Of Eagles and Patriots

No, this has nothing to do with the NFL.

The following is essentially the premise/set-up for a TV (or book?) series that I first came up with probably a year or two ago. I’ve been tweaking it here & there since. Not sure what the inspiration was, but thinking about it now, it does have elements of the late, lamented TV series “Revolution”, as well as a storyline in the “Invincible” comic series.

“Of Eagles and Patriots”

Dozens of top scientists — from geneticists to nuclear physicists — have either disappeared or been killed over a period of a few months (weeks?). In reality, they were all “kidnapped” and transported to an alternate Earth. Though many technicians handled the operations, the one ultimately responsible for the abductions is Virgil Heinmann, a sociology professor turned political leader. Heinmann greets the abductees shortly after their arrival and explains that the United States of his world is in the throes of civil war, with three sides vying for control.

disintegrating flag-eagleHe explains to them that he was leading a consortium of scientists working on a variety of projects to solve the world’s (or, at least, the nation’s) ills, but most of them were either killed in recent accidents or assassinated by those against the consortium’s goals. He asks the abductees to take over the various projects and help train others, and after a few months they will be returned to their Earth. After deliberating for awhile, most agree to stay and the handful who don’t are led away and (presumably) sent back. Those who decide to stay and help are taken to a small number of secret & secluded lab facilities to begin their research — or, in some cases, continue what others had started.

However, Heinmann has not painted an entirely accurate picture of what is going on. He, in fact, is the leader of the Neo-Socialist Movement (NSM), the most aggressive of the three sides fighting for control of the U.S. The scientific projects in question are meant to further his own goals, even if it means destroying a large percentage of Americans (and anyone else) in the process. The real reason he had to replace so many scientists is that he pressures them beyond reason and many safety concerns are neglected. The result is that those who resist are often killed either by Heinmann personally or by firing squad, and many others have died in lab accidents involving radioactive materials, biological & chemical weapons, etc. Those abductees who refused to stay were actually killed or, as with a few, taken to an NSM “re-education center”. It is also a fact that, as it stands now, the technique that brought the abductees to Heinmann’s world does not work in reverse; they cannot be returned.

Our story now follows a few of the abducted scientists (including one being “re-educated”) as they gradually discover that they have been lied to, though they are smart enough not to let on what they have figured out. What little outside contact they have is closely monitored/controlled by Heinmann’s security forces, and the only news sources they have access to are NSM-controlled. A couple of the abductees are contacted by an underground movement who explain what is really happening and eventually help many of the abductees to escape, though a few die in the attempt. They are then taken to other lab facilities, where they work on ways to prevent or counteract Heinmann’s projects. Meanwhile, the underground also works on plans to rescue other abductees.

In regards to the title, it does not refer to two specific groups, either allies or enemies. Rather, the “eagles” is a reference to the fact that historically the eagle has been used by a variety of groups as a representative symbol — from the Roman legions (aquila) to the Nazis to the United States of America. As for the “patriots”, well, just about everyone in the story — from the different factions battling for control (even Heinmann) to the abducted scientists — is trying to do what (they think) is right to preserve America.

Or, at least, one world’s America.

Intriguing? Dull? As always, I am interested in your thoughts and ideas….

* All ideas copyright Christopher Harris, 2013-2015.

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