Miller stopped to regard it for a moment. There was nothing spectacular about it. It was a simple scrawl in black spray paint, nothing fancy. It probably took three seconds to do it, definitely not the best piece on the wall, yet everything else was written over & disparaged, some even crossed out. "THE REAPERS" was untouched. Miller felt a sense of pride. The Reapers were the real reason Trump initiated the Trump Brigade. It was a natural progression from benign protests to malignant actions.
Although Trump initially decried them as being illegal immigrants, The Reapers were actually multicultural & indigenous to whatever region they were from. For example, the Colorado Reapers were full of Pueblo Indians. The Reapers stood in open rebellion against the Trump Administration, making them the de facto military arm of Anonymous, the group of superhackers, . The FBI could never prove any link between the two groups but Trump went on TV after the second assassination attempt on his life and immediately blamed both The Reapers and Anonymous. The Reapers did eventually claim responsibility for the attempt and, although Anonymous said nothing publicly to admit or deny their involvement, a "winking eye" happy face emoji '😉' was sent to every Android cellphone in America at the exact same time of the attack.
The Trump's Brigade's main task is to seek out and destroy The Reapers.
Miller chuckled and continued walking. Three assassination attempts in less than four years. Insane. The first was in 2017 by some deranged guy named Brady Lee Johns who shot Trump at a rally to impress actress Jennifer Lawrence. Trump got a graze wound to his left arm. Of course he played it up as if he had defied death. The next attempt was also in 2017, two months after the first. A brazen attack orchestrated by a California based faction of The Reapers with alleged financial support from the Mexican Mafia. Some say they were the very first faction, the originators. They attacked Trump's caravan with legally purchased assault weapons and lobbed grenades in the middle of Los Angeles. It was like a Michael Bay / Jerry Bruckheimer film. Trump got away unharmed but five Secret Service agents lost their lives protecting his. The numerous death threats started immediately as he became President Elect & both the FBI & the Secret Service called Trump's presidential protection detail The Pall Bearers, but after five of them died during the LA assault they started to call that detail the Suicide Squad.
Six members of The Reapers were also killed during the assault, with eight more arrested a few days later. Three of which who weren't even present at the attack. Those eight currently reside at The Big One, a Supermax federal prison in Florence, Colorado. They aren't serving a sentence, they haven't even been charged with anything yet. The fallout was crazy. Magazines, CNN, Twitter, all media outlets were aghast. American citizens arrested and detained with no formal charges. It seemed the FBI investigation couldn't pinpoint who did what. After two years the charges remain pending. The LA 8 as they were called, became the catalyst and inspiration for the present day incarnation of The Reapers. There are many of them, tightly knit "SETS" with no single leader or council connecting them all. The Reapers pretty much do whatever the f**k they want to do. They all follow the 3D mantra though. To DISCREDIT, DISRUPT & DESTROYthe government. They have perpetrated numerous crimes against many federal agencies as benign as stealing mailboxes to the assassination attempt on Trump. The Reapers have also attacked Trump's supporters and most of his surrogates, vandalizing homes with Trump signs in the yards. They have popularized former Orlando Magic guard Dennis "3D" Scott's "throwback" basketball jersey.
There are also plastic 3D glasses with one red and one blue lens that they leave strewn at the scenes of their activities, like a calling card. The Trump Brigade hated The Reapers, and with good reason. The Reapers took potshots at them constantly. They were natural enemies, like Bloods & Crips. Since both groups were so secretive the members of the Trump Brigade were suspicious of everyone and very heavy-handed with citizens, hence the brutality complaints. Miller kept walking, the air getting thicker and smokier with every step. He saw a school bus rumbling towards him, belching black diesel smoke clouds into the air. As the bus rolled past, Miller saw the group of preteen passengers and printing on the side of the bus. "FIRE FIRST ACADEMY." He shook his head and chuckled. Trump's big plan for education turned out to be to arm teachers and school administration, with mandatory target shooting and gun safety classes for students 12 & up. Miller could feel moisture spreading under his armpits as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. The air became so thick with the smell of smoke that he could hardly breathe. He coughed and spat, his eyes beginning to water. Miller made a left turn onto the main thorough fare and stopped dead in his tracks.
Miller had found the source of the smoke.
