Authors: Vaughn Heppner
Tags: #Science Fiction
Novels by Vaughn Heppner
INVASION AMERICA SERIES:
Invasion: New York
DOOM STAR SERIES:
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(Invasion America #4)
by Vaughn Heppner
Copyright © 2013 by the author.
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.
HALIFAX, NEW BRUNSWICK
John Red Cloud was a short, Algonquin warrior of undeterminable age. He sipped beer from a tall glass, having nursed it for over an hour. It was well past 3 AM and he sat in a rundown tavern catering to dock workers and seamen. He had the leathery features of a seasoned warrior and a grudge to settle with the leaders of the German Dominion. Because of that, he waited here to murder a man.
Red Cloud tightened his grip around the beer glass. He had believed a lie. He had fought for an illusion, and that angered him in a deep and solemn way.
He took a slow sip, as if trying to dampen his inner rage. Because of GD duplicity, he had declared war against them. He had not done so verbally, but in his heart. He had begun that war in the depth of winter by murdering the Dominion ambassador to Quebec.
The GD secret service hunted for him now, as he hunted his enemies. This was an old game for Red Cloud, and he was a survivor of a long and bitter battle that had started against the Canadian government many years ago. He knew the odds: he was one warrior against an empire. Because of that, he had chosen a time-honored technique and target. He would assassinate the leader of the GD, Chancellor Kleist.
Unfortunately, he had a problem. To kill Kleist, he had to leave North America, cross the Atlantic Ocean and land in Europe. Instead of hiding in the northern wilds, he would carry the war to the enemy. The trick was getting across the great salt sea.
John had not called upon his people for aid, even though they had voted him the Algonquin representative to the Germans. He’d made his decision alone and he would work alone to exact revenge upon those who thought to mock his people.
Tonight, he wore a red flannel shirt, jeans and boots. His jacket was draped over his chair as he sat hunched in the shadows, cradling his glass.
Unlike some of his fellow Algonquians, Red Cloud could hold his liquor, but he wasn’t taking any chances tonight. He had ordered the one beer, nursing it, but he wouldn’t drink any more. He dared not get drunk tonight—oh no. After weeks of searching for the right man, he had finally found his ticket to Europe.
The grungy Halifax bar was a dive catering to dockworkers and seamen who had made the trip across the Atlantic. Such journeys had increased since Quebec seceded from Canada and joined the GD. The Europeans poured military supplies and hardware into Quebec and into New Brunswick, which had become a part of Quebec a few weeks ago.
It was a long story, but the GD prepared for war against America. That had included grabbing the rump of Eastern Canada: New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
A long story indeed as John hunted amid mayhem, killing twice in order to reach Halifax. He had a problem, or two problems intertwined together. The GD secret service hunted him and he lacked the identification papers to pass the endless roadblocks or to board a plane or boat for Europe. Because of the threat of North American war, the GD police did not like Quebecers to travel from region to region in their own country.
John’s scarred hands released the beer glass. His black eyes seldom smiled, and he wore a
: the French word for a knit woolen hat.
John had a simple plan, the best ones always were. He needed identity papers
a cover job. What better papers and cover than as a seaman of the GD? Unfortunately, he did not have access to good forgers. Therefore, he hunted for a GD seaman who looked like him—the same size, similar features, and so on.
From a nearby table, a chair scraped back.
John glanced up. The man who had shoved his chair had dark features and leathery skin. He also had a brush cut. Therefore, when the time came, John would shave his head. The man wore a green jacket and had several rings on his fingers. He had two black fingernails, and he was missing an upper left tooth.
At the right time, John would pull out one of his teeth. He had to reach Europe, France in particular. He could speak French and from a lifetime of living in Quebec, he knew French customs. Perhaps as important, he had the name of a French secret service agent who hated the present GD regime. This agent was the key to John’s plan.
The seaman rose unsteady to his feet. He put his left hand on the table. Half the middle finger was missing. The man had been drinking all night, and playing darts from time to time. The man shouted his good-byes. Then he staggered for the door.
With a sigh, Red Cloud stood. He did not want to kill the man. It did not make him feel good knowing that soon he would take the man’s life. It made him sad, just as it would have made one of his ancestors sad having to kill a deer for the family. His ancestor would have asked the gods’ favor to help him make the kill, and his ancestor would later ask the deer’s spirit to forgive him, as his family needed the meat.
John did not believe in the old gods. After his family died years ago in the Quebec civil war, he didn’t believe in much. Thus, he would not ask the man’s forgiveness as he stole the life. Still, it grieved him to snuff out an innocent life. It was yet another thing the forked-tongued GD leaders would have to answer for.
