“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.