That’s a complex question. To you, James Perry is a terrorist. A man who went on a killing spree that included one president, two presidential candidates, a majority of house representatives, and several others who stood in his way.
I call him an American patriot who saw a failing system, led by spineless, principle-less snakes, and mercilessly struck them down. Po-TAY-to. Po-TAW-to.
But perhaps you want a more complete view of the man you call a terrorist. At the crux of his situation, as I’m sure you can attest to given your fancy attire, the lack of money in his family was of great consequence.
James Perry was born to Arthur and Millie Perry on August 6, 1960. Birthed right behind him, five minutes later, was a twin sister. She was a little smaller than him; doctors were unaware that she was even there until birth. But the major problem that the Perry family had at that moment was taking care of two children. One was going to be tough, but two had not even been on the table until that day.
It’s very easy for elected officials to make rules for everyone, as well as give themselves higher-than-average salaries and furniture allowances when they don’t see the real suffering that they bring on with their leadership. They were dutifully elected to protect the interests of the people and as years went by they created more laws, and more tax codes, that bettered their own lives and crippled regular citizens.
Creating laws that made it illegal not to have insurance for instance. Reagan’s trickle-down philosophy: works in theory but when a large portion of the world’s wealth is tied up in trust funds, it doesn’t seem to trickle down at all. Maybe from heir to heir. Monarchy to monarchy. Business to politician.
People work hard to get so little, and the new monarchy can’t even be bothered to read a bill. Instead, they push it through, with lots of earmarks and extra pork, that has nothing to do with the bill’s title, and that’s that. The end.
Slavery hasn’t died in this country, it’s just called civil duty.
Wow! That was a tangent! Even in death, my master’s will is surprisingly strong. Let’s get back to it.
James Perry grew up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. His father was a mechanic and his mother was a store clerk. They made enough to get by. Luckily for Arthur Perry, his father started his mechanic business when he turned eighteen and eventually opened up a garage where he serviced vehicles for the neighborhood. Arthur joined him after serving three years in the military, and became an accomplished mechanic, even opening up his own garage. He taught James a lot about cars and how they worked, but James always wanted to be a writer.
He wrote a lot of fiction in high school. Much of it unpolished, he admitted, and he decided to go to college and pursue an English degree. He believed it would be enough to get him a job and allow himself to write in his spare time. He took out a loan, the same as his sister when she went to college, fully expecting a decent job upon graduation. Everyone told him if he wanted to succeed, he needed to go to college. He listened to that and took it to heart, believing the American dream was in his grasp.
It was 1982 when he graduated college. The country was recovering from the energy crisis and James struggled to find a job that would pay him what he was worth, or at least what everyone told him a degree was worth. Some companies told him he didn’t have any experience so they were moving on to other candidates.
Others told him he was overqualified for the position. He worked for a fast-food restaurant in the evenings and a superstore in the mornings. He kept it up for several years. Applying for jobs, being rejected, and continued to work his two jobs. He loved going to interviews.
“It says on your resume that you’ve been working for SuperCenter for five years. Why do you want to leave them? You must like it there to stay for five years.”
James did not know how to answer that. Would it have been professional to shout, “It’s the best I can do because no one will hire me?”
Still even better when he would vent his frustrations, people would tell him he should not have taken out a student loan if he couldn’t pay it.
“Everyone told me that I needed a college degree to succeed in life!”
“You should have done more research instead of listening to what others told you.”
He hated himself for ever trusting anyone in the first place. The same people he looked up to, to have all the answers, lied to him. He decided it was time to start his own research. He was looking for ways to correct the system.
He saw that education was too expensive and the return on investment was low. There was no necessity anymore for a college degree if no one was willing to pay you for your education. But part of the issue was that the government started backing these loans, so banks gave them freely to eighteen-year-olds seeking their bachelor’s degree in pottery…
Schools took full advantage of this situation and charged more than was necessary for their programs. They paid college professors more and added new wings. They can not be completely blamed for the situation. Why would they not take advantage of the situation?
So they did. The young paid for it, believing it would lead to better jobs and better pay. They lied. And no one is willing to take responsibility for it.
I, personally, did not go to college. All of this frustration flows from my master out of my mouth. Do tell Crouse, what do you know about the aether?
It is everywhere. It is God. It is thought. It is substance. We walk through it. Some of us noticed.
But what is that to you? You are not psychic. You simply obey the dollar, not the higher call. It is as plain as the suit you wear.
“Get on with your story! What does any of this have to do with anything?”
It is the beginning. The creation of a terrorist. What was it you hoped to find from me?
“How? How was James Perry able to do what he did? I am under the impression he could fly and shoot senators from blacked-out windows.”
