July 15, 2029, Cave Basecamp, Jordan
Now we have the entire group together and have settled nicely into our cave dwellings. I call an informal meeting to set up guidelines for living together over the next seven years. There are now eight of us on the team. It has been nice having Tova’s mother here as our ‘plus one.’ We’ve all decided to bring our living parents here before the conditions in the world deteriorate, but will wait until the timing is right. It would be amazing to see my mother and grandfather again, and to know they’re safe.
The Ambassador gave us inside information on the condition of the third-world nations. Her revelations have been keeping Sterling up at night. Before she left for the President’s assignments, she proposed each third-world nation be “adopted” by a wealthy one. “Adopted” is a non-threatening term that is really a cover up for an annexation. In truth, it’s not a mutual agreement—the adoptive and adoptee nations were matched by the U.N. through a complicated formula of like cultures, similar governments, import and export optimization, labor supply, and the adoptive nation’s ability to protect and cultivate the adoptee nation. Using the Human Development Index, the forty-five nations identified by the U.N. as the lowest-ranking are being adopted by the forty-five top-ranking nations.
Personally, I question the legitimacy of the formula after the 10th-ranked nation, the United States of America, was matched with the 168th-ranked nation of Yemen. The total cost for the uber-wealthy United States to restore Yemen over the next seven years will be less than their annual humanitarian budget. All the while, the United States will be able to legally retain its critical military presence in the Middle East.
The good news is the people of Yemen who are starving and dying of cholera will receive the help they need immediately. The nation’s Civil War will end seventy-two hours after the U.S. Marine Corps arrive with their heavy armor and tracking drones. The bad news is, this proves the political game will still be very much alive under Anna’s leadership.
The bylaws and contracts of these arrangements are quite complex, and they allow for eventual annexation of the adoptee countries. After the seven-year restoration period has passed, the United Nations will rule on the feasibility of the permanent annexations. While they are being restored, the adoptee nations will lose most of their identity. One World Bank is providing legal representation for the nations and the Billionaire Elite Club is funding the project. The one condition put forth by the two sponsors is compliance to the implantation of microchips in every citizen of the adoptee nation. They want accountability.
Janet also told us the United Nations is being bankrolled by sources outside of governments. This information is being kept from the citizens of the World. When she was in New York, she wasn’t authorized to speak about it to the Press. The back story is quite simple. After the United States withdrew its superfluous financial support from the U.N. in 2019, the organization was forced to seek funding elsewhere if they were to survive. Under the direction of Secretary-Director Velasquez, they found tremendous support in the private sector. Investors were eager to put up money—if their conditions were met.
According to Janet, the United Nations is now a risky mixture of “very questionable agendas set by very questionable entities—with unquestionable international power.” She told us the power of the organization has moved from lawmakers to outside financial investors. The Ambassador says the shift happened at the end of 2028 while aloof nations were watching the distractions playing out on the world stage; distractions that were purposely set by the world’s new puppet masters.
Now that everyone has arrived to the Communication Center, I go over my notes on group dynamics and community living. “One of the things I want to see happen is a pause for prayer five times a day. I’m open to your input, but am suggesting 7:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. This idea comes from the followers of Islam. The prayer time can be short, possibly ten minutes. We could pray for our brothers and sisters in their time of persecution and at the same time, stop and show gratitude to our Creator. I want to take a vote. Who’s with me?” All hands go up. “That looks like an affirmative vote to me. Great.”
“Now I would like to tap into a live presentation being given at the Marine Corps base on Parris Island, S.C. A former training officer of mine is going to be addressing ‘loyalty in the face of adversity.’ He’s a dynamic speaker and will cover some things we need know.” I tap us into the program with my SEAL’s access number not yet deactivated.
Ten minutes into our program, our streaming is interrupted with a highly-unusual news alert. As soon as we hear the emergency signal, we are glued to the screen.
“This just in: A tectonic shift in one of Earth’s plates has put our planet in grave danger. The shift’s earthquake registered a 9.2 on the Richter scale and activated a massive volcano on La Palma Island off the northern coast of Africa. Scientists have feared for more than a decade an eruption of the volcano, Cumbre Vieja, would push its unstable flank into the ocean. The volcano is erupting at this very moment and the magma is pushing the huge slab of rock towards the shoreline. Geologists say the monstrous slab is inches away from crashing into the Atlantic Ocean. When it does, it is expected to create a tsunami threatening parts of Northwest Africa, Europe, and the eastern shoreline of the United States. Stay tuned for an update in less than ten minutes.”
We shift uncomfortably in our seats, not knowing what to say. Just as I stand to address the group, the emergency signal sounds again.
