Wednesday, March 18, 2009


"No reserves. No retreats. No regrets" -- William Borden

We backtracked between trees and fallen branches until we found the small road, then turned toward our next destination.

“First thing I need to do is color my hair. If I’m marked then this hair will give me away.” Celeste had driven about two hours to a small town not yet affected by the violence around it. She pulled up to a small drug store, gave me money and told me to get her some dark hair dye.

“Yea! And I know about hair dyes!” rolling my eyes as I exited the still running truck. When I walked into the store, I noticed immediately only two people, both were standing behind the cash register, staring at the T.V. not taking any notice of me. I stopped to see what was on and wasn’t surprised to see reports of more attacks. The police had just opened fire on some Militia camp in Montana that rebelled against their duties. Apparently these men and women joined the Militia knowing without doubt the guns they kept would be used to fight the very entity allowing for their ownership. These people were chipped so their preparations weren’t undercover; they were always tracked, watched and rated. They faked their devotion to the militia, attended all the meetings, kept up with current events and government decisions, and remained outwardly adamant about their support to the government, all the while making secret preparations to the contrary. This confrontation resulted in 62 deaths, most of them being the police. Reports were blaring about the need for military to step in, flashing images of newly uniformed soldiers all proudly displaying their loyalty, traveling down city streets in truckloads.

“OH SHIT! Did you see that???” one of the girls started yelling, “Did you see that, Steph?”
I stood there staring at the T.V. with my own mouth gaping. I quickly turned and paced aisle after aisle looking for the hair dye. I threw the money on the counter and without waiting for change, rushed back to the idling truck.

“Damn, D, what took you so long?” Celeste asked without even looking at me.

“In the store, they had the T.V. on, reporting about a militia camp that was attacked by police. Right when they were reporting the number of fatalities, the cameraman shot a video of four soldiers who turned their weapons on other soldiers, gunning a bunch of their comrades in one ten second burst of bullets!”

“Well, that can be expected I suppose. I don’t see your excitement in this.”

“It means there are more advocates to OUR cause than we realized! People on the inside, Soldiers! These people can help!”

“How, Daniel, how can they help now? The war is already happening, it doesn’t matter who kills who for what now, don’t you see that?”

“It means that if we can make copies of these documents and start leaving them everywhere we go, on the ground, counters, near registers, it doesn’t matter; then more people will understand. This is the only way to spread the message, Celeste. Isn’t that the reason we were all dragged into this?”

She got silent, regaining her full focus and attention back to the road in front of her. “D, all we have is the map of those stations. Besides there’s still the mission for which you’ve been specifically chosen that hopefully hasn’t been cancelled.”

“Now is a great time to tell me what this mission is.”

“I will tell you when we get to our destination. It all depends on whether or not our other contacts have made it.”

“How far is this place? Can you tell me where it is?” I noticed the sun had disappeared behind low lying clouds in the Eastern sky. Celeste didn’t answer. She just smiled, then grabbed my hand, holding it for another 15 minutes before pulling into the parking lot of a motel. Now, I’ve never been uncomfortable traveling to unknown destinations, but this motel filled me with strong apprehension. It looked very much like the one from Psycho, run down and isolated even though it sat along the highway we traveled, showing no signs of having any other guests visiting. The doors were chipped and dented and there was tape on some of the windows to hide the cracks. The driveway and parking lot hadn’t been paved in quite some time, made obvious by the deep pot holes we tried to avoid.

Celeste pulled up to the main office and waited for me to check us in. When I walked in I was relieved to see a girl instead of Norman Bates sitting behind the counter, feet up on a stool, reading a magazine. There was a TV in her little office and I found myself a bit relieved to see it wasn’t on. People on edge tend to be quick to judge or question those around them.

“Hello!” she spoke enthusiastically. She was young, maybe 13, adorned with a lot of make-up and jewelry. She wore a denim mini skirt and a pink T-shirt and no bra, even though she had started to mature. When she stood to greet me I noticed a small 9mm on the desk behind her that was exposed when she stood up.

“I need a room please,” watching her movements very carefully now that I saw her weapon. "Got a license for that?” pointing to the gun, knowing she was too young.

“Oh that? No, that’s my dad’s. He left it for me just in case, you know.” She took a pen and registration form out of the drawer behind the counter.

