By: Duke Kell
Corporate Control, By Duke Kell
Published by Two Ton Productions, at Shakespir.
Copyright © 2016 by Two Ton Productions.
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The Freedom Files
Dax’s studio apartment.
After I put The Gun Games down, I was still convinced that the 2nd Constitutional Congress made a mistake in keeping the 2nd amendment. I called Abby to get her thoughts and she agreed. As members of the big cities we saw non-violence as the way we had gained independence. We discussed at length how the people of the countryside that kept the flame of freedom burning by adhering to a simple creed, death before slavery, held a very different view. These loose knit rebels relied on small firearms, bow and arrows, and the cover of the great forests to fight the corporations for generations. In their view, it was the 2nd amendment that allowed them to own the guns that helped them survive and in the end that was how they gained their independence. I could see it from both perspectives, but thought it common sense that now that we had defeated the enemy, we could finally have peace.
We went out twice after that conversation and we didn’t discuss it once. Our relationship was maturing and we kept away from the class issues this week. In retrospect we were both uncomfortable with the idea of allowing just any individual to own a firearm. I know that prohibition never actually worked, but I just couldn’t agree with that, not after seeing how many people had been killed by a gun. Instead, we talked about the future and the stars and the things we dislike and like, and the rotation of the earth, mathematics, romance. Words danced off our tongues and pirouetted into a symphony of thought. Together we had endless bridges to cross.
The Freedom Files
University of California, Berkeley, 2191
When class began, the former President put up a hologram of the 2nd amendment and read it to us. She explained how she was once and ardent supporter of anti-guns and an absolute believer in non-violence. She detailed how in her first year in charge of the resistance she had directed the largest nonviolent protest in the history of the world. Her second in command and leader of the military arm, Harley, was the one who finally convinced her to change her mind. Before we knew it, Harley Matthews was on the stage and the audience was on their feet clapping. I felt tears well up in my eyes and Abby’s tears also flowed freely. Harley Matthews hadn’t done an interview or been seen in public for nearly ten years. She wasn’t a politician; she was a warrior. Her demeanor was often bristling and aggressive, so when she felt she could fade away from the limelight she took it. Today, she was a comet flaming bright enough to hide the darkness of the subject.
Harley held forth, “Thank you. Please be seated, and let me start by thanking my dear friend Olga Verduzco for having me here today. Now let’s get started. When I was being beaten at the police station the week after our first protest, I began to have doubts about non-violence and the prohibition of firearms. It was on the third night of beating that the guards decided to rape me.”
Gasps filled the auditorium and one woman screamed.
“I spent one full week in jail. I was raped hundreds of times by guards. When I was finally released my body and my spirit were broken. For months I tried to ignore it, to push through in the name of non-violence, but people were being killed and raped and beat into submission. I thought back to the lessons we learned in school about the protests of the early twenty first century and how they were used to try to curb police brutality and the rising police state. In those cases, non-violence actually proved to be a very powerful tool.
I started to dig into the past, and found that only one time in history did a non-violent revolt result in a successful revolution. That, of course, was Mahatma Gandhi’s struggle for India’s independence. The sheer number of revolutions we’re talking about in the thousands, proved to me that if we wanted to succeed, we need to embrace at least at some level acts of violence. Olga didn’t agree and we pushed on until we received the intel from the capital and Wall Street. It said that they would just continue to allow the demonstrations and walk outs as long as they remained non-violent, because in the long run, the people would just get frustrated and give up, like the 60’s. We made it to Denver that week, and I was introduced to the members of the existing resistance. They were heavily armed and had been fighting a war for nearly a hundred and fifty years. Of course none of us knew there was a resistance. It was easy for the cities to hide it. The states and provinces that wouldn’t cooperate were sometimes literally blown up and sometimes they were treated more as a nuisance. Colorado and much of the Midwest had to be preserved for the watershed and natural resources, so Denver survived.
