The Surveillance State
By: Duke Kell
The Surveillance State, 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’s studio apartment, 2091
I put down the book The Weed War and began thinking about what I would say to Abby about it on Saturday. The 8×10 room was large for a single man during the corporate times, but since the second revolution the badlands were opened up, and people flooded them, hoping to start farms and new lives. I couldn’t see myself leaving the city, so I stayed and a larger room became available. It’s so strange having this much space. I can’t even imagine what the people did in 2019 with their huge mansions in the place they called suburbia. The pictures are so crazy. It was if they believed they had no effect on their environment. After reading The Weed War it’s easy to see why. They were manipulated in their free society the same way we were in the corporate days. The Germans from World War II were also manipulated into a hate-driven ideology which became their downfall. The people who bankrolled the Nazis then turned their sights on the world and began the same routine. These people or groups of families were driven by fear of the Communist movement which erased the inequity of the past and stripped the wealthy of their property, possessions, and money. Fascism became their only hope; Bonito Mussolini said that ‘Fascism should rightly be called corporatism.’ I find it strange that they didn’t see it, as it was right under their nose. They even participated in it freely, giving away all that they had by voting for fear and hate.
It is astounding the positions the people would fight for even in the face of reason and absolute scientific proof, which shows us just how dangerous power can be. They justified the laws by lying or pandering to political or religious factions that they knew people would vote for. Divide and conquer that is what they did.
I took notes as I thought of the things Abby would hopefully think were witty or deep.
I woke up the next morning with my face in my notebook and my pen still in my hand. Luckily I had moved to the bed at some point, so I wasn’t stiff everywhere.
When Abby walked in and the light caught her silky gray hair, my breath was stolen by her beauty. As she walked straight toward me, her grace made it seem like she was floating. I leaned in and gave her a hug, trying not to get too close. My racing heart would be even more revealing than my bright red face.
“Hello, Dax,” she whispered as we embraced.
Time stood still for a brief moment.
“I’m so happy you were able to make it,” I said before waving over to her seat.
She slid into the bench seat and I followed, doing the same directly across from her. We had our pleasantries, ordered a meal, and some drinks and began our dissection of The Weed War.
I can’t remember the fine details about the conversation, because I was unusually tongue-tied and enamored with this woman, her wit, her words and her mastery of communication. When I talked, she stared deep into my eyes, hanging on my words and she never interrupted me. After every point I made she would repeat the gist of my assertions, then pause to think of her retort. At first the silence was uncomfortable, but I realized that in those pauses I could see her as she truly was, perfect. I don’t mean perfect like those people from the twenty first century and their plastic faces. No, Abby was perfect because you could see the wisdom in those lines, in that hair. Yes, she was beautiful, but hearing the depth of her mind made me long for her touch and magnified her beauty a hundred fold.
We ate and talked for hours until they kicked us out because they needed the table. I walked her to apartment complex only a few blocks away on the same level of the city. As we approached the front door to her building, my heart began to race and my mind splintered into a thousand different thoughts. Should I kiss her? Was this a real date? Should I ask for her number? Luckily, before I could make any headway on my own, she reached down and grabbed my hand, turned, pulled me in, and kissed me. I nearly fainted from the rush of blood to my head. Her lips were smooth and soft and her perfume was intoxicating.
“Thank you for the lovely date, Dax, it was just divine.” She smiled and handed me a piece of paper. “Here is my number. You can call me at any time.”
I didn’t know what to say, I felt like I was a young boy lost in a boyhood crush and when she finally kissed me, my words failed me.
“Ok.” That’s all I said.
I couldn’t believe it. She smiled like a Cheshire cat, turned around, and left me standing there.
“Ok.” I couldn’t think of anything better to say than OK. Needless to say, the maglev train ride home was one of mixed emotions, but overwhelmingly it was the positive side that won. I’m pretty sure I found myself even skipping a few times between the stop and home. Who skips? Apparent I skip when my heart has been stolen.
The Freedom Files
University of California, Berkeley, 2191
Tuesday’s class couldn’t come soon enough. Abby and I talked on the phone a number of times, but I just didn’t want to wait to see her. I even looked up some awesome quotes to use in class so I could impress her. We arrived at the same time and found seats near the front.
The former President entered the room from the back of the stage as was her normal routine, fumbled through her things, pulled out a stack of old books, and lifted one in the air before asking, “Who can tell me what this is?”
Gasps filled the auditorium. Then a young lady in the front of the class blurted out that it was the only remaining copy of her diary, the one her brother published after her death.
“Yes.” The president smiled and closed her eyes for a second. It was clear that the book in her hand held a great deal of significance for President Verdusco, because in all my years I had never seen her show her emotions until that moment. She opened her tear filled eyes and said. “When Harley and I wrote The Weed War, we hoped for change, but we never fully grasped what our actions would bring. This diary opened our eyes and ultimately led us to all of the works that we will be reading in this class.” She set it down on the podium took a deep breath and dove in. “So you read the weed war and I’m sure you did your homework on its importance to the revolution and the second constitution. That being said, what amendments were added, using this book as our justifications and why?”
I was called on first, and an upwelling of pride flushed through me before I began. “The first amendment added because of this book was, the money out of politics amendment or Amendment 29, which calls for general funds to be distributed equally between candidates and prohibits politicians from accepting money from anyone as it is a form of bribery. Thomas Jefferson wrote about it in the early stages of the union. ‘Vast accession of strength from their younger recruits, who having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76 now look to a single and splendid government of an Aristocracy, founded on banking institutions and moneyed in corporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce, and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry.’ Unfortunately they were unable to stop this aristocracy in the 1700’s, and in 1994 the storied twentieth century philosopher Norm Chomsky wrote of Jefferson’s assertion, ‘The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.’ We had to add the amendment, because the money took away the power of the vote and allowed for manipulation of the system. If we were to live up to Lincoln’s words ‘Government of the people by the people and for the people.’ we needed to even the playing field.
