America and the WarsEdit
Ever since Harry Truman realised that isolationism wasn't feasible in the world at war, the United States had been one of the, if not the most important contributors to the Allied Nations. Still, the notion that the Allies was only a temporary project and that America should return to minding its own business was prominent within both the major parties. Others saw this position as weak, and wanted to eliminate communism altogether. One of these men was Senator Joseph McCarthy, who gathered staunchly interventionist and anti-communist representatives from both parties and formed the Federalist Party in 1951. Their populist and fiery, Churchill-like rhetoric emboldened the people's spirits and made McCarthy president, to the establishment's shock. When World War II had ended, the war and interventionist propaganda had pushed the American people towards radical anti-communism and the idea that it was every nation's duty to defend the free world against the Red Scare. The Federalists were there to stay.
Despite the fall of Stalin, the Soviets were far from quashed. The Soviet rebuilding prompted America to do the same, pumping up its military under presidents McCarthy, Jenner (succeeding the former after his death in 1957) and Kennedy. Timely Magazine noted in 1963 that Kennedy and McCarthy shared the same kind of spirit--"a spirit ready to fight". The successor to this spirit would be Howard T. Ackerman, sweeping into office with a clear mandate from the people.
When the war broke out, America was more mobilised than most European countries. Any initial resistance to full mobilisation was thwarted by Ackerman's landslide and takeover of Congress. American forces would reinforce the European troops, suppressing the Soviet blitzkrieg noticeably, and its factories provided ammunition, equipment and vehicles. When the London Master Chronosphere finally came alive in early 1967, the American troops would swarm into France and Europe. When Western Germany had been overrun, public opinion was split between those who wanted a ceasefire as soon as possible and those who wanted to continue the invasion of Russia. Ackerman infamously belonged to the latter faction.
An Unwanted PeaceEdit
Main article: The Madness of President Ackerman
President Ackerman vehemently opposed any accommodation with the Soviet Union at the end of the war, but in a historic Supreme Court case, Congress was awarded the right to overrule the President's veto and formally sign a binding ceasefire agreement with the Soviet Union. The president was powerless and madness was the only outcome for such an ambitious man.
Making good on his previous objections, President Ackerman resolved to unilaterally break the Allied-Soviet ceasefire. Believing the Soviets were plotting to betray the Allies, the president decided to level Moscow with the secret intercontinental spectrum weapon at Mount Rushmore, controlled by himself directly and set to bounce off a satellite relay.
The new Premier Davidova threatened to dissolve the pact and resume war with the Allies if Moscow was obliterated, forcing the Allied High Command to oppose Ackerman. Commander Fuller was sent out to prevent Ackerman from firing the weapon. Agent Tanya disabled the base's secure communications link which left the president no choice but to relocate to the base and give the order personally.
The superweapon was then captured and dismantled by Allied engineers in order to prevent its use. With his plan in ruins, Ackerman attempted to flee but his private limo was intercepted by Commander Fuller. Ackerman refused to go quietly and Commander Warren was forced to shoot him. Ackerman was succeeded by his vice president Dennis Hoffhassle, who would defend Ackerman in his acceptance speech while denouncing his actions.
The Allies' Great ClusterbombEdit
With the President-elect dead four days before he was to be reinaugurated, Vice President Hoffhassle was made both President and President-elect, and was due to take office on the 20th of January, 1969. However, behind the scenes, things started to rumble. At Ackerman's autopsy, it was discovered that he was not a man, but an android. This discovery was kept to only the Council of Secretaries and a few others, but instilled understandable fear and panic in those who knew of it. If America had been ruled for an unknown time by an android, presumably of foreign origin--Soviet? Japanese?--where else had the Allies been infiltrated?
Even those opposing the Allies would admit that the machinery was effective at getting things done. On January 17th, every cabinet member of every Allied nation, including the United States, were contacted by representatives from the Allied Nations and subsequently locked into impromptu check up rooms, usually in their own offices, where they were taken out of commission for about 24 hours in the name of international security, while they had a blood test checked and verified by Allied doctors and scientists. Even the Allied leadership was not exempt from the same treatment, though in their case the tests were conducted very quietly. Most were puzzled, but accepted that the Ackerman incident was related. The day after, every national government was back to work... except in the United States.
