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The Second Civil War Part 2

Updated on September 4, 2017
TessSchlesinger profile image

Tessa Schlesinger has been a writer since birth. She was published early, is opinionated, and, in her 7th decade, still continues to write.

Second Civil War: The Militia Against the Marines
Second Civil War: The Militia Against the Marines

The Second Civil War - Militia Against the Marines - Chapter 12

Week Two September

Reilly stayed at the AMC camp only long enough to focus his thought, report what had happened to his superiors, and make surreptitious plans to leave.

It had been a long and tiring drive to Nevada City, and he did his best to keep to the back roads. Gas was a big problem, and there were times when he waited until after dark, then helped himself to the contents of parked cars. He comforted himself with the thought that his actions were for the greater good of his country-men.

***

Adrian James was making progress in Texas. “People adjust,” he thought to himself. Creating a local currency hadn’t been easy. Initially, there had been resistance as many people found change difficult. But as the benefits of dealing locally began to be felt, so more and more people let the old dollar go. In addition, as people began to be more community conscious, the conflagration in Houston had petered out. There had been many deaths, of course.

The oil industry had not recovered. The pipelines had been sabotaged; the electronics could not be replaced. However, water and food supply lines had been established, and cottage industries were supplying essentials.

***

In Northern California, the militia began preparing. The news that militias on both the right and the left would combine in order to take on the marines was not received with pleasure by the silent majority. Nevertheless, they remained silent. Most made peace with the rationalization that the enemy of my enemy was my friend. There was also the gradual realization that it wasn’t a Republican and Democrat divide so much as a rich vs poor divide, an elite vs middle class (what was left of them) or a poor 20%/80% divide.

Alasdair and his father, Ben, were talking.

“We’re taking on the might of the American military. It’s the most formidable military organization in history and the most well equipped in the world. How are we going to win?”

“We’re going to win because many will desert and join us. They will take their weapons with them.”

“That will mean civil war.”

“A very ugly civil war.”

***

Jules Feinstein used to do well at his sales job. In fact, he made a quarter million each year. Things had changed in the past few years though. His million dollar home had gone into negative equity three years earlier and never recovered. Now, with the demise of the dollar, it’s only worth was as a shelter. Worse than that, though, was that his job had vanished into oblivion six months earlier, and he had not been able to find anything even remotely resembling his previous income.

In desperation, he started applying for jobs with a lesser income, only to discover that employers were not keen to employ him as they felt he would move on as soon as a better opportunity came along. He couldn’t convince them otherwise. He had unwisely lived on his credit cards until he exceeded the limits of half of them, and then the world had gone crazy, and none of his worries had mattered anymore.

His attitude had changed, too. Previously he had been very keen to say that anything was possible for anyone and that all it took was hard work and brains. HIs experiences of the previous six months had stripped him of that arrogance. Now he knew better. Now he knew that there had to be many elements in place for someone to succeed the way he had, and that when those elements weren’t there, he could work as hard as he liked, but success was not guaranteed.

When the EMP bombs had detonated in Houston, he had been in Dallas with his ex-wife and children. They hadn’t always seen eye to eye, but Jules was seeing a lot of things differently these days and he was glad to have company that understood his plight. For the first time, he also understood the plight of many whom he had previously scorned.

Eventually, on the morning he had decided to return to Houston and help rebuild the city, as he was about to set out, the mailman arrived. On the off chance that there was something from someone who might rescue him from his misery, he saw two envelopes, one addressed to each son. The hair on his arms stiffened as a small voice at the back on his head nudged him as he recalled the terrors of his Vietnam vet father. They were draft papers, or rather, he was pretty sure that they were draft papers. His younger son was sixteen and the older one eighteen. He could not conceive why the Federal Government would be drafting his sons, and so he tore open both envelopes without even thinking about the privacy issues of both boys. And they were, indeed, draft papers. He couldn’t think that Governor Adrian James would be happy with the Federal Government drafting Texans, but he wasn’t going to wait around to see if the draft could be ignored.

Jules Feinstein had never been a rebel, but in that moment he became one. He told both his boys to pack a backpack with the bare essentials they would need on the road. He thought about calling his wife at work but with all the spying and spyware around, he decided to leave a written note instead. Then he rethought that because he didn’t want to leave any evidence that he was purposely removing both his boys from mandatory conscription. Eventually, he called his wife, told her that he and the boys would be taking her for a surprise lunch, and arranged a place to meet.

That’s when he told her.

For once, they were on the same page. In fact, Erica was of the opinion that she should come along. Jules thought about it for a moment. “Let’s be savvy about this. I don’t think anyone will come looking for our boys immediately, but arrangements were given to travel to Camp Pendleton the day after tomorrow.”

Erica went back to work that afternoon. Jules and his two boys spent the rest of the day shopping for supplies that included a tent, seed, anything that was lightweight and that they thought would be useful in the future. The family, along with many others, had begun to accept a new reality. It wasn’t about consumerism anymore. It was about basic survival – shelter, food, water, and staying safe. In the evening, they got into Erica’s car and drove south. When the car ran out of gas (rations were strict), they parked the car in the bush where they thought they might one day retrieve it, and began the long walk back to Houston.

A storm is coming

Chapter 12 continued

NEWS CLIP

Fox News. “President Stoves announced today that mandatory conscription would be continued despite opposition to it. His spoke of increased insurrection across the nation, giving Texas as an example. He also expressed concern that other southern states were looking to follow the Texan example and secede from the union.

***

Senator Tom Grey and the actor met once more at the senator’s hideaway. The senator was nervous in a way that the actor had never seen him. “What’s wrong?”

The senator didn’t say anything as he picked up the remote and turned to a news channel. Then he turned up the volume and replied to the actor.

“I’m pretty sure I’m being watched, and that I’m on a hit list.”

“Then it’s time to go into hiding. We prepared for this eventuality. Don’t wait.”

“What about you?”

“I don’t think they’re onto me, yet.”

“I think they followed me here.”

“That’s not good.”

“So we both vanish.”

The senator’s hideaway cabin had been built a century before with just such an eventuality in mind, and it occurred to Tom Grey that if his death was on the mind of those he suspected had followed him here, then it was not a moment too soon to move.

“Come,” he said.

The senator walked from the living room into a small study that stood in the center of the quaint cottage. He slipped his hand behind a bookcase and pressed a switch. A well concealed trap door opened under the desk. Tom Grey indicated for the actor to step down and then followed. He closed the trap door as he descended the stairs. There was a small chamber when they came to the bottom of the stairs. Tom hadn’t been there for more than a decade and the air was musty. He wished now that he had stored some provisions here, but apart from a revolver, he hadn’t. He took the revolver from the shelf where it lay, along with the box of cartridges, and indicated for the actor to go down the passage.

The passage descended for about two minutes and then started a gradual ascent. “Where does this lead?” asked the actor.

“About ten minutes down the road to a ramshackle hut that nobody uses. It’s just outside my property.”

“Isn’t that where the deep bush starts?”

“About.”

The senator’s words were cut off as they both heard a loud explosion and the ground beneath them trembled.

Both men were silent for a moment.

“I think they just killed us,” said the actor.

“There’s that,” replied the senator.

***

NEWS CLIP

BBC. President George Stoves today announced his intention to challenge the international community regarding its decision to remove the reserve currency from the United States. He maintained that the charter that had given the country the reserve currency was no longer in existence and, therefore, the reserve currency could never be removed from the country. He stated that removing the reserve currency from America could be seen as an act of war by the international community on America as American citizens had suffered tremendously as a result.

***

Joy Brown looked at her engagement ring. He was dead now, she knew. His house had exploded as the result of a faulty gas fitting, she had been told. Half of her was distressed; the other half looked at it as a simple business arrangement. She had known the senator for some years and when George Stoves had introduced them, she had immediately seen him as a possible partner. What she had not anticipated was George Stoves approaching her after her engagement to the senator and explaining to her that the senator was a possible enemy of the state. She had been horrified but, ever practical, had decided to cut her losses. When she thought that George Stoves might be interested in her and saw that he had his eyes set on the presidency, she decided to switch her affections elsewhere. She knew that expediency during times of war was a useful characteristic to have, and she was determined to be on the winning side.

Just for a moment, though, Joy Brown felt that, without her knowledge of Tom Grey’s more hidden interests, George Stoves would never have shown an interest in her.

***

George Stoves was in a jubilant mood. His plotting and planning for the past decade, and that of his forebears, was coming to fruition at last. He thanked his father, his grandfather, and his great-grandfather for their foresight into the human condition, and thought that he must give special thanks to God that night.

Colonel Andrew and his wife of fourteen years would be coming to dinner in the evening. So was the rest of the inner circle. He had asked Joy Brown along as he was certain that she would make an excellent wife. He felt sure that a little romance in the president’s life would do something for his popularity. Her engagement to the late senator wasn’t well known, although, of course, the press would dig. But then, she was, in a sense, now ‘widowed.’ How romantic that two grieving people would find each other, he thought. What a perfect story for a gullible public.

He was trying out new caterers this evening – ones that had been well recommended. The ‘eight chosen sons’ of the United States would eat and drink well as they celebrated his coming ascendency to the throne.

***

Jules and Erica Feinstein had made their way to downtown Houston. Much of it had burned in the fires early in the month, and what had previously being a model city, now looked like a dark metropolis out of a Batman comic. Still, there were people about – disheveled, obviously not well fed, and some who had become feral. Jules thought his contracting skills could be put to good use and he thought that Erica’s experience of growing up as a farmer’s daughter might be helpful as well.

They settled in the park area, and on the first day incurred some interest when they started to seed a vegetable garden. Cabbage and kale were king because they were healthy and quick growing. It would take some three months for the first crops to be ready for harvesting.

Jules, with his knowledge of building also built an enclosure that drew on the sun during the day but kept the cold out at night. He used plastics he found lying in the streets and took wood from half burnt structures. The thought occurred to him that if only people used their creativity, that there were more than sufficient resources to get them through this nightmare.

They went to bed hungry that night.

***

NEWS CLIP

CBS News. Tales of valor keep coming from New York. Far from being a city destroyed by an EMP bomb, New Yorkers have used their creativity to get the city moving again. Two young men stand out in particular. Blane Coetzee and Jordy Ryan, previously two petty criminals, started the ball rolling. While many people are still leaving the city, there is a renewed energy as indoor vegetable gardening and egg laying chickens return the city to something it might have looked like in earlier days.

On another note, Blane and Jordy, along with many other New Yorkers aged between sixteen and thirty, received their call up papers today. Our journalists found it difficult to obtain comment, but it is generally believed by those that are doing the recruiting that these fine young men will want to do their duty.


Reasons why so many can't be trusted.

Source

Chapter 12 continued

George Stoves considered the dinner to be entirely successful. The guests were served five courses by waiters in tuxedoes. The mood of the early evening was initially frivolous with little shop talk but when it was time for late coffee, the ladies followed Joy Brown to the ladies’ sitting room and left the men to discuss affairs of state.

There was only one ill omen the entire evening. Ben, the oldest waiter there, accidentally tripped and fell when bringing the Bourbon into the study. While down, he quickly slipped a micro-dot size listening device under the table but nobody saw that. He apologized profusely, and made his way out of the study as soon as he could. Thereafter he was careful not to enter the study again, and when the night was over, he quickly made his way to a vehicle parked some fifty yards away.

“Hear anything interesting?” he asked.

***

It took Reilly five days to get to Nevada City. He had scant sleep and by the time he arrived at the Clark’s smallholding, he was tired and grouchy. He was met by Lance Clark who seemed to be unhappy about his arrival, but nevertheless expecting him. Reilly thought that he was just as unhappy about it but he supposed that they were soldiers in a war not of their making, and as far as he could see, that was the way it always was.

In the morning, after a good night’s sleep, he felt much better. He met the rest of the family and was instantly taken with Bett. He thought the attraction mutual but didn’t indicate any of his own interest. There was time enough for love, he thought. He would be here for a while.

After the attack of the previous week, both Ben’s outfit in Northern California and the men of the Anti-Corporate Militia had decided it was vital to protect the family. It was felt that, regardless of the fact that the Clark family knew next to nothing about the inner workings of anything, the perception that they did would mean that assassins would be sent, and each of those assassins would be an opportunity to find the source and reasons for the internal attack on the USA.

The Clark family advertised their survival skills course. They also built several guard towers around the perimeter of the property. It served two purposes. The first was that it provided accommodation for those who could not find a sufficiently inexpensive hotels in Nevada City; the second was that it served as added protection to the family. Needless to say, the events of the previous week had seen that the Clark family didn’t turn down the arsenal of weapons that was offered them.

***

The first night that the Feinsteins spent in Houston was a nightmare. It was uncharacteristically cold for Houston, and with the city dark as a consequence of no electricity, it was not easy to see if danger was lurking anywhere close. Twice, drunken individuals stumped into their small tents, and twice Jules averted a violent melee. In the morning, with the garden laid, and nothing more to be done, he took his family to the next park he could find. There he once more planted a vegetable garden and housed it so that the seeds would grow despite their unseasonable planting. The fact that it was next to the Bayou ensured that there was plenty of water.

In the afternoon, they met another family – Harry, Brenda, and two young daughters who were not yet of school going age. They, too, were living in tents. Their condo had caught alight in the first fires in the city, and since then they had made something of a life for themselves on the streets. When it became too cold, they went into the tunnels underneath the city. The tunnels were no longer closed in the evening, but neither were they well kept, and their past pristine appearance was now nothing but a distant memory.

Harry had wisely foreseen a food shortage and, in the immediate aftermath of the EMP detonation, had rather unceremoniously and illegally raided food stores for dried food like beans and rice. They were light to carry, took up little space, and provided a nutritional meal with only a requirement for water. Fortunately there was a lot of that about, but Harry made a point of finding water purification equipment. A few nights later when the fires came, he hastily packed what they could into suitcases, found two shopping carts, piled as much as they could into them, and accepted that life would never be the same again. Fortunately, Harry and Brenda had been ardent campers, and so were better prepared than most.

They were happy to share a meal with Jules, Erica, and the two boys. Like Jules, Harry was looking for a way to sustain himself and his family for the longer term. They determined to stay in Hermann Park and to begin planting as much seed as possible. In time, the families went to the various landscape and nurseries in order to find fruit trees. These they took as nobody seemed to be serving shoppers. Commerce was all but dead in Houston.

Over the next few months, Harry and Jules worked diligently. Within a few months, they had food to sell and, if occasionally, there were disagreements because they couldn’t quite supply enough, contenders were given their own seed and shown how to grow their own food.

Houston never recovered.

***

President George Stoves was talking to his younger brother – one of the eight that had been at dinner a few nights earlier.

“So Steven, are you looking forward to regaining your title?”

“It’s been a long time – 225 years since we lost our titles.”

“And time to regain them. Lord Stoves – I like that.”

“You don’t think President Stoves sounds better?”

“Lord Steven Stoves. King George Stoves.”

“I’m still not sure they’ll buy it, but you’ve been right before.”

“That’s not what history says. The French chopped off the heads of their king and aristocracy. Napoleon climbed the military ladder, became a General, took the country to war, and then crowned himself Emperor. People are sheep. And they love celebrities and loyalty.”

“The people in those days were tired, poor, and sick of war and blood. They would have accepted anything to live in peace. And maybe some of them remembered the good times under Louis XVI.”

“The people of America will be very tired of it all when we have finished. We’re just beginning the death blows now. Already there is strong resistance to mandatory conscription. It will end with another civil war. And when that war is finished, little will be left of the old order. It will be time for a new order – the time for kings to return to the earth. Democracy has been a great failure.”

***

NEWS CLIP

CNN. In an unexpected development today, the southern states seceded from the Union, stating that they were not in agreement with the way President George Stoves was steering the United States of America.


Governed by Insane People - Chapter 13

People who govern are not always sane.
People who govern are not always sane.

The Second Civil War - Governed by Insanity - Chapter 13

Week Three September

George Stoves grew up on a Virginia estate. He duly attended all the right private schools and then had the choice of Yale or Harvard. His great grandfather and his grandfather attended Yale, one achieving a medical doctorate and the other one a masters in economics. His father defied family tradition and attended Harvard. George followed in his father’s footsteps and graduated four years later with an undergraduate degree in political science.

George’s parents had lived on the same estate for nearly two centuries. As with all old houses, there were nooks and crannies that got lost as the years passed. George and his brother, Steven, had both been blessed (or cursed, depending on how one looked at it) with more than the normal level of curiosity. So it was that one rainy afternoon, they had tugged at a bookshelf that appeared to be coming undone from the wall which supported it. In doing so, they espied an opening in the wall, and as young boys will, making sure that the servants were occupied elsewhere, they pulled and tugged until the shelf was some distance from the wall.

The wall opening led to a small room, and inside the room, the boys found a treasure trove of interesting things. They decided to keep it to themselves, and that they did. For some years, when the boys spent their senior years at Georgetown, the small room behind the bookshelf was forgotten.

It was in his second year at Harvard that George remembered the books. Neither boy had had any idea of either the historical or the financial value of their find, and when the teenage years intruded with new interests, their secret lost some of its excitement. In a history class, touching on the war of independence, George learnt about the loyalists, and he remembered a coronet on one of the books. The next time he went home, he waited until the house was empty and then went into the small room. Even after all this time, he did not wish to share the find with his parents.

It was there that he discovered that his distant ancestor had been a loyalist with a title. Lord Stoves had owned extensive lands but when the war was lost, he had put away his title and never spoken about it again. George found it an interesting tidbit but discovered that it wasn’t a good thing to tell other people. They seemed to find it offensive.

That was so until George started dating a fellow student – a member of the European aristocracy. He fell deeply in love with Karo and wished to marry her after he graduated and had found a stable, well paid job. He learned a lot about the ways of the aristocracy during that time and something of it agreed with his world perspective. The more he learned about it, the more he wanted to be part of it. Life was bliss for George since he discovered his original roots. It gave him a special feeling of importance.