It was there that I shot my first gun and it was empowering and intoxicating. It was at the Denver Library where I decided once and for all that guns were not only a right, but they were the key to long term freedom. Thomas Jefferson wrote, ‘No freeman shall be debarred from the use of arms,’ and most of the founders hinted at the importance of the right to bear arms as the most important factor in the revolution and continuing tutelage of the ruling class. This wasn’t to say that I thought guns should be used in all cases. That certainly wasn’t the case. I thought some non-violent techniques could be used in the cities, then use our presence with weapons on the outside as leverage to create a checkmate scenario. We told them ‘we will not go back to work and if you don’t hand over the keys to the cities they will be invaded and the non-violent protestors will storm the penthouses and mansions of the elite.’ My colleague here needed to have her own close call with death before she would finally agree to such a drastic action. She was flown into a demonstration to rally the front, when a sniper tried to assassinate her. Luckily the first bullet took out her guard and the second hit her in the back. The Kevlar vest saved her life. She witnessed dozens of killings that day. What she learned is that when a government has no one to answer to, non-violence will only lead to martyrdom. Any questions?”
Hands shot up. Harley called on someone in the front.
A tall thin man stood up and asked, “Why didn’t we disarm everyone once the corporations were defeated?”
Harley smiled, and asserted, “Because as history has shown us, there will come a day again in the future when we may need them again. Are there any more questions?”
She called on Abby, who stood up and asked, “How are we interpreting the 2nd amendment differently than they did in the twenty first century.”
Harley responded, “Good question. We didn’t change the second amendment at all, but we do look at it differently. We view it as the right and duty of every citizen to have a registered firearm that they can use to participate in local militia training. The firearms citizens own can be stored at their home if they provide a child-proof safe or they can store them with the local militia armory. It has been the policy of the second United States to allow the states and municipalities themselves to make the determination about carrying of a weapon. Most of our largest cities do not allow guns to be carried by anyone who enters the city limits, while in the more rural areas you may see people openly carrying a weapon. We don’t, however, allow someone who isn’t participating in a militia to obtain a license to own a gun until they have undergone a training course and demonstrate that they understand the federal laws that prosecute anyone who willingly or unwillingly allows their firearms to be used in a crime. Again, we did not change the second amendment. Instead, we stepped away from the constitution and looked in another direction. We used our new education system and included firearm and archery training to all public schools. We gave our older citizens this choice: if they wanted to own a gun they could take the classes or they could forgo their right until they had the time to take the classes.”
She stopped took a deep breath and continued, “I don’t think guns should be the answer to our everyday policing, or to any of our personal disputes. I believe it should be used as a last resort only in the defense of freedom. If I had to say the biggest difference between our interpretation and that of the twenty first century, comes down to the last resort vs. the go to. The policing policy of that time put a gun in every officer’s hand and the streets were flooded with cheap black market guns. The populace wasn’t trained to use guns and had no respect for the power and consequences that came with firing one. Everyone out of fear and ignorance used their guns as the ‘go to’, solution. We don’t do that now; we train our whole populace to respect and revere the firearm and understand that it is a last resort. It should be noted that none of our peace officers now carry a firearm even if they own one personally. Any more questions.” she asked Abby.
“Yes, Ma’am,” Abby said, realizing that she was speaking directly to Harley, “What happens if one of the militias decides to revolt and people get killed. Will that change your position?”
Harley smirked, responding with, “absolutely not. We mustn’t let our fear drive us. If one of the militias rises up, then we as a people have failed that region of the country. Revolution isn’t something that springs from nowhere and it isn’t something that happens overnight. The new mandatory 20 year Constitutional Congress should help all regions continue to feel that they had a hand in shaping their own future. A return to civic virtue has also helped us shape a citizenry who is engaged and willing to take their grievances through the legislative process as opposed to using violence which is again the last resort.”
She paused then turned to the president and said, “The bottom line is when the world has fallen to tyranny and there is no shining beacon on the hill. Who will stand up for those who choose to use non-violence as their only option? We found out the hard way that in order for non-violence to work there must be an existential entity that can put pressure on the oppressive regime to change. In the twentieth century the UN and United States served as the watchdogs who would threaten countries with violence if they didn’t allow for peaceful demonstrations. In the United States, it was considered a given that all protest be non-violent and violence was looked down on by most of the citizenry. What many fail to recognize is that without that outside pressure from the rest of the world non-violence is useless against tyranny because a government who is practicing the tyranny has no repercussions if they respond with violence.
