Fallen Fates

The shadow government and you
Excerpt for Michael Jone's talk radio show, "The Truth"

Alright folks.

The last caller may seem like a nutjob. For all we know that last caller may have been a nutjob but, they aren't necessarily wrong. Ever since the 1940s, the government has been gearing up a liberal program to "re-educate" the population. They do it in several ways.

One of them is population control. That's why you get your "Roe V. Wades" and your planned parenthood baby killing factories. It's all about population control to them. If the population gets too large, especially outside of the cities where they can keep the populace dumb with flouride in the water, they institute policies that result in death. Think about it people, if the numbers of good Americans who actually give a damn about this country can be kept low, the liberal elites get the edge. Heck, you know hollywood helps them!

Another way is darker. They have these groups. You've heard the rumors, black suits they all look the same. These groups are probably part of a secret, black NSA department that makes those who stir up too much trouble, "disappear." I've had my own run ins with them, let me tell you that it's not for fun that I carry a '45. They can't just make me go away though, they have to actually break me down. They need to make you not believe in me. That's how they do it. That's how they operate.

Sometimes, they pose as science-types and act like they're doing some kind of study. You've got to learn to see through it all. These people aren't even people! They're clones! Wake up, people!

Caller you're on the line.

Long time listener, first time caller. I just wanted to say that you don't even know how right you are. It's funny-

Oh I know how right I am, I've been doing this for-

I don't have much time before they trace this, I want you to know that we are cheering for you. They try to drag us into the light but they can't-

Alright, alright. I can see that we got another nutjob. What is it with these people? This is a serious show! We are the voice of the voiceless here and these people act like it's a game. Listen, we're going to go to a break but, before I go, I want you to remember to watch out for that… that… for [[The Agency]]. Those people are bad news. Take it from me. Just, take it from me.

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Arden, Nevada Part 4
Out with a bang

The crowd fell silent as the man continued his story. He was building up to something, everyone could tell. What it was, they didn't know. If they had, maybe things may have turned out differently. The lighting seemed dim and cast strange shadows about the room, making it seem as if there were so many more people there than there really were. They slinked about as he stalked through the center of the audience. They stretched long and seemed to grow edges as he smiled from the stage while giving his performance.

A performance that would be etched into the minds of the audience, forever.

Mark Yearling had had enough of the entire thing. He'd gone from skeptical to amazed and now was beginning to feel a cold chill up his spine. The man had taken a darker turn. He began talking about an "Age of heroes" and "an end to the chains holding us down." All it required was belief, he said. Belief and sacrifice. This was when Mark knew that he had to leave this place. He was scared for Victoria. This man was obviously dangerous and the word "sacrifice" kept echoing in Mark's head. He had a headache. He had enough.

He stood, holding Victoria's hand and began walking toward the exit when the strangely smooth voice of the man called out to him.

"Don't be afraid, brother" he said.

"I just want to leave" Mark said, mustering as much defiance as he could.

"Come to the front, let me see you" the man said, smiling in a way that showed too many teeth.

"I said, that I'm going to leave. We're going to leave and you aren't going to stop me" Mark insisted.

"Alright, I'm not done yet but, alright. You can leave. If… "he paused for effect.

"No, we're leaving" Mark said as he walked to the exit.

"If you come to me, willingly… I'll let you rudely leave."

Something struck Mark at that time. A sharp and sickening thought. This… man can stop me from leaving. The doors are blocked he thought to himself, horrified. Mark had never been in such a position of weakness before. He was a smart man, he served in the military, he believed in facts. As sickening as it was, the most important fact in this situation is that he was trapped. He couldn't protect Victoria from someone who could carry enormous pillars. How could he stand up against someone who commanded the weather itself?

That was when Mark turned to look at the man.

That was when he realized that this man… wasn't a man at all.

