Below is a draft excerpt from my upcoming sequel to Indivisible.
Set more than a year after the dollar collapse and domestic insurgency, two factions battle for DC supremacy.
The executive branch and treasury department want to shore up the dollar with a parallel currency called the…wait for it… the “amero”. They intend to nationalize the federal reserve and convert all the debt into perpetuities at 0% interest (a technical default). They also must slash spending which includes a 70% reduction in military spending.
The joint chiefs of staff, the dept of defense, and the bankers have other ideas.
The scene is set aboard Air Force One which has become a sort of flying bunker for the president. On board, Maiden Lane, assistant to the treasury secretary, is having an affair with David Forteson, the heir to the Forteson family fortune and chairman of Sepulcorp, the world’s largest defense contractor…
Forteson took another pull and exhaled. Mae watched the blue smoke undulate in the golden glow of the diode light. “I need to know if I can trust you.”
“Of course you can trust me.”
“…Because if I know that I can trust you then I can make things very good for you.”
“Yes, you can trust me.”
Forteson took another long drag, exhaled, and stared upwards in contemplation. The corners of his mouth formed into a grin.
“Well?” Mae asked.
Forteson’s face broke into a full smile. “I’m going to be the vice president.”
Well, that was easy, Mae thought to herself. “Really?” she asked out loud.
“You don’t sound all that surprised.”
“I’m excited for you, but I’m not surprised because I already knew that Clancy was out.”
“Makes sense. T tells you everything.”
“When?” Mae asked.
“Days. Hours, maybe.”
“Does Vanessa have something picked out for your swearing-in ceremony?”
“I haven’t told her, yet.”
“Ooh, now I feel special – you telling me before telling your wife.”
Forteson took another pull on his cigarette.
“So why you? Why not some pliable establishment guy – a senator or a governor?”
“Because the Joint Chiefs of Staff need a strong voice advising the president. They thought I was a good fit.”
“They’re not advising him already?”
Forteson exhaled slowly. “They are.” He turned his head and looked into Mae’s eyes. “But the joint chiefs are one heartbeat away from losing control.”
“So you’re an insurance policy?”
“Clancy has other ideas, ideas that don’t align with our plan. If I’m in, then there is no risk of a change in course.” Mae wrapped her leg around the future vice president. Forteson continued. “You don’t need T to tell you how dire things are. There’s talk of a breakup, of a DC fire sale. Selling off most of the federal assets. Slashing the military two thirds. Mothballing four aircraft carriers. It’s like we’ve become the Soviet Union – the last days of empire. Morale is at its nadir. The currency is ruined. Doc controls a quarter of the country. We have one last chance to put it all back together, to make America great again.”
“And you are a key part of it?”
“I’m in the circle of trust, my family, the other key families.”
“What’s the plan?”
Forteson sighed, reached over and stubbed out his cigarette, then lit another. “There was a banking panic in 1907. Know anything about it?”
“Not much. My education didn’t stretch back any rather than 1929.”
“It was a transformative moment, an unparalleled crisis. Markets crashed. The New York banks got squeezed, mercilessly by the fucking sheep. People pulled their savings out. The banks collapsed. The contagion spread. The entire economic system hung in the balance.”
“But then the Federal Reserve was created to save the day.”
“That was later. The families stepped in and bailed the banks out. The Morgans. the Rockefellers, the Fortesons, the Rothschilds, they invested their own fortunes to save the system, to save America.”
“I imagine they had to.”
“You don’t understand, Mae. Had they not done what they did, everything would be different. The Fed was their payback. Congress, Wilson, they gifted it to the families in exchange for saving the system. America, as it is presently constructed, would not exist without the Fed. This country would be a federation of squabbling states, trapped in the 19th Century while the rest of the world marched on. Who financed the expansion of Washington DC? The Fed did. Who financed social security, the bailouts, the economic booms, the military? Fuck, we’d probably all be speaking German right now, if not for the families.”
“So they’re coming in to save us again?”
“Yes. But it’s so much bigger now. The families don’t have enough. Everything they have is invested in the Fed. It has to be saved. But the families are over-leveraged. Their wealth is tied up in the banking system, in the debts owed to them by the U.S. government. A hard default would be the end of them. The banks, the trusts, the multinationals, the military industrial complex…they would be destroyed. Millions of sheep would suffer. It has to be preserved and rebuilt.” Forteson took another long drag and exhaled. He looked into Mae’s eyes, again. “I’m not a fool. I know you are close to T, but his plan is in opposition to what the families want. It’s very important that you not tell him or anyone about this. If this leaks out, it could get bloody. Losing is not an option for anyone. The stakes are too high. The Joint Chiefs don’t want a bloody coup. Coups are damaging to a government’s prestige. Can I trust you? It’s only for a few days. Then you can tell whomever you please.”
Mae smiled. “Yes. You can trust me.”