“Wow, someone did their homework,” Abby whispered when I finished.
“Excellent, Dax,” President Verdusco said. “Does anyone else care to expand? Maybe something from Adam Smith.”
A guy behind me said, “Adam Smith dismissed corporations as a leftover remnant of the Middle Ages and the dismal failure of the feudal period.”
The president smiled. She knew someone would take her bait and like a skilled angler, she slowly reeled us in. “The American system of economics was slowly whittled away by those moneyed corporations Jefferson so eloquently spoke of. It was replaced with Objectivism, Fascism and a laissez faire economic approach that relied heavily on Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations. Sadly, with the climate of manipulation, the people failed to check their sources. Instead, they relied on the media and their elected officials to give them the truth. It’s comical that corporate politicians could quote from Adam Smith in one hand and kowtow to their corporate masters in the other and convincingly tie the two together. Joseph Gobells said. ‘If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.’ So what was this lie and how did it affect our decisions in the second continental congress?”
Hands flew up, but she didn’t call anyone. Instead, she pressed a button on the podium and a hologram of words appeared above her. She pointed to the first set of words with a laser pointer. “Invisible Hand,” she read slowly, “is the first part of the lie and tied to Adam Smith. The architects of this lie were smart, using fear of Communism and anything tied to it as the boogey man. They chose only portions of Adam Smith’s economic theory and failed to heed his warnings about the concentration of wealth and externalization of production costs. These men of industry and financial wizards alike ignored Mr. Smith’s positions on trade, on corporations, on power, and on class. They tied the invisible hand to God, implying that governments were interfering with the divine plan and used politicians and the media to spread their lie.
Then she pointed to free market. “This could be said for free trade as well. Adam Smith wrote his book to reflect the governments of his time, mainly dictatorships and monarchies. Those forms of government were highly centralized and corrupted by an aristocracy that made all of the decisions. Smith favored a protectionist approach that by giving the people a free market would insure national prosperity even if that wasn’t the business owner’s intent. Adam Smith insisted that business owners who were moral would invest his money domestically because it was the right thing to do. His vision of the free market had nothing to do with the laissez-faire movement of Milton Friedman’s and his assertion that ‘underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.’ It should be noted that Mr. Friedman was the economic advisor for Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.
By the time the 1980’s hit, the majority of the country had heard politicians from both sides of the political divide claim their allegiance for free market capitalism, under the assumption that to do otherwise would be to disavow freedom itself. Politicians reinforced this part of the lie by dismantling every protection the people had against what would come to be known as crony capitalism. If all of these so-called experts would have noticed the key word ‘domestic’ in the only paragraph Adam Smith wrote about the Invisible Hand, they would have seen the error in their judgment.”
She pushed a button, a quote flashed up, and she read it. “By preferring the support of domestic to that of foreign industry, he intends only his own security, and by directing that industry in such a manner as its produce may be of the greatest value, he intends only his own gain, and he is in this, as in many other cases, led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”
She stopped and paused, then said, “The word ‘domestic’ is the key here, and we found the same preference when we examined, Alexander Hamilton’s The American System.”
She pointed up at the last two bullet points floating in the air. “Laissez Faire and Objectivism became the financial industry’s objective, and they obtained it by telling the people that anything less was tyranny. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this happened over night. The parties involved began this mantra at the inception of the country. Over a two hundred year period they told the lie in every possible way until the majority of the county believed it. In late 2007, the stock market crashed and the country bailed out the banks instead of the people. People began to wake up and take notice. Why would our government do such a thing? By the time the weed war was in full swing, it was evident, that our politicians had been sold to the highest bidders. This is why as Dax said we passed the money out of Politics amendment. Then we also passed another amendment from this book. Can you tell me what it is?”
Someone on the far side of the room was called on.
“The prohibition on prohibition,” the student responded.
She said, “I’ve heard it referred to as that, but it is really called the individual liberty amendment.” Amendment 30 prohibits any laws that infringe upon an individual’s right to decide what they do with their freedom, including privacy, what they ingest, or inhale, or how they conduct their life as long as it doesn’t infringe on another person’s same right. The third article of this amendment also prohibits business from prying into a person’s personal life, including data mining of students’ schooling, health records, past convictions, and drug tests. The fourth article excludes corporations, religions, and co-ops as they are not people and are not afforded the same rights.”
She looked at her watch and said, “I’ve got a couple of minutes to pull all this together. Mr. Borinski’s classroom which I had the privilege to attend, afforded me the opportunity to see outside my own personal perspective and challenged the very foundations of my world. Every day that I am fortunate enough to be alive in this new frontier, I thank the Creator for leading me into knowledge and reason. Our country and the world owe a great deal of appreciation for the man who sacrificed himself so that we may be free. The two amendments we discussed are really only the tip of the iceberg when we look back at the importance Borinski had on the second revolution. We can also see with our own eyes the destruction that the big lie tying the free market and the invisible hand to objectivism and laissez faire economics had on freedom. Back room deals became the norm as the concentration of wealth created a vacuum of power and political influence. Millions of lives were ruined, and people spent years in prison to further a profit-based agenda set by private industry. Money bought the prohibition of marijuana and laid the foundation or road map for the completion of the coup that eventually gave our country to the corporations. The people didn’t see the slavery in the sweatshops, the dumps of waste, or the massive carbon imprints these corporations had, because they thought the invisible hand would take care of it. When I’m here in Apple, on campus, I often explore level one and find myself drawn to the water’s edge where you can still view the tops of the building peacking out of the water. It’s been nearly 60 years since fossil fuels became obsolete and we’re still not sure if we will be able to turn the tide on climate change. Our world bled and we were all nearly destroyed, but we are a resilient species, and with the help of technology we are helping the planet make a comeback. We must always study the past and make sure that we never allow again the taint of greed to infect our democracy.”
She pushed a button and all her holograms disappeared. “Please read The Surveillance State and be prepared to discuss it in the next class.”