“Your dad, where is he now?” wondering which side he was on.

“Oh, he was called to duty, you know, when all these attacks started happening.” Focusing her attention now to the questionnaire on the form, “Name?”

“I was wondering, if I paid you extra in cash, can we forego the paperwork?” Staying in a motel owned by Militia members was not my first choice, but Celeste was desperate to change her appearance. I took out the wad of cash, deliberately flashing it within her sight.

“It’s $35.00 for the room and $200 for me to forget you were here, and you have until 6am to be out.” Sounding much older than she appeared, she no longer smiled but matched the intensity of my gaze, looking me over as perfectly as an Eagle to its prey. Without breaking our visual understanding, I handed her the cash she requested. She in turn handed me a key. “I got you around back, the last room on the right. No one will see you there.” She spoke in such a manner that suggests she had done this before.

“Thanks,” trying to offer my most sincere smile. “Oh, and be careful with that thing!” nodding toward the gun. I could feel her stare even as I turned my back to her and walked out the glass door.

“That was quick.” Celeste still had both hands on the steering wheel, looking around nervously. “So where to, D.?”

The room we were given looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in months. There were cobwebs in most corners and the smell of mildew and mold was very pungent. There was one bed with a very discolored comforter, host to two stained pillows, one t.v. with Rabbit ear antennas, a nightstand that offered no bible, a phone which didn’t work and a lamp. Celeste investigated the bathroom after tossing our guns on the bed.

“Ugh!!” I heard her yell, “this is disgusting!” The grout between the tile in the bathtub was black with mold, as well as the floor where the tub sat. There were dark brown stains in the sink and a grayish slimy-looking ring in the toilet complemented by the urine stains on the seat. When I moved the shower curtain to the side, three roaches responded by scrambling back down the open hole of the tub’s drain. I turned on the shower to run water through the pipes, hoping to flush out the roaches. The faucet handles were stuck and required some slight pounding to get them to turn followed by the moans of pipes that hadn’t been used in quite some time. The water came out in sputters, spitting brown droplets until the pressure had built enough to offer a consistent flow.

“Let this run a while, the brown should go away,” I said, Turning on the sink faucet as well. “Geez, 235 bucks and they don’t even give you towels!” looking around for a place to wipe my hands.

“You paid what???” Celeste looked at me with her endearing smile that let me know she wasn’t angry, just surprised.

“Yeah, that girl worked me over pretty good!” sharing her light hearted reaction. “You know she had a gun?”

“Really? Where did a kid get a gun?”

“Her dad is Militia.”

Celeste got serious again, “Militia. That changes things a bit. The sooner I get my hair done the sooner we can leave.” With that said, she pushed me out of the bathroom, grabbed her box of hair dye and closed the door.

I walked to the TV so see what stations came through. 3 of the 4 channels it offered were unreceptive, entertaining me with the common black and white specks of nothing scrambling the screen. Seeing this always made me think of that feeling you get when your leg falls asleep, the pins and needles part. The channel that did come through showed more images of the riots and attacks taking place, still contained in larger cities and known rebel camps. Small towns like the few we went through, as far as we knew, remained unaffected. I froze in disbelief when the news switched to a piece on our deceased Vice President, talking about the circumstances around his assassination while displaying a large picture of Celeste on the screen. They labeled her as an assassin who was armed and dangerous. Her image had now graduated from private emails to widely televised broadcasts! They explained her position as a top secret advisor to the white house, who was recently discovered to be associated with one of the most threatening terrorists groups in the United States, the same group that funded and planned the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. They labeled her as the mastermind to that attack as well as other miscellaneous events that were thwarted by our finest in military support. The picture was a close-up shot of her face, which was made unforgettable to anyone due to her spectacular green eyes.

“Celeste!” I yelled, “We’re going to need some color contacts for you!”

She came out of the bathroom, asking me for a pillowcase to wrap her now wet black hair in. “What did you say?”

“Celeste, look.” I pointed toward the screen, now plastered with her face. “We need to get you some colored contacts.”

“Holy shit! What are they saying about me?”

“They said you were a WH big wig who secretly worked for the terrorists that blew up the government building in Oklahoma. Hell, Celeste, they said you were the mastermind for that attack, and worse, they are saying you killed the Vice President!”

