18 Mart 2023

Summer in The County Ch. 02


This story is part of an ongoing series. The chronological order of my stories is now listed in WifeWatchman’s biography.

Feedback and constructive criticism is very much appreciated, and I encourage feedback for ideas.

This story contains graphic scenes, language and actions that might be extremely offensive to some people. These scenes, words and actions are used only for the literary purposes of this story. The author does not condone murder, racial language, violence, rape or violence against women, and any depictions of any of these in this story should not be construed as acceptance of the above.

Part 7 – Of Monumental Proportions (Continued)

Driving down from the Mountain Nest, I was going to take Elm Street, which was the northern border of Courthouse Square. But it was blocked off by Police, and Rudistan said “No way, Commander. Take Jefferson Avenue and come up from the south side.”

So I took the long way around and got to Headquarters. When I went in, Cindy was already there. “Classroom ‘E’ is set up as a command post.” she said. “The Chief is in there… so is Harlow.”

“Whaa?” I said. I realized that I was the last to be called… or else Teresa called me of her own initiative. I went around the hallways and into Classroom ‘E’. The Sheriff, Police Chief, Deputy Chief, and Lt. Irwin were in the room, watching camera footage from ground and drone sources on the projector screen and their laptop monitors.

“Commander?” asked the startled Chief. “When did you get here?”

“Just now… as soon as I was called.” I replied acidly. “No, I didn’t go by Courthouse Square, either.”

“Good.” said the Chief. He turned to the screen. “As you can see, it’s a standoff.”

“From the beginning, Irwin, what happened?” I asked.

Lt. Irwin spoke up. “Sir, a group of about 20 people showed up and began attacking the statue of President Jefferson. Someone was trying to climb it and put a rope around the neck when our first guys got there. The protesters retreated as we advanced, but then more of them began massing on the east side of the Square, coming from seemingly out of nowhere. We’ve brought in everyone we can, and we’re trying to call people from First Shift to come on in.”

“How many people do we have there?” I asked.

“All sixteen SWAT Team members.” said Irwin. “And 36 of the 40 Third Shift Uniformed Officers. Two are manning the desks at the Precincts, and two at the Duty Desk here at Headquarters.”

“Less than sixty. How many Enemy?” I asked.

“They’re not enemies.” said Della Harlow. “They’re peaceful protesters.”

“Peaceful protesters don’t try to destroy property and don’t threaten Police Officers’ lives.” I fired back. “Irwin, how many Enemy?”

“At least 150, sir, as of the last report.” said Irwin.

“Geez.” I said. Just then the radio crackled.

“Croyle to HQ, Croyle to HQ. Is the Commander there?” said Teresa through the radio.

Before I could get my radio, the Chief grabbed his and said “Chief Moynahan here, Captain. Go ahead.”

I was almost numb with shock. I grabbed my radio. “This is Troy. I’m right here, Captain. What’s your situation?” The Chief and Harlow stared at me. I glared back.

“Hello, Commander.” Teresa said, and I could hear the relief in her voice. “We have 160 protesters, and they’re slowly getting closer to our ring of Officers around the Statue. Four Media vans on the south side of the Square, near College Avenue, halfway down from our position to the other side.”

“Roger.” I said. “What are your assets?”

“Sixty armored Officers, including me, sir.” said Teresa.

“How much smoke and tear gas do you have?” I asked.

“Twenty-four smoke grenades. No tear gas.”

“Why not?” I asked.

“I was told tear gas was denied, Commander.”

“What?!” I yelled… well, it was more like a gasp. “Who the fuck told you that lie?”

“I did.” said Harlow. “I’m in charge of the equipment, and tear gas is neither needed nor authorized.”

“Are you fucking kidding me?” I gasped again. “Croyle is outnumbered at least 3-to-1, our Officers lives are on the line, and you’re trying to pull some bullshit stunt about being in charge of the tear gas?” I then said “Chief, is this for real?”

“Yes, Commander.” said the Chief. “We need to de-escalate this, not escalate it with tear gas.” Della looked smugly at me.

“Do you really think the Enemy is going to be appeased if we don’t use tear gas?” I asked incredulously. Seeing their faces, I realized this was pointless. So I did what I tend to do: took the Action Step.

