Ok. Let's do a thought exercise.
Those 12 Cletuses are the dumbest and most expendable guys the rebels have. They're the dudes who don't listen, just want to spray paint punisher skulls on everything and drive around larping.
When your drone smokes them, they aren't doing anything important to the rebellion because no one trusts them with important shit. They're just driving around being dipshits.
But now, they're useful. The pictures of their charred corpses and crying families are suddenly all over.
They're a reminder of what people like Jennifer are willing to do to people who won't submit to them. Hundreds of thousands are radicalized. Some of the dumber ones learn a harsh lesson about listening to those who've done work, and become more circumspect.
Meanwhile smart people are busy identifying the unit the drone was with. Who the operators and commanders are. Who had to give approval. What political flunkies were involved. Who all of their families are and where they live. Who maintains and fuels the drones.
One day a pilot from that unit gets capped in the head at a gas station. No witnesses. The unit is locked down and not allowed off post.
A couple families get the corpse pictures slipped under their door.
Now the unit has to pull the families on post, too.
They have to devote resources to keeping them secure. They're cooped up in shitty army quarters for who knows how long, miserable and bitching, while the government tries to "investigate".
But feds going out to investigate wind up dead.
And soldiers find nothing.
Meanwhile the main rail line that brings in fuel mysteriously blows up, and the gov is forced to truck fuel the long and expensive way.
Plus they have to guard it, because it might not make it. They have to use soldiers, because civilian truckers won't touch the job.
That's because they were quietly warned that any trucker delivering to that base would be found hanging from a light pole with a punisher skull carved into his chest.
That skull becomes a shorthand to identify collaborators.
People like Jennifer find it painted on their doors.
The cops are overwhelmed, and most sympathize with the rebels anyway. They won't miss Jennifer calling every other week because her neighbors fence doesn't have HOA approval. So they don't care.
Soldiers suck at investigating, so they can't do shit either.
The mil has bigger problems anyway. Anything exposed and unguarded is probably not coming back.
Whenever they come out in force, there's nothing to be found but law abiding citizens who will tell them they hate the rebels. Morale sucks and tempers are short.
Command is terrified that someone is gonna lose it and shoot a kid taunting his patrol, or something. They know what happens to units that get linked to atrocities.
So Jennifer is on her fucking own.
No cops, no soldiers, no feds. They don't care and have bigger priorities.
She's not important enough to protect, and her circle of people cant muster up more than a decorative katana and a bunch of soy.
Every time she finds the punisher scrawled on her car or fence she wonders if it's just asshole kids or if she's about to be an object lesson.
People start to shun her, too, because no one wants to risk being associated too closely with a collaborator.
She's on her own, no one but her cats for company, and even when things calm down everyone she knows will remember that she sided with authoritarianism.


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