Authors: Bill Wetterman
A Covenant with Death
(The Peacock Trilogy – Book 3)
A Covenant with Death
is a work of Fiction
Names, person, events and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously. Any resemblance to people, places, or events is purely coincidental.
Published by Wild Side Novels in the United States of America
Copyright © 2015
by Bill Wetterman
Other novels and non-fiction works by Bill Wetterman are:
Room 1515 (The Peacock Trilogy - Book 1 (2012)
Madness (The Peacock Trilogy – Book 2 (2013)
The Fifth Step (2012)
The Literary Murders (2014)
So You Want to be a Published Author (2014)
Six months passed since Ammad al-Sistani’s father died. Ammad put a broad smile on his face and stepped up to a Global Realm induction station. “I wish to become a citizen.”
The administrator glanced upward. “One moment, let me finish closing my last transaction. The man before you is heading to his testing booth, and the sign-in must be complete before he begins.”
Ammad swallowed his disdain, knowing patience brings great rewards. Once processed, he headed to his testing booth. Forty well-briefed followers would enroll after him and embark on a long-term mission in the hopes of eroding the Global Realm from within. Ultimately, Ammad planned to end the reign of First Citizen, Arthur Pendleton, and replace him over time.
His upbringing gave him a unique understanding of the racial and religious viewpoints in the Muslim region of the world. He selected career paths in communications and negotiations in Core 412, Pacification of the Non-Citizen World, Division 51-Sociology.
As he answered the questions, thinking as a good citizen would, he reminded himself that all prior human governments began with good intentions and eroded into chaos, evidentially falling into ruin. Why, because they were
governments. Only a Caliphate run by Allah’s rules was sustainable.
He and his followers knew the location of his white garments. One day, however Allah worked things out, Ammad would emerge to bring this world out of darkness. He finished his test and the results placed him in the top 85
percentile, qualifying him to select one of three open positions within the Global Realm’s Social Sciences Research and Implementation Division.
He turned and followed the signs, still written in both English and Arabic, to the far door to his left. As he opened the door, a guard examined his papers and pointed him to an official with the silver stripes of an upper level supervisor.
“Are you married?”
“No, my family died in the war. I’ve wandered the mountainsides until I came to my senses that under this Global government people seem happier.”
“So you have no family and no ties to this province?”
“Very well, Ammad al-Sistani, you will go through six months training here in Mashhad.”
This man wasn’t Persian, maybe Mongolian from his facial structure. The name al-Sistani didn’t leave an impression on him. Ammad refused to hide his background. The Global Realm forgave the enemies who cooperated. Admirable, he thought.
“After six months, you will be relocated. Do you have a preference between Irkutsk, Bern, or Philadelphia?”
“Bern, Switzerland, you mean?”
“I would prefer, Bern.”
“So noted. Here is a housing list. Pick any blue location for housing while you are in training.”
“This one.” Ammad pointed to a unit near Malek Abad Park. “I’m familiar with the area.”
The park served as a meeting place. He and his friends could make their plans from there.
The government provided Ammad a uniform, a stripe indicating a trainee, and a room key. Security thoroughly searched his bag. They found nothing of a suspicious nature.
Ammad remembered the faces of his enemies. He would find them, and with time, kill them all. The advantage he had over his father was his age.
Allah Akbar. He keeps me strong.
The face of one person embedded deep in his mind, a fierce fighter with red hair. She killed without hesitation and seemed to enjoy the act—find her and he would find the others.
24 years later
“Director Chui,” George Pendleton said. “May I ask a favor?”
“Before you return from the Alpha Command Station or after?”
“I have an uneasy feeling about al-Sistani’s latest shipments to Space Complex 8,” George said, as he gazed at the universe from 200 miles above the earth. “Could your people assess the carrier shuttle’s climb rate against reported cargo weight?”
“You suspect a heavier payload than reported.” Chui’s voice rang in agreement. “I already had my technicians run the analysis. Heavier than reported by over a ton.”
“I should let my father know.”
