Race War

The race war had begun…

It was a fight between the blacks and the whites. No one was safe in this war of skin. There was no neutrality in this war. No one could say that he was not involved. If he tried, he died.

It started at a meeting. It was a policy meeting of the World Council. The leader of one group, the whites, stood up before the Council and declared that the blacks would no longer be tolerated.

The blacks, having several factions, gave their reply one by one. The representative of each group of blacks stood up, and separately declared war on the whites.

The race war had begun…

Fighting started a week later, the blacks being the first to strike. The military leader of the whites, a tall man named Smith, was ready.

He had his men in positions that, when deployed, could surround the blacks. When the blacks attacked, Smith and his men were ready.

His second in command, a stocky man named Jones, gave the order to defend, and the inevitable happened.

The race war had begun…

Smith’s men won that first battle, but it was only the first of many.

In one of the encounters between the whites and the blacks, one of the black units surrounded the headquarters of the whites. Their bodies plainly visible on the field of asphalt that was around the cement and plexiglass dome of the whites. Their eyes shone brightly in the twilight of the summer day.

The black leader had gotten his men to the white’s headquarters by hijacking a supply train, riding it to within a mile of the whites. After killing the crew, they walked the mile in and spread out around the glistening, white dome.

As night approached the dome, so did they. An hour after the glow from the sun died down, they attacked.

Using plastique to blow a hole into the wall, they entered the building and had it under their control in another fifteen minutes. They took only two prisoners, Smith and Jones.

The race war had begun…

“All right, you two, on your feet!”

Smith struggled to open his eyes from the unnatural unconsciousness caused by the blow from a rifle butt to the back of his head. He was dragged to his feet by the black leader, and noticed that his hands were free.

“I said UP!”

Smith looked over at the still unconscious form of Jones. He could not stop a moan of pain that escaped from his lips.

“Haw, haw! Looks like sleeping beauty can’t wake up,” a different voiced guffawed.

“Shut up, and get the other one awake,” ordered the first voice. The owner of the second voice complied by picking Jones up and slapping his face until he woke.

Jones came around with the grogginess of death about him. He slowly opened his eyes and wished he had kept them shut. What he saw did not look good. He and his commander had been captured by a black faction within the confines of the white base.

“What are you doing here?” Jones could here Smith make the demand with a voice that betrayed his pain.

“What are you doing here,” mocked the second voice. “What do you think? Picking flowers?”

“Shut up,” offered the first. “We are here to propose peace between our two kinds. I can only speak for my men, and not all of the blacks, of course, but we do not want to fight.”

“If you don’t fight, you die,” Smith answered, and lunged for the leader of the black regiment. Anticipating this action, Jones had stolen himself away to save energy, and he reacted with full force.

The black leader was so shocked, that he lay where he fell, mouth open, brows arched. The sarcastic, if not sadistic, owner of the voice died before he could react.

Jones made sure that Smith was safe from counter-attack by felling three more of the black unit. The rest, rather than sacrifice themselves needlessly to the rampaging whites, left through the same hole they came in through. They went on to claim victory to all the blacks they were aligned with; for not all the black factions communicated with each other. There had been minor skirmishes between many of the black groups. Skirmishes that only strengthened the white’s position.

The race war had begun…

From the day of his capture, Smith never underestimated the blacks again. Unlike other military leaders in history, he did not order the attacking and destroying of all the blacks that the whites encountered. He knew that most likely all the blacks would have to die before the whites could raise their children in peace, but he was a military man, not an executioner. Jones agreed with that philosophy even though he saw the definite need for all the blacks’ deaths. At the outset, he swore he wouldn’t stop until all of the blacks were dead, and hopefully forgotten.

Some of the whites agreed with this and others did not, but all agreed that this point could be argued once the blacks were defeated.

The race war had begun…

Months later found Smith and Jones leading the attack of two black installations. The decision to attack had been given after observation of the black camps had shown that those two factions were in opposition to each other and in fact had been fighting for weeks.

While he understood why they were fighting, Smith could not understand how the blacks could hope to win if they could not at least cooperate for the duration. He also could not understand why these two opposing factions of the blacks had taken up positions in such close relation to each other. It showed a lack of military minds.

Unlike the white headquarters, these small domes were deep in the woods. They were camouflaged, but once discovered, they proved relatively easy targets for night raids because of all of the natural cover provided to the attackers by the trees.

Using this knowledge, the company of whites had started out from their hiding places among the trees once dusk had approached. Smith led one half of the company to one of the domes while Jones led the other half to the other dome. Each half working independent of the other, they were soon in position to attack.

Making sure of this, Smith gave the whistle to attack. Both parties moved in and hit the domes simultaneously. The doors were blown and men were deployed. A victory seemed imminent. Then men from the black forces sprung up around the attacking whites. They seemed to appear from the ground itself. Smith was later to discover that the blacks had dug tunnels to foxholes that surrounded their domes (this being the only thing that the blacks had shared as way of tactics).

