Isn't this wonderful work? Just one more of Steven Bradley's talents! He makes these banners for others as well as for himself. I shared a few other examples not long ago. Anyway, on this final day of our vist with author, Steven Bradley, he has consented to share a peek into his recent project, Patriot Acts. You are some of the first to see this, as the book has yet to be released. Enjoy!!
Patriot Acts...Strategic Planning - Part One
What Do You Think...?
There are some stark days ahead for the United States its efforts to stop the Islamic Republic of Iran from developing nuclear weapons. There is an intrinsic need to deal with Iran which is in the process of building a nuclear reactor and enriching uranium that it says would be used for its energy needs. Now we see that this nation has been thrust upon the world stage and is now at the center of international debate regarding its nuclear ambitions.
Therefore, it is only logical that we should take a look at whether this fanatical Shiite State should be allowed to possess such technology. Does a land that is sitting on a sea of oil really have energy needs that could not be met by its massive reserve of crude? Would it be wise to trust the nation that launched the present wave of terror through out the world in 1979 with a nuclear arsenal? Can we continue to work closely with any nation, such as Russia, that would help Iran to achieve this goal? These are questions that must be answered.
I present to you, "Strategic Planning" a chapter from Patriot Acts, my next novel. Tell me, do you know those who truly have the nation's best interests in mind. Can you recognize them immediately? Even the most naive ill-prepared of men, since the nation's conception, had played the role by sheer virtue of the weight of such a burden the office bequeathed to the most powerful ruler in the tinderbox that was the world. The office is bigger than the man and forces either the growth of stature and inspiration or disasters of great magnitude which change the world forever.
Read about the President of the United States of America, Christopher A. Tate in the vice grips of a crisis that is devastating in its proportions. Live the workings of the office and of those set on bringing down the Republic. Whatever one of us does, for a brother or a sister, completely disregarding their color, faith or creed, that is what makes up Patriot Acts.
April 15, 2009 2:15 PM
It seemed as if the room was lit brighter than usual. Today there would be no Biographer or Official Photographer during this ‘Top Secret’ Cabinet meeting. Both were only allowed into the room for the introduction and then were politely excused from the room and the door was locked behind them. Strategically speaking, the White House had gone black, deep down into the dark reaches of secrecy; the concealment from which wars are born. The administration was hunkered down and had not let nary a peep out to the press that America was about to undergo a crisis that would make the Cuban Missile Crisis appear to be a day at Disneyland.
The air in this commanding room was always one of officialdom and supremacy, but today, with the present state of affairs that were both historic and tumultuous, the room took on an atmosphere of insecurity, turbulence and out-and-out calamity.
The walls were blessed with the presence of portraits of historic figures and placid scenes of a simpler and a far more hopeful day for the young nation called the last, best hope of man. On a normal day, these metaphors caused the men and women who met there to take pause before any decisions were taken that would eventually affect the nation for ill or for gain. Today, the same precaution came over those who had single-filed into the room, but also it seemed to each one that the pictures appeared murkier than usual and the vista that had always made their underpaid and often overworked jobs in the Administration worth the frustration was not so ceremonial today and made them all look beyond the status of their positions and realize that they held the future of the nation in their trembling hands. The table itself gave a luster of authority to the serene stress that pervaded the room at every meeting of the talking heads. Today, heads were not talking! Instead, hearts wanted to fail and groans could be heard exuding from the mouths of the President’s cabinet members in the form of pleas for ideas, solutions, plans of attack, threats and Armageddon scenarios!
There would be no phone calls to the President during this meeting except from the chosen few and only those relating to the issue at hand, an issue that threatened to make this meeting perhaps the last meeting they may ever have if they could not stop the nation from drifting toward disaster. They had to strangle the enemy before it surrounded them! For now, they all sat there opening their files, closing them and opening them again as though they had to make themselves believe what their eyes were reading as they were about to discuss the various war plans and attack plans that could add up to their only prospects.
President Tate sat in his seat and stared straight ahead at the fireplace where a porcelain design of George Washington reposed portraying the first President of the United States bowed to one knee in the snowy field at Valley Forge with his men surrounding him in humble prayer. President Tate looked from the left to the right at those he himself had chosen to lead the nation. He looked at everyone seated at the table directly and the spoke his first words amongst those who so vitally needed to see him lead in a way he had not as yet been forced to do in his still young administration.