“Irwin! you’re with me. Let’s go!” I said. Irwin came with me. We headed to the secure doors that led downstairs. The Armorer was at his station.

“Where’s the tear gas?” I barked as I came down, Irwin close behind.

“Sir, tear gas has been explicitly denied—” started the Armorer. I got in his face.


“In the vault, sir.” said the Armorer, stunned and almost quaking in fear.

“Open it.” I ordered. The Armorer opened the vault door, which was like a bank vault door. The room inside was concrete-lined, and theoretically could withstand all of the explosives inside going off at once.

“Stay here, Irwin.” I said, wanting to make sure the Armorer didn’t close the vault door on me. Yep, I’m that paranoid right now, I thought to myself. I went inside and found the crates of CS gas smoke grenades, the kind where one pulls the pin and throws the canister at the enemy. I took one to the entrance, then went and got a second crate. That was 24 grenades in all.

“All right, Irwin,” I said as I came out. “Take that crate and I’ll take this one.”

We went back upstairs, and to my surprise there was no one there standing in our way. I led Irwin through the side door to the employees parking lot. We put the crates in the back of my Police SUV, then drove out.

Getting to the edge of Courthouse Square, I saw Patrolman Barker manning the barricade with other Officers. “Barker!” I called out. “You and Lt. Irwin take these to Captain Croyle. Where is she, by the way?”

“Top steps of City Hall.” said Irwin.

“Stay with her, Irwin. Make damn sure she doesn’t get another Purple Order, nor tries to do anything that would get her one.” I said as the Officers got the crates of CS grenades out of the back of my SUV. “I’m going back to Headquarters.”

“Yes sir. Good luck, sir.” said Irwin, and I knew what he meant.

“I’ll need it more than you guys.” I replied.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I did not go back to Headquarters. To the right of Police Headquarters, north of it on Riverside Drive, is the Public Health Building. I pulled into its parking lot. Going to the back of my SUV, I put on my heavy armor over my uniform, then put on a special belt. It held grenades. I then got the M79 grenade launcher, the same one I’d used on Corrigan’s airplane at County Airport. (Author’s note: ‘Trilogy: Twilight’s Last Gleaming.’) We will not discuss how I managed to keep it all this time.

I went toward the street, and got behind the big oak tree that separated the properties of the Public Health and Police Departments. Using binoculars I saw the ring of Officers around the statue, the torch-bearing, screaming protesters on the other side of the Square, now having advanced into the left half of the Square… and the Media trucks well onto the grass of the square. I saw John Hardwood directing his cameraman, and Hardwood looked very happy at the moment.

“Troy to Croyle.” I said into the radio. “Did you get the CS?”

“Roger that, sir.” said Teresa. “And just in time.”

“Roger. Now hear this. Now hear this.” I said. “Captain Croyle, as your direct superior Officer, I am both authorizing and ordering you to use the tear gas if the lives of any Officers become at risk. I further authorize the use of lethal force if they get within ten feet of your lines. How copy?”

“Loud and clear, Commander.” replied Teresa. “And your orders will be followed.”

‘Just in time’ was right. I took another peek with my binoculars. I could see the thugs in their red shirts with that person-and-pennant logo. They were of various ethnicities, including white and black.

Many of them were masked; oops, that’s against the law now, thanks to Thomas P. Cook. (Author’s note: ‘Six Degrees’, Ch. 05.) I also saw that some of these thugs had chains, and bicycle locks attached to the ends of the chains, to be used as weapons against the Police.

As they approached, the Press getting the perfect shots from their vantage point, Teresa called for ‘smoke and beanbags’. Officers began throwing smoke grenades (yellow smoke, in case you’re interested). Some of the thugs tried to grab the grenades and throw them back at the Police, or kick them back.. and those persons were targeted by Police shotguns that fired beanbags. Non-lethal, but very painful. We also had the rubber bullets, but those were more extreme to use… we’d use the tear gas first.

It seemed to be working. The advance faltered. But the Enemy regrouped and were about to charge again, this time on the run, more violently, screaming for everyone to attack the Police.

And that’s where I came in…


The CS gas grenade whizzed over everyone’s head and landed right in front of the Press vans. As the gas billowed, the wind took it right into the Press vehicles.


Another grenade whizzed in an arc and landed right next to the first one. This one was thick, heavy, slow-burning smoke.


