Portland: 2031

3rd May 2021, 9:35 PM in Extras
Portland: 2031
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Author Notes:

3rd May 2021, 9:35 PM

'...The loyalists were mostly federal law enforcement or special ops types. The weekend warriors, the guys fresh from the sandbox -they didn't give a fuck about anything other than protecting the people they cared about. They knew things were going downhill and that this whole fiasco wasn't going to end in a boy scout cookout. Most of 'em, anyway. Of course you had those who would scream and moan about how they took an oath to uphold the constitution, that the US Government actually gave a shit about its people despite all the evidence that they didn't. Once the chain of command broke down, we ousted those types pretty quickly.

"Your unit forced its own people out?

Like we had a fuckin' choice? Once word started spreading that dudes were deserting and going home, President Clarke ordered his lapdogs to execute 'enemies of the state'... Like the fragile dictator he was, Clarke wanted to cling to his power for as long as he could, and he didn't care how he did it.

Was your unit ever subject to this kind of punishment?

When Colonel Danner told a few guys from the support platoon that they'd drawn execution duty, they refused. "We can't kill our guys, sir. This is wrong, sir." Naturally, he shot them on the spot. At the time, I was in sick bay with a shattered ankle, hitting on one of the field nurses. When we heard the shots, she froze and started crying. I offered to give her a hug, but she apologized and left the tent. All the guys, those of us who could walk anyway, got up and went outside to see the commotion. When I rounded the corner, I saw LT. Thompson screaming at the support guy who just popped Danner. I thought he was going to beat him to death with his M4 until Staff Sergeant Connors put his rifle to Thompson's head.

I'd imagine things devolved pretty quickly from there.

No, actually. We all simmered down and divided into two groups; Loyalists and deserters. I wasn't about to die for a failing state, so I hauled my carcass to the trucks and hitched a ride out of the base. We'd go home and risk life in prison, and they'd stay in Portland to kill armed civilians and anyone who dared to disobey the directives. Maybe two hours after the split, my squad ended up getting into a firefight with a group of army SOF guys near the federal courthouse. They fucked us sideways, forcing us to abandon the vehicles. I limped as fast as I could into an apartment building where I came face to face with this guy wearing army cammies -I thought he was going to kill me on the spot, but he must've taken pity on me. Scared out of my mind, limping like a fuckin' cripple. His team was trying to take the courthouse from the feds, and since I didn't really have a place to go, I stayed.

You guys decided to take the courthouse? Why?

Fuck 'em, that's why. If they kept a hold of that courthouse, they could maintain some kind of control over the city, which meant that civilians would run the risk of getting murked by federal goon squads for looting food and water. The civilian death toll of the battle of Portland was already pushing twenty thousand by the time we'd been recalled. If I could stop it, I would. So I did.

The actions of the separatist forces that day turned Portland into the first secessionist stronghold, right?

Yep. After we pushed through the apartments, we broke into the courthouse and found their staging area. We were severely outgunned, but we had numbers. By 2AM the next morning, we'd taken the building. Somehow I'd managed to survive this whole shitshow, thank Christ. When the news came that the loyalists were massing for a counterattack to the south, the guy in charge asked if anyone wanted to check out and head home. "You don't have to stay and fight, I know some of you are worried about your people and that's okay" he said. So I stripped down, got dressed in my civvies and handed my gear over to one of the guys. They gave me a pistol, two magazines and a first aid kit, told me to get out before shit got bad. I ended up stealing a car and driving all the way back to Baker City that night, no headlights, no radio. Just silence and a terrible feeling that I was about to be shot in the fucking face.

[He takes a drag from his blunt, looking wistfully out at the Astoria-Megler bridge. He then turns back to me and smiles]

I don't regret it. Not for a moment. The war was totally justified, that shit needed to happen. You see how things are now, dontcha? People are getting their shit together and are living free after so long. I opened my shop not long after the Secession Treaty was signed, and the Cascadian government has been nothing but supportive of my trade. Now the only war I'm focused on is how I'm gonna sell more flower than those fuckers in the NCR. Say what you will about their weird, elite worshipping cult mentality, those guys grow some bomb ass stuff.

[He reaches into his shirt pocket and pulls out a tiny pill bottle, containing ground bud. He holds it up and shakes it at me]

But nothing's as good as this shit. From Lakotah to the New England Commonwealth, you'll never find bud as good as this.

[I opted to terminate the interview once it turned into a sales pitch. Roger Chandler continues to run his cannabis farms and dispensaries from his home in Astoria, Cascadia.]'