Saturday, October 6, 2012

The City: In Dialogue (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1

In order to be king, one must be merciful and kind, for fear he be found out a tyrant. Although, for a king to be loved, he must be heavy handed, for people love a strong leader who keeps order as well as prosperity. While doing so, a king must be mindful of God, for He is king among kings and ruler of all who rule. Being king is an arduous task, a feat most men cannot accomplish with any longevity. So it is that a king must respect the devil, for Satan is ruler of all those who fail.

“Ugh! Why do you read this blather to me, Jepsin?” I inquired dryly.

“I read it, Magistrate, because your cousin is gaining much support by doing the same, and you need to be aware of it,” he responded.

“He gains support with the working plebes,” I snapped. “I still command the full loyalty of the army—not to mention the Managers.”

“The Managers are not to be trusted,” he scowled. “Their loyalties would shift in a slight breeze, if it suited their needs. And as far as the army is concerned, they’re not allowed within the wall, and he controls the defense force.”

“What the hell is Thason so mad about,” I shouted, pushing the papers Jepsin slid toward me straight off the other side of my desk. “The motto of the city is right there, etched in the forum. ‘First, always, the wellbeing of the city and its people.’ Does the city do anything but prosper and, by default, the people too?”

“Yes, Magistrate,” he scurried over and crouched to reassemble the scattered papers. “I believe he is upset that some citizens appear to be prospering better than others.”

“Piss on him,” I spat the words, as if they left a bitter taste in my mouth. “He cares nothing for the plight of others. It’s arguable; he lives better than I do. You don’t see him offering to part with any of his estate to help equalize any perceived discrepancies.” I contemplated for a moment, strumming my fingers on the desk. “No, this is about that religious nonsense he’s gotten into his head; he wants a state religion.”

“Your Fathers did come from a religious background,” Jepsin chimed in. “I think, primarily, he’s…”

“No!” I asserted. “Neither one of the Fathers wanted this city to be run by the influence of dogmatic nonsense weakly passing itself off as morality. And even though my ancestors have been dead for generations, I won’t have the likes of you sullying their memory by suggesting otherwise.”

“No, Magistrate, of course not,” he backpedaled. “I’m merely trying to…”

I held a hand up, cutting him off again. “Wait,” I ordered. “Bear with me, Jepsin.” That was the closest I could come to apologizing to him, given the difference in our status. “I know what you were trying to do, and it is appreciated. You are very good at your job, but for now I need no further advice.”

I stood up, grabbing and twirling my jacket off the back of my chair and around my shoulders in one skillfully swift maneuver, and I headed for the door.

“Where are you going?” Jepsin called.

I stopped, turned my head to face him, and cocked an eyebrow.

“I…eh…I…ahem…must…notify your detail,” he recovered, ever so graceful.

“You needn’t bother,” I resumed my stride. “I’m just retrieving the kids from their lessons. Besides, no one would dare harm me.”

The large, ornately carved, doors to my office closed behind me—further punctuating the end of our conversation.

“You think that now,” Jepsin mumbled under his breath.


In a small, but lavishly decorated, room an elderly professorial figure stood pontificating instruction to three seated boys.

“Through specific recruitment and selective allowance, they populated the city to its first-phase capacity. And, for a pre-set period of time, they maintained an isolationist policy, so the city—and her inhabitants—could adjust and grow without negative influences. And so it was, the two brothers, their children, and their children’s children, built our wonderful city of Renace.”

“Mr. Battista,” the oldest of the three boys inquired, “what happened to those other governments the Fathers had to negotiate with?”

“Well Remus,” frustrated with the interruption, the teacher turned to speak directly to his inquisitor, “after a few generations, the city was still isolated within its great wall—further protected by its superior defensive technologies. A growing number of inhabitants were beginning to protest until the world fell victim to a plague. News reports attributed the sickness to a special vaccination for a new flu strain.”

“Are they sure it was the flu?” the boy said wide-eyed.

Though he certainly did not appreciate being repeatedly interrupted, the teacher continued lecturing, “Whatever the cause, the world’s population was devastated. Wherever people had gathered in close number there was no chance for survival; the disease worked very quickly. Towns and cities around the world were abandoned as their streets filled with bodies.”

All three boys’ mouths were open but remained silent.

“Within a few years there seemed to be no more sign of sickness, and—though there is no way to be sure—the population of the world had to be down in the few hundred million range.”

“Is that when we started to expand the republic?” Remus asked.

“No,” the teacher paused briefly at the outburst. “The city was self-sufficient and safe from the sickness, so there was no rush to break the timeline for the second-phase, but soon after that expansion the population grew too quickly. Incorporation of new territory was required. At this point, of course, several generations had come and gone, so none of the previous claims to land outside of ours existed anymore.”

“That’s when the army was created!” one of the younger boys exclaimed.

“Telemachus,” the teacher scolded, “your cousin has developed some bad habits; you’d do well to discourage the same behavior in yourself.”

There was a short silence as the boys turned back and forth to look at each other in awe.

The teacher started up again, “When men of proper decorum want to address a superior or, in this instance, a mentor, they do so by sounding said superior’s name and then waiting for the acknowledging approval to go on.”

There was another brief pause.

“Mr. Battista,” sounded the voice of one, now timid, Telemachus.

“Yes, Telemachus.”

“Is that when the army was created?”

“Yes. And so started the days of the republic.”

“Mr. Battista,” Remus hissed, clearly being upset at the not-so-subtle admonishment.

“Yes, Remus,” the teacher grinned, being pleased with the reestablished order.

“If there were no more cities or governments, and the people scattered into the wilderness, how, then, are there so many kingdoms and nations now that the army constantly has to control or conquer them?”

“Good question,” the teacher encouraged. “As I had said, several generations had gone by, and—though nature had reclaimed almost all of what we refer to as the Old Civilization—people did eventually start to gather into groups again. They, of course, were having children just like we did, and they began building their respective societies.”

“Societies, huh,” Remus sneered.

I had entered the room just as professor Battista was finishing his statement and well in time to hear Remus’ outburst.

“Remus,” I shouted.

The boys all jumped and turned to face me; the teacher sharpened his stance as well.

“Yes father,” he snapped cautiously.

“Though I deal with barbarians on a regular basis, I have no patience for it in my own home,” I stepped further into the room. “When your professor is speaking, you do not interject at will.”

As I casually strolled around the back of the room, not looking at its occupants but scanning it as if taking some sort of inventory, I continued, “Just because other nations are primitive does not mean we must lower ourselves to their level when learning about them.”

“Executive Magistrate,” the teacher appealed.

I held a ceasing hand up, “Upon entering, I did not notice my cousin’s sons behaving like animals.” I dropped my hand, “Tell me professor, is this my son’s natural state?”

“Of course not, Magistrate,” the teacher said confidently. “He was merely taken over with zeal. He gets that way—on occasion, as young boys do—when learning the history of our great city.”

Professor Battista, then, leveled an almost blatantly accusatory stare at me and continued, “Many of the boys under my tutelage over the years have had the very same issues to overcome. It always seems to pass with a little gentle encouragement.”

“Ah, of course, it does.” I replied, knowing full well what he was insinuating. “Well, that’s settled then.”

I crouched down and extended my arms. “Come here boys,” I called to my eight and ten year old nephews in an exaggeratedly excited tone. “We’ve got to get you back to your father. Remus, thank your professor for his instruction,” I nodded to my old teacher.

The two boys ran to my embrace, and Remus turned to face his teacher.

“Thank you, professor Battista,” Remus said in a sincerely humble voice.

