This second book in the Patriot Acts trilogy takes the reader inside the White House where treachery and terrorism boils below its underbelly. While trying to avoid invoking emergency powers that could destroy American constitutional freedoms, a former Special Ops officer, now the President of the United States, races to stop a deadly virus, which has killed thousands of innocent Americans.
This Fisher Harrison saga, The Second Republic, is an action thriller that could appear on any of today’s headlines, on any given day with a plausible scenario for the death of humankind that is too frighteningly conceivable for comfort.
Everyone has a self interest. I think when dealing in security, it is important to find single-minded people whose single interest of all, because benefiting himself saves the rest of us.Steven Clark Bradley
I think the big bucks they get is not a problem. It is important that they not be tempted to farm out their tech skills, and that means giving them their due, and then some, is better than giving it all to the loony tunes in the environmental terrorists.
You know, this new project, Patriot Acts III has caused me to delve into techno material more than I ever have. I have always been for the need to fight control of our free wills to win and to fail. I've done much more of the latter than I ever have of the prior. This one I have really gone into the deep water to weave a tale around computer tech and mind control and what can happen to high tech in the wrong hands with a people asleep at the helm. It has been an education.
The biggest thing I can say from it is that I have a new appreciation for how new wars are fought or shall be, and how freedom as we knew it, shall never be again, because of situations being orchestrated by governments that go beyond the imagination of most. Writers can look at where we are and draw it out to a fictional, logical conclusion, such as I paint in this trilogy, of how real a threat our tales could actually be.
Albert Einstein said he did not know what weapons would be used in World War three, but that he was sure that World War four would be sticks and stones.
March 6, 2011, 5:12 AM
“You lazy kid. You better hit it. I’m not calling you out again,” Elmer Risner said, as he slammed the front door behind him and entered the crisp morning air. “A boy’s got to have something to do, ‘cause this farm’s not gonna run itself. Can’t you learn anything from your old man? This lazy generation of no-good kids. Wants everything handed to them on a silver platter. We ain’t got no silver platter. All we got is hard work.”
He crossed the backyard and trudged over to the big barn’s front door. He grabbed the door and yanked it open; as he had done each and every day of every year he had been old enough to move it. He inched his body across the threshold where his nose caught a strong earthen-type odor he had never smelled before. The door hinges creaked as Elmer stepped into the barn halfway reluctant about what made that smell. The cows and the horses, even the mule had heard this morning ritual so many times that they did not even fret at the early morning sound of the barn door opening.
What concerned him was not so much the barn’s smell as the hogs’ rather uncharacteristic silence. Those pigs always made a “feed me” racket when he approached them. Their incessant squeals annoyed him. This morning, the lack of noise puzzled him.
He walked toward the pigpen and grouched all the way, “Hey, you pigheaded beasts. What’d ya’ll do, did ya all up and die on … me?”
Elmer Risner bent forward to see what had been the best, most prized beasts of all his livestock. The mess appeared to be something that slightly resembled a pig or pigs, but he couldn’t be sure. Something greasy covered all fifteen of his prize hog’s skins. They had the appearance of being dead days before, but Elmer had fed them the night before. He reached out and touched one of the pig’s ears. The material covering all of them got on his right hand. He held his hand up to his eyes, squished it between his fingers, smelled it, and then wiped his hand on his overalls.
“Last night was the first I used of the new batch of feed.” he said, as he grabbed one of the hog’s legs to pull it out of the pen. As he yanked on the heavy, dead swine, its leg broke loose in his hand.
“What the hell?” Elmer Risner said, as he kneeled and gathered the rotten carcass in his arms pulled and tugged and finally pulled it out of the pen and into the center of the barn where he could see it more clearly. It was a pig, all right, but it appeared to be melting before his eyes. He ran to his truck and backed up into the barn. He loaded the dead hog onto the forklift’s metal plate, and scooped the rotten remains into the truck bed.
“I’m gonna show ‘em the damn thing and get my money back. They killed my prized hogs.”
March 6, 2011. 9:05 a.m.
