Read an Excerpt
Life After WarThe Survivor's
By Angela White
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2010 Angela White
All right reserved.
Chapter OneBombs & Betrayals
"I did it for my country, because my country would not do it for herself." A President of these United States, just minutes before dying of a self inflicted gunshot wound.
"This is a joke, right? One of Clancey s gags?" When no one spoke, the President dropped his eyes back to the paper he d been given to read, suddenly wishing he d surrounded himself with more experienced people. He really had no idea what came now. It just wasn't something he d planned for during his time in office.
"Where do I give the speech? The garden?" Carter had discovered a love of talking to his people but Ben Seiling, Deputy Chief of Staff, gestured to the radio he used for the weekly addresses.
"In here. It s not safe in public. The rioting started an hour ago in most places and it s spreading faster than we can keep up with."
"No camera s? Press?" Ben s scowl was huge as he shook his head.
"No. We already have two security tapes missing. No reporters, no questions. Too many will already suspect the truth." Carter gave a jerky nod, the usually confident man almost speechless, unable to imagine how his country would react, and he slid behind the impressive desk for once without reminding himself that it was his. Dark hand hesitating, he looked up.
"We're sure?" Ben's curt nod confirmed it but the sheer number of Secret Service Agents roving the halls of the West Wing, filling his Oval Office, was what drove it in. As he had the thought, three more men came in from the doors that led outside, eyes full of excitement and a touch of fear that wasn't comforting.
"Yes. They'll take you and your family out as soon as you re done. The Vice President and Joint Chiefs will be in the air shortly, headed for the Essix's."
"Bang! Pop!" A gunshot rang out, then another, making the President flinch. His quick mind added it up. Those were sentries being punished for watching Lilly s resignation instead of guarding their posts. The Swine flu had taken its toll on his entire administration but the Secretary of State had been blamed more than others because she d fought strongly for more open trade with Mexico, where the deadly disease had originated. Her husband had claimed it would be good for the economy. One more scape goat in a long line.
"How did they find out?" He asked, gesturing to the Newspaper on the desk. Tomorrow s edition, he was positive he didn't want to know how it had been obtained.
"We're not sure. An old manuscript was discovered in last month. They think that started it. A local station is set to run the story tomorrow morning."
"Exactly." The first term President stared at the Seal, the desk, the walls. These things had been his and he had done justice to them where he could, but this? It was beyond his control. He hadn't quite believed it when he'd first been read-in on the file known only as DOC but it hadn't taken him long to understand how much the world would change if the public even suspected the huge secret the Freemasons had been keeping all these years. The days of government rule would be long ...
"Mr. President, please." Breaking out into a sweat and uncaring that he was ruining a very expensive suit, Carter stared at the small sea of white faces, now hearing heavy stomps above them that could only be agents in the Residence, and Ben, maybe reading some of his thoughts on his face, shook his head.
"These men have no families to rescue, have been paid well in gold and passes, and all of them voted for you. No deserters here. You'll make it to NORAD, safe and sound." Only slightly reassured, America s beloved black President looked over what might be his last address with worry burning brightly in his heart.
"You'll start the sirens?" Ben nodded again, both of them looking up as the ceiling lights changed to a pale red.
"Yes, as soon as you re on your way, now please, you have to go. D.C. is a direct target. We have to get you out of here." Carter still delayed, knowing this would kill tens of thousands of innocent citizens, and he hated it that he was being rushed, wasn't being told everything.
"What about air traffic and vital services?" The Deputy s lined face went blank, expressionless, and the President felt his heart leap at the tone that implied it didn't matter.
"They've been instructed to land them any where they can so Star Wars doesn't shoot anymore down by mistake. Last report said four confirmed crashes, two more suspected. Mr. President, we have to ..."
"What about the vitals? Evacuations?" Ben sighed, knowing the President would have his report before he did anything. The black man could be pushed but it had to be gently. He was one of the few politicians of this generation that actually cared about his people. "The Net is locked down, only our military has the codes needed to access it. As for Evac.'s, those on the lists are 35% recovered at this point. Ahead of schedule."
"And vitals?" Carter insisted, knowing it was ugly, and in the answer, he heard the same terror and excitement he felt in his own gut.
"We have reports of massive abandonment of posts already. Media stations in France and China are on it. Daycares, schools, hospitals, radar and traffic towers, police, utility workers. It s all going to shut down. They'll have nothing to depend on, no way to survive after the first year." The Deputy's voice lowered. "The Draft convoys started out half an hour ago. Waves of refugees in the hundreds have been spotted hitting towns ahead of the trucks. Some of those places are attempting to barricade themselves in. The men will follow orders." The President nodded. He d been briefed but he hadn't really thought they would do this to their own ...
