"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."-Attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. There is no evidence that he ever actually said this.
Mike Taggert hit the ground hard. "Why do paratroopers actually want to do this for a living?" he thought as he tore off his parachute and quickly buried it. Mike had received extensive paramilitary training over the last decade, but he was not a soldier. He was an officer with the Central Intelligence Agency. He had just parachuted into occupied America as part of Operation Wolverine. The name was a reference to a recent movie about a Soviet invasion of America. Some pencil pusher's idea of a hilarious joke. Recent events seemed eerily similar to the plot of that violent Hollywood tale.
This evening, Mike and others like him were being dropped into Western Washington. Their job was to link up with the growing American resistance groups that had formed to help fight the Soviet occupation. So far, the resistance had been nothing more than a ragtag group of men and women with rifles and shotguns hell-bent on making the Soviets pay for every inch of ground that they occupied. Mike and his colleagues were supposed to help organize the resistance cells into a force to be reckoned with.
Messages between the resistance and the government had been passed back and forth through codes recited during broadcasts of Radio Free America, and on various ham radio broadcasts from civilians. The network had started as a way of passing information on to American citizens stuck behind enemy lines, and as an effort to demoralize Soviet soldiers. Thanks to the coded messages passed back and forth between RFA and the resistance, the freedom fighters knew that Taggert was coming. He was supposed to rendezvous with one of the cells later tonight.
After checking a map and his compass, Taggert determined that he was about two kilometers from where he was supposed to meet with the resistance fighters. He checked his watch. The digital readout read "21:04." He had almost an hour to walk two klicks to the rendezvous point. He checked his rifle and sidearm, slipped on his rucksack, and started his march.
Mike Taggert had been born and raised in a small town on Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Thanks to his academic achievements, and his achievements as quarterback for his high school's football team, he received a scholarship to Yale University. Mike continued his academic and athletic while in college. He was a quarterback for the Yale Bulldogs, was a part of the crew team, and managed to maintain a 4.0 grade point average. He graduated with a degree in International Relations, and planned to apply for a job with the State Department. His academic advisor had a friend in the department, and promised to put in a good word for Mike.
However, the summer after leaving Yale he was approached by a man who claimed to be a recruiter for a government agency. The man was a fellow Yale alum, and said that he had been impressed by Mike's academic achievements, and his proven leadership abilities. He offered Mike an opportunity to really make a difference in the world. Three weeks after that first meeting, Mike was brought to Langely, Virginia as one of the CIA's newest recruits.
Training had been a tough, but rewarding experience, and it wasn't very long before Mike was asked to put his training to good use. In December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Mike was one of many CIA officers sent into the country to help train Mujahideen fighters. He managed to stay alive in the Central Asian nation for the better part of 6 years. After returning to the US, he was tasked with training other officers in the finer points of guerilla warfare.
Life back in the states was a welcomed relief from the warzone Mike had lived in overseas. He started attending church (after what he had seen and done in Afghanistan, he wanted to "get right with God"), and while there one Sunday, he met a recently divorced woman named Charlotte. She was only a few months younger than Mike, and worked as an associate attorney at one on Washington, DC's many law firms. The two started to see each other regularly, and got married in June of 1988. They settled into a suburban neighborhood in Northern Virginia. Mike couldn't imagine life getting much better. As 1988 gave way to 1989, Mike and Charlotte began to talk of the future. They decided that they were ready to have a family of their own, and started trying to get pregnant.
The peaceful life that they had carved out for themselves would soon come to an end, however. The Soviet Union, stinging from a humiliating loss in Afghanistan, began to bloviate about the need for more resources. They made ludicrous demands of the West, and threatened war. The promise of peace that seemed on the horizon under the leadership of Reagan and Gorbachev disintegrated. Suddenly, it looked as if the Cold War was going to heat up.
That summer, Soviet tank divisions thrust into West Germany. All at once, the world was at war. In the first weeks alone, NATO reported thousands of casualties. The allies were fighting fiercely, but were being consistently driven back by the Soviet shock troops.
Mike was busy at Langely. There was talk of he and other CIA officers being sent to Europe to help train West German and French resistance fighters. Preparations for deployment were being made for the mission when the tides of war started to turn in the allies' favor. The Soviets were being pushed out of France, and it looked like the allied navies were gaining control of the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. There were even reports of daring allied raids on Soviet soil. Mike breathed a sigh of relief. It looked like he and his colleagues had dodged a bullet.
Then the invasion happened…
The pictures coming out of Seattle horrified Mike and Charlotte. The reports coming from the area, especially the ones Mike was privy to at Langley, were even worse. American forces were being driven further and further back on an almost hourly basis. The invasion of the west coast had taken everyone by surprise. Again, Mike prepared to be deployed behind enemy lines. However, this time there were no last-minute counteroffensives. There was no sudden break in the Soviet lines. This time, Mike was going to war.
He couldn't tell Charlotte exactly what his mission was. It was probably for the best. She was distraught enough as it was. She would be out of her mind if she knew that he was going behind enemy lines to fight with the resistance. She just thought that he was a special intelligence advisor being attached to one of the divisions fighting in Washington. After a tearful goodbye, Mike drove to Andrews Air Force Base to prepare for his flight to Washington. After a few quick, too quick for Mike's taste, on how to strap on and deploy a parachute, Mike Taggert was on his way to the front lines of World War III.