“Shit! That girl you paid off, she didn’t see me, did she?”

“I watched her closely and never saw her look in your direction. She didn’t have her TV on either.”

“Ok then. I’m almost done,” not sounding completely convinced she was anonymous. I wanted to turn off the TV, wanted to block out whatever else they were accusing Celeste of, but I couldn’t. Just like when 9/11 happened, I was glued to the screen, to the news being reported, to the images flashing in hypnotic regularity. Another startling announcement was made. Due to the quickly spreading violence and for the protection of people and cities not yet affected, the internet would be temporarily shut down as well as cellular communications. They’ve now authorized a complete black out. It was explained that by cutting off communications, the attackers would be more vulnerable. They would have to meet personally, stressing again the necessity of the chip. This report was followed by a commercial announcing the locations where people could be chipped for free. The next news report was that myriads of people at various medical facilities around the country were standing in line to be chipped, convinced it was for their own protection. Just like the HPR1 vaccinations, people had lined up in their cars and on foot, just to get injected with something they believed would keep them safe. This massive influx of volunteers indicated another very detrimental fact; those Network Stations were now fully operational.

Celeste looked different. She still had on the tattered dirty skirt and blouse from the morning before and still wore her high heel sandals, only without the heels, which we had broken off back in the cave after the chaos had found us. Yet the black hair she now had exaggerated the dark circles underneath her eyes, dulling the amazing effect their color had on anyone looking into them. Amplified even more was the pale complexion of her skin, giving her an almost sickly look. She let me drive while she slept, exhausted from all the disappointments these last couple days had brought her. She was still so beautiful to me, even in her dirty torn clothes and mane as dark as the sky outside. We left the motel room as inconspicuously as we had arrived, making sure to leave no evidence of our visit, even smoothing out the wrinkles in a bed in which we never slept. The news I’d heard had me more awake than I’d ever felt. My mind buzzed like a hornet’s nest with all this new information, desperately trying to put these pieces together so I could see what image these series of events would form. Celeste’s soft subtle sounds of snoring were comforting to me simply because it was Celeste. I felt so grateful to be in her company, to know that I wasn’t in this alone, even though being with her now had higher risks.

I rolled down the window of the truck, breathing in deeply the crisp night air that predicted an early winter even though it was early September. The sky was painted a shiny acrylic ebony with an amazing display of stars and a full moon to illuminate the road just enough to fully appreciate the vista around me. These long straight country roads always offered the most serene traveling. No other headlights shone for miles in either direction. The cool breeze that gently stroked my skin instilled in me a new zest for life. Invigorating hope resulted in a desire to show Celeste how important she was to me.

I stopped the truck on the side of the road where a creek met a small lake surrounded by these small bright orange and red flowers; poppies. Excited at this discovery, I quietly and quickly jumped from the truck and picked a handful of these flowers, laying them softly on her lap and placing one of them in her hair, to let her know that she will always be that beautiful red-head to me. When she finally woke, the sun was once again making its appearance in the eastern horizon.

“What’s all this?” She asked, smiling widely at the flowers that surrounded her. “Poppies!” She looked at me and tears filled her eyes, making them shine even more brilliantly than before, reflecting back at me my own smile. “Thank you so much. I love poppies.” She moved herself closer to me and offered me the softest kiss on my cheek, just as we were pulling into the outskirts of a small city.

The sign announcing the city said we had another twelve miles to go, but the numerous pillars of black smoke in the distance had me feeling very leery. I stopped the truck, got out to stretch my legs, and stared in disbelief at what I saw.

“It’s to be expected, D. We’re at war now, remember?” She wrapped her arms around my waist and kissed the back of my neck.

“Is that where we need to go?” desperately hoping her answer would be ‘no’.

“Yes.” She paused a long time before explaining, “There’s an old abandoned green house just on the other side of the city that we need to get to.”

I stood for a long while, staring at the burning city ahead, once again feeling lost in circumstances that were beyond my control. “You know, Celeste, it’s already started…there’s not a whole lot we can do now. Why don’t we just go somewhere else, do something else?”

“Like what D? Where are we going to go that this won’t touch us? How are we going to survive as free Americans when we don’t even have American soldiers policing our nation?”


“Who do you think these soldiers are when all of our guys are overseas?”