“You are quite welcome, young sir,” Battista winked at Remus.

The boy smiled, turned, and quickly joined our little mock marching group, and we headed off down the hallway.

(End of Chapter 1)

Sons of Perdition (Chapter 1)

Chapter 1

The Double Jacks is a seedy bar, owned and patronized solely by members of the motorcycle gang known as the One Eyed Jacks. Among a long list of nefarious and malicious deeds, this particular gang is managing a fairly lucrative drug smuggling operation.

One night, during the party that is customarily held after the club leadership meets, five dark figures enter the bar through the main entrance—slamming the doors behind them. Whether it was this last action, or the fact that five strangers had just entered, that captured the attention of everyone present in the bar is neither here nor there. The fact remains, each of the previous occupants of the bar are now glowering hard at the five intruders. The music, and all other activity, has ceased.

The figures are draped in black hooded trench coats—that were clearly designed to look much more like monastic robes than they do a traditional rain coat. Their hoods are donned—hiding their faces—and their hands are concealed in pockets at their navels. Each of the five stand at different heights and have varied body types. Two are tall and large; two are average height—one of average build and the other is stocky—and the last is tall and slender—very tall.

With little to no hesitation, the five figures walk—shoulder to shoulder—up to the bar, with the tallest standing in the center.

The central of the hooded figures says to the bartender, “A Lutheran, a Mormon, two Catholics, and a Jew walk into a bar and tell the bartender they’re here to kill everyone in the place, and the bartender says…”

There is a short pause.

“Huh,” the bartender snarls. “Is this some sort a joke?”

“Only between me and my friend, here,” the central figure says.

Just as the bartender is about to respond, but before he has the chance, the central figure removes his left hand from the pocket of his coat and thrust it forward like a whip. Standing strong, holding the bartender’s gasping body up with a blade through its throat, the central figure shouts, “You have all been deemed worthy of expedited judgment, and we are here to end your mortal lives.”

“And so it shall be,” the other four figures shout in unison, as they turn and whip their hoods back.

Outside the bar, several similarly robed men are stepping over the bodies of the few dead bikers that lay sprawled across ground in order to barricade the door and windows.

A giant metal X is hoisted by two of the figures and held against the double door that gives entry to the bar. It spans all the way across to make contact with the wall at all four ends.

Another two men come walking up; the first one takes the pistol shaped tool he’s holding and slams it against the bottom left point of the X, and proceeds to fire an anchor into the wall. He quickly maneuvers over and repeats the process on the bottom right.

Without saying a word, the fourth figure squats on bended knee. The man holding the tool steps on the outstretched knee and hoists himself up on the shoulders of the other. The lower man rises, and, together, they secure the top two points of the X.

A similar process is being repeated—by similar teams—on each of the three windows. Only, for the windows, the teams are securing a somewhat screen-like mesh; still metal, but with much smaller gaps in its barricading abilities. After all, the doors are solid; no one’s crawling over or under the large bars holding them shut.

This is not a quiet performance, but, then, neither is the one taking place inside the bar. The screaming, the bottles breaking, the occasional gunshot, and the rarer body-sized smash against the windows—causing the mesh to bulge—could not be mistaken for anything but a slaughter.

The figures outside the bar have all lined up side-by-side, with about an arm’s span between them and their backs to the bar.

Finally, the noise from inside the bar tapers to a complete silence. It isn’t long after that the words, “It’s done,” are called out from behind the door.

The line of men break their formation and begin walking across the street to a couple of vans waiting on the other side. One of the figures removes a small device from his pocket, and he depresses the tiny protruding button.

The large metal X explodes off the wall and falls forward to the ground. The doors push open, and five hooded figures come slowly walking out.

“You owe me five dollars,” one of the five states. “He said, ‘Are you joking?’”

The tallest figure, without changing anything about his stride or where he is looking, says, “He said, ‘Is this some sort of joke?’ You get nothing,” he ended sharply.

The group continued to the vans.


The reporter on the television was recounting the known details of last night’s massacre, when I was alerted to Gideon’s presence in the room by the, now familiar, BAMF! sound—followed by the accompanying shock wave that tends to shatter anything glass within a couple meters and dishevels everything else.

I remember the first time the angel appeared to me. I was sitting in a rundown, low-life type, neighborhood bar—that was rarely ever populated with customers—attempting to drink away my memories. I had been a soldier, and had done some pretty terrible things.

People tried to tell me to comfort myself by saying it was for God and country, but therein laid the rub. I had nightmares about many of the horrible things I had done almost every time I closed my eyes, so I had plenty of opportunities to examine the situations. The fact was, my country was in no way benefitted by the bodies I left dead and brutally disfigured. No, vengeance was pretty much the only reason for me being there. And, as far as God was concerned, I never had any right to be killing in the first place.

I was raised in a Christian household. I had been forced to read the Bible. I can’t say I really remember all the particulars too well, but I did remember God saying vengeance is His. I remembered the commandment, thou shalt not kill, and I remembered Jesus being a total pacifist—telling us to offer no resistance to the wicked, and if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well. It took a few years, but I had since become well aware that I was beyond redemption.

At any rate, the drinking wasn’t really helping me forget, but the time spent in dimly lit, sparsely populated, third rate bars gave me momentary lapses in the nightmare that was, then, my life.

The evening Gideon appeared was no different. No different, that is, until a beautiful young woman walked into the bar.

She was alone, and from the look of it that was on purpose. She sauntered into the bar, her hips sashaying to and fro as if independent from her upper body. Her skirt was grey and tight and didn’t even drop halfway down her thighs. It hugged her hips and buttocks so tightly it could have been tattooed to her skin. Her waist was slender and breasts large and firm. The white button-up shirt she wore was short sleeved and struggled for all its worth to contain her torso. It seemed as if it would fail each time she inhaled. The shirt appeared to end exactly at the top of her skirt while exposing no flesh, for, if it was tucked in, it left no visible seam lines in the skirt—nor did any panties, if there were any. There was no need to imagine what her naked body would look like; it was veritably on display. There just seemed to be an additional layer of skin that didn’t happen to match the milky, supple skin of the rest of her body.

As she undulated over to a table near, but not quite in, the darkest section of the room she definitely gave the impression of one of those women who lives a pent up, proper lifestyle of higher society. From her confidence and mannerisms she could easily have been some mid to high level executive that is used to being treated with a certain degree of respect—something the saucy smirk on her lips was definitely not encouraging in this particular venue.

At the time she entered, not including myself and the bartender, there was only three other patrons. This wasn’t uncommon for this establishment, especially this late on a weeknight. There was the archetypical failed door-to-door salesman drinking at the bar—paying for his drinks with piles of change scrounged from the pockets of his tattered suit. There was the bald, bigger than average, late twenty-something man wearing a black leather jacket and torn blue jeans sitting two tables away from her—facing right towards her. It is not too farfetched to think she sat down facing him on purpose. And then, there was the difficult-to-describe ambiguous figure seated in the booth that was nestled furthest into the darkness of the room. I don’t know if the light bulbs in that section of the bar were perpetually burning out, or if the proprietor simply kept that section of the bar dark on purpose. At any rate, every time I came to the bar that guy was already ensconced in his dark little corner.

Even from my position, seated at the far end of the bar, away from everyone else, I could see the woman was here to fulfill some fantasy of being manhandled by some rough-and-tumble character—the likes of which she had read about in one of her trashy novels or had lusted after while watching some acted-out assault in a pornographic film. This was not difficult to discern, what with the way she was provocatively engaging the bald fellow in front of her.

