I had been hoping to be invited into The Posse for some time.
If you are too young to remember, or have been asleep for many years, here’s how we came to this. The world has always had serious divisions, not the least the USA, but disintegration here accelerated with the ravings of a former president whose name I don’t use. He died of a heart attack screaming “I’m the president’ while being questioned during his 2022 trial for various and sundry financial crimes. Soon thereafter, led by his sons and daughters, true believers were convinced he didn’t die and would soon return to save the country. Cult 45, as it became known, began to plague politicians at all levels of government with arson, death threats and kidnapping. Politicians aligning with Cult 45 were treated likewise by the enemies of Cult 45. Those opposed Cult 45 were called Anti45 by their supporters, and spelled derisively Auntie45 by Cult 45. The country was further divided by an Endemic, worsened by many variants. Mask or not, vaccine or not, the country was violently divided. As government was forced to protect itself, the business of governing the masses was left behind.
Simultaneously with the political problems, the economy collapsed. International terrorism and civil war abetted national problems to create the dreaded supply chain disruptions. National strikes crippled industrial and farm production. Violent groups of all stripes took what they wanted. The poor had the difficult choice of joining the predators or becoming the prey. The rich had to make many sacrifices, but had the resources to hide in fortresses and employ private armies. Some joined disorganized gangs with anarchists, the hungry, the angry, and the unemployed who espoused revolution for the hell of it who rampaged and pillaged.
Disorder was unequal. Then D.C. area was protected by federal forces as were areas including Seattle and San Diego with large military forces. New England and Utah were relatively peaceful. Oregon, Chicago, California, and New York were hard hit because their residents had started rioting early and often. States that mobilized their national guards early with orders to shoot looters or armed civilians fared better, but at a huge price. Colorado became calm, but only after five thousand were killed, mostly by their National Guard. After the last attack on a Jewish synagogue, Jews formed armed defense groups when it became clear no one else would help them. Their attacks on and infiltration of anti-Semitic groups were largely effective. “Never again”. They are rarely attacked now.
After the rise of Cult 45, the Posse, another more violent group, was founded. It is one of the most active gangs in 2040. They’ve been credited with killing hundreds or thousands in a bid to continue white dominance in the USA despite failures to defeat Black Muslims for control of Detroit, affiliated Black gangs in Chicago, and Latino groups in much of the American southwest.
The Posse found me by a coded message on the internet inviting me, the Wolf, to meet with a Posse representative in the Southwest. I’m called the Wolf because I’m a lone wolf doing my missions by myself. My reputation comes from a large number of kills. Because secrecy is so hard to obtain, both the message and the location involved several steps. The meeting was in a low key taqueria in Santa Fe. My contact was a non-descript woman, other than being littler in the middle than the bottom or the top, as an old song described it. She called herself Nora, but that probably meant nothing. We were the only customers at 3PM, so we could talk unobserved.
She started without preamble “What do you think of Indians?”
I prefer Native Americans or American Aborigines, but OK. “No opinion positive or negative. So what?”
“A Navajo movement to secede from Northern Mexico and much of the Southwest US is meeting in Taos to decide on what to do. What should we do?”
This was just what I was waiting for “Stop them permanently.”
“Good. Normally the Posse would handle it without help, but we are short handed in this area and need to act within the week. Your skills are known to be just what we need to complete the mission. Are you in? I should tell you that if you are out, you can’t count on getting out of New Mexico.”
“Listen Nora, I’m armed right now. I hope that we don’t have to argue about who has the bigger balls. I’m in.”
She told me that I would get instructions about where to meet no more than two hours before the attack for security reasons. I told her would be ready.
Wednesday morning I was told to meet in the Taos Plaza at 7AM before it opened. When I got there five cars were already there. As soon as I showed, someone unseen announced on a loudspeaker “Come out of your cars with your hands up, or we will fire”. I got out with my handgun and others got out of their cars with their weapons. Ten Posse members were killed in the exchange of gunfire. I killed two of them. Nora wasn’t there.
I hope that you can forgive me for my misdirection, but I fancy myself as a writer and wanted to use “unreliable narrator” for dramatic effect. The original Wolf was a bad guy who I had killed in another operation. Since no one knew what he looked like except me, it was convenient for me to assume his identity to infiltrate violent groups. In case I was mistaken and someone else knew what he looked like, I grew a beard and then closely resembled the man I had murdered. The Nora / Posse setup was golden for me, but I may have to go underground and get another identity before acting again.
I’ve been a vigilante for years now. I had to leave my wife and two children behind for their safety. As much as I miss her, my wife Julie fully endorsed my mission. I have contacts at high levels of government who would deny my existence, which is why I could arrange for warriors in Taos. Money is no problem for me or my family because a second generation Seattle billionaire supports my quest for stability in the USA. I miss Julie, but if Nora and I see each other again and one of us doesn’t kill the other first, I wonder what might happen.
After missions like this one I send summaries to a friend who collects them for me with the hope that they will provide some history of the troubles after they are over. He will issue the report at the earlier of my death or a return to tranquility. I hope to live to be forty, but the odds are against me.
Appears in Dark Dossier #67
Minor edits by LS team