The following is an excerpt from the novel "TIME’S UP" by Mike Ross.
The walking dead really do exist. They move freely among us. They are better dressed, groomed, have better posture and speak, even eloquently at times. They rarely have blood dripping off their chins. Those ugly, shabby, stumbling, bloody people on TV are just actors. The real walking dead are the career politicians or ‘carpols’ for short.
Carpols were once alive but were infected by an insatiable lust for power. This lust destroyed their humanity including their compassion, decency and sense of fairness. It did not interfere at all with their ability to walk, talk and behave almost like humans.
Carpols are those politicians who have bought into the idea that individuals cannot accomplish anything. No individual can ever have enough power to really make a difference. Carpols are convinced that the only way anything can be accomplished is if they all gang up. This gang is called a Political Party. Only the Party, as a unified whole, can accumulate enough power to make anything happen. It’s like reaching critical mass for a thermonuclear bomb.
Once the carpol accepts this fact, then he must also accept that the Party’s goals are all that matter. The things he wanted to accomplish when he got into politics to make things ‘better’ no longer matter. The carpol loses what made him and his ideas unique and special. He relinquishes his self-identity without which he becomes one of the walking dead.
The Party gets its power from the voters. To wrest the power they crave they manipulate the fundamental human weakness: fear. Carpols have devised two ways to use fear to seize and hold on to power.
The first way is to instill it. The Party must create or shape what the voters believe about some external thing or force. They have to convince the voters that a threat exists, that it is coming their way and that they are unable to protect themselves. A neighboring nation threatens. Losing their job threatens. Illness threatens. The horrible things the opposing Party will do if it gets the chance, threaten.
Once a human is loaded up with fear, he will give away his power to anyone he believes will protect him. When he is loaded up with fear, a Party will be there claiming be that protector. As soon as a human believes that a Party is protecting him from some terrible threat, the carpols have his power.
The other way to gain power is more insidious. The Party gives or pretends to give voters something they really like or need and then makes them fear losing it. It could be a huge powerful military. It could be medical insurance. It could be unemployment compensation. By the time the voter becomes dependent on a Party for the things he wants and needs his power has been vacuumed up.
The Parties are so good at using fear to inspire loyalty that some humans may even come to identify with a Party though in reality all Parties are comprised only of politicians. The humans are just camp followers.
Lawyers who enter politics, which is the background of nearly all of them, quickly develop this craving to enjoy the power of a Party. The law profession teaches lawyers that they can say almost anything if it serves their client’s best interest. Their lawyer training has prepared them well for using partial truths, mischaracterizations, innuendo and carefully worded lies so all they have to do is transfer those practices to their Party. They can then say or do anything that is in their Party’s best interest.
So why do normal people turn into carpols? This had been a mystery for years but recent medical research may have shed some light on this strange phenomenon. A team of pediatricians attached sensors all over the little bodies of several newborn babies. These sensors detected what the researchers believe to be communication occurring among the internal organs of these newborns. This only happens in the first few months of life. Exactly how the communication works remains a mystery but researchers believe that the purpose of this intra-body conferencing is to establish which organ will be the body’s leader. After that harrowing slide down the birth canal, the little body knows it has entered a whole new world. This is going to take some getting used to and a good leader will be needed.
Each of the critical organs believes that it would make the best leader. The brain claims leadership because it controls everything from voluntary to involuntary actions. The heart claims it should be the leader because it supplies the blood that all the organs need. The eyes claim it because they collect most of the information about this strange new outside world. The stomach supplies all the nutrition the body needs so it should be in charge. Each organ argues its case on why it should be the leader.
While not as prominent an organ as the others, the anus also stakes its claim to leadership. This often results in jeers and jokes from the other organs. “There is no way the anus could lead the entire body,” they all say. The anus may become offended by this ridicule so it replies, “I’ll show you guys!” It shuts down. It tightens up. It lets nothing pass. Soon the brain gets dizzy. The heart beat becomes erratic. The eyes cannot focus. The stomach cramps up. If the anus can hold out long enough, if it can build the pressure up high enough, it can sometimes capture the leadership spot. These little babies grow up to be carpols.
CHAPTER 1: Day 1, The Philippines
Dr. Mitsugi Ito was a Japanese man who lived in a suburb of Manila with his Filipino wife. He was a well respected nuclear physicist with advanced degrees from Todai University in Tokyo and MIT in the US and was the Director of the Philippine Atomic Energy Agency.
On the evening of May 5 while driving home from work two cars boxed him in, made him slow down and then forced him off the road. His car hit a tree and came to a dead stop. Almost immediately three men dragged him from his car and drugged him into unconsciousness. He woke up a few -later on a boat. He was still groggy from the drug but slowly regained his senses.
