Once upon a time, make that time about 1990, a man bought a computer. It was a smoking hot 80286 machine with a full meg of ram and a 40 meg hard drive. It cost a lot of money for back then, over $2000 dollars. It was good machine, it still runs today if asked. Of course it now sleeps most of the time in the closet with the son's collection of working antiques, but it does still run just as it did then. Of course, soon enough the man was sitting in front of his brand new word processor, and asking himself "what now?" He reached out, let his hands caress the keyboard as if the flesh of a new lover warm and willing, and typed in "It was a dark and stormy night..." For a moment he smiled at the plagiarism, but why not. It was good enough for Snoopy atop his dog house. But then he thought no, no sweetheart, I can do better by you than that, you're not a beagle.
The result of that revision became my first work of fiction. But still, you might notice that yes, it does start on a dark and stormy night, as all good hero 'n heroine vs totalitarian villain yarns really should... this story began as a work of fiction, in light of what has developed as it has been written I sincerely hope it remains fiction.
*** *** *** *** *** ***
*** *** *** *** *** ***
The Raid The story begins on a dark night in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the heroine in command of her covert operations team on a mission of utmost importance... to steal medicine for those afflicted by the gray plague that is ravaging the camps where she and the others expelled from the mainstream of American society struggle for simple survival... The United States of America is not what is was in our day.
Escape The raid has been a success. Our heroine Sashi, her companion Kelly and the refugee Tamara are on the road, their route set to intercept and escort the five trucks that carry the supplies acquired to within reach of the people who will carry twenty tons of medical supplies deep into the Rocky mountains. The raid was a success, but the mission is not made, not yet. In this chapter is revealed the nature of the chains holding the United States in slavery.
Chapter 3: Slide
In this chapter we are introduced to the prime hero of the work, one Roger Wayne Tarkell, who really does not like his nickname of Slide. Of course he is a secret agent of the UES (Unified European Societies), and of course he is a ruggedly handsome man in his late thirties at the absolute peak of his life: a blooded veteran of Europe's special forces, a veteran operative of the UES' intelligence community, and a good bit more. He is in the United States as a sleeper agent and for reasons unknown to both he and our heroine Sashi his prime mission has been called. We meet him on the road to intercept Sashi as she is travelling to intercept the trucks. For Wayne the balloon just went up.
Tamara We ride along with the raiders, listen to the first conversations between the heroine and the hero as they assess each other. In this chapter Wayne reveals a bit, but far from all, of talents he commands that are not often seen in the world at large being used to aid the refugee girl Tamara, that she be able to be of aid to their mission.
Tail Sting Combat on the road to allow the trucks loaded with medicine to escape the interstate and deliver their cargo, followed by a night spent in a state park where the plan is our people will wait to be extracted from the mission into the deep mountains where Sashi and company make their home.
Camp A day of rest for our adventurers that ends with a change of plans carried in by the commander of Sashi's world, the Mirror himself.
Orders A conversation with Richard Driwell, the Mirror, concerning plans and reasons, the state of the world. As the saying goes, the plot begins to thicken.
Love and Makings This chapter begins the backstory on our heroine, her reasons, how she came to be as she is when we meet her. This chapter foreshadows the climax of the novel, for there is a commonality between Sashi and the culture of her birth.
Subel and Spice Cake Wayne and Sashi rest at his house in the suburbs of Santa Fe to allow time for other arrangements to become complete, we learn a bit of how the subel mechanism have enslaved the United States as Wayne integrates new information from his people into the plans.
The Ball Buster Speaks The big picture revealed, the reason Wayne's mission was called in the first place. Here we find out that The Republic of Texas is about to declare war on The United States of America, and are introduced to one Rupert D. "Ballbuster" Jones... who firmly believes himself the reincarnation of George Patton, God's soldier, whose success with his armor gives credibility to the claim... general in the armies of the Republic and the driving mind of their campaign of liberation.
Into the Fray The plans go in motion... Wayne and Sashi depart for the first of their objectives... a tryst with a very particular prostitute.
The Motel Mirror Just because hindsight is twenty-twenty does not mean the things seen are understood at the same resolution... more backstory on Sashi.
Making Ready A bit of an expose of the personalities of our adventurers... at they apply to the objective at hand.
