Category Archives: my novel-Angels Brother

Characters’ travel itineraries in my novel “Angel’s Brother”

My novel manuscript “Angel’s Brother“, for which I developed a new “screenwriters’ outline” here on Feb. 28, involves the major characters (especially Randy, 40, the CIA agent, Sal, 21, the gifted angel-to-be, and Bill, or “me”) making lots of trips, within the United States, back and forth to and within Europe, as far as Arctic Russia in one chapter.  (Correction: Lake Lagoda is in NW Russia, as is most of Karelia, near the Finnish border.)

There are many novels and films based on road trips.  Most of them tend to be based on one continuous journey from a start to and end, like in a board game.

Clive Barker’s “Imajica“, in the first part, traces its major character Gentle from Earth (the Fifth Dominion), with some running-around between London and New York, through three other dominions (essentially planets);  the second half (“The Reconciliation”) has Gentle and many other characters (one of them very gender fluid) moving back and forth among the dominions through what would amount to wormholes in physics.  He winds up in “Heaven” (the “First”) where, sorry to say for David Lynch, not everything is fine. There is even a “Lenten Way”, a superhighway connecting the dominions.

As I best remember, in J. R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” (and Peter Jackson’s film trilogy for New Line) the progress (Bilbo with his ring) is gradually from the Shire to the east, through all the lands of the Middle Earth, until confrontations in a volcano at the end, after which Bilbo sails west and returns home in peace.  But I think it’s one continuous journey, as I recall.   I have to give a hand to Tolkien in inventing bloodlines and families, and a whole language.  The book has many detailed maps (or what amounts to a parallel Earth II) that lend themselves to board and computer games.

Stephen King’s monumental apocalypse, “The Stand“, which became a miniseries in the 90s, traces the lives of many characters after a super bird flu, intended as a biological weapon, is accidentally released.  Generally, the characters progress from New York, Vermont, and Houston to Boulder (the good people), or Las Vegas-Cibola (the bad people).  I remember Tim Cullen’s harrowing journey (to Boulder) up I-15 from Vegas through Utah with an eye watching him.  I’ve even been called “The Walkin’ Dude” myself at work.

In Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged“, which became a three-part movie, and which I read while in the Army in 1969, has the major characters (Reardon and Taggert) wandering around a deteriorating rail system until a crash-landing in John Galt’s ashram hidden away in Colorado.

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(Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 at 2:15 PM EDT)

Below: Hillary Clinton’s old “Basket of Deplorables”.   For me, in this little video;  I used the guy with the binoculars (the “observer”); the CIA guy has the gun (although be probably needs only the binoculars); the angel looks like the shaman doll, or maybe the man in the space suit.

If “Angel’s Brother” became a movie, this is what the critical elements in the screenplay look like

Here is an analysis of my proposed novel “Angel’s Brother” (the draft exists, about 105000 words) following the concept of “screenplay” structure by Michaek Hauge — presuming this would become a sci-fi movie (about 140 minutes).

Some of the Hauge components are repeated with different characters.  There is the concept of a “teaser” for the “point of no return”,

Part 1 – “Just Friends”

Stage 1: Setup

Randy, around 40, has been asked by the CIA to travel to Auschwitz, and he doesn’t know why.  He has a day job as a high school (mostly AP) history teacher. His occasional assignments are based on his former military background, which he was asked to leave because people thought he was gay. Nevertheless, he had married (with real heart), adopted one child, and has two more with Erin, who is a P.A.  Although physically in good shape, he has only recently started losing interest in his marriage

Sal, a senior in college, was asked to make the trip by his ROTC unit, as part of a senior thesis.

Chapter 2 and 3 provide a “setup” with backstories.

Turning Point:  The Opportunity

After they meet, Randy feels “interest”.     (add: Sal should offer contact info)

Stage 2: New Situation

Turning Point 2:   Change in Plans

Erin tells Randy his boss wants him to go to Brussels and see Foss.  This may require a “TSA physical”. Randy already suspects this could “spoil his fun” or “release” with Sal,

Stage 2a

As Randy rides to Brussels, he wonders how his rejuvenation would affect his remote viewing, which he has only experienced in home courses so far.

Turning Point 2a – Change in Plans 2

Foss wants Randy to stay in Europe and go to Russia to retrieve  an unusual weapon rather than go to his remote viewing course back in VA.   Randy realizes his interest in Sal would have enhanced the remote viewing.

(OK, maybe a “turning point” really should be an “Alan Turing” point.)

Stage 3:  Progress

Randy picks up At sample in  Russia from Lurku, smuggles thru Finland it to US (Russians chase across border, almost WWIII).

Bill picks it up in Nevada and takes it to West Texas to “Academy”

Randy takes family on end-school-year vacation to northern MN (6)

Randy investigates Bill in Vegas (7)

Randy visits Academy (8)

Sal visits Academy (9)

Turning Point 2b  Randy visits Quiller at Langley, asked to visit Leadville, Randy learns about govt plans for high altitude evacuations, he hadn’t known.

Stage 3a – more progress

Randy finds new disease related to Astatine in CO at high elevations (10)

Sal participates in hazing session as an upperclassman but knows his limits (11)]

Teaser for turning point 3

Sal and Randy meet in Dallas, have somewhat intimate encounter at Academy after comparing notes

(Part 1 A – More than Just Friends)

Stage 3B

Randy feels charged to become even more techie and wonders why CIA doesn’t tell him much.  He and Quiller talk about hack on Bill’s writings about suitcase nukes (14).

