Saturday, July 14, 2012

Series Part 2 - Novel Entry 1

I thought I would give you the first Chapter of Part 2 to enjoy while I finished the final two chapters.

The tiny café nestled in the middle of the quaint downtown district bustled with activity as people crowded into the cramped booths and along the counter.  Others leaned against the walls and sipped their coffee as they made idle conversations with their friends and neighbors as they eagerly waited for the broadcast to begin.  The café’s breakfast menu had been reduced to only the most spartan of offerings: coffee, fresh milk, eggs, bacon and biscuits, but most of the patrons did not seem to care.  

The tiny café was one of the few remaining functioning businesses, as if Decatur had much to offer before.  Its population had been less than fifteen hundred before the world imploded; now there was probably only one thousand left; the ones who remained did not fault the ones who left.  Life was hard in Decatur these days, but the people who remained were strong willed and looked out for each other; the town managed to pull together and was closer now than maybe ever before.  

Decatur, Mississippi was named after Stephen Decatur, Jr, the youngest man to ever reach the rank of captain in the history of the United States Navy.  Stephen Decatur fought in the Quasi-War, the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, and received numerous awards and accolades.  He was dubbed the “Terror of the Foe” and one of his feats during a battle near Tripoli was described as “the most bold and daring act of the Age,” by British Vice Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson.  He was attributed the phrase, “Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!"    

The people of Decatur waited anxiously this morning, like many across the nation, to hear the words of another man that they hoped would be a terror to some very different foes - the foes of sovereign default, of disastrous foreign policy and endless wars and the foes of incremental fascism.  The current administration had failed in the most epic of proportions to guide the nation into a gentle landing during its recent violent crash.  Although extremely popular before, his approval ratings were now horribly dismal.  People were suffering dearly and they longed for a champion.

Senator Ames was a relatively unknown political figure from southern Ohio; he had served one term in the House prior to running for Senate.  He had been largely ignored by the political and media establishment prior to his presidential bid because his strong libertarian ideologies were not popular in the Washington circles; one might argue that he was an anathema of sorts.  But those same ideologies that had made him a Washington outsider now caused him to resonate with a public tired of government largesse and hungry for another way.  He was young, handsome, articulate and dazzlingly charismatic; his powerful oratories seemed to energize crowds everywhere he spoke.

He stepped on the primary scene under the radar and completely blindsided the establishment, voters flocked to him and he absolutely annihilated his competition; by mid-February, he had won all but one of the primaries.  By the month’s end, all of the other presidential hopefuls had withdrawn from the race and endorsed him.  The media and the political machinery scrambled to find any skeletons in his closet, but none were to be found.  His path to the presidency was not inevitable, but it appeared that limited government advocates and freedom lovers finally had a fighting chance.  That was of course, before the world changed.  

First, Europe collapsed into the old hatreds that had governed it for centuries; slowly at first, but then it began to accelerate exponentially.  Next, Japan defaulted on several of its obligations.  With the world quickly disintegrating around it, Turkey left NATO and reclaimed the entirety of Cyprus as its own; then it invaded Bulgaria, Armenia, Syria and half of Iran.  The remaining half of Iran had fell into a bloody revolution that led to the slaughter of tens of thousands.  Israel was surrounded by complete and total chaos; they had nuclear weapons pointed in all directions, but particularly at Ankara.  Russia began to engulf Georgia and the other eastern bloc states.  The world had fallen into complete chaos.

Then it happened, the tentacles that had been strangling the rest of the world finally spread across the Atlantic.  The troubled banking system in the states was already in total disarray, artificially subsisting on currency created at will.  When the sovereign defaults of Europe began, it was too much too fast for the Federal Reserve to counter; banks began to collapse and people were unable to access their money.  Bank holidays became more common than days that they were actually open for business.  

Black Thursday happened the third week of March; the markets lost over half of their value on Wednesday and Thursday of that week.  Some even believed it was part of a larger coordinated financial attack by a foreign government.  Malicious or not, massive amounts of wealth vanished in a mere matter of hours; and so began the Greatest Depression.

