FBI agent Charles M. Ryan sat in the near empty passenger car. One week before Christmas, 2024. Riding a train bound for Washington the last thing he dreamt of doing. Ryan shifted in his seat, adjusting his body to conform to the worn cushions while he settled in for the long ride east across the country.
Ryan ran his finger across the power slide on his reading paper, his eyes blurry from focusing on the text of the glowing screen. Laying the thin computer on the empty seat to the side, he turned to glance out the window at the passing landscape. Lifting an elbow to rest on the window frame his tired fingers brushed through his thinning hair. A dull sigh escaped his lips as he stared at his reflection in the window. Faded gray eyes surrounded by dark circles and sunken in a gaunt, ashen face looked back from the window.
The news stories he read to occupy his time continued to gnaw on his soul. The world seemed like it was slowly spiraling out of control. Europe was in the thralls of a revolution. The closely united countries of the Middle East engaged in a horrible war for the remaining drops of the precious black gold. Governments came under siege by a population fed up with unreal ideologies and even north of the border in Canada, a country known for its peacefulness sat on the precipice of a civil war.
The thought of leaving Netanya at this time rested heavy on his mind. She was five months pregnant with their first child, a son the doctors happily informed the couple, a situation he found that caused mixed emotions. First came unbridled happiness at the looming birth of their first child and then doubt. With the growing state of uncertainty overtaking the world was now the time to have a child?
The past months passed as a blur. The anonymous Internet group both he and Netanya partnered with by supplying damaging evidence of the Foundation's unscrupulous undertakings became compromised. The group of hackers was now hunted by U.N. Authorities and had retreated deep underground leaving the pair vulnerable to retaliation.
Netanya’s Israeli agency forced to put the Foundations investigation on hold. The small country was now fighting for their very survival. The Arab nations surrounding the lone Jewish state grew braver and more troubling as the regimes in the Middle East crumbled. Anarchists and extremists began rising like a phoenix from the war-torn rubble.
And suddenly out of nowhere a ray of light appeared behind the dark clouds of misery. Ryan shrugged. Maybe times will take a turn for the better. The American elections earlier in the year provided a sliver of hope for a brighter future. The new President promised to erase the incompetent rule of former President Sam Bankenridge’s and his cowering compliance to the Climate Prophet and the POTE foundation.
A government paid for by the Foundation’s money that promoted a flawed ideology nearly crippling the American economy and forcing countless American families to the edge of poverty and desperation. A tragedy never before witnessed in the industrialized nation. Not only the United States suffered from this predicament, Ryan mused, but the whole damn world.
His let his mind drift back to the sum of actions that intertwined to send him on this train ride. The investigation that began so many years earlier by starting as random attacks of eco-terrorists before leading to the political maneuverings of Lucas’ foundation and their bid for world cleansing. A plan calculated to reverse industrialization back to the dark ages while weaning the world from its oil dependency. The group intent on reinventing the world with their altered vision, consequences be damned.
One wrong decision, Ryan realized, the day he approached Lucas at the Seattle summit and almost spelled the end of his career. By prematurely showing his hand and bringing his findings out in the open, the worried foundation members rallied to have the investigation aborted by the politicians in Washington.
The mistake followed by years of time spent doing menial tasks in the Denver office labeled a conspiracy theorist. He reflected on the short run of anonymous reveals into the People Of The Earth Foundation's grand scheme before his mind jumped to a much happier time when Netanya reappeared in his life with her return to America; the two would take on the evil empire he remembered thinking.
And then finally the day he surrendered to a stronger cause and decided to walk away and leave all that behind. The POTE grew too powerful for his little group to battle. The Foundation and its leader, here Ryan had to snicker at the ridiculous name, the Climate Prophet, swayed the public opinion in their favor giving credence to their environmental cause.
And now after surrendering to fate and struggling to make a comfortable existence for him and his new wife a call came requesting him to meet with the President. Ryan swung his head away from the train car window, his eyes stopping at the briefcase by his side.
Inside contained years of painstaking investigations, reports, theories and irrefutable evidence, some circumstantial, others solid and damning like the thumb drive supplied by his sister’s friend, the Russian soldier, Lev Zhernakov.
Ryan’s mind strayed. His thoughts went out to the Russian. Zhernakov had left the Colorado City determined to find the head of the Foundation snake, the loss of his men still burning a hole in his soul, redemption his alone to collect. The damning evidence Zhernakov had carried across the ocean recorded on the thumb drive proved to be the missing connection exposing the Foundation’s plans for a single world order.