Many people point to the great moralist Jesus of Nazareth and say look what he accomplished with non-violence. I always respond to the Jesus assertion in this way. Under that model the leader or leaders of a non-violent movement would have to become martyrs for anything to actually come from it. We can see many instance of this in our history. Martin Luther King Jr, for instance, led the most successful non-violent movement in US history to gain civil rights for people of African descent, and yet even in a country where they enjoyed the rights guaranteed by the constitution, his life was in constant danger and he was eventually killed. Mrs. Verdusco and I both went into the second revolution with violence off the table because we were both idealists who thought that if enough people were to walk off their jobs and halt the machine that was the corporate world, we would force them to change. We were proved wrong and a lot of good people died as a result.”
She stopped and nodded at the President, then said. “It was not an easy decision to turn to weapons and violence. We both struggled with the implications it had when we finally decided to team up with the resistance. The President and I cried for hours after we authorized the use of weapons to demonstrate what would happen if the corporate regime didn’t stand down.” Tears began to well up in both of their eyes as she continued. “Our decisions got people killed, destroyed lives, yet we had to endure. We had to overcome. It was our last resort.”
A silence came over the auditorium and we watched as the president walked over and embraced Harley. The two giants of revolution, allowed us to see the human side of a decision made during war. Tears began to flow down both of their cheeks and nearly everyone in the auditorium followed suit. It was a time for all of us to remember those who sacrificed everything so that we may be free. I had never felt so guilty and yet so alive at the same time.
Abby reached over and grabbed my hand, squeezing it as if she needed me to pull her to safety, I turned, opened my arms and she buried her head in my chest. Looking over her shoulder, I could see that the whole room was embracing someone. In that auditorium that day we were all trying to heal, to erase the scars of war and the bitter taste of loss. Despite most of the younger students not being alive during the revolution, all of them knew someone who was, and all of them had heard the stories of their relatives and loved ones who lost so that we may win.
The class that day was different from the previous sessions, The addition of Harley gave the discussion a different tone and approach. Mrs. Verduzco used history and quotes to justify most what the revolution and subsequent continental congress had done, while Harley used emotion and passion. Harley Matthews was a warrior who led the battles, and unlike the leaders of the twentieth century, took part in them on the front line. We didn’t need her to recount her battles, because we had all seen them. The new revolution had all been caught on the surveillance state cameras and made public in an effort to demonize the resistance. Unfortunately for the Corporatists, the videos had the opposite effect and were used for years afterwards to remind us how much loss we had endured to get to where we were.
For the first time in my life I understood why we had to abandon non-violence to defeat the corporatists. I could see and feel how hard it was for the leaders of our revolution to do so.
President Verdusco gave everyone a few moments to collect themselves before she gave us our new assignment and wrapped up the class. She assigned us a book called Corporate Control and urged us to partner up with someone to come up with some good questions for the next class. She gave us the opportunity at the end to show our appreciation to Harley Matthews, and we all gave her a standing ovation that seemed to last forever.
Abby’s Apartment, Apple, 2191
The new assignment was the last of the books used to justify the changes made to the original constitution. Abby and I were both relieved to be done with The Gun Games and the emotional roller coaster it took for us to come to terms with the reality of war. Corporate Control had been described in lore as the last book ever published, but it was really broadcast in audio format sixty years after the fall, and not published in paper until after the second revolution. The time period the story was set in was critical to the corporate takeover, six years after the 2016 election. Everything had to fall in place for the corporations, but something stood in the way, freedom on the Internet. Large publishers were all owned by the same two entities that also owned all of the TV stations, radio stations, and news outlets. For years, this worked perfectly, giving the top one percent multiple platforms to espouse their agenda. However the Internet’s reach was unexpected and nearly derailed the plan to take over the country and ultimately the world. Self-publishing, blogging, posting, sharing, and social media, all gave voice to those who didn’t fit the corporate model.