He was something else. Something that looked and spoke like a man but bent reality to his will. This thing didn't listen to facts. This was a thing out of stories. This was a thing that did not belong. Mark turned slowly, his mind reeling from the realization that he was at the mercy of some kind of monster. He released Victoria's hand. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knew that Victoria was yelling something. She was yelling at Mark. She yelled at the audience to do something. She didn't understand. Maybe, she never would. He stood in front of the strange man and though Mark stood a few inches taller than him, Mark felt like he was a child looking up at an adult. The man had a predatory look on his face. The smile never faltering as he addressed the audience.

"So, that lady there says that your name is Mark. A fitting, biblical name for someone. Did you know that the book of Mark is one of the few books that doesn't actually talk about the birth of Jesus?"

"Yeah.." said Mark, in a hoarse voice.

"Though Mark is often called 'dull,' it is actually the earliest of the books of the New Testament. In a real way, Mark paved the way for the others. His story gave birth to the stories of the other disciples. You could say that his story was the beginning. The most important of all."

"We just want to go home," Mark said.

"Mark, I want you to kneel and say my name."

"What? I… I don't know your name," said Mark, panic obvious in his voice.

"I will whisper it to you and then you will turn to our gathered brothers and sisters and you will proclaim me. You will be the first to tell my story."

"I don't understand…" was all that Mark could think to say to this.

"Miracles come in threes, Mark. I've performed two. I must perform a third. It's important. Don't you think it's important?"

"I… sure… it's important… We just-"

"I'm glad that you agree. I will tell you my name now and you will proclaim it to everyone here," the man said, smiling.

With that, the man took a step forward and whispered in Mark's ear. Mark's eyes opened wide in shock and confusion. "I… you want me to say that? You can't be serious?" But the man merely nodded as the smile turned into a snarl. He walked to the stage and closed his eyes, hands behind his back.

Mark turned around and his eyes scanned the audience. There was a mixture of awe and fear. They wouldn't help him. No one would. Mark looked at Victoria and knew that something terrible was going to happen to him. In a real way, it already had. If what he said was true, the man completely eroded away the foundations of everything that Mark thought that he knew. He mouthed the words, it will be okay… I love you to her.

He knelt down.

One knee and then the other.

"This is Thor," he said and though his voice was barely a whisper, it seemed to resonate with power throughout the whole tent.

There was a blinding light followed by a rumbling that seemed to go on forever.

Then, there was chaos and screaming. The audience tripped over each other and trampled one another in a mad attempt to escape. They threw themselves at the door and it burst open. Somehow, Victoria managed to avoid getting caught in the mob. She was almost lifted off her feet by the panic filled crowd. Outside, they scattered like roaches in the light. Dashing into their cars, tires screeching into the cold night.

Thor looked at the hole in the roof of the tent. The edges of the hole still smoldering. Tiny bits of amber light against the charred black of the burned fabric. Through the hole, Thor saw the night sky. It had cleared and the stars were perfectly visible. "The people here will tell their story. Most won't be believed but, some will. The evidence that we leave here will be cataloged and inspected. The authorities will search for a reasonable answer for what happened here today but, they won't find any. So, the story will grow. My story will grow," Thor said to no one in particular.

"Thus the Age of Heroes was reborn," said Thor, smiling.

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Arden, Nevada Part 3
With different eyes

Martha Allenson was a believer.

She believed in UFOs because she'd seen them flying over the desert late at night. She knew lots of people who had seen the strange cigar shaped or saucer shaped things floating oddly in the sky. She believed in ghosts because when her brother died of a heroin overdose, he came to her that night to say goodbye. Besides, so many people have their own stories about ghosts since ancient times. Who is she to deny the existence of something that so many people agree on?

So it was with a wide open mind that she came to the revival. She wanted to see something amazing and have something new to believe in. She had difficulty with religion. God was a tricky prospect. She wasn't sure what exactly kept her away from god but, there was something that just didn't work. The flyer promised something more. It promised to teach the "secrets of the gods." So, it was with that in mind that she came to the revival.