Abby and I sat there waiting for the auditorium to empty before we began to discuss the class and the implications of our discussion. Abby was beaming with excitement and her words danced off her lips. A few stragglers stopped and listened but never became fully engaged and I got the feeling like they were stopping more to gawk at the two oldest students they had ever seen.
In retrospect, we were something of an anomaly, leftovers from the corporate world, trying to find our place in a free society. Neither of us was ever married because our place in society wouldn’t allow for such unions. Abby was an office cleaner and I was sanitation specialist, so we were relegated to the life that came with bottom rung jobs, no education, no training, no marriage and never any personal connections. We had no Idea that the breakfast they fed us daily was fortified with birth control, appetite suppressors and hormone suppressors, We never desired interaction with others because we were so chemically altered.
Most of our counterparts and colleagues didn’t take advantage of their newly earned freedom and they stayed in the jobs that they knew. Abby and I had no desire to allow some test we took when we were twelve to dictate our future. For the others in the class the corporate world was nothing more than a scary bedtime story as most of them weren’t even born yet when the second revolution began. Still, they knew something was strange with the two of us because it was so unusual to see older people in an educational setting.
I’m not sure why the young people didn’t seem as interested in the class as we were, but it didn’t matter. We were lost in philosophy, enamored with theory and smitten with each other. After a good half an hour, a man came in with a mop and a bucket. He asked us to relocate because he would be locking up after he finished and didn’t want any footprints on his newly cleaned floor.
We walked down to the maglev connector station just north of the campus and made plans to meet at the same coffee shop on Saturday to discuss the new readings. Just before she stepped onto the train I squeezed her hand and pulled her back toward me. It was my turn to take the leap and our lips met. The world stopped and everything disappeared until the attendant tapped her on the shoulder,
“Excuse me, Miss, we’re about to close the doors.” He pointed at her bag that was hanging off her shoulder just far enough to be in the way if the doors closed. “In or out, but you have to decide.”
Abby leaned in and whispered in my ear, “See you Saturday.”
She stepped back and the doors slid shut. She placed her hand on the glass window between us and smiled as the train began to slowly and quietly pull off.
I made my way home that night and dove head first into reading The Surveillance State.
The Surveillance State
Queens, New York, 2021
Michael walked into the dark, smoky room past the bar and two pedestals with pole dancers on them. He sat down at the last table in the back.
A waitress wearing nothing but a thong and five inch high heels bent over and asked, “What are you drinking, honey?”
“Club soda,” Michael said, trying not to stare at her cartoon-like breasts.
“I’ll be right back.”
He didn’t frequent places like this because he felt it was demeaning to women, but this is where his informant wanted to meet. He looked at his watch, “It’s 7:00 pm, and this is the table. I hope she shows,” He said to himself.
A tap on his shoulder startled him and he nearly spilled his ten dollar club soda.
“I’m sorry, sweetie.” The nearly naked woman bent down and whispered in his ear, “How about a private dance?” She ran her hand up his thigh.
“Uh, no thanks,” Michael said pulling away. “I’m meeting someone.”
She leaned down and whispered, “Falcon.”
His eyes widened, “Mrs. Lopez.”
“It’s Sunfire.” She smiled and winked. “Now are you coming?” She turned and walked into a private room with a curtain as the door.
Michael hesitated, then pushed the curtain aside and stepped into the room.
Austin, Texas 2002
Two teenage boys were hovering over a computer screen with their jaws hanging open. A knock at the door startled them; the shortest one shut down the screen, muted the speakers, and yelled, “Yes.”
“Dirk, open this door.”
“Uh, hold on,” Dirk muttered.
The door handle shook as the two boys’ hid papers and tried to look innocent. Dirk opened the door.
“Yes?” Dirk said with a smirk on his face.
“What’s going on in here?” Dirk’s mom asked as she walked around the room, sniffing for signs of drugs. “You know I would be able to smell it if you were smoking that wacky tobbaky.”
“We’re just hanging out,” Dirk said.
“And does Steve’s parents know he is here?” she asked.
Dirk looked at his friend Steve who answered, “Yes, Mrs. Stone.”
“You have a visitor at the front door.”
“Is it Greg?” Dirk asked.
“I’m not sure I’ve never seen him before.”
“Ya, cause he’s new this year,” Dirk said as he brushed past his mom and said, “We have some homework to do.” His voice trailed off as he descended the stairs.
After a few minutes of small talk and introductions, the boys made it back into Dirk’s room. He locked the door turned and said, “Holy crap Greg I can’t believe your program works.”
He turned on the screen and speakers. Hundreds of small thumbnails playing video popped up. “See anything interesting yet?” Greg asked.
Steve pointed at the naked woman. “Yep, look at that, it’s Mrs. Juemelan.” He clicked on the icon and it switched to full screen. Speechless, the boys watched as their English teacher walked in and out of the screen cleaning off a large teacher’s desk.
“Holy crap, Greg, how in the hell is this happening?”
Greg’s face lit up, “It’s actually a pretty simple app that allows us to control the front facing cameras on pretty much anyone’s phone. I took a programming class the last two summers and accidentally found a way to do this. Put in any cell number that has a front facing camera and bam we can remotely watch what people are doing.”
Steve shook his head and said, “Looks like none of us will be getting F’s in our classes anymore.”
The boys looked over at the screen, and saw that Mrs. Jumelon who was married to the head football coach was joined by a second female, the boy’s P.E. teacher, Mrs. Drost. The next few minutes left them speechless as they witnessed something they only dreamed about.
“Do you think we can blackmail them?” Dirk asked Steve.
“I doubt highly she would want anyone to see this, especially her husband,” Steve snickered.
Greg cut in, “Hold on.” He shook his head. “No one said anything about blackmail. I showed this to you guys because I thought…”
He paused, then said, “I’m not sure what I thought other than I just needed someone else to see what I created.”
Steve laughed. “What’s the big deal? We can use any leverage we can get on these teachers.”