Boy, did he have a few things to tell the new President?
Ryan gazed back out the window as the train roared down the track. As the great Nobel Prize winner of the 2016 literary award once paraphrased. “The times, they are a-changing.”
Later in the afternoon on the second day, the train ride approached the border of the Protected States and the United States. A mounting civil war that had threatened the cohesion of the country stopped short by the election of President Borrows. A man determined to reunite the broken states and repair the rift opened by the continued ideals of the environmental stewards.
The train barreled across the contested border leaving the Protected States territory. Ryan watched as the barren fields of Kansas fell behind, and the expanses of Missouri began appearing. His breath caught in his chest. The once beautiful forests and valleys of the state were replaced by stands of thousands of towering, weathered metal behemoths. Turbines as far as his eyes could see. The ploy by the POTE to replace traditional energy sources derived from fossil fuels with renewable energy.
In the fields adjacent to the tracks Ryan’s gaze passed over large tent communities, the inhabitants living amongst the shadows of the towering, humming atrocities. Thin entrails of smoke rose into the cold winter air from the shantytown. Dotted across the expanse were spindly remnants of the once abundant tracts of trees; the forests sacrificed to provide heat for the tents.
As the train rolled through the ragtag community, Ryan observed men, women, and children roaming the frozen packed dirty snow around the large tubular bases. Now and then one of the tightly bundled figures would stop, bend toward the ground and collect small, scattered objects littering the bases of the metal towers.
At first, he was puzzled, and then he recalled articles written about the displaced and downtrodden families who wondered amongst the turbines in search of the carcasses of unsuspecting birds knocked from the air by the windblown blades stories above the earth.
Birds. That was something Ryan hadn’t thought of in a while. He couldn’t recall the last time he had seen a bird. The winged populations of the skies were nearly extinct across most of the world. As was the wildlife that once flourished in the world’s forests and grasslands. The relentless harvest of trees needed for heating and cooking had a catastrophic effect by changing the surface of the earth into a giant dustbowl unable to support any form of life. Huge expanses of desert covered a majority of the earth’s once fertile landmass.
The new president certainly had his work cut out. In Ryan's mind, he ticked off some of the items that needed to be rectified. Foremost was beating back the surging tide of Climate armies and then the healing of a crippled planet, so it was once again able to provide sustenance for its human inhabitants. Those two problems alone could prove to be enormous undertakings.
Canadian Prime Minister Carl Emery sat hunched over at his desk. “What in the world are we going to do? Without the oil supplies from the west we might as well go back to horse and carriage,” he lamented to his advisors gathered in the room.
Zack Hewitt, the Minister of Defense, thought about the Prime Ministers words before responding. “Take the bastards out.”
“How is that going to resound with the rest of the country? Sending the Canadian military to attack our countrymen?” the Prime Minister replied angrily.
“Not our countrymen, Carl. It was their decision to close their borders and hold back resources required by the rest of the country. The self-proclaimed leaders should hang for treason. Their selfish act is nothing short of extortion.”
Emery emitted a short, derisive laugh. “We don’t have enough fuel to move the damn army even if we wanted to. What. Maybe I could beg the buggers to sell us enough oil so we can go to war against them? I can’t see them having a problem with that,” the Prime Minister barked sarcastically.
“Well then. You could fall to your knees in front of your bosses at the foundation. Ask them to send a supply of oil, so we can activate the army and chase those rebels out of our borders. If we take control of the “Western Canada Region” the country will once again have enough resources to operate.”
The Canadian leader spun in his desk chair. His tired eyes looked out over the grounds of the Parliament buildings. Emery’s anger fumed as he dwelled on the wealth of resources the Western provinces possessed and the way they refused to help in Canada’s time of need.
How in the hell did the Prairie Provinces end up with all the essential goods the rest of the country lacked? Besides the obvious oil and gas products, the provinces were self-sustaining. The breadbasket of Canada lay between the Rocky Mountains and the Ontario border. Cattle, wheat, even an abundance of lumber, the one thing Eastern Canadians prized the most these days. With the shortage of natural gas to heat homes and electricity prices through the roof, the vast forests in the northern parts of the provinces were disappearing at an alarming rate.
