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Silent Night


Captain Enema
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Deep in the heart of Legion..

 

Hundreds of young men take to the streets in protest of a very recent decision by Legion's parliament to refusal to institute Sharia Law. The majority of Legion is Muslim, yet of a very liberal kind. Forcing women into a burkha isn't something that most Imam's advocate and neither do they intend to do so. Yet, in this one particular city, deep in the heart of Legion, a particular fundamentalist Imam is doing just that and is getting quite a bit of support. 

 

Most Legionnaires would agree that crushing religious protest out of hand makes for good target practice. The outright assassination of radical clerics under the Denard Sr. rise to power over forty years ago had not been forgotten. Unfortunately, the tendency of Legion to stop giving a damn about offering organized government services meant that the lessons imparted via the end of a rifle barrel were forgotten in some parts of Legion. Further, the new constitution is very specific about the silent removal of persons demanding religious concessions at the expense of every Legionnaire's individual liberties.  

 

As it stands now, a father attempting to force his daughter to wear a burkha could and occasionally has been visited by the local police with an order for his arrest. Any young woman who does wish to observe the stricter tenants of the word of Allah isn't prevented from doing so unless it is on a voluntary capacity. The last organized religious violence had been twenty five years ago and since then Muslims, Christians, and a few wild and woolly animist sects deep in the deserts of Legion have all gotten along quite well. No one really wanted to find out what would happen if they decided to listen to their particular flavor of fanatic and start killing in their god's name. Most already knew what would happen, a sudden knock on the door followed by a .45 caliber slug to the face in most occasions. 

 

That was then and this is now, Legion had changed from its wild hard living birth. No more could a person get drunk, take their muscle car for a spin by driving it through the wall of the Presidential mansion, and evade the police by driving on two wheels. Neither could the authorities use a gunship to strafe said car when it was parked with the owner relieving his bladder into the ocean. Presidents and Prime Ministers of Legion are expected to comport themselves in a different sort of way. No more games of butt darts at diplomatic functions, no more sky diving into treaty negotiations, no more recreational districts that existed in a state of anarchy. The gentrification of Legion is not without its benefits, far from it.

 

Legion had evolved in a manner that the Legion Brotherhood Societies play a vital role in recruiting young men and women for service in the Legion. Fathers, mothers, uncles, and aunts all belonged to a Brotherhood chapter of their choice as soon as they were old enough to join and able enough to pass the entrance exam. Each Brotherhood has its own requirements and each had its own focus and specialization of service. The Legion Brotherhood of the Sisters of Sin is infamous for its members being the elite female Brotherhood for Legion Special Forces, or more specifically in the case of the Sisters of Sin, sisterhood. The Sky Lords, a haven of geeks and nerds are known for their members being in Military Intelligence and highly technical specialization jobs. The primary function of these organization is to prepare the younger members for service and to care for the older members in retirement. 

 

Even if a person opts not to join a Brotherhood/Sisterhood organization, they can still opt for direct entrance into the Legion. It is far more difficult given the demands of induction training, but not impossible. As full voting citizenship is allowed only after civic duties, there are a slew of other noncombatant positions open to those physically unable to pass Legion's brutal induction course. An induction course that a person can attempt to complete as many times as they want and the record to date is 11 attempts by a certain young Corporal in the 1st RCT. A citizen of Legion who opts to not do their civic duty isn't penalized or fine, yet they certainly aren't allowed to vote. The total percentage of persons in Legion who aren't allowed a vote due to refusing civic service runs at a very low 3 percent. The very crux of the issue at play in the ongoing protest over the refusal to adopt Sharia law centers around the right to vote by the Imam Mohammed Ali Bin Mohammed.

 

Imam Mohammed, a speaker known for his conservative views regarding Islam, had refused to do his civic service. This civic service he refused could have been acting as a chaplain for a nearby National Guard unit given his status as a religious cleric. Due to his obstinate refusal the predictable denial of his right to vote had occurred. This led to a great deal of agitation and public speaking on his part and before long, Imam Mohammed Ali Mohammed had a following of young, not terribly bright, and disenfranchised young men. A following that had been created by the crushing of the Shefflen warlords by forces under Major General Denard Jr's command, all of which transpired at the orders of the Council of 13.

