By Mark A. Ciccone

Two presumed-dead genetically augmented soldiers search for the truth of their origins... and discover far more than they ever imagined.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

News and Bonuses II

Hello, everybody!

My apologies for the slight update holdup this week: work and a family trip this past weekend combined to tear me away from the keyboard.

First bit of news: The FREE promo for Obsidian & Steel is now running on Kindle as of yesterday (6/12), and will expire this Saturday (6/17). Dillinger in Charleston is running a .99 sale on Amazon.co.uk for the same period, and both this work and For State and Country will be available for more than 50% off the first week in July; I wanted the latter to be sooner, but certain pricing rules mandated a 30-day wait, so unfortunately those of you looking for the best deal will have to wait a little longer! The Facebook event has also been slightly delayed, but I am still aiming for a release this week; I'll be posting the link here and on my Twitter and author pages. Once again, if any of you feel in the mood for something new or just a giveaway, or know someone with the same urge(s), spread the word hither and yon!

Here's the next tidbit from Discarded: a closer look at the Vanguard Party, the regime mentioned in the previous updates, and the key movers behind Project Golem up to its demise. Enjoy, comment and critique as you like!

Vanguard Party: Formed in late 2018; originally a minor coalition of conservative and far-right politicians from both major American political parties and a number of fringe groups, as well as among the more hawkish elements of the U.S. military. Constant economic doldrums and the combined strain of multiple minor wars and "police actions" result in its soldifiying as a formal political party in 2020, its meteoric rise to the Presidency that same year in the form of Nathan Daniels--former Army captain and freshman Congressman from Ohio--and control of Congress through official members and sympathizers from across the aisle. Quasi-fascist in ideology; advocates a permanent, powerful military presence around the globe to safeguard the nation against all foreign threats, and espouses national unity above all else at home, with subtle yet telling suppressions of dissent that will spark much future resentment. Maintains power through the 2020s due to further downturns in the global economy, uptick in terrorist actions at home and abroad, and the rise of rival right-wing governments across much of the globe; Daniels' Vice-President Jackson Snyder--ex-Air Force major and previously Vanguard Governor of South Carolina--is elected easily on these fears.

Invests massively in Project Golem through the CIA, as an integral part of "Measured Response"-- i.e., drones, airstrikes, and targeted small-unit actions, avoiding the unpopularity and embarrassment of large-scale deployments--and delights in the results from Golem operations, seeing them as heralding a new era of American military supremacy. However, the chaos engendered from or despite these actions leads to further political and economic instability worldwide, and outbreaks of chaos and rebellion across the United States: "The Turmoil." In 2040, when martial law and Golem deployments fail to resolve or even contain the collapse, Snyder suggests loosening the draconian measures and opening reconciliation talks with some of the more powerful opposition groups. This leads to his ouster by the hardline faction of the Vanguard Party, and his replacement by Vice-President Benjamin Stephens, who intensifies the crackdowns, sparking more disintegration. The detonation of the Seattle Bomb on July 29th, 2046, and the "Pulse" cyberattack that follows on its heels, finally shatters the Vanguard Party's control and resolve, and prompts much of the military to finally turn against D.C. Stephens himself is surrounded and arrested at Camp David within the week, and the various rebellions gradually subside. A shaky reconstruction government takes power soon after, and trials are prepared for Stephens and much of the Vanguard apparatus...but many in the exhausted U.S. would simply rather see the entire era of their rule--including Project Golem--buried and forgotten.

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