Thursday, March 16, 2017

Scott McDermott: Election 2064 (New Thriller!)


Election 2064: Book One
Scott McDermott
Publication date: February 13, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Political Thriller

"History doesn't repeat itself. It outdoes itself."
- Acton Granger, 54th President of the United States


Nearly five decades from now, America is finding its legs again after years of bitter conflict. Civ-2, as the Second Civil War came to be known, turned many of the nation's cities into battlefields and took millions of lives. Early in the 2060 campaign, Reformation League candidate Acton Granger made an unprecedented concession – he would forego a running mate and offer the vice presidency to his chief rival, whomever that may become. It was a gesture of unity that rocketed Granger to victory. Still stinging from defeat, the Conservative League’s Elijah Schroeder chose to swallow his pride and accept Granger’s offer, alienating his own supporters and political allies in the process.

Now two years into their fragile partnership, the 2064 campaign looms, and Elijah learns his selection was more complicated than the call for healing he and the country were led to believe. He must decide whether to continue toiling as a false symbol of harmony, or turn against the man who is now his boss and leader of the free world.

Meanwhile, other national figures emerge with their own designs on the election, from the Freedom League’s rebellious darling Shelby Monroe to the Progressive League's technology mogul Ben Allen, who could become the country’s first gay president.

As each contender charts their strategies and the barnstorming begins, a terrorist attack – orchestrated by a new, horrifying weapon – rocks the nation and turns all of their campaigns upside-down.

That is, all of them but one.

This is the first volume in the Election 2064 series.

Loop. Around. Under. Through.
The knitting needles flashed in her hands, throwing off metallic jangles with every stitch.  The only other sounds in the room came from the regular pings of the heart monitor and the less steady whoosh of the respirator pump.  Her husband’s chest rose and fell as the oxygen fed into him.
Loop. Around. Under. Through.
The blanket was coming along slowly.  When she was really humming, she could do forty rows an hour.  Right now she was barely managing half that, but it kept her hands steady and her mind occupied.
A cough seized him.  She dropped a needle and took his hand, feeling the convulsions through his limp fingers.  She massaged his palm, reflexively checking his pulse as it settled back to normal resting.
“Bear,” she whispered.  “Come back to me.”
But he remained unresponsive.  The monitor resumed its pinging drumbeat, the PanoScreen on the far wall dimming its glow.  Another screen cocooned around his chest, projecting his vitals in a softly luminescent holo.  She stroked his hair and leaned in, brushing a kiss on his temple for what felt like the millionth time.
Her Bear looked smaller already, as if the hospital bed was swallowing him at the edges, but he was still a giant of a man.  She let out a quiet sigh, picked up her dropped needle, and resumed working.  He might already have plenty of blankets, they draped over his body in cascading layers – but she felt he needed this one to truly be warm.  Because it came from her.
Loop. Around. Under. Through. 
My husband might die at any moment, and all I can do is tie a bunch of knots.
As her fingers maneuvered the yarn, turning it around and back again – repeating, repeating – she felt the repeating of their lives.  All of this was unnervingly similar to the time she met this sleeping giant, three decades ago.  It felt like yesterday, in that she could still picture every detail of his face when she first laid eyes on it, and twenty lifetimes ago, in how that face had aged.  But governing will do that.
And the circumstances between now and then, though mirrored in setting, had their differences.  Then, the hospital didn’t block off an entire floor for this single patient.
No, then he was just a kid who’d run into some hard luck (though, considering what could have been, he was lucky indeed).  Another casualty of conflict, bouncing around the convoluted bureaucracy of the VA before finding his way to the Long-Term Recovery Ward.  She almost forgot what war he’d been wounded in.
But she remembered that day, clear as noontime sun.  She even recalled the thoughts going through her mind, as if she could pluck them like grapes from a vine – the first thought being, How could someone that immense ever get wounded?
And how he’d smiled at her from his hospital bed, sipping groggily out of a milk carton.  “Ma’am, I got shot in the ass,” he said, as if to answer her thought.  A morphine drip may have slurred his speech, but it put him in a breezy mood.  “You gonna fix me?”
Her second thought was, Handsome, probably, when not doped up.
“Fortunately,” she responded, “the backside is an alright place to take a bullet, considering.  My guess is, whoever shot you couldn’t reach your head.  Is the army growing soldiers in labs now, or are they breeding you with grizzly bears?”
He gave a mock bear’s roar, clawing the air – then began to laugh, a gurgle of spittle escaping his mouth.  Her toes inched toward him, as if she was drawn in by his gravity – a stray comet, chancing upon a star, finding orbit.

About the Author
Scott McDermott lives in Virginia Beach with his wife and two furballs. You can find him on Twitter @DudeWhoWrites.

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Get fictional - it's fun! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you again soon!