It was during the final days when he wrote his finals that he broached the topic of marriage to Karo, only to discover that she would be marrying, as she put it, ‘one of her own kind.’ George was devastated. “But we’ve been dating each other for two years. I thought we loved each other.”

“We do,” she said, but the aristocracy have never married for love.” That is rather a plebian luxury.” In fairness, she did try to soften the blow by assuring him that she would always love him and he would always hold a special place in his heart.

George Stoves was never the same man again. While he had expected to graduate Magna Cum Laude, his mind was as shattered as his heart. Neither his mind, nor his heart, were on his final exams, and when he left Harvard, it was to join the military. Although he never really explored his impetus to do so, if he had done some more soul searching, he would have found it was the result of his obsession with the man that Karo married. Born into nobility – a family line going back close to 600 years – Count von Richtenburg had pursued the normal route of many of the aristocracy – the military.

George never married. As he rose through the ranks, he imagined himself more and more as the Lord his distant ancestor had been. He was of the perspective, as Karo had shared with him, that it was in the blood, and he believed that it was definitely in his blood. He considered buying a title but knew that that would never satisfy his lost love. That she had married for convenience and probably had distant, if fond, memories of their time together never occurred to him.

More than a decade after they parted, George met her unexpectedly at a reception in New York. She accompanied her husband, a minor diplomat for his country, and despite the years, recognized George instantly, as he did her. It was also obvious that none of the chemistry which had initially attracted the two had disappeared. So it was almost inevitable that they spent some hours making love a few days later. And then she was gone, back to her country, and George was once more left with a breaking heart.

With it came an intense drive to regain the title he ancestor had so willingly given up. He read up on the topic of titles lost but was most fascinated by the journey of Napoleon through the military and to his eventual status upgrade to Emperor. It didn’t seem a bad idea to George at all. By now he was the youngest general the US army had ever seen – with a senator for a brother. Steven Stoves had initially set his heart on the White House but, as the result of a rather messy divorce, didn’t think that was ever going to happen. Subsequently, as these things do, both men had a festering resentment towards the status quo, and so, when Steven was invited to join a secret society, it wasn’t long before both brothers were actively involved in a plot to enrich themselves by using power structures not designed for that purpose. As the years passed, and as the eight individuals of the group became increasingly successful, the group began to develop its own ideological perspective. Chief amongst them was that not all people were equal, and that God made some to be leaders, and others to be their followers. Therefore, they reasoned, God rewarded them – appropriately – with more power and more money. They also believed that just as one culled animals once they reached a certain number – for the common good, of course – so it might be necessary, at some point, to cull human beings.

As with all these things, when people are isolated from others, they do not hear criticism of their ideas, and so they become entrenched, and eventually, very little could convince them that their ideas lacked validity – or even sanity. Thus it was with George, Steven, and the other six members of their ‘Elective,’ as they named themselves. It was no surprise then, that ten years earlier, they had begun to plot and plan, their eventual goal being to make themselves the kings of the earth. Napoleon was their mascot.

***

Jose Martinez was born in Mexico City to a struggling young tradesman and his wife. When Jose was six year old, Emilio, his father, took his wife, Elvia, across the border to visit his relatives and then told his wife he was not returning with her. She had the choice to stay or return home.

“You can go home and I will send you money every month, but I will not do as well in Mexico City as I will do here,” he said to her.

Elvia pointed out that it would be difficult for her to find work without the necessary papers, but Jose was confident that with his trade as a bricklayer, not too many questions would be asked. And he was right. In return for underpaying him, most American contractors were quite content to ask no questions.

Emilio Martinez moved to San Diego in California in his second year. There, he soon found that his skill as a bricklayer was highly desired by rich contractors. He learned from them, and a decade after arriving in America, he set up his own contracting business. When ID papers or a social security number were required, he did what every other person residing illegally in the States did – he paid for forged papers.

So it was that by the time Jose reached eighteen, he had become accustomed to the American way of life, was more fluent in English than his parents’ native Spanish, and between working for his contractor father during vacation time and studying hard for good grades, he was off to a pretty good start at a pretty good university.

He graduated with a civil engineering degree at UC Irvine and applied to work for the State. Jose parent’s had never told him that his social security number was counterfeit and so it was a bewildered young man who suddenly found himself being investigated as to the legitimacy of his stay in America.

“Papa, what have you done? The Immigration people say my papers aren’t real!”

“No, Son, they aren’t.” Emilio did not meet the eyes of his son when he said those words.

Jose had been tempted to be angry with his father, but he was a practical man, and the glass was always half full with him.

“Never mind, Papa,” he said.

It wasn’t a long investigation, but it was a disastrous investigation. Emilio, Elvia, and Jose were told that they had a month to pack their possessions and return to Mexico City. Jose’s sister fared better. She had married an American citizen the previous year and was given a grace period to get her papers in order. Jose wondered what would happen if he found an American girl willing to marry him, but somehow he did not think that the feds would be fooled.

So being a practical young man, he counted his blessings. He thanked his father for the opportunity he had of getting a fine education and helped his father sell the business to a competitor. With the takings, if nothing else, the Martinez family would have a good life in Mexico. Two days before the family was due to leave America, the EMP bombs went off and life went to hell in a made-in-China basket.

“Look at the bright side,” Jose said to his father. “Now we can stay in America and nobody will ask any more questions.”

“Why would we want to stay?” asked his father.

“Because now I’m going to get rich fixing up America,” replied Jose. So his father and mother decided to stay – for a while, anyway.

Short film about a possible second civil war

Chapter 13 continued

Senator Tom Grey and the actor did not stay long in the tunnel that had permitted them an escape in such a timely manner. Both were aware that those who had been sent would look for evidence that they had died in the explosion and that they would eventually find the trapdoor that had permitted them their flight. When they reached the end of the passage, they debated the merits of whether to vanish into the heavily wooded forest or to make their way down to the lake shore and use a dingy to get to safety. There were advantages and disadvantages to both.

If they took to the wooded area, they were hidden from the air but could be tracked by dogs. If they took to the lake, they could be espied from the air, but could not be tracked by dogs. In the end, they decided to spend the remaining few hours of dark silently paddling in a dingy and to get off shortly before daylight.

When the first rays of the early morning sun finally rose on the horizon, they were some twenty miles from their start-off point. The senator was more familiar with the area than the actor and, therefore, took the lead. The dilemma of how to proceed was a constant thorn in the flesh. Both men were only too aware that those with the level of expertise and resources which had enabled the attack on them would notice any credit card expenditure. It was the actor who improvised.

When they arrived at a small fishing village alongside the lake, the actor, more casually attired in blue jeans, found a charity shop and bought a pair of cheap jeans and a shirt for the senator. Now, more in tune with their surroundings, the actor proceed to thumb a ride. Their destination, they decided, would be the Anti Corporate Militia camp. “After all, we funded it,” reasoned the senator.

***

There would aleays be men who would profit from the disaster which befell others. In the weeks following the EMP bomb, Jose realized that he was one of them.

“Jose, what you are doing is not a good thing,” Emilio was dismayed.

“It is the American way,” said Jose.

“It is not the Hispanic way,” replied Emilio.

But Jose did not care. He was making money. When the State was looking to collect gold from the people, Jose volunteered his services. Then he kept a percentage for himself. When bridges were blocked and homes were falling apart, and anything that needed his skill was presented to him, Jose took payment in kind. The closer he worked to the lost metropolis of Los Angeles, the more money he made. Mostly he took land, jewelry, art, and the things that rose in value during times of peace and prosperity, Jose was a clever man. He knew that those times would return again, and so he congratulated himself on his prowess during the current time of uncertainty.

So it was towards the third week of the events that Jose found himself being recruited by the Marines. The stories of his skill had traveled far, and Jose had been pleased with that for it meant increased opportunity came his way. Now he was not so sure, for he had not anticipated been recruited by the military. He cursed Adrian James, the Texan governor for allowing the Marines into Texas. Then, again, he couldn’t see how the governor could refuse. There were several bases in Texas.

“I’m not American,” he said.

“Then what are you doing working illegitimately in America?”

“I was on my way home when the EMP bomb fell and so I thought I would stay to help.”

“Well, we need your help. This will be a good opportunity, and we will give you citizenship.”

Jose thought that he did not want to be with soldiers because he did not want to lose his life. He knew that those who lived by the sword died by the sword. But he did not know how to say no, and so he said that he would join them in the morning.

“Be sure that you are there,” the Captain said to him.

Jose went home to tell his father. “You must go back to Mexico,” he said. “Take what you’ve got, and your mother and I will follow you as soon as we have everything together.” It was decided that Jose would report for duty the following morning so that he had time to get his things in order – he didn’t want to leave without the loot he had so carefully amassed – and then he would take absence without leave. His escape, it was decided, would probably be within two or three days.

So the next morning, Jose joined the Marines, sure that he would escape shortly. But a few hours after he was recruited, he was given orders to go to Washington. He would be in the convoy which was to travel cross country.

***

Alison Georgina Hayworth was born with a silver spoon in her mouth. The silver spoon had remained there until she married a man whom her parents considered unsuitable and, subsequently, disinherited her. Ali soon found out that her parents were right about the man and divorced her husband eighteen months after she married him. Deeply angry with her parents, however, she did not attempt to get in touch with them, and when she read, in a newspaper report, that both her parents had been killed in an unfortunate car accident, it had been too late to return to the fold. Her brother and sister, neither of whom she had ever had much in common with, did not welcome her at the funeral, and it was a few days later that she discovered that her parent’s fortune had been equally divided between her siblings with nothing left for her.

She thought about her options for a few days and then made her way to Las Vegas. There, she signed up for a position as a Black Jack dealer – the most junior of all dealer positions. The money was good and she put away every penny that she could. After a year, she trained to become a croupier – the name for a Roulette dealer, and from there, another year later, she became a Craps dealer. Unlike the other dealers, she did not spend what she garnered in tips and salary. A year later, she became a pit boss, stayed for another two years, and by that time, she had half a million in the bank.

She bought a small cottage in Miami, signed up for college - something that neither of her parents had encouraged - and studied the disaster sciences. In her final year, she met Robert, a well known indie actor who had one foot in the environmental sciences and another foot in theater. They established an immediate bond, but Ali, once bitten, twice shy, wasn’t ready to let it progress beyond a mild flirtation. She graduated with a respectable pass. On the side, she bought casino tables, hired dealers, and hired out their services for functions. By the time she graduated, Alison Hayworth had become a millionaire.

Two weeks after graduation, the EMP bombs went off, and Alison’s financial efforts went the same way everybody’s else’s did. Undeterred, she contacted FEMA and asked if she could be of service. They said no, that they could handle it themselves. She didn’t think so, but Ali had learned long ago that paths were seldom smooth. She got in touch with some fellow students and established the Alison Hayworth Disaster Management Protocol – AHDMP.

Within weeks, her organization had recruited numerous volunteers and started training anyone who was interested. With what money she had left, she outfitted each volunteer willing to travel to disaster areas with basic survival equipment, and by the time a month had passed, not only had some of her volunteers reached Los Angeles, New York, Houston, and Chicago, but some paid with their lives for doing so. With each life lost, Alison became more and more determined to change the status quo.

So it was that she established her own intelligence service to find out exactly what was happening and why it was happening. Almost in the same breath, Robert, the actor, came back into her life again. She was pleasantly surprised and couldn’t deny to herself that she had missed their easy camaraderie. She had also worked through the difficulties of her first romantic disappointment and was more ready to look at that area of her life again. She acknowledged, however briefly, that it probably wasn’t the right time to do so as there were far more serious issues on the table.

As the situation in America nosedived deeper and deeper into anarchy, she set about designing a new means of national administration. More to the point, she focused on finding a way in which Americans could move away from a representative democracy to an actual democracy. If the opportunity arose, she intended to be ready when the moment arrived for a new system to be implemented. She focused on a system in which citizens voted only on issues that affected them personally - one in which the system enabled both local and national issues to have the most relevant voices speaking for each issue.

Robert was a great help. In the final days before they graduated, they had spent many hours talking about the intricacies required for national administration. Both were of the opinion that administration was a separate issue to ideology, and that the two should not be confused. They did not focus so much on what the constitution should be, as to how to implement the constitution so that corruption was not possible.

Could another civil war happen?

Chapter 13 continued

Four weeks after the EMP bombings, Ali received an urgent email via the deeply encrypted intelligence pathway she had set up with Robert. It asked her to come to Houghton, a small town in Wisconsin. There she would be met by someone who would escort her to his current location. Ali had sufficient intelligence to know that the missive meant that she had been targeted by powers unknown. In her quiet disciplined way, she deleted the message, informed her assistant that she would be out for the rest of the day, drove in a north easterly direction until she arrived in Salt Lake city late in the evening. There she ditched her car as she had no idea at what point her office would report her missing and sent an email to her assistant that she would be out of town for a few days. She also indicated that her assistant was to use her discretion for any mid management decisions but to contact her for the more important ones.

It was a smokescreen, of course. Her purpose was to ensure that nobody would realize she was missing until she had covered her tracks sufficiently well for there to be no way of tracing her. When the email was sent, she boarded a greyhound bus with a set different identity, headed north, trying to ensure at every point that if and when there was a search for her whereabouts, that her route would not be that easy to track.

***

In the dark of the night, on his second night in the convoy, close to Las Vegas, Jose sneaked out of his tent. He was quiet, something that came naturally to him, and so it was that he overheard something that he shouldn’t have overheard.

“I see we’re not heading north east, Captain. Anything I should know.”

“The men will be briefed when it’s time. We’re going to take back Texas. Orders from Washington. This secession business is not good for morale.”

Jose’s blood went cold. He had relatives in Texas. His aunt and uncle stayed there. What would happen if he had to kill them? Quite suddenly Jose wished that he had returned to Mexico and not let his greed dominate him.

Perhaps the loss of men through the nightmare events of the past month had affected the normal rigid discipline of the military, or perhaps there weren’t sufficient men to guard the camp, but Jose easily slipped out of the camp, and when he was a good distance away, he started running. He reckoned it was at least a two hour walk before he would find the nearest town. He would hotwire a car and make his way to Mexico, going by way of Brownsville in Texas, and then to Matamoros in Mexico. He didn’t bother about going back to his habitat for his newly acquired wealth.

Along the way, Jose had another brilliant idea – he was full of them, he thought.

***

Alison arrived in Houghton in the early hours of Friday morning, five days after she took her leave of her previous life. She hoped that, if anyone was tracking her, that she had lost them; she had certainly focused on remaining invisible to any eyes that might have noticed her. She had dyed her hair, cut it short, added glasses, and tossed anything that would have identified her as anything other than another displaced person.

So it was that by the time she boarded the Greyhound bus for the last leg of her journey, she was quite sure that nobody had followed her. She had constantly changed her means of transport between bus, car, and train. When she arrived in Houghton, she thankfully alighted from the bus and looked around her.

“You’re looking good,” Rob’s voice said. She stared at the man in front of her. He did not look like Rob.

“Rob, is that you?” she asked.

“Yes. I’ve become quite a master of disguise,” he said.

“You were always good,” she acknowledged, then gave him a big hug, gave him a second look and asked, quite seriously, “Are things that bad?”

“Worse,” he said. “George Stoves is insane. He is grooming the US Military to go to war against the people of America, and that includes us.”

“Are you in trouble with him, Rob?”

“Yes,” replied Rob.

“What did you do?”

“Probably a few things I ought not to have done if I was looking after my own interests. But it pales into significance when considering what George is doing. We think that he has been responsible for the biological attack and the EMP bombs.

“Why?” asked Ali.

“Money is one reason, but I think it’s more than that. Truth is we don’t know.”

“You going to find out?”

“Yes, I’m going to go undercover and join George’s staff.”

“You are what?”

***

It took Jose nearly three days to make his way to Mexico City. During that time, he experienced hardships that he had never previously experienced, and some of his attitude towards life changed. He became harder in some respects, kinder in other respects, and whatever trust he had had in the American system of justice, now completely deserted him.

The younger brother of his mother lived in Mexico and Jose thought that was where his parents would be. They were. Once they had crossed the border, they had simply taken the next flight to Mexico City, something that Jose had not been able to do as he did not have the funds to do so. Quickly, he told them what he had overheard, and then asked his relatives if they knew of any way in which he could speak to the president of Mexico directly. The closest that they could get him, they told him, would be the boss of a friend, who happened to be on the same board of an electrical company that the president’s brother was. Jose thought that was a start.

It took him another two days to get to speak to an aide to the president, and then only because he bribed his way there. In the end, it wasn’t until he told the aide what was on his mind that he was permitted access to the president.

“Mr. President,” he said, “Mexico once lost Texas to the Americans. Now Washington is preparing for war against Texas. We can offer our troops to the Texans, and I’m sure they’ll take them. Then, when we’ve won, we can begin to negotiate with the Texan governor to become part of Mexico once again.”

The President asked Jose many questions in the hour they spent together, but he did not give any assurances to Jose. He just thanked him politely and asked his aide to see him out.

Jose went home and never met the president again. It didn’t matter to him because shortly afterwards he met a nice Mexican girl and married her. His American education stood him in good stead, and if things across the border weren’t the way they used to be, it didn’t worry him unduly. Manana. Tomorrow was another day.

***

El Presidente called Adrian James, the Texan governor. The two men knew each other from college days, and if there wasn’t the closest of friendships, there was certainly a measure of goodwill between the two men.

“Yes, we know about the approaching military. We’ve been aligning with several of the southern states and that has resulted in a delay while the north gathers more troops,” the Texas governor told him. “We’ve also, surrounded the existing marine bases in Texas. One thing Washington did not anticipate was that several of our Texan boys deserted the moment they knew what was afoot.”

“How soon do you expect more troops to cross into Texas?”

“Anytime now,” responded the governor.

