At the Tea Room above the Tavern


The Bulgarian Tavern called ‘Mehanata’ on 113 Ludlow Street has roughly four doors in and three tunnels out. Also a roof hatch. You could completely miss the whole place if you weren’t looking for it. For the nine to thirteen million rats in their various stages of the great race to make it here, this city never fucking sleeps. Its go, go, go, go, zoom, zoom, rush rush! Slaves and Serfs to the trains for wage service. It’s all an illusion its fun here. With no currency, with endless wage work the place is bleak urban hell. It’s a filthy place except at the very center. The Isle of Man. Getting in early with red eyes and leaving late. Back on the cattle cars. The masters dangling enough to cover the rising rent and some groceries if you’re lucky. You’re so lucky to here in this cage! The hope dies out. You whore yourself somehow. You have to! You drink more than you should. It feels worse if you’re not from here. Even the yellow cab driver have more education than most of the rest of the country. The black sports utility vehicles, with tinted windows and important people that don’t want to look at you. The constant sirens. Everyone running somewhere not making eye contact. Always a fucking siren going off for some emergency that isn’t probably real. The city itself was built on the very top of the mountain. Its highest towers hold more rich and powerful people than anywhere on earth. Except maybe Moscow and London. This apple is all poison and rotten. The high octane hyper diversity is just a sex circus. Plus a racial death trap. Plus an ugly over crowed sprawl more regularly breaking then making those who arrive from the interior or abroad.

Nikholai Trickovitch is bleary eyed.  He stinks of cigarettes, some cheap men’s fragrance and also of raw smoked Rum. The climate here is repressive towards the end of summer. Rum Barbancourt Nine Star on the rocks isn’t served in this part of town. So he brought his own bottle to the tavern. For their troubles were about to mount exponentially. Their bravest battle was about to arrive. ‘Heroes will be separated from hooligans. The cowards from the brave. The sacred from the profane.’ Well anyway so said the voice of Emma Solomon on the Fire Switch Radio. 

Nikholai also technically, mostly by very early association with an even more militant Kawa in the early days of the Resistance is part of the inner most core of the leadership of the Z.O.B. The clandestine network of insurgent cells and for a time the editor of its underground newspaper, ‘the Banshee News Service.’ He highly prefers conducting his revolutionary duties from the computer of his uptown Penthouse. Moving things about the internet, correcting pamphlets and public movement speeches Kawa and their comrades give in soap box parks and on the trains. Nikh was persuaded to manage the logistics for the very First Haiti Operation.  He did pretty well. Only two had gotten killed. He was then later persuaded to manage ground logistics in Port-Au-Prince for the expeditionary forces. Still later, he joined the medical guerrillas in their ill-fated expedition into Colombia. Where most of the partisans were wiped out and he barely survived the long walk home. But, he has only so much will power to back up such walk and warfare.

I need yet another drink!, thinks Trickovitch. He knows it will be a long meeting and the A/C won’t work well in the private upper club house. The night is really just getting started work wise even though it’s past 4am. They’re erring toward minimal street traffic, but even the rats and pigeons here work in shifts. Well that same night Nicholai Trickovitch put together a little squad to, “do another messy little big job.” There were big jobs and little jobs. There were protracted campaigns that took many years. Some jobs where social engineering was needed. Others where brute force was the best approach. A job that has a lot of force commitment is called ‘an Operation’. Several coordinated large scale operations are a ‘Campaign’.

This required some of both and right away. He had to get buy in. No one was ever really in charge. Now, outside New York the Resistance got very eclectic with who was involved. It would be inaccurate to say anyone could possibly ever lead it. It was bad in New York where well over 70% of the population wasn’t even born here. A lot of players. They all “Relied heavily on Neg, Blan and Gray magic to keep this whole thing together,” as Nicholai was fond of saying, “But in New York Fucking City, we still do things the old fashioned way. By having a real tight crew.”

