One morning, as the small Midwestern town comes to life – parents taking children to school, an history teacher explaining to his boys the connection between the Mongol ways of hunting & warring – paratroopers invade. The murders start quickly, the jailing of the newfangled prisoners of war, & the control of the communication lines.
In the chaos, a couple of the boys are saved by our protagonist. He has them take supplies at his gas station, then they run into the woods. As soon as they realize the overwhelming danger, the student president promptly forms an appeasement party. Realism drives not him alone, but also some others. You may think of them as rational actors in a game theory exercise. Jed fights the one who attacks him. He says of himself simply that he is alone. Others rally to his cause; they know him or his manly reputation.
Voting is therefore replaced by the rule of one alone. He neither answers to the young, nor compels them to follow him. Necessity keeps them together. But as they learn to hunt, they prepare to kill Russians. Without hating that enemy, they could not associate. They take some girls in return for information, who also learn to kill, & act more ferociously than the boys. Warriors are unerotic. They infiltrate in the occupied city to see for themselves…
Deciding to fight, they learn to execute basic maneuvers. They know the terrain, which makes them invisible, & they therefore surprise their enemies. Disorganized warriors confronting organized armies quickly learn that all war is total war. Their youth makes them ferocious. They quickly learn how to kill; & their conscience never suggests to them to be peaceful. As Jed confesses he has always read about the fabled pioneer-mountain men, we recall these boys are not city-bound. They take no prisoners.
Thus, they are undaunted when they start losing friends to the Russians. When, however, one of their own betrays them, they hesitate to execute him. Friendship, habit, & Christian mercy are against. Matt, exasperated, finally turns on his brother Jed. He asks: How are we any different then? Jed says: We live here. It would seem patriotism is insufficient to persuade Americans to do the unthinkable. Of course, the brother, a moral man, never asks why the Soviets conquered other peoples, tyrannize them, & murdered each other. He believes all people are democrats.
The boys take a football with them as they retreat into the forest. Jed had been a high-school quarterback; the young also play, unsuccessfully. We see them, become a ruthless guerilla, playing football. Football teaches something about war tactics, & therefore the way to rule. So we recall that baseball is America’s favorite pastime.
One of a kind story, see it if you haven’t.