Coming in 2020
A New Series of Eight Books
Albacron: #4 The Others
Fourth in a Series
If absolute power corrupts absolutely? If wealth is the root of all evil? Where will it all end 700 years from now? It ends in the land of The Others … or does it?
1 -INCIDENT ON THE PECOS RIVER
An open, flying platform followed the Pecos River. The pilot grasped a golden crossbar attached to the heliocruiser deck by a gray vertical shaft. The cruiser flew north above the river surface from where the old village of Roswell in the old State of New Mexico used to lie seven hundred years ago.
A red, white, and blue uniformed man followed the lazy curves of the old river until he spied a sandbar ahead strewn with debris. Hovering over the right-side embankment, he surveyed the spit area. A beach umbrella lay half-submerged at the water’s edge. Seven, fold-up beach chairs littered the sand, three turned over. A beach blanket and several towels had been blown to the river and lay scattered around the umbrella.
Five towels. There should be seven. Perhaps the others blew into the water.
He landed, removed his blue flight helmet, and double-tapped behind his right ear. “Commander Hamal to Flight Commander Cassandra.”
“Commander Cassandra, go ahead.”
“I found where Deneb, Alcyon, Meri Diana and the children picnicked. There’s no sign of them. It looks like the site has been disturbed by winds and nothing else. I don’t see their heliocraft fighter anywhere.”
“Use your Qualitative Data Analyzer. They should have followed protocol and set their craft on invisible mode. I can’t imagine them leaving without picking up everything. Maybe they went aboard their helio to look at a before-the-Magnus-Bellum motion picture. You know how Deneb loves them.”
“Will do. Hamal out.” He pulled his hand-sized, rectangular QDA from a hip pocket and stared at it. Tapping a button on the right side, the little aqua-colored screen popped on. He scanned the area with it until an orange blip shone on the screen. He looked toward a hillock.
After tapping three buttons, the saucer-shaped fighter appeared on the right slope of the hillock.
“No life signs,” he muttered. He stepped off the cruiser platform, set his helmet on it, and walked toward the heliocraft. Tapping another button and turning a dial, he stopped. There’s no organic matter aboard.
He spun and hurried back toward his cruiser but stopped when he spied a cooler. He knelt and opened it. Stuffed with food. He looked around. Something interrupted them. They would have eaten before going off exploring with Electra’s children or gone back to the cruiser to watch a movie.
Hamal rose and hurried back to the cruiser. Climbing aboard, he scooped up his helmet, slipped it on, and turned to the beach scene. Someone took them against their will. It would take several to subdue them all. Deneb and his wife Alcyon were distinguished fighter pilots during the Second Liberation. Who could have done this?
He flew toward the Lookout Mountain base of Roswell Interior. Kidnapped? We have no enemies since the fall of Albacron six years ago. Wait until Madame President Primus finds out that her brother, sister, and four children have been taken from her. Hasn’t Electra suffered enough since she re-established the new America fifteen years ago? I’m afraid she’s not going to take this well.
And now, a preview of the main antagonist in book four who modeled his rule of ‘The Others’ after the man whose rule brought about the collapse of the free world and led to the creation of Albacron.
14. THE FATE OF POOPY POOPOVICH
Still dressed in his purple robes and gold oak-leaf crown, the Grand DuChay sat on a mahogany chair. The back swelled two feet higher than his head. It portrayed a carved scene of him staring into the mouth of a winged dragon shooting fire out and away from him, his sword piercing its underbelly. The chair’s legs, shaped like the legs and paws of a lion, extended high enough to position the tabletop just above his knees.
Six Proletariat Cabinet members sat along the crescent-shaped table, the chair legs short enough to bring the tabletop up to mid-chest level on the shorter men. The Grand DuChay sat at the apex of an outward bulge facing the six men.
The Grand DuChay stretched his arms wide, tilted his head back, and protruded his chin forward. “First I want to say … there was no collusion.”