Dirk smiled, “Come on Greg, imagine the power this gives us.”
Greg looked up at his teachers kissing each other, “I guess it wouldn’t be that bad.”
Suddenly both of the women’s faces turned in the same direction. Fear was evident in their eyes as they jumped up off of the desk.
“I can explain,” Mrs. Juemelon said as she tried to cover herself. Mrs. Drost popped up and out of the screen as she desperately tried to gather her things.
The male voice in the background was unmistakable.
“It’s Mr. Juemalon,” Dirk whispered as if the people on the other end of the phone could hear him.
The coach screamed, “Whore!”
“Fuck you,” Mrs. Drost screamed back.
Then suddenly blood splattered out across the screen and all over Mrs. Jemalon.
“Oh noooooo! What have you done?” She collapsed to her knees, naked and covered in blood as she reached up toward the screen, “I’m calling the cops.”
The screen jumbled, but in a glimpse the boys could see Mr. Jumelon holding a softball bat. The screen went black.
“What happened? Why did it turn off?” Dirk asked.
Greg hit the stop recording button, “The program automatically shuts off when the phone is being used to make a call.”
The three boys stood there in silence not sure what they should do.
Queens, New York 2021
Michael sat down in the chair in the middle of the room. The woman straddled his legs and shoved her breasts into Michael’s face. She leaned in, “Sorry about this, but we need to make it look like you’re a customer.”
He blushed, and said, “You work here?”
“It’s a good place to hide,” She said and smiled, turned around, bent over with her knees straight and shook her butt cheeks around her white thong.
“What is this information you have and why did you contact me?” He asked.
“I read the articles you wrote about your sister’s death a few years ago and feel you will do the right thing.”
“O.K. and what is this info you say will change everything?”
She leaned down licked his ear and slid her hand into his pocket.
He pulled back, “Hey.”
“I just slipped a zip drive into your pocket.” She leaned back and wiped her hair around in a circle, her legs squeezed him and every muscle on her slender figure tightened.
“Why the show?” Michael asked.
“There are cameras behind the mirrors,” she whispered.
“Do all the customers know that?” He asked.
“Of course not.”
She wiped her leg up and over him placing her six inch heel on the wall behind him. She dipped her hips back and forth rubbing her crotch on his shoulder. “But you need to focus. The information I just gave you is very dangerous and I understand if you don’t want to use it.”
“What is it?” He tried to ignore her naked body and the gyrating she was doing.
She threw herself back down onto his lap and began to grid her hips back and forth, then said in his ear, “Have you heard of a program in the NSA called FACE?”
“Yes, I think I have.”
“What if I told you that our government is in collusion with some very powerful corporations and has been systematically using the software on American citizens?”
“Hold on! You’re saying they are using a face recognition program designed to track terrorists on everyday Americans.”
“I’m not saying it! Those documents are showing it.”
He looked down and asked, “What could they possibly have to gain.”
She shook her head, responding, “Control. With the right information the intelligence branches in the CIA, NSA, DEA, could control the world.”
“Sounds farfetched to me.”
“Farfetched?” She leaned in and kissed his neck. “What if I told you they can turn on and monitor any front-facing cameras on phones, tablets, and computers without a warrant? What if I told you they were then using this information to blackmail high level Washington insiders into voting a certain way?”
“How high does this go?” Michael asked.
“All the way,” she replied.
Michael gulped and asked, “Who are you?”
“My name is Tyler Ryan. I was an administrative assistant to one of the directors of FACE. What you have there will shock the world.” She grabbed his hand and ran it over her breasts.
Michael recoiled and said, “Hey!”
“You can’t touch me there. Someone will be in a second to throw you out, so go along with it and the idiots following me won’t suspect you.”
Michael didn’t have a chance to say anything before a large man came busting in.
“Get your hands off!” He wrapped his hands around Tyler and delicately lifted her off of Mike, grabbed Michael in a very different manner and dragged him out of the club tossing him into the alley way, yelling, “Don’t come back, pervert,” and then slammed the door.
Michael pulled himself up and stumbled down the alley way until he was sure no one could see him, then pulled out the zip drive. He opened his hand and smiled.
Austin, Texas 2001
Steve, Dirk, and Greg stood at the bottom of a huge flight of concrete steps leading up to the police station.
“Are you sure about this?” Dirk asked.
“Yes,” Greg said confidently. “I’ll take this recording in there, explain the whole situation and then they will arrest the Jumelons.” He thought back to the gruesome murder and the last week, where they had to watch both Mrs. Jumelon and Mr. Jumelon carry on as if nothing had even happened.
Steve snapped his fingers and Dirk held out his hand. “If it comes to it, you can always call us in to corroborate what you saw.”
“I think the recording will say it all,” Greg said, and held up a small thumb drive. Then he turned around and ascended up into the station.
His heart pounded as he stepped in the old building. Although it had been years since they allowed cigarette smoking, the smell still lingered in the old carpet and faded wallpaper.
“Please step through here,” a lady told him and then waved him to step through a metal detector. “If you have anything in your pockets, you can put them in this.” She slid a bowl toward him.
He walked up to the window and stood there, A lady behind the glass darted back and forth, frantically between the phone, her computer, and a radio.
“Excuse me,” Greg said.
She smiled and said, “How can I help you, cutie?” She winked, and smacked down on her gum.
“I need to report a murder.”
Her jaw dropped and she stopped chewing before she asked, “Did you say murder?”
She stood up, leaned in toward the glass and said, “I’ll be right back with someone who can help.”
She stumbled as she moved past her chair and Greg could hear her footsteps increase to a run. Before he could blink, she was opening the side door and introducing him to Detective Pheasant.
They ushered him in and ran over the basics of the accusations he was levying before Greg handed them the thumb drive. “It’s all on this drive,” he told the detective.
Detective Pheasant looked down at it and stood there in silence. After thirty seconds he looked up at Greg, “I have a friend in the CIA who…” he stopped and took a deep breath, saying, “Even if there was a murder you are still looking at a number of high level charges, but maybe, maybe we could use this,” he stated.