 

The Shefflen Warlords were ruined, a very backwards and poor part of Legion was returned to the control of the central government, and unfortunately a gaping economic chasm was exposed. The region did not have much going for it in terms of farming, mineral extraction, or oil production. A good number of the region's young men found jobs elsewhere and a large number decided to do service with the Legion. Those left behind were left to scrape for the dismal scraps of society, which for that area didn't amount to much at all.

 

This festering economic resentment was stoked, manipulated, and encouraged by Imam Mohammed Ali Mohammed. He made demands, he found support, and he funded several small centers of learning that encouraged his conservative brand of faith. Because of the gentrification of Legion, the central government found itself unable to act directly until violence or threat of violence was detected. The Imam carefully skirted the acceptable limits of the rules and wisely kept his protests just inside the boundaries for what is acceptable and unacceptable under Legion law. This only encouraged the Imam who declared his specific city under Sharia law and sent out groups of young angry men to enforce it. 

 

Council of 13

 

"He's declared Sharia law over the entire city. He is demanding the local National Guard garrison support his rights, whatever he thinks those are. The police are being confined to their stations and aren't really in a position to intervene. We need an aggressive approach to this problem, yet we also need to be very careful," number one commented.

 

"A .45 to the face like we did in the past?"

 

"No, things have changed."

 

"Order the National Guard garrison to put out checkpoints to contain these loons for now. Have them set up a camp to house refugees who flee the city. Let it be known we will house, feed, and relocate any woman who feels she is being persecuted by this fruitcakes bully boys," number five offered.

 

"Yes, a wait and see if it dies on its own approach," number one muttered.

 

"It is better than sending in the tanks immediately. It's not Sierra Leone where none of us cared how much damage was done, this is right in Legion, a more moderate approach is required," number five replied.

 

"Very well, I will order the local National Guard garrison to proceed as you suggested," number one responded.

 

 

 

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Deep in the heart of Legion...

 

The attempt at containing the fundamentalist rantings of Imam Mohammed Ali Mohammed had failed spectacularly. Hundreds of young, frustrated, and angry young men poured into the city. They took up the banner of Islam and declared their support for a Jihad on the evil sinning Legion Parliament. Sharia law was rigorously enforced, women terrorized into wearing a burqua, and in more than one case violent assaults took place. The police were driven out of the city or they joined with the growing ranks of the Mohammadeans as they called themselves. The nearby National Guard Regiment wasn't at all affected, they set up the checkpoints as requested, put up a camp for refugees.

 

What started out as a trickle of women who fled the city, sound became a torrent. Before long the National Guardsmen heard the sounds of a full on gun battle erupt as the Mohammadeans attempted to force their way into the front doors of a local Legion Sisters of Sin house. It was a smaller house, not more than eight local members, all retired. The National Guard Commander realized quickly what was going on and sent a company fully armed and armored and bulled their way into the city under a constant barrage of rocks, pistol shots, rifle fire, and incendaries. After a tense four hours Infantry Company pushed its way out of the city with the surviving Sisters of Sin .

 

News of the gun battle and Guard rescue spread to the Council of 13. A quick meeting was ordered and a decision was made to reinforce the National Guard regiment with the 4th Regimental Combat Team. This fast moving unit charged its way into position and the noose around the city was made even tighter. Despite the city being in a state of open rebellion, the troopers of the 4th RCT would not be allowed to enter the city for the time being. The Council of 13 in their deliberations had a very different plan they wished to put into effect.

 

Mogadishu...

 

 

