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United Cherokee States of N'America, The Knower, page 1

 

United Cherokee States of N'America, The Knower
 



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United Cherokee States of N'America, The Knower


  United Cherokee

  States

  of

  N’America

  The ‘Knower’

  By Bob Finley

  Copyright 2018 Bobby G. Finley

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the author except by reviewers, who may quote brief passages in a review.

  All characters in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, other than documentable historical references, is coincidental and not intended by the author. References to historical events are essential to the story, have been meticulously researched, and are verifiable by the reader to the degree that political correctness in writing/rewriting history has or has not distorted their reporting.

  Front cover designed by Duong Covers.

  Readers wishing to contact the author may do so at whatif@triad.rr.com

  DEDICATION

  When I said ‘I Do’, I meant it. I meant it then and I mean it now. I’ll always mean it.

  No one ‘knows’ me like Sarah.

  No one loves me, encourages me, enables me like Sarah.

  So, with this book, I RE-dedicate my life to you. Thank ya, darlin’. You and me. Always.

  Bob(by)

  Contents

  Prologue

  181 DAYS

  DAY 179 through DAY 177

  DAY 177 through DAY 175

  DAY 174

  DAY 173

  DAY 172

  DAY 171

  DAY 170

  DAY 169

  DAY 168

  DAY 167

  DAY 166

  DAY 165

  DAY 164

  DAY 163

  DAY 161

  DAY 160

  DAY 165

  DAY 163

  DAY 162

  DAY 161

  DAY 159

  DAY 156

  DAY 147

  DAY 146

  DAY 139

  DAY 133

  DAY 89

  DAY 42

  DAY 40

  DAY 38

  DAYS 37 THROUGH 29

  DAY 28

  DAY 15

  DAY 14

  DAY 14

  DAY 9

  DAY 6

  DAY 5

  DAY 4

  DAY 3

  DAY 2

  DAY 1

  CAVE DAY 282

  CAVE DAY 281

  CAVE DAY 277

  CAVE DAY 268

  CAVE DAY 270

  CAVE DAY 247

  CAVE DAY 239

  CAVE DAY 222

  CAVE DAY 211

  CAVE DAY 204

  CAVE DAY 214

  CAVE DAY 191

  CAVE DAY 190

  CAVE DAY 189

  CAVE DAY 180

  CAVE DAY 178

  CAVE DAY 176

  CAVE DAY 175

  CAVE DAY 144

  CAVE DAY 127

  CAVE DAY 173

  CAVE DAY 100

  CAVE DAY 94

  CAVE DAY 83

  CAVE DAY 70

  CAVE DAY 67

  CAVE DAY 65

  CAVE DAY 59

  CAVE DAY 58+

  CAVE DAY 45

  CAVE DAY 43

  CAVE DAY 29

  CAVE DAY 15

  CAVE DAY 7

  CAVE DAY 6

  CAVE DAY 5

  CAVE DAY 3

  CAVE DAY 2

  CAVE DAY 1

  CAVE DAY 0

  AUGUST 1, 2020

  AUGUST 2, 2020

  AUGUST 3, 2020

  AUGUST 4, 2020

  AUGUST 9, 2020

  AUGUST 10, 2020

  AUGUST 14, 2020

  AUGUST 15, 2020

  AUGUST 16, 2020

  AUGUST 17, 2020

  AUGUST 18, 2020

  AUGUST 19, 2020

  AUGUST 24, 2020

  AUGUST 25, 2020

  AUGUST 26, 2020

  AUGUST 27, 2020

  AUGUST 30, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 2, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 4, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 5, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 7, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 8, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 9, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 14, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 22, 2020