Randy makes trip to Bilbao, meets up with Bill, then gets assaulted and left with another UF sample.

Teaser 2 for turning point 3

Finally he hooks up for intimacy with Sal in Amsterday (14)

Stage 3C  — Sal makes a trip to Lionsgate in Greece, “goes up” and gets mysteriously airlifted to Texas and hails a ride back to Dallas from “angel” Justin.   He then hightails to Amsterdam  (15)

Stage 3D  Randy goes back to Finland (on order) near Russian border (to stop WWIII) and get “goes up” ad comes down in Archangelsk    The yellowcake is gone as is Lurku’s suitcase nuke.   Russians seem to have material suggesting that the activation codes are embedded in novel virus RNA.

Turning Point 3   Point of no return

Sal meets Matt at a gym in Dallas.  Matt provides a major connection to Bill’s writings and suggests he may indeed be an angel, as may be Sal.  Sal  takes Bill to a motel near the Academy and gives him an “erotic body shave”.   Bill’s whole appearance becomes younger.  But he gets arrested.  (17)

Randy has a last fling with intercourse with Erin (his wife) but she is suspicious and confronts him (18), after she finds his notes on “erotic royalty” models (which had come from Bill and his hacked diaries from Sal)

(Interlude)

Stage 4   Complications and higher stakes

Sal finishes Hacking Bill, meets with Randy in Westover Market in Arlington, gives Randy Bill’s novel notes  (19)

(Reprise of Turning Point 2a – “change in plans” and original novel “prologues” from Bill’s writings)

Randy finally visits Faber VA and has remote viewing preview and learns he must do a “nighthike”  (20).

Turning Point 4 setback   (and another point of no return, which can also be called a “point of recognition” by some fiction writing courses)

At “nighthike” in caves in the SW Wisconsin hills, Randy and other characters undergo various bodily rituals that give clues as to their futures.  (Apparently former Sal’s former roommate Rusty passes.)    Randy “does” Bill (after Bill cycles back among several previous physical states in his own life timeline)  But Bill suddenly ages back and the “roving eye” plasma appear as both Femeri and Bill temporarily vanish then drop back.

Part 2 – Brothers

Stage 5   Final Push

Dick shows symptoms of disease.  Erin demands divorce, but Randy keeps Dick, who gets better after being taken to intermediate altitudes (in southern W Va) (22)

Randy takes Dick to DC, lives gay life, meets Blueshirt

(Setback 2 or Turning Point 4a):

Dick kidnapped (23)

(Setback 3 or Turning Point 4b)

Sal kicked out of ROTC for rules violations (24), must testify against Bill to avoid court martial (hacking)

(Final Push resumes)

Sal must testify against Bill to avoid court martial (hacking).  Bill “ages” again and goes up with the eye

Sal finds Dick, takes him to mountains (to the “right” altitude)  (26)

Randy traces Bill’s escape thru Texas

Everyone assembles in the strip-mine in W Va (27)

Spaceship takes them back up to Titan as everyone learns how he or she will fare in the next worl

Turning Point 5  Climax

Spaceship takes them back up to Titan as everyone learns how he or she will fare in the next world.  Bill proves he can father a child.

Stage 6  aftermath

On Earth, Sal stays behind for the solar storm which ends the disease but throws everyone back into pre-technology age.  Then Sal makes the second voyage.  He finds his ability to continue remotely viewing Bill limited because Bill can now have children.  On the other hand, Bill has an idea what “heaven” could be like for him in a few years.   He has a better take on what it would be like to be Rusty since Rusty is gone.  He knows Matt has already hosted a lot more “souls”., as they all prepare to move to a new solar system.

Tradition plotting talks about a “beginning, middle, and end”.  In Hauge the beginning and end are significant, like movements of a symphony, as if the middle were a “slow movement”.  Here “Part 1” is the “Beginning”, the “Middle” is Part 1A, the “Scherzo” (and recognition point), and the “End” (or Finale) is Part 2 .  The Epilogue or final pedal point (like in a Bruckner symphony) would occur when the major characters know how they must finally turn out (on the last two or three pages).

(Posted: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 1:30 PM EST)

More background on the connections between my novel manuscripts

I do expect to get back to more detailed editing of the novel “Angel’s Brother” within the next week.

But I wanted to make some more notes about the connection between this novel document, which continues from some notes on July 3, 2014.

First, let me give some history.  To the best of my knowledge, “Novel 2”, or “Tribunal and Rapture”, as started first, in the summer of 1999, after I had been to Europe and my mother was more or less recovered from bypass surgery.  (I did not go back from Minnesota but for about a week, but the whole situation then was stressful.)   I believe a draft with most of it was finished by early 2000, all while I was living in the Churchill in downtown Minneapolis. As I note, the story is largely told through the viewpoint of someone other than myself, a retired Muslim-American FBI agent, with considerable military experience, and with a largely secular, modern life (Dubai-like), including a UFO abduction.  He has no conflicts over scriptural religion and modern individualsm, and tends to believe that all three major Abrahamic faiths have more in common than their differences.  I met Muslims like this in the 1980s and 90s during my career and never gave any thought to terrorism.  The book is apocalyptic, ending with the “evacuation of the angels” to a colony on Titan, a moon of Saturn.

