So here's another preview of some of the new stuff I've put in Crimson. As I've said, it won't change the plot but I think it will better define it. Meanwhile, War Plan Crimson is available still as an e-book here - just $2.99 to buy, free to try.
“What’s going on here, Major?” snapped Adams.
“I’m following direct orders from the President,” said Major Shleby Grigsby, turning away from the driver of the olive-drab truck that had just pulled up. He signed what looked like a receipt and handed it back to the driver. ”Political Directorate business, Colonel. Nothing for you to concern yourself with.”
“Everything that happens around here concerns me, Major.” He walked around to the back of the truck with Grigsby in tow. “So I repeat: what’s in the truck?”
Grigsby went pale, then: “It’s PD business, Colonel.”
“I don’t give a rat’s ass, Major. I’m in charge here! You will tell me what you’ve brought into my command, or so help me God I will personally bounce you from here to Ottawa.”
Wordlessly, with an air of resignation, the PD officer opened the rear olive-drab flaps to the truck. Four wooden crates lay tied down to the floor with heavy straps.
“Chemical shells,” said Adams levelly, reading the black-stenciled lettering, “I might’ve known.”
“Colonel, President Cray has placed the control of chemical weapons strictly under the Political Directorate,” said Grigsby, stiffly.
“Get those… things out of here, Major. This country got a black eye when we used them up at that place in Quebec. The Canadians and British have promised to retaliate in kind the next time we use these…or didn’t you remember that?”
“They’re all weaklings, Colonel. It doesn’t matter what they think.”
Adams gritted his teeth. “Oh? What about our people? The American civilians who might be killed around here by that stuff the moment the wind shifts or if somebody drops it in the wrong place? Did you ever think about that, Major Grigsby?”
Adams’ eyes narrowed. “In your obviously limited military career, I can tell, Major Grigsby, that you’ve never been on the receiving end of a gas attack. If you had been, you’d never want to order one.”
The PD man went one of several shades of red.
Adams strode across the road, after dodging a truck towing a 105 mm gun, reached the other side, where a field kitchen stood. A squad of infantry, enjoying the lull provided by the cease-fire, gathered under a large canvas tent, around a large steaming pot of what smelled like chicken stew.
“Who’s the ranking NCO here?”
“I am, sir,” saluted a weary three-striper. “Sergeant Drummond.”
“Sergeant, take your men and guard that truck over there.” He pointed in the direction from which he just came. “If anyone tries to get close it – anyone except me – shoot them. My orders.”
“Yes sir!” Drummond shouldered his rifle. He saluted and began to bark out orders to his men.
“Colonel,” sputtered Grigsby as he ran up, “you can’t do that.”
“Consider it acceptable losses, Major,” said Adams, walking away. He smiled.