Greg was smart and he could see the detective was trying to look out for him. “So call your friend, and let’s make a deal.”
Detective Pheasant smiled, “OK.”
Times Tower, New York City, 2021
Michael was thinking about his pitch when someone tapped him.
“Hey, Mike, you with us, bud?” his editor asked and everyone chuckled.
“Yes, sorry. I was just trying to put together my story pitch.”
“OK, what do you have for us today?” The man at the end of the table said as he looked around the room at the editorial staff of the New York Times.
“What if I told you that I had documents proving the NSA is involved in domestic spying, blackmail, and ultimately helping to pull the strings that are destroying what is left of our freedoms? These same documents implicate the CIA, FBI, and a number of corporations in what can only be called a coup d’etat!”
The room fell silent and the man at the end of the table stood up. In this room he was known as “the general,” but Dirk Stone wasn’t a military man at all. He commanded the Times staff to produce excellence and they had achieved it, so the staff gave him the name. In an instant he knew the words that came out of his star reporter’s mouth meant war and he knew that it was tied to that day with Greg’s program. This war wouldn’t be like the wars Americans have become accustomed to, where the battles are halfway around the world. No, this war would bring death at to their doorsteps. “Are you confident these documents are legit?”
Dirk said nothing. He turned around and took a deep breath pulled his hands up, ran them through his thin hair, wrapped them around the back of his head, sighed, and said, “As of right now everyone in this room consider yourself sequestered from speaking to anyone including other New York Times employees. I want you to drop everything you’re working on and start vetting Michael’s documents.”
He turned around, placed his hands on the long glass table, leaned forward, and said, “Have your assistants put out the stories for the next two days. On Sunday we will run this as whole paper story, which means I want a story from each of you on this. If it’s as deep as it sounds, there should be plenty of material affecting each one of you columnists. Let me be crystal clear on this, a story like this can be very dangerous and your lives depend on keeping this in house until we go to print. Once the cat is out of the bag, it will be too late for retaliation.”
The whole room nodded in agreement.
That Sunday the New York Times printed an unprecedented number of issues, with Michael’s story on the front page.
‘Top Security Agencies Deceive the American People.’ By Michael de Garcia.
The internet exploded with anger and dismay. If Michael had thought the story getting out would protect him, he was wrong.
At 9:15 am, three hours after the paper was officially released, Michael de Garcia and his editor and chief Dirk Stone, were arrested and charged with treason.
Undisclosed Military Jail, 2021
Michael raised his head in a dark room, a light shining in his eyes.
“Welcome back, Mr. de Garcia…”
Michael scanned the room but could see nothing. He looked down at his bare chest to see wires taped to him; suddenly he remembered being shocked.
“I don’t know who she was!”
ZZZZZZZ, a buzzing sound began.
“No!” Michael screamed.
“Tell us where she is or you will die.”
“I told you I don’t know.”
Michael’s whole body went stiff before he passed out again.
Laguardia International Airport, 2021
Taylor Ryan sat down at the end of the long bar and looked up at the TV. She saw the ticker on the bottom saying, “Michael de Garcia has been arrested.”
She picked up the paper and scanned through it before taking out a plane ticket and examining it. The name was not hers, but it matched the fake ID she held next to it. She repeated her info over and over again, trying to make sure she would be able to answer any questions before boarding. She looked out of the bar and across the terminal to see if they were boarding. Someone tapped him on the shoulder. She jerked back and nearly fell off her seat.
A cocktail waitress said, “I just wanted to see if you needed a refill of your coffee.”
Taylor said, “No, thank you, it’s time for me to board.” She gathered her things and scurried off toward her gate.
Undisclosed Military Jail 2002
Awakened by the knock on the door Greg rolled over and sat up at the edge of the only bed in the cell.
“Good Morning, Mr. Daily.” The guard smiled, and said, “looks like you have some visitors.”
Greg stood up and held out his hands for the guard to place shackles on them.
“Visitors, you say,” he said, and tilted his head to the side. “Is that a normal occurrence here?”
The guard said. “The visitors you have today are the only kind permitted.”
Greg had spent the past three months in a special detention center the CIA ran to house Cold War combatants. Apparently he was considered a national security threat and under the Patriot Act could be held indefinitely.
When the door opened, he recognized one of the four men standing there. A man he didn’t know stepped forward, and said, “Mr. Daily, please have a seat.”
Greg sat down.
The man introduced himself. “I’m Special agent Wilson, and you know Detective Pheasant. These two gentlemen are here to help you.” He stuck out his hand toward the shorter one, saying, “This is Director Clark and Assistant Director Logay.”
Director Clark stepped forward and placed a stack of papers down in front of Greg.
“Hello, son, my name is Norm Clark. I’m the director of the NSA. This is my right hand man Shane Logay.” He waved at his partner. “We’re very interested in helping you wipe the slate clean, as it were.”
Greg leaned forward and asked, “How are you going to accomplish this?” He rolled his eyes.
Director Clark responded, “We are in the process of starting a new division in the National Security Agency to help find terrorists before they strike. Within the new parameters of the Patriot Act, we have been given the latitude to do surveillance through the Internet.”
“What does this have to do with me?”
“Your software.” He pulled out some photos from a folder and pushed them in front of him. “You call it FACE. We think it could help us in this brave new world.”
“So buy the rights,” Greg said sarcastically.
“It is not so simple. You violated at least ten federal laws and could face thirty years to life if someone didn’t step in.”
“Step in how?” Greg asked.
“Detective Pheasant here is a former colleague of mine in the USMC and he bypassed the normal judicial process in contacting us. He felt it was the only way to keep you out of jail.”
“Is that the reason I’m here, not being charged, just held as an enemy combatant?”
“Yes, we have gone to great lengths to keep this quiet, in hopes that you would join us.”