The story that he started with was interesting. It explained so much about the world. Ghosts, gods and maybe even UFOs were all created by human power. Maybe, he was saying that we built the UFOs but she doubted that. The way that he said that we "spoke reality into being" seemed to entail that he really believed that we willed everything into being. Then he did something truly amazing.

He made it rain.

She actually cried when it happened. Tears of genuine joy because her whole life, she has wanted to believe in something real and now there was something amazing right in front of her. She wiped her tears and listened with rapt attention.

"In the past, we had the age of heroes. All of the myths and adventures of the ancient heroes is based on real stories. The age of heroes was real. It could be real again but, we have to work for it. We have to believe. We have to tell our tales. You have to spread what you've learned tonight. What you've seen."

"Ernie, I need you to begin." He looked back at the audience, "I want you all to trust me. I want you to believe in me."

A large man walked over to the main support holding up the tent. There was something shiny in his hand. There was a brief gasp as the audience realized that it was an axe. Immediately, he began swinging the axe at the support for the tent. Over and over again. The audience was in complete confusion. Some stood up in shock. Some started to try to leave only to see that the doors were blocked. They were all trapped.

Thunk. Thunk. Thunk.

The axe swung over and over again until a sickening cracking noise broke out across the silence. The support beam began to fall. Suddenly, everything became eerily silent. The man was holding the support in his hands. He held the entire tent up in his hands. It weighed more than he should have been able to carry. He held the support while a different assistant dug a new hole then he dropped the support into the hole. At the end, the audience clapped and cheered in amazement.

Martha Allenson was a believer. She had looked right at the impossible and saw a world of possibility open up before her.

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Arden, Nevada Part 2
Make it reign

She is going to be Mrs. Yearling soon!

I'm so excited, I can almost burst. She doesn't know that I've already picked out the ring and tomorrow, after dinner, I'm going to propose. She's going to be so happy. She has been exceedingly patient with me through the new business, through the move and all the crap that comes with it all. She was right there beside me that night that I broke down because the receipts all came back wrong. I remember how we worked long into the night recalculating all the money in to make certain that it matched the money out as closely as possible.

She had to work the next day and when we were done, she gave me a weak smile and said that we won again. Lately, I feel like I've been doing nothing but winning. I've got so much in my life to be grateful for and so much more on the way.

Maybe we'll have a family?

I held her arm in mine as we slowly walked into the tent set aside for this "revival." It sounded like no revival I've ever heard of. The flyer mentioned "gods" and talked about raising people up. It sounded like serious hogwash. Potentially entertaining hogwash but, hogwash nonetheless.

We tried to sit towards the back but, some biker looking guy motioned for us to move forward. Sit close to the front, he says. It's an old trick but, a good one. If we sit towards the front, we feel more pulled in and have a much harder time walking out. It's smart but, this isn't my first time. I lead Victoria to a seat about midway and off to the side. That way, when we want to walk out, we're off to the periphery of people's vision. No one will really notice.

We sit down and this music starts. It's this odd cacophany or modern instruments and clumsily played old instruments. I think I hear a mouth harp or something. It's a little weird but, seriously… I am hooked. I look around and notice that the place is almost empty. It's a big place so the space seems weird. There is humming or chanting of some kind. The stage, a barely raised wooden affair, is filled with a bunch of burly, biker-looking men and some rough looking women too.

I smile to myself, thinking that maybe they all met in prison. I am about to lean over and tell this to Victoria when this young guy, big but lean with a shock of red hair cut short, walks down the middle of the tent. He has a way of just commanding attention. A born showman and I prepare myself for the show. He steps to the front of the stage and the audience doesn't exactly know how to react. They're all looking at this guy, wondering what is going to happen now.

His voice is measured and carries excellently in the tent. He starts with a story.

"Once upon a time…," he smiles as he says this, getting a few people to chuckle softly.

"Once upon a time, there was nothing but emptiness. In this emptiness were born men… and women too. In those days, we were capable of anything. But, some felt that it was too dangerous. They conspired together to limit us. To chain us to the dirt!" That last line he delivers with such power that his voice echoes a bit. I wonder, is it normal for his voice to be so powerful? Shouldn't he be using a microphone or something?