Her sultry eyes were locked on her target as if there was no one else in the place. One hand was cupping and massaging the side of her breast, and the other was under the table. Her legs were spread and she was gliding her finger tips up and down her inner thigh. The big man was no more oblivious than I was, so, of course, he rose, walked over, and sat down beside her.

As I was no more concerned with her sexual endeavors as I was anything else in that shithole of a bar, I continued to lean headlong into my drink—ignoring their flirtatious interactions.

There were no upstanding citizens in the bar—a fact that became ever more noticeable when her seduction elevated to full blown fellatio, and not only did no one in the bar say anything to stop the performance, but everyone—the bartender included—seemed to be more than happy to watch.

Unfortunately for her, the big man was not fully sated when she decided she had taken the fantasy as far as she had desired. Though I hadn’t been looking, I did vaguely hear her say something along the lines of, “That’s it big boy. If you want the rest, you’ll just have to wait and see if I come in here again.” I do believe she may have been the only person in the bar to be surprised at how quickly the roles reversed—how quickly she went from predator to prey.

My training, as well as my survival instincts, forcibly made me aware of everything going on in any given room—whether I wanted to pay attention or not—so I could hear very distinctly when the woman had been thrown to one of the tables—knocking over the table and two of its chairs. Her blouse ripped audibly; I could hear a couple of the buttons bounce their way across the room.

The woman didn’t scream. I can only assume she had gone into some sort of shock at the reality of her rapidly disintegrating circumstance. The salesman ran over to the door, but it turned out he was not planning to leave the scene of what was surely about to become a rape. He stood at the door, peered out the tiny circular window for an instant, then locked the door, and turned to continue watching the scenario as it unfolded.

By the time I had turned to look, the man had removed his leather jacket and hoisted the woman up on to a table adjacent to the one at which he had thrown her. He had bent her over the table, chest down, and hiked her skirt up to her waist. As I was watching, he grabbed the collar of her shirt and tore it completely free from her body—tossing it off to one side.

As I had suspected, she was wearing no panties. That detail mattered nothing to me as any kind of point of arousal; however, since her previous efforts had already made her attacker erect, it did mean it was mere seconds before she was being forcibly penetrated.

Admittedly, I was not as bothered by the fact that the woman was being raped as I was at the disruption to my wallowing, but nonetheless it bothered me. However impure her original intentions may have been, it was clear this was not what she had desired to happen. It was at this point I realized that since there was no hope for my salvation, it would cost me nothing to kill the man, right there and then, and stop his current, and any future, wrong doings.

It was that simple. The decision had been made. He was slightly bigger than me, but I was no slouch. Prior to the little bit of weight I had gained, due to drinking and lack of exercise, I was fairly muscular and well-built for a man standing at six feet tall. The bald man had a couple of inches on me, and probably forty pounds, but he had a much larger gut than me. His size didn’t really matter, though, because his back was to me.

I simply stood up, grabbed the neck of the bottle of vodka resting on the bar next to the shot glass I had been using as a delivery mechanism, and strode over to the man. It is unlikely he even heard me walk up behind him, given the grunting he was doing and the accompanying gasps from the woman he was holding face down on the table.

In one swift motion I simultaneously reached my left hand up over his left shoulder, and cupped his throat in my hand, while I swung the bottle and shattered its base over the back of a nearby chair. Before he could even have thought to do anything, I thrust the jagged melee weapon directly into the center of his spine—using the force of pulling back with my left hand on his throat to aid in driving the edges further in—and twisted it to sure of an instant kill.

As anticipated, the man slumped instantly, and then proceeded to fall forward on top of his victim. With that, she let out the slightest of high-pitched whimpers. It was slightly disconcerting to see the look on her face with his head dangling off to the back of hers, so I gave a measured kick to the man’s lifeless body and shoved it to the floor. This left the woman bent over the table, fully exposed.

I was in no mood to play nursemaid to some woman who had come begging for more than she could handle, but I was also unable to walk away and leave her in such a sexually provocative position. I glanced around at the other occupants of the room. The bartender was frozen, holding a dirty rag and wet glass he had been drying before I killed one of his patrons. The salesman had scrambled his way backward to a booth, as far from me as he could get. And, as always, the figure in the darkness was difficult to make out, but he didn’t seem to be moving. Regardless, it was clear, given their willingness to spectate, that I would have to be the one to remove her from this scene.

I attempted to pull her skirt down to cover her ass, but, due to the limp state of her body and the skirt being unreasonably tight, this proved to be a useless endeavor. Frustrated, I picked her up and hefted her up to my shoulder. As I walked to the door, I yelled over to the salesman, and ordered him to unlock the door. He did so with frightened but fervent speed.

As I left the bar, there was a very strange crashing noise inside almost immediately followed by a loud BAMF! in front of me on the street—the concussive force of which blew me back a half step. Before me, stood a very imposing figure.

Though I thought I was going crazy, I recognized him immediately as an angel. He was semi-transparent, hovering slightly off the ground, and had large, powerful wings attached to his back. Yep, it was an angel.

“Put the girl down, and come with me,” he said.

I hesitated. I’m not sure whether out of fear or concern for the girl, but I hesitated nonetheless.

“Put the girl down,” he repeated. “She is inconsequential to you now.”

There was a nearby bus bench, so I placed the woman on it and stepped toward the angel.

“My name is Gideon,” the angel said, “and I have a mission for you.”

Ever since that first encounter, I have come to enjoy his visits.

(End of Chapter 1)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The People’s United Territories of China (Short Story)

The People’s United Territories of China

Book One: The Invasion

Had it not been a strike against my own homeland, it would have been a thing of beauty to watch—like seeing a perfectly orchestrated operatic performance. Who would’ve ever thought it would be the massive increase in global shipping routes that would’ve been the downfall of the United States of America? I mean, there were those who said our consumerism would be our undoing; I just don't think any of them meant it in such a literal manner. My name is Henry Jensen, and I have the unfortunate duty of chronicling our current circumstances for any future survivors.

From the details we've been able to gather the plan for the attack began years ago. The Chinese slowly began bringing small groups of civilians to their military bases around their country. Every time they did this they would load a couple squads of troops into a shipping container and move it to a seaport to be loaded on a ship.

The containers had been retrofitted to accommodate the men living inside. They had adequate ventilation and discharge ports for waste. The containers were equipped with water tanks and inlets for refilling.  They were stocked with rations, a radio, and a firearm or two for every occupant. When the containers were stacked, the plumbing for each unit was connected to another for replenishment and waste removal, and they were stored, and left waiting. Though they were crude and rudimentary, the modifications were sufficient enough for their troops to bear a long-term stay.

It appears they took careful steps to avoid any suspicious behavior being detected by satellite surveillance. Moving small amounts of civilians to every base for training, instead of training them in mass at their known training bases; moving out the same number of troops as recruits brought in, to keep the troop movement at each base roughly static; storing the containers at various locations, while the force built up; and dividing the loading and shipping of the containers amongst all their seaports were just a few of the precautions they took. It also appears, once they did start shipping their Trojan Horses, they shipped them to ports all around the globe to be transferred to different Chinese controlled ships. The logistics calculations and management scheme, alone, must have taken at least a year to put together.

When the time was right, they began delivering their Trojan containers to the Port of New York. Through just the right mélange of bureaucracy, cronyism, hubris, and bribery the Chinese were able to get these particular containers through customs without physical inspection. From there, they were transported all across the country. Unfortunately, by the time the day leading up to the actual attack had arrived, there were Trojan containers waiting in storage at many locations. There were containers at every major city and the capitals of the contiguous forty-eight states—almost all of which were stored at companies or yards owned by private Chinese companies, or sub-companies. There were, however, no soldiers sent to the District of Columbia.