He was held below decks, guarded for the entire trip. He was asked by someone speaking Tagolog, the native Filipino language, if he was injured in the crash. He replied no to his captors in the same language.
Based on the motions of the boat Dr. Ito believed it was in open ocean. Based on the positions of the sun peaking through the portal curtains at various times, he believed it was traveling south the entire trip. Twenty-three hours later he arrived at a clandestine jungle lab on the southern island of Mindanao. At the lab he was allowed some time to rest, eat and recover from the drug and the trip. He was examined by a doctor to make sure he was not injured in the car crash and had no lingering effects from the drugging. He was told repeatedly that he would not be harmed. They told him that their purpose in kidnapping him was that an independent nuclear expert was needed to verify something. That something was a working atomic bomb.
Dr. Ito was shown the bomb and allowed to examine it. A nervous Ito was video-taped the entire time he was in the lab. Someone off-camera carried on a discussion with him in heavily accented English about his examination. Dr. Ito asked several questions and the off camera voice responded. The only question that was not answered was where the critical enriched uranium (U-235) used for the bomb came from.
When he needed to see something that was not visible another man wearing a ski mask would remove whatever was blocking his view. This happened several times and Ito sometimes had the man remove a component or sub-assembly and move it to a nearby lab bench equipped with test instruments. The lab had a decent though not up-to-date array of test equipment which Ito was allowed to use. He then performed the tests himself. After about three hours of examination and testing, Dr. Ito stood in front of the partially disassembled bomb, faced the camera and announced his findings. When he was finished the video ended.
As soon as the camera switched off he was again injected with a drug and rendered unconscious. He was loaded into a car and driven three hours to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. When the car neared the hospital a motorcycle helmet was placed on Ito to protect his head when he was shoved out the door of the moving car and his limp drugged body slammed into the pavement. Pinned to his shirt was a description of the drug he had been given, the dosage and the time it had been administered. With this information the ER doctors were able to safely treat him and bring him back to consciousness.
All this was big news in the Philippines but attracted little attention elsewhere. That is, until Dr. Ito was interviewed by the police and described his experience. The police asked him if he really believed that the bomb was functional or did he just say that to satisfy his captors. He replied that his video-taped statement was accurate. He was very confident in his conclusions. It was a functional atomic bomb about 90% the capacity of the bombs dropped on his country in WW II. He also admitted that if his abductors had told him to make a false statement on camera he would have done it.
On May 7 Abu Sayef announced to the world that they had built an atomic bomb. The small regional Islamic terrorist group based in the Philippines claimed the yield of their bomb was about 90% that of the bomb detonated over Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. It was small by modern Weapons of Mass Destruction standards but still very deadly. On the Internet the organization posted drawings, photographs and the video of Dr. Ito’s examination and conclusions.
Abu Sayef demanded that the Philippine government immediately release all its political prisoners including all Abu Sayef members. They also demanded that the island of Mindanao be granted independence from the Philippines. That area has a large Muslim population, though not a majority, and they intended to establish an Islamic nation there. If their demands were not met they would detonate the device somewhere that would cause enormous death and destruction to the nations of the world that were engaged in oppressing and persecuting Muslims.
Claims of making a working atomic bomb were not new. Making one is not that hard. The difficult part is obtaining enough enriched uranium (U-235) to reach critical mass where huge amounts of energy can be released. A functional bomb needs at least 71 kilograms (156 pounds) of high purity (enriched) U-235 to initiate the fission chain reaction and that amount is very hard to come by. Abu Sayef claimed and Dr. Ito had apparently verified that their device contained 73.1 kilograms of high purity U-235.
Experts from several nations examined the drawings, photographs and video. They all agreed that the group’s claim was likely valid except the quantity and purity of the U-235 could not be verified by only watching a video or reading a drawing. The video showing Dr. Ito testing the uranium, while appearing thorough, could have been faked. The test instruments could have been calibrated to produce false readings. While well respected by the scientific community, the experts could not confirm or refute Dr. Ito’s conclusion about the bomb without performing their own tests on the quantity and purity of the U-235.
CHAPTER 2: Day 1, United Nations (UN) Headquarters Building, New York City (NYC)
A special meeting of the United Nations General Assembly was called for May 12. The reason for the special meeting was to discuss what to do about the Abu Sayef threat. The UN Security Council had already met and was considering several courses of action. The General Assembly would start today to discuss the issue and options. The Security Council was not bound by the General Assembly’s recommendations but they would carry substantial weight because they reflected the consensus of all member nations not just the 15 Security Council members.
The entire novel, “TIME’S UP", is available on Amazon in paperback. Considered a political sci-fi story, the book uses a prediction of the end of life on earth to allow an exploration/imagination of how the political establishment would respond. The book is meant to entertain as well as shine a light into the dark scary inner recesses of the politician mind.