Everything Comes
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Everything Comes


My Take on President Biddle’s Seraphic Terror War

The following is the first two of nine chapters of my Kindle Book noted below. It is available KU Prime for $2.99 if you are interested.

President Biddle’s Seraphic Terror Ploy by Stephen C. Rose http://tinyurl.com/jhkv8a2


I wrote this to demonstrate with a touch of humor that the world depends on ingenuity and imagination to overcome her lesser angels from time to time.

Hopefully Constance and company will stretch your mind a bit and maybe afford a chuckle or two. I suppose the right reader could also see it as a film.

Of me it can be said:

Stephen C. Rose (1936-) was born in New York City and currently lives there. He was educated at Trinity, Exeter, Williams and Union Theological Seminary. He served in the Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. He founded and edited the prize-winning Renewal Magazine in Chicago and studied with C. A. Doxiadis in Athens. His first books “The Grass Roots Church” and “Who’s Killing The Church” established him as a prominent critic of American Protestantism and American religion. He was and remains a civil rights activist. He has interviewed and done in depth pieces on Saul Alinsky and Martin Luther King, Jr. He won awards for editorial courage and for two documentary films. He has written and published many songs and musical works including “We Are All Americans”.During the late 90s and early 2000s he worked for UN agencies, most recently editing CHOICES Magazine at UNDP.

Chapter 1. DAY ONE

Washington, August 8, Future

President Constance Biddle sits in the Oval Office at 5:00 in the morning reading the single page a third time. She sets it down. She reaches for a peanut.

She opens the desk drawer. It’s empty. She stares down at the signatures of Presidents scratched into the mahogany interior. “How the hell did Vice President Dick Cheney get in here?” she says.

“He once used it,” Dorcas replies. “The Teddy desk.”

The President smiles. She is the new Teddy. About to dwarf Teddy’s accomplishments.

Cheney be damned.

The tall, angular woman has rescued the GOP from ignominious decline. There was a succession of flawed candidates: a gambler, a billionaire, a Joe McCarthy clone, a dynasty wannabe. You cannot win without people, she told the party. She won handily.

She built a coalition of poor, middle class and women. There was a whirlwind 100 days. Never dull. Always momentous. She moved businesses and artists into poor areas and exempted them from taxes. Prosperity ensued. She said traffic has no place where people live and work. Safety increased. She became the face of The Third Urban Wave. Sprawl receded. Education improved. This time vouchers worked.

She added an Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not coddle.”

The international vista was less resilient. There were stabs at democratic revolution here and there. But the War on Terror was still going on. Like a tree that grows with each ax blow, the ranks of jihad swelled. A ready pool of fanatics now had billions at their disposal. The first Osama never dreamed of such.

At 49 the President was fit and trim. She walked. She ate three half-meals a day. She drank only water. Her face was young, her hazel eyes alert. Her sexual proclivities were a much-discussed mystery. “I like alone,” she said.

She stretched and yawned and read the update once again. It told her an attack was imminent. It would make 9/11 look minor. She closed her eyes and wafted up a prayer. She was hand-in-glove with the enemy. Exactly where she wanted to be. The problem as always, was her own nation.

I am a traitor to the past

Standing against the wall, Dorcas waited.

Birnin-Konni, Niger, August 8

Osama Aziz thanked Allah for the inventors of codeine. He swallowed his second tablet of the day. Sixty milligrams of relief from the rigors of the job. It would kill him, he thought. He badly needed an out. Fortunately, he seemed to have one.

He was the actual head of today’s global terror network. Someone had to be. Otherwise thousands of grass roots entities would have no chance of success. The noon hour was past. The RelaisTouristique was empty. It was sweltering out there.

Osama cut his teeth with ISIS until its activities gave him an ulcer. He then joined others in disempowering it. He championed an alternative — an economic model of grievance that could unify billions who cared not a whit for decapitations and other medieval practices. Nor for their false justifications. Osama thought sharia law was tacky and said so. He insisted that the texts of all religious documents were not divine and that times were changing. He was right and he won.

He set out to gather all the reins of terror in his hands. He announced he would do unto honor killers and other abusers of women what they were doing to their victims. This was heresy. But Osama won the argument with a few well-publicized reprisals. The NewYorkTimes.com said he put terror on an almost reasonable footing. Even WSJ.com agreed.

So acceptable was global terror effort these days that Osama was completely safe within his orbit of influence. That was most everywhere but the Americas

Open on the table before him was a copy of the email he had sent to President Biddle the day before.

Dear Ms. President:

A few feet away, girls whose lives are already ruined will be moved toward their final fate. But I will not bore you with a litany you already know. We have two worlds. Yours is bent on winning the evolutionary prize.

We intend to die in an effort to seize a future you have already stolen. Should we succeed, your vaunted security will crumble. Our acts will be despicable. but in time even the nay-sayers will see we were right.