As John stepped outside, rain struck his face, making him blink. He wondered if GD soldiers would feel sad killing any resisting Algonquians. He did not think so. The white man killed without remorse. The Algonquin was superior, therefore, because at least he regretted the need for an evil deed.
A streetlight cast ill-defined light as rain hissed past the post. A quarter-block ahead of John, the seaman stumbled, laughing to himself, perhaps at a joke told earlier tonight. That was good, yes, very good. At least, the seaman would die happy.
John hurried across the slippery paving. He had a knack for moving fast without seeming to. With a barely perceptible turning of his head, he glanced right and left. Except for the target, there was no one out this late in the dingy part of Halifax. As John broke into a jog, he drew a bone-handled hunting knife from inside his jacket.
“You!” he said. “Wait a minute, eh?”
The seaman, who was the same height as John, stopped and turned around. In the dimness of the street lamp, the man had a questioning smile on his lips. It did not appear that he saw the knife. Maybe at the last second he sensed something out of place. The smile slipped, but it was far too late for the seaman. The razor-sharp blade sliced across his throat, and John Red Cloud nimbly stepped aside.
Blood gushed from the cut, and because the steel had sliced the vocal cords, the dying man couldn’t cry out. Instead, he staggered backward, hit his shoulders against the nearby building and tumbled sideways. He kicked his booted feet a time or two, and then he shuddered, lying still.
He must have been very drunk
Blood pooled under the body—lots and lots of blood. John carefully stepped upon the slick paving. From experience, he knew the blood could act like oil and make for treacherous footing. Kneeling on the man’s chest, he searched the pockets and found his ID. He extracted the plastic and what little money the man carried. Then John pressed his teeth together because he didn’t like the next part.
With the knife-tip, he made a question mark on the man’s cheek, including digging out the dot on the bottom. The mark had no significance of any kind. The question mark was simply to give the police something to think about, a thing that would hopefully throw them on a rabbit trail leading nowhere except away from John.
Wiping the blade on the dead man’s coat, sliding it back into the hidden sheath, John rose and walked away. He would not use the ID right away, but in a week or two, after the man’s ship had left without him. He would board a different one later. And he would—with the Spirits’ guidance—reach the Old World, Europe. Then he would begin to hunt Chancellor Kleist of the German Dominion and kill him like the dog he was.
Strategic Interlude I
, by B.K. Laumer III:
The PAA and the GD in North America:
In 2040, the Pan-Asian Alliance contained 44 percent of the world’s population, while the German Dominion held 6 percent. The Americans and Canadians, incidentally, had a mere 5 percent.
The disparity of numbers went a long way to explaining the differences in armaments and strategies between the two Aggressor power blocs. It also explained the ability of the PAA to absorb staggering losses while continuing to possess the world’s strongest military.
China in particular had a surplus of young men willing to take up arms. Combined with Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese troops and with the South America Federation alliance, the PAA could easily win any war of attrition.
For the GD leadership it was different. Either they needed to win swiftly and decisively in North America or they needed a way to moderate losses.
Early in its buildup in the 2030s, the German Dominion made a key decision. They would supplement their flesh and blood forces with a mass influx of drones, hunter-killers and robotic troops. They used a two-pronged approach in this.
The first method was the more basic: remote controllers guiding robotic vehicles. These controllers came in two types. The first were in stationary posts behind the front lines and normally controlled air force drones and UAVs. The second type was in mobile vehicles organic to the various panzer and mechanized battalions and brigades. The battlefield controller piloted such famous drones as the Mark VII “Wolf” and the Mark IX “Ritter.”
The second method proved the more radical—artificial intelligence-run weapons systems. Like the blitzkrieg tactics of 1939 and 1940, the AI Kaiser hunter-killer came as a shock to its opponents.
By the time of the North American war, fully one third of the GD military was composed of what many called
. The preponderance of robotic vehicles proved even greater in the Great Lakes and East Coast battles of 2040. There, GD formations were one half to three fourths automated. Some of the engagements were even fought with
Many American personnel nicknamed these forces as “Terminator” battalions. The moniker originated from a 20th Century movie franchise depicting a future of machine enemies attempting to annihilate humanity. The abundance of drones and particularly the AI-driven hunter-killers or HKs allowed the GD to make “suicidal” attacks that even Chinese generals would have been loath to attempt. Used with judicious precision, this proved a critical and often telling advantage.
