Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Preview of Homeland: Falling Down

First Blood

Monday, October 26th
Nashville, Tennessee
Eight Days before the Presidential Election

The young man stood on the far left of the crowd gathered in front of the State Capitol Building, as he was instructed to do. He had been there for hours. Waiting. Preparing.
             It was almost time.
 The unseasonably frigid autumn air made him shiver in spite of the dirty military surplus coat he wore. Unkempt hair poked from his woolen cap and ran down his cheeks to form a scraggly beard. A boyish brow framed dark, merciless eyes.
His shaggy appearance contrasted that of the crowd of typical bourgeoisie types, well dressed, middle-class, clean-cut. Some had their kids with them, bundled up snuggly against the cold. Thousands of them filled the frigid Capitol grounds. They were here to see one person, the person he came to kill.
Cheers and campaign chants filled the icy air as the excitement grew. Finally, an attractive woman in a thick coat and scarf stepped up to the outdoor podium in front of the gathering. She droned on and on about the Founding Fathers, tossing in a quote from one of them with every other breath. She was Congresswoman Martha Jefferson, freshman member of the House of Representatives on the newly formed Constitutional Party ticket.
“We are being lulled to sleep,” she said, her breath an ethereal vapor in the wintry air. “The media ignores injustice and covers up scandals within our corrupt government. Instead, they serve us stories about celebrities and sports teams disguised as real news and we eat it up and ask for more.” The crowd was silent, hanging on her every word. “Our nation is on the verge of bankruptcy, and we sleep. The educational system turns our children against the heroes and virtues that made America great, and we sleep. Government policies and pop culture destroy our families. The police are militarized. Our communications are monitored. Our every move is watched as our rights are stripped from us one by one. And we sleep. Our very civilization is on the verge of collapse. And yet we sleep!” Her eyes locked onto her audience. “But we cannot sleep anymore. We must wake up! Wake up to the intentions of those who seek to destroy our republic. Wake up and halt our nation’s drift into tyranny. Wake up before our children became slaves to the State!”
The crowd cheered in agreement.
The young man remained still.
Jefferson’s delivery was polished and charismatic. Her people were primed for the call to action.
“Boycott the media. Stand up to the educational system. Refuse to vote for establishment candidates. Educate your friends and neighbors before it’s too late.” She paused. “But the biggest thing I ask of you today is your help.  I know that we are leading in every poll, but Election Day is still more than a week away. A lot can happen between now and then. Now is not a time to rest. It is a time for action. It’s going to take every one of us to get the job done, but we can do it together. And with your help, I am going to be the next President of the United States!”
The crowd erupted into raucous applause.
Jefferson raised a hand to still the multitude. “In closing, I will defer once again to our founders. E Pluribus Unum. From many, one. They knew that our greatest strength is and always will be our unity. It is only when we come together as one that we are truly the United States. Thank you. God bless you all and God bless America.”
More applause.
Jefferson turned to her right and exited the stage, shaking hands with exuberant supporters as she went.
The young man elbowed his way through the devotees, moving into Jefferson’s path until almost within arm’s reach. His hand slipped into his coat.
“Martha!” he yelled.
Jefferson looked to him, still smiling. She reached to shake his hand.
“GUN!” Someone yelled.
Crack! Crack! Crack!
Campaign cheers turned to primal screams as people fought to escape the gunman.
Blood spattered the congresswoman’s face. An aid fell to the ground next to her, gore pouring from his chest and neck.
A body guard shoved Jefferson to the ground with violent urgency.
Hands from the crowd clawed at the young man’s arm as he tried to aim his revolver for another shot.
Crack! Crack!
Another body fell—a woman in a ‘Jefferson for President’ sweatshirt this time.
The assassin hit the ground, tackled from behind by a muscular state trooper.
More body guards rushed Jefferson into a nearby car, shut the door and pound the roof. Tires squealed as the vehicle sped to safety.
The shooter wrestled free of the trooper as more police arrived. His quarry was gone. There was no escape. He had one bullet left.
He put the pistol to his head and said, “The revolution has begun! There is nothing you can do to stop it!”
He pulled the trigger. His lifeless body crumpled to the frozen ground, steam rising from the bloody hole in his temple.
“Search him!” a senior policeman ordered.
Two officers rushed up and opened the killer's jacket.
            “No bombs!” one of the searchers called out.

            The other officer rifled through the assassin’s pockets. All were empty except for one. In it he found a few dollars, a Vanderbilt University student ID, and a little green book.
The officer examined the book. It was about the size of a pocket Testament and worn from heavy reading. Handwritten notes and highlighted passages littered its thin dog-eared pages. A rubber band marked a page with the underlined quote,
There is only one way to shorten the death rattles of the old world and hasten the bloody birth pangs of the new—revolutionary terror.
The officer closed the booklet and examined the cover. Faded letters across the stained, dingy, emerald cover spelled out the title,
‘The World to Come.’

Pre-order Homeland: Falling Down HERE!

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