The Gun Games
By: Duke Kell
The Gun Games, 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.
Dax and Abby, 2091
I woke up in the morning with the book on my face. I re-read the letter and decided to give it a few days before trying to come up with a good set of talking points for my date with Abby. Friday came faster than I expected and the workload in my other classes was very heavy that week, so I decided to head into the date blind. I had never done anything in my life without planning it out first. A whole life, days, future all planned, until that week when it finally hit me, I was free.
There was a strange calm I felt as I walked down the street toward the café. The people walking by danced in bubbles of their own worlds, some lost in thought, some smiling, and a couple holding hands. A group of four men on the corner sang an echoing song that pierced my soul and made my body want to wiggle. I entered the café and saw Abby sitting in our same booth, so I hurried over and slid into the bench seat.
“Good afternoon.” I said.
She smiled, saying, “I got here a little early and saw the same booth, so I went ahead and sat. I hope you don’t mind.”
We talked about our week, ordered some lunch and dove headfirst into The Surveillance State. We talked, laughed, and ate an appetizer, lunch and a small desert, before the waiter came over and told us that there were two open seats at the bar. Apparently three hours is the longest they let one party stay at a table. We decided to move across the street, to the park where we found a bench under a large canopy of a tree.
“I don’t know, but I think they stopped teaching philosophy a as construct of understanding how we interact with each other,” I said.
She shook her head, saying, “I just don’t understand how the people who called themselves Christian could let themselves and their religion be used to destroy the only country that allowed them to flourish. I don’t care what they were taught at school, but if you read the words of their savior Jesus Christ, it is pretty clear that nearly everything the twenty first century Christians voted for was in direct conflict with his views.” She shook her head.
“Have you heard the term ‘Dominionism’?” I asked.
“‘Dominionism’ was a theocratic theory that heterosexual men had been given the duty by god to have dominion (control) over secular society by controlling both political and cultural institutions,” I said.
She shrugged her shoulders, “So.”
“So, when Christians gave up on Christianity and began believing in a new religion called Dominionism they were no longer Christians. Dominionists began pushing a revised history to suit only their very narrow view of the world. They gave up on reason which was and is the backbone of freedom. They denied the things around them in the natural world in favor of dogma, because it was easier to trust the silver-tongued politicians than their own eyes. This is why Christianity was tied to the corrupt state that arose behind their blind allegiance and why they didn’t realize it till it was too late.”
“Hun, I never thought about it that way.”
“I’d like to take credit for it, but actually President Verdusco said something similar in an article a couple of years ago. She was under attack for practicing a form of Christianity that had been passed down in her family for generations.”
She nodded, “I do remember that. She said her family used a Jeffersonian Bible and that she was Unitarian/Deist like many of the founding fathers, including Jefferson and Franklin.”
“Yes, that’s the one, she quoted Jefferson and Franklin in defense of her position. I find it interesting that the president was using the same defences as the founders, but against an overwhelming belief in atheism, while both founders were defending their position against an overwhelming belief in an orthodox view of Christianity.”
“Hold on, let’s find those quotes.”
She pressed a button on her wrist watch and began to type in midair. When she stopped a hologram with the Google search engine popped up with hundreds of links to the quotes.
“Here is the quote she used for Jefferson,” she said, pointing at a letter Jefferson wrote to William Short, then reading it out loud, “The establishment of the innocent and genuine character of this benevolent moralist, and the rescuing it from the imputation of imposture, which has resulted from artificial systems, (the immaculate conception of Jesus, his deification, the creation of the world by him, his miraculous powers, his resurrection and visible ascension, his corporeal presence in the Eucharist, the Trinity; original sin, atonement, regeneration, election, orders of Hierarchy.) Invented by ultra-Christian sects, unauthorized by a single word ever uttered by him.”
I jumped right in, stating, “She’s hinting that the form of Christianity she follows is one of reverence for the revolutionary moralist, not the one of divinity that was used to justify the twenty-first century executions of the homosexuals, illegal immigrants, Muslims, and in the end African Americans.”
“Let’s look at the Franklin quote before we jump to any conclusions.” She said.
She moved her fingers and a new list popped up. She began to read a 1790s letter to Ezra Stiles, ““You desire to know something of my religion. It is the first time I have been questioned upon it. But I cannot take your curiosity amiss, and shall endeavor in a few words to gratify it. Here is my creed. I believe in one God, Creator of the Universe. That He governs it by His providence. That He ought to be worshipped. That the most acceptable service we render Him is doing good to His other children. That the soul of man is immortal, and will be treated with justice in another life respecting its conduct in this. These I take to be the fundamental principles of all sound religion, and I regard them as you do in whatever sect I meet with them. As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of Morals and his Religion, as he left them to us, the best the World ever saw or is likely to see; but I apprehend it has received various corrupt changes, and I have, with most of the present dissenters in England, some doubts as to his divinity.”
She stopped to look up at me, “It sounds like you’re right. She is explaining that what she is following is based on reason and she won’t let superstition control her policies.”
“How did we get on this subject?” I asked.
She laughed, placed her hand on my knee and said, “To be honest, I have no idea. It’s just so addictive, critically thinking about life, existence, everything. Do you remember what it was like in the corporate days? I never dared utter a word to anyone about the past, religion, any of this, but now, here with you, it’s as if, I don’t know.”
She blushed, leaned in and kissed me on the cheek pulled back and said. “I’m so glad I have someone to experience this with.”
We finished up the night with a walk to her door and another kiss, and we talked on the phone every day between then and class.
University of California, Berkeley, 2091
When President Verdusco began to speak, Abby squeezed my hand, gave me a smile, and whispered, “Good luck.”
We made a bet to see who could get called on the most for today’s class. I was prepared, but in all honesty I wasn’t sure I wanted to win because the winner had to make dinner for the other and let’s face it I’m not a whiz in the kitchen.
“Good afternoon,” the President said.
Everyone in the room repeated, “Good afternoon,” as if they had been coached to do so, but I assure you we hadn’t.
“The Surveillance State, hit the second Constitutional Congress in the face of what they thought they could do. A large group of people were adamant that we keep intact the surveillance we had become accustomed to under corporate control, but this book,” she held it up, “turned the tide. Who can tell me why?”
Abby got the first point when she was called on. “The book illustrates the dangers inherent to any system that doesn’t protect the privacy of citizens. Lincoln said, ‘If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide.’ His words are still applicable today. There can be no half measure in a country where freedom is its creed. When we decided to revisit the original constitution, it was clear that the erosion of its promise had been systematically legislating away by people wanting to protect us from ourselves. In the early twenty first century, the passing of the Patriot Act and the infiltration of the military industrial complex into all aspects of the politics led directly to WWIII in the Middle East and was ultimately the last straw that allowed the corporations to finish their takeover of the world,” Abby said, then sat down.
“Excellent. Anyone else?” President Verduzco asked.
She called on me. I explained, “Yes, Samuel Adams said, ‘Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum.’ Those of us who lived during the corporate years know all too well what happens when the erosion of privacy is complete and that is tyranny. I for instance have always wanted to study political science but because I did poorly on a test at age eleven, I was relegated to a world where verbalizing anything other than complete compliance was considered an act of treason punishable by death.”
I sat down and I could hear the whispers and gasps as the students who never had to live in such a divisive world.
“I remember those days very well,” the President said. “And let me tell you, you are both right. The Surveillance State was the last work of a man who should get a great deal of credit for stoking the flames of resistance that eventually would become the army that took back America, Michael de Garcia. As you know, he was also part of The Weed War and The Cancer Culture. His maturation demonstrated to us that despite what we were told by the corporation, the people of the United States didn’t all go willingly. In fact the more we dug, the more we realized that the way de Garcia was treated was far from an isolated incident. The mountains of information the citizens allowed the government to collect became the evidence used to carry out the great purges that wiped out fifty percent of the population. That was genocide.”
She paused, looked out into the eyes of crowd with a cold, steely stare, and then continued.
