Monday, July 2, 2012

Novel Entry - Chapter 4 - Monday Surpise!

I thought I would throw out one last chapter!  Enjoy!

4
William Galleani smashed his first cigarette of the morning in the ashtray, rolled out of bed and crawled along the wall to the blinds and peaked through; he had no desire to become a martyr for the cause.  He walked back to the bathroom and took a long look in the mirror to size himself up, he was an unlikely leader; he was short and diminutive with the slightest bit of stubble beginning to show.  His jet black hair was now all but hidden beneath the micro fleece skullcap as he pulled it snugly onto his head; the dark hair was such a stark contrast to his pale skin, it exaggerated his look of etherealness.  His dark brown eyes were deeply set in his skull in a manner that made him look eternally exhausted.  He stumbled into the meager kitchen and started a pot of coffee.    

William had started SPARC (Socialists, Political Anarchists, Radicals and Communists) only five short years ago, and now he was a major player on the new national political scene.  He had speaking invitations at university campuses and meetings with media moguls, behind closed doors of course; he secretly had the ear of powerful politicians, labor leaders and even some foreign diplomats.  To be honest, which he seldom was, more of his organization’s financial support came from outside of the country than within.  His group had exploded on the scene a mere six months ago when the unrest first started in D.C.; while other groups’ leadership was apprehensive at first to openly challenge police, SPARC would employ tactics to antagonize the police into responding with force.  SPARC would then flood social media outlets with videos of their agents being beaten while they innocently bleated like lambs; these videos were soon picked up by major media outlets and delivered into the living rooms of America.  These successful tactics led to the cannibalization of other organizations’ members; SPARC’s ranks quickly swelled with young radicals of all stripes that were demoralized by the endless marching and shouting they had grown accustomed to.  SPARC now had branches in major cities all across the country, and they were adding to their ranks with each new documented clash with police.  His army of revolutionaries was potentially much larger since copycat groups had popped up in the smaller cities where he did not yet have a presence.  William had plans for them as well; if they did not assimilate under his wide umbrella of chaos when he came to town, he would use his powerful contacts to destroy them.  He credited his charisma and powerful oratories as the source of his magnetism; in a world of revolutionaries as varied as the colors in the spectrum, he had managed to bring them together and focus their energy for his goals.

Apparently, his allies in congress were much more powerful than even he had anticipated; he had expected a climactic, highly publicized exchange with the federal government, but they had largely ignored him.  A handful of the more radical politicians praised him and were sometimes even spotted at his rallies.  Or perhaps America had truly become a paper tiger, shackled by the political correctness of this age.  If that was so, it would make things much simpler for him.  The local and state governments alone were no match for his agents of revolution; their budgets were already broken, their pensions already drained.  All they could do was make idle threats at press conferences while SPARC burned their cities to the ground.  And if the city leaders or police did get too heavy handed, SPARC would make a house call and terrorize their families.  He did not want complete submission, however; violence feeds violence:  a well-defined and visible enemy worked to his benefit.

The coffee gurgled as if to announce it was ready to be poured.  William grabbed yesterday’s styrofoam cup and filled it to the top.  Today was an important day for him; today would be the day they had the means to up the ante.  The riots had been successful in that they had brought him respect and power; they had also provided him a platform to leverage so that he could transition to phase two.  

There were two types of people in the streets right now, the rioters and the opportunists.  The opportunists used the riots as a means to loot; the rioters of course looted as well, but that was not their goal.  A paradigm shift was their goal; a shift to whatever radical ideology that they held dear to their hearts.  William needed a third type of person in the street, his opposition; the constitutionalist type.  

William simply called them the “opposition”.  There were dozens of derogatory terms out there he could have used, but he preferred to anesthetize them.  Therefore, if you have an opposition to your cause, you simply eradicate it.  Besides, euphemisms worked better around his more sophisticated supporters, so it was a matter of etiquette to settle on the term.

For the most part, the opposition was nowhere to be seen, actually.  The opposition mostly resided in suburban and rural settings and avoided the urban areas at all costs now; those were the areas where SPARC was weakest.  As long as their property was respected, they stayed home.  He expected so much more out of these people; they had been so vocal about rights and liberties, freedom and revolution.  Even now, staring in the face of martial law, they stayed home and barred their doors like cowards.  They hoped to weather the storm, wait for order to be restored, and maybe rebuild their country.  He needed something to strike fear into their hearts, fear for what they believe in; the kind of fear that motivates men to act.

The pre-paid cell phone rudely interrupted his silent contemplation as it vibrated on the kitchen counter beside the coffee pot.  He strolled to the kitchen and topped off his cup as he checked the incoming number.  “Yes?”

“Hey, how are things there?”

The pleasantries only annoyed William.  He should know by now.  “Fine; how is the procurement process?”

There was a long pause; then, “It is taking longer than we anticipated.  Everyone is paranoid, this is serious, Will.”

William rattled a cigarette partially from his soft pack and withdrew the remainder of it with his lips, “I know exactly how serious this is; I wouldn’t have called in my favor to you if it wasn’t serious.  I am on a timeline and I need you to deliver me some results.  No more delays.  Now, tell me the status.”

“Well, the secondary objective is complete and awaiting approval to proceed.  The primary objective is still, being negotiated.  The talks are productive, but like I said, everybody is scared.  I think I can have the terms nailed down by the end of the week and delivery by the end of next.”

He lit the cigarette and took a long drag, allowing the realities of the conversation to sink in.  “That sounds acceptable.  Two weeks, not three, not five, two; got it?”

He could hear the relief in the man’s voice:  “Yes, got it.  Perfect.  Now, what about the secondary objective; execute?”

“Absolutely not; if everyone is paranoid like you say, then that might push them away from the table altogether.  Just keep pushing, but don’t push them away.  Call me in a week; I’ll send you my new number.” 

William smiled as he ended the call and took another long drag of the tobacco.  He strolled to the closet and rummaged for a minute before retrieving a dark hoodie and some jeans.  News like this called for a celebration; after he pulled on the jeans he checked his watch, it was six o’clock.  He grabbed the land line and dialed.  The phone rang five or six times before a man’s voice groaned from the other end, “What?”

“Great news, get up.  Meet me at the spot.”

“What time is it?  I went to bed like four hours ago; I don’t even want to think about drinks.”

“Yea you do; now get up, meet me there in twenty minutes.”  Click.  Days like this are what it is all about.  He adjusted the Kevlar vest under the hoodie before grabbing his Walther PPS and heading out the door. 

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