Across the street from his position on the opposite corner were about 20 Muslims, the men garbed in kufis, long white shirts and robes, the women in hijab. They were picking through the rubble of their still smoking mosque, bags in hand looking for anything they could salvage. Fire bomb. So this was why he'd heard the faint wail of sirens last night. As he walked closer a group of 3 or 4 Muslim men standing in front of their ruined place of worship saw Miller approaching and turned towards him. Miller nodded at the men in a gesture of greeting. Their responses were hostile glares. He could feel their hatred focused on him, their eyes so accusatory that he had to avert his own & turn away. He passed by the men, albeit on the opposite side of the street. They never spoke. They just continued their hostile stares. There was definitely no lack of suspects in the mosque bombings. It could have been The American Patriots, The Greatest American Heroes, The Reveres, or that old standby The KKK. The Klan has made a resurgence during Trump's presidency, it's membership up 600%, more any of the other all-white militias. It could have even been the Trump Brigade. They were no friends of the Muslim community, especially after the last assassination attempt on Trump's life. Instead of going to Camp David, Trump would head to Trump Tower in NY for his vacations.
Trump Tower was constantly under protest, with opposers setting up tents around the building, reminiscent of Occupy Wall Street complete with police barricades, police, national guardsmen, and of course, the ever present Trump Brigade. On September 12, 2018 at approximately 9:42 a.m. All hell broke loose. There were three explosions in succession as two men and a woman broke through the barricades like Viet Cong sappers. Three suicide bomber detonations, each 10 minutes apart. The first boom created instant shock, the successive detonations causing pandemonium, killing and injuring protesters and first responders alike. Over 100 casualties making the Trump Tower attack the deadliest on American soil since the mass murder spree at the gay nightclub, Pulse in Orlando, Florida. The crowd's faces seem unbelieving. One blood splattered face fixed with a blank stare would become the literal face of the attack, appearing everywhere and personified the attack the way the visual of the damaged, smoking towers embodied 9/11. The assault itself was horrific, even The Reapers disavowed the attack which killed many innocent people, however we wouldn't wait long for a group to come forward and claim responsibility.
That's right. Isis America. Even the name was enough to send shudders down American spines everywhere. They were here. Homegrown and engaging in some of Isis' deadliest activities. Suicide bombings, kidnappings, video taped beheadings broadcast on the internet. Trump's policies against Muslims worldwide brought the fight into his backyard. Miller never understood why Americans thought a man who was basically a draft dodger who received five deferments for the Vietnam War was fit to lead the War On Terror anyway. Because of both The Reapers and Isis America, Trump took to addressing the nation via video feed from an undisclosed location with no press present so there would be no questions. These addresses are broadcast on government television, dubbed "TRUMP TV," where 24 hours a day you can watch Trump's speeches, John Wayne movies, and reruns of "The Apprentice." People had to watch it because it was the only way to get information since Trump obliterated the First Amendment thus shutting down any media that he didn't control and blocking certain sites on the internet, like Google.
As Miller walked & the streets became steadily more crowded with pedestrians and bikers, he saw the reason why. Looming up ahead was a gas station with its dusty pumps looking like blocks from Stonehenge. The gas station's sign overlooked the entire street, it's numbers seemingly like a bizarre joke. Miller could still scarcely believe his eyes as they looked over the plastic sign & he read it's legend.
Eight thirty two.
EIGHT THIRTY TWO.
EIGHT DOLLARS & THIRTY TWO CENTS A GALLON.
Miller blinked his eyes. It had been like this for over a year, a combination of Trump's policies on Muslims and his isolationist policies. Trump turned his back on the Middle East & the Middle East turned it's back on America. There were talks in Congress of actually going into our oil reserves. It was a f*cking mess. It's like Trump imposed sanctions on America. He did bring jobs back from overseas, but unfortunately the cost of American labor drove the prices of everything with a Made In The USA label through the roof. That, combined with Trump's 35% import tax basically raised prices on everything, meaning that to get $100 worth of any product you would have to spend about $135. A story in The Washington Post revealed that Trump had made soft inquiries to the Federal Reserve about printing more money. Just the suggestion that the president may have asked about printing more USD sent Wall Street and the global economy into a tailspin. It immediately devalued the American dollar to the point that world leaders began discussing supplanting the dollar as the world's common business currency.
