Republic Of Texas Flag; Flown By The Knaeck.
Knaeck; The Doggie's Story.
Republic Of Texas Flag; Flown By The Knaeck.
The Texas Republic
The Coming War
The Knaeck Foundation
Defeat At Lubbock
The Question
Underground in New York City
The Visitor
The SDF-1 Launch Day
The Rain Of Death
A Whole New World
The Right to BE
Knaeck RCC
The Texas Republic.
With the outbreak of the Global civil War, the United States sided on with the Internationalist Faction; Not every American was pleased with this. Certain factions in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California attempted to seceed from the United States; However, only one state, Texas, could get the votes internally to carry the motion. Many of those who's sympathys were with the Texas flocked to that state, while pro-American Texans fled in droves.
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The Comming War.
On 10 Oct, 1996, all hell broke loose. The Texas National and Air National Guards were ordered to stand up and be combat ready; The US was coming. The Americans crossed the border latter that same day; El Paso fell in hours, despite a highly spirited defense. (In truth, the Texans had placed for the city to fall; The defense was a stalling and whittling tactic.)
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The Knaeck Foundation.
Realizing their situation was desperate, senior members of the TNG (those that hadn't gone north) looked for desperate, if not foolish, answers; Remembering a sideline in a local weekly fishwrap, General James SKIDMORE (the acting Commandant of the Texas ANG) turned to The Knaeck Foundation. Their specialty: They had successfully cloned "designer" animals as large as cows. General SKIDMORE asked a simple, straightforward question of the director, Michael KNAECK: Could The KNAECK Foundation create an animal able to understand and obey simple one and two sentence commands, give 2 and 3 syllable replies (or better still, 2 or 3 word replies), fight like hell, and do it in 30 days or less?
The answer, unfortunately, was not so simple; Yes, they could do it, but they'd need a LOT of personnel for research, equipment that didn't currently exist, and highly exotic chemicals.
The General asked them who would they turn to for these thing; The personnel issue: Texas A&M, the agricultural and military college in College Station. The equipment? They'd have to raid just about everyone in the state. The phone call became a conference call, firth to the Dean of Texas A&M; Would they help? The school was pulling students out of class as they spoke and a bus being brought around- Where should they go? Austin. How long would it take the bus to get there? A few hours. Did they need a police escort? That wouldn't be necessary, but appreciated. With the dean and Mr. KNAECK still on the phone, the General called the Commissioner of the State Police: I need your troopers to escort a school bus from College Station to Austin on military business. Yes, Sir, the state police would be only too happy to assist in every way possible. Thanks were exchanged and then the National Guard units were called, again with the Dean and Mr. KNAECK on the phone; Search your respective cities and confiscate any and all cryogenics, genetics, and cloning equipment you can find, and anything else Mr. KNAECK suggested; He had a few dozen computers on his list, preferably 1080 and above, never been used, as many as they could get in one day, along with as many researchers as they could find. The General ordered they simply be detained, preferably in lunchrooms, until Mr. KNAECK could review the personnel and pick who he wanted.
The light was green and flashing. It would take The KNAECK foundation two days to pick the people; Another two weeks of computer modeling to get the gene sequence right; Two more to get the equipment figured out; but the first batch still 8 months to produce.
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Defeat At Lubbock.
Dr. Kimberly "Kimmy" CUPPSDr. Thaddeus "Teddy" JONES.
By this point, the war was going VERY badly; Galveston, Corpus Christy, Brownsville- The Army, Air force, and Marine Corps had pushed the "republic" back to two holdout cities; Lubbock and nearby Amarillo.
10 knaecks were ready- Another 30 would be in days, but the end was clear: There was only defeat coming, and soon.
Most of the researchers had fled, but two remained; Dr. Kimberly "Kimmy" CUPPS and Dr. Thaddeus "Teddy" JONES. Dr. JONES warned Dr. CUPPS: "When the Americans come, they're gonna kill us for this." But Kimmy refused to leave; She like Teddy, wanted to see it to the bitter end. Kimmy, in fact, had a deep, personal investment; When research "fell behind", she cheated and used her OWN DNA to help speed it along. Teddy felt that, since Humanity brought these things into the world, Humans were responsible for them; Ergo, he, as one of the researchers, would have to take care of them as best he could.