"So, in the darkness they hatched a plan." He continues, "They created rules to bind us. Split us apart into weaker versions of ourselves and blinded our eyes to the absolute truth. The world you know is a damned lie! Your job, your taxes, your bank account; it's all empty. It's all part of the cage that they built for you. See, I've learned that in the first age of man, we were more than gods. We were beyond everything. We spoke reality into being with our words. We shaped the cosmos with our fingers. You," he looks at a bewildered older lady "and I were one and yet we were more powerful than anything you could imagine."

Ah, I think to myself, this is some kind of gnostic sect. They claim that the demiurge tricked the theurge into going mad and splitting itself. It makes sense in that they tend to think of reality as a sort of lie as well. I'm fascinated. I've never seen real gnostics before. I've hear about it and read about it but, nobody really believes that craziness… right? I guess, I'm wrong.

"So it goes for the first age of man. We had many more ages, of course. Each time we would reset the stars, remake the earth and we would be stripped of even more power. But, brothers and sisters, they cannot take it all. You see, within you is the same power that we all once held together. All it takes is a little bit of focus and willpower."

Victoria is starting to get nervous but, I'm enthralled… I know that there's going to be a catch and a sales pitch but, when? So, I do a horrible thing. I ignore her feelings. I hold her hand and squeeze it and then I smile at her. She isn't happy with me.

"My brothers and sisters, I stand before you tonight to tell you that I have walked with gods." This brings a murmer to the crowd. Is he losing them? "I wield their power and I can prove it to you. I will prove it now."

He points over at a young man, asks him to stand and say his name. I didn't catch it because they weren't using a mic. "What was the weather like when you walked in here today?" That's easy. We'd been in a drought for the past week. It was hot and dry and tiring. "A drought you say? Let me see what I can do about that."

He walks off the stage and closes his eyes.

My breath catches in my throat when I hear the first tapping on the roof of the tent. Quickly, the tapping becomes a steady noise and parts of the tent begin to drip down. Excited murmuring breaks out over the crowd as they can't believe their ears and even their eyes.

It was raining!

At this point, Victoria was ready to go. I quietly begged her to stay. I had to know how he knew that there was going to be rain! I couldn't leave now, I had to see what was next! I had come expecting the ramblings of another group of crazies and now I get the crazy rambling and magic tricks? This was too much! Victoria however, is much to polite. She didn't want to make a scene and so I just persisted until she sat down with this stone look on her face. I'm sure that we'll laugh about it later but, right now she was beyond furious.

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Transcript: Arden, Nevada Police
Three miracles and a murder

Officer Tilden: Okay, it's about 3:20 am. We are at headquarters here in Arden. I'm Officer Joseph Tilden. Would you please state your name, ma'am?

Witness: Yeah…yeah. My name is Victoria Browning.

Tilden: I'm going to get to it. I want to hear what happened last night.

Witness: He…They killed him, They killed Mark. He's dead. I- I don't know-

Tilden: Take it slow. Just start at the top. Start at the beginning. Start from the meeting. OK?

Witness: Y-yeah. I'm sorry. I-just.

Tilden: It's okay. Whenever you're ready.

Witness: I uh. We started seeing this flyer. We actually first saw it last week. Posted on the wall. I don't go in for that kind of thing so, I just ignored it.

Tilden: What kind of thing? Describe the flyer.

Witness: I was… it was like, photocopied, you know? Or maybe printed cheap. It was for some kind of revival. I mean, the wording was kind of like those evangelical type pamphlets. This was different though, I remember that it said "gods." Like, there was more than one? They were having a meeting and it was open to anyone. I mean, anyone who saw the flyer, I guess.

Tilden: Go on, you're doing fine.