When Emery and his cabinet came to power, the fantasy of a carbon-free country seemed feasible. Indeed, Canadians would suffer but over time people adjusted. Most just needed a push to realize the benefits of clean energy. Now damn near eight years later the promised prospect of a green future fell far short of the promised outcome.
The rural farm areas of Ontario and Quebec lost valuable cropland and became blighted with unsightly metal behemoths and a failing power grid. The solar farms produced energy in small, unstable amounts and the billions his government spent on retrofitting buildings was a joke. Even the Parliament buildings had problems keeping the lights on. The goddamn Parliament building, he swore and shook his head, the home of the countries government can’t even keep the lights on.
Prime Minister Emery swung back to look over his advisors. “I will call the foundation and demand supplies. Meanwhile, gentlemen, I want every ounce of fuel and oil available to us gathered. Shut down whatever government departments you have to and make this work.” Carl Emery skimmed from one face to the other. “Stockpile the fuel, mark it for army use only. Maybe it is the time we taught those separatists a lesson. Reunite the country and reclaim the resources we are entitled to.”
Zhernakov slowly opened his eyes. Lying still he squinted through unfocused eyes, his mind dull and confused. Blurry images slowly dissolved into hard-edged reality. A dirty ceiling greeted a mind unfamiliar with its surroundings. His hands felt without moving. Soft clothe and wrinkled blankets.
Where he was and how he came to be here he puzzled over. Then a throbbing pain in his side brought his thoughts rushing back. Moving his head, he glanced to the side. The women. Carol. Sitting a short distance from where he lay.
His eyes traveled to her face. She sat unblinking, her eyes riveted on his. Her face a mask of…. he tried to speak, his tongue thick, uncooperative in his dry mouth. Zhernakov swallowed, forced his lips to move.
“Lie still,” Carol said, her eyes unwavering as they bore into him. With a detached tone, she explained. “We are in a motel. The owner called a friend of his to remove the bullet from your side.” Zhernakov furrowed his brow. Her manner of speaking indicated that things were being left unsaid.
“How…?” he began to question. Then flashes of the darkened gas station and even darker alley swam across his fractured memories. His stumbling across the two men harassing Carol surfaced. He had woken in the car to find her gone. Crossing the mouth of the alley, he heard her voice. Scared, angry.
“You collapsed coming to my aid. The owner of this motel stopped the men from killing you.” She paused and moved her face to the side, dried tears showed. Zhernakov followed her gaze. On a table to her side rested a black pistol. Familiar. Shit, he mumbled. The gun he had snuck into the country concealed in a leg holster. Beside it a small thin case, a computer drive loaded with files and confessions against the American Foundation interlopers who had bought the traitor, Russian Special Operations Directorate, Yuri Frolov.
“Who exactly are you, Comrade?” Carol Ryan asked in a suspicion-laden voice.
Zhernakov fought back the pain in his side. Rising he lifted his body and sat placing his feet on the floor. Before answering, he studied the woman sitting across the room. In the short time knowing her, his respect had grown. The woman had a fire in her soul. A no give up attitude. He liked that. She would make any Russian man proud to be in her presence.
“I am not Canadian. My name is Lev Zhernakov. Once of the Russian Special Forces.” He watched for a reaction. She remained quiet, her face impassive. “I have come to your country for a purpose…” Zhernakov carefully retold the tragedy of the failed mission in the Ukraine. His voice sagged when he spoke of his fallen comrades, all good men sacrificed by the Russian Directorate’s betrayal. For nothing more than some asinine causes of a warped American Foundation and their strange perverted idea of changing the world.
Carol Ryan waited long after the Russian finished his story before speaking. “Why don’t you take the evidence and give it to the authorities. What were you going to do? Kill the bastards responsible for your men’s deaths?”
Zhernakov hesitated too long.
“You were, weren’t you? Kill the Americans responsible. There has to be a better way. You could be killed or the very least hunted by the American law where you would be locked up in prison and left to rot.”
“I know no other way. I have no one left. I have not spoken to my parents ever since the explosion in the Ukraine and was proclaimed dead with my comrades. If word of my survival reached the Kremlin, my parents would certainly disappear.” He shook his head staunchly. “No. Better everyone thinks me dead then my parents living out the remainder of their days toiling in some Siberian hell hole.”
Carol Ryan crossed the room and sat on the bed. Taking the Zhernakov’s hand in hers, she lifted her tear-stained face to his.
“You have been a savior to the children and me since we’ve met, give me a chance to repay you. Come with me to Colorado. We can talk to my brother.”
