Chapter 12 – News Conference
Richardson and Lita sat on the front porch next to Roberto and Kris.
“You think we’re gonna be safe here?” Kris asked. “We really poked the hornet’s nest.”
“Depends on if there’s more bases close by,” Richardson said.
“Yeah, that’s the real question,” Roberto said. “You get chewed out by your CO?”
“Not really,” Richardson said. “After I explained it to him.”
“It went viral,” Lita said. “Big time. We’re even in the international news.”
“I’ll bet half of the media thinks we’re villains,” Kris said.
“Pretty much,” Lita said.
“Screw ‘em,” Roberto said. “Let them have their families attacked.”
“Wish we had an alternate location,” Richardson said. “I feel completely exposed here.”
Roberto’s phone rang. He fished it out of his pocket. “Gerald. I’ll put it on speaker.”
“Okay, Gerald, what’s up?”
“Governor Nelson is gonna do a speech in a few minutes,” he said. “Rumor has it that he’s going to address our posting.”
Richardson chuckled. “This ought to be interesting.”
“I’ll go get the TV turned on inside,” Kris said.
“Yeah, I’ll go with you,” Lita said.
“Better go round up the kids,” Richardson said.
“Shouldn’t we have somebody stay in that boat?” Lita asked.
“We’ll get early warning from the dogs,” Roberto said. “Bring guns inside though, just in case.”
“For sure,” Richardson said, heading towards the boat. “Hey, guys, come on in the house. Nelson’s about to talk.”
“What about guarding the place?” Brendan asked.
“Roberto’s leaving the dogs out here,” Richardson said. “It won’t be for too long.”
“Good, I want to see this,” Juan Carlos said, helping Madison up.
They rushed into the house, Madison barely using her crutches now.
“I’m gonna be nervous the whole time we’re in here,” Hannah said.
“It’ll be okay,” Brendan told her as they went through the door. The TV was already on, the reporters milling around in a crowded press room, waiting for the Governor to come out.
“That’s in the bunker,” Richardson said. “Been down there once.”
“Really?” Lita asked. “Why?”
“Tour, believe it or not,” Richardson said. “Seems like that was a whole different world.”
“Tell me about it,” Roberto said. “Look, here he comes.”
Governor Nelson walked up to the podium, flanked by Major General Gallagher and Chief Ramsey.
“Thank you all for coming. This will be brief. I’ll allow a few questions after the statement.”
There were murmurs in the room. Nelson waited till they died down.
“I’m sure you saw the meme which went viral on the internet last night. It touched off a firestorm in the establishment media, which disturbs me more than the graphic nature of the photos. We’ve had an alarming reaction from the foreign press, particularly in the EU. There are now calls for the UN to move into Texas, if the US Federal Government can’t settle things down here.”
He paused for a moment, watching the press corps, making eye contact with several of the more prominent members.
“I’ve given careful consideration on how to respond to both the meme, and the emotional reaction from the press and some foreign governmental entities.”
Murmurs flooded the room again, as reporters hammered away on their cell phones and tablets.
“The United States is under attack by foreign groups, aided by treasonous government officials at the state and federal levels. The foreign groups include the following: The Islamic Caliphate. The UN. The Government of Venezuela. The Government of North Korea. Secessionist Militia Groups in the Southwestern states, who recognize neither the Federal Government nor the Republic of Texas. These attacks are being coordinated by the EU leadership in Belgium and their Globalist partners, foreign and domestic.”
The room exploded with reactions, from boos to cheers. Nelson waited for the crowd to settle down. Some in the crowd began arguing with each other. Chief Ramsey stepped near the microphone, Nelson backing away.
“Settle down or you will be removed from this facility,” the Chief said sharply.
The group quieted down after a moment.
“Wow,” Richardson said, eyes glued to the screen.
“I love this guy, dude,” Juan Carlos said.
Nelson stepped back up. “The story that the meme tells is true. My office checked it out. Islamist fighters near San Marcos were kidnapping young women. These thugs took them back to their hideout at an abandoned recycling center. They used our women for sex slaves. Some victims were under sixteen years of age.”
“You have proof, I assume,” one reporter spat.
“Yes,” Nelson said. “I talked to some of the parents, and to others living in the area.”
“That doesn’t excuse what our people did,” the reporter said.