"Carter." It was the first time the Deputy Chief of Staff had ever called him by his first name and to do it here, in this hallowed place, was such a transgression of protocol that it got his full attention, made him nod in response. This was the strategy that smarter men than him had agreed on and after, when it was time to come back up, he would still be in charge, the US presidency not allowed to be handed over in a time of war, except in cases of death.
"We re using the rest of our arsenal? Retaliating, even though we started it all?" Ben nodded, face not betraying his own doubts, and he motioned for one of the impatient, heavily armed agents to grab the tapes and hidden microphone from the desk.
"It s all under way." Carter's dark finger pushed the button, not asking how that was possible without him. He'd learned a lot about leadership in the last few years and one of the biggest things was that you didn't ask questions unless you could take the answers. Stomach churning, voice stunned, he began.
"My fellow Americans, this is your President, Carter Heins, and I have grave news. Let me start by asking each of you to care for and comfort each other in this time of crisis, and we'll get through it. Together." He lied, ignoring the man waving at him to skip what didn't matter, heart breaking as he told his people that their world was about to change violently and forever.
"At 10:30 this morning, a Terrorist was able to gain access to our nuclear arsenal by hacking into the system and introducing a virus that shut down our firewalls. By the time they were working again, we had been breached and control of over half our defensive warheads had been compromised. The terrorists initiated launches and the Warheads are not responding to our abort codes. Ten minutes ago, they began reaching their targets, and other countries have retaliated, thinking we've declared War." He paused, couldn't believe he was saying this, and heard a silent city holding its breath, listening, looking for comfort that he couldn't give.
"We predict that the United States will take at least five hits. Cities expected to be destroyed include Washington D.C., Houston, Texas, Lansing, Michigan, New York City, and Los Angeles." Noise levels went up throughout the building and outside, more gunshots rang out. Loud and rapid, they should have drawn immediate attention and he understood then that it was really happening, was suddenly positive he d be the last man to sit here. Gunfire in the capital and the agents in the room hadn't even blinked. It wasn't a tasteless joke. The world really was ending.
"I'm declaring Martial Law, nation wide, effective immediately. The curfew is dark and looters will be dealt with harshly. Our southern boarder has been closed, all air traffic grounded, and prices are frozen across the board." He hesitated, drew in a deep breath. "I'm also reinstating the Draft, effective immediately. All males, ages 16-45, will surrender to the convoys of trucks on their way from bases across the country. People who refuse, flee, or follow, will be considered treasonous and dealt with accordingly. Stay in your homes, do what the soldiers tell you, and pray for your country. God bless you and God bless the United ..." He was jerked out of the seat at a nod from Ben and Carter stopped struggling as they rushed him outside, hearing panic in the streets.
"Warning! Incoming!" The lawn speakers blared behind them and Carter couldn't take his eyes from the red and orange blur that he could just make out against the glare of the December sun. Too late. They weren't going to make it.
The agents literally threw him onto the chopper and the President huddled with his pale, scared wife and twin boys as Marine One quickly rose into the air, huge blades assaulted by rocks, shoes, briefcases, and cell phones that doomed citizens were throwing. The guards opened Pre suddenly as the mob overwhelmed the iron gates and rushed across the White House lawn toward the chopper. Blood splattered, bodies fell, and then they were flying through the beautiful, sunny sky, watching out the windows as the warhead barreled toward the American capitol, leaving a trail of fiery smoke.
"Look, Daddy! Fireworks!" The explosion was huge, blinding, and the President kissed his wife's tear stained lips one last time as the shock wave caught up to them and brought the chopper down. There were no survivors to search for.
The two lost security tapes had been stolen by a reporter with the reputation of a shark, and they were what most of us turned to when the President s voice disappeared so abruptly, horrifying the world that saw a much loved figure committing an act of unspeakable sabotage.
Robert Milton slid the disk into the White House computer with a look of hatred that few from his double term in office would have recognized, and while he wrote on the wall in red marker, a loud alarm in the background began to bray, red lights flashing.
The second tape was much shorter, giving only 4 seconds. The same gray, broken man now had the shiny, black barrel of a 9 mm in his mouth, blood already smeared across his face and hands. There was a flash, a violent spray of deep red, and then the former President slumped to the floor, leaving only his message on the wall. I did it for my country ...
