It isn’t the only time…
…a US presidential election has been disputed.
But this time, it might lead to war.
For the first time in history, UN peacekeeping troops are amassing at the northern border. Marshall Tate has set up his new headquarters in Canada. The world watches. Tensions run high across the country.
Will a second civil war tear the country apart?
In the shadows and out of the public eye, the puppet masters continue their schemes. Can anyone figure out their ultimate plan? Is the looming chaos their endgame?
Or is it something more sinister?
You’ll love this riveting thriller because it will keep you turning the pages until well past your bedtime.
Get it now.
The Falling Empires Series is best read in order, as each book builds upon the previous work. The reading order is as listed:
Book One: Rigged
Book Two: Peacekeepers
Book Three: Invasion
Book Four: Vengeance
Book Five: TBD
*When you buy a book written by Rosone and Watson, they have chosen to donate a portion of the proceeds to help support the following organizations: Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Operation Underground Railroad, and Charity: Water.
Release date: July 29, 2019
Publisher: Front Line Publishing Inc.
Print pages: 581
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.
December 10, 2020
White House, Cabinet Room
FBI Director Nolan Polanski and Patty Hogan from DHS exchanged a nervous glance before returning their eye contact to the President.
“I don’t think you fully understand how bad the situation is getting, Mr. President,” Polanski said cautiously. “We’ve seen an enormous uptick in political and hate crimes being committed against both sides of the political aisle. It’s completely overwhelming local law enforcement and my own agency. We need help, and we need it now, Mr. President.”
Turning to face his Attorney General, the President asked, “How about it, Malcolm? What do you recommend we do?”
The AG shifted uncomfortably in his chair. “You’ve already declared martial law and activated the National Guards in all fifty states, sir. It’s going to take time to get them all shifted around the country to their new assignments.”
SecDef McElroy nodded. “Mr. President, we’re also running into the problem of AWOLs inside the Guard units, as well as in the reserves and active military,” he asserted. “Close to twenty percent of the units across the board aren’t showing up. We don’t know yet if they’re just opting not to participate with the deployments or if they’re truly crossing ranks to join the UN and militia forces forming up in Canada.”
Sachs shook his head in frustration. “This whole situation is spiraling out of control faster than we can react to it. We have to do something to return order to our streets and stop the violence. I need answers, solutions—not more questions and problems, gentlemen,” he insisted, his voice slowly rising to a near yell. He took a deep breath and let it out with a huff, then eyed his AG again. “Now, what more can we do to help local law enforcement?” he asked, his voice back to its normal volume and cadence.
“We should move forward with Patty’s idea of increasing the Federal Protective Service force,” Malcolm insisted. “They have, what, roughly 1,200 uniformed officers and another 14,000 contractors?” he asked, nodding to Patty.
“That’s correct,” she confirmed. “At this moment, their duties are to protect all buildings owned and operated by the General Services Administration. They’re essentially mini police departments on some of our larger facilities. My proposal is that we turn the 14,000 contractors into federal workers, and then we move to rapidly expand that number to 100,000 people over the next six months. We can use this force to help augment our local law enforcement officers and FBI agents throughout the country.”
The President let out a soft whistle. “That’s a lot of new cops to essentially create overnight. How do you propose we do that?” he asked skeptically. “Especially when we have a ton of civil unrest happening now as it is.”
“We use the draft,” Patty proposed. “We work with the Selective Service, and we place a requirement for them to fill it. Of course, we’ll also promote it externally and try to get folks to volunteer, but we use Selective Service to fill in the gaps.”
Leaning forward, General Austin Peterson added, “If we’re going to use the Selective Service, then we should also go ahead with temporarily increasing the size of the military. We’re clearly facing a national emergency. We have a foreign army starting to amass on our borders, and we have a high percentage of desertions. I’d like to recommend that all soldiers currently in basic training be turned into infantry soldiers and that we go ahead now and begin the process of drafting at least half a million young men into the military.”
“What about the other military specialties?” asked the SecDef, his left eyebrow raised to an uncomfortable looking height.
Turning to look at McElroy, General Peterson replied, “We can let some of the critical ones continue on to receive their advanced MOS training, but by and large, we’re going to need a lot of infantry soldiers. My gut tells me if there’s a conflict with this UN force to our north, it’s going to be brief and bloody, not a long, drawn-out fight.”
