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by G. L. Rockey
Description: Zachary Stern believes in facts, and he believes that's what the news should be about. It's how he runs The Boca, his weekly alternative paper in Miami. When a local network affiliate broadcasts a shocking video, something about the damning images sets off an alarm.
Then Zack is given a tape that records a plot by the three highest advisors of the President of the United States, the goal of which is the destruction of the Constitution and the establishment of a dictatorship, all in the name of anti-terrorism. He needs to get the tape in the hands of the one person who might be able to prevent the coup, but he needs to stay alive long enough to do it.
eBook Publisher: Zumaya Publications/Zumaya Enigma, 2011 2011
eBookwise Release Date: January 2011
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [385 KB]
Reading time: 212-297 min.
In his book-lined West Wing office, Leo Novak--in blue Polo shirt, tan Dockers slacks and black Gucci loafers--stood beside a twenty-five-inch globe. Turning the orb slowly, he continued a conversation with Dr. Barbara Lande.
"Our quest, Babs, is essential for the elevation of the human species on Planet Earth."
"The sweet vermouth helps." Lande referred to her special brew of Long Island Iced Tea that they both sipped from blue White House goblets. "Don't you think?"
Ignoring the remark, Novak, engrossed in his lofty thoughts, said with some distaste, "Beno, all those people, the unwashed, they don't get it, never will. Freedom is not absolute and equality is not true of everyone."
Lande puffed on a Primo Del Rey.
"I can attest to that...been in the Boston Patriots' locker rooms many times."
Novak looked down his nose.
"You do understand the magnitude...the implications...our place in the chronicle of history, don't you?"
"You trying to convince me or yourself?"
Resigned, Novak sat behind his spindle-legged Renaissance desk.
"The president simply loved your idea."
Lande, in red blazer, white silk slacks and red pumps, lounged in a maroon wingback chair.
"How could he not? It's genius, if I do say so myself."
Ignoring her, or not hearing her, Novak leaned back.
"So, how is this going to work?"
Novak and Lande looked toward the door when they heard it open. MacCallister, flushed and disheveled, entered. He wore weekend khaki fatigues.
"Where you been, Mac?" Novak said.
"Tied up." He teetered.
"Who was she?" Lande said with a smile.
MacCallister ignored her and balanced himself on a ten-foot white tufted sofa angled so that it faced Novak's desk.
Novak held up his White House goblet. "Have some Long Island tea?" He indicated a shiny chrome tumbler sitting in the center of a narrow coffee table in front of the sofa.
"Don't mind if I do." Mac leaned forward and poured a goblet of the vodka, gin, rum and tequila mixture. He took a drink and frowned.
Novak said, "That's the sweet vermouth." He looked at Lande. "To Doctor Lande's liking."
"Figures," Mac said.
Lande saluted with her goblet. "Saludo."
Novak said, "We were just chatting, Mac. Ah, did you see this morning's Post?"
"I didn't get to it yet."
"Ha," Lande said.
Novak continued, "Shows Beno ahead of the president by thirty percentage points." He shook his head. "The attention span of the American people is truly amazing."
Lande yawned, crossed her legs and puffed on her cigar.
"You'd think Beno was servicing those jerks at the gaddamed TV networks. Can't believe those weenies. Every week the same lick-it-up crapola--Senator Beno offers new plan to reduce taxes; Senator Beno asks for cap on business profits; Senator Beno demands list of the President's corporate supporters; Senator Beno promises negotiation with terrorists..." She formed a zero with her index finger and thumb. "Facking losers."
Mac took a long drink, set his glass down, gripped his knees with his hands and mocked Beno's campaign slogan.
"I'm tired of trickle-down economics. I want to percolate it up." He stared at Novak through narrowed, tank-slit eyes. "I could arrange an accident for that bitch in a second."
Novak shook his head down to the neat peak of his chin like a wet Labrador retriever shedding water.
"No, no, no!" He sat up and leaned over his desk. "Any action of that character would give the media boobs a field day. Many problems, many problems--remember the sixties with all those asinine assassinations, dippy songs. Besides, if Beno were removed there'd be ten nincompoops standing in line to take her place. It is not Beno, it is the insanity of her position, that left-wing socialist position, that must be purged from our thinking, all thinking." He took a drink, put his glasses on his desk, propped his feet up and said, "No, no, no."
Novak studied the ceiling for a moment then said to Mac, "Suppose you didn't see the Times, either?"
"I heard about it on the radio. Those French wee-wee's are smoking something, always have been."
Novak replied, "After they lose their national phallic symbol, five thousand little peres, they're blaming everything on moi and Israel."
Lande said, "Guilt complex...ever since the Reign of Terror."
"Too many sauces." Novak shook his head. "Post also reported that gas could be six dollars a gallon by Labor Day."
Mac frowned. "And Beno wants to negotiate with those camel jockeys. That goddamn oil money is supporting those guys--doesn't that jungle bunny get it?"
Lande dragged on her cigar and blew smoke from the side of her funnel-shaped mouth.
"You have such a way with words, Bill."
The general frowned at being called Bill by this female version of Peter O'Toole. He squared his peaked crew cut head toward Lande.
"Lande, I got satellite pictures of you squatting in the reflecting pool, so don't get too damn uppity." He extended his fat lower jaw as if inviting a hit.
"Which time?" Lande said.
"Smart ass." MacCallister twisted his thick bulldog neck. "One of these days somebody's gonna lick that smart ass of yours."
"Ya mean 'kick,' don't ya, Bill?" Lande smiled.
Mac started to stand. "I'll just show you what I mean..."
"Sit down!" Novak blinked. Memories of shallowness that had brought down dynasties flashed through his mind. He glared at Mac. "What were you going to do, spank her?"
"Not even with your hand."
Lande shook her head.
Novak cast dubious glances at his colleagues' pettiness. I wonder if they realize the depth of the moment at hand, he thought. Probably not.
He despised dealing with inferior intellects; but as he often told himself, "To accomplish certain goals the end justifies the means, requires it, and the higher good is ultimately served."
He leaned over his desk. "So, Babs, how is this media plan of yours proceeding?"
"Maavaalaas, on track, shooting in two weeks, unload everything to the TV guys Labor Day weekend."
Mac sat up and folded his arms across his chest. "I gotta tell ya, I still think this pissing with the television people could blow up in our faces."
"Relax, General, relax." Lande smiled. "Just be sure the internet satellites go out the Friday before Labor Day and the TV sats go out that Monday."
"They'll be out, but I'm skittery."
"Have some more Long Island tea," Lande said.
Novak ogled her cockiness.
"You understand, Ms. Babs, if this doesn't work we will all be hanged."
MacCallister unfolded his arms. "By the nuts."
Lande smiled. "Maybe you guys."