“I’m sure my counterparts have been fed a load of hogwash about what you intend doing, but once they get the facts from the media, I believe they’ll join us. But if they won’t, we’ll detain and put ‘em with the renegades we’ve been rounding up and ship ‘em off to Jupiter—oops, it’s the moon—ha. Same with the crowd at the Greenbriar. By tomorrow night it’ll be under siege as well.
“I wouldn’t waste the breath to ask them to change; they can’t. Too old, too tied to parties, ideology and power and business. The military, on the other hand, likes to make things happen, ‘specially for a good cause. But some’m’s been puzzling me for a long time, especially after discovering the scope of their operation. The fireworks here? That’s just the kick-off. “Hear this: every member of your march was to be charged with sedition, disloyalty, subversion or, in our case, inciting treason. We’d all be placed in detention on wired up ranches in Wyoming and Montana. Hell, they’d already built temporary shelters out there. The military apparatus – the unfriendly side, were to go into action the moment the commune was destroyed. All that has to cost a heck of a piece of change, I’m thinking.
“Hold on, the punchline’s a-comin’! Now where was I before I was interrupted by all those noisy yawns—oh yes. If it’s the government, only Congress can authorize such funding and guess what? Congress has gone fishin’. The day the Treasury building emptied, my troops went in and collected the plates for printing paper money and the molds for coins. Fort Knox is on lock-down. So I ask myself, and I ask myself: who’s footin’ the bill? Finally comes the important question: who stood to lose the most from our Prime Directive? Hold on, it’s a-comin’!”
“Of course,” cried Penny. “Wall Street, the banks, the fat capitalists, the corp—sorry, Luv, was that it?”
A hissing sigh issued from Clark along with a stiff jaw and a glare. Then the hint of a smile, then a burst of laughter with his hand up. “But guess where we’ve got ‘em?” And he clamped his arms together and twisted his mouth shut.
“Oh, come on. Pinkie, I said I’m sorry,” whimpered Penny but could not contain a squeak of humor. And the rest laughed and even Clark.
He said, “Not the Pentagon, not the Greenbriar and no, not Wall Street. We got ‘em . . . nowhere. We couldn’t. Too many of ‘em and too many places to hide. I called the Treasury Secretary, he was in Jamaica, and besides what could he do? Next was the chairman of the Federal Reserve. He hung up on me. Whom I did finally get to listen was the head of the FDIC—the Federal Deposit Insurance Company. I didn’t have to sweet talk him—he was sympathetic with y’all--to issue an order to every bank, collecting agency, trust company and lending institution here and overseas to place a hold on every insured dollar account!” And he bowed his head to each of them for his accomplishments.
“Well done, luvvy,” grinned Penny. ”By tomorrow morning the world will know how their deadly coup was foiled by General Clark W. May—“
“And Captain Shaw—no, no, Penelope of Charleston, and – and Major Starkey!”
“Not to mention Richard of Amwell,” prompted Anne.
“Me? Wha’d I do?”
“You postponed the press conference. All they’d have had was the Prime Directive which, you’ve got to admit, ain’t exackly a laugh a minute. Now the country will see just how far the old guard was willing to go, simply to keep the status quo—and kill hundreds of their fellow Americans! Oh, god, did I just make up a rhyme?”
“Sure did, pardner. Oh, well,” Richard yawned and humbly shrugged, “all for the cause . . . which is, I s’pose, to wake up the rest of the country to the desperate need for change.” And he punctuated his usually simple but succinct thought with a booming snore.
Out loud laughter, pushing and shoving, then quiet loving squeezes between the four newly partnered. Nobody said it. It didn’t seem necessary.
But one brilliant spring morning, many years on, old Jacob of Amwell, uprooting yams with his granddaughter, inhaled the rich loamy smell of his fingers and murmured as he did every so often, “It was some day.”
Of course, between old Jacob’s pronouncement and The Day, so much had to change. It was mind-boggling the process undertaken by each succeeding council of the New American Society.
Implementing the nine articles of the Prime Directive took a quarter of a century. Add another decade to see all man-made construction disappear from the landscape and replaced with plant-life, carbon-absorbing forests in particular, canals and harbors changed to clean, fish-laden rivers and estuaries, the pits and holes dug for coal and oil and minerals filled and sealed.
Best of all were the changes occurring outside our borders. Having oft-visited the New American Society, leaders from the Earth First Initiative around the globe began persuading their nations’ leaders to visit us and slowly adopt our ways. That, of course, took the longest time, for it was not until politicians were replaced by honest public servants, and for business to collapse and wealth to vanish, that we could see the atmosphere, the oceans, the land mass begin to cleanse themselves and to provide healthful resources for all species.
And yet, miraculously, the difficult changes occurred, and the words of gratitude for the bountiful planet replaced the old ‘way it was,’ and ‘the way it is,’ by ‘the way it must be.’ Some, especially those witness to The Day, during the minute of silence at each anniversary were heard to laugh aloud as they recalled the wily audacity of those few humans who had initiated the Change.