“Think about the fact that they killed nearly five billion people. They used the people against themselves, and a systematic failure of nearly every institution can be directly linked to corruption through greed. The 9-11 terrorist attack on the United States brought forth a new religion of sorts, American exceptionalism, Dominionism, Christianity and capitalism became one entity. The power-hungry politicians and money-hungry news profiteers wove this new tapestry of belief. They used fear to coerce the followers of this new belief to vehemently defend the takeover of their own country and ultimately genocide. The Muslims of the Middle East were the first to feel the wrath, after the 2016 election handed another corporatist the reins to the country. The invasion of Iran in 2018 sparked WWIII which gave the eugenicists their war. Can anyone expand on the role eugenics played on the destruction of the United States and how it pertains to The Surveillance State?”
Abby and I both shot our hands up, but someone behind us was called on.
A young man I had never noticed before stood tall and said, “The same moneyed interests that financed all sides in WWII also funded WWIII and the evidence points that they were an elite group of bankers and industrialists who believed in eugenics. They also believed that in order to keep their way of life viable the earth’s population should be managed to never exceed 500,000,000, which can be seen on the Georgia guide stones. They duped the world’s population into killing those who didn’t fall into their narrow view of an acceptable consumer citizen. Independence from the global market was seen as a direct violation punishable by death. The surveillance state gave them the ability to find and destroy all who didn’t agree. We now know that they were wrong. It wasn’t the size of the population that caused the problem. It was a failure to use the science they had available to them, improper use of our natural resources, and a basic breakdown of the understanding of self-reliance and local production. We now understand that sustainable energy and responsible living that creates a positive footprint on our environment is attainable. We also have the technology that has broken our dependence on big agriculture, livestock production, and food transportation. Those in the most barren of locations can now enjoy a fruitful existence thanks largely to early twenty first century NASA developments of eco-domes to be used on the moon and Mars where there is no viable natural habitat. So why didn’t they use those then? Because the eugenicists couldn’t figure out a way to keep the power over the world if the economic model they followed was disrupted. They were right! Our new system gives all the advantage to small local business and has shifted the power back to the people.”
“Excellent answer, Mr. Nielson,” President Verduzco said. “Now can anyone tell me why the people didn’t revolt when they learned about the surveillance?”
Abby and I were skipped over again this time.
A young man in the front stood up and began, “Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ That’s why.”
He sat down very full of himself.
“That’s definitely part of it, but this is a complicated matter. Does anyone want to further his thought?”
Again we were skipped, and in all fairness we had rarely seen her address any student more than once in a class as she seemed to enjoy spreading out to and engaging each student in the room. This time it was a girl standing in the back.
The girl stepped out of the darkness and said, “Some of the people were duped, some were accomplices, and some were rebels. I could go on. The point is, on the eve of the biggest election in world history the two parties produced candidates who were closely tied to the banks and to the military industrial complex. Call them corporatists, fascists, elite, plutocrats, whatever the meme, and you’ll still find that the differences between the two parties were negligible to the men in charge as long as they all agreed to policing the world so banks and corporations could exploit it. At least some of the fault should be placed on the party system that was employed at that time.”
The President added, “Yes, this is why we added the banning of political parties section to the anti-corruption amendment which has also been called the ‘Money out of politics’ amendment. Section 2 of the 29th amendment states, ‘The history of political parties have shown us that they have no obligation to anything more than political ideology and therefore often act in the interest of the party over the interest of the people and are no longer a viable part of our democracy.’ Good, we have apathy, corrupt political parties, and what else?
I was skipped over for the person right next to me, which stung a little because for a moment I thought it was me, before the young man spoke.
“A populous of disengaged materialists who only cared about themselves, justified their actions in all kinds of ways, but it would be disingenuous to suggest that they weren’t somehow complicit in not only the genocide of nearly every culture in the world, but they nearly destroyed the planet,” he said.
“Apathy, corruption, selfishness, what else?” asked the president.
This time she called on Abby, who smiled at me, then turned her gaze toward the President and said, “Lack of civic virtue. In fact in the late twentieth century, one of the party’s whole political platform was built on dismantling the government. Phillip E Johnson wrote ‘a constitutional democracy is in serious trouble if its citizenry does not have a certain degree of education and civic virtue.’ And John Adams wrote ‘When public virtue is gone, when the national spirit is fled… the republic is lost in essence. Though it may still exist in form.’ It’s pretty clear that they failed to cultivate an educated citizenry that was capable of understanding civic virtue.”
“Well put,” The president said. “Apathy, corruption, selfishness, lack of civic virtue and education, and I’ll add greed, were the main excuses and problems of the time. The people didn’t revolt because they were comfortable and it was easier not to. Each had a reason to stay silent. Despite the founders calling for revolt if the government ever went beyond the will of the people, they sat back and allowed it to happen. In the case of the surveillance state, they voted for it and defended it to the death.
“We added three sections to the new amendments of constitution based on this book. We discussed the banning of political parties in section 2 of 29 already. We also discussed the privacy issues in Section 2 and 3 of the 30thamendment after we read The Weed War. Section 2 prohibits the government from spying on its citizens and Section 3 prohibits corporations and individuals from spying on other people.”
She looked up, and said, “Looks like we’re out of time. Please read The Gun Games for the next session and be prepared for a lively debate as I can tell you the 2nd amendment was the only original amendment that got all the attention. We spent nearly a month debating its validity. The next class will clear up some of the misconceptions on my stance as well.”
We stayed after class to discuss the arrangements of the dinner I was supposed to cook for her, but Abby informed me that she had cooked me dinner already and didn’t care about the bet. I was so relieved not to have to cook that I gave her a huge hug. We packed up quickly and headed to her house where she said she had a crockpot of chile waiting.
Dax and Abby 2091
I honestly can’t remember what the food tasted like or any detail in the room. I was consumed with desire, and my focus burned deep into Abby. She was the sun and I was but a small planet orbiting her every move. Her words carried a weight I had not known, with deep emotion in each utterance. I was bathed in the rush of endorphins as I rode the waves of all the human emotions. That was bliss. On that night, from the moment we left the auditorium we had experienced what I now know is love. There was nothing else just us, talking, laughing, carrying on as if we were the only two people on the planet. In those hours before we kissed I knew then that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with that woman. She was my everything.
We touched the center of the universe together, lost, and yet not lost, afraid, and yet not afraid. Our breathing in synch, eyes fixed on each others’, we tumbled down the worm hole and back again. Then we kissed.
The next few days flew by and I almost forgot about the assignment, one I wasn’t particularly fond of. I didn’t agree with the 2nd constitutional congress decision to keep the 2nd amendment as it was at the founding. In my head I justified going through the book and formulating a good set of questions because I could pose them to the woman who ultimately was the amendment’s biggest supporter. That Friday night I began reading The Gun Games.
The Gun Games
Kona High School, 2022
“In the years since the assassination of Rene de Garcia and Matthew Mattox…” The tall thin teacher stopped and turned toward the class.
“Miss Sanchez,” She said, taking two steps forward and dropping her chin just enough to peer over her glasses, “could you please explain in your own words what the article was about?
“Um…” she rolled her huge hazel eyes back, took a deep breath, and said, “In the years since the assassination of Rene de Garcia and Matthew Mattox, this article, describes the wars in the states that have not complied with the new federal mandate outlawing firearms.”
Mrs. Athena smiled and asked can I see a hands raised of those who think guns should be outlawed.” All but two kids shot their hands into the air.
Mrs. Athena took a step forward, placed her hands on the corner of her desk, and gently sat against it, scissoring her long slender legs.
She sighed and asked, “Do you think living here in Hawaii where the guns have already been confiscated will shield us from what some are calling the second civil war?”
Sara, one of the smarter students raised her hand and Mrs. Athena nodded at her.
Sara said, “Well, I think as soon as those other states give up their guns we can get back to how it used to be.”
“Yeah,” a boy in the back yelled.
“You have something to add, Andrew?”