Now, people were not even sure there would even be an election.  They were afraid the current administration would declare a state of emergency and forego elections.  If so, it was doubtful congress would intervene; it was not a popular time to be an incumbent.  Still, the senator campaigned relentlessly.  The crowds were smaller, but they still showed up for a glimmer of light in an ever darkening world.  Recently, he had begun an impromptu radio broadcast campaign; much of the internet was under the strictest of governmental controls, and traditional media outlets were openly hostile to his tenets of the function of governments.

His radio broadcasts were often recorded by HAM operators and independent radio stations and rebroadcast across the nation; today however, was a rare live broadcast.  The café became increasingly crowded by the minute as the clock ticked ever closer to the scheduled nine o’clock start.  The waitresses squeezed through the standing room crowd again and again with plates comprising the same order as if they were stuck in some strange breakfast time loop.  Suddenly, the café was filled with the sound of applause coming through the speakers; the room’s bedlam of conversations from moments before was reduced to hushed whispers as they waited for the junior senator to calm the crowd and begin his speech.

“Greetings Rapid City, South Dakota, and to everyone else within the sound of my voice.  I am humbled and honored that you would sacrifice your time to hear me speak, I hope that I do not disappoint you today.  We are living in unprecedented times; as deplorable as the world’s condition is, I believe we are merely standing at the precipice of an extended dark period for humanity.

I will not lie to you; you have been lied to by everyone else for far too long.  I do not even know if it is possible for us to turn back now.  We may have already embarked on a journey that is one-way in nature, at least for our generation.  I pray it is not too late for our children to see freedom again, and I hope it is not too late for their children.  I know that I do not have all of the answers; but I do believe the current administration certainly has none of the answers.

Freedom, personal responsibility and charity, what do these words mean to us; as individuals, as a people?  Have these words been distorted so egregiously that we have forgotten their true meanings altogether?  We the people, not we the centrally planned governance, we the people have the freedom to determine our own fate for better or worse.  We have a responsibility to ourselves, our families and our communities, not some bureaucrat ten states away.  We have a responsibility to the less fortunate than us; we have a responsibility to support the needs of others through our churches and our civic organizations.  I know that when I give a dollar to my church, ninety cents will make it to the cause I chose to support; what government can boast such efficiency and integrity?

There is a very real possibility that after this election is over, you will not get any help from the federal government, regardless if I am elected.  You have the responsibility of rebuilding your towns and cities starting in your living room with your own family.  You must elect honest and responsible local leaders to guide your community’s rebirth, reestablish the rule of law and the sacred rights of property.  This election is not for who governs you in the coming months, but for who will lay the foundation for a completely new government that will emerge in the coming years from the ashes of the old and will either dictate to you or be dictated by you in the coming years.  You have a choice to make; continue on this reckless course, or reign in your government before it consumes you whole.

I leave you all with this scripture from Ephesians:  ‘Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.’  We are not guaranteed tomorrow by this passage, but we are guaranteed a life and legacy that is pleasing to the Lord our God.  Thank you, and Godspeed.”  

The crowd erupted into a standing ovation and their cheers resounded through the café’s speakers as the senator waved and left the stage.  The clamoring crowd began to wane until Senator Ames appeared back onstage to the sounds of a classic rock anthem.  His encore appearance pressed the crowd into a fever; the contagion affecting the crowd began to infect the café’s patrons as they also burst into a raucous display.  Coffee mugs clinked and the hot liquid sloshed about in makeshift toasts and forks were thrust high in the air.  

After a minute or two of the pandemonium, the café began to calm.  The mayor arose from a booth that also sat his wife and two children to address the crowd, “The man can work a crowd, can’t he?”  Applause and cheers erupted again from the unruly crowd.  “Don’t get me wrong he is speaking my language, but let’s not get our hopes too high; he’s still just a man.  Just like the last one, and the one before him, they all sound good until they get into office.  Let us pray that Senator Ames is indeed a stark contrast to the men before him, and we get an opportunity to stem the tide before it is too late even for the youngest here with us.  But for now, let’s enjoy the company of the finest people the world has to offer, each other.”

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Novel Update XIV

I just finished the first chapter where you hear from William Galleani again.  He was an afterthought, much like the Barrett POV, but I really enjoyed writing this chapter; you need a good villian.

Three chapters left in Part 2 then I edit and upload to Amazon.  I am very pleased with how Part 2 is shaking out, I hope you will enjoy it. 

I'm still shooting for an end of July release, but at this rate, it may come sooner.

Take Care.