Kimmy and Teddy hoped to keep what they'd done secret until they could figure out what to do. They knew, if possible, certain friends in the National Guard and other groups would help them.
Then came the final end of the Texas Republic; The defeat at Lubbock. With the final defeat and surrender of the last holdouts, Kimmy and Teddy knew it would only be a matter of time until they were discovered- They had to move fast. But even "fast" couldn't do; Because batch 3.8a developed problems, they couldn't move it. US Marines, acting on a tip, raided the operations hideout, an abandoned warehouse.
Thinking they were entering a weapons and ammo depot, the Marines were visibly shocked by what they found: Half Human, half dogs who spoke, holding guns and clubs. It didn't take long to sort this out, of course, but still the thought took them a back.
The knaecks were taken into custody, less the "unfinished" one; Despite the scientists pleas, including offering their own lives in place of it (later determined to be a "she"), the Marines disconnected power; She took a few minutes to die.
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The Question.
The question now: What to do with the other 39? A top-secret inquiry into the matter decided the males would be neutered; The line would then die off naturally, the matter closed. As they died, the bodies would be incinerated. Thus, every trace of the program would disappear. The perfect programmé.
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Before the programmé could begin, though, the animals were "rescued" by members of the TNG; "TAF" was spray painted on the walls, and a guard, Lance Corporal OSSA, badly beaten (pepper sprayed AND maced, then a bag was thrown over his head and he was kicked repeatedly while on the ground, including kicks to the head, stomach, and groin) reported the attackers looked like younger college students; A white man with short blonde hair, a black female with braces, and a white female with waist length red hair done in a pony tail. All three wore black jeans, boots, a grey tank top, and mirrored sunglasses; The very definition of the uniform of the Texas Peoples Front, the Texas branch of the Environmental Liberation Front and Animal Liberation Front, funded in full by Emme, the Mexican Mafia (all three were listed as terrorist organizations with ties to Hezbola and al Quida). The male, though, addressed the guard as Corporal, and Lance Corporal OSSA thought the man was military; The black female was probably para-military (police officer, he guessed). With what was going on, Lance Corporal OSSA believed the man was probably a TNG who'd escaped from the fighting or deserted just before the fighting broke out.
The official report was actually surprisingly correct; TNG members supplied the muscle and inside info; Emme supplied the cash and vehicles (Emme would have had access to both); TPF supplied know-how on animal handling and safe houses. The group probably fled west to New Mexico.
The truth was the male was Texas Air National Guard Capt. Mitchele VANCE, who, as defeat loomed, was ordered to desert to get the animals out; The black female was Staff Sergeant Christina MEASTLY, wanted by the US for war crimes (she'd killed a pow during the late war) and card-carrying member of TPF- She knew Capt VANCE through their military duties. The third member seen was Marla SPRUANCE, a life-long card carrying soldier of ELF, having set fires to houses, lumber mills, and even an oil refinery. In fact, the oil refinery incident, which MEASTLY was involved in, resulted in SPRUANCE shooting 2 security guards (killing one) with an old-fashion .357 Desert Eagle. There was a fourth member, Texas National Guardsman Corporal David HERNANDEZ. He had been a tanker, but failed to report when the war loomed. An illegal immigrant, David came from Cub'a, passing through Mexico. Because David had his "issues," he had a habit of trying to lay low; Instead of being on the assault team, he drove the get away van. (He had a fake second set of ID, and wasn't wanted under his real name.)
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Underground in New York City.
Emme fronted the van and the cash; VANCE, MEASTLY, and SPRUANCE would go in and get the animals, relying on VANCE'S knowledge of the layout, MEASTLY'S knowledge of procedures (she was Security Police), and SPRUANCE'S plain meanness. Afterwards, VANCE stayed behind- The loan was to be repaid with weapons cáched just before the fall as a hedge against that (mat'eri'el cáched to pay Emme to get certain people away from the Americans). Once everything was secured, VANCE took Emme to the weapons, when he expected to die. Oddly, after they had their guns (which included 25MM and 32MM autocannons, a couple of vulcan 20MM gatlins, XM- 7.62MM mini-guns, .50 Caliber machine guns, grenades, and AMMO- Lots and lots of ammo), they took him to NYC; This was where the knaecks were expected to go. Mr. VANCE, now given the alias Mitchell SMITH, was released unharmed AND given $1,000 in "walking around money." Emme never wanted to see his face in Texas again, and he was very happy to STAY away.
