Category Archives: my novel-Angels Brother

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.

 

 

“Angel’s Brother”: My current novel manuscript

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My most recent novel manuscript, and I think the most promising, is “Angel’s Brother“,  a science fiction story that brings “us” into hands-on contact with angels and aliens, who turn out to be the same, more or less.  Sometimes, you have to be your brother’s keeper!

The action is all on Earth, except for a space ship and space station on Titan, at the very end.  There is no attempt to present an extra-solar planet civilization, although that could be a sequel (maybe along the lines of “Prescience”).

Most of the action is told through the eyes of two major characters: Sal Garcia, 20, a junior ROTC college student in Dallas, and Randy Ephraim, about 40, a high school history teacher with a wife and three kids, one of them “adopted”.  Sal will gradually discover that he is to become an “angel”, and, so to speak, Randy is the big brother (though still just a mortal).  Then there is “Bill”, (me), who first is known through his writings on the Internet, and whose deeper writings that, along with “remote viewing”, point Randy toward the “point of contact”.  And there are some characters from other manuscripts, like falling (or fallen) angels Frankie and his predecessor Femeri, and Ali Mogul, the retired FBI agent married to a surgeon who discovers the “new disease”, which propagates a virus that transmits the ability to become an “angel”.

Randy’s job as a teacher is a cover, as he also “stomps” as a liaison for the CIA, as a followup to an earlier career in military intelligence himself.  Randy goes on trips to pick up and send back “evidence” from tipsters, while as Sal hacks his work, and then tracks it back to other characters, whose past activities track amazingly to manuscripts developed by “Bill”.

I thought that the idea of telling a story like this through the eyes of someone “you look up to” (upward affiliation, again) was interesting.  I began to see this around 2002 or so watching WB’s “Smallville”, where we do learn the story through Clark Kent’s eyes, and he isn’t completely sure who he is during the earlier years (where the episodes and basic story line were more compelling and mysterious).

I started the original manuscript in 2007, and it had 42 chapters, with Randy running around the world several times.  The second half of the book somewhat paralleled the latter part of “Tribunal and Rapture II”.  I later decided to simplify the book to make it more manageable, to 27 chapters.

Synopsis by Chapter:

Part 1: First Movement:: “Friends”   (starts in May)

Exposition:

Chapter 1:   “Polish Epiphany”   (2 sections)

Randy has been called away from his AP History teaching job in Dallas for a trip to Germany and then Auschwitz in Poland.  As the book opens, he is touring the outdoor site of the infamous concentration camp when Sal approaches him.  They share a cab ride back.  Sal describes what he knows about Bill

Chapter 2: “History Teacher:

Randy reads his own history on his tablet, after learning that “Bill”, who had generated a tip, was a memoirist.  He looks at his own history in the Army, his heterosexual initiation in Basic, intelligence school, his own skipping out on a second male initiation which he misses, his marrying Erin, adopting Dick, then having his own kids.  He hasn’t been interrupted much in the past few years to play G-man.  He looks at himself in the mirror.  He still thinks he is kind-of-perfect.  He measures himself mentally against what he remembers from Sal.  He became a history teacher (after a year as a sub for “show”) while still working for the agency on special projects.

(Hooks): Randy also recalls how he learned that a mystery real estate agent had introduced him to his current wife; his boss at the CIA has learned that she is the same agent who had worked with Bill decades before when he got into trouble with his condo.  Randy wonders why this matters and if it connects to Sal, who had been in his class once a couple years back (before his adoptive family took him to Wisconsin).

Randy adopts a boy from a “green boss’s” family when he marries almost on day 1, and that makes him more interested in women, as it costs him less.

Also, explain how Erin (Randy’s wife) as a nurse moved into contact tracing, setting her up to anticipate the coming epidemic.  (2014/11/16).

Randy, though knowing less about Bill than Sal, is puzzled about what happened when Bill was subbing, since Randy had subbed himself before becoming a “real teacher”.