Your only option is to agree to a one-on-one meet here in Niger within a month of today. You will come prepared to make serious concessions and work with me to alter the priorities of this divided and doomed globe.


He smiled. The codeine was obliterating his pain.

I am a traitor to the past.

Office of the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff

The Pentagon

General Conrad McCarnston cursed the Goldwater-Nichols DOD Reorganization Act of 1986. That dismal piece of work is what denied him the power to kick butt. He was, after all the highest military official in America, hell, of the world, and he had the power of a captive shrimp. Jesus! Here he was, sitting on a killer story about the woman he was obligated to regard as his commander in chief. That smug bitch was probably gloating in the White House, having pulled a fast one on everyone. He knew what she was up to. He had her number. She was after America’s strong strength. She thought no one had a clue. Well, he had read her from the start. He had no real power but he had knowledge and knowledge is the big kahuna. He pulled out his wallet and examined a faded snapshot. It contained the smiling face of a five-year-old girl, insouciant and wise beyond her years.

“Fuck you, Constance Biddle,” McArnston said.

Flushing, Queens, NY

Parwan Dees examined Amtrak documents and allowed his precious mind to drift back to his last conversation with Biddy. He was on familiar terms with the President.

He recalled her amazing capacity to speak with no trace of excitement, alarm or drama of any sort.

“Is that your plan?” he asked, from his home in Palo Alto.

“Yes, Snookums,” she said.

“A phony crisis? Wake up the country?”

“A teaser, my dear.”

“For what?”

“The main event.”

“And what might that be?””

“We’re going to run with you, honey.”

The professor glanced at his desktop console. There sat three monitors, each with drawings of cities he had conjured up after nearly fifty years of largely hidden effort.

“We’re going to lead with your ray. With a little help from a friend of mine. And then shift gears big time. We are going to infest the world with your new cities. Simple. Elegant. Irresistible. Except here.”

“You’re going to go with my ideas?”

She eased into her request.

He agreed to become Parwan Dees for a while. Having no classes to teach made absence from the campus easy. Assuming a new identity was facilitated by the arrival at his apartment of a comely messenger who shepherded him from staid Stanford to dowdy Queens in less than 24 hours.

The President has a novel approach, the professor thought, sitting in the front room of the second floor walkup on 112th Street just off Roosevelt. She overwhelms. The result is a near-daily flow of news that keeps things lively. She orchestrates it. Rarely is she at the center. But her ideas dominate events.

Dees was part of a small circle of trusted sorts — the cadre the President needed to pull off the end of the War on Terror. She told that select group it could be done with simplicity, finesse and discipline, taking advantage of the inherent weaknesses in the unwieldy system the US had become. In the event someone had to be identified as mastermind, it made sense to play out this little drama in Queens. Professor Traverse Graham was hardly deserving of being fingered for the crime of the century. But “Dees did it” was tenable if things came to that.

Interstate 70 Elbert County Colorado

Jamie Brangs drove the SUV at a steady clip in the right lane. Slow and careful. Nadia was asleep in back. The stuff was all there. They had made it from the coast the same way. In the right lane, taking care. They would hit Reno, Kansas. in the early afternoon.

Jamie was a lanky six-footer from out East. His IQ was north of 160. He completed Stanford at the age of 17. Google hired him while he was a student. A year later he was approached by an eminent Stanford professor with an offer he could not refuse.

Halting rail service could be done with virtually no violence and flummox the entire country. Flummoxing was the exercise, the President said.

Freight ruled everything. Once-proud passenger services deferred regularly to mile-long freight trains laden with coal, oil and other essentials. Kansas City was where US rail traffic converged. Kansas City was where the fanning arc of impotence would be launched.

Four main trunks of the US rail system meet there. Tomorrow there would be neat apertures one foot in length, disabling the principal tracks that led into this junction. Government agencies would immediately shield each of these incursions from public view. Media would fly into Kansas City International, rent cars and try to get the story.

Jamie was the go-to guy. And he knew why. His dad Solomon had died trying to bring war to an end. He told Jamie to carry on. Jamie had no hesitation when Constance Biddle had looked him in the eye and said, “Are you in?”

Chapter 2. DAY TWO

CNN, New York, August 9

Arbie James burst into Mr. Blitzer’s* office and woke the dean of cable news from a dead sleep. “9/11 two!” he yelled, ignoring the fact that Mr. Blitzer was rubbing his eyes and unable to comprehend a word. It took a full minute to apprise this eminence of the fact that rail commerce had ground to a halt due to a simple attack that the nation’s massive defense apparatus had somehow failed to notice. It took the Big Wolf (as he was called) only a few seconds to comprehend that once again CNN would not need to do anything but ride this story until it was superseded by something juicier. By the end of the day, the entire network had moved to a field near Lidia’s Italian Restaurant in KC and set up operations for the duration.

