What would you feel if America fell and the nation was taken over by a dictatorial power? Would you adapt? Or, would you lay down body and soul to protect your homeland? Read Chapter two of Steven Clark Bradley's newest work in progress, Automated Response and feel what could happen unless we are vigilant and devoted to the United states of America.
Patriot Acts Part 3
A New Line Emerges
Edgecombe County, North Carolina
September, 1969, 1:52 p.m.
“Just deal with it.” was the last thing Peter Barlowe’s father had told him, before he died.
Peter had walked into his home in Edgecombe County, North Carolina just as he had as far back as he could remember. There, to the right, he saw his father, Marshall sitting on the edge of the couch with his face buried in his palms, shaking and weeping a torrent of tears.
“Dad, where’s mom?”
Peter Barlowe looked at the various things that were scattered around his father, on the couch and the floor. He saw pictures of his childhood, his mom Betty and his dad’s great-great grandmother Winnifred Atkinson Barlowe’s portrait, who had lived in Edgecombe Co. The floor was littered with old folders everywhere; all of them opened with their contents spilling out.
What’s he looking for? Peter wondered. “Dad, where’s mom? You’re starting to scare me.”
Marshall Barlowe looked up at his son with a face that screamed out disaster and guilt.
“Mother, you want your mother? Well, boy, you ain’t got no mother. Not no more.”
Young Peter Barlowe took in the words from his father. The pitch, the expression across his father’s face and grave sound of his father’s voice, and most devastatingly terrible thing of all was the words themselves. It all told this young twelve year old boy that his life had been drastically altered and was in permanent disrepair.
Marshall Barlow sat on the edge of the couch with his eyes weeping into his palms. He raised his head and gazed at the son he had always loved; an affection he had rarely attempted to display.
The expression he saw on his son’s face made him hurt so badly that he had to hold the gun in his left hand down with his right lest he raise the barrel to his head and pull the trigger earlier than he figured he’d be forced to.
“Peter, I tried to stop it, but I couldn’t; I swear I did. Everything about that damn place is automated, and it’s only the beginning. Don’t try to run, cause they’ll kill you.”
Peter looked over at his father and took in the words that even he, at his young age, realized would be the last ones his father would ever say to him.
“Son, I love you, I always have. But, you cannot give up what’s ours and what was started by our kin, our blood.”
Peter walked slowly closer to his father and saw the gun in his hand.
“Dad, what’s wrong? I know about the lost colony and the stupid shooting over a stolen cup that was to have killed off all of them, and I know about the SPU. I’m not afraid; tell me what I have to do.” Tears rolled down the boy’s face and he felt as if his knees wobbling under him. He took a deep breath and steadied himself.
Marshall looked at his son, Peter with serious etched all over his face.
“My boy, Michael O’Rourke has taken the line; he stole it from Eldridge Harrison.”
Marshall saw the confounded stare in his son’s eyes.
“Peter, I know, you’re young, way too young to endure what has happen here today. I …”
“What has happened? Where is my mom?” Peter demanded.
“Son, listen to me, you can’t run! If you run, they’ll kill you, and I can’t stop it now. Once a thing like this gets rolling, there’s no stopping it. This will never be far from you, Peter. Once they take you …”
“Take me, take me where?”
“You have to grow up fast and stop the system. The new line will build it, and they’ll use it too.”
“Dad, I don’t understand anything you’re talking about.”
“That’s not important. They’re going to take you, son and when they do, you’ll be chipped. No one knows the things we’ve done. No one even comprehends how many masters we’ve served; all the while exacting all the power, funding, technology and information they took as their booty. Every president since Wilson’s been our puppet, and that was all under a civil leadership. When this crowd gets their claws on the codes we have from every nation that’s anything, no one will ever be able to stop the SPU.”
Peter mouthed the letters S.P.U. “You’ll forget these things after they block out this day, and God knows how many others from your memory. But, my only hope is that if you hear the words, ‘automated response’ they will force this day back into your mind. That’s the best I can do, son.” Marshall Barlowe stared back at his son and rose from the couch.