“You’ve lost me Celeste, and you’re scaring me.”

“Yes, this is another piece of the puzzle you’ve been missing. Part of the ‘plan’ was a trade. Our troops would police other nations, and other nation’s troops are here to do the same. This prevents the likelihood of rebellion within the forces. Foreign troops won’t turn on our government and would have less of a problem killing our citizens. Our American troops, would you say the same of them?”

“So those men back there, those uniforms, they weren’t American? Who are they then?” I felt despair creep up on me from behind, ready to sucker punch the life right out of me.

“I’m not sure, but I do recall overhearing a conversation about German troops on more than one occasion.”

“How incredibly ironic.” Now feeling despair grip my chest like indigestion.

“D, there is nowhere to go. Over there,” pointing towards the burning city, “there is still a small degree of hope. Hope that we can still get OUR message across. Hope that our example will encourage others to take a stand.”

“Will you share with me the plan now?” I looked deep into her eyes, hoping she’d enlighten me, giving me some hope as well.

“Not just yet. Soon, D, I promise. Come on.” She took the driver’s seat once again, forcing me to ride as a passenger. “You better load the guns, all of them, and put those extra clips in your pockets or anywhere else you can carry them.”

The closer we got to city limits, the more edgy I felt. My palms were sweating all over the rifle I held tightly, finger on the trigger, ready to shoot anything that came our way. Celeste noticed the white knuckles on my hands and smiled, patting my knee before she too, reached for her .45 and laid the loaded gun on her lap.

The city was by no means abandoned as we had hoped. Riots were still taking place, but not on every street as the damage would indicate. It had been condensed to small patches of mobbing, mostly destroying what was left of the city still intact. Celeste made the decision to drive straight through the middle of the city, confident it would be the safest route. That was until we were fired upon, shattering the passenger side window into my lap and face. Celeste stepped on the gas, picking up the pace just as another shot was fired, this time shattering the rear window and cracking to a blinding degree the front window. It was at this point, I felt my despair turn to rage. I aimed the 12 gauge out the space that used to be the rear window and fired on the first moving target I saw. The explosion inside the cab was deafening, forcing me to squint in pain. I did, however, notice I had hit my target. He stumbled out from behind the door that had concealed him, struggling to lift and fire his AK-47 at us one last time, but fell dead before he had a chance. The gunfire drew the attention of a small mob that was directly in front of us, now distracted from their destructive efforts. Most of them had bats or pipes in their hands; some had guns and started firing at us.

“We can’t take them all…HOLD ON,” Celeste yelled at me. I aimed my rifle at the crowd now quickly running toward us and fired off the second shot, knocking two of them down. I didn’t have time to reload, so I took Celeste’s gun from her lap and just started shooting random victims as Celeste sped toward them. She ran three of them over while the others tried desperately to immobilize our vehicle with their bats and pipes, missing us every time a shot was fired. I looked over my right shoulder just as we were departing our attackers, and noticed a little girl, maybe three or four years old. She sat against a blood splattered wall with the body of a woman next to her. She had her arms wrapped around her knees and just stared at us with eyes as lifeless as the body beside her when we drove by. She was in shock and we were in no position to help.

With the majority of its citizens evacuated, the streets were relatively easy to cross. The truck was four wheel drive with big mud slinging tires that could travel over just about anything undamaged by the shards of glass and broken pipes and sheet metal that had been ripped from other vehicles and places of business. Before long we were on the other side of a city that no longer mattered. Celeste slowed down again, instructing me to reload the weapons while I could. That experience left us both speechless. The poetic irony was all around us, beautiful poppies now buried underneath broken glass.

She drove another twenty minutes before we turned a corner and saw the abandoned green house. The same one I was arrested in less than two weeks earlier.

“You’re not going to leave me here again, are you?” acknowledging to her that I recognized this place. “No wonder I felt like we were going in circles.” I was still trying to find humor in our grave situation.

“Everything happens for a reason and it all comes full circle.” She grabbed both .45 pistols then led the way back into the house, both of us fully-armed and ready to shoot. She walked up to the wall that had the recognizable blood splattering on it and started hitting a section of the wall until she found a support beam, then started hitting the beam downward until she found what she was looking for. There was a click before the sound of a latch being released was heard. She then walked around the corner toward what used to be a closet, lifted the carpeting and exposed yet another trap door.