“I have seen a lot of them in this old mansion.”
Everyone stared at him with a look of fear that Tate was losing his nerve, the quality that had got him elected in the first place.
“The portraits I mean. I’ve seen a lot of them. But none have affected me more since the first day I saw it up close as that one on the staircase of JFK with his arms folded and his face pointed downward and expressing something that was not even close to depression, my friends! His is a look that we all should have today, this day that we all prayed would never present itself, but somehow knew it surely would! No, Kennedy’s face is one of complete determination to find a resolution to the crisis of his day. His was neither dejection nor retreat but a profound burrowing into the tender regions of his heart and finding the tenacity and resolution to fulfill his oath to preserve, protect and defend! Let us emulate him this day.”
Tate then shook himself loose of the profundity and got to the business at hand.
“What we have here is an ultimatum. I fear we are being placed in a noose that if allowed to be placed around our necks will strangle us into superpower mush! Let me defer to Jamie O’Rourke.”
“Mr. President, We have thought it would be significant to take a good look at the various facilities around the nation of Iran. Now, we cannot destroy them all, but we need to determine which ones are of vital interest to these crazy people and which ones should be classified as high value targets for our munitions. In addition, their most developed plants are deep underground and would require Nuke Bunker Busters to take them out. Mr. President, I yield the floor to National Security Advisor Blake. Roger, its all yours.”
“Mr. President, I have put together a video brief that details the level of threat that each nuclear facility present to the United States.”
The National Security Advisor pressed a button and a screens set up in front of each cabinet member lit up and the brief began to describe the two facilities, which posed the greatest threat to the US.
“First of all, there is the facility at Arak. Mr. President, the existence of a secret nuclear facility at Arak was revealed during a press conference by the representative office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran held in Washington DC, in mid-August 2006. It is located at the Qatran Workshop near the Qara-Chai river in the Khondaub region, in Central Iran, 150 miles south of Tehran.”
“According to National Council of Resistance of Iran, a front organization, named the Mesbah Energy Company, has been used to prevent unwanted disclosures. The headquarters of the Mesbah Energy Company are located in Tehran.”
“On 12 December 2006, The Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) released an issue brief expressing concern that Iran is trying to develop "The capability to make separated plutonium and highly enriched uranium, the two main nuclear explosive materials." ISIS acquired satellite imagery of a site near the town of Arak. It is at this site where a plant produces heavy water. Heavy water is used to moderate the nuclear chain reaction in one type of nuclear reactor, that could be used either for civilian power production or to produce bomb materials. The nuclear reactor that was under construction at Bushehr at the time is now fully operational. It does not use heavy water nor do current Iranian research reactors need it in amounts that would justify construction of such a facility. The only logical conclusion, therefore is that this plant was built for the express purpose of building nuclear weapons. We have concluded that the Tactical weapons that have entered this country were produced in the Arak plant and its sub-plants.”
“I can’t do this Fisher, but I can’t say no either! That’s my family they have in the palms of their hands! How could you expect me to say no!”
“Listen Dog, I did a lot of extensive training in my line of work. Yea, we were taught that there were several lethal places in the human body that demanded hardly any pressure to kill someone. I did my share and yours too in the field. Yet, the best training I ever got was not how to kill, but how to stay alive! They are going to take you away from here today and you have to stay alive for your family and for your country!”
“You aren’t going to kill Tate? After all you’ve gone through?”
“I never said that, but I believe timing is everything. I’ll probably decide that when I see him. Your job is to get me alone with him. You have to play the part with this Mason Ball. My God, you played the poker face perfectly at Anvil Mountain, you’ve got to get in the game again. If your family lives and you die what use will you be to them. From here on out you are Mr. Cooperation, Got it?”
“Mr. President, construction of the heavy water production plant at Khondab near Arak was reportedly begun in 2004 by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI). The heavy water plant at Arak is reportedly using the Girdler Sulphide process. The location of the facility was reportedly determined by the need for large quantities of water, which can be easily supplied by the Qara-Chai River.”
“The second site, Mr. President, of greatest concern is the nuclear facility at Natanz, also known as Kashan. During a press conference by the representative office of the National Council of Resistance of Iran held in Washington DC, in mid-August 2004, the existence of a secret nuclear facility at Natanz was revealed. Israeli military intelligence refers to the site as Kashan."
