Uncertain Times: A Story of Survival, page 1
Copyright © 2015 Travis Wright
Edited by Jenny Neyman
Photographs by Logan Parks
Illustrated by Melanie Noblin
All rights reserved. No part of this book can be reproduced in any form, without written permission from the author.
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and should not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental. While some of the locations used describe actual locations, this is intended only to lend an authentic theme for the book.
A Story of Survival
Edited by Jenny Neyman
Photographs by Logan Parks
Illustrated by Melanie Noblin
About the Author
A global alliance, a unified network of nations striving toward a common goal for all mankind. It sounds like something out of a movie, likened to ‘The New World Order’ which we’ve read about for decades in newspapers, and heard talked about on the TV and radio talk shows.
These theories can be traced back for centuries, across the entire globe. Fraternal organizations such as the Freemasons have been a focal point of numerous speculations.
Conspiracy theories have been directed toward this organization and several powerful people throughout history as having hidden political agendas.
A theoretical future German empire, being the successor of the Third Reich, could rise at any time. Scores of current neo-Nazis believe the rise of the Fourth Reich would pave the way for the establishment of the Western Imperium, the unification of the Aryan race.
After the Euro-Zone crises hit Central and Eastern Europe, Germany provided a significant part of the Euro “bailout” and had massive influence in the European Union. This is thought to be the beginning of what’s to come.
The ‘Illuminati’, a secret society founded in Germany in the late 1700’s, is theorized to still exist in Europe and the United States. There has been speculation about high-class collegiate fraternities, gentleman’s clubs and think tanks are a front for this centuries-old organization.
Other associations thought to be promoting a similar agenda have surfaced over the ages, such as the Society of the Elect, the Round Table Movement and the Commonwealth of Nations.
Theories are taking hold that other secret societies are embedded in more familiar organizations — the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, League of Nations, International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, World Bank, World Health Organization, European Union, World Trade Organization, African Union and the Union of South American Nations. All are speculated to be part of the gradual implementation of this rumored New World Order.
The Founding Fathers are speculated to have Masonic ties, particularly with the Great Seal of the United States and the $1 bill. The architecture of Washington, D.C., is part of a master plan, as well.
The Latin phrase, “Novus ordo seclorum,” appearing on the back of the $1 bill as well as the reverse side of the Great Seal, translates to “New order of the ages.” Many believe that these are clues hidden in plain sight.
Religious books have been written about the fulfillment of prophecies regarding the “end time” described in the Bible, specifically the Book of Revelation. Theoretically, these prophecies are what eventually will move humanity toward a world religion and ultimately the New World Order.
Dates recently prophesied as heralding the end of all things have, so far, all come and gone. No one ever wants to believe the rhetoric of these supposedly self-appointed prophets. It is, however, hard to ignore legitimate proof when presented to you.
As starvation rates across the globe climb, wars continue and the price of every vital commodity keeps climbing, people are choosing one of two options —simply ignoring the problem, or hoping things get better on their own. But there are some who are starting to wonder, question and even believe the signs.
It has been several years now since we were told the soldiers were just here to help, to make the world a better place for us and our children.
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
(The near Future)
When the fighting started, no one knew the cold would claim as many lives as bullets.
The cold snap had dipped to thirty-five below and lasted for the better part of a month. It took its toll on both sides before it finally subsided. Frostbite had taken more than just fingers and toes. Men and women lost their lives to the extreme cold. The will to survive had been sapped right out of even the most battle hardened soldier.
The fight on the mountain lasted slightly more than a week, brought to a standstill because of the Arctic weather. Machines, weapons and people no longer functioned.
The enemy had been beaten, but how badly? When would they be back?
The leaders on the mountain were reluctant to send more militia out into the bitter cold. They couldn’t risk the loss of more, good people, but recon patrols had to scout and locate their adversaries.
It was a calm, cool morning in February, with a slight breeze blowing out of the northeast. The thermometer showed a balmy three degrees above zero but felt warmer in the sun, with its splendor, shining down from the heavens, heating everything it touched.
The militia had a secure perimeter for now and would let the enemy make the next move. However, information was needed. The rules of engagement were clear — don’t get caught. If you have to, in order to get away, unleash hell on the enemy. Your life depends on it.
Supplies were limited but would have to last until help came. If help came.
The whole situation — being driven from home, the scarcity of food and water, the cold, the lack of sleep, and not knowing when you would be shot at next — was enough to drive the strongest man to his breaking point.