He pointed at the stack of papers, “That’s a contract for two million up front and half a million a year for you to act as the assistant director in our new top secret fight against terror now being called FACE.”
“What if I don’t accept?”
Director Clark leaned in and his face tightened, as he stated, “You’ll spend the rest of your life in here with your new best friends, the Muslim brotherhood.”
Greg didn’t hesitate. He reached out his cuffed hands and grabbed the pen. “Where do I sign?”
Director Clark gave him a crooked smile and said, “Next to each of the sticky notes.”
Minutes later, as they were exiting the room, Greg rubbed his wrists, trying to get back the feeling. He asked, “What’s next?”
Agent Clark waved over toward Shane Logay. “Assistant director Logay will show you to your office when we get back to Washington. You will be briefed on the parameters of your operation.”
NSA Headqurates, 2021
Director Pheasant barged into Greg’s office, “they spotted her!”
“Where?” Greg asked. It had been years since he joined the NSA and it showed on the line in his face.
“We found her in the background of someone’s selfie on a flight to Hong Kong.”
“Dammit.” He flipped around, hitting the chair in front of him, sending it twirling into Greg’s desk, “Do you know how hard it is to extradite out of there?”
“So what’s the big deal? We paint her as a Commie trader pissed off at her boss and lover for dumping her. Send the assassins in and make it look like a suicide.”
“You read the article and saw the first release of documents. They can’t be denied.”
“You repeat a lie enough times, people will believe it,” Greg said.
Director Pheasant sat down and said, “I wish I had your resolve, and to think eight years ago I was the one bailing you out.”
“How could you have known? You trusted her and she betrayed that trust. It’s not your fault.”
Director Pheasant dropped his head, shook it from side to side and said, “I just should have seen it coming.”
Hong Cong, 2021
Tyler stepped down from the rickshaw she hailed at the airport and moved quickly into the motel ahead. She approached the desk and asked, “Room for Jade Spencer?”
The man stopped looked around, leaned forward and whispered, “Please keep your head down and try not to speak English.” He stepped out from behind the desk, blew out a puff of cigarette smoke, and motioned for her to follow him up two flights of stairs and past the only bathroom on the floor. He stopped at room 77, handed her a key, and said, “After he calls you need to destroy this phone and go to your second location.”
He grabbed her hand and asked, “Understand?”
Tyler nodded and said quietly, “Yes.”
She stepped past him into her 8×4 room, looked around and shook her head. “Wow, this is small.”
It was two days before the phone finally rang. She hadn’t left the room other than to use the restroom because her host kept food and drink coming. She stepped over empty boxes of food and answered the phone. “Greg, is that you?”
The voice on the other side of the line made her smile. Greg answered, “Yes, listen I don’t have a lot of time. They know you’re there, FACE found you in a selfie getting off the plane. It’s only a matter of time. You have to get out of Hong Kong and into China.”
“What about the other hotel? I thought you were going to meet me there?” After a long pause she asked, “Are you there?”
“Yes. I’m here, baby, I know I said …” he paused again, then said, “…but it’s too dangerous.”
“I’m sorry I got you into this,” she whispered through her tears.
“No time. You know the plan get to China and I’ll find you.”
“I love you.”
“I love you too.”
Greg hung up the phone, sat back in his desk and thought about the first time he walked through those doors.
He was naive to say the least, and now Shane Logay was laying out everything.
“Have a seat,” Mr. Logay said.
Director Pheasant and his new assistant Greg sat down across the desk turned a laptop around and pointed at a folder. “In these folders here, we have seven of them. You have a table of contents of the data you can access to help narrow down who we want to target with the new FACE program. I don’t have the time to go into depth, but I’m sure with my introductions and a few days to go over it, you’ll be able to make heads and tails of it. This first file is the Table of Contents for corporate drug testing.”
Detective Pheasant tilted his head and asked, “Which is what?”
“When a person agrees to work for a company they waive their rights within the scope of medical privacy. It is a list of every person who has ever failed a job related drug test.”
Greg scoffed, “Even if drug tests don’t work?”
“They are accurate enough to have millions of data points.” He pointed at the folder.
Greg shook his head, “It’s commonly known that the only drug these tests usually find is marijuana. All the other drugs are in and out of your system within twenty four hours making them nearly impossible to catch.”
“Be that as it may, it’s your directive to use this as a data point.” He closed the file and said, “Next we have criminal records even those of minors and those which have been expunged.”
The two nodded in agreement.
He moved to the next folder, “These are education records.” He lifted up the binder, “As you can tell this one is the largest. Thanks to “No Child Left Behind,” there is a mountain of data points that can help us finding those who are undesirable in our great society.”
Greg rolled his eyes.
Shane continued, “This one is a record of all mental illness and substance abuse records and before you even ask.” He held up his hand.
“The Patriot Act mandated medical officials and companies to report anyone who met the bill for mental illness, which includes anyone who has ever been treated with any medicine to treat mental issues including depression, anxiety, bipolar, and schizophrenia. This superseded the right to privacy.”
“Wow,” Greg said, clearly taken aback.
“Next we have anyone tied to radical groups, religions, bike clubs, car clubs, the NRA.”
“Is there anyone left?” Detective Pheasant asked.
“Funny. Next we have innovators who have pushed beyond our current economy, by bypassing the profit model.”
Greg didn’t understand, so he asked, “Could you give us some examples of this.”
“HHD or Hydrogen drive engines can run on water, which would wipe out the need for oil and adversely affect our economy considering that our dollar is heavily tied to the petroleum industry. Perpetual energy devices, medical cures, and anyone who has expanded upon Tesla’s work are also considered data points.”
“This seems like we’re targeting people who aren’t terrorists at all,” Greg stated.
“You’re right, the intent of FACE is to narrow down who might become a terrorist. In that respect, your program will help catch them before they become monsters.” He smiled and continued, “Lastly, we have every person and their families who hold office, are running for office, or work for someone who is one of those.”