Chapter 3:  “History Student”

Sal goes to a gay bar in Amsterdam, and while playing with a cat, an eskimo-looking man named Irku contacts him, not wanting to dance.  Irku is accompanies by Tovina.  He shows Sal an unusual tablet computer.

Sal recalls his own history.  He was born in South Texas, became multilingual very early, and is thankful that he looks white while identified as Hispanic.   He is adopted by a family in Wisconsin but the father’s business often has Sal in Texas.  At 14, he visited a church near the Gulf where the Virgin Mary appeared, and then very quickly went into puberty with his teen growth spurt.  He took a pal Rusty on a hike in the Gaudalupe Mountains in Big Bend.  They both got sick, mysteriously.  Sal recovered quickly during the trip, but the friend was left a diabetic.

Sal would have a photographic memory and learn about 8 difficult languages.

Sal also meets with Lurku in a bar in Amsterdam, but doesn’t see Randy.  Sal explains how his hacking escalated.  Then Sal recalls how he met Matt on Popo in Mexico, and got that idea from Bill

Sal also reviews one big legal hack, of one of Bill’s early real estate closings.  The closers works for the CIA.

Chapter 4:  “The Lapp” (2 sections)

Randy gets instructions to go to St. Petersburg.  Despite the anti-gay environment, he enterains himself in a porn shop, and then goes to the Hermitage to get contact intructions.  He then rents a car and drives north, into the lake country near the Finnish border.  Intelligence had been passed years ago through a steganographic hack on one of Bill’s websites.

He meets Lurku in a shed, and sees an odd assortment of hardware, including very old computers without graphics.  He’s also given an sample to carry back, of a rare element, astatine, which is in an unusual stable form.

(Hook): Lurku mentions the hack of a website (Bill’s) that predicts re-emergence of Russian aggression near Finland, and again this seems related to Sal.  Will Russia become a bigger enemy again than radical Islam, and if so, why?  Or do the Russians know some game-changing technological secret?

Randy is chased as he leaves Russia and gets into Finland.  His bosses back at the CIA think that Finland will be Russia’s next victim after the Ukraine, but even that is a diversion.

Chapter 5:  “Family Background”

Sal is spending a weekend at home (from his sudden field trip and school in Texas)  in Wisconsin.  His younger sister was said to be slain in the spirit but is still sick, and Sal finds out she got altitude sickness on a church retreat in Colorado.

Sal also contemplates his attitude toward his Hispanic ancestry but white appearance, and wonders why ROTC sent him on “vacation”. He still doubts “they” know the angel “Matt” (new).

Chapter 6 :  “The Lake”

Listening to the insistence of his wife Erin and Dick, Randy takes his family on a  vacation from Dallas to the northern woods in Minnesota as school ends.  He’s glad to have his family unplugged.  A vicious computer virus that frames users for child porn has been running loose in the country.

Randy wonders if a computer hack reported in the media has any connection to the “dud” he picked up in Finland.  Randy makes the connection because of Bill’s paranoia about being framed, as indicated on Bill’s own published writings.

In the meantime, Sal has called Randy (perplexing Erin) and told him he will attend the Army language school in San Francisco, not to study but to teach a class.  Sal will look further into Bill’s background to clues to his own experience in the SW mountains.

Chapter 7 :  “Looks like a Scottish Castle”

Randy, through snooping, learns that Bill was given his own mystery load (the astatine) when visiting the Yucca Mountain area.  Bill gets a traffic ticket from an OK cop that seems bogus.  Bill seems to be on the way to a place called “The Academy”, actually predicted in his own secret writings.

Chapter 8:  “Academy”

Randy arrives at the Academy, near Abilene TX  and debriefs Frankie before finding Bill.  Frankie will explain why Bill was on a “vacation” picking up “goodies” (for “Special Troops”), and that Bill can “get what he wants” here.

