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Brigade (novel) Civil war Harold Covington

The Brigade excerpts, chapter IX

by Harold Covington

“Driving for the Boys”

Covington in uniform
“Okay,” said Kicky. “Look, at the risk of sounding too curious, just when do I cease being an asset and become a Northwest Volunteer? Is it like the Mafia? Do I have to make my bones and swear a blood oath or something?”

Jackson allowed himself a wintry smile. “Actually, we do call a first kill making our bones. But it’s pretty simple. No blood oath or mysticism. When I say you’re in, you’re in. Anything else?”

“Am I allowed to ask what we’re going to do when we get there?” said Kicky. “If so, can I ask who and why? Or is this a shut up and obey orders kind of thing? I’m kind of curious.”

“It’s not a hit,” said Wingo with a laugh. “Like the CO said, we’re starting you off light. This is a punishment beating, and it’s part of our procedure to make sure that every Volunteer on an action knows what we’re doing, who we’re doing it to, and why. It’s important for morale for everyone to understand that we’re not just gangsters mindlessly obeying Don Vito. There is a purpose to everything the Army does. The target is a man named Gregory Booth. White, aged 35, married with two children, degree in psychology, a churchgoing type, no bad habits we know of, not a bad guy, really. He’s just doing something we have to put a stop to. Booth is a guidance counselor at a local high school, and probably because of his 700 Club and other evangelical affiliations, he’s pretty neocon in his outlook.

“Like the Old Man said, this will inevitably turn into a civil war between whites, and once all this is over, the survivors of both sides are going to have to live together in the Northwest Republic. We’re looking ahead to that time, and we want to create as little bad blood as possible. Finally, there’s the religion thing. Killing Christians only encourages them. They thrive on martyrdom, and persecution is largely the secret of the faith’s survival for all these centuries. We don’t want to make Booth a dead martyr, we want him to be a visible wreck in a wheelchair eating through a straw for some months, in clear and evident pain. Everyone will know that we could have killed him if we’d wanted to. We can only hope that most folks will understand this and draw the proper conclusion. Okay, here’s the turn…”