“Which would accomplish what?” Chui cleared his throat. “I’ll tell you what he’ll say. ‘Thank you. I’ll look into it.’ You’ll never hear anything again.”
“We’ll record our findings and amass a set of data to back up our suspicions.”
“Say hello to your mother,” Chui replied.
“Indeed I will.”
George disconnected the call sad to have to agree with Chui. His father would do nothing. He’d be back on Terra Firma soon and deal with his father in person. Being the eldest son of the Global Realm’s First Citizen, Arthur Pendleton, carried with it a heavy burden. A logical mind, a steady temperament, and an I.Q. of 159 helped him handle the responsibility with ease.
His mother, Laverna-Smythe Pendleton, held a special place in George’s heart. Contrary to her professional ruthlessness as an assassin, she gave her love unselfishly to her children. And George connected with her much more than with his father.
“Departure time, 2300 hours.”
The charming voice of the automated attendant captured his attention. He still had eleven hours before he was to leave. With a good sleep behind him, he could devote the time to the history he was writing, entitled,
The Global Realm —The First 25 Years.
Looking at the former world through the eyes of his family, the steps taken by his father seemed necessary and logical. Yet the elder leadership under his father believed much of the soul of humanity had vanished a little at a time. George weighed both as he wrote. On Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, all the human basics were met, but free time left a great number of the people psychologically disturbed with nowhere to go and nothing to do.
Many conflicting views of history existed. Only one would be taught. His father related his experiences in one-sided commentaries. George wrote a more expansive text, taking the opinions of several prominent observers into account.
From his quarters orbiting the earth, he scoured the oceans via satellite, comparing data from twelve months earlier to the present. The battle to save aquatic animals and plant life had stopped the devastating effects on the oceans from human pollution. Global warming, although slowed, continued, and would for several centuries. One of only two possibilities remained for humankind. Leave the Earth for Mars or a yet unidentified life-supporting planet. Or stay and face the real threat of human extinction in as few as two hundred years.
His father believed the complexes could last far longer. George doubted that warped view of the science. Arthur Pendleton listened to Hans Van Meer, his second in command. Van Meer wasn’t a scientist.
“Commander.” The station nurse stepped through the open doorway into George’s living quarters. “Time to take your vitals before reentry.”
“Yes. Yes. Thank you...” He glanced at her nametag. “Nurse Marshall.”
“You’re welcome. Open your mouth and stick out your tongue.” With one insertion of the medical wand, his temperature, blood pressure, blood oxygen, heartrate, and a mini-EKG were recorded. “Everything’s peachy. Have a good trip.”
George turned back to his writing, which included the achievements and dreams of his family and the builders of the Realm. At age 22, he proposed the Mars Exploration Project be expanded to full colonization. Since he had already designed a working model of the Stanford Torus, a permanent self-sufficient orbital habitat, the Global Realm Department of Space Science and Exploration appointed him to head up the project. Now at 28, George Pendleton was ready for space exploration.
He meticulously recorded the changing land mass. The portion remaining above sea level varied weekly it seemed. Over the past twenty years, ten percent of the land mass had vanished beneath the deep. Another ten percent of the Earth’s surface would submerge in the next two hundred years, when all the ice in the Antarctic disappeared. Still, from his vantage-point, the whitish-blue sphere below him offered a breathtaking panorama of light and colors—the gem of the solar system.
Using the trapped methane gas under the Greenland icecap as an energy source dramatically lessened the environmental catastrophe that could have occurred when the ice melted. The Global Realm’s engineers worked frantically installing equipment in Antarctica to perform the same feat. Swift response was possible. His father unified the world, and mankind had a chance for survival.
Fascinated by the construction miracles, George jotted down the amazing progress made by technology that removed solid rock from mountains and built new human cities. Following strict environmental standards, demolition and reconstruction crews had worked twenty-four years tearing down the old cities and building gigantic environmentally friendly complexes within sturdier infrastructures to replace the former dwellings of men. These complexes, bordered by eight-foot thick rock walls adhered together by compounds resistant to weather and erosion extended some three hundred feet into the air.
