Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here's a sample of SKINNER'S WAR. Hope you enjoy it!

This is taken directly from a PDF file, so expect a few mistakes that aren't in the finished book.

Blood ran off the edge of the stainless steel table. It splattered the tops of the man’s boots, and pooled in large sticky puddles on the floor at his feet. He wielded the large knife with surgical precision, it’s blade glistening with crimson as he went about his work.
His mind drifted as he sliced the tough hide from the flesh, finding solace in memories of better times. Sure, he had a job, such as it is, and a roof over his head, which was more than some could claim, but he was as far from content as a man could be.
His memories often slipped back a decade, returning him to the little shop where he turned boxes of rusty parts into fire-breathing steel steeds. To the shiny chrome, glistening paint, and supple leather that his hands assembled into an extension of his soul. To the wind blowing through his beard, and the long black hair that flowed from under the small helmet he wore as he cruised the back roads, his Avon tires caressing the curves.
Inadvertently, his right hand twisted the knife as his mind twisted the throttle, causing him to slice through the hide. The hole was small, but if the foreman caught it, they’d dock him the price of the hide for damn sure. “Son of a bitch,” he mumbled, “In a bastard society like this, you can’t get ahead no matter what you do!”
He’d had to close his motorcycle shop ten years before, ending a life-long dream because the damned bureaucrats in Washington had decided that motor vehicles were ruining the air quality, so they had rationed gasoline, and restricted travel to a bare minimum.
No more cruising the back roads and boulevards. No more trips to the coast for the weekend. Now, you had to have papers to travel, and those were only issued on an as-needed basis, for business.
He laughed under his breath when he thought about how it all began.
In the mid-90’s, both major political parties, who had been the only viable leadership for over 200 years, were embroiled in scandals the likes of which were never seen before in American politics.
One of the oldest families in the political arena, the Kennerlies, were involved in drug use, sex with teenage girls, adultery, and financial double-dealings. Used to the media turning their heads at the appropriate time, they were shocked to discover that this new found notoriety cost them seats in the Senate and the House, and even forced some of the family into taking private sector jobs.
The Speaker of the House, an abrasive fellow to begin with, lost the public trust when he was censured by an ethics committee for financial misdeeds, about the same time the freshman representatives found their resolve for their “revolution” had melted under the flood of bad publicity over cuts in social services and welfare spending.
Infighting among the party members was at an all time high, with senators, congressmen, and representatives criticizing each other and their own party without regard of what “airing their dirty laundry in public” was doing to their credibility, and that of their respective parties.
The White House, long held in reverent awe by most citizens, was turned into a world class hotel, with rooms for rent to the highest bidder, teas and private audiences with the President for a price, and policy made by suggestions from foreign interests who’s contributions went into the party’s “war chest”.
A substantial number of White House personnel were working without security clearance because of drug use or criminal records, and the F.B.I. was used as an internal spy ring to “sniff out” enemies of the “most ethical administration in history.” (Or so it was called before the President’s first term in office.)
The majority of the appointees to major posts such as Surgeon General and Attorney General, and a large number of White House aides and councils resigned or were forced to resign, as scandal after scandal was made public.
The lives and business dealings of the President and First Lady before their election were under constant scrutiny by special prosecutors, and rumors of their impending indictment were rampant in the press.
Once more, an arrogant administration had managed to snatch defeat from the slobbering jaws of victory.
The distrust and revulsion that this obvious misuse of power and betrayal of public trust instilled in the people of America led to the rise of a relatively unknown party that was listed on the ballot in the last several national and state elections as the Ecology Party.
Led by a former Underwriters Laboratory product tester named Raphael Major, they were never taken seriously by the two major parties until their upset victory in the presidential election of 2004. It was a victory that shocked none any more than the bewildered leaders of the Ecology Party.
Thrust into a position of power and respect that he never seriously expected to win, and was horribly ill prepared for, President Major did what the last new President and most of those before him had done. He tried to amass and hold all the power he possibly could over the American people.
The new president did not trust the military in any way, shape, or form. He also viewed the F.B.I., and the C.I.A. with no small measure of distrust. Therefore, at a suggestion from his advisers, he founded the National Police Force.
The N.P.F. was an entity unto itself, answering only to the White House. The rank and file members of the N.P.F. were called “soldiers,” rather than officers, because President Major knew that the public held more fear of the military than it did for police officers.
The officers of the N.P.F., who’s highest rank was Captain, liked the fact that their acts of domestic terrorism were largely blamed on the military by the citizens. They even received military surplus weapons and vehicles, and resided at former military bases that had been closed by cutbacks during previous administrations.
President Major never consulted the Chiefs of Staff, because he felt that the military was the enemy of the Earth, and only destroyed the environment. He did not inform them of any changes in policy, or apprise them of the fact that a whole new pseudo-military force was now operating on American soil. His only comment was “Let those stuffy-assed brass polishers take care of Bosnia or somewhere, and leave us alone!”
The Ecology Party had originated out of a coalition of ecological groups operating primarily in California and the Pacific North-west.
They were opposed to logging, hunting, fishing, off-road vehicles, and any other use of the outdoors that didn’t fit into the tight parameters of what they felt were politically correct pastimes, such as hiking, bird watching, and group sex.
A magnet for not only left wing radicals in the elite environmental movement, but for the naive members of “generation X,” who felt guilty about any wrong purportedly done to any cultural or ethnic group at any time in history, and who saw it as their duty to right those wrongs at any cost.
Also welcomed to the fold were the militant animal rights activists, who, after repeated exposure to “Bambi” are convinced that animals really talk when humans are not around, and also experience the full range of emotions that humans do.
Since all these separate groups helped to cinch the victory of the rapidly growing party, President Major felt it was only fair that each faction had an adviser on his personal staff to assure that his decisions were balanced in all ways. Unfortunately, he did not take into consideration the fact that 75% of the American people were not represented in his cabinet, and furthermore, could not care less about most of the causes those in his cabinet did represent.
One of the first things on the agenda of the new President was to call a cabinet meeting to discuss gun control. While previous administrations pressed their own gun control bills, never in history did a President have such newly elected support as President Major now enjoyed.
Senator Barbara Shepherd, also of “Humans for Animal Ethics” opened the discussion at President Majors’ call of “Ladies First!”
“We, as a society,” she shouted, “Cannot continue to let innocent lives be shattered by people with guns!” After a sizable round of applause, she continued. “Last year alone, thousands of deer, bear, and other species of our fur-bearing friends were willfully and callously slaughtered, leaving behind grieving loved ones to cry their little hearts out in the quiet of the forest!”
Waiting for the applause to once more die down, Barbara made a great show of wiping a tear that trickled down her heavily powdered cheek with a monogrammed silk hankie.
“The exploitation of animals must not be allowed to continue!” she intoned, oblivious to the plight of the silkworm that had more than a passing interest in the manufacture of her hankie.
“We really MUST ban the ownership and use of all guns. Rifles, pistols, and especially the ones that shoot those nasty millimeter things!”
The President, who was no stranger to firearms, having seen one as a child, rolled his eyes and said, “Barb, Dear, they are called bullets.”
“Whatever,” she replied with her usual arrogance. “We really must be rid of them, whatever they are, once and for all!”
The next to speak was Peter Fitzwell, from the gay prison inmate’s rights group, “Over The Wall.” (Born Daniel Morrison, he had officially changed his name at age 21.)
“Every year,” he began, “home owners with guns steal the lives of hundreds of our brothers and sisters. Are we to allow this whole-sale slaughter to continue just so these homeowners can keep their televisions and jewelry?”
He was interrupted briefly by catcalls and whistles from his own little group, then continued. “What price are we to put on human life? Sure, sometimes burglars or muggers kill someone, but not all! These armed maniacs must be stopped, and stopped now, before more lives are lost to their greed!”
Pausing to wipe a drop of spittle from his chin with the back of his hand, he resumed. “Australia recently dealt with their gun problem with a series of laws that we may benefit from also. Their law states that it is a crime to use deadly force to protect your property or life, and that all firearms must be surrendered to the authorities by a specified time. That,” he stated in summation, “is a law that we, in America, need to enact before we lose our best and brightest to armed citizens!”
The remainder of those who chose to speak had similar ideas, and before the meeting was adjourned, President Major told his personal secretary, “Find out all you can about that 1996 Australian gun law, and get me a draft of it a.s.a.p.”