I apparently started the “Novel 1” (“Rain on the Snow”) in the summer of 2000, after a vacation and then a minor crisis at work.  The first part, which presents “Bill” getting invited to a “re-education” Academy (in west Texas) to get to join a doomsday prepper squad (the whole “There is no ‘they’” thing), his getting involved with a mysterious youth Matt who comes across as a Clark Kent, and his being jailed after effectively being framed for Matt’s “death”, ending with his escape with the help of his other minions, and climatic ritual at the end of the book, preparing him for a new world.

When I went to Europe at the end of April 2001, I thought about the idea of deploying the novels.  I remember an afternoon in a hotel in Toulouse, France, having a debate with myself, and thinking about “Rain on the Snow” as the logical choice because the events happened first.

Well, not exactly.  I had written a lot of backstory passages for “Tribunal and Rapture”, which also explained some of the setup of “Rain on the Snow”.  I remember a weekend in July 2001 (about two months before 9/11) when I drove from Minneapolis to the Northwest Angle, and gave a lot of thought to the sequel, “composed first”.  I remember “Frankie and the Path Pit”.  (Frankie is one of Bill’s old boyfriends, who becomes a kind or archangel at the Academy.)  I began to think that this background material needed to be put into “Rain on the Snow”.

So between late 2003 (after I returned to Virginia, because of Mother) and 2005 (in the heart of my substitute teaching) I fashioned a new structure for “Rain on the Snow”, as a kind of Opus 111   The original story center at the Academy and then jail – itself a two-act structure, turned into the “Theme and Variations”, and the entire backstory became the Sonata form, the first movement.   But many of the individual passages and summaries had been proposed as passages in the early chapters of TR (like the “Nighthike” scene at the very end became an erotic backstory insert into Chapter 8, when A;I reads the story of Bill’s escape.)   In TR, I had also played with the idea of lumping much of the backstory material into one prologue (as Clive Cussler and Irving Wallace would do).   I called these passages the “Lumps”.

Finally, I made an Access Database of the enhanced “Tribunal and Rapture” but I applied the stages of screenplay analysis  (Hague, see Feb. 3, 2016), to each of four major characters (most of all Bill) separately.  Later I’ll figure out how to get this analysis into WordPress.

The character Ali has been taking training in remote viewing in a manor in Virginia that is probably modeled after the Monroe Institute.  Some of the materials he views are essentially “The Book of Bill” (rather like “The Book of Eli” (2010)), and some have been stored on optical (EMP-proof) CD’s.

But in “Angel’s Brother”, a major element of the setup is Bill’s duopoly of novels.  The plot builds up to another Nighthike-Initiation-Immolation scene before the “real” Armageddon and evacuation of Earth by the chosen.  But CIA agent Randy has to figure out whether what is in “The Book of Bill” is really fact or fiction (like the 1998 indie sci-fi film “The Last Broadcast” about the Jersey Devil).

In “Tribunal and Rapture” (Novel 2), the protagonist, Ali Mogul, is depicted as mixed-race (about the same as president Obama, perhaps).  So the story is told through the eyes of a minority person (who includes his son, Amos, who gets in trouble with the law with computer hacking, at at time when hacking was just getting started). But in “Angel’s Brother” I move back (that is, regress, from the viewpoint of social and political correctness) to making the primary character subjects white males, both attractive, one gay and one “straight” (sort of), one college age and one entering middle age, in the late summer of life. That makes erotic tension buildup through the first two thirds of the novel possible.   (I’ll have to do a Hauge analysis soon. )  I was drawn back to this viewpoint by my interest in shows like “Smallville”, “Everwood”, etc.  with “attractive” late teen or young adult male character leads.

One can imagine a movie franchise based on all three novels, each of which encapsulates its prequel.  Perhaps the sequence would be called “Tribunals”.  Maybe it could be a Sci-Fi cable series of about three seasons, 8-10 episodes each.  I’d be game for it but I couldn’t do all three alone right now.

At the end, it seems that there is an “evacuation” from an Earth that is going to see its way of life challenged.  (That’s also true of “Epiphany”).  I know how this will come across to some people:  I don’t have room onboard for “losers” (as Trump would see them).

(Posted: Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017 at 11 PM EST)

Travel article on Krakow, Poland reminds me of the opening of my novel

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The Washington Post travel section on Sunday, December 3, has a long article by Hugh Biggar on Krakow, Poland.

I visited Krakow on May 1999, arriving on a train from Berlin, that made many night stops in former East Germany and Poland. I had bribed the conductor to get a roomette because I had a wrong date on my ticket.

I found a taxi to take me to Auschwitz-Buchenwald, and spent about 90 minutes that morning visiting the ruins. That experience inspires the first chapter of “Angel’s Brother”.
In the chapter, the character Randy, whose normal day job is that of an AP history teacher in high school in Dallas, who is married with three kids (one adopted), is around 45 and is near the ending of his days of always looking to be in perfect physical shape, has been summoned there by his secret job as a contingent CIA investigator. On the grounds, he meets a seemingly gifted college student, Sal (described as a Caucasian Latino), around 20. A conversation gradually starts, that will build up to major incidents later involving aliens and what happens to the rest of us.