October 2023. The hotly contested Presidential election stole the news headlines. Steve Borrows, a senator from the fringe state of Arkansas ran against President Bankenridge’s Foundation Party and their Presidential candidate.
The junior senator made headlines with his brash, often repeated condemnation of the state of American politics and the subservient role the serving President took in acquiescing to the climate movement while the nation suffered as a whole.
“Never before has a sitting President purposely led his people down such a black hole of despondency while ignoring public outcries and catering to a fringe ideology,” the Senator relentlessly reminded the American public. His utter disdain toward his opponent and a daring platform to revive the stumbling super power quickly resonated throughout the land.
With unemployment rates at unheard of numbers forcing millions of families to eke out pathetic existences, large industries shuttered and the countries GDP dropping steadily into double negative numbers the votes for the Arkansas Senator climbed.
Forced to battle without the immense funding of a backer like the POTE Foundation, Senator Borrows pleaded with the American people to help in a fight to return America the nation it once was, a great and powerful country and a leader for the rest of the world.
At the beginning of his campaign, the man from Arkansas faced an overwhelming mountain of resistance. Lacking the funding and experience of his opponent Borrows appealed to the average working men and women, a firm voice in a time of turmoil and depression for the United States. With words that resounded from coast to coast, the Senator used wit and empathy for the struggling population to drive his campaign.
The Presidential hopeful pledged promises of a unified country. Fueling dreams of what the average American household had taken for granted only a short 8 or 10 years earlier. A prosperous country where the working class once again were gainfully employed, living in heated homes, food for their tables and neighborhoods where the children played and laughed.
The Foundation’s candidate surged on the vote of the countries labor unions and the burgeoning environmental movement. Union leaders afraid to displease the President's bosses and lose the prospect of job security for their members stood by the Foundation. The environmental movement pleased with the current ruling party and the replacement of fossil fuels happily campaigned for the candidate.
In the months running up to the election, Steve Borrows forged an agreement with the holdout, the Protected States of America. The deal signed to reunite the wounded nation stitching America’s 51 states back together. Buoyed by the support of the protected states and the voting public opposed to the current government's energy schemes, the race for the Whitehouse had become too close to call.
While the Presidential race fueled animosity across the country, the ex-Russian soldier and Carol Ryan fought a path from the eastern seaboard toward the mountains of Colorado. The travelers zigzagged through depression filled states. Several times the pair was forced to doubled back on their route as they encountered blocked highways. The nation's network of roadways suffered from the oil shortage; some blanketed from ditch to ditch with vehicles abandoned by their owners when the gas tanks ran empty.
The second morning of the trip west the bullet buried in Zhernakov’s side infected. The Russian slipped in and out of consciousness while a fever gripped his body. Concerned for the man’s health, Carol Ryan pulled off Interstate 81 east of the town of Bristol, Tennessee.
The highway sign read 30 miles to the City of Bristol. Carol glanced down once more at the flashing light on the car's instrument panel. A red blinking light indicated the tank was near empty. Making a decision to fill the tank against the possibility of running short of fuel she steered the car into the cluster of businesses that lined the road.
Dusk settled over the area as she rolled the car off the paved Interstate and drove the car onto a graveled road leading to a gas station. The parking area ahead littered with dusty, forgotten vehicles. Across a narrow alley from the pumps sat a roadside diner. The lights in the eatery cast shadows into the falling darkness.
A mud-caked pickup truck parked out front. A little farther down the road, a rundown single story motel welcomed visitors with a flickering vacant sign.
Carol edged the car toward the lighted gas station. The lights in the building lifted her hopes that the station still carried a supply of gas. Several times today she had driven past gas stations that were boarded shut with covered and empty tanks. As she drew nearer the pumps, her hopes began to fall. The pumps dials sat in shadow.
Stopping the car alongside the pump island, she checked on her children, both fast asleep. In the front seat, the Canadian snored quietly, his face drenched from the fever.
Carol eased out of the driver’s seat gently closing the car door. Stretching the weariness out of her body, she looped around the car toward the dark pumps. A quivering light lit the inside of the glass cover.
With a faltering hope, she removed the gas nozzle and waited for the pump dial to activate. Nothing. Craning her neck, she peered toward the lit station office. No signs of movement. Reluctant to leave the car she replaced the nozzle and crossed the graveled ground. The station door was locked. Indecisively she glanced back at the car then crossed over to the roadside diner hoping to find the station owner.