The party was not stopping in the Iron Crowbar’s County, and I put another CS grenade right into the Press ümraniye escort area. I saw John Hardwood and his cameraman coughing violently.

Meanwhile, the charging masked thugs with their chains and bicycle locks were met with a wall of smoke, some of it being CS tear gas. The beanbags were also used again on the more active thugs.

Another grenade was launched into the Press area. “Where is that coming from?” Teresa asked Lt. Irwin. “Who’s doing that?”

Irwin grinned. “I don’t know, but I get the feeling the Commander might not have gone back to Headquarters.” Teresa barked a laugh, then turned back to commanding the battle taking place.

The Press people began trying to move their vans. They tried moving east, away from the Police position, thinking the Police were shooting at them. (They were right, but not in the way they thought, nor from where they thought.) They parked and attempted to get their cameras out.


Damn, was I good with that M79! Two more tear gas grenades burst right in their midst. I only had about four left, but apparently the Media had had enough. Unable to film without coming under withering fire, they packed up and left Courthouse Square.

My logic for firing at the Press was simple, and twofold: first, by making them stop filming and ultimately flee, I was denying the thugs the Press coverage they were doing all this for in the first place. Once that Press coverage was gone, I hoped the thugs would break it off and leave, also. And when the thugs saw the Press leaving, things began winding down.

My second reason? Have I mentioned that I have an unappeasably deep and abiding hatred for the corruption-eaten Press?

Part 8 – Law and Disorder

“This is Bettina Wurtzburg, KXTC Channel Two News!” shouted the reporterette from near an oak tree between Police Headquarters and the Public Health Building, having been denied access to Courthouse Square. It was 7:00am, Thursday, July 13th. “The statue of Thomas Jefferson still stands in Courthouse Square after protesters attempted to remove it and were stopped by Police!”

Bettina started: “A group of protesters, numbering between 120 and 160 persons, gathered at the statue of President Jefferson and attempted to take it down. Police quickly converged and disrupted the attack, then formed a defensive ring around it. The attackers, many of them masked and armed with chains and bicycle locks, attempted to attack the Police cordon, but smoke and tear gas were used to ultimately disperse the group.”

“There were no serious injuries, and the Police made 16 arrests. Only four of the arrested protesters are residents of this County.” said Bettina. “Chief Sean Moynahan, in a statement to the Press, said that this pattern of imported protesters shows that this is not spontaneous, but a coordinated and orchestrated event by persons wishing to harm others.”

“Adding to that,” Bettina continued, “there were simultaneous demonstrations in Madison County and Washington County at the same time last night. Madison County, to the east of Midtown and home of Women’s State Prison, was the scene of a very violent demonstration. A monument honoring President James Madison was badly damaged, and Police responding to the demonstrations were attacked. Six Officers were injured, one badly. And in Washington County, south of Jacksonville State Prison, Police stood by and did not intervene as a statue of George Washington was toppled and destroyed by the angry, near-rioting mob…”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Those mobs in those other counties are the main reason you have not been fired, Mr. Crowbarrrr.” said the Chief as we watched the newscast in the Chief’s Conference Room. Cindy and Teresa were with us. “They actually showed you to be correct, after all.”

The news of the other attacks arrived at our Headquarters just before I got back. It was obvious that the attack in our County was part of a larger, well-orchestrated operation. And our strong response was in stark contrast to the weak response elsewhere, resulting in injury to Police Officers elsewhere.

I said nothing, but Teresa was past the point of anger. “Why does anyone even think about going against the Iron Crowbar’s ideas?” she asked. The Chief glared at her.

“Easy, Captain.” I said. “It worked out.”

As most of the Officers returned to Headquarters and turned in unused ordnance, the original ‘Teresa Cunt’ made an appearance in my office. I was mighty glad I had the red crowbar in my paws, for my own personal defense.

“So what happened with the tear gas?” I asked. “Oh, and have a seat.” But she did not sit down. She paced the floor.

“I sent Charles and Hewitt to get smoke and tear gas.” Teresa replied. “They came back with only smoke. Charles said the Armorer was told he could only issue smoke grenades. Hewitt, who has a bit more rank, demanded to know who tuzla escort had given that order, and the Armorer told him the Deputy Chief, that she controlled all ordnance and her authorization was required to release it.