Playing us like a well-tuned fiddle, almost exactly in line with our military's analysis and response times, the Chinese used their naval and air forces to distract our leaders. Under the guise of training exercises, they had moved a decent amount of heavy hardware into the South Atlantic near Brazil, into the South Pacific, and into the Norwegian Sea. However, that was not what started our military reaction. The Chinese began massing a fleet—far larger than we were ever aware they had—and moving towards the North Pole. There was the standard diplomatic back-and-forth, and the U.S., of course, mustered its fleets and mobilized to attack the Chinese.

By this point, knowing the rates of inspection and calculating the times for military actions, the Chinese had moved thousands of additional Trojan containers into every major shipping port on both the eastern and western seaboards. They also had several hundred heavy freighters scheduled to roll in to both coasts simultaneously.

On the day of the attack, the basics are these. The Navy and Air Force, the joint chiefs, and the president were distracted. Therefore, no one cared to take the calls of the Coastguard captains—what few there were that even noticed—who were inquiring as to the number of freighters congesting the shipping lanes. There was a massive attack on the Internet—effectively shutting it down for days—massively disrupting communications. Apparently, the radiological sensors in the District had been unknowingly disabled. The Chinese soldiers began storming out of their containers around the country, and the major ports exploded with Chinese troops. The inbound freighters began fanning out and barreling for their respective shores—most of which were makeshift battleships, unsheathing their battlements, engaging what Coastguard resistance there was, and launching combat helicopters towards land. And finally, about an hour after the troops began leaving their containers, a nuclear bomb went off in Washington D.C.—leveling the District.

Everything was amazingly well timed. The results being—a fairly low casualty—complete and total seizure of the United States. Apparently the President had survived. It seems the nuke was not deployed until the chaos was sufficient enough for the President to be moved. The Chinese did not want him dead.

From what we know, with the exception of a few skirmishes for which the Coastguard was mostly responsible, there was no large engagement on the part of the military. The day of, we think there was roughly four million Chinese soldiers with boots on the ground and another million on inbound freighters. Most of the military, which was fairly clustered and heading in the wrong direction, was not only easy for the Chinese air and naval forces to meet and standoff with, but they were ordered to stand down by the President while the situation could be analyzed. While the situation was being analyzed, the vessels and equipment that the Chinese had on maneuvers in the South Pacific and Atlantic were brought in to shore up their control of the coasts.

It was obvious; they had won. Our government had been oblivious. The only possible response would have been for us to launch a full scale nuclear attack against China—which would have destroyed our enemy's power-base, but would've done nothing to reverse the incursion that had already taken place. Plus, they may have chosen to retaliate in kind. Either way it would have still been a total loss for us—so it is good the president did not allow that to happen.

The only good thing for us, as Americans, is that they didn't want us dead. For them, this was merely a forcible acquisition of what they figured was already rightfully theirs. They owned so much of our debt it was absurd; they owned and operated trillions of dollars’ worth of interests within our borders, and they needed more space and more food. It was the only logical next step for them. They figured the world would not look too poorly on them for their decision due, impart to what was just mentioned, but more so because we had done well more than our fair share of damage to the world's sovereignty, environment, economy, and cultures. So, it was not entirely surprising when this act of aggression was not contested—with more than official letters of protest—by any other countries around the world.

Over the next several days, the President ordered a complete surrender, and an exchange of personnel started taking place on all our military bases and vessels. With the exception of Cheyenne Mountain and a small naval group, Chinese forces soon controlled our bases and fleets, as well as our nuclear arsenal. It was agreed that the President would be allowed to stay in the mountain without retribution on the population. And, in regards to the naval group, a renegade captain—who refused to lay down his arms—gathered the support of a few other captains and convinced them to join him in running in order to regroup. Given there was only a handful of ships that they could easily track (and three missing nuclear submarines they couldn’t), the Chinese were comfortable with the grip they had achieved on our country.

The resistance among the general population was more than lackluster. Aside from a few engagements between local police forces and the invaders, there was no resistance of which to speak. Though a staggering disappointment on the show of our anti-gun control citizens, to be fair, the numbers were simply not on their side. Had they simply grabbed their guns—without any organization—and tried to defend the country, they would have just died. I’m sure, in some, it begged the question as to whether the enormous amount of gun violence the country had born for the last few decades was worth it, but the hope was that eventually their weapon stores would allow for us to mount a rebellion.

Book Two: The Resistance

It had now been a little over four-and-a-half years since the invasion. It was almost as if the Chinese had hired America’s most popular advertising agencies to prepare their propaganda campaigns in advance. Right off the bat they sure knew exactly what to say and do to subdue the populace. They knew what programs to leave on TV and what to take off to endear themselves to the people. They knew exactly how to encourage our studios to produce films that gave people the impression nothing had changed, while subtly—in a very roundabout way—promoted the new regime.

On top of that, they knew which companies to shutdown, which cities to fortify more heavily, which state politicians to keep in advisory positions, and which of the wealthy to leave alone—conditionally, of course. They made some hefty changes to the governance of the country, but for the average Joe the day-to-day seemed very much the same. In fact, in many ways, their day-to-day lives improved greatly. Health care was free, education was free, all student loans and mortgages were forgiven, and taxes were only applied to businesses. Many sectors of the economy were nationalized, but much of their management remained in the same hands. The changes occurred more along the lines of readjusting wage management. For instance, a doctor had told me that when the Chinese administrators had come to his hospital, they simply said, “You now have no more educational debt, you now own your homes outright, and you will no longer be asked to pay any taxes. Legal issues of malpractice will be investigated and covered monetarily by the government, and, for most of you, your schedules will be the same or lighter than before because we are funding the training and hiring of many more medical personnel. That being the case, everybody’s salary is being reset to a different scale. Support staff will be paid $25,000 a year, nurses will be paid $50,000 a year, doctors will be paid $100,000 a year, and administrators will be paid $100,000 a year. There will be opportunities for increase and promotion. Anyone who does not think this amount will be sufficient is free to leave and work in a different field.” This process was repeated in many sectors. Basically their idea was to put an end to unreasonable salaries and profiteering. Much of the world was affected by this, but those who thought it was for the worse were in no position to do anything about it except adjust.

The country had been divided into three, unimaginatively named, territories: the Western, Central, and Eastern Territories. The state borders within said territories remained the same but their governments had been removed. There had been a Chinese governor—and some advisers, both Chinese and American—appointed to replace the state governments. And, the territories were being governed by their respective territorial congresses—each having 1,000 seats. The 1,000 seats did not include the Territorial Magistrate, who acted as the executive; the Vice Magistrate; the Congressional Prime Minister, who was the in-house leader of the congress; or the CCP representatives, for which there was one for every party that got seats in the congress. Each of those positions were held by natural born Chinese members of the Chinese Communist Party that had been brought over from mainland China. The 1,000 seats in each of the congresses were filled by natural born Americans—which, thankfully, they had continued to call us. Aside from a simple election district modification, not much about the voting process had changed. Again, most people were quite pleased, because now there was a multitude of political parties, and there was a much greater level of representation. The downside, of course, being that there was a heavy influence from the CCP. However, most people hadn’t come to see that as too negative...Yet.