*Note: Wolf Blitzer retired in 2022 but CNN decided to maintain his persona in perpetuity. So the Situation Room continues under the auspices of a new Big Wolfie, as he is called.

Oval Office

Constance Biddle smiled. All was well. The nation was flummoxed. All eyes looked to her. Her plan was simple. The market was still closed. The Fed was waiting for her to speak. Food would go through the roof. For one day.

If this worked, President Biddle would be remembered as the one who finally got the US back on track. She looked up at the teleprompter. She smiled at herself on the monitor. Selfie! She smiled and spoke.

“Dear fellow Americans. What has happened today in Kansas City was not a terror attack. It was the prelude to the end of the War on Terror. It was, if you will, an act of good faith on the part of both our nation and the terror network that has been our nemesis for more than a half-century. You will see this play out in a series of events that may well amaze you. After we are done, I believe you will agree with me that this pernicious conflict could not have been ended in any other way. “

She stopped at that precise point. She looked at her Cabinet. Not one of them had the slightest idea of what was afoot. Except for General McArnston, who cupped his chin and thought

Not on my watch.

Kansas City, MO

Inside the closed areas, government operatives from various agencies were scratching their heads. There was no melting technology that could cause the neat clipping away of exactly one foot of steel track in an identical manner on every relevant route leading in and out of the city. But that is what their eyes told them had occurred.

“Aliens.” intoned Zeke Blair, the son of an ATF legend made famous by his Waco cry, back in the day, “Burn the buggers!”

Spokespersons emerged from the enclosures with strict instructions not to surmise what was going on. The designations “Crime Scene” and “Possible Medical Emergency” surfaced and scrolled across the bottom of TV screens around the world. The excluded media did what they do best. Spread rumors. The market was suspended. And President Biddle did what she generally did. She confounded listeners around the world with crusty common sense.

Reno, Kansas

Nadia played with her bangs. Staring into the mirror. Everything was quiet. Jamie had left two days ago to do his part of the job. Nadia pulled hard until she said ow. She walked to the fridge and got some milk and poured out a bowl of Cap’n Crunch.

“Oh shit!”

Her damned cell was somewhere in the bed. The old Lorde ringtone played on. Nadia loved it. She let it play until it stopped. If it was Jamie she could call back. Then she stopped in mid-bite. What if it wasn’t him? What if it was her dad or one of the others?

“Damn!” She pushed herself up moved toward the unmade bed.

The phone was under a mess of sheets and blankets. It was cold last night. She hoped it was Jamie. But the number on the phone wasn’t his. It was completely unfamiliar. She punched it resentfully. She was rewarded with a long buzz and a click.


General McCarnston leaned over the fragrant shoulders of Cassie Jones and wondered if he should have her keep calling. He inhaled deeply. Whatever she was wearing was a clear signal. Lord knows, temptation was substantial even in the environment of the Biddle War on Sexual Harassment. And he would bet even money that Cassie Jones was amenable. Damned right, he told himself. But if she was, she might also be disloyal. He stopped. No playing now. He stood up abruptly. She shook her head and hung up.

“Did you need something?” Cassie said, turning and looking up at the handsome fellow.

“What are you wearing?” he asked.

“Arpege. Like it?”

He nodded casually and headed for the corridor. He silently congratulated his daughter for not responding to an unknown caller.

CNN Near Lidia’s Restaurant, Kansas City

Wolf Blitzer blanched as he watched the President’s weird message fade off the screen before him. He scratched his grizzled head. CNN had played it every fifteen minutes all day. He looked directly into the camera.

“Wow,” he said. “What next? Here we are at the epicenter of an attack that has brought the nation to its knees and the President is saying that it is somehow an agreement with the world’s most wanted terrorist?”

The next several minutes consisted of breathless analysis of what the President may have had in mind, permeated by a bulletin that the market had reopened and rebounded a bit. And a succession of clips showed planes taking off in the direction of Niger and arrests of alleged sex offenders in Chicago, straight from Michigan Avenue.

Old E-4B Plane, Andrews Air Force Base

“Goddam plane,” McArnston said out loud. He sat alone in the presidential space thinking of Air Force One and the President off to some backwater town in Niger. At least she was moving. Nothing was taking off from Andrews. The confusion was palpable.

“Get me Dickie Cheney,” he spat into a wall phone.

“Cheney,” a voice said.

“That you Dickie?”

“What the hell’s going on,” came a Texas drawl.

“Look,” McArnston said. “I need help. I’m sending instructions. This is serious.”

“I’m on your side,” the youthful voice said.

McArnston nodded and said, “Damned woman.” Dickie clicked off.

The general nodded again. The old plane was moving.



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Stephen C. Rose

Stephen C. Rose

steverose@gmail.com I am 86 and remain active on Twitter and Medium. I have lots of writings on Kindle modestly priced and KU enabled. We live on!