Witness: I pointed out that it said "gods." It's my fault Mark got interested. He's into UFOs and conspiracies and all that stuff. No like, believes it… he just likes collecting stories, I guess. He laughs and says that we should go. It'll be fun, he said… he was smiling about it. We're both not religious. I mean, I don't know about god or whatever but… I don't really need to be praying and whatnot, right?

[brief silence as Mrs. Browning drinks a sip of water]

Witness: Anyway, I shrug it off and tell him that we have no business getting mixed up in mumbo-jumbo. He laughs but, I knew that he kept thinking about it. Sometimes, he gets fixated on things.

Tilden: Do you know why he might have fixated on the meeting?

Witness: I don't know… He grew up catholic before he walked away from all that and moved here. His family, up in Boulder… they're… weird about it. Like, they take all that stuff so seriously. Stuff that I didn't know was in the bible. Like, demons and monsters and whatnot.

Tilden: So, how did you end up going to the "revival?"

Witness: We went out and… well- he sort of just convinced me. It was a joke of sorts. I mean, we didn't think to take it seriously or anything. He just sort of asked. He has this way… I wish I hadn't listened this time… maybe he'd- he'd still be…

[sobbing]

Tilden: Lets take a short break and give you some time? I'll bring you some more water, OK?

[End of part 1]

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The Meeting
Monday, July 10, 2017

          The wonderful thing about wearing earbuds in public is that nobody bothers trying to talk to you. It's a bit more socially acceptable than wearing a sign that says, "Not today." I glance up at my fellow subway passengers. Everybody's making themselves busy. Reading newspapers, checking phones, chatting with friends, or staring intently at a fixed point in the car. We slow to a stop at the next station. It's probably 9:30 by now. The Elysium Hotel is an eight minute walk from here. I'm expected to be there at 10 o'clock according to… well… that's not important. The point is, I'm not going to be late. When I finally walk up to the hotel, I shove my earbuds into my pocket. The place is not at all what I expected. The whole block on it's own is pretty run down, but looks like ruins compared to this place. The building towers above its neighbors and is obviously well taken care of. Even the awning holds it's scarlet color and the concrete surrounding the building has kept its new, bright look. I take one last breath of summer morning air before stepping inside. I'm immediately hit with a blast of AC. The lobby's breathtaking. I pause to take it in. A huge chandelier hangs from the ceiling with smaller ones illuminating portions of the room the larger one left bare. Chairs are gathered in several clusters throughout the room, most of which are occupied. I find a seat near the back of the lobby without anybody too close to it. I can't help but run my fingers over the soft red velvet while I survey the room. Even though the lobby's size is amazing, it's surprisingly quiet given the number of people in it. Judging by the body guards standing by, I'd guess a few minor celebrities are here as well. I'm reminded of the people on the train by how busy everybody is making themselves. It feels almost ominous how- Somebody stops in front of me cutting my thoughts short.

          "Claire?" I look up to see a familiar face. Anoki Spring. We worked together for a while on the force. That was until he figured he could do it better by himself and left. 

         "Annie? What are you doing here?" He quickly looks around before sitting next to me. He leans in almost as though to make sure nobody else hears.

          "A little birdy told me about this place." He widens his eyes a bit, as if willing me to understand. I just look at him, waiting for him to offer up more information, when somebody walks into the lobby. We both immediately turn to look. This is what makes me notice that the whole time I've been here, nobody has entered or exited the lobby. We watch as a man makes his way over to the hotel receptionist. His shoes make soft tapping sounds with each step on the marble floor. He looks vaguely familiar, but I can't place why.

          Annie leans in again to whisper, "Is that Theo Oren?"