Dualities The introduction of Christine... who is the foundation of Sashi and the ultimate key to the fate of far more than anyone realizes.
Spit and Mother Love We return to Texas to visit Bravo company, a red hat special forces unit of the Republic, among the most feared soldiers on the planet, visit again with the Ballbuster and his longtime fellow officer Stretch who commands the airborne; the scene shifts to our adventurers as they leave civilization for the domain of the mountain people.
Matkins, Mira and Vendikoss Sashi reunited with her team in the no mans land of the Rocky Mountains.
Deathsender A chapter that begins with Sashi restored to her own, and ends with Wayne very nearly destroyed. Here is seen the first appearance of the Quorum, they who oversee and support Wayne's deeper efforts in the cause.
John on the Farm Aided by those known to Wayne but unknown to Sashi our adventurers continue on their way, but not unopposed.
Theaters and Dance Halls The road to number 29 Kosanai Place where wait Sashi's last and Christine's first clients...
Moon and Mission An interlude chapter introducing the shaman Moonbow, Richard's long time friend and adviser, a truly key player in the story from here on... and a brief sojourn to revisit Bravo company as they learn of their role in the endeavor...
Chapter Twenty One:
Tad and Tak Professionals at work... in two of the world's oldest professions.
Chapter Twenty Two:
Promotion This chapter begins the transition of our heroine from a skilled operative of a local resistance movement into a character of global impact, in this chapter we meet Kay who is already an immensely powerful figure on a global scale, an elder member of the Quorum...
Chapter Twenty Three:
On the Edge the board is set, all the pieces are in place and in play... the mission is on with the dawn.
Chapter Twenty Four:
Flying Dutchmen The Republic opens their war... Rupert's armor unleashed, and Stretch's elite ride the wind...
Chapter Twenty Five:
The Gates of Fate This is the key chapter upon which the remainder of the tale hinges and the fate of that world will hang.
Chapter Twenty Six:
Television Our hero sits down to do what he came to do...
Chapter Twenty Seven:
Awakening ...and our heroine does what she must, what was inevitable if she is to fully survive.
Chapter Twenty Eight:
Tears of the Trail Humanity honored in love, and war... a bit of an explanation for the lives of Richard and Tamara, they who Moon named Mirror, and Little Cat.
Chapter Twenty Nine:
Trim Work and Torpedoes Wayne pulls it off, the program to counter the foreign control of the population is launched, and our heroes find out that Mirror himself is bringing them more ammunition...
Recognition This chapter is Christine and Tamara, the beginnings of a friendship, and it is also sets the stage for Sashi's last mission, the one she must execute alone without the aid of Mirror or Moon or the puppies... her mission.
Chapter Thirty One:
Genghis Richard Driwell launches his full revenge upon his enemy, his revenge no more than appropriate for what Christine has realized concerning her life.
Chapter Thirty Two:
Departure Our heroes depart with their mission full made and more, and as Moon had known she would Sashi leaves to pursue her quest.
Chapter Thirty Three:
Riding High The paths of our heroes have split, but courtesy of Little Cat soon enough both paths lead to the same place where our heroine will face her doom, one way, or another.
Chapter Thirty Four:
Psychology and Shaman In this chapter our band of adventurers continue on their way, for all save Moon their greatest concern traversing the land as quickly as Richard's yacht is able... but for Moon there are other facets to consider, and soon enough other facets for the Quorum's deliberation as well.
Chapter Thirty Five:
Gathering Storm This chapter begins the full scope of the remainder of the story, new members of the Quorum are introduced, the potentials of Moon's vision are revealed, we see a bit of Kay's full abilities as she prepares to meet an unforeseen threat...
Chapter Thirty Six:
Prana ...that materializes from Richard's delirium in the river of souls.
Chapter Thirty Seven:
Minefield The history of the ICC is told in this chapter, and the final understanding of the threat appears into Wayne's thought, and almost instantly jumps to the Quorum, a threat beyond their darkest fears of the day before...
Chapter Thirty Eight:
Converging Waves The tides of the times are converging on San Francisco, the Monk, Kay's only senior in the Quorum, commits himself into the fray. The forces in play will shape the future of mankind for ten thousand years, he will lead his forces in person, unseen, unrecognized, but in the flesh.