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Publisher Thomas Thompson
The year is 2031 and United States economy is on a roll as the President rules with an iron fist. Joey Sans' romantic adventure uncovers government secrets from the past leading to present day events and finds out more about the ghost of his father.
Jobs are plentiful, roads and bridges are being revamped and new travel technology has been invented. The Federal Bureau of Collections has pumped billions upon billions of dollars towards the cause through aggressively collecting a controversial new tax assessed on the ultra-rich. And Joey Sans is re-introduced to a face from the past.
In the year 2031.... Joey Sans thinks back to the first time he met Dawn Elliott in many years.
The first time he sees her after his arrival at the house, he does not recognize her. And as he remembers back to the day, she is wearing a skimpy pair of jean shorts with a mid-drift top as he wonders to himself who this beautiful young girl could be. Standing about five feet, four inches with brown eyes and a perfect smile showing her dimples with a cute little button nose and desirable curves and a tight tummy, she is introduced to Joey.
“You remember Joey, right?” Dawn’s mother starts as she sees Joey enter the room for the first time on the vacation.
“Hi,” Joey replies as he squirms slightly and is trying to put together who this girl is as he gently shakes her hand.
“Yes, of course. How is law school going?” Dawn asks.
“It is going very well, thanks,” as he is now extremely embarrassed he has no idea who this enchanting creature is. He has just supposedly been reintroduced, but who is she? And he is desperately trying to hide it from Mrs. Elliott.
“It is Yale, right?” she asks.
“Yes, Yale,” he says still stumbling.
“Second year law, right?” Now she is teasing him as she obviously knows he has no idea who she is and he is struggling to come up with anything. It is then this beautiful young lady leans in as she stands on her toes, and as her mother is slightly distracted by noises from other parts of the house, she smiles wryly and looks him right in the eyes.
“Dawn.” She says quietly so only he can hear her. And she said it with the cutest smile Joey has ever seen. She loves the fact he did not recognize her. And he looks back at her unable to cover up the surprise. He is quite mortified at his blunder as she looks nothing like the fourteen year old girl with braces he remembers. But it is also a moment he will never forget as the quiet, self-assured sound of her voice confidently whispering her name is etched in his mind forever.
And from the beginning... Chapter I: An Old Friend
He woke to another day of wondering how the noise of the city grew so consistently every morning. Decibel by decibel as the light creeps in the window, the brightness of the day and the level of sound unite in a daily theatrical event. At first, he hated living in the city, but the hours demanded from a dedicated government agent require long, strenuous days and a commute would only cut down on his effectiveness and ability to assist in what he feels is a noble cause. The bureau is one of the keys to the continued success of "The Program".
However, the idea of quitting drifts through his thoughts nearly every day. His boss annoys him, his life is in a lonely rut, and the idea of chasing down paper trails hardly feels like a noble cause. The six months on the job thus far have been disappointing to say the least.
His name is Joey Sans and he lives in New York City. He works for the FBC, the Federal Bureau of Collection, which is an offshoot of the FBI. Coming out of Columbia some twelve years earlier, he had grand expectations to change the world. He was a tall, handsome young man and was recognized as a potential political candidate early on as it is part of his genetic make-up. Senators, Congressmen and other highly esteemed political positions were commonplace throughout the generations of his family over the last hundred years. He is proud of the history, but decided to avoid a political career until he gained some real-life experiences.
He accepts his role at the bureau despite knowing his father would have preferred a different path for his only son. He tries to justify it with how working for the bureau is a good way to honor his father. William Sans raised Joey with the expectation he would run for office, and potentially even become President someday. Instead, Joey thinks the job might at least help him find some peace in his choices.
But the months of drudgery create more doubt and confusion than helping him figure out a good direction for his career. He really wants no part of going out and propagating veil threats of government crack downs, and obtaining sworn affidavits of complete financial disclosure from a bunch of rich assholes. And they want no part of giving up their wealth. They are not going to give up a dime if they can find a way around it. Joey feels the people he has to deal with are nasty and generally uncooperative. They are full of a defensive hate to anyone who wants to take what they think is rightfully “their” money. Just listening to the lawyers and all the bull shit is sickening.
On this particular Monday morning, Joey glances over to see his weekend friend lying softly under the sheets of the bed at his apartment on 106th Street. The silhouette of her breasts show through the fine quality of the fabric. And Joey thinks what a beautiful sight as she peacefully sleeps with a smile on her face. He met her Friday night with a happy hour crew from the office somewhere near Times Square.