“Aww, SHIT!” Skinner screamed to no one in particular, as he threw down what passed for a newspaper these days. It landed on the worn and faded carpet with the crumpled front page declaring in bold headline type: “WASHINGTON BANS PRIVATELY OWNED MOTORCYCLES.”
“Surgeon general says injuries could prove costly to national health care plan. Exceptions are police and military use only. All registered vehicles having less than four wheels must be relinquished to the proper authorities within seven days.” “They’ll damn well have to kill me to get mine”, Skinner vowed.
A chill ran up his spine at the thought. He knew this government of “New World Order” would not hesitate to do exactly that. He also knew how vulnerable he and everyone else was after the introduction of “The Chip”.
Feeling the tiny lump on the inside if his left bicep that marked the location of the microchip, he thought back on how the chip had come into existence.
After several years of socialized medicine, the healthcare system was plagued with so many clerical “snafus” that it was brought almost to a standstill. The national director of Health and Human Services proposed a system that had been used to identify show and breeding animals since the late eighties. A microchip was implanted just under the skin, to be scanned by a laser reader. This eliminated most paperwork associated with medical claims. This approach was so successful that once every man, woman, and child had the chip implanted, the government started using the chip’s electronic signature for surveillance of “dissidents” and “misfits.” (For which title Skinner was a prime candidate.)
The newspapers and mass media began an unprecedented attack on the second amendment, which culminated in its repeal, and the systematic disarming of the American people. Skinner was one of millions who had “seen the writing on the wall.”
Knowing that once all the guns were out of the hands of the average citizen, he became easy prey for the punks and scum who never gave a rat’s ass about the law anyway, he bought some Army surplus airtight ammo cans, and some heavy grease, and buried all his guns and ammunition for a future time of need.

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