It was ten in the morning before Adam arrived with his parent’s van to pick up Brant for the drive to Digby.
“What took you?” Brant said. “We won’t get there until noon.”
As Adam pulled away, he tilted his head toward the passenger beside him in the front seat.
“Had to make a few stops to get provisions for the trip,” Wolf said. He held up an open bottle of vodka in one hand a small zip lock bag of multi-coloured pills in the other.
“What about the signs?” Brant had sent Wolf an email with some suggested slogans and tasked him to create some cardboard signs.
“Fuck the signs, I brought something better.” He reached inside his denim jacket and pulled out a lethal-looking handgun.
“Is that real?”
“Fucking right it’s real.” Wolf held up the black, compact weapon. “A Glock 45, 9mm with a seventeen-round magazine.”
“Are you out of your mind!”
“Blood and soil,” Wolf said.
“What are you talking about?” Brant knew all the slogans, used them when they served his purpose, even believed a few. High regard was given for how many you could string together in a conversation along with the number you had tattooed on your body. Brant felt both identified a person as a dogmatist and delegitimized the message. He preferred a more subtle approach using coded or suggestive language in his messaging. It garnered a wider base of support and didn’t provoke as much opposition.
“Time to quit talking and do something before it’s too late,” Wolf said.
“Too late for what?”
“For the white race. I’m talking about the great replacement.”
With a handgun being waved in his face, Brant took a conciliatory tone. “Better put it away before someone sees it and we have to contend with a S.W.A.T. team.”
“Yeah.” Wolf put the gun in his pocket. “Want a drink?”
“It’s a little early for me, but why don’t we get some coffee? There’s a Tim Horton’s.”
“And donuts,” Adam said.
“Fuck the coffee and donuts.” Wolf took a swallow from the bottle. “But I got to use the can.”
“What’s a matter with Wolf?” Brant and Adam were waiting to be served.
“The court thing with Rhonda and the kid.”
“He lost?” Brant order two large coffees hoping Wolf would change his mind.
“Does he look like he won?” Adam ordered a large double-double and a box of twelve crème-filled donuts and paid for everything with a credit card. “He’s been drinking and popping pills since yesterday afternoon.”
Brant wanted no part in any killing and was about to declare the trip off but reconsidered. Knowing in advance what might go down would give him the advantage as far as coverage was concerned and a video going viral on his site would attract more members and money. He could always distance himself from whatever Wolf might do, which, knowing Wolf would probably be nothing. He decided to see how things played out.
The parking lot at the wharf just east of Digby was situated on a small rise above the marina. It was packed with vehicles including three mobile network television vans.
“What’s going on?” Brant was excited. He didn’t expect this kind of turn out.
Adam circled looking for a spot. When he came to the front of the lot they could see the crowd, the cops and the hovering helicopter.
“Something’s going to happen. We need to get down there.”
“There are no parking spots.”
“Leave the van, let’s go.”
“I can’t. It will block–”
“Stop!” Brant grabbed his suede jacket, twisted the rear-view mirror and checked out his fashy-cut, adjusted the collar on his Henley and brushed the icing sugar off his chin.
“What’s happening?” Wolf said. After the stop for coffee, he’d relocated to the backseat and promptly passed out.
“It looks like they might be leaving the barricade. Meet up with me down there.”
“No fucking way they’re getting away.”
Getting out of the vehicle, Brant saw a bleary-eyed Wolf checking the magazine in the Glock.
* * * *
It took all morning for the RCMP to get into position before Simon and the twelve remaining Mi’kmaq could “safely” leave the barricade. The precautions included a Canadian Forces Cyclone Helicopter from Shearwater hovering overhead and a Coast Guard mid-shore patrol vessel from Dartmouth watching from the bay.
“We’re ready, Simon.” The tactical commander had been communicating with Simon on the cell phone since early this morning.
“I thought we were going to have to spend another night here.”
“My officers are waiting in front of the barricade and will escort you to the waiting bus. Come out single file, hands empty and where we can see them.”
“We’re not the ones with the guns.”
“It’s for your own safety.”
“Okay. Let’s go, beginning with you.”
As Simon stepped up onto the lobster cages that made up part of the barricade he saw at least three hundred people between him and the yellow school bus that would take them to the reserve. Immediately beyond the barrier were two dozen officers in full combat gear and straining against them a phalanx of overzealous reporters.
* * * *
Brant set his cell phone to video and began recording as he ran down the slope toward the crowd. As he neared the bottom he slipped on the wet grass and landed on his ass. He was back up and running, unhurt but concerned about the mud on the seat and knees of his khaki dockers and how they’d look if caught on screen. He elbowed his way toward the front only stopping briefly to get some coverage of members of the Northern Guard, the People’s Nationalist Party and their signs. Great optics, too bad he couldn’t be in it as well. It was impossible to be cameraman and commentator in this kind of action, but it would have been all over if he’d waited for Adam.
