Future weaponry in the story “South Pole Vendetta”

One thing that has always fascinated me is the possible advances in the US military arsenal.

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In researching this book, I came across a very interesting discovery. There appears to be a brand-new airplane design awaiting approval – but little more is known. The copyright/patent appears to be for a forward swept wing design that could allow for movement of its wings to go from a slower bomber configuration to a high-speed fighter.

While a similar idea is seen in the movie “I Spy” – 2002 – I didn’t see the movie until after finishing working on the book, yet the concepts are very similar. The design, speed, technological advances, etc. are about the same – although I had no thought of having the Switchblade in the book come with the type of cloaking technology seen in the movie. The thing that was the strangest, once I saw the movie, was that the names were the same.

Oh, and I never thought of having a remote control/key fob that would turn the cloaking on and off – so it wouldn’t “break” at just the wrong time. Ha Ha Ha

While it may not be on the same level as Tom Clancy’s use of B-2 bombers before they were ever released, I wonder if the next generation of aircraft won’t employ some of these ideas.

What do you think? Will we see a “forward swept wing design” in the near future? Will a plane be revealed that could go from slow, maneuverable bomber to high speed fighter with a move of the wings — forward?

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Why “Vagabond Prince”?

The book “Vagabond Prince – Valiant Warrior” is the first book in the series “Israel’s judges” that I am currently working on. This series, I hope, will address each of the little known – but fascinating – judges found in Scripture (the book of Judges).

What I desired to do was take what we know to be true of these men, and woman, and flesh them out with fictional information based on strong research and facts surrounding this time in the history of Israel.

As a result, the Biblical narrative will be very close (I hope it will even be exactly the same) to what we find in Scripture. Beyond that, I have explored the culture, the setting, the environment, the antagonists, and other areas in an attempt to give a fictional account of the events, people, places, and so on that surround the factual account.

The reader should know that this falls under the area of “Biblical historical fiction”, and is meant to allow them to reach inside the thrilling stories found in Scripture and see them “come alive” as we think about the possible “story within the story”.

While the story is as accurate as I can make it, it is not meant to convey the idea that this is what actually took place, aside from the Biblical account!

My prayer is that the reader will enjoy the story, but look to Scripture for so many truly “inspired” accounts of God’s plan for salvation, eternity, and His work within His creation.

Why “South Pole Vendetta”?

I would like to address the reason why I wrote “South Pole Vendetta”, and why I’m excited that it will be my first published book.

The quick, messy, answer is that I wanted a book that would have wide appeal in order to get my name out there. I simply hoped to write a good story that would bring in some revenue for Country Life Discipleship.

The more complex answer goes quite a bit deeper. There were three things that caught my attention in writing a book of this sort: 1. I love thinking about the newest, and even future, technology and weaponry of the US military, 2. I wanted to answer the apparent ease with which the liberal environmentalists have been able to “sell” the American people on the idea of global warming and a “hole” in the atmosphere, and 3. I wanted to address the Christian’s response to involvement in the ever increasing “unique” use of our military – in short, answer the question “What should a believer do in response to military service in ‘questionable’ circumstances.

While I look forward to selling books to as many people as possible, and hope that you will consider buying one, my target audience would be young people who are increasingly forced to address and consider these various issues. There are other issues considered in this story, single male/female interactions, submission to authority, the continent of Antarctica, etc. but I pray that the reader would consider sharing this story with a young person struggling with the issues of “militant environmentalists” and the issue of involvement in the military.

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“Vagabond Prince” intro

I would have laughed out-loud at the sentiment, “Life is a bowl of cherries” if I’d ever heard it; especially since I’d gotten a lot more of the pits than the pleasure! Even worse I held in my hand a letter which made me wonder if the idea that “life is a bowl of pits” wasn’t more accurate. In that letter was a desperate plea for help from the last people I would ever have believed capable of such a thing.

My country was at war again, and there was nothing I could do to help. If there was one consistent theme to the past fifty years, it was that our nation was ALWAYS at war, or so it seemed. Actually to say that we were “at war” was probably a rather large exaggeration; we were being systematically annihilated by a larger, more powerful nation. Farm implements and shepherds against trained soldiers with the latest military armament could hardly have been described as a “war”.

I had been exiled from the country of my birth years before, but – as leader of a large band of warriors and soldiers – I was able to send one of my own spies south to look over the situation. He had arrived back the night before, and as I held that scroll I knew I needed to hear from him.