GentlemanJohnny dispatches a messenger to hand deliver a message that requests Zulu_one to meet with Gentleman Johnny Germaine, the Legion Minister of Procurements and Special Projects.
21:45  Zulu_One received the message after having it and its messenger inspected and cleansed for foreign comtaminants. After verifying its safety, Zulu One agreed to a meeting with Gentleman Johnny Germaine.
21:46  GentlemanJohnny the messenger would inform Zulu_one that Germaine would be waiting for him at a low brow establishment frequented by retired Legionnaires on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
21:47  Zulu_One arrives, with only one other person in tow, at the place. His "security" would wait a block away, shopping, while Zulu One entered the building.
21:48  GentlemanJohnny waves Zulu_one to join him at a table in the back of the bar. Germaine is drinking his usual Vodka Tonic. "You want anything? Everything here will strip the paint off the walls, can't go wrong with it."
21:49  Zulu_One shrugged and sat down at the table. "Bottle of bourbon?"
21:50  GentlemanJohnny Germaine waves over the bartender and orders a bottle of Four Roses and two glasses. A moment later the two glasses are suitably charged and placed before the two men. Germaine then waves to the four men sitting at a table close by who are his security and tells them to wait outside. The bartender follows the four men leaving Germaine and Zulu_one alone.
21:51 GentlemanJohnny "So, tell me, what shape is your Brotherhood in at the moment?"
21:55 Zulu_One "As well as can be expected. Our wealth lies in our network of former associates and their contacts. The technology and information we've been able to replicate is impressive, but we're a small group. We are essentially the special ops team that everyone can afford, because we're pretty much flat broke at this point."
21:56 GentlemanJohnny "I'm well aware of the.... peculiar nature of your Brotherhood's origins. Which hardly matters here in Legion, but it does give you are particularly interesting pedigree. Would your group be interested in... funding for growth?"
21:56 Zulu_One "What kind of strings is this funding attached to?"
21:58 GentlemanJohnny "First one would be you taking care of a problem. I need a certain person of note to vanish. I then need his followers... either killed or suitably occupied. They are the sorts that need work, with our funding, you probably could form a few companies out of them. Given they hate Legion... outside employers they might respond to better."
22:02 Zulu_One "I think we can manage a bit of rough recruiting," he replied. "I'm assuming absolute discretion, of course. No fireworks?"
22:03 GentlemanJohnny "Frankly, I could careless how you do it. Should it hit the media I will spread reports it is two different gangs having it out. So if fireworks are needed, have at it. Second, with your heritage, I expect you will find work outside of Legion or would want to do so."
22:04 Zulu_One "We'll come up with something fun," he said, taking a long drink. "We're already in contact with someone outside of Legion. Some Madagascaran corporation. With some funding we'll be ready to put our stake in. We just need that first shove."
22:06 GentlemanJohnny "Oh you'll be shoved. And Madagascar would be a good place to start. Your first installment will be 5 million. Once you clear up my little problem, I have a second job for you. You ever hear of Sierra Leone?"
22:07 Zulu_One "I reckon I have. What of it?"
22:08 GentlemanJohnny "I want you to put together a team to go in and keep tabs. Be our eyes on the ground. Eyes only, defend yourselves if you need to do so but no offensive engagements. I have a feeling things are going to pop off again there and I want early notice of it."
22:10 Zulu_One "Low-level espionage? We can do that. Anything in particular you're looking for?"
22:12 GentlemanJohnny "Signs of another round of violence. Keep yours open and report in regularly. We will of course compensate your Brotherhood well for this. There are plenty of young men in Legion who need work as well. I should think you'll be able to find a plentiful supply of recruits amongst our recently conquered tribal groups who aren't integrating all that well."
22:14 Zulu_One "We'll look into recruitment when we see what scale we're dealing with. With our foreign contact and our Vault... manpower to handle everything will be a necessity. I don't think we'll have a problem once the first job is finished."
22:17 GentlemanJohnny "Good, five million to get you started an additional 250k a month for your team in Sierra Leone, and my office will grant you a business license and set you up with warehousing and dock space for future growth at below market costs. This acceptable?"
22:17 Zulu_One "More than."
22:18 GentlemanJohnny "I leave this matter in your hands."
22:18  GentlemanJohnny slides over an intelligence file on Imam Mohammad Ali Mohammed.
22:18  GentlemanJohnny leaves the bar and returns to his office.

 

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Nighttime.  3-30.
 
Zulu One and his ensemble, five total including the captain, were but a single block away.  The Imam Mohammad Ali Mohammed, radical cleric with a penchant for violence, danced animatedly in a celebration in the second story of his house.  It was not his house, necessarily, but one he was residing in; his people were celebrating, and turning a blind eye to the consumption of alcohol and the presence of two guard dogs.  Even the one woman, dressed in naught by a scarf, seemed unphased by the presence of such an oppressive man.
 
"Hypocrite One spotted in the window." CSSSH
 
"Canines One and Two are pretty scrawny.  I bet a tranq works fast." CSSSH
 
"Eight guns on main compound, four on outer buildings."  CSSSH
 
The group crept quietly under cover of darkness, the lights on the street almost entirely blown out by the recent violence.  The only light came from the half-block being partied in.  Zulu Four retrieved the tranq rifle from their pack and took aim while the remainder of the group took up positions.  The plan was set in motion.
 