Chapter 9: “Visiting prof”

Sal also visits the Academy. He teaches a two-day language course (interpreting Chinese from intonation).   He visits one student, Amos (son of Ali) who had been caught in a bizarre computer “thoughtcrime”, and that provides an entry into discussing Bill’s life and writings.  He’s told that the staff wants Bill to learn to swim again.

Sal learns about how Bill wound up at the Academy after being chased out of his home with “mom” s she recovered, partly because of his web activity.  He had been “homeless” so the Academy seemed like the best possible new life.

Chapter 10:  “More Family Trips” (2 sections)

Having turned in final grades, Randy makes a quick overrnighter to Washington to  meet with Qulller, his interim boss at the CIA.  Quiller wonders about his marriage, which might ordinarily be none of his boss’s business.  Randy mentions the trip to Minnesota and they talk about the computer viruses, then real viruses.  Quiller encourages Randy to make a trip to the high country.

Quiller doesn’t explain the intelligence that has come from other agencies, who share more data now in this NSA-driven, post 9/11 world, but they do talk about the CDC.  After all, Randy had become an academic himself, post military.   This is not like other bioweapons.  They needed stompers to get this one out, someone to talk to real people and bring them in.

Randy takes his family to Leadville, CO, goes to the opera, and sees some of the people who have been getting sick.  Many, especially the men, develop curious gray lesions on their lower legs, which go bald.

CDC has said that their prognosis isn’t good.  Most of them get hallunciations that they are someone else, but die of cardiac arrest in a week or so,  So far, there are clusters, mainly in higher altitude areas, but a few even in mountainous areas in Appalachia.

When Randy talks to the people, he finds a curious speculation that mountaintop removal could be a good thing.

He wonders what Sal must have found out about Bill’s writings, and begins to sense a point to it.

Chapter 11:  Song of Solomon (Following Sept, 2 sect)

As his senior year starts, Sal and Rusty arrange a little hazing session for the plebes.  It’s still illegal.  but fun and often done.

Sal notes that even with the repeal of DADT he doesn’t have the right to talk about what he likes on the Internet.  He’s pretty well figured out Bill’s story on the web.  He also found out about the ingot of astatine that Randy had transported while at Academy. So he calls Randy and offers to help, but wants Randy to be more “honest”.

Randy is still trying to solve his slowly lessening passion for his wife.

Development:

Chapter 12 : Erotica I;

Randy spots Sal playing chess with Wilson, “the greatest of all time”, outdoors in the Cedar Springs area of Dallas.

Randy meets Sal in a gay bar in Dallas.  They dance. The next day, they drive out to Abilene and the Academy, as if Randy could “go home” with him at the Academy.

Sal shares his hacking.  He has gotten a hold of one of Lurku’s old computers with special links.   Randy sees how much Sal has found out about his work by hacking. Randy becomes intimate, initiating a back rub through the shirt at first.  Eventually, they wind up in bed.

Chapter 13: Dead Reckoning

Quiller calls Randy by Skype in Dallas, and quizzes him more on how much he’s picked up from Sal’s hack of Bill.

Randy is having to approach his family problems and is noticing the barest traces of lesions on his lower legs.  Maybe. He thinks “I’m still good.”

Chapter 14: Bilbao and homage to Guggenheim, 3 sections (2 somewhat separate)

After seeing his own son off to a science fair and pep-talking is history students (and parents at PTA), Randy flies to Bilbao.  On the streets, after visiting a drop in a bar (one of Lurku’s associates, maybe) with the remaining codes of Sal’s hack, he mugged, left with a harmonica, containing yellow and black powder, and two small ingots that had held the material, stuffed into his socks around his ankles.

He then meets Sal for a bike ride in the Netherlands, and they spend a night together.  Sal, who notices everything, notices changes in his legs.

Chapter 15: Lionsgate

Sal visits Toby, Shelia, and Matt (other characters in Bill’s stuff) at the Lions Gate in Greece, and then goes up (after a chess game).  He winds up at Big Bend.