“No, well, yes I just don’t understand why they won’t comply.”
Reed Dougherty had heard enough. The future air force pilot was the Brigadier Sgt for the civil air patrol. He Blurted out, “They are standing up for the second amendment and the constitution of this country.”
Mrs. Athena smiled, swirled around, and hurried over to the board. She wrote down, ‘2nd amendment.’
“Can anyone tell me what the second amendment says?” she asked.
Reed didn’t have to wait. He knew it well. “The 2nd amendment states, ‘A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.’ ”
“Thank you, Reed, so what does this all mean?” She asked, opening the discussion to the class.
Tristan, a blonde surfer, raised his hand and she acknowledged him with, “Your thoughts, Tristan?”
“Well, Miss, that constitution was written a long time ago by people who didn’t know how dangerous the world would become.”
San Bernardino, California 2022
Bang! Bang!…. Two shotgun blasts rang out. Ricky Cisneros flew off his feet and landed on the hood of his Porsche Spyder. As he Clutched his chest, his limp body slid down onto the ground. Hundreds of fully equipped SWAT team members rushed past him. He could see feet running by and he could hear gunshots, but he couldn’t move and was struggling for breath.
Suddenly someone grabbed him. “This one’s alive,” a voice yelled.
“Bag him,” another yelled, as a black bag came over his head.
The ATF agents were posing in front of the huge cache of weapons they just stumbled onto in a hidden room behind the walk in closet. There was a large variety of weapons ranging from small 38’s to a grenade launcher and hundreds of assault rifles.
“Hey Bob, what kind of guns are these?” a small, thin, young man asked.
Bob a long time veteran, rolled his eyes, and said, “Look here rookie,” he said, pointing at the writing on the side of the gun. “This is Russian so I would venture to say they are foreign guns.”
Chaz, an eager young rookie just out of his only stint in the Army, joined the ATF because it was the only agency that offered him a job.
A sniper by training, he had a great deal of knowledge about firearms, specifically rifles. But these guns looked different than any he had ever seen. Yes, they were a standard design but they were made by a manufacturer he had never seen. He shook his head, but didn’t have time to find answers so continued bagging and tagging each of the weapons. He ran his fingers over the cold steel. He knew the writing was Russian, but he didn’t accept the old man’s assumption. He thought to himself, “these morons don’t even recognize something as important as new guns made to look like Russian guns, but they aren’t.”
He picked up a long magazine and looked at it.
Bob slapped him on his back, saying, “you thought they stopped making these?”
Chaz looked up at him, “Yes, Sir, I did sir!”
Bob chuckled, “Only in America.”
Chaz shook his head in disapproval, saying, “Who is this guy?”
Bob laughed, and said, “Ricky Cisneros, AKA Rick Dog, one of the biggest drug dealers in the world.”
Kona High School, 2022
Mrs. Athena’s classroom was set up in with the students facing each other in groups of 4. As they walk into the class she handed each group the same prompt for the day’s discussion.
The objective, each group was to discuss the prompt and come to an agreement on their position regarding it.
Today the paper says, “Should the whistle blower Chaz Hyland be given a trial or treated as an enemy combatant?”
Katrina bounced through the groups, swirling around, sending her tie-dyed dress spinning out, before she plopped down next to Leila. Overwhelmed by the remnants of frankincense and myrrh Katrina was burning in her car, Leila turned and held her nose and asked. “Jesus, Kat do you have to burn those right before class?”
“Nemetsuna.” Katrina said with a smile
“Ne met su what?” Lela asked
“Nemetsuna, means ‘I don’t know.’ It is the highest form of enlightenment.” She said smiling.
Lela rolled her eyes.
Reed and Megan sat down at the same time, but did not acknowledge each other or Leila and Kat who sat across from them.
Reed held up the prompt and read it aloud. “ ‘Should the whistle blower Chaz Hyland be given a trial or treated as an enemy combatant?’ ” He looked up for a response.
Megan asked, “Who is Chaz Hyland?”
Leila rolled her eyes, and snorted, “Are you serious?”
Katrina inserted her positive vibes, with, “He is the hero who blew the whistle on the government and the new war on guns,” she smiled and continued, “He was captured last year but hasn’t been given a trial. Mrs. Athena had a whole presentation of it last week.”
Megan squinted her left eye and tilted her head to the side, saying, “Huh, musta slept through that one.”
Reed cut her off with, “No surprises there, but really, let’s see where we stand all in favor of a trial, say Aye,”
Reed and Kat both said, “Aye.”
“Ok, Leila, what do you think?”
Leila looked at Kat and addressed her as if Reed was not there, saying “Kat, I’m kind of on the fence on this one. Don’t you think this could have all been avoided if he would have just gone to the authorities?”
ATF Riverside Office, 2022
Chaz was given the arduous task of logging in all of the weapons from the day’s raid. The smile on his face showed how proud he was to be on the right side of the law. Each moment that passed gnawed away at a growing curiosity. Then after hundreds of the same assault rifle, one he picked up was different. He flipped it over and inspected the writing. He tilted his head to the left so he could read the serial number, pulled out his cell phone, and took a picture.
That afternoon at his work desk, he pulled up a search for the serial numbers and make of the only gun that stood out to him. Nothing hit, so he reluctantly decided to wait until tomorrow to follow up.
On his way home that night, just before he stepped into a bathroom stall at the train station, he felt a surge of energy as his body started to convulse and dropped him to the ground.
“A stun gun,” he thought to himself as his body shook and gyrated. Then the world turned black.
The room was still spinning when the security guard finally got Chaz to awaken. The police chalked it up as a normal robbery, but Chaz had his doubts. Yes they had taken his wallet and phone, but what kind of thief leaves a gold band on someone they went to the trouble of knocking out?
The next morning when he arrived at work, his worst fears were realized. His computer had crashed overnight and the IT guy had to replace his hard drive. The information he thought he had about the gun was gone. He made his was down to the evidence locker to get the gun, but to his surprise and horror the gun was gone.
Concerned, he went directly to his supervisor, where he was told, “It’s a ‘need to know’ thing, and you don’t need to know.”
Not deterred, Chaz marched down to the holding cell to question Ricky Cisneros himself. As he approached it quickly became evident that something was wrong,
“Paramedics,” he thought to himself,
“What happened here?” he asked the closest guard.
“Prisoner brawl,” The guard stated, smirking. “They think that this one is going to die.”
He pointed over at the paramedics rushing someone out on a stretcher.
“Who was it?” Chaz asked.
“The drug dealer, Ricky Cisneros.”
Chaz took a step back. He felt like he had just been kicked in the gut. His heart began to pound and his palms began to sweat.
The guard asked, “Are you OK?”
“Yes,” he took a deep breath, “must have been something I ate.”
Chaz turned and started walking back to his desk.
Kona High School, 2022
Mrs. Athena stepped to the front of the class and raised her hand. The students who noticed her began to quiet down as a wave of silence washed over the class.
“Thank you,” she said after everyone gave her their attention.
“I would like to split up the class into two sides. If your group thinks Chaz should be treated as a terrorist and enemy combatant with no right to a trial please head to the back of the class. Those who think he deserves a trial, head to the front. Go!”
The class exploded into a chaotic frenzy of movement as they pushed and pulled all the furniture out of the middle of the room. In the back of the room sat the groups who saw Chaz as a traitor. They sat in a straight line of chairs facing the front of the room. One group of four sat in the front of the room in a straight line facing the other five groups.
“I would like to start with our only group who thinks Chaz deserves a trial,” said the teacher. She looked over at Kat, Leila, Megan, and Reed. “So who would like to start?’
All three girls pointed at Reed who got up and started speaking in front of them. He said, “When a person stands on the principles of the constitution, his actions should be seen as the highest form of patriotism. This is our position.”
Fontana, California, 2022
Chaz peered out around the door jamb of the stairwell exit at the end of the hall in the hospital. A guard was standing just in front of Ricky Cisneros’s room. Chaz took a deep breath and walked straight to the guard who was wearing a local police uniform. As he approached he pulled out his ATF Badge and ID and smiled before saying, “How is our prisoner faring today?”