“We’ll fly in troops,” said the Mexican president. “You’ll need an air force.”

***

The following morning, George Stoves called Adrian James. “Are you ready to return to the fold?” he asked.

“We’re remaining separate from the State of the Union for now,” replied the Texas governor.

“Then I must tell you that you cannot withstand the might of the United States military. We have at our disposal EMP bombs, biological warfare, exoskeleton suits for our soldiers as well as drone aircraft heavily loaded with nuclear missiles.”

The governor of Texas was stunned into silence, and in that silence, he heard George Stoves chuckle, and then put the phone down.

For the first time in a very long time. Adrian James was scared. He wondered if he was dealing with a mad man and if George Stoves was quite sane. He sat still for a few minutes and then he called the Mexican president. “I’ll accept that help,” he said.

“Then it’s time for a negotiation,” replied El Presidente.

Chapter 14

America is broken
America is broken

The Second Civil War - America is Broken - Chapter 14

Week Three September

Bett shuffled around the notes she had spent the last week. No matter which order she put them in, she couldn’t establish a pattern or find which party was the most likely to be guilty. So she once more put them into the order in which the events had happened.

The failure of American banks and the loss of the reserve currency had happened mid-August, and the EMP bombs had been detonated within hours in Houston, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles leaving America’s top four cities dead in the water. The GOP leader, Jack Jones, had been shot at a meeting by an unknown gunman, followed by a dozen top executives of the Federal Reserve being shot. In addition, Reilly had told her that General Mike Barton had been shot at the Pentagon.

Peter Allen, the congressman who had put his fist into the face of the president, had escaped from jail within hours and made his way to Reilly’s Anti Corporate Militia. In that time period, as a result of a message from Ben, an old friend of her father, Bett and her family had made their way to their safe house, Refuge. The day after their arrival they had heard that the Texas governor, Adrian James, had seceded from the Union and established an alternative currency for Texas. Simultaneously, there had been an enforced division of sorts between northern and southern California. The division had been put into place by a stench bomb so vile that people within the area had run for covers. Those who had remained had been killed by some sort of biological warfare weapon. According to Alasdair, while the Democratic arm of the militia had been responsible for the stench bomb, they had not incorporated any biological weapon. That had meant that someone knew their plans and that the Dem Militia had probably been infiltrated.

By day two, the four cities that had faced EMP bomb devastation had become increasingly chaotic with riots and vandalism. Much of main downtown Houston had been burnt to the ground as fire engines had been unable to reach the city due to stationery cars deactivated by the EMP bomb. Within hours of that, someone had attempted to set off a biological weapon in New York but the agent had taken her own life instead. The biological weapon had been released in various other cities, however, as they had later discovered.

Harold Parkins and his family, together with nearly three dozen of America’s richest families had been kidnapped and then guillotined as punishment for their wealth. Their wealth had mysteriously vanished, as had the speaker, Ginger Pike. However, that had happened after the president and vice president had been assassinated. In the meantime, within days of all the American disasters, China had sought assurance that her debt would be repaid in a viable currency, requesting that all future payments be made in gold. As far as she could recall, that had been the third day after the detonation of the EMP bomb. Nothing like hitting your ‘friends’ when they were down, she thought.

Bett’s cell phone rang. It was Reilly. He had been sent to the village to get some supplies. “Bett,” he started saying in a terse voice.

***

Joe Bloomberg, the chairman of the Democratic State Committee for California, had flown from Sacramento to San Francisco. The Democratic Party had all but fallen apart with the events of the past five weeks. That George Stoves had usurped the presidency and declared martial law had outraged him, but his comments had quickly been stifled when his wife and children had been threatened.

Whispers that the president was seriously engaged in derailing the United States had begun to reach him with a frequency that frightened him. He could not grasp it. Now he was to meet with Ben Jackson. The meeting had been arranged through secret couriers, but he was fully aware that with electronic surveillance everywhere, very little could be arranged without watching eyes and listening ears.

He deplaned, found a cab and said, “The Marriot, please.” Lost in thought, it was a few minutes before he realized that the driver was not heading towards the hotel.

***

“Bett, I’ve just heard news that George Stoves has given instructions for all militias to be declared a danger to the state, and that they are to be shut down immediately.”

Bett didn’t speak immediately, then said, “Well, I guess we’ve been one step away from being a fascist state since this started. Where’s your father?”

“I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure that the next step will be that anybody involved in any way with a militia will be arrested.”

“That probably includes all of us living at Refuge,” Bett thought aloud. “So much for our refuge in a time of trouble.” She wondered how much time they had to make other plans.

“I have to speak to my father, Reilly, and he’s not here now.”

“I’ll be back shortly,” said Reilly and rung off.

What do the Bilderberg Group talk about in their meetings? Nobody knows.

Chapter 14 continued

Bett felt a deep sense of disquiet and wanted to start preparing for an evacuation. Instead she spoke to her brothers who started setting things in motion while she continued shuffling the bits of paper around in front of her, trying to find a pattern in the chain of events.

Alasdair had come into their lives on the third day after the EMP bombs. A day later the president of the United States had been assassinated. Before he died, however, he had mentioned that several cities were under threat of biological weapons and that the CDC had quarantined those cities and that the marines would be moving in. He had mentioned four other cities that had been infected – Jamestown, Flagstaff, Memphis, Youngstown, and possibly Chicago. They were all reasonably small cities and, other than sending a message to the American people that nobody was safe no matter where they resided, Bett could not see a reason for those four cities being selected. There was no connection between them.

She thought back to the horror of that particular television broadcast. The president had then resigned, and then given the reason for his inability to carry out his campaign promises as the result of pressure from a secret organization or black ops group controlling the White House. Scarcely had he spoken the words, when both the president and the vice president had been assassinated. It had all happened very vividly swiftly on television – a stark reality show which shattered its viewers. Later it was announced that the president’s family had vanished. To date, none of them had been found.

Bett wondered if they were dead.

****

“Where are you going?” demanded Joe Bloomberg, as a flash of fear added a tone of aggression to his question.”

“Colonel Jackson gave me instructions to take you to another destination, Mr. Bloomberg,” replied the cabbie. It was only at that point that the Democratic leader realized that there was something of a military bent about his cabbie.

Bloomberg removed his cell from his pocket. He wanted to check. “Put down the cell phone, Mr. Bloomberg. Now is not the time.” The tone of voice did not beg altercation and Joe thought discretion the better part of valor. He wondered if it was the last day of his life.

***

Bett continued to move the bits and pieces of the puzzling and dreadful events of the past four months.

Inconveniently, Ginger Pike, the speaker of the house and third in line to the presidency, had vanished. George Stoves, the past chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staffs, had taken over the presidency in a coup. Derek Morton, the past director of FEMA had immediately been appointed vice president by George Stoves, and the new president had immediately declared a state of martial law. The new president, after announcing the presence of the deadly toxin, had stated that, harsh though the action might be, it was a choice either between some dying a few hours prematurely through military action or the entire country being wiped out by a virus that could not be contained. Los Angeles, Chicago, Flagstone, Youngstown, Memphis, and Albuquerque had, therefore, been razed to the ground to the horror of most Americans.

The President had also announced that Chinese ships were en route to the USA in order to collect the gold owed them. He signed an executive order forbidding the ownership of gold in any form and said that officials would be visiting the homes of all American in order to collect any gold they might still have in their possession.

***

Alison Hayworth was not a fool. She might have been impulsive in an earlier part of her life, but her lessons had been learned the hard way, and after taking a hot shower at the ACM camp, it had not taken her long to confront Robert – the actor – with some questions. She knew him well enough to read his body language, for they had been casual lovers for a while after all.

“Rob, you know a great deal more than you’re saying. I want to know all of it.”

He eyed her. “Yes, I suppose you do.”

Ali waited. Robert stared into the air in front of him. They were sitting at a table, a little way away from the camp, sheltered by the trees, but with enough of a view of the camp to be visible to others. Then he turned towards her and said, “I was recruited while I was at college to work for National Intelligence. I was flattered and accepted without too much thought. While there, I was recruited by Senator Tom Grey who had some concerns. Playing a double game seemed exciting, too, so I didn’t hesitate on that one either. Also, the money was good. As an actor, I had access to many places and could travel freely, so it all worked rather well.”

He grinned. “How do you think I was able to take you out to such fabulous places while we were dating?” Then the grin disappeared from his face, as he continued, “After Tom pointed me in a certain direction, I started using my cosmetic skills impersonating certain officers – in particular, George Stoves - and gaining access to certain files as a result. One evening I walked into George Stove’s home, dressed as George Stoves, of course, and went through his files. What I read frightened the hell out of me, and I started trying to think of ways to leave National Intelligence. I knew that if it was realized that I knew certain things, I would be dead.”

“What things?” asked Alison.

Bilderberg in 2017

Chapter 14 continued

Bett heard her brothers asking their mother where her father had gone. Her mother did not know. He had been somewhat secretive about his destination. Bett was worried by took her mind off the situation and focused on the papers in front of her.

Now, just over a month after the initial events, the face of America had changed. Many urbanites had relocated from the cities to rural areas, leaving vast tracts of empty housing for any to occupy. The previous love affair with consumerism faded overnight as people fled to safer havens. Where possible, some migrated to Mexico, and no doubt, those who made it and had sufficient funds, migrated from there to other countries. Interestingly, illegal immigrants also started finding their way back to their home countries. Martial Law had been declared in many areas, and few put civil liberty above their own safety.

She looked at her notes again, reading and rereading. Los Angeles was destroyed, as was Chicago within the first week – Americans were dying at the hands of Americans. Flagstaff, Memphis, Youngstown, and Jamestown were destroyed by the army with the CDC standing by to ensure that the job was correctly done. Countless lives were lost.

Most Americans, while shuddering at the elimination of entire cities, some devastated at the loss of loved ones, vied between anger at the action and relief that it wasn’t them.

And as Bett read through all her notes, still nothing jumped at her. She thought back to Alasdair, to their initial chemistry, and to the fact that something about him was niggling. She had made contact with Reilly of the Anti-Corporate Militia a week previously and his talk with Peter Allen had resulted in Peter Allen being shot. That indicated that there were people within the ACM who had another agenda, one that Peter Allen might have known about.

Bett glanced at the list of militias that she had compiled. About a hundred new militias had been formed since the election of a black president more than a decade previously. She therefore eliminated most of them has they had a racial agenda and her gut feel was that this was not a racial agenda. Six stood out. The Democratic Militia in northern California, the Anti-Corporate Militia in Keweenaw Bay in Michigan, a militia in northern Texas that appeared to have links to the ACM but she wasn’t sure how, and a rather shadowy militia in Florida called, “The Elective” that nobody seemed to know much about. In fact, it was very small, did not seem to be well equipped at all, although it had been established some ten years earlier. In fact, the only reason that she focused on it was because nobody seemed to know anything about it.

In the past few years, the number of people affiliated with militias had risen to about 90,000. It wasn’t much in comparison to the number of marines – close to 1.5 million. However, 60,000 men could do a lot of damage, depending on ow well trained and how well armed they were.

Then there was the strange case of Jim Holder, the newly appointed director of Fema. Jim Holder had resigned his position shortly before Hurricane Delilah hit Florida. Then, afterwards, he had taken his life saying that he regretted his involvement with Delilah. Something didn’t sound quite right to Bett, but she didn’t quite know what.

Reilly had arrived unexpectedly a few days earlier, explaining that he had gone awol as he wasn’t sure whom he could trust after Peter Allen had been shot. Bett had liked him immediately.

***

“We’re being culled,” said Robert, looking at her, his voice quavering for a moment, and then it was his normal drawl again.

“What do you mean we’re being culled?” the meaning of the words too bizarre for her to contemplate that it could possibly mean what she thought they meant.

“Operation Delilah was launched about a decade ago and its aim is to lower the population of the world.”

“You are being serious.”

“Yes.”

“What does the Senator think?”

“I never told him.”

“Rob, you don’t make sense.”

Man-made viruses can escape captivity...

Source

Chapter 14 continued

Count Franz von Richtenburg contemplated world events. The Bilderberg Group had certainly done its job well. Slowly, inexorably, order was being restored. Peasants were returning to their rightful place, as were the aristocracy. Yet it was a different aristocracy to the one previously established – previously it had been one of birth, now it was a status earned by merit. One either had the money to buy in, or one joined the working classes. Certainly, the middle classes had shrunk in size, in fact, very much the same size it used to be before democracy took hold.

He took his cell phone from his pocket and dialed. “George,” he said, you’ve done a good job – so far.” His voice was smooth and friendly and, perhaps, he should not have included the ‘so far’ but he hadn’t forgotten that George had slept with his wife. Karo had confessed the morning after, perhaps in retaliation for the affair he had had with her best friend. “By my count, the American population is now down by about twelve million people. That means you’ve still got most of your work cut out – another hundred and fifty million to go. How is Operation Delilah proceeding?”

***

“Ali, no, I didn’t tell Tom. It was a gut feel, and I have learnt the long and hard way to listen to my gut. I think, also, at the beginning, I very much had the feeling that there was something more to his request that I shadow George Stoves.”

He paused, looked at his surroundings. “Ali, feel like a drive? Let’s go to the Houghton water front. We’ll talk when we get there.”

Alison was somewhat startled. They had only been back at the camp a few hours and she was perfectly relaxed where she was. Because it was Robert, she agreed. Once in the car, she sensed his mood not to speak and remained silent. An hour later, they were sitting at a café, watching yachts of various footage, crisscross the river. “What’s up, Rob?” She said it softly.

“I told Tom that I had found evidence that George was involved in a group who called themselves ‘the Elective.’ He pressed me to find out what else I knew, and there was something in his body language that warned me not to reveal the full content of what I knew.”

“I told him that it seemed that Stoves had delusions of grandeur and that I had found a file containing various coats of arms that he appeared to be designing for himself, and that I thought he was seriously wanting to become a member of the aristocracy of old, but had no idea how that would be accomplished.”

“After pressing me some more, and not getting anything – I was always a good actor – he left off.”

Robert paused and, once more, gazed at the yachts on the river. Ali didn’t say anything. She was content to let the silence stretch as long as Rob needed it to.

“He then started feeding me with information that I always thought fitted what we had seen – until recently. He said that George was probably working alongside the one percent to enrich themselves, and that when he got rich enough, like Napoleon, he would probably buy himself a title. It did make sense, and I bought it. We both joined the ACM a few months after that and funded them quite heavily. At least, Tom did. The man is far richer than he seems.”

“The ACM had an agenda, and that was to destroy the top one percent. I bought into it because I could see the harm they were doing to the country. I didn’t expect, however, for them to guillotine thirty five of our most elite.” Robert paused, then said, “It was around that time that things didn’t begin to add up. They were little things, and I started thinking.”

There were other things about Tom that never quite made sense to me, and they niggled at me. I was careful for I sensed him to be a dangerous man, and I started digging a little deeper about him. Tom Grey had been in the Diplomatic Corps a decade earlier. He had served in Germany and had, by strange coincidence, stuck up a close friendship with a Count Franz von Richtenburg, the husband of George Stove’s college sweetheart. Tom, incidentally, is fluent in German, something that he has never let on to anyone. It’s obvious that he would be, of course, otherwise he would hardly have been appointed to a diplomatic post in Germany.” There was another pause while Robert looked around him, clearly watching to see if anyone recognized either him or Ali.

He turned back to face Ali. “Tom Grey is a member of the Bilderberg Group and so is Count von Richtenburg. And I think that Operation Delilah is the brain child of the Bilderberg Group. I think that they’re trying to wipe half the population from the earth, and I think they’re going to use a manmade bird flu that is quite deadly. It kills one in two people and would leave the United States decimated.”

A breeze picked up and Alison felt a chill pass through her. She shivered slightly, and Robert offered her his jacket. “Why would Tom be watching George? Isn’t George a member of the Bilderberg Group as well? How would he know about Operation Delilah if he wasn’t?”

“I don’t think he’s a member. I think he takes orders from them, and worse, I think he is double crossing them. He’s stupid enough and arrogant enough to think that he will get away with it.”

“Why do you think that?”

“Because Tom was genuinely shocked that George Stoves had wiped out Chicago and Los Angeles, and because he doesn’t trust George Stoves. I think he hired me to watch him so that the Bilderberg Group could keep him under control.”

“So what are you going to do now?” asked Alison.

“Well, it gets worse. I think Tom had something to do with the shooting of Peter Allen. There was a phone call while we were on the way here and I’m almost sure he gave the instruction to shoot someone. I’m not sure. I am, however, sure that he doesn’t need me anymore and I’m not sure that I’m safe.”

Robert looked at his empty coffee cup and noted that Alison’s was empty as well. “Would you like another cup?” he asked.

“Yes,” replied Alison. Robert looked up to summon the waiter. As he did so, he saw Tom Grey coming towards him. In that moment, he knew that Tom Grey had been listening to every word he said.

***

Ben Jackson and Joe Bloomberg sat talking in a small cottage on the outskirts of Santa Rosa. Ben Jackson had been brief. “We’ve been listening in to George Stove’s private conversations and he is associated with the Bilderberg Group in Europe. It seems he plans to wipe out half the population of the United States using some manmade virus.”

***

Conspiracy is rampant - Chapter 15

Second Civil War - Conspiracies
Second Civil War - Conspiracies

The Second Civil War - Conspiracy - Chapter 15

Week 3 September

CBS News: President Stoves has today warned that anti-capitalists are renewing activities to further destroy the United States of America. He went as far as to say that the danger is now so extreme that those who persist in their endeavors to bring down democracy will be shot on sight. Citizens who do their civic duty by turning in anti-capitalists will be rewarded with a month’s supply of food and gas.

