Tweet of the Day: Pour on the Conflict
City of Paris, France,13 February, 10:05 hrs +1 GMT
The Mercedes-Benz raced through the streets of the city, flanked by police in motorcycles. In the back seat, the head of the DGSE, went over the numbers in report. Officially he was on his way to brief the President on Italy. The speed of the country’s collapse stunned the world. Whoever was behind it knew exact pressure points. The remnants of the Italian military fled the country in disarray to France and Spain. With massive volcanic clouds covering the entire peninsula, there was no way to get accurate satellite coverage or deploy reconnaissance aircraft. The few reports that came from there talked about an army of giants and mysterious figures dragging away military age males in the middle of the night. He knew that Italy was lost but it was the safety of his own country that concerned him now. The numbers painted a bleak picture:
- Current weather patterns and the effect of the multiple eruptions in Italy, Sicily and Iceland on crop yields and farm production
- The rise of hate speech on social networks with emphasis on violence and devaluation of social and political opponents.
- An uptick in cases of domestic violence, depression and PTSD across the nation.
- The clogging of the public transportation system and the complete stoppage of continental air travel due to volcanic activity.
- Interruption of satellite communications across the continent due to high levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere.
It took him some time to ferret out the raw data from the different ministries and departments. Information was power and each sector guarded their own territory with the ferocity of enraged lionesses fighting to protect their cubs. Besides, his own folio was foreign military threats, not domestic policy. But the latest bombing spree changed things. Six bombs in three cities over a period of three days. Someone in the pressed dubbed it the 666 bombings and the rest of the media ran with it.
He opened multiple windows, each showed a map of the country. He overlaid one over the other and pressed a button. The software merged the data and displayed it as blooming red circles in the north and center of the country. Just the kind of theatrical display that would convince the President to take him seriously. The President had a bleeding socialist heart, but a good man none the less. He was also a man with a penchant for righteous fury. The Director would use that rage to blast through the bureaucracy and force everyone in line. Underhanded but necessary.
The car shook violently. The Director felt a sharp pain in the side of his head. Seconds past before the ringing in his ears passed. He fumbled for his glasses. Someone yanked him from outside. Another hand pressed something against his temple. A moment latter he sat inside dark troop compartment of an armored vehicle. A voice yelled for the vehicle to move on.
“NO! Someone get my computer!” ordered the Director. A soldier pulled him down to the canvas seat. “Get the damn thing now!” Another soldier dropped the tablet in his lap. The Director rebooted the machine and checked the data. It was all there. “Now go! Take me to the Élysée, now!”
“But ,” protested a young lieutenant tending to his wound.
“I said go!” yelled the Director.
He caught a glimpse of his official vehicle before the door of the APC closed. The front glass was shattered, his driver covered in blood from head to toe on the passenger side. The other side looked as if had been punted by a giant foot. He looked down at the tablet. He noticed that except for Toulon, most of the Riviera was free of red blots.
All war is deception.
The words punched through the headache. France’s security forces were spread thin throughout the country, focused either on stamping down regional fires or in self-defense. Everywhere but in the south where Italy connected with France. The same route Juilus Ceasar once used to conquer the divided Gallic tribes.
The past is prologue.
The APC came to a halt at the gates of the Presidential Palace.
But only if we don’t learn from it.