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Authors: Michael Ivan Lowell

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The Suns of Liberty (Book 2): Revolution

BOOK: The Suns of Liberty (Book 2): Revolution
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THE SUNS OF LIBERTY
:

REVOLUTION

A Superhero Novel

 

___________________________

 

MICHAEL IVAN LOWELL

 

 

 

Copyright © 2013 Michael
Ivan Lowell

 

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced
or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the
author except for the use of brief quotations in a book review and certain
other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests,
write to [email protected] and include “permission request” in the
subject line.

 

www.MichaelIvanLowell.com

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places,
events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or
used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead,
or actual events is purely coincidental.

 

Cover Illustration Copyright © 2013 by Jason Ganser

Cover design by Jason Ganser

Editing by Gabe Robinson and Becca Block

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To those who still believe that “all men are created equal” and to
anyone who still gets goose bumps when walking past the Old State House or the
Old North Church.  

Acknowledgements

 

There are so many people to thank for this book, I cannot list them all.
But a few simply must be mentioned. A heartfelt thanks to my editor Gabe
Robinson, who made this book so much better by his careful eye to detail and
dedication to the story. The talented Jason Ganser for the fantastic cover art
that captures the mood of the book perfectly. David, for those hours of
dreaming up ideas for superheroes when were kids, many of which “grew up” and
became part of this book. Becca Block, my trusted reader, for reading multiple
versions of the book again and again, and making many, many crucial
suggestions. Rich and Michelle who put up with my barrage of ideas and requests
to “just read this!” and for convincing me I really do need a POV! Seth, who
read and commented extensively on early versions of the story.  To Ben, Jessica
and Jason, Jim, Shawn and Casey who all read early versions and offered many
fruitful ideas. And finally, to my family for the moral support and love that
every writer needs to survive (and don’t we all). To my lovely wife JoAnna, who
served as a little bit of each role mentioned above and still managed to retain
her sanity, beauty and humor.

“Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind”

—Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“Every generation needs a new revolution.”

—Thomas Jefferson

 

"The most common way people give up their power is by thinking
they don't have any."

— Alice Walker

 

“Dissent is the highest form of patriotism”

—Howard Zinn

 

“I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”

—Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

“Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”

—Barry Goldwater

 

"I have learned over the years that when one's mind is made up,
this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear."

— Rosa Parks

 

“When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

—Thomas Jefferson

 

 

 

 

IN THE NOT-TOO-DISTANT FUTURE...

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

THE PURGE BEGINS...

 

T
he
scientist was trying not to scream.

The glint of razor-sharp steel
reflected the light from the street coming through the window. It pressed hard against
the coursing pressure of his jugular. His face was a river of sweat. The old
man grasped the sides of his chair as the figure above him pushed in closer. In
the dark, quiet office an infiltration team had assembled behind him. Ready to
pounce, to kill.

He couldn't tell how many were
there. They’d already killed the lights.

“I'm not the one you want! Not the
one you're looking for.”

“I think you're lying, Professor.
I think that if I cut your throat and rifle through your things I'll find the
key to your lab. And I'll get what I want, anyway. So you should just tell us.
And save what's left of your life.” 

The scientist gulped down fear and
silently slid something from his palm up into his shirtsleeve, “You've made a
mistake. It's not me!”

“We know you have a weapon. We
have the best locator in the business, but I'm not very patient. Now where is
it?” the attacker hissed through clenched teeth. “I would hate to have to pay
that nice little family a visit. They have a little daughter, don’t they?”

The scientist’s eyes widened.
“Leave them out of this. They have nothing to do with it.”

“Or a home invasion. You know, so
many terrible, depraved things can happen in a home invasion these days. Even
in the nicest neighborhoods.”

“Damn you!” The scientist tried to
lunge at the man, but he was grabbed quickly and held tight to the chair by the
others.

“Oh, I know. I hear you were quite
the badass in your younger days. But look at you now. Wrinkled and frail. Only
one option, old man.”

 Cloaked in darkness, a
shadow-draped figure moved in front of them. Silently. The figure was tall,
large, muscular. Only the scientist could see him.

Only the scientist knew he was
there.

Knew his identity.

That fact alone would make the
scientist one of history's most important persons. He would be the last man on
Earth to know the shadow's real name. For the shadow would change history.

Or more accurately, the future...

But the scientist knew none of
this then. He only knew that if the man in the shadows didn't do something
soon, his white lab shirt would boil red.

 “Where is the weapon?” the
attacker screamed, and his blade twitched from the force of his shouting and
nicked the old man’s skin.

Finally, the shadow spoke. “Not
where. Who.”