  SEPTEMBER 25, 2020

  OCTOBER 5, 2020

  OCTOBER 13, 2020

  OCTOBER 14, 2020

  OCTOBER 15, 2020

  OCTOBER 16, 2020

  OCTOBER 17, 2020

  OCTOBER 17, 2020

  OCTOBER 17, 2020

  OCTOBER 17, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 18, 2020

  OCTOBER 19, 2020

  OCTOBER 19, 2020

  OCTOBER 20, 2020

  OCTOBER 21, 2020

  NOVEMBER 7, 2020

  NOVEMBER 17, 2020

  NOVEMBER 26, 2020

  NOVEMBER 27, 2020

  NOVEMBER 28, 2020

  DECEMBER 3, 2020

  DECEMBER 4, 2020

  DECEMBER 7, 2020

  DECEMBER 15, 2020

  DECEMBER 18, 2020

  DECEMBER 18, 2020

  DECEMBER 21, 2020

  DECEMBER 24, 2020

  DECEMBER 29, 2020

  DECEMBER 30, 2020

  DECEMBER 31, 2020

  JANUARY 5, 2021

  JANUARY 28, 2021

  FEBRUARY 2, 2021

  FEBRUARY 12, 2021

  FEBRUARY 13, 2021

  FEBRUARY 14, 2021

  FEBRUARY 15, 2021

  FEBRUARY 19, 2021

  FEBRUARY 20, 2021

  FEBRUARY 23, 2021

  MARCH 9, 2021

  MARCH 11, 2021

  MARCH 15, 2021

  MARCH 16, 2021

  MARCH 20, 2021

  MARCH 22, 2021

  MARCH 25, 2021

  APRIL 1, 2021

  APRIL 2, 2021

  APRIL 6, 2021

  APRIL 16, 2021

  APRIL 7, 2021

  MAY 9, 2021

  MAY 13, 2021

  MAY 18, 2021

  MAY 22, 2021

  JUNE 5, 2021

  JUNE 6, 2021

  JUNE 7, 2021

  JUNE 7, 2021

  JUNE 7, 2021

  JUNE 8, 2021

  JUNE 8, 2021

  JUNE 9, 2021

  JUNE 23, 2021

  JUNE 29, 2021

  JUNE 29, 2021

  JUNE 29, 2021

  JULY 4, 2021

  JULY 10, 2021

  JULY 21, 2021

  JULY 22, 2021

  JULY 22, 2021

  JULY 23, 2021

  JULY 24, 2021

  JULY 25, 2021

  JULY 25, 2021

  AUGUST 1, 2021

  AUGUST 9, 2021

  AUGUST 9, 2021

  AUGUST 11, 2021

  AUGUST 11, 2021

  AUGUST 12, 2021

  AUGUST 12, 2021

  AUGUST 12, 2021

  AUGUST 12, 2021

  AUGUST 12, 2021

  AUGUST 13, 2021

  AUGUST 14, 2021

  AUGUST 16, 2021

  AUGUST 24, 2021


  AUGUST 25, 2021

  AUGUST 30, 2021

  Prologue

  Connor Gray gradually realized as a child that he had a unique and unsolicited gift/curse/skill: he knew things. He would be classified as a pantomath. But that would be misleading because a pantomath is someone who knows everything or has learned everything that can be learned. He hadn’t deliberately “learned” anything. He just…’knows’. If he’s asked a question, any question, he knows the answer. And he’s always right. And he doesn’t know how he knows.

  It didn’t take long for him to realize that other people who were exposed to this gift quickly came to view him as a freak. They had no doubt that it was a trick but they couldn’t figure out how he did it. And he couldn’t explain it. Which they interpreted as ‘wouldn’t’. Secretive. Rude. Eventually, as suspicious and maybe even dangerous. After all, what he does is impossible. Everyone knows that. So, in self-defense, he gradually learned to hide his gift from others. He learned to deliberately get enough answers wrong on tests that he remained in the top three percent of his class but didn’t draw psychics to his door.

  Now 26, he has one close friend. A 23 year old mostly-Cherokee woman whose personality/attitude has always made her a social outcast and who accepts his gift as just another character trait that ostracizes him from society as she herself is ostracized. She comes to see herself as his self-appointed protector. There is no sex between them simply because they don’t see each other that way. She calls him Tsanta. Silent ‘T’. In the Cherokee language it means “you know”.