Internet freedom gave rise to a new movement that for the first time in history gave the power of the press to people beyond the filter of the wealthy. Information was seen as the enemy, because the conspirators realized that if the populace figured out that they were slowly being turned into slaves, the people would surely revolt. At first they used everything in their arsenal to discredit self-publishers, but it didn’t work, because people started to recognize that they were being duped. The first four books we read in the class were all self-published on the Internet. For this reason all books were made illegal and only corporate-approved media could be produced. I heard stories as a kid about the riots that were caused when an old man locked himself in a broadcast booth and played a tape of himself reading Corporate Control.
That night I sat down and began to read out loud. Abby was sitting next to me in bed, and we were taking turns reading the short chapters to each other.
St. Louis, MO, 2023
Jodi McPherson was the personal assistant to Brock Stellar, the CEO of Wamsamyes. Fifteen years of dedicated service and the ability to turn a blind eye landed her the top job for her position. On this day, it was her job to set up the seating and refreshments for the top CEO’s in food production companies from around the world. After pleasantries and introductions and a few drinks, Jodi’s boss began his presentation.
“As you all know, we have been approaching the tipping point when our population growth can no longer be sustained.” He paused and hit a click on a controller, a slide flipped, and he pointed with a laser at the words, “GMO can solve the problem.” He began to speak again, “Our scientists have been diligently planning for this and believe we can humanely start to reduce the population while increasing our food supply.”
“What about the links to cancer GMO foods have?” the CEO of a large corn consortium asked.
“We have two choices: feed the people food that in some rare cases will cause cancer or let them starve.”
“Some of us are wondering if this isn’t just another way for you to increase your pesticide sales,” the head of the Corn group fired back.
“ Will we profit? Yes, but if we do nothing, millions will die a miserable starving death. Our new strains will sterilize 50% of the population and allow for a more humane reduction.”
The head of the farmers’ union interceded. “You have our attention, so what’s the plan?”
“As you know our lobbying efforts and strategic political donations have opened the door for a new dawn in our country. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizen United decision that ruled that corporations are people and the McCutcheon vs. FEC decision which equate money to speech and implies that money is a necessary tool to engage in the political process, each one of our corporations is now protected by law. Look beyond that and it also opens the door to a whole new political action. What? You ask. What if I told you we’re revving up to run Wamsanyes for president?
“Hold up,” the corn guy said, “you want to be president?”
“NO, I don’t, but our legal counsel has determined that corporations can run for office. This would allow the Board of Directors access to the Oval Office. When this happens, each one of your corporations will be given a positon on the cabinet.”
“Congress will block any move you try to make.”
“Let them try. We have several states in martial law and the country is decaying around us. The people want to be safe; they want to be secure. If we ramp up the fear factor, I’m confident the population will force congress into doing whatever it is we want.”
“So how do we accomplish this?” The CEO of Google asked.
Brock smiled, “Our friends in the CIA are very good at destabilizing countries so America can go in and save them. Essentially we are going to ask them to continue to do their dirty work here at home. How does that look? You may ask. It depends. We have a couple of mass shootings and people will call for gun laws, more drugs in schools, and people will call for drug laws. A global pandemic that kills millions of people will scare many. Show the association that regulations on big business is a fast track to socialism or worse communism and people will be clawing their way toward the door. At that point we offer a new solution driven by the free market. I’ve sat down with the brass at the IMF and they are eager to see a regime change and a new emergence of a vast war machine similar to the early WWII operations that saved our country from the great depression. No one really knows that the America that once was, no longer is, and hasn’t been since the assassination of JFK, MLK and Bobby Kennedy. It has taken many of our families nearly ninety years to get here. We have ridden the wave of manipulation and fear and it has paid off. Our population is ready and the time to strike is now,” He shouted slamming down his fist.
“Why now? It seems to me that we are all pulling in record profits. The unions are nearly busted and we are seeing a resurgence of cheap labor in the some states where we’ve got the right to work legislation to pass.” spoke up one of the members.
