A waiter swings by and hands Senator Richard Hensley another scotch on the rocks. It helps to override the anger that has settled in Richard’s gut, loosens him up enough to mingle at this fund-raising gala. Between tuxedos and gowns, he watches fellow senator James Gardiner, the newly nominated Liberty Party presidential candidate. Richard runs a hand through his thick white hair. Gardiner is ten years his junior and has barely dipped his toes in politics, yet somehow he may lead the country in a matter of months. It’s tough for Richard to stomach.
Second place is unacceptable, and yet here he is. A month has passed since he lost the nomination to Gardiner by a handful of votes. After years of public service—years of ushering through the MedID to protect these evidently ungrateful citizens. The wealthy hide out in Safe Districts, and the middle class has fled to the countryside, while the low-income population remains in what’s left of city housing. Agriculture is the only sector that’s seen a boon in a decade. Fortunately, the largest corporations have survived by increasing security to keep their buildings and employees safe. But for the most part Richard’s hometown of Boston has been reduced to piles of bricks. And though the New York City buildings still pierce the sky, firefighters can’t keep up with the blazes that are set daily. Chicago is burning as well, and from the air, Los Angeles sparkles, the sun glinting off the shards of glass from incessant looting.
After the Planes Fell, every religious fanatic and mentally ill citizen was emboldened. They come from all sides, with different agendas—though one of the shared themes is restoring their lost civil liberties. If it was just one effort, it would have been more predictable, easier to fight. But the attacks don’t stop and law enforcement can’t keep up. The lack of courage in the citizenry is disappointing. If it wasn’t for Richard’s MedID program, all hope and control would be lost. He’d been foolish to expect gratitude in the form of the nomination. He drains his glass, enjoys the burn that travels down his throat.
For two weeks following the results, he shut himself away from the world and considered his options. But the private sector doesn’t appeal to him and he’s far too young to retire. Politics course through his veins, a calling passed down from a father and a grandfather who were senators until their dying days. To walk away is unthinkable. So when he received the call, he had no choice but to accept.
His rival appears to have similar style and grace, floating seamlessly through the sea of party supporters. They lock eyes. Richard smiles and holds up a hand in greeting. After all, they must appear cordial now that he’s Gardiner’s running mate.
Title: Nation of Enemies
Author: H.A. Raynes
It’s all about the genetics. DNA. Black & white.
A decade ago the U.S. government mandated that all citizens be issued biochips containing all of their medical information and an ID number indicating a person’s health. Then they made the information public—the implications of which are wide-spread and devastating.
Now on the eve of the 2032 presidential election, the country is deeply divided and on the brink of civil war. But as the two major political parties face off, innocent Americans are dying at the hands of masked terrorists. When the Liberty Party’s presidential nominee is assassinated in a highly-coordinated, masterful attack, it sets off a chain of events that will change the course of history and leave America’s inalienable rights—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—dangling on the precipice of extinction.
Author Bio H.A. Raynes was inspired to write NATION OF ENEMIES by a family member who was a Titanic survivor and another who escaped Poland in World War II. Combining lessons from the past with a healthy fear of the modern landscape, this novel was born. A longtime member of Boston’s writing community, H.A. Raynes has a history of trying anything once (acting, diving out of a plane, white water rafting, and parenting). Writing and raising children seem to have stuck.
Links Website: ha-raynes.squarespace.com/home/
Twitter: @HARaynes & @hollyiswriting