          That's when I realize why he looks familiar. Oren was a key witness in the Rube Goldberg murders, a series of murders in which the victim was killed in an elaborate trap, hence the name. He stops at the mahogany desk. The hotel receptionist turns to him. We're too far away to make out what they're saying and the receptionist is wearing a dark hood that hides his face, making it impossible to guess. The man reaches under his desk and pulls out a large book, flipping it open and pointing at a page. Oren takes out a pen and writes something. The man hands him a card and with that, Oren turns and leaves down a hallway just as quickly as he came. I lean back in my seat and share a puzzled look with Annie. Normally, Annie's the last person I'd look to for support, but I'm in way over my head. Annie opens his mouth to say something when he's interrupted by the doors bursting open. Another person enters, shattering the quiet and this time he doesn't look familiar. I glance at Annie for confirmation, but the scowl on his face tells me he knows him. I turn my attention back on the man as he parades his way through the lobby. His sneakers squeak harshly against the floor. He's almost comically narcissistic. He makes his way through the still lobby as though he's making his way through a crowd of adoring fans. Greeting everybody in his path and laughing loudly at nothing as he continues to strut his way over to the hotel secretary. He leans on the desk. The man tosses his hair to the side and declares something I can't quite make out. The secretary reaches under his desk and pulls out the same book from earlier. He flips it open and points to something, just as he had before. It looks like the other man tries to do a magic trick with a pen. I look to Annie for some sort of explanation. 

          He rolls his eyes and mumbles, "Meet Ace Watson."

          We look back at Ace just in time to see the man hand him a card the looks similar to the one he handed to Oren. He keeps talking, his voice echoing through the lobby and big, dramatic hand gestures match his tone. After another round of loud laughter, Ace saunters his way down the hallway after Oren and out of sight. Annie lets out a sigh and concentrates on his hands. His eyebrows furrow as he tries to piece together some sort of connection between us, Oren, Ace, and whatever sent him here. I've seen this look on his face a thousand different times, always on the most challenging cases. I'm not sure why, but the memory annoys me.

          "I'll see you later, Annie," I mumble. I stand up and start walking toward the front desk.

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Burn your things, Judgement is here!
Excerpt for Michael Jone's talk radio show, "The Truth"

We are in the middle of a full on crisis here, ladies and gentlemen.

Yes, a crisis. We've got politicians that are so damn clueless that they need leashes and nobody around to put a stop to anything. ANYTHING. It's all going to burn. That's right ladies and gentlemen, the whole county is going to burn. First we had the whole weird mass suicides among the Indians, now they seem to be dancing and chanting for the end of the world. I mean, think about it people, where do you think they put all those damn bodies? They buried them? No, I think they burned the whole lot of 'em in those mounds. Like the savages used to back in their old days.

The Indians, don't get me started on those freeloading bags of meat. You know what I once heard them say? One guy actually told me that they went to their "heaven." Bullshit! Those commie bastards wouldn't know heaven if the good lord came down and laid out a red carpet for them. No, it's clear to me that they killed themselves. They probably got hopped up on drugs and offed themselves like a bunch of cowards rather than face the day!

Lets talk about (mocking voice) "New York City".

Yeah, lets talk about that den of sin and suffering. That Sodom of the American continent. The mayor of New Gamorrah said that they were going to welcome another 35,000 immigrants despite our damn president, OUR PRESIDENT, saying that the borders were officially closed. I'm going to go ahead and say it, It's time that we string that weaselly bastard up for treason. He needs to be put in front of a tribunal, found guilty and then he needs to meet the firing squad. These immigrants bring their heathen gods, their "culture" and they commit crimes and basically desecrate this great nation. When are we going to learn that immigrants bring chaos?

Look, let me tell you all a little story.

Back in '76 I was driving along the Erie when I stopped at a little town called Albion over in Ohio. A proper, and good Christian town, this place was beset by the fat cats in Columbus and the assholes in Washington telling them what they can and can't do in their own damn town. These people fought back. They saved their town using their own grit and determination and you know what now? Even though the towns around it are drowning in drugs and immigrants, Albion continues to be a shining example of American grit. The town is upper middle class, white and isn't afraid to show it. They know that they're right and damn it, there is no way for anyone to claim anything different. Their crime rate is way below the national average, their income is way above and they know what the hell they're doing. I swear, a bunch of outsiders are going to show up one day and ruin everything for them. It'll be a god damn tragedy.

A real shame…

I'm going to open it up to the callers…

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