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Monthly Archives: August 2011

An Enemy Within — Chapter Two

Chapter 2

Washington, D.C. is not the only place where violence is making its voice heard.  Its making its presence felt out west, centering itself in California.  The New World Power is planning a series of attacks that are meant to go off simultaneously.  Most of the attacks are going to occur within the state of California, but it’s going to extend to the southern portion of Nevada as well.  The New World Power is based out of Los Angeles and its influence is growing.  It has extended its reach throughout the state of California and has extended into neighboring states of Nevada and Arizona with chapters forming elsewhere in the West, such as Oregon and New Mexico.  As time goes by, the confidence of the New World Power is beginning to build and will take more daring actions.  This includes engaging in acts of violence and extremism.  But the New World Power is also willing to use softer approaches, such as placing its members and sympathetic individuals to their cause into positions of power, such as political office and areas of industry and commerce.  The leadership of the New World Power doesn’t care what level of political office or position within a company the individual has, as long as they have a mole.  But if they could get someone placed in a higher position of authority, it would greatly help their cause.

The attacks which they plan on engaging in today consist of several sights across multiple cities.  They include the State Capital Building in Sacramento, the Golden Gate Bridge and Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, a few hotel-casino’s in Las Vegas, Century Plaza Towers, the Four Level Interchange, and LAX in Los Angeles, and Hoover Dam.  The site that possesses the greatest difficulty in attacking is Hoover Dam, which supplies power to Nevada, California, and Arizona.  Though we don’t think much about them, dams play an important role in society and play a key function in its operation.  They act as sources of hydroelectric power and water supply.  If you disrupt the operation of a dam, you can affect the communities which it serves.  That’s why the government has an interest in protecting them.  And since Hoover Dam services Los Angeles, it you disrupt Hoover Dam, you disrupt Los Angeles, which will affect the country as a whole.

Even though New York City is the economic center of the United States, Los Angeles has a lot of economic influence of its own.  This is due to the fact that Los Angeles is the economic center of the western half of the country, making it the second largest economic hub in the United States.  If something happens to disrupt the economy in Los Angeles, it will be felt throughout the United States.  And since the economy of California as a whole is so strong that it can compete on an international level with foreign countries, the state economy is also vital for the prosperity of the United States.  If either the city or the state is interrupted and prevented from doing its job, the national economy will feel its effects.

Eventually, the time comes for the New World Power to implement its plan.  When these attacks were planned out, it was decided to do them in teams so that they can increase their efficiency.  When these attacks are executed, they manage to be done in close sequence.  It would be nearly impossible to have them go off all at once.  The greatest damage was in Las Vegas.  This is because several locations were selected instead of just one or two.  And since hotel-casino’s were targeted, the New World Power is targeting the city’s economy besides just the buildings.  The most dramatic attack was upon Stratosphere Las Vegas where Stratosphere Tower was managed to be brought down.  With the attack on the Four Level Interchange, the attackers setup their bombs at the bottom level of the interchange.  This is done out of convenience more than anything else.  But if they do it right, they could affect the entire interchange and cause it to collapse instead of just the overpass above.  But regardless of the result, the entire interchange would most likely be shutdown.  When the explosives are set, the assailants drive off and detonate the device once they are far enough away to safely escape.

With the Plaza Towers in Century City, it was decided that driving a car bomb into the parking garage wasn’t the most effective approach due to the fact that it is required for cars to pop their trunks so that security can check it for explosives.  Since they can’t attack them from below, and since attacking from above with a plane is out of the question, they decide to attack from the side.  With the design of the buildings, there is a support pillar in each building that is located on the ground level and doesn’t have any walls located around it.  The public is free to walk by it and underneath the building.  The New World Power decides to take advantage of this.

Two New World Power members, dressed up as delivery men, each carry a package and walk by the pillar of each building.  It was planned that each would put the package next to the pillar, walk off, and then detonate it.  But as they do this, one of them drops his package.  Because of the fall and the nature of the explosive, there is the chance that the bomb will no longer be effective.  This is indicated by the fact that one corner of the package is becoming darker due to leaking fluids.  But the second member continues onward and places his package.  Once doing so, he hurries off.  This draws some attention to him by bystanders, causing him to detonate the bomb earlier than planned.  At this, both members run, even though they will eventually be caught.  Though the plan didn’t go off exactly as they wanted, they were able to damage one of the buildings.  But because the member didn’t place the package in the best possible position, it wasn’t as effective as it could have been.

