Authors: L. Douglas Hogan
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 2015 Douglas Hogan
No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 10: 151184941X
This book is dedicated to the American that pushes back against tyranny; the oath takers that do their job resisting unconstitutional laws; the American service member and their predecessors, the veterans, both living and the fallen.
This book is written as a wake-up call to every American, that there are unconstitutional laws waiting for the right moment to be utilized. There are vain and aspiring men in offices, waiting for the right moment to make their ambitions known and to build them upon the backs of the unfaithful oath taker.
Stay vigilant, oath taker, and never assume large government has your back…
Two names come to mind when I think of inspiration, G. Michael Hopf, best-selling author of the post-apocalyptic New World series, and John W. Vance, author of The Death and Defiant books, for encouraging me to write fiction.
Writing a book tends to be on most people’s ‘bucket list’ of accomplishments. If you’re like me, you’ve heard it from friends and even strangers at dinner parties, over drinks, casual conversation at a café, wherever, but for some reason many people have writing a book as a must in their life. I can appreciate this desire. I too had it once and decided I didn’t want to be like so many who wish for something, I set about to doing it. Since I departed on that journey over three years ago, I am blessed to have written four novels all under the Plume (Penguin/Random House) banner. So often I hear, ‘You’re lucky.” Let me tell you, luck only takes one so far. With a book there is more than that, there is content and timing, but I don’t want to go down the long road of discussing those parts. Let us get back to the ‘luck’ part. When I’ve heard, I’m lucky, I just want to throat punch someone because they remove the most critical part of the equation, the time and effort put forth to complete the task itself. So often I hear from the would be author that I’m lucky to have found time or that I’m lucky because I had a solid idea or I’m lucky because I had the (fill in the blank). It’s all a bunch of crap. Any writer who has ever took the discipline effort and finished a novel receives my deepest respect, for they have made the effort and done what they said they would because not completing a book after you said you would is just an excuse. We all have the time, we all have the ideas, you just need to sit down and do it.
My little diatribe has a point. Months ago, my old friend, L. Douglas Hogan and I had a conversation over the phone. He had the same dream in life, to write a book. He asked me how I did it and I gave him the exact advice Hemingway had given to would be writers. It is so simple, it can be done by many people if they just get out of their own way. His advice, “Just write.” That’s it, that’s the simple thing. Don’t get in your head, don’t edit as you write, just write your story. Once you have it all done, then go back and edit, then go back and rewrite. Many people never finish because they will spend countless time editing as they go, this leaves them frustrated and unable to complete the work. I gave this advice to Doug and he ran with it. He sat down and began to write. Within weeks he put forth a non-fiction book. He then set out to complete a work of fiction and did it quickly. How? He will tell you what I told him. Just write. Just sit down and start hammering the keyboard.
I have incredible respect for Doug. He took simple advice and applied it. Now he has two books, including this incredible work of fiction that I know you’ll enjoy. I could not be more proud of his ability, discipline and creativity. Doug, my friend, welcome to the world of writing. You can now wear the title of “author” for you have taken the time and effort. Keep going and don’t forget to pay it forward with other writers.
Stay frosty –
Best-selling author of THE NEW WORLD series
“I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
By the year 2025, the United States had run its economy into bankruptcy. For years, fiscally conservative Republicans and Democrats complained about the unsustainable deficits. The liberal news media had stopped covering issues regarding the US economy, choosing instead to cover the brutalities of war and police use of force. Censorship against US citizens was the norm and any kind of media coverage on the government was the exception. The Federal Communications Commission controlled the Internet, congressional legislation forced local business to pay ever-increasing minimum wages, and the government was providing healthcare and other amenities at the expense of private and corporate infrastructure. Taxation was no longer meeting the requirements necessary to sustain the status quo.
By 2030, local business could not afford to pay its employees. The US dollar was almost worthless and the government could no longer sustain public welfare. The Internet was inaccessible, joblessness was above ninety percent, it was illegal to gather in public groups, and free speech was redefined.
In 2031, the President of the United States, seeing she could no longer control the angry American mobs or provide for the starving masses, declared martial law, invoking Executive Orders 10998, 10999, and 13603, seizing all public modes of transportation, and declaring eminent domain over all farmland, oil fields and refineries, water supplies, and food-processing plants. No one was allowed to store food, horde water, or own energy sources.
Shortly thereafter, Executive Orders 10995 and 10997 went into effect, seizing all media, including radio, TV, telephones, satellite communications, newspapers, and lastly, electricity. In a matter of months, there was a complete revocation of constitutional law. It was no longer safe to travel, trade, or offer opinionated speech. America went black.