***

It was as well that Rob had remained seated because Tom Grey walked right past him and Ali. The senator did not acknowledge him and did not meet his eyes. For a moment Rob wondered if he had been mistaken as it occurred to him that he was still in disguise, but he doubted it. Tom’s body language and the momentary eye contact had been quite clear. Tom had heard every word that he and Ali had spoken. And if he had heard their conversation, Rob was quite sure that, somewhere on his person, there was a bug. He looked at Ali and said, “Where is he going?” Ali’s eyes immediately followed the senator as he walked past their table.

“He’s just joined someone at a table – about three tables behind you.”

Rob sat in silence for a few moments and Ali said nothing, instead watching the lips of the man facing the Senator. There were, indeed, times when lip reading paid dividends.

Rob, obviously finished with his musing, said, “Let’s go back to the camp,” got up from his seat in a way that allowed him to view the person who was seated with Tom Grey, then ushered Ali towards the entrance. He put his finger to her lips and indicated not to talk, then said, “Well, that was a nice meal. It is nice to see you, Ali.”

Ali got the idea and continued with the small talk. He steered her towards some shops and she followed, aware that it was best not to ask what was happening. About a block down the road, Rob stepped into a Goodwill store and, very rapidly, selected clothing for both Ali and himself, including shoes, underwear, and whatever else they would need for a complete change of clothing. Ali caught on and even purchased a wig. Both were chatting inanely about things that related to their previous lives, about mutual friends with whom they had long lost contact, careful that neither mentioned anything that they had previously discussed. Ali wondered who the people were, but knew that it had to be dangerous for Rob to respond as he was.

Once they paid for the clothing, Tom drove to the local Greyhound station, purchased some tickets to Chicago from the electronic ticket machine, then indicated that Ali was to go to the restroom to change. When she emerged ten minutes later, the only way she recognized Rob was through the clothing he had just purchased. The bus was due to leave in ten minutes and she and Rob made their way to the bus. As he went, he said, “Let’s get back to the car. We should get back to camp.”

An hour later, when the Greyhound stopped at Manitowoc, they stepped off. Ali knew the maneuvers. She had been covering her tracks in the same way. Rob was obviously very good at it as well. He found another charity shop, purchased another change of clothing for them, then, after they had changed their appearance once more, Rob hired some bicycles and they made their way towards the lake. There, they hired a boat, and Rob took them across Lake Michigan. She was surprised at the amount of cash he carried on him, but it made sense. In his mode of existence, emergencies would arrive by the minute, and cards could be traced.

While they were on the water, taking advantage of the rush of water, Rob said, “That was Colonel Andrews he met. I had to have a bug on me because Tom Grey met my eyes, recognized me, and his expression told me quite clearly he heard everything I said.”

“Who is Colonel Andrews?”

“He’s George Stoves’ sidekick – some sort of personal aide.”

“So how does that fit in?”

“I don’t know…”

“I did lip read – see I told you one day it would come into good use – and Andrews mentioned New York and someone called Burt Holder. Do you know who that is?”

***

George Stoves was not looking forward to the call. He had held back for over a month and he knew that the Count would not be pleased. The viral attacks on Los Angeles and the various other cities still puzzled him. The specially manufacturer virus had not been used, and while the attacks had fallen in with his plans, the fact that he had had no control over them, made him somewhat uneasy.

Count von Richtenburg answered the phone with a curt, “Yes, George.”

“There is something you need to know.”

“There’s probably a lot I need to know – like why you are delaying with the planned culling?”

“That’s what I’m calling you about.” George Stoves was stalling, and he knew it. However, the Count always made it difficult for him to find the right words.

“Burt Holder, our lead scientist who had the vaccination was supposed to leave New York on the afternoon before the EMP bombs went off. He did leave, but he never arrived at the destination. Unfortunately, he had the only copy of the formula for the antidote with him. We cannot go ahead with the culling until we have the formula – otherwise the whole lot of us could die.”

There was a long and cold silence at the other end. George Stoves counted the seconds, each of which stretched into a full minute. Eventually the Count responded with, “When do you think you will find the antidote? I’m assuming that you’ve got people working on it.”

“Yes, we have. It seems, however, that Holder was more than a little thorough. He took everything with him that even remotely related to the antidote.”

“That sounds suspicious.” Count von Richtenburg’s voice colder than ice.

“His wife and children were with him when he vanished. As far as our investigations have led us, Holder went from the laboratory to his home, packed, and drove off with his wife and kids. He would probably have been a good two or three hours outside New York when the EMP bomb went off. However, we can’t find any evidence that he ever left the city. He just vanished.”

This time the silence that followed George’s statement was so long that George eventually asked, “Are you still there?”

The Count replied that he was, and that George had better do something soon to rectify the situation, otherwise the culling would go ahead and it really wasn’t his concern if George was amongst the dead. Then he cut the connection.

On the other side, George Stoves felt colder than he had ever felt in his life.

The Count, in the meantime, prepared for his upcoming meeting with the Bilderberg Group.

***

CBS NEWS: There is increasing concern that democracy is threatened by those who are resentful of the wealth and success of others. The president has warned that all these attacks are the work of disgruntled and bitter Americans who, through their own laziness, were never able to achieve the American dream. In order to get America back on track, the president is asking that anyone who has any information on dissidents or people who think that America is not the best country in the world, should please contact the nearest military barracks in order to report their suspicions. All those who report will be rewarded with food and gas for a month.

**

AL JAZEERA NEWS: The American government has started seizing computer servers in their quest to silence the web. Servers that are seized for containing content that criticizes the government become the property of the federal government. The government has also advertised extensively that those who use their servers to upload government content to the web will be guaranteed free hosting. This has led to large numbers of the populace using government services. Increasingly, the freedom to criticize government agencies or to expose wrong doing is being halted. Al Jazeera Services have been halted in the United States of America, and there is a danger that other organizations wish to silence us.

***

At the ANC headquarters, Bill Muchoo received a call from Reilly explaining that the camp was in immediate danger and that they had a traitor in their midst. He quickly ran through Ben’s report, indicating that the Marines would be eradicating all known militias and that it was best to disband. Muchoo understood much more than the words used as Reilly had used a coded sentence that meant the conversation was being monitored and that danger was eminent. Muchoo trusted Reilly – he was a fine young man. Without offering any explanation, he gave immediate orders for the camp to disband explaining that they were under threat and it was each man for himself. Bill Muchoo loaded up the Goodmans, some essential equipment, waited until the last man was out, then left. It said something that thirty minutes later, the camp was deserted. It was just as well. Within an hour, the camp was bombarded from the air and little or nothing was left of it.

***

CNN NEWS: The president has announced that all militias are to be disbanded and those that are not will be rounded up by the marines. In addition, all weapons are to be handed in to the nearest police department. The president has said that the only way that criminals can be identified is by their having weapons. Good citizens, he said, do not need weapons as they are protected by the federal government. Any citizen that reports illegal holding of weapons by another will be rewarded with a month’s supply of good and gas.”

***

Week 4 September

Rob and Ali reached New York three days after they left Kewaunee. The bus had dropped them at Newark and Rob had purchased bicycles for them. They had been extremely pricey and Rob grimaced at the realization that the value of products were increasingly related to the environment in which they were used. Nobody was much interested in buying a Gucci handbag these days.

More to the point, both Ali and Rob noted that many store owners were more comfortable with barter than with legal tender. After three days on the road, both were tired and needed a bath and some rest. There was no accommodation to be found, though. To all intents and purposes Newark had all the benchmarks of an early mining town. It was bustling with activity.

Neither was surprised. They were well aware of the events taking place in New York. While many New Yorkers had packed what they could carry and walked out of the city to start life anew elsewhere, the city itself was being transformed. The two leaders who were responsible for this were Blane Coetzee and Jordi Ryan. Initially, they had made a deal that anyone who could provide the electronics to start cars – after the EMP bombs killed all the electronics in the cars – could take ownership of the cars. This cleared many of the cars in the western areas of New York but there were only so many cars that people wanted, and after a few weeks, people stopped coming. However, the idea had caught on. Coetzee and Ryan changed the bait. The scarcity of food was becoming a serious issue. Knowing that trade with other nations had more or less halted and that the dollar could buy very little and realizing that car parts would be in short supply, the new deal was that any cannibalized car parts would be exchanged for food, water, and other necessities. Thus the economy of New York city changed. Traders from other States were happy to exchange food for car parts. If cars were wiped out in New York, they were certainly still functioning in the rest of America.

Eventually, there was nothing for it but to make their way to the main part of the city – Manhattan. They guessed rightly that there would be fewer people living in the area six weeks after the EMP detonation. They were not wrong.

They soon found that the hotels were empty, except for the homeless who had moved in. They easily found a vacant room and after ablutions slept a solid eight hours.

New York was a different city to the one it used to be. With much of it settling into an early decay, there were overturned trash cans with rotting trash covering streets and sidewalks alike. In addition, they saw dogs hunting in packs for food. An air of emptiness that Rob had previously only noted in the desert hung over the streets. Occasionally, they found small groups of people working together to shift cars, repair drains, or some other task which required group effort. In other places, the silence of an almost-dead city echoed their footsteps eerily, and neither Rob nor Ali felt comfortable. Both became tense the further they penetrated into the once great city, and while neither had any idea how to proceed to find Burt Holder, they both knew that the most likely people to assist them in their search would be Blane Coetzee and Jordi Ryan.

After a good night’s sleep in their Manhattan hotel – Rob said it was probably the cheapest night’s accommodation he had ever had – they awoke well rested in the morning. Uncertain where to find the two leaders they were looking for, they stopped each person they saw. The first half dozen ignored them and just continued to walk. “Nothing much has changed in New York,” thought Rob. The seventh person, a well dressed middle aged man, stopped and said, “Sure, they’re usually in Central Park somewhere handling the food distribution.”

He gazed at both of them curiously. “You’re not from here?”

“No,” said Rob somewhat cautiously.

“Why come to New York? Everybody is leaving – like rats fleeing a sinking ship.” This last was spoken with a bit of bitterness.

Rob responded with a question, and Ali left the conversation to him. “Your friends and family leave?”

“Yes,” replied the guy. “I didn’t. My business is here. It’s been in my family for the past three generations. I couldn’t just leave it. It’s where my roots are.”

Ali wondered how solid his relationships with his friends and family were if he would choose to stay for a defunct business rather than moving with them. Still, she understood the sentimentality of leaving behind something which had roots deep inside childhood. It wouldn’t be an easy decision to make.

“You in touch with them?” Rob asked.

There a temporary expression of grief on the man’s face before he successfully covered it up and said, “I’ll find them when this nightmare is over. The government is just a little overrun at the moment. I’m doing my part. Things will return to normal at some point. One has to stay positive, you know.”

Rob wondered about that one. They made their way to Central Park.

Number of militia groups in USA

Source

Chapter 15 continued

In New York Blane Coetzee and Jordi Ryan had become something of an institution. If they didn’t exactly run the ruined city, they certainly had an ear to the ground. As their success with removing the cars from the city had grown, so they became more and more involved in many aspects of getting the people of New York to work together to survive. The shortage of food and water were a constant battle, and as the government had other priorities, it was left to the good people of New York to fend for themselves. Needlessly, many died, and the two friends oversaw the digging of mass graves as well as the shepherding of people into groups that could work together to form sustainable communities. Still, after a month, their years spent living under the radar and ‘beyond the law’ enabled them to see opportunities where many others wouldn’t. They quickly understood that car parts would be a big business now that America could no longer import and as food was a necessity for those people still residing in New York, it made good sense to exchange one for another. Six weeks after the EMB detonation, if New York wasn’t the bustling cosmopolitan center it had once been, at least its citizens were learning to work together to become a self sustaining city. Both Blane and Jordi were pleased with their progress, perhaps, taking more credit for the relative well being of the city than they merited, but perhaps not.

Jordi’s grandparent’s also remained in the city. Reg Ryan had dabbled in hydroponics and the system became more and more interesting to both Jordi and Blane. Increasingly, both young men were looking at making people self sufficient. They knew that there would be a time when car parts would no longer be a highly desirable barter commodity. Still Blane had some other concerns.

He was sitting at a makeshift desk – a door floating over two trashcans – thinking about the information that Burt Holder had given him four weeks ago. At the time, he had thought the man bereft of his senses, but over the weeks, as he had thought about it, he became more and more convinced that Holder was speaking the truth. Thankfully, he had had the common sense not to mention it to anyone – not even Jordi. It wasn’t that he didn’t trust Jordi. It was just that he thought the fewer people that knew about Holder, the better.

He had installed Holder into the basement of a little known high tech building after ascertaining that nobody was returning to the building. Initially, he had found some of the supplies that Burt had asked for, but about a week after Burt had approached him, some people had come by and asked some questions. He had indicated that nobody of that description had come under his radar. Blane, being a gifted liar, was believed. After that, he was not prepared to seek any more of the high tech supplies that Burt Holder required for his work. He explained his reasons to the scientist, and the scientist shook his head regretfully. “I will do what I can do,” he had replied somewhat despondently.

A few weeks later, while Blane was delivering some food for the Holder family – dried beans, rice, tinned sardines – the scientist had injected Blane and explained to him that if the attack did come, his life would be safe. Blane desperately wanted to tell Jordi about it, but Jordi was not an accomplished liar and he didn’t want to endanger anyone more than necessary.

That had worked fine until the last few days. Unexpectedly, there were soldiers everywhere. More to the point, they seemed to be following Jordi and himself everywhere. Jordi had approached him and asked him if he had any idea as to why they were being followed. Blane, for once, had let a momentary feeling of panic, unmask his own fear. His words, “I have no idea,” came out as the lie it was. Jordi saw the lie immediately, and Blane knew that Jordi had seen it. It said something of the strong bond between the two men that Jordi didn’t pursue the conversation. Instead he gave Blane a long, penetrating stare, and said, “It must be helluve important.” Blane had not responded.

Now, as he was listening to a radio running off a car engine, he heard the news flashes about handing in dissidents. It frightened him. “I live in a fascist country,” he thought.

***

The Bilderberg Group had called an extraordinary general meeting. As usual, it was by invitation only, and in this case, it was a smaller than usual meeting. Indeed, the meeting comprised only two dozen of the world’s wealthiest, most powerful, and well places figures. There were twenty two men and two women. It wasn’t that there was anything sexist about the members of the Bilderberg – it was just that at the time of the inception of the project, there were only two women who held the necessary requirements for participation. Both were attorneys – very powerful, very well placed, and extremely rich. One was American; the other was Dutch.

Count von Richtenberg did not make the opening statement at the meeting; instead that left to Magda van Vuuren. Many regarded her as cold fish and, subsequently, few crossed her. She brought the meeting to order. “We have met in order to discuss the constitution that has been drawn up by myself and Odette Mclean, obviously with input from all of you. We must arrive at consensus today as events are reaching the point where we need to be ready to fill the gap when the people of the world call for peace at any cost. Please will you open the files which have been set in front of each of you and spend the next half hour noting anything that you believe will improve the purposes of this council.”

***

HAARETZ NEWS: Israel has reached an agreement with Australia to provide certain defense items in return for a rare mineral that has recently been discovered in the British colony. The discovery of the mineral some three years ago has led to some tension between Britain and Australia, as the United Kingdom has fewer and fewer assets with which to negotiate its standing in the international community. Israel agreed to start production immediately. The exact nature of the defense items was not revealed, but it is understood that the mineral is being used. The association between Israel and Australia came about as it was Israeli scientists who were best able to exploit the properties of the mineral.

***

Bill Muchoo and the Goodman family arrived at Refuge two days later. Jen and Bill had taken it in turns driving, stopping only for food and, at one point, at a motel to allow Jen’s parents to get a better quality sleep for a four or five hours. Fortunately, the GPS was operating and this enabled them to drive in a direct route. As far as either of them knew, nobody was monitoring GPS signals, or so they hoped.

Bett was happy to meet them but said that they didn’t have free rooms available and that they would need to camp on the property or find accommodating in the town close by. Bill was okay with camping. He was too tired to find anything else. Bett and her brothers helped with putting up two of their tents and provided camp beds and bedding. They offered food and drink and let Muchoo and the Goodmans sleep. Jen was the first to wake – late noon – and she sought out Bett. She was surprised to see Reilly.

“What are you doing here?”

“It was a safest place I could go after Peter Allen was killed,” he replied.

.***

With a few corrections, the new constitution was accepted by the Bilderberg Group and, subsequently, orders were given to various people that the time was nearing for the airborne H5N1 virus to be released and that the moment the antidote was found, there would be a week’s grace, and then it would be released.

George Stoves was not happy with the news but increased his efforts to find Burt Holder. The more he thought about it, the more it appeared to him that Burt Holder had absconded with the antidote as a means of preventing the release of the virus. He could not account for the complete disappearance of the man with his family otherwise. Then, again, Ginger Pike, the Speaker of the House and the family of previous president had also disappeared without a trace. He wondered if there was some sort of organization that was assisting these people to go into hiding. Then he chided himself for falling into the realms of conspiracy theory. The irony of this thought quite passed him by.

***

CBS NEWS: President George Stoves today released a warning that there were new fears of biological warfare in the States that an eminent release of a deadly toxin was expected. He said that scientists were working around the clock to develop an antidote and that it was suspected that an antidote did exist. As a reward for anyone offering information as to the whereabouts of the antidote, complete immunity to prosecution was offered alongside a year’s food and other necessities.

***

It took Rob and Ali a few hours to make their way to Central Park. They had hidden their bikes as they did not want to temp anyone with a mode of transport that was, no doubt, now highly desirable. With gas no longer easily available, anything that used gas to run was redundant. The same went for electric cars. There was no electricity.

“There are no fires,” said Ali.

“Yes, I would have thought that the city would go up in fire. Houston did.”

“Well, most house fires are caused by gas stoves, and the electronics in the gas pipes also went dead, so people aren’t using gas. Wonder what they’re using for cooking?”