“Natanz is located between Isfahan and Kashan in central Iran. The facility is reportedly 100 miles north of Isfahan, and is located in old Kashan-Natanz, near a village called Deh-Zireh, itself located about 25 miles southeast of Kashan, and falls under the jurisdiction of the Governor's Office of Kashan.”
“Will you look at this Dog? They are really doing their homework about casualties. They plan on putting the weapons in strategic locations to bring down all three branches of the Federal Government!
“Yes, five in the White House, ten in the Capital Building, five at the Supreme Court and ten at the Pentagon! The country will be without a government and no one will have their finger on the strategic nukes!”
“You can bet that Garret will try to put his thumb on the trigger!” Fisher predicted. “Ball will have the codes we need Dog and you have to get them to me. There is an underground tunnel that Johnson used to use to get out of the White House for some privacy. It’s been closed for thirty years.”
“You’re crazy Harrison! I’ve heard about that tunnel. It’s been blown up more times than I care to imagine! That could be really dangerous!”
“Oh, yea, danger. Tell me what is not dangerous about anything we’ve done in the past twenty years!? While you’re at it, tell me a better way to get to Tate and to kill him if you have one…! I didn’t think so. Just get me into the tunnel and I’ll do my thing!
Empathy, that's the word that goes beyond merely feeling sorry for someone's horrible or treacherous state of affairs. By far the most vital part of a story and it's characters is to get the readers to feel their sorrow and their joy. In "Last Ounce of Devotion Part One" you read about a young man and the decisions he faced as though he were being force fed with an over-sized mouthful of reality combined with responsibility.
I recently visited the Museum of Psychiatry – An Industry of Death. This was a very sad and important look at the treatments of Mental illness over the past three centuries. Many strange and unbelievable treatments were used and abused by so-called doctors who recommended everything from bleeding the brain to drowning therapy. Yet, the area of the museum that gripped my attention the most firmly was the section on the Holocaust. It was there that I realized the Hitler, in his demonic rage against Jews, Gays, Gypsies and the infirm was the final result of an age of teachers in favor of racial cleansing which eventually led to the final solution.
Young Len Garret learned to hate the country his dad had defended and, in young Len Garret’s mind, the nation that that had murdered his father. The words he learned from his father and the attitude and lethality inert in their aim made this young man know that one day he’d stand up to them all and show them! Read "Last Ounce of Devotion Part Two" and feel the fear, anguish and hatred in this young man. Don’t feel sorry for him. Empathize with him, feel his fear, his anger and his determination as he prepares to lay down his last full ounce of devotion.
Patriot Acts - Last Ounce of Devotion Part Two
Northern Indiana 2009
The image of the day that had necessitated his presence in a place that he deemed as one of the temples of the usurpers who had overtaken the nation. That was what dad had said and this young mind had received a crash course in plotting retribution. The image formed and behind Len Garret’s closed eyes, he saw them coming, all dressed in black, and covered by the absorbing darkness of a night off of Toto Road. The dogs were barking, the lights around the compound flashed on and the invaders dispersed. The radios blared like a rock concert in the silent night air, and the front door flew open with Russell Garret exploding out of the door and waving the assault rifle in all directions…
“Get off my land!” There wasn’t a sound. “You got a warrant?” Russell Garret screamed. “Did you hear me?”
Inside Len Garret’s dream, he could hear something so distinct and clear and the sound was so recognizable, but not immediately understood. Then he knew. He began to whimper and the glass full of Tequila fell to the floor and rolled against the wall. Len Garret’s eyes flashed open and closed up tightly again. He heard the sounds of blades turning and growing in volume. He saw his father holding the assault rifle and looking straight into the air, turning frequently to get his bearings. Russell Garret turned and saw his wife Amy and their daughter, Belinda and their son, Leonard standing in the front door of their house.
“Go back in the house!” Russell shouted
“What are you doing out here in the middle of the night, Russ?” Amy asked in worried voice.
“Go back inside!” Russell screamed as he looked frantically in ever direction trying to locate the direction of the sound that was really loud now and which sounded increasingly like a…helicopter.