“Peter, listen carefully, they’ve built a system that will take down the whole thing down. Just deal with it …”
Young Peter Barlowe turned his head toward the shattering sound of breaking glass and then saw a hole appear in the center of his father’s forehead. Blood shot out of his dad’s head and splashed over Peter’s face. Peter dived to the floor and heard the back door fly open and slam loudly against the wall. He lay silently and exposed on the living room floor and saw four sets of feet enter the room. He saw them walking over to him and then they grabbed him and lifted him up.
“Peter, we got here as soon as we could. You’re dad’s had a nervous breakdown, I’m afraid.”
“Mr. O’Rourke, you just killed my dad. He told me everything. I will not go with you. Did you kill my mom too, you lying bastard?”
“Listen, calm down. I didn’t kill anyone. Your father was about to kill you too. Come on now, you’re delirious, and I’ve got just the thing to help you forget all about this.”
Michael O’Rourke walked over to Peter and put his arm around his shoulder. Peter pulled away from him and punched the much larger man in the ribs. O’Rourke felt it, too.
“I don’t know what to believe.” Peter said in a child’s manner that seemed to pretend it all away.
“Of course you don’t, Pete. That’s actually good, in a strange sort of way. In fact, I fully intend to tell you what to believe, my boy.” O’Rourke looked at his men.
“Get him outta here. And, one of you get back in here and clean up this mess.”
Michael O’Rourke, the new chief of the Strategic Perception Unit could not believe it had come off so flawlessly.
“Finally, it’s all mine. Now, I’m the real most powerful man in the world.”
Three large men picked up Peter Barlowe and cuffed him and led him outside. As they walked him out the back door that had been kicked off its hinges, Peter saw the lifeless body of his mother sprawled across the blood-splattered table, with a large knife protruding out of her chest.
“You killed my mom! You bastards killed my mom!” Peter screamed and fought to get away from his captures.
Two of the men carried twelve-year-old Peter Barlow out of the house and to a black car with US Government plates. They jostled him into the car and he looked to his left at another young unconscious body next to him, in the back seat.
“Fish, Fisher is that you?”
“Oh, don’t worry about him; he’s OK. As a matter of fact, why don’t you join him?
The SPU operative placed a mask over his own face and closed the backseat divider and pressed a button his on his dash board that sprayed half the normal dose of gas that he’s have administered to an adult. The young boy pounded on the divider but soon, he felt his strength give way to a sleepy, foggy haze and everything went dark.
Falls Church, Virginia inside SPU Center
March 7, 2011
“I remember.” Peter said quietly, but more loudly than he had intended as the darkness of 1969 fade and his eyes gazed into the darkness of 2011. He fine-tuned his ears to the sounds of soldiers as they walked down the huge Falls Church facility corridors.
“It’s an automated response.” Memories started flashing and streaming through his mind and he saw what this horrible system would do.
“Peter, listen carefully, they’ve build a system that will take down the whole …” his father had said. “Just before they blew him away.” Peter whispered. “…if they take us down, everything goes with us.” He had heard so often since he had become part of the SPU. The memory shot through his mind and he grasped the sides of his head. “We’ve chipped every soldier, Marine, Seaman and Airman since 1988, and Reagan, Clinton nor Bush knew a thing about it. Even Tate didn’t get that information.” He groaned in mental agony.
“Your dad killed himself!”
“No, you killed him.” Peter Barlowe, heard his mind silently cry out.
“Your father killed your mother; stabbed her in the heart.”
“You lie.” He screamed out loudly and looked down at his watch. “Only two minutes.” He told himself. “I have to stop it.” He heard the sound of heavy footsteps voices approaching his location. He stopped breathing and listened carefully.
“This O’Rourke guy is dead.” One soldier said to the other. “Yea, Harrison’s not gonna take any shit!”
“Jaime’s dead? That leaves only me to take all the heat.” Barlowe realized.