That question was answered when they eventually arrived at Central Park. The closer they got, they more they realized that the dark pall that hung over the park weren’t rain clouds but smoke. They also noted a large contingent of soldiers. That surprised both Rob and Ali for all of a moment until they both realized, simultaneously, that they were not the only ones looking for Burt Holder.

“Tread carefully,” Ali whispered to Rob. He didn’t need reminding.

Chapter 16

Whent he Bilderberg Group meets
Whent he Bilderberg Group meets

The Second Civil War - The Bilderberg Group Meets - Chapter 16

Week 4 September

It was the fear that did it. For more than three decades, the people had been fed fear. They had been told by advertisers and politicians alike that there was something to fear. They needed to fear other countries removing their freedom, and they needed to fear being without money. They needed to fear for their health, and they needed to fear socialism. They needed to fear their neighbors, the black people, the Latinos, the white people, the Jews, the Muslims, the liberals, and the fundamentalists on the right. America was a country that fed on fear. The fear was propagated by the constant repetition of the message. For those who wanted a sure way to make money, there was nothing like feeding people with fear, for when people were running scared, they would pay their last penny to remain safe. People bought gold because the financial system would collapse. They bought vitamins because they feared illness. They bought survival gear because they thought the government would enslave them. They bought new cars and new clothing because they thought if they didn’t, then people wouldn’t think highly of them. Indeed, many people became very rich on the message of fear, for there is no greater marketing tool than fear to propel people to buy things they wouldn’t need if they weren’t fearful.

Now as more and more people found themselves either without homes, without incomes, or contemplating leaving their homes as a result of more fear about the future, they were caught between trusting their neighbors and fearing their neighbors. In the end, many arrived at the conclusion they couldn’t do it on their own, and that if they didn’t trust each other sufficiently to work together, none of them were going to survive. So it was that a new spirit of community was born. It was tentative at first, but six weeks after the detonation of the EMP bombs, it could safely be said that there was a new sense of community amongst many of the people.

Some started to contemplate the events of the past weeks and the past years and asked themselves how it had all happened. Slowly, they realized that most of them hadn’t been talking to each other for a very long time. When had neighbors stopped being neighbors? How had they become so isolated from each other? How had they learned to fear the very people who lived next door to them?

In another part of the world, that question was being answered.

***

The twenty four members of the Bilderberg group started their meeting earlier than usual – at 7.30 in the morning. It was called to order by Count von Richtenburg, if not the leader of the Bilderberg Group, then at least, the leader of this small subdivision of it.

“We are nearing the completion of our goal. Within the next few weeks, we expect billions to die, and we need to be ready to step in to remove the reins of power once and for all from those who have usurped the power of the elite. Democracy has been a blight on human achievement. Since its inception, the gene pool has become weaker and weaker. There are now fewer geniuses born per capita than there ever have been. In other words, democracy has not only decreased good leadership but has increased the stupidity factor.”

Nothing that the Count said was without research. Indeed, as he was speaking, he was glancing at his notes. Whatever the motives of the Bilderberg Group, it wasn’t greed that led them so much as the sheer conviction that the masses of people were stupid and would eventually lead the human race to extinction. The members of the group truly believed that it was not possible for the masses to have the ability to lead, and when they were allowed to vote, they voted stupidly.

The Count continued with his welcome. “This meeting will run for three days. Each of us will present our final paper for completion of our work, and each of us will have twenty minutes to deliver, ten minutes for discussion, and ten minutes for questions. Four speakers will present before lunch, and four speakers will present after lunch. Another four speakers will present after dinner. Our presentations will be complete by day two. Day three will be spent activating the final solution.

With that the count sat down and the first speaker took the podium

***

The couple standing next to Rob and Ali took pity on them and gave them some cannibalized car parts with which to barter for food. Ali’s thought was simply that it gave them a legitimate reason to be in line. Although not blatantly viewing the many soldiers, she had no doubt that if they were not looking for Rob and herself, they were definitely searching for Burt Holder. It took them two hours to reach the point in the line where they would be able to speak to Blane Coetzee, and then someone came to speak to Blane just as they were to introduce themselves, and then Blane walked off with a rather over tallish man carrying a parcel. So by the time that Ali and Rob reached Blane’s table, they were only able to get their food. Both Ali and Rob refrained from asking if they could meet with Blane. They didn’t know if he was suspected of harboring the scientist, but with all the soldiers around, they thought that might be the case. Ali and Rob turned to leave, making sure that they stayed as far away from the soldiers as possible. They noted that they were not the only ones to do so.

***

CNN NEWS: The Feds have asked that anyone knowing the whereabouts of Burt Holder, a leading scientist in the search for the antidote to the bird flu virus should immediately be in touch with their nearest government office. It is feared that Mr. Holder and his family are in danger. It is believed that Mr. Holder and his family are being held captive in New York. There will be a reward equivalent to a full year’s food and energy supply.

Chapter 16 continued

Bilderberg Conference Room – The Right Honorable Wesley Hampstead.

“My portfolio is food production. For the past two decades, my group has worked tirelessly to promote grains as a staple. As research has shown, the increase in starch leads to obesity, diabetes, depression, and slowing brain power. There is a reduction in logic and an increase in irrationality. At this point, we have a majority of people who are incapable of independent thought, and who are suffering the effects of decades of grain consumption. Any resistance to our plan is therefore limited.

In addition, we have ensured that corn syrup, various sugars and sweeteners have been added to virtually every conceivable processed food. As these have the same qualities as grains, there is very little healthy food for the masses of people. It is also helpful that research shows these substances are addictive and therefore most people will not easily break the hold that starches and sugars have over them. We expect that within another decade or two, the upper echelon of humanity will be very different to the lower echelon of humanity. We expect a drop of about twenty I.Q. points, a weakening in reproduction, and fewer healthy people being born. However, of course, they will be fit enough to supply labor.

Bilderberg Conference Room – Billionaire Willem Du Toit

“My portfolio is advertising. Since the time of Edward Bernays, we have been aware that the general public is easily persuaded to believe anything that it is told, provided it is said repeatedly. It comes as no surprise, then, that during the past decade, we have been able to persuade the general public that – to quote the previous speaker – ‘grains are good’ and that it is important to give up their freedom for their safety. Terror serves a purpose. Indeed, in our exercise to determine just how powerful constant repetition is, we convinced the American public that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when every other media platform in the entire world published information to the contrary. Indeed, repetition is truth.”

We started leaking articles to the far right press some months ago about effective leadership being God-given. We spoke about how the devil influenced people to think that the mantle of decision making was the right of every man and how democracy was not God’s plan for mankind. We went back to reexamine the divine right of kings, conceded that there had been abuse, but the fact that there was abuse did not mean that it was not God’s plan. This has gained quite a following, especially as democracy hasn’t worked out so well for so many. Dominionism has become an accepted version of Christianity.

We continue to feed ideas through the media to the public, taking our information from various divisions within Bilderberg. The fact that we have means and funds to repeat our message endlessly ensures that, regardless of those trying to present rational and factual truth, we are able to convince people of our message – that might is right, and that the elite classes has been chosen to lead the world.

***

The atmosphere in the new Democratic Militia camp was tense. There were half a dozen people sitting around a radio speaker, all of them listening to a meeting that was taking place at George Stoves’ home. Ben Jackson and Joe Bloomberg were seated next to each other.

George Stoves was speaking.

“The airborne bird flu antidote is missing. We believe that Burt Holder had a change of heart and is holed up somewhere in New York. Bilderberg is becoming impatient and wants to release the virus. We cannot afford to do that without us having immunity. None of our other scientists have come close to finding a way to circumvent the virus once we have breathed it in. Once it affects any of us, we have a fifty percent chance of surviving it. Like you, I would prefer not to take that chance.

However, we are traveling a certain path, and I can see Bilderberg’s point of view that we have to strike while the iron is hot. Gentleman of The Elective, I am, therefore, open to suggestions.”

“Are we looking for Burt Holder?”

“Yes, we are. We are pretty sure he’s in New York and that two of the main players in the city know his whereabouts. Both are under twenty four hour surveillance, and as people cannot live without food and water for long, at some point, one of them will need to make contact with Mr. Holder. The moment that happens, we are home free.”

“How long does the antidote take to be effective?”

“A day or two at the most. It’s different for different people. Effectively, once we’ve got it, there will be three days grace before we release the pandemic.”

***

Bilderberg Conference Room – Count von Richtenburg

My portfolio is recruitment. I have successfully recruited key people to our goal of one world government under an elite leadership. Mostly, it hasn’t been a particularly difficult thing to do as most people are as easily bought as they are swayed.

I am delighted to announce that with the eradication of the thirty five super wealthy individuals who did not see fit to join our organization earlier this year, others have been encouraged to give us their allegiance. I can, therefore, safely say that there is little resistance to the Bilderberg Group now becoming the organization from which all future leadership will be chosen. With the support of the upper classes, we can safely set the stage for Empire Earth to be born.

Perhaps, my one error has been to accept those whom Tom Grey has recruited. He doesn’t seem to have a good eye for people. Firstly, he chose to work with the actor, and it turns out that the actor was not to be trusted. Currently the man has teamed up with Alison Hayworth – a very, very bright lady. In addition, Jaylene Silver appears to have gone rogue. Tom Grey called her shortly after Operation Flame went live but it appeared that Ms. Silver was a step ahead of the senator and was playing a double game. As a result, Operation Flame has not yielded the wealthy strategic key players that we had hoped for. By taking funds from the rich to pay the poor, Jaylene Silver negated the Triple A standing of these key players, and in doing so, we were unable to differentiate between those whom we would invite to become part of the elite for future generations and those we should avoid. Ms. Silver went to ground shortly thereafter and we have not been able to find her.

Chapter 16 continued

Bilderberg Conference Room – Binh Duong

My portfolio is warfare. The weapons industry continues to grow – with private enterprise having an enormous vested interest in keeping people and nations at war. Thankfully, it’s not difficult to convince people that if they have differences, then shooting them is perfectly acceptable, especially if they come from a nation or group with whom they are not affiliated.

In addition, associated industries – like intelligence and research and development – have grown in leaps and bounds. Profits have been enormous, making us all richer than we had previously thought possible.

Currently, more than half the tax income of the United States is spent on warfare, but this is a little known fact. We are encouraging China to build up her military hardware – she certainly has the money to spend.

Our writers have also started submitting and publishing articles about doomsday scenarios and suggesting that the only way out is to go to war. Large numbers of the public have bought into this scenario. There is an increasing acceptance that nuclear warfare may be necessary.

In other words, the warfare portfolio is flourishing. We currently have twenty four wars in Africa involving eighty four conflicts. In Asia, we have sixteen wars involving seventy nine conflicts. In Europe, we have nine countries involved in forty nine conflicts. In the Middle East, we have eight countries involved in seventy eight conflicts. Lastly, in the Americas, we have five countries involved in twenty four conflicts. In total, we have sixty one countries involved in warfare involving three hundred and fourteen militias and separatists groups.

Business is very good.

***

Ben Jackson met with his son, Alasdair, in the security of their new dwellings. It had been long months since the two had met, communicating mostly by phone and email. Indeed, Ben was delighted to see his son, for things had not always gone well between them. He was even more pleased that Alasair shared his suspicion that government by the people for the people had been increasingly usurped by a powerful few.

Since hearing of the plan to cull most of humanity, Ben could not sleep at night. He had done what he could to circulate the information to those who could conceivable prevent the coming catastrophe, but he needed to speak to family and close friends. His options were limited. Alasdair was there, and so he confided the full extent of what he had learnt.

“How did you get a bug into George Stove’s private residence? Don’t they sweep for these things?”

“I went in as head waiter for an event, and, of course, technology is always moving ahead. The gadget I placed is not easy to pick up. A conventional sweep won’t find it.”

“What will?” asked Alasdair.

Ben gave him the name of the state of the art gadget, and as sometimes one will, he regretted it in the moment he told Alasdair. He tried to backtrack, to change the thread of the conversation, but it was too late. “You can’t let that snippet of information leave this room,” said Ben. “It is our one ace in the hole for possibly reversing Armageddon.”

“Too late, Dad,” replied Alasdair, and had a Taser pointing in his father’s direction before Ben could blink. Ben froze.

“You should have thought of things through a long time ago. Wasn’t it you who always taught me to be on the side of the winners?”

With that, Alasdair pressed the trigger, watched his father topple, and made his way away from the camp.

When Ben woke up, he disbanded the camp, and immediately notified everybody of Alasdair’s betrayal. It cost him dearly but he would not permit tears to sway his commitments.

***

CNN NEWS: There has been so much devastating news during the past six weeks that it’s with great pleasure that CNN is able to tell you that new industries have begun to spring up all over the United States. This has been the result of the drop in imports, decreasing interstate transportation, and the resulting shortage in certain products. Previously large corporations ensured that small manufacturing facilities were not viable. Due to the current situation in the United States, previously unemployed people are seeing gaps in the market place and have begun to fill those gaps.

Jerry Owens is just one such individual. At sixty four years old, with no benefits and no job for some three or four years, he was down and out, a homeless bum living on the streets of San Diego. Noting that there were an increasing number of homeless people and that tents were a scarce commodity, he began to search for other materials. Using discarded plastic bags, he started weaving these together to make a fairly waterproof fabric. Once this was accomplished, he experimented in weaving a tent in one seamless habitat. Within weeks, he had his first product. He got together with other homeless people. Together they scavenged for plastic bags.

Jerry’s efforts got picked up by the San Diego Reader, and within a week there were orders for half a dozen. Three weeks on, Jerry is in business. He has sixty four homeless people working for him and the group is producing about three dozen tents a day. It takes a day to weave one tent.

What is an oligarchy?

Chapter 16 continued

Bett was doing some hard thinking. She found herself equally attracted to both Reilly and Alasdair. Both were extremely capable people and both had good looks. There was also an instant chemistry when she had met both of them. While Alasdair was less talkative – more secret – and that affected the trust factor, Reilly was less astute. She liked people who were quick to analyze situations accurately and Alasdair definitely had that sort of mind. It wasn’t that Reilly didn’t have it; it was just that he was a bit slower at it. She gave preference, though, to Reilly when it came to openness. She didn’t like the hard work involved when one had to work hard to get information from others. It also, to some extent, made her wonder about Alasdair. People who didn’t have secrets tended not to be secretive.

Somewhere around noon, the sun as bright as an autumn day would allow it to be, she had a visitor. It turned out to be Ben Jackson. “Your father in?” he asked her.

“Yes. Come in, Ben,” she said, and then went to call her father. It seemed that her father and Ben were reestablishing a friendship which had once been very close. Events were bringing them back together. She thought Ben was a good person but she still wasn’t sure about his son. Still, she thought, Alasdair was a very dishy man, and the next time he comes over, I might as well attempt to seduce the man and see if he is interested.

Lance Clark came into the room and shook hands with Ben. “Good to see you. I take it you’re here on official business.” There was a slight emphasis on the word, official. Ben nodded.

Bett decided to get some daylight – the sun was always good for the soul, she decided. Mankind evolved outside. They were definitely meant to spend more time in the sun. Besides, Reilly would be out there, and perhaps it was time to see whether he was interested. She was sure he was as aware of the chemistry as she was. She grinned to herself. For three years she hadn’t met a single man who had made her blood tingle. Now in a matter of weeks, she had met two, and she couldn’t decide which one she wanted.

She saw Reilly mounting guard on one of the towers and made her way there. Once seated atop on the bench, she gazed around and said, “This is life.”

“Yes, Bett,” he said gazing at her. “It is.” Somehow she knew that he was talking more about her presence than the beauty of the view around her. She saw a chance and took it.

In Lance’s study, Ben was quiet for a few minutes. Lance didn’t make him talk. He waited patiently, eventually asking if he could get Ben a drink of some sort. Ben declined, then said, “Alasdair is a traitor.”

Ben didn’t say anything. He listened as Lance explained that the moment he had revealed to Alasdair that he had managed to plant a bug in George Stoves’ private home, Alasdair had more or less indicated that he would be informing Stoves. He had left, and Ben unable to find the emotional courage to stop him had let him go. Within a few hours, they had lost the bug, indicating that Alasdair had called the president and let him know. Ben stopped there, unable to go on. “This is my son we’re talking about. I can’t believe it.”

Lance said, “We are our children’s parents. They are who they are. He chose a side and a way of life. It is his life. At least we now know how the soldiers came to know about The Refuge so quickly. It’s time we moved out – not quite sure to where, but this is not safe. I take it you disbanded your camp?”

“Yes, we disbanded. We moved on to Plan C. At this rate, we might need to formulate plans D through Z. “

“Where are you meeting?”

“Los Angeles?”

“Isn’t that a bit dangerous?”

“Probably the safest place on earth right now. It’s big so nobody can guard the entire place. The virus has dissipated – it only stays alive in the air for a day or two. It’s nearly four weeks since the attack. We sent in some men last week to see if it was safe to live there in case we needed find another camp. They’re still alive after a week. The place is empty. There’s food and water, and a few people are gradually drifting back.”

“I guess we’re all going to Los Angeles,” said Lance. He called for Bett, the strategist in the family.

***

Both Rob and Ali did a quick look around when they turned to go. They walked for a few minutes, getting as far from the soldiers as possible, then Rob stopped and said, “Let’s pack the food into our backpacks. That frees up our hands.”

As they set about their task, Rob said to Ali, “There’s Blane, and it looks as if he is being followed by two soldiers. I think he’s trying to get away without them following him but he is having difficulties. Do you think you can divert them while I try to speak to him?”

“Sure thing,” said Ali, “They don’t call me devious for nothing.” She looked around, then said, “There’s a clump of trees about twenty yards from where he is standing. Head there.” Ali smiled, gave him a peck on her cheek, picked up her backpack, and said “Good luck.”