The resistance started to form more fervently when the Chinese began their plan to equalize the population. About three years after the invasion, they started transporting their citizens here at a rate of about 4,000 people per day, and, with each shipment, a little more military personnel came too. It was clear this was going to devastate our way of life, and if we let it go on too long, we would never have any hope of retaking our country.

News from around the country, and the world, flowed freely across the country. Yes, there were some restrictions on the Internet, but very few. Though the Resistance never used it to communicate, because we were sure they were monitoring everything, people could even express their dissidence on the Internet. It seemed the Chinese government had no intention of trying to subjugate the territories to the same degree they had their motherland. They hadn’t planned to apply the same operating principles to their new territories. They had planned to use this conquest to take what they believed to be “the next step towards actual communism.” They figured the new resources, area, and power-base would help them achieve that end, and they could eventually affect an equilibrium between their two lands.

About four years after the invasion, the Chinese started massing troops in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Several contingents of the resistance were discovered. No one was arrested, but their munitions were confiscated. They said no charges were going to be brought, because they understood the reasoning behind the Patriots’ anger. However, they were placed on a watch-list. We suspected the real reason our members were ignored was because of the larger operation the Chinese were preparing.

Several Divisions of Chinese troops met with a few hundred squads of Federales at the Mexican border. At least we were taken by surprise, but the Mexicans didn’t even put up the slightest resistance. The Federales capitulated and even guided the Chinese like a swarm of locusts down through their own country. The news had said that the Chinese declared to Mexico that the unrestrained drug trade continued to wreak too much havoc on both the Territories and the United Mexican States, so the Mexican government could either accept their help willingly or receive it by force.

After the Cartels had been brought to their knees—the entire campaign taking less than a year—most of the troops returned across the border. However, many troops had been left behind. The news could tell us it was at the request of the Mexican government all they wanted, but we knew. Mexico had now been occupied as well.

None of us were surprised when Cuba joined the People’s United Territories of China, but when Canada was forced to yield its sovereignty we knew the time for action could wait no longer. The story was that Canada voluntarily joined the Chinese as an autonomous region after the Chinese helped them with some economic issues and helped defend Canada in a territorial dispute in the north. We could read between the lines though; they were clearly forced to submit by the threat of overwhelming force.

By this time, the resistance had built up quite a sizable number of cells around the country, and we started spreading the word to organize a meeting to plan a coordinated attack. It was, of course, a terribly risky move, but we were pressed for time. The Chinese were busy endearing themselves to countries all around the world with aid packages of food, medical supplies, equipment, and personnel. They had even been so bold as to remove the word China from the name of their lands. It was still used as an ethnic title, but the government was now simply calling itself the United Territories. The name change took place right after they had reorganized the Chinese mainland to look more like the new system they implemented here in the west.

The world was falling fast and hard for the seductions of these wolves in sheep's clothing. Only the major powers of the world remained suspicious of the Chinese—respectful and polite, but suspicious.

The meeting was slow to put together, due to having to get resistance leaders from all over to one area. Travel was not difficult, if you were not on any watch-lists, but we communicated via word of mouth—person to person—to avoid electronic surveillance. Once a safe location was decided, and a date chosen, the meeting was set.

At the meeting, nothing was getting planned. No one could agree upon an appropriate plan of attack; everyone had different ideas as to how to be the most effective. The reality was that nobody had any ideas that seemed as if they would win us our country back. That is, until we were made aware by our sentries that a few strangers were requesting an audience with us.

A year or so before the meeting, several members of Capt. Douglas’ crew—the rogue Navy Captain—had been put to shore in Grenada and told to make their way up island to the mainland and contact any resistance. It took them several months to get to Florida, and a few more months after that to earn the trust of any resistance members. Luckily, the timing worked out for them to be here for the meeting. Really all they needed to do was relay to us the code the rogue fleet was using to communicate, so that they could inform us of their plan.

Book Three: The Rebellion

It turns out, though the Chinese had been tracking Capt. Douglas’ fleet, he had been very busy. The Chinese had destroyed Washington D.C. to disrupt the command and control capabilities, and break the spirit, of our country. His plan was similar, but far more destructive.

After regrouping for a short period, he had kept his fleet separated and moving—putting in to neutral and sympathetic ports only when necessary. This kept the Chinese complacent about the rogue fleet. It took a while to meet covertly, and do the necessary disassembly, but, eventually, Capt. Douglas had removed the nuclear ordnance and personnel from one of the missing submarines.

He had limited information about how things really were in the former U.S., but—in his mind—his plan was simple no matter what the details. He had planned to smuggle nuclear bombs into the Chinese occupation command center, and the most garrisoned cities; evacuate the resistance from those cities; have the other two subs stationed off each coast for back-up, in case they needed further nuclear support; leave skeleton crews on the ships, so they could continue to draw the attention of the Chinese; and sneak his personnel into the country to lead the rebellion after the bombs were detonated. Unfortunately, he was wildly over-optimistic as to the actual situation in his homeland.

By this point, the Former President had surrendered Cheyenne Mountain to the Chinese and was living a very comfortable life as a Protected Citizen. As frustrating as that was, it was not as frustrating as the Chinese now having control of NORAD. This information, coupled with the fact that there was only a couple thousand resistance members, infuriated Capt. Douglas. When it was made clear to him that most Americans were quite happy to maintain the new order, he hatched a new plan.

I was sent with a group of guards to travel south, down through South America, to safety. Since I had already been journaling our efforts, Capt. Douglas said, “Someone would need to chronicle our efforts for future generations, when they are eventually able to reclaim their land.” This was because the new plan, if it worked, would destroy much of the country—sort of an If we can’t have it, no one can type of plan.

The attack ended up triggering a chain of events that was unforeseen. We planned to deploy the forty suitcase nukes throughout our former country; sneak a sub off the coast of China, and have it launch its warheads against Russia; sneak the other sub into the Laptev Sea, to the north of Russia and have it launch its warheads at mainland China; and hope that the arsenals of the three lands would be deployed to annihilate each other. We knew some missiles would be destroyed, and some of the suitcase nukes would be detected. We just needed the distrust to be high enough.


All I have time to record now is this. Reports are saying roughly thirty-two nuclear bombs were detonated in the United North American Territories, and several missile strikes impacted Russia and the United Territories of Asia. ICBMs, in massive numbers have been launched from all three regions. It is suspected there will be multiple targets outside of those three regions, and neighboring countries are also being warned to expect accidental strikes as well.

I do not know why, but France and the United Kingdom have also launched missiles; their targets are unknown. I can only imagine it is because they feel they are on the suspected target list. North Korea has, of course, launched a few missiles—with the U.S. government being gone, however, those targets are unknown. Pakistan and India have launched and already destroyed much of each other. Israel has launched against Iran, and, confirming years of suspicion, Iran has launched against Israel—and apparently other states as well. Unfortunately, resource centers around the world were also set as nuclear targets, because several strikes have already impacted parts of Africa, Australia, and, yes, South America. As it seems much of the world is going to be destroyed, and a total depopulation may occur due to fallout, I will simply finish by saying th...

Epilogue: The Discovery

Hmmm, so it appears they really did think they were doing the right thing.

“What’s that Dr. Maberti?” said the young research assistant.

“Hum, oh. I was just thinking out loud,” the bushy-eye-browed History professor answered, without looking up from the fragile pages of his object of interest.

“I gathered that, professor, but what was it you were thinking out loud?” the visibly disinterested grad student pried further.

“Ah, yes, well it seems the Resistance actually were very devout in their belief that their actions were justified,” Dr. Maberti replied.