"Mike SMITH" passed himself off as a Texan refugee and got a job driving a cab. After a time, he finally found his partners from the theft. SPRUANCE and HERNANDEZ had gotten jobs as security guards (explaining their "need" for guns; The irony wasn't lost on them). MEASTLY, with her record and unable to get false id, remained at home.
New York had already been bombed a few times during the civil war, and the block the four choose had been gutted. They practically bought all eight properties for nothing more than a promise to pay $100 a year in property taxes. When they asked about rebuilding the houses, they were told quite clearly, "We (the city) don't want to know."
The lower two stories, basement and sub-basement were rebuilt, with sections of walls knocked out to allow free access. The third story was opened to the sky- A place for the knaecks to run. A hole through the foundation was cut allowing access to the city sewer system. That, for many years to come, was to be the knaeck's TRUE home. 3 generations of would live in that home, and a generation of Humans as well. HERNADEZ moved out after a while (later joining the RDF, then transferring to the REF). The true leader of the pack was MEASTLY; Mother twice, she ruled the house with a inron grasp. Since she couldn't get a job with her war record, she remained in the house. This required her to become as strong as the knaecks themselves, and inevitably she became the leader. VANCE/SMITH continued driving a cab, SPRUANCE as an "exotic dancer", security guard, and peace protester. She, too had children. For family unity, nobody bothered to really look at whether HERNADEZ or SMITH was the father.
The knaecks had puppies as well; Just as the last of the first generation was dying, the third was born. The last survivor of "Batch 3," a male named SPOTTY TOM, saw the puppies and named the first born SASHA, the collective name given to Batch 3.8a (the one killed by the Marines).
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The Visitor.
In 1999, "The Visitor" came. Tensions that had, for years many years, been mounting suddenly died; The knaecks, afraid for years of what the future might bring, had been spending more and more time in the sewers, even finding cross-connects to other systems; Water, electricity, subway, you name it. And there were others down there, but they knew to keep their distance and they'd keep theirs.
With this new exterior threat, the world took a deep breath and realized more important things mattered. NYC, which had been spared the visitors shockwave, by and large survived. With the World Trade Center long since destroyed by Islamic terrorists, the greatest damage was broken glass, which was just about everywhere. The Brooklyn Bridge had long ago been destroyed by anti-unificationist saboteurs.
The knaecks took re-new life in this; The spirit of the glimmer of hope became a rising sun of survival, breeding new confidence into the pack.
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The SDF-1 Launch Day.
10 years later the SDF-1 launched; No sooner had they taken off when news came; Hezbola had detonated a nuke in hopes of preventing the launch; Pundits speculated that the timer had malfunctioned, causing the device to activate too late to be effective. (CBS and the BBC even ran a story on how the device go onto the island in the first place, using surfers launched from passing Kuwaiti-flagged freighters, to ferry the components in.)
Everything went very well for the knaecks for the next three years, until the return of the SDF-1, bringing the Rain of Death.
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The Rain Of Death.
Collier Manor, as the rebuilt houses were now known, was virtually unscathed in the holocaust. VANCE/SMITH had planned ahead, and installed an ethanol generator and HUGE water tank in the basement. The tank was filled with city water, from which the Family would take their water, ensuring a fresh water supply. Also, part of the roof had been reinforced with steel I-beam, and a small pool built. Though foul-tasting, this gave them HUNDREDS of gallons of additional water; The Manor would survive.
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This was the reconstruction period, though, and desperate people do desperate things. More than one would-be burglar, or home-invasion robber found out this was NOT the house to try. Not many would live to tell their fellows what they'd seen.
The park across the street (which the Collier Family, as they now called themselves, had championed a few years before) turned into a refugee camp. While there, various vagrants had bothered members of the family; Small things, like asking for food, hadn't been the problem (though the Colliers had little themselves, there always seemed to be a spare can of peas or something around somewhere). It was late in fall, when some of the men started demanding that the Colliers open their home to the refugees due to the quickly worsening weather.
