Friday, August 29, 2014

The Reluctant Doomsayer-09

The game changed for the worse when I turned on the evening news to find that my lawyer had been gunned down in his office. There was nothing at all plausible about the scenario; his private security cameras captured the sudden assault on his office building by masked hitmen wielding fully-automatic rifles, killing the security detail on the way and then himself as they burst into his office. Only his secretary, who wasn't there at the time, remained; she found them upon returning with dinner. The office had been ransacked, and the hard drives taken from his computers, so they had a secondary objective of data retrieval.

In the days to follow, I confirmed that the targeted data involved all of my holdings kept in his care. That meant that I had to bug out; I would clearly be hit again. I let the word out to my audience across all of my platforms, and updated copies of my archives flooded the Internet as well as a few dead drops I'd cultivated. Expendables got moved into their bugout positions, and transferables got moved into position. My preparations in this event worked more or less as expected; the evening after everything was in place, I saw them coming.

This time it was a series of vans, in total disgorging 40 men. This was no team, or even a squad, but a full platoon of hired professional killers and I was still no match for such a threat. Fortunately, the building I inhabited I now had kitted out to defend in place. I cut all direct ties to the ground, and sent out a call for aid, with a single push of a pre-programmed panic button application. It would slow them down long enough to let me escape.

The false silhouettes in the lower floors drew out their sharpshooters, cut elevators and stairways forced them to hustle the hard way to get to the top floor, and the right kind of 911 robocall got the police to send out the SWAT team to an Active Shooter conducting a Home Invasion as fast as they could manage. As they began hitting my tripwires, slowing them further, the police arrived and the expected firefight broke out between the assassins and the police.

I got to the top floor, got my chute on, and made the jump as I previously planned. One of them spotted me and fired, and I got hit; I took a shot that--fortunately--went through and through. It entered from behind, passed just under my lungs, and out the side without damaging anything vital. It still hurt and it burned, but I'd be okay. I got to the stashed car, used the trauma kit in the car to stabilize myself, and slipped away in the chaos. I took none of the routes that I wrote down or otherwise mentioned to anyone; I used one I kept entirely in my head. If I was to be followed I would know right away; similarly, I lied about the bugout place's actual location, so I would know if somehow I'd been mind-fucked.

I switched cars thrice on the way. I left in a used runabout city car, swapped to a minivan to do most of the travelling, and then swapped to a pickup with four-wheel drive and no connectivity for the last leg. I drove into a camoflaged garage, closed up, and unloaded there before I went into my bugout chamber, cleared it, and secured it. I expected only one visitor, and he hadn't appeared yet.

Now locked down and secured in my holdout location, I checked on the world outside. The assassins lost men fighting the police, leading to them being tied to an unbelievable consortium of known fringe groups: white supremacists, Christian terrorists, outlaw bikers, Muslim terrorists, anti-government terrorists, drug cartel hitmen, and former Mobsters. Oh, and the government covert agents amongst them. The media flipped their collective and proverbial tables over this, when they weren't wondering how a blogger managed to set up such a defensive situation. As for those following my media presence, as soon as I put forth proof that I was indeed safe and secure in an undisclosed location, I then put forth a full and detailed accounting for my end of things; this got picked up by the media, which--mercifully--gave them the excuse needed to stop giving any attention to me and focus instead on the killers.

My wound began healing, but self-treatment remained slow, and it was during one of these management moments that my expected visitor showed up.

"Holed up, literally, aren't we?"

"Took you long enough, Mike." I said as I changed bandages.

"You didn't make it easy."

"The current term is 'operational security', and you didn't need to know. He did explain that concept to you, right?"

Michael snickered. "Clever, monkey."

I finished cleaning the wound. "You weren't around to play superhero. I figured I had to see to myself."

"So, you're far from cities and other people now. What's the plan?"

"Exclusively online for the rest of the mission." I said, "I can't explain how or why, but I've got the feeling that what's coming is going to hit really soon, so it's time to shift the focus from getting the word out to getting the audience to follow my example. As for what's after that, I'm operating on the assumption that I will be part of the remnant working to rebuild anew from the ashes of the scourged world before."

"Assuming that you don't die." Michael said.

"I won't know the day or the hour." I said, putting on a clean shirt, "I can't go on worrying about what's outside of my control. All I can do, barring external intervention, is go about my life pursing my goals as best I can."

"Well, I have a meeting with Him shortly. I'll see what I can do. You're a funny monkey. I'd like to keep you around a while longer."

"Gee, thanks, I guess." I said, and he was gone.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Reluctant Doomsayer-08

Unlike most prophets, whose response to assassination attempts is to hold on to things that don't matter in a foolish display of blind obedience to faith, I heeded that advice to relocate when I left the hospital.

Again, with my lawyer's help, I quickly liquidated my current residence in favor of one off the grid. I went underground, figuratively, but not literally. Literally, I went into the clouds; I took a top-floor loft in what was a warehouse, and I put in the time required to make it livable. As I had neither a woman nor children, the space was more than I required and therefore put me in a situation where I could consolidate my operations into a single space- and keep both exposure and expenses down to a minimum.