Brock reiterated, “We have to act now because if we don’t the planet’s population will grow so large we will risk the chance of complete extermination. This is about preserving the human race.”
Central Valley, California, 2023
Detective Viloria strolled past the yellow caution tape and stopped at the first body drooped over the end of the kitchen table. He reached into his pocket, pulled out some rubber gloves, and stretched them on before carefully picking up the victim’s hand. Pooling blood obscured the view and he wanted to see if there was anything in his hands.
A tall thin woman leaned down, saying, “Nothing there, I already checked.”
She pointed at the base of the skull and said, “Two entry wounds with.”
Detective Viloria finished her sentence, “Burn marks.”
She said, “So this must have been a hit.”
Duane asked, “Why would someone take out a dairy owner?”
“Maybe it’s a front for a laundering operation, who knows? Whatever this guy was caught up in got his whole family killed.”
“Where are the others?” Duane asked.
She walked him out of the study and down a long hallway. The wooden floors creaked as they passed the stairs.
“There is more to see down here in the kitchen,” she said.
They stepped to the side as they came through the door. He scanned the room, taking a mental picture of the woman’s last moments. A pan on the stove with half cooked eggs, two plates, a half-filled glass of wine and an open bottle of the same. She lay at the base of the island, with one shot to her upper abdomen and two in the back of the head. She still had the spatula in her hand.
They made their way upstairs to the little boy’s room and found his body hiding in the back of his closet. “Wow, pretty ruthless, shooting a defenseless boy in the head,” said Detective Viloria.
They agreed and she walked him down the hall to show him to the teenage girl’s room. Her hands were still under the bed and her face was down. “They must have dragged her out from under the bed,” she said.
Duane walked around the bed, plopped down on his back, and slid under it. He pointed up at the slats under her mattress. The corner of a book was protruding out.
“Maybe our friend here left us some answers,” he said.
He reached up and pulled out a 5” by 7” hard-backed journal, “Which he carefully placed in a bag and continued to look for clues.
Central Valley, California, 2023
Detective Viloria sat down at his desk and looked out across the empty room around him. He reached up and pulled the chain hanging from the lamp on his desk, then he blew out a huge puff of smoke from his e-cigarette and placed it in the clean ashtray sitting beside him. He carefully pulled the diary out of the evidence bag and sat it on the examining paper he prepared. With a pair of tweezers, he opened the diary and began to read.
Pg. 1 This is my Diary
By Piper Drakeford
I’ve never really been a journaler or writer but my therapist said it would help, so my parents are setting aside a time for me to jot down my thoughts. If you want my thoughts, I’d say life sucks, my parents suck and the therapist sucks and this god dam drought sucks. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t always like this. I used to be happy, we all use to be happy, but then the great recession hit. We were lucky compared to most of my friends at school.
Real estate prices fell 75% in Southern California and we felt it here as well. It seemed like a daily occurrence that a classmate would move away because his family lost their house. Tensions in our central California community became unbearable and it boiled over into an all-out riot between the out of work laborers and families like mine who own and operated small businesses. That’s what my dad told me anyway.
The truth is, we are now and have always been very well off and I fear that my dad’s pride may ruin all of that. How? You might ask, let me explain
We own Drakeford dairy, one of the largest producers of organic milk in the country. For the past four generations we have led the way by staying true to our past. The organic food movement should continue to feed us for years to come. That was the plan, but no one saw the drought coming or at least none of us took any of that climate change mumbo jumbo seriously. Unfortunately the past four years cut our productions in half and we had to leverage nearly everything we had just to keep her afloat.
We are quickly approaching the point where the collector will realize there is nothing left and may just take it all. That’s what my mom keeps saying.
There is a lifeline, but my dad just won’t accept it. Daisy Dairy, a subsidiary of Wamsanyes, has been buying up all the dairies on the west coast and have made us a very serious offer. I don’t know the exact number, but it’s in the hundreds of millions, enough for all us to live comfortably for the rest of our lives.