The black train of slow-moving limousines drove a southerly route on the Potomac River Parkway; a place the Vice President William T. MacDonald had particularly loved. The majestic last example of a whole nation’s grief continued south to Constitution Avenue West. As the motorcade slowly drove down the center of the massive avenue, not another car could be seen. A massive number of people on foot stood silently on the curbside and prayed.
No signs or protesters dared to break the silence. No one made a single statement to detract from the sad, solemn moment that trailed past their weeping eyes. Their friend whom they were getting to know had been suddenly taken from them. Camera snaps could be heard, but not in typical paparazzi-type rush of fervor. Rather the desire to capture history, as sad as it certainly was, could simply not be withstood. Vice President MacDonald’s grieving widow and two girls, still in their teens, waved politely to the crowds, and it all gave them such hope.
As the limo that carried the slain Vice President to his last official meeting passed the Organization of American States, Carrie MacDonald observed the very beautiful and completely heartfelt image of a woman in U.S. Marine uniform who stood at attention with her two daughters flanking her on her left and her right. Carrie’s heart took on a better note to play in her head; one a lot more patriotic. The children would face terribly difficult questions; questions Carrie had not even personally dealt with, yet. The squeeze of a trigger had not only changed the family’s future, the world would be radically altered.
When the entourage passed between the White House and the Washington Monument, the whole train stopped and paused with the President’s office view to the left, and the spire of Washington to the right. The respectful homage became real as the car turned onto Pennsylvania Avenue and onto Capitol Hill. Throngs of people, some wept, others simply watched, all demonstrated the day’s sadness on their faces.
The U.S. Marines hoisted the flag-draped casket, bearing the body of a young Vice President, who had been an obvious choice for his party’s nomination for President in 2016. The great doors opened wide as they rolled down the marble-laden glory of the Capitol Building and with honors; they placed his coffin in the rotunda that had only ever been reserved for Presidents.
March 6, 2011, 9:20 a.m.
Large rolling fields of corn and the combine engines revving up filled the air in the farming community of Westville, Indiana, each morning. Today would be different. A rickety 1980 GMC truck barreled into the small town square. That wasn’t the usual vehicle that Elmer Risner drove into town, but what he loaded in the back had necessitated that he use the old beater, which sounded like a freight train and smoked like an oilfield on fire. He barely applied the brakes before he turned into the parking space in front of the feed store and jumped out of the truck.
Elmer opened the tailgate and pulled the old hog carcass onto the ground wrapped up in an old plastic tarp. He opened the feed store door and pushed it open with his foot and dragged the dead hog behind him into the center of the establishment.
“So, what the hell is this?”
A startled group of farmers turned when the smell permeated the air and entered the nostrils of everyone in the store and that included some women and children that wanted to shop early that morning.
The shop owner stopped him, “Elmer, are you crazy, you stupid hillbilly? You can’t bring that in here. I won’t get the smell out of here for ten years.”
“Carl, you broke it. So, now you bought it,” Elmer shouted.
The store proprietor walked out from behind the counter to observe the putrid-smelling, slime-covered animal. “What the hell is it?” he asked Elmer.
“What is it? It’s a pig, Carl … a pig, that’s what it was, at least, and one of my best ones, but that don’t matter, ‘cause they is all dead, down to the last everyone of them.”
“What’s this … stuff all over it?”
“Beats me, but I want my money back and some to boot. I fed ‘em that feed you sold me for the first time, last night. Then I wakes this morning and look what I got?”
A big whiff of the rotting beast pinched Carl’s nose, and he stepped back. “Now Elmer, I don’t know what’s going on here this morning, but you’ll have to get this thing outta my store and back into your truck. Then come back in here, and we’ll put you on the list.”
“List … what list?” Elmer asked with an air of not understanding plastered across his sun-dried face.
“Elmer, you might be the only one who dragged one of their dead porks in here, but you ain’t the only one who fed their hogs last night. Carl walked back behind the counter and pulled out a piece of paper. “I got a list of eleven, now twelve, with you. Now, get that damn thing outta here and come back in and …”
Carl gasped. “What’s wrong with your face, Elmer?”
“My face? It’s the same damn face I’ve always had.”