A snaking strand of yellow-green
light, too fast for the eyes to follow, whipped across the room as he spoke.

It lashed the attacker’s forehead
like a cobra and recoiled into the darkness. All before the others could react.

The knife-wielding assailant
crashed backwards. His knife spiraled out of his hand. He hit the floor with a
thud. The scientist dove for the carpet as the infiltration team opened fire.

The night lit up like day. They
blasted away at the shadow with automatic weapons. Wood and plaster, shards of
glass from the professor’s framed degrees exploded across the room. Books
popped and shredded into the air. The team emptied their magazines in a
hailstorm of bullets.

Then...

Silence.

In front of them, the doorway was
dark and quiet.  

They switched on flashlights. The
shadow was gone. Clouds of dust and debris floated in the air. The room was
crowded with desks and boxes and all the stuff of an overfilled storage
space—now shot to hell. Still, a virtual labyrinth. A perfect nest for an
assassin. The first attacker through the doorway flipped the light switch.

Nothing. It just clicked in the
darkness.

He cursed himself. They’d cut the
power before entering the office. The other two gawked at him like he’d lost
his mind.

“Go to night vision.” The
attackers were outfitted in full military garb, though their uniforms were not
military, not SWAT, nor any affiliation that had come before. Still, they
carried the best equipment, and they were professionals. Sent to do a job. A
job at which they never failed. Even in the face of a weapon they did not and
could not understand, they didn't feel fear as much as they felt curiosity,
challenge.

An energy whip?

Going up against something they'd
never faced before didn't happen often. Yet they didn't feel fear; they felt
exhilaration—as the adrenaline pumped through their veins. They were ready for
the kill. 

But they
should
have felt
fear.

For as they entered the adjacent
room, the shadow was crouched in the corner. The shadow likewise was
comfortable on this terrain. He knew what the infiltration teams stood for,
knew what they wanted, knew how they worked. And the shadow would die without a
moment's hesitation to defeat them. That, and the strange weapons he possessed,
made him dangerous. More dangerous than the team could ever possibly know.

They were outnumbered; they just
didn't know it yet.

The shadow switched on a small
light that made no light. Unless you were wearing night-vision goggles. And in
that case it turned on a beam as bright as the sun.

The attackers screamed from the
pain and fired blindly around the room. They could see nothing but the blazing
glare.

The shadow pulled a revolver from
his coat with his right hand, and a long spike jutted out from a harness under the
shirtsleeve of his left. In one smooth motion he lunged forward and placed the
barrel of the gun on the nearest man's head.

 The blast was muffled, but
his head split open up like a ripe tomato, splattering the walls.

The two remaining attackers spun toward
the sound. The spike was glowing the same strange yellow-green as the whip, and
the shadow rammed it with ease into both men with a sickening
slosh
.
They fell, mortally wounded.

The shadow zipped into the first
room and snapped the neck of the unconscious first attacker.

The scientist was horrified—and
still huddled on the floor. “Oh God, did you have to do that?”

The shadow leaned down to help him
up. “You know I do. No witnesses.” The shadow peered around at the wrecked
office. “Bailey was right. The purge has started. You’re the only hope this
country has now.”

“I’m not the
only
hope,”
the professor said with a knowing smirk. “We've got to get you out of here.”
The scientist let the keycard slide back down into his palm. “We have to
complete your transformation tonight. We're out of time.”

The shadow lifted the frail
scientist in his powerful grip and grinned.

“No, we're just
in
time.
For a revolution.” 

 

 

CHAPTER
1

 

 

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS

TWO YEARS LATER

THE END OF THE PURGE...

 

T
he
world’s first superhero.

The Revolution
faced the
massive force alone. A scarlet cape billowed at his back. Body armor of bold
blue. Sleek metal snug tightly to his body, with grooves and curves built into
the steel. Prominent shoulder plates lay under the spots where the cloak
attached. A red star on the chest, covering his solar plexus, and another
across his forehead. Boots, forearms, gloves shining blood red in the
moonlight. A silver-white belt with a blue star on the buckle was clamped
around his waist. The only part of his body that was visible was his eyes,
protected by thick, clear eye shields. Over the mouth and nose section of his
helmet was a vented system that both allowed air in freely and filtered it. All
of it made of the scientist's new near-indestructible titanium alloy. The
living symbol of the resistance.

One man to face an army.

A soft breeze swept across the
open field. The ragtag resistance militia plodded behind him, five miles over
the horizon. They were coming to make a last stand, but they'd yet to see this
strike force. Hopefully they wouldn't have to. Civilian-grade weaponry versus
the might of the military. Rifles and pistols versus tanks and jets.