My Mom and Dad have been fighting about it continually. The other night my dad screamed with a tone that I had never heard from him before. The hate oozed off his tongue and beamed in his eyes. “How dare you suggest this!” he yelled. “I would rather die than sell my family’s work.”
He slammed the door and a picture down the hall fell to the ground, shattering across the floor.
I don’t know why but seeing our family picture like that sent me over the edge. I grabbed a piece of glass from it and slit my wrists.
So yes, life sucks, and now I’m gonna have to convince all these freaks that I’m normal, I’m not sure if that will ever happen after they read my so called private journal.
Anyway, that’s all I got for today.
Detective Viloria shut the teenager’s dairy and leaned back in his chair.
San Jose, CA, 2023
Detective Viloria, called a reporter who ran a story about the recent consolidation of dairies in the central valley. The reporter Brittany Carvalho, a young journalist who recently graduated from the University of La Verne, agreed to meet him at a coffee shop near her home in San Jose. He sat in a booth in the back corner waiting for her to arrive.
She walked in and a bell rang as the door opened. Duane was taken aback by her striking features. She had light mocha skin, long flowing hair, and eyes that melted a man.
“Detective Viloria?” she asked
“Yes.” He replied.
He stood up and held out his hands, “pleasure to meet you Miss Carvalho, thank you so much for meeting me.” He waved his hand toward the other side of the booth motioning for her to sit down.
“So you wanted to talk about my article?”
“Yes Ma’am.” He said smiling, then sat down and leaned in towards her, lowered his voice, and said, “I wanted you to explain why this consolidation is a bad move and why someone who fought it would end up dead.”
She smiled and asked, “Do you think the Drakeford case is related to the consolidation?”
“I didn’t say that! I’m just fishing, so can you explain it?”
“OK,” she smiled and leaned in. Her eyes tightened, as she explained, “My story had a much deeper reach when I first turned it in, but the editor had a meeting with a couple of reps from Wamsanyes and the whole thing was squashed. The article you read was the corporate approved story.”
“So what is the rest of the story then?” Viloria asked.
She looked around to see if anyone was listening, then whispered, “A number of corporations who have ties to Wamsanyes are buying up and consolidating every major crop across the globe. The dairies here in the central valley are only the tip of the iceberg. Wamsanyes is literally trying to control the entire world’s food supply.”
“Is that a bad thing?”
“A monopoly of any kind has proven to be a negative entity, but imagine what happens if this small group decides one day to reduce production.”
Duane shrugged his shoulders to indicate he didn’t see why this was a big deal.
She pointed out, “Millions of people would starve if food production slowed.”
“Why would they do that?” he asked
She shook her head from side to side, smiled, and said, “Profit! Without competition a smaller supply means more demand, and more demand means more profit.”
“So guys like Mr Drakeford could see this and stood in the way?” he asked.
She shook her head up and down and said, “Yes. That’s exactly right.”
Private Jet in route to LA, 2023
Jody McPherson walked down the isle of her boss’s private 747. Unlike a commercial plane the aisle was very wide and the cabin was laid out more like a living room then a plane. Today they were still meeting with Wamsanyes’s lead lobbyist. Jodi stopped at a closet door, adjusted her skirt suit, switched the tray of drinks into her left hand, and entered the room. At one end of a long table was her boss and former Speaker of the House, Brock Stellar. On the end closest to her sat Slick Willie,Wamsansyes’s Washington string puller. She placed a short crystal glass filled with ice and aged bourbon in front of him, smiled, and hurried down to Mr Stellar’s side.
“Your drink, sir,” she said as she slid it onto a coaster.
“Thank you, Jody,” he said, grabbing the drink and sipping it slowly.
“It’s pretty simple, Mr. Willie. We have the votes in both houses. The Supreme Court will come down on our side, so we need the president on board.”
Slick Willie shook his head and tightened his lips. He said, “There’s no way he’s going to step aside after only one term and endorse a corporation for president.”
Brock looked back at Jody, and said, “Give him the case.”
Jodi turned around, picked up a stainless steel brief case, walked it over to Slick Willie, placed it in front of him, and returned to her position.
