How stories evolve …

If you pay attention to dates on blogs, you’ll see a wide spectrum of timing. Some people are dropping in wisdom every day. Some weekly or monthly.

I’ve been rather laxer than that, but I’ll do better.

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What’s on my mind is my long-gestation sequel, shown elsewhere on this site with a placeholder cover. The idea started out as a conventional sequel—the same or mostly the same characters, new terrorist dangers to overcome. But influenced by current events, I’m thinking it wants to evolve into a story about conflict within our own national borders, with terrorists grown here.

Call it “Civil War II” (CW2) for lack of something permanent.

There have been a few alternative-history works on this topic: What if the South had won Civil War I (CW1)? In my developing narrative (and in real life, I suspect), a new American Civil War would be completely different from CW1. States might secede from the Union, but there are dozens of ways that move can be blunted. Charles Sheehan-Miles wrote two books about CW2, Republic, and the sequel, Insurgent. The narratives were okay when addressing common military issues, such as how occupiers govern regional areas, how local and state officials coordinate with occupation, and most importantly, how soldiers fight—not for vague causes, but for each other.

He failed to address the matter of federal installations fighting back—the armed Reserve Centers that would resist insurrection when ordered—not to mention the many dozens of full-dress active-duty military bases, airfields, and posts that would definitely not knuckle under to some National Guard types at the front gate demanding surrender. I hardly blame him; it’s a tough topic to address legitimately.

I think every state has military Reserve Centers, and National Guard armories full of weapons, vehicles, and ammunition. A given state National Guard might throw in with the leaders wanting to be autonomous, but it’s foolish to think all would follow those orders.

Similarly, the Army and Navy Reserve Centers are nominal federal organizations that could be expected to definitely not follow a secession order … though, again, some might want to. So, chaos on all sides, but the Reserve Centers would be hard pockets of resistance within a state wanting to leave the Union. And those places have weapons, vehicles, and ammo, too.

My sequel, still titled Force Majeure, hopes to address the practical matters of CW2, when neighbors are fighting neighbors and even brothers against brothers.

However it works out, CW2 is going to be bad for everyone. Spoiler Alert: Nobody wins.

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***  Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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