A bell on the door sounded as she stepped inside. The restaurant stretched out in front of her. At the counter, two good old boys in ball caps, dirty clothes, and unruly beards turned to watch her approach. In a window table adjacent to the front counter an old couple was bent over eating. The old man raised his eyes from his supper and after a quick glance at her rested his eyes on the boys at the counter.
Swallowing her nervousness she took another step inside the diner. “Does one of you run the station next door? She asked. “I have an emergency and my car is out of gas.”
A worn waitress entered the room from a side door at the dinging of the bell. “The station is closed, sweetie,” the waitress said apologetically. “I don’t know why Ike leaves the damn lights on in the front.”
One of the men at the counter set his fork down and running his fingers through his greasy hair leered at Carol. “I got some gas I can sell you.” He said. “If you got money to pay.”
The waitress turned her attention to the man then switched them back to Carol’s face. Her eyes saddened, and her mouth twitched like she wanted to add something but reconsidered after a sideways glance from the men at the counter.
Carol waited by the doorway. The situation made her nervous, but with an empty gas tank, she was short of options. She swept from the waitress to the old couple before her gaze returned to the men at the counter.
“I’ve got money,” she answered. The man at the counter wiped his hands on his jeans and slid off the stool, his partner following.
“Right out front.” The man said. Carol glimpsed back toward the waitress and then let her eyes travel to the couple by the window. She noticed the old man’s eyes narrowed as he watched the two good old boys.
“Henry Clemson,” the closest of the men extended a dirty hand in her direction. An overpowering stench of sweat permeated from the man as he guided Carol out of the restaurant.
“Carol Ryan,” Carol introduced herself. “My husband is waiting in the car.” She quickly added wishing that her Canadian passenger were by her side.
Carol stepped off the front step and felt a shove as she moved toward the truck parked out front. “This way.” The man calling himself Henry growled.
Carol tried to turn to face the pair but was met with force as she was guided into the darkened alley separating the gas bar and the diner. Ignoring her protests, the good old boys herded her deeper into the walled tunnel using their presence to block her retreat. Near the end of the building, the two men shoved her behind a pile of stacked pallets and boxes.
“We don’t want your money for the gas,” the man called Henry sneered down at her.
“Leave me alone,” Carol shouted at the pair. “You don’t want my husband to come looking for me.” She bluffed.
“Oh. Your husband can come and watch.” The second man spoke while reaching for her. Carol stepped away from the men. Her back touched a wall. A brief flash of panic shot through her then was quickly replaced with anger. Her children were yards away sleeping in the car and damned if she was going to be a victim.
She pushed the man’s hands away, and when Henry drew closer, she drove the two-inch heel of her boot down on his foot. As he flinched, she raked her fingernails across his bearded face while twisting out of his grasp and attempted to leave the alley.
A large hand slammed into the back of her head knocking her down onto the graveled lane. “I’ll teach her a lesson,” the second man said to his pal. Carol raised her hands to protect her head against another blow. Quivering in the dust she waited, her mind racing for a way out.
“Comrade. Try picking on someone your size.” She heard a familiar voice join the fray. The smack as flesh met flesh and the man standing over her grunted then staggered backward. Carol moved forward, away from the commotion before standing up and risking a look back. The Canadian stood facing the men from the diner. Even in the dim light, his face had a pale sheen.
Zhernakov launched at the two from the diner, his fists punishing the men, his arms blocking punches and kicks. For a fast, furious couple of minutes, he held the pair off. Then in the dark alley, his strength waned, the infection and fever sapping his strength. The men from the diner began landing punishing blows to his body. Zhernakov faltered under the torrent of punishment. A rock rolled under foot sending him sprawling to the ground.
In unison, the pair from the diner closed in. Their advance halted by a loud metallic click from the mouth of the alley. In the near dark, a flash of light glinted off the business end of a double-barreled shotgun as it floated toward the melee.
“Jim. You and Henry climb in your truck and don’t ever let me catch site of the two of around here again.” The old man from the diner spoke from behind the twin barrels. The two good old boys scowled at the intruder, shot a quick glance at Carol then scurried from the alley. The old man's gun following the two until they retreated out of site.
“Even in this shitty light, your friend doesn’t look very well.” The old man commented as Carol rushed to Zhernakov’s side. “I own the motel next door. Let me give you a hand, and we can move him to a room there.”