I realize that I have to be careful in the writing about the mechanics of the meeting, of the initial social clumsiness as to whether they want to take the cab ride together back to Krakow. (He had seen the “College Kid on the Train” before.) Oh, yes, Randy’s gay desires are coming back, despite his successful marriage so far – but his wife has only recently gotten a little suspicious. I also have to work on the issue of how much she would really know about his “business trips”. (My own dad, as a manufacturer’s representative, made a lot of them when I was growing up. But it’s harder to pull this off if you’re a high school teacher.)

That day, I also went to the Wielickza salt mine, before coming back to the hotel. panel

I remember that the phone was expensive. I had a clunky cell phone but it didn’t work in Europe. But I would need to explain why Randy would have a problem like that today. Then I mention “Bill”, and some other agents, and leave open the question as to whether people like Ali Mogul really exist or are just meta-characters in Bill’s book (sort of “nocturnal animals”).

Wikipedia link for Krakow picture, p.d.

(Posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2016 at 1 PM EST)

Donald Trump may have (inadvertently) already necessitated a change in my novel opening: Russia really could “invade” Finland in real life

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I have started re-editing my novel “Angel’s Brother”.   I hope to have it ready for a third-party editor and later publication in early 2017 (but not before the Inauguration, sorry).

It’s disturbing how I find issues, like in logical sequencing of the action as “Randy” (40) follows Sal (21) back to a taxi from the grounds at Auschwitz in the opening chapter.

But there’s no immediate cliffhanging crisis (or skyscraper-hanging, which opens “Vertigo”, before settling down into talk).

But by Chapter 4, Randy (an ex-military CIA agent who works a regular job as a high school history teacher, even with AP students, which Sal had been) has run a gauntlet of a treasure hunt, visiting a porn shop in St. Petersburg, Russia (even looking at gay porn, which isn’t supposed be allowed in Vladimir Putin’s fiefdom anymore), a step on a Howdy-Doody style treasure hunt that sends him to in a rent car to northwestern Russia, near Lake Lagoda.

He meets an old codger who looks after a secret weapons cache, supposedly hidden among the old radioactive waste that Russia keeps.  This is the kind of stuff that the Nuclear Threat Initiative wants to collar up.

Randy picks up a small device that will be transferred back to the U.S., and eventually be useful in a bizarre psychic education center in West Texas that is supposedly part of a Homeland Security capacity.  But then the Russians see him, and chase him across the border into Finland.

The idea is provocative now because Vladimir Putin is making noise about wanting to take the Baltics back.  Karelia had once belonged to Finland but is now part of Russia (it’s also the subject of a Sibelius suite).  If an incident like this really happened, then the West would have to respond, although Finland is not (yet) part of NATO. Wiki.  This would be a gravely serious matter, although there are questions as to how president-elect Donald Trump will handle relations with Putin regarding Putin’s aggression.

The novel as written doesn’t yet do much with the potential crisis with Russia that it would cause, so I will work on this.

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When a file (from my DADT-2 book) was hacked in April 2002 (on an old legacy site), the overlay looked like jibberish related to the NW-Russia – Finland area.

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Update: Dec. 6, 2016

There is a news story about a gun attack at a town in southeast Finland very near the Russian border, Imatra, in the Karelia area. This is certainly interesting, Guardian link is here .

By Tatu KosonenOwn work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

(Posted: Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 11:45 PM EST)

“Angel’s Brother”: the UFO abductions in the novel

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Throughout “Angel’s Brother” there are references to a supposed accident where the character Ali Mogul lost his long legs in an auto accident collision with a landing UFO, but that stays in the “fact or fiction” realm.

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But there are four “real” abductions”.  Randy “goes” up in Chapter 16 and has a pretty good introduction to it from Finland, coming down in Russia;  Sal gets it early in Chapter 15 and gets taken from Greece back to Texas.  Bill, having transformed himself and escaping, gets a UFO ride in Chapter 26, and in Chapter 27, the last, they all take the Angels’ space shuttle to Titan.

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Wednesday, I did drive through some of the Richmond VA suburb of Glen Allen (formerly Hungary), which is immediately west of I-95 and N or 295, and E of US 33 (Staples Mill Road).  One of the more intriguing sightings in the mid-Atlantic happened in June 1990, according to this link.  I believe it happened more or less around the Mountain Road area (an ironic name), veering off to the NW, past the Virginia Randolph house.  The sightings may have continued down into NW Richmond, along Staples Mill, apparently to about where Anthem Blue Cross is today — I spent a weekend there working gathering data for a company buyout back in 1989.  Nearby was the (at the time) affiliated “The Computer Company” in a warehouse-like brick building.  It’s ironic that an incident like this would happen so close to the site of a provocative work experience in my own career.

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Back in 1992, I visited a rural area slightly east of I-81 near Wytheville, VA, where supposedly there were sightings in the late 80s, maybe connected to Brown Mountain 70 miles S in North Carolina, which I want to visit.

(Published: Thursday, June 11, 2015 at 11:50 PM EDT)

“Angel’s Brother” (i)FAQ

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I’m opening a new page to pose some “infrequently asked questions” about the plot and concept of my novel “Angel’s Brother”.

(1)  Is the character Bill Ldzett “you”, and exactly what happens in the physical transformations that he undergoes in the latter chapters of the novel?

Yes (or “yeth”) Bill is based on “me”.  Bill is a pivot point character, someone not self-qualified for angelhood, but almost, a kind of shaman, with a touch of arsenic, both metal and non-metal.  Perhaps his physical transformations are a generalization of trans-genderism.  Bill’s writings guide the fibbies in their understanding of the coming “alien” invasion which has set up shop in a station on Titan (moon of Saturn).