Sachs nodded. “I agree, General. I think the days of a prolonged battle are probably over, at least when it comes to a conventional force-on-force scenario. Go ahead with your plans and let’s get the Selective Service involved. It’s December tenth—I’d like the first round of the draft completed by Friday, December 18th, with a report date of no later than January third. We need to get this force created and going.”
The weather was absolutely gorgeous as the wind blew some warm, moist air in across the hotel room through the open window. Vice Admiral Hu Zhanshu looked one more time at the disposition of his ship deployments for the Pacific, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic. This plan was years in the making. It was either going to succeed beyond his wildest beliefs, or it was going to utterly flop and doom his country. For his part, Admiral Hu was either going to be hailed a hero of China or lined up against a wall and shot for his failure.
“This is an audacious plan, Admiral,” stated Major General Semyon Lobov. “Are you confident it will work?”
Admiral Hu stood even straighter than normal, trying to stretch his frame to maximum stature. “It’ll work so long as your missile batteries are able to keep the American Air Force at bay,” he replied, both taunting and appeasing his Russian counterpart.
For this plan to work, the Chinese and Russians had to work together hand in glove. It wasn’t possible to take down the world’s dominant superpower without a lot of coordination and twisting the arms of many smaller, less powerful nations to get them to go along.
“The Americans have spent the past eighteen years fighting Islamic extremists,” General Lobov said dismissively. “Last time I checked, the Taliban doesn’t have an air force. We’ve tested our systems against their aircraft in Syria. They’ll work when the time comes.”
“You’ve tested your radars and electronic jamming—not your missiles,” Hu asserted. “It’s going to be imperative that your force be able to drive the American Air Force nuts in the southern half of their country. If you can keep their Air Force and commercial aircraft grounded for even a month, you’ll have bought our forces in Mexico enough time to tear the American Southwest apart.”
“You ought to be more concerned with the Europeans in Canada,” Lobov insisted, tossing aside the Chinese admiral’s concern. “We Russians know how to fight. We’ve spent most of our history in one war or another. It’s the Europeans who buckle under the weight of a conflict.”
Admiral Hu snickered at the retort. “You may be right on that account. We’ll see if the Germans and French are truly able to fight or if they’re just a paper tiger.”
Pulling a packet of cigarettes out of his breast pocket, the Russian tapped it against his palm briefly before he pulled one of them out. He bent over slightly and lit it with a gold-plated Zippo lighter he had been given by President Romanoff himself. He held the pack out to Admiral Hu, who looked at the cigarette disapprovingly before he grudgingly took one. General Lobov lit it for him, and the two of them stood there in the hotel room, looking at the map on the table before them.
General Lobov leaned over the map and examined it before he returned his gaze to Admiral Hu. “You realize, if we are successful in this endeavor, America will never be the same?” Lobov asked, almost rhetorically. “We will have altered the world balance for generations in China’s favor.”
“Even if we fail, America will never be the same,” Hu shot back. “And, yes, the world balance will shift in our direction, but that is the direction it’s been heading for more than thirty years. If we are successful, General Lobov, Russia will prosper along with China. The Europeans will have spent themselves trying to go toe to toe with the Americans.”
Lobov grunted. “And all it will have cost Russia is half of our air force, most of our navy and half of our surface-to-air missile platforms.”
Crinkling his eyebrows at the glum proclamation, Admiral Hu exclaimed, “General, be real. What you are sacrificing is old, outdated equipment that is costing your country more to maintain than it would to just replace it. You may believe you’re throwing this equipment away, but what you’re going to gain in return is something far better.”
Lobov snorted at Hu’s dismissive comment. “It’s not the equipment loss that bothers me, Admiral—it’s the trained men that we’ll be losing with that equipment. China may be a nation with more than a billion people, but Russia is not.”
“Your country is being well compensated for its participation in this grand UN endeavor, General,” Admiral Hu asserted. “This effort is going to succeed; you wait and see.”
Over the next couple of hours, they finished discussing the defensive plans for how Russia was going to turn Cuba into a massive surface-to-air missile swarm on the Americans. With dozens of S-300 and S-400 missile systems being set up in strategic points around Cuba, the Russians were going to make it nearly impossible for US aircraft to fly over Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Texas. With the American Southeast essentially tied down and the Northeast otherwise occupied, that would leave the Chinese to contend with the American Southwest. If they could succeed in removing the American Air Force from the equation, then the UN’s ground force should be on an equal footing with the United States Army, and that was a horse race they believed they could win.
When General Semyon Lobov left his meeting with the Chinese, he turned to his deputy, Colonel Ivan Smirnov. “I don’t trust the Chinese one bit,” he admitted. “Mark my words, Ivan—they’ll betray us if it suits them, or if they can profit from it.”