For many, many years Newyorkgrad was not the old Newyorkgrad that so many who had never visited imagined it to be based on movies and television. In the dead of something, where night creeps toward dusk, around a table on the fourth floor of 113 Ludlow Street, they met. That is to say the restaurant immediately above the Mehanata Tavern. A little talk is underway, a briefing. Maybe also something of a sale pitch.

“There are thirteen elected leaders of the Z.O.B,” Trickovitch explains, “Two have disappeared. We don’t fill their seats, but we consider them probably, most likely dead. One is living in a submarine somewhere hidden. Two are sleeping. That’s a polite way of staying they were thrown in a camp and badly tortured. Most of them kill themselves sometime after. That means at any given period nine are left. Left in charge of all the cells in the division. Greater Newyorkgrad.”

The table is wooden and plates of tapas have all been cleared. Nobody got in from the street. They got in from the various tunnels. It’s time for tea.

“Let me tell you how this is gonna go down,” says Nikh to his fellow partisans which include the tall well-polished Jamaican Gangster Mickhi Dbrisk. He is wearing a black suit with no tie after coming from work at previous engagement. Where girls were still jiggling.

Mara Fitzduff is a half pint Fenian. Barely ever smiles. A dirty blonde rebel famous for her firebrand speeches on the Fire Switch Radio. Also present is Rafael Ernesto Contreras, the Peruvian disk jockey. A photographer too. Retired child soldier and lesser officer of a defunct guerrilla band in the Arequipa Province. The fifth member of this add-hock unit is Mr. Siegfried Sassoon. He speaks very well with great emotion in his face. He should be expected to as he is an actor classically trained in Moscow. He too is just getting off work as a bar tender at a flashy supper club up the street called the ‘Red Fox Box’. A dashing swaggerous man of Cuban descent. The sixth man in this last minute, late night call up was the light skinned Haitian smooth criminal Watson Entwissle. The seventh at the table wasn’t made yet. A smooth young blood from East New York. Says his name is Joshua Hunter. Has okay references and they are going to test him out. Could be a plant.

Watson is pretty pissed. You can tell when he’s pissed, he doesn’t pay attention at all. It’s based anyway on the past midnight hour. He left his favorite ‘sexy chocolate’ in bed in Yonkers for this “very tedious bullshit.” He doesn’t get to see his old lady enough. She lives in Boston. Ms. Charlotte from Uganda.

In the confusing and albeit vaguely disjointed chain of command Mara, Watson, Mickhi and Nicholai are all title holding inner leadership. Only one is from the inner nine. Siegfried Sassoon, Hunter and Raphael were called in as ‘hevals’. Though technically Hunter was not even a ‘provisional member’. Hasn’t made rank or been sworn in. Not written in the book of life. But they were told he can do good work by Dbrisk.

“The Labor Day weekend begins in 72 hours and you all know what’s coming,” explains Mickhi, “The West Indian Day Parade ain’t heading south at the Grand Army Plaza. Oh no, they’re gonna head north right over the bridges and attack the mostly empty City.”

Everybody except young Joshua Hunter knew that already. They were gonna stick Hunter with Watson and Watson would keep him working this weekend until he was trust-able, or dead. They were all aware of the score.

“As most of us know this revolt is a three stage attack in Newyorkgrad was being coordinated mostly by the Pan-Africanists, the Garveyites, the N.L.M.M., some of the liberal and radical medical trade unions, the I.W.W. of course, the Shi’a Muslims, the Occupiers, the affiliated radical student movements in C.U.N.Y., the 1199 Trade Union, the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and of course, Uhuru and greater we,” explains Mickhi.

“The dry runs were the messy occupations on Wall Street and around the country last year to assess the state defenses. Phase Two is Labor Day where we take Breuklyn, the Bronx and Queens. Phase three will be to hold and liberate ‘the City’ just before New Year’s Eve,” he continues, “The goal is to declare confederated cantons up and down the east coast. Hunker down and defend them from federal counter assault.” 

“Hectic shit,” mutters Raphael.

“Our role then is quite basic in phase two,” explains Nikholai Trickovitch, who knew indeed that the General Rising was close in coming, but not actually a mere five days away.