He positioned himself with his back to the wall of the cleaning room and switched his flashlight on. Peter looked down at the chameleon suit he had put on. He pulled the mask over his face and pressed a button on the inside of his jacket. The suit came to life and he took on the colors and blended into the room, but the suit’s one flaw was the initialization process that produced a whining sound that the SPU techs had not managed to rectify, and which the soldiers policing the corridor could hear.
“Did you hear that?” One soldier said to the other. Barlowe heard the soldiers walking toward the door.
“I have to get to the chamber and reset it the failsafe.” His watch told him he had forty-eight seconds.
He heard the footprints coming his way and saw light break through the darkness as the cleaning room door slowly opened. He pulled his legs back prepared himself.
Two US Army soldiers aimed their weapons into the room and looked inside. They saw nothing and walked into the room. When they came close enough to trip over Peter, he drove the force of both his adrenalin-laced legs into the chest of one of the soldiers. Peter leapt to his feet and rapidly raced down the corridor, firing as he ran as fast as his legs would take him.
The Army advance soldier was one of a team of ten sent in to conduct code enforcement and to shoot anyone on sight who threatened US Forces in any way. The soldier ran into the corridor and saw him. The one soldier still left breathing ran after him and radioed his commander.
“I got him, Peter Barlowe …”
“One second, I ain’t got one …”
“Who are you, what company?”
“Taggart, sir, Advanced Infantry Clearance.”
“Give it to me, soldier.”
“I got Barlowe. You know, like the number two … sir.”
“You’ve got a shoot to kill on that dirt bag, Taggart. You Copy?”
“You better believe it … sir. Target is racing around into the left corridor.”
“Secretary Blake wants Barlowe dead. Do you copy that?”
“That’s affirmative and happy to oblige; engaging now.”
Taggart crouched forward and advanced with his weapon held tightly and impatiently ready. When Taggart turned the corner, Barlowe sprayed bullets in every direction. Taggart took cover and returned fire, even though he couldn’t see anything except the holes that Barlowe was inflicting upon the facility walls.
Barlowe turned to run and a bullet grazed the chameleon suit’s programs controller, which rendered him instantly visible with only 22 seconds left to stop the automated response.
“I think I’ve brought a knife to a gunfight.” He knew he had no chance to stop it and only one chance to remain a free man, even if no one else would be.
Barlow turned and looked at Taggart. The rest of Taggart’s men ran up behind Barlowe, with their weapons trained directly on him.
“Get down on the floor, now.” Taggart screamed.
Barlowe looked at his watch. “Hmm, seven seconds.” He told himself as he looked up at the soldiers.
“I said get down on the floor.” Another of the armed soldiers shouted.
“It’s alright boys. You’ll be working for me in three, two, one.”
Taggart, who had appeared deadly ready to blow Barlowe away, suddenly dropped his weapons to his sides and stood at attention.
President Harrison and his family and staff had already been airlifted out, the first to leave the facility and were already in the air in Marine One. Throughout the whole facility, every man and woman in uniform simply stopped searching and stood at attention waiting for their next orders.
“My goodness,” Barlowe said in great amazement. “Will you look at that?”
He walked up to the soldiers who did not bat an eye. He took one of the radios and set it to intercom.
“Thank you for your service. You are serving under a new protocol now, a new set of rules. Be as you were until further notice. You are under the orders of Peter Barlowe, your new Commander in Chief. Await my orders and return to your base.”
“I could get used to this.” Barlowe said out loud. “I think I already have.” He heard the echo of hundreds of voices resonating throughout the facility with the same two words.
Patriot Acts by Steven Clark Bradley
This new exciting novel is easy to find and available all over the net. Here are a few links to help you secure you own copy of Patriot Acts.
I hope everyone who reads this will not just think
it is entertainment or the irrational rambling of a scared
American. I am not afraid; I am convinced that no one
will secure our future except us.
That is why I declare the main theme of Patriot Acts
in one key phrase:
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