I grabbed the arm of my valet. “Call Micah and tell him to report to me at once.”

“Has he gotten back from Rabbah yet?”

“He got in last night, and I need to talk to him about it.”

“When do you want him to report?”

“Immediately!”

Less than ten minutes later Micah, my most experienced spy, sat in my tent. “What did you find in the capital?”

“I don’t think there is any way that Gilead will be able to resist their attack!”

“And why is that?”

“Looking down the mountainside to the east I saw two divisions of archers, a division of charioteers, and at least three divisions of swordsmen.”

“Are you sure?”

“I watched them going through exercises on three different occasions. There could easily be three hundred thousand warriors in the valley south of Rabbah.”

My worst fears were confirmed. No wonder the leaders of Gilead were making such sweeping promises to me in this letter. They needed someone to lead the army.

I had been exiled from the country, but – as one of the best warriors the country had – I still felt a certain level of responsibility. It’s not cocky or proud to say that I was one of the best, the simple fact was – at the time our country was not known for its warriors. Having the ability to hoist a sword, and some experience in doing so, put me in the top few percent of our nation’s most gifted warriors.

We had been the proverbial “whipping boys” of the earth throughout our history. As a result, we were not at our “peak” as far as developing our fighting skills as warriors. There was no doubt that I could have been a big help in this struggle, but I had been content to stay away because of the circumstances surrounding my expulsion.

Now this letter arrives and I struggled with what to make of it. The letter indicated that the very people who had wanted me “out of the way”, were now wanting my help!

What should I do? Did I have a responsibility to those who had forced me away from my home? Could I sit by and allow my home to be destroyed? These were the questions I searched for an answer to; but maybe hearing my story will help you understand the struggle I was having.

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My story actually started long before I was born! To understand my confusion in responding to the letter you have to understand the circumstances that had taken place many years before. It was a tale that went back to the days when we were leaders in the world, masters of all that took place around us.

The land where I was born was part of a larger conquest; part of a larger war that took place between my nation and an evil nation bent on conquest and filled with religious atrocities. The enemy possessed the territory we had been promised many years before, but had never really inhabited.

The land itself was one of extreme contrasts very similar to my people; from the stark hills and arid valleys of the desert, to the lush beauty of the Jordan River, the area of the Sea of Galilee, and the northern hills of the country. It was the type of country that could grow on you as you journeyed its beautiful paths and watched the sheep grazing; or it could tear you apart as you experienced the harshness of everything that made this land one of a kind. The only way to comprehend the depth of feeling that the Promised Land created was to live there – or to grow up with the indoctrination that went along with being a member of the Israeli people.

During the conquest of Canaan the clans of Reuben, Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh remained on the eastern side of the Jordan River. My tribe was Gad, and our ancestors had settled in the country around Mizpah. We began shepherding sheep and goats in the hills leading down to the Jordan River.

Life was easy and the grazing had been the best, so our families prospered. My own family was fortunate to be a part of that prosperity – or at least most people would have thought it was fortunate. With the wealth came greater visibility in the community. Because of that wealth the day came when a marriage was arranged very early in the life of my father, Gilead.

Years later I would sit down with my father, (he was about the only one in the family I could talk to about anything important) and ask about those early events. I was still quite young, so my questions were as naive as they were heartfelt.

“Dad, how did you get the name ‘Gilead’?”

“It was given to me by my father, your grandpa Levi.”

“Were you the first one’s to come here?”

My father must have wondered where this was going. He began to fidget, and I figured he was thinking of the things he had to do outside. “Jephthah, what are you really wanting to know? I need to get back to work.”

“I want to know if our family was the first one here.”

“Yes, our family was the first one in Mizpah.”

“So, that’s why they named the whole country after you!”

It took me years to understand why my father walked away laughing. I had thought he would compliment me. But at least I knew that I made him happy with what I said!

While that series of questions was often shared with laughter by those who would come to my father’s shop, there was another question that was never answered – regardless of how often I asked. It would be years later when I would learn about it. It had to do with my mother, and was the reason for my exile.

Because of our important place in the community, an arranged marriage was setup between my father and a young woman from our own town. They had no idea, for years, that they would be wed; so they attended school together, passed on the street in walking to and from the market, and even teased each other as they grew older.