Immediately before firing the tranq, a plainsclothed man appeared before the guards.  He came, jogging, bearing a paper and talking animatedly.  The guards waved him in.  Hesitating only a second longer, two tranq shots flew through the air and embedded themselves in the dogs, which only yelped mildly.  After a few seconds of waiting, they collapsed.
 
The guards attempted to call out for help but found themselves riddled with bullets in another moment.  The gunfire alerted the guards inside and outside, and floodlights rapidly turned on.
 
The man inside walked upstairs, hurriedly carrying his papers, until he reached the Imam, squatting over the now-nude woman and half-drunk.  "Imam, sir," he said, "there is an attack.  I have your message."  The Imam, shaking his head, reached out for the papers as the second guard left the room, only leaving one in there.  The man tiptoed back from the Imam and grabbed the guard, hurling him out the open window in a single action.  The Imam did not notice.
 
He took a lit cigar and puffed on it a little bit to keep the fire going, then placed it in a small paper bag with some tinder and lit matches.  The small bag would smoke a bit, but would not catch any attention, and then he immediately left the room to go down and into a maintenance area.  The guards gone, he turned a few knobs and ran.
 
The firefight outside ended soon after they noticed the man leaving the building, screaming.  Zulu One and his group departed after throwing a grenade that damaged an outer wall; the guards ran to inspect the area and move forward, but nothing could be done.  The distraction, however, lasted long enough.
 
Only a few minutes later, after gas had flooded the entire building and the party restarted at the insistence of the Imam, the bag emerged in flames ignited the gas.  Marvin the Martian would have been proud at the earth-shattering kaboom.
 
Zulu One returned to their encampment, packed up, and left.  Hypocrite One had been silenced.  They were getting paid.
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Private

 

Zulu_One would find the payment transferred to his private account as soon as he logged onto check. 

 

The Rest of the Yahoos...

 

The young men who flocked to the Imam's banner quickly spread the news that the Imam was dead. A few Legion Intelligence Agents quietly spread rumors that the hit had been carried out by the Imam's Second in command. These rumors were latched onto as if they were gospel and it isn't an hour before the second highest leader of the late Imam's movement is dangling dead from a noose at the hands of his executioners. 

 

At that point they begin to wander the city confused and unsure what to do next.

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Daylight.  4-3.
 
There was no shortage of young, confused, unemployed men.  They had been promised power, authority, and control.  Everything a young man wants, with no repercussions, no responsibility.  Could you blame them for trying to take it up?
 
Of course you can.  And Zulu One did - for all except the youngest.  They knew right from wrong.  There was no way these men, who leapt at the chance to oppress, to destroy, to conquer those less powerful, would be given a chance to access weapons of this caliber, to deal internationally.  They had to be dealt with another way.
 
A few stands were put up to serve food at memorial services for the Imam.  Those who were formally loyal to him attended in various parts of the city; they were drawn to the last vestige of power they could grab from him.  Maybe they could plan something.
 
Instead, they found themselves victims of a fatal food poisoning.  Dozens of young men ate corrupted meat, laced with a poison of wholly accidental origin, an unfortunate byproduct of a bad batch of factory processing.  Those lucky enough to survive or not eat saw their luck go up - leaders dead, explosions, and the smiting of the believers, ostensibly by God?
 
Those religious enough to see the light never turned back to them.  Those who did not attend found themselves isolated; they had no more power, no more friends, no more leaders.
 
Zulu One lit a cigar and watched as his subordinates turned in recruiting stats.  Droves of young women (and the occasional young man), delighted at the fall of the Imam and his followers, were beginning to sign on with his newly established group, Arnew.  They were going door to door and recruiting, taking advantage of the power vacuum.  Those who were good enough to fight back or shelter others would be perfect recruits.
 
Their ranks were swelling.  Their bank accounts were lining with silver.  Their contacts were starting to answer their calls.
 
Zulu One smiled.
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Private

 

Gentleman Johnny Germaine read the reports involving the mysterious wave of fatal food poisoning and erupted into laughter. He took the file that identified the source of the food poison, dumped it into his shredder, and watched it vanish. He then signed a document authorizing the use of a certain remote facility that is located about ten kilometers north of Mogadishu by Zulu_one and his followers. Another document signed over the deed of the facility to Zulu_One and a third document granted it tax free status for the next ten years. He then put the documents in a special envelope and dispatches it by courier to Zulu_one. 

 

Inside is also a cheque filled out to the tune of 200,000 dollars as a bonus for a timely completion of their duties.

Edited by Tidy Bowl Man
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