Tom McDevitt was in conference with his war department.
Tom did not look Irish. In fact, he looked much like a man named Jose Munoz who was sought by the Cali Bureau of Investigation. CBI found Jose’s phone when a SWAT team stopped the bus that Jose had tossed it into when he heard the public service announcements regarding Denice Delarosa’s death. He texted his girl friend that they needed to disappear and then ditched the phone.
Jose had ceased to exist in a veterinary clinic near his home. He walked in and collared the doctor as soon as he heard the news. He did not care if his new chip identified him as a Labrador Retriever. He just knew that it was not healthy to remain Jose Munoz.
All of the veterinary clinics sold some level of false identification. It was the only way they could stay in business. The owner knew Jose and actually liked him. She also knew that Jose was nobody to trifle with. The chip she implanted in him was not for a Labrador Retriever. It was the chip from a drug user who drowned in a six inch deep puddle of water. Tom McDevitt roughly matched the no-longer-existing Jose Munoz’s approximate height and weight.
Cali’s response to Delarosa’s death was sudden and ferocious.
Not only was the Cartel publically blamed, but top management was being rolled up and known Cartel hot-spots were being raided.
The entire upper-echelon had been captured or killed. Senor Largo and his family had been gunned down in a doctor’s clinic where he had taken them to have their identities changed. His 12 year old boy was carrying an electronic game in his back pocket that shook hands with the office Wi-Fi and told the internet where they were.
Two-thirds of the middle management had also been rolled up. His girlfriend had been scooped up while having her nails done and his parents had been taken in a midnight raid at their apartment.
The Cali military had learned from their mistakes and were now raiding a warehouse or factory every two nights. They still attacked at four in the morning but they came in overwhelming force and they had a method. For instance, they had six foot tall Jersey Barriers tied together like Jacob’s Ladders on the backs of low-boy trailers. The first thing the raiders did was to lay down a barrier of concertina wire and Jersey barriers on three sides of the building they were raiding. Then they created a virtual, device dead-zone where phones went stupid. Tear gas and flash-bang grenades woke the residents up. They were zip-tied together and loaded on buses by age and sex and transported somewhere for re-education.
All Cali military were off-site before noon.
Cali had all of the initiatives for the last two weeks. It had taken a great deal of political capital for McDevitt to hold back what was left of his organization. Bona-Brown’s politics may have been grotesquely primitive but his military organization and cyber organization showed incredible ability to learn and adapt.
McDevitt turned to Augie Ybarra, the chief of his war council and asked, “Are you ready to move tomorrow night? Are there any more resources we can add that will increase your chances of success?”
Augie nodded that his organization was ready. “Unless you have a hundred tons of high explosive, we are as ready as we will ever be. In fact, if we add any more people we will be tripping over ourselves and we will blow our chances of surprise.”
“The explosives are coming. For now you have what you have. Even though it is a formality at this point, run through the plan and we will have a vote of support. There can be no turning back or half-heartedness after we start.” McDevitt said.
“We don’t have the resources to run this in the classic military sense, so we are using asymmetric, umm, guerilla techniques.” Augie said. “Cali is exceptionally vulnerable to getting poked in the eye because of their complete reliance on electronic surveillance.”
McDevitt interrupted, “We cannot just poke them in the eye. We have to rip them out and stomp on them. We are only going to have one chance to surprise them.”
Augie said, “I understand that. Let me continue.”
“Their surveillance system falls apart if they lose power, fiber optic trunks and microwave relay systems.” Ybarra lectured. “We have teams positioned in…(looking down at his handwritten notes)…San Mateo, Newark, Kirker, Kettleman City, Elk Grove, Franklin, Elverta and a few other places. Their jobs are to drop power lines and breach natural gas pipelines.”
“We also have hundreds of teams who are going to pitch Molotov cocktails into the panel-yards serving cell towers. Our tech guy” Ybarra said nodding toward Dilip “says the panels are marginally cooled and that they only require a little more heat to destroy them. We figure that will take longer to fix than cutting the power to them.”
Augie looked over at Freddie. Freddie was a new addition to the war council. He was a Committeeman for the Longshoreman’s union. “This is where your teams come into play.” Ybarra said. “Your teams are going to open up gates so we can drive through security. Are you sure your guys are completely on board with that?”
Freddie said, “Our guys are hot to get a piece of Bona-Brown. Tony Martinez was a very popular guy. Shit, he went to member funerals and everything. I went to talk with him after he was released from interrogation. All he could do was drool, hum and rock back and forth. His fucking eyes were dead. Damn straight we want to stick it to Bona-Brown. He promised us everything before the elections and then kicked us straight to the curb.” Freddie was on the verge of hyperventilating when he finished.
“That brings up their second vulnerable point,” Augie said “their feet.”
“Cali military has almost no tracked vehicles. Most of the state is a desert. There is really not much need for them. The vehicles at the point of the spear, the Armored Personnel Carriers and such have run-flat tires. But the fast logistical train that supports the point of the spear is running on standard, commercial, pneumatic tires.”
“The second part of the plan is to throw a bunch of broken glass on the ground, sometimes literally, to cripple their logistics. We did some experiments, a .22 rifle can easily punch a hole in the sidewall of a truck tire at 100 yards, and tires with holes in the sidewall cannot be repaired.”