Charter Organization’s Statement of Principles
* War is a lucrative business
* Perpetual war is guaranteed future earnings to the military industrial complex
* Taxes pay for war
* War needs emotional supporters to vote for higher taxes
* War could be drone fought but flag draped coffins stir emotions
* War needs actual human loss to retain citizen’s votes for perpetual war
* To insure there are enough casualties to maintain support women must continue producing babies
* Removing women’s reproductive choices insures a continuous supply of bodies for war
* Securing the support of religious voters guarantees votes for war and the removal of female reproductive rights simultaneously
Back in 2015, most of the world had no idea what the war on women was really about.
The world of 2060 A.D. is facing a challenge to personal freedom that most people never saw coming. Those who did are gathering, training and waiting for the real war to begin. Follow Raziel Stone and her companions as they fight the enemies who move in the shadows since the ultra-conservative Charter Organization came into power. Like that Ensler woman encouraged fifty years earlier, Red Lotus has risen to take back the night.
Excerpt from The Red Lotus Club
The training room was empty giving me some time to take in the silence of the space. In a strange way, more than any other on the rambling estate, this room felt like home. My memories of family and my childhood always seem to turn back to here. White walls line two sides, mirrors on the other two, hard wood floor and transom windows far above me that could be opened, closed or darkened with controls smoothly hidden behind a wall panel near the exit door.
In fact, every panel in this room, mirror or wall covered, opened when the master lock was disengaged. Weapons and training equipment is stored in neat order. The system was installed by my grandmother. Her touch of OCD worked in everyone’s favor in our world of covert operatives.
Standing in the center of the room facing North, you could point at the far left panel and know that it contained Bokkens and alphabetically swinging around clockwise ended at the vintage Wakazachi swords with their curving blades and carved wooden saya scabbards; some that doubled as walking canes.
In grandmothers day, when firearms weren’t chip tracked, the caches in here contained an impressive assortment of glocks, rifles and other pieces gathered over the years. When the new government implemented the chip tech for all civilian firearms, the collection was moved to a secure space in the network of tunnels that lace the estate like a gopher colony gone mad. Though we have all been trained with each of those weapons, the silent elegance of blades, body and chance objects is the preference here at this shadow school.
To a casual guest, the 20 foot high ceiling was simply beautiful and the emptiness of the room was explained away as a dance and exercise space that we occasionally used for large catered functions. The wainscot and molded ceiling panels swung open to drop ropes, sandbags and a variety of climbing gear for tactical assault training.
Long curtains move into false window frame boxes for training days like today. I’ve often seen them with great falls of olivine velvet draperies, the room filled with candlelight, white clothed tables and towering glass vases with French tulips lazily curving towards the dinner guests.
As a young teen, I used to sit with a straight back and endure the tedious company of a self- absorbed punk-of-a son of some self-absorbed CEO. I would entertain myself by imagining their shock if I just glided over to a cache panel at the East/Southeast wall and pulled out a few Kukri knives. With a double throw I could have buried them on either side of his smug face in the high back dining chairs. It certainly would have livened up the evening; for me at least. And it might make his parents reconsider trying to set their son up with the lovely young daughter (read: wealthy) of their evenings’ host.
My mother would have caught my eye across the table and known that my mind was far away from the meal in front of me. She would have changed the conversation topic to one I could contribute to. It would have removed me from the torture of another minute of inane drivel from the social climber I’d been seated with. She would have done that for me. By my thirteenth birthday, I had already walked a few years in this world without her and perhaps the absence of her graceful presence caused me to grow darker and harder than I would have had she been here. Each loss of someone I love seems to cut a little more light from me until it seems there is little to laugh about in the world anymore. Which, in fact, is true.
It’s complicated how things ended up the way they are now. After The Charter’s plan was exposed back in 2025, and millions of women made The Sacrifice, as we know it now, things got really ugly. The world was already a strange place back in the early 21st Century. Now it was a Webdrama of senseless violence and deep denial by conservative women with their heads in the sand. I use my anger and I transmute it to energy that courses through my muscles while I train. It makes me better at what I do.
What I do, what we all here do at High Garden and the other places like it is stop the Charter where we can. We dispense our own brand of justice when there is none. We right the wrongs done to the millions who are marked, dead or wish they were dead.
I cracked my neck, left and then right, rolled my shoulders and spun the Nodachi in my hand as the wall sized screen in the training room flickered to life. It connects my one way feed from my master sword instructor’s classroom at his dojo in Hilo.
We’ve never met. In fact, he has no idea I exist or that I have been his student for nine years. Jo did her own masterful job of installing hidden cameras at martial arts and weapons training facilities in a dozen countries where she hand-picked instructors for my training. None of them know of this place or the fact that we have recorded classes and worked, sometimes live, simultaneously with their advanced students honing our own skills here at High Garden. Maybe one day it will be time to meet the one who taught me, but not today.
I felt the familiar press of the lotus menuki that my father custom ordered for my blade handle. He was proud as he tucked the delicate rose gold metal medallions into the sword grip that day. Those menuki were my favorite birthday gift the year I turned twenty and the feel of them under my fingers connects me to my purpose.
Clearing my mind of scattered thoughts, I bowed to the instructor from where I was a ghost to him and we began the dance of swords exercise.
Coming Soon…The Red Lotus Club…… an Action/Adventure Novel: Girls With Guns & Swords