Trump had done so much damage to America, he was being referred to as the Kim Jong Un of the West, and the USA as the North Korea of the west. Both South Korea and Japan obtained nuclear weapons in 2017 when Trump decided to pull all of our military from the region. The sabre-rattling between North and South Korea was deafening Likewise with China and Japan. Trump also pulled back from the Middle East with Putin's subtle urging, "LET ASSAD AND I HANDLE ISIS IN SYRIA. YOU HAVE MUCH WORK TO DO IN YOUR COUNTRY AND ONLY YOUY CAN FIX IT." Putin had learned that Trump was as susceptible to a well placed empty compliment as a 17-year old girl on prom night. Although a videotape of Trump's meeting with Kim Jong Un was not released he surely followed Putin's playbook because two weeks later American troops were pulling out of South Korea. Miller saw his job ahead & the sight of it spurred him forward. There it was, he thought as he reached his destination. A nondescript blue building with peeling paint. The only thing new about this building were the 3 ft tall plastic letters raised above the building. TRUMP PLASTICS. Jesus that man loved putting his name on shit. Now that he was President him buying a new commercial business was frowned upon. Trump avoided this scrutiny by running everything through his sons, but it was him.
It was always him.
Miller walked around to the rear entrance of the building & saw about thirty or forty men milling around, either consciously or unconsciously divided by race. Like a prison yard.
Miller walked by two Hispanic men leaning on the wall separating the parking lot from the alley.
The wall became the most embarrassing failure early in Trump's presidency. After all his barking, all his Mexico bashing. All his promises to build a wall and making Mexico pay for it. When it came time to put up or shut up Mexico said simply, "NO."
Trump was livid. He deployed ICE, Homeland Security and the Trump Brigade to Texas with a vengeance. They rounded up everyone brown they could find including Mexican-American US citizens, Black people, and some people of Indian descent. It was early 2019 and the immigration detention centers were still clogged from those raids. Countless innocent people remain in detention awaiting a day in court they should never have to face. Trump seized money wires from the US to Mexico. He almost invaded Mexico but Congress stopped him. Ironically enough, the only wall that almost got built was between the USA and Canada when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joked that he may have to erect a barrier along the Canadian border to keep out all of the Americans. Trumpfugees they called them. After the consistent flow of American's into the Great White North, Trudeau stopped joking. Miller paced around the rear parking lot, getting a few curious glances from his co-workers, who were mostly wearing blue jeans, work boots, t-shirts, and safety glasses. "A bit over dressed, ain't you Mills?" Asked one man around the cigarette he cradled between his lips. Jeff something, Miller thought. Miller looked down at his Armani suit & shrugged.
Jeff Something chuckled and moved on into the building. Time to punch in. Miller allowed himself to be sucked inside with the throng. There were pictures of Trump all over the building, including the hallway walls, his orange face alternating between smiling and scowling depending on which picture frame he was staring at you from. Miller stopped in the hall in front of a picture of Trump smiling. This divisive man who had torn this country apart and pit all these different races against each other. Smiling.
Who had relinquished America's role in the world, making Russia top dog by default.
This man who was the cause of so many Muslim, Mexican-American, and Black children being teased and bullied.
The Boogeyman who came in the night and separated children from their parents.
The man who was afraid to fight in the Vietnam War and somehow received FIVE deferments but has no qualms about restarting the draft and sending others' children to die in a desert thousands of miles away.
Miller knocked the picture off the wall, getting some strange looks as the wooden frame clattered & broke on the cement floor. He walked into the dank, stuffy locker room, where men were in various states of undress, some pulling on green coveralls & donning hard hats. Miller looked around at all the men "Come on, Mills", said a short black man who had worked next to Miller on the the line for the last two years.
"Be there in a minute, man." Miller said back, then went & sat in front of his locker after Ben Somebody left. He sat there for a moment, quiet. Then Miller opened his locker, reaching past his coveralls with the TRUMP PLASTICS patch on them til he felt something hard. He pulled carefully & out came the corner of a vest adorned with approximately 20 small rectangular shaped boxes with wires connecting them all to a crude detonator with a red button. Miller surveyed the room, saw various men of different ethnicities, all broken into their own small groups. All more or less pretty good guys. He saw Jeff Something talking to What's His Name. "Well, you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs," he thought. He looked at another picture of Trump smiling that hung above the locker room's doorway. This time, he smiled back.
Then he pressed the button.