Oh? Yes. That did happen. That is a good place to start since it was the very first act that James did as the Spectre.
That day was a nice one. The Washington Hilton Hotel stood resolute in the afternoon sun…
“Are all the fluffy words necessary?”
Well, if someone wants to read this book later, they may be interested in all the fluffy words. Or perhaps they’ll just skim and get to the good parts. Created your own adventure, you know?
The entrance flooded with cars picking up guests and dropping them off. Typical view for such a lovely building, ten stories high, with a large, egg-shaped garden in the entryway. Sweet scents of daffodils filled the air. Of course, you do not care about daffodils, so I will continue on with the story.
A black Buick pulled up to the entrance and dropped off a well-dressed gentleman, not as well-dressed as you of course, but he looked the part he dared to play. Senator Garvin, a healthy man of 47 who couldn’t keep his hands to himself, gave his driver a smile and a nod as he turned to the Hilton entrance. He walked inside to wait in line at the front desk. It wasn’t long till everyone recognized who he was. Senator Andrew Garvin, the Republican candidate for President of the United States.
Those in front of the line stood starstruck at his entry. He batted away their aww with a cordial smile and commanded them to continue on with what they were doing. Much to his amusement, they all stepped out of his way, bending over backwards for him. It was intoxicating. He loved it, and he did his best to maintain the most humble attitude he could. After all, he would be elected President and they would be under his thumb.
Senator Garvin did not get into politics to help anyone. He got into politics because his father had. And his father before him. Garvin was as political a name as Kennedy. It was power his family craved. They had several funds set up for their family that accepted money from all over the world. As long as the Garvins continued to vote whichever way the money flowed, it kept flowing, despite the needs of the American people.
Garvin received the information he needed from the cute blonde at the front. He left his card with her in case she was looking for an internship. He was always looking for new talent to help him get off. But now he had to focus on the deal at hand. He was meeting a very important fellow in room 1013: Jameson Burr, Deputy Director of Stantz and Lee Financial, one of the leading contributors to both political parties, because why have principles when you could own a president?
“Is your commentary necessary?”
Garvin walked down the main hallway to the elevator and proceeded to the tenth floor. He was late. It isn’t prudent to keep Stantz and Lee waiting, not with an election on the line. He arrived on the 10th floor and hurried to room 1013. He knocked and immediately the door opened to reveal the stern, stone-cold face of Jameson Burr.
Short, combed blonde head, with gold-metal wire glasses that didn’t slide down your nose, like commoner glasses, though he still instinctively pushed them in place, probably a habit he maintained as a child before becoming a Stantz and Lee employee.
“You’re late,” he ushered Garvin into the room. It was a dimly lit suite, with a bed blanket covering the windows. Senator Davis, a mild African American statesman, running against Garvin stood up to greet him.
They shook hands and embraced with a couple of shoulder pats like all friends do.
“What kept you? Blonde, brunette, or redhead?” Davis winked.
Garvin chuckled. “Well, you know…”
“Gentlemen, I’d like to conduct our business quickly. We’re behind schedule. Senator Garvin, did anyone see you on your way in.”
Garvin frowned. “Several, including hotel staff.”
Burr sighed. “These meetings are important so that we all get what we want. Tardiness will not be tolerated unless you want the withdrawal of Stantz and Lee?”
“One news conference would put Stantz and Lee under fire, wouldn’t it?” Garvin smiled that white, perfect smile that won elections.
Burr smiled. “We own several news agencies. Nothing is printed or televised without the scrutiny of our people. Why do you think these procedures have gone on this long? You’re not the first Republican we’ve owned.”
Davis laughed a low, breathy laugh. He was an older, distinguished gentleman who had been a Democratic senator for most of his life. He hadn’t contributed much except a lot of pot-stirring. It was easy to point the finger at others and rally the have-nots to your cause. Davis was an expert at it.
He took a seat in a plush, straight-backed chair. Garvin did the same.
“Gentlemen,” Burr picked up two packets of papers from his open briefcase, which lay open on a wooden table in the center of the room. “These are your contracts. Stantz and Lee are backing both of you for the next four years. One of you will be president, the other will still be Senator, both roles are paramount for Stantz and Lee’s future. The contract outlines your obligations to Stantz and Lee, upon receiving your deposits of $10 million, each, you will henceforth make your decisions on our behalf. If we want a certain bill passed, make it happen.”
He handed the contracts to the senators.
“What happens when we can’t get out fellow party members to cooperate?” Senator Davis put on his reading glasses as he looked over the paperwork. “Are we out $10 million?”
“Stantz and Lee requires the utmost cooperation. If any members have a hard time seeing our vision, let us know we will take care of it.”
Davis nodded and smiled. “A lot more where that came from, huh?”
