After President Michaelson was elected, the Law Enforcement gloves came off and Malcolm X’s, “by any means necessary,” was turned on its head. Stop and frisk became a national obsession, and the good citizens believed it was a necessary sacrifice of what the President referred to as, “small freedoms,” to bring about a safer world. The exponential expansion of the Patriot Act by the super-majority Congress created an immediate state of inner siege in the United States.
The FEMA camps were overflowing in the first six months after the election. The Sweeps had begun in the nation’s capital and radiated outward. The mandate: “If they don’t belong, they’re gone.” ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) became the most feared branch of law enforcement and a de facto secret police.
Relying on fear from intimidation and constant suspicion from enthusiastic informants, former neighbors who did not know one another’s names, but knew the hiding places, made due process a thing of the past.
Undocumented immigrants began looking for a way out of the country as aggressively as they had once looked to get in, as did the marginalized segments of the citizenry, and the generally afraid.
The cottage industry of human smuggling, for decades a multi-million dollar enterprise, became a multi-billion dollar one almost overnight. Too many opportunists like Rick Blaine, the fictional character from the film Casablanca, before his change of heart and newfound patriotism, and too few of those who were like his character afterward. Too few noble people of principle, too few to make a difference, anyway.
Life-threatening border crossings, now a deluge in the opposite direction and unchecked, resembled the annual migration that took place on the plains of the Serengeti, complete with crocodiles waiting at the choke points.
The vulnerable were picked off as they lagged behind, often by the stronger who were only interested in self-preservation. And just as often, by the transformed Human Traffickers who had for years smuggled people from Mexico and from the Central and South Americas across the United State’s southern border, known asCoyotes. They now made their living from slave trading.
Canada had had to muster its entire civil defense force and expand their unmanned drone security network known as CANUCK, the Canadian Aerial Network of Unmanned Containment Knowledge. This instant reporting system allowed a force too small for the area it had to cover on their border, to flow where it was needed and be a stopgap measure against an inexorable tide.
A human wave of desperation threw itself against the unforgiving rocks of Canada’s southern border with relentless fervor. The most dangerous aspects of the trip north were the weather and terrain. Where once migrants wandered lost to die of starvation and exposure in the desert Southwest, having underestimated the arduous journey, now they succumbed to what was known as the White Death.
Climate change made for unpredictable micro-weather systems that popped up in the form of small blizzards. Snow was so thick that the sky could not be distinguished from the land. Like lemmings they walked off cliffs, wandered until they fell asleep, or took a fatal step onto thin ice and died in frigid waters. There was no food to be foraged and unless there was a hunter experienced in tracking in arctic terrain, trapping and hunting were lessons in futility.
China saw the destabilization of democracy as an opportunity to assume its rightful place as the most powerful nation in the world. It allied itself with Iran and several African countries, implementing their centuries-old plan subverting alliances, and turning formerly staunch allies, that could not abide the current regime, into delusional allies believing in the vague and nebulous concept of the world’s greater good.
Trillions of eyes turned to the horizon looking for salvation, and none could like what they didn’t find.
M. Zane McClellan
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