Have it Your Wei
This time was going to be different.
This time there were no rules. The U.N. could take their rules of engagement and shove them where the sun doesn’t shine.
General Wei Tsu Tin was sick and tired of losing men and battles to rag-tag groups of Americans. General Wei was fed up with the limitations placed upon him and his troops by the U.N. treaties. General Wei was ready to do whatever it took to win.
Wei Tsu Tin had been the only son of a prominent family in Beijing. His father had been a general in the PLA before him. Wei knew that he had been destined for great things from birth. He had been at Tiananmen Square during the June 4th Incident … commanding one of the tanks. He was a close, personal acquaintance of current Chairman Tsing. They had played on the same cricket team at the Republic of China Military Academy.
In short, General Wei was unaccustomed to defeat and disrespect.
That is exactly what the Americans had handed him during his first foray commanding Chinese troops under the U.N. flag.
Wei’s lightly-armed troops had been met with staunch resistance as they attempted to herd U.S. citizens into assistance centers jointly sponsored by the U.N. and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
It was for their own good, for goodness sake!
At first, Wei was simply incredulous as starving people resisted shelter and assistance. He could not grasp why people in such desperate need were so set against moving to an assistance center where they would be provided shelter, food, clean water, warm bedding … everything they needed. The very idea that a citizen would resist assistance from their government – from any government – was completely foreign to Wei.
Gradually, Wei’s incredulity turned to anger. Not only did these people resist with words, they backed up those words with action … often accompanied by violence. Wei had been briefed that the American people were a violent people. They had more firearms per capita than any other country in the world. Their television shows and movies were filled with fighting and killing. Wei understood these facts before he set foot in America but he had been unable to truly grasp them until his first encounter with organized resistance.
Wei and his troops had been sent to Arizona after landing in San Francisco. His men were armed with pistols and automatic rifles – no artillery or mechanized infantry to back them up. As they undertook their mission, a few people went willingly to the assistance centers. As time passed, fewer and fewer people were inclined to leave their current location for the assistance centers. Word had spread that once you entered the centers you were not allowed to leave.
General Wei rolled his eyes when he first heard this news. Of course people were not allowed to leave! It was for their own good. The centers were safe. Everything a person could need was provided. Why would anyone want to leave? It was dangerous outside of the centers. Looters, marauders and bandits proliferated in the lawlessness that followed the crash in America.
Wei recalled that looting and killing had started almost immediately following the crash back in China but the outlaws had been quickly quelled by the PLA and PAP – just as quickly as the protesters on their way to Tiananmen Square.
In Wei’s opinion, the American military had been spread too thinly abroad to enforce martial law at home. Local and state police, as well as many National Guard units, had left their posts to be with their families. Wei scoffed at a people so weak that they would abandon their duty to be with their families.
And then, those same “weak” people handed Wei his first defeat.
The general had received an intelligence report detailing the location of a band of citizens who had squatted in a warehouse on the outskirts of Phoenix. His directive was to make contact and escort the group – approximately 50 in number – back to the closest assistance center.
Wei arrived with a relatively small force – about 100 soldiers. He and his troops pulled up to the gate outside the warehouse and piled out of their commandeered school buses. Already somewhat embarrassed to be traveling in American school children’s buses, the general addressed the inhabitants of the warehouse in broken English over a megaphone.
“Citizens of the United States,” he began in a demeaning tone, “I am General Wei Tsu Tin of the People’s … the United Nations Assistance Force.” Wei stumbled over his words as he choked out the phrase. He was a proud commander of the PLA, not some weak-spined “assistance force”.
“Please exit the warehouse and enter the buses. We are here to take you to nearby U.N. assistance center.”
“We don’t need any assistance,” a deep voice boomed back from a second story window of the warehouse.
“This is not a request.” General Wei insisted. “You are trespassing and must relocate to the nearest assistance center. This is for your own good.”
“Actually,” another voice rang out, “we’re not trespassing. I own this warehouse. Many of the people inside are my employees. Let me reiterate, we do not need your assistance.”
Wei squinted against the sun behind the warehouse trying to see through the windows. As he blinked against the glare, he realized that he had made a tactical mistake. Wei and his troops had arrived early in the morning as the sun was rising. The gate outside which they now sat was on the west side of the warehouse. The sun had just crested over the east side of the warehouse nearly blinding Wei and his soldiers.
“Surround the building,” Wei issued the command to his second-in-charge as he stepped back between the buses.
Wei’s men scrambled to surround the U-shaped building. An eight-foot chain-link fence, topped by concertina wire, held the soldiers back 50 feet from the building. The building’s owner had constructed the fence as the neighborhood around the building declined. Now, the fence lent itself to the building’s defenses as if it had been planned for just such a purpose.
As Wei stood back and considered his options, he believed that a bus could be driven through the fence to create a breach. The gate was risky due to its reinforcements. It was not constructed of chain link, but rather of iron bars. No, to penetrate the fence, the bus would have to be driven at one of the long sides of the building. Unfortunately, there were no streets leading to the sides of the building – no way to gain momentum to crash through the barrier.
It began to dawn on the general that he was completely unprepared for a battle in this place. He had not done the requisite scouting. He merely came here to pick up a few citizens and haul them to shelter. To fail to do so would bring Wei embarrassment amongst his peers and superiors. To attack unprepared against a fortified enemy with unknown armaments … not only potentially embarrassing but also potentially fatal.
Wei had not been raised to believe that discretion was the better part of valor. He had been raised to believe that a country’s citizens should bow to authority. When they did not, they were to be squashed.
“Where are the tanks of Tiananmen now?” Wei wondered aloud just before he gave the order to attack.
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