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Chapter 1, Section 2: Weapon Unleashed

I didn’t immediately attack President Grumash – I was trained for special forces. You don’t simply jump in and attack a heavily guarded asset. I knew it was going to take some time to gather all the intel I needed to create a plan.

I also had a second problem I was going to have to address: if I captured or killed President Grumash a new government was going to have to be installed. Grumash was corrupt, and I knew from word of mouth from my time in the service that huge swaths of the existing government was just as corrupt. Removing Grumash was not going to be enough – I was also going to have to fix an entire government.

Funding and weaponry was going to be an issue. During my training I had been approached more than once about potentially doing mercenary work – it’s one of the most profitable vocations for someone like myself. I had resisted during my time with the military, but now it was a perfect fit. It was going to require more than I could make just with mercenary jobs, but it was a start.

Using military members as my force for coup wasn’t going to work. The S3 (Slavernian Secret Service) knew many of us went to work as mercenaries, and that was perfectly acceptable. But special forces members were watched – approaching them en mass to stage a takeover wasn’t going to work. I could potentially pick up a few members without raising too much suspicion if I did it correctly.

That also made me aware that the S3 was watching me. Despite being called a “democratic nation,” Slavernia was really a police state at it’s during that time. The S3 wasn’t scary because of it’s training – in fact, they were somewhat morons when dealt with individually. It was their numbers and their network that made them scary. They answered directly to President Grumash – they acted as his eyes and ears throughout the entire nation. When the time came I would need to find a way to render him deaf and blind.

The US CIA and the US Army base would have to be contend with. My best guess was that the army wouldn’t be an issue until after a takeover had taken place. The CIA on the other hand was much more active in Slavernia. They had an office in the S3’s compound – no one could determine is it was that way so that the CIA could spy on the S3, or so that the S3 could spy on the CIA. The CIA existed in considerably smaller numbers than the S3, but even a one-on-one encounter with a CIA operative could be a scary experience.

I was going to have to make a very swift clean sweep when I made my move. Any loose ends would potentially result in overthrowing the government only to wake up the next day and it be in the hands of someone just as corrupt, still backed by the CIA.

I began stockpiling cash and resources quickly. I took the highest risk mercenary jobs possible – the higher the risk, the better the return. No contract was longer than one month – that gave me time to plan and import necessary equipment.

Local resources we also plentiful. Because of the level of corruption the loss of a semi load of ammunition and explosives was not completely unheard of. Slavernia had some of the best armed mafia groups in the world. A little patience rewarded me with enough ammunition to kill a quarter of the population of my country – not that such a goal existed – and artillery rounds that could be modified to act as demolition charges. I hijacked it without a specific plan in mind – it is my belief that one can never have too many explosives.

I won’t dig in to the mundanities of my work. Most of it was slow, careful planning without much action – unless you count the mercenary jobs I did, but those are not particularly germane to my story. Someday I may pass the information on to a ghost writer who could make the details seem interesting. Perhaps someone like Tom Clancy would be interested after reading the rest of my autobiography – he seems to revel in the little details.

A new council was slowly selected by myself. I planned for a 7 man council that would lead Slavernia to a new era – each man represented a different field of expertise, and slightly different political opinions. They would also be part of the assault force when the time came – I believed that no man should participate in a new Slavernian government if he was unwilling to pick up a gun for his country.

“The Laundry List” was shared between the seven of us. This was a list of people currently in Grumash’s government who would have to be removed. All of them were to stand trial for corruption charges when the takeover happened.

Over the course of a year I worked meticulously. I moved as quickly as I dared – getting caught would mean the entire plan would fail. My network grew. I began hiring mercenaries for an unidentified job. I was able to pay them well thanks in part to the other members of my planned council, but even if the pay is good only a fool will take a merc job without knowing the full details. That prevented me from having the best on my side – but a revolution on the cheap is better than no revolution.

On January 1st, 1971 I announced to the council my intended attack date: July 29th, 1971. It was selected for the historical significance it represented, and would also keep the CIA busy with their celebration of the date.

Over the next two months, the plan was hammered out in full. Assets were in place by April, meaning members of my team – which now numbered 105 in total, the largest rebellion attempt in Slavernian history since Grumash took over – now held positions near all of our targets except for President Grumash.

There were some snags. One team member was arrested by the S3 and charged with trafficking explosives without a permit. I do not believe the S3 had intel on our activities, and later reviewing their files I was able to confirm that belief. It put us on edge – we couldn’t move up the time-table. The CIA took an interest in me for a while – after appropriate bribes the agent tailing me began reporting what I told him to report, though there was always a chance of a double cross. A mafia group was convinced I was planning to encroach on their territory, but after a stern conversation and a threat to remove a large number of their members in the harshest ways possible, they backed off.

July 29th seemed a very long time away when May began. I spent a part of my time keeping myself calm with a new hobby – I learned to work steel in a forge. For the assault I wasn’t going to wear my camouflage mask. I hand pounded out a new mask of steel to cover my face. It wasn’t intended to be functional, it was designed to be more intimidating. I didn’t know at the time it was strong enough to save my life.

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