While most of the House of Representatives had simple blood tests taken as well, the newly interned President Hoffhassle and the Federalist cabinet was a different matter. Hoffhassle had been particularly close to his superior, both politically and socially, and Allied High Command feared that the man could have been potentially corrupted or otherwise influenced by Ackerman's double. His cabinet, appointed by Ackerman personally, was likewise seen as compromised. As such, in order to better test their authenticity, the outgoing cabinet was detained and sent to an Allied facility in Maryland, and the Speaker of the House was asked to become acting President until the situation was solved.
Unfortunately, the Speaker of the House was not only from the Union Party, but in fact former presidential candidate Nicholas Laramore of Vermont's at-large district. Being a man respecting authorities and the situation, Laramore agreed to step in and take over the role of chief executive until everything was under control. Both Laramore and the Allied High Command estimated that everything would be fine a couple of days later. Unfortunately, that would require a postponed inauguration.
And that would not go well over with the Americans.
An Inauguration That Never WasEdit
When news broke that the inauguration had been postponed until further notice, the American people maddened. Ackerman's cabinet had been wholly acceptable during four years, and now it was suddenly not. Even supporters of the Union Party were furious at the obvious breach of American sovereignty. Rallies emerged from California to Virginia, and the Federalist cabinet had to be moved to Canada to avoid a "rescue operation". The cabinet members were doing fine, but also protested their treatment, with Hoffhassle demanding to be released and inaugurated as President of the United States.
At first, Allied officials claimed that the cabinet would be released by the 23rd of February. The date was later pushed back to the 26th, then March 1st, and then the Allies simply stopped giving out dates. The refusal to send Hoffhassle back to America is heavily debated--saner voices argue for delays in the returns of the test results or the high risk of a violent clash with activists attempting to rescue Hoffhassle were probably responsible for the extended detention. Other, more radical activists, claimed every possible reason--from the Allies wanting their own man on the throne, to Hoffhassle planning to leave the Allies, to Hoffhassle being a Japanese android superkiller waiting to kill all the Allied leaders. The rage grew with every passing day, and protests gathering tens of thousands of people were organised in cities all over the United States, as well as by sympathisers in Europe and other Allied nations.
Hoffhassle would be released on March 8th, but kept under house arrest in Rochester, New York, not being allowed to leave the city for security reasons. The Allies promised that his inauguration would proceed when the situation had calmed down. However, the situation refused to calm down. Hoffhassle didn't make it better, holding rallies in Rochester slamming the Allies and taking on a heavily populist tone. An increasing number of guns visible at protest rallies caused the Allied officials to panic. The United States was slipping out of control, with protester sympathies found among the National Guard and the American police. With things going from bad to worse, the Allies eventually made the highly controversial decision to deploy the American Peacekeeper forces to assist the police.
The Texas Riot Van MassacreEdit
Hoffhassle's curfew was lifted on March 16, followed by him taking the first plane to Dallas, where he and the Federalist Party had planned a rally against the Allied actions the following week--the National Mall was seen as too close to the establishment. He was welcomed at the airport by a large but generally peaceful crowd cheering him on, under supervision of policemen and Peacekeepers. Exclaiming that "I'm here to take America back!", he entered a leased car and was driven to the Adolphus Hotel, where the leadership of the Federalist Party had gathered to plan the rally. They expected a turnout of around 8,000 people.
On March 22, it is estimated that over 20,000 people turned out on the streets of Dallas. Hoffhassle was remarkably shocked by the turnout, but still held an engaging speech on "the principles of liberty" and "the right to resist injustice". The plaza was guarded by local law enforcement, Peacekeepers and Armoured Response Vehicles, who all watched carefully as the protestors became more and more emboldened. Soon, thousands of protesters had begun to boo and jeer at the amassed forces. As Hoffhassle's speech continued, more and more protesters were incited to antagonise the local forces with insults and foul language.
