At the Tea Room above the Tavern

собраться с силами

Pronunciation: saBRAT’sa s SEElami

Literal translation: to gather with the forces

Meaning: to regroup, to gather the strength, to get the nerve


The infamous Bulgarian Tavern 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 their leader Emma Solomon on the Fire Switch Radio. 

Nikholai by very early association with the 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 Gran 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 might 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 dubbed a ‘Campaign’.

Nikh has to get buy in. No one is ever fully in charge of the structure. Now, outside New York the Resistance gets very eclectic with who is involved. It would be inaccurate to say anyone could possibly ever lead it. It is 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.”

Based on the Kurdish origin of their military doctrine, their “crew” was typically organized into a “Kol” or ‘section’ of 7 to 10 gender mixed fighters. Two or three ‘Kols’ were organized into a “Takim” or ‘squad’ of up to 30 people. 2 Takims make up a “Tabor” fighting group or “Platoon” of 40 women and men. It had been some time since the Z.O.B. deployed a defense structure of any larger size inside the country.  

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 filtration 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 black 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 attempt to occupy the mostly empty City on Isle of Mann.”

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

“As most of us know this revolt is a three stage campaign in Newyorkgrad is 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 Anarchist Black Cross Federation, the various affiliated radical student movements in C.U.N.Y., the 1199 Trade Union, as well as the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and of course, our faction Uhuru and greater we,” explains Mickhi, “Namely the Brotherhood and the Banshee Group.”

“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 liberate Breuklyn, the Bronks and Queens. Phase three will be to hold ground and liberate ‘the City’ just before New Year’s Eve,” he continues, “The goal is to declare a whole series of 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 C.D.C. conspiracy. The h1n1, AIDS-HIV, the Malaria, the Chikungunya, and of course Ebola. We’ve all seen the damn reports. The documentation has been widely circulated and now our people are really ready for fight. Enough outrages have occurred to spark something bigger than riots. The ‘Stop and Frisk, the weekly shootings, the manufactured Fars and Illubadore war, conscription and the new walking police 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 light infantry organized into 20 Tabors. Snipers, Combat medics, anti-drone rocketeers and agitation propaganda officers will all support the needs of the parade redirection. Our convoy of marauders. They will be attached to each major island band truck. 40 to 80 fighters per band. Each truck has been outfitted with bullet proof siding and once we pop off we’re going to mount PKM machine guns to the tops.” 

Trickovitch unfolds a diagram.

“Flying columns are on the ready in all five boroughs. Though we do not expect much action on Monday in Staten Isle, Queens or the Bronks,” says Nikh, “An additional three hundred and forty women and men will support A.B.C./ Occupier actions in the Financial District as well as set up casualty collection points in Brooklyn and Isle of Mann.” 

“Listen!”, declares Watson, “Watson knows all of this shit. Done known the plan for weeks. So brother please come to conclusion so I can get Bronks bound with this new jack,” says Watson, “he can wash my car 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 friend’s way.

“Watson needs this to happen in way 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 also unknown hopefully to the police intelligence forces that 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. That is when the uprising will begin.”

“What’s our precise goal 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 Ayiti 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. Another kid 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.

“Then Monday we’re gonna deploy some troops and blow up some infrastructure,” says Dbrisk. 

“Where we doing all that on Labor Day weekend?” asks Joshua.

“Alot of what ifs,” Dbrisk replies, “But, focused on likely scenarios. We expect the initial uprising to punch through police lines and make it as far as down town Brooklyn before its..liquidated, pacified by drones and E.S.U. machine gun nests.”

“So you don’t even expect us to make it into the City,” Hunter asks them.

“In short. No. It’s probably gonna turn into a blood bath,” says Nicholai, “But getting into the city on Monday is not really the goal. While the Labor Day Parade gets routed toward to Bridges up Flatbush Ave the Anarchists and students are going to try and storm the trading floors on Wall Street itself. To facilitate operation we’re gonna again have embedded fighters and medics, less but still 4 tabors. We’re gonna blow some things up to confuse the N.Y.P.D. efforts to guess what we’re really doing. Such as four Con Ed stations and the two big N.S.A. biometrics and data warehouses.”

“What about the E.M.P.?”

“That’s just to terrorize them,” states Mara.    

“Hitting the Consolidated Edison building puts most of Manhattan in the dark anyway” says Mickhi Dbrisk, who has been the club’s Operation’s Chief since nearly the very beginning. 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 supply raids and bombing targets. Now that Kawa lives in a dream or a nightmare.