Roughly the same thing happened with the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco; partial damage to the structure.  And this damage wasn’t enough to completely close the building.  All that it did was cause one section to be closed.  But with the Golden Gate Bridge, the New World Power attacked the structure by boat.  They rented a vessel and approached one of the towers.  Once they are close enough, they manage to climb onto the concrete island which the tower rests and start laying explosives.  But in anticipation that this wouldn’t work, it was decided that they should also use foot traffic attack, where New World Power members would use sticky bombs to attack the suspension cables.  By destroying the suspension cables, it would increase the weight that the remaining cables would need to bare, increasing their chances of critical failure.  And as it turns out, it was the foot traffic attack that was more effective than the boat attack.

However, the attacks on Hoover Dam, LAX, and the State Capital Building in Sacramento were failures.  When it came time for the assailants to execute the attacks on Hoover Dam and the State Capital Building, the perpetrators were stopped by security.  With the attack of LAX, one of the people who participated was bragging about it to his friends a few nights before it, which caused one of the friends to call the police to notify them about a potential attack.

With everyone which the authorities were able to apprehend, they were able to get a lucky break because one of the apprehended was dumb enough to have made detailed notes on the attacks and actually had them on his person.  These notes directly connected all of these attacks and those involved.  This included those who were arrested as well as their superiors.  Because of this gross negligence, the New World Power sends a member of an associate organization to kill this individual.  As it turns out, this associate member was already arrested and kept in the same jail for an unrelated charge, allowing him to have easier access to his target.

Though a lot of damage was done because of this, killing him would prevent any more damage from being done and would prominently silence him and prevent the person from becoming states evidence.  There’s also a report of one of the captured suspects committing suicide out of a sense of honor to prevent the authorities from using him as leverage against the other conspirators and to prevent them from gaining any information from him.  Despite the social stigma attached to suicide in the West, there are actually times where suicide is appropriate.  That would be when more lives would be helped or saved if that one person dies.  The actions of this one New World Power member shows that there are those who are willing to sacrifice themselves for the organization and help achieve its ends.

 

(c) 2011 Bradley P. Thomas

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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in An Enemy Within

 

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Powered Armor v. Mechs

Powered Armor and Mechs are both pieces of technology that are found in science fiction and anime stories.  Both of these pieces of technology have real world applications, but how I see it, it is the former that has the greatest real world applications.  From the research that I have done, cursory though it might me, the distinction between the two isn’t clear.  For those who know of Powered Armor and Mechs, they are aware of the differences between the two, but I’m not aware of anyone who clearly defined either one.  If someone has already defined the differences between Powered Armor and Mechs, I’m unaware of it and it won’t stop me from giving my view on the situation.  So we go.

Powered Armor: Powered Armor is a personalized suit of armor that is designed to completely protect the user while he or she is in a high conflict situation.  Similar to other forms ofpersonalized armor, it is designed to prevent the user from becoming injured or killed while under attack.  But unlike traditional forms of armor, Powered Armor completely encases the operator in armor with little to no gaps in protection and is reliant upon pistons, servos, and electronics in order to move and operate while at the same time lacking the cumbersomeness of traditional types of personalized armor would put on the user and allows for the freedom for motion that is similar to that of an ordinary human being that not found in other types of armor.  Due to the shape of the operator, Powered Armor is anthropomorphic in appearance with the operator located within the chest and leg cavity of the armor.  In addition to this, Powered Armor possesses a set of arms, allowing the operator to manipulate his or her surrounding environment as well as to operate weaponry that is specially designed for Powered Armor.

In addition to this, Powered Armor possesses sensory equipment that allows the operator to interact with his or her surrounding environment as it changes.  This sensory equipment consists primarily of microphones and video receivers, which is located primarily in the head of the suit, though there are secondary sensors located elsewhere in the suit to act as backup sensors during situations where the primary sensors have become damaged, destroyed, or otherwise disabled.  The video images that are received by the cameras are displayed on either the interior surface of the suit in front of the operator or onto micro-screens located just over each eye of the operator.  In addition to this, the Powered Armor is equipped with radio communication capability so that the operator can communicate with other units or with command easily.

There are two basic layouts for Powered Armor.  The first layout has the operator’s arms located within the chest cavity of the unit with the controls for the mechanical arms easily accessible to the operator.  The second layout has the operator’s arms located within the arms of the unit themselves, allowing the arms to move in sync with the arm movements of the operator.  But regardless of the layout, the legs of the operator are located within the legs of the suit.

The initial use for Powered Armor will be by the military to aid and protect the infantry.  But as time goes by, new and different applications for Powered Armor will be implemented.  Lighter and quicker units will be developed to be used by shock troops and aquatic versions will be developed for amphibious assaults and aquatic warfare.  Eventually, this technology will have civilian applications, found primarily with law enforcement agencies.  The first such uses will be with SWAT followed by crowd control and border patrols.