The Peacekeeper forces were slightly underwhelmed compared to the unexpected turnout and placed under the command of Lieutenant Ralph Nesbitt, an inexperienced officer who had not been in command of a Peacekeeper force before. At the sight of the rattling protestors shouting louder and louder at the stalwart Peacekeepers, Nesbitt made possibly one of the worst choices that could have been made. He ordered the demonstrators to disperse. Megaphone-enhanced voices boomed out, demanding that protestors returned to their homes, and left the area peacefully. Instead, this only incited the protestors to jeer louder, reinforced by a visibly enraged Hoffhassle at the podium. It was a matter of only a couple of seconds before one of the protestors threw the first projectile; a humble empty drink can, at the surrounding peacekeepers.
It wasn't long until other protestors joined in, and a torrent of stones and other small objects were being flung at the Peacekeepers as they cowered behind their shields. At this point, Nesbitt saw that the situation was rapidly spiralling out of control, and made his second mistake. 22 ARVs were sent in to quell the disturbance. The crowd was soon drowned in GOOP as the vans moved in and tried to scoop out the more violent of the protestors. Rioters were mowed down and pushed aside by the vehicles as thousands attempted to stampede out of the area. Hoffhassle was forced to evacuate back to the hotel, where he quickly left Dallas for an undisclosed location.
Don't Mess with TexasEditThe following day, the Dallas Morning News reported of 72 deaths during the commotion, including six children who had been brought to the rally by their parents. Some were accidentally killed by the ARVs, while others were crushed by the stampede. In addition, local hospitals had taken in hundreds of injured people, and 112 people were transported to the military base at Fort Worth, to be trialled for "disturbing the peace". The event received surprisingly little national news coverage, perhaps due to pressure applied to the media by the Allies, not wanting to risk more commotions.
Despite the lack of coverage in national media, Texas was burning after the events in Dallas. Thousands of people changed their voter registration to Federalist, and several other protests assembled in San Antonio, Austin and Houston. Discussion of the events, only exceptionally not condemning the Allies' actions, were commonplace among the dinner tables, break rooms and pubs of Texas. Inhabitants called their relatives to tell about the events, spreading the discontent throughout the United States. While most were content being angry by themselves, some wanted to take it further.
A group of ex-military men who had all got to know each other while stationed at Fort Worth gathered in a run-down pub in downtown Dallas and planned a raid against the very facility they used to be stationed at. The following night, on March 23, a group of three men led by former Captain Richard Green (currently sought dead or alive by the Allied Nations) sneaked into Fort Worth, and with the help of their military expertise and former service at Fort Worth, destroyed the ARVs used in the riot quelling and released all the prisoners. Not only had their friends and co-protestors been liberated, the Allies had also been dealt a more than humiliating blow.
"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."
- - Hollywood actor Ronald W. Reagan
In order to take the escapees and the perpetrators back into custody, the U. S. Government, with the support of the Allies, enacted a 7 pm curfew in Texas's four biggest cities and sent out Peacekeepers to patrol the streets. This was met with outrage by the citizens, and words such as "occupation" and "insurgency" began to be whispered by the people. Throughout the American heartland, civil disobedience and riots spread like a forest fire.
The acts were getting more intricate and inventive by the day, and on March 26 the first fatality was reported--a young Peacekeeper died of injuries inflicted by getting a brick thrown at his head while he was off duty. This wouldn't be the last casualty as bombs, mines and guns were starting to become commonplace in anti-Allied and anti-government rioting. With more and more deaths, the media could hardly ignore the events any longer, and President Laramore held a televised speech asking the rioters to stop and make peace. In response, Dennis Hoffhassle, who had been made an icon by the protesters, slammed Laramore in a speech in Raleigh, demanding that he step down.
Expanding the curfew to more and more states did not help against the violence. On the contrary, the situation worsened with every passing day. Many police officers refused to carry out their duties; some even joined the protestors, and a manpower deficit was becoming evident. The Peacekeepers just couldn't keep up with the rioting. With a heavy heart, Nicholas Laramore contacted the Allied Nations' leaders and asked for assistance. The Allies decided to initiate Operation: Eagle Nest, aiming to bring peace back to the United States.
On April 2nd, just before the scheduled maintenance session, an entire division’s worth of equipment was transported by Master Chronosphere from Europe to America, and 12,000 professional soldiers from Canada, Europe, the Pacific, and even Asia and Africa were flown into the United States, tasked to defeat the massive rioting and unrest.
