Although life in the End Days is characterized by a permanent political ruling class worldwide that mainly cares about their own power, greed and enrichment, there are a few notable exceptions. Among them is Sarah Palin, which is why I was determined to find a way to incorporate her into the novel. She has always struck me as someone whose words and deeds are consistent, and whose heart is in the right place. In weaving real life events into my plot, I came up with the following solution that some beta readers have told me strains credibility — even though they also like Sarah Palin very much.
So be it. I had to be creative and this was the best way I could think of to involve Sarah Palin, a character I also needed to help explain the energy system in the End Days. Readers first discover her presence in the book in Step One during Hillary Rodham’s answer to her teacher’s question about the sins of her ancestor Hillary Rodham Clinton:
“Sir, the worst thing that happened under Hillary’s watch was when she was Secretary of State. On September 11, 2012 four Americans were slaughtered after an eight-hours-long embassy attack in Benghazi. It took months after that for anyone in D.C. to even make her testify and when she finally did, all she could say was, ‘What difference does it make?’ when some senators pressured her to give them a timeline of events leading to the murders. It’s true that enough Americans pressured the White House to force her resignation a few weeks later and appoint former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. But even after she resigned, people began talking up Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential run in 2016. Unbelievable!”
Later in Step Two, we learn that in the year 2412 Sarah Palin was one of the few American leaders left who actively supported Israel in spite of its isolation from the USA and the rest of the world:
Although she despised these extravagant meetings for being a waste of time and taxpayer money, as the new US Secretary of State she saw this gathering as an opportunity to publicly support the Prime Minister of Israel in person—the White House be damned. She’d advise Grad privately of her support for Israel and apologize for the actions of her government. She’d also make a public declaration in direct opposition to the American President. It would be an unprecedented move but Palin was no ordinary, self-centered, power-obsessed American politician; she was an extraordinary, genuine leader who always stood up for what was right in spite of the consequences.
In the next moment, Nikola Tesla manifested on stage.
“Thank you, Mr. Moses,” he said, his brown mustache and long angular face instantly recognizable to the New Souls in the audience. Of all the members of the Salvation Twelve however, it was Secretary of State Sarah Palin who took a special interest in this former electrical and mechanical engineer, inventor, physicist and futurist. Having been intricately involved in energy issues during her tenure as Governor of Alaska, she was eager to hear what he had to say. Reading her mind, Tesla looked directly at her and made a request.
“Madam Secretary, please rise and tell us about the biggest energy challenges you faced during your time on the physical plane. Your achievements have not gone unnoticed in the spiritual realm.”
“Thank you Mr. Tesla,” she replied humbly. “Honestly, the toughest challenge I faced wasn’t a lack of natural resources but an abundance of negative character traits, thanks to the fallibility of human nature. I’m referring to the staggering arrogance and self-interest of greedy politicians and oil company executives who abused their power and cut deals with each other to line their own pockets at the expense of the people. And some of them were members of my own party—a party with a platform of fiscal responsibility, ethical behavior and adherence to the United States Constitution!
“It got so bad that at one point I even resigned from my job as Chairwoman of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in protest against a fellow commissioner and state Republican Party Chairman. I was extremely unhappy that this man had been conducting party business on state time and did not want to be associated with someone so obviously lacking in integrity. It didn’t come as any great surprise that he was later fined $12,000 for violating state ethics laws.
“But the oil companies were also a problem. At any given time they had a number of projects under consideration based on various factors, most notably return on capital. These oil companies were investing in other projects around the world while Alaska’s projects sat waiting, denying jobs to citizens and energy resources to my state and country’s hungry markets. So as governor my interest in speeding up development of my state’s resources was motivated by a desire to create good jobs and to help my country become energy independent.
“Probably my most famous fight with big oil was with Exxon Mobil. I attempted to revoke their license to the Point-Thomson oil-and-gas field, one of the largest undeveloped fields in the USA, because they’d been sitting on it for 26 years! Since they’d failed to develop it quickly enough, we were losing jobs and energy. When Exxon Mobil announced soon after that it had brought in equipment and planned to drill the following winter, many credited me for the decision while others doubted I had anything to do with it. I didn’t care either way; I just wanted them to move forward or else face the consequences.
It’s sad that so many Americans are unaware of Palin’s many accomplishments. That’s why I wanted to include them in the book in the course of this interaction. Tesla commends her for her achievements and insight before giving this order:
“Now then,” he continued, “while I am most impressed with your actions on earth, I must tell you there is a much better way to provide energy cheaply and abundantly for the citizens of all nations. And that is by tapping into the power of earth, which produces its own natural heat in endless abundance. By using thermal energy extracted from the earth’s core to run electrical generators and turbines you’ll produce energy cheaply—practically free. This will also transform the energy industry from a hydrocarbon base to an electrical base, eliminating the need for what many of you on earth still wrongly refer to as fossil fuels. This is completely bone-headed.