“You people just love your trap doors, don’t you?” This was responded to with yet another recognizable look of annoyance, but this time I reacted with an even bigger smile. This trap door didn’t offer stairs. We had to dangle and fall to the space below. Once down in the unknown basement, we were instantly greeted with the cold circular ends of rifles to our temples.

“Who the hell are you?” echoed a familiar voice in the darkness..

“Albert, it’s me, Celeste.” Still holding up her hands in a submissive manner, until the rifle was completely out of aim. “You remember Daniel?”

Albert shined a flashlight at Celeste before he finally recognized the Brunette standing before him. “Celeste! I am so very happy to see you!” Offering her a huge embrace and leaving me still at the mercy of the rifle end. “It’s ok, Nate,.” instructing him to “at ease.”

“Nate COCKster, love the name!” I noticed my sarcasm was unappreciated as he returned the gun to my head and asked Albert if he had permission to shoot.

We followed Albert into another room locked by a very high tech retina sensor, followed by the familiar beam of light that bathed us in a red glow just for a moment when we walked through the doorway. Seated sporadically within this room were about sixteen men and women. Some looked familiar, others not. They sat silently as Albert introduced us all.

“I wanted to wait as long as possible for you to make it her, Celeste, but I was getting worried.”

“Well, we’re here now. Heston is dead, you know.”

“No, I had no idea. I’m sorry, Celeste, he was a good man.” There was a moment of silence as we all showed our respect for Heston, as short as our silence was.

“Please, Daniel, Celeste, take a seat.” I again watched Albert walk to his desk with that twist in his foot, shaking my head, laughing to myself once again at the irony of where I found myself.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Our plan has changed a bit due to recent events. There was a leak in the White House to our plans and as a result, it forced them to act ahead of their carefully thought out schedule. As much as this has set us back to some degree, it can also help. It has instilled in all of us the urgency to succeed. Our mission, our plan, was originally to distract the authorities with aggressive propaganda efforts. Taking the information you all received at that meeting and spreading it widely, using whatever avenues you could to get the word out. We wanted to expose on a large scale the documents that justify the actions the government has taken against us, exposing their ulterior motives. I am happy to inform you here that the fatalities experienced at the camp the other day were far less than we had expected. Many of you escaped with your packets; many of you have already started your personal campaigns to spread the truth.

We know about the black out. This doesn’t effect us or the mission of which you are all now an important part. I feel very confident of those who escaped. Very confident they will all, each and every one of them, spread this message widely despite these technological set-backs.
Now, let’s get to the mission at hand.”

“FINALLY!” I couldn’t help myself. I was actually very excited to finally learn my purpose in all this. My reaction though was met with a sharp stinging slap to my knee, followed by a very audible “shhhhhh” from Celeste.

“Daniel, your enthusiasm is very welcomed. It’s that kind of attitude that fills me with confidence. We will succeed. Whether we succeed to such a degree we change the future remains to be seen. It will take the cooperation of everyone involved. Our mission is to buy time for our people to spread the word.” Albert walked over to a small casket looking box about twelve inches in length behind him, instructing another man to carry the box to the table in front of us. Opening the box exposed a device that looked more like a shiny, futuristic space probe than anything earthly. It was about two inches in diameter with an inverted cone shape on one end and a pointed tip on the other. Albert first set up a small tripod stand before he took out the device and carefully positioned it within the slightly larger ring center of the tripod, pointed end face down.

“What you are looking at is a scaled down, crude version of an EMP. Our own scientists were commissioned to build this last year when Celeste obtained her information about the Network Stations.”
A hand went up, like in school. One of the women didn’t know what an EMP was.

“Electro Magnetic Pulse weapon.” I volunteered, “Genius!”

The room remained silent as we all tried to picture in our minds how this small phallic looking tool would work. The silence was finally broken when a young man asked permission to speak, inquiring the specifics of this device.