Mechs: Mechs are the larger cousins of Powered Armor.  What makes Mechs different from Powered Armor is sheer size.  Due to the increased size of the Mech, the operator is located within a centralized cockpit, similar in nature to a jet.  And because of its size and complexity, the operator is prevented from controlling the Mech through direct bodily motion.  Thus, the operator relies upon the Mechs instrumentation to control it.  In addition to all of the necessary instrumentation, the operator also has a viewing screen or window, allowing the operator to view his or her surrounding environment.

With the basic layout of the Mech, it consists of the aforementioned cockpit accompanied by an anthropomorphic means of transportation; that is, legs.  Because it relies upon legs to move from one location to another, its center of gravity is constantly shifting.  This shouldn’t be much of a problem for a Mech that consists of three or more legs, but is a problem when dealing with a bipedal Mech.  With a bipedal Mech, it is forced to transfer its entire weight from one leg to another while walking, making it prone to falling over.  To counteract this problem, sensors and other necessary equipment have been installed to help counteract the Mech’s desire to fall over.  Once this hurdle is overcome, it should be onward and upward.

As stated before, the basic layout of the Mech consists of a cockpit and legs.  From there, any necessary accessories will be added to the Mech, depending upon the intended mission for it.  If it’s going to be a scout, than it will receive all the necessary sensory equipment for it to gather as much information as it can about the environment or the enemy.  However, it will not receive any type of weaponry.  But if it’s going to be used in an offensive capability, which people generally think of when Mech comes to mind, than the Mech will receive whatever weaponry and related equipment it will need to perform its task.

Because of the basic design of Mechs, it will not expand beyond that of a cockpit and legs.  It will not be given a torso and arms because they would be useless additions accompanied by the fact that they will make the Mech needlessly complex.  With the use of Mechs, their primary use will be in uneven terrain, such as mountains and jungles.  This is due to the fact that tanks already satisfy the same basic role in open terrain situations.  However, there is the potential for them to be used in urban military situations.  They will also remain a purely military piece of equipment because there is little civilian use for them accompanied by the fact that Mechs have a high damage potential to them.

 
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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Sci-Fi Tech

 

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An Enemy Within — Opening Quotes and Chapter One

“There is no such thing as a little freedom.  Either you are all free, or you are not free.”

— Walter Cronkite

“It is not these well-fed, long haired men that I fear, but the pale and the hungry-looking.”

— Julius Caesar

“We’re fighting the terrorists abroad so that we don’t have to fight them at home.”

— President George W. Bush

“Taking today what tomorrow never brings.”

—   Ashes in the Fall by Rage Against the Machine

Chapter 1

The streets of Washington, D.C. are once again in upheaval as violence breaks out between police and protestors.  The catalyst that initiated the violence between the two is unclear, making who “fired” first a mystery.  The protesters will claim police brutality and abuse of power because they were just exercising their constitutional right of free assembly when the police came marching in.  The police will claim that the crowd had become unruly and was threatening public safety, causing them to take appropriate action to restore the peace.  Regardless of who initiated the conflict, it quickly deteriorated.  And since human memory is flawed by nature, there will be some, on both sides, whose memories will become distorted and radicalized overtime.  They will eventually make claims that never actually occurred.

The protest occurred in front of the Capital Building and it is over a debate that is currently going on in the halls of Congress.  The debate itself is over something that comes straight out of a comic book.  It deals with the growing number of so called mutants, both in the United States and the world abroad.  The use of the word ‘mutant’ in this situation is itself a misnomer to describe those with extraordinary powers and abilities.  But the people who initially used it didn’t understand this or the nature of mutation as a whole, and they needed something to describe the people with extraordinary abilities that separated them from everyone else, so they went with the word mutant, and it just so happened to stick with the rest of society.

The particular debate that is going on in Congress that sparked this particular protest in the first place is occurring over a controversial piece of legislation.  The bill is entitled “National Registration and Regulation Act of Individuals with Gifted or Extraordinary Abilities.”  The proponents of the bill claim that this bill is vital for national security.  In case of a great national emergency, the individuals who fall under the bill would be able to be called upon to serve their country as well as to serve the greater good.  Opponents of the bill claim that it is nothing more than an infringement upon civil liberties.