The lights dancing off of the ceiling and the reinforced tunnels in the mountain reminded one woman of the Long Corridor, a covered walkway in the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. A sign had been made and hung at the entrance of the cave. Rumors were soon circulating in nearby towns of a mystica
Jim manned his post on close-perimeter security, half-a-click outside the entrance. He stood watching his sector while clutching his black and white, winter camouflaged, FNH SCAR 17, chambered in 7.62x51, which he had turned into a sniper rifle with a 4.5-14x40 power scope on top. The log structure he stood watch in had been dug into the mountain for warmth and concealment.
The hides which had been built along the perimeter before the previous winter had hidden and helped defend the people on the mountain considerably.
Shangri-la served as a compound for the resistance based in the Timber Wolf Mountains of South-central Alaska. The facility inside the mountain held one of the last groups in the area still fighting the one world government led by the United Nations Coalition Army, or NWA. The enemy had done its best to win by attrition, but the growing pockets of resistance fighters across the globe gave hope to the masses. At least they tried to.
Word of the resistance had reached the continental U.S. and other countries. Their sacrifice for freedom inspired others to join the fight.
“Jim,” Rick asked over the two-way radio, “how many people do you think have died since all this started?”
“My guess would be millions,” Jim responded.
“If what we’ve seen here in our little part of the world is any indication, then the number must be more like tens of millions, maybe even hundreds of millions.”
“You’re probably right.” Jim paused, then whispered, “Hold your thought Rick. I have movement at my six-o’clock.”
“Morning, Sarge,” whispered a lean young man, barely old enough to shave.
“How we doing, son, and why are you whispering?” Jim replied.
The youth was Todd, Jim’s second oldest son. His short brown hair was covered by a black beanie pulled down over his ears. His vibrant green eyes brought his tired face to life.
“It’s just so quiet out here.”
“I know what you mean, son, it’s peaceful, finally. And I, for one, am thoroughly enjoying it.”
“Are you warm enough out here? I can bring you some blankets.”
“Thanks bud, but I’m pretty toasty right now. These new thermal winter boots I took off one of the soldiers have worked out great.”
“That’s good. Did we get a combat mission yet?” Todd asked eagerly, clutching his AK-47, wrapped in scrap of dirty white sheet to help camouflage it.
“The recon patrol made it back at 0300 and debriefed. They’re getting some much needed sleep. We’ll have a new plan of attack soon,” Jim replied. “In the meantime, here’s a list of men and women we’ll need tonight for the operation we’ve been planning. Do me a favor and have Matthew round them up this morning, will ya?”
“That guy’s crazy dad,” Todd added.
“He’s not crazy, he might be a little extreme, but right now it’s exactly what we need. Now have him tell them to meet in the main area by the tables at 1400 today.”
“Dad, when can I go on a mission?” Todd asked, scanning the paper but not seeing his name. “I’ve passed the training like Tristan did and I am old enough.”
“Not yet, son. I want you to enjoy life after we’ve won our freedom back. I don’t want to lose you. A father should never have to bury his son.”
“But, you let Tristan go on a couple of patrols.”
“Those weren’t combat patrols. Now stop arguing with me. Off you go.”
The boy reluctantly nodded in agreement. Todd reached out his hand and Jim shook it. Hugs were now in the past the older his kids became. They would reciprocate if he hugged them first, however, they wouldn’t initiate. Jim missed the innocent days when they didn’t want to leave his side, and offered him constant hugs that he gladly accepted.
At 17, Todd portrayed a strong young man and taller than Jim, of which he reminded his dad often. He’d played football in high school and had dreams of playing in the NFL someday. As team captain and quarterback, he could handle tough situations on the field and read the plays better than most of the other players. With a photographic memory, he didn’t need to wear a wristband with the plays on it. He’d always been a team player and didn’t hog the ball, but would run it himself if his receivers had too much coverage. He would make a great military leader one day, Jim thought, if it turned out to be the path he chose. But not yet.
He’d grown up with Jim barking orders as if he and his siblings were recruits. It had turned them into fine young adults and Jim was proud of each one of them. Having them under the same roof in these turbulent times was a godsend. Most families weren’t able to count their blessings as wholeheartedly as he and Mary could.
“Cody, what’re you doing over there?” Todd asked, spotting his younger brother.
“I just wanted to see what it looked like down here,” Cody told his older brother as he climbed under and over fallen spruce and birch trees which had been hit by exploding ordnance.