After Sal (who has become an angel but doesn’t quite know it for sure yet) shaves Bill down in a motel room near the Academy (in West Texas), Bill’s body undergoes further spontaneous change.  The “moon-face” is something that could happen from steroids. He looks like a younger man for a while, and enjoys rejuvenation.  He inadvertently steals some sundries from a nearby convenience store, and suddenly finds the sheriff is after him.  Apparently, the appearance didn’t fool the cops.

He is out on bond, and goes to the “immolation” in Wisconsin, where he meets up with (finally) an arranged girl friend. Tovina.  But during the ceremony, he learns to tumble (like learning to swim and “arch his back”, he thinks), and seems to fly over the ceremony, with his “beady, roving eye” (referring to the 50s horror film “The Crawling Eye” — Bill seems obscured by a cloud at times, and although there are no decapitations, other people are affected by the rituals — maybe a taste of “Invasion of the Animal People“, too).

Back at his trial in Texas, he goes bonkers again after conviction, and escapes, winding up in a sanctuary in the Davis Mountains in West Texas before being brought back for the UFO departure from West Virginia (over a scalped mountaintop) at the end.

(2) What causes the EMP effects?

Because the virus that transmits identities embeds a micro black hole, which can evaporate, there are effects on surrounding areas sometimes.  The convenience store has a breakdown when Bill visits it the second time (a factor in the testimony).  Sal reports that newer computers have become unstable and a couple of power glitches have happened at Academy when he visits.  But after the immolation, there is widespread damage to power systems and electronics in western Wisconsin to Minneapolis, and then sporadically town to Texas.  Repairs for people take some weeks.

Then the outages get larger, about the time the first “flight” leaves to take the candidates to Titan,

(3) Doesn’t the novel show the “strong” (young adults able to become angels) escaping while the “weak” perish?  Isn’t this a socially hostile message for a novel?

You could raise that question about the NBC series “Revolution“.  In the world that follows (where the country breaks down into separate republics) some people do well, others don’t, in a new order, that is low-tech, some new leaders emerge.  But I don’t show that here.  In the longer version of the novel, many of the characters join a public trek from high altitudes East, and stop at recovery or aid centers.  I don’t show that in the current version, but do refer to it.

But it’s true that many people infected by the “virus”, which first surfaces in the Colorado high country, deteriorate and perish.  But this is what happens with epidemics.  What’s different is that this virus seems to discriminate on who it likes.

It does seem, though, that the “angels” are losing interest in reproduction, and are more concerned with developing supernatural virue in young adults who already exist.  That is indeed a bias.

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(4) Most of the evidence that attracts the CIA and other intelligence services seems to be obtained by hacking Bill’s unpublished writings (first by Sal, then Randy after he learns how).  Is this supported by any real evidence?

Randy is sent on the trip to meet Sal in Poland (as the book starts), and then go to St. Petersburg, Russia, and then the Finnish border area, both sides, near sites where the former Soviet Union kept unusual nuclear waste.  (This idea has appeared in other films, like The Return (2003)). Randy is given an artifact by a kind of double agent, and the artifact is sent to the US nuclear waste facility. Bill is given the clandestine task of transporting a tiny sample to the Academy in Texas.  That sample seems to confer “powers” to Bill later, and possibly Sal.

There is some concern in some intelligence circles that Putin could become aggressive against Finland.  The only hack on one of my sites in 2002 left jibberish on my file about this area of the world, and it has never been explained.

(5) What would happen to “ordinary people” in the US after the UFO landing and takeoff at the end?

Various areas of the country are put out of function by the loss of electricity, but some areas are OK.  The government had already started evacuating some mountain areas because of the “virus” before the EMP’s hit near the end.  Randy encounters one of these evacuation centers near the Academy briefly in Chapter 26.

In such a world, the US could dissolve (as it does in the NBC “Revolution”) or there might be efforts to resettle people and have others “host” them.  As with Chekhov, people would have to go on living.

People would tend to believe in the “angels” as a source of religious authority, and tend to believe that their lives were no longer in their own hands, much as was the case in ancient times.

 

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(6) What’s the overall strategy for hacking into Bill’s manuscripts and putting together the pieces?

Sal, as an undergraduate, has been hired by the “CIA” to hack them. Later Randy (actually an agent, post-military) learns to hack, partly from Sal, and finds more.  Later a lot of backstories emerge from conversations with Amos, Frankie (head of the Academy), Ali, and the Toby and Shelia (supposedly “parents” of Matt, the one proven ET angel at the time of the novel).

(Published: Friday, May 29, 2015, 4 PM EDT)

(Major update: June 5, 2015, 8:30 PM EDT)

 

Backstory trace for “Angel’s Brother”

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The following is a list of incidents in lives of major characters that happened before the main narrative of the novel.