“This device is built to inject Electro Magnetic Pulses into whatever its aimed at with the same destructive results as its larger brother the E-bomb, rendering anything with a circuit board and electrical components useless.” This answer satisfied only a few of us. The unquestionable confusion on the faces of most of us demanded further explanation, which Albert patiently provided. “EMP’s and its effect on surrounding equipment was discovered accidentally in our early experiments with the Atomic bomb. EMPs are a weapon of mass destruction designed to disable anything electrical within the range of the weapons explosive output, without the fatalities conventional weapons would have. Our weapon here accomplishes the same thing but in more confined spaces. The explosives within this tube are packed inside a copper coil. Just before this device is exploded, the coil is brought to life by the capacitors within, resulting in a magnetic field which moves downward, creating a traveling short circuit that will seek and destroy its target. Our goal is to release one of these into the server rooms of all three stations; a smaller, more confined direct hit.”

Another hand goes up, another young man, maybe twenty-something, with glasses and obvious scars of an acne ridden adolescence. “Won’t these stations be heavily protected from even devices like these?”

“Yes.” Albert walked over to the wall behind him, and pulled down a map. “These Stations are located in places not easily traveled. They are, like the camp we visited, buried underground. There are only two ways to enter these facilities. One is the entryways used by the military and maintenance crew, which are heavily monitored and protected.” Pointing to the three mountain looking sites on the map. One was in Alaska, with the circle indicating its location, looking very miniscule compared to the mountain range that surrounded it. Another was located south of us, amidst the Grand Canyon; and the third near Virginia, where another well-known military base hid beneath the mountain range. “The other is through the air duct system.” The aura of the room became very ominous and thick. We all felt it, that subtle inkling of despair creeping up from behind, ready to steal away any remaining hope we each held onto.

“I want you all to remember something extremely important. We are not alone. Within the walls of the White House, Military and civilian sanctuaries are individuals who believe in our cause, people who have been fighting against these changes for years. We were fortunate enough to have inside contacts whose information and assistance came with a price tag worth paying.
The extent of underground occupancy in this country is staggering, spanning from one end of the nation to the other with only a few civilians knowing about it. MANY of our most secretive explorations into science and technology were done from deep within the earth. Because there are no indicators above ground to ANY of these facilities, finding them is virtually impossible, unless you are one of the outside contractors that were used to help build these underground cities. We later discovered that a few of these contractors knew, without validation, what they were building. They took liberties in their designs and incorporated unauthorized ‘extras’ into the layout. One is a small pole about ten inches tall by half inch diameter that was erected near the server centers of each of these stations. These poles will be hard to spot since they are made with a reflective metal to camouflage their locations.”

“Ok, so we have these markers that tell us where the stations are, how does this get us inside?” another gentleman asked with the same determination in his tone.

“These markers were meticulously placed above a hatch door which can only be opened from the outside, roughly eight feet beneath the surface. This hatch will drop you inside the air duct system which will take you to the server room.” There was a long pause from Albert accompanied by the uncomfortable silence of the room as we all tried to see the plausibility in this plan of attack. I laughed, not because I thought the idea funny; I thought the idea ridiculous. I had so hoped everything I’d been exposed to these last few weeks would lead me to a more realistic plan of attack. This plan seemed so Hollywood-like that my disappointment could no longer be masked, replacing the excitement and hope I struggled to hold on to with anger and apprehension.

“So, let me see if I have this straight.” My turn to speak openly, “We have a government agenda whose foundation was laid over 70 years ago to rule the world, with extensive secret underground labs and operating stations that will track every living person on this planet through a very large computer, right? And your plan is to find some intentionally built secret hatch door buried underground allowing us rebels to enter a HIGH security military base and explode a slop job of an EMP wannabe weapon. This is outrageous! What if everything that’s going on out there has absolutely NOTHING to do with any secret government agenda? What if that death camp is for the disposal of those already dead from this virus they keep talking about? Not only that, but those documents, hell, my online experience, has shown me that ANYTHING can be manufactured and labeled authentic. I mean, I don’t doubt something is going on out there! Hell, I had to kill people just to be here! But all this is crazy! You had me going until the whole ‘secret hatch door’ plan!” I stood up, and faced the rest of my peers, “This is crazy and you are all buying into this?” Turning back to Albert, I waited for his retort as the room remained silent with all eyes on me.