He closed the last file and said, “If this works, it will tip the scales in our favor. Your program is now running on the most powerful severs in the country and can access all networks with total immunity. Here is the signed directive from the President himself authorizing this wartime measure. Any questions?”
Greg had hundreds of questions, but he knew they would only lead to trouble so he bit his tongue.
The next day they were introduced to the staff they would be working with. Director Pheasant’s new secretary stood at the other end of the room, fidgeting with her long skirt. Her brown hair pulled up in a bun and a dimple on her right cheek just below her blue eyes kept drawing Greg’s attention. At eighteen he had never felt such an intense immediate attraction, but she hadn’t noticed him then. At twenty two years old, Greg seemed like a baby to Tyler, and she treated him as such.
Greg wasn’t deterred. For two long years he had listened, talked, and schmoozed his way into a trusted position with Tyler, hoping to get his shot. Then, one night he came back to the office to get a file and inadvertently walked in on Tyler and her boss Director Pheasant in an indecent act. Pheasant was embarrassed, Miss Ryan was terrified of the repercussions, and Greg was devastated and deflated. He had built her up, put her on a pedestal, but seeing Tyler on her knees destroyed that, and for a few years he tried to forget about her. Working together on a daily basis didn’t help and knowing Pheasant was married and still sleeping with his secretary made Greg more than ill, but he still tolerated it. Tyler began noticing Greg as his body matured into a man, and his kindness was something she longed for.
One night when leaving work, he heard crying coming from the workroom. He found Tyler beaten and bloodied in the corner. She had found something, she wasn’t meant to in Director Pheasant’s paper work and confronted him. In his anger he beat her and threatened to kill her.
“What did you find?” Greg asked.
She sat up wiped her tears and handed Greg a folder. “They’re blackmailing everyone in there,” she said.
“Control. They’re using your software. This whole operation is set up for this purpose. Look for yourself. They’re driving policy, and changing Supreme Court rulings. It’s us, Greg, we’ve destroyed our democracy.”
Greg felt like someone squeezed all the air out of his lungs. His head began to spin and he had to sit down. He felt betrayed, cornered into being a traitor. That night the two of them started laying the track work to expose the agency, but they had to be careful as their life depended on it. Two years later they had grown into a secret couple deeply in love. Unfortunately she had to keep up the affair with Pheasant to pull off their plan. It didn’t matter to Greg because he had his eye on the prize. Even though he was Assistant Director, Greg had no real clearance. It had become evident that Pheasant’s access was the only way into the circle of these mad men running the country from the shadows.
Hong Kong, 2021
Tyler pushed her way through the endless sea of people on the crowded streets of Hong Kong. She never imagined so many people could co-exist in such a tight spot without chaos. She was moving with the current like a turtle ready to withdraw into her shell if danger should arose.
Suddenly a tiny car appeared and slammed on its brakes in front of her. She stepped back and a small prick hit her neck. She reached up and pulled her finger out to expose a small amount of blood. Then everything started to spin and her world turned to black.
Undisclosed Military Jail, 2021
It had been two days since the New York Times ran the most daring issue of its long storied existence. As a result the whole editorial staff was fired. In addition, the managing editor and its star reporter were both detained as enemy combatants. The new staff had its directive: fix the mess. The next Sunday’s paper was a complete retraction and outright attack on Mike de Garcia and Dirk Stone’s character.
The door on Michael’s cell opened and the first light he’d seen in two days flooded over his eyes. Trying to adjust, he blinked, and looked up at his wrist. He could finally see what was itching and burning his wrist. Maggots were eating away the flesh where the shackles had rubbed through his skin. At that moment he knew Dirk was right and was so glad he listened to him. He smiled.
One of the guards muttered, “Poor bastard is smiling. He must not know what’s coming.”
Michael, too weak to fight, just kept smiling, and as they unchained him from the wall and dragged him out of his cell, he started to laugh a deep haunting laugh. One of the guards took exception and knocked him out with the butt of his rifle.
Moments later he came to and pushed himself up to his knees, his face covered in dirt. He looked to his right, as Dirk was saying something to someone. Michael looked up and saw a firing squad in front of him. All at once his hearing came back and he heard Dirk screaming, “The Nazi party was filled with men just following orders.”
Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta.
Shots rang out and Dirk’s limp body fell right in front of Michael. The warm blood oozed onto his knees.
“Do you have any last words?”
Michael’s eyes hardened and he said, “Yes, your actions here today will only prove to be the downfall for what you believe. In the end justice always finds the wicked.”
Ta, ta, ta, ta, ta,
Shots rang out and Michael’s body dropped down over Dirk’s.
Victorville, California, 2021
That night a story ran on national TV about a prison fight at a detention center that left four dead, including the former editor and his star writer from the New York Times.
Sitting at a diner in Victorville, California halfway across the world, sat a man in a black leather outfit, with a vagos insignia on the back of his jacket. Over his shoulder were saddlebags. In his hand was a letter and an envelope, which he began to read.
“Steve, I know I wasn’t always the best friend and I’m sorry for not staying in touch, but now I need your help. If you have received this letter, I’m dead or worse locked in a box for life. I suspect Greg is dead too. The program that we have kept quiet about for all these years is going to destroy our country. I need you to email the contents of this zip drive to every major journalist in the country. Be very careful because by doing this you may place yourself in harm’s way. If it were me, I would create a dummy account and do it through that, but you’re a better criminal than I am. Just don’t get caught. Tell my mom I love her.
Your friend, Dirk Stone.”
NSA Headquarters, 2021
Two days later articles started popping up all over the Internet and the censors couldn’t keep up. A letter by Michael de Garcia and Dirk Stone went viral along with thousands of documents and one video proving their side of the story. The article became a rallying cry and a spark for outrage. People all over the country took to the streets, some peacefully, some in full blown riots.
When Director Pheasant came barging into Greg’s office, Greg was in the process of cleaning out all of the files tying him to Tyler Ryan from his computer.
“What are you doing there?” asked the Director.