“Collusion with whom?” one cabinet member said.
He shook his head. “I don’t know. I only know there was no collusion. I want to make that perfectly clear.” He opened his arms wide. “Now, my loyal Proletariat Cabinet members, look at the monitors embedded in the tabletop. The Six Provincial administrators will appear soon, one on each of the screens. Today, we’re going to nip the bud. There have been some bad dudes, lightweights really, but dangerous dudes. These are weak losers and morons trying to ruin the beautiful reputation of the best DuChay ever to lead this land,” he threw out his arms to either side, “the Grand DuChay!” He folded his arms, looked upward, and turned his head from side to side while projecting his chin outward. He narrowed his eyes.
The screens jumped to life, each with a different scrawny face of a tired-looking, withered, old man. The Grand DuChay looked at them on the giant view screen hanging from the ceiling just behind the Proletariat Council members.
He spread his arms outward. “Ah, here they are, my six loyal provincial leaders.” They all nodded. “All of you watched my broadcast. Dissention … and disloyalty in San Diego. Haters and losers … and I already took care of that. What do you say, Popovich? You are responsible for Orbis Terrarum … the province of our capital where I live and rule … the province where that San Diego newspaper used to exist. How could you let this happen?”
One face screwed up and turned red. “Grand DuChay … I don’t know what to say.”
The Grand DuChay sat back, folded his arms, and closed his eyes. “Well, you’d better think of something fast.”
“I-I-I … didn’t know they did that.”
The Grand DuChay exploded forward. “You didn’t know! You didn’t know? You’re supposed to have agents watching everything.” He threw out his hands. “Don’t you have a censor at that newspaper? What kind of democracy am I running here?” He eased back in his chair. “Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable!”
Popovich drew the sides of his mouth downward. “I’m so sorry, Grand DuChay.”
“‘Sorry’ doesn’t begin to make amends, Popovich.” The Grand DuChay folded his arms again. “Popovich. More like Poopovich. Poopy Poopovich. From now on, I’m going to call you Disloyal Poopovich.” He shook his head. “Tell me, Disloyal Poopovich, do you like your desk?”
Popovich raised his eyebrows. “My desk?”
“Yes, your desk … with all the extra drawers and secret compartments. Do you like it?”
Popovich’s head shook a little. “Yes … I suppose I do like my desk.”
“You remember where you got it, don’t you?”
“Why … why from you. It was a most generous gift for squashing the protest at Fisherman’s Wharf.”
He thrust forward grabbing the edge of the desk. “That’s right! The San Francisco Fish Party. The rebellion that threw their day’s catch back into the bay, and you threw them in … bingo! You win the prize … the prize for being a moronic, stupid, poopy Poopovich loser. Now, it’s time for the next contestant.”
“Are you that much of a moron that you don’t get it? In a very short period of time you are to clean out that desk of everything you own and report to my Grand Elite Corps headquarters at Pyramid Lake.” He points to Popovich. You’ve just won the right to live in Tahto.”
Popovich’s face turned ashen and sweat broke out on his brow. “Oh please, Grand DuChay … My Exalted Excellency, you have to give me another chance.”
The Grand DuChay sat back and folded his arms again. “I’m probably the smartest human being ever to live. How could you ever dream to best me with that stupid free-press trick?”
“I assure you, Grand DuChay, I wasn’t playing any trick. It just happened.”
The Grand DuChay threw down his arms. “Well, let me tell you … I’m sorry to say that you’re going to Tahto ‘just happened.’ Well … no … I’m not sorry. And if you weren’t bad, stupid, a weak moron, and a loser, this would have never happened.” He pointed in the shape of a handgun and pulled the trigger. “Bing … bing … you know what I mean?”
He flicked his hands toward the giant screen. “Now, off with you to Tahto. Enjoy the lake. Have a wonderful time. I saw the other day plenty of snow up there. Take a little ski trip.” He shoved his back into his chair. “Right over a cliff! Now … get your ugly face off my screen. I’m tired of looking at it.”