One night, a fire broke out at the north end of the camp. Pushed along by winds gusting to over 20 MPH (steady at 10 MPH) from the north, it swept over the camp like a hateful wave. 25 were killed, dozens injured. Arson investigators officially rules it "accidental, but negligent" as the fire was started by a cigarette tossed in a plastic waste can. Father Colliers (VANCE/SMITH) admitted that he had done that, and had been the one to speculate that was what started the fire. (He didn't mention that he'd deliberately set the fire to clear the park out.) No charges were ever filed.
For a short time, Collier Manor became a refugee hospital, during which time the knaecks were kept to the sub-basement; "Out of sight, out of mind." The basement, first and second floors were taken for the hospital; The family would have to stay on the third floor, or better still move out completely. Father Collier made some shacks on the third floor and moved his family in there. Though fortunately not long (as the last refugee was released after 6 months), the period was described as "untenable"; The medical staff was constantly going up and down the stairs, shouting. Every time they ran into Colliers on the stairs, the staff would rudely shove past, saying "Move please, I have work to do" as if the family's presence was some personal insult to their profession. When the medicals finally DID move out, Father Collier sued the city for the "damages done" to the house (the changes he was forced to make) and harassment from the staff. (A later out-of-court settlement of 10,000€ was eventually reached, though this only represented a third the costs of the changes, according to the papers Father Collier had filed.)
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A Whole New World.
The years moved on, and life did too. After the Second Robotech War, though, the Collier Family decided change was good, especially after the arrival of the Invid. When the REF Fleet partly lead by Col WOLFFE arrived, the Colliers boarded an abandoned Tiresian Assault Shuttle and snuck aboard one of the warships. This ship, which Dana STERLING and Co would take to the stars, arrived in Tirol. Here the Colliers disembarked (no pun intended). Tirol had managed to rebuild beyond a refugee camp (though not by much).
They settled on the edge of the former capital city. Here, they build New House, which would be the family's name. The Newhouse Family now had room, and designs, to grow. Mother MEASTLY'S daughter brought her boyfriend (a runaway), her son his wife and their children. Mother SPRUANCE'S older daughter brought her husband, her younger daughter bringing her boyfriend. Mother SPRUNACE'S son had no one, so he set to changing this; A Tiresian woman who lost her mate and two of her three offspring to the ravages of the Invid became his wife.
The Packs split up into 4 main factions, along breed lines; The Danes, Shepherds (Australian Sheep Dogs), the Saint Bernard's, and Pincers. The four factions swore oaths not to fight each other, then split up. The Shepard's stayed at New House, the Bernard's went north, the Danes from town to town, and the Pincers chose to explore the wilderness.
A year later, representatives of the four packs returned to New House to ill tidings; Mother MEASTLY, Matriarch and undisputed Master, had passed. Father VANCE was now Master; So said his pack, and the Newhouse pack ruled all packs. But there were glad tidings, too. All four packs had a new litters. The Bernards found a wonderful new city, abandoned; They invited all packs to come and see. The Danes had found much salvage, and would see Bernard City soon. The Pincers had found game aplenty, and would be interested in bartering some of it.
The Danes left some salvage (mostly stuff they couldn't figure out themselves) with the Newhouse, and Pincers brought fresh meat to the Masters. Then, on a happier note than the meeting began, the parties returned to their packs, to return again in a year. So it would be for a further 5 years until Father VANCE passed; Mother SPRUANCE was now Matriarch Unchallenged; So had said Newhouse, and Newhouse ruled all packs.
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It was during this yearly ritual that disaster struck; War clouds with the Atorians were forming, and the REF, fearful of Atorian spies, swept upon the house and arrested everyone. At first, Mother SPRUANCE attempted to deceive the REF Troops into believing that these were creations of the Robotech Masters. However, every surviving T'sentraedi and Tiresian claimed that no such experiment could ever have happened, and then there was no doubt; An inquiry was formed, and discovered that no such program ever existed; Further, (!it was realized these were escapees from Earth! The whole story quickly unfolded; The truth realized, the REF was aghast- These creatures had survived in society for over 30 years undetected!
