Castle Roland


by Al Norris

In Progress

Chapter 1

Posted: 4 May 15


Copyright © 2015 by Al Norris and the Revolutions Universe Partnership.

All Rights Reserved

Thursday, November 1st, 2012, 1340 hrs PST

Somewhere In British Columbia

Scireians LogoKatja Werner at eighteen was the council leader for this decade. She had been elected to the council, two years earlier, just after turning sixteen. Katja was a senior diplomat (to the First Nations) the two years prior to being elected. Katja had never specialized, as so many others of her age had done. She knew she had plenty of time for that. For now she was a Generalist. Very good in all the disciplines of the society, but master of none. She sat at the head of the table, at which sat the eleven other council members. She was listening to the 'Outside' report by Peter Vogel, who was standing besides his chair.

"The mess that is the United States, is progressing at an increasingly rapid pace." Peter, taking a drink of water, continued, "The current President has accused his opponent of being a terrorist. President Ashwood is targeting personal friends of Bryce for internment in his re-education camps or outright orchestrating their deaths, as he has been suspected of doing with many of those who have opposed his policies.

"Ashwood was reassigning military leaders that are in his camp, to more important positions within their Dept. of Defense. Many officers, those that Ashwood did not trust, were being assigned to inferior positions or were being forced to resign outright.

"It is looking more and more as if Ashwood is planning a military coup to remain in power." At this, several of the councilors openly smirked, while several others had dropped their jaws. "Judging from the looks around the table, I see that some of you expected this, while others seem to be surprised," stated Peter. "So, just to be sure we are all on the same page, allow me to go over some of the history of this Presidency." Back in 2007, we assume, Jack Bryce had decided not to run for a fourth term as President. This led to Richard Ashwood getting the nomination and winning the election of 2008. From this point forward, the character of the man changed.

"We now believe that his true personality only emerged when he won the Presidency. He appears to be a radical Christian Fundamentalist, adhering to a very narrow view of Biblical texts that do not actually represent what we have known as 'Christianity'. Considering what this President has done in recent months, we began to believe that he was being directed by the Army of God.

"In 2010, after unsuccessfully attempting to get the US Congress to back his agenda to 'restore' the dominance of Christian thought in American politics, Ashwood became increasingly annoyed with the negative press he was receiving. By early 2012, Ashwood, by Executive Orders, restricted the press from criticizing his domestic policies. The Supreme Court intervened and ruled that such EO's were unconstitutional. Ashwood then tried to get the Congress to pass legislation that restricted guns to only the police and the military. When the Congress would not cooperate, Ashwood signed Executive Orders to do the same thing. That was also ruled an unconstitutional violation of their second amendment.

"In April of this year, Ashwood proposed some severe anti-gay legislation to his Congress, which would have undone much of the equality of persons that the US had achieved under the leadership of Bryce. This apparently angered Bryce enough, that at his primary election acceptance speech, he railed against Ashwood's policies as taking the nation backwards and destroying everything that the people had achieved.

"The next week, Ashwood signed EO's, removing all guns from American citizens and essentially banning all gay relationships. This EO also made it a crime for any gay person to associate with any child, thus removing any children from these people, whether from natural birth or by adoption. Again, the Supreme Court intervened and ruled the EO's were unconstitutional. Additionally, forty-seven States Legislatures passed resolutions refusing to enforce those EO's.

"Each and every one of these policies, are policies that we know are the same as those the AoG has wanted to institute in its drive for world domination."

"So now we are here. Right before the election and Ashwood has gone into virtual overdrive. The amount of sudden deaths among his detractors, the hardening of his line that Bryce is a terrorist, to the point where Bryce has gone into hiding, and the movement of military leaders who are loyal to Ashwood, all point to one thing. Ashwood will not accept a defeat at the polls. He has geared up for an out and out coup d'├ętat." Peter sat down, to nods of agreement from all of the councilors.

Marko Beck, Councilor of Defense, stood up. "This is probably where I should speak up, with your permission Katja." He gave a nod to her.

"Certainly, this is disturbing news, Peter," Katja said as she turned towards Marko, "but what has this to do with our defense Marko?"

"Katja, my friends," began Marko, as he looked at the other councilors, "we have long known that the day would come when we would have to defend ourselves against the tyranny that those fanatics would impose on everyone, including our own society. While that day is not quite here, as we don't have any substantiation that we are known to them, it is obvious to myself and my staff that we cannot allow them to gain the foothold of dominance that they wish to achieve with the United States."

Katja held up her hand, at the same time several of the council members began to voice objections to where they thought this was going "Friends," she spoke, "let us hear what Marko has to say before we pass any judgments, shall we?" Directly facing Marko she asked, "I assume you have something up your sleeve, other than direct intervention?"

At just over 200 cm, 109 kilos, Marko showed showed his native side, more than just his black hair and brown eyes could convey. Marko was descended from the original people of this land. Although he was fully integrated into Scireian Society, he had always had a bit of the Warrior in him. At 15, Marko had excelled in all the basic studies all members of the Society learned before they hit puberty. Because of his natural distrust of Outsiders, his First Nation ancestry, and his natural skills of self defense, Marko "Little Eagle" Beck, was a natural selection for the councilor of defense, after his election to the council.