Despite his inebriation, he remembers something about her saying how he swept her off her feet with his big blue eyes and chiseled looks. Now he feels bad about it as he knows exactly why he brought her to his “Columbia” apartment. It is safe.
There is nothing here except for a few changes of clothes, some food and a well-stocked liquor cabinet. He could leave her here and end it with no confrontation. A lack of communication will be the first step. As time passes, she will ultimately realize there are no reciprocal feelings. It is a bad habit he has gotten himself into since he returned to New York. A habit in which he keeps manipulating beautiful, innocent women into what amounts to a weekend of meaningless sex has become his normal mode of operation and he is ashamed of it. And he told no one about this little ‘habit’ he developed over the last eight or nine months. He knows it is his loneliness and a deeper desire to find the exact right person keeping him at a distance from every woman he meets. And his standards are so high he wonders if he will ever find anyone.
He never means to shy away from relationships, but he is easily bored. He finds most women extremely superficial and not really interested in him, but rather the idea of him. He has trouble telling who is genuine and feels the majority of women are more confused than he is. So his habit is a way of putting up a wall and helps him avoid putting out any emotional energy into procuring a human pillow to sleep with a weekend at a time.
Yet he found this particular girl stunning. When he met her, she was wearing a skin-tight, light-blue skirt with matching blue high heels and see-through, short sleeved white blouse showing off ample bosom and a nice, soft tan. Her long dark hair was full and obviously well taken care of, and he even likes her name, Sandra. And as soon as the Friday crowd of co-workers saw her, the challenge hit the table.
The bravado “guy” talk went on for about fifteen minutes, and after a couple of shots of tequila for encouragement, Joey acts like he finally gets up the nerve to approach her. She is the hottest looking woman they have seen in a month of Friday nights. Joey had a drink or two before the shots leading to the challenge, and knows he will have fun with it even if he gets “shot” down as he tells the bravado bunch. But he has no intention of failing. It is too easy for him once he turns on his natural charm.
The evening turns into breakfast and he finds himself spending all day Saturday with her. Sandra is intelligent and beautiful, and tells Joey how enchanting he is. But he finds the boredom with the conversation unbearable by late in the day Saturday and starts planning his exit strategy. He did not really understand why he is so bored in such a short amount of time, but he goes through the motions on Sunday too. It did little to change his mind, but he makes sure he appreciates the physical aspect of her outstandingly fit physique one more time.
As they walk around various parts of the city and take the obligatory Central Park stroll, he gradually becomes more distant to her. They spend the remainder of day exploring cathedrals and museums and he tries his best to find some common interests. But there is no spark for him. He plays along and even senses Sandra knows he is less than interested in any kind of bond beyond what they have already experienced. By dinner that evening, he feels her anxiety in trying to keep his attention. He leaves her Monday morning knowing he will likely never see her again and starts thinking about his day.
The year is 2031 and the United States economy is thriving once again in thanks to the election of one Quinton James Bates in 2024 to be the 48th President of the United States. To this day, analysts are stunned at the extent of the landslide. Nearly sixty-eight percent of the popular-vote went to this candidate, who literally rose out of the ashes of the once considered, radical movement, "Occupy Wall Street".
Although the movement later failed, the influential members reformed into more powerful units and the basic concepts are credited to the original organizers. The influential leaders coming out of the movement recognized the growing wealth of the wealthiest and further recognized it was becoming a problem. Too much money in too few hands created more and more wealth accumulation and less spending to create jobs and a world moving sideways. Some of the most powerful and wealthy individuals started to collaborate in forming many of the movements. After receiving support from a couple of billionaires, the programs were suddenly funded and gained instant credibility. These movements were one of the first indications the world economies were in deep trouble and created an opportunity for radical change.
Quinton James Bates became an instrument of change. He created the "Loosen Up" and later the "Draw the Line" programs from the influences of some of the concepts, and now has driven the nation, and for that matter, the world back to prosperity. And United States in particular back to the financial dominance.
The national debt is under control for the first time in over thirty-five years. Highways are being revamped, bridges being refurbished, rail systems are being upgraded to futuristic monojets wherever tunnels can be laid, and the amazing high-speed Traverses are under construction from coast to coast. The first one is now operating between Youngstown, Ohio and New York (actually New Jersey, but since the Lincoln Tunnel spindle entries allow direct access, it will forever be known as New York! Go through the tunnel and stay right, or get dumped right into the Traverse -- the accidental entry into the spindle and two plus hour round trip has been laughed at by many!).