Supported with steel internal-beam construction and covered with a material that filtered out dangerous solar rays, the living quarters the Global Realm created provided their citizenry with abundant nutrients, renewable energy, and environmentally safe living conditions.
The only ocean travel came from tourists and a few expedition ships. The roads remaining were made from material unheard of before the Pendleton. Indestructible composites, stronger than diamonds or Graphene, made the new roads capable of handling any weight yet created. Few vehicles traveled on them. Environmentally safe transportation had been developed replacing pollution-creating vehicles.
George’s communicator buzzed and he put down his pen.
“Commander, Thad Cline is holding for you.”
“Put him through.”
“George.” The Director of Global Science’s voice smacked with concern.
“Yes, Thad,” George answered. “How can I help?”
“I need you to convince Global Security to inspect Muslim cargo shipments,” Cline grumbled. “So far I’ve been stymied when I make the suggestion. They say regional procedures are sufficient. ”
“We’re all concerned. I’ll be in contact with my father tomorrow.” George had had little contact with Arthur Pendleton in the past few months. “He’s heading to the Bering Strait. Once I’m debriefed in Taipei, I’ll call him.”
“If he doesn’t listen to you, no one will be able to reach him. Ammad may be a saint. But I think he’s a sinner. Have a safe trip home.”
“Roger that.” George disconnected the call.
Ammad al-Sistani, the master manipulator. Why didn’t his father see the threat al-Sistani posed? The man exploited the Realm’s major weakness, boredom and lack of vigilance. As a people, mankind exploded the boundaries of knowledge and scientific understanding. Motivated citizens of the Global Realm lived worry-free. Keep the rules and live at peace. Yes. The right way to live, George thought.
But some citizens did not agree. To them the new way bored them. They overwhelmed the entertainment centers during their free days. Self-centered, godless men and women, he judged them.
Over a billion enemies of the realm fell to Global forces since the takeover. Enemy combatants now numbered under 500 million, most located in formerly Islamic countries. Ammad wooed them, offering peace and inclusion outwardly. But inwardly—George feared Ammad’s motives.
Many humans, two hundred million of them, chose no side. They roamed free on the face of the planet. Nomads and loners, they were subject to the elements, other humans, and the growing number of animal predators and disease. Ammad ignored these people. Global citizens called the outsider’s condition “the Second Dark Ages”. They lived Stone Age lives or worse.
Eminent danger concerned George more than weather or the outsiders. His father, Arthur, ruled as First Citizen, but opposition to him grew from two separate sources. Ammad al-Sistani, the son of the former Grand Ayatollah, gathered power in his role as peacemaker to those outside the Realm. He tested second only to Arthur Pendleton in leadership capabilities. A year ago, Ammad refused to allow inspection teams into predominantly Muslim-controlled complexes, and his disobedience went unpunished.
The second challenge came from former General Tzu Chui, a close personal friend of George’s. Chui held the Far East Region firmly in his grasp. Over time, Chui had worked behind the scenes, gaining favor as a man of forward thinking. If any sign of weakness was found in George’s father, Chui would move to grab power. George believed Chui respected Arthur Pendleton. He would strike down Ammad and allow George’s father to retire with honor.
To those outside his inner circle, Arthur Pendleton showed no sign of weakness. But to those closest to him, the changes were obvious. Since the death of his closest advisor, Milton Rogers, the First Citizen grew more indecisive with each passing day.
George put away his writings. In a few hours, he would pilot Global Orbiter 5 back to Earth from Alpha Command Station 200 miles above the planet. The Global Space Station and Orbital Space Complexes like Alpha Command, modular in design, formed a network of scientific and defense stations that prepared for interplanetary space exploration. The development of a working habitation wheel design by a joint Russian-American team provided gravity to most space-crafts and stations.
If I could pick any time in History to be alive, I’d pick now, George thought. A chance to explore Mars, unbelievable. A pacifist, unlike his sister, Connor Ann, he held no interest in mortal combat. Connor surpassed his mother in that skill.
If I weren’t a Christian, I’d be filled with fear for the future on Earth.