 

ABS YR FICT YR ACT YR Char Incident desc Source DB Code DTL
1981 1981 1981 Bill,Kelly,Rita Bill sells Dallas condo to Kelly in bizarre closing omniscient 2000 2,y
1998 1998 Randy initiation in Baltimore omiscient 2000 2,y
1999 (2002) 1988 Matt Birth Amos helps Sal find it, then Toby met him after Ali’s wreck 2000,3000 20,n
2002 (2005) 1977,2004 Ali Ali loses legs to UFO (or train wreck); heart attack at Faber may be true; Ali’s statements differ from Toby’s Sal finds it hacking Bill’s writings, then Randy finds the train wreck, then Toby has details 2000,3000 15/20,n
2005,2015

(2008, 2018)

2005 2005 Bill Bill’s substitute teaching scandal over his web content, Bill threatened again Sal finds it hacking Bill’s writings, then Randy interviews Bill 2000,3000 14,p
2015 2005 Bill Bill moves to Academy, kicked out of home Randy inerviews Amos, then Sal does it; Sal is still a better detective than Randy at this point,, Sal gets more details as to how Bill was seen as a nuisance; Amos a process server 2000,3000 8/9/14/17,p
1994 1994 1994,1991 similar Amos Amos helps operators tamper with check system Amos might explain this before showing Bill in swimming pool 2000,3000 8,9,n

(First published Sunday, May 24, 2015 at 11:30 PM EDT)

Note: Dates in parentheses assume later publication (maybe late 2017).

Character list for “Angel’s Brother”

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The following is a working list of the characters in my novel manuscript for “Angel’s Brother“.  This table may well be updated frequently. With these people, I get to play god.

 

Name DOB Gender physical Basic Identification
Garcia, Sal 1995 M 74-180-102-104-0-Cau Senior at SMU, in ROTC, gifted in languages, computer prodigy, secretly hired by DIA contractor as hacker
Ephraim,Randall 1976 M 70-160-103-100-100-Cau History teacher and spotter CIA agent, had been released from military unk, will develop rel. w Sal
Ephraim,Erin Shoals 1977 F 70-160-103-100-100-Cau wife of Randy, married around 1998, met in Army, rebab nurse, then works in epidemiology
Ephraim,Dick Shoals Femeri 2000 M 70-140-100-104-0-Cau oldest but adopted son of Randy and Erin
Listesso, Frank 1960 M 75-200-varies-Cau Runs “Academy” and claims to be immortal, but has recently weakened, Bill had courted him at one time
Ldzet, Bill 1943 M 71-160-varies-Cau Sentient blogger whose unpubbed manuscripts track what happens in backstories
Mogul, Ali 1940 M 79-lost-varies-Blk Former FBI agent and military intelligence, retired, injured in accident, lost legs, caused by UFO
Strickland, Toby 1976 M 71-150-90-100-0-Cau.J attorney, friend of Bill, knows Bill’s writings, also claims immortality
Strickland, Shelia Sholl 1976 M 68-irr-cau free spirit, wife of Toby
Mogul, Amos 1980 M 71-150-varies-Blk computer hacker who once tried to frame Bill on mainframes, repentant, now at Academy, also process server at times
Mogul, Ellen 1980 F irrelevant-mixed wife of Ali, surgeon, learns of epidemic, talks to Erin
Skiis, Matt 1999 M 80-104-104-0,Cau-Alien Mysterious teen with powers
Skiis, Kelly 1970 F irrel,Cau-mixed Supposed Mother of Matt (actually Shelia), possible immaculate conception
Gauss, Rita 1960 F immaterial, Black and asian Real estate closer and lawyer with a lot of connections
Colon, Aaron 1989 M 71-103-104-50, Cau Proven to be immortal by ritual

(First published Sat. May 23, 2015, 11 PM)

Plot points for “Angel’s Brother”

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I want to start a running discussion, maybe for my own use mostly, of all the plot connectors within my novel manuscript, “Angel’s Brother”.  See also the posts here for July 9 and June 9.

The first function to cover is, what are the “global” events that this novel proposes?

The most visible, in the early chapters, is a bizarre pandemic.  It starts at high altitude in Colorado (and in fact, that has been the case for some of the enterovirus-68 outbreak) and has some frightening aspects.  The main symptoms in the beginning are skin lesions in areas of the body with poorer circulation, like the legs, of diabetics, smokers, or many older people.  The next symptoms are neurological: dementia, and delusions, that in some people lead to seizures and rapid death; in others, the patients stabilize for some months or even possibly years, to relapse into rapid death spiral.   The disease is found to be caused by a bizarre RNA virus (borderline retrovirus) that might be contacted by prolonged physical contact or frottage.  Gradually, the cases appear at lower altitudes.  The government considers evacuating the highest towns, but then another outbreak occurs in the higher parts of the Alleghenies and Smokies from West Virginia down into North Carolina and Tennessee.  Even more perplexing is that some people who have been moved lower and improve but then start to relapse do better if they go back higher.

The virus has the ability to use certain rare radioactive elements, which during certain periods in half-life generate mini-black holes.  These may cause more tissue damage suddenly, but the main consequence is that the memories of the person and awareness are shared with a younger person after the person passes, or sometimes even during coma.  There is speculation about sleep, too, whether dreaming can lead to telepathy through some unknown viral mechanism.

Younger, healthier people seem to recover from the virus, but are left with permanent intellect loss.  But a very few, including some who test positive for the antigen and show a very brief one-time radiation exposure, don’t become ill and seem to develop supernatural mental powers, including the ability to assimilate the memories of others.