“We all know what was revealed about the h1n1 and Ebola. We’ve all seen the reports. The documentation has been widely circulated and now our people are ready. Enough outrages have occurred to spark something bigger than riots. The ‘Stop and Frisk, the weekly shootings, the Iran war conscription and the new walking drones of course. This time almost everyone expects death camps and prolonged urban warfare, not Capoeira,” Mickhi explains.

“The Z.O.B. has called up eight hundred riflemen, combat medics and agitation propaganda officers to support the needs of the parade. Our convoy of marauders. They will be attached to each major island band truck. Flying columns are on the ready in all five boroughs. An additional three hundred and forty three women and men.

“Listen!”, declared Watson, “Watson knows all of this shit. So brother please come to conclusion so I can get Bronx bound with this new jack,” says Watson, “he can wash my care before we die in the coming melee.”

“Watson, we just need this young blood briefed. You can get out the door in fifty minutes,” Mickhi tells him. Used to his load way.

“Watson needs this to happen in less minutes,” he replies with a grin.

“As usual,” continues Mickhi, “The two Haitian Convoys will bring up the middle and the rear. Unknown to the City parade organizers, and hopefully the police intelligence forces, there are actually three Haitian bands this year of 10,000 masqueraders a piece. About ¾ up the route the Middle Convoy which is gonna be twice as big will initiate the raid across the Grand Army Plaza and then fight their way up Flatbush hope fully with the people behind us. And this is when the hectic bloody melee will begin.”

“What’s our precise role tonight,” asks Siegfried Sassoon. Siggy, never goes to that many meetings. He never votes in Otriad elections except with his feet for Kawa. When Kawa is leading he steps back and when Kawa is sleeping her steps up. He did however vote for keeping Kawa asleep after the last Haiti job, when the Hospitaliers took him very hard. Kawa is a serious knock around guy; best estimates think he’s been taken to the camps over 21 times. About three years’ worth of his life. Siggy, like Watson does jobs not meetings. Neither ever-ever tries to be at these meetings. Rarely even the candle light salons in Breuklyn. Which are sometimes cute.

“We’re gonna install Fire Station Transmitters on four very, very tall structures,” says Mara Fitzduff. She has over the years been the club’s ‘Chief of Staff’, worked in the  propaganda bureau, in academy on the ‘Science of Women’ and done much of the fund raising for the past ten years. She’s not always officially even in the Z.O.B., but she is always very dependable. She has no salty broag. She’s got one kid with a soldier who ran off somewhere. And another with the Russian-Ivory loan shark Donny Gold who Kawa and Nikholai went to high school with ‘way back in the day’. So in that regard she’s double tied down.

“And then tomorrow we’re gonna blow up the Consolidated Edison building, putting most of Manhattan in the dark” says Mickhi Dbrisk, who has been the club’s Operation’s Chief since nearly the very beginning. He was in prison for a year as a teenager. When the cops accused him and four friends of all robbing a liquor store and no one talked. Some people say he’s a Crip, but he’s allegedly not a Crip anymore.

Nikholai holds the official position of Logistics Coordinator, but he’s more hands on than many before or after him as a good logistic fixer should be. He’s the one who arranges a lot of the raids and bombing targets. Now that Kawa lives in a dream, or a nightmare.

“The transmitters will override the police radio system and turn whatever frequencies we feel like into dancehall radio stations. We need them hidden and we need them high,” explains Mara, “so we can keep broadcasting when they shut the internet down again.”

“We’ve gotten the four choice spots picked out well enough,” Nicholai explains, “each transmitter is about the size of a football. There are blasters and flicker masks in the bags at the downstairs at coat check. But those are for getting out of the buildings later. Soon as this meeting is done, if you agree to this shit, you’re all getting in the town cars outside and getting dropped near bye all four targets. Fuck the girls if you feel like, if that works for you. We want you rested and loose. The town cars bring you to apartment brothels we work with and you sleep there. Whatever you decide to do,” Mara says.