Colonel Smirnov looked surprised. “Why do you say that, sir?” he asked.
Since it was only the two of them in the vehicle, Lobov turned to his deputy. “Because China is greedy,” he answered candidly. “China is also an untested military. They’ve never fought a serious war where they were looking defeat in the eyes. If they get their nose bloodied, they’ll likely back down. I don’t trust them, and I think we should make our own preparations in case they double-cross us.”
Smirnov nodded. No other response was needed.
He’s a good little soldier, Lobov thought with a smile.
Seth Mitchell had planned his family trip to Disney’s Animal Kingdom with his usual military precision. The truth was, ever since returning from Yemen, he wasn’t that great with lines, so he’d organized the outing to minimize the amount of time spent waiting. They’d arrived promptly at 8:30 a.m., so they were some of the first people to make it into the park when it opened at 9:00 a.m. Then they’d made a beeline for the new Pandora section of the park, which tended to have the longest wait times.
His wife, Dana, was sort of used to Seth’s idiosyncrasies at this point and had downloaded the app to keep up to date on exactly how long each line was, minute by minute. She’d already put the expectation out there with the kids that they probably wouldn’t be able to ride the Avatar Flight of Passage ride—even for her, the wait for that ride was usually too long, and fast passes had been snatched up way in advance. So, when she saw that the line for the Navi River Journey was remarkably short, she’d hurriedly steered the family in that direction.
Seth found himself somewhat distracted by the beauty of his surroundings. Normally, waiting in lines and sifting through large crowds made him feel like he was about to break out in hives, but in this lush setting with greenery and streams, he almost felt like he was being transported to the scene of the movie Avatar. Then he heard some words that jolted him back to reality.
“The Navi River Journey is currently down for maintenance. We aren’t sure exactly how long it will be down, so we are recommending that everyone go to a different ride.”
Realizing that he shouldn’t swear in front of his kids, Seth managed a weird sort of growl instead. However, several people vacated the line right after the announcement, and then there were only about forty people between him and the entrance of the ride.
“I think we should ride this one out, Dana,” he told his wife.
“Really?” she asked incredulously.
“Yeah. Why don’t I take Lily to get her face painted at that stand over there while you hold the line with Eric? If we finish and there’s no movement, we can trade out.”
“OK,” Dana said, smiling.
Seth walked his daughter over to the nearby kiosk, and soon he was willingly paying over twenty dollars to have his daughter’s face decorated in fancy paint that would glow on the ride. Normally, he was a bit of a tightwad, but today, all that really mattered was the smile on his daughter’s face. She was so ecstatic. He tucked the memory of her delighted cheers into the back of his mind, hoping that what was going on in the world wouldn’t mean that this was the last of such happy occasions.
Just as he and Lily rejoined the line, a crew of drummers showed up and started a performance twenty feet away from where they were waiting in line.
“Aw, cool!” Eric exclaimed. “Dad, can you take me a little closer until the line starts moving?”
“Sure thing, bud,” Seth answered. Truthfully, he didn’t like loud music anymore, but for his son, he would deal with the heightened level of anxiety and the elevated heart rate.
Five minutes later, he felt his phone buzz. He checked the screen—it was Dana.
“Zip your way on back here fast. We are moving,” she announced.
Seth grabbed his son’s hand and they joined the herd that was lurching forward toward the line entrance. Soon, they were meandering through a maze of rope lines. To their right and left were many different lanes that could be opened when the waits grew long.
Thank God we didn’t have to sit through all that, Seth thought.
They kept moving along at a rapid clip until they lurched to an end right before everyone boarded the boats. They had totally lucked out waiting for this ride. It was pretty much the best-case scenario.
Seth had to admit—it was pretty cool watching his daughter’s face paint light up with all of the other luminescent displays. However, the slow boat ride wasn’t all that exciting for an adrenaline junkie like himself.
I’m so glad we didn’t burn a fast pass on this, he mused.
The day continued along in an almost ideal dreamlike state. His wife did shoot him a look when he bought the kids those enormous lollipops, but he calmly squeezed her shoulder, winked, and whispered, “It’s Disney, babe.”
Truthfully, it was hard for Seth to stay mentally present. He kept thinking about where he was going to be sent next and whether or not he would come back home to see his wife and kids again.
What’s going to happen to America? he wondered. Then he shook himself back to reality. Keep smiling, he told himself. Give them one perfect day.
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