Plague: The making of a Horseman

With my last book on the market, it’s time to start up on my next book project.

Plague: The Making of a Horseman. 

On Sunday, August eighteenth the year two-thousand and fifty-eight; at nine o-two in the morning EDT, The president of the United States of America will press a button that will begin armageddon. Nine hours later Darrel Lee Washington discovers that he has been selected to become one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Will Darrel help his fellow horsemen in destroying the world as we know it or will he fight against War Famine and Death in the hopes of saving the world?

He has just forty-eight short hours to chose and if he doesn’t solve the problem fast enough his life is forfeit.


Chapter One: The Final Solution. 

The president sat in what was often referred to the hot seat, the chair that sat in front of the Resolute desk in the oval office; right now that term never felt so appropriate. On the Resolute desk sat a metal briefcase that had already been opened and placed facing him.

Inside the case was a large red push button similar to an emergency stop button. A bit showy and cliche really, that button was encased in a plastic case that required four mechanisms to open. The first was a toggle switch that provided power to the rest. He flicked the switch and waited for the power to come on. The second was a keypad, he entered his personal password. That activated the third mechanism a retina scanner. He placed his eye on the scanner at the prompting and it confirmed his identity.  The last was a simple key switch, he took the key off his neck and placed it into the lock and gave it a twist the plastic dome popped open.

Despite this complication, this was far easier than it could have been, no second person required, no duel code verification, just him and this button. It made sense in a weird sort of way, this button was meant to be pushed. Accidental or false positives were not a concern really.

For a moment he wondered if he could really do it. He’d already given the speeches and told the world his intentions but could he really follow through? Theriticly anyone could do it now, his administrative assistant, the advisor who spent the morning preparing him for this. His eyes began to tear up as he was racked with fear and grief. This is why he insisted to be alone at this moment, and the world obliged.

Despite campaigning to be the president for almost twenty years in three different elections, right now he wished he wasn’t the man sitting in this very chair right now; but that was not the case. What was left of the UN decided that this choice belonged to America, and as the duly elected leader of the United States the responsibility was his alone.

To help his nerves he kept a flask filled with whiskey in the upper right-hand drawer of the Resolute desk. He took a swig and did his best to screw up his coverage. “Doomed either way.” He told himself, that’s what his advisor kept saying. That one choice was certain doom, and the other was almost certain doom.  A slim chance was still a chance.

His voter base thought differently but he wasn’t a religious man, but on this one occasion he was moved to prayer. “Dear God.” He said closing his eyes and feeling ridiculous. “I don’t even know what to ask for. Forgiveness? Salvation? Absolution? We both know that if you were going to do something about this you would have stepped in a long time ago…” He shook his head. “Fucking worthless sky wizard. You know what? Don’t do anything! That’s what your best at. Nevermind, if you are there, I guess just maybe have some mercy on our souls or something.”

With that, he pressed the button. That was it, his part in the story was over he wouldn’t even know the results of his actions for a few hours yet.

two-thousand miles away a computer whirred to life and began to perform its primary functions. Its first function was to verify the information and authenticity of the request. Having confirmed the request was authentic it began its second function diagnostics of all systems. Once all systems were checked and verified working it performed its final function.

The computer simultaneously initiated a series of c-4 explosives with their explosive shock waves directed at a core of  plutonium-239 and a deuterium/tritium mix. The core is forced into space one-third its size. This causes the Plutonium to enter a state of critical mass, its atoms begin firing off neutrons at an increased rate and those neutrons collided frequently with the plutonium atoms causing them to split this, in turn, released more neutrons and split more atoms, creating a chain reaction.

This reaction compresses a cylinder made up of lithium deuteride which becomes tritium and with the help of deuterium and a second plutonium-239 cylinder that also begins to fission as it compresses initiates fusion.

The resulting ball of super heated gas, plasma, and electromagnetic radiation expands rapidly against the surrounding rock. Pushing out in every direction with the force of fifteen megatons of TNT.  It creates a camber almost two miles wide that almost immediately collapses in on itself as the gas and steam find escape to the surface. No one died. Not a soul, this blast was not meant to kill it was meant to awaken a sleeping giant.

The sounding area was evacuated just nine hundred and ninety-nine people remained in various outpost their mission to watch and report on unfolding events as long as possible. The closest monitoring station to the thermonuclear blast was still there, they had watched as the surface of the near by earth had risen in response to the explosion, and now they watched it collapse. The earthquakes begin. Starting in the low fours on the Richter scale the quickly began spiking at nine points two. The researchers were ready strapped into their seats their station had been designed to handle and reduce the intense shaking.

Just as they began the earthquakes stopped, and a terrible period of silence began ten seconds, twenty seconds, forty seconds. As the span of time seemed to stretch into forever the researcher began to contemplate what it meant, possibly the worst scenario of all failure.

The radio crackled to life. “Zone two! Zone two! Eruption…” The transmission was cut off by a loud explosion. One researcher unbuckled herself and went to the windows to the east of her station. She looked out to see a plume of smoke and ash rising to the sky like the vomit of the devil himself.  She had only a moment to grab her radio and repeat the transmission. “Zone one! Eruption confirmed over in zone two! Repeat eruption at Lake Yellowstone confirmed!”

The explosion had done its job sending a shockwave through the surrounding rock it had the effect on Yellowstone’s magma chamber similar to shaking a bottle of soda, the shockwave released gas that had been stored inside the magma this increased the pressure in the chamber until it found its way out under Lake Yellowstone. There it came to the surface in an explosion of steam and ash.

Helicopters monitored the plume of ash as it poured millions of pounds of gas and debris into the sky. Until they were destroyed by fiery rocks from the sky or choking ash in their engines. A few miles away at another research station they monitored the situation watching the eruption grow from a small plum to a mile in diameter to several, Yellowstone did not disappoint, it exploded with all the promised fury the scientist predicted.  The sky darkened and became as night, still, the kept monitoring until pyroclastic clouds destroyed them. That was nine hours ago.

This was it. The final solution. Mankind in their greed had failed to heed the warning of scientist and pushed the earth’s temperature past the point of no return. The earth would keep heating until it could no longer support life. A radical solution was proposed. Use the Yellowstone super volcano to block out the sun, stave off one mass extinction with another less total extinction.  That was the theory, though it was still hotly debated. In the end, it came down to the decision of just one man and on Sunday, August eighteenth two-thousand and fifty-eight at nine-o-two am EDT the die was cast; Armageddon had begun.

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