“Don’t move! This part of the perimeter still hasn’t been secured completely. Do you see those craters from mortar and tank rounds?”
“Yea, they look pretty cool.”
“There could be unexploded ordnance lying out there, dummy! Do you want to get blown up?”
“No, I wanted to see the battlefield and mom wouldn’t let me.”
“With good reason! Now, follow me back up, walk right in my footsteps and don’t stop. If you come right now, I won’t tell mom or dad.”
As they walked up toward the cave, human limbs and complete corpses could be seen partially buried in the snow. They couldn’t smell it because of the cold, but death lurked in the air. Todd knew most of them were enemy combatants. Others could be the missing people from the mountain, but they wouldn’t know for sure until spring when the hard-packed snow melted.
It had been well over a year of fighting since the first shots were fired. But Jim remembered it all too well.
I’m going to sit here a little longer, he thought to himself as he gazed toward the coast and beyond on the extremely clear day. What remained of forward operating base Talladega could be seen on the ridge to his left. The FOB had been hit hard in the initial engagement of the last battle. They’d lost several good people, but had taken the enemy by surprise and inflicted a massive amount of damage before they’d had to retreat to the perimeter of the mountain. If it hadn’t have been for the men and women who fought to their last breath down there, there might not be anyone left on the mountain to remember them.
The spilling of blood, sweat and tears weighed heavily on Jim’s mind. He kept telling himself and the others that all this would be worth the sacrifice and things would get better. But even he was starting to doubt his resolve.
“An armed man is a citizen, an unarmed man is a subject.”
Just like each and every day, Jim woke up early and started the coffee. Today happened to be a bright, sunny morning in early July, about 60 degrees already. The sun had been glowing bright in the sky for hours, but the region was on the down slope of the year, losing minutes of light with each passing day.
The four bedroom, two-bath, ranch-style home they owned in the medium-sized subdivision would be outgrown in no time, with the budding children he and Mary had. Pictures, paintings and prints of animals adorned the walls, along with trophy racks from Jim’s years of hunting in the Great Land. With seven people in the house, something exciting always happened. The activity never ceased to amaze him.
Before starting breakfast, Jim walked out the sliding glass door onto the long back deck. He strolled across the lush lawn and saw it needed to be cut again. It had always been a well cared for lawn, similar to the front, only larger. Jim took pride in his yard work, more than most of the neighbors.
His “hunting partner,” a yellow Lab named Carl, came trotting over from his doghouse in the corner of the yard. Jim rubbed his ears and patted his s
Birds were chirping as a small breeze rustled the leaves of the birch trees. One early rising neighbor could be heard mowing his lawn on the other side of the subdivision, and the smell of the freshly cut grass scented the air.
Sirens could be heard on the highway, too.
“How’re you doing this wonderful morning, Carl? What’s going on out there? Must be a fire somewhere, huh buddy?” Jim said.
Carl answered with a low bark before running around Jim a few times, then chasing his own tail. Jim filled Carl’s food bowl, checked his water, then went back inside as Carl ate heartily.
Most of the kids were still sleeping as Jim made an egg, ham and cheese breakfast sandwich for himself. Jim didn’t like the fact they slept half the day away. Mary reminded him often; in the summer, it’s what kids do. He knew once the sockeye salmon started pouring into the river, some of them would be up earlier to go catch their daily limit. Most of their kids, Kyle excluded, loved to fish when they were young, but as they aged, their interest faded. Hormones were raging in the house among four young adults and Jim sometimes wondered how long he could last. The two oldest, Alexis and Tristan, had summer jobs and would rather hang out with friends than spend time with the family.
“Going to be another hot one, baby,” Jim said to his wife, Mary. He walked up to her in the kitchen, wrapping his arms around her petite waist, kissing her neck, then lightly patting her butt while she poured her first cup of coffee. “You were going to town today right?”
“With the kids,” groaned Mary, pulling her long red hair to her left side. “I suppose we could use more groceries.”
“Make this deposit for me, will you?” Jim asked after he kissed her on the cheek and looked into her blue eyes.
“Sure,” said Mary with a reluctant smile.
“Thank you, baby.” Jim smiled and winked as she rolled her eyes. “I heard sirens outside,” he told her. “There must be a fire or an accident.”
“There’s always something happening on the highway,” Mary responded as she settled on the living room couch and turned on the TV.