“Ugh. I don’t know why you care so much or why it even matters. It’s been more than 72,000 years since the Patriots,” the student emphasized the word with disdain, “destroyed the world, and very little from those barbaric times even exists anymore.”

“Honestly, Jonathan, I don’t know why you are pursuing a career in history at all. You never seem to be sadder than when you are here in the archives. You are never this melancholy in class; you seem to love history,” Dr. Maberti expressed.

“I love the study of our history, not this...this xenology,” the student retorted.

“Xenology!” the professor exclaimed vehemently. “These are not extraterrestrials we are researching, my boy. They may be alien to us, but humans, from right here on Earth, just like us, is what they were. This journal affords us the ability to study our ancient past and learn from their mistakes. We study their history, so that we do not repeat their failures. Do you not understand what an amazing opportunity a glimpse like this, into our past, presents us?”

“No professor. I’m sorry; I don’t,” Jonathan answered. “It is impossible to even think that any civilized human being could make such horrible decisions and cause so much destruction. We are above that.”
“Those that fail to learn from history,
are doomed to repeat it.”
                                                                          Sir Winston Churchill


Monday, September 17, 2012

Sons of Perdition (Prologue)


A religious war—the likes of which has never been seen—is about to break out on Earth. An angel has chosen to lend his strength of manipulating the physical world to a fallen individual in the hopes he will kill off those who are evil in order to help the rest of the people achieve salvation sooner. This poses a particular problem…

What will happen when one dies? This is quite possibly the oldest question that exists for the reasoning human being. Much debate has occurred over the concept of how one will be saved in the eyes of God/gods. Many religions have been formed around the differing opinions of what one must do to live right for salvation in the end—whether that be eternity with God, nirvana, a blissful end to suffering human existence, etc. Salvation has been the subject of much deliberation among humans for millennia.

Salvation, however, is an interesting concept—with far more information to it than humans, or angels, are aware. For a rudimentary understanding, at the most basic level the universe is composed of two substances—physical matter and cognitive matter. In addition, matter—physical or cognitive—cannot be destroyed; it can merely be broken to smaller and smaller forms, or the pieces can come together to create new, or change old, forms. What is called the universe—the whole vast expanse of space and the matter that resides within—was not created. Matter has simply always existed, erupting and collapsing in enormously long episodes—not too unlike the Hindu's cycle of creation.

Gravity is the will of matter to be joined together—call it a natural attraction—and that force applies to cognitive matter the same as it does the physical. When gravity has re-collected all the matter in the universe and the resultant explosion causes all the physical matter to start expanding outward again, so, too, does the cognitive matter.

Cognitive matter is that which is capable of intellectual reasoning, memory, sense, and will. This matter—though not tangible to humans—superimposes itself like a shadow, or aura, upon the physical matter it chooses. This is, most commonly, referred to as the soul.

Though it is quite a bit more complicated, a simplistic analogy would be to think of cognitive matter like the human operator that climbs into the cockpit of a sophisticated piece of machinery. The machine, though capable of performing a great many functions, remains motionless and dead without its operator. It is also requisite for the human to gather parts in order to build the machine. This cognitive matter, when condensed to form a being, acts in the way Thomas Aquinas describes the soul. That is to say the soul is the primary organizing principle of the body, that which drives the assemblage of biochemical elements to form a body capable of interacting with its physical environment. Were that soul to travel to a planet, galaxy, realm, what have you, where the basis for life was silicone—not carbon—it would simply gather the necessary local materials and organize, for itself, a machine in which to operate. This is how the term soul is to be understood.

Typically, by the time enough cognitive matter has come together to form one of these original souls, the matter in the universe is well spread but still in the early stages of expansion. The first beings that coalesce and evolve from cognitive matter—to form conscious, self-aware souls—tend to steer the rest of the matter within their reach to being fashioned in the manner in which they desire. Of course, gravity is still ultimately in control, but these beings are able to take quite a few compositional liberties.

To further truncate and summarize—in order to impart the pertinence of this information in regards to Earth—it is sufficient to say there is a hierarchy to the universe not dissimilar to that which exists on Earth. Older beings shape and manipulate cognitive matter into younger beings. Those younger beings are given a portion of their creators’ dominion with which to interact and to shape, and so on, and so on.

Indeed, the manner in which human civilization has come to order itself is no accident. From the order of operations and respect within familial groupings to the hierarchical order of society, humans are inundated with a doctrine of understanding. It is an understanding that there are ranks (subordinates, peers, superiors) of authority to everything—each demanding the appropriate level of respect and obedience. This is true not only in human interaction but in nature as well. This is a state imposed by the higher, universal blueprint—and more directly, by the being who created Earth.

So you see, Earth is a microcosm for life in the universe; it is a training ground for teaching newly formed conscious souls how to be responsible citizens of the universe. Look at the havoc an infant or two year old can wreak upon a household. Look at people, not willing to love one another, devising evermore vicious and clever ways of killing each other. Look at people, unwilling to shed their selfish desires, pillaging and hoarding resources at the cost of millions of lives. These are not the type of beings anyone would want operating at a universal scale. This is why they are trained in a form that can do no damage to the landscape of the universe as a whole.

All this is to say humans are infant offspring—so to speak—of an evolved being laid within a hierarchy of order. And, if they learn and grow appropriately, they, too, will evolve to the point of being able to orchestrate matter as they see fit in their little part of the universe.

Since we are speaking of Earth, we will refer to its creator by the most common name her inhabitants have taken to calling him—God.

God is one of the earliest souls to have formed in this cycle of the universe. His domain is vast, and he is liege to countless vassal souls operating throughout the universe. God did create Earth as a nursery, and, though he has elevated several souls from Earth to higher beings, he is currently unwilling to do so because of the conflict taking place there. The system of nurturing souls he set up does not so much have rules; it more relies on the impression a soul makes upon him, and currently things have gotten out of hand.

To explain, God’s idea was fairly simple. A soul experiences the Earth in a few lesser forms for a period, to get used to physical interaction—tree, fish, dog, etc. Then, would be imbued upon a human body; taught to understand the order of things; taught to be kind, loving, and respectful; elevated to the rank of angel, to spend some time helping guide others through whispered encouragement; enlightened as to the true nature of Earth, and her role; and then allowed to reign over its own piece of the universe. If one has not been properly enlightened upon the death of their physical body, they would be afforded as many attempts as needed.

God had interjected now and again to impart his desire and guidance to the humans. Unfortunately, each time he did—though the message would stay pure for a bit—it wasn’t long before a level of fanaticism spawned the creation of a codified religion—with all the rigidity and absolutism that they entail. One of the greater ironies being that the souls inhabiting Earth have taken to killing one another over whose message of love, kindness, and mercy is correct or more accurate.

As it turns out, one in no way requires religion to achieve God’s reward in the end; religion can serve a purpose and can be very useful to the masses—but it is not necessarily required. However, God never told this to the humans or angels. To be fair he wanted the souls’ development to be as natural as possible, so he could trust that the understanding was valid.

The situation that intrigues God now is twofold. The souls seem to have stagnated; they are not progressing. Most have already gone through their phases as lesser beings and are now repeating cycles in human bodies—hence the population growth on Earth. Furthermore, the angels—apparently out of frustration—have begun taking far too active of a role in the physical world. This has hindered their possible progression as well.

Jason Anderson is one of the individuals involved in instigating this new Crusade. In regards to the mortal world, he is now the principal architect. He has been contacted by an angel and endowed with permanent use of its powers.