“We’re back with some very disturbing information. The slab of rock once attached to the volcano, Cumbre Vieja, has dropped forcefully into the Atlantic Ocean and is sending a crescent-shaped wave towards the West African coast. A wall of water more than seventy-five feet high is expected to hit the coast in two to three hours—between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The alarms have sounded to warn residents to evacuate the area immediately. Nearly 75,000 people are in the path of the tsunami on the northwestern coasts of Africa.
“Two hours later, the tsunami is expected to hit the southern shoreline of England. Sometime between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, a thirty-three foot wave is expected to smash into several highly-populated coastal cities. The British Emergency Response teams are rushing to evacuate the threatened areas.
“Next, the displaced waves of water will make their way towards the vulnerable eastern coast of the United States. Though the storm will need to travel 4,000 miles to reach the U.S., the pathway is clear, and the dropped land space will allow the transfer up to eighty-percent of the wave’s original energy. Marc Oleg, Commander of the Atlantic Tsunami Coalition headquartered in Greenland, has issued a warning for the Northeastern seaboard of the United States—and specifically for the city of New York. He says the tsunami will produce waves of up to 170 feet, which can cover the islands of New York, including Manhattan. Other areas on alert are Delaware, New Jersey, and Maryland’s Eastern Shore stretching from the ocean to the Chesapeake Bay. Densely-populated cities that are threatened include Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston. The states of New Jersey and Delaware are expected to flood inland for several miles.
“The states of Florida and North Carolina, as well as shorelines of South America will most-likely be hit, but with much less impact. Those projections will come soon. If you are in any of the coastal cities of either North or South America that border the Atlantic Ocean, you should leave immediately and seek higher ground at least three miles in. We’ll continue updates every ten minutes and full coverage will begin at the top of the hour.”
“Oh, dear God! New York City? Washington, D.C.? How does the world respond to this kind of threat? Millions of lives could be lost in less than nine hours.” Janet runs outside to make a call. The connection fails. She climbs to higher ground, stopping every few minutes to dial Benjamin in New York.
In between her out-going attempts, she receives an incoming call from Switzerland. It’s from the International Headquarters of the Red Cross. Janet picks up with great apprehension. “Ms. Jagger, we need to mobilize the Red Cross. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has asked us to reach out to you. We know you asked for a week before reporting for duty, and we don’t know where you are located right now, but we want to get a plane to you and bring you in. Are you willing to come on board early? The world needs our services as never before. England, Africa, and the United States are expected to realize a significant loss of life. Many others will be in dire need of medical attention.”
Janet doesn’t hesitate to respond. Her fears of being arrested are washed away by the impending tragedy. “Yes, I will report. I’ll travel to the nearest airport and turn on my location tracker once I arrive. I will be accessible on my cell phone in less than two hours. When I arrive to Geneva, please have the contract ready for my signature and alert the Press I will address the current crisis.”
“Thank you, Director.”
Janet treks back to the cave to pick up some supplies and clothing. She asks Tony to drive her to the Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, Jordan. “You can drop me a mile from the airport. I’ll walk the rest of the way to keep you and your vehicle off the grid.” Once the group reaches the supply cave where the vehicles are kept, she faces the team. “I don’t know what happens to us, or to the world from here. I expect things will change daily. It’s sure to be intense for all of us. I’ll be calling upon you soon enough. Keep the phones charged and the equipment operational. Thank you for saving my life—in both ways. Tova, can you please walk me out?”
After exchanging some hugs, Sterling lifts the cave’s garage door for Tony and Janet to exit. After putting her bag into the back seat of the Hummer, Janet hugs Tova and with a gentle wave of her hand, guides her daughter’s long hair off her shoulders. “I don’t know quite what to say. I fear you might see this exit from your life as a reflection of my feelings for you. I want to assure you it’s not. I love you more than anything.”
Tova hugs her mom and kisses her cheek. “That’s not what I see at all. I see it as a reflection of your deep love of all mankind. So great is your love and sense of duty that you have been brave enough to leave behind a life of comfort so you can help to change the world. I am so proud of you, and I couldn’t love you more. No matter what happens, I will see you again soon and we will have an eternity together.”
“That is a beautiful thought.” She hugs her daughter one more time, and whispers, “Take care of Commander Cunningham. Strong men who carry the massive weight of responsibility on their shoulders are the ones who need us the most—even if they never admit it.”
Janet climbs into the Hummer and takes the seat next to Tony. As he starts the engine and eases out of the cave’s entrance, Janet turns to blow a kiss to her daughter. She and Tony head down the mountain trail to an uncertain future.