The police officer didn’t recognize Chaz, but the ID and badge was enough to break the ice. “He’s still hanging in there,” he said.
Chaz smiled and said, “They’re like cockroaches. They just refuse to die.”
The cop laughed and said, “I hear that.”
“Has he been coherent over the last couple of hours?”
“Yeah, he won’t shut up. The nurses are thinking about giving him a more powerful sedative because they think he is experiencing some kind of paranoid break.”
“Great! That’s gonna make my job real easy,” Chaz said, rolling his eyes.
“What do you need from him?”
“Answers,” he said, holding up a manila folder. “He could lead us to a bigger fish.”
“I’m not sure you’ll get much.”
“I gotta try. I don’t want to piss off the boss.”
“I know how that goes.”
Chaz opened the door and slipped into Ricky’s room, closing the door behind him.
“You here to kill me?” Ricky looked right at Chaz with piercing brown eyes.
“No, I’m here to question you.”
Ricky’s head tilted back and he raised one eyebrow. “Question me,” he said. “the G-men I talked to this morning were pretty insistent I had no information they needed.”
Chaz held up his hand and said, “You know, Ricky, not all of us G-men are the same.”
Ricky scoffed, adding, “Doesn’t matter. I’m a dead man.”
“Why, the Mexican Cartel, Tre Dog’s new leadership?”
He laughed, “You don’t even know?”
“Know what?” Chaz insisted.
“Your government or at least members of the highest level of your government is in bed with multinational gun producers, the same gun producers that want me dead.”
“That’s preposterous. Our government has outlawed the production of firearms.”
“Exactly! Supply and demand!”
What are you talking about?”
“They’re manipulating the market, Six years before the weed war, before the crash, I was approached by a G-man saying they had me dead to rights on trafficking drugs, weapons and humans. He gave me an out, told me if I helped them I would get a pardon and would be able to walk away with a hundred million dollars. The alternative, of course, was to turn them down and go to jail.”
“Do you know who this G-man was?”
“No and I never met any of the top guys either. They were way ahead of everyone else around us.”
“So how did they do this manipulation?” Chaz asked.
“I asked the same thing at the beginning, what I learned shocked me. They said in the coming years there would be a number of events that would compel the populous to crave security. They would then use their propaganda machine they control to sway public opinion toward abolishing our second amendment rights.”
“Sounds to me like they’re blowing up the market not manipulating it.”
“That’s what I said, but they were looking at it like the drugs they outlawed. Over the last seventy years of prohibition, the price of drugs increased exponentially which consequently funds the CIA’s clandestine activities and poured billions into the IMF banks. If they could do the same with guns, those at the top stood to make a fortune. I wasn’t given the information I’m about to share, but rather gained it through direct involvement. Two months after my first meeting I was flown to a factory somewhere in the Chiajuajua region of Mexico. All of the Patents filed in the US for gun production were being shared with Armscorp who has hundreds of current and former employees also working for our government. The new Armscorp factory was producing millions of guns in preparation for prohibition. My operation quadrupled overnight and I had no worries because johnny law was on my side.”
“All this just for money?”
“Of course not. The kind of people we’re talking about have all the money in the world. No, this is about power and control and the false dichotomy we see in our current system. Communism, Capitalism, and Socialism, are all jokes. The last hundred years or so the world has turned to Fascism. The connected, the privileged, have undone most of the new deal regulations which gave them a unique advantage in the so called free market.
“The bankers in the IMF and the top officials of Armscorp became the number one seller of arms in the world the day after the entire US gun companies were shut down.” He began to cough uncontrollably and a loud beeping blurted from his monitor. Chaz reached down and grabbed Ricky’s wrist. His heart was in V-fib.
“Shit.” He reached over and hit the red panic button on the wall and within seconds a whole team of nurses and doctors were swarming into the room.
One of them yelled, “He’s in V-fib. Get the paddles.”
They cut open his hospital gown and another one yelled, “Clear.”
Ricky’s body jolted from the surge of electricity and the line on the monitor went flat.
The whole room went silent for two seconds.
“Clear!” the doctor yelled again and another jolt of electricity surged through Ricky’s body.
Nothing. The line stayed flat.
“Time of Death?”
“What?” Chaz asked. “He can’t be… I need to question him.”
“If you didn’t get your answers, it’s too late,” The doctor said, pulling off one of her gloves and placing her hand on his shoulder. “Plus I doubt you would have gotten any more info than your partners did earlier.”
“Partners?” he said, raising one eyebrow. “Did you happen to get their names?”
Chaz left the hospital that day with more questions than he had when he got there and was no closer to what was happening. If this Ricky was working with the feds, why was he arrested? Why is he dead? What ties does he have to this Armscorp?
The ride home was wet and rainy.
Kona High School, 2022
Mrs. Athena looked to the five groups and asked that one person from each group give their reasons for agreeing that Chaz was a traitor and deserved to be jailed or worse.
Tristan volunteered to go. First, he shuffled over to face the class and pulled up his sagging pants.
He said, “We have decided it would be more powerful to give a simple list of reasons.” He paused, looked around the room, then began. “Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, none of these would have the same meaning if guns didn’t exist.”
He smiled, pleased with himself, and made his way back to his seat, high fiving and laughing with his friends.
“OK who’s next?” Miss Athena asked.
Sara’s group all raised their hands and Sara was pushed up. She fidgeted and looked down at the floor as she began to speak, “I think….”
“Um…Sara,” Miss Athena interrupted, “we can’t hear you honey.”
“Oh…yes…”Sara stood up taller, remembering the public speaking lesson from earlier this year and began to speak louder. “The world is different now from when the constitution was written, Our fore fathers couldn’t have foreseen it.”
She smiled and returned to her seat.
Andrew didn’t wait to be called on. He was up and ready to go. “Former President Clinton said about the founding of our country that it was assumed that Americans who had that freedom would use it responsibly. He added that when personal freedom is being abused you have to move to limit it.”
He smiled and looked across the room at Reed, and added, “The school shootings and rampant murders in our largest cities are a result of Americans not using their freedom responsibly. As a citizenry, the majority has decided that guns are not safe and should not be a part of our society.” He smiled and a few claps could be heard as he made his way back to his seat.
“Last group,” the teacher requested.
A strikingly gorgeous young blond girl with deep blue eyes bounced up and made her way to the center of the room and looked at Mrs. Athena.”
“Go ahead, Shanti.”
She smiled, flipped her hair to the side, and began speaking. “Well…like…the thing is, guns are just plain mean you know… I mean… it’s like, these people, are like crazy and my group wants to feel safe… you know…like… secure.”
She fidgeted her feet and stared down at the ground. “I mean they have a right to a gun but don’t we have a right to feel safe?” She conclude. Then she gave a slight smile, looked up at Reed’s group, twirled around, and returned to her seat.
Mrs. Athena stood up and addressed the class. “Ok you have five minutes to discuss the opposition’s argument and then you will be given an opportunity for a rebuttal.”
Southern California, 2022
Chaz needed to find out which one of the agencies Ricky was working with and if he was indeed an informant or worse, a co-conspirator. He already called in a favor with a friend in the FBI to see if there were any ties there. The DEA showed up a couple of hours late wanting to question Ricky and were very upset that he wasn’t still alive. This alone doesn’t cross them off his wall but his gut is telling him to put his energy elsewhere. First, stop at the state of Californians former Attorney General’s home.
Seven years ago the then freshman supervising deputy attorney general put all his eggs in one basket in the high profile case against Ricky Cisneros. The case fell apart, but Chaz was betting that Bobby Taylor was still holding a grudge and possibly some files or some leads. He knocked on the door at the attorney’s personal residence in LA. The doorman rang up so it was no surprise, but the time it was taking to answer started to make Chaz feel uneasy. He ran his palm across the inside of his jacket and over his gun.