The grand opening of the “Youngstown Traverse” was an event watched as if it were an Olympic opening ceremony with huge, simultaneous star-studded bonanzas at each location. The Traverse looks like a monster tunnel draped in solar panels reigning above the I-80 infrastructure. The other massive part of the infrastructure is the immense system of “bumper car-like” processes affectionately named spindles with the eventual launch into the Traverse. The liquefied platform safely solidifies a vehicle’s tires and has a protective shield in front. The spindle safely zips you through to the Traverse entrance where the acceleration rate is exhilarating and reminiscent of a roller coaster exploding from the start.
It will revolutionize how industry is going handle the traffic of goods and merchandise and the name Bates is already being treated as if it is a living legend. He is being put up on a pedestal with likes of Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Kennedy, even if prematurely. But Bates will always be known as the man who rose from the economic ashes of despair to lead the country back to prosperity and through one of the darkest times in history. He will be forever memorialized for it.
The world needed a slight tip of the wealth scale and he recognized it. Quinton James Bates uses his proposals to ride a wave of euphoria to the Presidency. It is believed as early as 2020 he started to lay the ground work of the organization eventually leading to his nomination. He was able to capture support by feasting on votes from an educated nation strapped in student loan debt and homeowners with real estate values staying flat for half a generation.
Now, in 2031, Bates is talking of expansion at unprecedented rates. The entire country is behind him as he approaches the end of his second term as President. The Youngstown Traverse has been open for four months and it is an amazing boost to the American ego of being the greatest nation in the world.
From New York City, any vehicle can safely travel the nearly four hundred miles in a little over an hour, and up to fifteen minutes of which is spent in the spindle entries. The economies in Cleveland, Akron and Pittsburgh are booming with connection ramps to the spindle entries bringing massive construction projects to the entire region.
The next cross country Traverse, scheduled to open in a mere three months, will connect Youngstown to Chicago (actually just south following the I-80 route) and allow a vehicle to travel from New York to Chicago in less than two and a half hours. The dream of driving cross country, with low tolls and fuel free, will start to become a reality to millions of Americans in the coming years.
There will be no miles racking up on tractor trailers, cars or vehicles using this amazing new form of transportation moving everyone along at a phenomenal 384 mph. And it is using solar energy as it sole source of power. The only reason there is a minimal toll at is to keep the joy riders away. This growth and technology is one hundred percent paid for with the new wealth tax.
And although tax rates remain modestly high across the board, no one seems to care too much. Everyone who wants to work is working and the approval rates of the President and Congress are at an all-time high. The wealth is spreading and there are fewer hungry Americans. The twenty year plan to build Traverses around the country and the subsequent awareness by the international community has the country buzzing.
Various discussions of a world-wide expansion of Traverses are energizing economies around the world. It continues to gain massive support day by day. The world-wide economic downturn of the twenty-tens and early twenties is a thing of the past, as the United States has led the turnaround. And with America leading the way with this new, some say socialistic approach, a wealth tax is suddenly being considered in economies and places society would never have thought possible.
President Bates has enforced the tax with such support by the masses, there are suddenly other powerful, political leaders recognizing the ploy and trying to become a hero in their home countries too.
The rapid change with the positive vibrations world-wide is unprecedented. Governments continue to work with the United States on the "Moving Forward" program Bates has installed to assist the direction of the International community to collect any wealth taxes assessed. It is a daunting task to monitor wealth and is something the United States is most prepared to assist other countries because of the experiences they have with "The Program".
The other major front is President Bates' stiff policies against drug trafficking funded through the controlled legalization of marijuana. Critics hated the move but it worked. It had been long overdue as it was already legal in many states and the law was ignored in virtually every other one.
The past thinking of marijuana leading to harder drugs has been replaced by stressing the controlled use of it within the framework of social activities. And there is a focus on the dangers of mental addiction programs now promoted throughout the school systems. Plus controlling the health factors in the processing and distribution is an argument the President’s office continues to support.
Joey even has thinks it works to the extent the younger population is more receptive to the truth. The old way of thinking of telling young people marijuana is evil and should never be taken, has been effectively replaced with “be careful”, don't become a “pot head” theme. And the statistics back it as analysts estimate the usage of heavier drugs is down sixty to seventy percent since Bates took office. The figures improve every year during his tenure and drug trafficking is quickly becoming less of a concern to Americans.
But there is always a dark side in society and crime will morph itself as necessary. Over time, criminals have had to become more sophisticated and have blended into our everyday lives. With the job lines almost empty, every person capable of working can get a job on any given day with the “Build America” program, and less people are forced into this criminal survival mode. It all feeds the President’s popularity.
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Thomas Anthony Thompson