“I called the Chief, as I’d been forbidden to call you, and he said he was in agreement with the Deputy Chief, and that they expected me to handle it without having to use tear gas.” Teresa continued. I nodded. Teresa then said “That’s when I called you anyway. Something is bad wrong around here, sir. Harlow is a piece of shit, but why is the Chief supporting that crap?”

It was a damn good thing I had my bug-killer full-on, I thought to myself. Not only for what Teresa said, but for what I was about to say.

“Just between us, Teresa,” I said softly, “I think he’s between a rock and a hard place. Who told you not to call me? Harlow? The Chief?”

Teresa nodded, and some of the fire came out of her eyes as she realized I was grasping the situation and bringing it under my control. “The Chief, sir.” she replied. “He said he wanted us to handle this without you, that there was too much Press heat on you already…”

Now, in the present, as we watched Bettina’s broadcast, Cindy said “She’s not being nearly as bad as I thought she’d be.”

“Oh, that comes next hour.” I replied. “I think Hardwood is going to go ‘nucking futs’ on us.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I was right. The Chief had had breakfast brought in for us, so we ate, gathered news items over the next hour, and discussed them, pretending for the moment that nothing was wrong. I read the Police reports that had been submitted on last night’s incident. And then, it was time. At 8:00am, the KSTD broadcast came on.

“This is John Hardwood, KSTD News. We’re bringing you continuing coverage from the scene of the brutal Police attack on peaceful protesters last night.”

“A group of protesters formed on the east side of Courthouse Square, mostly with candles.” said Hardwood. “Some approached the statue of Thomas Jefferson, which is on the west side of the Square, in front of the flagpole in front of City Hall. Police apparently were lying in wait to ambush the group, and came out in large force.”

“The bulk of the Police between the statue and the protesters used smoke and shotguns, firing beanbags to break the protesters march and disperse them.” continued Hardwood. “Five-Alive News has learned that these tactics were ordered by Police Captain Teresa Croyle, who was once suspended for physically attacking a suspect at a DUI checkpoint. Captain Croyle continues to show her tendencies for violence and abuse of Police power in her attacks on peaceful protesters.”

Hardwood went on: “Also, someone was firing smoke and tear gas grenades at our Press vehicles, making it impossible to safely bring you the coverage of the overwhelming and excessive Police actions against the citizens of the County. The Police have denied that the Press was targeted, saying that no grenade launchers were at the site nor used, and only tear gas smoke grenades that are made to be thrown were used on the protesters.”

As Hardwood whined about the Press being targeted, the Chief said “Every Officer on the scene was told to add one thing to his or her Police report: did they shoot any grenades at the Press, or did they see anyone shoot anything at the Press. And every single Officer denied seeing anything, though a few reported hearing something go over their heads. Curly Goodwin of I.A. is double-checking with everyone. Besides, we don’t have any grenade launchers in the Police Force, do we, Commander?”

“We do have four of them in the Armory.” I replied. “But they were all secured in the Armory the entire time of this incident.” Which was true, I thought to myself. Which was true…

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

After the KSTD broadcast, which did not mention the incidents in Madison County and Washington County, the Chief said “Folks, I owe you all an apology. I should have been the one busting heads to get that tear gas to you, Ms. Croyle, and I should’ve fully supported the mission. I should also have called you myself, Commander Troy.”

“May I speak freely?” asked Teresa.

“Before you do,” I interjected, “I’m going to say what needs to be said within protocols and fully on the record: why didn’t you back us up, Chief? Especially Captain Croyle? And let me state the context of this: you are a well-respected military commander. You’re a well-respected Police Officer and Police Chief, here. The TCPD rank-and-file respect you, and the three of us in here have come to love you as part of our family. However… scuttlebutt is flying around the Police Force right now, Chief. They are trying and failing to understand what happened last night… especially you sitting back and letting Harlow put our Officers in further danger.”

“I can explain it in three words: I fucked up.” said the Chief. He took off his badge and put it on the table, and we all did the same. “Let’s make sure this is not overheard.” the Chief said.

“I got this.” I said before Cindy could get to her bug-killer. I had an app on my personal iPhone that turned it into a more sophisticated and formidable bug-killer than the gold disc. Yep, I’m feeling paranoid that I.A. might’ve upgraded, I thought to myself.

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