The door opened, “Agent Hyland.” Bobby Taylor said.
“Yes sir. Thank you for seeing me sir.”
“You can call me Bobby. We’re not in the military here, son.”
He stepped out of the way opened the door and waved him in.
“So what is it that brings you down here on a Sunday?” He lifted an eye and leaned back on the couch in his great room.
“Well Bobby, it’s about Ricky Cisneros.”
Bobby sat forward, “I’m listening,” he said.
“He’s dead, died today after a prisoner fight in county.”
“What?” He turned around, shook his head, and said with a somber tone, “fitting end.”
“But that’s not the reason I’m here. I need to know if you have any files for that case that blew up with him?”
“Why bother if he’s dead?” He asked without turning back around.
“I have reason to believe that he was working as an informant and thought your case files may point to who it was he was working with.”
Bobby twirled around, stalling, “Because his case was dropped you think he may have copped a deal.”
“That’s exactly what I think.”
“Pretty dam good instincts. Here, come with me.”
He walked Chaz into a nice study loaded with books.
“Drink?” he asked as he poured a dark liquid into a crystal cup.
“No, thank you.”
“Let me see here.” Taylor thumbed his way through binders on a shelf behind the bar. “Here it is.”
He pulled out a white binder and blew off the dust, saying, “Ricky Cisneros.”
He opened the binder, set it on the bar and turned it to the back, “Yep, here is my note, ‘today Slick Willie the Vice President and the Head of the CIA all came to see me. Seems Ricky is of vital importance to national security and all charges must be dropped. And just like that years of my work was snatched away from me.” He closed the book, saying, “He was released to the CIA.”
“Why?” Chaz asked.
“I asked that same question.” He took a swig off his cup. “You know what they told me?”
“ ‘You don’t have the clearance.’ I was young and naive, and I thought taking this job ment making a difference… I was wrong.”
Driving home that night Chaz got a phone call. He answered through the car’s Blue Tooth system, and said, “Hello.”
“Chaz, this is Noel. I checked up on that Ricky Cisneros and found some pretty interesting things.”
“He has been off and on one of our watch lists for years and hasn’t officially been an informant for us at any time. But unofficially five years ago, he was caught up in one of our busts and an Agent Snow from the CIA hand-delivered a ‘get out of jail free card’ from the head of the CIA and the Vice President himself,” Noel said.
“Great! Noel, thanks for the info.”
“Look, I’m not sure what you’re caught up in, but the names were talking about, if you bring any of this out into the open, your career will be over.”
“I know,” Chaz said, shaking his head in disbelief.
“The son of a bitch is dead, right?” Noel asked.
“So what does it matter?”
“Do you remember when we were snipers back in Iraq and I showed you that picture of me with a gun when I was eight?” Chaz asked.
“Yeah the one with the old 22.”
“That old 22 was my first gun given to me by my grandfather. I loved that gun. First he taught me about respecting it and showed me how to be safe with it. Then…” Chaz stopped.
“Then what?” Noel asked.
“There is no more ‘then’. Guns are illegal, and now the only people who have guns are criminals. I need you to listen to me and listen carefully. My country comes before all. Do you understand me.” Chaz asked.
“Yes, sir. Take care, sir,” Noel responded.
“Will do. Over and out.” Chaz pressed a button on the steering wheel cutting, off the call.
Kona High School, 2022
Katrina Sanchez twirled around, looked back at Reed who gave her a nod of encouragement and began to hold forth. “In a country of free people we must not allow ourselves to be drawn into the false hope of safety and security.”
She stopped smiling, looked at each of the four groups, took one step closer, and began to whisper.
“Ben Franklin warned us, saying, ‘Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserves none.’ Have we listened?”
“Yes, we desire to be secure,” her voice began to rise as she continued.
“But if this security was to infringe upon our freedom or liberty than we cannot do it. Taking away guns is an attack on liberty. George Washington said, ‘Firearms are second only to the constitution in importance; they are the people’s liberty teeth.’ Have we listened?”
She paused. “And as for Clinton’s quote about not using freedom responsibly,” She rolled her eyes. “Washington also said, ‘It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition he may abuse it.’ Many of you will argue that the world has changed and that we must adapt, that the founding fathers couldn’t have foreseen this world that we live in. Jimmy Carter said, ‘We must adjust to changing times and still hold onto unchanging principles.’
She paused and asked, “Can anyone tell me the first two principles in the constitution?”
Reed blurted out, “Freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.”
“That’s right,” Katrina said and continued. “We cannot break from its foundation which is a set of principles that trust the people to govern themselves, even when the majority of the populous agrees. If a law in any way inhibits a man’s rights, it’s unjust and cannot stand. This is why the Supreme Court was created, to make sure we couldn’t create laws that take away freedom and liberty. Finally, we would like to talk about the school shootings. We asked around our group and no one knew the answer, so we will pose this question to you. Has there ever been a shooting where there was no human involved? In other words, has a gun ever done anything without a human?” she asked her class.
The class went silent.
She didn’t wait for an answer, continuing, “Never! Yet we don’t hear anything about making humans illegal.”
She turned to Mrs. Athena. “That’s all we have.”
“Thank you,” Mrs. Athena said, looking up at the clock. “I know we’re just getting into this, but the bell is going to ring in a few minutes. Get out your planner.”
She walked over and grabbed a stack of papers. “This is your assignment for the night: read this article and come prepared to continue this discussion,” she stated.
“What’s the article about, Miss?” Tristan called out.
“It was the op-ed piece Chaz wrote in the LA times to explain his actions just before he was arrested.”
When the bell rang, she looked down at her watch, and by the time she looked back up her class was empty.
Kona, HI, 2022
That night Reed sat down at his computer and logged into The Black Board online chat room his teacher had set up so the students could discuss their work and collaborate without being in the same room. “Hello, group 4.”
Within seconds, Megan, Leila and Katrina all joined him.
“We’ll read the article and meet back here in 10 minutes.”
“Ok,” Meagan answered.
“No problem,” Leila responded.
“Will do,” Katrina chimed in.
Reed leaned back in the leather office chair placed his feet up on the large wooden desk, and began to read from the article.
“On Dec. 20th, 2017, I found evidence that our former Vice President and former Speaker of the House were involved in a conspiracy with the head of the CIA and a number of large banks to manipulate and profit from the prohibition of firearms. As a concerned citizen and ATF officer, I went straight to my superiors to lay out the evidence I thought the people deserved to know. My Supervisor to his credit passed it along to his supervisor, but we were quickly shut down and warned not to push the issue. This was murder and treason. How could we just drop it?
When I was in the military we valued the life of our fellow soldiers and never abandoned them even in death. Ricky Cisneros was no angel, but he was a CIA informant who died because of his knowledge of the following situation.
The private security and Arms dealer company Armscorp has a revolving door to the highest positions in our government. Former Vice President Slick Wille is the acting CEO and he alone has profited over five hundred million dollars since the prohibition started two years ago. This alone proves no wrong doing, but add that to what the world saw in my leaked emails about the former Vice President ordering the death of an American citizen because he knew too much and we have a compelling case. What’s more the attempted assassination on my life last week was the fifth in the four weeks. Had I not been wearing a Kevlar vest I would surely be dead.
Calls for me to turn myself in are misguided and ignorant of the facts, but don’t blame yourselves, I wouldn’t have believed this either. And in the beginning I didn’t want to believe it. How could we the people vote for a corporate run government whose laws are up to the highest bidder? Cloaked behind fear, the Fascist rise to power has been slow and methodical, creeping its way into the fabric of our existence.
Our country spends more money on defense than all of the other top ten countries combined. What does that defense buy? On the surface, we play the humanitarian card but under our façade, the real reason is, “corporate security.” That’s right. The cost of our current defense bill is actually a form of welfare for the top 1% in the world. How does this work? Let me explain. Corporations find a country where they can either exploit the natural resources or the human labor of a country and then use the IMF and the American military to maximize their profit and minimize their risk. In 20% of the emails I released the then Vice President and the top ten defense CEO’s in the world discussed how a collapsed Iraq could open up the oilfields to American companies. The rest or 80% lead up to and discuss their plans to dismantle the 2nd amendment for short term profits and long term control.