“Try not to move,” the woman’s voice urged as he opened his eyes. Zhernakov winced. Pain wracked his body as he sat up straighter in the seat of the car. “The bullet is still inside you,” She added. “I was able to bandage the wound, but we had to get away from those men.”
Zhernakov laid his head to the side. His eyes fell on the woman.
“Thanks,” he muttered.
“Where are you heading,” the lady asked.
“West,” Zhernakov replied. His eyes left the face of the woman. Twisting slowly in the front seat, he scanned the interior of the car. A young child leaned sideways sleeping in the backseat, the seatbelt holding the boy up. Across the backseat, a booster seat held a sleeping infant. The space between the children stacked with suitcases.
“The rest of the country lies to the west of here,” the woman pointed out. “Are you heading to the Protected States?”
“The Protected States?” Zhernakov answered with another question. “I don’t understand?”
The female driver looked at him suspiciously. “The Protected States of America,” she replied quickly explaining how the mid western states unified and announced their separation from the realm of federal laws governing the union of the United States.
Zhernakov paused absorbing the news. On his travels across Europe, he had heard such rumors and scraps of news regarding the rift between the different sovereign states in America. At the time he paid little attention. Not knowing how the country operated he gave no thoughts to such news.
“Washington. Seattle, Washington. Is this one of the protected States? He asked.
“No.” the young lady replied. “The Protected States territory ends at the Rocky Mountains.” She returned her eyes to the highway and stared over the dashboard. “You are not American are you?”
“Canadian, I am from Canada,” Zhernakov replied. A lie he had been researching and practicing long before boarding the freighter from Italy. In his mind the Russians and Americans were enemies, and he feared arrest at the discovery of his home country.
“Oh. From where about?”
“Manitoba.” A province his research found was less familiar than some other Canadian Provinces. “A small community north of Winnipeg,” he added to dissuade further inquiries.
The lie seemed to placate the nervous driver. “I can give you a ride as far as Colorado if you’d like. I have a brother living in Denver.”
Zhernakov slid his right hand toward the driver. “Mike Kulinzky. Nice to meet you.” Zhernakov rolled the name off his tongue. The pseudonym carefully chosen to fit with a Ukrainian ancestry and blend in with the fabrication of his new identity and assumed home of Manitoba, a province settled centuries ago by an influx of Ukrainian immigrants.
The woman removed her hand from the steering wheel in return. “Carol Olstiener...or it was until recently.” She hesitated, wondering how much to reveal to a man whom she knew so little about. But then he was Canadian, and he did save her and the children from the men who tried to rob her. “When my husband left I went back to using my maiden name, Ryan. My brother works in Denver. For the FBI.”
Franz Riecher led the largest of the protests that crippled the cities streets in the German capital. The unruly crowd carried banners and signs. Effigies of German Chancellor Leon Fischer swung from tall poles, the distorted mannequins covered in anti-environmental slogans. Riecher led the crowd toward the cities government buildings.
Rounding the corner the protester marched undaunted under the watchful eyes of the leagues of German police officers.
Throughout the streets, clashes began erupting between the millions of disgruntled German nationals and the thousands of military brought in to maintain law and order in the once thriving and peaceful city. Hordes of the unemployed and disfranchised joined in the rally. Each voice echoing concerns over Germany’s transformation backward from a modern industrialized civilization to the Stone Age living conditions brought about by an anti-oil government.
In a country run by a dictator, the actions of the people would be classified a coup. In a Democratic nation, the actions were unprecedented as the population raised up to overthrow a government decidedly against the voter's wishes.
“HEAR THE PEOPLE,” Riecher shouted. The masses marching with him chanted, “Take our country back.” As they waved signs of Chancellor Fischer’s picture with a line drawn across his head.
With the narrow street separating the opposing sides protesters began lobbing bottles and rocks at the police defending the German Chancellor and his ruling party.
In France, days of round-the-clock clashes between the French people and the reinforced French army ravaged the country from Paris to the smaller cities and spilled into the countryside. A harried Army General turned to the French President.
“Mr. President. The people are over running our men. I need the order to return fire, Sir.”
“General Moreau. By no such means will your men fire upon the citizens of this country.” President Devillers turned aside and focused his thoughts as he stared out the window. The streets facing the French Assembly overflowed with enraged demonstrators.