She continues, “You wake up again when it’s dark. One person one location. In the bags with the guns and flicker masks are the addresses and names of four sympathetic venues, but really the car will just take you pretty near there. You’re going to get dropped at some of the tallest buildings on the island. Masks go on to obscure your faces, before you get out of the town cars. The girls will have you over for a drink, and whatever. Don’t really drink. Fuck if you wanna fuck and go to sleep. Then they will give you roof access when you get up. Those masks don’t come off in elevators, in lobbies, on streets anywhere near that building. The cameras are everywhere, as you know. You will get up the roof and turn on the transmitters.

“Try to hide them somewhere,” Nicholai mentions. Don’t just leave them lying around, they’re booby trapped anyway. Whoever tries to turn them off will is gonna lose their arms and face,” says Mara.

“Watson, you are assigned to the Heights. You’ll take Hunter with you. Siggy you’re in Midtown. Jon Denby and I will work in lower Manhattan. Raphael you’ll be setting up the Long Island City installation which is quite tricky because there’s nothing residential in the CITI Corp building so we’ll have to social engineer it. Nicholai and Dbrisk will go after the High tower on Atlantic Junction also with the same predicament.”

“And by assigned, we’re asking you to accept the job as a volunteer,” Mickhi explains.

For the good of the service,” Mara says with a smile.

“How is Jon Denby doing?” Mickhi asks.

“His father is real sick again, it cuts into his out time,” Nicholai explained.

“So are you with this? You’re all Pararescuemen and or amateur Parapsychologists so I’m sure this will all just be fun. Once you get to the safe houses you’re staying at feel free to relax and take a long nap. You’ve all been up all week. Some of you all month. This doesn’t have to happen at once or tomorrow, it just has to happen before we blow up the power station on Monday morning. So enjoy, thank god it’s Tuesday. Some of these sympathizers are very attractive. I’m not saying any of you would take a whole a day to ravish the high end escorts at the brothels you’ll be staying at. Certainly not as either husbands, fathers, or Haitian gentlemen. But well it’s an option. Can’t have you stressed,” grins Mara knowing full well Raphael is married albeit a consummate adulterer. That Mickhi Dbrisk for all intents and purposes has three or four wives. That Siggy is secretly married to the daughter of a powerful Russian oligarch. That Nicholai is an incorrigible whore monger. And that Watson Entwissle is a very loyal family man. A true Haitian gentleman.

“We’re working out of the apartment brothels yet again?” asks Raphael. The joy in his voice is real for he so loves the Manhattan apartment brothels. You can’t afford them as an internationalist Disk Jockey.

“We need these devices set up real high,” says Mara, “If we can knock out their power and maintain alternative systems of communications we’re keeping to our end of the mutual aid agreement with Uhuru. Without blowing our arsenal and fighters prematurely,” she says, “as you all know this is phase two of three. We’re only fully mobilizing if they manage to take the City or if they hold Breuklyn longer than a week. Otherwise it’s 1st Nivôse.”

“I know I’m in,” asks Raphael.

“Shut the fuck up, Watson knows before he came here he was in.”

“Ha Chi will be a little pissed,” says Siggy, “But of course. It’s too late to get out now.”

“Joshua, you gonna ride with us on this?” Watson asks him.

“Yeah one hundred,” the kid replies.

Mickhi Dbrisk chuckles.    

“Four transmitters. Then we blow the Consolidated Edison N.S.A. Data aggregation depot on Monday morning and EMP the district financial at noon thirty Monday with the anarchists, if they breech. Monday. All of you are in the trenches and I’m running dispatch with Anya out of a most secure location. Things are going to pop the hell off prematurely. We’ll do the best we can to keep up with impossible expectations, any questions?”

No one has any.

“I love centralized democracy. All of you please grab your gear at coat check and get in the cars outside via the alley door,” Mara tells them, “Good luck. Don’t get needlessly killed. Shahid Namaran!

Things were about to go smash bang! Then fully explode. In flame and death in the night. To the sweet blaring tunes of the Wild West Indies.

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