Willie opened the case and peered inside, his eyes widening.
Brock said, “There are two bank cards in there. Each is for a separate bank account in the Cayman Islands, and they both have one hundred million dollars in them. One of the cards is for you and one is for the president, given he steps aside in the primaries and endorses Wamsanyes as the Republican presidential candidate. We’re also prepared to allow him the Vice Presidency in our first term if that will soften the blow,” he asked.
Willie’s head dropped and he peered up from the top of his eyes. “Is it even legal, a corporation for president?”
Brock chuckled and said, “The papers under your future there have all the legal approval from our best minds and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Corporate personhood has opened the door.”
Willie shut the case, looked up at him and said, “Guess you’ve thought of everything.
Train to LA, 2023
Detective Viloria sat back in the train seat and opened the diary to read more. He had a two hour ride to LA where he would be meeting with a representative from Wamsanyes.
Diary of Piper Drakeford
So today was another total fiasco and I am about to lose it. I can’t believe they sold our stuff. I mean, a lot of the furniture those a-holes walked out of here with was handed down to us for generations. I just don’t think it’s right.
Dad came in the kitchen all smiling when he told us, “looks like I bought us a couple more months.”
My mom gave him one of those looks and I knew she was ready to come unglued.
“What did you do?” she asked with a piercing stare.
In exchange for two months operating costs, a few men will be taking some of the clutter out of the house.”
“Clutter? What clutter!” she exclaimed.
He stopped smiling. “The Sam Malouf collection as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright collection.”
“Have you lost your mind? That’s more than half of our furniture and you know as well as I do it’s worth millions.”
“If we don’t come up with operating costs, they will take it all. Don’t you get that?”
“Why don’t you just sell?” she yelled back.
“We have been over this,” he said again.
He looked at me, then back at Mom and said, “Let’s not do this in front of Piper.”
Mom was already too mad to stop.
“Why not? This affects her as well. Your pride is going to ruin her future.”
He became irate and spoke angrily, “I’m trying to save her future. If you can’t see that then you’re just as bad as Wamsanyes.”
He turned walked out the door and slammed it behind him. The dishes in the cabinet shook like an earthquake. Mom began to cry. She tried to hold it together, but couldn’t, so she ran out of the room.
I sat there eating my breakfast thinking to myself, “And they think I’m crazy!” Our whole world is disintegrating around us and it doesn’t matter how hard we try. We just can’t keep the parts together. I cried when our dining set left. It was the constant in an ever changing interior. Unlike my parents, it was there for every meal, every birthday cake, and every holiday.
The grandfather clock where I use to hide, the rocking chair once owned by a former president named Theodore Roosevelt, also were removed, and the list goes on and on.
Today we watched as parts of our history were stripped from us for what? I just don’t get it.
Wamsanyes’s CEO had thought of everything as he moved on with the plan he and his cohorts had hatched in his words, “To save the planet from the poor.” He had nailed down everything but one thing, the conscience of his trusted secretary. She had turned a blind eye to individual acts of atrocities, money laundering, insider trading, and even sexual assault, but this was something very different. Now he was plotting a takeover of the world and the death of millions. This was not something she signed up for. Last night a call came into Mr. Stellar’s office from a detective working a case in California. At that moment she knew this was her last opportunity to expose the plot. She agreed to meet with him after they landed in LA. She told Brock that it was a routine blow-off meeting, something he used her for on many occasions.
Detective Viloria sat in the lobby of the Millennium Biltmore hotel in LA, awaiting his meeting with the CEO of Monsanto. He shifted his feet and looked down at the fancy rug below them, he shook his head, leaned back and admired the ornate architecture and thought “wow not like the places I usually stay.”
He was surprised when a tall, dark woman sat down in front of him “Mr. Viloria?” she asked.
“It’s Detective,” He said as he looked around trying to find the CEO.
He tilted his head to the side, indicating his concern.
“I’m Jodi McPherson, Mr. Stellar’s personal secretary. Officially, I’m here to deny and deflect any and all questions you have.” She leaned in close and lowered her voice to say, “But personally I’m here to clear my conscience.”
