Central British Columbia, Northern Gulf Islands, Butte Inlet anchorage and dock at the foot of Granit Peak -JUNE 22, 2104
In the early part of the 21st century, there was a protracted public debate about the future effects of what the best scientific minds of the day called global warming. They talked about sea level rise and forecasted the dire consequences of not curbing fossil fuel emissions. Well, I’m here to tell you that while all that came to pass, the things that were not predicted really changed the world as everyone then knew it. It was the two competing emerging technological societies, the Chinese and the Indians that caused catastrophic changes and in a way nobody even predicted. The Gobi desert encroached upon China at the incredible rate of 3,000 Sq. km per year by 2015, but the Chinese had robust long term plans to halt the encroaching desert by 2050. Two things sabotaged that effort, China failed to get it’s terrible air pollution under control and the noxious fumes began to cause wide spread asthmas and that not only began to cripple the Chinese economy, but auto-immune disorders began to show up in large parts of the Chinese population. Then, in 2028, as so many intersecting problems in history have happened in the past, a wide spread flew epidemic hit and the population lacked the ability to fight it off. 53% of China’s 1.4 billion people perished over a two year period. Worse, travel to the various Chinese enclaves throughout world spread the now virulent infection to many other population centers.
In a parallel catastrophe, in 2029, the Pakistani government was overthrown in a bloody coup d’état by fundamentalist Muslim jihadists who wanted control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. In less than 30 days after this consolidation of power, the new ruling Mullahs sent the Indian government an ultimatum to vacate and cede control of the Kashmir region to the Pakistani’s; the Indian government proclaimed that it had the power to destroy Pakistan and that it would not submit to nuclear blackmail and the Indian military went on high alert. Their satellites looked for rockets being readied, but none were observed. Then the unexpected happened, indeed the unthinkable happened: Simultaneous suicide truck bombers set off 2 megaton warheads in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. The Indian government was totally decapitated; 150 million people were killed outright and over the next few weeks an additional 300 million would die from radiation related illness. In a final irony, winds took much of the radiation over Pakistan and Iran where an additional 75 million would initially die from radiation symptoms; wide spread cancer related deaths are still common in that part of the world. Famine has reduced the population of Asia from a high of 4.3 billion to 1.4 billion and large portions of surviving women are sterile.
Within 3 years strontium 90 started showing up in dairy products produced in the western hemisphere; cancer rates in the United States did not stabilize until 2065. Yet we were lucky because cancer rates in Eurasia still have not stabilized. The United States and Canada, once bastions of freedom in the world are now actively patrolling their external boarders, while at the same time extending their NORAD treaty mutual defense related activities. Free Foreign migration to this part of the world is now a thing of the past. Smuggling and piracy is rampant on the high seas and the west cost of the north western hemisphere where the U.S. and Canada are preferential targets. The two countries have cooperative mutual assist agreements between their military and their Coast Guard units.
My name is Clarence Woodbridge Mackleroy. My acquaintances call me “See Dubya”, but my close friends call me “Mack”. I hold dual citizenship as an American and a Canadian. By education, I’m a mechanical engineer, however my profession these days is…well I am a Privateer-a private combat naval officer. I hold letters of mark issued by the Government of Canada and recognized by the United States to engage and destroy pirates and smugglers. My ship is the 70’ Sloop of War DOMINATRIX. She is aptly named as she is armed with two port and starboard bow chasers in the guise of 20 mm radar guided electronic Gatling guns. There are two radar guided rapid fire 40 mm long rifles amidships (port & starboard), all manned by robots. No these aren’t the semi-autonomous creatures of late 20 century science fiction; these are the most sophisticated industrial robots available and each is the state-of the-art for function and efficiency and each has a specific design configuration for its function. They are very efficient mechanical hybrids that interact with the ships systems, which respond to my commands from the main fire control console. As impressive as her gunnery systems are, they are merely her “riding crop”. Her “whip”, if you will, is her magazine of 20-80 mm x 1.5 meter STILLETTO “fire & forget” anti-ship missiles, which are fed into port and starboard launchers. These smart missiles are designed to decapitate the command structure of any vessel. Skimming just inches above the wave tops at Mach 1.3, the onboard computer looks (through its camera) for the ship’s bridge or the helm and the impact explodes with just 2 pounds of XRHX encased in shrapnel providing the explosive force of 30 pounds of TNT.
My base at the northwest bend of the inlet at the foot of the 6800 foot Granit Peak has a dock and a pier, a small warehouse, a modest house, and a 12 foot diameter pelton wheel generator powered by a 4 inch diameter jet with 3800 feet of head through a welded 6 inch stainless steel pipe. This system supplies all of the power for the compound as well as keeping the 10,000 amp hours of batteries on the Dominatrix completely charged so the ship would be ready to leave on short notice. What is not known to anyone, for obvious reasons, is the camouflaged microwave relay on top of Granit Peak that relays energy to a small fleet of drones that I operate all over the northern end of Vancouver Island and the many inlets of the northern gulf islands. Just two feet in diameter with 4 stabilizing rotors and a pusher prop, these are all electronic, completely silent, and virtually invisible to the naked eye. With a radar cross section of a bumble bee, they are my secret weapons against pirates and smugglers. Constant real time daylight imagery and night time infrared images are continuously fed into the fire control console, along with coordinates (lat-long).