They would all be slaughtered.

The vision of the founders in
which citizen militias stood against the power of the state no longer worked.
It would take something different, something stronger.

It would take him.

If a war was to be waged in the
name of the people, he alone would have to wage it. If the Republic was to be
saved, it would fall to him to save it.

He took one last breath of the
night. Fragrant mayflowers and fresh-cut grass. And then he could smell the
sharp steel and rancid petrol of the machines. It was time...

It was no accident that he was standing
there. He had chosen to end his personal life. He had given up being a normal
human being a long time ago.

One life ends, another begins.

 
He had no friends, no
family left. He devoted himself to the cause. The cause was his life now. There
was only one catch. To be the Revolution, he knew he would have to be willing
to die. And willing to kill. Had to be ready to make the decisions few could
ever make. The decisions of a perpetual soldier.

The only thing he had left that
meant anything to him was his country. His duty. And he would see them through
to the bitter end, no matter the cost. The ancients had believed that the
greatest life lived was that which ended in a glorious death. He could only
hope that his glory would be the restoration of the Republic.  

Other Americans had paid with
their lives to secure freedom. Was it really so strange, the choice he had
made?  To be a soldier, a public servant? That’s all he was.

But now was not the time to
reminisce about such things...

The soldiers took aim at him.

The Revolution was not afraid. Had
trained it out of himself. He was resigned to his own death. No one could do
the things he did every day and expect a long life. His bill was due any day
now. He simply desired to make a difference before he paid it.

“The Purge ends here!” His
amplified voice, smooth and baritone, boomed across the field.

 

Near the rear of the strike force,
General Murray Cleeson put down his binoculars and glanced over at his nervous
colonel. The open-air jeep they were riding in glided smoothly over the bumpy
terrain. The colonel made a face. “They say he can take out an army. Think it
could be true?”

“I think it's time we find out.”

“The Chairman wants us to give him
a chance to surrender or retreat.”

“He's had his chance. It's pretty
clear what his answer is.”

Cleeson was the prototype for
hard-ass general. Crew cut, Southern accent, tall and stocky at the same time.
His voice was gravelly, as if he ate batteries for breakfast. When he spoke you
listened. When he gave an order you followed it. And he was in no mood to screw
around.

He wanted the resistance crushed,
and Cleeson thought now was the time to do it. He didn’t believe in tying up
loose ends; he believed in burning them into oblivion. They’d almost killed the
spirit of the resistance. The death of the Revolution would put a bullet
through its heart.

Reluctantly, the colonel snapped
up a small communicator and barked into it. “Send in the air strikes.” He
wasn’t going to be the one to tell the old warhorse this was a bad idea. After
all, Cleeson was a decorated veteran of the African Conflict. He’d seen more
action over there in a single year than the colonel had seen in his entire
career.

 

 

Revolution heard the colonel’s
words from a hundred yards away. Enhanced parabolic hearing devices can do that
for you.

He broke into a run.

The armor made him strong, made
him fast. Inside his helmet, his increasing speed displayed across the visors:
50 mph. 55 mph. 60 mph. The cool night air whipped through his facemask. He
would reach them before the jets reached him.

Cleeson made the same calculation.
Barked an order. One of two tanks roared to life and headed right for
Revolution.

It fired.

The shell zoomed across the field,
red exhaust burning through the black of night.

The Revolution dodged it by
centimeters, whirling out of its rocket-trail path as the servos in his armor
screamed in his ears.

Earth, fire, and metal exploded
into the air at his back.

He had to time his next move to the
second. Had to be perfect. Any mistake would mean death. The blast was only a
few feet behind him. He spun and faced the fireball.

It engulfed him.

The explosion took him off his
feet and propelled him backwards toward the fighters. He burst out of the
flames, landed feetfirst, and rolled only to bounce back up.

Perfect.

 The blast hadn't even
scorched him. He turned, raised his arms, and sent a gust of fire and energy
straight at the tank that ripped the vehicle apart.

His eyes turned to the fighters.

They all took a step back.

“Anything you send at me, I'll
send back at you!” he yelled, his voice booming again out of the loudspeakers
in his armor.

 

The general balked.

He was wide-eyed and red faced. He
didn't want to admit he'd never seen anything like it before. “Bullshit! Open
fire!” Cleeson barked. He figured they’d throw everything at him and see what
worked.

The soldiers took aim and did just
that.

 

Revolution charged. Sparks flinted off his armor as
he bounded toward them. The bullets had no effect. As he ran, Revolution
reached into the belt around his waist and snapped up bladed metal stars.

BOOK: The Suns of Liberty (Book 2): Revolution
13.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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