One of the interesting historical side notes concerned the size of GD robotic war-vehicles. The majority of stories depicting future AI weapons systems invariably showed them as oversized, such as the Chinese tri-turreted tank, the American Behemoth or something even larger. In contrast to reality, the Kaisers were little bigger than the GD main battle tank, the Leopard IV. However, because the Kaiser lacked a human crew, they could pack greater capability into the same size tank. The European MBT was akin to the American Jefferson in quality and deadliness—the Kaiser was something else entirely. Just like the word
, the word
was a derivative of the Roman title Caesar, which went back to Julius Caesar and his amazing exploits. Indeed, the AI Kaiser was a conquering tank of breathtaking abilities and scope, and a stunning tribute to German engineering and military theory.
Military History: Past to Present
, by Vance Holbrook:
Invasion of Northeastern America, 2040
Despite staggering losses in 2039, the Pan-Asian Alliance and the South American Federation implemented a “total” effort at rebuilding and resupplying the main invasion arm. This included an influx of new troops. The most trusted 31 Mexican Army divisions (465,000) took up garrison duty in Southern California. That allowed the Chinese units there to move east.
Because of the “total” effort, PAA and SAF numbers soon approached the six million mark behind the New Mexico-Oklahoma-Arkansas Line. It was a million less than the original seven, but still an impressive display of political resolve. However, what the Aggressors had in numbers they lacked in the original military hardware of 2039. The tri-turreted tanks, hovercraft, mobile canopy anti-ballistic missile vehicles, UAVs, jetpack commandos and other weapon systems were not available in the same profusion as the previous year.
The difference was telling, meaning the PAA and SAF possessed a considerably weaker offensive punch. Yet the sheer volume of troops combined with a cautious approach gave the Aggressors staying power. It allowed them to entrench while new weapon systems made the long journey from mainland Asian factories, across the Pacific, through Northern Mexico and to the waiting soldiers as they rearmed.
On the other side, the militarization and arming of the American people had begun in earnest. The successful defense of Denver and the accompanying counterattack increased the popularity of the Homeland Security Department’s Militia battalions, and their ranks swelled.
A few far-seeing individuals were troubled by this. They believed America had come to possess two competing militaries such as Greater Iran had with their Revolutionary Guard and the Regular Army. Despite these qualms, Homeland Security continued to grow in scope and power.
With the end of winter came a vast reshuffling of American and Canadian forces. At the beginning of hostilities in mid-spring, those movements were still in progress. The basic outline was as follows: four hundred thousand soldiers stood guard in Southern California and two hundred thousand patrolled the deserts of Arizona. Two hundred and fifty thousand second-rate Militiamen were spread along the Pacific Coast, with another two hundred thousand in Alaska. Five million Army troops, Marines and Militiamen manned the New Mexico-Oklahoma-Arkansas-Mississippi River Line. Another seven hundred thousand guarded the Gulf and East Coasts.
The Canadians moved the bulk of their army—six hundred thousand soldiers in 37 divisions—against the Ontario-Quebec border, while the Americans transferred approximately one million soldiers into the New England-New York-New Jersey area. A paltry two hundred thousand soldiers remained in U.S. strategic reserve, while a million and a half more newly trained Army troops, Marines and top-grade Militiamen would enter service sometime in the summer.
German Dominion numbers in Quebec appeared small when compared to American and especially Chinese forces. One million, two hundred thousand GD soldiers occupied the newest North American nation. A bare one hundred and fifty thousand Quebecers joined its newly minted military. But those numbers were deceptive in terms of combat ability. In terms of war vehicles and firepower—drones, HKs and robotic troops—the Germans possessed double their flesh and blood numbers.
Another two hundred thousand GD amphibious forces waited in Cuba, ready to invade the East Coast. They likewise had double the combat power, likening them to four hundred thousand soldiers. In combat values then, the GD had the equivalent of 2,950,000 troops to engage an initial 1,600,000 American-Canadian defenders. The true German edge was in terms of quality—planes, drones, tanks, hovercraft, missiles, lasers, space forces, etc. In that sense, the Germans had a preponderant advantage. Yet the Americans possessed a particularly key asset—their veteran soldiers.
: The GD General Staff divided the available men and “terminators” into 123 divisions, in four army groups. Army Group A under General Holk contained three armies and Army Group B under General Zeller had three armies. They held the bulk of the North American GD force and had the farthest to fight and travel.
Holk’s task was to smash through the Canadians along the Quebec-Ontario border, driving south toward Detroit in a classic blitzkrieg run. Behind would follow Zeller, mopping up bypassed enemy positions. The initial prize was Southern Ontario between Lake Huron, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Before reaching the final goal of Detroit, the GD would reveal the campaign’s true objectives. Turning sharply left—from the German perspective—waterborne hovercraft, tanks and infantry would launch across Lake Ontario and Lake Erie in an amphibious-blitzkrieg surprise. Once reaching the other side, they would begin the invasion of New York and Northern Pennsylvania, heading in the direction of the Atlantic Coast.