If one takes the time to look at the language of the bill itself, it would be clear that the opponents’ arguments are correct.  Things like freedom of movement, the right to bare or deal with arms, and what jobs that they are not allowed to hold will be determined by law.  There’s even a clause putting a restriction on engaging in romantic or personal relationships.  But for most people in Congress, and for the average American, they are unaware of these facts.  If they were, then there probably wouldn’t be as many people supporting the bill as there are.  This demonstrates that knowledge is power and the regulation thereof can have profound effects upon others and society as a whole.  So, with this lack of information sharing, the debate over the issue is fairly evenly matched instead of just being one-sided.  But even if the information was out there, there would still be those who would support the bill, either for some form of personal gain, out of fear or perceived threat, some kind of moral objection, or out of simple human hatred.

And like any controversial issue of any given time, it is a divisive and polarizing subject.  And regardless of the level of familiarity that exists among those debating it, there are diehard supporters on both sides of the issue who take their positions way too seriously, with political commentators making their positions clear and influencing the opinions of the people who follow them; with conservative commentators tending to support the bill whereas liberal commentators tend to oppose it.  The people who are in favor of the bill who have been radicalized in the process have made the claim that “these people” need to be controlled because they pose a grave threat to society.  A rational counterargument to this claim is that the violent actions of a few individuals should not speak for the entire community.  But people who are emotionally committed to their position will conveniently dismiss this and similar arguments.

Further complicating the situation are comments made by President George W. Bush directed toward this so-called “mutant” community.  These comments were interpreted as being negative, which further alienated members of the mutant community and bolstered the claims of those who were already radicalized and were calling for arms or wanted to take drastic action.  And on top of this, President Bush signed an executive order that would essentially punish any member of the armed forces and Executive Branch who turned out to be a mutant.  The wording of the executive order is also kind of vague, allowing it to be interpreted in a number of different ways, allowing the reader to take away what he or she wants to.  It also implies that it effects the Legislative Branch as well.

Bush isn’t waiting for Congress to act before he takes what he feels to be appropriate action.  He doesn’t want to appear weak or to be behind the curve.  Something needs to be done, and the legislative process isn’t always the most effective means of getting something done, causing Bush to make his move, even if it’s premature.  But it is because of actions like these, as well as the principles behind them and the Registration Act, that causes the people who would be negatively effected by them to take action and to lash out against them, which in turn calls for steps to be taken to stop such behavior, which is represented by Bush and the Registration Act.  Does circular logic or self-fulfilling prophecy mean anything to anyone?

Even though there are people engaged in protests and marches, it seems that, as a whole, such activities have decreased in the United States since the 1960’s and ‘70’s.  It could be because of apathy or the fact that there is no longer any central issue for people to rally around and protest against, like segregation in the sixties in the United States or apartheid in South Africa.  People did rally around the idea of solidarity after the events that occurred on September 11, 2001, but what happened that day was an event, not an issue, and rallying around an event can only go so far before it essentially collapses and everyone goes back to their regular routines.  If an event occurs in relation to the battling of a particular issue, like the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., then it is able to further bolster the resolve of the people who are taking action.  With what happened that September morning, it was used as a platform for the making of some poor and hasty decisions with no clear objective or purpose.  If an event is going to be used as a call for action, make sure that the right choice is made and that you have a clear cut objective that is going to be met.

But there are times where, even this concept, can be twisted and distorted to horrible ends.  A good example of this is with the organization known as the New World Power.  It’s a political movement that originated within the United States that doesn’t shy away from using violent acts to achieve its goals.  So far, they’ve managed to disguise their true motives and were able to maintain a smoke screen, causing them to be perceived as a street gang instead of a terrorist organization, but its unsure how much longer they’ll be able to maintain this cover.  And once it is learned that the leadership of the New World Power has members who possess a military background, the perspective and attitude on the group will change.

As it currently stands, the only branches of the federal government that are getting involved in the matter of the New World Power are the U.S. Army and the FBI, the U.S. Army focusing on trying to capture its members that have gone absent without leave and the FBI focusing on bringing the members of the New World Power to justice so that order can be reestablished in the streets, but they haven’t as of yet put the pieces together on the criminal activities of the organization and its military trained leadership.  Besides the involvement of the U.S. Army and the FBI, it’s left up to the state and local governments and law enforcement agencies to deal with the matter.

The driving force behind the New World Power is the sense of injustice that they feel is being conducted against the mutant community.  Mutants are being persecuted and they feel that the system isn’t doing enough to prevent such activities.  It appears that there is a common thread running through the United States that is anti-mutant and hostilities against them is socially acceptable.  Steps have been made to try and resolve the issue peacefully, but there are those who feel that such a route has proven unsuccessful and a strong fist is needed to achieve success.  And the New World Power is the driving arm behind that fist.  There may be other motives that exist behind the creation of the New World Power, but the fight against persecution is the main rallying point for it and draws the most number of people.  Only time will tell to see what will come of it.