Finally, at age eighteen, Gilead was told that he would be espoused to Esther. The revelation was devastating for my dad. The woman was short, over-weight, and continually whined about her supposed lack of prominence in the town. As another of the more important families in the community, she had come to believe that the respect of the community for her was inherited along with that of her father. He was held in very high respect after years of wonderful leadership in Mizpah, so Esther assumed that she would receive the same.

Because of this, Esther felt that she had a right to expect certain concessions from others, and this had caused her to become cynical toward those around her. She was not well-liked, and much of that was based on the fact that she had developed a haughty attitude toward just about everyone.

As the day of his wedding drew near, my father wondered if he could ever be truly happy with this woman. But the idea of not going through with the arranged marriage never really occurred to him, and so the wedding took place. Their life together began awkwardly, but it was a life that would have far-reaching consequences.

For the first few years of marriage things went along fairly normally for my father and his new bride. Esther was willing to make concessions to remind my father that she was a good Jewish girl. They had a couple of young sons, and enjoyed them immensely; but their life together was without passion or interest of any kind. They spent their days in their own worlds, and their nights in separate beds.

Maybe it was not too surprising, then, that my father began allowing his eyes to look in the direction of a beautiful young woman who lived across the street. This young lady was gorgeous, outgoing, and abundantly blessed with those physical features that caused a man to look twice. This woman was single, but never lonely! There were consistently men coming to her small apartment just about the time that the sun would go down, for this woman was one that would sell her body to those men.

It so happened that one night, following another of those verbal battles that my father and his wife would enter into over the rejection that she felt she had experienced in the town, that my father decided that he had had enough. That night my father was one of the men who entered the front door of the young woman’s house!

In the days that followed, my father would come to regret his moment of indiscretion. He knew the law allowed for his death if he were ever discovered, but his conscience demanded that he take responsibility for what he had done. It was only natural, then, that he would take responsibility when that moment of indiscretion resulted in a pregnancy.

Nine months later I entered the house of Gilead, but it would never be my home.

I was not quite six when my father came to me long after bed-time. I had gotten used to my parents arguing in the other room, but this night I could not go to sleep. My father had whispered as he approached.

“Jephthah, I have something important to tell you.”
I looked forward to those times when my father would greet me in this way. It always meant he had something to tell me that made me feel like a man. “What is it, father?”

He could not meet my eyes as he continued, “Your mother is not Esther!” I had learned that I was not to call Esther, “mother” as soon as I could remember, but this was something new!

“Father, what do you mean?”

“Your mother lives across the street.”

There were three houses across the street. One was the home of a aged man who was blind and mute. For a few years I was scared of him; but, then, after one of my brother’s friends dared me to knock on his door, everything changed. I was caught before I ever reached the door, and the man invited me inside. The things he made out of figs were unbelievable, and we became friends. It could not be him, he had no wife!

The second house was that of a wealthy old lady that yelled at me whenever I walked on her lawn. Her high-pitched nasally voice reminded me of the coyotes we would sometimes hear howling outside town. She would come to my father whenever I played too close to her house. She was cold, loud, and very mean – to my way of thinking. I hoped that it was not her!

The final house was one that I had always been told to stay away from. If Esther so much as saw me looking at the house she would slap me alongside the head. She would even yell at my two brothers if they glanced that way – but they were never slapped! The only reason I knew who lived in that house was because of something that happened quite unexpectedly.

I had been left to myself on my way home from the synagogue one day. My brothers had decided to run off and play with their friends, and I couldn’t keep up. I finally gave up at the market, but I didn’t know how to get home. That’s when a pretty lady came up to me and asked my name.

“I am Jephthah, of the house of Gilead,” I smiled proudly. “This country was named for my father!”

“Is that right?” The lady said. “He must be quite a man.”

“He’s the greatest man in this town.”

“I believe you. Come, I will take you home.”

As we walked toward home the lady asked me many questions. They were strange questions for me to answer. Some were things that Esther said I was not to tell anyone, but she was nice. I found myself wanting to tell her about my brothers. I also told her that my mother’s name was “Esther” and that it was that name which I was commanded to call her.

The lovely lady seemed worried by these words, but I did not know why. When we arrived on my street the lady waved “good-bye” and I had never seen her again.

“Could this be my mother?” I could not believe that but my father would say nothing more. As he turned away I thought I saw a tear in the corner of his eye.