“Something’s happening here and it could be…just get inside the house Amy and get the kids outta here!”
Amy looked behind her and found her daughter, Belinda, but her son, Leonard was gone.
“Where did that boy go?” Amy thought. “He’s fourteen…almost fifteen. He’ll be alright.”
Like a giant stinging bug rising from the Earth, Amy saw it as she looked out past her husband, Russell. She saw it and pointed at it and Russell turned toward the sound, raising his weapon as he swiveled. When Russell Garret had fully turned and aimed his gun at the chopper hovering over them, a shot rang out from the chopper’s gun and a large caliper round buried itself inside Russell Garret’s brain. He fell to the ground and Amy reached behind her and pulled an automatic rifle out in front of her and began to fire.
Someone ran from the woods and stood directly under the chopper. The pilot and his crew were busy getting ready to blow away the country woman standing at her own doorway believing herself to be defending her own property and family, just like Russell had told her to if something happened to him.
“I thought he was crazy, but I paid attention!” she told herself. “Now I know he was right!” She confirmed as she changed guns and kept firing at the chopper.
The person under the chopper back up and got as far away from the hovering craft and then raised his riffle and aimed it at the engines. He started to squeeze the trigger when eight year old Belinda came around in front of her mommy just as four rockets propelled grenades roared to life and took flight in a preordained course.
“Oh, Dear God!” Amy cried out. “Forgive me of my sins, Jesus!” Amy looked at Belinda.
“I love you, my baby!” Amy Garret took her little daughter up to her breasts. Belinda looked up at her mommy.
“Mommy, I…” The RPG’s exploded into the house and Amy and Belinda were torn apart.
“NO! YOU BASTARDS!” screamed the boy just before fourteen year old, Len Garret fired and brought the chopper down in a sudden drop that exploded upon impact. Len had not expected the helicopter to fall so close to him. He jumped to the ground, face first, as a piece of metal flew from the chopper and tore open Len’s neck.
The boy opened his eyes. There was nothing but darkness, later mutating into a place with ornate surroundings which jolted the boy's mind to take notice that he was in the court room. Voices echoed throughout the hallowed chambers as Len Garret sat there, appearing oblivious, but fully aware of his situation and what he would do one day to make his family’s sacrifice have meaning. The surrounding guards looked at him and smiled.
“He was just a Child. He only did what his radical father had taught him.” The witness declared. “I treated him for over a year and I can attest to his right state of mind and that he is fully healed mentally. He exercised excellent social skills and participated in all the team sports and…”
“Thank you Dr. Molar. No further questions.”
Would the counsel approach the bench.
The lawyers conferred with the judge and young Len Garret thought about the Psychiatrist’s words. Len knew he had healed, kept up in school, learned a lot about many things that really didn’t matter now, because three years after having seen his father, mother and sisters murdered before his eyes didn’t change one damn thing for the seventeen year old Len Garret.
“Son” The austere Judge announced. “Stand up please, Mr. Garret.” The boy rose from his chair.
“Do you realize that you killed those officers in that helicopter and that it was wrong to have done that under any circumstance?”
The boy’s thoughts told him that “They deserved it and I’d like to blow your brains out too!”
“Play nice to be bad later!” he speculated.
To the judge, his mouth said, “Yes sir, I know I was wrong and I am truly sorry.” Tears started to flow from his eyes, some that were manufactured, but many that were real and produced by the sheer weight of the burden of what he had gone through and the understanding of what he would have to do, in the future.
The judge looked into Len Garret’s face and the longer he looked the more the magistrate’s face softened. “Young man, I believe you. I also have a lot of sadness over what happened to your family. It is my admonition to the government rather than you. Go out now and make yourself someone who can help keep the power of this nation in check. Get an education and raise a great family and I promise you’ll die one day, a happy man.”
“The hell with your “happy man” crap!” Len thought. To the judge, he just nodded in the affirmative.
“I am releasing you. You are a free man, Mr. Garret. You are under the custody of your aunt until you reach the age of eighteen, and I hope to never see you in this judge’s court again. . .”
You can read lots more from Steven Clark Bradley at these Sites:
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Patriot Acts is still a work in progress. You can't get your own copy yet, but Steven Clark Bradley has three published novels, Nimrod Rising!, Stillborn! & Probable Cause.