Marko looked at the other members, noting that they were all watching him, then looked directly at Katja. Standing, Marko began, "Katja, I have probably already gone beyond my authority. Last month, I sent out five operatives to gather intel on the actual situation."

Immediately, an uproar broke out. Some were congratulating him, still others were blasting him for endangering their entire society. Noticing that Katja remained silent, Marko spoke over the assembly, "They all have strict instructions as to what to do and what not to do. They have all the necessary paperwork to identify themselves as normal US citizens, thanks to our own network being able to infiltrate the various state databases. They are integrated into areas that will provide us the data we will need to formulate any defensive posture we might need, should the AoG discover our existence." Marko paused for a moment, "One of our operatives, Sabrina Ziegler, is with the Texas National Guard in Fort Worth. This has turned out to be rather advantageous since we believe Bryce has been hiding there for the last couple of days."

Without showing what she thought of this, Katja signaled everyone to be quiet. Once people had settled down, she looked at Marko and said, "How are their reporting communications set up?"

"Each operative has a sub-vocal transceiver, keyed to our defense network. I have operators standing by, 24/7, to intercept anything they report. All reports go directly to my staff, and then to me." Marko calmly replied... More calmly than he actually felt."Sabrina Ziegler?" mused Katja, "Isn't she a medtech? Why would you send what the Outside considers a Medical Doctor to the Texas National Guard?"

"With all the reports of the various military movements, we felt it might be advantageous to have a medtech in a military unit. She can scan for genetic anomalies, and if found, she can determine just how far along the AoG has progressed, in the ..." Marko was cut off."I PROTEST!" While smaller than Marko, at 193 cm, Jens Winkler could not be considered a small man. A slim 95 kg of muscle, Jens was the councilor of Mechanical Sciences, "Marko, you had no right, let alone authority to send our people to the Outside, let alone send advanced machinery to the Outside!" Jens was practically screaming, he was so mad. "Do you have any idea of the consequences..."

"THAT. WILL. BE. ENOUGH!" Bellowed Katja. To anyone who didn't know her, the 181 cm, 74 kg Blue-eyed, blond-haired teenager, should never have been able to use her voice as she just did. To anyone hearing that voice, they would not have believed it came from an eighteen-year-old girl. "Jens, you know that we have sent people to the Outside. More so in the last twenty years than at any time before. You also know why." Katja had replied in a cold voice, devoid of emotion. Now her face and voice took on a note of concern, "Everyone here knows that our ultimate mission is to give all mankind a helping hand towards an existence that is at peace with the world around them, and therefore, at peace with themselves. We cannot fulfill that goal if we stay hidden. Nor can we fulfill our goal if we allow the AoG to gain a significant foothold, anywhere in the super-powers of the world." Katja turned to Marko and nodded to him to proceed.

"Jens," Marko started, "Sabrina does not have an electronic scanner that could be reverse engineered by the Outside scientists. She took a biologic scanner. The Outsiders do not have the knowledge necessary to understand that mechanism. Yes. It has all the enhanced capabilities that such devices usually employ. We hope that there is no need to use them, but it was either a truly advanced scanner, or one that could be reverse engineered. The choice was a simple one."

Still angry, Jens stood up, "And what if Sabrina is compromised? What of her safety? What of ours, if she is interrogated? You know the type of methods they will employ!"

Marko sighed. "Sabrina was implanted with a molecular destabilizer, as were the other four operatives. All of the operatives are telepaths, and can use their abilities to get out of many situations that might otherwise endanger them. You would know this, if you had kept up with the Council Directives on Outside Travel."

"I don't have time to..."

Katja stood up and faced Jens. "Jens, make the time. If you feel that whatever research you are doing is more important than your function on this council, then you should resign your position so another can take your place." Turning to the whole council, "Friends, if we are bickering with each other like this, then perhaps it is time to take steps to defeat the AoG. They simply cannot be allowed to deter us from our centuries long goals.

"If it is not time for an aggressive move, then we need the information that Marko's operatives can give us, so that we do not remain in the dark. Where are the other operatives, Marko?"

"They are in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Washington D.C., Katja."

"Peter? Were those your suggested targets?" When Katja said this, the realization hit most of the council that this was not news to Katja. Jens just stared at her.

"Yes, those were my targets," replied Peter from his chair.

"Close your mouth, Jens" Katja smiled. "You know, if you had just listened to the rest of Marko's prepared speech, you would have saved yourself from embarrassment. Did you really think that any council member would act in this manner without consulting me first?"

Jens closed his mouth at those words. He felt his face flush with heat. Slowly, he stood up and stammered, "My, um, my apologies to you, Katja, and to this council. More importantly, Marko? Please accept my sincere apology for jumping to conclusions."

"Not a problem, Jens," Marko said with a faint smile, "This was expected. You actually beat Councilor Bernd with your objection, by a mere fraction of a second!"

Jens turned and looked at Bernd, who nodded, though he too was blushing. "I see," the now grinning Jens said. "Katja, your odd sense of humor is going to ruin this council. You know this, yes?"

With that, the tension was broken and the rest of the reports of the Council of Scireia were given and the session was adjourned.

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