She turned to check to see how far Rob was from the clump of trees, then satisfied, made her way in Blane’s general direction. The two soldiers were some ten yards from him. They were chatting to some of the people who came to collect food. Ali ran up to a couple screaming, “You thieves! You stole my food!” She quickly grabbed the bags of food that the couple carried and turned to run. The soldiers turned to follow her. Ali knew it was a matter of seconds rather than minutes. She had, however, chosen her location well. Out of the corner of her eye, as she turned, she saw that Rob had already grabbed Blane and dragged him behind the trees. Time for her to make her getaway, she thought. She rushed into the crowd, opened the food bags as she did so, then scattered the contents all over. As people bent to pick up the contents, Ali used the commotion to reach some trees. She also took time to take a sneak peep to see if the soldiers were still following her. Thankfully, they were. She was also thankful that there were no dogs in the vicinity as she most certainly didn’t want them to pick up her spoor. The commotion was enough to give her minutes, and she left the park almost immediately, heading back to the hotel where she and Rob had spent the previous night. Nobody followed her. She was sure that Rob would realize that the hotel was the obvious place to find her.

Rob, in the meantime, had dragged Blane into the tree cover. Fortunately, Blane realizing almost instantly what was happening, accompanied Rob without asking any questions. They both plunged through the trees, following a path rather than trampling new vegetation. Rob was expecting less than a minute head start but was pleasantly surprised that three minutes later, they were well away from the food market. “Which way out of here?” he asked Blane.

Blane took the lead.

So it was that Rob met Burt Holder. The man and his family were close to starving as Blane had been unable to get them food for a week. Rob immediately unloaded the parcel he was carrying.

“What’s happening?” Burt asked Blane.

“There are soldiers all over. They’re asking about you and they’re following both Jordi and myself. I’m sure that they are looking for the antidote.”

“That means that they are getting ready to release the virus. Half of the world’s population will die.”

“How free is the Internet?” asked Blane?

Rob replied that it was more free in some areas than others. People still had servers and, increasingly, over the past year, people had started laying their own fiber optic cable. This had happened as a result of Anonymous realizing that they would be shut down if they continued to criticize the government. It has been a silent effort, and much of the money that had been diverted from the ‘rich,’ had been used for the purpose. “Power to the people,” they said.

“The issue is how to contact these people and get permission to use that system,” said Rob.

“Probably not necessary,” said Blane. “My experience is that once the antidote is on the web, someone will notice and divert it to that system for you. We just need to get it there.”

“Why haven’t you put it on before?” asked Rob, somewhat puzzled.

“They could have changed the formula within a few months. That would have meant I couldn’t figure out the antidote as I wouldn’t have their new formula. However, if they are intending to release within days they don’t have time to design a new virus, so this antidote will work. Not enough, though,” he said.

“So half the world is going to die,” said Rob.

“About it,” replied Burt.

Blane didn’t say anything. He didn’t know what to say.

Does the government represent the people?

Chapter 16 continued

Bilderberg Conference Room – Ari Webber

My portfolio is corporate. We have made tremendous progress during the past five years, lobbying and legislating so that it has become increasingly difficult, if not impossible, for small business to thrive. We have, therefore, succeeded in creating a world where only those that are strong have managed to reach corporate status. Essentially, those that have managed to form international corporations are fit to run a world. They understand Machiavellian methods and there is little need for us to educate them further in this.

We have also provided increasing motivation for corporations to regard people as nothing more than the cattle they are. That we have been successful in this has been amply demonstrated in the events of the past few years. We have successfully moved from cartels and virtual monopolies to a state of oligarchies.

We have reached a point where virtually all power has been removed from the ordinary man in the street. The masses have been very squarely put back into a similar position they held before the fall of the great monarchies.

We are now in a position where only one corporation will be responsible for a particular range of products. No one else will be able to manufacture and produce those products. Currently, I’m negotiating with representative of each country as to which country will be responsible for which products. That way, we will also keep all the countries cooperating with each other as they will not be able to do without some products. It is a superb balance of power – something that this world has never before produced.

***

CBS NEWS: Today we were pleased to interview a group of people who have managed to convert their small neighborhood into a self-sustaining community. Previously, divisions were rife as a result of differing opinions about Democratic and GOP policy.

As neighbors faced the quandary of either helping each other and surviving or keeping their differences intact and dying, differences were put aside. It was accepted that differing personal ideologies had no place in growing food, keeping water potable, ensuring that trash was eliminated, and providing sufficient skills for their children to grow up to be able to provide for themselves and their families.

With the dollar being worthless and with most people now preferring to barter for goods, labor has once more become a highly prized commodity.

School teachers have been focused on teaching the three Rs – reading, writing and ‘rithmetic – as well as introducing practical trades like bricklaying and the growing of hydroponic crops. Business has put aside its quest for profits and is working to provide the goods that the neighborhood needs.

An example is Mr. John Berry who previously harassed his staff to sell SEO packages. He has done a turnaround saying that he now believes that his product didn’t add anything of value to human lives, and he now understands why so many of his staff did not produce the numbers he required. Instead, Mr. Berry is now using his knowledge to assist everybody in the neighborhood to list their skills on a local intranet. He takes a percentage of each transaction.

***

George Stoves and Colonel Andrews were having a discussion in the grounds of the White House. They could not be overheard.

“Bilderberg is ready to release the virus in three days. That’s hardly enough time to manufacture sufficient quantities of the antidote.”

“Aren’t they scared of dying?” asked George Stoves.

“Not really. You may not know this but during the final weeks of the trial stages, we manufactured nearly a half a million vials of the antidote for the Bilderberg Group…”

“No, I wasn’t aware of that,” said Stoves. “Why wasn’t I aware of that?”

“Well, I guess George, it was on a need to know basis, and you had no need to know.”

“I’m the President of the United States. I had every right to know.”

“You weren’t at the time.”

“How do you know about it?”

“I was the one who organized the production and transportation of the antidote.”

“Was Burt Holder in on this? Is that why he disappeared?”

“I think that’s probably what got Burt Holder concerned. He was instructed to leave New York the day previously, and we assume that he went to check on the vials and discovered that they were gone. He’s a bright lad. He probably worked out that someone was going to release the virus so he took the formula and ran.”

“Aren’t you worried?” asked George Stoves, fully aware now that if the virus was released in three days, he might not be around to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

“No,” Colonel Andrews smiled. It was a cold smile. “You see, I took the precaution of vaccinating myself with the antidote. I’m safe.”

“Well, I’m not. How many can you get for those of us in the US government?”

“Not a single one,” replied the Colonel. “It’s going to be very much a matter of good genes winning out and bad ones going the way of the dodo.”

“You bastard!” the President of the United States stated in a low tone, trying desperately to control his temper and fear.

“Three days,” replied the Colonel.

The Dominionists - Chapter 17

The Second Civil War - The Dominionists - Chapter 17

Week 4 September

It was day two of the Bilderberg meetings. There was a somber mood as the twenty four members met, for the proceedings of the previous day had not yet resulted in any firm action, and the resulting tension did not permit a more relaxed frame of mind. Also, with the knowledge that the virus would be released within a few days, members had called family to check that vaccinations had been taken six weeks earlier. One or two were disconcerted to learn that instructions had not been followed and they feared the loss of their closest. Unhappily, it was no more wise to leave the meeting prematurely than to ask for additional vaccination supplies.

Count von Richtenburg once more opened the proceedings, reminding members that each would have twenty minutes to present their portfolio and another twenty minutes for discussion and questions. He did not say anything further and stepped down from the podium making room for the first speaker of the day.

Bilderberg Conference Room – James Jamison
“My portfolio is combating liberal fanaticism and encouraging the beliefs of the Dominionists, the fundamentalist Christian religion that is hoping to implement an Old Testament theocracy in the United States. You will remember that Colonel Andrews is a member, as are several judges, senators, congressmen, and billionaires. We recruited Colonel Andrews when we were unaware of his connection to this group and he is, as yet, unaware that we know of it. Since then I have learned that the Dominionists are fully aware of our plan to decimate half of humanity. They believe that God will keep those that are righteous alive and that it will be easy to ensure a return to Old Testament rule once people have experienced the terror of their God’s wrath. Indeed, many have bought or built bunkers below ground and have stored substantial food and energy supplies.”

“Because we have only recently become aware that Colonel Andrews was a member of the Dominionists, there has not been much time to investigate his power and influence within the group, or to find out what their plans are. Indeed, we didn’t know much about the group at all. At this point, my team has discovered that Colonel Andrews might be seeing himself as a replacement for George Stoves, and with many Dominionists holding leading positions, it’s possible that we will not have any control over the USA. In fact, it’s conceivable that once the pandemic has done its work, that our people in Washington will be forced to sever ties with us and that the Dominionists will begin to institute Old Testament rule. This means we will not have world control.”

“Currently, my team is attempting to establish who the Dominionists are and what their numbers are. Once we establish who the leaders are, they will be assassinated, and we believe it necessary for those assassinations to take place before the dispersal of the virus. I therefore believe it important that we delay releasing the epidemic until we have removed the Dominionists from possible power.

That is all of import.”

James Jamison sat down, content that he had reported well, and that things were under control.

***

WIKILEAKS: Wikileaks today received word from a scientist who is in hiding that the United States of America is planning to release a deadly virus that will cull half of humankind. The scientist believes that the enhanced bird flu virus is set to be released within the next few days. He says that it kills within two or three days of contact. He has also released the formula for a vaccination and has asked that anyone with suitable laboratory apparatus to produce and distribute as widely as possible. In addition, the scientist has indicated that the virus is air borne and that the best way to evade infection is to evacuate large cities as quickly as possible. Quarantine is essential once someone is affected. No known treatment exists at the present time.

***

Bett and her family had left Refuge in the dead of the night. They had spent some hours deciding on what essentials they needed to take and what they could safely assume would be available to them in Los Angeles. In the end, they decided to take more rather than less – all weapons and radio communications equipment, and whatever transport vehicles they had. Food, medical supplies, water, clothing, and shelter, they felt, would be in Los Angeles in abundance as the city was now empty. While it might have been safer to drive in convoy, the plan was to split up as soon as they could and to take different routes to the city of the angels. Some would head in opposite directions and then double back. In addition, they would find concealed areas to hide at daybreak and continue the journey the next night. Nobody was sure how many satellites were still operating. Surveillance by enemies was to be avoided at all costs.

***

George Stoves was furious. He was beginning to realize that the game was far more complicated than he had initially realized. Yes, he was one of eight of the Elective, and. Yes, the group wanted to restore the aristocracy to their previously held positions. Yes, he had used the Bilderberg group to move the Electives to a place of power within the White House. Yes, he had seen an opportunity to become president and he had taken it. Yes, he had known about the plot to decimate half the population of the world. Yes to it all. But he had not foreseen that others could play a double game as well, and as angry as he was with the betrayal by Colonel Andrews and the Bilderberg Group, he knew that he only had himself to blame for assuming that he was the only player that could play a double game. The problem was what to do about.He couldn’t trust Colonel Andrews, the man who had been his number two for more than a decade. After some thought, he called his brother, Steven. They agreed to meet within the hour, and George took the unprecedented step of telling his aide to push back all meetings by two hours. As the president said, so it was, and when Steven arrived thirty minutes later, they retired to his rooms where they spoke in his private study.

“What do you think Andrews has to gain?” asked Steven.

“The presidency, of course,” replied George, ever conscious that the American presidency was one of the greatest prizes on earth.

“But you might not die in the epidemic,” countered Steven.

“Accidents happen, and murders are two a penny when death and destruction reign supreme,” George said as if Steven should have thought of that.

‘What do we know about the Colonel?” Steven asked another question.

“I thought I knew everything about him, but obviously not. More importantly, we don’t have the luxury of time. The epidemic is to be released in three days, and we don’t have the antidote.”

“Yes, we do, George. It’s on the web. Wikileaks released it. It’s a matter of getting someone to produce it – not a difficult thing for POTUS.”

***

Pastor Eddie Jones was enjoying himself. He saw the fruition of his life’s work within reach. The revelation that a bird flu epidemic would wipe out half the world’s population was confirmation that the end times had arrived. The fifty elders of his 45,000 mega church were seated around the giant mahogany table they used for their twice-weekly meetings.

“Hallelujah, brothers! We are to be delivered! Amen!” The elders echoed his words by repeating the word “Amen.” The mood was one of exhilaration, for each one of them had been vaccinated some six weeks earlier, their shots delivered to them by Colonel Andrews. Their God was, indeed, mighty. Only the good would be saved, and soon the Kingdom of God would be established on the earth. They could then begin the fulfillment of the holy scripture in Genesis in which they were to take dominion over every living thing on earth. Indeed, they were blessed to be the chosen.

The group discussed their monetary budget but there was nothing to worry about. When 45,000 very rich people were contributing ten percent of their salaries each month in addition to other donations received, they could easily meet the expenses of setting up a theocracy in the near future. Eddie Jones was delighted that he would soon be the most powerful man on earth. He truly loved his Lord, for his Lord had blessed him abundantly. He meant to govern well. Homosexuality, abortion, sex outside marriage, and other evils before the Lord would all be met with God’s vengeance. Adulterers would be stoned to death and animal sacrifice would be restored. And while it would be a thousand years before the return of the Messiah, one day was as a thousand years, so if they could manage to restore the laws of the Old Testament for even one day, they could see the return of Jesus within twenty four hours. Of course, no one knew, but it was important to do the will of the Lord and take dominion of the earth. On that, they were all agreed.

Dominionism is the Christian version of Sharia Law

Chapter 17 continued

Count von Richtenburg was annoyed. James Jamison had managed to delay the release of the virus by convincing the various members of the council that it was necessary to know who the various leaders of the Dominionists were before releasing it. He had established that there were several scenarios, most of which indicated that if the leadership of this fanatical organization weren’t removed before the virus went out, then America would be lost to the international community. As the Bilderberg Group had worked for more than a generation to bring about one world government, it would be careless to allow failure at this last minute. Better to delay the release of the toxin and get the necessary assassinations done than miss their goal at this late stage. It also gave them more time to consider who they would put in as a puppet president as George Stoves clearly wasn’t the best man to represent Bilderberg interests. In addition, with the discovery that Colonel Andrews was a Domionionist, he was certainly not a suitable choice any longer. Dominionism was only useful to arrive at a certain point. After that, it became an unstable culture.

After some thought, the Count decided to put in one of the Bilderberg Group members, and he set about to bring that about immediately. He had been contemplating the conundrum as to whom. Repeatedly, his thoughts picked out James Jamison. James had an American father and a German baroness mother. He had been educated at Yale, Oxford, and the University of Assas in Paris. He was able to speak both an American English and a British English, was fluent in German and French, and had degrees in finance, law, and language. The difficulty was in convincing the American people to accept an unknown as their president in these times of trouble.

***

CNN NEWS: We are interrupting this program to bring you a breaking story. The Bilderberg Group in Europe have released the following story. They believe that there will be a massive international release of a deadly virus that will wipe out half of mankind. They also believe that the men responsible are high within the American government and, while the Bilderberg Group is not able to name anyone, they believe that the current president may well be part of the conspiracy. They have promised further information will be released at 6 pm ET.

***

George Stoves found himself detained by Colonel Andrews on behalf of the people of America. Andrews then promptly took over the title of Interim President until the people could vote. That’s what he told them anyway in a quickly called press conference. Behind the scenes, he also had George’s brother arrested and all the other members of the Elective. With that done, the Dominionists now had complete control of the country. Praise be to God, he thought.

***

CNN NEWS: In a dramatic follow up to the press release by the highly regarded Bilderberg Group in Europe, Colonel Andrews, the chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, arrested George Stoves, a member of an elite society called “The Elective.” The purpose of the Elective group is to revert the Republic back to a Monarchy. George Stoves’ family had once been loyalists but after Independence, Lord Stoves had discarded the title as it was not considered healthy at the time. The family had integrated themselves well within their community and, over a period of time, his aristocratic heritage had been forgotten by the people of America, but not, it seems, by the Stove family. The Elective are a group of people that wished to restore the lost aristocratic status of their families according to the Bilderberg Group, and they therefore plotted the downfall of the republic.

***

Count von Richterberg spoke to James Jamison and explained what he had done.

“Rather arbitrary, don’t you think?” asked James. “You haven’t consulted the rest of the council, have you?”

“No time,” responded the Count. “We have to move quickly. You need to get on a plane to Washington and settle into one of your homes there until the call comes.”

“What are you going to do?” asked James, his mind analyzing all the different possibilities.

“How far are you with finding out who populates the top echelon of the Dominionists?” Count von Richterberg responded with a question.

“It’s more difficult than I thought. They have very tight security. I’m concerned primarily with whether the military is involved with this.”

“Get yourself to America. You have a week to get me those names, and then, regardless, we need to consider releasing the toxin. With the antidote on the web, we need to consider that some will have begun mass production. People in tight situations push themselves so we don’t have much time! I think what will happen is as soon as you have the names, we will move in, assassinate them, broadcast that Andrews is a traitor, and something to the effect that you are one of the few people that we trust, then put you in as an interim president. From there, baby steps…”

***

Andrews met with Jones. The pastor was in top form, delighted that his disciple was now, effectively, the president of the United States. “Praise God,” he said. “We will have dominion over the earth soon. The Lord’s will be done. Thereafter Armageddon as the sinful are wiped from the earth and only the redeemed remain.”

“Praise the Lord,” Andrews shared his joy. He looked forward to the coming of the Lord for he had been his Lord’s most faithfully servant. He had done everything it took to get to a position where he could do the Lord’s work.

“Are we ready to start?” asked Pastor Jones.

“I think we can send out a press release saying that these are the end times and if it is the Lord’s will to wipe out half the planet’s people, then we are to remember that God once flooded the earth with water, and that these are his ways, and that the Lord’s ways are, indeed, mysterious.”

“Shall we do a call for salvation?”

“No better time,” said Andrews. “We need to gather the sheep. Those that respond will, of course, be given the vaccine but we won’t release that little bit of information. We do want sincere hearts.”