Chapter 16:  Archangelsk Variation

Randy meets Lurku in Finland, follows a treasure hunt, and in October snow, goes up.  He has intense dreams about his activity with Sal, but of mainly being held.  He wakes up in Russia, Archangelsk, with a chess board in front of him, and notes his own deterioration.

Recapitulation:

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Chapter 17:  Shavedown  (2 separate parts)

Back in Dallas, for classes, Sal gets debriefed by his ROTC commander Mertz, who is concerned about his visibility.

Sal goes to a “health fair” and sees Matt, super-tall, and already a “new angel” (June 9).  Matt tells Sal that he (Matt) is the character in Bill’s “Ran on the Snow” document who gets “murdered” by an encounter with Bill in the desert.  To prevent more stuff in Bill’s writings from coming true, Matt wants Sal to intervene, and give Bill “what he wants” (so that he will “go away”).

Sal drives out to Academy quickly, and tracks down Bill, in his room, but only after reserving a motel.  Sal stops at a convenience store and asks Bill to pick up an odd oil product, which might normally not be carried.  Bill somehow thinks it is like a prescription and he doesn’t pay for the item.  They go to the motel, and gradually become intimate.  After some time, Sal undresses Bill, gives him a full body rub, and then shaves Bill’s chest.  Bill climaxes.  Sall suggests Bill go back to the room.  Bill then goes out to the convenience store to find more items and notices (as in the rear view mirror) his appearance has changed.  He is “younger” in several aspects.  He goes back to the store and buys some rolaids (contraband at the Academy, which is a bit like the military).   After he leaves, police cars chase him. He is arrested.  He checks himself in a mirror and thinks he looks young, but he cannot see himself in jail (a first time ever).

Chapter 18: “Family Bed”  (3 sections)

Randy makes one last attempt to have a real experience with Erin,  Next day, she confronts him, and Randy admits he is distracted by younger men.  He admits to being intimate with Sal,  Erin wants the marriage to end.

Randy meets with Bill, finally, after Frankie has bailed Bill out of jail.   They talk about “erotic royalty”, and what that would mean for “society”.    Randy has only glimpsed Bull as an old man in previous visits and notes that he looks “younger” to him, but maybe not in desirable ways.

Randy reports to DC and has various medical tests.  His own legs are “attenuating”.

Part II: Second Movement: Interlude

Chapter 19:  “Westover”

Randy and Sal, reasonably dressed, meet at the outdoor Westover Market in Arlington VA to trade notes.   Sal gives Randy hacked copies of the most critical parts of Bill’s manuscripts, for Randy to check out.

Randy checks his son Dick into a private school., and they meet Erik.

The Interlude 1 would present Bill’s writings of Ali Mogul, and how his surgeon wife discovered the virus. But Sal can’t view Bill’s potential for the illegal relationship.   Sal did find writings about the birth of Matt.

Chapter 20:  “Intentional Community:

Randy goes to Faber, VA, near Charlottesville, to recreate Ali’s remote viewing experience of the “angels”.  He realizes he can do so now because he has found a real life person likely to become an angel (Sal).  He also undergoes “baptism”, along with a view of a moneyless society.

Particularly,  he also sees the details of Ali Mogul’s heart attack, that led to his wife’s exposing the intelligence about the new “virus” that can transmit identities (June 9).

Then he views the story of Matt, back to his birth, and then the gentle encounters, progressive.   Bill had already started to look “younger” in the rv’s.  The music for the viewing has to actually incite emotion the way Bill experienced it with classical music.

Chapter 21:  “Night Initiation and Immolation Scene” (many sections)

Upon instruction (from Faber), Randy travels to a hilly area in Wisconsin with multiple bike trails and tunnels, for an “initiation”

Just before he “dives in”, Randy reviews more material from Sal, giving the history of Matt (Prologues in Bill’s novel) who may be an “original” angel after all.