Over a period of three years following that I was able to figure it out. Comments made by my brothers, a misspoken word from Esther, and a word here and there from my father. From then on I found myself trying to come up with ways to see “the lady” – my mother.

********************

As I got older, I came to realize that my half-brothers didn’t accept me, and even resented the fact that I was the product of such a reprehensible act. For Jewish youth they weren’t overly religious themselves, but they were good at holding things against anyone believed to be “below” them.

For that, and many other reasons, my early life consisted of constant fights with my half-brothers and their friends. I was never very good at turning the other cheek when they would ridicule my mother, or mock my birth. As a result I became good at all types of fighting, and as I learned that I possessed natural talent, I began to build on that. I got a job watching the flocks for some of the families in town, and used that money on lessons from a soldier in the army with the same abilities.

The day came when he could no longer teach me anything I didn’t already know, and I was able to consistently beat him in our bouts. I went looking for someone with more knowledge. The man I found was a descendant of Caleb who had taken on – and defeated – a band of giants living on the section of land he had claimed for his own.

Adam was a marvel with weapons of every kind, and had picked up some of the martial arts from travelers from the Orient. I spent several years training with this remarkable warrior, and it seemed as though every day brought new areas of understanding and wisdom. The dagger became my weapon of choice largely because of its availability early in my training.

There was a second aspect of this man that was fascinating to me — Adam was also a man of conviction and faith. Along with our training and bouts, we would spend hours talking about spiritual things. He seemed to like nothing better than when I would suddenly grasp a new spiritual truth. He was always quicker to applaud these efforts than my fighting prowess. I would try to laugh it off, for I wanted nothing to do with religion in those days; but he would always say, “God has something unique for you Jephthah! You had better be ready.” I didn’t believe him, but his words haunted my dreams.

This training, this release from the pressures of my home life, began to give my life purpose. I was pressing the knowledge of my teacher more and more and I found new respect among my peers as they realized my abilities. I was able to live with the humiliation of my birth because of these things, and found myself able to endure the insults as well. I believed that things could reach a certain level of normalcy if this continued, but it was not to be!

“South Pole Vendetta” intro

Act 1

Scene One

The SCAR “special forces issue” machine gun skipped in my hand as I brought the ghost ring down to center mast and fired a double-tap. I smiled just a bit as I watched the spot of crimson spread across the white background on the body fifty feet down range. I knew what my weapon could do, so I was sure the figure sliding down the hill with a strange tail of red would not be moving again once it came to rest. Maybe a smile wasn’t appropriate, but I didn’t care, that alien-looking figure had just shot Tango, my partner.
“Take that you. . . .” I muttered to myself as I turned to glance around the corner for more targets after looking back over my shoulder at Tango. He hadn’t moved, and it appeared quite certain he would never move again.
Off to the left there was a splatter of gun-fire. I suddenly realized that it was directed at me because the tin shed next to me began playing a symphony of rat-a-tat-tat sounds near my head. Yeah, they were definitely shooting at me. As I spun to meet this new threat a shiver traveled up my spine. This other-worldly being had a very earthly-looking rifle pointed right at me. I watched the strange little blossom of flame from his gun as I pulled the trigger on my own. Another crimson flower appeared just beneath where his chin should have been.
Seconds later I lay in the cold snow feeling the throbbing pressure of the blood flowing out through the hole left in my side by the scorching bullet. Pain seared through torn muscles causing them to spasm. I winced as I turned back toward my attacker, the force of the shot had turned me half way around.
The alien had a mask covering any features but I wondered if he had a smile on his face like I had experienced moments before when I killed his partner. I wished desperately to tear the mask from his face and expose the animal that had done this. I wanted nothing more than to crawl to his side and bash his head to make sure he was dead, but I simply didn’t seem to have any strength left. Suddenly I was very tired, wanting nothing more than to sit for just a moment.
As I lay there I thought back to that morning in Captain Meeker’s office. I tried to concentrate on what I should do but my reflections wandered back to that fateful day.

“Why should I babysit a group of overpaid, underachieving tree-huggers and lab rats?” I wasn’t happy with the new assignment the captain had given me.
“I need to have someone with them, and I can’t go,” his eyes narrowed, letting me know that he wasn’t happy .