Suddenly, the attackers found themselves defending the domes they were attacking as the blacks that had left the domes to go to the tunnels were counterattacking. It would have been more deadly to the whites had they not realised what was happening when they did. Very few of them had fallen before the whites saw that they were alone in the domes and that the blacks were attacking them.

Smith, in one of the domes, gave two more shrill blows to his whistle just as the whites fell back to defend what they had come to take.

The whistles puzzled the whites even more than the blacks until they saw another company of whites fall from the sky behind the blacks to catch them in a crossfire. Jones had come up with the idea that the additional company hidden in the trees might be necessary since they were splitting their own command into two groups. Smith had agreed and arranged for the extra company, deciding to keep the fact under wraps.

As surprised as they were, the white company quickly adjusted their line of fire so as not to endanger their apparent rescuers. As surprised as the blacks were not, they still fell, almost to the last man.

The race war had begun…

Their captive was not in the best of moods as they took him back to the headquarters. They put him into his cell after taking all of his clothes from him, for his safety as well as theirs.

The whites were in a much better mood as they congratulated the two leaders on their well-planned success. The celebration was not so much, however, that they did not warn the rest of the whites throughout the world of the special defenses that the blacks were utilizing. But once they were done patting themselves on the back and went to interrogate the prisoner, they found him hanging naked from the ceiling. He had apparently torn the fabric of his mattress into strips in order to hang himself in an effort not to be questioned by the whites. It had the effect of sobering up the celebrations by reminding them that they were at war.

The race war had begun…

“Sir, intelligence reports that while the whites in the southern hemisphere have all but eradicated the blacks, up here in the north we are nearing a stalemate.” The officer that had arrived to deliver the report to Jones and Smith stopped to clear his throat. “Apparently the blacks, in an effort to at least extend the duration of the war, have started to dig trenches. Their thinking being that trench warfare has been effective in stopping the overall maneuverability of both sides and therefore effectively stopping most of the actual confrontations.”

As Smith thought this out, Jones asked, “Are all of the blacks digging in, or just some of them?”

“Most have already dug in, and the rest are following suit, sir.”

“Thank you, that will be all,” Smith said to the officer.

“Sir,” the officer saluted and left, leaving the map of the enemy’s known positions behind.

“Jones, what do you see as our options?”

“Well, from this map, it appears that the blacks have realised that all but circular trenches would expose their flank. However, we can deduce that the separate groups of the blacks will not join to complete the circle, leaving at least two points of which we can slip through and surround them.”

“True. How large is the circle?”

“Its radius is just under three hundred kilometers at its widest.”

“That’s about eighteen hundred kilometers in trenches. What kind of supplies do they have available?”

“They have numerous factories producing rations, energy enough to supply them with a surplus, and many ammunition dumps including workers to make more. All in all it is possible that as long as they live, they can live without rationing of any kind.”

“In that case I suggest we plan a way to deplete those resources.”

The race war had begun…

It was the last battle in the southern hemisphere. An electronic
fence separated the sides of the world so that no blacks could escape to the south. There were at least a hundred of the blacks attacking one of the defensive posts at the fence in a last ditch effort to break through to the north to continue fighting. They had planned well, and the men at the gate were having a rough time of it.

The main force of the attack was hitting the post head on while small groups were edging along the fence preparing to attack from the sides in an effort to hit the whites’ unprotected flanks.

Unaware of the groups merging on them from the sides, the defenders were concentrating on the main attack force. That is all but one were concentrating on the main battle. The one that was not fighting was copying down an incoming message from Jones. The radio operator passed the information along to his commanding officer, who promptly gave the order to break off the attack, open the gate, and retreat down into the protected underground barracks of the compound.

There the command sat watching the viewscreens as the blacks cautiously went through the gate. Once they were all through and well away from the gate, the whites came out of the barracks. After the gate was closed, the commanding officer ordered a message to be sent to the headquarters building of the white command:

“None of the black forces remain in the south. The war in the southern hemisphere has been won! Companies will begin filtering to the north in order to dispatch the black forces there.”

The race war had begun…

Smith sat by the map of the blacks’ trenches while Jones paced in front of it. Both had been staring at it all night, trying to devise some feasible plan that would weaken the blacks. So far, the only reasonable plan was to somehow get the different factions of the blacks to start fighting each other, and that was not really a plan.

“How are we going to get them at each others’ throats, Jones?”

“Well, I have a plan that should work, but may cost a lot of lives.”

“We have already lost too many good people to worry about that now. What’s your plan?”

An hour later, after Jones and Smith had gone over the details of the plan, Jones made a call to assemble the needed troops. As they were rounded up, Jones heard Smith whisper: “In the old days, honor dictated that things like this would not happen.”

Not wishing to draw matters out, the whites set out against the blacks that night. Three companies of whites approached one of the places where the trench system broke because of the fighting between different black factions. It took them close to an hour to get through the twenty foot stretch of ground between the trenches and then another half of an hour to set up.

When they were ready, Smith gave the signal to move. Men swept into the end of one trench and subdued the occupants. When all was quiet, they began to set the rest of the plan into motion.