Every party involved was heavily invested in Armscorp and all of them began dropping stock for Armscorp competition six months prior to the legislation being written. In the legislation they drew up proposals to eliminate one of the biggest road blocks to making the manufacturing of guns illegal in the US. How do we arm our military if our guns can’t be made in our own country? Playing on fear they refused to deal with any country that may be seen as a threat and struck a deal with Armscorp who because of tax purposes and a higher profit margin moved to Mexico after NAFTA.
The papers ran the story as if Armscorp was a Mexican company and failed to point out that this so-called deal purchased our weapons at one and a half times that which it would have played under the free market. They also failed to report that the legislation had no reach beyond our border and didn’t take into account how our prohibition would affect other countries.
This is not an isolated event, but rather a regular occurrence where big pockets drive our policy and ignore the devastating effects they have had on our society and the world. The cheap goods we purchase are nothing more than welfare for the rich. Our tax dollars or at least 80% of them are spent on protecting and propagating the spread of slave labor and sweatshop economics. None of this is new to the world as every empire that has ever existed has used the same model. Why then is this a problem? Our country was founded in part because the people here felt the sting of oppression as mother England exploited our natural resources and cheap labor. Add to that in the founding of our country we adopted a unique and isolationist view of economic growth called “The American System.” Under the American system, economic growth and free market capitalism are limited to the confines of our borders. This was not to say an enterprising business man, wasn’t allowed to venture beyond our border, but rather to say do as you please but expect no help in the form of subsidies, security, military backing and the easing of our high tariffs. The American system worked and we became the greatest country on the planet because we were the first to value a new class of people called the “middle class.”
Unfortunately, over the past one hundred and fifty years we abandoned our system in favor of an imperialist system which again has never lasted the test of time. This is where we find ourselves now, powerless and lost, stuck in a broken two party system that has divided the populace enough to allow a small group of people to destroy and conquer us. Fear is the weapon they used and we gladly gave up our freedom for a false sense of security. The 2nd Amendment rights advocates, seemed crazy when they pointed out that cities with the highest violent gun deaths in the US, also had the strictest gun laws. It seemed unreasonable for them to point out that the war on drugs didn’t stop drugs and in most cases made drugs more available and lucrative. No one listened when they pointed out that guns would still get to the bad guys even if they were illegal. Statistically speaking the prohibition of guns has been a failure at every corner.
There has been talk and speculation that I went into this job looking to bring down the ATF and the American Government, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. I served my country honorably in Afghanistan and Iraq and I considered my activities a last ditch effort to save the country I love. We have been manipulated and lied to and the action of some of our highest officials is high treason.
Machiavelli said, ‘When the safety of one’s country wholly depends on the decision to be taken, no attention should be paid either to justice or injustice, to kindness or cruelty, or to its being praiseworthy, or ignominious.
The fifth assassination attempt on my life was caught on video by a reporter and a number of bystanders, ending up as a viral video across the web. The graphic violence illustrates what these people are willing to do to contain the story, but try as they might they cannot stop the storm that is coming. Liberty is a human condition that tyrants have little patience for, but liberty will not fade. Liberty will not die and it will not be oppressed. Coming forward was something I did not want to do, but something I had to do as the future of our people depends on the decision.
Reed closed the article and opened his laptop. He entered a web browser and typed in, “video for the assassination attempt on Chaz Hyland.” Hundreds of links popped up. The first three he tried, said. “Video has been taken down due to inappropriate content.” The fourth had 2 million hits and was added only an hour ago. He pressed play. Here’s what he saw.
Chaz Hyland walked into a crowded food court in Ontario Mills, a mall in southern California. He agreed to meet a young up and coming reporter named Laura Asaf. The interview and his arrival were being taped by three camera men who work for Mrs. Asaf. As he approached, her face went blank and he noticed her looking behind him.
Bam, Bam, Bam! Gunshots rang out and people went diving everywhere. Chaz’s body flew forward on the first shot and back on the second two. Landing on a table, he slid down to the ground.
People screamed and the two shooters moved in on Chaz when a stream of gunfire came from beyond the crowd. Both shooters collapsed with perfect holes in the center of their foreheads.
Chaz turned over, rolling on the ground, and out of breath, he ripped his shirt off, and clawed at his vest. He gasped, trying to get air into his lungs.
“Mrs. Asaf crawled over to him, “Are you hurt?” she asked.
“Uh,” he looked at his chest and around his body there wasn’t any blood. “No, but I gotta go.” He popped up and scanned the area before briskly walking toward the door. Hundreds of people held their phones up taping the entire thing.
Mrs. Asaf chased after him, “But what about my interview?”
“If you know what is good for you, you would get as far away from me as possible.”
The camera man and Laura followed as he pushed out the door. “What about the other shooter, the one who just saved your life?” She asked, shoving the microphone in his face.
Chaz stopped, turned to her and showed an angry twinkle in his eye. “How many snipers do you know?” he asked.
His anger faded and a glint of smugness beamed through his smile. “Let’s just say were a pretty tight bunch. Now stop tapping or this interview is over.”
The screen went black, but a title flashed across the screen that said,“After pressing the issue Chaz agreed to continue the interview at a different location.”
The screen popped back to a forested park area with green grass stretching off in the distance. Laura looked at the camera, and declared, “We’re here for an exclusive interview with Chaz Hyland, who narrowly escaped assassination just minutes ago,”
She turned to Chaz, saying, “thank you so much for doing this and I understand you have a statement you would like to release.”
She held out the mic.
Chaz looked into the camera and pulled off his shirt, gently removed his vest exposing 3 very large red welts surrounded by red circles as big as fists.
“You see this,” he said, pointing at each one. “This is your government, our government deciding guilt without due process. This is your government dismantling your constitution, and I am not the enemy.”
“Why did you release those emails?” he looked down. “This is why. Look at this. If wasn’t for a couple of my old sniper buddies, I’d be dead.”
“These sniper buddies, are they watching us right now?” Laura asked.
“Yes, they are.”
She looked around and shivered, asking, “Is this is about revenge then?”
“No, heavens, no,” Chaz said.
“Well then now’s your chance to get the story straight. Let the people hear your case.” She stated.
He sat there thinking before leaning forward, “OK, how about I tell you why the emails were released and the rest is in this.”
He pulled out some typed papers, and went on to explain, “This is an article I wanted you to release. Of course, I will have to rewrite the ending now and include the latest assassination attempt.” He handed the papers to her
She could hardly contain her excitement. “Ok, go on.”
“After sending my report up the right channels and being shut down, I entirely walked away from the case. But something strange happened. Clues and information started showing up at my house via mail. At first I thought it was the guys at work just messing with me, but each piece pointed to one unthinkable reality.”
“And what reality is that?” Mrs. Asaf asked.
“That our country is a façade, a fake, what once was no longer is. The grand experiment that was democracy had fallen, not all at once, but rather weathered down by the unrelenting storm of greed.”
“That’s a pretty hefty accusation,” she claimed.
“It’s not an accusation, but rather an observation. I fought it, just as many of you will fight it.” He looked into the camera, “but we must open our eyes. We must not turn our backs. Look at us, how many states are trying to secede? We are disintegrating from within because we have been used as pawns in a political game of divide and conquer. Freedom and liberty does not apply to only one group. All men and women were born free and as long as their actions don’t infringe on the freedom of another, then, only his or her creator can judge them.”
“OK, but what made you turn over the emails and how did you obtain them?” She asked.