“The very term ‘fossil fuel’ is a big lie. It originated out of ignorance because 100 years ago when humans started using oil, they thought that petroleum fuel originated from the fossils of extinct dinosaurs. Today we know that hydrocarbon fuel does not come from fossils; it’s not a byproduct of extinct dinosaurs but a natural result of an earthly process in which water from the sea flows into the core of the earth, breaking down and creating a new molecule of hydrocarbon between the hydrogen from the sea water and the carbon from the rocks. Anyway, I just needed to clarify that point because it drives me crazy that anyone on earth still buys into the fossil fuel bunk.
“But getting back to the matter at hand, when you make the transition to plentiful, electrical energy, you won’t have to deal with the arrogance, pride, egomania and greed of oil industry executives or politicians.”
“So we need to build more nuclear power plants?” Palin asked. “Because as you probably know that’s been another bone of contention for decades, ever since the Three Mile Island incident in 1979.”
“My dear,” Tesla answered, “that’s one thing that puzzles me the most about the so-called leaders inhabiting the earth these days. And what’s wrong with some of these scientists? Don’t they know there is absolutely no need to even build nuclear power plants in the first place? You are all sitting on an earth that produces its own natural heat; it’s simply a matter of extracting it.”
“And how do we do that Mr. Tesla?”
“By taking advantage of a natural phenomenon on earth you already know as the Ring of Fire, an area where a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur in the basin of the Pacific Ocean. The Ring of Fire is a direct result of plate tectonics and the movement and collisions of lithospheric plates. Your colleague Eyal Grad has already tapped into this resource, perfecting the process of extraction so well that now all of his country’s cars are powered by electrical energy. We’ll pick his brain about it in a moment,” Tesla promised. Grad illuminated over the prospect of sharing his success in this regard.
“That sounds good to me!” Palin laughed. “But how exactly will this work? Have you seen how dangerous these so-called ‘smart cars’ are? How will people get around? Are we eliminating private vehicles?”
“Oh heavens, no!” Tesla exclaimed. “We’re all about empowering individuals in Salvation Time, not taking away their freedoms. The cars they’ll have will be even stronger and safer than the popular ones in use now. The major difference is that these cars will operate purely on electricity. And interstates and highways will continue to exist but they will be equipped with ‘charging lanes’ much like the slower traffic right lanes you have now. Except the purpose of these right charging lanes will be to recharge cars that are running low on electricity.”
Another Salvation Time advancement concerns pop culture and in particular, cinema. The character I used to explain the changes is no doubt a very familiar name since he’s one of the most successful Hollywood film directors in history: Steven Spielberg. As with Charles Manson, it’s Spielberg’s descendant in 2412 who explains the difference between End Days and Salvation Days film production during the Step One’s history exam:
“First, tell us Mr. Spielberg, what was the role of the filmmaking industry as controlled by Hollywood in the United States during the End Days, compared to its current role now in Salvation Days?”
“Well sir, like Henry Kissinger said, during the End Days there was really no difference between Hollywood celebrities and politicians. Both groups were ruled by the self-directed big ego. They piled up obscene amounts of money while they kept people in the dark about what was really going on in the world. Joseph Stalin told us about his ancestor who made propaganda films to trick Russian peasants into believing he was leading them into a new dawn of prosperity when it was really the opposite. He was using cinema like a weapon against them in his quest for domination.
“During the 20th century Joseph Stalin said, ‘America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.’ Making movies was one of the best ways to do it because you couldembed the indoctrination in entertainment. And people wouldn’t even know what was happening. Back in the 1930s when Ronald Reagan was an actor he saw what was going on and he started to fight back against the communist takeover of Hollywood. In the 1950s Senator Joseph McCarthy investigated and found evidence of communist infiltration within the United States government. Some saw Reagan and McCarthy as patriots but many saw them as crazy conspiracy nuts.”
The student paused for a moment before picking up on his teacher’s nonverbal cue to continue.
“But now in Salvation Time the filmmaking industry promotes our worldwide system of positive capitalism. Instead of turning people who do bad things into ‘anti-heroes’ or victims of an ‘unfair’ system, it tells stories of everyday people who do good things for others through their service. It produces films that inspire, educate and uplift because Salvation Time cinema wants audiences to be inspired to do these things in the real world. The goal is to encourage them to imitate the examples of ordinary heroism and honor they see on the big screen.