My replacement car was even more of a forgettable, bland, boring runabout car than what I lost in the ambush. My documentation of the event, as much as both the legal system and prudence allowed, deflected all but the most depraved and incompetent rhetorical attacks upon me in its wake. The new place had all of the equipment I needed to run my outreach operations, including a home gym to stay fit and more.

Naturally, Michael stopped by for a visit.

"Not bad." he said, coming in the window one night, "You're far smarter than His usual choices. Most get stubborn in a stupid way and refuse to adapt to changes in the situation."

"While the men that ambushed me are either gone or caught up in other affairs, the party that hired them is still out there and they don't back down. Relocating to a position where I could control any intrusion seemed like a good idea."

"You're just below the roof." Michael said, "Can you fly?"

I rolled back a parachute rig. "Not exactly, but close enough. I have stashed nearby a getaway vehicle, and I've got a hideout that is off the books and known to no one but me. I get out, get away, and hunker down there. All of the vital things that I required are impossible for the enemy to wipe from existence without destroying the whole of global civilization, so long as I have Internet access."

Michael smiled.

"I've turned the enemy leader's alleged domain against him." I said.

"So, you've forced the issue."

"Michael, I know that the message won't reach everyone in time. Most won't hear it, and of those that do only a handful--as it were--would act as intended. However, those that are hearing it come from all over the world. That means faithful remnants will arise all over the world, ready and able to take on the task of rebuilding and fulfilling the promise in this message. To make this happen, I had to cut the link between a physical object and the conveyance of information."

Michael nodded. "You're also the most realistic of His chosen. Do you expect to survive?"

"Expect? No. That doesn't mean that I want to die. All it means is that I will keep it at bay until my mission is fulfilled."

Michael applauded. "That's a good monkey."

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Reluctant Doomsayer-07

Sooner or later, the fundamental patterns that govern existence always manifest and fulfill their purpose. The trials of a prophet are no different.

I had left my lawyer's office after a consultation about taking legal action one night. On my way home, a UPS truck swerved out in front of me and had I not braked and turned into it I would have taken a hit on my side of my car- a lethal collision. Instead, I jumped the curb and collided with a light pole, which then fell on my car. The truck collided with a traffic light. So far, just a freakish--but ordinary--traffic incident, until armed men burst forth from the back of the truck and fired upon my car as I worked myself out. I got hit, but at the time I didn't notice due to the adrenaline pumping throughout my body to keep me awake and alert, so I popped the door open and fell out.

I had no firearms of my own, as I did not expect anyone to attempt to do me wrong like this. However, I did not make the mistake of thinking that my attackers' ceasing to fire upon me meant that it was safe to stand up. I peaked around the corner, and I saw them advancing upon me. The way that they reloaded their rifles--effortlessly dropping the empty magazine out, replacing it with a full one, and then charging the rifle--showed me that my opponents had trained, and trained for some time, with their rifles. The way that they moved as a unit showed me that they trained together for at least as long. This, I realized, was not an effort by some opportunistic amateurs to score an underground bounty. I was up against professionals.

I am no professional, so I did what any prophet in this situation did: I prayed. I didn't ask for much; just a sign as to where to go, and a chance to do it. Moments later, I heard sirens in the distance and they seemed to get closer. I glanced back, saw that they hesitated, and that's when I ran for it. Immediately they turned and fired upon me again. I dove for cover behind a bus bench, which got shot up right quick and sent splinters flying everywhere. I already had some nicks on my right shoulder, arm, and side; now I took a grazing wound on my ankle. I managed to not fall wrong, but still I wasn't fairing well.

I scrambled to my feet and ran some more, and down the street I fled. They pursued, and they fired upon me, and they scored a good hit just off-center of where my spine and waist meet. I didn't know it then, but it was a through-and-through hit, which is why I stayed alive and without lasting or permanent injury. However, if not for a few people at home getting out their hunting rifles and returning fire from their front windows, I surely would have died. A couple of high school students, under covering fire from their father and uncle, grabbed me from the street and got me into their house. They kept me in one piece until, hours later and after the police secured the area, an ambulance arrived to take me to the hospital.

The next day, my lawyer arrived with my laptop. While he hooked me up and got me online, he explained that the police reviewed the security camera footage from the traffic cameras and others in that neighborhood. They concluded that I took the best course of action, that it was a deliberate attempt at murder, and that I should consider relocating once I'm discharged. He also told me that a pair of detectives would be by to interview me, and that he would be present. While I waited, I took the opportunity put up as much documentation of the event as was prudent at that time and let my audience know that--for the moment--I was okay, and to pray for me.

I had no idea then who would go so far as to send professional killers--none of whom were apprehended, or killed--after me, but I had a very good idea as to why: the message.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Reluctant Doomsayer-06

The media requests from the alternative media accelerated, and I engaged them carefully and with an eye towards incorporating them into my overall strategy. I took the time to look into each outlet that contacted me, seeing which ones would be hostile or less than honest and which were not. In the meantime, I decided to look into the state's definitions of libel and slander along with the current state of precedent regarding these statutes; I felt that, given my experience at the convention, I should anticipate that I would be targeted by hit-pieces soon enough.