“Senator Davis, all your needs will be met as long as you meet ours. We may require some greasing-of-wheels and hammering-of-nails if you catch my drift.”
“I read you.” He laughed as he pulled out a pen from his pocket and signed his contract. Senator Garvin did the same.
“Now, whichever one of you is President, we will need you to steer the national conversation in the direction that best suits us. Never mind what you promised your voters; they’ll be disappointed but you’ll have to convince them that you know best.”
“Don’t we always?” smiled Senator Garvin. Senator Davis Laughed.
“And the opposing party will call out the ruling party’s ideas as racist, sexist, or whatever rhetoric that fits best at the time,” Senator Davis continued. “Don’t worry Mr. Burr, we’ve been in this business longer than you’ve been walking.”
“And we’ll continue to run this business,” Senator Garvin clapped Senator Davis on the back. They handed their contracts to Mr. Burr and he placed them in the open briefcase. He smiled. These guys didn’t need coaching. They were pros. There was absolutely nothing to worry about…
The window broke, and the sound of glass clattered as it struck the blanket covering. It sounded like an ice cube hitting a hardwood floor. Burr jumped when he heard it and gazed at the window to see a quarter-sized hole of light peering through the blanket.
Senator Davis let out a horse scream. Burr turned his head to see that Senator Garvin was facedown into the white carpet, a gaping hole in his head.
Then another crash. Burr ducked down, but Senator Davis was too slow. He fell to the floor, but Burr could tell that another object came flying through the window, striking Senator Davis straight through his skull.
Blood pooled beneath the dead Senators’ bodies, soaking into the white carpet.
How? They were on the 10th floor. There were no other buildings around to snipe from. And how could anyone see them through the blanket?
Burr crouched on the balls of his feet. Two holes of light peered through the blanket. And more, there was a man standing on the balcony.
Burr yelped. He had to get out of there! Far away where no one could find him, not only to escape this menace but to avoid being in the news with two dead presidential candidates.
The man punched through the glass and opened the door. The wind from outside ballooned the blanket for him to step inside the room. Burr grabbed his briefcase and stumbled towards the door. He gripped the handle just as the man grabbed his shirt collar and flung him to the ground onto his back. Burr hit his head against the soft carpet with a thud. Dazed, he looked up at the man.
He wore some sort of military-styled suit of armor and a hard mask and helmet. The suit looked like sports padding only sturdier, but at the same time, it looked like it breathed, without any limitations. Flexible as if it were non-existent. The mask was attached to the helmet much like a motorcycle helmet but looked more futuristic. There were two large, round, dark, glass eye holes. The rest of the face looked like a white ghost face.
He held an M24 sniper rifle in his hands, his finger just outside the trigger well. Even through the mask, Burr could tell his eyes were locked on him. It was an unsettling feeling as if the man could read his thoughts and stood above him in judgment.
He spoke, raspy, with a voice modulator. “Hello, Mr. Burr. You don’t know me and this is the last conversation you will ever have.”
Mr. Burr quaked as he tried to string a coherent line of words together.
“Shhh… Hush now. I wish you could help me, Burr. I do. I’ve been doing my research on you. On Stantz and Lee. On the two senators over there. I’ve come to some conclusions:
“1. You represent Stantz and Lee, but Stantz and Lee represents something else.
“2. Those two had it coming. The amount of hate the pair of them stirred up in this country is awful. My grandparents are rolling in their graves. They’re not the only ones though.
“I’m going to clean things up. Make things the way they should be.”
Burr shivered on the ground, his briefcase covering his chest.
The man sighed. “I’m sorry. I’m a bit dramatic. Maybe you can help me. I’m going to kill you and in so doing, perhaps, we can figure out who is really behind all of this. Don’t weep Mr. Burr. We all reap what we sow.”
He pointed the muzzle a the center of Mr. Burr’s head and squeezed the trigger.
“Housekeeping?” A maid stood outside the door of 1013. She knocked again and waited. There was no reply. She pulled out her card key to open the door when it opened and out came a man with blonde hair and gold wire-framed glasses. It was Jameson Burr.
She gasped as she saw him. “I’m sorry sir. I did not realize you were in there. Is it okay to clean the room?”
Mr. Burr smiled. “Oh sorry. No. Right now is a bad time. My friend is lying in bed nursing a horrible hangover. I’m sure he’ll be fine by tomorrow.”
Jameson Burr stepped out of the room, briefcase in hand, and closed the door behind him.
She smiled “Should I bring him some aspirin?”
“Oh you are too kind, but he just took one.” Burr looked at his watch. “Well, I must be going. I’m running a tad late. Thank you for stopping by.”
He walked down the hallway and down the elevator.