Writing…

Posted: March 30, 2011 by chad98036 in Uncategorized

A friend of mine has decided to try writing a short story of about 10,000 words.  A couple of years ago I wrote a couple short stories (since discarded) and outlined an idea for a TV series, which I knew would never get produced but which I thought would make a good series anyway.  I haven’t really done much with it since so I thought I would post it here.  Some of the ideas  overlaps with Tom Kratman’s “Caliphate” and John Ringo’s “Last Centurion”, but the main idea behind the story was mainly inspired by an urban legend about the 12th Marines on Okinawa.  When I was stationed there the story was that the 12th Marines were not allowed to march with a guidon or to return to the US (the unit not the individuals) because they had lost their colors in Vietnam and so they were in a kind of exile ordered by  SecNav.  The story is almost certainly (I’m 99.99% sure) not true, but the idea of a unit in exile kind of fascinated me.  Anyway here is the treatment that was supposed to serve as the basis of the story:

Time:  2260

Place:  New Montana – United States Outer Colonies

Background:  At the end of the Pan-African wars of the mid-21st century the 163rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 13th DBLE have established a perimeter in Djibouti following the announcement of a phased withdrawal of combat forces by the newly elected American President.  Initially it is anticipated that they will be relieved in 6 to 8 weeks, but the African forces lay in a siege, and the units are ordered to surrender because the President doesn’t want to inflame the situation by sending in troop transports and warships.  An outlying subordinate unit does and is massacred to the last man. 

After the massacre the commanders of the 163rd and the 13th DBLE decide that they are going to hold until someone can talk sense to the President.  Over the course of the next 4 years the units become thoroughly integrated and very popular in the culture at large, although they are widely condemned in both Washington and Hollywood.  Clandestine shipments of supplies are arranged by both the military and civilians, volunteers slip across the lines to enlist and the Legion tradition of taking all comers is revived and brought into practice here.  Despite the odds the two units hold out.  France in an attempt to break the 13ths spirit disbands the Legion, and all the legionaries are promptly enlisted in the US Army by the commander of the 163rd.

When the next election finally comes around the fate of the 163rd plays heavily in the outcome.  The new President orders the relief of the unit and they are extracted from Djibouti, but the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as well as the Chief of Staff of the Army are appointees of the previous President so while they carry out the orders they arrange a court-martial for the commander of the 163rd.  The court-martial acquits him so the CJCS and the CoS arrange orders transferring the 163rd to the newly established colonial command and basing them on New Montana which abuts the Chinese colonial zone.  They are ordered there in disgrace essentially.  They are not to unfurl their colors, mount a color guard, wear their US army insignia or decorations. 

The unit serves in this state for approximately 200 years, suppressing attempts at Chinese incursion into the American zone.  Protecting settlers from bandits / pirates.  Suppressing insurrections on some of the planets that have a non-American dominant culture. 

That brings us to the present

Season one:  News from Earth isn’t good.  The economic conditions in the US are flatlining.  Civil liberties are being curtailed.  The President is incompetent to deal with the problem and afraid to admit it, he is however a very shrewd political operator.  The military has been co-opted by careerist officers. The judiciary and the civil service are completely corrupt.  Despite this lip service is still paid to the Constitution and the 163rd tries to continue performing it’s duties.  That changes when the President orders congress to call a Constitutional convention for the purposes of rescinding the Bill of Rights.  Initially Congress refuses until the President has the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader arrested in the legislative chambers and they are never heard from again. 

The officers and senior NCOs of the 163rd vote to follow the commander in mutiny and the season ends the colors being unfurled, men applying their unit insignia and other US Army insignia to their uniforms, transports lifting off and a message being sent to the President from the Officers and Men of the 163rd that just says "We’re coming home".

Season two and three:  The 163rd lands on the Great Lakes and takes Detroit, then begins a march into the Midwest.  Along the way they ally with other military units that decide to mutiny and various paramilitary bands.  (some conflict here when they start coming across black separatist, white supremacist, and jihadi organizations.  Eventually a side mission becomes suppressing the militias).  As they move they have to establish a logistics tail so they start turning industries over to private individuals and letting them run them regulation free.  Economic activity in the areas controlled by the mutiny skyrockets which causes others to join the mutiny.

End of season three – Government falls

Season four:  Reestablishing a government and traditional American values.

(Don’t try stealing it the story and treatment are registered with the Writers Guild of America Smile with tongue out )

Comments
  1. aliceaitch says:

    Your friend’s name isn’t Jacqueline Howett, is it?

    (This is no comment on the writing. tl; dr.)

  2. chad98036 says:

    No. Although he might find the comparison funny. I have no illusions on my writing ability but I still like the idea as a TV show.

  3. Michael says:

    I would totally read / watch that; you should “flesh it out” and run with it. I think the concept would resonate well with a (growing) segment of the population. Good stuff, that.

    It sounds like some aspects of your concept also overlap with Wm. Johnstone’s “Out of the Ashes” book series (NTTAWWT)

    You really should pursue this, I think you’ve got a potential winner.

    • Elliott says:

      I’m in agreement, I’d read the book. I’m not sure it’d translate well into a tv show though, too much downtime for your average moron. You couldn’t very well show Americans killing Americans like that though, the people generally don’t care for civil war or the imagery that comes with it.

      It would work well as a book though, very well. I would read it.

  4. FishStyx says:

    So write the thing already!
    I guarantee you it’ll beat a lot of the published crap I’ve read in the last few years, even if testicularly-challenged Hollywood wouldn’t touch it with their 10ft Prada poles!

  5. chad98036 says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I guess if nothing else I could so it as an e-book. I’ll give it a shot.

  6. Sean M. says:

    If you do flesh this out further, even as an e-book, make damn sure to find an editor.

    I got a copy of a self-published novel from another Moron not too long ago, and it was a really good, engaging story. However, it suffered from a lot of spelling and grammatical errors, problems with the dialogue, and there were entire tangents and characters that should have been removed since they interrupted the flow of the plot and ultimately never paid off.

    If he’d found someone with a critical eye to look at it before sending it off to be published, it would have been a much better novel.

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