I was not wrong. The outlets I turned down did about-faces and published those hit-pieces on me; the outlets I accepted, by and large, let me give full and proper explanations of my message as well as my methodology for my work. By the time that all of the hostile outlets did their publishing and airing of their attacks, I took copies and recordings to a lawyer's office to discuss my options. The legal costs, as I expected, were high enough to make legal recourse something I would reserve as a last-option move; I would be better served naming, shaming, and exposing my detractors in public. Lawyer-client privilege would protect my identity for the time being, should anyone seek to dig into my decision to seek legal counsel.

This development was not unexpected. However, the real aim is to derail my messaging by consuming my time and attention defending myself. It did not matter if the attacks were easily dispensed with; what matters is that I had to dispense with them or face the consequence of a defamed reputation. Now, past prophets would just grin and bear this sort of pain because they had no recourse due to living in a world where concepts such as "Rule of Law" didn't exist; tribal peoples, clan-based nations, and so on had a very different perception of acceptable social behavior. I live in a very different environment, and I am not so foolish as to believe that the social rules of Biblical Israel's era exist here and now. My response to those attacking my ministry cannot be as those of old were.

So, with a little help, I automated the defense with a simple script. I would load up a template, insert the source links, add the appropriate annotations that I already entered into the template, and post it to the 'blog. The result was that time spent dealing with their hit-pieces drops from days or hours to the span of a coffee break; I kept this clean, clear, public, and open for all to see- in other words, entirely above-board. Sure, I got flak from some of my emerging and growing audience for adopting this stance, but I told them that this would serve me well when--inevitably--one of them would cross the line of legal liability.

That incident happened when a handful of loud-mouth shock-jocks, friends and peers, made a coordinated smear campaign against me that included (for the first time) incitement to riot, to harass, to defraud, and otherwise take destruction and unlawful action against me. The media outlets I previously connected with, to their credit, intervened on my side and fact-checked this group on the air and online. That lead to escalation, as those broadcast and Internet enemies turned their considerable influence against my allies; their listeners, cult-like in devotion, began running harassment campaigns immediately against them also. The calls, the hacks, the distributed Denial of Service attacks, the use of local and Federal law enforcement against them (starting with false calls accusing key personnel of domestic violence), and especially the gang-stalking all quickly got out of hand.

Then one of the more prominent, and skeptical, people fact-checking claims against me suddenly died in a car accident. His car, as caught on camera, went out of control and hit a street light head-on at over 100 Miles Per Hour- killing the man on impact. In the aftermath of his death, blame for it fell hard and heavy on me by my opposition; being that we're in Crazytown, the term "False Flag" is commonplace and got thrown at me- they claimed that, somehow, I hack into his car's computer and cause it to crash. I wasn't too worried, but then I heard Gabriel whisper at me: "Call your lawyer."

It was a good thing that I heeded that whisper. While at my lawyer's office, he took a phone call from the F.B.I. inquiring about me; they claimed to want to question me. We quickly settled on meeting them right away, since I was already there, at his office; the questioning proved to be hostile, as if they believed the hacking claim, but between my lawyer's presence and the careful way I documented everything to date I walked out a free man and the agents sent turned their attention to my detractors. Of course, I posted the experience to my blog. I also immediately backed everything up and made multiple copies, one set being put into that same lawyer's hands.

One thing was certain, and that thing was--once this criminal investigation concluded--the time for a civil action had come.

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Reluctant Doomsayer-05

I negotiated with the convention committee as to the appearance. I explained to them my concerns, and they did demonstrate that they understood, so they agreed to a tele-presence appearance over Skype- especially after I explained the cost-savings that they would have by going with my plan.

The resulting appearance, with no face camera and a subtly-modulated voice to disguise my identity, worked well. I had my end ready; documents and source materials in the cloud, ready for download and place where the traffic could handle it, as well as a slideshow presentation. The convention and I agreed to billing this as a live podcast, which brought out a sizeable audience, and convention materials did get the URLs for my supplementary materials out on time. Everything got set up for a good showing.

Everything went fine until I finished the presentation and opened for questions. I prepared for a hostile questioning period, but this was a degree of hostility that I had no anticipated. I faced a combination of rigidly dogmatic Christians, and rigidly dogmatic atheists, neither of which were open to rational argumentation. I had to assume a position of amused mastery and take a paternal tone with them to keep my cool. Fortunately, my studies and memory proved to be time well spent; by the time that the appearance concluded, I exposed my critics as being ignorant and irrational in their opposition to my message.

I took that as a sign of things to come. While my metrics and analytics showed increased sales, traffic, and revenue from same I'd been made painfully aware that the traditional tribulations of a prophet remained. I kept that in mind when I received alerts as to posts made on social media and in the Blogosphere regarding my appearance. Now more offers appeared in my inboxes, email and others such as Skype, and I realized that I'd now crossed a threshold past which my relative anonymity no longer existed- now I had to be very vigilante as to my privacy.