“The fire switch transmitters will override both the police and commercial radio system and turn whatever frequencies we feel like into dancehall tunes or rebel broadcast stations. We need them well hidden and we need them high as possible,” explains Mara, “so we can keep broadcasting when they shut the internet down again.”

“We’ve gotten the four spots picked out well enough,” Nicholai explains, “each transmitter is about the size of a football. Pretty much get it high up, turn it on. We can transmit the Fire Switch Station over Wi-Fi from the West Indies. Downstairs at coat there are Silenced Macro-Uzi blasters with rubber knock down rounds and also live ammunition. There are iridium phones, radios, transmitters and flicker masks. One for each team,” Mara says.

She continues, “When we conclude here you buddy up and head to the staging points on thee hand notes here. Get in doors before dawn. In about two hours. You wake up again when it’s dark again. One team per location. Before you surface again, your masks go on to obscure your faces, before you head to staging. At staging and leaving staging. Those masks don’t come off in elevators, in lobbies, on streets anywhere near that building. The cameras are everywhere, as you know. You’ll live die or get tortured by that mask. Each team has a high rise structure. How you get on top of it, well each of your team leads known that route. 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’ll take Hunter with you to Manhattan North staging,” explains Nikh, “Siggy and your crew you’re setting up the downtown. Jon Denby and I will set up in Manhattan Central. Raphael and crew in Queens will 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. Dbrisk and your crew will go after the High tower on Atlantic Junction Downtown Brooklyn also with the same predicament.”

Mara continues “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 stations on Monday morning. So enjoy, thank god it’s just Tuesday” grins Mara. 

“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 properly afford them as an internationalist Disk Jockey.

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

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

“Yeah one hundred,” the kid replies.

Mickhi Dbrisk chuckles.    

“The Four transmitters set us up to broadcast the good word from Ayiti. They allow us to speak to the people. We expect the masqueraders and Uhuru light infantry tabors to reach Grand Army Plaza around 11am and begin the redirection maneuver toward the bridges by noon. As soon as we get confirmation from our people on the ground, then we are going to blow the Consolidated Edison power stations, the N.S.A. Data aggregation depots and finally, we will E.M.P. Police Plaza One and all of the the district financial at noon thirty. Put the whole fucking city in the dark. In coordination with the Anarchist Black Cross who will be simultaneously lead the assault on Wall Street. If they mange to breech an hold. Which is a big if. Well we push the spear deep in the beast as we can.”

“If the Garveyites and Uhuru are not all gunned down before they even reach the bridges,” says Watson.

Mara says, “Another real big fucking if.” 

Watson just watches the size of the pupils on young Joshua Hunter, watches him breathe and counts the breathes. Because all of this is one big act of science fiction. One big feigning maneuver. Joshua Hunter from East New York is an informant. A police spy. None of the locations and targets being talked about are real. The Department of Homeland Security knows about the Labor Day Uprising and so so do the police. They know about the A.B.C. Wall Street take over march. They know just about everything because they have informants in all of the groups and factions except the Z.O.B. Mara and Anya have been feeding loads of misinformation for months about what will happen on Monday and where. There will be an uprising in Brooklyn. There will be a coordinated attempt to re-occupy Wall Street. There will be a non-stop Fire Switch Pirate broadcast of the New Social Gospel. There will be bombs going off in power plants, data aggregation depots and a black out down town with or without use of the Electromagnetic Pulse Ordinance build by sympathizers in Stony Brook. But this is still all one big, bloody feigning operation because the revolution will actually begin until 1st Nivose. Gregorian New Years Eve. This is all still a drill.   

“ Real Big Monday,” says Michkai Dbrisk, “I’ll be on the Parkway early with Watson and the rest of the squad.”  

Mara says, “All of you are in the trenches and I’m running the dispatch with Anya out of a secure location in the Bronks. Things are going to pop the hell off. We’ll do the best we can to keep up with impossible expectations, any questions?”

No one has any. Except Joshua.

“Where did ya’ll get them E.M.P. from?”

“Joshua. That’s not a very adult question,” says Mara.

“So we just gonna done black out down town and hit from two sides?” he asks them.

“Yessir,” says Watson, who honestly just wants to get back to Yonkers.

“I love centralized democracy,” exclaims Mara, “All of you please grab your gear at coat check and get out via the tunnels you came in on,” Mara tells them, “Good luck. Don’t get needlessly killed this weekend. 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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