  He works from a loft apartment just off Cheshire Bridge Road near Interstate 85 in Atlanta, Georgia. As a contract proof reader for several print and electronic publications, he’s valued because he’s never been known to make a mistake. And his turnaround time is fast. Really fast. He simply asks himself “Where are the errors in this document?” and they almost leap off the page. So his skills demand $50 per hour, one hour minimum, even though most documents only require a half-hour of his time at most. So his income for 30 hours of work per week grosses him $75,000 per year. Which, in fact, he doesn’t really need because of his friend’s day-trading. But, from his perspective, he’s paid well for something he really enjoys. The other $600,000 a year he makes from her day-trading is just gravy.

  Bee Starr is a freelance photographer specializing in images of buildings for commercial architects, with occasional specialty side-jobs. Her unique photographic perspectives and innovative technical skills have earned her a national following. As a day trader in stocks and with his consent, she calls him every morning and asks him the same question: what stock is going to have the greatest gains today? She buys low, sells high, deposits the profits and electronically transfers his half into his private account. Her use of his gift has made them both independently wealthy. And it’s legal. They each work at their day jobs because it’s what they both want to do.

  What she doesn’t tell her few friends and acquaintances is that her full Cherokee name is Wasalaangweew Starr. Nor it’s pronunciation, ‘Wahs-along-weh’. Nor its meaning: ‘Bright Star’. First, they wouldn’t care and, secondly, they probably wouldn’t be able to pronounce it anyway. They privately call her ‘Bee’ because of her quickness to ‘sting’ with her words. She’s buried the sentimentality of the fact that her grandmother gave her the name.

  On April 20, 2019 Conner proofs an article for the Center for Disease Control where nine experts with multiple degrees discuss whether computers can be trained to predict world-wide outbreaks of disease known as pandemics. “Is it possible for a disease to sweep the world so quickly as to annihilate up to 90% of the human population, and how soon might that happen?” The wording of the question triggered an involuntary response and he ‘knew’ the answer: Yes. Beginning 181 days after he reads the article. BUT the experts’ answer is “no”. First, “no disease can spread that fast”. And, secondly, that “computers are only as dependable as the data provided by the people who use them”.

  181 DAYS

  He trusts his personal ‘know’ledge as fact, regardless of the ‘expert’ opinions. He has an innate sense of justice and empathy for other people who don’t believe him but has also learned the hard way that to attempt to change their minds is an exercise in futility. He’s also aware that the more he argues, the more he exposes himself to ridicule, resentment and sometimes, actual fear. So his quandary is that ‘know’ing that a world-wide, catastrophic pandemic is just six months away, he is realistic enough to also know that he would first have to convince the ‘right’ people that he’s right and, even if he were able to do so, by the time he did, there probably wouldn’t be time to develop a defensive vaccine. If that were even possible, since “cures” usually require samples of the virus…which doesn’t yet exist.

  Conner thought about it for two days and nights. On Day 179 he called Bee.

  DAY 179 through DAY 177

  They met at his apartment and meticulously dissected the problem for another day and a half. She didn’t have the moral conscience that he had which meant that her approach was logical, detached, unbiased, calculating and carried no baggage that compelled her to feel empathy or sympathy for the society that had consistently rejected her. She had admitted to him that she might be a mostly passive sociopath. They both reached the conclusion that they would/could tell no one and, instead, went into survival mode. Statistically, if seven and a half billion people in the world were exposed to a rampant virus that killed 90+ % of them, or more, they wanted to be in the billion or so who survived the disease. Or, as citizens of the United States, of the 30 or so million that initially survived. They both knew that, historically, ten years beyond the signal event the 30 million initial survivors would probably be down to less than 10 million. Which, as the equivalent of the combined populations of New York City and Philadelphia, spread out over the entire United States, meant 3 people per square mile. But, not really, because 2/3 of the country’s population lives near the coasts, with the other third living in the central and northern Great Plains, scattered among 10 states there. And 2/3 of the “coastal 2/3” lived on the east coast. So, 1.5 people per square mile in the Great Plains. And even that would be valid only if everyone deliberately spread themselves equidistant from each other. Which they wouldn’t, humans being social animals. Which meant that there would be huge chunks of the country where there were no people at all. Which, if you were trying to avoid contamination from humans, would be a good thing.