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The Right to BE.
What to do now was asked. Originally, the "knaecks" were to be set up to die off; All males forcibly sterilized. The population in these 3.5 to 4 generations had climbed roughly 25% to a total of 50; 12 per pack average. This was basically NO population growth. People had offered and happily risked their lives, to protect them; Dr JONES, who was serving his life plus 500 year sentence with the REF as a Field Scientist, now again offered his life; He had created them, they were his fault, his sin. They had done nothing to deserve death.
Such was his speech that the Plenipotentiary Council now granted a limited immunity to the knaecks. They were to remain where they lived, and never threaten any other species, or die for their transgressions. Provided they obeyed this in good faith, they would be spared.
To meet the terms of this order, the Danes settled into an abandoned city, as did the Pincers. They would leave their respective cities to do as they do, scrounging and salvaging for Danes, hunting for Pincers, and return home on a regular basis. Finding groups of 4 to 6 Danes in a junkyard is common, and it is not unheard of to find a similarly sized group of Pincers dressed in orange (for safety) far into the wild; Many a lost or injured camper or hunter can report such an encounter, some even saved by one, or by their Brethren in the north. (No reports of a Knaeck attacking a person unprovoked has to date been recorded, and thousands of rescues have been, some at extreme risk to the Bernards and Pincers; a few have actually died in such efforts.)
Each species of knaeck has, for lack of a better word, a specialization; Pincers hunt and fight. St Bernard's survive and bring help. Shepard's make ideal ranchers, raising any kind of livestock (including the Human kind, meaning guarding and protecting children, especially very young ones). They also make fine security guards, and oddly great fire fighters (despite their smaller frames). Danes prefer to explore and wander, recovering new technologies especially. (Over 200 Haydonite sites have been discovered due to Danes digging way the Hell out where no one thought anyone could ever find anything.) They don't really like to rebuild anything, though, and mostly leave this to the other packs (sending the materials to the pack it seems most appropriate to, or to the Bernard's when they don't know who to give it to).
By tradition, the first born of a new litter is named Sasha for the unborn Batch 3.8a, and the last born Spotty Tom for the last survivor of Batch 3 (even if a female).
For over a thousand Knaeck generations now, they have lived on Tirol predominately, with foreign adventures being semi-mandatory at last once in a given life; Each has served in either the Tirol Defense Forces or the Robotech Expeditionary Forces at some point in their life, with the Marine and SPAES being most popular; Those that join the SPAES usually join the Marine first. (To date, only one went directly to the SPAES.) There is also company of Knaeck in La L'egion 'Etrange're and Swiss Custodes, although a special exemption had to be made for them in La L'egion as UGC citizens. (This exemption was made well before the ban on UGC citizen in La L'egion was passed; However, it still serves as a rallying point for those seeking to enlist in La L'egion, a headache the Council must face every so often.)
The Knaeck adopted the Flag Of Texas, their "birth" state, and their collective flag. Interestingly, none have ever seen Texas, few have been to Sol, and most couldn't find the place if you ask. Not that they care- It's where they as a species was born that's their "homeland."
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... Statehood?
Republic Of Texas Flag, Flown By The Knaeck.
The Knaecks more recently applied for formal statehood; This application hasn't been approved for a few reasons.
The main reason, officially, is that the Knaecks do not possess territory of their own; Unofficially, of course, is the fact that as engineered creatures, they don't "technically" have a right to exist (in point of fact, UGC law now carries a death sentence for genetic engineering of sentient lifeforms).
While the Knaecks continue to pursue this goal, they've formed a "few" allies; The Stitch species have actually joined them under the "Sentience Rights Association" (a tax exempt political action committee based out of the Dane city).
Since the annexation of the Atran Galaxy, the Soong Collective has given them a great endorsement, as have the Beorge-mot, despite the Knaeck's obvious apprehension to both. (The Soong brush it off; "It's only natural they are less than openly receptive to us. We are, after all, androids." The Beorge-mot have a little more trouble understanding.)
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Republic Of Texas Flag; Flown By The Knaeck.
Knaeck RCC.
Republic Of Texas Flag; Flown By The Knaeck.