He was up front and recording as the leader, Simon something, came over the barricade. The cops formed a wall on either side and marched the dozen or so Indians toward the bus. Brant quick-walked alongside trying to stay as close to the leader as possible. The video would be jumpy but would give the impression of being on the scene–which he was.
* * * *
Once Simon was on the other side, the other members followed, and they proceeded toward the opposition at the end of the wharf flanked by a cordon of heavily armed officers.
“You guys are really taking these threats seriously,” Simon said to the cop on his right, who didn’t reply but kept scanning the angry faces as they entered the throng.
“You will not replace us. You will not replace us.” The chant came from a group on his left, some decked out in vests declaring themselves members of the Northern Guard, others wore red caps with the letters CNP for the Canadian Nationalist Party. They held up signs that read Canadians First!, It’s Alright to Be White and The Only Good Indian…
“Okay, now I get it.”
Most of the media were distracted by the interlopers except for one guy recording on his cell phone who kept pace shouting questions Simon couldn’t hear and wasn’t about to answer. He looked different; trendy haircut, too nicely dressed for a demonstration in a muddy field.
* * * *
“Simon, do you think Indians should have more rights than the rest of us?” Brant shouted. No one could hear him over the shouts from the onlookers and the drone of the helicopter, but he was directing his questions toward the cell’s microphone hoping some of the audio would be intelligible.
“Simon, what do you say to all the non-Indigenous fishers and their families who’ve had their income cut because of this protest?”
Where were Adam and Wolf? Probably still in the van looking for a parking spot. He doubted Wolf could stand upright and Adam was so out of shape he’d have never kept up. They were almost at the bus when he spotted Wolf careening down the hill toward the crowd with one hand in his pocket.
* * * *
The bus was only twenty metres away when a man lunged out of the crowd, pushed between two officers, lifted his arm and pointing a gun a metre from Simon’s face shouted, “Die motherfucker!” Simon instinctively ducked while reaching out to grasp the hand. There was a bright flash and–
* * * *
Brant stopped and zoomed in on Wolf. He looked crazed; long hair blowing behind him, red eyes burning out of a face the colour of chalk, then he disappeared among the crowd. Brant waited. He wasn’t sure what Wolf’s intentions were, but he didn’t want to get too close and become collateral damage. There was a scuffle ahead. He lifted the camera and recorded Wolf pushing between the police, raising his arm and pointing the gun just as Simon reached out and–Pop! Pop! Simon went down. The Indian behind him grabbed his throat as blood gushed everywhere. Then Wolf disappeared beneath a mass of helmets, Kevlar vests and camouflage fatigues.
The crowd scattered, including the media, and kept running seeking cover in case there was an active shooter. Brant knew better. He stayed put and kept recording.
Pop! There was another shot.
“All clear! All clear!” came a shout. Then, “We’ve got men down! Get paramedics!”
Brant could see three bodies on the ground, but they were surrounded by cops, some applying first aid, some guarding the perimeter. Two ambulances pulled onto the field and as room was made for the paramedics, he saw one Mi’kmaq drenched in blood and more gushing from a gaping wound in his neck. Simon was on his back, eyes closed, face stained red and hair matted to his scalp as the attendant applied CPR. The third body was Wolf, pressed down in the mud, face turned sideways with one lifeless eye looking up at him.
As the other media began to cautiously emerge, the cops pushed him back and set up a perimeter. Brant turned off the camera. His heart pounded and his palms were sweating. This was great stuff! He needed to find Adam and get back home as fast as possible, edit and upload this to his website, maybe even post some on social media during the trip.
Brant found the van idling in a loading zone with Adam still in the driver’s seat. He climbed into the passenger side. “Drive!”
“What happened down there?” Adam asked. “Hey, is that blood on your face and shirt?”
Was he that close? Brant held up his phone and took a selfie video. He looked like he’d been in a war zone.
“Wolf’s dead, the cops shot him.”
“Dead? Wolf? Are you sure?” Adam looked pale.
“Can you drive, Adam? We need to get out of here.”
“But we can’t leave him. I mean, shouldn’t we do something…”
“There’s nothing we can do, and we don’t want the cops to know he was with us. Let’s go and I’ll tell you what happened on the way back.”
Adam pulled the van out of the lot and onto a secondary road that led back to the highway. “Me and Wolf, we went to high school together.” Tears ran down his cheeks.
“Our friend died a patriot,” Brant said. “And it was not for nothing, he took two of them with him.”
“He killed two people?”
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