“Instead of covering up truth and promoting excessive immorality, those who work in the film industry now make a good living by producing virtuous movies that people really want to see. And it’s ok to make films that portray a positive image of God and those who worship him. During the End Days, most believers were portrayed as crazy.
“So in Salvation Time, creating cinema is all about doing the right thing even though it’s tough. It’s courage over fear, service over self-centeredness.”
Later on in the dialogue comes a slightly controversial interaction involving one of Spielberg’s most acclaimed movies. One of my beta readers took exception to my characterization of Schindler’s List but I stand by my opinion and welcome readers to comment in the thread after this post if they wish to debate it.
“Now for your bonus question, what was your ancestor’s role in all of the Hollywood propaganda during the End Days?”
Spielberg transitioned from euphoria to disappointment because he knew his grade hinged upon total honesty in telling the story of his shameful ancestor. This guy had been one of the most fêted men in Hollywood who’d amassed a fortune by promoting lies and hiding the truth in his well-received films. Still, the student was aware that coming clean was the best way to aid in the process of restoring the Spielberg family name so he set about making his confession in front of his teachers and classmates.
“Sir, my ancestor Steven Spielberg was one of the most successful, adored and wealthiest filmmakers in Hollywood during the End Days, even though his movies were filled with propaganda and lies. Take his popular film Schindler’s List. Spielberg insisted that the movie be filmed in black and white so he could whitewash evil. He didn’t want to ‘offend’ anyone by accurately portraying Nazi crimes against the innocent. Considering that Spielberg was also a Jew, this was even more disgusting. But his main motivation was money. He didn’t want to risk losing a fat paycheck for honestly telling the story of Jewish oppression by socialist Nazis who blindly obeyed a madman.
“So that’s why my family was expedited to Arusha after the Armageddon Commission—to begin to make up for the sins of our ancestor Steven Spielberg, a man who valued money and fame over truth. He makes me very ashamed.”
Again, there’s much more to this answer than what I’ve published here so when you read the book you can expect greater detail. In the Salvation Time movie industry it’s not the actors who get the most money and fame but the people who finance the films and the diligent behind-the-scenes workers who make it all possible. People like camera and boom operators, make-up artists and engineers. During the course of his personal and spiritual development in the novel, the student Spielberg will face more than a few moral dilemmas requiring him to use his free will for either good or evil. You’ll have to buy the book to find out what he chooses. 😉
Another cool feature of Salvation Time? Maglev bullet trains that can traverse the ocean. Here’s a brief excerpt from Step Three of the novel as the travelers and their hostess Naomi are making their way from London to New York City via the Atlantic Ocean:
While Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and Parliament disappeared in the distance, Naomi explained that both the land train and trans-oceanic train ran on pure electricity and magnetism. Even when traveling under the sea, the trans-oceanic train moved just as smoothly as its counterpart on land—at a much faster speed of 2000 miles per hour. Thus, it would carry them to New York City in less than two hours, due to the vacuum inside the tubing. Unlike its counterpart on land, it also moved through four massive, concentric carbon fiber tubes held up by cables anchored securely to the ocean floor. In between each massive tube was ample space for protection, with the train moving within the innermost tube. While Naomi expected that most of their trip would be underwater, the tubes could also be elevated above the surface, creating an illusion of riding on a cruise ship—without the turbulence created by waves. And to offer passengers spectacular views of sea life, the trans-oceanic maglev featured panoramic LCD screens throughout its interior walls, thanks to cameras on the outer tubes.
Sound too good to be true? Here’s a balanced excerpt from Anirudh Nambiar’s Design Blog from December, 2013:
One has to also consider the trade offs of this design. Removing all the air from the tunnel would take “100 jet engines, working 24 hours per day for two weeks”. This raises big questions related to the sustainability of the project. Another concern is safety. Any derailing of the train would cause the death of hundreds. At such high speeds, it is difficult to guarantee the complete safety of passengers.
No doubt, a maglev train connecting two continents would have a positive impact on the lives of many. It would mobilize businessmen, goods and services, increasing economic activity and globalization. On a human level, a student studying in the States could go back home for Thanksgiving in the matter of hours. As good as it sounds, is it worth spending $12 trillion (nearly 15% of the world’s GDP) on a tunnel that takes 100 years to build? There is no easy way to answer this question, but I do believe that mankind is destined to accomplish this feat in the future.
In another post I’ll go into more detail as to why I — as an engineer myself — believe the trans-oceanic maglev is not only possible but inevitable. In the coming months I’ll have much more to say about the practicality of my ideas which will make life much easier and simpler for everyone all around the world. In the meantime, check out these images of Salvation Time’s preferred method of travel.