Ten men, previously chosen for the assignment, donned the clothing of some of their captives and crept out of the trench. They were across the twenty feet to the other trench within seconds and opened fire into it. Most of the blacks that were stationed there died instantly, but one escaped, running along the trench to pass the alarm. Seeing this done, the leader of the expedition ordered his men back from the edge of the trench, blew one short blast on his whistle, then turned out from the center of the trenches and led them away.

Upon hearing that whistle, Smith and Jones took the rest of the whites from the captured trench and headed in the same direction. Both parties were well out of sight by the time the blacks that the expedition attacked led the counter-attack on the other trench.

The race war had begun…

It was that night raid that had made the trench system of the blacks truly fail. Jones had come up with a plan to set faction against faction and it had worked. Within a month, the whites were only losing one man for every eighteen blacks that were killed. Most of the black deaths were at the hands of other blacks. The end was near and everyone knew it.

The whites still attacked the blacks, but not with the same frequency before. The blacks still attacked the whites, but not as successfully, since most attacks upon the whites ended in either the whites defeating the blacks or the returning black faction being wiped out by an ambush set by an opposing faction.

Jones and Smith were honored as heroes, along with their command, for inducing the blacks to fight amongst themselves; however, they knew it was not over yet. They still had a campaign or two to win before the war was over.

The race war had begun…

This was it. The final battle in the war of skin. At least, that was what Smith hoped. Jones and he had been planning this attack for a week. All was ready. The whites were in top form, both mentally and physically. Morale had never been higher. Because of Jones’ plan to create a violent clash between the different black groups, the whites had their job done for them easier and quicker than they could have done it themselves.

The blacks numbered only a few hundred now. They huddled in what was left of their trenches, all differences between the groups forgotten for the moment in a hope that somehow it would now help. They knew the inevitability of their demise, but human nature would not let them face it. It did not matter that a whole planet was now against them. It did not matter that they had lost almost every battle since the beginning. It did not matter that they would soon be dead. All that mattered is that they were right. How could they be wrong?

Smith and Jones knew that the whites were assured victory. The hundred blacks could not defeat the rest of the world. Their main concern was not one of losing the battle, or even losing the war; their main concern was losing more people to a defeated enemy.

The blacks had been surrounded by whites as soon as they had moved into the trenches. That way, the whites were assured that none of the blacks escaped to pollute their purified world. As the blacks lost ground in the ensuing battles, the whites had closed their circle around the blacks. They kept closing the circle until the different companies of whites could see each other through binoculars, across the trenches.

The race war had begun…

One grenade was tossed in one end of the trench and the attack began. That grenade created an opening that allowed the whites to invade the trench without losing even one man. They immediately opened fire on the blacks, who tried either to return fire or flee back along the trench. The ones who tried to fight were inevitably killed before they could fire. The ones that ran did not get far since the whites had allowed for this possibility. Every one of the blacks that managed to get out of the trench was immediately dispensed of by the whites that surrounded them.

The men who had originally entered the trench were well on their way to the end of it. They had taken only one loss and that was due to a heart-attack caused by over-exertion and excitement.

Slowly they turned around a slight bend and the end of the trench was in sight. The number of blacks left was less than a score. The blacks still tried to fight, though, and the whites had trouble taking the last black alive as a prisoner.

The race war had begun…

“I think we managed to capture the most vehement one of the lot,” Jones said as he and Smith questioned their prisoner.

“Yeah, but you and I know what must be done. Change his state of mind or change his state of being.”

“I ain’t never gonna be wrong!”

“Shut him up, Jones, I think we’re done.”

“I agree. It is a shame he won’t allow himself to live, though,” Jones answered. “Come on, you,” he added to the black prisoner.

“It really is a shame,” Smith said to himself as Jones led the prisoner back to his cell.

Smith went over to the radio, thumbed the switch, and spoke to his superiors. “We’re going to bring in the last black tomorrow. It looks as if the war is over.” With that, he turned off the radio and went to his cot to sleep.

The race war had begun…

Smith and Jones were present at the final trial for the blacks. The trial was a foregone conclusion. Trials of ideals always are. The last black stood straight, thrusting out his chin in defiance; his pink skin shining from the sweat of true anxiety; his straight, blond hair twitching in the breeze; his bright blue eyes not wavering in their determination.

As the judges passed sentence and the last of the blacks, the last of racial purists, was led away to his death, Jones turned his midnight dark face up to Smith’s own pale pink skin with a smile of triumphant beaming.

Smith turned his head to Jones and smiled, “Well, old friend, we did it. Our world is now safe from racists. How do you feel?”

“Damn glad that it’s over, I haven’t had a drink in a year and a half,” Jones smiled his answer.

As if reading the smile on Jones’ dark face, he turned and led the way to the nearest establishment for a couple of adult beverages, knowing their friendship was no longer threatened by those who would have denied it.

The race war had ended.

Race War

phrebh

Cedar Rapids, United States

  • Artist
    Notes

Artist's Description

This was originally written when I was in high school, and I’ve made some minor edits over the years. While the style could use some work, I’ve always enjoyed the story.

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