Perplexed, Detective Viloria asked, “So your boss actually does have something to do with the murder of the Drakeford family?”
Her face went cold and she pushed a folder across the table. “Oh, sweetie, what I’m about to tell you is much bigger than the murder of one family,” she conveyed to him.
Detective Viloria opened up the folder and looked at the first page, an outline Jodi made for him. The title was, “Hostile Takeover of the World.”
“Is this some kind of joke?” he asked.
Her eyes lowered and began to tear up.
“No,” she said, looking away. “And what I’m giving you is very dangerous.”
She reached her hand across the table and put it on his, “Every person who has figured this out is already dead.”
He thumbed through the pages. Each page heightened his anxiety until it was nearly unbearable. He reached out and took a drink of his water; he could feel his heart beat in his hand. He asked, “This can’t be right. Can corporations really run for president?”
“Look at the next page. It lays out the bills our congress has passed with provisions that have laid the groundwork.”
He shook his head and said, “Do you realize what this means, what these papers are saying?”
“Yes, I do.”
“What am I supposed to do with this?
She smiled and said, “The ball is in your court now.”
She stood up, put her hand on his shoulder and said, “Good luck. The future of the world depends on you!”
Then she walked off.
Train to San Jose, 2023
The ride back to central California was three hours on the train. Detective Viloria welcomed the time because he needed some time to formulate a plan. He rifled through the papers Mrs. McPherson gave him. They were compelling and damning, but he just wasn’t sure how to tie it all together. Frustrated, he put the work aside and changed direction. He pulled out the teen’s diary again and began to read more of it.
Diary entry # 3
I hate school, it’s bad enough I have sit through hours of bullshit that has no relevance to the real world. Ever since that whole weed war happened in Colorado and Washington, our school district has gone mad. Zero tolerance for anything outside of the box has created a culture of hate and fear. In our little town the people have bought into the craziness. It started with the lists. Somehow our local government was furnished with lists of people who were considered undesirable. That included gays, artists, drug users. They rounded them up and took them to re-education camps in the Mojave Desert. Many of the students I go to school with had someone from their family taken. It’s not a coincidence that none of the rich families had anyone taken. There was even a boy beaten to death last year because a group of kids at school were mad that his drug addicted mother got a free pass due to his dad’s status as a prominent businessman.
Around the same time, a federal law mandated birth control for anyone under the age of 25. Our school checks our arms daily to make sure we haven’t removed the Nor-plant. From this law, no one was exempt. They said it was a money saving measure, but in reality it was about control and the student who did not comply were removed for re-education.
My friends and I often joke about the term “re-education” because to our knowledge, no one has ever come back from these camps. How can it be re-educating if they haven’t been successful.
In all seriousness, there isn’t much to joke about at school these days. Testing has taken on a whole new meaning. Every spring three tests are now given, an aptitude test, a psychological test and an American loyalty test. Fail any of the tests and you’ve earned yourself a one-way ticket to a re-education camp.
The saddest thing I’ve seen is when kids who are starving because their parents lost their job or were sent away give up and fail the test on purpose. They hope that in the camp, they will be taken care of or will be able to find their loved ones. Being part Jewish, I can unequivocally tell you that this is the scariest thing to happen in the world since the Holocaust.
Of course, nobody noticed that the collection of data our government and our corporations were collecting for the past 30 years was dangerous. Most of us gladly joined in, calling for accountability and safety. We allowed ourselves to be separated by invisible lines based on everything from race to what religion we followed. No one but conspiracy theorists gave any credence to the idea that this was bad until it was much too late.
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Corporate Control is the fifth book in the “Freedom Files" series, a collection of novellas or novelettes about ongoing civil liberty issues. Corporations are people, money is power, fear has slithered into our conscious and the nation is divided. A new Civil War looms, as the United States dives head first into fascism. People are fed up and ready for a change, a new power has risen up that offers solutions to everyone's problems. This story explores the emergence of The United Corporations of the World and how they saved the human race from themselves. Included at the beginning and the end is the Freedom Files that correlate with this story.