The Rebels ConfederateEdit
"We have to defeat these bastards, we need to wipe them out, we need to chase them out of town."
- - Young caller on 48 Americas, April 6, 1968.
The opinion that America was under occupation was no longer only a whisper. The entrance of foreign soldiers brought many formerly neutral in the conflict to the anti-Allied side, as most saw this as the final straw. Riots now spread to more areas and more groups, attracting even more people. Local groups of arms-bearing citizens such as the Fort Worth raiders began a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the Allied oppressors, university students occupied their schools, and just about every single issue group in America organised rallies against the government, often turning violent. By the middle of April, over 2,000 people had been detained by Peacekeepers.
Throughout April and early May, organised resistance grew steadily. Small guerrilla groups had popped up in all 48 states, fighting the Peacekeepers with varying success. In several places in the South and the Northwest, the Peacekeepers found themselves outnumbered with the rebels effectively in control, while the rebels could be dealt with more easily in states such as Massachusetts. Protesters and anti-Allied fighters contacted their relatives in other cities, spreading the resistance and creating a contact network between several groups. Soon, the Allies estimated that almost 100,000 people were more or less actively involved in resisting the Allied intervention.
In the Southern states, neo-Confederate symbols were more and more often seen in connection to protests, causing media to dub the protestors the "Confederate Rebels", which some of the protestors themselves would change into the "Confederate Revolutionaries". The name was soon used for the network of all the protestors that was being created, united in a single goal: repulsion of the Allies.
The March on Route 66Edit
When May ended, havoc reigned in the United States. Allied leaders held meetings daily to discuss the situation, which was deteriorating with each passing day. Not only was the anti-Allied resistance increasing in numbers, it was turning into an actual military force. Formerly, the only actual threats had been NRA members--now they were using their connections to spread guns to all parts of the resistance. Owners of heavy automobiles and sympathetic car shop owners lent their vehicles to the rebels' purpose. Sometime in early June, a group of rebels decided to take things one step further.
The Harry S. Truman Military Boneyard, 6 miles from Reno, Nevada, was the largest storage of World War II-era vehicles and tanks in the world. Several thousand vehicles were left there to rust in the desert. Since most of the vehicles were considered to be dysfunctional, the Allies had not bothered to send extra resources to guard the tanks, since they would be unusable for the rebels.
When the rebels did break into the Boneyard, the guard force was therefore easily captured and neutralised. They were forced to watch the Confederate mechanics' skills at their finest--within one hour, dozens of tanks were working again, heading in different directions away from the Boneyard. Concealed by the night and the lack of communications with the Boneyard guard, at least 1,000 tanks could be stolen by the rebels. The raid inspired other boneyard raids in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico, leaving the Confederate Revolutionaries with a sizable mechanised force. Even military bases were subject to rebel raids, and a few bases defected entirely, adding their own military equipment to the Confederates' growing force.
The Allies realised that the civil unrest was escalating into a full-scale civil war, and ordered another 15,000 Peacekeepers to reinforce the forces already in America. The Peacekeepers were mainly deployed to the East Coast, protecting cities such as Boston, New York and Washington D. C., while old WWII tanks became a relatively common sight on the roads of the Mountain States and in the Deep South. Through contact networks and grassroots organisation, the Confederates agreed to march on Washington D. C. to enforce their demands--even though they couldn't agree on the demands. A date was set--July 4th, Independence Day.
So, by late June, tanks, cars, vehicles, bicycles, skateboards and pedestrians started to head towards the East Coast, starting by the Pacific Coast. The main route of choice was Route 66 from California to Saint Louis, where Route 50 would take them to D.C. Along the way, some columns would drop off to visit relatives in other states and bring them along. Others would raid bases along the way, or head down to cities to recruit people to their cause. The Peacekeepers had chosen to not fight them with all their power, instead opting to garrison the Eastern Seaboard and pick the rebels off as they split, which the unorganised stream of hippies, fundamentalists, conservatives, gun owners, students, radicals, environmentalists, National Guard officers, liberals and others would certainly do. By the morning July 3rd, the first cars were approaching Capitol Hill, while the Allies inside the city were gearing up for a fight. The Second American Civil War was about to begin for real.