“After weeks of crumbs I began following the trail. Eventually it led me to a meeting in Washington with a former insider from the previous president’s cabinet who I assured would be an anonymous source. He went into great detail how the White House is controlled by corporate interests and made sure I understand that it didn’t matter what party went into power. He explained how it stretched into every branch of our government. He accused the CIA of being the military arm of some shadow government, then he gave me a hard drive telling me that this contained proof to show that guns were outlawed for two reasons: first for short term profits and secondly to eventually take over our country’s out-dated government. I asked him why he was doing it, knowing that the evidence would probably also implicate him. He looked at me and tears began to roll down his cheeks and said, ‘I would gladly die to save my country.’ I decided right then that I was all in. I was a soldier once and I too was ready to die for my country.”
Tears started to well up in the bottom of Chaz’s eyes. “Now you know and every month for the next four, there will be a release of new info from the hard drive,” he declared.
“What if you’re killed?” she asked.
“It won’t matter. I no longer have possession of the contents in the hard drive.”
“Who does?” the reporter asked.
“There is a growing resistance that includes a network of hackers with no centralized hub. Each one of them contains the files.”
“That was classified information. Isn’t that treason?” She asked, giving him a concerned look.
“Exposing treason is often masked as evil by those who hold power by tyranny because it threatens their grip on the populace’s throat. A true government for the people and by the people should be transparent and open with all issues. While the culture of fear has made us think we must hold secrets and stoop to the levels of totalitarian countries in order for us to compete on a global level, it isn’t true. We don’t need to compromise the principles of our founding to build a strong healthy country with a future.”
“Some would say you’re just another free market conservative trying to destroy the government. What do you say to that?”
Chaz shook his head. “We the people are the government. That’s what I’m trying to remind people. We have the power to control our own destiny, to stop this before it is too late. This isn’t a conservative issue or a liberal one. The banks and corporations have no loyalty to the US as is evident in their actions. The time has come for us to open our eyes, and take a good long look in the mirror for none of us are without fault. We think we need the useless junk at Walmart, we think we can’t live without our oil based addiction, and we have systematically voted to reduce and eliminate our freedoms and liberties for no other reason but to soothe our fears.”
“I don’t blame you as I am just as guilty. The world is scary and chaotic, we cling onto social convention and norms and ostracize anybody who falls outside that box. Where we have gone wrong over the years is when we stray from the constitution and try to force people into following one group’s norm over other groups. On a local level that may manifest itself in ordinances or laws based on the mob mentality, or the bully. While on a national level the prohibition of alcohol and drugs not only were a complete failure. They both illustrated our misguided attempt to go beyond our constitutional framework and adopt one group’s norm.
“On a global level we have tried to spread our unique brand of democracy and forgot that freedom and liberty are not something that can be given, but a privilege that must be earned.
If we believe as Jefferson did that we are men of reason, then you understand that we cannot make laws that are preventive. Instead, we must have faith in our fellow men to use reason. If a person then commits an act that infringes upon the freedom of another, then and only then does he deserve a penalty under a constitutional law.”
“I hear you, but it sounds like we’d have to change everything to achieve what you’re talking about.” She said.
“Hardly,” Chaz alleged. “A constitutional amendment outlawing lobbying, a complete withdrawal from foreign interference, limiting terms to one term and dismantling the CIA, DEA and Federal Reserve Bank would be a great first step, followed by a step back from the fear-based laws that are tainting our position as leaders of the free world.”
She laughed and asked, “That’s all?”
“It sounds crazy, but our founding fathers accomplished way more with much less. The least we could do is pay it forward.” Chaz said, then waved his hand like he was speaking to a huge crowd.
The screen faded to black and a title scrolled across. This video was not aired on TV or broadcast on any station because the federal government put a cease and desist order out and confiscated what they thought was all of the footage. What you just watched was leaked by an employee within the news network. The reporter and her camera crew have been detained at an undisclosed area and no charges have been brought.
Kona High School, 2022
Reed walked into the class, and immediately joined Katrina, Megan, and Leila at their groups table and asked, “Can you believe how crazy that article was?”
“Yeah,” Leila stated. “Did you look up the video?”
Megan threw herself down onto the table and clutched her chest, “Bam, Bam, Bam!” she said.
“Knock it off, show off,” Katrina said as she hopped up and did a Peter Pan kick with her heels. Within minutes the class was organized. Mrs. Athena stood tall and projected across the class, “Good morning, class. I assume you all have finished the article,” she looked around for acknowledgement and continued, “Good. Now you have ten minutes to discuss it as a group and then we’ll walk the line.”
A quiet whisper and exuberance spread through the class as they went about their task.
Ten minutes seemed to be over in an instant and two of the groups asked for more time, but Mrs. Athena’s class was only forty minutes long on Wednesdays so she pushed on, “OK, line it up.”
The class pushed and pulled the desks to one side of the room, then they lined up in a single file line facing the teacher.
“Does everyone remember what to do?”
Tristan raised his hand, and told her, “I think I was gone when we did this, Miss.”
She smiled, and responded, “No problem. I will ask a series of questions. For each question, if you agree, step forward out of line, if you don’t know or don’t agree stay in the line. No one is to say anything. They are to just observe, understand?”
“Ok, let’s get started with an easy one. Please step forward if you have a family member who owned a gun and has never committed a crime?”
12 of the 24 students stepped forward.
“Ok, step back now, please step forward if you know someone who has purchased a weapon illegally.”
No one stepped forward.
“Cars kill more people a year than guns do. Step forward if you believe cars should be outlawed,” she went on to say.
No one stepped forward.
“Make sure you’re taking a mental note of your class’s reaction to each question as it will help you with the write-up and discussion. Now number three. In light of the weed war, step forward if you believe prohibition has worked at any level.”
2 of the 24 stepped out.
“More children die in swimming pools every year than from guns. Step forward if you believe pools should be outlawed.”
No one stepped forward.
“Step forward if you believe it is ok for the government to search your house, person or car for guns based on anonymous tips, even if you have never broken any laws.”
No one stepped forward.
“Step forward if you believe disarming law abiding citizens will stop criminals from obtaining whatever weapon they need.”
No one stepped forward.
“Step forward if you believe changing the laws will reverse the current trend that the largest gun violence seems to happen in cities with the strictest gun laws.”
3 people stepped forward.
“Great! These are all the questions I have. Now I want you to get back to your groups and discuss your observations, then you can start your rough draft for a short essay response to the prompt I’ll write up on the board.”
She walked over to the white board and began writing as the class moved the tables back.
“Should guns be illegal in the United States? Give supporting evidence.”
Kona High School 2022
Mrs. Athena sat at her desk during lunch grading papers from last week and nibbling on her rice cakes when the principal strolled into the classroom.
“Mrs. Athena, I thought I might find you here,” he uttered.
She tilted her head to the side, perplexed by his presence, and asked, “What brings you to the History department?”
He shook his head side to side and sighing, said. “We’ve had a number of phone calls from concerned parents about the lesson you’re working on and I thought maybe we could discuss it.”
“OK,” She said.
“Why don’t you explain why you feel your lesson is relevant to the curriculum you’re supposed to be teaching?”
She explained, “I suspect it’s my US history class were talking about and the lesson is relevant because we have been studying the US constitution, more specifically the first five amendments. If you have been following the Chaz Hyland case, you would know that it will have far reaching effects on precedents in all five amendments. In terms of educational pedagogy, if we measure it on the Rigor and Relevant scale, I’m asking them to take what they have learned and apply it to an actual case that they are all familiar with. In addition, this lesson asks them to think and interact on a level that far exceeds any rote memorizations some history teachers have fallen into.”
“That rote memorization you’re talking about is the curriculum our district has adopted in order to meet the common core standard set by the federal government. We cannot waste time on other frivolous activities,” the principal enunciated.
“But…” Her agitation began to show through
He cut her off, saying, “You realize you’re on merit pay now, don’t you? This means that one third of your evaluation will be based on parent surveys and as is evident by the phone calls, the parents don’t want their kids discussing such delicate issues.”
“Are you kidding me?” she responded, her face starting to turn red. “I could give a rat’s ass about my merit pay. I don’t teach for the money, and I definitely don’t teach for some stupid test that’s dumbing down our kids.”