These two clips circulated for only a few minutes after the President s address, television stations airing it suddenly going to static, never to return, but it was enough. America knew the truth. We were betrayed.
Stunned, Pat Micheals sat in the back of the large, crowded room that was embedded under a dank maze of tunnels half a mile beneath the Military base now being over run with terrified citizens demanding the protection they knew the Essix's Compound could,(but wouldn't) provide. The limestone command center was thick with smoke and people, some of them in on the original testing of these weapons, and Pat hoped his own punishment wouldn't be as drastic as theirs. After all, they'd known first hand what a horrible thing had been created. It was so powerful, so unstoppable, that America was about to be destroyed above them and a new, hostile environment would take its place.
Once the greatest Presidential Defender since Nixon s well used man, the former Press Secretary was now useless, forgotten in the chaos, not even sure he should be here. His family had been in New Jersey when the capitol was destroyed and though someone had been with him when he got the news, had brought him along when they'd evacuated, he wasn't sure who it had been, was just too stunned. Amanda, the kids. How would he go on? How would anyone?
Panic was rampant. Voices yelled, people scrambled to get information, papers floated through the smoggy air, and satellite phones rang continuously, annoyingly. Thanks to an EMP and a lucky shot from a disgruntled citizen with a grenade launcher, the Speaker of the House was now the legal owner of the highest seat in the land, but she wasn't here, neither was the new Secretary of State, and no one knew where they'd been evacuated to. Their job was no longer in demand now that it was all about to end and the result was chaos, with no one in control. Maybe that would change later. If they survived the Missile headed for Montana. Deep and sturdy, this complex had been built secretly during the 1990's and was not only untested, it was less than 100 miles from what was about to be a direct hit. Pat shuddered. They would probably feel it.
The Press Secretary broke out into a light sweat as one of the remaining clocks on the cold, sterile walls around him neared and then passed the 5 minute mark. Washington, New York, and most of the East Coast had already been destroyed, and out of the 7 warheads that the long denied StarWars program hadn't been able to shoot down, 3 were definitely going to find more U.S. targets and maybe 2 others that they had lost radar on as well. Their own warheads had devastated countries around the globe and now, America was going to finish paying the price.
The huge, multi-picture screen in the front of the crowded room changed when the next clock hit 4 minutes, flashing to a satellite view of the incoming missile now barreling ass for the Sunshine State, and Pat found he couldn't look away. Why in God s name had the President done this? Million were going to die in only:
03:45 03:44 03:43
The computer went to red alert, alarms all over the huge compound warning of the impending arrival, and the Press Secretary s stomach churned as the ceiling lights began to flicker a hazy red. America was in the same panicky state as this room, convoys of soldiers taking all males, ages 10-60, told to get a full truck of warm bodies any way they had to and be back within eight hours. Gunfire was filling town after town and they had reports of riots in nearly every major city across the country despite a very strict enforcement of Martial Law. The end was close and everyone felt it.
02:50 02:49 02:48
Sweating heavily now, Pat sucked in a ragged breath, able to hear his own voice telling the man who had sentenced the entire world to death, that he had done the right thing, that it would have only gotten worse. Less than five minutes after it began, Pat had comforted the worlds worst mass murderer, not knowing then that his wife s widely covered resignation speech had nothing to do with the horror lurking in those cold blue eyes. Men had been shot in the hallowed halls of the White House for leaving their posts to watch the resignation, the empty Football and bloody body of the Navy Commander guarding it found in a lower level bathroom, and then, there was Robbie s note on the wall. I did it for my country because my country could not do it for herself." His confession. America s death sentence.
02:00 01:59 01:58
Would humankind survive? Had they really blown themselves up? How much of this new hell was he personally responsible for? Millions of lives were already gone, so many cultures, their history. Because of the American's, who d pointed fingers for decades at everyone else, many, many more would perish in only ...
01:20 01:19 01:18
Cringing at a fresh, braying siren from the front of the loud, crowded, tactical room, he wondered who had pulled the smoking gun from the broken, ex-Presidents mouth. Pat raised his shaking hands. Had he? Was that the red stain that wouldn't come off?
00:40 00:39 00:38
When was my last blow job? He wondered suddenly, too scared to remember what it had felt like or what the intern's name had been. Greg? Gary?
00:25 00:24 00:23
When was my last confession? Pat struggled to remember, heart thumping wildly as his stomach lurched. Did I mean it? Is it too late?
00:15 00:14 00:13
Excerpted from Life After War by Angela White Copyright © 2010 by Angela White. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.