Greg shut the screen on the laptop and said, “Just some routine cleaning and organizing.”
“We caught her,” Director Pheasant said with a smile.
Greg turned around and looked at a painting he had on his wall by Mike Olson. Trying to hold back his emotions, he asked, “Going to bring her in for questioning?”
The Director laughed, “No, we already disposed of her.”
Greg swung around and found he was staring down the barrel of a gun, his own gun in fact, the same gun Pheasant gave him when FACE made it past the probation period.
“Sit down,” Pheasant ordered.
Greg sat, “What are you doing?” he asked.
“At first I didn’t want to believe it, but they were right. You betrayed us.”
“Betrayed you? You betrayed your country. Look at what we’re doing. This isn’t’ democracy. This is tyranny.”
“Enough,” Pheasant shouted.
One shot rang out. Pheasant quickly put the gun in Greg’s hand and sprayed a mist of gunpowder residue on his hand. The door began to bang, Pheasant ran over and unlocked it. Greg’s secretary ran in.
“I tried to stop him,” Pheasant said as he called 911.
That night a story ran about the assistant director of FACE and how he and his lover fabricated damaging evidence against the US to get back at them for co-opting his software. Somehow, despite mountains of evidence the American people fell back in line and buried their head even deeper in the sand. Fortunately, not all of us. Some of us have taken notice; we’ve begun to stockpile books, stories, and histories, hoping that one day when all of this is gone we will rebuild. The truth won’t be lost.
Article by Dirk Stone and Michael de Garcia
Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to George Logan on Jan 11, 1817, “I hope we shall take warning from the example and crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and to bid defiance to the laws of their country.”
Moneyed interests have infiltrated our intelligence agencies and have taken over the country. It didn’t happen overnight. In fact, it has been a constant conflict since the first days of the republic. We all have been a part of this, lost in our own dramas, distracted by nonsense; we gladly gave our country away. Our understanding of America is based on the story they wanted us to believe, one where the state of the nation depends on the economic stability of Wall Street and cannot survive without it. The truth sounds like something out of a fiction novel, but make no mistake, our country is no longer a democratic republic. The private prison industry, the military industrial complex, and a handful of American corporations have colluded with the International Monetary fund and the banking industry to slowly erode our national sovereignty. The evidence is clear. Over the last 18 years, the Patriot Act allowed these groups to step up the assault on our country. The top officials in our intelligence agencies became pawns in a much larger game and helped them spy on Americans who they felt could help push their agenda. Perpetual war, Free Trade, and unprecedented inequity was the goal and they have achieved it.
The two party system has become nothing more than a façade. The difference between the parties only lie within trivial fear-based issues they want us to fight over in their effort to divide and conquer.
Unfortunately for those who have taken part in this treason, their actions are a direct conflict to the rights the constitution guarantees its citizens. The small group of special interests has broken the law of this land by ignoring the Constitution. In doing so, they left the door open for the people to take the country back, by exercising their rights. Abe Lincoln said, “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it.”
Take President Lincoln words and think about what he said “This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it.” Nowhere does he say that this means only those who own businesses that affect the GDP or the job creators, or Wall Street insiders. No, he said the people and he meant all the people. With that in mind when the government no longer functions to protect the right of the majority of its people, we have the right to change directions. In most countries throughout history a change would take full-blown revolution but it’s not needed here. In fact, we both believe that a reactionary change would not solve the problems we face. What we need is to have a new conversation about what the words “freedom” and “Liberty” actually mean, then we have to discuss the idea that while we would love to see those things spread, it is not our mission or job to do so. Safety and security are in direct conflict with freedom. Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Our founding fathers never intended to change the chaos around us, but to rather embrace it with the understanding that the human animal desires to be free. They also understood that freedom only extended so far, never letting the individual freedom of one person trump that of another. This is the basis for our laws, written to lay out actions that would not infringe upon the rights of another.
In our love for this country we are willing to give up our lives to do what is right. We joined the rest of the country in hiding from the truth for too long. If we are ever going to live up to our constitution, we need to take a step back from our current direction. No more torture, no more assassinations, no more war, no more police brutality. It’s time to lead by example by making some tough changes. If you are reading this, we are both dead, assassinated by your government to cover up and deflect from the documents we released that prove everything we have asserted. We really don’t need proof. Deep down we know we have all been privy to it and did not object. We will be held accountable if the concentration camps we call prisons become extermination facilities. We will be the ones who will suffer when the world places sanctions on us for war crimes. The religion used to justify these monstrosities will be linked to hate forever.
There is hope, but it’s time for the people to rise up and claim their rightful throw to ownership of our government and our country. Civic virtue was an integral part of our early republic, considered part of a man’s moral duty to take part in the government. To say the government of a democracy is tyrannical is to say the people themselves have imposed tyranny. We know that the unknown can be scary, but if we are to be the example of freedom and liberty, we must accept all who agree to live by its creed. So today, it’s time to get involved in the movement. Step outside of your cave and take this country back. For those of you who have inadvertently been fighting for a cause that you now realize is just perpetuating war, prisons, and corporate control, don’t fret. Just take your enthusiasm and focus it on tolerance instead of hate, love over fear, and acceptance over division, then find a way to pass that on. We need to get out of our comfort zones and unite, or we will not be able to change the course.
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.
Read more of The Freedom Files in the next book Gun Games
Sneak Peak of 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.”
Denver Colorado, 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.”
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)
The Surveillance State is the third book in the "Freedom Files" series, a collection of novelettes about ongoing civil liberty issues. Cameras and microphones are embedded in everything we own, and we gladly gave up some of our freedom for security. Where is the line that we won’t cross, the point where our principals stop us from being monsters? What if the camera on your phone and your computer and your TV and your security camera were watching you, recording your life? What if your school records, your medical records were no longer protected? What if the people who are controlling our government have crossed that line and everything you’ve ever done will be held against you. This is The Surveillance State and there is nowhere to hide. Included at the beginning and the end is the Freedom Files that correlate with this story.