“Yes, it does,” Nelson said. “The enemy killed the hostages when Texas Patriots attempted to rescue them. The bodies were still warm when the patriots found them. This cannot stand. I support the actions of these Texas Patriots, and advise the Islamist invaders and their allies to expect similar treatment if they harm Texas citizens in this manner. Do I make myself clear?”
“This is barbaric,” said a female reporter near the back of the room.
“You can say that, as a woman?” another female reporter said. “You’re trash, and so is your movement. I ought to bust you right in the chops.”
“That’s enough,” Nelson said.
“Yes!” Hannah said.
Nelson waited while the crowd settled down.
“Geez, some of these reporters are clueless,” Lita said. “What if this was their wives or daughters?”
“Now, a few comments directly to the EU Leadership and the traitors in the Federal Government,” Nelson continued. “Texas left the union because we discovered what you were planning. We will fight you to the death. If you attack Texas, I suggest you bring a lot of body bags. We have twenty million armed citizens in Texas and they have at least thirty-four million guns between them. That’s not counting our Police Departments and the Texas National Guard. You’ve seen how effective our people can be, in places like Austin, Fort Stockton, Riviera Beach, and most recently San Antonio. Attack us at your peril. As a point of reference, the army of China is under four million troops.”
You could hear a pin drop in the room. Gallagher shot a smile at Ramsey as Nelson collected his thoughts.
“Finally, I have a special message for the UN, which is doing a lot of sabre rattling due to the meme in question.”
“Here it comes,” Richardson said.
“We know what you are doing in California. We know about the murders and rapes. We know about the attempted lockdown of that state. We know you are teamed with the Islamist Army there. We also know California Patriots are fighting you, and we know they will win.”
One of the reporters chuckled. Nelson smiled.
“Contrary to popular belief, there are almost as many guns in private hands in California as there are in Texas. The UN and their Islamist partners will not defeat the armed citizens of California. To aid in the struggle, this administration will make public all reliable stories we receive about actions of the UN in California, and we wish our California brothers-in-arms well.”
There was a smattering of applause in the room.
“If the UN attempts to enter the great state of Texas, they will be met by a hail of bullets. We will hunt you down and kill you like the dogs that you are. You cannot defeat us. We will kill you wholesale. Do I make myself clear?”
Murmurs erupted again, some reporters visibly shaken and others smiling.
“That’s the end of my prepared comments. I’ll take a few questions.”
A reporter in the front raised his hand. Nelson pointed to him, and he stood up.
“Price Jones, Washington Post. What’s to stop the Federal Government from just nuking Texas and moving on?”
Nelson chuckled. “They could do that, but they won’t. Texas has friends who understand what the Federal Government is up to. They are prepared to step in.”
“Foreign friends?” the report asked. “Would you like to get more specific?”
“Nope,” Nelson said. “Next question.”
“What’s he talking about?” Brendan asked.
“Probably the Russians,” Richardson said. “They’ve been on our side since the beginning.”
“Quiet, he’s talking again,” Madison said.
“Second row center,” Nelson said, pointing into the sea of raised hands.
A woman stood up. “Kat Bower, MSNBC. Do you consider what was done to the Islamists by the dogs cruel and against the Geneva Convention?”
“Yes,” Nelson said.
“Are you intending on punishing the men who did that?” she asked.
“Nope,” Nelson said.
“Because child rape and murder of civilians are also against the Geneva Convention,” Nelson said sharply. “That behavior needs to be answered, and the answer needs to be in language that these savages understand. Next question.”
“This is barbaric,” the woman cried.
Nelson ignored her and picked another reporter, towards the back of the room.
“Harrison French, Fox News. Have you been in contact with Ivan the Butcher, and do you support his actions in California?”
Nelson chuckled. “Ivan the Butcher. Colorful fellow. I enjoyed his videos, and look forward to more. I’ve had no contact with him, but I fully support his actions against the invaders in California.”
“Thank you,” Harrison said.
“You’re not going to ask a follow up?” the CNN reporter next to him asked. She was a young woman with blonde hair and an attractive face.
Harrison laughed at her, shaking his head. “No, he answered my question. Do you want me to hammer the Governor for his support of an obvious patriot?”
“This is interesting,” Nelson said. “Bree, what is your follow-up?”
She stood up, a smirk on her face. “This ‘Ivan the Butcher’ character made his fortune on vice operations. Prostitution, gambling, and drugs.”
“That was a statement, not a question,” Nelson said.
She sighed, an exasperated look on her face. “How can you support him given his past actions?”