He sat back and scrutinized each of the other faces. “I’m just wondering how many of you provincial leaders are scheming disloyalty.” Every face on the screen pulled taut. “You, Zukowski of Mextex.”
“Me?” Zukowski said. “My Exalted Excellency, you know that I am loyal and most grateful to be part of this wonderful democratic experiment.”
“Then why didn’t you refer to me as the Grand DuChay?”
Zukowski shot his eyes in nearly every direction. “Well … I-I-I … I mean … y-y-you … i-i-it’s just that ….”
“Stop flubbering, drubbering, and blubbering. You’re okay.”
“Thank you, Grand DuChay.”
The Grand DuChay looked around at the others on his screen and stopped at one. “And you, Komarov of Centrailia?”
“Most gracious, Grand DuChay, it is truly an honor to serve you … and the Proletariat Council.”
The Grand DuChay sat back and raised an eyebrow high enough to almost merged with his hairline. He pointed to his head. “You see this yellow hair? It’s golden, like my democratic rule. Worth billions and billions. Now look at the flat, ugly, graying heads of my Proletariat, and I ask you, who is worthy to be served?”
“Why you, your Grand DuChayship … I mean Grand DuChay.”
He pointed at Komarov. “You be careful there.” He lowered it again and smiled. “You’re okay.” He looked at another province leader. “Smolenskaya of Cascadia … what about you.”
“I can speak for all officials in our capital of Portland. We are the most loyal in all Nevornia. We feel honored to be serving the greatest living, generous genius of our time.”
The Grand DuChay sat back and laughed. “Ho, ho. You forgot that we’re renaming Portland for my newest son Yang.”
“And that’s not the worst of it, Smolenskaya.”
“Please accept my humblest apologies.”
“I can for that … but ‘the greatest living, generous genius of our time’? What’s that about?”
Smolenskaya lowered his head and then raised it again. “I am so sorry, Grand DuChay. I truly meant to say, ‘the greatest living, generous genius of all time.’” He grinned. “A mere slip of the tongue.”
“Well your slips could cause it to be amputated. What do you say to that?” He mocked Smolenskaya’s grin with one of his own.
“Grand DuChay … I-I-I—”
The Grand DuChay pulled his arms in, scrunched up his face, and spoke in a squeaky voice. “Aaaaaaw!” He flapped his arms around. “I-I-I … Aye yi yi!” He laughed. “Don’t worry about it. I’m just kidding with you.” He looked at another provincial leader. “And you, Chirnakova of Dakota … what’s your story?”
“I bless you for making me the provincial head. Not a morning goes by that I don’t get down on my knees and just ponder how lucky I am to be part of Nevornia … and you are responsible for that.”
The Grand DuChay nodded. “The first good answer so far. And you, Dostavinko?”
“You are the smartest … I mean greatest genius of all time. You made Nevornia great again like it used to be after the Magnus Bellum. No one else could have restored our greatness. It is truly an honor to serve you here in the Northern Territories province.”
The Grand DuChay wrinkled his lips and nodded continuously while moving his head from side to side. He stopped. “Yeah. I like it. You have class, Dostavinko.” He pointed with his thumb extended upward making it into the shape of a gun. He whipped his finger and thumb back into his hand and jerked it back as though he fired his imaginary gun. “You’re going to be around a long time, that I can tell you.”
Looking at one of the cameras in a corner where the ceiling met the back wall, he ran a hand across his neck, and all the screens went black. “Let’s discuss the elections over lunch.” He looked around at the weakly grinning Proletariat Council members. “And you do know that there was no collusion? No collusion of any kind?
They all nodded.
NOTE: The mispronunciation of Tahoe, as explained later in Albacron 4, comes from the Grand DuChay’s childhood pronunciation. After he came to power, he decided to rename Tahoe to what he first called it as a three-year-old, a man never wrong on anything and who doubles down on everything … right or wrong.
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