The timing of the second hook would be critical. Once the lead elements of Army Group A and B reached the western Appalachian foothills, Operation Poseidon would commence. The amphibious force in Cuba—General Kaltenbrunner’s Army Group D of two armies—was to land along the New Jersey shores. Their task was to drive northwest toward Niagara Falls-Buffalo. The two-pronged pincer move would meet in mid-state New York and Northern Pennsylvania, trapping the bulk of the American force holding New England, New York and New Jersey.
To the north of the New England states was Army Group C of Marshal Fromm, holding Quebec and occupied New Brunswick. The area south of the Saint Lawrence River contained three smaller GD siege armies. Their task was to protect the Saint Lawrence River lifeline.
The proposed destruction of large American and Canadian forces would bring four critical results. It would 1) sustainably weaken the North American allies 2) broaden GD holdings behind defensible terrain 3) allow Kleist to begin his political experimentation in North America and 4) provide a suitable springboard for the 2041 offensives.
. With the bulk of Army Canada stationed along the Quebec-Ontario border, the Prime Minister and his Chief of Staff continued to argue for an invasion of Quebec. Combined with New England forces and the coming summer reinforcements, they would have more flesh and blood numbers than the GD. The Canadians insisted President Sims honor his word and commence Operation Liberty against Quebec. The debate continued to rage until the German invasion forced the Allied hand.
. Exhausted by last year’s offensives, the Chinese planned to eradicate all American partisans in occupied territories. Otherwise, they would hold in place. The Navy planned intensified anti-submarine warfare in the Pacific. Once the routes were secured, full rearmament of the Invasion Army could continue with accelerated speed.
2040, April 4-11. Occupation Maritime
. GD shock troops disgorged from freighters in Canadian Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. In a relatively bloodless coup, airmobile brigades and a swift tank column from Quebec completed the occupation of these four Maritime Provinces. (Quebec already physically split them from the rest of Canada.) Heightened tensions poisoned edgy GD-American relations.
2040, May 26-June 10. The Ontario Assault
. Following predawn bombardments of all major Ontario and nearby American airfields, GD air-superiority fighters quickly gained local dominance. Army Group A simultaneously gained operational surprise against the Canadians and northern New York forces. In true blitzkrieg fashion, German armor boldly raced south and west, cutting supply to large portions of the Canadian Army along the Quebec-Ontario border. The AI Kaiser hunter-killers and Leopard IV tanks proved devastating, as the Canadians had nothing to match them. Even so, the Canadians fought valiantly, reminding some GD generals of Polish courage and resistance in 1939. Army Group B followed in close coordination, engaging in hard-fought contests. On June 4, the Ottawa Pocket finally collapsed, netting the Germans 40,000 starving Canadians along with 200 tanks and 150 artillery pieces. GD hovertanks proved particularly effective along the Lake Ontario shores. On June 10, the Kingston Pocket surrendered and 70,000 Canadian and Americans troops marched into captivity.
The main Canadian Army was now split in two, with roughly 200,000 soldiers of Army Group West moving north to Sudbury and Manitoba. Roughly, another 200,000 Canadians of Army Group South retreated toward Toronto as the Germans followed. That left approximately 200,000 Canadians dead on the field of battle or marching into GD captivity.
2040, June 6-19. Drive on Toronto
. The entire American strategic reserve (200,000) sped to Southern Ontario, linking with Canadian Army Group South. Ultimately, U.S. High Command wished to protect the new Behemoth Manufacturing Plant in Detroit. But they also concentrated on holding the Golden Horseshoe region of Southern Ontario: the urban concentration—one of the heaviest in North America—wrapped around the western edge of Lake Ontario from Oshawa-Toronto-Hamilton to Niagara Falls.
GD Army Group A (Holk) found increasing resistance as the Canadian formations rallied around the American veterans. In hard-fought, bloody battles, with “suicidal” Kaisers and Sigrid drones driving up the gut, Army Group A pushed into Markham. Before attempting to capture the bulk of the Golden Horseshoe, Holk wished to consolidate his weary forces and resupply.
Commanding General Mansfeld ordered Holk into an immediate full-scale attack. Then, in one of the most brilliant and bold maneuvers of the war, Mansfeld initiated the first GD mass airdrop of tanks, a corps level event. It caught the Allies by surprise and trapped substantial forces in Toronto, splitting Southern Ontario Allied Command. GD “terminator” battalions began the harrowing