Welcome to the future of America. Land of chaos and home of the ambitious…
After years of unchecked extremism, violence has become the decisive force in American politics.
With a hung Electoral College vote, a constitutional standoff between Congress and the Supreme Court, and rabble-rousing state governors fueling the fire, the fever of civil war reaches crescendo.
Inauguration day looms. No one is safe. Not the people. Not their president. Not even democracy.
From the rhetoric-stained halls of power to the reluctant warriors representing the last firing line of domestic policy, get ready to take an extreme tour of the next major chapter in US history.
Keep low, stay alert, and just maybe you’ll survive a tour of duty in Operation Enduring Unity.
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
As a young Iraq veteran, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more realistic military fiction out there. Too much spec-ops-behind-the-lines stuff. So, I originally set out simply to create a modern, combined-arms war tale. Of course, in the search for a believable premise, a second US Civil War, the run up to the war came to dominate the story.
The end result is this darkly humorous series, which is as much a cautionary tale of extremism running wild as an action thriller.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Between the warriors I’ve served with in real life and all the extreme political rhetoric on TV, inspiration for most characters was easy to find!
The hard part was crafting actors that are universally relateable, but don’t fall neatly into “good guy” or “bad guy” camps. I put a lot of effort into making the war and knee jerk responses the true enemy.
Hands down my most favorite character is Sophie- a young, liberal pacifist radicalized through a series of horrible mistakes- who eventually becomes a senior militia leader. She’s loosely based upon a gentle-hearted 17 year old girl in Iraq who put Rambo to shame after her family were killed by a suicide bomber. She directly caused more damage to the insurgency in a week than my battalion accomplished in a year!
The Shot Heard Round the World
November 7th, 20soon
All the waving red, white and blue bunting had a slightly nauseating effect, when stared at long enough through a 13-power scope. John Randall raised his cheek off the rifle’s stock and forced a ragged breath. He even managed to blink. The damn debate moderator kept droning on longer than expected. Well, after a month of planning another minute couldn’t hurt. Any moment he was going to make history.
From nearly 400 yards away and four stories high, he could still hear the idiotic cheering fire up again. When the beaming face of Senator Dimone came into focus, a relaxing wave of finality dampened his adrenaline fire. That rich tool was about to make the last speech of his perverted presidential bid.
Ah, but first he must shake hands with his opponent, Speaker of the House Terry Scott. The only real man on that stage. John felt a brief flash of regret. He wasn’t a complete psychopath. Deep down, he knew this isn’t what the congressman meant by: “Enough talk; it’s time for action!”
But all those long hours spent volunteering and canvassing for the congressman’s campaign seemed so trivial, when stacked against the billion dollars poured into his challenger’s various PACs by unknown donors. Remembering how every spare moment of the last year of John’s life, so lovingly invested in trying to save his dear country, could be so casually brushed aside by some corporatist conspiring brought the rage back.
While no one would confuse John Randall for a true sharpshooter, firing a box a day of .30-06 for a month on a 500-yard range sure builds confidence. He slid the window open and took up as comfortable a position as he could out on the sill. Just like in the movies. He was even dressed head to toe in black.
The reassuring weight of his semiautomatic rifle, bought without a paper trail from some gun show, relaxed him as much as noticing the wind dying down. Perfect conditions. Shifting his weight, he savored the God-like sense of power from his perch. Randall drank in the grinning face of his prey at the other end of the scope…perhaps a moment too long.
With his left eye shut tight and his whole world focused on the golden clasp of that $1,000 power tie, he failed to notice some Secret Service agent a few feet from the target clutch his earpiece and shout. He sure noticed the chest caving impact of an alert counter sniper’s round ripping through his left lung a split-second later.
The well-practiced, gentle squeeze on the trigger became a rather untidy jerk. His body raced the spent casing to the ground, but he felt no regret. Savoring the fresh scent of decisive action and sweet gun smoke gave him a greater sense of peace than people would expect from someone drowning in their own blood.
Congressman Scott wondered what kind of political stunt this was when someone yelled “Get down!” and his opponent shrieked like a girl. The pieces slowly came together when the craaack of something split the air, followed by his screaming rival falling backwards.
It all became crystal clear when the round missed the senator, struck a flagpole behind him and ricocheted through the base of Congressman Scott’s neck instead. With the vertebrae shredded, Scott was dead before his body hit the ground. Even so, his disjointed head still made a comical bobbing motion closely imitating his “Together, we can!” advertisements…all in front of the live, primetime coverage cameras.
Millions of voters watched their hopes die in high-definition detail. Thousands of filthy rich campaign donors saw a huge investment vanish faster than any stock market “flash crash.” Hundreds of other politicians witnessed the entire political landscape turn upside down. A half dozen television networks observed their ratings skyrocket.
Regardless of what each saw from their unique perspectives, they all drew the same conclusion: whether they liked it or not, violence was now the decisive force in American politics. It was a lesson none would soon forget.
Richard Peters is the author of the Operation Enduring Unity series. He served from 2002-2007 as an artillery spotter in the US Army. Richard spent 27 months in two tours bringing peace at any price to the post-apocalyptic streets and mahalla’s of Baghdad.
He currently lives with his wife and son in Germany and runs his own technical services business.
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