Matt and Femeri appears, and then so does Frankie, who turns “old”.  Bill appears to be “young” again.   Sal starts to “do” Randy but “spares” him and turns attention to “Wilson”.  Randy then “satisfies” Bill.   Bill and Femeri float thorugh the air as “roving eyes” but then Bill falls to the ground,. to be rescued by Tovina, while Femeri goes up and exploded (which did not happen to Sal and Randy).

As Bill and Tovina return to civilization, they go to a fast food restaurant, where they hear the first media reports of evacuation of high altitude areas because of the “new disease”.  Sal comes in to greet them.

There is an interlude 3 where Bill’s imagined encounter with Matt is shown, in rv, but at the immolation Matt appears and resists letting Randy (even him) view it.  He also views Matt’s and then Bill’s past lives here (the original prelude).

Part 3: Finale: Brothers:

Chapter 22: Divorce Chapter

Erin confronts Randy again, demands alimony, but then notices the changes in bis body,

Chapter 23:  Mountaintop removed

Randy has noticed a slight lesion even on Dick, and tries and experiment, motivated by Sal’s earlier life.  He takes Dick to moderate elevation, to a strip mine.  Dick improved.

One night, Randy goes to the bars in DC.  He comes back and finds Dick has been kidnapped.   Maybe that was to protect him, even though he already got over the “virus”.

Chapter 24:  Stay out of Jail  (4 sections)

Cpt. Mears questions Sal about his conduct — hacking and hazing, now that DADT is gone.  There’s a discussion of whether this is really about DADT.

Sal visits Bill, who is held without bail on what seems like a trivial charge.  He’s no “Charles Severance”.  Sal wonders if Randy could help with bail.  Sal confirms that Bill still “looks young”.

Randy has taken leave from his teaching job with move to DC, although a “long term sub” (Wilson) was put in his place.  A principal notices what happened to Wilson in the immolation and decides to be helpful.  They find a clue to help Randy find Dick.

But Randy was briefly in Wisconsin, looking for clues near the immolation scene.  Sal joins hin there.

Myers calls in Sal again.   Sal has taken “the test” by poking his ankle.  Myers tellls Sal he won’t get a commission but can do the same work as a civilian.  It’s like DADT,  Is this because Sal is no longer completely “human”?

Chapter 25: Fair trial (and maybe Fair Use)

Sal, by agreement with Myers, testifies against Bill in the shoplifting case.  But Bill does a shape-shifter duirng the trial and “goes up” in front of everyone.

Chapter 26: Rescue

They go to Big Bend and find Dick unharmed and well. Dick says “he went up” for about a day.   Dick looks a little “younger”:

News reports of evacuations increase.

The sub who provided the clue to find Dick gets in legal trouble himself,  but provides another clue as to where “it” will happen.

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Chapter 27:

Randy goes on one more road trip: to Wisconsin to get all the remaining secrets of “Bill’s novel”, and then to a mountaintop-removed mine in W Va, where they all assemble to go to Titan. Frankie (once a partner of Bill) has to wonder if he will get arrested first, just as in Bill’s book. He’s no longer “desirable” as an angel.

Bill remains an “old soul”, and then so does Randy, but Sal is an angel. Ther’es a question as to who got to go up as an “angel” besides Sal  But both Bill and Randy are saved in some sense by being an angel’s “brother”.

Note: Some chapters could well be broken into smaller chapters, to make each chapter center around one scene or at least one concept. These would include Chapters 10,  17, 21, and especially 24 .

The novel describes two characters who are employed in some way in clandestine service, including the CIA.   Yet, here, there is non of the stuff you usually see in the movies, with station chiefs recruiting nationals, no drones, no assassinations, relatively little violence.  It’s mostly about solving a mystery — which in this case affect the whole future of mankind.  Maybe someone working there will chuckle if he or she finds it, or maybe he or she will think it’s closer to the real CIA than how Hollywood usually presents it.

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Just remember, the CIA building at Langley was built the same year I graduated from high school, 1961.
(First posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2014, 11:45 PM )