“Do you support the UN?” Nelson asked.
“Of course,” she said. “They’re a stabilizing influence, and we need that in the world today.”
Harrison burst out laughing. Others joined him.
“Next,” Nelson said.
“You don’t have a comment?” Bree asked.
“Sorry, but you aren’t too bright. Any response to that is a waste of time.”
Half the room cheered, the other half booed. Gallagher was laughing, and shot a glance at Ramsey again, who shook his head. Bree left the room in a huff.
“Sorry folks, that was a little harsh,” Nelson said. “I’ll try to behave. There’s time for a couple more questions.” He pointed to a reporter in the middle of the room.
“Brice Ketchum, Austin American-Statesmen. Are there plans for Texas to rejoin the Union, and if so, when?”
Nelson thought for a moment, the room silent.
“Uh oh,” Richardson whispered, eyes glued to the screen.
“Yes, we expect that Texas will rejoin the Union,” Nelson said. “I can’t tell you the timeframe or the exact circumstances that will lead to our re-entry, but I never intended to have Texas remain an independent republic for the long term.”
“You can’t give us any more info than that?” Brice asked.
“Well, this war must be over, and the Federal Government must be back under the control of the citizens,” Nelson said. “I’m hoping that’s sooner rather than later. Good enough?”
“For now,” Brice said.
“One more,” Nelson said. He pointed at a woman on the far right-hand side. She stood.
“Christine Simon, KXAN News. Will Texas hold their statewide elections for the next cycle, or will they be put off until the war is over?”
“I’m glad you asked that question, Christine,” Nelson said. “We will absolutely hold our Texas state elections on schedule no matter what, and they will be free and open. I won’t run for re-election, since this is my second term.”
The room burst into questions, reporters raising their hands frantically. Nelson waved to the crowd, left the stage, and headed for the door, Ramsey and Gallagher following him.
“Wow,” Roberto said. “That was quite a press conference. I didn’t vote for this guy, but I’m glad he’s in the job now.”
“This is gonna start a shit-storm,” Lita said.
“Only one thing surprised me,” Richardson said.
“What’s that, honey?” Lita asked.
“Texas has no term limits for Governor,” he replied. “Nelson could run again.”
“He’s doing the right thing,” Kris said. “And I did vote for him. Canceled Roberto’s vote right out.” She giggled.
“Why do you think he’s doing the right thing?” Richardson asked.
“To avoid any appearance that he wants to hold onto absolute control,” Kris said. “This is a great man. I hope Texas appreciates him.”
“He’ll get a lot of heat for what he said to that one idiot,” Brendan said.
“The CNN reporter,” Madison said. “She kinda pissed me off, after seeing what happened to those poor girls at the recycling center. The MSNBC reporter pissed me off more, though.”
“Seriously,” Lita said.
“What now?” Juan Carlos asked. “Should we go back to the boat?”
“Why don’t you stay in here and get some sleep,” Roberto said. “Trust me, the dogs will alert us if anybody shows up. I’ll let them loose. We got the M60s and M-16s in here.”
“You okay with that?” Brendan asked Richardson.
He thought about it for a moment. “Yeah, I am. Chances are good that we destroyed their local capability anyway, and we’ve been running on too little sleep for a few days. It’d be nice to catch up a little bit.”
“Good, then it’s settled,” Kris said. “I’ll show you were the guest rooms are.”
She got up, Lita, Madison, and Hannah following.
“You forgot your crutches,” Juan Carlos shouted to Madison.
“Don’t need them,” Madison said. “Don’t worry about it.” The women disappeared down the hall.
“So, you really think we’re safe?” Juan Carlos asked softly.
“Yeah,” Richardson said. “There was command and control stuff at the recycling center, those Gaz Tigrs, and all of those other supplies. That was a major base. They don’t have the bandwidth to man another one of those close by.”
“I hope you’re right, dude,” Juan Carlos said.
“Me too,” Roberto said. “We’ll find out soon enough.”
Bug Out! Book One is now available in paperback! The rest of the series will follow. It’s a new feature that Amazon has provided as part of Kindle Direct Publishing.
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Bug Out! Texas has just been published in the Kindle Store! This is the story of Texas Patriots and their struggle against enemies, foreign and domestic, during the Bug Out! War. Chock full of action, adventure, suspense, and romance. Pick up your copy of Bug Out! Texas Book 1 today!
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