“What do you think Bilderberg’s game is?” asked Pastor Jones.

“As far as I know it’s one world government and the return of the elite, and it may just be that. Whatever it is, definitely plays into our hands for the moment.”

“I think we need to know what they are up to otherwise we could find our goal taken from us at the last minute, and we would not want to disappoint the Lord.”

“Pastor, don’t worry. God is with us, and he has seen fit to convert most of the upper leadership of the USA military to our way of thinking. We have the greatest army in the world. It is the Lord’s army. We will not fail.”

“Praise be to God,” said the pastor. “You have been a good disciple to God.”

***

Rob’s group reached Los Angeles in the first week of October. The journey had been singularly uneventful and they had all been thankful for that. They were welcomed by the Ben on behalf of the Democratic Militia and Lance Clark on behalf of the Refuge.

All was not well, though. There had been earth tremors and with Los Angeles on the San Andreas fault, there was a sense of trepidation, as if waiting for the worst to happen.

Theocracy watch - the danger of Dominionism by Cornell University

Chapter 17 continued

Pastor Eddie Jones called the meeting to order. “We have waited for and worked towards this day for many years now. Each of us has been allocated an area of responsibility. In addition, each of us will have a state to govern on behalf of God. I trust that all of you are ready to move to your new locations, and that your families are obedient to your wills. You will be an example to all mankind, and the first example that needs to be set is that your wives and children are completely obedient to you.

There was another loud amen as the group affirmed Pastor Jones’ words. He was their best example of what a Christian man should be. His wife kept his home clean, his children obedient, and did not dare to upset her husband in any way. Indeed, living up the Joneses would have an entirely new meaning within the next few days.

The meeting adjourned shortly thereafter, each man going his own way, content that his Lord had selected him, and that he and his family would be saved from peril in the coming weeks and years.

***

The governor of Texas, Adrian James, had no choice but to give a final warning for the military to withdraw from Texas. He had come to an agreement with the President of Mexico in which Mexico would provide troops. A group of analysts had done the studies and it seemed that Texas, combined with the military strength of Mexico, could take care of any threat the US military posed to Texas – especially with the attention of George Stoves divided between a pending viral attack and war with those states who had seceded. Gov. James was certain that Texas could defend her secession.

***

George Stoves received the ultimatum to with withdraw American troops from Texas via Colonel Andrews. His first instinct was to refuse and tell the Marines, the National Guard, and whatever force he could bring to bear, to demolish Texas. Thus was his anger. Then he saw the waste of resources for what it was. Revenge was only sweet when served as the cherry on top of the chocolate cake. He had other priorities, not the least of which was finding a man that could be trusted with obtaining vaccinations in time for the dispersal of the virus. George Stoves did not want to die.

***

Bett, her family, and the group of people who had accumulated at the Refuge, together with members of the Democratic Militia found their various ways to Los Angeles within the next twenty four hours. They all met at a pre-arranged point, an apartment block close to the beach in Venice. One of the apartments had once housed Bett’s best friend, and Bett, half hoping that her friend was still alive, suggested the venue. As it turned out, the entire apartment block was empty and they did not see any signs of life in the area. That suited them all well, and it was later that evening that a meeting was called.

First came the report back of any information gained on the way to their mutual meeting place. One of Ben’s group mentioned that Wikileaks had published a formula for a vaccination. He indicated that they would be safe from the virus in LA for a period of time as he didn’t think the virus would be released there, but because the virus was airbourne, it would eventually find its way to Los Angeles at some point. It was, therefore, probably wise for them to find a lab with facilities in the city and begin to recruit scientists who could manufacture the vaccine – preferably the day before yesterday.

Reilly interjected excitedly and said, “Rob called me earlier today from New York because he wanted to bring Burt Holder, the scientist who was responsible for creating the vaccination to Los Angeles! It’s about time we got lucky!”

“Who’s Rob?” asked Ben, Bett, and a few others at the same time.

“Rob came to our camp with Senator Grey right before we broke up. He was one of the people who worked behind the scenes ensuring that when the conspiracy happened, that there would be a militia to defend the people.”

“Well that’s a bit of luck,” said Ben. “When can we expect them?”

“They’re looking for a way out of New York but they can’t see themselves getting here in under a week and a half. They have to travel under cover and the road is dangerous these days.”

“Can’t they fly?” asked Bett’s brother. Everybody looked at him – disdainfully. He didn’t say anything more.

It was decided after some hours of discussion that after setting up a secure environment, they would begin to search the area systematically to see if there were other stragglers that had found their way back to Venice Beach. They would also begin to stockpile food from the various stores that had not been demolished in the attack and demolition of Los Angeles, as well as look for an area where they could begin to grow their own food. This last decision came very much at the insistence of Bett’s mom. In addition, they would need to find a lab that would be suitable for Burt Holder when he finally arrived.

After that, nobody knew what to say and a long silence ensured before everybody drifted off one by one to find other things to do. Nobody knew how to stop what was happening. Mostly they didn’t really understand what was happening. So it was, currently, a matter of arranging the best environment they could for their own survival.

***

Rob, Ali, Burt Holder, and his family left New York with the help of Blane. Fortunately Rob, in his previous incarnation as the Actor, was an expert in disguise, and by the time they left, the entire group looked as if they had been homeless since time began.

Blane then masterminded a way for them to obtain a car by showing them the route his drivers normally took when delivering car parts to various receiving points outside the city of New York. He explained that he did not want to set up a plan because it would involve other people, and that it was best for them to use the information he gave them to their advantage. Once Rob had made a call to Reilly and received the new rallying point in Los Angeles, he said it best for them to start moving the same night. Night time travel was best, he said.

In the evening, the group started walking towards the receiving point that they had decided upon. It was also decided that they would steal two cars at one of the receiving points and that it would be best if the women and two children traveled in one car and Rob and Burt in another car. Of course, at that point, Rob would once again use his talent to give them a ‘new look.’

There was one difficult moment when they came across some soldiers and had to explain why the group was out walking in the middle of the night. In his best homeless twang, Rob took the lead and said that they were looking for a place to sleep. The soldiers, kindly men this time round, indicated that they had to be the only people in New York who didn’t realize that there were plenty of empty apartments around. Rob’s acting was superb as he thanked the man arduously and then indicated to the group that they look for something in the very next apartment block.

“Stupid people,” said the one soldier to the other, and they continued their search to ensure that all obeyed the curfew laws.

When they were out of sight, the group continued their journey.

They reached the destination they had agreed upon two nights later, stole two cars during the third night, and by the forth morning, were on their way to the west coast.

Rob thought it had all been too easy.

The Second Civil War - Chapter 18

The Second Civil War - Dominionists against the Bilderberg Group - Chapter 18

1st or 2nd Week October

Bett had taken a walk up the beach. She needed to think. While most of Venice had remained intact from the bombings in which China had attacked Los Angeles, the further she walked, the more she saw signs of the massive destruction. Yet even amidst it all, there were entire areas that appeared to be unscathed. It had an eerie feeling, and she put it down to being unaccustomed to the area being deserted – absent of life. Indeed, the further she traveled into the City of Angels, the more lifeless the world around her became. Then it struck her that there were birds, and if there were birds, then the area was probably habitable. And that was good news. Her soul level fear abated, and after a few more hours of walking, she turned around and made her way back to Venice Beach.

The scouts had found a suitable lab for Burt through the simple expedient of hacking satellite dishes which were still operating, then searching for them. There were about three dozen and they had then taken Burt to see which would be suitable. Most were destroyed, heavily bombed while others had a degree of damage that made them unsuitable. Of the five labs that would work, they selected the one closest to Venice Beach, and then made their way back to their ‘camp.’

Part of her realized that she had to come to terms with what had happened, and that it might be all that they could do simply to rescue themselves, rather than try to prevent a world catastrophe. Another part of her was caught between patriotism towards other Americans, a deep need to rescue others, and yet another simple guilt that she might just accept it all and get on with her life. After all, it looked as if she had a good man at her side.

When she arrived back at Venice Beach, she thought she would make her way to Pauline’s apartment to see if her best friend forever from another life had returned home. She had been there previously and had not found her friend’s body, and that had given her hope. Bett had used her key previously and left a note to say that she was still alive, but had had no calls from her friend. It occurred to her that with so few towers left standing in the Los Angeles area, it might not be possible for her friend to call her from wherever she was. She hoped it wasn’t from hell. There was nobody home and Bett turned round and went back home – her new home.

****

James Jamison had settled into Washington with ease. He had a well-stocked apartment there and, in addition, friends from university days. He did not waste time. Within hours, he began to call those whom he knew were closely connected to insiders. It wasn’t that he didn’t know insiders. It was that he didn’t want them to think that he had an agenda, and so he invited over a dozen or so people with whom he had spent time with in earlier days. Dinner, he said, would be served at eight, and dress was casual. He added that with things in such a dreary state, he was doing his bit by providing some rest and recreation, and then he laughed cheerfully. He knew better than to let anyone suspect that he had an agenda.

The evening was pleasant, and in time, as these things do, somebody knew somebody who knew both Colonel Andrews and George Stoves. The tone of the Washington gossip was understated, but nevertheless, Jamison could tell that nobody seemed to know whether it was wise to show a measure of support for anyone in particular. Times were dangerous and if the current president lost his head, which they all seemed to be doing at quite a rapid rate, it seemed best to distance oneself from him.

In Europe, the Bilderberg Group set a date for the release of the virus and informed Jamieson. Throughout the world, sleeper cells came into operation with a signal that they were to prepare to disperse their bio-warfare weapons within seventy two hours and that countdown had already begun. Carriers were advised to make sure that their hideaways in the rural areas were well supplied for ten days, and that it was probably advisable to wait another week before venturing back into well populated areas. They had been instructed that while the vaccination would protect them from getting the infection, it was no guarantee against violence that would break out. Their paychecks would be in a Swiss bank account within a month. All of them had been paid a percentage in advance and were looking forward to the rest of their payout. The Bilderberg Group did not, however, inform these carriers that their real reward was their lives and that the forthcoming financial bonus would probably be worthless in a post-apocalyptic society.

***

Pastor Jones sat down with Colonel Andrews. Their infiltrators in the Bilderberg Group had let them know that the virus was to be released within the next few days. “Praise the Lord,” exclaimed Colonel Andrews. The United States will once more become a light to the nations for only those who walk with the Lord are his children, and only they will be saved.”

The Pastor looked at the Colonel and said, “My son, it is our task to bring as many to the fold as we can over the next few days. The task is great; the workers few.”

“And what would you have me to, Pastor, the Colonel asked.

“I think you should use the army of the Lord to go out and find stragglers. You’ve told me that you have good men, my son. Now send them out to become fishers of men. Those who will not hear the word of the Lord will be left behind. Their sins will kill them.”

When the Colonel arrived at his military base a few hours later, he called together those leaders who had been specially groomed for this time. He had promoted them until all those in leadership positions were now loyal to him. Westpoint Academy had helped as well. If you were a Christian, it was a sure sign that you were open to solicitation from the Dominionists.

***

At Venice Beach, Rob – now no longer the Actor - and the scientist were working furiously at turning out vast quantities of vaccine. As they were produced, they were distributed, given to all within the vicinity. What was left over was taken by scouts to the outer areas. However, production was slow with only a few thousand antidotes were being produced per day. While it covered the immediate needs of the community, it would not extend particularly far.

The actor grew frustrated, “This isn’t good enough. Isn’t there any other way to fix this? This virus is going to kill us all. Why did you create it?” He was angry.

The scientist was quiet for a while, and the actor sat there, impatiently waiting for a response, but he waited – for three long minutes.

“Because I got paid to do it. Because I needed to earn a solid wage to support my family. Because it was a challenge, and because I like to win challenges. It makes me feel good about myself.”

“And you didn’t think that your ego might be responsible for the deaths of humankind?”

The actor was ready to kill the scientist, his fury barely under control.

“It wasn’t only my ego. It was also the need to support my family. There aren’t that many well paid jobs for scientists, and the ones that are there tend to be unethical in some way.”

“I was well paid for my services, and my family were guaranteed safety.” He paused. “Also I never thought someone would actually use it.” He paused again, this time a bit longer. “It’s complicated,” he said.

“No, it’s not complicated. It’s very simple. Your desire for a gratified ego is not justification for providing the science to establish a product that can wipe out mankind. Neither is any wage which will support your family. Sometimes, we need to choose to do the right thing even when it makes our lives difficult.”

The Scientist continued with his work. He said, “Are you that holy? I’m not… We’re wasting time talking about this. We have things to do. And I did walk out with the antidote, putting myself and my family in peril.”

“You think saving a few more lives will make up for what you’ve done?”

“I wasn’t alone in doing this. The people of the United States were complicit in it. It was their tax money that paid for it.”

“The people of the United States did not know what kind of weapons were being developed.”

“Yes, the Germans also said that they didn’t know anything about it.”

The actor was silent for a moment, then said more quietly, “So what is complicated?”

“Human nature,” replied the scientist.

Neither said anything for a while, and when the scouts came to collect the next batch, they picked up the tension, but then, it was a tense time.

How children are indoctrinated with religion from a very early age

Chapter 18 continued

***

The rallies were an enormous success. During the next three days, the people came to the lord in ways that had not been seen on earth before. “It is the end times,” they all proclaimed,” and they were happy that they were going to be part of the saved. “The Lord will protect you against the virus,” the Dominionists intoned. Being saved from the virus was very good motivation for giving one’s life to the Lord, and they believed that the power of God could do this. They also envisioned living in luxury for the rest of their lives. After all, what was the point of giving one’s life to the Lord if there wasn’t a definite benefit?

Those who doubted this magical thinking and who pointed out that God had never saved people from disaster and tragedy before were denigrated for their lack of faith. Others were shot when they admitted to being confirmed atheists. “Scum of the earth,” they were told. “It’s because of people like you that our world is in the mess it is.” It encouraged even more people to be saved by the Lord.

Third week October

With winter approaching, the weather turned nasty across the country. Massive storms arose on the east coast, and three scattered hurricanes seemed to be brewing simultaneously. Three days before the first one would hit landfall (Florida), while Accuweather had proclaimed the approaching storms, the media ignored it. So did the various government agencies. People were too shell shocked with the news of an impending doomsday virus to focus on another disaster. A previous president had also made cuts to the meteorological services, and there wasn’t as much warning as had been in the previous years. Fema had all but disappeared.

Only those who tended to keep themselves well informed realized that the best place for themselves and their families was to get as far away as possible from civilization. They headed for the hills.

Some made the deduction that the safest places would probably be the areas which had previously being infected and so they made their ways back to Los Angeles, Chicago, and New Mexico. whichever was closest. They took with them the tools and supplies of a frontier society. They didn’t think the world would ever be the same again.

Those that believed in the Lord and his salvation remained where they were. Some of them had been lucky enough to run into Home guard troops and have a vaccination; others simply held their blind faith for the Lord was God, and it was his way or the highway.

Three days later, a torrent of rainfall hit the entire southern coast of America. From Texas though Louisiana, and Alabama to Florida, the rains fell, and the people spoke of the second flood of the Lord. Even more turned to the Lord. Three million people perished.

***

New York had become a community aimed at surviving whatever the odds. Holder had immediately asked for bio-technicians to volunteer to produce the antidote once it was published on the web. As Holder had given him a list of what was needed, he was one step ahead of the curve, and so production was more rapid than it would usually have been.

Fortunately, New York had many suitable facilities that were still in operational status, and it was a matter of finding generators. The necessary supplies had been moved surreptitiously into the labs before the antidote had been released on the web.

The vaccine involved growing the virus from scratch, then weakening it to one percent of its strength. When this solution was used as a vaccine, the immune system produced antibodies. The danger was that for some the one percent was sufficient to kill while for others it was too weak to provide protection. The vast percentage of people would survive, though, and they would be protected from the biological warfare virus.

New York, forever on its toes, even when faced with great disaster, produced the antidote in large quantities within days. A call out for nurses resulted in large batches being distributed, and within a week, most were immunized.

And then New York faced a snow storm, the like of which had never been seen before. No one had time to prepare. There still wasn’t a warning system in place as TV and radio were only operating in some areas. Blane and Jordy warned everybody when they came for food to find the highest level, to search out a place with a fire, to fill a bath with water, and to have a gas stove for cooking with sufficient supplies for two or more weeks. “You’re going to have to learn to be survivalists,” he said in a joking way. But he was deadly serious.

Not everybody was safe in New York but, in general, the people worked together for the common good, a new thought in that city. They did the best they could. They did not know who would survive.

1st Week November

Bett and Reilly took a break and went strolling down the beach. It was deserted and Bett found it difficult to remember that it was just a few short months ago that she had been strolling on this same beach with her friend, Pauline. They walked south, and as the late afternoon turned to evening, they found themselves still walking, each talking, sharing the many different emotions and events that had beset them during the past months.

Somewhere around seven in the evening, they found a young couple asleep on the sand. They were scratched, had wounds, and awoke as if they sensed danger when Reilly and Bett walked up next to them. Two bicycles, each packed with kit, lay next to them. “You look like you’ve been in a war.”

We were in San Diego, on our way back to LA from Mexico, when there was a quake, and we caught the tail end of it. We nearly never made it...

Neither Betty nor Reilly said anything. When disasters strike one at a time and there is a long time of safety between them, people grow accustomed to an easy life. When disaster after disaster hits without there being time to rest between them, hearing of one more disaster was simply another day.

“You’re safe,” said Bett, and then, as an afterthought, “What’s San Diego like these days?” She hadn’t asked her scouts even though they had come back with some of the necessary ingredients for the vaccinations a few days earlier. Perhaps, she felt that it might give some normalcy to the situation.

The two looked at each other. “We think the virus has been released there,’ they said simultaneously.”

Bett and Reilly both went quite still. Bett was the first to recover. “what makes you say that?”