“That’s too bad,” asserted the principal. He stood up and pushed the chair in, saying, “I told the superintendent you would be a little hard to contain.”
He laughed and declared, “She didn’t believe me, but here we are. I’ll make this simple for you. Email your students and apologize for inadvertently assigning them an inappropriate topic and inform them that they will not need to complete it.”
“Or what?” she argued, slamming her hand down on her desk.
“Or you will be fired, understand?”
“Yes, sir, I do.”
Kona High School
After school, Mrs. Athena sat in her room, staring at the monitor on her desk. Her favorite news source, the Huffington Post was open and the headline on the top story said, “Chaz Hyland dead.” She couldn’t believe they actually assassinated a US citizen, without a trial, without Miranda rights and for exposing the truth. In that instant she knew she couldn’t write the emails requested, it didn’t matter if she lost her job. She couldn’t fathom being part of the problem. Instead, she wrote the following email.
“As many of you may have heard through the grapevine, Mr. Chaz Hyland has been assassinated. While the principal, the superintendent, and some of your parents would like me to drop this assignment in an effort to shield you from the world, I cannot and will not do that. I pride myself on being honest and cannot in good conscience give up on you as people. I believe strongly that you are more than workers and consumers and that you deserve the right to learn and experience, critical thinking without the judgement of one narrow sliver of the world’s population. I fear that the loss of academic freedom for teachers has tainted the education system and poisoned generations of Americans.
Day in and day out, politicians, parents and corporations are whittling away at the education system. What was once a shining example for the world has now become a joke. We were crippled by policy created by zealots who fear anything that diverges from the normal box, or by politicians with corporations in their pockets who wish to funnel money into private hands. None of these people are trained educators making decisions based on what’s best for kids and their futures.
I was informed this morning that if I go ahead with the assignment I have given you, my position would be terminated. This is therefore your last assignment you will be assigned by me and tomorrow will be my last day in the class. If my actions can help one of you understand how important it is to stand up for your principles, then all of this will be worth it.”
Your teacher, Mrs. Athena.
Kona High School
Reed was dreading class today because he thought how uncomfortable Mrs. Athena’s departure made him. She was by far his favorite teacher and the thought of her leaving kept bringing him to tears. He stepped into the class and was taken aback by what he saw. All of Mrs. Athena’s personal belongings were gone and sitting at the desk was the vice principal.
“Aloha,” he said, smiling. “As you may have heard Mrs. Athena and the school district have agreed to go in different directions and she will not return. I understand you have papers to hand in.”
The class sat silent and stunned. The once vibrant classroom was stripped bare and left looking more like a prison cell than a place of learning.
“Go ahead and hand your papers forward.”
You could have heard the wings on a fly had there been one in the room. The students passed each paper up the rows to the front of the class.
The vice principal collected the papers, walked over to the waste basket and said, “I’m sorry you wasted your time last night on these.”
He dropped them and they floated down into a neat pile on the bottom of the waste basket.
“Now please open your books,” he ordered.
Katrina didn’t let him finish, “Sir…Sir…” she waved her hand vigorously, “Sir…”
“Yes, Miss Sanchez?” he said with a huff.
“Excuse me, but I don’t understand why our teacher was fired.”
“She was not fired; she made the choice to resign.”
“Yeah,” Tristan interrupted, “but she only resigned because she was sticking up for us, for our future.”
“Your future,” he sputtered as his face became flush with anger. “The common core is designed to help assure your ability to compete with students in the new global market.”
Leila raised her hand, declaring, “Maybe we don’t want to compete for low wage jobs, maybe we want to think and create our own path, start a business, or invent the next major technology or medical cure. Does the common core prepare us for that?”
“Absolutely, and don’t get us wrong. None of us wanted Mrs. Athena to resign, but her insistence on defending an antiquated part of the American Constitution ultimately led to her departure.”
Reed raised his hand, and asked, “Are you saying that it’s against district policy to teach about the second amendment?”
“Yes, under the current climate in our country a hot button issue like guns or drugs should be left to adults to decide.”
Reed shot back, “And that is because the adults are doing such a great job, right?”
The class clamored with laughter and whispers and the vice principal changed techniques. He pronounced, “If you have concerns, I suggest you take it up with the School Board. Now please open your books to chapter three.”
Kona, HI, 2022
Reed hurried into his room, turned on his laptop, opened his backpack, and pulled out the stack of papers he had retrieved from Mrs. Athena’s waste basket. One after the next he fed them through his scanner, then uploaded them into his cloud account along with a video from his phone. Apparently he recorded the whole scene in the class room early that day and was ready to make a statement.
He had no idea the implications this story would have. Soon both the article he released and his video were trending at the top of every major social networking site.
Two days later the first major arrest of a teacher was plastered on the front page of every paper and was the top story on every news channel, with the title, “Treason in the classroom.” The headline caught Reed’s eye as he walked past his dad reading the next morning.
“What’s that story about?” Reed asked.
“Your teacher was arrested.”
“Mrs. Athena? For what?”
“Apparently someone posted papers your class wrote online and they are saying her actions are treasonous. They are even transporting her to Guantanamo Bay.”
“What?” Reed’s face turned red, but he didn’t get a chance to say another word. The sound of glass breaking came from every direction and canisters spewing smoke landed at his feet. A rush of intense pain washed over his face and pierced his eyes. Suddenly, he was slammed down onto the ground and he could see his dad being dragged across the carpet. He tried to scream, but the tear gas and a mouth full of carpet made any attempt futile.
Mrs. Athena and Reed’s family were the first in a long line of arrests by the Feds using the Patriot Act as an excuse to deny anyone who disagreed with our Fascist government their right to due process. The war against teachers finally started to make sense. Over the past thirty years, academic freedom had been systematically legislated away and replaced with standards aimed at creating mindless workers instead of thoughtful leaders. The vast propaganda machine was used to discredit and vilify any teacher not willing to stay within the script. Playing on our fears, the plutocrats fed us a steady stream of programming that made us retreat into the darkest beliefs of our history, opting for dogma over reason.
Like the German citizenry before us, we were complicit in all atrocities carried out under our watch. We failed to stay engaged, or to stand up when injustice is perpetrated on another. Our safe, secure lives were too perfect to worry about the slave labor it took to create the smartphone we so desperately needed. We became addicted to our own perception and failed to walk in the shoes of another.
The right to bear arms is one of many rights under attack and only a small ripple in the coming tsunami that will wipe out our remaining rights if we do not open our eyes.
The End of The Gun Games
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,t 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.
Read more of The Freedom Files in the next book Corporate Control
Sneak Peak of Corporate Control
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.
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.”
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.
This novella is an original creation by a Native American artist. Duke Kell is a member of Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Tribal ID number 89RD101025.
Two Ton Productions
Kona, Hawai’i, USA
About the Author:
Duke Kell, Author, Poet, Philosopher, resides in Kona on the big island of Hawaii. He and his wife Nancy, own and operate Two Ton Productions. Disillusioned by the corporate dumbing down of popular entertainment, their company is dedicated to publishing works of substance.
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Freedom Files Books
The Cancer Culture
The Weed War
The Surveillance State
Other full length novels:
The Point of Origin, by Duke and Nancy Kell.(2010)
Hawaiian Heart. The Soul Warrior’s Journey, by Duke and Nancy Kell(2013)
Gun Games is the fourth book in the "Freedom Files" series, a collection of novelettes about ongoing civil liberty issues. Guns have been outlawed in the United States for two years, yet gun violence has not stopped. The black market is being hunted down and eliminated by the government. Students from Hawai‘i explore the issue in history class and the local school board decides the teacher has gone too far. The first arrest of a teacher for the content of a lesson may lead to the final blow for academic freedom. Why were guns made illegal? Who profits the most from the new gun laws? Follow the money and the power into the darkness that hides behind good intentions. Included at the beginning and the end is the Freedom Files that correlate with this story.