Maxime Devillers stood watching the citizens of his beloved country resort to such desperate tactics. The crowd ascending on the building dwarfed the reinforced lines of police and military. It was only a matter of time that the angry mob swarmed past his line of defenders and ransacked the government building. His term as their leader and even his life no doubt in peril.
Even as he stood looking down into the surging crowd skirmishes between groups of protestors and the police flared up. At other points along the divide, demonstrators took turns dashing toward the French police angrily shouting their distaste for the ruling President and his assembly. Masked protestors rushed to the front of the line tossing projectiles toward the grounds and taunting the men protecting the French government.
President Devillers shook his head sadly. Years of forced green ideologies on the hard working French population brought this standoff to a peak. The hardships suffered by the lower classes drove the division of his country to the breaking point. With regret, Devillers thought back on how his government stripped the people of France of their dignity and pride by forcing the change away from fossil fuel to an unreliable source of green energy. Too late his government realized the error of their judgment, but the damage already inflicted.
A loud roar rose up from the streets. President Deviller’s attention focused on the gates leading to the building's entrance. One after another the men ordered to defend the French Parliament began laying down their arms and stepping out of the way for the irate mob. The rush of angry patriots poured onto the grounds.
“President Devillers. We must leave now Sir." General Donatien Moreau pleaded with his commander. "The helicopter is waiting on the roof to transport you to safety. It won't be long before the crowd overruns the building."
In London, the scene mirrored that of Germany and France. In the flickering streetlights of yet another rolling brown out the British people roamed the streets. From every corner of the United Kingdom, the people drove or walked or rode trains. Millions upon millions showed up in London to protest the forced withdrawal from oil usage.
The hundreds of thousands of turbines installed on the Island of England failed to power a civilized existence. Banks of solar panels erected to shore up the energy shortage failed miserably with the Islands limited amount of sunshine. People shivered in their houses, ate food spoiled by intermittent power outages that cut the power to the refrigeration systems and were left struggling to exist.
The British subjects fell dejectedly by the wayside as hundreds and then hundreds of thousands watched their lives erode. Jobs became scarce; bills went unpaid, and finally families large and small, old and young found themselves living on the streets fighting their neighbors in a search for food and warmth. Hope began to diminish as prayers for life once again worth living went unanswered.
For days and weeks, the British people decided to revolt against the government’s ideals and the trek to the large city to retake the once great country began. Shouts and demands for the government to stop the trampling of its citizen's rights for a decent life turned the peaceful people of the kingdom into revolutionaries with no further to fall.
All in the name of climate change and all brought on by one man’s vision of a world ravaged by devastating climate changes.
Late 2023 the Arab oil capital had started to crumble under its enemy’s attacks. Saudi Arabia had hemorrhaged money from years of fighting a war from its borders out against other Arab states vying for a share of the minuscule oil market that remained. Along with the protection of Saudi borders, the army fought within the country against the millions of migrant workers who had moved to the Arab Kingdom during the oil-rich years to work as laborers in the vast oil fields. The migrants became the first casualties in the country because of an oil-restricted world.
The Saudi military retreated on several fronts. Ammunition and supplies became scarce as the oil money slowly ran out. Eventually, the Saudi army saw groups of soldiers, some as large as platoons, throw down their guns and desert their posts. Defeat would be imminent. The days of towering skyscrapers would soon give way to skylines of wind turbines. The Arab people forced back to Nomadic roots with the desert wind once again replacing the oil riches extracted from miles beneath the earth’s surface.
Late 2023 also saw the waning of the Ukrainian/ Russian war. Neither side admitted defeat, but the slumping market for oil and gas products bankrupted the countries and forced the conflict between the two sworn enemies to the sideline. Both governments lost their appetites for fighting each other and turned to bolster the struggling economies.
In the void left open by the ousted and failed governments, a new regime worked to control the political landscape. Leaders backed by the POTE Foundation formed pockets of power growing a formidable Climate Army. Wedges were driven deeper between governments and voters leaving Europe weak and fragmented. The time was ripe for a new world order.
From the Middle East to the tips of Russia anarchy flowed across the landscape with the power of an unstoppable tsunami. The battle between climate deniers and those on the side of a green, healthy planet fought for supremacy. Countries imploded from within their borders, governments upended and social systems destroyed. The burgeoning Climate War consuming everyone in its path and its path was headed west with little resistance to slow the tide of change.
A new Canadian Author with too many ideas in his head. Surprising even himself with where his stories go.