  They extensively researched locations where they thought they could “hole up” for a period of time, maybe as much as two years, while the pandemic hopefully exhausted itself. Their first thought was to find the most remote, uninhabited places in the country and look there for a suitable hideout. They ruled out Alaska because of the weather. They’d have enough trouble staying alive without having to also fight the elements and the lack of a highway system. Hawaii, though warm, would require access to boats or aircraft, both of which would probably be almost non-existent in a devastated world where possibly infected travelers would probably be shot on arrival. A hundred mile stretch of Interstate 10 in eastern Utah, between Green River and Salina was considered but rejected. Resupply, if needed, would be extremely difficult. Hinsdale County east of Durango, Colorado was also remote, but the lack of roads would require horses and, again, resupply was an issue. Highway 50 between Ely and Eureka, Nevada was rejected for the same reasons as Utah. Supai, Arizona was indeed remote, but, at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, logistics and the heat were too extreme. Nebraska, Wyoming and West Texas were also remote, but road access, long winters and watchful ranchers made movement difficult. Finally they circled back around to priorities: remoteness; stealth; the ability to defend; a network of passable roads. That’s when Bee’s eyes glazed over. She stopped talking and she slowly looked down at the pile of maps on Conner’s kitchen table. He noticed, but knew from experience to wait. Finally, she pushed the maps away from her and raised her head and looked at hi
m as if returning from a dream.

  “I know where,” she said. “Maybe.” He waited. “If we can find it,” she finished. 177 days.

  “Where” was actually a “who” as it turned out. Her grandmother, a full-blooded Cherokee, had taken Bee in when her mother was raped and murdered (or murdered, then raped, considering the warped history of the man they convicted). It happened on a Thursday evening in late October when her shift ended at the public library in Bryson City at seven o’clock, darkness having already fallen. When she didn’t come home after work, her car door was found standing open by a police patrol. Bee had just turned eight. Her sometimes father showed up at the funeral, put her in his beat-up pickup truck, and took her and her grandmother directly to her grandmother’s house outside Cherokee, less than ten miles from where her mother was killed. There, he followed them in, laid a fistful of cash on the coffee table, and told her “Elisi”, (her mother’s mother in the Cherokee language), that he had to get back to a job in Oklahoma. Bee went to the open door and looked out at him as he got to his truck. He opened his door, then turned and looked back at her for ten seconds. Looked off into the distance. Shook his head once. And drove away. Bee never saw him again. When she turned eighteen she did an online search. He’d been shot to death in a bar fight in Tulsa three years after he’d abandoned her. He had a gun, too, but the other man got off more rounds than he did and the three he stopped killed him. There was no mention of family or where he was buried. She decided it didn’t really matter. He hadn’t been much of a father then, and no father at all for the past eight years. Her grandmother, as matriarch of the family, raised her until she graduated from high school. She moved out mainly to escape her grandmother’s, her Elisi’s, unbending morality and never-ending attempts to teach Bee “the old ways”. She moved down to Bryson City, got a job as a cook/waitress/house cleaner at a bed and breakfast, with a basement room thrown in in lieu of a higher wage. She hung out at the library and sat on a bench next to the parking lot. From there she could see the parking space where her mother had experienced the last terrifying minutes of her life. Almost a year later, sitting there, she let it go. And moved on. She enrolled in the Advertising and Graphic Design curriculum at the Swain Center in Bryson City, one of the campuses of Southwestern Community College, because she’d always liked drawing. And her Elisi had encouraged it. Especially drawings of nature, one of the most important components of her grandmother’s adherence to “the old ways”.

 
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