He is now capable of superhuman feats; what he is not aware of is that it is not really him performing any of the extraordinary acts. He is being shadowed by the angel. He cannot see the ethereal, non-corporeal figure following him. When he grabs a car and hurls it into the air, he simply believes he has channeled the power of the angel. He does not realize it is actually the angel, directly, who is doing the hefting.

The angel Gideon has chosen this fallen individual, because, by his account, the man has no hope for salvation. Gideon has declared him a Son of Perdition.

(End of prologue)

Monday, September 10, 2012

The City: In Dialogue (Prologue)

Prologue: The Founders

“Are you nervous because you haven’t seen your brother in such a long time?” my wife said in a lovingly reassuring manner.

“No,” I shrugged, but continued, “I’m nervous because I am not sure he’ll be interested in my proposal. And, if he’s not, then this will have all been for nothing.”

“You don’t have to give up on your dream, if your brother doesn’t agree,” she encouraged. “You’ve done so much work, and you have other options.”

“No,” I barked, much more severely than I had intended. “Doing this is going to be near to impossible,” I continued, steadying and lowering my tone. “If I don’t have someone I trust implicitly helping me run it, it will never work.”

“I wish I could be that person for you in this,” she said while maneuvering around to my back, placing her arms around my chest, “but I just don’t have what it takes.”

“Are you kidding me?” I chortled. “You’ve been phenomenal! It’s just that I’m going to need someone with his experience and abilities. Not only that, but I’ll need someone who can be adamant about disagreeing with me when necessary, and I don’t want that to be you. You are the wind in my sails. And though we have disagreements at times, this project is going to cause issues of staggering proportions.”

“I know,” she soothed, “and I’ll be right there by your side the whole time.” She smiled lovingly and looked into my eyes.


My wife and I stood in the airport terminal, waiting for the jet to open its door and release its passenger.

“I don’t know how I’m going to handle it, if he does not agree to do this with me,” I confided to her.

Slightly wedging her arm in between my own and my chest, she answered my doubt by saying, “Well you should prepare yourself for that eventuality, because it is an awfully risky venture, and it’s not as if you two have ever been very close.”

This did not comfort me in the manner I believe she intended.

“Just because my brother has always been the typical close tied, family guy does not mean he’s ever held the fact that I am not against me,” I responded. “He knows I love him and that we’ve always had a special connection. Albeit not like most others, to be sure, but he knows.” The last was said more for myself.

“I hope so,” she offered.

“Whether he participates in this or not, nothing between us is going to change,” I followed quickly.

“You say that now,” she said, a little more doubtful than I would have liked.

“I know, I know. Things are going to change, aren’t they?” I conceded. “I guess I just meant if he doesn’t join in, most likely, nothing of mine and his relationship will change.”

“Well that’s probably true,” she chuckled. “The two of you hardly ever see each other, as it is, now,” she smiled, and gave me a loving poke.

“Really,” I smiled, “Now?”

“I’m just playing,” she smiled. “I am certain he’s going to say yes.”

“Well, I guess we’re about to find out,” I patted her cradled hand, “here he comes now.”


Once my brother and I were relaxing comfortably in the living room of his hotel suite, he decided to up the ante of the conversation.

“Alright, so what’s this all about?” he inquired. “You and Carol were pretty tight lipped on the ride from the airport.”

“What are you talking about? We all chatted the whole way here,” I feigned innocence.

“Yeah,” he scoffed “I’m not saying you both weren’t pleasant and chatty; I’m saying you both changed the subject with dubious skill whenever I tried to ask anything about why you so urgently brought me up here.” Pausing, he looked around and changed his tone entirely, “Speaking of which, why are we up here? And how, for that matter, could you afford to bring me here on a private jet?”

“I’m sorry. Was it not as nice as yours?” I said in jest.

“Come on, you know that’s not what I meant,” he laughed back. “Seriously though man, you’re a professor,” he proceeded more seriously. “Cryptic phone calls, urgent trips—on private jets, no less—what is going on David? You’re starting to scare me.”

“Okay, okay. Don’t be scared,” I assured. “It’s not the time for that yet.”

“Yet,” his eyes widened, “is that supposed to ease my concerns right now?”

“Nope,” I asserted, “I very much meant it; there will be plenty of occasions to be scared in the near future.”

“This is not helping David,” he said, crossing his arms.

“Thomas, I want you to listen to—and consider, with all seriousness—the proposal I am about to put to you,” my tone was finally serious enough to appease him. “It is going to sound like a joke—and a completely absurd one at that—but I assure you, it is not.”

“I figured as much,” he acknowledged. “You’ve got my attention. Now tell me what’s going on.”

“I want you to help me start a new country based around one ideal city—just like dad had always talked about, but with quite a few more of the details worked out,” I said, laying it out flat.

“Excuse me?” he queried

“I am, in no way, playing with you right now,” I told him. “We have acquired a significant piece of land in The Provinces, north of here across the border, and we’re going to build a city. We’re going to develop everything from the ground up, and we’re going to follow our principles of community, justice, exploration, and environmental stewardship.” I continued, “And above all, we are going to be a completely sovereign state with no one else’s inefficiency or ignorance to stand in our way.”

There was a long pause.

I started up again, “We have the majority of the plan in place, but I need someone like you to help ensure success.”

There was another pause.

“How, exactly, am I supposed to do that?” he asked.

“Well your business acumen is going to be crucial,” I added immediately. “I mean you did, after all, build a multibillion dollar a year energy company—genuinely from the ground up.” I took a short pause, and then added, “More than that, though, I need you to be my partner in keeping all that this is going to entail under control.”

“Huh!” he snorted. “You’re talking about building a city, and running a country. Exactly what level of control do you think will be able to be maintained?”

“It’s not like men, less capable than us, haven’t been doing this for millennia,” I said, “and we’re going into it far more prepared than any of them ever did—with quite a few more advantages.”

“There’s that hubris I’ve seen in you before,” he said morosely.

“Exactly!” I jumped, pointing a finger at him. “Yet another reason why you’re going to have to be there with me.”

“I can’t do this,” he stood, as if to challenge my finger pointing. “This is ridiculous. You can’t do this! The federal government is never going to let you go; they’re never going to let you do this.”

“They are, and they will,” I challenged right back.

“I don’t understand,” he shrugged his shoulders. “You already have the land? How is any of this possible?”

“Well, it is complicated,” I sat back down to continue explaining, “and I will explain it all to you in detail, but for now it is suffice to say I have spent years putting together a coalition of people who share the same types of values as us. These people want to live in a responsible environment but simply cannot find any place that is willing to support their values.”

He sat down too, with a look of shock on his face.

“Anyway,” I carried on, “many of these people are fairly powerful in different respects. Through their connections—as well as my own—I have been working on brokering a deal with several governments and corporations to make this happen. Here is where you come in.”

“What does that mean?” he said, slightly bewildered.

“You would have to sell your company as part of the deal.”

“What!” he was on his feet again. “What do you mean sell my company? How did my company get involved in this? No…wait.” He stopped his newly begun pacing. “Actually, I can’t sell my company,” he tilts his head and furrows his brow, “and you know that—ever since that issue with the federal courts.”

“Yeah, that actually helped quite a bit,” I leaned back into the plush sofa cushions.

“Besides,” he continued, as if he hadn’t heard me, “selling my company won’t fund this little operation of yours. I am legally forbidden from selling my company for any price higher than a thousand dollars.”

“Yeah,” I paused briefly, “you won’t actually be selling your company. You will be signing it over to the federal government. In return, they will be giving five hundred billion dollars in grants to private corporations working on building projects in the city, and they will allow UniCom to donate another five hundred billion to our organization with no tax burden. Then they will take over operations of your company. Plus,” I added, “it was part of the negotiation to get sovereignty.”