“People were starting to fall over in the streets just before the earthquake hit. At first we thought people had been injured in the quake, but then when we looked closer, there were no injuries. They were just dead. We saw five people like that.”

“How close did you get?” asked Reilly.

“Pretty close, but I don’t think we could have been infected because we are still alive. My understanding was that it would be breathed in and that death was pretty instantaneous. Therefore we clearly didn’t breathe it in.”

“We need to get you to see someone immediately. Do you think you can walk?” Reilly was already in soldier and survival mode.

“Oh, yes. We’re tired and cold, but we’ve just had a good nap. We’ve seen tougher times during the past few months.” The man laughed and then introduced themselves, “I’m Martin, and this is Anne.”

This horrific documentary shows how religion is dividing America

Chapter 18 continued

***

Bett and Reilly took just under an hour to get back to the Venice base camp. They made their way to the laboratory where Burt Holder was directing operations. “These two were in the vicinity of the toxin but don’t appear to have been harmed by it. Any chance they have a natural immunity?” The scientist took blood samples.

He then instructed all of them to drink copious amounts of milk if they could find any. When Bett asked why, the scientist replied. “It weakens the virus in some people but we’re not sure why. Milk that hasn’t been pasteurized is even better. It may have something to do with the milk sugar and the enzymes. We never had time to finish our research on it.”

Bett was stunned that the scientist hadn’t thought of telling this to anyone. “And you never thought this important to tell anyone?” She immediately instructed one of her brothers to get the news out by radio. Bett thought it was probably a little late but despite not being a believer in God found herself praying that the information would at least save some lives.

***

The news came within hours. The virus had been released. People were dying – by the hundreds and thousands. Some thought millions. Nobody was sure. News services were fractured in those areas which had previously been hit. Those which still had them were not sure what to believe.

Those who had not being immunized, or had been immunized without sufficient time for antibodies to develop in their blood system, started dying within the first twenty four hours after the release of the virus.

They fell in the streets. They slumped behind steering wheels in their cars. They went silent on trains. Once more, planes fell from the sky. In homes, they toppled over.

They weren’t pretty deaths. There were nose bleeds, ear bleeds, and mouth bleeds. It wasn’t a lot of blood, just a drop here and a drop there. But there was a pallor to the skin which echoed a ghostly status, and the contrast between the blood and the skin color brought to mind the horror stories of the silver screen. When the wheezing of the lungs started within a few hours, people knew they were going to die. There were screams of ‘help me,’ as people rushed outside or attempted to drive themselves to doctors and hospitals. The system was overwhelmed, and those who had been infected simply died. Some didn’t. They had a natural immunity. Those who survived never really understood why, but when they were still alive by the third day and the bleeding and wheezing stopped, they counted themselves lucky to be alive. Newscasters said that they thought there might be millions of death but nobody knew the exact numbers. Some countries simply went dark. Nothing more was heard from them.

There was confusion from some as to why their family members had died when they had given their life to the Lord. “Why did God let them die? It would have been better to trust the scientists and take the vaccine than trust in the Lord.”

Jones replied, “His ways are not our ways. They are in heaven now.”

There was a growing anger from many of those who had given their lives to the Lord. “We have been betrayed,” they said.

Amongst those who passed were George Stoves, his brother, and the six other members of the Elective. There are those in the know who indicated it was more than a coincidence.

Colonel Andrews took the oath the morning following the death of the president.

Last week November

Bett wondered what Holder was feeling as the news arrived of the many deaths.

The answer came the following morning when they found his body on the beach. The bullet had entered through his mouth and exited through the back of his head.

In the last week of November, approximations of the death count became available. In western Europe, close to half of the population died. In the east, India and China nearly two thirds of the population died. Ironically, Africa had the least deaths, with only one in three becoming infected. America also had two thirds of her remaining population wiped out There were now about hundred million left alive in the USA.

***

The Bilderbergers were delighted with the result, as were the Dominionists. “We have population control, now, and the drain on our resources will lessen. We can also begin the long work of regressing the climate to a better state.” The Bilderberg head honcho called a meeting and spoke about a new age of wisdom and orderliness in which people who didn’t have the capacity to lead were kept in their place, unable to do any harm. And in America, Pastor Jones and President Andrews celebrated the fact that the Lord had kept his people safe. Indeed, of those vaccinated, only a small percentage had died. There were many Halleluiahs. No credit was given to the scientific method.

The Bilderbergers went into phase four of their plan and those that had been screened for years beforehand were given the signal that it was time to return to their previous positions. All over the old world, descendants of emperors and kings, sons and daughters of the old aristocracy began to claim their positions. The Bilderbergers had prepared videos for both the internet and television, all of them reflecting the new royalty and aristocracy of countries – people, they said, who had natural leadership abilities. The videos spoke about the bloodlines of leadership and how it was necessary to fall back on the older leadership system. In time, the world could revert to democracies, but, for now, it was better to have at least some authentic leadership than a confused set of conflicting orders and information as nobody had been elected.

In America, the pastor had already selected those who comprised ‘the faithful.’ They had been groomed for the coming of the dark days, and when the people had died, they went out in pairs, and they spoke to those that remained and had not yet been converted, and some accepted the grace of the Lord and others turned away.

“They will have to be eliminated,” Pastor Jones told his selected elders. We must have a pure earth – only those committed to serving the Lord. Remember that POTUS is now chosen of God – a man with the divine blood of kings in his veins. On him, there can be no sin. God demands that there is no heathen in our midst, and therefore it falls to us to clean the way for our holy president.”

So it was that they had to go to Stage six of the ultimate plan they had concocted so many years ago in the days of their boyhood when they had been ardent disciples of the Lord. For they both knew that the ultimate battle had not been fought yet, and that the great battle of Armageddon would be fought on American soil between those who served the Lord and those who were the children of the devil.

It would be the second civil war in America – between those called of god and those who served the devil. “Many are called – few are chosen,’ Jones told his fellow believers. “We need to set the stage for the coming of the Lord. Brother will fight against brother. Father will fight against son. Neighbor will go against neighbor. Those will be the last days.”

Chapter 19

The Second Civil War - And So It Ends - Chapter 19

Early December

Civilization tottered.

With the population reduced to some three billion people on the planet, the drain on resources died, but many who were responsible for services that energy, wifi connections, satellite operations, medical provisions, food production and distribution disappeared.

Blame was everywhere. So was suspicion. Mega-churches began to fill with believers. They took their guns with them, and they called themselves the army of the Lord. Fear spread across the land. Religious communities became geographical communities, and the ‘nones’ formed their own. All were heavily armed, vying for food and other resources.

Early December
At the beginning of the Christmas Season, Bett and her family took stock.

The Los Angeles community had grown to a few thousand people. It was mid-winter and fires dotted the landscape as it was the only means of warmth. Food was in short supply, and the political and economic landscape was very different to what it had been a year previously. There was still little rescue from Washington.

As factions had begun to form, it had become necessary to examine them. The biggest dividing factor was religion, and so it was that the Clarke family decided to outlaw it completely.

They called a mandatory meeting and began by asking all those with religion beliefs to raise their hands. About half did. “We need to ask you to remove yourselves from this community because your belief that you are a specially selected people endangers the rest of us.”

There was disbelief and many comments that they were a peaceful people who would not harm others.

The Clark family, well-armed, and with a healthy militia behind them, explained that if there was, indeed, a living god, then those were protected by that living god would have no issue finding another place to settle. She further explained that as the community that her family and her allies had set up was primarily done on the basis of science, knowledge, and technology, none of which had been the result of prayer, they would prefer to have those who depended on prayer to move elsewhere – out of the LA area.

“We will die without supplies,” they said.

“You are always saying that your God will supply. Why do you not trust him now?” Ali couldn’t help her sarcasm.

“Hear, hear!” echoed Rob.

“God supplies in his time. We cannot always rely on his generosity. He has his own reasons. He has enabled us to rely on ourselves,” reasoned Gin, a leader of a small Pentecostal group.

“Then you will rely on yourselves because your God has given you the ability to do so,” Lance Clark was firm.

There was an explosion of sound as both the religious and the irreligious made various comments. Lance let it ride for a few minutes. Then he said “There can be no compromise. You have spent your years believing that what science and humanity has given you was in reality the gifts of your God. Now it is time to test your God. Go out into the Californian Desert. It is a day’s journey from here. There you will be surrounded by silence and desolation. If your God, indeed, exists, you will be fed.”

A young man stood up and said, “I reject the God of my mother and father. I never believed in that crap anyway. I’m staying here.”

“Bruce!” yelled his mother in an agonize voice. “You cannot leave the Lord!”

“Yes, Mother, I can. I have never seen any evidence of him anyway. Most of my friends are nones, and I’ve thought for a long time that I am, too. I’m not going into the desert with you.”

“Then we will stay with you.”

“No, I’m afraid, you can’t.” Lance thundered. Your son may remain. He has not been indoctrinated to the extent that you have, and we need to protect ourselves. President Andrews is a Dominionist, and he will come for us. We will need to remain hidden, and we cannot afford to have people who have doubts or mixed allegiances in their mind. You will go!”

Then one spoke, “Yay, though he slay me, I will adore him. Chose you this day which house you will serve, but as for me and my house, I will serve the Lord.”

It became quiet after that, and then people drifted out. There was packing of provisions, but Lance did not allow anything from the main stores to leave. People could only take what they had. They put together horse carts and donkey carts, bicycles, scooters, and whatever working motors they could find.

Some 750 people elected to leave, and in the morning, they were all gone.

After they left, another meeting was held and it was decided to find shelter in a more amenable quarter of the big city and to give little indication of their whereabouts. They did not want to be found for they feared there was more disaster to come. The fewer who knew of their existence, the better.

Mid December

News of a civil war came in mid-December to the Clark community. President Andrews announced that it had become necessary to remove all those who did not believe in the Lord. He had received a word of knowledge from the Lord and it had been quite clear. Those who did not serve God would no longer be permitted to live in America. America was a Christian country and too many of the ungodly had taken advantage of American generosity. Either people converted to the Lord or they would face death.

The Clark family listened in silence.

The entire community hid themselves even more carefully. It was not a good time to be a non-believer.

The attack came on Christmas day. Fortunately, they were forty miles to the north of Venice, and they assumed that those whom they had asked to go had revealed their existence in Venice. Their future looked bleak.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xTOW4R8h8uA

But they were not found, and soon those soldiers who came to look for them, left.

January
On New Year’s Day, Pastor Jones announced that America was now a theocracy. God ruled America through the powerful and holy hands of President Andrews.

Order was restored more quickly than previously thought. Jews, Muslims, Nones, Hindus, and atheists went to ground. The easiest way of doing this was to move to another state where they were unknown. This invariably meant arriving with no financial resources as those resources could be tracked. Increasing numbers moved to Texas territory due to its succession from the USA. It’s strong connection to Mexico also promised sanctuary.

Then came the order from the President that there was to be no more movement as spies were seeking to undermine the country. Anyone caught relocating or moving would be imprisoned.

***

1st Week January

Count von Richtenburg was in touch with James Jamison. “We need to move. We cannot allow Andrews to kill off all rational, educated people.”

“I agree. I’m just not sure how I get from being a social gadabout in Washington into the seat of the president. He is well protected by his ‘Godly’ military.” Jamison’s voice dripped sarcasm when he said the word ‘Godly.’

“Unfortunately, it’s going to be a war. It’s going to be the religionists against the irreligionists. We are going to have to clear this scourge from the earth once and for all.”

“I take it you have already put a plan together.”

“Of course. Full proof. We are going to attack on a Sunday when a good few are in hallucinatory stupors. We are also going to include some trickery – disguise military vehicles in the shape of angels, and even create a mirage that is in the shape of Jesus.”

“You think they are going to fall for that?”

“Of course, they are. Think about this. They have believed, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that they have a God who cares for them. They have convinced themselves that he answers prayers. They have denied what science is capable of. Why wouldn’t they believe their own eyes?”

“You’re right,” said James. “So when the battle is won, what then? I just calmly take over the presidency?”

“No, we announce that the Bilderberg Community has selected a temporary leader, and we take it from there. With a bit of luck and some decent governing – and we do expect decent governing form you, Jamie – they’ll flock to vote for you in a couple of years. And while you’re about it, get rid of that Electoral College, the gerrymandering, and make sure it’s equal representation for equal numbers. We need civilized norms, otherwise everything the Bilderburgers have worked for is a farce.”

After the apocolypse...

Chapter 19 - The END


3rd Week January

In the midst of a cold weather front, troops from the United Nations moved onto American soil. China had also been urged to lend a hand. “T’was for the greater good,” said the powers that were.

They came in silently on a Sunday, in the early hours of the morning. They waited until mid-morning, and then they swooped. They handcuffed the president, took him to a distant place, and there, cursing the unbelievers, he left this life.

Pastor Jones met a similar end, as did all his pastors. The soldiers that came for them did not hesitate. They killed without mercy. The sickness of religion had to go, they felt. The USA was never conceived to be a theocracy. Freedom of religion had not worked because each religion was vying for dominance, and each wanted to have a theocracy with the State behind the tenets of their particular religion.

The order was clear. Remove those who influence the weak-minded.

By nightfall, Washington was clear of the Dominionists.

President James ‘Jamie’ Jamison became the 52ndt president of the United States of America.

4th Week January
Climate change wrought havoc in all of the States. Most of the Southern States were under water, and despite heavy fortifications taken over the previous decades, there was now realization that they should move north. The soil had also been poisoned from the heavy fall out from gas sites. Most chose to settle in Minnesota or close to Canada. The weather in the north was becoming warmer, and there were fewer destructive weather events.

The military laid on convoys and people were permitted a rucksack of possessions. Most took laptops, flash drives, photos, a change of clothes, and some small sentimental possessions. They were told that if anything remained in the summer, they could return under their own steam and fetch them, but now was not the time.

There was little resistance from other Dominionist groups, but the soldiers systematically destroyed all churches and meeting places of religionists. They were firm in their instruction. “Stand on your own feet, and look to technology for your solutions.”

At the same time, a Universal Basic Income was established using a block chain technology. Every citizen had enough to meet their needs that terrible winter, and it lessened the need for crying out in prayer in the hope of some help.

1st Week February

In the first week of February, it started warming. Spring was early, but food was scarce. Still, there were sufficient stores from the many cities which were deserted, and if tinned food wasn’t as nutritious as fresh food, nobody starved. Neighbors helped neighbors, and there was a general feeling of ‘live and let live.’ Sins and perspectives of the past were left to blow in the wind. The trauma had simply been too deep during the past ten months for anyone to wish for it to be present. If it was present at all, it was dug deep in to memories, but it was not spoken about. Instead people focused on rebuilding.

***

The meeting came to order.

Count von Richtenburg stood behind the podium and raised his hand for silence. It came quickly. It had been a long two decades, and they had achieved what they set out to do.

The Count looked more grey than he had just a month previously, and those who knew him, understood the weight he had carried.

He spoke. “I carry on my shoulders and in my soul many deaths. Many would call it murder, and I’m not sure that I wouldn’t call it that myself. So be it. What needed to be done was done. We have achieved the following.”

“Today, our population stands at some three billion internationally. This is down from nearly nine billion just a few months ago. As you know, the drain of humanity was draining our resources, contributing massively to climate change, and it wasn’t getting any slower. While we will once again face the needless increase of our population, we have now instituted a worldwide education program, limiting all people to two children per family, plus we have provided an income, education, housing, and food for all people, regardless of any contribution or work they may or may not be giving. We have no more time for profit in this world.”

“We have also done as much as possible to remove the scourge of religion from this world, but it is the human condition when people cannot resolve their own desperate situations. There is a strong need to believe in rescue. We are hoping that by the State providing all that people need, they will eventually let go this crippling and dangerous belief system.”

“We have all instituted a world currency – a digital block chain that does away with weighted currencies as a result of forex. We are hoping that there would be a more fair system now. The reality is that most profits were made as a result of currency imbalances, and with those imbalances gone, most people will chose to manufacture locally.”

“I am also now stepping down from this position. I have much blood on my hand, but I have not seen any other way. I think it better that a man of peace take over. I would like to nominate Jamie Jamison. For all his being part of this, he has always been a scholar, and he carries much wisdom.”

“Thank you.”

And with that, he stood down, now an old man.

There was applause, and then it died out, and there was only silence.

Jamie stood up. “You ask me to carry a heavy burden,” he said.

Mid March

The Clark family had relocated back to Venice. Some of the group had remained behind to the north, but Bett wanted to be in the area where she had once stayed with her friend, Pauline. While she knew that those days would never return, she still remembered with great clarity the day she was driving home on Wilshire and the EMP detonated. It had been a long six months.

Los Angeles was slowly filling up with people. Since President Andrews had been removed and a foreign president had been installed, America had progressed. She was loathe to admit it, but many of the irritants were gone. There was a new camaraderie between people, and a spirit of helpfulness and generosity towards others. Differences made no difference anymore. Black, white, small, tall, educated, and not so educated, people accepted each other where they were.

Bett thought that this had a lot to do with a not having to worry so much about survival and acceptance. The fact that everyone had a nominal income, enough to pay the rent and food made a great deal of difference. In addition, with the passing of two thirds of the population, there were many homes and many resources for the taking.

It was amazing how a lack of struggle changed a people, she thought as she walked along the beach, tipping her feet into the water. She looked ahead and saw that she was not alone. A way off she saw the slight figure of someone moving steadily up the beach. She noted that she was dragging a rucksack on the sandy beach. “That shouldn’t be too healthy for the contents,” she thought.

And then she did a double take.

“It can’t be,” she thought. “It is,” another part of her said. “No, no, she’s been gone too long!”

But it was.

As the young woman came into view, Pauline’s shape and features were quite clear.

Bett started running, and she didn’t stop until she flung herself on her friend, and then she started weeping.

© 2017 Tessa Schlesinger

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