The second function is the arrival of extraterrestrials, who will be shown to be angels, with identities related to the 144,000 in Revelations.  (This sounds like “The 4400”.)  Gradually, it is learned that the “Los Angeles Angels” have set up a base on Titan, which seems to be a complete living colony.  It’s not clear in this novel where else in the Galaxy or Universe they could go.  (Christopher Nolan, with “Interstellar”, is not the first to suggest that clues to alien contact could occur near Saturn, or specifically Titan, the most interesting little planet (3000 miles diameter and an atmosphere) in the Solar System. )

The implication, putting all this together, is that the “universe” is running out of its ration of discrete souls, at least near Earth, and must consolidate them, perhaps into The 144,000.

Now a novel must deal with all this from the viewpoint of both characters, and organizations (corporations, or governments, or subunits of those) as they learn the information and must decide what to do about it.

It’s noteworthy (as a third function) that the manuscript, as it is now, has almost no references to radical Islam and its terror threat, but it does refer to Putin’s Russian expansionism, which I have set in Finland rather than Ukraine. That’s partly because the first elements of the story came to me in 1999, well before 9-11, and other factors since then have given me intelligence that northwestern Russia, near the Finnish border, may indeed harbor some dangerous secrets. There have been films around this idea, such as “Devil’s Pass” (about Dyatlov Pass, though that’s in the Urals, on my Movies blog Aug. 28, 2014),  “How I Ended this Summer” (reviewed Feb, 12, 2012, and that’s in eastern Siberia), and “The Return” (reviewed Dec, 28, 2011) which does happen near Finland.

As to government agency, the parent would be the The United States Intelligence Community (link)  The most obvious responsibility for responding to a pandemic threat like that above would start with the CDC, in HHS, but would quickly shift to the Departments of Defense (including DIA and NSA, and all the intelligence agencies of individual armed services), Homeland Security (I&A), then Justice (FBI), and the finally the CIA (which is totally independent of the Cabinet — multiple choice question for a government test!).  In the novel, information about the “alien” issue has resided mainly with a background character named Ali Mogul, who left the military and spent some years in the FBI and is now retired.  He has some interaction with a right-wing-funded technical education facility in West Texas called “The Academy”.  (Sounds like “The Shop” in Stephen King’s world. doesn’t it.)

But much of the backstory has been embedded (one layer up) in “fiction” (relative to the “real” events of the novel) penned by one Bill Ldzet, who is admittedly based on me.  Bill has thought of the idea of the Academy, which he heard about with a bizarre job interview in the early 1980s in Texas.  He didn’t get the job, but the contracting company that interviewed him, well, talked way too much. His writings bare an amazing parallel to the “truth”, signaled by his connections to the other “angels” that Bill seems to have found, such as Matt, the son of a woman who had purchased his condo.

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This takes us to the two main protagonists of the story, Randy Ephram, around 40, working as a history teacher in ritzt North Dallas (or maybe Plano), and a fanciful Renaissance man, with the looks of Tom Cruise, maybe.  He’s “almost” happily married with three kids, one of whom he was cajoled into adopting.  But he was in Army intelligence, but was asked to leave for reasons that seem hidden.  So he took a civilian job doing the same thing.  Because the government thinks that this alien thing has an origin in Russia, he has been officially working for the CIA part time, and “stumping” his AP students for recruits.  One of these is Sal Garcia, a “white” Hispanic boy, charismatic in personality, gifted in speaking many languages, and in computer hacking, oh yes, always “ethical”,   Sal was adopted and raised by a fundamentalist Christian family in Wisconsin, but somehow he ignores everyone’s objection to his interest in his gay side, and gets away with it.  As an aftermath of a military intelligence class with ROTC, Sal will “hack” Bill’s writings — that is, everything in the Cloud that he didn’t “publish”.  As a result, DOD will examine Bill’s published writings to piece together the story.  Some of Bill’s unpublished writings introduce real characters, like Ali, a retired intelligence agent who had gumshoed the Roswell files before and who claims that the car crash that cost him his legs was caused by a UFO, and Ali’s wife, Ellen, is a surgeon who first leans about the disease when traveling to Mexico City.

It’s important to note how the agency works.  I don’t have “station chiefs” and double agents running around much, as in most spy novels, because what is going on at home really is more captivating.  The CIA does people-centered intelligence overseas;  the DIA does the people intelligence for ongoing military operations, and I&A and FBI similarly investigate homeland threats already known. The NSA does the cyber intelligence for the armed services, but in actuality the CIA does its own, which for characters like these results in their work applying in either agency.

(First published Monday November 3, 2014, 8:30 PM EST; updating will continue.)

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The character Lurku, who has a bizarre appearance that makes him seem old and young at the same time, as well as very mixed race, has actually tracked down former Soviet weapons sites that now seem to house the radioactive elements that, when introduced into the virus, produce the bizarre disease   The CIA sets up an early meeting (Chap 4) between Ephram and Lurku, but Lurku has also communicated with Sal.

Randy’s wife, Erin, is a health department nurse.  She becomes interested in why the virus focuses on high altitude areas of the US and not other parts of the world like the Andes and Himalaya.  She knows enough about her husband’s work (illegally) to pry, and learn about one of “Bill’s characters”, Ali Mogul, whose own wife had been one of the first to notice the new disease.

Notes on the “reality layers” (Nov.  13, 2014)

The narrative layers in the novel focus on “present” day with the major characters (Sal, Randy, their families, their “bosses” or classmates or students, etc), and on two streams of the “past” as associated with “Bill”: that is, how much of the material in his unpublished manuscripts is “true” relative to the novel, how much is pure fiction, and how much is actually true in my own reality.

