, the United States had launched a major military expansion and research project, but why should they have anything to fear from that? After all, five years after the overthrow of the democratic government a law had been passed preventing the military from invading a foreign country without the permission of the United Nations.

In 2017, the United States sent news to the security council that the radical Muslim head of the Iraqi government was preparing to test a nuclear device. The Israelis warned that any such test would bring swift retribution. The UN Security Council asked the Iranians to deploy a blockade to close off Iraqi oil supplies. Unknown to most, the United States carrier battle-group Thomas Jefferson, centered around the brand new Washington class stealth carrier, sailed silently into the Persian gulf. Two hundred thousand marines and their associated equipment, supplies and tanks were sent along on a “training mission.”

Friedrich Earlson, the British observer aboard the Iranian destroyer that was leading the task-force was tired. It was nearly three A.M. local time, but he just couldn't sleep. Something wasn't right. Sure, the Iranians were letting ships through the blockade without even searching them, but that was just how things were done. The entire blockade was a show of force, in truth, there would be some diplomatic wrangling, but not much else would be done.

This was shaping up to the be a long day.

Suddenly, the Iranian RADAR officer started shouting something in Arabic, the closest Friedrich could understand was somewhere along the lines of “My god preserve us.” Almost instantly, Friedrich watched as several Iranian patrol boats and the frigate off to their starboard exploded in flame. Seconds later he heard the characteristic roar of scram-jet missile engines as more Iranian warships exploded all around him.

The bridge of the destroyer turned into a confused and hectic scene, illuminated by the burning hulks of the ships hit in the initial attack. Friedrich only new one power in the world with the technology to build fully capable kinetic scram-jet missiles, and if he was right, this was bad, very bad. He turned to the Iranian captain who was shouting orders, intending to warn the Iranian that the best hope for the fleet was to turn around and run, but before he could open his mouth he heard the sounds of the ships anti-missile systems firing. Too late, he realized; the scram-jet missiles would be flying at close to Mach ten. The next thing he knew he was lying on the deck, looking up at the ceiling of the bridge. The entire structure was filled with acrid black smoke. He stood, turning to where the captain was, only to find a scene of complete carnage. Bodies everywhere. Men missing arms and legs, some with deep gashes cut through their bodies from the shrapnel.

He looked out the window at the remnants of the fleet. Out of two hundred ships, only some fifty appear to be stable and not sinking. Of those, none had escaped damage. Most seemed to have been lucky, the missiles landing high in their superstructure and not close to the water line. The scene was briefly illuminated as one of the patrol boats exploded in a good sized fireball, illuminating hundreds of men in the oil-covered water. Here and there patches of burning oil illuminated the ocean.

Friedrich heard a low rumble and looked rushed out onto the gantry that surrounded the bridge, he knew that sound. American planes coming in to finish what the missile-boats had started. He saw off to his right a SAM streak up from a relatively undamaged patrol boat. The missile flew up, straight passed where he could see the red light from the jet engines. They were stealth aircraft, and that patrol boat had just made sure that the American pilots knew there were survivors.

He watched quietly, in a detached, almost resigned way as the American jets rolled over and dropped down almost to ocean level, streaking in under the weary and weak anti-aircraft fire of the few ships still intact enough to put up a defensive screen. The aircraft pulled up suddenly, soaring towards the clouds, and briefly afterwards eight of the remaining ships exploded as conventional anti-shipping missiles struck right above the water-line. One of those missiles impacted right below where Friedrich was standing, and the last thing he remembered was flying through the air and the deck of the ship coming close awfully fast.

Friedrich awoke to the sun shining down on the deck. As he got up, he could feel that something in his chest felt broken, his left arm was definitely dislocated, and he didn't even want to think about the number of bruises that he had just accrued, but other than that he was okay. As he looked around, the scene of carnage was even worse in the daylight. Most of the ships had sunk, but there was still a massive field of debris, and the few hulks still floating were now crowded with the survivors from the other ships. The screams of men contrasted with a disturbing humming sound. He turned to the port side of the ship to see several large black knife-like ships slicing through the water, men on them hauling the surviving Iranian sailors out of the water. These were the attacking ships. The American stealth-boats that had so surprised the Iranian fleet.

Friedrich felt something warm trickling down his leg and looked down, only to find that there was a large gash in his stomach. In a dreadfully familiar sensation, the grey steel deck started to come towards him faster and faster...

The lion had broken it's leash, and the first hammer-blow had fallen.

A/N: What will happen next? Will Friedrich survive? Will the International community be warned in time? Or will the American's sneak attack prevail? Find out next time!

To be honest, all of the tech I'm talking about is currently in the works, and it's probably what level 8 SP2 tech would look like: Mach 10 kinetic missiles launched from nearly invisible stealth destroyers, almost completely stealthy aircraft, and so forth. Just wait to see what the army looks like. Heh.

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