“Ignorance...” Albert stressed, “is how those we’ve elected throughout the years have been able to get this much control without us, and I mean the people, ever knowing. We’ve blindly elected officials based on their public personas, entrusting them to do what’s right without accountability when they’ve failed. We’ve allowed a president to stay in office even though we knew he wasn’t voted in. We allowed a bogus war in Iraq to continue even though the lies were exposed supporting our efforts there. We HELPED terrorists kill over 3000 people and more in order to kick-start the hate needed to fuel this war! These few history making events that we all chose to ignore resulted in the loss of our freedoms, the invasion of even more countries, and a Constitution that’s as useless now as a gun without bullets! Ignorance is why you are all sitting here listening to me and many people are out there dying. Daniel, if you truly believe we are all full of shit, that everything you’ve seen and experienced is nothing more than coincidence, then please, take your ignorance and leave.”

The room’s entire sets of eyes now focused on me, awaiting my reaction. Their stares burned small holes in my skin, heating my blood to boiling point. I felt the walls closing in as rage began filling the empty spaces. I got up to head out the trap door when I heard Celeste call out my name, followed by Albert instructing her to let me go. I stood below the trap door which was about arm’s length above me, just out of my reach, when I realized they would never let me go, validated by the whisperings in the other room regarding the danger of letting me leave. My knees grew weak and I collapsed to the floor and buried my head in my arms.

“D, I know this is hard for you.” Celeste in all her haggard beauty, sat beside me offering me her warm soft hand, kissing the backside of mine with a tenderness that instantly melted away my impatience. “This whole thing has snuck up on all of us. A few of us knew years ago that something was in the works, but when I saw the documents, when I saw the underground facilities,” now holding both my hands in hers, “when I saw that Death Camp, I had to let go of my own ignorance and blinding trust and make a decision. I sat right here, right where we are now, thinking the same thing…how in the hell is this possible?”

“So what answer did you come up with?” looking into her green eyes, seeing a woman I was, for the first time in my life, falling in love with.

“I didn’t. What’s been done is irrelevant now; it’s what we can still do that counts. D, you have two roads, the easy one which costs you your freedom and privacy, or the difficult one which takes away the comforts of life but costs you nothing but faith; and for that price you keep your freedoms.”

“How is it free to be living under the radar? If I can’t have the security of a home, always hiding, always running, how is this freedom, Celeste?” I looked intensely into her eyes, “If I can’t securely and confidently support a wife and kids, how is this better? My GOD, Celeste, this is so much bigger than you, me or anyone else in your network! The whole world, Celeste?!”

“I know what you’re feeling. This is bigger than all of us here. And personally, I’m not focusing on the whole world, I’m not even focusing on this race war. I’m focusing on the one thing that pisses me off more than anything else and I’ve chosen this one small fraction to devote my efforts and energy. Now maybe it’s just me and my stubbornness, but I don’t want just anyone knowing who I am. I don’t want Joe Blow at the drug store pulling up my entire medical and financial history just to fill a prescription or buy tampons. I don’t want my life so manageable that spontaneity ceases to exist. I don’t want to be classified and sorted like junk mail with my existence and purpose pre-judged just because of which stupid Monitoring station I’m recorded in! But most importantly, D, is once you are chipped, once everyone is chipped, then who’s left to argue the future decisions of our government? You see, it’s not just our privacy we are losing, we’ll be losing the right to control our own destiny, our own finances and our own elected representatives. It really is our freedom that’s in jeopardy! Think about it, never again will you be able to buy groceries before making your house payment; never again will you be able to buy alcohol or cigars on a whim. This chip is about more than security. With this chip they can bar you from certain purchases, from certain places, they could bring back prohibition, they can control your finances, insure corporations get their money first before your personal needs are met. You have no idea how far this chip can dehumanize us! The empowerment it gives the government…is it worth it just to be secure?”

I couldn’t argue with her. For the first time it became clear that this battle is more about RFID chip than the global management system they are trying to create. And she was right, they were all right. I looked at Celeste and realized that I would never have a wife, I would never again have a house and I would never have children. All I would ever have now are the few wonderful moments I shared with Celeste and a unanimously shared desire to die free.

“You have to put your energy and focus on that one thing you personally want to stop, and you need to use that as your fuel, make it your passion and reason for living, make it your cause worth dying for.” Celeste helped me up and led me back to the main room to hear the details of our mission. Everyone in the room had heard our conversation and looked at us with a new-found understanding. “Forget about the rest of the world, this is about us!”

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