Everyone backed up and rushed out of the feed store. Elmer saw his reflection in the mirror behind the counter. A thin coating of the same greasy material that had been on the pig covered his neck and jaw-line. Elmer wiped it off. The blood red skin burned under it. “I guess I got some of it on me.”
“Elmer, get that damn thing outta here, and I mean right now.” Carl wrote Elmer’s name on the list as Elmer covered the hog and dragged it outside. He touched the skin on his neck and jaw areas as they now burned like a hot poker and large blisters began to form.
“I’m guessing you ought to get to a hospital. That looks pretty festered.”
A frightened Elmer Risner pulled the animal to the truck, and it nearly broke his back as he tried to haul it up into the truck bed. He turned to his farmer friends. “Ain’t none of you gonna help me?”
Everyone turned and without word, walked away. Elmer’s limitations multiplied as he found it hard to raise his head. He made it to the truck and left the dead, slimy hog lying on the ground in front of the feed store.
Two dogs came up to the beast sniffing, and they dug their canines into the rotten meat. When Harold Minix, a farmer and close friend to Elmer Risner, noticed his dogs, he yelled at them. “Stop that.”
The dogs raised their hungry mouths up to meet their master’s voice their muzzles covered with the greasy slime. “Now, I got to take you home and wash ya both. Get your asses in this truck right now.”
Elmer drove erratically, not out of anger, but he simply could not see the roadway. He glanced at himself in the rearview mirror. His distorted and virulent face distracted his attention from the road, and the truck ran off the road and into a ditch.
The huge, old truck came to a very sudden stop. Elmer’s head hit the steering wheel, but the gash on his forehead didn’t bother him. Instead, he pulled down the collar of his shirt in time to see the skin on his neck melt away and expose his neck bones.
Tears filled his eyes and a searing heat consumed his body with fire. He tried to scream, but no sound came from his inflamed throat. Elmer looked at himself one last time until his eyes began to melt, and then agonizing pain followed him into darkness.
In his blindness, Elmer fumbled to his right and pulled his gun from the glove compartment and placed the barrel to the side of his head. “It ain’t gonna eat me like them pigs.”
Something like boiling oil engulfed his stomach, and his skin bubbled up and down his legs and arms with a pain was so intense that he could barely hold the gun to his head. He tried to pull the trigger, but with no strength left in his arms, he dropped it to his side and fell over on the seat and screamed one last time before he disintegrated into slimy, silent sludge.
* * *
Harold Minix headed back to his farm north on Indiana 421 to get his dogs washed up before his kids got close to them. He noticed Elmer’s truck off in the ditch up ahead and pulled up behind it and approached the accident scene. “Elmer? You okay?” He peered through the open driver’s side window and screamed, “God save us all.” And he threw up his breakfast all over the side of Elmer’s truck.
He regained his composure and rushed back to his truck to find his cell phone. As he neared his truck, he noticed his dogs hadn’t barked and weren’t visible to him. Any other time they would have been yapping and out of truck bed and at his side. He reached the back of his truck, and what he saw hurt him nearly as much as seeing Elmer’s rotten corpse.
Both unrecognizable dogs lay covered in the same greasy slime and appeared to be matted to the truck bed. He unconsciously scratched his itching arms and realized they were fully engulfed in blisters.
“I’m gonna die, but I ain’t gonna let no one else die, if I can help it.” He dialed 911.
* * *
Carl tried not to gag from the stench, finished mopping the feed store floor, picked up the Rolodex. The operator placed him on hold. “Come on. This is an emergency.”
Someone came on the line. “Hello, CDC, what can I do for you?”
The Second Republic: E-Book version
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The Second Republic - Patriot Acts II
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The Second Republic
____Author Steven Clark Bradley ____
Steven Clark Bradley
This new exciting novel is easy to find and available all over the net. Here are a few links to help you secure you own copy of Patriot Acts.
I hope everyone who reads this will not just think
it is entertainment or the irrational rambling of a scared
American. I am not afraid; I am convinced that no one
will secure our future except us.
That is why I declare the main theme of Patriot Acts
in one key phrase:
Just patriot Acts!
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