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For All Nails 113B: The Black Rock Plot

by Mike Keating (edited by DAMB)

Black Rock, New York, N.C., CNA
20 July 1972

Harold Pickett came to the northwest corner of Edgewood and Massachusetts Streets FN1. Edward Allen, he reminded himself. That's your name now. He never slipped in such matters so that anyone else could possibly notice. The only problem he ever had was conditioning himself to think of himself by a different name within his own thoughts.

There, on that blue bench by the street. The man wearing the orange and red sunhat. Allen/Pickett had been told to look for a man in such garish headgear. He himself was wearing what he'd been told: a blue business suit with a yellow rose in the lapel, and a gray business hat. The bench was empty otherwise. He sat down. "Nice day for a picnic," he said. Fortunately, the weather matched the code phrase. It was gorgeous without being too hot or humid; there was no wind except a gentle breeze.

"But not if you get ants." His seatmate looked over at him. "Ants at a picnic are unpleasant."

"Edward Allen," he said, offering his hand. The other introduced himself as John Hanson, but Allen guessed it wasn't his real name either. He was about fifty, average height and weight, with salt-and pepper hair. Another man came up, about ten or fifteen years younger, with the look of hired muscle. "This is Daniel Henry." Allen guessed that was a real name. The implications were clear: if the USM screws us over, we'll take care of you, or any other USM agents in this country.

"My employers are intersted in your organization." The name of the organization was left unsaid, although they all knew it to be the Samuel Adams Brotherhood.

"We are not much now," said Hanson, "only 63 in the Black Rock chapter. But we, and other private army clubs, can be found throughout the N.C., and Indiana, and some of the Vandalias, but not among the blacks there. They aren't very receptive to our cause, even though we've tried to recruit them. With your aid, though, we can step up recruiting, buy more arms, maybe in a few years, take over the government and make the Revolution succeed finally."

Maybe in a few decades is more like it, and that's optimistic, Allen thought but left unsaid. A note from Winston in his information packet (which he had burned after reading) had made sure he understood that if fomenting revolution in the CNA was to happen, it'd have to be a very long-term project. The real aim was simply to sow the seeds of general chaos and dissent. It had gone on to wish him luck, and let him know this project was unbelievably blessed by both Moctezuma and Mercator. "We aim to stand beside you when that time comes. It may be difficult for Mexico to commit troops without risking an atomic attack from the current government, but we will provide all the covert support possible. This has been backed at the highest levels." He left that as it was, for Hanson to assume whichever faction in the USM government he wished.

"I see." Hanson sounded unimpressed, which made sense, for he hadn't seen anything substantial yet. That was when Allen calmly left his pack on the bench.

"N.A. £200,000 for beginnings." The money had been converted into three different currencies before being deposited into a New York bank with branches in Black Rock by Mexicans acting as New Granadans. Allen himself had taken the cash out an hour ago. He'd been informed regular deposits would be made so he could supply the erstwhile rebels.

"You shall have to show me some of this city someday. I have only seen the tourist attractions thus far. It looks like a fine town, and should still be so after you take control of the land." He looked at his watch -- 1:10 PM. "In the meantime, I must find some food; I have not yet had lunch. North American food is rather bland to us Mexicans, even Anglos like me. We are used to something spicier."

Hanson laughed uproariously. "Then you are in the right city, my friend! The rest of the CNA has not yet found our contribution to cooking as it is only about ten years old, but it is everywhere in Black Rock. The place that started it is nearby. Go five blocks down Massachusetts, left onto Fillmore FN2, and go one more block. Go into Franklin's Anchor Tavern and ask for the chicken special. Tell them John Hanson sent you and you'll get a quarter off the price. As for seeing the life in the city, we shall have to take you to skaters FN3 when the season starts. But for now, you will be surprised what we can do with a chicken in this town."

Forward to FAN #114: Party On.

Forward to 25 August 1972: A Copenhagen Welcome to Visitors!

Forward to Harold Pickett: Careful What You Wish For.

Return to For All Nails.