Hours later my boots descended the icy rungs of a rusty ladder thirty feet into a cocoon of snow and ice. The Old South Pole Station lay buried after twenty years of frantic activity monitoring the Ground Approach Tower for the LC-130 Hercules aircraft that supplied the groups and stations on Antarctica during the 1950s.
For twenty years the station hummed with the noise of activity as scientists studied the different secrets held by the coldest place on earth while soldiers like me watched their butts to keep them from dying. Then the ‘powers that be’ determined that there was no need for a military presence at the South Pole – and the US Navy abandoned the base. The structure fell lifeless and dark, and the constant blowing snow covered the unattended structure. Fifty years later only a few of the taller antennae were still visible.

The microscopic mites inhabiting the station had no interest in the piercing glow from our flashlights and cap lamps. Their light cast the shadows of dancing phantoms as we made our way down the vacant corridors.
Could even ghosts survive this bone-chilling cold?

Our New South Pole Station team was in the structure to clean out food left in the kitchen, parts left in the shops, and fuel left in bladders placed in various locations around the station. With the movement taking place as the ice worked its way across the buried continent deep below there was a fear that the ice’s dynamic force would destroy the station. No one knew, for sure, what would happen if the different types of garbage and supplies were just left, and no one was willing to take the chance anymore.
Three different factions were responsible for policing the closed station, the environmentalists, the Palmer Station scientists, and me, Jimmy Owens – the military’s sole member – brought along to babysit! The others had specific responsibilities, but I felt useless in the bone-numbing cold. No sane enemy would be worried about this group – in this cold!
No one listened as I said, “I’m going to go look around.”
I wandered down a dark hallway without thinking of the dangers that tons of ice and snow created. The room at the end of the hall had to be a science lab, the sign “Environmental Studies” was a dead giveaway. Opening the door, I stepped inside. The floor was buckled and bowed, and ice consumed one corner split from the pressure. Suddenly, my eyes picked up the faint outline of another door set back in a far corner behind a jumble of overturned filing cabinets.
“I wonder what’s back there?” It’s amazing how much talking to one’s self a soldier does when escorting a dozen people who have more interest in lifeless objects than human beings.
My heavy winter boots squeaked like a very chilly mouse as I clamored toward the door.
“What the…” I muttered under my breath. The door was twisted and jammed making me even more interested in its contents.
I slammed my shoulder against the door until it splintered, spilling me into the room.
“That’s going to leave a mark!” I booted the board that had kept the door from opening and received another sharp pain in my knee.
“Dad blasted, stinking…” my ranting stopped abruptly.
I suddenly realized that I must be in the private office of the science team’s leader and commander because the ruined room held a large desk that would never have been allowed if not for a very important person. It lay tipped over, its drawer spilling its contents like a deck of hastily discarded playing cards onto the slanting floor. Several science books whose titles I couldn’t pronounce littered the dusty boards. There was also a small, locked box. Other than that, the desk was empty.
I placed the items into my backpack for transport back to the new station even as I read the writing stenciled across the lid of the metal box — “Oil Experiments”.
“What an interesting title. I’ll enjoy having a closer look at these particular papers. Why Oil? Something odd was happening here.”

Upon returning to the new station I placed the items in a little used drawer of my own. Things were hectic for several months following that excursion, so I didn’t get a chance to do any studying. Then, one day, after I had finished all my work for the week; I opened the drawer, forced the lock and spread the contents out on my desk.
Three hours later, I leaned back in my chair – speechless.
There’s little doubt that there’s a vast ocean of oil lying underneath my feet at this very moment. There may be more oil here at the South Pole than there is in the Middle East.
I struggled to know how to respond because the implications were so extreme. The repercussions of the words staring up at me were beyond my comprehension. This stuff was the type of thing that had the potential to make people wealthy beyond all reason. The things that I now knew could make nations superpowers – or bring them to their knees.
Finally, I turned on my computer and made a report of the whole thing. As the words marched across the screen I wondered, What will be the outcome of all this?
Little did I know the can of worms my simple actions would unleash. If I’d known I would have thrown the box in the ocean! Life is always lived on the edge when one chooses to dwell at the South Pole, but the events that followed would take months to comprehend, and impact my life forever.

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Welcome to my writing blog

Welcome to my attempt at blogging about my writing. Here you’ll find information on the various books I’m working on, samples of the different books, and other stuff related to writing.

I hope that you’ll follow along and visit often to see some of the inside information on the whole “Country Life Discipleship” experience.

I’m not sure, yet, what all will be here; but I think the site will grow and expand as the ministry grows and expands.

Blessings and welcome,

Chuck Myers

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