Ever and Always
Chapter 35: Really It Is Easy – July 2024

Copyright© 2015 by Banadin

Rick didn't go throw up; instead he went out on the wide veranda surrounding the house. He just sat there looking into the distance. Marsha who was in the room when the call was going on could tell it was big. She came out onto the porch with him and just sat quietly. After about twenty minutes he stirred and asked her to get him a drink.

She asked, "Coffee or iced tea?"

"Double Jack Black straight up," he replied.

"Serious?"

"As a heart attack," was his response.

Rick seldom drank hard liquor much less before noon, so this was serious. Marsha didn't comment, just went and fixed the drink. He sipped it for a few minutes; then proceeded to tell her about the phone call.

"Marsha they want me to run an army, be a dictator, own a multi-billion dollar bank and give me all the gold in Fort Knox. This is insanity!"

Marsha who was having a hard time comprehending what she was hearing gave the time honored response.

"Yes dear."

Rick looked sharply at her. "Aren't you supposed to say I'm sorry?"

She giggled as she replied, "That goes with, you are right, I'm wrong, I'm sorry. Weren't you paying attention in husband class?"

Rick gave a bark of laughter, "Yes Dear," and the tension started to wind down.

They went in and while Marsha was fixing them grilled cheese sandwiches with salsa on them he gave her more detail of the phone call.

"Well it makes more sense now that you have told me all," she commented. "That is the individual points make more sense. The big picture has got me lost, how will we ever accomplish everything. As a group we don't have the required knowledge to implement each item, much less make the entire project come together."

"Actually I don't see that as the problem. As Rob told me; for the bank they would bring a professional team. I would be the owner and Chairman of the Board but they would run it. I would be the public figure head. That is the way every one of us would work. We could question and give our input, but they would run it."

"That is the issue, they would run it. It is going to be very difficult for us to keep control. Another question is do we want to keep control? But then who are they? What are their motives? I would be a lot more comfortable if I knew 'their' long term vision. I'm not for a strongman type of government even if I am the strongman."

"If someone has to be the single person in charge I would rather it be you, than a lot of people."

"Thanks for the vote of confidence, but remember a good strongman can be followed by a bad one. That is what bothers me."

Just then the phone rang.

It was Rob calling back. "Feeling better," he asked?

Rick replied, "Yeah with a little help from my friend Jack Black and a lot of help from Marsha."

Rob barked a laugh, "Yeah I have visited him myself recently." Rob proceeded to recap their previous conversation. Rick had correctly understood what was being said.

Rick then told him about his concerns about a martial law governor being followed by a poor one.

Rob agreed that this was a major concern. He also agreed with Rick that there might be a long term vision for the CSC that they weren't aware.

They both ended up agreeing that all they could do was pay attention and keep the project moving along.

"Speaking of moving along, I think it is important that we gain the group legitimate standing within the community as soon as possible."

"I agree Rick; could I attend your next group meeting and explain what has been proposed?"

"Sure the sooner the better."

"Okay put me on the agenda for next Monday and I will be there."

"Rob why don't you come down Sunday night and stay with us, we could have extended conversation on all of this."

"Sounds like a plan."

"Be here before six so you can join us for dinner."

"Okay, see you around five in the afternoon on Sunday."

Sunday night the three of them had a long conversation. Nothing really new was brought up, but they did get a firmer idea of where they were going and what had to happen.

Monday brought the Valley Group meeting. The General presented well as one would expect from a General. He explained that DHS was very interested in creating CSC's which could support the recovery of a breakdown of society.

He presented it as FEMA writ large. The only difference rather than coming in after the fact they were trying to be proactive.

Paul Kettler's, "Now I have heard everything," spoke for the group.

It also set the stage for Rob to present how they were going to legitimize the group and set the stage for them to be the leaders if the events they were predicting came to pass.

"DHS is going to ask for an advisory group to be established to represent the Valley. The fix is in. The County Commissioners will appoint everyone in this room to be the advisory group. No you don't want to know how that was accomplished. I will just say it was a carrot and stick approach. Some of the County Commissioners had some things they didn't want to make public, others took a payoff, and one of them actually did it for all the right reasons. Bill you can stand up and take a bow."

"I can announce it now; Bill Wigle saw the possibilities before anyone else. He approached a friend at DHS and presented his thoughts. There was already a project of this nature in the pipeline and Pikeville was on the short list.

Bill then helped vet every one of you to be certain you were the people we needed in the group. He has been in constant contact with DHS. Now we think he can help us more by being our voice in Congress."

To say that took everyone by surprise was an understatement. Rick started a round of applause which all joined in. Bill stood up but was speechless. Rob came to his rescue.

"What we have here tonight is a group who are risking their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. We have here the founding fathers and mothers of a future nation. You are the few, the happy few, a band of brothers. Now I have mangled the Declaration of Independence and Henry V so I am sure Bill is now comfortable to speak."

This brought some general laughter.

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