Control

Posted: February 8, 2016 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
Tags: , , , , ,

Major William Bishop stormed into the city hall with Lieutenant Mason close on his heels. “What in the fuck was that?” Bishop scowled at Mason. “I told you no trouble before we had the place locked down.”

“Bastard pissed me off.” Mason protested.

“Fuck it. They would have gotten their shorts in a knot anyway soon enough.” Bishop settled in the mayor’s plush chair behind the desk. “Now they know we’re in charge.”

“The city council is locked in the holding cell in the basement.” Mason announced.

“Good. Close the windows so it warms up down there. No food or water until tomorrow night. That ought to soften them up. Meanwhile, get men on the gates. No one comes or go without my authorization.”

“What about the mid-day meal?” Mason asked.

“Go ahead and open the mess hall at one. Put up a sign announcing all residents are required to register with the military office in Utopia effective immediately. Set up something on the first floor to facilitate registration. I want name, age, where they’re living and any usable skills recorded. Get a couple men over to the office supply and pick up supplies to make ID cards. ”

Mason answered. “We can use locals to do the paperwork and a few of our men to enforce it. But why do you want to know who’s here?”

“The ID cards will control who consumes resources. It will also let me know who could be trouble and give us a chance to confiscate weapons.”

If they want to eat, they’ll have to sign up.” Mason laughed.

“Exactly.” Bishop answered. “Meanwhile, get a couple men out to the guard posts on both ends of town. Send that little prick, Carter in here. He’ll serve as my aid.”

“No problem. He’s downstairs.”

“When folks go to eat, find half a dozen office drones and set them up in the front office on the first floor. Make sure they have enough office skills to set up the ID system. I want registration to begin this afternoon.” Mason got up to leave and Bishop called out. “Tell Carter to bring me back some lunch.”

Three hours later six women stood in front of Bishop. “Who can use a computer and a spreadsheet?” Two of the women raised their hands. “The rest of you have office skills?”

All four nodded. Bishop pointed to an older woman. “Were did you work?”

“The medical clinic.” A middle aged woman answered.

“Good. You’ll go with one of my men and inventory the drug room in the clinic. I want the inventory by tomorrow morning. Get out.” Bishop tossed Mason a key ring. “Get someone to go with her.”

Mason pushed at the woman’s back and guided her toward the door. He disappeared for a few minutes then returned.

“All taken care of, sir.”

Bishop stared at the rest of the women for a full minute. “You have until tomorrow morning to develop a plan to register all residents and have the ability to issue ID cards within the next twenty-four hours. You will be expected to get the registration and issuance completed by the evening meal Wednesday. At that point in time, any resident without an ID cards, will not eat.” He paused then added. “Any questions?”

“What do you want on the ID card?” A woman with red hair asked.

“Where did you work?” Bishop asked.

“Downstairs. Permitting office.”

“Good. You know your way around here. You’re in charge until you screw it up, Red?” Bishop continued. “I want name, age, address of where they’re living and any usable skills. You have two hours to come up with samples registration form and IDs.”

Red gave a quick nod and turned to the door then stopped and turned back. “My name is Angie. I’ll help, but these girls are not to be harassed by your men. That dick-head and his men have been leering at them since we walked in the building.”

Bishop burst out laughing. “Fair enough. My staff,” He used his arm to indicate the small gathering of women. “are off limits. Mason, pass it along to the men.”

“Yes sir.” He made a sloppy salute.

Angie gave a quick nod. “Thank you.” She turned and left the room with the other women following behind.

Bishop stood up and walked to an overstuffed couch just as Carson walked into the door carrying a covered tray. He settled in front of the coffee table and motioned toward Carter.

Carter set the tray down and Bishop reached for to uncover the tray. He set the napkin aside and began to eat. Around a mouthful of pasta, he looked up at Carter.

“Clear my desk including the drawers. Throw all that shit into a box and get it outta here.” He dismissed Carter with a tilt of his head then and took another went back to his meal.

He turned to Mason. “Get rid of the shit on the south end of the school down by the gym showers and turn it into a barracks. Get half a dozen men and find furniture and twin mattresses in the empty houses. Use a truck. Get some of the women to do the laundry. I want clean cloth and this bunch of dipshits looking like soldiers again.”

Mason chuckled. “Some of the boys are getting a little ripe, that’s for damned sure.”

“There’s a two story house behind the court house and across the street from the school. You and I will be moving in this evening. If anyone is living there, move them out.”

“Yes Sir.”

An engine roared to a stop in front of the town hall and Mason stepped to the window. He watched Ollie Ford pulled his bulk from the vehicle.

“It’s the town clown,” Mason commented. “The fat sheriff from the gate.”

Bishop tilted his head toward the door. Tell Carter to stall the dick-head until I finish lunch. Make sure a couple men are outside the door to enforce it.”

Mason disappeared then stepped back into the room. Bishop took his time as he enjoyed the meal. When he was done, he got to his feet and walked to the window and looked down at the entrance to the school across the street.

A small gathering of civilians had arrived at the cafeteria for the noon meal. They stood around obviously discussing the sign now posted at the door. Angry glares were turned toward the town hall from time to time.

Bishop turned back to Mason. “Let him in.”

Mason opened the door and Ollie Ford charged into the room. “What the fuck is going on here? I’ve been told the city council is in the holding cell in the basement. There were shots fired. Townsfolks assaulted?”

“Sheriff Ford!” Bishop interrupted. Sheriff Ford fell silent and Bishop continued. “Now, if you are calm we can discuss the fact your city council attempted to assault one of my men. As a result there were shots fired.”

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