 

(c) 2011 Bradley P. Thomas

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in An Enemy Within

 

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Another Fucking Driver

Drivers need to watch where the fuck they are going and what they are doing.  I don’t know if this is a L.A. thing or is a nationwide phenomenon found in every city across the country and I’m only aware of this because I live in L.A., but drivers need to pay attention to what the fuck they are doing.  I bring this up because I was almost hit by a driver the other day while I was walking home from work.  And this isn’t the first time either.  It happened before, and again, I’m commenting on this situation.

The first time that I wrote about this subject was in “A Pedestrians Right of Way” where I commented upon almost exactly the same thing.  What happened this time was that I was walking home from being dropped off at the bus stop and this asshole cut right in front of me while I was crossing the street.  I can’t imagine that he didn’t see me, but he just decided not to stop.  While I was crossing the street, I had my iPhone out and I was putting something down on the notepad app relating to my second manuscript, though I would look up once in awhile to make sure that I didn’t run into anyone or thing.  It could be said that I had my face buried in my phone, but that doesn’t justify the driver’s actions.

And it was when I was typing a note when I became aware of the situation as it was happening.  I was in the intersection and something in the corner of my eye caught my attention.  What caught my attention was a car that was closer to me then it would normally be if it was just driving along Venice.  Noticing it, I turned my head to take a look at what the situation was, and that was then the driver cut me off.    When this fuckup cut in front of me, he couldn’t have been more than a foot in front of me.  From what I recall, I didn’t break stride, but I wasn’t focusing on my gait at the time when this situation occurred.

After he cut me off, I watched this shit drive off.  And about 20 to 25 feet from where I was was a stop sign, where he stopped.  He stopped for a stop sign but he didn’t stop for me to safely finish crossing the street.  Apparently, an inanimate object has a greater value for this fuck then a fellow human being.  And it wasn’t the fear of the law that stopped him either.  He just didn’t want to inconvenience himself by acknowledging my presence and slow down his trip back home any more then he had to.

This is my problem with drivers.  They don’t care about anything that occurs outside of their little steal cage.  Nothing outside of their shitting little world matters.  They become disconnected with the rest of the world and anything that intrudes into their fragile little world only pisses them off and deserves whatever happens to it for having the “nerve” to interfere with their world.

But the thing is that I wasn’t pissed off about the situation, though I had a right to be so.  He put my immediate wellbeing into danger.  And like before, I probably should have called the cops, but I was just apathetic to the entire situation to do so.  And in retrospect, I doubt that the cops could have done anything about it.  That fuck off wouldn’t have even gotten a stern talking to.  Nothing would have been resolved and I probably wouldn’t have been left with a police report.  The only thing that would have happened if I called the police was the possibility of me being left pissed off.  It just wasn’t worth it.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2011 in Essays of Misanthropy

 

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Author’s Note

Its’ been awhile since I posted anything here on WordPress.  This is because I was attacked on March 30th of this year by a punk ass little bitch.  As a result, it put a major kink in my desire to write, which I haven’t completely gotten over yet.  I tried to start writing again not too long ago, but it didn’t stick, though I hope this will change.  In addition to hindering my desire to write, the attack caused me to lose a lot of intellectual property.  This is because my flashdrive that I had on a lanyard around my neck broke off and I couldn’t find it after the attack.  And on top of that, I didn’t backup the information that I had on it, and I did a lot of work, not only to my second novel, but to supplemental information for some of my other stories.  The supplemental information consisted of world building for my first manuscript about the New World Power as well as world building for another manuscript that I’ve been kicking around in my head but haven’t really sat down to write yet.  What I did write down was also lost that night.  With the supplemental information for my first manuscript, I’ve already started posting the material on WordPress before the attack, as seen with the Xerek Files 1 through 3.  I had other information ready to go, but I wanted to wait about a week or two before posting, causing it to be lost.  But what got me to write this note, and hopefully encourage me to write some more, is a dumb fuck who almost ran me over with his car while I was walking home today from work.  That post should be coming shortly and classified under the “Essays of Misanthropy” category.  In addition to this, I’ll be posting my first manuscript on here as well.  I haven’t been having any luck getting an agent so far, and I don’t want to sit on my story any longer.  Its set a few years ago and the more time that goes by, the more I think it could hurt my story.  And besides, it might also snag the eye of someone in the business and allow me to actually make some fucking money off of it.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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