“A trillion dollars…Pheeew…Wait a minute! How did UniCom get involved in this?” he barked.

“Listen, I know you don’t like them, but…”

“Of course I don’t like them! You know they…”

“I know, I know. That is neither here, nor there,” I said trying to calm him. “You don’t like them, and they don’t like you—neither does the federal government, for that matter. So let’s take their money and go start our own country! Do you not get the monumentality of this opportunity?”

“Yes, I get it,” he chimed, “but what you’re talking about doing is almost incomprehensible. It is not going to be as easy as you think.”

“Easy! I don’t think it’s going to be easy at all,” I insisted. “In fact, it hasn’t been so far. Besides, nothing meriting the term monumental should be easy. Also, that’s why I want you by my side.”

“Well that figures,” he rolled his eyes and flipped his hands up. “You still didn’t tell me what UniCom has to do with this,” he probed.

“You know what they have to do with this. They want your company, and the federal government wants them to have it,” I said, almost exhausted at that particular issue. “I say you let them have it and build a bigger, better future for even more people.”

“I don’t know about all of that,” he shrugged. “Anyway, this is all moot. Not even a trillion dollars is enough money to do what you’re talking about doing.”

“Oh I’ve got more than a trillion dollars,” I smiled, “four trillion, to be specific, but it’s not like we’re just going to be vacationing up there. We’re going to have industry and agriculture. In fact, we are already set to start manufacturing on five different contracts in two years, and the first crops should start producing yields next spring.”

“Next spring!” he sat down, again. “David, how far along is this thing?”

“Oh, I’d say we’re at least knee deep already,” I chuckled.

“Right,” he pointed at me. “That’s about when you find out whether you’re going to fall on your face or not.”

“Exactly!” I exclaimed hopefully. “That’s why I want you to come with me.”

“Wait a minute,” he puzzled. “How could you have begun the project already? You don’t have the money, or the sovereignty, from me signing over my company—and I haven’t agreed to do this. Don’t you think you might have put the horse before the cart little brother?”

My demeanor got more solemn, “You are not my only option. Within the deal I brokered, I have two other possible options to pull this off. However, I am not going to exercise either of them. I just negotiated them, so they would allow the project to begin. You’re in, or the project stops.” There is a slight pause. “I want you to help me do this. I want you, and Tess, and the kids, to come with us, and we will build a new country from the ground up,” I finished.

“Oh my god!...Tess!...David, how am I supposed to bring this up to my wife—let alone my kids?” he asked, looking off, not really expecting me to answer.

However, after a brief pause, I answered anyway.

“A, your kids won’t care, and B, you shouldn’t let that be a factor in something as important as this anyway. And as far as Tess goes, just ask her the same way I asked you,” I said sincerely.

“Oh! Sure!” he scoffed. “Hey honey, wanna go start a country today? Maybe we can make you queen, or something.”

“First off, uncanny impression,” I said sarcastically, “and second, don’t joke about the whole queen thing,” I said, much more somberly.

“Oh relax,” he scolded. “You know I wasn’t supposing tyranny, or anything of the sort.”

“No, no. It’s not that. It’s just…well…we’ve already got someone in mind for queen,” I shot him a toothy grin, and we both broke into laughter.


As my brother and I sat comfortably, in one of our two larger jets with about forty five other passengers flying to the city, the conversation turned a little sour for my tastes.

“You know, that crack about the kids was wrong,” Thomas stated.

“Hmm… What crack?” I looked over to face my brother, as he was seated on my left.

“About my kids not caring and their opinion not mattering anyway. It was wrong,” he said pointedly.

“To be clear, I didn’t say their opinion didn’t matter,” I consoled. “I said you shouldn’t let it be a factor in something as important as this. And you know, I simply meant that you, as the father, shouldn’t let important decisions be left to the sway of children’s adolescent desires.”

“Yeah, I know what you meant,” he acknowledged, “but sometimes it worries me how quickly terse and callous comments can roll off your tongue.”

In an effort to appease him and get off this subject, I replied, “Believe me, it worries me occasionally too, but you know it’s not meant with any kind of malice, right?” I smiled.

“I do,” he smiled and reached his arm up and around my shoulders.

There was a short pause.

Thomas broke the silence first saying, “So, I thought you said we weren’t going to have an airport.”

“I said we weren’t going to have airlines,” I nudged him with my elbow. “There are certain things that simply require the use of airplanes. I don’t demonize the tool; I demonize its misuse.”

“Sure…sure…So trains huh,” he smacked my knee. “You know the nearest major city is more than two hundred and fifty miles away.”

“Yep,” I nodded.

“Doesn’t that mean it’s going to be a while before we have steady, and reliable, supplies?” he queried.

“Nope,” I shook my head.

There was a long pause.

Eventually both of us smiled at each other.

“Remember that discussion we were just having about you being terse?” he said through a forced smile.

“It rings a bell,” I smirked.

“Well?” he pressed.

“Well what?” I evaded.

“David!” he chuckled.

“Alright, alright,” I said, laughing. “Construction on both the heavy and the high-speed lines started four years ago.”

“Seriously!” he said taken aback. “We’ve got a railroad.”

“Sure do,” I supplied, with a big smile. “State-of-the-art. Mag Levs, even. Cost us a pretty penny.”

“Just one line for each?”

“Technically,” I responded, “but, actually, there are two complete guide-ways for both the heavy and the high-speed; they’re unidirectional paths. None of that pesky shuffling-the-trains-on-a-single-track for us, brother—efficient, efficient, efficient.”

“Wouldn’t it be more efficient to have one guide-way for each, and save the materials?”

“That might be the opinion of some,” I conceded, “but having the double tracks allows one to act as a backup for the other during maintenance or problems, and it makes our scheduling capabilities far more efficient for all the other times.” I paused briefly, but before he could say anything, I added, “Anyway, the last guide-way will be done in three months.”

“Wow,” he said somberly. “Three months, huh. So this is real.”

“Oh it’s real, alright,” I agreed. “Just wait until you see the city so far. Once you do, you’ll sign those papers in a heartbeat and never look back.”


“I am incredibly impressed with how much is already done here, David, but how is this expectation about me setting up and operating the energy distribution supposed to work?” he asked. “It’s not as if I built my company on my own, you know.”

“First off, don’t sell what you did short,” I encouraged, “but in regards to your concern, a clause to help with that was written into the agreement. Of those employees you should choose—and that are willing—you’ll be able to bring one thousand.”

“What!” he said slightly stunned. “I’ll be able to bring a thousand of my employees with me?”


“How is that going to work?” he threw his hands up. “They’re just supposed to uproot their lives and move to the middle of nowhere.”

“No one is going to force them, by any means,” I assured. “Furthermore, don’t you think any of them would be enticed by what we have to offer them?”

“What we have to offer them is foreign, undeveloped, untested, frontier living.”

“Frontier living, you say,” I eyed him brusquely, “with state-of-the-art facilities in every capacity, free healthcare, the most efficient transportation system, guaranteed income, better housing, and safe and secure living.”

“Yeah, but it is in the middle of nowhere, and it is all untested,” he reiterated.

“Thomas, you’ve walk the streets; you’ve seen the facilities. Don’t you think some of them will be interested?”

“Yes, you’re right,” he smiled. “I’m sure some will.”

“So you’re on board!”

“Yes, little brother, I am. Now let’s head back and gather up our families; we’ve got ourselves a country to run.”

(End of prologue)