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I actually had developed a timeline assuming the original novel might be “pubbed” around 2005 or so.  The original  “Rain on the Snow”  (May 13) plotline, where Bill goes to the Academy and is imprisoned after being accused of killing Matt (the character who turns out to be an alien) was subsumed to be inside “Tribunal and Rapture” (April 29 here), as Bill has escaped at the end of RS to join the “Nighthike and Immolation” scene at the end.  A similar scene occurs in this novel, in the “middle section” (Part II), about two-thirds the way through.   (The TR plotline was then re-embedded into an expanded RS plotline around 2005.)

The timeline for Matt becomes critical, as he must be no later than 17 during most of this novel.  So in the “reality history” of the novel he will be the son of “Toby and Shelia”, born near Minneapolis shortly before Y2K.  The parents are minor college-age characters here but were important in “Tribunal and Rapture”.  But the TR and expanded RS (call it “RS1”) manuscripts have Matt to be the son of a fitness instructor named Kelly Skiis (female), who winds up working at “The Academy” as PE instructor, born int he late 80s.  Skiis had bought Bill’s “first” condo in Dallas and lived there some years, losing her first husband to diabetes, and encountering other hardships until giving birth to an amazingly gifted son, seemingly through immaculate conception.  Matt then is abducted by the “angels” for about a year and returned, all the wiser, as a kind of “teenager who fell to earth”, sort of a Clark Kent type (with only more subtle “powers”, like direct telepathy).  No, he looks a little beefier than David Bowie (and, yes, I did love the 1976 film “The Man Who Fell to Earth” by Nicholas Roeg. and might as well mention it here —- the way the identity of Thomas Jerome Newton gets revealed is instructive).

There’s another computer hacker, Amos, the son of Ali in TR, who (according to the novels) got fired from a place Bill worked in the 1990s for check-skimming on a mainframe, a crime for which Bill was nearly implicated.   He was prosecuted, did community service, and hid behind a double-life in the world just before the Internet and Google could out everybody.  Then he changed.  He seems to have been abducted, which could be related to his dad’s auto collision with a UFO years earlier.  He could be “infected”.  Bill will be partially “infected” by his intimate encounter with Sal half-way through “the novel”.  Bill, subsequently, undergoes major transformations toward the end of the book (especially after the Immolation) short of becoming an “angel” himself.

Sal will learn that it is by checking out and analyzing Amos, he can tell how much of Bill’s “fiction” is really true.

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(Dec. 25)

Based on the experience of writing my older manuscripts, I found it was more promising to tell “the story” through other characters who learn things from “Bill” (Me).  So, the writing is still “selfie” but less so.  The most interesting protagonist would be someone I would admire and want a relationship with — the Sal character, or the earlier time slice of Randy.  If Sal is to become an “angel”, it’s noteworthy that he will learn this by “hacking Bill”.

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(Jan 9, 2015)

Notes on the split between Bill’s “novels” (as hacked by Sal and later even Randy) and his actual life (as hacked by Matt).

Most of what is depicted in the novel before 2000 “happened”.  Bill was contacted at work by each of two defaulted condos in Texas, in the logic of the novel.  But the older one (which first was sold in 1981) gets cleared a second time by a mystery realtor who sells the unit to “Kelly” who then has Matt in the mystery mudroom by immaculate conception.  Kelly is a younger doppleganger to the woman who bought the unit in 1981 and lost a husband to diabetes, and then became impoverished before the realtor found this doppleganger.  The CIA knows about this, seeing it as a kind of prophecy resolved by the “real”  Matt who must reconcile the timelines (Chap 17);  but Sal will find it only through hidden writings — until he meets Matt then at the “health fair”.   Randy’s wife has heard rumors of the “mystery disease” through her job, but the narrative in Bill’s TR novel about how Ali’s wife, a surgeon learns about it will be generally true in reality, as is the isolated EMP attack on Ali’s second home.

Although Sal and Randy develop a romantic relationship, it would be interesting to give Matt a chance to challenge it — with Sal.

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(Jan. 15, 2015)

Early in the novel (Ch 1), it is noted that Ali Mogul had also hacked Bill’s harddrive in the early (or maybe late) 1990s, before Bill even had Internet.  But then the CIA lost interest in his musings, and simply provided a summary, which Randy learns about when he is hired as a civilian and later meets Lurku in Chapter 4.  Because Bill’s TR novel “predicted” Ali’s UFO encounter, leg loss, and then heart attack (and EMP incident), the CIA takes Bill seriously again.

Sal finds, however, that Ali had kept looking until shortly before 9/11, when he has his “real” accident in west Texas with the UFO and loses his legs, and becomes a civilian.  (Actually, the real accident was in W Va, but even Ali has told everybody the UFO story in the desert.)  He stays in domestic intelligence work, but no longer has access to Bill’s stuff, whatever he says his reasons.  (Bill had predicted the accident to happen in 1977; also Bill had correctly described Ali’s boyhood in rural Florida around migrant farms and near Belle Glade.)   And shortly after Bill’s real life transfer away from his job in VA, Ali’s son Amos really did get arrested for tampering with a financial system where he worked.  So the period right before 9/11 turns out to be the division between “future fact” and fiction in Bill’s private writings.