Southern Illinois, October 22, 2032
Jessica’s morning started like any other morning. Southern Illinois in the fall is the place to be for anybody that loves stormy weather and the sound of thunder as lightning flashes through the sky. It wasn’t exactly her dream home, but it would do for the time being. Her shoddy, half-sunk, rusty barge stank of fish and dirty river water, but it was away from the ensuing chaos in the town up the hill. The Chester Police refused to work for free, and the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office didn’t agree with the unconstitutional control of the US citizenry. Essentially, all rural areas of the United States were left to their own devices, so long as it didn’t interfere with the president’s hold on executive power.
Before the “Flip,” a term used to describe the day the first executive order was declared, Jess was a full-time correctional officer and a part-time police officer. She was only thirty-two, but had twelve years vested into the state as a correctional officer, and six years in law enforcement.
When the Flip went down, southern Illinois was already in disarray and any person with a keen eye could see it coming. At first, Jess was most worried about all the southern rednecks as food sources began to dwindle. Her first instinct was to be wary of them because she feared they would use those arms to secure food in unlawful ways. After the Flip, she saw these rednecks more frequently in the woods. That was how they secured their family’s food sources. As she thought on it, she came to understand that these people had been armed for years and were perfect law-abiding citizens.
Early on, after the Flip, she had found herself having to readjust to new norms and force herself to rethink and retrain her mind. The old ways were gone and a new era required new thinking. For Jess, this meant watching the new behaviors of the people she had previously sworn an oath to protect through the upholding of the Constitution of the United States. She had sworn the oath on two separate occasions: first when she was hired on as a CO, and the second time when she was hired by the city of Chester to work as a cop.
On this particular morning, Jess had an inkling to walk up the city steps, from the shore of the river to the Randolph County Courthouse, in an effort to acquire a copy of the US Constitution. To do so would mean leaving the cover and security of her camp and exposing herself to the hazards of the world above. Jess felt that she was up to the task, so she donned her service pistol, which was a Glock 22 chambered in .40 caliber, and secured it in the small of her back, where it was snugly fitted against her frame, concealed in a padded holster. She also had an AR-15 in .223 with a 5.56 chamber. Its sixteen-inch barrel provided for excellent tactical use when combined with its collapsible stock, but did not have much accuracy beyond three hundred yards. She had previously taken the scope off of it because it only bumped around the reticles and became more of a nuisance than anything. Besides, she was an accurate shot with her iron sights and felt perfectly capable without a scope.
Jess slung the rifle across her back. She was wearing khaki-colored tactical BDU pants with cargo pockets and a bullet-resistant vest under a khaki-colored long-sleeved tactical shirt. On the sleeves and shoulders of her shirt, you could see the outline of where her police patches used to be. After the Flip, she knew what was next, so she tore them off. Jess wanted no association with the tyranny of the federal government. Whether it was true or not, she believed the people would make the police out to be the face of government. Jess was first and foremost an American. She wanted to move up that hill and secure a copy of her country’s founding document, so with a deep breath and a quiet sigh, she headed up the city steps towards the courthouse.
Upon approaching the back side of the courthouse, where the Sheriff’s Department was attached, Jess could see that the Sheriff’s Department’s vehicles had broken windows and the body of the vehicles were spray-painted with various graffiti and vulgar threats about law and order. She noticed the sally port door was still in place, but the windows to the Sheriff’s Department were broken and the building itself was exposed to the elements. Jess removed her AR from where it was slung across her back and brought it to the ready as she carefully and cautiously approached the entrance to the apparently abandoned building. The inside appeared to be ransacked. There wasn’t any sign of life from what she could tell. It wasn’t but a moment of standing still and listening before Jess heard a noise coming from the jail area. It dawned on Jess that there may yet be prisoners, either loose or jailed, in the building.
The jail gate was open and she took her time to listen a moment longer before maneuvering toward the sound. What she heard was eerie and sent chills down her spine. It was the sound of feeding carnivores, crunching bone, and tearing meat. Jess knew that bobcats had made a comeback in southern Illinois, but reasoned that what she was hearing wasn’t exclusive to bobcats. There were too many scuffling sounds to be a bobcat. Bobcats are solitary predators and this sound was more like a sound of pack animals. The sound was steady, so she moved slowly toward the dispatch office and turned left towards the jail, her weapon at the ready.